Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Jan Brewer said no to Butch Crow and Rich Lowry is sad. After many paragraphs of "Gay? What gay? No mention of gay in this bill," Lowry finally gives it up and gets to the money shot:
The market has a ready solution for these couples: There are other bakers, photographers and florists. The wedding business is not exactly bristling with hostility to gay people. If one baker won’t make a cake for gay weddings, the baker across town can hang a shingle welcoming all couples for all types of weddings.
Which is how it works for other kinds of people, too: If someone says "we don't serve your kind here," you can always go somewhere else. What's the big deal? Look. it's their lunch counter; who are you to say you have a right to be served there?

These guys are often accused of not seeing the connection, but make no mistake, they see it, alright. That's why they're working so hard to convince people that the folks forced to offer equal service to homosexuals are the wronged parties here. This is the best chance they've had since 1964, and they hate to see it slipping away.

UPDATE. In comments -- which are as usual way better than the post -- chuckling points out the relevant statute, in which the U.S. proscribed on the ground of "race, color, religion, or national origin" what conservatives are hell-bent on sticking to gay people.

"It's unfortunate, I think," says chuckling, "that that argument is not front and center in the professional liberal counterattack against this recent spate of 'religious freedom' bills." Then it's up to us amateurs -- just like in the Bowery Boys movies! Actually there's a pretty pro effort at Think Progress by Ian Millhiser, reminding us that in addition to states' rights and freedom of association, the brethren have often cited God in favor of separate-but-oh-who-cares-if-it's-equal. That's why religious-liberties bills are suddenly all the rage throughout the neo-Confederate diaspora.

And in a brief cheeky post I can't get to all the tropes conservatives are using to disguise their efforts here -- that may be work for the weekend. One that comes up in comments is the whole "'but it won't make much practical difference!' card," as Daniel Björkman describes it. It's a common tactic -- just give us this little piece of your rights and we'll go away! -- and Kia is very eloquent on how it works:
It looks stupid until you realize that if you concede the point you have in effect let him decide the value, to you, of what he wants to take from you. He wants to deprive you of the protection of a principle, so he pretends there is no principle at issue. So while you and he are in the living room discussing hypotheticals like two seekers of truth who happen to disagree, his lawyers are throwing your possessions into the street.


  1. AGoodQuestion11:00 PM

    The market probably has a ready solution for couples that live in Phoenix or say, Flagstaff. In the urban environment - yes, even in Arizona - there are numerous bakeries and florists, some of whom are likely to be non-homophobic. (Leaving aside for the moment the question of how long the couple should be expected to knock on doors before they find one that doesn't get slammed in their face.) Small towns in Arizona don't offer the same resources, and being blackballed by a couple of businesses could waylay the whole plan.

    No doubt Lowry understands this too, but pretends not to.

  2. JennOfArk11:02 PM

    If you aren't free to lord your assumed superiority over your lessers (i.e., anyone who does not look or believe like you), then what good is freedom?

  3. Spaghetti Lee11:04 PM

    Thankfully we won't have to find out, but I wonder if Jan Brewer's better angels would have won out if the NFL hadn't been threatening to yank the Super Bowl out of Phoenix and put it somewhere less dominion-y. (And on that note, maybe Lowry is so whiny because even he knows that thundering against the NF-fucking-L as a liberal conspiracy would be too much for his readers to swallow?)

    Also, the state of Arizona went through this exact thing in the early 90's, refusing to make MLK day a state holiday, it being undone by a Republican governor and then rejected again in a ballot initiative. The Super Bowl decamped to Pasadena, and the voters of Arizona suddenly found their consciences two years later and made the holiday official. So 25 years later, Arizona has managed to elect a governor who is marginally less awful, and who can tell that money talks before having to be instructed. Um...progress?

  4. JoyfulA11:12 PM

    There's one thing I don't understand about this whole thing. What is a gay wedding cake? How does it differ from heterosexual wedding cakes? Is it simply the matter of the little human figures on top of the cake, in which case the bigot baker can simply say, "I don't have enough call for two little men to keep them in stock, but I can give you a plain wedding cake."

    Or do gay wedding cakes have rainbow stripes all over the icing and are very difficult to stripe well, potentially a hideous mess? Is the cake itself rainbow-striped, like a marble cake, only pink and yellow and green?

    I am just not getting this, maybe because I'm not into ceremonies of any sort and have married twice without ever going through a wedding.

  5. the baker across town can hang a shingle welcoming all couples for all types of weddings.

    Of course, in small-town America, there is no other baker.

  6. A gay wedding cake uses loafers as a leavening agent.

  7. Spaghetti Lee11:16 PM

    In a thread I saw on another site, someone pointed out that if you're the awful sort of person who actually sincerely supports this law, if an undesirable darkens your doorstop, you can already lie through your teeth and say "Oh, we're out of stock" or "Actually I have to close early today, like right now" or whatever, and if you're a good liar, you can pull it off. Hey, you're the one losing money, soldier.

    So basically what this bill is for is to let those people not have to lie, say "get lost, faggot" and then instead of facing the consequences on their own have the entire legal apparatus of the state behind them saying "Yeah, he's right. Get lost, faggot." This has gotta be one of the ugliest bills I've seen in a long time. It's nothing but spite and cowardice. There's not a remotely defensible purpose.

  8. Next time, I'll read all the comments before posting a nearly identical one...

  9. MBouffant11:25 PM


  10. Bubba Zanetti11:26 PM

    Come on people, the colored drinking fountain is plumbed into the same piping! It's just as cold and refreshing!

  11. Spaghetti Lee11:26 PM

    A libertarian is someone who would make their mom pay 50 bucks for a bottle of water if they were both lost in the Sahara.

    A religious libertarian is someone who tells mom that God wants her to die, then steals the 50 bucks when she does.

  12. JoyfulA11:30 PM

    That would be really hard to make! No wonder the bakers are anxious about it.

  13. davdoodles11:30 PM

    "The market has a ready solution for these couples: There are other bakers, photographers and florists."
    The market has another even better solution, which doesn't need dumb new laws and doesn't necessitate hungry people driving across town to the Gay Cake and Photography Quarter:
    Just sell the nice men a fucking cake, and quit being a snivelling, creepy pervert.

  14. whetstone11:32 PM

    This just kills me. I can't help it. (Yeah, I know that focusing on the marriage industry is a dodge of more relevant issues. Still.)

    The market has a ready solution for these couples: There are other bakers, photographers and florists.

    It's the same glibertarian punt that has come to define contemporary Republicans: the glory of free market capitalism in its most sacred use, as an excuse not to have to think about shit. Rich Lowry, fortunately, has distilled this into its ridiculous essence: GAYS! FEAR NOT ABOUT WEDDING CAKE! THE FREE MARKET WILL PROVIDE!

    It's like a bizarro-world parody of segregationists. We might have lost the battle to defend white women from being taken up by the black man, but NO MAN shall have to bake cupcakes and arrange carnations for them.

  15. JoyfulA11:35 PM

    Does the colored drinking fountain have rainbow stripes and that's why they call it colored?

  16. MBouffant11:35 PM

    A shame none of these bills will get past the yammering idjit legislator stage; imagine the potential for fun (from lawsuits to gun play) when straight people are refused products or service on the basis of alleged gayness, 'specially in some of these cowboy states.

    Or the Bed Bath & Beyond (The Grave?) employee who might insist on seeing the marriage license if two opposite-sex people were, say, buying, sheets & pillowcases together.

  17. MBouffant11:36 PM

    Those aren't rainbow stripes.

  18. davdoodles11:39 PM

    Apparently, it's something which can't be baked by a god-fearin' heterosexual christian baker without him getting all gooey and cream-filled thinking about all the manly man humping that the buff, glistening customer must be surely wanting to do to the baker right here on this smooth, gleaming countertop.
    Probably best to ban Greco-Roman Wrestler cakes too, the baker supposes.

  19. whetstone11:39 PM

    Rich Lowry is from Arlington, went to the University of Virginia, and his first job out of college was working for Charles Krauthammer. If he's been farther from the Acela Corridor than Charlottesville I'll eat my shoe. Of course he thinks you can just drive 20 minutes to the Gay Wedding Emporium out by Restoration Hardware when Winn-Dixie won't bake your cake.

