Tag Archives: ethics alarms

“When The Ethics Alarms Don’t Sound” Files: Auschwitz

auschwitz-showers

From The Jerusalem Post:

Israeli tourists who arrived at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday expressed shock and outrage over what appeared to be the placement of showers near the entrance to the site. Asked about the outcry, a spokesman for the Auschwitz memorial told The Jerusalem Post that “no showers were placed at the parking lot of the museum.” “Because of the heat wave in Poland, sprinklers which cool the air were placed near the entrance to the museum. They are located near the area where – in the open sun and without any possibility of hiding in the shade – a queue of people who collect the entry cards to the memorial site is formed. “Among visitors there are many people who come from countries where such high temperatures as we have this summer in Poland do not occur. We have noticed cases of fainting among people. Therefore we must do everything possible to minimize the risks connected with the heat and high temperatures and take care of the safety of health of our visitors. The sprinklers are installed on the days of highest temperatures and removed with the temperature drops.”

“As a Jew who has lost so many relatives in the Holocaust, they looked like the showers that the Jews were forced to take before entering the gas chambers,” Meir Bulka, 48, told the Post . According to Bulka, he was not the only one deeply disturbed by this unusual scene. “All the Israelis felt this was very distasteful,” he said. “Someone called it a ‘Holocaust gimmick.’” Bulka decided to do something proactive about the situation rather than let it go. He went to the main office and asked the management for an explanation to the strange scene.

“The management decided that it was a good way to cool people off on a very hot day,” Bulka said.

There is something very wrong when those in charge of the Auschwitz historical site decide to erect nozzles misting water downwards at visitors outside the notorious death camp and nobody in involved in the decision detects the obvious problem. Whether the problem is with the administrators, the post-WWII generations, non-Jews, or something else, like Europe and the world, I am not sure. I do know that ethics alarms should have been ringing loudly. Did they malfunction? Or are they not installed?

Clues to what is wrong are suggested by the comments made by Ann Althouse’s readers to this story. I’m still trying to figure them out. Her audience is, I presume, ideologically-mixed, tilting to the left, and on the young side, since she is a law professor and many students read her posts. Is the utter insensitivity bordering on hostility to Jewish sensitivity on the little, insignificant matter of the Holocaust displayed here  attributable to ignorance (an excuse the Polish curators of the museum cannot claim), callousness, distance from the events memorialized, antipathy to Israel or anti-Semitism?

Here are 17 out of the 20 comments so far: Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Environment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, History

Unethical Quote Of The Month AND Comment Of The Day: Ethics Dunce: “Cecil The Lion Killer Walter Palmer…Or Any Big Game Hunter, Really”

“Feel free to pay this murdering asshole a visit at his home at XXXXXXXXX.. Don’t forget to bring your hunting gear. Can’t make it then send some mail to him and his wife XXXXXX. She loves animal killers! His wife is one of the owners of XXXXXXXXX, a customs broker in North Dakota. His daughter is XXXXXX (Palmer) and she can be reached at her company XXXXXXXXX. He also has vacation home at XXXXXXXXX.”

—– “Is,” an attempted, but immediately banned, Ethics Alarms commenter to the post about Walter Palmer, the big game-hunting dentist who inadvertently ended up shooting a popular and well-known lion rather than a random, everyday, mount-his-head-on-the-wall lion, as if it makes any real difference at all. The X’s cover up personal information about the Palmers, as this vicious and anonymous creep attempted to use this blog to facilitate organized harassment and possibly violence.

Dr. Palmer's office front...

Dr. Palmer’s office front…

It has been pointed out, fairly and accurately, that while people like Mia Farrow are trying to get Palmer killed—she tweeted out the same information I deleted above– because he was unlucky enough to be tricked into killing a lion-icon, the media is barely covering serial videos showing the dead-eyed callousness of the Planned Parenthood officials who facilitate and encourage the abortion, for any reason, of unborn human beings.  The same sensitive, compassionate progressives who are trying to get Palmer murdered (PETA has stated that he should be hanged) are shrugging off human carnage that is exactly as legal as the activity that Walter Palmer thought he was engaging in. One old lion versus a million nascent human beings, trying to live. Thus does selective outrage approach madness. Continue reading

51 Comments

Filed under Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Social Media, The Internet, U.S. Society

A Brief Statement Regarding Hillary Clinton And Ethics Alarms

An ethics professor just wrote to announce that he was ceasing to follow the blog because

“you have become a one note Hillary basher and compromised your disinterest.”

1. I do not bash Hillary Clinton. I accurately point out her serial unethical conduct and statements. I am an expert in non-profit ethics, and her foundation is unethical. I an an expert in government ethics, and her conduct in relation to both her foundation and her State Department e-mails was unethical. I am an ethicist, and she could not get through her first substantial interview without multiple deceits, misrepresentations and lies. Pointing these out, especially when the news media is not doing its job, is my duty and mission. Apparently a lot of people don’t know this woman is unethical. I am obligated to enlighten them if I can.

2. My main area of scholarship and my personal passion, is leadership and the American Presidency. The Democratic Party, to its shame, is trying to make this unqualified and corrupt woman President of the United States. Naturally this is of deep concern to me, as it ought to be for every American.

3. Even considering this, the blog has hardly been all-Hillary. I just checked: there have been exactly  three Hillary-themed posts in the last 50. FIFTY. Five-O. Gee, sorry, Professor, that the ethical corruption of the presumptive President of the United States occupies my ethics blog’s attention 6% of the time.

4. The Clintons’ master strategy for escaping all of their schemes and deceptions is to deny, obfuscate and throw up smokescreens until the public gets sick of the controversy, and tunes out. It’s a good, if cynical strategy, but it won’t work with me.

5. I will cease writing timely blogs about Hillary’s Clinton’s unethical conduct when

  • She stops lying.
  • The new scandals, schemes, and cover-ups stop materializing.
  • The news media starts doing its job.
  • The public shows sufficient comprehension of how corrupt she is.
  • She is no longer running for President.

And not before.

 

24 Comments

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

The Embarrassed Management Apologizes—Again.

man_with_his_head_in_his_handsI just cleaned up about ten typos, some of them truly horrible, in the latest Sweet Briar post, which was up on the site including them for three days. The Sweet Briar grads must really think I’m illiterate. I made a note of the repaired carnage on the post, and have nominated it for a year end award, in the category of “Most Typo-Riddled Post.” Boy, I hope it wins.

Still, that’s not enough. I am thoroughly discouraged and chagrined. Thanks to diligent efforts by Ethics Alarms reader Penn and others, I have been catching typos faster of late and even refining my own, miserable proofing skills. The number of errors had been decreasing…and now this. Thus I am reprinting the following post from December of 2010 on this same topic. Back then, Ethics Alarms was averaging 600 views a day. Now the average is close to 4000 a day, meaning that the number of those literate readers inconvenienced by my incompetence every day is almost seven times greater. I’m reprinting it in part because I deserve the humiliation of knowing that I have to make the exact same apology five years later, and in part because I know there are no typos in it.

I apologize profusely for the sloppiness. I am the world’s worst proof-reader, and when I am rushing to get a post finished under a deadline, I am even worse than that. Nonetheless, this is no excuse, and readers who are kind enough to come here shouldn’t have to endure extra or missing words and illiterate spellings, most of which, by the way, are because I can’t type, though my rotten spelling doesn’t help any.

I am so grateful to those of you who continue to flag the more egregious typos for me. Finding out that an article has been hanging out there with these errors is exactly like learning that you’ve been smiling at people with a piece of spinach on your front teeth all day. So I mean it: it isn’t because I don’t care. I’m trying. Obviously I have to try harder.

27 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Professions, Workplace

Ethics Reflections On A Souvenir Wall Hanging

Welcome to my world...

Welcome to my world…

“Can’t you ever stop thinking about ethics?” my wife said to me a few minutes ago. We were walking around historic Williamsburg, Virginia—I have seminar to teach in a couple hours—and I saw a ceramic wall hanging for sale at the charming Christmas store in the town square. It read…

IF WE CAN SEND A MAN TO THE MOON, WHY CAN’T WE SEND THEM ALL THERE?

Maybe it’s an old joke, but I hadn’t encountered it before. I thought it was kind of funny in a “this is a parody of over-the-top, ‘a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’ seventies feminism” way, but I find myself wondering…

-Would progressives consider this “eliminationist rhetoric?” Hate speech?

-If not, why not?

-Would a gender-reversed version of the joke be funny? Would feminists consider it offensive? Would such feminists defend the wall-hanging? Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, U.S. Society

Ethics Alarms On The Air!

onair

I have been on the radio a lot recently. The opinions expressed there will not surprise anyone who is a regular reader of Ethics Alarms, but for those curious about whether I speak with a British accent or a bi-lateral lisp, or those who are aurally inclined, below are links to three radio shows that had me as a guest of late, and one that interviewed me as background, and included some of my comments.

Here you go:

1. This is WGAN’s examination of the Hillary Clinton e-mails scandal, delivered by me while in shock after listening to Karen Finney spin herself sick on CNN, ably hosted as always by Arthur King…

2. Here is national host for the Local Job Network, Tim Muma, a terrific interviewer, on a podcast chatting with me about the “Ick!” and “Awww!” Factors and their relationship to ethics.

3. Tim again, this time cross-examining me about the Brian Williams mess and related issues.

4. Finally, NPR reporter Hawes Spencer’s report on the Sweet Briar closing.

9 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Environment, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership

“House of Cards” Ethics: Why Should We Believe TV Journalists and Pundits Have Any Integrity When They Don’t Value It Themselves?

Safer interviews "President Frank Underwood." Morley, Morely, Morely...

Safer interviews “President Frank Underwood.” Morley, Morely, Morely…

The third season of “House of Cards,” a Netflix series about the corruption in Washington, continues to corrupt real Washington journalists and talking heads. On the third season  episode I just watched, “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” was drawn into this alternate universe (or Hell) and George, along with regular panel members Donna Brazile and Matthew Dowd, rendered trenchant if predictable opinions about fictional President Frank Underwood with exactly as much passion and certitude as they do when they aren’t just playing themselves, but being professional analysts whose job it is to objectively enlighten the TV news audience. With that, they joined CNN’s John King ,Candy Crowley,and Carol Costello, Soledad O’Brien, now with Al Jazeera America, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Fox’ Sean Hannity, CBS’s Morley Safer of “60 Minutes,”  and Matt Bai as “House of Cards” journalist/actors. I’m sure I missed a few. The mystery is why none of these journalists (and whatever Sean Hannity and Brazile are) don’t hear ethics alarms ringing when invited to sully their already dubious credibility (they are in the news media, after all), by showing themselves reporting and commenting on fiction exactly the way they are seen reporting on reality. Brian Rooney, a media critic who writes “The Rooney Report,” states succinctly what’s the matter with this:

“The trouble with journalists appearing as themselves in entertainment is that the public already has difficulty discerning fact from fiction in the news. Reporters and news organizations survive on truth and trust. Readers and viewers need to believe what they are told so they can make informed decisions. When real reporters allow themselves to be part of fiction, the trust is shattered. They do it with a wink, like they are in on the joke, but it costs them their credibility.”

Well, it would cost them credibility, if they had any. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture, Professions