Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/13/17: Rushing In Panic Around My Boston Hotel Room Because I Didn’t Get My Wake-Up Call Edition

It’s not a good morning…

(Gotta start teaching the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct in an hour, so this has to be quick. Sorry!)

1 Apparently Breitbart, aka Steve Bannon, has sent two investigative reporters to Alabama to discredit the stories of the four women who say Roy Moore courted them when they were in braces and poodle skirts. See, ethical news sources would be doing what we call “finding out if there’s anything the Washington Post missed.” Breitbart is trying to dig up dirt on four women who just responded to the Washington Post reporters’ questions. How do we know this? Well, 1) the untrustworthy hard-right website has been defending Moore and attacking the Post since the story broke; 2) it is appealing to its core group, made up of alt-right creeps and, you know, morons, by saying this is what they are doing; 3) it has already filed a story claiming that the ex-14-year-old who says 32-year-old Moore fondled her was contradicted in some aspects of her story by her mother. Then there’s 4), which is that the site is so slimy it makes eels gag.

Oh…Ann Coulter tweeted yesterday that it doesn’t matter if Moore is a theocrat, it doesn’t matter if the man who calls gays sub-human perverts is, in fact, a pervert himself; it doesn’t matter that he was kicked  off the bench twice as a judge for ignoring the law….what matters is that he’ll vote for Trump’s wall in the Senate. Get help, Ann.

2. On the other end of the ideological divide where it is just as scary, Media Matters is promoting a sponsor boycott of Sean Hannity to drive the conservative pundit off the air as punishment for saying nice things about Moore.  It has already bullied coffee-machiine maker Keurig into pulling its ads, and that has prompted, in turn, a call by Hannity to boycott Keurig.

Media Matters, true to the Angry Left’s undemocratic game plan of late, prefers to silence voices it disagrees with rather than argue with them. There is nothing unethical about persuading viewers that they should boycott Hannity; using this tactic to try to make it impossible for viewers to see and hear him is rotten to the core. Now I’m trying to decide who I would rather be trapped in a stalled elevator with Steve Bannon or David Brock. Now I’m trying to decide who I would rather be trapped in a stalled elevator with if I were a 14-year old female ethics blogger, Steve Bannon, David Brock or Roy Moore….

3. There was a 26th victim in that Texas shooting: Carlin Brite ‘Billy Bob’ Holcombe. He has not been included in most media reports about the event, which say there were only 25. Why? Carlin hadn’t been born yet. Texas law declares that such human beings have the full protection of  the justice system from conception, but the news media apparently won’t give the nascent citizen the respect of personhood even in death. Especially in death. UPDATE: Carlin was apparently in his eighth month of life. (Thanks to Spartan for that information; I couldn’t find it.)

Discuss.

4. Yesterday, on Veterans Day weekend, only three NFL players “took a knee.” They were the smart ones, at least among the players inclined to engage in this stupid protest in the first place. The others accepted the argument that protesting during the National Anthem would be disrespectful to veterans yesterday.

Huh? We have been told that the protest wasn’t an insult to the anthem, the flag or the armed services, which is how President Trump and Vice President Pence framed it, thus causing MORE players to kneel in protest during the anthem without wanting to suggest that they had anything against the anthem, although the California NAACP says all of this is anthem’s fault—that third verse that nobody knows or sings—, and wants to ban it and replace it with “Whoomp! There it is!” or something.

I give the three players ethics points for integrity. They were protesting the anthem, and thus what it stands for, all along. Veterans Day changed nothing.

Arggh! Have to shave…

149 Comments

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149 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/13/17: Rushing In Panic Around My Boston Hotel Room Because I Didn’t Get My Wake-Up Call Edition

  1. valkygrrl

    1) the untrustworthy hard-right website has been defending Moore and attacking the Post since the story broke;

    Before the story broke actually. They dropped After Endorsing Democrat in Alabama, Bezos’s Washington Post Plans to Hit Roy Moore with Allegations of Inappropriate Relations with Teenagers; Judge Claims Smear Campaign a couple hours ahead of the Post. One assumes an embargo was broken.

    2: do these videos turn it into a trainwreck? https://gizmodo.com/angry-sean-hannity-fans-are-smashing-keurigs-on-twitter-1820378486

    3: How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?

    4: *Headdesk*

  2. I learned a long time ago to never, ever, depend on wake up calls or the reliability of alarm clocks in hotel rooms; bring your own alarm clock or use your phone 100% of the time.

  3. Other Bill

    Trump’s building a wall in the Senate?

  4. Steve-O-in-NJ

    1. (shrug) No different than Larry Flynt offering huge money for someone to dig up dirt on conservatives to silence them or embarrass them. Still slimy, still dirty, but sometimes effective. Just another example of society being dragged down by the lowest common denominator.

    2. Like it or not, boycotting is also a very effective tactic. Businesses don’t give a damn about politics, they care most about their bottom line. That’s why two decades of litigation didn’t get gays into the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC, but two years of boycotting the sponsors did. However, the left best beware the right doesn’t take a page from its playbook…

    3. There is no discussing this, the personhood of fetus, either yea or nay, is an article of faith on both sides of the ideological line. Person? I don’t see a person here…

    4. I think the NFL and the players were looking for a way out of this self-created mess, the players because it was getting them bad press that they couldn’t shrug off, the league because it was hurting their bottom line, with, among other things, a group 200,000 strong organizing a weekend-long boycott, see #2 above. Veterans Day, with the high military and patriotic presence, put them at a place where they knew the road split. Either they end this nonsense and scoop out a big heaping dollop of patriotism, and hopefully the fans forgive, forget, tune back in, and start buying their overpriced tickets and what have you, or they make the break with everything associated with patriotism permanent, and risk every fan who is tired of this anti-patriotic garbage telling five other fans he’s done, and each of them telling five more fans, and you know where this ends. If the president remains as smart and disciplined when he returns to DC as he has been in Asia, and keeps his twitter finger off this, hopefully that will be the end of it. That said, it’s kinda pathetic that the players can get away with clocking wives and kids, abusing animals, and worse, but dissing patriotism was a bridge too far,

    • Isaac

      “There is no discussing this, the personhood of fetus, either yea or nay, is an article of faith on both sides of the ideological line.”

      This is factually wrong. It takes a very creative (which is to say, nakedly dishonest) definition of “person” to not ascribe personhood to a unique and living human being.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        That isn’t the point, with respect. That the fetus has its own unique DNA is scientific fact. Whether it’s legally a person is unfortunately dependent on the law, which often (but not always) defines “person” as “a human being born alive.” To those furthest on the pro-life side, the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. To those furthest on the other, it’s not a person until it leaves the birth canal. There is no reconciling those two positions.

        Frankly I don’t give a damn either way. What I don’t like is my tax money going to pay for someone else’s irresponsibility, whether through providing a free abortion for a 16yo who couldn’t wait to give it up for her boyfriend, or paying for the care of a child resulting from a union of a starry-eyed girl who believed a smooth-talking guy would love her forever, when in reality he just intended to use her and forget her. Yup, the sexual revolution is really serving us all well – girls promiscuous at 12 and pregnant at 13, half of all marriages ending in divorce, depending on the stats you read, rampant sexual harassment and what would otherwise be rape committed by the powerful and excused by those seeking favor, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Kids joining gangs to belong to something because there is no support at home, the youth crime rate going up because no one was there to teach them any better when they were kids, and the significant mortality rate among young black men that politicians want to pin on racist police and politicians can all be traced back at least in some part to the sexual revolution.

        From a practical standpoint, it’s cheaper to pay for one abortion and avoid paying for childcare classes, food, diapers, medical care, and then school, often with meals provided, for an additional child that no one really wanted, who is as likely as not to grow up to be a further drain on society’s resources. I have a case where the plaintiff is trying to sue one of my officers for malicious prosecution (arrested him for gun possession and he later beat the rap because he threw the gun away and claimed he never had it). The guy was 35, spent his life from 17 to 32 in prison for shooting another kid dead, never held an honest job in his life, and was arrested 3 times since getting out of prison for dealing drugs. It all just ended for him two weeks ago, face down in the parking lot of a closed-down Auto Zone in a shitty area of town at 2 AM on a Sunday, with 9 bullets in his head, torso, and limbs. Of course no one will admit it, but if you can come up with a better explanation for this other than a drug-related homicide (whether over territory or money), I am all ears. Of course his mom and half-siblings were all sobbing that he was just a nice guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he had a second chance, that he was just beginning to turn his life around, and then this had to happen. I say it’s just denial and rationalization. Where was his father? Where were his uncles? Where were the mentor figures to steer him right? Where was the steady provider to get enough together to move the family into a safer place, away from the gangsters and dealers? Where was the protector to at least stand up to the local bad element and tell them “you do whatever, but leave me and my family out of it?” They weren’t there. Tell me this world wouldn’t be just a little bit better off if this guy had been aborted.

        • What if he’d been given up for adoption?

        • Chris

          For me it can’t be a person until it has a functioning neural cortex. Personhood is tied to the ability to think and feel. After that, I’m comfortable calling the fetus a person. But usually by that point abortion is already illegal unless the abortion is necessary for the health of the mother.

          From a practical standpoint, it’s cheaper to pay for one abortion and avoid paying for childcare classes, food, diapers, medical care, and then school, often with meals provided, for an additional child that no one really wanted, who is as likely as not to grow up to be a further drain on society’s resources.

          Probably even cheaper, and more just, to pay for contraception through tax dollars.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Free condoms and birth control pills for everybody! No parental notice required!

            • Chris

              If your goal is to significantly reduce abortions, then yes, that would be an effective policy.

              But perhaps that is not your goal.

              • Steve-O-in-NJ

                As you might gather from some of my other writings, it’s only one goal. I believe in very strict morality, and I think the complete breakdown of sexual morality has not served society well. Then again, as a lifelong celibate, perhaps I come at it from a different perspective.

          • How much do condoms cost per capita?

          • Chris wrote, “For me it can’t be a person until it has a functioning neural cortex. Personhood is tied to the ability to think and feel.”

            As I said below; there is no distinction between a human being and a person, a person is defined as a human being regarded as an individual, there is no definitive dividing line between the two Chris; a person IS an individual human being and an individual human being IS a person. There is no definition that says a person is not a person until they think and feel, that’s a fabricated falsehood used to justify killing an individual human being.

            Chris wrote, “Probably even cheaper, and more just, to pay for contraception through tax dollars.”

            I’m all for promotion and use of contraception to prevent pregnancy but I’m not in favor of it being funded by tax dollars.

  5. “Texas law declares that such human beings have the full protection of the justice system from conception, but the news media apparently won’t give the nascent citizen the respect of personhood even in death. Especially in death. Discuss.”

    It’s an interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it? Women’s rights advocates used to simultaneously push the ideas that 1) The thing inside the mother is a person, especially for the purposes of punishing someone that say… hit the mother, and caused the death of that child, and 2) The thing inside the woman is a clump of cells, cancerous in nature, and scrubbing them away is a health concern. Whether for any individual scenario they assert option 1 or 2 depended of the woman, and what she believed…. The personhood of the child does didn’t depend on whether the child was actually a person, but whether the mother believes it to be so.

    I used the past tense for all of that because somewhere along the line, perhaps in a response to a resurgence in anti-abortion rhetoric, possibly in response to the additional regulations in abortion clinics, possibly in relation to the closure of many abortion clinics, the pro-abortion side of the argument has become more partisan and hard-line: That thing is a clump of cells, at least until damn near the moment it passes through either the birth canal, or a cesarean section, which magically confers personhood on the previously unpersonable tumor. The media is unable to call Carlin a person, because doing so would create confusion and interfere with their narrative, although by using their own standards of just a few years ago, or a legal one, they would have to.

    • “It’s an interesting juxtaposition, isn’t it? Women’s rights advocates used to simultaneously push the ideas that 1) The thing inside the mother is a person, especially for the purposes of punishing someone that say… hit the mother, and caused the death of that child, and 2) The thing inside the woman is a clump of cells, cancerous in nature, and scrubbing them away is a health concern. Whether for any individual scenario they assert option 1 or 2 depended of the woman, and what she believed…. The personhood of the child does didn’t depend on whether the child was actually a person, but whether the mother believes it to be so.”

      When pressed the argument really became that the human being had rights when the human being was wanted by others. Unwanted humans don’t have rights, is the natural progression from there. Would take generations for such a callous attitude to apply to the born. But that was the standard ultimately being argued.

      Monstrous.

    • Still Spartan

      My understanding is that the baby was 8 months in gestation — even if the mother had required immediate surgery to save her own life, a fetus is viable at 8 months (assuming that there is a prenatal ward to help with the baby’s lungs). I’m not aware of any Judge or sane pro-choice advocate who would say that the mother has a right to an abortion at this stage. Calling an 8 month baby in utero a “person” is fine by me.

      • I’m aware of pro choice advocates who say that the mother has the right to post birth abortions, so if you don’t know of any who draw the line past 8 months, you aren’t looking hard enough. I’ll grant in advance that most of the reading on this is based off the work of two people, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva… But there are others, like the Yale ethicist… I think his name was Singer, or the Canadian whose name escapes me, I’ll find articles pertaining to both.

        Much more concerning, I think, is the tendency for university students to sign petitions calling for the allowance of “fourth trimester abortions” or the like. I’m not sure whether they’re signing it because they hear “allow abortion” and think no further, or if they actually understand the implications of what they’re signing and they’re for it.

        I’m also not saying that these movements are much more than fringe, they’re obviously not representative of the majority… All I’m saying if that there’s a particularly gross and festering underbelly to a movement that wasn’t particularly pretty up front.

        http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2012/03/after_birth_abortion_the_pro_choice_case_for_infanticide_.html

        “[W]hen circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible. … [W]e propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus … rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.”

        https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-ethicist-advocates-post-birth-abortion-for-newborns

        “Udo Schuklenk, a well known supporter of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and abortion, said he believes doctors “can justifiably euthanize certain severely impaired neonates,” and that parents “should be able to freely decide on what would amount to postnatal abortion,” in an article published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9113394/Killing-babies-no-different-from-abortion-experts-say.html

        “Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.”

        https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-robert-m-myers/fourth-trimester-abortion_b_3665226.html

        “Dan went to George Mason armed with his petition and gave the usual pro-choice rhetoric as students passed by. Few students asked about the definition of a fourth trimester abortion and many simply signed the petition.

        One student asked if this procedure would harm the baby. After learning that it would she signed anyway. Frankly, I don’t know what part of the definition of abortion she didn’t understand. Abortion ends a pregnancy and ends a life. Why would you even ask if this harms the baby? A second student is told not to even read the petition just to sign it and without any consideration for the content of the petition signs his name.”

        http://www.equip.org/article/peter-singers-bold-defense-of-infanticide/

        “In 1993, ethicist Peter Singer shocked many Americans by suggesting that no newborn should be considered a person until 30 days after birth and that the attending physician should kill some disabled babies on the spot. Five years later, his appointment as Decamp Professor of Bio-Ethics at Princeton University ignited a firestorm of controversy, though his ideas about abortion and infanticide were hardly new. In 1979 he wrote, “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”; therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.””

        • And then I reread your comment and saw the qualifier “sane”… Yeah… You’re probably right.

          • My first response was too link heavy to go through without approval… I gave a half dozen examples of educated, intelligent people arguing for post birth abortions. Educated and intelligent does not preclude insane.

          • Still Spartan

            I’m aware of the ultra-crazy positions on this, but 99% of pro choice advocates acknowledge that viable babies should not be terminated.

            • I think… You choose to see… What you want to see here. People on your side of the argument, I think, are loathe to admit that the subject their talking about is indeed a child before taking the trip down the birth canal, even if at some point reason kicks in and they’d say at 8 months (or some other point) that an abortion has become morally wrong.

              I think they’re loathe to make that distinction, because in the event that a woman DOES want to abort her 250 day pregnancy, they don’t want to be caught up telling her, a woman, what to do with her body, even if their own moral line was crossed long ago. The pro-abortion movement is cutthroat, and doesn’t brook limits on motherly autonomy, even if as you put it, the not “ultra-crazy”, people knows what she’s doing is wrong.

              Because really… At 8 months the fetus is viable? That seems so…. Arbitrary. Is viability the standard? Because at 22 weeks there have been premature babies born and viable with the help of ICU equipment. Is 8 months the standard? Why? I personally hate these discussions because they basically haggle with rights. But if we’re going to have this conversation, we might as well have it honestly. What is your line? A heartbeat? A sparked neuron? A kick? A unique DNA strand? A standalone circulatory system? A certain time-frame? Actual viability? At what point would you, Spart, tell a woman that she no longer has the option of an abortion, because she missed the window, and that cluster of cells has some kind of rights too?

              • Still Spartan

                With respect, I think you are seeing what you want to see. I surround myself with rational, mostly liberal, professional women. We talk about these issues all the time. I used 8 months here, because it was factually accurate — the victim was 8 months pregnant. Viability is shifting to earlier dates and most pro-choicers recognize that.

                The problem with this argument is not viability, like most things, it is money. If a “baby” can be removed from a woman at 2 weeks and safely incubated to a healthy child, most women who otherwise would want an abortion would agree to that (I will acknowledge that there is a small percentage of deeply troubled women out there who would say no.) But pre-natal care is expensive and insurance will not cover voluntary procedures. My friend’s pre-natal birth incurred over $1 M in fees (she gave birth at 27 weeks). She had insurance to cover it. But if she voluntarily induced at 27 weeks, there is no insurance company in the world who would have covered it.

                And I agree that it is troubling to talk about these issues, but talk we must. Think about it in these terms (this is not my hypothetical): You are in a fertility doctor’s office and the building catches on fire. As you are escaping the fire, you enter a room that has a crying toddler and a tank of frozen embryos (dozens if not hundreds of embryos). The tank is heavy, and you won’t be able to save the infant and the tank. Do you choose the tank or the toddler? I think this is an easy choice. Do you agree?

                • Im gonna pick a bone with that hypothetical, bc it’s relying on emotion, along with the fact that the toddler has already survived birth, and the embryos have no guarantee of surviving birth. That lack of a guarantee doesnt remove their personhood, though.

                  If you can save someone who is healthy and has a broken leg (and is confined to a wheelchair), vs someone who is about to go through major surgery and is confined to a wheelchair, who do you save?

                  What about a 20 year old vs a 90 year old?

                  What about your own baby, vs a baby you dont know?

                  What about a sick baby vs a healthy one?

                  Choosing the easy option in the moment doesn’t necessarily mean that one life is worth “more”, or that one isnt a human being. It simply means you played the odds, or were swayed by emotion.

                • “With respect, I think you are seeing what you want to see.”

                  It’s distinctly possible.

                  Ah yes, the question “No Pro Life Person Will Ever Be Able To Answer”. Except it has an easy answer: You almost always save the toddler. And no, that doesn’t break the pro life argument.

                  This is a spin on the example… I forget what it’s called… Where you’re driving a car, and you can either hit a barricade and kill yourself, or drive into a crowd of people… And there are hundreds of variations from there. It demonstrates that people have subjective standards of morality.

                  I think we start from the position that regardless of which choice is made, the outcome is a tragedy.There is no “Good” option. And then, there are two paths to go: You can make the biblical argument, or the secular argument, even if both arguments end up in a similar place.

                  The biblical position is actually easier: You always save the kid. You save the kid because while Christians believe that all life as sacred, they still differentiate between various stages of life. The easiest example: If a mother has cancer, and is pregnant, and the radiation therapy will almost certainly kill her child, can the mother get therapy? The church has been VERY clear on this: Yes, she can get therapy, and the doctor treating her is not committing a sin.

                  The secular argument is actually harder, because it doesn’t rely on settled doctrine, although you still generally save the kid. Because you’re taking into account things like human suffering, and awareness. But let’s say that the 5 year old was a stranger, and that you and your husband were trying desperately to get pregnant, and the doctors had told you that you were sterile, but by some absolute miracle of modern medicine, they had somehow coaxed a viable embryo out of your gametes, and it’s in that box. Literally your one chance at motherhood is in that box. What do you do?

                  All this, by the way, is frankly irrelevant, unless the fire is inside the mother’s womb. If the health of the mother is at risk, even Christians generally say that an abortion is acceptable…. But that’s a fractional minority of cases. The single most prolific answer when ex-expectant mothers are asked why they aborted their child is convenience.

                  I also notice that you didn’t answer my question… Unless you answer was actually “It depends on how much it costs to keep the child”, which I think I will allow you reread, digest and rethink before I hold you to it.

                  • Regarding the health of the mother, has there ever been a circumstance where a pregnancy seemed just fine until around month 8, and they couldn’t do a C-section, but had to abort the baby to save the mother?

                  • Still Spartan

                    What is viable? If the baby can survive on its own outside the womb, then it should not be aborted. If it requires incubation, then the State has to pay for it — because insurance won’t.

                  • Still Spartan

                    It’s not irrelevant, and it is not intended as a gotcha. Yes, some life is prioritized over other life. It has to be that way.

                    By the way, I would drive into the barricade.

                    • Right… But in cases where the mother isn’t dying, you aren’t prioritizing some life over other life, you’re prioritizing convenience over life. You’re choosing to drive into the crowd of people to avoid a particularly nasty speedbump.

                    • Still Spartan

                      It’s not convenience. I almost died (not exaggerating) from my first pregnancy — and my baby was in danger too. One of my friends has had FIVE surgeries due to pregnancy complications from her childbirth 2 years ago, and the current thinking is that she will live in chronic pain for the rest of her life because modern medicine can’t figure how to stop blood from pooling in her abdomen. Another friend just spent 3 months on bed rest — and she is the primary breadwinner for her family. Another friend has been in and out of the hospital for multiple pregnancies, and she lost 3 before having her 4th. That one required 3 months of bed rest too — in the hospital — and she also is the primary breadwinner.

                      Raising a kid for 18 years on your own (because usually the dads are uninterested — hence abortion) isn’t a matter of convenience, it’s life changing. Most of these women end up in poverty.

                      And I won’t even talk about teenagers.

                      I really resent this comment Humble. There is nothing “convenient” about pregnancy and childbirth — especially those of us who are high risk.

                    • I understand and sympathize with the medical aspects, but on the childcare aspects, what about giving the child up for adoption?

                    • Still Spartan

                      Sigh. You know, people who have unplanned pregnancies don’t always make the best decisions in life. If those people operated like we do, there wouldn’t be as many abortions and/or unwanted children in this world. So, asking them to “just give up the child for adoption,” is about as useful as me asking, “Why don’t you just practice REALLY hard and learn to throw a football like Tom Brady?” It’s never going to happen. Sometimes children are given up, other times there is extreme pressure from family or maybe from a boyfriend — who will later split — to keep the baby, or societal pressure from the community, or maybe that mother (even if she is unfit) will have bonded with that baby and want to keep it. Absent, the government stepping in and requiring certain mothers to give up their babies (and no one wants that), this is just wishful thinking.

                    • “ ‘Why don’t you just practice REALLY hard and learn to throw a football like Tom Brady?’ ”

                      There’s SO much more to it than mere throwing mechanics.

                      In Brady’s case, you have to:
                      *Marry a Super-Model
                      *Surreptitiously hire someone to deflate your footballs
                      *Have plausible deniability lackeys in the wings
                      *Have beau coup throwaway cell-phones
                      *Be able to lie convincingly, with apparent contrition, and with laughably phony sincerity
                      *Have an ethically-challenged, win-at-any-cost coach who will give no quarter (stealing signs, illegal filming, etc.)

                      http://yourteamcheats.com/NE

                      You want an archetypal all-round QB? It starts and ends with Aaron Rodgers.

                      GO PACKERS!!

                    • That kinda strikes me as a self-fulfilling prophecy; “They won’t give the baby up, so we’re even going to mention it as an option.” It’s one of the things that bug me about the pro-choice movement; they rarely acknowledge THAT particular choice.

                      And honestly, I realize there would be a ton of political and logistical hurdles to clear, but I would support legislation that gives custody of a child to whoever is actually paying for his/her upkeep at birth. If it’s a married couple where at least one half has a job, all well and good. If it’s a teenager, her parents automatically get legal custody (to be re-evaluated if and when the teen becomes financially independent). If it’s a single mother living on welfare, since the government is paying for the infant anyway, the infant might as well be in foster care (again, this can be re-evaluated if and when the mother becomes financially independent).

                      Lastly, I don’t think it takes a particular talent to make decent life choices like it does to throw a football like a pro, all it takes is a society and culture that encourages responsibility, as opposed to “do what feels good, and somebody else will pay for it.”

                    • “It’s not convenience. I almost died (not exaggerating) from my first pregnancy — and my baby was in danger too.”

                      I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must have been… But we aren’t talking about you. We can continue this point until we’re blue in the face, but very few people, and no one here, is saying that if the life of the mother is in danger, she cannot or should not get an abortion.

                      “Raising a kid for 18 years on your own (because usually the dads are uninterested — hence abortion) isn’t a matter of convenience, it’s life changing.”

                      It’s almost like it’s a big responsibility. Look, it would be a great world if people weren’t cripplingly stupid or utterly juvenile, and quite frankly, in 2017… In this era of medicine, knowledge, and education, if someone becomes pregnant when they don’t want to be, that’s exactly what they are. barring some very extreme caveats. I’m not going to argue that single motherhood is good, it’s not… But actions have consequences. Again… I’m talking about situations where the mother’s life is not in danger, even if it would be different. There are a lot of stupid things that have life altering repercussions, we don’t generally let people escape those consequences by killing people.

                      “I really resent this comment Humble. There is nothing “convenient” about pregnancy and childbirth — especially those of us who are high risk.”

                      Resent it all you want, you took it a whole lot more personally than it was intended. Despite your protestations, the women having the abortions check the “convenience” box (or whatever variant of it is on the paperwork they fill out) more often than any other classification of reason. Your experience, as close to home as it is for you, is not a good measure of the experience of the majority of abortion seeking mothers.

                    • Chris

                      My girlfriend has been told by her doctors that if she gets pregnant, it is basically a 50/50 chance whether or not it will be ectopic. She wouldn’t know until months into her pregnancy.

                      She has said that at this point in her life, she would not risk the emotional and physical pain of having an ectopic pregnancy, and would abort as soon as she found out she was pregnant.

                      Most pro-lifers propose policies that would not allow her to have an abortion until it was a certainty that there would be health risks. That would ensure that if an abortion did become necessary, it might only be allowed after the fetus is capable of producing thought. That is cruel to both mother and fetus.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Paul — thanks for the giggle!

                    • Still Spartan

                      Humble — but pregnancy is never, even in the best cases, a mere inconvenience. It’s a serious health issue, with even more serious health consequences when it goes wrong. And sometimes those issues don’t appear until late in the pregnancy — like diabetes or preeclampsia (I had preeclampsia).

                      So, I’m asking you to strike that verbiage entirely. Inconvenience and pregnancy should never be two words mentioned in the same sentence.

                    • Steve-O-in-NJ

                      At the core of everything is responsibility. There are consequences to every action. Unfortunately, once people are aroused sexually, thinking things through frequently goes out the window. It’s not for nothing that we hear about men thinking with the wrong head or women falling a bit too easily for male blandishments. Passion is the destroyer of wisdom. It’s because of passion that you call your cousin who voted the other way something unforgivable. It’s because of passion that somebody attacks someone after a minor auto accident. It’s because of passion that two people have sex despite having no protection. The thought that calling your cousin some unforgivable name might cause a family rift, or that punching out the other driver might land you in jail, or that pregnancy might result from unprotected sex never enters your mind. You’re too offended, or too angry, or too aroused to care. On your head be the consequences.

                    • “So, I’m asking you to strike that verbiage entirely. Inconvenience and pregnancy should never be two words mentioned in the same sentence.”

                      At the end of the day, I’m particularly tired of arguing over definitions and semantics, so long as we’re all very much aware of what we’re talking about. If not “convenience” then what would you like me to call the concern of the pregnant woman, who wasn’t raped, incestuously abused, or experiencing health concerns outside of the normal pregnancy process, who wants to kill her unborn child because it’s easier for her than the alternative?

                      You tell me that word, and I’ll use it.

                    • I was going to suggest “health reasons vs. non-health reasons,” but then it occurred to me some hard-core fundamentalist could say that rape doesn’t count as a “health reason”.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Here is a word that leaps to mind: Fear. Fear of poverty, fear of raising a child alone, fear of never finishing school, fear of social shaming, fear of violence from a partner, fear of being fired, fear that you will have another child with special needs, etc.

                • ”You are in a fertility doctor’s office and the building catches on fire. As you are escaping the fire, you enter a room that has a crying toddler and a tank of frozen embryos (dozens if not hundreds of embryos). The tank is heavy, and you won’t be able to save the infant and the tank. Do you choose the tank or the toddler? I think this is an easy choice. Do you agree?”

                  When this exploded onto twitter via that author and Ben Shapiro a few weeks ago, I recognized the argument from something Barry Deutsch posed years ago here. TGT was even a-flutter with this “slam dunk” abortion argument.

                  But the answer to the hypothetical within the abortion debate is that it has absolutely no bearing on abortion. The hypothetical compares living to living.

                  The abortion debate is a comparison between a living embryo and a woman’s comfort of life.

                  The answer to the hypothetical is “this is irrelevant”.

                  • Still Spartan

                    Except that is is relevant for the reason stated above. You’re just deflecting.

                    • I must’ve missed those reasons…

                      Which ones?

                      Where a woman’s life is in danger?

                      Like the percent of a percent of situations in pregnancies these days?

                  • Jeff

                    Since most abortions are done for matters of convenience or finance, perhaps a more comparative conundrum would be, “You have a really crappy car, and someone offers you a brand-new one. In order to get the car to you, they have to drop it from a flatbed truck onto a crying toddler. What do you do?”

                    Equally stupid and nearly as irrelevant, but more apples-to-apples vis-a-vis abortion than the other question, no?

                    • Chris

                      No, and that analogy is worse than the original one by a very large margin. Wanting a new car has absolutely zero bodily autonomy implications. Wanting to not be pregnant has huge bodily autonomy implications.

                    • Jeff

                      Saving a toddler vs. saving a container of embryos also has zero body autonomy implications. Perhaps both questions are terrible analogies.

                    • Chris

                      No, the first analogy is a limited analogy, which is not the same thing as a terrible one. As I explained, it tells us that we value the lives of some human beings more than others—specifically, that born humans are viewed as having more moral worth than embryos. It doesn’t take many more steps from that to conclude that the rights of an embryo or even a very young fetus might be outweighed by the rights of a born human. That’s where the bodily autonomy implications come in. They are not directly found in the analogy, but are implied by its conclusions.

                      The car analogy is not just limited, it is terrible. No one has the right to a car. No one would ever argue that someone’s desire for a car outweighs the right to life of a toddler. That cannot be defended. The principle that a born person’s right to bodily autonomy outweighs the right to life of a fetus, however, can certainly be defended.

                    • The last statement is fair, but only if the advocate for bodily autonomy is willing to admit that a human life is on the other side of the equation. Not a wart, not a cluster of cells, not a parasite, but a human life proceeding every hour toward viability and status as an individual.

                    • Their DNA already makes them a unique individual.

                    • A unique organism, but not a unique individual.

                    • I think DNA makes them a unique organism and because of that uniqueness they are a unique individual, other than identical twins there aren’t any two the same.

                    • Chris

                      As you know, that is my position. We differ on whether that human life should be considered a person with rights prior to neural development in the second trimester. But it is absolutely human being, and should not be treated as if it has no moral worth at all.

                    • “I ain’t gonna take it, ’cause I can’t take no more!”

                      Chris,
                      Here is your problem as I see it…

                      My understanding from your comments is that you don’t agree with a lot of what abortion activists use as arguments; however, you’re regurgitating intentionally modified long standing definitions to fit an agenda instead of using the definitions as they are. You are not parsing the words of an existing definition, you are not simply misunderstanding an existing definition, you are literally adding things to the definition of “person” that do not exist in the definition. You are saying that a person is not a person until they can think and feel, that is by definition false – see below. You say that “intelligent, informed pro-choice advocates” talk about thinking and feeling as when a person becomes a person; Chris, I don’t care who presents that as an argument, it’s false, it is literally uninformed, and since you used it in this way it is literally showing a low level of intelligence, it’s literally *bastardizing the English language into agenda driven rhetoric. You’re an English teacher Chris, you should be better than this level of bastardizing of the English language for the purpose of agenda driven rhetoric.

                      I went and looked up as many definitions for the word “person” as I could find and I found an obvious comment thread: Person: A human being regarded as an individual. A human individual. A human being. A human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing. An individual human. Chris the common thread is human and individual. Chris, there is nothing in any definition I could find that could be construed into being a person is only a person if they can think and feel.

                      Furthermore; Human Being: is a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance. Is an unborn child a human being, yes.

                      Individual: is a single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family. Is an unborn human being an individual, yes.

                      Is an unborn human being a person, yes. The argument that an unborn child is not a person until they can think and feel is literally false.

                      Chris I’ve been thinking about what you’ve been talking about trying to defining the point that an unborn human being becomes a “person” as being when they can think and feel and I’ve begun to lean towards that you and others are trying to arbitrarily define a point where you think life begins and you think it’s fine to end the potential of the growing human being as long as it is before that predefined arbitrary point in its growth. So aren’t you really trying to talk about being alive vs not being alive, so that it can’t possible be “murder” (as some choose call it) if it’s not considered alive?

                      WHAT IF YOU ARE ALL WRONG?

                      What is life?

                      Life: The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. Does a fertilized egg have life, yes; but the viability of that life, as in continued growth of that life, is only possible after the implantation f the fertilized egg.

                      Alive: (of a person, animal, or plant) living, not dead. Having life. Is a fertilized egg alive, yes.

                      What is death?

                      Death: the action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism. Is abortion causing death, yes.

                      Kill: cause the death of (a person, animal, or other living thing). Does abortion kill, yes.

