Gee, Who Would Have Predicted That Legalizing Pot Would Put Children At Risk?

Sorry, I have no sympathy, zero, zilch, nada, for any parents and grandparents of the rebellious toking generation who are horrified at the effect widespread pot legalization is having on the young. Any idiot could have and should have predicted it. For example, I predicted it when I was 18, and being prodded, mocked, urged and wheedled (perhaps that should be “weedled”) into taking “just one puff” almost every day in college. (It was also against the law, which stodgy old me took too seriously, I was lectured, by a lot of students who went to law school.)

Here is how the New York Times’ “Kids Buying Weed From Bodegas Wasn’t in the ‘Legal Weed’ Plan” begins…

Not long ago, a mother in Westchester learned from her teenage son that he and his friends had gone to a nearby bodega and bought weed. She understood — they were kids, stifled and robbed by the pandemic of so many opportunities for indulging the secretive rituals of adolescence…

But it was deeply troubling to her that a store was selling weed to kids — New York State’s decriminalization statute makes it illegal to sell to anyone under 21 — so she embarked on an investigation. Predictably, when she confronted the bodega owners, they denied that they were distributing to anyone underage, so her next stop was a visit to the local police precinct, where she did not encounter the sense of urgency she had hoped for.

The cops greeted her with a kind of smug indifference, she said, an affect of I told you so, suggesting that liberals were now faced with the downstream impact of values that law enforcement had always disdained. Mothers in earthy, expensive footwear from the River Towns to Park Slope had supported the legalization of marijuana on the grounds that it needlessly funneled so many young Black and brown men into the criminal justice system. But now it was ubiquitous, and in the worst case scenarios possibly laced with fentanyl, and all too easy for their children to access. The bodega, in this instance, was a short distance from the local high school.

Continue reading

I Am Sorry That Senator Fetterman Is Clinically Depressed But My Sympathy Is Limited

ABC News reports:

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman on Wednesday checked himself into a Washington hospital “to receive treatment for clinical depression,” his chief of staff said on Thursday. “While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Adam Jentleson said in a statement.

Jentleson said that Fetterman was evaluated on Monday by Congress’ attending physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, who “recommended inpatient care” at Walter Reed hospital. “John agreed, and he is receiving treatment on a voluntary basis.” “After examining John, the doctors at Walter Reed told us that John is getting the care he needs, and will soon be back to himself,” Jentleson said.

This comes shortly after Fetterman had been hospitalized for “light-headedness.” So, so predictably, the Democratic propaganda agents in the mainstream media are spinning this “time to pay the piper” story as a good thing. “Fetterman draws praise for getting help  for depression” cheered the AP. “John Fetterman is openly discussing his treatment for depression. Few politicians do,” gushed Vox. Wow! Isn’t it wonderful that this guy is unable to do his job, after anyone who questioned his fitness during the campaign  was attacked as being “ablest”?

The announcement raised other questions. Clinical depression is a serious condition: Fetterman never revealed to voters that he experienced depression off and on throughout his life. That information was relevant to voters’ decision, but his office only revealed it now to lessen suspicions that the current problem was related to his stroke. But just last week, the same spokesman blamed his previous hospitalization on the stroke, saying, Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: The Icky Question

Gwendolyn Herzig, a pharmacist who describes herself as a transgender female, testified in support of the gender-altering treatment of minors during an Arkansas state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week. The legislation, S.B. 199, being considered would prohibit physicians in the state from providing most types of such treatment to minors, including prescribing puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy, or from performing transition-related surgeries. (NBC uses “gender-affirming care,” which is both an oxymoron and cover-phrase devised by pro-transexual activists. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!)

At one point, Sen. Matt McKee, a Republican, asked Herzig if she has a penis. You can see the exchange above.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is..

Was McKee’s question unethical?

Whatever you may think of the question, Herzig handled it very well.

I could justify the question was going to credibility and bias. The other side of the argument is that it was needlessly embarrassing to the witness, as well as disrespectful.

I wouldn’t have asked it.

Replay: Still Time To Be Ethical And Decide Not To Watch The Super Bowl

[I was going to write a brand new post pointing out why watching the Super Bowl (and the ads of the NFL’s unethical accessories) was unconscionable, but then I remembered how many times I’ve written similar pieces, and constantly going over the same unethical territory is eating away at my joie de vie—“my twinkle,” as Cosmo Kramer would say. Cant have that, so here is a previous post on the theme from 2019.

It is remarkable to me that the near death of Damar Hamlin mid game less than two months ago has essentially vanished from the sports pages after a brief flurry of “why do we cheer on this mayhem?” pieces before the NFL’s play-offs started. The big concern seems to be whether President Biden is snubbing Fox News be refusing to give a mid-game Super Bowl interview (which is supposedly a “tradition”) or Fox News is snubbing President Biden. In any event Joe’s not being interviewed, though a chat with someone who is cognitively damaged during the game might do some good by reminding viewers what they are cheering.]

Let me say something good about the New York Times: not all of it’s editorials are repetitious attacks on President Trump, just most of them. Last week editorial board member Alex Kinsbury persuaded his colleague to let him used the space for an opinion both ethical and irrefutable. A quick summary: Football is maiming its players, the NFL doesn’t care, and if you watch the Super Bowl and support its sponsors, you’re complicit.

But then you knew that, right? At least you know it if you’re been coming here for any length of time.

Recalling a hard hit on Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, Kinsbury writes, “As the sound of the hit faded into a commercial break, I realized with absolute certainty that I couldn’t watch football anymore. There aren’t enough yards to gain or Super Bowl rings to win that are worth the cost.”

True. What took you so long? He continues by reviewing the well-publicized data:

The first research into the link between football and traumatic brain injury was published in 2005. Since then, the science has become impossible to ignore. In 2017, The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of the autopsies of the brains of 111 deceased former N.F.L. players, whose relatives gave their bodies up for study. The group was not a random sample, yet 110 showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative brain disease linked to concussions. Research published in November estimated that a minimum of 10 percent of all professional football players would develop C.T.E. at some point in their lives.

10% is wishful thinking, even for the  players who can still think. Continue reading

Trans Ethics Train Wreck Update: Why Is All This This Happening? [With A Bonus Comment Of The Day On “Hogwarts Legacy”]

Among the many things I don’t understand about the increasingly bizarre trans-advocacy bullying and propaganda is the ideological divide. Why are Democrats and progressives supporting this manifestly bonkers—and unethical—effort to defy reality?

Some of the latest “revoltin’ developments”:

1. The unhinged fury at J.K. Rowling for not falling in with the pro-trans guerillas.

Today is the release date for Hogwarts Legacy, the most highly anticipated video game of 2023. But many trans-fans are conflicted about the game because of supposedly transphobic comments made  about transgender people by J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, Hogwarts, and the whole empire.  Conveniently, EA Comment-Master Humble Talent registered a report on today’s Open Forum. In his Comment of the Day, slightly shortened here (read it all at the link) HT writes,

[P]rogressives hate JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, feminist icon, and TERF extraordinaire. It’s not like Rowling is particularly offensive….The problem isn’t that she’s offensive, the problem is that she’s a traitor. Worse, she’s a traitor that they helped prop up, she has “Fuck You” levels of money, and nothing they do can actually cancel her, because again… She’s independently wealthy, isn’t particularly offensive, and doesn’t care what they think.

Her offense, such that it is, is a less than enthusiastic endorsement of the trans agenda. She has no problems using pronouns, she tries, generally, to be polite, but sometimes uses a variation of the TERF maxim of “there are very few places where gender actually matters anymore, but where it does, it matters a lot” and doesn’t put much stock in the idea of trans women in women’s sport, and feels that trans women shouldn’t be in women’s prisons or abuse shelters, off the top of my head.

Trans people, not very well adjusted to reality to begin with, are so used to getting their way when they whine on Twitter that they’re not dealing very well with the idea that Warner Brothers would continue to risk their ire by further developing the Harry Potter Franchise, which in some very unclear way involving assumed royalties benefits Rowling, the newest iteration of which is “Hogwarts Legacy.”

…It’s fairly obvious that the developers were acutely aware that they were going to be under a DEI microscope, so there is a LOT of representation in the game. This isn’t a huge departure from the source material, there was a lot of representation there too… Rowling is, after all, progressive….

Very early on in the game, you meet the Potterverse’s first trans character: Sirona Ryan. Trans people apparently don’t think that pandering was enough, because Sirona starts with Sir, and that’s an obvious slight.

Because of course it is. The developers going out of their way to try to cleanse the franchise of the filth of its creator by shoehorning in as much DEI as possible is just cover so that they could name their first trans character Manlina McBeefcake to squick the trans people they’re not actually pandering to. Because that makes sense.

