Mid-Day Ethics Tidbits, 11/4/2020: Sort-Of Post-Election Edition, With Yummy NONE Election-Related Items!

1. Ay Caramba! Does anyone think that former Playboy model Eva Marie has a legitimate complaint because she was kicked off a Southwest flight along with her seven-year-old son for wearing this outfit on board?

Eva Marie

I don’t. She said she was “humiliated and embarrassed” when a Southwest Airlines flight attendant told her she couldn’t board looking like that. I don’t believe it for a second. She was seeking publicity. “When they threatened to remove me off the plane if I didn’t have a change of clothes, I felt completely humiliated, embarrassed and highly offended,” the Instagram influencer said of the incident. “I’m an A list member for SWA and have a credit card with the airline and I have perks that allow any person traveling with me to fly free because of my high status with the airline. So even as being a loyal customer with them, I felt like the other women on the plane were judging me based on my attire and they were saying my breasts are too large,” she added. “Well, that’s something I can’t help.”

No, you shameless jerk, they were judging you because you won’t observe even minimal social conventions, like not going out in public looking like a stripper mid-routine. If she is a “high status” member of the airline, then she is presumably aware that it has a dress code. It is overwhelmingly likely that she pulled this as a stunt to gain Instagram users  to “influence,” and exploited Southwest to do so.

The airline would be fair and reasonable to ban her from flying.

Continue reading

LATE Morning Observations On Election 2020. So Far…

Screenshot-2020-11-04-at-11.09.15-AM-600x391

Tip: The most important observation is the last one.

1. In the hours between when I started the last post when I got back out of bed two-and-a half hours later, two crucial states where the President was shown leading flipped to narrow leads for Biden. This does not prove or even suggest chicanery, but under the circumstances it looks bad. (“Gee, they cheat fast!” was a comment on one of the conservative blogs following the election live.) The meme above may be unfair, but it accurately expresses what went through my mind when I saw the new totals.

This is why it is unethical to create “the appearance of impropriety” if you have anything to do with the government. People need to trust the government, its institutions, and the fairness and openness of elections. The appearance of impropriety is just as damaging as actual impropriety. We have already seen this in the aftermath of the Mueller investigation and the prosecution of General Flynn.

2.  Both parties have worked to deliberately create suspicion about the political process, and the decision to vastly increase the use of mail-in ballots, in what should have been recognized as a close election, knowing that doing so would delay the process, create opportunity for mischief, and keep the results of the election mired in uncertainty for days and even weeks was either epically incompetent or sinister. Now, instead of the single state having a “too close to call” vote total with the Presidency hanging in the balance as in 2000, we have six, which will presumably multiply litigation and uncertainty. That’s a disaster, no matter what the final result is, and it is a disaster that should have been avoided at all costs. It was unethical and negligent not to avoid it at all costs.

Continue reading

Early Morning Observations On Election 2020. So Far

Fox News Arizona

I got up at 4:30 am to scan the various news sources after going to bed at 1:30 am following a night of checking the incoming results online and on TV. Don’t expect eloquence….

Observations:

1. Chaos. This is why allowing main-in ballots was either galactically stupid or a deliberate effort to cause confusion and seed armed insurrection. The intent was so, so clear that I really don’t know what to make of those who supported it. Mail-in ballots create problems of security and chain of custody, unnecessarily delaying the determination of critical races, notably the Presidential election. The postal service is not reliable, as I can personally attest with all the checks from ProEthics clients that routinely arrive late, not at all, or end up at the wrong address. The fiasco, was, in turn, yet another creation of the politically motivated fearmongering over the Wuhan virus. It is not hard to vote “safely” in person while wearing masks and socially distancing. I never came close to touching or breathing on another person, or they on me, when I voted yesterday. The Left wants, and has always wanted, a less secure, effortless, commitment-free voting system which it believes helps low-information, easily-led voters to participate who couldn’t be bothered otherwise. (Next will be a push for online voting, once mail-in voting proves to be the catastrophe it was always sure to be.)

2. The narrative leading up to the election, that Biden had an insurmountable lead and that the President was certain to lose was false. Again, whether it was intentionally false to suppress pro-Trump votes, or just astounding incompetence, conformation bias and irresponsible reporting and polling at work, I don’t know (but I have my suspicions.) That narrative never made sense with all of the other factors involves…the nature of the Presidency, the behavior of Democrats since 2016, the disgrace of the news media, the pathetic Democratic ticket, the transparent dishonesty of blaming the President for the lock-down and pandemic deaths, the backdrop of the 2016 election, and more.

