Tag Archives: trust

Unethical Clinton Quote Of The Week: Hillary Clinton

“I have said repeatedly: I want those emails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do…[A]nything that [the State Department] might do to expedite that process, I heartily support.”

—Hillary Clinton, lying her head off and, as usual, assuming nobody will notice,but, to be fair, being funnier than usual.

I’m sorry…is there a typo in that headline? Is my description overly arch? There answers are “no” and “yes, but I can’t stand much more of this.”

I think we are at the point where Clinton’s campaign has become a national ethics, integrity and intelligence test for the media, pundits, your friends and family members, and especially for Clinton supporters. For the Clintons, it’s a matter of how gutsy they can get in saying ridiculous things they know are ridiculous and expecting everyone to shrug it off…except those bad conservatives, Republicans and Clinton haters, of course. You can recognize them by the fact that they don’t shrug those statements off with a smile and a “That’s our Bill!” or “Don’t talk to my brain about the election, I’m voting with my vagina!”

The tipping point for me came a long time ago, but for anyone late to the party and capable of fair thought, it should at least have occurred when Bill Clinton justified his continued acceptance of obscene speaking fees (from likely corporate supplicants for U.S. favors and bounty after his wife becomes President) by saying “I gotta pay the bills!” This is just rubbing the public’s face in Clinton’s shamelessness, greed and corruption, and expecting everyone to like it.

Do you like it? If so, I’m disgusted with you.

The quote above by Hillary was just as outrageous; it just wasn’t quite as funny. (I’m saying that analytically: I am no longer capable of laughing at this kind of stuff from either Bill or Hillary, and I find my friends’ willingness to tolerate it tragic and diminishing.) To appreciate just how outrageous, you have to understand that it comes in the wake of the State Department announcing that it would take at least until January of 2016 to release the official emails that Hillary Clinton had to hand over because she used her own personal email server while Secretary of State in violation of government policies, including her own agency’s. (These weren’t all the e-mails, you’ll recall. She decided which she wanted the nation to see, and destroyed many thousands of them that she didn’t want to be seen, just in time to stop them from being subpoenaed.)

As State explained  in excruciating  detail, the process will take a long time because (other than the fact that the current leadership of the State Department doesn’t especially want those e-mails released either) “the Department received the 55,000 pages in paper form. The documents were provided in twelve bankers’ boxes (approximately 24” x 15” x 10 ¼” in size) with labels placed on the outside of the boxes that corresponded approximately to the time frame of the documents within a given box.”

Tech Dirt, which is not a political site and certainly not an ideological one, is falling all over itself guffawing about this and Clinton’s response to it:

“You know what would have expedited the release? First, using the State Department’s own email system while you were Secretary of State, so this wouldn’t have even been an issue. And, second, when all of this became an issue handing over the emails in electronic form, rather than in printed form in a bunch of boxes. [T] he way that Clinton has handled this whole thing is really ridiculous. Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to print out 55,000 pages of records that were original electronic unless you’re trying to hide stuff and make life difficult for those going through it?…”

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Science & Technology

Integrity Fail: Republicans Pass An Anti-Abortion Bill, Thus Undermining Their Argument Against Unconstitutional Overreach By Democrats

I bet this guy is a Republican.

I bet this guy is a Republican.

The bill the Republicans in the House just passed to ban abortions after 20 weeks undermines every argument the party has made against the abuse of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to allow the federal government to meddle in state matters. One’s position on abortion isn’t relevant to the ethics and law here: I agree whole-heartedly with the ban in principle.

Abortion isn’t commerce, however. For decades, the Commerce Clause’s provision giving Congress the power to “regulate commerce . . . among the several states” has been stretched beyond all reason and the limits of language by Democratic majorities.  It has been conservative legislators, scholars and pundits who have screamed about it. Indeed, this was the primary basis for the attack on Obamacare in the Supreme Court case NFIB v. Sebelius, and the majority did find that the so-called “individual mandate” exceeded Congress’s Commerce Clause limitations.

