1. But before we get into the ugly part..I want to recommend an article called “Rationalizations for Unethical Behavior in Tech” over at Medium. The writer, April Wensel, is the proprietor of the Compassionate Coding site.
Her article specifically employs several of the rationalizations on the Ethics Alarms list, quotes me with attribution, and does a terrific job demonstrating what the list is there for, and how it can and should be used. Thanks, April!
2. And here is another reason you can’t trust the media: journalists often aren’t very bright or well-educated. NBC reporter Ken Dilanian opined on Twitter after Kavanaugh was confirmed that…
It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/06/senators-representing-less-than-half-us-are-about-confirm-nominee-opposed-by-most-americans/ …
To begin with, quoting that Post piece is signature significance for a partisan media hack. “Most Americans” have insufficient information to oppose or support Kavanaugh on a substantive basis, and uninformed opinions are worthless at best. If “most Americans” opposed him, it was because they were misled, propagandized and fear-mongered into ignorance and bias. This is why we don’t elect Supreme Court justices. The complaint about the Senate that Dilanian glommed onto can be translated as “The Senate is the Senate.” It was designed not to represent the population as a whole, but the states, their interests and their cultures. “It may not happen in our lifetimes” is a statement of ignorance of what it would take to fundamentally change one of the three branches of government from its original form. I’d suggest to Ken that he try reading the Constitution, especially the formula for amending it. The chances that two-thirds of the states will accede to a new Senate construction that lets the big states dictate to the small ones are exactly zero, or essentially the same as the chances that the Electoral College will be abolished.
Dilanian is NBC’s intelligence and national security reporter and frequently appears on MSNBC, and now we know that the network’s intelligence reporter doesn’t understand his own country.
3. Be proud, Democrats! A Democratic Senator I had been blissfully unaware of until the Kavanaugh nomination stepped up during the hearings to reveal herself as exemplifying the ugly side of the partisan divide. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono said that the fact that Kavanaugh was conservative was all she needed to determine that he was lying, for example. She’s a virulent bigot. Yesterday, she was asked twice by CNN’s Dana Bash about whether she thought harassing Republican senators in restaurants was inappropriate. She wouldn’t say “Yes,” sending a clear message that her real position is “No.”
Here’s the exchange: Continue reading
This is not a joke. This is not The Onion. This is real. And frightening.
At the beginning of “Darkest Hour,” the new film about the wartime heroism and brilliance of Winston Churchill, this warning appears on the screen:
“The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke.”
Winston Churchill, you see, smoked cigars. Actually he chain-smoked them, and inhaled. They were among his trademarks. Any adult who doesn’t know that should not have graduated from high school. Interestingly, shooting and bombing people are also serious health risks, so I don’t know why it wasn’t noted that the “depictions of warfare contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration.”
Whatever “based solely on artistic consideration” is supposed to mean…
Of course, showing Churchill smoking cigars is not an “artistic consideration,” but one of historical accuracy and integrity. Does this mean that there was really a debate in the studio about whether or not Churchill should be shown smoking, so as not to trigger good little progressive totalitarians, who believe in changing the past for the greater good of the present? I wonder if they considered making Winston, who was fat, appear slim and ripped, since the surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with obesity and over-eating. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, if they felt that showing people smoking in the 1930s, when almost everyone smoked, might be interpreted as promoting smoking today. Churchill also drank like Bluto in “Animal House.” Why no warning about that? Uh-oh—does this mean that the film, for artistic considerations, only shows Winston sipping soda water and prune juice? Continue reading
It is not directly relevant to Natalie Munroe’s complaints perhaps, but when students today seem less than in awe of those adults who claim to be qualified to guide them to wisdom and success in school, they often have good cause to be wary. Take the example of Stephanie Plato, a sixth grader at Cobb Elementary School in Houston’s Channelview school district.
Stephanie was suspended from school because the red and blonde highlights her mother let her get died into her hair as a 12th birthday present violated the school’s code of conduct.
You read that right.
We are not talking electric orange here, or anything strange and disruptive. Just a few red highlights in her naturally brown hair. But the school dress code bans “inappropriate hair color”…such as red. Don’t ask me why. It doesn’t matter why. It is stupid. Continue reading
“Chris Christie is moon over New Jersey, he should not wear white shirts, I tell you that. I saw him the other day and I was amazed by it, he must be 300 plus, and that’s something he’s just gotta deal with because you’re not going to say, ‘I’m going to cut the budget,’ well, how about starting with supper?”
That was Chris Matthews during an appearance in Washington, D.C., mocking New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie, not for his positions, not for his performance in his job, but because of his looks, specifically his weight. Later in the same session, Matthews criticized Mississippi Governor Hailey Barbour for his waist size. It isn’t only Matthews; media liberals have been using Rush Limbaugh’s weight as a punchline for years. Ted Kennedy, Gerald Nadler, Madeleine Albright and Charlie Rangel, however, were immune: being fat is only a justification for insults if one is conservative and fat. Continue reading
I try not to consider political punditry unethical, except when the opinion rendered is unusually dishonest, misleading, uncivil, or unfair. Unfortunately, the current ideological blood sport fostered and nurtured by such outlets as Fox New, MSNBC, the Daily Kos and Breitbart, and carried on by such commentators as Ann Coulter and Frank Rich, make it increasing difficult to follow my own guideline. Occasionally there pieces so outrageously unfair that they make me angry, and those are ethically perilous: emotion is not conducive to balanced analysis. Usually I pass. The recent screed of Dana Goldstein on The Daily Beast, however, has to be condemned.
I just hope I can get through the process of explaining what without becoming furious.
It is entitled “Is Jan Brewer Anti-Immigrant Because She Didn’t Go to College?,” earning an ethics red flag right off the bat for intentionally equating Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law with being “anti-immigrant,” which it is not. Continue reading
Cult film director Kevin Smith was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight last week for being fat. The talented director (and sometime actor: he plays the character of “Silent Bob” in several of his own films) of “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” and the Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan comedy “Cop Out” was deemed too obese to fly, although he passed the supposedly definitive armrest test: he could lower both. Smith says this has never happened to him before, perhaps because he is in the habit of buying two seats—not because he needs them, but because he says he “hates people.” Although the airline apologized to him, Smith still hates Southwest, and is inclined not to let the matter drop.
Apparently a lot of people hate him too, just because of his weight. Continue reading