First Open Forum Of Spring!

I don’t care what the calendar says, it’s Spring in Alexandria , VA; this weekend we “spring forward,” baseball is starting Spring Training, and March is going out like a red panda, the cutest animal there is except for baby red pandas, which are so cute I can’t stand it.

I would think the Ethics Alarms Commentariat would have a lot to argue about after last week. Keep your contributions civil, relevant, and perspicacious, please.

You usually do.

33 thoughts on “First Open Forum Of Spring!

  1. I’d like to hear your take on the pictures going around asking if you are willing to pay high gas prices to help children in Ukraine. It seems like an emotional appeal mixed with an oversimplification of the issue.

    • I see yard signs in our future: “I’m willing to pay more for gas to save the children!” I also see bumper stickers on electric cars: “I’m with Kamala!” Boy, she’s a nitwit. Yo, Kamala! How’s that electricity generated for the hundred-thousand-dollar electric vehicle you want me to buy? Natural gas? Oil? Coal? Nuclear? You sure it’s wind or solar? You smug idiot.

    • I agree, it sounds like propaganda designed to sway people with emotional appeals. It most certainly oversimplifies the issue. The memes want you to agree to tolerate inflation in the name of saving the children. It doesn’t want you to consider that you can desire to support Ukraine and still blame your own government for inflation.

      Gas prices had already risen substantially prior to the Ukrainian invasion. Inflation was already at 7.9% for February. The invasion inflation additive won’t kick in until we get the March numbers. This propaganda wants people to forget the preceding years worth of compounding inflation and blame everything on something that happened in the last two weeks. I hope most people are not that stupid and have attention spans slightly longer than that of a goldfish.

      • I agree. It’s saying that, if you complain about the unncessarily high prices of gas, you don’t care about innocent people dying. That’s a false choice.

      • What is interesting is banning Russian oil reduces global demand which would ordinarily dampen prices. What is actually happening is that global demand remains high keeping prices up for western economies but China is buying discounted Russian oil to fuel their Belt and Road strategy. To believe that we are crippling Russia is a joke. In fact we are paying our adversaries a premium for product that will enable you those despots to thrive all because our leadership believes that the climate will be saved. If we are taken out by the three primary rivals China, Russia, and middle east sheiks and Ayatollahs because we choose hamstring ourselves economically it won’t matter if we are “going green” because we will be all turned red.

        • I have seen several analysts discussing how our actions are pushing China and Russia into an alliance, particularly in regards to cutting Russia off from SWIFT. Speculation on the loss of the US dollar as the world’s fiat currency is particularly alarming, given the already rampant inflation and the US government’s habit of printing money to fund special interests and pork.

          The news is nothing but propaganda, and with the stakes this high that is dangerous. International news ceased to be covered years ago, and the American people are woefully ignorant about the actual state of the world. It makes it very difficult to know which initiatives it is actually ethical to support.

    • I would like to ask what the nexus is between and betwixt higher gas prices and saving Ukrainian children. Did I miss some MobileExxonTexacoValero initiative that some percentage of each gallon will go to funds caring for and saving Ukrainian children displaced by Russian aggression?

      jvb

    • It’s stupid. There is zero connection to helping children and our higher gas prices. None. One could argue that increased fossil fuel prices will hurt more children than Russia/Ukraine war will by moving their parent(s) into scarcity. Ie not enough money to buy food/clothing or heat homes. This is, at its core, a simple economic formula. Russia sanctions do not help the children in Ukraine. In fact, it’s possible it lets the war continue there as a stalemate for a long time causing even more harm than a swift conclusion. But kudos to the “I’ll do my part” insanity and hubris that continues marching on. Reality may meet them someday.

  2. The Biden administration has been quite open about their intentions to force people to stop using fossil fuels. Here are some recent quotes we have seen from the President, his cabinet and his advisors.

    Biden economic advisor Brian Deese: “The only viable path to energy independence” is to reduce fossil fuel use to “zero.”

    Joe Biden: “We can’t keep the combustion engine the way it has been…we’re moving in the direction that we don’t need…oil products.”

    Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; “Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people as well. Last month, we announced a $5 billion investment to build out a nationwide electric vehicle charging network so that people from rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV.”

    During the 2020 presidential debates, Biden announced his intentions to “transition” the country off of fossil fuels, and to that end he has set about obstructing fossil fuel extraction through executive orders and the EPA.

