Ethics Madness On The Golf Course

I saw this story four days ago, and talked myself out of posting about it because I decided there had to be something I was missing and I didn’t feel like spending time researching pro golf, since I find golf so boring.But I couldn’t help myself, and kept reading articles, and now I’m convinced. This was wrong. And it was nuts. (Yeah, I’m pretty sick of the “Madness!” clip from the last seconds of “The Bridge Over The River Kwai” too—that’s James Donald, incidentally. I’m more sick of the apparently endless stream of incidents in The Great Stupid that prompt it.)

Golf pro Jon Rahm crushing the field in the PGA’s Memorial Tournament; indeed, he was on the way to a possible course record He had a six-stroke lead, and was 18 under par. Only golf legend Ben Hogan has done as well on that course in the tournament’s history. I had never heard of Rahm (though I will now know him as “that poor bastard), but he’s apparently the #3 ranked golfer in the world. That rating would have risen, and as would his bank account, when he won the nearly 1.7 million dollar prize money.

Right in the end of a round, however, on international TV, Rahm was told that he had been disqualified. The tournament’s medical adviser walked up to himafter he had played his final shot and gave him the news that he had tested positive for the Wuhan virus. Rahm had been undergoing daily tests after discovering before the tournament that he had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive.  Each of his previous tests had come back negative, but the positive test, once it was verified, was viewed as disqualifying. He took it, well, like a prole and a devotee of Vox. He tweeted,

“I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament. This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people. I’m very thankful that my family and I are all OK. I will take all of the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy, and I look forward to returning to the golf course as soon as possible.”

I might have defined myself by tweeting (if I hadn’t banned Twitter from my life),

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It’s Time For Jack’s “Believe It Or Not!” Vox Actually Published This Essay Three Days Ago!

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The article by German Lopez in Vox published on June 4 is more than just head exploding. It is clinical evidence of brain dysfunction or such deep cynicism and disrespect for readers that the author and editors should be under surveillance. I’m exaggerating only slightly.

Vox is an openly Leftist website founded by Ezra Klein, who pretended to be an ethical journalist at the Washington Post until his outrageous partisan bias became too obvious to deny. Since then it has become the kind of news and commentary source, like MSNBC, only taken seriously by those who want to hear a slanted, spun, openly partisan view of reality that jibes with their unalterable world view. Yet this thing is unbelievable even by that standard.

Over the past week, even the mainstream media has accepted the likelihood that its government, and particularly its health authorities led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, lied to the public repeatedly, hid evidence and covered up facts and documents throughout the pandemic, prime among those fact the likely origins of the Wuhan virus (you’ll never guess where it came from!) This was a betrayal of trust of epic and historic proportions. So what does Vox identify as America’s “biggest pandemic failure”?

We’re not more like China! Or Iran! We don’t automatically bow to government restrictions on our liberties. We don’t trust the experts to run our lives! Some excerpts:

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Mid-Day Ethics Interruptions, 6/4/2021: After the First Item, You May Not Want To Read Any More…

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1. When ethics alarms were never installed...The question here is not whether this was unethical. Of course it was. The question is how such an episode could happen anywhere in this country. Eight high school football coaches at McKinley Senior High School in Canton, Ohio have been placed on paid leave after apparently forcing a 17-year-old player, a Hebrew Israelite whose faith forbids the consumption of pork, to eat a pepperoni pizza in front of the team as punishment for skipping a practice. The family is suing the school district for violating the student’s First Amendment rights.

The head football coach, Marcus Wattley, allegedly told the boy that if he didn’t eat the pizza, his team mates would be punished. I don’t comprehend this. How can someone live in the U.S. and think forcing a child to violate his faith is anything but abuse? How does someone like Wattley get hired by a public school and entrusted with the welfare of children? Why would any high school have eight assistant football coaches?

If the facts are confirmed in an investigation, more than the coaches should be fired and, one hopes, prosecuted. The principal and other administrators should also be canned. [Pointer: JutGory]

2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias…The dozens of ways the mainstream media warps the news and manipulates public opinion becomes oppressive once you are sensitized to it. The headline in the Times two days ago, for example, was “GOP Challenges Teaching of Racism’s Scope.” That headline presumes as fact that “Critical Race Theory” and the “1619 Project” fairly and accurately convey “racism’s scope.” “GOP Challenges What It Calls Anti-White, Anti-America Indoctrination In the Schools” would be a neutral headline. Later in the same article, the news story refers to President Trump’s “racist comments, ” which is just a continuation of a narrative build on a media-fueled Big Lie. President Trump made many insensitive, provocative and politically incorrect comments. None were “racist.”