As I wrote here, over and over again.

That’s as close to “I told you so!” as I’m going to write, but you know, I do know some things. I’m not just sitting here pulling stuff out of the air. Have a little trust and faith. I think I’ve earned it.

Continue reading

Final Pre-Election Ethics Notes II

Jefferson quote

That meme turned up on Facebook. Of course, progressives and the Woke think Jefferson is racist whose memory should be consigned to the ash heap of history, so no wonder they disagree.

1. Daniel Horowitz suggests that Democratic and media fearmongering about the dangers of exposure to the Wuhan virus might have had the perverse effect of scaring Democratic voters away from the polls. “While we don’t know the ballot choices of those who voted early, we do know the party registration breakdown in most states. And in nearly every critical state, Republicans are doing much better than they did in 2016 in terms of in-person early voting,” he observes. “Given that Trump won in 2016 and the electorate will only get more favorable for Republicans on Election Day itself (because the majority of Democrats vote early), this portends an outcome way out of sync with the majority of polls.”

Boy, would that be what NeverTrumper George Will likes to call “condign justice”!

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day, A Question And An Answer, From The “Election Day Open Forum”

Body-Snatchers-2

Sarah B. provided the Comment of the Day and it’s featured question.

Mrs. Q applied her now familiar wisdom and perspective, and offered an answer, and at the end, I’ll take a shot at my own.

First, here’s Sarah’s Comment of the Day on today’s Forum:

Here is my question of the day. Sorry, but you need some exposition. I have a family member who has stage four TDS (frankly, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being willing to discuss positions that disagree with your own though you include a great many invectives and 10 being incapacitated by hatred to the degree that you won’t play bridge because of trump cards, her stance requires exponents) who had a post on Facebook today urging everyone to vote. Her claim was “Vote for Life” with pictures of a black guy with someone on is neck, a hospitalized person with COVID, a drowning polar bear, and a person standing with a rainbow flag. She has stated that anyone who disagrees that Floyd was killed by cops is a racist and she will act decisively to remove their racism. She has also said that voting for Trump is the same as committing genocide. She is willing to cut her sister out of her life, just for asking the question of, if a man overdoses in the custody of police, is it really racism that killed him. She then accuses anyone who might think that voting anything other than Democrat for any government position at all as guilty of crimes. Nothing, in her view, is acceptable other than a 100% Democrat government and if even a single Republican keeps a statewide position, much less a federal one, it is a sign that we live in a nation that is too racist to exist and must be eradicated (with totalitarian methods that she claims are the only way to protect our rights). She is already claiming that Trump is harassing voters, and that if he gets more than 20% of the vote, it will be through intense fraud, worthy of throwing him and any who voted for him in prison for life.

I won’t say that the Right doesn’t have some bad folks too, but every one of my former friends on the Left of the political spectrum is acting like she is the most reasonable person available. Aside from her hundreds of Facebook likes, she has received a great many accolades on how she is the perfect example of professionalism and reasonable behavior, and how she is treating those who disagree with her as better than they deserve and how she is almost too kind in her pronouncements.

As a note, she is the wife of a prominent Democrat in her state and he and his cohorts make her seem sane and Trump seem like the most polite, restrained, and gentlemanly man I’ve ever met.

This woman is now claiming that anyone who says MAGA, or wears red, or claims Trump is not a (fill in big lie here) with any amount of data to back it up, or even mentions the Biden laptop issue, is engaging in voter suppression. She has said that we need re-education of the deplorables who would consider Trump. That is, she says, the only way we can avoid being overcome with fascism, totalitarianism, and racism.

How do we deal with people like this moving forward? How do we keep the American experiment alive when people like this, at least in my life, seem very common?

Now here is Mrs. Q’s response…

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/3/2020: Anything Important Happening Today?

dewey headline

Today in election history, Harry Truman celebrated pulling off one of the greatest upsets in American history, defeating Republican Thomas Dewey and turning the two-time Presidential loser’s name into an eternal punchline, thanks to the Chicago Tribune’s over-eager headline based on early returns the night before. With Truman’s popularity at historic lows and all of the experts declaring the President defeated before that race began,  Dewey campaigned at a leisurely pace, though not exactly a Joe Biden pace. Truman, in contrast, campaigned furiously as the underdog.  Truman defeated Dewey by 114 electoral votes, creating the all-time template for surprise Presidential victories, and embedding the photograph above in American lore.

