Unethical Donald Trump Quote Of The Day: Whatever It Was That He Told The New York Times “Off The Record” That The Times Unethically And Unprofessionally Allowed Its Staff To Talk About, Putting Trump In An Impossible Bind That He Should Have Been Able To Rely On A Respected News Source Not To Put Him In…

new-york-times-nytimes-building-cc

Let me be clear: The New York Times has shown itself to be partisan, untrustworthy, and no longer fit to be regarded as the flagship of American journalism. The fact that they did this at the expense of Donald Trump, an existential danger to U.S. culture and governance, in no way mitigates the betrayal of journalistic ethics the Times’ conduct represents.

From Buzzfeed:

The New York Times is sitting on an audio recording that some of its staff believes could deal a serious blow to Donald Trump, who, in an off-the-record meeting with the newspaper, called into question whether he would stand by his own immigration views.

Trump visited the paper’s Manhattan headquarters on Tuesday, Jan. 5, as part of a round of editorial board meetings that — as is traditional — the Democratic candidates for president and some of the Republicans attended. The meetings, conducted partly on the record and partly off the record in a 13th-floor conference room, give candidates a chance to make their pitch for the paper’s endorsement.

After a dispute over Trump’s suggestion of tariffs on Chinese goods, the Times released a portion of the recording. But that was from the on-the-record part of the session.

On Saturday, columnist Gail Collins, one of the attendees at the meeting (which also included editor-in-chief Dean Baquet), floated a bit of speculation in her column:

The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.

Sources familiar with the recording and transcript — which have reached near-mythical status at the Times — tell me that the second sentence is a bit more than speculation. It reflects, instead, something Trump said about the flexibility of his hardline anti-immigration stance.

So what exactly did Trump say about immigration, about deportations, about the wall? Did he abandon a core promise of his campaign in a private conversation with liberal power brokers in New York?

Sure, I’d like to know. I’d love to know if the single issue that has made Trump the most unqualified and unfit Presidential nomination front-runner in U.S. history has been manipulated by him to gull his easily gullible, “poorly educated” supporters. Maybe the knowledge that he has no intention of deporting millions and building a wall would make them see him as the cynical con man he obviously is. That doesn’t matter, though. We shouldn’t know what Trump said off the record, and we shouldn’t  know that any off-the-record comments were made. That the New York Times’ staff is so undisciplined and unethical that it would gossip about such a session shows the paper’s commitment to principles of journalism ethics to be inadequate for a small town weekly rag. Continue reading

An Unethical and Presumptuous Protest: Sorry, Illegals, But You Have No Right To “Demand” Anything

illegal immigrant protest

This week, several hundred illegal immigrants staged a protest rally across from the White House demanding  that President Obama “keep his promise” and use his executive authority to extend “deferred deportation” to millions of  illegally immigrants.

I am adamantly convinced that our government has to do something decisive about the 11 million illegal immigrants in this country, and also that it must do whatever it does in such a way that neither makes the United States look like Nazi Germany expatriating the Jews, nor provides incentives for every aspiring border jumper to take a shot at American largesse. It doesn’t matter how I think this should be done: solving policy problems is what we elect officials and pay government employees to do, and do wisely. However, I have every right to make my opinion known to those policy-makers, and to insist that they act as part of their duties to the American public.

Illegal immigrants and their families, however, have no such rights, not any standing to demand any policies whatsoever. Their conduct has created the problem, which challenges our laws and law enforcement, burdens our budgets, and divides our society. Continue reading

Observations On The Illegal Immigration Ethics Train Wreck, The Ugliest Of Them All

Illegal-Immigration

Nobody, literally nobody, has managed to stay off this Ethics Train Wreck by now. The over-flowing passenger list includes…

Democrats, who cynically want to encourage law-breaking to tilt the nation’s demographics toward what they think will be a permanent electoral advantage

Law enforcement, which has ducked its duty to keep our borders secure

Big business, which wants to preserve an underground economy that provides cheap and frightened labor that allows it to pay unconscionably low wages;

Conservatives, whose refusal to consider any path to citizenship for the millions we have already allowed to stay here by our non-enforcement of our own laws is irresponsible in the absence of any other realistic plan (mass deportation being too repulsive to contemplate);

Democrats, who have foolishly heralded policies, like the Dream Acts, that  provide an incentive for illegal immigration;

U.S. citizens who happily accept the benefits of services provided by illegals while claiming to oppose the process that allowed them to tend their gardens and care for their children

Hispanic-Americans, who have chosen heritage over country by continuing to support continued law breaking by relatives, friends, and others with whom they may share a language or a country of origin;

Congress, which as been lazy and cowardly and avoided its responsibility for decades;

The Justice Department, which has fought to prevent states from taking action to stem the illegal tide that is overwhelming their social services;

Illegal immigration advocates, who have deliberately clouded the issue by calling anyone who doesn’t advocate open borders (that is, sovereign suicide) as racist, and have used deceitful euphemisms to confound immigration, which the U.S. public unanimously supports and has done so for a century, and illegal immigration, which it has not and should not;

The mainstream news media, which has aided and abetted this confusion, supported the race-baiters, encouraged the deceptive use of euphemisms like “comprehensive immigration reform” (which means, “let’s stop enforcing immigration laws”) and outright deception, like calling “illegal immigration” “immigration, ”  while consistently misrepresented the issue as a humanitarian problem rather than a matter of sovereignty, law enforcement and common sense;

The illegals themselves.

The American public, which despite overwhelmingly opposing “amnesty,” whatever it thinks that is, remains inattentive, feckless and ignorant regarding the issue.

Have I left anyone out? Sure I have: President Obama, who has booked a luxury berth on this train. Continue reading

The Unethical Ploy Of The Blameless, Powerless Agent

It happened again.

Do you ever feel like Jerry when they didn't have his rental car?

Do you ever feel like Jerry when they didn’t have his rental car?

I am always friendly, respectful, kind and generous to people behind desks, windows and counters, unless they engage in a particular kind of conduct that is guaranteed to cause me to be confrontational and critical, and that almost always leaves me feeling simultaneously guilty and infuriated. This is when an agent of a service provider announces, almost always with a smile, that the organization/company/government agency will not be able to do what it has assured me, often for a price, that it would do, or is not able to do it at an acceptable level of quality, or perhaps in the promised time frame. The agent helpfully tells me that I am stuck with the  inferior product or service I bargained for and relied upon, and that yes, it shouldn’t be this way, but it is, so there.

Then, when I express some dissatisfaction with that result, explanation, and most important of all, the absence of any guaranty that I will be compensated or that the organization, while acknowledging its failure, has given any thought to compensating those like me or executing some response in time for my problem to be, if not solved, mitigated, the agent pathetically points out that he or she is just a humble and powerless messenger and that it is cruel of me to persist in expressing my dissatisfaction to him or her, since the agent is neither responsible for the problem nor has any power to fix it.

This is where I lose it.

And it happened again.

My wife and I paid close to $1500 ( in fees only, transportation and lodging not included) for the privilege of attending a national conference of a professional association to which we belong. When we arrived at the site hotel to register and pick up our credentials, badges, tickets and materials, shortly before the opening reception, we were told by a cheery, smiling woman that our name and convention materials were not there. “But we paid for them, and pre-registered,” my wife said. “I got a confirmation. We were told in an e-mail response that the materials for events and programs we designated would be waiting for us here.”

“Ah, then you must have registered on-line after Wednesday,” she told, us smiling. “Unfortunately, we were already here by then, and there was no way for us to make out your package! And you don’t have one of our formal, printed, professional badges that make you look like the member you are, but I’m happy to give you a crappy sharpie so you can scratch out a couple and look like you snuck in instead of paying 1500 buck for the privilege. Isn’t that good enough?” (She didn’t quite say it that way, but that was the gist of it.)

“Well, no, actually, it’s not,” I said.  “Your confirmation said that everything would be ready for us here. It isn’t ready.”

“That was just an automatic response, sir.”

THERE it is! “Don’t blame the owners and programmers of the computer, sir—it’s Skynet’s fault!”  Do not tell me that. Ever. Continue reading

The ACLU Gives Us a Lesson in Principles

Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More

“What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?…And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide…the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down…do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”—- Sir Thomas More [Played by Paul Scofield, scripted by Robert Bolt (in a speech adapted from More’s writings) in the film of “A Man for All Seasons” (1966)]

My opinion of Rev. Terry Jones is a matter of record; to summarize, I think he is well beneath Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump, Tom DeLay, Goldman Sachs, Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Spitzer, AIG, Charlie Rangel , Mark Sanford, Barry Bonds, “Ronbo” and most of the other members in bad standing on the Ethics Alarms Bottom 100. Determined as he is to sully the First Amendment with his disgraceful and hate-soaked use of it, however, he is an American, and he has rights. A Dearborn, Michigan jury, prompted by the city, has taken away those rights by preventing him and another fool from protesting outside a local mosque. Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Month: #1 American Asshole, Rev. Terry Jones

...or "The Rev. Terry Jones Story"

“If you want to be technical, I guess we broke our word. We thought twice about it.”

—-Rev. Terry Jones, agreeing with criticism that he had promised last September not to burn the Quran, but did so anyway last month when he felt that his anti-Islam campaign was not getting enough headlines.

If you want to be technical, Rev. Jones is probably the biggest asshole in the United States right now. I know, I know—civility. But there are rare situations in which only our crudest, most insulting words can fairly describe individuals and acts. Rev. Jones richly deserves the asshole label, indeed the U.S. Champion, Gold Plated, #1 Asshole label, because nothing else adequately describes his reckless, self-promoting, hateful, irresponsible, deadly, virtually treasonous conduct—all completely legal, of course.

What do you call someone who pours gasoline on a brush fire to get attention? Jerk is too mild. What do you call someone who intentionally makes a difficult problem of international perception even more difficult—intentionally? Fool is too kind.  Unethical, my staple, is too abstract. There just is no civil term for someone like Jones. Continue reading