A Second Introduction To “Thoughts On What An Ethical Solution To The Abortion Ethics Conflict Might Look Like, Part 2: A Solution”

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I decided that it was finally time to complete and post Part 2, having promised it way back in September. The impetus is two polls on the subject released today and yesterday. But having read the polls, I feel like a second introduction to Part 2 is necessary. (The first introduction, posted a day after Part I, is here.)

The first introduction closed, “Absent something that causes a tipping point in public opinion on the same level of influence as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” [on the public’s perception of slavery] the approach to abortion I offer in Part 2 is, and will ever be, impossible.” The two polls purport to tell us what the public’s current perception of abortion is. At least, that’s how they are being presented in the news media, which, as we all know, is completely unbiased on this topic as well as others.

I’m joking. Most of the media is ignoring the second poll, by Marquette, which makes the Washington Post-ABC poll that is more positive toward abortion incoherent. The Marquette poll found that more of those polled favored a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy than opposed it. Survey respondents were asked if they would favor or oppose a ruling to “uphold a state law that (except in cases of medical emergencies or fetal abnormalities) bans abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.” This is a direct reference to to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which SCOTUS will hear oral argument regarding on December 1. The case turns on the constitutionally of a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after….. 15 weeks of pregnancy. Allowing the law would, if not overrule Roe v. Wade, significantly limit it. Yet 37% of those polled approved of a decision upholding such a law, while 32% opposed such a result. The remaining 30% said they didn’t know enough to make a decision.

In most polls on other topics, that group that pleads ignorance are apathetic slugs, but on this topic, maybe they are the wise ones. How many Americans really know what Dobbs is about, or even what Roe v. Wade really says? My guess is considerably less than 50%. Maybe less than 25%. 10%?

The Post-ABC poll that is being waved triumphantly in the public’s face is the one summarized in the diagram above (the data is here) and claims that large majorities of Americans “support maintaining Roe v. Wade, oppose states making it harder for abortion clinics to operate and see abortion primarily as a decision to be made by a woman and her doctor, not lawmakers.” How can that be the case if a majority also believes that woman and doctors should not be able to decide to abort an unborn baby after only 15 weeks?

It can’t.

What’s going on here?

Americans, except for small numbers of activists on both sides, haven’t thought carefully about the issues in abortion sufficiently to have an informed opinion about it. That’s what.

I would like to have the groups polled by Marquette and ABC/Washington Post pollsters asked if they have read Roe. What’s your guess: how many would say they have? 5%? Less? How many have thought about when a fetus should have the right to live? If they were shown a photo of a fetus at 8 months, would they support aborting it? Six months? Three?

Of those who say they support abortions in the case of rape or incest, and were asked why how a human is conceived should change its right to live, how many could answer intelligently? How many have thought about it? How many have the education and critical thinking skills to analyze the problem competently?

If you asked if a man who killed a woman who was three months pregnant should be prosecuted for killing one human being or two, what would the majority answer? If they answered “two” and then they were asked, “How can it be murder if an unborn child is killed by anyone else, but no crime if the killer is the mother?,” how many would mutter “Huminahumina”?

The vast, vast majority of Americans thinks about abortion so shallowly as to be ethically useless, simply following their peer groups, or joining one team of the other who band together under deliberately misleading labels: “pro-life,” which ignores on of the crucial interests in involved in abortion policy, and “pro-choice,” which ignores the other. Or they don’t think about abortion at all.

No political, legal or societal acceptable solution to the abortion ethics conflict is possible when the public remains this ignorant and apathetic. A condition precedent to any solution, therefore, is to bring about a dramatic shift in public consciousness and commitment—that tipping point I mentioned before. That’s what “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” did: it forced people who had never thought seriously about slavery and what it meant to think, and once they did, they opposed it.

Polls are easily manipulated and generally do more harm than good, but these two, taken together, show us a way out. The public needs something or someone who will make its members think about abortion and its issues, honestly and without the spin, obfuscation, emotionalism and bullshit. If a metaphorical slap in the face could be found for slavery, one can be made for abortion.

So getting to that slap is the first part of any solution.

Got it.

Now I’m finally ready to finish Part 2…

Most Damning Poll Results Yet: Only 43% Of Registered Voters Have Minimally Adequate Knowledge Of The Constitution, Law, Democracy, and Reality [Bad Link Fixed!]

This is even more depressing than the number of people who think Joe Biden is doing a just dandy job as President.

43% of those asked in a Morning Consult- Politico poll responded that the 2020 election should definitely not be overturned. That means that 57% are not certain that the election shouldn’t be overturned. Some think it probably shouldn’t be overturned—12%. 35% responded that the election results should definitely or probably be overturned. Morons. Since the election can’t possibly be overturned under any law imaginable or any sequence of events, and since even attempting such a thing would cause total chaos, the only answer that indicates that a respondent was taught civics by a fully functioning primate is: “Of course the 2020 election shouldn’t be overturned. What are you, nuts? Why are we wasting time even discussing this? Why don’t you ask if “Imagine” should come true?”

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This Ethics Alarms Rebuke Of Instapundit Is Brought To You By Spuds

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Proving once again that dog ignorance and breed bigotry knows no partisan, ideological nor erudition boundaries, a bunch of conservatives are spreading false anti-pit bull propaganda. As is often the case, they don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

The impetus was an anti-pit bull abuse organization citing the work of Ann Linder, a Legislative Policy Fellow with Harvard Law School’s Animal Law and Policy Program, who wrote a paper, “The Black Man’s Dog: The Social Context of Breed Specific Legislation,” that argued that pit bulls have been unfairly tied to “gang violence by urban youths, as well as the hip-hop music scene.” The group then made the leap to arguing that anti-pit bull restrictions in the many American cities that have them are racist. Well, that’s demonstrably idiotic: the reason for all of those ignorant laws isn’t racism, but that the legislators passing them know zilch about dogs and are pandering to public hysteria. The hysteria is spread by the news media, popular culture, and a lot of otherwise intelligent people who should know better but don’t, and are too lazy and irresponsible to educate themselves. This group includes Conservative law prof and conservative pundit/blogger Glenn Reynolds. Shame on him.

Here’s the way it goes: since the pro-pit bull group cited a race-baiting Harvard scholar, that meant that the group must be made up of progressives, and thus wrong about everything in Instapundit Land. Conservative site College Fix posted about the foolishness of the “racism” claim. Instapundit host Reynolds snarked to his millions of followers:,

“Academics say fear of pit bulls is linked to… racism? I thought it was more about the biting: “Despite accounting for just 6.5% of all dogs in the United States, pit bulls were responsible for 66% of total fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017.” Why aren’t these academics following the science? I think they should be banned for “spreading misinformation.”

HA HA HA! Good one, Glenn! Why isn’t this academic checking his sources before making a high-profile ass of himself by spreading misinformation? As anyone with a smattering of canine education knows, there is no breed called a “pit bull,” but anywhere from four to eight distinct breeds that are lumped together as “pit bulls” by people, apparently like Reynolds, who don’t know a dog from a garden hose.

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/29/2021…Down The Rabbit Hole! An Unethical Ghost, A Stupid Newsreader, And A White-Hating Dean Walk Into A Bar….

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Ghost Ethics! I just watched an Amanda Seyfried Netflix movie called “Things Heard And Seen,” which I recommend neither seeing nor hearing. What I got out of it—spoiler alert, if indeed a crummy movie can be spoiled—is that ghost ethics are a little bit “problematic” as Prof. Turley would say. The spooks don’t quite get the “Fix the problem before it’s too late” obligation. In this movie, the benign ghost of a murdered woman who had been the original owner of an old house bought by an ambitious, sociopathic college professor takes the professor’s victimized wife under her spectral wing, knows that the husband is up to no good, but only does anything proactive to get rid of the husband after the monster has killed F. Murray Abraham (who still looks like Salieri!), run a woman who was on to him off the road, putting her in a coma, and finally chopped up lovely Amanda, who plays the wife, with an ax. THEN the ghost drags the husband to Hell, which we know the ghost knew was going to be his fate before Amanda got the Lizzy Borden treatment.

Talk about locking the barn door after the horse is gone…

1. Isn’t it good to know that news readers all over the world are just as ignorant and incompetent as ours are? Bill Shakespeare, the first man to get a pandemic vaccine, died last week of non-virus causes. A Spanish newscaster, Noelia Novillo, as photos of the Bard’s namesake flashed on the screen, announced the story this way:

‘We’ve got news that has stunned all of us given the greatness of this man. We’re talking about William Shakespeare and his death. We’ll let you know how and why it happened.As we all know, he’s one of the most important writers in the English language – for me the master. Here he is. He was the first man to get the coronavirus vaccine. He’s died in England at the age of 81.”

No word yet regarding whether the station fired this ignoramus. Why bother? She’ll just get a job at CNN…

2. Speaking of locking barn doors…actually more like locking the cellar door after the horse has escaped from the barn…Southwest Airlines announced yesterday that it will not resume alcohol service in June as previously announced, because a woman attacked a flight attendant on a recent Southwest flight in an incident that had nothing to do with alcohol consumption.

Ethics Alarms is so fond of the practice of punishing innocent members of the public for the isolated conduct of a single wrong-doer (Should I call it “The Chauvin Solution”?) and this is even worse. There is no nexus between the incident and Southwest’s response at all, except the unproven theory that if passengers have become unusually cranky during the pandemic (with Southwest insisting that passengers re-mask between sips of Coke), they’ll be even crankier once they’ve had a few little bottles.

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And THIS Is Why Celebrities Should Shut Up And Act, Sing, Dance, Look Good, Or Whatever They Did To Get Famous . . .

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Elizabeth Banks, a B+ movie actress whose career zenith was either playing Jeff Bridges’ wife in “Sea Biscuit” or a supporting role in “The Hunger Games” movies, decided to rant about “Stand your ground” laws last week. The impetus was the Ohio legislature passing a version of the law, thus joining about half the states. Banks responded by tweeting, to her

“Stand Your Ground is BS. We used to play hide and seek all over the neighborhood on summer nights. Intent was to play. We were kids but some of my cousins were big guys. There were a few easily-jumped fences in the neighborhood but also houses with no fences at all. A new neighbor moved onto our street. Apparently he mistook us hiding behind trees in his unfenced yard at 9pm for … burglars? Predators?” All of a sudden, an arrow was shot into the tree behind which we hid. From a professional bow and arrow. This guy didn’t yell out ‘who’s there’ or ‘get off my property or I’m calling the cops’ or any other question or warning. He just shot at children. He hit the tree so it was seemingly a warning shot. Message received, WE yelled out that we were just playing and could he let us please run away without shooting. Then we ran.”

“Also sometimes our dog got loose. We would go into yards looking for her. All I can think about when people pretend Stand Your Ground is about anything other than permission to kill people are those moments when I myself stepped onto a neighbor’s property. Where is the evidence that Stand Your Ground does anything but endanger your neighbors, their dogs, their kids? It helps nobody but people who want justified reasons to use a deadly weapon. If I’d been shot and killed playing hide and seek, would that new neighbor have been able to just shrug his shoulders while living across the street from my grieving parents? With laws like this, probably yes.I don’t want to live in a world where we fear our neighbors so much that we can’t freely lose a ball/dog/frisbee or cut through somebody’s yard to avoid harassment — all things I have done. What yards did you wander into and why?”

Observations:

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Remember Kristallnacht, And Why Should I Even Have To Write That?

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On November 9, 1938, in an event that we now recognize as the beginning of the Holocaust, Hitler’s  Nazis began their campaign of terror against Jewish people by destroying their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria. The violence, which continued through November 10 and was later dubbed “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” left approximately 100 Jews dead, 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged and hundreds of synagogues, homes, schools and graveyards vandalized. About 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, with many of them sent to concentration camps for several months until they promised to leave Germany.

The November 7 murder of a German diplomat in Paris by a 17-year-old Polish Jew became the provocation for the Kristallnacht attacks. On, 1938, Following the episode, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ordered German storm troopers to carry out “spontaneous demonstrations” against Jewish citizens, with local police and fire departments ordered not to interfere. Terrified by the sudden outpouring of official hate, some Jews, including entire families, committed suicide.

In a clear demonstration of the state of German ethics and justice at the time, Nazis blamed their Jewish victims for Kristallnacht and fined them 1 billion marks (or $400 million in 1938 dollars) for the low-level diplomat’s  death. This allowed the government to seize Jewish property and any insurance money owed to Jewish people for the destruction. The Nazis then enacted policies and laws that excluded Jews from all aspects of public life.

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Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon”

I have so many Comment of the Day-worthy posts to choose from right now that  I could throw darts at the comments list to pick one and hardly go wrong. (Of course, that would be bad for my computer screen).  I decided that I wanted to see if I could get some perspective from Louisville, Ky., where my father grew up, while the Breonna Taylor Freakout is in full, embarrassing bloom. Luckily, I knew I had Glenn Logan as a resource.

The post Glenn was commenting on wasn’t even about the Breonna Taylor grand jury decision, but rather Don Lemon’s evident ignorance about how the government works. Ignorance, however, is the common theme. The George Floyd Freakout was and is a fraud, because the protests were about racism when the episode didn’t involve racism, and about “routine” police brutality when the brutality was sui generis rather than routine and, we now know, was probably not even the cause of Mr. Floyd’s (Or Saint Floyd’s, as BLM would have it) death. By the time Floyd died, Taylor’s unfortunate death was already part of the protesters’ mantra, just as other factually irrelevant episodes have been for years, like the demise of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

There’s a reason Black Lives Matter is really Facts Don’t Matter. If the United States had a less despicable opposition party and a barely responsible journalism profession, making certain the public understood little details like what constitutes a murder, what causation is, and—back to Dumb Don again— how the Constitution gets amended would be a prime directive.

I admit to being a bit obsessed with the rioting and grandstanding around the Taylor grand jury decision, because it is so indefensible on any logical basis, yet so many are so self-righteous about it, and so many assholes are showing their true colors.  How  warped do human beings have to be to threaten and harass diners in St. Petersburg over an incident in Louisville that they don’t comprehend?

And why don’t leaders of the Democratic Party condemn such mindless thuggery? Well, that’s a stupid question: we know why.

Ugh. Don’t get me started.

And if you are wondering why I started writing this at 5 am, it’s because my now healthy, lovable rescue dog is still so insecure that he has to sleep slammed up against me  like a hot, furry incubus, and I couldn’t bear to kick him off the bed, but couldn’t sleep either.

Here is Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon”:

Jack wrote:

“He clearly doesn’t understand how amendments actually get passed, and why this particular amendment will never, never be passed.”

Agreed. Actually, I doubt if he knows or cares how many hoops amendments have to jump through to become part of the Constitution. If he did, he wouldn’t have been so cavalier about his comment.

“It is also incompetent, irresponsible, nonprofessional, reckless and a breach of duty for CNN to allow someone who couldn’t pass junior high civics to pretend to be able to analyze the nation’s political scene.”

Heh. You could make that charge at virtually every TV or cable news outlet in America, and 98% of its newspapers. Which tells you that most of the public, who snoozed through civics and government classes in high school, don’t know anything about how the Constitution is amended, or if they did, have been convinced of some alternate reality. This lazy, feckless disinterest is the root cause of many of our current problems.

“Lemon has been immune from accountability because he is black and gay.”

Very nearly the trifecta. Continue reading

Regarding The Emotional And Ignorant Demands For “Justice” After The Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision

I had a lot of standard Ethics Alarms movie clips to choose from for this post. Half of them apply, but the one above is the most apt. Indicting the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor would have nothing to do with “justice,” and yet that is what we are hearing in what Joe Biden called, fatuously,  “the profound grief & anger today’s decision generated.” There’s nothing profound about allowing primitive instincts and waw emotion govern  one’s words, thoughts and actions.

Let’s look at this phenomenon, if we can stand it. The Boston Globe ran a per se idiotic op-ed  by Jeneé Osterheldt  titled, “Breonna Taylor and America’s wanton disregard for Black lives.”

I’m sure other similar screeds can be or will be found in papers like the New York Times and the Washington Post, but the Globe’s primal scream cretinism will do:

The country made a commodity of Breonna Taylor. It’s always exploited Black lives.A $12 million settlement with her family in a wrongful death lawsuitwas cheaper for Louisville than it would be to charge and indict any cop for killing the 26-year-old. Buying, selling, using, and abusing Black bodies is America’s oldest business….we never should have thought the American government could provide justice to Taylor’s family. Kentucky’s attorney general may be Black, but he is complicit in a system designed to use brutalization and incarceration to enforce law and order. They will tellprotesters to be peaceful and call their killers patriots and just. This is our American life and Taylor’s American death.

This is completely illiterate and ignorant, factually, legally and ethically, and it is irresponsible for a newspaper to employ a columnist who can’t reason more clearly and express herself more responsibly than that. She confounds concepts and mistakes substance. The officers who shot and killed Breonna Tayloor committed no crime. They would have committed no crime if their gunshots protecting themselves from the victim’s boyfriend, who was not unreasonably shooting at what appeared to be  armed home invaders (the officers were not in uniform), had killed a white woman, or a child, or Ruth  Bader Ginsburg. There was no crime under the law, and it’s not even a very complicated law.  Why are people who don’t comprehend such concepts as “intent,” “crime” and “murder” writing and ranting about “justice” in public forums? Why is anybody giving them access to those forums, where they can make the public less informed, more incensed and less rational? Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN’s Don Lemon

“You know what we’re going to have to do?… You’re going to have to get rid of the electoral college….And if Joe Biden wins, Democrats can stack the courts and they can do that amendment and get it passed.”

—Don Lemon, juvenile CNN host, in another one of his increasingly frequent whiny rants, this one about how unfair the  Electoral College is.

Because Lemon was talking to the dumbest broadcast journalist on television,  Chris Cuomo, and because if Lemon’s colleague realized how ignorant this statement was—never a sure thing when Cuomo is involved—he might have decided that it was better to mislead CNN’s viewers than to point out that Lemon doesn’t know the U.S. Constitution from an anchovy, nobody corrected this howler.

Lemon apparently thinks the Supreme Court “passes” amendments, or something. He clearly doesn’t understand how amendments actually get passed, and why this particular amendment will never, never be passed. Since he doesn’t know what he is talking about, it is incompetent, irresponsible and unprofessional for him to talk about it. Journalists are supposed to enlighten, not make the public more misinformed than it already is, a condition that poses a danger to democracy without being made any worse.

It is also incompetent, irresponsible, nonprofessional, reckless and a breach of duty for CNN to allow someone who couldn’t pass junior high civics to pretend to be able to analyze the nation’s political scene. Continue reading

Noonish Ethics Quickies, 9/23/2020: Still More Weird Tales Of The Trump Deranged!

1. Senator Murkowski has the integrity of a shack made of cream cheese. She thought she could get cheap virtue signaling points by announcing that she would refuse to vote to confirm President Trump’s nomination to fill the SCOTUS vacancy, but now that it looks like her stand will be futile, she says she might vote to confirm after all. Throughout her nepotism-built career, Murkowski has repeatedly demonstrated that if you don’t like what she advocates, wait a minute. She’s untrustworthy, and the fact that Alaskans keep re-electing someone like her strongly suggests that they just don’t give a damn.

2.  A good friend just wrote on Facebook that 200,000 Americans would still be alive if Donald Trump wasn’t President. He really wrote this, and there was no joke attached. He cannot possibly believe that. What was he doing? Sucking up to his many Trump Deranged friends? Having a stroke? I was temped to respond, but decided to let it go. The post was embarrassing: even the average Trump Deranged citizen who now has the IQ of a winter squash could tell THAT claim is nonsense.

The social media narrative, echoed by the news media and Democrats, that somehow the deaths from the pandemic in the U.S. would be fewer, or far fewer, if only President Trump had “followed the science” and done something different that no one can quite identify, is , in my assessment, signature significance for either a fool or a liar. Every other day I mark a shift in the “scientific” consensus or some new theory, because the health community still doesn’t understand what it is dealing with.  The New York Times, simultaneously with pushing the “blood on his hands” Big Lie (that’s #9, if you’ve lost count), regularly includes items that contradict the narrative. On August 24, for example, it noted in a column in the Business Section–nicely buried!— that the CDC didn’t advocate wearing masks until April, after saying in January that wearing masks wasn’t necessary.

If Americans allow this ongoing and self-evident lie to influence their vote in November, they are as incompetent as the idiots, if there were any, who voted against Hillary Clinton because they believed that she was operating a child sex trafficking operation out of a D.C. pizza joint. Continue reading