Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/22/18: The All Fark Edition!

GOOD MORNING!

On a day when Ethics Alarms finally passed its high-water mark for followers, I thought it appropriate to plug Fark, one of the legion of sources I check every day to find ethics topics. It’s a facetious news aggregation site that links to both serious and obscure stories with gag intros, like this week’s header on a story about a recent study on Alzheimers: “The number of Americans with Alzheimers is expected to double in the next 40 years. That’s horrible, but did you hear that the number of Americans with Alzheimers is expected to double in the next 40 years?”

My dad loved that joke, and the older he got, the more often he told it, and the more ticked off my mother would be. An all-Fark Warm-Up is a good way to avoid (mostly) politics for a while.

1. I have no sympathy for this guy. Is that unethical? This is Mark Cropp:

He has “Devast8” tattooed on his face. He says that his brother did it when they both were very drunk, as if he was a non-participant.  “Once it was started, I thought, I can’t go back on it now,” he has said. “I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest.” Good, Mark. This is progress.

Cropp has been complaining for a year that his face tattoo has kept him from being hired. Would you hire him? I wouldn’t. Such high-profile self-mutilation is signature significance for a person with terrible judgment and life skills, or, to be brief, an idiot. Would you hire someone with “I am an idiot” tattooed on his forehead? Same thing.

Apparently he has been arrested and is facing charges in New Zealand, where he lives. Psst! Mark! Don’t have “I am guilty!” tattooed on your face while you are awaiting trial.

2. No sympathy, Part 2. I also have almost no sympathy for Beverley Dodds, who once looked like this…

…until decades of slathering herself  in Coca Cola and baby oil while sunbathing and broiling herself on tanning beds caused her to have to  battlethe effects of skin cancer for two decades, and has the skin of a reptile. (You don’t want me to post a photo of her skin. Trust me.) Like Mark above, this is self-inflicted mutilation. How sorry should we feel for someone who hits themselves in the head with a hammer every day who complains of headaches? Few public health issues have been so thoroughly publicized as warnings about long-term skin damage from excessive exposure to the sun and tanning beds.

3. No sympathy, Part 3.  24-year-old Michael Vigeant of Hudson, New Hampshire, a Red Sox fan on his way home via subway from Yankee Stadium after the Sox had lost to the Yankees (they won the next night though, thus clinching the division, and eliminating New York. Go Red Sox!)  died when he tried to climb on top of a moving Metro-North train and was electrocuted by overhead wires. The resulting chaos trapped hundreds of riders more than two hours. His brother did it too, but was luckier, and train personnel got him down. Michael touched a catenary wire and was electrocuted, said MTA officials.

Now watch his family try to sue the city.  I put “Don’t try to subway surf on moving trains,” “Don’t get huge tattoos on your face” and “Don’t repeatedly broil your skin” in the same category: lessons an adult should learn and has an obligation to observe. Not doing so suggests a general responsibility and commons sense deficit that is a menace to everyone, not just them.

4.  Now THIS is res ipsa loquitur! “The thing speaks for itself” is a legal maxim originally and properly applied to the burden of proof in showing negligence in a law suit. Here is a recent classic:

Dr. Scott Baker, a South Dakota surgeon, and his employer,  The Surgical Institute of South Dakota, admit that the doctor mistakenly removed an Iowa woman’s healthy kidney when he was supposed to have removed a diseased adrenal gland. They deny, however, that he breached the standard of care in Baker’s  response to a lawsuit filed by the patient. She developed stage-three kidney disease after her October 2016 surgery. The missing kidney is now a big problem.

I assume this is a temporary stance to encourage an out of court settlement. When a surgeon takes out the wrong organ, that is per se negligence. Res ipsa loquitur. No further evidence is necessary. Do doctors really want to argue that removing healthy kidneys meets the standard of care in anything but the Three Stooges short?

I doubt it.

 5. A judge who isn’t fit to serve on the Supreme Court would be Anchorage Judge Michael Corey, who decided that a plea deal in which Justin Schneider, 34, escaped any jail time after he choked a woman unconscious on the side of a road while threatening to kill her, and then masturbated on her, was fair and just. Schneider was indicted on four felony charges including kidnapping, assault, and one misdemeanor count of offensive contact with fluids.

Judge Corey’s reasoning for accepting the plea deal crafted by Anchorage Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik, which suspends any jail time, includes Grannik’s argument  that Schneider losing his job working for the federal government as a result of the case is a “life sentence.” In other words, “he’s suffered enough,” a fatuous and unethical distortion of justice and compassion. Then there is the judge’s apparent agreement with the theory that  the risk of Schneider doing something like this is low. You know, like when a maniac cuts off someone head and puts it on top of a Christmas tree. What are the odds that he’d try that again?

Some offenses are bad enough that once mandates significant prison time. Call me a stickler, but I’d argue that choking a woman until she passes out and masturbating on her—After Schneider’s victim woke up, he reportedly told her “that he wasn’t really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled”—is obviously such an offense.

OK, this addendum is a little bit political: here’s what Hazel Cills, the author of Jezebel’s item about the case, writes,

But what do I know? I’m just a woman who doesn’t want to be strangled and assaulted, and who lives in constant fear all the time of the sometimes covert and widely unbelieved violent behavior men love to inflict on women. 

No, Hazel, you’re just a vile anti-male bigot.

33 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement

33 responses to “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/22/18: The All Fark Edition!

  1. But what do I know? I’m just a woman white woman who doesn’t want to be strangled and assaulted, and who lives in constant fear all the time of the sometimes covert and widely unbelieved violent behavior men black men love to inflict on womenwhite women.

    HTML is so useful in illustrating analogies.

  2. 5: I’m not sure what Ms. Cills means after that first phrase. I’m not sure she’s really disagreeing with you in essence. I’m taking it as facetious, but poorly worded.

    If he didn’t want to lose his job he should not have attacked and choked a woman. was he trying to imply he was possessed by a demon? I would not want him wandering around near my sister in law…

    • A.M. Golden

      marie, I agree. It’s poorly worded, but certainly women do fear becoming victimized by men like Schneider.

    • PennAgain

      a woman . . . who lives in constant fear … of the sometimes covert … and widely unbelieved … violent behavior men love to inflict on women.

      ??? No, I don’t think she’s a bigot. I think she’s stark, staring, paranoid mad. And I think she caught the insanity directly from the Left. Rational people don’t live “in constant fear” of anything, much less something that is not overtly threatening to them personally. “sometimes covert” …? in other words, mostly out in the open? where? when is the last time you saw or heard of or experienced (??) this behavior at all much less in public? “Widely unbelieved” on what evidence? Oh, yes, I forgot: all men are liars. And the last is sheer stuff-of-Hollywood horror films. Either this woman has been assaulted in the past, or is continuing in an abusive relationship, and has never taken the slightest steps to report or get help for either (letting her fear and hatred fester), or she has long since gone overboard with erotic S&M fantasy.

  3. Glenn Logan

    Re: #1

    Cropp has been complaining for a year that his face tattoo has kept him from being hired. Would you hire him? I wouldn’t. Such high-profile self-mutilation is signature significance for a person with terrible judgment and life skills, or, to be brief, an idiot.

    Nope. He’d scare the truck drivers away, never mind the UPS man and everyone else. Plus, as you say, it’s demonstrated stupidity. I try hard not to hire people who have demonstrated their stupidity in such an… indelible way.

    Re: #2

    As a man who’s wife has malignant melanoma, I can only shake my head. Apparently, she thinks “Dermatologist” means some kind of suntan lotion.

    Re: #3

    This guy should receive a Darwin award nomination.

    Re: #4

    assume this is a temporary stance to encourage an out of court settlement. When a surgeon takes out the wrong organ, that is per se negligence. Res ipsa loquitur. No further evidence is necessary.

    Exactly. If I were the victim, an out-of-court settlement would never happen. I would want a trial and all the publicity that comes with it.

    Re: #5

    No, Hazel, you’re just a vile anti-male bigot.

    Writing for Jezebel? I’m shocked…Shocked! to hear you say that.

