When “No Tolerance” Meets Anti-Gun Hysteria: How Silly Can School Administrators Get?

I have this sinking feeling that we have not yet seen the worst.

Phil? Is that you?

Phil? Is that you?

In Woody Allen’s oddball satiric masterpiece “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”, the hero, a dim-bulb Japanese version of James Bond named “Phil Moskowitz,” is being briefed on his quary, a Chinese super-villain named Wing Fat. Pointing to a map, the secret agent’s boss tel’s him, “This is the home of Wing Fat!” “You mean he lives in that little piece of paper?”the agent exclaims.

I always wondered what happened to Phil, considering his, ah, handicap. I should have guessed. He became a school administrator in Tan Valley, Arizona,.

Daniel McClaine, Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School there, made a web photo of an AK 47 against an American flag backdrop  as the desktop background on his school-issued computer and was suspended as a result.

NO, Phil, the piece of paper isn’t the real gun! Won’t you ever learn? Continue reading

Musings On A Judge’s “One Time Accidental Mistake”

"All right now, boys---smile!"

“All right now, boys—smile!”

From the ABA Journal:

“A Philadelphia traffic court judge has been removed from the bench for showing a female court clerk photos of his privates. In a one-sentence ruling on Thursday, the Court of Judicial Discipline took action for what it called judicial misconduct. However, a lawyer for former judge Willie Singletary called the incident a ‘one-time accidental mistake’ and said the judge had resigned from office in February…According to attorney John Summers, the judge accidentally displayed photos of his genitals for a period of seconds and he and the court clerk were sharing innocuous cellphone content with each other. A legal ethics complaint contended the judge also asked her ‘Do you like it?’ at the time.”

Some thoughts: Continue reading

Parental Responsibility, Child Exploitation, and Billboard Ethics

Here’s a rule of thumb: Don’t give the rights to reproduce your child’s photograph to a photographer or ad agency unless you are prepared to accept however it is used, and certain that your child will not be harmed or embarrassed as a result.

Is that so hard?

Tricia Fraser has sued Life Always and Majella Cares Heroic Media, an anti-abortion group, claiming it used her daughter’s picture in “a racist, controversial advertising campaign” that is “defamatory, unauthorized, and offensive,” posting the 4-year-old girl’s photo on a giant billboard by the Holland Tunnel and another in Florida.

Nice try. But there is nothing racist about the campaign, and nothing defamatory about using her daughter’s photo in it.  Continue reading

The Lost Flashdrive and Presumed Consent

“Lose a flashdrive here? Call the Arboretum if you’re one of the visitors in this photo, or phone these guys if they are friends of yours. A flashdrive packed with photos and software has been in our lost-N-found for at least a month — Store manager Lynnea suggested we post a photo from the drive and see if someone cla…ims it. Describe the drive and its contents accurately & provide your postal — we’ll happily return it.”

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior Arizona recently posted this notice on its Facebook page, along with one of the photographs a staff member took off the lost flashdrive. Obviously the material on the drive is private; just as obviously, the flashdrive is lost. Is the Arboretum within reasonable ethical boundaries to examine and publicize private information without the permission of the flashdrive’s owner to help the owner recover his lost property? Continue reading

Note to Anti-Defamation League: Stick To Dafamation

Everybody who watches baseball on TV knows that Fox color man Tim McCarver talks too much. He’s smart, sometimes perceptive, but his opinions during a broadcast constitute the sports equivalent of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound.” Last week, commenting on a Yankee Stadium game that was preceded by the team’s annual “Old Timer’s Day” parade of superannuated Yankee greats, McCarver chose to express his outrage at what he saw as the Yankees’ banishment of former manager Joe Torre (now managing the L.A. Dodgers after an acrimonious departure from New York, followed by a tell-all book) to relative obscurity: Continue reading