We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, April 11. 2016
This past weekend, Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina, on 2 days notice, to protest the passage of law requiring people to use bathrooms based on the gender of birth. PayPal, similarly, canceled plans to expand operations in Charlotte.
I understand how tightly politics has become intertwined with business. Making a statement seems to be the most important thing anyone can do, these days. So I'll make a small one of my own. I don't agree with the North Carolina law, but I don't live there. I think it is over-the-top and excessive control of society by imposing a law where common sense should suffice to reign. The passage of law doesn't make an idea 'correct' or morally justified. Even so, I'm still planning to visit my family in North Carolina, spend money there, and enjoy the state's many natural wonders. I'm not going to boycott a state because I disagree with a law. If I did that, I'd have problems living in the state I currently reside.
Paypal and Bruce both have the right to make whatever statements they choose, just as I do. I'm not sure how what they are doing impacts the law, however. In fact, they both hurt many people in an attempt to 'show solidarity' with...some group or another (I can never tell which special interest groups are getting the attention these days).
Bruce, more specifically than Paypal, hurt many people who probably had nothing to do with the law's passage. It's not fair to say all fans share the views of artists they follow. After all, I love Pink Floyd, but think Roger Waters is a misguided fool when it comes to politics and economics. He makes great music, though. However, many fans do share the views of artists they love. If even 51% share Bruce's views, he basically sent them a message saying "I don't care if you like me. I'm depriving you of my music because some lame-ass politicians passed a stupid law, so you're the ones who get punished and it's up to you to fix this." Except Bruce's fans in North Carolina probably don't carry that much clout.
The other way he hurt his fans is on the ticket sales. Most people today can't buy a ticket direct from Ticketmaster or whichever coliseum a band is playing. Many sales are done through legal scalpers like StubHub or Craigslist (and many others are purchased illegally). While the face value can be redeemed, Bruce hurt all his fans willing to pay above and beyond face value. In addition, there's no doubt some of these people got hotel rooms and traveled to see this concert, costing even more money. Again, it's punishment so they can fix a law he doesn't like.
In addition, he hurt ordinary people looking for a paycheck. Policemen working the concert, parking lot attendants, people working refreshment stands all are hourly workers, and some probably felt this paycheck was going to be helpful for them. Bruce denied them their income, regardless of their view of the law, simply because he didn't like it.
Bruce is a proponent of political activism. He is a vocal leftist, and is proud of it. The problem with politics is that engaging it almost always requires winners and losers in the process. Bruce is fine with politics as long as his views win, but boy he gets mad when they don't.
Paypal, too, cost 400 (or more, depending on how successful their expansion was) people jobs. They cost ancillary businesses (food trucks & restaurants, cleaning services, dry cleaners and various retailers) money without asking to see if any of these people agreed with their view. The loss of this business hurts North Carolina, but it hits harder in Charlotte and to the people who may have had an opportunity to move up in life with a strong company.
Both Bruce and Paypal have the right to do what they did, and make morally superior statements about their high-minded motives. But they are ignoring the damage they have done, and also ignoring how they could have been more effective by not changing their plans.
Bruce could have given his concert, made his fans happy, and done his usual lecturing by stating that he opposed the law, and he hoped his fans would fight it. Then he could say that he would no longer plan concerts in North Carolina until the law was changed. Everybody gets something in this scenario, there is no immediate loss of income or purchase and while no more Bruce concerts hurts the arena and state, those impacted can plan ahead. His fans lose nothing, his message is out there, and he energizes his base of fans to actually do something.
Paypal could have moved forward with their plans, and then only done business or hired people who fit their diversity goals. This is standard procedure in business today, anyway. I see these idiotic diversity forms which attest to our corporate obligations in order to do business with many of our clients. In addition, the diversity conversation is part of every hire we make today. It's not like Paypal can influence policy outside of the state simply by pulling this expansion. Sure, it hurts the state, but other companies don't take this as seriously as Paypal does. Politicians don't really care what you think if you're not there and can't vote. They are far more malleable when you're an active business in their state.
Ultimately, I don't care one way or the other about what either one did. They made their choices. But it seems to me they made ridiculously short-sighted and idiotic choices to stand on a moral high ground and appear politically palatable and superior. I doubt their decisions will impact this law in any way.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
It's an opportunity for social signalling, distracting us from Syria, emails, and Puerto Rican debt.
I don't know that it's a deliberate distraction. After all, almost anything that hits the headlines these days can be labeled a deliberate distraction.
Certainly all the things you pointed out are important, but so are 1,000 other things, depending on who you speak with.
I don't see this as a distraction, I see it as a symptom of a larger problem. That problem is what you alluded to - social signalling. Lawmakers feel they can make a difference in each individual person's life. If not by passing laws to make them behave a certain way, then by passing laws to make them think a certain way.
And they will use whatever means necessary, whether it's pop culture, news or entertainment to achieve their goals.
I haven't liked Bruce in...ever, to be honest. He had a few nice songs when I was younger. My friends and some of my family love him. I think he's kind've boring and his music is pretty stale. He didn't create a new genre, he didn't do anything different. He was just popular.
Nothing wrong with that. But just like I think Meryl Streep (or any star) is silly for wearing their politics publicly, I can appreciate and respect their skills and accomplishments without accepting their POV. But because they are popular, they get the headlines, and I don't. So I guess that's meaningful to someone.
Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert because they won't let him use the women's bathroom
Exactly right! It's really no more complicated than that.
What I find annoying about this is that HB2 doesn't apply to PayPal or the venue where Springsteen was to play. Only public schools and public facilities and government offices and such require a person to use the room designated for their biological sex. This seems a reasonable compromise between those who want people to use any sex-segregated space they want and those who don't. But we no longer seem to live in a country where disagreement from the Progressive viewpoint is tolerated -- and which is why tempers are running high in the Old North State. I fear there's a backlash coming, and it won't be pretty.
It's not about being reasonable. It's about generating a reason to call somebody a 'hater.'
"What I find annoying about this is that HB2 doesn't apply to PayPal or the venue where Springsteen was to play. Only public schools and public facilities and government offices and such require a person to use the room designated for their biological sex. "
It doesn't apply to restaurants and businesses YET. And then your homes.
Since when does tyranny stop on it's own accord?
The same sort of thing is happening here in Canada.
This can ultimately only lead to one solution: individual toilets (i.e., one-person occupancy) will replace all communal restrooms.
And as always, you and I, my friends - the taxpayers - will have to foot the bill.
Eliminate all public rest rooms. Let everyone go home to pee.
As for Springsteen, I'd be surprised if he could sell out a small movie house anymore.
Bully: As for Springsteen, I'd be surprised if he could sell out a small movie house anymore.
Bruce Springsteen tickets sold out in moments
Of course this is a two way street. Some states or congress may be tempted to decide that PayPal needs to comply with all financial regulations that apply to banks.
"We are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely."
I'm not sure what civil rights has to do with allowing men to use women's changing rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms. According to those against the bill, gender is a social construct that is fluid. Any man can say he feels like a woman and use the women's facilities and there would be nothing that could be done about it.
The effect of the law is to legalize discrimination against LGBT persons in jurisdictions where it had been outlawed.
There's no L, G, or B about it. That's just showmanship so that advocates can tell themselves there are really, truly doing something important for lots of people. Pretending that it's just obviously bigoted discrimination, JUST LIKE THE KKK, with no counterarguments worth listening to, is also just theater.
Sorry all the good causes were taken and you got left with the 21st C ones, Zachriel.
Assistant Village Idiot: Pretending that it's just obviously bigoted discrimination, JUST LIKE THE KKK, with no counterarguments worth listening to, is also just theater.
The question of the thread is why make all the ruckus, as exemplified by "A Call for Unity". As for the specifics, we addressed those: The effect of the law is to legalize discrimination against LGBT persons in jurisdictions where it had been outlawed.
No it's not. The effect is to deny men from entering women's changing rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms and women from entering men's changing rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms.
Charlotte's law, which was what instigated the law, would have allowed a man to enter a women's locker room claiming he was transgender. The women in that locker room would have no recourse.
mudbug: No it's not.
You are incorrect on the law, which removed local protections from discrimination against LGBT persons.
How do you tell the difference between a transgender and a man who's dressed up as a woman?
mudbug: How do you tell the difference between a transgender and a man who's dressed up as a woman?
Why do you even care?
In any case, when it comes to employment or housing, it shouldn't matter.
So it wouldn't matter to you that a man dressed up like a woman would use the same locker room as your daughter or wife? Are you confident that you (or your wife or daughter) would know why he was there?
Do you have any idea why separate changing and toilet facilities were ever instituted? Or do you think they are an age old way of discriminating against LBGT people?
And we're talking about bathrooms and changing facilities, not employment or housing.
mudbug: So it wouldn't matter to you that a man dressed up like a woman would use the same locker room as your daughter or wife?
There are solutions to protect privacy while recognizing differences. That would have required, however, working with and recognizing the concerns of the LGBT community. The North Carolina law was debated and passed in a single day. They had no intention of finding reasonable compromise with people many would prefer didn't exist.
mudbug: And we're talking about bathrooms and changing facilities, not employment or housing.
Again, that is incorrect. The North Carolina law preempts any anti-discrimination ordinance passed by local communities to protect their LGBT community. It effectively legalizes discrimination.
The law is one of many such laws that are being passed in concert in conservative states.
Z: There are solutions to protect privacy while recognizing differences.
And the bill has provisions for that for private companies.
The law bans discrimination based on biological gender. So if you are not really a woman, you wouldn't be able to do a job that must be done only by a woman. I don't see the problem.
In 1964 in Mississippi it was common to see bathrooms "for or black citizens" at gas stations. One bathroom for blacks, one for women and one for men. Quite a shock to a Yankee from Boston. That ended long ago, separate but equal is no longer the law of the land. But now the LGBT want to use a bathroom based on what they think their gender is that day. This is inappropriate, anyone with two or more brain cells would know this, so why is the government and all the Hollywood Liberals all in for this? Do you really want your daughter or wife to have to share a bathroom or dressing room with a man? I think if the wacky left insists on this the only answer will be to go back to three bathrooms: men, women and confused. Back to separate but equal bathrooms I guess.
My thoughts, exactly. Using a restroom is not about sex, and it shouldn't become so. LGBT welcomed into either men's or women's restrooms makes taking a whiz sexual. I really don't want some Dude pulling it out in front of my wife and daughters. Dumb.
I read the article from your link but I didn't see the brilliant tweet. Perhaps they left it out. The law that the LGBT has pushed and extorted makes no sense. Then to label resistance to this law that makes no sense as "hate" makes even less sense. I can only guess that next the LGBT community will demand to shower with people of the opposite gender and don't you dare disagree you hateful bastard!
GoneWithTheWind: I read the article from your link but I didn't see the brilliant tweet.
The law didn't involve just the bathroom issue, but removed local protections from discrimination against LGBT persons.
The point of this is for the normal to be humiliated by a subset of freaks among us. This is satanic.
I personally don't see the attraction of some washed up old guy who hasn't had a new song in 30 years. But people like abuse, I guess. Look how football fans keep going back after the rich athlete strikes and now the NFL's attack on Georgia.
But we need to face the reality that comes with openly recognizing homosexuality, et al. Namely, bathrooms and locker rooms were separated on a the basis of sexual attraction. Now, there is no polite denial of same sex attraction so the old conventions no longer work.
If separate facilities are still desired, then the convention needs to shift to by penis and no-penis. A small exception for those men who have lost their penis to trauma or disease to use the penis facilities. And really, the facilities are already set up for penis/no-penis. It also makes enforcement as simple as a TSA search.
"Namely, bathrooms and locker rooms were separated on a the basis of sexual attraction..."
No, bathrooms were formerly segregated by sex, not by sexual attraction. Your sex is biological and depends on your chromosomes. Now, many localities are segregating bathrooms by gender, which is a social construct. If we suspend belief to listen to the Left, there are many genders.
By the way, the term "gender of birth" is a stupid non sequitur. There is no other kind. No one in the history of humanity has "changed" their gender and no one ever will. Biology is not a theory. It is a reality. Reality exists despite the wishes of weirdos and the clinically insane.
It seems to me that this new law is a knee-jerk reaction to a non-existent problem. It's an example of conservatives' poor skills at political chess-playing, a mix of pandering to emotion and bad PR. First, isn't it already against laws for a man to purposely enter a woman's bathroom? Who would argue that he is not up to trouble? Second, if a man who lives as a woman uses the women's bathroom who would notice? Who plays gatekeeper at the bathroom door? Some women look or walk like a man, even in high heels and a dress. Some men who live as women would fool every Maggie's Farm reader every time.
I know this much. Denying a woman access to the ladies' room because you think she is a man would be a bigger blunder than congratulating a fat women on her pregnancy. Good luck!
This is my point.
Common sense should rule. But today we have people demanding rules and laws for things which don't need rules or laws. Who gets to use a bathroom? There's a sign! Use it. Are you transgendered? Better figure out fast which thing you are, because your confusion is not my problem.
I think the law is stupid because you don't NEED a law to go to the bathroom properly. But apparently some people do.
Zachriel tried to compare this to civil rights - which is about the most hilarious and stupid thing I've seen it compared to ever. This is about common sense. It was not common sense to treat black people differently than others, that was racism, intolerance and hatred.
But going to the bathroom isn't intolerance. You're either a man or a woman. You're not something in between, no matter how much you want to believe you are. And if you're uncomfortable with what you are, use the damn stall.
Bulldog: But going to the bathroom isn't intolerance. You're either a man or a woman. You're not something in between, no matter how much you want to believe you are.
Which merely shows that you don't know much biology. In fact, there are many variations of sexuality among humans. For instance, about 1 in a thousand humans are born with genital ambiguity. In the past, people who didn't fit the expected norm were ostracized, or even physically attacked, such as the time-honored tradition of beating up sissies.
Look, Z, I understand the variations. It's not an issue of intolerance. It's really an issue of your ambiguity and unwillingness to commit.
Even if you're confused, you can MAKE A CHOICE and then, even then, you can go into a damn stall.
You don't need a law.
So stop with your high-minded BS. You think you know it all, and you troll here thinking we don't understand things like this. Sometimes shorthand is useful and necessary.
Yes, there are variation and yes I know that. I don't need to write about all these variations then explain why we have to protect them all. We don't. We just have to respect people's common sense. You don't seem to understand that part. You're all about the last word and trying to be a morally superior troll.
Bulldog: Even if you're confused, you can MAKE A CHOICE and then, even then, you can go into a damn stall.
The North Carolina law doesn't give people a choice.
Furthermore, the North Carolina law preempts local ordinances that ban discrimination against LGBT people.
You know, if there was ever a person who exemplified stupidity, it's you.
Yes, you clearly are well-read and thoughtful. But you pick nits to the nth degree and pursue tangential paths of thought which are meaningless. You make outsized and irrational assumptions.
I'd never say that I support shutting a person up or censoring them. I oppose the very concept. But you really make a strong case for the people who support it, because you exist to do one thing - be an asshole.
Bulldog: I'd never say that I support shutting a person up or censoring them. I oppose the very concept.
Which is why we pointed to the long history of discrimination against LGBT people — because we thought you would reject such discrimination. It's not an imaginary problem, but one with deep cultural roots.
if a cross dresser tried to follow my daughter into a public restroom, I'd kick his ass apart.
your mileage understandably differs.
And how would you know? More likely, you would be checking her out as she walks past without ever knowing the difference.
But you also have to understand there is a very long history of rape, and even if you don't accept that the 1 in 4 metric is realistic, in the US alone there a 1-2 rapes per thousand reported every year.
It may be inconvenient to use a different bathroom than the one you want to identify with, but how does that weight against opening someone else to the risk of being violated by a predator?
If you take a look at the numbers, there are just as many rapists as there are transgendered, and probably more if you consider that rapists are almost exclusively male, while lbtq tend to split more evenly. Do you honestly think that they aren't going to take advantage of being able to enter the women's restroom just by claiming a gender preference?
Doing things that shield violent sex offenders is not going to gain the lbtq community acceptance, and is likely to provoke exactly the sort of backlash you claim to fear.
The day that these corporations and entertainers refuse to do business in countries where all human rights take priority -- not just women's and LGBT rights -- is the day I will pay attention to this public display of hubris by PayPal, Google, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, American Airlines, etc., etc., etc.
Women are being stoned to death, LGBTs thrown off of high-rises or crucified, children of 9-years-old or younger taken in marriage and used as sexual slaves/dancing boys, minority religions slaughtered, and these jerks want to have a temper tantrum over a penis being allowed in a women's locker room or bathroom? Close down your overseas offices and stop entertaining in the countries that ignore basic human rights. The Almighty Dollar means too much to you to do that, right? Let's pick on NC or Mississippi or whatever U.S. location that decides to not to get sucked into the latest hypocritical "right" to be an idiot.
Good-by cruel world. You just made it simpler to chose where to spend my dollar.
BTW, check how who started this brouhaha over such rights in NC.
"The effect of the law is to legalize discrimination against LGBT persons in jurisdictions where it had been outlawed."
Not true. The LGBT community seeks 'special' privilege and always have. There is no discrimination against them there is a push back against their push for extra-constitutional rights.
Just as in Oregon where the lesbian couple intentionally sought out a openly Christian baker to bake their wedding cake. The baker would have baked their wedding cake and has baked cakes for gay and straight in the past. But the lesbian couple wanted the Christian baker to endorse their marriage and all along they knew or hoped that the Christian baker would object to that. Well it worked out exactly as planned; the lesbians got a $130,000 wedding present and the Christian couple lost their business.
Just who was discriminated against???
GoneWithTheWind: Not true.
HB2: this Article and other applicable provisions of the General Statutes supersede and preempt any ordinance, regulation, resolution, or policy adopted or imposed by a unit of local government or other political subdivision of the State that regulates or imposes any requirement upon an employer pertaining to the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment
HB2 explicitly preempts local ordinances preventing discrimination against LGBT persons.
It gets even worse.
HB2: This Article does not create, and shall not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein.
The law actually prevents anyone from suing in state court over discrimination, even racial discrimination — this in a state that once had Jim Crow.
GoneWithTheWind: But the lesbian couple wanted the Christian baker to endorse their marriage and all along they knew or hoped that the Christian baker would object to that.
They just had to bake the cake.
If their religion said they couldn't bake cakes for blacks or Catholics, would that be acceptable?
It wouldn't be socially acceptable, but it would be just and within a person's natural rights. Which leads to the real purpose of the civil rights movement. There were businesses willing to do commerce with blacks during Jim Crow. Not all, but some. The law prevented them from doing so. The purpose of the CRM was to change government. You don't have the right, whether through direct force or through government, to make me do business when I choose not to. Of course, that doesn't stop you. You're a tyrant.
Jack Walter: It wouldn't be socially acceptable, but it would be just and within a person's natural rights.
Just? You think this is justice?
Jack Walter: You're a tyrant.
Along with Dr. King apparently.
"If their religion said they couldn't bake cakes for blacks or Catholics, would that be acceptable?"
Yes. It's called "liberty."
BTW, before you go off on your moral high horse, I don't agree with and wouldn't patronize a business that behaved that way.
That's also called "liberty."
Righty Feep: Yes. It's called "liberty."
Yet blacks and Catholics help pay for the street that leads to the business.
I fully back the public accommodations law. What I disagreed with in this case was the punishment which was grossly excessive and the conflict of interest on the part of the Oregon bureaucrat who conspired with the lesbians and the LGBT community to make his decision. I also disagree with how discrimination against someone who is a lesbian is treated like a a capital crime while a similar discrimination against a Christian, white person or a male is ignored. We have the laws let's apply them equally. I think what we saw in this case was blatant intimidation and extra-constitutional punishment. IMHO the ONLY recourse of the labor board should have been to take away their business license.
GoneWithTheWind: I also disagree with how discrimination against someone who is a lesbian is treated like a a capital crime while a similar discrimination against a Christian, white person or a male is ignored.
Can you provide such an example?
How is it stupid or wrong in any way to keep men out of the ladies room?
The Charlotte law explicitly removed a previous exemption for the communal showers and bathrooms at the YWCA/YMCA, among others. "Solutions" that talk about going to all stalls simply ignore the text of the Charlotte Ordinance. I think that this happens because a large majority of the people discussing the situation simply haven't read it, probably because they think it's long. It's not. Here's the URL:
The NC state law, HB2 is even shorter. Here's the URL:
What really kills me is the ignorant conservatives who think that HB2 restores the status quo ante. It doesn't. It's a mere half measure that leaves those communal showers at the YMCA/YWCA unaddressed (among other defects).
Personally, as a high schooler in NY, we had a few people come in wearing skirts to protest a proposed dress code. If this debate was around at the time, they'd have headed to the locker rooms in a heartbeat. I don't buy for a minute that this is a theoretical problem and neither should you.
"Both Bruce and Paypal have the right to do what they did,"
I beg to differ.
Springsteen is almost certainly in violation that he, or his management,signed, with the explicit guarantee that he and his band would perform a service (the concert) for a stipulated sum.
If in fact, He broke a legal contract by refusing to perform, and should be subject to any and all penalties for doing so. As the article stated, many people were deprived of the actual service, along with the promoters, and venue, which could have been booked to another artist.
Apparently, leftists believe in collective punishment. Who knew?
Commons sense: We are here the memorialize the Death of Common Sense, with only minimal hope of its resurrection.