The abuse of the Commerce Clause has been the primary means by which the Founders’ intentional restraints on federal  government power over the states and individuals have been circumvented by big government advocates. Some of the measures that were ingeniously slipped by the Commerce Clause using dubious justifications have been necessary and beneficial, like Federal laws against discrimination. Those measures, however, greased an ever-slipperier slope that has made the Clause a virtual nullity.

Supposedly, Republicans believed that it was important to start taking the Constitutional limits on Congressional power seriously again, because the alternative would be a Congressional dictatorship over the states. Now we know that the Republicans are just as willing to trample the Commerce Clause as Democrats are, as long as their pet social issues are being served. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Rights

The Ultimate Pazuzu At TNT Academy

pazuzzu

Frequent readers here will be familiar with the Pazuzu Excuse. Pazuzu was the demon that made Linda Blair say such awful things in “The Exorcist”—he also made her head swivel around 180 degrees. Pazuzu is the presumptive miscreant whenever someone tried to beg forgiveness for a particularly vile, and often career-threatening remark by arguing that the statement “didn’t reflect my true beliefs,” as if someone else had suddenly grabbed the controls. Michael Richards (“Kramer” on “Seinfeld”) was, therefore, mystified about why he suddenly started screaming “Nigger!” at a stand-up comedy performance. Mel Gibson swore that all the anti-Semitic slurs he uttered on a fateful night were of mysterious origin, since he isn’t the kind of guy who would act like that. (Later events proved this to be mistaken.) There are many examples from the famous, momentarily famous and not famous at all.

The Full Pazuzu is reached when someone implies that what was said or written suggests a different identity. Sony executive Amy Pascal, to cite a recent example, explained her hacked e-mails (which really weren’t that bad) by writing,

“The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am…”

Whoever or whatever those e-mails were an accurate reflection of, they fired him/her/it.

Now, however, by way of Stone Mountain, Georgia, comes a rare Ultimate Pazuzu, where the individual under fire really blamed the devil. [NOTE: Pazuzu isn’t the devil, but he works for him, so under the principle of agency, it’s a distinction without a difference.] Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Race

The Unethical Tom Brady Conduct He Isn’t Being Punished For

This isn't the graphic for this post for the reason you think it is...

This isn’t the graphic for this post for the reason you think it is…

The NFL surprised me a little yesterday—but pleasantly— by hitting New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his team with something approaching an appropriately tough penalty for cheating in a playoff game, lying about it, obstructing the NFL’s investigations, and then acting as if the whole mess was a joke. The NFL suspended Brady for four games, stripped the Patriots of their first-round draft pick in 2017 and a fourth-round pick as well, and fined the team $1 million for Brady’s  “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL” and for “failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation.”

Exactly. It wasn’t the infraction alone that made this serious; it was the suggestion, magnified by Brady’s smug attitude, that cheating in an NFL play-off game is no big deal and nothing to be upset or ashamed about. The team also had to be punished, in part because cheating has long been the Patriots’ MO, and the team’s continued success at winning championships, without some negative consequences, is a neon sign advertisement for cheating in games, in school, in business, in life.

Finally, the draft choices were a crucial element, because taking away those really hurt the team. Otherwise it would have been just an affordable fine: Brady doesn’t need the millions he’ll lose by not playing four games, and the Patriots are more than a one-man team; they might still win all four. As for team owner Robert Kraft, he won’t even notice that the million dollars is missing. The draft choices the team will notice. Good.

But there is another injustice here that isn’t getting as much attention as the suspending of New England’s smirking, cheating star. Continue reading

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Filed under U.S. Society

California Government Ethics: Water Sprinklers During A Drought…In The Rain

The catastrophic shortage of water in California has prompted rationing and the looming prospect of permanent changes to the state’s economy and lifestyle. Yet this week a citizen with a cellphone captured video of California Department of Transportation sprinklers sewing the precious fluid along a freeway…as a light rain fell following a night of showers. Meanwhile, along the freeways, message boards are warning motorists of the importance of responsible water use in the drought, stating “Severe Drought. Limit Outdoor Watering.”

In my business and corporate ethics programs, I often use a hypothetical based on a true incident at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in which the staff was told that there would have to be a freeze on raises and new hiring because of financial challenges facing the association. They were told that everyone would have to sacrifice for the vital mission of the Chamber. That same week, the General Counsel’s office received a long-delayed remodeling, with expensive new furniture, artwork and carpeting. Morale plummeted, and the absence of trust in management was palpable. I use the incident to demonstrate the consequences of leadership hypocrisy and absence of integrity, when those in power hold themselves to different, and lower, standards than they claim to champion.

What California did was far, far worse. Continue reading

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Filed under Environment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Leadership

Re The Latest In The Stream Of Clinton Scandals: If Hillary Clinton Really Cared About The U.S., She’d Drop Out Now

"..and in US public officials!"

..and in US public officials!

Has any American politician voluntarily and sincerely given up power or the quest for it in the best interests of the nation? I’m searching through my American history materials, and so far, I can’t find one since George Washington, who knew he could have been President for Life, and also knew it was a terrible idea. President Nixon and Johnson both said that they were giving up the Presidency for the good of the nation, but Nixon was toast and knew it, and Johnson, the consummate politician, knew that he faced an ugly rejection by the public and the destruction of his party as a result.  I can point to one president who definitely refused to give up power in the best interests of the nation, and thus set us on the divisive and dysfunctional path we are on now: Bill Clinton.

What a coincidence!

Hillary is not Bill, but it is already clear that she is willing to reduce American politics to new lows in blood warfare and polarize the nation even more than it is now, corrupting the news media and her supporters beyond recognition if the carnage can take  her to the White House. Surely she realizes that the months between now and November 2016 will consist of a river wild of revelations, accusations, scandals,  and search and destroy operations by her opponents as well as objective supporters of honest and responsible government. She also knows that there is plenty of substance—as in evidence of her duplicity and untrustworthiness—to discover. And she knows that she will respond, as the Clintons always have and always will, with carefully worded denials, ad hominem attacks on her critics, dark theories about conspiracies, accusations of sexism, and, of course, cover-ups and lies.

Next to a terrorist attack or a national police announcement that yes, they are hunting down African Americans, this is the last thing the United States needs….which means, in turn, that the next to last thing is the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

The latest controversy is instructive. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society

Inevitable, Unethical, Technological Incompetence By Our Governments

Hey, what could go wrong?

Hey, what could go wrong?

The legal profession is in the midst of an ethics crisis not of its own making. New technologies, including social media, have created opportunities for vastly improved legal services, to such an extent that the American Bar Association has decreed that an ethical, competent lawyer, must use them. It has also made it clear that using them carelessly to the detriment of clients is unethical as well. It all sounds reasonable, except for this: few lawyers are equipped by education, training or nature to be adept at technology. Worse, technology is now changing so fast that few lawyers can keep up with it.

Thus they make mistakes. Costly mistakes, disastrous mistakes, stupid mistakes, and there is no learning curve, because by the time lawyers understand and master a new technology, it is no longer new, and it has taken on a different form that requires them to start all over again. The ABA and other bar associations have acknowledged this through inaction. After numerous instances where their ethical guidelines regarding the use of technology were obsolete or wrong from the moment they were issued, these bodies have resorted to general edicts only, essentially saying, “You must master available legal practice technology, and you must not screw it up. Don’t ask us how, we’re as confused as you are.”

Gee, thanks.

Unfortunately, it is not just the legal profession that is in peril from technological overload, unrealistic expectations and the speed of innovation. Our various levels of governments are, if anything, in even worse peril from the same phenomenon.

One week ago, the Virginia State Board of Elections frantically voted to  decertify use of the AVS WinVote touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic voting machine, meaning that the machines, which were used by dozens of cities and towns in Virginia, are effectively banned. Virginia is holding primaries  just two months from now, so this has thrown those local governments into a panic. The decision was unavoidable, however, after a shocking a report that demonstrated that the machines could be hacked, and elections rigged, by a 12-year-old…that is, anyone with more technological expertise than local government officials.

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Professions, Science & Technology