Hilary Clinton and History


Hilary Clinton and History

This week Hilary Rodham Clinton gained enough delegates to be the Democrat’s nominee for President of the United States. This is a truly historic moment but as far as I can tell it is being greeted with a subdued yawn in most circles.

Why isn’t there more positive response to these events? Why isn’t there wild enthusiasm for the first woman to helm a major party ticket?

I believe there are three reasons for this lack of enthusiasm.

First, we have her husband, Bill Clinton, whose baggage includes extra-marital affairs, the Marc Rich pardon, etc.

Second, Ms. Clinton is very much a “more of the same” candidate. She does not call for radical change and does little to appeal to those who believe that the system isn’t working for them. She is a creature of the system and her millions of dollars of income would tend to indicate that she believes the current system and works well.

And third, the Sanders campaign. The campaign for the democratic candidacy was plagued by Clinton favoritism. The scheduling of the democratic debates on weekends and against sporting events was designed to minimize other candidate’s exposure. Could she have beaten him in a straight up contest without super delegates and other nonsense? We’ll never know but it leaves a sour taste.

There can be no doubt that Clinton is hard, cold calculating politician. Certainly, there are many and I am one of them that hoped the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency would be more of a transformational figure. But there is nothing radical or even original in her positions. Anyone who reads the beltway media like the Washington Post can predict her campaign positions with accuracy.

So, she is not a transformational figure and not much perceptible will change should she be elected in terms of woman and men and the United States. But a line will have been crossed; a change made that will echo across the centuries and its implications will have real effects. For the next woman in pursuit of power, position or just simple significance, the struggle will be easier; the goals more clearly marked and change more easy to effect.

James Pilant

Voting and Power!


Voting and Power!

There is a genuine disgust and cynicism about the government and how it functions here in the United States. I share that disgust and like so many find many other institutions in this society lacking.

However, we can vote. It is a slender reed but it may yet prove to be important enough to inaugurate some kind of meaningful change in a system rigged against us.

If you can vote in a primary, please vote. But above all vote in the November election. “They” are always saying that this is the most important election in your lifetime. But this time, it looks like that is the call. We have a history making election that could change all of our lives in so many different ways.

I know that there are those who want to blow up this system. And to you, I say, I understand. I get the pain of feeling that the government has forgotten you, sold your jobs and your future. But there is still time, there is still hope, there are still possibilities.

Vote one more time. This is great nation that has forgotten that all must share in economic benefits not just the wealthy and the well-connected. But that can be just temporary forgetting. The path is still here. The course is still to be found. We can get back on track and have a government that serves the interest of us all.

I ask you to give it another chance and participate in this election.

One of my friends, (from Ireland and Scotland) has written something about voting a power that I like and value. Maybe you’ll like it too.

002-1The excerpt below is from Random Public Journal, the web site of my good friend, Jason Michael McCann, the essay in question being Overthrowing this Kingdom.

Voting? What was that? What sort of silly loon would waste their time casting a vote? Those that did, marked their paper and chucked it down the pan – for all the good it would do in making things any different for them. In our 300 years of London rule the ballots of Scotland had as much use in Westminster politics as toilet paper. Voting on polling day was the ruin of a decent walk. Change only came about when we re-opened our own parliament up in Edinburgh, and then the transformation began. It turns out, after all, that we are genetically programmed to make political decisions and think political thoughts. Somewhere it was written:

Today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.

These were always highfalutin words, best kept I thought for school assemblies, until it dawned on me that they were speaking about us. We’ve only been kept in chains by our own consent; be that as working people under management and ownership or a nation under the heel of an empire. It was we ourselves who put up the red stones on John Finnie Street, and it was our own people who broke the backs of nations to prosper imperialists, and just as surely as we did all that we can rip it all back down and build it again to the prosperity of ourselves. It is us who have been appointed over our nation, to pluck up and pull down a kingdom, to overthrow it and utterly destroy it, and plant and build up a nation for ourselves.

He does have the eloquence, doesn’t he? I’ve told him some day I’ll have to come hear him preach. (That’s the American way of talking – preaching, etc.) I think they minister in Ireland.

But he has the same message as me. This is a good time to participate and make your vote felt.

James Pilant

Bye Paul Krugman


Bye Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman was the first web site I read every morning for years. I didn’t read the column so much as his blog which seemed more personal and in depth.

Many, many times, his clever observations on economics delighted me.

i_286All went well for many years, he wrote – I appreciated. But then Bernie Sanders ran for President.

It seemed to me like just another Democratic primary. I’m for Sanders but to Krugman, it appeared as if a horned helmeted barbarian was stomping in his yard, and he took to his column and blog in outrage.

At first, I thought this was a phase that would pass. Somebody would take him aside and say, “Hey Paul, try not to get too excited about this guy, remember there are a lot of people who side with your economic view who are also supporters of his.” But apparently no one did and the columns became more and more – well, just weird. Try this one – My Unicorn Problem or this one, Sanders Over the Edge. I would have appreciated a little neutrality in the race particularly considering that Hilary Clinton and her former President spouse seem to have precious little use for him or his economic views.

I can’t see being a Democrat and being a Clinton supporter as having to be the same thing. I think I can be a more progressive Democrat and back another candidate for the nomination.

So, bye Paul! Enjoyed the columns.

James Pilant

In case, you think I’m alone in my estimates of the Krugman columns – read below-

Paul Krugman, who has turned his New York Times column into a mouthpiece for Clinton talking points, told us (not for the first time) that Sanders and his supporters were ill-informed about how things worked in the real world, and needed to get off his lawn.

Paul Krugman has been waging a one-man war against Bernie Sanders, lobbing bombs and missiles from his perch at the New York Times, in column after blog post after column. It is interesting that has chosen to repeatedly smear Bernie, ad nauseum, rather than try to promote some positive qualities about Hillary Clinton or her record, about which he has said very little. Perhaps it is because for Krugman, who is neither a moderate Republican nor a conservative Democrat, nor a neoconservative militarist on foreign policy, it’s not so easy for him to promote Hillary.

But to argue, as Krugman does, that the Sanders campaign has “lost its ethical moorings” by going after Clinton’s relationship with fossil fuel lobbyist is wrong-headed and misses the entire point of his campaign. Sure, we can quibble about the specific amount of dollars Clinton has accepted from the industry, and perhaps Sanders has exaggerated on this front, but there’s no question money has indeed been exchanged.

And last, from the web site, Beat the Press:

I have tremendous respect for Paul Krugman. I also consider him a friend. For these reasons I am not eager to pick a fight with him, but there is something about his criticisms of Bernie Sanders that really bothered me.

 

A Second Chance?


I looked at the blood pressure machine twice, not quite believing what I was seeing – 200 over 110.

“That’s not good.” I thought to myself.

It was a little after eleven at night. I was about to moisturize my face. When you reach the age of fifty-nine, your face attempts to dry out, locking in a scary expression and probably eventually sliding off your head. It’s just like everything else at this age that seems to be going badly wrong. I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed a clearly visible blood vein under my left eye. “Never saw that before,” I thought. So, I went and searched in the back of a drawer until I found my blood pressure monitor.

200 over 110 – what to do?

ill_p382
A Second Chance?

I remember thinking. “You’re going to die, James. Maybe not this minute but probably soon, and if you don’t die, you’ll probably have a debilitating stroke, and live the life of a plant. You know, spoon fed lots of jello and rice pudding, if they remember to feed you.”

I had suspected that fear of death focused the mind but once I was there looking at death from the range of a close acquaintance I knew I was fiercely concentrating and focused.

I spent the next twenty minutes researching on the Internet and developing a plan. The hardest part of that night wasn’t studying and planning, it was trying to go to sleep. I kept thinking that I might not wake up.

The next day, I purged salt from my diet discarding a variety of canned and frozen foods. I went to the store and bought fruits and veggies. I decided red meat had to go but fish would probably be okay.

It was at the store I found evidence that God had a deep and abiding fondness for me. I had been looking for a reclining exercycle for months, and had repeatedly refused to buy one at full price. And yet, here I was ready and determined to buy one at full price and the store had a dinged one for half off, which I immediately purchased, hauled home and assembled.

While at the store, I tried out their blood pressure machine to see if I could get a different result. It declined to give me blood pressure numbers, merely putting up a message that I should get to a hospital immediately. “I already know that.” I observed to myself.

Since then, it has been a struggle. On the positive side, eating fruit everyday has been nice although grapes are just way too expensive. On the negative side, food choices are a little bland and I crave salt particularly in the form of potato chips. I can’t figure out what to eat guacamole with, if not chips? I put the exercycle next to the computer and move it into viewing position, watch a nice you-tube video (usually a history documentary) for about twenty or twenty-five minutes at a time.

I didn’t re-check my blood pressure for the first week and the next check showed a drop of about twenty points. After that, I splurged and bought a little wrist blood pressure monitor. I test my blood pressure like I’m supposed to, after ten minutes of sitting quietly but after a while I became curious and starting testing it after exercise and meals, in the morning, at night, etc. I wanted to see how much it varied and why. It became readily apparent that the most important factor in whether it was high or not was my salt intake.

So, currently I’m getting readings at my usual time and after proper rest of about 140 over 90. That’s not great but it is more in the yellow zone of taking care of yourself and less of the “my head is about to explode” zone.

So, is this a second chance? – a new lease on life? I don’t know. I know it changed my behavior. I look, feel and live a lot harder, a lot more intensely, and that remains. Sometimes when I walk out a door, I pause and just look at the sky and the trees and the people. I let the wind blow my hair and feel the warmth. I marvel at my students who seem half asleep and walk the halls like zombie extras but then I wander down to the mall and see their elders are even deader, consumers studying the products, eyeing the next bargain ignoring any and all human interaction.

I’m blunter, more friendly and probably a much more engaging lecturer than I have ever been before. I listen a lot better because I want to know what other people are saying and thinking because I’m curious why they keep going on living when I have doubts that I should or can.

One theory has been advanced. My Tuesday-Thursday Business Law class claims that I was preserved among the living so that I could give them all A’s. I told them that should a celestial choir awaken me from sleep to tell me of me of my grand purpose, it was highly unlikely that giving them all A’s would be the name of the tune.

I think that maybe I should go back to where I began in Northeastern Oklahoma and remember what my beginnings were, try out the old trails once again. Maybe that is my purpose, but even if it is not, it is still a path with heart, and that sounds pretty good right now.

James Pilant

High Noon


High Noon

The Sheriff walked tall into the town meeting, a gun strapped to his hip. He tells the meeting that strangers have come into our town and our county. They’ve threatened my life. My wife has had to leave town because of the threats and now they’re threatening my elderly parents.

Was this some old Western flick I watched?

!!the sheriff on the trail from Zane Grey novel
From the novel, The Mysterious Rider by Zane Grey

No, this is Harney County in Oregon – Last Night.

Yesterday, a county sheriff asked his fellow citizens for help. Sheriff David Ward asked for help because of these strangers that have come to town.

Now, I ask you – Is he just talking to his citizens or all of us? Because we can listen right now or we can wait till later when a whole bunch of heavily armed hooligans march into your town and demand you cooperate in whatever “protest” or “seizure,” they’ve got on their very small minds.

And if you don’t cooperate, they and their friends on the Internet are going to make you. And right smack in the middle of everyone of these tragicomedies is law enforcement – men and women tasked with defending your life and liberty confronted with heavily armed strangers.

What are you going to do?

I’ll tell you what you should do. First, protect and back your law enforcement. Because it is right and because they back you and they’re part of your community. Second, you have a responsibility as a citizen to make sure that justice is served, that people even heavily armed people have to obey the law.

Someday, every one of you may find yourselves in a community where thirty or forty armed men come in and demand you cooperate. And then you get to choose whether you have the guts to back your law enforcement or you’re gonna hide. What’s it going to be?

James Pilant

Thirty-Two Million Dollars and Justice


Thirty-Two Million Dollars and Justice

We spend a lot of money on a lot of things in this country, but how much are we willing to pay for justice?

Is it not written in Amos 5:24 that – But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream?

064-1Evil men have committed evil acts. Are we willing to seek justice, even if it costs thirty-two million dollars?

There are 13,000 untested rape kits in the State of Florida. It is estimated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that it could cost anywhere between nine and thirty-two million dollars to test all the kits some of which have been stored in police departments for years.

