As the newly elected governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich signed an executive order in 2003 requiring all state employees undergo ethics training. This included the governor himself, and he passed. See the story here. Each employee is required to take and pass the training each year. Rod Blagojevich has passed the course each year for the passed five years.
The problem is that the training amounts to 30 to 60 minutes worth of a Computer Based Learning (CBL) session. Many corporations, especially those in retail, use similar systems to train their employees on a variety of subjects, including ethics. As long as one is attentive during the training phase, passing the self examination portion of a CBL is fairly easy. When it comes to situational ethics, most individuals know what the right thing to do is, regardless of whether they would actually do it. This is the classic definition of sin.
"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17 (NASV)
This type of training is no guarantee of the ethical actions of another, nor is it effective in instilling ethics and morals in a person who is not already in possession of them. However, it is effective at identifying those individuals who are unable to discern right from wrong.
The fact that Gov. Blagojevich passed the ethics training program says nothing about his ethical foundation. The old adage is true, that 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'. It is clear that Blagojevich learned nothing from the ethics training. Having been caught doing the wrong thing, the right thing for him to do now is resign. Blagojevich waved yesterday as that opportunity passed by.
Since being identifies as Senate Candidate #5, Jesse Jackson Jr. has adamantly denied any involvement in the Blago Scandal. Many Chicago residence are unconvinced. Breaking News reports;
At least some of his constituents want embattled Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to resign.
About a dozen protesters stood outside his Chicago office today shouting, "Ho ho ho, Jesse Jr.'s gotta go."
Protest organizer Harold Davis says he believes allegations that an emissary may have offered to raise money for Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson being appointed to President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.
Davis says Jackson has tainted the democratic process and his political career is over.
Others in the south side neighborhood disagree. Several passersby shouted support for Jackson and one yelled, "Leave Jesse alone."
An emissary, acting on Jackson's behalf, offered Rod Blagojevich $1 million to appoint Jackson as Obama's Senate replacement. The standard politicians denial of having any knowledge of the activities of individuals acting on their behalf is one which has been looked upon with great suspicion since Watergate. Yet the concept of plausible deniability is always a factor in whether a politician can withstand the public scrutiny and survive. Barring any federal indictments against Jackson, he will most likely weather this storm.
While there may be some who are calling for Jackson to resign, others will try to calm the clamour by appealing to our sense of justice, i.e., that a man is innocent until provenguilty. Still others will come to Jackson's defence in a more enthusiastic fashion. Perhaps Chis Crocker will even produce another video on youtube crying, "Leave Jesse alone!"
Illinois Dem. Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris were arrested this morning by agents of the FBI on allegations of trying to sell Obama's vacant Senate. See the details here.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald describes the nature and the details of the complaint against the Governor in this video;
I would not have believed that any Governor, Republican or Democrat, could be this stupid, this arrogant, and this corrupt. Unbelievable! Bribery, extortion, abuse of power; this story has everything. Kind of reminds me of the Clinton administration. How many heads will roll over this? Will the Governor resign or be impeached? Who is Senate Candidate number 5? This is really going to be interesting.
Now that the Democrats are in power, one of the things on their priority list is, how to keep it. Those of us who are keeping a watchful eye on our government are aware that the Democrats are strongly motivated to regulate conservative talk radio out of existence. I have been wondering when they might try to silence the blogosphere and what form that attack might take. I did not have to wait long.
The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission is currently examining the concept of defining and regulating bloggers as lobbyists. If you blog about a legislative session, urge readers to Email legislators to support or oppose a specific bill or rule, actively oppose or campaign for specific candidates, you may be engaging in reportable activities. Among the questions currently being discussed;
Lobbying Emails -Are expenditures related to lobbying emails to legislators concerning possible legislation, or lobbying emails to state agencies concerning possible rules, reportable? -Are expenditures related to grassroots lobbying directed to the public via email reportable?
Lobbying Websites -Are websites established to provide lobbying information, and to encourage others to lobby for or against a particular bill or rule engaged in a reportable activity? -Is staff time and other expenditures for lobbying websites (creation, maintenance, etc.) reportable? If so, what else is reportable?
Lobbying Blogs (Web logs) -Are lobbying postings and responses on blogs reportable? -Are funds provided to "tip jars" (donation links) on lobbying blogs reportable?
"State officials are downplaying any possible media rights conflict, pointing out that regulators have already exempted journalistic blogging from previous guidelines for online campaign activity."
With one hand they pat themselves on the back for protecting the freedom of the press clause of the First Amendment, while violating the free speech clause with the other. Typical.
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice no virtue." - Barry Goldwater
"Men who go around pushing old ladies into the path of on-coming buses, and men who go around pushing old ladies out of the path of on-coming buses, ought not to be lumped together as men who push old ladies around."- William F. Buckley Jr. In response to the suggestion that the CIA and the KGB are the same.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
"If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain." -?? Winston Churchill ??
"The nine most terrifying words in the english language are: ' I'm from the government and I'm here to help '." - Ronald Reagan
"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." - Teddy Roosevelt
"A pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country, and to humanity, as is the most brutal wrongdoer." - Teddy Roosevelt
"It isn't that Liberals are ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
"Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's to lazy to form an opinion" - Will Rogers