Category Archives: Ethics Heroes

Ethics Hero: Sen. John McCain

waterboard1

While other Republicans are attacking the Senate report on torture as a political hit piece by Democrats—which, in part, it is, but that doesn’t diminish its significance—the one Senator who has experienced torture is supporting the report’s conclusions and criticism, saying…

I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguished us from our enemies.”

Exactly.

My position on this topic is unchanged from what I wrote in 2006, which you can read here.

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Filed under Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, Leadership, U.S. Society, War and the Military

Ethics Hero: Ashley McLemore

Neal Shytles and Ashley McLemoreIt is important to keep in mind that there are an awful lot of good people in this world.

From the Washington Post:

“It started with the loneliest of pleas: “Large, 54 y.o. Christian, homeless male is looking for a person, family or couple to share Thanksgiving day with,” Neal Shytles wrote in an online ad. Last year he spent the holiday at a shelter, and although probably 200 other men were there eating turkey, “you sit down, you eat, you get up and leave,” he said. “Every day of the year is pretty much lonely for me, but Thanksgiving, Christmas is the worst time to be alone.”

So when a stranger, Ashley McLemore, offered to take him to her family’s home in Newport News for the holiday, he burst into tears. She did, too.

But that was just the beginning. His story resonated with people in Norfolk, where he has been staying at Union Mission Ministries, across Virginia and as far away as Europe and the South Pacific.”

Read what happened next here. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Charity, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Love

On Cosby, Clinton, And An Ethics Dunce Convention In Melbourne, Florida

Cosby billboard

It is kind of funny, isn’t it, to hear and read the shocked reactions of pundits to the fact that probable serial rapist Bill Cosby got a standing ovation from his concert crowd of 2100 in Melbourne, Florida last night? “What could this mean?” they ask. Does this mean that Cosby’s popularity will survive the onslaught of women reporting that he drugged and raped them years ago? Well, no, it means that 2100 people who paid premium prices to see Bill Cosby and attended his concert even after hearing more than sufficient evidence that he is a sick hypocrite like Bill Cosby.

Wow.

What a surprise.

Nor should it be any surprise that that many people will adopt rationalizations and tortured logic to avoid confronting the cognitive dissonance resulting from a self-styled moral exemplar having a spectacularly immoral, indeed criminal, past. After all, the Democratic National Convention, with a lot more that 2,100 in attendance, cheered serial sexual harasser and sexual predator William Jefferson Clinton as he spoke to a throng protesting Republican attitudes toward women, as progressive journalists and pundits from MSNBC to the New York Times nodded in approval.

Unrelated, you say? Wrong. The phenomenon is exactly the same, and therein lies a serious problem for Hillary Clinton. The rationalizations used to rescue her husband from accountability for his decades long abuse of women are exactly the same as those being used now by Cosby’s desperate fans to try to keep laughing at the wise humor of the icon who includes in his storehouse of wisdom such nuggets as… Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Heroes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership, U.S. Society

Ethics Hero: CNN’s Jake Tapper

Light in the darknessNot all non-conservative media journalists are working to assist Democrats in their frantic damage control now that their epic contempt for the democratic process, transparency, truth, and the American public has been exposed by the videotaped crowing of paid manipulator Jonathan Gruber.

When junior Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D) did his part by following the current game plan and attempting to dismiss Gruber as a footnote by tweeting…

“It’s sad to me that good political journalists are spending so much time on these irrelevant comments by this guy Gruber”

…CNN anchor Jake Tapper shot back in a tweet of his own,

“@ChrisMurphyCT respectfully, it’s sad to me that some politicians would claim the comments are irrelevant”

Tapper was using the device of ironic parallel construction, but it’s more than sad, it is horrifying. An insider who was crucial to the drafting of Obamacare admits that the Administration’s objective was to mislead the Congressional Budget Office and deceive “stupid voters,” and now the party that paid him $400,000 is covering up with a series of rationalizations, denials and lies. This is the fourth of the defenses apparently being emailed to all loyal Obamacare defenders from the high command.

First we have the rationalization: “Everybody does this with bills..it’s no big deal.”

Second is the brazen lie, or the Jumbo: “We were completely transparent!”

Third is the totalitarian mantra, “Hey, it was the only way, and it was worth it!” (The ends justify the means.)

The Fourth: airbrushing history, the Nancy Pelosi amnesia: “Who is this guy?”

The proof of Senator Murphy’s complicity is the Clintonian “this guy, Gruber, ” echoing “that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” Gruber had been lavishly praised by both Harry Reid on the floor of the Senate and Pelosi: Murphy knows damn well who “that guy” is, and why his revelations remove all semblance of trustworthiness from his party and its leaders…unless they can trick those stupid voters one more time!!

One journalist from the mainstream media, at least, is on to them.

