“I’m going to slug you, and then you sing a lovely song about how you love me anyway, and it doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things. OK?”
Steve-O-in-NJ sent in a thoughtful elaboration on the issue underlying my previous post regarding the obligation of abused women to end their relationship with abuser, and certainly not deepen it. He gets extra credit for quoting a lyric from “Carousel” in response to my post’s use of a similar themed lyric from “Show Boat.” (I wonder how many Broadway and popular songs are laments by abused women? The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Carousel’s” protagonist is an abuser: one woman he strikes says that the blow “felt like a kiss.” Gee, if he threw her down the stairs, would it feel like a hug?)
Here is Steve’s Comment of the Day on the post, The Ray Rice Affair: Defending Stephen Smith (and Blaming the Victims Of Domestic Abuse When They Behave Like Rice’s)…
There’s an Italian proverb to the effect that no one else should enter into the discussions between husband and wife. I’m personally acquainted with one couple where things went bad after the wedding because the husband decided his wife was no longer so good-looking after she didn’t quite lose all the weight she gained during her first pregnancy. I’m also acquainted with another couple, mostly with the wife, in which the husband both verbally and physically abused the wife for months before the wedding, but she married him anyway, and now with the birth of their first child it appears that life is perfect.
For a long time prior to the second couple’s wedding I listened to the now-wife’s constant complaining and gave her exactly the advice set forth above. It fell on deaf ears, and I paid a draining emotional price. Because of that, when the wife in the first couple came to me in tears because the husband’s attention had turned to some hot number with tattoos and piercings, I turned her away and told her to work it out, I didn’t have the time or the inclination to listen to this nonsense again, when all it would probably result in was her going back with him after burdening me with her problems, leaving me the loser. I should also mention that the wife in the second relationship had been in relationships with at least two other men who beat her prior to the one she actually married.
It’s hard to say that there’s a war on women when some of the women actively walk into the line of fire and toss logic to the wind (“What’s the Use of Wondrin’?”) and burden society’s resources by welcoming their 911 rescue only to drop all charges once they see their men in cuffs, leaving the cops and prosecutors wondering why they even bothered.
It’s generally an accepted practice that if you call for the paramedics because you feel ill or are injured, but decline to go to the hospital, you have to sign a form generally called an AMA (against medical advice) form, absolving them from liability. I would suggest that a similar form be adopted for domestic violence situations, where, if the woman declines to press charges, she has to sign a form saying she is doing so, and perhaps a second form where she has to sign off if she declines to leave the relationship. Then the police keep these forms on file, and when they get another call from the same address about the same stuff, they can give it a lower priority or ignore it altogether in favor of pursuing the shots fired or burglary in progress calls. It isn’t society’s job to help those who refuse to help themselves, nor to be a maid or valet service cleaning up after messy relationships but never able to get at the source. Society has an obligation to properly husband its limited resources, and members of society have an obligation not to become a drain on those resources.
Awww, isn’t this cute?
I’ve got bad new for you, Quincy, California:
You aren’t serious enough.
The England-based company Wall’s… set a crew up in Quincy on April 11 to film a commercial to be aired online later this month…On Friday, April 11, the crew set up multiple cameras around the courthouse…The premise of the commercial was simple. Hagwood, along with Deputy Sgt. Carson Wingfield and actor Scott Peat from Los Angeles, would pull cars over in front of the courthouse for “driving too serious.”The commercial filmed in Quincy will be part of a larger ad campaign by Wall’s. Filming also took place in such countries as the United Arab Emirates and Columbia. The global message is simple: don’t take life so seriously.
At around noon last Friday, filming began. Rather than receiving a ticket, drivers were given a complimentary ice cream cone and their expressions and reactions were filmed for the commercial. All the drivers pulled over reacted well, and generally enjoyed being a part of the commercial….To show appreciation to Quincy for allowing the stunt, Wall’s held an ice cream social at the Dame Shirley Plaza later that afternoon. Droves of people showed up for free ice cream and live music.
It may be cute, but it is also unprofessional, unethical, and outrageous. Law enforcement is a serious responsibility always, with no breaks for ice cream commercials. Using the police power to pull over motorists on false pretenses to assist a company’s advertising campaign is an abuse of power, and illegal. Gee, I wonder what other gags this police department will pull for the right price?
I hope someone sues. A town cannot ethically rent out its police and use them to dragoon citizens into an ice cream commercial. No one complicit in this corrupt sell-out should be trusted with a budget, a title, or a gun. Ever.
Facts: Plumas County
I’ll grant you that Ted Nugent’s asinine efforts to minimize the unethical nature of his uncivil words about President Obama by tweeting his views on 44 “more offensive” forms of conduct were a pretty good example of my least favorite rationalization in action. That rationalization is #22, the Comparative Virtue Excuse, or “There are worse things.” (There are always worse things, of course.) Never mind: Ted is playing in the minor leagues. Art Acevedo, Austin’s excuse-master police chief, really knows how to swing a #22.
A bystander took a video of Austin police detaining and ultimately arresting jogger Amanda Jo Stephen after she crossed an intersection at a red light and failed to obey orders from an officer after he saw her jaywalking, because she was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear him. My view: the police over-reacted and used excessive force (she pulled her arm away when the officer stopped her, and he treated is as resisting arrest), but wearing head phones that make it impossible for you to hear what is around you is 1) dangerous, 2) stupid and 3) obnoxious. Continue reading
Now this is an ethics category you don’t see very often!
“Let’s hope that I do not, while taking valuables and property from the private residence I am about to break into, encounter evidence of a crime that, unlike burglary and theft, my personal value system regards as repugnant, for then, as a responsible citizen burglar, I would be ethically obligated to report it to law enforcement officials, thus placing myself at greater risk of arrest…”
In Spain, a burglar broke into the home of a trainer for a kids soccer team, and discovered a collection of child pornography, including self-made recordings of the homeowner sexually abusing children as young as ten. The burglar placed an anonymous call to local police and said he left the evidence in a car, along with a note on which he wrote the apparent pedophile’s address. “I have had the misfortune to come into possession of these tapes and feel obliged to hand them over and let you do your job, so that you can lock this … up for life,” the burglar told police in his message.
The trainer has been arrested and charged; one of his victims, who is now 16, told authorities she had been abused since the time she was 10.
A few ethics observations on an intriguing case: Continue reading
A few quick points, before I present Chris Marschner’s excellent Comment of the Day:
- You know you’re posting too much when a you’ve completely forgotten an essay less than a month old, like this one.
- Why didn’t someone tell me that I left the “l” out of “Columbia”?
- I’m going to have to start working on my proof-reading again, clearly. There were a couple more typos in this post.
- Chris just started commenting, and this is the third carefully written, well-reasoned substantive piece he has produced. I am grateful; such debuts raise everyone’s game.
- I liked this post, and not many people read it or commented on it. I am increasingly worried about the trend in law enforcement and in government generally, especially the schools, to brush off free speech as an inconvenience. I’m grateful to Chris for raising the issue again.
Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce: Columbia, South Carolina Police Chief Ruben Santiago”: Continue reading
The face of police power abuse in Columbia, S.C.
If our culture did a minimally competent job communicating the essential right of free speech in the United States, people like Ruben Santiago wouldn’t think as the do—as they do being best described as ignorantly, censoriously, arrogantly and stupidly. Both the Left and the Right are to blame for the message not getting out to the public, and, consequently, members of the public who acquire governmental authority: the government can’t threaten you or harm you for mere speech…the Left through its attempts at political correctness, mind control and indoctrination in the schools, the Right in its efforts to use laws to curb expression involving sex and violence in the arts and entertainment.
In Columbia,Police Chief Ruben Santiago took to the Columbia Police Department Facebook page to announce that his officers had seized $40,000 in marijuana from an apartment after a successful drug investigation. Citizen Brandon Whitmer, on his own page, took note of the arrest and opined, “maybe (police) should arrest the people shooting people in 5 points instead of worrying about a stoner that’s not bothering anyone. It’ll be legal here one day anyway.” Santiago replied ominously to Whitmer, saying, “(W)e have arrested all of the violent offenders in Five points. Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.”
Somebody in the department with a working knowledge of the Constitution quickly got that post deleted, but Santiago defended it in a double-down post, writing, Continue reading
Do you recall the post last week about the brain-dead reaction of various website commenters to the Florida arrest prosecution of a man for harassing a manatee?
If they had been commenting about this incident, they would have been on firm logical and ethical ground.
Anthony Brasfield and his girlfriend shared a carefree, romantic interlude one Sunday morning in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Dania Beach Boulevard, as they released a dozen red and silver mylar heart-shaped balloons and watched them rise, up, up, up into the air, then slowly float away, high and far, until they became tiny specks against the blue. They squeezed each other’s hands, smiled, and…got arrested by a Florida highway patrol state trooper on the spot.
Brasfield was charged with the environmental crime of helium pollution, under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.Aggravating the offense apparently was the fact that endangered marine turtle species and birds make their abode in John U. Lloyd State Park, about 1.5 miles east of the motel. The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison. Continue reading
“Just remove that offensive bumper sticker, sir, and they’ll be no trouble.”
USA Today, NBC, Yahoo! and other news outlets are snickering as they report the story of an elderly couple pulled over by two police cars in Tennessee because a Buckeye leaf decal on their car, signifying their fealty to the Ohio State football team, was mistaken for a marijuana leaf by the men in blue. “What are you doing with a marijuana sticker on your bumper?” one of the cops asked the Jonas-Boggionis, the occupants of the vehicle. It was all a big misunderstanding! Boy, are those Tennessee cops dumb, not to be able to tell a Buckeye leaf from pot!
In classic “what’s wrong with this story?” fashion, not one of the news media reports, in their hilarity over the cops stopping the couple out of official botanical and sports ignorance, noted that the police would have been just as wrong if the decal DID portray a marijuana leaf. It’s called the First Amendment, guys—perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s the same Constitutional amendment that allows you media reporters to do the rotten, incompetent job you do covering the news without being declared by law to be the menace to a free and informed society you are. You know, it might be helpful, when the police engage in a blatant First Amendment violation and abuse of state power, for reporters to recognize and explain it to the public as such, rather than make the news story about how the police stopped the Jonas-Boggionis for the “wrong reason.” Even if they had stopped it for what the stories say is the right reason, it would be the wrong reason. Continue reading
…bad, as in “if you can’t come up with something better than this, why bother?”
Adding useful data to the time-honored debate over whether police frequently lie under oath comes this decision from 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reinstated a 6-year-old civil rights lawsuit filed by a Vietnam veteran and former pilot John Swartz, who contended that he was unconstitutionally stopped and arrested after expressing his displeasure by extending his middle finger to a cop.
After the stop, he and the officer, Richard Insogna, got in a headed argument that culminated in Swartz’s arrest for disorderly conduct. Insogna said in a deposition that he regarded Swartz’s gesture as an attempt to get his attention, not as an insult, and he that he only followed the car to ensure the safety of passenger and driver, who, he surmised, might be embroiled in a domestic dispute. The 2nd Circuit was, we are told, “skeptical of the explanation.”
Ya think? Continue reading