Hey Jude. Hey Dude.

If traditional marriage is the same as racial discrimination, when Paul McCartney during the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony asked just the boys and then just the girls to join him in singing the chorus of 'Hey Jude', was that the same as asking just the blacks and then just the whites to sing?


Legislating Morality From the Left

Those on the left who quote the Bible to justify ever increasing government and spending are guilty of what they accuse the right of doing - legislating morality.

What happened to the wall of separation?

If they don't use religion as the rationale to enlarge government and increase spending for welfare, then they are having government fulfill the role of charity. By doing this, atheists and evolutionists of the left want government to act as the final arbiter of morality.

The Founders' statement that people "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" seems to lobby against government being the source of moral conduct and charity.


God Hates Fags, You're Going To Hell, Eat Mor Chikin

This image is the height of dishonest political discourse and is designed to impugn the name of everyone who disagrees and to tar everyone who disagrees with horrible motives. Is it possible for good people to disagree on this issue? Apparently not. Polls show that religious blacks oppose same sex marriage. Are they all fag haters? Anybody going to post an image depicting blacks in a similar manner? (BTW, the use of "fag" in a disparaging manner, just like the use of the N-word, is ugly. It is debasing and does nothing to elevate conversation.)

This is bullying of the first order. This cornering technique seeks to create submission with threaten and shame everyone else into lockstep. It plays on the good nature of all involved, because, after all, nobody wants to be thought of as a hater. It is similar to a public execution and says to everyone else, 'See what's coming your way if you dare to cross us.' It is reminiscent of the mafia of old, 'Nice little livelihood you have there. Be a shame if something bad happened.'

Chick-fil-A's president, Dan Cathy, recently said:
We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.
There are plenty of franchisees who don't share his view. But apparently that doesn't matter. Just lay waste to everything and everybody that doesn't agree.

It also seeks to place a wedge between good people and their religion. You are either just a fag hating blind follower of some old-fashioned religious claptrap, or you can be sophisticated and smart and progressive. The choice is simple. And, oh by the way, if you cling to that silly religious notion about traditional marriage, the compassion crowd will bring hell on earth to your doorstep and destroy your life.

This is about as intolerant a technique as exists. Cathy said he thought God might judge America. Lots of people think that sort of stuff for all kinds of reasons. He didn't say "God hates fags" or "you're going to hell". You can infer anything you like, but you could just as easily say he has great compassion and prays daily for the gay community. He might believe what is presented on the mocking signs, but at least let him say it before you assert it or attribute it to him.

And so what if Cathy believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman? Do the stores refuse to serve? Are they checking marital status at the door? In every way their behavior is respectful and decent to every customer. But that isn't enough? So you think he's a dolt. Don't go. But he's not even allowed to voice his opinion? Whatever happened to the 'if you don't like what's on TV change the channel' crowd? When it is your ox being gored, civility goes out the window. Civil discourse if for the other guy; only one side is expected to be respectful and courteous.

So The crowd passing this graphic around Facebook thinks that because Cathy has a different view - and the temerity to express it - he and his company needs to be destroyed? This mindset also prevailed in California over Prop 8. Even those who never spoke out but who just contributed even small amounts of money to pro-Prop 8 groups were targeted for financial destruction. It is a 'my way or the highway' mentality. What if the other side behaved that way? What if they treated you this way? What if they really were as intolerant as this image depicts? What if they gathered together and made scurrilous accusations and sought your ruination?

Clearly you cannot only shop at places that share every single belief you hold. If absolute agreement is the criteria, a Christian would not be able to shop at a Muslim's store since it seems likely that they won't share every view. How about a Jew? People in other denominations? The atheist? The guy who believes in aliens? What if he also believes the earth is literally 6,000 years old? Should he be publicly ruined for that? Isn't this an un-American way of thinking about disagreement?

Hell, some environmentalists think Gaia is going to judge America for CO2 emissions and will wipe the infection of mankind from her skin. How is that different than God judging the earth? Should everyone that disagrees with that seek to destroy every environmentalist's livelihood? Ben and Jerry's holds some different views. Anybody trying to destroy their world – and everyone who works for them? Anyone telling them they shouldn't set up shop in a city because they don't share the city's values? It is unnerving that so many think that this sort of distortion and destruction of lives is ok.

And don't mention that the very crowd that is shouting "homophobia" because this guy thinks God might judge the homosexual, is more than happy to not only judge his behavior, but to dole out some good 'ol fashioned wrath. It is as though they are following the prescript, "But I commendeth your love toward us, and if you anger me I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you. There is no escape from the holy wrath. Today is Judgment Day."

This is not an argument for one side or the other with regard to the marriage issue. This isn't even about gay marriage per se. It is about whether the guy has the freedom to speak his mind. Whether there is such a thing as religious freedom. Whether distorting his words is honorable. Whether the Eat Mor Chickin graphic above elevates or degrades discourse.

One pines for conversations that are better than this sort of straw man, mean spirited, take no prisoners argumentation. Bring good, civil arguments to the table so that all can have intelligent discussions and not resort to this hayfork and torches mentality. This suggests a carelessness of thought and is embarrassing - forsaking discussion of the issues for demonization and character assasination.

It might be that those you disagree with are not all just bigoted, selfish, hating, mean-spirited, homophobic, sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, fascist, stupid, greedy, racist, and misogynistic. Could it be - is it possible - that they just have a different point of view? Different visions? Those passing around this graphic seem to suggest that if one is not in lockstep with their ideas they are therefore a hateful bigot.

Good people can disagree - at least they should be able to. And one of the best things about America is that disagreements can exist without forming brute squads to round up all those who think differently.

Here's a news flash: All of the people that are on the fence or opposed to the redefinition of marriage are not gay bashing, homophobic, bigoted, hating monsters. Stop acting like they are. Employ some nuance. Join a conversation and stop the name calling.

[You don't know how I feel about this issue. We may agree or disagree. And if you think you have divined my position on this issue based on the previous discussion, I doubt that you have.]

UPDATE: Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno says he will block a Chick-fil-A permit. He said,
It's a very diverse ward-- economically, racially, and diverse in sexual orientation.
Well, I guess he can only be so tolerant. He is not tolerant of Cathy's views and is willing to use the power of the state to harm those he disagrees with.

UPDATE: Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has vowed to keep Chick-fil-A out of Boston. He said,
Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.
Uh, they haven't. Any reports that they do not serve or treat customers differently? Cathy is a devout religious person. Has he denied service to atheists?

So as a government employee, Menino believes he can deny permits because he disagrees with the applicants beliefs:
If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult -- unless they open up their policies.
So he wouldn't have trouble if a Muslim denied permits to atheists. Or Jews. Or Christians. Or if a mayor who supports traditional marriage denies a permit to a company that has a president that expressed his view in support of redefining marriage?

UPDATE (7/27): James Taranto:
The irony of exclusion in the name of inclusion apparently escaped Menino.
UPDATE (7/28): Jonah Goldberg:
You're free to participate in the American system, free to say whatever you believe, do whatever you want, just so long as you agree entirely with liberals on everything.
UPDATE (7/28): Mark Steyn:
Chick-fil-A does not represent “Chicago values” -- which is true if by “Chicago values” you mean machine politics, AIDS-conspiracy-peddling pastors, and industrial-scale black youth homicide rates. But, before he was mayor, Rahm Emanuel was President Obama’s chief of staff. Until the president’s recent “evolution,” the Obama administration held the same position on gay marriage as Chick-fil-A. Would Alderman Moreno have denied Barack Obama the right to open a chicken restaurant in the First Ward? Did Rahm Emanuel quit the Obama administration on principle? Don’t be ridiculous.
...this guy Menino isn’t the mayor of Soviet Novosibirsk or Kampong Cham under the Khmer Rouge, but of Boston, Massachusetts. Nevertheless, he shares the commissars’ view that in order to operate even a modest and politically inconsequential business it is necessary to demonstrate that one is in full ideological compliance with party orthodoxy. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail,” Mayor Menino thundered in his letter to Mr. Cathy, “and no place for your company alongside it.” No, sir. On Boston’s Freedom Trail, you’re free to march in ideological lockstep with the city authorities -- or else.
Menino is happy to hand out municipal licenses to groups whose most prominent figures call for gays to be put to death. The mayor couldn’t have been more accommodating (including giving them $1.8 million of municipal land) of the new mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose IRS returns listed as one of their seven trustees Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
As an exercise in sheer political muscle, it’s impressive. But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift.
It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name.
UPDATE (7/29) Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”


Booing Romney

Rep. Pelosi (0:40) in an interview with Peter Cook on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock" said that Romney getting booed "Was a calculated move on his part." What could she have possibly meant? Touré informs us:
Why would he bother going to the NAACP convention to get booed? Because the real audience wasn’t in the room. He wanted to be booed by that black audience so that white conservatives — who still don’t see him as one of them — and white undecideds would see that he’s unafraid to talk down to black people, to offend them, to be their villain, to make them boo.
Wow. Just wow.

That's some contempt Touré has for the NAACP crowd. They are such fools that the enemy can come into their midst and they fall for the taunting. The red cape comes out and the crowd is unable to do anything but charge. Are they no better than wild animals in Pelosi and Touré's eyes? They are so reflexive and so Pavlovian that they are not capable of resisting the taunt?

Worse yet if they were conscious of Romney's deviant tactics and booed anyway it suggests that they made the decision to boo knowing it would be encouragement to the racist whites and therefore had the potential to bring Romney more votes.

How is it that all these nuanced, smart leftists keep falling for the clever Machiavellian slights of hand of the right? How was Romney able to enter an auditorium filled with smart people who are primed to disagree, and presumably are on guard against his crafty ways, and turn them into mind-numbed boo-ers? Apparently the man is a master of the Jedi mind trick - wave the hand, get the boo.

Furthermore, isn't Touré making the abused wife argument? That is, an abusive husband beats his wife, but don't blame him because she has it coming. He does bad things, but she brought it on herself. This will be happy news for rapists across the land. Predatory actions are justified because women have it coming, dressing as they do nowadays.

That's right. Blame the victim.

One wonders if this could happen in reverse? That is, a leftist shows up at a conservative gathering of a group that associates based on skin color in 2012 and is booed, thereby validating the leftist's racist base? Oh wait, conservatives don't convene in groups based on skin color.

OK, let's say the leftist shows up at an NRA meeting and gets booed. That's a fairly homogeneous group that bitterly clings to guns and religion, has antipathy toward people who aren't like them and who have simple conspiratorial answers to explain their frustrations. That's a closer fit. Anyway, that the speaker is booed confirms that the leftist tricked the dolts into booing in order to confirm the anti-gun bona fides of the candidate and therefore gin up the gun-hating base.

Well, that is just plain silly. But I guess it would confirm the racism of the NRA crowd. Because the left would properly place the responsibility for the booing in this case on the boo-ers. After all, they didn't blame President Obama for Rep. Wilson's retort, they just, uh, dismissed him as a racist.

Wait. That seems like a double standard. I guess that makes the rule: if whites boo a black, it is the racist white's fault; if blacks boo a white, it is the racist white's fault. Ugh.

Why Pelosi and Touré cannot find the locus of responsibility for the booing without peering into the misty depths of Romney's unprovable racism says more about the race card they are playing, their contempt for blacks, their fevered imaginations, their desire to win at all costs or all of the above.

But Romney was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. One suspects that if he didn't tell the NAACP his position on ObamaCare, he would have been hounded for pandering and running from his position.

It just goes to show that everything a conservative does is racist. Support a conservative black. Racism. Speak at the NAACP. Racism. Don't speak at the NAACP. Racism. Desire photo ID to vote. Racism. Don't support minimum wage laws. Racism. Vote against Obama. Racism. Vote for Obama. Racism. Had eggs for breakfast. Racism.

This is profoundly insulting to black America. It is depressing if Touré and Pelosi believe that the NAACP crowd is so stupid and easily manipulated and their contempt is deep. If they are right, it is more depressing still.

