Sunday Morning Ethics, 1/8/23: Lots Of Next Shoes Drop! [Corrected]

You learn something every day. Despite years of studying Clarence Darrow’s career, cases, life and courtroom oratory (and despite co-authoring “The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow” which you can purchase for a pittance here), I only learned today that the great defense lawyer is credited with inventing the tactic of arguing for a lesser sentence because of what a guilty criminal had suffered in his childhood. Before Darrow’s defense of Nathan Leopold and Dickie Loeb in 1924, such an argument was unprecedented. It didn’t really work in that case, since the judge based his refusal to condemn the two teenage “thrill killers” on their youth alone, but the strategy caught on.

1. Thanks, “Federalist”! Saved me a post! I have considered writing ethics comments about the inconvenience caused by people who insist on backing their cars into parking spaces several times, most recently last week,and rejected the impulse as too trivial even for Ethics Alarms. Then “The Federalist” publishes this: “For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Stop Backing Into Parking Spaces.” It concludes,

“….the people backing into spaces are so selfish they haven’t even tried to imagine the levels upon levels of “just because you could doesn’t mean you should” that we decent citizens are dealing with every day on the mean streets of our local strip mall. If you’re still backing into spaces, just cut it out and pull straight into the space the way basic geometry demands.”

I heartily concur.

2. More on the six-year-old school shooter...Today’s Times article at least mentions the mystery of the child’s parents’ involvement, and reminds us that “Virginia law prohibits leaving a loaded gun where it is accessible to children under the age of 14.” The article also examines school shootings generally and the usual gun availability concerns, none of which are very relevant to what is a freak incident. The fact that a first-grader somehow got control of a loaded gun and brought it to school reveals little about the strengths or weaknesses of gun policies or school security. It is irresponsible to base policy proposals on incidents that virtually never occur. “When will the shock of gunshots in school be enough to inspire the action necessary to prevent guns in schools and the shattering of lives it causes?” said reliable demagogue Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Laws won’t make dumb, irresponsible and reckless parents smart, responsible and careful. All you can do is hold them responsible for the damage they do, and then try to protect the children.3. Speaking of parents (and how upbringing can help create societal menaces)…Adriana Martinez Reyes, the mother of the teenager responsible for the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was arrested after she threatened to kill the man with whom she had been living, according to a police report. Reyes is being held on a $1,000 bond, and faces a state charge of threatening to perform an act of violence and a city charge of assault and battery. Acorns….

4. Follow-up on movie critic elitism and public opinion estrangement in the Times: I noted here [Item #5] that neither of the two primary New York Times film critics felt that Tom Cruise’s sensationally popular (and damn good) sequel to “Top Gun” was even worthy of a top ten nomination for Oscar’s Best Picture. Today the Times asks another critic and four editors for their picks. Neither of them think the film is award-worthy either. When critics and journalists are this far estranged from the society they are supposed to serve, it is valid to ask if they are competent for the task.

5. Ethics series alert! I finally stumbled upon and watched the Netflix series from 2016, Tokyo Trial. How I wish my father could have seen it, for the series confirms all of Dad’s qualms about war crime trials generally, and the World War II trials particularly. The series neatly incorporates actual scenes from the trial of the Japanese leaders and high command, as it relates the  conflicts among the eleven international Allied judges who were tasked with determining their guilt and punishment.

Talk about kangaroo courts! Many of the judges had screaming conflicts of interest. The leaders among the judges made it clear that they had a desired result in mind before the trial had commenced. Meanwhile, the judge from India stubbornly maintained that the defendants were being subjected to laws that didn’t exist when many of their “crimes” took place—a violation of the legal principle holding “ex post facto” laws to be unjust and unethical. He was correct.

“Judgment at Nuremberg” is better drama (and avoids many of the ethics issues by concentrating on the crimes of Nazi judges), but “Tokyo Trial” is very much worth watching.

85 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Ethics, 1/8/23: Lots Of Next Shoes Drop! [Corrected]

  1. 4: I don’t think it’s unfair to think a movie is good but not best picture material. I liked Top Gun: Maverick, it was a hell of a popcorn flick and a lesson on how these sequels to 80s movies should be done. However it ain’t exactly The Godfather. When I think best picture I don’t think most popular–that’s what golden globes, and the money earned at the box office are for–I think about movies that have some heft.

