Category Archives: Ethics Heroes

Ethical Quote Of The Month: Yankees Pitcher C.C. Sabathia

CC Sabathia

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.”

New York Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia, in a statement announcing that he would not be helping his team prevail in the upcoming playoffs and World Series because he was checking into an alcohol rehabilitation center to treat his alcoholism.

Nobody outside of the Yankees organization and Sabathia’s family was aware that he was suffering from this malady until the announcement. Here is his whole statement, which speaks for itself: Continue reading


Filed under Character, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Quotes, Health and Medicine, Sports, Workplace

Ethics Heroes: Five Democratic Economists

Senator Warren, who is always right.

Senator Warren, who is always right.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass)  was annoyed that Robert Litan, a nonresident and unpaid economics fellow at the reliably liberal Washington think tank, the Brookings Institute, dared to author a study critical of financial advisor regulations being pushed by Warren and the White House. Thus she sent a letter to Brookings last week, challenging the independence of the study and the integrity of Litan, since the study was, as Litan states up front, “supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the United States.”

Warren called the report “highly compensated and editorially compromised work on behalf of an industry player seeking a specific conclusion.”

You know, unlike the various donors to Warren’s political war chest, who are not trying to buy specific policies and votes from her.

Literally hours after receiving the letter, Brookings, knowing which side of the bread its butter was on, dutifully forced Litan to resign.

The issue isn’t whether the policy Warren wants is a good one or not; personally, I tend to agree with Warren on the need for the regulation, which would make 401(k) and 403(b) advisors as well as other compensation-related retirement plan advisors be subject to fiduciary duties. the issue is Warren’s embrace of the increasingly popular tactic from the Left of dealing with adversaries by silencing them. Continue reading


Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, Research and Scholarship

Ethics Heroes: Eugene and Corky Bostick, Dog Train Proprietors

Dog Train

Eugene Bostick and his brother Corky are retired octogenarian who live on a farm by a dead-end street within the Fort Wort, Texas, city limits. Their property became  a popular dumping ground for unwanted dogs over time, as their owners dropped them off behind the Bostick brothers’ horse barn to starve to death. The brothers made a home for them on their land, feeding them, letting them in and out of their farm house, getting them spayed and neutered if necessary and cared for by a veterinarian, and generally making the abandoned dogs part of an expanded, and still expanding, primarily canine family.

The rescued dogs  run around and play together on the farm, but Eugene had the inspiration to take them on local trips around Fort Worth, like to local golf course. Taking his design from a tractor he saw hooked up to individual wagons carrying rocks, he decided to build “the dog train.’” “I’m a pretty good welder, so I took these plastic barrels with holes cut in them, and put wheels under them and tied them together,” says the train’s main engineer.

Now, a couple of times a week, Bostick loads up his dogs, all but the two smallest in their own compartments, and drives his charges through various Fort Worth locales. The dog train is a favorite photo subject for Fort Worth natives, and the dogs’ happy barking can be heard from quite a distance away.

“Whenever they hear me hooking the tractor up to it, man, they get so excited,” Bostick said. “They all come running and jump in on their own. They’re ready to go.”

If only Amtrack was this much fun.

Here’s a video…


Facts and Graphic: Yahoo!


Filed under Animals, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes

Ethics Hero: Stephen Colbert

Sen. Ted Cruz appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show on CBS last night, and when he reiterated his views on same sex marriage, Colbert’s audience began to boo.

“Guys, guys, however you feel, he’s my guest so don’t boo him,” Colbert said.

Well done. That’s how you start to build an ethical culture.

Somebody please send this video to Bill Maher.


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Heroes, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics

A Final Post Debate Observation: Cognitive Dissonance And The Welch Effect

Rand Paul23I’m literally the only one writing about this—which is to say that everyone else is wrong— so I might as well wrap it up.

You will recall that I predicted (and hoped) that one of the candidates in the CNN debate on Wednesday would have the wit, historical perspective and guts to prepare a Joseph Welch take-down of Donald Trump, as it is an excellent way of shining harsh light on a bully and ethics miscreant. This is how lawyer Joseph Welch ended the reign of terror of Sen. Joe McCarthy on live TV in the medium’s “Golden Age,” and McCarthy was bigger and more deadly game than The Donald.

I wrote:

Will the same tactic work on Trump? It should: it would have worked in the first debate. Now, it may not, because many Welches will not be as effective as a single one, and I would not be surprised if several of Trump’s competitors will have a Welchism rehearsed. It also won’t work if the wrong Welch jumps in first, or if he blows his delivery. (Welch was quite an actor.) We shall see. If someone doesn’t at least try it, none of these 15 non-Trumps are  smart enough to be President.

Well, the Welch moment came almost immediately, as the first candidate with an opening to deliver it took his shot: Sen. Rand Paul. As I wrote in my follow-up piece yesterday, it wasn’t completely Welch-worthy, but it stung:

The Joseph Welch moment that I predicted occurred, though it was a wan and, as I feared, an incompetent version.  The Welch-wannabe was Rand Paul, and he directly referenced Trump’s “sophomoric” personal attacks, saying…

“Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin? Do we want someone like that to be negotiating with Iran? I think really there is sophomoric a quality that is entertaining about Mr. Trump, but I am worried. I’m very concerned about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons because I think his response, his real response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly. My goodness, that happened in junior high. Are we not way above that? Would we not all be worried to have someone like that in charge of the nuclear arsenal?”

…First, a Welch retort has to be delivered with withering contempt, not snotty combativeness. Second, the deliverer has to talk directly to the target; this is key. Not “he,” Senator. “YOU.” Third, whether or not the question was about the temperament of the man with his finger on the button, the danger of having a leader who behaves like Trump goes far beyond that….Still, Welch’s tactic worked a bit. Trump’s rejoinder, essentially “You’re ugly, too!”, got what sounded like awkward laughter, and Donald Trump, who is an entertainer, and who, like most experienced performers, can sense what an audience is feeling, was very subdued the rest of the debate.

What happened is that while the whole bucket of water didn’t land on the Wicked Trump, enough splashed on him to slow him down. When Fiorina delivered a mini-Welch later and Trump simpered his submissive “she’s got a beautiful face, and she’s a beautiful woman” line, he was still melting. She, more than anyone else, jumped in the vacuum left by Trump’s “shrinkage.” Continue reading


Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, Research and Scholarship, Science & Technology

Ethics Hero: Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD.)


Last week, Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, authored an op-ed announcing his opposition to the Iran Nuclear aggreement. In doing so, he placed himself in the line of fire of President Obama and his allies, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, who, in the words of one observer, were “breaking arms and legs” to ensure sufficient support to get the measure approved and veto proof. The President, disgracefully, had already compared principled opponents of the risky and irresponsible agreement—essentially the apotheosis of the President’s crippling phobia about projecting U.S. power abroad in the interests of peace when it might require threats backed by the willingness to carry them out. (We are seeing the devastating results of this leadership failure in Syria)—as the moral equivalent of terrorists. His allies in the news media had ignored all objectivity to marginalize Democratic opponants of the deal while tarring Republicans as warmongers, and effort that hit ethics rock bottom with the New York Times “Jew-Tracker” that implied that loyalty to a foreign government and faith, not consideration, analysis and principle, were behind opposition to the President’s scheme. Here is the Times graphic…

Jew-tracker-copyNice. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Leadership, War and the Military

Note To The News Media: You Can’t Claim Hillary Apologized Until She Acknowledges The Lying

"Clinton Lies? Sure, you're cleared! Go on in..."

“Clinton Lies? Sure, you’re cleared! Go on in…”

Almost a month ago, in a post titled “Ten Ethics Questions For Unshakable Hillary Voters,” I wrote,

Hillary could have said, when this first arose, “I am sorry. I was foolish and irresponsible, and I never should have used a private system for official business. It was a serious breach, and I will cooperate completely by turning over all of my e-mails to the State Department.” That she didn’t can only mean 1) that she has something really bad to hide, 2) she isn’t sorry, 3) is stupid, 4) just reflexively lies whenever she is in trouble, and arguably all of them. Do you think someone like that should be President under any circumstances?

Grasping that this was a problem,  the Democratic Party agents posing as objective reporters—that is, most of them—set out over the last month to nudge, hint, push, cajole and beg Mrs. Clinton to apologize for her e-mail fiasco whenever she allowed herself to be interviewed, which wasn’t often. Her responses still ranged from disdain (“With a cloth?”) to outright refusal (“I did nothing wrong”) to carefully calibrated deceit (“It wasn’t the best choice”) while her campaign and surrogates blamed the entire controversy on the GOP and officially termed it “nonsense.” Undaunted, and apparently convinced that even now, an apology from Clinton would magically make the problem go away, or perhaps more accurately, they would allow the apology to  make the problem go away,  the media kept pushing,either not comprehending or choosing to ignore the fact that the apology I hypothesized  would have only been effective if it had been Hillary’s immediate response when her use of a private server was revealed, and not a mere Plan F after all the denials, lies and spin had failed.

Plan E was an insulting non-apology, as Hillary told Andrea Mitchell that she was sorry…that the matter had “been confusing to people,” and that “there are answers” without actually providing any. (Mitchell didn’t feel that it was seemly to ask for these answers as a real journalist might, because, as she explained later, she was afraid it might upset Hillary’s campaign, and heaven forbid that she would do that.) Frustrated, the Hillary-enabling news media asked her to apologize again—We’re your friends, Hillary, don’t you see that? Just say the magic words “I’m sorry” somewhere in the vicinity to “private server” and we’ll do the rest, we swear, just as we have buried the implications of your greedy influence peddling through your foundation!–and finally, to ABC’s David Muir, she sort of  allllllmost did so, in one of the ugliest, most insincere apologies I’ve ever seen, heard or read.

As I had guessed, the news media decided Plan F was the best they were going to get, and began implementing their plan to treat this awful half apology as if it settled the issue. Here’s Chris Cilizza, the supposedly non-partisan Post political reporter, writing about Hillary’s falling poll numbers:

It’s uniquely possible that we are looking at the nadir of Clinton’s numbers. Her straight-up apology this week for having used a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state suggests that she may finally be listening to advisers (and donors) who see the issue causing major erosion in her numbers.

“Straight up apology?” That’s what Cilizza calls “straight up”? A scripted, grudging statement that essentially apologizes for the fact that deflection plans A-E didn’t work ( “I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier”) while insisting that what she did was “allowed” and, ludicrously for a secret server, “above board,” followed by a robotic “I made a mistake” (what was the mistake?) and a rote “I’m sorry”? Continue reading


Filed under Character, Ethics Heroes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership