Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/2/17

Gooooood morning!

(I don’t know about you, but it’s always a good morning for me when the Boston Red Sox win the most exciting game of the baseball season so far with a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth after what should have been the last out reached first because  a swinging strike three went through the catcher for a passed ball….)

1. Yesterday, the gang at HLN were laughing and guffawing over the fact that someone sent e-mails purporting to be from Anthony Scaramucci to various White House officials and fooled the recipients into responding. Such publicity is what hoaxers dream about. This is why we have despicable fake news sites like “The News Nerd” and others. This is why Facebook feels it needs a special task force to search out and destroy false representations. CNN and other news media also treated the e-mails as significant news—more newsworthy, for example, than the Pakistani crooks the Democratic party had handling sensitive e-mails and other data. Why is this news, other than the fact that the “bad guys” were fooled, in the warped perspective of “resistance” journalists? More to the point, why is it funny? Why is the news media encouraging hoaxes by rewarding them with the notoriety they crave, so they can puff up their little pigeon chests and say, “See? I matter!”

The reports attempted to bootstrap the story by explaining that fake e-mails are how cyber-predators can get access to e-mail accounts. Those phishing episodes, however, involve the credulous recipients clicking on links in the message, which did not occur here. That’s what Hillary Clinton and John Podesta did. I don’t recall HLN chortling about that, however.

2. I’m still waiting for the news media’s apology to Sarah Palin. The news from UK socialized medicine today:

“Obese people will be routinely refused operations across the NHS, health service bosses have warned, after one authority said it would limit procedures on an unprecedented scale.Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations. The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.”

In other words, death panels, or the close equivalents. This is what single payer, national health care inevitably requires. The government begins dictating how you live your life, and uses the extortion of withheld medical care to enforce it. Now, the public can certainly choose to surrender its autonomy and liberty to the wise, wise bureaucrats in the government, but the public should also be fully informed of the eventual consequences before it does.

Let’s see how widely this story is covered in the U.S. Will someone ask Bernie or Senator Warren to comment on this development? I’ll wait.

Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, condemned the decision to bar obese patients and smokers from routine surgery, saying,

“Leaving patients waiting in pain for treatment longer than is clinically necessary cannot be accepted. In the last month alone, the Royal College of Surgeons has learned  of at least three clinical commissioning groups that are planning to introduce policies that deny or delay patients’ access to surgery as a means to cut spending. At this rate we may see brutal service reductions becoming the norm, rather than just being exceptions.”

Will see”, not “may see.”

3.  The ethical dilemma resulting from the wholesale looting of antiquities from second and third world nations over the centuries remains one of the great ethics controversies. It has arisen again in the decision of Manhattan prosecutors to take custody of a 2,300-year-old bull’s head that was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because of concerns that it had been  looted from a Lebanese storage area in the 1980s during Lebanon’s civil war. The legal entanglements arising out of these disputes are baroque and mindboggling, including property rights, cultural patrimony laws, statutes of limitations and jurisdictional issues. A couple bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million, and claim that they have clean rights. They blame the dealer. In these matters, the ultimate rationalization is to blame the country where the art or artifacts were taken from, arguing that a wealthier nation’s museums are best equipped to keep them safe for posterity. This has been the British Museum’s position regarding the Elgin Marbles, a large portion of the Parthenon exhibited there, though everyone agrees that they were stolen from Greece in 1801. Greece has been trying to get them back ever since. Last year a bill was offered in Parliament to finally return the Marbles. Like similar measures before it, it went nowhere. The ends—having the irreplaceable artwork available to be seen by tourists in the British Museum—justifies the means—keeping stolen good from the rightful owners.

Full disclosure: My mother, daughter of Greek immigrants, stole an eight inch chunk of marble from the Parthenon site when my parents visited Greece, smuggled it home, and had it on display on the TV set until they moved from Arlington, Mass., to Arlington, Virginia. My sister and I had vowed to return it to the Greek embassy, but my late mother claimed it had been “lost.” I think she took it with her to the grave, somehow.

The tale of the Marshall Marble is the shame of the family.

4.  Ethics Alarms will certainly feature more on this development, but for now I’ll just welcome the decision, sure to be attacked as “white supremacy,”  by the Justice Department’s civil rights division to begin  investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants. Affirmative action has always been a euphemism for “race-based discrimination in favor of the right race,” and while it can be argued that it was a necessary evil in the wake of Jim Crow, it is still a hypocritical and unconstitutional policy.  I hope the Justice Department includes discrimination against Asian-American students in its crackdown as well.

I heard Van Jones, one of CNN’s resident racialists, reacting to the news and saying that “turning against each other” was not the way to address racial injustice. Where’s the laugh track? Installing a policy that tells qualified white students that they have lost a slot in a college class in favor of a black student based on skin color is benign, but returning to a policy that takes color out of the equation is “turning against each other.” This is epic hypocrisy.

The current admission policies cannot be reconciled with any ethical system, nor the Constitution.

5. This story, filed by Ethics Alarms ethics scout Fred, bears watching.

The Trump administration is systematically and illegally blocking people from applying for asylum in the United States, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in California.Instead of allowing people with asylum claims to enter the country, Customs and Border Protection agents are lying about the process or intimidating people from crossing into the country at legal ports of entry, according to the lawsuit brought by six asylum seekers and the legal services group Al Otro Lado. The complaint describes CBP’s alleged actions at the border as an “officially sanctioned policy” that sends people back to the danger they fled.

“CBP’s unlawful practice of turning asylum seekers away from [legal ports of entry] is forcing asylum seekers, including Class Plaintiffs, to return to Mexico and other countries where they remain susceptible to serious harm such as kidnapping, rape, trafficking, torture or even death,” the complaint says.

…the lawsuit… contends that authorities are violating the Immigration and Nationality Act, along with international treaty obligations, by turning people with asylum claims away or coercing them into signing forms saying they don’t fear returning to their home countries…

CBP declined to comment on the lawsuit, writing in an email that the agency can’t speak publicly about pending litigation. In the past, CBP has denied barring immigrants from attempting to enter the United States to claim asylum or other forms of humanitarian relief.

But the practice has been widely documented by several human rights groups, immigration lawyers and the news media. While the lawsuit was filed against Trump administration officials, the complaint says the practice was first documented in the summer 2016, during the Obama presidency.  

Lawsuits are allegations, not facts, and activist lawsuits are often designed to publicize issues rather than resolve them. Fred’s comment is apt, however. He writes,

“It is a policy debate how immigration judges rule on asylum requests. It is an ethics matter if the would-be immigrants don’t get to make their case at all.”


156 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/2/17

  1. “patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above –”

    Think this will cause Michael Moore to consider criteria other than just somewhere Trump isn’t President when deciding where to relocate?

  2. I find it harder and harder to listen to any news network these days. The constant flow of all things upsetting makes my hair stand on end from frayed nerves. I have found these posts from Jack my means of getting important information because he cuts to the chase and keeps it all in order with a discourse that enables me to better decide for myself just what the hell is truth or fiction. Thank you Jack for broading the mind of this old Southern belle, who is untraveled and unfamiliar with things outside my little insulated bubble here in good old East Tennessee. Sometimes I find the replies a little over my head but I find your comments and posts engaging and enlightening.

  3. Jack, I’m with Linda in all the positive things she says. However, I also note some curious omissions.

    What jumped out at me on 8/3 on the issues of ethics were:

    a. the president of the United States being called a liar by the President of Mexico, and the head of the Boy Scouts, for claiming phone calls that (they say) never took place
    b. The White House press secretary flatly contradicting the President’s lawyer regarding potential involvement in a cover-up.

    I would think these issues du jour are at least as important as the linguistics of Sarah Palin. (Though not nearly as interesting, i grant you, as the Marshall Marbles 🙂

      • It is by definition for issues and stories that are not, in my view, currently worthy of full posts but that deserve mention.

        That said, organizational heads trying CYA tactics and anything the President of Mexico says—every one of them are crooks, you know_– wouldn’t normally even make my “Afternoon Ethics Cool-Down.”

        And you know the item that started with a reference to Palin was, in fact, about health care rationing to constrain human liberty.

        • “by definition for issues and stories that are not, in my view, currently worthy of full posts but that deserve mention.”

          I stand corrected, thanks.

  4. Does affirmative action involve racial classifications?

    does the university accept federal funds?

    is race a bona fide qualification for being a university student?

    If the answer to the first two is affirmative and the answer to the latter is negative, then affirmative action violates civil rights laws.

  5. 4. That is exactly right – and by pretending it only affects white students, they can continue to play the race card and hide the fact that the folks receiving the worst of the discrimination are Asian-American students.

    Where I live, I occasionally get Chinese take-out from a family-owned restaurant. I haven’t asked, but I suspect they are recent immigrants. They probably don’t make a ton of money.

    But with the way that “affirmative action” is applied in this country today, their kids trying to go to a top-rate college are arguably the most likely to be discriminated against. I suspect they will be included in the investigations.

    But then again, I guess judging on the content of one’s character as opposed to the color of one’s skin now makes you a “white supremacist.”

  6. The whole affirmative action concept is a regrettable cluster-f** of stupidity.

    By the time you’re applying to college, 95% of the things that make you an effective college candidate are already in place. Both the folks who are pro- and anti- affirmative action at the college level should be required to show where they’ve argued for funding early childhood development programs, reasonable elementary school programs, and anti-segregated housing programs before they’re even allowed to say a word about affirmative action. The whole subject detracts from serious debates about social policy, and does very few people any good.

    • So before anyone is allowed to argue for or against the leftist policy of affirmative action at the college level they should first demonstrate they are for leftist positions on early education…


      (Sorry Jack, but that one was earned)

      • As the Manhattan Contrarian states repeatedly (and I’m paraphrasing): A liberal is someone who believes there is no human malady that a government program can’t fix.

      • My one-year old grandchild is already exposed to iPads with high speed wifi. Before he even gets to pre-school he will already be cognitively ahead of tons of kids in flyover states who do not have those advantages.

        I think that is, directionally, a shame, at least in comparison to the situation in most other developed countries. I’m not against some kids being born with silver spoons in their mouths, but on a world-wide comparative basis, I suggest our spoons are too silver and too narrowly distributed.

        You can call that “leftist” and find it LOL funny.

        I agree that people like you call it “leftist,” and find it a damn shame .

        • Watch it! I am in one of those flyover states (though we do have an international airport if you feel like landing and taking a look around), and have some pretty tech-savvy young’ins. My 5-year old is reading better than I did at 9. It really is amazing how many learning opportunities. In my day, all we had was Schoolhouse Rock in between episodes of Laff-a-lympics and Superfriends on Saturday mornings.

          Of course, the new line of thought is, for whatever good they do, there is a downside to “screen time.”


        • I’m by no means well off, and my three year old daughter has an Amazon Kindle. They’re regularly on sale for $30 (at least a few times a year,) free Wi-Fi is available at the playground and library and most businesses these days, Amazon has a whole storefront of totally free apps, and the library has contracts with online sites that loan ebooks.

          I’m not arguing that every kid will have equal opportunities, but that the difference here isn’t money.

        • I do find it LOL funny. You literally forced the argument to be argued on your terms and declared all arguments that don’t come to the table immediately agreeing with you as invalid by extension, .

        • I live in a fly-over state, Charles. I’m making sure my grand kids get a good education and are well provided for, as did my wife and I when we were raising our kids, in fly-over states. Give me a break. Fly-over states. Since when did you give a hoot about fly-over states? Aren’t they filled with deplorables? Where in the country isn’t there high speed internet?

          • I reckon America’s Dairyland, where I call home, is considered “flyover” country, in at least two recent ignominious examples:

            1-During the VERY very contentious 2012 Gubernatorial Recall election, President Obama flew from MN to IL, & which would be literally over WESconsin.

            HRC may or not have actually “flown-over” our part of her supposed locked-up Blue Wall.” Whether she did or didn’t is moot, the fact is she inexplicably chose not drop in. H

            istory may deem that one of the greatest unforced errors in modern day POTUS election politics.

            Though perhaps a distant second to her campaign defining “basket of deplorables” comment, which shall live on in infamy!

            • File this under “I know you have stereotypical assumptions about me because I have stereotypical assumptions about you.”

                  • And the term “nigger” was just a coloquialized accent version of negro bearing the same non-derogatory intentions. But we see where it is now.

                    Arguments of etymology are flawed at best.

                    I’ve not heard the term ever used in any context other than comparisons between the where-it’s-at-up-and-coming-got-all-the-new-gadgets coasts and the rest of us rubes.

                    • It’s like you’re competing with SJWs to see who can be best at finding petty things to be offended over, tex.

                    • Me, offended, hardly. I’m fully aware and comfortable with the disdain the coastal leftist elites hold the rest of the nation.

                      charles seemed flabbergasted by the responses he garnered based on his tone-deaf use of the term “flyover country”, which he truly felt is an innocent term. I merely pointed out one reason he may have garnered those responses. Just making observations.

                      Maybe it’s so standard jargon in his circles that he feels it’s a fair and accurate term and therefore innocent.

                    • “I’ve not heard the term ever used in any context other than comparisons between the where-it’s-at-up-and-coming-got-all-the-new-gadgets coasts and the rest of us rubes.” –TexAgg

                      “But in fact, as a saying, flyover country isn’t quite the elitist insult we imagine….Rarely is it ever used by a New Yorker or Angelino as a pejorative. It’s a stereotype of other people’s stereotypes,” lexicographer Ben Zimmer says.”
                      “As a phrase, it’s become almost a dare, a way for Midwesterners to cajole the coastal elites into paying attention to a place they might otherwise overlook. But it’s also a bond for Midwesterners—a way of forging an identity in a place they imagine being mocked for its lack of identity. It’s a response to an affront, real or imagined, and a way to say “Well, maybe we don’t think that much of you, either.” –National Geographic

                      Who you gonna believe – National Geographic, or your lyin’ imagination?

                    • ““As a phrase, it’s become almost a dare, a way for Midwesterners to cajole the coastal elites into paying attention to a place they might otherwise overlook. But it’s also a bond for Midwesterners—a way of forging an identity in a place they imagine being mocked for its lack of identity. It’s a response to an affront, real or imagined, and a way to say “Well, maybe we don’t think that much of you, either.””

                      So it becomes closer and closer to my counterexample my the minute. Granted not nearly as offensive given the history, but pretty comfortably analogous. Thanks for boosting my point!

                    • You did not respond to the point that the term “flyover country” is mostly used by people from there. I just searched the term on this site–if you do the same you’ll see that even here, is mostly used defensively by conservatives or people in flyover country, not by East Coast liberals. As the NatGeo article points out, it’s a “stereotype of a stereotype.”

                      This confirms exactly what I said: Other Bill was assuming charles has a stereotypical view of flyover country because Other Bill has a stereotypical view of liberals. That’s the same reason he assumed I think America sucks below.

                    • Phenomenal.

                      The left even gets to use slurs and justify their use, while holding in utter contempt (and rightfully so) any one who may use a slur against one of their protected groups.


                    • As has already been established, “flyover country” is not a slur, and you can’t make it one by simply repeating that it is. You are embarrassing yourself with your overly sensitive whining at this point.

                    • Since you are clearly so desparate today, I’ll give you one more opportunity to rebut the NatGeo article with actual substance, rather than unsupported, repetitive assertions. Then I’m bowing out.

                    • *sigh* There was an etymology point and a usage point. You dismissed the etymology point and never addressed the usage point. It is not typically used as a slur, and is more often used by people from flyover country. Like charles. We already showed YOU that.

                    • Chris, time to take your foot off his neck; like Trump, he’s never going to admit he’s in the wrong, even when he’s laughably so (like here).

                    • I’ve already showed you also, that any adoption of the term by the people it slurs, makes it even more like the counterexample I used to show why the Argument from Etymology was false.

                      Sigh indeed.

                      Take a nap Chris, you need it.

                    • It’s cute that you think you did that.

                      The n word is a reappropriation of a slur used by whites against blacks as a tool of oppression.

                      Flyover country is a term *invented* by people in middle America, and was never used by people on the coasts to oppress anyone.

                      No slur, no oppression, no reappropriation. Other than that, good point.

                    • Illiterate too, apparently. I already granted that it’s not nearly as offensive as “nigger” nor does it possess the same historical baggage. But I did demonstrate to you how both terms derived from non-offensive sources, gained their offensive tone, then were subsequently adopted by members of the slurred group (which I can only assume is a psychological act of “your words can’t hurt me” rebellion).

                      You and charles both seem to suffer from this inability to pay attention.

                    • You never even demonstrated that the term flyover country was offensive to anyone else in the world but you!

                    • Dude. Are you daft?

                      You have to be…no…no…you’re joking.

                      charles *started* this WHOLE sidebar BECAUSE he was astonished at the reactions he got from his use of the term.

                      Or are you just being willfully obtuse…

                      maybe devil’s advocating?


                    • Please go back and read this thread. No one objected to the term “flyover country” but you. Several objected to charles’ argument *about* flyover country, but only you objected to the term itself, and only you called it a slur. In fact, multiple posters responded by using the term themselves to describe their own environments.

                      Again, no one reacted as if this were a slur.

                      I really hope you’ll admit you were wrong in your next comment. But you’ll probably just keep digging.

                    • You’re still stretching. Re-read the comment charles used in which the term we’re discussing was used. You cannot divorce that from the reactions.

                      Phenomenal that you are trying.

                    • No, the reaction was to charles’ argument ABOUT flyover states. No one except you objected to the term in last night’s discussion, and until wyogranny just now, no one except you described it as a “slur.” The rest are free to clarify if they took it that way. But even if they did, they are just as wrong as you are.

                    • Try as you might, you still can’t divorce the slur from the negative assessment.

                      Since we’re at the point of repeating premises and conclusions, one set which is internally consistent and then your set, I don’t see much value in continuing.

                      You’re wrong, but you can have the last word.

                    • I’ll preface this with charlesgreen strikes me as sincere and was not “intending” it as a slur.

                      ”No one except you objected to the term in last night’s discussion, and until wyogranny just now, no one except you described it as a ‘slur.’ ”

                      You’re not a very perceptive reader, Chris.

                      ”The rest are free to clarify if they took it that way.”

                      Again, I don’t think CG intended it that way, but a sizable career Lefty demographic thinks “flyover country” & then haughtily sniffs “Gosh, we’re hip-n-they-ain’t.”

                      “But even if they did, they are just as wrong as you are.”

                      BULL SHIT, Chris. You’ be quick to defend the “Cracker Counties” of north FL might as well be “Alabama” quip as another non-slur, right?

                      After all, the term “Cracker” isn’t intended as derogatory in the least, but merely acknowledging, nay complimenting, the area’s “Rich Cowboy Heritage.”

                      On the other hand, you’ll side with the vocal minority of Native American activists that find Indian-related mascots as racist when it’s been shown that the majority couldn’t care less.


                      Heavy is the head that wears the crown, am I right? And it’s a thankless job convincing others what ought/ought not offend them, but mercifully one that moral busybodies like you will quickly embrace.

                    • Can we quit with the assumptions? Why not just ask if I think the term “cracker” is racist? I think it is.

                  • I read the National Geographic article. Article just says that the slur is used by those that live here, in the context that the coasts only concern themselves with the region when there is political gain to be had. This is correct, and makes the term an offensive slur to those who live here. Note that many here have experience with the term being used by coastal progressives and elitists to denigrate our region personally. We know when we are being insulted, and don’t give a damn what Nat Geo has to say about. Who are we gonna believe, progressive propaganda or our own lying eyes?

                    Full disclosure: my introduction to the slur was from condescending blue coast elitists, and that has colored my view of the term ever since.

                • Texagg. try dropping the snark.

                  I do not slur people from where I come from: in my case, I have great regard for all my relatives and ancestors from the midwest, where I grew up; I am proud of my heritage, and don’t like it when others make assumptions about it or disparage it.

                  I was making a simple economic point: by most definnitions of “flyover,” those states are poorer than the two coasts.
                  –The Red States take more money from Washington than they put in, for example,
                  –If you look at the ranking of states by average income, you’ll find “flyover” states for the most part to be lower than coastal states Surely this is no surprise.
                  –If you look at international measures of social mobility, you’ll find that in recent decades the US has slipped: it is now more possible for a child to exceed the prospects of his or her parents in the UK than than it is in the US. And Scandinavia has had us beat by miles for years.

                  My contention was that economics indeed have a great deal to do with all of this. Kids who grow up in privileged homes, privileged neighborhoods, with privileged parents, inevitably do better than kids from not. Every society has to make its own decision about how comfortgable they are with varying hardness of starting points.

                  In our case, two points are notable:
                  –the lucky sperm club has its privileges, and they are greater in the US than elsewhere
                  –they are also greater in this country than they used to be.

                  That is a fair topic for discussion, if anyone would care to engage in it rather than give in to snark.

                  My viewpoint may be more “left” than yours, but we are BOTH probably to the right of the rest of the developed world, and YOU are probably to the right of even this country a few decades ago, when we really could claim that this is the land of opportunity. Lately, a dozen other countries can lay claim to that term more than we can.

                  • “I do not slur people from where I come from:”

                    Not intentionally. Which I acknowledge.

                    “in my case, I have great regard for all my relatives and ancestors from the midwest, where I grew up; I am proud of my heritage, and don’t like it when others make assumptions about it or disparage it.”

                    Your righteous indignation is noted. I shall never presume to think you would insult your family along with the rest!

                    “–The Red States take more money from Washington than they put in, for example,”


                    (no, not that one…something other than the tired and worn out, but oft quoted report that relies on the sloppy statistical analysis that includes Defense spending and Social Security Spending)

                    I do like, however, how you associate ‘moochy’ and ‘impoverished’ Red States with being “flyover country”. But it isn’t meant as a slur.

                    “–If you look at international measures of social mobility, you’ll find that in recent decades the US has slipped: it is now more possible for a child to exceed the prospects of his or her parents in the UK than than it is in the US. And Scandinavia has had us beat by miles for years.”

                    What does that even mean? It reminds me of elementary school P.E., when the bowling class started…the kids who sucked at first (like D level bowling) but doubled their skills all got high marks for improvement…the kids who started at A level, didn’t improve…they got their A and got no marks for improvement. But hey, the D level kids totally improved more than the A level kids!

                    I mean really. Look at it this way, once Syria winds down and they’re country puts itself back together, a kid in that country could blow every single kid in the developed world out of the water in terms of improvement…if that’s the standard.

                    I’m not saying that it’s a good thing that an American kid’s prospects for *improvement* aren’t as great as their parents’ prospects for *improvement*. I am saying that I think it’s statistically *meaningless* to compare two generations within one country to two different generations in another country. You’ve got too many numerators and denominators sitting side by side to draw a *meaningful* conclusion.

                    “My contention was that economics indeed have a great deal to do with all of this. Kids who grow up in privileged homes, privileged neighborhoods, with privileged parents, inevitably do better than kids from not.”

                    I wonder if parents with better cultural attitudes towards work and education may very well end up “privileged” and may very well end up passing on to their children those same cultural attitudes towards work and education?

                    I wonder if there’s a correlation there. Maybe even a causation.

                    Not that I’m saying it’s fair to the kid who’s born into a family that doesn’t emphasize education and other needed life skills, I do question whether or not throwing other people’s money at that problem is an effective solution. No doubt a certain level of investment in the schools available to those troubled children is needed, but given that, as a dollars to results ratio, American Education is a colossal failure (probably greater than the ACA), mere money isn’t the full solution. And I’d submit isn’t even a noticeable percentage of the solution.

                    Your final paragraph still sounds a lot like the weird comparisons I objected to above.

                    • Source for the Red State funding data:

                      Sources: IRS (state tax data), Tax Foundation (2005 rank of spending vs. taxes), US Census (federal spending, urban/rural)
                      Data adjusted to be deficit neutral using the method described by the Tax Foundation in its earlier analysis of federal spending versus federal taxes paid.

                      Source re your concern about social mobility metrics:

                      In fairness, that article supports my claim that the US is less socially mobile than other developed countries, but differs with my claim that it’s gotten worse in the US in recent years.

                      As to your claim that such analyses are “statistically meaningless,” take it up with the statisticians at The Economist.

                    • The study citing the 2005 stats is the one that relies heavily on defense spending and social security spending to make its argument. We can discuss the pitfalls and non sequiturs in using that funding to draw the conclusions the report draws, but I think you can see the flaws.

                      As for the comparison to the other countries. Again, the statisticians can be as professional as they want. Comparing a comparison of two generations here to a comparison of two generations elsewhere has too many numerators and denominators to have much meaning.

                  • I’m not from flyover country, but I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, red counties that include the poorest counties in the state (the lower shore has Baltimore City beat.) My family of three hovers around the federal poverty line.

                    However, my husband and I were both raised middle class. And while there are no major economic differences between us and our friends and neighbors, there are a lot of differences in the choices we make, which allow us to use the same amount of money to give our daughter opportunities that other parents in our economic class are unaware of or neglect.

                    This, more than money, is what affects the opportunities that my daughter has access to (as well as the ones my husband and I have access to.)

                    Despite the economic hardship, I’m a stay at home mom, which allows me to be dedicated full time to my daughter’s developmental delays. I could go to work and make *slightly* more money for us, after childcare expenses, but that would be a very different level of care for my daughter, and it turns out she needs it. The expert we’ve consulted is almost certain she’ll catch up, and has indicated me being home with her is an important part of that certainty.

                    I mentioned above that my daughter does have a tablet, a $30 one from Amazon. I found that tablet because I got a $20 Amazon giftcard for Christmas, and I was saving it for something special. I had to dig in the library’s website to find the link to borrow ebooks, but I figured there must be something like that.

                    We have internet, despite having no long distance for our phone (and no cellphone service where we live.) My husband and I manage to pick up extra money doing work online, despite neither of us having college degrees. This is part of what allows us to get by while still having plenty of time for our daughter.

                    …these are just examples of things *we’ve* figured out. Everyone’s situation is different, especially among the poor. The thing that most people don’t seem to see is that down here social capital (the network of friends and family you have and what they’re willing to help you with,) knowing how to allocate resources carefully, and understanding how to navigate the various systems — both private and government — are more important to the kind of life you have than income, and those are highly individual things. Some people are better off getting their social capital through church, some through family. Home internet might be a good investment, or power tools, or a second car. Some people are great with coupons, some people haunt Goodwill every day and yard sales every week, some people buy online when the prices are right. Some people take advantage of the employment agencies, some people figure out that they can get computer certified with a lot of study and a minor investment, and some people find the retail stores that pay well and have good benefits (department stores and hardware stores, btw.)

                    But a lot of people, unfortunately, ignore most or all of these options, or don’t use them to their advantage.

                    If you want kids to have options in life, what they need are parents who understand these things. More resources are only going to help the people who know how to use them, and an unfortunate number of my friends and neighbors don’t know how to decide which ones they need or how to use them effectively.

                    That’s the real problem that I see here, anyway.

                    • (For the record, my husband and I dropped out of the middle class willingly, to pursue writing “careers.” They’re going well; I had a book published and he’s an up-and-coming tabletop RPG developer. Of course, going well in this instance obviously doesn’t come with much economic success, which is why we’re careful to keep options open for our daughter.)

                    • “If you want kids to have options in life, what they need are parents who understand these things. More resources are only going to help the people who know how to use them, and an unfortunate number of my friends and neighbors don’t know how to decide which ones they need or how to use them effectively.”

                      I think that is a very correct statement, and importantly so.

        • Charles,

          Could you refer me to the research that shows exposure to iPads and wifi(esp. high speed) advances the cognitive abilities of children?

          Thanks in advance for your time.

        • I’ve been thinking about this outrageous statement since I read it earlier today.
          “My one-year old grandchild is already exposed to iPads with high speed wifi. Before he even gets to pre-school he will already be cognitively ahead of tons of kids in flyover states who do not have those advantages. ”

          Do you think the entire United States except for the 2 coasts is populated with one-toothed hillbillies? Are you insane? This has to be a mistake. You don’t really believe this do you?
          Just to reassure you about the cognition of flyover children, my grandson who is now 7 was using an iPad with high speed wifi at age one. Six years ago. In Wyoming. Gasp!

          • He was also read to for 20 minutes at a time twice a day by a parent or grandparent. He and my other 6 grandchildren also play outside, ride horses and 4 wheelers, do household and outdoor chores and know where vegetables and meat come from.

        • FYI Charles…but an iPad for a one-year-old is a terrible idea. At best your grandchild will be cognitively behind where he would have been if he was able to spend his baby years actually exploring 3-dimensional space, preferably outdoors (you know, like they do in those old-fashioned flyover states.) At worst, he could end up with autism.

          I’d ixnay the iPad until at least age 4, but even then, let’s not pretend that an iPad can make a toddler more intelligent, more socially healthy, or increase an attention span. The most useful skill an iPad can teach a child is how to use an iPad. And how corporations and the education bureaucracy work together to keep themselves well-funded by spending one another’s money on boondoggles.

          • Sorry, I made that replay in haste, before scrolling down to see that several other people had made similar points. Didn’t mean to pile on, Charles.

            • “Do you think the entire United States except for the 2 coasts is populated with one-toothed hillbillies? Are you insane? This has to be a mistake. You don’t really believe this do you?”

              wyogranny, no I do not believe any such thing. I don’t know what caused you to make me think I did, other than pure blind bias on your side.

              For the record (again), I grew up in South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan, and Syracuse; all my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins, are all proud cardcarrying midwesterners. My extended family now lives in South Carolina, Florida, upstate New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. (I’ve also enjoyed many trips over the years to Wyoming, particularly between Laramie and Sheridan).

          • Isaac, I should have used another example besides “ipads for kids” to make my more general point: that kids’ environment, including economic, parental education, etc., has a large impact on their success later in life. You may very well be right about the negative impact of iPads per sr.

            What I suspect, however, is that families with the resources and inclinations to do things like provide kids with fast wifi and iPads are also families who provide their kids with a myriad of other advantages.

    • When do flyover states residents get to be given the benefit of the concept that we are keeping up with the coast in the areas of cognitive functioning, education, and access to technology?

  7. I would have been shocked if you had not started today’s post with a Red Sox reference. I might even agree that it was the most exciting game this season (see analysis below). But I will plug last Sunday’s Blue Jays comeback from 10-4 in the 9th to win 11-10.

    Journeyman outfielder Steve Pearce hit his second walk off Grand Slam! in 4 games to cap the 7 run 9th inning comeback. Walk off home runs are special. Grand slams are special. But a walk off GS is extra special when you need everyone one of those 4 runs. And seeing two by the same player in the space of 4 games is extraordinary.

    Granted, the game did not feature a catch like Jackson had last night. That highlight will be around a long time. Pearce’s game winner won’t make any year end reels. Edge to Boston.

    Since the above has nothing to do with the subject of ethics, let me ask why MLB tolerates horrendous behaviour from some of its officials? Is it the union or what? I say “tolerate” as there is little visibility into the discipline process. Last week an ump made some poor calls behind the plate (nothing unusual for a human) and after a very, very questionable ball 4, that I believe walked in a run, took off his mask stepped forward and dared the pitcher to argue. These guys are supposed to be impartial and, better yet, invisible. There is great clip of the catcher telling him to put his mask back on.

    • I figure that if I read or hear the name of an umpire the day after a game, they weren’t doing their job well. (Barring some unfortunate injury, etc.)
      If I know their name and can recognize them, they have a record of poor performance. This means you, Angel Hernandez and CB Bucknor.

    • As a matter of fact, and you should know this, any change in immigration quantities that does *not* completely cut off the flow of immigration cannot be characterized as anti-immigrant.

      It can be argued for or against on other merits, however, given that the topic of immigration is far more nuanced than “I hate immigrants” vs “I love immigrants”.

      But, you would be correct in guessing, as you’ve already demonstrated here, that the Left will paint this in the most extreme terms and paint this as a facile dichotomy between xenophobia and benevolent welcoming.

      Thanks for contributing to the polarization of debate and discussion.

        • I would think if any particular party hated immigrants, they would cut off all immigration. I would think that if any particular party saw a wide range of factors related to immigration and anticipated that the internal needs of the nation are better met reducing immigration, then that particular party might seek to reduce immigration.

          But, that’s just me. I try to see complex topics for their complexity and not reduce every political point to a hyper-polarized extreme.

          But your ilk’s method may vary.

            • I hope someday you’ll bother considering a topic for its complexity and not pursue the easy road of partisan smear.

              But, whatever helps you sleep at night.

                • Don’t bother reconsidering the conclusion you jumped to, since immigration is a lot more nuanced than “they hate immigrants” and “we love immigrants”.

                    • That’s the the connotation of “Anti-immigrant” and you know it. “Anti immigrant” can mean a *wide continuum* of things to different people which is why it’s a convenient label for smear purposes…

                      “Oh, dear republican, I merely meant that you have taken a stance that reduces legal immigrant by some quantity, I have not asserted you hate immigrants”

                      *wink wink* “don’t worry tired, huddled, poor immigrant, he hates you, why else would he be ‘anti’ immigrant, but I love you”

          • Because of feels.

            I’m not saying a pro- or anti- increase or decrease of immigration is right or wrong…

            I do take issue with the tactic of immediately rushing to smear an entire side of the aisle without any investigation or thought, simply because that’s the polarizing strategy of the day. And a key tactic within that strategy is emotional appeals…and accusing someone of hating outsiders is ultimately one of those appeals. To let the so-called outsiders know that there is a party to “loves” them and will “accept” them…emotional appeal.

          • I didn’t say everyone has to be pro-immigration. I said the GOP is anti-immigrant. I would respect them more if they did not deny this, and just admitted that’s what they were.

            • You certainly imply no one can be anti-immigrant. Why is that? Why can’t a person favor citizens over non-citizens? For any number of valid reasons?

              • I also have a question for you, Chris: If the U.S. is such a miserable, inequitable, economically rigged and hostile un-safe, discriminatory place run by Republicans and TRUMP!, shouldn’t you be warning off the people who want to come here? Shouldn’t they be going to Canada, or France or China?

                • shouldn’t you be warning off the people who want to come here?


                  Progressives are forever telling us how awful our country is, yet they never seem to explain where better is to be found. No country on EARTH is better than the USA, hands down.

                  at least until progressives get what they want, then we will be like Europe… or worse, Venezuela.

                • I also have a question for you, Chris: If the U.S. is such a miserable, inequitable, economically rigged and hostile un-safe, discriminatory place run by Republicans and TRUMP!, shouldn’t you be warning off the people who want to come here?

                  This is a “When did you stop beating your wife?” question.

                  It assumes facts not in evidence. Go ahead, point to where I’ve described the U.S. as a “miserable, inequitable, economically rigged and hostile un-safe, discriminatory place.” You can’t, because I haven’t.

                  I do point out when I see problems in my country, but I still believe this country is great. And I believe immigrants help make it great.

                  • “I still believe this country is great.” Surely you jest. Really? Well knock me down with a feather. Could’a’ fooled me.

        • I also find, bordering on dishonest, your smear of the entire GOP, over a bill that hasn’t even been debated or voted on. A bill that isn’t even as clean cut (according to the article *you* linked) as merely cutting immigration by half.

          I mean, is the strategy here to read the latest talking points and then link to the first article on the topic? Or would we be better served by investigating new items that pop up in politics, before immediately jumping to conclusions about those items?

          So far the name of the Left game has been jump to conclusions and flow hyperbolic smear labels like an opened fire hydrant…and it hasn’t played out yet. Maybe a shift in strategy is called for? Maybe a return to deliberation, investigation and discussion?

            • Yes, we need legal immigrants with certain valuable skills when not enough Americans are available to fill positions. On the other hand, we do not need more poorly educated immigrants who take away entry level job opportunities for Americans and legal residents. In addition, immigrants who are likely to wind up needing welfare assistance in housing, food stamps, child care, ad naseaum. America is not suppose to be Santa Claus with toys and goodies for all!

              • Wayne, I have some doubts about the “we need engineers and ER doctors” thing. When my wife managed programmers at American Express, she was pretty heavily involved in hiring programmers from off shore through head hunters who made a lot of money finding people and getting them work visas. H1B1 is the correct term, I think. The primary motivation in bringing in people was lowering cost. There was no lack of talent already here. The head hunters could bring people in for significantly less than U.S. people were being paid. So when I hear Silicon Valley moaning about needing to bring in more Indian engineers, I’m dubious.

                • The usual response by the Left is that we need these immigrants because they do the jobs US workers won’t. But the reality is that these immigrants will do these jobs for less pay. That has escalated from Migrant workers picking fruit, to more skilled H1B IT workers who will work for less. It’s time to stop/severely limits these folks & get businesses to offer better wages to US workers. Perhaps if we can get tax reform, someone can tack on a requirement to hire US workers first. After we have full employment, or a reasonable facsimile, we can consider taking more immigrants. If that makes me anti-immigrant I’ll take it.

    • BREAKING (I think):

      Anti-immigrant GOP actually has been ignoring the Cotton-Purdue immigration related bill since February.

      Those Dastards are so eager to stop immigration they can’t hide their hate of immigrants enough!

  8. 2. This UK example shows the slippery slope we’re on towards complete elite control over human bodies. For now we’re not required to have our governments monitor our every step, but for how long? We must watch carefully for new changes in healthcare here/everywhere because we’re already seeing insurance incentives for wearing monitoring devices.

    Wearable devices are of course the beginning…

    Now add in socialized medicine; which cannot truly “care” for all who supposedly are covered by it. With the influx of immigrants (*some* who come from cultures where they don’t work jobs) draining democratic socialist European countries’ healthcare budgets – thus in part accounting for a portion of that budget black hole – there is no way to cut costs that doesn’t involve denying care to some citizens. Again, socialism always promises more than it delivers & always spends what it doesn’t have.

    The result is medical slavery & it will get much worse. A wonderful old book once talked people giving up their freedom & faith for false peace & false safety. I can see the deluded & undiscerning say “yes I’ll be chipped & constantly monitored to have basic care” or “of course grandpa should be denied food & water so he’ll die faster & save our government money…after all his data points show its time for him to go.”

    In the proto socialist takeover of Oregon we have abortion legal up to 9 months (including aborting due to a disfavor of the baby’s sex), assisted suicide, and bills signed easily by Democrats to allow family/doctors to stop feeding their loved ones, even when an advanced directive says the opposite (luckily that didn’t pass).

    If German nihilism has come to roost anywhere in the USA it’s here, and you know what we have because of such enlightenment? Increased crime, strife, and political homogeny to the point of running people out of town for being the wrong race for making burritos. New residents are starting to see this place for what it is & are leaving due to it being so unsafe here now. Even the graffiti here is depressing…the latest tag is a sad nod to Bobby McFerrin that says “don’t happy, be worry.” Indeed!

    Marx said “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” What he neglected to mention was just who would be the ones to determine these abilities & needs and if we should trust them. Do we really want elitists, technocrats, and the state to dictate to us how we should live & just who has the right to do so? Should you or I try to take good care of ourselves? Yes! But I refuse to surrender my autonomy and liberty to have a medical boot on my neck or a device on/in my body to foster better health outcomes.

    Anecdotally my friend who is overweight had double knee surgery a couple years ago & had to spend 2 months losing a few pounds for the surgery to be more successful. Her surgery made it possible for her health to get better and lose even more weight. So grateful she didn’t have to wait an entire year to get a surgery she needed & still benefits greatly from today.

    • Well stated.

      Yes, we are coming to a point where I think we will sacrifice all manner of privacy and autonomy in the name of “convenience” (which is how microchips will ultimately be sold, initially)….never aware of just how much we are surrendering to the central planners.

      Off topic snark:

      “we have abortion legal up to 9 months (including aborting due to a disfavor of the baby’s sex)”

      How on earth can a parent decide to off a baby because they think it is a boy or a girl…the parent has no idea how that baby self-identifies.

      • One of the key arguments (and sufficient on its own) against Keynesian economics and other forms of centrally planned and command economies related to Keynesianism, is that a centrally planned economy will NEVER have enough information to make accurate decisions for the economy nor will it ever have information in a timely enough manner to do so.

        I imagine another one of the key selling points of microchipping citizens is to more easily gather purchase and activity data…in the name of closing that argument against a command economy.

        (Except it still wouldn’t provide enough data or in a timely manner, or even the right kind of data)

        • One of the key arguments (and sufficient on its own) against Keynesian economics and other forms of centrally planned and command economies related to Keynesianism, is that a centrally planned economy will NEVER have enough information to make accurate decisions for the economy nor will it ever have information in a timely enough manner to do so.

          This strikes me as a very good reason to oppose restricting immigration based on the poorly supported premise that current levels negatively impact our economy, no? How is restricting immigration on this basis not part of a “centrally planned economy?”

          • Is economy the only sphere in which we evaluate the effects of policy? I think not. If it were, let’s bring back slavery.

            Because let’s be clear, that’s IS the economic benefit of *most* immigration: cheap labor…and nothing’s cheaper than slaves. For the vast majority of immigrants, they are a large body of people, who on average are more willing to reduce their standard of living in comparison with the average American in order to beat out their competition (other Americans who won’t reduce their standard of living) to be hired into the same job.

            This is an economic boon to employers who want to keep costs low – which keeps their prices low, which keeps everyone else’s cost of living low. Win.

            Now, let’s be clear up front, there are 2 key ‘burdens’ that come from an immigration policy seen through the lens of economics-

            The first burden is that this runs afoul of the Sacred Cow of Minimum Wages. Price those less money-making jobs out of the market, and you have no incentive to hire off your menial work to people who are willing to do it, you’ll just overload your low ranking guys who are fulfilling other skilled tasks with additional menial tasks.

            The second burden, related to the first, runs afoul of the Sacred Cow of Born-Here American Employment. We like to cry a river about immigrants coming in and undercutting ‘willing’ American workers opportunities in various job markets. But we never quite are willing to evaluate whether or not we individually are as valuable as we think we are.

            We can be realistic and accept the fact that there are people in this world who ARE willing to work for less and grab up the jobs that quite frankly do not justify very high wages at all, and let the people willing to lower their standard of living to fill those jobs. We get comfortable not having to compete with other labor markets, so we convince ourselves we are worthy of a minimum wage and we convince ourselves we are worthy of protecting our job.

            And as a libertarian, my general vision of this is that the problem here is a lack of competition and an unwillingness to compete because we’ve grown comfortable with not having to compete with other labor sources. So as a libertarian, I’m all for competition, which would mean allowing *more* people in, but it would also *require* a large amount of systemic changes to our market gearing it towards more liberty and less protectionism.

            If those changes do not occur, though a libertarian, as a realist, I cannot be on board with just letting the gates open wide, but rather at a trickle.

            As far as I can tell, from a purely economic angle, as long as we insist on having a minimum wage we also have to engage in labor protectionism. But, if we want a reality check, we’ll realize that there are people out there who are willing to work *harder* for *less* than we are, and if we want to allow them into this nation for the economic boom (read as materially good for everyone) then we need to lose the farce that everyone deserves some minimum standard of income.

            But luckily, not trapped in a materialist world-view, we can recognize that immigration isn’t merely about economics. There are people involved as well, people with rights, one set of people with minimally more rights or at least privileges than another set of people.

            Related, but probably more importantly, there are cultures involved (which is where it gets sticky, and the Left is generally wrong in its conclusions), one culture which ought to be generally homogeneous around a key set of values and attitudes (which is where the Left falls off the horse) and another set of cultures, which are similar and dissimilar to varying and important degrees to our own.

            We need to be absolutely definitive about who we let in prior to deciding how many we let in. There is no unalienable right for any non-American to have equal access to America as any other non-American. In the ideal world, where cultures are not so disparate that clashes are inevitable, we can envision a system where there are literally no barriers to passage or residency in any particular nation, because every individual can reasonably assume he is going to a place that does not possess wildly different values than he possesses, and every particular location can reasonably assume that arrivals to their place do not possess wildly different values than they possess.

            But we don’t live in that ideal world. But the good news is, not every culture external to our own varies wildly from ours, and a large majority of them share some level of affinity to our own, and the rest fall on a line of decreasing affinity to our own. Of course, the bad news is there are several cultures that are very very distant from us in terms of cultural compatibility. So how *should* we analyze the best method of accepting who from where?

            I’d submit, starting with the individual, we must assume that someone wanting to come here, wants to be part of *our* culture. But we also, for practicality’s sake, MUST acknowledge that not everyone comes here with the intent to assimilate, nor do they necessarily come with the ability to assimilate despite the good heart to (age is an inhibitor here). We must also acknowledge that large communities of a single culture tend to insulate the community from assimilating forces in the larger community.

            Those factors considered, given a culture that is very similar to our own, we can afford to be a bit more open, knowing that any outliers refusing to assimilate won’t really be wildly in conflict with the greater culture, and knowing that any communities of that culture will actually look strikingly like the greater culture in manner of attitudes and values.

            Given a culture that is very dissimilar to our own, even antithetical in some or many regards, we’d need to be a bit more cautious, knowing that there will be a greater number of outliers that do not want to assimilate, and knowing that when those who cannot assimilate or don’t assimilate manifest themselves, the conflicts are kept to a manageable and healthy minimum. Also knowing that any communities of that culture will actually look strikingly like a colony of the antithetical culture within our own, posing no small concern.

            All other cultures would fall somewhere on that scale.

            As for what we do with immigrants when they get here to ensure they assimilate (as we must), this is a short topic, because remarkably, the United States, unlike practically the rest of the world, is very good at assimilation (well, some would argue that efficacy is decreasing). But arguing from a stance that maybe we still are, this is a brief point.

            As a libertarian, I’m confident that the appeal of our culture does outcompete other cultures and creates a naturally assimilating Force merely on its own and, despite what some would say about the average American, we as a people do not actively (well, used to not intentionally) spurn the individual immigrant that wants to put the good faith effort into assimilation. Of course, this is where the immigrant communities are ultimately useful, providing a buffer for those struggling to assimilate or incapable of assimilating but not wishing to create friction with the greater community.

            But of course, this is where we ultimately have to part company. The Left and the Right both say in some form, that assimilation must take place for immigrants to fully join the American experiment. But, the Right will say “Melting Pot” (to varying degrees), where immigrants bring the best of their own culture and take on all the Good of our culture, while our culture, receiving the best aspects other cultures offer take what is an improvement into our own. The Left says “Multiculturalism”, which sounds like some happy celebration of all our differences, but in reality locks immigrants into remaining as they are under the guise of ‘staying true’ and ‘tolerance’.

            So, then, what is this “American Culture” we need to define, which we should expect immigrants to aspire to adopting and by which we evaluate which foreign cultures we deem more likely of successful assimilation and which we do not? That’s a topic for a later vibrant discussion. Of course, as a libertarian, the core definitions should probably be kept minimal (but not too minimal), and they should be essential and non-negotiable. Out of the core, of course, as a libertarian, I’d say, give us your best qualities and we’ll take them, but take all the good qualities we’ve got to offer…we’ve got plenty of them as we’ve been amassing them for 2 centuries and change.

            There was more to say here, but I lost track of some of it, since much of this was composed with one hand tied behind my back…the other hand was busy with you and charles’ inability to acknowledge his innocent but tone deaf use of a term is probably what elicited so many energetic responses to his comment.

            • Ah, yes, one topic I meant to dive into further was related to the paragraph that mentioned looking at immigrants as individuals. In that paragraph, I discussed how we must view those immigrants in terms of what cultural context they come from. I meant to go on to re-focus on our evaluation of the particular individual aspiring to join the culture.

              I don’t think there is any set libertarian vision on this, Humble Talent might be able to correct me here. But, it would seem to me that on an individual basis, regardless of cultural origin, the receiving nation could easily get away with set educational or skills minimums, at least on a stratified basis…that is to say instead of 100% of immigrants from culture X can be shovel diggers…be a bit more nuanced and say 20% of them should be shovel diggers, 25% should be machine operators, 25% should be mathematically skilled, 15% should have some technical background and 15% should have some professional degree.

              Back to the topic of viewing immigrant groups as a mass from a particular culture, I know I haven’t discussed refugee groups and asylum seeking group yet. I’m not sure I’m ready to address this, as it is not entirely an issue of immigration, but it is. But it isn’t.

              (But it is)

              (but it isn’t)

            • I apologize for the last paragraph of this essay. It doesn’t contribute to the immigration subthread and was borne of frustration over intransigence in the face of an clear observation in the slur-based subthread. I shouldn’t have used this as a sign off here.

          • The problem with Keynesianism is that it aggregates millions of individual decisions and observes general trends. It then believes the process can work in reverse, that general applications of policy and money will translate into what millions of individuals would want to do of their own accord.

            I’m not sure how my objection to Keynesianism comports into an argument for more open immigration.

            (and in fairness, I don’t see how it would comport into an argument against it either)

            I just don’t think immigration is a “hey, statistics help us determine what is right” type of issue. I think it’s a “hey, values and weighing those values help us determine what is right” type of issue.

  9. Thinking about highly skilled immigrants (for example ER doctors), perhaps what we could do is give them legal residency limited to underserved communities and make them sign a contract with that proviso. If they violate the CTA they and move to LA or NYC, out they go!

  10. Slickwilley: ” No country on EARTH is better than the USA, hands down.”

    Complete rubbish. Australia is the best country on earth, hands down!

    Mind you, we too suffer from the self flagellation of the left, amongst other things.

  11. I am so angry about the entire sub discussion here. Charles, if your comment was not a slur against conservative people in the counties that voted Republican in the last election it was certainly seen that way by a number of people who read it. To the extent that I misunderstood your real point I apologize. I’d certainly love to hear a restatement of your real point all in one place rather than trying to piece it out among the comments. I’d like very much to be less angry about this.

    • Wyogranny, thank you for being self-aware and offering to hear a clear restatement from me. I’ll try to respond in the same generous spirit

      First, I must say I found it interesting that the National Geographic article, citing a linguistics person, states that “flyover” is considered a slur mainly by people in the insert-other-word-for-them states, and NOT people in the coastal states. Agree or disagree, but that’s what the research said: and your own testimony bears it out – you were offended, and I did not intend offense; and I’m coastal and you’re not.

      But forget linguistics, that’s a side show.

      My main point – and I’ll take some blame for having phrased it with this example – is that people’s development is to a large extent a result of their familial and social environment. The right wing tends to note the familial part of that equation, and the left tends to note the social part. I was trying to touch on both, by suggesting that people who grow up in economically better-off families tend to cluster – in neighborhoods with other economically better-off families, and in aggregate, disproportionatly in the coastal states.

      Or to put it very crudely, there is more money on the coasts than in the heartland, and money – while not dispositive – makes a difference. All things equal, kids in a town like Newton Massachusetts are going to get a better education than kids in Lincoln Nebraska, and that’s got nothing to do with more or less moral and ethical families, but simply that there’s more money in Newton, and that can buy educational advantage.

      I unfortunately short-handed that to “iPads and Wi-Fi for one-year-olds.”

      If I had to state it over, I’d simply say that success in life is a function of a lot of things: tons of money can overcome an impoverished social life, just like tons of great parenting can overcome poverty, but each has an impact. It shouldn’t be a terribly controversial point.

      Please feel free to critique what I’ve said here; I do hope it makes you less angry. If it does, then my flippant example may have been just that, and I owe you an apology.

      • It seems to me you might have been better making a comparison between rural and urban areas, charles, rather than the coasts vs. “flyover states.” We often think of those states as being more rural, but of course there are cities in those states and rural areas on the coasts.

        It’s simply a fact that urban areas have more access to technology than rural ones:

        This seemed to me what you were trying to get at, which is why I was so mystified at the offended reaction you received. To me, you were simply trying to point out a fact.

        • If I had phrased it that way, I think you’re right, it would have been less objectionable to people. Live and learn…

          • Charles,

            Yes, I would not have bobbled to Urban versus Rural, as that exists within states themselves, even on the coasts.

            In that context, I also agree with your assessment about money and outcomes. Not everything, but a factor.

            Sorry about the buzz saw: is your hand going to be okay? 🙂

      • I agree with your main point. However; I disagree with part of this portion of it:
        “All things equal, kids in a town like Newton Massachusetts are going to get a better education than kids in Lincoln Nebraska, and that’s got nothing to do with more or less moral and ethical families, but simply that there’s more money in Newton, and that can buy educational advantage.”

        A better education is subjective. I’d say it’s more like, an education with more emphasis on what constitutes success in the minds of those who think of themselves as educated.

            • #1 from his (and your) argument.

              No known successful treatment. Then again, there were physicians willing to try new options and experimental treatment. Futility in the minds of parents (who are entrusted by literally every worldview outside of hard-core leftism, with the decision making and care taking of children) is fare different that futility in the mind of bureaucrats.

              So, as long as there’s even a shred of hope (which is precisely what an experimental treatment is), for which the *real caretakers* of Charlie Gard were willing to try within the means they had, then yes, he was denied treatment.

              #2 the wishes of the parents do not come first. Children are not property. And yet, someone, somewhere, must make the decision not to pursue all options at some point in time. That decision was ultimately made by the government.

              He makes the argument that at some point if parent’s abuse their roles and treat their children with malice or high incompetence, the government must step in. Granted.

              But then he goes on to analogize parents *denying* life saving treatment as a reason for the government to step in to the situation where Charlie’s parents *were the ones pursuing* potential treatments.


              “Instead of the parents’ wishes, the wishes — or more accurately welfare — of the child comes first.”

              According to the government. Except, outside of only the most leftist of worldviews, societies have been built around parental authority in the well-being of the family, barring excessive abuse (which trying to save a life strikes me as an odd claim for excessive abuse).

              So yes, in this case, the wishes of the parent (in whom we trust to be the better guardians of a child’s well-being than non-parents) DO come first…if the means are available to pursue those wishes.


              “Why is the government sentencing the child to death? What about the child’s right to life?”

              First: it’s not the government. Judges in the UK, unlike the US, are not political appointees. The judicial system is operated independently of the government, and appointments are made within the profession, not through elections or ministerial choice. The judicial system is separate of government. It’s a part of the state, yes, but not in any way a political one.”

              Separate from the government. Part of the State.

              Phenomenal levels of hair splitting and pedantry here.

              I’m not even going to address this obvious drivel. If you fell for it, shame on you.

              Wrap Up

              What a disingenuous article.

              It assumes the state is a better decision maker for a child than the child’s parents. Then it goes on to pretend like the government wasn’t even involved. All after initially deciding beforehand that in a string of failed attempts to cure the disease, there is therefore no chance of curing the disease.

              If that’s the attitude for pursuing excellence and advancement, we’d still be sitting in caves eating raw meat.

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