Category Archives: U.S. Society

Ethics Observations On The WDBJ Shooting

Shooter

As you know by now, a reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed Wednesday on live TV in Roanoke, Virginia. The shooter was a a former reporter at the same station his victims, 24-year-old WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old photographer Adam Ward, worked for. Another woman was shot at the scene and apparently will recover. The shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, fatally shot himself in his car after fleeing. He had used Bryce Williams as his professional name.

Later it was learned that Flanagan had successfully sued the station (it settled), which had fired him in 2013 after he had worked there briefly. Earlier he’d been employed at several other stations across the country, and had sued some of them as well. He tweeted prior to his rampage that Parker had used a racist term in his presence.

ABC then reported:

“A man claiming to be Bryce Williams called ABC News over the last few weeks, saying he wanted to pitch a story and wanted to fax information. He never told ABC News what the story was.This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.) almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up. ABC News contacted the authorities immediately and provided them with the fax.”

The 23 page fax included such comments as…

  • “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS. Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15”
  • “What sent me over the top was the church shooting,” referring to June’s mass shooting at the  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
  • “And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”
  • “As for [Charleston shooting suspect] Dylann Roof? You [censored]! You want a race war [censored]? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …[censored]!!!”
  • “I was influenced by [ Virginia Tech shooter] Seung–Hui Cho….That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin.”

A few observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

More E-Mail Deception From State: Does Anybody Care? Well, I Do. And You?

Another day, another Hillary advisor, another scandal...

Another day, another Hillary advisor, another scandal…

The private server of Hillary Clinton isn’t the only intrigue going on the should make us wonder just how corrupt our leaders and aspiring leaders are. There has been a new development involving another set of emails that should cause public outrage and alarm…if the news media had the integrity to report on it.

In 2012, Gawker filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking the State Department to produce e-mails related to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines (now a top Hillary Clinton adviser) and his contacts with  thirty-three listed media outlets. Reines was involved in an intemperate email exchange with Gawker journalist Michael Hastings in which he told Hastings to “fuck off;” naturally Gawker, being Gawker, wanted to dig up dirt on him.

[It’s a side issue, but any high ranking government official  that tells any journalist to “fuck off” should be forced to apologize and be punished or sacked.  This just one more example of the Obama Administration’s aversion to accountability and management competence.]

The U.S. State Department officially stated in 2013 that there were no such emails, reporting that “After a thorough search . . . no records responsive to your request were located.”

Last week, after a federal judge demanded a“court-ordered status report,” Justice Department lawyers, reporting on behalf of the State Department, announced that the previous statement was a teeny bit off. The State Department had found of “5.5 gigabytes of data containing 81,159 emails of varying length” sent or received by Reines, of which about 17,855, or 22%, were relevant to the initial FOIA request.

Wait…what?? Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, The Internet, U.S. Society

Planned Parenthood Videos Surprise: Forced To Defend Abortion Ethics Acknowledging The Existence Of A Second Human Life In The Equation, Advocates Run Out Of Arguments, Part Two: Bad Analogies

The involuntary liver transplant from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life." Why, you're RIGHT, Amanda! It's EXACTLY like a pregnancy!

The involuntary liver transplant from Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life.” Why, you’re RIGHT, Amanda! It’s EXACTLY like a pregnancy!

(Part One is here.)

If an advocate has persuasive, honest, strong arguments not based on fallacies and rationalizations, I assume that those would be the ones he or she would use.

The recent Center for Medical Progress videos featuring employees of Planned Parenthood and StemExpress describing in graphic detail the process by which fetal tissue is harvested for research, and in some cases showing the process itself, have made abortion advocates squirm by making it difficult for them to deny that a tiny, growing human being is sacrificed in the act of abortion. This makes the evasive “choice” defense of abortion inadequate. Why shouldn’t unborn lives matter? Either because of neglect (“It’s legal” and “it’s my right” have been used to cut off debate for decades), because the rationale for debate has been built on a convenient fiction (“Life? I don’t see any life!”), or because there really aren’t any ethically satisfying justifications for abortion on demand, the pro-abortion lobby’s attacks on the videos have been notable for their lack of substance and abundant desperation.

This has been especially true of the analogies offered for the relationship between a mother and unborn child, and the fetus itself.

In the Washington Post last week, Margo Kaplan, who as an associate professor at Rutgers Law School should be skilled at analogies, attacked anti-abortion advocates with what she seemed to think was a definitive “gotcha!” She notes that there is nowhere near the same level of attention paid to frozen embryos that are donated to research as aborted fetuses, and from this concludes all manner of horrible things about abortion opponents: Continue reading

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Filed under Bioethics, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Rights, U.S. Society

Unethical Comment Thread Of The Month: IJR’s Story On The Cheerleader Rapist

"Hi, I'm Molly, and I just raped you son. A simple thank you will suffice..."

“Hi, I’m Molly, and I just raped you son. A simple thank you will suffice…”

Well, read it and weep, as poker players say.

I’ve written about this disgusting phenomenon before, when ethically-challenged bloggers, pundits and commenters snicker about how great it is for the under-age male victims of sexual assault by attractive female teachers and other comely predators. The complete ignorance of the requirements of basic adult responsibility, the wrongfulness of abuse of power,  the law of consent and so much else exhibited by these blights on civilization is truly frightening, though it tells us a great deal about where Donald Trump’s support comes from among other things.

I am distraught. On one hand, reading this kind of thing makes me wonder why I bother. Really. How can one man, or a thousand, reverse or even retard the corrosive effects of so many idiots whose contempt for decency and whose ethical darkness is so deep, cynical  and shameless? On the other hand, what better choices do those of us who understand and care about the values of society have? To sink into catatonic despair? To self-lobotomize and join the mob of corrupt fools, grinning and drooling as the U.S. becomes Hell? To shake out fists at the moon until something pops and we are dragged to the padded room?

The story that generated these comments involved former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, who was accused of raping a 15-year-old boy last summer in Rehoboth, Delaware. Shattuck decided to plead guilty to one count of fourth degree and  admitted that she performed oral sex on the boy, who was a friend of her son.

This classy mom (she has three kids) was sentenced to spend every other weekend for the next two years at a work-release detention center, plus she must pay the victim’s family $10,650 and register as a sex offender. Yes indeed, this is very lenient compared to what would have happened if an adult male had sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The Attorney General called it a “classic case of grooming behavior” as he argued for more than probation.  What the commenters don’t comprehend is that how a victim feels about criminal conduct should have little influence on the proper punishment of the criminal. Should the battered spouse of a man who has dominated and cowed her into believing that she “deserves it”  ensure that her husband is treated more leniently than the wife-beater whose spouse resists and objects? Well, this is one of the things the commenters don’t comprehend. There is so much more. (I have checked the comment threads on this story on other websites. They are essentially the same.)

Read it and weep.

Yechhhh.

Continue reading

47 Comments

Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Romance and Relationships, The Internet, U.S. Society

Gotcha! The New York Times Again Proves Its Bias And Unethical Journalism

F minus

One litmus test I have for whether individual Democrats, liberals and progressives have integrity and  can be trusted is whether they will admit that the left-leaning bias in the mainstream media is wrong and intolerable….and is real. It is amazing and depressing how few pass that test. For until liberals demand fairness and objectivity from journalists, the chances that the mainstream media will see the importance of reforming and actually following their own codes of ethics are nil.

The self-exiled Barry Deutsch, a perceptive and intelligent leftist cartoonist/blogger  (it’s a good blog) who once was a prolific commenter here, flunked the test repeatedly, which I found perplexing. Barry is an honest man. Why couldn’t he see it? Was it because his own bias is so strong that what the news media produced as slanted reporting seemed fair and accurate to his similarly slanted worldview? Was it that he is so far left that the news media seemed conservative to him, so the frequent, throbbingly obvious examples of the news media being left-biased—the cheerleading for Obama’s election, the relentless savaging of Sarah Palin, the open lobbying for the ACA, climate change legislation, gay marriage and gun control, the embargoes on coverage of scandals that would have attracted Watergate-level scrutiny in a GOP administration, like the IRS scandal, and much more) didn’t compute?

I still don’t have an answer, and Barry is gone, without ever supplying me with a plausible answer.

I have to think, however, that even Barry would have a hard time denying this example, neatly flagged by Elizabeth Rice Foley. She writes, on Instapundit this afternoon: Continue reading

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Filed under U.S. Society

The Vulgarizing Of America

No, this post isn’t about Donald Trump, and I expect the inevitable “Get off my lawn, you kids!” mockery in response to it. All right, I’ll take it. Some adult has to remind the arrested development cases running the media, advertising, business and the nation—OK, I guess this is a little about Trump—that as hilarious as they seem to think boorishness, incivility and vulgarity is, their determination to lower standards of public speech below the water level in the gutter is cultural pollution.

At the televised Teen Choice Awards, Sarah Hyland, the young actress who plays the oldest and dumbest of the two Dumphy sisters on hit sitcom “Modern Family,” moved to the podium to present an award. Who knows, maybe the whole thing was concocted by her publicist to compete with the week’s buzz over the revelation that Ariel Winter, who plays the youngest and smartest sister, just had breast reduction surgery. Whatever the cause, Hyland tripped awkwardly on the way to the microphone and screamed out, as she recovered her balance, “Are you fucking kidding me??”

I did say she played the dumbest sister—good casting!

Hyland apologized to the audience and later on Twitter…for tripping. E!, which plays the role of the dumbest cable channel, responded on its website, “Oh, Sarah, you’re the best!” and “We’ve all done it!”

We’ve all screamed “fuck” in front of a formal wear-attired audience and TV cameras? Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture, U.S. Society

Unethical Op-Ed Of The Month, Or Maybe All Time: Theodore R. Johnson In The Washington Post

Well, at least that would explain it...

Well, at least that would explain it…

The essay is titled, “We used to count black Americans as 3/5 of a person. For reparations, give them 5/3 of a vote.” Yes, it’s serious. There is so much wrong with it logically, ethically, historically, legally, and Constitutionally, that it would take more words, time and effort to fully rebut all the nonsense in the article than this oddity is worth. Go ahead, read it. If your first reaction is, “Hey! What a brilliant idea!,” it’s time to seek professional help, and I don’t care what color you are.

Rather than give this perverted, anti-democratic fantasy the dignity of a rebuttal, I’ll just offer a few observations: Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Race, Rights, U.S. Society