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Getting serious about civil rights and race relations in wake of Ferguson

1 Dec

When I was 20 years old, I was once biking on the sidewalk on my way to Loyola University to study. Along the way, a policeman on a motorcycle tried to pull me over, calling me from behind. But because I was wearing headphones listening to my Walkman cassette player (for you whippersnappers who don’t know what that is, google it), I never heard him.

Finally, he pulled alongside me. I stopped and he told me I wasn’t supposed to be biking on the sidewalk. I told him I wasn’t aware that was a law. He replied that it was and that he was going to take me in. Seriously? Arrested for biking on the sidewalk? After a brief discussion about why I would get arrested for such a petty offense, he sarcastically asked me, “Do you speak English?” As an Asian growing up in a low-income, crime-ridden neighborhood, I was used to racism—even from blacks in that predominantly black neighborhood. But I never anticipated it from a policeman—people portrayed as heroes in the TV shows I watched growing up. I replied back, “Better than you.” With that snarky reply, he handcuffed me and ratcheted it extremely tightly—clearly in retaliation for what I said.

I was eventually released on my own recognizance (I believe b/c the other cops knew he overstepped his bounds) and I considered whether or not to file a complaint against the cop for excessive force and/or racism. I decided to drop the matter. That was not my only negative brush with cops either. But the moral of the story is that I personally experienced some of the same things that supposedly caused teenager Michael Brown to be fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri (not to the same extent, of course, but similar in nature).

You might think that because of my experiences, I am outraged or saddened by the grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. You might think that I am joining the chorus of people who declare the legal system broken and that there was no justice for Michael Brown. You might think that when I read that King Obama is meeting with civil rights leaders about the Ferguson case, I’m excited and hopeful.

And you’d be wrong.

Did the grand jury really make the wrong decision?

If you think those things, you are being played for a fool. Everyone needs to calm down. Readers of my blog know that the Trayvon Martin case wasn’t at all what the media portrayed. So when this case came along, people with Minor Insights should know it’s time for caution instead of knee-jerk reactions.

Like the Trayvon Martin case, the media only served up one side of the story in the Michael Brown case. We never heard the other side of the story.

Like the Trayvon Martin case, the media only showed us the same one photo of the victim. In this case, an unintimidating neck-up picture of a chubby-cheeked Michael Brown wearing headphones at an arcade with little kids around. How many people knew that that chubby-cheeked teenager was 6′ 5″ tall and 290 pounds—the size of an enormous, hulking pro football lineman?

Like the Trayvon Martin case, the media portrayed Brown to be completely innocent—especially with the infamous “hands up” pose. How many people knew that Michael Brown charged at Darren Wilson, giving Wilson no choice but to shoot? How many people knew that Brown was at least an accomplice to a robbery of cigarillos just moments before the confrontation with Wilson? How many people knew that Michael Brown threw punches that landed square on Wilson’s face?

Brown completely innocent? If so, I’ve got some land in Florida to sell you.

After the grand jury’s decision, Darren Wilson gave an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that (finally) gave his side of the story. If you think Michael Brown and his parents got the shaft, you MUST watch the video. Even as Stephanopoulos tried to bait Wilson into saying contradictory or self-indicting things, Wilson was consistent in his story.

Then there’s the evidence that the grand jury saw. The evidence backs up Wilson’s story. How many people have seen the evidence? Nobody? Yet without any evidence, and without being a witness to the scene, thousands of people fell hook, line and sinker for the media’s portrayal that Brown struggled to get away from Wilson’s car and then was shot with his hands up.

Consider horrible Nightline anchor Byron Pitts. In one segment, he interviewed some people in Ferguson as they watched the Wilson interview and asked if any of them had been stopped by police. Everyone said yes. Makes for good TV, but does not make a good point. Just because police have stopped citizens does not mean the police are all racist pigs who are happy to shoot black people minding their own business. Pitts’ question is a red herring.

Pitts then ended the Nightline show by saying, “Darren Wilson had a chance to give his side of the story. Michael Brown does not.” Pitts conveniently forgot that the media has been giving Michael Brown’s side of the story ever since the shooting first occurred.

Three Minor Insights

I agree the system is broken—but not the way the protesters think. The system is broken in that the media is the one that is the jury to the American people. They don’t report the news objectively, trying to research and report both sides of the story. Instead, they report the most sensational aspect of the news—whatever will cause the biggest furor and thus draw the biggest ratings.

michael brown trayvon martinI also agree the Michael Brown case is like the Trayvon Martin case—but not the way the protesters think. LeBron James tweeted this drawing of Brown and Martin, insinuating that they both got a raw deal in the same way. But the evidence seems to indicate that if you were to look at the front of their faces in this fictitious drawing, they’d have devilish grins, knowing that they both got away with their respective acts of aggression and violence and yet are being lifted up as martyrs in the general public’s eye.

I also agree that America has a race relations problem—but not the way the protesters think. Protesters think white people have a racism problem when the reality is that many blacks too view things with racism as the reason. Many of the blacks I grew up with were very racist. In today’s age, much of the racism is hyper-fueled by the media (e.g., Stephanopoulos in his interview kept trying to bait Wilson into saying it was a race-related shooting). When a white policeman shoots a black citizen, many blacks automatically assume the cause was race. Sometimes race does come into play but you have to investigate each instance on a case-by-case basis; you just cannot automatically assume it to be true every single time.

Bottom line

If we really want to get serious about improving race relations, it’s critical to not be ignorant. The Ferguson neighborhood Michael Brown died in was a hood—no two ways around it, though most people don’t know that. It’s a crime-infested area and Brown himself has party to a crime just moments before his confrontation with Wilson. It’s sad when people gave Brown the benefit of the doubt instead of Wilson based on ignorance. But it’s even sadder when we loot stores, set cars on fire and make calls to “change the system” based on continued ignorance. Don’t be that person.

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Defending Tony Dungy over his Michael Sam comments

22 Jul

A quick bit of context in case you aren’t familiar with the issue: NBC analyst and former Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy recently made comments to the Tampa Tribune that he would not have drafted Sam “[n]ot because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.” Dungy added, “It’s not going to be totally smooth…things will happen.’’

The responses were predictable.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports said Dungy’s assessment of openly gay NFL rookie Michael Sam as a “stunning lack of courage” and a “complete cop-out”.

The Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom said (registration required to read the article in the link) Dungy’s comments were “lame and cowardly”.

Gee, what a surprise: both columnists hold liberal views so they embrace the gay man Sam while ripping on the Christian man Dungy. I haven’t read every critical opinion on Dungy’s comments, but it’s almost guaranteed that all of those anti-Dungy opinions are by people who support gay rights.

I don’t normally respond to every opinion piece that defends gay rights, gay marriage or gay people because the liberal media is so voluminous in their defense of gay whatever that there wouldn’t be enough time in the day to do so.

But this issue warrants a quick injection of minor insights.

First, rather than lacking courage, considering that polls now say the majority of Americans support gay marriage, the fact that Dungy made an anti-Sam comment by definition took quite a bit of courage since he is voicing an opinion that is supposedly in the minority now.

Second, being a former NFL head coach, Tony Dungy would know significantly more than Wetzel, Rosenbloom and the myriad other loudmouths who can only dream of what it’s like in an NFL locker room and what chemistry is like on an NFL team. So if someone is giving an opinion on whether things will go smooth, um, I think it’s safe to say that Dungy’s opinion has more weight.

Some commentators have said that Sam’s teammates have said they don’t have a problem with Sam. Well, duh! What do you expect them to say? “Man, I don’t want gay people in the locker room with me!” Sheesh, they’ll be ostracized as fast as these same media types are ostracizing Dungy. These players aren’t stupid. Unlike the commentators.

Third, the arguments being made to criticize Dungy are so moronic, it’s amazing those columns made it past their respective editors. Unless the editors too are liberals. Oh, never mind.

For example, both Wetzel and Rosenbloom bring up Dungy’s supposedly hypocritical acceptance of Michael Vick and rejection of Sam.

Rosenbloom wrote: “Let me get this right: A man who wants to love another man is worse than a man who pays for and revels in killing a bunch of dogs for sport. Welcome to Tony Dungy’s world. That’s some talking head NBC Sports has, huh?”

The thing that these writers keep forgetting is that Vick apologized for his sins and was making good-faith efforts to distance himself from his sins while Sam is, uh, openly gay. As in, not apologizing nor distancing himself from his sins but instead proudly proclaiming his sins.

Far from being hypocritical, that’s Dungy being entirely consistent with his biblical worldview. Welcome to Dan Wetzel, Steve Rosenbloom and like-minded liberal writers’ world. Those are some writing heads Yahoo and the Chicago Tribune have, huh? Their logic is impeccable, huh?

