As If One George Santos Wasn’t Too Many GOP Fakes In Congress, Now There Are Two…

…that we know of.

Rep. Andrew Ogles (R-Tenn.) acknowledged yesterday that he “misstated” the degree he had received from Middle Tennessee State University when he told voters that he received a degree in international relations. Ogles said his degree was actually for “liberal studies,” a general education degree typically for those who cannot settle on a major. He claims that the mistake was inadvertent, and he just forgot his major.

Sure, Andy.

That baloney might be palatable if he hadn’t been shown to have falsified so many other aspects of his résumé. For example…

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Morning Ethics Collection: Farewell Black History Month Edition

For some reason, Black History Month and the corporate pandering to it have really bothered me this year. The streaming services all have special race-segregated categories this month, for example. I just heard a promo on the Sirius MLB channel with an announcer from a vintage game clip (the one where Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record) screaming that a “black man is now baseball’s all-time home run champion!” What matters is that Henry Aaron broke the record, regardless of his skin shade. Funny, I don’t recall anyone noting, when Barry Bonds broke Aaron’s record aided by illegal drugs, that “a black man is now baseball’s first all-time home run champion to achieve the distinction by cheating!”

Meanwhile, professional organizations felt it necessary to present programs like this one, by the New York City Bar:

The national obsession with race is a sickness, and only perpetuates division and distrust. It has to stop.

1. Ugh! More unethical web list misinformation...I checked out another of those annoying on-line “slideshows,” this one purporting to list the 35 “Best Movies That Are Actually True To History.” Some of the selections were valid (notably “Gettysburg”), but there are too many better choices than most included on the list to count, and one in particular was unforgivable: “Saving Private Ryan.”

My father regarded that film as offensively unrealistic, and wrote the military advisor on the movie to complain in a 20+ page memo. Details aside, however, the entire plot conceit of the “film”Private Ryan” was absurd, and an insult to General George Marshall. There is no way Marshall would have made the welfare of a single GI a higher priority than ensuring a successful post-Normandy invasion campaign, but that is what Spielberg’s film imagines. Furthermore, the letter allegedly written by President Lincoln that inspires Marshall’s crack-brained scheme in the film has been pretty conclusively proven to have been authored by John Hay, Lincoln’s secretary. Not only that, but the object of the letter, the tragic mother who had supposedly lost five sons in Civil War battles, definitely didn’t.

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Ethics Heroes: The Mid Vermont Christian School Girls Basketball Team [Updated]

The Mid Vermont Christian School girls basketball team, the Eagles, were set to play against the Long Trail Mountain Lions in the fourth game of state championship tournament playoffs last week. But the Eagles forfeited the game and lost their place in the tournament, taking the position it was unfair and unsafe for a high school girls team to have to play against a team with a biological male on its squad.

Which, of course, it was and is.

[That’s another trans member of a women’s basketball team above, but illustrative of the problem…don’t you think?]

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Why Punish Dilbert For His Creator’s Rant?

Ethics Alarms discussed the weirdly illogical, emotional and intentionally inflammatory reaction of cartoonist/pundit Scott Adams based on, of all things to freak-out over, a poll by Rasmussen that was even more unreliable than most polls, which is saying something. The fact that I assumed something like the resulting backlash would occur and that Adams should have expected it doesn’t make the reaction any less unethical.

Hundreds of newspapers have now stopped printing the popular workplace satire comic strip. The statements of the San Antonio Express-News, which is part of Hearst Newspapers, and the USA Today Network were typical. The Express-News said that it will drop the Dilbert comic strip “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.” USA Today tweeted that it will stop publishing Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”

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From The Ethics Alarms Incompetence Files, Baseball Section, Unanticipated Consequences Tab

Oh yeah, this is going to turn out well…

In the Boston Red Sox’s first Spring Training game, played with the new pitch-clock rules that will be followed this season, home plate umpire John Libka ruled that Atlanta Braves prospect Cal Conley was not in the batters box and “alert” to Sox pitcher Robert Kwiatkowski at the required eight-second mark. This mandated that an automatic strike be called. The automatic strike came at a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied 6-6.

That ended the inning, and, since there are no extra innings in spring exhibition games, the game. The final score was 6-6.Neither Conley, nor the fans watching, nor the Red Sox, nor either team’s broadcasters had a clue what had happened.

How exciting!

The new pitch timer rule requires pitchers to take no more than 15 seconds to begin their delivery with the bases empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. The batter must also be in the batter’s box and “alert” to the pitcher—meaning ready to swing— at the eight-second mark. Thus the pitcher clock is also a hitter clock.

Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, recently called the pitch clock “probably the biggest change that’s been made in baseball in most of our lifetimes.” If it decides many games by cutting off rallies with the bases loaded, I suspect fans might be calling it something else.

Making material changes to the rules of a successful enterprise after many decades is something that should not be undertaken precipitously or with a “well, let’s see how it works out!” attitude. Such changes, if made, must also be communicated clearly and widely to the public, which MLB has not done in this case.

