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.

Continue reading

Tales Of The Great Stupid: Clarence Darrow’s Worst Idea Takes Hold In New York City

America’s greatest trial lawyer, Clarence Darrow, defended guilty criminals in part because he believed that it was cruel and unjust to punish citizens who committed crimes, even violent ones. Darrow, a pioneering progressive, lectured, debated and wrote that people committed crimes because of conditions beyond their control: bad parents, stupidity, mental illness, no education, poverty. Since those who committed crimes literally couldn’t stop themselves, punishment was revenge without reason. Sending someone to jail, far from advancing civilized conduct, not only destroys the life of the perpetrator but also creates a false sense of accomplishment, ignoring the socioeconomic “root causes” of crime. Nobody born free, the lawyer fervently held, should lose his or her liberty because of bad genes or bad luck.

It was and is a batty theory, and until very recently, one wouldn’t find anyone advocating it who wasn’t lying, ignorant, or a criminal himself. No longer. Today Darrow’s worst idea is running amuck in several big cities in the grip of woke Democratic government, and where it stops, nobody knows.

Take New York City…please.

The Big Rotten Apple has decided not to prosecute “quality of life” offenses, from littering to public urination to jumping subway turnstiles, with the predictable result that the quality of life for law abiding New Yorkers has cratered. Last summer, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice crowed that “the number of New Yorkers held in New York City jails had shrunk by 27% in 10 weeks, bringing the city’s incarcerated population down to the lowest level since 1946.Wow! Isn’t that great? Of course, by some coincidence, murders and shootings were rising more quickly than ever before.

Continue reading

Sunday Evening Ethics Nightcap: Not Watching The Olympics Edition

TV off

Happy birthday Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” conceived via in vitro fertilization in Manchester, England, on this date in 1978 to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The bioethics controversies that flowed from this landmark event and subsequent scientific advances have not stopped yet.

1. When the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck meets the Olympics, this is the sort of garbage you are going to get, at least from Kurt Streeter. He’s the black New York Times sports columnist who really appears to believe that the main function of sports is to raise racial and gender grievances. Woke sports commentary isn’t just bad sports journalism, it’s also boring. Politics makes sports less fun and less of what it was intended to be, entertainment, not crusading. By “this” I mean columns like his most recent titled “The Olympics Rely On, but Don’t Support, Black Girl Magic.” Never mind that the headline is racially offensive at the outset—nobody should care what color bodies athletic “magic” comes from, and only bigots like Streeter view sports that way.

Streeter’s brief supporting his obnoxious thesis is based on selective facts and personal bias. Here are his examples:

“Simone Biles is one of the most brilliant talents at the Games. But if recent history holds and she tries her most stunning moves in Tokyo, gymnastics officials will place an arbitrary limit on her score. Some say this is meant to discourage other competitors from attempting similarly dangerous aerial maneuvers. I say the sport’s regulators cannot deal with her sheer audacity.

And what does this have to do with her being black? Nothing, and nobody has alleged that it is otherwise, though if Biles does not win her expected gold, I’m sure Streeter will be among the first to cry “racism.”

Naomi Osaka is …perhaps the most widely known female athlete on the planet…will get tossed under the bus if she is not polite and pleasant in her interviews with the news media, a backlash prompted by her withdrawal from the French Open because she did not want to participate in news conferences there. That pressure exists alongside the dread that she’ll be derided as either too Black or not Japanese enough if she does not win a gold medal.

Whose “dread”? Apparently Streeter’s, the race-baiter. Meanwhile, any athlete who is not polite and pleasant in interviews always gets criticism from the news media, and deserves it. She didn’t withdraw from the French Open because “she did not want to participate in news conferences,” she quit because she wanted special privileges to break the tournament’s rules, and was foiled. None if this has anything to do with race either, except that Osaka may have thought that her appeal to the King’s Pass might be especially hard to turn down since people like Streeter would be quick to call enforcement of the same rules for all “racist.”

“Gwen Berry is one of the most powerful hammer throwers in the world and one of the boldest athletes in protesting racism and injustice. But the Olympic overlords have made clear she’d better behave on the medal stand — or else.”

Those “overlords” have the same rules for everyone. Berry is bold in protesting what she isn’t in the Olympics to protest; she’s a narcissist and a lousy citizen who should have been kicked off the team once she proclaimed that she didn’t regard herself as representing the nation that is honoring her by giving her a chance to compete. Streeter thinks her “Black girl magic” isn’t being supported because she won’t be allowed to embarrass her team and act like an asshole on the world stage.

2. From the “Blind Squirrel Finds Nut” files…Criminal justice reform activists and some lawmakers are upset the the Biden Justice Department is inclined to follow through on a Trump-era memo by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel requiring inmates who were allowed out of stir to reduce the spread of the pandemic in prisons and whose sentences lasted beyond the “pandemic emergency period” to go back behind bars. Awww! How mean. Criminals will actually have to serve their sentences! Systemic racism, of course. But the Biden legal team concluded that the memo correctly interpreted the law, which applies to about 4,000 nonviolent inmates. There are still plenty of fanatics and anti-incarceration extremists among Joe’s minions, so they might get the policy reversed yet.

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Cowardly, Culture-Betraying Grovel Of The Month: Karen Taylor Of Breakfast Cure”

I’ll answer the first query in Null Pointer’s excellent Comment of the Day on the great congee cultural appropriation brouhaha: “I’m not sure I understand why the woke mobs are throwing fits on Asian people’s behalf.”

There are two reasons. One is part of the Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck. In order to tar President Trump as a racist before the 2020 election, the Axis of Unethical Conduct (the unholy and undemocratic “resistance,” Democrats and the news media alliance), claimed that what we knew pretty much then and now know almost certainly now, that the pandemic originated in China’s Wuhan province, nonetheless was racist to speak out loud because so many idiots were attacking Asian-Americans as a result of telling the truth. This was accompanied by absurd inflations of the actual number of such attacks without any evidence in most cases that the attacks there were had any nexus to calling the Chinese virus a Chinese virus.

Thrilled nonetheless to finally have a platform from which to cry “Victim!” like women, blacks and Hispanics, some Asian-American activist groups gleefully embraced the new discrimination fable, neatly sidestepping the inconvenient fact that a disproportional number of the attacks on Asians were carried out by African Americans.

The second reason the woke mobs are throwing fits on Asian people’s behalf is to avoid dealing honestly with the approaching reckoning for elite colleges and universities that are making Asian-Americans real victims of discrimination as the pursue unconstitutional affirmative action policies.

That’s why.

Here is Null Pointer’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Cowardly, Culture-Betraying Grovel Of The Month: Karen Taylor Of Breakfast Cure.”

***

I work almost exclusively with Asians, mostly from India. I have never, not once, ever heard any of my Indian coworkers say ANYTHING about cultural appropriation or condone any woke causes. On the contrary, they are almost all quite eager to share their cultural traditions and cuisine, and eager to learn about American culture and cuisine.

I’m not sure I understand why the woke mobs are throwing fits on Asian people’s behalf. I work almost exclusively with Asians, mostly from India. I have never, not once, ever heard any of my Indian coworkers say ANYTHING about cultural appropriation or condone any woke causes. On the contrary, they are almost all quite eager to share their cultural traditions and cuisine, and eager to learn about American culture and cuisine.

They put on little performances during the Hindu festivals to show off the dancing and food and fashions. They are always inviting me to go to Indian restaurants and explaining which part of India the different foods come from and how to eat them.

They also love going to the American holiday events and partaking in our traditions. When one company I worked for had a gingerbread house-making contest for Christmas, all my Indian coworkers went and happily made gingerbread houses and proudly showed them off. There were no tantrums about Christian holidays, white oppression, or anything else the Woke like to have fits about. Just fun and little houses made out of cookies.

Continue reading

How Long Will Black Bigots Like Elie Mystal Continue To Get The Benefit Of A Double Standard?

Mystal

The question has been looming for many years, but intensifying of late. The cynical use of the fraudulent term “antiracism” to promote racism—but the good kind, where it’s white people who are the targets of stereotyping, hate and discrimination—has exploded on the culture, with many, many people, businesses and organizations too cowardly to stand up and say, “Enough.” At some point, decent Americans of all races will have to do so in great and overwhelming numbers. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

I was thinking of all this after reading a truly disturbing essay by Elie Mystal. Mystal is a black lawyer and pundit who teems with hate. The last time Ethics Alarms sullied its cyberpresence by mentioning him was in January of this year, when he tweeted this:

Elie Mystal

If you search for Mystal by using his tag here, or just use the Ethics Alarms search engine to find “Mystal,” you can get an even uglier picture of the man, a lawyer who has a double Harvard degree and has used it to spread the maximum amount of racism and racial division such credentials can permit. It is an open question whether Mystal is mentally ill, but if he is, it is a kind of mental illness that the Left now celebrates. And he has a apparently always been this way. In 2016, he advocated black jurors sabotaging the justice system:

Black people lucky enough to get on a jury could use that power to acquit any person charged with a crime against white men and white male institutions. It’s not about the race of the defendant, but if the alleged victim is a white guy, or his bank, or his position, or his authority: we could acquit. Assault? Acquit. Burglary? Acquit. Insider trading? Acquit.Murder? … what the hell do you think is happening to black people out here? What the hell do you think we’re complaining about when your cops shoot us or choke us? Acquit. Don’t throw “murder” at me like it’s some kind of moral fault line where the risk of letting one go is too great. Black people ARE BEING MURDERED, and the system isn’t doing a damn thing to hold their killers accountable. Sorry I’m not sorry if this protest idea would put the shoe on the other foot for a change.”

I wrote, “Mystal is bonkers. There’s no reasoning or fairness in his screed. He’s just fulminating, growling and slobbering like a rabid dog. It’s sad. Nobody can take anyone who expresses this kind of irrational hate as a response to frustration seriously. He’s not accurate, he’s not truthful, he’s not responsible. He has left law and logic so far behind he may never work his way back to them.”

Well, he clearly isn’t working his way back, and won’t. The latest from Elie is a post in “The Nation,” where he is the “justice editor,” which tells you all you need to know about both “The Nation” and its readers. Mystal felt secure in revealing the dark depths of his hate by extolling his favorite video-game, “The Sims,” because it allows him to create the perfect neighborhood, or what he thinks would be one:

“….I picked a neighborhood and moved all the prepackaged Sims out. I moved my Sim family and Sim friends in. I have to be around Sims that I want to be happy, after all. No Republicans are allowed in my game. I’ve even deleted the files of prepackaged Sims that give me any kind of Republican vibe…. The friends I do put in the game are people I really like in real life, people I’m happy to be reminded of as my Sim-self jogs through town… My world is much browner and, well, gayer than what I started with. That’s just what happens when you let Sims flirt with whomever they want and marry people who share their interests. But I do occasionally have to add a family I don’t personally know just to decrease the chances of inbreeding: So, the Obamas are in my game. Sasha grew up and married my grandson. I’m buried in their backyard. Frankly, I couldn’t write a better utopian postscript for myself: a founding member of a brown, gay, rainless world that banished Republicans who is buried under the kiddie swing of his progeny…. Sometimes, I just need the terrible world to leave me alone with my doll.” 

Continue reading

Everyday Ethics: The Pizza Mess

ha-ha-nelson

Once again, we encounter the gratuitously hostile stranger phenomenon.

I was running a quick groceries errand today, and a young man right in front of me dropped a cardboard carton containing a hot slice of pizza on the floor. Naturally, it landed top down, and the pizza was smeared all over the linoleum. I was right beside him as he froze briefly, looking down at the mess forlornly.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said, my Golden Rule reflex kicking in. I hate dropping food, especially ice cream cones and pizza; it brings back many childhood traumas. I genuinely empathized with the guy. And you know what? He completely blew me off. He didn’t look at me, acknowledge my expression of sympathy, or even grunt. He just left the dead pizza slice there, turned on his heels, and walked quickly off to call a staffer.

No, he didn’t have ear buds. He was just another rude SOB who has no interest in contributing to a congenial, mutually supportive society. Can you devise any excuse for this behavior? I don’t think there is an excuse. I think this is evidence that he is a member of the growing and thriving jerk component of American society. Why do so many bystanders refuse to demonstrate care for strangers in peril or stress? Reactions like I got is one of the reasons.

Continue reading

Return Of The Hedgehog

Angry hedgehog

Recently I have been pondering whether Donald Trump, in the parlance of philosopher Isaiah Berlin in his famous essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox”, is a hedgehog, one who, in words of the Greek poet Archilochus, “knows one big thing,”or a fox, which knows many things. The thrust of the essay (and a later book) is that history teaches that the hedgehogs tend to prevail over the foxes.