As another example, both Wetzel and Rosenbloom made the same argument that Dungy benefited from people in the past who gave black people a chance to play or coach sports.

It’s amazing that liberals still use the nonsensical “black rights is the same as gay rights” argument.

Blacks are the very same people as any other people. They can all procreate and make more of themselves. (This is the point where you hear liberals yell that some straight couples cannot procreate either. Those are, of course, isolated instances. Biologically, a man + a woman can procreate.)

However, gay people cannot procreate and give birth to more gay people. Biologically, a man + a man cannot give birth to a baby. Ever. And a woman + a woman cannot give birth to a baby. Ever.

So gay rights can NEVER be equated to black rights. Ever. It’s just that simple. In fact, many black people will get offended if you try to equate gay rights the same as black rights.

Hey, if a “sexual orientation” is enough to demand equal rights, what about people with other types of “orientations”? What if a proud, self-proclaimed pyromaniac wanted to work in a library? Or a proud, self-proclaimed kleptomaniac wanted to work at a store? Do they get equal rights too?

Everyone needs to just calm down. Dungy said things will not be totally smooth and that things will happen; ironically, the reaction to his comments proved him right.

 

 

Ignorance leading the way in outrage over Zimmerman-Trayvon verdict

16 Jul

Black preachers, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, said on Tues, Jul 17th they were planning peaceful protests in 100 cities across the United States this weekend to press for federal charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who is black, told a convention of the nation’s largest black sorority that the U.S. government will press for a federal investigation. Holder is to also address the NAACP on Wed.

Protests were held in various cities including Chicago, New York City, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento on Sunday, followed by rallies in Baltimore, Minneapolis, Houston and Atlanta on Monday. Some protests even grew violent as 14 people were arrested including one hospitalized, stores like Wal-Mart and The Men’s Wearhouse were vandalized in California.

Everybody, take a deep breath.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE VERDICT WASN’T RIGHT?

Here’s what we know with 100% certainty about the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case:

  1. Zimmerman thought Martin looked “suspicious” as Martin walked through the streets of a gated Florida community, of which Zimmerman was a neighborhood watchman.
  2. Zimmerman called the Sanford Police Department to report that “this guy looks like he’s up to no good.”
  3. Zimmerman leaves his vehicle, and after the dispatcher finds out Zimmerman is going to follow Martin, Zimmerman is told not to do that.
  4. A fight ensued since forensic experts following the autopsy determined that the gunshot to Martin’s chest was fired at close range (between 1-18 inches), not from long range.
  5. Police arrive on the scene, finding Martin dead (one shot to the chest) and Zimmerman with a bloody nose and two lacerations on the back of his head.

That’s it, people.

In other words, between the time Zimmerman trailed Martin until the time Martin was shot dead, we have NO idea what happened.

Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Period.

There is some additional information but the certainty of the material is far less clear:

  1. Three witnesses said they either heard or saw a scuffle, with two witnesses providing visual details the indicate Martin was the aggressor on top of Zimmerman.
  2. One witness (Rachel Jeantel) was on the phone with Martin before the fight and said that Martin described Zimmerman as “crazy and creepy”. Jeantel was found to have lied about her age when giving her testimony.
  3. Autopsy reports on Martin’s body found one small abrasion on his left ring finger below his knuckle and no other injuries. A trace amount of marijuana was also found, but it could have been injested days earlier.
  4. Recordings of 911 calls could not ascertain whose voice was yelling for help. Zimmerman’s father was adamant it was Zimmerman’s. Martin’s father initially said the voice was not Martin’s but has since changed his story (claiming he heard an enhanced recording later).

Again, that’s it, people.

So, to all the verdict demonstrators, let me ask you a simple question: how do you know that Trayvon Martin wasn’t the one who attacked first?

Simple questions have simple answers: you don’t.

It is certainly possible that Zimmerman followed Martin after ending his 911 call, but even that part we don’t know with 100% certainty.

And since you don’t know beyond a reasonable doubt what exactly happened between the time Zimmerman ended his 911 call and when Martin got shot, what exactly are you upset about?

The whole thing is one big shrouded mystery.

For all you know, Martin attacked Zimmerman first, pummeling him while Zimmerman is on the ground (which would explain Zimmerman’s lacerations in the back of his head and the bloody nose), and forcing Zimmerman to shoot in self-defense.

THE MEDIA’S DECEPTION

The mainstream media went beyond mere bias with this story; it played this story with outright deceit.

Even I rushed to judgment and initially believed that Zimmerman was 100% at fault based on the media’s coverage…that Zimmerman followed Trayvon just for being black and then simply shot him from afar. But then things started to come out from non-mainstream sources and that’s when some Minor Insights started to come forth.

For example, the media showed us a baby-faced photo of Martin when he was much younger (plausibly he was 12, not when he was 17—the age in which he died). President Barack Obama fed into this baby-faced Martin photo lie when he famously declared, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

It reported Martin had Skittles and a sugary drink, as if to insinuate that Martin was like a helpless little toddler (to match the photo the media was posting in their stories). It implied that Martin’s only crime was wearing a hoodie in a white neighborhood.

And the black community (and some non-black folks) swallowed it all up—hook, line and sinker.

All the Trayvon supporters never noticed that—to this day—we do not have a recent photo of Trayvon. (Psst: the autopsy reported Trayvon was 5′ 11″ at the time he died.) Why is that?

All the Trayvon supporters never noticed that Trayvon, though he never had a criminal record, did have an arrest record—four arrests, to be exact. This does not even include his suspensions from school (such as for graffiti and punching a bus driver). Does anyone know Trayvon has a violent streak that, oh I don’t know, maybe came into play in this incident too? The point is, Trayvon is not this Gandhi-like figure that the media portrayed him to be.

All the Trayvon supporters never noticed that the media omitted Zimmerman’s response to the dispatcher’s request to not follow Martin, which was “OK”.

All the Trayvon supporters never noticed (or just ignored) that NBC intentionally edited Zimmerman’s audio in the 911 call to make it sound like racial profiling. NBC played a recording where Zimmerman said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something… He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male,” as well as “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” But in the original 911 recording, Zimmerman said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The 911 operator then asked: “OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?”, and Zimmerman answered, “He looks black.” The phrase, “He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male” came several exchanges later in the conversation. NBC never apologized on air for its deception.

All the Trayvon supporters never noticed that ABC News lied its audience when it showed surveillance video of Zimmerman walking into the police station and declared that no abrasions or blood could be seen in the video. When this claim was disputed, ABC then admitted there were indeed “a pair of gashes” on his head but insisted the story’s main focus was on a doctor who claimed it was unlikely that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken—even though the doctor had never seen Zimmerman.

As this blog has been warning since Day 1, be very skeptical about what the mainstream media tells you.

HYPOCRISY

So now the NAACP is up in arms. Yet is the NAACP all up in arms when most of the black people who are gunned down in America are gunned down by black people? One black person is shot dead by a white person—and we don’t know exactly how—yet there are rallies and demonstrations and protests and outrage.

On the other hand, thousands of blacks people are shot dead by other black people EVERY YEAR—yet where is the outrage from NAACP? Where is Al Sharpton leading rallies and demonstrations over black-on-black crime?

Or as one commenter astutely pointed out, when O.J. Simpson, who is black, was acquitted of murdering his white wife Nicole and white Ronald Goldman, where was the outrage then? Oh wait…the NAACP, Jesse Jackson Sr., Al Sharpton and those of their ilk don’t work that way.

THE BOTTOM LINE

I’ve experienced racial slurs and discrimination, so I’m not naive to think it doesn’t exist. But this particular shooting was not about race. This particular verdict was not about race. Everyone needs to calm down. Race relations are not healed by knee-jerk reactions and ignorance. Instead, knee-jerk reactions make race relations worse.

So put down your “We are all Trayvon” signs.

Because if you don’t, what your sign really says is “We are all ignorant.”

 

How comic books reflect our society

2 Feb

Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to The ...

We interrupt this blogging of inane Obama socialism (of which there is a lot going on recently) to blog about inane comic book writing.

I was a big fan of Marvel Comics from the late 70s. I watched Marvel Comics superhero cartoon shows on TV (Spider-Man and The Marvel Super Heroes). And my favorite superhero was Spider-Man.

As I grew older, I stopped following the comics. With my kids, I thought it would be cool to introduce them to Spider-Man.

Imagine my shock a few years ago after subscribing to then-new Amazing Spider-Man comics (we got issues #544-547) that the Spider-Man I knew and cheered for no longer existed.

