A.M. Open Forum!

Unfortunately, I’m swamped right now, and with a 3-hour government ethics seminar to run in a few hours, I can’t say when I’ll have time to shoot off a post, though there are topics galore. Thus, once again, I am turning over the blog to you, threaders and commentators, in full confidence that you will go do that voodoo that you do so well.

See ya when I see ya.

62 thoughts on “A.M. Open Forum!

  1. So the ever insane and entertaining (from a safe distance) state of California has now decided President Trump cannot be on the ballot in that state unless he releases his tax returns. This is obviously unconstitutional, but what does Cali care? They are apparently related to Honey Badger.

    Disenfranchising voters makes California a much clearer and more present danger to the American republic than anything Trump has ever been. Another step toward de facto secession?

    • Further evidence that they really don’t understand the electoral college.

      Trump could rub it is California’s face: “Take me off the ballot; I won’t win California anyway. The Democrat will get the electoral votes whether or not I am on your ballot. So, why highlight your own meaningless act. Sad.”

      -Jut

      • The problem here is that if “National Popular Vote” ever becomes a thing, keeping a Republican candidate off of California means that they won’t rack up the 4.5 million votes. In a close election where each candidate is pulling between 59-61 million votes nationwide, the candidate *not* on the ballot will lose every time. Then you’ll see the die hard red states keeping democrats off the ballot and we’ll have a debate about who is president when each candidate racks up 30 million votes but from different states.

      • That was my first thought as well. Gov. Newsom is a fool. As if we needed more evidence, here’s something he wrote in his his signing statement:

        “The United States Constitution grants states the authority to determine how their electors are chosen, and California is well within its constitutional right to include this requirement” (source: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article232697722.html)

        Ah! So because states can determine how their electors are chosen, they have a right to deny ballot access to otherwise constitutionally qualified candidates. Makes perfect sense. Thank you, Gov. Newsom.

    • Even crazy Jerry Brown vetoed this law, recognizing it could set a bad precedent down the line. It’s also probably unconstitutional, the requirements to be president are spelled out in the Constitution and states don’t get to say “these are the requirements everywhere except here.” I can only imagine what would have happened if Texas had passed a law barring Obama from the ballot unless he released his birth certificate.

    • “So the ever insane and entertaining (from a safe distance) state of California has now decided President Trump cannot be on the ballot in that state unless he releases his tax returns.”

      I presume that such a law has not actually passed.

      If passed…

      This would be a state government creating a “law” that would intentionally infringe upon the constitutional rights of every Republican/Conservative voters in the state of California based purely on political opinions. This kind of unconstitutional subversive (maybe even treasonous) act against the United States of America on the part of a state government to selectively stripping citizens of their constitutional rights based on political beliefs is outright government persecution and would likely put every politician that votes for it in federal prison for many years. The federal government would be forced to step in immediately after such a law is passed and remove the politicians that passed such a law and jail any person that tries to enforce such a law in an effort to secure individual constitutional rights. This would be an unprecedented and immediate constitutional crisis and could start a civil war if lunatic lefties actually tried to enforcement that kind of law. The supreme court of the United States would be immediately involved.

        • “to appear on the primary ballot”. What does that mean for the general election? Just because Trump forfeits the california primary, doesn’t mean he can’t be the designated national candidate in the General, right?

          • Does a primary have different standards on laws regarding infringing on the voting rights of citizens? I think not.

            Isn’t it still the same infringement of constitutional rights as it would be in a general election? I think so.

            California’s argument about his tax returns is a completely bogus argument, there is no such condition for any candidate.

            This law should be struck down in federal court.

            • I’m sure it will be, but I’m just focusing on the language of the measure so that it can be “loopholed” out of relevance. In Colorado, we went to “independents can vote in the primaries”…so the GOP is now not going to do any primary ballots – only caucusing – which only involves GOP members.

              • “In Colorado, we went to “independents can vote in the primaries”…so the GOP is now not going to do any primary ballots – only caucusing – which only involves GOP members.”

                Yup, I heard about that and I have absolutely no problem with that, it’s the GOP’s choice. I think you will likely see the same thing happen in other states as state houses change primary voting laws. In some states you need not register as a party member to vote in a primary, a Republican can vote in the Democratic primary and vice-versa (as long as they only vote in one primary) thus stacking the deck in favor of what the opposition might consider easily beatable candidates. Personally I like the caucus, it inspires a little more direct involvement from voters as opposed to robots pulling voting booth levers knowing nothing beyond the TV ads they are bombarded with.

