Visiting Dog Ethics

A question to the New York Times’ “The Ethicist” raised multiple issues, perhaps the least interesting of which was the subject of the letter:

My brother-in-law and his wife adopted a dog a year ago. Since then, every time they have come over to our home, they have brought the dog too. My husband and children aren’t incredibly fond of pets. This creates some uncomfortable situations for us. I don’t think we truly enjoy their company, because they are always running around after the dog while they are with us. I have tried to indirectly hint that getting a dog sitter may be an option, but that’s hit or miss.

Nowadays we don’t feel that comfortable inviting them over as often. I feel sad, because it’s creating a distance between us. Shouldn’t they just accept the fact that not everyone is comfortable with a pet and find ways to leave it at home (for a few hours) instead of taking it with them everywhere they go? I hate bringing this up with my husband, because I know he is torn as well. How can we delicately and politely let them know without hurting their feelings?

“The Ethicist,” , issued the obvious answer: it is ethics blindness for visitors not to seek permission to bring their dogs to another home (even if the dog isn’t a Caucasian Shepherd like the one above), but also irresponsible for a family being inflicted with an unwanted canine guest to keep its resentment secret so it can fester. The brother-in-law should be told that his family dog isn’t welcome.

I was bothered by other things in the letter: Continue reading

An Unethical Quote Spectacular!

There are a lot of really unethical people saying some astounding things lately. Such as…

1. Incompetent Elected Official Of the Month Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), who completely beclowned herself in the The House Weaponization Subcommittee examination of Twitter Files heralds Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger. She was determined to discredit them for daring to reveal the efforts by her party and its allies to bury the Hunter Biden laptop story and censor critics, and apparently did no research into te topic of the hearings at all, announcing that she didn’t know what “a substack” was and showing complete ignorance regarding Bari Weiss. (Ah, if only she read Ethics Alarms!) Meanwhile, all of a sudden Democrats oppose journalists’ desire to protect their sources.

2. Not included in the video above was an offensive question by serial unethical House hack Debbie Wasserman Schulz, the former DNC chair who rigged the 2016 primaries for Hillary Clinton. She accused Matt Taibbi of profiting from authoring the “Twitter Files” reports, implying that he was motivated by persoanl profit, saying: “After the ‘Twitter Files,’ your followers doubled … I imagine your Substack readership … increased significantly because of the work that you did for Elon Musk.”

These people really lash out when they’re exposed, don’t they?

3. Over to the Republican side: Jenna Ellis, one of President Trump’s lawyers in the post-election push to have the results examined, admitted in Colorado Bar disciplinary proceedings that she deliberately engaged in the following misrepresentations “for selfish reasons”:

Continue reading

“The Ethicist” On Allowing Your Kids To Associate With The Children Of Crooks [Corrected]

One of the downsides of only getting the digital version of the New York Times (because I no longer could justify sending such an unethical and nation-damaging publication almost a hundred bucks a month) is that I don’t keep up with “The Ethicist,” aka , as well as I did when the Times Magazine was always available in our bathroom. A recent catch-up session revealed a lot of interesting topics posed by “The Ethicist’s” readers, as well as some that shouldn’t require an ethicist to figure out ( “Is It OK to Let My Relatives Think Their Dead Sister Is Still Alive?”).

At the end of January, a mother asked whether she should have let her children go to a sleepover at a new classmate’s home after she discovered that the parents  “are now infamous for their unscrupulous and callous illegal business dealings that ultimately led to a multimillion-dollar settlement with our city government.” The mother was concerned about punishing the couple’s children for their parents’ misdeeds. “Should we let the children hang out?” she asks. “How much do we share with our own child, who is old enough to understand why their behavior is unacceptable?”

As usual the ethics teacher goes into great detail examining all pros and cons, writing things like, “Your duties to your own child do take precedence over your concerns for the children of others. In the philosophical literature on “partiality” — the special concern we have toward those with whom we have special relationships — some have argued that it’s morally permissible to give your own children priority. In my view, it isn’t merely permissible; it’s morally obligatory. What you owe to your child is not the same as what you owe to just any child.” Continue reading

Dispatches From The Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coast Bizarro World [Link Fixed!]

This story is so mind-meltingly stupid that it actually makes me angry.

I am not going to be kind. When woke delusions get this serious, innocent people are going to be hurt. That’s Jennifer Angel above, a small business owner and Oakland baker. She was an anarchist and extreme social justice advocate, as if anarchy doesn’t lead directly to injustice. I’m sure she was a nice person, just permanently crippled by living too long in California and hanging out with aging hippies. Jennifer didn’t deserve to die, and die horribly, but she did: when a thief broke into Angel’s car while she was in it, grabbed something and jumped into a getaway car, Angel chased the thief—after all, that’s what you have to do when there are no police, as Angel wished. Sadly, she got caught in the door of the fleeing vehicle was dragged down the street, her head smashing against the pavement repeatedly. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Angel’s family and friends issued a statement, and it is utopian claptrap for the ages. here is most of it, and when I can’t stand by without commenting, I will interrupt: Continue reading

An Ethics Song Challenge: “That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be” (1971)


I heard Carly Simon’s hit (she co-wrote the lyrics) in the car today; I hadn’t listened to it or thought about it for decades. When I first listened to the song, I just took it as more whiny Sixties “our parents don’t know how to live and we’re still stuck with the world and values they created” lament. Now, after being married myself and actually fighting through life, I realize its a much smarter and perceptive song than I thought, and one that raises a lot of complex ethics issues. I’d be very interested in the commentariat’s thoughts about… Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Marie Osmond’s Formula For Responsible Parenting When You’re Filthy Rich

Pop star Marie Osmond, seen above apparently being eaten by the same plant mass that devoured Barack Obama in his awful portrait that became a source of a scandal narrative, has announced that she will not be bestowing any of her current wealth, estimated to be about $20 million, on her 8 children or 8 grandchildren.

