Afternoon Ethics Delights, 7/19/2021: The Follies

Summer

You thought I was going to play the damn song, didn’t you? (When Drew Barrymore’s hair moved like that in “Firestarter,” it meant she was about to fry someone…)

1. Good for Mike Judge, the school pal of Justice Kavanaugh, for not letting the disgusting smearing of the judge by Kamala Harris and other Democrats (and the media, of course) sink completely into the memory hole. Judge has another of several articles he’s written on the “Get Kavanaugh by any means necessary” hearings, and it’s as informative as it is infuriating. He writes,

When they got desperate, the left dragged out Julie Swetnick. Remember her? She was the pawn of then-lawyer, now-convicted-felon Michael Avenatti. She told the disgraceful Kate Snow of NBC News that she was gang raped at a party where Brett and I were also present. The claim? That she “saw boys gathered outside closed rooms at parties but did not know what was happening behind those closed doors until she says she herself was attacked around 1982.” Swetnick said she was drugged and then “shoved into a room” where she was “raped by more than one man.” Swetnick says Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were in the same part of the house earlier that evening but she cannot be sure if they were involved. “I cannot specifically say that he was one of the ones who assaulted me,” she said.

...So what about that Swetnick police report? Jackie Calmes, a journalist at the Los Angeles Times, has tried to find it, [writing]: “County officials never did search for any Swetnick police filling. The 1982 records had not been digitized, and the county records custodian told me in September 2019 that no one, including Avenatti, would pay the $1,260 charge for looking through three thousand boxes of hundreds of microfiche files for the year. I paid the county to do so, but rescinded the work order when Swetnick, in a brief interview before the search began, retracted her claim that she was assaulted in 1982. She’d specified that year in both her sworn statement and her NBC appearance, but a year later told me it could have been 1980 or 1981.”

Wow. Not only was I a criminal mastermind at seventeen, I was wheeling and dealing early as fifteen. It was probably around the same time I was living at the Playboy mansion. There was a police report to prove it. Strangely enough, neither the media nor their hero Avenatti would bet $1,260 that it even existed.

I will never forget—nor forgive—the experience I had during the Kavanaugh fiasco, when two female Massachusetts attorneys and bar administrators, co-presenters with me in a bar program, smirked, rolled their eyes and gave each other “what a sexist!” winks and nods as I politely explained during lunch that Blasey-Ford’s unsubstantiated account of a conveniently-timed recollection of an alleged sexual assault at a time and place she couldn’t remember by a teen-age Brett Kavanaugh should never have been allowed before the Senate, and that the feminist and progressive assumptions that Kavanaugh was guilty because they wanted him to be was unconscionable. The two women were so insufferably smug and condescending, and they had nothing to justify their position but Leftist certitude.

2. If a horrible journalist calls a horrible journalist a horrible journalist whom you agree is a horrible journalist, does that horrible journalist’s accusation count as bolstering your opinion? Michael Wolff, which Ethics Alarms fairly described in 2018 as a “venal slug,” was the author of “Fire and Fury,” a collection of anti-Trump gossip, rumors and lies that even Wolff admitted couldn’t be substantiated. Naturally the juiciest of his anonymously sourced tales were repeated by the news media and bolstered by partisan fact-checkers like Snopes, which wrote about one Wolff- inspired fantasies, “not such an unlikely turn of events, given how improbable much of 2016 and 2017 were.” Yet as you can see on this clip from the weekend, Wolff, of all people, confronted CNN’s ridiculous Brian Stelter by saying, “You are one of the reasons why people can’t stand the media. Sorry! It’s your fault!”

Now, I wouldn’t believe Michael Wolff if he said the sky was up and the land was down. What is the ethical response to something like this? (When Stelter asked why Wolff agreed to come on his show if he was so terrible, Wolff answered that he had a book to promote.)

3. Good to know what Mayor Bowser’s priorities are…

That was the scene after a panic ensued in Nationals Park when gunshots were heard during the game two days ago. The same day, a 6-year-old girl had been killed in another shooting incident. The day before, the Washington Post ran a story about D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plans to make the mural spelling “Black Lives Matter” down 16th Street, which she ordered last summer as a rebuke to President Trump and a love note to the Marxist, anti-cop, anti-white movement, a permanent, landscaped plaza. Ann Althouse read the comments to the piece so we wouldn’t have to, including this one:

“Mayor Bowser’s graffiti is made permanent with our tax dollars, while Black children die from increasing Black violence in DC ever more frequently….Most recently, a six-year-old girl yesterday. Priorities reassessment needed, Mayor Bowser. Black lives mattering shouldn’t be about memorializing your political stunts.”

But Black Lives Matter is a political stunt.

4. Finally, there is hope. Why? American aren’t as stupid as their elected leaders think they are. Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) decided that a multi-million-dollar lottery with a 1:49,000 chance of winning would be enough to convince people to take what they saw as an unreasonable risk from a vaccination they were skeptical about since health officials have changed their stories more times than Bill Clinton. But the number of weekly vaccinations in Colorado dropped by more than two-thirds between the start and end of the state’s vaccine lottery, essentially duplicating the same curve established in the weeks before the announcement of the insulting lottery stunt.

27 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Delights, 7/19/2021: The Follies

  1. On Kavanaugh/Blasey-Ford, I have two extended family members who no longer speak to me because I made the points you make here at a family dinner. Maybe I wasn’t quite as polite as I’m sure you were…

  2. Amazing how so-called “journalists” can dig up decades-old gossipy info to try and destroy Judge Kavanaugh, but can’t manage to find anything given all the actual recent videos, emails, testimony etc. to even mildly criticize Hunter Biden. Wonder how many fact checkers have proudly purchased HB paintings.

  3. Re: No. 2; Michael Wolff is no Tom Wolfe.

    The best part of that exchange was watching Stelter try to out-maneuver Wolff with that stupid, sardonic, insipid, smug smirk he so famously displays. Wolff simply cut his throat and said, “ah, gee – looks like that hurts.” Stelter is a pompous, unimpressive buffoon, which seems to be par for the course on CNN.

    jvb

  4. “Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) decided that a multi-million-dollar lottery with a 1:49,000 chance of winning would be enough to convince people to take what they saw as an unreasonable risk from a vaccination they were skeptical about since health officials have changed their stories more times than Bill Clinton.”

    That can’t be right… 1:49,000? How many zeroes are missing?

    And I don’t blame him for trying. The difference between a place like Colorado, where the lotteries were flushed down the drain, and a place like Ohio, where they say a fairly distinct lottery bump, I think comes down to politics. You’re right, of course, that the professionals aren’t doing themselves any favors or building anything even resembling trust between their manic flip-flops and their borderline ridiculous commentary… But the vaccine was exceptionally politicized in America.

    You can accurately map the results of the 2020 election to an uncanny by mapping vaccine uptake. Mesa county has one of the worst vaccine uptakes in Colorado, want to guess who they voted for? Donald Trump and Rep. Lauren Boebert, both by about 28 points.

    At some point, I think the kid gloves have to come off and people need to start having an honest conversation here… We’ve been giving out vaccines for most of the year, they’re obviously effective, there aren’t side effects, or if there are, they’re in line with what you would expect out of vaccines normally. Outside of America, the political discussion wasn’t so much about getting the vaccine as it was who could get it to us faster, and the efficacy of the Chinese knockoffs.

    I’m not saying that people who aren’t vaccinated are per se idiots, there are all kinds of legitimate reasons why you might not get jabbed, but if you aren’t jabbed, you’re slowing the recovery down. Truth bomb: Almost every new case of Covid for the last three months have been unvaccinated people. You may or may not ever get Covid, but without the vaccine you are infinitely more likely to be a statistic than someone who got it. So I really think you need to ask yourself: Are you doing this out of some kind of good-faith concern around the vaccine, or some kind of medical necessity, or are you deferring the vaccine to own the Dems? Because I disagree with one, I understand another, and the last makes you a fucking idiot.

