Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/17/17 [UPDATED]

Good morning, everyone!

1. President Trump is upset about an ABC-Washington Post poll that among other things indicates that 70% of those polled believe that he has acted “un-Presidential” since being elected. Several analysts have suggested that pollsters have slanted their polling pools toward Democrats (remember the election?), but my question regarding this poll is, “What the hell is the matter with the other 30%?”

How in the world could anyone conscious argue that Trump is “Presidential,” other than on the rather technical basis that since he’s President, what he does is by definition Presidential? It would be mighty nice if an aide, a Cabinet member, a daughter, a White House chef or someone would explain this to him, but I’m convinced: he doesn’t get it, he won’t get it, and what weve  seen is what we’ll continue to get.

2. ALERT! The forgoing was written after I was fooled by a fake news site, aided and abetted by Instapundit, which either was also fooled or linked to the site as its own joke.  Thanks to reader Tom Adams for being  more alert than I was and quickly flagging this.

And by the way, screw them. I’m taking off the link, and I will probably give the site an Unethical Website designation. The only hint that the site is a hoax site is the other stories (“GOP Adopts Christie’s Sad, Bewildered Face As New Party Mascot”), but I read dozens of stories every day, and if i stopped to check all the other boxed and highlighted pieces I would never have time to do my job. There is nothing on the home page designating the site as satirical. Unethical.

I apologize to anyone I led astray. Somebody alert Instapundit. I’m not speaking to it.  Here was the original post…

That said and mournfully accepted, he won, he’s President, and the fevered efforts to somehow turn back time (I would not be surprised to see a new Bon Jovi Direct TV ad on the subject)  by “the resistance,” the Democrats and the news media are profoundly anti-democratic. This is what Jake Tapper was alluding last week with his tongue stuck so firmly in his cheek that it almost broke through his face. “The conspiracy goes much deeper than anyone expected,” Jake Tapper said on his news segment “The Lead.” “We’re talking tens of millions of people involved in this secret plot to make sure Hillary didn’t make it into the White House and to prop up Donald Trump as the winner….It’s far more sinister than we thought.”

Yes, some conservative websites and others took Tapper’s pointed gag seriously. This tells us…

…how little trust CNN has left with many Americans..

…how dumb a lot of conservatives are…

…why broadcast news hosts and reporters, even fair and clever ones like Tapper, should avoid sarcasm, satire, or facetious statements, and stick to the facts.

…Jake Tapper should get away from CNN before its toxic culture ruins his reputation.

3.  As was long rumored, the new Doctor Who is a woman, and this has caused a predictable uproar among the incredibly long-running sci-fi show’s fans. Since I upset some people yesterday by saying that the new Spiderman movie was grandstanding (also pandering and virtue-signaling, though I didn’t say that) by being ostentatiously and distractingly diverse, let me say that a female Doctor Who makes sense, is timely, opens up interesting dramatic possibilities and that I’m shocked that this casting switch took so long. If I were immortal and traveling through time switching bodies, I’m pretty sure that I would eventually try out a female version just out of boredom and curiosity. Is the “Doctor Who” stunt also grandstanding, pandering and virtue-signaling, since transgender individuals are the latest “in” minority? Sure. As is not the case with the new Spiderman film’s scenes resembling an EEOC training video, however, there are tangible, defensible, entertainment considerations tipping the scales.

4.  In a letter to Sen. Patty Murray (D), Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos noted that the department’s civil rights arm under the Obama administration “had descended into a pattern of overreaching, of setting out to punish and embarrass institutions rather than work with them to correct civil rights violations and of ignoring public input prior to issuing new rules.” She said that the agency will not issue any more “Dear colleague” letters that use veiled threats that are de facto  “new regulations via administrative fiat.”

DeVos added that  the Obama Department of Education OCR’s activism may have been “politically expedient” but it “deprived the public of meaningful opportunities to provide input. At my direction, the department will no longer mask new regulations as Dear Colleague letters and will issue new regulations only after appropriate notice and public comment.”

Excellent. This eliminates any excuse colleges have—though there was never a legitimate excuse—to use a presumed guilty standard against male students accused of sexual assault.

5. When it’s all over, if it’s ever over, the Trump Jr. “attempted collusion” story will at least provide a fascinating insight into which journalists spin harder, the conservative brand or the liberal brand. (Although the comparison is inherently unfair since the former are outnumbered by the latter by a margin of 26-1.) Conservative journalist Byron York argued over the weekend that any campaign would have sought “the motherlode of Clinton emails,” writing

“The public learned later the lengths to which Clinton went to make sure the “personal” emails were completely and permanently deleted. Her team used a commercial-strength program called BleachBit to erase all traces of the emails, and they used hammers to physically destroy mobile devices that might have had the emails on them. The person who did the actual deleting later cited legal privileges and the Fifth Amendment to avoid talking to the FBI and Congress…It was, as the New York Times’ Mark Landler said in August 2016, the “original sin” of the Clinton email affair — that Clinton herself, and no independent body, unilaterally decided which emails she would hand over to the State Department and which she would delete. Still, there were people who did not believe that Clinton’s deleted emails, all 30,000-plus of them, were truly gone. What is ever truly gone on the Internet? And what if Clinton were not telling the truth? What if she deleted emails covering more than just personal matters? In that event, recovering the emails would have rocked the 2016 presidential campaign. So, if there were an enormous trove of information potentially harmful to a presidential candidate just sitting out there — what opposing campaign wouldn’t want to find it?”

Observations:

1.This is an  “Everybody does it” rationalization, not an ethical defense.

2. Wanting to find the e-mails and knowingly assisting a foreign government’s efforts to tilt the election to do so are not the same thing.

3. Donald Jr. was never told that what “the Russian government lawyer” (which she was not, by the way) had to show him were the “trove” York has described.

4. Nobody ever tried to answer my previous hypothetical, so I’ll try it again, slightly altered:

What if a real representative of the Russian Government contacted the FBI and said that it had acquired the 30,000 missing Hillary e-mails, and offered to hand them over in a meeting, adding that they would  “destroy her candidacy! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

Would it be “collusion” for the FBI to accept the e-mail “trove”? If the FBI revealed them (or leaked them), would it be “collusion”?

 

 

80 Comments

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80 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/17/17 [UPDATED]

  1. For the Hypothetical: No, it would not be collusion. How they handled the emails afterwards would be of paramount importance. Since they retrieved the emails from the Russians themselves, they’d have to understand which emails had what information and they would not have a hypothetical that the Russians might have had the information because (through retrieval) it would be known that they did have the information.

    That being said, they’d also have to be very careful that the emails were real and not manipulated. Have to trust the source. The contents of the emails should continue to be held private by the FBI while the results of the analysis made public in aggregated form. (i.e. 43 emails contained classified information. The emails were authenticated and had made their way to Russian hands.)

    Hopefully that’s a good starter for discussion.

  2. wyogranny

    #4
    Good question for the lawyers here. FWIW considering my non lawyer status If I were the FBI I think I’d want them but not necessarily for the reasons the Russians put on having them. The information is the issue. Finding out how it was obtained and if it’s accurate is the job of the FBI. They can’t find that out unless they have the information.

  3. Chris

    I did eventually answer the hypothetical on the OP, but I’ll copy/paste it here:

    If the FBI releases them to Congress, will it be assisting in a foreign effort to influence our election?

    They would be “colluding” insomuch as they’re cooperating, but it seems to me the FBI should have the right to look at whatever evidence they can legally get their hands on in an investigation. Would taking illegally hacked info from a foreign government be legal for the FBI? Would such evidence be admissible in court? I have no idea.

    If it was Trump’s intent to turn what he received from the Russians over to the FBI, would he still be “colluding?”

    It would depend on whether he used any of that intel to his campaign’s advantage. Since the likelihood of not doing so, even unintentionally, is extremely low, it would be unwise to even take the risk, which is why he should have informed the FBI immediately.

    • Look, the FBI has about 20,000 ongoing investigations at any given time, no one is telling them not to look into anything. But there’s a difference between” The FBI should investigate” and “The media should set itself up into a perpetual motion machine who’s only purpose is to simultaneously smear Trump with things they don’t actually know and circle jerk.”

      • Chris

        I have no idea how that is supposed to be a response to my comment, HT.

        • You said “but it seems to me the FBI should have the right to look at whatever evidence they can legally get their hands on in an investigation”.

          This is deflection from the left, although one you might not have meant to make, no one is suggesting the FBI shouldn’t investigate anything. We’re saying the media should be less masturbatory in it’s reporting. Even Trump aims his “Witch Hunt” rhetoric away from the FBI, you have to remember, the first time he used it, Comey had already told him that he was clear.

          • Chris

            I really think you’re confused. Your obsession with the media has nothing to do with Jack’s questions or my answers to them.

  4. ”transgender individuals are the latest ‘in’ minority?”

    Where do we go from there, what’s the next “big thing?”

    Perhaps the Lefty media’s precariously hilarious, hyper-vigilant tap-dance around Jenner’s possible U.S. Senate run to represent CA?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/caitlyn-jenner-run-political-office-republican-lgbt-rights-donald-trump-reality-tv-kardashians-a7845636.html

  5. “What if a real representative of the Russian Government contacted the FBI and said that it had acquired the 30,000 missing Hillary e-mails, and offered to hand them over in a meeting, adding that they would “destroy her candidacy! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

    Would it be “collusion” for the FBI to accept the e-mail “trove”? If the FBI revealed them (or leaked them), would it be “collusion”?

    Would it be collusion for the FBI to accept the emails, I don’t think so. The emails may not be admissible in criminal court (regarding Clinton) because they were stolen/hacked but they’re still evidence in multiple investigations (illegal hacking investigation, Russian election interference investigation, and Clinton email server investigation) and shouldn’t be completely ignored.

    Collusion if the FBI leaked them? 1st, the emails are “evidence” and as such they shouldn’t be leaked, period; 2nd, I’m sitting on the fence about collusion but based on the definitions I’ve read about collusion, I don’t think it would be but I think it is a very, very fine line.

    I’m sure there will be reasonable arguments to contradict my limited legal knowledge opinions above.

    • Rich in CT

      Of course, there is “leaking” which is by definition verboten, and releasing non-classified evidence through the proper channels at an appropriate time.

  6. “(I would not be surprised to see a new Bon Jovi Direct TV ad on the subject)”

    I snorted coffee through my nose. It hurt. I blame you.

    “a female Doctor Who makes sense, is timely, opens up interesting dramatic possibilities and that I’m shocked that this casting switch took so long.”

    I agree, actually. Ever since they introduced the idea with The Master, I expected it to happen incarnations ago and was kind of looking forward to it.

    4. Hits me as good news, probably one of the best things the Trump Administration has done, and in my view, vindication for Devoss. That said, not everyone agrees with me, and some of the scorchingly hot takes from the left are… Amusing… to me.

    • I’ve often said that the only politicians worse on education than Democrats are Republicans. This time, it’s the other way around. I’m still well short of calling this “vindication” for DeVos, but this time, at least, she got it right.

    • Becky

      On Dr. Who… I figured the next regeneration he’s been fighting off HAD to be female. Considering all the history of gender talk with Missy and the fact that we couldn’t be positive Missy wasn’t actually the Master in disguise/regenerated (until proven she wasn’t), this isn’t a surprise. My husband and I were pretty sure once he can’t fight it off anymore- BOOM, ‘he’ becomes a ‘she.’
      On the FBI- I seriously doubt collusion, since they are neither running for office nor passing policy. They’re supposed to investigate, and if the evidence is brought to them, they have a duty, right? It looks to my BFA-and-not-law-school trained eye like the campaign *almost* stumbled into collusion, but didn’t. But they totally would have if the meeting had been as promised? I am still trying to figure out how such bumbling morons won a national election. There still don’t seem to be any adults in the room. RoomS.

  7. Tom Adams

    Jack, the link to the conservative web site that you say took Jake Tapper’s tongue-in-cheek comment seriously is, in fact, a satire site.

    • Good catch. From their front page: “Lord Jesus Detained At Border While Attempting Second Coming”

    • Thanks…and for that, I’ll give them an unethical website, as well as Instapundit, which linked it.

      I hate that shit.

      • Tom Adams

        I’d never seen them before, but every other headline I saw on their site was absurd enough to be clear it was satire. I think their editors must have given too much benefit of the doubt on this one.

        • Again, thanks for the heads-up, Tom. You are right that the other headlines mostly flagged the satire, but one should not have to examine a website’s other stories to know when a post is satire. This was, as I explained, too close to what a Tapper might say himself to make a valid point.

          • ”This was, as I explained, too close to what a Tapper might say himself to make a valid point.”

            A while back I got embarrassingly sucked in by a fake interview between Melissa Harris-Perry and Juan Williams:

            “MSNBC Says Black Cops Charged In Freddie Gray’s Death Are Actually ‘‘White African-Americans’’”

            http://duhprogressive.com/index.php/515-msnbc-says-black-cops-charged-in-freddie-gray-s-death-are-actually-white-african-americans

            I SO wanted that be true, because it teased my slightly-less-than-positive opinion of Harris-Perry in a seductively intoxicating manner; I even forwarded it to an Über-Lefty pal who didn’t catch it.

            Heck, so smugly self-assured was I with that “scoop” that I posted it here where it was debunked so fast it made my head spin.

            Sometimes, with me leastways, what we hear/read becomes what we want to hear/read because it bypasses those critical cognitive Bullshit filters.

            • That one was so close to the kind of thing Harris-Perry said routinely that I might have fallen for it too. How far away is that from Rachel Dolezal and Bill Clinton being “the first black President”? Phil Donohue just said that this is the darkest political period in US history! It’s also a ridiculous thing to say, so if you are going to write equivalent satire, it better be way over the top.

      • JP

        Just wondering, do you feel that way about all satire websites? The Babylon bee is the Christian equivalent to The Onion. I read it for its humor (my favorite being “Church installs waterside for baptism”).

        • Any website that does not make it crystal clear to first time visitors that it is a satire site is a deceptive site. The Onion is so well known and their prominent stories and tone so obviously gags that I’ll forgive the fact that it doesn’t say it’s a satire or humor site, but not this site, and other sites that aim to fool people are the scum of the web.

          • JP

            I guess, I always assumed they did. Their readership is predominately Christian, so in their circle, they are well known. I read it quite regularly, and with have always thought it was too outrageous to be true.

          • brian

            I have to say, i got to the story from Instapundit before I read your post today, I was a first time visitor to the site, and it read as humor/satire. I have seen you talk about sites that aim to fool, but I can’t put this site in that category.

            http://blog.dilbert.com/post/162786625861/people-who-cant-recognize-humor-literally

            • I don’t think it aims to fool. But if you can’t write better satire than that, you have to make sure you say, “It’s a joke,” visibly and clearly. And I blame Instapundit for sending readers to a gag site. A lot of the hard-right hard-left articles linked by Reynolds read like parodies. Since when has he sent readers to fake stories?

      • Babylon Bee actually discloses it’s Satire status…albeit at the bottom.

        TheOnion does not.

        • Where? I looked. I couldn’t find it. I’ll look again…and if a reader has to look, then it’s not notice enough.

          • Oh, I see: in the block after the content.
            Nope. Not even close to good enough. You have an “about” link, or a reveal in the banner. My presumption is that every site is legit unless it clearly signals otherwise, and clearly signaling is the site’s responsibility. This isn’t “Find Waldo”…

  8. JP

    1. I imagine these are the same kind’s of people who constantly ignored Obama’s problems or keep re-electing Nancy Pelosi.

    3. As an avid Dr. Who fan, I have my reservations. The doctor has to be someone who can play a very wide array of roles (one of the reasons David Tennant is considered to be the best doctor). This doesn’t exclude any female from the role, but with the very obvious pandering, Jodie Whittaker relationship with Tennant (in Broadchurch), the fact that she seems to lack a humorous side, and using the justification “because its time” seems to be a poor answer, I’m not very excited about the announcement. I think I’ll be happy if she is better than Capaldi (three seasons, and I still don’t care for him).