Even this couldn’t displace it…

Newsweek cover

1. Althouse gets defensive about “abstaining.” One of the bloggers most quoted at Ethics Alarms became triggered by a critical comment about her abstaining from voting and defended herself today, though not too well. Althouse addressed the commenter, named Slothrop, as well as the general attack on 2020 non-voters like her by Instapundit firebrand Sarah Hoyt. Ann countered in part,

[T]his method of using insults to push people to vote is ugly. Are they doing it because they think it’s effective? I don’t yield to bullies. …Slothrop appeals to my vanity as he insists that I be a good person — not cowardly and neglectful of duty. Hoyt denounces vanity and insists that I not get involved in any sense of my personal goodness… she portrays the abstainer as snooty — with her nose in the air, acting like she’s “too good for this.”

Slothrop is distinctly wrong when he says voting is a duty. No. It is not. Like speaking, like religion, like getting married, like having sexual relations, voting is a right, and a right entails the power to decline to exercise it. It is horrible to be forced to speak, forced to take on a religion, forced to get married, forced to have sex — these are loathsome impositions. 

Hoyt is wrong — in my case at least — to attribute a refusal to vote for Trump to taking offense at his personal style — his manners, his crassness. I happen to enjoy his personal style…

Trump has his style and I have mine. If it makes you want to stomp your foot, go ahead. You can keep “stomping your foot about” how cruelly neutral I am. You’re free. You’ve got your right and I’ve got mine. 

Verdict: Lame. Voting is a duty of citizenship, as long as the citizen is informed, as Althouse certainly is. Yes, there is a right not to do your duty, unless a law makes it mandatory. I’m shocked, or perhaps enlightened, that Althouse would excuse her refusal to make a tough choice to “style.” Let’s see, how many rationalizations on the list does that rattle, along with the rest of her self-defense? I’ve got at least eleven:

Continue reading

Final Pre-Election Ethics Notes I

Election 2020

[I may have more of these as the day goes on, before the riots start.]

1. I just heard a notable radio ad “approved” by Joe Biden. An African-American male voice [Aside: I was once told that identifying a voice as African-America was racist. Can you guess my response to this?] talked about voter suppression—poll taxes, literacy tests, terrorism and intimidation. “They” are up to the same “old tricks,” we are told. Then came a montage of sound clips, one of which was from an unidentified news source stating that “President Trump continues to oppose mail-in voting.” Then the voice says, “Be sure to vote. Not because I want you to, but because HE wants you not to.”

Biden approving this despicable message would have been enough, all by itself, to convince me that he is a liar and a cheat. Every American can go to a polling place and vote if they care enough. Requiring them to prove they are citizens and voting on their own behalf is not “suppression,” and opposing mail-in ballots that are an obvious invitation to voter fraud.

The ad is hate-mongering and a disgusting use of Big Lie #4: “Trump Is A Racist/White Supremacist. ”

This does seem to be the latest strategy to send the Deranged, the Marxists, the antifa, the anarchists and the Black Lives Matter mob into the streets if the President wins.  Playing his part, the House Majority Whip, Rep. James Cliburn (D-S.C.) told Fox News over the weekend that the only way Democrat Joe Biden could lose the election would be “for voter suppression to be successful.”

Nice.

Clyburn also evoked Big Lie #4, and said that he would “pray” for blacks who voted for Trump. I give him credit for originality: when asked why such a vote was apparently worthy of damnation, Clyburn did not immediately jump to Trump’s birther period, which is usually the best anyone challenged to show the President’s alleges racism can come up with. No, he cited…Omarosa!

“I’m the father of three black women. I am the son of a black woman. If any black man can go in a polling place and cast a vote for a man who referred to a black woman as a dog on national television, I’m going to have to pray for them. I will have to pray for them. I don’t know of any man [who] can abide that kind of disrespect and insult,” the habitually race-baiting Representative said. Huh? I had to look it up. Yes, the President called his former “Apprentice” villain a “dog” after she turned on him—as he should have known she would do—and published a tell-all book after being fired from a White House position that he was a fool to appoint her to  in the first place. Of course, Trump has called others he was displeased with “a dog,” and uses the insult on all races and genders. It’s not Presidential and it’s not civil; it’s also not evidence of racism, but if that’s the best Clyburn had to flog the narrative, I guess he was stuck with it.