    • But, can’t you draw a line from the Governor’s Wuhan Lottery idea to the fall-off in vaccines? I know correlation isn’t causation, but can’t you make the argument that some people think, “Hey, if I win the lottery I won’t have to worry about the vaccine”? Which I realize is twisted logic but so is playing the lottery. I mean, he said, “If you get the vaccine, you are gonna get a chance at a $1 million bucks!” So, you would think people would line up, right? But, people don’t start lining up for the lottery until there is a bigass pot of cash on the line (which I know I will win; it’s only a matter of time).

      The fall-off is probably more related to how horribly the state and federal agencies have bungled the distribution and confusing information about the vaccine’s effectiveness, if not the entire response to the pandemic: “If I am vaccinated why do I have to wear a mask?” Or, “wait! I have to go back to wearing a mask full time now because of that stupid delta variant? Why the hell did I have to take the vaccine if it means I still have to wear a stupid and mask and stay away from people?” Then, Fauci said toddlers as young as 3 years old need to be vaccinated and wear masks. Why, if we have been told for the last 16 months that they are the least likely groups to be whacked by the virus?

      jvb

      • “But, can’t you draw a line from the Governor’s Wuhan Lottery idea to the fall-off in vaccines?”

        You could… but it would be a really squiggly one. I mean, take this:

        “I know correlation isn’t causation, but can’t you make the argument that some people think, “Hey, if I win the lottery I won’t have to worry about the vaccine”?”

        Um… No? They’d have to get the vaccine in order to win the vaccine lottery.

        Look; Your average seasonal flu vaccine had about a 20% uptake. All those signs we saw for years: “Everyone should get the flu shot”? I mean, they meant it, but they knew it wasn’t going to happen, and planned accordingly: If it did actually happen they’d have run out of vaccine because they never made enough for everyone to take, because doing so would be a waste. There were all kinds of reasons for that; Maybe your insurance didn’t cover it, maybe it was inconvenient, maybe you were busy during the flu clinics, maybe you just didn’t care. And with a flu shot any of that was more or less legitimate. We weren’t locking down for the flu.

        But we are locking down for Covid, and so there’s a drive to overcome the things that kept 80% of the population away from vaccines: The vaccine is free, it’s available, the lockdowns sucked. The vaccine lotteries were just another layer of the attempt to move the needle enough so more people got vaccinated, and the lotteries were effective in places where the vaccine hadn’t been negatively politicized, and didn’t do too well in Republican strongholds. I can’t even pretend to be surprised.

        “The fall-off is probably more related to how horribly the state and federal agencies have bungled the distribution and confusing information about the vaccine’s effectiveness, if not the entire response to the pandemic: “If I am vaccinated why do I have to wear a mask?” Or, “wait! I have to go back to wearing a mask full time now because of that stupid delta variant? Why the hell did I have to take the vaccine if it means I still have to wear a stupid and mask and stay away from people?”

        No. If this was true, then Democrat strongholds would have the worst uptake, because they’ve been the worst at mixing their signals. You might have had a point regarding the distribution…. Back in April… But the vaccine has been widely available for months now. Anyone who isn’t vaccinated right now: I bet you $100 to the charity of your choice that I could book an appointment relatively close to you within a week. No, at some point the excuses become excuses and the inaction becomes a choice.

        Look at those maps I linked above: With the exceptions of the normally red states that flipped blue in 2020, every state with vaccine uptake >70% is Democrat, and Every state that missed the target is Republican. The problem wasn’t the mixed messaging from all the Democrats, the problem was the consistently bad messaging from the Republicans.

          • Ah yes! That famous bastion of Black America: Colorado.

            Seriously though, and it’s been a while since I’ve got to say this…. Read. Your. Own. Damn. Citation.

            “The CDC reports demographic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, of people receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the national level. As of July 4, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 58% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, nearly two thirds were White (59%), 9% were Black, 16% were Hispanic, 6% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and <1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, while 8% reported multiple or other race. However, CDC data also show that recent vaccinations are reaching larger shares of Hispanic, Asian, and Black populations. Thirty-four percent of vaccines administered in the past 14 days have gone to Hispanic people, 6% to Asian people, and 12% to Black people (Figure 1). These recent trends suggest a narrowing of racial gaps in vaccinations at the national level, particularly for Hispanic people, who have recently received a larger share of vaccinations compared to their share of the total population (34% vs. 17%). While these data provide helpful insights at a national level, to date, CDC is not publicly reporting state-level data on the racial/ethnic composition of people vaccinated."

            And if that's too wordy for you, they break it down in figure 1, where they show you in various shades of blue that vaccine proportionality is within 3% of every single demographic's proportional representation.

            • -“And if that’s too wordy for you, they break it down in figure 1, where they show you in various shades of blue that vaccine proportionality is within 3% of every single demographic’s proportional representation.”-
              Bullshit. I just quickly counted 33 that exceed 3%. Did you think no one would check?

                • I’ll go one step further:

                  Demographic (Vaccinated/Population)

                  White (59/61)
                  Black (9/12)
                  Hispanic (16/17)
                  Asian (6/6)
                  AIAN (1/1)
                  NHOPI (<1/<1)
                  Other (8/2)

                  Now you could say: Hah! Jeff! "Other" is out more than 3%.

                  Sure, but the description says that anyone who reported themselves as multiracial was included in other. Probability is that most of those people are some mic of white/black/hispanic, which would explain why everyone's vaccinated proportions are lower than their population proportions. Basically: Everyone is right on the money, and the headline didn't match the data.

              • You were looking at figure 2! Information by state!

                Hah. Ok. You’re still wrong. You need to compare the first and last columns (percent of vaccinations)/(percent of vaccinations).

                Of the 50 states listed, only 10 are out by more than 3%, and that number shrinks to 3 if I include the ones out by 4%. The largest discrepancy is 7%. And none of that doesn’t take into account the black people that are included in “other”.

        • HT Hey, can you reconcile the Israeli vaccination rate of 60.7% (U.S. is 52.9%) with the one month (6/18-7/18) increase in cases from 1.8 per million to 88 per million?
          Seychelles, with their daily case rate down to 826 per million today, and the worlds highest vaccination rate (72.7%), is probably rethinking their purchase of Sinopharm from the Chinese, so the numbers there are explainable. But the Israelis bought the good stuff, that spendy Pfizer stuff, and they’re within spitting distance of the case rate of those stupid Mississippi Trump voters, with their 35.8 vaccination uptake?
          How can this be? Is it possible that cases aren’t really a good measure of disease when they’re defined as any positive PCR test? Or do cases not matter post-vaccine, but we shut the world down pre-vaccine because…cases? Daily death rate in Israel has doubled, from 1 to 2! Mississippi deaths were at just 4 per day on May 8th, but refusal to vaccinate by those Republican weenies, even in the face of the deadly Delta Variant has inevitably resulted in a horrifying death rate per day that’s utterly unchanged today!
          Let’s talk death rate standards and accounting next.
          *All stats as of today by Bloomberg or Worldometer.

          • “HT Hey, can you reconcile the Israeli vaccination rate of 60.7% (U.S. is 52.9%) with the one month (6/18-7/18) increase in cases from 1.8 per million to 88 per million?”

            “Seychelles, with their daily case rate down to 826 per million today”

            The population of Israel is 9 million. So assuming your numbers are correct, you’re talking about a nation that went from 16 cases to 792. How do I explain that? Population density? A couple of spreader parties? A bad week? On a population basis, we aren’t talking about a particularly large number. Seychelles is an even worse example… They have a population of 90,000! Every single case is 11 cases per million! That maths out to a raw number of 72.

            But that’s not really the point: How many of those cases are vaccinated people? “If 80% of a country is vaccinated, how did 10% get sick?!?!” Well, Joe, the answer is kind of self evident: The 20% of the country that didn’t get the vaccine also didn’t observe social distancing, and they’re having the 2021 equivalent of chicken pox parties. I suppose in their own special way, they’re building herd immunity among the unvaccinated the old fashioned way, but in the meantime, they’re also becoming statistics standing in the way of restrictions coming down.

              • Joe, I can’t decide whether you’re a naïve rube who has been lied to, or an actual source of bad information.

                You just posted a graphic that uses a non-lined source to the Government of Israel Covid information, which is posted in Hebrew. Do you know how miserable that is to try to parse? And when I finally do that, I realize, very quickly, that something doesn’t add up:

                See, we were just talking about how Israel is experiencing 800 cases a day. How does a tracker for 28 days come up with a grand total of 5600 cases? Where are the other 17,000? Even if you want to argue that they increased from 16 to 792 and that happened gradually, and that curve was exponential, you’d expect significantly more cases than that.

                Well, I found them. Part of that is that your sources routinely cherry pick the lowest parts of the valley to compare to the highest peak of the mountain. Another problem is that they ignore data that doesn’t suit them. When you add back in the data points that didn’t conform to an anti-vaxxers narrative (DataIDs 231,240,249, and 258 had 271 post vaccine infections and 4318 unvaccinated infections) you get 5,027 post vaccine infections and 5,189 unvaccinated infections.

                But wait! There’s more: There is a spectrum between “unvaccinated” and “fully vaccinated”, and when you add in the variations of a theme of people who are partially vaccinated you add about 1,000 more infections among people not fully vaccinated.

                So, no, we aren’t looking at an 84.5% share of new infections being among the fully vaxxed, we’re looking at about a 45% rate (5000/11200). And that’s in a country where about 80% of the population is vaccinated. So really rough napkin math… You’re about 500% more likely to get Covid unvaccinated than you are vaccinated.

                This surprises no one, and breaks no arguments.

                • You are so very tiresome.
                  “See, we were just talking about how Israel is experiencing 800 cases a day. How does a tracker for 28 days come up with a grand total of 5600 cases? Where are the other 17,000? Even if you want to argue that they increased from 16 to 792 and that happened gradually, and that curve was exponential, you’d expect significantly more cases than that.”
                  No, I indicated that Israel had a “one month (6/18-7/18) increase in cases from 1.8 per million to 88 per million?”. Not a one month daily rate of 800 cases per day for that month. So the “other 17,000” aren’t missing at all. I expect you know that, but expect others won’t recall, or make the distinction. You do understand the difference?
                  Your paragraph’s 3,4 and 5 are an outstanding example of someone not simply massaging data to make it fit their narrative, but basically pummeling it.
                  And here you are admitting you were wrong, even after all that hard work:
                  “So, no, we aren’t looking at an 84.5% share of new infections being among the fully vaxxed, we’re looking at about a 45% rate (5000/11200). ”
                  After stating:
                  ” “If 80% of a country is vaccinated, how did 10% get sick?!?!” Well, Joe, the answer is kind of self evident: The 20% of the country that didn’t get the vaccine also didn’t observe social distancing, and they’re having the 2021 equivalent of chicken pox parties. I suppose in their own special way, they’re building herd immunity among the unvaccinated the old fashioned way, but in the meantime, they’re also becoming statistics standing in the way of restrictions coming down.”
                  Of course it was impossible for you to answer any of this without smugly making assumptions about those infected in Israel to fit your narrative. This seems a tendency of yours that I’ve noted in other threads, with other people.
                  You’ve certainly taken that approach with me, plus your pretense at thorough review and understanding of data is bullshit I won’t waste my time on again. You’re either a victim of your schtick or your narrative, or both. Well, HT, I hope this isn’t kind of too self-evident: Fuck off.

                  • “No, I indicated that Israel had a “one month (6/18-7/18) increase in cases from 1.8 per million to 88 per million?”. Not a one month daily rate of 800 cases per day for that month. So the “other 17,000” aren’t missing at all. I expect you know that, but expect others won’t recall, or make the distinction. You do understand the difference?”

                    Joe…. You were missing more than half of Israel’s Covid cases in your shitty antivaxxer infographic. That’s not my fault. You can bitch about my math, and how I came to my assumptions, but what you can’t get past is that somehow your source only counted 4800 of the 11200 actual cases in the timeframe you were talking about, hid the fact that they did it behind an unlinked source to a non-english website, and you took the information up uncritically. That’s no one’s fault but your own. I explicitly said that I didn’t expect to find the 22,000 cases, I just assumed there were more… and miracle of miracles, I found them.

                    And what’s blowing my mind is that you’re strutting around like you’ve made a point. We are ridiculously far off topic because I’ve allowed you to hyperfocus on Israel, which we’re only on because I pointed out the absurdity of your previous point on the thriving middle sized city nation of Seychelles. The fact of the matter is that no one said that vaccines were 100% effective (the talking about has been about 95%), and even in your myopic example of Israel, 5000 cases in a vaccinated population of 7.2 million represents a 0.007% failure rate.

                    You are deliberately choosing to give credit to sources that spun the data on a top to give you a talking point critical of vaccinations. What do you think that says about you?

        • I don’t really care WHY the lottery stunt hasn’t worked in Colorado; i just wanted to point out that the horrible idea of rewarding people for doing what is societally responsible is a damaging and anti-ethics precedent that was justified by many commenters here with “the ends justify the means” the first time AE raised it. If the means is unethical—and the lottery is—it had at least better work, and in Colorado, it hasn’t.

          • And like I said before… This doesn’t pass the sniff test.

            This is similar to your line of “if you repeal laws against something, you’re condoning it”. I just don’t believe the same thing that you do… And I have no idea how we got here. The rebuttal to that is that there are all kinds of things that I think are bad behaviors, but I also don’t think should be illegal or regulated, but calling for bad laws to be repealed isn’t an endorsement of the bad behaviors, it’s a recognition that the laws are bad. And keeping bad laws on the books because they might cause an uptick in bad behavior isn’t ethical, it’s breaking your nose to spite your face. To use your own logic: “If the ends justify the means, they had better at least work”… And how’s that war on drugs treating you?

            And topically, as I said the last time, ethics shouldn’t be entirely situational. We reward good behavior in all kinds of ways, and I have no idea how you’ve drawn the line between this and every other way that governments nudge good behavior, but I have the suspicion that it’s because this situation includes the word “lottery”. If an incentive to good behavior is unethical because people should just do the right thing… Then we should probably take a couple of massive scoops out of the itemized tax deductions. I mean, why should someone be rewarded with a tax break for making charitable contributions? They should just make them! Itemized deductions are unethical, right? If not, please explain why a charitable donations tax break is ethical, while a vaccine incentive isn’t.

            • 1. I don’t know what you think “here” is, HT. When the law says conduct is legal, it is approving that conduct. When that conduct is irresponsible and damaging, then the government is encouraging the conduct. I don’t see how anyone can dispute this.

              2. We agree that all destructive or undesirable behaviors cannot be and should not be illegal. That doesn’t change the fact that if they were illegal and the government says “Go ahead,” it endorses that conduct. See: shop-lifting in San Francisco.

              3. “Then we should probably take a couple of massive scoops out of the itemized tax deductions.” Yes, we should.

              4. Why should someone be rewarded with a tax break for making charitable contributions? Because the government saves money by not having to support what many consider vital services with tax funds if private citizens take up the slack is the official argument.

              5. “They should just make them!” I don’t believe anyone can or should say that. People have every right to use their own money as they choose. If they choose, for any number of reasons, including selfish ones, to give to charities and non-profits, that’s a win-win, but there is no ethical obligation to be altruistic.

              6. “Itemized deductions are unethical, right?” Some are, some aren’t. There are sound ethical arguments for a flat tax.

              7. “Please explain why a charitable donations tax break is ethical, while a vaccine incentive isn’t.” Easy: Because everyone gets a charitable donation deduction. The monetary vaccine incentive is like paying teens not to break the law. Nobody paid me not to use illegal drugs—I decided that if the law said “don’t do this,” I wouldn’t do it. Nobody paid me to get the vaccine either. Why should someone be rewarded for holding out until it’s profitable?

              7. The “war on drugs” still was worth it, as we will eventually figure out, although it should be obvious already. The oxycontin epidemic is one recent deadly catastrophe arising from the cultural U-Turn that now says, “Hey, self-medication is cool!” And ask any of the millions of Americans (like, for example, me) whose lives, future, happiness and finances have been savaged by the alcoholics in their families if it is wise to add another group of legal addictive substances with no social utility into the culture.

  5. On 1.
    “I don’t know what you think “here” is, HT.”

    I meant “I don’t know how we got to this point.” I know that two people having been given the same information can get to very different positions based on the experience of their lives… But I just don’t understand your point of view on this.

    “I don’t see how anyone can dispute this.”

    By taking a principled stance in favor of something. We do it all the time using the first amendment. When we say that people should be allowed to say horrible things, we aren’t condoning what they say, we’re just saying that they should be allowed to say them, and if they choose to say them, that says something about them. The government, because of the first amendment, has not legislated against, as an example, saying racial slurs. They are *obviously* not encouraging people to walk down Main Street shouting “nigger” at the top of their lungs. That’s not how reality works.

    On 2.
    Bad laws are not a suicide pact, and laws against shoplifting are not bad laws. To use my example from 1… If there was a law that abridged speech on the books, even though it was facially unconstitutional, would you want it to remain the law out of some kind of nod to stare decisis?

    On 4.
    “Because the government saves money by not having to support what many consider vital services with tax funds if private citizens take up the slack is the official argument.”

    And that’s irrelevant. Use your own logic, whether you can justify the incentive doesn’t matter, what matters is if the government is incentivizing good behavior. And we don’t want to do that because it could keep people from making future good decisions absent the incentive. That’s not an argument on whether the behavior is actually good, or even whether it works.

    On 5.
    “I don’t believe anyone can or should say that.”

    And yet, it’s the logical outcome of what you’re saying. If you aren’t saying that people would do the thing they’re being incentivized to do absent the incentive, then if you remove the incentive you’re functionally giving up on the thing, because you have no expectation of it happening.

    On 6.
    “Easy: Because everyone gets a charitable donation deduction.”

    Well… Everyone who makes a charitable donation, anyway…. Just like anyone who got a vaccine in Ohio was entered. This isn’t an argument.

    “The monetary vaccine incentive is like paying teens not to break the law. Nobody paid me not to use illegal drugs—I decided that if the law said “don’t do this,” I wouldn’t do it.”

    Think about what you’re saying. The reason we don’t incentivize not-breaking-the-law is because there’s a disincentive to breaking the law: Fines. Jail. The System. There is no disincentive to not getting a vaccine, at least nothing on that scale, and there shouldn’t be one. We also don’t charge people who don’t make charitable donations. If you can’t disincentivize against a bad behavior, you incentivize the good one. This isn’t complicated.

    • On 1.
      1. Unconstitutional laws that are struck down do NOT signal government endorsement of the conduct (or racial slurs.) A government saying, in effect, “This was illegal because we thought it was harmful conduct that negatively affected society, but now we’ve decided that was wrong, so go crazy!’ is very different. In the first case, the government has no choice: the law was illegal.

      On 2.
      “Laws against shoplifting are not bad laws.” But San Francisco believes they are bad laws….and thus more people are shoplifting. “To use my example from 1… If there was a law that abridged speech on the books, even though it was facially unconstitutional, would you want it to remain the law out of some kind of nod to stare decisis?” As I explained above, that’s not a good comparison, because bans on speech are illegal, and the law is a bad one by definition.

      On 4.
      “Because the government saves money by not having to support what many consider vital services with tax funds if private citizens take up the slack is the official argument.”

      And that’s irrelevant. Use your own logic, whether you can justify the incentive doesn’t matter, what matters is if the government is incentivizing good behavior. And we don’t want to do that because it could keep people from making future good decisions absent the incentive. That’s not an argument on whether the behavior is actually good, or even whether it works.

      Incentivizing good behavior and beneficial behavior—which may make ethical sense in rare cases does not have to reward bad behavior, as in not being societally responsible. And as I said, choosing not to give to charities is not “bad behavior,” so the government is simply encouraging behavior it has good reasons to prefer, and changing the equation.

      On 5.
      “I don’t believe anyone can or should say that.”

      “And yet, it’s the logical outcome of what you’re saying. If you aren’t saying that people would do the thing they’re being incentivized to do absent the incentive, then if you remove the incentive you’re functionally giving up on the thing, because you have no expectation of it happening.”

      But since the choice to give or not to give isn’t intrinsically ethical or unethical, it’s not relevant to what we’re discussing.

      On 6.
      “Easy: Because everyone gets a charitable donation deduction.”

      “Well… Everyone who makes a charitable donation, anyway…. Just like anyone who got a vaccine in Ohio was entered. This isn’t an argument.”

      But you can’t use the local dodge here, because vaccines are a natiuonal issue, not a purely local one. Ohio incentivizing vaccine resistance undermines Virginia’s vaccine compliance

      “The monetary vaccine incentive is like paying teens not to break the law. Nobody paid me not to use illegal drugs—I decided that if the law said “don’t do this,” I wouldn’t do it.”

      “Think about what you’re saying. The reason we don’t incentivize not-breaking-the-law is because there’s a disincentive to breaking the law: Fines. Jail. The System. There is no disincentive to not getting a vaccine, at least nothing on that scale, and there shouldn’t be one. We also don’t charge people who don’t make charitable donations. If you can’t disincentivize against a bad behavior, you incentivize the good one. This isn’t complicated.”

      You apparently have missed the various local programs that pay “at risk” teens not to break the law. I didn’t make that up, and the fact that there are such programs and vocal advocates for such programs means that it IS complicated.

      • 1 – “Unconstitutional laws that are struck down do NOT signal government endorsement of the conduct ”

        Ok… Then explain to me what provision of the constitution allowed the Federal Government to prohibit the growth, production, distribution or consumption of class drugs. Then explain to be why the passing and repeal of prohibition required the 18th and 21st amendments, but the war on drugs did not.

        2 – “But San Francisco believes they are bad laws”

        I’m not particularly concerned with what San Francisco believes. I can determine or explain the “goodness” of a thing without appealing to authority.

        4 – “Incentivizing good behavior and beneficial behavior—which may make ethical sense in rare cases does not have to reward bad behavior, as in not being societally responsible. And as I said, choosing not to give to charities is not “bad behavior,” so the government is simply encouraging behavior it has good reasons to prefer, and changing the equation.”

        Think about what you’re writing! Is not getting vaccinated “bad behavior”? Is getting a vaccine is “good behavior”?

        Because if not getting a vaccine is neutral, and getting a vaccine is good, then you’ve just justified my position, the parallel is almost perfect. And if not getting a vaccination is bad, but getting the vaccination is good, then should we treat that like other bad behaviors and fine/jail the people who don’t get it?

        6 – “But you can’t use the local dodge here, because vaccines are a natiuonal issue, not a purely local one. Ohio incentivizing vaccine resistance undermines Virginia’s vaccine compliance”

        I absolutely can. These are state issues. Every state had their own vaccine acquisition plan, distribution plans, lockdown plans, and reopening plans… Sure, vaccine acquisition was with the assistance of the Feds, but Ohio isn’t responsible for what happens in Virginia, never was, and shouldn’t be expected to be.

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