A Bias Detection Test

What is the obvious (and in my estimation) amazing bias and prejudice the video above embodies? Here’s another one: same problem.

I hope it jumps out at most of you as much as it does to me. This product’s most obvious market, both in terms of those who most need it and those most willing to look ridiculous wearing it, is seniors. My parents, both of them, would have loved to have one of these on their regular excursions. Yet the promotional video not only doesn’t show any users over the age of 35, it seemingly doesn’t know such creatures exist.

My mother used to complain bitterly once she reluctantly reached her Golden Years that younger people acted as if she were invisible.  I wonder if this video is one more example of the fracturing of American culture and consciousness into hostile groups that choose to regard non-group members as “the other,” not worthy of consideration or acknowledgment.

After all, one would think that at least the profit motive would be enough to prompt us to include the elderly in our world view. In this case, at least, apparently not.

Post-Debate Ethics Part 3 (of 4): Of Drumpf And Other Cheapshots

donald-drumpf-john-oliver

When there is so, so much of substance to justify criticizing Donald Trump, it is absurd for any critics to engage in manufactured scandals and cheap shots. It is also annoying, because it forces me to defend the guy, when I’d so much prefer to be, say, stuffing grubs up my nose.

Gawker, not surprisingly, may have set the low bar (or just put the bar on the floor) for anti-Trump tactics when it published anonymous excerpts from Trump’s answering machine to show that he was chummy with liberal media figures. This obviously made Mediaite’s Joe Concha’s head explode, as he wrote in part, in a post called “Even for a Toxic Waste Dump like Gawker, this Trump Voicemail Story is Truly Craptastic”:

Here’s a little background for anyone with an ounce of lucidity: Donald Trump once worked for NBC as host of The Apprentice….Newsflash: Politicians and media members, particularly those on the editorial side, are actually friendly with each other. Bill O’Reilly, for example, has gone to Knicks and Yankees games with Trump in years past. He doesn’t hide from it nor should he. Because before running, Trump was an A-List celebrity in New York… has been for 30 years. A-listers tend to hang out, you know, with each other from time to time…Am I missing something? Seriously. Because the next dot this comically bad story attempts to make mocks Trump for not securing his voicemail, and then has the audacity to call him hypocritical for criticizing Hillary Clinton for her use of a private server out of her home while she was Secretary of State… as if these situations are remotely on the same planet….You know what, I can’t even comment on this anymore. The genius authors, Ashley Feinberg and Andy Cush… who really have a big future ahead of them, don’t deserve any more free promotion. I’m not even going to link it here.

This Gawker scoop was so bad virtually nobody would touch it. This is not the case with HBO’s John Oliver riff on Donald Trump’s grandfather’s name, however. In an epic and generally funny take-down of Trump at the end of February, Oliver devoted part of his deconstruction to the fact that Trump’s original family name was Drumpf until it was changed by his grandfather. Continue reading

A Disappointing and Damaging Ethics Dunce: The Obama Campaign

No matter who wins the Presidency on November 6, one thing is for certain. We now can be sure that the day will come when a future Presidential campaign runs an ad that concludes, “Don’t vote for him: he’s an asshole!” For that, we will be able to place the blame on, of all people, Barack Obama, and his 2012 campaign. This is the same Barack Obama who promised, the first time he was running for President, to change the tone in Washington; the same President Obama who told a group in 2010…

“But there is a sense that something is different now, that something is broken, that those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should,” Mr. Obama said. “At times, it seems like we are unable to listen to one another, to have at once a serious and civil debate. This erosion of civility in the public square sows division and cynicism among our citizens. It poisons the well of public opinion….Civility is not a sign of weakness.”

Yet his 2012 campaign’s embrace of gutter-level name calling and divisive rhetoric, with the full participation of both the President and the Vice-President, has guaranteed that the tone Obama promised to change will change for the worse, and that the well of public opinion will be more toxic than ever. Continue reading

“Mitt Romney — He’s Not One Of Us”

“I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message.”

I must admit that I could not devote my full attention to last night’s final Presidential debate. I had just seen the latest from President Obama’s attack machine, a television spot approved by Barack Obama, that concludes with the legend, “Mitt Romney—He’s Not One of Us.”  It is an unfair, shocking, miserable, indefensible, dangerous argument to be employed by any party, any candidate, in any race for any office in the United States, at any time in the nation’s history. For it to be employed with the approval of a President of the United States, and this President in particular, should be cause for mourning, but also anger.

If I thought that President Obama was actively involved in releasing this disgrace to his campaign and the ideals he claims to represent, I would have no difficulty concluding that it alone disqualifies him for a second term. I don’t believe that. Perhaps I won’t let myself believe that. One of Obamas myriad weaknesses as a leader, however, is that he tolerates unethical, incompetent and untrustworthy staff and advisors. He trusted his campaign advisors, and they betrayed his trust. Still, he is accountable. Continue reading

Gee, Thanks a Bunch, Chris…Big Lie Ethics and Obama’s Birth Certificate

Great. Now Chris Matthews is giving support to the birther conspiracy theory.

The excitable MSNBC host recently asked why President Obama doesn’t just put the suspicion and rumors to rest by giving the OK for Hawaii to release his original birth certificate, thus proving that he was born a U.S. citizen and ending the claims that Obama is really foreign-born and never was eligible to become President of the United States. By lending his credibility and perceived legitimacy to the lament of the birthers, Matthews has engaged in irresponsible conduct and done a disservice to the President, the office of the President and the nation. Continue reading