Monthly Archives: February 2016

Oscar Ethics Post Mortem: The Academy Just Guaranteed That Whatever Artists Win Oscars Next Year, They Will Have No Credibility Whatsoever

Good job, everybody!

Good news, Sipke! The fix is in: if you make a movie this year, no matter how crappy it is, you'll get a nomination. Happy now?

Good news, Sipke! The fix is in: if you make a movie this year, no matter how crappy it is, you’ll get a nomination. Happy now?

Thanks to an extended public self-flagellation by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Scientists last night, any future Oscar nominations or awards to black performers, designers, writers and directors will be regarded by the public and the Hollywood community itself with justifiable suspicion, doubts and cynicism. Last night’s ceremony, from Chris Rock’s all-race monologue to the choice of the music over the credits, was a tacit commitment by the Academy to henceforth and forever name sufficient minority nominees and winners regardless of the merits of their work or the comparative merits of their work to any white artists. Diversity is officially more important than merit. By hook or by crook, there will now be prominent honors to Hollywood blacks….even if some of the honored work is crap.

Not surprisingly, given its traditional and intellectually wan reflex liberalism, Hollywood painted itself into an affirmative action and quotas mandate. After last night, the voters won’t dare fail to nominate a whole bunch of blacks, so Spike Lee will come to the ceremony.  This does put pressure on black artists to actually turn in some outstanding, or at least plausibly decent, work to avoid making all those guaranteed nominations and awards look as phony and rigged as they will be. If the 2017 Oscars include nominations for Samuel L. Jackson playing Samuel L. Jackson, a lifetime achievement award for Sydney Poitier and a gift nod to James Earl Jones for a charming cameo as a crusty old hermit in “The Sandlot, Part 3,” it’s going to be even more obvious what’s going on. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Race, U.S. Society

Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day: Suuuure, Donald. It Was The Earpiece..

donald-trump-gag

Today, Donald Trump “explained” how he came to tell Jake Tapper that he couldn’t condemn David Duke, white supremacists, or the Klu Klux Klan without some research.

What he said:

“I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you could hardly hear what he was saying. But what I heard was various groups, and I don’t mind disavowing anybody, and I disavowed David Duke and I disavowed him the day before at a major news conference, which is surprising because he was at the major news conference, CNN was at the major news conference, and they heard me very easily disavow David Duke…. Now, I go, and I sit down again, I have a lousy earpiece that is provided by them, and frankly, he talked about groups…. He also talked about groups. And I have no problem with disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. It would be very unfair to disavow a group, Matt, if the group shouldn’t be disavowed. I have to know who the groups are. But I disavowed David Duke…. Now, if you look on Facebook, right after that, I also disavowed David Duke. When we looked at it, and looked at the question, I disavowed David Duke. So I disavowed David Duke all weekend long, on Facebook, on Twitter and obviously, it’s never enough. Ridiculous.”

Why it’s unethical: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Science & Technology

Hugh Hewitt Bravely Takes Up The Challenge Of Identifying Substantive Reasons To Vote For Trump, And Fails Miserably

Six reasons

Apparently “Anti-Trump Sunday” is going to bleed into Monday. Sorry. Can’t be helped.

I have been—all right, the term is trolling—some sites and blogs where Trump supporters hang out to try to get one of them to articulate a single rational, substantive reason to support him for President of the United States of America. They can’t. I am still searching, and I have put out a challenge, but still no takers. I doubt one exists.

Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt wrote a piece for the Examiner today called “Six reasons Trump is still better than Clinton,” which isn’t exactly my quest: I can give you six reasons why waterboarding is better than flaying, too. Still, it is as close as I’ve seen to an honest effort to justify voting for Trump, even though setting the only alternative as Hillary makes it a very low bar. Personally I think Hewitt is a knee-jerk hack and favored by CNN and others as the official “Right Wing Guy” because he makes conservatives look bad, but never mind: it’s an honest effort.

It is still a failure, however. He begins by destroyng his own credibility by excusing Trump’s insults and attacks on journalists:

“Bottom line: Insults of journalists don’t matter. Short of insulting my family, it simply doesn’t matter what Donald says to me or any reporters and pundits.”

Very, very, wrong. Presidents and national leaders undermine democracy by attacking the news media and specific journalists. Leaders who do that are sliding into censorship and autocracy, and devaluing the First Amendment. Obama has already started that process; it’s unethical, irresponsible and unprofessional, as well as unpresidential and an abuse of pwoer. Before Obama, the last President who made a habit of attacking the press was Richard Nixon. Are you surprised?

