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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Archive for the ‘Discrimination’ Category

 

Mayor demonstrates dedication to inclusion by discriminating

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Boston’s mayor, Thomas Menino, is a perfect example of the contention that one does not need to be particularly bright to become a politician and rise to high office.

Last year, WalMart wanted to open a grocery store in a poorer, under-served part of “his” city, bringing with it lower food costs and desperately needed jobs, but Menino refused to allow it because, he said, he was concerned about the impact on neighborhood businesses and lower-paid workers. Apparently, he was not at all concerned about the neighborhood residents and the unemployed. What was it really about? Who knows? Logic and reason have never been associated with Boston’s current mayor.

Now, he’s at it again.

Mayor Menino on Chick-fil-A: Stuff it
Vows to block eatery over anti-gay attitude

Boston's Mayor Thomas "Mumbles" Menino

Boston’s Mayor Thomas “Mumbles” Menino

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion,” Menino told the Herald yesterday.

“That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

Chick-fil-A has been swept up in a growing national controversy over company president Dan Cathy’s remarks questioning gay marriage and lauding the traditional family.

Chick-fil-A did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But the company released a statement yesterday saying it has a history of applying “biblically-based principles” to managing its business, such as closing on Sundays, and it insisted it does not discriminate.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement read. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

But that isn’t cutting the mustard with Menino. He said he plans to fire off a letter to the company’s Atlanta headquarters “telling them my feelings on the matter.”

“If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies,” he warned.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Menino’s quote in the second paragraph really says it all.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”

Let’s think about what he’s really saying.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston.”

You see, Boston is not a city where the residents get to decide which businesses they want there by supporting them, or not. It’s a city where one man decides whether or not a business meets with his personal approval. This is what he calls, with a straight face, freedom, when he says “That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

“You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.”

One turkey eats the leg of another.

Apparently all those high-end restaurants, which insidiously discriminate against Boston’s poor with their sky-high prices, do not count. And, of course, Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate. They serve everyone who has the money to buy what they sell. But that’s a bit too subtle a point for Menino’s thinking power.

“We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”

The most laughable of the three quotes, since, by his words and actions, Menino clearly demonstrates everyone is, indeed, welcome except those who do not think like him and believe what he believes.

He proves how inclusive he and “his” town are by discriminating against businesses that do not meet his person standards.

Sadly, this is just business as usual for the left, who claim the moral high ground even as they violate the very principles they espouse.

Even more sadly, we see this kind of thing every day here in The People’s Republic.

How are things where you live?

Do you think Menino should be using his political power to keep out businesses he doesn’t like?

If you were Boston’s mayor, what would you do?

 

Feds harass coffee shop over pretty girls. Seriously!

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner - Estes Mills.

***

You know how politicians and bureaucrats are always lamenting the fact that there are not more women who run their own businesses? Could the following be one of the reasons more women do not go into business?

Let’s say you’re a woman and you do decide to open a coffee shop, and it grows to 29 stores thanks to you hiring attractive, outgoing young women to serve the coffee while wearing snug, pink t-shirts. You better watch out because the goobers in the the government might decide to pay you a visit.

Marylou’s hit with discrimination inquiry
Coffee house chain bitter over federal ‘witch hunt’

South Shore coffee chain Marylou’s is singing the blues over a federal employment-discrimination investigation, crying foul that the feds are going after its long-standing practice of hiring bubbly young bombshells to peddle the shop’s trademark joe.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been quietly probing Marylou’s’ hiring practices for nearly a year, the Herald has learned, with investigators pulling reams of job applications, interviewing company brass and grilling the 29-store chain’s pink-clad clerks about their co-workers’ gender, age, race and body type, according to the company.

Marylou’s execs deny any discrimination.

“We have never had a complaint against us for age discrimination or any kind of discrimination,” founder Marylou Sandry wrote in a plea for help to state Sen. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). “We feel that the EEOC is on a witch hunt.”

EEOC officials would not comment, and Keenan said he would not intervene in the federal agency’s ongoing investigation.

Sandry declined to comment, other than to say, “I don’t want to say anything. I just want it to be over with.”

Company vice president Ronnie Sandry told the Herald that Marylou’s hiring is limited by its pool of applicants, who tend to be young women from the heavily white South Shore.
“When you’re hiring a police officer, certain people show up,” Sandry said. “When you’re hiring a Patriots cheerleader, certain people show up. When we’re hiring, certain people apply, and we have no control over it.”

Katherine J. Michon, a Boston lawyer who specializes in discrimination cases, said the length and scope of the investigation indicates the feds are serious about cracking down on the company.

“It sounds like they’re trying to explore every possible protected category to see if there is a race-discrimination case, a sex-discrimination case or an age-discrimination case … whether people are being chosen for the position because they’re white, young and female,” Michon said.

According to Sandry, EEOC officials told the company the investigation started over Marylou’s local TV spots, in which perky young baristas prance about and sing the company’s bluesy jingle boasting that its roast is “the best coffee in town.”

 Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Apparently, the EEOC thinks business owners should not have the right to hire those people they think will give them the best chance of making the business successful.

What I want to know is why a government on verge of bankruptcy is wasting tax dollars investigating a successful business that nobody complained about. Did some tight-ass prude in the agency catch the store’s commercial and decide pretty girls singing and dancing, or whatever they were doing, just wasn’t right? Perhaps so. A local talk show host opined:

The problem is that people are happy. They like being served by fun, attractive people. Men in particular like being served by fun, attractive women.  And that’s why it’s bad. You’re not SUPPOSED to like it. 

You’re supposed to be just as content being served by a Roseanne Barr as you would be a Reese Witherspoon. And if you’re not, you’re a bad person.

Instead of sending Marylou’s a note of thanks for providing jobs for lots of people in their 29 stores so the stores and employees can pay taxes to provide the EEOC bureaucrats with cushy jobs, inflated salaries, and great benefits, they harass them. It’s insane. It’s is the kind of thing that happens when government grows so big and bloated that bureaucrats have to do something, anything, no matter how frivolous or foolish, to justify their budgets

Maybe Our Dear Leader will take pity on Marylou’s and stop by for a cup of coffee the next time he’s here in The People’s Republic.

If Michelle let’s him, of course.

What do you think about this story?

If you’re a woman, would this kind of treatment dissuade you from taking the risk of opening a business?

 

Should people with no income be able to get credit cards?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Should people with no income be able to get credit cards?

The question seems like a no-brainer. After all, if you have no income and you charge stuff to the card, how will you pay for it?

If I ran a credit card company, I certainly would want folks applying for credit to show me how they planned to pay back the money my company will advance for them for their purchases.

Does anyone think that is an unreasonable position to take? I didn’t think so.

But… (and you just knew there had to be a “but.”)

But what if that person with no demonstrable income is a married, stay-at-home mom?

Wait, you say. She has an income. Her husband is working and brings money into the house.

True, but it is his income. Not hers.They may consider it “their” money, but the law may see it differently.

If Visa issues the card solely in her name, knowing she has no income, and she refuses to pay the balance, they’re stuck if they can’t go after the husband because he didn’t co-sign for it. Even if they can sue, a lawsuit to collect a few thousand dollars would likely cost more than that in lawyer’s fees.

Regardless of the of the logic and reasonableness of the policy, some stay-at-home mothers are up in arms about the unfairness of it, and I sort of understand their position. But I also understand the credit card companies’ position and the reason for the law that mandates it.

Some women may consider it discriminatory, but it is not, as it would apply equally to stay-at-home dads with no income.

Those causing a ruckus about this issue are simply wrong. If they want to accomplish something positive, they could work to have the law recognize all spousal income as joint for all legal purposes, so that if either spouse defaults on credit, the credit issuer will have legal recourse.

Should that come to pass, it will be interesting to see what will happen some day when a stay-at-home husband of a high-income woman applies for a lot of credit and runs all the cards up to their limits.

What is your take on this issue?

Should the law require credit cards to be issued to people with no income?

And how does your state view spousal income? Or does it even address the issue?

 

 

 

 

What boobs!

Monday, May 14th, 2012

A Monday rerun

Some folks in New Zealand are upset because a judge overturned a city council decision banning some women from parading through town on their motorcycles. Topless. The Mayor claimed the council received 1000 emails and 150 “submissions” opposing the event. On the other hand, 80,000 people turned out to enjoy the last such parade. Hmmm…1150 against, 80,000 for. Seems pretty clear the judge did the correct thing, especially since New Zealand law permits both men and women to be topless in public.

My question is – what’s the big deal? They’re breasts. We all know what breasts look like. Many of us became attached to them shortly after birth. So why do we get all worked up about the sight of milk glands?

Why is it okay for him to
be bare-chested in
public, but not her?

I’ve never understood it. In fact, the women I know well enough to ask about it don’t understand why men find breasts so interesting. To many of them, their  breasts are just these lumps that have to be restrained,  often get in the way, and are frequently the cause of back pain and shoulder grooves.

Frankly, I think America should take a lesson from New Zealand and pass the same law. Given all the blather about “equal protection under the law” it would seem to be required.

I know men with boobs that are bigger than their wife’s. Why is it okay for them to doff their shirt on a hot, muggy day, but not okay for the wife to do the same? Seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination to me.

Are we afraid of inciting young boys to frenzies of uncontrollable lust? I think the sight of a few topless women is far more likely to incite them to uncontrollable giggles.

The simple fact is, if women started going topless, after a few weeks, nobody but the terminally juvenile would even notice.

Men cast sly glances and openly stare at women’s breasts all the time now, primarily because they’re wondering what they really look like under all that fabric. If they were right out there, they’d know. Then they’d be able to look a woman in the eyes when they’re talking to her without having to force their eyes not to drop to her chest.

I think the folks who are making a big deal out of this parade are boobs, but not the soft, pretty kind. All their bleating and moaning is providing the parade with far more publicity than it would ever have otherwise received.

Mrs. Blogger has been hinting about a vacation next year. I’m thinking New Zealand.

What do you say?

Ladies, would you go topless if were not illegal? Should it even be illegal?

And guys, do you think breasts would lose their allure if they were “out there” everywhere, all the time?


 

Ladies, we love you, but sometimes guys just want to be guys

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Sue Reynolds.

***

What is so wrong about men wanting to hang out with other men? Why do so many women take offense at the idea of guys not wanting them around all day, every day, everywhere?

An annual reminder of their outrage occurred last week when the Augusta National Golf Club hosted the Masters Tournament as it does every year. For you non-golfers, Augusta National is an unapologetic men-only club into which women have been trying, and failing, to gain entry for a long time. Every year, a plethora of media outlets and women’s groups bleat about how misogynistic it is of the club to exclude the female half of the race. Why-oh-why won’t those nasty boys let the girls play?

This year, columnist Jeff Jacoby offered an answer.

Freedom of association, even for Augusta National

NOW THAT the 2012 Masters tournament is over, the hounds of political correctness have stopped baying at Augusta National Golf Club over its membership policies. The gender-grievance industry is moving on, looking for a new target to harangue.

Yet as the Augusta National brouhaha recedes, there are some things I wonder about.

Click Here to read the rest of the column.

I freely admit that I often prefer to hang out with women. Not only are they nicer to look at, they’re generally more interesting to talk to. They’re much less inhibited once they realize you’re not there to judge them and what they have to say and — guys, pay attention — if you really listen to them, whether or not you agree with or even care about what they’re saying, you will gain great insight into the gender and the individuals, insight that will pay large dividends in your relationships, and I do not just mean sexually. Also, I very much enjoy verbal sparring and have great fun pitting my logic against what my dear wife calls “women’s logic.” It truly makes for some entertaining and, from my point of view, sometimes hilarious discussions.

But there are other times when I just want to relax and hang out with the guys. Not only can I have conversations where I don’t have to try to interpret “women’s logic,” I can tell or listen to dirty jokes, not have to excuse myself if gas is a problem, and not even care who might be looking if certain parts need adjustment or scratching. I can just “be a guy” without having to worry about anything that phrase means.

Many women, social beings most of them are, don’t seem to understand “the guy thing.” And that’s okay. The truth is, we don’t much understand them, either, even after listening as instructed above. And that’s okay, too.

God or nature made us two genders with different bodies, different brain structures, different wants, different needs — different most things — for a reason.

Isn’t it time we stopped fighting against reality and simply accept it?

What do you say?

 

Can you be fired for your religious beliefs?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Can you  be fired for your religious beliefs?

I’m one of those whacky folks who think my “right to work” if I can find work is does not obligate any employer to keep employing me until I decide to leave. I believe any employer can fire anyone at any time for any, or no reason. But that is not the state of American law these days, when employers have to document a series of transgressions in order to fire anyone. And a person’s religious beliefs are not on the list of items that may be considers as transgressions.

What got me thinking about this was this story from yesterday’s news:

Former NASA specialist claims in lawsuit that he was fired over his belief in intelligent design

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A computer specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is going to court over allegations that he was wrongfully terminated because of his belief in intelligent design.

David Coppedge (left) with his attorney, William Becker.

Opening statements in the lawsuit by David Coppedge were expected to start Tuesday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court after lawyers spent Monday arguing several pretrial motions.

Coppedge, who worked as a team lead on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, claims he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work.

Intelligent design is the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone. Coppedge lost his team lead title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.

In an emailed statement, JPL dismissed Coppedge’s claims. In court papers, lawyers for the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL for NASA, said Coppedge received a written warning because his co-workers complained of harassment. They also said Coppedge lost his team lead status because of ongoing conflicts with others.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

I suspected the true reason Coppedge was fired as soon as I read the headline. I was pretty sure by the end of the third paragraph and found I was correct by the end of the fifth.

Coppedge was not fired because of his religious beliefs, he was fired because he could not keep his religious beliefs to himself.

I am not an employer. I’m self-employed and the only one in my office all day unless my wife comes in to tell me something. But if I did have employees and one of them spent any part of the workday proselytizing, or even just “engaging his co-workers in conversations” about intelligent-design or anything else not related to work, I’d fire him, too. And probably a lot faster than the folks at JPL canned Coppedge.

Had Coppedge invited co-workers to join him after work to discuss intelligent design or any other subject, he might still be employed at JPL, but he did not.

It seems to be a presumption peculiar to some devout Christians that their faith confers on them a right to engage anyone and everyone at any time in discussions intended to convert them to the truth as they see it. Perhaps their faith blinds them to the reality that most folks simply want to be left alone with their own beliefs, whatever they may be.

I daresay Coppedge might find it annoying if a Muslim or Jew or Rastafarian constantly pestered him at work trying to show him the error of his religious beliefs. Yet he apparently believes his own such actions justified to the point that he apparently continued even after receiving a written warning.

I can only hope the judge who hears the preliminary arguments in this case has the good sense to dismiss it. Nobody has the right to waste his employer’s time and money to advance personal religious, political, or any other kind of beliefs.

Do you agree? Disagree?

Am I missing something important?

And do you think people should have a right to stay in their jobs no matter what?

 

 

 

Nursing mom “humiliated” by TSA. Forced to pump in public bathroom.

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Why anyone boards an airplane in America anymore is beyond me.

First we have TSA goons sexually assaulting adults who don’t want to be irradiated in the “see me naked” machine. Then they grope the genitals of babies in diapers. Then they force a 95-year-old woman in a wheelchair to remove her adult diaper.  So is it any wonder that we hear about a woman being forced to prove her breast pump is real?

Mom With Breast Pump ‘Humiliated’ by TSA

A mother in Hawaii was “humiliated” when she felt she needed to pump breast milk in the open area of an airport bathroom in order for a TSA agent to permit her to get through security with her breast pumping equipment.

“I’m in a dress, in heels and I find myself in front of a sink and mirrors with travelers coming in and out of the bathroom,” Amy Strand told ABCNews.com. “I’m standing at the sink with my breast hanging out, pumping. I wanted to cry. I was humiliated.”

Strand, 38, is a mother of four and principal at a public school in Maui. She frequently travels between islands for business and had never had a problem with the equipment before.

On Wednesday, as she was making her way through airport security at Lihue Airport in Kauai, she was stopped in security and an agent asked if he could look at the equipment. She obliged, and the agent opened her kit to find her pump, a cooler pack and empty milk bottles.

Strand said she had done “what no nursing mother wants to do” 20 minutes earlier and dumped out the milk in the bottles in order to avoid any hassle going through security. She never imagined that empty bottles would be the problem.

The agent told her the ice pack would not be allowed through security without milk in the bottles. Strand said the ice pack is specially made for the milk’s cooler and would not be easy to replace.

“It really confuses me as to how an empty breast pump and cooler pack are a threat to national security and 20 minutes later, with milk, they no longer pose a threat to national security,” Strand said incredulously.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Do Amy Strand or her baby daughter, who was traveling with her, look like terrorists? When was the last time a young American woman with a baby tried to blow up an airplane? Did I miss that incident?

At least this time, the TSA apologized and admitted the agent was wrong. But why does this kind of thing happen in the first place?

It happens because nobody in the Federal Government has the testicular fortitude to put aside political correctness and admit that profiling everyone is not the best solution to the problem. It’s just a way to pretend one, certain political/religious group is not responsible for virtually all the acts of terrorism around the world.

So babies and grannies get groped as we teach our sons and daughters that nobody should ever touch them “down there” except mom and dad, the doctor, and the government. And moms get humiliated for daring to want to travel while breast feeding.

But hey, at least we’re not profiling Muslims.

Comments anyone?

 

What’s the best way to choose?

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

What’s the best way for an automaker to decide which cars to build?

They could rely on central planners, like the old Soviet Union and many socialist nations, and end up with yards full of Chevy Volts and other cars nobody wants.

Or they could look at their own sales figures and those of competitors, essentially letting car-buyers decide.

Does letting the customers make the most sense to you? It does to me.

Now think about health insurance or anything else people buy. Doesn’t it also make sense to let people decide what they want to buy rather than forcing them to buy things they do not want? Not if you’re one the politicians, bureaucrats, or busybodies who imagines you know what’s best for everyone else.

And that is the underlying reason we live in a nation in decline.

As those in government stuck their collective noses into more and more of our personal and public business, the rate of social, economic, and political decay increased. We are now “led” by a man who would be king, in his own mind at least, who orders religious organizations to act against their faith because he said so. Never mind that private insurance coverage is not and should not be the concern of government at any level.

That was at least partly recognized by the outcry that, yesterday, forced Our Dear Leader to cave and try to weasel his way around the mandate. Now, instead of religious organizations having to pay for birth control and abortion drugs, the insurance companies will have to ‘reach out” to the customers and offer them free. What that really means is, instead of the churches paying for it, you and I  get to pay for it via higher premiums.

This unfairness can only happen because “We the People” keep choosing to let it. So many of us have grown so lazy, so complacent, and so uninformed that all we care about is who promises us the most while never for a moment wondering who’s going to pay for all the loot.

The best way to choose a car is to examine independent reports on quality and price and balance those against our needs for size and style. So far, we are still free to do that and we can still by cars for reasonable prices.

The best way to choose health insurance is to decide what kinds of coverage we need or want, then compare the policies and prices offered by various companies. Thanks to coverage mandates by federal and state governments, we haven’t been able to do that for a long time and our healthcare costs are going through the roof

What does that tell you?

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it — this November may well be our last opportunity to change the course of our nation away from the whirlpool of socialism and back to capitalism and freedom. We have until then to educate the uninformed, disturb the complacent, and motivate the lazy.

Good luck to us all.

Do you think I’m exaggerating the danger?

Am I missing something?

Do I just need enlightenment and re-educating?

What do you think?

 

Have the smoke-Nazis finally gone off the deep end?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Phillip Dukes.

***

I smoked my first cigarette when I was fifteen. I smoked my last, a Camel unfiltered, when I was thirty-two and woke up one night unable to take a breath for what seemed like forever but was probably less than half-a minute. It was, literally and figuratively, a wake up call and I listened. Today, nearly thirty years later, I cannot abide the smell of tobacco smoke.

You might think my history would make me virulently anti-smoking. In a sense, I am. Given what we know about the deleterious effects of smoking tobacco, I believe it is a stupid thing to do. But I also believe that what folks do with and to their own bodies, stupid or not, is none of my business as long as I don’t have to pay for or subsidize it and it does not adversely effect me. So, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, but not around me, please.

Would that others could embrace that common-sense and freedom-based approach. Many do, of course, except for the busybodies who have come to be known as smoke Nazis. Because they don’t like smoking, they will not rest until nobody can do it. But have the smoke-Nazis finally gone off the deep end? It would seem so.

It is one thing to advocate banning smoking in workplaces and public buildings, but it is quite another thing to try to ban anything in a person’s private space, such as their home or car. But that’s where they are headed.

US: Too many kids breathe others’ smoke in cars

CHICAGO — Texting while driving, speeding and back-seat action aren’t all that parents need to worry about when their kids are in cars: Add secondhand smoke to the list.

In the first national estimate of its kind, a report from U.S. government researchers says more than 1 in 5 high school students and middle schoolers ride in cars while others are smoking.

This kind of secondhand smoke exposure has been linked with breathing problems and allergy symptoms, and more restrictions are needed to prevent it, the report says.

With widespread crackdowns on smoking in public, private places including homes and cars are where people encounter secondhand smoke these days. Anti-smoking advocates have zeroed in on cars because of research showing they’re potentially more dangerous than smoke-filled bars and other less confined areas.

The research, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was released online Monday in Pediatrics.

The study is based on national surveys done at public and private high schools and middle schools. Students were asked how often they rode in cars while someone was smoking within the past week. The most common answer was one or two days. The smoker could mean other kids or parents; the study didn’t specify.

A CDC fact sheet suggests even small amounts of secondhand smoke can be risky.

“There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” the CDC says.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

“There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”  Really?

There are risk-free levels of exposure to arsenic, to x-rays, to cyanide, to various pesticides, to pretty much everything, but not to secondhand smoke? One wonders just how intellectually-challenged a CDC official has to be to make such a statement.

I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea to smoke in a car with the windows closed when your children are with you. But according to the CDC, opening the windows makes no difference. Apparently the cigarette smoke manages to avoid all the fresh air swirling around and heads straight from your exhale into the kids’ lungs.

This attempt to ban smoking in cars when children are present is the fist salvo in the smoke-Nazi’s attempt to ban smoking in your home when kid are around. And if they manage to achieve that, perhaps they’ll go for a ban on all indoor smoking. And once they’ve managed to chase smokers out of their homes, they’ll be easy targets for polluting the atmosphere with all that noxious smoke they exhale.

I have to marvel at how little attention most Americans pay to those who relentlessly work to restrict their rights and freedom. Today, they’re coming for your tobacco. Tomorrow, they’ll come for your saturated fat, then your sugar. And one day, we’ll wake up and discover everything we do, from the moment we awaken to the moment we fall asleep, will be regulated by those who know best.

I can only hope I die before that day comes.

 

What are your feelings about smoking and smoking bans?

Is this latest attempt crossing a line?

Or is anything okay, as long as it’s done “for the children”?

 

The “separation of church and state” myth

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

So reads the beginning of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?

Congress — those folks in Washington who dedicate their lives to pimping and pandering — is not to make any laws that favor any religion over any other.

It’s a good rule to live by in nation populated by folks of many and  varied beliefs. You do your thing, I’ll do mine, and we can all live together.

Somehow, though, those sixteen straightforward words have been perverted into “There shall be no public recognition of the existence of any religion anywhere, anytime, ever” resulting in the Happy Holidaying of Christmas and Chanukkah, refusals to let religious organizations rent public spaces, prohibitions on public entities using a religious venue for a public event, a valedictorian cannot thank her God for her blessings during a graduation speech, and on and on.

How did we come to this?

It was clearly the intent of the folks who wrote the First Amendment that the new Federal Government never establish an official religion for the the new nation and that they also never outlaw any religion. They did not intend that religion be banished, just that government not pick religious winners and losers.

It was a bold idea at the time, especially since the nation was overwhelmingly Christian. It still is, of course, and that the majority peacefully coexists with many other faiths is a testament to the Founders’ vision.

Why then, do we feel it necessary to pretend religion doesn’t exist when it come to matters public?

Take the Christmas displays that for generations used to occupy space on the front lawns of city and town halls across the nation. Instead of banning them, why don’t we simply let anyone celebrating any holiday erect a display?

If seeing this on the lawn in front of your town hall would offend you, be a grownup and don't look at it.

Is there some reason I cannot see why a Menorah and Kwanzaa display cannot sit next to a creche?

Will someone be harmed be harmed by Buddhists renting a school classroom for a meeting?

Why do we expend so much time and energy pretending religion doesn’t exist when simply accepting it and providing equal access to all would be so much easier and more beneficial?

Can anyone explain the rationale behind our perversion of the First Amendment?

Is there some benefit I can’t see?

Whether there is or there isn’t, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and have a great whatever else you may be celebrating at this time of year.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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