This kind of conduct by an employee doesn’t require an investigation. Nobody needs to know why he did it. A responsible employer whose employee engages in this crime against any individual—yes. even a critic—has to fire him for cause, immediately and without hesitation.
The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the Hannover state opera house’s ballet director Marco Goecke—that’s him above, looking like the son of the sinister Nazi whose head melts in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”— confronted its dance critic, Wiebke Huester, during the intermission of a premiere. Goecke, was furious over a nasty review she wrote of a production he staged at The Hague, and accused her of being responsible for people canceling their season tickets. Then he took dog excrement out of a paper bag he had brought for the occasion and smeared the woman’s face with the guck as she screamed. Huester has filed a criminal complaint.
On its website, the opera house said Huester’s “personal integrity” was violated “in an unspeakable way.” I wonder who came up with those weasel words. It added that the opera house had officially apologized to her. After all, the post said, Goecke’s “impulsive reaction” violated the ground rules of the theater and that “he caused massive damage to the Hannover State Opera and State Ballet.”
So, it said, he is being suspended and banned from the opera house until further notice,though the lunatic will be given an opportunity to apologize “comprehensively” and explain himself to theater management “before further steps are announced.” Continue reading →
That’s Isaac Asimov above, expressing his doubts that attempts at vocabulary restriction by totalitarians actually works.
I don’t think the ethical issue is whether efforts to “compress” language are successful. The issue is what the effort tells us about the people and institutions who make those efforts. The latest is Stanford University.
Stanford’s IT department released an list x of “harmful language” that it wants erased from the school’s websites, and, by extension, campus discourse.The list is an outgrowth of the “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative,” which aims to “eliminate” words that may be deemed “racist, violent, and biased.”
The IT department’s censorious document is a mess, a mixture of apples, oranges and passion fruit. Some of the words and phrases marked as unacceptable are rude and archaic. Others are completely innocent as well as useful, condemned because they might have been used somewhere, sometime, by someone in a derogatory context.
I confess; when any public figure engages in such blatant oral obfuscation or convoluted rhetoric, I am suspicious of their trustworthiness from that point onward. Ann Althouse, however, defends Peterson, and, by extension, Harris (and Joe Biden and many more) by writing today,
We’re living in a time when your worst few seconds will be ripped out of context and held up to discredit you. Better never to speak on camera at all than to risk creating one of these horrible clips to be used against you. We’re created a mediascape where only the cocky and reckless will speak freely. Ironically, Peterson will be one of those people. Everyone else will shrink out of public view.
Is it unfair to expect public figures and those who opine and speak for a living to do better than that, though? I know I’ve had some bad moments on the radio and in public presentations over the years, but surely there is a level of gabled thought and rhetoric that can be fairly taken as signature significance, and proof that a speaker just isn’t worth paying attention to.
Now THAT was a freak-out…and a particularly telling one.
Richard Kline, owner of City Diner in West Palm Beach, Florida, dared to display the campaign poster above, promoting Rep. Louise Frankel’s Republican opponent in the upcoming November election. Frankel has eaten at the diner for many years, and made it clear that this obligated the owner to support her re-election campaign, or at least not to oppose it. When someone told her about the presence of the poster in the diner, she stormed into Kline’s establishment and began berating and threatening him. Of course someone caught it all on cell phone video, and posted the scene on YouTube.
What did she think would happen? In addition to indicating that the Congresswoman has no self-control, believes she is entitled to power, and has no respect for a constituent’s right to support whatever candidate he or she chooses, the outburst demonstrates that she’s not smart enough to be entrusted with lawmaking.
When the name Karine Jean-Pierre was first mentioned on Ethics Alarms (here, Item 4), it was after the lead-in, “Biden’s not even trying to be responsible at this point.” Her major qualification to take over the press secretary job—aka “Pofficial paid liar”— from the unbearable Jen Psaki, it seemed, was that Jean-Pierre is a black lesbian, which White House flacks (echoed by the mainstream media of course, boot-licking as usual) hailed as “historic.” (My reaction, then and now: who cares?) She also has a major conflict of interest, being married to CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Later, after non-bootlicking reporters did some digging, we learned that she has been a habitual race-baiter. The New York Post reported that between 2015 and 2020 the new voice of the White House had accused people, policies, ideas, or words of being “racist” 57 times on Twitter and 43 times in TV appearances on CNN and MSNBC.
To be fair, being a knee-jerk race-baiter is a valid qualification for being a Democratic President’s press secretary in 2022.
However, the main objective in appointing Jean-Pierre, as with any job, has to be that she be able to do it competently. That means lie, which is what people in her position do and have done since the role came into being. The job is easier now that it has been for many past occupants of the position, because, as already noted, most of the reporters likely to toss questions at a Democrat President’s paid liar aren’t seeking the truth, and nearly completely unwilling to make her boss look bad. (That might risk his losing re-election, which, we are told daily, would endanger democracy.)
For “don’t ring,” maybe substituting “don’t exist” would be appropriate. I question the competence and sanity of any parent who would allow their child to attend Sarah Lawrence College after this.
You can read the details of the astounding story here and here, but I’m not especially interested in the evil Larry Ray, who was just convicted in New York on 15 counts including extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, obstruction of justice, and various financial crimes, and faces life in prison. Nobody needs an ethicist to explain that his conduct was unethical (I hope!). I’m interested in this [From the Washington Post]:
After a federal securities fraud conviction, charges related to a custody dispute and a bail-jumping case, Ray was released from a stint behind bars in 2010.He began living at his daughter Talia’s dorm suite at Sarah Lawrence, a private liberal arts college in Westchester County, just north of New York City. There, he encountered Talia’s roommates and injected himself into their lives. Ray cooked meals and hosted late-night chats for the college sophomores, promising them he could help them lead “better, more honest lives…He told them that he had special training that could help them gain clarity and discipline…He said if they shared their deepest feelings with him, he could help resolve their problems…
Claudia Drury was 19 when she met Ray at the dorm suite called Slonim Woods 9. She testified that after drawing her into his orbit, Ray eventually physically abused her. At the same time, she said, he convinced Drury that she had tried to poison him and owed him huge sums of money as a result.
Eventually, Drury told jurors, she worked four years as a prostitute, meeting clients in hotel rooms and paying Ray $10,000 to $50,000 per week. In 2018, she said, Ray suffocated her with a plastic bag after she told a regular client that his name was on a website Ray created to post embarrassing and damaging information he could use to control her.
I know: it’s doubtful that Popeye even knows how to play chess. But it’s Saturday night, as usual only the hard core is visiting Ethics Alarms, and this particular blot of laziness and incompetence has been driving me bananas for decades. Today was the final straw.
On a new Amazon Prime BBC documentary series “A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsely,” the final episode had Lucy talking about the gamesmanship going on in “Golden Age” British murder mysteries. As she rattled on, we saw a mid-game chessboard, and a hand was seen moving a piece. The chess board was set up incorrectly. The board, which we were shown from the White player’s perspective, had the black square in the right-hand corner. Continue reading →
What did Regan say while engaging in a discussion via live stream regarding Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was “stolen?”
“I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it.’ ”
Moron. Sexist moron. Sexist moron who hasn’t been paying attention for his entire life. Saying this was enough to get any male candidate defeated thirty years ago!
Not surprisingly, Regan, who is, or was favored to win the Michigan’s District 74 seat in the state legislature, said other incredibly stupid things during the same program; they just weren’t as offensive. In the discussion hosted by the Rescue Michigan Coalition, a pro-Trump group, he also suggested that the 202o election could be “decertified” and that Trump would regain the Presidency. “We do want to decertify this election and we do want it returned to the rightful owner, just like if someone stole your car or stole your jewelry,” Regan said. “It goes back to the rightful owner. You decertify and you give it to the rightful owner, and that’s Donald Trump, and that’s what I’m pushing for and we’re going full-bore on that.”
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay. You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line.”
—–Golden State Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya, in an interview.
This statement, classic signature significance, neatly explains why the National Basketball Association remains metaphorically in bed with the brutal regime in China, why the Biden Administration refuses to hold the country responsible for its role as an international outlaw (and inflicting its virus on our population,economy and the world), and if you change just one word, why the United States allowed Hitler’s Final Solution to proceed as far as it did.
Give credit where it is due: at least Palihapitiya is being honest. As for his fellow owners, we can see that they feel exactly the same way through their conduct, but prefer not to say so out loud. It might cut down on the profits from souvenir NBA jerseys. Continue reading →