Working Dogs Revisited

I received an email over the weekend which asked me to re-open Comments to my Working Dogs post from way back (okay, February).  He asked me this because he wanted to add to the conversation, but couldn’t.

Well, I don’t want to do that (reopen Comments), but instead let’s just use this as an extension.

So go back and read the piece and the Comment section, and if you’re one of the original commenters and have something to add, or want to post a different thought, please do so.  And if you’re a “newcomer” and want to comment, please do so too.

This is not a topic I want to let slide.

Hammer Down

Oh, bugger it all:

Fox News star Charles Krauthammer reveals he has weeks to live

It’s cancer, that vile illness.

And on a personal note:  I just learned this very morning that my closest childhood friend Mark Pennels is also in the final stages of cancer, with maybe a week or two left.  I spoke to him in December when I was in South Africa, and he was cancer-free then, so this latest episode has been a total bastard.

And you all know about Connie, taken from me just last year by the same ailment.

I think I’ll just go to my room and pull the covers up over my head for the rest of the day…

Not In The Narrative

I guess that this guy hadn’t seen the memo from The Man which says that White cops can only kill Black kids, not save their lives.

Needless to say, Black Lives Matter and their soulmates in the liberal media won’t have diddly to say about it, the racist assholes. I had to read this story in Britain’s Daily Mail, which says it all right there.

Excuse me while I spit.

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.

Quid Pro Quo

“There is something deeply perverse about using children to promote a political agenda.”  (Ben Shapiro, talking about kindergartners being used in anti-gun / gun control demonstrations.)

I hope that all those folks who are bitching about children being “used” to further an anti-gun agenda have the same kind of revulsion when they see something like this:

And just a reminder, before the SHTF in Comments:  I hate abortion with a passion — if there were a single aspect of the human condition I could fix, this would be it — but I also hate children being used as props. It’s immoral, and that’s the beginning and the end of it.

You Can’t Say That

From Sarah Vine at the Daily Mail:

QUESTION: Why is it that when a middle-aged, white politician even so much as winks at a middle-class woman these days, Westminster howls sexual harassment; and yet, when large groups of Asian men systematically rape and torture underage girls over the course of several decades, the story barely registers a blip on the BBC news radar?

Silly rabbit; just to ask the question is rayciss. [he mansplained]