Category Archives: Family

Ethics Alarms’ All-Time Greatest Hits

AllTimeGreatestHits

I am listing these because one of the past posts that keep drawing readers is going nuts today: the 2013 essay about the horrible Wanetta Gibson, who sent Brian Banks, a young man with a bright future to prison by falsely accusing him of rape when she was 15. If anyone has any idea why this would be, let me know; as far as I can find out, there are no new developments in the case.

It is gratifying that so many Ethics Alarms posts continue to find new readers. Here are the top ten that have “legs,” and my assessment of why.

1. The Rationalizations List. That’s no surprise, since I link to it so frequently, and it is also frequently updated.

2. Wanetta Gibson Is Even Worse Than We Thought

3.The Amazing Mouthwash Deception: Helping Alcoholics Relapse For Profit. I am proud of this one. The use of mouthwash by alcoholics is epidemic, yet now, as in 2010 when I wrote this, almost nobody who isn’t a drunk is likely to know it. This makes it easy for closeted alcoholics to hide their illness, and continue to harm themselves by gulping 54 proof liquor out of various convenient containers or their caps, which are coincidentally shaped like shot glasses. Incredibly, the Ethics Alarms post is still one of the few references on this problem on the web. As you will read, I think the makers of mouthwash intentionally keep it this way, because the alcoholic market is huge.

I regularly receive thanks from family members of alcoholics, who tell me that reading this post led to their discovering that a loved oned had relapsed. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Education, Family, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, History, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Workplace

Comment Of The Day (2): “The Strange Case Of The Unwanted Triplet”

infant

Beth’s  thoughtful Comment of the Day is only tangentially a comment on the Ethics Alarms post about the surrogate mother who balked at aborting one third of the triplets she was carrying. It was really a comment on a comment made to the author of the previous Comment of the Day on the same post, as J. Jonah Jameson described his own experience as a father who employed a surrogate. JJJ was asked why he chose the expensive and risky surrogate route rather than adoption. That question inspired Beth’s Comment of the Day.

Here it is; I’ll be back at the end.

“Why didn’t you adopt a child that needed a family?”

As a woman who battled infertility in the past, and have many friends who did the same, along with others who intentionally became single parents, used surrogates, or have or are trying to adopt a baby, let me say that this is the absolute worst question you can ever ask somebody going through this process. As you pointed out, you are not trying to be judgmental, but you should never ask this.

Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Bioethics, Character, Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Etiquette and manners, Family, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine

Comment of the Day (1), on Surrogate Ethics: “The Strange Case Of The Unwanted Triplet”

surrogate-motherIt’s very thoughtful of Ethics Alarms readers to provide such high level content so I have a chance of completing the 2015 Ethics Alarms Awards before March. I am awash in potential Comments of the Day all of a sudden, and this is the first of nesting COTDs, both inspired by the recent post on the surrogate with gestating triplets who is blocking the attempt of the biological father to abort Eenie, Meenie, or Miney, he doesn’t care which.

New commenter J. Jonah Jameson—presumably not really Peter Parker’s employer—submitted a helpful personal story that puts much of that drama in perspective. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, The Strange Case Of The Unwanted Triplet:

I am the biological father of a child born of a surrogate mother. I’m sure ResurrectedToday is correct that the father fully knew that there was a chance of triplets. But the surrogate knew the same thing, and I’m almost 100% certain that she agreed in advance that she would have an abortion if the father requested it. (If not, then there are a lot of lawyers, doctors and other professionals who did not do their job.) Either she changed her mind, or she never really intended to abide by that agreement.

I can say a few things about my own experience:

1. There were a lot of people involved in the process: me, the surrogate, the donor, the three lawyers representing us, the doctors, and the psychologists and social workers at the lawyers’ and doctors’ offices. In almost every conversation that I had with any of these people, the subject of multiple births was discussed. Everybody involved understood clearly that there was a very high possibility of twins, triplets or even more.

Continue reading

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Filed under Bioethics, Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Family, Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement

A Donald Trump Ethics Lesson

nice-guys“Trump Once Cut Off Medical Care For Sick Infant To Spite the Parents,” shouts the Mediaite headline, thus showing that even somewhat ideologically balanced websites will slant their coverage to make Donald Trump look bad—-strange, because honest reporting  will usually do the trick. What a monster he must be! The problem with the headline is that it intentionally mischaracterizes the episode in question, and “poisons the well,”  framing the story so that a casual reader is likely to interpret it as negatively as possible. This is classic unethical journalism. It also shows how some journalists are incapable of reporting on politicians and leaders, whose world view is so different from theirs.

Fortunately, I should add.

The real story, related over the weekend by the  New York Times, is more complex. The Times told the sad tale of Trump’s older brother Freddy, who died of the effects of alcohol abuse before he was fifty after leaving the family construction business. Trump’s reflections on his brother are uncharacteristically sympathetic and gentle, and it is interesting that The Donald’s reaction to his brother’s fall includes never using tobacco or alcohol, a tribute to his self-discipline.

