Leadership Ethics: The First Lady’s Ignorant Whine

Dr. Jill is having a difficult month. I almost put her latest post-breakfast taco remarks under the “Unethical Quote” heading, but her infuriating comments during a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Nantucket, Massachusetts qualify as more ignorant and incompetent than anything else.

Attempting to defend her husband’s miserable performance as President over the past 18 months and to rebut the public’s overwhelmingly negative assessment of his Presidency so far, the First Lady whined—and yes, that is a fair characterization—

“[The President] had so many hopes and plans for things he wanted to do, but every time you turned around, he had to address the problems of the moment…He’s just had so many things thrown his way. Who would have ever thought about what happened [with the Supreme Court overturning] Roe v Wade? Well, maybe we saw it coming, but still we didn’t believe it. The gun violence in this country is absolutely appalling. We didn’t see the war in Ukraine coming.” 

Awww, poor Joe! He’s had to deal with the same challenge as every other President since the beginning of the Republic! Damn! It’s just one thing after another! Who could have predicted it?

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Comment Of The Day (1): “Today’s Dobbs Leak Freakout Developments And Observations”

Keeping up with the Supreme Court draft Alito opinion Freakout and the other ethics offal flying around has put me seriously behind in posting deserving Comments of the Day. There are two related to the May 5 Freakout post alone; this is the first of them, a neat summary of the state of affairs in Woke World.

Here is sooner 8728’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Today’s Dobbs Leak Freakout Developments And Observations”…

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If you notice, the far left’s policies are always about removing responsibility for bad decisions. You had reckless sex? Get rid of the baby. You didn’t pay your rent because you smoked pot and lost your job? Unemployment benefits. You don’t want to go back to work because you have an irrational fear of COVID-19? Let’s keep paying your rent. You committed a crime (and you are a minority), no jail time or possibly even a fine.

The test is too hard? Lower the standards. You can’t speak proper English? Attack proper English as elitist. Your culture teaches that it’s okay to beat your wife? Don’t judge other cultures who are different than you? There’s a dumbing down going on in this country. [Host’s Note: This process is what Ethics Alarms refers to as “The Great Stupid.”] Continue reading

Tales of The Great Stupid: The FAA And The Crash Video

One of the really, really bad ideas that has taken toxic root in Woke World, which includes the Biden administration, is that penalties and punishments are mean, and that the consequences of deliberate wrongdoing should be minimal even when the miscreant isn’t “of color.”

This will not, as they say, turn out well.

Last November, Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder turned Youtube entrepreneur, crashed his small propeller airplane into the mountains of California’s Los Padres National Forest after the propeller stopped spinning. The exact moment when his plane’s propeller seized was caught on camera, as was his jump out of the airplane with a parachute. He used a selfie stick to film his descent. Three weeks later, Jacob posted a YouTube video titled “I Crashed My Plane.” It got over 2 million views. The video features Jacob narrating his brave trek out of the forest and his eventual rescue. “I’m just so happy to be alive!” Jacob exclaims at one point.

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They Just Couldn’t Do It…Critic Wesley Morris And The New York Times Blow Up Standards, Ethics And My Head To Try To Excuse Will Smith

Two graphics are called for to introduce this ethics horror. This:

..because I had hoped against hope that I wouldn’t have to write another post about Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock during the Oscars broadcast. But it is obviously and ethics train wreck now, and I have no choice. And this…

…because I am stunned, shocked, and disgusted, and think, or perhaps hope, that we have reached a tipping point where the sensible people in this nation say, “Enough!”

Spuds had woken me from a sound sleep up to go outside, good boy that he is, and though I was ready to go back to bed, I made the mistake of picking up the New York Times from my lawn. Then I made the bigger mistake of taking it to the bathroom with me, and the bigger mistake yet of turning to the Arts section. And there it was: an epic, head-exploding, all-in screed by Times critic Wesley Morris explaining why Will Smith was not really to blame for his astounding, incredible, unethical, unprofessional, unjust, infantile, and criminal attack on comedian Chris Rock (who will get his Ethics Hero award from me today). but just about everyone else and everything else was.

