The Athlete Rapist Edition


The Athlete Rapist Edition

Business ethics does not exist in a vacuum. Ethical beliefs are shaped by the larger society. Business ethics are simply a sub-set of a society’s ethics. And this society’s ethics are often problematic at best. 

The worship of athletes and sporting events is part of American society. And worship is not too strong a word. Fans have actually rioted when their teams have lost. Many people seem to have lost all perspective when it comes to supporting their team and their athletes. 

This brings us to today’s subject, David Becker, a rapist. He raped two women and he was sentenced to two years probation which if he fulfills the terms of – will result in his record being clean. It will be as if he had never committed a crime. This is a sweet deal for him. 

For the rest of us, not so much. Creating a class of privileged athletes empowered to prey on women might not be a goal for the “good” society. It might be, in fact, be counterproductive and evil. 

When you hand a “get out of jail free card” to an athlete, you are conveying a powerful message to everyone that these people are special, their lives and careers must not be jeopardized by being penalized for their acts. 

i_466
The Athlete Rapist Edition

No, they are criminals. Whatever their pretences to special treatment, their actions have placed them in opposition to society’s rules. That women should able to sleep undisturbed by sexual assault is an important social value. That crimes should be punished is another one. 

And I’m sorry. I just don’t get it. There are a lot of athletes. If some go to prison for their crimes, how are we impoverished? What have we lost? 

If there is anything a society should want to be know for, want to be famous for and is vital to uphold, it is justice. 

Let us be known more for our justice and less for our sports. 

James Pilant

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Mary Elizabeth Williams writing in Salon 

Upon sentencing, Becker’s attorney gloated in court that “he can now look forward to a productive life without being burdened with the stigma of having to register as a sex offender. The goal of this sentence was not to impede this individual from graduating high school and to go onto the next step of his life, which is a college experience.” (The University of Dayton, where Becker reportedly had planned on attending, says he will not be joining the freshman class.)

 Rooke believes that what occurred that April evening was “one mistake at one moment on one night which was clouded with alcohol,” and that “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19 years old, and we shouldn’t be branded for life with a felony offense and branded a sex offender. Putting this kid in jail for two years would have destroyed this kid’s life.”

Ah, yes, the old “What about the kid? What about his life?” argument. It should go without saying that headlines of the story do not fail to mention that Becker is a promising athlete who plays volleyball, basketball and soccer. Gotta think of that guy’s future! Hm, where have we heard this before? Oh that’s right, EVERYWHERE.

Is it Time to Prohibit All Non-Audit Services for Audit Clients? (Guest Post)


Independence Impairments Threaten the Public Interest

(My friend, Steven Mintz, the Ethics Sage, has a new column that he has graciously allowed me to post. This is his blog – here.)

The Ethics Sage
The Ethics Sage

The accounting profession has lost its way and has reverted to old behaviors, including increased commercialism, and created a worrisome trend of deficient audits. It may be time to change the regulatory regime and completely prohibit the performance of all non-audit services for audit clients. Restrictions in place since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in 2002 seemed to work at first as audit firms were on their best behavior, but recently the profession has reverted to commercial behaviors that brings into question their commitment to serve the public interest, not the client’s interest or self-interest.

Most people do not realize that the accounting profession is the only profession where the public interest must be placed ahead of other interests. In law, the client’s interest is above all else. In medicine, with some exceptions, the patient’s interests are paramount. Indeed, the accounting profession is a profession because the SEC created its franchise right in that only CPAs can conduct audits of public companies.

The years and activities since the passage of SOX shows that the profession has reverted to its old ways. Firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers sold off its consulting business back in 2002 to IBM for $3.5 billion. It didn’t take long for PwC to back-track and in October 2013, the firm announced it was acquiring the consulting firm of Booz & Company thereby adding $9.2 billion in global consulting revenue to its total global firm revenue of $32.1 billion, or a 28.5% share for consulting services of the overall firm revenue.

Other firms have been sanctioned for providing prohibited non-audit services to audit clients. In January 2014, KPMG agreed to pay $8.2 million to settle charges by the SEC that the firm violated auditor independence rules by providing restructuring, corporate finance, and expert services as well as providing non-audit services such as bookkeeping and payroll services to an affiliate of an audit client. These activities create a self-review threat to independence because the audit firm winds up reviewing its own services.

