Monday, December 23, 2013

The Right to be Wrong or Stupid

In this country, we have the right to say what we want; we have the right to be wrong and we have the right to be stupid.  As I watch the Duck Dynasty media circus unfold, and watch more and more people weigh in, I am struck by how many people seem to be getting this wrong.  I don’t think I’m alone.
Let’s start with the idea that this has anything to do with the 1st Amendment / Freedom of Speech.  It does not.  Phil has every right to say what he said.  A&E has every right to do what they did.  GLAAD has every right to be outraged and to call for A&E to “Do something”.  Millions of people have the right to voice their opinion on the matter.  When the government starts telling A&E what to do or telling Phil what he can say, that’s different.  But none of this has anything to do with the rights to free speech. 
Instead of looking at how this played out and who said what, I want to look at each player in this drama and look at how they may have been wrong or stupid.  I think mistakes were made (And continue to be made) on all sides.
Phil Robertson:  What were you thinking?  A GQ interview?  Magazines like that are always trying to play “Got you”.  Especially for someone who is conservative or backwoods or religious and Phil… You are all three!  This little Woodward wannabe will be the toast of all the Obamacare pajama parties for months to come and you fell right into the trap.
A&E:  Quick quiz hotshots… One of the stars of your NUMBER 1 rated, CASH COW series says something that some people find offensive, do you 1. Issue a press release saying that “While we disagree (You may even add the word “Strongly”) with the words of Phil Robertson, we support the fact that people in this country can disagree with each other on certain topics.  We at A&E have supported and will continue to support the LGBT lifestyle.”  2. Issue a press release saying “That after careful consideration, we will be dropping Duck Dynasty from our line-up as we can see no way forward due to creative differences.”  I could respect either decision; the first because it’s good business and the second because they were standing up for their principles.  They choose door number three…  “We have decided to do something because the people at GLAAD were getting the underwear in a bunch, but we really like the money, so we are going to suspend Phil indefinitely (Or until this blows over) and try to film around him.  We really hope the rest of the family cooperates as we need the money.”  SMH
GLAAD:  I must admit that their position has hurt themselves more than it has hurt any other player.  Calling for A&E to do something is typical knee-jerk advocacy stuff that we have come to expect from any so called “Rights” group.  What I find disturbing about their position as well the position of thousands more people on FB and sites like Huffington Post and Being Liberal is the lengths they are going to demolish this man.  They seem to be doing it gleefully.  It is not enough to say they disagree or to use this as a teachable moment.  They label what he said “Hate Speech”.  Unfortunately, that is the way the PC crowd gets around having to debate anything.  Once what you say is labeled “Hate Speech”, then you are a “Hater” and since you are now a hater, they don’t have to actually engage you in conversation.  I read what Phil said.  I don’t agree with it.  But what made it “Hate Speech”?  There were no disparaging remarks, no slurs.  He answered a question about his faith.  He didn't demand you agree with him and he hasn't tried to shout anyone down.
What I find sad is that a group that preaches tolerance would have none for another opinion.  Why is tolerance only a one-way street?  Is your position so untenable that any differing opinion must be shattered and the person saying it must be destroyed at all costs?  You are fighting for hearts and minds here and over the last week, you have turned off people that might otherwise been more accepting of your position.  To most of middle America, watching you try to destroy a man because you disagree with him turns people off and makes you look small. 

Of course, I am fully aware that I may be one of those getting thing wrong…

Friday, August 23, 2013

Discriminating on a Saturday Night

Do we have the right to not work with someone?

In an interesting case out of New Mexico, the state supreme court just ruled that Elane Photography violated New Mexico’s Human rights act which “Prohibits a public accommodation from refusing services to a person based on that person’s sexual orientation.”  Elane Photography refused to shoot a wedding for the plaintiff because it was a gay wedding.  They felt it was against their beliefs. 

As someone who has been in the wedding business for 30 years, I am left with a couple things bothering me about this case.
My first question is why some discrimination is acceptable and some not?  I get discriminated against all the time (Just like every other businessman out there).  I get discriminated against based on price (Too expensive for some clients), age (They wanted a younger DJ), race (Had a black couple prefer a black DJ) and even personality (I can’t even imagine what they were thinking, I have a great personality).  The point is that people discriminate all the time.  What if that photographer chooses not to shoot a wedding because the bride was a pain in the ass; or because she preferred only older couples? 

Think about what this law does.  This law sets up some groups to be protected at the expense of others.  Orwell said it best.  “All animals are created equal; some are more equal than others.”  I’m just not sure the government should be in the business of protecting some minorities and not others.  And yes, I am a minority.  An individual is a minority of one; you just don’t get a smaller minority than one. (Thank you Ayn Rand)

The other thought I have is why would you want a photographer that doesn't want to shoot your wedding?  Hello?  Is there only one photographer in all of New Mexico?  I can’t speak for that state, but here in sunny FL the vast majority of Photographers, DJs and other wedding professionals would be thrilled to get your business. 

If you run into someone that doesn't want your business, move on.  What do you get out of suing?  No hearts or minds were ever changed with the use of force.  If a photographer didn't want to shoot my wedding because I’m too old, too white or my nose is too big, I will be more than happy to give my hard earned money to someone who deserves it.    

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chicken Little meets The Emperor Has No Clothes

     “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” Chicken Little exclaimed after an apple hit him on the head and now I’m wondering if President Obama got hit in the head by a golf ball over the weekend. In a speech yesterday, Mr. Obama said:
     “Emergency responders like the ones who are here today -- their ability to help communities      respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded. Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced. FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which mean more delays at airports across the country. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings”
Wow, we must be cutting at 50% of the budget. NO It must be 25% at least. NO? Try around 2% of spending. Yes, 2%... And those evil Republicans are causing him to do all of the above? Try again. Those cuts are determined by the president. He alone decides what programs get cut. God forbid he has to cut subsidies for green energy or maybe play golf less than 5 days a week. By the way, this 2% is off programs that have seen an average of 17% in increases in the last five years. The Wall Street Journal says it so much better than I could.

Take a look at these draconian cuts we are facing, courtesy of Guy Benson via TownHall.

How terrible that those evil Republicans forced him to take sequestration in the first place. Oh wait, it was the Presidents idea? Well then how can he blame Republicans? It’s the only play in his book. The man has gotten everything he ever wanted and is now seeing that none of those policies have worked. Blame Republicans! With the media not challenging him on the facts, he can claim that Obamacare was a Republican idea as it begins to fail.

The Emperor has no clothes and I hope the American people wake up and see that soon. I doubt it though. I won’t be holding my breath.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lions, Tigers and Guns

January 16, 2013

At 11:30 Am today, President Obama plans to hold a press conference to explain to the American people that he wants congress to do something about the rate of gun violence that has been falling for 20 years…

Oh wait, that’s not it

Maybe the press conference is about the fact that the last “assault gun” ban had next to zero effect on gun violence and that another ban is a silly idea…

No, unfortunately, Obama will lay out his plan to curtail the rights of law abiding citizens without explaining how the criminals (Who by definition don’t follow the law) will be kept from getting guns. On a stage filled with children, (Because he cares about children and those of us that believe in the second amendment hate them) Obama will not only tell us what congress should do, but what he is willing to do outside of congress.

Think about that. Obama is more than willing to go outside of the constitution because it’s that important. Now before you Obama sycophants stand up and applaud, (because he really cares…sniff, sniff) think about a Republican doing the same thing for something you are against. Peirs Morgan would wet his bed thinking about that. Come to think of it, Piers probably wets his bed nightly anyway.

What’s sad to me is not the cavalier approach Obama takes to the 2nd amendment or even to the Constitution. No, what scares me is that so few people are worked up about Obama’s attitude. Remember that a government strong enough to give you what you want is strong enough to take it away and give you things you don’t want.

I have an idea for Obama’s presser with the kids. It might look really cool if all the kids had matching shirts. The color brown might look good, but I think that’s been done before.