Won’t You Try Saturday Afternoon Ethics, 1/25/20? The Segue Post…

The Winter of Hate would seem like a good time to remember the Summer of Love, don’t you think?

1.Well, that’s nice! A man gets along with his brothers! Rich Juzwiak is Slate’s sex advisor. A recent male enquirer asked him, “I live in a large house along with six brothers, all adults and close to each other in age, two of whom I am having sex with….The problem is that I don’t know what to call this arrangement…”

Oh, is that the problem?

What’s an interesting though experiment is trying to define exactly what this big, happy family arrangement is unethical, or even if it is. What harm does it do to society or non-consenting people? It doesn’t risk unhealthy babies, or ruin the family heirarchy like male-female incest

It the fair and honest answer to the reader’s question, “What do you call it?” “I call it so icky I want to barf, not that there’s anything wrong with that”? Is this the best example of the Ick Factor ever?

How about, “I don’t know what to call it, but if you don’t sell it as a reality show, you’re all idiots” ?

An aside: This reminded me of my favorite Ann Landers question of all time. Ann’s readers said she was having an affair with the husband of a professional lady wrestler, who walked in on her and the cheating husband as they were getting disrobed. He babbled that she was his masseuse, and, incredibly, the credulous wrestler bought it. She asked the terrified mistress if she would give her a massage too, and, trapped, Ann’s inquirer agreed. The wrestler was pleased—so pleased that the woman is giving her weekly massages while continuing to have sex with the wrestler’s husband. What do you think was her question to Ann?

“Can I get in trouble for giving massages without a license?”

This convinced me that Ann Landers answered more fake questions than I previously assumed.

2. I don’t think “Better late than never” ever describes this stories:  Theophalis Wilson, was finally released from prison after serving 28 years for a triple murder he didn’t commit, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

He was just 19 when he was tried and convicted in what Philadelphia district attorney’s office called the case a “perfect storm” of the justice system gone rogue, stating in a court filing that Wilson’ case included misconduct by the prosecution, an incompetent defense defense and a witness who supplied false testimony.

“This is a great day,” said Wilson, 48, who served in prison. “Now we’ve got to go back and get the other guys. There’s a lot of innocent people in jail.”

“It’s a beautiful day,” said his mother, Kim Wilson. “I just thank God it finally happened.”

Wilson was exonerated a month after his co-defendant, Christopher Williams, was cleared of the three 1989 killings. Wilson was a teenager when he was accused of participating in the slayings of Otis Reynolds and brothers Kevin and Gavin Anderson in north Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia district attorney’s office called the case a “perfect storm” of injustice, writing in a court filing that the case was marred by serious misconduct by the prosecution, an ineffective defense and a witness who supplied false testimony. That witness, who testified against Wilson and and his co-defendant, recanted after forensic specialists testified that physical evidence contradicted his earlier account of The witness, who was serving a life sentence for murder himself, confessed that he had provided false testimony in exchange for a deal to escape the death penalty.

How the defense attorney wasn’t able to impeach that kind of witness, I do not understand.

As usual in such cases of wrongful imprisonment, the victim was so thrilled to finally be free that he was only positive in his remarks. In court, Wilson was told that it was time for him to “go home “a free man” “with an apology.” “No words can express what we put these people through. What we put Mr. Wilson through. What we put his family through,” the prosecutor’s office representative said.

3. And the answer to that statement is another advice column story: A woman asked Phillip Gallanes of the Times’ “Social Q’s” column what she should have done after the pool attendant at a resort hotel in Hawaii found her lost hat and  replied: “‘Thank you’ doesn’t pay the bills, ma’am” after she showered him with warm words but no tip. “My husband thought I should go back the next day with a $5 tip. My daughter-in-law thought I should report him for rudeness. And the others said: Let it go. That’s what I did, deciding that the $100 per room resort fee covered this. Thoughts?” she concluded. Gallanes said, in part,

“I advise patience and grace on your part. We all have bad days. I also like your husband’s idea of going back with a tip to thank the man for keeping track of your hat. (Not his job!) Now, I underscore that I’m referring to occasional lapses. If he tip-mongered daily, or was otherwise aggressive, I would have spoken to a manager.”

Ugh, Phil. Come right out and tell this rich cheapskate that she deserved to be told off. I’d also add that resorts have an obligation to let guests know that their staff works for for low wages, and depend on the gratitude and generosity of  guests.

Maybe I’m influenced by a recent experience: a young woman who bagged my groceries was ordered by the checker to help me out by pushing the second cart that was needed to hold all the food I purchased. When we got to the car, I told her I could handle it from there, and I gave her a $10 tip. I have never seen a tip recipient act so shocked and thrilled. I thought she was going to cry.

4. Another columnist had a different issue to deal with, and perhaps its a democracy issue as well... Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian Independence Institute, announced that he has been fired from the Denver Post after being found by the editors found to be”too insensitive.” “What seemed to be the last straw for my column.” he posted on Facebookt,  “was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech.”

Caldara had criticized an Associated Press directive saying that sex and gender are not binary. “There are only two sexes, identified by an XX or XY chromosome. That is the very definition of binary. The AP ruling it isn’t so doesn’t change science. It’s a premeditative attempt to change culture and policy. It’s activism,” he wrote on January 3 piece. Then, in a column two weeks later, Caldara objected to a 2019 Colorado law that required elementary school children to be instructed in transgender ideology.

Caldara says that he was fired by the paper’s editorial page editor, Megan Schrader, even as she said he was the page’s most-read columnist.

16 thoughts on “Won’t You Try Saturday Afternoon Ethics, 1/25/20? The Segue Post…

  1. #4 – well there are genetically and biologically non-binary people. They are historically called hermaphrodites and the presently preferred term is intersex. So it is not correct to say there are only two biological sexes.

    That said, I do believe the progressive idiocy surrounding transgender issues is loaded with non-scientific beliefs. It is yet another place the progressives wish to force one accepted position.

    • Nope. There’s only two. What are intersex people corruptions of? The sexual binary. They are infertile aberrations, dead end mutations. Frankly put, freaks.

      Just because sometimes people are born with their hearts outside of their bodies doesn’t make them something other than human. It means they’re not normal. Or just because you once saw a three legged dog it don’t mean dogs ain’t quadrupeds.

        • Matthew B: That’s not what he said, friend. His position is that there are two sexes, and only two, and to say that the people who occupy the place where that distinction is messed up for biological reasons doesn’t negate the duality of the sex.

          To provide a useful similar example. There is either day or there is a night. This is not changed by the fact that there are a few minutes in the morning and at night- where it is difficult to tell whether you are exactly in day or exactly in night.

          He never said they didn’t exist. Calling them freaks was a bit unkind, though.

    • Jack wrote:

      4. Another columnist had a different issue to deal with, and perhaps its a democracy issue as well… Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian Independence Institute, announced that he has been fired from the Denver Post after being found by the editors found to be ”too insensitive.” “What seemed to be the last straw for my column.” he posted on Facebook, “was my insistence that there are only two sexes and my frustration that to be inclusive of the transgendered (even that word isn’t allowed) we must lose our right to free speech.”

      Well, let’s see how much delicious trouble I can get myself in today. It is only 7:22AM and the whole day stretches before me . . . 🙂

      Matthew B wrote:

      #4 – well there are genetically and biologically non-binary people. They are historically called hermaphrodites and the presently preferred term is intersex. So it is not correct to say there are only two biological sexes.

      Freddie Haff wrote:

      Nope. There’s only two. What are intersex people corruptions of? The sexual binary. They are infertile aberrations, dead end mutations. Frankly put, freaks.

      Jeff Valentine wrote:

      He never said they didn’t exist. Calling them freaks was a bit unkind, though.

      dragin_dragon wrote:

      I think ZoeBrain has more than adequately dealt with this. To say that there are “ONLY” XX and XY chromosomes is not only an over-simplification, it is flat out wrong.

      Curiously, we watched the new film Joker last night. And his name is Arthur Fleck. There had to be a reason for that name we figured so I looked it up:

      freak 2 (frēk)
      n.
      A fleck or streak of color.
      tr.v. freaked, freak·ing, freaks
      To speckle or streak with color: “the white Pink, and the Pansy freaked with jet” (John Milton).

      There is said to be a connection between fleck and freak.

      The main definition is as everyone knows:

      freak 1 (frēk)
      n.
      1. A thing or occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular: A freak of nature produced the midsummer snow.
      2. An abnormally formed organism, especially one regarded as a curiosity.
      3. A sudden capricious turn of mind; a whim: “The freaks of the psyche can no more be explained than the Devil” (Maurice Collis).
      4. Slang
      a. A drug user or addict: a speed freak.
      b. An eccentric or nonconformist person, especially a member of a counterculture.
      c. An enthusiast: rock music freaks.

      It is very curious: I thought that Joker was going to be similar to the other portrayals of The Joker as in the Batman films. A psycho but always one that you can laugh at and about. I kept thinking in Joker that it would suddenly turn funny and amusing, but it only turned more confused, painful and psychologically dark.

      In Media Studies you are taught to take a film as a *text* and to read it in such a way that it reveals its ‘inner content’. I was introduced to the notion of *the text* by an analysis of America’s sick and vicious TeeVee war on Iraq. A war, of astounding consequence to its victims, presented through the superficiality and the horrifying banality of CNN production studios, and invisible in any sense of consequence to the public to which it was presented. And we thought that “Leni” Riefenstahl turned her talents in the wrong direction! We easily see the *evil* in the other, we have a far harder time seeing the evil in which we participate: indeed in which we ‘breath and have our being’. [Truth? Falsity? It does not matter!]

      I recognize that the question here is only *the two sexes*. But I am aware that all of the conversations that are discussed (here) are situated within a larger context: like Russian nesting dolls. So, here we have the dynamic topical social issue where ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are under assault, but in the context of a sick society — a society of freaks and psychological freakishness — where people’s inner psychological illness is bleeding out and infecting others. America is sick and getting sicker. Notice the ‘definitive statement’? The ‘absolute declaration’? A statement that is not an ‘either-or’ nor a ‘maybe’ or ‘could-be’ but rather an is: this is what is going on. This is reality. A sick culture going off the rails and becoming the source for the transmission of deviance on a world scale. All eyes turn to America. All eyes have turned to America.

      What I find interesting is that the sick, the freakish, the abnormal, the deranged demand to be seen and recognized. “You have to see me, acknowledge me, and ‘protect’ me!” is what they say. But there is a curious intersection here (excuse that word!): the demand being made that the linguistic forms be altered to conform not to *truth* and *reality* but to emotional claims. Poor Arthur Fleck!

      Now, turning back to Jon Caldara! The larger context has to be seen. His Overlord Editor fired him because she cannot bear to have truth spoken. The message here is that truth cannot be spoken. Ah, but when you examine it you see that she is complicit in the bending of and the reformation of *truth*. Truth? What is truth? It is what you want to be true. (According to Richard Weaver these issues are related to nominalism and these deviances extend from the Thirteenth century! Thus: causation is relevant and can be examined).

      Land of the Free Home of the Brave or Sick Culture having deviated substantially from the very platform of ‘truth’, careening with each passing day out of control, and psychic manifestations making themself known in all different circumstances: discord, disharmony, ungroundedness, uprootedness.

      … and there are reasons for this, and there is a causal chain that can be followed. If Jeremiah were alive, you see, he’d have to translate his message into those modern terms of our modern understanding.

      Is the conflagration of Sexual Deviancy and all the confusion arising around it really so serious? Does it really matter? That has to be decided. According to Augustine sexual bondage is the quickest route to political bondage and this is worth considering (unless one is *drunk with the times* then little matters) as part of one’s analysis of *what is going on in America today*. But a culture that asks — demands under threat of legal action and even imprisonment — that you *see things* as the State and the Culture insists that they be viewed: this is evidence of an extreme and enforced transvaluation of values: the normal, now sick. The sick, now normal. Talk about activism. Poor Arthur Fleck!

      Is Jon Caldara insensitive? Non non non non non et non. There is a far darker belly here. In this and 100 other significant ways perception is being altered by people, power and concentrations of power: those who control the ‘media’. The ‘demands’ made that you *see in such-and-such a way* extend into many different areas. A sick culture, with sickened minds, direct the show but also creating the cultural products that are consumed . . . like gummy bears or energy drinks. These influences creep in, and the wee critters take up residence around the soul of men and women.

      There is the ‘small game’ and then there is the Larger Game. My view is that if you cannot distinguish and conceptualize the Larger Game you are not — not effectively — going to be able to adjudicate the smaller issues in the ‘smaller game’.

      “…and perhaps its a democracy issue as well.”

      What is happening now, in a late stage of American democracy, is the shift from a genuine/ingenuine ‘democracy’ into various forms of tyranny. This is the way things go in a perverse culture and, as a result, in a perversion of politics. It is inevitable. All the evidence is there. And the evidence is undeniable. But then — true! — you have to have ‘eyes to see’.
      ____________

      What is interesting in this ‘smaller exchange’ (the quotes, above) is how it connects with the Larger Picture. Am I exaggerating? “Blowing this up out of all proportion?”

    • Scientifically speaking, there are two human sexes.

      There are, however, (potentially), an infinite number of GENDERS. Though I don’t think the distinction matters to people who choose to follow the orders of their particular leaders and will refuse to understand the science (whine: I’m out of school so why do I have to think about hard stuff any more?), nor (foot stamp here): to people who prefer to sit on their point and argue, however painful it might get.

  2. I think ZoeBrain has more than adequately dealt with this. To say that there are “ONLY” XX and XY chromosomes is not only an over-simplification, it is flat out wrong.

      • Well it’s certainly not a firing offense. If you work in the scientific or technicial fields, you will regularly see how often reporting on science and technology is wrong.
        If they fired reporters for getting science wrong, there would be none left.

        • But it is a firing offense when one sees it in its proper context. You have to get rid of those who have improper opinion. In this sense it is fitting that a woman fire him since, at the core, his offense was said to be ‘insensitivity’. That is *code* of course. It is a gloriously Orwellian term. I am terribly insensitive in everything I write by design and desire, and trust me, my tendency to say what I think would not be tolerated on the majority of fora or in the comments section of any newspaper in America today. Meaning? You are not allowed to speak the truth.

          You have to vilify *incorrect thought* (wrongthink) and in the best case scenario you have to make those who wrongthink pay a high price for it: to end up destitute and excluded. The whole culture participates in this enterprise in varying degrees. People have a very very hard time distinguishing between a truth and a lie and the whole field is a battleground with dismembered bodies. Our modern America is built upon a fragile foundation of lies. Sets of lies. Interlocking sets. You either see this, or you cover your ears & eyes and refuse to see it. (Right adimagejim? 🙂 )

          I think (?) it is fair to say that the Culture Wars have entered a new phase. (I can’t be certain myself, since most about the Culture Wars was written before my birth and I know of it through YouTube!). It seems now that the divisions have become more acute. It also seems that they will not be mended. It is a current now that carried people along, like in the Ship of Fools.

          You know that this can’t end well, right?

  3. I don’t think I like the response here to #3, and my response to someone who said “thank you doesn’t pay the bills, sir,” would be something along the lines of “what kind of upbringing did you have? Scouts are taught to do a good turn daily, and most churches teach that good deeds are their own reward. Not every thank-you that you get is going to be green and foldable, and if you’re not making enough to pay the bills, you need to take that up with your employer.” I tip the barber and the restaurant server because it’s expected, and that’s it. I’m also usually paying just for me, so tacking on another 10-15% (20% if the bill is small) is not that big of a deal. I also won’t hesitate to zero out someone whose service sucks. Yes, I got inappropriately angry with a waitress once over perceived disrespect, but I guess as I approach the half-century club I should get over the idea that if someone disrespects me, then I have the right, even the duty, to hurt them or take their life.

    • I tend to agree with you. It would probably have been the right thing for her to tip the guy without him prompting her, but his rudeness upon not receiving the tip would definitely not incline me toward going back the next day to find him and give him a tip. In other words, perhaps he should have been rewarded for the kind act of finding the hat, but once he acted like an asshole, coming back with a tip would have been rewarding the assholery, thus encouraging him to behave in the same rude way in the next similar situation.

      As someone who has worked my share of service jobs and is currently self-employed with roster of clients upon whose happiness my financial fortunes rest, I think my response to “thank you doesn’t pay the bills” would have been “Neither does being rude to your customers.”

  4. As usual in such cases of wrongful imprisonment, the victim was so thrilled to finally be free that he was only positive in his remarks. In court, Wilson was told that it was time for him to “go home “a free man” “with an apology.” “No words can express what we put these people through. What we put Mr. Wilson through. What we put his family through,” the prosecutor’s office representative said.

    This is not enough.

    Those responsible should be lined up before a wall and shot to death.

    Surely this man has relatives. Are they willing to do the right thing, and avenge this wrong?

  5. To answer the question from #1, I’d call that arrangement, “a group of exactly the kind of people who would ask Slate for sex advice” but that would be mean.

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