1. By the way… I want to thank all the stalwarts who have kept the comments lively over this holiday period, when traffic traditionally all-but-halts at Ethics Alarms, and the 2018 installment has been especially slow, like the whole %^&$#@ year, really. It’s no fun speaking into the winds and shouting into the abyss. The responses and feedback mean a great deal to me, and I am grateful.
2. This sexual harassment concept really shouldn’t be so hard to grasp...but you know how it is when there’s a way to use legitimately wrongful conduct to justify exerting power over another—-they’ll streeeeeetch the definition as far as it can go and beyond. This is creative, I must say: A University of Missouri official was questioned regarding a case where a black male Ph.D. candidate asked a white female fitness trainer to go on a date and was eventually suspended from the school for sexual harassment and stalking. In her deposition in the current appeal, the official suggested that the fact that the male student was larger than the female student gave him “power over her” and violated school policy.
This, of course, would make all instances where a larger male asks a smaller woman out in a school or workplace setting potential harassment, depending on whether she decided later that she was intimidated. I presume that this would also apply in the rarer circumstances where a larger woman asks out a smaller man…here, for example:
I wonder if the heels count?
3. More over-hyped harassment: A white paper by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Urban Institute classifies hard staring as sexual violence. Amy Alkon relates an incident when a victim of such staring called it “rape,” and indeed, “stare rape” is now recognized in some deranged setting as an offense.
At this rate, “rape” will join “racism” and other words that have been rendered all but meaningless by irresponsible and inappropriate use and hyping. Staring is not assault, battery, or rape. Nor can it be made illegal or actionable to watch someone while having impure thoughts. Staring can be creepy, and there are cases where a co-worker repeatedly staring at a female colleague has been found to be harassment (the employee complained, the supervisor laughed the complaint off, and the company had to pay damages after the staring drove the woman to quit.)
Then there is the reverse situation, nicely encapsulated by the Debrahlee Lorenzana controversy covered here in 2010. The bodalicious Ms. Lorenzana was fired from Citibank on the grounds that she was deliberately making male employees stare, thus reducing their workplace productivity. Here’s Debrahlee…
Here’s how Citibank apparently wanted her to dress…
4. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” dept. An article by one of CNN’s many resident race-baiters begins this way:
“For some, it’s hard to imagine anything good happening in the middle of the Trump era — especially for black, brown and low-income people.”
I have to come up with a name for this unethical device, which I also mentioned in the previous post. Who find it hard to imagine? Are they mentally handicapped? In fact, it is Jones who apparently believes this, or, more likely, dishonestly asserts it in order to further the false–and it is false—narrative that the President is a racist. It is a matter of record that “black, brown and low-income people” are prospering in the Trump era considerably more than they did under Barack Obama, though Obama, typical of him, takes credit for it. Indeed, many good things have happened, some of which are the direct result of Trump policies. Jones is a smooth and ruthless partisan hit man, but he’s no fool: he knows this. He’s lying, via deceit.
5. Oh look, another dog abusing lawyer! You may recall the disbarring of a New York lawyer who stomped his girlfriend’s poodle to death. Now a Chicago lawyer, Jerald Jeske, 51, will probably face the same fate after throwing his wife’s two Chihuahuas off their balcony. One died in the fall, and the other ran away. Chihuahuas are smart dogs.
6. Ethical tipping point on illegal immigration? Ann Althouse notes that the commenters on the Washington Post article “Father whose son died in custody knew bringing him would ease entry into U.S.” seem to be rejecting the media/Democratic/ “resistance” narrative that the government is responsible when small children come to harm after their illegally immigrating parents use them as human shields. The article says in part,
Agustin Gomez Perez was 47 and in debt, and that path would only deepen his obligations…. He and his wife chose 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo for the journey because he was one of three sons, and the couple had only one daughter together….Federal officials say they must screen migrants before releasing them, and have been overwhelmed by a record surge of adults crossing with children….
Smugglers often charge less than half the price if a child goes along, knowing that migrants can turn themselves in to border agents and will soon be released….Gomez Perez was in debt from a long-unpaid electric bill and other expenses. Add in the smuggler’s fee, and he owed more than $6,500. He expected that he’d pay it off after working in the United States….
[The sister] said her father told her Felipe suddenly worsened. His “stomach hurt, that he couldn’t breathe.” “My father started to cry,” she said, recalling his words. “It can’t be. Don’t abandon me here. We have a dream to fulfill.”…She said the family would ask the U.S. government for two things: Return Felipe’s body so that they can bury him in Guatemala, and let his father work in the United States so that “my brother’s death won’t be in vain.”
That last part is head-exploding for me, and I really wonder about the critical thinking skills of someone who would read that and think, “That’s seems only fair!” Sure: let the father benefit from placing a child in peril for his own benefit. The kid dies, but over all, mission accomplished!
Althouse read through the comments, and writes,
I was surprised at how harsh the comments were against the father. I didn’t expect this at The Washington Post. This is the most liked comment:
This child’s siblings in Guatemala are alive and well. The child was dragged to the US using money that could have paid the father’s overdue electric bill, which is not a reason to grant asylum.
That is responded to by another well-liked comment:
Thank you. I am liberal myself but I get tired of people who shut off their critical thinking when it comes to brown people. This guy made a spectacularly risky decision, and his child paid the price. It’s on his head. This is, of course, on the assumption that the U.S. wasn’t negligent in the kid’s care – which is certainly possible. Nonetheless it’s his father who endangered him.
The second most well liked comment is:
This is human trafficking with children being used as pawns. Our charity is being abused. We’re being scammed.
“Reading these comments, I believe the American culture has changed radically since the fall of 2016, when Trump was painted as a racist for saying the situation at the border had to change. I think, for all the press resistance to Trump’s fight against illegal immigration, minds have changed. It seems that Democrats are no longer using the idea that it’s racist and hateful to want to control immigration.”
I wonder. If Althouse is right, Trump will win the current show-down over “the wall.”