This Is Comforting: “The Great Stupid” Is Greater And Stupider In Canada, As You Can See…

But for how long?

That’s a male, Oakville High School (about 20 miles from Toronto) “transitioning” shop teacher, parading with his, or her—it really doesn’t matter— gigantic prosthetic boobs. The Halton District School Board defends “her” completely voluntary appearance and attire in the name of “gender rights.” Meanwhile some students have skipped class, some are protesting, and parents are objecting.

My heavens, what could they be upset about?

“This teacher is an extremely effective teacher,” the board’s chair told the media. (Other than creating a completely unnecessary distraction by choosing to wear fake breasts twice the size of his head, of course—picky, picky...)The school board is creating a “safety plan” to ensure this serious professional can continue teaching without incident.

Yes, this Canadian variant of The Great Stupid virus could spread over the border. Continue reading

Unethical Euphemism Of The Month: “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression Layoffs”

Hmmm, why does this concept sound vaguely familiar?

That’s Jeff Lawson above, CEO of Twilio, a “customer engagement software company,” whatever that means. He just announced that because of Joe Biden’s non-recession he’s going to have to reduce the workforce by 11%, meaning that more than 800 loyal, hardworking, not quietly -quitting Twilio employees will be put out onto the streets. But he assured employees (and progressives, and anti-white racists) that the company would make firing decisions through an “Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression lens.”

Translation: “I’m firing whites, males and straight people first.”

Verdict:: Unethical, grandstanding, discriminating asshole.

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Ethics Heroes: Davisville (RI) Middle School 7th Graders

This story is simultaneously inspiring and horrifying.

A sixth-grade class in the Davisville Middle School in the North Kingstown School District in Rhode Island was being subjected to a teacher (so far, unnamed) who was cruel to the boys and sexually harassed the girls, leering at them, giving them pet names, and asking them to dance. The teacher was also a coach, and reportedly told the class that he had received complaints from parents in the past without any consequences. The continuing flirting and sexual innuendos made the girls in the class uncomfortable, so the next year, as seventh graders, some of the boys reported the teacher’s conduct to their parents and adminsitrator at the school. All the adults shrugged the complaints off, the boys say. Continue reading

Observations On “Flight/Risk”…And Related Matters

“Flight/Risk,” an Amazon production, was released on the streaming service today. The documentary is the most recent examination of the tragedy and scandals surrounding the crashes of two Boeing 737 Max planes within a five month period in late 2018 and early 2019. The horrible and disturbing story  is narrated by Pulitzer-winning Seattle Times journalist Dominic Gates, and revealed from the perspective of the deceased passengers family members, their lawyers, and whistleblowers.

Amazon’s fatuous description of its own product, primarily designed to be a “trigger warning,” explains that the movie may be too traumatic to watch for “some” and says the planes crashed “without anyone really understanding why.” That is, to be blunt and vulgar, bullshit. Lots of people understood why, including Boeing engineers, Boeing executives, FAA officials, and anyone (like me) who knows why large organizations are almost always incompetent, unethical and untrustworthy. {Ethics Alarms has several posts about the 737 Max scandal.]

What is so infuriating about the story is that it is so familiar. This is the Challenger disaster all over again, even to the detail of a whistle-blowing engineer being punished for having the courage to speak up, and eventually killing himself. In other ways, it is like the recent Ernst and Young cheating scandal, which Ethics Alarms discussed here.

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Prof. Volokh Demonstrates How University “Diversity Statements” Are Unconstitutional

They are, of course, also unethical unless you are a nascent totalitarian who believes that WrongThink should disqualify citizens for employment and influence.

Universities are increasingly requiring so-called “diversity statements”‘ from those seeking positions on their faculty. They are particularly crucial to white scholars, since potential “faculty of color” are diversity. The statements describing the hopeful instructor’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion are however, being challenged, as well they should be. Apparently having faculties that usually have 5% or fewer members who confess to being conservative isn’t enough, so the requirements of what are essentially loyalty oaths to the Great Woke are being seen for what they are: efforts to eliminate diversity of thought on campus—all the better to ensure the effective indoctrination of students whose minds are properly vulnerable. . Criticisms first made in tweets and blog posts have expanded into prominent opinion pieces and, more recently, law review articles. These attacks are having an effect. There are now faculty-wide resolutions against (and for) mandatory diversity statements. Lawyers are recruiting plaintiffs to challenge diversity statement requirements in court.

Good.

The Federalist-Society recently held a webinar on the topic. Prof. Eugene Volokh, one of the panel participants, offered a “thought experiment” to demonstrate just how noxious “diversity statements” are.

Here it is:

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Comment Of The Day: “Verdict: ‘Quiet Quitting’ Is Unethical. Next Question?”

[The caption on perhaps my favorite Charles Addams cartoon reads, “We never could have done it without him.”]

I thought that the essay on “quiet quitting” would spark a good discussion, and when I think that, I’m usually wrong. This time I was right, and among the excellent comments was this Comment of the Day by Tim Hayes, who focuses on the crucial aspect of the issue that I barely touched on at all: the responsibilities of management.

Here is Tim’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Verdict: “Quiet Quitting” Is Unethical. Next Question?”…

***

So, full disclosure, I hate the terminology and discussions around “quiet quitting”, both as a manager, and as an employee. Part of this is because it is unethical – but also part of it is because a lot of current discussions seem to be about deflections and doublespeak, and they just frankly aren’t doing anyone any good.

Some instances of quiet quitting are simply laziness on the part of the employee – this shouldn’t surprise us (I can make a strong argument that laziness when possible is actually a biological predisposition, and furthermore beneficial to societies when channeled appropriately), and while performing excellently is a virtue, and should be a path to success, it is not a necessity in all things. The American experiment, and indeed all civilizations (Western and Eastern), have gotten along just fine with the majority of individuals being mediocre – the trick has historically lay in defining mediocre as still sufficiently productive to support a society when the majority of its members are at that level, while allowing those who wish to perform exceptionally to do so. So, in the situation where quiet quitting is about laziness, the only major question to be answered is what constitutes acceptable levels of performance in the role at hand, and have those been adequately defined and communicated to the person in that role.

This is why I hate hearing the discussions as a manager – they almost always ignore that there is a failure of leadership/management in these cases. If I have someone who is performing the job as I’ve described it to them, and is actually meeting my set standards for acceptable levels of performance, yet their performance of their responsibilities is insufficient in some way, then it is axiomatic that I have failed to define as acceptable the levels of performance that are sufficient to fulfill my need. If, conversely, I have described acceptable levels of performance and the person is not meeting them, and so my business needs are not being met, than I am failing to hold this person to the standards I have set. Continue reading

Verdict: “Quiet Quitting” Is Unethical. Next Question?

I had happily never heard of the term “quiet quitting” until last week, and now it is supposedly a hotly-debated ethics topic. There’s nothing to debate about. “Quiet quitting” is not new (the term may be new), nor is there any defense for it. It is un-American to its core. But as so many American values are being eroded by revolutionary fervor of people who simply don’t like the unique history, culture and principles that make the nation the unique entity that it is, it figures that slacking at one’s job and being self-righteous about it would be on the rise.

It is, there is little doubt about that. Ethics Alarms has mentioned the trend of increasingly poor and unaccommodating service in every sector. The usual explanation is the under-staffing that the destructive pandemic lockdown facilitated, but it’s good that focus is falling on the declining belief in seeking excellence in all one does, and putting out one’s best effort at all times. The death throes of American dedication to excellence as a cultural value is what has been newly christened “quiet quitting,” the many ways in which workers reduce the time, energy, and care they commit to their jobs.

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Case Study In Minneapolis: The Compensatory Racial Discrimination Slippery Slope

Or perhaps they just don’t believe in the Constitution in Minneapolis—you know, like in California. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers struck a deal last March 25 with the Minneapolis Public Schools ending a teacher strike, and among the provisions was “educators of color protections.” If a non-white teacher is first on the list to be let go for budget reasons, the school system must fire a white teacher with the “next least” seniority instead.

Got that?

The agreement reads in part,

“Starting with the Spring 2023 Budget Tie-Out Cycle, if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.”

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Ethics Quiz: The Secret Service Defies Orders!

As soon as I saw the headline to Prof. Turley’s latest post on his blog, “Res Ipsa Loquitur” I knew we had an ethics quiz: “Presidential Protection or Abduction: Why Secret Service Wrong for all the Right Reasons on Jan. 6.”

Turley’s article was prompted by one aspect of the Jan. 6 Commission testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson that President Trump ordered his official SUV to take him to the U.S. Capitol to be on hand with his supporters as they rallied (it turned out to be a “mostly peaceful” rally) against what Trump had told them was the stolen 2020 election. According to the witness, that she was told that T his Secret Service security team refused, causing the President to become furious.

Turley’s take, in brief:

…the Secret Service is trained to take immediate action to protect a president. On the other hand, it cannot effectively control the presidency by controlling a president like a modern Praetorian Guard. In the end, if this account is true, the security team was likely wrong in refusing the order of the President to be taken to Capitol Hill….Trump intended to do exactly what he promised and ordered the Secret Service to take him to the Capitol. But Tony Ornato, White House deputy chief of staff for operations, and Bobby Engel, who headed Trump’s security detail, reportedly refused.

…If true, the security team’s motivation certainly was commendable. It probably prevented Jan. 6 from getting much, much worse…what was the authority of the security team to refuse a direct order from a sitting president to go to Congress?

…The Secret Service has always assumed discretion in seizing a president to protect him from immediate harm [but there was no immediate harm threatened]…Trump reportedly decided he wanted to lead the protests to the Capitol and didn’t care about the security uncertainties — and he actually had a right to do so. Presidents can elect to put themselves in harm’s way… The Secret Service has no authority to put a president into effective custody against his will… In Trump’s case, he reportedly said he did not want to go back to the White House but was taken there anyway.

…This act of disobedience may have saved the country from an even greater crisis…

In the end, the security team was correct on the merits but probably wrong on the law. This was not an unlawful order, and a president must be able to control his own travel. In other words, the agents were wrong for all the right reasons.

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

If The Last Post (About Emerson College Promoting Anti-White Racism) Bothered You, Samuel L. Jackson Has A Suggestion Before You Read This One…[UPDATED!]

In Illinois, Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will now require teachers to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students. Let me repeat that…

Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will now require teachers to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.

This is called “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading.” It’s transformative, all right. It is a great way to transform black students into societal cripples who cannot master what many behavioral scientists believe are the most crucial skills for life success, because they are given an institutional pass.

This ridiculous and divisive concept is, of course, yet another effort to eliminate persistent discrepancies between racial groups by pretending that they are caused by racism, and lowering standards so everyone has an equally low bar to clear.  OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says disproportionately hurt the grades of black students, like for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in  assignments. This will, you know—don’t they know?—set up black students to skip work, misbehave in other settings, and fail to complete their assigned jobs and tasks. Continue reading