It’s About Time

Published: February 9, 2018

By Jim Lichtman
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A short series of stories about ethical minefields that have finally met their fate, maybe.

Chief Wahoo Retires –

Finally, the Cleveland Indians have announced that they will “retire” their “big-toothed, red-faced caricature” mascot “Chief Wahoo” used on uniforms, caps and other items.

“The Indians have used the Chief Wahoo logo since 1947,” The Los Angeles Times reports (Jan. 29), “but Major League Baseball has pressured the team to end its use. The Indians will be allowed to use the logo this year, then remove it from team uniforms in 2019, when Cleveland plays host to the All-Star Game.

“[Baseball] Commissioner Rob Manfred, reluctant to mandate a ban on the Chief Wahoo logo, has urged Indians owner Paul Dolan for several years to remove the locally beloved but racially charged logo.

“ ‘Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team,’ Manfred said in a statement.

“ ‘Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan’s acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course.’ ”

My only question: why wait until 2019?!

Attack of the Health Care Giant Killers, (we hope) –

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have announced that together they are entering the health care arena, initially to lower prices for their collective 1.2 million employees, but eventually giving all Americans a decent chance at affordable health care.

As reported by Time magazine (Feb. 12), “ ‘The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,’ said JPMorgan chairman Jamie Dimon on Jan. 30, treading lightly (‘potentially’) on the enormous implications (‘all Americans’) that were apparent. …

“ ‘The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy’ is how Buffett put it in the six-paragraph news release that offered no blueprint but what Amazon founder Jeff Bezos called ‘talented experts, a beginner’s mind and a long-term orientation.’ …

“If the triad of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase,” Time concludes, “can find a way to bring sense to health care, the savings will accrue first for those three companies, which are not acting out of altruism. But sometimes business interests align with human ones. Every dollar matters to an hourly worker, and when the savings from a better health care system reach the worker–and when the worker reaches a doctor without having to run a gauntlet–the vaunted, disruptive efficiency of tech will have produced a common good.”

My thought: Jeff, Warren and Jamie attacking the health care insurance behemoths… Wahoo! (ethical note: it’s okay to use the word, not the image.)

“Emotional Support” Peacock Banned –

Thank God airlines are beginning to come to their senses about all these “emotional support” animals allowed to board a flight, ostensibly with a medical doctor’s written certificate, beginning with a peacock.

United Airlines said the peacock did not meet its service animal guidelines which were explained to the passenger on three separate occasions before arrival at Newark airport.

The UK’s Telegraph reports (Feb. 6), that “United Airlines has released a list of banned animals.

“The list includes hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles and “non-household birds”.

“United Airlines has said requests for emotional support animals have risen by 75 percent in a year and has tightened its onboard companion policy.

“The airline explained that last year there had been 76,000 requests from passengers wanting to travel with emotional support pets, up by more than 30,000 compared with last year. The new rules, which come into effect next month, will not affect animals such as guide dogs, but mental health pets will require 48 hours notice and a signed letter from a doctor.

“Passengers will also have to show their animal is ‘trained to behave properly in a public setting.’ ”

My thought: guide dogs and pets that are certified, good; for peacocks, hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, and “non-household birds” for emotional support, visit a zoo.


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