I see strong analogies to, for example, the 2020 mail-in ballot rules, among other public policy innovations.

Baseball, after all, is Life.

If It Is Unethical For CNN To Continue Putting Don Lemon On The Air, What Do You Call ABC Allowing “The View” To Rot Brains Daily?

Yes, that was fake Republican Ana Navarro spreading the word that blacks and Hispanics get sent to jail for years for stealing a pack of cigarettes. “The View” is the most-viewed news and talk program in daytime television, and is run by the ABC News division. The ABC News division is permitting outright, flagrant false information to be communicated to its dim and ignorant audience by this coven of fools. They make Don Lemon look like Edward R. Murrow.

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“The Great Stupid” Across The Pond: We Helped Save Roald Dahl’s Children’s Books From The Censors; Now They’re Coming For OO7

…who might soon be called “008” to soothe readers offended by the number seven. Seven deadly sins, seven dwarves, that creepy Morgan Freeman movie with Gwinneth Paltrow’s head in a box…it’s a touchy number, you have to admit.

I’d like to think in some tiny way Ethics Alarms helped spread the news of the despicable bowdlerizing of Dahl’s classics that resulted in his publisher backing down and adopting the New Coke solution to a fiasco: the anti-authors’ rights business announced over the weekend that it will henceforth offer “Dahl Classic” along with the vandalized “New Dahl.” Yeah, let’s see which sells more copies. There was hardly time to pop the champagne, however: we then learned that Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels are being re-written for “modern readers“to omit alleged “racist language” and “racial references.” The censored novels will be published in April to mark the 70 years since “Casino Royale,” the first in the series, was published.

There’s nothing quite like honoring an author by defacing his most famous works. At least they’re leaving “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” alone. I think.

The indefensible conduct comes after Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, which owns the rights to Fleming’s work, commissioned a review by “sensitivity readers.” The British really don’t get that freedom of speech and expression thingy, do they? Neither does the rest of the world beyond our shores and porous borders. Now watch: U.S. progressives will argue that once again, the United States is out of step with its betters by not censoring literature and movies with the same wild abandon that it pulls down statues.

The disclaimer accompanying Fleming’s reissued novels, echoing Dahl’s publisher Puffin, will read: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace. A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”

If Ian Fleming “might be considered offensive” to the political correctness police, imagine what’s going to happen to Mark Twain.

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Ethics Hero: Fox News Media Ethics Reporter Howard Kurtz

And there it is: the difference between CNN’s ex-fake media ethics watchdog Brian Stelter, and current Fox News media ethics reporter Howard Kurtz, whom Stelter succeeded as host of “Reliable Sources.”

Kurtz informed his viewers today that his network will not allow him to cover details in the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox. On his show “MediaBuzz,” Kurtz announced that his bosses are not allowing him to report on the case, despite his conclusion thati t is a “major media story.” (Of course it is.) So, he says, he cannot talk about the case at this time, but will let his audience know if that policy changes.

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National Party Ethics: A Pledge Is A Start, GOP, But It’s Not Enough…

In a rare burst of semi-competence, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said today that any candidate who wants to take part in the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee later must sign a pledge promising to support whoever wins the nomination.

The measure is obviously aimed at presumed Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has already signaled that he believes the 2024 GOP nomination is his by right. Trump is a threat to run as a third party candidate if Republican voters come to their senses and support a less divisive candidate before next year’s national convention.

In fact, he’s a threat to do that with or without having signed such a pledge. If his status as a human ticking time bomb is to be minimized, the party must also:

  • Make such a pledge also a requirement to run in any of the GOP primaries, and
  • Require it for Trump to be entered into nomination at the 2024 Convention, and,
  • To make the pledge on video, stating that it is being made to the American people as well as the party.

Finally, the Republican Party must bite the metaphorical bullet and arrange to have all primaries include a run-off between the top two candidates. In any herd of aspiring candidates, Trump will end up in front easily. In a two candidate race with a less toxic adversary, he’ll lose.

We are about to see how seriously the Republican Party takes its obligation to do what is in the  best interests of the United States of America.

The Rest Of The Story: Manny’s Opt-Out (Corrected)

After a post and a Comment of the Day on San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado’s announcement that he would be opting out of his 10 year, 300 million dollar contract after next season to seek more money that he won’t even notice, it has been reported that Machado has agreed to a contract upgrade that will now pay him $35 million a year for eleven years.

Whew! Now he’ll finally be able to afford those custom-built, nuclear powered, gold-plated android models of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame’s 342 members that he covets, and still have enough pin money to buy the Bolshoi Ballet.

So Manny’s announcement that he would opt out—he wasn’t ambiguous about it, he said that was a fact—was just a bargaining ploy. A lie. I said I detested this guy. I should have known.

When someone has tried such tactics on me, they learned that my response always is, “Fine, it’s settled then. Bye!” Eventually the word gets around, and nobody tries it any more. That’s what the Padres should have done. People keep using unethical tactics because their victims let them, and so they work.

Congratulations, Manny! You have your extra 5 million a year. May you choke on it.