19 thoughts on “WHAT? Time For The Ethics Alarms Open Forum Again Already?

    • Steve,

      I have recently been reminded that there were laws that forbade teaching slaves to read and write. After years of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement, great strides were made in the quality of education available to black people. We have finally come full circle where the laws now ALLOW us NOT to teach them to read, write, and speak English correctly. Indeed, it is racist to do so!

      Certain people have had a vested interest in not educating black people. Only their methods have changed.

      -Jut

    • We counter it with incisive and sardonic questions, and with intellectual honesty that leads to a bait-and-switch. In particular, I find people start paying attention when I tell them I think they’re right for the wrong reasons. That covers the “make them comfortable” and “make them think” steps.

      What, they think that societies in Africa and Asia didn’t make children sit still and listen to adults talking at them long before they knew that Europeans even existed? How about Muslim countries, are they white supremacists? Let’s hear about what these countries do instead of asking students to pay attention.

      If anything, making kids sit still and passively absorb knowledge can be a poor fit for a child’s natural mental development and particularly grating for kids who aren’t neurotypical. Culture clash is just one more factor tossed into an already poorly designed system.

      If people want to explore different methods of teaching, that’s good, but they should be looking at how effective those methods of teaching are (which may vary per student for any number reasons). If one method of teaching tends to be more effective–and honestly, it’s probably not going to be the one that most American teachers are using right now–then it doesn’t really matter where it comes from or who came up with it.

      They may want to look into precision teaching, for instance; lots of behavioral analysts are advocating for that because it gets measurable results when it comes to building students’ skills.

  1. Also on the line of teachers:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/09/15/hudson-mayor-school-board-must-resign-after-students-write-sex-alcohol/8346222002/

    Some thoughts:
    The Mayor: Really, jail time? If that were true that a judge said it was “child pornography” then why aren’t they being arrested? While I don’t have access to the material, but based on the notes made in this article and several others, I hardly would call that pornography. Seems like an ethics foul to me.

    Speaker who was appalled:
    Is this the first time you’re noticing this? These kind of things have been happening in classrooms across the country. Even if you get those “cameras” you ask for, I highly doubt you will watch them.

    Principal Brian Wilch
    “He also said the “642 Things” book has been used in the past.” Totally ok then. That means you approve of there usage. At least Rationalization 27, 45 used here. Moron.

    “We did not exercise due diligence when we reviewed this resource and as a result, we overlooked several writing prompts among the 642 that are not appropriate for our high school audience,” Wilch said. “We feel terrible. At no time were any of these inappropriate prompts selected or discussed, but still they were there and they were viewable, and you can’t unsee them.”

    What? I was wrong, your not a moron, your a ignoramus. Isn’t this one of your main jobs: to read and approve material used in your school? If your not going to do your due diligence you deserved to be fired and never be trusted with children again.

    Superintendent Phil Herman
    The district immediately determined this writing resource should not be in the hands of our students, and on Monday, collected the books from the students enrolled in the course,”

    The damage was already done and your principal admitted they were already used in the past. How long were they in usage and what are you going to do about scanning other materials for similar content. Seems like no one around here is doing their job.

    “Herman said an independent investigation is underway “to determine how these supplemental materials were reviewed and approved, and if any additional action should be taken.”

    In which I bet no people will be fined, fired, or punish thus no one learning anything at all.

    Staff Attorney for the board
    “While emphasizing he is not familiar with the Hudson Board of Education’s process to approve curriculum”
    Then why are you commenting on it?

    He said he believes it’s “unlikely that something would get to them that is of such moral turpitude that it would bring criminal charges.”

    So he’s admitting their approval or incompetence? I’m not a lawyer or have ever used one; is this a common thing? I think I’d fire him if he said this on my behalf.

    • I’m confused by this entire incident. If I understand it correctly, students in the course are getting college credit, not high school credit. The only thing the high school does is provide the venue. If this is the case, then the school, the board of ed, the principal, et al., should have precisely zero input into the curriculum or the reading list. Sorry, college courses are structured like college courses.
      Anyone who sees pornography here is projecting.
      And no one assigned those oh-so-scary topics.
      Strikes me that someone is looking for something to be upset about.

      • This is basically my take as well… If I wanted to be offended, I’d probably take the most offense at the prompts which encouraged students to break the law (even at college level, most students are under 21, so “drink a beer and describe the taste” would be an example).

        But I’m not particularly interested in being offended… I’m not sure if even having read the 642 prompts, I would have flagged it as inappropriate. We’re not talking about 12 year olds, we’re talking about a course aimed at adults being taken by people at the cusp of maturity, having gone through multiple sex ed classes, uniformly armed with the knowledge that masturbation will not strike them blind.

