Don’t Tread on My Safe Space

Huh? The EEOC has officially ruled that wearing a hat with the Gadsden flag could constitute racial harassment:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, among its other functions, decides “hostile work environment” harassment claims brought against federal agencies. In doing so, it applies the same legal rules that courts apply to private employers, and that the EEOC follows in deciding whether to sue private employers. The EEOC has already ruled that coworkers’ wearing Confederate flag T-shirts can be punishable harassment (a decision that I think is incorrect); and, unsurprisingly, this is extending to other political speech as well.

From the decision:

Complainant stated that he found the cap to be racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a “slave trader & owner of slaves.”

After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, guns rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.

However, whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts. For example, in June 2014, assailants with connections to white supremacist groups draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag during their Las Vegas, Nevada shooting spree … Additionally, in 2014, African-American New Haven firefighters complained about the presence of the Gadsden flag in the workplace on the basis that the symbol was racially insensitive.

Read Volokh’s post where he breaks down the legal implications and logic. Note that the EEOC didn’t find that the Gadsden flag is offensive, just that a complaint alleging so can proceed. But look at the twisted logic of their decision: it doesn’t matter what the flag actually represents; it matters what someone feels it represents. By that logic, if I decide that Barack Obama’s face is anti-semitic and can produce evidence of anti-semites walking around with picture of Obama, I could petition to have his likeness removed from my workplace. It’s called a “chilling effect” and it’s not a figment of our imagination.

Say someone wears “Trump/Pence 2016” gear in the workplace, or displays a bumper sticker on his car in the work parking lot, or displays such a sign on his cubicle wall, or just says on some occasions that he’s voting for Trump. He doesn’t say any racial or religious slurs about Hispanics or Muslims, and doesn’t even express any anti-Hispanic or anti-Muslim views (though even such views, I think, should be protected by the First Amendment against the threat of government-imposed liability).

But in “context,” a coworker complains, such speech conveys a message “tinged” with racial or religious hostility, or is racially or religiously “insensitive.” The coworker threatens to sue. Again, say you are an employer facing such a threat. Would you feel pressured by the risk of liability to restrict the pro-Trump speech?

We don’t have to imagine. As I documented a few months ago, universities around the country are already arguing that Trump signs are racially offensive and can be restricted or banned. The EEOC is opening the door to a slew of lawsuits and threatened lawsuits anytime someone is offended by something at work.

You want to know why Trump, despite being a giant horse’s ass, has as much support as he does? Shit like this is why. We are slowly establishing a Baby’s Veto over free speech, letting the most sensitive, paranoid and delusional people dictate what the rest of us can utter, lest we “offend” their delicate sensibilities. It’s insanity. And it will not end until we go through life in slate gray uniforms never expressing an opinion lest someone get “offended”.

Rio

For anyone watching the Olympics, you can put up your comments here

Having watched the Olympics since 1968 (probably the only one here that watched live the Tommy Smith/John Carlos black power salute during their medal ceremony),and attending several events live during the 1984 LA games, I was pretty apathetic about the Rio games. The blatant cheating by the Russian team (and those pussies at the IOC that did not ban the whole lot of them), the deplorable venue (what, Beirut or Aleppo was booked?) the out of control crime, the pollution, nonfunctional mass transit, housing not finished, I could smell a disaster in the making. I didn’t even watch the opening ceremonies. But it did not take long to get back into it.

Some things I wanted before the games started;

The Williams sisters to win big in tennis
The men’s and women’s basketball team to sweep, again
The women’s soccer team to repeat (is it pervy to fantacise about half the team in a shared hot tub?)
Michael Phelps to win one more gold
The USA swimming team clobbering the Aussies (their biggest rivals) just like London
Katie Lydecky breaking world records like they were nothing
Kerry Walsh winning another gold in beach volleyball
The Russians to fall flat on their face, in everything
The USA gymnastics team to not embarrass themselves
And for the USA to be the medal leader (what can I say, I’m a homer)

The security is massive, so hopefully (from my keyboard to God’s ears) no terrorists shenanigans.

Except for the men’s Brazilian soccer team getting shut out,twice, no big surprises so far. I always like the host nation to win some in the Olympics so anytime a Brazilian is competing against a non American, I will root for him.

Yeah, nobody was hurt by Hillary’s lapses in security

Something like this would end the political career of a republican, but for a leftist, it is a career booster, it seems. I wonder how Comey is feeling attributiing Clinton’s criminal activity to simple ignorance and negligence in light of more revelations like this. And it all comes right after the coordinated journolist attack from the left, just a week or two ago, where they made the case that Trump’s ways are dangerous for national security. Now we find out that this was just another case of projection as usual, because Hillary already got there first:

Hillary Clinton recklessly discussed, in emails hosted on her private server, an Iranian nuclear scientist who was executed by Iran for treason, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Sunday.

“I’m not going to comment on what he may or may not have done for the United States government, but in the emails that were on Hillary Clinton’s private server, there were conversations among her senior advisors about this gentleman,” he said on “Face the Nation.” Cotton was speaking about Shahram Amiri, who gave information to the U.S. about Iran’s nuclear program.

The senator said this lapse proves she is not capable of keeping the country safe.

Don’t expect this story to make the rounds on the national news circuit. At least not until they find a way to blame the right and Trump for it. And where is this administration’s legal arm, huh? Shouldn’t they be filing charges yet?

I call bullshit, but it has been made up shit for going on 7 years now

Surprisingly, job reports are out, drastically bucking the trend of the last few months in a major way. This seems to be a trend whenever elections are about to happen and the democrats are worried about the economic numbers, and, as I suspected, it happens because the numbers are rigged.

Physician, Heal Thyself

OK, physician’s assistant, but still, this is just too delicious for words;

A California Democrat on Wednesday launched a change.org petition calling for Donald Trump to a undergo mental health evaluation.

Rep. Karen Bass, who was a physician assistant and a clinical instructor prior to her political career, said the Republican presidential nominee may have narcissistic personality disorder, which could severely influence his actions as commander in chief.

Figures she would be from California, they get particularly delusional here on the West Coast. So if they get enough names on their dopey petition he is supposed to commit himself for a mental examination? Makes sense to me.

Here is the best part;

In her petition, Bass laid out the nine symptoms of NPD, which are a grandiose sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, a belief that he or she is special and can only be understood by others with a similar status, a requirement of excessive admiration, a sense of entitlement, interpersonal exploitation, lack of empathy, envy of others and arrogant or haughty behavior.

Be honest, is there anyone here, anyone at all, that did not immediately think of our current president while reading this laundry list of NPD symptoms? No doubt in newer textbooks, when describing this malady, Obama’s face is predominantly displayed as a classic case. Where was this woman 8 years ago?

The left, they never fail to provide comedic relief.

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

I see human genetic manipulations as inevitable. Someone will go there, and others will need to follow to keep up. Of course, while I can see the author’s point that the Chinese will go there first, I think they might not actually be the ones to commit the worst offenses. After all, the Chinese are still a post-communist dictatorship, and those leaders are definitely not going to risk their hold on power from a gang of enhanced super-humans. Hence the introduction of a flaw to control them bye, and the proceeding unraveling of the whole thing.

The inevitable reality is that as technology and knowledge advances, it will present us with opportunities that can, and will, lead to bad things. I remember reading a book a while back that basically made the case that the reason humanity was not finding other intelligence out there was not merely because we were looking/listening for the wrong things as some that point out our technology doesn’t lend itself to the overcoming the difficulties of the vastness of space, but that they simply didn’t exist. Civilizations reached a point where their technological advances caused them to tamper with themselves or build bigger and better engines of destruction, with the inevitable consequence that they would wipe life out.

But who knows? Maybe Ideocracy had it right, an the greatest scientific minds will all gravitate to improving erections and solving hair loss, and we will be spared extinction as the stupid people out-breed the others.

The future looks bright!

No Money for Hostages! (Unless We Do It)

Hmmm:

When Iran released four American prisoners in January, including journalist Jason Rezaian and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, it was heralded as a diplomatic breakthrough, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.

“The plight of these individuals is they have done it and we have paid a price. We paid a price in a major way to bring them home,” said Representative Robert Pittenger upon their release. He was a member of a coalition of congressman that met three of the freed Americans at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The Obama administration strongly denied paying any ransom to Iran, Brennan says, but according to details first reported by the Wall Street Journal, currency worth $400 million was flown into Tehran on a cargo plane around the same time that the Americans were released.

The plane was loaded with cash: Euros, Swiss Francs and other currencies, since any transaction with Iran in dollars is illegal under United States law.

Senior U.S. officials, Brennan reports, claimed the timing was coincidental: President Obama had planned to pay Tehran nearly 2 billion dollars to settle an outstanding legal dispute from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” Obama said.

But the administration never consulted congress, according to Republican Congressman Ed Royce, who accused the White House of paying ransom to a state sponsor of terrorism, and as details of the cash became public Tuesday, there were instant reverberations on the campaign trail.

A few things to unravel here.

The money is ostensibly part of a $1.7 billion settlement of a $10 billion legal dispute from the time of the Shah, a dispute the US was likely to lose. The cash payment was because transacting with Iran in US dollars is illegal. If that were all that were going on here, it wouldn’t be that noteworthy.

But … it is noteworthy because Iran released four prisoners around the same time and is portraying the payment, at least to their populace, as a ransom. And the surreptitious way in which it was done tells you the Obama Administration knew quite well how it would be seen. They can squirm all they want but the difference between, “We’re paying you $400 million to release prisoners” and “we’re settling this legal dispute with you coincidentally at the same time you’re releasing prisoners” is academic. This is a ransom all but in name.

(A historical parallel: one of the conditions of settling the Cuban Missile Crisis was withdrawing nuclear weapons from Turkey. The Kennedy Administration was at least smart enough to delay the withdrawal so it didn’t look like a quid pro quo even though it was. The Obama Administration wasn’t even that smart.)

The last time we did anything remotely close to this, it was called Iran-Contra and we had years of hearings on it. Will the same happen now? I expect the Republicans to have some hearings. But I also expect the usual symphony of eye rolls, shrugs and “BENGHAZIIII!” denialism from the media and the Democrats. It’s likely that no laws were broken here. But, Good Lord, is this shady.

A Pox On Both Their Houses

One constant consistently rings clear in this election cycle, whatever happens that appears newsworthy, nobody will a) take the high road, or b) will look good in the process. The latest example Trump vs. Khan cage match, a whole lot of nothing with both parties (and Clinton by proxy) ending up smelling like 3 day old fish.

First off a disclaimer, I watched none of DNC convention, like you really thought I would. The riots outside, the miles and miles of fencing to keep the animals away, the predominant barrier wall around the podium, the unruly agitators of the Bernie brigade, all made for fun reading after the fact. The only real interest I had would be to see if Hillary collapsed while walking up the 5 steps to the podium and what god awful couch like dead animal imitation pantsuit she would wear.

I read about the Khizr Khan speech, or course I smelled a rat. Knowing that Muslim deaths account for something like .02 percent of all military fatalities, it was crystal clear the angle those DNCer’s were going for, more nonsense about Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry, yawn. Nice touch him waving his pocket Constitution around, too bad he does not believe a word of it, more on that in a bit. But this was clearly theater, and on a better more disciplined candidate, it would have been water off a duck’s back. But when you are Trump, anything can send you into anger induced twitter war.

The DNC threw out some junk, Trump bit on it, and they both suck for it.

Further review of this Khan guy revealed much;

Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father that the mainstream media and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been using to criticize Donald J. Trump, has deep ties to the government of Saudi Arabia—and to international Islamist investors through his own law firm. In addition to those ties to the wealthy Islamist nation, Khan also has ties to controversial immigration programs that wealthy foreigners can use to essentially buy their way into the United States—and has deep ties to the “Clinton Cash” narrative through the Clinton Foundation.

Not a big problem, many folks are beholding to the Clintons, deeply mired in their pay of play games. Naturally Khan likes his rice bowl, and does not want it messed with, which is exactly what would happen if Trump is to be believed with his stance on overhauling immigration standards. OK, so Khan is a Hillary cheerleader as well, nothing wrong with that. But that whole Constitution waiving thing, what was up with that? Turns out it was just a prop. According to him, the Constitution is for suckers;

“The Shari’ah-was completed during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammed, in the Quran and Sunnah. This brings up an important fact which is generally overlooked, that the invariable and basic rules of Islamic Law are only those prescribed in the Shari’ah (Quran and Sunnah), which are few and limited,” Khan continues to write. “All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah and open to reconsideration by all Muslims.”

Oh, and this gem;

“to Muslims, the Quran being the very word of God, it is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation.”

Clearly a plant and a dupe, all this could have been ignored, dismissed for what it was, but nope, The Donald is not that smart. Never one to allow a perceived insult to go unpunished he has to marginalize their suffering and even go after the wife, will he ever learn?

This even reflects poorly on Manafort. Khan’s speech got huge reviews, Trump has handlers for this.In a matter of minutes a Lexus-Nexus search could have provided enough ammo to counter, that is what he is for, to keep his boss out of trouble. Is there a more impossible thankless job out there than trying to keep Trump out of trouble?