Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/23/17

Good Morning!

1. Not a single comment on yesterday’s sole warm-up topic, the propriety of complimenting someone’s physical appearance or features? That’s fascinating.

2. I had to wrestle my fingers to the ground yesterday to avoid writing a full post on this editorial by the New York Times editors. I know everyone is sick of Ethics Alarms pointing out the relentless, unprofessional anti-Trump bias in the news media, because I’m sick of  writing about it. This may have been a new low, however. In the wake of Sean Spicer’s resignation as White House press secretary, the Times unleashed the equivalent of a mean playground taunt.  To read it, one would never guess that the Times had ever experienced any other press secretaries, especially President Obama’s trio of Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney and Josh Earnest , who were uniformly dishonest with disgraceful regularity. Spicer was a “four Pinocchio” spokesman? The standrad term her for Obama’s press lackies was “paid liars,” and the description was fair. Yet the Times didn’t greet the news of any of their withdrawals for the post with “Nyah nyah nyah you suck!” editorials, because the New York Times accepted that President’s lies and deceptions as designed for the greater good.

Of course, it was exactly this unethical journalistic bias that caused Spicer to adopt the attitude that most prompted the Times to attack him personally on his way out the door. He believed that journalists who don’t behave like journalists need not he respected as journalists, and he was absolutely correct in this. Indeed, no newspaper that isn’t able to discern that an editorial like the one yesterday regrading Spicer makes it look like a partisan hackery shop should be respected at all. Spicer was a really bad spokesman—inarticulate, inept, dishonest and not very bright. Nonetheless, he was trying to do a difficult job, did his best, and was no more nor less awful at it than all but a few Presidential press secretaries over the last half century or so. Only Spicer, however, was deemed deserving of such insults at the end, not even Ron Ziegler, Nixon’s complicit press secretary who looked and sounded like a half-successful laboratory clone of his boss. That is because the Times’ editorial was personal, based on emotion and anger, and an ethics alarms void.

3. This story from Canada reads like it was designed to illustrate the folly of giving government more power over our lives rather than less.

Adi Astl, a retiree living  in Toronto, had joined with others in his neighborhood to ask the city to build a flight of stairs on a precarious slope leading from a sidewalk to a local park. The existing path was steep and dangerous, and there had been injuries to pedestrians trying to navigate it. The city’s delay was in part a budget issue: the various bidders on the job had cited an expense of between $65,000 to $150, 000. You know, kick backs, red tape, and all of that.Finally Astl got tired of waiting, and built the stairs himself, hiring a homeless man to help him, at a cost of $550.  Industry! Initiative! Self-sufficiency!

Can’t have that: the city tore down the steps. Not up to code. That dangerous, stairless slope, however, meets all government requirements for dangerous slopes.

This is how government bureaucracies think and operate, yet not just Canadians, Americans too are increasingly willing to turn over the keys to their safety, health,  autonomy and lives to them. Amazing.

4. The CBS legal show “Doubt” included some legal ethics poison and cultural pollution last night. One of the series leads was representing an illegal immigrant who had committed a drug offense. She had arranged a plea deal that would save him from any jail time (by lying to the prosecutor, which was represented as standard procedure  by the show: “now you really are a lawyer,” said a colleague in admiration), but her client rejected it because, he informed her, he was an illegal immigrants and a guilty plea would send him back to Guatamala (where he belongs). Our perky heroine then blurted out to the jury that her client was a) illegal b) had a family, and c) that his children would suffer if he was deported. Thus the good jurors used nullification to find him innocent of one crime, so he could continue to benefit from another. And the judge, seeing what was going on, let this travesty occur because he was “woke,” or something.  Nice.

This is the ethics rot Hollywood embraces, and is attempting use to indoctrinate the culture  by representing wrongful conduct as right. Unethical client, unethical lawyer, unethical jury, unethical defense, and unethical judge: isn’t it wonderful?

I won’t be watching “Doubt” again.

84 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Professions, U.S. Society

84 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 7/23/17

  1. John Billingsley

    Regarding item 1, you have only yourself to blame for having so many other excellent and thought provoking topics. But I’ll belatedly add my two cents worth. I tend towards giving compliments with women I know well enough to be fairly certain of how they will take it but I’m very hesitant about any other compliments or comments. I keep in mind an event that occurred when I was a medical student in my first day on the psychiatry rotation. One of my fellow students very politely said to one of the senior residents, who appeared to be about eight months pregnant, something to the effect of “how far along are you?” The reply, “I’m NOT pregnant.” It felt like the temperature in the room dropped about 50 degrees. He ultimately managed to pass the rotation anyway.

    • “how far along are you?” The reply, “I’m NOT pregnant.”

      Whoa Nellie! Same thing happened to me. At a shindig I threw after our 25th HS Reunion bash (1998) I was amicably chatting up a former GF.

      Me: “So when are ya due?”

      She: “Paul, my daughter was born three-n-a-half months ago.”

      Me: “Sooooooo, how ’bout them Badgers!”

      • Old GF, try “So do you have kids?” and let her tell what she chooses to.

        Or keep your curiosity to yourself 🙂

        • “Old GF, try ‘So do you have kids?’ and let her tell what she chooses to.”

          Experience always arrives after I need it.

          In my defense, I was trying to short-circuit a surprisingly unexpected ‘came-outta-nowhere,’ rant about how much she hated her husband.

          As a ‘transcient foot-in-mouth syndrome’ sufferer, I’m surprised I didn’t follow up with: “Welp, seems youse guys were getting along better just over a year ago, am I right?”

  2. “1. Not a single comment on yesterday’s sole warm-up topic, the propriety of complimenting someone’s physical appearance or features?”

    Perhaps the “Reeducation/Social Engineering” thingey is working?

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Woe to those who call good and good evil, Isaiah 5:20.

  4. 2.”Spicer was a really bad spokesman—inarticulate, inept, dishonest and not very bright.”

    My take as well, he just never came off as well-polished.

    Another take?

    Cokie Roberts: “(G)et his face off the screen! The idea of seeing a person who, granted, is smart, but appears extremely young – Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx – standing up there, telling us what the President of the United States is up to is a little bit scary to most people. They’d like to see a grown-up.”

    Sean Spicer?

    Not exactly.

    That was May 1993 and Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (George Stephanopoulos) was the de facto press secretary of the President Clinton.

  5. Ash

    > One of my fellow students very politely said to one of the senior residents, who appeared to be about eight months pregnant, something to the effect of “how far along are you?”

    I asked something similar during a history lecture once. Had a similar effect.

  6. A.M. Golden

    Jack, my local station is showing reruns of “Night Court” in the evenings. I loved this show as a teenager. Watching the show now, I can’t stop thinking of “Ethics Alarms” when Harry uses his authority to force his co-workers to attend activities outside of work, when Dan Fielding sexually harasses the public defender and cases are handled with one-liners leveled at both plaintiffs and defendants with the barest of professionalism and decided by emotionalism.

    Yeah, I know it’s a comedy….

  7. Paul Compton

    My Daughter, who is slim but not skinny, was asked by a youngster if she was pregnant.

    Her reply:
    Sweetheart, unless you can actually see a baby coming out of a woman you DO NOT EVER ask if she is pregnant!”

  8. Errol

    3. “This story from Canada reads like it was designed to illustrate the folly of giving government more power over our lives rather than less.”
    And if the City had left the stairs there and someone had injured themselves on the below code stairs, then the City would be sued for far more than $60,000 to $150,000 due the folly of giving lawyers more power over our lives.

  9. Al Veerhoff

    Point well taken, Errol, Damian!

  10. Al Veerhoff

    Last word dammit, not Damian as my spell checker wanted it.

  11. 3) I saw images of the “stairs”. There’s a reason why you hire a carpenter and not a homeless man. And if the homeless man was a carpenter, there’s a reason he was homeless. That being said, for the situation needing steps, I don’t see how a reasonable estimate wouldn’t be $2-3k at a maximum, maybe up to $4-5k. But that’s just a gut estimate. But when bidding for a government contract, hyper-inflated bidding and awarded bids are a perennial problem. But we know that and don’t care, because the forces driving those hyper-inflated bids are always justified by whatever Byzantine set of laws and regulations are in place.

    Oh and there’s always an element of corruption.

  12. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Honestly, Jack, a lot of us long ago learned that personal remarks of any kind, good or bad, and especially when both genders are involved, are playing with fire, especially in the workplace. There’s just too much potential for trouble. Among ok-looking peers and at its mildest it comes off as flirting, you’re at work to work, not flirt, and your stock will go down a few points with the boss if he needs to remind you of that. Introduce disparity of age, different marital status, disparity of power, or disparity of appearance, and you open Pandora’s box. It looks Clintonesque if a significantly older man compliments a younger woman. It could be significantly risky if a single man compliments a woman who is in a relationship, from nasty phone calls to the husband/fiancé/boyfriend waiting in the parking lot with a tire iron. Do we really need to talk about the dangers of a boss complimenting a subordinate? Last of all, God forbid a man who is too short, too fat, has not enough hair, or whose appearance just doesn’t measure up says word one to a woman who thinks any of those things. He will immediately be branded a “creep” and she will go running to HR. All of these are true to a lesser extent if the genders are reversed also, although the potential for a jealous wife/gf to get violent is less (but not absent, I’ve known some crazy gfs of friends).

    Outside the workplace it’s also asking for trouble, for much the same reasons, minus the question of superior/subordinate. Seriously, Jack, do you want some woman calling you a pervert or some guy twice your size telling you to get lost before he sharpens your feet and pounds you right into the ground? No compliment is worth any of that crap.

    The limited exceptions to the no-compliment rule are celebrities at events, performers, and people in costume at events where costumes are expected. No one will fault you for telling Julia Roberts she looks great on the red carpet, or telling a Broadway performer post-show that she looked great onstage, or complimenting a renfaire princess or WWII reenactor on their outfits. Otherwise, zip it and keep your remarks for discussion later with friends.

  13. 1. I was unplugged since last Thursday due to family matters, as I tend to do on weekends. Sorry, Jack. You know what you do is appreciated!

    I will comment on the original thread when I catch up

    • AND I hit ‘Post’ too soon…

      2. The Times is fake news. They have admitted that they will lie to take Trump down, which is the very definition of fake news. They make up stories in the name of money and vengeance. Using them for a supporting source is admitting that you do not care about this journalistic malpractice.