Some of the independence impairments border on the bizarre, at least with respect to the broadening efforts of Big-4 firms to gain a competitive advantage and bring in lucrative consulting work. In July 2014, Ernst & Young agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle accusations by the SEC that the firm violated independence rules by lobbying on behalf of two of its audit clients, an advocacy threat to independence.

Greed has also infected the actions of some auditors. In May 2013, Scott London, the former partner in charge of KPMG’s Southern California regional practice, provided inside information to a close friend about audit clients. Once KPMG found out, the firm had to recall its audit reports on two clients, Herbalife and Skechers, because of the lack of independence. London sold his soul for $50,000 in cash and a Rolex watch.

A troubling trend is the high level of deficiencies cited in inspection reports by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). In 2014, the PCAOB identified deficiencies as high as 54% (KPMG) to a low of 21% (Deloitte). The deficiencies most often cited include a failure of internal controls over financial reporting, inadequate responses to risks of material misstatement, inadequate review and assessment of auditing estimates, and deficiencies in the audit of inventory, loan reserves, and revenue recognition.

The nature of the revenue stream for public accounting firms has changed since the passage of SOX. The audit function that had previously been treated as a loss-leader in many cases has now become a consistent source of firm revenue in part due to compliance requirements with SOX. New requirements, such as the rotation off the audit of the lead and reviewing partners every five years, has, presumably, created a check on auditors getting too cozy with their clients. Moreover, the PCAOB is considering whether to require audit firm rotation every 10-20 years, as has been done in the European Union (EU) for public interest entities.

Protecting the public interest starts with maintaining the foundation of independence and commitment to serve investors and creditors above all else. Given the ongoing challenges for the accounting profession and questionable results of prohibitions of certain non-audit services for audit clients in the post-SOX era, I believe it’s time to prohibit all such services for audit clients. Of course, firms would still be able to provide non-audit services, just not while they perform audit services for the same client.

Are there other options to protect the public interest? Yes. Similar to audits in the EU, the audit function might become a statutory one regulated through “audit directives”. In this case the annual and consolidated financial statements of public interest entities would be based on these prescribed regulations. The big firms would still be able to perform such audits but they would be answerable to the state as well as to investors and creditors. This exists in the U.S. right now through the PCAOB audit requirements, but a statutory regime implies determination by a governmental body that currently does not exist except for areas such as regulated industries (i.e., utilities).

The time has come for the audit profession to rethink the way in which it provides services, both audit and non-audit, to public clients. The recent trends cited above give me great pause about a diminished commitment to professionalism. I believe the reason is non-audit services are performed largely by non-CPAs that have a lesser commitment to the ethics of the profession and serving the public good rather than the commercial and financial reporting interests of their clients. The audit culture and non-audit culture can sometimes be diametrically opposed.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on August 18, 2016. Dr. Mintz is Professor Emeritus from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He also blogs at http://www.ethicssage.com.

The Fatwa Hotline Edition


Today, we discuss the fact that it is better to understand than not specifically in regard to Islam.

The Fatwa Hotline Edition

Ignorance can kill you. It can also hurt a business and lead to unethical content. One kind of ignorance is the simple unwillingness of men to get it, to realize that women have a different experience of the workplace than they do. The idea that your experience is typical is one we have trouble shaking. We devote considerable mental energy to finding ourselves “normal” even mundane.

014-1But the facts are otherwise. We live in bubbles of meaning. Don’t believe me? How about this? A recent poll shows that 63% of Republican men believe sexism is over.  That’s a real bubble. Hopefully, you don’t need me to reiterate the grim statistics on women in the workplace to find the idea that sexism exploded in a bubble of political correctness to be nonsense.

Of course, we can’t know everything but we can try to learn essential things like “how to cross the street” and “what indicates someone is angry.” Knowing that different sexes, races and belief systems are treated differently is important knowledge to both employer and fellow employee. A little sensitivity  and knowledge is good.

While I begin by discussing women in the workplace, my focus today is on religion.

I came across this article in the Guardian. It is called –

The fatwa hotline: ‘We have heard everything’

It can be read in its entirety here.

I think it is one of the best reads I’ve seen in many days. For one thing, it clarified my understanding of what a fatwa is and how hard followers of Islam work at their religion. And I often found it humorous and fascinating.

In the UAE, they have a hotline to answer questions about what should and should not be done as Muslims. There is one for women and a much more elaborate one for men.

What’s a fatwa and where does it come from?

(from the article)

A fatwa is not merely an opinion, however. It must be based on the verses of the Qur’an or the hadith, or the opinions of previous generations of Muslim scholars across 1,400 years of history, or, in the rare cases when those sources do not provide an answer, well-argued logic, to come up with a completely new ruling. These complexities tend to be missing from many self-styled Islamic experts, whose opinions are just a quick Google search away. You can find fatwas giving permission to behead captives or, in the case of Isis, take women as sex slaves. This free-for-all is why the Emiratis have taken steps to direct people towards approved scholars.

“On the internet, not everything is correct,” Zaidi says. “You ask a simple question and get many opinions. I believe it is better to go to a specialist if you have a problem.”

“Most questions from Muslims will have to do with their relationship with the divine and their ability to fulfil that for which they will be rewarded not in this world but in the world to come,” says Justin Stearns, an American associate professor and head of the Arab Crossroads Studies programme at New York University Abu Dhabi. I meet Stearns in a cafe in the sprawling pale stone campus surrounded by miles of sand on Saadiyat Island on the north side of Abu Dhabi. He has a short, greying beard and peppers his speech with fluent Arabic as he types on a silver MacBook. “In the marketplace of religious opinion, if you are just an average Muslim out there, you’d look to someone who can separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to religious authority,” he says. “Here you have the state doing that.”

What you should do.

I recommend you read this. One of the issues in the current election is the status of the followers of Islam in the United States, and, of course, all of us are likely at some point in the future to encounter other religions and it is better to have actual knowledge than the lurid fantasies of the Internet or talk radio.

As a matter of business ethics, an understanding of different religions, their ethical systems and beliefs on business is critical and should be part of every four year business degree although currently it is not a requirement. That we have a separation of church and state does not imply a separation of business and religion (although several of my students have claimed just that). The different ethical systems in play in society affect how we think and act. Business should pay attention.

James Pilant

As always, please like, share and subscribe!

 

What’s the Business Ethics? Should the Employees in Video Stores be Movie Buffs?


029What’s the Business Ethics? Should the Employees in Video Stores be Movie Buffs?

It seems like a good idea – knowing the product – being able to understand questions – give good recommendations. But they are not always move buffs. Sometimes, they know very little about films at all.

For me personally, this isn’t much of a problem, I am a film buff, myself and know what I want to rent or buy. Of course, sometimes they think they’re film buffs. I’m sorry, one recommendation, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, is never going to be a classic.

But let us return to the question: Should the employees in video stores be movie buffs? I think they should at least have some rudimentary knowledge because of something that happened to me.

Now, I live in the Bible belt and here among many there is a certain pride in not being cultured, knowledgeable or educated. One day I wander into a video rental place and have a look around. There’s a couple of John Wayne films that I had seen when I was in my teens that I wanted to watch again as an adult. So, I’m back there in the shelves looking for Rio Bravo and El Dorado, when I come across the film, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.

I had seen Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I don’t remember where. It may have been on cable or a friend rented it. I think it’s a pretty good film but generally I don’t watch lesbian films. Now I have seen a lot of films involving lesbians but this isn’t quite the same thing. The film is not a lesbian film so much as it is a LESBIAN film. It shouts and screams and at the top of its lungs proclaims that it is a lesbian film. Okay? LESBIAN!!! And as for rating, it’s a hard R. How hard? Think of steel or diamonds.

I immediately see a vision in my mind of a Bible belt family just home from church about to watch what they believe is the usual redemptive tale of a white hatted cowboy slaughtering bad guys or Native Americans and winding up with the appropriately virginal school teacher who cannot restrain her ardor for a man who kills so casually. And instead the family gets to learn about female sexuality in a new and controversial way.

So, I, a good citizen and business ethics teacher (which means I can’t so much as eat a grape in the supermarket – a student might see me) carry the film up to the front and ask the clerk to move it from Westerns.

The conversation goes like this.

“You say this film isn’t a Western?”

“That’s right.” I reply.

“Does it take place in the West?”

“Well, yes it does.” I admit.

“Are there actual cowgirls in it?”

“Well, they do wear chaps.” I was not willing to disclose the absence of other clothing.

“Then why should we move it?”

“Look, just watch it, okay?” I give up, not willing to explain the significance of Uma Thurman’s outsized thumbs.

He gives me that look which means “I will go through the motions of appearing to take your concerns seriously but as soon as you leave this is going back in the Westerns.”

And it was back there the next time I came in.

As business ethics go, this is a small problem, no matter how traumatized the formerly happy middle class family that sees it, may become.

And of course, I did my ethical duty, so I can feel good about myself. But maybe, just maybe it would be a better world if the sales clerks in video rental places knew more about films.

James Pilant

Real White Male Privilege?


042-1Real White Male Privilege?

I knew something like this was going on. I’ve seen my female fellow students get low level employment while the males went into management and other lucrative career paths. But I didn’t know it was this bad.

But there was an experience of mine that bears a little on this. I am a white male but one of my proudest accomplishments was being invited to join the Black Student Society where I went to college. You see, they had lost their certification as a campus organization and I worked to get it back – so I was invited. I was a member in good standing through thick and thin until I left for law school three years later.

And being very proud of it, I put it on my resume.

I think you can figure out the rest of the story. Only when I pulled that off my resume did I start getting responses to my job inquiries.

It’s not just women.

This is a continuing problem in business ethics. First, it’s not fair to penalize people in hiring and promotion because of their sex. Second, it’s foolish to not have your best in the most appropriate positions for skills.

Now, I want you to treat women fairly because it is right but do note that it also very foolish to discriminate in this manner.

James Pilant

For much more detail, please go to the web site below –

Female ‘A+’ Students End Up Making As Much As Male ‘C’ Students.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Why Evolution is True.

There are some interesting comments here on the same subject.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/new-study-shows-gender-bias-against-female-students/

 

Donald Sterling – Sometimes Business Ethics Means Shutting Up


005Donald Sterling – Sometimes Business Ethics Means Shutting Up

Self awareness is an important skill. Sometimes, individuals lack any perspective on themselves. The advantage of this is that you feel good about yourself with little or no justification. You have a golden and continuous opportunity to project all of your inferiority and weaknesses on everyone else. Thus it is for Donald Sterling who is undoubtedly wondering out loud to his wealthy friends even as you read this how unfair all this news coverage is. He is no doubt explaining to his friends that the media just won’t stop saying he’s a racist when everybody who knows him, anyone with half a brain knows he’s no more a racist than Martin Luther King.

If you think I’m being cruel – watch the interview, the level of self-deceit is incredible. In his mind, his beliefs are “factual.”

And that in the end is the benefit of being a member of the .01 percent, you have the privilege of being stupid. Because in that comfortable world, there is no countervailing reality to have to deal with. You can believe any set of comforting nonsense. It is a pity that Anderson Cooper didn’t ask him about voting rights or taxes.

Before business ethics can be exercised there has to be an understanding of facts and reasoning. There has to be a firm connection to reality. That is harder than it sounds. There are many individuals who have a difficulty telling opinion from facts, and many more who don’t understand how logic and reasoning are exercised.

When I was very young man, I worked at a store. One day the owner explained to me that doctors had told her that black people were arranged differently on the inside – their organs were in different places. When I appeared surprised, she was surprised that I didn’t understand something so obvious. It has been more than thirty years now and I have not yet ran into a “black” physiology textbook. I’m not expecting it to happen soon.

Her “facts” were different from reality, and when such is the case, business ethics are often irrelevant.

James Pilant

Donald Sterling’s interview disaster: Rich old racist self-destructs to Anderson Cooper – Salon.com

Donald Sterling, in all his reprehensible anti-glory, is officially representative of only one person, Donald Sterling. But it was hard not to think about the insularity and cossetting the super-wealthy enjoy, once they get super-wealthy, watching the maligned Los Angeles Clippers owner self-destruct with Anderson Cooper Monday night.

Sterling is a man who is obviously used to holding forth on his mind-blowingly prejudiced views without challenge. He wants us to think V. Stiviano entrapped him with her magic lady parts — “I don’t know why the girl had me say those things,” he told Cooper — and got him to launch a paranoid racist rant out of lust. But clearly that is not true, unless he’s lusting after Anderson Cooper.

“I’m not a racist,” Sterling told Cooper. “I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt. When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that…. I mean, that’s not the way I talk.” Actually, it seems to be exactly the way Sterling talks.

It’s hard to know where to start with the NBA franchise owner’s outrageous remarks. He called Stiviano “a street person” and said Magic Johnson “ought to be ashamed of himself.” No, that doesn’t do Sterling justice. This is what he said about Johnson:

Here is a man, he acts so holy. He made love to every girl in America in every city and he had AIDS. When he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him.

“Those AIDS”? (For the record, Johnson has HIV, not AIDS). But it got worse:

What has Magic Johnson done? He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in south L.A.? I think he should be ashamed of himself. What does he do for the black people? I’m telling you he does nothing. It’s all talk.

I spent millions on giving away and helping minorities. Does he do that? That’s one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people.

And some of the African-Americans, maybe I’ll get in trouble again. They don’t want to help anybody. What has Magic Johnson really done for Children’s Hospital which kids are lying in the hallways. They are sick. They need a bed. What has he done for any hospital? What has he done for any group?

via Donald Sterling’s interview disaster: Rich old racist self-destructs to Anderson Cooper – Salon.com.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, Abagond.

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/donald-sterling/

Donald Sterling (1934- ), an American billionaire, is best known as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a basketball team. It accounts for a third of his wealth. On April 25th 2014, a recording of what seems to be him talking to his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, was made public on the Internet. In it he tells her not to be seen in public with Black people.

We do not know where the recording came from, when it was made or whether it has been edited. But it is probably all too true: In 2009, for example, Sterling was made to pay $2.725 million for discriminating against Blacks and Latinos at his apartment buildings in metropolitan Los Angeles. It is a matter of public record that he has said stuff like this:

Is she one of those black people that stink? […] Just evict the bitch.

On racism:

Sterling: It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.

Stiviano: So do you have to treat them like that too?

Sterling: The white Jews, there’s white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?

Stiviano: And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?

Sterling: A 100%, 50, a 100%.

Stiviano: And is that right?

Sterling: It isn’t a question – we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.

 

Matt Taibbi Writes About the Courts!


010eMatt Taibbi Writes About the Courts!

Taibbi has a new book out about the American judicial system. Below is an excerpt from a review featured in the magazine, In These Times. I always enjoy Taibbi’s work and I recommend both his book and the review of it.

James Pilant

Judges Blind To Justice – In These Times

Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap is a book about what happens in American courtrooms. Immigrants are deported for traffic violations. Lawyers retained by relatively honest billionaires to defend themselves against attacks from more classically psychotic billionaires are treated by judges with a contempt typically reserved for telemarketers. Wrongful termination lawsuits filed by corporate whistleblowers are thrown out. Bail gets set just high enough to feed prison contractors hordes of accused loiterers, and just low enough to ensure bail bondsmen won’t take the business. Day after day, megabanks win the legal authority to repossess the car or house or bank account of this or that alleged debtor on the basis of her failure to show up in court to answer a summons she never received, because in lieu of actually delivering that summons, the megabank paid some bucket shop four dollars to produce a signed affidavit swearing one of its employees had physically delivered it, while in fact depositing it and thousands like it in a dumpster, a technique known in the business as “sewer service.”

And day after day, five o’ clock rolls around and thousands of alleged jaywalkers, obstructors of pedestrian traffic and open-container possessors are instructed to show up again next month because the arresting officer was too preoccupied with nabbing fresh loiterers to show up to court that day, or because there are simply too many defendants—50,000 marijuana possession cases, 80,000 disorderly conduct cases and 140,000 open container cases a year in New York City alone. Cases rarely go to trial: Innocent 99 percenters admit guilt, and guilty financial crime syndicates shell out millions for the privilege of admitting nothing.

via Judges Blind To Justice – In These Times.

From Around the Web.

From the web site, New York Post.

http://nypost.com/2014/02/23/film-details-teens-struggles-in-state-detention-in-payoff-scandal/

Hillary Transue, 14, created a fake, humorous Myspace page about her school’s vice principal.

Justin Bodnar, 12, cursed at another student’s mother.

Ed Kenzakoski, 17, did nothing at all.

It didn’t matter.

As we see in the documentary “Kids for Cash,” which opens Friday, all three Luzerne County, Pa. teens met the same fate for their minor infractions.

They were hauled into court with their parents, sometimes ­after being persuaded — coerced, according to at least one parent — by police to waive their right to ­legal counsel.

They were brought before Judge Mark A. Ciavarella and, without warning or the chance to offer a defense, found themselves pronounced guilty, shackled and sentenced to months of detention in a cockroach-infested jail.

They were trapped in the juvenile justice system for years, robbing most of them of their entire high-school experience.

Judge Ciavarella, who sentenced around 3,000 children in a similar manner, was later sentenced himself to 28 years in prison for financial crimes related to his acceptance of $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit facility in which to house these so-called delinquents.

The scandal was called “Kids for Cash,” and it rocked the state in 2009 — for the accusation that Ciavarella was happy to tear families apart in exchange for the payoff.

Chris MacDonald Discusses Loophole Flouting


 Chris MacDonald Discusses Loophole Flouting

Chris MacDonald writing from The Business Ethics Blog is discussing Japanese whaling practices as these actions connect to the larger moral and ethical framework of the nation at large. It’s a good read. I recommend it. If you have time, go to his web site and read the full post (and then sign yourself up as a follower!).

James Pilant

Chris MacDonaldJapan’s loophole flouting is bad for business | The Business Ethics Blog

Japan has flouted the 1986 moratorium on whaling, making use of a loophole that allows whaling for scientific purposes. In effect, the country’s fleet kills whales for what it claims are “scientific” purposes, and sells the meat for human consumption. You don’t have to be an ardent defender of the world’s whales to see the problems inherent in an having a key player in the world’s economy flouting an international standard.

And just think for a minute about that approach to compliance. It effectively means adopting the credo, do what you want, spirit of the law be damned, as long as you can find even the narrowest of loopholes. What example does has the country’s leadership been setting for the business community? How can government ministers look business leaders in the eye and encourage them to cleave to the meaning and intent of regulations? How can the government ask business, without risking hypocrisy, not to make cynical, self-serving use of loopholes?

Naturally, the government of Japan is not alone in this dilemma. The demands of political expediency often mean that political leaders get caught in a do-as-I say, not-as-I-do self-contradiction. But Japan’s stance on whaling seems a particularly blatant example. And the future of the issue still remains unclear. Japan has only committed to cancelling its whale hunt for this year. Time will tell whether the Japanese government, on this issue at least, demonstrates character worthy of emulation, or instead goes back to an approach aimed merely at securing short-term gains.

via Japan’s loophole flouting is bad for business | The Business Ethics Blog.

From around the web.

From the web site, Ethics and the Environment.

http://ethicsandtheenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

The Australian government has taken legal action against Japan over concerns Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean was not done for scientific purposes.

According to BBC news, the case is been held in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, with Australia arguing that Japan’s scientific whaling program (under which it kills whales) is commercial whaling in disguise. A moratorium which bans commercial whaling was put in place in 1986 by the International whaling commission.

According to The Age, a Melbourne based newspaper, Australia Government counsel Bill Campbell told the court, “Japan seeks to cloak its ongoing commercial whaling in the lab coat of science.”

Mike Double from the Australia Antarctic division told AlJazeera Japan’s scientific whaling was not scientific because whales do not have to be killed to be study.

“We simply do not need to kill whales for the science,” he said. “We can collect all the information we need to conserve and manage these whales through non-lethal methods.”

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, who is representing Australia in court, said that more than 10,000 whales had been killed by Japanese whalers since the moratorium was introduced.

He said Australia wanted to see whaling practices halted “once and for all.”

Steven Mintz Has Written a Textbook


The Ethics Sage
The Ethics Sage

Steven Mintz Has Written a Textbook

My friend, Steven Mintz, has a new textbook. Below is a segment of the review. Please share my pleasure at the accomplishments of a colleague.

James Pilant

Steve Mintz Accounting Ethics Textbook Reviewed – Ethics Sage

From a review by W. Steve Albrecht in the Journal of Business Ethics, March 2014

One of the book’s great strengths is its excellent cases. The first seven chapters include 10 cases each, many of them famous ethical cases where accountants, executives, and corporate directors have been sued or held liable for their decisions and actions. I have personally been an expert witness in several of the cases covered in the book and so I studied the authors’ treatment of these cases in detail. Their write-ups were always accurate, presented in an interesting manner and provided great references for further study by students. The accuracy of the cases led me to follow up on several of the references cited in the chapters which I also found helpful. My conclusion after reading the book, examining in detail some of the cases and reading the 20 discussion questions per chapter was that this book would work equally well as a stand-alone ethics text or as an excellent supplement in auditing, corporate governance, financial reporting, or other business and accounting classes.

via Steve Mintz Accounting Ethics Textbook Reviewed – Ethics Sage.

