Jesus H. Christ. These people NEVER STOP.
University of Utah supporters could soon be singing a new fight song for the first time in over a century after the student government voted on a resolution to change the lyrics of “Utah Man” because of its sexist and racial overtones. Members of the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) alleged that the title and some of the lyrics are “problematic” and could lead to “feelings of exclusion” for some students, specifically minorities and women. Instead, it asks the university’s administration to replace those portions of the tune with broader, more politically correct terms…The male-centered lyrics could lead students who “do not identify as men or being a man” to feel excluded from the campus community, the resolution states. Additionally, members took issue with a lyric in the first verse that states “Our coeds are the fairest.” The resolution argues the line is “supporting a hierarchy built on complexion and skin tone, privileging a light or ‘fair’ appearance.” Alison Boyer, a member of the ASUU Assembly, said that not changing the song is “allowing hurtful speech to be perpetrated” on campus. Another member, Lydia Owens, compared keeping the current song to opposing interracial marriage and denying women’s suffrage.
OH COME ON.
I’m not covering the Donald Sterling saga much, because I’m tired of the “Racist/Homophobe/Sexist of the Week” news cycle. There’s actual news the media could be covering (like the VA scandal) instead of this circus. Sterling is obviously a terrible person and his racist behavior (this isn’t the first instance, by the way, although the NAACP has given him awards regardless) is abhorrent. However, I’m not sure why everyone is so obsessed with this stuff. There are real problems in this country. If a politician said this, I would care a lot. But I just don’t care what random private citizens think about stuff. Some people are assholes. This is not news. If the owner of an NFL team said something like “women shouldn’t have the vote”…I just don’t care. Although, I suppose the shock people experience when someone says something like this is a good thing. It’s good because it’s shocking. Because no one talks like this anymore (thank goodness). So, when we hear it, we are stunned and repulsed and it’s a big deal. Anyway, I think Scott Shackford makes a good point here:
For some folks, the most important question was: What political party does Sterling belong to? There’s nothing about this scandal that suggests Sterling’s political affiliation means anything whatsoever. Nevertheless somebody tried to tag him as a Republican, prompting former Reason editor and current National Review Editor Tim Cavanaugh to point out his very short history of political donations (two whole candidates) is to the Democrats. (Update: Mother Jones notes that he is nevertheless registered as a Republican). That means the Democrats are racists unless they all take to the press and thoroughly disavow Sterling, right? No, no it doesn’t. And it wouldn’t say anything about the Republican Party had he donated to two Republicans. Running alongside the constant engine of Internet outrage at the behavior of the political opposition is the rush toward guilty by association, even when it’s not relevant to any sort of policy proposal or connected to the political platform by any party. The line of argument appears to just be “X did a bad thing and X is a [Republican/Democrat] and therefore his party is [racist/hypocritical/corrupt/et cetera]. Every major political figure of that party must publicly disavow him now! Right now!” This is exactly what happened last week when it turned out Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who had been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing on public lands, had said racist things. It prompted some stupid musing about whether everybody who opposed government power was racist and political figures who otherwise supported Bundy’s efforts to disavow his comments. J.D. Tuccille has previously responded to this sort of absurd, ahistorical argument; everybody should read what he had to say. When Democratic Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee was arrested on suspicion of corruption and participation in an international gun-running operation, I saw outrage from the right over the fact that his political affiliation was not in the headline of the story and was buried further down, not mentioned in the lede. Tweets declared that if Yee had been a Republican, his political affiliation would be right up there. The outrage was further compounded when his story, an outrageous tale of a progressive gun control advocate’s hypocritical double-life, failed to get much national attention. Would the same had been true had he been a Republican? The analysis of Yee coverage is an important piece of media criticism, but watching these online debates makes me want to ask conservatives and libertarians: Is the problem that conservatives and libertarians are all being tarred by their worst adherents or is the problem that progressives aren’t? Yee’s alleged corruption and hypocrisy is outrageous; but does anybody really think there’s any possible way to reflect his sins upon the entire Democratic Party? Of course not, because abuse of political power is not unique to either party, even with the sexy gun twist…The problem is that the power exists, not which party has control of it. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy, but I really don’t see what conservatives and libertarians hope to gain by trying to fight fire with fire here.
Scott is correct. But I think a lot of conservatives/libertarians, like myself, emphasize political party when a Democrat behaves badly because the other side does it constantly and I don’t believe in unilateral disarmament. I think sometimes people need a taste of their own medicine. I’m not willing to shut up while the Left paints half the country as racists because of what one rancher said. The political parties of these people matters not at all. But it does to the media. If the guilty party is a Republican, that fact is in every damn headline. If he/she is a Democrat it doesn’t even make it onto the page. So when someone on the Left says something awful, I’m going to point out that they’re a Democrat. When the Left plays fair, I’ll play fair.
Oddly enough, I think Mark Cuban says it best regarding Sterling:
“What Donald said was wrong,” Cuban said. “It was abhorrent. There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with, and I don’t want to be associated with people who have that position. But at the same time, that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It’s a very, very slippery slope. Again, there’s no excuse for his positions. There’s no excuse for what he said. There’s no excuse for anybody to support racism. There’s no place for it in our league, but there’s a very, very, very slippery slope. If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion? What about somebody who’s anti-semitic? What about a xenophobe? In this country, people are allowed to be morons.”
Bill Maher (who is an idiot on most things, but is quite good on free speech) said something similar on Twitter yesterday:
As Reason notes:
Cuban…raises a series of interesting questions, including whether private conversations should have public consequences of the sort we’re dealing with here…To this point: If Sterling didn’t have a long and unsavory history regarding racially charged issues (NBA legend and former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor sued him for wrongful termination and discrimination; he settled a case charging him with discriminatory housing practices), the tape might not have been as explosive. One of the implications of Cuban’s comments is that many players, coaches, and team owners would be in trouble if homophobia were raised to the level of racism as a disqualifying set of beliefs. Despite the recent announcement of an openly gay current player, the league is widely regarded as a hotbed of anti-gay animus. Cuban’s point, which I think he makes with clarity and with the best of intentions, is that chasing out bad ideas is never as easy as it seems at first blush.
Great piece by Dana Perino on the Left’s disgusting, hypocritical attacks on a gay Republican congressional candidate.
Let’s pretend you’re a screenwriter assigned to develop a character to run for Congress in California in 2014. You need a compelling story, so you make him an orphan at 13 – wait, even better his dad leaves the family two weeks before his mother died – and then social services splits up his brothers and sisters leaving him alone in the world. Despite those challenges he perseveres, putting himself through a top-tier college and then building and selling two multimillion-dollar companies. Thus financially secure, he decides to dedicate himself to public service and runs for City Council. In his first term he works across party lines and four years after his first election he passes major pension reform that saves the city money and protects the retirement savings of thousand of people. For good measure, you make him openly gay and in a committed relationship, the first to feature his partner in campaign literature. He’s the perfect candidate to send to Washington, D.C. and, of course, he’s a Democrat, right? Wrong. The real story proves that truth is stranger and sometimes better than fiction. Your character already exists in Carl DeMaio of San Diego – except that he’s not a Democrat, he’s a (gasp!) Republican…DeMaio has been the target of homophobic attacks. But where are those attacks coming from? It’s not always from the far right social conservatives you’d expect; rather, it’s been from DeMaio’s left – the liberal and Democrat-affiliated groups that you’d think would be proud that an openly gay successful businessman has decided to run for office…”I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I’m a Republican who happens to be gay…versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican,” DeMaio said. As the race heats up and DeMaio gains in the polls ahead of the Republican primary on June 3rd, the LGBT groups have gone from silence about his candidacy to actively working against him.
Read the whole thing.
New York City’s absolutely batshit, absurd, Orwellian ban on e-cigarettes is officially in place. So ridiculous...
Vallone and 42 of his colleagues demonstrated their confusion by voting to treat vaping like smoking, meaning e-cigarettes will be banned from bars, restaurants, and other indoor spaces open to the public, along with outdoor locations such as parks and beaches. Although that arbitrary edict may relieve the discomfort of politicians bewildered by a new technology, it probably will mean more smoking-related disease and death, the opposite of their avowed goal. The New York Times called the meeting during which Vallone expressed his dismay at metal tubes that resemble cigarettes “one of the most scientifically vague and emotionally charged health committee hearings in recent memory.” New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley supplied the scientific vagueness, admitting there is no evidence that e-cigarettes pose a threat to vapers themselves, let alone bystanders. Still, he said, “I certainly can’t guarantee that that is safe.” But the real problem with e-cigarettes, according to Farley and other supporters of the ban, is that they look too much like the real thing. “E-cigarettes threaten, in my opinion, to undermine enforcement of the Smoke-Free Air Act,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said…”Because many of the e-cigarettes are designed to look like cigarettes and be used just like them, they can lead to confusion or confrontation.” You might think that people of ordinary intelligence would pretty quickly learn to distinguish a burning stick of dried vegetable matter from an e-cigarette, which contains no tobacco and produces no smoke. And once they learned the difference, they could explain it to the New York City Council.
Chicago politics: the gift that keeps on giving.
Facing up to 15 years in prison and stripped of his U.S. passport, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former city comptroller ordered his wife this week “to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport,” according to court records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. Now, Amer Ahmad is on the lam, and a judge issued a warrant Friday for his arrest…Ahmad — who has continued to live in Chicago since resigning from his $165,000-a-year City Hall post last summer — pleaded guilty in December to being part of a large kickback and money-laundering scheme when he was Ohio’s deputy state treasurer. The crimes occurred before Ahmad joined Emanuel’s administration in April 2011. An outside investigation that City Hall commissioned to review Ahmad’s conduct revealed no criminal wrongdoing by Ahmad or his staff. That investigation cost Chicago taxpayers $825,000. In recent months, Ahmad, 39, had become physically and verbally abusive toward his wife and three children, ages 7, 6 and 2, and had been undergoing psychiatric treament, his wife wrote in her petition for the order of protection.
Sonny Bunch tells the Left to GET OFF MY LAWN!
The thing that annoys conservatives the most about liberals when it comes to economics isn’t so much that they disagree. People disagree all the time about all sorts of things, but disagreement alone doesn’t tend to get the blood boiling. No, what annoys conservatives about liberals is the stunning and blatant hypocrisy in virtually every pronouncement that they make. For instance, remember when the Obama administration announced it was going to crack down on unpaid internships?…There are any number of problems with ending unpaid internships, of course—the largest one being that such opportunities for unskilled employees will simply vanish, thus closing off an avenue of entry into a preferred profession for those lacking experience—but liberals don’t care about pesky little things like “unintended consequences.” What’s right is right! And what’s right is increasing the minimum wage and paying interns! Except for interns that, um, work at the White House, apparently. They can still be paid zero dollars…Then there’s unionization. We’ve been told again and again that the cards are stacked against employees, most of whom are abused by their corporate overlords. If only they unionized, they could have a better life! But winning unionization elections via secret ballot is relatively difficult, so the left has pushed for “card check” campaigns that would unionize a business once a bare majority of individuals sign cards announcing they want to form a union. Media Matters, for instance, has been pretty insistent on the awesomeness of pro-card-check legislation…Of course, when Media Matters employees wanted to form a union, the company’s big shots decided that card check is okay for manufacturers and grocery store workers but totes terrible for liberal watchdogs…Again: Most conservatives totally agree with David Brock and the other fat cats at Media Matters. They should have the right to demand a secret ballot election! Employees shouldn’t be subjected to the intimidation and thuggish tactics that card check campaigns invite. What grates isn’t Brock and Co’s decision. What grates is the hypocrisy of it all…Conservatives are tired of being preached to about money in politics by politicians and hacks and flacks that swim Scrooge McDuck-style in pools of money provided by environmentalist billionaires and union slush funds. We’re sick of being lectured about inequality by explainers living in million-dollar condos and columnists who earn six figures a year lecturing about the dangers of wealth in their spare time. It’s getting boring to hear the left whine about the minimum wage and unpaid internships and the awesomeness of unionization even as it fights tooth and nail against the implementation of any of these things. In other words: practice what you preach, bros. And until you do, kindly mind your business.
Obama’s executive order work edicts are causing businesses to flee military bases. Hmmm, I seem to remember some people predicting this would happen. Byron York reports:
The fight over the minimum wage, which President Obama and Democrats hope to make a centerpiece of this year’s midterm elections, comes down to two simple arguments. Obama says low-income working Americans deserve a raise, while Republicans say raising the minimum wage would cost jobs. It was a mostly theoretical argument until Feb. 12, when Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour from $7.25…Obama’s order does not take effect until January 1, 2015. But there are signs it is already having an effect — and it is not what the president and his party said it would be. In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.” Military Times quoted sources saying the closures are related to the coming mandatory wage increases, with one source saying they are “the tip of the iceberg.”…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour. In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.) And one more thing. Military contracting laws do not allow businesses to raise their prices above the level prevailing in the local community. The fast-food operators can’t charge more to make up their losses…”Given the business model typical in the fast food industry, this increase in the cost of labor dramatically disrupts the profitability and viability of food service operators” on military bases, Beland wrote. “The increased labor burden resulting from the new [wage structure] eliminates any profit the operator might otherwise realize and puts him in an impossible business dilemma.” Beland wrote that Navy exchange officials estimate that 390 fast-food concessions in the U.S. and territories will close because of the increased costs. “Closure of these facilities would result in loss of work for nearly 5,750 contracted concession employees who are currently gainfully employed,” Beland wrote. And that’s just for the Navy and Marines. The Army exchange system is much bigger, and including the Air Force, could affect as many as 10,000 more jobs…It looks like the president’s critics were right.
Our President is an economic retard.
U.S. senators have removed the requirement for disclosure of ‘noncombatant civilians’ killed in drone strikes, at DNI James Clapper’s request. Not a good move, in my opinion.
Not the Onion: Saudi Arabia criticizes Norway over its “human rights” record. Of course, Saudi Arabia has a very, very different definition of what “rights” are…
Saudi Arabia has criticised Norway’s human rights record, accusing the country of failing to protect its Muslim citizens and not doing enough to counter criticism of the prophet Mohammed….The gulf state called for all criticism of religion and of prophet Mohammed to be made illegal in Norway.
Charles C.W. Cooke takes on E.J. Dionne’s unbelievably stupid column on Georgia’s gun law. He addresses Dionne’s objections one-by-one:
If individuals carrying their firearms into bars resulted inevitably in shootouts, we’d be seeing it already. We’re not. In every state except Louisiana and Montana, it is already legal for concealed-carry permit holders to take their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol (Montana allows only open carry in restaurants serving alcohol). Only 16 states explicitly prohibit people who are carrying from entering bars…Notably, Dionne fails to mention that every single state in the Union has rules governing how much permit holders may drink while in possession of a firearm and that many states prohibit consumption at all…Georgia’s new law does not mandate carrying in church, but merely allows individual businesses and churches to establish their own rules. Before passage, it was illegal in Georgia for churches to allow their congregants to carry; now it is up to the churches…The law wipes out the regulations that prohibited those “pesky” individual business owners, libraries, school districts, and church leaders from setting their own guidelines. It is little short of astonishing that Dionne would attempt to characterize a state provision that leaves these questions up to each organization as destroying local variation when they do precisely the opposite: fracturing the regulations even further and expanding individual control. Had the state made it illegal for private businesses and local governments to prohibit firearms, he would have a point. It didn’t. He doesn’t.
Next, Charles addresses the ridiculous panic over the new airport rules…
If you “connect through Atlanta” then, by definition, 1) you’ll be safely on the other side of the security checkpoint, after which one is not allowed to carry a firearm; 2) you won’t have access to any firearms you’re transporting, because they’ll be checked; and 3) this provision doesn’t apply to you because you won’t be interacting with the TSA at all. Forget the silliness: All that this law does is prevent flyers who forget that they are carrying firearms — a common occurrence, according to the TSA — from being prosecuted. It does not allow travelers with firearms to take them through security. It does not exempt them from the usual checks. It does not give anyone “a break.” Judging by his agitation, Dionne appears to believe that Georgia’s allowing permit holders to carry in airports is peculiar. It is not. Federal law prohibits firearms from being brought beyond the security checkpoints in all U.S. airports, but most states do not extend this rule to the common areas. At last count, only eleven states forbade visitors from bringing their guns into the non-secured areas in airport terminals.
On to Dionne’s objection to taking guns “into government buildings that don’t have screening devices or security guards.” Cooke responds:
This makes sense only if you presume that 1) buildings without “screening devices or security guards” are at less risk if they put up a “gun-free zone” sign than if they don’t, which is absurd; that 2) allowing concealed-carry permit holders to go into government buildings makes those permit holders more likely to shoot up government buildings, which is absurd…If Georgia’s government buildings have been safe up until this point, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that they won’t continue to be safe after this law has been implemented. This is emotional nonsense, nothing more and nothing less.
Over the last 25 years or so, the opponents of the right to bear arms have shown a remarkable willingness to behave as if every new law represented a return to the Hobbesian state of nature. It made some sense for the critics of concealed carry to forecast shootouts in the street in 1987, because there was little evidence either way as to what would happen if you trusted people to carry arms. Now such claims are preposterous. A couple of years ago, Illinois’s governor, Pat Quinn, reacted to the idea that his state might become the 50th to permit “private citizens to carry loaded concealed handguns in public places” with the prediction that Illinoisans who “bump into somebody accidentally” at “the grocery store” would “assuage their anger” with their weapons. He made this prognosis after 49 states had already demonstrated that such things simply do not happen, and after the gun-crime rate had fallen consistently for two decades. Those among us who would prefer that the various levels of American government base their firearms laws on reason rather than ignorant and overwrought emotion have a duty to ensure that the likes of Quinn are laughed at mercilessly for their delirium.