Emergency Open Forum!

 

I just can’t mount the energy or mental acuity to post anything coherent right now, but if I don’t at least open the lines, I may go nuts. I actually just had a WordPress nightmare…I’m serious.

If anyone wants to use this as an opportunity to play “Ask The Ethics Man!,” that might be fun. I think I could respond to direct questions and inquiries I often feature a song called “The Ethics Man” in my musical legal ethics seminars. Sung wittily and well, as always, by my partner Mike Messer, it’s a singalong. There are several versions; I keep updating it. I’m pretty sure you know the Billy Joel classic song it parodies:

It’s time for the CLE seminar
A glum lawyer scowls in the back
He’s paging through the bar’s ethics Rules
While he finishes off a six-pack.

He says, “Help, I am stuck for an ethics rule
I’m not really sure where to look.
One client wants to rat out another one
I don’t think that it’s in the damn book.”

Oh law law law, di da da
Law law law, di di da da dum

        [Chorus]

Sing us the Rules, you’re the ethics man!
Sing us the Rules tonight!
We’re stuck in an ethics dilemma here
So tell us what’s wrong and what’s right!

Now another attorney stares up at me
She says, “This case might win me hate.
An aunt wants to sue her young nephew
For hurting her when he was eight…

Cause he jumped in her arms on his birthday
And her wrist has been bad since that day
She’s his favorite aunt, but recover she can’t
If homeowner’s insurance won’t pay…

Oh law law law, di da da
Law law law, di di da da dum..

The lawyer sued Chrysler for airbags
Chrysler seat belts were his butter and bread
But the company told him to drop it
Or they’d make sure he wished he was dead.

“You have all three kids now at college
You depend on those settlement fees
Drop that airbag case test
Or we’ll slow walk the rest

And put you in the poor house with ease.”

[Chorus]

Sing us the Rules, you’re the ethics man!
Sing us Rules tonight
We’re stuck in an ethics dilemma here
So tell us what’s wrong and what’s right!

It’s a pretty good crowd for a seminar
Cause they need all the hours they can take.
The attorneys aren’t bad, though they sometimes get mad

When my lecturing keeps them awake.
And some of them look at their watches
And some get sharp pains in their heads
While I cite every rule claiming ethics are cool
As they silently wish I were dead.

Oh, Law law law, di da da
Law law law, di di da da dum

        [Chorus]

Sing us the Rules, you’re the ethics man!
Sing us the Rules tonight
We’re stuck in an ethics dilemma here
So tell us what’s wrong and what’s right!

Sing us the Rules, you’re the ethics man!
Sing us the Rules tonight
We’re stuck in an ethics dilemma here
So tell us what’s wrong and what’s right!

124 thoughts on “Emergency Open Forum!

    • Here is a genuine ethics question: I am as white as flour, but was raised in the ‘hood.
      To Joe Biden’s recent blackness comments, what does it mean to be an authentically black person in America?

      Is it your parentage?
      Is it your physical racial characteristics?
      Is it your culture?
      Is it your aesthetic choices?
      Is it your religion?
      Is it your politics?
      Is it your national origin?
      Is it your overt embracing of certain unspecified attitudes?
      Is it where you live?
      Is it how you live?

      Perhaps someone has worked out a Venn diagram of this. I’m serious. And, by the way, who decides? I’m pretty sure no political party or candidate does.

      I vividly recall my father telling me since we were not serving hard liquor at our wedding, I was betraying my Polish heritage. I also remember thinking if that is the deciding factor, I’m glad to be kicked out of being a Pole.

      • Adimagejim I’ve been wondering that too. Imagine if instead of saying the one drop rule meant you were a racial minority, it meant if you had a drop of “white blood” you were white. Could both be true and if so, then who is white and who is not?

        It seems a diverse range of people have a diversity of criteria as to whether you can pass or fail a race test. I saw on Twitter that the creator of the 1619 NYT project said that Biden was talking to those who are “politically black.” It’s as if in her cognitive dissonance she had to reshape the dialectic to rationalize his real thoughts about blacks. She and many others will justify Biden’s belief that he’s king of the “political blacks” because it’s too painful to just admit his musings sound like that of a mindless bigot.

        There’s a documentary called “Uncle Tom” coming out next month. Should be interesting to hear how so many conservative blacks have been told they’re not black.

      • That would be an interesting question to ask Barack Obama. Consider some of the factors: An actual African father, and a white-as-could-be Kansas mother. Raised in a place that is arguably only a state for strategic reasons, and which has the least in common with the history/culture of the other 49. Later, in an Asian country, with an Asian step-father. Attended an Islamic school, but then had a privileged education more typical of a wealthy white child.

        Which factors made him a “black” American?

        • Which factors made him a “black” American?

          There is an answer — there are various series of answers — but no one of them will you like. Again, I use a *general you* to indicate, largely, ‘the world today’.

          One has to start at the beginning: the definition of darkness and ‘color’ was in Europe a European thing. It originated in Medieval metaphysical concepts among people trying to understand the essential nature of salvation by the avatar (not a word they used of course) Jesus Christ. The fact that they had this revelation, this *information* if you wish, created the sense of vast difference to those the early explorers and colonizers came in contact with. The primitivism they saw — when they compared it to what they thought or understood of their self — was shocking. The notion of ‘benightedness’ came to the fore and it was associated with ‘color’. The ideas about color are also steeped in Medieval concepts, since the metal lead (plumbum) being the most dense metal was associated with the heaviest aspect of ‘earth’. But earth in a somewhat different sense than ‘planet’. The Earth was seen as the cesspool of the universe quite literally. Everything eventually drained down into the earth and the earth was also the domain of dark, benighted spirits & of course demons.

          In this situation those who meditated on knowledge and also ‘revelation’ in exalted senses understood that there was a higher, non-physical and *intelligent* dimension that was radically distinct from the leaden earth: the domain of heavy essence. They discerned a Great Chain of Being from the lowest levels of entity (demons & devils) up to the Higher Spheres and the angelical *world* where God exists. All of these ideas still exist in our notions of things, and they definitely exist in our language — our ‘graveyard of meaning’.

          The easiest way to get a sense of this ‘chain of being’ and this metaphysic is to read Shakespeare and to grasp the Elizabethan ‘world-picture’.

          So, it should not be hard to see here that when white explorers, steeped in their unique metaphysics, came in contact with the heathens of the world that it tremendously shocked them and also excited their imaginations. They could not but see their selves as distinct, and it should be obvious that their view of their self and also what they were seeing required an anthropology: a way of grasping what man is. The benighted and barbarian cultures required a schema (a representation that functioned like a diagram) in order for them to interpret what they saw relationally with their own self. And it should be obvious at this point that in most cases the most dark were mostly the most heathen, the most barbarian, and the closest to ‘the earth’ in that metaphysical sense. There they were down in the depth and what did they require? The enlightenment of revelation. This fit — it still fits in certain senses of course — into their viewstructure, as I am sure that you can see from what I have presented.

          It should not be hard to understand then that a mere two hundred years ago — let’s say 1820 — that this late-Medieval anthropology, or a post-Elizabethan anthropology, was still an understructure of the way people saw *the world* and reality. To understand this better I read Pro-Slavery Thought in the Old South (1935, University of North Carolina Press) which assembles all the arguments both for and against. But what struck me was the lingering olde metaphysics. What the European man dealt with was a primitive barbarous African who had been ripped out of his own cultural context. From the perspective of Europe, of course, these primitive Africans were so profoundly associated with the earth (in the metaphysical sense) that their enslavement was sincerely understood to be a first step in a long walk out of barbarism: imprisonment in a benighted metaphysical dimension. I am not in any sense making this up. This is how, in America, Africans were understood. Even CG Jung around 1910 or just after wrote essays on his experience of American life and culture where he clearly noticed the influence of the ‘primitive African’ on the European American. He did not see it as a positive thing. The demands made on the primitive cause the primitive to rebel and resent. He was asked to be something he could not be, not without long historical processes of acculturation. But the influence of the primitive on the somewhat more sophisticated European was more alarming (to Jung).

          So jumping ahead quite a bit. What makes an African American? What makes a Black? You (plural, as I now include both Jim and Mrs Q) have opened up the entire topic with a question. But your question actually has the function of shutting down the conversation! The answers you give are partial, tendentious, determining.

          In order to understand the present, very important and very relevant uprising in America among those who identify as ‘Black’ you will have to abandon all your enormous prejudices and actually begin to explore the question. They will tell you what ‘Black’ means. I suggest — I have been suggesting this for 6 years now — that you expand your knowledge-base by confronting the essential tenets of hyper-progressivism. Because this is what, in essence, informs you. I suppose this is one of the reasons why some of the thoughts I work with are so disconcerting (or maybe it is just my Aliziaspeak).

          Again, I am here to help! 🙂

          • Thank you (and by “you”, I mean my favorite non-plural self-described pariah), for that. I intend to carefully search for my answer therein.

              • I don’t think you’re ridiculous. If my “banter” gave that impression, I didn’t communicate as well as I intended. I do admit I sometimes lack the energy to decipher some of your comments.

                My avatar may have returned; we’ll see when this posts.

          • Notice my avatar (above) has again decamped. I assume it will return when it’s ready; I don’t ask….

      • Just called a friend re Adimagejim’s questions, who identifies his race as ‘deep purple.’ (which is a pretty apt description of him; he calls me ‘pinky,’) His answer was: “Don’t know for sure, but it’s got something to do with rhythm.’

        Those oldies, they just keep coming back.

      • Here is a genuine ethics question: I am as white as flour, but was raised in the ‘hood. To Joe Biden’s recent blackness comments, what does it mean to be an authentically black person in America?</b?

        Did you notice that though a ‘genuine’ question was asked, and an ‘ethics’ question, that no answer was given nor even attempted? One of man’s chief determining characteristics, that which separates him from *the beasts* is a) understanding and b) will. There was once a time when this *understanding* was understood as intimately linked with the divine and the *higher orders* but here, I suggest, we need to understand the degree to which we have been debased. This is all related to Steve Witherspoon’s mention of ‘the dumbing down of America’. But consider the horrifying irony: it requires an alert intelligent and understanding mind to grasp what ‘dumbed-down’ means! You could train a parrot to say “Dumbed-down!” but without understanding. We have to seriously (genuinely and in respect to ethics) direct the will to understanding what *dumbed-down* means. My references are largely incomprehensible because they are part of an older order of understanding. It was the old metaphysicians that referred to man’s mind as having layers: the sensual order of the 5 senses being the most elemental; then an intermediate area of imagination and memory; but the higher order of man’s mind was understood to be allied with or related to the angels through the highest faculty of reason and will. This is what made man man.

        Therefore, it seems to me that in an ultimate sense, when we consider ‘dumbing-down’, what we mean is that man’s mind becomes incapable of exercising higher reasoning and when that is lost what are we to say of man’s will? The meaning of will, or the true meaning of it, is in the capacity to distinguish the higher from the lower and to consciously choose the higher despite all obstacles! When the will (defined in this way) is corrupted, the capacity to distinguish and to recognize the *higher* is lost and the poor brute can only will brutal things. Ultimately, this all hinges on spiritual matters. There is another curious element here: how the education of man (the child) was conceived. Man is a creature poised between two radically different *worlds*: the lower, brutal order of determined, unconscious nature; and a higher order which was quite literally understood to be angelical. That is, of non-material intelligence allied with divinity. The purpose of education — its essential reason — was to train a child to be not a brute but Man in this sense. To have the understanding and will necessary to achieve those higher order things . . . which are ultimately the things that we value. But the brute loses the capacity to distinguish value.

        When Goneril and Regan discuss their father after he has self-relinquished his Kingdom — and here I refer again to the dispossession that defines our present order — Goneril mentions Lear’s “poor judgment” and Regan says “yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself”. To an Elizabethan the meaning here could not have been lost because the play is about the painful theme of the education of an old man who is so bound-up in his ignorance that only the most violent methods can succeed in getting through to him.

        This is what things have come to. Tell me then: Who has real understanding? Who divines the *meaning* of this age we are in? Who sees clearly what is happening and why it is happening? To quote Wilde: They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

        You see everything that is going on yet you understand none of it! That is the effect of *dumbing-down*. In the end, when the education of Man is completely corrupted, man will not even have *memory* left and if he has *will* it will be only an animal force directed to the brutal.

      • . . . what does it mean to be an authentically black person in America??

        First, that is not the *real* question, and definitely not the one that Joe Biden should be asking. And that is what ‘debases’ him. He debases himself. Everyone sees it but I suspect they do not understand what it *means* or why it is debasing. The real question is What does it mean to be a white man or a European? What does it mean to have had that history, that trajectory? This is where the ignorance of Lear kicks in: an old man who relinquished everything and gave it over to inferior elements. Who violated responsibility. Who became a traitor to him self and to his progeny.

        When Biden uses the term ‘black’ he means a whole group of things. But his appeal is essentially to the Black Rebellion. And what ‘blackness’ means for those on that morning show is, in essence, a power struggle within a white America. You cannot be the victim of that whiteness and then all on the sudden turn around and kiss your white neighbor. The nature of being ‘black in America’ is to be discovered in a will to open rebellion. To get even with history. And anyone with two eyes can notice and should notice that this rebellion and this power-struggle is right at the center of everything. It increases with every passing month.

        So, what is the purpose of your question? You simply want to undermine it (black rebellion, black quest for power, even black revenge which is a part of it) because it is all incomprehensible to you. You cannot recognize it, and you cannot value it. You can only try to undermine it. But that is not enough. You have to define your self in relation to it. You are not going to be able to subvert it.

        And that is where the whole issue and question of *awakening* comes into the picture.

        • The nature of being ‘black in America’ is to be discovered in a will to open rebellion. To get even with history.

          Nice of you to divulge your secret meaning, for a change, Alizia, instead of writing rings around it. Pithy, too.

    • I think Billy Joel was a really good lyricist and his melodies aren’t bad either. I think he defined his era. No small accomplishment. Best seduction line: “Only the good die young.”

    • My wife and I are watching a movie as I type this that started with “Just the Way You Are”. I like a few of Billy Joel’s songs, and that one might be my favorite.

          • “Uptown Girl” wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I did respect it – it was Joel creating a song in the style of a group he grew up with: The Four Seasons. That band was never to my taste either, but it’s a beautifully crafted homage.

            Joel isn’t a groundbreaking songwriter – he’s never been a songwriter who made other songwriters change the way they think about the craft. Few have ever been – In that category, I think of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Goffin/King, Lennon/McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett and a handful of others. MAYBE Springsteen. Those are songwriters who changed the ART.

            Joel never did so, but even so, he has always crafted smart, tuneful pop songs that successfully hit the public nerve. I’ve never owned one of his albums, and there’s a lot of his stuff that really doesn’t do much for me. Some of it is even annoying. But give the man his due. He’s a damned competent songwriter – and not a bad performer.

                • She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
                  She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
                  And she only reveals what she wants you to see
                  She hides like a child but she’s always a woman to me,

                  She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
                  She can ask for the truth but she’ll never believe you
                  And she’ll take what you give her as long as it’s free
                  Yeah she steals like a thief but she’s always a woman to me.

                  Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants
                  She’s ahead of her time
                  Oh, but she never gives out and she never gives in
                  She just changes her mind…

                  And she’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden
                  Then she’ll carelessly cut you and laugh while you’re bleedin’
                  But she brings out the best and the worst you can be;
                  Blame it all on yourself ’cause she’s always a woman to me.

                  Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants
                  She’s ahead of her time
                  Oh, And she never gives out and she never gives in
                  She just changes her mind…

                  She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel
                  She can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool
                  But she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree
                  And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
                  But she’s always a woman to me.

                    • But that aside, no song should be regarded as the song-writer’s assertion of absolute truth. You don’t know who “she” is. “She” sounds interesting, infuriating and dangerous–I’ve known a few—a very few—women who could fit that description. Why is writing a song about such a woman an expression of contempt toward all women? I don’t take personal offense at “Mack the Knife”!

                    • I’ve been married to Mrs. OB for forty-five years and she can still amaze and mystify me at the drop of a hat.

                    • I’m replying to my own comment because I don’t see a reply option under Jack’s comments. (WordPress hates me.)

                      “But that aside, no song should be regarded as the song-writer’s assertion of absolute truth. You
                      don’t know who “she” is. “She” sounds interesting, infuriating and dangerous–I’ve known a few—a
                      very few—women who could fit that description. Why is writing a song about such a woman an
                      expression of contempt toward all women? I don’t take personal offense at “Mack the Knife”!

                      Good point. You know how I always take things personally AND generally at the same time. I guess I was also forgetting that songwriting encompasses the specific as well as the generic.

                      Still, the ballad-ish sweetness of the melody stands in contrast to the romanticized description of a woman I probably would not want to have as a friend.

    • Great, so we sit around and wait to be told what’s right by elites and celebrities and Bill and Melinda Gates and Mike Bloomberg? I’ll pass, thanks.

    • And just who determines what is right; a Jihaddist, a Klansman, a black separatist that preached liberation theology or Christians?

      I don’t think Peter Marshall thought that through.

    • “…but as the opportunity to do what is right”.

      And we will tell you what right is; according to our own most closely held biases and beliefs, not to mention whatever floats our boat at the moment. You will not say as you please, do as you please, think as you please, or worship as you please, Nor will you respect the rights of others to do the same. You will do as you’re told; whether you like it or not. And should you push back in any way, the pitchforks will come for you- mostly on social media because that’s where we reside. Make no mistake: social media can and will finish you.

      (oooh, can you tell what kind of mood I’m in?)

          • Paul Lind consistently brought down the house, or at least the other people in the squares. Plus, he was pretty risque with his subtle but over the top gayness. And that was all a long time ago. Gay jokes were really just permitted as inside Hollywood jokes.

            • I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Paul Lynde by the time I was 9 years old; mostly because I watched as he cracked up my mother every single show. I credit my mother – the white, mid-west, conservatively raised, minister’s wife – for teaching me to be accepting of people (and open to alternate ideas) who did not look or sound like I did; this from a woman whose own mother hated the color pink because it was a “nigger color”. I don’t know how my mom turned out like she did – but she broke the mold of her own upbringing and raised my brother and I differently. And so I, by my mother’s gracious guidance, turned out to be a handgun owning, classically trained dancer who loves theater, is currently shopping for a pick-up truck, loves a good drag show, and has no problem telling you to get the fuck off her lawn.

              It’s also the reason I’m single.

              • Good for you and your mom, Spirit of the Air.

                I’m pretty open to things, “for a conservative,” as one of my son’s co-workers once told me, but I’ve never gotten drag queens and drag shows. Just beyond my comprehension. But that’s okay, at least with me.

                • Drag definitely pushes the envelope; always has. But then it’s been around since the beginning of time. I suppose it appeals to the theater/actor/dancer/performer in me.

                  Thanks for the exchange, OB. Much appreciated!

                  • You’re welcome, Spirit. Drag is definitely popular. I don’t judge it, I’m just confused by it. It seems to be a part of gay and lesbian culture that is simply beyond my ken. Good luck with your pickup purchase. Great time to buy a vehicle. I saw vehicle sales are down 95%. What a preposterous statistic. Dealers and manufacturers are desperate. Can you imagine the chaos throughout their supply lines and finances when nothing is moving off lots? Incredible.

                    • Alizia, at age 68, I’m perfectly content to allow any number of things to remain beyond my ken. You’re younger and more energetic and obviously have a very high-powered brain. Go ge get ’em.

                    • Hah! Watched the video. I thought it was going to be one of those hip videos featuring wonderfully expert woke people enlightening the unenlightened. Hah! Having watched the video, all I can say is, “I rest my case.”

                      (Nice punning in a second or third or fourth language.)

                • I came back to this comment to add that my screen name comes from the ballet; one of the oldest surviving ballets in the world. My father was in grad school when I was little and my parents were poor as church mice. My mother, having witnessed my freely dancing around the kitchen, somehow managed to get her hands on season tickets to the Boston Ballet. After one of the performances, the children in the audience were invited on stage. I asked one of the ballerinas if I could see her toe shoes. She took one off and handed it to me. I stood there, holding the most exquisite shoe I had ever seen, completely speechless. I remember the ballerina saying to my mother “she is captivated!” I was 5 years old at the time. Fifty-one years later, I am still completely captivated by all things ballet. I’ll take “Spirit of the Air”. I like it!!

    • He is just paraphrasing the Kantian notion that freedom is subject to duty.

      Freedom is not licentiousness.

      I am sure that is what he was thinking.

      -Jut

        • No, Peter Marshall was fishing in Scotland. He emigrated to NYC when he was 24 and somehow got into Columbia Theological Seminary in GA where he graduated 3 years later. His ministry doesn’t appear to have been terribly remarkable, except at the end, when he was appointed as chaplain to the US Senate. He took the dirt nap barely 2 years later at age 46. His widow published a lot of his sermons, that’s where his fame comes from.

    • Personally I think comparing voting by mail to those things is a false equivalency.

      My opinion about voting by mail.

      There have been scattered voter fraud cases across the USA over the years, voters voting twice, people who shouldn’t have voted that did and in these cases they were caught after the fact and the votes got into the system and could not be removed. Are these cases that have been identified overwhelming the voting system, not usually; however, the problem is that we really don’t know how many more illegal votes may be slipping through the cracks in the system. Saying voter fraud doesn’t exist is literally a lie, saying that voter fraud is not a big problem is intellectually dishonest, saying that known voter fraud is not changing the outcome of the elections is fair in most cases except where the difference between the candidates is very, very low.

      As for voting by mail, I’m wandering back and forth over the top of the fence.

      Here are the issues I’m currently aware of:
      1. Our local post office cant even get our regular mail delivered to the correct addresses, mail is being lost much more often, probably because they are delivering it to the wrong addresses.

      2. Mail that is being mailed from my home to the local clerks office used to be delivered the next day because the mail never left our town and we had competent carriers, now 100% of our mail (even if it’s going next door) is shipped to a big USPS sorting facility over 90 miles away in Milwaukee, WI and the mail get’s back to Oregon, WI somewhere between 3 and 5 days if it get’s back at all.

      3. In the United States of America we have enjoyed for many years that voting is private and no one knows who you vote for, voting by mail completely eliminates voting privacy.

      4. The laws of probability dictate that if it’s possible to take advantage of a voting system, any voting system, and cast an illegal vote then there will be illegal votes cast if there is no one there to stop the vote before it’s cast. Since ballots do not identify the voter who cast the vote, once an illegal vote has been cast it’s impossible to remove that vote from the count. It seems to me that completely removing the human-to-human contact for verification of identity when voting opens up a huge loophole in the voting system making it extremely vulnerable to fraud.

      My logical brain tells me that voting by mail is not a good idea; however, the suppressed side of my brain that chooses to unethically rationalize things is front and center with this one because of the pandemic, I’m aware that using the pandemic is a rationalization but it’s still tugging at me.

      • Steve, Mrs. OB and I have been voting by mail here in Arizona for, I don’t even know, over ten or fifteen years? I guess I’ve been assuming the system works?

        • They do it on a very limited scale here in Wisconsin for elderly and absentee ballots. Wide spread vote by mail, I’m not so sure about yet, especially when there are stories like this that pop up…

          Questions of voter fraud after man finds 83 ballots shipped to a single address in his apartment complex

          The bipartisan 2005 report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III wrote this, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”

          I’m just not convinced yet that it’s a good idea for the masses.

        • Same OB. We have vote by mail here in Oregon (this year postage paid!). I was contacted by the county voters office because my signature on the envelope didn’t match what they had on file. That actually gave me some assurance that voting by mail is successful at being accurate.

      • Besides misdelivered mail, there are also instances of postal workers stealing, destroying or hoarding mail in their homes without delivering it.

        I also recall reading an advise columnist letter awhile back from someone who was worried that a relative that was acting as caregiver to a parent (but held opposite political views) was going to fill out the parent’s ballot with her own choices instead.

        To say nothing of the fact that I don’t want to miss any last minute shenanigans that get revealed. If I vote for candidate A two weeks ahead of time by mail and find out three days before the election that he’s a jerk, I’m stuck.

      • Steve,

        I think your logical brain is correct here.

        I’ve heard people suggest that election day should be a national holiday, giving citizens the entire day to get to their polling places and cast a vote. I think that makes a LOT more sense than voting by mail, or email, or some phone app or anything like that.

        There are some things for which a manual, face-to-face, we-can-identify-you system just works better than anything we can try to automate. I think voting is one of those things.

        • Here’s a slippery slope argument, but a valid one: (I hope it’s not behind the paywall) https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-vote-by-mail-nightmare-11590189749?mod=hp_opin_pos_1

          More to point: there have been some well documented cases recently of “ballot harvesting” of absentee votes, notably in (red) Texas and (blue) California. It’s little wonder that progressives are so in favor of mail-in ballots and conservatives are so opposed: the 2020 POTUS race is likely to hinge on a handful of states.

          I see plenty of memes these days observing that the military has voted by mail for a very long time – as if that offers a degree of assurance. The fact that the donks are so in favor and the phants so opposed tells us lots – including, IMO, that Republicans are generally resistant to change and Dems see an opportunity to steal an election.

          What a lot of people seem to miss here is that the Federal government sets the date, but the STATES set the process. That’s an element of the Constitution. States can decide – or not – to allow mail-in balloting, but those who are demanding that the federal government do so are either woefully ignorant of the Constitution or have an outcome for the agenda. Possibly both.

          Anyone here ever read “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?” There’s a brilliant bit in it about an ‘election’ that had a pre-ordained outcome thanks to a friendly sentient computer. The computers this time may not be sentient, but they’ll be just as willing to put their fingers on the scale, owing to the people who code them.

          We had a special election earlier this week. I went in person. It was rigidly controlled and I waited 20 minutes to get inside, mask, gloves and all. But my vote was filled out by me, and I personally fed it into the machine. Fairly confident it was counted.

          I am less confident that’ll happen in November.

          • Actually, it is the states who set the date(s). Having a fairly uniform election day throughout the country is a relatively recent innovation. It’s not that long ago when you would have some states hold their federal elections in October or even September.

            You may recall the phrase “As Maine goes, so goes the nation”? (I think it was Maine — I could be mistaken). Well, I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that caught on because Maine voted earlier than most states and its results for the presidential election were already known when the rest of the country voted.

            The constitution does provide that all of the Electors be chosen on the same day and that Congress may set that date. As far as I know it still does not specify how they shall be chosen.

            Oh, and as an aside, there is a clause that no one constitutionally ineligible to be president can be chosen as vice president. So that lets out a certain someone for that post.

            The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of my favorite books — in my opinion it was Heinlein at the top of his form.

            • Thanks for the correction. Yes, there was a term “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” It’s no longer relevant. These days, it’s more like “As California goes, Maine will probably try to do something equally stupid.”

      • Following the Brett Kavanaugh circus, I dropped my party affiliation. In the next election, I was listed on the voter rolls twice (I was caught off guard, when asked which, as that usually happens to my brother who has the my dad’s first name).

        If I were unscrupulous, I could have voted twice.* I think it was a budget referendum, which in recent years has past or failed by single digits. I could well have single handledly but illegally passed our town’s budget for that year.

        Whenever I hear that voter-fraud is near impossible, I think back to how just dropping a party affiliation could have made it possible.

        *It should be noted, I would be caught soon after because both entries of my name would be crossed out and there is in fact only one of me at my address; however, it is also very possible the person checking me in wouldn’t recognize me personally, and would let me take and submit my “second” ballot before the voter roll was audited, thus irrevocably tainting the results.

    • It is not made up though. It may be an exaggerating lede — typical sensationalism. I make efforts to examine the views and narratives that are considered fringe. The reason is that we live now in a ‘Culture of Conspiracy’ where apocalyptic visions have intruded into our perception. This is why I refer to ‘interpretation’ (hermeneutics) as a critical area.

      So, in order to frame the concerns of what is more typically a right-leaning view, the billionaire and activist George Soros is *invested* with nefarious purpose (as everyone is aware, and this view of Soros was even broadcast by Tucker Carleson in his national news program). Soros may, or may not, have those assigned *purposes* but in a sense this does not matter for those who desire to, or need to, see him in that light. They are making an interpretive effort and trying to get a handle, as it were, on a perspective through which they can make sense of the world: a world of events too far beyond their capacity to understand in fullness.

      Somewhat recently, Bill Gates has earned the attention of what can only be described as ‘the mob’. First, because he is so visible and so deeply involved in activism all over the world, but especially in the *underdeveloped world* where he is championing a vaccination movement. When you examine somewhat closely what these efforts entail — one new technology is not a ‘chip’ but rather a chemical pattern that is injected by a multi-pointed patch into the skin of people who receive a vaccination which enables a health-worker, years later, to scan the area and access the records of the vaccination that person had received, and other information about that person’s identity and health-information.

      Bill Gates *sells himself* as a philanthropist, yet (according to some analyses) all philanthropists managing a fortune still have an interest in their fortune. This seems to be the case for Bill Gates. And therefore his fortune has increased even as he advances his cherished and altruistic efforts. He is still, of course, very much part of a system of wealth-getting and a system that has interests in increasing the reach of those wealth-generating vehicles. And his ties to Big Pharma are noticed.

      Now, as there has recently occurred (is still occurring) a pandemic through which everyone — you, me, and all who write on this forum — have noticed what we discern, though darkly, to be ‘totalitarian intentions’ on the part of those who wield power, we are just like everyone forced to *interpret* what is going on. Because we know, or we believe that we know, that we will not get the straight story from those better served through their fictions. It is easiest for the people who write on this blog to label *the Democrats* and to shake their fist at them, those *over there*, but in a larger scale, in a world-scale in fact, technological systems are being installed — have been installed — that allow for a totalitarian function as never possible in the history of this Earth. Is it the Chinese? Is it the Russians? The Marxists? Is it *Silicon Valley*? Is it Google? Is it a Military-Industrial Complex? Is it *US* or is it *THEM*?

      Every question requires a) an interpreter and b) an interpretation. That is: a scheme through which interpretation occurs. What is yours Steve? Have you ever really thought about it? Have you ever, with some deliberateness, turned the analytical lens on your own self? your own ‘structure-of-view’?

      Obviously, the answer is ‘No’. Or if you have it has been limitedly, partially, or as I say ‘self-servingly’. As I say most on this blog have American patriotic views, and these are complex and in their way quite invested in interpretation just as they contain assertions.

      Everything depends on one’s predicates; on the sort of information or view that one is allowed (by one’s own self as *gate-keeper*) to put on the table for analysis. And we live in a time in which certain people, for certain reasons, or powerful interests also for certain reasons, cobble together and *hone* the perspectives which are purveyed to us. Quite literally I suggest we live in a *mediated world*. Do we really *see* the world? or do we see what is projected onto the screen inside us where perception occurs? where is *takes place*?

      Here is a video by The Corbett Report which shines a light, as it were, into the machinations of Bill Gates. Is it really a light though, as in a clear illuminating clarity? Or is it itself a projection from one of these Giant Projectors situated behind us, which we never identify (fully) and which informs our perception?

      • I was concerned the whole time I watched the video that it hadn’t brought up the anti-fertility agent surreptitiously included in the Kenyan tetanus vaccines, but it seems that’s part of the next segment dealing with his population control conspiracy (term used in its most serious and literal sense, of course, as is fitting to the subject).

        There was a truly fascinating video of a woman at the Italian parliament listing many of these charges and asking the country to call for his arrest. If you search for that matter on google, most of the results assure you that the video is “false” and even financed by evil Russia. Even Snopes is involved. I still managed to find an article with a summary and linked video though.

        https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/35756-bill-gates-blasted-as-vaccine-criminal-in-italian-parliament

    • Steve, I have thought this over at length and discussed it with my family. I am prepared to take you as my disciple. The cost to you will be substantial but the end-result will be, this I promise, not less than magnificent. All I need is a) your declared assent, and b) a down-payment. 🙂

    • Which reminds me. I saw one of those super annoying “Coexist” bumper stickers today. I wish they’d put those on cars in the Arab and Persian Middle East, or maybe China and North Korea.

        • It could be fun to amaze your friends by betting that the owner of a vehicle bearing that sticker is a 300 lb, single man in a trilby, which on confrontation he’ll misidentify as a fedora, and be proven correct every time.

  1. So this headline from a few days ago really irked me:

    Restaurant owner and UConn coach Geno Auriemma calls on Connecticut to allow indoor dining in early June as businesses struggle

    One of the state’s best-known restaurant owners is calling for indoor dining to resume sooner, rather than later, just days before restaurants are scheduled to be allowed to offer outdoor dining at their facilities.

    UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who opened Cafe Aura at the site of the former Cavey’s restaurant in Manchester last year, said Friday that his restaurant will be one of many around the state unable to offer outdoor dining when coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted Wednesday due to the business’ setup. Auriemma joins a group of more than 130 business owners and association leaders that signed a letter this week to Gov. Ned Lamont asking him to commit to June 3 to open indoor dining in a limited capacity to help owners and employees get back to work and on their feet financially.

    https://www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-restaurants-reopening-inside-dining-20200515-20200516-yvfcel5smretri3vfgl7vybkyq-story.html

    Apparently, we are “all in this together” until it hurts the bottom line of a millionaire.

    [For those unaware, Geno appeared in numerous ads about the importance of “staying home”, “social distancing”, etc. I am a Women’s Huskies fan, but I can’t overlook this]

    • Eric Metaxas is being “ratioed” in Twitter for this comment as being racist.

      I contend he is not. He’s mocking Biden by using what would be considered racist condescension in the mouth of the target of the mockery (Biden) by insinuating that Biden is completely disconnected with his black audience while clumsily trying to connect with them.

    • Steve, without going through the list there are several here I do know about. It’s propaganda, and IMO it’s unethical. In these cases, Trump “gutted” nothing. He rescinded rule making that occurred under the Obama administration – rule making that greatly exceeded the Congressional intent of the acts under which the rules were made. In other words, he largely returned things to the way they were before Obama and his minions took power.

      Unfortunately, such acts generally grant broad rule making power to Departments and Agencies under the Executive branch – which is one of the reasons why the Presidency has gained far more power than it once had. Congress sets the broad goal but punts the dirty work to the bureacracy. It’s an abdication of responsibility by Congress, and both parties are equally at fault.

      • I know that #28 on the list is not accurate so I’m guessing that there is a fair amount of misrepresentation going on in the list but anti-Trumpers will eat it up as completely accurate and share it on social media until it goes viral.

        • The hooplah over the Clean Water Act refers to the rescinding of an Obama-era rule that effectively defined everything from farm drainage ditches to open fields that form ponds after heavy rain as “navigable waters of the United States” and thus under federal control.

    • Gutted, defined by leftists can mean anything other than increased restrictions. For example: Trump cut food stamps for millions. Reality, millions got jobs and no longer qualify. Example 2. Trump cuts school lunch programs putting children at risk. Reality: Trump cuts growth in spending from baseline. Instead of a 10 million dollar increase they only got an 8 million dollar increase.

      These lists are useless without further information based on leftist history. If someone wants me to change my mind they need to do more than make a broad claim and give me a list.

      • Newt Gingrich gave a similar example years ago. If the government pays $500 for a microwave, and a Republican finds a microwave – exact same features, same quality, everything – for $300, Democrats will blame the GOP for cutting the microwave budget by $200.

        Steve, a goodly percentage of those programs are environmental in nature, and there are few places where government has intruded more than in regulating the environment.

  2. I vote the person who wrote this, who ever that person may be, is a creative writing genius and one of our planets’ foremost ethical heroes.

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

    – Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
    – Why the early bird gets the worm;
    – Life isn’t always fair;
    – And maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death,
    -by his parents, Truth and Trust,
    -by his wife, Discretion,
    -by his daughter, Responsibility,
    -and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
    – I Know My Rights
    – I Want It Now
    – Someone Else Is To Blame
    – I’m A Victim
    – Pay me for Doing Nothing

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
    If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

    • Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

      FYI:

      The lesson here is different than it appears. I guess it has to do with how truth can so easily be distorted when it serves a given *narrative*.

    • Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

      I can’t let this one pass: it’s an old false narrative that will not die. The facts: MacDonalds deliberately served its take-out coffee at near boiling temps, customers were burned, often seriously, frequently, and they would settle. In this case, a women suffered third- and second-degree burns that required surgery. The case turned on the idiotic testimony of an arrogant company executive, who said that Mac’s made so much money on its super hot coffee that it would be able to pay the damages on injuries like the woman’s in just a few hours of nightly coffee sales. Seizing on that admission , her lawyer told the jury, “Gee, maybe you should make sure MacDonald’s can’t pay for those burnings so easily.” It was a jury verdict, not a settlement, and the punitive damages made McDonald’s lower the temp of its coffee, reducing the number of burning to just about zero. The system worked the way it’s supposed to: this was a coffe version of the Pinto case.

      It’s also common sense for someone to actually read the case they are citing so they don’t mislead readers by buying in to deliberate misrepresentation. (I’ve been debunking this one for 30 years.)

      • Dang it, Jack, I had my reply about ready to go, and then I did one more check to see if anyone else had replied to Alizia’s comment, and, not unexpectedly, you were ahead of me. But, just three ‘little’ errors in fact in that paragraph about McD’s — should those errors really get in the way of THE TRUTH?

      • I worked for McDonald’s when all that came down. Dumbest decision they made as a result of the fallout was discontinuing hot chocolate…because, as they explained, kids drink hot chocolate and they didn’t want to be sued if some child burned himself.

      • I diligently went back through all of my digital archives (I save everything on many external hard-drives, I’m a real digital data pack-rat) and browsed what memory I have left and I can honestly say that I don’t think I ever new the actual details of the McDonald’s hot coffee case.

        I think this is one of the cases where Malcolm X’s “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” holds true. I too was duped by the media. I remember hearing about the story a long time ago and random discussions in CQ (charge of quarters for all you non military people) and thinking that this was nuts but I never dove into the details of the story. I could have dug into the details of the story before I posted the obituary above but I just accepted what was there likely because of my personal belief that common sense is dead for a large swath of the population.

        I think Alizia’s statement above is true, “truth can so easily be distorted when it serves a given *narrative*”. Thanks for the video Alizia, that was helpful.

        I think Orin T’s statement below is quite fair, “And you will be debunking it for the next 30 years.”

        I’m personally embarrassed and I”m sorry I didn’t did deeper.

        In the future I can be one of the ones that can assist in debunking the false narrative; thanks to all those that shared the truth.

        • Well, I had an edge—I was working for the trial lawyers association when the case occurred and spoke with the plaintiff’s attorney in the case. He couldn’t believe the false spin the media put on the verdict. He said the executive on the stand was like a parody of a corporate villain. Asked if the company would lower the temp of its coffee, he said, “Never! Truck drivers on long hauls love it because it says hot. People get burned, we pay for their treatment and surgery, and in a couple of hours, the hot coffee has paid for it. We’d lose money with fewer burn victims! There’s no reason to cool the coffee.” So I told the jury, “Let’s give ’em a reason to stop burning people. What do you say?”

  3. Did anyone hear CNN’s Ari Velshi state that Trump could not order the states to open churches because of separation of church and state?

    Has the media become that idiotic?

    • On my news, they said the president couldn’t override a governor’s police powers under the constitution.

      They were silent on the possibility that the president could seek an injunction against potentially unconstitutional restrictions on freedom of belief and assembly.

  4. Someome conceded what many have suspected for the past month- moving the goalposts.

    https://reason.com/2020/05/22/what-would-in-person-classes-look-like-in-the-fall/#comment-8265303

    Yeah, we were originally worried about hospitals getting overwhelmed.

    Now we want to implement testing and social distancing to minimize the infections until we get a treatment or vaccine. That shouldn’t be a lockdown, except we’ve borked our testing infrastructure, so for now it is.

    The point of contact tracing is that you don’t need universal testing – you need only test those who fall contact with someone who tested positive to get a pretty good sense of who has the virus.

    You don’t want young people to get infected; 1) they are interacting with more susceptible people, and 2) lower chance of death is still a chance of death. If it’s not needed, I don’t see why we want it.

    You know what’s a painless way to get herd immunity? A vaccine.

    • Speaking of moving goalposts, has anybody else noticed an attempt to paint New York as having “flattened the curve” because the outbreak there is levelling off, i.e. reaching its peak?

      Every outbreak peaks at some point, no matter what you do. When all this began it was made clear “flattening the curve” meant aiming for a delayed, lower peak rather than a higher, sooner one, too avoid overwhelming the health care system. Now it seems the narrative is changing before our eyes to make New York’s sky-high, early peak into a sign of successfully “flattening the curve” rather than a sign of having failed to do so.

  5. I’ve been meaning to give liberalism a good shredding for a while, so I decided to take a stupid viral essay about being liberal that some attributed to Ron Howard (it was actually written by a nobody, someone thought it would be more credible with a celeb’s name attached) and take it apart. So:

    I’m a liberal, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of you apparently think it does. Let’s break it down, shall we? (OK let’s do just that) Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. (So are we.) Spoiler alert: not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines (Additional spoiler alert: we know, and we don’t think you’re all the same):

    1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. PERIOD.

    That’s nice. Apparently every country in the world is uncivilized, then. Pretty much every nation, from the US on down, has some issues with taking care of those least able to take care of themselves. A lot of it starts at home with parents who shouldn’t have become parents because they’re not up to the task. It continues with elderly folks who didn’t make provision for their own retirement and whose families aren’t willing to carry them, It keeps going with those who don’t take care of their health and don’t do enough to get adequate care. The disabled have a tougher hand than most, but, except in the case of the really severely handicapped, they can do their best to do their part. The best way to not be neglected is to put yourself in a position where you don’t need to depend on someone else’s care, and the only one who can do that is you.

    2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.

    First of all, show me where it says in the Constitution that healthcare is a right. I’ll save you the trouble. It doesn’t. Yup, Obamacare has problems, like being passed based on lies, as admitted by its own architect and a severely botched rollout, and that’s before we even talk about the bureaucratic nightmare it has become. There’s a reason that it only just avoided repeal because a now-dead senator, who didn’t vote for it the first time out, chose to make it his last big middle finger to a president who he hated. It’s not a binary system where it’s either increase this bureaucratic mess or let people die, that’s what we call a false dichotomy. If you want to live in a place with a national healthcare system, feel free to hop a plane to Europe or drive north to Canada, leave your American passport on the kitchen table on the way out. Have fun paying the much higher taxes there.

    3. I believe education should be affordable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.

    That’s just a platitude. The system here isn’t changing. There are just too many people’s interests tied up in making it necessary and easy to take out huge loans to pay for degrees from universities that have no reason to contain costs, where you’re mostly paying for the prestige and potential connections, not for appreciably better education. That said, feel free to endow a scholarship or two, or hop that plane to Europe I just talked about.

    4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.

    Unfortunately, when the government uses taxes to finance relief for those who can’t seem to get ahead, that’s what happens. When government gives to someone it must first take from someone else. That’s just how it works. Wealth doesn’t just appear from thin air. If you say you’ve never encountered anyone like this you’ve been moving in different circles than I have. I’ve seen the people can’t break off with alcohol or drugs and don’t really try. I’ve seen the people whose work ethic consists of “gimme, gimme, gimme.” I’ve seen the women who live in subsidized housing that everyone else picks up the subsidy for, collecting the welfare checks because they have three children by three different fathers and really very little in the way of marketable skills because they never really tried to acquire them. Your wish list sounds nice, but how about a workable proposal to make it a reality? Who decides what anyone’s fair share is? You? Who authorized you to decide that? If you want to decide it, may I suggest you consider a run for office?

    5. I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.

    Maybe you’re fine with paying more. That doesn’t mean everyone else is. BTW, taxes go to a lot more than stuffing corporate pockets and financing wars you consider ill-conceived, starting with entitlements.

    6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.

