Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)

What’s the matter with this guy?

Rep. Salmon is apparently obsessed with the coming Congressional showdown over the President’s marvelous “Let’s not let the Iranians get nukes until  15 years from now when I’ll be long gone, assuming they don’t cheat and get them earlier which they almost certainly will” treaty with Iran, a jewel in the crown of his proud legacy.  The Congressman is so obsessed that he couldn’t stop himself from fear-mongering about the dangers of the agreement while doing a civics presentation at the San Tan Charter School. He also apparently was so passionate that he thought he was talking to teeny voters rather than  second and third-graders.
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Ethics Hero Emeritus: Aitziz Hasan (1997-2013)


Aitzaz Hasan, 15, was  standing with fellow students outside his school last week in Ibrahimzai, a region of Hangu in north-western Pakistan. They noticed a man approaching wearing a vest laden with explosives.  They knew what was about to happen. There were over 2000 children at the school,and Aitzaz told his friends that someone needed to stop the suicide bomber from getting close enough to harm them.

According to witnesses, Aitzaz approached the terrorist, confronted him, and tackled him to keep him from getting any closer.

The suicide bomber detonated his vest, killing himself and the brave boy.

This is by far the shortest biography of any of the Ethics Heroes enshrined here in the Ethics Alarms  Heroes Hall of Honor. It is far from the least impressive. This young man, whose life had barely begun, made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others. No one of any age should have to face the choice Aitzaz had; no one  should ever have to grow up under conditions that would impose such an ethical challenge on anyone. Yet when the crisis arose, this young man had the  courage and values to do what all nations honor soldiers and other heroes for doing to preserve civilization and human life through the centuries: he faced the challenge, put the lives of others before his own, fixed the problem, ended the threat, and died. Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “Penn State, the Child Molester and the Dark Side of Loyalty”

Newcomer Steven Ardler muses over a provocative question about the virtue loyalty in his Comment of the Day on“Penn State, the Child Molester and the Dark Side of Loyalty”:

“Out of curiosity: would you say that a better definition of Loyalty is needed? It seems to me that the dilemma can be partially resolved by claiming all Loyalty need be to “the good” rather than to a person/institution/nation (I put the term in quotations because I am conflicted as to its actual meaning).

“We choose people and institutions that we believe maximize the good and adhere to their policies and behaviors accordingly. When those people or institutions step away from the good, our “Loyalty” to them is revoked. In this case, nearly by definition, Loyalty will always be a virtue. Of course, a very simple counter to this idea will be the varying interpretations of “good.” Muslim suicide-bombers are, in their ethical consideration, maximizing good in the universe by doing Allah’s will (according to their interpretation of that will). A bishop in the Catholic church may *feel* as if he is maximizing good by not condemning his pederast brethren, as he serves what he thinks is the ultimate good – a god. A coach at Penn State may think that he is loyal to the good, by determining that the university accomplishes enough good to be worth preserving from scandal. All of these are very apparently flawed, but this type of reasoning would abound with a new definition of loyalty, nonetheless. I feel like a re-tuned definition of Loyalty *helps*, but certainly does not resolve the problem. Is there a way to define loyalty in which it is actually a virtue, and not just a description of a series of actions?”

CNN’s Ocatavia Nasr: Another Victim of Cognitive Dissonance

Octavia Nasr, a CNN editor and reporter for two decades, just got her walking papers for a 140-character tweet reading, “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” The problem is that this particular “giant” was an anti-American, anti-Israeli terrorist who advocated suicide bombings and who encouraged terrorist acts by Hezbollah. In an explanatory blog post that failed to save her job, Nasr blamed the limitations of Twitter, and explained that she didn’t really admire him, just his stance against the abuse of Muslim women.

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