1 The kids are all right! Ethics Alarms has recently been graced with comments by some intrepid and articulate high school students on the guns and schools issue. I salute all of them, as well as the teachers who sent them our way. Some of the students also encountered the tough debate style and sharp rhetoric that our regulars also engage in. One of the students who found himself in a particularly spirited exchange, mostly with me, just sent me a long, self-flagellating and abject apology. My response in part..
Relax. Apology accepted, and I am grateful for it, and admire you for writing it. But you impressed me in many ways. I wish I could meet you.
When I was growing up, there was no internet. I just managed to earn as reputation as a clown, a master of sarcasm and insults, and someone who would never back down from an argument the old-fashioned way—by talking. I made a million gaffes along the way. I made an ass of myself. I hurt people. I also scared some people, but eventually I learned some boundaries. Meanwhile, the skills I acquired being a jerk sometimes have served me well, in college, in law school, in management, in theater, in ethics. (I’m still a jerk sometimes. You have to keep that edge.)
You are welcome to comment on Ethics Alarms any time, my friend. Just remember we’re all human beings, nobody hates anyone, and no mistake is final.
I do hope that any time young readers who identify themselves as such come here to argue, Ethics Alarms commenters will keep in mind that the best result, no matter what they might say while testing the waters here, is to keep them coming back.
2. Packaging designed to make you feel stupid…I’d do a whole essay on this again, but there have been a lot of “yelling at clouds” posts lately. The common practice of generics intentionally imitating the packaging of the original product they derive from is per se unethical. (I’m sure I have written about this before, but cannot find it. I know I criticized the practice of cheap kids animated videos of stories like “Beauty and the Beast” copying the artwork and color scheme of the corresponding Disney version to fool inattentive purchasers.) My wife just got caught by a CVS scam—the company is a long-time offender—that fooled her into buying for my use an inferior knock-off of Pepcid A-C which I need because the Parkland shooting deception and agitprop is giving me ulcers. It is intentionally packaged with a red fez-shaped cap to look sufficiently like the good stuff to deceive consumers.
Of course, as with the video, it isn’t exactly like the original: the shade of red is different, the cap shape isn’t quite the same, giving them plausible deniability.
There should be some kind of law or regulation to discourage this. I’m going to go into the store and complain to some nice clerk or manager, who will shrug and say she’s sorry, which is to say that, once more, I will be yelling at clouds .
3. Animal empathy test. A British Columbia resident adopted a potbellied pig named Molly from the SPCA. Molly was one of 57 potbellied pigs to be seized following an animal cruelty investigation on Vancouver Island a year ago. The SPCA staff spent months nursing the formerly pet pigs back to health before they could be adopted. Once she was healthy, Molly was adopted by what the Animal Planet channel now calls “her forever companion,” who then cooked and ate her.
The horrified SPCA has banned the individual from future adoptions, which, the organization says, is the only punishment legally available.
Now here’s your test:
4. Confirmation bias or mindreadingt? In his CPAC speech yesterday, President Trump told the assembled conservatives,
“Year after year, leaders have stood on this stage to discuss what we can do together to protect our heritage, to promote our culture, and to defend our freedom.”
“[T]his I said out loud (to my audience of one): “That’s a dog whistle. White power.” Questioned, I said, “heritage… culture… freedom…” Even freedom? “Yes, in context with our heritage, our culture, and then our freedom. Our freedom.”
Ann may be right, but her conclusion is ironic given a recent post in which she inveighed against “media mind-reading.” That’s exactly what she’s doing, isn’t it?I could see myself writing about the importance of protecting our heritage [and not capitulating to efforts to airbrush history, demonize our forebears, and embrace the radical Left’s anti-American propaganda] , to promote our culture [of individualism, Western values, and the traditions and standards that have made the United States successful and strong] and to defend our freedom [ meaning individual liberty and freedom from government dominance, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.] The President of the United States, whoever he is, should be accorded the benefit of the doubt. FDR and John F. Kennedy made similar statements; many Presidents have.
Here’s another poll: