Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/22/17

1.  I’m trying to get this up while I prepare for a new legal ethics seminar, teaming once again with the brilliant D.C. actor Paul Morella who has toured the country in the Clarence Darrow one-man-show he and I collaborated on more than a decade ago, using Darrow’s career and courtroom oratory to analyze modern legal ethics.  Readers here have encountered a lot of those Darrow-related discussions already. For once, I’m grateful most lawyers don’t frequent this blog.

2. This now viral photo of the faces of CNN’s talking heads and analysts at the moment they realized that the Democrats had lost the Georgia Sixth District special House election that was hyped to be the beginning of a surge to the Left rejecting Donald Trump…

…and this one…

…are more than just gags. They are smoking gun evidence of the stunning lack of professionalism in journalism, and especially CNN. If there was any sensitivity or commitment to ethics on that set or in that production chain of command, every one of these arrogant hacks would have been told, “I want poker faces up there at all times. Objective and fair news reporting includes body language and facial expressions. Your attitudes warp your reporting. If anything about your demeanor betrays your personal preferences or political biases, you’re getting suspended. Got that? This isn’t a cheerleading squad.

3.  This warrants its own post, but today will be a squeeze, so I’ll focus on the astounding chutzpah of  that race’s loser here and now. Losing Georgia Six Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff was interviewed by NPR’s Rachel Martin, and this exchange resulted:

MARTIN: How do you feel about the money that’s been spent on this campaign? The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a calculation that said you and your opponent have spent or reserved over $40 million for TV and radio ads. Does that disturb you? What does it say about our political culture?

OSSOFF: The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50.

MARTIN: Although, it was your party that started the big spending. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also found your campaign and groups supporting it spent about $2 million more in ad spending than Handel during the runoff.

OSSOFF: Well, the overwhelming majority of money spent supporting my opponent has come from super PACs in Washington. And the overwhelming amount of money that’s been spent supporting my candidacy has come from small-dollar donors. But there’s no question that money in politics is a major problem, which is one of the reasons that we need campaign finance reform so that candidates and campaigns will spend more time talking to voters and discussing the issues and less time raising money.

This guy couldn’t even vote for himself because he didn’t live in the Sixth District. By the end of May, his opponent, Congresswoman-elect Handel, had spent $3.2 million dollars, and Ossoff had spent $22.5 million, most of it from out-of-state, making the race the most expensive House race in history. Ossoff tried to buy the election, in other words, but now that he has lost, he’s condemning big money in politics.

4. The Congressional Black Caucus rejected an invitation to meet with President Trump. A letter released by the chair of the committee, Cedric Richmond, cited actions by the Trump administration “that will affirmatively hurt black communities” “Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you. I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for,” Richmond added.

This is incompetent and unethical governing. The CBC is, once again, boycotting the President to pander to “the resistance” rather than doing its job. Any meeting can be productive. No meeting can never be. One member, at least, gets it;  the Vice Chair of the CBC, Rep. Gwen Moore told CBS News..

“We don’t have the luxury of saying we won’t meet with the president of the U.S..We have 1,399 more days left in his presidency and I don’t think that our communities would be served well by our not engaging.”

5. Lisa Durden, an adjunct professor at Essex College, says she was fired after a televised debate with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Good.

Based on what she said, she should have been fired before she got off the air.

She appeared in the role of a defender of the Black Lives Matter movement, defending the group’s all-black Memorial Day event that blocked participation by color. If you weren’t black, you couldn’t attend. (This kind of conduct is why comparisons of BLM with the KKK are not unfair.) Durden’s initial  response to the issue was, “Oh, boo hoo hoo!” Later, she said, ”you white people are just angry you couldn’t use your white privilege card to get invited to the Black Lives Matter all-black Memorial Day celebration.”

Durden says she wasn’t speaking on behalf of Essex, which is a predominantly black college, or on behalf of Black Lives Matter. In fact, during the interview, she specifically says she speaks only on behalf of Lisa Durden.

Durden told Inside Higher Ed, that she was escorted from her classroom when she returned to the university, and was told she was being suspended and investigated.

Now she’s claiming that her rights are being infringed claiming that Essex used her as an example to other professors who might be outspoken in their views. “They wanted to send a message. ‘See what happened to Lisa Durden? You know it could happen to me.’ Free speech doesn’t matter if you’re a professor, make people mad and you’re in trouble.”

Durden is an idiot as well as a racist. She protests that she wasn’t speaking on behalf of Essex, a predominantly black college, but only on behalf of herself. Wrong. She was introduced with her title; she was only invited on the program because she was a professor, and when you embarrass your employer by showing the world that it not only hires racists but allows them to indoctrinate students with their racist attitudes, you risk being fired.

Her colleagues don’t seem too bright either. They have circulated a petition and written personal letters to the Essex  administrators asking for her to be re-hired.

“For those of us who are involved in advocacy, politics, who may hold opinions which differ from those in different spaces, this kind of thing has a terrible chilling effect,” one Essex professor wrote. “As this suspension will become public in the world of academia—and especially in black public intellectual circles—it will bring more negative publicity to our institution even as we are trying to move forward with our new president.”

Here it comes,my obligatory, “We all know that if a white professor in any university in the U.S. had made equivalent comments about African Americans, nobody would be defending her.”

 

59 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Education, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Professions, Race, Workplace

59 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/22/17

  1. deery

    As to 4, I think the CBC did the right thing. They are quite wary at this point of being used as a photo op by Trump to show that he gets along with “the blacks.” The presidents of HBCUs were lulled into having a pointless meeting with Trump earlier in the year, had plenty of pictures taken, assured of his support for the colleges, and then he later blasted them, seemingly out of the blue while signing another bill. I’m sure that the CBC is keeping that recent history closely in mind when they penned that letter.

    • He “blasted” them?

    • wyogranny

      Politicians have, or should have, tough skins. They’re not playing patty cake. If my members of congress threw a little hissy fit and refused to play every time they met opposition they wouldn’t get my vote. And they shouldn’t get anyone’s vote. Cowboy up!

    • Isaac

      There is exactly zero evidence that Black Americans are any worse off with Trump as president than with Obama. Considering how the fortunes of Blacks plummeted in most aspects during the Obama years in relation to Whites, and the particular ways that Obama’s policies hurt the working class, replaced full-time low-wage jobs with part-time ones, and forced more Black Americans to go on food stamps, there are plenty of good arguments to be made that African Americans will benefit from having Trump in the White House.

      This has nothing to do with Black lives, Black prosperity, or even race at all. It’s just politics.

      • Chris

        As I stated above, the black unemployment rate and the black uninsured rate fell at higher rates than white unemployment and white uninsured under Obama. How does that show that the fortunes of blacks “plummeted?”

        As for food stamps, more Americas were added under Bush than Obama.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2012/01/newts-faulty-food-stamp-claim/

        • Junkmailfolder

          That article is from 2012. It’s comparing 8 years of Bush to 4 years of Obama, so the fact that Obama only trails Bush slightly in half the time does not speak well to your point.

          Unless I’m missing something in that article.

          • Chris

            No, I posted the wrong link. Man, I’m sloppy today.

            This article is from October 2016.

            The number of people receiving food stamps has dropped again — by just over 200,000 — since our last report.
            But as of July, the most recent month on record, nearly 43.4 million Americans were still receiving the food aid, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
            That’s down by 9.3 percent from the record level set in December 2012, but it is still 35.6 percent higher than it was when Obama took office in 2009.
            As we noted when Republicans called Obama the “Food Stamp President,” 14.7 million people were added to the food-stamp rolls during George W. Bush’s time in office. By comparison, the net gain under Obama now stands at under 11.4 million — and the rolls continue to shrink.

            http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/obamas-numbers-october-2016-update/

            • Junkmailfolder

              I don’t have the data to confirm, but that word choice is potentially slimy. 14.7 million people were added to the rolls during Bush’s time, but how many were removed? They specify with Obama’s number that it’s net gain , meaning they’re backing out losses, but they don’t use the same words with Bush.

              Again, I can’t confirm either way, but their word choice allows for that deception.

              • Chris

                Good catch, though it would be unlike FactCheck to make such an imbalanced comparison. I’ll have to track down the raw data, but I assume they are talking about the net gain under Bush as well.

                • Junkmailfolder

                  Per fns.usda.gov, there were 17.2M SNAP users in 2000, 28.2M in 2008, and 44.2M in 2016. That would put Bush’s growth at 11M and Obama’s at 16M. I don’t know where Factcheck is getting its 11.4 million, unless it’s dipping into 2009.

                  • Chris

                    Thanks for those numbers. I tracked them down myself, and I THINK FactCheck has good reason to dip into 2009. Hear me out.

                    I am a dunce at statistics, but it doesn’t seem right to just use the fiscal year averages as you seem to be doing. Bush’s presidency didn’t end in 2008, it ended in January of 2009. Between January of 2008 and January of 2009, the number of people on food stamps jumped from 27,580,481 to 31,983,716.

                    The SNAP documents I looked at show their fiscal years beginning in October and ending in September, but the biggest jumps in 2008 happened in the months of September through December, so if you just look at the average for FY 2008, you’re leaving out the huge jumps in the last few months of Bush’s presidency, and if you then look at the average for FY 2009, you end up attributing some of the growth under Bush to Obama.

                    When Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, the number of people on SNAP was 17,298,136.

                    31,983,716 – 17,298,136 = 14,685,580

                    Note that this number accounts for every month of Bush’s presidency, whereas your 11M figure (if based off of fiscal year averages as I presume) leaves off the last few months of Bush’s presidency (and includes a few months of Clinton’s).

                    As for Obama, when he was inaugurated in January 2009 there were 31,983,716 SNAP users. The FactCheck article was written in October 2016, but was using July 2016 numbers as that was the most recent data available. In July 2016 there were 43,334,443 SNAP users.

                    43,334,443 – 31,983,716 = 11,350,727

                    So that’s how FactCheck got their number: by including every available month for each president. That seems like a better method than using just the fiscal averages, which do not include every month for each president and include some months from the previous president.

                    Now that more recent data is available, let’s see if the trend continued, and if Obama ended his presidency with a smaller net gain in SNAP recipients than Bush did.

                    In January 2017, when Obama’s second term ended, there were 42,684,691 SNAP users.

                    42,684,691 – 31,983,716 = 10,700,975

                    So it would appear that, despite a rapid increase in food stamps under Obama’s first term, the decrease during his second term means that his administration oversaw a smaller net gain in food stamp recipients than the Bush administration.

                    Again, this fact is obscured if you look only at fiscal year averages for the reasons stated above.

                    Phew. *wipes sweat off brow*

                    Now this is the part where you tell me I got all of my math wrong and don’t know how statistics work. It’s OK, I knew I became an English teacher for a reason and whenever I sub seventh grade math during my prep period, I am at a total loss. So I won’t be offended if it turns out I embarrassed myself with my ignorance of statistics here, but I think I actually did this right.

                    • Junkmailfolder

                      Yes, you’re right–the fiscal year is October to September. Your analysis is correct. Had the housing market crash occurred 5 months later, the numbers would be very different :).

                      And this has nothing to do with statistics; it’s just data.

                    • Chris

                      What a relief! Thanks for confirming I’m not crazy.

        • Chris Bentley

          The workplace participation rate is a better indicator of who is/isn’t actually working, as unemployment is artificially lowered by excluding people who’ve given up on looking for work.

          And, for the country as a whole, the workplace participation rate fell from 65.7% (Jan 2009) to 62.7 (Dec 2016), the lowest the rate has been in almost 40 years. For blacks, it fell from 63.2 to 61.8 over that time frame.

          It was at 62.4 as of May of 2017. Every month that DJT has been in office, that number has been higher than any month in the last 6 years of O’s presidency. I have no idea what this means, and doubt that DJT’s presence has had anything to do with moving the needle, but, there it is.

          https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000/

          https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/LNS11300006

          • Chris

            The workplace participation rate is a better indicator of who is/isn’t actually working,

            Yes, but it isn’t a better indicator about policy in this case; nearly all economists attribute most of the rapid decrease in the workplace participation rate to the aging workforce, not to lack of job creation or workers’ inability to find a job. You can hold the president responsible for policies that help or hinder employment, but you can’t blame him for people getting older.

            as unemployment is artificially lowered by excluding people who’ve given up on looking for work.

            But the U-6 unemployment rate, which is published by the same big bad government than “artificially” lowers unemployment in the U-3 rate you’re referring to, absolutely does include people who’ve given up on looking for work.

            Since 2011, the U-6 has fallen at almost exactly the same rate as the U-3.

            https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS13327709

            https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

            So what exactly is your point?

            And, for the country as a whole, the workplace participation rate fell from 65.7% (Jan 2009) to 62.7 (Dec 2016), the lowest the rate has been in almost 40 years. For blacks, it fell from 63.2 to 61.8 over that time frame.

            So black labor participation among blacks did not fall at as high a rate as labor participation generally. This is unsurprising, as blacks tend to be younger, and the primary cause of the declining labor participation rate is aging.

            I’d think looking at how the U-6 unemployment rate for blacks changed from January 2009-January 2017 would be a better metric of Obama’s effect on the black community than the labor participation rate, for the reasons I’ve already given. But for the life of me I cannot find a chart on the BLS site that breaks down race for the U-6 during that time period, and I’m tired of hunting down stats tonight. If anyone finds that information let me know.

            • Chris Bentley

              Chris, you clearly understand this better than I do (no snark; credit where credit’s due), but help me understand: if the drop is due to people getting older, why would it suddenly turn around, and begin climbing again beginning in Jan of 2017. I’m as loathe as anyone else to give credit to DJT, but I dont understand this well enough to make sense of it, and “aging” doesn’t seem to fly with the current turnaround.

        • Isaac

          Come now, Chris. All of the data is there at your fingertips these days. Not just very specific things cherry-picked to make you feel good. This is from liberal Newsmax

          “By nearly every economic indicator, blacks are worse off than when President Obama was sworn into office. During Obama’s terms, black Americans experienced record lows in small business loans, and saw their lowest home-ownership rates in 25 years. This is along with having record highs in unemployment, and experiencing large amounts of wealth loss under his administration. Since Obama took office, the racial wealth gap grew over 30 percent.”

          There are dozens of similar, disappointed articles from late in 2016, as liberal journalists took final stock of Obama’s two terms and simply had no positive way to spin the data. The middle class has been gutted, full-time jobs were replaced with part-time, violent crime rose for the first time in decades, and all during a time of unprecedented, reckless debt-spending and State-sponsored stat-padding.

          • Isaac

            It is what it is, and we should all be hoping, for everyone’s sakes, that things can get better. Trump is less of a Keynesian, or so we’re told. That alone is a step in the right direction.

          • Chris

            Isaac:

            Come now, Chris. All of the data is there at your fingertips these days. Not just very specific things cherry-picked to make you feel good. This is from liberal Newsmax

            Is…is this a joke? Newsmax is a conservative website.

            Did you really think Newsmax was a liberal site?

            Yes, there was record black unemployment under Obama…at the height of the recession. The biggest jump in black unemployment happened in 2008, under Bush. It continued climbing, at a slightly slower pace, until 2011, then fell consistently after that year. It is now about where it was in 2007.

            https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000006

            This follows unemployment patterns for the general population as well, though as I said, black unemployment fell faster than white unemployment after 2011. Black unemployment has always been higher than white unemployment, though; how can Obama be blamed for this?

            I can’t speak to the rest of those stats as the author didn’t provide sources for them, and I don’t feel like Googling them myself right now. But the unemployment comment is misleading.

    • Chris Bentley

      I dont follow…you seem to be implying that the CBC doesn’t trust themselves; not that they dont trust Trump. Its sounds like a lady, who refuses a date with a gentleman she might be interested in seeing, simply b/c she knows he wants to have sex, and she doesn’t, but she also doesn’t trust herself. If the CBC doesn’t want to be used for a photo…then, refuse to pose for a photo when asked. If they feel that he’s being fake during the meeting, then call him out on it immediately after the meeting. But, the outright refusal to meet, to possibly make progress, b/c you don’t trust yourself to not pose for photos sounds like a baby/bathwater situation. Or maybe a cut nose situation. I dont know, it’s hot, and Im bad with metaphors.

  2. “‘For those of us who are involved in advocacy, politics, who may hold opinions which differ from those in different spaces, this kind of thing has a terrible chilling effect,’ one Essex professor wrote.”

    I don’t know about the principles this person lives by, but I suspect that this is hypocrisy. I would be impressed by the consistency of their principles (though not by their common sense) if this same person later supported white nationalist professors not being fired for the same “free speech” reasons, though it would be equally if not even more misguided–even more because it would also do much more damage to the schools reputation and therefore its well-being. Most of the colleagues are probably just looking to make sure the opinions they favor can be expressed.

    Durden’s reasoning seems purely emotional; the “white privilege card” isn’t an argument white people play to get privilege over non-whites, but rather an argument non-white people play to get privilege over whites. If black people (or any other ethnic minority) as a generalized collection of cultures wanted to isolate themselves temporarily because they felt that doing so would allow them to become strong and independent communities and individuals more effectively than immediately engaging and integrating with everyone else, I could see that as a valid argument for debate. If they’re going to isolate themselves and demand that rules not apply to them because they’re disadvantaged, as we’ve seen the most vocal people calling for, that’s actually going to hurt them more*. When did the general populace forget the phrase “soft bigotry of low expectations?” Is that not taught in Black History Month?

    *We’ve seen that some rules, usually vehicle and traffic laws, are enforced in ways that oppress poor people (particularly in majority-black neighborhoods), who cannot afford to comply. That’s an entirely valid complaint. The real test of a complainer’s character is whether they want to ultimately get to a point where they’re not causing any problems, and they just need help or leeway to do it, or whether they are content to continue causing problems as long as they are not punished.

    • Many have the misunderstanding that ‘free speech’ is ‘speech without consequences.’ This has never been true, and still is not today, unless a leftist is the speaker.

      I have a right to call the bar bouncer’s girl an fat ugly pig. I may find myself roughed up and ejected from the bar as a consequence (because he can get away with it)

    • Pennagain

      Good points, EC. And your If they’re going to isolate themselves and demand that rules not apply to them because they’re disadvantaged,. . . applies equally well to separatists of all stripes: “feminists” comes to mind.

  3. Glenn Logan

    Ossoff is a shining example of hypocrisy, leftist style. Consider:

    The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50. [my emphasis]

    According to the San Jose Mercury News, most of those small-dollar contributions came from … well, not Georgia:

    Between March 29 and May 31, Ossoff reported receiving 7,218 donations from California, dwarfing the 808 donations he received from Georgia. In the nine Bay Area counties alone, he received 3,063 donations in the same time period.

    Overall, he reported receiving $456,296.03 from California — and $220,532.10 from the Bay Area — versus just $228,474.44 from Georgia.

    Oops, there goes the narrative. Can we all agree that there is no functional difference between PAC money and money from people outside the district of the candidate? I think we can!

    The Congressional Black Caucus is a sad example of an entitled group of lawmakers. All this does is give the president the justification to ignore them utterly. Why would anyone with the interests of their constituents at heart ever alienate the most powerful man in the government, especially in such a cavalier and disrespectful way?

    Durden is an idiot as well as a racist. She protests that she wasn’t speaking on behalf of Essex, a predominantly black college, but only on behalf of herself. Wrong. She was introduced with her title; she was only invited on the program because she was a professor, and when you embarrass your employer by showing the world that it not only hires racists but allows them to indoctrinate students with their racist attitudes, you risk being fired.

    I watched the clip, and at no point did I see Essex County College, or Essex, for that matter mentioned. She was introduced as a BLM supporter and activist throughout the program.

    No doubt she embarrassed her employer anyway, though. A Google search is all it takes, and heaven knows today’s gotcha media isn’t going to let that go by.

    • Isaac

      Yup, the vast majority of his money came from California.

      • I don’t know that it did though… I mean, a healthy chunk did, and obviously more than was local… but apparently between PACs and his campaign they spent something like 28 million dollars. I want to know where it all came from.

        • Glenn Logan

          Just where you said: PACS and individual donations. Keep in mind the article just talks about a month or so of fundraising, and he’s been raising funds for at least a year, I’d guess.

  4. Chris Bentley

    ““We all know that if a white professor in any university in the U.S. had made equivalent comments about African Americans, nobody would be defending her.””

    Im starting to see race relations, and how they’re viewed from the left vs the right, to be akin to how abortion is viewed from pro-choicers, and pro-lifers.

    My theory on abortion arguments:
    Pro-lifers will cry, “You’re killing babies!”, and other such things, that imply that abortion is wrong b/c it’s ending a life.

    Pro-choicers will cry, “You’re telling women what to do w/ their bodies”, and other such arguments, that imply opposition to abortion is wrong b/c it interferes with personal autonomy.

    And all of this, at the end of the day, is just white noise. Words, that in a different context might be meaningful, but in our current situation, simply bounce off the opposition, unheard. And, IMO, that’s because THE ISSUE, the ONLY ISSUE that matters, before those other tertiary arguments can be made, is whether a fetus is a person, or not. That’s it. That’s the list.

    Pro-choicers do not care about the “ending a life” argument, b/c to them, it’s not a life that can be ended. And pro-lifers do not care about interfering with someone’s personal autonomy, b/c they feel that that autonomy is harming someone who cannot defend themself. It doesn’t matter that you think it unfair that men dont get to opt out of parenting, to a pro-choicer. It doesn’t matter that abortion clinics are hard to get to, to a pro-lifer. Neither side cares about the tertiary arguments of the other side, until the gap between the 2 sides, regarding whether a fetus is a life or not, is closed, definitively. So all the arguing about other related issues, will not move the needle 1 iota, for the opposition.

    I am starting to think the same about how minorities are viewed by the two opposing sides. One side, which appears to subscribe to objective morality, seems to think that any action that is deemed wrong by society, is always wrong, regardless of who the perpetrator is. If it’s wrong for a person of a particular race, it’s wrong for people of any race.

    The other side seems to subscribe to a version of relative morality, that expected standards that society should have for individuals frequently change based on who the individual is, what he/she looks like, and what they believe (and often, only 1 or 2 of those things need to be fulfilled, to receive “protection”). So, if you look a certain way, or think a certain way, or are a particular kind of person, standards of expected behavior are lowered or raised (presumably, b/c you are oppressed or an oppressor). Thus, what many see as double standards, aren’t to them, b/c of the changing circumstances.

    And until that gap can be closed, whether or not different people deserve differing expected standards of behavior or not, no one in the latter group cares, even a little bit, that their actions appear to be hypocritical to the former.

    • Chris

      And, IMO, that’s because THE ISSUE, the ONLY ISSUE that matters, before those other tertiary arguments can be made, is whether a fetus is a person, or not. That’s it. That’s the list.

      Well, no…autonomy of the woman matters even if the fetus is a person.

      I don’t want to get into the argument over whether the woman’s autonomy over her body means she has the right to kill the fetus inside her even if it is a person. But that is a legitimate argument, and it certainly matters.

