Unethical Quote Of The Month: San Francisco Homeless Resident Joseph Peterson

“I just stole to eat.”

 —Joseph Peterson, a homeless man in San Francisco, lamenting the demise of the Whole Foods in his neighborhood and attempting to draw a material distinction between the rampant theft from the store by those seeking to sell what they stole, and his own shoplifting.

And there it is! In such carefully crafted rationalizations lie the seeds of societal rot. Peterson thinks his personal shoplifting—he cops to stealing macaroni and cheese and chicken from the hot food bar at the now closed grocery store a number of times, but believes that his theft is justifiable, unlike those who wanted to sell their heist for cash. Also believing his thefts were justifiable are many of San Francisco’s elected officials. They also believe that the “bad” shoplifters in Peterson’s view are equally justified, and in fact they are. What’s the ethical difference between stealing food to eat it, and stealing food to sell and use the money for other needs? There is none. In both cases, the expense of the food stolen is borne by other city residents, who will have to pay higher prices for their food, unless the prices become so high that they resort to theft as well.

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Who Do You Trust, CNN Or Don Lemon? (Hint: It’s A Trick Question)

Here is how Don Lemon announced his firing from CNN on Twitter…

Here was CNN’s response:

Lemon is an incorrigibly unprofessional and biased pseudo-journalist who has one of the most damning and extensive Ethics Alarms dossiers extant. he’s thrown tantrums, made up fake history, lied, peddled fake news and appeared drunk on the air. I think my favorite inexcusable babbling self-indulgence by Don was this, but I easily could have missed one, or dozens. Anyone that believes anything Don Lemon says, writes, publishes or tweets is dangerously gullible.

CNN, meanwhile, kept Lemon on the air in a high-profile, prime-time slot despite his lack of integrity and journalism competence, because it viewed him as an attractive messenger for its steady diet of biased, slanted and occasionally fabricated news stories serving its management’s partisan objectives. CNN is a little less trustworthy than Fox News, and a little more trustworthy than MSNBC, or, to be brief, completely untrustworthy.

The answer to the question posed in the headline is “Neither.”

The Tucker Carlson Firing Aftermath

Tucker Carlson behaved in a manner that would get any employee fired from any organization with two atoms of integrity and professionalism to rub together unless the organization was completely in thrall to The King’s Pass. It is really as simple as that; this isn’t hard. Nevertheless, pundits, politicians and hack journalists on both sides of the ideological divide set out to misrepresent the event in order to promote their own world views, confusing the American public when they should be illuminating a basic ethics and life competence issue.

Let’s see...why not start with one of the biggest hacks out there, CNN’s former fake journalism ethics watchdog and veteran Fox News-a-phobe, Brian Stelter? “Why Tucker Carlson’s Exit From Fox News Looks Like an Execution” is the title of his analysis in “Vanity Fair,” itself now a nest of progressive propaganda merchants (but Stelter lowers the net ethics quotient anyway).  The answer to Stelter’s question is, he offers, this: “He’s not being given a chance to say goodbye. It is technically possible, I suppose, that Carlson turned down a chance to sign off on his own terms. But my 20 years of experience covering cable news suggests otherwise.”

Wow. This guy is really something. Completely inept and intellectually dishonest, Stelter has to begin an article by reminding readers how special he is. Of course Carlson wasn’t given a chance to give a last broadcast. He was fired for cause. When you are fired for cause, security ushers you out of the building. Your bosses don’t give you anything but a severance package—maybe—and ten minutes to put your stuff in a cardboard box. Allowing a likely bitter and angry demagogue like Carlson to “say good bye” is like the Charles Addams cartoon where a guy arrested for making obscene phone calls is allowed to make his one call and he makes another obscene one. What Fox did with Carlson wasn’t “an execution.” It was a standard firing.

Over at the New Republic, long-time leftist hysteric Michael Tomasky (whose biased news analysis helped drive me away from The Daily Beast) writes in “Why Fox News Is Going to Get Worse—a Lot Worse” that Carlson is certain to be replaced by someone who is “more trolly, more racist, more pro-Putin, and just all-around more outrageous than Carlson.” Tomasky is just using Carlson’s demise as an excuse to attack Fox News when it has done the right and responsible thing for once, and at significant cost: its value dipped a billion dollars on the news of the firing. In the process, he repeats the Big Lies that the Left wielded against Carlson in its efforts to silence him, because censoring opposition is how Big Blue rolls these days; it’s so much more effective than trying to win a debate with facts and logic.

