Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: United State

Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Musings, the web site of Manoje Nath:

What Law? Whose order?

Law and order is a tricky business and the best of us are sometimes tested and found wanting largely because of the ambivalence of the mandate of police. Law is codified, made formal in various acts-the IPC, CrPC, evidence, etc. But what is order? Is there a permanent, ordained, immutable order? A preferred order? An ideal state of order? The construction of the meaning of order is exclusively the area of police expertise.

The law obligates a police officer of appropriate rank present on the scene of trouble to do everything within his legal means to prevent trouble and disperse the mob. It is a responsibility, not a privilege and powers to discharge this responsibility inhere in him; he does not enjoy it during the pleasure of somebody. Now the DGP says it was on his orders that the police force did not react. That says it all. Law must take a bow before the dictates of order


I have great respect for the thinking of my colleague and friend, Manoje Nath. We in America should pay more attention to the ideas and philosophy of criminal justice. Surely, the experiences of policing in a nation of 1.4 billion people have have some valuable lessons.

The short excerpt above does not do justice to the article. It is constructed in a carefully designed pattern, very fine writing. So, I recommend you go read the article in its entirety. In addition, I couldn’t help but notice that his remarks were published in a good number of Indian publications.

James Pilant

P.S. This may seem off the pattern of business ethics but I also teach criminal justice courses and justice is a critical element in ethical analysis.  (JP)

From around the web –

From the the Recommendations of the Malimath Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice System: (This is a very small piece of a very large set of recommendations.)

1. Need for Reforms
It is the duty of the State to protect fundamental rights of the citizens as well as the right to property. The State has constituted the criminal justice system to protect the rights of the innocent and punish the guilty. The system, devised more than a century back, has become ineffective; a large number of guilty go unpunished in a large number of cases; the system takes years to bring the guilty to justice; and has ceased to deter criminals. Crime is increasing rapidly everyday and types of crimes are proliferating.

The citizens live in constant fear. It is therefore that the Govt of India, Ministry of Home Affairs constituted the Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice System to make a comprehensive examination of all the functionaries of the Criminal Justice System, the fundamental principles and the relevant laws. The Committee, having given its utmost consideration to the grave problems facing the country, has made its recommendations in its final report, the salient features of which are given below: …

From the web site, Daily News and Analysis, from an article by Rakesh Bhatnagar.

Way back in 1604, House of Lords Judge Sir Edward Coke ruled that “the house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.” There was serious concern for the privacy of a living a being as the contested and universally acceptable verdict says “The midnight knock by the police bully breaking into the peace of the citizen’s home is outrageous in law’. Agreeing with him, Justice Douglas explained that the Free State offers what a police state denies – the privacy of the home, the dignity and peace of mind of the individual.

“That precious right to be left alone is violated once the police enter our conversations,’’ the two thinking judges said as they unwittingly laid the foundation of the hope for a nation “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…”

It’s a pleasant surprise that Lord Coke’s concern was echoed recently by Indian Supreme Court judges AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar as they examined the significance of the Right to Information Act.

And finally from the web site, a PDF file, MEASURES FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE INDIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM by Kumaravelu Chockalingam: (This is a very brief section from a 13 page paper. jp)

India derived its criminal justice system from the British model. There is a clear demarcation of the role
and powers and functions of the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. The judiciary is independent and there
is a free press. The penal philosophy in India has accepted the concepts of prevention of crime and treatment
and rehabilitation of criminals, which have been reiterated by many judgments of the Supreme Court.
Victims have no rights under the criminal justice system, and the state undertakes the full responsibility to
prosecute and punish the offenders by treating the victims as mere witnesses.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Ethics Sage Calls for H1-B Visa Reform

The Ethics Sage Calls for H1-B Visa Reform

Steven Mintz, the Ethics Sage

Steven Mintz, the Ethics Sage

Limitations on H1-B Visas Harm Economic Growth in the U.S. – Ethics Sage

Life in immigration limbo is awful. Immigrants on H1-B visas, which are issued to workers, must be sponsored by a specific employer. This visa can be used to employ a skilled foreign national for up to six years. They cannot change jobs without jeopardizing their application. Their careers stagnate. They do not know whether they will be deported, so they hesitate to put down roots, buy a house or start a company. Sometimes their spouses are barred from working. More and more immigrants look for alternatives and places such Canada, Australia and Singapore are ready to welcome them with open by handing out visas swiftly and without hassle.

