December 1 Ethics Considerations: Five Big Ethics Stories That I Should Write More On…


Yikes. There are several items below—in fact, all of them— that I would like to devote whole posts to, but far more in my In-Box that I have to devote whole posts to. For some reason, the ethics issues dam has burst in the last few days.

That’s my father above, who died on this date in 2009. I’ve been thinking about him a lot today.

1. There should be no controversy over this: it is wrong, unfair, and absurd for Lia, formerly “Will,” Thomas to compete as a female swimmer in collegiate competitions. Here is the transitioned, now female, former University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team star (for three years). His “after” photo is on the left. Oddly, his various treatments and operations have left him a better swimmer as a side effect! Well, that’s not quite right, but she’s dominating the women’s meets, as against Columbia University last month when she won a pair of gold medals in the 200 free and 100 free with margins of 5.4 seconds and 1.3 seconds.

That photo on the left is virtually the only shot of Lia now: I can’t find any full body shots since she transitioned into a championship competitor. Hmmmmm...

Lia Before

If female swimmers who haven’t had the boost of going through male puberty don’t have the guts to protest this, then they deserve what happens. That goes for the female athletes in every other sport as well, and their parents, and their coaches, and the feminist weenies who are allowing women’s sports to be destroyed by their unwillingness to appear “unwoke.”

No question, excluding trans, ex-males from gender-segregated sporting events is a hardship for the new women. I’m sympathetic. I am. But it makes no sense ethically or logically to allow the special problems of a tiny minority to harm the vast majority of female athletes.

2. Good question. ”Does a mother have a right to ingest drugs and harm a pre-viable baby? Can the state bring child neglect charges against the mother? “ Justice Thomas asked during oral argument today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion case concerning a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.  The arguments and the questions asked have been widely interpreted to suggest that the law will get at least the 5 votes needed to let it stand, meaning that Roe v. Wade’s viability rule, only allowing abortions to be prohibited by the states after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be overturned.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious organizations argued in their brief that “there is no constitutional basis for the viability rule,” and the Center for Religious Expression agreed that viability is a poor gauge of the state’s interest in protecting fetal life. Two conservative medical associations, the American College of Pediatricians and the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, tried to make the case that the viability rule was based on faulty and now outdated medical information about prenatal development.”Three physicians and the Catholic Association Foundation added that advances in science have “painted an intimate portrait of the fetus and its humanity,” requiring that the viability standard from 50 years ago must fall. Trinity Legal Center and Catholic Medical Association, National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA, Idaho Chooses Life and Texas Alliance for Life made similar arguments in their briefs. [Source: SCOTUSblog]

Oh…the answer Thomas received from the women’s health organization’s counsel? “That’s not what this case is about, but a woman has a right to make choices about her body.” In other words, “Human life? What human life?”

3. OK, Elizabeth’s Holmes’ boyfriend abused her. So what? Are feminists sufficiently disgusted with a female CEO who was lionized for being a powerful woman in a tough field leading a ground-breaking medical technology company, resorting to the “a mean, dominating man made poor, weak, submissive me do it!” defense in her trial for defrauding investors? Holmes took the stand in her own defense yesterday and wept as she accused Ramesh Balwani, her former lover and business partner, of emotionally and physically abusing her. She was controlled, she said, by this monster prescribing the food she ate, dictating her schedule and keeping her away isolated from family. Of course, he forced her to have sex with him too! She’s just a victim!

Ann Althouse, who reads readers’ comments to Washington Post and New York Times stories so I don’t have to, found this one: “Holmes is a sociopath who thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. She conned her investors, her board and her customers, and now she’s trying to con the jury.” Exactly.

4. The Times reports that DAs in Democrat-run cities around the country are re-opening previously investigations into police shootings where the officers had been cleared of criminal conduct. Some of the cases are several years old. This is a true ethical dilemma: if there was genuine misconduct leading to a death, police should be accountable. But if police must face the shadow of criminal prosecution even after they are cleared if a new DA is elected by an anti-cop majority, criminals are likely to have a dangerous amount of freedom to harm citizens and society. Police need to have a margin for error, even a generous one, in a crucial and risk job.

I don’t know what the ethical balance is, but we had better find it, quick. If my son told me he wanted to be a cop, I would tell him, “Don’t.”

5. You know, somehow I don’t think an apology is nearly enough, Alice. T he best-selling author of the memoir “Lucky” and the novel “The Lovely Bones,”Alice Sebold, apologized publicly yesterday to Anthony Broadwater, who was wrongly convicted of raping her in 1982 after she had identified him in court as her attacker, and whose conviction was just vacated by a state court judge. Thanks to Sebold’s mistaken ID, Broadwater, now 61, spent 16 years in prison before being released in 1998 and was forced to register as a sex offender. But she’s sorry, so it’s okay now.

Her apology on the website Medium said in part,

40 years ago, as a traumatized 18-year-old rape victim, I chose to put my faith in the American legal system. My goal in 1982 was justice — not to perpetuate injustice. And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine. I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him. Today, American society is starting to acknowledge and address the systemic issues in our judicial system that too often means that justice for some comes at the expense of others. Unfortunately, this was not a debate, or a conversation, or even a whisper when I reported my rape in 1981.It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened. I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did. Throughout my life, I have always tried to act with integrity and to speak from a place of honesty. And so, I state here clearly that I will remain sorry for the rest of my life that while pursuing justice through the legal system, my own misfortune resulted in Mr. Broadwater’s unfair conviction for which he has served not only 16 years behind bars but in ways that further serve to wound and stigmatize, nearly a full life sentence. I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from youAnd I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will. It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened.

Nope. This wasn’t “the system” failure, it was her failure. She identified the wrong man and single-handedly put him in prison for 16 years. She can’t apologize and simultaneously cast herself as the victim. Broadwater’s life was ruined by her false accusation, and hers benefited: she turned her rape into a best-selling book. Now Sebold is mouthing Black Lives Matter talking points to distract her own accountability.

She should give her victim every cent she has earned from “Lucky.”

24 thoughts on “December 1 Ethics Considerations: Five Big Ethics Stories That I Should Write More On…

  1. “That photo on the left is virtually the only shot of Lia now: I can’t find any full body shots since she transitioned into a championship competitor.”

    That sentence encapsulates the entire issue. As much as we twist perceptions, reality won’t budge.


  2. It has to be difficult to celebrate a birthday when the date also marks the anniversary of the passing of someone deeply loved. But, best wishes to you, Jack. Here’s hoping you find some solace in the good memories you have of your father and in the knowledge that he helped you along the way to your many accomplishments, including especially this site.

    • Thanks. I now get grief from friends and family for dwelling on Dad and not enjoying my birthday, but 1) I never enjoyed my birthday that much, even as a child, and 2) Dad’s death and my honor of being the one to find him (the third time I’ve been the first one on the scene after a sudden death) wasn’t even the worst part of that day. That would be having to go to the hospital where my mother was recovering from an operation and telling her that the love of her life was gone.

  3. Happy Birthday!

    As to the topics… On 2. We’ve beaten the ethics of abortion to ribbons over the years, and we could rehash it if we wanted to. A couple of things that might be new:

    1) On the “viability” standard; As babies who are born earlier and earlier survive thanks to technological advances and better understanding of medicine… Does the viability marker budge? Curtis Means, the world’s most premature baby, was born in Alabama last July at 21 weeks one day, narrowly edging out the previous record holder at 21 weeks 2 days, and the field expands from there.

    2) It is political malpractice to bring this issue up now. I don’t like this issue generally, I think we have more important things to talk about, but I accept that some people feel more strongly about this than I do and they want this conversation… But with an insane Democrat party, a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democrat controlled Senate, the only things keeping the lid on the asylum are moderates like Joe Manchin and Susan Collins. It is beyond stupid to force this issue now, just in time to give Democrats a distracting narrative before the mid terms, just in time to wobble the fence sitters and maybe open the door to SCOTUS expansion, just in time to make everything shapey and stupid, when it would be really, really fucking nice if we could get a breather. This is dumb. The people involved are dumb. Even if they win, they lose.

    • Given America’s 2 year election cycle in which it’s a rarity for Conservatives to ever have a safely aligned political situation, would a fight over abortion *ever* be politically savvy?

      • It might not be.

        And that isn’t necessarily be a bad answer. You might not like it, but if abortion is popular enough that a minority lobby pressing the issue on a ban loses all the marbles for the party… The law gets reinstated and reinforced after the next election cycle anyway, and now your opponents make policy decisions for an election cycle. Unless overturning Roe. v. Wade actually becomes a majority position, I don’t think it’s smart to pick this fight.

        • Perhaps. I’d wager this falls under the much seen argument across Twitter: “if republicans win this they’ll lose all their ability to raise funds and lose support as they’ve finally appeased their base.”

          I mean…


          I’d also wager that after 3 decades of running against abortion they are just a likely to lose support for not acting soon as they are from acting and winning.

          Nevertheless, if abortion is the great ethical stain on this generation of Americans then technically it is worth going down in a fight for a good cause… otherwise the cause was lost to begin with.

          I suppose there’s no point continuing either way… right? Try to make the change and see if it lasts with the electorate.

        • Look at the flip side. In 2009 Nancy Pelosi got her party members to walk the plank to get Obama Care enacted. Yes, they lost their jobs in the next election and the Republicans took the House and eventually the Senate, but I think they still counted it as a win since they got Obama Care passed.

          This year, Pelosi is having her party members walk a similar plank to pass the Build Back Brandon Better bill in the House, amid widespread expectations that there’ll be a similar Red Wave in the near future.

          If overturning Roe v Wade results in the Democrats retaining control of Congress — I suspect there are a lot of pro-life people who would still count that as a win. There’ll be another election in two years. There might not be another chance with the Supreme Court.

          Personally, I think that unless something else really major happens, even reversing Roe v Wade is not going to save the Democrats next November. Just look at one poll (yeah, I know) — the generic ballot. I usually figure the GOP is doing good if Republicans are only trailing there by a few points. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around the thought that they’re up by 10 points in that poll.

          Sooooooooo …. we’ll see.

          • And anyway, if Roe were ever undone, again, like we continue to mention, it does NOT outlaw abortion. In fact, the hyper leftists who take glee in celebrating abortion may discover one or more of the following:

            1) Federalism is awesome.

            2) They can enact laws permitting the craziest extremes of abortion that they want in their own states.

            3) They may actually discover that their own states do not like crazy extremes of abortion either, hopefully waking them up that their neighbors generally think their ideas are insane and unpalatable.

            No, the Left wants this to be a national issue because that’s the only level they can get enough insane celebrants of abortion to engage in enough performative love of abortion to make it out like the unmitigated slaughter of the unborn is a popular stance. They don’t want this to be given over a local level.

  4. Happy Birthday, Jack.

    When you wake up you will remember everything from the past seven decades . . . just as you dreamed it. When you wake up you should be ready to return to your normal, quiet, peaceful, and happily wonderfull well deserved life, and leave the birthdays – and perhaps a few deathdays – behind. For a while, at least.

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