WHAT??? Now It’s Sexist Not To Like Hillary’s Speaking Style?

mad hillary

Washington Post Democratic-shill-masquerading-as-a-journalist Dana Milbank is trying a new tact: if you think Hillary is a lousy campaigner, you’re a sexist. In fact, he came this close to saying that there’s “a special place in hell” for anyone who doesn’t find Hillary Clinton a treat for the eyes and ears.

Of course, he began his column–it is called “The sexist double standards hurting Hillary Clinton”— with a statement designed to make me break some teeth: “Much of Hillary Clinton’s difficulty in this campaign stems from a single, unalterable fact: She is a woman.” No, almost all of of Hillary Clinton’s difficulty in this campaign stems from a single, unalterable fact: She is an untrustworthy liar who can’t stop lying.

Never mind quibbling over that. Here is Dana’s argument in brief:

“The criticism is the same as in 2008: She doesn’t connect. She isn’t likeable. She doesn’t inspire. She seems shrill. “She shouts,” Bob Woodward said on MSNBC this month, also suggesting she “get off this screaming stuff.” Joe Scarborough, the host, agreed: “Has nobody told her that the microphone works?”…That’s not about Clinton; it’s about us. “It is a subtle kind of sexism that exists that we don’t recognize,” said Newton-Small, who literally wrote the book on the matter… “When women raise their voices, people tend to get their hackles up. People I talk to at Clinton events put her in a maternal role: Why is she screaming at me? Am I in trouble?”

Wrong. In fact, laughably wrong. In fact, political-correctness mongering in the First Degree. Clinton is engaged in  fields, advocacy, politics and leadership, where effective communication skills and tools are essential, and her job, indeed, is to communicate in ways that her intended audience finds persuasive and easy to listen to. She can’t say, as Milbank tries to on her behalf, “Enjoy or you’re oppressing me!” Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Month: NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter

You tell it like it is, Chris!

You tell it like it is, Chris!

“Y’all not all going to do the right stuff, I got to teach y’all how to get around all this stuff, too. If you going to have a crew, one of those fools got to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out. If you going to have a crew, make sure they understand can’t nothing happen to you. Your name can’t be in lights, under no circumstances…In case y’all not going to decide to do the right thing, if y’all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew.” 

—NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter, speaking to first year NFL players in a 2014 league-sponsored rookie symposium to help them “adapt to professional football.” His advice was then echoed by fellow Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

That the NFL’s retired role models and immortals were–Have been? Still are?—giving out such toxic and unethical “wisdom” under the league’s auspices went unnoticed until a recently retired player,the 49ers’ Chris Borland who quit after just one season because he feared brain damage, referenced Carter’s speech on ESPN. Not only did the NFL’s speakers instruct its rookies to make sure they have a designated “fall guy” if they decide to break the law, it had Carter’s speech on its website all this time.

Now it’s all about damage control, of course. ESPN, which currently employs this ethics-challenged “sportsman” as an analyst, said in a statement… Continue reading

Ethics Poll: Target Practice For The North Miami Police

mug shot targets

From the BBC:

[P]olice officers have been…using mug shots of black suspects for target practice in Florida. The images used by North Miami Beach Police were discovered by a female soldier who used the firing range after a police training session…Police Chief J Scott Dennis said that his officers had used poor judgment but denied racial profiling.He told NBC that using real suspect images was an important part of training for his sniper team and that his officers had not violated any policies.

“There is no discipline forthcoming from the individuals who were involved with this,” he said.

A police spokeswoman added on Friday that officers use targets of all races and genders in their training sessions.

Embarrassing. A public relations nightmare for the department. But was using the mugshots unethical? Why?

Let’s vote:


Comment of the Day: “Mid-EthicsTrainwreck Observations On Ferguson”

China Protest

How much fire power should a democracy’s police forces have at their disposal? Is the trend toward militarization in urban police departments an inherent threat to our liberty? These are interesting topics, and issues with public policy as well as ethical implications, brought to our attention by the armored vehicles we have seen prowling through the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

I confess to neglecting these matters on Ethics Alarms, in part because the question of whether a police officer justly and legally shot (six times) and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown has been muddled by too many other considerations already. As a result, I haven’t given the issues much quality thought, other than my usual fascination at the ability of some committed libertarians to take a position dictated by their ideology without being troubled by the obvious practical problems associated with that position, a proclivity I would file under the heading of “Irresponsible.” Also, “Strange.” How can someone advocate virtually unregulated access to increasingly powerful weaponry by citizens—including criminals—and oppose sufficient arms in the hands of the police to protect the public from a misuse of that weaponry? Libertarians (and others) maintain that a prime purpose of the Second Amendment  is to prevent the government from disarming  citizens to dominate and control them. Agreed. But the unfettered freedom of law-abiding citizens to acquire the weapons they feel are necessary for whatever lawful purpose they choose will also result in the same weapons being available to those with less savory objectives in mind. I understand that the opposition to a police force armed to the teeth springs from either a distrust of government generally (libertarians and anarchists) or police specifically , especially by a segment of the population, African-Americans, who are otherwise favorably inclined toward a large, intrusive government—a contradiction as striking as that offered by the libertarian position, but understandable for those who live under the threatening authority of the Killer Klown act known as the Ferguson Police Department.

Fortunately, texagg04, a distinguished Ethics Alarms regular, has been inspired to delve into some of these questions, and others, in a superb post, the Comment of the Day, on the essay Mid-EthicsTrain Wreck Observations On Ferguson. Here it is: Continue reading

When Ethics Alarms Fail: The (Almost Deadly) Return Of “Johnny”


In “Airplane!,” the late Stephen Stucker created an iconic comic character as the chaotic “Johnny,” a deranged but relentlessly cheery air traffic control employee who treated the life-and death emergency of an endangered airliner as an opportunity to pull practical jokes, like pulling a plug to shut off all the runway lights just as the plane was making its desperate approach with a volunteer pilot at the helm. “Just kidding!” he says. This week, we learned that Johnny, or at least his copycat, was alive and well. An air traffic controller at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport instructed the pilot of Delta Flight 630, just over 1,000 feet off the ground and preparing to land, to abort the landing and circle the airport. Seconds later, Johnny II said, “I’m kidding, Delta 630. After you land, I’ve got no one behind you. Expect to exit right.” Continue reading

The Thugs, The Talk Show Host, And The Obamacare Operator: An Ethics Drama

Sean and Earline

Sean and Earline

Here is what happened.

Conservative radio talk show host Sean Hannity called the Affordable Care Act 800 “Hotline” to determine what information was being disseminated there. After all, the news media, without calling the line, was misinforming the public about what awaited them: CNN Headline News’s cheery morning host Robin Meade, for example, said, “They don’t have to use the website to enroll, right? Now they can do it over the phone?” Wrong.

He called, and this transpired, as described by Mediaite (you can also hear the call at the link):

“After President Obama gave out the phone number for the official Obamacare registration hotline Monday morning, radio host Sean Hannity called in to speak with a human representative… Eventually, he made his way to a help line with a female operator named “Earline Davis.” Hannity proceeded to ask Earline questions about the difficulties experienced on HealthCare.gov, prompting her to explain that many people have called to vent their frustrations and that all she can tell them is that the site will likely experience difficulties for the next 42 hours. The radio host also asked the woman the particulars of her job: When did she begin working on Obamacare calls, how long she trained for answering calls, and whether her bosses have told her what to say when asked about the “glitchy” website. Hannity even managed to convince the woman to read the “script” aloud on the radio:

“Thanks for your interest in the health insurance marketplace. We are having a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. This is causing some glitches for some people trying to create an account or log in. Keep trying and thanks for your patience. You might have better success during off-peak hours like later at night or early in the morning. We’ll continue working to improve the site so you can get covered.”

“And that’s the whole thing? So you went through a whole week of training so you can do that?” Hannity asked before attempting to cut her off, perhaps sensing the sensitivities involved with such a question. He then asked her questions for which she clearly had no answers: “Did you know how much the government spent on that website?” “Isn’t that crazy?” “Did you know the president promised the average family was going to save $2,500 dollars, and the average increase is $7,500 a year?” Hannity complimented for the operator for being so polite and kind, but also asked her questions that could possibly put her job on the line: “Have you ever gotten anyone who really likes it yet?” he asked at another point. “Um, not really,” she admitted, sending the radio host into a fit of laughter.

The conversation later switched to small talk about her residence in Panama City, Fla. , the weather in Florida versus New York, her non-registered voting status, and her lack of knowledge about Fox News or any major right-wing talk radio hosts.”

She was fired.

Hannity then had Davis on his radio and Fox TV shows, where she said she was fired for talking to the news media, though she had never been told that she was prohibited from doings so.  Hannity announced that he would pay her salary for the year and also help her find another job.

Now some ethics questions and answers about the incident: Continue reading

Now THAT’S An Untrustworthy Legal Secretary!


"Hey! That's Barbara! See you at wok, Monday, Barbara!"

“Hey! That’s Barbara! See you at work, Monday, Barbara!”

The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that Barbara Kalpin, a former legal secretary at the Waterbury law firm of Grady & Riley,  has been charged with stealing more than $1 million while forging dozens of checks and documents.

She was, the story says, “a longtime and trusted employee at the firm.” It seems the firm’s trust was misplaced.  Investigators have discovered that she spent about $500,000 over the last few years at an off-track betting venue in New Haven for horse and dog racing. According to police, she wrote 93 checks from a client fund that she managed, among other things using the money to pay credit card bills and to finance multiple mortgages on her home. Kalpin is facing two counts of first-degree larceny and 112 counts of second-degree forgery, and is awaiting arraignment next week.

Connecticut’s bar, like every that of every other state, imposes a strict obligation on attorneys to supervise non-lawyers who are placed in positions of assisting in legal work and the handling of client matters: Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Grand Hotel Dallas

This is how it is done: the perfect way to handle organizational misconduct.

hotellobbysignConsumerist blew the whistle on the Grand Hotel in Dallas for blatantly attempting to bribe patrons into posting  favorable reviews of their stays there online. A reader had alerted the consumer hawk website to a sign displayed in the hotel’s lobby offering $3 to $5 to guests who wrote raves on travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, and others. The sign required “immediate proof of review,” said the bribe amount would vary according to the number of websites that posted it, and noted that all must be “positive, favorable” reviews” approved by mgmt.”

The web site soon learned that the whole scheme had never been “approved by mgmt.” The hotel’s representative sent this e-mail to Consumerist: Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Mixing Math and Black Humor

[Yesterday I was en route to Las Vegas for a speaking engagement—actually one of my rock classic parodies musical legal ethics seminars with rock singer and guitarist Mike Messer—and essentially went from 7 hour trip to hotel to restaurant to bed last night, then to an all day session today. I’ll catch up: I’m not ignoring comments, just haven’t had the chance to read them.]

"If Bugs Moran has 276 gangsters, and Al Capone's men massacre 7 every Valentines day beginning in 1929, how many gangsters will he have left today?" Hey, math is fun!

At the Trinidad Center City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., third graders have been given math problems like this…

  • “Tilda Tiger had many hungry children to feed on Thanksgiving Day. She caught 169 Africans, 526 Americans and 196 Indians. She then put the people equally into 9 enormous ovens to bake. How many desperate people were in each oven?” Not to mention…
  • “When I was sleeping in a forest last night, 2555 fire ants crawled up my nose and built a nest in my brain. I woke up screaming the next morning. My distraught mother rushed me to hospital for an emergency operation. The doctor was able to kill 1953 fire ants. The remaining ants in my brain formed themselves into 7 equal-sized groups and fled to 7 different organs in my body, one being my stomach. a) How many fire ants escaped? b) How many ants fled to my stomach?” As well as… Continue reading

The Raymond Jefferson Mystery: Isn’t There Ethics Training for Obama Administration Officials?


Raymond Jefferson's government ethics tool box

Based on the sorry Raymond Jefferson scandal, I would assume that the answer to that question is: “What’s ethics training?” Sure, there are reams and reams of government ethics regulations; I’ve read a lot of them. Apparently there is no one making sure that high-ranking officials have read them or understand them, however.

Jefferson, the Assistant Secretary of the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service appointed by President Obama to oversee a job-training program for veterans, has resigned following an inspector general’s finding that he violated federal procurement rules and ethics principles by fast-tracking lucrative consulting contracts to his friends. Jefferson, says the report from the Labor Department’s inspector general, engaged in “a pattern of conduct . . . which reflects a consistent disregard of federal procurement regulations, federal ethics rules and the proper stewardship of appropriated dollars.” Continue reading