Oops. I always thought “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was another Gene Autry Christmas song, but it wasn’t, though Gene recorded it. It was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, and banjoist Harry Reser and his band performed it on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November of 1934. That version sold 500,000 copies of sheet music and more than 30,000 records within 24 hours. It wasn’t one of Autry’s big hits, but Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters reached the Billboard charts with it in 1947. In 1970, Rankin-Bass did its animated “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” TV special with a Fred Astaire puppetoon narrating. But it was Bruce Springsteen, of all people, who made the biggest success out of the song way back in 1975.
The creepy and unethical implication that Santa is spying on all children year long has been carried on by the disturbing “Elf on the Shelf,” which Ethics Alarms deplored here.
1. So…How long has this D.C. teacher been doing things like this? Has anyone asked for Terry McAuliffe’s reaction? At the Watkins Elementary School in the US capital, the Washington Post reported, a teacher has been suspended after making third-grade children reenact scenes from the Holocaust, including having them pretend to dig mass graves and shoot victims. She explained that this happened because “because the Jews ruined Christmas.” Some children were given specific roles. One Jewish child was told to portray Adolf Hitler and then to pretend to commit suicide, according to the parent of the child. The instructor told the children not to tell anyone about the activity, but someone squealed.
In an email, the school’s principal called this “a poor instructional decision.”
2. Harvard strikes again! Harvard, which as the oldest and most prestigious of U.S. universities often sets the standards for the rest, temporarily suspended its ACT and SAT requirement due to the pandemic. Last week it announced that it, would extend its optional test scrores policy for four more years, through 2026, ostensibly over concerns about how Wuhan and its little friends might continue to limit high-school students’ access to testing centers. Four years means that Harvard, which played a major role in popularizing the SAT, has declared that it forgo its testing requirements until today’s eighth graders finish high school. Do you believe it will ever do back to making the objective, school-neutral tests a required part of its admissions process? I sure don’t.
Nor do I believe the school’s explanation. Everything Harvard has done for years now has been in pursuit of lockstep social justice objectives in conformity with leftist cant. The SATs and ACTs have been declared racist, because black students consistently get lower scores than whites (who consistently get lower scores than Asian-Americans). No one has ever been able to show why these disparities exist, and one of the theories is politically unspeakable, so the “disparate impact” conclusion has been deemed sufficient. High school grades, of course, are infamously meaningless, so eliminating standard tests will help Harvard avoid discrimination suits like the one it is currently fighting filed by Asian students who aced their tests and were rejected in favor of applicants with a more acceptable skin tone.
3. Yeah, this is clearly Target’s fault…On a viral Tik-Tok video, Ashley Hernandez (@ashleyherrnandezz) complains that Target let her steal $3,000 worth of goods over several years “so they can actually send her to jail.”
A commenter on the video also alleged that Target “keeps tabs on people.” “Never borrow from the same location too many times,” she advised. Another commenter claiming to be a former Target employee wrote, “I can confirm that they have a whole database between Targets even if you steal from one, one could also know. They can track you by your card number when you check out and by your app, if you have it. I’m also pretty sure they have facial recognition. They have hundreds of cameras in multiple asset protection employees who walk around the store in regular clothes.”
How dare they! It appears that the assault on cultural values to justify theft is having its predictable effect.
Somebody should ask Ashley, “Do you think we should forgive criminal misbehavior in the name of social justice?”
4. A dark horse candidate for Worst Big City Mayor makes his move! Mayor Ted Wheeler took part in a city council meeting via Zoom and via his cell phone while driving. This violated city rules for employees, but as all the WBCM competitors believe, laws and rules are for the little people. That’s Ted on Zoom, in the meeting and driving, at the bottom:
5. Eureka! A group of “experts” from the University of Illinois claim to have discovered the best way to change people’s objections to the pandemic vaccines. In findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reissuing information touting the benefit of vaccinations may not be the most effective way to convince the hesitant. Studies, they claim, have demonstrated that providing information to disprove suspicions about the dangers of vaccination can actually backfire and strengthen negative attitudes. So 315 volunteers filled out questionnaires to survey their views on a variety of divisive subjects, including vaccination. Participants were then split into three groups.
One group was provided with scientific literature that refuted common vaccination myths. The second, a so-called “disease risk group,’ was given materials highlighting the risks associated with three vaccine-preventable diseases: measles, mumps and rubella., including accounts from parents whose children contracted the diseases, images of infants with the infections and information regarding the potential consequences of failing to vaccinate.
The final group was a control that was given unrelated reading material. You know, like Ethics Alarms.
The researchers found that the second intervention most often successfully changed people’s vaccination attitudes, even of those with the strongest anti-vaccination beliefs.
Fear! That’s the ticket! Fear!
6. And now for something completely stupid... US Quidditch and Major League Quidditch announced last week that they will change their names, and thus the name of their sport because “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling has repeatedly challenged trans activists’ positions. The sport of quidditch, lifted by fanatics from the “Harry Potter” book series, has nearly 600 teams in 40 countries, and it was a ridiculous sport even in the books. The leagues claim to be one of the most progressive sports in the world because teams must allow have women, trans and non-binary players equally opportunities to participate. The sport wants to distance itself from J.K. Rowling to emphasize that they do not share her beliefs.
How do you distance yourself from the person show is the only reason you exist? Isn’t that just a teeny bit ungrateful? To make things even more ludicrous, the name “quidditch” is trademarked by Warner Bros., which produced the “Harry Potter” movies. The sport stole intellectual property.
I enjoyed Ann Alhouse’s disgusted reaction:
I can’t imagine why anyone who doesn’t love JK Rowling would want to play this game, which looks perfectly idiotic without that love. These people are holding messy, ragged brooms between their legs. Take away the author’s magical aura and you’ve got to think, what the hell are we doing?!…They just took the name, appropriated the author’s reputation, and now they’d like to look virtuous as they drop it, but they need to drop it because they never legitimately acquired it in the first place….This must have started as lighthearted fun, but it’s all over now. Take your silly brooms and sweep yourselves off the public stage.
14 thoughts on “‘Twas The Monday Before Christmas Ethics Warm-Up, 12/20/21: “You Better Be Good For Goodness Sake!” [Corrected!]”
On the quidditch story…
As it started, my thought process resembled this: “Huh… How would they do that? Horseback? Scooters? That might actually be fun to watch. Maybe they run around and try to adhere to the spirit of the rules? Less fun to watch, but might be cool. I wonder how they do the snitch?”
Then I read Anne’s characterization of a match, and I realized that it was just LARPing. They hold. The brooms. Between their legs. Google that shit. Jesus. Leagues? 600 teams? 40 countries? I need a drink.
Oh. My. GOD.
“PLUS: The Snitch
Each match has one Snitch, a person dressed in yellow who wears a sock with a tennis ball attached to the back of their waistband. To “catch the Snitch,” a Seeker has to grab the ball as they would another player’s flag in flag football.”
The pictures. I’m dying.
I’m sorry for the multiple posts, but I need to thank you for the joy you’ve given me by exposing me to the knowledge that this exists.
#1. Her name is Kimberlynn Jurkowski. A simple search of the school’s website and I was able to locate her. A Google search and I found that she had been fired from a similar position in NJ for defrauding her school out of $24k. The same search also showed other news sources naming her so I know I have the right person. She’s a real piece of
work. And yet DC hired her anyway.
I have a similar story… One of the positions I’ve taken was created after an office manager was fired for defrauding the business of a significant amount of money. Part of my job was to deal with insurance, the fallout, the loss of trust, and the forensics of trying to figure out exactly how much she took, how much we could prove, and how to keep it all from happening again. We got a six-figure payment from the insurer, and to this day, I’m convinced that I only found about half of it.
This was all very public. It was in local newspapers. We prosecuted her and she went to jail, for Christ’s sake. For financial fraud. So imagine the near-apoplexy that nearly hospitalized me when I found out that she’d somehow managed to get a job as an office manager at the MMF (Which she defrauded and served another two years less a day for).
Some companies just don’t do their homework. And I don’t mean that you have to scour social media or Google them for hours on end. She couldn’t have been bonded! The MMF didn’t run a CRC on someone who they gave access to their bank accounts!
Not only does it not take hours on end but I was able to locate her name, and her history of defrauding a school, in less than 30 seconds from my phone while bouncing my grandson in my lap.
1. She should be fired.
No adult who thinks this kind of exercise is appropriate should be working with children.
I don’t care if I agree with what you’re teaching or not, you should never instruct students not to tell their parents what happened at school.
It’s like 35 years of “good touch, bad touch” programs meant nothing!
And so should the principal who trusted her.
Fired would be just the start of it.
I find it alarming how often these incidents involve K-6 students. When I in the 6th grade, I was in no way prepared to understand or process the Holocaust. It is reprehensible to even discuss it with 3rd graders, to say nothing of making them act out explicit aspects of it. Students in their teens are better equipped to deal with the realities of extermination, and they should be taught that part of history. But nine-year olds?!?…
I was going to write that this isn’t education at any level, but rather indoctrination. However, I’m wrong. This goes to something – I’m not sure what – that is far beyond even that.
3–“ ‘Never borrow from the same location too many times,’ ”
Words escape me!
You haven’t lived until you hear Liam Neeson’s reading (not sung) of The Night Before Christmas. Disturbingly priceless.
Oh yeah, fire the teacher and the principal.
That Bruce Springsteen video is PREPOSTEROUS. i hope he and his children are embarrassed. Jeeze, the 80s. and 90s were embarrassing.
The quality of the humor writing hardly reaches sharable levels, but since you mentioned Elf on a Shelf…
I wanted to watch the Springsteen video, but for two reasons could not.
1. Though I don’t mind the song (despite its 1984-ish tones), I simply do not like Springsteen’s rendition at all.
2. I was fearful that I would see Clarence Clemons at some point in the video, think about how much I appreciated his incredible talent, then drive to a bar and drop some racial slurs about him over a beverage with some buddies.