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Ethics Alarms Salutes Ron Fournier, A Real Journalist And An Honest Man

RON-FOURNIER

National Journal senior political columnist Ron Fournier is a former Washington bureau chief for the Associated Press. He tends to get slammed from all sides of the political spectrum, because he is a liberal journalist with integrity and an open mind, capable of objectivity and willing to criticize those who would like to regard him, like the rest of the mainstream media, as a reliable bulwark against accountability.

Fournier’s recent column examining the serial Jonathan Gruber admissions regarding the mindset behind the effort to ram the Affordable Care Act down America’s throat without even warning us to hold our noses is a spark of hope for those of us who despair of U.S. journalists ever showing the character to practice journalism. Titled, appropriately, “A Foundation of Lies,” his column bolsters several ethics assessments made on Ethics Alarms. I was especially heartened to read this sentiment regarding media spin, a topic most recently discussed on the blog here:

“…a Washington Post story headlined, “Who Is Jonathon Gruber?”was an important and workmanlike report on the Obamacare adviser who bragged about the political advantages of deceiving voters, whom Gruber called stupid. ‘Those comments have struck a nerve on the right,” wrote Jose A. DelReal (emphasis added), “with some of the law’s critics pointing to Gruber’s comments as evidence that the administration intentionally deceived the American public on the costs of the programs.’

My first reaction was, ‘No! No! Not just on the right!’ I strongly support bipartisan efforts to expand the availability of health coverage to the working poor, and bending the cost curve that threatens federal budgets for years to come. While I think President Obama and congressional Democrats helped contribute to the 2009 standoff over what became the Affordable Care Act, I’ve openly rooted for Obamacare’s success. I’ve denounced the knee-jerk opposition from the GOP, a party that once embraced key elements of Obamacare. My ideology is amorphous; I am not “on the right.”All of that, and yet: Gruber’s remarks struck a nerve with me.”

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

Ethics Heroes: 28 Harvard Law Professors

Campus sex is returning to the '50's....the 1850s.

Campus sex is returning to the ’50’s….the 1850s.

In 2011, the Obama Administration threatened universities with a loss of funding if they did not adopt a new “preponderance of the evidence” standard in evaluating alleged student sexual assault and sexual harassment. This was, few doubt, a sop thrown to the combative feminists among the Democratic base, those who detect a culture-wide “war on women” and who seek to cast co-eds as imperiled naifs even as the proclaim themselves the equals of men. Within three years this really bad idea has metastasized into the Campus Sexual Assault Witch Hunt Ethics Train Wreck, which would be getting more media attention but for the fact that the world is falling apart in chunks. Among its weirder effects is the proliferation of new “yes means yes” regulations, effectively taking all spontaneity, romance and fun out of sex, all in the service of dubious and cynically employed campus rape statistics. Take this, for example:

“Consider the sexual consent policy of California’s Claremont McKenna College, shared almost verbatim with other schools such as Occidental College in Los Angeles. Paragraphs long, consisting of multiple sections and subsections, and embedded within an even wordier 44-page document on harassment and sexual misconduct, Claremont’s sexual consent rules resemble nothing so much as a multilawyer-drafted contract for the sale and delivery of widgets, complete with definitions, the obligations of “all” (as opposed to “both”) parties, and the preconditions for default. “Effective consent consists of an affirmative, conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed upon (and the conditions of) sexual activity,” the authorities declare awkwardly. The policy goes on to elaborate at great length upon each of the “essential elements of Consent”—“Informed and reciprocal,” “Freely and actively given,” “Mutually understandable,” “Not indefinite,” “Not unlimited.” “All parties must demonstrate a clear and mutual understanding of the nature and scope of the act to which they are consenting”—think: signing a mortgage—“and a willingness to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way,” declare Claremont’s sex bureaucrats.”

Cheers, then, are due to 28 Harvard Law professors, who authored and signed a letter protesting Harvard University’s capitulation to the Obama Administration’s blackmail and urging the University to reject the new standards:

Some highlights: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Ethics Hero Emeritus: Edna Gladney (1888-1961)

Edna Gladney

I am ashamed to admit that I never heard of Edna Gladney before I chanced upon a late night Turner Movie Classics showing of the 1941 biopic “Blossoms in the Dust,” which earned the great Greer Garson one of her many Academy Award nominations for her portrayal of Gladney (that’s Greer as Edna on the left). I was unaware of Gladney’s amazing life, legacy and contributions to society because 1) I’m not from Texas; 2) it is hard to learn about great people that society forgets about, and 3) feminists aren’t doing their job, perhaps because a strong and indomitable woman whose life was devoted to saving unwanted children rather than preventing their existence doesn’t interest them as much as it should.

Yet Gladney is exactly the kind of woman whose life should inspire young girls today, and young men too, for that matter. Still,  I recently asked 18 randomly chosen friends and acquaintances who Edna Gladney was, and not one of them knew.

And most of them didn’t know who Greer Garson was, either.

Sigh. Continue reading

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