P.M. Ethics Dispatches, 1/11/2022

We have to keep baseball ethics alive even if baseball itself is in a state of suspension: the owner and players are, for the first time in decades, arguing about how to divide up their billions, everything from roster size to minimum salaries are on the table, and as of now, the two sides aren’t even talking with the season just a couple of months away. One of the issues to be settled is whether the National League will finally capitulate and adopt the designated hitter rule, which was accepted in the American League on this date in 1973, a day which many traditionalist fans then and now regard as an unforgivable scar on the integrity of the game. Baseball has always been celebrated for its equity and balance: as it was envisioned, every player on the field had to both hit and play defense. The DH, which is a batter who never uses a glove, also allowed the pitcher to be a defense-only specialist, never picking up a bat which, advocates of the new rule argued, was a result much to be wished, since the vast majority of hurlers are only slightly better at hitting the ball than your fat old uncle Curt who played semi-pro ball in his twenties. All these decades years later, the National League and its fans have stubbornly maintained that the DH was a vile, utilitarian gimmick spurred by non-ethical considerations, mainly greed. When the rule was adopted, American League attendance lagged behind the NL, which also was winning most of the All Star games, in part because that league had embraced black stars far more rapidly than “the junior league.” The DH, the theory went, would make games more exciting, with more offense, while eliminating all the .168 batters in the ninth spot in every line-up.

I had a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 1973 explaining why I opposed the DH as a Boston Red Sox fan. Since then, I have grudgingly come to accept the benefits of the rule: it gave the Sox David Ortiz, allowed Carl Yastrzemski to play a few more years, and let American League fans see such all-time greats as Hank Aaron at the plate after they could no longer play the field. It was a breach of the game’s integrity, but it worked.

1. At least that’s fixed. The Supreme Court issued a corrected transcript of the oral arguments in the Biden vaccine mandate case, and it now accurately records Justice Gorsuch as saying he believes the seasonal flu kills “hundreds…thousands of people every year.” The original version wrongly quoted him as saying hundreds of thousands, which allowed those desperately trying to defend the outrageously wrong assertions by Justice Sotomayor regarding the Wuhan virus to point to Gorsuch and claim, “See? Conservatives are just as bad!” Prime among these was the steadily deteriorating Elie Mystal at “The Nation,” who, typically for him, refused to accept the correction. Sotomayor is one of the all-time worst Supreme Court justices, though she will be valuable as a constant reminder of the perils of affirmative action. Her jurisprudence makes the much maligned Clarence Thomas look like Louis Brandeis by comparison. Continue reading

Saturday Night Fevered Ethics, 12/4/2021: It Begins With A Hairless Cat…[Updated]

1. Where “Ick” and unethical become indistinguishable...Airlines have enough problems without having to deal with…this. A message was sent through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) alerting a Delta crew in Atlanta that a passenger in seat 13A was “breastfeeding a cat and will not put cat back in its carrier when [flight attendant] requested.” And she was. Every time the passenger was asked to cease and desist, she attached the cat, which was of the hairless variety, not that it’s relevant, to her nipple again. A flight attendant on board during the incident, wrote on social media,

“This woman had one of those, like, hairless cats swaddled up in a blanket so it looked like a baby,” she said. “Her shirt was up and she was trying to get the cat to latch and she wouldn’t put the cat back in the carrier. And the cat was screaming for its life.”

2. A you have probably heard by now, CNN canned Chris Cuomo. This is a classic example of doing the right thing for the wrong reason: Cuomo should have been fired because he’s a terrible, unethical, none-too-bright journalist. The fact that he also mishandled a conflict of interest, abused his sources and used his position with CNN to assist his brother as The Luv Guv tried to avoid accountability for sexual misconduct all flowed from CC’s incompetence and ethical dunderheadedness. A serious scandal of some kind involving “Fredo” was inevitable.

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Ethics Tricks And Treats, 10/31/2021: Kendri Traps Himself, A Good Man Dies, And More “Let’s Go Brandon!” Follies [Corrected]

Trick or treat

Jerry Remy died over the weekend. Unless you’re a Red Sox fan, you may not have heard of Remy, but he was a Boston icon by the time he died at the age of 68. I was trying to come up with an ethics theme to justify writing a post about him: I can’t, in fairness. He was just a normal guy who got to live his dream, some would say: a Boston kid (Fall River, to be accurate) who grew up, like me, loving the home town team with all of its drama and disappointments, and was talented enough to play for it, after being traded by the Angels to the Sox in 1976. Then Remy became part of Sox lore, the frustrating parts, as his team battled the New York Yankees in their most repulsive incarnation for primacy in the late ’70s, always falling short. In the most famous and tragic of those near misses, Yankee shortstop Bucky Dent’s cheap home run became the decisive blow in a single play-off tie-breaker in 1978, making Dent a a Yankee immortal. Only moral luck prevented the hero of that historic game from being Remy. In the bottom of the 9th with the Red Sox trailing by one run, Remy hit a blast to right field that Yankee outfielder Lou Piniella lost in the sun. It landed in front of him and bounced to his left: Piniella threw his glove up in blind desperation, and the ball, somehow, landed in it. Lou later told Remy that he never saw it until it was in his grip. Had that ball gotten by him, Rick Burleson would have scored the tying run from first, and Remy would have had an easy triple. He might even have had an inside-the-park homer, winning the game, the division championship, and immortality for getting the biggest hit in Red Sox history.

Remy’s knees gave out eventually, like many second basemen before base runners were forbidden from breaking up potential double-plays with hard slides. He eventually became the Sox cable broadcast color man for 34 years, until he left the booth in August to battle lung cancer. Remy was warm, informative, candid, modest and funny, all while describing himself as a mediocre hitter who felt honored to play on a team with stars like Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski. He also kept doing his job, despite more than his share of tragedy and pain. His oldest son was a drug addict, and murdered his girlfriend in a steroid rage. He is serving life without parole in prison; Jerry and his wife took on shared custody of their infant granddaughter. Remy’s battle with lung cancer began in 2008; he kept fighting off multiple recurrences with operations, radiation and chemo, and it kept coming back. He battled depression as well, and spoke and wrote about the illness, inspiring and comforting many who shared that often crippling condition.

Jerry’s last appearance on a baseball field was, appropriately, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch on October 4 for another one game play-off with the Yankees, who had ended the season tied with Boston, just as in 1978. I knew he was through: he looked pale and weak, but Remy beamed at the huge ovation he received from the Fenway Park crowd as he lobbed the ball to his frequent NESN broadcast partner and fellow member of that tragic 1978 team, Dennis Eckersley. This time, the Red Sox beat the Yankees.

Jerry Remy made a lot of people happy during his life, was respected and loved by those who knew him and worked with him, and kept fighting his way through what chaos threw at him, becoming a better, kinder, nicer human being in the process. That’s a pretty good legacy, better than many greater baseball players. I know he made me happy lots of times, and did so while he must have been suffering.

Good for you, Jerry. Good job at life. I’ll miss you, and so will everyone else. The more good, hard working, courageous human beings we have around, the better it is for everyone.

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Dress Code Ethics (Again) From The “Oh, Come ON!” Files: The Immodest Fitness Model

bodybuilder-1

Two days ago, American Airlines denied boarding for Deniz Saypinar, a Turkish-born fitness model traveling from Dallas-Fort Worth to Miami because, the carrier explained to her, its conditions of carriage require all customers to dress “appropriately,” and her outfit wasn’t appropriate.

Ya think? That photo above shows how she presented herself at the gate.

“The customer was advised of our policy and was rebooked on a subsequent flight. The customer has since arrived in Miami,” the airline’s rep said.

Deniz is in great shape; I wonder why, if she was going to grandstand like this, she didn’t just wear a g-string and pasties and go all the way with it. I do not believe for a second that she expected to be allowed on the plane dressed like that. She wanted to set off a controversy and win herself Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, while giving feminists something to shout about.

“You will never believe what happened to me at Texas Airport,” first non-American citizen to win the US National Bikini Fitness Competition in 2021 wailed to her 1 million followers on Instagram as she posted her attire.

Oh yes I will!

“I am an athlete, and now I have to wait here until the morning,” she wrote. “I like to wear feminine clothes that reveal my femininity, but I never dress in a way that will offend anyone. I’m mature and civilized enough to know what I can and cannot wear. I don’t deserve to be treated like the worst person in the world for wearing denim shorts What separates us from animals if humans can’t control even their most primitive impulses? I feel insulted. They wouldn’t let me on the plane because I wore these shorts in the United States.”

Uh, I wouldn’t call that an exactly fair description of what happened. She wasn’t treated “like the worst person in the world,” although she should have been treated as a narcissist and ruthless self-promoter who deliberately wasted the time of airline staff and caused a pointless controversy just to get her name and figure publicized. And she wasn’t rejected as a passenger for “wearing denim shorts.”

” What separates us from animals if humans can’t control even their most primitive impulses? ” has to win an irony award: it is the model who can’t control her primitive impulse to display herself in places where such displays are rude and disruptive. Decorum and manners in public also separate us from animals. Wearing reasonably modest clothing in public is basic civility, showing respect for others.

What do you want to bet that she wears that kind of outfit and then, when some little fat guy stares at her, gets indignant?

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The Great Stupid Is Airborne!

Not surprising, at least to me, the carrier (in multiple senses of the word) is United, long recognized by travelers as an incorrigible ethics dunce. The latest from United, however, announced in a head-exploding tweet, is special. The airline announced,

“Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color.”

Wait: who says the flight deck crew should reflect the demographics of the passengers? Why would anyone but a fool say that? Is there really any air traveler who cares about any characteristic of the pilot and co-pilot other than that they be the best qualified people available to fly the plane safely and deal with whatever crisis that might occur?

I know I don’t care what color, gender or ethnic group my planes’ pilots belong to. Why would I? Do you? Does any sane traveler think as they hurtle groundward, screaming, “Well, if we crash, at least it will be because the airline met its diversity quota!”

Conservative website PJ Media headlined the revolting development (Pop cultural literacy quiz! This was once a catch phrase: “What a revolting development this is!” What was the TV show, and for extra credit, who was the actor who said the line in every episode?) this way:

United Airlines Announces They Will No Longer Hire the Best Pilots

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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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I’m Thankful That So Many Americans Will Refuse To Comply With Pandemic Orders From Arrogant And Contemptuous Elected Officials Like These

Thanksgiving plus US

Elected mayors and governors across the country have simultaneously demanded obeisance to their burdensome orders constraining American rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while showcasing their belief that they are above the obligation to live by their own rules.

I’m grateful for this disgusting phenomenon. It vividly exposes a political class that thinks Americans are marks and fools, or perhaps some kind of human-sheep hybrid. These elected dictators’ not-so-secret desire is to dominate and rule. They have but a faint concept of what a representative democracy means, and have contempt for it and us. Members of the public who can’t see the unethical double standards these nascent totalitarians would inflict on the nation, or worse, those who accept and tolerate the double standards, are the intended victims. Fortunately, there are still a critical number of citizens who recall this nation’s origins as a rebellion against tyrants.

The open contempt these leaders have for us is staggering. Perhaps they expected their allied propagandists among news media to hide the hypocrisy, which so far it has been unwilling to do. Actually, considering the embargo on stories that might reflect positively on President Trump during the run-up to this months election, it is surprising our aspiring dictators haven’t been provided with more cover. This is something else to be thankful for.

From the Thanksgiving section of the Dead Ethics Alarms files:

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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.

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Ethics Observations On Kayla Eubanks, The Southwest Airlines Flying Slob

southwest-dress-code-64

Chicago’s Kayla Eubanks is indignant because Southwest Airlines staff refused to allow her to board her flight, saying her attire was not fit for travel. low-cut top was “lewd, obscene, and offensive.”  Eventually a pilot gave her a cover-up T-shirt so she could get on the plane. Once in the air, she took it off.

Eubanks complained via Twitter, writing, “Y’all I was KICKED OFF my @SouthwestAir flight because my boobs are ‘lewd, obscene, and offensive.’ I was told that passengers may look at me in my attire and be offended.” In her following tweets, Kayla wrote,

“I really wanna know why @SouthwestAir is policing my clothes like this. How will my shirt impact my flight, for myself, the other passengers, or even the pilot?…Y’all have a dress code for CUSTOMERS who pay to get on a plane?…It’s the constant policing of women’s bodies for me.”

Posting a  video of one of Southwest’s female gate employees fumbling to answer Eubanks’ questions about a dress code, Kayla added. “[she] practically did cartwheels to ensure that I wouldn’t get on this plane y’all. I was held at the gate for 30 minutes because of my shirt.”  On the video, Kayla can be heard telling the sympathetic pilot who eventually loaned her the shirt, “I have to leave my tits at home? Obviously not.”

Stay classy, Kayla.

Following the flap, in which the mainstream media sympathizes with Eubanks, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told the New York Post that the company reached out to Eubanks directly to issue an apology, and refunded Eubanks’ fare

“Regarding our policies, each situation is very different, and our employees are responsible for following our Contract of Carriage, available on our website,” the spokesperson explained. “According to the material posted online, the company ‘may, in its sole discretion, refuse to transport, or may remove from an aircraft at any point,’ a passenger who engages ‘in lewd, obscene, or patently offensive behavior, including wearing clothes that are lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.”

Observations:

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