Hump Day Ethics Hunches, 4/29/2020….There Must Be An Ethics Analogy For A Five-Headed Shark

1. Idiotic movie ethics. Last night I watched “Five-Headed Shark Attack,” hoping to discover a new all-time bad horror movie. First, it wasn’t that terrible, meaning that it was a total waste of time. Mainly, however, the title was a shark bait-and-switch. The preview (and the posters) said the shark had 5 heads and was shaped like a starfish. No, it had four heads, and looked exactly like a Disney cartoon character’s glove.

Late in the movie, we saw that the monster’s tail had a mouth (once we saw it gobble a foot that slipped by the four heads), but it had no eyes, guided the shark like a tail, and no character in the film ever saw it, so the creature was never once called a “Five-Headed Shark.” My wife and I had an argument over my contention that just because a tail has teeth, that doesn’t make it a head.

2. I think we can fairly conclude now how serious progressives and Democrats are about standing up for women and fighting against sexual assault and harassment: They’re not . #MeToo and #TimesUp are clearly political weapons to be used against conservatives, Republicans and abortion opponents, real or otherwise, and certain groups, like black Democrats, are immune, even from adverse opinion.

Nice. A lot of women are going to suffer because of this, and they can blame their own alleged advocates.

In Maryland, right next door to Virginia where African-American Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is still in office despite having been credibly accused of rape and sexual assault , Democrat Kweisi Mfume easily won a special election yesterday to finish the term of the late Elijah Cummings, retaking a Maryland congressional seat he held for five terms before leaving to lead the NAACP.  Mifune had to leave the NAACP after it was revealed that he dated one staffer while its president, and another alleged she had been sexually harassed by him and was passed over for a promotion after she rejected his advances, according to the Baltimore Sun. She then threatened to sue the organization, so the NAACP paid her a $100,000 hush money payment in 2004 to avoid the lawsuit. This was the sort of scandal that drove Bill O’Reilly off Fox News.

Never mind. Democrats—that includes the mainstream news media—don’t care, and their voters don’t care. They only get outraged when the harasser is someone they want driven from office.

In yesterday’s NBC News story about Kwami’s win, there was no mention of the NAACP scandal at all—it might make people think about Joe Biden.

3. Speaking of Joe:

  • A former neighbor and a former colleague came forward this week confirming that Reade told them about the incident back in the 1990s. This is already more confirmation than Dr. Blasey-Ford had regarding the alleged teenage attack by Brett Kavanaugh at a party nobody could remember. Lynda LaCasse,  Reade’s former neighbor, said that Reade told about the alleged assault back in 1995 or 1996. “This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it. I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse said. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do….I remember saying that she needed to file a police report.”

The other witness, Lorraine Sanchez, worked with Reade in a California state senator’s office in the mid-1990s and said  that she recalls Reade complaining about being sexually harassed by Joe Biden and was fired after raising concerns about it.

  • Hillary Clinton  endorsed Joe Biden yesterday . Remember this tweet? I wrote about it at the time:

It must have been a typo (Hillary’s staff stealth edited the tweet off her website  later): she meant to write that the men the women accuse should be believed and supported, like Joe and Bill. What a feminist icon she is!

  • But there is a hope, maybe. I listed Alyssa Milano as one of the #MeToo leaders who didn’t have the integrity to apply to Biden the same standards they were so self-righteous about in 2018 and 2019. Yesterday, after being criticized  by Reade for hypocrisy, Milano tweeted, “I’m aware of the new developments in Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden. I want Tara, like every other survivor, to have the space to be heard and seen without being used as fodder. I hear and see you, Tara. #MeToo.” It’s pretty mealy-mouthed, but its better than the rest of her Hollywood feminists have done. Another Hollywood actress of considerably more repute, Susan Sarandon, also signaled her support for Reade by linking to a story from the Intercept on the credibility of  Reade’s accusation that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. Sarandon’s motives are suspect, because she’s a supporter of  Bernie Sanders, who is presumably lying in wait to see if the Democrats decide that a sexual harasser who is also senile may not be the best choice to win back the White House.

4. Fear-mongering, straight up. Here was the major headline in the Times on Monday: “Gasping for Breaths The Size Of  A Tablespoon.” The story described in harrowing detail the struggles of a 49-year-old man, “A healthy and athletic lawyer,” as he struggled to survive the Wuhan virus. It not only was pure sensationalism, the story and its placement was, I think, a clear example, of the Times trying to tamp down public pressure to re-open the economy. That isn’t a news story, it’s a feature, and its placement is one of the many ways the news media uses its power to manipulatepublic opinion.

The lawyer lived, incidentally, but you had to read the whole, grisly article to find that out.

5. In the same issue, the Times had the utter gall to run a story headlined, “Once Upon A Time, National Trauma Was An Occasion To Unify.”

Why yes, “once upon a time,” like before this President was elected, the Times and other news sources didn’t view such traumas as opportunities to attack, blame, and undermine the President while supporting a partisan effort to a  crisis for political gain.

18 thoughts on “Hump Day Ethics Hunches, 4/29/2020….There Must Be An Ethics Analogy For A Five-Headed Shark

  1. 4. I’m completely suspicious of these sorts of stories about “healthy” patients with “no underlying conditions.” Is he healthy because he takes blood pressure meds? He controls his diabetes with drugs and hiking? It also sounds as if he began to recover once he was taken off a “paralyzing drug” that had been given to him when he was put on a ventilator or hear lung machine. Was the ventilator or a heart and lung machine the cause of the tailspin? Sorry, I’m just suspicious about this kind of highly selective, highly inflammatory and not terribly thorough or forthright reporting. Frankly, I smell a medical malpractice claim in the offing.

    Just saw an article yesterday about a young Navajo woman who died. Way down in the article they finally said she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, a terrible, debilitating immune system disease for which there are now therapeutic drugs. She had this disease and didn’t stay away from her confirmed Covid husband and was afraid of going to a hospital and died at home. And what does the paper want us to think? Coronavirus is killing people of all ages, even healthy ones. Run Away! Everybody to get from street!

    • Agreed. Did you know that Sen Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother died? It’s true. COVID-19 killed him, not that he was 86, had been diagnosed with cancer years ago and undergone treatment, and was hospitalized for pneumonia in February of this year after having been moved to a rehab center. Nope. COVID did him in.

      jvb

      • In casual conversation last night with a retired dentist friend, he said a friend of his had recently lost an elderly relative to a stroke (one of a series evidently) and the family had been advised that although Coronavirus had nothing to do with the decedent’s death, they were listing COVID-19 as the cause of death. Frankly, I forget whether the decedent tested positive or not. It’s evidently good for business. May be apocryphal, but I’ve read Medicare pays extra to facilities if the cause of death is listed as COVID-19.

  2. #4: I just heard a news story that sent me ballistic Apparently, the current Governor of New Jersey wants to open the State bac up, but is going to keep us “Senior Citizens” under lock and key, because we’re High-Risk and he wants to protect us. I’ve got some breaking news for him…I don’t WANT or NEED his “protection”. Steve-o, this is more properly in your territory, but this KNUCKLEHEAD may wind up giving MY Governor ideas. Frankly, I am about fed up with people wanting to protect me. I can handle this perfectly well on my own, thank you. You might not like my risky behavior but it is MY decision.

  3. Re: No. 1: My two cents? Just because it has teeth doesn’t make it a head. It makes that part nothing more than a mouth, which may or may not be situated on a head.

    As for the ethics component, I am not going to judge it too harshly (even if it only had four heads, not five). I mean, we are talking about a multiheaded murderous shark. What’s unethical about that? I have a soft spot in my movie viewing heart for poorly made action/horror movies. If the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t have clowns or mimes, then I am all in!

    jvb

  4. 1. Have you watched the SyFy movie that starred Debbie Gibson and Tiffany? I need to look up the title…”Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”. The best part of the movie is the food fight between the two of them – which gives you an idea of just how terrible it is. It makes MST3k’s “Castle of Fu Manchu” look like “Casablanca”.

  5. All of the above comments support my refusal to believe just about any statistic about Wuhan infections and deaths. Anyone read anything about non-Wuhan virus deaths this year? Gotta blame someone. Might as well be Trump, since we can’t wonder out loud what the heck the CDC is doing with its time. (Go back and read 1995’s “The Coming Plague.” We have learned absolutely nothing since that time…)

  6. Here is an article about a previous pandemic.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2020/04/the-last-time-we-had-a-pandemic-like-this/

    In 1968-1969, as John Fund reminds us, we had another pandemic very much like this one. But we reacted to it in a completely different way.

    The so-called Hong Kong Flu was much like COVID-19, a highly-contagious disease that attacked the respiratory system and was especially fatal to people over 65 with pre-existing health problems. It filled up the hospitals and in the United States killed 100,000 people. The death toll worldwide is estimated at one million.

    So by death toll it was actually worse than the COVID-19 epidemic.

    But it never occurred to anyone to close schools or shut down businesses or forbid going to church or impose stay-at-home orders. People took a few precautions but basically took the epidemic in stride. (See also this account from the Wall Street Journal [subscription required]).

    I have only the dimmest recollection of the Hong Kong Flu. I was getting ready to graduate from high school back then and my mind was filled with lots of other things, so the pandemic left zero impression on me.

    I’m not saying, as some are, that the COVID-19 virus is no more serious than the flu, so we shouldn’t be taking drastic measures to try to mitigate it. The Hong Kong Flu, despite its name, was much more serious than the garden-variety influenza. Again, the death toll in the U.S. reached 100,000, which is a huge number. Maybe back then we should have done more to try to stop the epidemic.

    My question is, why didn’t we? And why are we doing so now? What has changed?

  7. Re: 1: Jack, my close circle of friends and I have been on a similar search the past couple months. Through the magic of the internet, we’ve been having group movie nights from all over the country, and I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so hard.

    I can highly recommend dubious B-movie ‘classics’ such as “Piranhaconda” (bonus: has it’s own campy theme song under the credits!), “Crocosaurus vs Supergator,” and anything by Full Moon Features. If you’re looking for something a bit less camp, something like “The Atomic Submarine,” “The Giant Claw” (comes with an attached bird, of course), “Terror Beneath the Sea,” or “The Day of the Triffids” (based on a novel, I believe, but struck me as a knockoff of The Birds) may scratch that itch for you. Mid-20th-century special effects are on display in most of these as well, which I consider a bonus.

    If you’re at all interested in monster movies in the vein of Godzilla without the matching budget, I have a slew of those to share as well!

    • Keep ’em coming. I’ve seen all of those except “Atomic Submarine.” So far, the worst non-Ed Wood movie that had big budget, a respectable director and major actors is still “Exorcist Part II, The Heretic,” especially the original, uncut version that I saw in a theater. MSK3000 found some of the best, like “Manos, the Hand of Fate” and “Attack of the Giant Shrews.”

      I’m partial to “The Man Without A Body” that starred my great uncle, George Coulouris, but I’m biased.

  8. Re #1. If you call a 4-headed shark’s tail a head, how many heads does it have? It has 4. No matter what you call it, the tail is still a tail. — Abraham Lincoln VII

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