Tag Archives: excuses

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Louisiana State Senator Troy Brown

troy-brownYet another ridiculous example of bizarre people with bizarre values being elected to office, calling into question  the competence of the voting public. The populace at issue in this case is Napoleonville, Louisiana, who elected Democrat Troy Brown as a State Senator.

Brown has pleaded no contest in two separate domestic violence cases in recent months. He beat up his girl friend, and later bit his wife. He also doesn’t live in the district he represents, but the Senate was preparing to expel him based on the fact that he is a serial domestic abuser.

Brown does not understand this at all.

“I think my actions warranted a punishment. I think my punishment should be commensurate with what occurred,” Brown said adding that the expulsion proceedings were the equivalent of “an execution.” His argument is that the two episodes of violence against women were only charged as misdemeanors, not felonies, and the legislative body’s rules specify removal for a felony conviction, but do not define other conduct that is ground for expulsion, other than “conduct unbecoming a Senator.”

And really now, is punching your mistress of ten years and biting your wife “conduct unbecoming a Senator”? Come on. Be reasonable.

After admitting in court to punching his girl friend, Brown blamed blackouts he experienced when drinking alcohol, a malady which he said was  brought on by brain damage sustained in a past car accident.

Ah!

Well that’s OK then!

To paraphrase Dean Wormer in “Animal House”, “Drunk, violent and brain damaged is no way to be a State Senator, son.”

After Brown was arrested  last year for biting his wife and again pleaded no contest, he apologized  to his constituents for his behavior, announcing he had started taking anger management classes.

Ah! He’s angry, violent, drunk and brain damaged.

This guy has a grrrrrreat future in politics! Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials

The Flynn Fiasco: Flynn Doesn’t Understand That Ethics Thingee, And That’s Reason to Fire Him All By Itself

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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

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Filed under Character, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement

“Fake News” Of The Day: Nate Silver Says Clinton “Almost Certainly” Would Be President If Not For Comey

A bit bored, are we, Nate?

A bit bored, are we, Nate? Not a football fan?

The Left’s fury over the fact that their certifiably awful candidate somehow managed to lose to even more certifiably awful Donald Trump is unabated. Indeed, it seems to be getting worse, as Democrats, progressives and social justice warriors continue to reveal themselves as poor losers and lousy citizens—but spectacular hypocrites—by both trying to undo the election and attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the President Elect before he even moves in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At the same time, the Democratic Party is teaching our children, if they read Politico, that denying accountability and blaming others for your own botches is acceptable adult behavior. It wasn’t their fault that they managed to blow an election against an adversary they publicly wished for. It was the Russians! The FBI! The Electoral College! The news media! The voters hate women–even women hate women!

It was Hillary Clinton, of course, but never mind. Yesterday’s headline in The Washington Examiner and a few other news sources are sure to give the Democrats solace: Nate Silver (the acclaimed statistics guru who nonetheless joined other poll-readers to pronounce Hillary an odds on favorite to win on November 12 but with a bit less certainly than the rest, so he remains a genius by being less wrong), it said, had pronounced that “Clinton ‘almost certainly’ would be president if not for Comey.”

This is fake news. Why? I could go into detail about why it’s an irresponsible opinion and based on logical fallacies as well as confirmation bias, which Nate is supposed to understand, but that wouldn’t make the story fake news. It is fake news because Silver never said what the headline claims.

Silver, who actual writes up positions he believes are accurate on his blog, apparently was bored on Sunday so he began musing in a series of tweets.

“Comey had a large, measurable impact on the race. Harder to say with Russia/Wikileaks because it was drip-drip-drip,” he said in the first. This became, in the Examiner story, “Comey had a large, measurable impact on the race,” leaving out the second part of the tweet, the part that meant “I think, but it’s impossible to be sure because other things were happening too.”

I have to say, Nate is really sloppy here. One way Comey had a larger impact than he should have was because of the way the Clinton campaign reacted to his first letter, which he was ethically obligated to write. They sicced other lawyers on him (lawyers who were looking for jobs in the upcoming Clinton Administration); they even accused him of breaking the law, which was ridiculous. They made themselves, that is, Hillary, look guilty by attacking the same guy they had called a great American just a couple of months earlier for not recommending that the candidate be indicted. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Research and Scholarship, Social Media

A Fake Judge Disqualifies Herself From Becoming A Real Judge

This is ridiculous.

Well, sure it's OK to impersonate a judge ON STAGE...

Well, sure it’s OK to impersonate a judge ON STAGE…

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is asking for the immediate suspension of a judicial candidate Rhonda Crawford, who is running  for a judgeship covering parts of Chicago and its suburbs. The request asks the Illinois Supreme Court to block Crawford from becoming a judge if she wins the election, which is likely, since she is running unopposed. The reason she has been deemed unfit to be a judge is that she already pretended to be one, in essence impersonating a judge and ruling on cases in traffic court.

Crawford admitted last month that she wore a judicial robe and sat at the bench as part of a “shadowing process”  under the direction Judge Valarie Turner, who was reprimanded and  reassigned to administrative duties after pulling the stunt. Near the end of the afternoon court call, Judge Turner announced that “we’re going to switch judges” and gave her judicial robe to Crawford. Crawford didn’t correct the misstatement, and began acting as the judge. Judge Turner, who appears to have taken leave of her senses, told the prosecutor earlier in the day that Crawford was a judge, and Crawford did not correct the misstatement. When an officer in the courtroom congratulated Crawford on her judgeship, Crawford did not correct him, either. Judge Turner later told the presiding judge investigating the incident that she thought Crawford really was a judge, which is odd since she was employed as a law clerk and staff attorney, and real judges tend to have their own robes while not requiring second judges to stand behind them. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions

Comments of the Day (2): “Donald Trump ‘When You’re A Star, They Let You Do It’ Apology, Take Two!”

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I am putting up these two Comments of the Day by johnberger2013 and Steve-O-in NJ together, not because the aren’t each worthy of a separate post, but because they both involve the flap over the Donald Trump-Billy Bush video, which has become a sub-ethics train wreck to the already out-of-control Donald Trump Candidacy Ethics Train Wreck, and I want to put it in my rear view mirror as soon as I can. Its noise is drowning out a virtual tidal wave of new information about how horrifying corrupt the Democrats have been (and are), and the public should know the utter ethical depravity of both the administration that is leaving and the one that is on the way. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, after all. If the news media keeps trying to hide it, at least Ethics Alarms can do its part to counter their efforts. It’s just a few thousand people a day, but if they tell two friends, and they tell two friends…well, it’s something.

First, though, let’s try to finish “Pussygate.” First, the Comment of the Day, on this post and the others on the topic,  from Steve-O-in NJ:

I know Bill [Clinton] did a lot worse. He started a process of ethical rot in the White House that continues today and is best known for getting hummers in the oval office. He wasn’t the first either, with JFK having affairs, FDR being wheeled to a girl friend, and Harding getting action in a White House closet. At least these earlier guys had the sense to keep it quiet, not boast openly about it, and not advocate not just frat boy attitudes, but criminal activity. I heard this kind of bluster and worse when I was high school age (one of my contemporaries boasted that he’d like to cut off a woman’s breast and suck on it). I haven’t heard anything like it since I was 22, and I haven’t openly or otherwise used a vulgar term for a woman’s genitals since I graduated college, not in conversation, not in joke, no way. Full disclosure, I find feminists tiresome at best, angering at worst, and I still think Hillary is a lying, conniving, power hungry grifter who will be a failure as president. That doesn’t mean I hold ALL women in contempt, nor do I see them as toys to be used and discarded. I’ve never been on so much as a first date, but I have worked with and known too many women (some good, some meh, and some pretty bad) to hold half the human race in the contempt Trump holds them.

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, language, Leadership, U.S. Society

Presenting Rationalization #36 C. “Donald’s Dodge,” And The Complete Up-To-Date List Of Rationalizations

But no, I guess you never did exactly say you were perfect...

But no, I guess you never did exactly say you were perfect

It is fitting, the night after Donald Trump demonstrated what  “making America great” would be under a President Trump by reducing the Presidential debates to the level of The Jerry Springer Show just by running for the office, to install an entry on the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list named for him.

36 C.  Donald’s Dodge, or “I never said I was perfect!” was inspired by Trump, as he employed it among the deflections, excuses and rationalizations in his epicly awful “apology” for his virtuoso display of vulgarity and misogyny preserved in an old video, and leaked to the Washington Post. It is a really vile rationalization, one of the worst on the list. It posits the theory that as long as someone never says or suggests that he is above a particular kind of misconduct, he shouldn’t be judged harshly for engaging in it. This logic requires a certain genius in unethical reasoning.

First, it argues that the application of integrity, an ethical value, to wrongdoing cleanses the wrongdoing. As long as one always beats one’s wife and never pretends to be above such brutality, it is less of an abuse of decency, and that as long as one’s misconduct doesn’t prove previous dishonesty, then the conduct is lass objectionable. In this Donald’ delusion has kinship with Rationalization #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse, or “There are worse things.” Yes, I suppose showing oneself to be a boor and a misogynist is technically worse when you have represented to the world that you weren’t one, but pointing to that as a mitigating factor is an insult.

Second, it repeats the disingenuous assertion inherent in #19. The Perfection Diversion: “Nobody’s Perfect!” Continue reading

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Comment Of The Day: “Donald Trump ‘When You’re A Star, They Let You Do It’ Apology, Take Two!”…Plus The Last Comments I’m Going To Make About Trump’s “Pussy” Tape, Because Life’s Too Short

princess-bride

Ethics Alarms works best when commenters take a post and extend the issue to the next stage, expanding the inquiry and making useful observations. This Comment of the Day by Charles Green is an example. I had just written three posts (including this, and this, that related to Charles’ commentary more closely than the post it actually followed) about various ethics aspects of the Trump-Billy Bush tape and the reaction to it, and Charles flagged enough additional material for a fourth.

Here is his Comment of the Day on the post, Donald Trump “When You’re A Star, They Let You Do It” Apology, Take Two! (I’ll be back to add a bit to Charles’ points at the end.)

Trump is of course a troglodyte. But Jack, this is an ethics swamp – look at all the other arguments showing up.

The most obvious one is Billy Bush’s “It was a long time ago.” So, there’s a statute of limitations on unethical behavior? (Trump went him one worse, saying that was ten years ago – and look at what Clinton did 20 years ago!).

But there’s another meme that keeps showing up. For example, Mitch McConnell saying, “I have daughters, and I…” So, is what Trump said inoffensive if you only have sons and brothers?

Mike Pence says, “As a husband and a father” he was offended. So, my single childless son shouldn’t be offended?

Jeb Bush says, “As the grandfather of two girls…reprehensible…degrading…” Jeez, do you have to be a grandpa before you can be offended?

What about Paul Ryan, saying, “Women should be championed and revered.” As a friend of mine says, “Would that be like a Special Olympics athlete? Or the biblical Mary?”

In their own bizarre way, these conditional statements are as ethically suspect as Trump apologizing “if I offended anyone.”

The common logical construct is a leading clause which SOUNDS like it should have something to do with what follows. But really, does “I’m a grandfather, so what he said was reprehensible” make any more ethical sense than “I’m a vegetarian, so what he said was reprehensible.”

As someone might have said, “What difference does it make!?”

Continue reading

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