- The President wins, obviously. It does not demonstrate good judgment to challenge a master at his own game, on his home turf.
The ethics values at issue: hubris, competence.
- It’s good to see that Mike Bloomberg is determined to elevate the level of campaign discourse, isn’t it?
Of course, Trump’s trademarked person insults about adversaries’ appearance are unpresidential and infantile, but they are his unapologetic style. Did Bloomberg not watch the 2016 GOP debates, when Marco Rubio lowered himself to Trump’s level with return personal insults only to see his support erode as a result? Did Bloomberg’s advisors?
Running against a President on the basis that he is a boor and an asshole and behaving like a boor and an asshole to do it is both hypocritical and stupid. Moreover, Rubio’s blunder is a matter of record. Bloomberg isn’t doing his homework.
Ethics values: Honesty, integrity, competence, diligence. Continue reading
Somehow a picture of the so-called “unicorn puppy,” appropriately named “Narwhal,” seems appropriate today. The Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media has been pushing its corrupt impeachment plot on the assumption that sufficient Trump-haters would find it cute, but as of yesterday the undemocratic motives and ugliness of the effort stood out like a tail on a puppy’s face. You can’t hide it, and lots of people will convince themselves that it’s attractive. But rationally, the damn thing has to come off.
1. On the Stanford law professor’s joke about Barron Trump’s name. Oddly, perhaps the most harmless part of the otherwise embarrassing testimony of Stanford constitutional law professor Pamela S. Karlan yesterday became the most controversial. “While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” she said.
HAHAHAHAHA! Good one, professor! Gratuitous and completely irrelevant to the issues at hand, but hey, anything to throw fish to the seals! Based on the outrage around the conservative media, most of which only referenced this knee-slapper without quoting it, I assumed that she had actually insulted the teenager. I kept reading about how this was one more example of the double standard: using Obama’s daughters for political warfare was off limits, but now this mean professor was getting laughs from Democrats by making fun of Barron Trump. Laura Ingraham tweeted that this joke was guaranteed to turn the public against the impeachment farce for good. (I don’t think so, Laura. You should get out more.) Naturally the First Lady piled on, tweeting at the professor, “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.” Trump 2020 national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany went even more overboard:
“Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense,” she wrote. “Pamela Karlan thought she was being clever and going for laughs, but she instead reinforced for all Americans that Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of everything related to President Trump. Hunter Biden is supposedly off-limits according to liberals, but a 13-year-old boy is fair game. Disgusting. Every Democrat in Congress should immediately repudiate Pamela Karlan and call on her to personally apologize to the president and the first lady for mocking their son on national TV.”
Oh come ON. Continue reading
Just to prove that reader commentary doesn’t have to be over 600 words (Technically known as “Alizia-length” on Ethics Alarms) to qualify as a Comment of The Day, here is Michael West’s COTD regarding the Governor of Wisconsin’s decree that the state Christmas tree is a “holiday tree” and his call for the ornaments traditionally submitted by Wisconsin children be “science-themed,” from the post, “High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 11/12/2019: Laser Eyes And Science Trees”:
What part of Christmas do they hate? The individual and spontaneous demonstrations of generosity, spawned entirely from personal choice free from central coordination and bestowed as private individuals see fit free from oversight?
The University of Connecticut chapter of the NAACP is circulating a video that shows two students walking through a parking lot blithely shouting out “nigger.” It also sent out a tweet stating, “If you have any information about this racist recording at UConn, please email email@example.com We will not tolerate racist behavior on this campus.”
To make a relevant point at the outset, this is not “racist conduct,” but racist speech at most. Racist speech is constitutionally protected (that First Amendment thingy), but you wouldn’t know it from the Connecticut law the two students have been charged with violating. It decrees:
Any person who, by his advertisement, ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.
Ridiculing individuals based on gender or sexual orientation is apparently just fine, though: it’s an old law. The charge is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $50, or both.
Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, the two idiots involved, face possible expulsion from UConn for violating the school’s code of conduct. That’s a separate issue. A school has a right to make reasonable demands on student comportment, and civility, but what is “reasonable” is an ethical gray area. If the students thought they were alone, for example, I am not sure that a state school should be able to punish them. These morons were just shouting the offensive word into the air. Can they be punished for saying “nigger” in their dorm rooms, when they are alone? If the campus NAACP’s circulation of the video is what is disrupting the campus, why isn’t that a punishable offense? The NAACP circulating the video upset and offended more students than the parking lot shouts. Continue reading
If finger guns are made illegal, only those with fingers will have guns. No, wait..if fingers that can be be made into guns are illegal, only criminals will have fingers. No, that can’t be right…
I cannot resist posting this right after the previous post.
The last time Ethics Alarms discussed punishing children for making finger guns was in 2013. A six-year-old boy in Maryland’s ultra-progressive Montgomery County was suspended from school for making a finger and thumb gun gesture.
This came at the height of post-Sandy Hook anti-gun hysteria, though that was no excuse. I concluded the post,
This is, in order of importance,
- Child abuse. This young boy is being treated like a wrongdoer because the adults around him are acting like babies. Will they suspend him for making really scary faces next? Biting his pizza slice into threatening shapes?
- Proof of incompetence on the part of the school administrators. Why incompetence? They are stupid, that’s why. Only certifiably stupid people would think it is fair, sensible or reasonable to punish a first-grader for making a gesture kids have been making on playgrounds for hundreds of years, without a single casualty.
- Why many people lose respect for anti-gun zealots early in life. They forfeit all respect by acting like ninnies.
The dismaying aspect of this is ridiculous episode is that it has happened before in other schools, and clearly the message wasn’t sent clearly enough to the previous offenders–that is, the fools who victimized innocent children for miming, drawing or otherwise suggesting guns—that this kind of conduct is a career-ender. It should be; it has to be. Such irrational fearfulness, bad judgment, panic, disregard for the sensibilities of the young, lack of proportion and brain dysfunction forfeits all right to trust, and such fools must not be allowed to have power over young bodies and minds.
Nevertheless, it has happened again. Continue reading
And it’s a beautiful day…
1. Probably the last Boston Red Sox baseball ethics note of the 2019 season…In yesterdays’ meaningless afternoon game with the Texas Rangers, the Sox, who will finish the season an incredible 24 wins or more worse than last season’s championship team despite essentially the same squad and no major injuries, faced starter Mike Minor, who was seeking to end his season with 200 strikeouts, a milestone that might earn the free-agent-to-be an extra million or so on the open market this winter.
Minor entered his last start of the season at 191 strikeouts, and began the top of the ninth inning with 199 and a solid lead. Sox catcher Sandy León flied out to left field for the first out, bringing up sub-.200 hitter Chris Owings.
[Notice of Correction: Apologies to Chris Owings fans, if there are any, for originally misstating that Owings was a minor league call-up. In fact, he had been a journeyman infielder with the NL Diamondbacks. for six seasons until landing in the AL this season.Thanks to Other Bill for setting me straight. ]
With a 1-1 count, Owings popped up a pitch halfway down the first base line in foul territory. Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzmán appeared to let it drop, trading out #2 for strike #2, and thus giving Minor a shot at his 200th strikeout. Minor got it when routinely incompetent home plate umpire CB Bucknor called strike three on a ball well out of the strike zone.
Manipulating the game’s results so a player can fatten his stats is unethical and hurts the integrity of the game. Guzmán and the Rangers should be fined by MLB.
2. Our unprofessional, biased and untrustworthy public schools. Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is investigating a teacher who included this question on a test: