A Really Late Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/15/2020, In Which I Have A Revealing Exchange With A Woke Sports Journalist

How the day got hopelessly loused up:

  • At 8:30 am, I took my car to the dealer for a 5000 mile servicing. I had asked if I could get a loaner, and was told I could. But I’d have my car back in an hour, I was told, so I passed.
  • Then I found all the doors at the place locked until 9 am. I decided to walk several blocks to get a fast breakfast, but Popeye’s doesn’t have breakfast, and MacDonald’s doesn’t allow you to use the tables. This was a huge McDonald’s: 20 people could eat there and not be closer than ten feet. But Virginia, in the throes of Blue Madness, is catering to hysterics. I ate my sausage biscuit and hash browns and drank my coffee sitting on a curb, like a vagrant.
  • When I returned, I could get into the showroom to sit, but my glasses kept fogging up with the %$#@%!! mask, so I kept going in and out.  My car wasn’t ready at 9:30. It wasn’t ready at 10, or 10:30. They had me, as Beldar Conehead memorably said, “by the base of my snarglies.”
  • I also couldn’t complain, because they had assigned the servicing to my son, who works there.
  • I got home at 11:46 am, the morning effectively shot to hell.

1. The fascinating memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower will be dedicated this week:

Ike was one of my father’s heroes, and the first President I can remember. On a popular Boston kids’ show called “The Big Brother Show,” the host, Bob Emory, would call upon us to get a glass of milk and toast a photo of President Eisenhower as “Hail to the Chief” played. Because, you know, you were supposed to respect the Office of the President.  The New York Times couldn’t even write about a memorial to a Fifties era POTUS without making veiled insults to President Trump:

He was a leader who sought to work across lines toward a common purpose, driven by duty and pragmatism rather than ideology and divisiveness. He steered his Republican Party away from isolationism toward a bipartisan internationalism that prevailed until recent years. He sent troops into the South not to crack down on demonstrations for racial justice but to enforce the desegregation of schools. He ended the Korean War and balanced the budget, presiding over nearly eight years of peace and prosperity. And he pushed through an infrastructure bill that built the interstate highway system.

He also presided over a remarkably homogeneous society, was opposed by a Democratic Party with many selfless statesmen that was barely distinguishable from the GOP (Ike could have been the nominee of either party), and he still was covered by a news media that mostly held to traditional journalism standards.

Ike would have been called a racist and a fascist in 2020. Continue reading

Ethics Dunces: The Hypocritical Conservative Media

The  conservative media does itself and its cause no favors when it indulges in the same kind of warped and biased logic, as well as shameless appeals to emotion, that it–rightly–accuses the Left-leaning media of inflicting on the public.

This story is stunningly simple from an ethics perspective.  Walt Disney World has a rule that all visitors must wear masks at all times. A careless father who didn’t bother to do his research and preparation for a family trip to the theme park arrived to find that his 7-year-old daughter, who cannot wear a mask due to a disability, would not be allowed in. That was the correct call by Disney. It doesn’t matter whether the rule is excessive or extreme: this is a pandemic-related health  rule for the safety, peace of mind and security of Disney’s guests. If everyone doesn’t wear masks, then no one will regard the rule as fair or serious. There can’t be exceptions to such rules, especially, “Aw. just this once, after all, the kid has a disability and has really been looking forward to this” exceptions. Continue reading

Today’s Dispatch From The Great Stupid: The Nazi A’s Coach

Because, in the course of trying to communicate to his players while following MLB’s pandemic protocols, he made a gesture that might be taken as a Nazi salute if it weren’t on a baseball field in 2020 and if the supposed member of “Hitler’s Coaches” was insane, Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson was accused of deliberately giving a Nazi salute.

I didn’t need to see the video or learn anything more. I knew he wasn’t giving a Nazi salute, just as I wouldn’t need to check if someone told me a baseball player laid an ostrich egg on third base. The man was gesturing for some reason to explain something. Maybe he was saying, “Hit the ball out there!” and used the flat of his hand rather than pointing. I don’t know; I don’t care. There are no laws about gestures, and I always presume good will, not bad will and insanity.

But the usual bunch of cancel-hunters saw that they might be able to destroy someone, so they tried. This is like the equally ridiculous “OK” sign outrages. If these terrible, terrible human beings can’t get someone fired, at least they get a notch on their metaphorical belts if they can make someone grovel. Here they hit the jackpot: first the poor coach apologized, explaining that the A’s do something they call “the karate chop” instead of a high five (which is banned as part of the MLB protocols, and he was being schooled on the safe way to do it. He had reached out to do the  chop with someone who said “No, no, no straight arm!” and Christenson took a second to realize what he meant. By all means, the coach should be fired. Heck fire both of them. Ban the team. Continue reading

Addendum: “Unethical Quotes Of The Month, Incompetent Elected Official, And John Lewis Memorial Ethics Dunce: Rep. James Clyburn”

I thought I was through blogging for the day, but I saw this story, which shows, in vivid terms,

  • …how closely the “Axis of Unethical Conduct” works together on its false narratives,
  • …how Big Lie #3, that Donald Trump  is an aspiring dictator, still drives the media’s framing of the Trump Presidency,
  • …how biased, unprofessional and unethical CNN is—but we knew that,
  • …what a low-life hack April Ryan is, as her Ethics Alarms dossier already demonstrates,
  • …how blatant the Big Lie tactic has become. This is the rare future Big Lie species,
  • …the unpunished depravity of Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, Joe Biden,  Clyburn of course, MSNBC’s Joy Reid and CNN’s editor-at-large Chris Cillizza, among others, who have, indecently ,asserted this fantasy, based only on the familiar “Trump is a bad guy so we can assume that he would do this” logic. This is the basis upon which a famous ex-commenter here argued that the Russian collusion allegations were true, and evidence be damned. It has been the predominant theme of the Facebook Deranged for nearly four years. It is, of course, the essence of bigotry: deciding that someone must have done something or will do something because of who they are, or what someone thinks they are.

Ryan, a CNN political analyst, which tells you all you need to know about what CNN has become,  declared, Continue reading

Unethical Quotes Of The Month, Incompetent Elected Official, And John Lewis Memorial Ethics Dunce: Rep. James Clyburn

Unethical Quote #1:

“I feel very strongly that he is Mussolini, Putin, is Hitler.”

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C., slander President Trump and broadcasting Big Lie #2 on CNN yesterday.

Unethical Quote #2, same interview.

“I believe very strongly that this guy never had any idea about being — want to peacefully transfer power. I don’t think he plans to leave the White House. He doesn’t plan to have fair and unfettered elections.I believe that he plans to install himself in some kind of emergency way to continue hold onto office.”

And I believe the two statements, lacking any justification, factual basis, or reasoning whatsoever, are signature significance for an official and a party that has lost all claim to civility, fairness, trustworthiness or respect. Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Agony, 7/9/2020: I See Awful People…

Hi!

I am feeling stressed because there are a lot of Ethics Alarms projects  and commitments that are languishing: I’m trying to work out the logistics of a Zoom symposium for commenters; I have to compile the many submissions for the corporate and organizational grovels to the George Floyd mobs so we can vote on the best and worst; I am finishing the Ethics Alarms glossary of fake news categories, and I still owe Michael  West his prize from an Ethics Alarms contest he won a couple of years ago—and that’s still not all of them. The best I can say is: please be patient, because I’m not.

1. Is this a good sign, or something else? I turned on Sirius-XM’s “Comedy Greats” channel while driving to pick up some prescription and heard a segment of a Nick DiPaulo routine that was unbelievably politically incorrect, or, as many would say today, racist, misogynist and anti-trans. The audience was in hysterics; several of the jokes were so extreme—but funny!—that I nearly lost control of the car. I had to check: no, he hasn’t been assassinated yet. Neverthless, I felt like I had fallen into a parallel universe. DiPaulo makes Dave Chappelle seem like Art Buchwald.

2. How about “Lady Asshole”? Several readers sent me links to this story, telling us that the Grammy-winning vocal group  formerly known as Lady Antebellum, having decided to ditch the second half of their name to grandstand and show that they support tearing down statues, are now suing Anita White, a blues singer who has called herself “Lady A” for decades, because she wouldn’t sell  the rights to that name to them for a price the group found reasonable.

I can’t imagine anyone being sympathetic with the group, especially a jury. Nobody made them change their name, and choosing “Lady A” without doing sufficient research was negligent. The group is using wealth and fame as a cudgel, with three rich white jerks trying to bully a local (and black) artist into bending to the their will. I hope someone has started a GoFundMe page to help Anita with her legal fees.

3. Find my 2011 post on Donald Trump running for President, substitute Kanye West’s name for his, and you’ll have the Ethics Alarms position on Mr. Kardashian’s candidacy. I know a lot of celebrities and too many members of the public don’t comprehend this, having the civic literacy of gerbils, but our democracy is not a game. Running for President as an exercise in ego-massage and branding is wildly irresponsible, and threatens to distort voting and results. West is not a serious candidate, but he’ll attract attention and the support of those who vote purely on the basis of group biases.  But the news media will give him more attention than he deserves, which is none, and he could easily take votes away from Democrats.

The good news is that since Kanye has approximately the attention span of a mayfly, it’s a good bet that this impulse will be fleeting, just as Trump’s was in 2011. Continue reading

Today’s Impressive Achievement In Unethical Corporate Virtue-Signaling And Grandstanding Goes To…LEGO!

This guy allegedly cracked the plastic head of the LeBron James figure (inset)

Can en entire company be a giant asshole?

LEGO shows us that one can, and is.

The Toybook trade magazine sent an email on behalf of the Danish toy construction block company stating that,

“In light of recent events, LEGO has requested the below products to be removed from sites and any marketing ASAP.”

Toybook added later,”We requested that our affiliate partners refrain from posting promotional LEGO content as part of our decision to respect #BlackOutTuesday and pause posting content on our social media channels in response to the tragic events in the US. We regret any misunderstanding and will ensure that we are clearer about our intentions in the future.” Continue reading

Ethics Observations On The University Archeologist’s Obelisk-Toppling Tweets

To topple, just read the diagram backwards!

University of Alabama at Birmingham archeologist Sarah Parcak tweeted detailed instructions on how to bring down an obelisk over the weekend, using 12 detailed tweets  as George Floyd rioters in the college town  tore down a statue of Charles Linn, a Confederate Navy captain and one of the foundesr of Birmingham . She then coyly suggested that “there might be’ an obelisk in downtown Birmingham,” and that the obelisks “might be masquerading as a racist monument.” There is, in fact, a Confederate monument in Birmingham, and it is an obelisk. Sure enough, it was targeted by rioters.

The esteemed professor began by saying her comments  were a public service announcement.

“PSA For ANYONE who might be interested in how to pull down an obelisk* safely from an Egyptologist who never ever in a million years thought this advice might come in handy,” she wrote. “There might be one just like this in downtown Birmingham! What a coincidence. Can someone please show this thread to the folks there…Just keep pulling till there’s good rocking, there will be more and more and more tilting, you have to wait more for the obelisk to rock back and time it to pull when it’s coming to you. Don’t worry you’re close!… WATCH THAT SUMBITCH TOPPLE GET THE %^&* OUT OF THE WAY IT WILL SMASH RUN AWAY FROM DIRECTION. Then celebrate. Because #BlackLivesMatter and good riddance to any obelisks pretending to be ancient Egyptian obelisks when they are in fact celebrating racism and white nationalism.”

Observations: Continue reading

Now THIS Is Trump Derangement! Also: Ethics Dunce, Unethical Quote Of The Month, Unethical Tweet…[CORRECTED]

Remember Jemele Hill? She was the African American co-host on ESPN who got herself fired because she couldn’t restrain herself from making hysterical anti-Trump declarations and other politically inflammatory social media posts and outbursts despite being warned, even by the left-wing Disney mouthpiece ESPN, to cool it. I wrote a couple of posts about her; since then she has receded into irrelevance, where angry, vile public figures like her belong. Oh, now she works for The Atlantic, a publication almost as much obsessed with Trump-bashing as  Stephen Colbert. The problem is that Hill is irrational, arrogant, and somehow under the impression that her vendettas have any societal use whatsoever.She also is laboring under the delusion that her emotion-soaked, undisciplined brain is a fine-tuned instrument. It’s not. She a classic example of someone what was told she was brilliant her whole life by lazy and incompetent mentors and instructors, and has been permanently handicapped as a result. And as a result, she serves society garbage, thinking it is caviar.

Yesterday the Boston Globe reported that New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft had sent a  team plane to China to pick up 1.7 million  N95 masks to fly to Massachusetts for the use of health care workers as they care for patients ill withe the Wuhan virus.

Search as you might, there is no negative spin you can place on Kraft’s act. It is altruistic. It is compassionate. It is an act of service to his community and the state that supports his team.

Now here is what Jemele Hill tweeted: Continue reading

A Brief But Significant Addendum To “I’ve Looked And I’ve Tried And I Believe In Civility, But The Only Fair Descriptive Word For These People Is ‘Asshole'”

Nice!

Mollie Hemingway, editor at the National Review, had an admirably understated reaction to this tweet from Mrs. Clinton, saying,Fully acknowledge I’m biased here, but my advice would be that if your politics are giving the impression that you’re rooting against your fellow Americans and for a deadly virus attacking them, you might want to reassess.”

My observations are not quite as understated:

  • What an asshole! But we knew that. By “me” I mean everyone who has observed this awful, awful human being’s behavior and statements since at least 1992.
  • The actual form of assholery that the spectacularly failed aspiring  first female President models here is not a variety examined in the post referenced in the title above, but in this post, item #4, in which I noted, “You can mark down any pundit (or Facebook friend) who gloats about the official U.S. tally of Wuhan virus cases making it the most infected nation in the world as fitting neatly into the topic of this recent post.” She’s not a pundit, of course (nor my Facebook friend, thank god); she is, by about 20 laps, the most ungracious, unethical, whiny, nasty, divisive and pathetic losing political candidate for national office in American political history…and she just happens to be the only woman to be on the ballot for President. Continue reading