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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No, This Is Not An April Fools Post. It Is A “Great Stupid” Post That I WISH Were An April Fools Post…

The standard issue virtue-signaling woke gibberish above introduces Michigan State University’s “Strategic Plan,” which is more virtue-signaling woke gibberish. You can’t “empower excellence” if you “advance equity,” since equity now means “pay no attention to excellence or actual qualifications and ability, the goal is to make sure everyone gets to the same place.” That requires penalizing excellence, or hobbling it. The strategic plan itself is introduced with this consultant-speak blather: “We envision a Michigan State University that has significantly expanded opportunity and advanced equity, elevated its excellence in ways that attach vital talent and support, and has a vibrant, caring community. Our trajectory is positive, and our will is legendary. We can and will achieve more in the decade ahead.”

Ramalalama-ding-dong! But that’s not what prompts this post.

One of the ways MSU seeks to achieve its goals is by limiting WrongThink through the meticulous constriction of language using the excuse of, you guessed it, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” On the MSU website, this is introduced by this self-contradictory, indeed Orwellian graphic:



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Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)

Just listen to this guy! He’s just screaming and ranting, in a public place, adding no substance other than signalling to whatever apathetic, emotion-driven, lizard-brained fools who would vote for such a hack that he wants Congress to “do something” about gun violence. He isn’t persuading, he isn’t making a case, he isn’t informing anyone. This is a member of the U.S. Congress exhibiting the same level of social skills and civility as the typical Jerry Springer guest. He should be disciplined under the House ethics code for violating the very first rule on the list:

“A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

He won’t be, of course. Democrats won’t hold him to a higher standard than a reality show contestant in a staged meltdown because they have no integrity or shame, and Republicans don’t want to be accused of being racists, or, as Jamaal would doubtlessly say “caring more about some damn rule than they do about dead kids!”

Br proud, 16th District! Take a bow, Democrats, progressives and anti-gun rights voters! This idiot is your representative. Res ipsa loquitur.

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Naming Ethics: A Boy Named Hades

A couple in France really, really wants to name their baby “Hades” because they think the name sounds good. France, however, can legally prohibit a child’s name if bureaucrats determine that the name is not in the child’s best interest, and “Hades” has been dinged. The future Hades’s folks have hired lawyers to challenge the ruling.

That’s Hades above in the Disney animated film “Hercules.” The character was voiced by James Woods, so you know he was a bad guy. The film was a bit unfair: in the Greek myth universe, Hades just ruled over the Underworld, and was no worse (or better) than his brothers Zeus and Poseidon; he wasn’t like the devil. When you died, you went to Hades whether you were good, bad, or average. Nevertheless, it’s a strange name to use in 2023, and one with inevitable negative connotations (the name “James Woods” wouldn’t be great either).

That doesn’t mean France presuming to tell parents what they can name their kid isn’t an abuse of power, a slippery slope, and an incursion on personal liberty. It is all of those, and the parents of little Hades are properly standing up for a principle that is worth fighting for.

If only they weren’t using their innocent child as a prop for their ideals. This is a bright-line violation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative, which directs us never to use a human being to achieve our ends, however worthy they might be.  Using a child is particularly unethical…but so is giving your kid a bizarre name. Continue reading

When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring:

Josselyn Berry, Arizona governor Katie Hobbs’s press secretary, was somehow moved to tweet this…

…just days after a transgender former student went into a Christian school and shot six people dead, including three nine-year-olds. But hey, that should teach anyone who criticizes pro-trans mania to watch what they say, right?

First Berry shuttered her Twitter account, then she resigned.

A few observations:

  • I continue to find it fascinating that the same party that flogs the talking point that conservatives peddle hate and incite violence constantly does things like this. Here, for example, is Minnesota’s Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan:

Nice! Funny, I would argue that kids need to be protected from adults trying to convince them that they need puberty blockers and other life-altering treatments that should be hidden from their parents, but I wouldn’t use a knife to do it.

  • In addition to the other things wrong with Berry’s tweet, it’s spectacularly bad timing to condemn “transphobia” after a trans individual has gone on a killing spree.
  • This is exactly the kind of tweet Twitter should just leave out there. It’s useful to know what such tweeters are really like, especially when an elected official employs them.

Welcome To “Bad Research Theater”!

Yes, it’s Alistair Cookie, here for another episode—two, in fact!—of that long-running exhibition loved by the confirmation bias-infected and the unscrupulous alike, “Bad Research Theater”!

Episode I : “The Steam Engines of Galapagos

The eye-opening scholarly paper “The end of the line: competitive exclusion and the extinction of historical entities” has been published the journal, “Royal Society Open Science.” Bruce Lieberman, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and senior curator of invertebrate paleontology at the KU Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum, uses the history of railroad steam engines history to argue against the merits of “competitive exclusion,” the respected paleontology evolution principle that species can drive other species to extinction through competition.

Working with former KU postdoctoral researcher Luke Strotz, now of Northwest University in Xi’an, China, Lieberman found that the fossil record lacks the detailed data verifying competitive exclusion found in the history of steam engines. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced!

Many years ago, as a boy trying to bring in distant baseball broadcasts at night on my transister radio, I stumbled across a rural evangelist who was ranting about the godlessness of evolution. “Evolution says that if you put a six cylinder engine in your garage and let it sit there for a million years or so, when you come back and check on it, it will have become an eight cylinder engine!” he said, chuckling heartily. I thought that was the dumbest thing I had heard to that point in my life, and it still is in the top five. Little did I suspect that his idea of comparing mechanical objects with live organisms would be adopted decades later by actual scientists.

