Tag Archives: Africa

Mississippi Stinking

Gee, I wonder why feminists aren’t cheering the Cindy Hyde-Smith victory in the Senate run-off in Mississippi yesterday.  After all, she is the first female U.S. Senator in the state. And she’s a woman, and weren’t we told in the 2016 election that this alone mandated voting for a candidate, and nothing else should matter?  Admittedly, Hyde-Smith was an especially stinky candidate—inept, unqualified, addicted to sticking her foot in her mouth—but then so was Hillary Clinton. Why does being a woman outweigh all that baggage when the candidate is a Democrat but not when she’s a Republican? Or is the theory that electing a black Senator cancels out the “vote for any woman over any man”  rule?

I need this written down, I guess.

Of course, the losing Democratic candidate, Mike Espy, was pretty stinky himself, corrupt and dishonest, as well as addicted to race-baiting when the opportunity arose. He was required to quit Bill Clinton’s Cabinet after multiple accusations of corrupt dealings and illegal gift-accepting, then accepted a $750,000 consulting deal from former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo’s government in 2011. Espy’s former client is now standing trial for “crimes against humanity.” After Espy came under scrutiny for lobbying for Gbagbo, he claimed he had dropped the  contract once he learned that Gbagbo was a “bad guy.”  Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Race

Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 1/12/2018: Sigh. It Never Ends. (Part II) [UPDATED]

A Nigerian locale, and not an atypical one.

From the Washington Post:

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

In addition, the president singled out Haiti, telling lawmakers that immigrants from that country must be left out of any deal, these people said.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. “Take them out.” 

Ethics Observations:

I. “According to several people briefed on the meeting”? What? Not even according to people AT the meeting?

Based on this, without any attributions, the news media is stating that Trump making those alleged comments are fact. Here’s the Times version,

“…according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

No, they don’t have “direct knowledge.” What someone tells you about what someone else said at a meeting you were not attending is indirect knowledge. It is, in fact, hearsay. If the Times and the Post did not get confirmation on the record from someone who heard what he said, then this is not fact, but rumor, inadmissible in court because of extreme prejudice and lack of reliability.

Never mind. The Times headline is Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa, as if the second-hand accounts were  confirmed fact. This is unethical journalism. Outrageously so, in fact. Meanwhile, all of the news channels, including Fox, were basing hours of reporting on it.

This is not acceptable. It is not professional, and it is not justifiable. It is a disgrace, and if you accept it, you should be ashamed of yourself.

II. Trump denies that he uttered those words, on Twitter, of course:

“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!…Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”

The denials mean nothing, I know. The President has such a bizarre view of reality and such a record of misstatements and reversals that he has no credibility and deserves none. However, that doesn’t mean that he did make the alleged statements either. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. I certainly wouldn’t be “shocked.” It sounds like something he would say, because nuances of language and tone, not to mention civility ande diplomacy, are alien concepts to him. In other words, it rings true. That doesn’t mean it’s ethical to report it as fact. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, language, Leadership

Animal Ethics: The East African Topi

topi

The Topi is an African antelope. It’s hard to even google this animal, because Google keeps changing the word to “topic.”

Topi (that’s the singular and plural)  are strange. Their females are fecund only one day a year, which obviously makes that day a little frantic for the males. The males have to corner the females to mate, which is not always easy. Some of the males cheat by lying—there’s no other word for it.

All year long, male Topi warn the herd  of approaching predators by making a special, loud grunting sound that is immediately heard by all as “Watch out! A lion (or facsimile) is nearby!” When Topi hear the sound, they freeze and look  for the potential attacker.

Researchers have found that some male Topi win the mating sweepstakes by unfairly using the sound that 364 days a year means, no kidding, “We’re in trouble!” It has to be believed, for the safety and survival of the herd, and is. One day a year, however, on mating day, there are male Topi who falsely use the warning grunt to freeze shy females in their tracks, and while the girls are searching the area for something with sharp teeth, they get a big surprise from behind. These deceptive males sneak up on them, and it’s wham, bam, thank you, Miss Topi!

Topi males that use this subterfuge, researchers find, mate three times as often as those who play by the rules. Males who don’t cheat, and who don’t risk the effectiveness of a vital species defense device by playing “The Horny Topi Who Cried ‘Lion,” are less likely to pass along their genetic material.

The Topi are encouraging an unethical culture. It works for a few Topi now, but if each generation has more cheaters, will the Topi warning grunt become ineffective the rest of the year? I doubt that Topi have calendars.

If Topi were human beings, would the fake grunt tactic be unethical? Immoral?

Discuss.

__________________

Spark: Nature (PBS)

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Gender and Sex

Ethics Dunce: Cecil The Lion Killer Walter Palmer…Or Any Big Game Hunter, Really

Walter James Palmer, a  Minnesota dentist,shot and killed the famous Cecil the lion with a bow and arrow. The death of the 13-year-old animal has caused an international uproar among conservationists because Cecil was well-known to visitors at the Zimbabwe nature reserve and enjoyed human contact. The lion was lured out of the national park and shot.

In a statement, Palmer said that the authorities had yet to contact him and added that he did not know the lion he had killed was a “local favorite.” “To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” he said. “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”

Oh, so what? Why is it worse to kill a “local favorite” than to kill any wild animal just for—yechhh–the fun of it? Killing for sport is ethically indefensible, and killing these large, beautiful, and even endangered creatures is ugly, cruel and irresponsible.

After Cecil, the photos show Palmer with some of his other “trophies.” He must be so proud… Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Environment

Ethics Dunce: Jon Stewart

Meanwhile, Lincoln pretty much just lay around after he was President...

Meanwhile, Lincoln pretty much just lay around after he was President…

Face the Nation had George W. Bush on today as its primary guest,  so the show’s lead in, CBS This Morning, asked its guest, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, what question he would ask the man who preceded President Obama in the Oval Office.  Stewart’s smirking reply,

“ ‘Tell me about umber and how it helps you in painting cats.’ Jimmy Carter’s like 108? He’s out in Africa pulling guinea worms out of children’s feet, trying to cure them. Bush is at home. ‘Bring me my fruit bowl. Doin’ a still life!”

The technical term for this is, I believe,“being a dick.” Yes, it’s vulgar, but the usual terms don’t quite do Stewart’s gratuitous and unfair nastiness justice in trhis instance.

I recognize that Stewart, who eschewed a flood of well-deserved Democrat jokes over the past five days because he could not get around his massive anti-Republican biases, is in mourning over the GOP electoral avalanche that turned the nation red at all levels of government in all regions. Poor baby. Nonetheless, mocking one President of the United States for his activities in retirement because they do not measure up, in Stewart’s value system, to what Presidents are supposed to do is evidence of a stunning lack of grace, decency,proportion, self-awareness and common sense. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, History, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media

Evil On The Internet…Unethical Website Of The Month: 4Chan

It's Ebola Chan! Isn't she hilarious?

It’s Ebola Chan! Isn’t she hilarious?

In Ethics Alarms’ continuing effort to bring to you depressing news of awful things you may never otherwise hear about if you are normal, I bring you 4Chan. Maybe you are as late to this sick party as I am.

I was vaguely aware that the site, which essentially hosts anonymous shock posts and hoaxes—meaning that it is a magnet for unethical conduct and the people who think its cool—was behind the initial hacking and posting of those nude celebrity photos earlier this month. It is much worse than that, however. Take this, for example, reported by The Daily Dot…

The absolutely terrible #cutforbieber hashtag became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter on Monday, an unfortunate truth that owes its existence to the perpetually scheming deviants on 4chan.

Long known for their affinity for disturbing, often sexually graphic or violent content, 4chan users schemed the hashtag this morning, when an anonymous poster wrote on notorious Web forum /b/ that community members should “start a cut yourself for bieber campaign.”

“Tweet a bunch of pics of people cutting themselves and claim we did it because bieber was smoking weed,” he or she wrote. “See if we can get some little girls to cut themselves.”

 

Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Health and Medicine, Humor and Satire, Race, The Internet, U.S. Society, Unethical Websites

Sugardaddies, Pregnancy Tests and Nigeria, or “If U.S. Culture Is More Ethical Than The Rest Of The World, The Rest Of The World Is In Big Trouble”

Our surprisingly ethical U.S. culture on display...

Our surprisingly ethical U.S. culture on display…

Aniruddh Khachaturi an is from Mumbai, India, and has been in the U.S. for the past two years, studying  computer science at Carnegie Mellon. For some reason his observations about what surprises him about American culture are newsworthy, according to Investors Daily, as opposed to, say, anyone else. They are thought-provoking, however, especially this : he is impressed with the nation’s “strong ethics”:

“…everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where everyone collaborates to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating.”

I happen to think he is right, and that this is probably the reaction of most foreigners who spend much time here. Compared to almost everywhere else on the planet, the population of the U.S. is more ethical, and the U.S. culture is more concerned with ethical values, as one should expect in the only nation expressly founded as the expression of ethical ideals.

Nonetheless, our culture has shown alarming signs of growing more tolerant and even accepting of unethical conduct, and that is worthy of more than merely academic concern. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Character, Education, Gender and Sex, Professions, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society, Unethical Websites