    When you are running your own company, you make those decisions. Someone else might not see it that way. It isn’t for the government to impose your views about the way things should be done on others, at least not without a vote first. Companies are only one-third about giving their employees reasonable compensation. They are two-thirds about giving their customers reasonable service and investors a reasonable profit. If people are having to work three full-time jobs just to make ends meet it doesn’t mean society isn’t fair, it means they need to adjust their lifestyles or that they made bad choices. If companies aren’t paying employees enough, then the employees need to make themselves valuable enough to get a raise, or look for another job where they’ll be better paid. Restaurant servers know how it works, and if they don’t like it, they can move on, as most servers do. It’s called free enterprise, not everyone gets some minimum, and that minimum is enough that no one desires to do better.

    7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.

    Most of us don’t think you want to do those things. Stop being absurd. The vast majority of us don’t give a damn what you believe or if you believe. Most of those of us who have a particular belief are quite content to leave you alone. Who’s trying to legislate scripture into law? Where? What passage is he trying to legislate? No one is trying to force you to live by any religion’s rules, although some of the laws that govern good order, taxing, you know, that aid to the poor you’re so hung up about, etc. happen to comport with some religious principles. The main problem we people of faith have is when those who have no faith look down their noses at us, insult us, offend us, or hurt us. So, maybe look to your own house and stop calling people of faith “religitards” and talking about “the sky fairy.” While you’re at it, I’d suggest you clam up about imposing beliefs until people like yourself stop bringing lawsuits about crosses on war memorials that have been around for almost a century without a problem or non-sectarian invocations you are free not to say “amen” to. For people who don’t believe and who think belief is silly, you spend an awful lot of time thinking about it. I’d almost think you were obsessed with it, or hated it. Nah, that couldn’t be, could it? Liberals never hate, right? You just pour deserved contempt on those who deserve it anyway.

    8. I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.

    And I believe that those of us who don’t want to get involved in that sort of thing shouldn’t have to. If someone doesn’t want to bake the cake, or take the pictures, or arrange the flowers, or host the event, then find someone who does. Don’t bring a lawsuit to force them, and don’t go seeking out someone you know will say no just so you can bring a lawsuit.

    9. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).

    Here’s a spoiler for YOU: if you’re here illegally, however you got here, you don’t belong here. That’s it. It really is that simple. It doesn’t matter if you overstayed a visa, or stowed away on a ship, or came here with your three-year-old in your arms in one of those “caravans” that somehow made it all the way from Guatemala or Honduras to the Rio Grande (which is about 1,500 miles) without running into too many problems. I have zero problem with people coming here legally, following all the procedures, and actually wanting to become productive citizens. I have a huge problem with people essentially jumping the line and crying oppression when we insist they do things the right way. BTW, a lot of the practices you decry went on under Obama, and never a peep did we hear from you.

    10. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.

    The bottom line IS in the equation. If it wasn’t, then the companies wouldn’t be doing anything, and they wouldn’t be generating wealth you can tax. And just who said you get to decide who can be trusted to do what? The government is supposed to protect people, which it does by enforcing standards. It is not supposed to run every aspect of their lives to make sure everything is safe. It is supposed to trust people to at least some degree. That’s why there is a certain level of privacy that people have recourse to and the government can’t just show up and look over your shoulder without saying why. Honestly, this sounds like double talk – I don’t want the government’s hands in everything, but I don’t trust people making a profit – so you DO want the government’s hands in everything, you just want to justify it.

    11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.

    Wait a minute here. Full stop. If you think there are many similarities between the Trump administration and the Third Reich then you must be reading some different history than I did. The Nazis closed churches as well as synagogues, created a secret state police with sweeping powers, made Germany into a national rather than a federal state, broke multiple treaties, allowed one sector of society to be abused while the emergency services stood back and did nothing, demanded loyalty for all practical purposes at gunpoint, and, hmmm, there’s one other big thing they did, but it’s just not coming to me right now, let me think…Oh yes, that little thing called the HOLOCAUST. I haven’t seen the current administration do any of those things. If anything, it’s the liberals who are talking about trashing the Constitution (kill the electoral college, stack the Supreme Court). It’s also those liberals who call themselves antifa who go around beating up those who disagree with them. Not to mention the liberals were pretty darn close to nominating a Communist sympathizer for president. Don’t call the current administration fascist and expect us not to call you borderline Bolsheviks.

    12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.

    That’s nice. Some folks probably even agree with you. Some of us don’t though. Some of us think this society has come a lot farther than you think it has, and that these allegations of privilege are just another way of dressing up the old conflict of the have-nots vs the haves. Maybe we’ll listen to what you have to say. However, maybe we won’t, because a lot of us have heard it already, several times. Maybe we will dismiss it. Maybe we will say no. Maybe we’ll fight our corners. Despite what you might think, privilege is not a magic word that will cause anyone you aim it at to hang his head like a Victorian-era servant being scolded by his betters, “Yes mum, no mum, won’t happen again, mum…”

    13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is the enforcement of present laws and enacting new, common sense gun regulations. Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine.

    I’m putting it here. You want to go unchallenged, then keep to talking about your kids and the weather. You post a narcissistic rant about your thoughts on everything, you get challenged. Your assertion is nice. But it’s only partially true. You don’t want to come after guns. You want to send someone after guns on your behalf. There are over a thousand laws on the books regarding the regulation of firearms. There are probably just as many about recreational drugs and immigration. You can see for yourself how well those are working. What makes you think that a government that can’t stop either of those things can keep all guns out of the wrong hands? The thing is that you liberals think that almost no one’s hands are the right hands. Still, if you think you can change things, feel free to see if you can get 2/3 of Congress or 3/5 of the states to agree with you.

    14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?

    I don’t. I think it’s control masquerading as politeness. What makes you think that someone else knows what phrases are more accurate or less hurtful than what I choose to use? What’s more, what makes you think you have the right to correct another adult’s way of talking? Where I come from, THAT’S what’s called rude. Your own name is one thing, I’ll call you whatever you want, but if I want to say Oriental and you want me to say Asian, too bad. I grew up saying it, it was fine then, it’s not a deliberate insult, and I’m not going to stop saying it because it’s no longer the flavor of the month. I’m still going to use the generic male pronoun and not say the clunky “his or her” every damn time. I’m still going to say fireman and congressman and fisherman, although I’ll probably say cop rather than policeman because it’s shorter and quicker. If you don’t like it, I really don’t care, unless you’re signing my paycheck.

    15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.

    No, that’s not how it works. You don’t get to put a whole sector of the energy business out of business with a flip statement that you’ll teach them to code, and you don’t just get to sneer and say invest someplace else. This statement is the height of arrogance.

    16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?

    Women sometimes get treated differently because they ARE different from men. That’s just a biological fact, and aren’t you liberals supposed to be all about the science? They should be paid as much as their employer decides they are worth, same as men. They do have the same rights, unless someone shredded the Constitution while I’ve been writing here. Everyone should be free from abuse, but they won’t be, because sometimes people just treat one another badly, and that’s just a fact of human nature, so we’re stuck with enforcing the criminal laws.

    I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.
    Copy & paste if you want.

    Oh, that MORE than covers it. This last statement is Authentic Frontier Gibberish. The bottom line is that you’re a liberal because you think you have a lock on everything that’s good, and you think everyone else should do as you say because you have that lock. Well, some folks may be persuaded, but I’m not.

    This society lost something when the internet let everyone think their opinion was important. It lost a lot more when it enabled everyone to think their opinion was the only one that mattered.

    • Commentary:

      1. Taking care of infirm/unable is an obligation of society — although not part of our social compact as such. Taking care of the infirm/unable is the evolution of our civic duty, although I think the Federal government should have as little involvement in the execution of that duty as possible.

      2. I think the fact that health care is not a right is beyond debate to any sane person.

      Should it be a right? That may be debatable, but to some extent, it is tied up with #1 above — taking care of the infirm/unable. Accomplishing a version of that that doesn’t involve maintaining their health doesn’t make much sense.

      If we simply went back to a system where people paid directly for their health care instead of the current disaster that layers on tons of bureaucracy, regulation, and an insane “third party payer” method, along with drug companies with no moral compass not driven by profit motive, we would be better off, and most people would be able to afford health care. The rest would most likely be addressed in #1 above.

      But if you are able and unwilling to work, then you should receive no health care at all. If you die, that’s too bad, but let’s face it — as a society, the less dead wood we have, the better off we are.

      3. I agree education should be affordable. Teachers should be paid by parents. School administration should be vastly reduced, and all funds should come from the local level except in certain very, very special cases of hardship.

      I don’t think education should be free, and I’m sure you don’t either. Nothing in this world except for the air we breathe should be free, unless we are unable to earn a living. Then, see #1 above.

      4. If we would stop the excess regulation that encourages mergers and therefore concentration of means, enforce antitrust laws consistently, and demand a competitive marketplace, I think we’d see a lot less of the concentration of means.

      And of course, I don’t object to wealthy companies/people at all. I would rather have the freedom to be like them, and right now, we don’t, because those same wealthy companies and individuals spend billions on layers and lobbyists to ensure the playing field is tilted well in their favor.

      That’s their right under the First Amendment, but we should consider ways to make inequity in regulation and excess litigation as difficult as possible.

      5. All tax bills should be limited in duration to ten years (including income, excise, and all other “permanent” taxes), and be required to be reauthorized or they expire. They should also apply in exactly equal measure to every person or business they are intended to affect.

      I think almost everyone is fine with paying “their fair share.” The problem is, almost everyone disagrees about what that “share” should be, and understandably so. Our tax system also produces grotesque inequities where “favored” companies pay virtually no taxes and small fry carry the lion’s share of the tax burden.

      Even if the economics, overall, work out in favor of the government, these inequities create legitimate grievances among people and businesses. In our lust to use the tax code to advance national priorities, we have all but assured that this resentment will never go away.

      6. I believe in freedom and lower regulation for businesses, and the people that work in them. That will create the upward mobility that eliminates low-paying work as the only source of income. But if you refuse to find a way out and chose to work two or three low-paying jobs, you should have the freedom to do so.

      7. If only live and let live were okay with the Left. But telling other people how to live is their raison d’etre.

      8. Agreed. Exactly the same.

      9. All illegal immigration should be stopped, and those who attempt it given a choice to a) return to their country or b) serve a prison sentence and then be sent back to their country. Force, up to and including deadly force, should be employed to keep illegal infiltrators out of this country.

      Children brought here through no fault of their own should be returned to their family and the entire family removed. If that is impossible, then they should generally be treated like we treat other orphaned children. But they don’t get citizenship until a) the age of majority and b) they agree to repay the taxpayer costs of their upbringing. If they don’t want to do that, they are free to leave this country without paying, but if they want to immigrate later, the prior rules apply.

      The government, at it’s sole discretion, may waive the costs of upbringing on a case-by-case basis if the child immigrant chooses to stay, and legislation should be passed removing immigration law from the jurisdiction of federal or state courts.

      11. I believe our current administration is fascist is not just a statement of ignorance, it’s a cannon of religious faith. Such a believe has no basis in fact or history, nor can it be reached by any application of logic. It is therefore indistinguishable from dogma.

      It is, effectively, an admission of a kind of insanity.

      12. Racism still exists, and it is occasionally a problem. But it is no longer a society-wide problem, nor is it institutionalized to any meaningful degree. It shows up most loudly in the justice system at varying levels.

      Racism has become another cannon of faith, a fetish for those in the grievance industry to worship. It has lost most of it’s meaning, anyway; when everything is racist, nothing is.

      13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government.

      Heh. Well, we both know very well that’s a lie. When they start their argument with a lie, it’s hard to call it an argument. “Common sense” doesn’t mean what the Left thinks it means, and getting around the unambiguous 2nd Amendment is a cottage industry for them.

      14. Political correctness is simply free speech regulation by shaming. It is arbitrary and focused only on one side of the argument.

      15. Sustainable energy will be available one day. When it is, the Left will oppose it.

      These guys don’t care about sustainable energy, they care about controlling wealth, controlling access to energy, reducing personal freedom and forcing non-city dwellers into greater and greater hardship until they are eliminated.

      If sustainable energy were viable, companies would drop oil, gas and coal like a bad habit. But it currently isn’t, and likely never will be until the advent of fusion plant technology.

      Any bets on whether or not the Left will embrace that when it comes?

      16. I have nothing to add.

      Nice job.

      • Should [healthcare] be a right? That may be debatable, but to some extent, it is tied up with #1 above — taking care of the infirm/unable.

        Even beyond the first hurdle of whether it’s a right is whether we’re obligated to purchase it for every individual with our tax dollars. My right to bear arms doesn’t entitle me to a government-issue service weapon. Somehow the national debate has taken to presuming this fundamental premise without ever calling attention to it. I attribute it to mass hypnosis.

        • Well, I certainly don’t think my comment could be read as advocating “purchasing [health care] for every individual.”

          I do think we have an obligation to take care of the infirm/unable, however. I’d love to see that done mostly by charity, but where that is insufficient, I do think the government at some level, preferably the state, should step in.

    • What makes you think that a government that can’t stop either of those things can keep all guns out of the wrong hands? The thing is that you liberals think that almost no one’s hands are the right hands. Still, if you think you can change things, feel free to see if you can get 2/3 of Congress or 3/5 of the states to agree with you.

      Here is another irony.

      Systemic racism concerns cease to exist when it comes to enforcement of “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation.

  6. Here is a link to an answer on Quora.

    http://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-about-those-people-protesting-the-Shelter-In-Place-Order-in-some-states/answer/Dennis-Urban-1

    I’m likely to be deleted by Quora for violation of TOS, and I honestly don’t care. Sometimes a comment needs to be stated very bluntly, very pointedly and screw who it offends.

    I think that those who failed to maintain the social distancing should be locked up. I think they should face criminal charges, including for some of them, trespassing. I’d include terroristic threats for those who showed up armed. I’d nail to a cross those who were screwing up traffic at hospitals and throw the entire book at them and not allow any type of home arrest for them.

    I’d charge the God Emperor Darth Cheetoh The Orange Death with treason as he’s actively working to undermine the law and order as established by the local and state governments. I’d charge him with aiding and abetting criminal actions and encouraging terrorists.

    I don’t give a damn who is offended. The time is long past to pull off the gloves and lay a smack down on those who are causing damage and harm during this pandemic.

    At this point, is it not obvious that the only people who support extending this lockdown are evil.

    • As a neighbor who I thought was a reasonable guy said, “I don’t give a shit about the economy. I don’t want to DIE!”

    • Narcissistic self-righteous rageaholics who aren’t happy unless they are beating someone they don’t agree with into submission. I dunno who’s worse, these folks or those who hide behind the mast of politeness. But if I was to say start breaking up antifa stuff and hauling anyone with a mask on off to jail without trial, they’d look at me like I was a tyrant. The only thing I can say is, beware what you wish for, because the other side might decide to take the gloves off and lay a painful or deadly smackdown on you first. BTW, I kinda think crucifixion juuuuust might run afoul of the Eighth Amendment

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