                      Murder: the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. Is abortion murder, abortion is currently legal under certain conditions; therefore, abortion is not murder.

                      *Bastardizing: corrupt or debase (something such as a language or art form), typically by adding new elements.

                      There will be those that attack this opinion implying that it should be ignored because it’s nothing but semantics; to those that think that, you need to understand that words have real meaning and when that meaning is bastardized the constructs of the English language begin to break apart because no one knows what anyone else is talking about.

                      Lastly…

                      My opinion on abortion has morphed over the years as I have matured and grown to understand more, my opinion is currently…

                      The end result of pro-life is literally life.

                      The end result of pro-choice is literally death. A mother making a pro-choice choice has to live the rest of her life with choosing to kill a human being over allowing that human being to live.

                      Abortion is literally choosing to end the life of a human being when it is most vulnerable and unprotected by law. What is happening to these lives via abortion might currently be legal but it is clearly immoral!

                      I have absolutely no problem with any form of contraceptive that prevents a fertilized egg from properly implanting.

                    • Rats, I tried so hard and still I’ve got a couple of typos. 😦

                    • I think this is worthy of Comment of the Day status…

                    • Chris

                      Zoltar,

                      Thank you for that respectful and eloquent comment. I think it amounts to a COTD.

                      However, I think you are underestimating how well-founded the idea of personhood being tied to consciousness is. It is not new at all, and is in fact the foundation of many principles which we often take for granted. The idea that consciousness is what gives a being moral worth is why we know it’s OK to kick a chair and not a puppy. Beyond that, we also make judgments about levels of consciousness, so that humans have more rights than animals.

                      It’s also why we have the concept of brain-death. When people are declared brain-dead, the human body is still there, and parts of it are still functioning, usually with the assistance of machines. But the person is gone. We do not force people to take care of their brain-dead relatives, even if there’s a chance they might recover; we allow them to “pull the plug” if that is their choice.

                      Your dictionary definitions of “person” are not wrong, per se, but they do show the limits of dictionary definitions. In law and philosophy, the concept of personhood is closely tied to rights. A person, therefore, is ethically entitled to rights.

                      Your standard for personhood, if I have this right–and please correct me if I’m wrong–rests on two criteria: a being must 1) have human DNA and 2) be alive. I think these criteria are limited, and not as good as my criteria in determining who is a person with rights. Some hypotheticals might help:

                      Imagine if an alien species arrived to earth. They have the same level of sapience as humans, and are able to do the same things humans can do: make tools, talk about art, express political opinions, and tweet. Would we be ethically obligated to extend rights to this species, and thus consider them “persons?” I think we would be.

                      Or, imagine that we discovered gorillas were even smarter than we think we are. Imagine one they we see they have evolved to make tools, talk about art, express political opinions, and tweet. Would we be ethically obligated to extend our notion of personhood and rights to them? I think we would be.

                      Neither aliens nor gorillas have human DNA. And yet, if they were capable of sapience–of thinking and feeling on the same level of humans–we would be obligated to consider them persons with the same rights as persons.

                      Of course, fetuses in the second trimester can’t make tools, talk about art, etc. Neither can toddlers. But they do have sapience–they have the capacity to do this. At the very least, they have sentience–the ability to think, feel, and perceive their own experiences–and thus should be protected as soon as that sentience appears.

                      Fetuses in the first trimester, however, are not even sentient yet. They have no ability to think and feel yet. If they literally cannot experience anything, than they have no selfhood–no personhood. On what basis can we say a being that has no experience of being alive has rights? And even if it does, how can we say their rights outweigh the rights of the thinking, feeling person carrying them?

                    • Chris wrote, “I think you are underestimating how well-founded the idea of personhood being tied to consciousness is.”

                      I’m not underestimating anything. If everyone believes that the Earth is flat, that doesn’t make the Earth flat.

                      FYI – Personhood: is the quality or condition of being an individual person. The state or condition of being a person, or individual human being. There’s nothing in those definitions about “thinking and feeling” or “consciousness”.

                      Chris wrote, “It is not new at all, and is in fact the foundation of many principles which we often take for granted.”

                      Again – Personhood: is the quality or condition of being an individual person. The state or condition of being a person, or individual human being. There’s nothing in those definitions about “thinking and feeling” or “consciousness”.

                      That doesn’t make bastardizing the definitions right.

                      Chris wrote, “we have the concept of brain-death”

                      Chris, that’s irreversible damage to a human brain preventing it from firing its neurons and it’s not equivalent to the developing brain of an unborn human being not firing its neurons. Thinking that there is an equivalency is equivalent to saying that the brain of an unborn human being is actually dead before it is alive, that’s simply not true.

                      This is an irrelevant deflection.

                      Chris wrote,“how can we say their rights outweigh the rights of the thinking, feeling person carrying them?”

                      How can we say the rights of the person(s) carrying them outweigh the fundamental rights of the unborn human being to live. Abortion is the legal killing an absolutely defenseless human being, period.

                      The rights argument you stated is also the rationalization behind using the propaganda rhetoric term “pro-choice” instead of “pro-abortion” when we all know that the end result of pro-choice is literally death. Pro-abortion is exactly what pro-choice activism is all about.

                    • Chris

                      Zoltar, if a gorilla had the same level of intelligence as a human, would you consider it a person? What about an alien of average human intelligence? What about a sapient robot? Would you extend the rights articulated in the U.S. constitution to such beings?

                      If so, why? If not, why not?

                      I realize you are relying on the dictionary definition of “person,” but again, those aren’t always the definitions used in philosophy or law. Nor should they always be.

                      Chris, that’s irreversible damage to a human brain preventing it from firing its neurons and it’s not equivalent to the developing brain of an unborn human being not firing its neurons. Thinking that there is an equivalency is equivalent to saying that the brain of an unborn human being is actually dead before it is alive, that’s simply not true.

                      The equivalency is that neither has functioning neurons. In a brain-dead person, the consciousness is gone. That human being no longer has selfhood; there is just a body, and the person is gone. A first trimester fetus isn’t “brain-dead,” but there is no consciousness yet. There is no selfhood. There is no person, in my view.

                      How can we say the rights of the person(s) carrying them outweigh the fundamental rights of the unborn human being to live.

                      Because the person carrying them can perceive the world and the fetus cannot. What good does it do to extend rights to a being incapable of experiencing those rights? What good does it do to prioritize the latter’s rights over the former?

                    • Chris,
                      I’m not going to entertain your fishing expedition of what if’s in search of gotcha(s).

                      As for the rest of your comment and dangling bait, I’m just going to repeat the following and leave you to your thoughts; words have real meaning and when that meaning is bastardized the constructs of the English language begin to break apart.

                    • What good does it do to extend rights to a being incapable of experiencing those rights?

                      I think, upon reflection, you will want to unask this question.

                    • Chris

                      What good does it do to extend rights to a being incapable of experiencing those rights?

                      I think, upon reflection, you will want to unask this question.

                      I’m trying, but I can’t think of any other cases where we extend rights to beings unable to experience those rights. Newborns don’t understand their rights, or the concept of them, but they still experience them. Even people in comas have some sense of their experiences.

                      Fetuses in the first trimester literally cannot experience anything.

                  • Correct. I hate that analogy. It reminds me of the currently popular “Would you rather be attacked by a duck the size of a grizzly bear, or 10 duck-sized bears?” questions being asked in celebrity interviews.

                    1. Frozen embryos really are only potential lives. Left alone, without human intervention, they stay frozen, maybe forever. They are no analogous to a gestating child—the analogy is usually used in the stem cell research debate, where it makes more sense.

                    2.Nobody has ever argued that a living, born child wouldn’t have a priority over frozen fetuses. Would I sacrifice a child to save Ted Williams’ and other clients’ frozen heads in a cryogenic facility? No. Would I save a child at the loss of the Mona Lisa? Absolutely. So what?

                    Life of the mother vs life of the child? That really should be the completely the mother’s choice…and man mothers would choose the child.

                    Yes, the abortion issue is an ethics conflict, right to autonomy over right to live. Ethics conflicts require balancing, not contrived hypotheticals that blur the issues and allow people to duck what they can’t bear to be honest about.

                    • Still Spartan

                      Yet, I could find dozens of instance where you, Jack Marshall, have explained why hypotheticals are so often useful in ethical discussions.

                      And, while you may disagree with me, I feel that I am the most intellectually honest person in this debate — which is why neither the pro-lifers nor the pro-choicers endorse what I say.

                    • Yes, I try to use relevant hypothetical and valid analogies.
                      Obviously I like your position, which is only slightly different from mine: that there has to be found an equitable utilitarian balance between the importance of life and a woman’s right to have autonomy. But this can only be found by people talking frankly, and not hiding, confusing or obscuring the issues—which what that analogy does.

                    • Still Spartan

                      I’m not persuaded.

                    • Chris

                      Mostly what I see in that discussion is Barry making a strong case that personhood should be determined by the ability to think, and you ignoring every single argument he makes in favor of that position, as well as engaging in the fallacy that if a fetus will at some point be able to think, that invalidates the argument that fetuses who cannot yet think don’t have rights…

                      Am I getting that right?

                    • It does invalidate the argument. The argument is bootstrapped to end a person’s life based on a temporary condition that you know will not continue, as an excuse to avoid what the action is really doing: cutting a life short before it can start, as if it never was going to start, when in fact the abortion is not because the fetus cannot think, but to ensure that it never does.

                      Yechh.

                    • “Am I getting that right?”

                      No, you are not getting it right, and simultaneously making a good case that you are illiterate.

                      But nice try at making a cheap dig when I gave that link to give other people a view of other arguments made regarding the analogy.

                    • Chris

                      As your comment indicates, that’s just the ick factor, Jack. If rights are based on the ability to think and feel, then whether the fetus will at some point have the ability to think and feel if left alone is irrelevant. Especially when measured against the rights of a person who already can think and feel—i.e., the woman. In such a situation, the latter’s rights must prevail.

                    • Rights are not based on whether someone can think or feel. Dead people don’t have rights. You will find no document with legal standards that limit rights in that way. If you are a human beings and alive, you have human rights.

                      You know, I recognize that abortion is, in some form and with some limits, a utilitarian necessity, but when ever I argue the point with the pro-abortion advocates, I find myself resenting their intellectually dishonest and cowardly position more. The only way they can pretend to justify their complete callousness toward an unborn life is to argue that it doesn’t exist. No balancing necessary! Only one life here!

                      If it were shown, in a break through discovery, that Fetuses in fact DO start thinking in a rudimentary way at, say, 18 weeks, would you and pro-abortion extremists suddenly say, “Well, that changes everything”?” “Now we agree that its murder to kill a thinking fetus.” Of course not. You would shift the rules, and the definition of a human being would be “someone who is smarter than a gerbil,” or something.

                    • Chris

                      The argument is bootstrapped to end a person’s life

                      Also, begging the question! No, it is not bootstrapped to end a “person’s” life, because a human being who cannot think and feel and who has in fact never had the capacity to think and feel is not a person.

                      You may consider them a future person, and you may think it’s wrong to end the life of a future person. But until they can think and feel, they are not yet a person.

                    • ” A human being who cannot think and feel and who has in fact never had the capacity to think and feel is not a person.”

                      Please
                      never teach your students that saying “A is so because A is so” is a valid or even a slightly persuasive argument. They’ll sound like idiots when they grow up. Luckily, they get the chance to grow up.

                    • Chris wrote, “… a human being who cannot think and feel and who has in fact never had the capacity to think and feel is not a person.”

                      Nice.

                      Trolling 101; try to catch your opposition off guard by concocting the most absurd shit you can come up and present it as fact. What the hell is wrong with trolls like you?

                    • Chris

                      ” A human being who cannot think and feel and who has in fact never had the capacity to think and feel is not a person.”

                      Please never teach your students that saying “A is so because A is so” is a valid or even a slightly persuasive argument. They’ll sound like idiots when they grow up. Luckily, they get the chance to grow up.

                      What are you talking about? The sentence you quoted does not do that at all. Unless…you are conflating “human being” with “person?” If that’s what you’re doing, you’re not paying attention to the argument at all, nor have you paid attention the last several times we’ve had this debate, nor when you had it with Barry in the argument tex linked to.

                      Rights are not based on whether someone can think or feel. Dead people don’t have rights. You will find no document with legal standards that limit rights in that way. If you are a human beings and alive, you have human rights.

                      You are ignoring the fact that brain-death is a concept that exists. Which, again, you do every single time we have this argument.

                      You know, I recognize that abortion is, in some form and with some limits, a utilitarian necessity, but when ever I argue the point with the pro-abortion advocates, I find myself resenting their intellectually dishonest and cowardly position more. The only way they can pretend to justify their complete callousness toward an unborn life is to argue that it doesn’t exist. No balancing necessary! Only one life here!

                      It is really quite something that you’re accusing me of being intellectually dishonest when you are once again putting words in my mouth. I am not, and have never denied, that the unborn fetus is a life. The actual argument is over whether that life is a person. Again, I have made this clear every single time we’ve had this debate. So has Barry.

                      If you keep having to conflate terms and misrepresent my position, I don’t know how you can call the other side dishonest. You haven’t actually rebutted a single one of my points, and have in fact only built strawman arguments.

                      If it were shown, in a break through discovery, that Fetuses in fact DO start thinking in a rudimentary way at, say, 18 weeks, would you and pro-abortion extremists suddenly say, “Well, that changes everything”?” “Now we agree that its murder to kill a thinking fetus.” Of course not. You would shift the rules, and the definition of a human being would be “someone who is smarter than a gerbil,” or something.

                      First off…”you and pro-abortion extremists?” Are you lumping me in with that group? You can’t be. I favor restrictions after 24 weeks. You know that. That’s the moderate position. You also know that.

                      Second, you are once again pretending that we’re discussing the definition of a “human being” instead of a “person,” something which Barry set you straight on..*looks back at tex’s link*…four years ago.

                      Finally, I can’t speak for “pro-abortion extremists,” since I’m not one. I do know that currently, most pro-choicers do accept restrictions after 24 weeks, which is around the time fetuses start developing neural function. That fact tells me that most pro-choicers probably would accept earlier restrictions if it were shown that neural function develops earlier. I would.

                      Extremists wouldn’t. That’s why they’re extemists.

                    • Chris

                      Zoltar,

                      You are uninformed on this topic.

                      My argument that fetuses who do not yet have the capacity for thought are not persons is not only logical, it is a common argument in the abortion debate.

                      Your habit of calling me a “troll” every time I bring up a point you have never considered or heard of is as insulting as it is boring. It is not my fault that you are inexperienced with common arguments in this debate. If you think this argument is “absurd,” demonstrate it. I suggest you read up on the thread tex linked to first; Barry’s notion of personhood as stemming from the capacity to think and feel is airtight. That isn’t a fact, and contrary to what you claim, I never presented it as one; it is an opinion.

                      I do not troll. Engage with the argument or don’t. But stop dodging by resorting to petty insults every time you encounter an unfamiliar idea. It only makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                    • Chris wrote, “You are uninformed…”

                      Maybe you should look in the mirror Mr. Teacher.

                      Chris wrote, “My argument that fetuses who do not yet have the capacity for thought are not persons is not only logical, it is a common argument in the abortion debate.”

                      Like a blithering idiot or a true troll, you are misrepresenting your own quote trying to hide your stupidity tracks just like you’ve done so many times before. Read it again Chris; first you talked about “human being” (your statement that I quoted) now you’re shifting of the goal posts using “fetuses”. Abortion rights believers don’t think fetuses are human beings and you Mr. “Informed” have just broken a cardinal abortion rights rule – never imply, say, or admit that a fetus is a human being.

                      Chris wrote, “”Your habit of calling me a “troll” every time I bring up a point you have never considered or heard of is as insulting as it is boring.”

                      Hmmm, “never considered or heard of” has got absolutely nothing to do with it Chris, you’re saying ignorant things to drag conversations down your troll hole of absurdity.

                      Good day, troll.

                    • Chris

                      So you’re doubling down on ignorant assumptions, then.

                      I have never once denied that fetuses are “human beings.” I have, in fact, made a point to distinguish between “human” and “person.” Intelligent, informed pro-choice advocates do this. I implored you to read the link to the discussion Tex posted, where Barry did this repeatedly.

                      You could have easily asked me to explain why I used the word “human being.” Instead, you insulted me based on ignorant assumptions.

                      That’s what trolls do.

                      I have been genuine and authentic in every comment I’ve posted on Ethics Alarms, barring instances of obvious sarcasm. You’re just being an asshole.

                      Again: engage or shut up.

                    • Chris wrote, “Again: engage or shut up.”

                      You don’t seem to like it very much when I actively engage you and shutting up is not likely going to happen. Suck it up Chris.

                      Chris wrote, “So you’re doubling down on ignorant assumptions, then.”

                      Maybe so. Please list my ignorant assumptions.

                      Chris wrote, “I have never once denied that fetuses are “human beings.” I have, in fact, made a point to distinguish between “human” and “person.” “

                      This is where you people fail! There is no distinction between a human being and a person, a person is defined as a human being regarded as an individual, there is no definitive dividing line between the two Chris; a person IS an individual human being and an individual human being IS a person. There is no definition that says a person is not a person until they think and feel, that’s a fabricated falsehood used to justify killing an individual human being.

                      Chris wrote, “Intelligent, informed pro-choice advocates do this. I implored you to read the link to the discussion Tex posted, where Barry did this repeatedly.”

                      The implication there is that anyone that doesn’t think like you people are unintelligent and uninformed; nice. Who’s being the asshole now Chris. Bigot. Chris, just because someone thinks/believes like you doesn’t mean that either one of you are actually correct, implying or saying so is Progressive Magical Thinking.

                      Chris wrote, “You could have easily asked me to explain why I used the word “human being.” Instead, you insulted me based on ignorant assumptions.”

                      You were trolling, as usual. The repetitive actions of trolls earn them the honor of being pointedly identified.

                      Chris wrote, “I have been genuine and authentic in every comment I’ve posted on Ethics Alarms…”

                      So English Teacher, you’re saying that you’re not a troll and you’re just genuinely ignorant, authentically illogical, and perceived by many as being stupid? You do seem to repeat the same ignorant and illogical patterns around here and seem surprised when you don’t get different results; are you aware that you can’t fix stupid? Personally I think being labeled a troll at least isn’t being labeled stupid, so in comparison, troll is a complement.

                      Chris wrote, “You’re just being an asshole.”

                      I’ve been called an asshole by a whole lot better individuals than you, it’s doesn’t phase me a bit coming from you. Let’er rip troll.

                      If you choose to reply you might consider going back and reread the progression of our little conversation and focus on relevant content and brush off what you perceive as insults like a mature adult.

                      Now; stop being ignorant, illogical and stupid or shut up.

                      P.S. How do you “like” this engagement?

                    • Chris

                      Chris wrote, “Intelligent, informed pro-choice advocates do this. I implored you to read the link to the discussion Tex posted, where Barry did this repeatedly.”

                      The implication there is that anyone that doesn’t think like you people are unintelligent and uninformed; nice. Who’s being the asshole now Chris. Bigot.

                      No.

                      The implication there is that pro-choice advocates who say things like “Fetuses are not human beings” are not intelligent or informed.

                      A lot of pro-choicers do use sloppy language like this, which makes them very easy for pro-lifers to rebut. A fetus is obviously, biologically, a human being.

                      That’s what I was saying. In other words, I was making a concession to your side, and you responded by calling me a bigot.

                      I never once implied that people who do not believe personhood begins with the ability to think and feel are unintelligent or uninformed.

                      You are determined to jump to the worst possible conclusions about what I say. You consistently jump to ignorant assumptions about my arguments even after I clarify that your assumptions are wrong, instead of just asking me what I mean. Here’s the deal: you apologize for this and promise to try not to do this any more, and then we can engage in respectful discussion. Until that point, I will not respond to any more of your hateful comments.

                    • Chris wrote, “No. The implication there is that pro-choice advocates who say things like “Fetuses are not human beings” are not intelligent or informed.”

                      Please, oh please, try to intelligently explain how that statement of yours is not equivalent to “anyone that doesn’t think like you people are unintelligent and uninformed…” and while your at it also explain how that statement of yours is not bigotry i.e. an intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

                      Chris wrote, “Here’s the deal: you apologize for this and promise to try not to do this any more, and then we can engage in respectful discussion.”

                      Guess what Chris, we can “engage in respectful discussion” even without your demands being fulfilled.

                      Chris wrote, “Until that point, I will not respond to any more of your hateful comments.”

                      There Chris, this was not a hateful comment.

                    • Chris wrote, “Until that point, I will not respond to any more of your hateful comments.”

                      Questions about that statement:
                      1. Does that mean that after “that point” you will be replying to my future “hateful comments”?

                      2. Does that mean that you will not be replying to my “hateful comments” and replying only to my non-hateful comments?

                      3. Does that mean you won’t respond to any of my comments until I “that point”?

                      The English language is a funny thing when you can derive different meanings from the same statement because of the wording.

                      What did you really mean to say?

                  • Chris

                    It’s relevant because it means that some lives are worth more than others.

                    And if the fetus’ life is worth less than the woman’s, it stands to reason that the woman’s rights may matter more than the fetus’s rights.

                    You can characterize the woman exercising those rights as doing so for convenience. But the right to bodily autonomy still exists.

                    • It does… And that’s why I would oppose legislation that would inhibit the ability of a woman to get an abortion. But I’d like for everyone to stop celebrating it. I’d even like the whole “destigmatizing movement” to skip over abortion. I want abortions to be somewhere between free and cheap, readily available, but never used. Because that’s the right answer.

                      We need to redicover shame. We need to judge. The same we judge a whole lot of other people around us doing colossally stupid things. There are obvious caveats; mother’s health is always a primary concern… (and as an aside, I’m really sorry about your girlfriend, really.) But I’ve said this 100 times…. This is 2017, with modern knowledge, education, contraceptives and birth control, barring some very extreme caveats, anyone that becomes pregnant when they don’t want to be is by definition stupid and juvenile.

                    • Chris

                      I’m glad you agree that women have the right to have abortions, HT.

                      My interest in the conversation ends there, and I’d bet 99% of pro-choice people would also be perfectly satisfied if the pro-life movement’s position was “Abortion should be legal, but we still get to judge you for having them.”

            • Eternal optometrist

              Sparty, I’ve never met a pro choice advocate with this position. I’m sure they exist, and I’m sure there are a lot of them, I’ve just never met one who would condtiton their rights on viability. My experience only.

            • Isaac

              “99% of pro choice advocates acknowledge that viable babies should not be terminated.”

              For now.

  6. 1) Why am I not surprised that Breitbart is using the same kind of “attack the messenger” journalistic tactic that the left has been using for years, nice. I’m so tired of this shit.

    2) Big surprise that the left want’s to shut down an outspoken famous person from the right. I think Sean Hannity intentionally makes himself the punching bag of the left so he can point at the absurdity of their actions, he’s a troll.

    3) I think it’s 100% politically motivated and utterly despicable that they are intentionally not counting the unborn child as a murder victim.

    4) These kneeling protests are a great big social justice warrior publicity stunt and a fiasco. They’ve lost any credibility they “thought” they had. They’re a bunch of political ignorant fools.

    • ”They’re a bunch of political ignorant fools.”

      Echoing your “genius has its limits” observation:

      “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” Dr. Thomas Sowell

  7. # 3 This has come up before, recall the Scott Peterson murder/double murder of his wife Laci & unborn son Connor ~ 15 years ago?

    “When a NOW leader (Mavra Start) said charging Scott Peterson for the murder of his unborn son threatened abortion rights, even some feminists were horrified. But that’s been pro-choice orthodoxy on fetal-rights laws — until now.”

    https://www.salon.com/2003/04/24/fetal_harm/

    Abortion hardliners have long sought to dehumanize the unborn in order to further their agenda.

    Heck, they even slammed self-anointed Über-Feminist HRC for insinuating that a “fetus” was an “unborn child” during an 04/04/2016 Meet The Press interview.

    Woe be unto the Lefty that strays from the ranch ion that issue.

    • I mean… the position that an unborn child is either a person or not a person based on the will of the mother is a contradictory statement, and eventually the women’s rights movement was going to have to pick a side or get beat over the noggin with their contradiction. Now, they’re fairly consistent in their support of the ‘bundle of cells’ narrative. Points for consistency, a loss for humanity.

  8. dragin_dragon

    Re: #2…Damn! Now, I have to go out and buy a Keurig. I hate them, and I detest Sean Hannity.

    • valkygrrl

      Keurig didn’t magically stop being awful. You need not sully yourself with overpriced coffee pods.

      • dragin_dragon

        Oh, thank you, thank you, Val!! I REALLY hate those one-cup-at-a-time machines and their little whatever-they-are coffee thingies. But, if Sean Hannity is calling for a boycott, I almost feel honor-bound to buy one…and you KNOW I’m a serious conservative.

      • Keurig is not awful, and it’s only overpriced if you drink a lot of coffee over a reasonable short period of time.

        I think Keurig is an very effective design for the very low usage people that don’t want the waste and the mess. If you only drink one cup a day or a couple of cups over a weekend why on earth would you be buying all that coffee to waste it by pouring it down the drain and have it get “stale” because it takes you way too long to use it up. Seriously folks, just because you think the Keurig is a value to you or those you know doesn’t mean it’s not a modern marvel that fits the needs of others perfectly.

        I am a perfect example of where a Keurig is useful. During the week I drink a few cups of coffee every morning and so do others in the offices that share the professional coffee resources we use; however, at home I only drink one, rarely two, cups of coffee per day over the weekend. that’s somewhere between 2 and 4 cups of coffee per week at home, the Keurig fits my needs perfectly without wasting a bunch of coffee. I’ve done the math, it’s almost always cheaper for me to use Keurig because I catch the small boxes on sale or by bulk from Costco, with standard coffee making I dump most of what I make and the little single/two cup makers are a friggin mess and a pound of coffee gets stale before I get it all used.

        Keurig may not be for you but it has its usage, don’t discount it.

        • crella

          We have a Nespresso for the same reasons. Coffee goes stale before we can use it up. It’s also more economical to pay 80 cents per cup than to buy coffee at a chain.

        • La Sylphide

          Or buy that little plastic, purple re-usable cup and fill it with your own coffee. The only thing you’ll be throwing out is the coffee grounds into your garden or compost. That’s what I do with my Keurig.

        • Chris

          Agreed, Zoltar. I love my Keurig and find it very cost-effective.

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        We have a Keurig in our kitchen; we will not be joining Sean Hannity in a boycott of Keurig. I don’t drink coffee, but my wife and the rest of my family do (they’d kill me if I became as hyper as they). I have to believe that our Keurig is one major reason why I am so Lucky, as the rest of my family has not tried to kill me so far (and they surely would kill me, if I tried to keep them from their precious coffee). Besides, I like to garden now and then, and am convinced that _I_ derive the greatest value from the thing, being a composter of what the Keurig “wastes.”

  9. Wayne

    I am confused about your reasoning which gives the three stubborn morons in the NFL ethics points for taking a knee during the the National Anthem on Veterans Day. You get ethics points for consistency in clinging to your right to act in a disgraceful manner? Perhaps the other players woke up and realized that taking a knee was killing the sport in which these genetic celebrities get paid their lavish salaries for an unsupportable cause. Self interest in itself is not inherently unethical: It’s just smarter than clinging to your right to alienate fans.

    • They get points for consistency. If the protest is actually about… Well, cops, or the pay gap, or whatever the players say it is in the interview you watch, and NOT about disrespect for the flag, the anthem, the nation… You know, the things they chose to disrespect to get their point across…. Then the fact that it was Remembrance Day shouldn’t matter. The 3 kneelers are either 1) The only people in the NFL to actually believe their act of kneeling isn’t disrespectful or 2) the only people in the NFL to know it, but not care.

      And everyone who previously kneeled, but didn’t on Saturday, at least admits that the appearance of disrespect is there, because if even that appearance wasn’t there, then why change it up for the veterans?

    • They get points for consistently sticking to their ‘principles’. They are still solidly in the negative though when it comes to grading their conduct in this ‘protest’ thing or whatever it is. Just slightly less abysmally in the negative than they were last week.

      Fear not, their points continue to be docked for merely continuing so incompetent a protest.

  10. Steve-O-in-NJ

    GQ should be deemed an “ethics dunce” for its embrace of Colin Krappernick as “Citizen of the Year,” calling him “the man who became the movement.” Yeah, the BOWEL movement maybe.

  11. 1. Source, for first sentence? “Reliable hearsay?” One link, anyone?
    If true…ahh, sweet vengeance!
    (part of the New Ethics – not acknowledged in this blog)

    • ”Have you heard about this?”

      A time or two.

      How many times can “Wolf” be cried?

      Bonn 2001: A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance.
      *Time Magazine, 16 Jul 2001

      Montreal 2005: Montreal represents a last chance for action.”
      *The Independent, 28 Nov 2005

      Bali 2007: Bali could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming.
      *The New Zealand Herald, 3 Dec 2007

      Poznan Poland, 2008: WWF, “Poznan provides last chance to curb climate change
      *The Age, 9 Dec 2008

      Copenhagen 2009: The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change
      *Reuters, Feb 27 2009

      Cancun 2010: the “last chance” for climate change talks to succeed;
      *The Telegraph (UK), 29 Nov 2010

      Durban 2011: mankind’s ‘last opportunity’ to address climate change.
      *Spero News, 27 Nov 2011

      Doha 2012: Tomorrow: the earth’s last chance with climate change?
      *The Examiner, 25 Nov 2012

      Warsaw 2013: Is the Warsaw Climate Change Conference a last-chance summit?
      *Sustainable Mobility, 14 Nov 2013

      Lima 2014: Last chance: Change needed for climate negotiations in Lima 2014.
      *WWF Global, 23 Nov 2013

      Paris 2015: The UN meeting in December is “the last chance” to avert dangerous climate change, according to the Earth League.
      *BBC News 22 Apr 2015

      Stay tuned!

  12. Re #3: I’m reminded of the situation in Omagh, Northern Ireland, site of a 1998 terrorist bombing by the Real IRA, who objected to the real (note capitalization) IRA’s willingness to sign off on the Good Friday accords.

    Almost immediately after the event, politicians and civic leaders on both sides of the sectarian strife proposed a memorial to those who were killed in that horrible attack. It wasn’t until this year, however, that the thing actually got built–because one of the victims was a mother pregnant with twins, and rather than commemorating the 29 or 31 (depending on your perspective) lives lost, both sides dug in their heels and insisted on “their” number of victims.

    FWIW, the 31 side finally won this round.

  13. “There is nothing unethical about persuading viewers that they should boycott Hannity; using this tactic to try to make it impossible for viewers to see and hear him is rotten to the core.”

    I think you meant nothing ETHICAL.

    • No, I meant nothing UNethical. There’s nothing wrong with trying to persuade someone that they should watch Fox, or CNN, or Hannity, or Joy Reid, or anyone else. I don’t like boycotts, and I economic boycotts are unethical, but an educational campaign pointing out that, say, Roman Polanski is a rapist? Sure. Go ahead.

      • Sam Halverson

        To be fair, Hannity did say on his program today that he does not support boycotts of any kind and did not blame Keurig for what had occured. He actually somewhat endorsed them by saying be owns five of their machines. As of earlier the CEO of Keurig has apologized for the incident. Apparently it was a low level social media represenative that spoke without authorization and he remarked that the company would make sure that it would not react this way in the future. They did not say whether they would resume airing ads.

        However I can’t say if Hannity was speaking in good faith because he seemed to be amused by some of his more reactive fans smashing their coffee makers on his behalf. He also announced he would be giving 500 coffee makers away.

        He can be a hack, but this was a hit job by a political smear machine that regularly employs barrages of paid social media posters to shut down advertisers on conservative programs. Media matters also has the distinction of being in the grips of the mysterious “Soros boogeyman”.

        As for what started this most people seem to think Hannity endorsed hebephilia in an exchange on his TV program during which the transcript gave the impression that he described Moore’s alleged assualt of the 14 year old victim as “consensual”. However after being accused of this by Jake Tapper it was revealed that Hannity’s words were warped due to the transcription process going from audio to written. Jake Tapper apologized and Hannity forgave him. As for the interview itself, in my opinion he grilled Moore pretty well, and I don’t think the other was expecting it (as evidenced by his embarassimg slip ups). Anything else beyond that is still speculatiom, we will see where this request by Gloria Allred’s daughter’s call for a special council om the matter goes, but until then they are only accusations (Though by this point its patently obvious that Roy Moore is a hypocrite and deviant creep; probably why Trump endorsed his rival in the primary. Lets see if any of the MSM mentions that, hah!)

        That’s alot of words wasted defending someone I’m not particularly fond of ( though my coworkers are, thus why I listen to his program), but I don’t think its fair to misalign him here. There are plenty of other things to pick on Hannity for, just not this.

        Thank you,

        Sam Halverson

  14. Isaac

    I do not like the direction of the Republican party. As I heard someone say a few weeks ago, it’s no longer a war between the Left and the Right. It’s a war of both ends against the middle.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      It’s worse than that.
      It’s a war between the Democrats who are on the inside of the R party, and the rest of the people inside the R party who want the R party to be clearly different from, and going in a different direction from, the D party.

  15. Still Spartan

    We also need to strike “convenience” from the abortion debate, because it just isn’t true.

    From a 2004 study of US women who had abortions: “RESULTS: The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a
    single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’
    desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason. Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood, while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.”

    But, for the record, I don’t think this issue is studied enough. I went online and found a dozen or more sites (both pro-life and pro-choice) citing the same 2004 study.

    • Chris

      Sadly, I suspect many here will see no contradiction between those results and their assertion that women have abortions for convenience, Spartan.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      If it was going to interfere with her lifestyle or didn’t think she was read, or whatever, then she shouldn’t be slamming whoever, or at a bare minimum she should be practicing strict contraception.

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