From The Daily Caller:
In the final hours before his resignation, now-former White House National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn said he “crossed no lines” in his discussion with Russia’s ambassador, but ultimately he was most concerned about the steady stream of leaks to reporters based on classified information.
“In some of these cases, you’re talking about stuff that’s taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter. That’s a crime,” Flynn told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group during a telephone interview from his White House office on Monday.
“You call them leaks. It’s a criminal act. This is a crime. It’s not just a wink and a nod,” Flynn said.
Signature significance: any time an official under fire claims that he”crossed no lines,” he or she is asserting The Compliance Dodge, Rationalization #6 on the list:
5. The Compliance Dodge.
Simply put, compliance with rules, including laws, isn’t the same as ethics. Compliance depends on an individual’s desire to avoid punishment. Ethical conduct arises from an individual’s genuine desire to do the right thing. The most unethical person in the world will comply if the punishment is stiff enough. But if he can do something unethical without breaking the rules, watch out!
No set of rules will apply in all situations, and one who is determined to look for loopholes in a set of laws, or rules, or in an ethics code, so that he or she can do something self-serving, dishonest, or dastardly, is likely to find a way…
In an earlier version of #6, this was called the Al Gore Dodge, in honor of then Vice-President Gore, who had been caught engaging in some of the slimy Clinton administration fundraising machinations, and justified his conduct by arguing that “no controlling legal authority” prohibited what he did, which was to raise campaign funds from his office in the White House. Flynn lied to the current Vice-President and attempted to cover-up his conversation with the Russian ambassador. The FBI was spying on him at the time, which raises other issues. But even if the FBI’s surveillance was a part of a rogue operation by Sally Yates to take over the government and make Barack Obama King, it doesn’t change what Flynn did, or make his conduct any more acceptable. Continue reading
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia suspended Judge Stephen Callaghan for two years and fined him $15,000 for a campaign flyer that it deemed dishonest. The court said that the flier depicted the incumbent judge, Gary Johnson, as “partying” with President Obama. Johnson had visited the White House for a federally required conference on fighting child trafficking, but he didn’t see Obama there, there was no party, and no function involving alcohol. The flier was mailed out five days before the May 2016 election, which Callaghan won. Callaghan won the election by 220 votes.
The flier was “in every sense, materially false” according to the decision. You can see it above. Photos of Obama and Johnson are shown next to each other. Obama is shown holding a beer and streamers are in the background. The caption reads, “Barack Obama & Gary Johnson Party at the White House.” The opposite side of the flier read,
“While Nicholas County lost hundreds of jobs to Barack Obama’s coal policies, Judge Gary Johnson accepted an invitation from Obama to come to the White House to support Obama’s legislative agenda. That same month, news outlets reported a 76% drop in coal mining employment. Can we trust Judge Gary Johnson to defend Nicholas County against job-killer Barack Obama?”
After Johnson objected to the flier ( and probably threatened to sic the Judicial Ethics Panel on him), Callaghan removed the flier from his Facebook pages and ran radio ads saying the flier’s “specific characterization of the White House visit may be inaccurate and misleading,” and “candidate Callaghan apologizes for any misunderstanding or inaccuracies.” Continue reading
Anyone who has seen “The Godfather” I or II has a sense of the mafia culture in Italy. That wasn’t fiction; indeed, it was probably understated, and is strong as ever. Now legislators are experimenting with a radical new approach to fighting organized crime in the country, a deep-rooted pathology that has persisted for centuries.The strategy is draconian: separating children from their mob families and moving them to a different part of Italy to end a generational cycle of crime. Families are the heart of organized crime: the “Godfather” films’ portrayal was absolutely accurate on that score.
Italian magistrate Roberto Di Bella began taking children away from their criminal families after seeing children as young as 11 or 12 serving as lookouts during murders, participating in drug deals and mob strategy sessions, and learning how to shoot an assault rifle. “Sons follow their fathers,” he told New York Times reporter Gaia Piani Giani. “The state can’t allow that children are educated to be criminals.”
Di Bella began taking children away from parents convicted of mob ties five years ago, separating about 40 boys and girls, ages 12 to 16, from their families. Sometimes the children’s mothers accompany them to the new locales. The rest of the embryonic mafiosi go into foster care.Di Bella says that none of the children he has taken away from their families have committed a crime since, and impressed with his results, Italy recently passed statutes that legalize the strategy as a way to destroy crime families.
Of course the program is controversial. Di Bella, however, believes that it is a utilitarian necessity. He told the Times that mafia fathers have written to him to thank him for for giving their children a chance at a normal life, their children have told him they feel liberated, and mothers ask if he will do it for their children.
Your Ethics Alarms Italian Ethics Quiz of the Day:
Is the policy of removing children from organized crime families ethical?
First, a quote…
“There is a lot of bravado in this series about how comics are society’s truth-tellers. As Keegan-Michael Key puts it: “The comic has become the person who pulls back the curtain to show the world that: ‘Do you see that this is happening? We didn’t make this up.’”Of course, we’ve just been through a period in which comedians of all sorts joked about one possible outcome of the American presidential election as if it could never actually come to be, and it came to be anyway. Now, the comics holding that curtain may be realizing that, sometimes, the world isn’t listening or doesn’t care.”
—New York Times TV reviewer Neil Genzlinger, in his conclusion to the review of CNN’s documentary on the history of television comedy.
The reason, Neil, that the world “isn’t listening or doesn’t care” is that with very, very rare exceptions, the political pronouncements of comedians are simple-minded, ignorant, juvenile or worse. Unfortunately, comics are increasingly laboring under the delusion that their junior college degrees, narrow life experiences and success at making drunks cackle imbues them with some genuine authority to pass judgments on complex policy issues. This is manifestly untrue. The clowns are on TV because they are, or were, allegedly funny, not because they have anything more sophisticated to offer regarding foreign policy or tax reform than the average guy on a barstool.
I have now seen an ad for Samantha Bee’s comedy show “Full Frontal” approximately a million times, or so it seems. If she is really this ignorant, her show should be banned by the NEA. All of her featured riff is about how horrible the President is—well, at least that’s original—and it ends with her statement, complete with “any idiot should know this” facial mugging, that “lawyers call” Trump’s temporary immigration halt from seven nations “unconstitutional.” Continue reading
New Jersey, a state for which many would say ethics itself would be a novelty, has taken the lead in a truly revolutionary criminal justice experiment that resolves an ancient ethical dilemma in favor of mercy and compassion. Beginning on January 1 this year, New Jersey judges are expected to release all but the most dangerous and untrustworthy defendants pending their trials, often with certain conditions, rather than to require cash bail as a condition of avoiding jail.
In 2014, voters decided to amend New Jersey’s Constitution and virtually eliminate bail, responding to a national movement to reform a system that has always discriminated against poor defendants. Although bail requirements are usually modest for most offenses (a bail bondsman typically charges a defendant 10% to post the entire bond), many defendants are still unable to pay even small amounts. Then they wait in jail, often losing their jobs and causing hardship for their families. Continue reading
Anne King of Washington County, Georgia, was furious at her former husband and called him out on Facebook.
Susan Hines, a friend of King’s, responded..
“POS — give me an hour and check your mailbox. I’ll be GLAD to pick up the slack.”
Unfortunately, King’s crummy father of an ex-husband is also an ignorant jerk with a badge. He is Captain Corey King of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and used his power in this small town to have both Anne her supportive friend arrested and tossed in jail for absolutely protected free speech on social media. First the captain filed a police report with his colleague, Washington County Sheriff’s Investigator Trey Burgamy. Then Washington County magistrate Ralph O. Todd issued a warrant requiring the two women to appear at a hearing. Officer King was the only witness, and afterwards Magistrate Todd issued warrant charging Anne King with criminal defamation:
“SUBJECT DID, WITHOUT A PRIVILEGE TO DO SO AND WITH INTENT TO DEFAME ANOTHER, COMMUNICATE FALSE MATTER WHICH TENDS TO EXPOSE ONE WHO IS ALIVE TO HATRED, CONTEMPT, OR RIDICULE, AND WHICH TENDS TO PROVOKE A BREACH OF THE PEACE, SPECIFICALLY, SUBJECT DID MAKE DEROGATORY AND DEGRADING COMMENTS DIRECTLY AT AND ABOUT COREY KING, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING A BREACH OF THE PEACE.”
The Georgia law she was charged with was ruled unconstitutional decades ago, and is no longer on the books.
Details, details. Continue reading
Filed under Character, Citizenship, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Facebook, Family, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Rights