Morning Ethics Warm-Up: Through The Teeth Of The Storm Edition

Good Morning!

Just flew to Florida on pressing business. Ethics knows no obstacles…

1. From the  “The Ends Justify The Means” Files, Democratic section: Led by Sen. Cory Booker, Democrats are releasing confidential documents willy-nilly, in breach of Senate rules.  The Washington Post calls this “civil disobedience.” Elected officials aren’t allowed to engage in civil disobedience, because their duties include maintaining civil order and the Rule of Law. This isn’t civil disobedience. This is Democrat Senators violating rules when they think it’s to their advantage to do so. Chuch Schumer, whose reputation and level of public trust should be in freefall for anyone paying attention, tweeted,

“I stand w/ Judiciary Committee Democrats who are well within their rights to release these very important documents that a former Kavanaugh deputy designed as “committee confidential.”

This is apparently another convenient Democratic Party rule change: restrictions don’t count if Democrats don’t like the official who has the power to issue them.

2. This is  pure bigotry and discrimination. Why isn’t that obvious? Why isn’t the news media pointing it out? From the LA Times:

Twentieth Century Fox was just days away from locking picture on “The Predator” when an urgent note came in: Delete the scene featuring Steven Wilder Striegel. Striegel, 47, didn’t have a big role in his longtime friend Shane Black’s reboot of the sci-fi thriller — just a three-page scene shared with actress Olivia Munn.But last month, Munn learned that Striegel is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 2010 after facing allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet. When Munn shared the information with Fox on Aug. 15, studio executives quickly decided to excise him from the movie.

This reminds me of the scene in “Ship of Fools” when a passenger is exiled from the captain’s table on a German ship because a Nazi complains that he is Jewish.

There were no children on the set of the film, and Striegel has served his punishment. He has as much right to make a living, and to be in a movie when he is cast, as any other citizen. Munn’s act was gratuitous cruelty, and Fox responding to it this way is an endorsement of bigotry with a big scoop of cowardice on top.

I know some registered sex offenders. One of  them is a good friend, and a terrific human being in all respects that I have observed. I would cast him in a play I was directing, and in fact have. If an actress objected, or anyone else, my response would be the same as it would to a performer who complained that he or she had discovered that my friend was part black, Muslim, or a transsexual.


3. No, Dominoes still doesn’t get it. Domino’s Pizza,  Russian branch, offered idiots and desperate people  free pizza for life if they got the brand’s logo tattooed “in a prominent place” on their body. When I read that the company cancelled the promotion before it ran the announced two months,.I thought it was an example of the ethics alarms kicking in a bit late, but at least kicking in. Paying people to mutilate themselves for a big company’s marketing scheme is like paying drunks to dance for the crowd’s amusement, paying poor teens for blow-jobs, paying dwarves to be human bowling balls, and  all the other many ways people who have lots of money can abuse their power by exploiting those who don’t. I just don’t learn: I thought Dominoes execs suddenly woke up, slapped their foreheads, and exclaimed, “What were we thinking? Paying people to be our human billboards for life? That’s revolting!”

No, Dominoes ended the promotion early because it was getting too expensive. After only five days, its social media was flooded with supplicants  displaying their Domino’s tattoos.

36 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: Through The Teeth Of The Storm Edition

  1. 1) Are we sure he broke Senate rules? I thought I read somewhere that he ended up actually gaining last minute clearance on those documents. So in reality he didn’t actually do anything in violation of any rules but was only lying to look tough.

    But I don’t know for sure now.

    • The way I heard it was that the documents ended up being cleared for public release after he’d released them, the article mentioned it raising the question of whether the consequences he faced would be affected by the fact that they ended up being cleared even though they were confidential when he released them.

      My gut says it will be used to justify a “no harm, no foul” reaction, but I don’t think it should. He’s in a position of plenty of power to advocate that the designation be changed, and willfully admitted he was going to be breaking the rules.

      • Luke G wrote, “the article mentioned it raising the question of whether the consequences he faced would be affected by the fact that they ended up being cleared even though they were confidential when he released them.”, “My gut says it will be used to justify a “no harm, no foul” reaction”

        Isn’t that essentially the same kind of unethical rationalization that Hillary’s minions used about her sending Top Secret or Secret information through her illegally used private email server, it was later deemed not to be Top Secret or Secret so “no harm, no foul”.

        Luke G wrote, “I don’t think it should.”

        I agree that kind of rationalizing shouldn’t be used.

        Luke G wrote, “…willfully admitted he was going to be breaking the rules.”

        Grandstanding or not; this is the part that should get him immediately removed from the committee and an automatic censure in Congress.

  2. Re: #2 In a past life, I worked for Texas CPS (Child Protective Services) for long enough to find out I was totally unsuited for the job. There was no acrimony on either side when I left, but one of the things I noted was that Texas law is brutal. A neighbor kid was put on the sex-offender-for-life list because he slept with his 14-yr.-old girlfriend…he was 16 at the time.

  3. Regarding 2

    Is it possible to define something like the Ethics Alarms Distracting Actor Principle corresponding with the Ethics Alarms Naked Teacher Principle?

    The Ethics Alarms Naked Teacher Principle states:

    A secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result.

  4. #1 I chalk that up as an epic moment of political grandstanding, the emails had been released well before the committee meeting began. I’ll eat my Gotch Academy hat if Booker didn’t actually know the emails were released before he walked into the meeting – he’ll never admit it.

    Someone on some news station said it’s clear that Booker is going to run for President in 2020.

  5. #2 This is kowtowing and outright enabling of social justice warriors because they are in fear of SJW’s smearing for having a registered sex offender in the movie.

    Have social justice warriors won?

    • Z, I’m a little surprised you even asked the question. Of course they’ve won, because they are loud, boisterous and raucous and EVERYONE is afraid of them. No one will stand up to them. What I fear is that, eventually, there will be a straw that breaks the camel’s back, and that may well lead to blood in the streets.

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