  20. whetstone11:42 PM

    When I got married the florist was surprised I came in with my wife. Maybe if a dude comes in to order a cake or flowers they'd insist on proof he was marrying a lady. As for lesbian couples, in my experience that just gives bigoted white dudes boners.

  21. Bubba Zanetti11:42 PM

    Startup idea: a B2C wedding cake anonymous marketplace.

    Or barring that something like an Underground Railroad where straight couples surreptitiously purchase and smuggle cakes into gay weddings. That would make a great Lifetime Movie Special. Cake Maker, Cake Taker.

  22. Bitch Dowry: "In USA Today, the influential liberal pundit Kirsten Powers posited that the bill would enable all-out civil conflict, with Muslim pharmacists possibly refusing to give uncovered women antibiotics, Christian pacifists refusing to let Army sergeants stay in their hotels, and Christian restaurateurs who oppose judging gays refusing to serve overly judgmental

    If a few lines were changed in Arizona’s religious freedom law, the state would practically become Bosnia-Herzegovina circa 1992. Rarely had so much hinged on a couple of dozen words of an otherwise wholly innocuous statute."

    Notice he doesn't even bother to try and refute these predictions. They actually follow quite logically from the bill, which is nothing short of a legislative Pandora's box for capricious and petty discrimination of every sort.

    If this bill is so innocuous, why spill so much goddam ink and effort over it? And if it's so important, as he argues from the other side of his mouth in the rest of his Wormtongue spiel, why pretend that it's not going to have powerful and unforeseen ramifications?

  23. JoyfulA11:50 PM

    In any Pennsylvania courthouse, you can get a form that entitles you to marry each other without an officiant. So if you don't have clergy or a judge, and it's just the two of you and your required two witnesses (I used neighbors), you can surely serve 4 cupcakes and save yourself the price of a wedding cake that is very expensive and usually doesn't taste all that good and will look like trash once a few guests have incompetently cut themselves a slice.

    No gay weddings this year, though, not until Mr. Corbett is out of office.

  24. AGoodQuestion11:52 PM

    Help help! Sniveling, creepy perverts are being repressed!

  25. whetstone11:55 PM

    Also, if you go back to Quin Hillyer on the fainting couch about Johnny Weir gaying up figure skating, this week brings us National Review writers protecting the following from gays: 1) figure skating 2) bakers 3) florists 4) photographers. They can't even figure out which end of the slippery slope is which.

  26. And just to be clear, despite Lowry's attempts at innocuous framing this bill isn't about fucking florists and cupcakes. It's about the prospect of bigots and moral midgets refusing health care to people they don't like - and the Arizona chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association came out against it on those very grounds.

  27. mortimer200012:16 AM

    This is Lowry at his most weaselly. Other than the Goldbergian snotty ridicule = powerful argument bulk of it, there's little else that isn't untrue or misleading.

    Rarely had so much hinged on a couple of dozen words of an otherwise wholly innocuous statute. If you’ll excuse a brief, boring break from the hysteria to dwell on the text of the doomed bill, it stipulated that the word “person” in the law applies to businesses and that the protections of the law apply whether or not the government is directly a party to a proceeding (e.g., a lawsuit brought on anti-discrimination grounds).

    That's the entirety of his discussion of the actual bill, and it omits a whole lot. Now, I'm not a lawyer but I can read. The Arizona bill amends a previous law that only explicitly protected a religious assembly or institution from government to not only expand the definition of these protections, but apply them to anybody, in order to protect them from anybody placing a burden on their "practice or observance" of religious belief -- in other words, anything they say it is. See for yourself.

    After his "baker across town" solution, Lowry says this:
    This is how a pluralistic society would handle such disputes. Instead, in the cases mentioned above, the gay couples reported the businesses to the authorities for punishment.

    No they didn't. They sued the businesses in question, an action that glibertarian types usually argue as a citizen's ultimate protection against, well, rampant libertarianism. But this bill interjects government into those proceedings and turns the tables on plaintiffs and the burden of proof -- kind of like a Stand Your Ground for discrimination. So much for innocuous.

    Enough. I was really only going to say that "Butch Crow" is just swell.