    • This story reminds me in many ways of the recent “free comic book” incident at the public library where the comic book given to children was blatantly pornographic. It’s a book of 642 writing prompts, and from the excerpts I’ve seen, most are one or two sentences, or even just sentence fragments (never mind the “pornography” angle, should an English class use teaching material that doesn’t itself use proper English?). This wouldn’t take more than an hour or two to read the whole thing, and that’s assuming the offensive or inappropriate stuff was all crammed in at the end. Much like the comic book would have taken only a few minutes to inspect, there’s no excuse for claiming ignorance here. Those in charge of these programs *chose* to remain ignorant, out of laziness.

      We may need to invent a new word for use in 21st century society, because “incompetence” doesn’t begin to cover the kinds of things we’re seeing these days…

  2. https://www.msn.com/…/opinion-biden-is…/ar-AAOuEBp…

    The two guys who wrote this article are idiots, but that’s to be expected from those who write for CNN. They act dismayed at what Biden has done so far, like this wasn’t supposed to happen, like this couldn’t happen. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and those who want to erase history, as the left seems to want to do lately, are doomed to repeat its worst mistakes.

    It isn’t as though Biden has no record or a very sparse one like Obama. He’s been in DC for almost 50 years. He’s a career politician who made a career of Senatorial mediocrity, then got tapped by Obama for VP, where he didn’t do very much. He’s never been a legislative mover and shaker, on the contrary he’s always been one to check which way the wind is blowing politically, then go with that. He was a strong backer of Bill Clinton’s Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, and he backed Clinton on welfare reform. Now he’s governing like a woke liberal, who wants to end the Federal death penalty and grow the Federal government to intrusive size. It should come as no surprise that he has not appointed anyone from the GOP to any important post, and in fact wants to purge those appointed in the last days of the Trump presidency. After four years of treating the GOP as the evil enemy, why would the Democrats want to give them any say they don’t have to? It should come as no surprise that the end of Afghanistan was a huge botch, the man has been wrong on every major foreign policy decision in the past. It should also come as no surprise that his handling of the pandemic has been no better than Trump’s. The man is not a talented administrator to begin with, comes from a party that saw the pandemic as a weapon to deploy against Trump, not a problem to be solved, and is now trying to deploy it as a weapon against Republican governors.

    The fact is that this last election was a unique set of circumstances that is unlikely to be replicated. Because of COVID, Biden was able to hide in his basement and stay out of the public eye. That made this election more a referendum on Trump and less a choice between two individuals with competing visions. Now he can’t stay out of the public eye. It’s becoming increasingly evident that he is not struggling because he was dealt a bad hand by the previous administration, he’s struggling because he isn’t up to the job and can no longer call “lids” and stay hidden. Because of COVD, the Federal government and the GOP governors couldn’t respond as they might have liked to respond to the George Floyd mess, and crushed that de facto insurrection early. That’s before we ever get to the cheating and rigging. No, I’m not talking about fraud, which will never be proven, partially because the courts won’t allow it to be proven, I’m talking about the obvious assistance of the media, which never met an anti-Trump story or a pro-Biden story it didn’t like and big tech, which embargoed news that would have helped Trump and hurt Biden.

    Meantime, the Democratic party and the media keep talking about the Big Lie of fraud, when their entire game plan the last year was built on big lies, and not really much else. Trump colluded with the Russians, Trump was unfit, Trump did this, Trump did that. Now they are trotting out a fresh set of lies, that he was so crazy in the final days of his term that he was going to launch a nuclear strike on China. No one in his right mind believes that, and that lie has also shown that you can’t even trust military officers, who are supposed to be apolitical and to obey the civilian leadership.

    Like it or not, Trump still has a powerful following. Like it or not, there are a growing number of people who are now saying, “hey, where’s this measured, steady, effective leadership we were promised?” Like it or not, there are a lot of people who don’t want to be ruled by a cadre of the Democratic Party, Big Tech, woke corporations, and activists. So yeah, it should come as no surprise that the Democratic Party is likely going to get thrashed in the midterms next year, ending any possibility of legislative success, and that Trump is likely to reenter the political stage in 2024, asking you if you are better off now than you were four years ago. What’s the answer going to be?

  3. The Minnesota Supreme Court threw out the third-degree murder conviction of Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who mistakenly shot an unarmed woman. They decided that the act directed against an individual, but not endangering others, didn’t meet the “perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others…” requirement of the law. https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/09/15/mn-supreme-court-tosses-3rddegree-murder-conviction-of-excop-noor
    (not in MN, but I can think of a certain Capitol police officer that might actually qualify for such a charge, but was shielded by a secret tribunal’s declaration of his innocence.)

    This will likely mean the conviction of Derek Chauvin on that charge will have to be set aside. His attorney has said he will try to get the entire conviction overturned under the supposition that the inclusion of that charge prejudiced the jury.

  4. An interesting ruling from an unusual source:
    The United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that bump stocks are not machine guns

    So a military court has ruled that the executive branch overreached and usurped the authority of the legislature to make law, and also that they were in error in their “facts” regarding the classification of bump-stocks as machine guns.
    But what, if anything does this mean to civilian law? Can this ruling be brought up at all in cases making their ways through the system, or will it just apply to military cases? Does this mean active duty soldiers can possess bump-stocks? Only on military property? On any Federal property?

  5. I will post this blast from the past, because there are similarities to what is going on today.

    September 29, 2009

    Commissioner Daines and People of New York State:

    This letter is from healthcare workers. You see us every day. We are your neighbors. We are your friends. You say peace to us in church. Our children play soccer together. We minister to you. We minister to your family. We coach you through grueling labors as you struggle to have your children. We help you believe in your personal strength as you gain the confidence needed for parenting. We kneel on the hard floor next to you, working relentlessly to help your baby learn to breast feed. We work 12-hour shifts, and sometimes we never even stop for a bathroom break, because you need us.

    We are there for you in surgery, listening to your anxieties patiently and offering soothing reassurances. We hold your hand when you are scared, offering a quiet assurance that you are not alone. We care for your mothers and fathers with a sense of respect and compassionate effort to help them maintain their dignity. We listen to you about their idiosyncrasies, and manage to individualize their plans of care. We set goals with you in rehabilitation, and work by your side to help you achieve these goals. We are right next door to you. We don’t live on some commune eating alfalfa leaves with our “crazy ideas.” We are everyday people — you have seen us, you have trusted us, and you know we have been passionate about the care we have provided to you. We love our professions and the opportunity they give us to minister to you.

    Now, we need your help. As a group of healthcare workers, we are being mandated by a new New York state law to receive the seasonal flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccines. If we do not receive these vaccines by November 30th, that inaction is to be considered our resignation. We must sign a consent for the vaccines prior to their administration. The manufacturers have been granted immunity by the government; they cannot be sued for untoward effects.

    We do not want to receive these vaccines. Our educated studies of risks versus benefits conclude that the risks of the vaccine are greater than the possible benefits. You know us — you know we live by, “First, do no harm.” We have many times extended ourselves to you, but our research concludes these vaccinations are not a safe choice for us. For many of us, being forced to receive the vaccine would be being forced to compromise our religious principles. All health care workers with direct patient care are mandated to receive the vaccine, so the coercion is real — we cannot just go find a job “somewhere else.” And the job market of 2009 does not offer opportunity in a different arena where we could still feed our families.

    We understand the fear that swine flu and influenza has generated. While our sources of information indicate that swine flu is not a pandemic, we know that the slanted research fed by the media offers results intended to frighten the public. We do not have the power to stop the fear that mass hype is able to generate. However, we can wear masks and continue to practice our aggressive hand washing during peak flu seasons if that is what assures you. We hear the hype you are fed. We do not want to bring you harm, but we should not be forced into harm’s way ourselves.

    The seasonal flu vaccine is a guess as to what epidemiologists think will present the coming year as flu. Many times, the guess is wrong. And each year the vaccine is loaded with toxins and preservatives injected into muscle tissue which is not meant to filter toxins. It has clear risks. We have healthy immune systems which God gave us to fight disease. The seasonal flu vaccine is new every year — so can you tell us how well it is tested?

    In that respect, the H1N1 vaccine has been rushed out with minimal testing. Testing was to occur over a three-week period, and in the rush to be the fastest providers of the vaccine, manufacturers were funded for production before that brief period was even concluded. The results — ask the dead squirrels — did not matter. They will be using an adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine that had been pulled off the market because of its association with Gulf War Syndrome but is now allowed to get this vaccine out to the public. In the 1970’s, they released a vaccine for H1N1 that was pulled off the market because it resulted in a significantly high incidence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Healthcare workers will be the clinical test. We will be enrolled in a clinical trial without consenting to be research subjects.

    This law should never have passed through a governing body in the United States of America. It violates the Bill of Rights. It declines our freedom to practice our religion and expects us to compromise our moral code by penalizing us with loss of employment. It mandates consent under duress, which makes the consent itself invalid. It obtains us as human research subjects in a clinical trial that we do not consent to. It denies us our right to refusal of a medication by putting us under duress. We are being put in a situation of coercion and assault. We fear loss of employment by exercising our freedom of speech and speaking out against this injustice. The United States is a different governing body than the democracy we learned about as children.

    We are your brothers and sisters as citizens of New York State and we are beseeching your help. The government has created a law that should have no legal standing, but we will lose our jobs unless we yield to the law. We do not want these injections in our bodies and should have that freedom of choice. We should be allowed to practice our freedom of religion in which we place our trust in God, not medical establishments and political agendas.

