Presidents Day Ethics Notes, 2/15/21: The Little Voice In My Head

Devil on shoulder

I have been wrestling with myself all day, fighting off the little voice in my head over whether to post this nauseating essay on Facebook. I think it needs to be read, and I haven’t seen what I believe are equivalent explanations of the importance of the dastardly conduct it describes. But I’m sure the post would provoke impassioned and offensive defenses by The Deranged, and that I might well lose it and tell some of theme exactly what they have become. I scrupulously avoided stirring the snakes’ nest after the acquittal, even restraining myself from posting the single word “Good!” without comment. Yesterday I made the mistake of starting to read my Facebook feed for the first time in weeks, and a lawyer I know had written ruefully that there were only “57 votes for democracy” in the Senate. As Jack Point says in “Yeomen of the Guard,” I can’t let that pass, and noted that the statement was Orwellian, and I was being kind. Voting for the contrived conviction of a man no longer President, over which the Senate has no jurisdiction, based on an impeachment based on no evidence, no hearings, no investigation, no witnesses and no defense, after a trial in which a party, in order to prevent future voters from having the opportunity to elect an opposition leader who dares to oppose its assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, employed false and falsified claims while refusing to allow witnesses and continued to use a corrupted news media to misinform the public while doings so, when a conviction will complete the process of defeating the Founder’s design for an impeachment process based on the public interest rather than a power grab by any party having a majority in Congress, is a vote FOR democracy! This is how much the past year has corrupted the minds, ethics, civics, integrity, honesty and language of progressives and Democrats.

1. Maybe someone was un-woke enough to read the Constitution? In Oregon, which has now lapped California in the “which state has become more insane?” competition, the 27-member COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee that is charged with devising “a vaccine sequencing plan focused on health equity to ensure the needs of systemically affected populations, including communities of color, tribal communities and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are met,” seemed poised to announce a vaccine access priority based on race. That would be unconstitutional, and any well-educated 15 year old should be able to explain why; nonetheless, Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who is NOT 15, went ahead and did explain why prioritizing race in vaccination decisions would breach the Equal Protection Clause, writing that such a plan “runs into the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which says citizens of all races are entitled to the equal protection of the laws.The Supreme Court has long interpreted this to mean that the government may ordinarily not dole out valuable benefits, or impose harms, based on a citizen’s race.”

The commission’s decision was due more than a week ago, and crickets. No news is good news; such an anti-American bit of bias would naturally entail accusing anyone opposing it as being a white supremacist.

2. “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos” The planned Democratic PRO act is an assault on employment liberty that would devastate, among others, actors and theater artists. The voice in my head that is cheering for its passage to stick it good and hard to all my professional theater friends who happily and ignorantly put Joe Biden in office is undoubtedly evil, but the little guy sure is seductive. But I’m sure Sean Penn approves of it after careful analysis.

The PRO Act was just re-introduced with sponsors including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer. Among many other things, the bill would severely restrict the legal definition of independent contractors, substantially ending the gig economy as we know it.  The Foundation for Economic Education explains, PRO would use the reclassification of independent contractors to force gig economy companies to hire workers as full employees and thus provide them the accompanying salaries and benefits. All but a tiny percentage of professional theaters can afford to operate like that. FEE writes,

The PRO Act would outlaw millions of existing jobs with the stroke of the president’s pen. After all, it would make illegal any independent contractor arrangement where the worker provides services within “the usual course of the business of the employer,” meaning jobs like Uber drivers, Doordash drivers, Instacart grocery deliverers, and more could not exist as we know them. There are roughly 10.6 million independent contractors in the US, accounting for 6.9 percent of all employment. Some of these workers might not be affected by the law and some others may get hired on as full-time as a result. But there’s little doubt that millions more would find themselves unemployed…Uber is just one company and one example. But freelance workers such as journalists, photographers, florists, musicians and more all lost work in California under legislation similar to the PRO Act. 

3. You think that’s stupid? Then you don’t know stupid like I know stupid, From the Ethics Alarms life competence files, I give you rapper Len Martin. Here’s Len:

Idiot

Remember Tessica, the woman who might sue Gorilla Glue because it didn’t warn her not to put in on her hair? Well, Len, another genius, was certain the story was a hoax. So the little voice in HIS head—I wonder if is the same one in my head—convinced him to launch the “Gorilla Glue Challenge on social media, and Len ended up…

Idiot 2

…in an ER with a plastic cup glued to his face. Hell, he might as well sue too.

4. That little voice in my head is cheering for this, too. Steve Bannon, the former Trump chief of staff, has been saying that the ex-President’s grand plan for a comeback might be to run for Congress in 2022, win, become Speaker of the House with a new GOP majority, and then lead the vengeance-minded Republicans in an impeachment of Biden, Harris, and others.

11 thoughts on “Presidents Day Ethics Notes, 2/15/21: The Little Voice In My Head

  1. 2. Where are the blue ribbon bi-partisan commissions to evaluate the merits of these ideas. My first semester Econ students ( well some of them) could evaluate the merits using simple elasticity models. If more than 1% of GIG workers are negatively affected by the proposed rule for each 1% improvement for some then the welfare of the group falls. This means social welfare falls. Where is the equity in that? Conversely, even if more than 1% of GIG workers lot is improved relative to the others we have a simply given benefits to some at the expense of another. Where is the equity in that?

    3. Jack, the rapper is simply wearing two masks per Fauci’s recommendations.

    4. I think Trump has given all he can or should for the betterment of a polarized, shortsighted, and often times ungrateful nation. He could cure cancer and still 50% of the population would loathe him simply because he is Trump. The swamp and its enablers labelled him a dictator because he used executive orders to reduce burdensome regulations – which allowed the special few to capture market share or otherwise profit – or to enforce existing legislation. How obnoxious can a president be when he sought to actually faithfully execute the laws Congress passed and negatively affect the budget ration the swamp dwellers can extract from the system? As a statesman he was questionable at best but to capture the attention of most myopic Americans he used the tools of a showman to his gain and loss. Like him or hate him he got results that helped Americans. How many other career politicians can list the tangible results of their work; very few. I should note that bringing home the bacon is not results. Results in education mean higher levels of competency in students. Results in the war on terror means defeating the enemy and bringing our men and women home. Results in expanding the economy means that all private actor and sectors rise not just a few even if not all rise equally. Increasing the size of government to expand economic output is temporal, reduces liberty, and places burdens on future generations. In short the expansion is a mirage that disappears when inflation erodes the buying power of the working classes.

    I appreciate the good he did and I want Trump to enjoy his remaining life as a developer and entrepreneur and husband to our former first lady. While he owes America nothing he would be more valuable to his supporters if he were to find private opportunities turn back the authoritarian impulses of Silicon Valley, global interests and DC swamp dwellers.

  2. Any update on The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict.

    Yesterday I made the mistake of starting to read my Facebook feed for the first time in weeks, and a lawyer I know had written ruefully that there were only “57 votes for democracy” in the Senate. As Jack Point says in “Yeomen of the Guard,” I can’t let that pass, and noted that the statement was Orwellian, and I was being kind. Voting for the contrived conviction of a man no longer President, over which the Senate has no jurisdiction, based on an impeachment based on no evidence, no hearings, no investigation, no witnesses and no defense, after a trial in which a party, in order to prevent future voters from having the opportunity to elect an opposition leader who dares to oppose its assault on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, employed false and falsified claims while refusing to allow witnesses and continued to use a corrupted news media to misinform the public while doings so, when a conviction will complete the process of defeating the Founder’s design for an impeachment process based on the public interest rather than a power grab by any party having a majority in Congress, is a vote FOR democracy! This is how much the past year has corrupted the minds, ethics, civics, integrity, honesty and language of progressives and Democrats.

    Can you link to that Facebook post? I would love to comment.

    Now here is an interesting topic worth discussing.

    http://groups.google.com/g/Sci.Med.Cardiology/c/k0PDnYH2GVE/m/saLtpDpUAwAJ

    Even once all adults have been offered the vaccine – which could come by
    May and at the latest will come at the end of the summer – some of the
    population will have not received the jab, while some vaccines might not
    offer much protection to new variants.

    Scientists also do not know how long vaccines will offer protection for.

    The prime minister said on Monday that there were dangers letting the
    virus circulate too freely amongst younger, unvaccinated groups.

    “If you have loads of people, even young people, getting the disease
    then a couple of things happen – first of all, a higher risk of new
    variants and mutations within the population where the disease is
    circulating,” he said.

    “Secondly, there is greater risk of the disease spreading into older
    groups again.

    “Even though vaccines are effective and great, no vaccination programme
    is 100% effective.

    “When you have a large volume, a lot of disease, inevitably a lot of
    people will suffer.”

    It is moving the goalposts again, as Justice Gorsuch noted.

  3. The push for the PRO Act by the Dems is perplexing since Silicon Valley has a long and deep preference for independent contractors. In 2018, Google’s independent contractors outnumbered their employee staff. Is this another example of tensions building in the Democratic party? The more infighting, the better it will be for all of us.

  4. Have any of you heard of tony, who is a frequent commenter on Reason.com?

    http://reason.com/2021/02/11/leaving-aside-trumps-role-in-provoking-the-capitol-riot-his-reaction-to-it-was-enough-to-justify-impeachment/#comment-8757636

    Republicans can never have power again. It’s that simple. I don’t care whose feelings get hurt or what levers have to be pulled.

    They are clearly out to destroy the United States. They just can’t have power ever again.

    Tony clearly does not read your blog.

    • Hell, my own sister doesn’t read mu blog. My son doesn’t, I’m pretty sure. My last surviving aunt and, as far as I know, my cousins don’t read EA. Most of my genuine friends don’t.

      Tony could be my brother.

      • True.

        Now here is a quote from the article itself.

        But regardless of his intent before the riot started, Trump was strikingly reluctant to intervene after it began, and his irresponsibility at that point is independent grounds for impeachment. His reaction betrayed his duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” as well as his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

        But here is what Jacob Sullum wrote during the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse Ethics Train Wreck.

        http://reason.com/2020/07/22/trump-deploys-lawlessness-against-lawlessness/

        Notwithstanding Trump’s pose as “your president of law and order,” his heavy-handed reaction to the protests triggered by George Floyd’s death represents neither. In response to largely peaceful demonstrations against police brutality that have been punctuated by criminal behavior, he has deployed his own brand of lawlessness, including arbitrary arrests and the disproportionate, indiscriminate use of force.

        I think it is fair to say Sullum is ethically estopped from condemn ing the Capitol riots.

        • He’s a hypocritical, ignorant moron. “But regardless of his intent before the riot started, Trump was strikingly reluctant to intervene after it began, and his irresponsibility at that point is independent grounds for impeachment.” is garbage. The President has no power to order citizens to stop protesting, or doing anything. If they are breaking laws, law enforcement officials are empowered to stop them. The same people who kept calling Trump an autocrat suddenly decided that it was in their interests to argue that he should be impeached for not being an autocrat. Moreover, the argument is a Catch-22: if Trump did not oreder the riots, and he did not, then he couldn’t order them to cease.

  5. If the goal is socialized medicine, why are they pushing benefits through private employers?

    If the goal is to provide opportunities for minorities, why are they tanking the gig economy for those juggling multiple jobs?

    • Rich
      Because socialized medicine and opportunities for minorities are just promises of a better tomorrow that never have to be kept as long as you have a bogeyman to blame for it not occurring. Promises are merely tactics used by some to retain power and their place in the federal budgetary feeding trough.

      Putting people out of work elevates the importance of government to help the people. It is like the auto mechanic who loosens some head bolts on your engine while fixing a minor problem so that you later are beholden to him to fix the problem (blown head gasket) he initiated.

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