There was originally a video of the incident above, but YouTube took it down, and its videos are the only ones I can use. You can see the video here. The episode is instructive, as it…
1) …shows how far things can get out of hand when people with dead ethics alarms meet by chance…
2)…demonstrates how the still ongoing fear-mongering over the Wuhan virus and friends by the news media is exacerbating already-strained fault-lines in U.S. society
3)…how really, really stupid the mask rules are and how ignorant fanatics are who think masks are more than minimally helpful in keeping infection at bay.
When once normal people start using the conflict resolving skills of guests on the old Jerry Springer Show, we need to worry about it. The man’s solution to being confronted in this incident was to start name-calling. (Calling anyone “Karen” is signature significance for a dolt); the woman’s approach was to start acting like a first-grader. I particular like her declaration that she won’t wear her mask until he puts on his. One article I saw today claimed that this kind of mask dispute was about “What it meant to be an American.” No, it’s about the importance of not being an asshole just because someone else is being an asshole.
Conservative talk-radio host Monica Matthews tweeted: “The legacy of Fauci, CDC, WHO, NIH, Congress & every airline. This is what they’ve done to us. Merry Christmas.” Indeed those culprits don’t help, but nobody makes anyone act unethically.
1. Project Veritas Ethics Train Wreck update! When last we looked in on this mess, Justice Charles D. Wood of State Supreme Court in Westchester County had issued an order requiring the The New York Times to cease further efforts to solicit or acquire attorney-client privileged material, including information related to Ashley Biden’s diary, and also blocked the Times from publishing documents prepared by Project Veritas lawyers f that the paper had acquired through leaks from the FBI. The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, described the ruling as “unconstitutional.” On December 24, the judge, ordered The Times to turn over any physical copies of the Project Veritas documents in question, and to destroy any electronic copies in the newspaper’s possession. Now the Times says it will seek a stay of the ruling and will appeal.
The publisher of The Times, A.G. Sulzberger, said in a statement,
“This ruling should raise alarms not just for advocates of press freedoms but for anyone concerned about the dangers of government overreach into what the public can and cannot know. In defiance of law settled in the Pentagon Papers case, this judge has barred The Times from publishing information about a prominent and influential organization that was obtained legally in the ordinary course of reporting.”
Well, “legally” is a weasel word here: the documents were illegally leaked to the Times, though they could legally accept them because the press thinks document laundering is wonderful, and it usually gets away with it. Nevertheless, the public has no “right to know” about the communications between an organization and its lawyers.
2. Good! The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles admitted it had made “procedural errors” when it issued a ridiculous recommendation that George Floyd be posthumously pardoned for a 2004 drug conviction, and withdrew it. Floyd got in trouble everywhere he went, but because he was the unlucky arrest resister who ran up against a cop who was an even bigger jerk than he was and it cost him his life (according to an unfair trail verdict), some people think he should be cleansed of all sins. The cowardly Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles apparently capitulated to the mob, but botched the paperwork on this and other recommendations to the Governor, so they are starting all over again. Maybe this time they’ll be responsible and forget the whole thing.
“This habitual life time criminal deserves to be pardoned in Texas because he died under the knee of a bad cop in Minnesota while he was resisting arrest, stoned out of his mind and overdosing on illegal drugs” just doesn’t seem like a persuasive argument to me. The ostensible justification for the pardon is that Floyd’s guilty plea for selling $10 worth of crack in a police sting hinged on the word of a narcotics officer who has since been accused of falsifying evidence and making false statements in other cases. It has nothing to do with the BLM rush to worship a departed hood whose contribution to society was that his death became a catalyst for “racial justice” extortion though there was and is no evidence that it involved race in any way. Sure.
“I understand there is a vulgar meaning to ‘Lets go Brandon,’ but I’m not that simple minded, no matter how I feel about him. He seems likes he’s a cordial guy. There’s no animosity or anything like that. It was merely just an innocent jest to also express my God-given right to express my frustrations in a joking manner … I love him just like I love any other brother or sister.”
I don’t know what the first sentence is supposed to mean. Schmeck didn’t mean the vulgar interpretation of the phrase? What else could it mean? There’s no animosity: he just told the President he has no animosity toward “Fuck you!” Does he think saying “Fuck you!” is an appropriate and ethical way to treat his “brothers and sisters”? Deliberately using a phrase that means “fuck you” to the President isn’t innocent, and the fact that it was a joke (or jest) doesn’t excuse it. [Pointer: JutGory]
4. Lesson: If you’re going to tell your boyfriend, “Go ahead, kill yourself,” don’t do it in Massachusetts. My original home state first prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned a young woman for this highly dubious crime in the case of Michelle Carter, whom I last wrote about here, in 2017. In 2019, the state prosecuted a second woman, Inyoung You, then a 21-year-old South Korean native and former Boston College student, with involuntary manslaughter in the suicide of 22-year-old Alexander Urtula, who jumped to his death on May 20, 2019, the day he was going to graduate. You was in cellphone contact with her boyfriend that day, and was at the scene when he plunged to his death. She had also sent him several text messages urging him to kill himself. I discussed that case here.
You, who is unfortunately also a walking, talking Abbott and Costello straight-line, now has agreed to a plea deal that gives her a 2 1/2 year suspended jail sentence and 10 years of probation. She is barred from profiting from her case in any way, must receive mental health treatment, and has to perform community service.
This situation mirrors one of the ethics issues we will be discussing on the first Ethics Alarms Zoom colloquy, which will cover the Netflix series “Clickbait.” In the series, a man is blamed for allegedly causing the suicide of a woman he had never met, by sending her an approving message when she threatened to kill herself.
5. When nice people become monsters…I was de-friended on Facebook last week by an African American actor I like very much and have known for years. He posted with approval the Kim Potter verdict, and it was instantly “liked” or loved” by dozens of his friends, none of whom I know. Maybe the verdict can be justified legally, though I doubt it, but there is no question that Potter’s actions were a tragic mistake, that she did not intend to kill Daunte Wright, that there was no intent or animus, that there was no evidence that racial bias played a part, and that she was trying to handle a dangerous situation that unfolded quickly due to the attempt of Wright to flea a valid police arrest. Potter’s life and career are ruined by the verdict. Anyone “liking” such a result is expressing hatred toward police and, quite possibly, white people as well. It shows an ugly lack of compassion and empathy, and is a direct rejection of the Golden Rule.
And that’s what I wrote.