Carlson’s not “racist,” but the playbook demands that anyone who questions color-based, George Floyd Freakout policies must be a racist. Tucker’s not “pro-Putin,” he’s anti-US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war, a defensible position. Carlson, moreover, was far less outrageous than the jerk he replaced, Bill O’Reilly, so why does Tomasky assume Carlson’s replacement will be worse than he was?

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On The Skunks Calling Fox Black

Fox News settled Dominion’s $1.6 billion defamation suit over the network’s false claim that its voting machines at rigged votes in the 2020 election for $787.5 million. It was clear that Fox knowingly misrepresented facts for ratings and to pander to Trump fans, and the lawsuit already had thoroughly embarrassed the company: all it could do in its defense is argue that the deliberate misrepresentations weren’t malicious. That was a tough assignment; the settlement was prudent. In this op-ed, Washington Post’s media watchdog hack Eric Wemple gives vent to his hatred of the network that declines to join the Post and the rest of the mainstream media in its mission to install a permanent Leftist dictatorship, writing in part,

In its statement, Fox News demonstrated that not even a court record bulging with evidence of perfidy is enough to shame the organization into genuine contrition. “We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”

(Boldface added to highlight the network’s minimization of the fact that the discovery materials exposed not just falsehoods but lies. Boldface italics added to highlight an unthinkable proposition — firm evidence that the network refuses to learn from any experience.)…the resolution requires a great deal of something that Fox News has in wheelbarrows (money) and very little of something it has in teaspoons (editorial integrity).

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From Chicago: Today’s “It Isn’t What It Is!” Moment Of Delusion…

The impetus for this indignant and ignorant rant is Walmart’s announcement that it is closing 4 of their 8 stores in Chicago, including the one at issue. In announcing the move, Walmart explained,

The simplest explanation is that collectively our Chicago stores have not been profitable since we opened the first one nearly 17 years ago – these stores lose tens of millions of dollars a year, and their annual losses nearly doubled in just the last five years. The remaining four Chicago stores continue to face the same business difficulties, but we think this decision gives us the best chance to help keep them open and serving the community.

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Dear Proudly Obese Lady: It Is Not Everyone’s Obligation To Solve Your Problems

I hate to be unkind, but this is a Popeye if I ever there was one.

Jaelynn Chaney (above) is a fat positivity activist, which is jake with me, sort of, if I apply the “its not the worst thing” rationalization. (Maybe Bud Light will put her on a beer can, if possible.) However, she is now demanding, via a Change.Org petition, that the rest of us pay to make it easier for her (and her not quite as obese love-bunny to fly on commercial airlines.

Poor Jaelynn! As she writes in her repetitious and ungrammatical introduction to her demands,

Air travel should be comfortable and accessible for everyone, regardless of size. As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying. During a flight from Pasco to Denver, my fiancé was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination. Similarly, on another flight, I was forced to occupy only one seat with immovable armrests that caused me pain and bruises. Being forced to occupy only one seat can result in pain and vulnerability to poor treatment from fellow passengers, including hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them. This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable, and it highlights the urgent need for better policies that protect the dignity and rights of all passengers, regardless of size. Unfortunately, plus-size passengers often experience discomfort and discrimination when flying. The lack of a uniform customer-of-size airline policy is unacceptable and must be addressed.

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Incompetent Corporate Exec of the Year Nominee: Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth

As Budwieiser lost billions in value since its Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, the company has remained silent. Any PR consultant would have instructed the company to get out immediately with a statement to stop the bleeding. Finally, the company’s CEO emerged from his bunker to deal with the issue. He had several options, none good. He could stand by his, uh, woman, sort of—two women actually, including his clueless vice president of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid who engineered the disaster, saying that he stood by his staff and supported their decision. That would have been brave, responsible, and stupid.

Or he could grovel an apology, saying that the company had made a dire mistake, and be prepared for the full fury of Woke World and the LGPTQ mob. That would have satisfied no one. Best of all would have been to say that Bud’s intent with the Mulvaney stunt was only to emphasize that its brews were for every American, regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity or political persuasion, the eccentrics and pariahs, the guy in the hard hat, the working mother, everyone. He could have apologized to Mulvaney for making her a target by his company’s botched messaging, and promised to avoid stumbling into controversial and divisive issues in the future.

Then he could have gone back to his office, and fired Heinerscheid.

