63 thoughts on “It’s Time For The Ethics Alarms Friday Open Forum…OK, OK, PAST Time!

  1. This is a fascinating article that includes a bit about legal ethics. I remember from your previous entry about your colleague who worked for the Kennedys having all kinds of information about them and came to you for advice about what to do with all those files that a lawyer’s obligation to his client does not end.

  2. A few years back the New York Times came out with a 27-point guide to being a compassionate “modern man” including being completed by having a daughter, and “The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.” Mmmhmmmm. Mike Rowe, the more macho “Dirty Jobs” guy came up with a more manly “man’s man list.” Frankly I think both lists had some dumb ideas on them, so I came up with my own “practical man” list.

    The Practical Man

    On women’s shoes:

    If a practical man buys shoes for his significant other, which should be no more than two or three times a year, for significant occasions, he asks her what her size is (it can vary brand to brand), what she likes, and what she needs. He also makes it clear what the limits are and that these are garments, not status symbols.

    On Uncertainty:

    A practical man knows uncertainty is a fact of life and deals with it when it happens. He also knows whose business it is and isn’t, and discloses it or keeps it quiet accordingly.

    On Consideration:

    A practical man is minimally considerate to all, but knows who to be more considerate to than others. He errs on the side of being more than less so, though, knowing that tomorrow he may need someone’s favor he does not need today.

    On Politeness:

    A practical man knows that you usually do a lot better with an insincere “good morning” than with a heartfelt “go to hell.”

    On Food:

    A practical man knows how much of what food he needs and eats accordingly.

    On Parking:

    A practical man parks somewhere he can easily get out of as well as into.

    On Self-Reliance:

    A practical man knows if he doesn’t plug in his phone at night it’s going to create problems the next day, so he makes sure it is plugged in. He also makes darn sure everyone else in the household knows this. Once they know it it’s on them.

    On Beverages:

    A practical man knows that water is your best bet if you are actually thirsty, coffee is your best bet if you are getting tired, and alcohol is for celebration. He also knows the dangers of alcohol, and controls his intake accordingly.

    On Words:

    A practical man uses whatever words are necessary to make his point clearly and simply. He doesn’t waste time looking for the proper name when everyone knows what the contraction means and he doesn’t worry about politically correct pronouns.

    On Identity:

    A practical man knows who he is today. He also knows that isn’t who he was yesterday and it may not be who he will be tomorrow, because everyone is a work in progress including him. His identity isn’t dependent on others, because they are also works in progress.

    On Dishes:

    A practical man runs the dishwasher when it’s full or smelly, whichever comes first, then puts the dishes away as needed.

    On Never:

    A practical man almost never says “never” because he gets there are exceptions to almost everything. But if he does say it, he means it.

    On Soap:

    A practical man uses whatever soap will get him cleanest for the best price. This isn’t hard.

    On Entertainment:

    A practical man knows what he likes, and sticks with it, although occasionally he tries something new. He also knows what his significant other likes, and duly pleases her, while making it clear she needs to reciprocate now and then.

    On Groceries:

    A practical man knows what he needs, but he also knows he’s fallible and that a little effort now can prevent a lot of headache later, so he makes a list before he makes that trip to the grocery store, consulting it as needed.

    On Flooring:

    A practical man knows that floors are for walking on, and picks flooring that will take a beating. Under no circumstances does he choose flooring that he’s afraid for others to walk on with their shoes on.

    On Sleeping:

    A practical man sleeps as needed, using his common sense. He never lies down for the night without making sure the place is secure from intruders.

    On Fruit:

    A practical man peels and slices fruit and that’s about it. If he needs fancy fruit cut or balled for a party, that’s what Wegman’s and Whole Foods are for, to avoid inefficient use of scarce party prep time.

    On Shoehorns:

    A practical man doesn’t buy shoes so ill-fitting he needs a shoehorn to get into them, but if he needs one, he gets it.

    On Flowers:

    A practical man knows what his significant other likes, and gives it at appropriate times. Under no circumstances does he give secondhand flowers to her. Secondhand flowers may, however, be placed on the graves of family members or in-laws.

    On Bedmates:

    A practical man knows what his partner likes, makes sure she knows what he likes, and keeps it between them.

    On Sneezing Daughters:

    Seriously? A practical man just says “bless you,” then says “now blow your nose and clean up the crumbs.”

    On Ambling:

    A practical man is tech-savvy enough to get his news from the internet, where he doesn’t need to “amble” anywhere.

    On Films:

    A practical man is tech-savvy enough to use Netflix and Amazon for most of his needs so there’s no need for rental headaches or DVDs that pile up. However, he still keeps a few carefully picked DVDs on hand for when the internet goes haywire.

    On Preferences:

    A practical man understands that if his phone flatlines he’s out of touch with the world and depriving himself of a useful tool. He keeps a charger in the car and a spare battery in his bag, and uses them.

    On Guns:

    A practical man may or may not own a gun as he chooses. However, if he chooses to own one, he makes sure he understands how to use it, maintain it, and store it safely. If he chooses not to, he respects the choices of others who do.

    On Crying:

    A practical man knows that crying is sometimes unavoidable. He also knows that it’s more acceptable in certain situations and what they are (loss of a family member, loss of a loved pet, veterans’ commemorations, etc.). He also gets that eventually you have to stop and decide what to do about whatever made you so upset.

    On Dancing:

    A practical man knows if he can dance or not. If he can, he does, as appropriate to the occasion. If he can’t, he doesn’t put himself in a situation where he will just get embarrassed.

    On Giving Up:

    A practical man knows when there is a chance of success and when there isn’t. If there isn’t, he doesn’t waste scarce resources.

    On Learning New Things:

    A practical man knows when he wants to learn something new and makes the effort. He also knows when to stop the effort if it isn’t going anywhere.

    On Photography:

    A practical man always knows how to take a basic picture. Before he invests in equipment more expensive than a basic point and shoot camera, he makes sure he knows how to use it, that he will use it, and that he will occasionally get off the “automatic” setting. He does NOT flood cyberspace with endless pictures of his kids.

    On Conversation:

    A practical man knows when a discussion is over, and how to politely find his way out when it is.

    On Politics:

    A practical man knows this is a problematic topic, and when he should remain silent or excuse himself politely. Under no circumstances does he harass someone he does not know, and under no circumstances does he allow political differences to come between him and friends or family.

    On Religion:

    A practical man may or may not believe. Whichever he chooses, he respects the choices of others.

    On Hospitality:

    A practical man knows when and how to welcome guests, and when and how to send them on their way. He also arrives on time and knows when it’s time to get going.

    On Fighting:

    A practical man tries to avoid fighting, especially over stupid stuff. The chance of serious injury and the potential legal consequences are just not worth it. However, if faced with the choice of fighting or him or a family member getting seriously injured or killed, he fights with any and every means available, and his goal is to disable his attacker and get out of there.

    On Revenge:

    A practical man does his best not to get into situations where others can wrong him. If he is wronged, he moves on if he must, learning whatever lesson, and knowing that getting even usually isn’t worth the effort. Still, if he sees a chance to get even, he takes it.

    • “A practical man knows that you usually do a lot better with an insincere “good morning” than with a heartfelt “go to hell.”

      Here’s my cheerful morning greeting I’ve been using it for years with great success, it always puts a smile on faces when delivered correctly.

      “Morning Damnit!”

    • “A practical man knows that floors are for walking on, and picks flooring that will take a beating. Under no circumstances does he choose flooring that he’s afraid for others to walk on with their shoes on.”

      I wish my landlord had used this advice. I have hardwood floors in the house I’m renting, but they are made of what appears to be pine. Looking at them appears to scratch them. Sweeping scratches them. My 10 pound dog’s toe nails scratch them. Forget vacuuming them, that would leave gouges. To be fair, they were horribly scratched before I ever moved in, so I’m not going to be held responsible for the small additional scratches that were added later. I hate to damage anything in places I rent though, so this is driving me crazy. Pine is not a practical flooring material!

