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Friday, July 27, 2012

Will you please pay more attention to above-the-waist issues?

Maybe I wouldn't ask this question if I were a younger man, but is sex that important? Seems to me that the only issues that people truly care about involve wee-wees. Non-wee-wee matters of far greater weight get yawns.

Dan Cathy, the fundamentalist creep who owns the Chic-Fil-A fast food chain, recently made some anti-gay marriage remarks, which led some politicians to talk about preventing the company from opening stores. On what grounds? No-one has accused Chic-Fil-A of discrimination or any other illegal practice. Everyone has the right to express an opinion, even a stupid opinion. If you wish to send the aforesaid creep a message, simply do as I do and eat elsewhere.

Mother Jones has it right:
Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy's views is a violation of Cathy's First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive's anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner's political views is a clear threat to everyone's freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn't mean you don't have rights.
For reasons I cannot fathom, the American public's outrage factor remains far more muted when the topic turns to the vote suppression laws which will, in all likelihood, hand the 2012 presidential election to Mitt Romney. Thank god Doonesbury is paying some attention to the issue; maybe Gary Trudeau will ruffle a few feathers. (So to speak.)

The comparison is instructive: The Chic-Fil-A brouhaha comes down to mere words. Voter suppression is an actual, legal, history-changing thing. States are preventing poor people and minorities from exercising their franchise, yet nobody gives a damn. If the new Jim Crow laws targeted gay people instead of black people, there would be a million-person protest march in D.C. faster than you could say Oscar Wilde.

For chrissakes, get your priorities straight. A narrative can be worthy of your attention even if it doesn't involve genitalia.
Democrats are supposed to be the champions of civil liberties. The only thing I can think is republican stupid must be catching.

Joe, I have a technical question about software. What would I need to modify that photograph of Nancy Pelosi carrying that giant Speaker's gavel and replace it with a big enema nozzle?
There seems to be a lawsuit now:

Brenda Honeycutt, Former Chick-Fil-A Employee, Sues Restaurant Over Gender Discrimination

Brenda Honeycutt, a former employee of a Chick-fil-A establishment in Georgia, is suing the restaurant for wrongful termination, alleging that she is a victim of gender discrimination, according to GLAAD.

The lawsuit, which was obtained by GLAAD, refers to a June 27, 2011, incident in which Jeff Howard, the owner and operator of a Duluth, Ga., Chick-fil-A, fired Honeycutt so she could be a "stay home mother."

I agreed with what you said, about it being a free speech issue... but I was waiting for something like this to be filed.
Joe, now there is this:

Brenda Honeycutt, Former Chick-Fil-A Employee, Sues Restaurant Over Gender Discrimination

I agree with you on the comment from Cathy being a free speech issue, but I was waiting to see if something like this lawsuit would be filed. Now it takes on a whole different meaning.
The LGBT community is the most self-absorbed and politically stupid group I have ever seen. It's all about THEM while the rest of the country burns. Who CARES about what somebody says about their pet issues when the economy is in the ditch and millions upon millions of people are unemployed? This is not the time to obsess over identity politics.
MM: All I can say is that, if the facts are as Ms. Honeycutt states, I hope there is a huge settlement in her favor.
Is there a track record of people being fired from Chik Fil A for sexual orientation? That could possibly be grounds for some action, but just the founders thoughts... not so much. In that case we'd never buy toilet paper (all made by Koch Industries), visit Hobby Lobby, or watch Braveheart because Mel Gibson is a raging idiot.

I have noticed the same thing from my gay friends. However this is not so unusual or so odd. Who else cares about other peoples issues? And a perceived injustice is far more striking when it directly affects you. Sad as it is, my gay friends are much more irrate about discriminatory marriage laws than about anything else. And they are generally better briefed than the heterosexuals on all the issues.

Of course, none of us should be like this. But I am always more passionate about race issues than say sexism issues.

Liepar: I must admit that discrimination may exist in places where it cannot be proven to exist. I happen to know for a fact that in the early 1980s, there was a Burger King in Hollywood owned by a guy who had an informal policy of not promoting people of color to managerial positions. The policy was not on paper; proving discrimination in a court of law would have been nearly impossible.

Of course, that was a long time ago. Last time I was in that store, the manager was black.
I'm also pleased to see Susan's comment about the LGBT community, doubly so since someone else said it first. Gay rights are only somewhat of a canary in the coal mine if we assume that the level of chauvinism against gays mirrors perfectly the level of fascism in society. I don't think it does, though. It's apparent that the poverty gap and the police state can grow much worse while minorities keep or even expand their technical civil rights. We know that because it's happening. When the LGBT folks make their issues paramount they are making a tacit assumption that all other good things will follow. That's not necessarily so.
Dwight, I do agree, at least to a point. My great fear is that a lot of gay people will follow what used to be Andrew Sullivan's recommendation -- fight for marriage equality and then vote Republican.

As my readers know, I think what we need is an OWS successor movement that is WHOLLY devoted to economics, economics, economics. We need to bring back the New Deal. We need to fight those who would rewrite the history of the New Deal and what it did for this country.

Identity politics may be necessary and inevitable -- but they are also a distraction. That was my big beef with OWS. The movement got sidetracked by non-economic matters.

Look, I favor equal rights. But if someone is "bad" on something like gay rights or abortion but "good" on economics, it's important not to alienate that person, because he can still be a useful partner. More useful, I would say, than someone like Andrew Sullivan. (I'm talking about the OLD Andrew Sullivan.)

To use an example brought to mind by the name "Dwight" -- if Eisenhower were alive today, he'd probably think the idea of gay marriage was ludicrous. He'd also think that abortion was horrifying. And he might have a lot of foreign policy notions that would royally piss me off. But on economics -- well, I like Ike.

The other fights may be good fights, but they are SEPARATE fights.
Greer has filed a civil suit in an effort to recover the $130,000 he says the party promised to pay him if he would change his name to Occupant, take a vow of omerta and move to Burkina Faso.

So in a lengthy deposition in the civil case, the chatty Greer unloaded on his former party brethren as liars, crazy nuts, brigands and connivers hatching schemes to suppress the voting rights of black Florida voters.

And all this was going on while everyone was conspiring to stab each other in the back. There is something to be said for multitasking. Was this the inner workings of a political party, or Tallahassee's answer to Macbeth meets The Departed?
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