Tag Archives: cowardice

Memorial Ethics: Under Armour’s “Disrespect”

Underarmor

The Horror…

Just in time for Memorial Day comes this depressing example of how timid and wan Americans have become when free speech and expression are under attack. This is how acceptance of the Universal Veto of the Officious Offended will reduce the U.S. to a barren, humorless, imagination-free culture dominated by political correctness bullies and exploitive self-anointed, power-seeking “victims.”

Under Armour advertised a “Band of Ballers” tee-shirt showing a silhouette of men in backwards baseball caps raising a basketball hoop in the iconic pose of the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, in which combat weary soldiers are frozen in the act of raising an American flag after the Marine’s bloody victory at Iwo Jima.

There is nothing remotely wrong with this design. It is not disrespectful It is satire. It is a parody. It is using the status of the image to extol basketball; only a fool could read the image as an effort to denigrate veterans or the American flag. Personally, I think it’s clever, just as I like Charles Addams’ cartoon showing butchers wrestling with sausages in the pose of the famous statue of Laocoon and his sons being devoured by serpents…

Addams Cartoon

…or parodies of Washington crossing the Delaware, like this ad for HBO’s “Veep”… Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, History, Humor and Satire, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture, Sports, U.S. Society

Ethics Dunce: Grandstanding Topeka Waitress Chloe Hough

tip the schoolsToday was apparently “Popular Unethical Conduct Day.” This isn’t as bad as a mother having a police officer terrorize her little boy, because governor abuse isn’t as bad as child abuse. It’s still wrong, and in several ways.

Waitress Chloe Hough was in her final shift in her last day as a waitress at a Kansas barbecue restaurant, and found herself serving conservative Kansas governor Sam Brownback. The controversial  Republican  recently pushed to replace Kansas’s education funding system with a  “block grant” program that cuts millions of dollars from  public school budgets.

Hough decided to use the opportunity to make a snarky, meaningless protest comment on his check, and grandstanded by posting a photo of it on Facebook.

“I just knew I had to say something or I would regret it,” she told a TV station.  Of course, she really would have regretted it if she hadn’t already quit her job. She was rude to a customer (wrong), compromised the service of her employer (wrong); embarrassed her employer (wrong);used her job illicitly to make a personal political statement (wrong), and posted the restaurant’s document without permission on Facebook. If the restaurant shares tips among servers, she also gave away money belonging to her colleagues without their permission. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  She did all of this knowing that she wouldn’t suffer any consequences, since she had already quit. It was hit and run unethical conduct, and a cowardly betrayal of trust. The legitimacy of her political critique is irrelevant.

I hope the restaurant withholds her final paycheck, and to any other employers out there, remember that name: Chloe Hough. She’s untrustworthy and disloyal, and if you hire her, you deserve what you get.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Workplace

CNN’s Pippification Of Kate Bolduan

Pipp and kate

CNN’s New Day  original co-host Kate Bolduan finally went on maternity leave in September after a long-on air pregnancy, and was replaced by stand-in Alisyn Camerota, long a feature on the Fox News Channel. Camerota’s  teaming with Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira saw New Day finally move ahead in the ratings over MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and now Bolduan, still home being a full-time mommy, is out, and Camerata has her job.  Bolduan, when she returns, will have another, less prestigious assignment.

Is this fair?

Kate was Pippified. Continue reading

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Filed under Gender and Sex, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Professions, Sports, U.S. Society, Workplace

Cowards and Hypocrites

"All is forgiven"

“All is forgiven”

The New York Times and CNN, among others, are ducking their responsibility as news organizations to run the current cover of  “Charlie Hebdo.”  Why is it their responsibility? Because the response of the devastated satirical publication is news, and as the Times laughably says on its front page, that news is fit to print: the Times and CNN are describing the cover, but don’t have the guts or integrity to show it. The disingenuous rationale, in CNN’s terms, is that they are respecting “the sensibilities” of Muslim viewers.

In a word: CRAP. The vast majority of readers and viewers should be kept in the dark to avoid offending Muslim readers and viewers who can easily avert their tender eyeballs? When have CNN and the Times applied that standard regarding any other religious group, or any group at all? [UPDATE: Over at Popehat, Ken White extravagantly exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of  the Times’ rationalizations for not showing the cartoon with a series of well-formulated and pointed questions. This is admittedly more diagnostic than “CRAP,” but the message is the same.]

The translation of this craven self-censorship is “We are concerned about offending an anti-democratic and violent minority who are successfully using threats to constrain the free distribution of knowledge and information, because we are unworthy of the profession we presume to practice.”

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Professions, Religion and Philosophy, Rights

Ethics Reminder To The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland And Bishop Cook: “Hit, Run, Realize You’re Screwed And Come Back 20 Minutes Later To Take Responsibility” Is Still “Hit And Run”

bicycle-hit-and-run

Yesterday, Heather Cook, the No. 2 official in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, struck and killed cyclist Thomas Palermo with her vehicle. He later died; she did not stop and drove on, leaving the scene and her victim  badly injured by the side of the road. Another motorist stopped and called 911, and cyclists who set out to find the fleeing car reported seeing a Subaru with a smashed windshield. twenty minutes after the fatal accident Cook returned while investigators were still on the scene.

In an email to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton announced that Cook, the first woman to be ordained a bishop in the Maryland diocese had been involved in a fatal accident, and said,

“Several news agencies have reported this as a ‘hit and run.’ Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions.”

Oh. Well, leaving a man to die on the road is all right, then. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Daily Life, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Professions, Religion and Philosophy

Introducing Rationalization 1A: Ethics Surrender, or “We can’t stop it”

White Flag: Last LapForty six rationalizations have been added to the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations List, and today I not only stumbled upon a carelessly omitted one, but realized that it belongs near the top.

Ethics Surrender, or “We can’t stop it,” is the rationalization that argues that if society is incapable of effectively preventing unethical conduct, for whatever reason, we might as well stop regarding that conduct as wrong. This is yet another variation on the most common and insidious rationalization of them all and #1 on the list: “Everybody Does It.”

The Golden Rationalization has many variations, among them…

“It’s done all the time.”

“It’s always been done this way.”

“It’s tradition.”

“Everybody is used to it.”

“Everybody accepts it.”

“Nobody’s complained before.”

“It’s too late to change now.”

…and others. Ethics Surrender, however, warrants particular attention, as it encourages moral cowardice and ethics complacency. “We can’t stop it” is a lazy capitulation that assumes cultures can’t change, and we know they can and do change, both for better and worse, all the time. One society has been convinced, though legitimate, persistent, coherent and ethically valid arguments, that a common practice or conduct is bad for society, society can stop or seriously inhibit that unethical practice of behavior, either by law, regulation, or best of all, the evolution of cultural consensus. The examples of an Ethics Surrender resulting in undesirable societal consequences are too numerous to list, and many of them are still controversial. I would assign having children out of wedlock, adultery, lying by elected leaders and the use of illegal recreational drugs to the “We can’t stop it, so let’s say it’s not so bad” category. The most obvious and currently significant example is illegal immigration, wrong, but increasingly being rationalized by both advocates and lawmakers who have run out of ideas and principle. At this moment, we are hearing the defenders of dubious police shootings making that argument to avoid examining possible changes in law enforcement policy so there will be fewer deaths without putting police in peril.

Ethics is hard. Rationalization 1A, Ethics Surrender, or “We can’t stop it,” wrongly concludes that it is impossible.

 

 

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Filed under Character, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

Unethical Quote of the Week; Chris Rock

Shut up, Chris.

Shut up, Chris.

“You say the wrong thing — you see what happened to [Donald Sterling],” Rock said. “I’m not defending what Sterling said at all, but if that’s not the First Amendment then what the [bleep] is? And what did he say, ‘I don’t want my girlfriend hanging out with black basketball players’? Me neither!”

—Black comic and “truth-teller” Chris Rock, discussing the fear in Hollywood as a result of the Sony hacks.

Gee, Chris, that’s courageous, fair, perceptive and true.

What a shame you didn’t have the integrity or guts to condemn what happened to Sterling while every other black pundit, columnist, athlete, and celebrity was comparing him to Satan. You just allowed everyone to pile on the old, rich white guy, take away his team and make him the face of racism for telling his slutty black  girlfriend—in his own bedroom!—not to flaunt the fact she was only hanging with him for the money by showing up at his teams’ games with her real boyfriends. You Hollywood types are hilarious–as in disgusting— in your selective belief in rights, privacy and fair play. First Aaron Sorkin, who didn’t object to the media feeding frenzy over Sterling’s private remarks, suddenly argues that his friends and business associates’ equally damning comments shouldn’t be reported because they aren’t about crime and corruption, and thus aren’t news. Then you suddenly decide to defend Donald Sterling’s rights of privacy and free speech now, when there is no cost to you at all, and the damage is done and irreparable.

Here’s what’s unethical about your statement, Chris: it’s too damn late.

 

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Quotes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Rights, U.S. Society