The Navy Joan Saga: Famous Grandchildren Ethics #1

Forget about the laptop and the influence peddling for the nonce, and let us all focus on Hunter Biden’s latest display of character, or rather the lack of it. Lunden Roberts, the mother of Hunter Biden’s 4-year-old love child (or one of them; you never know with this creep) wants to change  her daughter’s last name to Biden. Hunter has tried to avoid paying child support for her daughter—who is also his—after earlier denying paternity until he was forced by court order to submit his DNA for testing. He has reportedly never bothered to meet her. Yet the Black Sheep Biden is opposing the name change in court on the theory that it is not “in her best interests.”

Admittedly, the mother’s claim that the name “Biden” is “ synonymous with being well educated, successful, financially acute, and politically powerful” is subject to debate. Biden DNA automatically makes one a legitimate suspect for inherited idiocy. However, Hunter’s assertion is if she carries the Biden name she will never have a “peaceful existence.” I have some sympathy for that argument: as I noted in the item about Lisa Marie Presley’s oppressive life of unsought celebrity [#3], many children of famous people suffer terribly by living under the shadow of notoriety. However, I knew Elvis, Elvis was a freind of mine, and Hunter Biden is no Elvis. If my last name were Biden I’d be tempted to hide my head under a bag. Still, Turley, who is really disgusted by this latest Hunter story, is probably right when he writes that the child “is clearly better off with the Biden surname, particularly in establishing the very connection that Hunter, Joe, and Jill Biden seem committed to conceal or ignore.  Navy Joan is the grandchild of the 47th President of the United States. That alone makes the change beneficial. Navy Joan will be able to benefit from the cache of that connection in applying to college, seeking employment, and other pursuits. It also establishes (despite the efforts of the Bidens) that she is part of the family’s legacy.”

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Ethics Quiz: A Horse By Any Other Name…

In the pantheon of 2022 “Wait…WHAT?” headlines, “Help! I’m So Embarrassed by the Name of My Daughter’s New Horse!” is an instant classic. This comes by way of a query to Slate advice columnist “Dear Prudence,” and you have to pay to see what wise ol’ Prudence decrees. Well, I’ve read enough of Prudence’s advice over the years and have been unimpressed. I don’t care what she thinks; I care what you think (and what I think, naturally). Here’s the letter:

My 10-year-old daughter is a horse girl. She’s outgrown her first pony, so we just bought her a new horse. This horse was priced right, he’s the perfect size, age, and temperament, and he’s trained in what she wants to do—we seriously could not have found her a better horse. Except for one thing. He’s an almost entirely white Pinto, and his registered name is [Farm Name] White Flight. I don’t want to know what his breeder was thinking. My daughter thinks it’s beautiful. But I would be embarrassed to have my child showing on a horse with this name, and I want to officially change it, or at least call him by another name. I’ve explained the meaning of “white flight” to her, but she still thinks it’s a perfect name for a white showjumping horse and says she wants to use it to mean something good, instead of something bad. How can I convince her to rename her new baby? Would it be too mean to say either the name is changed, or the horse is sold and she can’t have another one?

—Whitest Problem Ever

Ah, the problems of families who can afford to buy their child two horses before she’s eleven! But I digress…

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

“Is there an ethical obligation to change the name of the horse from “White Flight”?

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Tales Of The Great Stupid: Monkey Pox Ethics

I know, I know, that’s a macaque, not a monkey. But I love the photo.

Why can’t the news media and health officials just stick to the facts and stop trying to manipulated public opinion and conduct with word games and deception?

Well, it’s rhetorical question: the answer is inherent in the question. They are unethical, untrustworthy, and abuse their position and power.

Take monkeypox, for example.

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Even More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid! WaPo Publishes A Peak Stupid Op-Ed, Then Censors Readers Who Say It’s Stupid

I really do wonder at what point the vast majority of Americans who have not become irreversibly deranged by the confluence of the Trump Freakout, the George Floyd Freakout, the Trans Freakout ,the Wuhan Virus Freakout and the Roe Reversal Freakout sharply slap their foreheads “I could have had a V8!” style and ask, “Why are we letting these unstable, untrustworthy people dominate our discourse and manipulate our culture?”

For the provocation keep escalating. The Washington Post’s editors actually thought that a Poe’s Law evoking piece headlined “My name is a Confederate monument, so I cross it out when I write it” was worthy of publication. In an orgy of narcissism, U.S. history-hatred and virtue-signalling, a writer named Bayard Woods saluted his ridiculous habit of crossing out his own name, which he says, “had stood as a Confederate monument over every story I had ever written.” See, the Bayards and the Woodses had owned slaves. By this brilliant logic, I should cross out my name too, since Chief Justice John Marshall was a slaveholder and “Jack” honors Jack the Ripper.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Miami Beach City Commission Candidate Kristen Rosen Gonzalez

“Well, I’m perceived as being Hispanic. I’m perceived as being Hispanic by all of the Hispanics in my community. I’m their girl. My last name is Hispanic. I know I’m not Hispanic… I’m sorry I probably oversold myself. If you want to nail me to the cross, go ahead. Make me look foolish.”

—-Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, a Democrat running for the Miami Beach City Commission, upon being questioned about claiming to be Hispanic when she bears the name “Gonzalez” only because of her marriage to a man with that name, whom she divorced eleven years ago.

Oh, you’re perceived as being Hispanic, so that mean it’s OK to say you are Hispanic! Sure, that’s consistent! It’s like the progressive rule that if you say you are female you are female, and if you say you are black, you’re black!

This may be the ideal template for a 2021 Democratic candidate. She does have a still-active role model of sorts: President Biden’s current climate czar, John Kerry, who early in his political career in Massachusetts used shamrocks on his campaign materials to suggest that he was Irish. There was no Irish in his lineage whatsoever; his paternal grandparents were Jewish. But even Kerry, who is far from the sharpest knife in the cutlery rack, never tried to justify his deception. (He was never called on it either.)

This woman—I assume she really is a woman—referred to herself as “the most high-profile Hispanic Democrat in the City of Miami Beach.”  It was an outright lie. When she was called on it, the best she could do was to justify an intentional misrepresentation by arguing that because her last name fooled people into thinking what wasn’t true was true, it was acceptable to perpetuate the misconception.

Why hasn’t this ridiculous woman withdrawn from the race yet? Why isn’t she hiding her head under a bag? Who finds these people?

The quote above gets worse as it goes along. It’s nice that she knows that she’s not Hispanic—I suppose being a liar is marginally preferable in a commission member than being insane—but she says she’s probably “oversold herself”? She’s falsely convinced all the Hispanics in her community that she’s one of them! What’s “probably” about that? And “oversold” in this case means lied. Nothing else, nothing better. Lied. Then, in a masterpiece of ethics jujitsu and gall, she actually tries to make herself the victim by comparing herself to Jesus Christ!

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“Intent” Ethics: The “Grape Soda” Caper

Grape Soda

Little noticed when it was reported a month ago, but of special interest now that the New York Times is on record that the use of a racist slur is to be regarded as a racist act regardless of the intent of the speaker, is the decision by The New York Racing commission to ban a prominent trainer from competition for giving a horse a name that isn’t racist but apparently intending it to be a racist slur. Yes, it’s a reverse Donald McNeil! What do you say, Bret Stephens?

As Alice said in Wonderland, “Curiouser and curiouser!” The banned trainer is Eric Guillot, whose horses have earned more than $13 million in purses and have won 259 races. “Racism is completely unacceptable in all forms,” David O’Rourke, the association’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “NYRA rejects Eric Guillot’s toxic words and divisive behavior in the strongest terms. Our racing community is diverse, and we stand for inclusion.” What were the “toxic words”?

“Grape soda.”

Yes, grape soda. I confess, I’ve used the words “grape soda.” I like grape soda; always have. But Guillot, see, named a horse “Grape Soda” after tweeting on New Year’s Day that he was giving a 3-year-old colt a “unique name in honor of a TVG analyst.” The tweet had a Black fist emoji. Apparently “grape soda,” in addition to meaning, you know, grape soda, has been used somewhere I’ve never been as a racial epithet. So bad an epithet is it that the New York Times wouldn’t dare print it in its headline: “NYRA Bars Horse Trainer For Using Racist Name.” I couldn’t find out what the “racist name” was until six paragraphs into the article. The Times didn’t even call it the “GS-word,” though it says it “can” be a racist term, presumably based on context and intent. But now, as a Times columnist discussed in a banned op-ed, the Times says intent and context doesn’t matter. If that’s true, then “Grape Soda” must be presumed to have the same meaning in the case of the horse as it is presumed to mean anywhere else, like when I say to my wife, “Hey, while you’re at 7-11, pick me up a grape soda please!” But that does not seem to be the case in this story, and the Times itself doesn’t challenge the logic that “Grape Soda” as a name for a horse is racist simply because it was dedicated to the only black horse-racing analyst. They think. Or someone thinks.

Confused? Me too, and I have some questions:

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Nestlé Clarifies Its Priorities, Or, In The Alternative, Is Run By Incompetents And Morons

Red Ripper

Now that the election is (probably) settled, we can get back to the business of flagrant corporate virtue signaling, groveling to the trace-bullies, and submitting to the political correctness police. Joe Biden was right! His election can restore normalcy to the world!

Nestlé, which owns candy giant Allen’s, will rename the candy brand known as “Red Skins” because because, you know, there’s that racist potato. Its crack marketing department, after doing its due-diligence, checking trademarks, employing focus groups and doing all the things we expect of international corporations, announced that the new, child-friendly, politically correct name of the candy would be “Red Ripper.”

The Washington, D.C. football team opted to change its popular, harmless nickname from “Redskins” to the far catchier moniker “Washington Football Team” as a desperate effort to join the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck. You have to admit, “Washington Football Team” wouldn’t be a good name for a candy, but was it really a good idea for Nestlé to honor this guy…

-red-ripper-Andrei-Chikatilo

Andrei Chikatilo (that’s a more recent photo above the post) who sexually assaulted, murdered, and mutilated at least 52 women and children between 1978 and 1990 in Russia, the Ukraine, and Uzbek? He’s popularly known as “The Red Ripper”…

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The Name Game

It’s “racist” to get someone’s name wrong now?  What will the grievance bullies think of next?

The latest irritating aspect of life that has been appropriated to serve as a “microaggression” and proof of the U.S.’s “systemic racism” is people mispronouncing names. The complaint has gotten a boost from mispronunciations of Kamala Harris’s name, although I’ve never heard one. (I just call her “that phony” or “the jerk” and largely avoid the problem.) This is a continuation of the current trick: if something bad happens to a “POC,” like, say, getting shot while resisting arrest, it’s racism; if the exact same thing happens to a white person, that’s just bad luck, or the dude deserved it, or “Who cares?”

Admittedly, I am especially unsympathetic to the name game. My parents both were terrible at pronouncing names; it was a running joke between my sister and  me. It wasn’t just people’s names either. There was an ice cream store on Cape Cod called “Emack and Bolio,” and we used to ask Mom about it just to hear her say “E-MACK-a-Bowlee.” Because my mother was Greek, all ethnic names magically became Greek names to her. A Boston Red Sox infielder named Gutierrez became “Gouttarras.” My father mispronounced names like he mispronounced many words, and it didn’t matter how many times he was corrected. He thought, for example, that the words “fiasco” and “fiesta” were the same word, “fiesca.”

But in the New York Times weekly column “Work Friend,” this phenomenon was used for race-baiting, aided by the new narcicsism in which everyone’s name is some kind of badge of honor. “Call me what you want, just don’t call me late for dinner!” Dad would say when the misnaming issue came up. Of course, that Jack Marshall, like this one, went through life being called “John” and seeing his name spelled with only one “L.” He didn’t take it personally. He knew that what matters in life is what you do, not what you are called while doing it. Continue reading

Pedant Ethics And Name Autonomy

I have a dog in this hunt, in a way. I began my school career being lectured by the Catholic teachers of Arlington, Massachusetts that I was mistaken about my name being “Jack.” No, I was told, that’s just what your parents call you, dear. Your name is JOHN. There is no such name as “Jack.” Being ornery pretty much out of the womb, I refused to answer to “John” in class leading to several contentious meetings between my father (who was also named “Jack,” not “John”) and successive grade teachers. He always brought my birth certificate and a stern lecture about not making unwarranted presumptions that were none of their damn business, and I had to endure several weeks of dirty looks until my natural charm won over my teachers’ disdain.

As in the case of my teachers, the idiot who wrote Ms. Rea was both presumptuous and wrong. She had written,

Why thank you! Now shut the hell up! Continue reading

Having Previously Concentrated Only On Idiotic Reasons Not To Call The Contagion By The Name It Deserves, The Deranged Settle On A Vile And Unethical One

I have managed to post twice about the name game, and the ridiculous effort to find some way to justify not identifying the Wuhan virus by its place of origin, a campaign led by, naturally enough, its place of origin. The first post focused on the idea that calling a Chinese virus a Chinese virus was “racist,” a concept so devoid of reason and logic that it made my brain hurt.

The fact that the concept was enthusiastically embraced by such proven blights on the political scene as Rep. Omar was  one major clue that  dastardly motives were involved. This was a pretty much flat out resort to Big Lie #4 in the “resistance” Big Lie tool box, that one being “Trump is a racist/ white supremacist.” It was a short post, because there was no legitimate argument to rebut. Continue reading