      • Chris Bentley

        The autonomy of MY anatomy matters too. And it starts mattering less when I choose to use my anatomy to harm others. Because we accept that those others are human beings, whose right to not be harmed supersede my right to use my anatomy to harm them.

        I dont want to get into this argument either (and likely shouldn’t have brought it up), but the idea that “my autonomy dictates that I may use my anatomy to end a life of (what we have all agreed is) a human being, without due process, in the circumstances that I dictate, and only in the circumstances that I dictate, and you are wrong to try and stop me” is not legitimate.

        • Hey CB, how about those Yankees? Think they might go the distance this year?

          (Silently praying to stop an abortion debate in an interesting immigration discussion….)

        • Chris

          CB, since the phrase “inside my body” does not appear anywhere in your argument, nor is there any acknowledgement that the life in question exists in another person’s body, you have pretty much proven my point that you understand neither the autonomy argument nor its importance to the abortion debate.

          • Eternal optometrist

            Chris is right, many pro choice supporters I run into have abandoned the “it’s not a life” argument because with advancing medical technology that’s a tough argument to make at least a few weeks after conception.

            The narrative now appears to be that even if it’s a life, autonomy trumps. Or, as I’ve heard it described, the Hannibal lechter approach.

            • Chris

              Only stupid people argue that it is not a “life.” It can be a life without being a person; lots of creatures are. So the relevant questions are a) is the fetus a person (not “is it alive;” the answer to that is obviously yes) and b) even if it is, does bodily autonomy mean women can kill a person if that person is living inside of them, and killing is the only way to remove them.

          • Chris Bentley

            It doesn’t appear in my argument, because the human is not there of it’s own volition. And if the argument were solely “my autonomy dictates that I can decide whether or not it resides within me, but it’s right to life should still be honored”, then we wouldn’t have had 177 out of 182 House Dems voting against the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Even if we dont agree that fetuses are humans, any bodily autonomy argument immediately ends once babies are born as a result of botched abortions…except to Pro-choice people.

            • Chris

              So, you’ve proven that the debate is a lot more complex than “Is the fetus a person.” Which was my one and only point.

      • Dear God, Chris. My head just exploded, and I know that you know why, so can we just assume we discussed how our world views differ regarding abortion and the value of human life? It would save us both a tons of time.

        🤐

    • I like this post, CB. If not for the unfortunate abortion example, it would be COTD material. It still is worthy, just likely to start a fruitless debate on abortion, when the minority point is really great insight.

      • Chris Bentley

        Yeah, I see the point. The statement is still true, w/ regards to my opinion on tertiary arguments distracting from 1 key divide, but I stupidly thought I could get away with using that analogy and it not becoming it;s own distraction. Thanks anyway though.

    • “Pro-choicers do not care about the “ending a life” argument, b/c to them, they don’t care that it IS a life“.

      Fixed it for you. Now it shouldn’t seem so hard to realize why the 2 sides talk past each other.

    • “The other side seems to subscribe to a version of relative morality, that expected standards that society should have for individuals frequently change based on who the individual is, what he/she looks like”

      The Left doesn’t care about the internal inconsistency that their worldview silently must accept, because the Left doesn’t actually care about enacting equality. It cares about power, and to support that end it cares about maintaining a task-master-like grip over a voting block to ensure those votes keep flowing towards the DNC. And any level of rhetoric (however devoid of logic or values) is acceptable.

    • Pennagain

      Chris Bentley — Just a reader’s curiosity: I’ve been to the end of the Comments and back again and wondered if you’d ever reconsidered how abortion is viewed from pro-choicers, and pro-lifers. as an over-strong analogy in terms of discussing Im starting to see race relations, and how they’re viewed from the left vs the right.

  5. Chris Bentley

    Jack, Im curious…what gets a post flagged as needing to “await moderation”? I made 3 posts, 2 made it through, and 1 got held up. The only thing I can tell was that the one that was held up has links…would that be it?

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