Limitations on H1-B Visas Harm Economic Growth in the U.S. – Ethics Sage

Steven Mintz, better known as the Ethics Sage see problems in the way America’s Visa program for professionals and entrepreneurs works. He believes in the need for H1-B Visa Reform. Obviously, an article thoroughly grounded on facts, often unpleasant deserves attention and action.

James Pilant

Other comments from the Web:

Here’s one from a web site simply entitled H1-B:

I decided to interview a fellow international friend of mine, who graduated from American University in May. In the short interview she describes the difficulty of finding a employment due to her international status and its links with the H1-B program. It’s just one example of thousands of how difficult it is for recent graduates to find jobs. This interview also brings to light the necessity of colleges and universities better training its international students on immigration policy. While I know immigration policy is one we have to run after, it would be interesting to have more seminars on campus about the transition of student to employment authorization status to H1-B status. The more recent graduates can learn about the H1-B process prior to graduating, the better off they are in their job search process.

From the web site, Immigration Services and Forms Blog:

Two weeks back, the quota for H1-B Visas ran out within just 10 weeks of time after it was opened on April 1st. In year 2010 quota was completed in Jan 2011, and in 2011 cap was filled in Nov 2011. First every quota was established in year 1990. This is good news for immigrants and the employers who are petitioning because of the improving job market. Bad news for the US citizens, they want skilled immigrants to stay competitive in the market.

Most of them still think H1-B workers take US jobs, but this isn’t the case. Hiring of these skilled workers doesn’t come at very less cost, government and legal fee runs in thousands of dollars. Fee of $ 1,500 must be paid by US Companies for each H1-B petition for training and scholarship fee. So for a year 65,000 visas, it comes up to $2 billion according to NFAP. This amount is used for more than 53,000 scholarships for students, several programs for 190,000 students and 6,800 school teachers and train up to for more than 55,000 US workers.

From the web site, Definitely Filipino: (I went a little lengthy on my quote. The author has so much interesting to say. JP)

Let’s just say their chances depend on the basis of qualification alone, how sure are we that human resource/personnel departments do not adjust their preferences, in favor of co-Americans to subscribe first, to the Obama Act and second, to the American nationalism?

If this is the case, why give H1B visas intended for foreign nationals, if there are no U.S. companies/institutions ready to provide sponsorship at all? False hopes or merely a part of U.S. recovery efforts? By the latter means the government admits its failure to achieve an acceptable standard, in terms of economics. To date, there are still no instructions that temporarily prohibit the provision of H1B, so we expect more casualties coming for the next quarters.

Critics including H1B holders themselves are saying that Obama’s resolution on the matter directly contradicts the provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunity and the United State’s principal role in advocating globalization, which means being in subscription to the free market of labor and workers. (H1B Visa and Employment, published September 21, 2010)

The agony and hopelessness that foreign visa holders experience will definitely strengthen their cores. But more than anything else, this clearly shows a piece of evidence that America is suffering from many different insecurities, a direct contradiction to its superpower facade.

For H4 visa holders, we shall say, analyzing their situation is like looking at a glass, half-full or half-empty.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Student Loan Debt a Lifetime Burden for Middle Class but Major Money Maker for Goldman Sachs

Kids today still screwed – Student Loan Debt – Salon.com

Just in case anyone decided to “scam” themselves some free higher education by going to college and then declaring bankruptcy, Congress decided in 1998 to make sure that student loan debt had no statute of limitations and could not be discharged except in the event of extreme (and effectively unprovable) hardship. Then tuition began skyrocketing, players like Goldman Sachs got into the student lending business, and middle-class job opportunities for people without college degrees disappeared. The result, naturally, has been extremely profitable for certain people (Lally Weymouth) and basically awful for everyone else in America. Now, Eric Pianin is in Lally Weymouth’s Washington Post saying that student loan debt might be “the next debt bomb.

Kids today still screwed – Student Loan Debt – Salon.com

Student Loan Debt a Lifetime Burden

My poor students are getting battered by an economy where there are few jobs in a nation where last year’s college graduates owed an average of $24,000 in student loans.

Other nations do not place the burden of higher education on the students. It is a matter of public expenditure. The United States has long been the leader in college graduates worldwide and no we are fourth. I see no prospect of that getting better but only worse. Education is not a commodity. It is a public good necessary for a successful society. For almost all students, the debts accumulated in college will last their entire lifetimes, making it difficult to buy homes, cars, etc. One of the great tragedies will be the necessity of working at a job that enables regular payments. The broad opportunities offered to previous generations are now limited to those that pay enough, and if you don’t get one of those, no matter how hard you work, you will never get even.

We can do better than this. We are a better people than this.

James Pilant







We Win the War on Terrorism by Maintaining Our Ideals!

U.S. soldiers from Bravo Company, 1st Battalio...

Image via Wikipedia

Giving up long held American rights, attempting to copy the worst elements of repressive regimes like the Argentine and the Soviet, are not the way to victory in the “war on terror.” These attempts to discover how low we can go in our own behavior are counterproductive. The America whose ideas have become common across the world was a concept of idealism and possibility. People never turned to the ideals of America because of their similarity to totalitarian regimes and monarchies but because they were different.

We win wars of ideas by having better ideas. The Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus are persuasive ideas. Disappearing our enemies and holding them indefinitely without charges are the cowardly acts of frightened dictators and incompetent despots.

The great ideas that have made America a light to the world require courage, support and sacrifice. They are not cheap or easy.

But having such ideas is how societies win long term conflicts because having such ideas means that a people willing to hold on to its ideals even when threatened with destruction is a worthy people who live for more than just themselves.

James Pilant

Indefinite Military Detention Of U.S. Citizens Is A Win For Terrorists, Former Admiral Says

“As it turns out, our enemies’ greatest weakness is that they are bereft of ideals,” he added. “If we can maintain our ideals, our sense of justice, in the face of this, we can win. What the enemy, what the terrorists want to do — because they know they can’t beat us militarily — [is] they can try to change us. They can cause us to become more like them, and for them, that’s victory.”

The reason why, he argues, is that if the United States cannot portray itself as the holder of loftier ideals, then it is much harder to convince the rest of the world to stay on its side — and it’s harder to fight wars because even allies are less cooperative.

“Who’s going to surrender to the United Sates if they think they’re going to be detained indefinitely without a trial? Is anybody going to give up?” he asked. “Who’s going to say, ‘You know, maybe the United States isn’t as bad as we think it is, and maybe it’s al Qaeda and the Taliban who are the bad guys, and I’m going to side with the good guys?'”

Indefinite Military Detention Of U.S. Citizens Is A Win For Terrorists, Former Admiral Says

Enhanced by Zemanta

Arts, Humanities and Science Diminishing in Schools under NCLB

NCLB, No Child Left Behind, a kind of wrecking ball converting our school systems into cruel testing centers, is gradually purging all non test subjects out of the school systems.

From Salon, an essay called:  School: It’s way more boring than when you were there. Here’s a paragraph –

“When decisions are made about layoffs, decisions are made about which subjects are necessary — the tested ones — and which are expendable–those that don’t count on the federal scorecards. So librarians are cut; art and music teachers are cut; testing budgets are not touched,” she writes to Salon. “The research is not clear but a great deal of anecdotal evidence suggests that affluent districts are preserving a balanced curriculum, while poor and minority students are likely to have larger classes and a bare-bones curriculum.”

I remember in school the times I spoke before class in Speech, acted on the state (twice) and did a mock debate between the current presidential candidates. Those things did a lot toward shaping me into the teacher that I am today. What kind of memories and personality shaping do you get from constant drilling on test questions?

When school is shorn of recess, of noon hours, of breaks, of arts, of science?!, of humanities, what’s left? What you get is a a shell that makes students take the same tests over and over again. It can’t be much fun or very successful for anyone. But it’s the corporate model. You don’t do stuff because it works, you do stuff because it generates numbers for the higher ups.

Generating good numbers is not the only value or every a very good value.

Why don’t have a real discussion about what schools are supposed to be doing instead of using financial penalties to condition schools into testing centers just like Pavlov’s dogs were taught to salivate?

James Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta

Social Class in the United States of America: Social Stratification and Divisions (1957)

McGraw-Hill's 1990s logo
Image via Wikipedia

Social Class in the United States

This is a You-Tube video from the site, nologorecords. It’s a McGraw Hill sociology class video. titled as described above. The discussion in the film of social class and how vertical and horizontal mobility affect it is wonderful, and at the very least, I recommend the film for that. But the principal element of the film that’s makes it important to my readers is the picture of an America of a different age.

I was born in 1956 and I saw some of that America. I grew up with gas station attendants who put gas in cars, cleaned your windows, and added oil. That was when everyone went to public schools or paid for private. It was considered vital that all Americans had a similar education stressing American values. That, of course, has all changed.

On the positive side, I think the effect of old money and who the right people are in small towns has diminished. But the negative side, the lack of social and economic mobility now as compared to then is far worse. It is much more difficult to change social class now. We are anchored not by lack of ability but our lack of money to go to the best schools, the lack of proper contacts and even worse, the lack of opportunity, jobs and professions.

America has become a much more economically hostile place, much more socially stratified, since this film was made.  I hope the view of what the world was like will enable you to see a world that might be, a world where a man is judged by his ability not by his family.

James Pilant

Please enjoy. Click on the title to watch the film.

Social Class in the United States of America: Social Stratification and Divisions (1957)

Enhanced by Zemanta

No Child Left Behind is an Educational Disaster – Educating My Students – To What End?

Mary Boyer, the first teacher in Upper Arlingt...

Image via Wikipedia

No Child Left Behind is an Educational Disaster – Educating My Students – To What End?

I have students. I am college professor. Generally speaking in these very tough economic times, they come to school not for an education but to get that piece of paper they have been grandly told over and over again will get them a job. Oh, yeah, I guess that is confusing, going to school but not for an education. Let me explain.

We have a thing in America called No Child Left Behind, which makes the mammoth and bizarre claim that we can measure progress based on tests. That’s right, bizarre. I might agree with you if had some numbers correlating success with grades (and you don’t). Oh, there are some university studies, which since they develop their very own concept of what we might call success, don’t amount to anything useful. (If you get to decide what determines success for your own programs, you have a tendency to win.)

No Child Left Behind means that for a school to be determined to be successful (worthy of money from the State and the Feds), it has to have good test scores generated by its students. So, in pursuit of this, students are drilled relentlessly in the subjects to be tested. The school that drills its students longer and harder than the others is supposed to be improving. Since the primary indicator of grades is social and economic class, the scores fall into utterly predictable categories. Obviously there are variations. An inspired group of teachers can pump up test scores with skill and effort. But inspired teachers are just like inspired politicians, inspired architects, inspired pediatricians, etc. There are only so many per profession.

Now, you will find that there are people who say we can train teacher to be inspired in large numbers. That enthusiasm and a willingness to go beyond requirements should be the standard. This is nonsense. There are only so many inspired, truly dedicated individuals on earth and that’s it.

The effect over time of teaching to large scale tests is devastating. Students are conditioned not to think but to remember. The advent of the internet solves many problems of remembering and great deal of remembering is useless trivia. America needs thinkers and it’s as if we wish to exterminate them that we do this crazy testing. We have perverted the idea of education from developing human beings to the production of standard products as if on an assembly line. My students aren’t products, they are people. Human achievement is not measured by tests. No test will ever be a substitute for the real life measurements of success these people will produce.

It fills me with rage to look at what has been done to my students. I want thinkers, doers and patriots. What I get are rote learners, good passive students and bumper sticker patriots whose knowledge of the greatness of this nation is limited to the most trivial.

You see, there is a funny thing about these people, these students; they’re magnificent. When I look over my classes I don’t see A and B and C students. I see these people waiting to be told of the enormous power, potential and talent they each carry within them.

My students are the heart and soul of America. They are leaders of the next generation. They work hard. I don’t see the government of the United States lavishing care on these most vital people for the future of this country. There is more an attitude of how much we can make them financially obligated for the rest of their lives and make sure that they don’t escape paying a dime of it.

We need to figure out our priorities. If you truly desire a second rate society of “information” workers, if you truly believe that this country is merely a corporate resource to be disdained if the money is too dear and that only the “right” people should have a say in what happens, this educational system is perfect for you.

This is the United States of American. We can do better.

James Alan Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén