Jon Stewart assesses the entire sordid episode at about the 3:00 point here.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on an email "scandal" that has "rocked" the Port of Seattle. Eight employees lost their jobs and seven were suspended without pay for their participation in a ring that distributed inappropriate emails. According to reporter Vanessa Ho, one of the emails contained a video "...of a baby suckling on a partially nude woman doing a headstand."
Now, I happen to have seen that video. A lactation consultant friend sent it to me a while back. What she found cute and I found charming has the Port of Seattle in dither and Vanessa Ho up in arms over kiddie porn. Judge for yourself:
There's more to it than this, of course, but is the whole business really worth taking away the livelihoods of eight people in a down economy? Port Chief Executive Tay Yoshitani thinks so: "This is especially disappointing as we have been clear with staff about our expectations that employees read, understand and abide by the port's policies."
I'm a flaming liberal. There's no room in any workplace for harassment or discrimination. But there are effective ways of handling the problematic emails without firing people. Plus, this is a port, for God's sake. What kind of language does Yoshitani think the average stevedore uses? Somehow I doubt it, but maybe there really are guidelines like these:
DON'T say @(*^#@)!?!*
DO say "Golly"
DON'T say ^&#)*!@%*! #!
DO say "My goodness"
DON'T say *@)+-@^?"!! *>^#}!!!
DO say "Hoops! Applesauce!"
Example: Steve Dore drops a 200-lb crate on his foot. Steve's old response would have been to react irrationally and scream in pain that "*&$ #%^@ it! That @#&*?^$!*^ing crate just broke my #*^?ing foot!!! Somebody call the #*^?ing EMTs!" Now he knows to take a deep breath, count to ten, and respond appropriately: "Yumpin' Yiminy but this gol-durn crate was darn heavy! Applesauce it! Could somebody please dial 911?"