Monday Mid-Day Ethics Considerations: Megan Rapinoe, Harvard, Pelosi And Double Standards

Thinker

1. I have some ethics observations on this thing that was sent out to white parents in the Highland Park area of Texas by a Black Lives Matter-affiliated group:

Sacrifice memo

Here they are:

  • As long as white individuals hesitate to push back on BLM’s outrageous assertions and demands, the group will continue to grow more audacious and arrogant
  • The logic of this demand can only make sense to someone who has no concept of right, wrong, and fairness. “We want you to handicap your own children in order to clear the way for our children, who can’t compete and who shouldn’t have to work especially hard to overcome obstacles that you and your children are not responsible for placing in their path.”
  • The screed is an excellent example of how the concept of equal opportunity has been warped into “equity,” meaning not just equality of results, which life never guarantees, but punitive measures to ensure advantages of  favored groups over those that are disfavored, aka whites and males.
  • The extension of the argument in the letter would require athletes fortunate to have advantages of strength, speed, and skill to pledge not to compete against those not so “privileged” as to be born with these advantages, and job applicants of superior talent, intelligence and character to refuse to place themselves in a position where they would be chosen for a job over less fortunate job-seekers.

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Let’s Play “Only In America!” Today’s Quandary: The Gorilla Glue Girl

“Only in America!” isn’t exactly an ethics quiz. It’s more of an “Is this a great country of a sick country?” game that focuses on the values and strengths of the culture….or otherwise

Incidentally, June 17 marks the date when, in 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 pieces. The copper and iron statue was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who modeled it after his own mother, we are told—that woman was BIG!—with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, later famous for, well, you know. It was supposed to be up in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, but financing took longer than expected. Even ignoring the pedestal and assembly process, he statue alone cost France an estimated $250,000, or $5.5 million in today’s money). It, or she, finally reached her forever home on Bedloe’s Island nine years late. At the dedication, President Cleveland, said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” At more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue was taller than any structure in New York City at the time.

In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. Lazarus words, especially “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ have caused a lot of confusion over the years, as many people and even some under-educated elected officials seem to think they represent official U.S. policy, hence “Welcome, illegal immigrants!”

None of which has anything to do with the issue at hand, which is this: In February, Ethics Alarms examined the weird story of Tessica Brown, who decided that the the perfect hair product for her needs was Gorilla Glue adhesive spray. Then, after the predictable result, she posted a video showing the world what an idiot she was, and threatening Gorilla Glue with a lawsuit, an idea the company quickly knocked down for the count. She lost a lot of hair, and even needed plastic surgery. Here’s angry Tessica in the video:

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

jackheadexplosion

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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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.”

Afternoon Ethics Afterthoughts, 5/7/2021: On Quitting, Cancelling, Lying And Deflecting

brain

1. The dignity and integrity to quit. The big news in baseball yesterday was that the California Angels finally released Albert Pujols. Pujols is in the last year of a terrible 24 million dollar a year+ contract he signed as a free agent. For the last several years, he had negative value, meaning that the Angels would have been better if they just stuck a utility infielder in his slot in the line-up. When Pujols left the St. Louis Cardinals, he was already a lock of the Hall of Fame, much like Mike Trout today (also on the Angels) who could quit at 30 and still be regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 2019, I wrote about another washed up batter holding on to collect his exorbitant salary when he was no longer capable of earning it, the Orioles’ erstwhile slugger Chris Davis. I wrote in part,

[He] should call a press conference and do what some baseball players better than he have done when they realized they could no longer play at the level they were paid to. Quit. Retire. Say that he has too much respect for the game, his team mates, Baltimore, the Orioles, its fans, and himself to keep on with the embarrassing futility of trying to play major league baseball when he no longer has the skill to do so while receiving millions to fail. Then he should walk away, an Ethics Hero, and a model of integrity.

But Davis didn’t, of course. Davis earned $23,000,000 that year, and last year. He will earn the same amount this season and the next, to add to the 165 million he’s banked already. His OPS (On Base % plus Slugging %) the past three years: .539, .601, and .331. The average OPS in the Major Leagues is about .750. Nothing yet this year: he’s been injured. The Orioles hope he stays that way.

What Pujols is owed if he stays active is virtually monopoly money to him: he already has a third of a billion dollars from his baseball salaries alone, and many millions more from endorsements—and that’s just assuming he keeps his money in a sock. Reportedly Albert is greatly admired as a man of character, but if he was truly that, he would have the character to quit. Now.

2. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Here’s a fun link: conservative pundit David Harsanyi traces (some) of the egregious media bias since Biden took office.

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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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Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/17/2021: No Good, Good, Good, No Good, and Good

Some baseball ethics notes in italics, since a lot of you don’t care:

  • The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) issued Major League Baseball an overall grade of C+ , with a B+ for racial hiring and a C for gender hiring. (There was nothing about competency and qualifications hiring, for some reason.) The report also praised MLB’s decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta, proving that the organization is a partisan political group using “diversity” as a prop. Baseball should pay no attention to TIDES whatsoever. It is the Southern Poverty Law Center of sports.
  • There was a wonderful example of why baseball needs robo-umps in Wednesday’s game between the Red Sox and the Twins in Minneapolis. At a critical moment in a tie game with the bases loaded for the Twins, Sox pitcher Matt Andriese struck out the last Twins batter for out number three, ending the threat. The umpire, however, said the ball had been fouled into the dirt before bouncing into the Boston catcher’s mitt. The video showed that the bat had missed the ball by several inches, and no foul had occurred. When Red Sox manager Alex Cora came out to protest, the home plate umpire, also the crew chief said, “There’s no way I’ll be over-ruled on that call.” What he apparently meant was that the other three umpires would back him up even though he was obviously wrong, and after briefly caucusing, that’s what they did. Cora was thrown out of the game. Luckily for the umpires, Andriese struck the batter out with next pitch, so the mistake and cover-up didn’t matter. Moral luck!
  • Also Twins related: Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons issued an articulate tweet about why he was declining to be vaccinated like his teammates, after considering the risks. He tested positive 24 hours later. Also moral luck!

1. NOW you’re telling us???. At 6:57 pm on April 15, I stumbled across this:

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Post-Zoom Hangover Ethics, 3-31-21….

People, even lawyers, just do not interact much in remote seminars. It makes a three-hour session far more tiring, even though I’m sitting down, rather than stalking through the space. Thus I am blotto now, after a legal ethics session earlier today.

1. And THIS is the best paper in the U.S…Two headlines on the New York Times front page this morning my high school paper faculty advisor would have rejected…and he would have been right:

  • “Gaetz Said To Face Inquiry Over Sex With Underage Girl” The fact someone says it is not news. Is he “facing an inquiry” or isn’t he? “Three people briefed on the matter” isn’t a source: we’ve seen how accurate the Times anonymous sources are, especially when the subject is a Republican, a conservative, and a Trump supporter. Why the front page for a rumor? Slow news day? Hey, I’ve got an idea: How about an article about how Joe Biden called Georgia “sick” based on a complete misrepresentation?
  • “Taliban Believes The War’s Over And They Won.” This is psychic news again, my favorite fake news form. How does the Times know what the Taliban “thinks”? Who cares what it “thinks”?

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Ethics Quiz: TV’s Imaginary Demographics

titanic_0

The question is “What is ‘enough’?

The U.S. depicted in television commercials is decidedly—what, strange? Contrived? It is certainly not demographically accurate. All statistics I have seen indicate that African Americans make up less than 15% of the U.S. population, but that’s not how Madison Avenue sees it, or not how they want us to see it.

Actual statistics on this don’t exist, because I presume one will be called a racist for even noticing, but I would like to call for some volunteer counters. Watch TV on a commercial channel and count the number of white, black, and mixed race actors used in the ads, and report back here what you found. I’ve done this periodically over the last few months, most recently this morning. White actors were actually in the minority today and I’m counting Hispanic-Americans as white.

Do I care? Should I care? I don’t know. I certainly don’t care about the personal attributes of roles presented to hawk various products. Does it bother me that “Jake from State Farm” was magically made black? No, certainly in a vacuum it doesn’t matter: he seems like a nice guy.

But a white actor lost his job purely because of his race. Presumably many are losing their jobs too.

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3/17/21 Ethics Wind-Down, 3/18/21 Wind-Up…Featuring “The Song Of The Year”

Wind-Up

There’s nothing quite like a flaming tooth-ache to spark an early-morning post…

1. Corporate incompetence, Indian-style: The Cleveland Indians knee-jerked themselves out of their history, traditions and name by somehow concluding that the Black Lives Matter rioting obligated them to abandon “Indians” just because the NFL Washington Redskins had capitulated to political correctness thuggery. Like all of baseball and most of professional sports, the team decided that signaling progressive virtue was more important than their fans. And like the Redskins, the team prepared to to go through the 2021 season without a new name…just nothing, as in “Cleveland Baseball Club,” or something similarly generic. Because of the unseemly, unnecessary and unplanned rush, the Cleveland Whatsis-es also made it difficult to come up with a new name. Changing a team name is a large and expensive mess, because the name and logo are on everything from the team’s merchandise to websites, sponsorship deals, and the ballpark. Trademarks are needed to protect them. “Advice for anyone doing any product: Before you make it public, file,” Andrew Skale, a San Diego-based trademark attorney told the New York Times.

“The U.S. trademark office offers this kind of unique ability to file when you haven’t started using it, so take advantage of that,” Skale said. “Because I’ve seen when people that have issued news releases about new products and haven’t filed yet, and then they have problems later because some idiots decided to squat on them.” Or maybe not such idiots. Because of the Ex-Indians moral panic, many of the names the team could have chosen based on its history and culture will be now be expensive.Trademarks were filed by squatters after Cleveland’s first announcement for “Cleveland Baseball Team” (from someone in Georgia), “Cleveland Baseball Club” (from a company in Ohio), “Cleveland Guardians” (from someone in New York), Cleveland Rockers (from someone in California), Cleveland Natives and Cleveland Warriors (though even the Ex-Indian aren’t so stupid as to wade back into Native American controversies again), and most of all, the Cleveland Spiders, which has been an early favorite. That was the name of the team. That was the name of the team for ten years, 1889-1899, when baseball players looked like this…

Spiders

The No-names are fighting some of these filings, because the Trademark Office tends to disfavor squatters. It all could have been avoided, though, if the team hadn’t wushed to be woke, thus joining The Great Stupid.

I wonder if “Spider McBaseballfaces” has been taken…

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