Ha! And You Thought The Left In New York, Chicago And Portland Had Gone Completely Bonkers…The City Across The Bay Says “Hold My Beer”

The official proposal from San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee, the existence of which itself is evidence of psychosis, is finally out, and The Great Stupid has reached a new benchmark.

In December, Ethics Alarms reported that California’s Task Force to Study and Recommend Reparations Proposals for African Americans was about to submit a recommendation that the state hand over $223,200 each to all descendants of slaves in California as a just remedy for housing discrimination against blacks between 1933 and 1977. The cost to California taxpayers will be about $559 billion, more than California’s entire annual budget. I concluded that “it was just one more indicator of how the entire state had lost its collective mind, that The Great Stupid knows no bounds.” Well, I was right about that, and San Francisco’s panel apparently decided to show the USA that its home state was relatively reasonable.

The committee, after much thought, study and debate, has proposed a one-time payment of $5 million to each black resident of the city deemed eligible as recompense for the “decades of harm they have experienced.” And that’s not all! The committee also proposes cancelling all debts associated with educational, personal, credit card and payday loans for black households, and supplementing lower-income recipients’ income for the next 250 years. After all, the report points out, “Reparation​ ​must be adequate, effective, prompt, and should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered.​”​

They do not, apparently, have to be feasible, responsible, reasonable or constitutional, but then, the city has been working up to clinical insanity for quite some time. We shouldn’t be too surprised.

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San Francisco: “You’ve Done An Exemplary Job, John, And You’re Out, Because You’re A White Male…” [Corrected]

You have to hand it to the San Francisco Elections Commission. It was open, transparent and honest, and presented its compensatory racism without shame or obfuscation. This is, however, because in the Bizarro culture of San Francisco, “good” discrimination because of race and gender is nothing to be ashamed of. From the moment that “diversity-equity-inclusion became the latest woke buzz term, this episode was inevitable. The question, after the heads of all rational Americans stop exploding like Krakatoa, is “Now what?”

San Francisco Department of Elections director John Arntz has run the elections for the county and the city for 20 years. The San Francisco Elections Commission praised Arntz for his “incredible leadership,” but voted 4-2 not to renew his contract. Though all twelve election directors signed a letter requesting that Arntz be reappointed, he is now out of a job. Election commissioners were clear that their decision to dismiss him had nothing to do with inadequacies in his effectiveness in performing his duties, but, it was explained, there are more important things than being good at your job.

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Annals Of The Great Stupid; San Francisco Educators Shocked To Discover That Admitting Unqualified Students To A Academically Challenging School Results In Lower Average Grades

This tale is classic Great Stupid, and, as is the well-established the pattern, it arose from the increasingly deluded American Left. It isn’t bias to note this; it is only stating reality. Utopian progressives defund the police, and are shocked when crime rates soar. They eliminate bail, and are stunned when freed crime suspects commit more crimes. They restrict domestic production of oil, and are gobsmacked when gas prices spike. They decriminalize theft of items under $900, and are puzzled that mobs pick retail stores clean. These are just some of the more recent examples. The same cult mocked marriage, fidelity and social strictures that disapproved of promiscuous sex, and now two parent families are disappearing while the majority of African-Americans are born to couples with no commitment to each other. Who could have predicted such developments?

Oh, only anyone who thought objectively about causes and effects for more than five minutes, that’s all. But I digress. San Francisco is the current topic, arguably the beating heart of The Great Stupid.

San Francisco’s Lowell High school was regarded as one of the best public high schools in the nation. Admission to the school was based on a merit-based system, resting on  middle school grades and test scores. In 2020, however, not letting the pandemic crisis go to to waste, the San Francisco Board of Education members voted to base admissions to the school on a lottery for the 2021–22 school year, eliminating merit and achievement as criteria entirely. Diversity! Pleased with themselves, the school board voted in February 2021 to make the  change permanent.

What happened? Oh come on, guess. Continue reading

Unethical Euphemism Of The Month: “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression Layoffs”

Hmmm, why does this concept sound vaguely familiar?

That’s Jeff Lawson above, CEO of Twilio, a “customer engagement software company,” whatever that means. He just announced that because of Joe Biden’s non-recession he’s going to have to reduce the workforce by 11%, meaning that more than 800 loyal, hardworking, not quietly -quitting Twilio employees will be put out onto the streets. But he assured employees (and progressives, and anti-white racists) that the company would make firing decisions through an “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression lens.”

Translation: “I’m firing whites, males and straight people first.”

Verdict:: Unethical, grandstanding, discriminating asshole.