      3. I agree that a poor stairway is not better than none, but I suspect that the officials not getting a bribe from the process was as much to do with this story as any safety issues. This is what we can expect from socialist governments, anywhere they exist. History bears this out. This is what the Democrats want: a way to prosper at the people’s expense, and immunity to prosecution. The GOP establishment wants the same thing: this is about power and wealth. Some animals are more equal than others, in any socialist situation.

      4. I am recording very old CSI shows (season three is playing on SciFi) to get away from some of the BS with which Hollywood is contaminating their shows. A side note: I recently visited The Sixth Floor museum, from which Oswald supposedly shot and killed JFK, physics to the contrary. The museum is VERY well done and was crowded to the maximum. However, even there they took shots at the Right that were not necessary to the story, going out of their way to paint us in the same colors they painted the Communists, the Mob, the CIA, and other ‘deplorables.’ Incredible.

      • Chris

        2. The Times is fake news. They have admitted that they will lie to take Trump down, which is the very definition of fake news.

        No, they have not admitted any such thing.

        Using them for a supporting source is admitting that you do not care about this journalistic malpractice.

        This is just silly. It’s the biggest newspaper in the world; even if one finds their bias abysmal, refusing to ever use them as a source would mean missing out on tons of real news. A critical reader can distinguish the real from the fake even within a bad source.

        I’m also unsure what sources you think are better than the New York Times. Examples?

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          Actually the BIGGEST English-language newspaper in the world is the Times of India, due to volume of circulation, and several Japanese-language newspapers far outpace the Times by numbers. The New York Times was largely coasting on its previous reputation, when it actually had some form of integrity, liberal bias or not. That integrity has been slowly disintegrating since the Clinton administration. It was in tatters when the Times declared war on Donald Trump during the campaign and stated it was going to use every weapon in its arsenal to stop him from becoming president. It is now entirely gone, given the fact that it published Charles’ Blow’s ridiculous statement that he was going to fight the president every step of the way from here on, when it should have told him to rework that or he was done. Anyone who doesn’t read it, or the Washington Post, or any of the other well-known liberal papers, with an eye toward questioning the bias and separating the factual wheat in every article from the biased chaff (including choice of adjectives and adverbs) is either a sheep who doesn’t want to think for himself or a liberal looking for confirmations in print.

          • Matthew B

            I fail to grasp why the NYT still holds on to any reputation at all. They employed a Soviet agent who buried the genocide in the Ukraine and they buried the existence of The Holocaust even though they new it was happening. They’ve been a lying, politically driven rag for 80 years now.

        • They have admitted that they will lie to take Trump down…No, they have not admitted any such thing.

          I believe you are trolling here, Chris. I will not indulge you with a rehash of the past year of examples of the Times printing debunked stories, or their admission that they must set journalistic standards aside for the ‘greater good.’ you know, like ‘tell the story truthfully’ and ‘not making things up’ from false anonymous sources?

          …refusing to ever use them as a source would mean missing out on tons of real news.

          Why do you trust a known liar, Chris? I am certain, as a teacher, that you take a student’s story with a grain of salt when they have been proven to be untrustworthy in the past? Yet you suspend this survival trait when the MSM is involved.

          I believe it is unethical to believe anything such a person or organization says without further corroboration. The Times is especially guilty in this regard, but the progressive story slanting of the past few decades culminating in the current hissy fit of the past few months implicates MOST of the progressive media as political hacks. And no, I do not read the Times as a result, only getting exposure (mainly) from this site.

          I’m also unsure what sources you think are better than the New York Times. Examples?

          Nice diversion try, and a typical progressive trick. No, I will not engage with you in a tit-for-tat on who is better. Suffice it to say that most of the media is untrustworthy, and that does indeed make it difficult to know the truth. If one cares enough to get to the bottom of a story, it takes time and research into many sources to pick up the likely truth through common elements while sorting out bias from either direction. We are discussing the Times here, and other sources are irrelevant to that discussion.

          Still love ya like a brother, though.

        • Chris;

          “No, they have not admitted any such thing.”

          You don’t say?

          Is there a difference between “fake news” and conflagrating bias?

          Using your “not too much of a stretch” analogy: The spiking of Stephanie Strom’s Anita Moncrief/Hope-n-Change/ACORN connection “game-changer” piece, the Michael Cieply’s devastating exposé, Artie Sulzberger Jr’s monumentally whiny attempt at an apology, & Mark Halperin’s unduly charitable comparison of it to “The Onion” notwithstanding?

          And that’s just off the top of my head.

          That rag is a freakin’ joke, as far as objectively reporting news goes. The Gray Lady should have had a conservator appointed LONG ago, and ought now be closely monitored with round-the-clock observation in a skilled care facility.

          Seeing the condition is terminal and not rehabilitative in nature, she’s not eligible for coverage under Medicare and will be private pay.

          “I’m also unsure what sources you think are better than the New York Times.”

          Could be my failing, but I’d grant more credibility to Al Cervik, Carl Spackler, Thornton Melon, & Joe Curran (Peter Boyle in the 1970 movie “Joe”)

          Heck, I even stopped using it to wrap fish, it’s an insult to the fish.

        • Because by collectively refusing to buy a crappy product, the producer of the crappy product will be incentivized to fix their problems. In this case, the Times would be incentivized to consistently engage in actual reporting, and not just democrat party propaganda.

          Why wouldn’t you want the media to be encouraged to drop it’s biases?

          • Chris

            What sources do you believe are less biased and more reliable than the NYT, tex?

            • That doesn’t seem to answer the question I posed to you. Perhaps you didn’t read.

              • Chris

                It does answer your question, tex, though somewhat indirectly. (Besides, I asked mine first, though it wasn’t directed at you.)

                If we adopt your proposed solution–not using the NYT as a source at all–then we have to find other sources that are just as good but lack the NYT’s bias. If there are no such sources, your solution is not helpful.

                Jack’s solution–criticizing the paper when it fails but still recognizing its strengths–is much more practical.

                • Interesting that criticism hasn’t improved the quality of the media…

                  Loss of dollars would.

                  • Chris

                    Hey, I don’t subscribe to or buy the NYT. I read the free articles online when I can. I do subscribe to the Washington Post, though.

                    • They aren’t free articles. Advertising pays for them, clicks generate the advertising. Your actions in support of a terrible producer justify the the terrible producer to receive funding.

                    • Chris

                      I see you’ve put your pedantic hat back on. You said we need to refuse to “buy” the NYT, so I mentioned I don’t buy it. I realize they get money from advertisers for clicks. You have a problem with people contributing financially to the Times, take it up with Jack who buys it directly. And if you have a moment, tell me what newspapers don’t cause you to wag your finger at people for not boycotting.

            • Tough question. I subscribe to the Times, because it is so much better than every other newspaper in quality of across the culture coverage that it is ridiculous. But as the #1 paper, it has an obligation to be an exemplar, and thus its level of bias is more damaging that any other source could be, an betrayal of values and the nation itself.

              I don’t think there are any unbiased sources now. We in effect have no trustworthy news media at all, and this is why I believe it is the ethics crisis of the decade.

              • Chris

                Good answer, Jack, and one I agree with.

                This is my point: despite the NYT’s bias and occasional factual errors, it remains an invaluable resource. The idea that it should never be used as a source at all is plainly ridiculous, and I’m glad you don’t subscribe to that view.

                • So you agree that the ethics crisis of the decade is lack of a trustworthy media?

                  That’s a step in the right direction. Though I think you are on record several times as stating that the Trump administration is worse than the collective media.

                  • Chris

                    Ack! I missed that part entirely. I was agreeing that all sources are biased in some way, that the Times is still a great paper in comparison to any other, and that it is particularly damaging when it fails at its duty to give the public accurate information.

                    I still believe the ethics crisis of the decade is the Trump presidency, and the media’s failure to always hold itself to standards of fairness and objectivity in its coverage of Trump will be but a footnote to that story.

                    • No, the only thing politically, that can be the “crisis of the decade” is the failure of both main political parties to put forward ANYONE other than Hillary and Trump.

                      Because make no mistake, regardless of the drooling Utopia you think we’d be in with Hillary, we’d be in just the same unmitigated disaster with her as we are with him.

                      (the one difference being the media would be reporting in a Vastly different method than it is now)

                      Which is why the Media is THE primary ethics crisis of the decade. Not Trump.

                    • Chris

                      It would be stupid to believe we’d be in a “drooling utopia” under Hillary, but it is equally stupid to believe we’d be in “just the same unmitigated disaster” with her as we are now.

                      The difference is I don’t believe the former stupid thing, and you do believe the latter stupid thing.

                    • The only thing that would be a minor mitigation to the Hillary disaster is that she wouldn’t been in a perpetual state of imbalance from an outright insurrectionist media. She’d have that working for her. But that isn’t a fair argument.

                      Other than that…her policies would be just as disastrous for our nation as Trump’s. And no, it isn’t stupid to believe that.

                    • Chris

                      Have you considered the possibility that Trump is imbalanced not because of the media, but because he is a fundamentally imbalanced person?

                    • Not substantially more imbalanced that your hopeful. The problem, his imbalance is being exacerbated…intentionally…by your people.

                      This is a type of treachery.

                      Why do you support those people?

                    • Chris

                      As for Clinton’s policies being just as bad as Trump’s…the CBO estimates the current Republican health care bill will cause 20 million people to lose their insurance.

                      What Democrat policy would have that kind of immediate negative effect on Americans?

                    • And to answer your other question, Chris: “What Democrat policy would have that kind of immediate negative effect on Americans?

                      How about the TPP? The EPA’s ‘Waters of the US’ law which placed ditch water under Federal over site? Farmers could not do routine farming (like plowing the land) without submitting plans to the EPA. And given where food comes from, that impacts far more than a mere 20 (or so) million.

                    • 1) Guaranteed medical insurance isn’t a right, so merely stating that a particular policy may or may not lead to increased or decreased possession of medical insurance is not a measure of success or failure or “goodness” or “badness” of a policy. So any change to the ACA that “causes” Americans to lose something they naturally or by choice weren’t going to purchase anyway isn’t exactly as you characterize it. I know you can think in more nuanced terms than the Democrat talking point of “everyone has insurance, hooray!”.

                      2) Let’s pretend like your socialist worldview is the basis we ought to even be having this discussion from. (It isn’t, but I’ll humor you). What good does merely saying “Everyone has insurance”, if for the most part everyone’s insurance prices are skyrocketing and they aren’t even getting the coverage they want. What an abjectly stupid situation to put ourselves in just to say the equally stupid phrase “everyone has insurance, hooray!”

                      And those were Immediate impacts of Democrat policies.

                      3) Trump’s change and the feckless sell-outs in Congress’s attempt at “replace” is a complete mess also. It’s Obamacare Lite, or Obamacare Redux, or whatever slur most appropriate. It changes very little of substance in Obamacare, except for maybe the proposed, but not settled on repeal of the individual mandate. So yes, of course Trump care is going to be a disaster as well.

                      Guess, what? Hillary’s maintenance of Obamacare, or her eventual push for single payer *was going to be a disaster also*.

                    • Chris

                      That’s just idiotic. No objective observer could look at the public behavior of Hillary Clinton and the public behavior of Donald Trump and say the latter is only a *little* more imbalanced than the former, and I challenge you to find anyone who’ll agree with you on that point. It’s absurd.

                      And try as you might to ignore this, Trump is a person with agency. You cannot pin his erratic, irresponsible, and childish public behavior on the media, and reporting on his erratic, irresponsible, and childish behavior is not the cause of that behavior. My god.

                    • You are cheating, you are comparing beleaguered President Trump to Candidate Clinton. A fair comparison is Candidate Trump to Candidate Clinton.

                      You see, like I mentioned (and you consistently ignore (likely because you are guilty and approving of the same conduct), is that President Trump is under a full and treacherous assault from the Left – Media and other Leftist sources. No doubt a bit of the criticism is justified. No doubt an anti-republican and anti-democratic majority of it is prodding the bull because they know the bull will lose control and break something. So, let’s hearken back to an earlier time, before you and the left started hyperventilating every time Trump blinked.

                      Candidate Trump, though still under predictable assault by the media, wasn’t quite as bad. Any fair comparison to the WHOLE Clinton and the WHOLE Trump would see them both as clear dangers to the Republic. I’m not too concerned about your assertion of objectivity, given that your own meltdown since the election has demonstrated you surrendered objectivity long ago.

                      Of course Trump is a person with agency. Mentioning that in no way supports the straw man you are setting up that I don’t hold Trump accountable for being a brash buffoon. However, I find your endorsement of the treacherous behavior of the Left an abject rejection of accountability for the hostile conditions your side has fabricated.

                      Again, you avoided answering my question when I asked you why you support the treacherous and republic-undermining conduct on the Left?

                    • Chris

                      1) I don’t believe healthcare is a right, and one does not have to believe that to recognize the basic facts that “Having health insurance = good” and “Not having health insurance = bad.” That 20 million people losing health insurance is a bad thing should be uncontroversial, and the fact that you’re trying to “Well, actually” that idea makes you look quite unserious.

                      2) Insurance prices are not “skyrocketing” in comparison to the rising rates prior to the ACA, and even if they were, the Republican policies do nothing to bring down rates.

                      3) No, it is not “Obamacare lite,” and the entire goal is to eliminate Obama’s signature achievement–NOT to actually do anything about healthcare. This is undeniable. It is a movement based entirely on spite. There is no overriding policy goal, other than “We don’t like Obama.” If there were, we’d have something resembling a functional bill after seven years of repeal attempts, and the whole thing would be at least as transparent as the drafting of the ACA was, instead of being done almost entirely in secret.

                      But the disaster of the Trump presidency goes far beyond policy, as you well know, and as Jack spent a year warning you. Trump’s lack of basic competence as a leader, and the sheer volume and depth of his character defects, are far more damaging to our country than any single policy ever could be, and does not even compare to Clinton’s many defects. If you doubt this, imagine Hillary Clinton giving a speech to the Boy Scouts like the one Trump gave today. It is inconceivable. Trump’s childishness, his pettiness and his naked self-promotion make him an international laughingstock, and that is a disaster for our country in a way that rightly overshadows anything as provincial as a health care debate.

                    • 1) As a matter of fact, you inability to look at this with nuance and recognize the complexity of values in conflict here shows you are incapable of being serious. Ok, do we all feel better now insulting each other’s seriousness? Ok: Yes, as a matter of fact, if an individual DOES NOT WANT TO BUY a Product on the market IT IS A BAAAAAAAAAAD thing to FORCE them to buy that product on the market. Surely that computes to you? That right there is proof this is more complex than just “more insurance = good”.

                      And good if you don’t think medical insurance is a right…the other 99.9999999% of the Left have been making that argument. But since it let’s you squirm out of this aspect of the discussion, I’ll pretend you really don’t think it’s a right.

                      2) Yes they are and people aren’t getting the coverage they want. Remember the “whole get to keep your doctor” meme?

                      And mentioning what the Republicans are doing is more strawmanning. I could care less what they are doing, I’ve already indicated they are feckless boobs who aren’t solving the problem created by the Democrats. Nothing new is added to the discussion but diversion when you say this.

                      Even if I thought the Republicans were substantially changing Obamacare, your argument boils down to “It’s not as bad as them!”

                      3) The entire goal is to eliminate Obamacare. Sorry Jack, in this case a LOL is warranted. That’s what they were elected for yes, but since it isn’t getting repealed and it isn’t going to be repealed, then NO, the republicans are not working on eliminating Obamacare, so you can dispense with that tired and worn out talking point.

                      I mean really…how do you even think that flies?

                      4) No, don’t say stupid things. Jack spent a year warning us about Trump, and then recognized in the latter days the nascent totalitarian regime Clinton would establish (and believably, given how deplorably your people have behaved since the election). I spent a year warning you about Both of them. You don’t get to set up another strawman like I think Trump isn’t a disaster. So try again.

                      Also, why do you support the insurrectionist treachery of the Left?

                    • Chris

                      You are cheating, you are comparing beleaguered President Trump to Candidate Clinton. A fair comparison is Candidate Trump to Candidate Clinton.

                      And if you think such a comparison reveals similar levels of mental and emotional “balance,” you are delusional.

                      Again, you avoided answering my question when I asked you why you support the treacherous and republic-undermining conduct on the Left?

                      Yeah, I’ll be answering that around the same time you answer when you stopped beating your wife.

                    • Chris

                      1) You miss the obvious point that when individuals do not have health insurance, that negatively effects everyone. Healthcare costs money. People who don’t have the money for healthcare pass the cost on to everyone else. This is so basic that even your fellow Republicans used to understand it, which is why the individual mandate was their idea in the first place. That they then had reject this idea after Obama adopted it, debasing themselves to the point that Mitt Romney had to oppose his signature accomplishment, RomneyCare, in order to appease the Right-wing furies determined to oppose anything with a hint of Left-wing cooties just speaks to how willing Republicans are to debase themselves in the quest for power. See also: Cruz, Rafael Edward.

                      So yes, it sucks that force has to be used to get some people to buy health insurance. But compared to the alternative–socialized costs where we just pretend the costs aren’t socialized and go on paying more for healthcare than every other industrialized country–forcing people to buy health insurance is good. More people having health insurance is good, even if we have to force some people to buy it.

                      You’ll call that totalitarian, because you value libertarian-ish principles over reality. The good news is I couldn’t take that feeling of smug self-superiority away from you if I tried, so I’m sure that’s comforting.

                      2) No, they aren’t.

                      .

                    • Since you can’t seem to keep from strawmanning the bejeezus out this discussion and it’s apparent emotions have taken control of your thought process, I think I’ll leave this here.

                      And despite your attempt to smear the holding of principles by pretending I somehow elevate them “above reality”, I’ll simply be content with having principles.

                      Have a good day.

                    • Chris

                      Well, we’ll always have accusing your political opponents of treachery!

                  • That 20 million people losing health insurance is a bad thing should be uncontroversial…

                    Actually, yes, if those people did not want to pay in the first place. they have the right to do so, if (as you claim) healthcare is not a right but an optional service.

                    Insurance prices are not “skyrocketing” in comparison to the rising rates prior to the ACA, …

                    Bullshit, Chris. I HAVE proven this to you on this blog in the recent past… you then dodged by claiming you meant ‘for employers’ when the topic was clear.

                    https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/06/29/morning-ethics-warm-up-62917/

                    That blog shows the same things we are discussing now. I gave you the statistics showing the skyrocketing (and in some cases, nonexistent) Insurance premiums due to Obamacare.

                    http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-insurance-premiums.aspx

                    “…for those buying insurance on an exchange or private market plan for 2017, the average increase before subsidies was a shocking 25 percent… consumers in some states will find significantly fewer insurance companies offering coverage” [note this was the Obama Admin still saying this]

                    Without a taxpayer provided subsidy, 85% of those partaking in the exchanges could not afford the increased insurance costs, the Obama Admin asserts.

                    Reread the thread, sea lion.

                    It is a movement based entirely on spite. There is no overriding policy goal, other than “We don’t like Obama.”

                    More Bullshit. Democrat passed Obamacare without a single GOP vote, Chris. It is more than a failure, it was designed to fail, such that single payer would be the only option after the Insurance companies were destroyed.

                    …we’d have something resembling a functional bill after seven years of repeal attempts…

                    Agreed. the GOP Establishment WANTS this control over the population, they just want to be at the levers of power themselves. This is an example of the new Aristocracy (wealthy political class) pandering for votes with outright lies, while never intending to fulfill their promises. The only new thing here is that the GOP is adopting the tactic wholesale. Democrats have been doing this for decades to get votes.

                    and the whole thing would be at least as transparent as the drafting of the ACA was, instead of being done almost entirely in secret.

                    Wait, WHAT?!?

                    Boy, Chris, you really jumped the shark there. Remember Nancy Pelosi “We have to pass the bill in order to know what is in it” quote? The architect himself (Jonathan Gruber) said it was necessary to lie to the public to get this bill passed, that it depended on the stupidity of the American people to get passed. Then there is the ‘$2,500 family savings’ lie, and the ‘you can keep your doctor’ conspiracy. Obamacare was not drafted transparently at all.

                    You miss the obvious point that when individuals do not have health insurance, that negatively effects everyone.

                    We have progressives to thank for that as well. Nice of your team to make this a government mandate, then beat everyone over the head with the failure. THOSE PEOPLE DID NOT WANT HEALTH INSURANCE. The statistics show that the VAST majority are young healthy citizens who will never need it until later in life. This has been the case for decades, until Obama. And spare me the stories of those who did not have it and got sick: this is a price of liberty and personal responsibility, and should not be delegated to the socialist nanny state. Sad circumstantial stories and emotional arguments (both progressive tactics) make for poor policy. Your fig leaf that you ‘do not think healthcare is a right’ also contradicts this position: if it is not a right, then shut up about the costs to society.

                    Republicans used to understand it, which is why the individual mandate was their idea in the first place.” Another lie, Chris. Jonathan Gruber was the intellectual force behind the Individual Mandate.

                    Show me where the GOP pushed for this prior to Obama. Not RINOs from Blue states, either. Conservatives and moderate Republicans, as per your smear.

                    • I commend your patience with going back through old discussions to demonstrate where Chris was witness and/or recipient of a solid take down of particular arguments at anytime he chooses to pretend like those arguments were never had and completed.

                    • Yeah, I wish WordPress had a good way to search comments (I trudged my way through the past month or so to find this) as I respond to email notices and easily forget what is where.

                      And Chris, like most progressives, can ignore facts at any time, and if you get him to concede, he can simply take the same stance a week later and ignore that he conceded. The opponent has to spend the energy and bandwidth to go over the argument all over again, only to have progressives do the same trick.

                      This is an Alinsky tactic, used against progressive opponents for decades, and effective in the public forum because most normal Americans do not pay attention. You assert the Big Lie on the front page, back down quietly somewhere past the Comics Section, then assert the Big Lie again later on. Do this enough and the public thinks Bush lied about WMDs, or Sara Palin said she could see Russia from her window.

                    • To be fair, I don’t think Chris ever conceded.

                    • ‘beaten into submission?’ ‘fought to a stand still?’ ‘performed a strategic withdrawal?’

                    • Chris

                      Actually, yes, if those people did not want to pay in the first place. they have the right to do so, if (as you claim) healthcare is not a right but an optional service.

                      You’re drawing a false dichotomy. Auto insurance is not a right, either, nor is it an optional service. It is a requirement. When people do not have auto insurance and get into car accidents, the cost gets passed on to those who do. This is not a good thing.

                      More people not having health insurance is bad for the same reason.

                      Bullshit, Chris. I HAVE proven this to you on this blog in the recent past… you then dodged by claiming you meant ‘for employers’ when the topic was clear.

                      I provided alternate statistics to tex in a reply that further responded to the four points we were discussing earlier, but for some reason it didn’t show up. (It’s probably for the best; I was overly mean in that response.) Here’s the link:

                      https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/robbmandelbaum/2017/02/24/no-obamacare-hasnt-jacked-up-your-companys-insurance-rates/&refURL=https://www.google.com/&referrer=https://www.google.com/

                      But given that there seems to be so much disagreement over this point, I will not assert as fact that premiums haven’t skyrocketed under Obamacare again without further proof. For now I consider it an open question.

                      More Bullshit. Democrat passed Obamacare without a single GOP vote, Chris.

                      From my perspective that reflects worse on the GOP than it does on Democrats.

                      Boy, Chris, you really jumped the shark there. Remember Nancy Pelosi “We have to pass the bill in order to know what is in it” quote? The architect himself (Jonathan Gruber) said it was necessary to lie to the public to get this bill passed, that it depended on the stupidity of the American people to get passed. Then there is the ‘$2,500 family savings’ lie, and the ‘you can keep your doctor’ conspiracy. Obamacare was not drafted transparently at all.

                      I didn’t say there were no lies told about the bill (though the $2,500 number was floated for a previous policy, and never directly tied to what became the ACA), I said that it wasn’t developed entirely in secret like the GOP bills. There were public debates on the ACA for a year. There were tons of amendments added in by Democrats and Republicans long before it was passed. Neither the ACA nor the Republican alternatives are models of transparently, but the ACA’s passage was clearly more transparent than the process the GOP is undertaking now.

                      And spare me the stories of those who did not have it and got sick: this is a price of liberty and personal responsibility, and should not be delegated to the socialist nanny state.

                      Why not? Because of your ideology? It is cheaper to ensure most Americans have health insurance now than to pay for them later. This is a fact, and it’s why the US spends more on healthcare than any other industrialized country.

                      Your fig leaf that you ‘do not think healthcare is a right’ also contradicts this position: if it is not a right, then shut up about the costs to society.

                      This makes even less sense than your earlier false dichotomy. Things that aren’t rights don’t have costs to society? No one has the right to use a paved road, and yet without them society would suffer.

                      Another lie, Chris. Jonathan Gruber was the intellectual force behind the Individual Mandate.

                      Show me where the GOP pushed for this prior to Obama. Not RINOs from Blue states, either. Conservatives and moderate Republicans, as per your smear.

                      So you’re just giving away right up front that you will “no true Scotsman” your way out of it when I prove to you that the individual mandate was a Republican idea. Actually, I already did prove it with the Romneycare example, but the idea goes back further to the Heritage Foundation’s proposals during the 90s.

                      Regardless of whether you consider Romney and Heritage “RINOs,” that does not change the fact that they are Republicans, so my statement “the individual mandate was a Republican idea” was not even close to a “lie.”

                    • (sigh) Okay, Chris, once more into the breach:

                      You’re drawing a false dichotomy. Auto insurance is not a right, either, nor is it an optional service.

                      No, Chris, this is a strawman. Health Insurance IS an optional service, and has been right up until the Individual Mandate. I will give you that costs get passed to society, but the baggage that goes with that (right up to the death panels… heard of Charlie Gard?) is a far worse blight on the humanity than those costs.

                      I will not assert as fact that premiums haven’t skyrocketed under Obamacare again without further proof. For now I consider it an open question.

                      Fair enough. As an aside: (and answering is totally up to you) how have your health care/insurance costs fared over the past 7 years? You are in that ‘young and healthy’ demographic, who likely does not need much (although you do have asthma, you said) so you might have not been impacted by what many of us here have asserted is happening.

                      Democrat passed Obamacare without a single GOP vote… From my perspective that reflects worse on the GOP than it does on Democrats.

                      They are all crooks 🙂 But I see where, if you think healthcare is a right, you would think so.

                      …ACA’s passage was clearly more transparent than the process the GOP is undertaking now.

                      From my point of view, neither process is transparent AT ALL, so the fine degrees of ‘how muddy the water really is’ are irrelevant. However, I concede your point: there was more general debate on Obamacare beforehand, but the actual law itself was written and passed under a heavy blanket in a dark room during a solar eclipse. Just like the GOP version.
                      The GOP establishment are progressive idiots who want this power over our lives just as much as the Democrats.

                      should not be delegated to the socialist nanny state…Why not? Because of your ideology?

                      Wait, I cannot espouse my ideology while progressives are about nothing but? My ideology has the benefit have having been tried and proven over centuries. It may not be perfect, but it is better than anything else that has been tried, unlike socialism which has failed every time it is taken to the intended conclusion (Venezuela, for instance, or the USSR.) The elite get wealthy, and the public gets to starve. Progressives either think THEY will be the Elite so this is okay, or they are deliberately ignorant of history.

                      It is cheaper to ensure most Americans have health insurance now than to pay for them later. This is a fact

                      The lower cost in dollars you are so enamored of is a fact, all right. This occurs by limiting services that would otherwise be available in an open market. Today I myself deal with the actions of faceless bureaucrats who decide what treatment I am allowed to have. These faceless minions have no medical training, and rely on the advice of a doctor (who has a cost cap quota in order to keep his job) who reads a file and makes a diagnosis without ever seeing me. I personally have a condition that is controlled by a certain treatment. That treatment was (just this year, and after years of working) deemed not needed for my diagnosis despite physical evidence to the contrary over years of actual experience. This is a cost cutting measure, they have admitted, and my health and well being are irrelevant to their process. Control of my condition will add years to my life, and that is bad in their world: the longer I live, the more they have to spend on me. Oh, it is not personal: just policy being followed to cut costs by any means necessary. Death Panels are real, and coming soon to a person you (generic you, not you -Chris) care about.

                      (By the way, we have not had an ‘open market’ since socialist wage and price controls created the US healthcare system, which happened in the 1940s. Employer coverage began as a perk of employment to attract better employees, since wages were capped)

                      Regardless of whether you consider Romney and Heritage “RINOs,” that does not change the fact that they are Republicans…

                      Fair point, they ARE Republicans, from your point of view. You were correct in your assessment.

                      Things that aren’t rights don’t have costs to society? No one has the right to use a paved road, and yet without them society would suffer.

                      Actually I do have a right to use a paved road. I paid for it, and I have the right of free passage. You are the one with the false analogy: this is a well established precedent. We disagree on how taxes should be spent, but once spent I have a say (however small it may be) on that public spending. Progressive want taxpayers to sit down and shut up, spending on their whim.

                      I double down on my assertion: healthcare is NOT a right, but you are treating it as such with half truths about monetary costs while ignoring the total bill.

            • wyogranny

              I’ll try this.
              The answer is:
              All of them.

  14. Pennagain

    I did respond to #1 yesterday.

    Then I took it down. I thought it would arrive too late to warn you you would be conspicuous walking all the way across the lobby to make a suspiciously personal comment to a complete stranger.

  15. the CBO estimates the current Republican health care bill will cause 20 million people to lose their insurance.

    Holy Freakin’ crap, Chris: those are the people WHO NEVER WANTED INSURANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE. This is due to the repeal of the Individual Mandate. Read the link for more on how the CBO arrived at these numbers, for wildly different causes

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/449765/leaked-cbo-numbers-73-gop-coverage-losses-caused-individual-mandate-repeal

    • Chris

      20 million people who never wanted insurance will lose it under the Republican bill? That can’t be true, slickwilly–my understanding is that 17 million people gained insurance under the ACA. So if your statement is true, that means that not only did no one who got insurance under the ACA actually want it, but also that about three million people had insurance they didn’t want even prior to the ACA. That’s a ridiculous thing to believe. (And of course, it ignores that even people who don’t want health insurance often need it anyway, and are negatively impacted when they find they need it but don’t have it.)

      • Read the link… the actual claim from the CBO is for 73% of 22 million, so your take is not wrong. You are also only counting those on the exchanges, right? (A real question)

        Many more got insurance by other means than the fed and state exchanges. I bet our numbers are close enough given the uncertainty of the sources.

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