Tag Archives: ethics alarms

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/6/2019: State of the Union Ethics, And More

Hello, Austin!

At least, that’s what I’ll be saying later today, as I arrive in the Texas capital to give my country music ethics seminar, sung by the remarkable Mike Messer, to a group of over a thousand corporate lawyers. It’s certainly better than lying around coughing, which is what I’ve been doing lately.

1. Update: Facebook still won’t accept Ethics Alarms links. This is seriously depressing me. I can’t get Facebook to respond or explain, and so far WordPress hasn’t been any help either. In the past, posts here have attracted tens of thousands of Facebook shares; most got at least a couple. Now there are none. This affects traffic, it affects everything. On one level, I’m tempted just to leave Facebook entirely. It’s not a very pleasant place these days, and the company is despicable. That doesn’t solve the problem though. After all the work and time I have spent trying to develop the blog, watching its readership and circulation go backwards is infuriating. I also don’t know how paranoid I should be about all of this.

2. State of the Union notes. The speech is always political theater, and largely irrelevant unless it is botched or something weird happens, like “You lie!” or Obama attacking the Supreme Court. I find it amazing that so many pundits couldn’t keep their cognitive dissonance in check, and give some semblance of an honest, if grudging, analysis of what one would have to call an excellent performance—and that’s all the SOTU speech is, a performance— by Donald Trump standards, and a wise performance from a Presidential perspective. At a time of near maximum divisiveness, the speech was upbeat, optimistic, and patriotic. You have to really, really hate the man to condemn that speech….and that’s how most of journalists and pundits feel. I especially liked Salon’s “Donald Trump 2019: Same lying racist he was last year.”  CNN’s Van Jones was also self-indicting, saying,  “I saw this as a psychotically incoherent speech with cookies and dog poop. He tries to put together in the same speech these warm, kind things about humanitarianism and caring about children, and at the same time he is demonizing people who are immigrants in a way that was appalling.”  On the other side of the wacko divide, Ann Coulter called the speech “sappy” and was upset because Trump didn’t talk more about the wall. Is there anyone other than Coulter than wants him to talk more about the wall? We need a special confirmation bias clinic for these people. Also: Continue reading

70 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Character, Etiquette and manners, Facebook, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Professions

You Know, That WAS An Excellent Post On October 20, 2016!

In response to my recent question in a comment thread about when Ethics Alarms first noted that the Democratic Party was embracing totalitarian attitudes, tactics and principles, reader and commenter Zoltar Speaks tracked the post down, which, as I had speculated, was published in late October, 2016, right before the election. It was interesting, in light of having just passed the two year mark in the Trump Presidency, to review my thoughts at the time. Upon re-reading it, I conclude that there is nothing in that post I would retract, and that I wish I was as smart every day was I was on October 20, 2016. This section, however, really stood out in light of what has occurred since; the context was the last debate between candidates Trump and Clinton: Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Quotes, U.S. Society

BREAKING! Facebook Is Again Allowing Ethics Alarms Links! [UPDATED]

After over a month of back and forth with Facebook, excuses, different messages, error messages (like the one above) and being told “It’s A Wonderful Life” commentary violates community standards, I can (which means YOU can) once again share Ethics Alarms posts on Facebook, at least today.

And believe me, I’m going to share the hell out of them.

Just thought I should let you know.

ADDENDUM: I just got back from walking Rugby…

…in the melting snow, and had a chance to muse further. This episode has angered me, and I will not trust Facebook (though I never have), and more importantly Facebook users, including my alleged friends. Someone tried to silence me online, and that was just an escalation of what I have witnessed from Facebook’s majority for more than two years. They have used their “likes” and “angry face” emojis to try to indoctrinate the public into ideological conformity, weaponizing what was once a friendly platform for civil conversation and the exchange of information into a hostile environment for anyone not inclined to toe the partisan line. In this new and oppressive echo chamber, the response to good faith efforts to correct media misrepresentation and civic or historical ignorance is to gang-swarm the intruder, and, as the old Chinese saying has it, beat down the nail that dares to stick out. For the most part, it works.