After that beginning, proving to me that  Hewitt really doesn’t comprehend the vital role a President has in upholding our democratic values, I’m not that interested in his analysis, but still, here are his “six reasons”: Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!, Leadership

Anti-Trump Sunday Concludes With An Ethics Quote Of The Day: President Ronald Reagan

Portrait Of Ronald Reagan

“Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse. The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood.”

—President Ronald Reagan in 1984, after learning that the KKK had endorsed him.

The contrast between this and the disgraceful, dishonest, weak and waffling response by Donald Trump Sunday when asked about his endorsements from the KKK and David Dukes is stark and illuminating.

__________________

Pointer: Instapundit (Ed Driscoll)

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Filed under Character, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Race

More “Anti-Trump Sunday”… A New Ethics Alarms Feature: “Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day”

Trump can't say if anything's "wrong" with these people because he's never met them....

Trump can’t say if anything’s “wrong” with these people because he’s never met them….

Trump is averaging at least one outrageous, unethical statement a day. Either they show incompetence, or they are irresponsible, or they are uncivil, or they are lies, or they show disrespect for the office he is seeking, U.S. citizens and the nation, or all of these.

It’s rather hard to quote The Donald, since he rambles, free associates, and generally talks like someone who is tripping. In this case, one must look at the entire exchange holistically.

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Trump this morning if he would disavow the endorsement of white supremacist and former KKK leader David Duke,or that of “other white supremacists.”

Trump claimed that he has been living in a cave (Everyone has heard of Duke): “I don’t know anything about David Duke. I don’t know anything about what you are even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I mean, did he endorse me or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke, I know nothing about white supremacists. And so, you are asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”

Tapper obviously didn’t believe that Trump knows nothing about white supremacists, nor do I.  He asked again: “Would you just say, unequivocally, you condemn them and you don’t want their support?” Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Race

“Anti-Trump Sunday” Continues With Ethics Hero: Conservative Commentator Erick Erickson

A representative example of incisive Trump supporter logic...

A representative example of incisive Trump supporter logic…

Erick Erickson is a prominent and respected conservative blogger, talk show host and political commentator. He is so far right of me he would probably think I was Lenin’s Ghost. Erickson was one of the first conservatives to figure out that Donald Trump lacked the character to be President: his misogynist attacks on Megyn Kelly were enough for him. (For the record, I knew Donald Trump lacked the character to be President about 20 years ago.) Now Erickson has written a thorough and much-needed message to other conservatives that begins…

I will not vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States even if he is the Republican nominee.

He is an authoritarian blending nationalist and tribal impulses, which historically has never worked out well for the nation that goes in that direction or the people in that nation.

Gee, I wonder what historical figure Erick might be referencing?

The rest of his essay is excellent, though progressives, Democrats and others will blanch at Erickson’s policy beefs with Trump. That’s irrelevant, though: he’s not writing to people who already would gnaw off their feet before they would vote for Trump or any Republican. Erickson is trying to wake up conservatives and the Republican Party, and remind them of their ethical duty, at the risk of alienating some of his own audience.

Some other highlights… Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes, Government & Politics, History

First Up On Anti-Trump Sunday: An Unethical Quote Of The Month

“No more politicians for President!”

— A Donald Trump supporter, on a conservative web site today.

Bizarro has an observation to make...

Bizarro has an observation to make...

I have been reading and periodically shooting down the comments of Trump supporters on a series of websites in my continuing and desperate quest to find a single, substantive, intelligent, informed argument for why anyone should support Donald Trump for President. I’m only looking for one. You would think there would be one. Yet so far, my research hasn’t yielded any more valid that the unethical quote above.Why is it unethical? It is unethical because it shows that the speaker is incompetent at citizenship, and has failed the basic responsibility of those who live and benefit from democracy: understand how the government works, and what leadership in a democracy requires.

No, “He can beat Hillary Clinton” does not make the grade.  First of all, he can’t, for the simple reason that if someone like me, who knows Hillary Clinton’s record and character well, rates ethics and character as prime qualifications for President, and who regards her as approaching Richard Nixon as the most dishonest and flawed individual ever to run for the office (but without his talent and skill), would still vote for her to avoid the disaster of Donald Trump, he can’t beat Hillary. Second of all, it is a Rationalization #22,  “It’s not the worst thing” excuse, and that’s all it is. It is, to evoke “Jurassic World,” like releasing the T-Rex because you want to stop the Indominus. (Actually it is Trump who is the Indominus, the unnatural monster.) Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, War and the Military