Oh, No! Not The Seat Reclining Ethics Debate Again!

I saw Ann Althouse’s post about a seat reclining dust-up on American Airlines, and immediately decided that the issue wasn’t worth posting about, since in my view, the ethical choice is clear. Then the issue exploded all over cable news and the web, so here I am. It would be so much easier if more people read Ethics Alarms.

A woman had posted on Twitter mid-flight:

She attached the video. Many of Ann’s commenters opined that the woman was a “jackhole” herself (for some reason I’ve never liked that term) for videotaping him and sending his face hither and yon rather than having a civilized discussion with him. How the flight attendant could justify siding with a jerk who was punching a seat, I cannot fathom. Now “Wendi” says she is considering suing American.

I addressed this issue in 2014, in the context of a product called “The Knee Defender,” which a jackhole could install to prevent the seat in front of you on a plane from reclining. I was pretty ticked off about it, too. In fact, I got on a roll: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Joe Biden

“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier!”

—-Fading Democratic Presidential nomination front-runner Joe Biden, lashing out at a New Hampshire voter whose questions annoyed him.

First, the important question: what the hell is a “pony soldier”? The answer is “nobody knows.” Nor does anyone know why this insult, epithet, whatever it is, leapt into Joe’s mind, but then it’s Joe Biden. Who can say what vestigial RNA from his prospector ancestors are knocking around in Biden’s gray matter? He thinks “malarkey” is hip slang; I’m waiting for him to start shouting “By crackie!, “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!” and “Tarnation!”

I found a website that attributed “pony soldier” to a John Wayne movie—no, you morons, the Duke’s movie was “The Horse Soldiers.” “Pony Soldier” is a forgettable 1952 Western starring Tyrone Power. Nobody, but nobody, quotes  Tyrone Power movies, and Power had as much business starring in a Western as David Niven. So it looks like this is just a spontaneous nonsense insult, like in “A Few Good Men” when Tom Cruise shouts, “You’re a lousy fucking softball player, Jack!” at Kevin Bacon after an argument  that has nothing to do with softball.

Now on to the incident itself. Today Biden was handshaking and chatting at a pre-New Hampshire primary stop in Hampton. A woman asked him,“How do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should the voters believe that you can win a national election?”

It’s a fair question, since the only reason on God’s green earth that anyone would seriously  consider a doddering, blathering, fading and rapidly aging old pol like Biden as a  rational nominee is that he would be preferable to the Doomsday Meteor.

“You ever been to a caucus?” Biden replied. When the voter said she had,  Biden snapped, “No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier!” Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Santa In A MAGA Cap

Frank Skinner, who has played  Santa Claus at a mall in Waycross, Georgia for 50 years, says he was nearing the end of a long shift with kids on on and off his knee and the mall  was finally empty. For fun, he put on a MAGA cap as he sat in his Santa chair and took his own photo. Then he shared it for friends on his Facebook page.Predictably, some jerk sent it  to the mall’s management with a complaint.To be clear, the picture didn’t show Santa reading Hustler, or feeling up a busty co-ed, or snorting coke. It showed him wearing the campaign cap of the President of the United States.

The mall responded, “We apologize for this occurrence and will be addressing this right away. The Mall at Waycross does not support any specific political party. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Kindly, Mall Management.” Then  the mall’s manager told reporters that the posing of the photo was “done completely without our knowledge” and added that “it’s safe to say he will not be wearing this hat around here. This particular Santa has been replaced.” Frank was fired.

Your Ethics Alarms Christmas season Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Was the mall’s action fair and responsible?

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/18/19: Complainers…” (Item#4)

The first Ethics Alarms post on my new “Ideapad,” in a DoubleTree in Fairfield, New Jersey, at about 1 am,  after a miserable 4 and a half-hour drive. Fortunately for you and me, it is a Comment of the Day, in which johnburger213 has done all the thought. It’s a tale of multiple jerks and assholes, with a child involved and the news media turning into a across-the-internet controversy a matter that in bygone days wouldn’t have traveled a city block.

Here is johnburger’s Comment of the Day that is only incidentally on the post, “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/18/19: Complainers, Climate Hysterics, Tiny Tims And Fake News”:

Not exactly on point, but there is this story out of Texas: It seems a mom likes to put notes in her 5 year old son’s lunch kit* to remind him she loves him when he eats lunch at daycare. Well, as luck would have it, she put a note in his lunch, asking the daycare worker to tell her son she loves him very much. The daycare worker would have none of that nonsense, so he/she wrote the mother telling her to put her son on a diet instead. Here is a link to the story:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/day-care-worker-fat-shames-year-boy-leaving/story?id=67100183

Now, the daycare worker is a jerk and should be strung up by his/her thumbs for doing something so idiotic. I wonder what goes through the mind of someone who deals with youngsters at a daycare who would tell the mother that said daycare worker would, in fact, NOT tell the child that mommy loves him/her, and would do so by writing a note back to the mother, effectively telling the mother she is a bad parent. Seems cruel to me. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole”

For non-fans with the imagination to explore them, the Ethics Alarms baseball posts usually involve interesting ethics issues that are relevant to other fields. Perhaps no such post exemplifies this more than the recent essay reacting to a controversy after the 2019 World Series. The favored Houston Astros had lost in shocking fashion to the underdog Washington Nationals in a dramatic seventh game, and its ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole, apparently couldn’t wait to shed his Astros jersey and announce his free agency, which is widely expected to provide him with more than a third of a billion dollars. While the rest of his team was consoling each other and licking their wounds, Cole donned the cap of his super-agent’s company, and proclaimed that he was no longer on the team.

Ethics Alarms veteran commentator Glenn Logan was previously a distinguished sports blogger—though concentrating on college basketball, not baseball—and he authored the following Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole”:

I usually demure on baseball-related commentary because I don’t watch professional baseball much, but this one struck me as much more generally applicable than usual:

“Is it ever competent, responsible business to make an established jerk the top salaried employee in your organization? Isn’t that a version of The King’s Pass?”

I think that’s a great question.

So let’s look at this in a non-sports context. Would we be okay as an employer with paying top salary to a talented guy with a well-known public reputation for being a self-centered asshole who is anything but a team player? His results are indisputable, but his personality is abrasive, his maturation is completely arrested at fifteen, his learning curve is as steep as the Nevada Salt Flats, and every time he opens his mouth he embarrasses his employer.

I’m going to say yes. We hired just such a guy as President of the United States. So Americans are either incompetent, or, perhaps, the results are sometimes worth the price.

So that’s the question for whoever Cole’s next employer is. “Is this meat worth the pain?” If yes, then, well, break out the gold card, boys! Continue reading

Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole

Incredible.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

Gerrit Cole’s team, the Houston Astros, had just suffered a shocking defeat in the 2019 World Series at the hands of the underdog ( and significantly inferior) Washington Nationals. Cole had won the last Astros victory in Game 5 in impressive fashion, but his team returned home to Houston—where they had the best home record in baseball— to lose their third and fourth consecutive games in their  own stadium (they had never lost more than three straight all year) and  become the only team in World Series history to lose in seven games without winning a single home game.

The script for players on losing World Series teams is old and well-established. They say that they are proud of their team and team mates. They say that they wish the team could have won a championship for its fans, the best fans in the world. They say they are heartbroken, but that they salute the victors.  This isn’t hard.

But Gerrit Cole, after the final game of the 2019 World Series, appeared on TV wearing the cap of his agent’s company, and said, “I’m not an employee of the team.”  Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Jolt, 10/8/2019: Gaslighting, And Other Lousy Things To Do…

HI!

1. Impeachment junk! There is so, so much of this. I am trying to decide if my launching an impeachment information and commentary website is feasible (for me, and any volunteers who step up), but it certainly is necessary.

  • Deja vu…I am again hearing and reading the opinion that the President’s various maneuvers to block testimony and subpoenas are indications of guilt. This is why the Democratic Party’s creeping totalitarianism is ominous—people slip so easily into totalitarian mindsets. “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!’ is an anti-civil rights position, and yet here are alleged progressives chanting that Orwellian motto again.

The President has every reason to regard the Democratic fishing expeditions and non-inquiry inquiry into impeachment as an attack on the Separation of Powers and Constitutional government itself. Thus he has every right to make Congress’s abuse of process as difficult as possible, whether he has anything to hide, or not.

Circulating claims of Trump-Russian collusion prior to the 2016 election didn’t work. Using foreign-supplied fake intelligence, from a British spy who utilized Russian sources, to obtain surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team didn’t work.Intimidating Electoral College Electors to change their votes after the election didn’t work. Having the Director of the FBI lie to, set up and try to entrap the president didn’t work. Having that same FBI Director leak memos to the media to manufacture grounds for a Special Counsel didn’t work.Trying to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unable to perform the job didn’t work.Two years of the Mueller Investigation didn’t work.Three years of a permanent crisis news cycle meant to paralyze the administration didn’t work.

After all these failures to unwind the 2016 election, Democrats and the mainstream media are trying a new tactic: Create a Star Chamber “impeachment” process fueled by anonymous whistleblowers and selective leaks that is not so much designed to remove the president, though they would if they could, but to manipulate the 2020 election…By cloaking witnesses with the protection of whistleblowers, the whistleblower protections are being abused. In response to the announcement of Whistleblower No. 2, we remarked: “Abuse of whistleblower protections. This person is simply a witness to someone else’s complaint who already has been interviewed. Weaponization of whistleblower laws is yet another breach of norms in effort to unwind 2016 election.”…With Whistleblower No. 1 failing to fulfill the mission, there was a leak to the NY Times of a potential Whistleblower No. 2. That’s how this is going to work, there will be leaks to the media to frame the public narrative just like regarding supposed Russian-collusion.”

I think this is probably right.

  • Don’t confuse them with facts, their minds are made up. Ann Althouse passed along Sheryl Attkisson’s tweet:

  • Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Also from Althouse, we learn that the following headline is on the Washington Post’s front page:

“The GOP’s bootlicking cowardice knows no bounds.”

  • Polls, for whatever they’re worth…According to one poll, President Trump is gaining among independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democratic presidential front-runners, according to a new IBD-TIPP poll. This would be expected by anyone other than deranged, impeachment obsessed Democrats, since the non-biased could be anticipated to object to a party attempting to circumvent an election through abuse of the system. but who knows. Conservative pundit Matt Margolis writes, “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run—and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

Wrong. How can a poll “prove ” anything? Yet polls are always being offered as “proof.” It isn’t even honest to describe them as evidence. Continue reading