Patterico's Pontifications


George Takei Does Not Understand That Human Dignity And Inherent Worth Come From God – Not From Government, Nor From Man

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As I am seriously pressed for time today, I will just throw this up here.

George Takei grossly misread Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent to the ruling in Obergefell. And based on his own utterly ridiculous (mis)understanding of it, he threw an ugly racist hissy fit.

From Thomas:

Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

Takei, in full ignorant meltdown mode:

He is a clown in black face sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there. And for him to say, slaves have dignity. I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped. And he says they had dignity as slaves or – My parents lost everything that they worked for, in the middle of their lives, in their 30s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified? Marched out of our homes at gun point. I mean, this man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.


Anyway, the whole thing is just more muddle-headed nonsense from the usual corners. For a patient and painstaking analysis, check out Sean Davis.


“Solid” Jobs Report Has Labor Force Participation Rate at Historic Low

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am

AP (link to Hot Air since AP changes their articles willy-nilly):

SOLID REPORT: U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.3 percent. The rate fell mostly because many people out of work gave up on job hunting and were no longer counted as unemployed.

Ed Morrissey notes: “The new workforce participation rate is the lowest in the US since 1977.”

Remember: the availability of disability payments to healthy people has exploded under Obama. I am mystified that government policies incentivizing people to leave the workforce has the effect of causing people to leave the workforce.



Random U.S. Small Business Owner Bans Gays from Business

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:28 pm

USA Today:

An East Tennessee hardware store owner decided to express his beliefs following the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriage by putting up a sign that reads, “No Gays Allowed.”

Jeff Amyx, who owns Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, Tennessee., about an hour outside of Knoxville, added the “No Gays Allowed” sign on Monday, because gay and lesbian couples are against his religion.

Amyx, who is also a baptist minister, said he realized Monday morning that LGBT people are not afraid to stand for what they believe in. He said it showed him that Christian people should be brave enough to stand for what they believe in.

“They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can’t I? They believe their way is right, I believe it’s wrong. But yet I’m going to take more persecution than them because I’m standing for what I believe in,” Amyx said.


If you’re a libertarian who opposes antidiscrimination laws in principle, because you feel market solutions are a better way to punish prejudice than handing the government power to tinker with freedom of association, you’re on his side. If you aren’t, you (probably) aren’t.

This misunderstands libertarians. I am a libertarian-leaning conservative who opposes antidiscrimination laws on principle, in part because I believe market solutions are a better way to punish prejudice than handing the government power to dictate the terms of citizens’ freedom of association.

But I am most assuredly not on this guy’s side. I’m part of the market that wants to punish him.

If the government comes after him, I will argue for his right to be a bigot. But I’m not on his “side.”

That said, how this is a nationwide story is beyond me — but the fact that it is, suggests there is less prejudice than the media would have you believe.

Same-Sex Marriage: One Week Later

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:58 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So, this:


Photographer Ed Freeman shot this photo 10 years ago and posted it on his Facebook page after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage was announced. It was accompanied with a victorious statement by the photographer:

“When I took this picture almost ten years ago, it never, never occurred to me that it would someday come to symbolize the victory we are celebrating today. Congratulations to all of us! Love to you all.”

As you can imagine, he has taken a lot of heat for the photograph. Everything from scorn, outrage, and of course, a death threat.

With a straight face, Freeman defended himself, claiming he never intended to be disrespectful:

“The principle complaint that people have is that I am equating the gay struggle with the contribution and sacrifice of American servicemen,” Freeman said. “But there is no equal sign here. This is not meant as a sign of disrespect. For God sake, no. I totally support people in uniform. There is no comparison going on here. The comparison is going on in people’s heads, and they’re spoiling for a fight. They’re already on edge because of the gay marriage decision.”


With that, now that a week has passed since gay marriage has been the law of the land, the gay community isn’t sure how to handle their new found rights and independence. After all, when a group successfully overcomes a self-perceived victimhood, where do they go from there?

The more victories that accumulate for gay rights, the faster some gay institutions, rituals and markers are fading out. And so just as the gay marriage movement peaks, so does a debate about whether gay identity is dimming, overtaken by its own success.

“What do gay men have in common when they don’t have oppression?” asked Andrew Sullivan, one of the intellectual architects of the marriage movement. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

“The thing I miss is the specialness of being gay,” said Lisa Kron. “Because the traditional paths were closed, there was a consciousness to our lives, a necessary invention to the way we were going to celebrate and mark family and mark connection. That felt magical and beautiful.”

Already, just one week into same-sex marriage, and the spark is gone.


Vox’s Solution to the Financial Crisis in Greece: Write a Check!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 pm

Yup, that’s really what Ezra Klein said:

Adam Posen is president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and, like every international economist right now, he’s glued to the drama in Greece. There is, he says, a simple solution to the crisis: the Northern European countries should write a check and end it. But they won’t, and in a conversation on Monday, he told me why.

This the leftists’ solution to everything: write a check. They think, apparently, that money equals value.

It’s a simplistic mindset, and one that is wholly and completely wrong. But this mindset is not something that can be refuted in a few words. Basically, either you understand economics (and therefore why this is a moronic opinion) or you don’t.

Klein doesn’t.

New York Times Asks Why White People Are “Extremely” Uncomfortable Talking About Race

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:18 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I love documentaries, both large and small. Over at the New York Times, there is an interesting section called Op-Docs. As you can guess from its name, it is a compilation of essays and short-documentaries about any number of subjects. I regularly check it out to see what interesting person they have profiled, or which controversial or everyday subject they’re covering.

Of course, it’s the New York Times we are talking about, so with some subjects, viewer beware. They have a point of view and aren’t afraid to use it.

In today’s op-docs, readers are asked – without batting a self-aware eye – why white people are so uncomfortable and uneasy talking about race:

Why do so many white people find it extremely uncomfortable to talk about race? Setting out to make the next installment of our Op-Doc video series about race in America, we hoped to address that question. Because we live in New York, where there is no shortage of opinions, we didn’t think it would be too hard to find white people willing to speak publicly on this topic. We were wrong.

The people we ultimately found to start the conversation on this fraught topic were uniformly well-meaning and in favor of equality. Certainly they didn’t consider themselves racists. Racism is something that is perpetrated by other people — the ones complaining about affirmative action, refusing to take down their Confederate flags and sharing racist jokes. But if so few people identify as racist, why are racial tensions so pervasive right now? Subtle racism is harder to confront.

It has become easier for white people to think about race through the superficial lens of thinking about other people, instead of themselves. Indeed, most of the people in this Op-Doc hadn’t given much thought to being white other than that it was obvious by the color of their skin. But when we dug a bit deeper, the discussion gets tense, and visibly uncomfortable.

With this Op-Doc video, we’ve attempted to lean into that discomfort and prompt some self-reflection. We are all part of this system, and therefore we all have a responsibility to work toward dismantling it. If we’re going to have an honest conversation about race in America, that includes thinking — and talking — about what it means to be white in America. It might be uncomfortable, but it’s a conversation that must involve all of us.

Here’s a wild thought, NYT: perhaps white people who don’t think too much about race or discuss it in general is because THEY ARE JUST TOO DAMN BUSY GETTING ON WITH THE JOB OF LOVING THEIR NEIGHBORS AND LIVING THEIR LIVES. Yes, you heard me. I just spouted off some seriously ignorant royal white privilege (which confuses my brown skin…). But sadly, the fact is that if you are white, you have no choice in the matter. By default (because we are a nation that judges by skin color), you embody the institutional racism pervasive in every aspect of America. Your behavior and actions mean little. Because white skin. Oh, white privilege have you no shame?! No one is allowed to get on with the job of living their lives until they first cry “uncle” and own it – all of it. Because those are the rules. Get used to it.

Moreover, it’s wearying and mind-boggling that journalists who spend their days profiling and filming people from all walks of life, both here at home and in the world-at-large, can be so blinkered that they have no absolutely clue why there might be some hesitation or reluctance to discuss race these days – particularly white people discussing it with the NYT. And given that public shaming and retaliation are becoming another new normal when one doesn’t see race through the required lens, the risk is often too great to have that conversation they keep nagging us about. You know, the conversation that only goes one way: admit you are white privileged or and be labeled racist. Buy what they’re selling. Get it right. Diversity is quite literally only skin deep. And we’re the worse for it.

Take a moment to click over to the comments section and compare the top Reader’s Picks vs. NYT Pick’s. I bet you can guess where they stand.


Polygamist Family Applies For Marriage License

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:16 am

[guest post by Dana]

Given the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, it’s not surprising that a polygamist family in Montana has now applied for a marriage license:

Nathan Collier and his two wives, Vicki and Christine, said Tuesday that they are simply looking for equality.Nathan is legally married to Vicki, but also wants to legally wed Christine.

On Tuesday, Nathan and Christine traveled to the Yellowstone County Courthouse to see if they would be awarded the right to marry under the Marriage Equality Act.

Polygamy is illegal under Montana state law, and recognized as a misdemeanor offense.

“We just want to add legal legitimacy to an already happy, strong, loving family,” said Nathan.

As the two filled out their marriage application they were met with questions.

“There’s a spot on there where you put the dissolution date of your previous marriage and we put ‘not applicable,'” said Christine.

In fact, the couple was met with varied reaction from employees, who were caught off guard.

“So, are you legally married, you didn’t get divorced?” asked one clerk.

“We’ll have to deny that, let me go grab the other supervisor real quick so I can get confirmation but as far as I’m aware you can’t be married to two people at the same time,” said another clerk.

The Attorney General offered no comment about the marriage application request, but instead cited state law prohibiting the practice. And there has not yet been any official denial made.



Chelsea Clinton And Privilege

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:24 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Yesterday, it was reported that last year Chelsea Clinton left her $10.5 million apartment and schlepped over to the University of Missouri at Kansas City for a speaking engagement supporting the university’s newly opened women’s hall of fame.

The university originally hoped to have Hillary Clinton speak at the event, but with a speaking fee of $275,000 she was just too expensive. Enter Chelsea Clinton:

The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance Feb. 24, 2014, a demonstration of the celebrity appeal and marketability that the former and possibly second-time first daughter employs on behalf of her mother’s presidential campaign and family’s global charitable empire.

The schedule she negotiated called for her to speak for 10 minutes, participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and spend a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs offstage.

And even more amusing:

As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Given that the event was intended to showcase the opening of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame which is “dedicated to recognizing extraordinary Kansas City women and preserving the history of their accomplishments,” the university sought a substantive, high-profiled woman of success to generate enthusiasm for the project. After crossing Hillary off the list, they considered several other potential speakers. And speakers not just less expensive than Hillary, but also less expensive than Chelsea, as well as being imminently more qualified than her, too:

feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000),

Unfortunately, none of them had the necessary last name.

Chelsea Clinton is 35 years old. She is a wife, mother and most notably, the only child of Bill and Hillary Clinton. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, and according to the Clinton Foundation website, she “works to drive the vision and work of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation”.

With that, Chelsea Clinton holds degrees from several elite universities and has a limited work resume, most recently at NBC wherein she earned a whopping annual salary of $600,000. She has lived and breathed privilege from Day One. Her privilege has opened doors for her, enabled her to be seated on the boards of any number of philanthropic and professional organizations, made her a lot of money, and has nicely positioned her to make a run for mayor of NYC or for a seat in the U.S. Senate if she chooses (a notion she would consider).

“Clinton Privilege” – the only privilege endorsed by the entire Clinton family!


Condom Pope

Filed under: General — JD @ 7:45 am

[guest post by JD]

The NYTimes would never publish a picture of Mohammed made out of condoms, as like with Charlie Hedbo and Mohammed cartoons, they find that needlessly offensive. Publishing a picture of the Pope made out of condoms, or Piss Christ, is just fine. I guess because Christians won’t behead infidels over a picture. 

If it weren’t for double standards, the NYT and the MFM would have no standards. 


Ted Cruz: Some States Can Ignore Gay Marriage Decision

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

POLITICO (cached link because bullies):

Ted Cruz has some unsolicited advice for the states not specifically named in last week’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage: Ignore it.

“Those who are not parties to the suit are not bound by it,” the Texas Republican told NPR News’ Steve Inskeep in an interview published on Monday. Since only suits against the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky were specifically considered in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which was handed down last Friday, Cruz — a former Supreme Court clerk — believes that other states with gay marriage bans need not comply, absent a judicial order.

“[O]n a great many issues, others have largely acquiesced, even if they were not parties to the case,” the 2016 presidential contender added, “but there’s no legal obligation to acquiesce to anything other than a court judgement.”

I have read the interview and Cruz’s remarks are not, in my view, being taken out of context.

I like Ted Cruz, I support Ted Cruz for president, and I have given Ted Cruz money. But I can’t agree with this, to the extent he is suggesting that it is considered legal to ignore Supreme Court decisions if no order has been issued to you directly.

The Supreme Court’s language was clear: “The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States.” It is true, as a technical matter, that a case or controversy binds only the parties before it. However, the rule announced in a case applies to all citizens — and public officials who ignore a rule such as this, clearly expressed, risk more than just a specific order from the Court directing them to comply. They risk being sued for a deprivation of clearly established rights.

The fact that the “clearly established rights” were made up, will not keep the courts from whacking those who fail to comply.

For example: if I tell detectives to go ahead and interrogate a suspect they have arrested without reading him his rights, it doesn’t matter that no court has specifically ordered me to do that. Nor does it matter whether I agree with the Miranda decision. We all still have to follow it, and I’ll get whacked by a court if I don’t.

Now, to the extent that Cruz is suggesting civil disobedience (and if you read the interview, I don’t think he was), that’s a different issue. One might well ask: since the ruling is lawless, should citizens consider civil disobedience?

My own opinion is: no, not at this point. But we may be headed that way.

Let’s put this in a little perspective. The decisions of the past week were horribly disappointing. But anyone who suggests that this state of affairs is new or unprecedented, needs to read some history. Many other decisions have been at least as unmoored from the text of a statute or of a Constitutional provision, many with far more dire results. Take Roe v. Wade, as one obvious example. Look at the Commerce Clause decisions of the 1930s, such as Wickard v. Filburn.

I would support all manner of reactions that the GOP will lack the guts to try — and that, if they did try, would cause them to get shellacked in the elections. For example, I would support impeachment of any and all of the Justices that voted in the majority of either King v. Burwell or Obergefell. That, in my view, is a proper constitutional reaction to lawless decisions (notwithstanding the disastrous precedent established by the Samuel Chase impeachment proceedings).

But look. We didn’t impeach the Justices who made up a right to abortion in Roe. What makes you think they would impeach anyone now?

However, should courts start to order religious officials to perform ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs, civil disobedience would certainly be in order. At a certain point, enough is enough. Were I a pastor with religious beliefs against gay marriage, I would dare the feds to send guys with guns to force me to perform acts that violate my deeply held beliefs.

Even now, there is also a discussion to be had about the extent to which citizens should engage in civil disobedience generally concerning the overreaching of the central government. I recommend Charles Murray’s recent book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. I hope to review that book (which I have read) in a future post and have a discussion about civil disobedience and when it is appropriate.

When a curmudgeon like Charles Murray is talking about openly defying the federal government — and he does advocate that — you know we have gotten to a pretty desperate place.

But speaking as someone who has faced retaliation for speaking his mind — and who has watched others similarly situated cave to bullies — I can tell you that it’s a lot easier to bluster on the Internet about how tough you would be, than it is to actually carry through with it.

So. If you are going to follow Ted Cruz’s advice to simply ignore the Supreme Court, you’d better recognize what you’re doing as civil disobedience — and be prepared to face the consequences.

P.S. If you’re one of those people who believes it’s time to violate the law, and anyone who suggests differently is a coward, tell us in comments! Start by giving us your full name, where you work and where you live, and specifically what you have already done to resist the central government in a way that subjects you to criminal penalties or fines.

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