M12 Irish

I found the videos interesting there are ethical decision that are at play when we make decisions everyday. The marijuana video was one that is of particular interest to me because I live in the Fairbanks city limits and I don’t think it should be legal for a pot shop to open in my neighborhood. (Just as I am not happy that a strip club opened opened up a few blocks from my house. Mayor Jim Matherly wasn’t very effective in helping concerned neighbors with this issue.) I have ethics and morals that very firmly want to keep my children away from places like this. I do think these places have a place in town but the way the system is now with weak zoning laws we are headed for a disaster.

It surprises me how little thought went into the planning commission to get licensure for pot shops. Who would have thought a pot shop would be open right next to a family eatery, Brewster’s Northgate Square shares a wall with a pot shop. I am not a customer to any of the pot dispensaries nor will I be, but because of the location of this one in particular I won’t be a customer to Brewster’s either.

Chomsky commented on the big business of tobacco and all the businesses it benefits because there are so many companies represented. This is an increasingly difficulty pill to swallow but it’s true. Monsanto, Phillip Morris, and other large companies are creating products only looking out for the bottom line, as long as there is profit to be made it will be done. Despite the loss of life and billions paid out to families in settlements.

M9 Irish M9

The Hawthorne effect is named after an experiment that shows that workers’ progress is influenced directly by their surroundings. In one of the experiments the lighting in a work area was changed and as a result productivity when up; it seems that random changes caused a spike in productivity. Workers were more productive because they were able to provide feedback on changes which made them happier and more vested in their work environment.


I have had several experiences with the Hawthorne effect over my working career. While working at the school district in Fairbanks I have worked under 4 different principals in 6 years of employment. One of my favorite supervisors made it a point to speak to each staff member at least twice a week. Because he showed that he cared about his employees, teachers and support staff were happy at their jobs because the leader showed an interest in his staff members’ personal and professional lives.

The supervisor that I spoke about in the previous paragraph is who I am writing about for question one. This principal made it his mission to communicate with his staff members. He was always willing to back up his staff and take their opinion into account when making decisions. He also wasn’t afraid to make the tough decisions with all the students’ best interest at heart. I felt welcome to approach him at all times and he took the time to get to know my family when we would run into each other around town. This man was by far the best supervisors I have ever had and it made me want to be the best employee I could be.

M8 Irish M8


Post your initial answers by Wednesday at 11:30 PM.  Then be sure to reply to a classmate by Saturday at 11:30 PM.

Be sure to backup your argument with facts, references and sound reasoning.

Read Case Study 8.4 “Have Gun, Will Travel….to Work”

Answer the following questions in your post:  Questions 2, 3 and 4 at the end of the Case. For question 4, since it is being debated at the state and federal levels, answer it in relation to schools and teachers.  Question 4 could be as follows:

  1. In your view do employees have either a moral or a legal right to park cars with guns in them in the company parking lot? If so, what about the property rights and safety concerns of employers? If employees don’t have this right, would it be good policy for companies to allow them to stow their cars anyway? Do companies have good grounds for being concerned about weapons in their parking lots?

Provided there are no regulations against doing so, employees do have a legal right to park their cars in company parking lots with their guns in them. If there is a restriction against doing so then the right is up to the private property owner. If an employer says no guns on property, then the employee must abide by the policy or face discipline and/or terminated for just cause. Morally I am of the opinion that a firearm should be under lock and key so if the vehicle is locked I don’t perceive this to be a problem. As far as property owners, they have the right to ask that employees not have firearms on their property especially with concern for the safety of others. If employees didn’t have this right it would not be good practice to allow employees to stow firearms in their cars anyway. If a company has a policy, they need to adhere to the policy or change the rule. Companies do have cause for concern for weapons in their parking lots; if the wrong person knows that employees have firearms in their vehicles at certain places of business, and that criminal decides to break into the vehicle to steal those firearms, the business is now partially on the hook for what happens with that firearm, since the firearm was stolen from private property. If the business did not provide adequate security, then they may be held liable in court for any bad deeds that occur.


  1. Do you agree with the NRA that if companies ban guns from their parking lots, this restriction would take “a wrecking ball to the Second Amendment” or nullify the right of people to have weapons for self defense? Explain why or why not. In your view, have gun advocates been guilty of politicizing the issue? Do you think state legislatures are right to get involved, or should the matter be left up to companies and employees to settle?

I do not agree with the NRA that if companies ban guns from their parking lots they are somehow nullifying the second amendment. If an employer owns private property and does not want firearms on their property this their legal right to limit themselves from the exposure of having firearms on their property. The second amendment gives us the right “to keep and bear arms” but it does not give us the right to carry a firearm wherever we want. I believe that gun advocates are guilty of sensationalizing and politicizing the issue of gun control. This is evidenced by a recent article in the New York times that displays how gun control laws are ar hot topic in this year’s midterm elections. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/27/us/politics/parkland-gun-control-politics-midterms.html Politicians are trying to distance themselves from their previous views and association with the NRA to gain votes for re-election. This is a direct assault on morality, they are merely doing and saying whatever it takes to get re-elected and not holding to the ethical code. Dishonest representation is what the electorate across the country is facing. I don’t think state legislators should get involved in the process of gun control because this is a business and private property issue. Employers should have this issue handled on their own and do not need to get the government involved.

  1. A school could choose, if it wished, to allow teachers to bring guns not only into the parking lot but also into the school itself. Are there ever circumstances in which doing so might be reasonable? Or would the presence of guns automatically violate the rights of students or other teachers to be guaranteed a safe learning environment?  Feel free to comment on other aspects of having controlled guns in schools.

Teachers bringing guns to school has been an idea thrown out there since the Columbine shooting and after every other school shooting in the country. I work at a high school in Fairbanks and, personally, I think the idea is beyond ridiculous. I own firearms and I wouldn’t have a morale issue with ending someone’s life in the defense of myself or my family, however; I sure as hell wouldn’t bring a firearm to school. I would be terrified of the possibility of a student getting ahold of the gun, thus creating more of an issue. Thankfully our school board refused the vote that Fairbanks Assemblyman Lance Roberts presented to allow teachers to carry at school.



I believe having guns in school would be more dangerous because it would make the kids more fearful and may put ideas in their heads that they may otherwise not think of. Earlier this school year the high school I work at had a note delivered to the front office warning of a gun attack. The next day, with FPD on site with their own AR-15’s in tow, the kids were more freaked out about the cops than anything else.


School is supposed to be a safe place and adding more guns to a crowded high school just seems backwards to me. I do however believe that schools need to bring back the school resource officers – police officer in schools – which allows students and police to form a bond that is positive rather than assuming the police are the bad guys all the time – which is exactly how teeenagers act these days. I have had several conversations with coworkers at school and not one person said they are in favor of bringing guns to school. A safe learning environment happens when parents, teacher and students take a part in the community that is a school, we don’t need guns at school we need human connections.

This one is just funny:


Irish M7

Protecting our environment is an issue that is important to all of us. Upon reading the module requirements for the first time, my initial thought was that, of course, those responsible for causing the pollution should have to pay for the cost of cleanup. After reading Chapter 7, I now believe the best way to handle paying for environmental damages is a combination of the two popular options. Those responsible for causing the pollution should pay and those who stand to benefit from protection and restoration should pay. In the case of air pollution from electricity plants, the consumers of the electricity should be responsible for paying; if you aren’t using the electricity then you don’t have to pay for GVEA (In Fairbanks) to help use more clean technologies.

In the event of negligence such as BP and Deep Water Horizon oil contamination in the Gulf of Mexico or the water table contamination in North Pole by the Flint Hills corporation, these companies should be held financially responsible.  In both cases the courts awarded settlements to the communities affected, rightfully so. BP was ordered to pay $20 billion for their negligence in the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Flint Hills was made to provide alternative water sources for the residents affected in interior Alaska, and while the dollar amount is yet to be determined, they have spent over $15 million to date.

The major polluter in the Fairbanks area is wood burning stoves; and our community is plagued by poor air quality. While I respect the right to heat one’s home the most affordable way possible, I believe the Fairbanks North Star Borough Government has to take it upon themselves to develop a code compliance commission to investigate dirty wood stove polluters. Otherwise we are all going to pay the price with poor air quality and adverse health effects. The cost benefit of these changes won’t be found in terms of money but in quality of life and health benefits.

Flint Hills:


BP Settlement:


Fairbanks Air Quality:


M5 Irish

1..  For you, what was the most alarming part of this film?

The most alarming part of “The Corporation” to me was the fact that our legal system allowed for a company to put a patent on life. This makes seed sharing and other traditions that people have done for thousands of years illegal. While it may be illegal, it is not unethical to reuse seeds. In my opinion the courts should have never made the legal determination that life can be patented.

