Again, The Pope Is An Ethics Dunce, And Again, Someone Is Ticking Me Off By Making Me Defend Donald Trump

handogod1It is unethical to punch down, you see.

Figures of great prominence, popularity and power end up abusing all of that by denigrating, attacking and criticizing private citizens, including corporate citizens. When such individuals condemn others, they naturally focus the antipathy of their supporters on the targets, and since the targets never have similar hordes to support them, this is a grand variety of bullying….in fact, lets call it Grand Bullying.

Thus Pope Francis is ethically wrong to publicly attack Donald Trump. It’s also unbelievably stupid and petty, but never mind: we’ll just concentrate on unethical.

Trump, in one of his periodic moments of clarity—if you pew out random thoughts about everything all the time, it is like a million monkeys eventually typing “Hamlet;” the odds say that eventually something sensible will come out by accident—said that the Pope was “political” and that Francis “doesn’t understand America’s problems.”  True…true. He also could have said that the Pontiff should stop meddling with U.S. illegal immigration and environmental policies when the principality that he heads doesn’t tolerate any of the former, and he has no practical reasons to be dubious about climate change, the Vatican having no jobs, industry, or trade-offs to consider. So the Pope felt that he had to respond, and when asked by a reporter, “Can a good Catholic vote for this man?” replied, Continue reading

Halloween Ethics: Fat-Shaming Kids in Fargo

halloween letter

UPDATE: There is some persuasive, if not conclusive evidence that “Cheryl” is a hoax. As usual in such cases, my analysis is the same regarding the conduct whether it actually occurred or is merely hypothetical. All forms of media hoaxes are unethical, unless they are obvious or flagged by the perpetrator before other media picks them up as factual. I detest them, and I detest those who create them.


If she follows through as promised, a Fargo Morehead, West Fargo, N.D. woman we know only as “Cheryl” will be handing out fat-shaming letters to trick-or-treating children who in her unsolicited opinion are too fat. The letter, sealed but certain to be read, if not immediately recognized, given the pre-October 31st publicity, by the unlucky children receiving them tells parents of the costumed kids she considers porkers that they need to do a better job parenting.

Cheryl is a presumptuous, meddling jerk, and if I got handed such a letter by my child, Cheryl would have to worry about a lot more than toilet paper in her trees and flaming bags of poop on her doorstep. Continue reading

“Excuse Me, Sir? You’re About To Die” Ethics

I had a strange experience as I was leaving a plane a couple of weeks ago.

A distinguished-looking man, older than I, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “I apologize for the intrusion, but I have been sitting behind you, and I noticed that your earlobes have clear creases in them. This is a sure sign that you either have heart disease or will have it, and are at risk of a heart attack. I just thought you should know.”

Now, as it happens, I know about the supposed link between heart attacks and earlobe creases, and even asked my cardiac specialist about it. He said that 1) some studies had found a statistical link; 2) no study had proposed any good reasons for the link, if there was one; 3) it wasn’t worth worrying about; and 4. one can only address the cardiac risk factors that can be changed, and one can’t change the creases in one’s earlobes. Continue reading

Dear God: Stop Calling!

We now have heard two pretenders for the Republican nomination, Rep. Michele Bachmann and unannounced tease Texas governor Rick Perry,suggest that they have been “called” to run for the White House. In other words, God told them to do it. Apart from the fact that this posits the existence of a rather disloyal and mischievous deity who enjoys starting fights among the faithful for the fun of it, a politician claiming to be endorsed by the Almighty is unsettling in many ways—so unsettling, in fact, that I  think the statement alone is grounds for disqualification for high office, since it strongly argues for a diagnosis of deranged.

Besides that, it is also unethical:

  • If not an indication of insanity, it shows dishonesty, and a frightening willingness to manipulate the gullible and trusting.
  • It is immodest and disrespectful to competitors, like baseball players saluting God after a home run, as if He decided to give a boost to his favorite player on his favorite team. (I have sometimes wondered why  players don’t make the same “Thanks, God!” gesture when a player on the opposing team gets injured on the field.) It takes a trivial and self-centered view of God to presume that the all-powerful creator of the universe has nothing better to do than to mess with the run spread in a baseball game, and only a slightly less trivial and self-centered attitude to believe that He is handicapping the GOP presidential field, and finds the other choices so flawed and sinful that He has to play kingmaker— just like with David in the old days. Continue reading

If President Obama Is So Smart, Why Does He Keep Doing the Same Dumb, Unethical Thing?

I have written before, more than once, about President Obama’s astonishingly flat learning curve regarding what is and is not appropriate subject matter for the nation’s Chief Executive to render public opinions about. Without knowing the facts, he has denigrated a local policeman’s handling of a difficult and racially charged situation; he has rendered opinions on state governance matters that are not the federal government’s proper concern; he has warped public opinion by condemning a state law while misrepresenting its provisions. He has criticized citizen critics and media figures by name, something that is almost unprecedented for a president. He has declared corporations negligent or guilty in matters that had not been fully investigated, before any lawsuits or charges had been filed.  He took sides in a purely local dispute over the location of an Islamic center near the 9/11 scene, and he even injected himself into NBA star Lebron James’ free agency, suggesting that he should consider Obama’s home town Chicago Bulls.

Flat, flat, flat. Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: President Obama

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions. I think everybody’s got to make some adjustments, but I think it’s also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

—-President Obama, commenting on Wisconsin’s budget balancing measures, which will include ending collective bargaining by some public employee unions.

"Ladies and gentlemen...The President of the United States!"

This an abuse of power. No doubt about it.

For all his vaunted intellect, the President has displayed a stunningly flat learning curve in acknowledging and respecting the limits of Presidential influence, otherwise known as “sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong” or “shooting of your mouth about something that is none of your damn business.” In less than three years in office, he has… Continue reading