Then we have this, from the Attorney General of Pennsylvania:

Continue reading

Monday Between Halloween And Scary Election Day Ethics,11/2/2020 [CORRECTED]

I had a conversation with a friend who said she would never speak to anyone so devoid of values and intelligence to vote for Donald Trump (she was bluffing) and then immediately thereafter demonstrated that she was incapable of explaining what was so unbearable about the President beyond generalities, Big Lies, and deflections (when the quality of the President’s advisors are a go-to argument three minutes in, you’ve got nothin’…) Upon cross examination, she could not coherently justify voting for Joe Biden either, except through denial (“He’s not senile, he’s just not as sharp as he used to be, and at that age, who is?” Yes, and that’s why nobody has run for President at that age. And no, Joe did not used to forget who he was running against, what office he was running for, or repeatedly get thousands mixed up with millions) even when it was acknowledged that he was far from the sharpest tack in the package. Finally, she said, “I’d vote for Biden even if he was completely demented.’

And there it is: the rational, informed, analytical Democratic voter. In the end, it’s mostly about hate.

  1. Speaking of dementia…Conservative flame-breathing pundit Kurt Schlichter tweeted that Sean Connery’s last words were “Elect Donald Trump.” Sure, Kurt. Yesterday I learned that 007 had been losing a long bout with dementia. If he was no longer compos mentis, that endorsement really isn’t worth much, and he would have been much more likely to endorse Biden out of comradery.

2. What’s going on here? What are we to make of all of the sudden reports that the President is surging in multiple states? For example, yesterday the Des Moines Register described the poll results showing that what had been a Biden lead was now a 9 point Trump advantage:  “Republican President Donald Trump has taken over the lead in Iowa as Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden has faded…”

There are similar stories coming out of other states, and more than one pollster is now predicting a decisive Trump win. Are pollsters deliberately trying to avoid a catastrophic embarrassment by hedging their bets at the last minute? Are conservative media forces trying to bolster GOP confidence to get out the vote? Are we witnessing another election where the undecideds suddenly all flip in the same direction in the final hours, like in 1948, 1980, 1988, and 2016?

Continue reading

Decided: The Ten Reasons I’ll Be Voting To Re-Elect President Trump [6-10]

Hiding Biden meme

[Reasons 1-5 are here; the Preface to this exercise is here.]

6. I hate to quote Newt Gingrich, whom I detest, but in an appearance on Fox News yesterday predicting a Trump victory, he put his finger on a factor that the media (and pundits like Nate Silver) seem to ignore or not understand. (Newt is despicable, but he’s not dumb.) He said,

“In the end, as you watched these two candidates campaigning, I think it’s coming down to sort of a bunny rabbit hiding in a basement protected by the news media and a bear who is wandering around on the stage courageously without fear. If you think the world is dangerous, whether the dangers are riots in Philadelphia or the dangers are the Chinese communists, you probably want a bear that is strong enough to defend you and not a bunny rabbit that has to be protected by the news media. I think every day that Biden hides and Trump goes out and campaigns, the psychological message being driven to the American people is really deeper than just ideology or partisanship. It says one guy has the guts, the willingness, the toughness to actually be out here, taking on things including Covid. The other guy is hiding, frightened, hoping the news media will save him because he can’t possibly save himself. And I think that sinks in,” he continued. “And I think that’s why you are seeing in virtually every poll I trust we’re seeing a steady drift towards Trump and away from the undecided and away from sort of leaning towards Biden but not sold. My personal bet is it will lead to a surprising majority for Trump.”

I don’t quote Newt to suggest the likely outcome, but rather to explain how this factor influenced my decision. Reluctant leaders are lousy leaders, and for the most part, they don’t reach the Presidency, and shouldn’t. I admire Trump for campaigning so vigorously despite the chorus from the media that he will lose, despite the constant hate directed his way, despite being in his mid-seventies and having just had a bout with the Wuhan virus. The man is working. He wants it. I see no evidence that Joe Biden really wants the job, or, if he does, that he’s capable of fighting for it. If he’s not capable of fighting to be President, he is not capable of being President once he’s elected.

7. The decision by the Democrats to allow the Biden ticket to represent the party and its supporters in the 2020 election will stand as the most cynical, irresponsible and unethical act by any political party in American history, only rivaled by the same party’s decision to let a dying President Roosevelt run for a 4th term in 1944. At least that version of the party had some excuses: there was a world war to wrap up, and many in the party leadership didn’t know just how sick FDR was, since he actively hidden the fact. These Democrats have no such excuses.

Continue reading