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“Hmmm…The ‘Threat To Democracy’ Theme Doesn’t Seem To Be Working. Guess It’s Time To Go Back To “Anyone Who Opposes Us Is An Evil Racist Trying To Preserve Racist Systems In This Racist Country…”

Hot on the heels of New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ quick default to the routine Democratic Party playbook racism defense comes the utterly predictable response of Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton to the public voting three uber-woke members of the San Francisco school board out of office this week in the city’s first successful recall election in nearly 40 years. School board president Gabriela López and members Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga are out after more than 70% of voters rejected each of them.

Like parents in so many other municipalities, parents in San Francisco—yes, even there!—showed that they were mad as hell about school closures and seeing political correctness and leftist indoctrination rule their children’s education, and they weren’t going to take it any more. The real reason, though, according to Walton, was that Donald Trump, racism, and “closet Republicans” with “conservative values” have corrupted the city.

“Trump’s election and bold prejudice brought a lot of that out, even in our Democratic and liberal city,” Walton told the news media. “There are a lot of people who do not want people of color making decisions in leadership, even though the voters said that is what they want.”

Yes, no one can legitimately conclude that the decisions and policies made by elected “people of color” in a particular situation are just wrong because they don’t work. People of color only make the right decisions, sayeth Shamann Walton, a person of color himself. Believing otherwise is proof positive of racism, and besides, Donald Trump.

We’ll see how this strategy—denying basic respect to those with opposing views and instead declaring opponents’ motives to be based on racial hatred rather than legitimate differences of philosophy— works for flailing Democrats in the coming months.

After all, it’s worked so far.

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2021: To Boldly Go…

Shatner in space

1. William Shatner didn’t die. It doesn’t matter. People really don’t get moral luck, do they? Of course, only a tiny percentage of the public reads Ethics Alarms. 90-year-old William Shatner flew into space yesterday aboard a ship built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company. The former “James T. Kirk” and three fellow passengers boldly went to an altitude of 66.5 miles over the West Texas desert in the fully automated capsule, then safely parachuted back to Earth. The flight lasted just over 10 minutes. I had previously and correctly pointed out that Bezos had violated basic Kantian ethics, the Categorical Imperative, by exploiting Shatner and placing the old egomaniac at risk in order to promote Blue Origin. “But Shatner consented!” Bezos apologists kept telling me. So if someone consents to being used as a means to an end, that makes using a human being as a means to an end ethical?

Well, sometimes—Kant was an absolutist, and there are no absolutes. However, Shatner’s exploitation doesn’t qualify as an exception. What if the stress of the flight had killed him? Then many would be questioning Bezos’s motives, but the ethical problem is the same whether Shatner survived or not. That the flight didn’t end up looking like an elaborate grand suicide for an iconic actor who knew his time had almost run out anyway was pure moral luck.

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Let All Good And Objective Americans Deride And Mock San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Those Who Voted For Her, And Anyone Who Dares To Defend Her…


What a ridiculous excuse for a mayor.

What an embarrassment to her city and party.

What an arrogant, silly, clueless fool.

The usual Ethics Alarms tag I would consider in this kind of story, “Incompetent Elected Official of the Month,” just doesn’t do San Francisco Mayor London Breed justice. Letting her astounding explanation for why she violated her own mask mandate simply brand her as incompetent would be a cruel insult to all previous incompetent elected officials. Previously, Ethics Alarms wrote about Breed being videoed unmasked, singing, and dancing with a largely unmasked crowd inside a jazz club in the Tenderloin last week. This made her the latest Democratic mayor, governor or other official—and there have been a ridiculous number of them— to regard themselves as immune from their own pandemic restrictions on “the little people” they deign to govern. However, none of these hypocrites have come within miles of Breed’s mind-melting hauteur. Here’s what she said:

“We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. My drink was sitting at the table, I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”

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Tales Of The Great Stupid: Yes, San Francisco Really Is Going To Pay Potential Criminals Not To Shoot People

Do I really have to explain again what’s wrong–as in unethical— with policies like this? Paying kids to do their homework, not to skip school, or not to use drugs; paying young women not to get pregnant, paying people to get vaccinated—all of these desperate plans undermine societal ethics, turning what must be taught as basic duties of responsible citizenship and life management into quid pro quo trade-offs. Such formulas reward the refusal to behave ethically by paying social miscreants to conform to ethical norms.

Ethics Alarms has written about these offensive programs many times. This one may be the worst of all. The only argument proponents can come up with is extreme utilitarianism: the ends justify the means. In such cases, however, the means involves rejecting ethics, duty and responsibility as essential motivations for good behavior and adopting habits of virtuous conduct.

Naturally, the latest pay-the-bad-guys scheme comes from San Francisco, where the District Attorney has solved the shop-lifting problem by making petty theft legal. I was preparing to write about this when I read that Governor Newsom’s test-marketed theme to win his recall election will be “It’s me or Trump.” This parody of a progressive governor has created a state culture where paying thugs not to kill is looked upon as reasonable, and he thinks implying that Trump, who isn’t running for anything in the Golden State, would be worse will attract votes. And he’s probably right!

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San Francisco’s Hard Lesson In Unethical Ethics

It shouldn’t be a difficult concept to grasp, but history tells us it is: idealism unmoored to human nature and reality lead to disaster with depressing consistency. Thus “ethical” plans and motives that rely on fantastic and contrived versions of how the world might works under ideal circumstances are in truth not ethical at all. They are incompetent. They are irresponsible.

And thus we have the current fiasco in San Francisco, where the progressive voters left their hearts while their brains AWOL. The Martian leader of the invasion in “Plan Nine From Outer Space” has it right. Meet Chesa Boudin, the City on the Bay’s visionary District Attorney, elected in 2019.

Boudin had, it is far to say, no qualifications for the job of the head prosecutor of a major U.S. city with a growing crime problem. He had never prosecuted a case. But then he didn’t think most cases should be prosecuted. He dreamed of something kinder, gentler, that didn’t require anything so crass and mean as “punishment.” His experience with America’s judicial system showed him that there had to be a better way, as Robert Redford’s clueless idealist in “The Candidate” kept saying. He is “the son of jailed Sixties radicals,” and his kind and caring parents are the inspiration for his campaign against what civilizations have known for eons, but America’s progressives have chosen to forget: bad people abound, and if society doesn’t stop them, they will stop society.

In my value system, and one I am proud to say has been consistent on this issue all my life, Chesa Boudin’s parents, his role models, were bad people. They were members of the Weather Underground, a domestic terrorist organization that bombed banks and government buildings, including the US Capitol. They wanted to bring “The Man” down, man. The Weathermen were too mild for Mom and Dad, so they formed the May 19th Communist Organization, more violent and anti-American still. In 1981, the Boudins took part in the armed robbery of a bank truck. A security guard and two policemen were killed, and Chesa’s parents were convicted of felony murder. At the trial, they explained that the stolen $1.5 million was needed to fund the creation of a black nation-state in the American south. Good plan!

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Afternoon Ethics Delights, 4/6/2021:

The U.S. entered The Great War on this date in 1917, surely among the most disastrous decisions the nation has ever made. Unfortunately, almost all of the debate over whether we “should” have gotten involved in the seemingly pointless quarrel among the European powers is polluted by hindsight bias, consequentialism, and a disregard for moral luck. Yes, it’s true that The Great War led to a far worse one, and that Germany winning what became World War I probably would have kept Adolf Hitler painting houses. But that’s cheating: we can only assess the legitimacy of the U.S. entering the war on the basis of what was known at the time.

1. Baseball uniform ethics. Oh yeah, this makes a lot of sense. The Boston Red Sox uniforms have been red, white and blue for almost a century—perfect for the team’s annual Patriot’s Day game, which occurs in the morning so the crowd can watch the end of the Boston Marathon. Only Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut celebrate Patriot’s Day, when Paul Revere (and his two friend) rode to warn the Boston suburbs that the British were coming in 1775.

Well, Nike is now pulling baseball’s strings (there is evidence that the company that employs Colin Kaepernick as a spokesperson helped push MLB into punishing Atlanta for Joe Biden’s made-up racist voting law claims), and part of its deal with the sport is that it will design new uniforms for many of the teams. Here are the uniforms the company thinks the Boston Red Sox should wear to celebrate Patriots Day, since those old colors just reflect the flag of the racist nation founded on the backs of slaves:

They look like eggs.

And of course, no red socks.

2. The rest of the story! Remember this post, about San Francisco’s lunatic school board declaring that one-third of the city’s school names, including those honoring Washington, Jefferson,  Lincoln, James Madison and both Roosevelts , Presidents Monroe, McKinley, Herbert Hoover and James Garfield; John Muir, the naturalist and author; James Russell Lowell, abolitionist poet and editor; Paul Revere,  Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  Daniel Webster, and current California Senator and former city mayor Diane Feinstein must be replaced so as not to honor individuals who were, in the words of an over-acting character in “The Birds”,

Rendering the equivalent of Tippy Hedren’s slap to these idiots has been, well, just about everybody, from historians, scholars, parents, anyone with an IQ above freezing, and even San Francisco’s reliably woke mayor. Implementing the re-naming was also expected to embroil the city in litigation. So now, the school board, after pausing its grand cancellation project, is expected to overturn its decision after wasting a lot of time and money, and making the city appear even more absurd than it usually does, which is quite an achievement.

You would think that someone on the school board would have been sufficiently smart, competent, responsible grounded in reality to predict the fate of such a mass historical airbrushing. Nope!

This isn’t called The Great Stupid for nothing, you know.

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