Ethical Line Crossed


No need to ask The Ethicist, Chuck Klosterman, about the following scenario.  It just screams wrong from all directions.

At a public meeting a number of people were dialoging about common concerns.  One of the participants voiced ideas and opinions in a manner that perhaps was more robust and spirited than others.  It was then someone, without a microphone and admittedly using an ‘in-door voice’ let it be known to those close by that the person “was seen coming out of a psychiatrist office”.   It was offered in the same way that one might ask if you want extra cheese on your pizza.  In other words it seemed that adding that detail for others to mull over was no big deal.

I was one of those to hear this statement and was floored.   I did not comment back, as I was not looking to roil the waters and start a separate conversation, or embroider an already out of the ballpark remark.

What was being inferred however was the tone and manner that the participant made comments on a topic at the meeting was in some way due to a deeper problem that needed professional help.    There could be no way that someone might actually be quite energized over an issue, right?  How pathetic.

The fact someone is seen exiting a place of business can mean they were simply delivering flowers to a relative that works there, or dropping of a resume, or a multitude of other plausible reasons.  I might also add that if someone is needing the services of a psychiatrist it should not be seen as a weakness, but a sign of strength.   Seeking mental help is no different than having a specialist set a broken bone.  And in 2013 it should not be the topic of snide comments!

While I am never one to have qualms about talking politics or religion I know there are ethical lines that should not be crossed in polite conversation.

Governor Scott Walker Miffed At Mitt Romney In New Book

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has written a book where he challenges Mitt Romney in how the 2012 presidential campaign was run.

I am most confident that Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge is more a presidential candidate’s wishful thinking than any great political story-telling.  After all if Walker writes likes he talks a reader will need a strong mug of coffee to make it through the chapters.  No one who thinks Romney lacked power as a political speaker can claim Walker is a spell-binding orator on the stump.

Walker recounts an email he sent to Romney voicing his frustrations during  the presidential campaign. He said he urged Romney to show more passion, get out  from behind the podium and connect directly with voters “like you did to the  Olympic athletes” when Romney oversaw the 2002 Winter Olympics. Walker said he  got no response.

Walker writes that Republicans in 2012 didn’t run on their principles and did  a “lousy job of presenting a positive vision of free market solutions to our  nation’s problems in a way that is relevant to people’s lives.”

Walker seems miffed that he never got a response from an email he sent Romney offering advice during the campaign.  Lets at least give Romney credit for being able to get separate the nuts from the bolts.

It seems to me harsh that Walker would in any way now offer snide comments about Romney when it was Walker himself who offered high praise to the nominee at the Republican National Convention.  Walker even praised Romney for passion.

Walker said Romney’s decision to pick Janesville Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate showed that Romney had the “courage and passion to be an exceptional president.”

I guess Potomac Fever has a way of allowing politicians to have selective memories.

What The Tea Party Has Cost The U.S. Economy


There has been a continuing argument about the economic damage that across-the board spending cuts have has in this country.  The mindless cutting of government spending without regard to what is being cut, or how much harm is occurring means little to those who have no regard for government, and little education or background to be making such decisions.

Discretionary spending (i.e., spending excluding transfer payments and interest) will fall even more in the decades ahead if the laws that the Tea Party helped get on the books stay there. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current law, by 2038 total spending on everything other than the major health-care programs, Social Security, and interest will decline to the smallest share of the economy since the 1930s.

Ronald Reagan had nothing on today’s Tea Party when it comes to shrinking the parts of government that require annual appropriations by Congress. “That part of the budget has been cut very significantly, I think more than anyone would have expected or would have thought even was possible before the 2010 elections,” says Ed Lorenzen, executive director of the Moment of Truth Project, which was launched by would-be budget cutters Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Tea Partiers like to see themselves as underdogs in a war against profligate spending. But the truth is they’ve already won.

That victory, however, has come at a high price. The Tea Party pushed for heavy spending cuts when the economy was weak, needlessly depressing output and keeping the unemployment rate high. The International Monetary Fund, which supports long-run deficit reduction, declared in June that the U.S. program was “excessively rapid and ill-designed.” It nearly tipped the economy into recession, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics (MCO). The Congressional Budget Office estimated in September that waiving spending caps now would create about 800,000 jobs by the end of 2014.

Saudi Arabia Rejects U.N. Security Council Seat

The most interesting news story of the day.

Saudi Arabia on Friday rejected its freshly-acquired seat on the U.N. Security Council, saying the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts such as the Syrian civil war.

The move came just hours after the kingdom was elected as one of the Council’s 10 nonpermanent members on Thursday night. It also followed another gesture of displeasure from the kingdom in which Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal declined to address the General Assembly meeting last month.

The Saudi discontent stems from its frustration with longtime ally United States. The two are at odds over a number of Mideast issues, including how Washington has handled some of the region’s crises, particularly in Egypt and Syria. It also comes as ties between the U.S. and Iran, the Saudi’s regional foe, appear to be improving following a recent telephone conversation between President Barack Obama and Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the Foreign Ministry said Friday the Security Council has failed in its duties toward Syria.