Incompetent Jealous Spouse Of The Millennium: “Leonora N”

Never mind

This story is so, so stupid–but funny!— that I had to devote a whole post to it.

Mexican police report that a woman whose full name has been withheld out of kindness (I suppose) and known only as “Leonora N” was snooping around in her husband’s cell phone and found several photos of him being suspiciously affectionate with a younger, slimmer, more attractive woman. Outraged, the scorned wife attacked her husband with a knife as soon as he walked in the door, stabbing him repeatedly until he managed to get the knife away from her. Police responded to neighbors reporting screams and an altercation, and Leonora was taken into custody.

It turns out that the photos were of her husband with her, when Leonora N was younger, slimmer, and I assume—I hope— a lot smarter.

Wow.

What a moron.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Nobody allowed to move around without a leash is this stupid. I’d be inclined to agree, but the police seem to buy the story, which both the husband and wife vouch for, and there is always this: never underestimate the awesome power of stupidity when it collides with blind emotion.

Paige Spiranac, The King’s Pass, Self-Promotion And The Not So Great But Incredibly Hot Female Pro Golfer Principle

Well,  Paige, if you read Ethics Alarms, which I’m sure is popular fare on the ladies’ pro golf tour, you would know the answer. To the average member of the public, yes, being a winner absolutely ‘holds more weight” than being a good person.

Your sport is golf, not baseball, but a famous baseball manager said, “Nice guys finish last.” It’s not football, either, but an even more famous football coach said, “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.” [Aside: the quote is most frequently identified with Vince Lombardi, and it is very likely that he used it. Late in his career, however, he rejected that sentiment in favor of more measured statements, On the Lombardi website there are many quotes about winning, bu not that one. Lombardi wasn’t the originator anyway: UCLA football coach Henry ‘Red’ Sanders was, around 1950.]

In general, though, in  and out of sports, what you have articulated is “The King’s Pass,” or “The Star Syndrome,” which is one of the Ethics Alarms rationalizations, as well as one of the five most common and most damaging on the entire list of 100. It says, in the short version,

One will often hear unethical behavior excused because the person involved is so important, so accomplished, and has done such great things for so many people that we should look the other way, just this once. This is a terribly dangerous mindset, because celebrities and powerful public figures come to depend on it. Their achievements, in their own minds and those of their supporters and fans, have earned them a more lenient ethical standard. This pass for bad behavior is as insidious as it is pervasive, and should be recognized and rejected whenever it raises its slimy head. In fact, the more respectable and accomplished an individual is, the more damage he or she can do through unethical conduct, because such individuals engender great trust. Thus the corrupting influence on the individual of The King’s Pass leads to the corruption of others.

Paige Spiranac comes to her lament from an interesting perspective.  The 26-year old is a former golfer on the women’s pro tour. When she was competing, she often complained that she wasn’t taken seriously because of her appearance. That seems to be half true: she wasn’t taken seriously because of her appearance and because she was suspected of being more interested in building a career as a sex symbol than as a golfer. This is part of our culture’s sexism problem. Beautiful women are stereotyped and seen as sexual objects first and serious professionals second, if at all. Yet some beautiful women exploit their attractiveness to advance in their profession. That’s a valid choice, but they can’t ethically complain that people see their face and form rather than their skill and character when they are the ones putting the former on prominent display.

Eventually Paige decided that her middling success on the links would be over-shadowed profit-wise by her moving into the bathing suit modeling, fashion, and social influencer areas. I have no idea why she decided to strike out on that course. By the way, here’s Paige in her old career…

…and her new one:

Continue reading

Unethical Feature: “Top 10 People Who Don’t Deserve To Be Millionaires”

And leave Bubbles alone.

I know: it’s a feature, it’s a gag, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t care: the underlying attitude behind The Daily Caller’s recent slideshow, “Top 10 People Who Don’t Deserve To Be Millionaires” is too common these days to be emulated, even in half or whole jest. The belief that citizens of the U.S. “don’t deserve” to have the money they do is at the root of toxic politics, bad economic policy, class resentment and self-excused jealousy, and it shouldn’t be encouraged. If there is a genuine and persuasive argument to be made that people don’t deserve the money they earn, then make it, and you have to do better than “you didn’t build that!”

Taylor Bigler, the Caller’s entertainment editor who compiled the list, doesn’t. She just appeals to jealousy, as if nobody really really does resent people who have made more money than they have so its fine to pretend they do. “Now, some people are millionaires because they are ambitious and kept their noses to the grindstone,” she says. “Those people certainly deserve their hard-earned success. But honestly, there are many other people who are millionaires that simply don’t deserve to be.” Like? Continue reading

More Advice Column Incompetence: The Case of the Jealous Sister

"My wife is behaving irrationally. Is it me, or might she have a teeny problem of her own?"

Once again an advice columnist’s response has me considering whether there needs to be a standard of malpractice for the profession, especially when desperate, trusting people rely on them in times of crisis. I agree that anyone who is prepared to adopt the recommendations of a stranger that are based on a probably inadequate and incomplete description of a dilemma, especially when the columnist could well be a college intern, the janitor or a lunatic, is in desperate straits indeed.  Still,  if you are going to give advice, it had better meet some bare minimum of competence—even if you are just an intern.

A sad and remorseful man wrote “Annie,” the Boston Globe’s advice maven, about whether there was hope for his marriage, which recently and unexpectedly exploded. Continue reading

Obligation or Charity: Retired Baseball Player Pensions and Fairness

It is an old ethical problem: what is “fair”?  If you help someone, are you obligated to help everyone? Does charity have to be consistent to be fair? Does a potential beneficiary of generosity have a right to demand it? It is obviously good for those who are fortunate and successful to share the benefits of their success with the unfortunate and less successful, but is it unethical if they choose not to?

These are some of the ethics issues being raised in a controversy launched by the major league baseball veterans, now retired, who played  between 1947-1979. In those days, when free agency was just beginning and top players made six-figure salaries rather than seven or eight as they do now, a player needed four full years of  time on a big league roster to qualify for  medical benefits and an annuity. In 1980, however, new rules put in place by the Major League Baseball Players Association  granted health insurance benefits to those with just one day of service, and a pension after merely six weeks. The new benefits were not retroactive. Continue reading