This Is Comforting: “The Great Stupid” Is Greater And Stupider In Canada, As You Can See…

But for how long?

That’s a male, Oakville High School (about 20 miles from Toronto) “transitioning” shop teacher, parading with his, or her—it really doesn’t matter— gigantic prosthetic boobs. The Halton District School Board defends “her” completely voluntary appearance and attire in the name of “gender rights.” Meanwhile some students have skipped class, some are protesting, and parents are objecting.

My heavens, what could they be upset about?

“This teacher is an extremely effective teacher,” the board’s chair told the media. (Other than creating a completely unnecessary distraction by choosing to wear fake breasts twice the size of his head, of course—picky, picky...)The school board is creating a “safety plan” to ensure this serious professional can continue teaching without incident.

Yes, this Canadian variant of The Great Stupid virus could spread over the border. Continue reading

A New “All-Time Most Outrageous Excuse” Champion! [Link Fixed!]

Fifteen-and-a-half years ago, when Lindsay Lohan was young, vibrant, and in the process of destroying her career, I took to the old Ethics Scoreboard to declare her explanation to the police who had arrested her for driving intoxicated and in possession of cocaine the “most brazen and manifestly ridiculous excuse ever.” The coke had been found in her pants pockets, so Lindsay claimed that they weren’t her pants, launching the TAMP (These Aren’t My Pants) standard for outrageous excuses.

In 2012, the drunken captain who piloted the Costa Concordia cruise ship onto the rocks claimed that he left the capsizing vessel before his passengers because the he “fell into a life boat.” That was close to TAMP, but not quite, I ruled on Ethics Alarms. But the same month, The Smoking Gun reported that in Wisconsin, police responding to a domestic abuse episode that left a Mrs. Michael West bleeding were told by Mr. West (no, not the esteemed Ethics Alarms contributor) that she had been beaten and nearly strangled to death by a ghost. Ethics Alarms ruled that West had taken the crown from Lindsey, who has done little to distinguish herself since.

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“21” Ethics, September 2022: Betrayal In The Air…[Corrected]

This was the date, in 1780, that Benedict Arnold attempted an abortion on the fetal and vulnerable United States of America. He met with British Major John Andre to arrange handing over West Point to the British in return for money and the promise of a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled, narrowly, but Arnold successfully flipped sides and survived the war, moving to England, but never receiving his promised metaphorical pieces of silver.

Clearly, Arnold had not been sufficiently inspired by General Washington’s letter to him five years earlier, when he was George’s most trusted officer:

George Washington to Benedict Arnold
September 14, 1775.

Sir:

You are intrusted with a Command of the utmost Consequence sequence to the Interest and Liberties of America. Upon your Conduct and Courage and that of the Officers and Soldiers detached on this Expedition, not only the Success of the present Enterprize, and your own Honour, but the Safety and Welfare of the Whole Continent may depend.

I charge you, therefore, and the Officers and Soldiers, under your Command, as you value your own Safety and Honour and the Favour and Esteem of your Country, that you consider yourselves, as marching, not through an Enemy’s Country; but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such the Inhabitants of Canada, and the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain and America.

That you check by every Motive of Duty and Fear of Punishment, every Attempt to plunder or insult any of the Inhabitants of Canada. Should any American Soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian, in his Person or Property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary Punishment as the Enormity of the Crime may require. Should it extend to Death itself it will not be disproportional to its Guilt at such a Time and in such a Cause.

But I hope and trust, that the brave Men who have voluntarily engaged in this Expedition, will be governed by far different Views. That Order, Discipline and Regularity of Behaviour will be as conspicuous, as their Courage and Valour. I also give it in Charge to you to avoid all Disrespect to or Contempt of the Religion of the Country and its Ceremonies. Prudence, Policy, and a true Christian Spirit, will lead us to look with Compassion upon their Errors without insulting them. While we are contending for our own Liberty, we should be very cautious of violating the Rights of Conscience in others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the Hearts of Men, and to him only in this Case, they are answerable.

Upon the whole, Sir, I beg you to inculcate upon the Officers and Soldiers, the Necessity of preserving the strictest Order during their March through Canada; to represent to them the Shame, Disgrace and Ruin to themselves and Country, if they should by their Conduct, turn the Hearts of our Brethren in Canada against us. And on the other Hand, the Honours and Rewards which await them, if by their Prudence and good Behaviour, they conciliate the Affections of the Canadians and Indians, to the great Interests of America, and convert those favorable Dispositions they have shewn into a lasting Union and Affection.

Thus wishing you and the Officers and Soldiers under your Command, all Honour, Safety and Success, I remain Sir, etc….

1. On the topic of letters and betrayals of trust, here’s one written by Sen. Josh Hawley in April  to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding explanations for an academic study finding that Gmail’s spam filtering algorithm was significantly more likely to mark Republican fundraising emails as spam than Democrat fundraising emails. I saw it mentioned again yesterday, but couldn’t relocate the article when I searched on…hey, wait a minute…

Did you notice this in April? I didn’t. I guess the mainstream news media didn’t think it was newsworthy…

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Ick, Unethical, Or “YUM!”?

Oh, settle down: this is an adult blog, after all.

I’ve checked: that is not a gag. A Lithuanian potato chip company has launched a line of flavored chips aimed exclusively at 18-year-olds and older. CHAZZ potato chips come in flavors like mussels, white wine, and Bloody Mary, but it’s the flavor above that is stirring up controversy. I’m not kidding!

I see no reason why someone won’t launch these chips or the equivalent here. Would that be unethical, vulgarizing the culture? Corrupting the young? Nobody accused Bertie Botts’ Jelly Beans of such an offense, and they have just about every flavor except sex-related ones. I presume conservatives would flip out over this product; Ron DeSantis would probably try to get it banned in Florida. Good luck with that.

I must admit, I’m shocked…shocked that Lithuania beat the good ol’ entrepreneurial U.S.A. in coming up with this.

Comment Of The Day: On Queen Elizabeth’s Death (“Friday Open Forum)”

Steve-O-in NJ has some time on his hands, and he made Ethics Alarms the beneficiaries with this Comment of the Day, an excellent overview of the late Queen Elizabeth’s life, reign, and service to her nation.

I enthusiastically second virtually all of it, though I would have liked to see him mention Princess Anne in a positive light. She has been a tireless working royal for her entire adult life, and she has managed to avoid the scandals that tarnished the Royal Family at the hands of her siblings and aunt.

I also agree with Steve that the Queen earned a place in the The Ethics Alarms Heroes’ Hall Of Honor, which hasn’t had a new inductee in a while. I will add his essay to that page as soon as I can.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the life of Queen Elizabeth 1, in today’s Open Forum.

***

Elizabeth II wasn’t born to be queen. She was the elder daughter of Albert, the Duke of York, second son of the formidable (although no brain-trust) George V, who led the United Kingdom through the Great War and the beginning of the end of empire. His eldest son, known as “David” among his friends, but whose name has gone down in history rarely as Edward VIII, more often as the Duke of Windsor, almost always as the Edward of “Edward and Mrs. Simpson” and without exception as a failure (sometimes even as a potential traitor) lasted no more than a year before he let an unprincipled whore pull him down from his throne and into the shadow of disapproval. Hearing the announcement, the precocious princess, barely 10 years old, remarked to her younger sister Margaret that “Papa is to be king.” Supposedly Margaret said something to the effect of “then you’ll be queen? Poor you.” Continue reading

It’s Open Forum Friday!

As always, you get to decide what ethics matters to raise, analyze and discuss. I am hoping someone delves into the many ethics implications, abstract, direct and otherwise of the now-ended reign of Queen Elizabeth II, especially since I have less than my usual control over my schedule today, and am unlikely to be able to examine this myself.

It’s been a bit of a dead week here traffic-wise, as the week after Labor Day usually is, and yet we have seen some superb comments and debates on many topics.

Keep up the good work!

Hump Day Ethics Harrumphs, 8/31/2022: Fake Science, Jumped Sharks, And Failures

The Pennsylvania Senate race is an embarrassment to the state, both parties and democracy generally. One of the most important and influential states can’t do better than find two ridiculously unqualified candidates. John Fetterman, the Democrat, is obviously still suffering the after-effects of a stroke: if he had any integrity, respect for the process and sense of responsibility, he would step aside and let someone healthy and mentally able run. (Admittedly, in a nation that elected an obvious dementia sufferer as President, the temptation to shrug off a mere stroke must be strong.) Fetterman has made it clear that he’s going to avoid any debates, because the man has trouble thinking and speaking—a definite problem. Running against him is “Dr. Oz,” whose only qualification that I can detect is that he’s a Trump-endorsed celebrity. Well, he’s also not a stroke victim.

I see today that a new poll shows that Trump’s candidate Herschel Walker has pulled ahead in the Georgia Senate race. Are conservatives and Republican supposed to be excited about that? Walker is less qualified to be a Senator than Dr. Oz.

When do the parties (and the public) get serious about competent government? Or perhaps the better question is “When did they stop being serious about competent government?”