I’m taking a pause now because my head feels ready to go off again…

They just couldn’t do it, could they? The Left, the race-baiters, black activists, the news media and the opinion-making elite could not stop themselves from turning an attack by one black celebrity on another into another bigoted weapon in the “antiracism” war against American culture. I’m such an idiot. With everything we’ve seen, I just didn’t see it coming. Oh, I expected the racists and bigots on the right to try to make Smith actions symbolic of something rotten and predictable in black culture; except for the hypocrisy of its source, I agree with the assessment of Bernice A. King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King wrote, “Anybody who thinks ‘Black people look bad’ after the #Oscars already thought Black people look bad.” But I should have seen this stage coming, the desperate need to make Smith the victim instead of Rock, and someone, something, the wrongdoer instead of Smith. The big clue was the Oscar audience giving Smith a huge ovation after he had slapped Rock for an award he should not have been allowed to accept. I should read what I write sometimes: I already mused in one post about how different the response would have been if it had been Alec Baldwin slapping Rock.

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What Is The Appropriate Response To These Companies?

Target puppy

With crime rates soaring in many cities and “smash and garb” raids disrupting large retailers, companies like Home Depot, Nordstom’s and Target are calling on communities to increase policing. By “like,” I mean companies that previously hailed Black Lives Matter and other anti-policing organizations,, festooned their stores, ads and websites with endorsements of BLM as it vilified law enforcement and called for “defunding” the police, and gave large grants to it and other “social justice” movements seeking to reduce police protection of communities across the nation.

It was all part of “The Big Pander” sub-division of The Great Stupid, itself fueled by the George Floyd Freakout, because it makes perfect sense to decide that a single brutal police incident proves that all police are racist menaces. The fake history “1619 Project” and offshoots of Critical Race Theory also were bolstered by these corporations’ cynical virtue-signaling, at a time when catering to criminals is seen as a virtue.

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Comment Of The Day: “Is It Too Late To Call It “The Wuhan Virus” Or Better Yet, ‘The China Virus’?”

China Lied

Too strong?

Extradimensional Cephalopod, as is his (it’s?) wont, chose to approach the question of what to call the pandemic virus (I am unalterably devoted to calling it what it is, as a deadly pathogen that developed in China and allowed to infect the world BY China “the Wuhan virus” in order to ensure that accountability, blame, and, if possible, liability attaches now and forever) by seeking an ethical process that has applications in other contexts. Below is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Is It Too Late To Call It “The Wuhan Virus” Or Better Yet, “The China Virus”?

Recent news has reinforced the unavoidable conclusion that China is a corrupting influence on the world and it culture. Disney, which like so many, indeed most—all?—major corporations has no ethical principles it is willing to lose profits from hewing to if at all possible, censored an episode of “The Simpsons” that satirized the nation and its government. Disney eliminated the episode from the package it sold to Chinese media. Let’s be clear: this means that Disney is assisting China in government censorship of creative expression arising in Disney’s own nation, and also assisting China’s totalitarians in controlling the minds of its population. I regard the “Covid” cover word being used to avoid connecting this regime with the disaster its habits created to be a similar form of complicity.

Now here’s “the Squid”: I’ll be back ever so briefly when he’s finished:

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Is It Too Late To Call It “The Wuhan Virus” Or Better Yet, “The China Virus”?

Coronavirus_H

I believe this issue should be settled in the context of the immortal words of Chinese dissident Paladin Cheng, who said, “Don’t trust China. China is asshole.”

There is no longer any serious dispute over where the pandemic came from, or why it spread so far and did so much damage before the world was able to respond in a timely fashion. Either the virus arose from the unsanitary, disease breeding Wuhan wet markets, or escaped from a Wuhan lab. Then China, we also now know, covered up the rampaging contagion, allowing it to travel via plane and other means to all corners of the globe.

Conclusion: China is accountable. China is liable. China is asshole.

Of course, we knew the latter even before the pandemic, but China is also profitable, which is why everyone from the NBA to Hollywood to Disney to Hunter Biden still want to avoid making certain that the public knows just how bad—evil, even—the Chinese government and culture is. I presume that after multiple mutations and other distractions, in five years or less most of the public won’t know or remember where the virus that we allowed to wreck the economy, society and culture came from. Where is “Covid,” anyway?

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Since Ethics Alarms Appears To Be The Only Source Trying To Publicize This Problem, Here, For The Third Time, Is “The Amazing Mouthwash Deception: Helping Alcoholics Relapse For Profit” [Corrected]

I re-posted the early Ethics Alarms entry from 2010, titled “The Amazing Mouthwash Deception: Helping Alcoholics Relapse For Profit,” in 2016. As I explained then, the original post “raised an important and shamefully under-reported topic, one that despite my exhortations then has yet to be adequately examined in the media.” In 2016, when I googled various combinations of “mouthwash,””Listerine,”‘alcoholism,” and “alcoholic,” the first result was my post. “Most people who are not afflicted with the disease of alcoholism have no idea that mouthwash is a popular stand-in for liquor, or that is used to deceive family members who think an addict is no longer using or intoxicated,” I wrote. On that occasion I was prompted to re-post the essay after I had been shocked to hear a physician friend who treated alcoholics plead complete ignorance of the links between mouthwash and alcoholism. Today, it was the reaction of my own physician, who is usually up-to-date on all medical research, and he had treated alcoholism sufferers at the VA. He had never heard anything about the problem.

Google would seem to indicate that there is some publicity about the issue. (Interestingly, while in 2016 Ethics Alarms came up first in any search for the topic, today it doesn’t appear in the first five pages. Why would that be, I wonder? Well, this is another issue.)

This section of my 2016 intro is still valid:

“Despite my frustration that what I regard as a true exposé that should have sparked an equivalent article in a more widely read forum has remained relatively unknown, I am encouraged by the effect it has had. Most Ethics Alarms posts have their greatest traffic around the time they are posted, but since 2010, the page views of this article have increased steadily…More importantly, it has drawn comments like this one:

‘Am looking after my twin sister who is a chronic alcoholic. She has been three days sober and then she just walked in and I couldn’t work out what the hell happened. She was in a stupor , but there was no alcohol and I am dispensing the Valium for detox period and she smelt like mint!! Found three bottles of it !!! This is my last big push to help her and she pleaded innocent and no idea it had alcohol in it! Hasn’t had a shower for two days but keeps her mouth fresh and sweet !! Thanks for the information. Much appreciated XXX’

“Most of all, I am revolted that what I increasingly have come to believe is an intentional, profit-motivated deception by manufacturers continues, despite their knowledge that their product is killing alcoholics and destroying families. I know proof would be difficult, but there have been successful class action lawsuits with millions in punitive damage settlements for less despicable conduct. Somewhere, there must be an employee or executive who acknowledges that the makers of mouthwash with alcohol know their product is being swallowed rather than swished, and are happy to profit from it….People are killing themselves right under our noses, and we are being thrown of by the minty smell of their breath.”

Here again is “The Amazing Mouthwash Deception: Helping Alcoholics Relapse For Profi,” lightly edited and updated. Maybe the third time’s the charm.

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Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/23/2021: Farewell Everly Brothers And Other Problems

Don Everly has died, and that’s the end of the Everly Brothers (Phil died years ago), one of the most influential and perhaps the most harmonious singing group of all time. The unique sympathetic vibrations that only sibling singers seem to be able to achieve is a marvelous metaphor for the ethical benefits of teamwork and trust.

This date also marks the demise of another famous duo: despite worldwide demonstrations in support of their alleged innocence, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for murder in Massachusetts in 1921 .On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree was shot and killed along with his guard. The murderers, who escaped with more than $15,000, were described by witnesses as two “swarthy Italian men.” Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested and charged with the crime. The men carried guns and lied to the police, but neither had a previous criminal record, and they definitely didn’t get a fair trial by modern standards. Prejudice against Italian-Americans was strong, and suspicion of anarchists was stronger. The pair was convicted on July 14, 1921, and sent to the electric chair on August 23.

