To take this quiz, you have to go to Netflix and watch “God Bless America,” a 2011 black comedy, written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwaite, that is a strange hybrid of “Network,” “Falling Down” and “Harold and Maude.” Unless, of course, yo9u have already seen it. (For a hint regarding its content and thrust, check the tags, as well as the clip above.)
And your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question is...
Is this an ethical movie?
You might also want to read this related post, from The Ethics Scoreboard in 2004.
The recent thread regarding the supposedly racist Boston Herald cartoon has prompted me to ponder how much we are obligated to know what was, is and will be considered offensive, and whether the cultural rules or guidelines regarding this are fair or clear. That post is in the works, but this one interposed itself.
The latest issue of Canadian Lawyer magazine features a cover story about the lack of diversity on the Canadian bench. Above the Law joins outraged students, lawyers and civil rights advocates in being convinced that the cover is racist.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for today:
The American culture’s grim determination to raise a race of wimps, weenies, hysterics and delicate snowflakes continues apace. Or is this a necessary adjustment to our growing incivility?
In Ohio, the Thunder United Metro Futbol Club, a kids’ soccer league, held an experimental “silent soccer weekend.” Parents and fans were told that there would be no shouting or cheering at the games. Clapping was permitted, but not whistling or using noise makers. Team coaches were instructed to keep shouted instructions to a minimum. Printed signs and rally towels got a green light, since they are quiet.
The objective, of course, was to combat negative shouts and other demonstrations by parents and fans that might bruise youthful egos and squash self esteem.
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for today:
Is banning crowd commentary at youth athletic events responsible, or irresponsible?
In Great Britain, SheTaxis also offers female drivers only, but apparently with a different market in mind….
If a white customer doesn’t feel comfortable with a black taxi driver, that’s bias. If a Christian customer doesn’t want to give his business to a Muslim driver, that’s bigotry. If a white cabbie refuses to pick up a black man looking for a ride, that’s racism. And if a woman insists on only female cab drivers, who in turn will only pick up women, that’s…SHETAXIS!!!
From the New York Times:
A new livery service starting Sept. 16 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island will offer female drivers exclusively, for female riders, according to its founder. It will take requests for rides through an app, and dispatch drivers sporting hot pink pashmina scarves.
“The service will be called SheTaxis — SheRides in New York City because of regulations barring it from using “taxi” in its name — and aims to serve women who may feel uncomfortable being driven by men, or who simply prefer the company of other women. The app will ask potential riders if there is a woman in their party. If not, they will be automatically redirected to other car services.”
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for today is:
Is this ethical…
a) for customers?
b) for the service?
Who knows what dark thoughts lurk a teacher’s imagination, unless he tells us? And should it matter if he does?
Patrick McLaw, an eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace’s Lane Middle School in Cambridge, Maryland, has been placed on indefinite administrative leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education and the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office. This measure was taken after it was discovered that McLaw had serveal aliases, two of which he has used to write novels. One of those novels was about the largest school shooting in the country’s history, set in the year 2902.
Because these books terrified parents, apparently, Dorchester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner felt it necessary to announce that the Dorchester County Board of Education had moved swiftly, saying, “We have advised our community that the gentleman has been placed on administrative leave, and has been prohibited from entering any Dorchester County public school property.” That’s not all that happened. McLaw was taken into custody for an “emergency medical evaluation.” The same day,police swept Mace’s Lane Middle School for bombs and guns.
This sounds like a Kafka novel. Of course, if Kafka had been a middle school teacher in Cambridge Maryland, parents probably would be afraid that he was going to turn their kids into cockroaches.
How can this hysterical reaction to a teacher’s novel be justified, legally, logically or ethically?
Your Labor Day Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz involves yet another possible variation on “The Naked Teacher Principle”:
Is there an “Alarming Novelist-Teacher Principle” ?
Mom and mom advocate Lenore Skenazy writes the Free Range Kids blog, which I have to remember to check out regularly. She is the source of today’s Ethics Quiz, which she obviously believes has an easy answer. We shall see.
Not to beat a dead dog, but while conversing about this surprisingly contentious issue (here, and here) on Facebook with the ever-thoughtful and provocative Lianne Best (Ethics Alarms congratulations go to Lianne for being honored by NARAL as an Outstanding Advocate For Choice), I realized that I should have posed one more hypothetical for the enthusiastic child-leashers to chew on, to wit:
“Have you ever seen anyone in public with both a kid and a dog on leashes simultaneously?”
Would you do that? And if you wouldn’t, why would having a child on a leash without the dog be any better?
To which Lianne countered with an even better hypothetical:
“How about a parent walking in public with the child on a leash but the dog walking along without one?”
Spark: Lianne Best
Graphic: Baby Cottage Gifts