    • dragin_dragon

      In order to get a Darwin Award, you have to have removed yourself from the gene pool. You know…be dead.

      • Glenn Logan

        He was electrocuted, wasn’t he?

        24-year-old Michael Vigeant of Hudson, New Hampshire, a Red Sox fan on his way home via subway from Yankee Stadium after the Sox had lost to the Yankees (they won the next night though, thus clinching the division, and eliminating New York. Go Red Sox!) died when he tried to climb on top of a moving Metro-North train and was electrocuted by overhead wires.[my emphasis]

      • In order to get a Darwin Award, you have to have removed yourself from the gene pool. You know…be dead.

        Hopefully BEFORE you have reproduced.

  4. Such high-profile self-mutilation is signature significance for a person with terrible judgment and life skills, or, to be brief, an idiot. “

    Too much plastic surgery would count in my book. The effect of the cognitive dissonance, when I see a face that clearly looks unnatural, signals something is wrong. Certainly I understand accidents and conditions make plastic surgery a necessary field. But when people no longer look like…people (Joan Rivers) how can we trust they can make sound decisions on other matters?

    This is why “transitioning” kids and teens with surgery really concerns me, because these kids minds aren’t fully developed to understand the long term consequences. In Oregon girls as young as 13 are getting mastectomies to affirm their gender identity. What is this other than medicalized adolescent mutilation?

    Sorry for the tangent.

    • PennAgain

      It’s germane, Mrs. Q. Unfortunately, the only thing we can do is try to talk to the parents. We may not be able to (and shouldn’t, unprofessionally) interfere with parental authority but this is one more cause of harm to young people too immature to understand that may be targeted on the outside regarding medical treatment, if just by publicity. Physical alteration for the sake of one’s “gender identity,” in itself, is a new idea (it’s plastic surgery become organic!), much too new to have empirical evidence of its long term results in adults. Grownups can take such risks. It’s their choice. But even then …

      This advice from a gender therapist: “Version 7 of the [WPATH] Standards of Care, says that is strongly suggested that someone does see a qualified mental health professional if they are going to be starting medical transition. But, it does say it is also ok if the medical professional you are going to is trained in behavioral health and/or they work as part of a multiple disciplinary team.”

      Now, that’s just a “strong suggestion,” which tells us that even rational grownups may need to have their thoughts, feelings and practical knowledge on the subject reviewed and expanded. Which also means that those who need it most — a blindly determined teen, for instance — may be surgically altered by any (unethical, but legal) doctor in the specialty without … any further delay. That’s where the law could step in. We’re working on it (and that “we” includes many who have transitioned and regretted it).

  5. PennAgain

    Dear Jack, thank you for adding “catenary wire” and, by extension, “train pantograph” to my lexicon. You do widen my world.

    • For your inner math nerd and to appreciate the beauty of physics:

      The Catenary Arch (that is any flexible “cable” dangling in space), has a curve, such that ALL flexible “cables” suspended above the ground describe individual curves which are all ultimately just zoomed in sections of a perfect mathematical Catenary Arch. This is not true of parabolas, which a catenary arch is NOT.

      • PennAgain

        Michael, my inner something-or-other (not math, I’m sure) tells me that this uh, flexible dangling thing is just another description of the section of medieval church architecture suspended just below a sexpartite rib vault. (sorry, sometimes I get arch)

        • That is correct, medieval arches were attempts to mimic the forces on a hanging chain as the strongest way to distribute force down the arch while maximizing the space beneath the arch.

  6. “…a conservative…who lives in constant fear…of the sometimes covert…and widely unbelieved…violent behavior leftists love to inflict on conservatives.”

    I guess it’s Analogy Sunday. And/or Bigotry Expose’ Sunday. And/or Justified Rejection Sunday.

    I still hate leftism, and will not trust leftists or Democrats.

  7. The link you meant for the surgeon story is actually to the train story again.

    And honestly, if I was the plaintiff, the “didn’t breach the standard of care” would make me NOT want to settle. I’d LOVE to see them argue that in court.

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