Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

Ethics Quote Of The Week: Me, On the Presidential Candidacy Of Donald Trump


From my post in 2011 titled, Unethical U.S. Presidential Candidacies: Is Trump’s the All-Time Worst?, which suddenly became green again in the wake of the horrifying news that The Donald is running for Presient again, for real, this time, or as close to real as Trump ever gets. I wrote:

“Donald Trump is perfectly happy to make a mockery of the presidential nomination and election processes while distorting them too. If he manages to convince enough fools to vote for him, hell, sure…he’d have a blast running for President. If his run peters out, it’s still worth lots of publicity, and increases the value of the Trump “brand.” Even the most unethical of the previous candidacies were based on a sincere, if misguided belief that the country’s welfare would be served by it. Does Trump have that belief? I wonder. No, his can’t be called the most unethical candidacy. But it is reckless, and it is intentionally appealing to the worst in 21st Century American character: fear, celebrity worship, ignorance, and materialism. Meanwhile, every second of attention his candidacy distracts from serious consideration of our nation’s leadership reduces the chances of the public doing its hardest and most important job carefully and competently.”

More heartfelt and truer words have never been composed in my brain.

You can read some selected examples of Trump’s miserable character here, and I have only scratched the surface. Every other candidate for President, including Hillary Clinton, was just elevated in stature by Trump’s announcement.

Anyone, indeed anything, looks good compared to him.


Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Leadership

Celebrity Ethics Rule: If You Are Going To Be Stupid And Ignorant, Don’t Make Other People Stupid And Ignorant Too

Jenner on Twitter

The author of the above embarrassment via Twitter, is Kylie Jenner. I feel sorry for Kylie Jenner. She’ll probably be rich, and she’s already famous, but the chances of her life being anything other than an interminable smut-storm of scandals, bad relationships, marriage-less pregnancies, rehabs, reality show spin-offs and episodes that would embarrass anyone not named Kardashian are close to nil. She is part of the latest generation of the culture-rotting clan of lucrative media freaks created by the Machiavellian Kris Jenner, widow of late O.J. Simpson lawyer Bob Kardashian. Kylie was doomed from conception, birthed by a mother lacking scruples, morals or shame, growing up on reality TV shows, with three slutty sisters as her role models and controlled by a mom who would have been a bordello madam, pimping out her daughters, in the era before cable.

Troubled narcissist transsexual Bruce Jenner is her father; professional rapping narcissist Kanye West is her brother-in-law. There has never been a whiff from any member of the extended family that any of them sees or is capable of seeing any value in literature, history, civics, science, knowledge, thought, thinking…anything involving the brain at all—in fact, anything that doesn’t involve self-promotion, exhibitionism, money, conspicuous consumption, atrocious taste, and sex.

OK, so Kylie’s an idiot. That’s too bad, but the girl has 9 million twitter followers, and it’s not too much to ask that she doesn’t use her undeserved prominence and outsized megaphone to make millions of idiot clones. Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Popular Culture, Science & Technology, The Internet, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunce: Phylicia Rashad


Phylicia Rashad, the African American actress best known for playing “Claire Huxtable,” Bill Cosby’s wife on his legendary sitcom, was resolute about not be dragged into the crisis facing her on-screen hubby, as woman after women has come out with allegations that she was raped, sexually assaulted or drugged by funny, ol’ Bill. She should have stayed that way. Unfortunately, she allowed a Hollywood celebrity reporter to pull some quotes out of her, and now she has a crisis of her own. Now we know she values loyalty, group identification, show business protocol and her own financial interests over decency, fairness, honesty, justice, compassion, respect for women, and truth.

Or, I suppose, she might be an idiot.

Rashad’s take on Cosby’s problems was also odd, as it focused very little on the man being accused of such heinous acts. She didn’t say, or at least such remarks weren’t reported, that he was a wonderful human being, or that she could not imagine the man she worked so closely with all these years doing what so many alleged victims claim. She said that she “loves” him. In show business, this is like the host of a TV talk show saying a guest is a close personal friend: it is routine, and means nothing.  Rashad’s defense of Cosby consisted of dismissing his victims’ stories as baseless, and this:

“What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture….Someone is determined to keep Bill Cosby off TV. And it’s worked. All his contracts have been cancelled…This show represented America to the outside world. This was the American family. And now you’re seeing it being destroyed. Why?”

Why. Huh. That’s a head scratcher isn’t it? Yes, why would the entertainment value of family situation comedy about a wise, loving father , the wife whom he adores and his brood of adorable, normal, kids, including three, and ultimately four, teenage girls be diminished in the least by overwhelming evidence that the actor playing said father is a sick, ruthless, sexual predator and the King of Hypocrites? Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Popular Culture, Workplace

KABOOM!* Ethics Dunce: Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch Fame


While we are on the topic of ridiculous ideas that are a waste of energy, pixels, and hot air:

Here’s a headline from the web:…not from 2009, but from today:

“Could Barack Obama Be Deported Over Using a Fraudulent Birth Certificate? Yes, Says Former DOJ Attorney”

This is of a piece with such headlines as…

“Can World Hunger Be Solved with Edible Cotton? Yes, An Expert Believes”

“Was George Washington a Martian? It’s Possible, Historian Claims”

‘”I Am Marie Of Rumania!’ Virginia Ethicist Declares After Latest Judicial Watch Effort Causes His Head To Explode, Killing Three”

What is the matter with Larry Klayman? The former head of Judicial Watch, the conservative public interest law firm that has occasionally broken through partisan government stonewalling, has jumped the shark for all time by filing what he calls a “deportation petition” against President Barack Obama, asking authorities to begin the process of removing Obama from the country. Continue reading


Filed under Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Kaboom!, Law & Law Enforcement

A Puzzlement! Non-Lawyers Desperately Need A Legal Education, And Unemployed Lawyers Think Theirs Is Worthless


Quick, get a non-lawyer to pay you to teach him about the law, then you will have  rent money, and he'll be unemployable!

Quick, get a non-lawyer to pay you to teach him about the law, then you will have rent money, and he’ll be unemployable!

From the Fordham Law Review comes an article making an important point about American life: it is so intertwined with laws, regulations and procedures that citizens are overwhelmed, and at risk of serious adverse consequences. This provides a function for lawyers, indeed an essential one: allowing citizens of a democracy to be protected and served by laws rather than victimized by them. That is a function lawyers often serve, however, after legal ignorance has raised the specter of harm. From the abstract of Bridget Dunlap’s “Anyone Can Think Like a Lawyer,” which argues for “legal empowerment” for non-lawyers, and the duty of  lawyers to provide it: Continue reading


Filed under Character, Citizenship, Education, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, U.S. Society, Workplace

Grassy Knoll Ethics: How Deception Breeds Distrust


We once again must squarely face the hoary  quote from Walter Scott’s epic poem Marmion: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” It is hoary because it is true, and this month’s Smithsonian Magazine reminds us of how true it is, recounting how well-intentioned deceptions by the news media regarding evidence in the assassination of President Kennedy helped create a conspiracy theory that will not die, and that may have begun the slow, relentless deterioration of America’s trust in its own government that has reached dangerous proportions today.

Frame 313 of Abraham Zapruder’s accidental record of one of the pivotal moments in U.S. history gave him nightmares, and when he sold the rights to his amateur movie to Life Magazine, he insisted that frame be withheld from the public, and not published. “We like to feel that the world is safe,” documentary maker Errol Morris explains in the article.“Safe at least in the sense that we can know about it. The Kennedy assassination is very much an essay on the unsafety of the world. If a man that powerful, that young, that rich, that successful, can just be wiped off the face of the earth in an instant, what does it say about the rest of us?” I understand, but withholding the truth is not the way to make the world seem safer. As the story of the conspiracy shows, it is how we end up trusting no one. Continue reading


Filed under Daily Life, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Quotes, U.S. Society

What An Untrustworthy National Media Has Brought Us To: The Sandy Hook Truthers

One big wedge is missing.

One big wedge is missing.

Until recently, I was happily unaware that an active conspiracy theory has metastasized around the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, what can be thought of as the soot and sludge of the still-rolling ethics train wreck created by that tragedy, except that this is unfair to soot and sludge. The internet is abound with theorists, including at least one professor, who believe that the shooting was an elaborate hoax, possibly engineered by the Obama administration to facilitate gun confiscation and the repeal of the Second Amendment.

In a recent incident reported by Salon, a Newtown man who sheltered some students from the school after the shooting has been relentlessly harassed by Sandy Hook Truthers who have accused him of being part of the government plot. Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement