Patterico's Pontifications

9/2/2011

Bad Facts Make Bad (ADA) Law; The Case of the Alcoholic Truck Driver

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:51 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Strap yourself in, because this is going to be a long one.

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Now first, full disclosure.  Regular readers know by now that I am a disabled person and a direct beneficiary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).  I have written a conservative defense of the law, here, for instance.

And come to think of it, I might arguably be biased because my father worked almost all of his life in trucking and draws a pension from a company in competition with one of the companies discussed here.

I would like to think both of these experiences give me a deeper knowledge of each subject; but you might reasonably conclude that I am biased in one way or the other.*

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Anyway, most lawyers will agree with the cliché: good facts make good law, bad facts make bad law.  Let me give you a good example: Ricci v. DeStefano, a.k.a. the New Haven firefighters case.  I have talked about it before, here.  Basically New Haven held an exam to determine who would be eligible for promotion but when not enough minority firefighters passed the exam, the city decided to scrap the results.  The Supreme Court overturned that decision, declaring that this was unjustified racial discrimination.

Now consider this passage from the facts of the case, discussing one of the firefighters in the case:

Frank Ricci… that he had “several learning disabilities,” including dyslexia; that he had spent more than $1,000 to purchase the materials and pay his neighbor to read them on tape so he could “give it [his] best shot”; and that he had studied “8 to 13 hours a day to prepare” for the test…. “I don’t even know if I made it,” Ricci told the CSB, “[b]ut the people who passed should be promoted. When your life’s on the line, second best may not be good enough.”

Later on, the court writes:

The plaintiffs—who are the petitioners here—are 17 white firefighters and 1 Hispanic firefighter who passed the examinations but were denied a chance at promotions when the CSB refused to certify the test results. They include the named plaintiff, Frank Ricci[.]

Ricci was not the only plaintiff, but his story of a dyslexic firefighter spending over a thousand dollars and overcoming his disabilities in order to pass the exam, only to have that victory snatched away from him because he was the wrong color, was significantly highlighted not only in the media coverage of the case, but even in the court opinion itself.

Now, if you want to see the end of quotas, racial preferences and the like, those were very good facts, particularly the story of Frank Ricci.  Hell, except for the racial angle, it sounds like the kind of story Hollywood would turn into a movie, with some actor using it as blatant Oscar-bait.  He doesn’t even have to worry about “going the full retard.”

So there are lawyers who I like to call “activist lawyers” who want not to serve a specific client but to change the law in a positive way.  Thurgood Marshall, before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, was the very template of an activist lawyer.  He made sure that each time he challenged racial segregation he had before him the most sympathetic client possible, so that the manifest injustice of the laws he was challenging would become obvious.

And that term, “activist lawyer” is not a pejorative.  Like many things in life, it can be used for good or for evil.  Tearing down segregation would be one example and in my mind so would be the vindication of the Second Amendment.  In  D.C. v. Heller for the first time in decades recognized that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms.  Now look at this line from the case:

Respondent Dick Heller is a D.C. special police officer authorized to carry a handgun while on duty at the Federal Judicial Center. He applied for a registration certificate for a handgun that he wished to keep at home, but the District refused.

The New York Times actually managed to highlight this fact even more baldy:

Mr. Heller, who carries a gun while on duty guarding the federal building that houses the administrative offices of the federal court system, wants to be able to keep his gun at home for self-defense.

I mean the argument almost writes itself: “so I am trustworthy enough to carry a gun to protect officers of the federal judiciary, but the District of Columbia says I can’t be trusted with a gun for my own self-protection?  I can protect others but not myself or my family?”  Whatever you think of gun control, the district’s position in regards to Mr. Heller was Kafkaesque.

And this didn’t happen by accident, as the Times notes:

Mr. Heller was one of six plaintiffs recruited by a wealthy libertarian lawyer, Robert A. Levy, who created and financed the lawsuit for the purpose of getting a Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court. The appeals court threw out the other five plaintiffs for lack of standing; only Mr. Heller had actually applied for permission to keep a gun at home and been rejected.

And likewise, I believe the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should equally be activist lawyers in that sense, intervening not merely when a particular plaintiff was deserving, but when it will encourage the law to develop in a positive direction.

Which makes me wonder why the hell they are intervening against Old Dominion Freight to help an alcoholic truck driver.  From their press release on the subject:

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., a trucking company with a service center in Fort Smith, Ark., violated federal law by discriminating against at least one truck driver because of self-reported alcohol abuse, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today. The company should have met its legal obligation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act while assuring safety, rather than permanently sidelining self-reporting drivers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contended.

According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:11-CV-02153-PKH in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas), the driver at the Fort Smith location had worked for the company for five years without incident. In late June 2009, the employee reported to the company that he believed he had an alcohol problem. Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the employer suspended the employee from his driving position and referred him for substance abuse counseling.  However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program.  During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment.

(Apparently Optimus, in truck form, works for Dominion Freight.)

Well, let me break it down for you.  Here’s what the EEOC says about the law on this subject:

Alcoholism is a recognized disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and disability discrimination violates this federal law. The EEOC said that the company violated … the ADA … by conditioning reassignment to non-driving positions on the enrollment in an alcohol treatment program. In addition, the EEOC argued that Old Dominion’s policy that bans any driver who self-reports alcohol abuse from ever driving again also violates the ADA.

Now the claim that alcoholism is a protected disability under the ADA is … correct actually, or at least heavily implied.  For instance the act, as amended, has a whole section toward the back addressing “Illegal use of drugs and alcohol” telling us, for instance, that a person currently using illegal drugs is not even considered disabled.  Which suggest that if you are a recovering drug addict, currently clean and sober, that addiction would be considered a disability.  The law further says things like this:

A covered entity… may hold an employee who engages in the illegal use of drugs or who is an alcoholic to the same qualification standards for employment or job performance and behavior that such entity holds other employees, even if any unsatisfactory performance or behavior is related to the drug use or alcoholism of such employee[.]

Like it or hate it, the ordinary rules of statutory construction tell me that Congress fully expected alcoholism to be considered a disability, at least if you were seeking treatment and not falling off the wagon.

So does that mean that we let the lush get behind the big rig and if a few dozen schoolchildren get run down, oh well?  Well, not exactly.  Consider this passage from the act:

(e) Transportation employees

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to encourage, prohibit, restrict, or authorize the otherwise lawful exercise by entities subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation of authority to

(1) test employees of such entities in, and applicants for, positions involving safety-sensitive duties for the illegal use of drugs and for on-duty impairment by alcohol; and

(2) remove such persons who test positive for illegal use of drugs and on-duty impairment by alcohol pursuant to paragraph (1) from safety-sensitive duties in implementing subsection (c) of this section.

So that law seems to say that if you detect an on-duty impairment by testing, you can take the lush away from driving the big rigs.  And there is nothing in that section that suggests that they ever have to let them drive again in their whole life.  And principles of statutory interpretation would tell me that the term “discriminate” in the ADA should be interpreted in light of that language.  If it is not unlawful discrimination against an alcoholic who has tested positive for on-the-job impairment to prohibit him or her from ever driving a truck again, then how can it be discrimination when you ban the guy after learning he was drunk on the job by other means?

Now of course the plaintiff in this case hasn’t (yet) been proven to have been drunk on the job as far as I know, but based purely on my life experience in dealing with alcoholics, I consider it to be virtually certain that he was and that Old Dominion will have the evidence to prove it.  I have no proof to back up my speculation, I am just going by my estimation of the odds.

[Hmm, I should probably add to the disclosures that my sister’s abusive ex-husband was the son of abusive alcoholics, and although he didn’t appear to be an alcoholic.  So gee, that might make me biased against alcoholics, too.  Or it might give me open eyes.  You make the call.]

And I will take the Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay to task for saying this:

If the EEOC prevails, of course, it will mean that Old Dominion will still be liable both for any damage to life or property that results from a potential relapse by one of its recovering drivers – which in turn increases the risks involved in investment in the company – and for the cost of trying to ensure that such damage never occurs. All of these new burdens will raise Old Dominion’s cost of doing business, and hence the cost of everything they transport.

To be blunt, that isn’t entirely true.  There are two causes of action that could arise.  The first is negligent retention—that is negligently keeping on an employee who presents an unreasonable danger.  As a matter of law, you cannot be held liable for committing an act you are legally required to do, so that cause of action would not survive summary judgment.

The second cause of action is more cause for concern—which is that if the employer has reason to believe that the employee is drunk on the job and fails to stop that person from driving, then the employer could be held liable for any damage that employee causes.  That’s the real danger–not from generalized negligent entrustment.  But I don’t think in any case the law would prevent Old Dominion from making this guy pass a breathalyzer every hour on the hour when he is on duty, which would increase Old Domion’s costs, but would also thoroughly eliminate any danger of liability.

And of course none of this would stop an injured person from suing, whether they had a case or not.

And, for that matter, none of that suddenly makes me, or likely you, comfortable with the idea of a recovering alcoholic driving an 18 wheeler.

And that is all well and interesting, but let me repeat my big point for emphasis:

Seriously, EEOC, what are you thinking?  If we accept the premise that the EEOC should not only be concerned with worthy plaintiffs, but also making good law, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Are you hoping to put lots of lushes behind the wheels of trucks?  Is that the principle you are fighting for?  Even pretending for a moment that Old Dominion is wrong, this is a small wrong.  You have bigger fish to fry either on the subject of discrimination generally, or on the subject of disability discrimination.  I know, I have fought for some of those people and seen the bewildering indifference of the feds to much more worthy causes under the ADA.

And the problem is that in overreaching in this case, you might do serious damage to this law.  So in your quest to keep lushes free to drive big rigs, you might so damage the ADA that a school could get away with denying an education to a disabled child.

And this is not a theoretical concern.  This has happened before.  Take for instance, the case of Sutton v. United Airlines.  If you support the ADA, these are bad facts:

Petitioners are twin sisters, both of whom have severe myopia. Each petitioner’s uncorrected visual acuity is 20/ 200 or worse in her right eye and 20/400 or worse in her left eye, but “[w]ith the use of corrective lenses, each . . . has vision that is 20/20 or better.” … Consequently, without corrective lenses, each “effectively cannot see to conduct numerous activities such as driving a vehicle, watching television or shopping in public stores,” … but with corrective measures, such as glasses or contact lenses, both “function identically to individuals without a similar impairment.”

In 1992, petitioners applied to respondent for employment as commercial airline pilots. They met respondent’s basic age, education, experience, and Federal Aviation Administration certification qualifications. After submitting their applications for employment, both petitioners were invited by respondent to an interview and to flight simulator tests. Both were told during their interviews, however, that a mistake had been made in inviting them to interview because petitioners did not meet respondent’s minimum vision requirement, which was uncorrected visual acuity of 20/100 or better. Due to their failure to meet this requirement, petitioners’ interviews were terminated, and neither was offered a pilot position.

What makes the facts so bad is simply this: they are applying to be airline pilots.  And the fear that the courts immediately feel when they interfere in a case like this is that they might be persuaded to dismiss valid safety concerns that would then result in lost lives.

And the result in Sutton, for those who supported the ADA, was a disaster.  And I think most regular lawyers would start to see the problem if I outlined it for you.

In order to get protection under the ADA you have to be 1) disabled and 2) otherwise qualified for the job or service.  That term “disabled” was defined in the ADA at that time as:

(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

(B) a record of such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (3)

They refer to these three prongs of the definition of the word “disability” as the “actual prong”, the “record of prong” and the “regarded as prong.”  But focusing just on the actual prong, the question at the heart of Sutton was how these sisters’ impairment would be measured: when they were using corrective lenses or not?

Now, first, let me point out that there is something deeply “upside down” about all of this.  Racial discrimination, for instance, is considered the paradigmatic example of unjustified discrimination.  The reason for this is that we believe (myself included) that there is no significant difference between the so-called races.  On the other hand, gender discrimination is considered less obviously wrong because the ability to pee standing up and to give birth seems to be occasionally relevant as a difference.  So while it is noxious in most people’s minds to exclude women from the legal profession or the franchise, most people do not consider gender-segregated bathrooms to be an affront, like they did racially-segregated bathrooms.

But when it comes to the ADA, the whole thing flips.  If you have a mere impairment that not quite a “substantial limitation” the law doesn’t protect you at all.  Take for instance a hypothetical person, John Smith, who has  very slight nearsightedness that even without glasses doesn’t amount to a substantial limitation.  Mr. Smith is not protected at all from any kind of discrimination–whether it is a failure to provide reasonable accommodations, or the more ordinary kinds of discrimination.

But the less your impairment is, the more irrational it would be to discriminate based on it.  If our Mr. Smith works for a law firm that decides to fire him because they don’t like people who wear glasses, isn’t that more irrational, not less, than firing a person who is legally blind?  Where we consider it inherently wrong to discriminate along racial lines because there is no significant difference between the two groups, the ADA declares that there must be a significant difference between the individual and other people, before he or she receives any protection from discrimination.

In Sutton the Supreme Court only added to this problem.  The court determined that you measure a person’s disability in reference to any “mitigating measures” that the individual happens to use.  Mind you, that term “mitigating measures” didn’t actually appear in the act when Sutton came down and in fact adding this term by judicial fiat created severe difficulties in interpretation.

For instance, the act makes it clear that you are not to consider the effect of any “reasonable accommodations” when determining whether a person is disabled.  For instance, in 1999, this is how the law defined the term “Qualified individual with a disability”:

The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.

By the very language of this section it is clear that whether one is disabled is determined without accommodation, but whether one is qualified would be determined with or without accommodations.

But what is the difference between an accommodation and a mitigating measure?  For instance, one of my disabilities is dysgraphia, a disorder that makes it hard for me to write by hand, but leaves my ability to type unaffected.  When I was obtaining my undergraduate degree at a regional university, I was granted the accommodation of being allowed to use my laptop in class and on essay exams.  It was an accommodation because a few professors otherwise would have objected.

By contrast, I did not receive this as an accommodation in law school.  That is not to say that I was forced to take notes in class and fill out essay exams by hand, but the policy of the school was to allow everyone to use a laptop computer, even on exams, and therefore it wasn’t an accommodation.

So what is my laptop, then?  A mitigating measure?  Certainly at law school, the use of a computer fits into the Sutton court’s language of “measures to correct for, or mitigate, a physical or mental impairment[.]”  But that results in the reduction to absurdity of the courts saying that my dysgraphia does not qualify as a disability unless someone tries to prevent me from using a laptop.  If I am allowed to use a laptop, but a law professor attempts to discriminate against me because of that disability just because he doesn’t like people with that disability, according to this approach, the law would provide me with no protection.  Does that make any sense to you?

And it only becomes more idiotic.  What if the plaintiffs in Sutton then stopped using their glasses?  Would the court say that since they were forgoing any mitigating measures that they were now disabled?  Under that approach, we would punish people for choosing to heal themselves by throwing them out of the protection of the law.  Or would the courts then require a person to use every mitigating measure possible?  Under that approach deaf people would not be entitled to protection under the law unless they at least tried to get a cochlear implant.

How bad was this interpretation?  So bad that it was overturned, by name, in the current version of the ADA, and not by crazy liberals but by a near-unanimous Congress and signed by George W. Bush.  (You can see a master page helping you to see what the ADA said before the amendment, here.)  But in the meantime many worthy plaintiffs lost their cases, and all because a pair of sisters didn’t realize that their bad facts would make bad law.

And here is the EEOC inviting the courts to make a similar mistake by filling the judges’ minds with nightmares of drunken truck drivers menacing our roads.  Words simply cannot capture how idiotic this is, so perhaps another picture** would help:

SERIOUSLY, EEOC, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

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* By the end of this post you might reasonably wonder why on earth one should worry that I was biased in my treatment of Old Dominion since I treat them as the victims of an idiot EEOC.  Painting them in a favorable light would seem to work against my father’s financial interest in his pension in a competing company.  But ask any lawyer and they will tell you that bias actually can cut both ways.

Take a simpler example.  A judge in a criminal case discovers his friend is the defendant.  In that case, the prosecution would reasonably be concerned that the judge might unfairly favor the defendant.  But the defense has a cause for concern, too, in that the judge might unfairly favor the prosecution to prove to the world how supposedly unbiased he is.  That is why when a judge has an interest in the outcome of the case, both sides are entitled to object.

Similarly you might worry that I am being nice to Old Dominion Freight precisely because I am concerned with being accused of bias.  I don’t think I am, but that is a rational concern.  I report, you decide.

** I am pretty sure that last picture is from Kung Fu Hustle, the only martial arts movie I have ever seen where I was convinced that everyone making it was on LSD.  Despite that, or perhaps because of it, I recommend it very highly.  It makes about as much sense as Super Mario Brothers and is almost exactly as fun.  And if you do see it, see the subtitled version for maximum effect because literally some jokes are lost in dubbing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

244 Responses to “Bad Facts Make Bad (ADA) Law; The Case of the Alcoholic Truck Driver”

  1. That’s from Kung Fu Hustle. If you liked it, you’d probably like “Shaolin Soccer” too. (If you can find a copy in the US that isn’t a DVD made from a copy of a copy of a copy of a VHS tape.)

    The “reasonable accommodation” thing irks me. Like “community standards”, vague wording ends up leaving the courts to decide what the law means. Reasonable is subjective (what’s reasonable to me is not reasonable to you), and laws should avoid being subjective.

    Xmas (a633e2)

  2. Uh, the employer’s on the hook for any negligent driving, period. Resondeat Superior, and all.

    There’s no issue of negligent entrustment, there’s just an issue of negligence.

    –JRM

    JRM (cd0a37)

  3. I think the problem is partly of conditioning even a non-driving job upon the treatment. If he is not in a job where he qualifies as being in a safety critical position then they likely have no right to condition his employment upon such treatment. They can of course fire him from even such a non-critical job if they can show he is impaired, but they would actually need to prove that, rather than being able to rely on a self report to meet that burden. And I think the EEOC may very well be right that even for a driving position that a self report is not enough. The company may or may not have something more, I make no comment on that point.

    And they may be required to accommodate his alcoholism by placing him in a non-driving job, I’m not sure on that point either.

    Soronel Haetir (134454)

  4. Jrm

    You’re right. Duh on me.

    Can I plead that I wrote this late last night?

    Aaron Worthing (d56362)

  5. For instance the act, as amended, has a whole section toward the back addressing “Illegal use of drugs and alcohol” telling us, for instance, that a person currently using illegal drugs is not even considered disabled. Which suggest that if you are a recovering drug addict, currently clean and sober, that addiction would be considered a disability.

    I can’t make sense of this. If active drug users were not even considered to fit into category X, whatever X is taken to be, how does it follow that a former drug user (or alcoholic) automatically does fit into category X? You can make X whatever you want: green-haired Mongolians with a stutter who don’t take drugs. Obviously the fact that active drug users don’t fit into that category doesn’t imply that those who have stopped taking drugs do fit into it.

    Jim S. (b1a200)

  6. A.W. – I don’t agree that it is as cut and dried as you make it sound. Of course it is in the interest of the employer to remove unsafe drivers from the road. They are going to be ultimately held responsible for the liability for future accidents.

    The source document points out, though, the driver had worked there five years without incident. I have to call BS on your assertion that:

    “Now of course the plaintiff in this case hasn’t (yet) been proven to have been drunk on the job as far as I know, but based purely on my life experience in dealing with alcoholics, I consider it to be virtually certain that he was and that Old Dominion will have the evidence to prove it.”

    I say no more likely than anyone having difficulties at home or financial troubles who stops off for a few pops in the middle of a run or brings some supplies in his cab or some pills. The solution is to test your drivers.

    There is no indication that the driver has lost his CDL.

    He has no violated company policy.

    He is being disciplined for potential future violations of company policy as I understand it. Is that consistent with the way Old Dominion treats other drivers? You haven’t done anything, but we think you might, so we’ll yank you off the road?

    Take the emotion out of it and look at the facts. It’s a more difficult case than you make it out to be, IMHO.

    I know railroad employees who were suspended for substance abuse. They initially were put back on yard duty as probation before gradually earning their regular duties back. They were not barred for life from their professions.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. A.W. – Old Dominion’s policy also sends exactly the wrong message to its drivers who do have substance abuse issues. It encourages them not to seek help. Win. Win.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. The problem with laws like the ADA with alcoholism or other substance addiction is that it is a blunt instrument, poorly applied. Most disabilities are fairly black and white; you are blind or you aren’t blind. Addiction is slippery and has many grey areas.

    There is a STRONG likelihood that a newly abstinent addict will relapse, and this likelihood diminishes fairly slowly. Only after several years of continuous abstinence (not to mention significant life and attitude changes) does the risk diminish sufficient for significant trust to return. And that needs to be balanced against the risk. This balancing MUST be based on the individual, and trying to codify it — even on a sliding scale — is hopeless and will lead one to error.

    BTW, I have some knowledge of this, having had my last drink 23 years ago.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  9. Probably the only thing the government has right here is the idea that you cannot have a BLANKET policy preventing ALL prior substance abuse barring one from employment. But that does not mean that you can not be so strict as to make only rare exceptions.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  10. Why is the EEOC doing this?
    Because they have the power to do so, and it makes them feel all wonderful inside protecting the downtrodden from the rapacious and capricious activities of a brutal, Capitalistic System.

    Let’s just nationalize the trucking industry, and make all holders of CDL’s civil-servants (unionized, of course, by the Teamsters).
    That will solve the problem, for everyone knows that no civil-servant has ever done anything to hurt, or deminish the civil-rights of, any citizen in this country….
    what was that?….
    Fast & Furious???
    Brian Terry, while unfortunate, was just Collateral Damage in accomplishing the Greater Good, which was to take dangerous guns (well, that will be all guns) out of the hands of the American People, who are just not smart enough to use them.

    ADA: Written by Progressives; Signed by GHWB!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  11. ADA: Written by Progressives; Signed by GHWB!

    And championed by Bob Dole. My two main reasons for not voting for Dole in 1996 were ADA and ADM. Even in hindsight I don’t regret that decision.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  12. Why do we seem to get such bad legislation from Senators/Congressmen who have suffered such debilitating injuries (both physical, and in many cases, non-physical) in the defense of their country?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  13. I think Patterico had a post about a deaf package delivery driver a few years back. If I recall the facts correctly, his company accommodated him by adding extra mirrors, etc. to his truck. I think he got involved in an accident involving emergency vehicles, claiming he could not hear the sirens. Should he have been on the road? He was eligible to drive.

    I’m sure somebody can find the post.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. Here’s where companies get screwed. They have to allow alcoholic drivers who self-report continue to drive after they have gone through treatment.

    Well, what are teh stats on recidivism for alcoholics? I’m sure it is fairly high.

    So, the company knows the person is likely to drink againa nd therefore likely to drink and drive on the job.

    but they have no choice but to allow the person to drive. then, when the person gets in an accidenet, the company can’t avoid liability by pointing out that they had to allow the person to continue to drive pursuant to law.

    so, what does a company do? Hire another person to always ride with the alcoholic and ensure he/she doesn’t drink and drive?

    Many truckers don’t report in to work every day – they go out to drive for 10, 20 or more hours. How does the company keep tabs on the person?

    And, as far as the ADA, there may be a “conservative case” for the law – but only for people with true disabilities – deaf, blind, quadraplegic.

    Alcoholism, drug abuse, carpal tunnle, 20% loss of hearing, slipped disc, “learning disabilities” and most other “disabilities” should not be covered. The law as written and interpreted is horrendous. I would hazard that 85% of people who utilize the ADA’s coverage should not be covered by it.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  15. “so, what does a company do? Hire another person to always ride with the alcoholic and ensure he/she doesn’t drink and drive?”

    Monkeytoe – What do states do when they give drunk drivers conditional driving priveleges back?

    Start there.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. I know railroad employees who were suspended for substance abuse. They initially were put back on yard duty as probation before gradually earning their regular duties back. They were not barred for life from their professions.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/2/2011 @ 8:47 am

    While you are correct that there are more facts in play – I think it is safe to say that someone who considers himself to be an alcoholic likely drinks on the job. Maybe not, but it is hard to know.

    Unlike the RR employees you reference, a trucker cannot be observed throughout the workday, and if the route is interstate, may not be observed for days or weeks. So, if the person is drinking, there is no way for the company to spot it and pull him off the job.

    The RR workers you reference sound like people working in teh yard or around others, so that their behavior can be obbserved and if they are acting as if under the influence, can be checked.

    I suppose I would not have a problem with this if the company could use as an absolute defense to any future injury caused by hte driver while under the influence that they had to keep him on the job. But the company can’t do that.

    Regardless, as I stated in another comment – although the law currently covers alcoholism, it shouldn’t. We need to reform the ADA so it only covers the basic major disabilities – blindness, deafness, paraplegics, quadroplegics and not every malady under the sun that makes life a little difficult.

    I actually had a case where a guy claimed discrimination because he had loss of hearing of about 10% in one ear. We won that case on SJ but there are actually federal decisions out there that find such low level hearing loss to be covered. That is the height of insanity. Almosst everyone has something – and if they don’t they can fake it (depression, back pain, etc).

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  17. Monkeytoe – What do states do when they give drunk drivers conditional driving priveleges back?

    Start there.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/2/2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Ohh. So the company has to buy a breathalizer starter for the truck? And if the guy gets someone else to blow for him and kills someone? What then? the fact that teh company bought the breathalyzer for the truck shows that tehy knew the guy might drive drunk – proving their liability.

    Start there.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  18. They put a Breathalyzer interlock on the ignition circuit.
    Blow over a .01 (or whatever) and the car/truck won’t start, and the GPS unit reports your disabled location (and why) back to the office.
    It’s just a matter of integrating the available hardware.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  19. You’ve got to fire the drunk anyway. Laws are not important enough to justify killing innocent people.

    This is really quite obvious. If someone wants to haul you into court for daring to keep drunk drivers out of your vehicles, that’s the price you pay for keeping your soul.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  20. 18.They put a Breathalyzer interlock on the ignition circuit.
    Blow over a .01 (or whatever) and the car/truck won’t start, and the GPS unit reports your disabled location (and why) back to the office.
    It’s just a matter of integrating the available hardware.

    Comment by Another Drew – Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! — 9/2/2011 @ 12:24 pm

    If it is possible to do it so that the unit can tell who is doing the blowing, which I believe I read somewhere that it is possible (it bases on the pressue of teh blow or somesuch), then this may work. But if not, a truck driver is likely going to be able to find someone they can pay $10 to blow into the thing.

    Of course, if the driver is on a 10 hour haul and drinks while driving, this does nothing to help. Or if the driver leaves the truck idling while he pops into a bar for a few.

    Teh problem, for me, is the company’s potential liability. make it the law that if required to keep the person driving, teh company can’t be liable for any drinking-driving injuries by that driver, fine (although I would not be so happy if i or someone I know ends up the victim).

    I’m not against giving people second chances – I’m against the gov’t ordering you to do it.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  21. This is really quite obvious. If someone wants to haul you into court for daring to keep drunk drivers out of your vehicles, that’s the price you pay for keeping your soul.

    Comment by Dustin — 9/2/2011 @ 12:27 pm

    But it shouldn’t be.

    the ultimate problem here is that the scope of “disability” under the ADA is wayyyyy to broad. I’m not against the idea of the ADA, I’m against its current form.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  22. I’m not against giving people second chances – I’m against the gov’t ordering you to do it.

    Comment by Monkeytoe —

    It seems to me that a recovering alcoholic’s second chance shouldn’t be on the highway. The same companies with the trucks should have connections to warehouse operations.

    Discrimination can be a good word.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  23. You could integrate it with a retinal-scanner that only works while there is positive pressure into the Breathalyzer.
    Is it practical, probably not; but it would be much better than the possible suits.
    OTOH, since the over-the-road employment of this “disabled” driver is so important to the EEOC, perhaps they could supply one of their lawyers to sit on a chair mounted to the front bumber while this person is driving?
    If the driver is OK, what would be the problem?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  24. Discrimination can be a good word.

    Comment by Dustin — 9/2/2011 @ 12:33 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. Every choice you make is a discrimination – you discriminate against restaurant “a” by picking restaurant “b”; you discriminate against job candidate “a” by hiring job candidate “b”, etc. You make choices based on criteria.

    You pick someone from Yale over someone from BC because you believe Yale is a better school. That is discrimination against BC graduates.

    We’ve gotten to the point that people are conditioned to think that any and all discrimination is bad, which is nonsense.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  25. Or if the driver leaves the truck idling while he pops into a bar for a few.

    Again, this can be addressed by GPS reporting software.
    Also, many states – under the rubric of Clean-Air – have instituted VC regulations prohibiting the prolonged idling of medium and heavy trucks.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  26. 23.You could integrate it with a retinal-scanner that only works while there is positive pressure into the Breathalyzer.
    Is it practical, probably not; but it would be much better than the possible suits.
    OTOH, since the over-the-road employment of this “disabled” driver is so important to the EEOC, perhaps they could supply one of their lawyers to sit on a chair mounted to the front bumber while this person is driving?
    If the driver is OK, what would be the problem?

    Comment by Another Drew – Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! — 9/2/2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Somebody should invent a system that circuits the drivers blood flow constantly through it while he is driving and if the BAC goes above 1% the system automatically pulls the truck over and stops it. The guy would have to get a permenant catheter put in so that he could always hook up to the system a la the matrix, but he would have his job.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  27. Again, this can be addressed by GPS reporting software.
    Also, many states – under the rubric of Clean-Air – have instituted VC regulations prohibiting the prolonged idling of medium and heavy trucks.

    Comment by Another Drew – Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! — 9/2/2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Well, that would probably require teh company creating a position to hire someone to monitor the gps system to know whether where the guy stopped is a bar. but what if he parks at a McDonalds and a bar is across the street?

    I’m just saying that there are always ways around these things and companies should not be forced to go to these extremes.

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  28. a truck driver is likely going to be able to find someone they can pay $10 to blow into the thing.

