Patterico's Pontifications


Two Different Kinds Of Feminist Protest

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This weekend, a fearless young Egyptian feminist protested ISIS in a bold and brazen manner. (Warning: Photo at link NSFW)

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and another female protestor defecated and menstruated on the Islamic State flag:

In the image, the 23-year-old feminist is seen facing the camera, while the other woman, dressed in a black hijab, has her back towards the viewer. Two presumably plastic machine guns are in the background, and the veiled woman is holding up her middle finger. The letters IS are inscribed on Elmahdy’s stomach and on the second woman’s bottom.

Elmahdy said in the past that her photos “scream against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy.”

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago our own local feminist protestors, Code Pink voiced their objections to the airstrikes in Iraq that were part of a humanitarian effort to save the trapped Yazidis. The 7 protestors who showed up stated:

[T]hey opposed bombing for any purpose in Iraq and argued that the United States was motivated by financial, not humanitarian, interests in the region.


The effectiveness of protest is not always measurable, but anyone willing to take an actual risk against the oppressive and tyrannical rule of bloodthirsty killers (and no, Code Pink, I’m not referring to George W. Bush) should, I think, be taken seriously.


More Wedding Woes And Penalizing ‘Private’ Business Owners

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:00 pm

[guest post by Dana]

We’ve already seen wedding cake bakers and bridal shop owners having complaints filed against them for refusing service to gay couples, and now we have wedding site owners being ordered to pay penalties for refusing to host a gay wedding. At their home.

Owners of a family farm in Schaghticoke, New York, are being fined $13,000 for refusing to allow a gay wedding ceremony to take place on their property in 2012, just one year after the state legalized same-sex nuptials.

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, a family-friendly farm and special events venue, told Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a lesbian couple from Newark, New Jersey, that they were welcome to hold their reception on the property, but not the actual wedding ceremony, according to Religion News Service.

The Giffords live on the premises and these ceremonies are typically conducted on the first floor of their home or on the nearby property. Considering that they are Christians and consider marriage to be confined to relationships involving one man and one woman, the two weren’t comfortable hosting McCathy and Erwin’s nuptials.

The couple has apparently had gay staff members and hosted gay events, but were simply not comfortable with a gay wedding taking place on their farm. The ruling judge rejected the couple’s argument that their business entitled them to be able to legally refuse the couple.

Judge Migdalia Pares, who argued that the fact that the owners live on the premises does not mean that the business is private in nature, ruled that Liberty Ridge Farm is a public accommodation as it rents its space and regularly collects fees from the public.

What’s left to go after?


UPDATE: The owners of Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation, which operates a lodge used for weddings in Minnesota, were the subjects of a discrimination complaint made by a gay couple after said owners turned down their request to hold their wedding at the lodge:

The Department of Human Rights investigated and determined there was probable cause of discrimination by the lodge owners due to sexual orientation.

“This is the first public accommodation case for the department related to same-sex marriage, and it serves as a reminder that businesses may not deny services based on a person’s sexual orientation just as they can’t deny services on the basis of race or gender,” Commissioner Kevin Lindsey said.

The owners of the lodge subsequently picked up the full tab for the couple’s wedding, reception and guest accommodations at another location.


The gay marriage law passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2013 provides specific exemptions for religious entities from taking part in same-sex union, but it doesn’t exempt individuals, businesses and nonprofits from non-discrimination laws based on religious beliefs regarding same-sex marriage.

The Minnesota Family Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, said the government shouldn’t force family businesses to participate in ceremonies that violate their beliefs.

“The Minnesota Human Rights Department’s treatment of Minnesota families is deplorable. They are choosing to enforce the same-sex ‘marriage’ law in an unconstitutional manner, targeting Minnesota business owners and, to top it all off, claiming victory for settling with a hunting preserve owner who should have never had to face a human rights case against him,” Council CEO John Helmberger said in a statement.

Paul Ryan Claims He Was Silent on Government Shutdown for Party Unity, But the Record Does Not Agree

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

CBS News: Paul Ryan: I kept quiet during government shutdown for party unity.

Rep. Paul Ryan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that he didn’t voice his opposition to the government shutdown in 2013 because he wanted to ensure there was “party unity.”

“I don’t think it was constructive for conservatives to be carping at each other. At the same time, the purpose of that passage is to try and unify our party. I don’t think we can succeed if all we do is criticize and define what we are against,” he said.

Ryan wrote in his new book that came out last week that he believed the Republican attempt to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government was “a suicide mission” but that too many members of his own party were unwilling to abandon the idea for fear that they would be punished by outside groups aligned with the tea party.

He told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer that he didn’t believe the strategy was “really legitimate” because a government shutdown cannot stop an entitlement program, not to mention there was no support for the strategy in the Senate.

But the point of his book, he said, “to help design a unified conservative Republican movement that is principled, inclusive and aspirational so that we can win a majority of Americans’ votes to save this country from what I believe is going down the wrong track.”

When politicians make claims about what they did (or did not do) in the past, it’s sometimes helpful to consult the record.

August 4, 2013:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Influential Republican congressman Paul Ryan disagreed on Sunday with the idea of using the threat of a government shutdown as a means of trying to get rid of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law known as “Obamacare.”

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and a former vice presidential candidate, said he strongly backs the goal of repealing Obamacare but added there were other, more effective ways of achieving it than by refusing to approve any government funding bill that includes money for the program.

“I think there’s going to be a better strategy to actually achieve our goal of ultimately delaying and ultimately replacing Obamacare,” the Wisconsin congressman told the CBS talk show “Face the Nation.”

Note: the August 2013 comments were made on “Face the Nation” — the very same show where Ryan said this past Sunday that he had been silent in 2013. It takes a large pair of brass nerves to claim that you were “silent” about a topic, on the very same show where you held forth at length about the same topic one year earlier.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.31.38 AM
Above: a tight-lipped Paul Ryan keeps his mouth shut for the party’s sake

So why is Ryan obfuscating about this? Because his “silence” didn’t end in August 2013. In October 2013, he was spouting off to reporters again . . . this time trying to prevent a compromise that would have ended the shutdown. This is the embarrassing history that he needs to erase from our memories.

Let’s consult that pesky record again. After his August 2013 “Face the Nation” appearance, it was reported that conservatives were upset with Ryan. Next thing you know, on October 8, Ryan had penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed blaming Obama for the crisis and proposing his own solution. By October 12, 2013, Ryan’s “silence” consisted of telling reporters about his opposition to a Senate compromise floated by Susan Collins:

Boehner’s closest friends in the Senate, including Graham and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), pleaded with him Friday to modify his legislation along the lines of what they were trying to broker across the Capitol. The speaker told them Saturday that the Collins plan would face opposition from too many Republicans for him to put it on the floor, Chambliss said.

“We don’t support it,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters, saying that the reasons for opposition were “too many to go into.”

Ah, the sounds of silence! Ryan wasn’t just spouting off to reporters about his opposition to the Senate compromise. He was actually rallying the troops against it:

[I]nstead of absorbing this painful reality, some rank-and-file Republicans grew visibly excited about the prospect of opposing such a deal, said one person in the room. This defiance was fed by Ryan, who stood up and railed against the Collins proposal, saying the House could not accept either a debt-limit bill or a government-funding measure that would delay the next fight until the new year.

According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Ryan’s speech appeared only to further rile up the conservative wing of the GOP conference, which has been agitating the shutdown strategy to try to tear apart the health-care law.

With such fervor still rampant among House Republicans, there was bipartisan agreement in the Senate that Boehner’s House had lost its ability to approve anything that could be signed by Obama into law.

My guess is that it is this leadership role in prolonging the government shutdown that Ryan is trying to whitewash.

I guess he’s running, huh?

JD at the Ironman

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

JD’s wife has posted this on Facebook:

In dangerous heat conditions at Ironman Louisville, JD put in a GREAT effort with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and about a 17 mile run until needing 3 bags of IV fluids and some medical attention from severe dehydration. He’s all good. THANK U to all his awesome, unbelievable friends who cheered him on. No one can do this physically or mentally without the love and support of family and friends!!

I have no words to express how hard that sounds. Glad JD is OK.

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