Open Forum!

The Liberty Bell rang out on this date in 1776 to announce the Declaration of Independence to Philadelphia (not on the Fourth, like in “1776,” but it was a nice way to end the musical dramatically).

Surely Ethics Alarms readers can find ethics developments of equal import to proclaim today. Well, close, anyway….

48 thoughts on “Open Forum!

  1. Now that anti-vaccination groups have laid claim to “My Body, My Choice,” abortion rights groups are distancing themselves from it — marking a stunning annexation of political messaging.

    “It’s a really savvy co-option of reproductive rights and the movement’s framing of the issue,” said Lisa Ikemoto, a law professor at the University of California-Davis Feminist Research Institute. “It strengthens the meaning of choice in the anti-vaccine space and detracts from the meaning of that word in the reproductive rights space.”

    Framing the decision to vaccinate as a singularly personal one also obscures its public health consequences, Ikemoto said, because vaccines are used to protect not just one person but a community of people by stopping the spread of a disease to those who can’t protect themselves.

    Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist and pollster based in Washington, D.C., said “My Body, My Choice” is no longer polling well with Democrats because they associate it with anti-vaccination sentiment.

    What I do know is that the use of choice terminology to argue against vaccine mandates started far before one year ago.

    Why has it become controversial now?

    Could it be that the Democratic leadership made COVID-19 vaccine mandates a culture war issue against White conservatives, going so far as to mandate bars and restaurants to require proof of vaccination from purpoted customers, requiring employers to require employees to get vaccinated (though an unprecedented emergency temporary standard issued by OSHA), arguing for proof of vaccination to fly domestically (which has never been done before), and even arguing that unvaccinated people should be denied health care?

    • Honestly, none of us expected you to all go psycho anti-vax. We thought, oooo a vaccine in less than a year, this is great. We’ll all get vaxxed except the lunatic fringe and there won’t be enough of them to prevent herd immunity, everybody wins.

      We didn’t expect you to turn it into a culture war issue, we didn’t expect you to go in on horse dewormer because someone calling themselves doctors for trump decided to selling it via telemedicine would be a good grift.

      We’re really bad at politics, the stuff you come up with just reads as shocking and antisocial. We’re not actually prepared for it.

      • valkygrrl wrote, “psycho anti-vax”, “lunatic fringe” and then pile on with that second paragraph, wow!

        Me thinks you may have dropped your rhetorical pants and exposed your bias.

        Also, who is this “you to all” you speak of? Can you at least try to narrow down your “you to all” bias?

        • Additionally…

          I’m really curious; since you’ve chosen to smear anti-vaxxers and the people choosing an alternative treatments for COVID-19 for their medical choices is it equally fair to smear those choosing an abortion in a similar manner, they’re psycho’s, they’re the lunatic fringe and implying that they’re complete imbeciles for their choice?

          How are these things different?

          How are these things the same?

      • Psycho anti-vax?

        Is that what you call those of us who got the shot as soon as we were eligible but strongly opposed a MANDATE for everyone to get it?

      • Yeah, the people who didn’t want to be guinea pigs for a rushed, minimally-tested medical treatment that, it should be noted, utilized a new technology that had never been successfully used in a human medical application before (despite Moderna spending billions over a decade trying to make it work) were the ones who made it into a “culture war” issue. Not the people who insisted they would never take “Trump’s vaccine” until they suddenly changed their mind about it 180 degrees when Biden became president. Whatever happened to those “independent reviews” that blue states like CA and NY were going to do before they would distribute “Trump’s vaccine”?

        The vaccine was a front in the culture war as soon as Trump announced it was in development. Not one prominent person on the left was saying “oooo a vaccine in less than a year, this is great” until after Biden won, but they quickly switched which side of the issue they were on for political expediency after the election.

        The vaccine was showing signs of failure very early on in its deployment (and we’ve since been treated to Pfizer documents that suggest they knew all along that the efficacy waned rapidly). By the time it was widely available to all, the goalposts had already been moved from “you won’t get COVID” to “you’ll still get it, but you might have less chance of dying”. One doesn’t have to be “psycho anti-vax” to have reasonable doubts in such a situation.

        It never mattered how many people refused to take the vaccine, because vaccine-induced herd immunity was always a pipe dream. They do virtually nothing to stop the spread of the disease, and we knew that before any of the mandates were pushed. The only legitimate justification for any medical mandate is to prevent the spread of disease. Once it was clear that mRNA-based treatments didn’t have any effect on transmission, the mandates no longer had any ethical or logical basis. It is natural to become suspicious when someone continues to try to force you to do something after their reasoning for doing so is no longer operative.

        The insanely aggressive push for these minimally-effective vaccines (and the complete denial of the potential risks they carry) has done more damage to the acceptance of vaccines in general than decades of anti-vax activism by dolts like Jenny McCarthy ever did, all for virtually no benefit in the control of the pandemic. Good job, everybody!

      • The Democratic leadership made it a culture war issue.

    • It appears to be true.

      Big surprise that BLM, Black Panthers Party, etc would do such a thing; they’re no better than the immoral criminals that lynched Emmett Till, they all think with mob justice mentality and the ends justifies the means.

      • And it probably uses all my zingers. Restaurants and dinner aren’t in the constitution, founders could have enshrined a right to it but didn’t, no right to dine in peace in our nation’s history, alehouses and ordinaries historically open to the marketplace of ideas, also historically removed those with unpopular opinions *and tied them to a rail and dumped tar and feathers on them). Too bad there’s no right to privacy huh?

        • I’m surprised at the number of people whose brains have broken in the last three years. Was it always this precarious and we just needed something to tip them into crazy town? Or was it a perfect storm of Donald Trump, COVID, and now Roe v Wade?

          • [Speaking of broken brains: in Biden’s announcement of his executive order regarding abortion today, his teleprompter reminded him to “Repeat the line” he had just read, so Joe said, “Repeat the line.” Luckily, it didn’t say “Go fuck yourself, San Diego!”]

            • On Biden’s recently caught on camera instruction card, with such notes as “YOU take YOUR seat”, item three was ” press enters”. He spent five minutes searching for an “enters” button on the podium.

          • Certain things are brain liquefiers. Homosexuality was one for a time, although society is much more accepting of gay people now. Ireland is another. Politics generally is one, but Trump really put that one over the top. Abortion has always been a hot-button issue, but, now that the pro-aborts have suffered a major defeat, it’s an explosive issue.

      • Here’s the summary:

        “Hi, Carolyn: Two nights ago, my incredible partner of three years asked me if I want to get married. I had been anticipating the question and answered honestly that I would like to have a little while (a few weeks? Maybe longer?) to think/talk it all the way through, which would ideally include some work with a premarital counselor. This is not out of any particular concern or unhappiness with our relationship, but because of the hugeness of the decision. Marriage is (hopefully) for life!
        My partner is disappointed and saddened that my answer wasn’t, “Of course I would love to!” And now we are having a hard time getting back to normal. I think there is this romanticized idea that when it comes to marriage, one is supposed to “just know” and have no doubts or anything.
        Have I screwed up our whole relationship? If I want to take a beat to think about marriage does that truly mean the answer is no?”

        • I would think her response would be understandable if the question was popped, say, five months into the relationship. After three years, though, I think most people would expect you to have the answer pretty well decided. If the answer is, “The past three years have been great, but I’m going to need several weeks of counseling and discussion before I can commit any more fully to this relationship”, I think most people would correctly take that as a vote of no-confidence.

  2. We saw a state senator twerking for votes. Here’s another…. thought provoking political ad from Jerone (yes it’s an n, not an m) Davison, running for Congress in Arizona:

    Fortunately, it’s not showing Mr. Davison’s ability to move his rear up and down. But, is this ad ethical or not? Why or why not?

    • That is quite the ad. Quite the use of the cognitive dissonance scale. KKK is bad, mostly regarded by everyone. Non-white person good, mostly regarded by progressives. Firearms bad, mostly regarded by progressives. Republican candidate bad, mostly regarded by progressives. Black Republican candidate scaring off KKK people with a firearm, that’s like the meme of the superhero sweating to decide which button to press. I think this ad is better than the MO ad about RINO hunting. This one at least makes a good point. I think the ad is ethical, it supports a constitutional right, makes a good point about self defense, and is inoffensive to a reasonable person.

    • Historically speaking- when the Klan was actually a force in American politics- it was dominated by Democrats- having been founded by democrats who just lost the war to Republicans who freed their slaves.

      Historically and presently- democrats do not want African Americans armed according their the second amendment rights.

      Historically and presently Democrats run a slate of policies that actively degrade the African American community.

      That ad seems in poor taste simply because pop culture and media have so well concealed Democrats’ incapacity to do good for this nation.

      As a good summation- it makes sense for people capable of deeper introspection.

      They should’ve thrown some Antifa dimwits in with the crowd to show continuity between the two groups of Democrat street fighters.

  3. ABC NEWS promotes recently released attempted Reagan assassin, John Hinkley, as a go-to voice for gun control.

    Ironically coincidental, in a country with few individually owned firearms, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has just been assassinated…with a firearm.

    • The footage has been played without pause all day since it happened. He brought one body guard with him from Tokyo, the rest were local Special Police. The first shot missed…had they pulled him down he’d likely still be alive. Still shaking my head. Because guns are so tightly controlled, 90% of their training is anti-knife. Maybe dramatic tackles by body guards only successfully happen in the movies,and I’m uninformed, but damn…he turned around to see what the sound was, the assassin took three more steps towards him to fire again. The police were all facing outward towards the crowd, literally no one had his back.

  4. I had an incident yesterday that left a bad taste in my mouth for several reasons. One of my in-laws was relieved of a substantial amount of money in a gift card scam. The local police said there was nothing they could do and told use to report the crime to the FBI. I tried to report the fraud to the FBI. I had placed all the relevant information into a file including pictures, gift card numbers (12 cards), etc and I wanted to e-mail them the file. I called my local field office to find I can only access the automated system. I had several problems with the process.
    (1) Before I could hear any options, the FBI had an ad for ‘Red Flag Laws’. There are no red flag laws in the area this local office covers, but they are promoting the idea.
    (2) After several menus, the system told me that I had to report the crime using the online reporting tool I had found earlier and dismissed because of how bad it was.
    (3) After spending 30 minutes filling out the form, I submitted it and was greeted with a page that said ‘Submission Blocked”. When I went back, the form was blank. I filled the form out in a substantially different browser and the same thing happened.
    (4) After listening to the red-flag law ad again, I tried to get to an operator or an e-mail address, when I found that the FBI does investigate online fraud, but if it involves gift cards, you have to go to the FTC. The FBI listed the FTC website to report the fraud.
    (5) The FBI had a completely wrong domain name for the FTC site. Not just a little bit, completely wrong. I tried to google it, but google just sent me to scam companies that said they would help me with such crimes. I had to use Duck Duck Go to get anything at the FTC.
    (6) The FTC has a web form with a 1/2 page (basically) limit to explain what happened. This scam involved them directing my in-law to drive to 3 different cities over 8 hours. It was more than 1/2 page involved. The list of gift cards alone was almost 1/2 page.

    As for ethics. Is it ethical for a government agency to promote laws that violate due process, the second, fourth, and fifth amendments? Is it ethical for the agency to be so inept? Does the FBI do anything except try to frame Donald Trump and plan domestic terrorist incidents anymore?

    As for the gift card scams, it appears that the companies involved are in on it or are encouraging it. We had gift cards with money left on them and the receipts, but the companies involved would not let us be refunded for the cards, use the cards to buy DIFFERENT gift cards (that the scammers couldn’t use) or even let us use the money on the cards to buy things ourselves! While there was money on the cards, we were told the cards couldn’t be blocked. Once the money was gone, we were told the cards could be blocked. My in-law was told to buy these cards at specific stores (bypassing closer stores in the process), so I am pretty sure they have accomplices in the stores. Law enforcement will never know, however, because the public has no way to contact law enforcement and they don’t care. This is becoming a standard thing now.

    The public has no access to law enforcement or the law. In my town, the DA will not prosecute any property crime under $1000. When we elected a new DA who would, he died within a week of the election. When a pharmacy stole 150 hydrocodone pills from one of my in-laws, the local police wouldn’t take the report because there is a state agency for that. The state agency wouldn’t take my report because they only take reports from physicians. When a warranty company took my money and denied my warranty, I was not allowed access to the courts. I would have to fly to NYC to undergo arbitration paid for by the company that stole my money. When a church I was at found a $1 million embezzlement had occurred (over decades), the local DA refused to prosecute, saying it was too big for his office and the FBI would need to deal with it. Despite being given all the financial records that showed the embezzlement (and hundreds of thousands in tax fraud), the FBI said it was too small for them. Common people can be stolen from and scammed and we have no law to turn to. Widespread respect for the law is what makes society possible. However, why should anyone have respect for such law? What are the common people to do?

    • Most people don’t realize how poorly our criminal justice system actually works. The number of crimes that go unpunished is staggering, even very serious crimes like murder and rape, never mind lesser ones like theft, fraud, etc.

      Our pop culture has done us a terrible disservice in this regard – the good cops and DAs almost always win on TV and in the movies, so people don’t realize how frustrating and ineffective the system is until they’re a victim of crime themselves. My sympathies to you and your in-law.

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