…the Complete Ethics Alarms “It’s A Wonderful Life” Ethics Guide is here.
Just in case you forgot!
Just in case you forgot!
Occasionally I read a news item that makes me question my illusions, my optimism, my aspirations, and the rationality of hope. The saga of Jonathan and Sarah Adleta, a couple whose match was made in Hell and whose crimes sound like the rejected plot submission of a Law and Order SVU script writer whose mind has snapped, is just such a story, perhaps the most disturbing I have ever encountered.
If you continue reading, consider yourself warned.
After college student Sarah Adleta became pregnant with Jonathan Adleta’s child and tests showed that the fetus was female, Jonathan told her of his long-held fantasy about having incestuous sexual intercourse with a daughter. A deal was struck: he would marry Sarah, if she agreed to allow him to have sex with their daughter as soon as it was possible. Continue reading
When civil rights advocates point to the disparity of sentencing for non-violent African-American drug offenders and white, shameless, greedy crooks like Kathleen McGrade and her husband, Brian Collinsworth, my best course is to feign a seizure or something. I have no good explanation for them, except that judges like federal judge Liam O’Grady are a large part of the problem.
McGrade was a management analyst for the State Department who used her position and influence to fraudulently direct $53,000,000 in 43 government contacts for construction projects and security work at U.S. sites overseas to the Sterling Royale Group, whose Vice President and CEO were Collinsworth and her daughter Jennifer Herring. She did this by hiding her relationship to the company and its officers. The taxpayer-funded family bounty, meanwhile, allowed McGrade to buy a $73,000 Lexus, a half-million-dollar yacht and nearly $223,000 in jewelry. Continue reading
The truth made a surprising appearance where one should least expect it, MSNBC, yesterday. As the rest of the news media was awash in the sanctification of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, former TIME reporter Richard Stengel, who worked closely with Mandela his autobiography, told shocked MSNBC hosts yesterday that the image of Mandela being broadcast was, in fact, a false one.
“He was a pragmatic politician,” Stengal told “Morning Joe” that Mandela “wasn’t a visionary necessarily, he wasn’t a philosopher, he wasn’t a saint. But he never deviated from [his goal of overturning apartheid]. But anything that would get him there, he embraced, including violence. He created the violent wing of the ANC. And people don’t realize that and don’t remember that. We’ve kind of made him into a Santa Claus. He wasn’t. He was a revolutionary.”
The same day that Mandela’s death was reserved for testimonials and glowing remembrances, the website Buzzfeed had the impertinence to re-publish some of Mandela’s less Santa-like quotes, including praise for communism, communists, and dictators, and condemnations of the U.S. and Israel: Continue reading
Before today, I had never heard of Jack McDonald, and outside of his co-workers , family and friends, not many had. That was the way he wanted it, for he was an unassuming man with a conventional career, including three decades as an attorney for the Veterans Administration. He clipped coupons, dressed humbly and allowed himself few luxuries. He got around his home town of Seattle using public transportation. Most who knew him thought he was struggling.
When Jack McDonald died this past September, his death received little notice in the local news, and none nationally—until about a week ago, when it was revealed that his will provided for the creation of a $187.6 million charitable trust for the benefit of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law and the Salvation Army. Continue reading
Some time in the foreseeable future, we may have the pleasure of reading the various opinions of sages like Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg regarding the import of bracelets bearing the message, ” I ♥ Boobies,” and whether it is a constitutional violation for public schools to ban students from wearing them. In August, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected Pennsylvania’s’ Easton Area School District’s prohibition of the breast cancer awareness bracelets on the grounds that they were potentially disruptive and inappropriately vulgar.
In late October, the District voted authorize the district’s solicitor to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to have the high court hear arguments in the case. The controversy has been going on for three years, has cost the district thousands of dollars in litigation costs that should have been spent on education, and will result, you can bet, in even more egregious expansion of vulgar language in the schools.
This easily avoidable Ethics Train Wreck occurred when two middle school students in Easton wore the bracelets to school with their parents’ permission despite a school ban that called them “distracting and demeaning.” ETHICS FOUL #2 School is about learning and facilitating learning, not making an effort to intentionally pick fights in the shadowy realm of First Amendment law. Why did the parents do this? Are the provocative bracelets really essential school fare? Will their presence in the schools have a measurable impact on breast cancer awareness? Was the ability of the girls to wear the bracelets, and their opportunity to bend the school to its will worth all the cost, time and disruption this defiance of a dress code was likely to cause a legitimate utilitarian trade-off? I don’t think so. Continue reading
Bill Clinton now seems to suggest that he was joking in the infamous interview back in 1993 when he claimed that he “didn’t inhale.” Yeah, that’s some comic delivery you had there, Bill. The moment seemed to encapsulate Clinton’s remarkably generous definition of truthfulness, and for the rest of his political career to date, it has proven to be an accurate predictor.
What has always seemed notable about Clinton is that he will lie when he doesn’t have to, about matters large and small. It is the trivial, pointless lies, in fact, that really inform us about a public figure’s truthfulness. A normally ethical individual, in a crisis and a moment of panic, might speak a falsehood, as all of us might and probably have. People with integrity, however, don’t resort to lies as a first option.
That is why yesterday’s puzzling story about President Obama’s uncle is insignificant in itself, but very significant as the nation and the public reaches a verdict–and such verdicts are almost impossible to overturn—regarding the trustworthiness of this leader and his government. The Washington Post relates: Continue reading