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Unethical Quote Of The Pandemic: Dr. Anthony Fauci

Above is Dr. Fauci during his baseball game theater last year, when he went out to the mound at Nationals Park to throw out the first pitch, and wore a facemask, though he was outdoors, there were no fans in the stands, and nobody was within a hundred feet of him. Then, once he thought he was off-camera, he took off his mask while sitting right next to two friends who were wearing theirs, for some reason. Thanks in great part to Fauci’s misinformation and pandemic fear-mongering, when I attended a Nats game this year I was required to wear a mask between bites of my hotdog, again despite there being nobody near me.  What fun. Yet here is Fauci’s quote:

This email, one of thousands being perused after a Freedom of Information Act dump, demonstrates that the CDC official advising the Trump administration and treated like a benign, all-knowing God of Science during the first year of the pandemic was and is a manipulative, two-faced, untrustworthy hack.

This should not shock anyone at this point, though Fauci worshipers, like mask worshipers (my sister wears two, in her car alone, still) will probably be in lifetime denial. Oh, heck, let me digress to an example. My woke-diseased baseball writer/ lawyer colleague, Craig Calcaterra, who is peddling a substack baseball commentary newsletter that I would eagerly subscribe to if he could resist off-topic progressive madness, wrote today in part,

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/29/2021…Down The Rabbit Hole! An Unethical Ghost, A Stupid Newsreader, And A White-Hating Dean Walk Into A Bar….

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Ghost Ethics! I just watched an Amanda Seyfried Netflix movie called “Things Heard And Seen,” which I recommend neither seeing nor hearing. What I got out of it—spoiler alert, if indeed a crummy movie can be spoiled—is that ghost ethics are a little bit “problematic” as Prof. Turley would say. The spooks don’t quite get the “Fix the problem before it’s too late” obligation. In this movie, the benign ghost of a murdered woman who had been the original owner of an old house bought by an ambitious, sociopathic college professor takes the professor’s victimized wife under her spectral wing, knows that the husband is up to no good, but only does anything proactive to get rid of the husband after the monster has killed F. Murray Abraham (who still looks like Salieri!), run a woman who was on to him off the road, putting her in a coma, and finally chopped up lovely Amanda, who plays the wife, with an ax. THEN the ghost drags the husband to Hell, which we know the ghost knew was going to be his fate before Amanda got the Lizzy Borden treatment.

Talk about locking the barn door after the horse is gone…

1. Isn’t it good to know that news readers all over the world are just as ignorant and incompetent as ours are? Bill Shakespeare, the first man to get a pandemic vaccine, died last week of non-virus causes. A Spanish newscaster, Noelia Novillo, as photos of the Bard’s namesake flashed on the screen, announced the story this way:

‘We’ve got news that has stunned all of us given the greatness of this man. We’re talking about William Shakespeare and his death. We’ll let you know how and why it happened.As we all know, he’s one of the most important writers in the English language – for me the master. Here he is. He was the first man to get the coronavirus vaccine. He’s died in England at the age of 81.”

No word yet regarding whether the station fired this ignoramus. Why bother? She’ll just get a job at CNN…

2. Speaking of locking barn doors…actually more like locking the cellar door after the horse has escaped from the barn…Southwest Airlines announced yesterday that it will not resume alcohol service in June as previously announced, because a woman attacked a flight attendant on a recent Southwest flight in an incident that had nothing to do with alcohol consumption.

Ethics Alarms is so fond of the practice of punishing innocent members of the public for the isolated conduct of a single wrong-doer (Should I call it “The Chauvin Solution”?) and this is even worse. There is no nexus between the incident and Southwest’s response at all, except the unproven theory that if passengers have become unusually cranky during the pandemic (with Southwest insisting that passengers re-mask between sips of Coke), they’ll be even crankier once they’ve had a few little bottles.

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KABOOM! New York City Endorses Racial Division And Distrust Of Whites In A PSA [Revised And Updated]

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I’ve never had my head explode while driving before.

It’s scary, but not as scary as what made it explode. There I was, driving along after picking up some stuff at the 7-11. I was listening to the first game in a Toronto Blue Jays-New York Yankees double-header, and was cheered to find the Yankees losing with just a half-inning left to go. Then an ad came on right before the Yankee 7th. (Baseball has this hideous rule this season making double header games only seven innings, but my head had exploded over that long ago.) When I first posted this, I wrote that I couldn’t quote it exactly, and that I couldn’t find it online. But commenter Here’s Johnny did, and here it is.

The rest of the post now reflects the actual message, and not my fevered efforts to recall it.

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The Wuhan Virus Origin Debacle: A “Bias Makes You Stupid” Classic

Times Wuhan hack

I periodically am asked why I insist on referring to the pandemic virus, which unquestionably originated in China, almost certainly in the Wuhan province, and was allowed to spread world-wide in part by cover-up activities by the Chinese government, “The Wuhan virus.” After all, the edict came down from our politically-correct betters that this term was “racist,” despite the fact that it conveyed useful and accurate information that the technical term “COVID” does not.

I typically reply that I call it the Wuhan virus because that’s where it came from, and virtually every other virus has been named for its place of origin (sometimes inaccurately). I also do so in defiance of the open scheme among the news media to try to advance the Big Lie that President Trump was being racist by using the term when the news media itself had employed it before deciding this was one more opportunity to undermine Trump’s Presidency.

In addition, I furiously reject the proposition that because idiots and assholes react to truthful statements by behaving unjustly, violently and stupidly, as with the still relatively few who have attacked or abused Asian-Americans using the same cretinous rationale as those who killed dachshunds during World War I, anyone should shade the truth or avoid stating a fact. I reject the Asshole’s Veto, in other words.

There is also this motivating me: China is an international villain, and nobody should pretend otherwise or make any effort to excuse or disguise that nation’s true nature. Moreover, I am not running for office, and have succeeded in making anyone trying to justify the ban on calling a Chinese virus a Chinese virus look like the race-baiting tool that he or she is.

The entire effort to label as racist any statement, theory or belief that China bears responsibility for the virus that has killed millions and savaged the world economy would not have occurred with such fervor if it were not fueled by anti-Trump hatred and bias. Now the inconvenient truth that the virus may have originated in a Wuhan lab is exposing the despicable censorship effort for what it is, so its purveyors are desperately trying avoid the opprobrium they richly deserve.

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White Supremacy Confirmation Bias: How Do You Argue With Someone Who Reasons Like This?

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A blog that has been out there much longer than mine (and which conveniently leaves the blogger’s identity mysterious) argues that “implementing vaccine passports would be a white supremacist measure.” The Biden administration is encouraging such documentation, and the ultra-woke state of Oregon has announced that these will be required for its citizens to go unmasked in any indoor, public-access gathering. I am not concerned here with the wisdom of the policy. I want to know how anyone can have a rational conversation with someone who is convinced such a measure is evidence of “white supremacy.”

Whoeverthehellheorsheis writes,

“[P]oor people are much less likely to be vaccinated than higher-income persons…According to the long-set standards of Black Lives Matter and other critical-theory advocates, whether racial disparities like this are intended or not is irrelevant. These disparities are the results of racial discrimination and white privilege baked into the social-legal-medical networks for centuries. Therefore, it does not matter that this gap in immunization is not intended. It does not matter that the men and women managing the vaccine program and distribution, or administering it to the public, do not discriminate at the vaccine sites by the race of persons who come for the shots. Lack of deliberate intent does not excuse systemic racism. The fact that matters is this: “Black and Latino people are far more likely to live in poverty than white people, and despite having died at higher rates throughout the pandemic, they are receiving fewer vaccines than white people.” 

The argument is instructive, which is why I am bothering to publish it. If any disparity exists in any area where blacks and other non-white groups have statistically less positive outcomes than whites, it is per se proof of “white supremacy.” The fact of statistical variation is the proof, and reasons don’t matter. This is an especially useful example, because there is no reason at all for poor people or minorities not to be vaccinated. The vaccinations are free and ubiquitous. The greatest cost imaginable would be a cab ride. One doesn’t need online access to get one.

Minorities and poorer populations—they are not the same thing—are lagging behind in getting the shots, and by choice. Now, in the case of African Americans, an argument could be made that systemic flaws in the school system, or systemically rooted inadequacies in nutrition leading to cognitive damage, or pockets of African American culture crippled by paranoia and superstition as an outgrowth of centuries of abuse from slavery, are examples of harm from past white supremacy. However, a policy that only confers a disadvantage on a group because that group chooses to be disadvantaged cannot be condemned as an expression of hostility toward that group, or as a means of keeping that group disadvantaged.

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Saturday Ethics Cool-Off, 5/22/2021: Another “Bad Ethics Date”

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Yikes. May 22 is another of those cursed dates where ethics rot was in the air. For example, in 1958, rock superstar Jerry Lee Lewis admitted that his new bride was a child. He even lied while doing that, “admitting” she was 15 when Myra Gail Lewis was actually only 13 years old,and also Jerry Lee’s first cousin. Another detail Lewis didn’t mention was that the loving pair had married five months before his divorce from his second wife. Jerry Lee insisted the second marriage wasn’t legally valid because that one had taken place before his divorce from his first wife.

Other ethics low points on this day:

  • In 1939, Italy and Germany agreed to a military and political alliance, giving birth to the Axis powers, which would eventually include Japan.
  • In 1856, Southern Congressman Preston Brooks savagely beats Northern Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate Chamber. On May 19, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner began a two-day speech on the Senate floor in which he attacked three pro-slavery colleagues by name, one of whom, South Carolina Senator Andrew P. Butler, was sick and absent from the proceedings. Butler’s cousin, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, decided to defend the honor of his kin. Wielding a cane, Brooks entered the Senate chamber and began beating Sumner at his desk, which was bolted to the floor. Sumner’s legs were pinned by the desk so he could not escape, and the beating continued until Senators subdued Brooks. Brooks supporters cheered the vicious act and sent him many replacement canes. Sumner could not return to the Senate for three years while he recuperated from his injuries.
  • In 2017, right after pop star after Ariana Grande finished the final song of her May 22 concert at Manchester Arena in Great Britain, a suicide bomber detonated an explosion killing 22 concertgoers and injuring 116 more. ISIS claimed responsibility.
  • In 1868 the “Great Train Robbery” was pulled off, with seven members of the Reno Gang getting away with $98,000 in cash from a train’s safe in Indiana.

And a special Happy Birthday to Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber,” born this day in Evergreen Park, Illinois in 1942. Yes, we’re still keeping him alive; after all, he only murdered three innocent people (he maimed or injured 23 others.).

1. The Great Stupid, International Strain: The Globe Theatre, Great Britain’s famous reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse where William Shakespeare had his works first performed, has launched a project to “decolonise’ Shakespeare’s plays, the centerpiece of Western literature. The Globe has been listening to experts who conclude that his work is ‘problematic’ for linking whiteness to beauty. Another academic maintains all of Shakespeare’s plays are “race plays’ as they all contain ‘whiteness’. For example, the first line of the 1595 comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” famously opens with Thesus saying: “Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace.”

The Horror. Why any “expert” who makes an argument like this isn’t regarded exactly as if she had appeared in public naked, painted blue and wearing a squid on her head is beyond me. As Great Stupid break-outs go, this one is pretty trivial. Shakespeare plays have been routinely debased by absurd adaptations and meat-axe editing for centuries. The only reason this example is noteworthy is its source. You’d think the keepers of the Bard’s flame in England would have more sense, not to mention respect. [Pointer: Other Bill]

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/21/2021, To A Chorus Of Cicadas

Cicada Ethics: Sweep up all the disgusting things (and their husks) that have accumulated on your front walk at least twice a day so people don’t have to walk on them and their dogs don’t eat them.

1. Charles Grodin (1935-2021): Thanks a lot! Charles Grodin was a talented and versatile actor who was extremely good at playing dislikable characters. We can blame him (not Jon Stewart) for creating the unfortunate cultural phenomenon of the allegedly funny TV talk show host who decides he is qualified to bombard viewers with partisan rants. It’s a self-indulgent abuse of power, position and trust, but it’s also now the norm, with every late night talk show host (and Staurday Night Live) but the generally sweet James Cordon using their show as a platform to bash Republicans and conservatives and extoll progressives no matter how mockworthy they are. Grodin started the bait-and-switch (He’s funny! Wait, why is he so angry and preaching at us?) in the mid-Nineties, and though it eventually killed his show (not soon enough), the template was born.

Grodin made Ethics Alarms in 2014, with his campaign against the felony murder rule.

2. Speaking of staying in one’s lane…Yet another ugly result of social media is the phenomenon of people publishing uninformed opinions that they are unqualified to be so emphatic about. A baseball writer and recovering lawyer, Craig Calcaterra, whom I have referenced here before, has migrated from NBC Sports to substack, and is asking me to subscribe to his newsletter. Craig is funny and smart, and his baseball analysis is superior to most. But he is addicted to making political pronouncements, and while he has a right to his biased and often ignorant opinions on things he’s far from an expert on, I’ll be damned if I’ll pay to read them. For essentially the same reasons I object to watching football players “take a knee” during the National Anthem, I expect sports writers to stick to sports. Here’s a tip to anyone peddling a newsletter to me: I regard referring to the January 6 Capitol riot as a “deadly insurrection” as Democratic Party propagandist and signature significance for a pundit who is not concerned with facts.

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