There’s vintage Disney—back before it decided it had a stake in having young children instructed in sexual matters by teachers, and when innocence was considered worth protecting. Yes, I recognize the irony in saying that about an “Alice in Wonderland” clip, given that Lewis Carroll was unhealthily obsessed with little girls, often asking their parents for permission to photograph them nude…and got it! (Alice was his favorite model.)
That’s the very strange and great Jerry Colonna voicing the March Hare, and Ed Wynn, of course, as the Mad Hatter.
Today is my “un-birthday.” My 94-year-old aunt, the last surviving member of her generation in my extended family called me up this morning to wish me a happy birthday. Since my real birthday is December 1, I was faced with an instant ethical conflict: was the right course to tell the truth, risking embarrassing her, or to play Birthday Boy, lying but being kind in the process? I opted for honesty, both using the Golden Rule—I wouldn’t want to be patronized—and deciding that my aunt, still sharp and always with a sense of humor, could, like Tom Cruise, handle the truth. She could; she laughed, wondered how she has the wrong date on her calendar, and we talked for an hour. SHE mentioned “un-birthdays,” causing me to recall the song.
1. Ethics lesson: Integrity should trump Loyalty. Elon Musk, responding to to the absurd ad hominem attacks from progressives calling him a fascist, a white supremacist and, worst of all, a conservative, provided this handy dandy sketch via, of course, Twitter, explaining that his beliefs have remained relatively stable, while his critics’ perspective has shifted:
2. And we trust these people with educating or rising generations…The University of Southern California former dean of the University of Southern California asked the law firm Jones Day to investigate allegations that its education school directed administrators to omit information from its U.S. News & World Report rankings submission to boost the school’s placement. at least as far back as 2013, According to the just-release investigation results, former dean Karen Symms Gallagher made sure that the Rossier School of Education only included information on its Ph.D. program, which has a lower acceptance rate than its Ed.D. programs, despite explicit instructions in the questionnaire to include both Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs. Gallagher stepped down in 2020 after 20 years as dean. She’s now a professor at Rossier.
The probe turned up what Jones Day referred to as “irregularities” in how the education school calculated and reported research expenditures, and it identified other possible misreporting of faculty metrics, online program enrollment, graduates’ job-placement rates and more. USC had pulled the school from consideration in the U.S. News & World Report graduate-school rankings prior to the report.
Will she be sacked as a professor? What’s your guess?
3.Nice, blunt comment from Ann Althouse in response to a Times description of how Twitter began moderating tweets:
It seems that the earliest motivation was to protect women and to keep them from avoiding the site. But then it turned into assisting the Democratic Party.
4. Wait, the ACLU did what? The ACLU helped Amber Heard, Johnny Depp’s crazy ex now battling him in a sensational libel suit, draft the Washington Post article accusing Johnny Depp of domestic abuse. The organization was promised a $3.5m donation from her divorce. Somehow Elon Musk money was involved too, but never mind: the ethics issue is what THE HELL the ACLU is doing ghostwriting celebrity spouse attacks for the Washington Post?
The American Civil Liberties Union’s general counsel, Terence Dougherty, testified that the organization decided to propose Heard as an ambassador for the group after Heard pledged the millions to be paid over 10 years. “Ms Heard spoke with such clarity and expertise on issues of gender-based violence that [ACLU representatives] decided she would be an appropriate person to ask to become an ACLU ambassador,” Dougherty testified.
Translation: “She bought us.”
5. Netflix’s “Ozark,” making the public dumber. “Ozarks” has wrapped up its fourth an final season. It’s a good and entertaining series, if a bleak one, with many ethics issues, prime among them being “Oh what a tangled web we weave” when we build a life on lies. Others:
- “Never sleep with anyone crazier than you are.”
- “The ends don’t justify the means.”
- “The love of money is the root of all evil”
- “Power corrupts.”
- “If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas,” and
- Don’t trust drug cartels!
But I digress. What was profoundly aggravating in the final moments of the series was to see a blatant and rather well-known legal principle related to the Fourth Amendment and unlawful searches simply ignored by the script as if it didn’t exist, just to set up the ending. This principle has been explicated in movies and TV for 60 years. It was a major plot point in “Dirty Harry.”