Kelly File February 27, 2014

Place for comments, discussions, and debate on topics raised during Bernie's TV segments.

Kelly File February 27, 2014

Unread postby chrisruss » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:12 pm

I felt your pain at the way the interview was handled with you concerning the veto of the Arizona state law supposedly protecting freedom of religion. I was stunned that the interviewer filling in for Megyn couldn't understand why, if you run a business, you can't pick and choose who in the public will be served. The only explanation I can figure is that the interviewer was too young to remember what was going on down South in the pre-civil rights era. Even given her age, however, being a reporter for Fox News shouldn't have excused her from pursuing her silly line of questioning. Perhaps if you didn't have to spend time trying to explain it to her, there would have been enough time for you to complete your final comments. The look on your face at the end said it all. Hang in there, Bernie.
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Kelly File February 27, 2014

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Both You and Goldberg are wrong

Unread postby Williamsburg » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:37 pm

And I thought his facial expressions were a bit rude.

Besides the fact that the AZ bill was misinterpreted (which I don't want to go into here), Goldberg raises a more serious issue, one which is on the wrong side, IMO. Setting aside the religious freedom issue (which further complicates the matter), Shannon Bream was raising a more fundamental right of an individual to discriminate, specifically whether one should be forced to provide one's goods and/or services to others. Goldberg's analogy to black civil rights is a completely straw man argument. The justification for outlawing discrimination based on this racial factor is that the United States had previously INSTITUTIONALIZED discrimination against blacks both with slavery and segregation - in fact, to the extent that both slavery and segregation was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The same might be argued for discrimination against women, as they weren't allowed to vote and experienced other institutional economic barriers. In these cases, blacks and women had been legally denied representation in both our political and economic arenas. Historically, the majority of blacks and women lacked access and power to effectively participate politically and economically, and this was sanctioned by the government. To correct this inequity, it was necessary to have anti-discrimination laws for these groups, as they were otherwise unable or disadvantaged to take part effectively in our free market system. They could not easily (and sometimes not at all) vote their preferences either at the ballot box or with their dollars. Call it at an "institutional market system failure". Blacks and women did not have the same opportunity "to take their business elsewhere".

This is not the case with homosexuals. There is no institutional discrimination. Some might argue that the ban on same-sex marriage was institutional discrimination for homosexuals. However, nothing prevented a homosexual from marrying - they were free to consummate the union of a man and a woman just like everyone else. And quite commonly, if they wanted to be with a person of the same sex, domestic partnerships and other legal/economic provisions were developed to deal with the situation in order to assure legal and economic equality. In any case, homosexuals have not been politically or economically disadvantaged. We know from the extremely active and successful political victories that they certainly haven't been disadvantaged from an institutional standpoint. We also know that the homosexual segment of the population is relatively affluent, and in some places like California, they are exceptionally wealthy and able to fund their causes. Unlike blacks and women in the past, homosexuals can easily move their dollars and votes toward those who are more favorable. In fact, we might even question whether women should still be protected from discrimination. As a both a voting bloc and economic market, they now yield exceptional power - arguably more than men. Blacks still suffer so they need protection (I believe it's due to our welfare dependency situation, but that's another discussion). Further, discrimination against blacks and women is a matter of obvious observation - we all have a pretty good idea of who is balck and who is female almost all the time. Not so with homosexuals. Unless they indicate their orientation, in most cases, we have no idea. This is because their differentiation is based on behavior (usually in private) and not on innate characteristics. Homosexuals can virtually always express their political and economic preferences, and almost always without their orientation being a factor. The possible exceptions are things like gay union events or perhaps a gay party of some sort. But as Shannon Bream pointed out, they can easily go elsewhere to find goods/services from people who have no problem with their behavior.

Why is all this so important? Because the REAL logic extreme is to consider other situations involving the right of an individual to deny providing goods and services to someone else (and of course, I'm not talking about public/govt goods and services for which there can be no discrimination period unless there is an issue of criminality). Are we to expect lawyers to take cases from people that they don't like or they disagree with their behavior? Should some person or business be forced to serve a known sex offender, especially if the owner or an employee of that business had been a victim of rape or child molestation? In cases where someone has extreme disagreement with another person's behavior ( regardless whether it's religious or not), why should they be forced to enter into a relationship with that person? If government and the courts force that relationship, isn't that just another form of slavery? i.e. you have no choice about the use of your labor. Why are homosexuals, as a class, any different? As described above, they have ample choices and opportunities and have no institutional constraints - they have none of the restrictions that blacks and women faced.

Put it this way, more specific to Bernie Goldberg. Let's say that Goldberg decided to start a public relations firm and use his media savvy to help polish the images of people and companies and make them appear more desirable. Now, let's say that someone like John Edwards or someone known anti-Semetic person like Louis Farrakhan came to him and asked him to provide PR services to convince people that they are wonderful, morally upright, warm, fuzzy, loving people who have wrongly perceived. Of course, Goldberg could choose to serve them, thinking, what the heck, their money is as good as anyone else's. But if he thought them to be reprehensible, should he be forced to perform for them? And then what if he didn't perform as they expected and didn't achieve the results they wanted? Could he also be sued or criminalized for possibly underperforming for discriminatory reasons? Could this become a hate crime?

Historically, anti-discrimination laws have been limited to discrimination based on innate characteristics not behavior or other differences. Moreover, the compelling justification for this protection has been due to long time institutional discrimination which prevented or substantially reduced some groups of individuals from freely and equally participating in our political and economic systems. None of this applies to homosexuals. To continue to expand this realm of protection and move in the direction of zero tolerance for any type of discrimination is exceedingly dangerous and portends a complete loss of individual liberty wherein the government shall have the power to dictate exactly what any individual may or may not do with goods and services produced by his or her own labor
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