Archive for bias

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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Boy

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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7 Dem. Redcoats Join All GOP Senators Turning Their Backs On The Constitution

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GOP

Its was a sad day in Congress yesterday. As I reported, Darrell Issa demonstrated his immature and perhaps disqualifying behavior in a showdown with fellow committee member, Rep. Elijah Cummings. Issa's behavior has him now mocked and ridiculed everywhere except of course, with his main "employer," Fox News.

Elsewhere on the Capitol Hill, the GOP celebrated in infamy a 50th vote to repeal Obamacare. While there hasn't been enough time to vote on a jobs bill, immigration reform or an extension to jobless benefits, Speaker Boehner was able to squeeze in a futile symbolic vote which came up exactly like the last 49 attempts -- without any chance of forward movement. The cost of this clown show of votes in manpower? Millions of dollars in staff hours alone.

Hard as it may be to conceive, there was a greater affront to justice and our Constitution which took place yesterday. It happened in the Senate. The upper house voted on the president's nomination of Debo Adegbile to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

As Chris Hayes on All In points out, the precedent has been set now. If you have been a practicing attorney and been dealt a high profile case -- and won -- you're not viable for Senate approval as a presidential nominee. By doing your job, and doing it well, you're disqualified.

Our constitution has made clear that as Americans, we have certain rights, though the interpretations vary and that's what drives the religious right and the ultra-right Republicans. They love to hide behind, twist and turn their interpretations of these, especially the right to bear arms,  to freedom of speech and religious beliefs. What they did yesterday was abridge the Bill of Rights -- the sixth amendment. The part of that amendment that I'm referring to "... to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence [sic]."

HuffPo:

All Republicans and a handful of Democrats voted to sink Debo Adegbile’s nomination to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. The overriding reason for their opposition was that he once represented Mumia Abu-Jamal, a death row inmate convicted 30 years ago of killing a Philadelphia police officer.

Adegbile did not make the decision to take on the case. When he became the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in 2012, the group was already representing Abu-Jamal, and Adegbile continued to do so on a narrow constitutional issue. In other words, he was just doing his job by advocating for his client.

Using this litmus test to disqualify people from high government office, we'd have to veto Conservative hero Chief Justice John Roberts and the late President John Adams. They both defended and successfully gained acquittal for their clients accused of heinous or treasonous crimes. All Adegbile did was seek justice as was his obligation under the law. And he didn't get a guilty man freed, he got the sentence moved from death to life -- both would keep him off the streets. I pause to wonder if this victim of this murder was a black carpenter instead of a white cop if we'd even be having this discussion.

As Chris Hayes commented on the Republicans and Democrats who voted down this nomination based on providing adequate legal defense (and by the way, winning) to a defendant in court, "Shame on you, senators!"

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Issa Gets His Ass Handed To Him

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Jay Mallin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pompous, self-important and arrogant. Oh, I'm sorry. I was just musing at the picture above of Darrell Issa, the GOP scandal monger who chairs what used to be a respected position as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Now it's the House Rumor and Innuendo Committee Starring Darrell Issa.

Once again today, Issa called in a hostile witness in the IRS scandal hearings that over the past year have yielded zero instances of law breaking, bias or even bending. If anything they have served to prove in substantiated, fully vetted evidence, the fact that the IRS acted more judgmentally against liberal causes than conservative ones.

But here we are again today. Talking Points Memo:

Issa had summoned former IRS director Lois Lerner before the Congressional committee. Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment, declining to comment for the investigation, which has dragged on for months, in spite of a complete lack of evidence to indicate that conservative groups were being targeted by the tax agency.

With her simple plea of her constitutionally guaranteed privilege, Ms. Lerner took the 5th. Issa then took it on himself to bang the gavel to close the hearings, determining unilaterally that he could see no purpose in continuing.

Elijah Cummings

Whoops. Darrell done loosed the fateful lightning of Cummings terrible swift sword, shouting:

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this,” he said. “You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that and it is absolutely un-American.”

Cummings went on to say that over the course of the last year, the investigation has squandered more than $14 million and “we have found no evidence to support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups.”

And Cummings didn't stop there. He gave Chairman Issa a lashing the likes of which haven't been seen since Patsy was beaten nearly to death in 12 Years A Slave. Don't take my word for it... this is pure entertainment.

And stay to the end. You won't want to miss the punchline added by an off-camera  House member on the committee. Add this to your priceless list.

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Freaks, Faggots, Disabled, Or On Welfare, You Can't Eat Here

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Garu

Well, it looks like there no such thing as a free lunch, or even a paid lunch if you visit this restaurant -- Gary's Chicaros in Enid, Oklahoma. Well, at least for some people. According to owner and manager, Gary James, don't bother looking for service at his joint if you're "freaks, faggots, disabled, or on welfare. That's some pretty blunt talk.

HuffPo:

"I really don't want gays around," Gary's Chicaros Club owner Gary James told NBC affiliate KFOR-TV after a reporter asked him about several comments accusing the restaurant of discrimination. "Any man that would compromise his body would compromise anything."

"I've been in business 44 years. I think I can spot a freak or a f****t," James told the news station.

Any guess his political affiliation? The reason I bring it up is Gary isn't just a restaurateur. He was a candidate for city council in 2009. Though he narrowly lost, he's considering a run again -- from the Tea Party.

If you ever pass through Enid, be warned if you are wearing a hat. He doesn't like hats, especially worn indoors. He sure has a lot of rules. And amazingly, you'd think some, if not all, were discriminatory, if not just plain illegal. But hey, Gary's a law-abiding man. He wouldn't skirt the law.

It should be noted that refusing to serve a gay customer appears to be legal in Oklahoma. Although the state protects people from being turned away from businesses for their race, gender or religion, it does not offer that protection for sexual orientation.

So how does this sage ol' dining establishment owner know who to kick out? Does he have gaydar?  He doesn't say.

But, apparently, it's not just homosexuality that James dislikes. The restaurant's signature T-shirt features an image of a target with a list of groups -- including Muslims, blacks and Democrats -- written on it, KFOR-TV notes.

And customers have definitely taken notice of the environment.

"I cannot rate this food since I cannot be served," one reviewer wrote on Yelp. "Visit Taco Bell instead. It's a crappy taco, but at least it doesn't come with hate sauce."

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It's Official -- Jesus And Santa Claus Are White

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Jesus Santa Claus

Fox News would never steer us wrong. To go along with that gold standard, one of Fox's premier personalities (What, you didn't expect me to call her a journalist, did you?) has declared, without any room for doubt, that these two historical figures, Santa Claus and Jesus of Nazareth were White. Period. End of discussion. Here's Megyn Kelly and her panel to set us all straight.

This entire conversation is based on an article by Aisha Harris in Slate.com. In that piece, Harris suggests that other races could represent Jolly ol' Santa, or maybe even a penguin. Despite Megyn K's assertion to the contrary, Santa isn't real and therefore he doesn't have to actually be White. He could be Asian. He could be Black. He could be... well, even a penguin. That way the racial stigma of Santa wouldn't be ingrained in children of other races, thinking Santa isn't really for them.

Now the argument against all of this by Megyn Kelly and her Fox panel is demonstrative of their shallow thinking. Start first with Santa. According to Kelly, he was real. Sorry Megyn. Santa is a legend. Now historians over the years have said that he was based on a real character - Saint Nicholas. Underline the word 'based,' not he really was Santa Claus. Santa is about as real as Sherlock Holmes or James Bond.

Wikipedia does a pretty good job of giving the genesis of today's legend of Santa Claus:

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. Over time, traits of this character and the British folklore character Father Christmas merged to form the modern Santa Claus known today.

So if this iconic character is nothing more than legend, why can't he be of another nationality? What harm does that do? Why doe's Megan feel she must promote racial stereotyping UNLESS she herself is racist?

Now for the suggestion by Aisha Harris in her piece that perhaps an answer to the racial issue is to turn Santa into a character that is animal like -- in this case a penguin. That's crazy. We all know that can't be, because as the crack Fox experts pointed out a penguin can't carry all those gifts. C'mon. Let's get real here.

Okay, a penguin can't carry all those gifts but white Santa can? What rationale can you be using to draw that conclusion? And say, how big is that sleigh that he can stow all those gifts? And how strong is that team of flying reindeer led by Rudolf the Red Nose wonder? That sleigh must be much bigger than even Noah's Ark to carry all those toys. That's a lot for 8 reindeer to pull through the sky. I hope Santa's careful who's roof he parks it on because something that size would surely crush my house, and most of my neighborhood.

Let's get real here. Santa is a fictional character and should be treated as fun -- not discriminatory. And he belongs to the imaginations of all people, not just White people. He could be any race, color, nationality or animal species. Who cares just so long as he brings you the gifts you wanted for your holiday.

Black Jesus

Now moving onto Meagan's other low wattage statement of fact-- Jesus is White? Really? Unlike Santa, Jesus most likely did exist as one person. But look at where he came from? Asia. Yes, Bethlehem is in what is modern day Israel and Israel is technically Asia. Now the inhabitants of that region, from the statues and paintings that still remain indicate the Pharaohs  and his/her followers had African features -- dark skin, larger lips, and bone structure. One thing none of the artifacts indicate is that any of the people of that time, born in that region, have the more modern-day, typical White features, unless they were the Romans. I don't think anyone's claiming Jesus was the love child of Mary and one of the invading troops.

I'm not sure where Meagan went to school, how much anthropology she knows of that era, but it's evident that she's not correct, once again.

So let's stop the stereotyping and the stigmatizing of iconic people, real or fictional, to suit just one self-serving purpose. Leave Jesus and Santa Claus alone. It's what they represent, not the pictures of who they may be that matters. Megyn and panel, try checking your bigotry at the door before you come on camera next time.

You really owe the world an apology. And in the spirit of Jesus and Santa, we're most likely to grant it.

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