Archive for the Ethics Category

Stealing from the poor

Posted in Ethics with tags , on April 27, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Only a Poor Old Man

Naked did you not drop from the womb? Shall you not return again naked to the earth?

Where have the things you now possess come from?

If you say they just spontaneously appeared, then you are an atheist, not acknowledging the Creator, nor showing any gratitude towards the one who gave them.

But if you say that they are from God, declare to us the reason why you received them.

Is God unjust, who divided to us the things of this life unequally?

Why are you wealthy while that other man is poor?

Is it, perhaps, in order that you may receive wages for kindheartedness and faithful stewardship, and in order that he may be honored with great prizes for his endurance?

But, as for you, when you hoard all these things in the insatiable bosom of greed, do you suppose you do no wrong in cheating so many people?

Who is a man of greed?
Someone who does not rest content with what is sufficient. Who is a cheater?

Someone who takes away what belongs to others. And are you not a man of greed? are you not a cheater? taking those things which you received for the sake of stewardship, and making them your very own?

Now, someone who takes a man who is clothed and renders him naked would be termed a robber; but when someone fails to clothe the naked, while he is able to do this, is such a man deserving of any other appellation?

The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry;
the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked;
the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes.

The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need.

Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.

From St. Basil the Great, Homilia in illud dictum evangelii secundum Lucam: «Destruam horrea mea, et majora ædificabo:» itemque de avaritia (Homily on the saying of the Gospel According to Luke, “I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones,” and on greed), §7 (PG 31, 276B – 277A).
Translation by Peter Gilbert


Differing accounts of Jim Norman’s windfall

Posted in Ethics, Hillsborough County, FL, Politics with tags , , , on March 31, 2012 by

I am a long time subscriber to both the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune; appreciating their sometimes differing editorial opinions.

However, when it comes to reporting facts, I expect both to be in total agreement.

Today, the Tribune reported that Florida State Senator Jim Norman’s ethics case centered around a $500,000 “loan” from Ralph Hughes, while the Times reported it as a “gift”.

Please, if in fact this was a loan, answer why this has not been repaid to the Hughes estate, widow and orphans?

Contrariwise, if this was a gift, have the Normans reported it as income to the IRS?

Why are both newspapers pussyfooting around as to how the Normans seemingly continue to profit from this dirty business?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Jim Norman, (fill in the blank)

Posted in Ethics, News, Opinion, Politics with tags , , on March 4, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Roget’s is replete with epithets for those who lie, cheat and steal.

The especially vile entries are reserved for transgressors of widows and orphans, taxpayers, journalist and voters.

Jim Norman has already admitted to lies about the $500,000 Hughes money.

We are just waiting how best to also describe not paying back the loan/investment, or alternatively, not including that as a gift on Federal tax returns.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Hughes money to Norman; gift or loan?

Posted in Ethics, Opinion, Politics with tags , , , , on February 26, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

House of Norman
There is no consistency in reporting how the Normans came into possession of that $500,000 from Ralph Hughes for a lakefront home in Arkansas. 

Sometimes it is a gift, sometimes it is a loan, or even sometimes an un-repaid loan that somehow became a gift upon Hughes’ death.

If a loan, that money should be returned to the Hughes estate.
If a gift, that income should be reported for federal taxes.

 It isn’t enough that Jim Norman has finally signed a consent order admitting that he has lied since 2006 about this money; he says through his attorney that his admission of wrongdoing is also a lie in that he feels he could beat the rap in court.

So, in the best Florida political tradition, Jim Norman will not only get away with keeping these half-million dollars, but he will do it tax-free and out from under any cloud of wrongdoing.

Has anyone suggested his name for the VP slot on the GOP ticket?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Daughter’s letter to her Tea Party father

Posted in Ethics with tags on February 24, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Daddy –

The laws you support allow me to shoot and kill a would-be attacker.

But if I am raped, you want laws to deny me even a simple pill that would cleanse my body of any resulting fertilized egg.

You want laws that would force me to carry that rape-child to full term.

You want to impose your particular system of  religious beliefs on me; requiring that I cheerfully forgive the man who raped me, as well as gracefully accept that “gift from God” growing within me.

Only then could I choose: to either give up that child to the care of the taxpayers, or to raise that child as a single mother.

I know that you want to protect me from rape, but why do you insist that I needlessly bear a bastard child who would not only be a constant reminder of my rape, but who would also carry that stigma for the rest of its uncertain life?

Would you come to regret the loss of the bright future you held out for me when you invited me into this world?

Would you come to regret having me too?

Daddy, please reorder your priorities while you still have a choice.

Your loving daughter.

Promises, promises

Posted in Economic Development, Ethics, Hillsborough County, FL, Job-creators with tags , , , on February 18, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

During the last election cycle, County Commissioner Ken Hagan promised voters that he would reel-in Bass Pro Shops to Hillsborough’s pier.

He even managed to get “destination retailers” included on the County’s list of preferred, high-value businesses eligible for big incentives to bring above average wage jobs to the area.

 Today it was announced that Hagan and County Administrator Merrill will be in secret negotiations with Bass and their local advocate, Vig Machete as to how many millions of dollars Hillsborough taxpayer money Bass would like to receive.

Will they tell us how much part-time, no-benefit Bass employees will be paid?

Will they tell us how many Hillsborough sporting goods business will go out of business as a result of this un-level playing field?

Promises made.

Promises kept.

<IMHO Fred Jacobsen


Posted in Ethics, Hillsborough County, FL, Opinion with tags , , on February 17, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

George Orwell’s predictions in Nineteen-Eighty Four are starting to come true in 2012.

The Tampa police now have a rule that they can arrest anyone caught in a so-called “prostitution exclusion zone” if they are on probation from three previous prostitution convictions.

This means that citizens can be arrested for just thinking about prostitution.

Do we really need thought-police protecting us from thought-crimes?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen