1. A question that shouldn’t even have to be asked. The New York Times asks if the “right thing to do” is for films and TV shows to edit out the Twin Towers in pre-2001 productions so as not to “trigger” sensitive audience members. Productions debuting in 2002, soon after the 9/11 attacks, are a special case: several films re-shot scenes to avoid references to the disaster, and that was just common sense. The suggestion that historical airbrushing is appropriate for works release before 2001 is disturbing, however, and symptomatic of the current belief that historical records cand and should be manipulated and censored for “the greater good.” Taking out the Twin Towers is a close unethical cousin of removing Robert E. Lee statues and references to slavery.
Director Michael Bay, who had a shot of one of the towers burning (from a meteor strike) in “Armageddon,” made an appropriate “slippery-slope” argument to the Times, saying,
“Movies are shot, edited and finished for the world to see. They don’t get re-edited because history changes. If we go there, that means every movie must change. Every book, every short story, every painting of New York in the past 30 years. It would never end.”
I would add that it will be difficult to remember the September 11. 2001 attacks if we try to eliminate visual records of the Twin Towers.
2. Meanwhile, here’s how the New York Times wants us to remember the attackers:
Those pesky airplanes! I never did trust those things…always knew they would eventually try to kill us. You know why the ethics alarms didn’t ring here? Because the biased leftists who run the Times believe that it is better to misrepresent the event than to “trigger” anti-Muslim sentiments. Once journalism starts making such calculations, it is no longer journalism.
The Times took down the tweet, but it’s still a smoking gun.
3. Proposition…I have come to believe that President Bush should have warned Afghanistan that it had 48 hours to turn over Bin Laden, or the U.S. would regard the Taliban as responsible for the attacks, and respond with a nuclear strike. This would have set a precedent that should be set: attack the United States on its own soil, and prepared for massive retaliation. A single bomb would have been preferable in all respects to 18 years of an expensive, destructive war with no defined purpose other than the necessary retaliation that could have been accomplished in a day. Yes, I believe the bomb would have been a more ethical option, as well as a more effective one, saving American lives and treasure, and serving as a vivid deterrent.
4. Oh, what difference does it make…we’re all doomed anyway! That well-respected climate scientist Jonathan Franzen—OK, I’m kidding: he’s just a novelist—has contributed a juicy bit of hysteria via the New Yorker. It is called “What If We Stopped Pretending? The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.” Here’s the graphic that accompanies it…
…and here, in part, is how it begins…
“If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it….Even at this late date, expressions of unrealistic hope continue to abound. Hardly a day seems to pass without my reading that it’s time to “roll up our sleeves” and “save the planet”; that the problem of climate change can be “solved” if we summon the collective will. Although this message was probably still true in 1988, when the science became fully clear, we’ve emitted as much atmospheric carbon in the past thirty years as we did in the previous two centuries of industrialization. The facts have changed, but somehow the message stays the same.”
Franzen is a smart guy and a fine writer; I’ve read some of his work. So we now know (of course we already did) that relentless climate change propaganda, especially for those ideologically inclined to accept it uncritically, can rot even the best of minds. Then we get this:
“In times of increasing chaos, people seek protection in tribalism and armed force, rather than in the rule of law, and our best defense against this kind of dystopia is to maintain functioning democracies, functioning legal systems, functioning communities. In this respect, any movement toward a more just and civil society can now be considered a meaningful climate action. Securing fair elections is a climate action. Combatting extreme wealth inequality is a climate action. Shutting down the hate machines on social media is a climate action. Instituting humane immigration policy, advocating for racial and gender equality, promoting respect for laws and their enforcement, supporting a free and independent press, ridding the country of assault weapons—these are all meaningful climate actions. To survive rising temperatures, every system, whether of the natural world or of the human world, will need to be as strong and healthy as we can make it.”
There it is…the reason why one side of the ideological spectrum is so passionate about climate change. It justifies totalitarian control to ensure that the world can be as “strong and healthy as we can make it,” and democracy and personal liberty isn’t part of that goal. Thanks. Jonathan! Thanks, New Yorker!
5. The New England Patriots and Antonio Brown, a perfect match made in Ethics Hell. The last time we discussed NFL star Antonio Brown, he was trying to sneak an illegal football helmet into Oakland Raiders practices. I skipped commenting on the part to come.On September 4, Brown was fined a combined $54,000 by Raiders general manager Mike Mayock for unexcused absences and missing two team practice sessions. The following day, Brown confronted Mayock, called the GM a “cracker” and threatened to hit him, requiring the playerto be restrained. Then Brown h punted a football and challenged Mayock to “fine me for that”.
The Raiders voided the guaranteed money in his contract and fined Brown $215,000 for the confrontation with Mayock, and on September 7, Brown demanded his release. The Raiders complied immediately. That same day, the New England Patriots, doubtlessly thinking, “Hey! Here’s an opportunity to recruit a talented, admirable young man who will be a boon to team chemistry and a role model for young fans!” agreed to a one-year contract with Brown worth up to $15 million, with a $9 million signing bonus. Two days later, the Patriots added a second-year option in Brown’s contract in which he would receive $20 million if picked up.
So all of Brown’s unethical conduct paid off.
Yesterday, Antonio Brown was accused of raping a woman who worked as his trainer, according to a federal lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida.