Open Forum! Fight The Tide!

Before I turn EA over to the commentariat, I have to say that the erudite and thoughtful people who honor me by checking in here also give me hope that reason, precise communication and intellectual cross-pollination will survive, and productive civilization with it, despite all evidence to the contrary.

There is a lot of that: I just leafed through the first “People” Magazine I have seen in many years (it was sent to my wife as a promotion), and it is profoundly depressing. The pop culture magazine used to have genuine articles; now it is almost completely taken over by snippets of a hundred words or less accompanied by photos of the B, C, and D level celebrities who have split-up or had babies without being married or worn “stunning” clothes at a Hollywood event. Obviously the publication is now pitched to the texting and social media-addicted masses who have the attention span of kittens and the reading tastes of fifth grade drop-outs.

And I thought USA Today had deteriorated! “People” makes the old movie fan mags like “Photoplay” look like “Remembrance of Things Past” by comparison.

There is evidence that U.S. IQ scores are dropping.

I believe it.

And now please cheer me up by fighting the tide with trenchant observations on the state of ethics in the world.

I’ll be under my bed, perseverating…

28 thoughts on “Open Forum! Fight The Tide!

  1. “Obviously the publication is now pitched to the texting and social media-addicted masses who have the attention span of kittens…”

    What did kittens do to you that you should malign them thus?

  2. A nearly Swiftian observation or question: Am I the only one who’s been struck by the ubiquitousness of women administrators in our institutions of primary and secondary and higher education? And even women of the lesbian persuasion? Are they simply running amok? Has education been abandoned by reasonable people and left to the hysterics?

    • OB,
      I can tell you that there seemed to be a purge of male administrators beginning around 2004 in higher education. I held out until 2012 in my role at a community college, but the writing was on the wall. Every single male supervisor, manager, director or administrator save one left under questionable circumstances.
      Each and every one, including me was replaced by a female. I don’t think there is one specific reason. At my institution, it was clear that the male president liked fawning subordinates and saw males as potential rivals. At other institutions where a female president was running the show I saw a disproportionate number of female “bosses”. I have no idea why but I assume that there was a push to elevate women in the management ranks.
      I was on several search committees during my time at HCC and for all but the maintenance positions female applicants were usually placed at the top of the short list and when a male did make it to the final rounds the selection committee typically held these the male applicants to a higher standard.
      There was nothing specific you could point to, but I felt there was a great deal of bias regarding male applicants.

    • It’s not really lesbians who are in these positions but straight women with “queer” haircuts who claim they’re in “non-heteronormative” relationships.

      Which means it’s privileged women who went to college, who wish they were more “unique” and wear rainbow outfits so their progressive friends don’t catch on right away that they’re just boring regular straight ladies who probably still submit to their beta male husband’s who wear Star Wars pajamas to the grocery store.

      • You’re probably right. “Virtue” (or sometimes just “sophistication”) signaling is truly a thing. The left are ever eager to “help” those who don’t want or even need them, or who are only too willing to game them and take their money and special treatment (see BLM). If they are wealthy enough, they’ll also be patsies for the upper-end trendy art market hustle & such.

  3. Jack has posted a few times about the tribulations of University of Central Florida professor Charles Negy. He posted a couple of mild non-work-related tweets concerning black privilege and questioning systemic racism, and was subjected to harassment and abuse on campus as the university went to great lengths to construct a narrative to justify firing him. The univ. president even participated in protests against him. Not a weenie, he didn’t apologize and snivel, but fought back.

    Now, the arbitrator in his appeal has ruled in his favor, awarding back pay, reinstatement, tenure, etc. The ruling seems to be largely on procedural grounds, but the scepticism of the arbitrator concerning the University’s actions and claims is apparent.

    Still not a weenie, he is now suing the school, anyway.
    Article at Legal Insurrection:

    • Here’s hoping he takes them to the cleaners, like Oberlin College.

      The ongoing lesson seems to be that those who are willing to fight back will often still prevail — the insanity and prejudice can only go so far. Our legal institutions don’t appear to be totally corrupted so far.

  4. Real Life Ethics Files:

    Scenario #1: I brought my own snack to the movie theater the last time we went. It was a box of Dots. It costs $4.50 at the theater. It costs $1.25 at the grocery store. Same size box.

    Problem #1: Movie theaters make their money off of high-priced snacks rather than high-priced movie tickets.

    Problem #2: It’s a stupid box of Dots and is not worth $4.50. It’s not illegal to bring outside food into the theater (Yes, I agree that I’m rationalizing there).

    Is it ethical to bring outside food into the movie theater?

    Scenario #2: Two weeks ago, I packed for a company trip to Orlando, FL. I put my regular sized sunscreen and toothpaste into my carry-on bag (we don’t check luggage in my family). My husband went by the letter of the TSA guidelines and bought 3.3 oz toothpaste to bring with him. I shrugged it off.

    Problem #1: Yes, people can sneak stuff into tubes of toothpaste and sunscreen. But if you can sneak it into a 5 oz tube, you can sneak it into a 3 oz tube, as well, right? It’s a stupid rule.

    Problem #2: Buying replacement toothpaste and sunscreen is a pain in the neck that no one wants to do on vacation and buying it at the airport or hotel will cost much more than at a regular store (which, incidently, they have nowhere near Mr. Mouse’s Kingdom).

    Yes, I agree that I’m also rationalizing there.

    Is it ethical to try to sneak regular-sized toothpaste and sunscreen through the TSA?

    As an FYI: Nobody caught my contraband Dots but the stress fracture on my foot and the extra foot brace I was wearing on it likely caused me to be singled out for a bag search, the aforementioned tube-size violations were seized and I had to purchase replacements at higher prices.

    • I worked in a movie theater when I was a teenager. I can’t speak for other theaters, but the one I worked at cared not at all if people brought their own food and drinks. People were always sneaking the most bizarre stuff in there, though, and leaving the stuff there when they exited. Unopened bottles of liquor. Used pregnancy tests and condoms. How does someone even get a giant 2 dozen box of donuts in a theater without being noticed? People with beach bags full of prepopped popcorn were the least of our concerns. Does that make it ethical? No, probably not. I don’t think most theaters explicitly say you can’t bring your own stuff anymore, though. It’s just a custom.

      Also, tickets are outrageously expensive at this point. For 20$ a head, I think some popcorn and cokes could be thrown in.

    • #1: If you can truly say that you wouldn’t buy anything at the theater even if you didn’t bring something in, they haven’t been harmed. As long as this doesn’t lead to “rationalization-creep” you should be OK. Only you can judge on that. Best not to do it if children are involved; you can’t predict the effect, even if they accept your explanation.

      #2: As best as I can tell, the only penalty for having oversized otherwise legal liquids in your carry-on is confiscation. If you accept that, and don’t pitch a fit, OK.
      How much toothpaste do you use!?! Just pack two under 3.4 oz tubes. Put your sunscreen in a couple of smaller containers (or buy it that way & re-fill). I’ve seen some claims that you can’t have more than one small container of the same item, but I’ve never seen that enforced, if true. Supposedly only one quart bag per person, too, but I’ve never seen them cross-check carry-on and Personal item contents. (We have Global Entry, so YMMV).

  5. Here is something worth writing about.

    Now consider a different kind of proposition, also broadly accepted:
    Some relationships between two people, like that between a clergy member
    and a penitent, are so important to society, and so dependent on
    absolute trust, that the law cannot compel one party to reveal what the
    other has said in confidence. There are only a few such privileged
    relationships (attorney-client and doctor-patient are the others), and
    they have been rooted in American law for 200 years.

    Until very recently, these three propositions coexisted everywhere,
    striking a balance between the best interests of children and the
    imperative of religious freedom.

    But in a handful of states, including Vermont, Washington, and Delaware,
    there are now legislative efforts to overrule the clergy-penitent
    privilege. That would mean that priests could be required to report
    information even when it was obtained under the seal of the confessional
    — a violation so grave in the eyes of the Catholic Church that a priest
    who commits it is punished with automatic excommunication. (Though the
    Catholic stricture on the secrecy of confession is the best known, other
    religious denominations — among them, Episcopalianism, Orthodox
    Christianity, and Mormonism — also obligate clergy to keep a penitent’s
    confession secret.)

  6. A few years ago I wrote an article, some might call it a rant, about how we the Irish (I say we because I am in fact half Irish, of the O’Reillys) shouldn’t let bad scholarship and loud activism steal away our well-deserved honors as police, firemen, soldiers, and other public servants. I had no idea at the time we were in for almost a 9/11 in reverse in 2020 where those they called heroes after that ugliest day in American history (far worse than the minor riot that was January 6, don’t let a cackling incompetent tell you otherwise) would be villainized to the point where idiots and activists alike would shout for the defunding of the police, no police or prisons, and a lot of other ideas that were batshit crazy on their face.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: evil rears its head again and again in every age, it just wears a different name and face when it does. So too does the foolish idealism that enables evil to flourish and stops the good from beating it back. Some ideas just can’t work unless humanity stops being human, and that’s just not going to happen. The Communist idea that everyone will contribute what he can and receive what he needs, or that the state will wither away, is a proven impossibility. Passive resistance didn’t fail to stop WW2 because it wasn’t tried soon enough or on a large enough scale, it didn’t fail because it couldn’t have worked. The idea that society will somehow remain orderly with no one to keep order also isn’t something that just hasn’t worked because it hasn’t been tried, and now it’s provably a failure, because every place where policing was pulled back turned into a shambles. It’ll be YEARS before Seattle and Chicago come back from the ruinous rule of Jenny Durkan and Lori Lightfoot, and probably a decade or more before Minneapolis gets its act together. Places like Portland should just be given up on, you can’t help those who won’t acknowledge there is a problem.

    I read today that St. Patrick’s real color is blue, not green, and it is true that blue is associated with him, which is why the Irish Guards have blue plumes rather than green. Given all the blue we’re going to see today as the bigger parades go forward, maybe it is as much our color as the green. There is no maybe about the fact we should still be proud of it, and all we’ve done while wearing it, no matter what anyone else says. That includes the fact that one-third of the cavalrymen who won the west were Irish and that, at least as far as I’m aware, no Irish LEO handed in his badge 50+ years ago and said he was joining the protestors. For 200 years we’ve had jobs to do and we’ve done them. Those who thought otherwise not much more than two years ago don’t get to second guess us.

    For God, for St Patrick, and for our native land! 🇺🇲🇮🇪☘️

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