Thought For The Week

From the much-reviled Puritans (very relevant at this time of the year):

Puritans believed it was also “to knit the heart of a husband to wife,” a charming thought. One of the supposedly oppressive rules of the Puritans was that men should not get away with taking advantage of women. They were strict. They did not believe that a man and woman who were not husband and wife should be alone together, because they thought the temptation was likely to be too much for one or both of them. We threw that rule out, and guess what? It turns out it has a good deal of truth to it. Just because adultery does not occur in 100% of such situations, or even 30% does not mean it doesn’t happen more than is good for both individuals and society as a whole… [Puritans] did not foreswear the flesh, they merely believed it should be held under short rein.

So many of the “old social rules” which have been weakened and eventually discarded have, over time, been seen to be not only sensible, but whose absence has been very harmful to society.

But with the modern world’s insistence that we never ever ever go back to the old ways because that would be [pick any or all as appropriate]  reactionary, racist, hateful, intolerant, intolerant, silly, White hegemony, patriarchal and in general doubleplusungood, I’m gloomy about the chances of our ever reinstating any of those old customs, rules and mores.

Even if going back would be beneficial to, oh, just about everybody.

I think I’ll go to the range this afternoon.  That usually dispels my gloom.

Western Civilization

Here’s a map which ranks the various countries of the world from light to dark, from least corrupt to, well, Somalia.

Pop quiz:   Of the lighter-colored (i.e. least corrupt) countries, find the common thread.  (Hint:  it’s in the title of this post.)

For those who are surprised at the relatively-low ranking of the United States among the civilized nations, I would suggest that we would rocket upwards with the conviction of Bill and Hillary Clinton, the dissolution of the Clinton Foundation and the imprisonment of all its officers.  To reach the top of the charts, we’d have to convict all members of Congress (active and/or retired) who became millionaires whilst earning only a Congressional salary.

And by “conviction”, of course, I mean this:

Tole Ya

Back here (warning:  contains a pic of Donna Reed’s boobies), I wondered what would happen when people started thinking about sexbots that look like kiddies.  Well, now we know:

With little discussion, House lawmakers unanimously passed the CREEPER Act by Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., in June [2018] to ban importation and interstate commerce involving “any child sex doll,” though the Senate has not acted.
Donovan said in a statement that his bill would “help better protect innocent children from predators” and urged the Senate “to follow the House’s lead and swiftly pass this legislation that would benefit our communities.”

Didn’t take long, did it?

As for the main story, I have a simple question:  since when did prostitution come to include charging people (essentially) to masturbate, and providing a place in which to do it create a brothel?

Asking for a friend.

Loose Lips

…and I’m not talking about the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan or the cast of Jersey / Geordie Shores, either. I’m talking about “leakers” — those Snowden types who are entrusted with confidential information, but can’t resist telling other people about it.

I’m going to make a clear distinction between leakers of State secrets — who deserve imprisonment regardless of their motivations, and whom we can discuss some other time — and commercial leakers, such as those addressed in a (leaked!) memo from Apple. I think the Apple folks are precisely correct:

Apple explains that leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model, give rival companies more time to build a competing product and hurt sales of a new product when it hits the shelves.

I am unmoved by the apologists who point out that in Apple’s case:

Consumers continue to be in a frenzy each time a new Apple product is rumored, while the tech giant’s stock price has catapulted higher in the past year.

That’s not the point. The point is that when you work for a company, you are privy to information which, as the word “privy” specifically denotes, is privileged information. When you abuse that privilege, the company has “cause” to terminate the leaker (which is spelled out in just about every employment contract, and is implicit in all employment hiring). In extreme cases, as Apple adds in the memo, revealing confidential information can be and has been further grounds for arrest and indictment — which is precisely as it should be. Passing information directly on to a competitor is definitely criminal, and for leaking to the Press, a “scourging” rider should be attached to the criminal penalties.

At best, leaking confidential information is indiscretion; at worst it’s actual espionage. And leaking information just so you can feel important should translate to that feeling of importance as Jamal’s favorite plaything in Cell Block D — and Apple has given its assurance to its employees just how far they will go to making the latter part come true if employees are caught and identified.

I’m no great fan of Apple, but in this case: good for them.

Let us all be perfectly clear about this. We are talking here about ethics — when you are asked on your word of honor to keep a secret, whether on paper or by handshake, you keep your fucking mouth shut.

Lawyers have “client confidentiality” tattooed on their foreheads (metaphorically speaking), and quite frankly, I see no difference between those ethics or any other agreement concerning keeping your mouth shut.

And I don’t care if indiscretion doesn’t lead to any actual harm — e.g. lives being lost as a consequence — because breaching trust of any kind is just plain wrong, regardless of the penalties thereof.

Is that too high a standard? It better not be.

They nailed it perfectly in a bygone era:

…and Apple has simply extended the concept:


I am fully aware of the irony involved in discussing a topic which has arisen from a breach of confidentiality — i.e. a leaked memo from Apple in this particular case — but I could have written this post without any prompting at all. The leaked memo simply provided the spark which resulted in the above. Had I been CEO Tim Cook, I would have posted the memo on the front page of Apple’s website, to inform not only Apple employees but the whole world of its contents. It’s long overdue.