From around the web.

From the web site, Cal Poly.

http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/faculty/steven-mintz/

Dr. Mintz enjoys an international reputation for research and teaching ethics in business and accounting. He has published two textbooks the most recent publication is Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting: Text and Cases. Dr. Mintz has published dozens of research papers in the areas of business ethics, accounting ethics, corporate governance and international accounting. Dr. Mintz teaches courses on accounting ethics and international accounting.

Dr. Mintz develops ethics training programs for organizations. He also develops and teaches continuing education courses in ethics for CPAs. His courses are used in twenty-states to meet their continuing education requirements for re-licensing.

Dr. Mintz is a widely sought out speaker at ethics and academic conferences. He has presented at: The Board of Director and Corporate Governance Research Conference in Henley, England; Global Finance & Research Conference in London; The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Trinidad & Tobago; Association of Asian-Pacific Accountants in Bangkok, Thailand; and the Asian International Business Association in Shanghai, China.

Dr. Mintz writes two popular blogs on ethics issues in business and society (ethicssage.com) and workplace ethics (workplaceethicsadvice). He has been interviewed by the NY Times for his expertise on workplace ethics.

Saving Bats is Good Economics


Fledermaus, courtesy of wikipedia
Fledermaus, courtesy of wikipedia

Saving Bats is Good Economics

The fledermaus, flying mouse, known in English as bats are a controversial animal. The word I most commonly hear used in a description is “icky.” But bats however much they may generate negative emotions, are natural pesticides and thus, an invaluable aid to human kind. The article below tells of a study demonstrating the benefit of bats to the cotton industry but much the same could be written about many farm products. It would be interesting to generate some data about how bats’ destruction of human pests like mosquitoes enhances our lives.

Preserving species of animals and insects is valuable. We do not know how dependent we are on biological diversity for our health and environment. But bats occupy a wonderful middle ground. They are a species worth preserving because they add to diversity and they are an economic resource whose benefits total millions of dollars even in such a restricted study as that of the cotton industry.

It is always pleasing for me to see the needs of the environment and profits, for once, speaking of the same need to protect a species. This is a problem that is easier to deal with than most in business ethics.

James Pilant

The best reason to protect bats isn’t environmental — it’s economic – The Week

To see how these bats are faring in a changing marketplace, a team of researchers led by University of Arizona ecologist Laura López-Hoffman tracked the value of their pest-control services to cotton growers over an 18-year period. Using the number of insects individual bats consumed nightly, as well as the overlap between bat roosts and cotton fields, the scientists were able to estimate how much value the bats generated by reducing crop damage and insecticide costs.

The team found that over their study period, bats saved an average of 131,385 kg of cotton from damage each year, and saved growers from having to use 32,046 kg of insecticide. But the monetary value of the bats’ bug-killing declined precipitously to $4.8 million in 2008, from a high of $23.9 million in 1990, thanks to falling global cotton prices, the reduction in U.S. cotton growth and, most significantly, the widespread adoption of Bt cotton.

via The best reason to protect bats isn’t environmental — it’s economic – The Week.

From around the web.

From the web site, Bats N Bikes.

http://batsnbikes.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/nocturnal-friends-a-visiting-photographer/

Every night we could go out, Michael went with us. We would set up our nets to catch the bats and other equipment to record bat calls, while Michael set up his extensive high speed camera equipment inside a family-sized tent on the edge of a dirt road, often surrounded by stinging nettles and poison ivy. Each bat we’d catch, we’d record the basics and if s/he was a species of interest, Michael would let an individual bat fly in the tent, catching their precise movements as they swooped around- their mouths open as they sent out calls too high for us to hear, the sounds bouncing back to their ears as they dodge every obstacle in their way. I’m not going to even attempt to go into his set-up because I would only fail to explain the details, but these details and his passion for wildlife photography are the main ingredients to the photos that allow us to witness the beauty of these nocturnal creatures that all too often escapes us.

Bats often only conjure up images of fear, or are rarely thought about. But I want to share some of Michael’s photos from my field season with all of you. Within those few short moments he spent with each bat, he captured what most people never have the opportunity to see up close. Maybe you are reading this because you already love bats, or you are curious, or perhaps you are an excellent friend and enjoy reading what I write. And maybe it’s something else all together. Either way, his photos offer a glimpse into the life of bats and their nocturnal friends- including wildlife photographers and biologists alike.