Category Archives: Ethics

Will this baby rape his girlfriend? An anti-violence crusader says it’s never too early to intervene.

This video — designed to counter a purported anti-women slant in some Super Bowl commercials — has ignited a storm and reportedly sparked death threats against its creator in Dubuque, Iowa—

Although every baby boy is precious and beautiful, some will become misogynistswomen beaters, rapists, killers.

“Violence is a learned behavior, people are not born to be violent,” says Josh Jasper, president and CEO of Riverview Center, the anti-violence advocacy group responsible for the video. “What we see [in media] are messages that are degrading and abusive toward women and children.”

Jasper hoped that parents would start a conversation with their children, that while watching the Super Bowl with their children they would criticize messages that are hurtful, such as, “When you saw that GoDaddy ad and you saw those ladies taking off their clothes, you need to know as your father that this isn’t okay, this is not okay how we treat women.”

With that conditioning, hopefully boys will grow up as portrayed in this second video (instead of as depicted above)—

Many of the comments about the first commercial, posted on YouTube and Facebook, were so hostile that Jasper contact Dubuque police.

“One of the 800 comments I’ve received in the last 24 hours is that I’m a Nazi sympathizer and I should be taken out and shot,” Jasper was quoted by WQAD. “I’ve been accused of hating all men, that all men are rapists, that I think babies are rapists.”

Why such a strong reaction?

“There are a lot of men who have a deep-seated hatred toward women,” Jasper said. “I bet I’ve received 150 messages in the last 24 hours that say it’s okay to rape women. If we’re going to end the violence, we have to start with them.”

Here’s Jasper’s first commercial, posted a couple of years ago — it’s certainly pointed, but slower-paced and less incendiary;

As for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, Jasper said, “There are a lot of survivors out there … who are now feeling empowered because people are talking about the issue. That’s exactly why I created the commercial and that’s exactly why the commercial will stay.”

In a blog post on Valentine’s Day, Jasper concluded:

Although a great deal of violence is committed by men, the vast majority of men are NOT violent. The problem is that not enough men are challenging the norm, speaking out against men that are not healthy role models for others.

My thanks to @MichaelLibbie for bringing this story to my attention.

SuperBowl commercials: Best [Chrysler’s hymn to Detroit] and Worst [Groupon’s tasteless humor]

My personal favorite: American industry, American workers, and the power of a great American city, by Chrysler

Groupon easily wins for the worst ad. Unless you agree that saving $15 at a Tibetan restaurant in Chicago is the equal of the cultural annihilation and genocide that’s been underway in Tibet, you might even call it creepy. What will they think of next — equating the Holocaust with one of the Second Avenue Deli’s incomparable hot pastrami sandwiches? All this proves is that having a company valued at $6-billion doesn’t mean you have a dime’s worth of common sense or an ounce of sensitivity.

Twitter exploded last night with instant revilement over Groupon’s commercials. This morning, there were plenty of angry posts by bloggers and newspaper writers. Time asks: “Did they merely push the envelope, or did they cross a line?” The NY Times wondered “whether the start-up has burned through a lot of good will.” Groupon’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, said the company “cheapened itself” when it “trivialized the oppression of the people of Tibet.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese — oppressors of Tibet — were also not happy about the spot (but, obviously, for other reasons).

In addition to the Tibet spot, Groupon prepared two other commercials:

In a bid to illustrate that it understands that the problems of Tibet, the Brazilian rainforest, and high seas whaling are indeed serious, Groupon created a web page that invites viewers to contribute money to aid these causes. But even here, Groupon is on slippery ground. Under Cuba Gooding Jr’s video about whaling, there’s a “urgent message” and a “donate” button in which viewers are urged to donate $15 to Greenpeace — and get a $15 Groupon credit in exchange: “Your essentially free donation will go to help end commercial whaling.” Greenpeace is hardly a universally admired advocate. Meanwhile, no kickbacks are offered for contributions to Tibet, the rainforest, or building schools “in some of the world’s poorest villages” (the schools video was not yet up).

The attitude conveyed by last night’s commercials might have been predictable — it’s reflected in this commercial that was prepared by Groupon when it was just getting started, in early 2009 [WARNING: the following video may not be suitable for young children] :

You’ll find all of the SuperBowl commercials through a link at YouTube.

Jon Stewart on the Rachel Maddow Show, uncut

An intelligent conversation.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Amazon stops selling ‘Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure’, a self-published Kindle e-book

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In the face of enormous pressure, Amazon.com appeared to reverse itself early this morning and pulled a how-to guide to pedophilia from its Kindle e-book store.

There was no official word from Amazon as of 3 am, but the book’s sales page had been removed (pictured above).

The pressure on Amazon to back down on its unequivocal free speech stance was especially acute in view of its announced purchase last week of Diapers.com for $545 million.

My son is gay

This is not what you’d expect.

Whether or not the statement applies to the boy pictured here is, in fact, irrelevant. He’s just 5 years old, for heaven’s sake!

What counts is that his mom won’t stand for him being bullied … bullied by his classmates’ moms (who should know better) or by another else!

This is an exceptional post, by “Cop’s Wife does not remain silent” at NerdyAppleBottom .com.

Nerdy Apple Bottom’s post has drawn (to this hour) nearly 30,000 comments (not “likes” — actual comments!), including about 10,000 comments added in the last 24 hours. [UPDATE: By Nov. 10, there were over 43,000 comments.]

Read it — and pass it along.

‘Unfilled Twinkie’ didn’t stop Gawker’s nasty post. And it didn’t stop 1 million people from reading it.

Gawker drew a quick one-million views to its post headlined “I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O’Donnell”.

Slate crudely points out that its anonymous author, writing in first-person, admits he stopped short of “filling the Twinkie” of the  “I’m not a witch” Tea Party favorite from Delaware.

“I barely knew Christine when she turned up at my door at around eight o’clock on the night of Halloween,” begins the author, purportedly a 25-year-old Philadelphian. The picture of O’Donnell as a ladybug is part of a slideshow that accompanies the Gawker post.

Slate’s point:

As sex scandals go, Gawker’s O’Donnell story is a small sack of limp…

Where I come from, it’s not a one-night stand unless you fill the Twinkie. But we know from Mr. Anonymous’ own admission that the couple didn’t make pastry that night or any other night.

Because the folks at Gawker—[Nick] Denton especially—pick their words shrewdly, the publication knew exactly what it was doing when it tarted up the story with the headline.

A story headlined “Controversial Senatorial Candidate Passes on Sex and Passes Out” isn’t the sort of traffic driver Gawker specializes in.

Over 2,700 comments are attached to the Gawker post, including this from “badluckgirl”:

“There are many, many reasons not to vote for Christine O’Donnell. But the Ladybug costume and this douchenozzle with the photographic memory are not one of them.”

Also linked, an official reaction to Gawker’s nastiness from the O’Donnell camp that begins: “This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with.”

• • •

We might easily agree that the level of political discourse this season is pretty low, but we should not forget just how low it sank during the Bush years (when some Democrats couldn’t stop complaining that GWB had “stolen” the election — first in 2000 and again in 2004). Venomous attacks on both at Presidents Johnson and Nixon in the late 1960s and early ’70s were especially rough.

Now, here’s a reminder of how bad things were way back when, at our country’s start, during the contest between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—

I’m back from BlogWorld NewMedia Expo

This is what it’s all about:

… As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free …

… Can’t turn him into a company man, can’t turn him into a whore, and the boys upstairs just don’t understand anymore …