Do We Really Want To Live In A Society Where Tow-Truck Drivers Refuse To Tow The Cars Of Bernie Sanders Supporters?

Bernie Sticker

In Ashville, North Carolina,  tow truck driver Ken Shupe arrived on the scene to find motorist Cassy McWade standing by her accident-disabled vehicle  on Interstate 26. “He goes around back and comes back and says ‘I can’t tow you,” Wade told a reporter. “My first instinct was there must be something wrong with the car. And he says, ‘No, you’re a Bernie supporter.’ And I was like wait, really? And he says, ‘Yes ma’am,’ and just walks away.”

Here’s Shupe’s version:

“Something came over me, I think the Lord came to me, and he just said get in the truck and leave. And when I got in my truck, you know, I was so proud, because I felt like I finally drew a line in the sand and stood up for what I believed.”

A few quick points and then I’ll get to the real issue:

1. Shupe is an utter, virulent, IQ-deficient jerk whose conduct and attitude makes a mockery of whatever faith it is cursed to have him belonging to it, and constitute a blight on the society, community,culture and nation so unfortunate as to be stuck with him.

2. News reports make a big deal out of the fact that McWade is confined to a wheelchair. Ah: the theory is that we are only obligated to help our handicapped neighbors in need, is it? It shouldn’t matter if she was an Olympic medalist in the 50 yard dash. You don’t treat other human beings like that in any society that values human rights and common decency.

3. Shupe’s company is Shupee Max Towing in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. Nobody in their right mind should patronize this unAmerican creep, including his own family. This was anti-social,  cruel and objectively horrible behavior toward someone in need, and Shupe needs to be shunned, hard. If he can’t co-exist with others any better than this, he needs to live in a cave somewhere, because he’s not fit for human association.

4. To anticipate an objection: you may ask how it is that I can argue that friendship should outweigh political differences and advocacy of unethical conduct, and yet designate Ken for ignominy and rejection. If Ken were a friend of mine, I can see myself standing by him even after this miserable behavior. But, as Samuel L. Jackson tells John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction,” “We’d have to be talkin’ about one charming motherfucking pig.”

In a way, however, we should be grateful to Ken Shupe, who has provided in short order and timely fashion a near perfect example of the society-wrecking virus being actively spread by irresponsible zealots on both ends of the political spectrum who are determined to divide the nation and the culture as never before. Yes, never before. During the American Civil War, generals on opposite sides of some of the most bloody battles ever fought arranged to meet and exchange pleasantries, because they had been, and remained, friends. They understood what the self-righteous tow-truck operator, and, increasingly, our entire society, doesn’t. Continue reading

No, Of Course You Don’t End Friendships Over Support For Donald Trump…

cat and mouse

Donald Trump derangement has induced Slate’s Isaac Chotiner to pen one of the least self-aware and ethically tone deaf pieces within memory. In a post taking issue with New York Times columnist Peter Wehner’s  recent column arguing that political differences should not sever friendships and other  personal relationships, he argued that while Wehner’s principle was usually sound, it should not apply when the source of discourse is Donald Trump. He writes:

“Of course friendships should survive some political differences: I have friends who think differently than I do about everything from proper tax rates to abortion regulations. But having a friend who supports a blatantly (and proudly) bigoted candidate is categorically different. Everyone might have a different line about what issue to take some sort of moral stand on, but Trump has stepped over pretty much all of them.”

If Chotiner wants to choose his friends like that, he is free to do so. This is the attitude that is tearing apart the traditional connective tissue that makes America a unique and productive society, however, and he is promoting it.  It is also the demonization impulse, now being fed by zealots in both political parties and activists in every field, crusade and issue. This is the ultimate slippery slope. Hate your neighbor, if he doesn’t think like you do. Chotiner is embracing partyism, intolerance and, ironically, bigotry, exactly what he says makes Trump supporters unworthy of human companionship. Continue reading

Comment of the Day: Anti-Bullying Mis-steps: The Perils of Changing Cultural Norms (Part 2)

From Penn, excellent and valuable insight on “The Hunger Games” controversy, going into relevant issues and facts that my post did not. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, Anti-Bullying Mis-steps: The Perils of Changing Cultural Norms (Part 2):

“The purpose of this argument scares the hell out of me. As one press-screener’s review had it, and as the trailers make clear, “The Hunger Games” tells the story of a televised fight to the death between(sic) a group of youngsters in which only one can survive.” If I believed there were any merit to the MPAA system, yes, R is what it should be. [“This Film is Not Yet Rated” is the movie to see on this subject.] Continue reading

Anti-Bullying Mis-steps: The Perils of Changing Cultural Norms (Part 2)

If "Hunger Games" should be able to bypass the ratings because kids can learn from it, then why shouldn't a film like "A Clockwork Orange," a better film, should also get a pass?

When society decides makes altering attitudes about any conduct a priority,an immediate danger is that it will destroy other societal safe-guards and damage other valid cultural norms in its tunnel-vision.

“Hunger Games,” a film about the consequences of bullying based on a best-selling novel, is about to hit theaters with an R rating, meaning that teens, the prime target of the nation’s anti-bullying effort, can’t see the film without their parents’ permission. Katy Butler, a young bullying victim, has led a national effort to get the film’s ratings reversed. Predictably, politicians have jumped on the bandwagon.

“Over 13 million American youths will be bullied over the course of this year alone, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in our nation,” begins a letter from Rep. Mike Honda (D.- Calif.) to his colleagues, in support of Butler’s campaign. “We cannot hope to control this epidemic … without discussing tough issues publicly and bringing them to the forefront of the consciousness of the American public.”

“YES! RIGHT ON! OF COURSE!” Except that what Butler and Honda are proposing essentially undermines the entire purpose of movie ratings, and if their efforts succeed, there is no way anyone will be able to argue that the system has a shred of integrity at all. Continue reading

McDonalds, Germs, and the Zealot

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Erin Carr-Jordan went to a McDonald’s with her children this summer, and was horrified by the condition of the restaurant’s play area. The professor of child development then set out to shame the McDonald’s into cleaning up, posting a video she made showing her findings and the lab results of samples she took, showing a space teeming with pathogens and bacteria.

McDonald’s corporate finally got into the act, agreeing with the mother and explaining to the Los Angeles Times that the conditions were “unacceptable, completely unacceptable … but not reflective of our business and our restaurants” and that the company had “immediate corrective action to thoroughly sanitize the PlayPlace.” That might have qualified as a victory for most moms, but not Prof. Carr-Jordan. She began a full-fledged crusade, investigating McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants in 11 different states in recent months to test them for cleanliness. These were her family vacations: “Kids, forget about Walt Disney World. We’re going to spend the next three weeks going to  filthy fast food joints!”  What fun. She swabbed  at each location and sent the samples off to a microbiology professor who analyzed the samples and usually stated his results as “OH—MY—GOD!!!!” Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: Nutrition Advocate Marion Nestle

"First the came for the Frankenberry, and I said nothing..."

“The intent of the First Amendment was to protect political and religious speech. I cannot believe that the intent of the First Amendment was to protect the right of food companies to market junk foods to kids.”

—- Nutrition advocate, NYU professor and blogger Marion Nestle, arguing that the government should censor advertising “aimed directly at children,” in the interests of public health.

I should not need to lay out the slippery slope perils of accepting a definition of the First Amendment’s free speech guaranty that limits its protection only to “political and religious speech.” For a professor at a prestigious university to advocate this because it would make her own pet crusade easier should send chills up the spines of every citizen. Let’s see…what kind of speech isn’t political or religious? Commercial speech…artistic speech…workplace speech…academic speech… To zealots like Prof. Nestle, all of this, as well as the liberty it bolsters, should be put at risk in the pursuit of skinnier children, by designating the government to assume the parental function of teaching good eating habits. Continue reading

Child Abuse, Animal Abuse: Why We Must Judge

Ignorance, fear and a lack of inherent respect for living things is a disastrous combination, as demonstrated by a horrible story out of  Toombs County, Georgia.

At the end of January, animal rescue personnel were alerted that Alice, a 6-year old dog, was living in a 5’x8′ box, constructed of wooden boards and tin. The only sunlight that the dog could receive came through the slats and the chicken wire that covered the box from above.
Her food–mostly white bread, buns, and the occasional table scrap, was dropped in from above, as was her water. The floor of the box was caked with years of feces and urine.

The owner of the home told the rescuers that the Alice had been placed in this box because she was one of “those mean kind of dogs.” A pit bull. Continue reading

San Jose State, Blood, and Misguided Ethical Absolutism

The Food and Drug Administration will not permit you to donate blood if you have engaged in certain high risk activities associated with a greater likelihood of contracting the HIV virus.  This includes same-sex intimate relations between men. “FDA’s policies on donor deferral for history of male sex with males date back to 1983, when the risk of AIDS from transfusion was first recognized,” says the agency’s website. “A history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for the presence of and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.”

Officials at San Jose State University regard this as invidious discrimination against gays.  For that reason, the University has banned blood drives at the school in protest of the F.D.A. policy since 2008, and has announced that the ban will continue. The school’s logic is simple, or perhaps simple-minded. Banning men who have sex with men from donating blood constitutes discrimination, and discrimination is always bad. Thus San Jose State, a good school that abhors discrimination, will maintain its virtue by refusing to participate in a discriminatory practice. Continue reading

Silliest Animal Ethics Argument Not Made by PETA

Read it here, on the Discovery website: an article by Jennifer Viegas, illustrated by a photograph of Galapagos tortoises engaged in sex: “Do Nature Films Deny Animals Their Privacy?”

This better not be a late April Fool’s hoax.

I will retract the accusation that the article is silly if it turns out that Jennifer is, in fact, a Galapagos tortoise herself.