The NY “Body-Snatchers” Case: Why Do Good People Do Bad Things? It May Be That They Aren’t The Good People They Think They Are….

I intended to write a post after seeing Tony Dye’s 2010 documentary “Body Snatchers of New York” a few years ago. Through a series of interviews with law enforcement officials, lawyers, journalists and victims, it tells the story of a sensational case out of Brooklyn in 2006 where a former dentist and his associates operating a company called Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, New Jersey, conspired with funeral homes to steal human bone and skin from dead bodies. The tissue was then sold to various processing companies to make medical products, including dental implants and spinal disc replacements. These, in turn were sold to hospitals to be transplanted.

In some cases, the families of the deceased individuals were told that their loved ones had been cremated when in truth they had been carved up and skinned. One such body belonged to the late Masterpiece Theater host, Allistair Cooke. Biomedical Tissue Services made as much as $250,000 from processing each body. In addition to lying to families and not receiving consent to distribute tissue and bone from corpses, the company also routinely sold body remnants from dead individuals who had suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, and other diseases that compromised the safety of the tissue without informing their purchasers, tissue recipients or their doctors.

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Ethics Dunce Flashback, Abortion Division: Pete Buttigieg

This is the second time I’ve used that photo in a post this week. It’s a third-trimester fetus, and it’s up because it is important to remember what we’re talking about, or, in this case, what current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was talking about in his usual intellectually lazy, ethically-inert manner in a 2019 exchange with Chris Wallace.

Most of my Facebook friends block me from seeing their political blatherings because I have a tendency to call them on badly-reasoned pandering to the woke, and they can’t handle it. They just want “likes” on their regurgitated talking points and usually aren’t equipped to defend them. I was just scrolling down to see if anyone had left a substantive post on my feed, and to my horror, an old friend whom I regard as generally sharp and perceptive had tracked down the interview (from a Fox News town hall) and pronounced it “the only acceptable answer” regarding late term abortions. Here is what he called “acceptable”:

Whereupon my head exploded.

As he has proven repeatedly, Buttigieg is a facile, intellectually lazy, platitude-mouthing pandering phony, and this is vintage Pete. In matters of law and lives, the government draws the line: that’s called “civilization.” The “fundamental question” in late term abortion is how society balances the competing interests of two parties. “I trust women to draw the line when it’s their own health” is a deceitful and offensive statement, ducking the issue and muddying vital considerations. No one, and no law, denies a woman the right to place her own survival over that of her unborn child. The question of balancing interests only comes into play when the mother’s “health” involves lesser factors that might reasonably be considered subordinate to another human life. “I trust women” is just flag-waving: I don’t trust anyone to make a decision involving their personal interests and the competing interests of someone else. Such decision-makers have a conflict of interest; that why we have laws.

Tellingly, Buttigieg tries to escape dealing with substance by dismissing late-term abortions as “hypotheticals.” They aren’t hypothetical, they are real, and they are important because ending a pregnancy when the fetus is viable compels consideration of what abortions involve Extreme pro-abortion activists really hate that. It is hard to pretend the baby isn’t there in late-term abortions, and pretending there is no life being ended is crucial to the “choice” deception. Continue reading

Ethics Signs And Portents, 5/10/2022: Langella’s Lament, Kellogg’s Indoctrination, Lightfoot’s Incitement, And Yellen’s idiocy.

That photo of the dueling signs in my neighborhood (Alexandria, VA) is from the Washington Post last week. Ethics Alarms first noted this obnoxious phenomenon here in 2016, with several updates since.

That’s some scoop there, Lois Lane!

1. Now here’s an even more obnoxious sign of the times: cereal boxes presuming to indoctrinate kids. What possible excuse is there for this, on the side of this Kellogg’s box:

I don’t care about the box design or the cereal: it’s a product, and if a parent wants to buy it, swell. It’s a marketing gimmick. Yuck, but so what? However, this, on the side panel, steps over the line into the culture wars and indoctrination. Not on my breakfast table…

2. Oh, fine: the Treasury Secretary is an idiot as well as an Ethics Dunce. Janet Yellen is now on record as endorsing one of the more offensive and cretinous arguments in favor of Roe v. Wade: snuffing out more children in the womb is good for the economy! “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said in response to a question at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Continue reading

Today’s Dobbs Supreme Court Leak Freakout Update

As discussed here many times, the abortion issue is an ethics conflict, meaning that there are legitimate and important interests at stake on both sides of the controversy. One way advocates or activists signal their lack of qualifications, intellect and integrity to discuss the issue is by denying or ignoring one interest or the other. That’s proving a benefit of the current freak-out over the leaked draft of what might be a total reversal of Roe v. Wade (and Casey, but that’s intrinsic in overturning Roe). People are revealing who and what they really are–phonies, idiots, liars, demagogues, hypocrites, opportunists, irresponsible fools, or nascent totalitarians.

The depressing, indeed frightening aspect of the freakout is the degree to which it demonstrates that most Americans (and a shocking number of the people whose job it is to inform and guide them through complex issues) are so ignorant of the basic civic facts about what the Supreme Court is. Thus the Dobbs leak freakout is to a great extent another indictment of our public school system, its teachers and administrators, and education in America generally. It should, but won’t, make the point to school boards and legislators that before students are instructed in the complexities of gender dysphoria and critical race theory, the priority should be instructing them in the essentials of the Constitution so they can function as citizens.

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Maryland Leaps On The Deadly Abortion Slippery Slope

When you think about it, this shouldn’t surprise us, as horrible and unethical as it is. The steps from abortion, to late-term abortion, to legal infanticide have always been smaller than abortion advocates have been willing to admit.

In one of the efforts underway in several Democratic-controlled legislatures to protect abortion rights if the Supreme Court alters or strikes down Roe v. Wade, Maryland is considering Senate Bill 669. The bill’s language states, in addition to protecting abortions themselves from prosecution, that no person can be investigated or charged for “experiencing a miscarriage, perinatal death related to failure to act, or stillbirth.”

The perinatal period consists of “the period shortly before and after birth, from the 20th to 29th week of gestation to one to four weeks after birth.” Mark Tapscott concludes,

In other words, it’s anywhere up to four weeks after the birth of the child you and your sexual partner conceived, and you decide you really don’t want the child, hey, no problem, just don’t feed it, don’t get medical care, don’t do a thing. Eventually, the child will die.

And that, under the meaning of the bill’s text, is OK.

The bill, which Tapscott believes is certain to pass and withstand a veto by Maryland’s Republican governor, also bans any investigations into perinatal infant death while creating the private right the right to sue for civil damages if one is investigated for causing a perinatal death through neglect. Continue reading

The Ethics Corruption Of The Democratic Party Is Apparently Complete

The fact that the radical feminist and pro abortion lobbies did it is no excuse. The party has allowed abortion to corrupt it. There need to be consequences.

The Women’s Health Protection Act would codify Roe v. Wade and make all abortion restrictions illegal. Every Democratic Senator except one—Joe Manchin, of course—voted for the bill yesterday in lockstep with party leaders, despite its brutal, unethical and radical objective. [In the House as well, only one Democrat thought that the lives of full term unborn human babies were worth protecting.] The bill would allow doctors to abort unborn babies at any point in a pregnancy if they determine that allowing the pregnancy to continue to birth “would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.”

Note the woke weasel words in that proposed law. Although the title of the bill and the long introductory argument for the law mention women prominently, the proposed wording of the law itself doesn’t mention women anywhere, as an obvious sop to the trans community, which seeks to erase all gender distinctions.

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Ethics Workout, “Get In Ethics Shape For 2022 Edition,” 12/27/21: No Pain, No Gain!

1. On second thought, who needs work? The United States has been a nation that embraced work as a value and a mark of character as no other. Naturally, this core value has been under assault from the Left as part of its cultural overhaul strategy. The pandemic created an opining that has been brilliantly exploited politically, leading to a large part of the work force now unwilling to work. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the biggest bloc of liberal lawmakers in Congress, has endorsed a bill proposed by Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., which would seek to implement a four-day workweek. Americans work far more than people in most other affluent countries, and we also produce more without using, as some countries do that I might mention, slave labor. But the work ethic is weakening.

The anti-work ethic is the goal on one of Reddit’s fastest growing sites — r/antiwork. The subreddit is “for those who want to end work, are curious about ending work, [and] want to get the most out of a work-free life.” It is up to 1.4 million members, ranking among the top subscribed-to subreddits.

Members discuss tactics workers can use to slack off, cheat, sabotage, and steal from their employers. You would learn there, for example, that April 15th is “Steal Something From Work Day.” [Pointer and source: Linking and Thinking on Education]

2. Observations on the Gallup Poll on public approval of Federal leaders (You can find the poll here).

  • Yes, I know, polls. But Gallup is straighter than most, and while the specific numbers should be ignored, the relative values are interesting.
  • The big finding, and what has been attracting all the headlines, is that Chief Justice John Roberts is way ahead of anyone else on the list, with a bipartisan 60-40 favorability split. This undercuts the pro-abortion strategy of warning that the Supreme Court can’t afford to make its decision on Roe v. Wade cases without considering the potential harm to the Court’s legitimacy. The Court seems to have the most trust of any of the branches, which means that it can (and should) be courageous if legal principles require.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is second. How many Americans know who he is or what he does? 20%? Less? What is it they approve of?
  • Dr. Fauci is third at 52% approval, which shows you can fool a lot of the people all of the time.
  • Mitch McConnell is dead last, even behind Nancy Pelosi. Good.

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NYT Letters To The Editor On Abortion vs. Adoption Continue An Revealing Unethical Pattern

adoption

Perhaps no comment during the recent oral argument before SCOTUS regarding Mississippi’s Roe-defying 15 week abortion limit received more attention than Justice Amy Coney Barrett statement that a mother’s option to give a baby up for adoption at birth rendered abortion was unnecessary in most cases. Numerous abortion defenders have attempted to discredit her assertion, and, like all of the pro-abortion arguments I have seen and heard so far, fell short in logic, honesty and ethics

Today’s Sunday Times letters section exemplified the disconnect among reality, self-interest and fairness that continue to plague abortion fans, no matter how passionately they argue their position. The Times dedicated the section to rebuttals of Comey’s assertion. That the editors deemed these the cream of the crop is telling. Also telling: no letter selected by the editors supported Comey. Here are the key quotes from each:

Anne Matlack Evans, of Napa, California writes in part,

In 1954, my mother, a single mother of three young children, had no other option than to do just what Justice Barrett proposes. After losing her job because of the pregnancy, she took refuge with her mother and, several months later, gave birth to a child whom she gave up that very day….

The consequences of my mother’s pregnancy and the baby’s adoption profoundly affected my mother and us children. She was traumatized by the pregnancy and the necessity of abandoning a child — especially so after caring for us. She felt ashamed, stigmatized and less able to protect her existing children.

Ethics Alarms Comment: Why did a single mother have three children? Why did she get pregnant again? She felt ashamed and stigmatized about giving up a live infant for abortion that she couldn’t care for, but apparently would have flt no stigma or shame if she ended the nascent human being’s life before it could be born. That’s exactly the confused attitude that our culture needs to change. Her unborn child “existed” before it was born.

David Leonard of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania writes in part, Continue reading

And The Latest Desperate Rationalization As Abortion Advocates Search For A Persuasive Argument To Justify Allowing Pregnant Women The Unilateral Right To End Another Human Being’s Life Is….

Unborn children in heaven

…..this intellectually dishonest opinion piece by Kate Cohen in the Washington Post. It is titled “How would you feel if your mother had aborted you?’ Easy. I’d feel nothing,” and embodies several themes in the abortion-loving Left’s escalating freak-out over the very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned or limited by the current Supreme Court.

One theme is that that abortion advocates almost unanimously continue to avoid dealing with the other human party in the equation whose interests are at stake: the unborn human being. Another is using collateral attacks on religion and faith to minimize the belief by religious people that it’s wrong beyond question to kill an innocent individual for the benefit of a more powerful one. The third…

Well, let me address the second a bit again. Progressives are largely hostile to religion and the religious, whom they regard as unsophisticated, superstitious rubes. Since people tend to project their biases and attitudes on others, those who want open season on fetuses think they score points by linking the anti-abortion side of the debate to something they think is ridiculous. It is not a genuine argument but rather a cognitive dissonance trick. They are counting on a someone conflicted about the abortion debate being pulled to their side by the association with a different subject they regard with contempt. It is the same kind of tactic as using “The Handmaiden’s Tale” as a false map for the dystopian future abortion fans claim awaits if Roe goes down: linking abortion to something horrible, even a science fiction story, will diminish the appeal of the anti-abortion position, not with logic or reason, but with a negative association alone.

I have a difficult time not concluding that those using the anti-religion, association tactic are malign people because of their association with it. The belief that killing an innocent human being is wrong isn’t only a religious belief and bedrock moral tenet. It is basic ethics as well, a conclusion virtually all societies have accepted based on human experience. That’s where ethics comes from: one doesn’t have to be religious to strongly object to killing human beings, indeed religion isn’t necessary to reach that conclusion at all. Whether one reaches the position that legal abortion consists of one powerful human being who has had the opportunity to live ending that opportunity for a weaker human being for her own sole benefit and is therefore wrong, through religion, Kant, Rawls, basic ethical analysis, logic, common sense or some other path is irrelevant. You got there. Congratulations. It’s the ethical place to be.

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Abortion Wars: It’s The New York Times vs. The New York Times!

fetal development

Stockholm Syndrome liberal David Brooks, once the alleged conservative pundit in the Times far-left array, was in one of his “pox on both your houses” moods as he condemned what he claimed were equally unethical (my word, not his) arguments coming from the pro-and anti-abortion camps. “Many conservatives focus on the fetus to the exclusion of all else, ” he wrote. “A lot of the progressive commentary, on the other hand, won’t recognize the fetus at all.” False equivalency, David (and you know it). Since the fetus is the party that’s killed in an abortion, many conservatives and anti-abortion activists take the completely defensible and classic Kantian position that “deference to women who become pregnant in terrible circumstances” doesn’t and can’t justify taking a human life. On the other side of the divide, however, refusing to acknowledge the existence of a life at all is to deliberately rig the debate. And it isn’t “a lot” of the progressive commentary that tries to do this; it’s virtually all of it.

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