  1. A) Do you believe corporations are legal persons?  Why or Why Not?

I do not believe corporations are legal persons because they don’t make decisions like a typical person would.  Corporations don’t have a heart and moral compass to make human decisions that you or I would. The main concern of a corporation is profit and earnings for their shareholders. When a corporation is able to pass off dangerous supplies to under-developed countries the moral compass is not being used; a responsible human being would destroy the harmful products whereas the corporations are looking out for the bottom line and profit/ loss columns.

M4 Irish

Sweatshops are a great service to people who work in them because they provide steady income to workers who are less skilled and would otherwise have no other means to provide for themselves and their families. As Powell points to in his article, sweatshop workers make a wage that is better than the alternative income they could be making in other jobs. Because of these reasons I can justify buying items from sweatshops and justify the continued use of the sweatshop. I agree that the working conditions are miserable in many of these places but if the jobs were that bad wouldn’t people just move on to another opportunity.


After reading a few articles against sweatshops, I was ethically distressed with this article that was written by Patrick Winn titled “Inside Cambodia’s Abusive Sweatshops”:


The article highlights the fact that workers will sew clothing for about 50 cents an hour, the working conditions are overwhelmingly miserable as they are dangerously high in temperature and also very loud. The article highlights the mass fainting fits that workers have due to the very overheated work areas. The most unethical part of the story is that when workers went on strike for increased wages, “authorities” shot and killed 12 protestors. Winn found several children under the age of 15 who were hired to work in factories, while the legal working age in Cambodia is 15. Also there are several cases where women who appear to be pregnant get fired, as they are seen to be unproductive due to increased bathroom breaks, sickness, and a slow working pace.


The Winn article was damning for Cambodian sweatshops in regards to our moral standards in the US, however I believe Powell’s article to be the better of the two articles. I think that because sweatshops exist many people’s lives are better off and big business should still continue to use them. In the grand scheme of things the workers are getting paid a salary that is often better than if they had a different job. While the conditions are not appealing, the people do have a choice to find other work.

Another article I examined talks about a factory that closed in Indonesia, leaving several workers without any income. The industry standard when this happens is to pay the workers severance pay and Indonesia does not have unemployment insurance. What major companies need to do is pay severance as many factory workers risk starvation if they are not paid. In the article highlighted here. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2012/0912blaskeygasper.html, Nike, Adidias, and the Dallas Cowboys football team were all major organizations that used the factory mentioned. Adidas was the only company to not pay severance to the factory workers. If I were the CEO of a major company I would pay severance if a factory had to be closed.

Irish M2

Good will is something I try to teach to my young children and students at the high school I work at. The concept of helping other people even when it has no benefit to yourself. I use this personal story as an example of good will. While driving home to Fairbanks from Anchorage one Sunday night my friend and I saw a motorist broken down on the side of the road. We were just outside of Denali Park and the wind was howling, the outside temperature was about -30. My friend and I pulled over to assist the stranded motorist, neither of us are car guys but we could help in this instance because the man was simply out of gas. We told the guy we could drive him to Healy to get gas and he was elated, he had been stuck on the side of the road for 2 hours and his wife and child were in the unheated car.

I offered to let them all come into the vehicle to warm up but he declined. We drove the man to Healy and he got gas, but he didn’t expect us to wait for him. I told him we would gladly take him back to his car. Again more relief. It seems he didn’t have the appropriate winter gear to walk the 10 or so miles to town, but he was expecting to hitchhike back to his stranded family. My friend and I insisted on driving him to his car and let his wife and baby warm up in our truck while we put some gas in their vehicle before going on our way to Fairbanks. This was an act of good will and one that possibly saved one if not three lives. The way he was dressed combined with the weather at least one person would have froze to death if not for our interventions.

I identified this situation for the stated theory because I had nothing to gain from helping these people out of a very dangerous situation and I felt it was the best example of good will I had bestowed on someone in my life. Fairbanks has many stories just like this one, although it seems like they less common now-a-days.

Irish M1

How do we develop our ethics? What are the primary sources for us to develop our ethical position?

I believe we develop our ethics from our environment. Ethics and morals are interchangeable, however I believe them to fluid. Going through life and having different experiences causes our moral compass to constantly shift and develop as the tides move around us.  I think of all the environments in which I have lived and how I was able to make decisions as to the right thing to do based on each situation.  I feel that I am accepting of most lifestyles where as the adults who should have been my role-models refused to accept “non-typical” lifestyles or relationships. While parenting is probably the primary source of most people’s ethical position I also think somewhere in all of it is that voice that can tell us what is right and wrong despite what our parents think.