Politics is Stupid

#21

Considering the fact that it’s the “Everyone’s opinion is equal” crowd that took him down I think it’s a travesty and proves that these people are the same as the Moral Majority and don’t really care about caring, or inclusiveness, they just wanted it their way instead of the old way.

Now that they are making serious headway in the cultural battle the gloves are coming off. It doesn’t matter why he supported prop 8, maybe he wants to eliminate all marriage, but they don’t care, it’s a weapon they can use against someone to keep the rest in line. Equality and acceptance aren’t good enough, you must rejoice at it at the end of a club.

It’s not like this is a new head of a LGBT org that did this, or a automaker head that “isn’t a car guy”, or a anything opposed to the group’s charter here. It was a personal choice this man made, while working with several members of the community who never knew he held this belief. Until he was outed by someone else.

I put forward that it doesn’t matter how unified or organized they put him forward. This would have happened no matter what.

BTW, the CEO of OKCupid that started this, he supported a senator who voted against same sex marriage. So, whatever. Good free advertising by riding the tiger there.

This just makes me angry, it makes me angry when my side does it, but it makes me even more angry when the tolerant people do it, while screaming for tolerance.

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#22

It seems to me that people with religious beliefs are required to be tolerant of everyone else, but nobody else is tolerant of religious beliefs (okay, that’s an oversimplification, but that’s certainly how it seems).

Preemptive disclaimer: Not accusing anyone here of anything, just making the counter-argument.

The problem comes when someone else thinks that their religious beliefs give them a magical power that allows them to override the rights or freedoms of anyone else. I’m fine with it if someone’s religious beliefs state that something is wrong. That’s what they believe, and they’re allowed to believe whatever they want. The instant that belief turns into action specifically intended to prevent other people from doing that thing, that person is no longer a person, but a tyrant.

I saw the relentless comments on the Ars articles about this, and almost all of them seemed to boil down to this. His beliefs weren’t the main issue there, it was the fact that he personally donated money to a cause to prevent gay marriage, thus forcing those beliefs on others.

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#23

I think you are overstating things calling him a tyrant. He was donating to a cause to support a law that he thought was right.
Let me give another scenario. I believe that riding a bike without a helmet is a really stupid thing to do and I donate to a cause that is trying to make it a legal requirement. I don’t ride a bike so the law won’t affect me, does that make me a tyrant because I’m trying to override the rights and freedoms of other people?
If you take the religion out of it then it starts to look a little silly.

Have a read of this article. That states my position far more eloquently than I could.
It’s to be expected that right-wing commentators will be slamming the actions resulting in the resignation, but one of the people quoted in that article was advocating same sex marriages back in 1989.

This quote sums it up for me:

“Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks?” he wrote, adding that “The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”

“If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out,”

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#24

I kind of watered down the argument a bit, but there’s a fundamental difference between your bike helmet scenario and the Eich scenario: Your bike helmet scenario is based on a safety issue. Advocating for and donating to a law that would mandate bike helmets has a logical reasoning behind it. To some people, yes, you may be viewed as a tyrant for trying to step on their freedoms to not wear a helmet, however (I’m assuming) you’re approaching it from the point of view of “bike helmets reduce major injuries.”

Advocating for and donating to a law that opposes gay marriage has no basis like that, only the “My holy book says it’s wrong/I think it’s icky” part, which fundamentally means that “I think these people are lesser human beings and don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms as us ‘normal people’”. That’s what got people so riled up, that he donated to one of these causes that would basically label an entire group of people as “not people”.

If your bike helmet argument was based on something similar, like “My holy book says you can’t ride a bike without a helmet because God/Satan/The alien on my shoulder says so”, and no other reason, you would be no better, because you’d be simply trying to impose your religious views on others who may or may not believe what you do, which is wrong.

#25

How about an argument that says that marriage is something that was created to make the transfer of wealth from generation to generation easier, and that the trappings of spousal support and alimony and death benefits have outlived their usefulness?

There are other reasons to oppose gay marriage other than intolerance and religion. Hell, plenty of people oppose any marriage. The same group of people pushing for gay marriage, are the people saying marriage is useless.

This gets muddy real quick. Isn’t taking a counter position to this trying to impose your religious views on them? By your moral standards it’s wrong, but what if drowning puppies was ok by someone’s standards? When PETA comes by are they going to tell them to keep their beliefs out of their morals? Or when the local KoC wants to have a fundraiser to stop them, are their religious beliefs infringing on their rights to drown puppies? Animals have no rights, laws set to protect them are based in morality as agreed on at the time by the majority.

Someone’s concern for my safety, or public safety, is just as bad a reason to restrict my rights as anything else. Requiring bike helmets, or health insurance, or marriage rights are all decisions made by individuals based on their personal beliefs. Public safety is code for “I know better than you” Fascism, Communism and Totalitarianism were all real big on Public Health. For your studies showing bicycle accidents and head trauma I can counter with my study showing taking risks as a child allows children to learn from mistakes and take better risks as an adult. It’s no more black and white than anything else.

I think gay marriage should be legal, I’ve said it for years. But I also think bakeries shouldn’t be forced to serve people they don’t want to, or photographers, or anyone, for any reason. I think the people refused service have every right to complain, and leave bad reviews based off that, and start boycott campaigns, and most places would kill a business that tried it, but it should be legal.

#26

How about an argument that says that marriage is something that was created to make the transfer of wealth from generation to generation easier, and that the trappings of spousal support and alimony and death benefits have outlived their usefulness?

There are other reasons to oppose gay marriage other than intolerance and religion. Hell, plenty of people oppose any marriage. The same group of people pushing for gay marriage, are the people saying marriage is useless.

I don’t see how that would necessarily require restricting marriage to male+female only, since adoption is a thing.

Personally, I don’t see the point of marriage for myself (insofar as legally tying yourself to another person), but I understand that it’s the norm for people to do and there’s no reason to restrict who can do it for silly things like “the person you love happens to have the same equipment you do”.

This gets muddy real quick. Isn’t taking a counter position to this trying to impose your religious views on them? By your moral standards it’s wrong, but what if drowning puppies was ok by someone’s standards? When PETA comes by are they going to tell them to keep their beliefs out of their morals? Or when the local KoC wants to have a fundraiser to stop them, are their religious beliefs infringing on their rights to drown puppies? Animals have no rights, laws set to protect them are based in morality as agreed on at the time by the majority.

I agree it gets real muddy real quick. Anything that affects more than one person will, however it’s a lot less idiotic to be arguing from a position that has logic and science behind it than one that’s purely based on belief or feeling. It’s kind of one of the reasons I have so many issues with organized religion as it is, because while it can produce good things, far more often we see that it causes people to just behave irrationally in the name of their deity/deities of choice simply because that’s what their religion tells them to do. Not sure if that’s more emphasized by the media that only picks up the bad things that we hear about (like Westboro and the like), but it’s been happening for a very long time (the Crusades, for example)

I think gay marriage should be legal, I’ve said it for years. But I also think bakeries shouldn’t be forced to serve people they don’t want to, or photographers, or anyone, for any reason. I think the people refused service have every right to complain, and leave bad reviews based off that, and start boycott campaigns, and most places would kill a business that tried it, but it should be legal.

I agree with you here.

#27

And this is the part i was talking about earlier. Businesses do not have the right to refuse service based on the private views of the employees. Businesses are not individuals. They do not have rights. Things like “free speech” and “religious freedom” do not apply to a business.

As far as this relates to Eich, again, i don’t think they made the right decision. People were afraid that his position as CEO would cause bleedover between his personal opinions and Mozilla’s direction, and instead of addressing that fear they cut-and-run, which to some will be seen as admitting that that fear was legitimate.

#28

If I own the corner store, and I’m working the counter I sure do have the right to refuse service. If I own a business and tell my employees not to serve someone then that’s the way they better do it. Are you saying that as soon as I start a business I lose my rights? If nothing else I can just close it down and I won’t serve anyone. Can you force me to keep it open?

I have gone into places where my kind was not welcome, and frankly I left as soon as was practical. They didn’t refuse to give me service but I wish they had actually had a sign on the door, I wouldn’t have wasted my time going there.

Any organization does this. Just because someone’s deity is named Equal Opportunity, Green Energy, Climate Change, OWS, or even TEA Party, or Libertarianism, or Communism, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a religion. Ever done something because someone you trust told you to do it? You are guilty of the same thing.

Blaming religion for all the worlds flaws may help you understand the world, but I think it’s a false understanding if you don’t expand the definition of Religion to include Causes. Don’t think, do what we tell you is the message of almost every alphabet soup organization in the world, don’t lay that at the altar of religion without it’s secular counterpart.

#29

Blaming religion for all the worlds flaws may help you understand the world, but I think it’s a false understanding if you don’t expand the definition of Religion to include Causes. Don’t think, do what we tell you is the message of almost every alphabet soup organization in the world, don’t lay that at the altar of religion without it’s secular counterpart.

This is true. Religion doesn’t have a monopoly on it, but for some reason it really seems to stand out when it’s a religion causing the problem than when it’s some other cause, though that might just be my own mental feedback loop causing that (I don’t trust religion, so I tend to see the negative side of religion more, which makes me distrust religion more, ad infinitum). Hell, half the causes out there are practically religions in all but name anymore anyway…

#30

Climate Change, 2nd Amendment, 1st Amendment, Equal Rights, Gay Marriage, take the wrong side on any of those in the wrong group and you will get stoned.

Take the right stand on legalizing marijuana in the right group and you really will get stoned.I also want to know where my hemp powered supercar is though. Made out of hemp, with hemp glass, and hemp tires.

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#31

Because generally the media have an agenda - and that agenda is more often than not religion-bashing.
I once saw a 20/20 article about a local pastor who had objected to a lesbian being ordained as a minister. I fundamentally disagreed with the local minister, but the article was so incredibly slanted against him that I found myself having more sympathy for him. The entire tone of the article was that he was a bigot and the lesbian was his victim. They even did the cheap trick of interviewing them from different angles - her from above to make her look small and helpless, him from below to make him look big and threatening.

While I completely disagree with the Christian stand on homosexuality, I disagree more with things like rape and child beating - but who gets the headlines?

I believe that the Christian position on homosexuality will change, but it will take time. 50 years ago a woman preaching in church was completely unheard of as it was forbidden in the bible (don’t get me started on that one). These days it is commonplace. There are still some church people who believe it is wrong, but they are very much in the minority. I think homosexuality will go the same way.

As for the bike helmet example, that was just meant to demonstrate that the actions taken were a massive overreaction to something fairly minor.
The real meat to that message though was in the second half, especially the article I linked to.

#32

[quote=“Woodman, post:215, topic:478”]
If I own the corner store, and I’m working the counter I sure do have the right to refuse service. If I own a business and tell my employees not to serve someone then that’s the way they better do it. Are you saying that as soon as I start a business I lose my rights? If nothing else I can just close it down and I won’t serve anyone. Can you force me to keep it open?[/quote]
In some circumstances, yes, actually. It’s happened before, although the circumstances are sufficiently narrow that it isn’t something you would need to worry about. Typically, someone else fills the gap instead.

However, you misunderstand me: you do not lose your rights. Your business doesn’t have any to begin with. A restaurant, for example, does not have the right to serve someone without shoes on. The law says you may not, and that you may not choose to do so anyway (for health and safety reasons). And although many places do have signs up that claim the right to refuse service for any reason, this is not actually true. It’s there so that they can deal with drunken or otherwise rowdy/disruptive customers and technically only includes a very limited number of situations. The part where, as the “authority” in charge of deciding what those situations are, the business can stretch them to just about anything is de facto, not de jure. This is what allows a bartender to cut someone off (health and safety requirement), or (in states other than South Carolina, at least) tailor drinks to the inebriation of the customer (same). Or allows a library to throw out someone for yelling (disturbing other patrons). Claiming that someone looks “high” or “stoned” is often used to justify discriminatory behaviour: “Why of course i didn’t refuse to serve the flamboyantly gay woman because she was gay, i did it because she uh… looked like she was high!” It works because there is no bar for proving that, and it’s very difficult to disprove after the fact.

#33

So, by filing for the protections of an LLC, for example, I lose my rights. If I am a one man company, a photographer for example, then I lose my right to contract, free association, speech, and religion. All so I don’t get my house taken away in a lawsuit against my business, most of which today seem to be related to some governmental action or in relation to my right to contract, free association, or freedom of speech or religion.

Don’t get me wrong, I think refusing to serve someone because of race/ religion/hat size is a dick thing, but I also think forcing someone to serve someone they don’t want to is a dickier thing.

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#34

The owner of a basketball team says quite a few things that are stupid, it’s recorded and gets to the press somehow. Righteous indignation ensues, companies drop their association with his team, he’s banned from the sport, will likely be forced to sell the team, and the president of the Los Angeles NAACP resigns because they were about to give him another lifetime achievement award and cancelling that wasn’t good enough. The lawyer for the other person in the conversation says the recording is accurate, wasn’t leaked by her client and the fact that it was leaked isn’t in retaliation for a lawsuit against her as some have claimed. She’s mostly on his side because what everyone is up in arms about is only about a quarter of the entire conversation, but she says he does need to apologize.

Okay. So setting aside all of that and the issue of how the recording got leaked, the question is why was it being recorded in the first place?

#35

Question 2. What opinion do you hold now that will get you fired in 5 years?

Question 3. How long until students in school get extra credit for outing their parents as racists, or climate change deniers?

Question 4. Do any of the people building this brave new world realize that just because they hold the power now doesn’t mean they always will?

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#36

You’re right about it starting (and continuing) in the schools. I’m not sure who creates the curriculum for each school district, but as a citizen, I’d argue that we should have more control over what ends up in our children’s lessons. I recall when I was in elementary school, they try to shove a lot of political agendas down your throat throughout your 3 Rs, but it didn’t get really bad until about High School, which, in my opinion, is when you’re viewpoint of the world is most vulnerable. Somehow as History class neared it’s review of the 60’s and later years, it amazingly turned into Politics and Democrat Ideas 101. I’m all for understanding viewpoints, but it would have been awesome to understand both sides of the aisle objectively, not just a one-sided perspective looking across the aisle.

#37

Did you know that the Vietnam war was reallystarted by Nixon? And that the most important part of that war was his secret plans to win it and also the election?

My 17 year old and I had an interesting series of conversations about that one. I asked her the party affiliation of the President that segregated the federal services and the military after the Civil War, and the party of the President that had us join WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the bombing campaigns in Kosovo and Libya. Except for Desert Storm, each of those was a Democrat. Yet Republicans are the blood thirsty war mongers.

Oh, and Democrats were against the Civil Rights Bill, and Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist looking to thin out the “lesser” races. And McCarthy was a blessing compared to some of the witch hunts today.

Condi Rice is a war criminal, and Obama a Peace Prize winner. How many Americans did Rice order killed by drone strikes in countries we aren’t at war in? Next thing you know someone will tell me Rosaenne Barr sang the national anthem perfectly, and I just heard it bad because Tea Party Racist!

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#38

Trigger: Child Rape

http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-its-worse-than-i-knew/

http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-gave-us-new-perspectives-all-right/

I had no idea MZB’s husband, and herself had any issues like this. I didn’t know about any of the prior hohaw about it. And now her daughter is coming out with more.

Why is it that I hear Heinlein, Tom Kratman, Larry Corriea, Sarah Hoyt, and any other conservative/Libertarian leaning author being called haters, misogynists, pro rape, hater mchatey hatists? (Hell, even Vox Day and John Ringo only write about it, they don’t actually do it)

When there is absolute evidence that these people did, and or support, pedophilia and rape?

Let’s get all in a hoohaw about word usage and micro aggression, but then hold up MZB as the perfect Scifi writer for her inclusiveness of other gender thought in her books. Ignoring the fact that she at the very least ignored her husband’s serial abuse of young boys. If you add in the latest then she had a parallel abusive track herself. Yet, already people are defending her, and victim blaming and attacking her daughter.

Q. And to your knowledge, how old was [Victim X] when your husband was having a sexual relationship with him?
A. I think he was about 14 or possibly 15. I’m not certain.
Q. Were you aware that your husband had a sexual relationship with [Victim X] when he was below the age of 18?
A. Yes, I was.

And:

Q. Can you tell me why you would publicly state that Walter was not a
pedophile when you knew that he had been having sex with a minor child?
A. Because, as I said, [Victim X] did not impress me as a minor
child. He was late in his teens, and I considered him — I think he would
have been old enough to be married in this state legally, so I figured
what he did sexually was his own business.
[Editor’s note: In point of fact, the boy was 10 and 11 at the time in question.]

Later she talks about not worrying about a boy being with her husband because he was too old at 15. WTF?

I liked her writing, she wasn’t on my top ten, but I liked it. And now I’m immensely uncomfortable. I wanted to read the Darkover series finally, but I don’t think I’ll bother now. I can buy books from people I don’t detest, there are plenty of those.

#39

Not paying for 4 types of birth control does not equal denying access to birth control.

And frankly, not paying for health care does not deny access to a medication that for the average person costs less than $10 a month.

You’d think this was a fight over paying for vaccinations, or insulin, or some other life saving necessary medicine… not a recreational drug. Even a plan that won’t cover a birth control pill will cover a hormonal treatment that happens to be a BCP, same as any other drug.

Why the hell should Sandra Fluke get free birth control if little Johnny’s mom has to pay for his insulin? Of all the benefits to get bent out of shape over. It’s flat out vote buying.

#40

There actually is something called “Straight Pride”. The sticker I’ve been seeing is a black square with three horizontal white dashes in it (like the Human Rights Campaign is blue with two yellow dashes).

I haven’t looked it up or anything. Maybe it’s parody, maybe it’s the old “My straight white male privilege is being questioned and I feel guilty about it, so I’m going to assemble with a bunch of others just like me to make up for it”. You know, sort of like the Million Man March.

I dunno, @Woodman, I just can’t get excited about the poor misunderstood Tea Partiers or Palin for Something Temporary campaigners. A bunch of people who think they are entitled to what they want, complaining that other people think they are entitled to the same thing.

I’ll admit, I am an anarchist. I don’t believe that any organization or hierarchy can exist to enforce rules, without becoming oppressive. I also believe that it is everyone’s obligation to encourage good behavior in those around them and discourage bad behavior. I believe that, if you want something to happen within your neighborhood/city/state/etc., you’d better be ready to do it yourself or shut up. I believe that everybody has the right to lead their lives according to their own compass, as long as it does not harm anyone else.

Unfortunately, our state religion is founded on the idea that if other religions exist, any and all adherents are inherently evil. Any other belief system, opinion, etc., is subject to capital punishment, because their millenia-old employment contract says so and it makes them feel icky inside.

Face it, just me saying I am an anarchist got a whole bunch of knee-jerk reactions, with people making judgements based on a word that they don’t really understand.

The same judgements, sans understanding, are called forth by a lot of the labels that, frankly, the politicians and muckrakers use to distract everyone from facts. “Communist” (we’ve never had even one true communist community in the world, much less a nation), “Radical” (everybody back in the box, dammit!), “Socialist” (not even going there), “conservative” (hell, I don’t even know what the hell they think they’re conserving), “liberal” (with what? butter on their toast?), etc.

Kind of like the people who scream that they are good Christians while voting to enshrine heinous acts of prejudice in their State Constitutions. Several times a week, I am forced to listen to a dozen or more people proclaim themselves Christians through bullhorns, in blatant violation of Matthew 6:5,6. Those people are not Christians, they are not good Christians. They use a word they don’t even understand. Because understanding takes work.

And that’s the crux of it, @Woodman. It’s easier to throw a label around than to go through all that work to understand. It’s not convenient.

Like the thread title says, Politics is Stupid. Because Politics is what is created when a society or community doesn’t want to take the time and effort to understand what is going on. It is created by con-men, disseminated by fools, and believed by the gullible.

As one ijjit said to me, without a trace of shame, “It’s easier to just use a label than to say all that.” This was at a meeting of radical activists, trying to come up with ideas to get our communities engaged and cooperating again.

And nobody laughed.