Tag Archives: Halloween costumes

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/11/2017: Words, Debt, And Costumes

Good morning from Richmond, Va.!

1 Passengers keep piling onto the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck:

  • Fashion designer Donna Karan, questioned about Weinstein at an event, said in part:

“I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women,” Karan said to the Daily Mail. “What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?”

Then she pointed to Weinstein’s achievements, and said Weinstein and his wife were “wonderful people.”

(Note to the designer: men who use their power to harass and assault women are not wonderful people by definition.)

After the predictable response to these idiotic comments, Karan protested that her quote was taken out of context, as if the context wasn’t Harvey Weinstein, and issued a low level apology that could only mean, “I’m deeply sorry I said something in public that reveals the miserable level of my values.”

  • Lindsay Lohan, currently in exile in Great Britain and Dubai, used social media to remind her fans in the US that she is, after all, a moron, writing on Instagram,

“I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now. I don’t think it’s right what’s going on….He’s never harmed me or did anything to me – we’ve done several movies together.I think everyone needs to stop – I think it’s wrong. So stand up.”

One of the real benefits of social media is that it reveals the total lack of ethics comprehension, reasoning ability and life competence that inflict so much of the public, including celebrities. With clarity of thought like that, is there any mystery regarding how the once rising star managed to mangle her career despite beauty, talent, and early success?

  • NBC was presented with the Weinstein story before it was broken by the New York Times, says Ronan Farrow, the author of a new Weinstein investigative piece in The New Yorker. The network hasn’t said why. Does it have to? Weinstein was close to both the Clintons and the Obamas, and the scandal directly implicates the Democratic party and its core supporters….like NBC. It is fascinating to watch cable and network anchors and guests desperately try to analogize Weinstein to President Trump, but the Hollywood mogul was enabled by self-righteous liberals and was given the King’s Pass (with an assist from the Saint’s Excuse) because he gave to Planned Parenthood and Hillary, making him, in Donna Karan’s words, “wonderful” by definition. The analogy is Bill Clinton, of course, and any journalist who refuses to acknowledge that has confessed crippling partisan bias.

2. This brings us to a quote by blogger Ann Althouse:

“My hypothesis is that liberals — including nearly everyone in the entertainment business — suppressed concern about sexual harassment to help Bill Clinton. Giving him cover gave cover to other powerful men, and the cause of women’s equality in the workplace was set back 20 years.”

Her hypothesis is correct, and I said so when the liberals, feminists, abortion zealots, artistic community and others circled their wagons around Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. This is one reason why Hillary’s campaign stance as standard-bearer for women’s rights and victims of sexual assault was so grotesque.

Here’s another quote from Althouse that I like:

“Who are the women who accepted the deal as offered by Harvey Weinstein? Will their names be kept out of the press? Should they?…

…So much silence facilitating so much harm! Should the women who took the bargain and got what they wanted out of it be regarded as victims and entitled to keep their names secret, or are they part of a system that hurt many others, and subject to outing.”

I’ve answered this question in various comments on previous posts, much to the unhappiness of readers who believe that victims who remains silent and thus allow evil to continue shouldn’t be criticized. The women are part of the system, and accountable. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions, Quotes, Social Media, U.S. Society, Workplace

The Professor’s Blackface Salute: An Ethics Mess

oregon-blackface-mashup

Halloween costumes, political correctness, law, privacy, and the Niggardly Principles—this one has it all.

Last Halloween, University of Oregon law professor Nancy Shurtz dressed as Dr. Damon Tweedy, the author of Black Men In A White Coat , as an homage to the African American physician and author. She did this at a Halloween party in her own home. Nobody at the party appeared to misunderstand the gesture or the intent of the costume, in part because she could explain it on the spot, and because they knew that Shurtz was no racist. Shurtz had also told the students who were invited that she would be “going as a popular book title,” hence the blackface, Afro wig, white coat, and  stethoscope.The university report on the episode states that Shurtz “was inspired by this book and by the author, that she greatly admires [the author] and wanted to honor him, and that she dressed as the book because she finds it reprehensible that there is a shortage of racial diversity, and particularly of black men, in higher education.”

But as always happens now because there is no such thing as a reasonable expectation of privacy even in one’s own home, reports of Shurtz in costume and make-up got out into the campus at large, and inflamed the predictable outrage. The university launched an investigation that culminated in a critical report prepared by an attorney and the university’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.  Shurtz issued an apology—for her private conduct within her own home that was pounced upon by Political Correctness Furies, since she appears to be one herself-–on November 1. Some of her colleagues on the faculty and many students demanded that she resign, and she may have to yet. Shurtz has been censored and suspended, and is now on paid leave. It being claimed that her wearing the costume–within her own home as a gesture that all agreed was intended as benign and that nobody at the party either objected to or failed to understand— created “a hostile environment” at the school. This is apparently because

“as part of the uproar, students said things of which the administration disapproved: The report specifically notes that students used “other offensive racially-based terminology during class times in the context of discussing this event and broader racial issues.” It related that “some of the witnesses reported that the students’ reactions to the event were racially insensitive or divisive.” And it apparently viewed such statements as relevant to whether Shurtz’s own speech was properly punished.”

The report, meanwhile, concludes that the costume constituted “harassment,” and that her intentions are irrelevant.

Writes First Amendment expert Prof. Eugene Volokh: Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Rights, U.S. Society

Ethics Quiz: Disney’s Maui Costume

maui

It’s a bit early for Halloween costume controversies , but the outrage machine is ever vigilant, and has provided a provocative ethics quiz, though not a difficult one if one isn’t the Headless Horseman.

Disney released a Halloween costume for kids that will allow tykes to dress up as the Polynesian demi-god Maui, a character in its new animated movie “Moana.” This is classic Disney cross-marketing, what Wells Fargo would call “cross-selling,” and what Elizabeth Warren would call “evil,” because it makes money for a big corporation. The difference is that Disney allows customers to actually purchase such products intentionally, while Wells Fargo charges customers for products without their knowing it.

Wait, how did I get off on Wells Fargo and Warren? Right: the next post. Sorry.

Back to Maui: The costume features a body-suit with thin brown material covered by traditional Polynesian tattoos, as well as a grass skirt and a plastic bone necklace. As soon as it was released on the web, the costume was attacked as racist (it’s the equivalent of blackface, critics say) and an example of cultural appropriation. Marama Fox, co-leader of New Zealand’s Maori Party, said that selling the costume is “no different to putting the image of one of our ancestors on a shower curtain or a beer bottle” while Pasifika news site Samoa Planet described the release as “cultural appropriation at its most offensive worst”.  The New Zealand Human Rights Commission issued a statement calling on Disney to “listen to the views of the communities and people whose cultures their movie is based upon.“ Translation: “Bend to our will, or else.”

Activist Chelsie Haunani Fairchild argued on Facebook that Disney was encouraging a children to wear “the skin of another race.”

“Polyface is Disney’s new version of blackface. Let’s call it like it is, people,” Fairchild argued in a video.

Oh, let’s!

Your Ethics Alarms (Ridiculously Early Halloween) Ethics Quiz of the Day is this:

Is there anything genuinely unethical about making, advertising, selling or wearing the Maui costume?

Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Marketing and Advertising, Race, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society

The University Of Missouri Football Players Boycott And The Campus Race Conflicts To Come

In 1967, it was called "Columbia"...

In 1967, it was called “Columbia”…

I have searched far and wide, and this appears to be the full extent of the alleged provocation for the revolt of black students against the president of the University of Missouri, Tim Wolfe:

Sept. 12: Missouri Students Association president Payton Head posts about a racial slur directed at him.

Payton Head, MU senior and president of MSA, renewed the dialogue about racism and the racial climate on the University’s Columbia campus after publishing a Facebook post about his first-hand experience with racism. The night before, Head said he was walking around campus when the passenger of a pickup repeatedly shouted the “N-word” at him.

Head’s statement went viral on social media, and many people shared their support of Head and frustration with MU’s response, or lack thereof, to his post. “I’d had experience with racism before, like microaggressions, but that was the first time I’d experienced in-your-face racism,” Head told a Missourian reporter.

Oct. 5: Legion of Black Collegians members are the targets of racial slurs by a man on campus.

Another instance of racism brought the racial climate on campus again to the attention of students and administrators.

The Legion of Black Collegians shared a letter on social media describing the group’s encounter with overt racism the night before. The group was rehearsing for a performance at Traditions Plaza when a “young man” talking on his cellphone walked up to the group. After being politely and repeatedly asked to leave, the man walked away but referenced LBC members using racial slurs.

That same day, MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin responded with a post of his own, acknowledging and condemning racism at MU.

“There was a silence that fell over us all, almost in disbelief that this racial slur in particular was used in our vicinity,” Naomi Collier, president of MU’s NAACP chapter and member of the LBC’s activities committee, wrote in the letter.

Oct. 8: Loftin announces mandatory online diversity training for faculty, staff and students, which is met with widespread skepticism.

The training came after a number of accounts of overt racism experience by students on campus, but was met with skepticism and suspicion.Jonathan Butler, MU graduate student and campus activist, wrote a letter to Loftin saying the training was “a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.”

More recently,  someone used human feces to draw a swastika inside Mizzou’s Gateway Hall. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, History, Race

Ethics Quiz: The Anti-Washington Redskins Activist’s Bob Marley Costume

The Native American in the middle is dressed as a famous Jamaican. Would it have been offensive if he dressed as Sitting Bull?

The Native American in the middle is dressed as a famous Jamaican. Would it have been offensive if he dressed as Sitting Bull?

Terry Rambler, chief of the San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona, has  been at the forefront of the effort to force The Washington Redskins, a privately owned NFL sports franchise, to change its name and logo of long-standing because both are allegedly racist. [ As I have made clear many times, the team’s name is not racist, as neither its origins nor current use suggest or imply racist intent, purpose or impact, and the team’s owner has a First Amendment right to call his team whatever he wants. The decades long political correctness stunt has gained more traction under the Obama administration, because the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats do not respect the Constitution or follow it when it gets in the way of its agenda. (See: drones, Obamacare, immigration, NSA domestic spying, harassment of reporters, IRS partisan activities, recess appointments, Libya bombing, selective prosecution,  putting government pressure on the Redskins to change its name, etc )

But I digress.

This year, Rambler’s Halloween costume was Jamaican musician Bob Marley, complete with dreadlocks, wig, and rasta beanie. He also wore appropriate make-up to look like Marley.

Here is what the chief looks like most days:

Terry

Here he is on Halloween as the Reggae icon…

Halloween Marley

The costume is making  Rambler the target of criticism from both sides of the controversy: Redskins defenders who view his make-up as “blackface” and thus hypocritical, and his own Team Political Correctness, which sees Rambler as engaging in the same kind of insensitive conduct they claim the Washington Redskins embody.

To make things worse for Rambler, there was another recent Bob Marley controversy in  Gaston County, (North Carolina), where a sheriff’s captain  apologized  for wearing dark make-up as part of her own Marley Halloween costume after her in-costume photo appeared online.

And thus your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Was the Native American activist’s Bob Marley make-up unethical or hypocritical?

Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Race, Rights

Halloween Wrap-Up: The Asshole Files

smashed pump

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood, but “Ethics Dunce” doesn’t quite do the conduct of these Halloween 2015 miscreants.

Tell me again why we bother with this holiday that was once supposed to be the one day a year the evil spirits come out to play. Every year it is clearer that Halloween and its related activities is a festival for assholes. For example..

Robert Ledrew of Blackwood, New Jersey

There has never been a confirmed case of a child being injured by poisoned or otherwise tampered with Halloween treats. The one case, a murder, that caused a long-running panic was the father who poisoned his own son’s candy to collect on his life insurance. I guess  Robert Ledrew felt that a new generation of kids needed to be convinced that adults are lurking psychopaths, so he posted images of needle-filled candy bars to his Facebook page and reported to the police. Later he explained that he was trying to teach  children to be check their candy. I saw the photos as CNN reported the candy as a real attack on children, with no skepticism whatsoever. The tone was, “Oh, no, not this again! How horrible.” I turned to my wife and said, “This is a hoax. It’s always a hoax. Why doesn’t CNN know that?”

Ledrow was later arrested and charged with making a false police report.

Happy Halloween, Fort Bragg!

A yet unnamed soldier attempted to enter Fort Bragg on Friday night dressed as a suicide bomber, complete with a fake vest of explosives. Understandably, there was”an emergency response.” Continue reading

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Filed under Facebook, Humor and Satire, War and the Military

KABOOM! “Energyween” On The Energy Dept. Website

energypumpkins

My greatest struggle in writing an ethics blog is to flag unethical conduct without sliding into political commentary. Explaining why Barack Obama is an atrocious and unethical leader need not involve political commentary, but many people assume that any criticism of  political figures or their policies are partisan and political. Now take the Affordable Care Act (Please!)—I have never argued pro or con about its substance. It’s the lousy ethics I care about. I object to the lying, the undemocratic way it was debated and passed, the incompetence of Congress voting for a huge and expensive bill no members read, the dishonesty of the title, the fact that it does not address the unsustainable rise in health care costs, the unethical manner in which the news media lobbied for it, the unconstitutional way that flaws in the law have been “fixed” by executive fiat rather  than by the legislature, the irresponsible debt the program will require, the incompetence of administering it…these are ethical issues, not political. It is the great weakness of party loyalty that these are not recognized as non-partisan issues.  Democrats should be as concerned about lying to get a progressive program passed as a conservative program.

Avoiding politics becomes even harder when I am confronted with a mind-blowing*example of ideological insanity like the Energy Department’s Energyween.gov page. It isn’t just that everything about it is ridiculous. The problem is that it is ridiculous, sinister, and exemplifies the left’s accelerating fondness for the methods and attitudes of totalitarian regimes, including the attempted infantilization of citizens, and a fondness for indoctrination. Some forms of government are unethical as well as unwise, among them being totalitarianism and socialism.

On Energyween, the celebration of Halloween, an activity that the government should not have any part in, is transformed into a something resembling an Obama Youth exercise with what is supposed to be a light-hearted tone, perhaps to put readers off the track. It seems to be an attempt to hijack Halloween and make it a political exercise, taking the holiday away from children and exploiting them for a political agenda. The Obama Administration has done this before, with its directive to true believers to use Thanksgiving to push Obamacare. That was despicable. This is much worse. Or perhaps much stupider. It’s hard to tell, as you will see.

Here are suggested designs for pumpkin carving, for example… Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Environment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Kaboom!, The Internet, Unethical Websites