“OK, the tiger almost drowned. No harm, no foul, right?”
Hollywood abuses its child actors routinely, and you really believed it was kind to animals?
Today the Hollywood Insider carries a thorough exposé revealing that the American Humane Association, which supposedly monitors films for their treatment of animals and grants the familiar“No Animals Were Harmed” trademark accreditation seen at the end of film and TV credits, participates in the covering-up of animal deaths and cruelty as much as it prevents them. The report suggests that the AHA has been thoroughly co-opted by the industry, so that it is not an objective advocate for the creatures it supposedly represents, but a willing participant in audience deception.
The smoking gun quote may be this one, from Dr. S. Kwane Stewart, the veterinarian who took over as the national director of the AHA’s “No Animals Were Harmed” program in April:
“This whole idea that we’re cozy with the industry — it’s simply not the case. We first and foremost want to keep the animals safe…[but] we need to keep in mind that [the producers and directors of productions the AHA monitors] want to arrive at their vision as well.”
This means, of course, that the AHA representatives are not acting as an advocate for the animals, but as a participant in the film-making process that balances the lives and welfare of the animals against the concerns, needs and profit motives of the speaking, spending, threatening and otherwise powerful human beings with which they share a species and common values. Gee–I wonder who has the most weight in reaching that balance… Continue reading
Janet Sinclair used United Airlines’ “PetSafe” service to fly her beloved greyhound Sedona cross-country from San Diego. The service assures flyers that their pets will make the journey safe and sound, with responsible care and personal handling. Sinclair, however, became alarmed when she saw a United employee kick Sedona’s crate six times to shove it under the shade of the plane’s wing instead of carefully moving it. She then began documenting United’s pet care. Her video shows her dog being left outside in 94 degree heat at a mid-journey stop (in Houston), and not placed in a temperature-controlled vehicle as she had been promised. When Sinclair landed at Logan Airport in Boston, her dog was barking at death’s door.
“Sedona’s entire crate was filled with blood, feces, urine,” Sinclair told reporters. “Sedona was in full heat stroke. All of the blankets were filled with blood. She was urinating and defecating blood. She was dying, literally, right in front of me.” The veterinarian who saved Sedona diagnosed her with heat stroke, urinary tract infection and liver dysfunction, all arising from the over-heating the dog experienced during the United Airlines flight. The airline, for its part, claimed that the dog’s distress was due to pre-existing conditions, though Sinclair’s vet had declared Sedona healthy following a pre-trip exam. Continue reading
Ugh. Come on.
Fortunately, Jay’s successor is ready to go…
Jay’s ethics alarm was sure malfunctioning during THAT taping. The Golden Rule is made for situations like this. Surely Jay knew about it? Once?
Louann Giambattista, a former American Airlines flight attendant, had sued the airline in June, claiming that American had discriminated against her as a result of her co-workers’ false allegations that she carried pet rats on board planes in her pantyhose and underwear. I get it: it’s an inherently funny story. But Jay charged over every line of fairness, respect, compassion and common sense when he showed Giambattista’s photo to his national TV audience, and then, in a repeating segment called “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda,” challenged three guest comics to make their best jokes about the material. They were rolling, too—some examples..
- “If I were one of those rats, I would’ve been very upset. I prefer not to sit in cooch.”
- “I don’t understand this woman at all. If she wanted something that creepy in her underwear, she should have hooked up with me.”
- Giambattista “coulda used what the rest of us ladies use … a Rabbit” (a popular vibrator).
Classy as ever, I see, Jay! Continue reading
That’s Rugby on the right…
Periodically, the same contentious argument breaks out on Ethics Alarms after I assert my position that voters should support the candidate who is the most honest and trustworthy–the one with the most ethical character—regardless of his or her policy positions. My argument is bolstered when someone like Anthony Weiner—and fortunately there aren’t many candidates like him— runs for office on the extreme opposite concept, that even demonstrably horrible character and dubious trustworthiness are irrelevant as long as a candidate holds the right policy views. He was just clobbered in his quest for NY mayor, getting just 5% of the vote, every one of them cast by a lunatic, porn star, mental defective or ethics dunce. I doubt that his wife voted for him. Client #9. Eliot Spitzer, also lost in his race for Controller…and he is like Weiner.
My position is shaken when faced with a fiasco like Virginia governor’s race, where a proven huckster, Terry McAuliffe, is carrying the Democratic banner and Ken Cuccinelli is the Republican choice. (I live in Virginia.) That McAuliffe is corrupt to the core, like his pals, the Clintons, there is no doubt. He is pure Machiavelli, and worse, he is gleeful about it, like his pal Bill, but without the charisma. I learned all I needed to about McAuliffe’s character when I learned that he tried to bribe Ralph Nader to drop out of the 2000 Presidential race, but that was hardly the only evidence. Virginia Democrats disgraced themselves by nominating him. I wrote about his public dissembling here and here; I didn’t even go into his dubious financial dealings andthe strange way —well, if you think cronyism is strange— he got rich investing in Global Crossing—as I said, the sliminess of his character has never been in doubt.
Cuccinelli, however, is worse: he’s just unethical in different ways. Continue reading
Here are four logos from U.S. institutions of learning. Each was or is under attack by groups of students or administrators as being “offensive,” and in each case, the school’s administration either spent or is spending time and money to comply with the concerns. You have to guess the reason for the offense in each case.
Ready? Here’s number #1, from Brooklyn College:
Give up? Well, back in 2009, we have recently learned, Karen L. Gould, who had just taken over as the first woman president of Brooklyn College, raised $107,000 to replace the old logo (the silhouette of the school’s landmark La Guardia Hall clock tower), because she thought it looked like a giant penis. [An earlier version of the post surmised that she therefore believed the logo was sexist. There is no evidence of that; it was my surmise and my error.]
She would not be happy living in Washington, D.C., clearly.
Ready for the next one? Here’s #2, from the University of Connecticut: Continue reading
One aspect of being President that cannot be much fun is knowing that anything you do in your very public private life has the potential of permanently altering the culture, like the book about Chicago gangster days left on the developing planet in a famous episode of “Star Trek.” President Kennedy didn’t wear hats because of his bodacious hair (all the better to shag those young girls), and ruined the U.S. fedora trade. Bill Clinton announced that oral sex wasn’t sex after all, and millions of U.S. junior high school students took the hint. Now President Obama and family are being called poor role models because they adopted a new pure-bred puppy from a breeder rather than finding an appropriate rescue dog, as animal welfare activists constantly urge us to do. Continue reading
I reluctantly replaced the background photo of Justin Carter (who is still, by the way, awaiting trial for the crime of making a sarcastic comment on Facebook that post-Sandy Hook hysterics decided to treat as a terrorist threat) and put up the iconic photo of Bo, the Presidential dog, being solemnly escorted out of an Osprey to join the First Family in another spectacularly ill-timed vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, together with a photo of the National Debt clock. I hoped the background picture would save me the proverbial thousand words, because I think it speaks eloquently to several issues. But I have already received some squeals of protest, so I’m going to have to use up some of those words after all.
I generally have no problem with any President taking vacations, since the job is impossible and it travels with him, no matter how much he might wish otherwise. I have a problem with Presidents spending excessive amounts of the nation’s time in partisan fundraising, but that’s another issue. As one of the President’s supervisors, I have serious concerns about this President taking so many vacations, because, frankly, I don’t know what he does all day. He appears to have no foreign policy, other than making speeches, waffling, and dithering. He says he is making the economy his full time priority, but I see little indication of that. We know he doesn’t dirty his hands with engaging in politics and forging compromises with the opposition, and based on his statements and stunned surprise when incompetence or misconduct appears, he seems not to know what is going on in his own departments. We know he doesn’t trouble himself with oversight or management—even #1 fan Chris Matthews admits that.
Obama said on The Tonight Show (he has time to appear on The Tonight Show) that the U.S. has no domestic spying program. Today we learn that the NSA has habitually violated privacy restrictions on its spying, meaning that we don’t have a domestic spying program, just a spying program that repeatedly engages in domestic spying. Call me a stickler, but I think a few of those down days on vacation should have been spent instead actually learning what was the real situation before he told the nation things that weren’t true. Or was he lying? If you prefer that explanation, fine. That is another ethical issue. Continue reading
Harvard researchers are on the way to perfecting brain-to-brain interfaces, permitting a human to control the behavior and eventually instincts and emotions of other creatures with thought alone. Continue reading
Regular readers of Ethics Alarms may have surmised that I detest rigid ideologies. Like moral codes, they are short-cuts for the intellectually and ethically lazy, “how-To” manuals for policy-making and problem-solving that eliminate the need for analysis and critical thought, and that therefore cause untold misery. Ideologies, whether they involve small government, caring for the poor or always bring in your closer in the ninth inning, are among the primary reasons that the country and the world are in the mess that they are.
An awful story from Melbourne, Australia is the best metaphor for this that I have encountered in a while. A vegan couple decided that their virtuous lifestyle dictated that they make a vegan out of their kitten—cats, unlike dogs, must eat meat to survive—so they force-fed the little fluffy animal a vegan diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta. Naturally, the kitten became deathly ill and was barely saved by an animal hospital after three days of intensive care.
Human babies have also been made sick and sometimes killed by similar misapplied ideologies. These people are, of course, idiots, but are they that much more irresponsible than elected leaders who are incapable of setting aside their ideological biases to care for cities, states, and nations, and deal with the non-conforming, non-ideologically neat crises they find themselves in?
Spark and Pointer: Instapundit
Facts: The Herald Sun
The above poster is being used by the Bristol, England, city council to get dog owners to pick up after their pets.
Yecccch! Ack!!! Gag!
Also this: What a lazy, inconsiderate, unfair and unethical assault on the majority in order to make an impact on a minority. Given the choice between wiping dog poop off my shoe or having my stomach turned by the image of a child eating it, I’m not sure which I’d take, or who I hate more, the inconsiderate dog owner, or the jerk who is willing to sicken me to get at him.
Good, noble, arrogant, self-righteous advocates for responsible behavior increasingly behave as if any collateral damage is acceptable, while their dubiously effective advocacy gets more shrill and ugly. Every time that current TV ad featuring the croaking, hideously disfigured ex-smoker talking while a photo of her lovely pre-cancer visage shows us the ravages of tobacco, I literally dive for the remote, just as I do when the animal cruelty spots begin bombarding me with images of sad-eyed, neglected and abused cats and dogs.
(I also do this when Piers Morgan, Nancy Grace, Donald Trump, Sean Hannity or Al Sharpton flash on the screen, but I digress.) Continue reading