    The only scene that really moved me was the one with Iceman, and we all know it was about seeing Val Kilmer, not Ice.

  2. 1. When did backing into parking spaces become a thing? I missed that. What’s the advantage? Faster getaways when stealing under 900 dollars’ worth of items?

    • I generally dislike the phenomenon, but there are two cases I see (and use myself):
      1. in the summer, orienting the front windshield towards the sun and putting up a sunscreen (or perhaps orienting the back window, which is often tinted)
      2. in places with scattered arrivals but near simultaneous departures (concerts, stadiums, etc). When there’s a line to leave, there’s often no room to back a car out (nor much opportunity to make “eye contact” with another driver to get someone to let you out)

      None of which explains the grocery store parking lot…

    • Two things I am aware of: First, it is just easier if you can simply drive out of your parking place without having to either turn all the way around to look or scan your mirrors (or both). Backup cameras help, but I don’t think they go side to side.
      Second, a lot of accidents happen backing out of a parking space. Those can mostly be eliminated if you can drive straight out.
      Of course, if you have giant cars next to you blocking your view, that is a problem no matter how you’re parked.

      All that being said, I don’t try to back into a parking place because I suck at doing so. Despite doing it a lot, backing up is not my forte. Of course, a lot of the practice I got was making a Uturn on a narrow one lane road (at 4am with no cars within a mile — that helps). Doing your standard 16 point U Turn is not really good practice for backing into a parking spot.
      So if you can’t do it fairly easily, I’d say don’t do it. You’ll be more likely to hit a car going in that avoiding a fender bender getting out.

      • Backing in is much safer. You have a whole range of view when pulling out, instead of the small view provided by a backup cam (if you even have one).

        I hate backing out of a stall, and apart from the tiny minority of backers who can’t do it in one fell swoop (it adds, maybe, 2 seconds to my parking and saves 5 seconds and a potential accident/pedestrian hit on the way out.

        And for every person who slows you down by backing in, there’s probably another person who slows you down by pulling out of a stall in front of you.

        Look at any parking lot of a business that employs professional drivers (police, truckers, garbage, etc). Without fail, 80%+ back into the stall.

    • I have a large pickup truck. Those things don’t go into parking spaces in most lots easily driving forward into the space. The long turning radius makes it difficult to get into the spot without rendering the inside spot very tight without having to reverse and re-approach. I find that process to be dangerous, because impatient drivers behind you won’t wait for you to jimmy into the space and you run a risk of collision as they try to zip behind you before you complete the maneuver.

      With that said, if I have enough room in the lot to pull in forward, I do. I find it less safe though, as I have had many more near-collisions backing out of a space than driving out forward. Also with large trucks, backing into a space is generally faster because the turning mechanics are more favorable backing into tight parking lots, especially if you choose your space wisely and not just try to back into the space closest to the store. Nine times out of ten, I can do it as quickly as the average driver can try to wedge into a crowded space closer to the destination thanks to backup cameras, excellent side mirrors and years of experience.

      Backing in means a much safer exit at the expense of a very little speed. If you’re in that much of a hurry, I’m perfectly happy to inconvenience you. Sorry, not sorry.

    • Oddly enough, just like the resurgence of the fashionability of beards – the War on Terror.

      Vets came home and immediately began sporting beards and also immediately “combat parked” *EVERYWHERE* they went. A large portion of society recognized the efficiency of backing in and adopted the practice also.

      Despite the naysayers saying it inconveniences everyone who has to wait on the reverse parker – they completely ignore the inconvenience for everyone waiting on the person trying to back *out* of their parking space.

      There’s a trade off – and “combat parking” edges out traditional parking just enough to make it the better option. But the trade off is manners – if I’m parking and backing in will inconvenience a lot of people *at that singular point in time*, I will do a traditional method. But, I have the benefit of knowing, while parking, what my current conditions are. I cannot predict my conditions when I try to leave – and pulling in forwards when I know for sure I can easily pull in backwards – leaves it up to chance whether or not I’ll inconvenience people later when I try to back out.

      So it’s an easy ethical call – Ethical people park backwards *at ALL times* that no one else is present, and park backwards when doing so doesn’t inconvenience others any more than backing out would, and pulls in traditionally when parking in reverse would guarantee a major problem in a parking aisle at that moment in time.

      Easy call.

  3. Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

    • It can be annoying when someone desires to back in and it takes multiple attempts to get into the space. If you cannot back in on one swing don’t do it. And, it ordinarily takes multiple attempts to simply pull into a parking space it may be time for some practice because this is a fundamental skill.
      I can see the need at times to be facing out so I will not say it is alway selfish but if you feel it necessary to simply pull forward out of your space at a grocery store just find one that you can pull through.

      • Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

        • It is not a mere 15 seconds. I haven’t counted seconds but I have been stuck behind many at Walmart who take as many as 20 pull ups to get straight enough to back in. And just when you think they have backed in and are out of the way they pull forward again as you begin to go by.
          As I said, if you can do something on one or two swings I see no issue but when you cannot judge where you are in relation to other vehicles and you creep into a space by inching back slowly, stopping, then inching back some more at which point you decide to pull forward again and start the process again it is aggravating; especially when other cars coming from the opposite direction while you waited now are parking in the next available space. What may have some bearing on this issue is that certain malls this time of the year in the DC area are so congested drivers have to drive around the lots looking for an available space. When one is spotted in the lane you are in but someone backing in takes so much time another car coming from the opposite direction gets the space you would have gotten had you not been blocked by the driver backing in it sort creates an aggravating situation because now you are forced to drive up and down the lanes looking for another space.

          What I have a much bigger issue with is grand daughter/son driver using handicap spaces with grandma’s placard or tag when the person getting out is obviously not handicap as grandma remains in the vehicle. Before I get hammered for making assumptions about who is handicapped I am talking about teens or young adult drivers who trot very ably into the mall or grocery store by themselves. It is bad enough when unplacarded vehicles illegally park in reserved spaces but when able bodied people use anothers privilege because they don’t want to walk the fine should be doubled.

      • Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

  4. I back into the spot at least 90% of the time. On those rare occasions when backing in would cause problems for others, I’ll pull in but those really are rare occasions, parking lots not being the Lord of the Flies reenactments that the article would have us believe. Besides the fact that it really doesn’t take much longer for me to back into a space than to pull in (honestly, it takes me about 5 seconds) there is no reason to believe that there would magically be less traffic when you’re backing out of a spot than there was when you entered it.

    This is all beside the point, however. I don’t back into a spot because I think it’ll make it quicker to leave. I do it for safety. It is much, much safer to pull out of a spot than it is to back out. With or without a backup camera, you have a much better view of other vehicles and pedestrians, especially kids. Backing into the spot isn’t unethical. Not backing in is.

    • Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

        • Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

    • Wrong, BM. Because of the rogue back-parkers, I often end up in cramped parking lots having to choose between blocking the driver’s door on my right or having to crawl out my window on the driver’s side because it’s impossible to omen the door wide enough to escape. The convention is front-in, and its unethical to defy it for an imaginary safety edge. And it does take extra time.

      • How is it an imaginary safety advantage? We are literally talking about backing out without a proper view of what or who is coming down that aisle, unless you’re lucky enough to be parked between two Minis. And if people are not good enough drivers to back in, that makes it even worse when they try to back out.

        As for pulling in and backing out being a convention, perhaps that depends on where you live. It may (or may not) be slightly more common here but not to the point of being an expectation either way.

        • Looks like I left my comment above when it was unnecessary, thanks to your comment(s).

          There are lots of driving conventions that are incredibly unsafe; backing out of a stall 5-10 seconds after you’ve seen who/what is coming is much less safe than having a 180-degree line of sight as you pull out. Even if you have two giant trucks on either side, you’ve still got a much better view sooner than you otherwise would, since your front is inching out first.

