“The Vaccine Is Too Risky To Take!” “No! The Vaccine Is Risk Free!” STOP! You’re Both WRONG! It’s TWO, TWO, Two Vaccines in ONE! [Corrected]

Ethics Alarms has to comment on the truly irresponsible and destructive ideological posturing by the two ends of the political spectrum regarding the Wuhan virus vaccine. The intellectually dishonest sniping from the Left and the Right would be humorous if it wasn’t so potentially destructive. Here is a brief summary of the situation, which nobody seems capable of stating clearly.

Because of many factors. the United States allowed a virulent virus to devastate its economy, education, politics and culture in ways that, like those old Chinese finger traps, make it difficult to back out of. This should not have happened, but it did, and that’s all that matters. The situation as it is cannot be sustained, so it is crucial to minimize the threat of the pandemic as quickly as possible. This means that either a cure or an effective preventive measure must be available, and since no cure seems on the horizon, a vaccine is the nation’s best shot (no pun intended.) The damage to the country and culture worsens every day, so the vaccine has been rushed into production and use far more quickly than usual health protocols would normally require. It is a utilitarian trade-off, and the appropriate one.

The more people vaccinated, the better. It’s as simple as that. And since all vaccines kill a small percentage of people, the more Americans who are vaccinated, the more people are going to die. It’s also as simple as that. AND because this vaccine (actually vaccines, plural) have not been as thoroughly tested as vaccines normally are, a higher percentage of those vaccinated for the Wuhan virus will probably die than with other vaccines. That’s simple too. Unfortunate, but simple.

So the responsible, patriotic, rational act is to get vaccinated.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have been unreasonably suspicious of all vaccines, and many more have become quite reasonably suspicious of the CDC and government health edicts, not to mention the hysterical news media, during the pandemic, because, to be blunt, their advice, statements and demands have been too frequently dishonest, hypocritical, mistaken or wrong. The Left—Democrats, progressives and the news media—being increasingly inclined to totalitarian methods these days and reliant on telling the peasants to trust them when they appear to be more untrustworthy than ever, are deliberately refusing to be transparent about the Wuhan vaccine risks in order to maximize the number of American willing to take it. The Right—including conservatives, libertarians, flat earthers and a lot of Republicans—are reacting to their ingrained distrust of the Left—not that it isn’t deserved— by resisting the vaccine and sliding into conspiracy theories. Conservative media, playing to their market, are encouraging this, because that’s how they get eyeballs and clicks….and money. All of this threatens to cause the damage wreaked by the pandemic to persist, or even get worse.

Yes, it’s an Ethics Train Wreck, a sub-train wreck of the Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck, which I hereby dub the Pandemic Vaccine Ethics Train Wreck.

With that, here are eight ethics observations on Fox News provocateur Tucker Carlson’s’ recent phillipic about the vaccine. The full text of Carlson’s statement follows them.

Observations:

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Unethical Billboard Of The Year

Billboard

Observations:

1. What kind of community allows this kind of eyesore? Are there no ordinances about appropriate billboard content?

2. Sure, it’s constitutional speech, but it is as articulate as a grunt and as persuasive as a fart. This is what four years of Congresswomen calling the President of the United States a “mother fucker” and comediennes holding Donald Trump’s rubber severed head in the air have done to public discourse. We should never forgive progressives for this (social media is also responsible.)

3. Only because the Democrats, media and the Biden administration have no fairness, sense of responsibility or shame is there any valid political message on the thing at all. That message would be “Don’t blame Trump!” Like the previous Democratic President, President Biden seems to think he can duck accountability for his own failures and botches by blaming them on his immediate predecessor, apparently forever. It’s the mark of a coward and a weak leader, if not a “shithead.”

Meanwhile, The News Media Keeps Lying For Stacey Abrams

Stace Abrams 2

As noted in the previous post, it’s unethical to use Stacey Abram’s crummy romance novels against her, when she herself is such a revoltingly unethical public figure. The Democrats and the news media have been trying to make a hero out of Abrams, who pretty clearly is a fake and an opportunist whose ethics alarms rusted shut long ago. Most recently, she pushed Major League Baseball to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta because of the “Jim Crow” election law changes in Georgia Joe Biden repeatedly lied about. MLB, desperately pandering, relocated the game to Colorado, a state whose safe-guards against voting fraud are more stringent than Georgia’s. (Trying to make voting less easy to rig is “racist.” Yeah, I don’t get it either.)

After MLB followed Abrams’ exhortations and it was revealed that the move would devastate small businesses in Atlanta, many of them minority-owned, Abrams said she was “disappointed” in baseball.

Yes, she is a weasel in human form. The fun part is figuring out how long before enough people figure it out. The mainstream news media, which resembles Pravda more with each passing day, is doing its best to delay that moment of reckoning, as the recent revelation about her stealth-edited USA Today essay illustrates.

The piece was published on March 31, right before Major League Baseball made the despicable choice to withdraw from Georgia the law that Abrams opposed. Abrams then argued that the boycott was a correct corporate response. Abrams was also arguing both sides of the argument at once, something she does a lot, shameless phony that she is. She wrote in part:

“Boycotts work…The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change. Events hosted by major league baseball, world class soccer, college sports and dozens of Hollywood films hang in the balance. At the same time, activists urge Georgians to swear off of hometown products to express our outrage. Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition. However one lesson of boycotts is that the pain of deprivation must be shared to be sustainable. Otherwise, those least resilient bear the brunt of these actions; and in the aftermath, they struggle to access the victory. And boycotts are complicated affairs that require a long-term commitment to action. I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts. But I don’t think that’s necessary — yet. … I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”

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The Rest Of The Story: The Cop Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Is Reinstated, But Atlanta’s Disgrace And The Stench Of Presumed Racism Lingers On

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Way back in June of 2020, I watched this fiasco develop. Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was arrested by police for being drunk (35% over the legal limit) and passed out in his car, blocking a Wendy’s drive-up lane, was shot and killed in a subsequent confrontation with police in Atlanta. A mostly peaceful protest of BLM types ensued, with the Wendy’s being set on fire, since it was all Wendy’s fault. The Atlanta Chief of Police quickly resigned, the coward. Atlanta’s race-baiting mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms then pronounced the police officer who fired the fatal shots, Garrett Rolfe, guilty before knowing what happened—of course she did— and demanded that he be terminated with no investigation and no due process.

I wrote at the time,

“Last night’s incident began about 10:30 p.m. outside a Wendy’s  on University Avenue. Wendy’s employees called the police after receiving a complaint about a man asleep in his vehicle in the Drive-in line, which forced other customers to go around his car to get their food at the window. 

Responding to the call was the police’s first mistake. They should have asked if the man was black, and upon receiving an answer in the affirmative, should have told Wendy’s, “Sorry, you’re on your own.  We’d deal with it if the guy was white, but we can’t afford any situation these where a black guy might get gets hurt. Let him sleep it off. ‘Bye!” I’m completely serious. Any police department that isn’t under standing orders to let black lawbreakers at any level  just go about their anti-social, illegal business without police intervention is asking for a disaster.

The sleeping man, Atlanta resident Rayshard Brooks, was roused by the police and given a field sobriety test. He was drunk. After failing the test… Brooks was told that he was being taken into custody. NOOOOO! The odds were that he would resist, and this is how so many of these encounters go out of control. Again, the police should have just let him go.

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Evening Ethics Cool-Down, 5/5/21: Toyota, Patents, And The Cheating Homecoming Queen

Frozen-Jack-Nicholson

I don’t want to over-use the “This Date In Ethics” concept, but attention must be paid: this was the day, in 1961,that Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. boarded the Freedom 7 space capsule to becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space.

In these times where so many aspects of our culture are working to imbue Americans with fear of living, when people wear masks in their cars and teachers are willing to cripple both the economy and children’s education to minimize their risk of catching a virus, it should be remembered that a young, healthy man risked his life and the chance of a fiery death to advance America’s science and the spirit of exploration.

1. For some reason (Cognitive dissonance?) I haven’t been checking Althouse as often since she decided that her readers were hogging too much attention on her blog by insisting on posting comments. She still has an admirable talent for cutting through the BS. Reacting to today’s announcement that Facebook’s “quasi-indepedent” board upheld FaceBook’s partisan and anti-democratic ban on Donald Trump’s posts. Ann writes, “I’m not surprised. If the decision had gone the other way, Facebook could have found some new offense and banned him again.”

Not could have, though; would have.

2. How is this fair or equitable? Once again, Toyota is giving a special discount to “recent college graduates.” This is, of course, ham-handed pro-college virtue-signaling, but wouldn’t you guess that non-college grads of the same age need such discounts more? In the TV ad, we see a nice, upper-middle class white girl from childhood to college—it sure looks like her parents can afford a car…or she can afford a full-price cheaper car. Interestingly, this is one of the relatively few TV ads running now that dares to feature a white character who doesn’t at least mitigate her ingrained evil by being part of a mixed-race family.

Special deals on products and services for special categories of Americans—yes, even veterans—are divisive and incoherent.

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This Is Not The Statement Of A Juror In A “Fair Trial” [Updated]

This is the first crack in the dam, and there will be more. I was certain this was coming.

Brandon Mitchell, a black, 31-year-old high school basketball coach on the jury that convicted Derk Chauvin, spoke to the Wall Street Journal saying that “staying anonymous wouldn’t help push for change.” If he wants Chauivin to say convicted, he should have kept quiet. From the interview (WSJ has a paywall—sorry):

Mitchell said he was pulled over for no reason by Minneapolis police dozens of times in his early 20s, usually driving his mother’s aging Chrysler Sebring. He said he has always told his players to follow the checklist his mother gave him during these encounters. Take your hat off; announce what you’re doing; be polite; do what you’re told.

Then Mitchell tells the Journal that serving on the jury made him see it was wrong that a person should be so afraid that a police officer could do them harm that they needed to change their behavior, adding,

“That’s also part of the reason why I’m speaking up now because that is a narrative that is horrible…So somebody follows directions or not, they don’t deserve to die. That’s completely ridiculous.”

THEN Mitchell says he “related” to Floyd, saying,

“I just related to it too much.Being big, you know, former athlete and all these things—it just, it really just hit home… It just felt like something that easily could have been me or anybody else that I know.”

Good thinking there, Coach! And America, welcome to the jury system.

Rueful observations in random order:

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“It’s A New Week!” Ethics Warm-Up, 5/3/2021: Good Day Edition

Bad, BAD week last week, and not just for me. It was a bad week in ethics, and because of my own shortcomings, I wasn’t able to properly provide a path through it. This week will be better, starting today. At least if I have anything to say about it…

1. From “the rest of the story” files: Remember when Jonathan Papelbon attacked Bryce Harper in the Washington Nationals dugout? It was 2015, and pretty much marked the end of relief ace Paplebon’s career. Harper went on to become a mega-million dollar free agent after the 2018 season, when he signed with the Phillies for a ridiculous 30 million dollars a year long-term contract. Papelbon finally resurfaced in Boston this season as an amusingly unrestrained analyst for NESN, which broadcasts the the Red Sox games. And I recently discovered how almost right he was to accost Harper, if admittedly a bit too enthusiastically. The prompt for Pap to go grab Harper by the neck was the latter loafing down the line as he barely ran out a ground ball. Harper’s periodic lack of hustle had been a source of annoyance for years (to be fair, he was “only” being paid 2.5 million bucks to play hard in 2015), but I just saw the stats for his last year in Washington. Having been a plus-defensive player in previous years, Harper stopped hustling entirely in 2018, both in the field and on the bases. Though he had once saved over 20 runs in a season in the field alone, in his free agent year Harper cost his team over 20 runs that year, making sure he stayed healthy for the big payday to come (to be fair, he was “only” being paid 21.6 million bucks to play hard in 2018). As soon as he had a guaranteed contract with Philadelphia, Harper started playing hard again, dashing around the bases and diving in the outfield.

Both Papelbon and Harper were jerks during their careers, but nobody could accuse “Pap” of not doing his best to win for the fans, his team, its city and his team mates every single time he stepped onto a baseball field.

2. Not Harvard this time: it’s back to Georgetown! Both of my schools’ diplomas are turned to the wall of my office in a symbolic protest against their continuing unethical policies and conduct—-I’m not sure what more I can do to signal my contempt and embarrassment. Now it’s Georgetown’s turn again—I worked for the University for five years after I graduated from the Law Center—to make me wish I had graduated from a school with some integrity. Though it has been notably un-covered by the mainstream news media, Georgetown Professor Michele Swers read the words of a Ku Klux Klan leader in her “U.S. Political Systems” class for the college, but because she “did not censor” the word “nigger,” a large contingent of her students sent a smoking gun letter letter to Swers and the college’s diversity office, demanding that she apologize profusely, review all future presentation and lecture material for potential bias;  and demonstrate her “understanding of the history of the N-word and why it is inappropriate for a non-Black person to say it in any context, including an educational context.” [Pointer: Steve Witherspoon]

So far, I can find no record of a response from the university or the professor, but writing of the incident, Prof. Turley says in part,

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Ethics Filips, 4/30/21: Incompetence Amuck [Expanded]

1. CVS, our oasis of responsible health care...This really happened to me. At my local CVS this morning, waiting in line for the pharmacy, everything broke down when the trainee clerk couldn’t locate the prescription of the woman in front of me, who said she had received a call telling her to pick it up. The clerk and the supervisor insisted that they had no such prescription, and the supervisor even printed out a sheet showing her last five pick-ups. “Uh, that one on the top—the one with a red circle around it? That’s what I’m here to pick up,” she said, with less venom than I would have used. This completely confused the staffers, who caucused, and asked her to verify various dates. “Why don’t just look in the bin labeled “O” (her surname initial) and see if it’s there?” the woman suggested. They did, and sure enough, there were her pills. I started giggling, and she looked at me and said, soto voce, “Isn’t this scary?”

Then it was my turn. While waiting out this drama, I had noticed three printed signs reading that “The Coronavirus Vaccine is not currently available at any CVS locations. Check cvs.com for updates.” I asked to speak to the pharmacist, and told her that the signs were wrong: my sister and other people I know had been vaccinated at CVSs, and months ago. “Yes, but this CVS doesn’t have the vaccines,” she said. “But that’s not what the signs on your area say,” I pointed out. “They say that NO CVS locations have the vaccine. That is demonstrably untrue, and I would expect CVS staff to know that.”

“Oh,” she shrugged. “Well, it’s easy to change the signs…”

2. Yesterday I saw…

  • An 8 year-old boy, running in a field, completely alone, wearing a mask.
  • A man leaving his home maskless, then putting a mask on as he got into his car.
  • A teacher (we live next to an elementary school) outside with her class. She wore a mask, and so did half of the children.
  • A woman walking her dog on a windy day in Virginia. She had a mask. (The dog did not. Dogs are smart…)

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Ethics Quiz: Race-Based Vaccines

It’s hard to believe that officials in Hamilton, Ontario, one of Canada largest cities, didn’t hear the faint clanging of ethics alarms when they came up with this policy.

The CBC reported that public health officials pressured the agency to “prioritize racialized, disabled and low-income residents.” I think “racialized” is a cool euphemism, don’t you? How does one get “racialized”?

75% of Hamilton’s population is white, but non-white communities have accounted for nearly half of all pandemic cases in the city.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:

Is Hamilton’s policy ethical?

I’m amazed no city has tried this in the U.S.

Wednesday Wrap-Up For A Post-Chauvin Trial America, 2/21/21 [Corrected]

I guess I have to come clean: I thought I had posted this before noon. Guess not. So a Morning Warm-Up became a late night wrap up…

1. The trial was a sporting event? I did not know that! ESPN included the Chauvin guilty verdict in its list of important sports news today. Apparently, it’s sports news because a lot of athletes are going to shoot off their mouths about it, spreading ignorance far and wide.

2. Deranged Quote of the Day: “Where are the disabled, queer, poor, gender diverse, dogs of colour and single-parent dog families in Bluey’s Brisbane?” That comes from ABC Everyday’s Beverley Wang. The Disney+ program, we are told :

….is the award-winning, mega-hit animated series about the Heelers, a family of dog-shaped humans — parents Bandit and Chilli, four-year-old Bingo, and six-year-old Bluey — who live in a gorgeous Queenslander with city views, perched on a lush hilltop in sunny Brisbane.

The only way to handle people who poison minds and the the culture with ideas like this is to be merciless, and slap them down with the classic reaction of “Sidney Wang”:

Being nice just enables them.

3. From the False Narrative files: Yahoo! News correspondent Jon Ward authored a piece of counter-factual propaganda headlined, “Chauvin’s guilty verdict is a major milestone in America’s reckoning with racial justice.”  As I have tried to point out repeatedly, there is no evidence that George Floyd’s fate would have been any different if he had been white, Asian-American or a Smurf. None. NONE. There is no evidence that Chauvin was a racist, or that race played any part in his brutal treatment of Floyd. The fact that activists, politicians and the journalists seized on the symbolic imagery of a white cop’s knee on a black man’s neck and exploited it shamelessly doesn’t change the facts. This was not a racial incident. If the jury convicted Chauvin thinking that it was, then they were misled.

Ward’s essay is a good starting place for anyone who wants to understand  how far journalism has sunk.

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