Tardy Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/8/22: A Rigged Beauty Pageant, A Celebrity’s Lament, And Other Annoyances

Sorry…late start today. One reason was that I had to call perhaps my best and longest-lasting friend to wish him a happy birthday, then discovered that I missed the actual date by three days. And learned that he had celebrated a rather significant birthday by taking himself to dinner alone.

I’ve always been terrible about birthdays, indeed dates in general, a serious deficiency for someone as devoted to American history as I am. I never quite mastered my parents’ birthdays. At this point, the list I am certain of include mine, my sister’s (because it’s the day before Halloween), a dear freind whose birthday falls on Halloween, my son’s birthday, because the Red Sox broke their 86 year World Series Championship drought on the same day, Lincoln’s birthday, Washington’s birthday, and that’s about it. My friend whose birthday I missed was very gracious about my stupidity, but the fact is that I had it within my power to make a lonely day for him less so—he is prone to depression as it is—and failed.

1. From the “Celebrities are ethics corrupters” files: Sharon Osbourne is a cut below the miserable “people who are famous for being famous” level of celebrities. She is someone who has exploited being married to someone who was famous, and he, aging B-list heavy metal rocker Ozzie Osbourne, only became really famous to non-acid-heads due to a sad reality show exploiting his drug-addled stumbles through family life. Sharon is neither smart, wise, worldly or witty, but eh parlayed that show into multiple lucrative celebrity gigs, including a “The View” rip-off in which she offered her inexpert opinions on politics, mores and world affairs. Now back in Great Britain, Sharon just made the news again yesterday by offering a defense of “Ye,” aka Kanye West’s wearing of a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at a Paris fashion show. West defended himself later by declaring Black Lives Matter as a scam, which, as we all know by now, it was and is.

“We gave $900,000 dollars to that,” Osbourne sais in response week, “and I’d like my money back! I wish [West] could have said that before,” she added, laughing, according to TMZ. Hahahahaha! Osbourne can give $900,000 to a Marxist, racist organization so it can finance riots and other disruptions in the United States just to signal her virtue to the idiots that are influenced by useless figures like her and Ozzie. She didn’t research the group or think very much about what its leadership was or how they represented themselves on its website. The money helped BLM scam others, but she can just laugh it off: it’s just money, after all, and she can always earn more because she’s famous.

Continue reading

Yes, There Are Many Justifications For “White Lives Matter”

Woke World is losing what was left of its collective mind over “Ye’s” (that’s who used to be called Kanye West) stunt of using designer “White Lives Matter” T-shirts to promote his new fashion line “YZY” during Paris Fashion Week. Not only was the former Mr. Kardashian wearing the automatically offensive garment, but so was much-reviled black conservative Candace Owens.

Ye is almost certainly mentally and/or emotionally ill, but the rapper’s schtick is pushing buttons, and he does that boldly and very well. Being a little crazy probably helps. The question: Is there anything wrong with a T-shirt that says “White Lives Matter,” or unethical about wearing one?

There is one aspect of it that may be wrong: if doing so is only an intentional effort to upset people, reasonably or not, then the shirt invokes the Second Niggardly Principle:

“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”

Ye, being Kanye (or vice versa) only wants to offend, because that’s what gives him the publicity and attention that to him is like water to a fish. The shirts are not the product of deep philosophical thought. Nonetheless, the fashion writer that the New York Times sicced on the controversy m (Vanessa Friedman) is showing her bias (and you know what bias does) by writing, in a piece called “There Is No Excuse for Ye’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt,”

Continue reading

PM Ethics Shadows, 4/12/2022: Civil War Memories, Crazy Climate Change Terrorists, Someone Figures Out That BLM Is A Scam, And More [Corrected]

The Civil War started on this date in 1861, as Southern forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor. That’s about all that needs to be said. All wars are ethics nightmares, but none has had more ethics ramifications for this country, from the lives sacrificed to end slavery, to the war crimes of Andersonville, and the total war tactics of Sherman, to the myriad instances of astounding courage, cruelty and incompetence on the battlefields and the ongoing debate about how best to glean the right ethics lessons from them. (Tearing down statues is not it, though.) The Civil War took away our greatest POTUS, Lincoln, and gave us Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison and McKinley, Civil War veterans all. The one non-veteran in the sequence, Grover Cleveland, is an ethics controversy himself because of it: Grover paid someone else to take his place in the draft. And yet….try asking the nearest college grad to give you the dates of the Civil War. I asked a Cornell law grad and former associate of one of the most prestigious law firm in the nation once.
She guessed “Somewhere in the 1930s, right?”

