28 thoughts on “Open Forum!

    • Ethics. No amount of “love of life” justice a giant bird to every visitor to the cemetery. Assuming sound mind and body, the predeceased was a dunce for requesting it; the family a dunce for pushing it forward, and the cemetery stewards dunces for accepting it.

      • A small swastika on the tombstone of a fallen German prisoner that’s not visible unless you go up to reading distance of the tombstone is a major problem, but a giant obscene grotesquerie like this is not only ok, but deserving of a long article excusing it. This world is going insane.

  1. This article was an “Oh, shit!” moment for me. I know it’s New York and I know it’s Hochul, but Vladimir I. Lenin must be smiling down the Empire State.

    Shocking excerpt:

    “Involuntary detention is a severe deprivation of individual liberty, far more egregious than other health safety measures, such as requiring mask wearing at certain venues,” the judge wrote, according to the Epoch Times.

    No doubt about that. It beggars belief that this would even be contemplated, let alone placed into service. All that is required is some kind of pretense of health emergency, which these days could be declared literally at will, and there is nothing at all preventing uniparty New York from using it to “detain” political enemies.

    • This attempt sounds like what we heard about Australia’s Chinavirus policies. No surprise; these are the same statists who want us to be more like Australia in restricting other personal freedoms.

  2. 3rd try to get this posted, so it may show up as a duplicate. Is it me, or is it WordPress? Don’t know.

    For whatever reason, my attempt to comment on the Ethics Zugzwang post last night did not make it. So, slightly updated for this open forum, here it is, apropos of the plaint: “I’m beset with ethics conflicts and difficult choices of late.”

    Oh, poor me. Why an ethics zugzwang for me?

    Well, heck, you know why, Jack, and deep down you love it. An ethics zugzwang takes you to the best part of ethics — the best because it’s the toughest. It takes you to a point where you have to make a hard call. Ocasio-Cortez demonstrating at the Supreme Court? Easy. The media hiding the Hunter Biden corruption? Easy.

    But, Trump vs. Clinton, Trump vs. Biden? Now it’s getting tougher. Trump vs. anyone 2024? My head is starting to hurt.

    An ethics zugzwang pushes one in the direction of utilitarianism, an ethics swamp alive with unpleasant and dangerous critters. Yet, sometimes we have to wade into that swamp because there is no other route to where we must go. We then have to design a strategy which produces the greatest good for the greatest number, gets the greatest number of people safely through the swamp.

    So, envision a 2024 election without Trump. The Democrats would have to run a much better candidate than Biden. The Republicans in a rare moment of sentience would see what the Dems were up to and would have to ensure that they had a highly competitive candidate.

    How do we get to that situation? As of today, the answer is to create a situation where Trump and his supporters both understand his candidacy is a losing proposition for him. Would an indictment do it? And, would it therefore be ethical to wish or push for one?

    Heck if I know. I’m still trying to learn ethics, and this is hard. It’s a zugzwang.

  3. The new “assault weapons” bill wending its way through Congress is scary, or should be. The vague terms and definitions in this proposed legislation, liberally interpreted, as we know they would be, would allow the BATFE to define many self-loading (semi-automatic) sporting firearms as “assault weapons.” This video from GOA is very instructive.

    • Thanks Jim H. Was unaware. This truly is Big Brother scary!
      The Biden gang is going full commie right before our eyes and since the MSM is compliant very few people even know what is going on. A perfect storm.

      The kind of semi-auto pistols to be banned begins at the 2:30m mark and begins with:
      “has a magazine that is not a fixed magazine” with qualifiers one of which is “has a threaded barrel” and another is “has a barrel shroud.” Inch by inch by inch…

    • When a few months back Harry criticized a part of our constitution that was put in place directly to address abuses by his great-great-…-great grandfather, I quickly realized I didn’t care what he had to say about anything.

      Now Megan Markle is thinking about running for president….

  4. I’m pro-life, but the best argument I’ve heard in favor of lax abortion restrictions is, “How do you draw the line between a medically necessary abortion and an elective one?” It seems that drawing that line is more difficult than I had first believed:

    Anyone have thoughts on how you protect the unborn without second-guessing the opinion of medical professionals willy-nilly?

    • Gamete,

      So what I have heard from many (pro-life) doctors is that there is NEVER a medically necessary reason for abortion. This is going to require some definition work, but this is the definition I am familiar with for pretty much all pro-lifers I have dealt with.

      Abortion – the direct and deliberate termination of a pregnancy through the killing of the unborn child.

      Now, by that definition, you never ever need an abortion. Ectopic pregnancies can be handled by abortion, sure, or you could simply remove the malfunctioning part of the Fallopian tube. Due to the principle of double effect, you are saving a life and though there was knowledge of certain death, the intent to kill the child was not there. As a note, I am told by these doctors that aborting the child in an ectopic pregnancy greatly increases the chance of further complications in life (like insanely increasing your chance of further ectopic pregnancies), but removing a bit of the Fallopian tube has almost no severe potential negative consequences. Most of the time, the amount removed goes unnoticed by the body and fertility is not affected.

      If the uterus is the organ causing trouble, there is no need to deliberately kill the child. Removing a malfunctioning uterus, even though the child inside will most likely die, is not abortion by our definition.

      Cancer? Ok, give the chemo. It might kill the kid, but the cancer is the target.

      Anything after 20 weeks? Don’t wait two-three days to abort the baby, C-section them out in about 15-30 minutes (or less) and either fight like hell for their lives or grant palliative care until they pass.

      We could get out of a lot of trouble if we just say that you may not abort a fetus, but you may treat a disease. You never feed a woman poison to kill her child, but if the poison you feed her to kill her cancer kills the child too, that is fine. (Better show me some cancer though and it better be chemo, not an abortifacient.) Additionally, a pregnant woman can have surgery that unfortunately killed her child, but don’t intentionally soften her cervix for days and then tear the child limb from limb and then crush its head. Show me the organ you removed and the biopsy you did before doing so.

      Of course, when I say show me, I do mean have the chart prepared, just like you do for any potentially life threatening medical procedure, for the medical team that reviews these things in a hospital or outpatient setting, just like we have for every other major medical procedure that can kill a person. We don’t remove tonsils for fun. There has to be medical need. Make it the same for potentially pregnancy ending care.

  5. The dems new “Tax and Spend to Fight Inflation” bill (Thanks, Manchin!) looks like it will double the IRS’s ability to harass moderately successful small business owners and professionals (and anyone else who doesn’t have the ability of the truly rich to employ cadres of experts to avoid exposing their incomes and wealth to tax liabilities). https://reason.com/2022/07/28/supersizing-the-irs-will-hurt-the-working-rich-not-tax-evaders/?utm_medium=email Obviously, our problem is not that we’re wasting billions on one ill-advised shipload of pork after another, or repeatedly “investing” in subsidies for unproved wish-driven endeavors, but that we’re just not wringing enough out of the earnings of our productive individuals and businesses.

  6. So… Channel 3 in Michigan released the results of the Republican run-off primary. The only problem? The primary is next week. The channel has claimed that they were testing their election system and the results were randomly generated. The winners were the RINO and the anti-Trump candidate.
    (1) Who believes this was really a test of the election system v the premature release of the predetermined election results?
    (2) How many people won’t vote because they believe the system is completely rigged?


  7. “We then have to design a strategy which produces the greatest good for the greatest number, gets the greatest number of people safely through the swamp.”

    Tell me who chooses what produces the greatest good for the greatest number? I posit that the only way is to put that issue to a vote.

    From https://legaldesire.com/benthams-utilitarianism-theory-scope-criticisms/
    Principle Of Utility

    “Bentham forwarded the principle of utility which formed part of the family of consequentialist ethical theories, which evaluated the actions of an individual on the basis of its consequences. Bentham was avant-garde in focusing on the consequences of the behaviour instead of on the intent behind the behaviour. He considered intentions to be irrelevant and believed that good actions would result in good consequences. He proposed that the most important consideration should be the pleasure and pain quality arising from the consequences of our actions. Simply put, an action can be characterised as good if it results in pleasure and bad if it results in pain. The principle of Utility is an action that is commended or condemned according to whether it produces benefit, advantage, pleasure, good or happiness or prevents mischief, pain or unhappiness.

    However, the principle of utility is different from egoism which endorses pleasure of oneself. Utilitarianism provides that one should pursue pleasure not just for us but for as many sentient beings as possible. Bentham stated that “We should act always so as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number”. A utilitarian would therefore sacrifice their pleasure for the pleasure of the group.”

    How do you divorce the calculus of egoism from utilitarianiism? That is the fundamental weakness of utilitarianism. If I assess a situation solely from my perspective, I am using my subjective preferences of what is good or bad and projecting them on to the many. Without being able to measure subjective preferences we cannot calculate or even estimate total communal utility. At one point in time, it was determined by a select few, that burning women who were accused of being witches was in the greater good of the community

    We should also note that individual utility, satisfaction, pleasure or whatever “good” value is derived at any given moment will diminish by obtaining more of it. Or, simply by virtue of new unknown substitutes, the relative value of that obtained today may change relative these new substitutes.

    How do we really know what values others place on things except by giving them the opportunity to choose at a specific point in time. That is why we must give them the choice.

  8. I should add.

    Where do we draw the line on who represents the beneficial population? Do we use the global population, national population, state population, local population, familial population or simply individual in determining the greatest good?

    What happens if some group assigns what we consider arbitrarily high positive or low negative values on issues they alone find dear? Do we counteract with our own arbitrary values?

    Conceptual utilitarianism damn near caused the first settlers here to starve to death because unless everyone sacrifices their own utility equally for the group to few will carry the burden for the many.

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