Archive for bias

Sen. Grassley's Staff Gets Nabbed In His Own Investigation

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The SEC lawsuit alleges that the House staffer, Brian Sutter, spoke with a lobbyist -- identified by the Journal as Mark Hayes - - who happens to be a former aide to Grassley -- on the day of the leak.

Oopsy. Looks like Grassley not only found his leaker, the dude worked for him. Now Grassley may have to recuse himself from the hearings because he himself might be called as a witness, or even more concerning, as a part of the insider trading conspiracy scandal itself.

 

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Texas GOP Publicly Announces It's Anti-Gay

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Image: RawStory/Shutterstock


Well, considering it's Texas, what can you expect? Here's what the Texas Republican Party has in their platform this year AGAIN, as reported by the Raw Story:

The party platform states: “The practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”

Homophobia is the second most exported product in Texas behind oil. Ignorance is a close third. Obviously there are some odd fellow bookends to the Lone Star State's exports.

But what should be even more surprising, is the group called the Log Cabin Republicans. If you don't know who they are,  here's the statement from their own Log Cabin Republicans website:

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing gay and lesbian conservatives and allies.

It's hard to believe that GOP actually has members whose party legislates consistently against them. I guess that would make them the masochistic wing of the Republican party.

Their existence is somewhat of an oxymoron, Republican and LGBT. Just the opposite of Groucho Marx's famous quip, "I would never want to be a member of any group that would have me," these Log Cabin folks just don't seem to get it. The GOP is saying, in so many words, "Go Away. We don't want you!"

As if they needed further proof they're not accepted by the Republicans, especially in Texas, the Log Cabin group recently petitioned to have two booths at the state's Republican party convention next week. Their request was denied.

Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, told Texas Public Radio that he doesn't want any groups challenging the party’s platform at the upcoming convention.

Doesn't this make you wonder, who is thicker? The Texas Republican Party (for their non-inclusion practices) or the Log Cabin Republicans who want to join a club that doesn't want them.

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I Take My Justice With A Slap And A Racial Slur

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RacistMississippiJudgew257h244

There's a good chance that you or someone you know will at a point in their life be called in front of a judge to resolve some issue. Maybe it's a renter/landlord dispute, or perhaps it's a speeding ticket. Maybe it'll even be something more substantial, but the odds are it's going to happen sometime.

What we all hope though is that justice is meted out fairly and with no prejudice.

Well, if you live in Mississippi, don't be so sure. Here's a shocking and sobering report about Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white.  Talking Points Memo:

A Mississippi judge [Weisengerger] allegedly slapped a young mentally disabled black man [Eric Rivers] earlier this month at a flea market and yelled "run, n----, run," the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday.

An apparent witness, Tammy Westbrook, told the newspaper Rivers was offering to help flea market vendors unload their goods when Weisenberger slapped him twice, then yelled "run, n----, run" as he fled. Westbrook and her sister, a vendor at the flea market, recalled that they thought Weisenberger was a law enforcement officer because he was wearing a security guard's uniform.

So this is the man who's pounding his gavel and dispatching justice. In a state with a Black population of nearly 40%, there's a chance this judge has issued quite a few punishments on minorities. Is there a chance he's only a bigot displaying racial hatred and animus when he's not wearing his robes?

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JPMorgan/Chase Changes Name To Morality Bank & Trust Co.

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Well it’s about time. Major banks have been taking a hit for while now over their ethically immoral banking practices. So to combat those accusations, JPMorgan/Chase has implemented a new set of standards.  They are going to uphold the moral highground of their charter and no longer accept questionable or unsavory behavior. In essence they’re going to become a branch office of the “moral police.”

How laudable is that?  According to Raw Story:

In the latest example of a troubling trend in which companies play the role of law enforcement and moral police, Chase Bank has shut down the personal bank accounts of hundreds of adult entertainers.

Yes, you are reading that correctly. Based on one’s occupation, even one as legal as an adult entertainer, JPMorgan/Chase is taking the high ground and refusing to issue checking accounts, savings accounts, IRAs, grant loans.

Are these people a greater risk of any kind? Are they costing the bank any money? Is their occupation affecting any other people who are banking with JPMorgan/Chase?

NO!!!

So where does JPMorgan/Chase come off refusing services to these people? It’s not like these performers are criminals.

Chase Bank

While on the subject of criminals, take, for instance JP Morgan/Chase's chief executive. This past year, after criminal allegations were levied against him and his bank for illegal trading practices, the financial institution was forced to pay $20 billion in regulatory fines and penalties. If that wasn't bad enough and an obvious admission of guilt, the bank then turned around and paid the CEO, Mr. Dimon, a bonus of $20 million. Was that for his silence about the other crimes they committed or for his great leadership and stewarding of the organization?

To keep things in perspective, you can be a lawbreaker and JPMorgan/Chase will welcome you (Mr. Dimon, I'm talking about you). But if you're an adult entertainment performer, the bank can withhold services on a morals issue.

Who gets to chose? What's next? If an actor is in a mainstream movie that the bank feels is objectionable, can they shut down Matthew McConaughey or Meryl Streep's account? And what about the camera operator, the director, the promoter, even the local video rental store owner? Will they eventually suffer consequences for being associated with an industry that JPMorgan/Chase Bank thinks is immoral?

Maybe when they clean up their own house, they can be making decisions like this. Until then, they don't need to be concerned with assuming the responsibilities as the moral police. There's enough corruption in their own house. They should be just doing their jobs -- and legally -- not costing their customers billions because of their own immoral practices.

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Gay Relationship Commitment Worse Than Random Killings

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An Indiana bakery recently refused to make an anniversary cake for a customer because the event was in honor of a same-sex marriage commitment. It was this couple's 14th anniversary -- which in my book is a strong commitment. How many "straight" relationships last that long?

Putting the legitimacy aside, this bakery refused to make the cake based on their self-professed strong religious beliefs which they claim prohibit them from making a cake that celebrates a lifestyle their religion opposes. Well, they're Catholic and I'm not so sure their religious leader, Pope Francis would draw the line in the sand where these followers have.

So we'll take that and put it aside for a moment. Figuring where religious beliefs begin and just plain bigotry leaves off is a decision for greater minds than mine. The owners of the 111 Cakery, Randy and Trish McGath, insist they've never, in the past, denied service to anyone based upon who they are or their beliefs. Just so long as they're consistent, I think they have an argument. Not a legal one, but a moral one.

RAW STORY:

Owner Randy McGath further explained, “There is zero hate here.This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.”

The bakery policies also include also not making custom cakes with messages related to alcohol, drugs and violence.

Well, they have their standards, though putting two same-sex names on a generic anniversary cake shouldn't be challenging these religious bakers' beliefs. It's not like the cake celebrates alcohol, drugs or violence which they say they also would refuse.

Wait a minute... are these flour and frosting tossers actually two hypocrites? Here's a cake they did make:

bakery111_Call_of_duy_cake

Call of Duty is one of the most violent video games out there. If that's not celebrating violence, what does? Yet these cretins of cooking, the owners of Cakery 111 defend that cake of violence while refusing two committed, loving gay people the celebration of their love.

And they use religious beliefs as their defense. Bullsh*t is what I call it. Shameful that this hypocritical refusal is not illegal  in Indiana -- at least not yet.

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What Message Are Police Sending To Young Boys?

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The Boy Scout Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Who can argue with that? Who can refuse promoting those solid, non-sectarian beliefs?

Ben Wolfinger

Evidently the police in northern Idaho. Ben Wolfinger, the sheriff of Kootenai County, just decided not to renew his department’s charter with a local Boy Scout troop. He had his reasons. How valid they are is another story.

He made his decision to refuse sponsorship for this national organization for one reason and one reason only. It wasn't money. It was that the Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay members. According to Wolfinger, his Christian faith and reliance on biblical teachings led him to his decision. How unchristian of him. He chooses bigotry over charity.

Now sponsoring a worthwhile program like the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts of America seems like a pretty nice thing to do. Generous and uncontroversial as well. Considering the benefits to the members, the kids, the parents and the volunteers, it's to be lauded. Unless you're some kind of right-wing religious zealot.

Is this community leader, a police officer sworn to uphold the law (and that means anti-discrimination and hate laws) withholding his support? He's hiding behind the religion wildcard. Is he really saying that he can't be any support to any group that promotes equality?

According to the US Scouts Organization, the BOY SCOUT LAW:

A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

I don't see anti-Gay in there. So what's the problem?

Unless the narrow-minded Sheriff sees something there that I don't, I suggest that he turn in his badge and refuse to take his pension on religious beliefs. The police help people of all colors, races, creeds, and orientations. Sheriff Wolfinger wishes to exempt himself from that on religious belief. If that's the case, let him go.

People around the country must stop this nonsense of selectively picking and choosing which religious interpretations they want just when it suits their bigotry. This is another one of those cases and sadly, it's a black eye for law enforcement both in Idaho and in the rest of the country.

If police want to benefit from an improved community recognition, cooperation and acceptance, if they want regular people to appreciate the fine job many of them do, then giving something back to communities is just such a move. Refusing aid, help and the backing of their departments just makes them look on par with the criminals they are hired to apprehend.

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No Race Based Assumptions Here -- Really? Watch The Cops

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For those who think race assumptions and racial bias are slackening and tolerance is improving in this country, here's a quick reminder that we haven't moved very much. If you're white, go ahead, steal a car. It's okay because you're, you know, white. You're superior.

Now if you're black, don't even try to walk by a car. You're obviously trying to steal it.

Here's a very unscientific experiment caught on video. I think it will reassure you that we have a long way to go -- especially if you're a cop.

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