It’s the last day of the regular season for baseball, or should be: there could be two tie-breakers tomorrow, and they are officially considered part of the season. There were more baseball ethics posts this year than ever before. You can review them here.
1. And now for something completely stupid. I was temped to make this a free-standing post, but it triggered my stupid alarm, and doesn’t deserve it.
In Los Angeles, Boguslaw Matlak and Laura Quijano decided to stage a “social experiment” to determine whether bystanders would act to protect an endangered child. As their hidden cameras ran, they stuffed their 3-year-old son Leo into the trunk of their car. In truth, the back of the trunk had been rigged so Leo could climb into the back seat. He was in no danger.
“I was thinking maybe I should do a video to show people that they should do something about it when they see something wrong, to get involved,” Matlak said. They got involved, all right. Witnesses called the cops, who arrested the couple and took Leo into protective custody. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed the child with a relative. For the last three weeks, the couple has been trying to get him back.
“They are hurting my son emotionally at this point,” Quijano told reporters. “He’s not home with his parents who love him very much and what else do they want from us? I just don’t understand at this point.”
The agency recently informed the parents that it would would be returning Leo to their custody. Matlak now faces one count of misdemeanor child endangerment.
- Ethics lesson #1: Don’t use human beings as props.
- Ethics lesson #2: Three-year-olds can’t consent to such treatment.
- Ethics lesson #3: Police have enough to do dealing with real crimes. Staging fake ones to see what will happen should be illegal, if it isn’t already.
- What’s there to complain about? The social experiment was a success!
- Is proof that parents of a small child are idiots sufficient to remove him? No, I suppose not.
- The problem with this episode is that the child, who was innocent of wrong doing, is the primary one being punished.
Gary Allmon purchased the large digital billboard above on U.S. Highway 264 in Wake County, North Carolina to honor his son, Joshua. The message was on display for 10 days through June 12, the day of East Wakefield High’s graduation ceremony.
The school recently replaced valedictorians with the Latin honors ranking system used in colleges–summa, magna, cum—as a fairer and more accurate way to honor academic performance. Josh’s transcript shows him ranked as number one, and he felt robbed.
“It’s a stupid rule that will hurt students down the line, but it’ll accomplish their goal of making everyone feel equal,” he wrote on Twitter. He has a full scholarship to North Carolina State University to study chemical engineering. Continue reading
Celebrities have the opportunity to use their disproportionate and sometimes unexplainable fame to pass along good values, priorities and ethical habits to those who admire and follow them. The problem is that the U.S. culture’s current values are in a muddled state, with virtues sometimes being treated as embarrassments, and the enthusiastic embrace of non-ethical goals that once were regarded as the seven deadly sins are now often looked upon as the norm, and even appropriate. Here are some recent events in the strange world of celebrity values:
The Good: This headline on numerous web sources piqued my interest: “Dylan Sprouse Defends Restaurant Host Job.” Dylan Sprouse is a former Disney child star, a long time lead, with his brother, on the long-running “The Suite Life of Zach & Cody,” one of those loud, hyper-frenetic tween comedies that Disney and Nickelodeon acquire from some production company in Hell. Dylan was seen working in a restaurant, and this immediately spawned multiple rumors that he was broke, had blown through his millions, and was, in brief, a pathetic loser….because he has the same kind of job most American twenty-somethings fresh out of college would be thrilled to have.
Thus Dylan, who along with his brother decided to get out of the child star rat-race that has recently put Lindsay Lohan in rehab, Amanda Bynes in a mental health treatment facility and Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball, and start a more conventional life with a college education (at NYU). Sprouse decided to address the weird criticism being sent his way on social media and in the gossip blogs by writing, Continue reading
Maybe it was Mr. Peabody! No, wait, he's not from Alaska...
It was an Alaska plate, and I followed it all the way into Washington, D.C. this morning, gritting my teeth all the while. It read:
What kind of person puts a message like this on his or her car? It isn’t witty. It isn’t cute. It is gratuitously boastful, immodest, and lacking in humility. The message is very likely to annoy other drivers, as it did me, for its sheer bad taste and arrogance, and because displaying such a message is stupid in the extreme, it is also deceitful. The driver may indeed have an objectively high I.Q., but if so the message is literally true but misleading—-since anyone who would think this fact belongs on a license plate is an prima facie idiot.
Besides…if he’s so smart, why is he driving a 2003 Camry?
Last week, former President Jimmy Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams:
“I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents’. Primarily because of the activism and the — and the injection of working at the Carter Center and in international affairs, and to some degree, domestic affairs, on energy conservation, on — on environment, and things of that kind. We’re right in the midst of the — of the constant daily debate. And the Carter Center has decided, under my leadership, to fill vacuums in the world. When — when the United States won’t deal with troubled areas, we go there, and we meet with leaders who can bring an end to a conflict, or an end to a human rights abuse, and so forth. So I — I feel that I have an advantage over many other former presidents in being involved in daily affairs that have shaped the policies of our nation and the world.”
Many commentators felt that Carter’s self-annointment as the best post White House POTUS was unseemly at best, immodest and ungracious at worst. Continue reading