If the Democrats want their nominating convention to descend into chaos and result in a disastrous split, I’d say they are making all the right decisions. If they want to bring a united and confident organization into the 2020 battle with the GOP and President Trump, however, they are botching things badly.
The ethics issues at play here are fairness and competence.
The Democratic National Committee now says that the next debate, finally a head-to-head showdown between socialist Bernie Sanders and whatever-he-is-at-the-moment Joe Biden, will have both candidates seated as they take unplanned <cough!>questions from undecided voters in the audience, unlike the previous debates which had the candidates challenged by questions from professional journalist moderators while standing behind podiums for hours.
Brilliant! What could go wrong? Except that some in the Bernie Sanders camp are convinced that the format has been deliberately engineered to minimize the exposure of Joe Biden, who appears to be aging as quickly as poor Walter Donovan after he chooses the wrong chalice in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Continue reading
Rep. Octavio-Cortez tweeted this morning, “For those out of the loop, Republicans began to circulate a fake nude photo of me. The @DailyCaller reposted it (!) and refused to indicate it was fake in the title as well.”
Here is the “fake nude photo”…
How long will it take before nobody believes anything this silly woman says, or trusts in her judgment regarding anything? How much common sense and judgment does it take to realize that trying to insinuate a scandal based on describing an image of someone’s feet as “a nude photo” guarantees ridicule and diminished respect?
Whatever amount it is, it appears that the young Congresswoman is grievously short.
It’s the last day of the regular season for baseball, or should be: there could be two tie-breakers tomorrow, and they are officially considered part of the season. There were more baseball ethics posts this year than ever before. You can review them here.
1. And now for something completely stupid. I was temped to make this a free-standing post, but it triggered my stupid alarm, and doesn’t deserve it.
In Los Angeles, Boguslaw Matlak and Laura Quijano decided to stage a “social experiment” to determine whether bystanders would act to protect an endangered child. As their hidden cameras ran, they stuffed their 3-year-old son Leo into the trunk of their car. In truth, the back of the trunk had been rigged so Leo could climb into the back seat. He was in no danger.
“I was thinking maybe I should do a video to show people that they should do something about it when they see something wrong, to get involved,” Matlak said. They got involved, all right. Witnesses called the cops, who arrested the couple and took Leo into protective custody. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed the child with a relative. For the last three weeks, the couple has been trying to get him back.
“They are hurting my son emotionally at this point,” Quijano told reporters. “He’s not home with his parents who love him very much and what else do they want from us? I just don’t understand at this point.”
The agency recently informed the parents that it would would be returning Leo to their custody. Matlak now faces one count of misdemeanor child endangerment.
- Ethics lesson #1: Don’t use human beings as props.
- Ethics lesson #2: Three-year-olds can’t consent to such treatment.
- Ethics lesson #3: Police have enough to do dealing with real crimes. Staging fake ones to see what will happen should be illegal, if it isn’t already.
- What’s there to complain about? The social experiment was a success!
- Is proof that parents of a small child are idiots sufficient to remove him? No, I suppose not.
- The problem with this episode is that the child, who was innocent of wrong doing, is the primary one being punished.
1. More Scorpion-Frog Ethics. I refuse to do a full post on Omarosa, the latest slimy opportunist the mainstream media is suddenly treating as a trsutworthy source because she claims to have dirt to spill on President Trump. To ist credit, NPR is at least flagging her sliminess, in a post titled “Omarosa Tells NPR She Heard Trump ‘N-Word Tape,’ Contradicting Her Own Tell-All Book.”
As I wrote regarding Manigault Newman previously (and the same applies to Michael Cohen), one can be nauseated by the disloyalty, dishonesty and venality of such scum and still have little sympathy for their victim, Trump, who was a fool to trust such obviously untrustworthy individuals, give them influences, notoriety and power they are unfit to have, and still claim to be hiring and appointing “the best people.”
The same sentiment applies to the biased, obsessed and incompetent news media. If journalists keep presenting present the likes of Omarosa, Cohen, Stormy Daniels, Michael Wolff, and, yes, James Comey, as credible first-hand Trump accusers, how can they expect the public to take any legitimate future accusers seriously, should any appear? Their predecessors will have all been obvious publicity-seekers, shake-down artists, motivated by personal agendas or greed, and obviously so. The news media, meanwhile, undermines its own credibility—what little remains–by so eagerly treating these tarnished sources as if they were not what they so obviously are.
