(This isn’t the guy. I think it’s his son…)
Longtime reader and commenter Neil Dorr chided me today for writing so much about the post-election media, political, and legal ethics breaches going on, and not as much on the types of topics I tended to cover on the old Ethics Scoreboard, now an archive of an earlier time when I thought a few posts a week could cover the topic of societal ethics. I was more innocent then, and I also had to depend on a webmaster: I posted more essays in the first year of Ethics Alarms than the entire output of the Ethics Scoreboard. Neil said he missed posts like the one about “the Lobster Hat”. I have to say, I don’t think there have been many posts likethe one about the lobster hat, which was one of my occasional “a day in Jack’s strange life” posts. I had forgotten about it completely. I tracked the decade old post down, however, and for Neil, and anyone else who is interested in lobster hats, here it is..
Today I accompanied my wife to a doctor’s appointment that she was dreading, and while we were checking in with the receptionist, a large, rotund fellow with a long white beard walked in to do likewise. On his head was what appeared to be a large, red lobster…a hat of sorts, though not a very seasonable or practical one. It was spectacular, however, with two large claws that drooped down about eyebrow level, and an impressive tail in the back. If I were ordering this specimen at Jimmy’s Harborside in Boston, it would be about a four-pounder.
I was amused at this unexpected sight, and said to my wife, loud enough so Lobster-topped Santa could hear me, “See? You think you have medical problems. This poor guy has a lobster attached to his head!” To my surprise, the man turned sharply and looked at me with a furious glare, snorted, and walked out the door, clearly offended, exactly as if I had said, “Wow! That’s some harelip you have there!” or “Gee, where does a guy as fat as you buy suits?” Continue reading
An ethics whiff for Frank Thomas
Baseball, and all its annual ethics puzzles, begins in about two weeks when Spring Training gets underway. Meanwhile, I have to tolerate everyone talking about Tom Brady and the Cheating Patriots as the NFL makes billions encouraging Americans to cheer for the gradual lobotomizing of young athletes for their pigskin entertainment. Still, even the off-season of America’s Pastime provides ethics fodder.
Frank Thomas, the 6’6″ 300 pound ex-first baseman, never was suspected of using steroids before he was elected to the Hall of Fame, in part because he was naturally so huge and strong that if he had used steroids he would have ended up battling Godzilla in Tokyo. “The Big Hurt,” as he was called, was and is an outspoken opponent of steroid use in baseball, but speaking at the annual White Sox fan convention last week, he proved that he is an ethics bush-leaguer.
The recent Hall of Fame vote elected two players, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez, long rumored to be users of performance enhancing drugs, and the vote totals showed increased support for uber-steroid cheat Barry Bonds and accused steroid-user Roger Clemens. The New York Post reported that Thomas said, without mentioning names, after he was asked how he felt about the election results, Continue reading
I don’t feature Victor Davis Hanson’s commentary as much as I probably should. It’s my bias against being unjustly seen as biased: he’s an eloquent and thoughtful conservative scholar, but is almost completely embargoed by liberal websites and media. I have a difficult time fighting off efforts to pigeon-hole Ethics Alarms as a conservative blog as it is, and citing a prominent conservative Hanson is seen by many as a smoking gun.
Nonetheless, as we live through the Fake News Ethics Train Wreck, a caboose on the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, Hanson’s latest commentary is a shaft of light. I have consistently referred to partial, distorted, badly reported, slanted or misframed news stories (like the current reporting of the Sally Yates betrayal as an act of principle and courage, rather than what it was: a politically motivated breach of professional ethics) as the real and sinister “fake news,” even as the mainstream media has pointed to the other kind—completely fabricated news—to distract from its own partisan, unethical reporting. Many commenters here have protested that the former isn’t truly “fake news.”
Hanson knocks that claim out of the park (Spring Training is fast approaching, so baseball metaphors are on my mind) , using many of the examples Ethics Alarms has cited previously. It is well worth reading.
Here is his essay, Fake News: Postmodernism By Another Name.
A toilet at Patrick Henry High….
Yyyyyyup! The American public school system continues to impress. As they used to say, “Get a load of this!“
In 2012 Gonja Wolf was an art teacher at Patrick Henry High School in the San Diego Unified School District. She was monitoring a 25-minute study hall. Administrators at the school had told teachers that frequent bathroom breaks for students would undermine the study hall’s purpose, which was uninterrupted study. They also told teachers to use their common sense. Unfortunately, Ms. Wolf had no common sense.
When a young woman in the class, a freshman, asked to go to the restroom, Wolf ordered her to urinate in a bucket in an adjacent supply room rather than use the bathroom during class. The bucket was there because Wolf, a think-ahead type of person, purchased the bucket, she said, to serve as a toilet in case of a security lockdown, and had even used the bucket for emergency peeing herself. (I should have put this story in the “I Can’t Believe I’m Writing This” file.) She said she misunderstood the school’s instructions about bathroom breaks, but thought it was a good idea. To have students pee in a bucket. She actually said this under oath.
Yes, sadly, Gonja Wolf is an idiot. Continue reading