    Is that the going rate?! Maybe if they’re blowing “into” the thing, theyz doin it rong.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  29. I personally don’t believe that ADA was ever about “leveling the playing field”, but was strictly a ploy by the Plantiff’s Bar to create an entire new “field of dreams” for them to play, and benefit from.
    We see lawyers and individuals twisting the wording and regulations for personal gain all the time. And, some lawyers have been censured – and even dis-barred over abuses to the system with ADA, and some individuals have been forbidden to file additional complaints withour prior court approval.
    There has been a severe level of abuse in the “citizen enforcement” of the provisions of ADA; and much of it probably should be repealed.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  30. Is that the going rate?! Maybe if they’re blowing “into” the thing, theyz doin it rong.

    Comment by Milhouse — 9/2/2011 @ 12:43 pm

    And we have a winner!

    Monkeytoe (5234ab)

  31. “While you are correct that there are more facts in play – I think it is safe to say that someone who considers himself to be an alcoholic likely drinks on the job.”

    Monkeytoe – I think this is a bullsh*t assumption as I said before. Five years with no incidents speaks for itself.

    Your idea of ride alongs as a permanent solution was ridiculous. The ignition interlocks, while not foolproof, are the way many states reintegrate passenger car drivers back into regular driving. A long run, make sure the interlock requires regular resets.

    How do you justify firing a driver for self-reporting? You give him other duty as Old Dominion did. The question is how do you give him a lifetime ban on driving. He has not violated company policy or law.

    Old Dominion’s insurance carrier is likely to have a substantial say in the matter of whether they would insure such a driver.

    While you take away his CDL, presumably you would take away his private passenger license as well, correct? Again, as a prevention measure, even though no violations of law have occurred.

    DOT advisory recommendations:

    “Note Unlike regulations which are codifiedand have a statutory base, the recommendations in this advisory are simply guidance established to help the medical examiner determine a driver’s medical qualifications pursuant to Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The Office of Motor Carrier Research and Standards routinely sends copies of these guidelines to medical examiners to assist them in making an evaluation. The medical examiner may, but is not required to, accept the recommendations. Section 390.3(d) of the FMCSRs allows employers to have more stringent medical requirements.

    391.41(b)(13)

    A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person:

    Has no current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.

    The term “current clinical diagnosis” is specifically designed to encompass a current alcoholic illness or those instances where the individual’s physical condition has not fully stabilized, regardless of the time element. If an individual shows signs of having an alcohol-use problem, he or she should be referred to a specialist. After counseling and/or treatment, he or she may be considered for certification.”

    http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/medical.htm

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  32. Many of the OTR fleets have GPS reporting units in their trucks so that the office can constantly monitor the location and speed-travelled of their trucks; and the extent of the rest-stops that their drivers are taking (this is a matter of Law – you screw this up, and the DOT takes your ticket away, and you’re “on the beach”).
    It is no stretch of the imagination to integrate the reporting software with Google Map, and you could monitor the surrounding neighborhood of where-ever your truck is stopped.
    This is, after all, the Information Age, and it just gets more all-encompassing.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  33. Your idea of ride alongs as a permanent solution was ridiculous.

    I think that was not a serious suggestion. Obviously that kind of expense is ridiculous.

    But you’re right that obviously there are people who have an alcohol problem but are responsible on the job. Probably a lot of people like that.

    And it should be up to the employer to decide, not the ADA.

    Sockpuppet (b2fb78)

  34. ^

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  35. You’ve got to fire the drunk anyway. Laws are not important enough to justify killing innocent people.

    This is really quite obvious. If someone wants to haul you into court for daring to keep drunk drivers out of your vehicles, that’s the price you pay for keeping your soul.

    Did I miss where this guy was driving drunk? All I recall was a self-reported alcohol problem.

    JD (318f81)

  36. Did I miss where this guy was driving drunk? All I recall was a self-reported alcohol problem.

    Comment by JD — 9/2/2011 @ 12:52 pm

    You’re correct. I’m mistaken to that end. I think employers should instantly fire anyone they think isn’t safe to operate the vehicle.

    The specifics of this case aren’t what I’m talking about, though. Obviously just because someone is trying to be responsible about their alcohol problem doesn’t mean they are a risk. It should be the employer’s decision to take risks with his business, and his responsibility for what results. The entire process here is a clusterfark that makes it impossible for any decisions to really work out.

    I would draw a hard line against anyone who operates a truck while drunk, though.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  37. I would draw a hard line against anyone who operates a truck while drunk, though

    I concur. And were that the case here, there would be no issue.

    JD (318f81)

  38. JD/Dustin, so assume that the truck driver drives the company truck drunk, with the company on notice of his alcoholism, is not the company negligence now so outrageous as to support punitive damages by the injured victim? Should not the company reduce the real risk that a known alcoholic might drive their vehicle drunk?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  39. “The specifics of this case aren’t what I’m talking about, though.”

    Dustin – Why don’t we focus on the specifics of this case rather than the fantasies people have created in the comments.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  40. I concur. And were that the case here, there would be no issue.

    Comment by JD

    The only real issue here is that people can’t use their own sense of people. They have to look up rule after rule, and probably pay someone to help them apply them all.

    If you actually know the driver, and it’s your truck he’s driving, you can evaluate the information about his alcohol problem better than some regulation in a file cabinet somewhere.

    If you need all these gizmos in the cab to control whether the driver is a drunk (or wasting fuel in idle, or whatever) then you probably should just replace the driver.

    This could be headed to a world where we grant immunity to companies that hire people who are at special risk, or it could be headed to a world where transportation costs are very high because of insurance and lawsuits (Which ultimately means transportation is subsidizing the democrat party).

    I’d rather things be a lot simpler. Seems like a lot of our problems started when a politician or bureaucrat decided he should Do Something about an injustice in the world.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  41. “But you’re right that obviously there are people who have an alcohol problem but are responsible on the job. Probably a lot of people like that.

    And it should be up to the employer to decide, not the ADA.”

    Sockpuppet – I agree and want to get them off the road. I think that policies like Old Dominion’s encourage people to stay out there with problems until there’s some kind of catastrophe because they see the tremendous adverse consequences of self-reporting.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  42. Dustin – Why don’t we focus on the specifics of this case rather than the fantasies people have created in the comments.

    Comment by daleyrocks —

    As I say, fire a guy who you think could be driving your truck drunk, or you know has. And if you don’t think he’s a significant risk, don’t fire him, obviously.

    What business is it of ours how unfair a termination decision was?

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  43. SPQR – Shouldn’t the govt revoke his drivers license as well,and shouldn’t they be liable should he drink and drive anywhere? Seems a hard line to draw.

    Dustin, no argument from me.

    JD (318f81)

  44. I think that policies like Old Dominion’s encourage people to stay out there with problems until there’s some kind of catastrophe

    Yes, this is exactly the heart of the issue.

    Life is full of risks. The government can try to control them with special accommodations. I don’t it will work.

    Yes, without that special accommodation, you will have a few people hide their problems, and that will lead to some tragedy.

    If one wants to employ truck drivers, they will need to figure out a way to avoid that, partly just because it’s bad for business.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  45. For example, a particularly clever businessman will offer amnesty and an alternative job for employees who seek rehab. He’ll also pay careful attention to various warning signs that a driver might be drunk.

    He might even call his drivers and check out how they sound.

    Perhaps one of his benefits to them would be a per diem credit account for dining that offers a reward for waitresses who report the driver ordered alcohol.

    There are ways to control the risk.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  46. “But you’re right that obviously there are people who have an alcohol problem but are responsible on the job. Probably a lot of people like that.”

    Most drunks know they are drunks but don’t want to admit it to anyone else. They need money to drink, so screwing up a job by actually drinking on the job is one of the last things they want to do. Showing up late, missing days, etc., that’s par for the course depending on where they are in their progression downhill.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Perhaps the employer should offer a free 30 pack + an alternative job to drivers seeking rehab.

    This probably sounds like an obnoxious joke.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  48. The elephant in the room here is that these folks could just avoid all these problems by becoming independent operators.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  49. Have you priced what a new tractor goes for these days?
    Not everyone can afford that.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  50. I think a decent used rig is $50k.

    That’s relatively obtainable.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  51. Just put a solar panel on it and ask Obama to pay for it.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  52. Look, I don’t think a driver who has never had a problem on the job, but who admits he’s an alcoholic, is therefore suddenly a terrible risk. I think it’s reasonable to let him continue to drive, and assume he will be as careful in the future as he has been in the past. I think it’s a reasonable risk that an employer is entitled to take, a risk that a Reasonable Man would accept, and therefore if an accident does result I would not hold the employer liable.

    But none of that is the point. The point is that this employer doesn’t think it’s safe, or at least isn’t completely confident in his own mind that it’s safe. And in my opinion it is fundamentally wrong, it is wicked, for the law to compel a person to do anything that he fears will put himself or other people in danger, no matter how unreasonable that fear is. It is wrong to make this employer give this driver the keys to a truck, and then lie awake in bed composing the apology he imagines he will one day have to make to the widows and orphans of the driver’s victims; and it’s wrong no matter how unlikely we may judge that outcome to be. A person is entitled to peace of mind and an easy conscience, and the law may not rob him of those.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  53. The point is that this employer doesn’t think it’s safe, or at least isn’t completely confident in his own mind that it’s safe.

    Right.

    I’ve known people who I would not trust to deal with this problem responsibly. Particularly people I have had integrity issues with.

    If he wants to fire someone because he has bad breath, I am 100% cool with that.

    Frankly, I probably am on the extremist side of this issue. If Chris and Stari trucking wanted to fire all the black drivers, I would not outlaw it. Nor would I trade with them, but the law should let people make their own choices.

    At some level, the ADA is making the world better for everyone by allowing society to benefit from the labor of people who otherwise would be helpless. I get it. It’s gone too far, though.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  54. Government-You cannot refuse to hire blind drivers.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  55. I don’t think you can compare the measures taken by the state with drunk drivers. The state does not have to buy insurance for them and they are not liable if the driver has an accident while intoxicated. This sounds like an unfunded welfare mandate. The company basically must pay him but can’t let him drive, or they risk losing the company from lawsuits or uninsurability. The government should not put that burden on private companies.

    This is like a restaurant being caught between the health department wanting removable shelves for cleaning and OSHA wanting fixed shelves for safety with both agencies threatening to close down the establishment for non-compliance. If the government wants welfare for alcoholic truck drivers they should pay it directly, not put employers in a Catch-22.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  56. Dustin, I agree but I would go farther and say the ADA has no proper place in America, at least in the private sector. A tax brake or incentive would be one thing, but a mandate just takes a job from someone who is qualified and does not need accommodation, with the cost falling on the business and the other worker’s family. If there are not qualified workers for the position then the companies would already be making accommodations as they did in the past.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  57. This is the one rea reason that legalizing drugs is a bad idea. And it is not my intent to anger anyone with a disability but, as this case shows, the “voluntary” start to this situation ends with the person being declared disabled. His happened twice in my mind: the voluntary start of his drinking and the voluntary admission of the problem.

    reff (7206a4)

  58. “real reason”

    And while I’m here: my daughter runs a national chain restaurant in Denver, a medical marijuana state, and tells me when workers come in stoned she cannot fire them, even if habitual and even if it causes undue stress on the staff. ADA controls it all.

    reff (7206a4)

  59. The government has a case of eleutherophobia.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  60. It is bullshite period. I am diabetic and on insulin, and the D.O.T. will not certify anyone to operate a commercial vehicle that uses insulin. I have a real disability that I did not bring on myself like alcoholism. But this person with his bullshite self created problem can still operate a commercial vehicle? I call BULLSHITE!!

    peedoffamerican (a053bf)

  61. Daley

    I think you are right to say that old dominion freight, if we are getting the whole picture of their policy, has a very dubious policy. I guess my thing is, suppose they found a job for this plaintiff that paid the same. Maybe he’d love trucking more, but then the incentives are a little less harsh.

    But ultimately the wisdom (or lack thereof) of old dominion’s policy is beside the point to me. This is a stupid case for them to bring… if you care about the ADA.

    > I think he got involved in an accident involving emergency vehicles, claiming he could not hear the sirens. Should he have been on the road? He was eligible to drive.

    I don’t know about that particular case, but in fact deaf people on average get in less accidents than hearing people. Apparently hearing does more to distract you (think radio, cell phones, passengers) than it does to help you.

    Another drew:

    > Why do we seem to get such bad legislation from Senators/Congressmen who have suffered such debilitating injuries (both physical, and in many cases, non-physical) in the defense of their country?

    You can’t pin this on bob dole or progressives or whatever. The fact is that at every stage this has gotten something like 95% of the vote. You may not like it, fine, but it has bipartisan support.

    Dustin

    > This is really quite obvious. If someone wants to haul you into court for daring to keep drunk drivers out of your vehicles, that’s the price you pay for keeping your soul.

    Well, even if the law absolutely required you to keep the alcoholic driving, even if there was no wiggle room, if I was the company’s lawyer, I would say 50-50 chance of winning just by jury nullification. So yeah, good point.

    > Discrimination can be a good word.

    Well, exactly. For instance, there are a group of people that we discriminate quite stongly, we even kill them occasionally. They are called “criminals.” And as long as we pick who is a criminal based on guilty, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
    Another

    > much of it probably should be repealed

    So I shouldn’t have been allowed to go to law school?

    I mean sorry to personalize it, but I mean come on, there is something severely fraked up in a situation where I ended up being a high school drop out before the ADA and then after… Yale.

    Every law can be abused and is. But there are bluntly easier ways to make large sums of money in the legal profession.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  62. So I shouldn’t have been allowed to go to law school?

    That is a tricky point.

    I do understand the benefits to society. Obviously folks becoming lawyers and engineers because society accommodated them is a lot different than society benefiting from someone being a truck driver despite having an addiction.

    What we need is an ADA, with the basic philosophy understood, and administered by leaders with common sense and great restraint.

    There’s no way to make a rule that will work in the hands of some jackass, so obviously we have to hold our government accountable for putting jackasses in contact with the rules.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  63. Even then, society is better off if an alcoholic is a successful truck driver. I didn’t mean to make a classist rationalization.

    I can’t make a rule that neatly and fairly handles this judgment call, but I think forcing an employer to keep an employee he doesn’t feel safe with is a lot different from making college admissions easier for the disabled.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  64. -Comment by Dustin — 9/2/2011 @ 5:53 pm-
    “…I think forcing an employer to keep an employee he doesn’t feel safe with is a lot different from making college admissions easier for the disabled.”

    Excellent point.

    No lives or livelihoods are in danger in the classroom. If a blind student wants to take flying classes then no harm done but when that same blind student sued to be hired as an airline pilot that was a different matter.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  65. Is there any law where the Federal government has intruded in private business hiring where wise, reasonable and fair minded enforcement and application were typical?

    The Federal bureaucrats are just too far removed from accountability to feel restrained. They basically don’t feel they answer to the voters. We see this in EPA, OSHA, ATF, TSA, and so many others. They feel that they rule the little people rather than serve them.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  66. A whiner crying about discrimination is much more important to them than a small company put out of business. Their jobs are secure.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  67. Which makes it more important to initiate a massive RIF in the Civil-Service.
    They can start with everyone not on the “snow list”.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (e26a22)

  68. I had an Air Force ROTC roommate in college who came back one day totally dejected. Seems one of his eyes was not 20/20 (uncorrected), so this meant he was not eleibile for pilot training in the USAF (he could be a navigator).
    The USAF assumes that in a combat/emergency environment that corrective lens or contacts could possibly be lost or damaged, thus rendering a pilot’s ability to complete his/her diminished. Considering that some USAF pilots tote around nuclear weapons, this was considered prudent.

    Neo (d1c681)

  69. Dustin

    > What we need is an ADA, with the basic philosophy understood, and administered by leaders with common sense and great restraint.

    See, that would again mean, i am not a lawyer today. I had to take the people who ran the LSAT (basicaly the law school SAT) to court to get a fair shake on that exam. I tried to get the DOJ to care, but they didn’t. That is partially why them focusing on these kinds of cases pisses me off–because i know there are better cases like the one i had they are ignoring.

    So i had to sue them myself, with frankly the help of some my parents’ money.

    What we really need is for the judges to be rational about this.

    And, bluntly, addiction should not be treated as a disability at all. I am not saying that some of the discrimination isn’t irrational. I think Old Dominion, here, is rightfully subject to some criticism. But again, it distorts the rest of the law because of the unique fear addiction brings up.

    Also, semi OT, they should exclude prisons entirely from the ADA and any laws relating to religious practices. The religions freedom restoration act has been hell on our prisons, because these prisoners make up obviously fake religions and then expect the prisons to accommodate them. That needs to end.

    But there is another interesting thing about the ADA and civil rights that liberals probably never thought of, and they really aren’t going to like. I’ll probably put something up over the weekend about it.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  70. I think that the discussion has gotten fairly far off of the case at hand.

    This is the core of the EEOC complaint:

    “However, the employer also informed the driver that the employer would never return him to a driving position, even upon the successful completion of a counseling program. During the investigation, the EEOC discovered drivers at other service centers whom the employer had allegedly subjected to similar treatment.”

    The company had a absolute policy of barring self-reported abusers (who may never have operated a vehicle under the influence) for life from any driving position. The EEOC considered this discriminatory, and frankly, it is. It is not even remotely based on logic, facts, individuals, insurance mandates or anything.

    It is flatly unreasonable and arbitrary. I see the company losing this and paying punitive damages.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  71. It is not even remotely based on logic, facts, individuals, insurance mandates or anything.

    It’s based on the owner saying he prefers someone else drive his truck. Of course he’s discriminating. Why shouldn’t he discriminate against those he doesn’t prefer doing the work? It’s his money.

    I didn’t see where you’re getting this policy of absolutely barring any abuser. Allegedly he treated more than one abuser this way, not letting them drive his trucks. So what?

    So you disagree with him, is what you’re saying, and you want to force him to do things your way. That what you mean when you say there’s no logic to his decision.

    It’s not really true he doesn’t have rationale. He doesn’t want to take a risk with this driver. It’s his business. Far unlike what you’re claiming, he is not banning the driver from driving. He just won’t have it under HIS company.

    Or is it even his company anymore? Is it your company now? You’re the one who wants to run it. Will you pay this driver? Will you insure them? Will you pay damages if one of the various addicts he wants out but you want in runs over a family?

    Let people run their own business their own way. If you think it’s illogical, I guess you can start your own company and really clean him out. The fact is that employers offering good jobs can pick and choose employees.

    Perhaps legally you’re right and this company will pay a huge penalty and probably go out of business and stop employing anybody. Congratulations. But for you to say his decisions are unreasonable seems pretty unfair. I don’t follow you around telling you which discriminations on your part are unreasonable.

    You think a dry legal account, under populist democrat policy preferences, is the topic, and Aaron and my discussion of the root philosophies in play are off topic, but I disagree.

    We are really talking about freedom. It’s not a black and white issue. I think giving drunks a second chance or encouraging them to come forward by being generous to those who do is a really nice thing to do. That’s what I hope I’d be able to do in that situation (frankly it’s brave because you are obviously wrong that there is no logic to firing people with defects).

    This evening I stopped at the grocery store and had quite a lot of stuff to be bagged. The line with fewer customers in it had a mentally impaired man bagging groceries. I know him because I have shopped here for a couple of years and he’s often bagging groceries. He’s not very good at it, frankly, and usually I don’t care, but I was in a hurry tonight so I discriminated against this man and picked another line and was out much sooner as a result.

    It’s a better world because this man is able to contribute to it. More work is done, and he’s also taking care of himself to some extent. But if I decide I’m not going to be idealistic about life this evening, why should the law give a crap?

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  72. btw, Aaron, I just don’t have a good response to your comment. I’m considering it.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  73. This just seems batshit insane to me. Criticizing someone for refusing to put alcoholics behind the wheels of trucks? Really? Would you criticize someone who refuses to hire a sex offender as a babysitter–even if the offender has been through a rehabilitation program?

    CliveStaples (b0966c)

  74. In California you may just find that a mandate in the future. They are pushing protection for convicted criminals because for some reason employers prefer non-felons, so of course a law is needed.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  75. I believe the rational is that prejudice against felons is racial discrimination because African Americans are so much more likely to have criminal records.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  76. If I recall the facts correctly, his company accommodated him by adding extra mirrors, etc. to his truck. I think he got involved in an accident involving emergency vehicles, claiming he could not hear the sirens. Should he have been on the road? He was eligible to drive.

    Last time I renewed my license, the DMV did not give me a hearing check.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  77. They are pushing protection for convicted criminals because for some reason employers prefer non-felons, so of course a law is needed.

    Who are the “they”?

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  78. I believe they refers to the Ocrony admin.

    Btw Palin may a speech criticizing crony capitalism tomorrow and the perrybots automatically assume she means perry when she probably does not?

    DohBiden (d54602)

  79. Dustin and A.W. – I share Kevin M.’s complaint. You and others are are focused on the how the law ought to be, not how the law stands today, the facts presented. Maybe Old Dominion can make the argument that a non-driving job is comparable to a driving job. It seems, however, if somebody in recover can obtain a CDL, they may have a problem with a blanket policy as it stands.

    If you want to analogize, take it beyond trucking or other safety sensitive jobs, because nobody wants drunk truckers on the road. The EEOC does not want companies automatically firing drunks or addicts because they are in recovery, which many are tempted to do. They want employment actions taken for legitimate performance reasons.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  80. the ADA has outlived its usefulness.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  81. I have often thought making the regulator part of the actual decision would end a lot of this nonsense. In the 1970’s the publisher of small newspaper was appalled that he had to record the race of his employees while being prohibited from directly asking them. EEOC sent him litereature showing facial and other characteristics and that he should observe them to determine the race.

    But he went further and invited an EEOC representative to assist him. He recieved no response.

    Other regulatory idiocy occurred when the EEOC attempted to determine what constiuted a Hispanic. The first draft included those with a hispanic surname, but excluded those from Spain and Cuba. Now that’s really tough if you can’t question the applicant about national origin. Eventually it became a Spanish surname with minor exceptions.

    This is the world we now live in. Russia today is where we are headed. There, you can’t do business without violating some law. They can try you for something at any time if they desire. It just means you must stay on the good side of the authorities or you will find yourself in jail. It’s great for stifling political dissent and enriching the authorities. But isn’t the way a free society can exist.

    Corky Boyd (96df15)

  82. –#77, Comment by Michael Ejercito — 9/3/2011 @ 2:59 am–
    “Who are the “they”?”
    The last two times I read about this it related to CA but it appears to go beyond the state.

    one summery

    “Private Employment

    Asking job applicants to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime is permissible but Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 appears to restrict an employer’s ability to use criminal background information in the hiring process (42 USC. § 2000e, et seq. ). The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces Title VII, has decided that disqualifying people who have criminal records from jobs is discriminatory because the practice disproportionately affects African American and Hispanic men. (Those two groups have much higher criminal conviction rates than do Caucasian men. )

    The EEOC has ruled repeatedly that covered employers cannot simply bar felons from consideration, but must show that a conviction-based disqualification is justified by “business necessity. ” The legal test requires employers to examine the (1) nature and gravity of the offense or offenses, (2) length of time since the conviction or completion of sentence, and (3) nature of the job held or sought. Under this test, employers must consider the job-relatedness of a conviction, the circumstances of the offense, and the number of offenses (EEOC Compliance Manual, § 604 Appendices). ”

    An overview

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  83. Sorry. I don’t mean to take the thread off topic. It just all seems related, the government micromanaging employment decisions.

    Given the lack of business experience in the Legislature and their demonstrated inability to work under the same rules they impose on the rest of us it is ironic they feel so qualified to tell experienced and successful businessmen how to do their jobs better.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  84. You and others are are focused on the how the law ought to be, not how the law stands today, the facts presented.

    True.

    I also think an unjust law is not really a law.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  85. Not all liberals oppose liberty.

    Not all Democrats despise america.

    Not all Germans are drunkards who believe they deserve stuff.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  86. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces Title VII, has decided that disqualifying people who have criminal records from jobs is discriminatory because the practice disproportionately affects African American and Hispanic men. (Those two groups have much higher criminal conviction rates than do Caucasian men. )

    Is it not true under federal jurisprudence, an act with a disparate impact must be traced to a discriminatory purpose before it is found to be discrimination?

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  87. ME, I think that the Office of Civil Rights (DoJ) believes, and operates under the assumption that, any disparate outcome is per se discrimination, or at least, that is how they arrive at Consent Agreements with other governmental entities (LAPD, for one).

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (d9093d)

  88. “I also think an unjust law is not really a law.”

    Dustin – Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    By all means, everybody needs to pick and choose what laws they should obey based on their own concept of what they consider just. Don’t we hear this sort of BS from progresssives all the time as a rationalization for ripping the Constitution to shreds?

    Let’s take the discussion a bit further. As the owner of a trucking company, I want to make sure I have the safest and most reliable drivers on the road. In a time of high unemployment I have the luxury of picking and choosing from a large pool of people, unlike when unemployment is low and it is tough to find drivers.

    I don’t want to hire anybody with a criminal record of any type at any time in their past – they might steal a rig and a load. This has been known to happen.

    I don’t want to hire anybody with any past issues with substance abuse, no matter how long they’ve been clean.

    Ditto for people suffering from diabetes, epilepsy, or migraines. You never know when something might flare up and cause a problem on the road.

    Dyslexia might be a problem as well because might not be able to understand road caution signs and the like.

    Come to think of it, I’m pretty much going to have to review the confidential medical file of every driver before I’m comfortable having them drive for me, because I’m such a conscientious business owner and that’s the way I roll.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  89. “And, bluntly, addiction should not be treated as a disability at all.”

    Doctor Worthing – I guess the medical profession assembling the DSM and whoever put together the ADA disagree with you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. Dustin – Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

    Yeah, I didn’t expect that to be taken seriously, but I do feel that’s the case.

    By all means, everybody needs to pick and choose what laws they should obey based on their own concept of what they consider just.

    Not what I said, exactly. A lot of laws are neither just nor unjust, but we need to obey them just to have a functional world. Some kind of Rawls contract-lite.

    But an unjust law? I’m not going to go so far as to say you have a duty to disobey, but it’s certainly a good thing if you disobey.

    Yes, we are going to have to think our way through this world, instead of just doing what the nanny instructs. I think it’s quite unjust to tell an owner how to run his company for the most part.

    Come to think of it, I’m pretty much going to have to review the confidential medical file of every driver before I’m comfortable having them drive for me, because I’m such a conscientious business owner and that’s the way I roll.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/3/2011 @ 11:29 am

    So? You say that like it’s proof my concept is absurd. If you feel like requesting a confidential record to get a job, then obviously a lot of applicants will decline unless you pay a great wage.

    But then again, once you’ve worked so hard to control the quality of your employees, you may very well be successful enough to afford that wage.

    Discriminating taste is very expensive, but it’s often a very good idea.

    I really don’t see what your problem is. You note the law says X, and I’m saying the law saying X is bad. No contradiction, though I guess you have a different opinion on how much freedom people should be permitted to have.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  91. BTW, you know who demands confidential medical records before hiring someone? The government. For some positions, at least.

    It’s no injustice. No one minds. Those who have a problem with that simply don’t need to apply. Life goes on.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  92. “You note the law says X, and I’m saying the law saying X is bad.”

    Dustin – Bullsh*t.

    You are saying the law is unjust and Old Dominion should be able to do what it wants. Review your comments.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  93. I have to agree almost completely with Dustin on this. I may be biased though.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  94. #93 seems a bit hostile. My read was that he is saying the law should be challenged or changed, not ignored.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  95. I am saying while the laws are in place, Old Dominion must adhere to them. If Old Dominion defense is that the non-driving job is their form of reasonable accommodation, but that it’s a blanket policy, I think they’re screwed and should be talking settlement.

    I think Aaron missed it on the law on this one. There is a big difference between a self-reported issue of substance abuse and being caught in the act.

    I’m trying to stick to the facts and the law. It would be nice to establish them correctly before everybody flies of the handle on their own personal hissy fits.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  96. Yes Sir!

    I may have read it wrong but I thought Aaron was not saying the law was wrong but that this was a poor case to make this fight with because of the volatile appearance to the public.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  97. Machinist @95 – I don’t think anybody here has accurately described the facts. They have described a philosophy, that a business owner should be able to act without undue government interference. That’s great, but that’s not the world we live in. I’m trying to pull people back to the world we live in.

    Take a step back and consider one of the purposes of the ADA. Unless I am mistaken, it was to allow people to become gainfully employed or maintain gainful employment who would not otherwise be, protecting them from discrimination.

    In the instant case, you have an employee, according to the facts presented, who has self-reported an issue but has not had a job-related incident related to the issue. The employer says I don’t care, I’m never letting you function in the same capacity again. That’s company policy.

    I am saying that company is screwed, safety-related position or not.

    Philosophize away about good law or bad law, or what constitutes a disability. Reality bites.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. #98,
    I would suggest that the ADA is just affirmative action for politically favored classes. It does not create or give employment, it takes a job from one applicant and gives it to another who has equal qualifications but is handicapped and requires accommodation. How is this fair or just?

    How does a government employee who has never run a business and may never have even worked in a private sector job determine what accommodations are reasonable for a business, it’s manager, and it’s employees?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  99. Comment by Machinist — 9/3/2011 @ 12:36 pm

    Because, he knows stuff.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (d9093d)

  100. “I may have read it wrong but I thought Aaron was not saying the law was wrong but that this was a poor case to make this fight with because of the volatile appearance to the public.”

    Machinist – I believe he is saying both:

    “Seriously, EEOC, what are you thinking? If we accept the premise that the EEOC should not only be concerned with worthy plaintiffs, but also making good law, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”

    Unworthy plaintiff, bad law. I sent A.W. a link to this story with a note saying it was a tough one. I have no idea whether he had seen it before I sent it.

