Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

The Unexposed Ethics Outrage On The Edges Of The Trump Jr. Meeting Controversy

The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act  allows the U.S. President to impose visa sanctions and asset freezes on human rights abusers who kill, torture or violate the rights of human rights defenders, as well as government officials responsible for acts of significant corruption. The law and its various amendments that expanded its reach are at the heart of the sanctions currently being enforced against Russia. It was this law, and Russian efforts to blunt its force, that apparently was the real reason that Donald Trump Jr. was induced to meet with an indefinite number of Russians, Russian-Americans, and various individuals “connected” to the Russian government, the list of which is currently expanding like the roster of women allegedly raped by Bill Cosby.

The news media doesn’t seem to feel the Magnitsky Act is anything the public needs to know, perhaps because Donnie Jr. didn’t know much about it, if anything. The stories about his aborted meeting typically mention the Act briefly and without elaboration. They really don’t elaborate on Putin’s retaliation for the Act, which was to stop U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans. (I wrote about this indefensible conduct by Russia at the time, in 2012. The post had a grand total of eight comments. Five years was too long to wait for an update, and I’m sorry. Of course, we are supposed to have responsible and competent professional journalists to keep us informed. )Russia had been one of the primary sources of foreign adoptions by childless U.S. parents before 2012, when the Russian strong man retaliated against loving U.S. parents to show his annoyance with our government and his support of corruption at home.

It’s worse than that, though. The real victims of Putin’s retaliation are his nation’s own, innocent, most vulnerable children. There is virtually no domestic adoption in Russia, because parents can’t afford the children the have. There are lots of orphans though, because parents can give up infants they can’t care for, and the government is quick to remove children it believes are abused or neglected. Unfortunately, once these children are warehoused, there is no way out. The orphanages are underfunded and over-crowded. Once the children “age out,” they are sent to live in hospitals, clinics and other Russian institutions ill-equipped to care for them, and eventually dumped out into the street, where they often are abused or turn to crime. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Childhood and children, Family, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Love

As We Watch The Hillary Corrupted News Media Today Facilitate Her Campaign’s Furious And Desperate Attack On James Comey, Let Us Not Forget What The Real Threat To The Election’s Integrity Is…[UPDATED]


…and that would be the dangerous alliance between the party controlling in the White House and the organizations and individuals trusted by the public to fairly and objectively inform it sufficiently to make a responsible choice.

I’ll be covering the astounding wave of disinformation, distortions and unethical conduct by those who should know better in the ongoing effort to crucify James Comey in a bit. Meanwhile, another Wikileaks hack provides some more perspective on the perils to democracy posed by the Democratic Party’s and the Clinton organization’s belief that cheating is an acceptable way to obtain and keep power.

As Ethics Alarms pointed out, DNC Chair Donna Brazile melted into sputtering protests, denials and gibberish when confronted with the clear evidence, via a Wikileaks hacked e-mail, that she unethically used her position at CNN to pass along a question to Hillary Clinton in advance of a CNN town meeting, so Clinton could prepare an answer in advance (and pretend that she had no prior knowledge of the question. This kind of lie, and it is a lie, never makes it onto the lists when Hillary enablers claim that Trump lies more than she does.) She would never do that!, Donna postured.

Another e-mail, from the same source, shows that this too was a lie.

In the latest revelation, Brazile, still working for CNN and bound by journalism ethics, told Hillary what question was on the way, and identified the questioner:


“Rigging,” anyone? Continue reading


Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Rights, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump

Hillary, Her Minions, And Scooby-Doo

Former DNC chair Howard Dean just reinforced his prominent position among the ten most loathsome figures in modern politics with this tweet regarding James Comey’s revelation that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of her official communications via e-mail was being re-opened:


Dean’s meaning: since Russian hacks of  various e-mail accounts have provided ugly and often sinister evidence of the corrupt attitudes and practices of Hillary Clinton and her campaign, Comey’s required notification of Congress—required, mind you, by basic ethical principles and the rules of the legal profession—makes him a wrongdoer on par with those fueling Wikileaks. After all, without them, Hillary and her minions—including the outrageously complicit news media—would have succeeded in fooling all of the people all of the time. Yes, Comey, damn him, is now “on the same side” as Putin, because he is stripping away Clinton’s facade of trustworthiness.

Even before yesterday’s surprise announcement, the Democratic defense was in place that because Russia was attempting to influence the US election by revealing the filthy underside of Clinton, Inc., including, among other things…

….the inappropriate melding of Sate Department business, pay-to-play incentives, Clinton foundation fundraising and family enrichment

….discussions among aides on how to cover-up Hillary’s e-mail misadventures

….private speeches to Wall Street contradicting her public, anti-Wall street rhetoric, and most disturbing of all,

….collusion by journalists to assist the campaign

….such enlightening evidence should be ignored. This, those well-versed in the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list will recognize, is   Rationalization #55, The Scooby Doo Deflection, or “I should have gotten away with it!,” in practice. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture

Update: “Ethics Quiz: Photojournalism And The President’s Meaningful, Meaningless Bowed Head”


Putin and obama2

Last weekend’s Ethics Quiz involving the photojournalism ethics of publishing a photo appearing to show President Obama in a submissive or shamed posture as Vladmir Putin passed was handicapped by the mysterious unavailability of the photo in question, which the Washington Post published at least twice but has not made available on-line, even to accompany letters criticizing it. Well, the Post published the photo, in its print edition, yet again today and still I cannot track it down on the Post website. One reason appears to be that it comes from a Russian news agency.

I have found the version above, however, taken by the same photographer a split second after the one in question. In this one, Putin has just passed the President; in the photo the Post used, he was just about to pass him. The expression and postures of everyone in the two photos are the same.

You may want to reconsider the post “Ethics Quiz: Photojournalism And The President’s Meaningful, Meaningless Bowed Head”with it, rather than what I used last week, in mind.

(And why didn’t anyone tell me that the “a” and the “l” in “photojournalism” were transposed in the headline?)



Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Quotes, The Internet

Ethics Quiz: Photojournalism And The President’s Meaningful, Meaningless Bowed Head

Putin and Obama

I am looking at a black and white AP photograph re-published from the Washington Post’s front page on September 7. It is similar to the one above, taken seconds before it, and from straight on rather than an angle. That photo, like the one above, shows Vladamir Putin, joining the other attendees at last week’s Group of 20 summit for their formal group photo, but in the one I am looking at Putin is striding across the group to the end of the line, eyes forward, as the rest look on. President Obama alone is standing head bowed as Putin passed, while the other leaders look forward. Unlike the photo above, Obama’s bowed head appears to be in reaction to Putin, but not an effort to listen to something the Russian leader is saying or has said, which is how I would interpret the photo above. The photo above seems relaxed and collegial; the one I am looking at depicts tension. [UPDATE 9/21: A much closer version of the photo is question can be seen here.]

That photograph prompted these criticisms from two Post readers over the weekend.

Mary-Anne Enoch wrote in part…

“I was upset by the photo chosen for the Sept. 7 front page, showing the assembly of the Group of 20 leaders for their traditional “family photograph.”
In that photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin is confidently striding across a stage while others are smiling and probably paying no attention to him. Except for President Obama: In sharp contrast to the rest, he appears to be subservient, shrunken and diminished. His stance reminded me of Forest Whitaker’s portrayal of a long-serving White House butler in a recent movie….it is outrageous that The Post should have selected [ the photo] to accompany an article on the very important and delicate negotiations involving the United States, Russia and Syria.”

Reader Charlotte Stokes had a similar reaction:

“Surely, the wire-service photographer took dozens of pictures, including at least one when the Group of 20 leaders formally posed. So why did The Post choose this one to grace the front page? The photo presented our president in a less-than-honorable light. Given the challenges he faces internationally, why cast doubt on his abilities by sending subliminal messages of this kind?”

[I recognize that it would be better if you could see the actual photo rather than read my description of it accompanied by one that is similar but not quite the same. Interestingly, the Post appears to have purged the picture I am writing about from its website: it does not even use it to accompany the letters about the photo, which it normally would, and which good practice would demand. The photo above, which was widely used by other sources, is the closest I could find, other than the print version that was in my Post on Saturday. If someone can find the actual photo and send me the link, I’d be very grateful.]

Here is your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz to kick off what promises to be an ethically alarming week, on the always tricky topic of photojournalism:

Was it unethical for the Post have prominently run a photograph that presented President Obama in an unfavorable, arguably subservient or weak posture? Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Government & Politics, Leadership, Professions, Quizzes

The Ethics Of Amateur World Leadership

Student Driver

The only rational way for any American to respond to the absurd and unprecedented bungling by President Obama and his tight circle of incompetents is sheer terror. If this was the level of care, seriousness, responsibility and professionalism employed by—oh, pick one; let’s say President Kennedy and his all-star advisors during the desperate efforts to avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we might all be cockroaches today. That this particular series of inept maneuvers, verbal gaffes and brain-numbing rationalizations may not be the one that sinks the United States like Titanic Jr  should not be the cause of cheering by anyone. We are stuck with this, because the news media of the United States conspired with well-meaning ideologues to place the fate of the nation in the hands of an arrogant amateur without even the ability to realize how little he knows what he is doing. Now we are awaiting what must be the most surreal Presidential speech in U.S. history—or at least we can hope it is—by a leader who has only one skill, and is once again relying on it to bail him out of a mess of his own making. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Character, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Leadership

Evil Empire Ethics: Stand Up For The Crooks By Sacrificing The Children

Putin's pawns

Putin’s pawns

Stalin would be proud.

Today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill barring  Americans from adopting Russian children. The objective of the bill had absolutely nothing to do with American adoptions, both Russian and American analysts agree. The law is retaliation for various American measures that punished or embarrassed Russia for various human rights violations.  One of these was the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which mandated  financial and visa sanctions on corrupt Russian officials linked to the arrest and imprisonment of Magnitsky, a lawyer who discovered a $230 million tax fraud and was then arrested by the same police officers he had accused of the fraud. He was sentenced to prison and died there in 2009.

The adoption ban is itself a human rights violation. Continue reading


Filed under Around the World, Family, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement