Watching the (encouraging) Iowa Caucuses results drip in last night, I was reminded that I hadn’t finished the task of completing the Seventh Annual Ethics Alarms Awards for 2015’s Worst in Ethics. There are two reasons for my tardiness: a lot of other ethics issues have arisen of late, and this job makes me physically ill. It is depressing and discouraging: 2015 was much worse than 2014, which was considerably worse than 2013. What am I doing here? What is the point of spending all of this uncompensated time—it is more profitable bagging groceries—trying to nurture a more ethical culture and a more ethically competent public when all evidence points to utter futility as the result? Well, that way madness lies, I guess. I’m just going to grit my teeth and do my duty.
Last year I began by saying that 2014 was the year of the Ethics Train Wreck. There were far more of them in 2015, and they were more serious and damaging. That should give you sufficient warning of the horrors to come…
Ethics Train Wreck of the Year
The Illegal Immigration Ethics Train Wreck
One reason 2015 was a train wreck fest was that last year’s winners, the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck, which begat the Freddie Gray Ethics Train Wreck, both begat by the 2012 winner, The Trayvon Martin- George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck, and The Obama Administration Ethics Train Wreck, were still running amuck this year as well. The latter managed to run head-on into the immigration mess, with the President over-stepping his Constitutional limits to decide unilaterally not to enforce the law, and the Middle East foreign policy fiasco, causing Democrats to bury their heads in the sand and deny that admitting unvetted Syrian refugees into the country was unacceptably dangerous, and Republicans to start talking like 1930s Germans. Then everyone was demonizing the issue, including the President and all of the Presidential candidates. Runners-up: The Donald Trump Presidential Campaign Ethics Train Wreck and the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Ethics Train Wreck
Fraud of the Year
Rachel Dolezal, the militant, angry, anti-white NAACP official who, we discovered, was lily white and had magically become black by “identifying” so. This ridiculous episode neatly encapsulated the entire year, which included sexual predator-enabler Hillary Clinton becoming a feminist champion by identifying as one, Bruce Jenner turning himself into herself by just saying so (and cashing in as a result), and President Obama making failed policies successful by repeating over and over that they were. RUNNER-UP: The Illinois Lottery, which first lures poor citizens into paying millions they can’t afford for a distnat chance at a jackpot, and then doesn’t pay up when one of them wins.
Incompetent Elected Officials of the Year
Every elected official involved in the Flint, Michigan water disaster. Plenty of unelected officials were accountable too, but I don’t have a category for them.
Sexual Predator Of The Year
Bill Cosby. He won this category handily in 2014, and added about 20 more alleged victims to his total this year. Who know how long he will hold the title? Meanwhile, his own Ethics Train Wreck sucked in Walt Disney World, the Smithsonian, and Claire Huxtable, among others.
Runner-up: Bill Clinton. Karma’s a bitch.
Unethical Website of the Year
DogsBite.org. This miserable, ignorant, hateful website spreads fear and misinformation designed to get loving animal companions killed. It would in this award just by virtue of the number of defenders who rushed to its aid here, but the competition was fierce. The Runner-up Ashley Madison, probably should have won, as it ruined some lives by enticing horny adulterers to use its corrupting website, promising confidentiality, and then negligently left its data so vulnerable that it was hacked. I admit it: I don’t feel as sorry for the exposed cheaters as I should. Then there is Breitbart, which has obviously made some kind of unholy deal with Donald Trump to be his booster on the web, and all the hoax news sites.
Most Unethical Conduct by a School Administrator
Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster, who not only tossed family members who cheered at a graduation (against his commands), but filed disturbing the peace charges against them.
Most Unethical School No-Tolerance Action
Our Lady of Lourdes School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under the leadership of Principal Joe Crachioloust, a child-abusing martinet, the school suspended the 6-year-old student for three days for pretending to be a Power Ranger during recess, and “shooting” another student with an imaginary bow and arrow.
Most Unethical School Teacher (Excluding Rapists)
Karen Keller, a kindergarten teacher at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary on Bainbridge Island, Washington, won this one in a walk. Keller decided to combat what some studies showed to be lower spatial and math skills development among girls as a group, as compared to boys by forbidding her 5-year-old boys from playing with LEGOS during the “unstructured play period.” She explained that it drove her crazy that the girls wanted to play with dolls while boys flocked to the plastic building system, so she decided to egage in her own mad experiments to see if she could erase gender-based proclivities. “I always tell the boys, ‘You’re going to have a turn’ — and I’m like, ‘Yeah, when hell freezes over’ in my head,” she said. “I tell them, ‘You’ll have a turn’ because I don’t want them to feel bad.” Naturally, she denied everything she said in the interview.
If anyone knows if she’s been fired yet, please let me know.
Naked Teacher of the Year
Kristin Sundman, a.k.a porn performer MelodyXXXTune. There are some close calls in the Naked Teacher Principle annals, but Kaitlin, an assistant band teacher at a high school before videos far more titillating than the photo above were discovered online by students, isn’t one of them (unlike the fitness competitor featured in The Best..Awards.) If a teacher wants to moonlight in a field that is going to place multiple juicy videos of her engaging in various sex acts, she has an obligation to alert her school administrators so the school does not become embarrassed, get sued, or become the object of an investigation.
Ethics Corrupter of the Year
(Awarded to the unethical public figure whose prominence, popularity and success most corrupts the public’s ethical values)
Hillary Clinton, of course. Here in part, for future reference, is the Ethics Alarms’ response to critics who accused me of being unfairly obsessed with Hillary’s dishonesty, integrity failures, hypocrisy and conduct that disqualifies her from any position of trust:
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.”
- I do not bash Hillary Clinton. I accurately point out her serial unethical conduct and statements….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.
- 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….
- 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.
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.
Double Standard Of The Year
Boston University, which continued to employ Saida Grundy, assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies, after she made it clear that she is a racist, sexist, anti-white bigot by tweeting: “Why is white America so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?”and “Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.” A white male who made the equivalent statements about women and whites would be run out of the institution by an angry mob. Runner-Up: The White House. Clock Boy, a.k.a Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas high school student whose “home-made clock” (though it wasn’t, really) caused a bomb freak-out at his school, and he was arrested for the Kafka-esque crime of making a “hoax bomb.” This got him invited to the White House by President Obama, among other perks, because, and there is no doubt about this, he is Muslim. No similar invitation was ever extended to, just to take one example, non-Muslim Justin Carter, the Texas teen who spent five months in prison in 2013 while facing a felony terrorism charge after he joked, during an argument about a video game, that he was going to “shoot up a kindergarten.” This year the Supreme Court ruled that such “threats” were protected by the First Amendment, and Carter’s was obviously facetious anyway. There was no reason to make a hero and celebrity out of Clock Boy, especially since there is evidence that the whole incident was engineered by his Islamic activist father. The country and the justice system owe Carter an apology for using terrorism hysteria as an excuse to wreck his life, but he isn’t Muslim, so never mind.
Asshole of the Year
Is there any doubt?
Well, that’s all I can stomach for now.
PART 2 will be along shortly…
13 thoughts on “The Seventh Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2015, Part 1”
Do not be dismayed, your work has impact. 🙂
Some of us are really trying to hold the fort here, and reading you everyday keeps ethics high in my list of things to care about. Besides, where else can we get our fix of ‘teacher pictures’, err, I mean obscure ethics issues articles.
Please don’t be discouraged. I appreciate your work.
This is the blog equivalent of a clip show — and there have already been 3 so far.
I’m not sure what you mean. A clip show would be the most entertaining highlights from the previous year. This is a review, with focus. I wish it was clip show. There are at least two more to go. Nobody’s making you read them. I personally find them useful to put things in perspective.
“Nobody’s making you read them”
That was mean, especially since nobody complained about HAVING to read them — it was merely an observation on the increasing number each year. Besides, for those who read this site often enough (and who currently happen to be looking for a new distraction), there’s little in the way of new material to mull over. No critique. No judgement. Jesus.
