Ethics Dunce: Secretary Of Transportation (And Proud Dad!) Pete Buttigieg [Updated]

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When I wrote in September about Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo abusing his paternal leave privileges to abandon his team at a crucial time in its battle to make 2021 the play-offs, I expected a lot of heated criticism (I didn’t, though I did get a provocative counter argument that became a Comment of the Day.) I wrote in part,

The Boston Red Sox recently completed a disastrous collapse that dropped them from first place in the American League East to third. As they went into battle with the two teams now ahead of them, their hottest hitter, Alex Verdugo, vanished on a four game paternity leave. Shortly thereafter, another hot hitter, Hunter Renfroe, was lost for five days on bereavement leave after his father died of cancer. T’was not always thus: in the days before the Players’ Union bargained to add such mid-season leave as a new benefit, if a player’s wife was in labor or a loved one died, it was at the team’s discretion whether he would be permitted to leave the team. OK, I can appreciate the need for the benefit, but both players abused the right. These guys both earn millions of dollars a year. They both routinely talk about the team’s quest to win the World Series, yet when their team really needed them, they absented themselves for many days because they could. That’s a betrayal of the team, team mates, and fans.

By the force of pure moral luck, Verdugo’s indulgence did no damage in the end: the Sox made the play-offs and have prospered (so far, though they lost last night), in great part because of Verdugo’s clutch hitting upon his return. That doesn’t change my ethics verdict on his dereliction of duty however (which the player reminds me of every time he gets a hit now, because Verdugo makes a baby-rocking gesture to his team mates in the dugout.) Compared to the Biden administration’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, however, Alex Verdugo is a model of dedication and responsibility.

Buttigieg and his husband Chasten adopted infant twins named Penelope and Joseph in August. The little bundles of joy arrived as product shortages and the supply chain problems had made themselves evident, a developing crisis that is worsening, and one that threatens the economy as well as businesses, jobs and the welfare of millions of Americans. It is also a situation squarely within the jurisdiction of the Transportation Department. Not since the airplane-executed terror attacks of September 11, 2001 has that agency had such a crucial task before it, nor have more Americans needed the performance of DOT to be diligent, timely, and effective.

Never mind! The Secretary of Transportation decided that this was still an appropriate time to take advantage of the Biden administration’s “family friendly” policies, and took two full months of paid leave while the supply chain problems multiplied and expanded. He wasn’t even online with his department during most of that time.

I apologize, Alex! Compared to Paternal Pete, you’re a self-sacrificing hero. I wish you were Secretary of Transportation.

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Add “Equity” To The Intentionally Dishonest Cover-Words Being Employed In Progressive Disinformation And Propaganda

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Racism is Equity

Yesterday I was talking with my sister, who worked for years in the Justice Department dealing with the refugee mess, about the intentional use of “immigrant” as a word for “illegal immigrant” in order to warp political debate and confuse the public. She blames ignorant journalists, but then she is something of a progressive, and tends to the Hanlon’s Razor explanation of deliberate deception by what the U.S. now calls “journalism.”

The latest diabolical use of language to justify the unjustifiable is the media’s weaponization of “equity,” which most of the public equates with “equality” thanks to a deficient education system. Equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. In law, equity now means the judicial imposition of measures to prevent damage, as when an ex-employee who agreed otherwise is prevented from competing with a former employer.

A front page article in the New York Times a week ago read “Biden’s Efforts At Race Equity Runs Into Snags,” the “snags” being those evil racist white conservatives. “No part of President Biden’s agenda has been as ambitious as his attempt to place concerns about equity squarely at the center of the federal government’s decision-making,” we are told. But what the article, and many, many other media reports and enthusiastic pundit columns call “equitable decisions” are in fact straight up racial discrimination.

Racial discrimination is not equity and can never be equity, but we are currently under a severe brain-washing effort to make us think otherwise.

From the Times article:

In late May, Syovata Edari, the owner of CocoVaa Chocolatier in Madison, Wis., was told she would receive $50,000 from Mr. Biden’s government, courtesy of the president’s efforts to ensure that pandemic relief aid for struggling restaurants and food businesses would be distributed equitably. But three weeks later, she instead received an email that broke the bad news: The award had been rescinded thanks to a lawsuit filed on behalf of white restaurant owners that successfully challenged the program’s policy of prioritizing applications from women and people of color. The check she was counting on would not arrive. “It doesn’t surprise me that once again these laws that we fought and died for, that were intended to benefit us — to even the playing field a bit more — are being used against us,” Ms. Edari, who is Black, said, referring to the Constitution’s equal protection clause. “You can’t promise something and then take it back.”

Wow! What breathtaking confusion and hypocrisy! The lawsuit was filed because the government giving benefits to one race and gender and not another for no reason except color and chromosome distribution is a slam-dunk violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, and only a cynical and irresponsible administration seeking to create division and racial animus would represent it as otherwise. Eadari is trying to evoke “equity” Bizarro World-style by the assertion that it is “unfair” to “promise something and then take it back.” Thus, in the now routine mental gymnastics of antiracism racism, it is ‘inequitable’ to make an illegal and discriminatory pledge and not follow through on it.

The Times goes on…

“The small-business program that prioritized people like Ms. Edari was forced to change its rules last month after challenges by white Americans who say the policy is racist. And around the country, Republicans are promising to tie the president’s equity efforts to a broader culture war during the 2022 midterm elections, arguing that Mr. Biden is doing the bidding of liberal activists who believe that all white people are racist. On Capitol Hill, the $1.9 trillion relief package Mr. Biden pushed through in March, known as the American Rescue Plan, included money for health care, child care and poverty programs that disproportionately benefit minority groups, underserved communities and women.”

Being a now partisan and completely untrustworthy mouthpiece, neither the reporters nor their editors made any efforts to point out the logical and legal problems with the above, nor to avoid the bias the wording used perpetuates:

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Two Wins For Law And Ethics Over Ideology

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Judges are proving less partisan and ideologically driven than the increasingly totalitarian Left had hoped.

1. In Vitolo v. Guzman, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati ruled last week that the federal government violates the equal protection clause when it considers race or sex in in allocating Wuhan virus relief funds. Following the same track as the earlier case discussed here, the Court agreed that the U.S. Small Business Administration violated the Constitution by giving preference to minority- and women-owned restaurants.

Antonio Vitolo and his wife own a restaurant called Jake’s Bar and Grill. Vitolo is white, his wife is Hispanic, and they each own 50% of the restaurant. Of course, Jake could have gamed the easily manipuated SBA system by just handing his wife the extra 1%. The government requires small businesses to be at least 51% owned by women, veterans or “socially and economically disadvantaged” people to jump to the head of the line, because someone is presumed to be socially disadvantaged if they are a member of a designated racial or ethnic group. A person is considered economically disadvantaged if they are socially disadvantaged, and they face diminished capital and credit opportunities. In such a system, whether the business owner being given preference has actually been disadvantaged doesn’t matter. He or she is presumed to be disadvantaged. This nicely follows the circular logic of Critical Race Theory.

The group preferences are taken into consideration during the first 21 days in which the Small Business Administration awards the pandemic grants to restaurants. After priority applications submitted during that period are processed, the Small Business Administration processes grant requests in the order that they were received. That is, white men come last.

The 6th Circuit majority said Vitolo and his wife are entitled to an injunction forcing the government to grant their application, if approved, before all later-filed applications, and that their color and gender should be irrelevant. The government did not demonstrate a “compelling interest” justifying preferences based on race or sex.

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Greer’s Ranch Cafe Et Al. v. The United States Small Business Administration: No Government Discrimination Based On Race Or Gender Means No Government Discrimination Based On Race Or Gender

OK to be white

When the government says that it isn’t OK to be white (or male), that’s not just unfair, it’s unconstitutional. Why is this so hard to grasp? Why is it controversial?

Texas federal district court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled last week that the Biden Administration was engaged in racial and gender discrimination in the administration of pandemic relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act. NO! The BIDEN ADMINISTRATION handing out special benefits to women and blacks to the disadvantage of whites based on no other distinctions but race and gender? Impossible! Completely out of character!

Thanks, I had a huge sarcasm lump in my gorge that showed up on my last X-ray as a horseshoe crab. Whew! Finally got that thing out!

Judge O’Connor found that the Biden administration deliberately engaged in systemic gender and race discrimination in implementing Wuhan virus relief for American restaurants. Café owner Philip Greer sued the Small Business Administration arguing that he needs the same financial assistance as minority restauranteurs under the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act, since his Greer’s Ranch Café lost over $100,000 during the pandemic. But Greer learned that he could not receive benefits from the Restaurant Restoration Fund approved by Congress because he is the “wrong” gender and the “wrong” color.

The White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress want women, minorities and “socially and economically disadvantaged” people” to be first in line. $2.7 billion already has been distributed through the fund and there are almost 150,000 pending applications from owners who will get preferential treatment over Greer. The SBA confirms it already has requests for $65 billion in payments under the fund. Greer worries that he might not get any assistance at all….because he is white. And—yecchh!—male.

