REALLY Late Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/12/18: The Mean Edition!

Okay, it’s way past morning. Couldn’t be helped.

1. You know, like the Democrats and feminists didn’t like Brett Kavanaugh…In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a group of five high school girls confessed to targeting a boy with false sexual assault allegations just because they “don’t like him.” Now the boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alicia Flood, have filed a lawsuit claiming that Seneca Valley High School students in Pittsburgh “conspired in person and via electronic communication devices to falsely accuse [their son] of sexual assault on two occasions.”  They are suing the girls’ parents, the school district and the Butler County District Attorney’s office. Why the DA? Because it has refused to charge the girls, and why should it? They should have been believed, right?

2. Pssst! LA? This is unconstitutional. I guarantee it. In Los Angeles, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring city contractors who have ties to the National Rifle Association to disclose them. “Are you now or have you ever been a member….?”

3. Tales of the Slippery Slope. Hey, if high school conduct is fair game, why not the third grade? The Hollywood Reporter published a tell-all by White House advisor Stephen Miller’s third grade teacher, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Nikki Fiske. She told tales out of school about when Miller was her student at  Franklin Elementary School, revelations designed, of course, to show that a weird kid grew into a Trump-abetting monster. He ate glue! He was messy!

Fiske was pulled from her classroom and is now on paid leave until the school district decides what to do with her. The  concern is “about her release of student information, including allegations that the release may not have complied with applicable laws and district policies,” district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said.“This has been picked up by other digital publications and blogs, and some issues have been raised.”

Ya think? Continue reading

Sunday Ethics Reflections, 8/5/2018: Abdication, Arrogance, Airbrushing

1. If you want to seed a civil war, this is how you do it…Why is this incredible story just an item on the daily ethics potpourri? For one thing, I don’t see why much commentary is necessary, or should be. I don’t typically  write about robberies or murders, or other outright unethical acts that all but the worst sociopaths can recognize in a trice as unethical.  I feel the same way about this, from the Wall Street Journal:

A mob surrounded ICE’s office in Southwest Portland June 19. They barricaded the exits and blocked the driveway. They sent “guards” to patrol the doors, trapping workers inside. At night they laid on the street, stopping traffic at a critical junction near a hospital. Police stayed away. “At this time I am denying your request for additional resources,” the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief, Robert Day, wrote to federal officers pleading for help. Hours later, the remaining ICE workers were finally evacuated by a small federal police team. The facility shut down for more than a week. Signs called ICE employees “Nazis” and “white supremacists.” Others accused them of running a “concentration camp,” and demanded open borders and prosecution of ICE agents. Along a wall, vandals wrote the names of ICE staff, encouraging others to publish their private information online.

Federal workers were defenseless. An ICE officer, who asked that his name not be published, told me one of his colleagues was trailed in a car and confronted when he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp. Later people showed up at his house. Another had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the “Gestapo.”

Where were the police? Ordered away by Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who doubles as police commissioner. “I do not want the @PortlandPolice to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track,” he tweeted. “If [ICE is] looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place.”

The phrase, “particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track” mandates impeachment on its face. It is not the mayor’s proper role to decide who deserves the protection of the city against lawbreakers. “There is no place for personal, political bias when it comes to providing public safety services to our communities,” Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner said in a statement on Facebook. “In that respect, our Mayor, who is also our Police Commissioner, has failed miserably.”

Also:

  • How many readers of Ethics Alarms saw broadcast news accounts of this incident and the Portland mayor’s conduct? It is the tendency to set out to bury and hide the worst examples of progressive and resistance excess that is the smokiest of smoking guns showing the degree to which journalists are actively attempting to indoctrinate and mislead rather than inform.
  • Do the citizens of Portland really condone this?

Continue reading

Q: What Do You Get When You Cross Human Arrogance, Virtue Signalling, And Cruelty To Animals? A: A Vegan Animal Shelter

“You’re kidding, right? You don’t actually expect me to eat this crap. do you?”

Here’s my latest theory:  California progressives have decided that they can adopt any left-sounding idea, no matter how crazy, and get away with it, so sometimes they propose these things just to see if there’s nothing Californians won’t accept if it has the right progressive label.  That’s the only explanation I can come up with for this story.

A proposal pending before the Los Angeles City Board of Animal Services Commissioners would make the city’s animal shelters the first vegan system in the nation. That’s right: the dogs in the city’s care  would be placed on a strict vegan diet. Maybe the idea is to have the dogs beg to be euthanized.

Supporters  include musician and animal rights activist Moby and the most unethical feminist lawyer in captivity, Lisa Bloom, who want to make L.A. shelter dogs “the vanguard of a meat-free movement.” Commissioner Roger Wolfson, a Hollywood screenwriter, was the genius behind the proposal, which he justifies by his desire to bring down the meat industry and his belief the “feeding animals to animals” is unethical.

Yes, he’s an idiot.

“We have to embrace the fact that the raising and killing of animals for food purposes must only be done if we have absolutely no other choice,” Wolfson said at the council meeting debating the issue. meeting. “This is about the long-term survival of every man, woman and child in this room, and all of the people in our lives.”

In other words, screw the dogs, this is about politics and exploiting animals for a progressive human agenda. Got it.

Is it too late for me to propose feeding the dogs illegal immigrants? KIDDING! Jeez, nobody has a sense of humor about anything these days…. Continue reading

Does The Naked Teacher Principle Apply To A Porn Star Teacher Whose Students Don’t Know What Porn Is?

The Ethics Alarms Naked Teacher Principle states:

A secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result.

Various discussions  f the NTP can be found here. [The original post on the topic is on the old Ethics Scoreboard, which is down at the moment thanks to an incompetent web hosting operation. It will be back soon, or there will be blood….]

Now we have the borderline case of a kindergarten teacher—that’s primary school, not secondary school—who is a proud porn performer as a second occupation.

Nina Skye is a preschool teacher at a religious school in Los Angeles and decided to go public—with Fox News, of all places—with her secret double life moonlighting in the adult film industry.

“I love teaching. I love sex. If I can get away with doing both, then I will,” Nina says. “I know what I’m doing when it comes to teaching, I’m a really good teacher.”  On the other hand, “It’s easy money. For my very first scene, I just did a regular boy on girl and I got paid $2,500 on the spot.”

Skye’s explanation about why she is revealing her passion at the risk of her teaching? “I guess some people are really tied by that moral code, ” she says.  “There’s a really big stigma associated with it, and how our society views it, but that’s not how I am… I’m really open-minded. Super open-minded and not judgemental.” Continue reading

“The Good Immigrant” III, or Fake News? The Incredible Sobbing 13-Year Old

A 13-Year-Old Girl Sobbed While Recording Her Immigrant Father Get Arrested By ICE Agent  is the headline at Buzzfeed. Wait, teenage girls weeping is news now? Was she the only teen sobbing this week? How is this news, by any standard?

Of course, it’s headline worthy if the objective is to provoke an emotional reaction rather than to inform the public objectively. In fact, nothing about the story is newsworthy, except as pr0-illegal immigration, anti-law enforcement, anti-President Trump propaganda and hate-mongering. Illegal immigrant and scofflaw Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez had dropped his daughter off at a Los Angeles school, and six blocks from the school his car was surrounded by immigration enforcement agents who took him into custody, just as law enforcement takes law-breakers into custody every hour of every day of the week.  Gonzalez had a 2014 deportation order against him issued by an immigration judge, and violated it every day he spent in the U.S., masquerading as a law-abiding citizen, since then.  He also had a 2009 DUI conviction. This wasn’t even a close call.

I’m pretty sure the children of gang members, drug dealers, muggers and serial killers also sob when daddy is taken away, and while I feel sorry for the children,  it doesn’t make me want to let their fathers go free, it doesn’t mean we should change the laws, and it isn’t news. 

ICE said Avelica-Gonzalez is scheduled to be deported to Mexico, where he was supposed to have returned three years ago. This isn’t cruel, this isn’t unfair, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Brenda Avelica, a different daughter from the one heard sobbing on the viral video of her father’s arrest—YES! It really happened! The girl SOBBED! Film at 11!— said that her father has been in the US for 20 years and has four children, two of them adults.

So?

“It’s really hard what we’re going through,” Avelica told reporters. “I never thought we’d actually go through something like this. It’s terrible to feel and see your family being broken apart.”

Let me fix that for her. It’s terrible to finally have the law catch up to you when you are guilty as hell. The James brothers said that, I think. Maybe it was Bonny and Clyde. Or Bernie Maddoff. ICE agents are not the bad guys here. The elected officials, activists, and journalists who want us to think that, however, are. Very bad. Continue reading

Ethics Hero: “Mama Betty”

pitchess

In Los Angeles, six thousands of LA County prisoners are housed in Pitchess Detention Center, which is 50 miles from the inner city neighborhoods where most of the prisoners there live. Using public transportation, which is what most friends and family members must use to reach Pitchess, the journey can take up to five hours to visit an inmate for 30 minutes, through a glass window, with no physical contact. The closest bus stop is a mile away from the jail, and at the bottom of a steep hill.

For five years, a woman named Betty Peters, now 76, has picked up visitors at that bus stop and driven them to the prison. She also waits for the women (mostly) to finish their visits, and drives them back to the bus stop. The grateful visitors know her as “Mama Betty.”

This is an act of pure compassion and kindness, and not without its risks. If a visitor tries to smuggle in contraband, drugs or a weapon,Betty could be prosecuted as an accomplice. Nor does she know the character of those whom she ferries from the jail to the bus and back. Might she be at risk of harm herself? I would assume so. Those with criminals as friends and associates are more likely to be criminals themselves.

I hope this story has a happy ending, because every time kindness like this is returned with cruelty and exploitation, the number of Mama Bettys among us is diminished, and our society becomes a little more meaner, more callous, and less ethical.

Ethics Alarms salutes Betty Peters as an Ethics Hero…and worries.

You can hear a podcast about Mama Betty here.

________________

Pointer: Fred.

It’s Gender Issues Confusion Monday! PART 1: Observations On “Sweatergate”…You Know, One Of Those Stupid Social Media Controversies That Has Some Genuine Issues Buried Inside

SWaetergate

The 8 a.m. Saturday broadcast on KLTA in Los Angeles area featured  Liberté Chan in a black, shimmery, shoulder-baring  cocktail dress, giving her report on the day’s weather. Suddenly, weekend anchor Chris Burrous’s arm appeared on the side of the screen, holding a gray cardigan sweater.

“What’s going on?” she said. “You want me to put this on? Why? Cause it’s cold in here?”

“We’re getting a lot of emails,” came the offstage voice of her male colleague. Then his hands placed the cardigan on Chan.

“There you go,” he said. “That’s nice.”

“OK. I look like … a librarian,” she says.

Whereupon social media “erupted,” as the current cliche goes, with many on Facebook, Twitter and whatever else there is out there in the social media jungle condemning the station for sexism. Others insisted that Chan’s cocktail dress was inappropriate attire, sending a message that “The Weather Girl is just eye candy, like the women in bikinis at boxing matches.”

Chan, in a post on her own blog, had this to offer…

I …didn’t think there was anything that inappropriate (the beads/sequins were probably a little much for the morning, but what girl doesn’t like something that sparkles?!), so I played along and put on the sweater.

That prompted a barrage of tweets and more emails from viewers, some of which I included below.

To be perfectly honest, the black beaded dress was a backup.  The pattern on my original black and white dress didn’t work on the weather wall (for some reason, it turned semi-transparent), so after my first weather hit at 6am, I changed.

For the record, I was not ordered by KTLA to put on the sweater.  I was simply playing along with my co-anchor’s joke, and if you’ve ever watched the morning show, you know we poke fun at each other all the time.

And, also for the record, there is no controversy at KTLA. My bosses did not order me to put on the cardigan, it was a spontaneous moment..  I truly love my job, I like my bosses and enjoy working with my coworkers.  Since talking to my team, I want our viewers to know it was never our intention to offend anyone. We are friends on and off the air and if you watch our newscast, you know that. More importantly, I hope my viewers were able to plan their Saturday once they heard my forecast and enjoyed the sunny weather after the clouds cleared.

Observations:

1. I was just watching MLB’s Heidi Watney on “Quick Pitch,” where she reviews the highlights of all the baseball games of the previous day, standing up in the middle of a studio. She was wearing a shoulders-baring cocktail dress much flashier than Chan’s,  my wife, not for the first time with Heidi, went nuts, complaining how the outfit was unprofessional and demeaning to women. She has similar reactions to the outfits of the Fox Blondes, and my favorite of the breed, Robin Meade, who frequently looks like she just returned from a wild night after a Vegas party. Is this kind of attire unprofessional? Well, it depends, doesn’t it? It depends if the job being done is seen as informational or  performance. If  it’s performance, then a costume is appropriate. If it is a professional conveyance of information to an audience only, a sound argument can be made that professional attire enhances trustworthiness.

Here’s a typical Heidi outfit: Continue reading

Ethics Dunces: Professor Robert Donald Weide, And Any University That Employs Him

crushing dissentThe results of the Curmie Award vote are up at Curmudgeon Central, where blogger Rick Jones tracks episodes of supreme embarrassment for his profession, education. I think next year’s winner may have already arrived. It’s not that I can’t imagine worse conduct by an educator—I have a lively imagination—it’s just that the conduct California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) professor Robert Donald Weide is an apt symbol of why U.S. higher education is no longer a solution to anything, but a tragic problem in itself. There is no reason, none, why any school shouldn’t immediately sack a faculty member who behaves like this. If the issue is tenure, then tenure needs to be abolished. Tenure should not shield campus fascists.

What did Weide do? CSULA’s branch of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative political organization, dared to invite Ben Shapiro to give a lecture called “When Diversity Becomes a Problem” about such emerging issues as Black Lives Matter, “microaggressions,” “safe spaces,”  trigger warnings and other assaults on free speech on campuses and elsewhere. Naturally, since the topic is an important and legitimate one, many at CSULA are attacking the event and arguing it should be blocked by the university, citing trigger warnings, safe spaces,  microaggressions, and, of course, the ever-useful censorship concept of “hate speech.”

Perhaps here is as good a place as any to note that I wouldn’t cross the street to listen to Ben Shapiro, and wouldn’t do so even before his website, Breitbart, decided to shill for Donald Trump. That, however, doesn’t alter the fact that he is every bit as worthy of a campus speaking gig as Lena Dunham, Bernie Sanders, Sean Penn, or the Pope. Continue reading

The Nurturing Of Race Hate, Part Two: The Daniele Watts Saga

daniele-watts

Last September, African-American actress Daniele Watts (“Django Unchained”) engaged in lewd, if non-felonious, public conduct, then exploited the tensions arising out of Ferguson to claim victim status, police harassment and race prejudice. When the police were exonerated by the recording of her arrest and she was ordered to apologize by a judge (and asked to apologize by civil rights leaders, who were embarrassed after they rallied to her support only to find that she had played the race card without  justification), she failed—twice—to deliver a sincere apology. She is defiant and intoxicated by her martyrdom, another young African American who has been convinced of her entitlement to be an anti-white racist.

To appreciate the tale, we have to go back to September 11, 2014, when the actress and her white boyfriend, a “celebrity chef,” were visibly engaged in sexual conduct in their car in broad daylight on an LA street. Neighbors complained—we have not yet reached the point where rutting in public is legal and acceptable, but give progressives time—and police responded. Naturally, as this was at the height of the Ferguson controversy, the news media immediately reported the story as more police harassment of black citizens, this time for “kissing while black.” Here’s a typical account from  September 14: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month (Lawyer Representing A Hypocritical And Unethical Client Division): Keith Wyatt

“She lied to her mother so she could have sex with her teacher. She went to a motel in which she engaged in voluntary consensual sex with her teacher. Why shouldn’t she be responsible for that?”

—-Lawyer Keith Wyatt, L.A. Unified School District’s trial attorney who successfully defended it in a law suit by the family of a middle school girl who had been engaged in a six month sexual relationship with her math teacher. The girl’s family claimed the district negligently permitted the teacher’s criminal conduct to occur and that the teacher’s exploitation of the girl had caused emotional damage to their daughter. Wyatt also told a radio interviewer that it was a more dangerous for a 14-year-old to cross a street in traffic than to have sex with her middle-school teacher.

Yes, he’s an idiot.

Yeah, those middle school tarts all want it, right, Keith?

Yeah, those middle school tarts all want it, right, Keith?

The school district fired him, disavowing and apologizing for his comments. Yet they were willing to let Wyatt argue in court—on the school’s behalf, remember— that a 14-year-old middle school student was mature enough to consent to having sex with her 28-year-old teacher, and that she shared responsibility for what happened. Wyatt introduced the girl’s sexual history into evidence as proof of his client’s lack of culpability.

There is nothing wrong or unethical about Wyatt’s tactics in the trial itself. State law is weird in this area—this is California, after all, home of Hollywood, Roman Polanski fans, Woody Allen enablers, Miley Cyrus and the Kardashians—for while the age of consent is 18 in criminal cases, two appellate court rulings have held that the argument that a minor can consent to sex with an adult is permissible in civil law suits. He did what the law permitted him to do in defense of his client. That’s not just ethical lawyering, it is at the core of legal ethics. The argument won. Wyatt did what he was trained to do, paid to do, and obligated to do if he agreed to take the case

However, it is a revolting and irresponsible argument for any school or school district to make. Wyatt should have made this clear, and maybe he did (though that quote doesn’t support such a supposition.) Who in their right mind–well, OK, this is L.A.–would send their child to a school system that takes the position that a 14-year-old student is responsible when she is raped by her 28-year-old teacher, and that she’s really not being harmed if he does? The teacher, Elkis Hermida, was convicted of lewd acts against a child and sentenced in July 2011 to three years in state prison.  Continue reading