Zoom Ethics: A Shocking Home vs Workplace Conflict

…and, in my opinion, a really, really, stupid one.

I’d say that this story should be in online glossaries to describe “pearl-clutching.” Also “virtue-signaling.”

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that Brian Akers, president of the Charter Oak Unified School Board in Covina, California, drank beer out of a bottle during a Zoom video board meeting last week, and everyone is FREAKING OUT!!! 

The video conference platform allows people to have  in-person meetings from their homes. People drink beer in their homes. They do it while talking on the phone, or messaging on Facebook. So, after finishing dinner and logging into the meeting, Akers took a few sips from the already opened bottle of beer without giving it a thought.

School board members were offended and aghast, apparently under the impression that it’s 1929.  Akers, they said, violated the board’s alcohol and drug-free workplace policy. “This is an isolated and unfortunate incident that was quickly addressed by members of our governing board, once it was brought to our attention,” board Vice President Gregg Peterson said in a statement. “As elected officials, we need to be transparent and hold ourselves accountable for our actions.” They “addressed” it by reprimanding Akers.

After all, he had to be held accountable……for engaging in a completely legal and normal act in his own home that harmed no one, that every single member of the school board has done themselves, probably countless times, and that everyone knows they have done it. Never mind: Greg Palatto, a psychologist and executive board member of the Charter Oak Educators Association said he was “taken aback,” and was in such shock that he couldn’t even process what he had seen.

“No way could that have been a beer, maybe a root beer.” he told reporters. “Then we look back on the live and yup, that’s a Pacifico!”

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!

NOT A PACIFICO!!!!!!!!

Palatto declared that Akers’ having a beer on camera sets a bad example for students, some of whom watch school board meeting videos for civics classes. “Kids are watching us,” Palatto said. And, as we all know, no kids have any idea that adults drink beer.

Some parents, like John Sitz,  who has three children who graduated from district schools, said that Akers should resign. “I would like to see him resign due to the fact that if it was anybody else caught drinking on the job, you would be walked off the premises at that point in time,” said Sitz. Walked out of his own home, you idiot? When unique circumstances force people to turn over their privacy and homes to employers, some reasonable leeway is called for, not rabid intolerance and hyperventilating over nothing, and a single swig of beer is nothing.

“I’ll apologize to anyone. It wasn’t intentional,” Akers said, descending into full grovel.

He should not apologize. He should tell his grandstanding colleagues to apologize to him. He should say, “Yup, I drank a beer during the meeting. I often drink beers at home, and I was home. I didn’t think about it, in part because I foolishly thought my colleagues on the board had common sense and a modicum of proportion and fairness. I was wrong. They don’t. They can have my resignation if they want it, but they won’t get an apology, because I did nothing wrong. Now I’m going to have another beer.”

But hey, I might be wrong. Let’s see what a poll shows…

The Amazing, Depressing But Not Especially Surprising Tara Reade Hypocrisy Rolls

Amber Athey of the American Spectator did a service for  open-minded Americans who care about integrity and who were under the impression that the Democratic Party had any.  She assembled a list of 35 enthusiastic Democratic endorsers of Joe Biden as the party’s 2020 nominee, and tracked down their passionate exclamations regarding Christine Blasey-Ford’s less-corroborated allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh.

Her list is quite long, but essential reading: a more stomach-churning demonstration of grandstanding (then) and hypocrisy (now) would be difficult to find.  In some cases, it is amusing: these hacks could be so self-righteous about the holy credibility of a woman accusing a Republican, and decry the blackened souls of anyone who didn’t immediately accept her as  an unquestionable truth-teller, yet they won’t even acknowledge Biden’s equally female and more than equally credible accuser. Not only that, they are apparently certain that such blatant double-standards won’t trouble the progressive herd.

Well, maybe they are right. We shall see. we shall see just how corrupt that herd has become.

The list reinforces Reade’s words in an interview on Fox News over the weekend. She said in part,

“I’d like my history with Biden to be examined in a dignified way that’s not slanted by political bias or sensationalized. I’d like a deeper conversation about the fact that sexual harassment and sexual assault do not have a political party, agenda. “It’s an equal opportunity offender….I mean, it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, and it shouldn’t as far as the media coverage regarding claims.”…

“Blasey Ford, because it was a conservative candidate they were going to put in the Supreme Court, was treated with much more deference by most of the media outlets… I’ve basically had no substantive support from women’s groups that are considered liberal or Democratic. I’ve had no support from any Democratic candidate, although I’ve reached out. And I’ve received either slanted reporting that ended up being talking points for Biden’s campaign or silence from the mainstream media… what I would like to say to them at this point and some of the silence from some the candidates Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren that at this point, if you continue to silence me, if you continue to engage in protecting a powerful man without giving my case a closer look, you are complicit in rape”

Normally I’d append my observations after such a list, but this one is just too long. There is also material here for dozens of Ethics Dunce, Incompetent Elected Official, and Unethical Quote posts—an embarrassment of embarrassments, you might say. Here are a relatively restrained number of rueful observations:

  • In addition to the obvious hypocrisy, and repulsive grandstanding these quotes represent, they also raise the question of whether some or perhaps any of these people really care about sexual harassment and sexual assault at all, or if it is just mass posturing and virtue signaling for short term political gain.

I do not see how any genuine feminist or anti-sexual harassment and assault activist, inspired by Blasey-Ford’s testimony, could make the sweeping statements about victims, women, justice, and the importance of the position Kavanaugh was seeking that you read below, and then, when their party’s  presumptive nominee for President is accused of an even more shocking assault,  ignore the  alleged victim and proceed with a pro forma endorsement. How can they do that? How can they not be embarrassed? How can their supporters, or anyone, ever trust or respect them again?

  • I  raise the same question regarding the #MeToo leaders, feminists, female Democrats, and men who, like me, support efforts to take sexual harassment out of the workplace.  The feminist movement lost me–I was once a NOW member—when it reversed its position on sexual harassment by male bosses to protect Bill Clinton when he was lying about Monica. (Bill was pro-abortion, you see.) This is worse. The emotional outcries of feminist activists in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations were absolute and unequivocal. Where are the  #MeToo leaders to take up the cause of Tara Reade? Where is Tarana Burke, Ashley Judd, Reese Witherspoon, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meryl Streep,  Patricia Arquette, Angelina Jolie, Alyssa Milano (Well, we know where she is—pretending that her continued support for Biden in light of her #MeToo fanaticism doesn’t make her, and the movement, look ridiculous), or Fatima Goss Graves  of the National Women’s Law Center? Where, for that matter, is Hillary Clinton? If they believed what they said they did, if they weren’t lying and posturing before, they would be supporting Reade.

Heck, I argued in sexual harassment trainings eight months ago that women and Democrats supporting Joe Biden with his photographic record of harassment…you know…

were undercutting public support for and understanding of  sexual harassment laws. It’s more than hypocritical. It’s stupid.

  • Which of the hypocrites below deserves special contempt? It’s hard to top Elizabeth Warren, the party’s Demogogue Queen, who has announced that she would be proud to be Handsy Joe’s VP. Yet she said, “Many survivors of sexual assault choose not to speak out, for a thousand different reasons. But when they do, they deserve to be heard. The events described by Julie Swetnick, Ms Ramirez & Dr Ford are absolutely heart-wrenching.’

Boy she’s awful!

The fake complaints of Swetnick and Ramirez, now thoroughly discredited, broke her heart, but she snubs Reade as if she were a descendant of General Custer. Then there’s Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who proclaimed, “This is a serious allegation, and we have a responsibility to listen….For too long, our political system has shut out the voices of women & silenced the stories behind the #MeToo movement.” How can he look at himself in the mirror after endorsing Biden?

Well, don’t get me started,. As I said, there are dozens this bad.(But be sure you check out Rep. Barbara Lee.)

  • The words you will keep reading are “bravery,” ” all women,” “credible,” “victims,” “right to be heard,” “speaking truth to power”…all of which apply at least as much to Tara Reade as the did to Blasey-Ford. What’s the difference?

You know what the difference is.

  • It’s a silver lining, I suppose, that the fiasco chronicled below is useful as a great unmasking, although the most exposed are generally those whose lack of integrity should have been obvious anyway. Here, for example, is the hideous Senator Hirono:

“…we are standing together because we #BelieveWomen…this is why the #MeToo movement is so important, because often in these situations, there is an environment where people see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing. That is what we have to change.”

Well, I could write about this forever, and I’m tempted.  But it’s time to view the hypocrisy parade…beginning with Barack Obama (Michelle? Has anyone heard from Michelle? Hello?) , and the Speaker, who endorsed Joe Biden yesterday.

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The US Soccer Equal Pay Law Suit: No, Megan, Truth Is Not Misogyny

The U.S. women put on their angry faces and inside-out jerseys in protest…

I would add to that title “And you know it,” but I’m not really sure United States Women’s National Team captain and star Megan Rapinoe do know it. She’s an extreme ideologue, and facts are just obstacles to activists like her. Even if it’s sincere, however, her ridiculous indignation—- because the defense to a legal action based on posturing rather than reality made a predictable and irrefutable point— is ethically indefensible, except on the basis that it worked.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen or heard of something quite like this. An opposing party has thrown a fit over factual representations in an adversary court filing, on the grounds that it’s mean to assert the truth, and people are taking that complaint seriously.

Wow.

The United States Women’s National Team is suing U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination because the men’s team, they argue, is paid more “for the same work.” In its counter motion opposing the motion by the women’s lawyers for the court to grant them summary judgment—a routine and usually futile request—the lawyers for U.S. Soccer  replied in part that

“The point is that the job of [a men’s national team] player (competing against senior men’s national teams) requires a higher level of skill based on speed and strength than does the job of [a women’s national team] player (competing against senior women’s national teams).”

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Oscar Ethics 2020, Part I

I wrote last night that I would not dare watch the Academy Awards broadcast because I was afraid that the political grandstanding might cause me to snap and run through the streets wielding a machete. Alexandria, VA. can thank me now.

  • Almost immediately, the expected “Best Supporting Actor” win by Brad Pitt for “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” resulted in the first politiacl commentary of the night. Pitt began, “They told me that I only had 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week. I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it, and in the end the adults do the right thing.”

Yeah, that would be the adult voters taking the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff losing his seat to the wonderful pit bull Brad’s character owned in “OUATIH.”

  • Do you think Brad, or many of the assembled Hollywood VIP’s, noticed that Julia Reichert, accepting the Oscar for the Netflix documentary  “American Factory,” said “Working people have it harder and harder these days – and we believe that things will get better when workers of the world unite.”

That’s a Karl Marx quote and a deliberate callout to “The Communist Manefesto.”  You have to be  historically illiterate to believe that “Working people have it harder and harder these days,” and it’s fascinating that the Obamas are funding platforms for Communist propaganda.

I wonder what Chris Matthews would say about that? Continue reading

The Terrifying And Unethical Dissent Of Judge Staton In “Juliana vs. the United States”

This is why all Americans should be grateful for President Trump’s judicial nominees.

In 2015, a group of 21 children (<cough> I’m sure this was the children’s idea, aren’t you? Sure you are) filed  a lawsuit that came to be known as Juliana vs. the United States. This pure abuse of the legal system to engage in climate change hysteria  grandstanding asserted that the government  was violating their constitutional rights by not sufficiently addressing the climate  change crisis. The case should have been thrown out years ago, but last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals finally did it.

Well, good. The fact that it took this long was a disgrace, and the result of “Think of the children!” pandering. The 9th Circuit being the residue of judicial activism and liberal bias that it has long been, however, it couldn’t restrain itself from writing, “The panel reluctantly concluded that the plaintiffs’ case must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large,.”

panel concluded. Whoever one the three judge decided that the word “reluctantly” belonged there should be forceably retired.  “The panel reluctantly concluded that the United States Constitution does not permit courts to dictate national policy, nor citizens, especially those without voting privileges, to bypass our system of governance because they disagree with its policies” is what that word is telling us, and a judge who regrets how the separation of powers operates to that extent does not belong on the bench. Maybe they belong in President Elizabeth Warren’s cabinet, as she announced this week that she would eliminate student loan debt “on day one.” Lord, this woman is a shameless liar!

But I digress. Sorry. Warren’s name is becoming like “Niagara Falls” to me in the old vaudeville skit….

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The Olympics Gets More Specific About Banning Protests, But Remains Vague About Punishments. Let Me Suggest Something…

And the gold medal for obnoxious virtue-signaling goes to…

The International Olympic Committee’s rule on protests at the Olympics Games has been confined to one sentence in the Olympic Charter, and since that didn’t define what a “protests” were (the Committee appeared to be against them) that sentence had no practical effect. It reads, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

.Recognizing, however, that the athletes of one of the teams likely to win a lot of medals also had a growing proclivity for protests against it own government and  President—guess which country that would be?—the IOC published a detailed list of prohibited actions that would not be welcomed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Among them…

Kneeling during national anthems.

No fist-raising.

No use political signs or armbands.

None of the above  in stadiums, pools or at a finish line, not on podiums during medal ceremonies, norduring opening orclosing ceremonies.

No such protests in the Olympic Village, either.

This list was described as a “non-exhaustive list,” meaning that violations of the spirit of the prohibitions could also be judges a violation. The documents said that merely “expressing views” was not necessarily a protest.

Boy, I guess the Committee is counting on not many athletes being lawyers. Or Bill Clinton. Continue reading

Tales Of The Barn Door Fallacy: This Time The Door Was Wide Open, Yet Nobody Noticed

The Barn Door Fallacy occurs when a long-standing dangerous or risky phenomenon finally results in a well-publicized fallacy, and then, and only then, do legislatures and regulators rush to eliminate the problem that should have been apparent from the start. Often the new laws and regulations that “close the barn door” are excessively rigid or restictive : that door has to be slammed shut, and then nailed and bolted, even though that once in a lifetime tragedy has already occurred. From Ethics Alarms:

Society…and the public saddle themselves with expensive, inconvenient, often inefficient measures designed to respond to the rare event. One shoe bomber, and millions of passengers have to remove their shoes to go through airport security. One adulterated bottle of Tylenol, and every over-the-counter drug bottle requires a razor blade and the manual dexterity of a piano virtuoso to open. Two sick boys shoot up Columbine, so third graders get suspended for bringing squirt–guns to school.

Sometimes, regulators and legislators grandstand as they slam the door, hoping nobody will remember that they left it wide open and gaping for an unconscionable length of time. Continue reading