Tag Archives: ethics

Tattling in America

     From time to time I have expressed my concerns for the future of the United States under the current administration.  I have often exaggerated, or at least I thought that I was exaggerating.

     Now the President wants people to tattle on their fellow citizens, if they say or write something “fishy” about the Democrats’ health insurance bill.  Senator John Cornyn of Texas has asked the President to explain what is going on

     What do you think about a President’s requesting people to send him private e-mail messages and other private communications?  Is it appropriate?  Is it constitutional?

     Have any of you turned me in for my recent blog post that criticized the health insurance bill?  What will happen to those who do get reported?  I wonder if I should be watching over my shoulder.  I wonder if I will find a dead snake in my mailbox or a horse’s head in my bed.  (Yes, I am being facetious!)

Rules Are Rules

     The rules of the Democratic Party were not handed down by God on Mt. Sinai; nevertheless, they are the rules that the party devised and adopted for themselves.  Integrity demands that they stick to their own rules.  It is always considered bad form to want to change the rules in the middle of a game, and when that game is the presidential election process, then it is not just bad form–it is highly unethical.

     The Democratic Party officials have already revisted the issue of the early primaries in Michigan and Florida, and they reached a compromise.  The delegates will get half a vote each.  According to their lawyers it was as far as they could go legally.  You see, as a legal organization they are required to follow their own duly enacted bylaws and rules.  They cannot just ignore their own rules without breaking the law.  Of course, as I said, the rules they adopted did not come straight down from heaven, so they can change them–for the next election.

     Barack Obama has asked the credentials committee to restore full voting privileges to those delegates.  He wants them to simply ignore the rules that his party set, and that he had agreed to himself prior to the primaries.  Shame on him.  And even more shame on him, because last May he specifically said that the states of Florida and Michigan should be penalized.  He had even proposed a plan whereby the votes in Michigan would simply be split 50-50 between Hillary Clinton and himself.  

     And yet its par for the course for Democrats.  Think about some of the other major issues we disagree on:

  •      Gun Control–The Democratic approach is to disregard the Second Amendent.
  •      Illegal Aliens–The Democratic approach is to ignore immigration laws.
  •      Religious Expression–The Democratic approach is to pretend that the First Amendment doesn’t exist.
  •      The Iraq War–The Democratic approach–in hindsight–is to allow Saddam Hussein to flout United Nations resolutions.
  •      The 2000 Election–The Democratic approach was to change the rules for counting ballots and to pretend that the electoral college was something that George Bush devised in order to “steal the election.” 

     At an even deeper level, this unwillingness to live within set guidelines is a function of the elitism that is rampant in the Democratic Party.  By virtue of their being politically correct and anointed (by themselves), certain Democrats feel that they are above written law.  They believe that laws and rules are written for kicks and should have no binding force–even when they helped write them themselves.  No need to legally change a law–just ignore it.  No need to amend the Constitution–just get a court to “interpret” it according to your personal preferences.   No need to stick to your party’s rules (unless it is politically expedient to do so).

  •  Background Information

Democratic Dilemma, Los Angeles Times

Nomination His, Obama Wants Full Recognition, Political Punch blog, ABC News

Moderation in All Things?

     Moderation has long been thought a positive approach to many things in life, but it is only good in certain aspects of life.  I think that we all agree that moderation should not be practiced in literally all things.

     When it comes to outward behavior that is not, in and of itself, immoral, moderation is usually the best policy.  We have to eat to live, but the Bible classifies gluttony as a sin.  I don’t find a total prohibition of drinking alcohol in the Bible, but there is a prohibition against getting drunk. 

     When it comes to moral or immoral behavior, however, moderation is a bad thing.  One should not steal moderately or murder moderately; one should simply not do either of those things at all.  One should not love one’s family moderately or respect the rights of other people moderately; one should do those things as freely and fully as possible.

     People claim that you can be moderate on the question of abortion.  Some of them say that they want to reduce the number of abortions while still allowing women the supposed right to choose.  That’s a strange position.  Why should you want to reduce the number of abortions, unless you realize that abortion is bad?  And if you realize that abortion is bad, then why don’t you want to eliminate the practice altogether?

