Fine, You Loved Your Maniac Son. Now Shut The Hell Up, Mom!

There is a point where loyalty, unconditional love and bias-born blindness can no longer be tolerated nor excused, and Adriana Reyes, the mother of mass murderer Salvador Ramos, reached that point and passed it.

Her various efforts to defend her now fortunately dead son or to mitigate his incomprehensible crimes do nothing but harm. They contribute just this to understanding of the tragedy: Ramos was raised by a stupid, distracted mother with the ethical instincts of a sea sponge. Thanks, Adriana, but we kind of figured that out. We don’t need the reminders.

Reyes has now said…

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The Tattooed Baby

Ick or Ethics?

Shamekia Morris, a fashion designer from West Palm Beach, started putting temporary tattoos on her son Treylin when he was six months old. Now she shares photos of her decorated baby with thousands of fans on social media.

She is, as you would guess, covered with tattoos herself. To her critics, she replies that it’s her lifestyle and her baby, and she’ll do with both as she pleases.

You know. Choice!

It may be icky, but this is definitely unethical. She’s using her baby as promotion, an involuntary human canvas, and a means to the end of getting web traffic, all without his consent or understanding. Her exploitation of her child is dehumanizing and disrespectful, as well as selfish.

The question such a parent should ask herself is, “How will my child feel about so many strangers seeing these photos when he’s old enough to understand?” The answer is that there is no way to tell, which means that the only ethical course is to err on the side of caution, minimizing the likelihood of harm.

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Source: Oddity Central

Morning Ethics Warm-Up: Hoaxes, Hoaxes Everywhere…

Still thinking about today’s “factcheck” post...I have noticed that Snopes, which has endured some scandals of late and is fundraising to stay afloat, has been trying to signal objectivity by choosing some anti-conservative, anti-Republican falsehood to “factcheck.” This one was amusing: Snopes felt it had to factcheck whether this obvious hoax Christmas card was genuine…

trump-christmas-card-duty2warn

..writing, “In early December 2021, former U.S. President Donald Trump appeared in a Christmas card with a festive and quite phallic design. The image was shared heavily by left-leaning and anti-Trump social media accounts. The @duty2warn Twitter account claimed: ‘Yes, this is real.’” Of course, Snopes rules the assertion “False.” Only the most deranged of the deranged could think Trump would send out such a thing. Besides the badly photoshopped “phallic” tux, the card is dark, ugly, he’s scowling, the fonts don’t match, and the Santa sleigh drawing looks like a shower head spewing water on Trump’s head. Snopes’ partisan propaganda can’t work if nobody trusts it, so they have to try to throw in an occasional genuine factcheck that supports their usual targets now and then. Don’t be fooled.

1. On Bob Dole…Dole’s death and the (somewhat surprising) outpouring of praise from all sources for his long public service and wit made me retroactively happy and relieved that when I had a chance opportunity to pay Dole my respects, I acted. The story is here, from 2018. I will remember that encounter, and Dole, whenever the unexpected occasion arises to express personal thanks and appreciation to someone I don’t see very often. The lesson is to not hesitate, and do it.

2. There is hope…Jussie Smollett was convicted. Several commentators on Smollett’s ridiculously dishonest testimony in his fraud trial expressed worries that he would be acquitted, O.J.-style, because he is black and a celebrity. No, he was convicted, and pretty quickly too. Hate crime hoaxes are destructive, and if we are going to have special punishment for so-called hate crimes, then hate crime hoaxes should carry equivalent penalties.

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Boxing Day Ethics Warm-Up, 2020: A Tip, An Obituary, A Prank, A Tell, And A Slug

Gifts

Now this is a dedicated grandmother: my sister, who has been risk-averse her whole life, and who is my model of a Wuhan virus phobic, bought a used Winnebago, loaded up her old Havanese, and drove from Virginia to Los Angeles to spend Christmas and another three weeks with her son, his wife, and their seven month-old daughter. On the way cross country she parked her vehicle outside the homes of a series of strangers she was connected to by friends and friends of friends. Amazing.

1. There seem to be a few of these Christmas Ethics Heroes every year. In Bartonsville, Illinois, an occasional restaurant customer on Christmas Eve morning left a 2,000 dollar tip—in cash—for the 19-person staff of the Bartonsville diner. The man didn’t even leave his full name, just “Tony,” though he is apparently the son of a regular who joined him for breakfast. “He just said, ‘Merry Christmas,'” the owner told reporters. “How generous of somebody to do that, especially somebody who doesn’t come in that often. Nobody was expecting it, that’s for sure.”

2. How do you write an obnoxious obituary? Here’s how you write an obnoxious obituary. The Lagacy.com. entry for Grace McDonough, who died on December 21, concludes with this gratuitous and graceless—no pun intended—text:

The actions and inactions of the United States government regarding the Covid-19 virus has caused Grace McDonough and thousands of other nursing home residents to lose their lives to the Covid -19 virus. These same residents had successfully fought and won great battles against other diseases and conditions and yet were placed in harm’s way during the pandemic. These frail, elderly, sick and vulnerable innocents were not protected by the government they supported, fought for, contributed to and now depended on. Shame on the United States government! We, as their loved ones, have the right to be profoundly sad and profoundly angry at the same time. May our loved ones now rest in peace. It is the least they deserve.

Grace was 95 years old. She lived in a nursing home, where residents are in close confinement and where pandemic infections were and are especially deadly. Attributing the death of a 95-year-old on the undefined “actions and inactions” of the government demonstrates a) a dangerous gullibility to Democratic propaganda b) denial of reality and c) the continuation of  what is probably a pattern of looking for someone to blame for every misfortune. Fark, the humorous news aggregator website infected itself with predictable leftist bias, termed the obituary “fierce.” I would call it signature significance indicating a family teeming with jerks.

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Shocked—SHOCKED!— That Feminists Are Being Hypocritical In Their Criticism Of Amy Coney Barrett

The Evil HR Lady flagged the latest example of flagrant hypocrisy from progressive women in this politics drenched year, the worst being the sudden disappearance of any concern about sexual harassment with President trump being opposed by a serial practitioner even if you don’t believe the former staffer who has “credibly” accused him of finger-rape. You will recall similar criticism launched at Sarah Palin.

Here’s feminist writer Vanessa Grigoriadis:

I guess one of the things I don’t understand about Amy Comey Barrett is how a potential Supreme Court justice can also be a loving, present mom to seven kids? Is this like the Kardashians stuffing nannies in the closet and pretending they’ve drawn their own baths for their kids…And if there aren’t enough hours in the day for her to work and mother those kids, when she portrays herself as a home-centered Catholic who puts family over career, isn’t she telling a lie?

Fellow feminist and progressive writer Meaghan Daum replies on Twitter

I wonder this, too. It may be sexist to ask the question, but childcare arrangements are usually inherently sexist. Is Barrett’s husband the primary caregiver? He’s a partner in a law firm. Are the older kids raising the younger kids, one of whom has special needs?…The problem is, it’s a setup. Because if people start asking about that, she and/or her supporters will say “would you ask this of a man, even a man whose wife has a big career outside the home?” Well, probably not. But just because it’s unfair doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking.

They get away with this convenient bigotry because they are women and their target is a conservative. No male could make such criticisms, and if any conservative dared to question Democrat-nominated female judge with such observations, the long knives would be out and sharpened.

Rachel Malehorn on the always excellent human resources blog is having none of it, writing,

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“If Someone Like Myka Stauffer Can Be A Paid ‘Influencer,’ What Does It Take NOT To Be Influential?” And Other Mysteries Of The 21st Century

Quick: guess which kid they “rehomed”….

Here’s a another one: What the hell am I doing wrong?

Myka Stauffer is a so-called “online influencer,” meaning that she has such a huge following on social media that companies pay her to promote their products. Apparently being a social influencer has nothing to do with being smart, wise, ethical or a benefit to society. We know that because such wastes of DNA like the Kardashians are paid influencers—imagine making life decisions based on the recommendations of Kyie Jenner—but at least they have a TV show and have also demonstrated the ability to become rich with no discernible talent whatsoever.  That’s something, at least.

Stauffer is a much bigger mystery. I read a profile of her, and am still flummoxed. She has around 700,000 YouTube followers and 200,000 Instagram followers because…why? Her mother had her when she was 16. “I got to go to some really cool parties [and] I got to go to a bunch of concerts, which is a perk of having younger parents,” she says. Otherwise  her childhood was “basic, regular,”  and she loved everything about it until her mom told  her that her  dad was not her biological father.  “The next day I lost my virginity. I had planned to save myself for marriage. It wasn’t even a question in my mind,” says Stauffer. “When my identity was flipped upside down, everything went out the window.” Then she was grounded for an entire year as punishment, which gave her “lot of opportunity for self-growth.”  Then Stauffer found religion…oh, never mind, you can read the whole banal story here if your sock drawer is in order. Her second husband is a car detailer, and she’s a vegan. And an inexplicably large, gullible audience of infantilized women with empty lives and the brain pans of grackles look to her for guidance about what to wear and buy.

This is the quality of character they now know they can expect: After documenting on YouTube and Instagram her successful efforts to adopt an autistic little boy, she and her husband decided to “rehome” him,  using the term typically reserved for rotten pet owners who decide to get rid of a  dog or cat. It’s a euphemism, of course. What she is doing is giving away her son, because he’s just too much darn trouble if you’re going to get all those Instagram posts and videos out. Continue reading

From Australia, A Cancel Culture Chapter That I Don’t Understand At All

The above cartoon is the work of Michael Leunig, an Australian cartoonist of some note. Apparently the drawing got him into serious trouble with the social media and political correctness mobs Down Under. Color me completely bewildered, mate.

I have always regarded Australia as a having an admirably  rough, honest, brutally independent and common sense-based culture. Apparently I’m missing something; maybe one of Ethics Alarms’ Australian readers can explain what. (There have been about 24,000 views of the blog there so far this year; Australia is the second largest source of Ethics Alarms readers outside the U.S., after Canada.)

Because of the cartoon, Leunig, who has been creating cartoons professionally to express political and social commentary for half a century, is being threatened with cultural “cancellation.” He writes in part that the drawing has “brought so much hostile public reaction that I began to lie awake at night wondering why I had followed such a troubled, painful and precarious career path….

…[To]be so hated, insulted, slandered in the public domain for this – as I was – is indeed a dismal fate for the lone cartoonist. It speaks volumes about the current condition of civil society and tolerance. This is bigotry. The malice has been astounding and so extreme that it has plunged me into a deep contemplation about the nature of angry hatred. Indeed, I am coming to the view that there is an emerging new form of hatred in society which might be more of a mental illness than a passing emotion. Perhaps I would call it “free-floating, obsessive compulsive hatred”.

His son wrote of the effect on the cartoonist’s family: Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/8/2010: Daylight Savings Time Edition”

When Still Spartan is in a substantive commenting mood here attention must be paid, since you never know she will grace us with her perspective again. This Comment of the Day was really a comment on a comment, in this case mine.

I wrote, admittedly hyperbolically, “I will note that the Sanders-Warren-Klobuchar call for free child care for all is meant to ensure that as many kids as possible are raised by non-parents and illegal aliens. And no, I do not think that is a good thing.” While acknowledging that the statement was designed to explode heads, I won’t retract it, as breaking up the close family unit and having children raised beyond the influence of parents is a long-standing tool of leftward conversion, and we have a movement afoot to allow illegal aliens work and frolic here without interference, and the same ideological source places workplace competition with men above parenting as a priority for all women.

However, Still Spartan’s retort was, as usual, well-reasoned and properly sharp. Here is her Comment of the Day on the post, “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/8/2010: Daylight Savings Time Edition.”

I, incidentally, am half-Spartan. Still.

Comments like this is why I don’t participate fully in this blog anymore. It first assumes that both parents want to work. Even with “free childcare,” the reality is that most households need both parents working to meet bills — let alone trying to save for retirement and their kids’ college. I personally would have loved it if I could have taken a few years off. If we had, we wouldn’t even have been able to make the mortgage payment. Second, it assumes that there is something wrong with both parents working. I am a really good mom, I mean … really good. Yes, that is is conceited to say, but damn if I don’t have healthy, smart, capable, talented, loving, and well-rounded kids. And, as much as I love my mom, I am superior to her in all areas, even though she was a “stay at home” parent. I also can give my children far more than my parents ever could. If my kids are passionate about something (right now it is music and (ugh) ice skating), I get to say, “Yes, we can do that!” I was never able to do any activities or go to camps growing up. And I got to graduate with a ton of debt (which is now paid off thank goodness) because my mom stayed at home? Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Who Killed ‘Judith’s’ Baby?”

 

This is “extreme free-birthing“…doing it all alone. Not recommended.

I love it when a new commenter makes an entrance with a Comment of the Day, and that’s what Megan did in response to last week’s post about the credulous mother-to-be who placed inordinate trust in the opinions of amateurs and well-meaning activists with tragic results.

Here’s the way the poll on that story has turned out; polling closes in a week, so if you haven’t voted, time is running out:

Frequently first time visitors with especially impressive debut comments are only interested in a single issue, and go recede into the mists of anonymity from which they came, never to be heard from again. I hope that isn’t the case with Megan.

Here is her Comment of the Day on the post, “Who Killed Judith’s Baby?”

I’d like to offer my 2 cents as a pregnant woman who is currently planning a “freebirth” (but is open, of course, to taking whatever unpredictable path unfolds in labor).

Judith is responsible for her body and her baby. This is one of the core beliefs, in my opinion, of anyone who is willingly choosing to go this route in pregnancy and childbirth. The freebirth movement was born out of women who wanted to take more responsibility for their pregnancies/births, rather than feeling like another number on an OB conveyor belt. Typically, it is women who want to lead the decision making process when it comes to what is done or not done to their bodies (which includes their babies, obviously).

There are so many problems in our current obstetric system, it is one of the least evidence-based areas of medicine, period. There are been plenty of research to show that new technological advances have NOT improved average outcomes in the past 30-40 years, such as constant fetal monitoring, multiple ultrasounds, C-sections, inductions, etc. That being said, if you’re going to make radical choices that go against common sense consensus and what history has shown to be true about pregnancy (ie: a pregnancy lasting 44 weeks + has a very high risk of stillbirth), you must also be willing to suffer the consequences of those choices. Judith will live with the consequences of her choices for the rest of her life, it is heartbreaking. No one will suffer more than her, and my heart goes out to her. There is no worse pain than losing a child.

I still believe that women should always be the final decision makers over their bodies, even if those decisions are shortsighted or ill-informed.

If anyone is interested, the reason I am planning a birth without medical professionals present (except that I will have a friend present who received midwifery training but never ended up becoming licensed) largely has to do with my first birthing experience in the hospital, and the protocols in place that are presented without care for a woman’s bodily autonomy. I was given ZERO choices about how my care proceeded at 40 weeks, was told that I HAD to be induced, after having 2 HBP readings over the course of 24 hours. I had zero symptoms of preeclampsia, was incredibly healthy, and felt great. I’ve since consulted with several OBs who agree that mine was an unnecessary induction. Nevertheless, the OB that was on staff that morning was a cautious one, proving that sometimes all it comes down to is a provider’s personality, and I was shuffled into the standardized induction protocol. This turned what I believed would be a powerful, momentous, incredible experience in my life (initiation into motherhood) into one of extreme pain (pitocin contractions don’t give you breaks!) and then numbness (epidural to numb the pain), leaving me feeling helpless and completely dismissed by staff. I’m one of the “lucky” ones who goes through this process and doesn’t end up with a C-section (you’ve got about a 50/50 chance after being induced with pit). Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Who Killed ‘Judith’s’ Baby?”

Enigmatic commenter Extradimensional Cephalopod (that’s not him in the picture, just a relative) returned to Ethics Alarms after an unexplained absence (though who knows how time passes in his dimension) to provide one of several excellent observations on the post and poll about “Judith,” the expectant mother whose faith in a “freebirthing” cult cost her unborn child his life. The comments of Tim LeVier, Humble Talent, JutGory, and Mrs. Q, among others, were all Comment of the Day worthy, but for now, I’m going to award EC the prize.

Here is the current state of the poll…

…and here  is Extradimensional Cephalopod’s Comment of the Day on “Who Killed Judith’s Baby?”

First off, I’m grateful for all the nuanced and well-considered opinions here. I can always count on getting reasonably well-balanced information about human society from people’s experiences here, and the encouragement that reasonable people are not alone–just not yet organized.

The poll didn’t let me vote multiple times, but I’m tempted to select “all of the above,” in the sense that “responsible” can mean “contributing to the problem and needing to change.” For “primarily responsible,” I’m obligated to go with “Judith,” since she is presumed to have ultimate decision-making authority in this case.

That survey question by the National Partnership for Women & Families spins so hypnotically, I’d like to take it off its axle.

“Giving birth is a natural process that should not be interfered with unless absolutely medically necessary.” Who wouldn’t agree to that?

1. Yes, giving birth is objectively and literally a natural process, in that humans didn’t deliberately design it. (Although I wouldn’t put it past them to have done so under a tight budget of time and money. I’ve supported software rollouts that were just as awkward and painful.)

However, stating something to be “a natural process” in so many words implies on an emotional level that it is by default perfectly healthy and should remain purely natural, which is an appeal to nature fallacy. “Cancer is a natural process.” “Epidemics are a natural process.” “Hurricanes are a natural process.” There are plenty of natural things that I am very grateful civilization has altered or wants to alter using technology. Continue reading