Mrs. Q, who is keeping Ethics Alarms current on the oppressive politically correct environment slowly poisoning Portland, Oragon, was moved to issue another report in reponse to the Ethics Alarms post about a virtue-signalling sign popping up live wild-flowers on yards across America here is her Comment of the Day on the post, “Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)”…(I’ll be back at the end.)
Tag Archives: honesty
Comment Of The Day: Why That “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” Sign Is Unethical (As Well As Obnoxious)
NPR claims that people get teary-eyed viewing this supposedly viral sign in front of houses across the country. I’ve only seen two in my neighborhood, thank goodness, and they irritate me no end. Why? The sign is dishonest, unfair and divisive. It is also political, while pretending not to be.
First, the sign is not what it represents itself as being. It is not written for an actual neighbor. If it were, the sign would be remote and rude. I welcome new neighbors personally, not by putting garish signs on my lawn. The sign is blatant virtue-signalling, telling the neighborhood that this household is in favor of diversity, love, and immigration…as if lots of other people are not. If it is not a public sign designed to rebuke those people, whoever they are, then why the sign? If everyone in the neighborhood welcomes Americans of all colors and origins—and I know of no Klan chapter in Northern Virginia—then the sign is a straw man. I’m sure, however, that Hispanic-Americans or Muslim-Americans who see these signs on lawns might be moved to think: Wait, does this mean that many people in this community DON’T welcome us as neighbors? How are we to recognize them?
That’s not a healthy or welcoming message, but hey, if it makes the homeowner seem enlightened and virtuous, it’s a net win. Continue reading
Comment Of The Day: “Facebook User Ethics : Don’t Spread Panic, And Don’t Make Your Friends As Ignorant As You Are”
The post on Facebook hysteria over the U.S.’s decision to withdraw from the largely symbolic Paris climate change accords has drawn perplexing commentary. The post did not assert a position on climate change, nor did it defend the reasons given for the withdrawal. The post simply stated that it was irresponsible and dishonest to claim dire consequences of the decision when the accord itself is almost entirely symbolic, requires nothing, in the sense that there are no enforcement mechanisms, and can’t possibly carry the existential weight that social media, politicians, pundits and activists are claiming. It is all appeal to emotion and ignorance.
And it is. Especially since most of the social media hysterics haven’t read the accord and are illiterate regarding climate science.
And they are.
I guess I knew that both climate change flacks and those suspicious of them would shift gears into the messy issue itself and its controversial research and models. The dreaded (and misleading) “97% of all scientists” stat even made its appearance, although, again, it was irrelevant to the post.
Finally, Zoltar Speaks!, Popeye-like, declared that “I ain’t gonna take it, ’cause I can’t take no more!” after a side debate over whether the infamous hacked e-mails among climate-change researchers “proved” that there was a conspiracy to distort the science on climate change (no, they prove that the scholarly research community members are not as objective and independent as they are professionally obligated to be, and that this makes their conclusions inherently untrustworthy). He produced an epic essay in response, so long and detailed that he posted it on a satellite blog. With his permission, I am posting it in it’s entirety here.
Here is the Zoltar Speaks! Comment of the Day on the post, “Facebook User Ethics : Don’t Spread Panic, And Don’t Make Your Friends As Ignorant As You Are” … Continue reading
“Our followers on social media and our readers across the internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be. Our responsibility is to empower all of those watchdogs, and to listen to them, rather than to channel their voice through a single office.”
—-New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, announcing that the Times was eliminating its “public editor” and its public editor position.
The decision was bad enough, the disingenuous excuse was almost worse. Yes, by all means, the Times doesn’t need an independent, internal expert on journalism ethics to blow the whistle when the Times ignores its duties of competence, independence and objectivity and breaches its own ethics code: the overwhelmingly left-wing readers the Times panders too daily will keep it on the straight and narrow! Besides. why does the Times need an ethics cop now? After all, the public’s trust in the news media, of which the Times is supposed to be the role model, has never been higher!
Well, no, actually, the public’s trust in journalism has never been lower, and the New York Time’s blatant bias during the 2016 campaign and in the wake of Donald Trump’s election is one of the main reasons. Tell me: if an organization finds its public trust diminishing drastically, which act shows a sincere interest in addressing that distrust and reversing it…
A. Hiring an independent journalism ombudsperson who investigates instances of dubious journalism ethics and reports to the public in the paper, no matter what the results, entering criticism and recommending changes as needed, or
B. Eliminating the above position entirely?
The New York Times chose B. What this indicates is that the Times doesn’t care about the public trust, just its readers’ trust. It knows most of its current readership wants an aggressive progressive advocacy rag, not bold, objective and independent journalism. When a new less-progressive-than-usual op ed writer dared to suggest that critics of climate change orthodoxy be listened to respectfully, Times readers tried to get him fired. Continue reading
I refer you, for context, to the recent post about Shon Hopwood, Georgetown Law Center’s former bank-robber, former federal prisoner professor, who was welcomed into membership in the D.C. bar…like me.
Now comes word that Tarra Simmons, a third-year law student, convicted felon and former drug addict, who in December won a Skadden Fellowship to help people recently released from prison, was told by the Washington State Bar Association that she did not possess the character to make her a trustworthy lawyer.
Tarra was a magna cum laude law school graduate, and co-chairs Washington’s Statewide Re-Entry Council. She recently received a gubernatorial appointment to the state’s Public Defense Advisory Committee, and was selected by the dean of Seattle University School of Law to receive the school’s dean’s medal this year.
Nevertheless, the character and fitness board’s vote against Simmons was not even close, at 6-3.
A registered nurse for 11 years, Simmons became addicted to prescription drugs and methamphetamine after her father died, as she self-medicated for depression. In 2011, she was charged with felony theft, drug possession and gun possession, pleaded guilty, served 20 months in state prison. She says she wants to assist former justice-involved individuals, as a lawyer who has lived their experience, so they “can overcome barriers and rejoin society.”
But Tarra cannot cannot take the Washington Bar examination without getting a positive character and fitness recommendation, and that looks unlikely. She’s appealing to the Washington Supreme Court, but traditionally that forum is tougher in assessing the character and fitness of potential admittees.
I think her course now is obvious: move to the District of Columbia. The bar there will surely see no reason to doubt her character.
After all, it’s not like she robbed a bank.
Pointer: ABA Journal
A few weeks ago the Washington Post published the unusual story of Shon Hopwood, a member of the D.C. Bar and a tenure-track faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center. He spent 11 years in federal prison for robbing banks n Nebraska—that’s banks, plural—became a jailhouse “lawyer,” got a scholarship to law school, was somehow approved as meeting the character provisions required for bar membership, and now amuses his Georgetown law students with tales about how when he played basketball in federal prison, he had to carry a shank in case his team started to lose.
You should read his story, which I’m sure will enrich Hopwood in a movie deal, if it hasn’t already, but you shouldn’t have to read it before you answer today’s Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz:
Should a convicted bank robber be teaching law students?
No, Insurance Companies Treating People With Pre-Existing Conditions Differently From Other Customers Is Not “Discrimination.”
Here is a prime example of how the news media’s intentional or careless use of words warps public perception and policy.
Yesterday, the New York Times front page story about the GOP House’s health insurance bill noted in its second paragraph that the bill wouldn’t do enough to prevent “discrimination” by insurance companies against those with per-existing conditions. I have seen and heard that term, discrimination, used over and over again to describe the per-existing condition, and I apologize for not blowing the whistle on it long ago.
Using the term, which is usually used in other contexts to signal bigotry, bias and civil rights violations, is misleading and virtually defamatory. Insurance companies are businesses. They are not charities. They are not public resources. If an automobile company turns down an offer of half what a car costs it to make, it is not discriminating against that customer who made the offer. If a restaurant customer says to a waiter, “I have just four bucks, but I want you to bring me a dozen oysters, a steak, and a nice bottle of wine,” the establishment isn’t discriminating against the diner for sending him to McDonald’s.
Insureds with per-existing conditions want to pay premiums that are wildly inadequate for the coverage they know and the insurance company knows they are going to need. Insurance companies are portrayed as villains because they don’t eagerly accept customers who they know will cost them money, often a lot of money. That’s not discrimination. That’s common sense, basic business practice, fiscal reality,and responsible management. The news media and the under-cover socialists among us want to create the illusion that a company not wanting to accept customers who lose money rather than add to profits is a mark of corporate greed and cruelty, hence the use of “discrimination” as a falsely pejorative term, when the fair and honest word is “problem.” Continue reading