It hurts the brain. And the heart. Boo.

UPDATE: Taranto has nice puns:
We thought Mormons weren't allowed to have boos. But Mitt Romney drew some at the NAACP convention the other day, most notably for promising to repeal ObamaCare.
Lawrence O'Donnell on the matter:
And tell me, Goldie, if I`m being too cynical, to think that the Romney campaign actually went in that room today with the hope of getting booed, at least three times, because they want the video of their candidate being booed by the NAACP to play in certain racist precincts where that will actually help them?
Taranto continues:
...the Democratic left, which relies on the perception that racism remains prevalent in America, and that the GOP is racist, both to motivate black voters and to maintain its own self-identity as morally superior.


That was then, this is now

Quite simply, sometime after January 2009 the commandments on the barn wall abruptly were altered, as things like filibusters, voting against the debt limit, or sharp dissent with an administration became cynical obstructionism, while everything from renditions, raising lots of campaign money, presidential golfing, supporting administration orthodoxy, and asserting executive privilege became correct.


Obama: Keep Taxes Low

The President spoke about extending the current tax rates yesterday.

So we should all agree to extend the tax cuts for the middle class. Let's agree to do what we agree on. Right? (Applause.) That’s what compromise is all about.
Wha? Isn't a compromise when two sides give up some demands to meet somewhere in the middle? If we do what we agree on, that is not compromise. So what is really going on here?
Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. We can have that debate. (Applause.) We can have that debate, but let's not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.
Republicans aren't opposed to this. So what is he talking about? He could sign a bill that extends the current tax rates for everyone and then 'have the debate' about returning the tax rates for the upper 2% of the taxpayers to what they were under Clinton.

It isn't the Republicans that are going to let the rates expire and move upward. It is Obama. What he is really saying is that 'if you don't do it my way I will not sign it and I will be forced to hold the middle class hostage but it won't be my fault because you didn't do it my way. Do it my way - no hostages. Their way - hostages.'

I guess that's what compromise is all about. Is this just more imperialism? (Strassel, Krauthammer)

He went on:
Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. We can have that debate. (Applause.) We can have that debate, but let's not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.
There is no need to Mr. President. Just extend them and then have the debate.

He repeats:
So my message to Congress is this: Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class; I will sign it tomorrow. Pass it next week; I’ll sign it next week. Pass it next -- well, you get the idea. (Laughter.)

As soon as that gets done, we can continue to have a debate about whether it’s a good idea to also extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Well, by golly, Sen. Hatch introduced just such an amendment:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced an amendment Tuesday that would extend all the Bush-era tax cuts for another year.

Hatch wants to attach the amendment to the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237).
So mission accomplished? Set the hostages free? Let the debate begin? Not likely.

Earlier he noted:
So the money we’re spending on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit, a major contributor to our deficit, costing us a trillion dollars over the next decade.
"The money we're spending"??? Letting people keep more of the money they earned is spending?  Doesn't this presume it is the government's money to begin with? Why, when the government takes less of somebody's earnings in taxation, is it called "spending" but when money is taken from some and spent on 'stimulus', food stamps, 90 weeks of unemployment, etc., it is "investment"? Shouldn't he have said that "the money we’re investing on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit"?

Aaaand, these rates are "a major driver of our deficit"? $5.170 trillion additional deficit over 3.5 years compared to the possibility* of $1 trillion in additional revenue over 10 years - or $350 billion over 3.5 yrs. Yup. Had it been in place for Obama's entire presidency, it would have reduced the deficit by about 7%. Major contributor all right.

Jay Carney tried to defend the statements:

* This assumes production, a static model, and that incentives don't matter.


Magic Underwear

This AlterNet article (reproduced later in Salon) is just one of many out there on the Mormon "magic underwear". It is just the sort of rabble-rousing that will be going on this year to discredit the Mormons now that a presidential candidate is Mormon. Just more of the 'not dealing with the opposition's ideas but rather destroy their humanity' routine.

From the NY Times' Charles Blow's comment and then retraction/apology:
Let me just tell you this Mitt “Muddle Mouth”: I’m a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear. #CNNdebate
To Cher's (1, 2) bigoted tweets:
If ROMNEY gets elected I don't know if i can breathe same air as Him his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters
I Feel if he doesn't get all his DUCKS IN A ROW we'll b forced 2 listen 2Uncaring Richy Rich! The whitest man in MAGIC UNDERWEAR in the WH
To Bill Maher's rants:
“Don’t get me started on Mitt Romney,” Maher sneered to Letterman. ”Because Mitt Romney will teach America what’s really in Mormonism.”
“Mitt likes to gloss over... ‘well, we’re just different types of Christians.’ No. No, I was raised Catholic,” Maher leaned in and raised an eyebrow, setting up for his big punchline: ”And there was no magic underwear.”
To Roger Ebert's unanswered supplication:
So what's the deal with magic Mormon underwear? bit.ly/PwEOiI
One of the odd things about the article - and Cher's tolerant and compassionate tweet - is where it drifts into dismissing or implying that those who believe in sexual modesty are sexually confused. Even the article careens into this peculiar behavior where it states:
As recent research on homosexuality suggests, people who are struggling to contain or suppress their own sexuality may be particularly interested in controlling the sexuality of others.
It is clearly implying that those who may resist homosexuality are sexually confused themselves. Apparently it is not possible that they just disagree but rather they must be morally or psychologically deficient.

As an aside, and knowing that - just as many heterosexuals do - gays often struggle with their sexuality, are the authors also implying that homosexuals are interested in controlling the sexuality of others? If a religious gay person desires to restrict pornography and public displays of affection, does that make him/her repressive or interested in 'controlling the sexuality of others'? (And if you think that it is not possible that a gay person would/could support regulation of pornography or imposition of modesty you are a bigot of the tallest order. If you think it not possible, do you imagine that there is a singular appropriate way for a gay to think?)

This sort of reflexive mockery of certain groups in our society that says a group may be displaying some sort of sexual deviancy is no different than what has happened to the gay community in the past. Shouldn't the gay community be disturbed about this? If anyone can understand the problems with this sort of hate mongering, it is the gay community. Or is it just an 'anything goes' attitude that accepts any means to an end?

Worst of all is the implication that all of these repressive deviants on the right might be gays themselves. The article - and those who share this ignominious attack scheme - hold gays up as a prized possession for political reasons and then throws them under the bus by using them as the dysfunctional group into which they lump the right when the right is demonstrating their supposed dysfunction. You will never hear them say that those uptight, sexually oppressed, woman hating, deviants on the right are repressing their white heterosexual leftist tendencies. Instead you hear that if those on the right are repressive deviants they therefore must be homosexual themselves. If I were in the gay community, I'd be pissed that the left treated me with such contempt. That the article, and others who sing a similar tune, treats the gay community like a lap dog is shameful. That the gay community takes it lying down is disheartening.

Now back to the underwear thing. I suppose the mockery of anyone who chooses to wear an article of clothing that reminds him/her of his faith is just too nuanced for those who do the mocking. Do they similarly heap scorn on those who wear other articles of clothing or adornments that remind the wearer of certain commitments? Are the wedding band, payot, the yarmulke, a habit, the rosary, the rakusu, mala, the burqa, the ban on gold or silk for men, a Dastar, a Kanga, the Langa Voni, the Kalava, or the green, gold and red rastacap equally deserving the snide, ignorant, mean-spirited bullying that the LDS clothing engenders?

So often it is the crowd who professes tolerance who is the least tolerant. They could use a little training on promoting religious tolerance.

It is not that the other side owns tolerance, but that those who merely profess their own tolerance while being anything but, is disturbing for its lack of self-awareness. The professed tolerance is often nothing more than a myth. They have tolerance for everything but what they don't tolerate.

As Joanna Brooks noted in her observations on Maher:
The same way an orthodox Jew would wear a kippah (for men) or modest clothing (for women), or a Muslim woman would wear a headscarf, highly observant Mormons wear garments.

I do, however, find it strange, juvenile, threatening, and repulsive when grown men bully other people about their underwear on national television.