Episode II : Anything to Throw Them Off the Track

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Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Observations On The House Passage Of H.R.5 (The Parents Bill of Rights)”

Jim Hodgson produced two COTD-worthy responses to the post about H.R.5 which…

…dares to require schools to let parents know what they are teaching, urging students to read, and otherwise indoctrinating their students. I chose this one.

The issue of federalism didn’t enter into my ethics analysis, but it is a valid point: why is the Federal government dictating education policy to the states? Well, it’s an ends and means problem: while a majority of the states are considering laws similar to H.R. 5, those dedicated to using mandatory government education to raise a generation of anti-American little Marxists who change their genders like socks present what may well be an existential threat to the United States envisioned by the Constitution. “The Constitution,” Justice Jackson memorably said in Terminiello v. Chicago (1949) , “is not a suicide pact.”

Is Jim’s Comment of the Day an ethical comment or a political one? We inevitably end up on political turf frequently here, but politics is often inextricable from ethics, as ethically corrupt as it so often is.

Here is Jim Hodgson’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Observations On The House Passage Of H.R.5 (The Parents Bill of Rights)”:


For an old states-rightist like me, the true sadness is that the local and state governments haven’t acted on this matter (and many others) long before now. You know, enumerated powers, like the Constitution says. But, here in post-Constitutional America, that fussy old document is but a minor impediment to the communists in the land.

I have been active in a number of local, regional and state political campaigns since the 1980s, and have come to know many of the candidates (both incumbents and challengers) personally. I can state with utter certainty that only a minority of them, despite their likely protestations to the contrary, remain dedicated to the causes (and voters) that got them elected in the first place, or to following through with making the changes they declared vital and pledged to make once they got into office. Holding political office is such a process of being co-opted and corrupted for most people. The so-called conservatives have “gone along to get along” until there seems to be little left to conserve. The principled liberals have allowed their Democratic efforts to be hijacked by the radical “social justice” mob. Special interests and money control both parties, top to bottom.

I contact elected officials regularly about a variety of issues, both personally and on behalf of organizations to which I belong. I always make my communications polite, short and to the point, usually containing a bullet list of items, and often a reminder of the official’s prior stated position on the matter at hand. Except from those who know me from a campaign, I seldom get more than a perfunctory “Thank you for contacting us.” message. I get particularly aggravated by members of my state legislature when they ask for input on an upcoming committee or floor vote but seem to have their minds made up despite the amount of public input they get to the contrary of their eventual vote. These legislators depend heavily upon the short memories, attention spans and naivety of the voters to maintain their continuation in office.

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NPR Wonders If Transgender Athletes Have A Physical Advantage Over Female Competitors

Huh! Good question, NPR! It’s a mystery! A real head-scratcher! Oh if only there were some convincing evidence that going through puberty as a male confers some kind of advantage for trans female athletes! When will we have such information?

Oh, I almost forgot: “Nah, there’s no mainstream news media bias!” Also: “We pay taxes to support this crap???”

The World Athletics Council, the governing body for international track and field, announced last week that it will bar transgender women athletes from competing in events with everyday, normal, biological women who have been so from birth. This isn’t rocket science. What is ridiculous is that so many organizations are so devoted in their loyalty to Woke World that they are still in denial. That’s trans Ivy League swimming cheat Lia Thomas above with one of the little women who finished second to her during the past year’s contests, and no, they are not standing on platforms.

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Latest Admittees To The “Do Something!” Hall Of Fame

The consistently ridiculous U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared last week that the world has just ten years to reduce “global emissions” beyond what any reasonable or politically viable measures can accomplish, and if it doesn’t, heat waves, famines and infectious diseases could claim millions of additional lives by century’s end. Or maybe not. The IPCC is not at all embarrassed about all the other supposed deadlines politicized climate change “experts” have confidently predicted and that it has relayed with absurd certainty. It doubtless will spit out yet another doomsday prediction after this one has passed. (That U.N. warning on the right dates from 1989. The deadline: 2000.)

As plenty of rational, honest scientist have pointed out, “the world” is nowhere close to ready to dump fossil fuels. Alternative technologies and energy sources have not shown that they can achieves what the slick TV commercials claim and promise. All of the targets, some of them supposedly mandatory, established by national and state governments are cynical, manipulative grandstanding. The useless U.N., as is its wont, is aspiring to world dominance and influence it does not have and (I hope) never achieves.

If you have no options, a wise man once said, you have no problem, but the theoretical climate change Sword of Damocles has been a useful device for unethical politicians–incompetent, irresponsible, dishonest—to attract public support through demagoguery. Spurred on by the U.N. jeremiad, two New York Times readers nicely illustrated this bizarre phenomenon in heartfelt letters to the Times editors:

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Ethics Observations On The House Passage Of H.R.5 (The Parents Bill of Rights)

In a 213 – 208 vote, the House approved the Parents Bill of Rights, which would require school districts to post their curriculum online, allowing parents to review the materials. It has many other provisions, none of which unreasonably burden schools, and all of which are aimed at letting parents know what their children are being taught, what speakers are addressing their classes, what books and publications they will have access to, and what special needs and problems are arising that parents should be aware of.

I have read the entire text of H.R. 5, as should you, as should every parent. If there is anything in the bill that is excessive or that forces schools and teachers to compromise their duties as educators, I would be eternally grateful for someone to point it out to me.

The conventional wisdom is the bill will not pass the Senate to become law (I would dare Joe Biden to veto it). I find that astounding, just as I find it astounding, and damning, and signature significance for a party that obeys the dictates of its powerful constituencies, in this case, the teachers unions, to the detriment of the public at large. It is equally astounding that not one single Democratic House member voted for a bill that as far as I can see only establishes by law an obligation to inform parents of what parents want to know, out to know and have every right to know about the content of their children’s education.

Additional points:

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