Monthly Archives: May 2014

Congratulations, Sen. Reid: Abusing Government Power To Stifle Political Speech And Participation Works!

 

Nice choice of role models, Harry.

Nice choice of role models, Harry.

From the Washington Post:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s relentless attacks on the billionaire Koch brothers are having an unforeseen impact: spurring other wealthy Republican donors to give more money to groups that keep their supporters’ names secret. Several prominent pro-Republican advocacy groups say they are benefiting from a burst of cash as some donors — fearful of harsh public attacks such as those aimed at the Kochs — turn away from political committees that are required by federal law to reveal their contributors.”

What a surprise. Citizen participants in the political process who see others like them engaging in no illegal or unethical conduct. other than taking positions with which the leader of the U.S. Senate disagrees. being called “un-American” and having their reputations and names savaged by him in speech after speech on the Senate floor, decide that it is no longer safe for a citizen to openly contribute to political causes in the U.S.

Democrats who use this development to attack the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, eliminating financial limits on the expressive activities of domestic advocacy groups and legal entities in political campaigns, will reveal themselves as beneath contempt. Reid, primed by President Obama, who has also crossed that line that must not be crossed by using his high elected office to call down the public’s disapproval on private citizens for their political views, has engaged in conduct that deserves the label of “McCarthyism.” Fair Americans, pundits, journalists and politicians of all political stripes ought to be candid and open about who is the ethics villain here. It is not the Koch Brothers, the Supreme Court or the GOP donors who are turning away from transparency. It is the disgraceful Senator Harry Reid.

At last count (in April; an update is needed), Reid had attacked the Kochs by name 134 times, when it is a breach of Senate tradition and a violation of the intent of the U.S. Constitution for a government official acting in his  official capacity to do so even once. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Environment, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Good!

Carney

Breaking news:

Jay Carney has resigned as Presidential spokesman.

Observations:

  • It would be nice if the reason stated was that he had lost all credibility by virtue of his evasive, deceitful, and often flat-out dishonest answers to the press. Of course, that won’t be the case.
  • Is he the most dishonest press secretary ever? That’s hard to say. Would it be possible for one to be more dishonest?
  • I knew Ron Ziegler, the much-maligned press secretary through much of the Nixon administration. I would trust Ron before I would trust Jay, who would have been a perfect fit for Tricky Dick.
  • PresumablyCarney has a job lined up. Who would trust this guy, who was accurately described as a paid liar? I wouldn’t believe a thing he wrote or said. Nor would I hire him even if he personally was an honest individual. An honest individual who nonetheless lies and deceives the American public to keep his job has no integrity, and is a coward as well.
  • Yeah, it’s a tough job. So is hit man.

Everyone says Jay Carney is a hell of a nice guy. There are a lot of nice guys I wouldn’t trust, and he’s one of them.

Good riddance.

 PS: I wrote this a year ago.

 

 

 

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Professions, Workplace

Kids On Leashes: Final Hypotheticals

kids on leashes2

Not to beat a dead dog, but while conversing about this surprisingly contentious issue (here, and here) on Facebook with the ever-thoughtful and provocative Lianne Best (Ethics Alarms congratulations go to Lianne for being honored by NARAL as an Outstanding Advocate For Choice), I realized that I should have posed one more hypothetical for the enthusiastic child-leashers to chew on, to wit:

“Have you ever seen anyone in public with both a kid and a dog on leashes simultaneously?”

Would you do that? And if you wouldn’t, why would having a child on a leash without the dog be any better?

To which Lianne countered with an even better hypothetical:

“How about a parent walking in public with the child on a leash but the dog walking along without one?”

____________________

Spark: Lianne Best

Graphic: Baby Cottage Gifts

 

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Filed under Animals, Childhood and children, Family, Quizzes, U.S. Society

Political Correctness Files: X-Men, People Magazine And The Case Of The 6’4″ Dwarf

"Hey, look! It's Tom Selleck!"

“Hey, look! It’s Tom Selleck!”

Apparently political correctness in the media now requires affirmative misrepresentation.

The People Magazine review of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” contains this sentence:

“You’ll understand her motivation when you meet Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), a government type who creates the sentinel project, and is even more sinister than his Magnum P.I.-by-way-of-IBM looks would suggest.”

For anyone who has seen the movie, or even anyone familiar with the (excellent) actor, Peter Dinklage, I have this question: What is odd about that quote?

For it is extremely odd. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Etiquette and manners, Journalism & Media, Popular Culture

ALL ABOARD! The Elliot Rodger Ethics Train Wreck Is Leaving Rationality Station!

trainwreck6

Wait…I think I’ve seen this wreck before!

Richard Hernandez’s enraged rant at the National Rifle Association for getting three people stabbed to death by Elliot Rodger signaled that this mass killing would  be exploited to the max by a succession of unscrupulous and/or irrational activists, social critics, and pundits, and, as my son used to say before he stopped respecting the French, “Voilà!

The burgeoning ethics train wreck looks like it might be even more infuriating than most, though nothing, ever, will be able to top the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Express for pure, widespread, unethical lunacy. Early indications are that the usual suspects will try to wring lessons from the crazed acts of a very unusual, spectacularly deranged, unsympathetic creep as if the fair and obvious answer isn’t there for all to see who are objective and smart enough to perceive it: this one mad act proves nothing. Not about the U.S., men, not about whites, not about guns, not about law, not about Hollywood. Nothing.

It’s a big country, and there’s lots of time before climate change destroys us all or something else does first. The attack of Elliot Roger is the opposite of signature significance, an utterly meaningless convergence of factors with fewer lessons to teach than other odd but deadly events, like the Great Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, or the St. Pierre Snake Invasion of 1905. He means nothing, and should be shunted aside to obscurity as quietly and quickly as possible, so his undeserved notoriety doesn’t set off differently motivated but similarly unhinged sociopaths who are teetering on the brink. Unfortunately, that would require journalists, politicians and single-issue fanatics to be fair, logical and responsible. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, Research and Scholarship, U.S. Society

Ethics Quiz: The Sensitive Cop’s Facebook Confession

sensitive cop“If there was any time I despised wearing a police uniform, it was yesterday at the Capitol during the water rally. A girl I know who frequents the Capitol for environmental concerns looked at me and wanted me to participate with her in the event. I told her I have to remain unbiased while on duty at these events. She responded by saying, ‘You’re a person, aren’t you?’ That comment went straight through my heart!”

Thus did Douglas Day, a police officer at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, confess to Facebook friends his mixed emotions while doing his duty.

For this he was fired.

The day Day wrote his Facebook post, Capitol Police Lt. T.M. Johnson told him  that the post “shows no respect to the department, the uniform or the law enforcement community which he represents.”  About a week later, Sgt. A.E. Lanham Jr. wrote to Day that he “found the entire [Facebook] posting to be extremely offensive and shocking … This is just another episode of many incidents which show his bad attitude and lack of enthusiasm toward police work in general and toward our department in particular.”

Day was thunderstruck. “If they believed there was some sort of a violation I made, then why wasn’t it addressed? They never brought me in and never said anything to me,” Day said. “In 2½ years working there, I had no disciplinary action taken against me at any time. Nothing was ever written up and I received no reprimands.” So much for the “many incidents.” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Rights, The Internet

The Blatant Plagiarism Conundrum: If You Make It Obvious That You Lifted Someone Else’s Work, Is That More Ethical Than Covering Your Tracks?

plagiarized essay

This episode reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld riff–I’ve mentioned it before—on how hairpieces inherently insult the intelligence of the people the bald imposter is trying to fool, and thus the toup’-wearer should just leave the price tag on, danging in front of his face.

A student apparently submitted an essay regarding her experiences as a black woman, not bothering about the fact that she is white.

Here is the incriminating passage, unblurred:

law-essay2

 

I’m fascinated by the implications of this. Could the white student plausibly claim she was writing the essay in the voice of a black woman? Could she take the Jumbo route, and express shock that she is white, and argue that nobody ever told her that before? (Fans of “The Jerk,” raise your hands!) That might be a terrific Jumbo: “I’m white??? Oh, my God!!!” If it was plagiarism, does she deserve Seinfeld ethics points for not trying to hide it? Or perhaps she was attempting to prove that her teacher didn’t read essays, and setting a trap, risking her own academic reputation to expose a fraudulent teacher!

Then again, she might just be an idiot.

I’d bet on the latter.

________________________

Pointer: Above the Law

Facts: Legal Check

Graphics: Legal Check

 

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Filed under Character, Education, Humor and Satire, Race