Weekend Roundup

It’s a slow week in politics and the Olympics are on. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of really stupid stories to cover. Here’s a look at what’s going on with the election three months away (and God, it can’t happen a moment too soon, can it?)

Nikki Haley is in big trouble for getting her daughter a state job. Surely, this job must be a six figure cushy … what? … what?! … she’s working part-time in a gift shop? This is what your outrage-o-meter got pinged by? If this is Nikki Haley’s big scandal, she must be the cleanest fucking governor ever.

NBC’s Olympics coverage is coming in for its usual thrashing. Look, I get the tape delay: people want to watch the stuff in prime time. But you’d think NBC would figure out how to make their streaming more accessible: since I don’t have a cable subscription, I’m shut out. More disturbingly, they decided to cut out a tribute to the 7/7 victims from the Opening Ceremonies and their response is that Americans wouldn’t have been interested.

Like hell. When 7/7 hit, every blog in America put up an image of the British flag, expressed its sympathy and solidarity and wondered why the terrorists thought they were going to scared the British of all people. Granted, I move in academic circles and have a Brit in the office next to me. But I have yet to hear anyone tell me, “Boy, I’m glad they cut that 7/7 tribute out.”

With the Olympics, comes the requisite stupidity about athletes being too sexy and Americans focusing on the wrong sports. I respond to this stupidity here. And if the attention to the Michelle Jenneke video seems wrong, read this.

Apparently, Aaron Sorkin’s newest TV show is horrid — even preachier than The West Wing. Cato breaks down the latest stupidity on Glass-Steagel but check out the video clip. This is just horrible television.

The New York Times ran an op-ed this week asking if we should ditch algebra. I’ll let Orac handle this one. Really, the stupidity of the op-ed has to be read to be believed. It’s from a Poli-Sci professor which tells you, really, all you need to know about why our political system sucks.

  1. Aaron Sorkin is a c**t. Of course he lies and plays fast and loose with the facts. Was one ever expecting anything else?

    And where is Alex.. did I miss something !?!!?

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  2. The New York Times ran an op-ed this week asking if we should ditch algebra. I’ll let Orac handle this one.

    Maddox said it better. My wife is a mathematician and quit teaching at the university level due to similar thinking from students, parents, advisers, etc. Math, especially algebra, separates a certain caliber of students into a group with more/more accessible possibilities and opportunities than the others. Some can’t handle this “inequality”. When my students would complain about learning advanced algebra in chemistry courses, I always told them that algebra was more than just solving/manipulating equations; it’s a way a thinking. It helps one interpolate or find a solution using a set of initial conditions and a desired result.

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  3. I always told them that algebra was more than just solving/manipulating equations; it’s a way a thinking. It helps one interpolate or find a solution using a set of initial conditions and a desired result.

    This!

    Plus, there are a lot of people who have an underlying skill for math that has been unexploited. I knew students who simply blossomed when they got to higher math. If we stopped requiring it, they’d be slinging burgers or something instead of building spaceships.

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  4. Math, especially algebra, separates a certain caliber of students into a group with more/more accessible possibilities and opportunities than the others.

    I learned in college that biology is really chemistry, chemistry is really physics, physics is really math, and math is really hard.

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  5. OT, if I may -

    So, did everyone have their Chick-Fil-A today?

    I absolutely don’t want to start a religion discussion (I hate those), but I would be interested in your thoughts on the Chicago and Boston mayors threatening the fast food restaurant to stay out of their communities?

    Do they not believe in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of a company to expand where ever they want? There are so many issues with this, I can’t even list them all. Tolerance? How can you criticism a company for not having any when you are just as guilty?

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  6. So, did everyone have their Chick-Fil-A today?

    As a dirty stinkin’ liberal, and a massive supporter of marriage equality, I think the Chicago and Boston mayors are fecking idiots. In fact, I’d like to see what permits they have approved, because I assume they agree with the opinions every single business owner in those cities.

    In fact, if the politics of Chick-Fil-A aren’t consistent with that of Boston, and people really do choose their fast food intake on religious grounds, then I’d guess that the company probably wouldn’t want to move there.

    As it is, I seem to be able to order my Subway Melt without first enquiring as to the line cooks position on cap and trade – but maybe that’s just me.

    And Hi repmom, haven’t heard from you in ages. A lot of the old guard seem to be returning…

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  7. Absolutely! Couldn’t agree more, even if you are a stinkin’ liberal. :)

    And hi to you as well. Fun to be back. Would love to see a few more return.

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  8. As a fellow dirty stinkin’ liberal, I endorse ilovecress’s message.
    Unfortunately, in protesting that issue, someone people are going to awkwardly put themselves alongside bigots.

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  9. What about the issue of depriving their community of possible jobs, especially in this economy, by keeping a business out?

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  10. Leave it to repmom to threadjack :)

    I seem to be able to order my Subway Melt without first enquiring as to the line cooks position on cap and trade

    They’re against it, trust me.

    Clearly these 3 mayors are tools and just bolster what I’ve said all along about the lunatic left, they are for free speech as long as that speech adheres to their own personal beliefs, deviate in any way and you are public enemy number one.

    But I think it was a dumb move, from a purely business perspective, to venture into these waters and if he was the head of a public traded company, he (Cathy) would have hell to pay to the shareholders.

    someone people are going to awkwardly put themselves alongside bigots.

    Oh, please, you are not really one of those closed brain types that somehow equates a defense of traditional marriage with a hatred of gays, are you?

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  11. What about the issue of depriving their community of possible jobs, especially in this economy, by keeping a business out?

    I think they’ve clarified (in full damage-control mode) that if the businesses meet all the usual criteria, nothing else will stop them setting up shop.

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  12. Leave it to Repmom to threadjack.

    I have been known to do that.

    CM – Why does believing in one thing make you a hatred of something else?

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  13. Oh, please, you are not really one of those closed brain types that somehow equates a defense of traditional marriage with a hatred of gays, are you?

    I don’t equate it. There is obviously some overlap, but one doesn’t necessarily mean the other. Which is exactly why I used the wording I did, to ensure people didn’t get the wrong idea and start accusing me of having a ‘closed brain’. ;-p

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  14. CM – Why does believing in one thing make you a hatred of something else?

    Yikes. Not at all. If that’s what I thought, I certainly wouldn’t have written what I did.

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  15. One gay employee who works at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job, says he is getting it from both sides. On the one hand, there is the customer who came in and said he supported Dan Cathy and then “continues to say something truly homophobic, e.g. ‘I’m so glad you don’t support the queers, I can eat in peace,’” the employee, who is 23 and has worked for Chick-fil-A since he was 16, wrote in an email. On the other hand, he continued, “I was yelled at for being a god loving, conservative, homophobic Christian while walking some food out to a guest in a mall dining room.”

    He disagrees with Cathy’s views, but the reaction from the public has been just as hard to swallow.

    “It seems like very few people have stopped to think about who actually works for Chick-fil-A and what those people’s opinions are,” he wrote. “They are putting us in a pot and coming to support us or hate us based on something they heard and assume we agree with.”

    Gabriel Aguiniga, a gay employee at a Chick-fil-A in Colorado, also said the hardest part hasn’t been hearing Cathy’s comments. Instead, “[it's] constantly having people come up to you and say, ‘I support your company, because your company hates the gays,’” Aguiniga, 18, wrote in an email. “It really takes a toll on me.”

    That’s probably not much fun.

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  16. But, those gays were given a job. The company didn’t send them away because of their choices or beliefs. The same can’t be said of the mayors. So – who are the bigots here?

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  17. Which is exactly why I used the wording I did, to ensure people didn’t get the wrong idea and start accusing me of having a ‘closed brain’. ;-p

    OK, let’s talk about your wording, How is Cathy’s position “awkward”, and how did he put himself along side bigots?

    One gay employee who works at Chick-fil-A headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., and asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job

    Why would he fear losing his job” Does Chick Fil A have a history of firing gays and hence breaking the law?

    Gabriel Aguiniga, a gay employee at a Chick-fil-A in Colorado

    Gabriel does not share this same irrational fear of losing his job, maybe stories like these (anonymous, so they can’t be substantiated) are used because they play better with that Huffington mind set.

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  18. Well, those customers are all creeps. The world is full of them.

    I guess business leaders do have a responsibility to their employees, and some might argue that this extends to their public comments and the foreseeable effect it might have on their employees. I think that’s an interesting discussion.
    Also, as I say, those protesting to promote free speech and/or defense of traditional marriage are going to be lining up alongside those “creeps”.

    But, those gays were given a job. The company didn’t send them away because of their choices or beliefs. The same can’t be said of the mayors. So – who are the bigots here?

    Can the same be said of the mayors, if they’re not actually going to do anything?
    I dunno. It’s a murky area I think, deciding which labels to apply to people in this case (other than the ‘creeps’ which is one we can probably all agree with).

    The gay marriage issue has come up in NZ over the last week, as a bill establishing it has been drawn out of the ballot and so it will soon have it’s first reading in Parliament. We currently just have civil unions. Looks like it’ll have sufficient support to get past the first reading and into a select committee. No idea whether it’ll proceed all the way into law though. Parliament has a very slender centre-right majority, and even though it’ll be a conscience voting, it may not have enough support. I’m definitely a supporter, but then I’m not religious. I am married though and it personally means a lot to me as I did not go into it lightly at all.

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  19. We don’t need to get into the gay marriage debate – but the fact remains that a person can have whatever opinion they want, as long as they don’t break the law.

    If he was denying someone a job based on their sexuality, then we’d have a problem. As it is, there’s no difference between what he said, and if he’d declared that the moon is made of cheese. I’d still disagree with him, but that doesn’t change the fact he owns a ‘restaurant’.

    And I’d gladly protest alongside bigots for their freedom to be a bigot. And I’d be on the opposite side of the fence is the argument was about gay marriage.

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  20. OK, let’s talk about your wording, How is Cathy’s position “awkward”, and how did he put himself along side bigots?

    I said:

    Unfortunately, in protesting that issue, someone people are going to awkwardly put themselves alongside bigots.

    Lining up alongside creeps is likely to be awkward for people that aren’t creeps but are there to protest free speech and/or the defence of traditional marriage. If they can do it in a way that successfully separates themselves from the creeps, then they’ll be able to avoid awkwardness.
    If I were to play these word games, I could ask – are you suggesting there wouldn’t be awkwardness, because being against gay-marriage and hating gays are simpatico? But I know that’s not what you believe, or mean, so I wouldn’t even consider writing it as a serious question.

    I just saw a post elsewhere – “Ironic that the companies main product is cock”

    Why would he fear losing his job” Does Chick Fil A have a history of firing gays and hence breaking the law?

    You’d have to ask him.

    Gabriel does not share this same irrational fear of losing his job, maybe stories like these (anonymous, so they can’t be substantiated) are used because they play better with that Huffington mind set.

    How on earth do you know that it’s an ‘irrational fear’? If they’ve been told not to talk publicly about the issue, wouldn’t talking publicly about the issue be a relevant employment matter (which, if considered seriously enough, could mean a loss of job)?
    If that’s the case, surely Huffington should only be using examples of gay employees that are fearful (or better yet, who claim to have been sodomised with brooms)?
    Or are they playing a careful game of “appearing to be neutral” in order to be more credible?

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  21. CM – the owner of the company stated his personal beliefs. Beliefs that have been well known for a long time. He took flack for it. In his defense, Huckabee proclaimed today national CFD.

    How do you fault the owner for this? Do you think he should have said, ” No, we don’t want that.”?

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  22. CM – the mayor threatened. Backing down later because of the heat you get doesn’t count. He already exposed himself of his intolerance.

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  23. The anonymous gay employee has worked for the company for seven years. Seems his job is pretty stable.

    Why risk it?
    Of course why would the company risk firing anyone too.

    CM – the owner of the company stated his personal beliefs. Beliefs that have been well known for a long time. He took flack for it. In his defense, Huckabee proclaimed today national CFD.

    How do you fault the owner for this? Do you think he should have said, ” No, we don’t want that.”?

    Ultimately, he took the decision to make his beliefs on the subject public (and fund groups accordingly). They are obviously important beliefs of his, and not ones he believes he should keep private. People are free to make up their own mind what they do with that information. I agree that the Chicago and Boston mayors are fecking idiots for involving themselves in the debate and inflaming the whole thing.

    This is making me crave fried chicken.

    The company’s official statement of corporate purpose says that the business exists “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A#Religious_and_political_views

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A#Controversy_regarding_LGBT_issues

    No problem at all. People can use that information as they see fit.
    In terms of employees, as I say I think that’s an interesting discussion. People should have knowledge of where they are working and if they don’t agree with the position of the company and the owner then they shouldn’t work there. I guess if they need the job and assume they’ll be ok because the law will protect them, they’ll just hope they don’t cop flak when things turn political and things inevitably break down into groups protesting and protesting the protest. But it looks like that’s now happening. I guess there could be a conflict between the second sentence of the corporate purpose (especially the word “all”) and putting money into opposing gay rights issues (see second link).

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  24. I actually don’t recall the last time I ate at a CFA, if ever. Must try the tortilla soup this weekend, just to show my support.

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  25. CM – the mayor threatened. Backing down later because of the heat you get doesn’t count. He already exposed himself of his intolerance.

    Yeah the mayors were being idiots.

    In January 2011, the media reported that Chick-fil-A was co-sponsoring a marriage conference along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), an organization that had filed an amicus brief against the trial ruling striking down Proposition 8 in California.[27][28][29][30][31] PFI had also lobbied against a state effort to ban discrimination in Pennsylvania on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    If that is true then Chick-fil-A can certainly be accused of supporting intolerance. Banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation isn’t same-sex marriage.

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  26. I actually don’t recall the last time I ate at a CFA, if ever. Must try the tortilla soup this weekend, just to show my support.

    ;-)

    I’m a sucker for Mexican food and I just found out a new place is opening up just up the road from work. Terrible really. I’ll have to exercise, both physically and self-control. ilovecress, we can meet up for lunch there when it opens. ;-)

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  27. Clearly these 3 mayors are tools and just bolster what I’ve said all along about the lunatic left,

    The proposed bans in Boston and Chicago drew criticism from liberal pundits, legal experts and the American Civil Liberties Union. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones magazine said “[T]here’s really no excuse for Emanuel’s and Menino’s actions… you don’t hand out business licenses based on whether you agree with the political views of the executives. Not in America, anyway.”[55] UCLA law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh observed, “[D]enying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.”[56] Echoing those views were Glenn Greenwald of Salon, professor John Turley of George Washington University, and Adam Schwartz, a senior attorney with the ACLU.[57]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A#Religious_and_political_views

    Good to see plenty on the left getting stuck in.

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  28. The problem is that you use wording that has not been proved so it may not be appropriate.

    Unfortunately, in protesting that issue

    What issue is Cathy protesting? He came out in defense of traditional marriage, that’s all.

    Lining up alongside creeps is likely to be awkward for people that aren’t creeps but are there to protest free speech and/or the defence of traditional marriage

    You would have to prove that he is “lining up alongside creeps” or is your litmus test solely that he believes in traditional marriage and so does homophobic bigots, so they must be the same thing. And you would have to prove that he feels awkward, which by all appearances he does not, or is that litmus test solely that YOU THINK he SHOULD feel awkward for taking such a bigoted stance?

    If they can do it in a way that successfully separates themselves from the creeps, then they’ll be able to avoid awkwardness.

    I doubt Cathy gives a fig about what you perceive as appearances, he is man of principle and rests his cap on that.

    I could ask – are you suggesting there wouldn’t be awkwardness, because being against gay-marriage and hating gays are simpatico?

    No, I would say that he feels comfortable in his backing and defense of traditional marriage, all that other baggage is on you.

    How on earth do you know that it’s an ‘irrational fear’?

    Well, for one we have another gay guy that came forward with no such fear, and two, he nor you established any precedent where the company fires gays on the spot, so throwing out some fear without any background behind it is in my mind irrational.

    If they’ve been told not to talk publicly about the issue, wouldn’t talking publicly about the issue be a relevant employment matter (which, if considered seriously enough, could mean a loss of job)?

    Sure, do we know any of this happened?

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  29. What issue is Cathy protesting? He came out in defense of traditional marriage, that’s all.

    Ah I see what’s happened. I probably shouldn’t have used ‘protesting’. I’m referring to people attending this day (eating at the restaurant) to support 1st Amendment rights, and/or defence of traditional marriage. They’re protesting against the mayoral comments, but it would have been less clumsy for me to have avoided the word ‘protest’.
    However clearly Cathy is funding causes that actively oppose gay rights. And he said “”I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’. I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” That’s a protest against what he sees as liberal social values damaging the United States.

    Sure, do we know any of this happened?

    No. The fear isn’t irrational though. I doubt the gay employee gives a fig about what you perceive as rational, he works there and doesn’t want to risk his job, no matter how remote that risk might be. Who are we to second-guess the degree to which his fear is legitimate?!

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  30. Who are we to second-guess the degree to which his fear is legitimate?!

    I only brought it up because he starts off by saying he wants to remain unnamed because he fears losing his job, without offering any substantiation for that fear, then, in the same piece we have another gay employee that has no problem identifying himself. He works for same the company, why doesn’t he share that same fear?

    No, I don’t think that you are one of those one trick pony “defend or support traditional marriage and you must hate gays”. But I think this whole topic could have been discussed with all the bases tagged without ever using the word “bigot” anywhere,and because you went there I thought some explanation was in order.

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  31. Rich,

    You should know this by now, CM just throws all sorts of vague accusations and innuendo hoping people wont call him on it so he can see if it sticks. He does it on purpose then tries to call everyone else out with “links or it didnt happen” bullshit.

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  32. No, I don’t think that you are one of those one trick pony “defend or support traditional marriage and you must hate gays”.

    You give him way too much credit. Like balthazar said, he knows how to word what he writes and does it deliberately. Whenever he’s pretending to agree he’ll throw something in at the end to negate everything he’s just posted, and if he’s really feeling clever he’ll even toss in an insult.

    Unfortunately, in protesting that issue, someone people are going to awkwardly put themselves alongside bigots.

    This could be said for anything right? Sure I’ll protest the city trying to ban a mosque, in protesting that issue, someone people are going to awkwardly put themselves alongside Muslim extremists and terrorists.

    Also, in standing along side bigots, it’s only awkward for some. He didn’t say we. He knows exactly how he’s phrasing it. He’s only pulled this shit about 50 thousand times now. Why even be polite to him about it anymore?

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  33. I only brought it up because he starts off by saying he wants to remain unnamed because he fears losing his job, without offering any substantiation for that fear, then, in the same piece we have another gay employee that has no problem identifying himself. He works for same the company, why doesn’t he share that same fear?

    Who knows. People are different. Selective reporting.

    No, I don’t think that you are one of those one trick pony “defend or support traditional marriage and you must hate gays”. But I think this whole topic could have been discussed with all the bases tagged without ever using the word “bigot” anywhere,and because you went there I thought some explanation was in order.

    Ok, cool.

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