Oh Yeah, This Should Be Worth A BLM Riot…

Eight police officers in Akron, Ohio, fired nearly 100 bullets into Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old black man after they attempted to pull the car he was driving over shortly after midnight. Walker hit the accelerator resulting in a high-speed chase. Then Walker attempted  to flee on foot and, according to police, fired a gun.   weapon.

According to the Akron Police Department Facebook page, “actions by the suspect caused the officers to perceive he posed a deadly threat to them. In response to this threat, officers discharged their firearms, striking the suspect.”

He died shortly thereafter. Continue reading

This, Apparently, Is Ethical “Misinformation”…

The New York Time Book Review this week includes a review by novelist Mitchell S. Jackson of Elizabeth Alexander’s book “The Trayvon Generation.” I haven’t read the book itself, but it’s goals and orientation are clear from the review by Jackson. Jackson is, like Alexander, a Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory endorsing activist. If I were editing a book review supplement, I would think it mandatory to assign a reviewer to Alexander’s work who wasn’t so obviously predisposed to agree with her views and praise them, but that’s just not how the Times rolls these days. But this isn’t the point of my post.

This is: in the middle of his review, Alexander wrote—and the Times printed—

Never forget — on Feb. 26, 2012, a hella overzealous volunteer neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman stalked and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Never forget — on July 13, 2013, a jury acquitted Zimmerman, an egregious verdict that fomented the Black Lives Matter movement into being.

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Ethics Observations On An Unethical NYT Column That Should Never Have Been Published About A Destructive Movement That Never Should Have Begun

It is not exactly an upset that this column, as dishonest and irresponsible as any I have seen in the New York Times, which is saying a lot, came from the poisoned, bitter and unscrupulous mind of Charles M. Blow. Blow, the most consistently unethical of the Times huge reserve of unethical pundits, never lets fairness and facts get in the way of an anti-white, anti-cop, anti-Republican diatribe when he isn’t writing weekly Trump-hate pieces as he did for four years, nearly without pause. But this week’s column, outrageously coupling a photo of Trayvon Martin with Emmet Till, is special.

Let’s start with the headline: “Trayvon Martin Is Still Making
America Confront Its Original Sin.”
That’s a lot of misinformation for a headline. The “original sin,” of course, is slavery, this being the New York Times, where Nicole Hannah-Jones contrived the fake history-based “1619 Project” that claimed the United States was created to protect slavery. Slavery was neither original with the American colonies nor did American history begin with the practice, and Blow’s analogy (which was also endorsed by Barack Obama) with “original sin” is a core part of the anti-American theme of Critical Race Theory. That anti-white, anti-American tool holds that nothing the nation has done or can do will erase or compensate for slavery and its long-lasting side-effects, though perpetual white guilt and a special set of standards making African-Americans permanent beneficiaries of legal and society favoritism is absolutely required.

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And The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman/ George Floyd/ Kyle Rittenhouse Ethics Train Wreck Rolls On…..

Prosecutor-square

In the tricky practice of ethics train wreck taxonomy, placing the Rittenhouse trial in the proper category is a challenge. Is the Tale of the Gun-toting Teen its own media bias and activist -fueled social and legal disaster, or is it just an extension of another?

I lean toward assigning this fiasco to the latter category, making it just one more extension of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck, which eventually begat the George Floyd Freakout, which in turn led to the contrived outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake that spat out Rittenhouse’s unhelpful improvisation. After all, Martin, Floyd and Blake all were episodes that had nothing to do with race but that were hyped into divisive racial controversies and trials by irresponsible demagogues, protesters, politicians and reporters.

What I especially like about attributing all of this societal wreckage into a single ethics train wreck is that it demonstrates just how disastrous President Obama’s inflammatory comments equating Martin to “his son” were—as Ethics Alarms pointed out at the time. Maybe if the blame is squarely placed at the metaphorical fish head, Presidents will stop shooting off their mouths like that. (President Biden, do recall, falsely called Rittenhouse a white supremacist.)

This is all prelude to pointing out what a projectile vomit debacle yesterday’s closing arguments were. Both the prosecution and the defense stomped all over proper criminal trial practice and professional ethics.

For the prosecution…

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Unethical Quote Of The Week: Tiffany Haddish

“I would hate to give birth to someone that looks like me, and then, knowing that they’re gonna be hunted or killed.”

—-Black comic and actress Tiffany Haddish, explaining  why she hasn’t had children.

Haddish made this astounding statement in an interview with Carmelo Anthony on his YouTube show, “What’s In Your Glass?”,  as she explained why she joined a Black Lives Matter protest.

“I’m a little older now and people are always like, “You gonna have some babies? When are you gonna have some babies? You gonna drop some babies?'” she babbled. “There’s a part of me that would like to do that, and I always make up these excuses like, ‘Oh, I need a million dollars in the bank before I do that, I need this, I need that.”

Then after an explanation that indicates that Haddish thinks she is living in the days of the Underground Railroad and her children would be pursued through the swamps by bloodhounds, like Eliza in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” she asked, “Like, why would I put someone through that?”

“And white people don’t have to think about that. It’s time to talk about that, and how we have to come together as a community and work as a unit. Maybe we don’t all agree on the same things, but we need to just find some common ground and move forward as human beings not as like, you know,” she concluded, making no sense whatsoever. Continue reading

Your Morning Ethics Update On The George Floyd Freakout

I was musing early yesterday about whether calling the current reaction/over-reaction/ exploitation/ “Hey great now we can do all kinds of stuff because nobody will dare say no to us!” to the George Floyd video a “freakout” was excessively denigrating it, trivializing or misrepresenting it.  I decided it was all three. By the end of yesterday, I realized I was wrong.

I’ll still use the “George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck” tag on posts  emanating  from this madness, but ethics train wrecks, situations where virtually anyone who gets involved instantly engages in unethical conduct, are more rational than ethics freakouts, which are almost entirely fueled by emotion, hysteria, hate, present time perspective, and mob mentality.

I haven’t used the description often here, but looking back through the lens of history, I’d list among past freakouts the Salem witch trials,  the French Revolution and “The Terror,”  World War I, the Holocaust, and the U.S.’s ” Red Scare.” There are others; I’m not looking to compile the definitive list.  The definition of a freakout, as opposed to a an ethics train wreck, is partially that once the fever has passed, virtually everyone looks back on the event and thinks, “What the hell? How did that happen? What was wrong with those people?” The other distinguishing factor is that while wise members of a society will contend with each other during an ethics train wreck and try to stop the runaway train, the tendency of the un-freaked during  a freakout is to try to keep their heads down,  avoid making eye contact, and if confronted with one of the raving, just nod and mutter, “Sure. Whatever you say.”

THAT, as the partial list above demonstrates, is a dire mistake. Ethics freakouts get people killed, and do damage to lives and society that can take decades to repair. Continue reading

Unethical Tweet Of The Month: A TIE!

No, not THEIR tweets! Tweets ABOUT them…

Yes, the Democratic Presidential hopeful field’s #1 pandering jerk and it’s leading  shameless demagogue both exploited the birthday of  the late Trayvon Martin to engage is race-baiting, false narrative peddling, and near-defamation. Buttigieg and Warren also recently referred to the “murder” of Mike Brown, whom a grand jury and an Obama Justice Department investigation itching to find evidence of a crime both determined had charged the police officer who shot him, and thus was legally killed in self defense. I fault Warren a bit more here, since she is a law professor and knows damn well that both the evidence and the law say that Martin was not the victim of racism and that but for his possession of a legal firearm, it might have been Zimmerman who was killed.  Yet Buttigieg’s “white supremacy” buzz-wording is  unforgivable, as it literally had nothing to do with the deadly confrontation between a black teen and a Hispanic-American. Continue reading

In The Twitterverse, Like Bizarro World, Right Is Wrong And Wrong Is Right, As The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Keeps Rolling Along

This would have made my head explode, except that nothing involving Twitter can make my head explode any more. This is, however, a troubling indication that the United States may be turning into Bizarro World, where right is wrong, wrong is right, smart is stupid, and stupid is smart.  (The ascent of Bernie Sanders is another indication.)

Behold:

Quarterback Patrck Mahomes of the Super Bowl LIV -bound Kansas City Chiefs was attacked by the Twitter mob this week because of a series of tweets he sent when he was in high school.

Ethics Fouls #1 and #2: This is the Hader Gotcha again, described here. Some utter jerk, presumably a  fan of the pro sport a friend accurately disdains as “concussionball”—that’s unethical too, but I’m leaving that alone for now– decided to see if he could make trouble for Mahomes  ahead of the Chief’s AFC Championship game on Jan.-uary 19 by searching his Twitter feed for tweets that might spark his “cancellation.” That’s a hateful and unfair act (Ethics Foul #1 ) with a nauseating Brett Kavanaugh hearings odor.  Then, because jerkism is spreading in the U.S. faster than the Coronavirus in China, people actually attacked the quarterback online when the selected old tweets surfaced, as if what a 16  year old expressed in a tweet had any relevance to who that kid grew up to be, or football, or the Super Bowl. (Ethics Foul #2.)

Ethics Fouls #3, #4 and #5  And what were offending tweets?

Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 9/10/2019: Fat-Shaming, Race-Baiting, And Terrorist-Tarring [UPDATED]

ARRGH!! Half-way through the day, and not out of my pajamas yet!

1. Here’s the kind of comment that won’t get an aspiring  new commenter approved…From Erik Guettler: “It’s sad that you think you actually know anything about ethical behavior by criticizing Bill Maher, while Donald Trump’s the most unethical, openly racist and corrupt president Americans have ever had.”

The comment fails on many levels. To begin with, it’s stupid (there is a stupidity justification among the Ethics Alarms banning tenets.) Criticizing Maher for his frequent absence of functioning ethics alarms cannot make me think I know anything about ethical behavior. The opposite is true: it is because I am an ethicist that I criticize Maher, though it hardly requires an expert to recognize his unethical conduct.A relatively well-raised 17-year-old could do it.

Second, the comment breaches basic ethical analysis principles, not to mention common sense: President Trump’s conduct is irrelevant to how unethical Maher is, as is my criticism, or not, of the President. Third, his list of Trump failings is—oooh! Let me finally use this!NPC junk. Neither he nor anyone can find me any “openly racist” conduct or statements on the President’s part, for this is one of the Big Lies (#4, to be exact.) I have gone through this dance with many Trump Deranged Facebook friends. Challenged to back up the “openly racist” lie, they babble about how he challenged Obama’s birth certificate, and go downhill from there. The statement that he is the “most unethical” President, personally or professionally,  is proof of historical ignorance and bias. Unethical he is, but whether Trump’s lack of ethics is more or less substantive than that of Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton is a matter of legitimate disagreement. The “corrupt” accusation is also non-substantive, unproven, and based on supposition and bias rather than evidence.

But never mind all that: the claim that Ethics Alarms has somehow ignored Donald Trump’s ethics deficits is so easily disproved that the insulting comment is an example of reckless disregard for the truth.

Bite me, Erik.

And don’t come back.

2. While we’re on the topic of Mr. Maher’s ethics…Here is the professional asshole in his most recent HBO episode:
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Asshole vs. Asshole, And How To Avoid Starring In It

If you are old enough, you may remember the long-running comic  in Mad Magazine called “Spy vs Spy.” It was kind of a wordless Roadrunner cartoon with a Cold War vibe, and not especially funny, but I just thought of it for the first time in decades. (Incredibly, it is apparently still running in Mad, though the magazine itself is sinking fast.) I was considering this ridiculous story…

…It started small, but disputes over a Kansas man’s alleged violations of his homeowner association’s rules has led to a complex legal battle that is now the most expensive of its kind. Owner Jim Hildenbrand, has been locked in conflict with the HOA of Avignon Villa Homes since he moved there in 2012…

What began with a disagreement over the placement of a satellite dish and a decorative wall has escalated into a legal back-and-forth that has cost both parties at least a combined $1 million. It is the most expensive HOA dispute in the country.

It is also yet another example of the increasingly common societal phenomenon of “Asshole vs. Asshole.” These are ethics breakdowns where two parties in disagreement decide that making the other side pay for daring to have an adverse position overwhelms whatever the original objectives of the two parties were. It is reminiscent of the kinds of disputes parents—the good ones, anyway–arbitrate between siblings. “You’re both right,” Mom or Dad will say, “And you’re both wrong. You have reached the point where the escalation of anger and retaliation is the problem, not what you think you are arguing about.. Work it out. Compromise. See it from the other one’s perspective. And if you don’t, we’re going to punish both of you.”

In the case of Mr. Hildebrand and his fascist Home Owner Association, both sides say it’s the principle of the thing. As any reader hear know, I am a believer in and a practitioner of taking stands for principle, but knowing when this is essential (Do NOT apologize for speaking the truth or bucking the mob) and destructive is a critical life skill. The trick is keeping emotion out of it, and engaging in ethics problem solving. Asshole vs Asshole occurs when hate, and anger, and the desire to teach that jerk a lesson blinds both parties to common sense, the Golden Rule, and the human duty to seek peace, not war. Continue reading