In Search Of An Ethical Leader

Ethical leadership is often described as leadership that influences others by using trust, honesty, empathy, and fairness. Ethical leaders foster an ethical culture within organizations by behaving in ways that reflect ethical values. Leaders who facilitate ethical behavior positively influence the attainment of organizational goals. Studies have shown ethical behavior and high moral standards to be amongst the top leadership qualities. Although ethics and morality concern doing what is right, the two concepts are not always synonymous. While morality deals with conforming to ideals of right human conduct, ethics includes consideration for agreements made relative to how a person will act. For example, a doctor takes an oath to do no harm but she sometimes has to knowingly forgo providing the highest level of care for a patient who cannot afford to pay the projected healthcare bill. Although her actions likely abide by the agreement she made with her organization and might be ethical, many people might view her actions as immoral. Ethical, as well as moral, leaders should govern based on fairness rather than financial/personal gains. Several current leaders have constituencies that are searching for ethical replacements.

A civilian Army Engineer, responsible for conducting technical evaluations of training devices offered by different companies to be used to train soldiers, reported several unethical actions taken by his leaders during his ongoing 25 year career. The Engineer has seen leaders turn a blind eye to reported incidences such as racial discrimination, professional disrespect, time card fraud, and nepotism. In one instance, the Engineer served as a technical evaluator during a competition between several companies trying to win a government contract to provide a training tool for soldiers. While attempting to conduct his duties, the Engineer’s authority was seized in a coup-like fashion and his leaders edited documents to ensure a particular company won the contract. In another instance, the Engineer’s leader (an Army Officer) ordered him to take unlawful actions and retaliated against him when he refused and reported the unethical behavior. Other Officers assisted the initial retaliator by issuing the Engineer unfair performance evaluations and removing him from leadership positions. Although the Engineer repeatedly reported the continued retaliations, no leader has extended assistance. The Engineer’s pleas for help up his chain of command within the organization and to outside organizations including the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have not led to meaningful changes in the Engineer’s organization. An ethical leader would have fairly investigated the Engineer’s complaints in an effort to locate and address any unethical, immoral, or toxic leaders within the organization. Ethical leaders listen to their followers and offer beneficial interventions when necessary. As of the date this article was published, the Engineer was still in search of an ethical leader.

The voters select their leaders and expect their leaders, in turn, to take actions that benefit their followers (i.e., their constituency). The voters deserve a leader who respects the law and does not endanger the lives of others for personal gain. One presidential candidate who is working to gain the trust of the voters has violated federal law by mishandling classified information. She exchanged United States secrets, using a non-secure personal computer network, and those secrets were reportedly intercepted by foreign intelligence services. After being asked for certain email messages, the presidential candidate deleted everything from her computer’s hard drive and stated she did not save copies of the email messages. Investigators estimated over 2,000 of the email messages on the candidate’s personal server contained classified information.

The same presidential candidate was also accused of accepting money from special interest groups with the intention of influencing future laws to benefit those groups. The candidate reportedly accepted $20,000 from Saudi Arabian leaders. Some United States citizens question whether or not she will support the widely discussed release of a report that purports to substantiate the involvement of the Saudi Arabian government in the world trade center attacks of September 11, 2001.

The presidential candidate, while serving in the United States Senate, strongly supported trade policies that resulted in an uncountable number of jobs being moved to other countries and fostered an increase in the number of men, women, and children standing on corners holding signs seeking money and/or food. How can she be trusted to lead the voters in an ethical fashion? How can she be trusted to foster an ethical culture during her presidency? How can she be trusted? Many of the voters feel she cannot be trusted and are searching for an alternative-an ethical leader.

The citizens of the United States elected a President, several years ago, who told them he would bring positive change to the country. He promised to improve the economy and order his military troops to come home and cease fighting in foreign countries. Instead, the President doubled the country’s debt and greatly increased the fighting in foreign countries. The vast majority of the people killed in those foreign countries were not the intended targets. The President approved the use of un-manned drones to kill individuals in those countries and those killings were carried out against innocent people 90% of the time. During one timeframe, attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people. Although the President acknowledged that drones often kill innocent people, he continues to order the use of drones to target people in foreign countries. The President’s actions have been viewed as dishonest by many of his constituents.

The citizens of the United States are also disappointed that their President supported laws that allow little boys to join little girls in the little girls’ restroom. During a time when crimes like rape and sodomy are on the rise, legalizing men to use women’s restrooms is unethical and decreases the level of trust citizens hold for their leader. The United States President’s actions show his lack of empathy for women-especially abused women. While many of the citizens of the United States, mostly those from certain communities, enjoy the thought of men in women’s restrooms, others find it repulsive and have questioned the values and morality of their President. The majority of the citizens are eager to replace the President in their search for an ethical leader.

When leaders foster a fair and trustworthy environment followers are likely to reciprocate with ethical and moral behaviors. Because leaders set the tone for what is viewed as acceptable, followers who perceive their leaders as unethical tend to turn a blind eye to the immoral and unethical conduct of their teammates. Other followers distance themselves from the unethical activity and hope for a change in leadership. Many followers find themselves on that seemingly never-ending search for an ethical leader.

St. Petersburg Major Sights

Listed among UNESCO world heritage sites, St. Petersburg has an extraordinary architectural, religious, cultural and literary heritage, which makes it one of the most attractive cities in the world. Its attractions can impress even the most discerning travellers.

The Cathedral of the Resurrection (St. Saviour on the Spilled Blood) with its beautiful colourful domes is ranked number 1 on the list of St. Petersburg attractions. This magnificent church is clearly visible from the Nevsky prospect. It was built by Tsar Alexander III beside the Griboedov Channel on the spot of assassination of his father, Tsar Alexander II the Liberator. The Tsar’s carriage was blown up on March 1, 1881 by a bomb thrown at by members of a revolutionary group calling themselves “People’s will”. The evil irony consists in the fact that this terrorist group assassinated the very Tsar who 20 years earlier had issued the famous Emancipation Manifesto liberating Russian serfs, as a result of which Russian peasants became free of serfdom. It is built in the Old Russian style and strongly reminds of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. The church is richly decorated with beautiful mosaics both inside and outside. Services resumed here after the fall of the Soviet regime and are now held on a regular basis.

The Alexander Nevsky Lavra is a monastery located in the very centre of the city. In 2013 it celebrates the 300th anniversary since its foundation. The monastery, surrounded by stone walls and moats, is dominated by the Holy Trinity cathedral housing the holy relics of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky. The monastery is believed to have been built on the very spot where St. Alexander defeated Swedes in 1240 in the famous Neva battle. Saint Prince Alexander Nevsky is the Patron saint of St. Petersburg.

After the fall of the Soviet regime monastic life resumed in the Lavra and now regular services are celebrated in the cathedral. Several cemeteries are located within the Monastery grounds, with quite a few notable personalities: the genius scientist and poet M. Lomonosov, famous Russian generalissimo and army leader count A. Suvorov (one of the few generals in world history who never lost a single battle, having triumphantly won 63), great Russian writers and poets F. Dostoevsky, A. Goncharov, I. Krylov, V. Zhukovsky, great Russian composers P. Tschaikovsky, M. Glinka and M. Mussorgsky, Russian architects and sculptors V. Stasov, K. Rossi, P. Clodt and A. Kuindgy, politicians of former and modern times, members of the most prominent Russian noble families.

Among other attractions should be mentioned the Admiralty (its “golden needle” topped with a ship is the city’s emblem), the “Bronze Horseman” (famous monument to Peter the Great, the founder of the city), St. Isaac’s Cathedral (the largest cathedral in Russia with fascinating interiors and a splendid view over the city from the open gallery under the dome), the Twelve Colleges (the University), the traffic-free Palace Square, the magnificent Kazan Cathedral in Nevsky prospect, St. Nikolas Cathedral, Smolny Convent and Institute, Rostral Columns on the Spit (Strelka) of St. Basil Island, Mikhailocsky Castle (where Emperor Paul I was assassinated), the Summer Gardens, on the left bank of the Neva opposite Ss. Peter and Paul Fortress.

Enjoy refreshing walks in the city parks and along the embankments, boat trips on the Neva, Fontanka and Moyka rivers, visits to world-famous museums, theatres and concert halls, intense cultural life with numerous musical and drama festivals around the year, the diversity of high-quality cuisine in city restaurants.

Many exploring options are provided by the Gulf of Finland, with its sandy beaches, shore tours, naval activities, seaboat trips and visits to distant picturesque islands.

Some places in the surrounding of St. Petersburg are no less spectacular, with their neat mansions, fascinating palaces, opulent and elegant interiors, art collections, wonderfully preserved parks and gardens laid out in various styles. Don’t miss visits to the former Imperial summer residences in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and Pavlovsk, Lomonosov (Oranienbaum) and, of course, to Peterhof (Petrodvorets) with its majestic fountains operating without pumps! These places are easily accessible by rail, buses or taxi. Petrodvorets (Peterhof) can also be reached by boat (especially recommended in summer). Hydrofoils for Petrodvorets depart from the piers at the Senate (Decembrists’) Square and opposite the Hermitage museum. The trip lasts about 30 minutes.

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Healthcare, History, and Obamanomics

Amazed I was this past week at the legislative events on Capitol Hill, especially the prevailing attitude of the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate regarding the controversial Senate Health Care Bill, which has seemed much less directed at pleasing a majority of the American electorate (the U.S. citizens these politicians supposedly represent) than the questionable Barack H. Obama, the only U.S. President in the history of the nation whose constitutional eligibility to be President has been successfully challenged by lawsuit in a U.S. District Court, but, subsequently, dismissed by a federal judge who obviously cared more about his political future than seeing basic justice done.

Does Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and his cronies, actually believe that the large majority of American voters (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) want a health care program legislated that will create, in its wake, 111 new Executive branch bureaucracies, expanding the federal government by 30 percent of its current size by the scribble of Obama’s pen? One might wonder who, among the controlling Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives, really cares about the constitutional way the Framers of the American republic intended for the nation to be perpetuated in accordance with limited government. You really don’t have to be a bombastic Republican zealot, but, rather, a reasonable person, in order to detect the obvious economic flaws in the Democratic Party’s spendthrift approach to healthcare.

Historically, it’s really sort of like the way the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was imposed upon the nation. You know, the one that allowed the creation of the federal income tax and all other, subsequent, state income taxes? By all valid historical accounts, and simple common sense, I believe that it is proper to say that the infamous amendment was ratified without the genuine approval of a majority of the U.S. electorate. For what citizen, in her right mind, would have favored an un-apportioned federal tax imposed on a citizen’s income?

Well, until 1913, there was not a federal income tax, and the American nation had done pretty well up to that time in financing federal government with a consistently balanced budget using apportioned taxes. Un-apportioned federal and state taxation on the personal income of U.S. citizens was considered a blatant heresy, and was forbidden by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution. That’s why an illicit amendment had to be subtly crafted and imposed on the republic during the second decade of the 20th Century by a few powerful federal politicians and private bankers, through sheer Machiavellian chicanery, in order to make it, supposedly, lawful for the federal government to tax the American people by any means available. This was, basically, a pragmatic methodology to implement a secretly contrived agenda for the American republic to have an unlimited, but flawed, credit system in order to provide financial resources to assume an imperialistic Romanesque position in world affairs.

It took money, money, and more money, and a skyrocketing national debt, to incrementally erect over the ensuing decades the most feared offensive nuclear/conventional military on the earth. This involved the bribery and intimidation of unwilling nations into abiding by U.S. foreign policy through covert intelligence operations (effected by the paramilitary CIA and DIA)), and putting in place complex domestic computer/satellite surveillance operations in association with the private-sector telecommunications industry, which has been occurring since 1948.

The Federal Reserve System, and the 16th Amendment, were both imposed upon the American republic in 1913, and legislatively linked together to form the awful bases for eventual control over the American economy by an elite combination of powerful bankers and corporate capitalists. The origins of both dire entities are comprehensively presented with immaculate documentation in G. Edward Griffin’s tome, “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” which every American should read and study. According to the history of Western civilization, expanded knowledge of historical fact among any electorate produces an empowering of the People to change things for the better.

If a healthcare system is to be established for the well-being of all needy uninsured American citizens, it should be legally done by the will of the fifty U.S. states and territories in accordance with the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The federal government has no real power to supplant the authority of the several States by establishing a federal-run health care system, with powers not delegated expressly to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, a medical system already in operation, which, by necessity, has been approved by the several states (such as the U.S. Veterans Healthcare System) could be easily expanded in scope, state-by-state, to provide all of the uninsured American citizens in the 50 states, territories, and possessions with good medical care according to the funding provided by the states and the federal government. This would in no way proscribe private healthcare plans from prospering. In fact, competition among the states in establishing the best-managed public healthcare would create jobs for physicians, pharmacists, medical technicians, engineers, architects, and construction workers.

Currently, only less than 30 percent of all of the 20+ million eligible American Veterans use the 250 existing VA medical centers throughout the nation. Expanding the VA system by building new medical centers in the various states would allow all veterans and non-veteran American citizens to have access to good healthcare. If, perchance, employed American non-veterans, capable of affording private healthcare, would opt to use such a public facility, they would be required to pay a share of cost for the services and medicines rendered to them. Working, tax paying American citizens unable to afford private healthcare would be automatically eligible to receive public medical assistance, without charge. What should be publicly regulated, state-by-state, is the pharmaceutical industry so that all medicines and prescription drugs are easily accessible for the general public, and that no one gets wealthy off of the development of life-saving drugs. As such state supported university laboratories should be adequately funded to research new drugs

In sum, I believe that it is entirely better to suffer in liberty the consequences of human choice within a republic, being the lifestyle derived of personal volition, either, adverse or pleasant, than to have good health served up on a silver platter at the expense and burden of decadent dictatorial government. The sage Henry David Thoreau wisely wrote in his “Essay on Civil Disobedience,” “that government is best that governs least,” and while the citizen unschooled in constitutional law might think that the federal government has legitimate power to dictatorially impose upon the people what the Framers reserved only to the States, such exercise of power is deceitful and totally without law and merit.