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Sunday Ethics Reinforcements, 2/7/21: The “Don’t Watch The Concussion Bowl” Edition

Brain Damage football

Ethics Alarms has been chronicling the mounting evidence that pro football condemns a large percentage of its players to future dementia and premature death for a long time, often in conjunction with what a Georgetown professor friend calls “The Concussion Bowl.” Many of those posts are here, under the CTE tag. Incredibly, the NFL has done little to stop the carnage, perhaps because seriously addressing the inherent damage to brains caused by a necessarily violent sport would end football as we know it, and that would cost owners, TV networks, colleges and merchandisers billions. Can’t have that.

Equally amazing, the public and the news media have allowed the NFL to get away with distracting from its unethical priorities with the flagrant and cynical virtue-signalling of pandering to Black Lives Matter. I’m pretty sure that when it is all tallied, the NFL will have killed more innocent black men by far than all the brutal police officers over the same period. But most people just don’t care. If they cared one hundredth as much about athletes getting permanent brain damage for their Sunday (Monday, Thursday) TV viewing as they do about a single ugly incident where an overdosing lifetime petty crook died under the knee of a Minneapolis cop, there would be action. Not riots and take-overs of public property, but serious, effective action, including safety regulations.. Football would have to change, evolve, or vanish. The public and the media (and government officials) don’t care, and neither do the NFL executives. If Colin Kaepernick had performed his on-field protests against CTE, he would have been suspended and eliminated from the sport faster than Deion Sanders running for the goal line.

Talk about conspiracies….

1. False Narrative Dept. Now dishonest anti-Trump propaganda is showing up on Turner Classic Movies, which has been generally exemplary in avoiding partisan pandering over the last four years. Today, Eddie Muller, TCM’s film noir maven, pointedly showed the 1950 move “The Killer Who Slaked New York,” about a potential smallpox outbreak that was shut down by New York City health officials in 1947. Ultimately only 12 people were infected, and the threat was a single contagious smallpox victim who had to be found and contained. As you can see, this is a perfect analogy for the Wuhan virus outbreak in 2020. Noting that New York City quickly launched a mass vaccination effort (because there was already a smallpox vaccine, another close parallel), Eddie raised an accusing eyebrow and said,voice dripping with contempt, “That’s how we did things then.”

It’s Eddie’s show. I don’t think he should be fired or suspended. He’s welcome to his ignorant and obnoxious opinion. But he’s part of a disinformation campaign and an effort to distort reality, He’s also annoying TCM’s generally mature audience members who have been paying attention, and who presumably watch old movies to get a break from political BS, not to be subjected to more of it by movie nerds driving out of their lane.

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The Biden Nomination of Kristen Clarke To Be Assistant Attorney General For Civil Rights

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Kristen Clarke is the African American attorney who Joe Biden announced will run the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, pending Senate confirmation.

From FOX News:

In 1994, Clarke wrote a letter to The Harvard Crimson in her capacity as the president of the Black Students Association to explain her views on race science.

“Please use the following theories and observations to assist you in your search for truth regarding the genetic differences between Blacks and whites [sic],” Clarke wrote.

“One: Dr Richard King reveals that the core of the human brain is the ‘locus coeruleus,’ which is a structure that is Black, because it contains large amounts of neuro-melanin, which is essential for its operation.

“Two: Black infants sit, crawl and walk sooner than whites [sic].

Three: Carol Barnes notes that human mental processes are controlled by melanin — that same chemical which gives Blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.

“Four: Some scientists have revealed that most whites [sic] are unable to produce melanin because their pineal glands are often calcified or non-functioning. Pineal calcification rates with Africans are five to 15 percent [sic], Asians 15 to 25 percent [sic] and Europeans 60 to 80 percent [sic]. This is the chemical basis for the cultural differences between blacks and whites [sic].

“Five: Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities — something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards.”

The technical term for such a screed is “Yikes!”

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Ethics Quote Of The Week: Biden Deputy Chief Of Staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon

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“I’m not saying they’re not a bunch of fuckers. Mitch McConnell is terrible.”

—Jen O’Malley Dillon, incoming Deputy Chief of Staff for Joe Biden, explaining to Glamour Magazine that bi-partisan deals are still possible with Republicans.

She continued to say that her boss, “set out with this idea that unity was possible, that together we are stronger, that we, as a country, need healing, and our politics needs that too.”

Why wouldn’t we all believe he’s sincere, when he hires staff like her?

White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield tweeted a Jumbo of a defense of  Dillon:

“So [Dillon]would be the first to tell you her mom doesn’t approve of the spicy language but I would be the first to tell you that the point she was making in this conversation…is spot on: unity and healing are possible — and we can get things done.” 

Hilariously self-contradictory statement? What hilariously self-contradictory statement? Continue reading