Ethics Clean-Up: Carson’s Negligence, Cruz’s Creepiness, And One Last Super Bowl Complaint

3 thingsBefore I run off to see a movie that will occupy my time while so many of my friends and colleagues disgrace themselves supporting brain damage for profit (here is Sally Jenkins on the NFL’s disgusting imitation of tobacco executives), there are three topics related to recent posts that bear mentioning.

  1. Ted Cruz’s Creepiness

Many Ted Cruz supporters were dismayed that even while flagging the biased and unfair tactics being used by the news media to discredit the most reviled of the seven GOP presidential contenders, I sympathized with those who find the Texas senator creepy. They don’t seem to understand that defense from a non-Cruz supporting ethicist is infinitely more credible and useful to their cause than support from a mouth-foaming conservative pundit, but never mind: nobody understands me, and it’s comforting to be attacked from the right for a change. However, I am thoroughly sick of people who don’t know what an ad hominem attack is accusing me of engaging in it.I ahve never used Ted Cruz’s creepiness or any of his other personality flaws to attack Cruz’s positions or political views. Doing that is an ad hominem attack. In the context of viability as a Presidential candidate, Cruz’s appearance, manner, and vibes, including what many see as creepiness, are relevant to their fitness to run for President, because fitness includes electability.

Thus it is relevant that Jeb Bush comes off as a bumbling weenie; that Chris Christie is fat, that Ben Carson looks and sounds like he is on barbiturates, that Marco Rubio is short, and that Kasich is dorky. Do you think it’s a coincidence that most Presidents are taller than average, and almost never bald? Charisma is rare, even in Presidents, but having it is a huge advantage (See: Trump, Donald) and having the opposite of charisma—Nixon, Dole, Gore, Ted Cruz—is a serious handicap. I’m really sorry that your hero seems creepy, Cruz fans, but it’s a fact, and it matters. Don’t shoot the messenger.

By the way, you will notice that Chris Christie is working at losing weight. Ted???? Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Month: Talking Points Memo Blogger Alana Levinson

Biden Harassment

Now I’m wondering whether I’m a “bad liberal” to call him out. That means aligning myself with conservatives who love crying “double standard” on issues like this, not because they actually care about feminism, but to push their liberal media bias agenda.

—–Alana Levinson writing at Talking Points Memo about Joe Biden’s blatant “creepy uncle” sexual harassment at public events, and the news media’s failure to condemn it.

Wait, what?

Is this some kind of weird mutation of logic that only liberals and journalists understand, like the unique language identical twins make up for themselves?

Alana makes a strong case–it’s not hard to make, however—that Vice-President Biden routinely, publicly and shamelessly engages in the exact same conduct that gets employees and executives warned, sued and fired all over America as feminists cheer (as well as non-feminists with a brain, because the employees and executives should be warned, sued and fired).  It’s called “abusing power and position to cop a feel.” Then she writes the quote above, which I don’t understand at all:

Sexual harassment is unethical, disrespectful of women, and illegal.

Liberals have been at the forefront, to their credit, of making this recognition a cultural sea change.

The Vice President of the United States regularly undermines this signature liberal and feminist achievement by flaunting his cluelessness and archaic sexism at public events, either because he’s not paying attention to his own party’s rhetoric (scary) or because he knows he can get away with it (disgusting).

So she’s being a bad liberal if she points out that this is wrong and needs to stop forthwith, and a good liberal to allow it continue, allow the Vice President to act as if women (and, ick, little girls)…

Biden grope2

…are his personal fondle-toys while they silently endure public humiliation and silent discomfort? Continue reading

Ethics, Porn, and the Creepy Professor

The Ronald Ayers saga raises the intriguing, Weiner-esque ethical issue of whether a college professor being creepy is sufficient reason to fire him.

The former economics professor was fired by the University of Texas for viewing pornography on an office computer, which the University’s policies forbade. The chain of facts has the ring of Kafka: 1) a student claims he hears “sexual noises” emanating from Ayers’ office, which 2) is considered sufficient provocation (the professor denied the accusation that he was not “master of his domain” at work) for the school to search his computer, which 3) uncovers evidence that he looked at some pornographic sites, and 4) also that he searched for the term “teen,” which 5) the university deems sufficient to indicate that he was searching for child pornography, so 6) they fired him, after three decades and tenure on the faculty.

University records say Ayers at first denied the allegations that he viewed pornography, but when confronted with a printout of his computer records, admitted that it may have happened “at the end of a long work day.” Ayers later told administrators seeing the porn was for “academic research.”

Uh-huh… Continue reading