1. Pssst! Great leaders don’t have their governments fall apart apart on their watch. The news media’s lionizing of Mikhail Gorbachev is transparent and absurd. It is like celebrating the superb leadership of King Louis the XVI in France. Gorby didn’t deliberately bring down the USSR, he just never understood that the only way a Communist nation like that can stay intact is with a one-party, totalitarian system. He was a weak, naive, idealistic leader in a place that couldn’t support his ideals, and he failed. Why is he being given a hero’s send-off in the mainstream media? It is one more effort by the Left to refuse to give its detested bete noire, Ronald Reagan, a strong and successful leader, due credit for his greatest achievement.

2. Not having functioning ethics alarms and being stupid too is not a recipe for success. I guess it would also help to be literate in popular culture: seeing “A Simple Plan” or “No Country for Old Men” could be useful. Crypto.com, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, was supposed to send Thevamanogari Manivel of Melbourne, Australia a small refund and deposited $10.5 million in her account instead. Now, running off and spending the money is obviously dishonest and unethical; it also should be obvious that the owners of that much money aren’t just going to let it go. Nevertheless, she indeed took the windfall and started spending it. The mess is now, we are told, “before the courts.”

I have often felt that when a bank or other entity makes a mistake like this, there ought to be some routine reward, a substantial one, if the recipient reports the error rather than taking the money and heading for the metaphorical hills.

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How Much Sympathy Is Owed To Brittany Griner?

Brittany Griner, the WNBA superstar, has finally been sentenced by a Russian court for illegal drug possession. Absent the intervention of other agents and factors, she will serve nine years and six months in a Russian prison. She’s already been detained in the country since her arrest in February. It is obvious, however, that the tale is far from over.

The announcement of the tought sentence prompted President Biden to emit a typical bit of futile grandstanding, as he tweeted, “…Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.” It is pretty hard to be more blatantly futile, disingenuous and incompetent in a tweet than that. Biden doesn’t know that she was “wrongfully detained;” all indications are that she violated Russian law. “It’s unacceptable” implies that the United States won’t accept it, but as Biden well knows, the U.S. can’t and won’t do anything to force Griner’s release. Calling on a foreign nation to ignore its laws and law enforcement system to give an arrogant foreign violator a Get Out of Jail Free card is about as serious as ordering a foreign country to use Pig Latin, but that’s our Joe: talks tough, looks pathetic. The last part of the manifesto is especially silly. If being reunited with friends and family were a justification for releasing convicted criminals, then we should empty our own prisons. (To be fair, that is what a lot of Joe’s supporters want to see happen…a lot of Democratic district attorneys, too.)

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Last-Ditch Ethics Catch-Up, 8/1/2022: Strange Questions And Answers

This was a strange day that kept me out of the office and Ethics Alarms from morn til dusk. Sorry: couldn’t be helped. It will stand in my memory as the day I was asked, in an official appearance as an ethicist in a bar deliberation over the fitness of a young man to be allowed into the august profession of “lawyer,” this question: “Do you believe character should be taught in law school?”

It might be the most bizarre question I have been asked by anyone over the age of 9 in my life. “Character” isn’t a subject or even a definable feature. If someone hasn’t developed character by the age of 21, I cannot imagine how a law school would teach it.

1. Quickly approaching “Julie Principle” territory is The Nation’s Elie Mystal, who has a long dossier at Ethics Alarms from the days before his mind snapped like a dry twig in the wind, leaving him a perpetually furious, racist, hatemongering fool. Yet that’s good enough for MSNBC, which would feature a drooling lunatic in a straitjacket if he or she spouted sufficiently venomous insults about Republicans (and Donald Trump, of course).

Here’s what poor, mad Elie said on MSNBC today:

“It’s going to be a close election in Georgia because Walker has the backing of the Republicans. You ask why are Republicans backing this man who’s so clearly unintelligent, who so clearly doesn’t have independent thoughts, but that’s actually the reason. Walker is going do what he’s told, and that is what Republicans like. That’s what Republicans want from their Negroes: to do what they were told. And Walker presents exactly as a person who lacks independent thoughts, lacks an independent agenda, lacks an independent ability to grasp policies, and he’s just going to go in there and vote like Mitch McConnell tells them to vote.”

I am definitely not a Walker fan, but the denigrating “Negro” slur should have been flagged and reprimanded by the MSNBC host, except that it was Tiffany Cross, who is almost a female version of Elie. Moreover, it is hilarious for a Democrat to mock any Republican for “doing what he is told,” when the current Democrats in the House and Senate have voted in lockstep with their leaders’ demands almost without exception.

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Ethics Quiz: Hitler’s Watch

Adolf Hitler’s watch, shown above, recently sold at auction for over a million dollars. (The auction house had been expecting more, between 2 and 4 million.) The sale provoke some angry rhetoric online: many believe that it is unethical, indeed immoral, to acquire, keep or sell artifacts from Nazi Germany. In several countries, putting such things up for sale is illegal.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is this:

Is it unethical to sell or buy Hitler’s watch?

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