Category Archives: Incompetent Elected Officials

Incompetent Elected Official of The Month: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

You're supposed to know all this BEFORE you run for President, Bobby...or Governor, for that matters.

You’re supposed to know all this BEFORE you run for President, Bobby…or Governor, for that matter.

The Westboro Baptist Church has threatened to picket the funerals of the victims of the Lafayette theater shooting.

Governor Jindal, an alleged Presidential candidate, thinks that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them, despite a well-publicized Supreme Court decision to the contrary. “If they come here to Louisiana, if they try to disrupt this funeral, we’re gonna lock them up,” Jindal said on “Face the Nation.”. “We won’t abide by that here…Let these families grieve in peace.”

Hmmmm. Appealing to ignorant voters. Grandstanding. Pandering. Abuse of power.  Talking as if the Constitution doesn’t exist. Threatening to break the law. Sounding like an idiot blowhard.

Just the guy to give Donald Trump a run for his money.

 

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

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Week: New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

shattered-window

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is pushing a plan to decriminalize public urination, turnstile-jumping and public drinking. This is a superb example of ideology trumping the lessons of history, anthropology, law, psychology and common sense.  Liberals have never forgiven Rudy Giuliani for adopting the lessons of the “broken windows” theory to clean up Times Square, thus showing why it is important, effective and responsible for government to insist on ethical conduct and have its laws reflect those values.

Using the tragic death of Eric Garner in an arrest for a petty crime as her justification, Mark-Viverito appears to believe that criminalizing minor crimes like public urination leads to  pretext  police stops, arrests and searches. What she stubbornly refuses to understand is that the government declaring that certain conduct is unacceptable is essential to ensuring that such conduct, and eventually, worse conduct, isn’t accepted, and that enforcement of laws with meaningful penalties is crucial to limiting the spread of unhealthy, ugly, harmful or uncivilized behavior. If the City Council wants human excrement and waste to be a regular component of the New York experience, this is one way to guarantee it—by sending the message that “It’s rude, but it’s not that wrong and we’re not going to make a big deal out of it.”  The message of allowing turnstile cheats to get away with a citation—which they will never pay, of course—is that small thefts don’t matter either.  Cheats and crooks can reliably  be expected to see how much they can get away with stealing without real punishment, and the Mark-Viveritos in our various governments can be counted on to keep letting the standards slide.

Oh yes, she is not the only one. They are legion.

The amazing thing is that we all saw where her approach led in the Seventies. New York City became filthy and dangerous, tourists and business started to stay away, crime exploded and people died. It will lead there again, too. This is the inevitable result when elected officials regard their primary duty as serving the interests of law-breakers and the habitually unethical rather than honest, fair, responsible citizens.

________________________________

Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Facts: New York Post

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at jamproethics@verizon.net.

 

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Filed under Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

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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Of Shoes and Socks, and the Soothing, Unethical Device of Lowered Obama Leadership Goals and Aspirations

shoes and socks

I had a friend in college named David, a talented musician and a funny guy, who one regaled me with his new theory of how to be a success and eliminate anxiety and stress in the bargain.

“See, we make ourselves miserable and guarantee failure by setting our goals impossibly high,” he said. “The secret to a happy, successful, care-free life is to set one’s goals extremely low. Last week, I was depressed because I had aimed at attending all my classes, writing 50 pages on my thesis, and finishing my reading assignments. I didn’t come close to accomplishing this, and I was miserable and guilty as a result.”

“Then I had an epiphany! Today I set my goal, my only one, as putting on my shoes and socks,” David explained. “That was it, the whole thing. Look! I did it! And it’s only noon!” He laughed and skipped away, not a care in the world.

I’m pretty sure he was kidding. Yet the Obama Administration, and its increasingly zombie-like, denial-motivated supporters, appears to have adopted this approach to leadership. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Leadership, Rights, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society, War and the Military

The Oxon Hill High School “Art Display” Controversy

oxenhill ART

Oxon Hill (Maryland) High School allowed a display of student art to remain in the school’s rotunda for most of May. Some students and teachers said the display was “cathartic;” the Washington Post called it “an embodiment of the angst and anger” students felt “when police violence made national headlines.” “Young black males: the new endangered species,” read a placard; next to it was a cutout painted to look like a police officer with white skin reading a newspaper with obituaries of black men killed by law enforcement officers. Next to that was another silhouette painted black, depicting a black man with hands raised wearing a T-shirt with holes in it. “Blood” dripped  from the eight bullet holes, forming the stripes of an upside-down American flag.

Last week,  after a photo of the thing was posted  on Facebook and recieved criticsm there and on some conservative websites, school officials decided to remove the display. A spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Public Schools said the decision was made to protect the school and students. But those pesky students installed a new display consisting of two wooden coffins amidst flower petals, with headstones reading, “HERE LIES OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH” and “HERE LIES OUR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.” They then tweeted messages with the hashtag #donttakeitdown and collected nearly 1,500 signatures on a petition demanding a statement of solidarity from the school board.

Isn’t self-righteous ignorance grand? Not only should the display have been removed, it should have never gone up in the first place, since it continues to spread a virulent and divisive lie (nobody was shot eight times with his hands up), while encouraging racial distrust and hatred. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Train Wrecks, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Race

Ethics Dunces: The 21 Republicans Who Voted Against The Torture Ban

torture

As I explained long ago, torture is already a human rights abomination forbidden by U.S. principles, values, tradition and culture. That does not mean, and has never meant, that the nation’s official and sincere opposition to torture as an ethical absolute must not be subject to a genuine existential exception.  It does mean that an official policy that allows torture degrades the very reason for the nation’s existence.

This vital reason doesn’t even reach the fact that the United States has signed international treaties that state, unequivocally, that it deplores and rejects torture. That one is less complex; as I wrote about the Bush Administration’s doubletalk at the time…

Typically, the Administration is trying to finesse this uncomfortable fact by playing legalistic word games, requesting a “clarification” of what constitutes torture. This is intellectually dishonest, and blatantly so. The methods it wants to define as “something other than torture”…threatened drowning, cold room interrogations with subjects doused with water, beatings and other forms of assault and battery, obviously violate provisions of the Geneva Convention such as those requiring prisoners of war to be treated with “personal dignity” and “humanely,” and that they should not be subjected to “hardships and sufferings.” Meanwhile, torture is defined in Article 1 of the 1984 Convention as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.” Simulated drowning, by this definition, is torture, and passing some official “clarification” that declares otherwise won’t change that. Depriving prisoners of sleep and making them stand wet in 50 degree temperatures aren’t going to suddenly become “humane” either, nor will such treatment suddenly cease to cause “hardship” and “suffering.”

The United States exists on the ideal that it, unique among nations past and present, asserts and acts upon its original dedication to the values of human life, liberty and pursuit of happiness above all else. The United States’ identity is that of the Good Citizen, the hero, the trustworthy one. Of course that’s a high aspiration; of course we will fall short of it sometimes, of course such an aspiration appears arrogant and superior to others, and so what? Continue reading

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“Jaws” Ethics: A Real Life Larry Vaughn Models Rationalization #49, “It Would Have Happened Anyway”

Jaws

Wait, I’ve seen this movie!

From the Associated Press:

OAK ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — The mayor of a coastal North Carolina town where two young people were severely injured in shark attacks this weekend says she doesn’t think emergency workers had enough time between incidents to close the beaches. A 12-year-old girl was attacked just after 4 p.m. Sunday in Oak Island, and a 16-year-old boy was attacked less than two hours later about two miles away. The girl lost part of her arm and suffered a leg injury. The boy lost his left arm…

Beaches were open for the two-hour stretch Sunday but closed after the second attack.

Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace told The Associated Press on Monday that she didn’t think that gave workers enough time to decide to close the beach between attacks. …Wallace says that even if the beach had closed after the first attack, the order might not have extended to the area of the second incident.

It was unclear whether the same shark attacked them…

The beaches were open Monday, with a boat and a helicopter patrolling the water.

OK, I know what happens next! The helicopters spot a fin in the water, and there’s a panic on the beach, and it turns out to be two kids with snorkels and a fake shark fin. The younger boy points to his brother and says, “He made me do it!” Meanwhile, the Great White goes over to the lagoon and bites the leg off a guy with a bad fake Boston accent.

If, as I suspect, Mayor Wallace is Amity Mayor Larry Vaughn come to life from “Jaws” and identifying as a woman as well as disguising herself accordingly to get another job as a resort town mayor—which means that she is a woman, of course—then old Larry sure has a flat learning curve. On the other hand, if Mayor Wallace isn’t Larry Vaughn, someone needs to make her watch “Jaws,” quick. Is it unethical—irresponsible, negligent, incompetent— for any Mayor of a coastal town not to be aware of the lessons of that film?

I think so. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Incompetent Elected Officials