(For background on this article, please see “The Trials of PSU,” http://bit.ly/rDNCs0, and “Paterno vs Sandusky,” http://bit.ly/tZut8J.)

Filed Under (Business Ethics)   A course in ethics was a requisite for a B.A. at Fordham University in the 1960′s and I have to confess I probably semi-slept through it. 

It’s apparent that Ethics 101 either wasn’t required at Penn State University or that Nittany Lions coaches also slept through it.  Meanwhile, in Washington, President Barack Hussein Obama has made such a farce of ethics in the federal government it’s hard to believe he understands the meaning of the word.  

Ethics was a tough subject although its essence can be reduced to the study of moral principles and their applicability to rules of conduct.  Dictionary.com provides a more detailed definition:  “That branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.”  

In turn, that definition can be summarized to doing the right thing just because it is the right thing to do.  

Many wrongs are associated with recently-publicized events at PSU.  Some may be termed ethical lapses of omission.  They include Coach Joe Paterno’s failure to notify law enforcement authorities, university administrators covering up perfidious behavior, and Coach Mike McQueary’s grossly negligence in not interceding on behalf of a 10 year old boy being raped in a school shower room.   

The most profound ethical failures committed have been attributed to Coach Jerry Sandusky, illegalities and moral turpitude which allegedly continued for some 15 years, from his initial molestations of young boys to McQueary’s witnessing Sandusky violating  the ten year old. 

Both Sandusky and McQueary are Penn State graduates but so too are the other 557,000 alumni of that immense and still great school.  A few rotten apples can spoil a barrelful but a handful can’t spoil an outstanding university.  Now that they have been exposed, they will be prosecuted and victims will be compensated even if that compensation can never wipe clear the memories of what they suffered. 

Barack Obama smoking a   Similarly, an unethical American president can stink up the White House but he can’t spoil a nation. 

Obama and the administration he leads have been caught in numerous ethical breaches but, thanks to his mainstream media and stonewalling lackeys, so far they have gotten away with such breaches and only time will tell whether they ultimately ”come home to roost,” to quote his pastor or 20 years. 

Barack Obama campaigned on and pledged transparency and ethical conduct, pledges he replaced with the most opaque and unethical administration since Nixon.  Ironically, in light of the PSU scandal, Obama even employed a “school safety czar,” Kevin Jennings, who had been accused of complicity in the same repulsive behavior as Jerry Sandusky. 

Nevertheless, he felt compelled to weigh in on the Penn State through his mouthpiece, press secretary Jay Carney, who used the words “outrageous” and “disgusting” to describe what happened there.

The next day, the president himself went on radio to mouth rambling platitudes: ”And I think it’s a good time for the entire country to do some soul-searching–not just Penn State. . . our No. 1 priority has to be protecting our kids.  And every institution has to examine how they operate, and every individual has to take responsibility for making sure that our kids are protected.” (http://bit.ly/rKI386)   

When Mr. Obama referred to “our kids,” he must only have been referencing the First Kids, Malia and Sasha, and not the millions of pre-born babies he has endorsed killing, perhaps to save them from people like Czar Kevin Jennings.

It’s common knowledge that, absent his trusty teleprompters and rehearsals, this president says the damnedest and most damning things as when he admitted his socialistic bent of sharing the wealth to Joe the Plumber and when he demeaned Special Olympics kids on Leno.

He also let loose an admission to D.C. high school students in September by blurting out, “I did not love every class I took.  I wasn’t always paying attention the way I should have.  I remember when I was in 8th grade I had to take a class called ethics.  Now, ethics is about right and wrong, but if you’d ask me what my favorite subject was back in 8th grade, it was basketball.  I don’t think ethics would have made it on the list.” (http://bit.ly/qyfERl)

The admission was a surprise, the truth it revealed concerning his understanding of ethical conduct was not. 

As he demonstrated during his brief tenure as a United States senator, Obama cares more about the survival of golden-winged warblers than he does about human beings’ unalienable right to life, he cares more about anarchist and terrorist rights than he does about veterans and flag-burning, he cares more about homosexual demands than he does about the sanctity of marriage.  (http://bit.ly/rPyXAW)  

President Obama needn’t have told those high schoolers that he didn’t think much of ethics.  He has given ethics in government the same priority Jerry Sandusky gave the subject at Penn State.  Another reminder to both of them.  Ethics: ”values, rightness and wrongness, goodness and badness.”