Tag Archives: insults

Ethics Quiz: Is It Time For A “Let’s Tweet Insults About Chip McGee Day”?

Meet Chip McGee!

Meet Chip McGee!

At Bedford (New Hampshire) High School, several students were not pleased with Superintendent Chip McGee’s announcement via his Twitter feed that classes would resume the day following the school’s cancellation for snow. They responded with tweets of their own, some that were not especially pleasant. McGee, as one would expect a mature adult to be, especially one overseeing the education of children, was philosophical. saying, “Kids said some very funny, clever things. And some kids stood up and said, ‘Hey, watch your manners.’ That was great. And some kids — a few — said some really inappropriate things.”

Yes, kids will be kids. McGee then suspended those latter students for up to four days.

“It’s been a really good exercise in issues of students’ right to speech, on the one hand, and students’ and teachers’ rights to an educational environment that’s conducive to learning,” McGee explained to the Constitutionally ignorant. “Kids have the right to say whatever they want about me [and] The First Amendment right means you can say what you want, (but) it doesn’t mean that you are free of repercussion. It can’t disrupt what we’re doing in school … If something disrupts school, and it (occurs) outside school, we not only can take action, we have to.”

McGee  hopes that the punished students will learn from this incident about “the line” of decent and appropriate commentary. “You only learn that by checking where it is, and having something happen when you cross it,” he said.

Good ol’, wise ol’ Chip McGee. He has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.

The students are absolutely guaranteed of speech without “repercussion,” if the speech is off school grounds and the repercussion is from a school official who takes offense. The school has no authority to punish students for what they post on Twitter, from their homes, none at all, unless it relates directly to action at school itself, such as organizing a school disruption. A student opinion of the superintendent or his decisions? That’s 100% protected speech. I can find that right to free speech Chip mentions right there in the Constitution, but search as I might, I can’t locate in the Bill of Rights the provision describing the “students’ and teachers’ rights to an educational environment that’s conducive to learning” that extends to what a student says and writes outside of school. Where is that “right,” Chip?

Chip speaks in the measured tones of a caring educator, but he acts like a petty tyrant who is eager to abuse his position and power to punish anyone who dares to displease him in what they say or think.

No merely insulting or uncivil tweet is going to disrupt school, and if that’s Chip’s claim, he has a rather tough burden of proof to demonstrate it. Nor does a public school—that’s the state, you know— have the right to effectively censor speech by punishing content. If the speech isn’t libelous or a credible threat, Chip McGee’s reasonable remedy consists of asking to speak with the Tweeter and express his hurt and disappointment, or perhaps consulting with the student’s parents, who do have a right to limit online speech when their children are the speakers.  As an educator, he might explain to the student that insulting authority figures who you must relate to by flaming them on mass social media is neither wise, civil, nor a good habit. He might even  suggest that an apology is in order. He may not, however, abuse his power and position to constrain the free speech of those students and others by inflicting punishment. Chip McGee, who has the young minds of children within his power to lead or mislead, needs to learn this basic civics lesson, as do other tin god educators, and I’m sure there are many, who similarly itch to punish students for exercising their speech rights in the privacy of their homes.

Thus this somewhat atypical Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question to ponders:

Should we declare a “Let’s Tweet Insults About Chip McGee Day”?

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Rights, The Internet

Unethical Web Site Of The Month: No Hate Speech Movement

hand over mouth

Right before the Paris terrorist attack on “Charlie Hebdo” I was going to post about No Hate Speech and decided, “Eh, this is too stupid.” Then, reflecting upon it in the light of the occurrences in subsequent days, I realized most of the many, primarily  young people, mostly well-meaning, sensitive, loving individuals who are represented on this almost unnavigable website—I hate that— would be making excuses for the Islamic terrorists who executed the French cartoonists, since by their definition, they engaged in “hate speech.”  ( “Of course terrorism is wrong, but...”)  They ended it too, didn’t they? At least they ended those particular speakers.

Free speech is being whittled away by the attempts to define free speech as excluding “hate.” Democratic Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts—you know, that cradle of freedom, democracy, protestm ringing words, and me—has  introduced legislation calling for the government to investigate “hate speech” on broadcast, cable, and Internet outlets. As Alan Derschowitz noted, the effort and the logic surrounding the bill endangers liberty:

“It is a worthy effort, but my prediction is that it either leads to the conclusion government cannot do it, or that they will do it and that will infringe on First Amendment rights. Governments are trying to also make changes to hate speech law and debating the issue in Canada, at the United Nations, and even right now in Israel. It is a worldwide trend, but it is a really dangerous trend.”

I guess because Derschowitz is an upstanding Democrat, he can’t bring himself to say that it is not a worthy effort. It is an irresponsible trend, with a campaign that depends on ignorance, historical amnesia, naivete and hypocrisy. I was trying to remember why I, last year, allowed a passionate and prolific commenter who was prone to rash and obscene language, often attacking other commenters. NOW I recall: This was the reason. The movement to censor “offensive” speech is a leap onto Markey’s slippery, censorious slope. Hate is a legitimate, if ugly sentiment, and it has its place. That place is in our heads, and sometimes, out of our mouths or pens. You don’t like it?  I’m listening. I lost a lot of readers who were offended by Scott’s remarks. Well, I decided that that the ethical thing was to let those who objected 1) learn not read his comments or 2) talk him out of it. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Humor and Satire, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, The Internet, U.S. Society

Pelosi: ‘We Did Not Lie About ObamaCare, And Here Are Two More Lies That Prove It’

Nancy Pelosi

I just saw this. I thought I was through for the day, but this must not pass.

Let me preface the post by saying that the Democratic leadership is disgraceful in its complete disrespect for the American people, and why individuals like Nancy Pelosi have any support at all except from the sinister, the the dim, and those with internal head injuries, I cannot fathom.

To wit:

1. Here was Pelosi’s refutation of Prof. Gruber’s smoking gun remarks (the link is to a video):

“I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill”

2. Here was what she said in 2009:

“We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange. And our bill takes down those costs, even some now, and much less preventing the upward spiral. So again, we’re confident about what we set out to do in the bill: middle class affordability, security for our seniors, and accountability to our children.”

3. Here is how her spokesperson responded to the flaming discrepancy:

“She said she doesn’t ‘know who he is,’ not that she’s never heard of him.”

According to the Washington Post, Pelosi only meant that she doesn’t know him personally. Sure, that makes sense. Like when people ask me about Jesus Christ, Babe Ruth, George Washington, George Clooney, Soupy Sales, Tito, Jimmy Durante, Eddie Bressoud, John Locke, Michael Crichton, Walter Hunt, Walt Kelly, Gene Kelly, Eugene O’Neill, Shaquille O’Neall, Kobi Bryant, Kelly Gruber, Chester A. Arthur, Arthur Godfrey, Godfrey Cambridge, John Dillinger, Sachem, Satchmo, Mo Vaughn, Vaughn Meader, Vaughn Monroe, Monroe Friedman, James Monroe, Jesse James, Bill James, Billy the Kid, Captain Kidd, Captain Kangaroo, Steve Irwin, Irwin Corey, Corey Feldman, Marty Feldman, Martin Van Buren, Van Johnson, Arte Johnson, Dan Rowan, or Rowan Atkinson,  all of whom I have never met, I’ll always say “I don’t know who he is,”

when I DO!

The woman is a blight on the political system, an ethics corruptor, and a vile influence whose presence and power  in the leadership of the Democratic Party should call into question its values and competence. She is a walking, talking insult to the Republic.

San Francisco must be so proud.

___________________

Pointer and Facts: Washington Post

 

 

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Leadership

Now THIS Is Insensitive!

Walmart_fat_girl_costumes

Yes, you read right: “Fat Girl Costumes.”

I don’t care for euphemisms generally, but there is no way “fat girl’ can be excused as anything but denigrating and disrespectful.

Once Walmart was deluged with protests and slams via social media after this appeared on its website this morning, it edited the page, now re-worded  to “Women’s Plus Size Halloween Costumes,” and announced,

‘This never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize.”

Unaddressed are  body-image issues. Most of the models shown in costume are indeed on the endomorphic side, but if Walmart calls this a fat girl…

_Walmart_fat_girl_costumes

…who isn’t?

_____________________

Source: Daily Mail

 

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Marketing and Advertising

NUCLEAR KABOOM! CNN Assigns Jay Carney To Cover Obama’s Speech: Could It Be More Contemptuous Of Fairness And Objectivity?

head explodes

My head hadn’t exploded for a while, and I thought perhaps it had built up some immunity from the detonating effects of ethics breaches that defied all reason. Then I read this in Politico:

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join CNN as a political commentator, the network announced Wednesday.

He will start Wednesday night as President Barack Obama makes a primetime statement about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant , Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief said in a statement.

“Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” Feist said. “We’re fortunate to have Jay on our air tonight to provide analysis and insight surrounding the President’s address to the nation.”

KABOOM!

Get the squeegee and the ladder, hon—my brains are on the ceiling.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!

Ethics Dunces: Blindly Partisan and Hateful Website Commenters

argument

I just learned that CNN closed its online message boards. I understand why, and no, it was not a move designed to stifle the increasing volume of anti-Obama comments, as some have suggetsed. I have been thinking about writing about this for a while, and the CNN move is an ideal opportunity.

The discourse on most news aggregator websites and news sites is beyond abysmal and uncivil: it’s an embarrassment to the nation. On such sites as CNN, Mediaite, The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller, Politico and others, virtually every thread follows the same, sad, pointless, idiotic path. Maybe there are a few substantive comments, then someone makes a cheap partisan crack, followed by an exchange of increasingly nasty comments based on familiar talking points from the right or the left, then, finally, name-calling, often with a racist, sexist or homophobic tone.  If you have the patience to wade through the crap, a thoughtful comment may sneak in, but who has the time or patience, or utter emptiness of life to do the wading? Here is a section from the middle of the comments on this Mediaite story…this one was about Bill O’Reilly being critical of Obama’s handling of ISIS, but honestly, the subject doesn’t matter much,. All the threads read the same way. Eventually every one gets around to someone insulting Obama, and immediately an Obama defender will mention Bush, who was, I should note, President six years ago, but I digress: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, The Internet, U.S. Society

Unethical Quote of the Week: Cleveland Browns Rookie Johnny Manziel

“I should have been smarter.It was a Monday Night football game so the cameras were probably solidly on me so you need to be smarter about that.”

—Rookie Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football,” brushing off his raised middle finger flashed at the Washington Redskins bench during their exhibition game.

Johnny's Number One!

Johnny’s Number One!

Good luck to the Cleveland Browns, who drafted a player that earned a reputation for being a a hard partying, rules-defying jerk in college, and then watched him get his first publicity as a pro by, surprise, being a jerk. Then, true to form, Manziel chastised himself, not for behaving in an uncivil, unsportsmanlike, unprofessional fashion, but for being caught at it. And he’s supposed to be the field leader of the team.

Great role model, that kid. If he does well, I think Cleveland may have a real juvenile delinquent problem in a few years.

Stay classy, Johnny.

______________________________

Source: The Blaze

 

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Filed under Character, Etiquette and manners, Leadership, Sports, Workplace