Every rape kit needs to be checked and checked as quickly as possible. Why? Here’s an excerpt from the article found in the Guardian –

(From the story, More than 13,000 rape kits remain untested in Florida, officials say – -)

Testing old rape kits usually leads to a torrent of new prosecutions. Several law enforcement agencies have found that the rape kits point to serial rapists.

After Detroit processed a backlog of 11,000 rape kits, police identified more than 100 serial rape suspects.

And here is a quote from the report itself –

In 2000, the City of New York initiated the process of inventorying and testing all previously unsubmitted SAKs without regard to the status or facts of the case (forklift approach). Testing of 17,000 SAKs resulted in over 2,000 DNA matches and 200 cold case prosecutions across New York City. Those offenders are now serving more than 900 years in prison. Similar results have been reported in Michigan where the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office identified 188 potential serial rapists and obtained 15 convictions. In Houston, Texas, testing of 6,663 untested SAKs resulted in 850 matches in the federal DNA database and the prosecution of 29.

Many rapists are serial rapists. Testing a large number of rape kits from a single geographical area often pulls up the same name many times. A serial rapist can rape hundreds of women during their criminal career. Testing rape kits connects the dots in eminently prosecutorial format.

As a criminal justice professional, these kits are a tool to rid society of many of these repeat offenders.

This is a worthy goal and it is worth thirty two million dollars.

James Pilant

Progression of Women by Casey Dye


(This is a guest column by Casey Dye, a colleague.)

i_005Women, since the 19th century, have seen a dramatic increase in the quality of life in most parts of the world. Oppression of women in the form of equality began to subside as women continued to prove they were not inferior to men on an intellectual standpoint. Women were once looked at as property, then as females who couldn’t own any property, to being able to own their own property and have the ability to have their voice heard. The culture of domesticity has faded from today’s society almost entirely, and leaving women to venture after their dreams. Many of these dreams included the furthering of the power of the women’s voice whether it be a movement to end the drunkenness of the American man (Prohibition), or the ability to vote. With the right to vote came the possibilities of a woman being able to divorce their drunk abusive husbands and save their children. From here women began to take control of their lives from who they married, to where they worked, to what they wore. Fashions began to change to create more sensible attire for women in the work force. More than fifty years after the American government freed the slaves they gave women the right to vote showing this was no easy task, but with this new freedom women are now able to enter the public sphere for the first time. This continued to chip away at the idea the women belonged in the home. Social reform through freedom of press and speech for women, along with the increase in capitalism, gave them the opportunity to prove their equality rather than just preach it. Now women hold leader positions in fortune five hundred companies and in those circumstances are getting paid better than most men.

To say women’s fight for equality is over is far from the truth, but for as far as they’ve come they have just steps to go in hopes for true equality. I for one believe in this movement whole heartedly. My mother is a strong independent woman who raised me with respect for women. With this message being passed along we might see true equality in our lifetime.

Psychological Hostage by Kelsey Palmer


(Writing a guest column today is Kelsey Palmer.)

Psychological Hostage

Abuse, malefaction, molestation, violation, physical, mental, trauma, Rape. This is not an unknown word among us. Often we would hear it being yelled by teenage boys in the crowded halls of high school, but what was fun for them to yell is not fun at all. Sadly, it is not an unknown action to too many of us. Usually women. Many many women that really mean “yes” when they say “no”.  Really mean “continue” when they “stop”. No! Some say they deserved it. Others say they led the guy on. Call them Femi-Nazis for trying to bring to justice a criminal act against them! How dare you. How dare you all for thinking in the slightest that this is a small matter. No! Rape is a criminal act or is it? It leaves scars, physical and emotional. Then there are women who think they can cry wolf when there are so many who actually see it.

!!@@#dddddd444193mIn light of rape, it is a criminal act. When someone (usually male) chooses to molest another (usually female) it is not out of the kindness in their hearts. It is not them looking out for the other. It is someone deciding to take away the freedom and rights the other has. That is why it is a crime! It is in violation of the rights we hold as humans, but you would never guess that from the way the law enforcers handle it. Thousands of unsolved cases and why? Because they are too expensive and time consuming. What about what this person had to go through? What about the turmoil this person has to face, the fear that their rapist is still out there lurking in the shadows. I would like to say I am proud of congress for finally doing something about this, but this should have been worked through years ago. Before the rape kits began piling up to extreme heights. Of course, like many other things America was slow to realize that this was an important matter and because of this many have suffered.

In continuation of my sentence before, many have suffered. No one can truly understand the psychological difficulties that come with a scene such as this until they have lived through it themselves. The trauma that comes with it at times can be more than one can bear.  It makes a person want lock themselves into a dark room, curl into a ball, and never allow anyone to come near them again. One could never understand the power of the mind until years after an event something as simple as a scent could bring it all hurtling back. Stuck in your mind till you forcibly distract yourself. It can cause a perfectly normal person to feel like a monster because of the horrible thoughts and ideas that come to their mind. To do to others what was done to them. Some are lucky enough to bypass these mind games and others have to shove them out until they are gone. Suffering in every step of the process because they have been broken just because some man decided it would be fun. And because of that man one could think that they will never be worthy of another because they have been used and abused like some dog’s toy with no soul, life, or future. Definitely no ability to make decisions for themselves. There are scars that exist far beyond the eye can see and the victims of a crime like this have them. So they go to the police in the hopes to find some peace of mind, but instead they are greeted by the high prices of rape kits. You might as well stamp a sign on the door saying “Have you been raped? Sorry, we won’t help you.” Even if a girl has the ability to do a rape kit all that will happen is it will be thrown into the back of a lab to collect dust until years later a bored detective decides to give it a shot. It still might not be that girl’s kit though, since there is a pile of these kits from over the years. To conclude, I feel that if America would get a grip and find a heart this would have been solved already because they would understand the pain that came with these crimes.

My last thought for this paper is that women should not cry wolf unless they see one. What I mean by this is that if a woman has sex and then regrets it they should not file rape. If a teen has sex, but does not want to get in trouble they should not file rape. If a woman is not raped, they should not say they are. I am not saying this is always the case because it rarely is, but it should not happen. When this happens, people are less likely to believe those who are actually raped. When women who are raped go unnoticed all of the psychological issues I spoke of before only progress because they need help! If there are so many cases of true rape that we already “do not have time for” we definitely do not have time for those that are not rape at all.

To conclude my paper, rape is a horrible thing that must be stopped in some way or another or at least diminished. Women going unnoticed and criminals continuing to be free is not the American dream I had in mind and I know that many people feel the same. These women need peace, help, and the ability to recover from the pain that has been forced upon them. This is not an easy task to undergo due to the fact that there are so many victims, but I know that if we just try to help them and solve their cases not only will they have more peace, but we will show the men that there WILL be consequences for these actions. In this way they will hopefully think twice before making such a damaging and idiotic decision.

Kelsey Palmer

James, the Jihadist


James, the Jihadist
James, the Jihadist

James, the Jihadist

I have argued that allowing gays and lesbians to be discriminated against in business transactions is wrong and poor business ethics. I have advocated that this legislation be changed before enactment and if enacted to be repealed. In this, I have acted inside the bounds of political activity traditional in this nation. At no point have I advocated violence against any religious establishment.

Nevertheless, people who agree with me and have made similar public comments have been described as “Jihadists” by Presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. A Jihadist? I don’t think I qualify. I am not currently involved in a Jihad, have not advocated violence against anyone over this legislation, and look ridiculous in a burnoose. I personally am a Christian and I am not part of a conspiracy to wage a Jihad against my own religion. I would find that personally divisive.

Being accused of being a Jihadist is not the only insult that people who share my beliefs have received on this issue. According to former Presidential candidate, Newt Gringrich, we are part of a lynch mob. And he backs up his claim, by explaining that people like me have to be deluded because the bill is “exactly the same as in Connecticut.” I believe he is implying that the bill is like the one in many states and the one passed by the federal legislation during the Clinton Administration. That’s a lie.

It’s not a little lie. It’s a giant hulking monstrous lie. As an attorney, I am well aware that adding a single comma can change the intent or the effect of legislation. The Indiana bill contain two entire clauses not in other bills save for the one in Texas. But the Texas bill has a civil rights exception that protects gay and lesbians. The Indiana bill doesn’t. The Indiana bill was designed like a laser beam to hit a single target, gays and lesbians in the market place. The foundation of the bill was in the fact that neither Indiana nor the federal government has legislation protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. All the other groups, women, minorities, etc., were protected by previous laws. Gays were the only people without cover The new clauses and the absence of a civil rights protection made the legislation dramatically different from what had been passed before. The bill does look similar to the bills passed before but if it walks like duck, quacks like a duck and has dripping fangs as well as razor sharp teeth, it’s not a duck anymore.

That the bill was identical with other state legislation and therefore did nothing new was a great talking point but that doesn’t make it true. No matter how loud or how often a lie is said does not make it reality.

But there was still more, I am not only described as a Jihadist and a leader of a lynch mob, I also lack perspective. According to Tom Cotton, the new Senator from Arkansas and famous letter writer, I lack perspective because, “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.”

No, that’s not how it works. If I point out that a man is starving, and you point out that another man up the street is also starving but that I wasn’t paying attention to his problem – a point has been made. But Cotton’s argument is too distant in nature and form from the situation in Indiana. As an American citizen I can have little effect on the law in Iran. But as an American citizen, in this country, I have both the right and the responsibility to participate in the affairs of the nation. I cannot and will not close my eyes to injustice that I can do something about. And that is where Cotton’s argument fails. However much I may lament the actions of people in other nations, I live here and what happens affects me directly.

Why are the first two criticisms so bizarre? It seems pretty obvious that group of citizens, newspaper writers, politicians and leaders in business are neither Jihadists nor part of a lynch mob. These two criticisms have no connection with any objective reality but they are designed for use. There will be radio shows, television pleas and letters, literally millions of letters, saying this –

HOMOSEXUAL JIHADISTS ARE PLANNING THE DESTRUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY, YOUR CHURCHES WILL BE DESTROYED, YOUR BIBLES BURNED AND RELIGION AS WE KNOW IT WILL CEASE TO EXIST!!

CAN YOU SEND $100, $50 OR EVEN AS LITTLE AS FIVE DOLLARS TO SAVE THE WORD OF JESUS CHRIST FROM BEING WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH BY THE GAY LYNCH MOB?

And then they’ll talk about this being a critical point in American history and the need to act now, right now, and how sending them money will allow brave men (insert current anti-jihadist fund raiser) to act on their behalf to defend American values.

I’ve seen fund raising letters like these dozens of times; the writing is usually in all caps, although usually the lead statements are in giant blood red letters that virtually scream crisis off the page.  How many of you remember the letters sent out charging that if John Kerry won the Presidency, bibles would be banned? That was in the 2004 campaign but these kinds of fund raising appeals are made constantly preying on those who would believe the worst of their fellow Americans.

To me, it seems obvious that the Jihad and lynch mob lines are set-ups for fund raising letters and Senator Cotton was just commenting. After all, you can’t really do much with a “lack of perspective” charge in a fund raising letter.

In conclusion, there is no Jihad, period. There is no lynch mob. And there is plenty of perspective.

What happened was democracy in action. I wasn’t pleased with all of it, but businesses, individuals, and elected officials stepped up publicly and opposed the legislation and it was changed. That is how things are supposed to work.

I participated in that as an American citizen as is my right under the law. And that is just what I am, an American.

James Pilant

(Below are my sources and the quotes I drew from for the above article. jp)

Senator Says Critics Of Indiana Should Get ‘Perspective,’ Be Thankful State Doesn’t Execute Gays

Appearing yesterday on CNN, Senator Tom Cotton (R) urged critics of Indiana’s “religious freedom” law to get “perspective,” suggesting the treatment of LGBT people in Indiana compared favorably to countries where gay people are executed.

“I think it’s important we have a sense of perspective,” Cotton said. “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.”

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/04/02/3642060/senator-says-critics-indiana-get-perspective-thankful-state-doesnt-execute-gays/

Newt Gingrich Slams ‘Lynch Mob’ For Opposing Indiana Religious Freedom Law

The fact is, for example, the governor of Connecticut announced he wouldn’t send people to Indiana. Well, Connecticut has exactly the same law. They adopted it 20 years ago. The head of Apple announces that he’s deeply disappointed. Apple sells cell phones in Saudi Arabia, where being homosexual is a death penalty. The level of selective outrage, the opportunity to pick a fight — the news media couldn’t help themselves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/newt-gingrich-lynch-mob-indiana-religious-freedom_n_6986808.html

Ted Cruz: ‘Jihad’ Was Waged Against Religious Freedom Bills

“We look at the jihad that is being waged right now in Indiana and Arkansas going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” Cruz said during a panel moderated by conservative radio host Steve Deace on Thursday. “We need to bring people together to the religious liberty values that built this country.”

via Ted Cruz: ‘Jihad’ Was Waged Against Religious Freedom Bills.

Do They Think We’re Stupid? Indiana Republicans Surprised by Backlash?


Do They Think We’re Stupid? Indiana Republicans Surprised by Backlash?

In studying business ethics, one is exposed to many, many individuals who tell you things that are self-serving and often bordering on falsehood. The smart ones use at least a grain of truth in their statements. But sometimes something is said that is so incredibly false, you are not at first able to comprehend that a human being capable of basic ambulatory motions could make such a statement.

Read the following.

Do They Think We're Stupid?
Do They Think We’re Stupid?

Indiana GOP Leaders Shocked Their ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Is Seen As Anti-Gay

“I don’t think anyone anticipated that the characterization of the bill would be, this denies to services to a specific class to Hoosiers. It does just the opposite. It includes all Hoosiers in the religious freedom standard. And it’s a misperception that it denies services,” said Indiana state House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) during a Monday morning press conference with Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R).

via Indiana GOP Leaders Shocked Their ‘Religious Freedom’ Law Is Seen As Anti-Gay.

The law was crafted an an anti-gay act from the very beginning. You want evidence?

How about this from USA Today –

Indiana is just one year removed from a battle to block marriage equality, and where the right for same-sex couples to marry was won only by a court ruling overturning a long-standing ban.

It is telling to opponents of the religious freedom act that the law was driven mostly by the same conservative Christians who lost their fights against marriage equality. It’s also telling, opponents say, that one of the law’s primary sponsors, Republican state Sen. Scott Schneider, has touted the notion — which will be an issue for the court to settle — that Indiana’s RFRA could exempt Christian businesses from having to provide wedding services to gay couples.

And what has the legislature been doing about LGBT rights in the distant past – 2013 to 2014?

This one was 7/9/2013.

Indiana GOP passes law making it a crime for clergy to perform gay weddings

This one was January 14th, 2014.

Indiana lawmakers advance gay-marriage ban amendment

And what does the local press say?

Here is the Indy Star, a Gannet Paper, Dec. 26, 2014:

Same-sex marriage is the issue that won’t go away, no matter how much the state’s Republican leaders may try to avoid it.

Social conservatives, including some state lawmakers, delivered a reminder of that this week when they said they would pursue “religious freedom” legislation that would allow businesses to not serve gay couples.

And what about the defense, I’m seeing all over the internet that this is just like the other religious freedom acts passed in the federal system and many states –

The Indiana law differs substantially from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Clinton in 1993, and all other state RFRAs.

There are several important differences in the Indiana bill but the most striking is Section 9. Under that section, a “person” (which under the law includes not only an individual but also any organization, partnership, LLC, corporation, company, firm, church, religious society, or other entity) whose “exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened” can use the law as “a claim or defense… regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”

… Indiana’s is the only law that explicitly applies to disputes between private citizens.*

(Note – Texas has a similar provision but specifically exempts civil rights.) From the article above.

See, this is just a play for the rubes. You copy the language of a commonly passed law but change key wording to give the law a different purpose. Another key point is that Indiana has no law protecting gay or LGBT rights. That means the law has a far greater sweep than the laws it claims to copy.

Now, if you want to oppose gays or anyone else participating in the marketplace by your speech or legislation. You can do that. You have that right. But to act on that opposition and then feign surprise when you’re caught is ridiculous.

If discrimination based on sexual orientation isn’t bad business ethics, not much is.

James Pilant