This would be the week that my dad typically took his vacation. At this moment, when I was 10, I would be on a beach in Dennisport on the Cape, sampling the sandwiches my mother packed, sitting in bathing trunks on my father’s army blanket that he carried all over Europe during the war, and listening to Curt Gowdy describe the Red Sox game on mt transistor radio . Nothing could have been farther from my mind than ethics. Those were the days…
1. Once again, 7-11 ethics in Alexandria, VA.. I’ve written about several ethics encounters at my local convenience store. This time I was patiently waiting for a space to open up (eventually I am going to tell one of the jerks who have finished their errands and sit in the space texting and surfing on their smart phones while others are desperately seeking parking spaces that he or she is an antisocial blight on the community) when a car backed out almost in front of my vehicle. before I could slide in around him from the right, an SUV that just entered the parking lost quickly moved into the space. The driver had seen me; he just did it because he could. As the young black male moved toward the store, I got out of my car and shouted: “Classy. You knew I was waiting for the space, and you jumped in ahead of me anyway. You’re an asshole.”
Two thirty-something African American women exited the car in the space next to the one I have just lost. “Sir?” one said. “My girl friend just said exactly what you did. He is an asshole. Some black men just don’t care abut anybody, and I can say that, because I’m black. It really pisses me off. Look—take my space. I can park across the street. Please.” I told her that really wasn’t necessary, but she insisted.
My wife came back to the car after she had purchased the items we came for, and as we drove away, I could see the Good Samaritan giving hell to the young man who had snatched my space.
2. Hollywood ethics, confused as usual. Universal is temporarily cancelling the release of “The Hunt,” an R-rated satire in which progressive elites hunt “deplorables” for fun. The film was scheduled to open in September. The reason for the cancellation was apparently the recent mass shootings. “While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for “The Hunt,” after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film,” the studio said in yesterday’s statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film.”
Interesting question: what is the “right time” to release a film like that? The answer, I would think is either “never,” or “now is as good a time as any.” It’s an ugly, tasteless, offensive idea for a film, but Ethics Alarms will defend to the death Hollywood’s right to make ugly, tasteless, offensive films. On the other hand, maybe releasing this film while the antifa is roaming the fruited plains and Democrats are encouraging people to harass and attack anyone wearing a MAGA cap is a tiny bit irresponsible. On the other hand—there I am with three hands again—if we are going to go down the road of speculating what bad behavior movies and TV might trigger, we’ll end up with Care Bears, Smurfs, and not much else.
3. Trump Tweets. Of course President Trump shouldn’t be tweeting Jeffrey Epstein murder conspiracy theories involving the Clintons or anybody else. Stop asking me about it.
4. Speaking of MAGA caps: The jerk in the restaurant dilemma. Here in Greater Washington D.C., mother Amanda Braun provoked near uniform anger and outrage when she told local outlet WJLA that her family was asked to leave the Glen Burnie, Maryland Outback Steak House when the manager told them he had “received a noise complaint” for Braun’s 4-year-old son, Killian. Killian has a disorder, childhood apraxia of speech, which affects his behavior and communication skills.
“He said that he was very uncomfortable coming to our table to tell us that but unfortunately we needed to finish our meals and leave. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Braun wrote. “I was in total shock!”
If the problem was a child being disruptive, shouting and othewise demonstrating that the parents were irresponsible and unfair to take him to a restaurant where he would be likely to disturb other diners, that would be a different issue. That’s the screaming baby in the movie theater scenario, and the ethics offense is with the parents. Childhood apraxia, however, doesn’t require extraordinary tolerance from bystanders, just a small amount of basic compassion and the Golden Rule. We have seen diners asked to leave because other patrons told managers they objected to MAGA caps, when the proper response from the manager should have been, “They’re not bothering anyone but you, and you’re being unreasonable. If you want to leave, go ahead.”
Should the response to the people objecting to the child because he’s making unusual sounds be any different if the restaurant were of a slightly higher caliber, say, Red Lobster or Applebee’s? What about the Prime Rib? Parents have to show consideration too, but the verdict when we’re not talking about the Ritz is easy.
5. Are the same Democrats who keep screaming that Trump always lies really going to nominate Joe Biden? Joe is as addicted to unsubstantiated hyperbole as the President. At the state fairground in Des Moines, Iowa last week, he boasted, “There is nothing we’ve ever decided to do we’ve been unable to do. Period. That’s not hyperbole. We have never, never, never failed when we’re together.” Well, a.) that is hyperbole, because b), its completely untrue. “We” tried to ban alcohol, and gave up. “We” have failed spectacularly in bringing African-American lifestyle and success markers, like two-parent homes, illegal drug use, crime and unwed pregnancies into the same range as other demographic groups. “We” have not been able to keep the national dept from growing. “We” are failing to provide even minimally acceptable public education; “we” have failed to keep our infrastructure in repair. What is it exactly that Joe is talking about?
Then there was this statement in the same speech: “We choose truth over facts.” I’m not even sure that’s a gaffe. It sounds like an accurate description of Joe’s party’s operating deception for years: the Democrats choose an approved narrative—like “Mike Brown was murdered” or “Russia stole the election,” and it becomes their “truth.” Facts literally don’t matter. It is, as far as I can determine, the Democratic equivalent of Kellyanne Conway’s infamous “alternative facts” line.
6. Why is Google trying to illicitly influence elections less alarming than Russia using Facebook to try to illicitly influence elections? Now explain why the testimony of Dr. Robert Epstein before the Senate Judiciary Committee has received virtually no coverage by the mainstream media, considering what he said under oath.
Epstein, a psychologist, professor, and former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today. made it clear that he is a liberal Democrat, calling himself a “vocal public supporter” of Hillary Clinton. (This strongly indicates that he is corrupt, but never mind. Different issue.)
Despite his partisan leanings, Epstein testified that in the 2016 election, Google generated a minimum of 2.6 million votes for Clinton through its deceptive manipulation of search results, and that in upcoming 2020 election, the Big Tech companies’ concerted efforts on behalf of their own political agendas—guess what those might be— could affect up to 15 million votes.
I don’t believe him for a second, just as I find the claims that the puny Russian Facebook campaign swung a single state in 2016, but the issue is worthy of flagging, especially as the attempted manipulation of communication and public opinion by the social media platforms and Google become more brazen.