Unethical Quote Of The Month: The White House, a.k.a. President Obama

“Today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misrepresent the facts and the law. The president’s actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy and keep our communities safe. They are squarely within the bounds of his authority, and they are the right thing to do for the country.”

—-White House spokeswoman, Brandi Hoffine, relaying the White House’s response to the Fifth Circuit’s refusal to lift the injunction blocking President Obama’s dubious plan to defer deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants, using executive order rather than legislation.

The bottomless pit of miserable White House tactics...

The bottomless pit of miserable White House tactics…

There appear to be no depths of unethical rhetoric to which the Obama White House is not willing to stoop for political gain.

The wording of the White House statement is unethical: despicable, irresponsible, and offensive to the judicial system, as well as beneath the dignity of the Presidency.

Well, of most Presidencies, anyway.

The President is free, of course, to disagree with a court decision, and may say so. To imply, however, that the two judges who formed the majority in this ruling did not make their decision fairly and legitimately, but rather “chose” to misrepresent facts and law—essentially accusing them of dishonesty, is unethical to the bone. There is even an ABA Rule of Professional Conduct prohibiting such a comment as undermining “public confidence in the administration of justice.” The President is not only a lawyer, but a former law professor. He should be ashamed of himself, and we should be ashamed of him. Lawyers have been suspended for making similar statements, and he is President of the United States, whose statements are infinitely more harmful. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Announcing Two New Rationalizations: #24 “It’s My Right!” and #36 A. “You Were Warned”

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The discussions on two recent posts revealed more holes in the Ethics Alarms Unethical Rationalizations List, and these two new additions fill them. I know there are more. #24 will take the place of the current #24, “The Free Speech Confusion,” which is now 24 A. It is properly a sub-rationalization of the new #24. #36 A is a new sub-category of #36, Victim Blindness, or “They/He/She/ You should have seen it coming.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Rights

Ethics Dunce: Pope Francis

The Pope and "the Angel of Peace"...

The Pope and “the Angel of Peace”…

Sigh.

I apologize in advance to all the Catholics and others who will be offended by this post. I wish I didn’t have to write it. But I just read one too many “nyah, nyah, nyah conservatives and Republicans, you’re so big on waving God at us and now the Pope says you’re full of crap” Facebook posts from someone who would no more set foot in a church than Damien in “The Omen.”  The Pope is as fair game for criticism when he abuses his influence and power as Kylie Jenner, who was the subject of the previous post, and for similar reasons. To those who say that it is disrespectful for me to compare the Pope’s ethics to those of an ignorant 18-year-old minor celebrity drunk on her own fame, my answer is that the Pope needs to stop acting like one.

I’m going to try to avoid the mocking tone I used with Kylie, I really am.

With great power, the saying goes, comes great responsibility. What I see in this Pope is a very, very nice and well-meaning man who suddenly was given the power to have his every opinion on any subject immediately plastered all over newspapers across the world and recited by news readers as significant, and literally can’t stop himself. He told an Argentinian journalist last week that he just wants to be remembered as “good guy.”  Mission accomplished: I believe he is a good guy. He’s also an irresponsible guy, who knows or should know that his pronouncements will be exploited for political advantage by people and parties that could not care less about his Church, God and religion generally, but who will use his words  to persuade voters who feel the need to know no more about a subject that what the “Vicar of Christ” tells them.

It may be “good to be Pope,” to paraphrase Mel Brooks, and it’s also not “easy being Pope,” to paraphrase Kermit the Frog. I don’t care: he accepted the job, and with it the duty to do it responsibly. Being a responsible Pope means not shooting off your mouth about every topic that occurs to you. In that same interview, Pope Francis opined that humans care too much about pets. I get it: poverty is, by his own assessment, the single most important aspect of the Church’s mission, so it’s natural for the Pope to believe that the money spent on movies, cable TV, make-up, CDs, and Jack Russell terriers should all be given to the Clinton Foundation or his Church instead. That’s a facile opinion from someone who has a staff catering to his every whim, and who sits on billions in the Vatican Bank. Does the Pope understand loneliness? Does he have any compassion for those suffering from it? Does he understand the needs of my sister, divorced and with both children gone, and her desire to have some unconditional love in the house when she returns to an otherwise empty home,  love that  takes the form of a happy, loyal, Havanese? “Care for pets is like programmed love,” the Pope told the interviewer. “I can program the loving response of a dog or a cat, and I don’t need the experience of a human, reciprocal love.”

My response: “Shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and millions of people will assume you got this point of view straight from God.” Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, History, Leadership, Love, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy

Celebrity Ethics Rule: If You Are Going To Be Stupid And Ignorant, Don’t Make Other People Stupid And Ignorant Too

Jenner on Twitter

The author of the above embarrassment via Twitter, is Kylie Jenner. I feel sorry for Kylie Jenner. She’ll probably be rich, and she’s already famous, but the chances of her life being anything other than an interminable smut-storm of scandals, bad relationships, marriage-less pregnancies, rehabs, reality show spin-offs and episodes that would embarrass anyone not named Kardashian are close to nil. She is part of the latest generation of the culture-rotting clan of lucrative media freaks created by the Machiavellian Kris Jenner, widow of late O.J. Simpson lawyer Bob Kardashian. Kylie was doomed from conception, birthed by a mother lacking scruples, morals or shame, growing up on reality TV shows, with three slutty sisters as her role models and controlled by a mom who would have been a bordello madam, pimping out her daughters, in the era before cable.

Troubled narcissist transsexual Bruce Jenner is her father; professional rapping narcissist Kanye West is her brother-in-law. There has never been a whiff from any member of the extended family that any of them sees or is capable of seeing any value in literature, history, civics, science, knowledge, thought, thinking…anything involving the brain at all—in fact, anything that doesn’t involve self-promotion, exhibitionism, money, conspicuous consumption, atrocious taste, and sex.

OK, so Kylie’s an idiot. That’s too bad, but the girl has 9 million twitter followers, and it’s not too much to ask that she doesn’t use her undeserved prominence and outsized megaphone to make millions of idiot clones. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Popular Culture, Science & Technology, The Internet, U.S. Society

The Conundrum Of The Tolerant, Excessively Honest Jeweler And The Gay Couple’s Rings

rings

It’s not a photographer, chapel, baker or pizza place this time, indeed not even a business that discriminates or that said that would ever discriminate. As for the allegedly aggrieved gay couple involved, they did not choose the establishment looking for a fight or to make headlines, nor do they claim they were treated differently than any other couple would be, or that they were discriminated against.

Yet here we are again.

Canadians Nicole White and Pam Renouf, a same-sex couple, went shopping for engagement rings a few months ago, and eventually  found Today’s Jewelers in Mount Pearl, in Newfoundland, which specializes in custom-made rings. Everything went well as they ordered their rings and agreed on a price—the service, the atmosphere, the professionalism was all as it should have been. “They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” White said.”I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”

One of her friends took such an endorsement and went in to Today’s Jewellers to buy a ring for his girlfriend. There he saw a recently posted sign in the store. This sign:

sign

He took a photo, and sent it to White. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising, Rights, Romance and Relationships, The Internet

Comment of the Day: “Memorial Day Values And Ethics”

arlington-cemetery-lgPatrice, the author of this two-part Comment of the Day, is a long-time and much cherished friend. She is a strong and thoughtful liberal, but her knees never jerk; she is a Catholic theologian, but honest and realistic about the problems in that Church and others. She’s smart, tough, learned and funny, and I am always honored to have her insight presented here.

Here is her Comment of the Day on the post, Memorial Day Values And Ethics*:
Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Government & Politics, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Unethical Words And Actions Have Consequences Dept.: The Baltimore Shooting Spree

baltimore-police-attacks

Since the Freddie Gray incident, Baltimore’s murder and criminal violence rate has climbed to record-setting levels, with over a hundred shooting deaths in the city this year. The Charm City’s police reported that 28 people were shot, and 9 of them killed, over the Memorial Day weekend alone.

Speaking to CNN anonymously, a Baltimore police officer attributed the spike to police officers in his city no longer doing their job proactively. This wasn’t a slowdown, he said, just low-risk policing, and the criminals are taking full advantage.

This seems extremely likely, and I would expect that the same phenomenon will take hold in other city police forces unless national leadership takes steps to…oh, what am I talking about? That’s not going to happen.

President Obama and Eric Holder’s racialized Justice Department planted the seeds of this with their irresponsible response to the Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown shootings, and those responses were modeled by a biased, unethical and politically ambitious state’s attorney in the Freddie Gray death. The war on police officers by African-American activists, Democrats and the Left was bound to have the result we are now seeing in Baltimore. Either the opportunistic pols, pundits and race-baiters wanted this, or they were too focused on gaining a political edge to foresee it. Now they are reaping what they have sown, and we should not allow them to deny accountability.

Why would any police officer engage in proactive policing when an unexpected turn of events, a resisting suspect or a single mistake in judgment under pressure will trigger protests and prejudging by mobs and the media, resulting in show trials ordered by cowardly prosecutors regardless of the evidence? It is a no-win situation for police, with personally, financially and professionally catastrophic consequences to an individual cop who ends up in the maw of one of these public lynchings. I expect that the next shoe in the process of dropping will be a sharp reduction in police recruits, except of the type that departments use at their peril.

There is no reason for any sane or intelligent individual to subject themselves to working conditions like this, where a disproportionate number of criminals and suspects he or she is going to encounter are African American, and any negative consequences to one of them under ambiguous circumstances will be attributed to racism, bias, homicidal tendencies or hate. We are going to end up with police forces made up entirely of insane or stupid cops.

CNN’s Carol Costello interviewed an African American community activist from Baltimore and asked the question I just did. His answer was a defiant “Because it’s their job!” Wrong. The job was not accepted with the risk of being thrown to the dogs by the Justice Department, state and local officials as an agreed-upon condition of employment. Police must be able to assume, as they once could, that the city, state and national leadership will support them and be reasonable regarding the occasional tragedies that the nature of the job will inevitably entail. Now they clearly cannot.

Had the pendulum swung too far to giving police the benefit of the doubt in every instance? Absolutely. Where the pendulum is swinging now, however, will result in urban chaos. That chaos, ironically, will fall most heavily on African American. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Workplace