2. They’re baaaack!. The NFL’s pre-season games are underway, and what do you know? The players are kneeling again, protesting during the National Anthem in what they deny is a protest of the National Anthem in what the news media regularly calls the “National Anthem protests.” Wait, what’s that protest about, exactly? The New York Times has settled on “social inequality and police brutality.” And what do they mean? Here’s the latest interpretation by one of the most prominent Kneelers, Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles:
“Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60% of the prison population are people of color. The NFL is made up of 70% African Americans. What you witness on the field does not represent the reality of everyday America. We are the anomalies…”
Anomalies because they aren’t in jail? That sounds rather racist to me. Anomalies because they make millions of dollars? Are the Kneelers saying that all African Americans should be making a lot of money? That prison populations should be representative of the same demographic percentages as the public as a whole? Is he calling for affirmative action in the courts (social justice, I guess) or claiming that the large black prison population is caused by police brutality? That’s funny: I assume that it is because a disproportionate number of blacks are committing crimes. Is that their fault, or the fault of NFL ticket-holders? This remains the most incoherent, self-indulgent protest ever, and one that prompted one of the President’s more accurate tweets–-two, in fact:
The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love………..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!
That last part relates to the also incoherent NFL policy on kneeling during the anthem. On this, Jenkins told Philly.com, “Quite frankly, guys in our league don’t like being told what to do, what they can and can’t do. We don’t have this type of policies for the other causes we support, whether it be our ‘Salute to Service,’ or breast cancer awareness, or anything else. It’s just when you start talking about black folks, quite frankly. It’s disheartening, but we’ll continue to be creative.”
Huh? Employers in all professions and occupations tell employees what to do, and on-the-job protests disrupting the workplace are universally forbidden. (I know you guys are “anomalies,” Malcolm, but you still collect a paycheck…) Do these players really not see the distinction between engaging in a league-approved promotion like ‘Salute to Service,’ or breast cancer awareness, and a wildcat protest that annoys and insults paying customers? Is anyone going to fact-check that misleading statement, as someone like Snopes undoubtedly will, regarding the President’s mistaken claim that “most of that money goes to the players”?
Then, “quite frankly,” we get the race card. Of course! “When all else fails…”
Does anyone seriously believe that if only white football players were protesting during the National Anthem, nobody would object? Continue reading
Blogger Ann Althouse received a trenchant comment on her post chiding New York Times columnist Nick Kristof for flying to Easter Island so he could deliver a metaphorical warning about climate change. Noting that Kristof could have leaned all he needed to learn about Easter Island’s well-documented environmental catastrophe without flying halfway around the world by jet, she wrote,
“How on earth….did Nicholas Kristof think he could get away with that sanctimony?! DO NOT LECTURE US! Let your example come first, and then you can talk. You flew to Easter Island — you led a tour, enticing others to fly to Easter Island — so obviously, you think nothing of your carbon footprint or the carbon footprint of all those other people who jetted out there with you. When your actions are so radically different from your words, I don’t believe your words. The depredations of global warming may be coming, but I don’t believe that you believe it.”
Bingo. But Althouse commenter JPS really nails it, writing [remember, AGW is Anthropogenic Global Warming), Continue reading
Here is Rich in CT’s terse Comment of the Day on Item #5 of Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/13/18: Bad Quotes, Faithless Speakers, and I’ll have some reactions at the end:
Nancy Pelosi Statement on Appointing Rex Tillerson (2.13.16)
“Choosing an oil executive friendly with Vladimir Putin as Secretary of State sends a disturbing signal about President-elect Trump’s priorities. Rex Tillerson’s cozy relationship with the Kremlin is especially alarming in light of his attitude toward sanctions over Russia’s aggressive behavior in Europe, while at the same time the President-elect continues to side with Russia over the judgment of the U.S. intelligence community.
Nancy Pelosi Statement on Dismissing Rex Tillerson (3.13.18 )
“Secretary Tillerson’s firing sets a profoundly disturbing precedent in which standing up for our allies against Russian aggression is grounds for a humiliating dismissal. President Trump’s actions show that every official in his Administration is at the mercy of his personal whims and his worship of Putin.”
Res ipsa loquitur. Continue reading
1 Signature Significance 1. You are a major political party. You have been repeatedly embarrassed in recent months and frequently outmaneuvered by a President who your base considers a compulsive liar fascist moron. In a moment of mass madness, you decide to pander to your most extreme Left base by forcing a government shut-down over the handling of non-citizens, the so-called “Dreamers.” As most semi-conscious observers predicted, your party, not the other one, was bound to be blamed for the shutdown, which was epically stupid like all the shutdowns, which the other party had crashed and burned trying multiple times. When even your unethically allied mainstream media supporters, like the New York Times, failed to support your crazy scheme, you abandoned it in record time, looking foolish, and angering that base you tried to suck up to.
Who do you send out to try to spin the fiasco on CNN?
