Category Archives: Jumbo

Why Are American Liberals Espousing Censorship And Mind-Control?

zipper on mouth

I say “suddenly” because I always thought of censorship and mind-control as Big Brother, “1984″ stuff, the tools of fascism and totalitarian dictators. Yet for several years, the primary calls for impeding open debate and limiting the tools that facilitate it have been coming from the left. No labels. No “eliminationist rhetoric.” Ban “retarded.” Ban “nigger.” Now a best-selling feminist, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, has launched a fatuous campaign to ban the word “bossy,’ on the theory that it is wielded against incipient female leaders and crushes their spirits and aspirations. (I would counter that any girl who can’t stand up to a word isn’t a very promising leader to begin with.) Unable to mold human nature to its liking with reason, facts and persuasion, the increasingly popular tactic seems to be removing the ability to engage in the kinds of thinking and conduct that liberals, with varying justification, find repugnant. Linguists have shown that ideas that can’t be expressed are difficult to form, much less argue for. Eliminate bigotry, bias, inequality, and social injustice by making them impossible to articulate, and then even conceive! Brilliant!

Now Lawrence Torcello, an American philosophy professor with a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, has published  an essay in the academic website The Conversation arguing that dissent about climate change and the human role in it is so sinister that it “ought to be considered criminally negligent.” Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Education, Government & Politics, Jumbo, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, Science & Technology, U.S. Society

Jumbo* of The Month: Hillary Clinton

Charging Elephant

“The claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into Eastern Ukraine because they had protect the Russia minorities—that is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere throughout Europe. So I just want everybody to have a little historic perspective. I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”

—-Hillary Clinton on the Crimea crisis, showing that she has learned deceit and dishonesty at Bill’s knee, or, perhaps, was really the teacher all along.

‘I’m not making a comparison: I’m just comparing them. I’m not saying Putin is like Hitler, I’m just saying he’s acting like Hitler. I’m not making a comparison; I just want to evoke the specter of Hitler’s expansion over Europe while everyone looked the other way without being accused of doing so.’

And adding “certainly” makes it all undeniable.

Some observations, in the throes of disgust: Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, History, Jumbo, Leadership, U.S. Society

The Fifth Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2013 (Part Two of Three)

Snowden

The Ethics Alarms review of a truly disheartening year in ethics continues with fallen heroes, ficks, fools and follies with Part Two of the 2013 Worst of Ethics awards….and there’s one last section to come. Be afraid..be very afraid:

Fallen Hero of the Year

Edward Snowden, whose claim to civil disobedience was marred by his unwillingness to accept the consequences of his actions, whose pose as a whistle-blower was ruined by the disclosure that he took his job with the intention of exposing national secrets, and whose status as a freedom-defending patriot lies in ruins as he seeks harbor with not only America’s enemy, but a human rights-crushing enemy at that. The NSA’s over-reach and mismanagement is a scandal, but Snowden proved that he is no hero.

Unmitigated Gall of  The Year

Minnesota divorce lawyer Thomas P. Lowes not only violated the bar’s ethics rules by having sex with his female  client…he also billed her his hourly fee for the time they spent having sex , a breach of the legal profession’s rule against “unreasonable fees.” Yes, he was suspended. But for not long enough…

Jumbo Of The Year

(Awarded To The Most Futile And Obvious Lie)

Jumbo film

“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

—–President Obama

2013 Conflicts of Interest of the Year Continue reading

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Unethical Quote Of The Month AND The Jumbo: President Barack Obama

“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

—–President Barack Obama this week, telling supporters of Organizing for Action what he should have said for three and a half years,  but representing the statement as if he had been saying it all along. A video is here.

Jumbo film“Elephant? What elephant?”

There’s not much more to write about this, except to debate whether we should weep, laugh, or take to the streets with torches and pitchforks. The President’s solution to the discovery that his repeated assurances that nobody would lose their doctor or their health plan under the Affordable Care Act were an intentional deception of the American public was not, as his various lackeys and underlings and media lapdogs have claimed in various devious ways, to deny that his statement was a lie (for it obviously was). Neither was it to justify lying, as others among his shameless enablers have done. He didn’t try to minimize the lie and say it was trivial, since only a relative few million Americans will be affected, like the New York Times did, to its eternal shame. No, President Obama is above such demeaning obfuscations and alibis. He simply re-wrote history, and claimed that he said (well, “we” said) words that he never said at all. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Quotes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Health and Medicine, Jumbo, Leadership

Ethics Quiz: Critic Ethics

How I love critics...

How I love critics…

This is a delicate one for me; the names have been omitted and details disguised to protect…well, for a lot of reasons.

Last week I posted about the mixed-gender version of “I Do! I Do!” I directed for The American Century Theater, which I co-founded and where I am the artistic director. The show met all my objectives and expectations, even surpassed them, and until today, all of the reviews have been raves.

Today, though, a non-rave came out on a local theater website. It is the kind of review I detest, where the standard of the critic is “why didn’t you do it this way? That’s what I would have done.” The answer to that is, bluntly, “Direct your own damn show, then.” Snap judgments from one-time viewers, even extremely sophisticated ones, about what they would do if they were the author, actor, director, or designer of a stage production—when if truth they never have been or could be—are inherently unfair, incompetent and also obnoxious. After considering and experimenting and testing various artistic approaches to any problem over months of preparation, meetings and  intense rehearsal with a large production and artistic team, any production deserves the respect of being assumed to have considered and rejected for cause other solutions, which for various reasons didn’t work.

This is not, of course, a professional reviewer, though a reader could only know that from the quality of the review. Among other tells, the critic misidentifies which performers sing what, and the whole concept of non-realistic sets seems to be alien to him: yes, dear, we could have afforded a four-poster bed; the director felt the show would be better without one, and in fact, it is. Okay, the reviewer is a boob: that’s fine; most theater reviewers are.  I would not make an issue about one sloppy and badly reasoned amateur review, because if I did, I’d be in a padded room.

However, after the review was published, I learned that our company had a prior experience with this reviewer: he had been on the crew of a show last year, and we had to fire him. In 17 years and over 80 productions, he is the only person to be fired from that particular job.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz with a theatrical bent:

Does a critic who has a past relationship with a theater company whose production he or she is reviewing have an ethical obligation to disclose it as part of the published review? Continue reading

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The State Department Wins A Jumbo With The Kerry Yachting Caper: Reflex Lies, Corrupt Culture

"Hey, what are you going to believe, the photo or what we tell you?"

“Hey, what are you going to believe, the photo or what we tell you?”

Tell me again how there is no reason to believe that the Obama Administration tried to mislead us regarding Benghazi.

And I’ll laugh in your face.

Nicely, of course.

Today the State Department, faced with a network offering undeniable proof that State was lying about the whereabouts of Secretary of State John Kerry during the collapse of the Egyptian government, a certified international crisis, admitted that its leader was on his boat recreating “briefly,” as had been previously reported by a CBS producer who saw him. This was not before, however, the State Department did what the Obama Administration has shown that it will do routinely and reflexively when it senses that it has screwed up: lie, lie, lie.

From CBS: Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Jumbo, Leadership

And The Jumbo, Desperately Incredible Excuse Division, Goes To….Rodger William Kelly!

Clockwise from Left: "These aren't my pants!"..."A ghost did it!"..."I was just trying to revive her!"..."Elephant? What elephant?"

Clockwise from Left: “These aren’t my pants!”…”A ghost did it!”…”I was just trying to revive her!”…”Elephant? What elephant?”

There is no question that Rodger William Kelly deserves his Jumbo Award, the Ethics Alarms honor periodically bestowed on “an ethical miscreant who continues to try to brass his or her way out of an obvious act of ethical misconduct when caught red-handed and there is no hope of ducking the consequences.” But there is a legitimate issue over whether his explanation to the  St. George, Utah police regarding why he had sexual intercourse with his unconscious, 29-year-old female neighbor becomes the new champion as the most ridiculous excuse ever.