Well, not with me. I had the honor and luck to be raised by a man, the best, bravest most honest I have ever known, who was a lifelong iconoclast, rebel and contrarian, though he was also always pleasant about it and never blamed people for being less perspicacious than he was. (I’m working on it, Dad…) I saw him pay the price with a frequently interrupted employment record, few close friends, and a loss of some lucrative opportunities that would have required him to compromise his principles, which were never for sale. I also say him live his life without ever regretting his intellectual independence and courage under fire for a second.

I’m not forgetting what they tried to do to me and Ethic Alarms over the past two months. The gloves are off.

13 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Government & Politics

Open Forum!

I have an 8 AM ethics program to teach, AND my PC isn’t working right. When I return to the office in about 5 hours, I am hopeful that the latter problem will have been fixed, and that the Ethics Alarms commentariat will have raised and begun debating all sorts of fascinating issues.

Stay civil and articulate, now…

 

32 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society

From The Ethics Alarms Frivolous And Vexatious Litigation Files: The Ethics Alarms Libel Case

Once again, the appellate brief for the appeal in Massachusetts courts involving the defamation lawsuit against me and ethics alarms has been rejected by the courts as non-compliant. This is actually somewhat annoying, as I had almost finished the brief brief in response (in market contrast to the 70-plus page monstrosity that was served on me. It took several hours to read the thing, several days to recuperate from the barn fervor, that is, bran flavor…no, brain fever! That’s it!

having to decipher the damn thing inflicted on me, and several more hours to almost finish my professional, clear document designed to give the poor clerk and judges that would have to read the appellate brief a break. That stalled, because while I am entitled to have the Appendix to the appellant’s brief to refer to, it was too big a file for the court to send to me, so they were making a special file.

So now I’m confused about 1) whether the deadline for my response is reset, 2) whether I’m going to have to start my response all over again, and most of all, 3), how many times a pro se litigant with no clue what he’s doing whose only motivation is revenge and to cause as much expense and inconvenience as possible because I banned him from Ethics Alarms after I figured out that he was, well, the kind of person who would behave like this?

It is a great virtue of our nation and its legal system that it allows amateurs—I was going to write well-meaning and sincere amateurs, but that obviously doesn’t apply here—to stumble around in the courts. After all, lawyers are expensive, even more expensive than psychiatrists. Nevertheless, there has to be a limit, don’t you think? People like my adversary cost the system, and taxpayers, millions of dollars as they play around being lawyer because they are bored, ” a few cherries short of a sundae,” to quote the comment that started this fiasco, without gainful employment, or all three.

Or does my home state assume that eventually pro se litigants will be so embarrassed by the constant rejection that they will give up? Boy, I hope not, because this guy is impossible to embarrass .

Well, I guess I have to call the Clerk of the Court again. We’re getting to be great pals.

5 Comments

Filed under Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

Happy News Year, Everyone. And Thanks.

I’ll be honest—this is an ethics blog, after all—this has not been a great year for my family, for my nation, for ethics. I leave 2018 more pessimistic than I entered it, and I hate that.  I feel alienated from a lot of my friends, and am feeling futile–I really hate that. I’ve spent too much of 2018 angry at selfish, dishonest, intellectually lazy, ignorant and mean people, and not enough—almost none, really—having fun. I can’t remember the last time I had fun.

The people, events and things that salvaged the year and made it bearable–the Red Sox had the best team and season by far in my lifetime, and it’s ridiculous how much that helps my state of mind—include the readers and commenters here on Ethics Alarms. As a group and individually, you all are attentive, respectful, serious, tough, smart and generous. Thank you.

Proethics also had a good year, even if some clients behaved spectacularly unprofessionally—how can you be unethical to an ethics company?–and even if every inquiry we got about sexual harassment training withered and died when I insisted that I wouldn’t do boilerplate junk, and would talk about the importance of due process for those accused.

True, I was targeted by a couple of vicious and ideology-driven social justice bullies and feminist Furies this year with minimal damage: I was slimed on a legal gossip website and blackballed on NPR for, the complaining host said, “seeming to defend Donald Trump,” which I wasn’t. I lost a contract for refusing to apologize to brainwashed Chinese academics for describing Mao as a mass murderer, which, or course, he was. As the year ends, Facebook is blocking my posts.

That’s OK. I appreciate the opportunity to practice the courage, integrity, obstinacy and stubborn adherence to principle that Jack Sr. worked so hard to instill in me. (Still working on it, Dad!).

I learn so much researching and writing this blog: as one of my mentors, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue once told me, “Sometimes I don’t know what I think until I hear what I have to say.” I wish I had a bigger megaphone, a larger audience, more influence, a higher place on the cognitive dissonance scale. That I don’t is my own fault and failing, of course; there’s a price for being a dilettante. Well, I’m not going to wallow—if there was one thing I learned from directing “Follies,” regret will kill you.

So my resolution this year is the same as it has been for many years now. I want to end 2019 smarter, wiser, and more ethical than I began it, and if I can be of any assistance helping others to do the same, that will be wonderful.

40 Comments

Filed under Daily Life

Encore: On the Importance Of Christmas To The Culture And Our Nation : An Ethics Alarms Guide

[As promised, here is the Ethics Alarms Christmas package, lightly revised, last posted three years ago]

I don’t know what perverted instinct it is that has persuaded colleges and schools to make their campuses a Christmas-free experience. Nor can I get into the scrimy and misguided minds of people like Roselle Park New Jersey Councilwoman Charlene Storey, who resigned over the city council’s decision to call its Christmas tree lighting a Christmas Tree Lighting, pouting that this wasn’t “inclusive,” or the  CNN goon who dictated the bizarre policy that the Christmas Party shot up by the husband-wife Muslim terrorists had to be called a “Holiday Party.”  Christmas, as the cultural tradition it evolved to be, is about inclusion, and if someone feels excluded, they are excluding themselves.  Is it the name that is so forbidding? Well, too bad. That’s its name, not “holiday.” Arbor Day is a holiday. Christmas is a state of mind. [The Ethics Alarms Christmas posts are here.]

Many years ago, I lost a friend over a workplace dispute on this topic, when a colleague and fellow executive at a large Washington association threw a fit of indignation over the designation of the headquarters party as a Christmas party, and the gift exchange (yes, it was stupid) as “Christmas Elves.” Marcia was Jewish, and a militant unionist, pro-abortion, feminist, all-liberal all-the-time activist of considerable power and passion. She cowed our pusillanimous, spineless executive to re-name the party a “holiday party” and the gift giving “Holiday Pixies,” whatever the hell they are.

I told Marcia straight out that she was wrong, and that people like her were harming the culture. Christmas practiced in the workplace, streets, schools and the rest is a cultural holiday of immense value to everyone open enough to experience it, and I told her to read “A Christmas Carol” again. Dickens got it, Scrooge got it, and there was no reason that the time of year culturally assigned by tradition to re-establish our best instincts of love, kindness, gratitude, empathy, charity and generosity should be attacked, shunned or avoided as any kind of religious indoctrination or “government endorsement of religion.”  Jews, Muslims, atheists and Mayans who take part in a secular Christmas and all of its traditions—including the Christmas carols and the Christian traditions of the star, the manger and the rest, lose nothing, and gain a great deal.

Christmas is supposed to bring everyone in a society together after the conflicts of the past years have pulled them apart. What could possibly be objectionable to that? What could be more important than that, especially in these especially divisive times? How could it possibly be responsible, sensible or ethical to try to sabotage such a benign, healing, joyful tradition and weaken it in our culture, when we need it most?

I liked and respected Marcia, but I deplore the negative and corrosive effect people like her have had on Christmas, and as a result, the strength of American community. I told her so too, and that was the end of that friendship. Killing America’s strong embrace of Christmas is a terrible, damaging, self-destructive activity, but it is well underway. I wrote about how the process was advancing here, and re-reading what I wrote, I can only see the phenomenon deepening, and hardening like Scrooge’s pre-ghost heart. Then I said… Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society