“Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow… said he would fire the [Department of Natural Rresouces] warden tomorrow if he could for ‘being complicit in putting firefighters at risk, over a stupid deer.’
‘This is a complete embarrassment and a joke,’ tweeted Jarchow…. The DNR posted a glowing statement about the incident on its website Tuesday. The release praised Warden Jesse Ashton for organizing a team of wardens and local firefighters to rescue the deer [The deer had wandered 500 yards out onto the frozen lake], saying, ‘Those little hooves are no match for slick surfaces!… Teamwork strikes again!'”
You can imagine the calumny being heaped on this monster’s head by animal lovers on social media.
But is he right? (Jarchow is himself a volunteer firefighter.)
Your Ethics Alarms Thanksgiving Weekend Ethics Quiz Of The Day is….
Should firefighters be used to rescue animals in peril?
In a perfect example of the “Awww!” Facter at work, Marc Daniels was hailed as a model dad after he jumped on stage and began dancing with his toddler daughter when stage fright paralyzed her during a ballet performance in Hamilton, Bermuda. The cute video went “viral.”
Let’s stay away from the inherent ethical problems of having two-year-olds perform on stage at all. Let’s also stipulate that the fact that the audience applauded is irrelevant; applause doesn’t validate misconduct. Those Broadway fools applauded Robert Di Niro for saying “Fuck Trump.”
Here’s the ethics point: cute or not, Daniels had no justification for hijacking the performance. The performance had a director. Adults were in charge of the situation. This was his solution: how does anyone know what the next parent who feels so empowered might do? Order the number re-started? Shout at his daughter? What if other parents were unhappy with their children’s demeanor on stage? What if they felt Daniels’ interference was upsetting and distracting their daughters? Daniels was an audience member, and the ethical limits on his performance were the same as on any audience member. Is this a ballet only exception, or should dads jump out of the stands to complete a Little League play when their kids drop the ball? There is no difference. Let me say it again: there is no difference.
Daniels’ daughter was 2. What’s the cut-off when such parental interference is inappropriate? 4? 8? 12? 36?
I see this as part of the “Think of the children!” disease, an unfortunate and unanticipated consequence of women having equal access to levers of power and the presumed legitimacy that goes along with it. Parenting, love, loyalty and compassion outranks everything now, even law, rules, and common sense, and men have been so intimidated about “man-splaining” and are so terrified of being called sexist that they are adopting this warped hierarchy that can only result in chaos if it becomes the norm.
I was watching a Fox News live feature about heroic efforts in Houston to rescue animal companions. I am an animal lover, and my wife is an animal worshiper, so this aspect of natural disasters is close to our hearts.
We were told that one sheriff has been going door to door for days searching for endangered non-humans in the flooded areas. Awwwww. Fox caught up with him as he was leaving one domicile with the owner, who had with him the rescued pet: his 9-year-old son’s…
His name is Crabby.
We’re arguing about such dire conditions in Houston that looters are running amuck, and hearing about overwhelmed rescuers and rising death rates, and this sheriff is spending hours rescuing hermit crabs?? The tragedy is down to that then? We’re at the endangered hermit crab stage of triage, are we?
…and gee, it’s good to be back home! You have no idea how good it is.
1. ARRRGH! I returned to Ethics Alarms with 6 pending comments, and I want to apologize profusely for the back-up, especially to poor Paul Schlecht, whose avatar inexplicably makes WordPress hold every single one of his comments in moderation until I rescue it. Only one post got up yesterday, and that was a close call: I was in resort/airport/travel Hell yesterday in Daytona Beach, then Charlotte, pretty much from the moment I got my wake-up call at 6 AM to when my plane finally arrived at D.C.’s Reagan National Airport at just short of 1 am. today.
At least my law firm retreat seminar on legal ethics and technology was lively, but now I am way behind on posts, and also not exactly at the top of my game. Again, my apologies to all. And I’ve got to get a new laptop without a jumping cursor and that doesn’t crash my browser every 20 minutes or so.
2. I mentioned last week that the New York Times Sunday Review section is a weekly exercise in anti-President Trump porn. I couldn’t find a Sunday Times yesterday, so as a test, I’m going to open the copy my wife saved for me and look at the section now.
Let’s see…well the above the fold story is a feature about “why women aren’t CEOs.” The anti-Trump shot doesn’t come until the last paragraph, where the author, Susan Chira, couldn’t help herself from quoting Hillary Clinton as she blamed misogyny for her defeat. The Deplorables, you know. The second story on the front page is a mocking piece by a British historian, about a new Trump Doctrine, but with the term in scare quotes. How dare the President stand up for Western Civilization, we are asked to consider? This author, Stephen Wertheim, claims that the Trump administration’s problems with Iran, North Korea and China are based in racism and religious bias. (Obama’s problems with the same nations were, presumably, based on a sincere concern for peace.) The essay is also fairly anti-American, but concludes with the insult that the problem with the President isn’t so much what he does as who he is.
This is essentially the argument of “the resistance.” You know. Bigotry.
Let’s see—that piece took up all of page two, so we move on to page three. Two op-eds are there, one again mocking the ex-press secretary Sean Spicer, which the Times editorial board had already done, and the other, by Frank Bruni, attacking Jared Kushner. It closes with this, in part:
His counsel to Trump has been flawed, to say the least. He reportedly lobbied for the firing of James Comey, which didn’t turn out so well….I hear that he feels persecuted. Wronged. In that regard, too, he’s like his father-in-law, though Trump wears his self-pity, fury and ruthlessness right out front, for the whole world to see.
This is the company line. Actually, firing Comey turned out spectacularly well: the President was able to get rid of a highly placed leaker who had proven himself incompetent and untrustworthy. Bruni and the Times feel it was a mistake because the completely legal, appropriate, indeed overdue dismissal brought down the ire of the news media determined to get rid of the President. Message: When will you learn that we call the shots, you fool?
In fact, the President and his entire family have been persecuted by the Times from the very beginning, in obvious contrast to the news media’s disgusting fawning over the Clintons and Obamas, and even their chilly respect for the Bushes.
On to page four! Oh! Here’s a cartoon of the President as Donald Duck, and an op-ed by a New York City mother about how embarrassing it is to have a toddler who–The Horror!—likes the President of the United States! Beneath that screed, with a picture of Don, Jr., is an op-ed attacking another member of the President’s family in a piece about “men who never grow up.” The Trump boys are lumped in with Billy Bush, Ryan Lochte (the moronic Olympic swimmer), the fortunate college rapist Brock Turner, and the police officers who shot Tamir Rice! Funny, the nation’s most prominent perpetual adolescent, who embarrassed the whole nation by using the White House as his passion pit, is never mentioned.
The non-Trump stories then take over for a few pages, and we’re finally at the editorial page. Two of the three editorials attack the President’s policies as the embodiment of evil: one condemns the very concept of the Election Integrity Commission— did you know that trying to find out how much actual voter fraud there is constitutes voter suppression?—and the other uses the President’s border wall plan as a prop to level general insults. The rest of that page is devoted to a special selection of Letters to the Editor critical of…Donald Trump! Every one, all ten. You’re right, NYT, the paper doesn’t reflect this opinion thoroughly enough. On the facing page, two of the three op-eds consist of more Trump bashing. Maureen Dowd is one, but to be fair, all she does is level snark at everyone. The other is a second attack on Jared Kushner, because one per section is not enough.
The total: Nine Trump-hate pieces, plus ten anti-Trump letters, and not a single supportive word, balanced analysis, or defense. And the Sunday Review section is like this every week.
3. I can’t believe I’m writing this. The Discovery Channel’s always idiotic and often misleading “Shark Week” told audiences that Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Michael Phelps would be racing a Great White Shark in the ocean. Admittedly, most potential viewers should be smart enough to figure out that there had to be a catch (no pun intended) despite the misleading title “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White.” They should be, but we know they aren’t, based on the other stupid shows they fall for on the network, and also because there have been three “Sharknado” movies with a fourth on the way. That Discovery Channel title is a lie: Phelps never was in the water with a shark; he never saw a shark; he never raced a shark. He “raced’ a computer-generated shark that was put into the film after Phelps was safe and dry. Some of Phelps’ gullible fans are annoyed.
They should be. On the other hand, they are morons. The entire exercise should have taken about 6 seconds, the amount of time it takes to say “White sharks swim faster than humans, even Olympic champions. Bye.” Continue reading →
His heartbroken parents are condemning North Korea and praising the Trump administration, which finally obtained his release. Someone, however, needs to make the crucial point that Otto’s fate was directly due to his own recklessness and bad judgment in engaging in conduct that frequently results in disaster, as well as international tensions and needless cost to U.S. taxpayers.
Otto signed up for a five-day tour of North Korea with Young Pioneer Tours, a Chinese company that advertises “budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.” There is a good reason your mother—and your father, and the U.S. State Department—would rather you stayed away from North Korea. The place is a hell-hole run by a power-mad lunatic, and it is not safe. Nobody put a gun to Otto Warmbier’s head and kidnapped him: he decided on his own to defy his government’s warnings, recent history and the sense god gave puppies to deliberately place himself in harm’s way, knowing that many, many similarly misguided citizens have become prisoners, propaganda tools, pawns or worse because they willfully placed themselves in similar peril as the people who decide to climb into tiger or lion enclosures at zoos.
Warmbier left on his “tour” in December , 2015. He would have had a chance to see “Bridge of Spies” by then: I wonder if he did. You will recall that the history-based plot involved am American student named Fred Pryor, who is one now a renowned comparative economists. Then, however, he was a graduate student in West Berlin who decided it would be a dandy idea to pass through the half-completed Berlin Wall in August, 1961 to attend a lecture and give a copy of his dissertation to an East Berlin economics professor. We know he’s a smart guy, but one would think that the fact that the East German government was in the process of sealing in its citizens as prisoners might have alerted him that this was not the time to go visiting.
Sure enough, Pryor was arrested, thrown in jail, and became a bargaining chip in the U-2/Gary Powers/Rudolph Abel negotiations. Had Otto Warmbier seen the film (which Pryor says misrepresents his part of the story), I would think he would have been a bit more resistant to a sales pitch that said, “This is a great time to visit beautiful North Korea!” Indeed, being 22, presumably literate and of sound mind, he should have had the knowledge and sense of self-preservation to resist that sales pitch even if he had never seen any movie in his whole life. Continue reading →
Remember Raymond Zack? In 2011, 50-year-old Raymond Zack waded into the surf at an Alameda, California beach and stood calmly in the 54-degree water, apparently waiting to die. His suicide took nearly an hour, but eventually he drowned, with no rescue attempts from any of the 75 San Franciscans, including firefighters, who gathered on the shore to watch the entire tragedy. I am so used to reading about bystanders allowing desperate people, sick, wounded or otherwise in peril, to perish because they “didn’t want to get involved” that a story like this one, the opposite of the Raymond Zack tragedy from St. Paul, Minnesota, comes as a shock.
How sad is that?
Motorist Angela Martin saw a woman climb onto a concrete wall and scale a chain-link fence above Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Martin could have continued driving, but she acted immediately, parking her car and calling 911. But she sensed there was no time to lose. Martin ran over to the woman, who having climbed over chain-link fence was now clinging to it with her fingers above heavy highway traffic.
“ No, honey. Don’t do this,” she shouted. Martin told reporters that the distraught young woman kept repeating, “My mom don’t love me. My mom don’t care for me.’”
“No, we love you, ” Martin told her. Martin reached through the links and grabbed the woman’s shirt and belt, just as the would-be suicide released her grip so she could fall to her death. Other motorists on the overpass saw the unfolding scene and came to Martin’s aid, and joined her in reaching through the fence to keep the woman from falling. Continue reading →
“I am keeping him alive!” Quintero is heard saying on the 911 call, which was answered by dispatcher Matthew Sanchez, a ten-year veteran of the Albuquerque Fire Department.
Sanchez asked, “Is he not breathing?”
The teen responded, “Barely!”
On the recording, she can be heard frantically encouraging Chavez-Silver to keep breathing.
“One more breath! One more breath!” Quintero told here wounded friend. “There you go Jaydon. One more breath! There you go Jaydon. Good job! Just stay with me, OK? OK?”
Sanchez then asked again, “Is he breathing?”
Quintero responded, “He is barely breathing, how many times do I have to fucking tell you?”
Apparently this outburst deeply, deeply offended Sanchez, who felt that the use of the vulgarity justified him leaving the panicked teen to deal with her dying friend by herself. “OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?” the dispatcher said, and he disconnected Quintero as she pleaded for help.
As you know, I’m a big fan of civility, and we really should discipline ourselves and our children to avoid profanity and vulgarity in dealings with others, in the workplace or anywhere else. Mutual respect is a cornerstone of ethical conduct generally, and civility is how we recognize the inherent respect we owe every fellow citizen. Having one’s friend dying in front of you is a stressful situation, however, and I think the collective effects for fear, panic, desperation and stress creates sufficient adverse influences on a teen that a lapse of decorum should be excused or at least tolerated, don’t you? Particularly when the listener is allegedly an adult and trained rescue personnel?
Jaydon died. A rescue squad was dispatched before the hang-up, which only means that what Sanchez did could have been worse.
Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey called the actions of dispatcher Matthew Sanchez on June 26 “unforgivable” and said Sanchez, who had the sense to resign, at least, should not have hung up on the caller. Downey says he is examining the training procedures.
Good analysis. We can all stop worrying now, at least those of us in Albuquerque.
And we should be grateful, should we not, for Mr. Sanchez providing a superb lesson to all of our young people about the important of avoiding potty mouth?
I missed learning about the death of Irena Sendler (Irena Sendlerowa) in 2008, and this occurred because the mass news media barely took note of it. Lots of celebrities died that year whose passing prompted extended mourning in the press and examinations of their legacies: Paul Newman, Heath Ledger, Sir Edmund Hillary (a member of the Ethics Alarms Heroes Hall of Honor), Charlton Heston, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and many others. There was no room for a final appreciation of the life of Irena Sendler, apparently. Today, the website Bio.com doesn’t list her among the notable deaths of that year, though it finds room for Fifties stunt singer Yma Sumac—remember her? She had a four octave range! And Arthur Showcross: he murdered 11 women from 1988 to 1990 in upstate New York, earning the nickname “The Genessee River Killer.”
All Irena Sendler did was save 2500 children from the Treblinka death camp. Continue reading →
OK, it’s not exactly “The Homecoming,” but the way they’re scraping the barrel for cable Christmas movies, you might see this one on LMN yet. I just hope I’m not played by Wallace Shawn
Everything was going swimmingly this Christmas morning. We had opened presents, and now Grace and I were making our contributions to the family dinner later today at my sister’s house. A main feature was Grace’s mother’s recipe for a holiday salad that was part of her family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for decades, and now ours. The recipe:
Two bags of cranberries, chopped
2 chopped navel oranges, with peel
2 chopped Red Delicious apples, also unpeeled
2 cups of chopped walnuts
2 diced celery hearts
1-2 cans of cranberry juice concentrate
Sugar to taste, or not (we leave it out.)
All was well until I cored the apples, bought supposedly fresh yesterday at Harris Teeter. They went “squish,” despite being all shiny and crisp on the outside. This would not do, so I was dispatched to the store to pick up suitably fresh apples, without which grandmother’s famous salad just wouldn’t be right.
I jumped into our car (the one that replaced its predecessor that had burst into flames for no apparent reason in a mall parking lot—one of the many delightful events of our 2014). The gas-tank-low light was on, as it had been the day before. The gauge now said that I had five miles left, and the nearest station was only a bit more than two away. Well, these things aren’t perfect: my car stopped about 200 yards from the exit to the station, and in the middle of the street.
I called home, and my wife and son prepared to take his car to the station to get enough gas to let me drive the last leg of the journey, but his car, as is its wont, was dead. Meanwhile, I tried to push mine out of the middle of the street on my own, realizing too late that cars in neutral tend to pick up quite a bit of speed going down a grade, and are remarkably hard to steer and brake from outside the vehicle. I was barely able to stop the car from plowing into a parked Volvo by turning it to roll over the curb onto someone’s lawn. I was loath to leave it there untended while I hiked to the gas station, and I didn’t feel like paying fifty bucks or more for roadside assistance, but I was running out of options. Also time, if I was going to find fresh apples while a grocery store remained open.
I hadn’t seen a single car on the road, until an SUV stopped next to me. The driver, a woman in her thirties who was accompanied by her two teenaged sons, asked it I needed help. I explained my plight, and the two young men assisted me in rolling my car off the lawn into something approximating a legal parking space.
“Stay here: we’ll be right back,” the woman said. She was as good as her word, for she soon reappeared, with one of her sons carrying a festive red plastic gas can filled with fuel. The older son helped figure out how to work the damn spout, which had to be assembled. “See, here’s the flaw,” I explained. “The device solving this problem should not require more intelligence to operate than someone getting into this stupid situation is likely to have.” He agreed, politely. Then he poured all the gasoline into my empty tank.
I prepared to reimburse this family of Good Samaritans, but they refused. “Just pay it forward,” the mother said. “We’re glad we could help out.” I shook her sons’ hands, and hers, and wished them all a Merry Christmas. Then I got the apples, and the salad was perfect.
In the Marshall household, this will forever be known the Miracle of the Christmas Gas Can.
Let us sing!
(to the tune of “Good King Wenceslas” :
1. Jack’s wife said “You must go out. We’ve an apple crisis!” Never would he dare refuse ; Better to fight ISIS. So he set out in his car, Though t’was low in fuel Til it sputtered to a stop (Boy was he a foo-oo-el!)
2. Shifted into neutral then, It rolled t’ward disaster. Jack would soon be chasing it, As the car rolled faster. Pulling hard with all his might, He changed its direction Rested then on somebody’s lawn Waiting for collection.
3. Up now rolls an SUV Driven by a stranger “Trav’ler, tell us, how can we Help you stave off danger?” Her sons helped him move the car; There would be no ticket. Jack composed a secret wish, As if he could pick it.
4. “Find a can, and bring me gas This would be a blessing. Yet I’d be a total ass Their Christmas to be messing.” Suddenly they all drove off, Telling him to stay there Still he doubted they’d return Heeding his mayday there.
5. Damn! The time was running out, And the stores were closing. Should he not get gassed up soon Hope would be foreclosing. Hark! The SUV returns, With a gas can brimming Welcome sight more lovely than Firs with all their trimming.
6. “Let me pay you,” Jack implored. For I owe you greatly.” “No, my friend, just pay it for’d. That’s what’s right innately” Therefore learn the lesson well Be you high or lowly If we all are ethical Every day is holy.