Friday The 13th Ethics, 1/13/23: Scary!

Some follow-up items before we get to the real stuff:

  • I have two more parking lots to report on as I seek evidence on why parking head-first is the most ethical procedure. In my Harris Teeter’s underground garage, notorious for its narrow spaces, the count yesterday was 73 straight in and just 8 back first. Yet the only space available for me involved getting into a tight spaces with a “Backie” on my left and a “Frontie” on my right. For some reason, debaters on this post didn’t seem to see why this is a problem. My answer: try it. If you get close enough to the properly parking car on the right to have room to get out on the left it is impossible to allow the obnoxious “Backie” driver on the left to have a shot at getting into his car if he weighs 280 pounds while not beating MY door full of dings—and I have to squeeze through a barely opened door to get out myself without dinging his car. In my wife’s doctor’s medical building parking lot this morning, it was much closer 22 back-ins to 42 straight ins. But 1) the lot was only half full and 2) it has much wider spaces.
  • I swear I’ll finish the count-down to determining Joe Biden’s competition for Worst President Ever. The last segment was issued in August. I think I can do it a single post; I’m sorry this has dragged out. Yesterday I heard an old stand-up routine by David Cross (who can be clever, but he’s a dick) arguing that George W. Bush was the worst President, and he began by saying that GII was even worse than “Millard Fillmore and James K. Polk.” That statement is a tell: he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Millard wasn’t bad at all, especially for  Vice-President who had to take over, and Polk was arguably a great President, and the best one term POTUS ever. If you think Polk was bad, I don’t really care what your Presidential ranking is. You’re ignorant, and so is anyone who laughs at your critiques. I bet 90% of his crowd couldn’t pick Polk out of a line-up.
  • My Trump-Deranged, Wuhanphobic but otherwise reasonable Democrat sister, expressing disgust with the Biden classified document scandal, said that she hoped somehow both Trump and Biden could be convicted of crimes sufficiently serious to make them ineligible to run in 2024. I told her that there is no such crime, but that I would gladly take that trade, and so would a lot of people in both parties.

1. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. The interim superintendent of Loudoun County schools announced that at least three high schools, Potomac Falls, Freedom, and Loudoun County, did not tell students they had received the National Merit Scholarship awards.That is now a total of six Virginia high schools that prevented deserving students from notifying colleges of their honors in early-admission applications. The official line is that it was a one-time mistake….that just happened to occur in six Northern Virginia high schools at the same time, all overseen by an “equity consultant” whose stated objective is “equal outcomes” for all students regardless of performance. Glenn Reynolds’ rueful comment ends with a quote from “War Games:

You want to live in an area with the “best” public schools, but nowadays those schools are so woke that they sabotage your kids’ college chances in the name of “equity.” And then, even if those schools get your kid into a prestigious college, employers won’t want to know about it, also in the name of equity? And diversity consultants say to hire people without degrees anyway to promote diversity. What a strange game. The only way to win is not to play.

2. Speaker McCarthy fails an integrity check. (Of course he does.) There are calls for Rep. George Santos–you know, the fake Congressman— to resign coming from the New York delegation of Republican members of Congress and state party officials. But at a news conference yesterday, McCarthy said that he had no intention of barring Santos from congressional committees or penalizing him for winning election under false pretenses. “The voters of his district have elected him,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He is seated. He is part of the Republican conference.”

That’s unethical and disgusting.

3. Good advice and an early knowledge of history might have saved Lisa Marie Presley’s life, or at least have given her a chance at a better one. Elvis Presley’s only child died suddenly yesterday of a heart attack at 54, outliving her father but not by much. Lisa Marie was cursed with celebrity from birth, and being the daughter of “The King” made it virtually impossible to go through life as something other than someone famous for being famous. (It didn’t help that she looked like Elvis.) The record of sons and daughters of iconic figures is mixed, but tilts strongly toward tragedy. Someone wise, trusted and kind should have sat the young woman down in her teens and explained that her options, freedom and odds would be vastly improved if she left the country, changed her name and appearance, and set out to have a normal life.

4. Good. A  rule change made  by Democrats in the final days of their majority could allow House members  to be reimbursed for the cost of lodging, food and travel while they are on official business in Washington. House members have not had a cost-of-living increase in the annual spending bills for over a decade, but this provision, if it survives the Republican take-over, could provide  a subsidy of about $34,000 per member this year, according to an estimate based on current government reimbursement rates. That would be a substantial increase for lawmakers who spend weeks in D.C., where living costs are among the highest in the United States. Right now, serving in the House (and not taking money one shouldn’t) is a financial hardship that makes personal wealth nearly a requirement to serve without hardship. The added subsidy might persuade better and more qualified citizens to run.

We can hope, any way.

5. I’m slow this week. I don’t understand this at ALL. Is it as stupid and blatant virtue signaling as it appears, or is there some legitimate motive?  “View From the Wing,” a travel site, reports,

Japan Airlines is asking business class customers to skip meals on board, telling them it is the ethical thing to do….AL, which first tested this on their overnight Bangkok – Tokyo Haneda flight at the end of 2020, will give you an extra amenity kit as a thank you….Delta Air Lines offers business class customers the choice to pre-select skipping a meal which they promote will “help reduce food waste.” …

Still they do not go nearly as far as Japan Airlines which claims the ethical choice is not to eat on board, which must make a business class passenger choosing to eat unethical.

China Southern, which has promoted passengers skipping meals on flights under 800 miles, at least rewards them with miles when making this choice, effectively splitting the savings so both the airline and passenger benefit.


Pointer: Oops! Lost the email. Somebody out there, thanks!

9 thoughts on “Friday The 13th Ethics, 1/13/23: Scary!

  1. 1. Hmmm. I wonder if the students of color, or Lantinx, Pacific Islander, LGBTQ or transgender students who won National Merit recognition were advised of that fact? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. 5. I looked at the Japanese-language explanation, what they’re saying is, if you’re not planning to eat on the flight, it’s ‘ethical’ to let them know ahead of time. It’s in one of the FAQs on the site as well, ‘I don’t want to be woken up during the flight, can I refuse meal service?’

    • I flew JAL USA-Tokyo and back seven times (the final return journey was by ship in order to accompany belongings of nearly eight years in Japan — one box was stolen out of Seattle Customs anyway. They denied that the box (a full-size “tea box” the size of a steamer trunk) had been put on board even though a friend had a photo of its being stacked on the ship, by law 30 days before sailing. … Sorry for the diversion; it’s an old sore suppurating. … Back in the airplanes: The flights took off from SFO and had a stopover in Oahu so I cancelled the first airline meal because I used to go to sleep as soon as the ascent began and had a little-luau, until I learned what was being served when one ordered a Japanese meal (instead of the unh “regular” meat-and-potatoes mid-Western style) and enjoyed the rest of the voyages until the last one to Tokyo, when I fell asleep and the asshole sitting next to me said accusingly, when I awoke, hungry, to see him carefully stacking the two empty plastic plates, “you really shouldn’t waste food, you know!” as if . . . .

    • Ah, that makes sense. Reading the tweet in that article now makes sense. If you know your not going to eat, it is considerate to let the airline know.

      • I don’t think it makes sense at all. How do you know you’re not going to eat? You may get hungry, You may like the looks of the food they are serving (unlikely, but still). Maybe you can’t buy a meal to take on board with you because you just barely make the flight. Maybe you spill your bag getting onto the flight. Beside’s, you’re paying for it. Do restaurants tell you it’s unethical noy to let them know if you’re not going to eat the broccoli that comes with your jumbo shrimp?

        • Maybe they should.

          I like the idea of avoiding food waste and do sometimes, when ordering something I’ve ordered before, ask to hold butter or dressing or whatever that I know I won’t eat.

          Some people ARE sure they don’t want that airplane meal — it is unquestionably ethical for them to let the airline know and avoid the waste. Just as unquestionably, though, there is no ethical problem with being UNSURE and having a meal reserved.

  3. … The added subsidy might persuade better and more qualified citizens to run.

    This was once a cultural difference about this between the U.S.A. and the U.K., which we can see in Trollope’s work on North America. British thinking a little over a century and a half ago was that not paying representatives would “persuade better and more qualified citizens to run” because only the financially independent and public spirited would come forward. This was taken to the point that M.P.s were expected to return any pay they did get, as a matter of honour. That British thinking changed once it was considered desirable to have M.P.s from the working classes who were not financially independent. By contrast, U.S. thinking at about the same time was that if you paid peanuts you would get monkeys, as it were – but this rested on a faulty syllogism, as paying more than peanuts does not rule out getting monkeys anyway (much as Lenin’s idea that you can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs leaves out breaking eggs without getting any omelettes).

  4. 2. I agree than Santos should face a chill-out from the leadership, as should every other member of the Congress (from either party) with a known record of self-aggrandizement, stolen valor and every other sort of fakery. McCarthy should announce this in an address that also calls out President* Biden for his own manufactured and constantly evolving history.
    3. Don’t you think the chances of any child born into celebrity status getting such advice are just about nil? I agree that it would be a good thing, but celebrities don’t usually surround themselves with sage advisers. I’d say that most of the sycophants and hangers-on would be trying hard to minimize the influence of any such person.
    4. I agree, if they will also put their business interests and personal finances into some sort of trusteeship while they serve. Personal enrichment of members of Congress has reached obscene levels.

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