You do realize that “there have been three” was obnoxious, since all it means is that unlike past years when I just posted long posts of 4000 words or more, I decided to break them up into smaller segments? So these “3” are in fact what would have been 1.5 in past years. Maybe you don’t realize that clip show refers to lazy, phone it in TV episodes requiring minimal work, whereas year-end awards requires more time, thinking and effort than any other posts.
So long as you realize that, while my diction and writing may be partially to blame, characterizing it “obnoxious” is a narrative YOU read into it. I can assure you I had no ill-intent nor was I criticizing your use of blog space. Rather, I merely lamented that I found myself bored and on the lookout for new material … all to no avail.
This is a blog comment section, not part of the Great Conversation. I’m confused then where, if anywhere, it’s acceptable to post something inane that doesn’t ask or need a response (there were no questions or critiques in my original comment, just a complaint).
“whereas year-end awards requires more time, thinking and effort than any other posts.”
To your audience, however, the result is much the same. They’re reintroduced to issues with which they’re already familiar with no new commentary or applications added, except (as you mentioned) perspective. Again, this is not a criticism of your WRITING them (what you write is your business, not mine), only that (as a reader) I had hoped for something more fresh.
In other words, to borrow your (what struck me as rude, possibly mistakenly so) cadence “No one is making you write back.”
Yes, commenters who write mistaken, badly reasoned or otherwise provocative comments do make me write back: that’s how I moderate.
I will write in excess of 1200 posts this year,only about 4 of which will be retrospective. There may be some one-author blogs on the web who give readers more and varied substantive content, but not many. For anyone to complain about 3 THOUSANDTHS of 1% of the content here because it isn’t “fresh” is, among other things, obnoxious by any definition of the word.
Neil, this is going to sound like an attack almost no matter how I write this, but I’m going to try to coach it… maybe not gently. Maybe not respectfully… Honestly? In a way that I hope will help?
Sometimes I wonder if you speak a different language and this is just a huge misunderstanding, because you so blatantly say things that you almost immediately, sometimes in the same post, distance yourself from. It’s like you realize it’s a bad argument…. But you’re utterly incapable of not typing it.
Reading what you write is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Something about the overall tone and formatting oozes condescension, even as you attempt to crucify yourself with a mix self-depreciating language and crybully tactics.
That term deserves a response. Crybully. I think that if this isn’t a language barrier, the next most plausible reason you type like an ass is to induce a response so you can do a combination of curling up into the fetal position and double down.
I can’t think of a time where you didn’t default to a variant of “You’re being rude” when someone disagreed with you. There’s invariably some singing and dancing “I didn’t meant what I wrote, what I meant was this completely different thing, and what I’m typing now, it should have an asterisk attached to every third word. Why are you purposefully and meanly construing what I said!??!?!?! 😦 ” I hear they have a sail on at Rona. You might be able to pick up a cheap Bostich and save your wrists some trouble.
It’s old. We’re used to it. We accept it. But on the off chance that you actually want to be a more effective communicator:
1) Lose the formal letter formatting.
2) Read what you write out loud before posting, if you aren’t talking like you were in a conversation, fix it.
3) Own what you write.
I love this blog, I read it daily. Thank you for your time and effort!
“I will cease writing timely blogs about Hillary’s Clinton’s unethical conduct when…She is no longer running for President.
And not before.”
If she is elected in a nightmare, don’t stop. This may seem a bit like Sisyphus, but too many are too bored to keep it up.
I know it’s sheer moral luck, but apparently the Flint disaster isn’t quite as apocalyptic as it first appeared: only 8% of Flint households are experiencing elevated lead levels in their drinking water (per this source: http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/2016/01/26/flint-water-crisis-update/). That, of course, is 8% too many, and both the regulators and elected officials involved have disgraced themselves. But it is nice to know that Winston Churchill’s old aphorism that “there is a special Providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America” hasn’t entirely ceased to apply.
“I was reminded that I hadn’t finished the task of completing the Seventh Annual Ethics Alarms Awards for 2015’s Worst in Ethics.” I, for one, can’t say I’m glad you remembered . . . but if it’s part of your mission, so be it: no false alarms in that batch!