Category Archives: Ethics Dunces

Ethics Dunces: The Catlettsburg (KY) Police Department

punisher-logo2

This story does not fill one with trust and respect for the judgment of our warriors in blue.

The Catlettsburg, Kentucky, Police Department placed large decals on its police vehicles that show the comic book character “The Punisher’sskull logo emblazoned with the “Blue Lives Matter” slogan. Behold:

punisher-logo

The city council and mayor approved the design and decals, which were funded by local taxpayers.

Morons.

The Punisher is a Marvel Comics anti-hero who is a murderous vigilante.  He summarily executes bad guys. From Wikipedia (which apparently they don’t get in Kentucky)…

The Punisher (Frank Castle) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character… is a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime.

Exactly the image that police departments want to convey to the public!

The Punisher’s  logo has become a symbol of “Blue Lives Matter,” featured on merchandise and Facebook posts supporting police officers against the “forces of evil,”  as in those who view the police as enemies of minorities and justice.  “American Sniper,” the 2015  film based on Navy SEAL  Chris Kyle’s life, popularized the Punisher comics, which Kyle admired. Catlettsburg Police Chief Cameron Logan thought it was just  a “warrior logo,” and didn’t know it was associated with the vicious and lawless comic book character, even though the comic itself was featured in the film. He knows now, though.

“We’re getting so many calls, and they’re saying that the Punisher logo [means] we’re out to kill people, and that’s not the meaning behind that,” Logan says. “That didn’t cross my mind.”

Wait…mind?

The logo is a death’s head! What do you think a death’s head means?

Now that his police have removed the car decals, the Chief say he regrets using the image, calling it an oversight, and  promises that in the future he’d do “a little more research” …before emblazoning death symbols associated with lawless killing on his vehicles.

That’s nice.

 

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions

Comment Of The Day: “Would You Pay $15 An Hour To This Employee?”

Sylvia finger

The latest example of “How Not To Be Approved As An Ethics Alarms Commenter” comes from the pseudonymous “Joe Mama,” who wrote in response to the July 29, 2015 post about Sylva Stoet, an indignant ex-Penny’s employee (above) who took umbrage on Twitter at being asked to go home and change when she showed up dressed as shown to work in the “Career Department.”

“Note to the writer. Is it possible for you to write a blog without your opinion. That is how people would prefer it. You old sack of shit. You would think knee shorts are inappropriate. I agree with the ex employee. If that was in the career section, it should be changed.”

Notes:

1.  I wondered if it was necessary to specify in the commenting guidelines that calling the proprietor “You old sack of shit” in the commenting audition was not a recommended strategy.  That question has been answered.

2. No, it’s not possible for an essay on a blog about ethics not to contain my opinion. That’s the purpose of the blog. The better question is whether it is possible for alleged news reports by reporters on supposedly objective news sources to be free of the writer’s opinion. My opinion is, based on the current evidence, is that it’s possible, but increasingly unlikely.

3. Those “people” Joe alludes to who would prefer that a blog not contain opinion are also known as “people who don’t know what a blog is.” His suggestion is like recommending that I hold a dog show for people who think they are cats.

4. Of course knee shorts would be inappropriate; shorts are inappropriate for  most workplaces, especially in retail, unless the items on sale are shorts.

5. But it doesn’t matter what I think is inappropriate, but rather what then-17-year-old Sylva Stoel ‘s employer thought was appropriate, since Penny’s had as much authority to decide that short-shorts weren’t appropriate attire as I have deciding “You old sack of shit” is inappropriate comment discourse, especially from someone defending inappropriate workplace attire. Sylva’s response to that completely responsible exercise of the supervisor-subordinate relationship was a middle finger.

6. If Joe agrees with the ex-employee, I fervently wish him Sylva’s likely career path until she figures out that he’s an idiot.

7. Anyone who can decipher Joe’s last sentence, let me know. “If that was in the career section, it should be changed.” What’s “that”? What’s “it”? Is he saying that she should change her garb, since it was in the career section? That can’t be it: that’s the opinion he didn’t want to read.  Is he saying that since she showed up dressed like that, the name of the section should be changed, like to “The Inappropriate Workplace Dress Section”? Or is he saying that when an employee shows up dressed inappropriately for one section of the store,  she should be moved to another section to accommodate her fashion choices?

Joe’s not getting another comment published on Ethics Alarms on a prayer, and my opinion is that he should look elsewhere for an opinion-free blog…. the Moon, perhaps.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Social Media

The Unethical, Depressing, Bar Complaint Against Kellyanne Conway

kellyanneThis post is one I do not want to write, and the fact that I have to write it is profoundly depressing. It requires me to criticize, indeed blow the whistle on,  professional colleagues in the fields of law and ethics, some of whom I know and admired very much, as well as fellow members of the District of Columbia Bar. Some of these colleagues are also members, like I am, in a distinguished association dedicated to the field of legal ethics. A superb book on the topic by one of the professors involved  sits in a prominent place in my office bookshelf.  I can see it right now.

Yesterday evening, I learned that a group of fifteen law professors and lawyers have filed a professional misconduct complaint against White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, claiming that she violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys by giving false statements to the media. The fifteen signed the complaint, which was filed with the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel. When I read the names, signed on a statement printed upon the official stationery of Abbe Smith, a distinguished full time professor at my alma mater, (and where I worked in the administration for four years), Georgetown University Law Center, my heart sank. While I did not need to read the whole complaint to know it was contrived and intellectually dishonest nonsense, I did, and it fulfilled my worst fears. The anti-President Trump hysteria that has caused so many previously fair and rational citizens on the Left to behave atrociously and to betray their previously held values has officially infected lawyers in the legal ethics field. They are now riding the rails on the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck.

To be absolutely clear and unambiguous: the complaint is a political attack, and a cheap shot at the President of the United States through his staff. There is no merit to any of its contentions.

The professors claim that they were “compelled” to file the complaint because D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 8.3 (a) requires that

“A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.”

They are either addled by partisan political animus or lying, because there is no way, no way, these fifteen professors could know that, or even validly conclude it, based on what they have written in the complaint. To call their accusations against Conway a stretch is to be too kind. They are forced, exaggerated, trivial and manufactured. From what I have read in past commentary and opinions of several of them regarding other matters of lawyer misconduct, I have serious doubts about whether they believe them. I know that’s a serious charge, but I see no other explanation, other than temporary insanity.

To begin with, Kellyanne Conway is not working in a legal position in Trump’s White House. She is Counselor to the President, not White House Counsel. The President and Conway may choose, for his protection, to treat her non-legal policy advisor position as a legal representation, but the fact remains that she is not providing legal advice and services, only policy-related ones. Now, lawyers can violate D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4, Misconduct, while not engaged in the practice of law, but unless the conduct involved is criminal or displays “moral turpitude” sufficient to call into question the lawyer’s fitness to practice the likelihood of the conduct being regarded as sanctionable by the Bar is vanishingly slim.

From everything I can determines, Conway, though she is a member of the New Jersey Bar and an inactive (she needs to pay back dues and take my mandatory D.C. Bar ethics course before she can practice) member of the District Bar, has not practiced law in more than 20 years. She has been a pollster, an activist, a flack and TV personality as well as candidate  Trump’s campaign manager, but none of her professional profiles refer to her as a lawyer. The complaint alleges that Conway “engage(d) in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation” in breach of D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 (c), and did so while not engaged in the practice of law.  In order to bring down the wrath of the Bar, such conduct must be extremely serious, criminal or bordering on it. Rule 8.3 “limits the reporting obligation to those offenses that a self–regulating profession must vigorously endeavor to prevent.” What kind of non-law-related “offenses” must “a self–regulating profession…vigorously endeavor to prevent”?  It is well established that questionable statements that an individual with a law license utters in the course of political activity and advocacy is not such conduct. Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society

Unethical Websites, Unethical Publicity Campaign, Unethical Studio…Of The Month.

...but none for stupidity.

…but none for stupidity.

“Do what?”

“Sure, why not? What a great idea!”

As part of its marketing campaign for 20th Century Fox’s new  film “A Cure for Wellness,” the studio created and launched realistic websites for the Sacramento Dispatch, the Houston Leader, the Salt Lake Guardian, the New York Morning Post and  the Indianapolis Gazette. They included a graphic displaying the current weather , and above the above the story, the standard labels, such as  News, Business, Sports, Entertainment. None of these publications are real. None of them included any disclaimers or explanations.

They did contain fake anti-Donald Trump stories. One especially popular one among Trump haters on social media claimed that the President  was refusing  to provide California federal support  as 188,000 citizens were evacuated to avoid the Oroville Dam overflow. Sanctuary cities, you know.  Trump is so mean. Can we impeach him yet?

Eventually the sites and stories were discovered to be fake. When asked  about the strategy, a spokesperson for Regency Enterprises, the film’s  production company, explained that  “‘A Cure for Wellness’ is a movie about a ‘fake’ cure that makes people sicker. “As part of this campaign, a ‘fake’ wellness site healthandwellness.co was created and the company partnered with a fake news creator to publish fake news.”

Oh. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture, The Internet, Unethical Websites

Salon’s Integrity: Yeccchhh! or Now THAT’S A Jumbo!

houdini-elephantIn 2015, Salon, the hard-left on-line magazine, published a piece by writer Todd Nickerson, who argued for a compassionate view of pedophiles, like him.  Then much-reviled alt-right-troll Milo Yiannopoulos was found to have made comments that seemed to endorse pederasty and child rape, and Salon wanted to  jump on the “Let’s declare Milo a monster and be rid of him” bandwagon.  And Salon did just that, with three posts so far, and counting.

Inconveniently, one of their writers had found a forum in Salon to make the case that pedophiles were not monsters. See?

pedophile

 

What did Salon do? Did it ask Nickerson to defend Milo? Did it try to thread the needle and argue the distinction between pederasty ( adult sex with boys) and pedophilia (sexual attraction to children?). Or stay the progressive “it’s just sex, and sex is good” course, even if it let an intractable  foe of THE TRUE WAY like Yiannopoulos off the hook?

Noooooooo.

It just took down all of Todd Dickerson’s articles!

Articles defending pedophiles?

What articles accusing pedophiles?

It’s still a Jumbo, Salon, you hypocritical, cowardly, dishonest morons. Even if you make the elephant disappear, like Houdini, if everyone saw it, you can’t claim it was never there.

_____________________

Pointer: Twitchy

 

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Jumbo

Unethical Protest, Unethical Protesters, Just Desserts

protest-immigrant

Last week’s “A Day Without Immigrants” protest could be the example in the dictionary to illustrate “unethical protest,” or perhaps “stupid protest.”  The stunt of immigrants not coming to work to protest policies aimed at illegal immigrants and terrorists was a non sequitur, proving nothing, saying nothing. Nobody wants to stop immigration, nobody has an objection to legal immigrants, and the danger of the U.S. not having sufficient legal immigrants is precisely none. According to the Ethics Alarms Protest Check List, “A Day Without Immigrants”  was an epic, embarrassing, dud. If my immigrant employees used this jaw-droppingly dumb protest  to justify not coming to work, I would do exactly what Bradley Coatings, Incorporated  in Nolensville, Tennessee did.

I’d fire them all. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Dunces, Workplace

Weekend Ethics Alarms Challenge: What’s The Best Headline For This Story?

turning-tables

[The winning headline will be added to the post, and an appropriate graphic will replace “the turning table.”]

April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks,  accused White House aide Omarosa Manigault of telling her, during a tense exchange at the White House last week,
that Ryan  she was among a group of reporters on whom the White House is keeping dossiers with negative information. Ryan claimed that she was  “physically intimidated” by Manigault, and described Manigault’s behavior as threatening enough to be “Secret Serviceable,” implying  that it warranted intervention by law enforcement officers. The accusation was widely circulated on the web as an example of the President’s “Nazi” conduct toward the news media.

Manigault denied Ryan’s accusations, and called them “fake news.” Ah, but now we learn that a White House media employee recorded the encounter, and the recording backs up Omarosa.

Ryan, amusingly, is outraged and claiming to be a victim of a surreptitious  recording  she never consented to. “This is about her trying to smear my name. This is freaking Nixonian.” April says she may sue… for slander?

Here is one more example of how smug and self-righteous journalists are also often as ignorant as a pile of dog collars. Making such a recording is legal under D.C. law, which has a “one-party consent” law that recordings  if one person in the conversation consents. As for a slander suit, how would that work? The tape would be evidence that April Ryan slandered Manigault, not the other way around.

Ryan claims that the tape must have been altered. Sure she does. The Washington Post and other sources report that other journalists on the scene do not back Ryan’s account of the argument between the two women, and nobody heard anything about “dossiers.”

Manigault told reporters that White House media staff regularly record interviews between reporters and officials. “We do it all the time,” she said. “When you come into [the press staff’s offices], you’re on the record.”

When you know that the entire mainstream news media is out to get you, and that there are reporters like Ryan, taping everything makes perfect sense.

Nah, the news media isn’t “the opposition party.” Nah, it’s not biased–whatever would give you that idea?

(Kudos to the Washington Post for reporting this media bias smoking gun, incidentally.)

______________________

Pointer: Powerline

Source: Washington Post

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

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