Open Forum Ethics

I’m off to an early morning ethics training session, so let’s try the experiment we discussed over the weekend. Talk about and debate any ethics topics you like, from current events to cultural controversies. Please keep it civil, please, and, of course, fascinating.

124 Comments

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124 responses to “Open Forum Ethics

  1. Steve

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/politics/women-marines-infantry-discharge-.amp.html

    I will throw a topic down. Now a few years after women have been allowed to join the infantry, and hundreds have tried, only 30 percent pass compared to over 90 percent of males, but there are still only 24 women total in the Marine Corps Infantry.

    Is it ethical to continue such an expensive and inefficient program?

    • Steve wrote, “Is it ethical to continue such an expensive and inefficient program?”

      Is the question about the ethics of the money spent (return on investment) or the ethics of the concept of women in the infantry?

      • Steve

        Return on investment.

        • Steve wrote, “Return on investment.”

          If all we are talking about is ROE then it’s time to cancel it.

          Why is it perceived as being expensive? There shouldn’t be hardly any extra costs involved in this.

          • dragin_dragon

            Segregated quarters. The Marine Corps is not interested in becoming Haldeman’s Forever War.

          • Michael R.

            Education is expensive. Should we accept people to training when we know that 70% of them will not be able to complete the training? We could be training people with a much better chance for success instead. A better question would be why don’t we have better screening for the female applicants? That would reduce the number in training, but increase the percentage that succeed

            Better examples are probably the FAA’s air traffic control program and the military’s pilot programs. The FAA is facing a shortage of air traffic controllers. The new FAA biographical pre-screening for air traffic controllers is geared to select a ‘diverse’ force. They give more points for being unemployed than graduating from an FAA certified controller training program or having aviation experience in the military. The test gives more points for failing science than being good at science. People who do well on the Air Traffic Skills Assessment Test have no preference over people who haven’t taken it. This results in most graduates of the CTI (FAA collegiate training initiative) programs don’t ‘pass’ the new biographical screening. People who have CTI degrees pass the air traffic control training at a high rate. Those who haven’t, don’t. So, each class of air traffic control trainees now graduates fewer students. This new program has resulted in FEWER air traffic controllers being produced and the CTI programs are drying up because being prepared and educated hurts your chances of being selected.

            https://www.breitbart.com/video/2018/06/02/aviation-attorney-to-tucker-carlson-faa-is-putting-diversity-ahead-of-safety/

            https://www.wnd.com/2018/06/faa-hiring-test-extra-points-for-failure/

            The Air Force ACE program seeks to motivate people who don’t typically become pilots to be pilots. This is an expensive program. We are spending a lot of money to convince people who don’t want to become pilots to be pilots. We have no program to convert people who want to become pilots to become pilots. We spend a lot of money on low-yield programs and no money on high-yield programs.

    • A.M. Golden

      As long as all the recruits look like Jack’s female body builder photo, yes.

      But they’re not and….therein lies the rub, I suppose. The idea that most women tend to be physically weaker than most men isn’t a popular one, but I’m not going to pretend that I could ever lift a U.S. Marine’s pack filled with all the required kit, much less carry it for any length of time.

      Since it’s expensive and inefficient, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and that is unethical as all government waste is.

      • If the female can perform the mission, I have no problem with her service to our nation.

        However, in the infantry, one must be able to carry the load the job requires, and be able to carry your buddy if he is incapacitated. This restricts smaller men, much less women.

    • Steve

      Just to clarify what the full expense is because it goes far beyond what most believe. Because of the nature of the Armed services we are not simply talking about a hire that just doesn’t work out. Basically the magic number is 180 days, at that point they qualify for life long assistance both federal and state. Now in my opinion when you are talking about a population of individuals who over 90 percent succeed that obligation makes sense.

      MANPOWER management is one of the most difficult and expensive issues facing the military. I will try and expand on this a bit later if need be and I get a chance.

      • I’ve been part of military training classes that cost a lot of money and only a very, very small percentage complete it. This is part of the military, they want the best qualified both mentally and physically in positions and that means that there will be a LOT of No-Go’s.

        Consider seal training, sniper training, ordnance disposal training, fighter pilot training, etc, etc. Failure is an inherent part of the military training, it’s built in to weed out, to fail in training instead of combat, and to increase the overall effectiveness of the whole.

        • Rip

          It is worth the expense to find the women that can survey and excel yes many do not but to deny those that do the opportunity to serve is wrong.

          • Rip wrote, “It is worth the expense to find the women that can survey and excel yes many do not but to deny those that do the opportunity to serve is wrong.”

            Should the approved expenses incurred be unlimited?

          • Michael R.

            Why? We need a well trained military force to protect the country, participate in relief efforts, and kill foreigners who need to be killed. None of this requires a specific racial and gender distribution in the military. Why should taxpayers be forced to pay extra money (upon threat of imprisonment) for someone’s social experiment to mandate quotas in the military? Is it ethical to entice and encourage women to participate in military specialties when they will be seriously injured disproportionately? Should we sacrifice the long-term health of women and saddle the taxpayers with long-term disability payments just to make progressives feel better and feed their delusion that there is no difference between the sexes?
            The British military initially allowed women to meet lower physical fitness criteria than men (so-called ‘gender-fair’). This resulted in women being 4 times as likely to suffer an injury requiring a discharge than a male soldier, even though male soldiers tended to have more physically demanding specialties (this wasn’t an infantry study, but a whole-military study). They then found that the women couldn’t actually perform the tasks required for many of the specialties and this hindered the effectiveness of the military (yes, she is in the unit, but she can’t do ….) They went to a ‘gender neutral’ standards to try to fix this. Despite this resulting in a lower percentage of women passing the requirements, these women were injured MORE OFTEN. Under these requirements, women were over 7x as likely to suffer an injury requiring a discharge. For ‘pelvis fracture’, it was 63x as likely! It seems that you can increase women’s muscle mass to meet the requirements, but you can’t make their bones strong enough to hold up. Stress fractures of the tibia were 14x as likely for women and the foot were 8x as likely The pelvis fracture problem was found to be due to the fact that women’s pelvic structure makes them unable to march as fast as men without undue stress. Reducing the pace of the march would reduce, but not eliminate the problem. How many women do we maim to make the people on the sidelines feel better?

        • dragin_dragon

          No-Go’s is what we used to call the National Guard.

        • Steve

          Nothing you used as an example is comparative. We are talking about primary specialties, reclassing non careerists doesn’t happen often because it doesn’t pay off long term, if you fail one primary mos you’re not likely to pass another and that “seat” should have to be found so it is cheaper to separate them generally. Additionally the vast majority of female separations are for medical, meaning service connected, meaning for that short period of service not only do they get access to most of the programs it there but also a monthly check for life.

          It is the price we pay for having a military but when such a large percentage of a population ends up not actually doing any service I think it is a massive waste for no benefit.

    • Along those lines, who couldn’t see ​this coming?

      • Aleksei

        What a surprise! There will be two sport leagues in the future: men’s sports and men who couldn’t make it in the men’s league, but now say they’re women, so deal with it sports. Sorry ladies, live by the intersectionality, die by the intersectioanlity.

        • Exactly right… and the situation is wrong in SO many ways! Allowing someone whose genitals originally were an ‘outie’ to compete with those who were born ‘innies’ is unfair, no matter the situation, or the current state of that individual’s ‘outie’ (amputated, etc.)

        • Hey! Some of us think intersectionality is a bunch of horse manure too.

          While I am very willing to admit I could never be in the infantry, I do think that there should be paths to service for as many with calling and determination to serve in whatever area they would qualify for. I don’t see anything approaching gender parity unless we went to a Starship Troopers, where service is required before citizenship. Biology cannot be denied, no matter how often you nag, pretend, and scold.

          • Well said.

            Heinlein had a lot to say on that topic in that book.

          • Steve

            The problem with providing this path is that this isn’t an interview, we, the taxpayers are buying a product that likely will not work out that we are then married too for the rest of thier life. The service member isn’t fired or let go but separated from active duty. Any ailments that can be tied to service are then paid for by us forever, all this for 30 percent of a population that brings nothing to the table that increases the ability to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver.

            Failures at SOI are largely due to perminate injuries, and because most treatments last months for orthopedic injuries nearly all will be discharged after being in service for at least 180 days.

            It is ethical that we provide this to those this happens to but unethical to allow this to continue as it is.

            • Some decisions cannot be made just for money reasons. What is the supposed to e the most efficient form of government again? Having freedoms will always include some costs and banning even the exceptional women from meaningful service is a bad precedent. I won’t argue that few women are able to do certain areas, but those who can should be able to advance as far as determination and talent let them.

    • Aleksei

      I would like to add, I think it is unethical that women have not been made to be eligible for the draft. If it is deemed that they are equal to their male counterparts in the military, that all combat positions are open, there is absolutely no logical reason to exclude women from selective service registration other than discrimination based on sex, which is unacceptable. One cannot lobby to have all the rights and none of the responsibilities. Those who would argue this is to protect women are doing nothing but coddling and patronizing women. Great example, in Israel everybody has to serve, and that’s everybody. Are American women more equal than Israeli women? I would like to hear that argument.

      • The Wednesday Woman

        I thought a majority of Israeli women served in non-combat positions, but I’m open to being proven wrong.

        • Nope.

          From Wikipedia:

          The most notable combat option for women is the Caracal Battalion, which is a light infantry force that is made up of 70 percent female soldiers. The unit undergoes combat infantry training. There are two other mixed-sex infantry battalions: the Lions of Jordan Battalion and the Bardelas Battalion. The IDF commando K9 unit, Oketz, also drafts females as combat soldiers.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_the_Israel_Defense_Forces

          • Hit post too soon.

            However, your contention is that the majority of women do not serve in combat roles, and I think this might actually be the case, given this:

            Despite being officially classified as combat soldiers, women in combat roles are not deliberately deployed into combat situations. They are expected to respond in the event a combat situation does erupt, but are not deployed to situations where there is a high risk of combat…”

            • dragin_dragon

              There was, quite a while back, an all-female battalion but it was disbanded. Israel claimed it was because of the threat of torture by Arabs if captured. My wife claimed it was disbanded because of their fierce ruthlessness.

            • The Wednesday Woman

              Fantastic info, thanks. Interesting that the first unit you cited seems to be optimized for women specifically. It seems like a way to develop women into objectively strong soldiers by re-strategizing standards instead of simply lowering them.

              Overall, though, it does looks like most women still serve as admin, intelligence, medical and humanitarian personnel. Not a huge majority, but a majority.

              We can’t pull off a mandatory service system just like Israel’s in the US, and no one here needs me to explain why. But if we did, I’d expect there’d be a similar breakdown of roles, with more women going into combat if there were more roles that let them qualify AND excel. This isn’t about coddling women, it’s about what people physically can and can’t do.

              I was about to describe else I think would happen if the US instituted an all-inclusive draft today, but that would have been a whole essay full of speculation.

    • Another Mike

      The USMC lives by the credo that “every Marine is a rifleman”. All other ratings, jobs (whatever the Navy calls it) is extra. So to be a Marine you must successfully complete the initial training, which I am told is infantry. I was Army (long ago) and all soldiers got Basic Combat Training and were then assigned to various “advanced” training, Infantry AIT among them. Those people were “infantry”. Others got trained in cooking, clerking, artillery, air operations, etc… but all had the nominal basic infantry skill.

      That said, if the numbers show that 70% of the trainees who are female fail to complete the course, where 90% of the males complete it, then it is pretty obvious that the females are not suited for the job. The Marines have a very special job to do when the balloon goes up, and even graying dog-faces can appreciate that, as annoying as they can be at times when things are quiet.

      Ethically, it is wrong to spend the hard earned wages of the taxpayers, whose existence may someday depend on the USMC to do the “impossible”, by pursuing a proven failed concept.

  2. I am behind on Jack’s posts, but wanted to throw a topic down here: Global Warming (excuse me: “Man Made Climate Change”) is a hoax, designed to transfer wealth to the Global Elites.

    I have proof: the UN has admitted this openly. Given that our press is Elitist themselves, of course this gets little coverage.

    https://www.investors.com/climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism/

    Progressive Elites like socialism because they think they will be the rich upper class that always develops, while the masses starve. (Need I point to EVERY place it has been fully implemented?)

    Is it ethical to lie about science to further a political agenda?

    • slickwilly asked, “Is it ethical to lie about science to further a political agenda?”

      It’s unethical to lie about science regardless of the motivation.

    • A.M. Golden

      Those who believe that it is ethical are rationalizing – the ends justify the means. What we want is good; whatever we do to make that happen is good, as well.

    • I think “science” benefits greatly from public ignorance of what science is. We have this notion in our minds of lab coated brainiacs running through deliberative experiments to either falsify or strengthen a “guess” (hypothesis) about some process. That’s only one *method* of science.

      Alot of science, however, Climate Change Science among them, really consists of gathering VERY incomplete data, running a series of statistical models (all dubious…you know, lies, damn lies and statistics) and methods of “purifying” the data. In the end, those sciences are essentially advanced forms of what the ancient philosophers did: look around the world and try to draw inferences and conclusions from a bewildering amount of information in order for us to make sense of our world.

      Knowing this, Climate Science is closer to religion and philosophy than it is to lab-coated men and women running rigorous and repetitive cycles of intentional experiments. At which point, we can only analyze the conclusions of such “scientists” in terms of their own worldview.

      1) Climate IS changing.

      2) Mankind contributes *some* amount to this change

      3) Whether or not the amount of man’s contribution is significant is what is up for debate. I can’t stand when progressives demand that agreement with #1 and #2 compels agreement that man is the primary or even a significant driver of the changes.

      4) If mankind is an insignificant tertiary source of climate change…then odds are, our efforts to “fix” the problem will be insignificant.

      5) We OUGHT to do something about Climate Change…but those somethings should more or less be anticipating the kinds of demographic and economic shifts that climate change will drive, and how those may impact our strategic outlook.

      • 1) Climate IS changing.

        And has been since the Earth was created

        2) Mankind contributes *some* amount to this change

        Got any proof of that? Mars has gotten warmer and cooler in sync with Earth, and all mankind has sent there runs on solar power and batteries. Seems solar output correlates with these cycles, oddly enough. 🙂

        3) Whether or not the amount of man’s contribution is significant is what is up for debate…

        Exactly the point this cult never wants to address.

        4) If mankind is an insignificant tertiary source of climate change…then odds are, our efforts to “fix” the problem will be insignificant.

        I think such efforts are a result of hubris: mankind just is not that powerful. The system is too big for anything we do to change the balance. Even total nuclear war would only shift the needle a bit for a short time (decades at most)

        5) We OUGHT to do something about Climate Change…

        Why? The oceans are NOT rising, the losses in one area are balanced by gains in another (warmer temps, for instance, hurt farming in Texas, but help in Canada…) and so on.

        This is just an excuse to transfer wealth and political power.

        • 2) I find it convincing, the notion of “greenhouse gasses”. If such an effect on climate is true, then the addition of green house gasses IS a contribution. That being said, all evidence points to the fact that 99.999% of green house gasses are naturally produced. That maybe something like .001% of them are man-made is STILL a contribution. Leading directly into my point 3. I am curious why you wholeheartedly agree with point 3 but take offense at point 2. I see the two points going hand in hand.

          5) Maybe I wasn’t clear. The “things” we OUGHT to do about climate change “should more or less be anticipating the kinds of demographic and economic shifts that climate change will drive, and how those may impact our strategic outlook.” As the climate warms, easily arable territories (read as bread baskets of the world) will gradually move towards the poles, while the line between arid territories and tropical territories will also move pole-ward. This will increasingly make life EASIER in areas that are currently well developed and relatively advanced already. This will increasingly make life more expensive in areas that are currently resource poor (other than oil). This WILL drive increasingly hungry populations pole-ward. Demographic shifts even though gradual, marginal and minute, over time amount to MASSIVE demographic shifts…and those kinds of changes MUST be anticipated and planned for by nations interested in their strategic outlooks.

