The Seduction of Power (via Only Ed)

Battle. That’s a very strange word to use in the context of media in conflict but I don’t doubt its importance or relevance.

I believe the battle for the print, broadcast and cable media has been lost. The kind of news that was in the paper and on the television 35 years ago is gone. We now live in an age of “distraction” news, content free news and outright deception. It is a great pity.

A free people cannot defend itself without information, facts and leadership, we have none of that. We have celebrity scandals, fake facts that our sniveling media decline to describe as a lies and a jello spined leadership so beholden to financial interests they contest among themselves for who is the most slavish in their devotion. They throw their offering on the altars of these demigods like the food offerings thrown before the wooden carvings of Odin in Pre Medieval Scandinavia.

Read on and discover nations and cultures where the media is still up for grabs.

James Pilant

  The Seduction of Power   Posted 24 June 2011, by Raúl Pierri, Inter Press  Service (IPS), MONTEVIDEO, Jun 24, 2011 (IPS) – The governments and big private media groups in Latin America are waging a war to win over public opinion, the ultimate arbiter of legitimacy, and the only solution would appear to be to strike up an alliance. "Battle" was the most oft-repeated term in the seminar on "Communication, pluralism and the role … Read More

via Only Ed

Offshoring and Business Ethics (via seonie23)

Many videos on off-shoring are simple news stories or long commentary. This is a cartoon that discusses the effects of off-shoring on American workers and the ethics of it. The plot goes like this: an astronaut returns to earth from a long journey into space and the first person he encounters is a man who has been laid off from his job due to off-shoring. The conversation gets interesting very quickly.

James Pilant

Corporate Social Responsiblity – Is it real? (via Kilnen’s Thought)

I appreciated this article. I among many who have serious doubts about CSR. There are some authors who believe the term is so undefinable to be useless.

It may be used to green the company’s issue when there is no real justification. That’s where my suspicion lies. The company takes something it is already doing it, gives it an environmental angle and then explains to the world in best corporate flack manner, how they “give back.”

It’s just taking under a PR screen.

James Pilant

Thanks! to Kilnen’s Thought!

Corporate Social Responsiblity - Is it real? So what is CSR? It basically means giving back to society, through environment or social projects. I have been research CSR recently and have surprise by the amount of businesses that claim to carry out this process. From KLM producing fuel-efficient winglets to co-operative fair trade. Everyone and their dog seems to be interested. However, it always appears to benefit the company first and society second. I mean, what a surprise that KLM’s wing … Read More

via Kilnen’s Thought

Emmanuel Tchividjian’s Insights on Questionable Connections

Emmanuel Tchividjian

Mr. Tchividjian’s writes about the American government’s association with Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi which as you are probably aware has not turned out well. As the author says, the implications of having the wrong associations is also true for business and friends. I have excerpted his recommended rules below.

From the Ruder Finn Ethics Blog written by Emmanuel Tchividjian.

Where do we draw the line between an association we can tolerate and one we can’t, and what are the criteria that will determine our decision?

Let me list some ideas. We should:

1.     Make sure we make a distinction between hearsay and facts. We have to be reasonably sure that the information we have is accurate.

2.     Be aware that bad associations taint us, causing damage to our own reputation and may, in some cases, make us an accomplice to a crime.

3.     Ask ourselves whether by our association we are somehow enabling the individual in question in pursuing the precise behavior we disapprove of?

4.      Be aware there may be a cost to our refusal to associate ourselves with certain individuals or organizations and be ready to pay for that cost.

5.     Remember that ultimately it is our decision to make and that we may have more options than we think. I never like to hear the sentence “we had no other choices” because most to the time we do.

Here’s a link to the full article –

Questionable Connections by Emmanuel Tchividjian from the site, Ruder Finn Ethics Blog

America is confronted once again with the near demise of a head of state with which we had established a diplomatic relationship: Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, who by all accounts is a brutal dictator. American foreign policy has a long history of associating with questionable characters and brutal dictators such … Read More

You may also find one of his earlier articles interesting –

Egypt: Reflection on Leadership


The Fight Against Corruption

His work is always good. I recommend you add this ethics blog to your favorites.

James Pilant

The dynamics of employee dissent: whistleblowers and organizational jiu-jitsu (via FAA Whistleblowers Alliance)

In the modern age, whistleblowing is one of the most effective means of bringing corporate organizations to justice. It is hard to understand what is going on inside a giant organization from the outside. Modern corporations, have their own buildings, their own security systems, their own police forces (security), their own legal systems (company policy, administration and legal staff).

Corporations are hybrids, not quite businesses and not quite independent states. They are a monolithic stack of sole proprietorships and partnerships melded together.  In organization they are most like municipalities. They have a certain resemblance to the city states of Ancient Greece, each city loyal to Greece but fiercely guarding its own independence and its own prerogatives. 

Enforcing the law against these types of organizations is more a matter of espionage than criminal investigation. Detecting a corporation committing a crime is like trying to penetrate the security apparatus of a small foreign country.

Law enforcement can scan through newspapers and magazines, tap the rumor mill and watch the multiple civil suits filed for and against these organizations. But even then, what do they really know about an organization with thousands of members spread over three or four continents? Not much.

But take one individual inside the organization and combine that one person with just a little authority to access data and a computer work station, and you can gather more data about organizational crime in twenty minutes than independent sleuthing for weeks.

These individuals are a precious last line of defense against corporate wrong doing.

This society should welcome and protect these people. It has been said, “Let justice fall like rain.” It seems a garden hose sprinkle is more acceptable in the popular and business press. They don’t like whistleblowers, and could that be a surprise to anyone? Power and the money it brings may well be the biggest religion of the 21st century, the first truly international religion.

Against the religion of Power equals Money, the notions of law, duty and religious devotion probably appear a little quaint, more than a little obsolete.

Nevertheless, the whistleblower is important to maintaining some element of the rule of law in this country. And remember, the whistleblower is very close to the sole line of defense in discovering corporate wrong doing in other nations directed at the United States.

This article discusses how a whistleblower can use strategy to survive the inevitable fallout more successfully.

You may very well find yourself in the position of knowing what you should not and having to live with the decision of what to do. Read the article, put some knowledge on your plate, so you don’t have to start out cold when the crisis comes.

James Pilant

The dynamics of employee dissent: whistleblowers and organizational jiu-jitsu By Brian Martin with Will Rifkin Go to Brian Martin’s publications on whistleblowing Brian Martin’s publications on backfire (political jiu-jitsu) Brian Martin’s publications Brian Martin’s website We thank Bill De Maria, Hugh DeWitt, Wendy Varney, Tom Weber, Deena Weinstein and an anonymous reviewer for valuable comments on drafts of this paper. Abstract Whistleblowing … Read More

via FAA Whistleblowers Alliance

Does The Bottom Line Always Trump Ethics?

From Reuters, a comment from China Labor Watch:

“The case of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, shows that corporate codes of conduct and factory auditing are not enough by themselves to strengthen workers’ rights if corporations are unwilling to pay the real price it costs to produce a product according to the standards in their codes.”

Acting ethically costs real money. It limits the return on investment. It complicates dealings with suppliers, competitors and often the government.

Doing the right thing is never cheap. The wrong thing can make you enormous sums of money in a world where this kind of behavior has no down side.