Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Special offer on ethics seminars, and on The Ethics Challenge

March 8, 2013

Jiminy1) I’ll visit your workplace or school and do a pro bono seminar on either

  • The Ethics Challenge: Essential Skills for Leading and Living, or
  •  The ABCs of Ethical Leadership

If the seminar is out of the LA commuting area I’ll ask you to cover my reasonable expenses.

2) Alternatively (or in addition), you can buy my latest book(co-authored with Mick Ukleja) in hard cover for only $10, with free shipping.

Here are the details on the offers:

Seminars: email me at bobstone17@gmail.com to make arrangements, for (more…)

Penn State: do the sanctions punish the innocent?

July 24, 2012

 

The ESPN telecast showed student reaction (photo) on a split screen as NCAA President Mark Emmert ticked off one harsh penalty after another against Penn State’s football team. Clearly these horrified Penn State students were being punished for the sins of the formerly sainted coach, the university president, and other senior members of the administration. Their future autumn Saturdays, their social lives, and their pride in their university were being stripped from them.

Accountability for wrongdoing often brings down the innocent along with the guilty. Think about the workers at Enron, Arthur Anderson, or MCI-Worldcom, who lost their jobs when their bosses’ malfeasance destroyed their companies. Or think about innocent children of illegal immigrants who are wrenched away from their world when their parents are deported.

Is it all right to punish the innocent? First, there is no way of punishing the guilty without harming people close to, or dependent on them. Even a mass murderer–when he is sent away his mother suffers along with him. When Al Qaeda militants are killed, their family members often die with them.

Still we mustn’t be blasé about collateral damage to innocents. It was painful to watch the students as their innocent college years were stripped of top-quality football. But in a sense they’re not innocent. They share a nation-wide belief that football is more (more…)

Special offer on ethics seminars, and on The Ethics Challenge

July 13, 2012


1) I’ll visit your workplace or school and do a pro bono seminar on either

  • The Ethics Challenge: Essential Skills for Leading and Living, or
  •  The ABCs of Ethical Leadership

If the seminar is out of the LA commuting area I’ll ask you to cover my reasonable expenses.

2) Alternatively (or in addition), you can buy my latest book (co-authored with Mick Ukleja) in hard cover for only $10, with free shipping.

Here are the details on the offers: (more…)

Rose Bowl, BCS Bowl, Ethics Bowl

December 8, 2011

The bowl season is shaping up well for fans of ethical football, as Les Miles’s LSU Tigers head for the BCS championship at the Sugar Bowl, and Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks go to the Rose Bowl. But my favorite is the Ethics Bowl, where the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs  defeated the Cal State Chico Wildcats Saturday in the West Regionals to go to the National Finals in Cincinnati  on March 1.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is a team competition that tests the skill of undergrads in analyzing and describing ethical dilemmas. I was privileged to serve as a judge, and see the enthusiasm and determination that students from eight California colleges showed for dealing with ethics.

The students were all volunteers, motivated not by course credit but by their interest in the ethical life. They put in a huge effort to research the fourteen cases used in the competition, and backed up their conclusions with facts and theory.

At a time when so many adults are behaving unethically and so many college competitions are marred by cheating and unsportsmanlike conduct, it’s a joy to see so many millennials working so hard to rise to the challenge of ethics.

University police brutalize peaceful protestors at UC Davis; do students bear some responsibility?

November 22, 2011

The video is chilling: a police officer walking along a line of students seated with arms linked, spraying them with pepper spray like one would spray a windowsill for mosquitoes. But these were people, huddling, screaming, non-threatening.

Pepper spray, also known as OC spray (from “Oleoresin Capsicum”), OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness) that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defence, including defence against dogs and bears.[1] [2] Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits persons using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape.

Although considered a less-than-lethal agent, it may be deadly in rare cases, and concerns have been raised about a number of deaths where being pepper sprayed may have been a contributing factor.[3] [from Wikipedia]

One should be very careful to second-guess police use of force when they are threatened, or when they are dealing with violent people, but there was nowhere near an excuse for the UC Davis police to attack the protesting students.

The two cops who sprayed the students should face criminal charges, and Linda P.B. Katehi, the hapless chancellor of the Davis campus of the University of California, should be fired for (more…)

A high school ethics lesson from President Obama

September 29, 2011

President Obama focused on ethics in his annual back-to-school speech today at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington. It’s worth thinking about what he had to say about ethics:

Now, if you promise not to tell anybody, I will let you in on a little secret: I was not always the very best student that I could be when I was in high school, and certainly not when I was in middle school. I did not love every class I took. I wasn’t always paying attention the way I should have. I remember when I was in 8th grade I had to take a class called ethics. Now, ethics is about right and wrong, but if you’d ask me what my favorite subject was back in 8th grade, it was basketball. I don’t think ethics would have made it on the list.

But here’s the interesting thing. I still remember that ethics class, all these years later. I remember the way it made me think. I remember being asked questions like: What matters in life? Or, what does it mean to treat other people with dignity and respect? What does it mean to live in a diverse nation, where not everybody looks like you do, or thinks like you do, or (more…)

We shouldn’t be “Waiting for Superman” to fix America’s failing public schools

June 16, 2011

America’s public schools are the engine of America’s greatness. From the 1880s on they turned a flood of children of immigrants—most of them poor, illiterate, and speaking no English—into patriotic successful citizens, prepared for college or for a productive life without college. They laid the foundation for America’s productive might, innovative genius and entrepreneurial spirit.

Now they are failing. Big time. In Los Angeles, for example, only half of the students graduate, and of those who do, fewer that 30 per cent are ready for college, according to Los Angeles mayor Anthony Villaraigosa’s op-ed piece in today’s Los Angeles Times. And the story is similar all over America. In our cities it seems that the thing the schools are best at is preparing boys for prison and girls for single motherhood.

Last night I saw a wonderful documentary, Waiting for Superman.  It documents not just the schools’ failure but also the kids’ ability to learn—to excel—when given good teaching. The movie makes vivid the burning of poor, uneducated parents to give their children a better chance, the conviction of some reformers and philanthropists that things could be better, and the cost in dollars and ruined lives of bad teachers.

The movie will stoke your anger at all the people who are allowing this tragedy to continue, and at the politicians who could do something and who don’t.

Watch the trailer.

Fire the Wisconsin schoolteachers who lie to their employers and harm the children they are supposed to teach

February 21, 2011

 

Revolution in the air in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, and…Wisconsin? The Wisconsin brouhaha, unlike the others, seems not to have any good guys: EthicsAlarms.com does its usual good job of fairly laying out the good and bad, the credit and the blame. Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the runaway Democratic senators, the public employee unions, and the teachers all have some right and some wrong about their positions. Except the teachers, whose behavior is totally reprehensible.

Thousands of Wisconsin teachers, prohibited from striking by state law, falsely claimed to be sick and took days off to demonstrate in the state capital. They scored a twofer, both neglecting their young charges and setting an example that lying to your employer in your own self interest is acceptable.

Public servants are under fire all over the US in this time of budget crises. The Wisconsin teachers by their dishonest and irresponsible behavior seem to confirm the worst stereotypes about public employees.

When the Boston police went out on strike in 1919, Gov. Calvin Coolidge stood by his commissioner who fired the strikers, famously announcing, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.” When America’s air traffic controllers broke the law prohibiting strikes by federal workers in 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 who had refused to return to work.

Coolidge and Reagan showed backbone and the public embraced their actions. Time for the Wisconsin school boards to show their backbone and fire the teachers who lie to their employers and harm the children they are supposed to teach.

 

Shame on Morning Joe for encouraging obesity

May 26, 2010

My favorite TV program is MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The hosts are conservative ex-Congressman Joe Scarborough, liberal television journalist Mika Brzezinski, and humorist/sports fan Willie Geist. While their politics are very different, they are intelligent and good natured as they talk about the world. They have interesting and nice guests—the kind of people you’d enjoy having over for dinner.

So I was disappointed Wednesday morning when, after Mika introduced a report by NBC reporter George Lewis on the threat to public health posed by super-sized restaurant meals, Joe and Willie and guest Mike Barnicle started clowning and joking about how great it was to eat huge meals at the restaurants identified by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as contributing to America’s epidemic of obesity.

CSPI cited P. F. Chang’s double pan fried noodle combo (1820 calories), California Pizza Kitchen’s tostada pizza with grilled steak (1680 calories), and the king of the gorge plates, Cheesecake Factory’s pasta carbonara with chicken, weighing in at 2500 calories and 85 grams of saturated fat. That’s 250 more calories than the Mayo Clinic recommends for an average fairly active man in an entire day. Clearly such meals consumed regularly are deadly. No joke. Not funny, Joe. (more…)

Sad time for Trojan fans. Does USC stand for Unequalled Sports Cheaters?

May 25, 2010

What a joy it was to watch USC football. The lightning-speed acrobatics of Reggie Bush. The instinctive pursuit of Brian Cushing. The hard hitting of Kevin Ellison. The exuberance of Pete Carroll. The elusiveness ­­­of Joe McKnight. So maybe the basketball program was corrupt, what with the underhanded payments to O. J. Mayo, the sneaking out of town by coach Tim Floyd, and the forfeiting of an entire season. Not good, but Trojan football! There was something to believe in.

Yes, there was the repeated taunting, showing off, and poor sportsmanship . There was the rub it in last minute touchdown pass en route to a pasting of UCLA. There was the suspicious ownership of a new car driven by Joe McKnight. But we never believed the charges of illegal payments to Reggie Bush’s parents, charges made by unsavory characters against All-American Reggie.

Now we’re rethinking the Bush situation, now that Brian Cushing, star linebacker for the Trojans before becoming the NFL defensive rookie of the year, was suspended for 2010’s first four games for using banned “performance-enhancing substances.” And now that former Trojan safety Kevin Ellison has been pulled over for speeding in a school zone, then arrested for possession of 100 Vicodin tablets. With so much wrongdoing involving Trojan footballers, why not believe Saint Reggie was corrupt too. Especially with USC’s (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers