Thursday, March 16, 2006

You Know Why I Never Write About Particle Physics?

Because I know absolutely nothing about it. Rather than making a fool out of myself bloviating about blue quarks or whatever, I just leave it to the pros.

On the other hand, there's Jeff Fecke.

If you want more background, just look at Dementee's posts from the past two days and their comment threads. Since I don't want to get between these two (I could lose an eye!) I'm just going to knock down Jeff's, uh, misconceptions. I'll leave Jeff's strawmen, cute rhetorical flourishes and airs of superiority to da Monster.

First, Jeff quoting himself (from a thread here I think):

I have no right to refuse to do my job. I work in shipping. If tomorrow we start shipping weaponry, I have a choice to quit my job or work. I can't say, "I'm a pacifist, I don't want to ship weapons."

Nope. You do have a right to refuse to do your job. That the consequences of doing so may be negative is of no moment.

Here's an easy, extremely dumbed-down (and by no means applicable to every issue) way for you "moderate" lefties out there to determine whether or not you have a legal right.

Think of an action you might take. Any action. Then ask your self this: can I be lawfully arrested, convicted and punished (by the state) for that action? If the answer is "yes" then, sadly, you have no right in that hypothetical instance.

If I employ you and tell you to jump, and you respond by saying "piss off" rather than "how high?," nobody is going to come and arrest you. If I called the cops, they'd laugh at me (unless you refused to leave after I fired you and showed you the door; then you'd be trespassing). If however you tell me to piss off and then burn down my office, you're going to jail since you have no "right" to commit arson.

Onward to gaffe number 2:

Essentially, the bill would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription, as long as they notified their employer in writing in advance. It doesn't specifically state that an employer can't fire a pharmacist for doing so, but I'd hate to be on the employer side of that wrongful termination suit.

It doesn't state that an employer can't fire a pharmacist because the amendment is to A LAW THAT DEALS WITH WHICH ACTIONS OF PHARMACISTS THE BOARD OF PHARMACY (a regulatory body of the state) CAN OR CANNOT PUNISH. It's a regulatory law. Like a law authorizing (or directing) the EPA to impose fines on certain types of pollutors. The amendment goes nowhere near the employment statutes, and in no way alters any common law torts (look it up in a dictionary, Jeff), if any, that would apply in the case of a discharge due to actions taken pursuant to conscience.

And Gaffe 2.5:

After all, a pharmacist has the right now to tell their boss that they don't want to do something, and their boss has the right to fire them.

So it's either a pointless bill or a bill that imposes new restrictions on employers; either way, it's a bad bill and should be shot down forthwith.

No it's not either. The law states (quite clearly - unless you're a "moderate" lefty) that the Board of Pharmacy cannot sanction a Pharmacist for acting in accordance with his or her conscience. That's it. It has nothing to do with any employment relationship. Go - read it now. See for yourself.

I know Jeff: it's tough living on a planet with Other People. Because Other People have rights too. And sometimes the rights of Other People come into conflict with your own. In this case, that right is the Free Exercise clause.

Oh I know: you're saying that if these pharmacists won't do their jobs (in this case, having a problem with one out of 769,512 drugs that cause no moral dilemmas) they should find a new line of work. That's a little self-important when you consider all those pharmacists who got into the business long long before the "Morning After Pill" was even just a sick dream.

And Dementee joins a long line of conservatives who just can't admit he might be wrong. Too bad. It would almost make me say he's fucking stupid, if I was the type to resort to ad hominem attacks. But I'm not, of course.

Et tu, Jeffy?

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