Category Archives: Ethics Dunces

Ethics Dunce: Radio Talk Show Host Bryan Fischer

To be fair, I guess it's possible that Fischer captured a leprechaun who granted him three wishes, in which case his prescription for ending AIDS isn't crazy after all. So I may owe him an apology...

To be fair, I guess it’s possible that Fischer captured a Leprechaun who granted him three wishes, in which case his prescription for ending AIDS isn’t crazy after all. So I may owe him an apology…

When ideology, including religion, requires one to abandon all connection to reality, unethical positions are sure to follow.  Christian conservative talk show host Bryan Fisher launched an angry rant over what he called President Obama’s promotion of sexual deviancy in his remarks following the downing of MH17 over the Ukraine. Here are the relevant remarks by the President:

“Let me close by making one additional comment. On board Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 there were apparently near 100 researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in Australia dedicated to combating AIDS/HIV. These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others, and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence.

In this world today we shouldn’t forget that in the midst of conflict and killing, there are people like these, people who are focused on what can be built rather than what can be destroyed, people who are focused on how they can help people that they’ve never met, people that define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. It’s important for us to lift them up and to affirm their lives. And it’s time for us to heed their example.

The United States of America is going to continue to stand for the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose, that nations have the right to determine their own destiny, and that when terrible events like this occur, the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of truth.”

Now here is Fischer’s reaction: Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Religion and Philosophy, Research and Scholarship, Rights

Ethics Dunce: Federal Judge Richard G. Kopf

"Oh dear...and he looks like such a NICE federal judge!"

“Oh dear…and he looks like such a NICE federal judge!”

Richard G. Kopf is a senior district court judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, and a blogger. He is also,I would say obviously, an Ethics Dunce. Why?

He told the U.S. Supreme Court to shut the fuck up.

He really did.

That he did this on his blog, Hercules and the Umpire, doesn’t matter. It was in print, in public, and he’s a Federal judge. The obscenity came in the context of Judge Kopf’s criticism of the recent Hobby Lobby decision, but the context doesn’t matter either. There is no context in which it would be appropriate, judicial and ethical for a member of the judiciary to tell the Supreme Court of the United States to shut the fuck up. Nor does it matter that he used the texting code stfu rather than spelling out the words.

For a Federal judge to be openly disrespectful, uncivil and abusive to the top of the nation’s judicial branch is an assault on the rule of law, and undermines public respect for our institutions. As lawyer and blogger Rich Hasen wrote, Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, The Internet, Unethical Blog Post

Ethics Dunce: Anyone Who Thinks Hillary’s “I Gave It All To Charity” Excuse Excuses Anything

Money-box-giftI apologize in advance for this, because I assume all of you are as sick of commentary on Hillary, her book promotion tour, and her endless stream of statements that validate everything her critics have been saying for over a decade. However, her latest ethically tone-deaf statement is a special category of dishonesty that I vowed long ago to flag every time it was tried by a public figure, and given a pass by the news media. So here we are.

Hillary responded to the growing controversy over her absurd speaking fees, which she charges to universities as well as corporations, by saying this to ABC’s Ann Compton:

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation.”

Giving money to another individual’s charity of choice is indistinguishable from giving money directly to that individual. If a lobbyist gives corporate money to a politician’s charity, for example, that’s a crime in most states, and should be. The charity dodge is a popular one with corrupt individuals, because the average member of the public, being among those whom Abraham Lincoln noted that you can fool all the time, and also possessing the ethics analysis skills of the typical whippet, just nod and say, “Oh. Okay!” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Dunces, The Internet

#!@&! Ethics Dunce and Incompetent Elected Official of the Month: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

"Stay classy, Los Angeles!"

“Stay classy, Los Angeles!”

Let me see: What epic event would justify an elected leader, public figure and inherent role model intentionally doing his best to undermine beleaguered efforts by parents, teachers, employers, Federal regulators and ethics blog authors to protect the vital cultural values of civility and respect from the onslaught of the boorish, inconsiderate and inarticulate who would make obscenity part of everyday discourse?

World peace? Curing cancer? Ending poverty? Nah. The occurrence so significant that Los Angeles’s mayor thinks it justifies his use of the vague and slovenly adjective “fucking” in a planned statement is  the L.A. Kings’ Stanley Cup victory. You know…pro hockey? Where they bat that little rubber thing around the ice?

Occasionally, public figures like Joe Biden (but he has…well, you know…issues) have accidentally tossed f-bombs into unwilling ears canals, but never before has an elected official set out to do so. It is irresponsible, and demonstrates how America is increasingly electing children to high office. If the Mayor of L.A. thinks that a hockey game victory provides a sufficient pass to issue officially sanctioned vulgarity to America, what chance do parents and teachers have when they try to instill manners—that is, routine respect for those we interact with— into their young charges? Answer: less of a chance than they had before Mayor Garcetti opened his smug, pandering, dirty mouth. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership, Sports, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunces: The Idiot Who Pretends To Be Barack Obama On Twitter, Plus The Idiot Who Hired An Idiot To Pretend To Be Barack Obama, Plus The President, Who Apparently Doesn’t Know Or Care That He’s Being Impersonated By An Idiot

ahistorical tweet

Let’s begin with the basics:  it’s unethical for the President to lend his name and office a Twitter account that purports to send out messages from him when in fact he neither sends out the messages nor approves them. It’s also stupid, and it’s unethical because it is stupid. A President’s credibility must be protected, by him and everybody else. If Obama isn’t sending a tweet, he shouldn’t permit an official tweet to go out that suggests otherwise. “Everybody” knows Obama isn’t sending the tweets, you say? If so, then why do so many Twitter users follow Fake Obama? Whether they believe it is him or not, he implicitly endorses and approves whatever is tweeted under his name. He is responsible.

From this follows the next point: it is irresponsible to hire a grade school drop-out to represent the President of the United States on the internet. Stating that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1963 isn’t a typo: this was embodied in a graphic, and requires deep, frightening historical ignorance. I wouldn’t expect the President to have time to oversee this kind of petty operation, especially since he can’t find the time to oversee the I.R.S., the N.S.A, the V.A., the Secret Service, the Armed Services, or the Justice Department, all of which he should be holding to some standards of competence. I would expect, however, that whoever that supervision is delegated to would understand that making sure POTUS isn’t made to seem like Jessica Simpson on Twitter is paramount. I would also expect that the President himself would want to exert some effort to control the words others place in his mouth, as that would be the smart, responsible, professional and presidential thing to do.

But that is obviously expecting too much.

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Pointer: Instapundit

Source: Ed Driscoll

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Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, The Internet

Ethics Dunce (Live Performance Division): “Fox and Friends” Host Steve Doocy

Daughtry

Boy, do I hate when someone does this.

Especially when they do it to me. Unfortunately, for him, the victim this time was Chris Daughtry.

On June 6, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day, Fox and Friends had rocker Chris Daughtry and his band performing (for some reason: D for Daughtry?). Later, during the after-show, host Steve Doocy was overcome with patriotism and bad musical taste and suggested that Daughtry return to sing a “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” extemporaneously with the other hosts, Anna Kooiman, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers.

Daughtry, nicely but unequivocally, refused, causing an awkward scene, and also bringing down a barrage of abuse on himself from Fox viewers, so much so that he later felt the need to explain and apologize in a video.

He shouldn’t have. Doocy was way out of line, incredibly so, for someone supposedly in a branch of show business. It is rude and unfair to put a performer on the spot in front of an audience and 1) ask him or her to perform something unplanned and unrehearsed; 2) to request musical services that were not required in the contract, essentially as free entertainment,  and 3) worst of all, to frame it as a patriotic act, making Daughtry look like a villain when he refused, as he should have, when the singer was in truth the victim of Doocy’s clueless presumptuousness.

Doocy and Fox owe Daughtry an apology. No performer, ever, should be put in this  position without his prior knowledge and consent.

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Pointer and Facts: Mediaite

 

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Dunces, Professions

Ethic Dunce: California Chrome Owner Steve Coburn*

horses-assAs you probably know by now, California Chrome attempted to become the 12th horse and first since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown and join a fabled group that includes such esteemed equines as Gallant Fox, Whirlaway, Citation and Secretariat…and fell right on his long face, finishing fourth. The  winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness lost the Belmont Stakes to 9-1 long-shot Tonalist, who did not run the opening two races of the series. Ah, there’s the rub. Part of the challenge of the Triple Crown, a not insubstantial part,  is that it is an endurance test. CC lost to a fresher horse.

Well, you know, that’s why winning the Triple Crown is so special and the horses who achieved it are the sport of racing’s four-footed immortals. It’s hard. When your horse loses the final and most difficult (it’s longer) of the three races after winning the first two, as many horses have, the correct, classy and ethical response is well established. It doesn’t take any imagination. You say that you congratulate the winning stables, the owners, the horse and the jockey, that of course you are disappointed, that your horse ran the best race he could but on this day it was not good enough. Then you shut up, and let sportswriters make excuses for the loss, if there are excuses to be made. Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Sports

Ethics Dunces: The Republican Un-Tweeters

"Ha! They'll NEVER find it now!"

