1. Traffic here is cratering in the run-up to the 4th, guaranteeing that for one of the few months in Ethics Alarms history, June 2017 will have seen significantly less traffic than its previous year’s equivalent. 2017 and 2016 are now in a dead heat.
I have some theories: by this point last year the campaign was heating up, and I was being sufficiently critical of both parties and candidates to make everyone happy. Ethics Alarms also started getting a lot of those paid Hillary shills commenting; I banned more commenters in 2016 by far than any other year. Also because of the campaign, there were an unusual number of posts shared by hundreds and even thousands of readers, as well as a record number of the anomalous posts that double or even triple the daily average. Those, I have found, are completely unpredictable. What I consider important or especially astute essays almost never attract readership; the runaway posts are usually about something relatively trivial.
On the other hand, the blog has many more followers in 2017, more consistently high-quality comments, and, as my life partner continues to remind me with dagger glances, revenue is holding steady…
2. There was another Ethics Hero tale to tell yesterday, though the only one I had time for was the group in Texas that bought a car for a young fast-food worker.
Major League Baseball umpire John Tumpane, assigned to a Pittsburgh Pirate home series, was walking from his hotel to the ball park across the Roberto Clemente Bridge when he saw woman climb over the railing to the outside of the bridge. He decided to approach her, and in response to his queries, she told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below.
The look on her face and the tone of her voice told Tumpane otherwise, so he grabbed her and refused to obey her demands that she let her go…and jump. Another bystander saw what was going on and joined him, grabbing the woman’s free arm. A third grabbed her legs through the railing as Tumpane implored the gathering crowd to call 911. The three men held on until emergency responders arrived. Continue reading