If your answer is “Why, that esteemed former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, who even in her prime was noted for the most brazen lying possible, who lost her job as a result of a scandal in which she was found to be, if it hadn’t already been obvious, rigging the nomination for Hillary Clinton, and who her successor as DNC chair just accused in a book of allowing. illegally, the whole party mechanism to become an arm of the Hillary campaign before Bernie Sanders’ campaign had gotten out of the gate,! Debbie Wassermann Schultz, of course!” you are a) an idiot or b) the Democratic Party.
Could there be a worse spokesperson for the Democrats now? She is not only a habitual liar, but a bad liar. Appearing on Brooke Baldwin’s show, she began her spin by arguing that the shut-down was worth doing because it had the “potential for momentum.” What does that even mean? As always, Wassermann Schultz makes Kellyanne Conway seem like Cicero. Host Brooke Baldwin looked completely puzzled, and responded,
“I know Americans are listening, and they heard you say ‘potential for momentum,’” Baldwin said. “And they’re thinking, ‘Potential for momentum. Was that really worth shutting the government down for?’ The potential for something?”
Whereupon Debbie, predictably, lapsed into her trademark Authentic Frontier Gibberish: Continue reading
When we last left the ‘Shithole’ scandal, now being cited routinely up and down the news media as proof positive that the President is a racist, we knew the following:
1 Unnamed sources “briefed on” or “familiar with” the President’s meeting with select lawmakers regarding an immigration deal told the Washington Post and others that President Trump “grew frustrated with lawmakers” when he learned that part of the proposed deal protected immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, and said,
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
2. Despite the fact that these “sources” had no direct knowledge of what was said in the meeting they did not attend, the New York Times characterized them as having “direct knowledge,” which was impossible. The news media also represented these accounts based on briefings as fact, with headlines such as the Times’ “Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa.”
3. In a series of tweets, the President denied the characterization of what he had said.
4. Senator Dick Durbin, while not expressly quoting the President, told reporters that Trump had said things “in the course of his comments which were hate-filed, vile and racist,” and added, “I use those word advisedly. I understand how powerful they are. But I cannot believe in the history of the White House in that Oval Office that any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”
5. Nonetheless, the news media, in its subsequent coverage in cable news shows and on the web, treated the claim that Trump had said what the second-hand, anonymous sources had claimed, and used this as a departure point for a general discussion of how racist and vulgar the President was. CNN commentators used the term “shithole” over a hundred times.
6. Websites and blogs with commentators capable of fairness and objectivity, like Ethics Alarms, Althouse, and Powerline, were forced to accept arguendo (I’m sorry, but I love using that word) the anti-Trump narrative’s assumptions in order to point out that calling countries that are, in fact, “shitholes” is not a racist statement about the people in those countries. This, of course, is how Big Lie propaganda works. You have to accept the lie in order to debunk it.
To sum up, then: The news media reported as fact what were in truth disputed comments in a private meeting, and the representation of these as truth solidified during the day and evening, and through yesterday. Now we get headlines like this one, in Entertainment Weekly: “Anderson Cooper chokes up while discussing Trump’s ‘sh–hole’ comment”
Updated Comments and observations: Continue reading
My post on the Gallup poll on public trust in various occupations and professions strayed into Charles Green’s wheelhouse, and the resulting home run comment enlightened us regarding why nurses keep “winning” the poll as the most trusted year after year after year.
Here is Charlie’s Comment of the Day on the post, Public Confidence And Trust (1): Observations On Gallup’s Trust In Occupations Poll:
Speaking just to the nursing angle: my work on trust has involved a diagnostic tool, the TQ (Trust Quotient), a self-assessment of the four components of trustworthiness in the Trust Equation:
(Credibilty + Reliability + Intimacy) / Self-Orientation.
70,000 people have taken it, and three results stand out above all others.
First, women are more trustworthy than men – a finding confirmed by informal polls in 397 out of 400 groups I’ve presented in front of.
Second, the most powerful factor of the four (defined as the highest coefficient in a regression equation) is Intimacy.
Third, the bulk of women’s outscoring men is their higher score on the Intimacy factor (again, intuitively true to the vast majority of groups I ask).
It’s in this context that I note the Gallup work (and other pollsters) finding of nursing at the top of the heap every year but 2002 (which was, not coincidentally, the year after 9/11 – and a year in which firemen, if only for that one year, took over the top spot.
Nursing is an 89% female profession. I ask my audiences, “Which of the four trustworthiness factors do you think nurses most embody: credibility, reliability, intimacy, or low self-orientation?” Most pick intimacy (with low self-orientation a frequent second).
Add ’em up: female, Intimacy, nursing – it’s a trifecta. Continue reading