    4. Good, but I’m willing to bet the announcement is going to take heavy criticism because “resistance.”

    5. I’ll bite. The FBI is responsible for investigating a wide array of things, including the misconduct of a politician. In this scenario, I am assuming the FBI was already investigating Clinton. It would be their responsibility to collect the evidence, determine its validity, and if found true, prosecute Clinton to the extent of the law she broke regardless of where the information came from (don’t law enforcement use criminal informants all the time?). If this destroys her candidacy, she has no one to blame but herself. Ethically, though I will admit I remain quite ignorant of the law here, if they determined Clinton broke no law, it would be wrong for them to release the information. We might never know that CNN was helping Clinton, but if it is not illegal, then I think it wouldn’t be right for the FBI to put that information out there.

    A person doing something wrong does not give someone else the license to do something wrong.

    So to answer your question, if the FBI is doing its job right, it is not collusion.

    • valkygrrl

      Capaldi’s got dealt a bad hand. I’d have liked to see what a season without Moffat would have done for his doctor. That being said, If the next Doctor can’t be Anthony Head, Tilda Swinton, or Chiwetel Ejiofor (Yes I had to look up the spelling) then Jodie Whittaker’s a fine choice and i wish her the best of luck.

      • Becky

        Capaldi elevated bad material. He made some of this drivel watchable, which wouldn’t have been without him. His tenure was short. I think Whitaker has a good shot without Moffat.

        • Chris

          Oh, absolutely. Capaldi’s first season was garbage–it felt like the writers actively hated his Doctor, his companion, and the audience…and the lack of warmth between the two leads was palpable.

          Amazingly, Season 9 managed to redeem both characters and the warmth returned almost overnight. I still had some issues with Moffat’s writing, especially toward the end when he couldn’t decide how to write Clara off. He had two perfect endings and then, instead of choosing, picked both. This is one of his biggest flaws. It’s like he never heard the most basic writing advice, “kill your darlings.”

          Season 10 had Capaldi at his best and a great companion and great concepts for episodes, but aside from a few great cliffhangers, nearly every episode had a botched ending. The companion’s exit this season was especially poorly handled, which is a shame because Bill is my favorite since Donna. Missy’s exit, however, was a thing of beauty and probably one of the most straightforward and poetic character exits in Moffat’s tenure.

          I don’t have a whole lot of great things to say about Chris Chibnall, but hopefully he’ll be the inverse of Moffat and be a great showrunner despite not being a great episode writer. Moffat wrote some of the best episodes but he needs someone to tell him “no,” and as showrunner he clearly didn’t have that.

      • JP

        I will admit that a good part of Capaldi’s problem is Moffat. He doesn’t seem to be consistant and often changes things for no apparent reason. I’m glad he’s going. Whittaker could be good and I really hope she is. I just not excited about it.

        • Chris

          Moffat’s main two problems are that he prioritizes twists and cool moments over narrative logic and human emotion, and he tries to have his cake and eat it too. The big twist involving River Song’s true identity was so cool, one of the most effective moments of the show..and then there was absolutely no emotional follow-up, and no one reacted like a real person was to that information. Russel T. Davies had his own flaws–he wrote the show like a soap opera–but he would have never let that happen, because his version of the show was all emotion.

      • Still Spartan

        Head or Ejiofor would cause me to watch the series again.

  9. 1. I was hoping the President would stop the compulsive tweeting when Melanie moved down from New York and he got more consistent access to her….uh…guidance. That doesn’t seem to have panned out, though. My next, and possibly last, hope is that he’ll be visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, and the Ghost of Tweets Future will finally scare him straight.

  10. #3 Although I’m a big Science Fiction fan, I’m not a fan of Dr. Who so I just don’t care who plays the character Dr. Who. All I can say is that no matter who plays the part, the interacting dynamics of the show will change absolutely every time the actor is changed. Some actors will drive away current fans, some actors will draw in new fans, and some actors won’t change the fan base.

    • JRH

      #3 Not a fan of Dr Who, so can’t comment on whether the character being a female is appropriate to the characters development. However if I had created the character, say in a novel or screenplay and “owned” the rights to it, then I would expect the character to be portrayed as written. There are obvious character elements that are exclusive to gender. If I had “sold” the character to a movie producer then perhaps they have the option to change the story/character’s gender. In my opinion though, often gender is pretty important to a character & storyline and should not be changed if it substantially changes the original source.

      • Chris

        There are obvious character elements that are exclusive to gender.

        Such as?

        For the record, the character of Doctor Who has “regenerated” with a new form 13 times before, and while he has been a man each time, the show has made it clear that his species can occasionally change gender. Its most successful storyline in ages has centered around “Missy,” who is the first female regeneration of the Doctor’s nemesis The Master. I’m sure the immensely favorable reception of that character had a lot to do with the BBC making this decision.

        • valkygrrl

          Such as?

          Wonder Woman’s backstory rather requires it, can’t think any of others off the top of my head though.

          • valkygrrl wrote, “Wonder Woman’s backstory rather requires it, can’t think any of others off the top of my head though.”

            Try answering the question in context with how it was asked; what are the “obvious character elements that are exclusive to gender” as it’s related to Dr. Who not characters across the broad spectrum of acting in general?

            • valkygrrl

              None, The Doctor always regenerates to a different personality. The only immutable parts are being from the planet Gallifrey and having (most of) the memories of past selves. Even the TARDIS is optional, the third Doctor spent years dirving in a yellow car.

              • Even the TARDIS is optional,

                Heresy! Break out the pitchforks and torches!

                The TARDIS is NEVER optional. It cannot be, since all time and space depend on it…

              • Chris

                I’d say some immutable traits of the Doctor are intelligence, a propensity towards non-violence, a love of the cosmos, compassion, and a sense of humor. But of course, none of those are gender-exclusive.

                I did read one piece a while back about how keeping the Doctor male might be a good thing because boys have so few models of action heroes who don’t rely on violence to save the day, and it was probably the only remotely persuasive argument I’ve seen on why the Doctor shouldn’t be a woman. But I’m still very excited about this.

                • valkygrrl

                  a propensity towards non-violence, a love of the cosmos, compassion,

                  The Valeyard.

                  • Chris

                    That’s an intentional subversion, though, and he’s from an alternate timeline. There are stories about dimensions where Superman is an evil dictator, but that doesn’t mean being a hero isn’t one of Superman’s core traits.

                    • valkygrrl

                      The potential is there though. That dark side, or at the very least, the time lord victorious is always just below the surface one lapse away.

      • JRH wrote, “if I had created the character, say in a novel or screenplay and “owned” the rights to it, then I would expect the character to be portrayed as written.”

        That’s all fine and dandy for a fixed length story but it’s bordering on nonsense to apply that standard to a continuing series based on a character that literally evolves over time based on the creativity of the writers which do not remain 100% consistent from the first show in the series to the last show of the series. It’s literally impossible for a character to remain 100% consistent over 50+ years of a series, we evolve, so do characters in a continuing series, it’s to be expected.

  11. #1 President Trump needs to grow some thick skin and at the same time get the hell off Twitter.

  12. 1. Who cares what the polls say? Brexit? Trump’s election? They are at best a murky guess based on shaky science and biased interpretations; at worst they are propaganda.

    2. Stupid biased people say stupid things… conservative or progressive

    3. Say it isn’t SO! However, being that The Doctor is an alien, and we have never seen under the skivvies, how can we know WHAT gender this entity was all along? Could have been he, she, it it all along… and the TV writers would have no problem making that case and it would be interesting, like most of The Doctor’s stories.* On the other hand, Time Lords might change gender as they age. They might have three genders (call it X,Y and Z chromosomes…) all necessary to make a new baby Time Lord.

    I couldn’t care less what gender they make this fictional character, as long as the stories are interesting and somewhat internally consistent.

    We need an ‘ethics of Time Lords’ thread here at EA.

    *Not ‘Fear Her,’ which was stupid beyond belief, or “The Rings of Akhaten,” or even “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End,” which are all sentimental drivel. Give me ‘Blink,’ ‘The Girl in the Fireplace,’ and ‘Vincent and the Doctor.’ Fear, romance, and heartbreak. But he most frightening Doctor story is ‘The Empty Child.” Dramatic suspense and a cliff hanger ending (it is a two part story with ‘The Doctor Dances’) still evokes a chill in my wife and kids when I sing out “Mommmm-eeeee” and “Are you my Mommy?”

    4. Good. Stupid progressivism did what it does best: ruin peoples lives over a political talking point.

    5. People still miss the point of this story: Hillary Clinton BROKE THE LAW and has never faced up to the same justice the little people would have. Today I can still face jail for divulging things Tom Clancy printed years ago, because my oath still covers me. Hillary took that oath. She divulged and mishandled classified information. That is a crime.

    The FBI would be eithical to use any information it get in the investigation of a crime. Leaking it, maybe not.

    • Forgot to add: a female Doctor might kill of some of the Companion eye candy we have come to know and love… some of whom learned to act while on the show and went on to careers. Karen Gillian could act, but Freema Agyeman could not.

      Your mileage may vary.

      • JP

        Karen Gillian could act, but Freema Agyeman could not.

        Agreed, I got frustrated that any legitimate criticism regarding Agyeman, was often accused of being racist.

        Give me ‘Blink,’ ‘The Girl in the Fireplace,’ and ‘Vincent and the Doctor.’ Fear, romance, and heartbreak.

        I enjoyed these episodes quite a bit, but my favorites are the ones that show the Doctor’s quirky side such as the River Song Story Arch.

        • I suspect casting Agyeman was virtue signalling. Just like a female Doctor is now.

          • Chris

            I didn’t think Ageyman was any worse than any other companion, and Martha is unfairly maligned. She wasn’t given as much to do as a lot of the other companions, but she did what she was asked to do just fine. She was never noticeably bad. And I like that she’s one of the only companions in the new series to walk away from the TARDIS because she chooses to, not because of some big tragedy.

            I admit I don’t really understand the concept of “virtue signaling.” Deciding to cast a black actress as a companion after 40+ years of exclusively white companions strikes me as inherently virtuous. There seems to be this idea that more diversity is something that should just happen naturally, but if anyone actually makes a conscious effort at it then it’s inherently corrupt. I don’t get it.

            The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End is absolutely bonkers, but I love it for that fact. It reminds me of a big comic crossover event like “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” And I think it may be the first episode of a TV show to be a crossover of three different shows. But yes, “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” remains one of the best two-parters in the show’s history.

    • valkygrrl

      We need an ‘ethics of Time Lords’ thread here at EA

      A sub part of the Ethics Alarms SFF book club. Which after the reading I suggested can go one of two ways. Taking what the first five give you to think about and then taking that into a double header of Heinlein’s Friday with an immediate followup of Charles Stross’ Saturn’s Children, Breq and Sidra (and to a lesser extent, Pepper) give new understandings of Friday and Freya. Or just going down the Ian M Banks road for the Culture series.

      • Favorite line from Friday revolves around her ‘making sure to perform the sacred duty of keeping Friday fed.’

        Saturn’s Children was pretty well put together, but the next book (Neptune’s Brood) took a while to get started, with large set pieces ponderously being moved around the board for the final showdown. A lot of words, IMHO, for the payoff (which was still satisfying.)

        Still, from an ethics standpoint, Friday gives more meat for EA than Stross, as his set up is long and involved, while Heinlein’s world is easy to understand from the current geopolitical situation.

        Thus we can extrapolate ethical situation better than in a post human (and I mean, ‘Humanity is Extinct’) enviroment. After all, if there is no humanity, do our ethics still apply?

        Put another way, if humanity goes extinct but is remembered by other sentients, are our ethics universally applicable?

        Jack?

        • valkygrrl

          Ahh but will your thoughts about Friday change if you read her story after reading Breq’s?

          • nah… I’m stubborn, I am.

            • valkygrrl

              *grumble* Be likes that. *goes back to her reread of Seveneves and keeps waiting for someone to get around to reading The Alexander Inheritance so they can pass on whether it’s any good*

              • Sorry, I dislike Eric Flint, as his stories often seem to make assumptions that do not ring true to the situation. Likewise, his character motivations seem off to me (oh, they might act that way, but I think it not plausible)

                I likewise lost interest in the S.M. Stirling Emberverse/Nantucket series when he spun off into such concepts. I loved ‘Dies the Fire’ through ‘The Sword of the Lady,’ but then things got… stretched.

                My opinion, and worth every penny you paid. 🙂

                • valkygrrl

                  I’m sure at least one of the ring of fire fans I know will get around to reading it and tell me if it’s worth the time.

                  I’m in a rut right now, waiting for the 10’th kate Daniel’s book, waiting for the 13’th Chronicles of Elantra book, Waiting for Elizabeth Moon’s Into the Fire, waiting for the New Ann Leckie book, waiting for the new Becky Chambers book, waiting till November for the next Kris Longknife book which has better deliver more than half a story this time, waiting gods know how long for David Webber to move the Honorverse timeline forward more than a few hours after years of filler. Given up on the Dresden Files after three sub-par performances in a row. and failing to use the obvious line, winter is coming. Waiting for Gail Carriger to get on with the third Prudence book, wiating for 1637: The Volga Rules and waiting the rest of my life for Winds of Winter.

                • I likewise lost interest in the S.M. Stirling Emberverse/Nantucket series when he spun off into such concepts. I loved ‘Dies the Fire’ through ‘The Sword of the Lady,’ but then things got… stretched.

                  The most recent book has a reference to the King in Yellow.

                  The Nantucket scenario is interesting. Imagine an island off the coast of the 11th century Pacific Northwest, populated by a tribe of whale hunters, transported to the present day.

                  That could be the plot of a Disney animated feature.

  13. Here is an interesting story to address:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/16/feminist-scientists-say-citing-research-by-straight-white-men-promotes-a-system-of-oppression/?utm_term=.59529b0fe886

    DeVos added that the Obama Department of Education OCR’s activism may have been “politically expedient” but it “deprived the public of meaningful opportunities to provide input. At my direction, the department will no longer mask new regulations as Dear Colleague letters and will issue new regulations only after appropriate notice and public comment.”

    Excellent. This eliminates any excuse colleges have—though there was never a legitimate excuse—to use a presumed guilty standard against male students accused of sexual assault.

    I wonder when the usual suspects would accuse her of being pro-rape.

  14. “There is nothing on the home page designating the site as satirical. Unethical.”

    Except for this disclaimer at the bottom on the Home Page:

    “The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.”

    • As I noted earlier—1) If I missed it as a first time visitor, it’s inadequate. 2) I don’t regard that a in the home page content. That’s fine print stuff. 3) To be fair, such info has to be visible, obvious or accessible within view of the reader without having to scroll around looking for it. 4) This isn’t necessary if the articles are clearly silly or satirical. (As with the Onion.) 5) That wasn’t. The argument that Trump voters were doing something wrong is too close to what “the resistance” has been arguing. Would Jake Tapper mock that with sarcasm? Maybe. Would a conservative website that doesn’t trust the news media think such a complaint was serious? Maybe.

      As I said, screw them, and at this point, all incompetent satire sites, hoax sites and fake news sites.

      • More—did I mention that I’m pissed off about this?
        Here are some other hillarious, obviously satirical headlines on the site…

        The Bee Explains: What’s Going On With Donald Trump Jr. And Russia?

        Bernie Sanders Rails Against ‘Greedy Rich People’ From Third House

        Worship Band Fixes Old Hymn By Adding Guitar Solo From Van…

        Entire Church Body Suffers Heat Stroke…

        So this is in part a competence issue. Those headlines are plausible, and not inherently satirical. If the site was any good at what it purports to do, it wouldn’t need a clear disclaimer.

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