Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 6/5/18: Cakes And Fakes

Good morning…

1. Dummies or Liars? In a comment about yesterday’s 7-2 SCOTUS ruling favoring the Christian cake shop in another baker vs. gay couple controversy, Still Spartan wrote, ” I also don’t want to spend the next few months explaining the ruling to non-lawyer liberals who already are beginning to tear their hair out because they don’t understand the opinion.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she will have to do, and the rest of us, as there is already a deliberate effort underway to misrepresent the decision and deceive members of the public too lazy to read Supreme Court opinions, or too under-educated to understand them. (It really isn’t that hard.) This is fear-mongering, and also an effort to undermine the Supreme Court, which can be expected to be blocking a number of left-driven totalitarian measures in the not-too-distant future.

For example, on “The Late Show,” where a disturbingly high percentage of millennials get their news commentary, the smug, insufferable Stephen Colbert described the ruling this way:

“It’s a bad day for gay rights in America. And also for cake rights because this morning, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake to celebrate the marriage of a same-sex couple. That is tough news. But to lighten the blow the Supreme Court did send the gay couple a lovely cake” which was a cake in the shape of the middle finger.

Hilarious! And a complete misrepresentation of the opinion. The question is, did Colbert and his writers really not understand the ruling? What are the odds that any of them read it? If they didn’t know what the ruling was, isn’t it irresponsible to pass along false information? Or did they know that the opinion in no way undermined the rights of gays to be served in public accommodations like everyone else, but found, and correctly so, that the process was rigged against the baker because of open hostility to religious freedom? If so, the “joke” was deliberate misrepresentation.

The fact that the lie would have been in service of a joke is not a justification. Spreading falsity in public is harmful, and it does not matter who does it, or why.

2. From the “Stop making me defend the New York Yankees!” files:  This is an integrity vs. cash test for Major League Baseball. ESPN announced that it was picking up the Yankees’ one 1 o’clock Sunday, July 8 game with the Blue Jays in Toronto for its 8 p.m. Sunday night Game of the Week. This decision, however, was announced after the Yankees and Orioles players agreed to make up last week’s rained out game as part of a doubleheader on July 9.  As now scheduled, the Yankees will have to play three games in a 24 hour period. The Yankees would probably not leave the ballpark in Toronto until midnight, then have to go through customs, getting into Baltimore at 4 or 5 a.m., into their hotel rooms around 7, and be due at Camden Yards in a few hours.

This is potentially dangerous to the players (baseball is hard to play while asleep), and also undermines the team: the Yankees are expected to be in a neck-and-neck race with the Boston Red Sox for primacy in the American League East, and a single game could be crucial. If the Yankees are forced to play Sunday night on July 8, the Yankee management and players are threatening to retaliate against ESPN by refusing all interviews with ESPN broadcasters. Of course, killing those in-game interviews will only improve the broadcast.

Then the Yankees will claim that the Red Sox were colluding with ESPN, and there will have to be an investigation…

3. More from the Wide, Wide World of Sports! Yesterday, the President tweeted,

The President is understandably tired of the traditional honor of being invited to the White House after a championship being exploited for cheap partisan protests—no other President has been subjected to this– and I endorse the cancellation. The Eagles responsible for the public conduct of their players, and how the team presents itself in public. Almost every black player had announced that he would not attend, and many white players as well, ensuring that what is supposed to be a unifying, ceremonial and symbolic function of the Presidency would be politicized. As with the threats of honorees to boycott the White House reception for the Kennedy Centers Honors, as with the White House Correspondents Dinner, the President has an ethical and official obligation to protect the office of the Presidency from efforts to diminish it. The Eagles were invited as an honor, and a significant portion of the team chose to respond with disrespect. The cancellation was reasonable and justified.

However, the last sentence in the President’s tweet is a non sequitur. No Eagles were among the addled kneelers and Colin Kaepernick impressionists during the last NFL season.

Compounding the problem, Fox News covered the dis-invitation story by including photos of Eagles players prayer, not in protest. Fake news, Fake history, sloppy reporting, and also inexcusably stupid: Does this look like a protest to you?

[Pointer: valkygrrl]

Not to be left out of the idiocy, the NFL’s spokesman condemned Trump’s action by saying that the White House was not his house, but the “people’s house,” and thus he should not bar the players from the White House honor because he feels disrespected. Huh? If that’s the Eagles attitude, then why were their players boycotting the event?

4. And speaking of fake news…Exploring a new route to attack the Trump administration, the mainstream media was prepared to pounce on a study by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health that found the likely death toll in Puerto Rico related to September’s Hurricane Maria was 4,645 and not the official government figure of 65. Of course, the day that report came out, Roseanne Barr called Valerie Jarret an ape, so you know which the news media chose to run with. Hmmm, lets’ see: massive death and destruction, celebrity scandals…easy choice, right?

Some news media did cover the story, though. NPR’s headline was “Study Puts Puerto Rico Death Toll From Hurricane Maria Near 5,000.””Puerto Rico Death Toll After Hurricane Is Actually Over 4,600, New Study Shows” was another headline. But that’s fake news. The study didn’t even pretend to say what the death toll “actually” was. The 4,645 figure was an estimate (it is intrinsically misleading to state rough estimates with that kind of precision), as the New York Times, justifying its own estimate of 1,052, explained…

The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most highly regarded peer-reviewed medical journals, analyzed a longer period than we did. It also used completely different methods.

Researchers visited more than 3,000 residences across the island and interviewed their occupants, asking whether anyone in their households had died, and whether the storm and its aftermath might have contributed. Residents reported that 38 people living in their households had died between Sept. 20, 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck, and the end of that year.

That toll, converted into a mortality rate, was extrapolated to the larger population and compared with official statistics from the same period in 2016. Researchers arrived at an estimate of roughly 4,600. Because the number of households surveyed was relatively small in comparison to the population’s size, there was a large margin of error. The true number of deaths beyond what was expected could range from nearly 800 to close to 8,500 people, the researchers’ calculations showed. The widely reported figure of 4,645 was simply the midpoint of that statistical window, known as a 95 percent confidence interval. Including a midpoint figure in such a report is standard academic practice.

No news source reporting the 4,645 figure was doing so ethically unless it explained this. Few news sources did. After all, it wouldn’t be so sensational if readers understood what they were reading.

48 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 6/5/18: Cakes And Fakes

  1. Looks like you got this up before you got my email update.

    As of 10 minutes ago they haven’t offered this semi-retraction on air.

  2. Re No.1: Don Lemon believes that gays are not a protected class. Check out his interview with the gay couple that sued the Colorado baker, at about the 40 second mark:

    Apparently, he has not read United States v. Windsor, 570 U. S. 744 (2013), striking down DOMA as violating the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. But, he is an idiot, the Left’Progressive version of that bozo, Sean Hannity.


  3. Regarding #3, there was similar post mocking Tim Tebow fans for hypocrisy and/or racism for not condemning Tebow for kneeling during the anthem in protest of abortion. It even included a quote from Tebow talking about the shame he felt living in a nation where abortion was practiced.

    (Of course, Tebow kneeled in prayer between plays, NOT during the anthem…. one poster said it didn’t really matter about the details)

  4. Not to be left out of the idiocy, the NFL’s spokesman condemned Trump’s action by saying that the White House was not his house, but the “people’s house,” and thus he should not bar the players from the White House honor because he feels disrespected. Huh? If that’s the Eagles attitude, then why were their players boycotting the event?

    Somebody should remind the idiots in the NFL that every one of the Eagles is welcome to visit the White House at their leisure, just not as invited guests of the President.

    They should also remind the NFL morons that the person “the people” elected to take up residence in that house is Donald J. Trump, and if they don’t like that, tough titty. That house doesn’t become for “the people” because we don’t like the resident “the people” put in there.

    Note to the NFL: Donald J. Trump is YOUR PRESIDENT. Deal with it. Saying it isn’t so doesn’t make it not so.

  5. “The question is, did Colbert and his writers really not understand the ruling?”

    For too many people, the analysis begins with, “Who do I like better?” and then the reasoning works backward from there.

    • The problem is the power of echo chambers. There’s no reason for any commentator to be held accountable because there are enough people that form a strong enough circle of affirmation around that particular bloviator that they do not have to be correct…they will not be called out for it.

      Lone voices will always be shut up in a Spartan-like-whoever-shouts-loudest-wins type of democracy.

      Colbert can be as dishonest as he wants, he has MILLIONS of sycophants who flat out do not care that he’s dishonest.

  6. Remember the ‘Beer Summit?’ Trump is playing to the base, in a shrewd political move. That is all this is about.

    Nothing the Eagles say can stop the narrative that THEY dissed the POTUS first. He just called them on their BS.

      • Maybe, and I agree that the NFL has kind of earned it. That said, could the attempt to silence the protest backfire? A lot of liberal people will look past other sins to support those who oppose Trump, and black almost always follows black. Also, if enough players seriously say they will sit out the season, might the fans force a resolution?

        • …could the attempt to silence the protest backfire?

          I think it already has: both sides are pissed because the NFL Owners split the baby, and only one side watches the games, in general. Or used to.

          Watch rating continue to dwindle, given the other problems the NFL has, like the damning concussion stats.

          Also, if enough players seriously say they will sit out the season, might the fans force a resolution?

          Even the players are smarter than that. They are very good at protecting their paycheck and lavish lifestyles. The fans ARE forcing a resolution, as they forced this lame attempt at one: they are not watching the games.

      • “I don”t know how they get out of this.”

        I saw a headline somewhere that OBAMA would be hosting a barbecue for the Eagles (maybe it was just someone’s suggestion)…maybe Barack means to do a warm-up before hosting BOTH of the NBA final’s teams for some beer, BBQ and TRUMP-hating. No media allowed, of course. After all, as everyone already knows, blacks can’t be racists. And PRESTO! Both the NFL and NBA will have all their cred back, TRUMP be damned.

        • I have a theory that Obama wants to keep his hand in, such that we might just rescind that niggling little term limit that drove him from office. He seems to be striving to remain relevant and in the public eye.

          Look at the things he is into: a Netflix series, for crying out loud!

          • Obama’s activism is increasingly disturbing. I hope I am correct in perceiving him as not ambitious enough to want to return to the Oval Office as POTUS. But, he might be “pounding the beach” to make it easier for Michelle to “land” there. I think he likes being a gadfly.

          • He doesn’t want to be President again. He wants to reign by “popular” acclamation. You know, like Stalin did.

  7. Now the NBA is saying neither team will accept an invitation to the White House.

    I know it’s punching down, but that ship has sailed. Punching down is the new normal for this president. I can’t wait for his tweet, and no matter how horrible it is, the NBA richly deserves it every bit as much as the NFL. They would be kneeling, too, if the NBA owners weren’t just a bit smarter than their NFL brethren.

    • By the way, note to the NFL, NBA et. al. Please stop making me defend Trump’s parade of horribles. Please. Rise above the guy, for God’s sake, and get out of the damned gutter. Making him look good is not in your best interests…

    • I’m very doubtful of the idea of Trump “punching down.” First, most of the people setting these conflicts in motion are employees of multi-billion dollar business entities. Second, when your basic message is that you hold someone in contempt, I’m not sure they can punch down against you. There’s just a disagreement about who’s higher in the pecking order.

  8. Objection! I was partially quoted — I’ll also have to spend the next few months explaining the opinion to conservatives who now think they are free to discriminate.

    • Hi Spartan. Where do you find these conservative asshats? We travel to rural areas often for family and live on the edge of and hang out in the suburbs, where a lot of conservatives are and NEVER experience any discrimination and trust me, an interracial same-sex married couple does stick out a bit still.