In 2019, I announced that I had figured out that Trump was indeed a hedgehog, and that the one big thing he knew was that

“Despite decades of indoctrination to the contrary, most Americans are proud of their country and do not believe it has been a force for evil in the world. They recognize that capitalism has been responsible for the much of the nation’s success, and they do not want to emulate the European nanny states. Most Americans also regard the office of the Presidency as an inherently good institution. The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, as the President now calls them, do not believe these things, and by clearly opposing a group that is deep, deep in negative territory on the scale, the President is certain to derive a net benefit. Although I have heard the Stage 5 Trump Deranged argue that he does not love his country and does not have its best interests at heart, that is an unsupportable position fueled by dislike alone. Nobody becomes President who isn’t a patriot, and no President wants to go down in history as a bad one. Now the entire Democratic Party is tying itself to these four repulsive, anti-American extremists, which is the equivalent of the party tying itself to an anchor on the [Cognitive Dissonance] Scale.”

For the record, I’m still not completely convinced that Trump isn’t a fox in spiny clothing.

Now the “Fox or Hedgehog?” game has emerged again in an essay by Lance Morrow in The Wall Street Journal. He attributes Critical Race Theory to hedgehogian reasoning. The One Big Thing: slavery was bad. He writes in part,

Continue reading

From The “I Don’t Understand This At All” Files: Why Should ‘Historically Black Colleges’ Be Getting A Surge In Donations?

Make no mistake: I know why they are getting a surge in donations: cynical virtue-signalling and mindless George Floyd Freakout tribute. However, like the historically black colleges themselves, the phenomenon of picking now to celebrate segregated education, and mostly inferior education, is self-contradictory. It also highlights the hypocrisy of the “antiracism” movement itself, and the incoherence of the “diversity” chants coming from the Left.

For these colleges are the opposite of diverse. They are, in fact, discriminatory in concept and execution, and to see them “thrive” while activists are demanding literal quotas in other institutions in order to create numerical demographic parity—at least—is a blazing example of how the George Floyd Ethics Train wreck is less a cultural awakening than it is an opportunistic and unethical power play fueled by white guilt and cowardice.

The front page article in the New York Times today is so full of head-banging-on-the-wall moments I ran out of head before I ran out of wall. Here are some…

Continue reading

The “Hello, Friday! I Thought You’d Never Come!” Open Forum

Robinson and Friday

I was looking for Robinson Crusoe and Friday illustrations, and boy, if they thought that Teddy Roosevelt statue that’s they’re taking down in New York City radiated white supremacy, they hadn’t checked out Daniel Defoe’s masterpiece lately. Is that novel ever read in school any more? (It’s a terrific novel, and one of my Dad’s favorites…and he read everything.) With “To Kill A Mockingbird” being banned in some schools, I wonder how much literature will be sacrificed to political correctness and The Great Stupid. And how many pop culture nuggets…I was alternately amused then shocked to hear the 1957 Australian goof “Tie Me Kangaroo Down” played on Sirius XM, for the song is hilarious as well as racially insensitive to the max with this verse (remember that the song purports to quote the last requests of an old Aussie stockman on his deathbed):

Let me Abos go loose, Bruce

Let me Abos go loose

They’re of no further use, Bruce

So let me Abos go loose!

I just checked:one of the lyrics websites excised that verse while claiming that it was printing the whole song.

But I digress. Write about anything you want, as long as it has an ethics theme…

Two From The “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring” Files: The Women

Soul Cap

I. The Cap.

There aren’t a lot of competitive black swimmers, for a number of reasons, but wouldn’t you think that authorities in the swimming field would have some sensitivity to their special needs when the situation presents itself? I would, or did, and is often the case, I was wrong.

A women’s swim cap designed for African-American hair, called the Soul Cap (above), is meant to accommodate the thicker, curlier hair of black women to provide a better fit and protect hair from chlorine. Ahead of the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo which begin later this month, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) banned the use of the cap,  ruling that “athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require to use, caps of such size and configuration,” and that the Soul Cap does not follow “the natural form of the head.”  This is, of course, ridiculous, since the number of black women who have competed in swimming events in the Olympics can be counted on the fingers of one hand, so of course the caps break with tradition and common use. Whatever their bone-headed logic, how could the FINA hacks not figure out that such a ruling would appear tone deaf at best and racist at worst, especially in the middle of the George Floyd Freakout?

After the completely predictable (and fair) backlash, now the body says that it is “currently reviewing the situation with regards to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation.”

There have never been any allegations that the caps confer any competitive advantage. This is how people with dead ethics alarms fuel claims of “systemic racism.”

II. The All-Women Broadcast Team

Continue reading