A TV dramatization of their case, written by Reginald Rose (who authored “Twelve Angry Men”) made a huge impression on me as a child, and sparked the first stirrings of my interest in the law. In 1961, a test of Sacco’s gun using modern forensic techniques proved that it was his gun that killed the guard; he, at least, was guilty, but there was little evidence to implicate Vanzetti in the killing. To make this ethics train wreck complete, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis ignored the evidence of Sacco’s guilt and issued a proclamation exonerating both Sacco and Vanzetti and proclaiming that no stigma should be associated with their names.

Typical of Dukakis.

1. Accountability? What accountability? “Sources”—and I stipulate that un-named “sources” are untrustworthy—tell various news outlets that “President Biden isn’t inclined to fire any senior national security officials over the chaos in Kabul unless the situation drastically deteriorates or there’s significant loss of American life.” That sounds as likely as it is depressing. The reluctance of American Presidents to fire subordinates for gross incompetence has become the norm rather than the exception, and the trend ensures that our government, whoever is the President and whatever party is power, will continue to decline in competence and trustworthiness. Consider President Bush’s refusal to fire any of those responsible for the botched intelligence regarding Iraq’s WMDs, and later Abu Ghraib, or my personal favorite, Barack Obama’s refusal to acknowledge the gross incompetence of Kathleen Sebelius, his Secretary of Health, after her inexcusable reliance on a flawed website to launch the Affordable Care Act.

Dumber still is the qualification “unless the situation drastically deteriorates or there’s significant loss of American life.” Morons. Morons! Whether the situation gets worse or not is pure moral luck; it doesn’t change the utter incompetence of the Afghanistan abandonment. Imagine a babysitter who gives a toddler knives to play with, and a parent whose reaction is, “Well, the kid wasn’t hurt, so there’s no reason to fire her.” That is literally what the reasoning at the White House is…if “sources” are accurate.

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No, No, NO, Biden Must NOT “Go”: Biden Must Stay, And All Responsible For Putting Him In The White House Must Be Made Accountable

Joe confused

Over at the Spectator, conservative pundit Dominic Green writes in a piece titled Biden Must Go,

“If Trump had confused his Vice President with a ‘general’ or fumbled with his cue cards because he couldn’t match a scripted question to a scripted answer, as Biden did at his press conference on Thursday; or shown the bizarre callousness and failure of short-term memory in his ‘That was four days ago, five days ago!’ outburst; or spontaneously abandoned the policy of strategic ambiguity on Taiwan in an interview with ABC, as Biden did with George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, the psychiatrists would be lining up outside the cable stations to explain why the 25th Amendment needed to be deployed now. It’s that simple. The buck really does stop with the President. The world has always seen Biden’s incapacity, and now the American people can see it too. He carries direct responsibility for a disaster so undeniable that even a partisan media can no longer deny it. He can neither speak truthfully nor accurately. Not so much the emperor with no clothes, as Lear’s fool on the heath, naked and shivering as the kingdom comes to the ‘great confusion’.”

Oh no you don’t! “The resistance,” progressives, Democrats and the news media can’t be let off that easy. It is essential to restoring the nation’s principles and the integrity of the political process that Joe Biden remain in office to do all the damage and inflict all the embarrassment on the nation he will undoubtedly can and will. It will be painful for him to be sure: good. He was irresponsible and unethical to allow himself to be used by his party when he knew—and I’m sure he knows—that he had become a shadow of his already mediocre self. It will be even more painful for his party and its supporters, which will not be able to blame anyone but themselves for the disaster at the border, the stuttering response to the latest virus strains, the exploding national debt, the creeping inflation and the disgraceful embrace of racial discrimination. And, of course, it will be painful for the public, and again I say, good. They were dupes, fools and incompetent citizens. They deserve to suffer. There are consequences to being lazy, gullible, biased and stupid. They are about to learn them. Hard.The Democrats and media tried to brainwash America with the dangerous idea that when we elect a President that enough people don’t like and the news media decides to destroy, there are constitutional ways to ignore elections and get rid of him. There are not. Impeachment, contrary to the undemocratic plots endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and the rest, requires actual “high crimes and misdemeanors,” not mean tweets, contrived violations of dead letter provisions and conduct routinely engaged in by other Presidents that are suddenly repurposed into “crimes” to avoid the trouble of defeating an incumbent at the polls.

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