Happy News Year, Everyone. And Thanks.

I’ll be honest—this is an ethics blog, after all—this has not been a great year for my family, for my nation, for ethics. I leave 2018 more pessimistic than I entered it, and I hate that.  I feel alienated from a lot of my friends, and am feeling futile–I really hate that. I’ve spent too much of 2018 angry at selfish, dishonest, intellectually lazy, ignorant and mean people, and not enough—almost none, really—having fun. I can’t remember the last time I had fun.

The people, events and things that salvaged the year and made it bearable–the Red Sox had the best team and season by far in my lifetime, and it’s ridiculous how much that helps my state of mind—include the readers and commenters here on Ethics Alarms. As a group and individually, you all are attentive, respectful, serious, tough, smart and generous. Thank you.

Proethics also had a good year, even if some clients behaved spectacularly unprofessionally—how can you be unethical to an ethics company?–and even if every inquiry we got about sexual harassment training withered and died when I insisted that I wouldn’t do boilerplate junk, and would talk about the importance of due process for those accused.

True, I was targeted by a couple of vicious and ideology-driven social justice bullies and feminist Furies this year with minimal damage: I was slimed on a legal gossip website and blackballed on NPR for, the complaining host said, “seeming to defend Donald Trump,” which I wasn’t. I lost a contract for refusing to apologize to brainwashed Chinese academics for describing Mao as a mass murderer, which, or course, he was. As the year ends, Facebook is blocking my posts.

That’s OK. I appreciate the opportunity to practice the courage, integrity, obstinacy and stubborn adherence to principle that Jack Sr. worked so hard to instill in me. (Still working on it, Dad!).

I learn so much researching and writing this blog: as one of my mentors, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue once told me, “Sometimes I don’t know what I think until I hear what I have to say.” I wish I had a bigger megaphone, a larger audience, more influence, a higher place on the cognitive dissonance scale. That I don’t is my own fault and failing, of course; there’s a price for being a dilettante. Well, I’m not going to wallow—if there was one thing I learned from directing “Follies,” regret will kill you.

So my resolution this year is the same as it has been for many years now. I want to end 2019 smarter, wiser, and more ethical than I began it, and if I can be of any assistance helping others to do the same, that will be wonderful.

40 thoughts on “Happy News Year, Everyone. And Thanks.

  1. Jack, I am immensely grateful for both you and this blog. For a variety of reasons…too many to list here. You probably don’t realize this, but you and the EA family have gotten me through some tough times. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  2. I’ll add my voice to everyone saying thank you. Jack, you make our lives better in small and big ways, and at least you help me be more ethical every day.

    Wish you all a great 2019!

    And if may I suggest, have you thought about maybe setting a meet up with blog readers? I’ve met some of my best friends online, and while I won’t promise it will be fun in the traditional sense, it should be at least a pretty good time.

  3. Thank you, Jack, for continuing to make me smarter and more ethical. It may take a while before I’m wiser. Happy New Year!

  4. Jack, I read your site everyday. I agree with much, learn from more, and disagree occasionally. It is hard to say what I value more — the insight, awareness, and knowledge I gain from reading your posts or your example of standing against the growing flood of ignorance, incompetence, and vice. Regardless, your comments and example have made me, and inspired me to be, better.

  5. Jack – I also read your site everyday since I thankfully discovered it during the chaos of 2016. I almost never have the time to sit down and write these days but I am here reading and thinking and sharing with others. Please keep up the good work. You are necessary.

  6. Thanks for keeping this blog going despite your various headaches, it’s become one of my favorite reads. I wish I had the same stamina and resolve that you do!

  7. Jack,
    Ethics Alarms is my goto online relief, beside peace and quiet at home, from the chaos that is the real world these days and that would not be possible if you hadn’t maintained this wonderful place no matter what happens around you.

    I appreciate what you do here and offline more than you can know.
    Thank you.

  8. Thank you, Jack. I’ve followed this since the Ethics Scoreboard days, and while I rarely comment unless musicals or The Simpsons are involved, I do lurk pretty faithfully. Your approach is helpful and necessary. Please continue.

  9. I (mostly, 99%) post only here at EA. There might be one offs lurking out there…

    It is a matter of trust that you will strive to be objective. I see your character, and thus extend the trust.

    You do a great job, Jack, and are appreciated.

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