Ethical Quote Of The Week: GOP Senator And Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham

lindsey_graham

You know what, I’m not your candidate. I don’t want you to vote for me. I couldn’t disagree with you more.”

-South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham during an election event in Des Moines, Iowa, after an Iowan Republican in the crowd.suggested banning Islam.

Later Graham said, “He’s got a right to say whatever he wants to say, but I have an obligation to the Republican Party, to the people of Iowa and the country as a whole to be firm on this. I’m not buying into that construct. That’s not the America that I want to lead.”

I will await the first Democratic Party candidate who demonstrates similar integrity with an equivalent reply to a supporter who advocates banning hate speech.

I suspect I will wait until the stars turn cold.

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Unethical TV Ad Of The Month: Geico

“If your boss stops by, you act like you’re working — It’s what you do. If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to GEICO.

Actually, it’s not what you do if you are diligent, responsible, fair to your employer and deserve to have a job. It’s what you do if you are an unethical, dishonest slacker who is stealing your salary and ought to be fired.

These are apparently the kinds of people GEICO believe are its prime market.

Good to know.

_________________

Pointer: Grace Marshall

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More Obama Administration Abuse of Power In The Service of Political Correctness

 redskins

From the Washington Post:

Efforts to lure the Washington Redskins back to the District have come up against a potentially insurmountable challenge: the Obama administration’s objections to the team’s name.Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser this spring that the National Park Service, which owns the land beneath Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, was unlikely to accommodate construction of a new stadium for the Redskins unless the team changes its name.

Jewell oversees both national park land and America’s trust and treaty relationships with Native American tribes.Her decision not to extend the District’s lease of the RFK land badly hinders Bowser’s bid to return the Redskins to D.C. — and boosts efforts to lure the team across the Potomac to Northern Virginia.

It is also a blatant abuse of government power and an  insult to the spirit and intent of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Continue reading

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Nine Ethics Takeaways From The Reaction To Donald Trump’s Anti-Illegal Immigrant Comments

Donald Trump thinks her life mattered more than cheap labor and Hispanic votes.

Donald Trump thinks her life should have  mattered more than cheap labor and Hispanic votes. Clearly, he must be punished…

1. Nobody can offer a reasonable justification for the U.S.’s tolerance of illegal immigration.

If anyone could, this would have been an excellent time to offer it. Nobody did this because there is no reasonable justification, just naked greed (big business), political expediency (politicians),  rationalizations (illegal immigration advocates) and sentimentality (everyone else).

2. Donald Trump, as awful as he is, has his uses.

Disgracefully, neither Presidential candidate spoke in any honest detail about the illegal immigration problem in 2012, talking safely and generally about “the need for immigration reform” instead, which is exactly as useful as advocating deficit reform, drug policy reforms and tax reforms, which is to say useless—but sufficient to keep lazy voters nodding like bobbleheads. The fact is that illegal immigration is an existential problem for the country as it can be for any nation, and responsible leaders and aspiring leaders have an obligation to deal with it seriously, openly and directly. They don’t. Thus it is left to buffoons and irresponsible leaders like Donald Trump to drop the stink-bombs they do. Truth from any source is still better than endless lies and obfuscation.

3. The mainstream news media is as biased, incompetent and dishonest on this issue as any other, and arguably more so.

Literally all the mainstream coverage of the organized backlash to Trump’s comments has been based on various critics’ expressions of horror and ridicule at Trump’s words. Virtually none has covered the factual basis for his statement, which is considerable. Most Americans know Trump is a jerk. Do they know that opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with racism or opposition to immigration itself? Do they know the corrupt and cynical motivations that placed the United States in this dilemma? No, the news media is only interested in identifying bad guys (Trump, and anyone who doesn’t regard illegal border crossers as heroes) and good guys (those compassionate, rule of law-rejecting pols and advocates who want U.S. immigration restrictions to be a dead letter).  The news media is really one of the bad guys. At this point, for example, the only major news outlet that careful and accurately distinguishes between illegal immigration and immigration is Fox News. For the rest, the conflation of the two is part of a grand strategy of misdirection.

4. The GOP Presidential candidates are cowards, with exception of Senator Ted Cruz.

Only Cruz has had the integrity to praise Trump for raising the issue, and still properly express reservations about his method of doing it. The rest have all expressed politically correct tut-tutting at Trump’s generally accurate statement that the U.S.’s failure to protect its southern border is a disgrace, that Mexico is benefiting by allowing its poorest, most desperate and criminal population to become our problem, and that many of the illegal immigrants bring crime with them. [Read the comments on Mediate regarding Cruz’s statements on Trump. They almost entirely consist of ad hominem insults (whatever he may be, Ted Cruz is no idiot), birther slurs (a man born to an American citizen visiting in Canada is a “natural born” U.S. citizen, you dolts), and statements based on the assumption that letting illegals just waltz across our borders is good policy, which, of course, it is anything but.]

5. The feckless Republicans pols are ducking because they are desperately afraid of alienating Hispanic-American voters, so they jettison their integrity, honesty, and duty as leaders and Americans.

Principled Republicans should trust Hispanic-Americans to have the same responsible concerns for the best interests of their nation as any other informed citizens, and appeal to them as the law-abiding patriots they are to oppose a disastrous open border policy that rewards illegal conduct.

6. Democrats and progressives increasingly rely on using various forms of coercion to stifle debate rather than to engage it.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he is reviewing Trumps contract’s with the city to see if he can punish Trump for daring to suggest that we have an illegal Mexican immigrant problem. He said:

“We are reviewing Trump contracts with the City. Donald Trump’s remarks were disgusting and offensive, and this hateful language has no place in our city. Trump’s comments do not represent the values of inclusion and openness that define us as New Yorkers. Our Mexican brothers and sister make up an essential part of this city’s vibrant and diverse community, and we will continue to celebrate and support New Yorkers of every background.”

Boy, the left really, really hates free speech, doesn’t it?  Government official are forbidden from declaring what kind of  speech does or does not have a “place” in any jurisdiction in the United States, but the Democrats keep trying to asert otherwise, on the theory that if they say it often enough, citizens will acccept it. Even though Trump was speaking as a public citizen and a candidate for office, De Blasio thinks it is appropriate for the city government to take punitive action against him for his opinion. This is the Chick-fil-A’ fiasco all over again, and also resembles the Senate Democrats’ strong-arm attack on the Washington Redskins.

It is beginning to look like a vote for Democrats is a vote against the principles of freedom of thought, discourse, dissent and speech. I would assume this would trouble—liberals. Or have they already been corrupted beyond repair?

7. Trump is quite correct to point to that the recent random killing of 31-year-old Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been deported five times, as a perfect example of what he was talking about.

ICE has explained it turned Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities on March 26 for an outstanding drug warrant, and requested an immigration detainer. But Nancy Pelosi’s constituents, mindless supporters of illegal immigration and pro-drugs as well, believe that violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, so they allowed one of Mexico’s best to stay around long enough to kill an innocent white women.

Thank God for that, since only black lives matter. A black victim might have caused the city’s leftists to have a cognitive dissonance meltdown.

The news media is soft-peddling the story as much as it can—CNN calls the alleged killer “undocumented,” as if he misplaced his papers somewhere, another now accepted journalistic deceit—because the narrative is that all illegal immigrants are heroic parents trying to gain a better future for their offspring.  It should be used by Republicans as an effective Willy Horton-style attack on any Democratic Presidential candidate advocating continued border control abdication. The message: Your “immigration reforms” policy killed this woman. Go ahead: deny it.

8. The double standard being employed by the left and a news media in their response to the Charleston church shooting by Dylan Roof and Steinle’s murder is stunning.

Roof used a gun and liked Confederate flags, though there is no evidence that either different gun laws or the absence of the flag would have stopped his rampage. Never mind: the President used the tragedy to rev up the anti-Second Amendment zealots, and an anti-Confederate flag mania has somehow extended to desecrations of statues of Christopher Columbus. Kate Steinle is dead as a direct and undeniable result of the nation’s negligent enforcement of immigration laws championed by the same people who want to tear down statutes of Robert E. Lee, but to suggest that more stringent enforcement is necessary is “racist.”

9. Trump is an idiot.

If he is going to raise important issues as a “straight-talker.’ he is obligated not to play directly into the pro-illegal immigration mob’s strategy of attacking the messenger rather than rebutting the message. He has an obligation to be clear, and not so inflammatory that real content of his message is lost. He just can’t do it.

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Scott Brown And The Slippery Slope To Distrust

Stay classy, Senator...

Stay classy, Senator…

Who started our elected officials down the slippery slope to the point where the public viewed them as indistinguishable from any other celebrity? Was it when  Richard Nixon appeared on “Laugh-In” in 1968? Was it when ex-Speaker Tip O’Neill allowed himself the be shown in a commercial for Quality International Budget Hotels, popping out of a suitcase? Was it a decade earlier, when washed up song and dance man George Murphy won a U.S. Senate seat for California? There were critics who sounded the alarms loud and early about the dangers of our leaders trading on their visibility and power like any pop singer, athlete or actress; such critics were inevitably told to “lighten up.” We assumed, did we not, that our leaders, being responsible and respectful of our institutions,  would know what lines not to cross, and when their self-mockery, playing around and hucksterism would risk harming the credibility of democracy and the public trust.

Why would we assume that, especially as cynical politicians increasingly sought to win the votes of even more cynical young voters?

Ronald Reagan explained to an interviewer that while it would be fun to return to acting—playing a Bond villain, maybe—after leaving the Presidency, it would be unseemly. Is anything unseemly now? Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped out of a Governor’s mansion back into cyborgdom without blinking. Rudy Giuliani appeared in drag on Saturday Night Live while he was still mayor. Senators and House members eagerly grabbed cameos in sitcoms and dramas. Some were even good at it: Senator John Glenn’s guest appearance on “Frazier” is one of the highlights of the whole series. Did any of these eager publicity hounds consider that the more our leaders behaved like every other celebrity, the less reason the public had to believe they were any better, smarter, or more honest than the politically vocal and usually ignorant celebrities who supported them?

A public office is a public trust, and therefore the honor of that office is a gift that the temporary occupant should not trade upon for crass commercial gain and ego fulfillment.  It is bad, and corrupting, enough that the simple fact that they held high office is usually enough to guarantee former officials private sector employment in lobbying firms, universities, law firms and other lucrative enterprises. Still, the institution and positions a former elected leader leaves behind are still deeply affected by the conduct and the reputation of former occupants.

When I first studied Presidential leadership, the consensus among political scientists was that the public perceived the office of the Presidency according to the conduct, reputation, image  and character of George Washington.  Today, thanks to constantly sinking precedents, the public expects lies, excuses incompetence, and shrugs off greed, with the ugly example of the Clintons now reaching depths never envisioned even when Gerald Ford became the star client of the William Morris agency.

Yet somehow I didn’t think it would come to this. I didn’t foresee a former U.S. Senator following the lead of Marie Osmond and Kirstie Alley, and becoming a shill for a diet supplement.  I am so damn naive sometimes. I assumed that an ex-Massachusetts Republican Senator would no more follow that seedy path, no matter how much he needed the money,  then Sarah Palin would pose nude for Playboy. Yet here is Scott Brown, serving as spokesperson for AdvoCare products, which resemble Herbalife in their marketing plan and likely legitimacy.

His acceptance of such an undignified and dubious role harms every U.S. Senator, the institution of the Senate, and the republic itself. It further obliterates all pretense of superior character and respect for the institutions they serve from our politicians, and makes every single one of them appear less worthy of office, respectable or dignified in the eyes of citizens and voters. There are essays all over the web right now asking why slimy Donald Trump is polling so well, given that he is boor, a bully, a clod, a huckster and a self-promoting fool.

Scott Brown and the trend he represents is a big reason. “How is Trump any worse that the rest?” Trumps fans will ask. “At least he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.”  Dignity and respect for the privilege of public service have always been vital tools of leadership, and prerequisites for attaining it. This was understood for so long that our leaders forgot why those qualities were important.  Now they have neglected both for their own selfish, short-term gains in money, celebrity and ego-gratification, leaving a distrustful public that can no longer distinguish between statesmen and con artists….perhaps because there is no distinction left.

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Surely There Is A Gay John Adams In Oregon Who Will Fight The State’s Outrageous Persecution Of The Kleins…Isn’t There?

Come on, John, I know you're out there....

Come on, John, I know you’re out there….

Even if one believes that the refusal of  Sweet Cakes  to make a wedding cake for a gay couple was a dubious exercise of religion as well as a mean and petty one, the astounding punishment levied on the now defunct bakery’s owners must be condemned as an abuse of power.

Having already lost their bakery business due to mob action online by Gay Marriage Advocate Furies, Aaron and Melissa Klein were walloped by former Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian with a $135,000 judgment  for “emotional damages” to the couple. He also issued a gag order on the ex-bakers that forbids the Kleins from explaining to potential customers of Sweet Cakes their anti- same-sex wedding policies.

Of course—I guess I can’t really say “of course” if such a travesty can occur—no state can order anyone not to talk about anything in such a situation. The unconstitutional gag order is essentially moot, since to violate it the Kleins would have to still own a bakery and they do not, but it still acts to intimidate others and chill freedom of speech. It must be challenged and overturned. The fine is also unconscionable, and effectively makes villains out of the originally aggrieved couple if they don’t immediately agree to waive it. There is a duty in law to mitigate damages: the couple could and did minimize the harm of their cake request’s rejection by obtaining a wedding cake elsewhere. The Kleins didn’t stop them from getting married, and any harm that came to them from the publicity of their humiliation by the bakery was exacerbated by the couple’s own actions, not the Kleins’. $135,000? That’s beyond punitive. That’s vengeance. Continue reading

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July Fourth Ethics: On Liberty And Freedom

US-original-Declaration-1776

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

—-The Declaration of Independence

“It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever. “

—-Daniel Webster, U.S. politician and orator

“Liberty is the soul’s right to breathe, and when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girdled too tight.”

—-Henry Ward Beecher, abolitionist.

“Without an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense – the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independent and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.”

—- Senator William Borah (R-ID), 1917

 “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

—-George Orwell
Continue reading

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