Ethical View

October 5, 2008

This is one of my favorite topics.

The major challenge in the contemporary society is the diminishing “ethical standards” or the lack thereof. Unfortunately, ethics is not the priority in any environment. The subprime mortgage failure and credit crunch contributing to the recent global financial crisis is fundamentally due to lack of “ethics” at every level of transaction.

The “Corporate world” motto is “profiteering” at the expense of “ordinary citizens” struggling to meet ends, in the “Capitalist” economy. That being the norm the importance of ethics is hardly an issue for the “Corporations” focused on “stock value” and “shareholder’s interest” rather than the “employees or the work force” who are also the retail customers of their products and services.

The latest “rescue” plan of the financial institutions by the government is a result of the lack of any oversight in lending practices carried out for more than a decade. Again, when the Corporations run the government through constant flow of funds at every level of election campaign i.e. from congressional through “Presidential” what hope does the average citizen have in restoring fair employment, trade and environmental practices in the highly competitive global economy.

Even the judicial system, is infiltrated by the “Special Interests” and “Lobbyists” directly or indirectly as they essentially pick the “President” during the general election. Ironically, both parties have some legislators with strange “bedfellows” and therefore compromising “ethics” which otherwise could serve well for their respective constituents.

It is a known fact that ethics is “oxymoron” to “Politics”, business and the entire franchise. This is particularly evident during “War and Election”. I can personally relate to the political aspect of it as a “volunteer blogger” for the Presidential Candidate, Senator Barack Obama especially during the “Democratic Primary election”. It all started with me pledging my support for his campaign with a token $25 accompanied by a simple message. Then the instructions/requests followed similarly:

——————————————————————

These are some original transcripts from the Senator Barack Obama’s Campaign:

“Who’s out there”

Michelle Obama

Add Friday, January 18, 2008 9:06:02 AM

To:Padmini Arhant

Padmini,

In 24 hours, folks here in Nevada will head into their caucuses for their turn in this process.
But right now, all across the country, thousands of Americans are taking their seat at the table and shaping the outcome of this election.

Donors like you are making a promise to match the gift of someone who has not given this year — or ever before. By doubling the impact of another supporter’s gift, you can help us reach our goal of 125,000 donors for the year by tomorrow.

Make your matching donation now, and encourage someone to own a piece of this campaign:
https://donate.barackobama.com/promise

When you make a matching donation, you’ll get to meet the person whose impact you doubled. You’ll be matched with a real person, and you’ll be able to exchange notes as part of the process.

The stories of real people I’ve met across the country keep me inspired and energized throughout this process. I had a great day yesterday, traveling across the state with Senator John Kerry and talking to folks in community centers and church basements about the issues that are important to them.
It’s those personal stories that motivate Barack and all of us to work as hard as we can to bring about change. We got into this race to bring people back into the process, to help reconnect politics with people’s real lives, and it’s inspiring to feel that happening.

Here are some of the stories people shared when they had their donations doubled by supporters like you:

“Wow, thank you for matching my donation. It was a big impetus to my getting out my debit card — knowing I was giving “double” thanks to you. … I am a 22 year teaching veteran in New Mexico who is looking to get involved locally.”
— Kimberly in New Mexico

“In 1961, I was selected to the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers, and I served four years in Latin America. I was inspired by President Kennedy in 1960 to serve my country, and I believe Senator Obama represents the vision and ability to inspire our country which most parallels what President Kennedy did for me and many others of my generation.”
— Gerald in California

“Hello Holly, Thank you for matching my contribution. This is the first time that I have ever contributed to a political campaign, and November will mark the first time I have voted for a president. Based on the way the country has been run for the last eight years, I now see the extreme importance of participating in the political process.”
— Kehinde in New York

They’re writing to people like you.

Right now you could inspire someone to give for the first time in 2008 and help us reach 125,000 donors for the year by tomorrow. Make your matching donation now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/promise

Our future is in our own hands, so we need to do some dreaming.

Together we can send a message to our children about who they are, who they can become, and who we want to be as a nation. And that message will be heard around the world.

The stakes couldn’t be higher — for our party, for our country, and for the hopes and dreams of all our families.

We are ready for a better, stronger day. Please act now.

Michelle

—————————————————————–
I was initially quite puzzled by this message as I didn’t know what to make out of the manner I was approached to get involved in the campaign. In my view, there are etiquettes with respect to delegating tasks to people especially if they are being asked to “volunteer” for anything.

I responded with the following message.

Re: Who’s out there

Padmini Arhant

Add Friday, January 18, 2008 3:05:34 PM

To:info@barackobama.com

Hi Michelle,

It is nice to hear from you!

I remember our goal and will do everything I can.

I am sure there are millions of people waiting to be part of this historic movement.

Best Regards

Padmini

I had no response to the above message even though I had several email exchanges with the campaign at the top level.

——————————————————————-

“Spun out”

“David Plouffe, BarackObama.com”

AddWednesday, March 12, 2008 1:53:36 PM

To:Padmini Arhant

Dear Padmini,

When we won Iowa, the Clinton campaign said it’s not the number of states you win, it’s “a contest for delegates.”

When we won a significant lead in delegates, they said it’s really about which states you win.

When we won South Carolina, they discounted the votes of African-Americans.

When we won predominantly white, rural states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, they said those didn’t count because they won’t be competitive in the general election.

When we won in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Missouri — general election battlegrounds where polls show Barack is a stronger candidate against John McCain — the Clinton campaign attacked those voters as “latte-sipping” elitists.

And now that we’ve won more than twice as many states, the Clinton spin is that only certain states really count.

But the facts are clear.

For all their attempts to discount, distract, and distort, we have won more delegates, more states, and more votes.

Meanwhile, more than half of the votes that Senator Clinton has won so far have come from just five states. And in four of these five states, polls show that Barack would be a stronger general election candidate against McCain than Clinton.

We’re ready to take on John McCain. But we also need to build operations in places like Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, and Oregon that will hold their primaries in April and May.
Barack Obama needs your support to fight this two-front battle. Please make a donation of $25 right now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/math

With our overwhelming victory in the Mississippi primary yesterday, our lead in earned delegates is now wider than it was on March 3rd, before the contests in Ohio and Texas.

And thanks to your help, we have dramatically increased our support among so-called “superdelegates” — Governors, Members of Congress, and party officials who have a vote at the Democratic National Convention in August.

As the number of remaining delegates dwindles, Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seems less and less plausible.

Now that Mississippi is behind us, we move on to the next ten contests. The Clinton campaign would like to focus your attention only on Pennsylvania — a state in which they have already declared that they are “unbeatable.”

But Pennsylvania is only one of those 10 remaining contests, each important in terms of allocating delegates and ultimately deciding who our nominee will be.

We have activated our volunteer networks in each of these upcoming battlegrounds. We’re putting staff on the ground and building our organization everywhere.

The key to victory is not who wins the states that the Clinton campaign thinks are important. The key to victory is realizing that every vote and every voter matters.

Throughout this entire process, the Clinton campaign has cherry-picked states, diminished caucuses, and moved the goal posts to create a shifting, twisted rationale for why they should win the nomination despite winning fewer primaries, fewer states, fewer delegates, and fewer votes.

We must stand up to the same-old Washington politics. Barack has won twice as many states, large and small, in every region of the country — many by landslide margins. And this movement is expanding the base of the Democratic Party by attracting new voters in record numbers and bringing those who had lost hope back into the political process.

Push back against the spin and help build the operation to win more delegates in these upcoming contests:

https://donate.barackobama.com/math

Thank you for your support and for everything you’ve done to build a movement that is engaging voters and winning contests in every part of this country.

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

————————————————————–

The following email struck me the most as it clearly indicated the campaign intensity.

Dinner with Barack?

“David Plouffe, BarackObama.com”

Add Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:04:25 AM

To: Padmini Arhant

Padmini —

You’ve heard about all of these political fundraising dinners, hosted by Washington lobbyists and filled with representatives of special interests.

Contributions like these are at the root of what’s wrong with politics. And John McCain and Hillary Clinton have built campaigns fueled by them.

But our campaign is different.

In February alone, more than 94% of our donors gave in amounts of $200 or less. Meanwhile, campaign finance reports show that donations of $200 or less make up just 13% of Senator McCain’s total campaign funds, and only 26% of Senator Clinton’s.

Our funding comes from a movement of more than one million people giving whatever they can afford.
And in the next week, four supporters will be selected for a new kind of fundraising dinner.

Make a donation in any amount between now and 11:59 pm EDT on Monday, March 31st, and you could join Barack and three other supporters for an intimate dinner for five.

We’re reserving two of those seats for previous donors like you. Make your donation now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/dinner

This movement is changing the way campaigns are funded.

More than one million individual donors have demonstrated that this election is about more than a candidate — it’s about each of us having a personal stake in the future of American politics.
Meanwhile, Senator McCain has raised more than 70% of his total campaign funds from high-dollar donors giving $1,000 or more. Senator Clinton has raised 60% of her funds from $1,000-and-up donors. And both Senator McCain and Senator Clinton have accepted millions of dollars from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.

Refusing to accept donations from lobbyists and special interests has allowed this campaign to answer only to ordinary Americans like you. And this dinner will be an opportunity for you to sit down with Barack and your fellow supporters and talk about the issues that matter in your life and in your community.

Get the kind of treatment that John McCain and Hillary Clinton reserve for special interests — make a donation in the next week, and you could share your story and your ideas with Barack in person:
https://donate.barackobama.com/dinner

With every single donation, we’re building a movement to change American politics. Help the movement grow, and own a piece of this campaign today.

Thanks for your support,

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

——————————————————————-

I obliged to the request and made the “legal” maximum donation to the campaign i.e. $2300.
I requested the venue details for the above event and surprisingly received the following error messages each time.

“This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed”.

Since, I was not successful in reaching the campaign for a response to my request on the venue details. I posted a blog on the campaign website.

Communication Error
By “Voice behind the movement” – Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:30 am EDT

Comments | Mail to a Friend | Report Objectionable Content
Attention: David Plouffe, Obama Campaign Manager

There appears to be a serious communication error as the incoming mail to you is diverted to non-designated recipient. Please verify details and ensure proper functioning of the incoming server at your end to avoid communication disruption and any misunderstandings.

Your immediate attention is required in this matter.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Barack Obama Supporter

I had no luck with response on the dinner invitation but I received this message from the Campaign manager.

——————————————————————–

“Your voice can make the difference”

“David Plouffe, BarackObama.com”

Add Saturday, April 5, 2008 8:39:20 AM

To:Padmini Arhant

Dear Padmini,

Right now, you can help build a base of support for Barack in Indiana and bring more voices into the political process.

To participate in Indiana’s primary, voters must be registered by this Monday, April 7th.
Tens of thousands of Obama supporters may not be registered yet, and we need to act quickly to reach out to as many of them as possible.

Each call you make could be another vote for Barack in an area where we need your help the most.
Use our online phonebanking tool, and start calling Indiana supporters now:

http://my.barackobama.com/call

Registering voters is more than just an important part of our campaign strategy — it’s what our movement is all about.

From the beginning, Barack has set out to bring more people and more voices into the political process. And if we can reach more people in Indiana, we can make a lasting impact and win victories for the Democratic Party up and down the ballot in November.

All across the country, volunteers will be making calls into Indiana to tell potential supporters about the deadline and encourage them to register.

No previous experience is necessary. All you need is a hunger for change and a willingness to turn your enthusiasm into action.

Our team has put together a list of the most important calls you can make into Indiana right now:
http://my.barackobama.com/call

Here’s how it works:
1. Log into My.BarackObama.com and get a list of 20 names that only you will receive. (If you don’t have a My.BarackObama account, creating one is fast and easy.)
2. Click on a name, and you’ll be led through a simple script, question by question.
3. Start making calls.

Personal contact is the best way to grow this movement, and you can make these connections right from your own home.

It’s easy — start by making five calls, and I know you’ll want to make five more:
http://my.barackobama.com/call

Thank you for making this happen,

David
David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America
———————————————————
I obliged again and posted a highly inspirational message like the earlier ones for voter registration.
Finally, soon after I posted the “Indiana” voter registration message, I had a response from the Campaign manager, David Plouffe to my request on the venue details having paid $2300 for the dinner inivitation.

—– Original Message —-
From: David Plouffe
To: Padmini Arhant
Sent: Monday, April 7, 2008 4:06:35 PM
Subject: Meet Barack’s dinner guests

Padmini —

Thank you so much for your donation to Dinner with Barack.

The response to Barack’s invitation was so strong that we decided to increase the total number of guests to five.

Meet the lucky supporters who will be having dinner with Barack this week, and visit our blog to share a question you think they should ask:

http://my.barackobama.com/dinnerguests

Here are Barack’s dinner guests:

Ben Cherry is a retired school superintendent and commercial fisherman now living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ben served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Latin America and supported schools that served the native populations of Northern Alaska. He’d like to talk to Barack about how understanding other nations and cultures can inform our foreign policy.

Alisha Cordell is an information technology project coordinator in Raleigh, North Carolina. Alisha is a single mother and grandmother struggling to make ends meet and hoping her family can afford health insurance and college. She’d like to talk to Barack about investments in education and healthcare that will make things easier for her children and grandchildren.

Paul Deery is an elementary school art teacher in Easton, Pennsylvania. Paul’s never been involved in a political campaign before, but was inspired by Barack’s call for change. He and his wife have two children around the same age as Barack’s daughters, and Paul believes that Barack has a sincere commitment to facing the challenges of energy and education that will shape their future.

Raissa Dorff is a singer, actor, and waitress in New York City. Raissa is the youngest of twelve children raised just outside Philadelphia. She first became involved in politics as a volunteer for Senator John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race, and recently she’s been traveling back to her home town to volunteer and help build support for Barack. With seventeen nieces and nephews, Raissa is concerned about education and ending the war in Iraq.

Bonnie Locchetta is an office manager in Rushville, Indiana. Bonnie’s from a largely Republican small town and has not always supported Democrats. But she is inspired by Barack and has been actively organizing in her community with the help of her children. One of Bonnie’s biggest concerns is finding a way to make sure her kids can afford college.

Each of these folks has a different story, and each will come to the table with their own ideas to share with Barack and with one another.

Along with more than a million supporters like you, Ben, Alisha, Paul, Raissa, and Bonnie are united by their commitment to this movement for change.

Take a minute to learn more about these folks and share a question you’d like them to ask Barack:

http://my.barackobama.com/dinnerguests

Thank you for your support,

David
David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America
—————————————————-

I responded to the above email.

Re: Meet Barack’s dinner guests

Padmini Arhant

Add Tuesday, April 8, 2008 2:26:58 PM

To:info@barackobama.com

David,

Thank you for the update.

I am pleased to note that the individuals invited for dinner with Senator Obama this week represent the mainstream society that has been hurt severely from the current economic situation we are experiencing as a nation.

Their story might be unique but the problems are similar to most individuals’ struggling to meet ends in their daily life. They all appear to have genuine concerns and issues to present to Senator Obama and I’m sure he will address each one of them eloquently as he deals with any other issues raised by the media, press corps or during the “Presidential Debates”.

I do not have anything more to add than what they already have to ask Senator Obama. If there are any, I’m sure you will see them in my blog.

I appreciate you providing me the opportunity along with millions of other supporters equally committed and working hard to bring about the positive change that we all can’t wait to happen through Senator Obama’s candidacy.

Your thoughts and regular update is much appreciated.

Thank you once again.

Padmini Arhant

Subsequently, I had continual requests from the Campaign at the higher level of hierarchy.

—————————————————

“Put us over the top in Oregon”

“Buffy Wicks, BarackObama.com”

Add Monday, May 12, 2008 4:18:40 PM

To:Padmini Arhant

Padmini –

I wanted to reach out to you before next week’s contest in Oregon.

Folks like you were the heart and soul of our movement in California. You brought Barack to a strong finish on February 5th — and helped build the momentum that’s resonating all across the country.

The nomination is finally in sight, but there’s still more to do to finish this race — and we can’t take anything for granted.

The Oregon primary is coming up on Tuesday, May 20th. We have an opportunity to put Barack over the top with the majority of pledged delegates — but we need supporters like you from nearby states to take the trip and make a difference one more time.

Oregon’s primary is conducted entirely by mail, and all eligible voters have already received their ballots. It’s essential that we reach as many supporters as possible, as quickly as possible, and encourage them to vote before next week’s deadline.

You’ve been there for Barack before — now let us know you can come to Oregon before the May 20th primary:

http://my.barackobama.com/CometoOR

In contests across the country, home-state supporters have worked their hearts out for Barack — but they’ve relied on folks like you from nearby states to help them cross the finish line.

You can make an especially big difference in Oregon, because voters already have their ballots in hand. Every single person you’ll talk to can make their decision, vote for Barack, and mail in their ballots right away.

You’ve already shown your commitment to grassroots organizing, and you know that change only happens when everyday Americans come together to work for it.

This is our chance to close out the nomination for Barack — can we count on you to take the trip to Oregon in time for Primary Day?

http://my.barackobama.com/CometoOR

Thank you again for all that you’ve done.

Buffy
Buffy Wicks
California Field Director
Obama for America

P.S. — You can also make a difference for Barack right from your home.
Our team has put together a list of the potential supporters in Oregon we most need to reach. You can use our simple online tool to call and encourage them to support Barack and mail in their ballots before the May 20th primary deadline.

Get started right now:

http://my.barackobama.com/CallOR

—————————————————

I have had several email communication with the Campaign members, Senators and great many with the “Presidential candidate”, Senator Barack Obama. The above message struck a chord as it reflected the true emotions and sincere gratitude from Campaign staff workers like “Buffy Wicks” and many others toiling to have a candidate get through the most difficult part of the “Presidential Contest” i.e. “The Primary”election.

I was amazed to see the difference in the “attitudes” at various levels. Obviously, the “volunteers” and other campaign workers at the “bottom” tier with no assurance of any future in the “Obama Administration” worked tirelessly and displayed “Patriotism” in doing so.

The “foot soldiers” and “volunteers” are the real “heroes” as they selflessly and loyally work for the candidate with a conviction and determination to see the campaign prevail in the race.

These hard working concerned citizens are praiseworthy and deserve every attention by the media and news organization.

That is not the case. Often, heavyweight endorsements are given prominence even though they have been proven otherwise particularly in the current “Presidential race”.

The other matter related to “unethical standard” is the publishing of “unauthorized” residential details with an enlargement on the “Google map” by the “supposedly liberal” Ariana Huffington of “Huffington Post”.

Such irresponsible journalism with utter disregard for individual privacy and family security of the “subjects” is the kind that deserves condemnation. Ironically, the “On-line” publication is upheld for violation of other’s rights by all those considering themselves “democratic”.

Is it because it is not about them?

Should it matter only if it affects a certain individual or group of individuals in the society and not others?

Why isn’t Ariana Huffington’s home address not published on her own web site and highlighted on the Google map as a political campaign donor?

The hypocrisy and defiance by “Huffington Post” in publishing campaign donor’s residential details despite strong objection by any particular donor, proves the lack of credibility, ethics and respect for individual privacy in a democratic society.

The lesson to take home is…..

In memory of the “Great Heath Ledger”, who portrayed my favorite character “The Joker” in the
the blockbuster movie “The Dark Knight” as well as the creators of the mega production, “Christopher and Jonathan Nolan” for opening my eyes as a writer – Thank you.

“If you are good at something, never offer if for free”, especially in “Politics” with an exception to saving lives, wherever you are.

Please stand by for more interesting scoops on this topic from other factions.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

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