1 Good-bye Charlie! To get things off to a happy start this Sunday, let’s ponder the news that Charles Manson’s death is imminent. Good. What’s worth pondering is why our society allowed him to live at our expense since 1969. If the justice system has to maintain some ultimate punishment for the worst of the worst crimes if only to stake out the position that some conduct forfeits the right to exist in a civilized nation—and it does—then Manson should have shuffled off this mortal coil, or rather had it shuffled off for him.
Mark this down as one more area where California has arrived at the wrong answer to an ethics problem.
2. “Knock-knock!” Who’s there? “Child molester!” Child molester who? “Child molester? What child molester? We don’t see any child molesters…” According to internal documents, the Jehovah’s Witnesses has instructed congregation leaders, called elders, to keep child abuse secret from law enforcement as a matter of policy since at least 1989.
The religious group’s headquarters, known as the Watchtower, sent a letter in 1997 to local elders across the U.S instructing them to send to a written report about anyone currently or formerly serving in a position of responsibility known to be have sexually abused a child. A California appeals court last week upheld an order for the Witnesses to pay $4,000 for each day it does not turn over the documents to the court, and the tab currently stands at $2 million. The ruling stems from a case in San Diego, where a man sued the Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to warn congregants that a child predator was in among them.
Osbaldo Padron was sexually abused as a child by an adult member of his congregation named Gonzalo Campos. Campos confessed to sexually abusing seven children, but although leaders at the Watchtower knew this, they continued to promote him to higher positions of responsibility and took no action to protect tne children he came in contact with.
Nice. I guess I’m not going to be polite and chat with those people who knock on my door with copies of the church’s newsletter—you know, “The Watchtower”?—any more.
Is it possible that everyone in the church’s leadership missed the Catholic Church’s scandal in this area? Nobody saw “Spotlight”? Nobody there has a drop of decency or integrity?
Fascinating. Perhaps after he loses his Senate race, maybe Roy Moore will consider a new gig at the Watchtower.
3. Slippery Slope alert! I never focused on what those checkmarks next to some Twitter accounts meant. Apparently the checkmark was meant to denote “that an account of public interest is authentic,” Twitter explained in a series of tweets on this week, but that “verification has long been perceived as an endorsement.”
Ah. So, in other words, Twitter was incompetent in making its own messaging clear.
“This perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse,” the tweet-masters continued. So now it is removing te checks, which never were supposed to denote an endorsement, from certain accounts Twitter disapproves of to show their lack of endorsement by pretending that those accounts are not authentic—which is untrue. Or something. So the Ethics Alarms account, I guess, will look like it’s unauthentic or not worthy of endorsement, or worse, been unendorsed for being bad.
Users will now forfeit their checkmarks for “inciting or engaging in harassment of others,” “promoting hate and/or violence against, or directly attacking or threatening other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease,” supporting people who promote those ideas, and anything else the left-leaning social media platform decides is virtuous to censor.
Do you trust Twitter to administer this no checkmark=black mark policy objectively and fairly, without employing an ideological double standard and thus giving the advocates of one set of political and social views access to a crucial means of communication that will be withheld from their opponents?
4. Cut the dog in half and throw one half away? Here is an ethics conflict worthy of Solomon. US District Judge Algenon L. Marbley has decided that a sorority sister who uses a service dog can return to live in the Chi Omega house at The Ohio State University pending a trial, even though another sister is allergic to the dog and claims that the pooch is aggravating her medical conditions, including asthma.The stand-off created a zero-sum Americans with Disabilities Act conflict, and ethics zugswang. Faced with a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t mess, Ohio State’s Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, Scott Lissner, resolved the dispute based on who signed her lease first. That was the student with the allergy. Nope, said Judge Marbley.Now some poor judge will have to decide which is more of a disability: not being able to breathe, or having panic attacks.
I recommend flipping a coin.
5. And another thing: why is the dog allowed to be naked? From Reason:
“To protect public health, safety, and morals, the government has an important interest in preventing women from going topless, a federal appeals court has ruled. And the importance of keeping lady breasts out of public view overrules any First Amendment or equal protection issues that such a policy raises.”
We can tell from the tone of that summary where libertarians come out on this silly issue that uber-feminists have been whining about for decades. Men can legally go topless in public, and women can’t. Having been struck blind for 24 hours after an obese, elderly, topless woman sat down on a beach chair across from me at a resort in Acapulco, I have a bias in this matter.
Since public manners, respect for others, and minimal decorum, civility, modesty and decency has been allowed to decline to nauseating levels, I sympathize with the impulse of elected officials to have society lay out some hard lines. I also see little reason why anyone sane would choose to make an issue of this one, especially since the Sue Ann Mischke Principle is real, and certain women walking down Main Street in all their glory can be counted on to turn heads, and cause perhaps fatal crashes.
However, Reason, as it usually does, has a valid point. Since I was also struck blind more than once by the horrifying sight of my 85 year old next door neighbor Tony walking his min-pin shirtless on hot summer days, the easy solution is to make it illegal for either Tony or Sue Ann to parade their bare ta-tas in public. Problem solved.