Tag Archives: courage

Ethical Quote Of The Week: GOP Senator And Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham

lindsey_graham

You know what, I’m not your candidate. I don’t want you to vote for me. I couldn’t disagree with you more.”

-South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham during an election event in Des Moines, Iowa, after an Iowan Republican in the crowd.suggested banning Islam.

Later Graham said, “He’s got a right to say whatever he wants to say, but I have an obligation to the Republican Party, to the people of Iowa and the country as a whole to be firm on this. I’m not buying into that construct. That’s not the America that I want to lead.”

I will await the first Democratic Party candidate who demonstrates similar integrity with an equivalent reply to a supporter who advocates banning hate speech.

I suspect I will wait until the stars turn cold.

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Leadership, Religion and Philosophy, Rights

Nine Ethics Takeaways From The Reaction To Donald Trump’s Anti-Illegal Immigrant Comments

Donald Trump thinks her life mattered more than cheap labor and Hispanic votes.

Donald Trump thinks her life should have  mattered more than cheap labor and Hispanic votes. Clearly, he must be punished…

1. Nobody can offer a reasonable justification for the U.S.’s tolerance of illegal immigration.

If anyone could, this would have been an excellent time to offer it. Nobody did this because there is no reasonable justification, just naked greed (big business), political expediency (politicians),  rationalizations (illegal immigration advocates) and sentimentality (everyone else).

2. Donald Trump, as awful as he is, has his uses.

Disgracefully, neither Presidential candidate spoke in any honest detail about the illegal immigration problem in 2012, talking safely and generally about “the need for immigration reform” instead, which is exactly as useful as advocating deficit reform, drug policy reforms and tax reforms, which is to say useless—but sufficient to keep lazy voters nodding like bobbleheads. The fact is that illegal immigration is an existential problem for the country as it can be for any nation, and responsible leaders and aspiring leaders have an obligation to deal with it seriously, openly and directly. They don’t. Thus it is left to buffoons and irresponsible leaders like Donald Trump to drop the stink-bombs they do. Truth from any source is still better than endless lies and obfuscation.

3. The mainstream news media is as biased, incompetent and dishonest on this issue as any other, and arguably more so.

Literally all the mainstream coverage of the organized backlash to Trump’s comments has been based on various critics’ expressions of horror and ridicule at Trump’s words. Virtually none has covered the factual basis for his statement, which is considerable. Most Americans know Trump is a jerk. Do they know that opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with racism or opposition to immigration itself? Do they know the corrupt and cynical motivations that placed the United States in this dilemma? No, the news media is only interested in identifying bad guys (Trump, and anyone who doesn’t regard illegal border crossers as heroes) and good guys (those compassionate, rule of law-rejecting pols and advocates who want U.S. immigration restrictions to be a dead letter).  The news media is really one of the bad guys. At this point, for example, the only major news outlet that careful and accurately distinguishes between illegal immigration and immigration is Fox News. For the rest, the conflation of the two is part of a grand strategy of misdirection.

4. The GOP Presidential candidates are cowards, with exception of Senator Ted Cruz.

Only Cruz has had the integrity to praise Trump for raising the issue, and still properly express reservations about his method of doing it. The rest have all expressed politically correct tut-tutting at Trump’s generally accurate statement that the U.S.’s failure to protect its southern border is a disgrace, that Mexico is benefiting by allowing its poorest, most desperate and criminal population to become our problem, and that many of the illegal immigrants bring crime with them. [Read the comments on Mediate regarding Cruz’s statements on Trump. They almost entirely consist of ad hominem insults (whatever he may be, Ted Cruz is no idiot), birther slurs (a man born to an American citizen visiting in Canada is a “natural born” U.S. citizen, you dolts), and statements based on the assumption that letting illegals just waltz across our borders is good policy, which, of course, it is anything but.]

5. The feckless Republicans pols are ducking because they are desperately afraid of alienating Hispanic-American voters, so they jettison their integrity, honesty, and duty as leaders and Americans.

Principled Republicans should trust Hispanic-Americans to have the same responsible concerns for the best interests of their nation as any other informed citizens, and appeal to them as the law-abiding patriots they are to oppose a disastrous open border policy that rewards illegal conduct.

6. Democrats and progressives increasingly rely on using various forms of coercion to stifle debate rather than to engage it.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he is reviewing Trumps contract’s with the city to see if he can punish Trump for daring to suggest that we have an illegal Mexican immigrant problem. He said:

“We are reviewing Trump contracts with the City. Donald Trump’s remarks were disgusting and offensive, and this hateful language has no place in our city. Trump’s comments do not represent the values of inclusion and openness that define us as New Yorkers. Our Mexican brothers and sister make up an essential part of this city’s vibrant and diverse community, and we will continue to celebrate and support New Yorkers of every background.”

Boy, the left really, really hates free speech, doesn’t it?  Government official are forbidden from declaring what kind of  speech does or does not have a “place” in any jurisdiction in the United States, but the Democrats keep trying to asert otherwise, on the theory that if they say it often enough, citizens will acccept it. Even though Trump was speaking as a public citizen and a candidate for office, De Blasio thinks it is appropriate for the city government to take punitive action against him for his opinion. This is the Chick-fil-A’ fiasco all over again, and also resembles the Senate Democrats’ strong-arm attack on the Washington Redskins.

It is beginning to look like a vote for Democrats is a vote against the principles of freedom of thought, discourse, dissent and speech. I would assume this would trouble—liberals. Or have they already been corrupted beyond repair?

7. Trump is quite correct to point to that the recent random killing of 31-year-old Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been deported five times, as a perfect example of what he was talking about.

ICE has explained it turned Lopez-Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities on March 26 for an outstanding drug warrant, and requested an immigration detainer. But Nancy Pelosi’s constituents, mindless supporters of illegal immigration and pro-drugs as well, believe that violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, so they allowed one of Mexico’s best to stay around long enough to kill an innocent white women.

Thank God for that, since only black lives matter. A black victim might have caused the city’s leftists to have a cognitive dissonance meltdown.

The news media is soft-peddling the story as much as it can—CNN calls the alleged killer “undocumented,” as if he misplaced his papers somewhere, another now accepted journalistic deceit—because the narrative is that all illegal immigrants are heroic parents trying to gain a better future for their offspring.  It should be used by Republicans as an effective Willy Horton-style attack on any Democratic Presidential candidate advocating continued border control abdication. The message: Your “immigration reforms” policy killed this woman. Go ahead: deny it.

8. The double standard being employed by the left and a news media in their response to the Charleston church shooting by Dylan Roof and Steinle’s murder is stunning.

Roof used a gun and liked Confederate flags, though there is no evidence that either different gun laws or the absence of the flag would have stopped his rampage. Never mind: the President used the tragedy to rev up the anti-Second Amendment zealots, and an anti-Confederate flag mania has somehow extended to desecrations of statues of Christopher Columbus. Kate Steinle is dead as a direct and undeniable result of the nation’s negligent enforcement of immigration laws championed by the same people who want to tear down statutes of Robert E. Lee, but to suggest that more stringent enforcement is necessary is “racist.”

9. Trump is an idiot.

If he is going to raise important issues as a “straight-talker.’ he is obligated not to play directly into the pro-illegal immigration mob’s strategy of attacking the messenger rather than rebutting the message. He has an obligation to be clear, and not so inflammatory that real content of his message is lost. He just can’t do it.

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Ethics Hero Emeritus: Sir Nicholas Winton (1909 – 2015)

winton and child

Another hero of the Holocaust has died. Nicholas Winton organized and substantially financed the last-minute escape of 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, but never sought the fame and public accolades that Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg received. He got the accolades anyway, especially in his native Great Britain and Czechoslovakia, once his heroics were publicized long after they occurred.

I had never heard of him or his exploits until the news reports of his death. Continue reading

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Integrity Gut Check: Who Will Have The Courage To Oppose The Left’s Cultural Purge?

STOP

Not journalists, surely, based on what we’ve seen so far. Will you? That’s not a rhetorical question. The rush to airbrush history, distort the historical record and strangle art and culture in pursuit of ideological indoctrination and constriction of dissent, imagination and thought itself is well underway in the United States, not yet as furious and violent as related movements that occurred during China’s cultural upheaval and the French Revolution, but still driven by the same kind of irrational fervor.

It certainly is frustrating sitting here on a tiny island of rationality, lamely pointing out where cultural perils lie, knowing that the net effect of my analysis is somewhere between nil and the societal influence of the local nut case carrying a placard in the park. I cautioned against a rush to avoid the ludicrous and cynical effort by civil rights leaders, Democratic politicians trying to somehow panic African-Americans into trusting Hillary, and social justice censors by pulling down Confederate flags now, as if the emblems had a smidgen, a wisp, an atom’s worth of culpability for Dylann Roof’s crime. I even launched a new Niggardly Principle to show the way, remember? Here it is again:

The Third Niggardly Principle

When suppressing speech and conduct based on an individual’s or a group’s sincere claim that such speech or conduct is offensive, however understandable and reasonable this claim may be, creates or threatens to create a powerful precedent that will undermine freedom of speech, expression or political opinion elsewhere, calls to suppress the speech or conduct must be opposed and rejected.

Never mind. Politicians have little integrity or courage, and certainly no ability to foresee the inevitable. If Nikki Haley and her fellow Southern governors legislators past and present had any of these qualities, they would have known that continuing to associate their states with the symbol of the Confederacy and all–-ALL—it stands for was a ticking cultural time bomb that should have been defused long, long ago. The flags should have been taken down when a fanatic, censorious mob of ideological zealots wasn’t in the ascendance, and wouldn’t take a belated decision to do what should have been done years—decades— before to mean that they are in control, and could finally dictate cultural conformity, because that’s what authoritarian leftists do.

Business is soulless and often without principle. It is the last entity that we should ever expect to do what is necessary to protect the flanks of free speech, will and thought. Anyone who wants to have a Confederate flag in a collection, on a jacket, or on a wall of their room should be able to purchase one. The disgraceful statement by Walmart’s CEO immediately tossed kerosene on the left’s flaming censorious passions. Good people—you know, like the people who run Walmart– don’t want to offend anyone, he suggested. Perfect. Let’s see, what can we send down the memory hole now?

Whatever they can find and think of that is connected in any way to slavery, racism and the Confederacy, apparently. And more.

The flag mania has already beyond reason: the National Park Service is pulling all items that include the Confederate flag from its gift shops , even at the battlefields. So if a 10-year old who is fascinated with the Battle of Gettysburg and wants to set up a diorama of the pivotal battle complete with little flags, the store at the battlefield itself can’t nourish his interests, because “Black Lives Matter.” What sense does it make to ban the flag and not toy soldiers of the men who fought under the flag? Well, it doesn’t, right? “Black Lives Matter.” And surely selling photographs of the generals who led those men, and books that contain photos of them, and films, like Ted Turner’s epic “Gettysburg,” that portray those generals as human beings and not racist killers who have been secretly whispering to Dylann Roof in his fevered dreams, can’t be permitted either.

I am not exaggerating this slippery slope, or how far the carnage may reach if rational people try to hide until it blows over.

Continue reading

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Ethics Heroes: The Sweet Briar Alumnae And Their Supporters

victory

What an inspiring story! I hoped, and I so wanted to believe, but I confess that I really thought that the traitorous, unethical Sweet Briar College board had delivered a fatal blow to this storied all-woman’s college by operating by surprise and stealth, waiting to announce its plan to close the institution so late in the academic year as to render counter-measures futile.

Like that disgraceful crew, I underestimated the determined women of Sweet Briar and their allies.

From the Washington Post:

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s office announced Saturday night that an agreement has been reached to keep Sweet Briar College open next year.

The agreement, which requires court approval, involves a $12 million commitment from an alumnae group and permission from the attorney general to release $16 million from the school’s endowment.

The president of the private women’s college in rural Virginia shocked many in March when he abruptly announced that the college, which is more than 100 years old, would close in the summer. Since then, supporters have been working feverishly to save the school, protesting, raising money and filing lawsuits challenging the closure.

On Saturday, Herring’s office announced that — if Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James W. Updike Jr. approves the agreement — Saving Sweet Briar, the alumnae group, would give $12 million for the operation of the college for the 2015-2016 year, with the first $2.5 million installment to be delivered in early July….

Both the alumnae group and other challengers to the closure say the funding would be enough to keep the school operating for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The agreement comes barely a month before the historic school was slated to close — and in advance of court hearings on multiple lawsuits. It does not resolve the ongoing issues that the school’s current leadership cited in making the decision to close, such as concerns about enrollment and revenue. It does not explain where next year’s class will come from, since accepted students were told to apply elsewhere and current students were told to transfer. But it provides a stopgap…

Leadership would change: If the agreement is approved, at least 13 board members would resign, and 18 new ones would be appointed — a majority that would control the board… Continue reading

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Sweet Briar College’s Fate And Fait Accompli Ethics

high-noon-clock

 UPDATE (6/15): I am officially nominating this post as the Most Typo-Riddled Ethics Alarms Article of 2015. At least I hope it is—alerted by a reader, I just found and fixed about 10, and I have no idea what happened. I suspect that I somehow pasted the next-to-last draft instead of the final. My proofreading is bad, but not THAT bad. I am embarrassed, and apologize to all: that kind of sloppiness is never excusable, but I especially regret it on a topic this important.

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Sweet Briar College was officially scheduled for termination, date of execution later this summer, by a board that chose not to offer alumnae and other interested parties a fair opportunity to raise objections, propose solutions, or mount a rescue effort. Indeed it was almost an ambush.

Although the distinguished graduates of Virginia’s unique and venerable all-female college have mounted a spirited effort to reverse this dubious move, time is not on their side. Amherst County Attorney Ellen Bowyer, working with the passionate opposition to Sweet Briar’s closing, argued in court that this would violate the terms of the will upon which the college was founded, and that the college’s board has engaged in malfeasance or misfeasance, violating its fiduciary duties and misusing charitable funds. A circuit court refused Bowyer’s request for a temporary injunction that would at least delay the closing —Tick-Tick-Tick!—and the case was appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court. Those  justices concluded that the lower court, in denying the injunctive relief, erred by concluding that that the law of trusts do not apply to a corporation like the college.  It does. So now the case returns to the circuit court to reconsider the merits.

Tick-Tick-Tick!

I find this infuriating and heart-breaking. As I’m certain the college’s treacherous board knew in March, legal challenges and court decisions take time, and the realities of the academic year halt for no man, or woman. It’s June now, and Sweet Briar has no 2015 entering class. Its sophomores and juniors are seeking, or have found, other schools as well. One of Sweet Briar’s problems—not an insuperable one to a board appropriately dedicated to is traditions and mission—was increasingly lagging enrollment. Whatever the solutions to that may be, skipping a year of entering freshman is not one of them. Faculty have to eat: presumably most, if not all of them, and the staff, are seeking employment elsewhere. The battle to save Sweet Briar, as noble and as important as it is, may have been lost from the start, simply because the clock, and the calendar, keeps moving.

This was, I fear, a fait accompli of the worst variety, an unjust, unfair, even illegal action that is successful because once set in motion, there is no way to stop it. Using the fait accompli strategy is intrinsically unethical, and the mark of an “ends justifies the means” orientation. It is based on the principle that an omelet, once made, cannot be unmade, because eggs can’t be put together again. In a situation where the ethical, fair, procedurally just approach is to debate and challenge a proposed policy action before it takes place, the fait accompli approach operates on the practical maxim that if you have no options, you have no problem. In essence, it says, “Yes, you may be right, but what are you going to do about it?” Continue reading

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“If Caitlyn Jenner Can Identify As Female And Be Cheered For it, Why Is White NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal Wrong To Identify As Black?” And Other Ethics Musings On A Really Strange Story

NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, before she decided to be black.

NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal, before she decided to be black.

Rachel Dolezal, a prominent civil rights activist, the leader of Spokane’s NAACP chapter, chairwoman of the city’s Office of Police Ombudsman Commission and a professor in the African Studies Program at Eastern Washington University, has been falsely representing herself as black for years. When someone is asked if he or she is really black, and the answers he or she comes up with includes “That question is not as easy as it seems,” and “We’re all from the African continent,”  it’s fair to say the jig is up.

Or is it? Although Dolezal’s mother has spoken out about the 37 -year-old’s background, noting that there is no black ancestry that they know of in the family and that Rachel’s self-identification as black seems to arise out of the fact that she was raised with adopted African-American siblings—you know, like Steve Martin in “The Jerk”?—she may well sincerely believe she is black. Then what?

Dolezal’s actual race, if there is such a thing in her case since she sometimes identifies herself as “white, black, and American Indian,” has suddenly become an issue because she has reported alleged instances of harassment and hate crimes. An inquiry has also been opened at Spokane City Hall. “We are gathering facts to determine if any city policies related to volunteer boards and commissions have been violated,” Mayor David Condon, who appointed her to the city oversight board,  and Council President Ben Stuckart said in a joint statement. “That information will be reviewed by the City Council, which has oversight of city boards and commissions.”

Stuckart said the council will meet soon to discuss the developments and that he didn’t want to speak for the group until then. “But if this is true I’ll be very disappointed,” he said..

Is Dolezal credible? Is she courageous? Is she deluded? Is she nuts? Or is being black just, as Gore Vidal said about Truman Capote’s death, a good career move?

Some ethics musings:
Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Race