Saturday Night Fevered Ethics, 12/4/2021: It Begins With A Hairless Cat…[Updated]

1. Where “Ick” and unethical become indistinguishable...Airlines have enough problems without having to deal with…this. A message was sent through the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) alerting a Delta crew in Atlanta that a passenger in seat 13A was “breastfeeding a cat and will not put cat back in its carrier when [flight attendant] requested.” And she was. Every time the passenger was asked to cease and desist, she attached the cat, which was of the hairless variety, not that it’s relevant, to her nipple again. A flight attendant on board during the incident, wrote on social media,

“This woman had one of those, like, hairless cats swaddled up in a blanket so it looked like a baby,” she said. “Her shirt was up and she was trying to get the cat to latch and she wouldn’t put the cat back in the carrier. And the cat was screaming for its life.”

2. A you have probably heard by now, CNN canned Chris Cuomo. This is a classic example of doing the right thing for the wrong reason: Cuomo should have been fired because he’s a terrible, unethical, none-too-bright journalist. The fact that he also mishandled a conflict of interest, abused his sources and used his position with CNN to assist his brother as The Luv Guv tried to avoid accountability for sexual misconduct all flowed from CC’s incompetence and ethical dunderheadedness. A serious scandal of some kind involving “Fredo” was inevitable.

3. You know, there’s a lot to criticize Ethan Crumbley’s mother for, but this kind of attack shows blogger derangement at its scariest. Here’s a site that claims to “partner with some of the most trusted and recognized authorities in the fields of love, friendship, family and marriage” It pronounces Jennifer Crumbley sinister because

  • She “once wrote a blog post praising former President Trump.”
  • She agreed with his position on gun rights.
  • She criticized illegal immigrants.

Clearly, it was only a matter of time before such a monster enabled her son to shoot people. This post is typical of the level of analysis that dominates social media, especially Facebook. Social media doesn’t need to spread “misinformation” to damage society; it just needs to facilitate people like the writer, circulating bias in the form of “expert” opinions.

3. They all must have seen “Terminator.” Homeland Security Today reported that all the member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have signed on to an agreement that defines the common values and principles needed “to ensure the healthy development of artificial intelligence (AI)”. The full text is here.

At least they recognize that this is something to be concerned about. SkyNet awaits…

4. Call me judgemental, but I say this is unethical...Authorities in Alabama are investigating an unnamed FedEx driver who took at least six trips last month to dump around 450 packages in a ravine in northern Alabama. So far, no motive for what is being called “the FedEx debacle.” This is an inexplicably random act of cruelty, sparked either by a proverbial “disgruntled employee’s” anger, or a psychotic break. What else could explain it?

It is better than a mass shooting, however.

5. Attacks from all sides...it seems self-evident that the strategy being executed by those who want to tear down the United States and its values involves relentless attacks on every source of pride, strength and inspiration, including history, institutions, achievements, celebrations, and heroes. Elizabeth Samet, a professor of English at West Point, is getting rave reviews for her revisionist book “Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness.” You see, our triumph over fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism in the 20th century is over-rated, exaggerated and accompanied by nearly as much evil as it banished. Samet asks, “Has the prevailing memory of the ‘Good War,’ shaped as it has been by nostalgia, sentimentality and jingoism, done more harm than good to Americans’ sense of themselves and their country’s place in the world?” Her answer is yes. I suppose the next national monument to get torn down by the woke will be the World War II Memorial, where my father used to hang out on sunny afternoons in D.C. so school groups could take photos of each other standing with a real, live Second World War veteran.

Nations and citizens need their myths, over-simplified triumphs, and the sense of virtues and principles prevailing. The nuances and contradictions are there for those who seek them and have the perspective to place them in proper perspective. However, the objective of the current swarming attack on all positive things American is not historical accuracy but national demoralization, and the weakening of public pride.

6. Alec being Alec...The ethics highlight for me in Alec Baldwin’s bizarre interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos was his insistence that he felt no guilt or responsibility for the death of one crew member and the wounding of another from the discharge of a gun in his hands. “Someone is ​responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me,” Baldwin said.

Not him? He was holding the gun. It fired while he was pointing it at the cinematographer. (He claims this happened without his pulling the trigger, though if he pulled the hammer back, it was the same as pulling the trigger). He’s the producer of “Rust,” meaning he is at the top of the accountability chain, having approval over all hiring and responsibility for everything that happens related to the film’s production.

Well, we all knew Baldwin was like this, didn’t we?

6 thoughts on “Saturday Night Fevered Ethics, 12/4/2021: It Begins With A Hairless Cat…[Updated]

  1. Well, we’re for sure screwed now. Given the UN’s record of turning virtually everything it touches to shit, their decision to tackle AI ethics makes it damn near a certainty that we’ll all be enslaved or murdered by intelligent machines within a decade or two. Great.

  2. 6. Is there any doubt what Alec’s position would be if a pro-gun rights actor had been involved in this terrible incident instead?

      • Hahahahaha. Isn’t this life imitating art? Wasn’t Baldwin simply reading lines as his character on 30 Rock during that interview? I’d say he’s less an asshole than he is dumber than a box of rocks. All he can do is read lines provided him. That interview had to be scripted in its entirety. Stephanopoulos was hired as a softball batting practice pitcher.

  3. 1) Wait, what? Words fail me…

    5) “at West Point” – this is the type of person teaching our future military leaders. Nothing like telling cadets that the military is not good and the country is terrible and not worth defending. That may be a bit hyperbolic, but I suspect it’s not far from what she actually believes. I think her first unethical step was taking a job at West Point when her beliefs don’t align with the goal of that organization.

    6) I feel sadness and sympathy for Baldwin; I certainly wouldn’t wish the situation on anyone and I’m sure it will be an emotional burden he has to carry the rest of his life. And there is some bit of blame to go around – who brought the live ammo, who loaded the gun with live ammo, who checked the gun before it was given to Baldwin? However, he was both the producer (where the buck stops) and the person who actually pulled the trigger (regardless of what he claims, that’s what happened), and he needs to own up to that.

    I also have to wonder how much of his narrative is shaped by both PR and lawyers – admitting to anything (unethical or not) may be used in lawsuits over the situation.

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