Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/28/18: As 2018 Runs Out…

Good Morning!

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.

She concludes,

“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.”





35 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/28/18: As 2018 Runs Out…

  1. “…throwing his wife’s two Chihuahuas off their balcony. One died in the fall, and the other ran away. Poodles are smart dogs.”

    I know Poodles are intelligent but this sentence seems misplaced after the Chihuahua reference.

    • Bait-racing? (As in rushing to insert race into the conversation even when, or especially when it is not obviously relevant in order to make it a part of the discussion.)


  2. #3 “hard staring as sexual violence”

    Staring is Violence? Oh My God! These irrational snowflake social justice warriors have completely fallen off the sanity wagon.

    They’re bastardizing the definition of the word violence!

    Staring = Violence
    Hate Speech = Murder
    Child Pointing Finger = Firearm In School Violation
    Correlation = Causation
    Conservative = Evil
    Conservative = Racist
    Conservative = Misogynist
    Conservative = Rapist
    Conservative = Fascist
    Assault Rifle = Nothing To Do With Function Just Looks
    Oppose Illegal Immigration = Racist
    Want Police In Schools That Have Violence Problems = Racist
    Don’t want Violent Criminals Roaming The Streets = Racist
    Get Stopped For Speeding = Racist
    Get Killed In Shootout w/Cops While Robbing A Store = Police Brutality
    Etc, etc, etc…

    If “you” don’t think our culture is being totally fucked up by snowflake social justice warriors then you are, or have become, part of the problem.

  3. ” it’s hard to imagine anything good happening in the middle of the Trump era”

    In other words, the sky is falling!

    We’re doomed I tell you, DOOMED!

    P.S. The ski is falling but it’s not Trump’s fault.

  4. Althouse wrote, “It seems that Democrats are no longer using the idea that it’s racist and hateful to want to control immigration.”

    If that’s true, and I don’t think it is, then I can assure you that there’s another false smear right around the corner.

    P.S. The Democrats have to be a little careful what the psychologically project upon Republicans now that they will soon be in control of the House.

  5. 6. Would be nice to think we’ve reached a tipping point. You wouldn’t think so given the blather from Dems and the media. But you never know. Trump did win in 2016.

  6. On point 3. I do not know the entire story regarding the women in question, but I think suggesting that the employer wants female employees to be totally covered whether it’s a burka or Victorian attire is pushing a bit hard on the employer.

    Perhaps it’s my screen but it does appear the woman is braless which allows for her aerioles to be seen through the skin tight top. This is not appropriate office attire and I would send an employee home to change. I would not see termination as a reasonable action unless there had been multiple warnings.

    I am not naive and know that employers will look the other way when sexuality is used as a sales tool.

    If I am incorrect that she is braless in the picture and the image I see does not faintly show the outline of a protruding nipple then I see nothing wrong with this outfit. If I am correct, a top that creates an unproductive environment is not welcome. There need to be some boundaries. Permitting inappropriate attire that accentuates one’s individual sexuality creates an environment in which the boundaries of proper interaction among employees gets blurred resulting in unnecessary litigation.

    • The burka was a joke, meaning to suggest that for some women little short of that will stop some men (AND women) from being “distracted.” I have told the story before here about a college intern I had at the US Chamber of Commerce who was sincere, innocent, and so spectacularly gorgeous that he stopped traffic, literally, outside the building, and was a target of male execs, married and single, all day long in it. There wasn’t a thing she could do about it other than wear an overcoat and a Mickey Mouse mask.She was much more attractive than DeborahLee.

  7. #3–Mike Royko did a column (which I couldn’t locate) about how X-Chromosomal Units wanted to criminalize Y-Chromosomal Unit staring. The subject of gals staring at men, or at other gals, wasn’t broached; perhaps it wasn’t actionable or as much of a cause célèbre.

    Anywho, Royko died over 21 years ago, so the concept has to be at least that…um…mature.

    Are New Age Social Engineering male-behavior-micro-managing female Lefties now getting the idea that in today’s climate of hyper-partisan stupidity on steroids (please refer to Z’s NewSpeak conversion list above) the idea might now gain some traction?

    Perhaps they don’t expect too much, if any, push-back from timid, cowed, emasculated Lefty males that are too fearful to appear as giving offense?

  8. This whole sexual harassment schtick is getting ridiculous. What feminists want is for women to be in charge…what they’re going to get is sexual segregation.

  9. Definitely not shouting into the abyss. Yours is the top blog I read each day and I’d share most posts but you know, Facebook. Not being able to share your posts has enraged me enough that I no longer post anything in Facebook. That and because no one ever commented on my posts so I felt like _I_ was shouting into the abyss.

    • Same here Jake but it is imperative that we carry a message no matter how many respond. I have come to believe the fastest way to lose is by surrendering the messaging war.


  10. 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.

    I beg to differ with that last assertion. In my experience – limited, but non-zero – there is a size cut off point, roughly terrier sized, below which dogs’ skulls are just too small for them to be smart. It seems that de-poodling (is that a word, like “poodle-faker”?) your reference made it less well supported factually.

    As for unethical, I did once hear a story of a man who trained puppies to jump out of the windows of his country home whenever the telephone rang. Then he took them to his city penthouse…

    • I have no experience with toy- or other play-poodles but I did spend a large part of my summers before college on a working ranch. They had a pair of standard poodles who had never seen a poodle-clip and who wrangled horses every morning from range into corral, pushed the gate closed and flipped a latch, all without human supervision. They preferred to forage for their own food and frequently caught trout in one of the mountain streams nearby. They also served as guard dogs.

      (no, they didn’t play poker. At least, not professionally)

  11. That abused Chihuahua ran off . . . and kept running!

    Through some friends in the State of Chihuahua I was able to get an exclusive interview with the leader of the Chihuahuan Liberation Front (FLC) and their leader, L’il Bitsy:

    Just now transcribing it . . .

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