1. I’ll take “Unethical environmental fanatic nutballs, Alex!” Adbusters, a self-described “international collective of artists, designers, writers, musicians, poets, punks, philosophers and wild hearts” posted instructions on how to deflate the tires of “rich people’s” gas-powered vehicles. [Pointer: JutGory] “Wedge gravel in the tire valves, leaflet the SUV to let them know the tires are flat and why it was done, and walk away. It’s that simple,” the group said in a tweet. The group cautioned “to avoid targeting vehicles with disabled stickers or hangers.” That’s considerate of them…

This is what climate change hysteria does to people who lack ethics alarms. Here’s what they want you to leave on the windshield when you disable a car:

2. Good. Now what took you so long? On the Huffington Post, progressive opinionater Stephen Crockett authored a rueful essay bemoaning the fact that Black Lives Matter is apparently a racket. (Please note that this space figured that out years ago, and it wasn’t hard.)

He writes, Continue reading

Evening Clean-Up On The Ethics Aisle, 4/7/2022: “Yecchh!”

April 7 is a really bad ethics date. In 1994, the worst episode of genocide since World War II was triggered in Rawanda, resulting in the massacre of between 500,000 to 1 million civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Rwandan forces even managed to avoid significant international intervention after the murder of ten Belgian peacekeeping officers: the Tutsis, a minority population that made up about 10% of Rwanda’s population, were never deemed important enough to be rescued by the international community. (Yes, the United Nations has been fearful, negligent, and in this case, racist, for a long time now.) The U.N. did eventually admit that a mere 5,000 soldier peace keeping force could have stopped the slaughter at the start.

That was big of the U.N.

Let’s send them more money.

The genocide’s seeds were planted the early 1990s when President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, began using anti-Tutsi rhetoric to consolidate his power . What followed were several massacres, killing hundreds of Tutsis. The government and army assembled the “Interahamwe” (meaning “those who attack together”) and armed Hutus with guns and machetes for the explicit purpose of wiping the Tutsis out. On April 6, 1994, President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down. In response, Hutu extremists in the military began murdering Tutsis within hours. Belgian peacekeepers were killed the next day, and the U.N’s reaction was…

It bravely pulled its forces from Rwanda. Thousands of innocent people were hacked to death with machetes by their neighbors, but the international community, and notably the United States, took no action to stop the genocide. An estimated 75 % of the Tutsis living in Rwanda had been murdered. Bill Clinton later called America’s failure to intervene “the biggest regret” of his administration.

At least it beat out Monica.

1. They are still trying to excuse Will Smith and blame Chris Rock! Surprised? There were two additions to the canon today. The New York Times featured an absurd piece called “The Slap, Hair and Black Women.” A sample: Continue reading

Ethics Observations On An Unethical NYT Column That Should Never Have Been Published About A Destructive Movement That Never Should Have Begun

It is not exactly an upset that this column, as dishonest and irresponsible as any I have seen in the New York Times, which is saying a lot, came from the poisoned, bitter and unscrupulous mind of Charles M. Blow. Blow, the most consistently unethical of the Times huge reserve of unethical pundits, never lets fairness and facts get in the way of an anti-white, anti-cop, anti-Republican diatribe when he isn’t writing weekly Trump-hate pieces as he did for four years, nearly without pause. But this week’s column, outrageously coupling a photo of Trayvon Martin with Emmet Till, is special.

Let’s start with the headline: “Trayvon Martin Is Still Making
America Confront Its Original Sin.”
That’s a lot of misinformation for a headline. The “original sin,” of course, is slavery, this being the New York Times, where Nicole Hannah-Jones contrived the fake history-based “1619 Project” that claimed the United States was created to protect slavery. Slavery was neither original with the American colonies nor did American history begin with the practice, and Blow’s analogy (which was also endorsed by Barack Obama) with “original sin” is a core part of the anti-American theme of Critical Race Theory. That anti-white, anti-American tool holds that nothing the nation has done or can do will erase or compensate for slavery and its long-lasting side-effects, though perpetual white guilt and a special set of standards making African-Americans permanent beneficiaries of legal and society favoritism is absolutely required.

