Many readers have sent me excellent tips for posts of late, and the fact that I have not responded or sued them yet should not be interpreted as a lack of appreciation, interest or gratitude. I’ve been hit, as has happened more often of late, by the twin terrors of burgeoning ethics issues all over, and all manner of disasters getting in the way of the blog. I apologize. This too shall pass.
Today a friend who played a prominent role in the last of two productions I directed of Saul Levitt’s excellent ethics drama, “The Andersonville Trial” sent me this article from today’s Washington Post. For those who read it, my position is that Capt. Wirz, the defendant at the center of the post-Civil War war crimes trial that was the sole legal precedent for the Nuremberg Trials, was indeed a sacrificial offering to the public’s outrage over the photographically preserved horrors at that Confederate prison camp. The conditions at Andersonville were not Wirz’s fault or within his control to ameliorate; if anyone was to blame, it was Lincoln and Grant, who knew what would happen to captured Northern soldiers once prisoner exchanges were stopped.
1. “This is the tragedy of Obsessive Race and Group Identity Obsession (ORGIO) Won’t you help with a tax deductible gift to help the millions of suffering people like Jennifer?” NPR tells the vital stories of various people who have differing views about what color and shade of “thumbs up” emojis they and others should use in their social media posts. Like these…
Among its earth-shattering revelations is this:
Zara Rahman, a researcher and writer…argues that the skin tone emojis make white people confront their race as people of color often have to do….she [was confused] when someone who is white uses a brown emoji, so she asked some friends about it. “One friend who is white told me that it was because he felt that white people were over-represented in the space that he was using the emoji, so he wanted to kind of try and even the playing field,” Rahman said. “For me, it does signal a kind of a lack of awareness of your white privilege in many ways.”
For me, it signals that 1) the constant emphasis on race and color as the defining factor in all matters great and small is making people anxious and irrational, and 2) the public broadcasting is an unethical waste of taxpayer money.
2. It doesn’t surprise me that the President didn’t explain this (you know how Joe is!), but the news media should have. The increase of 467,000 jobs indicated by the January jobs report trumpeted by Biden includes 768,000 new government employees on all levels hired between December 2021 and January 2022. Thus the jobs report showed a reduction in private employment of some 300,000 jobs. [Source: Washington Examiner]3. How long will it take for most of the public to wake up and realize Stacey Abrams is an untrustworthy, manipulative fraud? When Stacey Abrams, now running for the Georgia governorship that she claims was “stolen” from her, was photographed unmasked in a room full of masked school children, her reaction was to have her campaign claim that the ensuing criticism was motivated by racism. That’s Abrams through and through, and, for the most part the political party she comes from. Jim Treacher neatly described why the all-purpose “Racism!” response wasn’t good enough:
Here’s an obese 48-year-old woman sitting maskless while surrounded by masked children. Abrams is at much higher risk of COVID than those kids are, yet the rules don’t seem to apply to her. She wants to condemn these tykes to a future full of masked faces, even while her ego won’t allow her to cover her own.
Then more photos surfaced after the first one was pulled from Twitter, proving that Abrams’ initial explanation was a lie. So Abrams went on CNN to reverse course, saying, “Protocols matter. Protecting our kids is the most important thing, and anything that can be perceived as undermining that is a mistake, and I apologize.” Treacher:
In a little over 48 hours, Abrams went from “It’s racist to notice my blunders, you racists” to “Protocols matter and I apologize.” I have no problem with a politician apologizing for making a mistake, even if it’s only because she’s backed into a corner and can’t fight her way out. But it would’ve been nice to hear this before she called me a racist for criticizing her… the point isn’t that Abrams should wear a mask. The point is that she wants everybody else to wear masks, whether they do any good or not. She simply does not believe those rules apply to her.
Remember, Abrams was considered Joe Biden’s other best option for VP before he settled on Kamala Harris. This is what happens when the pool for choosing important positions are artificially restricted by “diversity and inclusion” quotas.
4. Who made THAT rule? Christian pastor Brian Sauvé is enmeshed in a social media controversy after sending a tweet that read: “Dear Ladies, There is no reason whatsoever for you to post pictures of yourself in low cut shirts, bikinis, bra and underwear, or anything similar—ever. Not to show your weight loss journey. Not to show your newborn baby. Not to document your birth story. -“Your Brothers.” After he was attacked by feminists and others for misogyny, the minister who works at Refuge Church in Ogden, Utah didn’t back down and grovel apologies, but responded,
“Quite a few men and women who would likely identify as liberal feminists have recently taken quite the interest in my Twitter account. Welcome! I’m glad you’re here…Many of you likely use and promote the #MeToo movement — yet hundreds of you are sending me unsolicited sexual images and videos. Is that ok now? I thought your sexual ethic was all about consent? This seems like naked (pun intended) hypocrisy on your part…If a man were to send you unsolicited nude pictures or sexually explicit videos of himself, you would (rightly!) judge him as a sexually abusive pervert. But you can do it to me? How does the ethical math work out on that? Maybe your sexual ethics aren’t so ethical after all.”
Ugh. He moved the goalposts! His initial tweets about posting provocative photos were imaginary rules without reasons or explanations. If women or anyone else want to post photos of themselves in any state of dress whatsoever, they can. Depending on the photos, the number of them, and the implied message they send, such postings may be unwise, risky, foolish, or evidence of unhealthy narcissism. Or they might give others pleasure while bolstering the sender’s self-esteem. For the preacher to declare that women should “never” post photos others might find sexually arousing is presumptuous and obnoxious.
He never defended them, because, I suspect, he knows they are an emotional position that can’t be rationally defended. Instead, he focused on the easy position that women sending him sexually provocative photos without his consent is unethical. That’s correct.
But it’s not what the dispute is about. [Pointer: Steve-O-in-NJ]
5. In case there was any doubt that what the McCarthy-esque Jan. 6 Commission’s goal is—that would be intimidating and punishing Trump supporters using guilt by association and an abuse of the investigative power, here’s the account of what the Commission is putting a lawyer and his employers through because Donald Trump was his client.