To refresh you memory, the current champ is Michael West, the Wisconsin wife-beater who swore to police that his bruised and bloody wife had been attacked by a ghost. He dethroned long-time champ Lindsay Lohan, who began her long, sad descent by explaining to police, when she was still a movie star and caught with cocaine on her person after a vehicle arrest, that she was wearing someone else’s pants. 

I think West’s short reign is over, however. Kelly told officers that he found the woman passed out in front of her apartment and, concerned for her welfare, he brought her inside his own apartment. There he changed her clothes and put her on his bed, and tried to “warm her” by laying down next to her, hugging her, and then, as a desperate measure since nothing seemed to be working, inserting his heat-emitting penis into her to try to “raise her temperature.”  Later he tried more conventional CPR. He’s not a rapist. He’s a hero! Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Gender and Sex, Jumbo, Law & Law Enforcement

Jumbo of The Month: “The Bible” Producers On The Obama As Satan Problem

Elephant?

Elephant?

Responding to criticism that the character of Satan in The History Channel’s popular Bible series looks a bit like President Obama—which it does—executive producer Roma Downey said, absurdly, in support of her fellow producers who pronounced the claim as “utter nonsense”:

“Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of The Bible.”

The essence of a Jumbo, the occasional award given here, is a brassily dishonest statement that evokes the memory of Jimmy Durante in the musical “Jumbo,” caught in the act of trying to steal the largest elephant in the world, and asking the sheriff innocently, “Elephant? What elephant?” as the huge pachyderm looked over his shoulder. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Jumbo, Literature, Religion and Philosophy

Lindsay Stone Scores A Jumbo: The “I Didn’t Intend To Do What I Did When I Intentionally Did What I Did” Excuse

I have to give Lindsay Stone credit. You will seldom see as pure an example of an outrageous denial of the undeniable in a public apology as the one she just authored. Brava! And good luck with the job hunt.

Stone, who is an idiot, and her friend, who is an idiot whose name has yet to be tracked down by the media, collaborated on a photo showing Stone giving an upturned middle finger to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, while yelling something by the sign there that says “Silence and Respect.” The photograph was posted on Stone’s Facebook page and naturally went viral. Thousands of protesters bombarded the website of their employer, Living Independently Forever, with demands that the two be fired. Today, they were.

Before the inevitable axe fell (more on that in a bit), Stone posted this remarkable explanation:

Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Jumbo, The Internet, War and the Military, Workplace

Another Ethics Hero For CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and a Jumbo for Debbie Wasserman Schultz

“Discord? What discord?”

Anderson Cooper seems to have decided to single-handedly  stand for objective journalism in the midst of Democratic cheer-leading from most of his colleagues in the broadcast media. Of course, he chose the lowest-hanging fruit imaginable as a target: the Democratic National Committee’s ridiculous, abrasive, shamelessly dishonest chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who earned a Jumbo for persisting in a falsehood that nobody could possibly believe.

The Democrats walked into a controversy of their own making when they approved a platform that removed any mention of God (since God is not, presumably, a Democrat, I don’t know why anyone cares) and an assertion that Jerusalem is the proper capital of Israel. Both of these apparently were also approved by the candidate, President Obama, and conservative blogs and the Republican campaign had a field day with the supposed implications of both. [This was a classic "tit for tat," because the Democrats had loudly insisted that anything appearing in the GOP platform was attributable to Mitt Romney.] Someone, maybe the President, then concluded that God and Jerusalem needed to go back into the language to stem the bleeding, and what followed was a raucous, and, depending on your orientation, embarrassing or ugly display on the convention floor, with some delegates booing the return of God and Jerusalem and with a repeated voice vote that allowed them back sounding much more like a tie than the required two-third ayes. Continue reading

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