Category Archives: Ethics Dunces

Ethics Dunce: “Women of Distinction” Magazine

Here is how to say, “You can’t believe anything in our magazine, and the whole thing is a marketing gimmick, but would you like to also fall for a scam, too?” in one, easy e-mail. Thank “Women of Distinction” for the helpful tip:

women of distinction

This was emailed to me…Jack Marshall….this morning. Note the nice personal touch: “Dear { FIRST NAME }. To append that to a letter adopting the tone of a specific message tailored to the recipient means “We think you are a moron. You know—like us.”

Based on the efforts of their crack research team, they think my profile meets their criteria for an accomplished, rising young professional woman. Sure they do. All I have to do is register before July 20.

Using my DeLorean.

This is in the category of incompetent fraudulent advertising. It is an insult to all direct marketing scamsters, liars and slimeballs, who work hard at their profession, despicable as it is, and have standards, dammit.! This kind of self-destroying garbage makes the whole field look bad. Or good.

You know what I mean.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Marketing and Advertising

Four Ethics Dunces And An Unethical Quote Of The Week Double Feature: The Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor And The Anti-Defamation League

Beware of Nazi fleas!

Beware of Nazi fleas!

“I had to check with the chief over what is actionable and what isn’t,” according to the mayor. “Unless something violates state or federal law, there’s no jurisdiction for government to do anything. We had to ask, is it something controlled by law?”

—-Wallingford, Connecticut Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr, explaining why his ignorance of Constitutional rights compelled him to check with the police after a hysteric freaked out over a flea market that was selling Confederate and Nazi themed items, and called 911 and the mayor’s office in a panic.

“It’s unfortunate that under the law people have the right to sell these things; but it doesn’t mean they should sell these things.” 

—-Joshua Sayles, assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut, expressing his regret that the Constitution includes the First Amendment and a right to Free Speech.

The Wallingford resident who called 911 said he “was shaking and almost vomiting. I had to run.” He told 911 there were helmets with swastikas, images of Hitler and other historical Nazi items.  He complained that the Confederate items were “not authentic” and were replicas of flags and weapons.

The appropriate response to this individual is: grow up. People do things, like things, say things, believe things, sell things, buy things and think things you may not like, and your proper response if you are offended is to leave the scene,  put it out of your mind, make a personal complaint to the individual or individuals in question to express your disagreement if you feel you have to, and then go away.  You have no right to sic the law on them. You have no right to stop them. Calling 911 is an abuse of the service. Ethics Dunce #1. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights

Ethics Dunce For The Ages: Whoopie Goldberg

Cosby3Let me point out, to begin, that anyone who maintained that Bill Cosby was not a rapist and serial sexual predator after over 40 women came forward with almost identical stories was already an ethics dunce, and too stupid to play with sharp objects as well. The man had settled a court case with a promise of confidentiality to avoid the evidence being made public! He had never directly addressed the accusations in public, relying on lawyers! There has not been the slightest chance that Cosby was innocent since victims 2 through 6 surfaced. Anyone dismissing the other, and still growing, group of victims is in denial, or immune to common sense. Such a person would date O.J. Simpson.

Whoopi is a smart woman, but she is racially biased beyond belief. She has never accepted that her pal Bill is a rapist, but because she is a smart woman, even though we all know that bias makes us stupid, I assumed that a point would come where she finally was honest with herself.

I overestimated something—her integrity, her group loyalty, her values, her brain pan.

A formerly confidential deposition has been released in which Cosby admits to procuring Quaaludes with the intention of drugging women for sex. So much for the whole narrative about fatherly Bob being a secret predator who drugged girls to make them easy to have sex with being “ridiculous” and “racist” and “slander.” So much for all those women being liars, as Cosby’s lawyers said more than once. To anyone rational, this revelation simply confirms what there was ample reason to be certain about anyway. Oh! That’s why all those women say Cosby drugged them! He drugs women!

But on  The View today, stated that the deposition has not persuaded her of anything, a classic example of “My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with facts.” No rationalization or terrible argument was too low for Whoopie. She said she was a “former Quaalude user,” and so what? She said she doesn’t “like snap judgments”—snap judgments? These accounts have been around for decades. Whoopie has rejected judgment itself.

“I say this because this is my opinion, and in America still, I know it’s a shock, but you actually were innocent until proven guilty. He has not been proven a rapist,” she blathered. My response:

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Race

Independence Day Ethics Dunce: Sports Illustrated Illustrates How Too Many Americans Regard The Nation’s Veterans

McCain tweet

Sports Illustrated tweeted out the above image and message that linked to a story by “Extra Mustard.” That masterpiece noted that

Senator John McCain attended Tuesday night’s Dodgers–Diamondbacks game and had a chance to grab a souvenir in the seventh inning.Dodgers’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins fouled a ball over the backstop that went bouncing into the lap of the senior senator from Arizona, but McCain couldn’t get his hands on the ball. But McCain deserves a break from critics: As you can see the ball was approaching from a very awkward angle. Still, this photo from Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo does not make the former presidential candidate look particularly athletic.

Apparently neither the reporter nor any of his/her/its editors were aware that McCain has extremely limited use of his arms as a result of being tortured as a North Vietnam prisoner of war. Both arms were broken by his captors and left untreated for so long that he was permanently handicapped, as anyone who watched even a little bit of his 2008 campaign for President could hardly fail to notice. McCain is also 78 years old, not that respect for seniors who have spent their lives in public service could be expected to be a factor in SI’s commentary.

Would any of the magazine’s staff attending a game dare to openly mock a disabled serviceman who didn’t catch a foul ball?  Probably not, since the likelihood of some fans of the National Pastime taking offense and throwing a beer in their smug, ignorant faces would be a real risk. Ah, but from the safety of an office  in New York City and hiding behind a pseudonym—of course, Extra Mustard might be the jerk’s real name, I suppose—it’s easy to insult an elderly U.S. Senator, military veteran and war hero for the consequences of the wounds he sustained in the service of his nation.

Eventually SI was tipped off to its error, and it quietly removed the last sentence. No apology, of course. Such is the historical, cultural, political and ethical ignorance of a substantial portion of our national media.

_____________________

Pointer: Newsbusters

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Ethics Dunce: University of Missouri

Robert Todd Lincoln would have refused this gig...

Robert Todd Lincoln would have refused this gig…

All right, I know this is the lowest of low-hanging fruit, but come on.

The University of Missouri at Kansas City just opened a Women’s Hall of Fame and sought an appropriate female leader to speak at the gala luncheon launching it. It not only chose a non-leader, non-accomplished, non-much of anything except lucky rich kid Chelsea Clinton, but also paid $65,000 for her to speak (she’s also a non-professional speaker) for only ten minutes, and then to answer questions—which carefully crafted limitations on the questions—for another 2o minutes.  The money goes to the Clinton Foundation, which makes no difference to the ethics of the transaction, which are revolting in many ways:

1. $65,000 for a ten minute speech—that rate is about 11 thousand bucks a minute— is outrageous unless the speaker is Abe Lincoln. It is virtually impossible to say anything in ten minutes that is especially valuable, and unlikely to the vanishing point that Chelsea Clinton is one of the rare people who could accomplish it.

2. Any college or university that cannot find a better legitimate educational use of $65,000 than this is too inept to stay open.

3. The school says that Clinton’s fee was funded by private donors, meaning that $65,000 worth of donations that could have gone to, say, scholarships were diverted into the Clinton Campaign and Influence Peddling Slush Fund. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Family, Government & Politics, Philanthropy, Non-Profits and Charity

Ethics Dunce: Keith Hartley, Cubs Fan

The one-handed foul ball catch made by Chicago Cubs fan Keith Hartley was all over the web and cable TV yesterday. If you missed it, here it is:

Nice catch. Of course, it interfered with the ball in play, keeping Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from making the catch. In most circumstances, Hartley would have been thrown out of the game.

That’s the least that should have been done to him. He endangered his son—twice.

How quickly people forget that a fan in Boston is still recovering from a near fatal encounter with a shard from a broken bat that sailed into the stands during a game at Fenway Park, causing many baseball-hating pundits to call for netting to protect fans at field level. (This is how the Barn Door Fallacy works, after all.) I hate the idea of the netting, but there is no question that the seats near the action can be perilous. I once had access to season tickets by the visiting team on-deck circle at Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium, and foul balls were whizzing by my head several times a game. I’m talking about line drives, not pop-ups, like the one Hartley caught.

To be blunt, his baby could have been killed. Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Ethics Dunces, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Sports

Women And Education, Part One: The Professor Hunt Affair

This happens all the time to Tim Hunt, and he just hates it...

This happens all the time to Tim Hunt, and he just hates it…

I confess that I initially took little notice of the Tim Hunt episode because I thought it turned out right, and that few would disagree. I think the ethics issues are obvious and unambiguous. Apparently not, as some commentators argue that he was dismissed for “political correctness.”

 Prof. Hunt, who is 72, and this is a major factor in his downfall, is a renowned biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 for his work on cell division.  He was also knighted in 2006. He was addressing an audience  at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea this month, and for some reason was inspired to say this:

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.”

This was, as the professor would have known if he were n0t 72 and unaccustomed to the ways of social media, immediately tweeted around the world, making him the target of scientists, educators, students, feminists and almost everyone else but Rush Limbaugh. Horrified and still clueless, Hunt went on the radio to “clarify,”  saying that his remarks were “intended as a light-hearted, ironic comment.” This is known as the futile “It’s just a joke!” excuse here at Ethics Alarms, but knights don’t read Ethics Alarms. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Education, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex