continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:29 pm

I dunno about that Eldo- Scots tend to think of themselves a nation of immigrants- we come from all over, in fact a recent study of DNA has found we have a greater diversity over the centuries than any other European country- basically because if you go north after us you run out of places to go so people tended to end up here from all over.
Regardless of how long ago it was there is still a general sense that we all came here from somewhere at some point and its no different today and the idea someone doesnt belong here because their parents were born somewhere else just doesn't really compute.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:32 pm

Eldorion wrote:
David H wrote:The right of a shopkeeper to deny service to a customer is tricky one, loaded with racist history.  I don't claim to understand where the line is at this exact place and time, but it's tricky.  

If a customer has a right to choose what he buys, it seems reasonable that a shopkeeper should have some right to choose what he sells.

I take your point, but this is exactly the reason why our anti-discrimination laws are based on the concept of protected classes.  The law respects the rights of business owners, to differentiate between their customers and treat some of them by different standards than others, but it limits this right by saying there are certain traits which you cannot use as the basis for unequal treatment.  As far as I know the concept of protected classes isn't really being questioned by anyone in the political mainstream.  The main topic of disagreement is whether LGBT people should be considered a protected class and thus have legal recourse against discrimination in the way that women or ethnic minorities do.

Ideally I'd like to see a cultural correction to the point where there's no need for a new protected class, but things are moving so fast (thanks for the map update BTW Thumbs Up ) that there's bound to be pushback. Those regions that recently changed from black to blue are sure to be having an identity crisis for a while, at least among the older generations.

On the shopkeeper question, hypothetically let's suppose a baker said to a gay couple, "Sure I'll sell you a wedding cake just like I'd sell anybody else, but I won't put two grooms on top because that's not in my catalog of products." Even if LGBT were designated a protected class, do you think that could be argued to constitute unequal treatment? In other words, does not offering a product rise to the level of discrimination? XXXXXL clothes for example?

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:34 pm

malickfan wrote:From my own personal experience very few people in the UK gave a damn either way, or if they did they kept their opinions largely to themselves it seems (I had two openly gay teachers at college and knew at least a dozen gay/lesbian/bi people growing up so it didn't really bother me), I don't follow American politics but it does seem a bigger issue there than in Europe.

From my experience that's how it's mostly been on the West Coast of America for a very long time  too.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:35 pm

Id say David that would depend on what the service offered is. If they offer a wedding cake service then they have to provide cakes for weddings- its not up to them to decide what counts as a wedding or not- thats a legal matter.
And if they set up a shop specifically selling only straight marriage cakes that would obviously be discriminatory.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by malickfan on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:38 pm

Eldorion wrote:
I dunno if this makes any sense at all tbh but I know a lot of you Euro guys find it weird so I wanted to try to explain...

It does make sense looking at it from an outsider's point of view (with you Eldo there is no 'trying to explain' you generally offer so much detail in a reply I'm either 110% with you or totally lost by the end of things, I guess that's why you are a mod and I'm not  Laughing ) but I still find it a little weird.

Just a difference of culture I think.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:39 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Regardless of how long ago it was there is still a general sense that we all came here from somewhere at some point and its no different today and the idea someone doesnt belong here because their parents were born somewhere else just doesn't really compute.

There's a long history (and present) of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with what I was talking about. Tons of people use the hyphenated terms of their own volition because they want to claim a historical identity that goes back further than a couple centuries. It has nothing to do with not belonging here now.

It is a little complicated in the case of the term "African-American", while is harder to "opt out" of. If you're white, it's pretty hard to tell where your ancestors came from unless you advertise it, so if you don't like the hyphenated terms, you just don't use them.* Like I said before, "African-American" was invented as a deliberate parallel to German-American and other phrases like that, and the name of the continent was used instead of a country because most black people in the US don't know where exactly their ancestors came from, because of slavery. However, African-American has to some extent become a "more PC" alternative to just saying "black", which makes it harder to dark-skinned people to avoid the hyphen if they don't like it. The situation is further complicated by modern immigration from Africa. It's not uncommon to meet people who identify as, say, Nigerian-American, whose families came over in the 20th or 21st centuries. But there is some dispute over whether the label of "African-American" should apply to them since their families weren't affected by slavery and they're able to claim a specific national heritage. The Atlantic Wire touches on some of the tensions here:

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/04/why-the-all-ivy-league-story-stirs-up-tensions-between-african-immigrants-and-black-americans/359978/

*It's pretty much impossible to avoid the labels of white and black, though (unless you're Asian or hispanic. Although that's it's own can of worms because hispanic is not a racial label at all and you have white hispanics, black hispanics, mixed-race hispanics, etc.).
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:46 pm

David H wrote:Ideally I'd like to see a cultural correction to the point where there's no need for a new protected class, but things are moving so fast (thanks for the map update BTW Thumbs Up ) that there's bound to be pushback.   Those regions that recently changed from black to blue are sure to be having an identity crisis for a while, at least among the older generations.

I agree that that would be ideal, but like you said, pushback is happening with the emergence of gays as a visible identity group. I do think the whole issue of LGBT rights is largely a generational one, though. I have a lot of politically active Facebook friends (mostly from my poli sci department at uni) and a lot of them are really conservative (even though it was a state school), but I remember a lot of them posting enthusiastically about same-sex marriage when it was approved by referendum in Maryland a couple years ago. I asked if it was a Maryland republican vs national republican thing, but I was told that it was mostly a difference in age.

On the shopkeeper question, hypothetically let's suppose a baker said to a gay couple, "Sure I'll sell you a wedding cake just like I'd sell anybody else, but I won't put two grooms on top because that's not in my catalog of products."  Even if LGBT were designated a protected class, do you think that could be argued to constitute unequal treatment? In other words, does not offering a product rise to the level of discrimination?  XXXXXL clothes for example?

That's a good question, though not one I have an answer for right now. I could certainly see such a case making its way to the courts, though. At some point there has to be a concession to pragmatism (how many different sizes of clothes can one stock, especially ones that aren't big sellers?). But in terms of cake-toppers, I'm not sure that excuse would hold. I could see another grey area being a bakery saying "we'll make the cake, but won't write your names on it", and again I'm not 100% sure where I (much less the law) would come down on that, but I lean towards saying it's discrimination.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:51 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:

I think thats true- but then in the UK I think thats true of race too.
in America everyone gets a weird label that sets them into groups- African-American, Latino-American, Irish-American ect - why arent there just Americans? Why this need to have a subtitle that divides everyone up?

Here if someone is say second generation Indian they arent Indian-Scottish they are just Scottish of Indian descent- just as a lot of us 'natives' are Scottish of Irish descent, or Norse descent or Celtic descent or pictish descent. But we are still just Scottish. The labeling thing just seems divisive to me.

But you do still have vestiges of class division I think. That immobility of which children goes to which schools and where their careers go from there. To add to what Eldo said, in post-Civil War America race very clearly came to serve the same purpose as class in Britain. People of the ethnic groups you mention were laboring classes and they often worked together as guilds to protect their jobs. Irish American policemen is a famous example. Eastern Europeans in the mills. Asians in the fish canneries and railroads. Latin Americans on the farms. In the early films from 100 years ago you'll see each of the dozen or so ethnic groups marching together in solidarity in 4th of July parades. It was the seeds of the labor movement that was to follow, and the heritage still survives in many families.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:52 pm

malickfan wrote:It does make sense looking at it from an outsider's point of view (with you Eldo there is no 'trying to explain' you generally offer so much detail in a reply I'm either 110% with you or totally lost by the end of things, I guess that's why you are a mod and I'm not  Laughing ) but I still find it a little weird.

Just a difference of culture I think.

Shrugging

Laughing I've always been really grateful for your enthusiasm when I end up spewing my thoughts all over the screen, Malick. Smile

I would definitely call it a difference in the culture of the US from that of Europe, yeah.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:02 am

But you do still have vestiges of class division I think- David

I strongly disagree there- we dont have vestiges of class division we still have class division- and its got worse in the last two decades not better.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:08 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:But you do still have vestiges of class division I think- David

I strongly disagree there- we dont have vestiges of class division we still have class division- and its got worse in the last two decades not better.

Then where do British born children of immigrants fit into the class divisions?

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:16 am

That depends on what class their parents are of course. There is a lucrative market in particularly middle eastern families of high class, wealth and influence sending their children to British private schools- not really for the education, but more for moving in the right circles and making sue they emerge in the right class.

