Regarding Ariel Castro’s Suicide: Good!

GatesOfHell

I won’t go so far as to call him an Ethics Hero, but killing himself was probably the ethics highlight of Ariel Castro’s miserable, evil life.

The state of Ohio can’t navigate the moral-ethical logic necessary to execute a monster like Castro ( I see nothing ethical or moral about preventing society from making a crime like his just cause for capital punishment), so Castro took matters into his own hands and did the right thing.

Good.

Oh, I agree that the state has an obligation to do everything it can to prevent a prisoner from doing harm to himself, just as it would have an obligation to let Castro have gender reassignment treatment (though I am amused by wondering whether the advocates for Bradley Manning would be as vociferous if the subject was a sick rapist-kidnapper rather than a popular traitor). But I don’t want to pay my tax dollars to keep the likes of Ariel Castro in food, lodging and medical care, and I doubt many Ohio taxpayers do either. Taking himself out was an ethical act all around for Castro: we benefit, the system benefits, justice is served, and Castro is dead, all the better to make sure some future regime of touchy-feely uber-humanists don’t declare all sentences over 20 years as “cruel” or Ohio jails don’t become California Crowded, resulting in an elderly Castro being released to do the talk show circuit and star in a documentary.

Was his act cowardly? I heard an angry pundit declare so today, but I don’t feel we have any way of knowing that. Personally, I’d rather keep living, even in prison, than kill myself. I don’t really care if it was cowardly or not. They guy was a serial rapist-kidnapper-torturer, and his memory is supposed to be further stained by “And he was a coward, too”?

Is it’s a sin? I don’t think killing Ariel Castro can possibly be a sin…even if the killer is Ariel Castro.

A wiser society should have ended Castro’s life.

He did us all a favor by doing it on his own.

Thank you, Ariel!

Now go to Hell.

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Facts: Columbus Dispatch

Comment of the Day: “Ethics Dunce: Fox News”

Bradley then, Chelsea now.

Bradley then, Chelsea now.

Responding sharply to a commenter’s expressed criticism of the argument that convicted classified data leaker Bradley, now Chelsea, Manning, sentenced to Federal prison and seeking treatment as a trans-gendered female, ought to have his treatment needs served by prison authorities at public cost, Ethics Alarms’ own expert on such matters (from Australia), provided this fascinating overview of U.S. law and medical ethics on the topic. Here is zoebrain’s Comment of the Day on the recent post flagging Fox News’ juvenile mockery of Manning’s gender issues, Ethics Dunce: Fox News:

“There are two disputes here. The first is whether prisoners have a right to medical treatment, and if so, to what degree.I’ll deal with that first.

“Brown v. Plata 131 S.Ct. 1910 (2011):  “To incarcerate, society takes from prisoners the means to provide for their own needs. Prisoners are dependent on the State for food, clothing, and necessary medical care. A prison’s failure to provide sustenance for inmates “may actually produce physical ‘torture or a lingering death.’ ” ….Just as a prisoner may starve if not fed, he or she may suffer or die if not provided adequate medical care. A prison that deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society.” Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Fox News

Who approved the playing of Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” over photos of convicted Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning in uniform and in feminine make-up and garb? Fire him.

This isn’t professional, and it isn’t the proper role of journalists to mock the gender identity issues of public or private individuals. Fox is playing to the worst of its core conservative audience, the gay- and trans-hating troglodytes, and thus embraces bigotry as reasonable and humorous. Manning’s sexual problems are of tangential news value, and to the extent that they are, they should be treated with sensitivity and respect, with Fox’s goal being to educate its audience, not to play playground tease.

It would be impressive and appropriate if one of the more responsible, independent Fox on-air personalities—Shep Smith? Megyn? O’Reilly?—would chide their network for this. They should be embarrassed.

 

If President Obama Is So Smart, Why Does He Keep Doing the Same Dumb, Unethical Thing?

I have written before, more than once, about President Obama’s astonishingly flat learning curve regarding what is and is not appropriate subject matter for the nation’s Chief Executive to render public opinions about. Without knowing the facts, he has denigrated a local policeman’s handling of a difficult and racially charged situation; he has rendered opinions on state governance matters that are not the federal government’s proper concern; he has warped public opinion by condemning a state law while misrepresenting its provisions. He has criticized citizen critics and media figures by name, something that is almost unprecedented for a president. He has declared corporations negligent or guilty in matters that had not been fully investigated, before any lawsuits or charges had been filed.  He took sides in a purely local dispute over the location of an Islamic center near the 9/11 scene, and he even injected himself into NBA star Lebron James’ free agency, suggesting that he should consider Obama’s home town Chicago Bulls.

Flat, flat, flat. Continue reading

Julian Assange: Not a Hero, Not a Terrorist, Not a Criminal, Just an Asshole

I know. Well, sometimes a vulgar word is the most accurate we have.

Our definition of journalism has yet to catch up with the cyber age, and freedom of speech does not distinguish among blogs, newspapers and dissidents. What ensures responsible use of First Amendment rights is ethics, not law. America allows journalists to act as information laundries, taking material that a private citizen was bound not to reveal by law, contract, or professional duty, and to re-define it to the world as what “the public has a right to know,” defined any way the particular journalist finds appealing.

Despite all the fulminating and condemnations by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich on the Sunday talk shows, the U.S. can’t make Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a terrorist just by calling him one, nor can it fairly declare him a criminal for accepting the product of the unethical and often illegal acts of leakers, and making it public, just like the New York Times has done on many occasions…not under current laws.  Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who leaked many of the secret documents, is certainly a criminal. So was Daniel Ellsberg, who, to nobody’s surprise, is cheering Assange on and attacking his critics. . Assange, however, is not a criminal. He has not revealed any information that he accepted in trust while  promising not to reveal it. He is no more a criminal than the New York Times, if the New York Times was published in Hell. Continue reading