In A Photo Finish Race For Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month, Ohio State Wes Retherford (R) Edges Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D)

Both are embarrassments to their parties, their states, and the voters who elected them, however.

First the winner: Ohio State Representative Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, who was discovered over the weekend passed out drunk in his car with a loaded firearm at a McDonald’s drive-thru . Wes was arrested by Butler County sheriff’s deputies, and faces charges of operating a vehicle under the influence and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, because there is no current criminal law covering unbelievably stupid conduct by an elected official.

Retherford was easily re-elected in November in the heavily Republican district, even though voters had to know he was a drunk. He had to defeat a challenger in the GOP primary after another candidate gained the party’s endorsement because Retherford had been criticized for “partying.” “Partying” is a euphemism, in this case, for “has a serious drinking problem and is likely to end up  passed out drunk in his car at a McDonald’s drive-thru with a loaded firearm. The Ohio House Speaker even had to order a drinks cart removed from Retherford’s office because it violated House rules. People voted for him anyway. They must be so proud.

Our runner-up is a different brand of fool, but a fool nonetheless: Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, offered what she termed a “satirical bill”  that would fine men for masturbating, allow doctors to refuse to prescribe Viagra and require men to undergo a medically unnecessary rectal exam before any elective vasectomy. Farrar says that she knows her bill will never pass, but says she hopes it will start a conversation about abortion restrictions.

Well, it might start a moronic conversation about abortion restrictions, if that’s her objective. For example, the provision in her gag bill to protect doctors who refuse to perform vasectomies, prescribe Viagra or perform colonoscopies, she says, supposedly mirrors a Texas law passed earlier this year that bans “wrongful birth” lawsuits, when parents sue a doctor for failing to inform them of a fetus’s disability or their abortion options. I’m not even going to start explaining what’s wrong with that analogy, because if you can’t see it—as, apparently, Farrar cannot, you really should be back in grammar school.

Oh, all right: there are no lives involved in the matters covered by her “bill.”  The Texas law may be (and is) overly restrictive and almost certainly unconstitutional, but Farrar is just showing the mental block all enthusiastic pro-abortion fanatics have: she refuses to acknowledge the existence of a competing human life’s right to exist. Of course it cannot be permitted for doctors to force a mother to give birth to a child that she does not want to have when she has the legal right to an abortion, but there is no valid parallel to preventing a man from getting Viagra, except to the simple-minded.

All of Farrar’s bill is like that: unfunny and incompetent satire, terrible logic, bad comparisons, and smug trivializing of abortion.. Her  bill would require a 24-hour waiting period for men’s vasectomies or Viagra prescriptions, which she thinks is “like”  Texas’ 24-hour waiting period for abortions. She’s a moron. The idea behind the 24 hour waiting period on abortions is to prevent a hasty decision that will end a life, not  promote an erection. A 24-hour waiting period for vasectomies or Viagra prescriptions has no such impact or potential impact.  Her bill also mandates a “medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam and magnetic resonance [imaging] of the rectum” before any elective vasectomy, colonoscopy or Viagra prescription.  See, Texas, like several other states, requires that an ultrasound be performed before any abortion, even if it’s not considered medically necessary by a doctor.  What great satire! Again, Farrar eitrher deliberatley of stupidly misses the issue. The idea behind the untrasound is to require an expectant mother to understand what her abortion will do, by making her see the living being whose life is at stake. No, I don’t like those laws; making citizens jump through hoops to try to discourage them from doing what they have a right to do is unconstitutional.  Nonetheless,  comparing  the untrasound to rectal exams is dim-witted and misleading beyond words.

Even if the bill was good satire with valid and illuminating analogies, it is unethical to offer phony bills to a legislature. This is an abuse of process for grandstanding. It doesn’t matter what the topic is.  A lawyer  making a “satirical objection”  or a “satirical argument” in court risks a contempt citation. A judge making a “satirical ruling” gets sacked. A doctor making a “satirical diagnosis” is a dangerous buffoon. All Farrar’s “satire” accomplishes is to demonstrate to anyone with an open mind how doctrinaire and opposed to thought abortion advocates can be.

There is some value to that, I suppose.

82 Comments

Filed under Bioethics, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights

82 responses to “In A Photo Finish Race For Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month, Ohio State Wes Retherford (R) Edges Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D)

  1. Wayne

    I think her husband (if she has one) would need plenty of Viagra to be motivated to spend time in the sack with her. A rectal exam and MRI to get a vasectomy? I don’t think that this woman likes men much. Perhaps she should just resign from the state legislature and get a new job with Planned Parenthood.

    • valkygrrl

      Transvaginal ultrasound to get an abortion, I don’t think Texas legislators like women much.

      • That’s the worst illogical connection I’ve seen this month.

        • valkygrrl

          So Wayne suggests that Jessica Farrar doesn’t like men and you have no cause for complaint, but I reply to him using almost the exact same argument (I left out the part where for some reason it mattered whether or not the person introducing the bill is sexually desirable,) and that’s illogical?

          That’s bullshit texagg04, If you have no problem with Wayne’s comment then you have no excuse for complaining about having it turned back on him and if you do have a problem with his argument, take it up with him not the person who turned it back on him.

          • Pump the emotion brakes. Both comments are illogical.

            • But in all fairness, there’s no indication in the post what type of ultrasound Texas requires. So it’s easy for Wayne to assume the law requires a traditional ultrasound. And if that were the case, yeah, one illogical connection is worse than the other…

  2. valkygrrl

    er bill would require a 24-hour waiting period for men’s vasectomies or Viagra prescriptions, which she thinks is “like” Texas’ 24-hour waiting period for abortions. She’s a moron. The idea behind the 24 hour waiting period on abortions is to prevent a hasty decision that will end a life, not promote an erection.

    You can’t be that naive. It’s another TRAP law. The purpose of a waiting period is to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions by increasing the time they must take and the expenses they must pay. In states like Texas that have done so well as forcing clinics that perform abortions to close down using TRAP laws, people need to travel long distances, making them do it twice or pay for a hotel in town or or or…. The purpose is to make it as difficult and uncomfortable as possible, legislative punishment for exercising an unpopular right.

    • Michael Ejercito

      Maybe Texas should replace it with a law that requires patients to show good cause before getting permission from law enforcement to have an abortion.

    • That might be one result of the law, but it is not the reason for it. Same argument as saying that voter IDs are designed to burden blacks and the poor, rather than to ensure the integrity of elections. You get to this kind of argument by assuming your opponents are evil. THAT’S the “trap.”

      • valkygrrl

        Burdening the poor and minorities is the purpose of voter ID laws. Just because they weren’t sold to you that way doesn’t change that. Have you ever seen a voter ID law that gives each voter the necessary ID free of charge? Have you ever seen one that verifies the integrity of absentee ballots the same way it claims to with in person voting?

        Look at the laws Jack, could they be rewritten to not cause the burdens that they do? Why aren’t they written that way in the first place?

        Maybe when we talk about the people who vote for these things, some of them are good people. The people who write these laws do it for political advantage.

        • “Have you ever seen a voter ID law that gives each voter the necessary ID free of charge?”

          Plenty of them. Do your home work.

          The voters still have to want to make the effort.

          • valkygrrl

            effort is another way to say burden. Why not mail a tamper resistant card to every voter?

            • I bet if you think reeeeeal hard, you’ll figure out why that wouldn’t work for a reliable photo ID.

              Having to register discourages voters. Having to go to the polls in person discourages voters. Citizens who care about their country and self-government will make the effort. the truth is that anyone who wants to vote, can and will.

              • Michael Ejercito

                http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371256/voter-id-and-gun-rights-charles-c-w-cooke

                In which case, perhaps we ought also to take a look at New York City’s gun-permitting process, which not only requires individuals who wish to buy a firearm to go through the apparently devastating process of obtaining an acceptable ID but also to provide separately a proof of residence, a proof of citizenship or permanent residency, and a Social Security card; to pay $431.50 plus the cost of two color photographs; to wait an average of eight months for the application to be processed, and then attend a lengthy in-person interview; and, if the applicant has not lived in the United States for seven years (and many immigrants can become citizens after just three years, remember), to provide a certificate of good conduct from their foreign government. Pray, how does that fit into the mix?

                According to valkygrrl’s logic, the true purpose of NYC’s gun laws is not to suppress criminal homicide, but burdening the poor and minorities.

        • “Burdening the poor and minorities is the purpose of voter ID laws.”

          This is a lie the left tells itself, made true only by their own mania. Every. Other. Modern. Democracy. On. Earth. Has some form of voter ID, including but not limited to… wait for it…. Mexico. Is Mexico trying to disenfranchise their minorities? Which minority is it they’re disenfranchising? What other nations see as fundamentally necessary to the functioning of a healthy Democracy, American Democrats see as pure anathema, because they *THINK* that it will affect their voting block. And don’t get me wrong, I think that Republicans see it the same way, the difference is that I think they see it as more of a fringe benefit than the overall goal… But here’s the kicker: There is absolutely no evidence that either the Democrats who think the sky is falling down, nor the Republicans, who hope it does, are right: There were several states in the 2016 election that had voter ID requirements that were not in place in 2012: Guess what happened? Well… If you guessed “Democrats voted in higher numbers than they had previously” you’d be right! Was the minority vote down in those states? Yes. But their vote was down across the board. Perhaps the identitarians couldn’t find it in their melanin to vote for a white woman.

          • That’s the real reason Mexicans jump the border: to come to a land where anyone can vote, regardless of identity or citizenship, ability or sanity. Really. It is.

            My favorite recent justification for no IDs is that the states didn’t bother about citizenship as a qualification for voting until well into the 20th Century. Yup–and as nicely shown in “The Gangs of New York,” their votes were bought as a matter of course. This is the time traveling variation of “Everybody does it.”

            • valkygrrl

              In The Jungle they swore people in as citizens and then paid them to vote one way. Poor Upton Sinclair thought the book would convince everyone to be socialists, but the only part people remembered was the only part that was 1: decently written and 2: the part everyone could relate to because they eat food.

              I keep a copy on hand to remind people what happens without food and workplace safety regulations, but uhg, the dumb nonsensical journey of the protagonist, the first few chapters are the only ones worth reading.

          • Spartan

            I think the real purpose behind the voter ID laws is to discourage poor people from voting, and it just so happens that poor people tend to have larger numbers of minority subgroups. So, it’s a win-win for Conservatives who push these laws. And, if you disagree, please remember that we have a long history of disenfranchisement in this country. These beliefs have not magically gone away, although circumstances have improved.

            That being said, I have absolutely no problem with voter ID laws. None. But, if the States are going to do this, then they should make it easier for people to register to vote. Online would be great. Also, authorized people should be able to register others who find it burdensome to leave work or are handicapped. For example, a State authorized agent should be able to go to a nursing home and register the elderly — or have a “voter ID” drive at a large factory so people can do it over their lunch break.

            Even I (a privileged person with a good job) have trouble meeting all the State requirements. Right now, my car is a month overdue for its emissions test. The closest facility is 30 minutes from my house in the opposite direction from my work. I’m going to try and do it this week, but my fee will be increased because of it. Coincidentally, it is also next to the closest DMV to me where one can register to vote. There is no public transportation option to get to the DMW. Doing these things are hard enough for average citizens, but trying to do them when you are working class, money is tight, and you are juggling child care or elderly care?

            • Online voting is INSANE, and more insane by the minute.

              • Spartan

                Not online voting, online REGISTRATION. I renew my passport and driver’s license online — and my passport in the first instance only required a trip to my local post office.

                • Spartan,

                  Agreed that online registration is perfectly okay. We still need picture ID when voting (again we agree).

                  It is up to the citizen (not the party, not the government) to do what is necessary to vote, if they wish to. Voting is not a requirement and should not be.

                  Just because you have a right does not mean that you do not have to work for that right.

                  None of that other than to say we seem to see this the same way (remarkable in that I am a conservative and all…)

            • YOU might have a history of disenfranchisement in your country, but what about all the other pesky Democracies putting the lie to the rhetoric? I’m not even going to try for Canada, because a similar argument could be made for the native population here (Although spoilers: We have voter ID and our political left footed the bill.) How about the UK? Or even better, one of those 99% white Nordic countries like Sweeden?

              I get why this is seen as more of a partisan issue in the states, but it shouldn’t be… It should be the kind of topic approached by the left as a bitter but necessary pill, and perhaps one approached with a measure of caution. I think your suggestions are reasonable, I think there’s a large portion of American conservatives that would agree with you.

              But I’m not sure the DNC 1) agrees with you, or 2) if they do, have the will to act on it. The party represented by Harry “Well it Worked” Reid, Donna “Musical Chairs” Brzile and Hillary “Like, With a Rag?” Clinton doesn’t get to pretend they have some kind of high ground regarding fair elections. Remember: This is the party that rigged their primaries with eligibility restrictions, caucuses, and superdelegates in a way that makes the electoral college look squeaky frickin’ clean in comparison, nevermind the media collusion and appearances of impropriety.

    • Eternal Optometrist

      I find your argument somewhat persuasive that a purpose, or at least an intended and happy (to Texas) consequence of the law is to make abortions more difficult to obtain. Does it differ from many of the gun regulations in blue states (legislative punishment for exercising an unpopular right).

      • Wayne

        There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that refers to a women’s right to abortion on demand. You have made a false equivalence.

        • Sigh. In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution extended to a woman’s right to have an abortion until viability, which at the time was 23-24 weeks. So, yes, you are correct it is not in the Bill of Rights, but it is a woman’s constitutional right to have abortion on demand until that time.

          • Wayne

            Take a look at Justice White’s and Reinquist’s dissenting opinions sometime.

            • Their opinions do not change the fact that women have a constitutional right to an abortion on demand to the point of viability, just as dissenting opinion of Stevens does not change the impact of Citizens United, which I find just as repugnant as you do Roe v. Wade.

              • 100% correct.

                You’ll have to explain why you think upholding the First Amendment is as repugnant to you as creating a right to kill fetuses as long as you’re the one carrying them. I have trouble understanding how anyone who’s read the opinion and listened to the oral argument—“Would the government’s position be that this law should allow the banning of books?” ANSWER: “Yes”—can possibly come to that opinion. The anti-Citizens United talking points are what sent the Left hurtling toward its current flirtation with totalitarianism.

                I would also think the last election would have permanently ended the myth that elections are “bought.”

                • janpchapman

                  I am certainly not knowledgeable enough to argue against Citizens United’s constitutionality. I’ve read enough explanations by you and others to feel that it is a solid decision. What I find repugnant, as I stated, is the impact of the decision. You may not be able to buy an election, but don’t you think it has allowed the injection of millions of dollars into our political process, some of it dark money that is given anonymously, that has a corrupting influence? Is there a constitutional remedy for this? I would really like to know so that when my friends start talking about “repealing Citizens United” I can bring forward a better suggestion.

                  • Let’s see:

                    1. Better reporting, so the public can feel informed enough to ignore partisan advocacy.
                    2. A more informed public, which is the best remedy for misinformation.
                    3. News networks that do objective fact checks on ads, and devote prime time to thorough analysis of the issues.
                    4. Computer and web literacy, so voters inform themselves.

                    Honestly? There’s very little evidence that all the money on candidate advocacy ads work.

                    It’s a problem. It’s not a “we have to gut the first Amendment problem.” And I think the problem is over-stated, intentionally.

      • valkygrrl

        Abortion is time sensitive. Gun ownership can be, but isn’t necessarily so. Abortion requires a doctor visit, firearms can be bought from home. So it isn’t really a good comparison.

        Why don’t we go back to the one that Jessica Farrar made? Force men who want to explore certain reproductive options to have something jammed in an orifice even if it isn’t necessary just because it might make them rethink the procedure.

        • Eternal optometrist

          I got it. Restrictions on abortion a surreptitious way to burden women. Gun laws pure as the wind driven snow. Am I close?

          • valkygrrl

            No Kellyanne, resurrections on abortion exist to control women, they are unrelated to gun laws, we are not talking about gun laws, not because it is wrong to do so or something to hide from but simply because they are not the topic and they don’t make a good compassion to abortion laws. I shouldn’t have bit on the voter ID derail either.

            • They have nothing to do with “controlling women.” A more false and libelous claim there cannot be. Using that argument is truly loathesome, because it tars legitimate and fair abortion foes with the brush of misogyny and patriarchy, which is an outright lie. Opposition to abortion begins and ends with the fact that it ends the lives of helpless, innocent human beings. That’s the starting point, and avoiding and denying it is mark of cowardice and dishonesty.

              • valkygrrl

                I find it hard to reconcile a desire to preserve life with the other political positions that tend to accompany opposition to abortion.

                • Another lame argument. Like Capital punishment? Believing that the Cheshire home invaders that raped two girls and set a house on fire around them and their mother deserve to be executed is somehow inconsistent with believing that innocent life shouldn’t be extinguished on a whim? Tell me another.

                  • What is today? Rehash all the old worn out arguments day?

                    Do I need to just start linking to multiple-year-old discussions on this?