          • Case in point, for a great period of time, climate was MUCH warmer in the northern hemisphere. Sudden drop around 1900 years ago (yet still warmer than today) would have disrupted an agricultural equilibrium and sent nations into relative instability. Climate adjusted back up for about 2-300 years around 350 AD to 650 AD. In cultural history this is about the time Scandinavian cultures were consolidating and developing complexity. This increased agricultural AND societal efficiency, coupled with isolation from external threats led to a local population boom. Then around 600 AD the climate began a 200-300 year PLUMMET which would have contracted arable land AND arable time frame for the Scandinavians with population still higher than equilibrium.

            Well, hungry men do desperate things and the rest is Viking history.

            Climate of course isn’t 100% deterministic. Viking expansion has multiple motivations, but Climate change DOES affect human movements.

            • If such an effect on climate is true…

              I dispute that. The ice cores that were used to popularize the concept did not show CO2 levels rising before temperature increases (or the opposite), but that they lagged.

              But if I was to stipulate the concept, how does one account for the fact that volcanoes can dump thousands of times the concentration of CO2 into the atmosphere than man has done in the last 200 years combined? This does not happen every year, either: certain years have higher rates of eruptions, and some eruptions produce more gas. Yet the climate seems to accept the varied input with nary a bobble. I don’t think CO2 is the monster it has been made up to be.

              Leading directly into my point 3. I am curious why you wholeheartedly agree with point 3 but take offense at point 2. I see the two points going hand in hand.

              Nah, I made fun of progressives climate cultists with my answer to 3. See my answer to #4: the thinking that man causes Climate Change is hubris, and a scam to boot.

              The “things” we OUGHT to do about climate change… Climate change DOES affect human movements.

              Mankind has dealt with changes to regional climate since his creation. You have good points about how some of them did so (conquest) and I could add how others chose a different course (nomadic lifestyles in Africa and the steppes of Asia, tenacious hardscrabble clinging to land in Afghanistan)

              Perhaps we are not really opposed on this point? Man will adapt when the climate changes, and now that we have communications and a community of nations, we should address how the world community handles that. I fear, however, that the adoption of this new religion/scam will hamper or completely derail rational discussion along the vein.

              Please understand I am dispassionately discussing the topic: there is no animus toward you personally or your views. Good discussion!

      • Rich in CT

        We have this notion in our minds of lab coated brainiacs running through deliberative experiments to either falsify or strengthen a “guess” (hypothesis) about some process. That’s only one *method* of science.

        Actually, all science is statistical analysis. Every bit of it builds a mathematical model, and tests it against real-life data. Statistics are used to prove or disprove the validity of the model compared to the collected data. No mathematic model can account for all possible factors, even in the most simple of situations, so statistics test whether the model sufficiently predicts the dominant characteristics.

        In the case of climate change, the model must represent the whole earth, including 7 billion human contributors, 1000 billion+ animal contributors, untold plant, bacterial, and fungal contributors, as well as 160,000 cubic miles of geological contributors. The models may take a while to properly calibrate.

        • Thanks for the clarification, what I was getting at, are guys running experiments are deliberating trying to produce a consistent set of data within a controlled environment, from which conclusions about preconceived notions can be confirmed or denied. Climate Scientists? Doing what they can within a given world view and value set to glean through a mountain of very incomplete data in a very uncontrolled environment.

          They are philosophers.

  3. Ethics Topics:

    Ick vs Aww (yes actually)
    Child Abuse
    Proportionality in Punishment
    Public Humiliation
    The Internet is Forever

    • The punishment itself is fine, but the fact that he posted it to the internet to bully her and humiliate her are the problem. It’s actually hypocritical (or an eye for an eye).

      • I tend to lean this direction. Though I debate about the proportionality of exposure…being 36 degree weather. While I know that walking generates enough heat to keep one warm, that corrals me back in to general agreement with your take.

        • Luke G

          They’re from Ohio, which is next door to my home state of Michigan. If it’s the northern half of Ohio, 36 degrees in December is “a bit brisk” and you “might want to grab a long sleeved shirt.”

          • Michael R.

            Agreed. My son loves to play in weather like that. I have to demand that he put on a coat. He usually then takes it off because he says his shirt is warm enough.

      • Luke G

        Agreed, especially (from the articles I read) he didn’t make her walk the whole 5 miles. It would be counterproductive for a punishment (bus suspension) to result in a privelige (a chauffeured ride in a private car rather than suffering the miserable school bus). Allowing her to undergo some controlled, supervised, suffering will hopefully help her appreciate the impact of the suspension.

        Of course, one could also say that his punishment centers on the suspension rather than the bad act- Placing the emphasis on the unpleasantness of a bus suspension rather than on the bullying could inadvertently teach the lesson “don’t get caught” rather than “don’t do the deed.”

        • I think all punishment centers around “Don’t Get Caught”, no? Of course, some punishments have the added effect of trying to improve one’s mental & emotional health – i.e. intervention, self-reflection. To that point, I like that she’s walking by herself while he’s stalking her from behind. She’s alone to contemplate what put her in this position and her dad’s right behind her showing that he cares and it’s worth his time. If he cares this much when she gets caught, she has to think, “What’s he willing to do the next time? Or maybe this time isn’t over…maybe he proactively reaches out to my targets and invites them to dinner? What if he starts his own investigating to monitor my future behavior and I have less freedom?”

          I dunno…just some random ideas.

          • Luke G

            Very true, and of course we have no way of knowing what kind of talking to (or, perhaps more likely, “chewing out”) she got about the bullying.

            I think this country is far too afraid to let kids do things like walk to school alone- but given that it was 5 miles and assuming walking to school alone wasn’t a common occurrence, it was absolutely appropriate for him to be alongside.

  4. Unethical Website:

    https://intersectionalityscore.com/

    Ties in nicely with Ethics Dunce Kirsten Gillibrand’s comment about the “future of America”.

    Ethics Topics:
    Divisiveness
    Unity within a Culture
    Ranking Immutable Characteristics
    Implying Self-Selected Characteristics are automatically detrimental

    • dragin_dragon

      I scored 21 and am more privileged than 65% of the pop. Will H.E.B. accept that as payment for this months groceries?

      • Compared to me d_d, percentage-wise you’re downright cosmopolitan!

        This ain’t golf, so it pains me to claim I racked up (down?) Lucky 13.

        Something tells me I surrendered a LOT of points by being non-Christian/Muslim/Jewish & being White/Straight/Cisgender.

        Not 1 minute prior, someone from the 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality got an 11.

        So I got that goin’ for me, which is NICE!

    • Jeff

      Man, that site is perhaps the purest example of Poe’s Law I’ve ever seen. It’s impossible to tell if they’re serious or if it’s an incredibly sharp satire of the whole “intersectionality” movement. I want to believe it’s the latter, but I fear it’s the former.

      • The Shadow

        My first thought as well (as someone with a score of 3 – probably would have been 1 if I were more wealthy).

      • Luke G

        In their explanation of why they use sliders instead of discrete options they point out that sexuality exists on a spectrum, you can be varying degrees of observant in a religion, and you can be native born but “travel abroad frequently.” The last one… still falls squarely into Poe’s law territory.

    • Michael R.

      I filled it out for a welder I know. He scored an 8. I didn’t know welder’s were that upper-crust.

      • Michael R.

        I guess welder’s are that upper crust. I filled it out for someone else I know and they scored a 12 despite the fact that they live on in Indian housing!

    • I scored a 12… more privileged than 79% of others.

      What a load of bullshit.

      • ”I scored a 12… more privileged than 79% of others.”

        Sheeeewt; 12’s only one fewer’n Lucky 13.

        ”What a load of bullshit.”

        All is not lost slick, check with former (?) Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, she may have some points lying around somewhere.

    • It’s interesting to play with the sliders and see what they weigh as more important. Gender, Sexuality, and race seem to have the heaviest weight to them. While this includes age and handicaps as on the sliders, I think those two are just as profound as race and gender. Somehow I got a 45 before I started testing it, so they probaby think I am a horrible traitor to not agree with their programs.

  5. Oh and double dipping is unethical.

  6. Jeff

    An amusing tale of a Bridezilla gone off the rails that has been making the rounds of late:

    https://www.boredpanda.com/thousand-dollar-wedding-dress-code-invitation-bridezilla-hawaii/

    There are almost too many ethics topics to list in this one.

    • Alex

      A wiser person than me once said “When the wedding is more important than the marriage, you can bet on divorce”. I cannot think of a more clear example of that than this invitation.

    • A.M. Golden

      It’s also a Golden Rule violation. Would she want to be treated this way?

      There is a point where you are no longer a guest at an event, but become part of the entertainment or even a host. Miss Manners deftly handles queries from presumed guests who are understandably confused about surcharges for attending a wedding or birthday party:

      https://www.uexpress.com/miss-manners/2018/12/4/3

    • Jeff

      I think my favorite part is the “Polygraph Party”, in which our amateur interrogator is certain that her $99 “lie detector” from Amazon will divine the culprit who exposed her lunacy to the world. She promises not to “retaliate”, only to cut that person out of her life entirely and “talk shit about them”.

      Perhaps a fitting wedding gift would be a dictionary with the definition of “retaliate” highlighted…

      Setting aside the litany of mental health issues this woman seems to be struggling with, is it ethical for her friend to have posted this to the wide world without her permission? Is there any real expectation of privacy in a restricted Facebook group?

      How about the ethics of segregating your friends by their body weight and making the heavier ones dress up as the evil and unwanted elements of your New Age psychodrama?

  7. The New York leguslature is considering a bill designed to reduce gang violence.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/11/25/gun-license-social-media/

    Apparently, by checking social media it is believed that it may expose some applicants for gun licenses as gang members, thus justifying denial of a permit.

    What could go wrong?

    Has any law designed to curb gang violence resulted in civil rights violations?

    • Aleksei

      This is doubleplus good.

    • Joe Fowler

      “it may expose some applicants for gun licenses as gang members”…
      All of the gang members that I’ve known have been sticklers for fully and accurately completing government paperwork, such as gun permit applications.

      • This is just another way for New York to deny gun permits to the law abiding: the gang angle is window dressing.

        Wanna bet they do not have to tell you WHY they denied you?

        For instance, if you voted for Trump, you are by definition a terrorist and cannot have a gun…

        • Joe Fowler

          Of course it’s nonsense. The idea of requiring applicants to divulge all of their social media passwords is designed to intimidate people. It would be fun to see what is considered ‘social media’ by the State of New York. Pornhub? Ashley Madison? YouTube comments? EBay seller reviews? This interaction we’re having right here?

    • Has any law designed to curb gang violence resulted in civil rights violations?

      According to the courts, Stop and Frisk was a no-no even though it worked.

  8. Here’s one. After reading the full article, I was more confused than ever. It’s a very powerful victim statement followed by a reasonable prosecutor statement the end of the article.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/us/baylor-ex-frat-president-rape-allegation/index.html

      • Only reasonable for those who support soft-on-crime policies.

        Ethan Couch should have gotten the death penalty. Instead, he is a free man now.

        I would sadly not be surprised if Nikolas Cruz was free within three years even if he was convicted.

        I am understanding why Fred Guttenberg wanted to meet Brett Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearings. It would have been wrong for Kavanaugh to meet with Guttenberg, as the former was being considered for a seat on a Court that could very well decide an appeal arising from the Cruz murder trial, and a meeting would undermine the appearance of Kavanaugh’s impartiality regarding the appeal.

        But I do understand Guttenberg’s desire to not want Nikolas Cruz to receive the same sentence Ethan Couch did,.

        • Sorry, Michael Ejercito. This is simply crazy. I just revisited the article and it’s now completely different. The statement that was there by the prosecutor is no longer there and nothing that is currently in the article looks reasonable to me. I wish I had copied and pasted the pertinent quotes to compare to what is now there – it’s simply night and day.

        • Michael R.

          I have wondered about the ethics of citizens shooting criminals when they are legally justified. Should a citizen try at all costs to avoid shooting a criminal when legally justified or should citizens shoot and attempt to kill criminals any time it is legally justified? Sad to say, I am beginning to think the latter is preferable. I will give an example to illustrate why. A man committed 5 home invasions in 1 day in my neighborhood about 2 years ago. During the first 4 home invasions, the residents were armed and drove him off. In the 5th, the resident held him at gunpoint for police (my neighborhood is kind of rough for home invaders). The police told the 5th homeowner he should have killed the man. You may wonder why. The criminal was convicted on all 5 counts of home invasion as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. Justice, right? Well, he has already been released from prison. He severely beat two women while robbing them. He led police on a high speed chase in a stolen car while shooting at them. He was shot and crashed the car (doing extensive property damage). He will require extensive medical care at state expense for the rest of his life. If the homeowner had killed him, those women wouldn’t have been beaten and robbed, the car wouldn’t have been stolen, and the public wouldn’t be paying millions to take care of this criminal. The reason the police have told several people I know that they should have shot the criminals in their homes is that they see this too often. They see a citizen shooting as the best way to keep criminals from preying on the public.

          We really have two criminal justice systems. One is for a career criminal, and it is a joke. They can commit a string of serious crimes. If they happen to get caught, they might get a year or two of confinement, then released. The other is for normally law-abiding citizens. For them, committing one of any number of trivial felonies on the books can get destroy your whole life. Your family will be destroyed, the career you may have spent decades working for will be destroyed, etc. I define a trivial felony as a crime that harms no one and may require an expert with a rulebook to even notice. As an example of a trivial felony, My legislature is trying to pass a law that would make it a felony to possess a long-gun that has had the barrel shortened for any reason, even if that length is much longer than what is required for federal legality. For example, you inherit a shotgun from your grandfather. Unknown to you, someone at sometime shortened the barrel from 36″ to 28″ to remove the choke and fit it with interchangeable choke tubes (28″ barrels with interchangeable choke tubes are probably the longest popular barrel option on shotguns manufactured today). Even though you were unaware of this and you can legally buy a gun EXACTLY LIKE THIS, if it breaks and you take it in for service to a gunsmith, you would be facing a 20 year jail sentence (reasonable gun laws). Two identical guns, but manufactured differently. One is perfectly OK, one is a 20 year felony. That is a trivial felony in my book. On the other hand, someone who brutally rapes an elderly woman may only get 3 years. Two completely different criminal justice systems.

  9. JutGory

    Hmmm….you have to go back to December 6 to see a post with as many comments as this one.

    Kind of makes you wonder if our good host is getting in the way….

    -Jut

    • YOU just HAD to go there!

      Jack should be encouraged for the fine job he does… otherwise we eventually will have to find a new sandbox to play in.

      Always defer to the kid who owns the ball and/or the yard…

    • I suppose we just try to keep it on topic for the regular posts, but this is letting us introduce way too many topics at once. Though, I suppose most of the comments are “introductions” without much ethical analysis. We can do better.

  10. I just read all the comments.

    It’s hard to imagine the group covering themselves and the blog in more glory. Special kudos to Steve for immediately posing a terrific ethics issue, I count at least four excellent topics and more than a couple worthy Comments of the Day. 22 different commenters!

    Thank you, bravo, and brava.

    • 1) “Witch Hunt” specifically invokes the notion that the “witch hunts” were judicially WRONG and ethically aberrant. So the term itself shouldn’t be offensive to ‘witches’.

      2) Really guys?

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