      Do you really think you’ll need to reeducate conservatives on not discriminating against gays? It seems like a biased thing to say but maybe you get out a lot more than I do.

      (On a side note – the only discrimination my wife has had of late was from two transmen, a transwoman, and an African immigrant).

      • I have to agree with you, Mrs. Q. I am gay, visibly out (since age 14), an Independent voter since 1961, and a rabid fan of ragtime (just as bad as any sports booster, being an amateur historian of the culture of the era as well as one-time musician myself ). I find myself today in the middle of a larger-than-ever group of friends and supporters in the ragtime world and by extension, the personal and work lives of many like-minded others. Having lived for 20 years, in spurts, in Colorado Springs, I was aware of all the potential discrimination and possible reactions, up to and including sputtering hatred and physical violence, and the (to me, specious) arguments for it. When I entered this group as a member of small committees in large groups of hundreds at a time, I was prepared for at least initial resistance – a San Francisco queer? here? – but all I got was a warm welcome and some politely open curiosity, pretty much what everyone gets (plus a bit of wariness – but only a bit – about my assumed politics). When I asked around for a roommate to share the expensive festival accommodations, I got immediate volunteers. When I entered the dance venue, I could choose any partner I wanted or they me.

        And we do talk politics. (I’ve turned a few on to this blog.) Some of us snipe at each other once in a while since I have some opinions (informed, according to me, of course) that don’t go along with the hard Republican line. But I find they know both/all sides better than the Loud Left and always leave room for discussion with a little heat and and a lot of good will. Nobody yet has said anything stupid as I’ve heard at home: “Let’s just agree to disagree” There are atheists among them as well as Fundamentalists, by the way; we all get along or leave it alone. Eventually one of us will have a question. [During breaks]

        In my so-called “liberal” world, however, whenever I found “ragtime” to be a trigger word, particularly with feminist/misandrists, it seems, I follow through. People do ask me, as I do them, ‘whatcha doin’ this weekend’ or ‘where ya going on vacation. I usually have an ragtime-related event to use, and inevitably get the same response from the “sinister” side: gay or straight, Christian or Jew, old or young: at the very least, a raised eyebrow. Whenever I’ve pursued that negative reaction, no matter how much I have gently or forcefully tried rationality, it eventually gets down to:

        “I’m not arguing with your taste in music, but hey, Ragtime is trash;

        “”No I don’t want to hear it again. It’s that rinky-dink garbage that goes with old cartoons;

        “Scott Joplin? Yeah, of course I’ve heard of him. Eubie Blake, um, maybe; {pause}

        “That’s what I mean. It’s racist. It was stolen from black people;

        “Besides, I saw one of those sheet music covers. Disgusting! … No, I’ve never seen the lyrics you say the black composers…; you know the white publisher hired someone to put those in. The only black musical was that Pork-ee and Bess [sic] .

        “Oh? Interesting stories, but still, black people invented it. Besides, Isn’t ragtime that stuff Those People listen to? You know, somebody from Alabama, out in the boonies, Trumpers. . . {moments of silence while the speaker registers the look on my face}

        “…uh, you didn’t vote for …. no, you said you didn’t … yes, sure, Iunderstand you have a different take … leaning right … Gay Republicans are just a joke, y’know. …. well, then, what…?;

        “No, we haven’t really talked about politics. But we all know what’s right, don’t we? . . . Anyway, it’s over, I mean the ragtime thing. Listen, let me tell you what you ought to liste… huh? . . . No. Well, we’re on the same side, man. . . . Uh sure, we can talk about it the Other Side, whatever that means. Sometime. Just right now, I gotta go to that rap klezmer raga concert over in Oakland. Cool. See ya.”

        I will probably be spending the rest of my life here and, having lived in other parts of the world, I am satisfied that San Francisco is the best place to live. For me. {where’s Texagg, by the way?} And maybe I can get through to a few hardheads. Ragtime’s a wedge. I have used Jack’s blogs on occasion but that usually pulls the shades down and draws the curtains. Too much fact, too much truth, too much knowledge of rationalizations, and the very mention of the word “ethics,” seem to be what my mother called (and forbade in discussion): conversation-stoppers.

        Anyway, Mrs. Q, though we disagree on a grand item or two, by and large, we get along (whether you knew it or not), and I am an admirer and appreciator of your comments. … And the only problem I have had of late mirrors one of yours — a transperson who shoved in ahead of me on the bathroom line at the theater last week. But after all, some of my best friends are . . . oh, never mind.

        • Well said, Penn. And a Comment of the Day, in my opinion.

          This is what I could never get across to Spartan and Chris: their assumptions and ignorance about common Americans. Oh, sure, Sparty comes from there, but you would not know it from the opinions she now holds (which is her right, even if the facts say otherwise).

          …having lived in other parts of the world, I am satisfied that San Francisco is the best place to live.

          I have lived in Monterey/San Jose and visited ‘The City’ (as we called it) on a great many occasions. It is a great place to visit, and a real joy for a boy from Texas to see much of the world represented mere blocks from each other, and at any time of day.

          The politics, the high cost of living, the number of people, and the dirty city aspect mean I would not enjoy living there. All of those apply, in varying degrees, to any city anywhere, even here in Texas. Downtown Houston is horrid, and the major cities elsewhere (DFW, Austin, even San Antonio) are on that sliding scale. The City had redeeming virtues most cities do not: wonderful climate, great diversity, and public accommodations they have not discovered in Texas.

          Of course, California is killing the goose that lays those eggs. Sad.

          • Thanks for the stand-up words, Slick, for me and my late-life home town. This is a look-back on emails — I’m in the middle of my busiest month, at work and play (3 major film festivals). …. I don’t know about “public accommodations” — the City removed all public toilets after 9/11 and later replaced them, at 5 or 6 block intervals!, with dark green igloo-shaped bathrooms, at 25 cents a pee. Naturally, some savvy street people (I can’t call them homeless – they just hang out daytimes) just jammed the door locks so anyone could come and go.

            Can’t say much about Texas in return. The last time I was there, 1944, we were on an Army Air Corps base in Bronwnsville. I vaguely remember something about what I called the “muddy cow” bus and a really nice bus driver who drove across the border every day (is that possible??), letting me stand up next to him and watch all the fascinating action on the floor under the steering wheel, and dropped me off at a sort of pre-school/play-school in Matamoros where friends were made instantly, the way children will do it on their own. The rest is so-I-am-told: Mom was pregnant, Dad was busy doing his doctor thing, and I was out of the house all day long having a ball. Until they noticed that when they spoke to me, I answered only in Spanish which, of course, I expected them to understand. They had to get someone to come and translate until things were “back to normal.” What a shame! That’s the age (under seven) when you can become bilingual without fear or favor. They blew it. (They also thought Brownsville was the pits, hot and dusty and ugly — well, they were on an Army base in wartime, for pete’s sake! To me, it was a heaven of funny looking bugs and cactus and the lady next door had an armadillo. Of course it was brown: that was its name — and Mexico was a swirl of bright color, just a bus-ride away.

            One’s impression of a place often depends on one’s age, ability to adjust to change, to feel safe in …. and play all day and not have to pay for anything. That’s MY Texas and I’m stickin’ to it.

        • Whoa. Pardon me for being obtuse, but do you really like Ragtime? I thought my musical taste were obscure (Rush, Marillion, early Genesis, Juan Luís Guerra y 440 [before he annoyed me by converting to some ecumenical Christianity and has tried to convert this lowly Catholic soul], Maná, Within Temptation). My hat (if I were wearing one) is off to you.


            • Ah, Nightwish. I have a frustrating relationship with Nightwish. Musically, they are great and Tarja is an angel but Floor makes me crazy (I have a copy of her CD with ReVamp, and frankly, it is unlistenable). Epica, though, is wonderful.


          • JB13, I’m spittin mad at myself. Just spent a very long time ( in a reminiscent mood after my reply to slickwilly) telling you how I got to ragtime at the end of a long lifetime of other music that didn’t quite do it. Got to the end and tired, I did something I’ve done twice before — went to get you an example, forgot I hadn’t opened a new window … and there it all went, flying out the Window, so to speak. Anyway, the answer is a resounding, syncopated Yes. Bessie Smith makes me feel good; I mean really good, on the up-beat. Ragtime makes me mellow. You figure it out.

            I listened to some examples from your list and concluded you were a total romantic. You just never know people til you know what music they like!

            Thanks for the hat, though. I needed that.

        • PennAgain I’m sorry it took me a while to respond but I really appreciate your
          detailed take on my comment/question to Still Spartan. As you can see from her response, discounting the very voices and people who are minorities but are not progressive is unfortunately par for the course on occasion (or more than that).

          Your point about agreeing to disagree reflects my own experiences with people who disagree but still find each other to be good company. A little letting go of making others think the same goes a long way to making real peace. And yes, those rationalizations that I now, thanks to this blog, can hear and counter, does leave some of my progressive friends (what few we have left) mumble mouthed.

          Not sure what we disagree on but I welcome those disagreements in good faith. And like you I don’t go along party lines on everything (I’m still faithfully anti-war and anti-corporatism).

          Now thanks to you, I will go to the library and get some Ragtime music CD’s and explore. Again thanks for the respectful feedback!

      • Full stop. So, is it your your opinion that only liberals can be brain-dead and not conservatives?

        I mean … this is why I am at risk of being thrown off this blog, because to quote Chris, all I want to say in response is “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

        Have you seen a Trump rally? Let me make the humble suggestion that any sheeple that is stupid enough to shout “Lock Her Up” in unison with other mouth-breathers and/or wear “Hillary is a C***” t-shirt also now thinks that the Supreme Court has just okayed discrimination against gays.

        Stupidity and emotion can be found in both sides of the political spectrum. If that isn’t widely understood and accepted here, then I think I may just need to take a hiatus, because what’s the point?

          • No — but there have been a trend of threads lately suggesting that I live in some alien world where only I see/have experienced discrimination, only liberals are biased, etc. It’s either a minor (and annoying) form of gaslighting or many of you can’t see past your own bias.

            I don’t pretend to be a moderate, but I do recognize bias when I see it. Either many of you don’t have that same skill or you don’t want to acknowledge it when you see it.

            I don’t think that makes me a Limo Liberal for saying it.

              • I don’t care — it’s not like I comment here looking for group adoration. I am annoyed by someone like Slick saying, “Well that’s not my experience, Limo Liberal” My response is, “So”? Do you own a TV? I know you certainly own a computer. Are you not aware of the crap that conservatives are saying and doing? Do you read conservative publications?” I mean … I tend to have educated conservative friends as well, but I understand the bigger picture so I don’t base my entire world view off my immediate community. If people here are going to be that narrow-minded, then I really do think a hiatus is in order.

                • Jeez, take a breath. A few commenters, as I have learned, do not the whole audience make. Your reaction to “limo liberal” reminds me of my meltdown any time someone accuses me of following Sean Hannity. I get it. It’s unfair. I don’t believe anyone is really that narrow-minded here. I do think they enjoy trolling sometimes, in part because you can return fire effectively.

                  Or they miss beating up on Chris.

                • No, Sparty. You just got treated like you have treated others. Sucks, don’t it?

                  Commenters in the past (including me) have shared life experiences that you personally have dismissed as irrelevant, because you have a TV and a computer and know our lives better than we do. My God, we were told by progressives here at EA that we were not offended by the ‘Fly Over Country’ slur!

                  Guess what? You ARE being gaslighted. Your sources of information are LYING to you. This is why we use our personal experiences: the heartland knows that the media has been choosing the narrative for decades, lying about what they report happening in our backyards. We see the distortions in our daily lives that you never know about.

                  This is hitting critical mass after the elections, is all. Progressives have proven to be FAR more biased with FAR more coverage than conservatives. They are NOT comparable.

                  Are there biased conservatives? Sure. Human nature does not change. Progressives have taken that bar and lapped it many times since November ’16. You are seeing a reaction to the insanity your side has allowed to continue.

        • No, anyone can write “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” to a commenter. Just not to me. Same with “Go fuck yourself.” Now I KNOW you remember Scott “Ablative Meatshield.” It’s like getting thrown out of a MLB baseball game. You can’t say certain “magic words” to the umpire (that’s me.)

        • Hi again Still Spartan. Sorry it took a while to get back. I never said only liberals can be brain dead (I’d say more like brain-washed) or that conservatives can’t be. I simply pointed out the most recent experiences my wife has had.

          If you do consider yourself someone invested in peace and unity, can you explain how responding to me (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) with dismissiveness and disrespect is helpful? If anything your response exemplifies my point about how certain Leftists treat minorities who don’t subscribe to group-think and have their own opinions and experiences separate from the “microagression” narrative.

          I haven’t seen a Trump rally and while I’m quite sure asshats are among them, it wasn’t a Trump rally that commandeered downtown Portland after the election for weeks rioting, destroying businesses windows, pulling a pregnant woman out of a car, keeping people from getting home on time due to blocking roads or keying our Corolla because there is a faith fish on it. That was Antifa. Just like not all Trumpers are racist-sexist-homophobes (including your so-called mouth breathers), not all progressives who support Antifa are careless destructive monsters.

          I agree with you 100% that stupidity and emotion are found not just in all sides, but really all people. That’s why Jack’s blog is so important. Bias DOES make us stupid (and mean) which is why ethics is an important practice.

          You still never answered my question. Where are all the conservative asshats that YOU personally encounter? My question is a fair one and my experiences to highlight the question are valid, whether or not they conform to your notions or what popular media says. When my wife & I went to a conservative convention a number of months ago, we wanted to see for ourselves how these folks act among their own (and I admit I was initially nervous). Not one disparaging remark about any group or peoples was ever said. We were treated by all with respect, friendliness, and courtesy…which is more than I can say for your response. While you and I may disagree, being disagreeable won’t help us to ever make peace with each other or anyone else. I look forward to a healthier exchange with you in the future.

          “Always respect your opponent.” -Billie Jean King

  9. THE NFLPA has made it worse by canceling all events in the D.C. area which included (according to them) several player-run charity events for children in the D.C. area. If most weren’t going to the White House, why cancel? Seems like this is more of cutting off your nose to spite your face kind of stuff.

  10. I’d feel a lot more comfy about the narrowness of the SCOTUS decision if it wasn’t for this from January

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a legal battle over a Mississippi law that allows state employees and private businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on religious objections.

    Signed into law in 2016 in response to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, it allows county clerks to avoid issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and protects businesses from lawsuits if they refuse to serve LGBT customers.

    Some 30 similar bills are before state legislatures at the moment, with more on the way. The Mississippi law only gives special protections to certain religious beliefs, not others.

    And of course there are continuing cases like this :

    John Kluge, the former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School, said the school district’s requirement that teachers call transgender students by their preferred names, rather than those given at birth, goes against his religious beliefs. The requirement, Kluge said, violates his First Amendment rights.

    Officials with Brownsburg Community Schools declined to comment on the district’s transgender student policies. A district representative said that Kluge submitted his resignation before the end of the school year and the administration accepted it.

    Kluge, 28, said he only submitted a tentative letter of resignation because the district threatened to fire him with three weeks remaining in the school year. Instead, Kluge handed in a letter of resignation with instructions to not submit the letter until May 29, after the school year ended. On May 25, the last student day at Brownsburg Schools, Kluge said he asked to withdraw the letter.

    Instead, Kluge said, he was locked out of the district’s email system later that day. Other teachers then told him the district sent out a job posting for a high school orchestra teacher. He had been with the district for four years

    The Indiana Family Institute, a conservative nonprofit that promotes religious liberty and opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, has started a letter-writing campaign to support Kluge. The group is urging people to email every member of the Brownsburg school board and ask them to save Kluge’s job.

    “It appears that the real intolerance at Brownsburg High School lies in the hands of the administration against teachers who hold a sincere faith and a sacrificial love for their students,” the form letter reads in part

    The IFI gained national attention for its role in the passing of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, and is closely associated with VP Mike Pence. IFI is affiliated with Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom. As of the 2015 tax filing year, Focus on the Family declared itself to be a church, with the building canteen as its chapel. As such, it’s donor list, amounts of money flowing in, and political contributions are not publically available.

    Whack-a-mole. A war of fiscal attrition.

    • Sue, I would remind other LGBT people-and-friends that the political start of state activism in California was over the proposed ban on gay teachers following the Briggs Initiative in 1978. It wasn’t put down by money from closeted rich folks, or by gay people campaigning exclusively in gay areas, it was done by queer men and women and their supporters going house to house, to neighborhoods white, brown, and black; offering to speak at churches, to groups and organizations; going two by two (usually gay+lesbian or queer+parent pairs), traveling in cars and on buses, all over the state, wherever they could find people who could express their views to the kind of people they had never known before, and be willing to discuss the issues face to face. It worked.

      As a byproduct, the people they spoke to had to recognize their humanity even if they still felt they disagreed; thus, they began to acknowledge what they had already, at least partly, recognized: the “normal” gay people in their own families (sometimes, sadly, no longer living), on TV, in their physicians and corner grocers, in the people they had long respected and admired, as well as the teachers that their children were learning from, safely, sanely and well.

      Because of the way the the latest “big issue” — gay marriage — was handled (no objection; it was professionally organized and brilliant) – the community itself, the individuals, is a four decades out of touch with real activism, and lazy with it. Marching is a social occasion; talking on and punching LIKE or otherwise on the Internet is spitting into the wind. Few people even know how to talk their own friends, much less to strangers. That’s how that issue now feels like it was shoved down people’s throats and they are rebelling.

      I lived in Colorado in 1967 when a bi-partisan Senate voted for loosening abortion restrictions. This immediately aroused popular opposition that almost killed it in the following years. It is still as contentious as it is almost everywhere, but at no time then (and I think, now) was it ever a “town meeting” subject. With the subject of gay marriage too — not to mention transpersons and bathrooms — the average citizen without person experience in the issue knows little, and has less input. Instead of respecting the law (speed limit 55, broken but not argued!), it is just hated and, in some cases, feared.

      You cannot legislate successfully on anything in this country that affects people directly unless they understand enough of it to know it will not harm them personally — face it, anything that has to do with one’s body will not be openly, publicly discussed. No city, not even a traditional Vermont township, is up for a town meeting on sex. People think LGBT rights are about sex – they are, but only as much as anyone’s rights about their bodies are when, for instance, health care, financial stability, housing, taxes and so on are up for laws that bring about rights. Except that “sex” takes precedence in many people’s minds when the talk of rights comes up so “gay” is still not a full fledged human being in the eyes of many. “Sex Ed” has been of little or no help in tearing down the myths and mysteries; in some cases it exacerbates them.

      The silence is profound. Unless it is broken, one on one, two by two, the present situation of knee-jerk reflexes — make the law/change the law/get around the law/rescind the law and start all over again — will continue to create unnecessary stress and anxiety which, in the end, is what keeps people away from politics and from thinking about what their agitators or legislators are doing. We are a democratic republic, by definition:

      A government . . .”similar to a representative democracy except it has a written constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority.” If a “minority” is not understood by the general public, it needs cannot be addressed correctly. If that minority does not take steps to make itself understood in person (without the aid of TV characters), too bad for everyone.

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