    • I have no problem with this as long as there is a corresponding amendment stating that no on can publically discuss the information contained therein or make any representation of the content. Failure to comply would be a felony and any broadcast of that information would be subject to civil forfeiture law of all equipment used to brodcast that information.

      In short, if the public wants to evaluate someone’s taxes they must develop their own analysis and will not be able to simply take another’s word for it.

  2. https://quillette.com/2019/07/25/a-canadian-human-rights-spectacle-exposes-the-risks-of-unfettered-gender-self-id/

    Thus far the U.S. hasn’t had a case where a man who identifies as a transgender woman has tried to force female estheticians to wax his balls. Thomas Sowell has talked about how trying to bring (cosmic) justice to one group could create injustice to other peoples and groups. How do we ethically & legally deal with gender self-ID when it’s potentially used for nefarious purposes?

    • Yaniv is what we Millenials call a “lolcow”, if a dangerous one.

      Usually I use the pronouns that trans people prefer, because I see it as the kind thing to do, and being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole isn’t really constructive (unless they get preemptively militant or bastardly about it, in which case I respond in kind.), but in Yaniv’s case, I don’t.

      I don’t because I don’t believe he’s trans. He has every indication of being a pedophile and an active predator, he has inappropriate chat-logs with underage girls, including asking advice on the proper use of pads and tampons (aside: ew), he seems overly interested in the voyeuristic experience, asking women and girls things like how often they see tampon strings (again: ew) or bare chests in change rooms, he takes “selfies” in bathrooms and locker rooms that just so happen to always have other people in them, he hasn’t started medically transitioning, he still identifies as male on most of his online presence. and perhaps the worst is that he has tried on several occasions to host “all-ages LGBTQ+ friendly, topless parties” where he’s asked parents to consent to their children attending, with the promise not to attend (Funny thing: He can’t find parents stupid enough to sign his release forms, go figure). He is the poster child for what the right has been warning of regarding predators putting on a dress to be degenerates in women-only spaces. It ought to surprise no one that Yaniv is also the type of person who happens to file lawsuits against beauticians who offer female-only services for not wanting to wax his balls.

      Back to “lolcow”. A lolcow is someone who is borderline deranged and exhibits all the stereotypes of a strawman one side of the political discussion regularly uses against the other, but doesn’t often exist in nature. Because of their relative scarcity, they are held up on a pedestal where people can laugh at them and milk them for online views. Hence: lolcow.

      Generally, lolcows shouldn’t be taken seriously. But in this case, I don’t know how you couldn’t. Usually, loons on the internet are just loons on the internet, but in this case, Yaniv is bleeding into our legal system and real-life interactions. And worse, because the left has invested so much infrastructure on Trans rights and the cult of belief and biological non-determinism, they are uniquely ill-equipped to deal with him.

      • I shared the “pool party” story on a Facebook page and was told by someone that Yaniv was just an irrelevant troll. I pointed out (as you just did) that his city government is taking him seriously, and if he wins the right to force women to wax his junk and/or the right to host topless, no-parents pool parties, then it’s a larger cultural issue and a big deal. It ended with him unfollowing me. I can’t even get a casual liberal to be on “my side” when someone claiming to be a “trans lesbian” wants access to topless 12-year old girls. By saying Yaniv is “just a troll” they are really saying, “this makes us look bad so just ignore it, we’re not going to admit that any of this was a bad direction to go in. We’re too committed at this point.”

        • This is disturbing, but consistent, and what I encountered in the “diverse, all-female” story, which I largely pasted into a post on Facebook. People, smart people, actually argued that an all-female staff could still be called diverse, and that I was the one warping the language to suggest otherwise. These individuals reject integrity; they can’t admit that something is wrong that reflects badly on “the team” even if there is no possible way to deny it.

          • I came to that same conclusion. Apparently Mario Lopez is walking back statements that were a fairly common sense understanding of youth transition. I guess one either goes along or else.

            I’ll take or else.

      • Usually I use the pronouns that trans people prefer, because I see it as the kind thing to do

        I’ll use your preferred pronoun if it is “he” or “she.” I refuse to memorize anybody’s preposterous made-up pronouns. And if you have a penis now or ever had one in the past, but prefer to be called “she,” and I happen to forget sometime, I will ignore any ill-natured complaints.

  3. Behavioral Dependence: Is a form of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-substance-related behavior – sometimes called a natural reward despite any negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social or financial well-being.

    I think we might be witnessing a severe outbreak of behavioral dependence in the United States of America. I see what seems to be this kind of behavior being exhibited daily by President Trump, the left leaning media, Democrats in Congress, progressives in general and social justice warriors of all kinds across the board. Compulsive behaviors to feed some internal need seems to be dominating nearly all aspects of political discourse and actively thinking before reacting is nearly gone. If you stand up against the behavior, you’re attacked; if you ignore the behavior you enable it and those with differing opinions claim that you’re condoning terrible things like racism.

    Fighting the good fight has become a lose-lose and personally I think that is exactly what the extreme political left wants. They’ve been doing it for year\s. They want those they oppose to feel it’s futile to fight their constant attacks so their opposition will just walk away or compromise to absurdity leaving them to control everything. This seems to be the same strategy that Trump is using; HA, Trump is using the same tactic that the political left has been using for years, wear them down until they give up – the political left is too stupid to recognize it.

    How do we as a society deal with this kind of dependence when it is dominating nearly everything we see and hear and clearly it’s aiding in our society tumbling into the abyss.

  4. Another democrat Congressional POC, (Alexandria-OCRAZYo-Cortez) ignoring their RAT-INFESTED district while trying to establish open borders for illegals!

    Mark my words; Lynn Patton, Administrator of HUD’s Region II (NY & NJ), and reportedly a POC herself, will be ruthlessly descended upon by the gutless Lefty Social Media mob!

    Keep it up Lefties, the voters ARE WATCHING!

  5. I nominate Ibrahim Samirah, obnoxious VA state lawmaker-Democrat, of course- who apparently thinks disruptive behavior at a presidential address is the way to get a message across, as an Ethics Dunce. Kudos to the Capitol Police for frog-marching him out within a minute. Kudos also to the president for continuing with his speech like nothing all that important happened, because it didn’t. Apparently Samirah is another incorrigible, hateful, and obnoxious Muslim hater like Ilhan Omar, he’s already been in trouble for anti-Semitism, same as her, tweeting that Ariel Sharon should “burn” and other anti-Israel rhetoric 5 years ago when he was in college and “impassioned.”

    This is the Democratic Party of the future, folks. The old upper echelon like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have already shown they not only can’t control these hateful, obnoxious loudmouths, in fact they are losing control of the party to them. AOC is very popular with the younger generation, and the media hangs on her every word. Ilhan Omar is treated like she’s the latest goddess of progress, like she can hide everything, even out and out anti-Semitism, behind her hijab and never has to answer questions. Now this guy’s going to become a media darling. The future is the party of hatred, anger, bullying, and racism. Such a good look.

    • Wow, that is brazen. I can see someone running an extension cord in an emergency situation, but to park the car on the guy’s lawn? It’s not ethical to do so, but it would have been very hard for me to resist inflicting some kind of damage (maybe just let the air out of all four tires, and offer the guy an air-compressor rental at, say, $50 per minute) on the car, if it were my house.

      For sure, though, the dude would come back to find his charging cord in several neatly-chopped pieces, almost as if someone took a very sharp machete to it. I am a flawed human being, I admit it. I’m working on it, but until then, don’t park your car in my yard without permission.

      • Using a machete (or a lawn mower) on the charging cord would be unethical, if satisfying.

        Calling a tow truck would be a reasonable response, at the owner’s expense. The car is parked on my grass: I know of people who would have come to plows for mere dog poop on their precious zoysia, and a sprinkler system could have been damaged by a car driving over it as well.

        Notice that the police had to track down the owner here: who leaves a Tesla just lying around? This was discovered at NOON the following day! This implies a certain lack of respect for the one you were stealing power from, amiright? Why not plug in at the nearby friend’s house, with permission? This boggles the mind as to the car owner’s priorities and general antisocial mindset.

        • ”This boggles the mind as to the car owner’s priorities and general antisocial mindset.”

          Perhaps his/her needs haven’t been met…?

          Years of faux ”self-esteem” training/indoctrication (always hearing “gosh, you’re special,” never hearing the word “no,”) leads one to believe that nothing they do can possibly be judged as wrong; all Id zero SuperEgo.

          Like my Dear 94 + year old Father always says: “Paulie, if your dog’s stupid, it isn’t your dog’s fault.”

  6. Silly question time: What does “xenophobia” mean when talking about the USA? If the M.O. of the USA is a cultural melting pot that embraces diversity, and xenophobia is about being nationalist and protecting the status quo – does it become sort of a “double negative” turning into a positive?

    • Whoa there, Tim. You’d better watch it with xenophobic rhetoric like “melting pot.” How dare you suggest that immigrants give up their foreign identities and assimilate into some kind of homogenized “American” culture! America is a “tossed salad”—no one needs to “melt” or blend in to be a part of this nation. They don’t even need to come here “legally,” you bigoted fascist racist, you!

    • I think you’ve made a false dichotomy. America IS a melting pot. America DOES protect the status quo.

      America is about what works best.

      The best part about melting pot is that we are constantly receiving NEW inputs for improvement. Every culture brings good things and brings baggage. There is an expectation that new arrivals adopt EVERYTHING good about America and leaving behind what is terrible. For some cultures, this means leaving behind a lot. It also means that the receiving culture (America) will take everything great about your culture and use it to it’s full potential. For some cultures, this means adopting a some things (dare I say “appropriating”) into the greater “American” culture.

      But America will protect the status quo. We presume that after 250 years as a nation and 500 years in the new world under the general cultural imperative of *pragmatism*, we’ve got ALOT OF THINGS figured out. If your culture doesn’t add, then the problem is your culture, not ours. If your culture adds, then America will adopt.

  7. I have an item from my small town (<10,000 people) in a very rural area (county population <20,000) for discussion or ethical analysis. I mention the size of the town and county as well as the fact that it is 100 miles to anything resembling a larger population, 250+ to the nearest real city, because I think that it is pertinent. I am struggling with my ideas on this and people here tend to analyze things differently than I do. So, without further ado, what is ethical/unethical in the following scenario.

    Scene: a local grocery store at 9 AM, with about ten shoppers in the whole store. A very pregnant woman is grocery shopping with two additional children under five. The store is small, with cramped aisles and the woman leaves the cart with the kids strapped in the practically deserted action alley near a major cross aisle to grab one item from another nearby aisle in the opposite direction (think of a big T). Her children are well behaved, and she leaves them alone (is not touching the cart) for no more than 3 minutes, is out of sight for maybe 1 as she grabs a single item and waddles back. A grocery store employee (just your average joe, not a supervisor, owner, etc) in that time, sprints over to the cart, grabs it, and to the screaming of the previously happy and quiet children, starts trying to wheel it to the customer service desk. By the time she is back, due to the size of the cart and the cramped nature of the store, he has not been able to fully turn it around to face the desk. She rushes over and politely grabs the cart back and he then accosts her about the store’s “no unattended children policy” that is not posted anywhere though could be logically presumed. After she is berated for several minutes, he walks off huffily and she, obviously angry, struggles to turn the cart the direction she originally had it and heads off in that direction, to another section of the store, presumably to get more stuff.

    My question is, was the woman behaving unethically, especially given the cramped nature of the aisles, to leave her well behaved children for very little time in no one’s way? Should she have taken the extra five or so minutes that taking a cart down those skinny aisles and back would have cost her, so that she would never have let go of the cart with her children in it? Is the fact that she left her kids for only 3 minutes max acceptable in a small town but not in a city? Is the fact that she was very heavily pregnant even worth mentioning in the scenario? Can a pregnant woman get away with a little more than a non-pregnant woman in this kind of situation? What about the grocery employee? Was he right to try and move the kids to the customer service desk to make a point? Is the fact that he scared the kids, who were quiet and behaving, causing them to cry and scream for quite some time after at all important to the analysis or is it simply that the mother left them alone for a very short while all that matters. Finally, was he right to berate the mother for her behavior?

    I have been trying to analyze this, and I believe that I keep thinking there was no harm (and very little potential for harm) to the children, so the mother did not act unethically. Again, this is a small town, in a small county, in the middle of nowhere, so the potential for kidnappers is even smaller than that of a crowded city. No one was harmed by the mother’s actions, as the children were strapped in and not causing damage. They were also quiet, for children of that age, and happy. The thin aisle was very nearly empty, so I presume she assumed that the cart would not be in anyone else’s way. (It wasn’t) I also feel the store employee acted unethically, first, by rushing over to presumably make a point, by grabbing the cart, scaring the kids, and then yelling at their mother who, again my possibly flawed analysis states, did no wrong.

    Does anyone have any better analysis for me to think about? I really want to consider this better.

    • Sara,
      Both the Mother and the store employee were wrong. the mother should not have left the children alone and the store employee could have waited for the mother around the cart making sure the kids were ok and explained to the mother that what she did was inappropriate.

      The mother leaving the children alone and the employee moving the cart with the children in it were both wildly inappropriate but the store employee should have been disciplined for his actions. You do not mess with unattended children unless they are in physical danger.

      • So again, I realize I’m fighting against my biases, but when you say the mother was wrong for leaving her children for very little time, why?

        My understanding of how to tell if something is unethical involves direct harm. No one was harmed by this. The children were not harmed, the store was not harmed, and we the patrons were not harmed. In fact, the potential for harm was extremely small. The children were secured in appropriate straps (I’ve used that cart before, and kids can’t get out without help), they weren’t able to get hurt or touch merchandise. No one was delayed even slightly by her taking up the long skinny aisle, as I was the only other person in the aisle and I was going the opposite direction. From a practical standpoint, no one else could have gotten to the cart without deliberately sprinting there, and there weren’t enough people in the store who could sprint as it was 9 AM which means old lady hour. Kidnapping was highly unlikely, as even when someone (the store employee) sprinted, turning the cart to head out the door took far longer than it took for the mother to get back. Finally, the children were well behaved, so none of us had to listen to screaming while the mother was away from the cart, which again, was very little time.

        I do not understand how this is wildly inappropriate behavior from the mother, or why she was wrong, though again, I recognize that this may be my bias speaking. Can you please explain your reasoning further?

        • Sara,
          If you focus on the actions and nothing else it might help you.

          1. The mother left the children unattended for roughly 3 minutes.

          2. The store employee tried to move the unattended children to an undisclosed location (undisclosed ) without the permission of the parent.

          Why they made their choices and the outcome of those choices is irrelevant.

          Here’s a fact for you; all the mother had to do was roll the cart with her children with her and the problem would never have come up.

          Simple choices up front can avoid unintended consequences because of stupid choices.

          • So I am still not understanding the problem, perhaps it is because I am unethical in raising my own children, but I did look at the issues. I agree with point two, but am still perplexed by your analysis of point one. I suppose my question is, why is leaving children unattended for a short time automatically unethical? I have an argument for why that cannot be, but before I write a treatise, I would prefer to hear what you have to say. This includes if I misunderstood why you are saying she was wildly inappropriate and unethical in leaving her kids for a minute. Given the attitude of the employee, I assume there must be a good reason that I’m wrong in my analysis, but I can’t yet comprehend your side.

            • I agree with you, Sarah, and, frankly, I think you and Steve are operating from different principles. Having said that, I:

              Will freely wander away from my grocery cart if I think of something I forgot 5 aisles back;

              Never leave my cart unattended with a child in it, as it is very easy for them to fall their way out and/or worse (which is why I rarely shop with them; I like wandering myself);

              Never leave them unattended in a motor vehicle (flashback to Jack’s recent post about kids in cars dying from heatstroke);

              Feel guilty when I leave them alone in a vehicle sitting parked in my driveway so I can run back in and get whatever damned stuffed animal, blanket, or water bottle they must have before pulling out of the driveway;

              Feel stupid for feeling the aforementioned guilt;

              Feel angry that stupid people who leave their kids to die of heat stroke in a car define the lowest common denominator that then is used to judge my actions.

              -Jut

              • Jut
                I don’t see comparing leaving a child unattended in a grocery cart for a moment is on par with forgetting about them and then leaving them in a hot car.

                A more apt comparison would be letting your child play on playground equipment while mom sits on a bench 50 feet away texting on a phone.

              • Ok Steve, but really, I’m looking for someone else’s opinion, not my own.

                In general, leaving children alone for a while is a neutral act, I think. I disagree that it is unethical for two main reasons.

                My main argument that leaving children unattended for short periods of time, even in public, is not unethical is because it is impractical. I will use my own life as an example. As a mother, especially in smaller stores with their tiny bathrooms, I cannot void without leaving my children unattended due to physics, specifically, that one cannot have two objects occupying the same space simultaneously. I cannot always help but to use public restrooms, unless I never leave the house, which means that I cannot pay bills or get groceries, or do any of the other things that are required for living in society. I am fortunate as my husband does what he can, but works long hours that often do not allow him to run those errands. Consequently, I must be in public, sometimes running errands for hours due to the nature of life. If I am out of my house with my children, I must void occasionally and in a small town with many stores out of historical buildings, bathrooms are tiny, often too tiny to permit me to bring the whole family. What about if I am out with a small boy, say six? That is fairly young to leave unattended, but too old to take into the woman’s restroom, if it isn’t a one hole-er. He must be left unattended when toileting. (I have no boys, but many of my friends do). We can also say that there are other times a parent must leave a child alone, when they have more than one. Last year my town was hit hard by several different stomach viruses. Anyone with children can tell you that they can be healthy one minute and power puking the next. If you are caring for one, you may have to leave any others unattended, not only for physics, but also to reduce chance of transmission. The chance of this happening in public if you have any errands or other activities outside of the home is high.

                Finally, when a new baby is born, the pediatricians and OBs emphasize that it does not hurt a newborn to be out of sight, not held, and unheard, as long as they are in a safe place for up to 15 minutes. This is due to teaching people how to avoid shaken baby syndrome, because the sleep deprivation and non-stop crying can be intense. However, if a newborn is safe for 15 minutes when variables are controlled, why not an older child? This presumed controlled variables on the part of the parent, but I think that’s a fair presumption to start with.

                Between the fact that it is practically impossible for a parent to have constant surveillance of their children due to the needs of nature and the fact that medical professionals say that, as long as certain limits are placed, even newborns can be safe alone for a few minutes, I cannot see why the very act of leaving a child or children alone for a short while is automatically unethical. Obviously the circumstances surrounding the act can make it unethical, and that is where I am wondering if I’m missing something.

                • I wonder about how Steve views ‘free range’ parenting? Is it unethical to allow your child to walk a block to the playground by themselves? Play outside in the yard?

                  Fair disclosure: I was raised very rural, and was basically kicked out of the house and told to amuse myself. I ranged far and wide as a child (6? 7? certainly 8) with my trusty dog by my side. This was considered normal at that time and in that place.

                  Were my parents unethical? If so, I invite you to take a look at inner city children’s lives: dare you call parents in the ‘hood unethical when they have no choice but to let the kids roam the block?

                  • “I wonder about how Steve views ‘free range’ parenting? Is it unethical to allow your child to walk a block to the playground by themselves? Play outside in the yard?”

                    That really all depends on the age, maturity, individual personality of the children, and how the children have been prepared for the responsibility of relative freedom.

                    Unfortunately, there are some lazy parents that use free range parenting as an excuse not to teach or discipline their children and they pawn off the responsibility to the rest of society and unfortunately “most” of society just walks on by ignoring the problems. I’ve seen and read about some free range parenting absurdities. In my opinion, many free range parents are neglecting their children and stunting their mental growth at a time in their lives where they need limitations to help them learn properly. Also, society is really not doing their job to help “steer” these parents back to reality.

                    Sure it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to “raise” an effective parent. Society needs to step up and get involved when we see something wrong – just like the young kids left unattended in a shopping cart when that shopping cart with the kids could have just as easily been pushed along on it wheels so the children could be attended by their mother.

      • Steve,
        There are degrees of wrongness.
        You have not explained what the mom did wrong. You have imputed a bias of your own that children left alone for a minute or two are in serious jeopardy anywhere and everywhere. I am not sure that such imputation is either correct or warranted.

        The mother may have had a better environmental assessment than anything we could surmise here. I am discounting the claim that the store had a policy against leaving children unattended as Sara states such a policy is not posted. I also do not agree that consequentialism is a rationale to excuse a behavior here. Consequentialism should only be used when the behavior is without a doubt unethical. Otherwise every claim that someone is in the wrong is rationalized as correct due to consequentialism. Could it be claimed that picking up a product to examine it with no intention to buy is unethical and because I did not drop it and break it that was consequentialism. I dont think so

        Unethical behavior requires harm being caused to another. In this case only the employee caused harm. And, if in fact the no unattended children policy did exist the management was the proximate cause of harm to the employee and the customer. Every activity incurs risk the question always requires an seat of the pants expected value calculation. If the probability of harm is infintesimally small even if the cost is high the expected value is also infintesimally small. Buying lotto tickets is a good example. Neither buying or not buying them is ethical unless harm to a third party exists.

        Bottom line in my hypothetical store. Heavily pregnant woman customer arrives toting two additional kids and I have a clerk available who apparently has nothing to do but patrol the aisles looking for violaters of store policy I woukd tell him/ her to assist that customer.

        The correct course of action would have had the employee keep a watchfull eye on the kids and then ask mom if he could assist her in any way.

        Sara. Here is your answer. If a small town store treats its customers so poorly find another store or invest in developing a competing store with wider aisles and sensible store clerks.

        • Chris it appears we agree on some things and disagree on other things about this.

          “There are degrees of wrongness.”

          I disagree. Either it’s wrong or it’s not. The degrees you are speaking of come into play with the consequences for the wrongdoing, some wrongs earn stiffer consequences than other wrongs.

          “You have not explained what the mom did wrong.”

          Give me a break Chris. I most certainly did explain what the mom did wrong; I quote myself, “The mother left the children unattended for roughly 3 minutes.” You can disagree with that if you want but don’t give me any nonsense that I didn’t explain what she did wrong. Seriously, no more explanation is needed.

          “You have imputed a bias of your own that children left alone for a minute or two are in serious jeopardy anywhere and everywhere. I am not sure that such imputation is either correct or warranted.”

          Again, give me a break Chris. No I did not impute anything of the sort, you’re inserting words into the blank spaces between the lines. I simply stated that it was wrong, or wildly wrong, to leave young children strapped in a shopping cart unattended for that long.

          “Unethical behavior requires harm being caused to another.”

          Requires? I think not. Please tell me where you got that requirement from, I’ve never seen it before. It sounds like consequentialism again, I think I remember a conversation on EA about this very thing. Jack can you fill in the blanks for me on that one, did I get it wrong?

          I really can’t emphasize this enough; all the mother had to do was push the rolling cart with her children strapped in to wherever she was going and the problem would never have come up. Someone please acknowledge that simple fact.

          P.S. I don’t care if the store had a policy or not; if it exists, it’s not relevant to her action it’s only relevant to the consequences.

          • Steve
            You were quite thorough but y66ou cannot argue that leaving children alone is wrong because you left them alone. That is a tautology.
            You have not explaine65d why leaving the children out of sight for less than a minute is wrong. Does a mother have to maintain eye contact on children 24/7 ? How close must a parent be at all times to their child? Is there a difference of proximity and sight at a playground? Would attentiveness to the children preclude any interactions with other adults or reading product labels? What does pregnant mom do if she must quickly use the ladies room. Does she have to pee herself or must she take bith kids into the stall with her?

            JUT pointed the dilemma out when a parent runs back to the house to get a forgotten item and leaves the kids unattended in their child seats for a few minutes. This is grossly different than leaving your kids in a car while you go shopping. Your analysis would make this unethical even if the risk of getting the children back out of the car so they stay with you while retrieving the forgotten item is higher.

            If you want to claim the children were put at risk that is ok but say so and explain how. My statement that you are imputing risk is obvious otherwise there could be no harm. You must be assuming that a strong potentiality of harm could occur. My point about wrongness is that you made both sides equally at fault and this is something to which I disagree. I also stated that mom would have been in a better position to assess potential risk than anyone here.

            Sara was asking was mom being unethical to walk to the next aisle without the cart and kids to get a forgotten item. Neither of us can assess which posed the greatest risk, taking your eyes off your kids for several minutes or having a “heavily” pregnant woman push a heavy cart down narrow aisles in a small grocery. Theoretically, if exposing children to even minimal risk for expediency to accomplish a parental task all parents behave unethically.

            The relative risk of harm is a determining factor in establishing ethical behavior. Everything we do risks harming another. I challenge anyone to dispute that statement. Had mom pushed that cart and suffered a miscarriage that would be consequentialism as well. I would say that the probabilities of any negative consequence would be roughly equal whether mom does as you suggested or did as she did. I might feel differently if I was in different community or had information that affected my situational analysis.

            I live in the world of expected value and risk assessment. Every minute of every day we make subjective valuations based on our experiences and evaluation of current circumstances.

            From my perspective the clerk had a much higher duty to his employer to assist the mother not to harass her or cause her children to be distressed.

            Anyway, good debate.

            • Ok, you made my point, above, far more eloquently that pun I ever could, about the practical aspects of why leaving a child alone for a few minutes is it necessarily unethical. Steve, please look at this, rather than mine.

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