Latest "ethics" Posts

Sexual Harassment: It is Time to Outsource Congressional Ethics

It is very easy to turn this blog into a political debate. Republicans will point fingers at Democrats and visa-versa. This is not a time to debate sexual harassment in the congressional workplace. This is a time to determine why sexual harassment has risen to the forefront in congressional discussions.

Theoretically members of congress, the men and women we elect to represent us, should uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior. They are not upholding those standards. At the exact time of this writing, Thanksgiving 2017, Sen. Al Franken, Rep. John Conyers, another member of congress accused of sexual harassment has just been identified by Rep. Linda Sanchez. Then there is nominee Roy Moore and apparently, some comments have been made in regard to Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Joe Biden has been dragged into the allegations as well.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Bad Ethics: Woman Steals a Million from Her Employer

There is a famous line from an Ernest Hemingway novel where one character asks a formerly rich man, “How did you lose your fortune?” Said the formerly rich man, “First, a little at a time, then all at once.” Bad ethics and poor choices can often work in the same way especially when it comes to fraud and theft.

The opportunity to steal may be there and at first an unethical person who feels he or she has the need to steal might dip their toe in the water to see if anyone notices, then it will get a little more bold with each occurrence.  This is the foundation of bad ethics.  At some point, the unethical person may get in so deep that repayment or reconsideration seems almost pointless. In fact, the unethical person may construct all kinds of justifications that are almost absurd in their logic. For example, “He’s such a rich so and so, he deserves to get some of it taken from him.”  Bad ethics almost always ends with distorted rationalizations.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics and tagged , , ,

The Strange Ethics of Airline Security

It has happened yet again. Airline security has been breached, and it had nothing to do with the passengers. The latest case of a security breakdown has occurred overseas to an airline called JetStar.

The airline worker was caught on video as he was opening passenger bags in the luggage holds of an airliner that was about to depart. He was stealing the contents. The airline upon seeing the video vowed a full investigation.  This is airline security gone wrong – clearly an ethics breach.  A spokesperson said in part:

“We have launched an immediate investigation and will work with Airports of Thailand, our ground handler BAGS and our local security company to ensure the security of our customers’ property on-board our flights,” the statement continued.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics and tagged , , , , , ,

Water: The Ethical Enemy of Gatorade?

As I start this post, I recall a World Health Organization (WHO) report that I read not long ago. Childhood obesity is skyrocketing around the world, and the population of children who are obese is 10 times greater than it was 40 years ago. Obesity is not harmless. Obese kids often become obese adults, and on that journey, they develop heart disease, joint problems and diabetes. It’s not a pretty picture.  Which brings us to an ethics question involving popular drinks like Gatorade.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics and tagged , , , , ,

Why Do Smart People Make Bad Choices? Ethics Lapses and Emotional Triggers:

Human beings will have lapses of judgement – that’s just part of human nature.  But the question I often hear is why do smart people make bad choices?  And when they do what are the consequences?

In an article in it was reported that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mignonne Griffing of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana had a secret romance with a married FBI agent and failed to tell her bosses or defense counsel in two high-profile cases about her love interest.  Now, to be clear, when a person ceases to think from the rational part of their brain (yes this is fundamental brain science) they tend to rationalize their behavior and hence go to fight of flight mode of decision making.  That leads to consequences that are unpleasant at best and can be down right devastating.  Why do smart people make bad choices – most of the time there is an emotional trigger.  But before getting to that here’s the back story as reported in

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Ethical Behavior, ethics and tagged , , , ,

When Reality TV Meets Really Bad Ethics: Ask Travell Thomas

Travell Thomas could arguably be one of the best poker players in the world, but when it comes to unethical behavior, he is a world class champion. This scandal could also be named: When Reality TV Meets Really Bad Ethics.

when-reality-tv-meets-really-bad-ethicsIf you are a fan of the World Series of Poker (I said, if), Mr. Thomas could ring a bell with you. He won first prize in the televised tournament. He was the darling of the poker world with his larger than life personality and outlandish hats.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Ethical Behavior, ethics and tagged , , , ,

The Banking Industry and Cyber Ethics

How ethical is it when an entire industry is repeatedly warned that its cyber security is lacking, but very little is done about it?  What will the banking industry do to explain the laxity of its security to their customers?  Seems a serious Cyber Ethics question is ever present!

cyber-ethicsThese are two of the important questions the banking industry might very well have to answer in the not too distant future.

Cyber-Safe or Cyber-Ignorant?

There is a messaging system in the banking industry I have just learned about and it is called “SWIFT.” The system connects the world’s banks and feeds them a constant stream of information and enables transfers between banks and the sharing of financial data.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in Banks, Cyber Attack, Ethical Behavior, ethics and tagged , , , ,

Automotive Ethics: Most of Us (Still) Don’t Trust Car Dealers

Most of us (still) don’t trust car dealers. New or used, we just don’t like them, but why? We might add that the automotive industry is finally taking notice because, maybe, they have no other choice but to take notice.  Automotive ethics, based on consumer sentiment, needs repair.

Automotive EthicsEighty or ninety years ago, when your great grandparents first trudged into the horseless buggy dealer, they soon realized a truth that would perpetuate itself for decades: no one ever knew how the dealerships priced its products. Second, were the myriads of “dirty tricks,” ranging from “losing the keys” to your car to make you haggle to abrasive, bullying sales people.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics and tagged , , , ,

Paul Burks Ponzi Scheme Mastermind Convicted!

One million clients and a $800 million pyramid scheme – the common thread is one Paul Burks who was convicted in Charlotte NC for his involvement in a worldwide Ponzi scheme.  Burks was convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy.

Paul Burk Ponzi SchemeAccording to reports in the Charlotte Observer:

Prosecutors say Paul Burks, a former country music disc jockey and retirement home magician, pocketed more than $10 million during 2011 alone. He is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit tax fraud in connection with one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.  Federal prosecutors said Burks misled tens of thousands of his clients – including 50,000 North Carolinians – into investing in ZeekRewards, a short-lived, online marketing scheme that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in 2011-12.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics, Fraud Pure and Simple and tagged , , , ,

Race Relation Ethics and the “Needed Discussion”

Ethics is not about taking the easy road, but rather about taking the right road. At this moment our country is reeling. Black on white, white on black; there is finger pointing everywhere. There is fear. Violence erupts, and God help us, there is serious injury and death. Now is the time to interject an intelligent dialogue into race relation ethics.

Race Relation EthicsOn all sides, within each side, messages are blared to us and at us by a collection of activists, politicians, social media gurus, law enforcement officials, community leaders and “personalities” ranging from actors to musicians to media talking heads who have made their living off of racial tension. It seems that many of them have no real concern over race relation ethics. Rather, they vie for attention for self-promotion.

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Posted by Chuck Gallagher in ethics, ethics training and tagged ,