Friday Freakin’ Forum!

It was, finally, a busy week at ProEthics—law firms and others are finally paying attention to ethics again after being preoccupied by the #@$%(!! Wuhan virus—so I wasn’t able to cover everything I should have or wanted to.

As always, I’m hoping that the Open Forum participants will make up for my inadequacies.

Please keep comments germane to ethics, civil, and brilliant!

33 thoughts on “Friday Freakin’ Forum!

  1. https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/18830909/meghan-markle-prince-harry-snubbed-cousins-lunch/

    Harry and Meghan apparently were barefly tolerated by the other royals last weekend during the Platinum Jubilee. It was already understodd that most of the high-profile stuff would be senior working royals only, so they’d be out, as would Andrew, but an institution that places much value on precedence and protocol can find a million little ways to remind those who are out of favor that they are. Some of it sounds like he-said/she-said, but I’m really unimpressed with stuff like the Sussexes retreating straight back to Frogmore Cottage after the Trooping of the Colour instead of attending the “cousins’ lunch” put together for the less senior royals by Zara Tindall (Princess Anne’s daughter),acting hurt when the Cambridges had to attend to official duties in Wales rather than attending baby Lilibet’s birthday, and then jetting back to CA before the celebrations were over. I am also surprised that they were surprised that the Queen wouldn’t permit pictures of her meeting Lilibet for the first time, first of all, it’s a private family event, second of all, the Sussexes almost certainly would have leaked it to the American press, and she wasn’t about to do them any favors after that Oprah interview.

    I’m firmly on the side of House Windsor and House Cambridge, because I think objectively the Sussexes have acted badly toward the senior royals. Objectively I think the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge owe them neither apologies nor favors. Harry chose the wife he chose, but Meghan either didn’t know what she was choosing, or knew damn well and bailed when she couldn’t remold it to suit her woke tastes. I think part of that’s on Harry for not taking the first step toward reining Meghan in, but Meghan shouldn’t have put him in the position of having to choose between his family and her. She did, he chose, and now there’s no going back. The other royals also chose, and there’s no going back either. Their first duty is to their nation to their house, and to the upholding of both. It is not to turn both into yet another boring bastion of wokeness or do favors for an outsider who has done nothing but speak ill of them. If they do that, then they might as well run up the rainbow flag over Buckingham Palace this month and paint “Black Lives Matter” on the Mall, as soon as they take down all the statuary.

    • Markle’s arrogance, or her idiocy, is beyond imagining. She was going to remake the British Monarchy? Has she ever heard of Wallis Simpson or George VII? And am I the only person on earth who finds her physically a doppelganger for Ms. Simpson? In photos, they both feature that mindless look-at-me stare.

      • George VII would probably be the name Charles takes when his turn comes. Do you mean George III, who had some medical issues, or George IV, who was less than impressive?

        MM is mostly interested in boosting herself, the monarchy was just a tool, but she found it wasn’t working. Yes, she has some Mrs. Simpson tendencies, although she is a bit better looking. Harry is also not quite so vacuous or wimpy as E8, who was an idiot.

  2. A week ago, I posted this answer on Quora.

    https://www.quora.com/Another-gang-shooting-this-time-in-Texas-Should-we-repeal-the-Bill-of-Rights-so-that-the-cops-could-keep-us-safe-from-gangs/answer/Michael-Ejercito

    It seems that you have stumbled upon a dirty little secret.

    Street thugs and gangbangers use civil rights protections to enable their crimes and escape punishment.

    They peaceably assemble and speak to plan and prepare robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They peacefully bear arms to and from the scenes of robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They use their freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures to conceal evidence of their robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They use their rights to a fair trial and due process to avoid punishment for their robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They use their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment to avoid the punishment that they deserve for their robberies and drive-by shootings, even if they are judged guilty consistently with their other rights.

    Of course, if you get your way, and the Bill of Rights is repealed, what makes you think the cops will ONLY go after the street thug and the gangbanger?

    What makes you think the cops will even go after the street thug and the gangbanger?

    • Michael
      Your answer is to subtle and the woefully obtuse will not understand it.

      I answer by asking if they support stop and frisk and no knock warrants.

    • Oh Steve. It’s Guns! Not mental illness! Get with the program. That’s just a GOP talking point. And how can you call a guy insane who is in favor of abortion, er, a woman’s right to choose, and against the Second Amendment even though had has a nice Glock and wanted to shoot some people. Come on, man!

    • Back in the Dark Ages when I was in HS, we all wore exactly the same robes, caps, etc., to graduation. It was one last unifying moment we shared with our friends, and with those who went through the same process at the same time, even if we never really got along.
      The more recent trend in both HS and college towards individualized apparel is, I think, a net minus, and not just because of some of the silliness that ensues. But if all students can, in fact, “customize their graduation stoles,” then I think something as innocuous as “Black Girl Magic” hardly qualifies as “too liberal.” The mistake was allowing customization to begin with; once that became the norm, then reversing the ban on these particular examples makes sense.

  3. Re: Insurrection Day and its Theater:

    Based on what I have seen from the televised hearing, if a group of middle aged unarmed people trundling through the Halls of Congress is the biggest threat to US democracy since . . . well . . . forever, then that means one of two things: (1) our democracy is frighteningly fragile or (2) our democracy is strong beyond belief. I saw Corey Bush well up in tears. I saw that Capitol guard fret over hand-to-had combat in the Killing Fields of Washington, DC. Rep.Cheney said some stuff and issued a stern warning to someone. But, what evidence has been adduced?

    I mean, what really happened on Insurrection Day, a day that will eclipse 9/11, Pearl Harbor, The Shot Heard Around the World, July 4th? Did Congress not certify the election? I think they did, otherwise, how is Pres. Biden . . . erm . . . Pres. Biden? Was the Capitol Building under siege for days and weeks and months and years on end? Were members of Congress removed from their offices and laid waste in the streets? Did the Executive Branch and the administrative state get bounced out of power? Was there a fundamental change in the form, function, and nature of the federal government? Were assets and records seized? Did the alleged insurrectionists bring the entire workings of the government to a halt?

    Or, more likely, were people inconvenienced for a few hours and later carried on with their official duties?

    This is nothing more than political theater to try to bolster Democrat chances to blunt a shellacking in November 2022 and 2024. The New York Times said as much: “With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings…to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.”

    As an aside, if this theater is intended to rout Trump’s bid for a 2024 presidential run, why can’t these people let the voters decide if they want another four years of Donald Trump and his policies? Is the power structure that threatened by Trump and his supporters that they need to smash him and them before a new campaign gets off the ground? What and why do they scare the hell out of them?

    jvb

    • I wonder if Republicans can demand equal time given that the NYT’s has decreed that this is a political event designed to give them an electoral advantage and not really anything related to the House’s real work

    • I’ll buy the beginning and ending arguments… but isn’t the middle part pretty much consequentialism? No, nothing really happened. That doesn’t change the fact that at least some of those folks wanted to overturn the election results, that some of them were chanting “hang Mike Pence,” etc.

      • Yes, it is consequentialism to a degree. Some shouted stupid things. Some broke stuff. But, the vast majority of them wanted their voices heard, and were probably damn tired of being dismissed as stupid, uneducated yokels one step away from donning white robes and pointy hats and setting fires to crosses. But, ultimately, they didn’t want to overthrow the government.

        Oh, and by the by, who is justifying what the putative insurrectionists did? No one from what I can tell.

        jvb

      • About a year ago, I compared this to Harvard Freshmen meeting in 1968 to try to “levitate Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard with their minds. They failed. Would it be fair to prosecute them for trying to destroy a campus building? The chances of those idiots over-turning the election or taking over the US were exactly as good as the chances of levitating Mass Hall. Maybe worse.

    • Here is the most important thing to know abo0ut the Capitol riots.

      When a mob of rioters and arsonists attacked the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland, many people, including members of Congress and writers at Reason, whined about sTorMtRoOpErS kIdNaPpInG pRoTeStERs” and “uNMaRkEd VaNs”.

      They are ethically estopped from criticizing the Capitol riot.

      • What’s the deal with the alternating upper & lower case letters? As far as Republicans getting equal time, that would depend upon what Nancy Pelosi says the rules are.

        • Actually, Pelosi has no say in determining if a network must give equal time to a political editorial. Many “Democrat strategists” have established exactly the political motivation. Further, if they were ready to go live why was Peter Navarro arrested on misdemeanor charges in a public venue and led away in leg irons if not for dramatic effect.

      • Absolutely. Anyone who let torching a federal courthouse go unnoticed can’s say a word about the Capitol riot. And how many of those antifa people were apprehended, prosecuted and sent to jail? Any?

        • The state of Oregon actually went to federal court for an injunction against federal agencies to limit their authority in protecting federal property.

          Furthermore, there were Walls of Moms and Walls of Vets showing up to protect the rioters from federal agents.

          What astonishes me is that Jack never dedicated a blog post to the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse Train Wreck.

          • Oh, it shouldn’t astonish you at all. Lots of worthy and important events and issues fall between the crack, the cracks being caused by the fact that I still have to earn a living among other duties. It’s like stage directing, really. If I could do it full time and pay the bills, I would.

    • “As an aside, if this theater is intended to rout Trump’s bid for a 2024 presidential run, [it is] why can’t these people let the voters decide [the thought of having to fix another election terrifies them] if they want another four years of Donald Trump and his policies? [simply not allowable] Is the power structure that threatened by Trump and his supporters that they need to smash him and them before a new campaign gets off the ground [in a word, yes]? What and why do they scare the hell out of them? [He could pull off another victory in 2024]”

      John, all the professional pols want to put a wooden stake through the heart of Donald Trump’s political career. They want him convicted of a felony so he can’t run in 2024. If he ran, he might win. They can’t tolerate that even if it’s only a minute possibility. He needs to be destroyed and the ground he stands on needs to be salted. These are professional pols scorned. If nothing comes of this kangaroo court, trust me, they will turn their focus to yet another straw to grasp. Perhaps the New York DA’s lawsuit/prosecution. Any port in a storm.

  4. Completely apropos to anything, but I was having a conversation about Twitter and YouTube and the implications of Section 230 and antitrust laws. The other guy said:

    “Twitter trades at $40 per share. It’s not a monopoly of anything. Microblogging cannot be a monopoly.”

    I thought the point he was making was that publicly traded companies couldn’t be monopolies… Because why else mention the $40 stock price. He eventually clarified:

    “Goober: You are truly an idiot. I never said public companies cannot be monopolies. I said Twitter is a microblogging website that in no way can be a monopoly. It trades at $40 per share and competes for ad dollars with a thousand other firms.”

    “Goober” might be a tell, if you’re familiar with this character. I’m pretty sure he was in full spin cycle, because he’d also previously said that the reason he quoted the twitter price was “To indicate how resoundingly dumb it is to say that Twitter could be a monopoly”. Which begs the obvious question: How does a stock price indicate that?

    Regardless, the back-up argument was also bad. Every retail outlet monetizes by selling product. If McDonalds was the only restaurant in America, they couldn’t say they weren’t a monopoly because Moore’s Clothing is also retail. What they do and how it impacts the consumer is orders of magnitude more important than their monetization vehicle.

    Which is a long way of me getting to one of the quotes I’m most proud of to date in 2022:

    “You are so off base that your stupid arguments looked even more stupid than they actually were because someone who knows more about the process than you would not even consider that you were making the argument that you were.”

    • I read a lot of the comments and I am exhausted.
      Evidently there are people who have nothing else to do.
      Didn’t see anything from you though. The rest of it? Ten minutes of my life I won’t get back.

  5. From a 2A supporting e-pal @~13,000 feet/3962 meters (which makes me suck wind just thinking about it!) in Peru:

    1 – Eleven teens die each day because of texting while driving. Maybe it’s time to raise the age of Smart Phone ownership to 21.
    2 – If gun control laws actually worked, Chicago would be Mayberry, USA.
    3 – The Second Amendment makes more women equal than the entire feminist movement.
    4 – Legal gun owners have 300 million guns and probably a trillion rounds of ammo. Seriously, folks, if we were the problem, you’d know it.
    5 – When JFK was killed, nobody blamed the rifle.
    6 – The NRA (National Rifle Association) murders 0 people and receives 0$ in government funds. Planned Parenthood kills 350,000 babies every year and receives $500,000,000 in tax dollars annually.
    7 – I have no problem with vigorous background checks when it comes to firearms. While we’re at it, let’s do the same when it comes to immigration, voter I.D., and candidates running for office.
    8 – Folks keep talking about another Civil War. One side knows how to shoot and probably has a trillion rounds. The other side has crying closets and is confused about which bathroom to use. Now tell me, how do you think that would end?

  6. This probably isn’t appropriate for an ethics open forum, so I apologize in advance. Remove it if necessary…

    This afternoon, we said goodbye to Bailey, our fifteen-year-old Shar Pei/Whippet mix. She was happy, sociable, and a good eater up to the end, but her liver issues (either Cushing’s or cancer or a combination of both) could not be overcome. Her bad liver numbers went up 50% between March ’21 and March ’22, then went up another 50% (and into the red zone) in the ensuing five weeks. So as April ended, we made the difficult decision – if her health and demeanor held – to give her five more weeks.

    Bailey was my first pet, and honesty compels me to admit that I did not initially want her. When our son called in April of 2019 and asked if we could take her, my first answer was absolutely not. But some contemplation and prayer changed my mind…well, really, my heart. Had we not taken her, our son would have been left in the untenable position of having to put her down, and we didn’t think it was time. So we drove to Phoenix three weeks later and brought her home. And to say that she has been a joy would be a gross understatement.

    I can assure you I didn’t change Bailey in the three years she was with us. She transitioned from her life in Arizona to central Iowa with nary a whimper. She was always extremely friendly, quiet, well-mannered, and well-behaved. Everyone that met her had the same response…”what a wonderful dog”. Any person that gave her a pet was a friend for life. She always was friendly and oh-so-patient with children who, try as they might to be gentle, would accidently pinch an ear or pull her fur or step on a paw. Bailey never got hostile or even aggressive, but just stood or sat with tail wagging, sometimes in a rapid circle when she was really happy, letting little hands pet and pat. I’ll never forget that.

    Quite the contrary, Bailey changed me. I morphed from a middle-aged man with little time for – and pretty much no interest in – animals to someone that appreciates them deeply. I developed a love for Bailey (and for other animals) I never thought was possible. We play cards with some church friends on regular occasions and five years ago, I wouldn’t have given their dog a moment’s notice except to avoid her. Now Stella-pup gets as much affection as I can give her. Neighbor dogs receive the same from me, and will continue to do so.

    We sold our home eighteen months ago, planning to build our “lake-adjacent” retirement home this year. Bailey changed that, too. We decided to build a year earlier, knowing that her health might not hold and desirous that she spend time with us there. Not only did we save about twenty percent in construction costs by building last year, Bailey was able to make five trips with us…five more than she would have made had we waited.

    In late April, ethics entered the equation for us, when sobering blood test results brought us to a crossroads. Our vet told us few things frustrated him more than owners who brought their pets in too weak to walk or even stand. Owners, he said, simply won’t let go, and their selfishness (sometimes unintentional, but not always so) caused their pets needless suffering. Bailey, he said, was still in pretty good condition, but there was no way she was going to get better…she would only deteriorate. The temptation was there to just let things continue and not let her go. Instead, we set a date five weeks out…and stuck resolutely to it.

    These last weeks have been bittersweet, relishing our time with Bailey, but facing the inevitability of the end. For us, every “last” was a cause for grief: Bailey’s last visit to our new home over Memorial Day, her final weekly bath last Friday, her last cookie-delivery ride with us (my wife makes cookies every week for some neighbor kids and Bailey goes every time), making plaster-of-paris footprints as keepsakes, my dad’s last visit with her this morning, her last walk in the park this afternoon. Every “last” also provided the temptation to waver in our decision.

    Bailey was tired. She had some arthritis in her hips and forelegs and still loved walking, but the walks exhausted her and she started stumbling on occasion. She ate well, but one side-effect of her liver issues was that she was continually hungry, a sure sign of its progression. Some evenings, she would look at us as though she had no idea who we were. Confused at times?…maybe. Tired?…definitely. Happy and loving and desirous of pets?…always…I joked that her addiction necessitated a “12-Pets Program.”

    I am so thankful the Lord brought Bailey to us. And today, after three years and with full hearts, we have given her back to Him. There are no better hands to care for, and love on, a tired pup than the ones that made her. Even though we know we made the right decision, it is very painful. But while the sorrow I feel now is sharp and the loss is just as sharp, that will diminish with time. In its place will be the happy memories of one of the most fulfilling periods of my life.

    • A lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      It’s been said many times, that we deeply flawed humans really don’t deserve to have companions as wonderful as dogs. Your story shows why we are lucky enough to have them anyway: dogs make us better people.

      Having to make that horrible decision to euthanize a pet is an awful experience. You did the right thing, but that doesn’t make it less painful. It sounds like Bailey was as lucky to have you as you were to have her.

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