      • My mother – not the most practical woman in the world – got redwood flooring for one room in the house, a second floor extension out over the backyard, meant for entertaining. The ensuing “No Shoes Allowed” policy lost her about a third of her former guest list to women (and by extension their husbands) whose high heels were a crucial part of their outfit, and to everyone who was unused to walking flatfooted essentially barefoot on a hard, sometimes cold, floor (any kind of heating in those days – 50s – could warp the hardwood). And since dancing had also been a regular part of the evening’s program…. that too had to go. Friends left; the redwood floor stayed. I had this pair of shoes with cleats once …; when I hid them so she couldn’t throw them out, she told the gym coach that I was not permitted to play lacrosse because it was too dangerous but that I would donate the shoes to the team. — I have often dreamed of carving my initials in that floor.

    • On Flowers (corollary):
      A practical man knows instinctively that presentation of flowers to his significant other for no special or apparent reason can increase both his worth in the eyes of the recipient, but (depending on the history between them) may raise the spectre of suspicion.

  3. The case of unethical propaganda infecting rot in our culture created by unethical race hustling liars.

    Jonathan Turley tells us in his blog postthat “Bryn Mawr College Professor Declares America a “Failed Experiment” Created Just “For White People”, that professor is Chanelle Wilson

    This unethical and verifiably false trash is the kind of false narrative that these USA hating social justice warriors feel fully justified buy a brainwashed intimidated society to push on Universities and we the people? Chanelle Wilson knows good and well that any opposition to her trash will be tarred as racist and because the opposition are tarred as “racists”, and therefore evil, her message will be accepted as settled “fact”. Chanelle Wilson’s willingness to publicly spew this trash and the willingness of people to jump on her all white and the United States are racist bandwagon is signature significant that the Critical Race Theory brainwashing ROT is already a wide-spread malignant cancer in our society.

    Remember Barack Obama’s words calling “progressive” activists to action during his Presidential campaign in 2008?.

    “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

    Presidential Candidate Barack Obama 2008

    Well folks here we have a irrational SJW (aka progressive activist) that’s wants to fundamentally change the USA based on Critical Race Theory trash, pure propaganda lies, and they’re doing everything they can to implement their irrational “social justice” changes. So-called “progressives” and SJW’s ideology is an enemy to everything that makes the USA what it is, both the ideology and those that push it have become an enemy of the people!.

    How do you like the “change” that Obama inspired?

    Now let’s talk about Chanelle Wilson, the person.

    Chanelle Wilson
    Assistant Professor of Education

    Degrees/Education:
    Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of Delaware
    Ed.M., Urban Education, Temple University
    B.A., Secondary Education, Rowan University
    B.A., English, Rowan University

    Detailed Biography:
    Chanelle Wilson is an assistant professor of education in the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Colleges Education Program, and the director of Africana Studies at Bryn Mawr College. Chanelle has served as a public school practitioner, teaching secondary education students, in the U.S. and around the world. She enjoys facilitating knowledge in a way that encourages personal connections, promotes critical thinking, highlights contemporary relevance, and necessitates justice. Her current scholarship focuses on race and anti-racism in education, decolonization of schools and the mind, students as teachers and learners, culturally relevant pedagogy in international schooling contexts, and multicultural education in K-12 settings. Chanelle has a passion for using research to improve the educational experiences of marginalized groups, promoting equity and critical race-focused conversations: her life’s goal is to rethink, reimagine, and revolutionize education to meet the needs of all children.

    https://www.brynmawr.edu/people/chanelle-wilson

    Chanelle Wilson is a black woman that has literally taken advantage of the equal opportunities afforded her in the United States of America, earned herself two Bachelor Degrees, one Masters Degree in Education and one Doctorate Degree in Education and then risen through the ranks to become an Assistant Professor and an affluent all-women’s College here in the USA.

    Those are the facts as I see them.

    Here is my opinion of Chanelle Wilson, the person.
    HOW DARE this unethical race hustling hypocritical woman make claims that the United States is a “failed experiment” created just “for White people” when she is a direct product of a system that proves her own claim to be utterly FALSE! Chanelle Wilson is a black woman that is literally living the American Dream in every way and she chooses to be an unethical race hustling hypocritical LIAR!

    The brazen race hustling hypocrisy of these liars is absolutely astounding!

    • “The brazen race hustling hypocrisy of these liars is absolutely astounding!”

      Ya think?

