Tag: hypocrisy

Religious Freedom in Indiana

Perhaps you’ve heard about all of the hullabaloo going on in Indiana over a new law that the Governor there signed this past week.  Now Celebrities and National Politicians are getting involved.  Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer’s Twitter Page has been quite active in retweeting condemnations of the new law.  Presumptive Democratic Front Runner Hillary Clinton had this to say:

Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love.

 Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, and many other celebrities are being quite vocal in their condemnation of this new law.  Even the Indiana Pacers felt it necessary to have a press release on the new law.  And now companies are getting involved.  Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been very adamant over his condemnation, and has started calls for boycotting Indiana over this new law.  Leadership in other companies including Apple, and Yelp are also putting in their two cents. condemning the law as discriminatory.

So what’s the  problem with all of these people coming out against this new law?  Well, hypocrisy of course.

First off, I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money that none of the people I mentioned above have actually read the new law.  You can read the entire law here.  The part that people appear to be having a problem with is this text:

Government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person —

(1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Oops.  I’m sorry.  That is part of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law back in 1993.  Here’s the text from the Indiana law:

A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Seems almost identical.  In fact, the Indiana law is largely based on the Federal law.  Yet many people are being vocal about the Indiana law, but mum about the Federal Law.  I ask – why?

Do you remember the aforementioned esteemed Senator Schumer from New York who does not like the Indiana law?  It turns out that he was actually the main sponsor of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act back in 1993, which passed both houses with almost unanimous majorities.  And Hillary Clinton?  Her husband, President Bill Clinton at the time, signed the bill into law and was very supportive of it (you can see a lovely picture of him signing it, with Senator Schumer looking over his shoulder at the link).

What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that we can never, we can never be too vigilant in this work.

It was signed specifically to protect Religious Freedom from Government intervention.  Which is exactly why the Indiana law was passed.  But Hillary didn’t just support her Husband and this 1993 law (which she does in her book, “It Takes a Village”).  In 2005 as Senator Clinton, she supported the “Workplace Religious Freedom Act.” which was co-sponsored by amazingly unlikely allies John Kerry, and Rick Santorum.  It was designed to protect the religious freedoms of employees from employers, but has yet to be passed into law.  So why is she against the Indiana Law again?

Legally there is virtually no difference between the Federal Law and Indiana’s law except that it applies specifically to that State and its government instead of the /Federal Government.  And Indiana isn’t alone in this type of law.  19 other states already have RFRA laws on the books, all based on the Federal law.  Why is nobody calling for boycotts on those other states?

So why shouldn’t CEO’s of companies like Salesforce, and Apple condemn the Indiana law, and call for boycotts?  They do billions of dollars of business in China.  China, which is not only a religious freedom nightmare, but it is also a place where there are no laws protecting against homosexual discrimination, that does not recognize gay marriage, civil unions or anything close to it, and where it is illegal for homosexual couples to adopt.

Whether or not you support the law, I guess all I’m saying is that these people and organizations need to think before they open their mouths.

He Just Wanted to Stifle the Competition

Holy shit:

In a stunning criminal complaint, State Sen. Leland Yee has been charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the Bay Area, casting yet another cloud of corruption over the Democratic establishment in the Legislature and torpedoing Yee’s aspirations for statewide office.

Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a deal with international arms dealers.

At their first face-to-face meeting in January, “Senator Yee explained he has known the arms dealer for a number of years and has developed a close relationship with him,” an FBI affidavit says, noting Yee told the agent the arms dealer “has things that you guys want.”

I’ve seen parts of the complaint and it’s pretty stunning. If the FBI’s account is to be believed — and I’ll grant that’s a reach — there is no question about what he was doing, or at least promising. It’s possible that, like a lot of politicians, he was talking a bunch of shit to get campaign contributions and had no idea how to smuggle their guns into Africa. In fact, I think it’s quite likely this was the case. After all, it wasn’t like the gun runners were going to sue him if he couldn’t deliver the contacts.

Now … does it surprise you that this guy was a huge gun control advocate? That he was honored by the Brady Campaign for his efforts? That he wanted to crack down on bullet buttons and 3-D printed guns and “assault weapons”? That he even advocated against violent video games? As Walter Olson quipped:

Maybe Sen. Yee came down so hard on private gun dealers because he wanted to muscle into the business himself.

The stunning thing is that the papers are indicating that everyone knew Yee was dirty. But, as with Bob Filner, they overlooked it because he was a powerful Democrat pushing issues they cared about.

I don’t expect this to get as much coverage as we see when an obscure Republican candidate for dog catcher does something hypocritical. But this is pretty stunning. And very likely the tip of the iceberg.

Christie Hits A Scandal

Ok, let’s review what we’ve learned over the last five years about political scandals.

When Obama’s attorney general was part of a program that lost track of guns it was walking into Mexico and people were killed with those guns, we were told this was not a scandal.

When an embassy in a hotbed of terrorist activity was poorly guarded and the subsequent attack killed four people and the President’s UN Ambassador falsely claimed it was because of a protest against a video, we were told this was not a scandal.

When the President rewrote his Obamacare law 16 times, this was not as scandal.

When the IRS targeted his political enemies, this was not a scandal.

When Obama spied on the AP and Fox News, this was a not a scandal.

When the NSA violated the law and ignored court orders, this was not a scandal.

When Obama started a war in Libya on his own, this was not a scandal.

When Clapper and Holder lied to Congress, this was not a scandal.

The Pigford and GSA scandals were scandals, but we were told they had nothing to do with Obama.

You know what would really have been a scandal? If Obama closed some traffic lanes:

The mystery of who closed two lanes onto the George Washington Bridge — turning the borough of Fort Lee, N.J., into a parking lot for four days in September — exploded into a full-bore political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday. Emails and texts revealed that a top aide had ordered the closings to punish the town’s mayor after he did not endorse the governor for re-election.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.

Later text messages mocked concerns that school buses filled with students were stuck in gridlock: “They are the children of Buono voters,” Mr. Wildstein wrote, referring to Mr. Christie’s opponent Barbara Buono.

Now granted those e-mails may have been reveling in an inconvenience rather than ordering one. And granted they were on private, not official e-mails accounts. And granted Christie has denied involvement. But … come on! The man blocked traffic lanes! That’s like a million Bengahzis! The Left wing is all aflutter, proclaiming Christie’s 2016 campaign — which doesn’t actually exist — dead.

I don’t mean to make light of this. If Christie did indeed inconvenience tens of thousands of people as a political retaliation, that is definitely wrong and should have an impact on his political future. The staffer who organized it should be fired and the people of Fort Lee deserve an apology, at minimum.

But … Come. The. Fuck On. The Left Wing has no credibility on this, none whatsoever. They have spent the last five years reflexively defending anything and everything their beloved President does. They have said that even investigating these things is a partisan witchhunt. They mocked the Benghazi hearings as bullshit. Now, all of the sudden, a four-day traffic jam should be the end of someone’s political career?

Look at what I did two paragraphs ago. I looked at an allegation against a politician I like and said it should be investigated and, if he turns out to have been involved, he should be punished. That’s because I don’t see the Republican Party as my tribe of Chris Christie as a tin god. I wish the same could be said about those who are currently dancing in the streets over this while ignoring everything done by … the most powerful politician in the world.

A Living Wage! … But Not For You

Liberal pundits and advocates are constantly talking about a “living wage”. The last few years have a been a constant drumbeat about how we need to raise the minimum wage, with some now advocating that Obama should just bypass Congress and do it by executive fiat. It’s even gotten to the point where America’s Dumbest Intellectual deceitfully disputes the basic economic consensus that increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment.

(That last part is not complicated. It’s called the Law of Supply and Demand. There’s room to argue about how much unemployment minimum wage hikes create. But to argue that that amount is zero requires some intellectual stretching to make the labor market behave differently than every other market in the world. This is particularly relevant given our current problem with long-term unemployment and the recent tendency of employers to increase productivity by getting more out of existing employees as opposed to hiring new ones.)

Today, many fast food workers are effectively striking to demand higher wages. And more power to them. If they want higher wages, they can demand them. They should be aware that there are many who will take those jobs at the current wages. And raising fast food worker wages will mainly transfer wealth from … um … the middle class who will pay more for their burgers or make less from franchises.

In the end, today’s strikes are less about benefiting workers than about increasing union membership. If fast food workers want higher wages, what they really need is job growth to create demand for workers and a middle class able to pay more for Big Macs. But, of course, to do that, they’d have to stop voting for people like Barack Obama (not withstanding November’s slightly less crappy job numbers).

I’m drifting from the point.

Vice has an amazing report this week on how liberal publications flog for a living wage on the backs of … unpaid or minimally paid interns. Keep in mind, this is coming from a liberal perspective, so you’ll excuse the Left Wing petito principii:

America’s leading liberal periodicals are aware of the obstacles to advancement the less privileged face in our decidedly not meritocratic society. Indeed, they often provide excellent coverage of the class war, from union-busting at Walmart to the fight for a living wage at fast-food chains. At the same time, though, many of them are exploiting workers in a way that would make corporate America proud: relabeling entry-level employees “interns” and “fellows” in order to dance around US labor laws.

Paying people little to nothing because you can—a practice aided by the awfulness of the job market and the desperation of people trying to make it in “glamour” industries like journalism—is both exploitive and discriminatory, but many good liberals do not appear to recognize it as such, even as they decry that behavior elsewhere.

What follows is so incredibly delicious I will not excerpt it for you. You have to go to Vice’s article and taste the sweet sweet hypocrisy for yourself. OK, just one bit, about America’s Smallest Communist:

Robert Reich served as labor secretary under Bill Clinton and is outspoken in his support for a living wage. But when I asked him about the trend of entry-level jobs being relabeled “internships” and being stripped of the pay, benefits, and legal rights they once offered recent college grads (by some estimates, half of the estimated 1.5 million interns in America are unpaid), he professed ignorance.

“This is not a topic I’ve given much thought,” said Reich.

Reich is a busy guy, but he should think about the issue more. His political advocacy group, Common Cause, is only one of the organizations he has a hand in that relies on free or near-free labor. In a recent listing, The American Prospect, a magazine founded by Reich and other veterans of the Clinton administration, announced it was looking for editorial interns to assist “with fact-checking and research.” The interns will be “encouraged to contribute editorially and participate in meetings in addition to pursuing their own projects.”

Sounds good, but, “This is a full-time internship and comes with a $100 weekly stipend,” according to the listing. That comes to about $2.50 an hour, or “not nothing” if you are a glass-half-full type. However, there is a catch: “Interns who receive full course credit are ineligible for the weekly stipend.”

Mother Jones even told their workers to apply for food stamps while working on articles decrying Walmart for … having workers who get food stamps.

This does not surprise me at all. I mean at all. Megan McArdle wrote many years ago about working for Ralph Nader’s organization and how they assigned her some of the worst and poorest areas of town to solicit donations from. They did this so that they could fire her for lack of collections and skip paying half her wages. A similar scam — hiring people at less than minimum wage on the promise of a balloon payment, then firing them before the balloon is due — was behind ACORN’s voter registration fraud. The conservative media missed the real scandal. ACORN was bound by law to turn in the bogus registration, which will promptly rejected. But they existed in the first place because ACORN volunteers were desperate to not get fired for a lack of registrations.

Doubtless, many of these organizations will say they are on a shoestring. But everyone is on a shoestring these days. Small business owners aren’t exactly rolling naked in stacks of cash. This does not, however, exempt them from paying minimum wage and respecting worker rights. No, this is standard issue liberalism: claim that your cause is so just and righteous that the rules should not apply to you.

(In fact, I’m open to a debate about whether unpaid internships should be legal at all. It’s clear that the system is being abused.)

Mother Jones, in response to this, increased their payments to interns. Other liberal orgs are changing policy or maintaining a stony silence. But it’s telling that some of the biggest liberals in the world think a living wage should be guaranteed … for other people.

The Music Of Hypocrisy

I’ve always wondered, which malady is worse, progressivism or Alzheimer’s? Both are no walk in the park. With Alzheimer’s your brain cells die and you forget stuff, with progressivism (no assumptions are made about even having brain cells) your veracity is impaired, you think the rules don’t apply to you, and you are easily manipulated. Both hamper critical thinking skills, but at least with Alzheimer’s they are working on a cure for that.

The latest moonbattery comes out of Atlanta, music that you can’t even dance to:

Here is a typical example of unmasked progressivity running amok. In Atlanta Georgia the symphony orchestra has decided not to allow the previous high schools choruses to perform with them because they are not “racially diverse enough” to warrant participation. Apparently that means they are demographically “too white”.
However, in the strangest, well, not really strange – more like typical, fashion the Symphony itself refuses to self-describe their own diversity. So, after reading this article, well, actually after reading the comment from the “Director of Communications“, I just had to go look at the ethnic makeup of the Symphony itself.
Subsequently a review of the entire orchestra make up, including conductors, shows they have one, yes one, black person (Brass Section – Stephen Wilson). Yup, as expected, the hypocritical slips of the pontificating musical progs are showing.

Doing the right thing…………for the wrong reason. Allowing other schools to participate in the program, nothing wrong with that, these 2 schools should not have a lock on performing the concerts, unless there is some competition run ahead of time and they won the competition fair and square. But it sounds like the collaboration concerts are “by request” so giving other schools a bite at the apple seems appropriate. So just pick a school and allow them to participate but don’t go all PC and insult everyone with some lame yardstick of diversity.

A 2008 study by the League of American Orchestras found that 87% of musicians in U.S. symphonies are white.

Physician, heal thyself

Atlanta is 54% black and 38% white, one brother in a brass section is all they could find?

As with most {all?}city run symphony’s, public funding is needed for their virtual existence, and Atlanta is struggling with debt, a symphony that was more aligned with the city’s demographics might fill more seats. Yes, I know that the most qualified/best musicians available should get the job, but I find it hard to believe that both masters (quality and diversity) can not be served in this instance.

But thanks for giving us yet one more example of waggy fingered progs not eating their own cooking.