One More Day: Peter and Mary Jane's marriage never existed

The Spidey comics I bought were the last in a series called “One More Day” and the start of a new series called “Brand New Day.” In it, Spider-Man agrees to a deal with a demon called Mephisto to save a dying Aunt May (even though she supposedly died back in issue #400) in exchange for making his marriage to Mary Jane to have never existed, thus rewriting that part of their pasts.

Demons? Seriously? Are writers really that desperate? And Peter Parker agreeing to save an old Aunt May’s life in exchange for the eradication of his marriage? Preposterous. Would even Aunt May herself want Peter to do that? Of course not. What’s more, while saving the elderly is noble, undermining the permanence of marriage is not.

So now Peter Parker and Mary Jane basically barely recognize each other. Say what?!? Talk about an infuriating mental disconnect for Spidey fans.

I couldn’t take it. I stopped reading and cancelled my subscription. I also started reading with my kids the old-school 60s and 70s Amazing Spider-Man comics instead—the ones commonly referred to as being from the Silver Age of comics.

But wait. There’s more nonsense since my comics subscription cancellation. According to Wikipedia, The Amazing Spider Man comic no longer even exists anymore. Apparently, in issue #700, a dying Peter Parker (magically) swaps bodies with Doctor Octopus. This ended the iconic Amazing Spider Man title and launched a new replacement comic book title lamely called The Superior Spider-Man. So Peter is supposedly dead while Otto Octavius is Spider-Man.

Huh?

And, oh yeah, when Spider-Man is trying to woo Mary Jane now, it’s really Doc Ock trying to woo Mary Jane.

Can you say, ‘Ick’?

Am I the only one who thinks comic book writing gets more sick every passing year?

Whatever. We’ll see how long that ridiculous idea lasts before things change. Again.

Comics routinely rewrSuperior Spider-Manite their own history through retroactive continuity, which further makes it hard to trust what happens in comics. After all, how do you know that anything you’re reading right now might be wiped out in a future issue as “Oops, that didn’t really happen.” Dead people didn’t really die (right, Superman?). Clones, fakes, deals with the devil, alternate universes and much more are typical comic book copouts that pass as new story arcs.

There’s no longer a delineation between good and evil, as there was in the Silver Age of comics. Good guys can become bad guys (see Marvel’s Civil War story arc in various titles), good guys can swap bodies with bad guys (Spider-Man with Doctor Octopus), good guys can team up with bad guys (Spider-Man with Venom), good guys can fight to the death against other good guys (Avengers vs. X-Men), and more. This moral relativism in comics reflects the same in society.

Those who long for “the good ol’ days” will find that to be sadly true in comics as well.

Update on Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A: Emanuel backs off but STILL is wrong

27 Jul

Last we left the comedic reality show known as “Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A“, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago alderman Joe Moreno and Philadelphia councilman Jim Kenney promised to block any Chick-fil-A plans to expand in their areas.

Aside from the obvious hypocrisy—which Moreno still refused to recognize—there was the issue of unconstitutional abuse of government authority.

We now have an update on the situation. (Side note: the liberal Chicago Tribune side publication RedEye—of which I am the token conservative columnist—rejected my article on the subject. Well, blogging is more real-time than a newspaper—this is now my second column on the topic before RedEye published its first—so I guess it’s providential that I wrote online rather than having RedEye print it.)

Chick-fil-A Support Keeps Pouring In

Amusingly, several other liberal, gay-marriage-supporting writers have also condemned Emanuel, Moreno, etc. since my original article.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (Reuters)

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic points out Emanuel’s double standard that Emanuel campaigned for two presidents who opposed gay marriage.

The liberal Boston Globe Editorial Page denounced the same conduct by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and wrote: “which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license.”

Doug Mataconis from Outside the Beltway blasted Alderman Moreno not only as a liar but also as a heavy-handed law-breaker: “Chicago Alderman have extraordinary power over the issuance of building permits in their wards. [Since] an Alderman can grant or deny a permit for any reason,…there’s nothing to stop him, at least not inside the Chicago political system. Regardless of Chicago politics, though, it is really rather obvious that what Moreno is attempting to do here is completely unconstitutional.”

Glenn Greewald of Salon added, “[A business owner’s personal beliefs being irrelevant to a business license] is so basic that it’s just astounding that anyone, let alone Mayors of big cities, need to be told this.”

Mary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times is in disbelief: “[T]he city shouldn’t be bullying this CEO because an alderman disagrees with his interpretation of the Bible. If this is allowed, what’s next? Will the city start granting business permits based on whether or not a company’s owner supports gay marriage? Will prospective business investors be required to check off a box indicating they believe marriage can be between same sex couples before they are allowed to do business in the city? Is that where we’ve arrived?”

Adam Serwer of the blog Mother Jones wrote: “Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. If Chick-fil-A discriminates in hiring or refuses to serve customers on the basis of sexual orientation, the local authorities can and should hold him accountable. Until then, the politicians should get out of the way.”

Digby at Hullabaloo wrote: “[I]f this fellow wants to open his business there and conduct himself within the laws of the state, the beliefs of the owner is none of the state’s business.”

Atrios at his Eschaton blog wasn’t surprised that Rahm Emanuel said something “really horrible and stupid” regarding Chick-fil-A.

Scott Lemieux, John Cole and many others have echoed those sentiments.

Remember, these people are all liberal and support gay marriage, not conservative Christians.

But here’s the real kicker.

The ACLU—of all voices—criticized Emanuel and Moreno, saying, “When an alderman refuses to allow a business to open because its owner has expressed a viewpoint the government disagrees with, the government is practicing viewpoint discrimination. We don’t think the government should exclude Chick-fil-A because of the anti-LGBT message. We believe this is clear cut.”

Wow. When the ACLU tells a liberal he is doing something wrong, that is the ultimate slap in the face.

Revisionist History

With the proverbial handwriting on the wall as they continue to get hammered by even their liberal comrades, both Emanuel and Moreno have backtracked from their stances, arguing that they never said they were going to block Chick-fil-A’s expansion plans.

In a statement to FoxNews.com, Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Emanuel, said: “He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here. If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Really? But Emanuel is on record saying:

“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the First Ward.”

Alderman Moreno also has tried to rewrite history. When Fox News reached him Thursday, he said traffic concerns were the basis of his objections to the store.

Really? But Moreno is on record saying:

“Initially, I had some traffic concerns with their plan. But then I heard the bigoted, homophobic comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who recently came out against same-sex marriage. There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.” (emphasis added)

Please. Spare us the revisionist history. Just admit you were wrong. And stupid.

Still Wrong

Even when backtracking, Emanuel and Moreno are still wrong.

Recall Emanuel said, “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

Maybe Emanuel needs to get out more.

As explained in my original post, at least half the city opposes gay marriage.

Take me, for example. I live in the city. And Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s values reflect mine.

So, Rahm, you’re wrong. (What a surprise.)

As for Moreno, recall he tried to blame traffic concerns as his reason for blocking Chick-fil-A from his ward.

But when pressed further and asked if his objection to the restaurant had nothing to do with Cathy’s beliefs, Moreno backtracked on his backtrack: “No, I’m not saying that, I’m not walking back from that. That’s another part of it. I think businesses should be neutral on that. They should be selling chicken.”

Apparently Moreno needs to get out more too. Newsflash, Joe: Chick-fil-A does sell chicken.

And Chick-fil-A, as a business, is neutral on the issue of homosexuality. As pointed out by me as well as liberal commentators, Chick-fil-A has never discriminated against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation.

So Moreno is still wrong. (What a surprise.)

Even when backtracking, Emanuel and Moreno still don’t get it.

Chick-fil-A 2, Stupidity 0.

Stupidity vs. Chick-fil-A

26 Jul Alderman Joe Moreno

Politicians from Illinois can be some of the most nonsensical in the nation.

Alderman Joe Moore once famously sponsored legislation to ban foie gras, being mocked and derided until the bizarre law was thankfully repealed.

Now comes two extremist empty-headed Chicago politicians who make Joe Moore look like a normal person.

Chicago’s Two Stooges

First is Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel entered the Chick-fil-A saga—and into lunkhead infamy—by saying that “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.”

Elaborating, Emanuel explained, “What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

Emanuel’s reference was to Chick-fil-A CEO president Dan Cathy’s defense of traditional marriage and anti-gay marriage stance.

That’s funny. Apparently, Rahm’s values are not Chicago values either. Looks like Emanuel is a bad investment too.

Anyway, despite having had the best public education money could buy, Emanuel apparently flunked math. A 2010 Chicago Tribune poll showed 42% of Chicago-area residents support gay marriage while 42% opposed it.

In other words, dead even.

Looks to me like Chick-fil-A values are at least half Chicago’s values, Rahm.

Alderman Joe Moreno

Alderman Joe Moreno (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / January 7, 2011)

Then there’s Alderman Joe Moreno.

Like the enlightened mayor, Moreno said he refuses to allow Chick-fil-A to build a new restaurant in his ward because of Cathy’s anti-gay marriage viewpoint.

David Smith of Illinois Family Institute, a conservative Christian organization, said Moreno’s actions were “hypocritical.”

“Here’s the alderman turning around and being intolerant and discriminatory because somebody has a different view than he does. Would he do that to a Muslim company?”

Moreno angrily responded with an unwittingly self-indicting reply.

“It’s not about someone having a different view than you,” Moreno said. “That’s not what it’s about. What it’s about is discriminating against individuals in our society. Okay?”

Okay, Moreno, but that’s what you’re doing too: discriminating against individuals in our society—namely Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy.

Hypocrisy upheld.

Moreno revealed more stupidity with this nugget of wisdom: “This is a restaurant whose CEO has practices that are anti-against the rights of individuals that live in my ward and I’m not gonna stand on the sidelines and allow that to happen.”

Newsflash, Joe: neither the restaurant nor its CEO has any discriminatory “practices”. As a matter of fact, the Chicago Chick-fil-A has gay employees. And it serves gay customers.

Cathy has a personal viewpoint. That’s, um, not the same as a restaurant practice of discrimination.

But wait, there’s more. And this one’s a doozy.

Breaking the law

Apparently, Chicago does not have the patent on political stupidity.

Boston’s mayor preceded Chicago’s by saying he didn’t want Chick-fil-A opening up a restaurant there.

Then Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney followed Chicago alderman Moreno by saying “as…an elected member of [sic] Philadelphia City Council, …There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”

Here’s where it gets funny.

Emanuel, Moreno, Kenny and all others like them emphasized that as elected officials, they are going to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up restaurants based solely on an executive’s personal beliefs.

There’s a word for that kind of political action: unconstitutional.

So not only do these people not have logic, but they don’t know the law either.

In fact, liberals are—ironically—coming to Chick-fil-A’s defense against this onslaught of stupidity and ignorance.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Steve Chapman, who agrees with gay marriage, disagreed with Moreno. Calling Moreno seemingly “ignorant”, Chapman said the First Amendment “forbids the government from ‘abridging the freedom of speech.'”

“It’s as black-and-white a case of illegal censorship as anyone could find,” Chapman continued. “And if the company wants to challenge Moreno’s decision in court, he wouldn’t stand a chance.”

There’s more.

Glenn Greewald of Salon, a gay marriage supporter, said, “Free speech rights means that government officials are barred from creating lists of approved and disapproved political ideas and then using the power of the state to enforce those preferences.”

Kevin Drum of the blog Mother Jones said, “[T]here’s really no excuse for Emanuel’s and Menino’s (sic) actions. If you don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-A, don’t eat there. If you want to picket them, go ahead. If they violate the law, go after them. But you don’t hand out business licenses based on whether you agree with the political views of the executives. Not in America, anyway.”

Eugene Volokh of the blog The Volokh Conspiracy said, “[D]enying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.”

As Time magazine blogger Michael Scherer points out, Emanuel, Moreno and others have run into an illegal “First Amendment Buzzsaw.”

I find it funny that this saga has united conservatives and liberals, as both come to Chick-fil-A’s defense. In fact, Boston’s mayor Menino has backtracked from some of his statements, chalking it up to a Menino-ism.

That doesn’t excuse the obvious stupidity, ignorance and hypocrisy of Emanuel, Moreno and others. But it’s refreshing to see it spotlighted by so many.

Chick-fil-A 1, Stupidity 0

4 Reasons Why GLAAD is Dead Wrong About Kirk Cameron’s Comments

5 Mar Kirk Cameron on CNN

If you want to start a fire, making public comments about homosexuality or gay marriage ought to do the trick.

Consider Kirk Cameron an arsonist.

The actor, who actually played a firefighter in the evangelical Christian film Fireproof, ignited quite a spark when he spoke on CNN’s Piers Morgan Show on Friday.

Kirk Cameron on CNN

KirkCameron on CNN

Cameron said the following about homosexuality:

“I think that it’s unnatural. I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

He also commented on gay marriage:

“Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either,” Cameron said. “So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”

The gay activist group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) fired back in a statement issued by senior director of programs Herndon Graddick:

“In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character. Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.”

GLAAD also had this to say about Cameron’s gay marriage remarks:

“With an increasing number of states recognizing marriage equality, Americans are seeing that marriage is about committed couples who want to make a lifelong promise to take care of and be responsible for each other and that gay and lesbian couples need equal security and legal protections. That’s not ‘redefining’ anything.”

However, GLAAD’s rebuttal contains four logical fallacies.

1. The truth of something does not depend on whether “a growing majority” of anybody agrees with it.

To think otherwise smacks of postmodernism, which claims that there is no absolute truth. However, that claim in itelf is an absolute statement. So postmodernism is a self-refuting concept.

Truth can be truth, even when nobody believes it. If nobody believed that 2+2=4, would that lack of support make 2+2=4 no longer true?

Of course not.

Whether or not it is true that homosexuality is “unnatural”, “detrimental” or “destructive” has nothing to do with public opinion polls.

If homosexuality can be demonstrated to be “unnatural” biologically or, in Cameron’s case, through the Bible, which itself can be objectively evaluated for archaeological and historical accuracy, then it doesn’t matter how many people agree with the statement or not.

2. The “growing majority of Americans” argument utilizes selective evidence.

There’s an additional problem with GLAAD’s use of the “growing majority of Americans” argument to support homosexuality and gay marriage: it’s not even true.

While some surveys do show an increase in the number of people who support homosexuality and gay marriage compared to a selected time period in the past, this argument overlooks the fact that whenever constitutional amendments or initiatives that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman were put on the ballot in a voter referendum, it has passed every single time.

In other words, gay marriage bans were put to voters in 28 states—and all 28 of them passed them. That includes the infamously liberal state of California, which passed Proposition 8 by voters only to have it struck down by a single judge—Judge Vaughn Walker—who happened to be gay.

GLAAD references the “increasing number of states recognizing marriage equality” but fails to note that legalization of same-sex marriage has been achieved entirely by court rulings and legislative action, but never through voter referendums. That is, the actions of a few, rather than the will of the many.

As I mentioned in Point #1, numbers in support of a cause don’t validate the cause’s truth. But since GLAAD is the one trying to promote such numbers, I’m going to hold them accountable for ignoring contrary evidence when making such claims and providing deceptive data.

3. “People of faith” who consider gays and lesbians to be “brothers and sisters” do so for ideological reasons, not theological reasons.

GLAAD makes the misleading statement that, unlike Cameron, there are “people of faith” accept gays and lesbians as “brothers and sisters.”

What GLAAD didn’t bother to point out is that theological orthodoxy—whether Jew, Christian or Muslim—unequivocally declares homosexuality to be a sin.

Any “people of faith” who think otherwise are simply imposing their liberal worldview upon their religion, rather than being true to their sacred texts.

GLAAD put up a straw man argument about gay-loving “people of faith”, which is in reality an oxymoron.

4. The “gay marriage isn’t re-defining anything” argument is self-defeating.

GLAAD said that “marriage is about committed couples who want to make a lifelong promise to take care of and be responsible for each other” and concluded that “gay marriage isn’t re-defining anything”.

The gay activist group apparently doesn’t see that the two statements contradict each other.

Using GLAAD’s own definition, incestuous couples should be allowed to marry also, as would predatory adult-child relationships, and polygamous relationships.

American law currently does not allow any of those relationships as marriages. So changing marriage laws to allow them would, by definition, re-define marriage.

What’s more, every time a gay rights organization trots out the “marriage is simply for loving couples” line, it’s proper to trot out the “what about incest, polygamy, etc.” response. Yet gay activists inevitably would squawk at such comparisons, arguing there isn’t a demand for such other marriage relationships.

Yet such arguments evade the point: what if there was?

Some liberals are now seeing that the previous response that “there’s no demand for those” is indeed inadequate. So they are starting to argue that such relationships should be legalized also.

The “slippery slope” that liberals used to mock as simply an absurd anti-gay scare tactic is no longer absurd because it is slowly starting to become embraced.

The slippery slope prediction is coming true.

And those new types of marriages wouldn’t re-define anything?

Hm.

The bottom line

GLAAD could be an acronym for “Generic Logical Arguments Are Deficient” when it comes to its response to Cameron’s comments. It’s self-defeating at best and outright deceitful at worst.