But its at it s worse in politics- the front benches of the government and the opposition pretty much all went to the same two places- Eton and Oxford, they are all from wealthy backgrounds and went from Uni straight into politics already knowing they would go on to lead the country- which is how you have folk like Chancellor George Osbourne changing his name whilst still at school to George from Gideon as George would sound better and less pompous when he became PM.
Cameron (PM) and Boris (Mayor of London) have a rivalry over who would be PM that goes back to their school days.

These folk were raised with a sense of being born to rule. The game was rigged all along.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:22 am

I like Boris I wouldn't mind him becoming PM, he says what he thinks and non of that politically correct tripe. I don't care what class he is from it matters what he does. Theres something a bit Churchillian about him, I think he has hidden strengths

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:24 am

Boris is even more right wing than Cameron, so thats a no thanks from me- that floppy haired upper class twit routine is just a performance, its an act nothing more, he is a very clever man under all that, and I think a dangerous one because of that, and he is likely to emerge as a forerunner for taking over from Cameron when the time comes.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:37 am


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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:44 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Boris is even more right wing than Cameron, so thats a no thanks from me- that floppy haired upper class twit routine is just a performance, its an act nothing more, he is a very clever man under all that, and I think a dangerous one because of that, and he is likely to emerge as a forerunner for taking over from Cameron when the time comes.

he is clever and that's a plus

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:47 am

Yeah but you can be devious and clever too.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by halfwise on Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:38 am


Took some non-intuitive clicks to find it (damn modern sensibilities about web design! Evil or Very Mad ), but when I found it, it was a gem:

Constituent: "...[complaint about bill banning Uber, polite request to reconsider]..."

Congressman: "I have received your email, but did not need it so am sending it back."

SWACK!! Laughing

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:42 pm

Jumping back to the earlier topic of Indiana's religious freedom law, Andrew Napolitano (retired judge, FOX News contributor) delivers a pretty impressive smackdown from a constitutional law perspective.

http://reason.com/archives/2015/04/02/indiana-and-the-constitution
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by halfwise on Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:50 am

That's a pretty good reducto ad absurdem argument.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:41 am

That's an interesting point of view, and well informed. The bit on the unenforceability of the Indiana law makes me wonder even more what the original sponsors thought they were doing, besides creating some entertaining political theater. scratch














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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:22 am

David H wrote:That's an interesting point of view, and well informed.  The bit on the unenforceability of the Indiana law makes me wonder even more what the original sponsors thought they were doing, besides creating some entertaining political theater.  scratch

They knew exactly what the bill would be used for.

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/01/indiana-rfra-deal-sets-limited-protections-for-lgbt/70766920/

At the committee hearing that followed the news conference, Eric Miller of Advance America, which lobbied for the original religious freedom law, said the proposed changes would "destroy" the law.

"Among the things that will happen, Christian bakers, florists and photographers would now be forced by the government to participate in a homosexual wedding or else they would be punished by the government," Miller's group said in a blog post.

Some Christian conservatives who had supported the original law called for Pence to veto the changes.

More here: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/31/3640801/conservatives-indiana-discrimination/

While the legislators in Indiana who supported this bill have been smart enough to keep their mouths shut (leaving the talking to the lobbyists), the sponsor of a similar bill in Georgia has said the same thing: my bill isn't about discrimination, but if you put any language about anti-discrimination in the bill, then it's useless!

http://www.projectq.us/atlanta/Anti-gay_bill_suffers_near_fatal_blow_Georgia_House?gid=16692
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by David H on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:29 am

OK I see your point. They're dumber and more mean spirited than I'd thought. :facepalm:

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:59 am

Andrew Napolitano (retired judge, FOX News contributor) delivers a pretty impressive smackdown from a constitutional law perspective.- Eldo

This vid from him was suprisingly on the Fox news site-

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4149196008001/napolitano-sexual-orientation-and-the-religious-freedom-act/?playlist_id=940325740001#sp=show-clips

but the very end of it made me burst out laughing- that audio sting of "For Freedom!" sounds exactly like the sort of thing GTA games have in their parody of Fox, Weasel News! There is no difference between parody and Fox!

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko [3]

Post by Eldorion on Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:49 pm

Why do you hate freedom Petty? Sad

Spoiler:
I loved the background music and crazy camera angles.  But for real, silly video segments aside, his argument is on point and he brings actual facts and historical context to the table, which is more than you can expect from most cable news personalities.
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