     In what other arena do we say that something is wrong but should still be legal?  Do you hear anyone saying that we should reduce the number of murders or thefts but still allow people the right to choose to murder or to steal?  Do you hear people saying that they are “personally against” rape or fraud but support the rights of people to commit those acts if they so choose?

     If you want a moderate position on abortion, consider the approach that most conservatives take.  They are willing to exempt rape and incest victims, if it would mean that abortions for convenience would be banned.  Some are willing to accept, temporarily at least, abortions in the first trimester, if it would mean that partial-birth abortion and other late-term abortions would be banned.  Over and over, conservatives have been willing to accept a reduction in the number of abortions, but liberals insist on allowing women to choose to abort their babies for any reason at any time in their pregnancy.  If you challenge that assertion, tell me what legislation Democrats, as a group, have favored that would actually reduce the number of abortions, as many of them have said they want to do?

     Is the “liberal” position on abortion a moderate approach?  No, it is an extreme approach–and an extremely wrong one.

     Nobody has the right to do what is wrong.

What Basis for Outrage?

     My wife has felt terrible for the children caught up in the polygamy bust in West Texas.  After all they have been through, the children are now wards of the state and are being shipped off to foster homes.  How traumatic for them!  They had no say in these matters, and they must be awfully confused and must be missing their families terribly.

     My wife’s compassion for the children got me thinking about the case as a whole, and I wondered what basis there is for so much outrage at the practices of this religious group.

     How is their practice of polygamy that different from the epidemic of serial marriages in which children end up with multiple parents and step-parents?  In fact, you could make a case that in polygamy is better, because the family stays together rather than being torn apart in divorce.

     If we tacitly condone fornication, sodomy, and divorce, then why is polygamy so terrible?  I haven’t heard recently of kids being taken away from people who “live together” unless there is some other kind of abuse occurring.  I have never heard of kids being taken away because they live with one set of parents during the school week and with the other set of parents on the weekend.  I certainly haven’t heard recently of children being taken away from two men or two women who live together.

     And the only other outrageous thing I have heard about the kids in this cult is that the girls have been married almost as soon as they reach puberty.  I am horrified at this practice, but how can public officials condemn it, when they think that promoting birth control–and providing it–for preteens is a good thing?  If we encourage teenagers in mainstream society to have sex, and even offer abortion as a reasonable “choice” should the girl get pregnant, then how can we feign outrage about girls that age getting married and having families?

     Can anyone explain how we can justify all those other family styles, but not this one?  Can anyone give me a logically consistent basis for the outrage being expressed against this polygamous sect?

Terry Schiavo’s Brother

     What does Bobby Schindler, brother of Terry Schiavo, think of the presidential candidates?  He doesn’t appreciate the statments that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain have made about his sister.

     It seems that all three candidates care more about politics than about human life.  How did these three end up as our options for holding the highest office in the land?  How did America reach such depths?

     It is hard to believe that the life and death of a human being is now simply a political issue. It’s hard to believe that candidates would use a family’s heartache to boost their campaigns.

     For Bobby Schindler it’s not a political question.  It’s personal.  As it should be for all of us.

The NY Times and John McCain

     Clark Hoyt, the public editor or ombudsman for the New York Times, has concluded that important details were missing from their story about John McCain and Vicky Iseman.  Those missing details cast doubt on the veracity of part of the story.  His basic premise is that the times should not have brought up anything about a romatic relationship between McCain and Iseman without any evidence.  Sounds like basic journalistic integrity to me, not to mention basic human decency.

     Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Times, said that he was surpised that people took such strong exception to the story’s implication that McCain had an illicit romance.  Sure he was.  Just like I was surprised that people were outraged over Ann Coulter’s joke about going into rehab for calling somebody a f*g.

     I won’t allege that the smear of John McCain by the New York Times was done for political reasons.  They are, after all, a newspaper with a record of [inserting tongue in cheek] complete objectivity and unbiased reporting.  But even though I am not asserting that they purposely spread a rumor to hurt John McCain’s reputation, I can assert that the backlash from the story has been a boon for McCain’s campaign.  Apparently more donations came into his campaign fund the day after the dubitable story than in any previous 24-hour period.  Although McCain is not really my pick for president, I want to thank the New York Times very much for their unwitting (and unwilling?) support of a Republican.