    I have no idea why Aaron sees the plaintiff as unworthy other than his personal bias, since the case can be generalized broadly across the workforce. It is emotional as evidenced by the comments above due to the nature of the plaintiff’s work, but it is a very common situation in the work place.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  101. “It does not create or give employment, it takes a job from one applicant and gives it to another who has equal qualifications but is handicapped and requires accommodation.”

    Machinist – I agree that the ADA does not give or create employment and I did not say that above if you read by words. If an open position exists, it prevents employers from automatically rejecting applicants merely because of their disabilities.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  102. “Machinist – I believe he is saying both:”

    I stand corrected. You are right on that.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  103. “If an open position exists, it prevents employers from automatically rejecting applicants merely because of their disabilities.”

    But that in effect means they must give the handicapped applicant priority over any one else who is even close to the same qualifications, even though they may be much better for the business. Why does a handicapped worker deserve the job more than the other who is equally or even slightly more qualified?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  104. “But that in effect means they must give the handicapped applicant priority over any one else who is even close to the same qualifications, even though they may be much better for the business.”

    Machinist – I disagree with your interpretation. To protect itself, though, the hiring organization needs to keep good records documenting its decision in this litigious society of ours.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  105. If they can’t prove they had a good reason to hire the non-handicapped applicant they can be sued. This in effect makes it dangerous not to hire the handicapped applicant if things look at all close as they know they will be second guessed by people with no knowledge and anti-business agendas.

    This is how banks were forced to give loans they knew were bad, although it was more looking at quotas rather than individual cases.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  106. Daleyrocks,
    Respectfully, have you hired many people for responsible positions? Could you really document everything that you considered in making a hiring choice?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  107. You think it’s easy driving a big rig drunk?

    Alcoholic truck drivers are some of the hardest working people there are- heroes, really

    Reaganite Republican (c90bca)

  108. #93 seems a bit hostile. My read was that he is saying the law should be challenged or changed, not ignored.

    Comment by Machinist — 9/3/2011 @ 12:14 pm

    It’s no problem. Daley’s got a strong opinion and I’m not interpreting any disrespect nor am I intending any. We just see this differently.

    Dustin (b2fb78)


  109. But that in effect means they must give the handicapped applicant priority over any one else who is even close to the same qualifications, even though they may be much better for the business

    If the non-handicapped applicant would be “much better for the business,” you should be able to articulate why that is so. The law as it is seems to give you room to make fair, rational, defensible choices. You seem to want more. You may someday persuade the rest of us to give you what you want. Personally, I hope that day is far away.

    I prefer the take articulated by daleyrocks, JD and Kevin M. and would add that Old Dominion’s policies are both imprudent and objectionable from a public safety perspective in that they effectively punish those who seek help. Over time, this raises the odds that Old Dominion will have impaired drivers on the road.

    angeleno (688c78)

  110. This just seems batshit insane to me. Criticizing someone for refusing to put alcoholics behind the wheels of trucks? Really? Would you criticize someone who refuses to hire a sex offender as a babysitter–even if the offender has been through a rehabilitation program?

    No, that’s not it all all. The criticism is that the company was imposing a life-time ban simply because the employee reported he had an off-the-job problem.

    No one would expect that a drunk who drove drunk would be kept on the job, nor that anyone who was recently sober would be allowed to drive. But the employer said that he didn’t care if they never drive drunk, or if 20 years had passed without a drink, they would never be considered for the job of driving. THAT is irrational and arbitrary.

    You may assert that “it’s his flipping company and he can do what he likes” but that idea has long since left the building. Something about Jim Crow, I think.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  111. angeleno,
    No Sir, it is just not possible to explain all the things one considers, especially to someone who has no knowledge of the business or possibly any business. When I was training manager trainees how to hire it always came as a shock to them what I asked applicants. They would ask me what questions to ask and I explained that I obviously asked for information I needed but beyond that I often asked questions unrelated to that, mainly something the applicant could not expect or be prepared for, something that could not be answered in monosyllables. I did not care about their answer, I wanted to learn about them, could they think on the fly, articulate without preparation, answer without telling me what they thought I wanted to hear.

    How do you document the information you get this way? How does a bureaucrat understand what an employer needs. If you limit employers to using objective, provable criteria you limit them to much less suitable employees and that is a business killer.

    Your comment suggests you think I am prejudiced. I quit the best job I ever had after 12 years because I would not accept the owners wish that I accept his racial bigotry in my hiring. I hate racism with a passion and I did not believe I could do my job under such artificial limitations in my hiring pool.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  112. I have hired alcoholics recently on the program, even for management positions, and ex-convicts. I would not put them behind the wheel of a big rig unless the alcoholic had many years sober. A treatment program would not mean much without that.

    If you want schools and government jobs to comply with this then fine, but why should the government be able to tell a private individual who they can hire? Should the government be able to tell a private company to hire more people to make more jobs? Should the government make you prove you hired a gardener, accountant or babysitter based on legal criteria?

    Would you hire a man as a babysitter or teacher if he self admitted he wanted sex with children but had never been caught at it? Would that discourage pedophiles from seeking treatment?

    Machinist (b6f7da)


  113. I wanted to learn about them, could they think on the fly, articulate without preparation, answer without telling me what they thought I wanted to hear.

    You seem to be referring to qualities amenable to documentation. In response to Question A, Applicant 1 said x and Applicant 2 said y. This shows that Applicant 1 has Quality Z, while Applicant 2 does not. Quality Z is necessary for success on the job.

    By the way, nothing in any of your replies made me think you are prejudiced. I simply think that your belief in your unfettered right to choose is extreme and goes beyond what is necessary in a society in which employment practices are reasonably fair and reasonably free.

    angeleno (688c78)

  114. #113.

    Yes, I believe government can and should prohibit discrimination in hiring.

    I do not see alcoholism and pedophilia as comparable, certainly not in the context you suggest.

    angeleno (688c78)

  115. Personally, unless I had a bad feeling about the driver, I’d thank him for going to rehab and keep him driving, though under a careful eye. If I had even a suspicion he might drink while driving there’s 0% chance I’d let him drive my truck no matter what the idiot government told me to do.

    However, I see the logic in an employer who takes a harder line than I do.

    I’m not talking about the optimal decision the government should set the ADA up to reach. I’m talking about letting employers do what they want. If they want to fire all the red heads, that’s freedom.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  116. Thank you.

    What I would have to document would not be the answers given but my impressions of the speakers as they answered. I often did not listen to the information in the answer. These impressions are important but very subjective. I doubt they would hold up in court or in a hearing.

    I was very successful as a manager, getting better quality, accuracy and productivity from employees and getting those employees better working conditions and higher pay then they had ever gotten because of the better productivity. I did this by hiring, training, and keeping excellent crews of employees and maintaining high standards and good moral. This is hard to do with the widest possible selection of applicants to choose from. When people who don’t know the job or the business meddle in the selection process it becomes much harder. When I took the management job I mentioned the one condition I put on the owner was that I hired and fired my own people. This worked well until he broke it.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  117. Angeleno,
    I would still like to know if you think the government should be able to make other hiring decisions like making employers hire more people. The business may be holding off to avoid hiring certain people and so in effect discriminating. Both are hiring decisions, where does the government’s right to mandate these decisions end and why?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  118. “Respectfully, have you hired many people for responsible positions? Could you really document everything that you considered in making a hiring choice?”

    Machinist – Yes to the former. With respect to the latter, my practice would typically be to rank candidates for a position and feed back was directly given to HR at my most recent firm. It was HR’s job to collect feedback from all people interviewing a candidate.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  119. I have not worked with a HR department as a manager. I always had the responsibility myself on almost all calls. Where I needed approval I had a lot of credibility and leverage because of the results I had delivered. I guess I’m small time.

    The biggest crews I had were in the thirties. I think I have hired and trained about 300 employees and maybe 40 managers. I never liked it, machining is much more fun.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  120. Machinists tend to be quite independent but in the jobs where I was managing I needed people who could work as a team. I needed subjective impressions to judge this. I never found an objective test that worked as well.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  121. Leadership was also important as I liked to promote from within when I could but I never found an objective test for this either. I should perhaps say that I usually did not hire for experience. I generally found that training the right person was a better investment than trying to hire someone already trained. That did not apply in all cases of course.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  122. “If you limit employers to using objective, provable criteria you limit them to much less suitable employees and that is a business killer.”

    Machinist – I don’t think hiring needs to be limited to objective criteria. Your comments suggest a philosophy I share. You often learn more about a candidate asking questions about things not specifically related to a job, like hobbies, vacations, etc., than you do specifically about the job qualifications.

    Claiming one candidate is a better fit for a position or an organization is going to involve subjective judgments. If somebody wants to second guess those judgments through litigation, my only point was a prudent business should be prepared to support the judgments. We interviewed x number of candidates, we ranked them in this order (even on multiple attributes if you want to go into detail), we made offers to y number of candidates, etc. It is not rocket science.

    To me the scarier part was getting sued by terminated employees looking for a quick payoff. Bring in the EEOC and allege racial discrimination. That potentially leads to bad PR and those actions need to be jumped on quickly.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  123. “I have not worked with a HR department as a manager.”

    Machinist – HR would handle the details, interview schedules, paperwork, follow-up, but I also had final authority.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. The only problem I have with the initial analysis is this: the employer knows about the alcoholism only because the driver reported it himself. If they found out any other way (most likely, by his showing up drunk or severely hungover), then I’d say they could and probably should fire the driver. But if self-reporting leads to losing your job, then many fewer drivers will self-report.

    So as a policy question, I don’t think he should get the career death penalty. Of course, I doubt that courts’ position on all this with respect to the ADA will hinge on whether the alcoholism is known due to self-reporting.

    DWPittelli (87401c)

  125. I see much I agree with, Sir. I guess the main difference might be perspective. I hear big company when I read your words and my experience is all small businesses. I think small businesses are very important for growth and I feel these types of government impositions are much more destructive for them.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  126. “I generally found that training the right person was a better investment than trying to hire someone already trained.”

    Machinist – I also preferred promoting from within. It gives people within an organization goals and career paths, plus people coming in from the outside sometimes bring bad habits with them that you have to force them to unlearn in order to do things the way you want them done. Alternatively, some new blood is helpful to bring new ideas to accept or reject.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  127. -Comment by daleyrocks — 9/3/2011 @ 3:15 pm-

    I always had to do all that myself, so any documentation was mine and I found it difficult to try and do that as it was added on to an already heavy workload. I tended to put a lot of time in.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  128. “I hear big company when I read your words and my experience is all small businesses.”

    Machinist – I don’t think there has to be a difference if one treats every dollar spent as if it were your own. I think a lot of people working for big companies lose sight of that attitude. They shouldn’t.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  129. #117

    No, Machinist, I would not support the government mandating how many workers employers hire, only that they refrain from certain kinds of discrimination in the hiring decisions they do make.

    Given the magnitude of unemployment today, however, I would like to see government use the tax code to reward increased private sector hiring. I think this is one of the issues Obama will address next week. I would prefer that we not abandon the economy to the vicious cycle of unemployment leading to depressed consumer spending, leading to underconsumption and more unemployment, etc. Incentives, yes. Mandates, no.

    #115

    If they want to fire all the red heads, that’s freedom.

    Kind of like those “No Irish Need Apply” signs that greeted my forebears. Well, we were filthy Papists, after all (and some of us were Gingers, too!).

    Freedom is good, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

    angeleno (688c78)

  130. “Daley’s got a strong opinion and I’m not interpreting any disrespect nor am I intending any. We just see this differently.”

    Dustin – You hit the nail on the head. I do not intend any disrespect. I was responding to seemingly contradictory statements of yours.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  131. #126, this is true.

    One of the biggest mistakes I saw was turning new employees over to experienced employees for training. Everybody had their own ways and rarely did they match “the book”. I worked hard to train a core of people in how I wanted things done, after setting those procedures. I then took someone who was good at teaching rather than just being a good worker and trained them in how to train and in doing the job just as it should be done. This person then did all the early training so everyone learned the same things the same way and it matched what they were told was the right way. This made it much easier to form efficient teams and gave good control of accuracy and quality. When changes had to be made it was easy to do with that kind of control.

    Most of the new ideas I heard came from employees themselves. They did the job all day and knew it well. I earned their trust and they were willing to share their ideas with me knowing it would not come back and bite them. If an idea did not work I took the blame as I made the call. If it did work I gave full credit to them both with their coworkers and the higher ups. This worked out well and was good for moral. Increased productivity meant higher pay so a good idea helped everyone and gave status on the floor.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  132. I think daleyrocks makes an important point at #122. The vulnerability is less in hiring than in firing. I suspect he’s right that the vast majority of EEOC complaints involve unlawful termination claims.

    angeleno (688c78)

  133. Leadership was also important as I liked to promote from within when I could but I never found an objective test for this either. I should perhaps say that I usually did not hire for experience. I generally found that training the right person was a better investment than trying to hire someone already trained. That did not apply in all cases of course.

    Comment by Machinist — 9/3/2011 @ 3:01 pm

    As someone who does hiring and firing myself (but on a much smaller scale) just wanted to say am finding your observations about hiring really interesting, esp the interview process. I say very little during the first half of interviews beyond a couple of general questions.

    It’s really amazing how many good qualities (or red flags) can be exposed in just a few minutes of uninterrupted listening to an interviewee.

    no one you know (1fb0c5)

  134. You often learn more about a candidate asking questions about things not specifically related to a job, like hobbies, vacations, etc., than you do specifically about the job qualifications.

    IMO most of the time this is true.

    no one you know (1fb0c5)

  135. -Comment by no one you know — 9/3/2011 @ 4:43 pm-

    The people I hired and trained were over almost twenty years.

    I agree with you about listening. It is especially important for me because I am a bad interviewer, rambling and boring. I am better off getting others to talk and watching them. As you say, the signs show through. I seemed to get the best results in that respect though when they did not know what I wanted. Some of my manager trainees scandalized, they acted like I showed them a new sin when I told them that.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  136. They would ask me what questions to ask and I explained that I obviously asked for information I needed but beyond that I often asked questions unrelated to that, mainly something the applicant could not expect or be prepared for, something that could not be answered in monosyllables. I did not care about their answer, I wanted to learn about them, could they think on the fly, articulate without preparation, answer without telling me what they thought I wanted to hear.
    Comment by Machinist — 9/3/2011 @ 1:51 pm

    This type of question is very common in the military board system (promotion boards, soldier of the quarter, etc…) We call them “composure questions”. For example, “When does a good soldier need a haircut?”

    (This one actually has an answer, but most people who haven’t heard the question don’t think of it: “Never. A good soldier gets a haircut before it’s needed.”) The point of the question is to assess critical thinking and character. You just want to get them out of their prepared comfort zone to see their reaction to the unexpected.

    Stashiu3 (601b7d)

  137. “We call them “composure questions”. For example, “When does a good soldier need a haircut?””

    Stashiu3 – I served on a Scout Board of Review with a couple of Eagle Scouts in their early 20s in May and decided to have some fun with a few cocky candidates for Life Scout, the rank below Eagle. Each candidate was going to pass, but we needed to take a little wind out of their sails, at least temporarily. As our last question, we asked each candidate his favorite color. Then no matter the answer, we said, I’m sorry, that’s the wrong answer. Two of the candidates launched into elaborate defenses of their choices and the third made an impressive argument for why there should be no right answer.

    As you suggest, it was a composure question out of left field. After initially knocking them for a loop, they each did great. We confessed it was a trick question with no right answer and were just testing their reactions and passed them all. It served to remind them who was in charge of the process and is not something I am likely to repeat with less cocky scouts.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  138. So I shouldn’t have been allowed to go to law school?

    Certainly you should have been allowed to go to law school — if you could find one willing to take you. If you couldn’t, then no, you had no right whatsoever to go. (However, if you had found a way to educate yourself without going to law school, you should be able to practise; occupational licensing laws are pure protectionism.)

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  139. Also, semi OT, they should exclude prisons entirely from the ADA and any laws relating to religious practices. The religions freedom restoration act has been hell on our prisons, because these prisoners make up obviously fake religions and then expect the prisons to accommodate them. That needs to end.

    And what about the very real religions, and the very real needs of prisoners? If you’re going to lock someone up then you had damned well better cater to their every need, including their religious needs. Just as you have no right to lock someone up and not feed him (unless he’s been sentenced to death by starvation), you also have no right to put a person in a position where he has to judge whether he’s close enough to starvation that God will forgive him for eating the only food you have provided. What he’s done to get there is irrelevant; if this isn’t part of his sentence (and I think both the first and eighth amendments would preclude that), then you have to feed him something that he can eat in good conscience. Just as you can’t force him to go naked, you can’t force him to go without those garments that he believes God wants him to wear. And so forth. If your Lemmon test precludes you from inquiring into what religions are genuine and what they actually demand of their adherents, that’s your problem; nobody told you to come up with such a test, and there’s no reason a prisoner should suffer because you did.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  140. So long as you hold someone in prison, you are in the same position as a parent towards a child; you are responsible for them. If you don’t like it, let them go and then you won’t owe them anything.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  141. …”flunked out of law school” and “had to repeat the bar test”…

    “William Patrick Clark, Jr. (born October 23, 1931), American politician, served under President Ronald Reagan as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1981 to 1982, United States National Security Advisor from 1982 to 1983, and the Secretary of the Interior from 1983 until 1985…
    Clark was a judge for the Superior Court of California from 1969 to 1971 and an associate justice on the California State Supreme Court from 1973 to 1981…”
    -Wiki

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (8fe3ec)

  142. By all means, everybody needs to pick and choose what laws they should obey based on their own concept of what they consider just.

    Of course. Doesn’t everybody do this? Don’t you? Are you really going to tell me that there are things you want to, and that your conscience has no problem with, and that you are confident you can do without getting caught, and yet you refrain merely because some legislature or regulator has decided you shouldn’t?! That’s insane.

    No legislature has the power to make anything wrong or right; governments can only decide to punish certain acts and not punish others. Their job is to punish acts that are wrong and not punish those that aren’t, but they aren’t very good at it. But good or bad, the wrongness or rightness of any act does not depend in any way on the dictates of any legislature, or of any court for that matter.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  143. Come to think of it, I’m pretty much going to have to review the confidential medical file of every driver before I’m comfortable having them drive for me, because I’m such a conscientious business owner and that’s the way I roll.

    Yep, that is exactly right. If someone doesn’t want you to do that, they’re free not to apply to you for a job.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  144. A lot of laws are neither just nor unjust, but we need to obey them just to have a functional world. Some kind of Rawls contract-lite.

    I disagree, unless you’re talking about things like what side of the road to drive, where there is no right or wrong side but we all need to pick the same one. But ideally all roads should be privately owned, and the decision should be up to each road’s owner, who will of course pick the same side as all the other owners in the area because it would be stupid to do otherwise.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  145. BTW, you know who demands confidential medical records before hiring someone? The government. For some positions, at least.

    Yep. FBI background checks, even.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  146. If the non-handicapped applicant would be “much better for the business,” you should be able to articulate why that is so.

    Really? Are you able to articulate a reason for every decision you make, that would be sure to convince another person? What happened to judgment? Or, indeed, to discrimination? COuld someone tell me when discrimination became a bad word? When did it stop being a compliment to call someone a person of discrimination? The essence of humanity is our ability to make judgments and to discriminate without any articulable rational basis. That is how we succeed at anything we do; it is the only way to succeed. People who lack this ability don’t do well in life. And yet laws like this explicitly seek to prevent people from exercising this faculty.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  147. You may assert that “it’s his flipping company and he can do what he likes” but that idea has long since left the building. Something about Jim Crow, I think.

    Huh? You clearly have no flipping idea what “Jim Crow” means, and use it as a general term of abuse.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  148. Yeah the ultra-left supported Jim Crow.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  149. Jim Crow: Pre-Progressive, Democratic-Party Diversity Standards!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (8fe3ec)

  150. “Of course. Doesn’t everybody do this? Don’t you? Are you really going to tell me that there are things you want to, and that your conscience has no problem with, and that you are confident you can do without getting caught, and yet you refrain merely because some legislature or regulator has decided you shouldn’t?! That’s insane.”

    Milhouse – You captured the exact spirit of my comment, you hyperliteralist putz. I don’t always obey the speed limit. Are you satisfied?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  151. Speed-limits?
    Aren’t those just artificial, arbritary constructs of a hierarchical government structure (or some such Post-Modernist BS)?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (8fe3ec)

  152. I wrote earlier that forcing someone to do something he doesn’t feel is safe is just wrong, even if his feeling is not objectively justified. Here’s another example: Back in the ’80s and early ’90s there was a huge issue with people who were HIV+, or who had AIDS. People were afraid of HIV, and were afraid to hire those who carried it. Now objectively, unless someone is going to have sex with you, or bleed into your open wound, the risk of working with a HIV+ person is negligible. The incidence of transmission by casual contact is as close to zero as makes no difference. There’s no reason an HIV+ person, or even a person with AIDS, should not be hired for almost any job for which he is qualified. Certainly food prep is not an area where there is any appreciable risk. And yet such people were having great difficulty finding employment, especially in areas such as food prep.

    So the ADA and EEOC and the rest of the legal heavy brigade came on and forced people to hire them and to work with them, regardless of the fear they felt, both for themselves, for their other employees, and for their customers. In my opinion that was deeply, horribly wrong. It was unconscionable. Indefensible. I don’t care how irrational someone’s fear is, it’s still real, and you have no right to force him to take what he considers an unacceptable risk.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  153. arbitrary, not “arbritary”
    My Bad!

    Anyone know if a good spell-check program that can be installed in the favorites bar of IE-8 (but not Google)?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (8fe3ec)

  154. I don’t always obey the speed limit. Are you satisfied?

    Yes. Now that you’ve admitted this, explain why an employer should not discriminate as he chooses, if he thinks he can get away with it.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  155. “Yep, that is exactly right. If someone doesn’t want you to do that, they’re free not to apply to you for a job.”

    Milhouse – People usually know that when applying for a job, as a condition of employment, not after the fact, and I have no problem with that.

    What I have a problem with is shredding confidentiality after the fact. I am surprised you could not figure that out.

    Take all the examples given in this thread, if I owned a trucking company and had my ideal choice of drivers, which I pointed out in a time of high unemployment is much easier (why did you skip over that Milhouse), with perfect information I would love to exclude driver candidates for all sorts of reasons, medical and otherwise. What part of this was unclear?

    In the real world, the world in which you do not seem to operate, HIPAA and other requirements, allow employees to keep their medical information and that of their family members private from their employers under most circumstances. I think that is a good thing. I did not trust the HR department at a previous employer as far as you could throw them. The CEO used them to dig up dirt and maintain files to intimidate employees.

    Why don’t you explain to me why a business needs to know the detailed medical history of an employee and his or her family?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  156. “Yes. Now that you’ve admitted this, explain why an employer should not discriminate as he chooses, if he thinks he can get away with it.”

    Milhouse – No. I am not going to advise someone to discriminate. That is up to the individual. Sorry.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  157. Why don’t you explain to me why a business needs to know the detailed medical history of an employee and his or her family?

    Because it wants to. For the lulz. If you don’t like it, don’t work there. And it makes no difference at all how high or low unemployment is; it’s still your choice whether the prospect of a job is worth submitting to such conditions. If you’d rather starve, then you’re free to do so.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  158. occupational licensing laws are pure protectionism
    Comment by Milhouse — 9/4/2011 @ 9:35 am

    Yeah, those doctors, nurses, passenger-jet pilots, etc… have quite the racket going.

    Stashiu3 (601b7d)

  159. Not to speak of the barbers, hairdressers, lawyers…

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (8fe3ec)

  160. Milhouse – Now answer a few questions for me.

    Have you ever owned or managed a business with a decent number of employees, say 35 or more?

    Have you ever or would you ever consider managing such business in knowing violation of federal or state employment or labor laws even if the consequences of detection of such violations might lead to substantial fines or revocations of operating authority which put the viability of the business and employment of its employees in jeopardy?

    To me your line of questioning is patently offensive. It smacks of someone who would run a sweatshop, ignore minimum wage laws, hire illegal aliens, anything they could get away with, all in the name of profit.

    You sir, are not the type of person I would be likely to do business with.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  161. Milhouse – Where are your answers?

    It makes no difference to me if you think it is okay to act like an amoral, dishonest, freak.

    People like Dennis Kozlowski, Bernie Ebbers, and Ken Lay thought it was fine too, as long as they didn’t get caught.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  162. No, I have never employed anyone. What has that got to do with anything? We’re not talking about employment, we’re talking about laws, and anyone who thinks laws can change what is right and what is wrong is, in your own words, “an amoral, dishonest freak”. I would certainly ignore any law that I didn’t agree with, if I thought I could get away with it. Yes, I would have no problem whatsoever ignoring minimum wage laws, or hiring illegal aliens, or running what you would no doubt call a “sweatshop”; anyone who would have a problem with it, just because it’s illegal, would almost certainly have no problem doing the most horrible things so long as it was legal. That is the kind of person who performs the most gruesome abortions; the kind of person who informs on people to the Chinese or Cuban secret police, or to the NKVD, Stasi, and Gestapo back in the day; the kind of person who will cheerfully slander the dead, because after all it’s legal.

    Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and no king, president, legislator, bureacrat, or judge, no vote of the majority or consensus of the experts, can change them in any way. All they can do is discover, to the best of their ability, what is right and wrong; or else deliberately ignore the question and legislate as they please.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  163. The most famous exponent of your philosophy, daleyrocks, was Adolf Eichmann.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  164. “No, I have never employed anyone. What has that got to do with anything?”

    Milhouse – It is relevant because of your question to me:

    “Yes. Now that you’ve admitted this, explain why an employer should not discriminate as he chooses, if he thinks he can get away with it.”

    Thank you for confirming you have no qualifications to comments on such matters and are a willing lawbreaker.

    You a bush league amoral hack who should keep his mouth shut discussing matters of which he knows nothing. Unfortunately, you can’t seem to help yourself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  165. I’ve never driven a freight truck either, but that doesn’t disqualify me from saying that truck drivers shouldn’t drink too much on the job, and that they shouldn’t deliberately run over puppies and kittens, but it would be OK to run over poisonous snakes, or terrorists who are shooting at people.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  166. Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 11:50 am

    Godwin Alert!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (31bef0)

  167. Yes, I’m a willing lawbreaker and I’m proud of it, and so is every decent person. How dare you, of all people, call me amoral? People who advocate substituting the law for ones conscience should make the world a better place by jumping in the lake.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  168. “How dare you, of all people, call me amoral?”

    Milhouse – Rationalize your hypothetical conduct to your heart’s content. Was there anything unclear about what I said?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  169. Yes, it’s unclear to me how someone who claims with Eichmann that right and wrong depend on the whim of legislators, a position which is the very essence of amorality, a rejection of the very idea of morality, can have the chutzpah to call others amoral.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  170. AD, what do you think “Godwin alert” means? Godwin’s law is an observation, not a prescription. Are you alleging that the argumentum ad Hitlerum is somehow a logical fallacy, and not a valid and useful rhetorical tool? If so, please explain why you think it’s a fallacy; where is the logical flaw in it?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  171. Milhouse can you stand in the puddle of water with an electrical cord. Thank you.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  172. Sure, so long as I’m holding the insulated part and you’re holding the live end. Why don’t you and daley go off with Stari and have a good time?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  173. Milhouse – You continue to prove you are amoral, dishonest person who lacks any shred of integrity with your claim that I align myself with Eichman in saying right and wrong depend on the whim of legislators. This is the product of the paranoid fantasy world in which you live. I have not made any such claims on this thread.

    You on the other hand, have stated that it fine for an employer to review complete medical information for an employee and his or her family, just for the lulz, and to break labor and employment laws at will.

    You have admitted to not owning a business or managing people so I can perhaps understand why your words sound like those of an Obama ivory tower academic advisor with no real world experience. They go beyond that sir.

    They show you are only bound by what you think you can “get away with,” a despicable philosophy with which to run a business or go through life.

    It is therefore quite easy for me to call you a bush league, amoral, dishonest, hack, completely lacking in integrity.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  174. there’s a fire starting in my heart reaching a fever pitch hey anyone up for fro-yo?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  175. “Why don’t you and daley go off with Stari and have a good time?”

    Milhouse – Don’t start associating me with stari. Remember that you and he were in agreement on a lot of the stuff he spouted. That’s just your dishonesty peeking through again.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  176. Milhouse – ACORN and its successor organizations are always looking for people like you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  177. daley, you contradict yourself. First you deny saying right and wrong depend on the whim of legislators, and then you continue to claim that one ought to refrain from doing things that are perfectly right just because they happen to be against the law. Which is it? You can’t eat your cake and have it.

    If you think it’s actually wrong to do the things I have said I would happily do if I could get away with them, then make that argument. Show on what basis they’re wrong. So long as your only argument is that they’re illegal, you’re one with Eichmann, the epitome of amorality.

    As for me, I don’t care what the law is. I refrain from doing certain things for a variety of reasons: 1) they’re wrong; or 2) I don’t want to do them; or 3) they’re dangerous. Breaking the law is often in category 3; the risk of getting caught, and the consequences if that happens, are too high. But if an action is something I would like to do, and there’s no moral reason why it would be wrong, and the risk is no higher than that which I assume every time I cross the street, then why the hell should I refrain?

    Milhouse (ee8a5d)

  178. “daley, you contradict yourself. First you deny saying right and wrong depend on the whim of legislators, and then you continue to claim that one ought to refrain from doing things that are perfectly right just because they happen to be against the law”

    Milhouse – I contradict myself nowhere, sitzpinkler. The law is the law. It’s not a question of right or wrong. People are free to violate it and suffer the consequences. This is not a difficult concept for most sentient beings to grasp.

    For tough talking internet putzes who have never had to be responsible for the livelihoods of other people, philosophizing about how they would disobey “unjust laws” may be an amusing sport.

    For people who have had to deal with such situations in real life, I can assure you it is not. I prefer to make business decisions about which I would not be embarrassed if someone wrote about them above the fold on page one of the Wall Street Journal. Being able to pass that test tells me I am making the right decision.

    You not only are not faced with making any business decisions, but have made it clear you have no similar scruples.

    My recommendation to you is to stop lying and to stop digging the hole deeper. Your words:

    “As for me, I don’t care what the law is.”

    on a resume, would land that resume straight in the garbage can of virtually any employer I know.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  179. But if an action is something I would like to do, and there’s no moral reason why it would be wrong, and the risk is no higher than that which I assume every time I cross the street, then why the hell should I refrain?

    Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 4:42 pm

    –Adam and Eve, BC 6000

    Just kiddin’.

    Seriously though, all due respect, Milhouse, I do think you’re starting from the wrong premise. As a US citizen you have many freedoms, and also the responsibility to obey the laws of this country, even if they don’t agree with what you “would like” to do. The only exceptions are the laws which, if followed, would themselves violate your conscience.

    How to put this crassly (and I’m sure imperfectly) but briefly: You’re not supposed to ignore laws which happen to conflict with what you “would like” to do. As an American, you’re supposed to do what you would like, unless it violates the law. You can only ignore the law if right and wrong are at stake.

    And when right and wrong are not at stake (it’s not “immoral,” as you know, to pay someone $7.75 per hour), then as citizens we have the responsibility to work to change the laws, not ignore the ones we “don’t like.”

    Full disclosure: I sometimes speed for no good reason (no sick mother, etc) other than that I feel like it. Most people do. The difference is that I know I’m doing wrong by doing that, and I need to cut it out.

    PS Not sure if you’re a Christian but I am, and I have one additional responsibility when dealing with laws (unless clearly immoral).

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  180. As a US citizen you have many freedoms, and also the responsibility to obey the laws of this country,

    Says who? Where did this responsibility come from? Who imposed it on me, and by what right did they do so? I certainly never consented to it.

    You’re not supposed to ignore laws which happen to conflict with what you “would like” to do.

    Why the @#$% not? Who the hell is Congress, or the EPA, to tell me what to do?

    as citizens we have the responsibility to work to change the laws,

    That would be nice, but in the meantime why should we obey them? What moral principle says we should?

    I have one additional responsibility when dealing with laws (unless clearly immoral).

    Srsly?! You’re arguing the divine right of kings?! I don’t believe God established the Roman emperors, or the House of Hanover, or Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Bokassa, or any of that ilk, and I don’t believe He established Congress or the US presidency either. The delegates in Philadelphia may have prayed for His guidance, but there’s no proof that they got it, or that — if so — they followed it in all respects.

    For that matter, what was immoral about paying the damn tea tax? Haven’t you just condemned every person who fought for the rebels in the American revolution? Shouldn’t they have submitted to the Divinely established authority? But then, if the House of Stuart was Divinely established then surely the Hanovers were upstarts, and the colonial rebels were right after all to throw off their yoke, but should have immediately invited the Jacobite pretender to come and rule them. Or something like that.

    Oh, and if you do believe that one must obey the law, then why the exception for immoral laws? Where did you find that exception in your source?

    Milhouse (ee8a5d)

  181. Says who? Where did this responsibility come from? Who imposed it on me, and by what right did they do so? I certainly never consented to it.
    Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 6:07 pm

    Oath of citizenship of the United States:

    I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. [emphasis added]

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  182. as citizens we have the responsibility to work to change the laws,


    That would be nice, but in the meantime why should we obey them?

    I notice you didn’t argue with this “responsiblity”; that was interesting.

    What moral principle says we should?

    Um, respect for democracy? Presumably the respresentatives of a majority of your fellow citizens thought this a good law.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  183. Just imagine the repercussions if, at the age of eighteen, and prior to being allowed to register to vote, all Native-born Americans were required to pass the test given to prospective citizens, and then take the Oath of Citizenship.
    OMG! Heads would implode.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (31bef0)

  184. Srsly?! You’re arguing the divine right of kings?!

    *chuckles gently* No. See below.

    For that matter, what was immoral about paying the damn tea tax? Haven’t you just condemned every person who fought for the rebels in the American revolution?

    No.

    1. To quote Schoolhouse Rock, “that’s called taxation without representation…and it’s not fair.” :)

    2. More serious and complete answer

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  185. Oh, and if you do believe that one must obey the law, then why the exception for immoral laws? Where did you find that exception in your source?

    Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 6:07 pm

    Will assume you’ve already read the classic American arguments for civil disobedience (and so you also must know that one of its proponents quoted St. Augustine’s well-argued principle that an unjust law is no law at all).

    I also assume you are well aware of the difference between following the dictates of one’s conscience in a sober and thoughtful manner to reject a law which is immoral, and deciding to ignore one’s usual responsibilities as a citizen simply because it isn’t what one would prefer to do.

    So, again all due respect, Milhouse, I think you already know the answer to this question.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  186. OMG! Heads would implode.

    Comment by Another Drew – Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! — 9/5/2011 @ 6:25 pm \

    Heh. Yep – imagine the howls of indignation.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  187. More like the howls of ignorance.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (31bef0)

  188. Milhouse, have you taken the Pledge of Allegiance? If you pledge your allegiance to the Republic doesn’t that include a responsibility for respecting the laws passed by the dully elected representatives? The founders did not try to overthrow the English government or claim the right to ignore it’s laws, they claimed the right to leave in view of the grievances they felt.

    Daleyrocks, didn’t you support the police “tuning up” a suspect, including kicking a submissive suspect in the head as he lay on the ground spread eagled? Isn’t that a bit inconsistent with the absolute respect for the law you are expressing in this thread?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  189. Oath of citizenship of the United States:

    I’ve never taken it. And by what authority could anyone demand that I do? Who wrote the thing in the first place? Congress! So now you’re reduced to arguing in circles: we must obey Congress because Congress says so.

    That would be nice, but in the meantime why should we obey them?

    I notice you didn’t argue with this “responsiblity”; that was interesting.

    Fixing bad laws is one way of making the world a better place; I have no problem agreeing that we have a general “responsibility” to do that, each in whatever way we think best. Not an obligation, mind you, but a responsibility; we live in this world, after all.

    taxation without representation…and it’s not fair.” :)

    What is it about representation that makes it fair? Had the UK just given the colonists 13 votes in the Commons, would they suddenly have been happy about paying up?! More to the point, though, so what if it isn’t fair? You claim that we must obey the law so long as it demand that we do something wrong; what’s wrong with paying an unfair tax? It’s your money, you can choose to pay it.

    Will assume you’ve already read the classic American arguments for civil disobedience

    1) I certainly have; what I want from you is an argument for obedience. But to reply to your answer, these arguments all presume that the government is a creation of men; once you’ve claimed that it’s established by God and derives its authority from Him then how do any of these arguments work? If God Himself were to give you an order that your conscience didn’t like, would you claim that you may and should defy it?! If God’s law contradicts your idea of morality, then it’s your idea of morality that must be adjusted; why doesn’t the same apply to the kingdom that He appointed? The last authority in America to claim the Divine Right was James II; the Glorious Revolution (of 1688) was a definitive rejection of that doctrine, and all the classic arguments you cite rest on that rejection.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  190. Milhouse, have you taken the Pledge of Allegiance?

    No, I have not, and I absolutely refuse to do so. It’s a piece of socialist propaganda, deliberately written by Edward Bellamy’s brother to brainwash America’s youth into blind obedience and serfdom.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  191. Well that explains a lot.

    So you feel you have no responsibilities or obligations to the Republic or to your society except those groups you chose to join? Do you feel you have a right to the protections and services provided by the Federal, State, or local governments? Police, fire, access to courts?

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  192. Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 7:04 pm

    I should have been clearer about my arguments, I see. I do tend to be a bit wordy when I want to be sure to be clear but let’s see if relative brevity works this time:

    1. Secular argument for obedience to non-immoral laws: I voluntarily stay in a political system which works like this: We elect representatives, and they pass laws which presumably reflect the will of the majority. Respect for one’s fellow citizens is expressed in obedience to the laws that are passed in this system, even if I don’t personally like them.

    2. What I was mentioning (as a PS, as you see above) by quoting Romans 13 was my personal, additional responsibility to keep in mind the general precept of God’s being pleased by obedience to all legitimate authority, even to civil authority, which was being disputed by the early Christians. But I wasn’t clear on my focus and you thought (I think) that I was arguing something along the lines of that God personally put Obama on a throne as ruler of us all (exaggerating for effect, or course). Which I of course don’t believe. Sorry for my lack of clarity.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  193. So you feel you have no responsibilities or obligations to the Republic or to your society except those groups you chose to join? Do you feel you have a right to the protections and services provided by the Federal, State, or local governments? Police, fire, access to courts?

    Comment by Machinist — 9/5/2011 @ 7:15 pm

    Quite an excellent question, Machinist. Wish I’d seen Milhouse’s answer about the Pledge of Allegiance before I took the time to try to argue why it’s generally a good thing to obey the laws of the US.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  194. So you feel you have no responsibilities or obligations to the Republic or to your society except those groups you chose to join?

    None. From where would such responsibilities come? They have to come from somewhere, don’t they?

    Do you feel you have a right to the protections and services provided by the Federal, State, or local governments? Police, fire, access to courts?

    Yes. Their entire purpose is “to secure these rights”. If they refuse to do that then they have no right to exist, or to assert any authority over anyone for any purpose whatsoever. If they refuse to do that then every penny they have is stolen goods, and they must be gunned down where they stand by every decent person. It’s only because and to the extent that they protect people from aggressors who would deprive them of their inborn rights, that they have the right to use force, to assert authority, and to collect taxes to pay their legitimate expenses.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  195. #196,

    You seem to be claiming the benefits of citizenship without accepting the responsibilities. This is all too common an attitude these days but hardly one I can respect. It sounds like you want to be a parasite or a child, but have freedom you don’t earn. The price of freedom has always been responsibility, you can’t have one without the other.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  196. “Isn’t that a bit inconsistent with the absolute respect for the law you are expressing in this thread?”

    Machinist @190 – Tuning up a suspect has long tradition in Chicago. I remember the post you are talking about.

    I believe you are incorrectly referring to something as my absolute respect for the law. Take a step back. Milhouse tried to get me to admit to various violations of the law. I admitted that I occasionally violated the speed limit. He then dishonestly took that admission to ask if I would advise business owners to violate the law if they could get away with it. I replied in the negative. It is up to each business owner to make such decisions. I cannot weigh the risks and rewards for them.

    My point, as articulated earlier in the thread to Dustin, is that we have to deal with the framework of laws we have, not the laws we wish we had. We don’t get to pick and choose the ones we obey, or if we do, we do so at our own risk.

    I provided Milhouse with three examples of businessmen who thought they could operate getting away with what they could – until they got caught. In my mind it’s a recipe for anarchy, fraud and disaster.

    It became clear to me that Milhouse has no idea what he is talking about on this thread with his comments about confidential medical information and philosophy about how businesses should not obey unjust laws. It’s some sort of detached, abstract view, not how the real world functions. Now he is trying to turn the discussion to his favorite subject, which is religion.

    More comments I believe are based in reality, where I think you and I had a productive discussion on hiring and training.

    I see no utility debating a loon such a Milhouse.

    The police in incident to which you refer made the mistake of getting caught on tape. I can’t recall if they were punished. I’m sure they will be more careful in the future.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  197. You seem to be claiming the benefits of citizenship without accepting the responsibilities.

    Protection from aggressors is not a benefit of citizenship. It accrues to every person who happens to be in a ruler’s jurisdiction, whether he is a citizen or not.

    freedom you don’t earn.

    Freedom doesn’t have to be earned, it’s the natural state of humanity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That predates governments.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  198. “Freedom doesn’t have to be earned, it’s the natural state of humanity.”

    Hahahahahaha!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  199. WTF?!?!?!

    JD (318f81)

  200. I said responsibility has to come from somewhere. A government’s responsibility to protect everyone over whom it claims authority from those who would kill them, rape them, rob them, or otherwise deprive them of their natural rights, comes from is assertion of that authority. If you don’t want the responsibility, there’s a very simple way to get out of it: stop purporting to be king, or president, or mayor or whatever. Stop claiming the right to order people about. Stop taking money from them by force for the protection you don’t want to provide. And then you can do whatever the hell you like and sit drinking champagne while they get robbed, raped, etc., not lifting a finger to help them. But so long as it’s their champagne you’re drinking, you’d better justify your existence by defending them.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  201. “Freedom doesn’t have to be earned, it’s the natural state of humanity.”

    Hahahahahaha!

    That is what the Declaration of Independence says, isn’t it? Nice to see that you reject it, and seem to believe that we’re naturally slaves, and freedom comes as somebody’s gift that we have to earn.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  202. “That is what the Declaration of Independence says, isn’t it?”

    Milhouse – Tell that to the Jews in Nazi Germany.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  203. Has anybody seen nishi and Milhouse in the same room together?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  204. Tell what to them? They had freedom, until the government which NOYK tells us was established by God came and stole that freedom. Were they supposed to “earn” it? From whom?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  205. until the government which NOYK tells us was established by God came and stole that freedom. Were they supposed to “earn” it? From whom?

    Comment by Milhouse — 9/5/2011 @ 7:58 pm

    Milhouse,

    At minimum, this is a serious and (I hope) unintentional misstating of my words. Please read my 7:23 comment again.

    I would appreciate your not attributing to me positions I did not take. Thank you.

    no one you know (f2ff30)

  206. Noyk said nothing of the sort, and in fact, went out of her way to clarify.

    JD (318f81)

  207. “Tell what to them? They had freedom, until the government which NOYK tells us was established by God came and stole that freedom.”

    Milhouse – Tell them that they did not have to earn their freedom, that it was their natural state, of course. Your words.

    Stop lying about what NOYK said. You’ve already done enough lying about what I said in this thread. Dishonest hack.

    Check your meds.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  208. A small army of like minded and consciously moral commenters (who accept both the blessings and the obligations of their citizenship) are trying to convince one single poster of—-something. Really?

    elissa (6a8510)

  209. elissa – Odd when it isn’t a troll isn’t it?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  210. What I really hope doesn’t happen on this interesting thread is name calling and disparaging remarks. It’s a fascinating subject and the discussion is challenging, engaging, and well thought out. Although some may not agree with the majority, it’s beneficial to read their arguments as it refines my own arguments, and perhaps others as well.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  211. *sigh*

    …Although some all may not agree with the majority, it’s still beneficial to read their his argument as it helps refines my own opposing thoughts and arguments.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  212. Dana – It started yesterday.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  213. Milhouse, you claim the government has a responsibility to protect you because it asserts authority while you deny that authority and refuse to respect it. I guess Daley is right. You don’t seem to be discussing in good faith or your thinking is not coherent.

    You remind me so much of the protester I saw on the news as she screamed that she earned her welfare and nobody better take it from her. I guess this is a waste of time. Good night.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  214. Machinist and Dana – I apologize for escalating this, but the lack of coherence in the argument made absolutely no sense.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  215. Even though I disagree with Daley, it’s pretty damn clear he’s talking about how people do not just get their rights from a vacuum. Life can be pretty nasty until great people fight for a better society. We’re just talking at different levels of abstraction. Neither is objectively correct, I guess, yet I think we both are.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  216. NOYK:

    At minimum, this is a serious and (I hope) unintentional misstating of my words. Please read my 7:23 comment again.

    Sorry, I hadn’t seen that comment when I wrote that. All I had seen was the text you linked to, which claims that all governments “have been established by God”, and that “therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed”. That certainly sounds like a claim that God appointed James II (who would agree), and George III (who wouldn’t), and Hitler, and Obama. Perhaps these words are being used in a special sense, or in an archaic one, or perhaps it’s a glitch in the translation. That’s why I prefer not to rely on translations if I can read the original myself.

    daleyrocks:

    Milhouse – Tell them that they did not have to earn their freedom, that it was their natural state, of course. Your words.

    That’s right. They were born free, and enjoyed their natural freedom until it was stolen from them. Does the fact that a thief steals what’s rightfully yours change the fact that it is yours? Do you have to “earn” it back from him? Why? You either take it back from him by force, if you can; or you hope that some kind stranger will come to your aid; or you endure its loss. But whichever happens, it’s still yours, and you don’t owe anybody anything for it.

    Wish I’d seen Milhouse’s answer about the Pledge of Allegiance before I took the time to try to argue why it’s generally a good thing to obey the laws of the US.

    Do you seriously deny that this “pledge” is the work of a “Progressive” propagandist?

    Machinist

    Milhouse, you claim the government has a responsibility to protect you because it asserts authority while you deny that authority and refuse to respect it.

    That’s right; what’s inconsistent or illogical about that? It’s nothing but pure common sense. Government asserts authority over me, so the responsibility is all its. I’m not asserting any authority over it, so where would my purported responsibility come from?

    I guess Daley is right. You don’t seem to be discussing in good faith or your thinking is not coherent.

    Huh? You’re the one who’s either arguing in bad faith or has something seriously wrong with your logical faculty. What I’m arguing is basic fundamental stuff; I’m shocked that it seems new to you! Have you people never read Bastiat, or Spooner? Have you all been brainwashed by Bellamy’s “pledge” and the “public” schools?

    Dana:

    What I really hope doesn’t happen on this interesting thread is name calling and disparaging remarks

    You’re too late. The name calling has already begun. You can see what I’ve been called by daley. I have no intention of turning the other cheek.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  217. people do not just get their rights from a vacuum.

    Isn’t the entire premise of the USA that they do? Or rather, that they get them from their Creator, and that they cannot be lost no matter what happens?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  218. What part of “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” do you people not understand?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  219. Milhouse, do you think anyone who doesn’t respect your Rights is going to allow you to keep them without a fight?
    I would remind you that Mr. Jefferson also wrote that the tree of Liberty needed to be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots for it to endure.
    You don’t get to stand back and “hold the coats”, you’re expected to engage in your own interest, and the interest of your fellows.
    With Rights come Responsibilities.

    You have a lot to learn.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (31bef0)

  220. Huh? All you’re now saying is that evil people exist in the world, who will infringe my rights if they are not fought. How does that in any way support the assertion you’re trying to defend, i.e. that my rights are not naturally mine, that I must “earn” them, and therefore that whoever fights off the evil robbers gets to be my lord and master and I must “earn” my rights from him by obeying his every dictate? If he now infringes my rights then how is he different from all his fellow criminals whom he fought off and “protected” me from? The mafia “protects” people from its competition too.

    Bottom line: what part of “inalienable” do you not understand?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  221. Isn’t the entire premise of the USA that they do?

    Something like that, anyway.

    And yet these rights, which in my view were ‘correct’ even before they were recognized, were not in practice before they were fought for. It’s just a different way of seeing things.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  222. Milhouse – Why don’t you bring the discussion back down to earth and specify some current unjust U.S. laws you will not obey?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  223. In principle, or in practise? I have no moral compunction at using illegal drugs, for instance, but there is a risk of getting caught, and most such drugs are bad enough for the health that I wouldn’t want to use them anyway. The only illegal drug I know of whose health effects are small enough that I would feel safe using it, and that I know how to obtain with minimal risk, is marijuana; but I’ve already tried it, and feel no desire to do so again. Being stoned was pleasant, but not so much that I want to repeat the experience; I’ve been there, done that, checked it off my list, and so long as I remember what it was like why do it again? But if the opportunity happened to present itself again, the fact that it’s illegal would play no part at all in my decision on whether to do it, just as it played no part in my original decision to try it the first time. I certainly wouldn’t dream of doing my “citizen’s duty” to report the crime to the police! I guess that makes me an accomplice, and I don’t care. I also regularly see minors being given alcohol without reporting it, and sometimes do so myself if I happen to be asked.

    So long as taxes remain so much higher than the legitimate cost of the benefit I receive from government, I will pay as little as I can get away with; I will take advantage of every opportunity, legal or illegal, to minimise the tax I am forced to pay. If I do a job for a friend or acquaintance, I will charge cash and not report it. And if someone does a job for me and asks for cash I will comply and not report it. I regularly buy stuff online and never pay my state’s sales tax.

    Sex laws have mostly disappeared, in the USA, post-Lawrence, but before that I may well have broken some law or other; I neither know nor care. And if it should ever occur to me to do anything that breaks one of the remaining sex laws, then only the risk of getting caught would stop me.

    I sort my rubbish for recycling because I’m afraid of being fined if I don’t, but I wouldn’t if they didn’t go around inspecting the rubbish for violations.

    If I should ever employ someone we will negotiate terms and conditions between us, and so long as we’re both happy I will not even bother looking up whether our deal is legal, or what labor laws and regulations it might fall foul of. If I happen to know the person is here illegally I will pretend not to know it, and will pretend to believe any document he shows me that he claims to be a green card. If forced to testify on the matter, I will lie, with no more compunction than I would have in telling a mugger that he’s got all my money, while concealing the stash in my shoe.

    Like most New Yorkers, I jaywalk regularly. When a building went up next door to me that covered some of my neighbours’ windows, they bricked them up without a permit; had I been in one of the affected apartments I would have done the same, without the slightest twinge of conscience. I eat on the subway, and when the train is not crowded I put my bag on the seat next to me.

    I could go on, but what’s the point?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  224. I could go on, but what’s the point?

    Most trenchant thought you’ve expressed.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (260081)

  225. “Most trenchant thought you’ve expressed.”

    AD – Yeah, apart from jaywalking and taxes, all brave hypotheticals.

    Color me unimpressed.

    I believe Milhouse has earned the names I called him on this thread.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  226. If I should ever employ someone we will negotiate terms and conditions between us, and so long as we’re both happy I will not even bother looking up whether our deal is legal, or what labor laws and regulations it might fall foul of. If I happen to know the person is here illegally I will pretend not to know it, and will pretend to believe any document he shows me that he claims to be a green card. If forced to testify on the matter, I will lie, with no more compunction than I would have in telling a mugger that he’s got all my money, while concealing the stash in my shoe.
    Comment by Milhouse — 9/6/2011 @ 9:38 am

    It’s very unfortunate IMO that you either don’t see, or don’t care, the very large ripple effect of the ignoring of a law by a citizen (in this case, supporting the illegal stay of a non-citizen and/or paying a citizen under the table).

    It infringes on the rights of many other people: in this case, a very partial list would be the legal aliens who are waiting their turn, the other employers who abide by the law and can’t compete with your lower prices, the (it could be argued) rights of the people who are accepting less-than-fair wages because they’re desperate, the people who are made to wait longer at the emergency room or in the waiting list at school (in the case of an illegal alien) because people are being cared for who shouldn’t even be in the country in the first place, all the other rights infringed on by the people who, financially supported by you, by definition feel little compunction about breaking other “inconvenient” laws as well.

    I feel pretty sure you’re going to pick out something to quibble with in my examples above, but my larger point will stand. Machinist, AD and others were right that you want the benefits of US citizenship without the corresponding responsibilities.

    And you care about your own personal freedom, but not your responsiblities to the rights of your fellow citizens which the laws, imperfect as they are and occasionally immoral, are intended to protect.

    no one you know (325a59)

  227. It infringes on the rights of many other people: in this case, a very partial list would be the legal aliens who are waiting their turn, the other employers who abide by the law and can’t compete with your lower prices, the (it could be argued) rights of the people who are accepting less-than-fair wages because they’re desperate, the people who are made to wait longer at the emergency room or in the waiting list at school (in the case of an illegal alien) because people are being cared for who shouldn’t even be in the country in the first place, all the other rights infringed on by the people who, financially supported by you, by definition feel little compunction about breaking other “inconvenient” laws as well.

    None of those supposed “rights” have any basis whatsoever. They don’t exist. They’re demands that you woke up one morning and decided to call “rights”. Defend them if you care to, but the mere fact that you have asserted them to be “rights” is enough to class you as a socialist of one kind or another.

    Milhouse (ee8a5d)

  228. “It’s very unfortunate IMO that you either don’t see, or don’t care, the very large ripple effect of the ignoring of a law by a citizen (in this case, supporting the illegal stay of a non-citizen and/or paying a citizen under the table).”

    noyk – While at the same time attempting to cloak himself in the language of our founding documents. Citizens have rights and priveleges, but they also have duties and responsibilities. Most people know this by the time they are out of grade school, let alone high school.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  229. And you care about your own personal freedom, but not your responsiblities to the rights of your fellow citizens

    Rights have nothing to do with citizenship. What “rights” do citizens have that aliens do not? Citizenship is a recent human invention; rights are part of human nature and predate all governments. Rights are all negative; nobody has a right to anything, but only not to have things done to him. Come on, this is utterly basic stuff; how can it possibly be new to you.

    apart from jaywalking and taxes, all brave hypotheticals.

    What exactly were you looking for? And you missed the whole paragraph about drugs.

    Milhouse (ee8a5d)

  230. While at the same time attempting to cloak himself in the language of our founding documents.

    The US declaration of independence did not create any rights; who the hell do you think its authors were, that they could do any such thing? But it recognised eternal moral truths, and declared them to be “self-evident”; it’s a pity that you’re so morally perverted that they’re not evident to you.

    Citizens have rights and priveleges, but they also have duties and responsibilities.

    Again with citizenship. What has citizenship got to do with rights? Are you seriously claiming that the right not to be interfered with, which is the only right that exists, belongs only to citizens of the country they happen to be in, and is purchased at a price? If you go to France, do you think the French may rightfully kill or rob you because you’re an alien there?!

    You claim that I have duties and responsibilities. Explain exactly where they came from, and by what authority you purport to impose them on me, you fascist pig. If the only answer you can come up with is that the government has guns and can force me to do these things, or that your kindergarten teacher told you and she must be right, then you show yourself for what you are.

    Milhouse (ee8a5d)

  231. Defend them if you care to, but the mere fact that you have asserted them to be “rights” is enough to class you as a socialist of one kind or another.

    Comment by Milhouse — 9/6/2011 @ 10:35 am

    Moi? A socialist? Heh heh heh.

    When I say that legal immigrants, for example, should in fairness to their own waiting, be able to expect that others wait their turn in line as well, or (eventually, with the very predictable results of this ripple effect, not to mention more and more people flouting the law) anarchy, violence and chaos will result….that doesn’t make any sense to you?

    I think you want to quibble over the definitions of words rather than admit that citizens, having freedom, also have responsibilities to their fellow citizens’ freedom and that laws, large and small, are merely an expression of that.

    Imperfect system? Sure. Some laws I consider stupid? Sure. But I can work to change the stupid laws, or vote out the idiots who passed them, and with a clear conscience disobey the few evil laws. In the meantime my fellow citizens know I respect them enough to respect the process we all live under, that protects our right to life and the maximum exercise of everyone’s liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    no one you know (325a59)

  232. “but the mere fact that you have asserted them to be “rights” is enough to class you as a socialist of one kind or another.”

    noyk – He likened me to Adolph Eichman, national socialist, so he’s being consistent with his ad hominem attacks.

    He referenced Bastiat last night, who loved to call people socialists in his pablum for pinheads.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  233. “The US declaration of independence did not create any rights”

    Milhouse – Show me where I claimed it did.

    “What has citizenship got to do with rights?”

    Milhouse – You’re kidding, right? With citizenship you can vote if you are old enough. You can work legally without a required permit. The list goes on.

    “You claim that I have duties and responsibilities. Explain exactly where they came from”

    Milhouse – Why does it matter to you where they came from? You have a responsibility to vote, to pay taxes, to serve on a jury, to obey laws for starters.

    Do you dispute those responsibilities?

    Are you actually a U.S. citizen?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  234. noyk – He likened me to Adolph Eichman, national socialist, so he’s being consistent with his ad hominem attacks.
    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/6/2011 @ 11:26 am

    Heh. I think being compared to Adolph Eichmann (I’m hearing Emperor: “I didn’t actually call you Eichmann so it isn’t ad hominem!” 😛 ) is a bit worse than being called a socialist so I don’t mind so much. But the charge is ridiculous in any case; I truly laughed out loud when I saw it.

    no one you know (325a59)

  235. Straight from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service – A Guide To Naturalization

    What Are the Benefits and
    Responsibilities of Citizenship?

    Responsibilities
    To become a U.S. citizen you must
    take the Oath of Allegiance. The Oath
    includes several promises you make
    when you become a U.S. citizen,
    including promises to:

    • Give up all prior allegiance to any other
    nation or sovereignty;

    • Swear allegiance to the United States;

    • Support and defend the Constitution
    and the laws of the United States; and

    • Serve the country when required.

    U.S. citizens have many responsibilities
    other than the ones mentioned in the
    Oath. Citizens have a responsibility
    to participate in the political
    process by registering and voting in
    elections. Serving on a jury is another
    responsibility of citizenship. Finally,
    America becomes stronger when all of
    its citizens respect the different opinions,
    cultures, ethnic groups, and religions
    found in this country. Tolerance for
    differences is also a responsibility of
    citizenship.

    When you decide to become a U.S.
    citizen, you should be willing to fulfill
    the responsibilities of citizenship. We
    hope you will honor and respect the
    freedoms and opportunities citizenship
    gives you. At the same time, we hope
    you become an active member of your
    community. It is by participating in your
    community that you truly become
    an American.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  236. Milly is a self-contained totalitarian who is far from the republican he professes to believe in.
    He should be very comfortable in the “libertine” wing of the Libertarian Party.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (260081)

  237. AD – Heh. No laws can hold Milhouse!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  238. AD – Sorry, I forgot to add, you socialist swine!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  239. Thank you, daley.
    I try hard to live up to your vision of me everyday.
    To the barricades, Comrades!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to the reloading bench.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (260081)

  240. AD’s “restore the republic” clearly refers to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. You can tell because he tends to agree with socialists like NOYK, Daleyrocks, and Ronald Reagan.

    Dustin (b2fb78)

  241. Damn, and I try so hard to conceal my true beliefs.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (260081)

  242. If you disagree with gays marrying you should be quiet-Millhouse

    DohBiden (d54602)


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