Continue reading

Ethics Quote Of The Week: American Thinker…(With A Flashback And Regrets)

“If this were just a scam that conned myriad wealthy corporations and celebrities, BLM could have been forgiven. But their influence has been damaging to the social fabric of the U.S.”

Conservative blog America Thinker, in a post by Rajan Laad called “BLM is Imploding”

The post was foretold last week on Ethics Alarms, when it featured “Observations On What Appears To Be An Epic Black Lives Matter Scandal.” The unfolding story has still been tamped down by the news media, further fulfilling its toxic role as “enemies of the people.” Laad has some additional details:

Indiana’s attorney general slammed BLM as a “scam” whose “house of cards may be falling” amid the growing legal attention. The states of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia have all revoked BLM’s charitable registration, while California and Washington are threatening to hold the nonprofit’s officers personally liable for its lack of financial transparency.

The rest of the article is truly damning, and I can’t find anything substantially inaccurate in it. The review is also infuriating. Ethics Alarms correctly saw this movement/scam for what it was from the beginning. That’s no great accomplishment: it should have been obvious. What was lacking weren’t sufficient clues, but sufficient courage and responsibility by the politicians, journalists, pundits, celebrities, elected official and corporations that enabled BLM’s despicable scheme to succeed. It not only raised millions through virtue-signaling extortion, it got itself endorsed by one of the two major parties, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and strategically positioned so that any criticism was immediately used to brand the critic as a racist.

For the record, I want to state that those who fell for this con branded themselves as fools. Those who knew what BLM was and still supported it are worse; the label “unethical” doesn’t begin to do them justice. Continue reading

Observations On What Appears To Be An Epic Black Lives Matter Scandal

I will only offer observations at this point because there are so many questions to be asked that it’s premature to say exactly what happened, or in Ethics Alarms-ese, “What’s going on here?’ I stumbled across this current story by accident, while preparing a preliminary outline and seminar description for a program I’ll be doing as I have been for two decades for the annual Washington Non-Profit Legal and Tax Conference in March. What recent non-profit and charity ethics problems have arisen in the last year or so? And up popped the jaw-dropping message above.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Nah, Black Lives Matter Isn’t Racist! Whatever Would Give You That Idea?

BLM Boycott

Black Lives Matter is promoting a boycott of all white citizen-owned businesses, urging supporters to buy “exclusively from Black-owned businesses’ through New Years. “Move your money out of white-corporate banks that finance our oppression and open accounts with Black-owned banks,” the group said on Instagram.

“Racism” and “racist” have both been watered down to near meaningless by the Left’s wielding of them as all-purpose weapons against critics, but under any definition, setting out to harm a business because of the race of its owners is racist to the core.

Continue reading

Have I Mentioned Before That The National Football League Is An Organizational Ethics Dunce? I’m Pretty Sure I Have…[Corrected]

Helmet slogans

…but still I am stunned by how deep the NFL’s lack of principles, craven weakness in the fact of political correctness bullying, and near complete contempt for its fans goes. Still! What the hell’s the matter with me?

Trembling in fear of Black Lives Matter and the strength of a players union with almost 80% black membership, the NFL announced that it will permit players to display progressive and Black Lives Matter propaganda on their outfits. The league is going so far as to provide six pre-approved phrases for players to choose from for display on their helmets during games: “Black Lives Matter,” “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “Inspire Change,” “It Takes All Of Us,” and “Say Their Stories.” (For some reason, “Ramalama-ding-dong” didn’t make the cut.) The league will also allow home teams to have one of two phrases written across the end zones of their fields: “End Racism” or “It Takes All Of Us.”

So now the NFL thinks that presenting a sporting event for which fans pay ridiculous sums for tickets reasonable includes partisan, divisive, race-based propaganda as part of the unavoidable experience. If NFL fans don’t push back against this and hard, they are weenies, and not just that, they are aiding and abetting an undemocratic and divisive trend. The one cynical consideration the ethically inert owners and executives may be counting on is that nobody in the stadium can read what players have on their helmets. All right, two considerations: the average mouth-breathing NFL fan wouldn’t care if Joe Wonderful had “KKK” or Man-Boy Love Association slogans on his helmet as long as he throws that game-winning touchdown pass.

Continue reading