“Honestly, why would you enable your child to not try to be something? I don’t know anybody who becomes anything if they’re just handed money,” she said last month in an interview. “To me, the greatest gift you can give your child is a passion to search out who they are inside and to work. I mean, I’ve done so many things… I love trying. I wanna try everything,” she added.

Further parenting wisdom from Marie, whose plan is to spend what she has with husband Steve Craig and give whatever is left to charity when she goes to that big Osmond Reunion in the sky: “I just think all [an inheritance] does is breed laziness and entitlement. I worked hard and I’m gonna spend it all and have fun with my husband…” and she says she doesn’t want to set the stage for her heirs to fight over her estate. Marie has said that her role model in this conviction was actor Kirk Douglas, who reportedly left none of his wealth, estimated to be three times Osmond’s, to Michael (who was rich already).

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is… Continue reading

Bitter Harry: Famous Grandchildren Ethics #2

Part I is here.

A London pub has announced that it will be selling a ‘Harry’s Bitter’ beer in response to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tell-all Netflix documentary, “Harry and Meghan” as well as Prince Harry’s family dirty laundry opus, “Spare.” Well-played. For Diana and Charles’ youngest offspring is indeed Bitter Harry, and a weak and rotten Royal to boot.

Because the U.S. is in the throes of The Great Stupid, in part a hangover from the George Floyd Freakout, Harry and his gold-digger spouse Meghan are more popular here than in the UK. Some Americans just enjot seeing the Royal Family shat-upon; some are suckers for those who play the racism victim card, Meghan’s specialty (with Harry’s dog-like assistance), and some were so absurdly smitten with the late Princess Diana, herself often an unseemly publicity addict, that her sons can do no wrong in their eyes. Nonetheless, Harry’s exploitation of his family’s misplaced trust for cash and cheap celebrity is the mark of a royal asshole as well as one whose bitterness has rendered his ethics alarms useless.

What kind of person deliberately reveals—often with dark shading borne of dark agendas—private conversations and family secrets in a manner guaranteed to embarrass, insult and infuriate named relatives and stain the reputation of those who have expired? The answer is… a petty, untrustworthy person. Harry doesn’t need the money, but apparently he needs something else: revenge, probably. He evidently has adopted his late mother’s attitude toward the Royal Family, blames them for her demise, and is doing everything he and his wife can think of to cause them pain.

This is ironic, because the only reason anyone cares a twig for either Harry or his C-list actress wife is his membership in that family. Harry is the epitome of a celebrity who is famous without having done anything constructive, admirable, or praiseworthy. He doesn’t have to work; he was born with the metaphorical silver spoon, and nothing short of treason or murder could remove it—indeed, if British history is any guide, not even those things.

However, he has been relatively cut off, and his wife, at least, wants to make sure they have a bright future ahead of interviews with Jimmy Kimmel, guest spots on sitcoms and starring roles as infomercial pitch-nobles. Thus the plan is to tar King Charles, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Prince William and the rest as racists and creeps, even if it makes Harry and Meghan look creepy too. Creepy celebrities do quite well here.

Maureen Dowd, amusingly snarky with a drop of illumination as usual, writes,

Continue reading

Gee, Can We Lock Up The Parents For THIS Shooting?

Ethics Alarms has always maintained that when a child gets control of a real firearm and shoots it, the parents must be held criminally responsible, not only for the consequences of the shooting, but for allowing the child access at all. I also believe that this should be strict liability: I don’t care if the child is a whiz at picking locks or a precocious little Michael Corleone. If you own a gun and your kid gets a grip on it, you’re the menace to society.

I can’t imagine a more perfect illustration of the need for this policy than the story out of Richneck Elementary School in Newport News Virginia. A 6-year-old boy shot and wounded his first grade teacher yesterday. He apparently did it intentionally—he had some dispute with her, we are told—and is a good shot: she is in critical condition.

The Washington Post story about the shooting is infuriating:

Newport News Police Chief Steve R. Drew said at a news briefing…’We did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting.’”

Oh, the first grader wasn’t an active shooter then! We could guess that. What about the parents?

Continue reading

Worst of Ethics Award 2022: Most Unethical Parent Of The Year…And More!

Kendra Licari was arrested this month and faces up to ten years in prison. In December of 2021, Licari informed police that her daughter and her boyfriend were being harassed, bullied and stalked online. Her daughter, she told them, was frightened and traumatized. Kendra and the boyfriend’s mother, she said, were working together to find the person responsible for the cyberbullying.

Police investigated, and discovered who was making Licari’s daughter’s life miserable. It was her own mother.

The investigators found that Kendra Licari had begun harassing her daughter online in early 2021, sending anonymous threats and insulting messages while pretending to be another high school girl. Though Mom tried to conceal her real identity, but FBI cyber-experts traced the messages to Licari’s IP address.

Continue reading

The Entitled Working Mother’s Christmas Lament

For some reason I’ve been getting accounts of a lot of overseas ethics controversies of late, like the German hospital patient who shut off her roommate’s oxygen machine because it was “too noisy.” The source of this ethics quiz is the UK, where a frustrated mother argues on a parenting site that it was selfish for a childless colleague to compete with her for a day off on Christmas, because she was a mother.

“Ok I feel terrible about this,” the indignant mom wrote in a thread on UK-based parenting site Mumsnet, as she explained that their manager told the two women to work out their conflict themselves, and let him know their solution. Continue reading