It’s Friday Open Forum Time!

Open forum6

I know, I know, we just had one four days ago. But that was because I forgot to have on last Friday, and if I wait until next Friday, it will be Christmas, when typically Ethics Alarms has about 14 visitors. Besides, Instapundit and Althouse feature the equivalent of Open Forums ever day, and get thousands of posts. Of course, those aren’t limited to ethics.

So we’re back on schedule.

“We’re all depending on you. Good luck.”

25 thoughts on “It’s Friday Open Forum Time!

  1. Let’s find some positive stories this year.

    Amid educational upheaval and spineless administrative oversight, a local school superintendent gave remote-learning students in his district a snow day. Wednesday showed the first measurable snow in Indiana for this holiday season. The kids have endured so much….

    While one could quibble with his idea of scientific measurement, I think showing compassion this time of year should account for something.

    • That was a great idea. I’m sure it gave an unexpected spark of joy. Eons ago in Germany, I knew a senior Army staff officer who argued for giving everyone off on those unexpected sunny days in the fall to winter period. This was before SAD was well known. He understood the importance of weather on mood.

      • When my Dear late Father (Signalman/U.S. Navy) was stationed up in the Aleutians 1943-45, on days the wind dropped below 15 knots/17.27 mph, they gave land-based non-essential personnel the day off.

  2. Like the anti-Trump operatives in other federal departments during this presidency, our friends at the ATF have recently been surreptitiously gearing up to facilitate the Biden Harris administration in imposing more useless firearms restrictions on the law-abiding public, in addition to THE LAUNDRY LIST already in their campaign platform (“assault weapons” ban & confiscation, repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, etc.). The current top administrators at the head of the ATF have already met with the transition team to facilitate pushing their agenda against pistol stabilizing braces and unfinished firearm lower receivers…both currently legal items.

    They’ve created (set for release today) a “request for public comment” on the stabilizing braces. Of course, they did this with bumpstocks, comments ran tremendously against the proposal, but they imposed the ban and uncompensated taking on those items anyway.

    None of the restrictions they are seeking are likely to have any significant effect on crime or criminals . Like the regulation on noise suppressors, restrictions on the length of firearms and their attachments were born out of gangster-era hysteria, and are useless in actually improving public safety, or against someone with criminal intent and a hacksaw circumventing them.

    • Assuming (a big assumption) the Democrats don’t manage to take both Georgia seats, these two items along with an attempt to ban the imports of firearms and ammunition are just about all they can rationally hope to accomplish, or at least most of it.

      But the reality is, Trump gave them the blueprint with so-called “bump stocks.” And that was done with Republicans at the head of the agency. So I think we can expect more attempts to use the NFA and ATF to infringe on the Second Amendment. All we can do at this point is hope for help from the courts.

      All I want for Christmas is a finding by the Supreme Court that cases implicating the Second Amendment must be subjected to strict scrutiny.

      • “But the reality is, Trump gave them the blueprint with so-called “bump stocks.”
        That’s true. Creating that precedent, and it being an usurpation of Congressional power, are the main reasons I (and many others) objected to it. Thankfully that one is still being litigated, so may eventually fall in court under consideration of the second objection. Thank God for the improvement in the SCOTUS lineup.

        In Trump’s defense, I think his action was not in the same vein as the malicious control grabs of the totalitarian left. My impression is that he thought that was what people wanted at the time (the NRA seemed to be willing to trade it for carry reciprocity and hearing protection in a Congressional deal), and, in his usual impulsive way, jumped the gun (ha!) and screwed things up.

          • The motivations are similar, though, are they not? “Public safety”…
            That doesn’t seem to be the case for many of the democrat’s proposals. They all can’t even be chalked up to stupidity rather than malice, especially when they knowingly lie about issues like “gun show loopholes”, “internet gun sales”, and “firearms manufacturers being exempt from liability”. In other cases, they use deliberately misleading terminology, and/or know (or are either lying or incompetent) that there is little to no public safety issue that would justify their favored restrictions.

            • True, but their public rationale all revolves around the idea that the government has a “compelling interest” in protecting the public from themselves, seems to me.

              Freedom? Not so compelling, apparently …

  3. I hadn’t seen this article until today, because I generally don’t favor the American Spectator as a regular news or opinion source. This is an exception.


    For a damaging story about a Democrat to be true, DNA must be found on a blue dress. There must be Blue Dress Proof™. It’s not enough to have a witness and a victim. It’s not enough to have a computer, a cache of validated emails, thousands of affadavits signed under the threat of perjury. There must be actual DNA, videotaped evidence. If the bad guy is a Democrat, there must be Blue Dress Proof.

    For a damaging story about a Republican to be true, nothing has to be true at all. Third-hand hearsay about hookers and pee, a smile on a face, or a sarcastic tweet or phrase taken out of context can make even the most absurd conclusion be portrayed as fact and conveyed as truth in perpetuity. If the bad guy is a Republican, no proof is needed.

    The article is compelling, although it leans a bit too much on the facts of Bill Clinton’s famous dalliance for fleshing out and is pretty hyperbolic at the end (like most spectator articles). The media back in the 1990’s did everything it could to hide from the Clinton-Lewinksi affair, much as it did the Hunter Biden story prior to the election. I think we all know that if the story were about Trump (or frankly, any Republican president), it would’ve leaked to the press (sorry for the whataboutism, but we all know it’s true).

    But somehow, that same combination of media and sensational leaker failed to mention the FBI investigation of Biden’s son that had been ongoing for some time. This is the same apparatus that produced such media wonders (for those of us aged enough to remember) as Watergate and the Pentagon Papers, and more recently the Valerie Plame affair, Edward Snowden, Iraq war documents, the CIA interrogation of Al Queda subjects… the list is long and salacious. But somehow, the story that may have placed Biden’s election in jeopardy was kept as closely as the nuclear launch codes by that same incontinent apparatus and a suddenly… incurious media.

    Remember, this is the same media who unearthed every disgusting word spoken or act allegedly performed by then-candidate Trump, every secret tape, every hooker, every dalliance, every suspicious dollar spent and even some completely made-up but too-good-not-to-be-true indiscretions, yet somehow it couldn’t be bothered to pick up a huge story about Biden that was hand-delivered to them and required only routine follow-up for verification.

    Yet we are told authoritatively that mainstream media bias and the “deep state” are all just conspiracy theories, right up there with Area 51 and… oh wait…

  4. I posted this on Monday’s Friday Open Forum but thought I’d try again…

    Covid-19 vaccination certification appears to soon become a difficult ethics issue. WHO is looking for experts to develop a digital certification of vaccination. Some critics say a digital certificate would be problematic due to privacy rights and potential for security breaches. Others say such certification could easily work with any ID card containing a chip or a mobile phone.

    In discussion is the issue of creating “two types of people” and potential discrimination, regardless of which kind of certificate is applied to citizens. One international airline already requires some sort of proof of being protected from, as Jack calls it, the Wuhan Virus.

    Banks, stores, hospitals and other industries are willing to work with tech firms and governments to implement what is deemed in the public’s best interest. Other organizations are taking a “wait and see” approach, including Ticketmaster.

    What happens when you can’t travel by plane, enter certain businesses, and, essentially be marked as having or not having taken the vaccine? After all, international travelers already have to get certain vaccinations, and have to prove it with a card. So do college students and others.

    Perhaps we won’t have to deal with this issue and too many will push back on the potential problems that come with proof of vaccination for The Rona. Then there’s this:

    “Even if not all of this plan is feasible today, we need to think ahead and build the necessary infrastructure to enable citizens to effectively manage their vaccination status. COVID-19 is not the world’s first pandemic; neither will it be the last.”

    • “What happens when you can’t travel by plane, enter certain businesses, and, essentially be marked as having or not having taken the vaccine?”

      What happens when you can’t buy or sell anything without specific credentials? We are already seeing a concerted effort to change our economy, to determine what people do and do not need and to deprive people who do not conform of their reputations, possessions and livelihoods.

      This year, a large number of people in my circle of Christian friends have become convinced that we are nearing the return of Christ. To that end, considering the increasing hostility toward religion in general, they are actively looking for the AntiChrist to appear.

      Rumors that the vaccine will be mandatory, that the vaccine will contain identifying coding, etc, are rampant within the Christian community. You can expect a fight if any part of this vaccination process involves preventing people who don’t take it from engaging in everyday business.

      • To paraphrase from that final battle scene in LOTR: Return of the King (aside: just watched it with the boys 9, 7, and 5 and they loved all 13 hours of it):
        “Never thought I’d die fighting side by side with an antivaxxer.”
        “What about side by side with a fellow freedom fighter?”
        “Aye. I could do that.”

    • Not to worry, Once they settle on format and graphic those certification cards will be available from the same aging hippy that makes the phony driver licenses and sells them from his van parked on University Avenue. Examples of entrepreneurship and capitalism sometimes show up in the most unexpected places.

  5. Helping strangers after needs are shared:


    There are still good people in the world willing to help others. I know we get bogged down with the antics of the famous and/or the ignorant (or the famously ignorant?), but it’s important to know that we are still a country of givers.

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