Which is the theme here… Nothing is enough. They’re bound and determined to hate it. Which is why the success of the game seems to feel like pure rock salt in the open wound of their entire existence. It’s a good game with a very popular franchise released at a time when there aren’t any other new releases worth note on the market.

So…. What do you do when something you hate is succeeding and you’re really unused to the market not giving a damn about your displeasure? You melt down. The fireworks over this have been some of the most entertaining terminally online bullshit I’ve seen in my life. Brigades of trans people and their allies are joining Twitch streams of people playing HL and cramming their chats with bile, article after article after article written by progressives whining belligerently over the market’s apathy to their discomfort, but most interestingly, because it’s new: Someone coded a website that would log whenever someone streamed HL and compiled it in a searchable database, so trans people could know who to boycott…. Which was basically everyone, so it’s not exactly effective.

Any and all of this would have been derided by the same people doing it as targeted harassment and bullying if they were the target of what they’re doing to others, and they’re doing it without a spark of self awareness. Which lends more credit, I think, to my prevailing theory of: These people don’t actually care about targeted harassment, bullying, or any other professed principle. They’re consistently unhappy people and their single last joy in life is bitching with the intent of depriving other people of the joy they are incapable of feeling.

2. More Lia Thomas ethics rot… Continue reading

Gee, Could Massachusetts Democrats Come Up With A MORE Unethical Bill?

[You know,  writing this blog of late has made me feel like I’m Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill I,” fighting O-Ren Ishii’s (Lucy Liu) personal army, The Crazy 88’s. The ethics stories just get worse and worse, especially from the world of government and politics, and they keep on coming. The mission of this blog is to, in some small way, try to encourage ethical analysis and sensitivity in the culture of a nation uniquely dependent on it, and all I see is the ethics in our culture, especially in the professions (which exist to be trusted) and our institutions (all of them) deteriorating rapidly and seemingly deliberately. The effort feels hopeless. Maybe a better analogy than The Bride’s mass battle in “Kill Bill I” is Viking king Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine) fighting gleefully and futilely in a pit full of hungry wolves in “The Vikings.” After all, Uma wins her fight. But Ethics Alarms is not directed by Quentin Tarantino.

What prompts these musings? This item from the State of my birth: Massachusetts Democrats have offered a bill giving prison inmates reduced sentences when they donate their kidneys and bone marrow. State Reps. Carlos Gonzalez and Judith Garcia came up with this monstrosity, which aims to create “The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program” within the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Prisoners would be able to shave between 60 days to a year off their sentences. 

Talk about killing bills—I’d love that bill as a hypothetical in an ethics class, though I would think it might be too easy for anyone old enough to vote. In The Guardian’s story, we read that the bill “has raised ethical concerns.” YA THINK??? Continue reading

Still More Evidence That No One Who Cares About Individual Liberty, Freedom of Expression And The Increasing Threat Of Totalitarianism In The US Should Live In California Voluntarily…

With AB 2098, California’s legislature passed a bill that would punish doctors offering “false information” on the Wuhan virus and its offspring. It okayed direct government action to punish speech based on content, and was obviously unconstitutional. Naturally, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law anyway: he doesn’t believe in the Bill of Rights, his party doesn’t, and apparently the California voters that keep voting for him and officials like Adam Schiff don’t either.  Their state has devolved into a kind of Bizarro World gradted to the rest of the country, a place that increasingly rejects the underlying values and principles the United States was built on, and increasingly, basic logic as well. Here’s a meme that appeared on Powerline’s always entertaining “The Week in Pictures,” which I heartily recommend:

That’s not even satire. It’s just true, and emblematic of how ethically inert the entire stat has become.

The new law prevents doctors from providing “treatment or advice” “to a patient” “related to COVID-19” when that treatment or advice includes (1) “false information” (2) “that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” (3) “contrary to the standard of care.”  Threatening disciplinary action (such as the loss of one’s license to practice) the law sends “a chilling message to physicians to toe the line.” in Prof. Turley’s words. Though a first year law student would quickly see the measure was unconstitutional, California has California-culture judges. In McDonald v. Lawson one of them held the law to be just fine. Now, however Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) in Hoeg v. Newsom, another challenge to the law, has granting an injunction against its enforcement. Continue reading

More Ethics Emanations From The World Of Medicine: The Charles Cullen Story

Having spent a fair amount of time yesterday and today in a hospital, I was reminded of this post that had been stalled on the runway…

In November of last year, Netflix began running “The Good Nurse,” a disturbing movie based on the real story of Charles Cullen, a serial killer-nurse (played by Eddie Redmayne in the film), who murdered between 45 and over 400 patients at a series of hospitals and medical facilities in New jersey and Pennsylvania over a 16-year period. The film concentrates on the colleague who finally brought him down, Amy Loughren, a fellow nurse and freind (played by Jessica Chastain) who alerted the police after she became suspicious of Cullen’s links to patient deaths as well as his irregular computer accessing of medications.

The real horror of the film and the facts is that so many of the administrators of  the hospitals where Cullen committed his murders either strongly suspected that he was killing patients, were certain he was, or resorted to contrived ignorance to avoid discovering what was right in front of their staff’s eyes. At least 16 hospitals fired Cullen on various other grounds and gave him sufficiently ambiguous recommendations to allow him to find new employment where he could kill again. Law enforcement authorities were also alerted by hospital staff more than once, and let Cullen slip through their fingers. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz: As The Founders Roll Over In Their Graves”

This was one of those times that a last minute addition to a post attracted more commentary than the main topic. Discussing a city ordinance permitting animal sacrifices for religious purposes, I asked, “Is circumcision the slippery slope that brought us to this ridiculous point of cultural confusion?” This sparked extensive discussion. “Male circumcision” has been a tag on two EA articles,  but the blog has neglected the issue, for reasons too painful to go into. Humble Talent, in a discussion with Ryan Harkins, remedied that failing with gusto, in two successive comments that I’m stitching together here as a single Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Quiz: As The Founders Roll Over In Their Graves”:


“Most of those men have to then have a circumcision, and as an adult, it is far more painful than as a baby.” [Ryan Harkins]

This is not true. It’s actually more painful for the baby. At the normal point in development the procedure occurs, the foreskin is adhered to the tip of the penis by the same kind of connective tissue that holds fingernails to nailbeds. If left, that tissue eventually breaks down, but the reality is that for babies, you’re doing something on par with pulling a fingernail out before doing the exact same thing that adult men who experience circumcision call extremely painful.

It’s the exact same pain, except in children it’s usually conducted without anesthesia. You just don’t remember it.

“Circumcision is often performed on infants without anesthetic or with a local anesthetic that is ineffective at substantially reducing pain (Lander et al., 1997). In a study by Lander and colleagues (1997), a control group of infants who received no anesthesia was used as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of different types of anesthesia during circumcision. The control group babies were in so much pain—some began choking and one even had a seizure—they decided it was unethical to continue. It is important to also consider the effects of post-operative pain in circumcised infants (regardless of whether anesthesia is used), which is described as “severe” and “persistent” (Howard et al., 1994). ”

But while you might not remember, your body does. Continue reading

“Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker” Ethics

This week Netflix offered another true crime documentary, “The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker.” It tells the weird tale of Kai Lawrence (his real name  is Caleb McGillvary) who went from viral celebrity to convicted murderer in less than a year. It is a very disturbing story, and not just because of the murder. What I found most illuminating if not surprising was the eager exploitation of an obviously disturbed young man with violent tendencies by media types who gave no thought to the likely consequences of their actions.

In  2013, McGillvary, aka “Kai” was a homeless pot-smoking vagrant, living on the streets and depending on the kindness of strangers.  Hitchhiking in the Fresno (California) area, he was picked up by Jett McBride, who, Kai revealed later, he had given a cigarette laced with a hallucinogenic drug. Perhaps as a result, McBride ran down a pedestrian  When a woman rushed to the pedestrian’s aid, McBride, apparently bonkers, assaulted her. This is where “hatchet-wielding” comes in: Kai got out of the car and stopped McBride’s attack by hitting him three times over the head with a hatchet he had in his bag.

Yes, he became a hero by striking a man with a hatchet. The woman felt Kai had saved her life, and a local reporter on the scene quickly grabbed the long-haired, handsome young man for an interview. The reporter was obviously amused and delighted by Kai’s spontaneity and affinity for the camera. At one point McGillvary turned directly to viewers and delivered a well-rehearsed call for all human beings to be “respected for who they are.” The reporter was charmed, even though anyone with open eyes should have known then that they were witnessing the act of seasoned grifter. Continue reading