    Yesterday, AP News published an article headlined “ Gas price hikes fueling electric vehicle conspiracy theories”.

    https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-biden-covid-technology-business-5ee6c2205d038a4de24f7ac435363977

    The author would clearly like readers to believe that all the people who think the current administration is trying to force them to stop using fossil fuels are simply crazy, delusional, conspiracy theorists.

    This boggles my mind. Can anyone explain to me a way in which this is ethical? I’m just not seeing how anyone, even those who believe that telling the “best version of the truth”, could think this was ethical. From where I am standing it looks like purposeful maliciousness and absolute malevolence.

      • And by the way, Jen Psaki has explained that it’s the oil companies that are refusing to drill and driving up the price of gasoline, it’s not anything to do with the Biden Administration’s policies. I think she told that Peter Doocy guy, “Ask the oil companies.” What a harridan.

    • I am waiting to see the Biden Administration’s response to soaring food prices. I can just see Jen Psaki declaring to that supercilious Peter Doocy:

      “You know, Peter, now would be a good time for us to reexamine out eating habits. it might just benefit us to lay off the steaks and hamburgers, and instead think about losing some weight by eating healthier environmentally friendly and sustainable foods. Why, Bill and Melinda Gates have developed this really tasty meat substitute that looks and tastes almost nothing like red meat but is just as good for you. And just think of how much we are controlling climate change by not having so many cows running around eating all the grass!”

      jvb

      • They will have everyone eating bugs and liking them, or else! I’ve never been happy I have food allergies before…

  3. One of my hobby horses is getting a real work out these days.

    I’ve always had a problem with Russian kleptocrats owning western professional sports franchises. The Brooklyn Nets are owned by some Russian guy (it seems to change hands among Russian guys from time to time). I don’t think I’ve seen the league say anything about this. The other NBA owners, many of whom are fabulously wealthy Jews, ironically, you know the people that are still being run out of Russia, were delighted to have a Russian guy buy the Nets and help inflate the value of all their franchises by spending wildly on a huge arena and splashing bunches of money to give the league a larger presence in metropolitan New York City. The Russian guy is clearly a Putin stooge and enabler.

    And now, the English Premier Soccer League is virtue signaling about its main Russian kleptocrat owner of the Chelsea Football Club. This guy Abromovitch is worth approximately 19 Billion Pounds Sterling. They let him buy the club over fifteen years ago. I’m sure they had absolutely no doubts whatsoever the guy had made that money legitimately. Buy low, sell high. No doubt. Hah! Clearly the guy stole the metals industry in Russia when the Russian economy was privatized FOR FREE! So now the British government wants to take the franchise away from the guy. And they are attempting to cripple the ability of the club to function … AS A FOOTBALL CLUB!

    But wait, there’s more. Now, various coaches of other teams are piling on and trying to cripple all three of the clubs that have even partial Russian ownership (as opposed to all the clubs that have Saudi ownership). They want to use this craziness to obtain a competitive advantage over these Russian owned teams ON THE FIELD!

    And here I thought the Brits invented the concept of fair play. These people are nuts. They can’t tell the difference between games or sport and the real world. What a bunch of morons.

  4. Sent this to Jack for comment, but here you go:

    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2022/03/10/minnesota-public-defenders-reject-state-contract-offer-ok-strike

    A number of criminal defense attorneys are trying to come up with ways to assist the PD’s.

    One mentioned that they should refuse appointment of indigent criminal defendants if the judges attempt to do that.

    Of course, that may violate an ethics rule:

    RULE 6.2: ACCEPTING APPOINTMENTS
    A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:
    (a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
    (b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or
    (c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer’s ability to represent the client.

    -Jut

  5. Wait. It’s Spring already? It’s April 21st? Where have I been? Spring officially starts when pitchers and catchers are to report?

    • The North Vietnamese were Commies, Michael, you know, the good guys. They were simply communal farmers unifying their country that had been divided by the Imperialist and Capitalist French and was in the thrall of the Catholic church. Russia’s run by a Trump fan. Apples and oranges. Nothing to see here.

  6. I’m a little late to the table – but here’s the only “going green” I will do.

    This coming week cities and town will be dyeing fountains and rivers green while their streets echo to the music of the pipe and drum and their pubs and bars swing to fiddle and tin whistle, all accompanied by the consumption of copious amounts of Guinness, Bailey’s or Irish Mist. All eyes go to the huge celebrations in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Savannah, and all of them promise to be great this year, with political leadership, all five branches of the armed forces, all three branches of the first responders, the Church, and the Irish by blood and at heart well represented.

    But wait, say some. How much do we really know about St. Patrick? No one can even pin his birth or death down to specific dates, and, assuming he really existed, he wasn’t even born in Ireland, and may not have had any Celtic blood. His main claim to fame is that he brought Christianity to Ireland, but even that is under question now, with possible evidence of earlier Christian activity. What does a missionary have to do with loud bagpipes, carousing, the uniformed services, and pride in being Irish? Isn’t this just tribalism? Shouldn’t we be getting over this by now?

    It is true that St. Patrick is as much legend as history. The time he is supposed to have been active was a time when the Roman Empire was in retreat and barbarism was on the rise, and the Irish were in a less advanced state of development than many peoples of the time. We have only Patrick’s Declaration, which is by no means complete, a limited amount of correspondence, and the various hagiographies to work from, and though some stories associated with him, like using a shamrock to demonstrate the Trinity, are believable, others such as his thrusting his staff into the ground to have it turn into a living tree, his philosophical debate with the last survivors of the legendary Fenian warriors (who had supposedly been routed over a century before at the Battle of Gabhra), and his driving out of the snakes from Ireland (when all scientific evidence points to there never having been any snakes in Ireland) are just stories, designed to make him as we all like our heroes, larger than life and always right.

    Every nation and nationality needs its figure to rally around and define itself by. For the English it was St. George, the embodiment of the noble knight, though the man himself, if he existed, never came to England. For Italian Americans, it was Columbus, first of our people to open the doors to the New World. For the Irish, whose faith has become almost inseparable from their being, especially after struggling for four centuries to keep it, it is the man who brought that faith to their land, legendary or not.

    We Irish came to the U.S. fleeing outright oppression and horrible famine foisted on us by conquerors who got particularly bad after the time of Cromwell, who I consider one of the thirty greatest villains of history. (tyrant, religious and racial bigot) When we got here we either got thrown right into battle (if we arrived during the Civil War), or we were faced with “No Irish Need Apply” signs and very limited opportunities. In fact Irish laborers were sometimes risked (pre-Civil War) instead of slaves because slaves were too big of an investment to risk. Eventually we started to fight the fires, keep the peace on the streets, and defend this nation’s interest both on the frontier (1/3 of the cavalrymen who won the West were Irish) and abroad (the Fighting 69th and similar units), and we were accepted. Whatever goes on back home, and it isn’t always honorable, here we’re the glue that keeps society together.

    The prototypical Irish-American is still a fireman or a cop, and if you look through the lists of Medal of Honor winners you’ll see names like Daly, O’Kane, McGuire, O’Callaghan, and the most decorated soldier of them all, Murphy. On 9/11 you had whole companies consisting of Irish-Americans being wiped out. Three of the four Port Authority cops who took the Halloween terrorist down last year were Irish-American. We don’t parade the red trucks and the blue uniforms because we are the macho or the quarrelsome or the bullies. We parade them because we’re the people who protect others, who help others, who step up when no one else will. We’ve earned the right to our own day of celebration as much as any other group.

    It’s precisely because we have earned that right and the underlying reasons that we must continue to exercise that right, as strongly as possible. For eight years now the role of the guardians of society and those who fill that role has come increasingly under attack, and that assault got turbocharged in 2020. It’s not just a matter of being taken for granted. It’s not just a matter of questions being asked that no one thought to ask before. It’s a question of the political left casting society’s guardians as society’s oppressors and declaring disfavored ethnicities’ achievements and honors no longer valid since they can make political hay by doing so.

    The honors won by those I named above are all plenty worthy of a legacy, but our greatest legacy is each day that passes a little more safely and the freedoms that are still intact in part due to our efforts. Unfortunately, safety and freedom last only as long as we can keep them, and we keep them, at least in part, by reminding this nation exactly what we did to keep them. It’s to do that that we must turn out, keep marching, and keep saluting the members of our community and their achievements. Don’t let anyone minimize them. Don’t let anyone push them into the shadows. Don’t let anyone say they are somehow tainted so they don’t count. Don’t let anyone say that the passing years have rendered them or us irrelevant. Most of all don’t let anyone say that we’re in the way now. Too often the guardians of society have been the only ones “in the way” of something a whole lot worse taking over, and if you didn’t figure that out in 2020, you’re a lot more out of it than anyone can get on green beer and Bailey’s.

    Tá an Ghaeilge beo! Saoil saoirse! Do Dhia, Do Naomh Pádraig, agus dár dtír dhúchasach! (Long live the Irish! Long live liberty! For God and St. Patrick and our native land!”)

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