Catch-Up Open Forum!

Maybe you noticed: I wasn’t around much yesterday, though I see that there were some epic comments. A legal expert report draft required my attention from about 6:30 am to 1:30 am, with only breaks for bodily necessities and Spuds. I did stumble on a great and interesting legal ethics story from my files that is worth a post today, but otherwise, I have some catching up to do.

Unfortunately, I am also blotto and exhausted. You can help me ease back into the saddle (that ethics story involves cowboys) by pouncing on today’s Open Forum, and letting me know what’s going on in the outside world…

16 thoughts on “Catch-Up Open Forum!

  1. As some may know, I’m no longer technically Arthur in Maine. I’m technically now Arthur on Cape Cod, but my EA handle and the area code on my cell phone are the two pieces of my time in Maine that I continue to proudly carry.

    I’m sure you’ve all heard about the fact that Ron DeSantis sent two charter planes loaded with illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard, which is about 10.5 miles south of me. I find this situation absolutely hilarious on the macro scale. But from an ethics standpoint, it’s more troubling.

    1) The Biden administration has been flying illegals to airports all over the country and dumping them off. This, in my view, is unethical (as is the administration’s policy on the southern border). Essentially, DeSantis did the same thing, but that doesn’t make it ethical in return.

    2) Conservative media is, in my opinion, overstating the reaction on the left. Unethical. That said, there’s enough pearl clutching on the left to make this all highly entertaining. To me. Which is unethical, and I’m not proud of it, but I never claimed to be perfect.

    3) DeSantis’s timing could have been better. Most of the uber-rich limousine liberals with summer homes on the Vineyard head out around Labor Day. Had he done this in August, he actually could have made this a bigger story. Which would, of course, be unethical – but no more so than it already is.

    4) The aforementioned pearl-clutchers on the left are calling this a political stunt, using illegal aliens as pawns. That argument is not without merit. But it’s curious that they didn’t seem to care much when the border states were bearing the brunt of hundreds of thousands of illegals by themselves. Which is… unethical.

    5) There are, in my view, some ethics heroes in this situation: the residents of Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, it’s a liberal place, even among the year-rounders, many of whom have family heritage on the island going back generations. That said, the residents stepped up. Although these people are in the nation illegally, they’re still human beings with basically nothing but the clothes on their backs. Islanders have stepped up and provided shelter (not in their own homes, mind you, but there’s a roof over the illegals’ heads); food; toys for the kids (yes, there are kids) and other services. They are treating the illegals with basic human dignity. This, IMO, warrants praise – not condemnation.


      It’s something that’s made somebody at “The Daily Beast” think anyway.

      You are correct that retaliation is unethical, using people to score political points is also unethical (so also is it unethical to ship plucky undocumented migrants to red cities and states in order to shift the electorate if those who believe in the Great Replacement theory are correct). Also, regarding number 5, good for them. As the article in the link above points out, the resources of Martha’s Vineyard are far and above those of the border towns, but we should not diminish their charity just because it costs them less than it does the poor towns down south.

    • It’s a political gimmick for sure, but I think it’s ethical in the end. It gives blue state sanctuary communities “migrants welcome” crowd a chance to put their money where their mouth is and shares the burden of the open border that the federal government thrust upon us. Credit for the community of MV for handling it. But since it doesn’t matter what people in Southern states say about the problem, the shipment of illegal aliens needs to be continued to blues cities, until they cry uncle.
      As a Greater Boston resident, I think Mayor Wu of Boston should also get some buses. She loves providing to all the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. (The Statue of Liberty poem is our official immigration policy, doncha know?) Also, I do not know the details, but I would venture to guess, when aliens are put on the buses/planes, it’s not done under gun point. It’s probably a “who wants to get on a bus” type of thing, and perhaps at that point, the aliens feel like anywhere but here (the border) will do.

      • Ah, yes. Mayor Wu. Another great gift for which we have Liz Warren to thank.

        Meantime, word is that the illegals on the Vineyard will be moved up to Joint Base Cape Cod (formerly known as Otis Air Force Base), where there’s lots on unused barrack space.

    • Re: No. 5: Well, truth be told, the invitees are what 100 – 200 strong? Let’s see what happens when Florida, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona transfer 50,000 to Martha’s Vineyard in a given month. I suspect they will be singing a different tune. Oh, and did you see that Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot lambasted Texas Governor Abbott about this political stunt just before packing up the Chicago Invitees to the more conservative suburbs?


  2. I read an article claiming Homeland Security filed a patent for luciferase, a bioluminescent compound that is used for various purposes in medicine, genetics and other scientific endeavors. The article in question claimed that it was being used to track who was vaccinated for Covid 19.

    Before I got sucked into some vast conspiracy theory, I typed in Homeland Security and Luciferase just to see what turned up.

    The first entry was a Reuters Fact Check that debunked the claim.

    The first paragraph stated, “Social media users are claiming that a patent for “fusion proteins containing luciferase” filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is proof that the department is planning to use the COVID-19 vaccine as the “mark of the beast”.

    It went on and on about the origin of the word and substances contained to create the bioluminescence and how it is used in medicine. The fact checkers went on to describe the fallen angel lucifer because the initial story was published by a Christian media firm

    The patent mentioned in the posts is visible at The application was filed by the Department of Homeland Security on Sept. 16, 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. ( My note: Became widely known to the public)

    The patent says that “the polynucleotides and fusion proteins have biotherapeutic, diagnostic, and quality control applications in biotechnological, medical, and veterinary fields.”

    This is how Reuters fact checkers classified this claim.

    Misleading. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did apply for a patent for fusion proteins containing luciferase, but it is not related to the fallen angel Lucifer.

    I have no idea what DHS is doing. Why is it involved in researching and patenting polynucleotides? What is interesting is that within the patent classification schema it falls under C12N15/00 – Mutation or genetic engineering; DNA or RNA concerning genetic engineering, vectors, e.g. plasmids, or their isolation, preparation or purification; Use of hosts therefor; regulation of expression.

    General method for regulating (enhancing, inhibiting) the gene expression by modifying the operator, enhancer or promoter dependent transcription of the messenger RNA. Does this sound like gain of function?

    It seems to me that fact checkers have an ethical duty to do more than merely state some unquantifiable verdict. Based on what I read about these polynucleotides there are significant questions that I would have regarding the activities of DHS in genetic research. Reuters I believe had an ethical duty to get the facts about what DHS is doing and report those findings.

    • If this is all they addressed in their “fact check” it sounds like the same sort of straw-man “check” we’ve often seen from Snopes, et al. Instead of addressing the important issue(s) (in this case: “Why do they have that patent, & what are they doing or planning to do with it?”), they’ll select some trivial aspect of a claim, or selectively word it, then “debunk” that minor or irrelevant part, call it “false” or “misleading”, and dodge the question that has actually been raised.

  3. Well, good thing I waited until the evening to post the Pujols update, because tonight, well, he hit yet another game tying home run, #698 for his career. I believe they have 17 games left in the season plus whatever the Cardinals do in the playoffs.

    It occurred to me today that if not for the rules changes this season, there is no way Pujols would be doing this — St. Louis is in the National League and before this year they would have had no designated hitter, and there’s a good chance they would not have even signed Pujols. I’ll give this one to Manfred.

    And in the other league, Aaron Judge is at 57 home runs, with 18 games to go. He’s actually got a very outside chance at the triple crown, hitting .463 over his last 15 games.


    For any baseball fans, here is a question for you. You are the Milwaukee Brewers, 1.5 games behind the 3rd wild card team, desperately trying to make the postseason. You’re playing the Yankees, tied 5-5 (at home) and Aaron Judge is leading off in the top of the 8th inning, with his stats for the last 15 games, .463 average, 7 home runs, OPS of 1.472.

    Do you intentionally walk him?

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