“Ha! They’ll NEVER find it now!”

Several Republican politicians leapt on the “Welcome Home Bowe!” bandwagon without bothering to a) learn the details and more importantly to them, sadly, b) gauge the reaction of their constituents, contributers and supporters.  Thus they tweeted praise for his release, perhaps echoing Obama’s designated liar Susan Rice’s unsupported assertion that he has served with honor, or evoking the Administration’s now discarded spin that he was a hero. When the transaction was revealed to be an utter botch by the Obama Administration (but I repeat myself), and the GOP officials realized that it would be partisan feeding time in the  shark tank, these brave public servants had neither the forthrightness to admit their errors, if errors they were, nor the courage to face the consequences.

Nor, unfortunately for them, the technological savvy to realize that trying to cover up what you put on the internet doesn’t work.

And makes you look like an untrustworthy sneak.

The Sunlight Foundation has a service called “Politwoops,” which collects elected officials’ tweets and makes them available if they are deleted in an effort to remove feet from mouths. It uncovered this, from Republican Senator Thad Cochran…

 

Bergdahl tweet2

and this, from GOP Congressman Jim Renacci… Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, The Internet, War and the Military

Child Care Ethics And Leashes For Toddlers: CNN and Its Viewers Flunk An Ethics Alarm Test

Kids on leashes

It is constantly amazing to me that journalists so seldom identify obvious and critical ethics issues in the topics and events they cover. The rest is mixed emotions: this absence of ethics awareness is a serious culture-wide problem; then again, were this not so, I’d probably be in a different, and less stimulating profession.

Today I sat down to lunch as CNN engaged in a breathless discussion of whether using leashes on toddlers and even older children was a good idea, as it is either a growing trend among parents, or CNN was having a slow news day. The phone lines were open, and many viewers weighed in, with the primary camps expressing the following positions:

1. “If it makes children safer, then there is no reason not to do it. Safety is everything. Kids have been killed running into the street.  A leash will prevent that.”

2. “This shows the decline of child-rearing skills in the United States. If you can’t control your kid better than this, you are the problem.”

If the question of whether it was fair, kind, respectful or right to treat  your child like a cocker spaniel occurred to anybody in this discussion (I know the CNN staff never considered it), I saw and heard no evidence of this. Yet that is the central question, and it is an interesting one to consider. The fact that matters of human dignity, responsibility, respect, fairness, autonomy, kindness, proportion and prudence need to be balanced to answer the question at hand never came into the discussion, and those debating the issue demonstrated neither awareness of the competing ethical values, nor the ability to know how to employ them. Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Ethics Dunces, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunces: The Quincy (California) Police

police-academy

Awww, isn’t this cute?

I’ve got bad new for you, Quincy, California:

You aren’t serious enough.

The England-based company Wall’s… set a crew up in Quincy on April 11 to film a commercial to be aired online later this month…On Friday, April 11, the crew set up multiple cameras around the courthouse…The premise of the commercial was simple. Hagwood, along with Deputy Sgt. Carson Wingfield and actor Scott Peat from Los Angeles, would pull cars over in front of the courthouse for “driving too serious.”The commercial filmed in Quincy will be part of a larger ad campaign by Wall’s. Filming also took place in such countries as the United Arab Emirates and Columbia. The global message is simple: don’t take life so seriously.

At around noon last Friday, filming began. Rather than receiving a ticket, drivers were given a complimentary ice cream cone and their expressions and reactions were filmed for the commercial. All the drivers pulled over reacted well, and generally enjoyed being a part of the commercial….To show appreciation to Quincy for allowing the stunt, Wall’s held an ice cream social at the Dame Shirley Plaza later that afternoon. Droves of people showed up for free ice cream and live music.

It may be cute, but it is also unprofessional, unethical, and outrageous. Law enforcement is a serious responsibility always, with no breaks for ice cream commercials. Using the police power to pull over motorists on false pretenses to assist a company’s advertising campaign is an abuse of power, and illegal. Gee, I wonder what other gags this police department will pull for the right price?

I hope someone sues. A town cannot ethically rent out its police and use them to dragoon citizens into an ice cream commercial. No one complicit in this corrupt sell-out should be trusted with a budget, a title, or a gun. Ever.

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Pointer: Fred

Facts: Plumas County

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Marketing and Advertising, Professions