33 examples of liberal intolerance in 2014


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I dare my liberal readers to come up with a comparable list of conservative intolerance this past year. If they do, I will gladly highlight such behavior also, as fascism from either camp is unacceptable.

However, I have serious doubts liberals can find as many examples of the right squelching freedom of speech in 2014 with the same gusto as shown by the left this past year.

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45 comments

  • Cotour

    They demand that you respect their point of view but they have the option of respecting yours.

    I have commented on the refusal to serve or do business with someone before based on a religious or personal belief. This can be a sticky situation especially when the state becomes involved. As a general rule the state can not condone the overt discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation, racial origin or belief, etc.

    If you are open for business to provide your services to the public and are doing business through a business entity that is a construct within that state the business owner has got a serious problem if they are not able to more than reasonably side step who it is that they would rather not do business with. And these businesses will be identified by activist individuals who will go out of their way and will make examples of them. Even though in many cases other businesses would be very willing to accommodate them.

    The state, any state can not allow what can be argued to be flat out discrimination against an individual or group of people to go on. I know that its hard to draw the line on some of these cases but its not the business owners that are going to get to draw the line.

  • The point for me is not whether the store owner is required to provide services. The point is to note the fascist attitude of those who are aggressively using the law to destroy Christian businesses and individuals, even though they are literally doing nothing to hurt anyone. In every case, the gay individuals had many other options. In almost every case, the store owners had gladly provided services to gays in the past and simply did not wish to participate in a gay marriage. In almost every case, the store owners also tried to provide the customers alternatives that would actually have served the gay customers better.

    And in every case, the mean-spirited fascist goals of the left superseded these efforts at good will. The bottom line is that these liberal attacks don’t really have the goal of trying to promote equal access and human rights. They are aimed instead at squelching by force any opposition to their perspective, even if it means destroying the lives of anyone that stands in their way. And that is the point that must be recognized.

  • Cotour

    I agree with all of your points, and still ” A ” state, “THE” state in America in these circumstances can not allow discrimination of this kind to persist. Are these actions individual actions of reverse intolerance and examples of “fascist” attitudes? Yes, no doubt, people can certainly find others to provide what it is that they desire for the most part (but not always). But until a reasonable way for a business proprietor to side step what he will do for one but refuses to do for another based on race, religious or sexual orientation these kinds of cases will continue. These are basic civil rights issues as per the Constitution.

    (to me this is much like arguing the issue of an individuals right to smoke, but that individual does not have the right to insinuate his or her smoking on another. The logic is solid and reasonable)

    Recognize the strategy and devise the reasonable counter balance to it, notice I keep using the word reasonable, and everyone will be happy in what they are endeavoring to do. Unfortunately that is not how the world or our Constituion works.

    And my point of view is that of a person that deals with the public every day in a business where I can legally interrupt (and I have when reasonably appropriate) an individuals rights to do as they please within certain parameters.

    All the best to you in the new year, thank you for having this web site where I can express my opinions with like minded people and sometimes (not often enough) with people of another point of view. I will be making a contribution to your efforts in the new year.

  • Pzatchok

    I wonder if in some way those businesses gave an outward appearance of being Christian?

    Even just a cross hanging on the wall or a slip up by the proprietor about going to church could have given it away. Thus they become a target the fascist left.

    I notice this doesn’t seem to be happening in areas with high concentrations of Christians to gays but only in areas with higher than average gay populations. Someplace were they can network to gain power.

  • Cotour

    Im sure that in these places where this goes on its not hard to determine who is welcome and who is not based on the owners attitude towards the public, there is no secret symbol that identifies who is welcome and who should stay away.

    The public includes everyone and when you as an individual running an open to the public business choose to selectively choose your customers you yourself through your overt actions become your own worst enemy.

    Maybe locking your front door and putting a sign on the door “by phone appointment only” may serve to hamper the legal arguments that can ensue. But to face someone and tell them that because they are black, brown, yellow or because they are wearing a rainbow tee shirt or because they are of a different religion than the proprietor they will not be served is just asking for a problem, and you are going to simply piss someone off not to mention trampling on their civil rights. And that someone may well be a person on a quest to ” right” the wrongs against their people.

    This is not rocket science, its people science.

    All the best in the new year to you.

  • Edward

    Having the state support your point of view over the shopkeeper’s is tyranny in a way that is similar to NAZI Germany (don’t invoke Godwin’s Law here, as we must learn from the past in order to avoid repeating it). When shopkeepers are disrespected and driven out of business, the tactic is different but the result is the same as Kristallnacht.

    Allowing such bigoted discrimination against shopkeepers has been shown to result in similar discrimination against the rest of their group (Jews, Christians, conservatives, etc.). The 33 examples listed demonstrate that this is very clearly occurring in the US.

    We also see similarities to the practices of the tyrannical communists, right down to people being sent to reeducation camps – er – classes (examples #5 and #7).

    Cotour, what you see as “discrimination” is in reality freedom of religion, an actual protected right. A right that is so important that it is the first right in the list of rights that shall not be infringed. There is absolutely no “right to be served by any business of one’s choosing.” None at all. Not based upon race, religion, sexual preference, or any other “protected” or even non-protected group. That is how the Constitution works. To suggest otherwise is to miss the point of America – which America has been doing these past five decades.

    We have the right to offend (this is the whole point of the article as well as of the First Amendment — you may be offended by my religion, but I still get to practice it), but we do not have the right to shut down someone’s business by force. We have the right to not shop at someone’s store, even to encourage others to do the same, but to invoke the government to infringe upon the shopkeeper’s First Amendment right is a shameful act of tyranny.

    We discriminate every single day. Whenever you choose one product over another, you discriminated against the other. Every time that you choose to shop at one place, you have discriminated against every other place of business. You discriminate against every person on the planet that you fail to make your friend; it doesn’t matter that you already have more friends than you can keep track of. Discrimination happens, and you are as guilty as everyone else.

    Your example of smoking may have solid and reasonable logic, but it does not apply in this case; discriminating against someone because they want you to participate in something that is counter to your values is not the same as blowing smoke in their face. In fact, it is more like them blowing smoke into your face.

    Perhaps you are doing business under the rules and laws of a tyrannical government and accepting them as a new normal, but tyranny is not how this country was set up to work. This country was set up to be free, not tyrannical.

    All the best to you and your business in this new year. (I would say “merry Christmas,” but someone might get so offended that they then must be ejected from the airplane, like that guy at LaGuardia a couple of days ago.)

  • Cotour

    Edward, your equation is incomplete, one sided and self serving.

    “Cotour, what you see as “discrimination” is in reality freedom of religion, an actual protected right.”

    You, me, anyone is free to exercise your religious beliefs whenever and wear ever we please, but when the exercise of your religion in a venue open to the public and doing business with that public you may not exercise your religious or what ever bias against another individual.

    I have pointed this out several times previously, you and I are equal under the law but when a proprietor subjectively gets to decide who he or she will or will not do business with because he or she does not “like” the other person, for what ever reason, then that proprietor is more equal and has gone over the line into discrimination as far as the state and any, IMO, reasonable person goes. The Constitution in no way protects or guarantees such actions by one individual over another in a public venue.

    Are you telling me that if you went into a store, open to the public and wanted to purchase something, say for your sick child, and the proprietor said to you “Im very sorry sir but IMO you look a little fruity with those braids in your hair and that black eye shadow all over your eyes and that shade of pink lip stick is certainly a wrong color choice for you and those eight inch spked high heel leather boots you are wearing scare me, and you speak in a very feminine way and my religion has strict rules against associating with persons of your orientation, I’m not going to serve you, you will have to leave my store because you are stepping on my right to religious freedom”.

    Think about that for a moment Edward, you are perverting logic and reasonable behavior, not to mention the Constitution. It guarantees no such right.

    I think the world in general would be a more peaceful and pleasant place if religion, what ever religion, is practiced in ones home in private and when you go into the world you realize that not everyone agrees with your particular religion and its rules of operation. The Constitution certainly guarantees an INDIVIDUAL the freedom of religion but when we are no longer “equal” as in the public square, patronizing an open to the public venue those that would have a power to arbitrarily say whether you as an individual has the “proper” pedigree in their opinion to either make a purchase or rent a bicycle or buy an ice cream cone then that is when by definition discrimination is occurring. Have no doubt about that!

    If a person wants to act in such a way then they can take their business private, as in not open to the public, and only do their business as they please with whom ever they please privately. ( But its very unfriendly )

    Your citing the Constitution as the harbor for discrimination and equate such to the persecution of the Jews is just wrong because we ALL have the right to our religious beliefs in this instance your comments IMO are inappropriate.

    And the point being made by Mr. Zimmerman is about the tactics that activists are using as a weapon, a very effective weapon. And its effective because it is a reasonable argument.

    In war you either figure out how to counter balance your opponents strategies or get used to living under their rule. In this case maybe who these people think are their enemies are only customers looking to business with them.

    All the best to you also in the new year.

  • Edward

    Cotour, I think that you are the one being self-serving and one sided. I also think that you are being incomplete when you fail to consider that I have equal rights as my customers, as you pointed out several times previously.

    “I have pointed this out several times previously, you and I are equal under the law”

    That is true, until I start up a business. Then you think that you get to tell me how to run it. So much for my equality. So much for my rights. According to your flawed analysis, my rights ended the moment I started my business.

    You still have the right to boycott my business, and according to your tyrannical view of America, you get to sic the government on me, too. But I do not get to boycott you as a customer, and the government seems to agree to take away my rights in favor of your perceived rights. So much for equality.

    You are free to discriminate against me and my business, but you believe that I have abdicated my rights to discriminate against patrons who insist that I *participate* in their beliefs. This goes far, far beyond tolerance or even acceptance, it is actual participation, which *directly violates* my values (at least you have not yet insisted that I *practice* your values). If I do not participate, your values have not been violated, but if I do, mine have. You claim that your values trump mine, just because I chose to start a business and you choose to hire my services or buy my goods. So much for equal protection under the law. Maybe you should add my business to the list of businesses that you discriminate against by not being their customer (tell me again, why did you choose mine over those others?).

    A public venue is one in which we are supposed to be free to express our views. That is the whole idea of the “soap box” speech in the public park. You, however, insist that my “public venue,” a private business, is subject only to *your* views, not mine. Fortunately, they understand in Minnesota that a public mall is not a place where you are allowed to harm my business by advocating your values. There, the shopkeeper has equal protection.

    “Are you telling me that if you went into a store…”

    I fail to see logic or the reasonable behavior? At one time, reasonable behavior was something that we could use in a court of law to determine whether a reasonable person could be expected to do something that was now in dispute. You seem to be redefining reasonable behavior in order to make your point. Indeed, the person who may have been offended (the shopkeeper) has lost his right, according to you, but the person turned away still has the right to boycott, encourage others to boycott, and to sic the government on the poor, offended shopkeeper, all because the shopkeeper’s rights ended at the business license. Does that sound logical or reasonable to you? Really?

    “… if religion, what ever religion, is practiced in ones home in private…”

    So now Muslims are not allowed to be out and about when it is time to pray? Once again, you take away our rights to freely practice our religions. Do you assume that my religious values and practices end at my home’s front door? Does this mean that I must eat pork when I am not at home? Do I have to commit adultery in order to avoid offending a woman who is interested in me (and what do I tell my wife, “but, honey, I didn’t want to be rude”)? Is my business about to be banned from displaying Santa Clause because that publicly displays my religion?

    “The Constitution certainly guarantees an INDIVIDUAL the freedom of religion”

    I missed the word “Individual” in the First Amendment, stating that rights apply solely to individuals. I did see, however, “the right of the people,” which explicitly refers to groups, as in “to assemble,” as in a congregation or a protest, or “to petition.” Except for your interpretation, I get to assemble a group into a company, and my company gets to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I even get to assemble a group to practice my religion, too. You seem to be following the Supreme Court’s lead by misinterpreting the Constitution in order to make your point and to remove my individual rights as a shopkeeper and my groups’ rights (company, various clubs, mosque, etc.). Once again, you have declared that I – and now my associates – relinquish our rights just because we started a business, a club, a church or an assembly. Where did our equality go, again?

    “Have no doubt about that!”

    You seem to have missed my rant about discrimination. Discrimination happens all the time. Even you, Cotour, can’t help but to discriminate. In fact, by replying to me, and not to every other commenter on this site, you have blatantly discriminated against all the others, even those with whom you agree (I’m sure that you meant no offense to the others, and I am sure that they have taken none). Have no doubt about that, too.

    What if I started a chapter of the KKK just so that I can insist that a black-owned or Jewish-owned business cater our events? Wouldn’t it be discrimination not to insist upon them catering, and wouldn’t it be discrimination for them to refuse? And wouldn’t it be discrimination not to join?

    “If a person wants to act in such a way then they can take their business private,”

    Under that sort of ruling, every publicly traded business that even *one person* thinks is not behaving in a socially responsible way should be taken private or shut down. This is completely unreasonable. Indeed, there are mutual funds that allow people to avoid investing in (owning) companies that they believe are not socially responsible. Those that they disagree with are not required to take their companies private, but now you want to take yet another right from me and from every other business owner. And how is *that* also not discrimination against me and my fellow business owners?

    “Your citing the Constitution…”

    Why is it wrong when I cite the Constitution, but just a couple of paragraphs above it was OK for you to cite the Constitution? Are you the only one who is right to cite it? Is that yet another right that I give up when I start a business? Aren’t you the one being self-serving, and one sided?

    Further, the Constitution understands that we all discriminate all the time, that is why we are free to speak our minds and print our opinions (discriminating against other opinions), exercise our religions (discriminating against other religions), and to peaceably assemble (discriminating against those who did not assemble with us, or even those whom we excluded). Discrimination is absolutely, positively necessary, as we are unable to buy all products from all companies, nor can we associate with all people or hire all job applicants (I prefer to hire only competent ones, even if I have to train them); due to lack of resources (money, time, ability to be in all places at all times), we must be able to pick and choose, and that process involves some form of discrimination. That is why the law does not say that we cannot discriminate against anyone or anything, but that we cannot discriminate against certain, enumerated, protected groups and only under certain conditions (e.g. we are not required to join all those groups). Even the law knows that discrimination must happen, so it (unwisely) chooses to dictate how we are to live our lives.

    “we ALL have the right to our religious beliefs”

    Agreed, so why do you insist that I lose my right when I start my business?

    “In this case maybe who these people think are their enemies are only customers looking to business with them.”

    When did any of the violated shopkeepers suggest that their potential/rejected customers were enemies? They only said that they did not want to participate in their values, not destroy their values. Please do not assume non-existent facts. It reminds me of Professor Susan Douglas, who assumed that Republicans hated her, so she concluded “So now we hate them back.” So far as I know, there is no war or enemies, unless those who are siccing the government on shopkeepers turn out to be at war with the shopkeepers (it wouldn’t be the first time that Americans were unaware that there was an active, one sided, war against them).

    So, the persecution of shopkeepers and Professor Douglas’s Republicans, and anyone who takes their religion out their front door is nothing like the persecution of the Jews in NAZI Germany? Both are examples of intolerance slowly increasing until bad things happen, like being run out of business or having our values devalued and denied (which is what you are advocating for, or did you miss that point? Learn from Germany’s past in order to prevent repeating it.). I don’t suggest that there will be death camps for shopkeepers, but there already are re-education camps — er — classes for them.

    Your comments, IMO, are not inappropriate (they are your viewpoint, your opinions, and your values), but for a free America they were wrong when we first tangled over this issue, and you are wrong now. Please remember that I still have rights, just like you. Please allow me to keep mine, even if I start a business, associate with others, or walk out my front door; I think that you should be allowed to keep yours.

  • Edward

    “you are perverting logic and reasonable behavior”

    Cotour,

    I forgot to mention that you, yourself, put those words into my “mouth.” It is your own logic and behavior that you are blaming on me. It is as though you had built up a proprietor made of straw just so that you could knock him down and blame me for his existence in the first place.

    Please complain only about what I say, not what you wish I had said. Thank you.

    As for the world being more peaceful if no one acknowledged religion outside of the home:

    During the times of polytheism, there were so many gods from which to choose that no one got upset that you and he each worshiped a different god. Things didn’t get troublesome until monotheism AND the declaration that there was only one true god. Then people started to insist that everyone else convert to that one true god, and everyone else got upset that they were being coerced into converting away from their own god.

    I think the world in general would be a more peaceful and pleasant place if religion, whatever religion, would let the rest of us choose our own god, family of gods, or non-god to worship or not worship, as the case may be. Then again, it would also be nice if there were more rainbows and unicorns around, too. If wishes were horses …

  • Cotour

    ” the person who may have been offended (the shopkeeper) has lost his right, ”

    Yes, the shop keeper because he has created a public venue under the auspices of an entity within the state and has chosen to change his or her equality to a higher level and along with that higher level comes a responsibility NOT TO ARBITRARILY DISCRIMINATE.

    ” Do you assume that my religious values and practices end at my home’s front door?”

    No, I suggested that the world might be a better place if that were so.

    “I fail to see logic or the reasonable behavior? ”

    Yes, you do.

    “Do I have to commit adultery in order to avoid offending a woman who is interested in me (and what do I tell my wife, “but, honey, I didn’t want to be rude”

    Interested in you? Really? Now you know that’s unlikely to happen based on your past history and seeing that you dress the way that you dress, with those crazy braids in your hair and that black mascara, take a look in the mirror man, what are you thinking! But they do say that there is a lid for every pot. :)

    ” Learn from Germany’s past in order to prevent repeating it.”

    The German government was the entity that was intent on encouraging and committing the discrimination, ultimately resulting in murder. And there in lies the problem here, your all over the place on this subject.

    You are equating a private individuals right to practice their chosen belief system and calling it and absolute freedom, with an entity, all be it owned by another individual but created within a state within the Untied States Of America. They are different at that point and are no longer “equal”, one is now more equal than the other.

    As a general rule if you are in the practice of telling someone when they come into your business that you will not be doing business with them because they are either the wrong color, the wrong religion or of the wrong sexual orientation you are actively discriminating against them. My advice to you is that you remain under the employ of some other person than yourself, or if you do go into business you gird your loins and prepare for legal battle. You are your own worst enemy and should not be dealing with the public.

  • Cotour

    So you agree with me. Your making progress, maybe there is hope for you.

  • Pzatchok

    Is it alright for me to walk into a Jewish deli and ask for ham products? And then take them to court because they will not cater to Christians?

    What about a Muslim caterer?

    Why are the homosexuals not targeting those businesses?

    Does the Black owned restaurant have the right to refuse service to the KKK if they show in their club outfits?
    Can the KKK then take them to court if the food is substandard, tainted or they are refused service.

    As a bar owner can I refuse service to someone who in my opinion has drank enough?
    Or can they take me to court for refusal of service.

    How about the gun store owner who suspects someone is buying a weapon for someone else? By law he is supposed to refuse service. The customer has no recourse no way to prove he is not buying the weapon for someone else. What if the owner is white and the customer is black or gay? Can they take him to court and try to prove he refused because of their sexuality or color?

    Our church rents out its banquet hall for many occasions. Is it ok to force a Catholic church to rent it out for a gay wedding reception?

  • Paul

    Suppose a storeowner refused service to someone because they were gay, or cheated on their wife, a nazi, etc. That is illegal and should be. You can’t pick and choose your customers based on behavior unrelated to the transaction.

    However, that is not what is happening here. The customer is asking the owner to PARTICIPATE in behavior he disagrees with. This is where the intolerance comes in. You shouldn’t be able make a feminist videographer do a porn tape for you on pain of legal action. You shouldn’t be able to force a gay cake decorator out of business for refusing to make a cake celebrating a Westborough Baptist Church protest. Yet that is what is happening here. The only difference is that the beliefs being attacked are not politically correct.

  • Cotour

    To be clear Edward:

    “I think the world in general would be a more peaceful and pleasant place if religion, whatever religion, would let the rest of us choose our own god, family of gods, or non-god to worship or not worship, as the case may be.”

    You seem to agree with me that the world might be a better place if religion were left to ones private life in general. Keep working on the difference between an individuals freedoms as a private individual and as an individual operating an open to the public business.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact nor is it a license for an individual to do what ever he or she desires under the banner of “their absolut rights” at the cost of another’s rights or freedoms.

  • Cotour

    My response to both Pzat and Paul:

    Pzat, a venue that serves what it serves, serves what it serves, to be able to force someone to serve everything that could be served to satisfy everyone possible is not reasonable. As far a drunk in a bar or someone attempting to “illegally” buy a firearm, yes, you as the personification of the government that holds a license, you CAN refuse someone service for cause (your subjective assessment of the situation) and the state will hold you innocent of violating another’s rights or freedoms.

    In regards to your other scenarios, Nothing here is perfect so an individual proprietor has to develop the proper understanding, protocols and rules in dealing with the many, many different people and situations that may come in the “open to the public” door. Like I said, the license holder is the personification of the state and is charged with properly and fairly dealing with the public in a fair and respectful way. A living breathing OBJECTIVE person (now that they have taken on an open to the public venue) must be responsible in how they can in how ever broadly or narrowly interrupt an individuals rights to do as they please.

    Does the Soup Nazi really have to authority to throw you out of his store because you asked for bread?
    NO SOUP FOR YOU!

    Paul:

    You bring out good points here and these in some instances are gray areas of logic that may have to be litigated, but being respectful and reasonable as a proprietor IMO is primary. Someone should not be able to force me as a videogrpher to film their satanic rituals if that is offensive to me. Sometimes business is not just business.

    On the other hand if someone comes into your venue and can be determined to be disruptive or causing a situation not conducive to your business then by all means they are to be invited to remove themselves from your property. They have chosen to be unreasonable so must suffer the consequences of their actions.

  • Edward

    Cotour,

    > a venue that serves what it serves, serves what it serves

    So now you agree with us. If the photographer and the baker do not serve gay weddings, then they do not serve gay weddings. You are trying to have it both ways in order to suit yourself.

    > Nothing here is perfect

    Thus the purpose and the ordering of the Bill of Rights. These are the priorities. The rights that are implied under the Ninth Amendment are not as important as those enumerated under the First Amendment.

    > Someone should not be able to force me as a videogrpher to film their satanic rituals if that is offensive to me. Sometimes business is not just business.

    Yet you advocate for me to have to violate my religion or values just to satisfy you. What merely offends you is optional, but what actually violates me is mandatory. What happened to that equality that you mentioned before?

    You just lost the argument. Rights trump offense. That is the entire purpose of the First Amendment. Otherwise someone could shut down all opposing viewpoints by merely claiming to be offended. We would all have to say and do whatever others wanted us to do in order to prevent them from claiming offense. The right to not be offended is lower on the list than the right to practice religion, speak our minds, associate with others, or publish news and opinions. Otherwise, you would have to stop replying, because your insistence that I lose my rights by starting a business or going out my front door is enormously offensive to me, and for good reason.

    Thus, the gay couple is merely offended that the photographer won’t violate his values by participating in their values, but they now get to insist that he violate his values. This violates not only the letter of the Bill of Rights but its spirit, too. That government is willing to enforce this violation demonstrates its tyrannical disregard for the Constitution, the sole device that we have to peacefully prevent living under this tyranny.

    From other threads: Cotour wrote:

    >Yes, the shop keeper because he has created a public venue …

    Here, you prove my point. The tyranny removes our rights merely because we choose to do business, and you are OK with that; you advocate that.

    > Interested in you?

    Dude, she’s really, *really* into those crazy braids. ;-)

    > The German government was the entity that was intent on encouraging and committing the discrimination

    Three letters: IRS. Change “Jews” to “conservatives” or even “shopkeepers,” and there is little difference. The IRS was intent on committing discrimination and even tried to get the DOJ to prosecute freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and association. Requiring shopkeepers to violate their religious values is at least as bad. The comparison remains valid, and it is a history that we don’t want to repeat. Most of the items on the list of 33 fall under similar violations of rights, merely because someone disagrees with a differing viewpoint.

    > You are equating a private individuals right … and calling it and absolute freedom

    You were the one who claimed that I have equal rights; I am the one who pointed out that the laws, as you would have them, remove those rights entirely, thus you retain your rights and I lose mine — the same right is no longer applied equally. Reread what I wrote. I said that it was so important that it was listed first. I did not write that we have the right to sacrifice humans, shout fire in a theater, incite to riot, or advocate “burn down this bitch,” or “what do we want; dead cops; when do we want it; now.”

    Even after I requested that you not, you have put words into my mouth (keyboard?). The First Amendment is very important, more important than non-enumerated rights, but its protected rights are not absolute.

    > one is now more equal than the other.

    That is correct. But you are advocating that a right that is *not* enumerated in the Constitution is more important than one that is. It is the other way around. The equality is in the application of the same right. You and I still get to speak freely, but under your interpretation, I may soon find that I cannot put Santa Clause into my store because you might get offended. You insist that your Ninth Amendment implied right is more important than my explicitly stated First Amendment right. I already cannot say “merry Christmas” in my own store for the same reason. (BTW: my store is hypothetical; I do not currently have one, but I once ran a business with other partners.)

    > you are actively discriminating against them.

    That is correct. And the appropriate course of action for the person who feels unfairly discriminated against is to not shop there, suggest to his friends and family to not shop there, and otherwise publicly announce his opinion in order to demonstrate to the shopkeepers of the town/nation that the shopping public prefers businesses that do not discriminate in that way. Passing laws telling shopkeepers how to do business is actually fascist (there’s that Godwin’s Law thing, again, but our government is looking more and more like the definition with each passing year).
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism?s=t

    A secondary point of mine is that we always discriminate. Just like you, I, too, am discriminating against all other commenters who I am not responding to, and we all discriminate against Robert’s posts that we don’t reply to. We cannot help but discriminate, because we have only the time and money to do or buy or make certain things or associate with certain people. We have to choose, and in choosing we discriminate. It can’t be helped and it can’t be avoided.

    > You seem to agree with me that the world might be a better place if religion were left to ones private life in general.

    No, I was trying to suggest that we are stuck with an imperfect world that does not contain unicorns or enough rainbows. Sorry, in retrospect that needed a sarcasm alert. I was also saying that it is too bad that we no longer can all just get along. That is very different than keeping our religion private. The thought that we should is where the flaw lies.

  • Cotour

    Your rights are not absolute.

    Your rights do not exist in a vacuum.

    A state can not allow blatant discrimination.

    Nothing is perfect, but reason is reasonable.

    And those braids look ridiculous!

  • Edward

    > Your rights are not absolute.
    > Your rights do not exist in a vacuum.

    You really *don’t* understand this concept of rights, as you keep telling us that we don’t or shouldn’t have them.

    > A state can not allow blatant discrimination.

    I think you are confusing discrimination with bigotry. Otherwise you remove our right to choice. And if it can’t, then why is ours actively discriminating against conservatives, white males (can you say affirmative action?), and now even police officers? So much for leading by example.

    > Nothing is perfect, but reason is reasonable.

    Did you even read my reply, above?

    > And those braids look ridiculous!

    True, but she really digs ’em!

  • Pzatchok

    Do I have the right to advertise my religion and promote my church?

    Just because my religion and thus speech offends you does not mean I can no longer state it out in public,

    Am I allowed to try to gain more members for my church? Can I proselytize?

    I have the right to conceal carry in my state.
    Do I have the right to go into any store or restaurant I choose with my weapon?
    Can the owner ask me to leave?
    And why does he have the right to ask me to leave? I am only expressing an enumerated right. The second amendment, which must be more important than the shop keepers right to refuse me service because his right to refuse me service is not even mentioned in the bill of rights or amendments.

  • Cotour

    An example of your inappropriate use of reason:

    “So now you agree with us. If the photographer and the baker do not serve gay weddings, then they do not serve gay weddings. You are trying to have it both ways in order to suit yourself.”

    The baker is open to the public and bakes and sells cakes and baked goods. His or her cakes and his or her service does not include or dis-include Jews, Gays, Albinos, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, Whites Reds etc, his or her store is open to the public and the public includes everyone.

    The baker may or may not personally like the person in their store and may or may not specialize in the particular type of cake that the customer may want but if the customer happens into their store and wants to purchase the goods that are offered and the baker says to that person that he does not want to sell those items to that person because they are one of the many kinds of people that offend the baker, for what ever reason, then that is by definition discrimination. The bakers right to hate is not absolute, not in this open to the public business model.

    Now if the customer comes into the store and demands that a baker produce something like a pornographic cake with flying vagina’s and penises that the baker does not regularly produce or does not specialize in then that is un reasonable and the customers demands must go unfulfilled. Good luck to the customer in court the baker may well find the demands unreasonable and offensive.

    And therein the baker may find some shelter in their open to the public business if they so desire, but in general if a customer comes into an open to the public store and wants to purchase what is being offered for sale only an ignorant, bigoted fool would attempt to tell them that they could not make that purchase. We can come up will a million crazy assed scenarios but in general I stand by my opinion on this matter with a high degree of confidence.

    You really need to step back and ponder this for a while.

  • Cotour

    You have the right to advertise or proselytize, if that is what you choose to do in your business then so be it. That can be a way to either attract or repel the kind of customers you want in your store. But IMO you will tend to limit your business potential.

    As far as carrying goes, a proprietor probably has the right to limit you entering his or her establishment with your gun. He or she may welcome it and consider it an additional measure of safety or may consider your gun a potential liability. Its up to them, your on their property.

    You are free to have your gun within your home or on your property but when you enter public spaces under normal circumstances then your “right” comes under the jurisdiction of your local city or state government. Your right in this instance is not absoulte, you have chosen to take your private right into the public, you have changed the equation in the context of the city or state in which you find yourself living.

    Your right to a firearm is designed as the ultimate counter balance to the tyranny that the founders understood would eventually rear its ugly head, in that context your rights are absolute.

    We can come up with many different scenarios that can vary in complexity but as a general rule the issues we are discussing is the difference between private and public rights in our ever complex civilization where rights are enumerated but are not absoulte depending on where we find ourselves, Texas is different than New York.

    Edward, your response is below in my other post.

  • Edward

    Pzatchok,

    Fortunately, you still have the right to advertise your church and religion on billboards. So far the anti-religion tyranny has not removed that right.

    On the other hand, they *have* removed your right to conceal carry without their express permission, so you are losing your Second Amendment rights by a death of a thousand cuts (some compare it to boiling a frog).

    Owners can always ask someone to leave. At your house, they become trespassers if they refuse, but whether the government will back you up at your business is in doubt, but this is another case of rights not being absolute. For example, carrying your gun into a bank would frighten the other customers, the employees, and the hired security. This action could be compared to shouting “fire” in a theater. (This also brings up the topic of gun-free zones, but that is a good topic for a different blog posting.)

    Cotour,

    > But IMO you will tend to limit your business potential.

    Well, gee. Wouldn’t limiting the offered products or services also limit the business potential? You make the shopkeeper look greedy rather than focused on his specialties.

    From your response, below:
    > An example of your inappropriate use of reason:
    > > “So now you agree with us. If the photographer and the baker do not serve gay weddings, then they do not serve gay weddings. You are trying to have it both ways in order to suit yourself.”
    > The baker is open to the public and bakes and sells cakes and baked goods. His or her cakes and his or her service does not include or dis-include Jews, Gays, Albinos, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, Whites Reds etc, his or her store is open to the public and the public includes everyone.

    It is actually from your own reasoning: “Pzat, a venue that serves what it serves, serves what it serves, to be able to force someone to serve everything that could be served to satisfy everyone possible is not reasonable.”

    And that applies to the limited business potential in your more recent response to Pzatchok. So, which is it? Is it reasonable to serve everything and everyone in order to increase or maximize business potential, or is it reasonable to limit your products and services?

    You have missed the parts of the articles that explained that the baker, photographer, and farmer served gays and gay couples, but they did not want to *participate* in *activities* that violated their values. *Service* was not denied, only *participation* was denied. Their stores and property were open to the public and that *did* include everyone, but it did not include every activity. Activities that violated their values were not normal or included in their businesses, products, or services. The plaintiffs insisted not upon the regular services provided but upon services that would violate values, then claimed that they were offended or humiliated.

    I still have to be able to discriminate about who my clientele is. If I have a pizzeria in New York, can I reasonably refuse to have my delivery person deliver to Chicago? If so, where does the reasonable range for my deliveries end? And who gets to choose? No matter who chooses, I will be blatantly discriminating against the houses that are one block farther away.

    My alma mater, likewise, is open to the public, but they were about to discriminate against me. Indeed, they admitted lesser-qualified applicants over me before they admitted me. This was due to governmental institutionalized discrimination.

    A graduate school that I applied for did not admit me, and for the same bigoted, institutionalized racism, affirmative action reason. I know this, because it came down to me and one other person, and the other person took his sweet time deciding to accept the offer. I got to know the secretaries in administrations quite well, as I tried to find out whether I was going to be accepted.

    (Moral dilemma for the day: should I have accepted the other university with the intention of blowing them off — and potentially screwing some other student at the second university — if the first university finally accepted me, or should I have risked missing out on grad school altogether in hopes that the other person passed on the offer?)

    > Now if the customer comes into the store and demands…

    So do I have this right? It is OK to refuse service to someone who asks for something that I don’t specialize in, such as pornographic cake, but I can’t refuse service to someone who asks for something that I don’t specialize in, such as participating in activities that are counter to my values and violate my religion (which I have a right to keep inviolate)?

    And just because someone else redefines marriage does not mean that your religion must or that you must change your values, otherwise someone could quickly change the definition of normal cakes to include pornographic ones. Do I have to eat pork just because the government says that pork is OK to eat, or am I allowed to keep this value?

    And the customer is *not* always right. When a flight attendant wished a man “Merry Christmas” on a plane at LaGuardia, he was ejected for becoming offended. The airline’s values included calm and quiet, but they were allowed to keep their values, so why do you insist that I violate mine.

    Obviously, violating my values is not my specialty, nor is it a regular service. You have already stated that it is OK to refuse service to someone who offends you, but you continue to insist that I must violate my values. How inconsiderate of those customers who demand that I do. I am offended by that, but my being offended and humiliated does not count — I don’t have that equal right, anymore, merely because I got a business license.

    Is the double standard and unequal application of rights that you advocate what you call appropriate use of reason? I do not. I consider my insistence of a single standard and equal application of rights to be appropriate use of reason — and reasonable.

    Potential or past customers who were merely offended have trumped the proprietors’ values, thus their rights to hold their values were stripped from them when they received their business licenses.

    If you can refuse service in order to prevent being merely offended, then surely it is appropriate application of reasoning that I can refuse service in order to prevent violating my basic values. Isn’t the right to hold basic values at least as valuable as the right to not be offended? Otherwise, how are my rights to be considered equal to yours? How are we to speak freely if anything that we say could unexpectedly offend any one of the 300 million people of this country?

    I have prioritized values and religion over offence. You have prioritized the other way around. I disagree with your unreasonable prioritization. Your priorities are set up to suit you, not to suit the general public to which a shopkeeper is open for business (does everyone want to shop where profit trumps values? How would we know whether the shopkeeper is honest?) or to suit the shopkeeper.

    > You really need to step back and ponder this for a while.

    I have pondered it for months, ever since the first time we tangled over this issue. Apparently you have not, as your flawed logic, reasoning, and arguments have not changed.

    I keep pointing out the inconsistency in your arguments, but you keep persisting in being inconsistent, as though you still don’t recognize these inconsistencies. Perhaps you should consider pondering this and clearing up your inconsistencies, your demand that I — the shopkeeper – be treated unequally despite your claim that I am equal, that blatant discrimination be avoided despite the fact that our own government has institutionalized blatant discrimination, and that I still have the same rights despite your continual demand that I leave my religious rights at home and lose them entirely at my business.

  • Cotour

    I have done this very successfully every day dealing with the public for the past 23 years (probably longer than you have drawn breath) this is not theory or an intellectual exercise for me. Everyone is equal when they walk through the threshold of my building / business. There is no male, female, black, white, brown, gay, straight, transgender or what ever. Everyone comes in equal and is respected, that’s how I treat them and its up to them whether they want to change that model. I will even over look much in order to do business within certain limits. I know what I am taking about.

    You are spending a lot of time and words investing in explaining your rights and how you might be offended in a situation, try thinking about how someone else might be effected and how they might feel. You seem to be working out a personal slight to yourself, I suggest investing in changing your perspective. Look into the mirror and not out the window.

    Your rights are not absolute.

    Your rights do not exist in a vacuum.

    A state can not allow blatant discrimination.

    Nothing is perfect, but reason is reasonable.

  • Cotour

    Some of the gray ?

    I don’t know that I agree with this particular ruling, making men who were assigned as a part of their job to drive a fire truck in a gay parade. If they objected why couldn’t someone else who did not object be assigned? Does their employment by the city trump their personal / religious objections? Does their employer have the right to have them participate in something where they may personally be tagged as “being” gay for their participation?

    If they were on the job and a building housing gay people were on fire they would certainly participate in saving the people who might be in the building, they wouldn’t have the choice to not participate because of their religious beliefs. I think that the city may well be being unreasonable and so is the court. Driving a fire truck in a parade is not primary in a fire mans job.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/01/01/court-rejects-catholic-firefighters-claim-that-being-forced-to-drive-a-truck-in-a-gay-pride-parade-violated-their-constitutional-rights/

  • Pzatchok

    But my denial of making you a guy themed wedding cake does not interfere with your rights.

    It just upsets you.

    You can go anyplace else and find the same thing.

  • Cotour

    I tend to agree with you, as long as there is consistency in how you are treating me and other customers.

    The basic general rule is if you are open to the public selling what ever it is that you sell you may not selectively sell what ever it is that you sell to one individual and not sell what ever it is that you sell to another.

    In an instance where you do custom work that might entail a theme, such as a custom cake, or provide a specific service on site, such as a photographer or videographer, there may be more opportunity to argue that you may be discriminating based on your religious or moral beliefs. Be careful about that line, there are people looking to make an example of you.

    When you choose your battles make sure that in the end you can win the war. And attempt to weigh whether the line that you have chosen to draw is wroth your time, money and aggravation.

    My contention on this subject is that 1. to open an open to the public business makes you more equal and being more equal gives you a responsibility to go out of your way to make sure that everyone that you have business with is treated in a reasonable, equal and respectful way as the foundation of your business philosophy. Its just good business.

    And 2. there may / will come times when lines must be drawn in respect to who you will and will not do business with. And when you draw those lines let them be based in your well founded philosophy of reason, equality and respect.

  • Cotour

    This above reply is for PZAT’s last comment about that MAN cake issue.

  • Edward

    You keep making these statements, as though they are fact, but you either misuse them or you are wrong about them.

    > I have done this very successfully
    Good for you. And until the gays decided to sic the government on some other shopkeepers’ rights, those other shopkeepers were successful, too.

    Just because you are willing to let your rights be trampled does not mean that the rights should be trampled or that every shopkeeper should forfeit his rights. Wrong is still wrong, whether or not you accept that wrong as a new normal.

    > Your rights do not exist in a vacuum.
    Agreed. Yet you advocate that basic, important, natural rights are to be forfeit in order to prevent someone being offended or mildly inconvenienced. Quite frankly, your previous arguments demonstrate that you added an extra three words to this statement of yours.

    > A state can not allow blatant discrimination.
    As I have shown, the state not only does allow blatant discrimination, it has institutionalized it. Your argument, here, is with the blatantly discriminatory federal and state governments.

    Please tell me, when you choose which goods or services to provide, how you do *not* blatantly discriminate against the other goods and services that you choose not to provide? When you hire employees and two of them have equal abilities, how do you choose one over the other without blatantly discriminating against the other? What ever method that you use to choose (even the flip of a coin), blatant discrimination exists. Did you choose the person with greater experience? Then you discriminated based upon experience, leaving the rejected, lesser experienced, applicant with a catch-22 to overcome. If you chose the other way, then you still discriminated based upon experience.

    Discrimination is unavoidable. Even if you only hire the first applicant in order to avoid such a dilemma, then you have discriminated against those who were slower to apply. Discrimination is unavoidable.

    > Nothing is perfect, but reason is reasonable.
    You advocate for the elimination of my rights in order for you to not be offended. This is unreasonable but it is consistent with your reasoning. Your reasoning is flawed.

    You make some nicely worded statements, when said really fast, but they do not reflect reality, nor are they reasonable. My rights trump your offense, and it is reasonable to expect so. How is it unreasonable?

    I have the First Amendment right to offend you or anyone else. You have the same right (and you have applied that right liberally during this argument, because I truly am offended that you think my rights should be forfeit in order to start a business or in order to avoid offending someone). That is what equal rights means, not that you have the right to eliminate my rights just because you fear that I may, someday, in the far distant future, offend you.

  • Edward

    Cotour,

    > My contention on this subject is that 1. to open an open to the public business makes you more equal …

    “More equal?” That is a meaningless phrase, unless it is used as Orwell used it – sarcastically – meaning that those who were “more equal” actually had superior rights and privileges even though they declared their rights and privileges to be equal.

    Indeed, in the cases listed in the article, it was the customers who were treated “more equal” than the shopkeepers. The customers’ right to avoid making the claim that they were offended or humiliated (were they really offended, or did they just pretend to be in order to have an excuse to eliminate the shopkeepers’ First Amendment rights?) trumped the religious and free speech rights of the shopkeepers – demonstrating the falseness of your statement. The shopkeepers are “less equal” and the customers were “more equal.” So where does that place the customers’ “responsibility to go out of [their] way to make sure that everyone that [they] have business with is treated in a reasonable, equal and respectful way.” Those customers did no such thing with the shopkeepers; instead they trampled upon the shopkeepers’ rights, invoking the government in order to enforce the forfeiture of their rights.

    > make sure that everyone that you have business with is treated in a reasonable, equal and respectful
    Please explain how any of the businesses in the 33 Examples article did not treat their customers or potential customers reasonably, equally, or respectfully. Then explain how the loss of their rights is required in order to give these customers reasonable, equal, and respectful treatment.

    This is the whole basis of your argument: that a businessman cannot treat his clients properly unless his rights are forfeit, that the businessman must either willingly violate his values or risk the government forcing him to violate them. My argument is that it is entirely possible to do, is routinely done, and was even done in the cases listed in the article. Everyone’s rights remain intact under normal business operations, but in the cases in the article, the business operations were taken to abnormal situations when the government was invoked to remove the businessmen’s rights. Forfeiting rights in order to start a business is not normal (although you advocate that it is a new normal).

    > Its just good business.
    Now you are saying that good business practice is to forfeit your Constitutional rights? (See also my paragraph above.)

    > And when you draw those lines let them be based in your well founded philosophy of reason, equality and respect.

    So, now you are saying that the religions/values of those shopkeepers are not founded on a philosophy of reason, equality, and respect? Did you really mean that?

  • Cotour

    All individuals are equal under the law, you me the shop keeper.

    I go into the shop keepers shop and I purchase a box of cup cakes, I make a selection and pay for the item and walk out of the store. And a short time later you go into the shop dressed in your chaps, crazy boots, braided hair, mascara and your tie dye shirt and the shop owner says to you that he will not sell you those same cup cakes because he believes you are a gay devil worshiper and doing business with you is against his religion. That is discrimination without cause. The shop owner, although we are all equal as individuals under the law is MORE EQUAL because he can choose to not allow you to do something, purchase the box of cup cakes. That is simply what I mean by the phrase “more equal”, it relates to the selective application of power to grant or deny something.

    (Try to get a hold of your perspective and wrestle it around to see this point of view.)

    The shop keeper in this example has a power, although a small narrow power, the power to grant or deny cup cakes, or to deny you service. What is the nature of power? No matter how small or great the nature of power is to at some point abuse that power. The entire part of the Constitution that enumerates your rights in the Bill Of Rights pertains to counter balancing the nature of human beings who have power over other human beings, In other words, in this context, government. The Bill Of Rights ensures your basic foundational equal rights as an American citizen upon your birth.

    So if an equal under the law individual can create an entity called a business and that business entity exists as a function of the state (the business exists within the context of the state and is empowered by the state to do business, be legally shielded from liability in some instances, collect taxes etc.).

    So if that equal individual creates that business and discriminates as to who he or she will do business with in the context of an open to the public business then the state is legally obligated to inform the business operator that when they agreed to the states conditions of operating a business under the laws of that state within the United States Of America his or her personal biases related to who in the public they would or would not sell to were not part of that agreement. The state can not allow such behavior to be normalized. Why is that? BECAUSE WE ARE ALL EQUAL.

    Thats the basic black and white of discrimination in business, the gray areas that we are discussing may have to be dealt with one by one and litigated to see who is being reasonable and who is not. Are some of them set ups by activists attempting to make points and disturb the status quo? Yes.

  • Cotour

    You seem to be conflating the words DISCRIMINATION and DISCERNMENT.

    In practice you may be a litteralist or some kind of absolutist in how you apply logic. Are you a community organizer?

    If you posted the Abbot and Costello video at the top of the site, two thumbs up, classic funny.

  • Cotour

    Unfortunately Edward this and things like it is what your flavor of thinking tends to lead to (and I know you sincerely don’t mean to get to a place like that) :

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/kkk-swears-its-not-racist-in-billboard-for-white-pride-radio/

  • Edward

    Really? Do you really believe in suppression of free speech? You say that it is unfortunate that certain groups express themselves, so you truly do advocate for the loss of the First Amendment. This certainly explains your comments.

    Isn’t the billboard expressing the exact same sentiment that blacks have been expressing for decades? Once again, the double standard rears its ugly head, demanding that it is OK for one race, gender identity, religion, or group to have pride and love itself and each other, but heaven forbid if other races, genders, religions, or groups should express the exact same sentiments.

    Free speech for thee but not for me?

    Your flavor of thinking is what leads gays (and others?) to insist that everybody not only accept differences but to participate in them in violation of some people’s values. Strangely, those who make such an insistence rarely, if ever, participate or even tolerate other people’s differences; your comment is one case in point. Others include the three examples in the article that we are discussing. And how many people do you suspect would want to participate in KKK activities? And do you really think that Jews and gays should be mandated to cater (or otherwise do business) a KKK meeting or rally? What if the shopkeepers in question did not wish to participate, you you still mandate that they do?

    Double standard has been your entire argument during this entire discussion, yet you have failed and refused to see it, much less admit it. In fact, until today, I was starting to think that you were playing devil’s advocate and egging on a different point of view, because you certainly lack justification for it.

    You think that it is wrong for one group to express its opinions, yet you advocate that other groups mandate participation. Why is the KKK not allowed to mandate participation as well?

    Why do you consider it bad for the KKK to express its opinion, yet you think it is OK for gays to drum innocent, honest CEOs out of their jobs and hard working, honest shopkeepers out of their businesses?

    And why are you having such difficulty answering my questions and instead attack my “flavor of thinking?”

    On the other hand, maybe you should quit while you are this far behind. You keep digging your self deeper and deeper into your hole rather than digging yourself out.

  • Edward

    No, I don’t think that I have fused or merged the two words or concepts:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discriminate?s=t
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discern?s=t

    Logic shouldn’t get too fuzzy, otherwise it isn’t logic. And I had no idea that community organizers applied logic. I thought that they merely organized discontent and the occasional violent protest.

  • Edward

    > So if that equal individual creates that business and discriminates …

    Except that you were perfectly willing to discriminate, yourself: “Pzat, a venue that serves what it serves, serves what it serves,” “Someone should not be able to force me as a videogrpher to film their satanic rituals if that is offensive to me.”

    If someone serves straight weddings but not gay weddings, dog weddings, weddings between a person and a pet, polygamous weddings, etc. then his services must be expanded to suit your values and not the proprietor’s? Please explain how it is equal that your values always get to trump other people’s values.

    You are advocating that what is merely offensive to *you* is OK to discriminate against, yet what violates other people’s values and rights to practice their religions cannot be discriminated against. After all this time, you are still applying your double standard.

    If a store sells Heinz ketchup but not Del Monte, is he now required to include the Del Monte brand (and every other brand in existence) in order to maintain equality and non-discrimination?

    You keep repeating the same things over and over, but they do not get any more correct than the wrongs that they were in the first place.

  • Edward

    > All individuals are equal under the law, you me the shop keeper.

    If the shopkeeper is so equal under the law, then why did the law strip him of his equal rights?

    In the cases listed in the article, the customers’ feelings trumped the religious and free speech rights of the shopkeepers – demonstrating the falseness of your statement. Instead of the customers feeling sad that they had to continue looking for a shop, the shopkeepers feel violated that their rights to freely practice their religion have been stripped from them.

  • Cotour

    “Why is the KKK not allowed to mandate participation as well?”

    Is the KKK operating an open to the public business, I did not see that?

    I said nothing about whether the KKK should or should not express their free speech, they are free to say what ever they please. And you are free to agree with them or not. My point was that someone who thinks in a rigid, one dimensional manner usually the end result is an organization like the KKK.

    Again:

    “You seem to be conflating the words DISCRIMINATION and DISCERNMENT.
    In practice you may be a litteralist or some kind of absolutist in how you apply logic. Are you a community organizer?”

  • Edward

    > Is the KKK operating an open to the public business, I did not see that?

    No, they are the potential customer. It is the customers who are mandating participation that violates the shopkeeper’s values.

    What about all my other questions that you are unable or unwilling to answer?

    As for the conflation issue, I have a reply awaiting moderation, as I linked to two Dictionary.com pages. (The short answer is “no, I’m not conflating the two words.”)

  • Cotour

    I answer the questions that I believe are relevant to move the conversation forward. If I were to address the bulk of your hefty question and convoluted logic producing powers I am afraid that I would have no time to do anything else.

    This is the bottom of the page, Im sure we will get to drill down on this issues in the future.

    All the best to you in the new year.

  • The debate between the two of you is beginning to go around in circles. I don’t think either of you will be able to settle it here.

    To sum up, the argument boils down to this one statement by cotour: “A state can not allow blatant discrimination.”

    Edward and I both disagree with this statement. We both think that giving the state this much power will guarantee that it will infringe upon freedom. The stories I have been posting I think illustrate this fact most poignantly. Cotour thinks that the state should step in, that a business does not have the right to reject some customers for any reason (though there appear to be some situations where he would accept such discrimination).

    We cannot settle this here. However, I must say that, as an observer who has been reading both sides of this debate quite dispassionately, Cotour has not done a good job arguing his point. In the end, it appears that he would be willing to sacrifice the freedoms and rights of some people because their opinions might offend others. As Edward said, freedom for me but not for thee.

    Under such a system freedom will die very quickly, as everyone scrambles to establish their freedoms as the one allowed, while restricting those other “bad” freedoms. The result will be factional warfare, and the lose of everyone’s freedom as society collapses. Witness Rome.

    If you both wish to continue, have at it. I am not trying to stop the debate, only inserting my overview of it.

  • Cotour

    Then we agree to disagree, I have to give you a gold star if you truly have followed and have comprehensively understood Edwards argument, I find IT the road to “the death of freedom” in the context of the subject at hand “an open to the public business”. The bottom of the page is generally my limit for most conversations.

    Good luck with your eye situation, I know several people who have had a positive result with similar conditions.

    (Thank God that your doctors did not choose, which apparently you see is their naturally born right, to turn you away because you are a “science writer / spelunker” :)

  • Cotour

    As a followup just to clarify before the end of the page: Are you telling meIf you Mr. ROBERT ZIMMERMAN came into my store, picked out a bunch of stuff, brought it to the counter, and you took out your credit card and I looked at the name on the card and said to you that because of religious reasons I did not like the origin of you name I choose to not sell you what it is that you wanted to buy. Here in America, you would be fine with that? You would defend that? As an expression of my freedom, in my open to the public business? (And just to be clear, that would never happen in my business.)

    I can not imagine how you would explain and justify that to your wife.

  • Oy. You really haven’t been listening. Of course I would be offended and disgusted. But I would defend to the death your freedom to choose. As I would, by never going back to your store, and by making very public to many people your offensive behavior.

    The last thing I would do would be to go to the government for help.

  • Cotour

    Your Libertarian “Utopian” ideal does not square with the real world, it rarely does, it is an ideal (thats the problem with Libertarianism, its extreme, and make no mistake about it that is what you are).

    My base point that I made over, and over, and over and over again has been that the government is involved whether you like it or not because your business is an entity that exists as a function of the state. (do you disagree with that?)

    And as a general rule in America the state can not endorse such behavior (nor should it or any of its citizens IMO in this context) based in duly passed and agreed upon, civilized, reasonable (in most cases) law.

    The difference? An intellectualized argument based in ones mind and an ideal and how the real world actually works. Your version of business existed in the wild West and on desert islands. I understand your argument but lines must be drawn and that gray area between reasonable and unreasonable government over reach must be established, this is not a black and white issue as you portray. It may be for you but not for everyone.

    Like it or not to be a Democracy is to be “Liberal”, the age old and on going question will always be to what degree (the shade of gray)? I now better understand why you moved to Arizona from New York.

  • Edward

    (With apologies to Robert, who must continue to watch the ‘dog chase his tail’ one last time.)

    Cotour, I don’t know where you got the idea that freedom (your example is Libertarianism, to which I do not subscribe) is supposed to be some sort of Utopia. I have always read that Marxism, as practiced through socialism and communism, was striving for utopia, or was the phrase “worker’s paradise” intended to be sarcastic? [Rhetorical Question Alert]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Soviet_Russia_and_the_Soviet_Union_(1917%E2%80%9327)

    From the first paragraph: “Marx’s theory stated that economic and political systems went through an inevitable evolution in form, by which the current capitalist system would be replaced by a Socialist state before achieving international cooperation and peace in a ‘Workers’ Paradise,'”

    You say that I am libertarian, but even the tyranny of fascism looks like a right-wing position when viewed by socialists and communists. Look up the definition of fascism, and you will see that it is based upon government control over business, a left-wing concept.

    It was only half a decade ago that our government did not dictate to businesses who their customers must be or what goods or services it must provide. Our tyrannical government even dictates what products (e.g. health insurance) customers must purchase. These dictates are not freedom. We should be free to choose — even and especially free to choose poorly.

    Obviously, if I am willing to accept being offended in order for us to keep our freedoms, I do not consider America to be a Utopia, nor that it should be. It is not *I* who am advocating that no one should ever be offended.

    How the world works, for other countries and for millennia, is through various forms of tyranny, where a small number of people get to tell the populace (e.g. shopkeepers) how to run their businesses and their lives.

    America is said to be exceptional, because it had a government that allowed a free populace (although that has changed over the course of the last century). It was the freedom, the exception to tyranny, which allowed the populace to try new things in ways that tyrannies don’t. Sometimes those things are exceptional in themselves. That is why De tocqueville was so impressed with the half-century old country.

    Just because you choose to give up your rights, as a business owner, does not mean that all business owners must likewise give up their rights or that the government should behave in a tyrannical way toward those businesses. Your choice should be your choice, and my choice mine. *That* is what freedom is.

    Allowing choice does not mean that the government endorses the choice made. However, allowing choice does recognize that what is right for some people may not be right for others. We are each unique (just like everybody else ;-) ).

    I don’t care that the government is involved whether I like it or not; “the law is the law” is not the discussion. This has been a discussion about freedom vs. a growing tyranny.

    I favor freedom.

    Please let me know if you change your position, sometime when Robert posts a similar story, and we can explore your new position. Otherwise, it gets boring to watch a dog continually chase his tail, and it probably means that the dog needs a new, more exciting, toy.

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