The incident that prompted the Mediaite hit job occurred after Freddie’s death. Here is how the Times describes it: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

Observations On Donald Trump Playing The Bill Card On Hillary Clinton.

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Veeery interesting.

After Hillary accused Donald Trump of being a sexist, which, of course, he indubitably is, Trump, who believes that when hit one should hit back twice as hard, immediately pointed out, in his typically clumsy, sloppy but somehow effective way, that for someone married to Bill Clinton to play “the woman’s card” was, shall we say, hypocritical. Then fate took a hand: Bill Cosby finally faced a few bars of music in court, and some journalists and pundits began musing about the differences and similarities between Bill C. and Bill C. (I flagged this problem for the Clintons over a year ago.)

Then elder pundits did some figuring, and realized that a large number of younger voters, the Democratic Party’s base, don’t know very much at all about Monica, Paula, Kathleen, Juanita, Gennifer and Dolly, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, or loss of his law license, in part because the news media has been an active Clinton family enabler for over a decade, and in part because our education system fails to educate. Thus a decisive component of the Hillary cheering section just think of Bill as a revered former President elder statesman, and did not gag, as I did, when this guy of all guys was made the centerpiece of the 2012 Democratic National Convention themed to decry the “war on women.”

But wait! There’s more! When Trump carried his new vendetta to the Today Show, lovely, light-weight, biased co-host Savannah Guthrie revealed herself to be both ignorant and a tool by calling the Monica affair “alleged.”  Mary Bruce on  Good Morning America also referred to Bill’s infamous womanizing as “alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity.” Ignorance or Clinton protecting? Bill’s infidelity is as “alleged” as O.J.’s skills with a knife.

Finally, a feminist, Democrat, usually reliable Clinton ally on the Washington Post editorial staff, Ruth Marcus, Trump is right: “Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game.” for Hillary opponents.

Which, of course, it is.

Observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

A Rubio Scandal, And Now The Test: How Does He Handle It?

lit fuse

It looks like the Washington Post has Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio dead to rights on a substantial conflict of interest scandal, or worse. It dates back to 2002, when the Florida Senator was a rising politician serving as majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives.

The Post convincingly documents that Rubio used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law Orlando Cicilia, a convicted cocaine trafficker released from prison 20 months earlier. Rubio sent a letter on his official statehouse stationery to the Florida Division of Real Estate, recommending  Cicilia “for licensure without reservation.” The letter did not disclose that Cicilia was married to Rubio’s sister,  or that the convicted cocaine dealer was then living with Rubio’s parents. Rubio merely wrote that he had “known” Cicilia “for over 25 years.”

This is deception by omission, as well as an abuse of power and position. There is also the unanswered question of whether Rubio or his family received financial assistance from Cicilia when he had access to drug money from $15 million worth of cocaine he was convicted of distributing in 1989. The federal government seized Cicilia’s home, but the money has never been found. Moreover, the Post reports, Rubio-affiliated PACs and campaigns, including his current one, have paid Cicilia’s two sons more than $130,000 in the past decade. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

An Unethical Heart-Warming Christmas Story…Dumb, Too

clara3

The headline:

“Mom did porn to buy son’s Christmas presents”

The story, as told by the New York Post:

A single mom has been more naughty than nice this year — but all in the spirit of Christmas.

Megan Clara spent the last year starring in porn movies so she could afford everything on her 5-year-old son Ashton’s Christmas list. The 20-year-old UK resident says she was devastated last holiday season when Ashton complained he didn’t have the same expensive presents as his friends. Making nearly $120 a week, she was only able to buy an Etch A Sketch, cuddly toys and new clothes
“Last Christmas I could barely scrape any money together, it was really tough and I couldn’t help but worry Ashton was going to be left out and disappointed” the mom from Portsmouth, England, told Caters News Agency.

After seeing an old friend “stripping off,” Clara got in touch with her friend’s photographer. The rest, she says, is history.

“My job’s amazing, I love being in front of the camera,” she said. “My idol is Katie Price, I thought if she can make money by glamor modeling it was worth me giving it a go too – I’m in awe of her.”

The young mom now gets paid $743 per scene and has spent almost $2,200 on her son this Christmas.

“Ashton has wanted a bike for over three years and I’ve finally been able to make his dream come true. It’s an amazing feeling. The only downside is that he now bribes me into buying him toys for being well-behaved,” she said.

The adult film star already received backlash about her chosen profession, but says that “some people are just jealous.”

“I know not everyone agrees with the adult film industry but I’m a great mum, why should it matter what my occupation is,” she said. “I love the excitement and get a rush. Plus it pays well too.”…“This year has been a complete roller coaster and a whirlwind, there’s been ups and downs but now I’ve learned to ignore what other people think.

Here’s what I think, whether Clara cares or not: There is so much wrong with this story that it qualified as a Christmas Kaboom, but my head, in the spirit of Christmas, didn’t want to explode all over the tree. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Family, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!, Professions