Tag Archives: tit-for-tat

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/28/18: Ingratitude, Dishonesty, Hypocrisy, Speech Suppression And Character Assassination…Is This A Great Country, Or What?

1. An especially despicable example of airbrushing history. It’s done. Yawkey Way, the street bordering Boston’s iconic Fenway Park that was renamed in honor of the owner of the Red Sox and the park following his death in 1977, has been returned to its old name of Jersey Street. The team petitioned for the change, an example of ingratitude and willful betrayal seldom seen in a public institution. A rough equivalent would be the University of Virginia banning the name of Thomas Jefferson. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Boston Red Sox franchise owes it esteemed (and profitable) status in Boston’s culture to Tom Yawkey, who owned the team for almost half a century. He has a plaque in baseball’s Hall of Fame, too. But Yawkey, who was born in the 19th Century was a man of his time, and was late accepting the need to integrate baseball, like every other baseball team owner until 1947, when the Dodgers broke the color line. By the final decade of Yawkee’s ownership, he had certainly learned his lesson: his team had the longest stretch of excellence since Babe Ruth was sold, led by such black stars as George Scott, Reggie Smith, Jim Rice, Cecil Cooper, and Luis Tiant.

Never mind. Last year, Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones triggered a public relations crisis for the team when he claimed that he had heard racial slurs from some fans in the centerfield bleachers. (I don’t doubt him.) The easy solution was to throw Tom Yawkey’s memory under the metaphorical bus, since purging his name (his wife, Jean Yawkey, also owned the team after her husband’s death) from the franchise he built. It proves that John Henry is “woke,” you see.How cynical and cowardly.

(My previous posts on this topic are here.)

2. Another one bites the dust. Good. Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA) had already announced that he wouldn’t be running again after it was revealed that he had paid taxpayer funds to a sexual harassment victim on his staff,  abruptly resigned yesterday to avoid a House ethics investigation. “While I do believe I would be exonerated of any wrongdoing, I also did not want to put my staff through the rigors of an Ethics Committee investigation and believed it was best for them to have a head start on new employment rather than being caught up in an inquiry,”  Meehan said in his disingenuous statement, insulting anyone who read it,“And since I have chosen to resign, the inquiry will not become a burden to taxpayers and committee staff.”

Riiiight.

Meehan also said he would payback  $39,000 to the Treasury to reimburse the cost of what he described as a “severance payment,” as in “negotiated damages for workplace misconduct that he didn’t want to have made public.”

Say what you will about #MeToo, it has chased a lot of public trust-abusing creeps out of Congress. Continue reading

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Unethical Blog Post Of The Month: The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

aggressive_rottweiler

I normally would not have read this post, not being a regular fan of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. However, more than one political website that I do frequent cited the post with favor, and this is profoundly depressing. The pots expresses classic non-ethical reasoning, based entirely on emotions like anger, hatred, desire for revenge, and joy at the pain of others. The blog, interestingly, includes a page on logical fallacies, but not one on rationalizations. The post, titled “How’s That Shoe on the Other Foot, Prozis?,” is the wholesale expression of an especially destructive rationalization, “Tit for Tat,”  that is well-expressed in the Golden Rule distortion, “Do Unto Others As They Did Unto You, But Even Harder, If Possible.”

This screed does have value: it does support my theory that a large portion of Donald Trump’s support was akin to Delta House’s decision in “Animal House,” spurred by this kind of logic:

Otter: Bluto’s right. Psychotic… but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

Bluto: We’re just the guys to do it.

I wrote,

“In Germany, The Big Cheese says jump and the Germans say “How high?” In the US, the response is “Fuck you!” Obama never understood that. He and the Democrats are finally getting the “fuck you!” they have been asking for. I love that about America. And much as I hate the idea of an idiot being President, I do love the message and who it was sent to. America still has spunk.”

I should have also noted that the spunk is often registered in reckless and unethical ways.

The post begins with approving cites to quotes from a commenter: Continue reading

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Stay Classy, Congressman Vela! The Texas Democrat Uses Trump As An Excuse To Sink To A New Low In Public Discourse

Oh, fine.

Oh, fine.

Yes, incredible as it seems, even lower than Marco Rubio implying that Donald Trump has a small penis.

It’s a long, unprofessional, roller coaster of valid arguments, unethical contentions and muddled reasoning that U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, (D-Brownsville) stuffed into his open letter to Donald Trump. He calls Trump a racist, he implies that anyone who illegally crosses the border should be welcomed with open arms unless he’s a criminal; he incorrectly calls Trump’s suspicions about his Hispanic judge’s biases bigoted, when they are merely expressions of Trump’s ignorance regarding what constitutes a judicial conflict of interests. Time to showboat for the district constituency, I guess: you can read the whole letter here.

Like Rubio, however, Vela debased his office, Congress, his district and himself by attacking Trump in a vulgar and undignified manner, saying in his grand finale:

“I will not presume to speak on behalf of every American of Mexican descent, for every undocumented worker born in Mexico who is contributing to our country every day or, for that matter, every decent citizen in Mexico. But, I am sure that many of these individuals would agree with me when I say…

‘Mr. Trump, you’re a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it up your ass.’”

How nice. Continue reading

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Comment of the Day (And Response): “MORE Gender Issues Confusion Monday, PART 3:The New York Times’ Hit Piece On Donald Trump And Women”

I am late posting this provocative and wide-ranging comment from repeat-Comment of the Day author Chris Marschner. Chris attempts to explain, and even defend, the unwillingness of  Donald Trump supporters to find literally any misconduct or verbal outrage sufficient reason to reject him. On the way, he touches on affirmative action, SNAP, voter ID laws, the transgender bathroom controversy, and more.