                    • Wrong reply link… sorry.

                    • Did you miss that memo? Yes, I declared it Rehash Old Worn Out Arguments Day. I was flying all day, and knew I couldn’t add more than one post, so I thought it was a good idea. No?

                    • I have no problem defending the most innocent and most weak among us that have no advocates…not even the from the ones who created them. My comment was meant to be a reply to valky who drummed out yet another specious pro-abortion argument.

                  • valkygrrl

                    I didn’t mention capital punishment. I don’t disagree that some people deserve to die for their crimes. I disagree that doing it is a good idea, I disagree with spending the amount of money it takes to do it, I disagree with reducing the costs as that means reducing due process, and I very much disagree with giving that particular power to the government.

                    But then people who oppose abortion do tend to oppose the WIC food programs or the government paying for prenatal and birth related services, housing assistance, public schools and all that other welfare stuff and I’m not about to agree to just let churches or charities do that stuff as there’s no way to compel them to do it and thus no way to be sure it’ll be taken care of.

                    Note that I would still support abortion rights, I would just find the arguments about life less hypocritical.

                    • “But then people who oppose abortion do tend to oppose the WIC food programs or the government paying for prenatal and birth related services, housing assistance, public schools and all that other welfare stuff.” I’d challenge you to support that with data rather than gut feelings. You’re just assuming partisan packages and stereotypes. There’s nothing about abortion that should be partisan at all. Caring about the rights of human beings is a core liberal philosophy and value. The Left just chose to jettison it for expediency as a surrender to the women’s rights agenda. It chose, all right. It chose women who could vote over the lives of vulnerable unborn children who couldn’t.

                    • Michael Ejercito

                      Plus, she is mixing together negative rights with positive rights.

                      I asked a suimilar question about murdering homeless people about eight and a half years ago.

                      https://groups.google.com/d/msg/talk.abortion/7KUBpW7c2eo/Bghs6Lepp5gJ

                      There are people who claim that it is wrong to murder homeless people.
                      And yet they object to government welfare programs. Is this not
                      hypocritical? They pretend to care about the homeless, but do nothing
                      to help them.

                • Michael Ejercito

                  so you think all pro-lifers agree on all political positions outside of abortion?

              • “A more false and libelous claim there cannot be”

                Not true!

                Above valkygrrl insists that Texas hates women.

  3. Still no sign that another Washington, Lincoln, or Truman is coming up through grassroots local politics. Just more Obama and Trump, or worse.

    • Jeff

      Our current political system is purposely designed to filter out the Washingtons and Lincolns before they get far enough to cause trouble for the entrenched interests. The days of “statesmen” running things are long gone. The only fluke that’s managed to disrupt the system in many decades is a clownish malignant narcissist…

      • The Establishment has found that it can vote itself helpings of the public treasury, and create ways to channel wealth to themselves. They make laws and profit therefrom (is that a word?) often on the backs of those they represent (on both sides of the political spectrum)

        As such, a Lincoln might upset the gravy train, and must be stopped.

        I suspect that much of the batshit reaction to Trump is motivated by the Establishment (and media wanna be Establishment types) outraged by the class betrayal from one of their own: wealthy, connected, arrogant, privileged, and powerful.

  4. Sarah B.

    I am confused by one point of your discussion here, sir.

    It seems you state that the obtaining of an abortion is a right, and thus is ethical to uphold and unethical to prohibit, limit, or otherwise discourage women from having. Usually I agree with you, but how is hiring someone to kill an innocent person ever ethical? How can murder ever be a right? Why do you disagree that showing women the child they plan to murder is ethical? Just because something is legal does not make it ethical. Is it not, therefore ethical to attempt, in any ethically neutral manner (ex. writing laws is not unethical, but shooting the woman is in violation of ethics) to stop unethical behavior? Please clarify your position. If such a question is inappropriate for me to post, I do apologize.

    • In a society, the first duty is to obey the duly passed laws. The next is to use the process to change laws we think are wrong. Individual citizens cannot ethically disobey laws just because they think they are unjust. Abortion has been ruled a lawful and justified killing within the individua rights guaranteed in the Constitution. There are other legally justified killings too: warfare, capital punishment, self-defense, assisted suicide. Many citizens think all war is murder. Ethics advances by argument, reason and persuasion, not decree.

      • Sarah B.

        So I still am confused, sir. Assuming a person feels that abortion is unethical, thus allowing such a thing is an unjust law, why would it be unethical for them, especially if they are have reasoned with others and gotten agreement, to propose and pass a law limiting this unethical action, to at least making people think twice and not making rash decisions. Your article seemed to say that the laws requiring an ultrasound or waiting 24 hours were unethical.

        • That law would be a Constitutional amendment, and that’s fine. Once SCOTUS has ruled something is a right under the Constitution, no law abridging that right is legal. Illegal is unethical.

          • Sarah B.

            One further point for clarification, sir. Let us say, for sake of argument, that somehow a hypothetical Ammendment was passed that required people to shoot or knife every white Catholic women they encountered (picking on my own “group” to avoid being called a bigot). Would it be unethical to disobey that law, or to pass further laws to put restrictions on it?

            • That’s where civil disobedience comes in. But that’s really an impossible hypothetical, and thus not helpful. Can an amendment be passed that violates most of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence? One won’t and couldn’t be passed. When it comes to that, it’s revolution and chaos time.

              • Sarah B.

                Indeed sir, for I was trying to postulate an obviously unethical law that had overcome SCOTUS, not draw parallels. I am trying to understand your logic, because it seems to me to have a few holes, but instead of accusing you of failure, I’d rather try to better understand your logic so that I can decide, with more information instead of assumptions, if bias is making you stupid, or if bias is making me stupid, or, as third option, that some law of ethics is worth prioritizing differently. (Sorry, that’s not polite, but it is the succinct way to explain my probably annoying questions.)

                As a parallel to the abortion limiting laws (and if you feel this is a false parallel, please explain why it is a false parallel), is it unethical to pass laws making it illegal to jokingly tell a member of the TSA that you have a bomb in your luggage? After all, this is limiting a right that is both guaranteed by the First Amendment and upheld by SCOTUS.

                • It’s simple, and I explained it. We have a system of rights and laws, with a series of checks and balances. As member of that society, we agree ti abide by the system, and make changes within it. If we cannot, we leave the system, and accept the consequences. You can’t get around it by postulating the system defying itself. That can’t happen, because when it happens, there is no more system.

                  Yes, rights are subject to reasonable limitations, with high scrutiny. The joke about bombs is not protected speech, as it risks panic and death with no valid content. To find a parallel to abortion, find an abortion that is not protected by the right—say, late-term abortions. Which are NOT protected completely.

                  • Sarah B.

                    Hopefully one final question before I quit pestering you. You recommended civil disobedience as a method of fighting an unfair law. (Again, my stupid example was simply to inquire how one was to stand up against an obviously unethical law, not to say the law in question was possible. I should have phrased it differently and I apologize.)

                    Given your statement of civil disobedience, is it ethical for people to (where legal) set up camp near an abortion clinic, pray the rosary (or whatever), and speak about the dangers of abortion and the children it kills, assuming they violate no laws in the process?

                    • Alex

                      Hi Sarah,

                      I don’t think I have seen you before around here, welcome! I’ll let Jack get back to answer your questions (although I suspect I know what his answers will be). But I’m really replying to say thank you for your thoughtful and civil line of questioning, and also for Jack’s detailed and clear explanation of his position. I wish we would see more of these exchanges around the Internet (that we get them here is the reason this is the #1 blog I read).

                    • Welcome Sara! You are polite and are expressing rational thoughts. I think I see where you are going: “Is civil disobedience of an unjust law ethical, and, if not, still acceptable?” Forgive me if I place words in your mouth, as this is an answer I would like to see as well..

                      …instead of accusing you of failure, I’d rather try to better understand your logic so that I can decide, with more information instead of assumptions, if bias is making you stupid, or if bias is making me stupid, or, as third option, that some law of ethics is worth prioritizing differently….

                      The answer is ‘Yes’ /snark

                      Everyone has bias, and it threatens to make them stupid (including me!) but it does not preclude the third option, which is why I read Jack’s blog.

          • Jeff

            “Once SCOTUS has ruled something is a right under the Constitution, no law abridging that right is legal.”

            A more accurate statement might be that “…no law abridging that right is *ethical*”, because there are plenty of cases where violations of rights, even those enumerated specifically and in no uncertain terms in the Constitution, are considered *legal* by the courts.

    • “It seems you state that the obtaining of an abortion is a right, and thus is ethical to uphold and unethical to prohibit, limit, or otherwise discourage women from having.”

      There’s… an error here. It’s ethical to obey the law, Jack did a great job explaining that above. But there are a lot of things included in “rights” that are not the right thing to do. It’s your “right” to use your freedom of speech to say horrible things, so long as they don’t wade into actionable “fighting words”, would be an example: Your right to do, probably not the right thing to do. And so while I would agree that we should do our utmost to preserve as many rights as possible, I take issue with “or otherwise discourage”. “Discouraging” someone from exercising their rights in a negative way does not necessarily infringe upon their rights, and would probably be ethical more often than not.

  5. Emily

    “Even if the bill was good satire with valid and illuminating analogies, it is unethical to offer phony bills to a legislature.”

    If the bill was insightful satire it wouldn’t need to be offered to legislature, it would get attention as an essay. The only reason anyone would pay attention to this is the grandstanding.

    You can usually tell how bad someone’s argument is by how far they have to go to make people listen to it.

  6. Alex

    Tangentially related I was recently pointed to this essay: http://thetorchblog.net/?p=996

    Whether you are pro-life or not you should read it.

  7. Joe Fowler

    “Partying” is a euphemism-
    I miss the nuance of yesteryear when the English press would describe their politicians as appearing: “tired”=hammered; “very tired”=REALLY hammered; “exhausted, and ill”=so hammered that they actually barfed.
    The Texas legislator is an idiot, and unethically wasting time and resources, but the Ohio rep is a danger to himself and others, and should be removed from office.

  8. Isaac

    As I’ve understood it, “wrongful birth” lawsuits happen when hospitals ACCIDENTALLY fail to notice flaws in a baby, and parents sue them for insane amounts of money (the entire cost of raising a child plus emotional harm, etc.) because they would have killed their child in the womb had they been aware of its disability.

    It requires parents of living toddlers to basically testify under oath, on the record for all time, that they quite literally wish their child had never been born.

  9. Spartan

    This is bad satire. Here’s my attempt — right off the top of my head. Bill No. 126317153, sponsored by Congresswoman Spartan: “Married Men Have To Have Permission Slips From Their Wives For Viagara, And Single Men Are Not Allowed Viagara At All.”

    Here’s my purported public interest. Whether or not married men want more or prolonged sex directly impacts their wives, who should have an equal say in the matter. And, if the married couple in question is NOT having sex, then this might be evidence of the man desiring an affair — and affairs lead to broken marriages, unhappy children, etc. This is very bad for society in general, so a notarized permission slip is required. In lieu of the permission slip, the wife has to come to the doctor appointment and produce a photo ID AND proof of marriage.

    As for unmarried men? Pre-marital sex is bad for society — at a minimum, it increases the likelihood of single mothers. So keep them in your pants gentlemen until, to quote Beyonce, “You Put a Ring on It!”

    • Nice. Well played, Spartan. You may chose to not engage me here, and that is okay, since you did not bring up my questions below. This is a form of navel gazing, so to speak.

      How does the “Whoopee Authorization Bill” balance with the father’s right to a say in the abortion, for the sake of argument? Most progressives in my experience cut off the father’s rights as if the mother magically conceived the child by herself.

      I believe that the father (who would be held financially responsible for the child for two decades if born) should have a say in the execution of said child. This would cut both ways, however. If the father wishes an abortion for financial reasons while the mother does not, for example, then the mother can waive all rights to child support. If the father WANTS the child, we go down a slippery path of forced birth on the mother (shudder).

      Right now, the mother has ALL the cards: if she wants to be executioner, then no one can stop her. If she births the child, she can have child support from the father. (remind me where that male privilege is here? just joking)

      Musings from the Right…

      • Spartan

        This is easy. You are conflating ethical and legal duties. Ethically, the woman should let her partner know (absent abuse), but legally she has no obligation. And ideally this would be a mutual decision, and it often is. That’s the point of my satirical post above — legislators should stay out of doctors’ offices. Husbands should tell their wives before taking viagara — for one thing, there are increased health risks that come from taking it. But the law should not compel husbands to have this conversation. And of course single men should be able to get a prescription as well. As for child support requirements, legally the father does have this duty. Frequently, no support is paid however – states have “dead beat dad” statutes for a reason. It might not be fair that fathers have to pay for their unwanted children, so perhaps they should always wear condoms if they don’t want to face that risk.

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