      To your point, the inimitable (and in a Perfect World, the future Governor of CA) Larry Elder verily skewers that race hustling hypocrisy which has been clearly, and without a whit of self-awareness, demonstrated by DEEP 7 figure salaried/8 figure net worth Black Victocrats (Don Lemon, Van Jones, Bakari Sellers, Marc Lamont Hill, Joy Reid, et al) and their preaching how racism is preventing Black people from wealth accumulation and achieving upward mobility.

      • The response is, “What exactly do you want, Chanelle?”

        And her answer would boil down to: “We want our own black country unencumbered by white people.” This is essentially a separatist movement.

        • I think this is true. I have been seeing reports that a black mother caught the Atlanta school her child attends segregating the children by race. I’ve been waiting for a more reputable media outlet to pick up the story to verify before I mentioned it, to ensure I wasn’t spreading fake news, but so far I haven’t seen anyone come out and say it wasn’t true either.

          So far it seems that the black school principal decided that all the black children should go in two classes, while all the white children went into four other classes. I’m not sure what they did with the children of other races. When the mother went in to request a particular teacher for her child, she was told the school couldn’t do that because that teacher wasn’t teaching one of the black classes. Even if the story turns out not to be true, it seems all too plausible for my liking.

          How have we regressed to literal segregation being a plausible scenario? It seems to be black separatist movements driving this behavior.

          • So ironic. Integration is now a verboten concept. Integration was the goal at the beginning of the Civil Rights Act era. I guess it didn’t work out, so it’s back to segregation? Integration has turned out to be a problem? It made black people feel unsafe? They need a safe place away from white people to be able to thrive? Cue “The Bridge Over the River Kwai” clip.

        • No. She’d say “we want this country. Everything. There’s not a single thing in this country except the land, not a building, not a dollar, not anything, that doesn’t originate with us, who built the whole damn place for free. We built it, so we own it. But there’re going to have to be some major changes first, starting with the Constitution. You white people can get used to paying a hell of a lot more in taxes till you pay us for 40 acres and a mule plus interest going all the way back to 1619, compounded, or you can go back to Europe”

          • You’re probably right, Steve. I’d add at the end, “So we can turn the entire shitteree into a failed state in a matter of years.”

      • They’re noticing all right. The government of New South Wales is lucky the people’s guns were confiscated 25 years ago.

        On the other hand, if people were still armed, they might have thought twice about lockdowns in the first place.

  4. Okay, let’s play pretend:

    Let’s pretend there was video of a Russian prostitute, erm, servicing one of the Trump children or one of the Trump’s children’s spouses. In Las Vegas, Nevada. And let’s say that child or spouse was on record saying he or she thought that Russian agents had taken his computer in order to obtain material that cold be used to compromise him and the President.

    Would The Daily Mail or the New York Post be the only outlets covering the story?

    And am I the only person gobsmacked by the incredible symmetry of this situation? The Clintons had stories of Trump and Russian prostitutes made after instructions and there are actual videos of Russian prostitutes and Hunter Biden and … crickets? The only mainstream reporting is on the jokes being made on line?

    • If one of Trump’s children or their spouses had done any of the things Hunter Biden has done, even once, it would be front page news in every newspaper in the country. News stations would be running 24/7 coverage of the videos with frame by frame analysis. American news is irredeemably corrupted, across the political spectrum. Most news is left wing news, and it is nothing but propaganda, but right wing news is not really any better spending all its time spinning anti-propaganda propaganda.

      • I’m not sure it’s a “Pox on both houses” thing, NP. I’d say the “right wing propaganda” at Fox thing is a lefty/Dem talking point. Anything that’s not deemed important by the mainstream media is considered conspiracy theory because it’s not lefty revealed truth and dogma.

        • Oh, it’s definitely a left wing talking point. That is not where I am deriving that opinion from, however. I am referring to my own observations. I’m tired of hearing nothing but opinion piece after opinion piece covering why the left is wrong about everything. I’m tired of dueling statistics and political arguments being presented as the news of the day. I cannot remember the last time I heard a news story about world news that wasn’t meant to damage the leftist agenda. I cannot remember the last time I heard a news story that wasn’t related to politics, or that politics wasn’t somehow dragged into whether it was actually relevant or not.

          Is there really nothing going on, in the entire world, unrelated to American politics?

          • Yes, the partisan divide is massive and ubiquitous but asking the right to stand down is like those hideous “Co-Exist” bumper stickers. The Israelis are supposed to unilaterally co-exist with nations and peoples and religions that literally, by their own admission, want to push the Israelis into the Mediterranean where they can drown en masse? How many conservatives do you see saying everything would be just fine if Republicans didn’t exist? The left wants to eliminate any opposition. They really want single party rule and cultural hegemony.

            • I don’t want the right to stand down. I just want at least one “news outlet” that is actually a news outlet so I can have a clear understanding of what is going on in the world outside of American politics. If it sounded like I was advocating for the right to stand down, then I misspoke. That isn’t at all what I want. I’m just tired of having to dig through 20 or 30 news sites every day trying to get an accurate view of the state of things by digging through spin and propaganda searching for facts buried in the middle or end. It frustrates me.

              • Understood, but digging through news sites is what’s required these days. I call it triangulation. It’s like watching a 3-D movie. You need special glasses. I suspect it’s always been thus. Trust me, Walter Cronkite was not an oracle when I was a kid, although we were led to believe he was. Even sainted WWII guys like Edward R. Murrow had an agenda.

  5. Interesting results on the effect of lockdowns and masking:

    “ Mean IQs for children aged three months to three years old dropped from around 100 in the decade before the pandemic to 79 during it.”

    https://washingtonnewspost.com/news/health/babies-born-in-the-covid-pandemic-have-lower-iqs-research-says/

    The article is suggesting that babies brains are malleable and so the children may recover. In my opinion, that is an inaccurate representation of the facts. Child development has a set pattern, and the early years of a child’s life are critical to brain development. Once a particular stage of brain development has ended, it’s ended. Intensive therapy might help alleviate some of the damage, but you cannot go back to the development stage that was corrupted by masks and lack of interaction. The article also states that the effects seem to be worse in boys and those with lower socioeconomic backgrounds. I doubt those in lower socioeconomic background can afford intensive cognitive therapy for their children. Boys typically have lower verbal skills than girls on average to begin with, but that doesn’t explain the difference in non-verbal skills.

    The unintended consequences of lockdowns and masking probably will not be fully understood for years to come.

    • Reminiscent of the Hunger Winter in Holland. But never mind, NP, IQ tests are simply racist oppression. In fact intelligence is just a white social construct. We need to pay attention to the lived experience of these three month-olds.

      • According to the article they were using “The overall early learning composite — the equivalent of an IQ test for babies, which tests language, motor and problem-solving skill — of children over time.”

        The study hasn’t been published yet, so I am unable to examine the methodology used.

  6. There is a city council I’m Facebook friends with who just posted the following joke:

    Back to school special!!!…
    Wal-Mart is giving away free school clothes to anyone that can outrun security.

    He normally post jokes on his twitter feed (yeah I know this is a rationalization), but I’m wondering if it is ok for him to say this joke on a public forum and if I should call him out on it?

  7. Biden administration mulling requiring vaxxing requirements for interstate travel (“passports”?).
    From an AP article , linked below:
    “Still, while more severe measures — such as mandating vaccines for interstate travel or changing how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19 — have been discussed, the administration worried that they would be too polarizing for the moment.”

    Considering that they haven’t previously shown much concern about being “polarizing”, I translate that statement into “We’re afraid that doing that right now will make the 2022 elections even more of a rout.”

    https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-joe-biden-business-health-travel-d2b00a2fddc5af7b8e23afbfd2961b02

    With the current Woke-Industrial Complex, the second part of the statement, suggesting withholding services from those who won’t comply, is also troubling. We’ve already seen that taking place on other issues.

    • Whoa!

      “[C]hanging how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19 — [has] been discussed,”

      What? Change from what to what? Hospitals don’t get their Covid bonus if the decedent wasn’t vaccinated? Who’s making those policy decisions?

      • I took that to mean they might refuse to pay under Medicare, or other programs if you hadn’t complied and got sick. Doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to think that they would also “encourage” non-government entities to follow suit. We already see monopolistic tech conspiring with government to deplatform and otherwise control the opposition and suppress their viewpoints and commerce. Obama’s Operation Choke Point attempted to use the banking industry against firearms vendors.

    • That sounds like it would be unworkable, and certainly not effective in getting more people inoculated.

      The hospitals are required to treat people who show up needing treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. Refusing to pay for WuFlu treatment for the non-inoculated would damage the medical institution (causing them to provide intensive and costly care without compensation) while doing nothing to push the non-inoculated to get the shot (they know they will get the care). The hospital can do nothing to have people obtain inoculation.

      Inoculations are available almost everywhere. Drug stores, doctors offices, drop-in clinics, .. I’m surprised that gas stations and car washes are not offering them.

      On another point, just how is this “passport” for interstate travel supposed to work. Who will fund the physical plant and personnel to cover every road between all the states? Every state will have its own border patrol.??

  8. Why don’t we see the “Everything’s Terrible!” mantra or talking point these days the way we did during the Trump administration? There are wildfires in the west, another earthquake has struck Haiti, Afghanistan is falling back into the awful hands of the Taliban, inflation is rampant, gasoline is up a dollar a gallon to the point we are asking OPEC+ to increase production, Covid is running wild, people are DYING! Why is everything fine?

  9. Why have humans been talking about whether masks “work” or “don’t work”? That’s a false dichotomy. Wearing a mask can make it less likely that you contract or spread a disease, by reducing the velocity of air being inhaled or exhaled and by catching moisture droplets passing in either direction. That’s not the same as being perfectly effective, but neither is it the same as being completely ineffective.

    Humans need to learn how to talk about public policy ethics in terms of risks and costs to various people, which is what’s actually at stake. Instead, they talk about things in terms of factual certainty and moral absolutes, which is not only intellectual suicide, but also makes it nigh-impossible for people with different risk/cost profiles and preferences to reach agreement and cooperation on anything constructive.

    Only by understanding what’s at stake for people can we negotiate alternative ways of meeting their needs to replace what we ask them to give up. Why haven’t humans learned this yet? Or do they apply it in their business and family lives, but just forget that it’s supposed to be a core feature of politics?

    • Wearing a mask can make it less likely that you contract or spread a disease, by reducing the velocity of air being inhaled or exhaled and by catching moisture droplets passing in either direction.

      Sounds plausible. Is this a theory or an established fact?

      • Case in point, that’s the wrong question. The right questions are as follows:
        1. What evidence leads us to believe that masks reduce the spread of disease by this mechanism, or any other mechanism?
        2. How much do they reduce the likelihood that disease will spread too and from mask-wearers, and under what circumstances?

        I’m not equipped to provide answers to those questions at this time; I’ll let humans work that out. I’m just trying to get people to start learning basic epistemology (the study of how we come to know and believe things), by thinking in terms of the right questions, using analysis mindset and science mindset.

        It’s a tricky business because human elites are willing to oversimplify inferences so that laypeople don’t have to (or get to) make decisions about epistemology, risk, and responsibility.

        • I’d be glad to hear the answers to 1. and 2. as well. There are tons of questions to be asked about masks. “Do they engender a false sense of security?” “Have they increased crime by allowing criminals to literally mask their identity?” (Okay, not strictly a scientific inquiry, but a public policy concern.) The question/retort I find annoying is “What harm can it do to wear a mask?” Or, “What’s the big deal? It’s a minor inconvenience.” Maybe a question should be “Are masks a net negative?” See, eg., the discussion above of effects upon cognitive development.

    • “Humans need to learn how to talk about public policy ethics in terms of risks and costs to various people…”
      Even assuming good faith, that’s a tall order if both sides don’t have somewhat similar viewpoints. If one is heavily inclined to “do-somethingism” and “if just one child is saved” type arguments, and the other worries about cost/benefit considerations and unintended consequences, there may be no getting close to agreement on many issues.

      • That is a very good point. In that case, I would employ my deconstruction method: make them comfortable, make them think, make them choose.

        First, I would reaffirm our mutual appreciation for the value of life and the importance of avoiding negligence that would cause easily preventable loss of life. This makes them comfortable establishes ethos.

        Second, I would make them consider all of the risks inherent in living, and particularly the risks involved in living the kinds of lives that allow children to grow up to be well-adjusted adults. I would invite them to consider what kind of lifestyle they would expect to be sufficiently safe, and what sort of society they expect to result from that. This will make them think.

        Finally, I would let them know what decisions other people have made and why, and suggest that if they are not able to coexist in the same local areas, they may be able to set up a special safe zone for themselves with rules that meet their standards. In any case, they themselves will have to pay the cost for the trade-offs that they wish to make. This will make them choose.

        How does that sound? Good enough for people to pay me to go through the process?

        • I don’t know.
          That sort of sounds like some type of conflict resolution procedure (forgive me if I use inaccurate terminology; I was a business major, not psych) meant for individual or small group problems. How that could be scaled up to be effectively employed on large populations with significantly varied circumstances and priorities is beyond me.

          Personally, skeptic (or perhaps cynic) that I am, if faced with this on the small scale, it might quickly cause me to suspect that I was being manipulated, and wonder to what end

          • Sorry, somehow that comment ^^^ posted before I had finished it. To continue:
            …or to whose real benefit. I might cooperate to see where things went, but I’d be on guard, especially if I remained unconvinced that the opposing party was trustworthy.

          • That’s a good point. Part of the necessary first step is to build trust by being honest about one’s own values and fears, and demonstrating respectful understanding of the values and fears of others.

            As far as I know, human cultures don’t do this with each other to resolve cultural conflicts, but it’s about time they start learning how.

      • In that case, we’d have to compare what did happen to whatever we think would have happened if we hadn’t bothered with masks, and then decide whether the difference was worth the cost. Comparing counterfactuals is always tricky. If the winter surge was almost as bad as we’d have expected it to be without masks, that is some evidence in favor of the judgment that the masks are not effective enough to warrant the cost. We’d also have to factor in how people were behaving with their masks, versus how we’d expect them to behave without masks.

  10. Afghanistan.

    What are we up to now? A half dozen geopolitical fiascos in a decade? Almost all of which have happened under Democrat Presidents presiding over what seems to be a decline desired by the DNC?

    If I were Russia, I’d move immediately on Ukraine. Then I’d moved immediately on the Baltics.

    If I were China, I’d go ahead and move on Taiwan…which up until last week would have never been feasible for another generation.

    Bad actors in the world always want a Democrat in charge.

      • Russia almost assuredly would have rather faced a Democrat than a Republican – remember Obama’s under the table promises? But Russia had several things on its mind. Among others:

        1) Openly supporting Hillary would have increased the likelihood of her loss.
        2) Doing as much to undermine confidence in any opponent’s election is always a prime motivator for the Russians.

        • I think 1) and 2) over rate Russia’s influence. Something the Dems do, or don’t do, depending on what they deem to be in their best interest at the time. Remember “The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back”? What a snide asshole.

          • I don’t know how much the Russians could count on changing a lot of voter’s minds. I do think the Russians successfully converted an entire political party into the belief that 2016 was rigged. And now that attitude has the follow on effect of causing substantial portions of the other political party to believe that 2020 was rigged.

            That’s not a loss for Russia.

            • I do think the Russians successfully converted an entire political party into the belief that 2016 was rigged. And now that attitude has the follow on effect of causing substantial portions of the other political party to believe that 2020 was rigged.

              Should those who beat the drums regarding the Russian collusion narrative be surprised, or complain, when some on the other side beat the drums on the “2020 election weas stolen ” narrative?

  11. You’re making black Americans sick or dead! The New York Times reports that far fewer blacks in New York City are vaccinated than other groups, and the reasons given by those interviewed for the story are telling:

    This is due to a perfect storm of factors.

    Youth– People aged 18-44 are less likely than the general population to suffer complications from COVID-19. The odds of dying are 1 in 5,000 for that age group in general. (I do not know the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among Black people in NYC, but the IFR among them shoukld still be less than for all persons over age 60.)

    Historical Mistrust– See Tuskegee Experiments

    Mistrust of Current Institution– Jack has blogged about how the public health establishment discredit itself.

    – Existing Immunity– COVID-19 hit the Black communities in NYC hard. With existing immunity, even managing to vaccinate all 18-44 year old Black people would not save that many very lives.

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