I’ll have some substantial comments at the end. for for now, here is Chris Marschner’s Comment of the Day on the post, MORE Gender Issues Confusion Monday, PART 3:The New York Times’ Hit Piece On Donald Trump And Women:

[Commenter Humble Talent] stated, “Pundits don’t understand why saying dumb things about women or minorities doesn’t skewer him. I do: His voters don’t care. His voters don’t care where people pee, they don’t care how many abortions the lady down the street gets, they don’t care about racism, sexism or whatever-phobias. They care about taking care of their families. They care about jobs. This is the demographic Bernie and Trump tapped into. People not like us. Uneducated people. People living day to day. Bills to pay and mouths to feed, when nothing in the world is free.”

First let me say that I find Trump’s rhetoric distasteful and I did not vote for him in the Maryland primary.

Labeling all Trump supporters as “uneducated and unlike us” may be too simplistic. Actually many do care where people pee or how many abortions take place. You might want to consider that it is just a matter of priorities when faced with the possibility that a progressive candidate like Hillary Clinton might get elected leading to further stagnation of their upward mobility while forcing them to succumb to even more government intrusion into their lives.

Perhaps there is also a group of educated voting taxpayers who are tired of being labeled as social misanthropes when engaging in reasonable debate over a variety of issues. Many well educated people who earn more than the median income but less than that which is necessary to be absolutely financially independent understand the economic repercussions of challenging some progressive ideas that are at odds with their own reasoned thinking. How exactly does a conservative faculty member debate a topic when he/she runs the risk of being labeled a racist, Uncle Tom, misogynist or other type of person in what could be called the “Hater” segment of society for not towing the employer’s or the group’s normative thinking. How many business owners publically regurgitate the progressive ideology or opt for a low profile to avoid the onslaught of protesters that can threaten that which they may have spent a lifetime working long hours to build

I could also argue that many private corporate cultures are an outgrowth of weighing the economic pros and cons of taking an ideological stand and often opt for the culture that prevents further costly governmental intrusion into their operating policies. Only a few have challenged the government’s desire to dictate corporate culture and policy.

Continue reading

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Celebrity vs Fan: The Amy Schumer Affair

Schumer Fan

Trendy comedienne Amy Schumer posted this tale of a recent encounter with a selfie-seeking fan on Instagram:

“This guy in front of his family just ran up next to me scared the shit out of me. Put a camera in my face. I asked him to stop and he said ” no it’s America and we paid for you” this was in front of his daughter. I was saying stop and no. Great message to your kid. Yes legally you are allowed to take a picture of me. But I was asking you to stop and saying no. I will not take picture with people anymore and it’s because of this dude in Greenville.”

She included the resulting photo of him above, which

a.) Made him an instant celebrity

b.) Made him an instant target,or

c.) Both.

Later, she “walked the statement back,” as they say in politics, and tweeted,

“I’ll still take pictures with nice people when I choose if it’s a good time for that. But I don’t owe you anything. So don’t take if I say no.”

The smiling young man with the blurry thumb  is named Leslie Brewer. This weekend, he contacted the Fox affiliate in Greenville–apparently everything will be happening in North Carolina from now on—to defend himself, and since conservatives hate Amy Schumer, Fox was eager to give him a forum.  The resulting story, in part: Continue reading

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Bad News Bernie Fans: Your Hero Is Just As Ethically Clueless As Donald Trump

rose and Bernie

From the transcript of Bernie Sanders’ interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose:

ROSE: But take a listen to this, this is what you’ve said. You said that, “Clinton should apologize for Iraq war deaths.”

SANDERS: This is after I was asked to apologize for the tragedy in Sandy Hook. You know, put these things into context.

ROSE: Tit for tat.

SANDERS: It is tit for tat. But I’m responding to attacks that are being made against me.

ROSE: I’m asking where the tenor of this campaign is going. And is that going too far to say she bears responsibility for Iraqi war deaths?

 SANDERS: Do I bear responsibility for the tragedy and the horrors of Sandy Hook? So, you know, let’s get off of that. Of course she doesn’t bear responsibility. She voted for the war in Iraq. That was a very bad vote, in my view. Do I hold her accountable? No.

ROSE: I just wanna come back to the Iraqi thing one second, and one more question. You have said that she voted for the Iraqi war. Other people did as well. Many other people. Do you hold all of them responsible for the deaths of Americans?

SANDERS: No. 

ROSE: Then why say it, Senator? That’s the question.

SANDERS: I am saying it because I was attacked.

NOTES: Continue reading

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Ethics Dunces: Salon And Old Donald Trump Date Lucy Klebanow

Stop picking on this guy. He vanished long ago.

Stop picking on this guy. He vanished long ago.

I’m not even going to quote from the lower-than-low-blow kiss-and-tell article by Lucy Klebanow in in Salon titled “My awful date with Donald Trump: The real story of a nightmare evening with a callow but cash-less heir.” I couldn’t finish reading it, so quickly was it apparently that I, like you, didn’t need to start, so self-evidently unethical and inexcusable was its motive and topic.  There is nothing newsworthy within it, and while its unjustifiable incursion into the area of privacy that every human being, even celebrities, have a right to enjoy isn’t quite at the Hulk Hogan sex tape level, it is no less wrong.

This same, mean-spirited, essay could be written about me, or you, and definitely about Lucy Klebanow, by anyone who happened to have a one-time social encounter with us that didn’t show us at our best. What has Donald Trump done to exempt him from the basic human courtesy of keeping the details of such inevitable social disasters on the way to maturity and wisdom between the two participants? Nothing. Nothing, because nothing, not even Trump’s own indiscretions about others, can do this. The Golden Rule applies here like epoxy: we don’t do this disgusting thing, because nobody wants their own repulsed bad dates to do it to them. It’s a terrible thing to do. To anyone. Period. No exceptions. Continue reading

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