    Please do not let New York state proceed with this law. It will only become a precedent for further violations of our freedoms. We are everyday people and we do not have the monetary means to fight this individually, it is a huge battle. The New York State Nurses’ Association had already spoken out against mandated vaccines when the law was just a bill, but their voice was not considered. We do not have time to wait for “someone else” to fight this battle, we need every individual’s help to make a large public voice so the government will repeal this law or at the very least, gain an injunction to stop the mandating so there is time for the law to be reviewed by the courts and be found unconstitutional.

    We have made it our profession to help and would like to continue to practice in New York state. We have been placed in a situation that is terrifying us. Commissioner Daines, you tell us we should not let us fear infringe patient safety. Please do not insult us. We take care of HIV patients during their post partum hemorrhages; we provide VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci) wound care and suction. We work 13 hours non-stop putting our patient desires above even our basic body needs. There is a reason 60 percent of educated health care workers historically decline the seasonal vaccine, and there is even more opposition to the H1NI.

    It seems you’d like to use your position to threaten ours and play God with our lives. You are not our God, Commissioner Daines. We are perfectly willing to wear masks around our patients during the peak influenza season. We beg you to reconsider before New York state loses another group of dedicated health care workers. We will find our united voice and New York state will have a health care crisis on December 1 without us. Please come to reason.

    -Anonymous

  6. A little bit late to the party, but this is one of my evergreen issues, and I think I’d like to get it out;

    I mean… We’ve talked about the currency of victimhood before, about how all these special interest groups take the issues du jour and try to make them all about them. It’s gotten to the point of caricature: “Men Most Likely to Die: Women Most Effected.” Well, here’s a title that came out of the recent Texas abortion bill (which I still do not like):

    “Texas’ Near-Total Abortion Ban Will Have a Massive Effect on LGBTQ+ People”

    I actually read the article, out of an abundance of caution, or morbid curiosity. It’s exactly what it looks like. “Abortions banned, gays most effected!”

    Their line in the article was: “All sexual minority groups — except lesbians — are more likely than straight people to experience either an unintended pregnancy, a pregnancy at younger than 20 years old, or an abortion, according to the pro-choice think tank Guttmacher Institute.”

    Those last two words linked to the study, which said:

    “LGBTQ patients experience disparities in sexual and reproductive health care and outcomes. A recent study suggests that queer people who can get pregnant (except lesbians) are more likely than their straight counterparts to have an unintended pregnancy, a pregnancy when younger than 20 or an abortion”

    The last few words of which lined to a further study which included:

    “Methods
    We collected data from 124,710 participants in three U.S. longitudinal cohort studies, the Nurses’ Health Study 2 and 3 and Growing Up Today Study 1, followed from 1989 to 2017. Multivariate regression was used to calculate differences of each outcome—ever had pregnancy, teen pregnancy, ever had abortion, and age at first birth—by sexual orientation groups (e.g., heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian), adjusting for potential confounders of age and race/ethnicity.

    Got that guys? “Abortions banned, LGBTQIIALMNOP+f! people most effected… but only if you ignore the lesbians and don’t measure the gays.”

    https://www.them.us/story/texas-near-total-abortion-ban-massive-effect-lgbtq-people

    • Is it like defending a trademark? A minority group loses its victimhood card if it fails to continuously assert that each individual thing Republicans do negatively affects its members more than it negatively affects straight cisgender male WASPs?

      People aren’t going to take real power imbalances seriously if those on the disadvantaged side aren’t intellectually honest about their effects.

      • You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

        I think what happening is that Liberals are running out of discrimination and disparities in law to fight, and so they’re laying off the gas, and that’s leaving Progressives in the spotlight to spin out of control.

        I’ve always been gay and conservative, but a lot of my friends are gay and liberal, and we’ve had some very serious discussions about Progressive insanities. The feeling, I think, is that we’re being told “we got ours” and now “we owe it” to the rest of the progressive stack to get theirs. But they can’t always identify what exactly “theirs” is, “theirs” sometimes runs counter to what we fought for, and frankly, I didn’t sign up for a revolving cycle of ever more miniscule novelty issues. Had I known that was the price of their support (which is contentious in and of itself because some of these people weren’t even born in 2005), I think we probably would have been fine with them staying home.

        I’ll even go so far as to say that I think progressives see this and are very dissatisfied with it. Against the backdrop of all the individuals being ejected from the left for a lack of clarity in their groupthink; Gay people in America are proportionately white, disproportionately educated, disproportionately well off, for the most part got what they wanted, and are aging into conservatism because they like having money. I’m just waiting for the G to be expunged from the acronym on the auspices that we’re bad allies.

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