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How DEI And Globalism Pollutes American Culture: The Bud Light Affair

Even though Budweiser choosing a silly, female- (and male) mocking trans “influencer” to promote a product with a market base guaranteed to find the campaign offensive, it made sense to do it anyway. How? Why? The answer shows just how difficult it will be, and already is, for the United States to maintain its unique values, ethical, political and otherwise, in a global culture determined to force our outlying experiment in individual liberty into conformity.

That video above is from Refinitiv, a hugely influential international company I never had heard of before last week. It is an American-British global provider of financial market data and infrastructure, founded in 2018 as a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group. The company has an annual turnover of $6 billion with more than 40,000 client companies in 190 countries. Though it presumes to rank companies according to their “ethics,” it is a soul-less, ethics-free company itself. For example, Refinitiv bowed to pressure from China during 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, censoring over 200 stories by Reuters by removing them from its Eikon platform for consumers in Mainland China. The company then developed a “Strategic China filter” to block politically-sensitive stories from readers in Mainland China.

This is the company that Budweiser was submitting to by turning Bud Lite into a DEI pandering product. Refinitiv wields a powerful Diversity and Inclusion Index “designed to measure the relative performance of companies against factors that define diverse and inclusive workplaces.” Woke and “socially conscious investors, including institutional investors, rely on the index to make investment decisions. A declining or inadequate index can mean billions in lost investments.

Budweiser’s seemingly incomprehensible decision to do a complete 180 degree reversal in its public image was driven by slavish fealty to this made-up index, which has power because people and organization have chosen to give it power. In this it resembles the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing advocacy group that can brand an organization as “racist” or as a “hate group” just by saying so. To Refinitiv’s world view, making a trans celebrity a spokesperson justifies gold stars and bonus points.

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A”What’s Going On Here?” Special: Bud Light’s Promotion of Dylan Mulvaney

TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, a self-promoting trans-girl who for some reason is an internet “influencer,” posted a video last week promoting the brand’s Easy Carry Contest, in which participants must demonstrate how many cans Budweiser’s worst brew they can carry to win $15,000. Bud Light had sent Mulvaney a  commemorative can featuring an illustration of the Ex-Man’s face with a message congratulating her on “365 days of girlhood.”

Then all hell broke loose. Conservatives are calling for a boycott of Bud Light. Kid Rock posted a video of himself wearing a MAGA baseball cap, shooting up a case of Bud Light and saying, “Fuck Bud Light, and fuck Anheuser-Busch!”

“What’s going on here?”

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Pet Goat Ethics: Is There Anyone Behaving Ethically In This Mess?

Are they just not installing ethics alarms any more?

Above you see Cedar the Goat with his 9-year-old owner, now grief-stricken because Cedar ended up on a State Senator’s menu thanks to a series of unethical acts that could have been short-circuited if anyone with power or authority had been a little more ethical, but no.

Jessica Long bought Cedar last year as a pet for her nine-year-old daughter, but for some reason decided to hand the beloved pet over to a livestock auction at a district fair, which stipulated that the all sales were final and Cedar, like all the other farm critters, would be sold for meat. The fair’s brochure clearly stated “no exceptions.” But Long’s daughter was distraught about the prospect of losing Cedar, so her mom begged the fair to give him back before bidding started.

“Pet schmet,” the fair’s rulers essentially replied. “Making an exception for you will only teach our youth that they do not have to abide by the rules that are set up for all participants,” Shasta District (that’s in California) Fair Chief Executive Officer Melanie Silva lectured in an email. So Cedar was duly auctioned off to a representative of California State Senator Brian Dahle for $902. Just $63.14 of that goes to the state fair and the rest, $838.86 to Long.

Thinking hard (but not well) about how to please her daughter, Jessica kidnapped the goat and decided to “take the goat that night and deal with the consequences later.”

Oh, good thinking there, Mom!

The fair’s livestock manager contacted Long warning of “serious consequences” if the goat wasn’t returned. Then a sheriff from Shasta County, filed a search warrant, a judge signed off on it and officers used “breaching equipment to force open doorway(s), entry doors, exit doors, and locked containers in pursuit of their target.” Cedar was the target. Clever Long, however, had sent Cedar into hiding at a distant farm in Sonoma County, but it still didn’t work: authorities got her goat anyway and drove him 200 miles to Shasta County for slaughter.

It is believed that the little goat was served at a community barbecue to which he had been donated as a gesture by Senator Dahl. And that he was delicious.

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