Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/26/2017: Witch Hunts, A Missing Witch Message, A Too-Gleeful Dodger, Racially Offensive Breakfast Cereal…[UPDATED]

Good Morning!

1 Sigh. Driving home from Maryland via the Capital Beltway for the first time in many years, I saw the white and gold spires of the D. C. Mormon Temple (above), a local landmark, rising in the distance, and remembered that an an upcoming overpass had long been famous for the inspired bit of graffiti scrawled on it decades ago, perfectly placed to compliment the fantastic structure. It read SURRENDER DOROTHY!,” in script, for decades.  I don’t know when it was painted over, but it’s gone now.

Why would they do that? It was a part of area lore, it was clever, and it was always good for a smile. Some humorless bureaucrat decided to make the world a little less fun for no good reason. Of such small, heartless gestures is life drained of joy, drop by drop.

2.  Last night, in the 11th inning of a memorable, back and forth World Series Game Two between the Astros and the Dodgers,  Charlie Culberson of Los Angeles hit a two out home run to narrow the score from 7-5 Astros to 7-6. Nonetheless, Culberson’s team was one out away from losing a game they appeared to have in the bag when they were leading 3-1 in the 9th. (Indeed, the Dodgers did lose after the next batter struck out.) Despite his team’s plight, Culberson celebrated his home run like he had just won the game, or at least tied it. He screamed, he raised his hands, he high-fived everyone in sight. Joe Buck on the Fox broadcast speculated that Culberson might have had the score wrong, and believed that his home run tied the game.

No, said Culberson. He knew the score. “I never would have imagined hitting a home run in the World Series, and I did that. I pointed to my parents in the stands and pointing to my wife,” Culberson explained. “I was just having fun out there, nothing more than that.”

Except you’re not supposed to be having fun when your team is facing a devastating loss, Joe. That was bad form, bad taste, selfish, and obnoxious. The Fox cameras even caught a Dodger coach in the dugout turning around, disgusted , and saying to the still ebullient Culberson, “Come on!”

3. 

That’s Ellen Degeneris ogling Katy Perry’s breasts.  Ellen is gay, as we all know. Explain to me why this conduct is funny, acceptable and harmless, but a male heterosexual behaving similarly, for exactly the same reason, would be sexual harassment. You have 30 seconds…

Time! What’s your answer!

The answer is that if the “victim” regards the attention and conduct as welcome rather than unwelcome, it isn’t harassment. However, this is problematical, as those who observe the potential victim accepting the otherwise harassing conduct as acceptable receive the message that the conduct itself is acceptable regardless of the individual subjected to it.

If women want a cultural standard that men are treating women in a degrading and unjust fashion by making sexual comments, gestures and related conduct in public, then women, and especially female celebrities, must be held to the same standard.

4.

The actress next to President George H.W. Bush in this photo has accused the 93 year-old wheelchair-bound ex-POTUS of sexually harassing her. Heather Lind wrote on her Instagram account,

“….I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo. He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”

Bush, Sr.’s  spokesman  issued two-part statement to CNN yesterday saying,

“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind…At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”

Observations and Musings

  • A 93-year-old  ex-President has no more right to harass a young woman as any other man. That conceded, might it not be kind and reasonable to cut someone like Bush a break, based on generational divides, age and infirmity?? I’m not sure it is; I’m just asking.

And what is that joke? Maybe someone should tell 41 that he needs better material.

  • UPDATE: The joke, I’m sorry to say, is that Bush would say his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel.”

Oh, god…

  • The spokesman’s explanation seems plausible. On the other hand, I’ve seen an awful lot of elderly men use their age as an excuse to cop a feel. They used to make jokes about Grandpa pinching young girls as if it was a privilege of age. And of course, there was “Tyrone F. Horneigh”…

 

  • I still have this uncomfortable feeling that there needs to be some virtual statute of limitations on these accusations. If some woman publicly accuses me of harassing her five,  ten, or twenty years ago in an incident I don’t even remember and that doesn’t sound like anything I would ever do, what is my recourse?

Why didn’t the alleged victim speak up at the time? What if she’s just trying to harm me now? What protection do I have? Shouldn’t I have a chance to apologize, or explain before I am condemned?

  • This sudden rush to accuse famous, successful and prominent men of past sexual harassment may not be a witch hunt, but it certainly could easily become a classic example of one, especially given its weatherization potential for partisan warfare.

5. It must be exhausting to be constantly looking for examples of racial offense. Still, episodes like the Great Racially Stereotypical Sugar Pops Character Scandal do make me wonder why the corporate ethics alarms aren’t more up to date.

A drawing on the back of the current packaging of Kellogg’s Corn Pops showed a mall scene featuring anthropomorphic Corn Pop characters engaged in various activities as the basis for kids games and puzzles. All of the cartoon Corn Pops were more or less Corn Pop-colored accept one, the brown one, which was apparently the janitor, as he was buffing the floor:

Graphic Novelist Saladin Ahmed, currently writing the Black Bolt series for Marvel, tweeted,

“hey @KelloggsUS why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism.”

(I wouldn’t eat a Corn Pop that was that color, either.)

Kellogg quickly announced that it would change the artwork.

67 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture, Quizzes, Race, Romance and Relationships

67 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/26/2017: Witch Hunts, A Missing Witch Message, A Too-Gleeful Dodger, Racially Offensive Breakfast Cereal…[UPDATED]

  1. Re: #5… Why is the brown Corn Pop the only one wearing clothes? What message are we sending to our children about the connection of wearing clothes and backbreaking work?

    (Now forgive me as I try to handle my older daughter, who thinks streaking naked is the greatest joy in the world…)

    • Why is the brown one the only one that does NOT appear to have lazy pot-head be-glazed eyes?

      Are the Xantho-CornPopicans presumably all drug addicts?

      What message does that communicate to Americans who identify with Yellow Corn Pops?

      I’m personally offended, given my skin tone is literally identical to the BrownoPop-American’s skin tone (I held my arm up to the screen)…

      Are they saying that people like me are only fit for clothing, clear-mindedness, and employment???

    • The brown Corn Pop is also the only one working diligently at a job, while the lighter-toned ones are playing, sitting in the fountain, and generally being annoying… Jesus, that the heck is going on here? I’m getting a headache trying to figure out what it all means…

      • ”I’m getting a headache trying to figure out what it all means…”

        Unlax, pop a coupla aspirin and enjoy the ride; if we’re to believe Joyce Carol Oates, your reaction is exactly what’s intended and expected.

        She: “My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.”

        Provided this is actually art, leastways.

      • (Wow, I really can’t write worth a darn without a lot more caffeine in me.)

        Extradimensional Cephalopod below has an interesting theory about what’s going on: The janitor is the only one working, the only one with darker skin, the only one wearing clothes, the only one whose eyes do not merge together in the center, and I think his legs are proportionately longer. In other words, he isn’t a Corn Pop. He’s a human going about his job while the Corn Pops are partying.

        I’m not as convinced the janitor is human, after all, the body shape and proportions are really wrong, but perhaps the Corn Pop species has more radical developmental stages than humans — not as drastic as caterpillar/butterfly or tadpole/frog, but with changes in color, eyes, stance, and behavior. So the playing Corn Pops are the larval stage and the janitor is the adult stage.

        It’s all starting to make sense…

  2. Why does Kellogg’s envision a society with NO white people? What message are they sending?

  3. #1) up for decades? That’s how long it took for the request to clean the vandalism to make it through the bureaucracy…

  4. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The joke, by the way, is “Know who my favorite magician is? David Cop-a-feel!” As an inveterate punster and teller of politically incorrect jokes I find it kinda lame just as a joke. It’s not just a joke, though, it’s a set-up for touching someone in an offensive way, just like the Southeast Asian geography lesson (excuse to kick someone in the groin) and others:

    Shirt’s on fire, now it’s OUT! (excuse to pull someone’s shirt out of his trousers)
    How do you scare a bee? Boo, bee! (excuse to pinch someone’s nipple)
    What’s worse than a hurricane? A titty twister! (excuse to twist someone’s nipple)

    I used to hate that stuff when I was a kid, especially because it was usually 2-4 kids setting you up so you couldn’t run away or fight back while you got pinched or pulled (also popular for wedgies, grunchkies (like a wedgie but from the front), or pink bellies (where others held you in place while one guy pulls up your shirt and relatedly slaps you on your naked belly until the skin turns pink). It’s bullying, it’s cowardly, and it’s pretty damn sick to laugh at torturing someone else. It was bad enough when it was 12 year olds acting like that. For a grown man, leave alone a former president, to act like that, is absolutely shameful. The fact that Bush the elder made that joke is proof that he knew damn well what he was doing. would have served him right if she slapped his face and said “keep your hands to yourself, you pig!”

    • Andrew V

      The Southeast Asian one you’re referring to is, I assume, “What’s the capital of Thailand?” “Bangkok!”
      Geographic illiteracy being what it is, kids at my elementary school used to ask “What’s the capital of China?” since apparently all Asian countries are interchangeable. Extra confusing when you answer Beijing and proceed to get nailed in the nuts anyway.

    • Still Spartan

      Isn’t David Copperfield famously in the closet anyway? It’s a bad joke, but I’m struggling to find a reason to be offended.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Actually David Copperfield dated Claudia Schiffer for about six years, and most recently was in a relationship with a model 28 years younger than him with whom he now has a daughter. If there’s any gay activity in his past it’s not in the mainstream media. Maybe you’re thinking of the Amazing Randi, another famous illusionist who came out as gay in about 2010.

        That said, although I dislike third-wave feminism, and I dislike the weaponizing of harassment claims, I also consider this kind of behavior toward women to be dishonorable, and I consider doing so while making a leering sexual joke to be evidence that the guy doing the behavior knows damn well what he’s doing, that it’s wrong, and that he’s laughing because he’s getting away with something. If you feel like you’re getting away with something, you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, and professionals should never push the envelope.

        I have been in meet-and-greet situations where I have taken pictures with beautiful performers. It’s pushing the envelope just to put an arm around the other person if she doesn’t want it, or feels uncomfortable, and you can usually tell by body language, if she doesn’t come out and tell you “we can take a picture, but please keep your hands to yourself.” More than that is flat-out disrespecting the other person just as a person. People aren’t toys put there for your pleasure.

  5. Chris

    1. Isn’t graffiti always unethical? Is there a statute of limitations, or a rule that says if the graffiti has been up long enough and accepted by the community, it should stay? I’m not asking rhetorically; I genuinely don’t know the answers.

    4. While I also lean toward “He’s old as dirt, ignore it,” I’m more blown away by the terrible “apology” than anything else. Where does it rate on your scale? The one positive thing I see in it is that the spokesperson admits the behavior in question actually happened. But it also justifies the behavior, and is filled with the whole “I’m sorry if you were offended” trick. If it happened–and the spokesperson confirms it did happen–Bush should be apologizing himself, if he’s able to, not going through a spokesperson.

  6. JutGory

    #4 cutting a break to him looks like the king’s pass but it is really just cutting a break to any 93 year old wheelchair bound person (which is why your rationalization list is annoying; it can apply to the innocent and guilty, alike).

    Cut him a break. His face is ass-level. He is probably mentally weighed down by the toll time has taken on him. He makes up for it the way many do: humor.

    (Quick interlude by way of example, stand up with CP said, “you don’t want to get into a knife fight with me, cause we are both getting hurt.” I might have told it wrong.)

    Anyway, if he is weak, can’t put his arm around your shoulder, and accidentally touches someone in a way they deem inappropriate for no other reason that he is weak (and has Parkinson’s?), the joke sounds like a self-deprecating apology. If someone is offended by someone trying to make light of the fact that he is unable to interact with her as he would in his able-bodied middle-age, she deserves a non-apology apology. A pretended offense deserves a pretend apology.

    Of course, if he was trying to cop a feel as a dirty old man, the calculus changes.

    -Jut

    • Chris

      The problem is that the non-apology apology is so unclear. At no point did the spokesperson clarify what the joke was supposed to be. At first he makes it sound like it was an accident:

      President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures.

      Then it’s a joke:

      To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke

      Then it’s a good-natured butt-pat:

      — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.

      It confuses more than it clarifies. I almost think this is one of those cases where no statement would have been better than the statement we got. Most people would chalk it up to “He’s an old man who doesn’t know what he’s doing.” The spokesperson coming out and essentially saying “It was an accident! It was a joke! He’s sorry! He did nothing wrong!” just makes things worse.

      • Chris

        Ah–I had missed that a second woman has said that Bush Sr. did the same thing, and told the “Cop-a-feel” joke.

        The reaction she describes from Barbara and the others assembled strikes me as very wrong. The proper response, even to a 93-year-old man, is to say “Stop. That’s wrong.” And if the person being inappropriately touched feels too uncomfortable or stunned to say that, the others around them need to step up and say it. Given that this was repeated behavior, the people around Bush Sr. should have either found a way to make him quit it, or stop letting him take pictures with women. He might be too old to know what he’s doing, but he definitely has people around him who do know what they’re doing.

        • Yeah, I think that’s right. I can’t blame the actress for not accusing an old ex-President in a wheelchair with his wife there, though. I really think this is a terrible dilemma for her. But four years later—you have to at least try to give the President a warning, via letter, via lawyer, agent, something, before going public.

        • I think the ‘joke’ shows that he ISN’T too old to know what he’s doing… and the apology of course makes this worse, since it describes his actions as being premeditated and thought out – it even tells us his theory of why this was okay (it’s ‘good natured’, meant to ‘put people at their ease’ during the photo shoot).

          And if that’s his theory, then I’d argue that no, its not reasonable to cut him any slack… because he (and, presumably, his people) has actively thought through the sequence of these events, and despite the widespread coverage of sexual harassment, have still decided this is the best route for him to go. At best, it bespeaks a horrible level of hubris, where he came to the conclusion that no woman would find his touch and poor humor unwelcome, and all of his people were willing to agree with that assessment.

          All of this is made worse by the fact that he has an easy alternative to touching anyone: Keeping his arms and hands inside the wheelchair, unless he’s explicitly asked to put it around the person he is being photographed with (by them, not some photographer).

  7. Chris Marschner

    Criticizing a player for his ebullient behavior after hitting a home run because he was having fun seems to me as overkill. Baseball is supposed to be fun. Yes he is a pro, but hitting a homer in a world series game is for most players unlikely. The point is he contributed to the team’s attempt to win.

    On point 3, women invariably hug or touch each other in the workforce all the time and it is never considered harassment. It does not matter if the other women is attracted sexually to other women. I too have been subjected to female touching or imposed hugs because women see them as a cultural behavior – nonetheless I was uncomfortable and the hugs unwelcome but never considered it harassment. Why, because I had the choice to avoid them in the future. Besides, when I had said something to that effect I was seen as not a team player, I was unsocial, or some other undesirable term. I have been asked publically when I rebuff the hug “I’m sorry – I did not know you were gay” ( they say sweetly). These hugs could be stated as simply the male equivalent smacking a male player on the ass by his male team mates. The reaction to the photo demonstrates heterosexual ideas that women ogling other women is not predatory. We presume the innocence of the woman, whereas identical behavior by males is presumed to be sexually motivated.

    I believe the photo actually demonstrates that males and females both see humor in sexually oriented behavior. Consider this as female privilege, such that women can tell a sexually explicit joke among co-workers with impunity but males must be careful because what, we as males, forget by the next day are indexed, categorized, and stored away as memories in females for their use later.

    Are all these accusations a witch hunt? I don’t think so. These accusations are for self promotion and money. Who ever heard of Ms. Lind before. Why does she make an accusation on Instagram? Why now?

    It only takes a few women targeting a few high profile men to create a social construct that all women are victims of male oppression. And all men are brutish Neanderthals who don’t think with their brains but with their ### (genitalia). Who hasn’t heard that statement from women? This presumptive virtue gives them license to use social and legal power to coerce payments from those who can afford to pay while simultaneously perpetuating a Victorian image of purity, innocence and chastity among women; and their inherent human superiority.

    Even here, confirmation bias precludes our desire for corroborating evidence from accusers. We ask for none. We have been conditioned to believe every accuser. Anyone that questions their veracity is deemed a misogynist at best or they themselves are abusive. Nah, 32 million dollar settlements have nothing to do with the motivation of some accusers.

    No doubt, I agree with this.
    “If women want a cultural standard that men are treating women in a degrading and unjust fashion by making sexual comments, gestures and related conduct in public, then women, and especially female celebrities,” must be held to the same standard.

    On point 5.
    As long as racism exists only in the eye of the beholder and claims of racism are beneficial to the accuser, racism will grow.

    Why has no one pointed out that the darker pop could be an entrepreneur with a contract with the mall as opposed to a mere janitor. Everyone else looks like a slacker. Owners of small firms often are seen delivering the services. Why do we see his work as menial? I ask, in terms of public health who is more valuable to a community one who cleans up the environment to prevent diseases or a nurse who treats the diseases?

    • Terrific comment.

      The player’s celebration was notable because literally nobody does that, even in regular season games. They don’t do it because players aren’t supposed to celebrate individual achievements if the team loses.

      Have you seen the Geico TV ad where the triangle player in an orchestra launches into a rock-guitar-style solo? It reminds me of that.

    • Carcarwhite

      I personally loved seeing the JOY of the game which is how I took it.

      This is the only life we know we get and most get into baseball for the love of the game and for me I LOVE seeing the players laugh and have fun.

      I know we’re so accustomed to people being so miserable which is why it made me smile even more.

      Why not celebrate a homer?????not easy to hit. Rare in a World Series. I thought it was a way to encourage the fans to celebrate the whole event!!!
      Dodgers in the world series!!!! Rare! Amazing. Enjoy it!!!

      Otherwise why bother working so hard to make it ?

      There is an assumption you can’t have fun and work hard. I think you can.

      Just my opinion of course!

  8. # 3 Were it not for double standards, Lefty’d have no standards at all.

    I can’t argue the desire to take a peak, especially considering the subject, I take the Jerry Seinfeld approach:

    “Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. Ya get a sense of it and then you look away.”

    Whaddya think Ellen would’ve done had she been at the Sophia Loren Jane Mansfield table 60 years ago?

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/celebrity/the-true-story-behind-sophia-loren%E2%80%99s-iconic-side-eye-to-jayne-mansfield/ar-AAu4IJt?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=U452DHP&fullscreen=true#image=1

  9. I’m pretty sure the custodian on the cereal box is actually a human, and I suspect they made him darker (and gave him clothes) to distinguish him from the anthropomorphic cereal, because they didn’t think of giving him a beard or something. Why they needed a custodian in the scene at all, or why they didn’t just make the custodian a yellow puff of corn like all the other people in the scene, is beyond me.

    How do I know he’s a human? Because he’s the only one in the picture whose eyes aren’t merged together!

  10. I regret to report this, but from Althouse’s blog I have learned that Bush 41’s “joke” to young women is that his favorite magician is “David Cop-a-Feel.”

    Really.

    I’m heading for the bridge now…

  11. Tippy Scales

    #MeToo! Me too! Me too! I was sexually harassed by a light-skinned corn pop. And Cookie Jarvis.

  12. valkygrrl

    Morning Jack, I have two for you to look at.

    One, incompetent elected official or innocent dupe? https://apnews.com/877ee1015f1c43f1965f63538b035d3f/APNewsBreak:-Georgia-election-server-wiped-after-suit-filed someone ordered those machines purged.

    And innocent mistake or attempted election tampering, reports fomr six counties. http://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-voting-machine-suspected-flipping-presidential-votes/woKEUgpDDEyaw9o4J318XJ/

  13. Still Spartan

    “I still have this uncomfortable feeling that there needs to be some virtual statute of limitations on these accusations. If some woman publicly accuses me of harassing her five, ten, or twenty years ago in an incident I don’t even remember and that doesn’t sound like anything I would ever do, what is my recourse? Why didn’t the alleged victim speak up at the time? What if she’s just trying to harm me now? What protection do I have? Shouldn’t I have a chance to apologize, or explain before I am condemned?”

    I’ve talked about this dozens of times here. You know the reasons. Either you are convinced or you are not.

    Re Ellen, I think that photo is an obvious bit. Just like there are tons of photos/movies where actors are obviously ogling women’s cleavage. That’s not offensive. It would be offensive if there was a photo of Ellen sneaking peaks at someone’s cleavage, up skirts, etc.

    To your larger point of whether the gender of the person doing it matters, I can see where you’re going. I have a lot of gay male friends, and I would be lying if I said that they didn’t comment on attire, looks, maybe even make sexual jokes about me once in a while. But, to their credit, when I have told them that they have crossed the line, they have corrected their behavior. They are also my friends. It would be different — and more offensive — if they were colleagues, bosses, etc.

    • I’d like to get your opinion on where you think legal lines should be drawn. Because of the disparate nature of crimes, the proof for those crimes are different…

      For instance, in the case of spousal abuse, were a husband to hit his wife, and the police were to find out, either because the wife reported it, or a neighbor or friend did, my understanding is that the police do not require the wife to actually describe the act as assault in order to press charges. Obviously it’s easier to prove if she does, and the investigation could be stonewalled if she refused to cooperate, but the wife’s account does not change what did or did not happen in the eyes of the law. The proof of the crime is the act, that someone struck someone else, because it is generally illegal to do so.

      Rape is a very different situation. In the case of a rape, the victim’s account is of paramount importance because the base act of rape, sexual intercourse, is not usually an illegal act. The determination that a rape has occurred generally hinges on two factors: the victim’s consent, or her lack of, and the rapist’s cognizance of her lack of consent. Although there are certain schools of feminism seeking to redefine consent to make it significantly harder to do so, generally, if someone says they were not raped, then a rape did not occur, .

      So on one extreme you have crimes where the proof that the crime happened is that a thing happened. It’s almost always illegal to cause someone to cease living, or to burn down a house. And on the other extreme you have crimes where the base act actually proves nothing, the crimes exist in frames of mind.

      Whenever I attend HR conferences, the standard applied seems to be that “A reasonable person would know, or should have known that the behavior would demean, threaten or offend.” This seems to me, although I’m neither a lawyer or a legal scholar, that harassment occurs when behavior that a reasonable person would recognize as harassment occurs, and not necessarily when a person decides that they feel harassed. If for instance, a person feels harassed, but what they perceive as harassment is unreasonable, then harassment did not occur. And if, for instance, behavior that was obviously harassment was observed at a workplace, even if the employee who was the target of that harassment never complained, it’s not uncommon for management to act anyway.

      But like I said, I’m not a lawyer or a legal expert, so I’l love to know your opinion, Spartan, on where about on the spectrum I described harassment exists, or if the spectrum as I laid it out is flawed. But if I’m right, and that harassment exists when harassment exists, do you feel like openly oogling someone’s cleavage from inches away from their person meets the bar of what a reasonable person ought to know is unwelcome?

      • Still Spartan

        We are not talking about legal Statutes of Limitations, we are talking about ethical statutes of limitations. Women who decide not to report quickly may not be able to pursue their claims in civil litigation later. Similarly, criminal claims might expire.

        Jack seems to be complaining that the accused is somehow at a disadvantage if, many years later, an alleged victim speaks up. Truthfully, I almost rolled on the floor laughing as I read that. The accused ALWAYS has a claim the moment a victim speaks: libel, slander, defamation, potential tortious interference with contract claims, etc.. That statute begins running every time a woman starts to speak, and — if she does it again — the clock starts all over. The only risk in this scenario is on the accuser whose claims have probably expired due to time. And, if the reply is, “Well, it would be hard to prevail on such a claim because it’s he said/she said,” my reply (after I have pulled myself off the floor and regained my composure) is, “Well, yes. It is challenging. And that is why most women do not speak up, report to their supervisors, or call the police. Welcome to our world.”

        • We’re talking past each other, my comment was more aimed to your second two paragraphs re: Ellen, not about the statute of limitations.

          I do however think on that note that you are grossly underestimating the ability of an allegation to destroy a life, and are drawing a false equivalency between the societal pressures following an allegation and the burden of proof victims of abuse have to prove.

          • Still Spartan

            Ellen was “acting.” I don’t think any analysis applies to this at all — just like I really didn’t believe Alice was going to get hit right in the kisser.

            “I do however think on that note that you are grossly underestimating the ability of an allegation to destroy a life, and are drawing a false equivalency between the societal pressures following an allegation and the burden of proof victims of abuse have to prove.”

            I can’t disagree with you more. Lives are ruined every day. Women and children are raped, abused, molested. The number of false reports are a grain of sand compared to the desert that represents the bigger problem. And while I feel bad for someone to whom this happens, coming up with a standard of “speak now or forever hold your peace,” harms more than it helps.

            • “Acting” seems like such a feeble excuse. Even if it’s true… It still sends a fairly awful message… Especially since I’m not sure that Perry was in on it. And I just don’t think you would excuse “I was just acting” in almost any other situation.

              “I can’t disagree with you more. Lives are ruined every day. Women and children are raped, abused, molested. The number of false reports are a grain of sand compared to the desert that represents the bigger problem.”

              My first inclination was to point out things like how the largest population of people raped in America was actually men, but only if you counted prison rape, or how the rate of false reporting (Which is a statistically burdensome number to unpack, because everyone seems to measure it differently) is even by the most conservative of metrics by far the most commonly falsified legal claim, and middle of the road estimates peg it at about 400% the rate of insurance fraud, which is the next step down, or how in a system predicated on the idea that it is better, not good, but better, for 100 guilty people to go free than for 1 innocent person be punished, because there can be no greater injustice, for a lawyer to be so cavalier with collateral damage is… well… not good.

              But these are old arguments, as you said. We’ve had them. And they aren’t even mutually exclusive; much of what you said is true, even if it represents a really incomplete picture. We have different priorities. And that’s ok.

            • Ralph threatening that, however, bothered me even when I was 8. My Dad too, and much as he loved Jackie Gleason, he said so. There was and is too much domestic violence, especially among blue collar Americans, to joke about it as if its funny.

        • I didn’t say there weren’t defenses, and that’s irrelevant. It’s a late hit, and inherently harmful. An accusation of rape that is unproven still scars for life. In many cases, the victim has to change her view of what happened…I see how that can happen, but it is still unfair to say, “I just realized that you sexually assaulted me, you bastard, and I want the world to know, 20 years after we both may have forgotten the details.”

  14. Good gosh.

    The “white” Corn Pops are friggin *ninjas* IN YELLOW NINJA GARB. Read the box.

    http://imgur.com/kgYPljX

    And again the “black” ninja has MY skin tone. And I’m caucasian.

    This is too stupid of a controversy.

    This Saladin McCryaboutanything Ahmed needs to fire himself from public discourse forevermore.

  15. Isaac

    I think someone’s jealous. The artwork on that Pops cereal box is far superior to the average Marvel book these days (and undoubtedly a lot more people reading it.)

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