          And it’s much easier to park perfectly backing in, since you can see a majority of both of the side lines in your side-view mirrors. I’m much better at parking equally between both lines when I back in, because I’m not relying on where I remember the lines being when I started pulling in front first.

          As for it taking more time, why are we ignoring the time it takes to back out of a stall?

          • [Sorry, but when did you ban me?]

            On 1/6/23, at 8:20 am, JAM wrote in part…

            …In the Comment rules that I repeatedly asked you to read, there is this: “The Stupidity Rule, which holds that some people are just too ignorant or stupid to take part in the discussion here, and interfere with the orderly exchange of opinions and ideas.” I’m invoking it. Not because you have differing positions than I, because well-argued, varying opinions and conclusions are a great benefit to all, but because your logic is stuck at the level expressed in this sentence: “…death is way more crippling than any lockdown.” You are either 10-years-old, or a dolt: in either case, this isn’t the place for you. Unlike with other banning causes, there is no appeal from a Stupidity Rule ban, because you can’t fix stupid.

            I encourage you to keep reading, because you may learn something about critical thinking. But don’t try commenting here again. They will all go directly into spam.

            Bye. Good luck in your future endeavors.

            • Moderator Note: This commenter is banned, and as is often the case, apparently doesn’t know how to follow EA edicts. Don’t reply to any future comments that temporarily sneak by….

              • Tahiti Wilson wrote, “Well that says way more about you than it does me.”

                Actually Mr. Wilson no it doesn’t, but your response says a lot about your personal character. Jack has rules, your comments have shown that you’re too stupid to participate here, you have shown that you can’t follow rules, you were give a fair chance and you blew it; therefore you can just piss off.

                Tahiti Wilson wrote, “Glad to see your blog doing so well though with the same 10 commenters. You’re really making a difference in the world!”:

                I’m sure you laughed out loud when you typed that and probably elbowed your buddy to read it and laugh with you, didn’t you. Going out with sarcastic insults like that is signature significant of an internet troll, someone that lacks personal integrity, piss poor character, sophomoric immaturity and just being an asshole. Grow up.

                I don’t have any tolerance for internet trolls on my blog and I pegged you as a troll back on January 4th and you’ve proven me correct. Jack is much more willing to give what appears to be an imbicilic internet troll a chance to redeem themselves, which I think is a very admirable trait, but my personal experience has led me to simply take away their ability to troll on my blog; choices have consequences.

                • I have never known what to do with commenters like this. I feel badly having to say, “Sorry, but you’re an idiot.” I ended up wasting a lot of time giving him a chance to shape up and contribute more than just obstinacy, and this is the pattern with almost all of those eventually banned.

                  • Jack wrote, “I have never known what to do with commenters like this.”

                    I state it very simply in my comment policies, “if I think you are trolling you will be banned” and it doesn’t matter one bit if they disagree. It’s not a one warning and their done policy, they’re simply booted; however, I have given a couple of initially perceived trolls one chance and then promptly booted them when they abused their chance.

                    I’m sure you have a lot more internet trolls to deal with than I do because you’re blog is a lot better known than mine. Maybe this is one of the many reasons that I don’t have hardly any followers or commenters after three years; I’m devastated. 😉

        • It’s like any other driving situation…you know the risks, so you are careful. Backing into a wide open space is still quicker and less likely to involve dinging other cars than backing into a narrow space with a foot or less clearance on either side. And the extra minutes I have to wait for drivers to make the maneuver add up. It’s many hours by now. I’ll want those hours back on my deathbed.

      • Jack said:

        “The convention is front-in, and its unethical to defy it for an imaginary safety edge. And it does take extra time.”

        I disagree. Convention doesn’t make something right, and the safety edge is not imaginary.

        I’ll give you an extreme real life example: I used to live on a very busy street. It was particularly dangerous at night when it was less busy. If there wasn’t enough traffic to slow them down, people would regularly exceed the speed limit by 25mph or more. There were multiple times when cars would lose control and plow through one or more yards, taking out fences, lawns, small trees, other cars, whatever.

        “Convention” would have been for me to pull in my driveway front-in, and then back out when leaving. I quickly discovered this didn’t work when I needed to leave. If there was a lot of traffic, it was disruptive to traffic and hard to get someone to let me back out in front of them. If there wasn’t much traffic, I risked being rear ended by one of the lunatics. Much better when I was arriving to wait at the next intersection until there was a break in traffic, then once it was safe pull just past my driveway and back in. That way when leaving I could pull out safely looking forward without having to back out first.

        Backing into a parking spot is the same, though admittedly less extreme. I typically won’t try it if the space is tight, or if I’ll be seriously inconveniencing other drivers in the process. But when possible, it’s my 2nd favorite method of parking. My favorite is when two spots in tandem are open, so I can pull front-in and go all the way through to the adjoining space, so I can pull out front first as well. Parking heaven!

        • The reason convention is important is what I explained…the situation with some cars in front first and other back first creates a dilemma for any car needing to park between them. I don’t care whether everyone goes front in or backs in. But everyone should do the same thing. As of now, the back-ins cause the problem.

          • But many pull through to the empty stall in front of them, even those who swear against backing in.

            I don’t understand either of your arguments.

            Car needing to park between: Is this because you have a driver door on both sides of your car?

            Takes more time: Why aren’t you counting all the time you waste driving up to a car in the process of backing out of a stall? That usually takes longer because they’re proceeding cautiously because of lack of vision.

            • “Car needing to park between: Is this because you have a driver door on both sides of your car?”

              Huh? If the cars I’m between both have drivers’doors facing my car because one is in head first and the other isn’t, that means I have to leave space for both doors to let a driver in. What’s hard to understand?

              What I don’t understand is why you think it’s dangerous to back into a parking lot from a space. It’s not like backing into traffic.

              • Just not understanding whether it had to do with driver doors or that backies were more likely to not be directly positioned between the parking lines or something like that.

                I still do not understand your argument then. There should always be equidistance (or as close as possible) between cars parked next to each other. Each car has to open its door into to car next to it, so the only time backies might cause a problem is if two cars are trying to open their doors at the same time. Even then, the doors would be offset from each other due to the front being near the back of its neighbor.

                In fact, come to think of it, alternating cars front and back would be the most efficient parking, since you’d only need space for a driver door every other car.

                Backies probably increase the efficiency of space in that regard.

                And backing into traffic is worse than backing out of a stall, but fundamentally the same thing. You’re putting a good 75% or 13-16 ft of car into a traffic lane (albeit a very slow one) before you can actually see what’s coming.

                But more than oncoming traffic being an issue is children, carts, and cars. It’s much easier to scrape the car next to you or bump the car behind you than to drive into them.

                • Not equidistant! You leave more space on the left, so the driver can open his or her door wide enough to get out comfortably. If the front-parking driver on your left does the same, you can also exits comfortably.

                  • But you need as much distance on your left for your door as your neighbor does on his left. Why not equidistance?

                    Again, alternating front-parked/back-parked would be the most efficient, since you’d only need space to open a driver’s door every other car.

              • Long timey lurker here. I thought this was a fun tidbit I did not know

                AAA recommends that drivers reverse into parking spaces whenever possible,

                except where prohibited by law or parking lot restrictions. When faced with angled parking, drivers should follow the flow of traffic and pull forward into the parking space.

                Nice tidbit here to clear things up.

              • “Huh? If the cars I’m between both have drivers’doors facing my car because one is in head first and the other isn’t, that means I have to leave space for both doors to let a driver in. What’s hard to understand?”

                Are these 8 foot wide spaces?

                • Pretty close in some places. yeah, if the spaces are sufficiently wide, it’s not a problem. The laot I have to use most often, however…a real ding-hazard in every respect, has the thinnest spaces imaginable.

                  • The more I think about this, the more I don’t see the issue.

                    Assuming 8′ spots, 6′ wide cars and everyone aims to park perfectly centered on the space, then everyone should have 2 feet between cars (driver’s side AND passenger side – your 1 foot buffer on either side of your car + the 1 foot buffer on neighboring cars).

                    Now let’s assume everyone biases to park slightly to the right of their stall, to maximize their own driver side exit. If everyone does this, then everyone loses the same buffer on their neighboring car, while gaining the same amount on their driver’s side. Net result is the same 2 foot gap between cars.

                    Now, let’s assume half the people back in and half the people front in – same 1 foot buffer results in the same 2 foot space between cars.

                    Anytime someone biases their parking to maximize their own driver exit – they may also be burdening passenger sides.

                    I’m not sure the door-space protest to back-in parking holds up.

          • I agree, it has to follow local convention. Here it’s the norm to back in, and because it’s the norm, everyone is really good at it, and get in on one try, usually. The people here who pull into a space badly as they’re not used to pulling in, end up crooked in the space or don’t pull all the way and have their back ends out in the lane. They inconvenience everyone around them. Once in the US out of habit I went to back into a space and almost got hit from behind, they didn’t realize what I was doing. I didn’t do that again! I pull in in the US and back in at home. I wonder what makes those few people park opposite to everyone else.

      • Backing in has one huge benefit over pulling straight in–you have perspective viewpoints directly in line with your vehicle’s dimensions since that’s where the mirrors are.

        My first car at my first apartment had very little parking. One day the only free spot was partially occupied by a lifted tuck and his tires were actually completely inside the paint line of the only open space. The other side of that space was a structure that hid the apartment dumpster.

        I wasn’t sure my little hatchback could fit.

        I maneuvered my car into position and started to attempt a back-into maneuver. I could clearly see via each mirror the flat wall on one side and the truck’s entire driver’s side length on the other.

        Carefully continued backing into the tiny space, four total inches between each vehicle’s side panels. my mirror actually passed underneath the truck’s mirror. Halfway in, I had to roll down my passenger window and fold its mirror against the car so it wouldn’t hit the wall.

        This was before the days of mandatory trunk escape latches, but I had a screwdriver and experience of replacing the lock that told me where I needed to insert and pry open the back hatchdoor latch and I was finally free of the claustrophobia.

        Asshole truck driver suffered the annoyance of needing to slide across his passenger seat to get his vehicle out, but he never parked like that again.

    • I’m with the Baron.

      I’m not aware that pulling in straight is a “convention”, and even if it were, it’s just the sort of convention to defy for safety: on average, the kinds of things you might possibly hit are obviously much more plentiful and speedy when leaving than entering a parking space.

      If these people who suck at backing in can’t get good and are aggravating you by getting in the way, that’s a separate issue from the relative virtue of backing in/pulling in forward.

  5. I’m gobsmacked by this eruption of controversy over shopping center parking practice. Maybe Phoenix, being a post WWII town, has sufficient parking zoned into shopping centers. But I simply don’t recall ever, I mean EVER, seeing anyone back into a parking space since I’ve been here since 1981.

    Sure, if you back out of a space without proceeding with caution, you’re likely to get nailed by some yahoo racing down the way. But if you simply exercise even a modicum of caution, you should be able to back out safely. If you nudge into the way and someone approaches, they can wait, or you can.

  6. “…Dickie Lowe” ?

    #4: Another critic/audience divide in Disney’s reincarnation of the film Willow (which had Val Kilmer, too!) as a TV series. Critics love it, audience hates it, mainly for, as in many recent cases like LOTR, its unnecessary wokefication, but also for straying too far from the source material.

  7. #1 My personal opinion about backing into parking lot stalls is, I just don’t give a damn as long as people are doing it safely and the end result doesn’t put the driver going the wrong way in the aisle when they leave because the parking stalls are angled which is unsafe. Be a responsible adult and follow the aisle arrows and the angle of the parking stalls dictates the direction of the aisle.

    Side Note: This seems to be much more of a problem in urban areas, the same with road rage problems. People in small rural towns just seem to get along a little better (overall), blow off this kind of annoying stuff and realize that a few seconds out of their life waiting for someone backing up is not going to destroy their life if they don’t let it.

    Breathe, relax, smell the roses; there really are more important things in life.

  8. #2. There seems to be a bit of a strange news blackout on the story of the six-year-old student that shot the teacher. So far all I know is that the student was reported to be a female by someone, the teacher is a female, the teacher’s name has been reported, and the teacher was shot in the belly and now listed in stable condition. I still haven’t heard where the child got the loaded pistol from and this is really strange at this point in time because usually the news is all over school shootings.

    Has there been some kind of news blackout on this story by the police for some reason?

    This really seems really weird to me.

      • What’s really strange is that people outside the police either aren’t talking to the media or the media is intentionally squashing the facts surrounding the incident. You know damn good and well that the media knows more about this incident than they’re telling us right now. I can assume all kinds of reasons for the black out but why is the media afraid to tell us what they know?

          • Here’s one that’s completely off the deep end.

            What if the child that shot the teacher is a black boy that identifies as a girl and got the pistol out of the teachers purse and shot her because she wouldn’t use “her” chosen pronouns and let “her” pee in the girls rest room; yup, I’m pretty sure that scenario would keep it out of the news indefinitely using some argument that a minor is involved.

            Now if it had been a white 6 year old boy shooting a black woman teacher, we would already know the name of the child, the race of the child, the parents names, their address, where they worked, the grand parents names, what church they went to, there would be interviews from all their neighbors saying they were all weirdo redneck racists, etc, etc…

            Something smells wrong about the lack of media coverage on this one.

      • School stats here: Make what you will in the way of speculation from that, or maybe go with the old “If they don’t tell you the race, they’ve told you the race.” We’ll see.

        Interactive charts in other tabs show recent student performance stats by subject, etc. Not the worst I’ve seen, but not particularly good, overall. Is it typical for Hispanic students to outperform blacks, even in English/reading?

    • We now know a bit more.

      1. The 6 year old student was a boy.
      2. The mother legally purchased the handgun.
      3. The student brought the handgun to school in his backpack.
      4. The teacher was shot when trying to get the handgun.
      4. The bullet went through her outstretched hand and then into her upper chest.
      5. Another school staff member rapidly restrained the 6 year old shooter after the shooting.
      6. After the teacher was shot, she led the rest of the students out of the classroom.
      7. It’s not 100% clear if there was an altercation or if the shooting was intentional or accidental.
      8. The mother has been interviewed.
      9. It’s not clear if the mother will be charged.

      I think that is all correct from what I’ve read.

      We do not know all the circumstances as to how the boy got the loaded handgun yet, but the mother should be prosecuted to the full extent of the laws in her state that applies to this kind of shooting and, depending on the circumstances, the boy could be removed from the custody of the mother.

      I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone that leaves a loaded firearm out where a child can get their hands on it and then uses it to shoot another person or themself, these are tragedies that never should happen. To expand that a little; I have little sympathy for any firearm owner that leaves a loaded firearm out where others can get their hands on it and then uses it to shoot another person or themself. It is the responsibility of the firearm owner to personally ensure the safety of their firearms.

  9. #4 I’ve never understood what criteria critics, or anyone for that matter, use to judge movies or theatrical performances, it’s all just so damned subjective.

    A really good example of this is how some in the theatrical world demonize “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is not being good theater but “Sweeney Todd” is pure gold in their mind and the verifiable fact that both shows do well doesn’t ring the bells of the old school theatrical bigots. My perspective is that the shows that have a history of filling the house in your area are the shows that your audience considers good theater, the same goes for movies and our personal opinion as to what’s “good” is not irrelevant to anyone but us and those that choose to agree with us.

    I’ve had this exact conversation when I was on the board of a theatrical group that had old school theatrical bigots on it. After me hammering on them, they finally relented and agreed to stage “Joseph…” and they sold more tickets and made more money than they had on any show in their entire history. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an old school theatrical lover too but I refuse to let what I’ve liked in the past blind me to the popular new theater that’s available to present to today’s audience. Audience’s can be fickle.

    • I’m torn. I think the Marvel movies are not “good” by many artistic measures, but they are very popular.

      I would imagine that’s how snobby theater types feel about Joseph. But for me, Joseph has better music and a more relatable story than just about any other musical I can think of outside of Les Miserables.

      Of course I’ve just outed myself as a theater plebeian.

  10. I mean, a lot of it has already been said… But I think the discussion about backing in is incredibly weird.

    1) It doesn’t take more time. Oh, sure, it might take more time as someone parks, but it’s faster when they’re leaving, and I think that’s the thing that the people who view backing in as a “menace” are forgetting…. Parking is more than just the act of getting in the stall.

    2) It is safer. Period. Similar to the point above, you have to consider leaving, and despite calling this an “imaginary concern” your view of the area where other vehicles are likely to be moving is objectively better when leaving, and just as good while parking.

    3) And it’s more important to make leaving faster and more safer than it is arriving, because you can control where you park, but you can’t control who parks around you while you’re away.

    4) Some people are bad at driving, and backing in is a skill, which means when someone does it poorly, you’re more likely to notice.

    5) Some people are bad at driving, and jealousy is a bad look.

  11. #2: According to some reports, it’s the evil gun at fault, of course

    The students apparently “…got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do….” , not bad parenting, decayed social norms, or anything of that sort.

    Their lack of self-awareness let them immediately follow that comment with information noting the actual rarity of such events:
    “The New York Times reported that, according to a database that tracks all incidents of gun violence, only four cases dating back to 1970 involved children aged six and younger: Two of the cases involving six-year-olds were accidental shootings, while the third — which occurred in Feb. 2000 — drew nationwide headlines after a six-year-old boy shot a female classmate to death. The youngest incident on record happened in 2013, when a five-year-old kindergartener fired a gun in a cafeteria; no one was injured in that incident.’

  12. #1: Several drivers safety courses I’ve taken have noted that backing up, in general, is a statistically high-accident maneuver, (though usually with relatively minor consequences than other unsafe moves).
    I’ve also been on one-way streets that had side parking angled away from the flow of traffic, so that you had to back into a space, and pull out forward into the flow. That seemed to work pretty well…easier than a 90 degree back-in, and gave you a better view pulling out, as your car’s nose was already a bit forward of the one “below” you.

  13. Michael West and others have made the case well for backing in – especially with the caveat that you don’t do it if you lack the skills or don’t understand your vehicle (incompetence is unethical) or if, under the circumstances, backing in will be inconvenient or confusing for other drivers (Golden Rule ethics).

    The advent of good backup cameras has been the key factor here. I used to drive a Chevy work van with no rear windows or camera and I can assure you that a forward exit is safer for everyone. In that vehicle, pulling through for a forward departure was the best choice if possible.

    With today’s narrow parking spaces (also unethical, on the part of parking lot owners), it’s nearly impossible to make a clean right turn into a parking spot.

    It’s never in my life occurred to me to park off-center in a space by choice. If everyone skewed their parking to give more space on their own side, it would be selfish, and therefore unethical. But even if you park off-center selflessly, eventually everyone shifts farther to the same side and you lose parking spaces – unless someone doesn’t play the game, in which case (assuming everyone is facing the same way) someone is going to have an inaccessible door). Centering in the space better allows for uncertain future conditions, and is therefore more ethical.

    • Thanks for the opportunity to give today’s count in my informal survey. I had no need to visit a parking area, so I checked the driveways near my house. The safety argument makes more sense when one is caking into a road than when the space is in a parking area.

      The tally: 17 front-in, 5 back-ins.

  14. As somebody who exclusively backs into parking spaces, allow me to add my two cents:
    Backing into a parking space allows greater maneuverability when entering or exiting a spot, as well as higher visibility when leaving (this assumes all parking spots are marked at a 90* angle relative to the aisle). When entering or leaving a spot, the axis of rotation is behind the front wheels of a vehicle. If entering a parking spot forwards, this requires a greater turning radius relative to the size of the vehicle to avoid hitting an adjacent car. The same applies for exiting a parking spot. In addition, exiting a parking space when you have pulled in allows a bigger opportunity for somebody speeding through the lot to hit you. If you’re pulling out, you have a drastically increased chance of seeing the perpetrator before a collision occurs, and saving both of you the hassle of an insurance claim and a police report.

    If the lot in question has parking spots angled to be preferential towards pulling in, this all goes out the window. But if not, it’s fairly well accepted that backing in to a parking spot is safer for all parties involved.

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