  28. mortimer200012:21 AM

    I see trex pretty much just said the same thing. Must be the starbursts...

  29. mortimer200012:25 AM

    What is a gay wedding cake?

    It's not so much about the figurines on top but the manner of serving. A gay cake is one that gets shoved down your throat.

  30. Daniel Björkman12:29 AM

    Well, the answer is that those things won't happen because no one is as batshit crazy about uncovered women, army sergeants and overly judgmental people as wingnuts are about gays, but in order to make that claim that they've to own up to being batshit crazy.

    Anyway, yeah. Playing the "but it won't make much practical difference!" card, as an argument for or against, is stupid. It's always true to an extent, because few laws will drastically change the lives of any number of people. Some laws might make a few more bad things happen, some laws might make a few less bad things happen, but either way we'll continue to live in a world where tons and tons of bad things happen.

    But if we're going to go that route, why bother having any laws at all? Why not just throw up your hands and go, "feh, life sucks, what else is new?" and just let whatever happens happen? We have laws because we are stubborn enough to want to improve the world one tiny bit at the time until all those small changes add up to something good. Or because we want to harass people we disapprove of in a thousand miniscule ways until they become utterly miserable from the sheer weight of it, as the case may be.

  31. And here I was looking forward to having sex in the Blood Bath and Beyond mattress section with my girlfriend just to prove to the manager I tain't no queer even though I'm dressed like Klaus Nomi for Halloween.

  32. davdoodles1:11 AM

    Exactly. Despite the rhetoric about freedom of opportunity, conservatism (and it's accreted-on religious barnacle) really seems premised on the belief that, for conservatives (or christians or whatever) to "win", the "other" must lose. Indeed, the other's failure appears to be what conservatives mean by sucess.

  33. Kordo1:37 AM

    Wait, the gays are trying to break into figure skating??

  34. hellslittlestangel2:11 AM

    "Capitalist society is founded on the conviction that in the absence of beings who suffer a man cannot enjoy to the full his possessions and his happiness."

  35. DocAmazing2:16 AM

    This bill brings to the commercial sphere what Stand Your Ground gave would-be cops: the ability to engage one's bigotry with an assumption of innocence, even sanctity.

  36. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume2:17 AM

    I don't care about any of that shit, just keep the gays out of my Broadway musicals.

  37. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume2:25 AM

    What is a gay wedding cake?

    A wedding cake.

  38. MikeJ2:39 AM

    Mother May I Cake With Danger

  39. sophronia2:54 AM

    Believe me, the fact that Jan Brewer is not as irredeemably stupid as our anti-MLK holiday governor, Ev Meacham, is not a feat. I will never forget that man arguing (on TV!) that "pickaninny" is a term of affection.
    There seems to be some kind of unofficial state policy against electing anyone with a functioning brain. John McCain is indeed a towering intellectual giant amongst these people, if that tells you anything.

  40. sophronia3:04 AM

    They're just getting themselves prepared in case the Supreme Court rules that Hobby Lobby has a legitimate concern about its soul not going to heaven if it's forced to fill out an Obamacare form. If that case goes their way, they want to have broad religious freedom protections already in place in the states so they can start discriminating against the undesirables as quickly as possible. Welcome to the Republic of Gilead!
    So while I'm enjoying the pouting, I'm sure there will be a Round 2.

  41. Just think, only 50 years until National Review claims that Johnny Weir and flamboyant costumes are inherently conservative!

  42. What is it about American history? It seems to just keep producing some version of this.

  43. Spaghetti Lee3:41 AM

    Ooh, ooh, NR-headlines-in-50-years thread!

    "50 Years ago, When Men were Men, They Wouldn't Have Regulated Plutonium Out of Our Food Pills " - VDHBot 3000 (beta)

    "Holodeck-sexual Marriage: A New Liberal Affront to Space Jesus" - Omega-Epsilon Jean Lopez

    "Do Any of My Readers Have Ideas About How to Stop the Cyber-Bot Armies? If so, Send 'em Here." - Jonah Goldberg's uploaded consciousness (3.5 GB)

  44. Playing the "but it won't make much practical difference!" card, as an argument for or against, is stupid.

    It looks stupid until you realize that if you concede the point you have in effect let him decide the value, to you, of what he wants to take from you. He wants to deprive you of the protection of a principle, so he pretends there is no principle at issue. So while you and he are in the living room discussing hypotheticals like two seekers of truth who happen to disagree, his lawyers are throwing your possessions into the street.

  45. chuckling6:39 AM

    The quip about the lunch counter is apropos and should be a no-brainer in the context of American history. It's unfortunate, I think, that that argument is not front and center in the professional liberal counterattack against this recent spate of "religious freedom" bills. That, and the concept of "religious freedom" itself.

    The question of "public accommodation" was addressed in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which begins:

    "All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation..."

    Simple, powerful language; almost as short and sweet as "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." Of course I think it's right to project that the founders would have phrased it "all people" if they knew then what we know now.

    It would also be nice to see our professional representatives tackle the Orwellian nature of the term "religious freedom" itself and point out that it was in reaction to that kind of freedom to discriminate that caused so many early Americans to flee England and other countries for these shores. Most notably, perhaps, the Pilgrims.

    I just find it saddening that our professionals are unable or unwilling to put these, and similar, issues in the grand historical context in which they belong. A historical context, btw, that even the poor folk dressing up in tri-corner hats would have trouble believably dismissing and that normal people would almost certainly welcome.

  46. Yes. And its also not true that "no one but gays will be insulted and harmed"--not that that makes it better. It makes it worse and more like a bill of attainder. But pretending that you can pass a law discriminating against one broad class of people and that it cant be used as precedent to fuck everyone over is bush v gore level hypocrisy.

  47. I guess if you werent paying attention, didnt have a tv, were living under a rock and were very, very, disingenous this could almost seem like it was true....i guess?

  48. chuckling7:24 AM

    Of course I haven't seen every single thing on teevee, only a few short segments flipping through the morning shows and network news. And I only read a few newspapers and magazines, though they are big ones such as the NYT and WaPo. And I didn't use all the search engines to confirm my initial observation, but I did spend some time putting different combinations of those terms in one before mouthing off. So sure, I no doubt missed a few references here and there, but I am comfortable with my contention that these arguments are not "front and center."

    I'm genuinely curious why you are always so quick to defend the establishment when it is so clear they are failing us so badly, both in word and deed? Are you really that pro-establishiment? Or Is it just that you think I'm part of the Judean People's Front that makes you so angry over these small differences in outlook? Why not reject your predilection to start and perpetuate these petty internecine squabbles?

    It's not like, as you so often claim, I'm some nut living under a rock on these issues. Perhaps you should turn off the teevee and the mainstream media and take a break from the liberal bloggy echo chamber to do some more challenging reading. I always recommend Harper's. And apropos to the topic, the current issue has an excellent article by Adolph Reed Jr. titled: "Nothing Left: The Long, Slow, Surrender of American Liberals." Or maybe you do and they just don't print your angry letters telling them what idiots they are for daring to question the establishment.

  49. If you are t actually living under a rock you are just a garden variety disingenous, meretricious, poseur.

  50. Susan of Texas7:37 AM

    This is the crux of the matter. How do you make people acknowledge your superiority when they all just laugh at you, ignore you, or turn away in disgust? You try to get laws passed so nobody can ignore you anymore. They will be forced to follow the shitty little rules you made up in your head.

    They are picturing a time when they can tell the gays that they are disgusting and publicly order them to go away. They want and need a public display of their power over lesser creatures. Otherwise they are nothing.

  51. chuckling8:12 AM

    Well, I think you're a peach. Greenhouse grown. Genuine. Sincere. Unpretentious. Well, not unpretentious, as befits your greenhouse roots, but that's okay.

    And seriously, chuckling asks the wind, why all the nastiness over these little critiques of the establishment? Why can't people behave with civility on the internet? Why must the PFJ hate the JPF?

  52. redoubtagain8:12 AM

    Because there are no such things as "lies" in the service of building Gilead.

  53. BigHank538:18 AM

    Mission Impossible: Cake

    Probably not starring Tom Cruise.

  54. Marcia Kazmierczak8:19 AM

    OT, but I have a very early memory (4 or 5 years old) of hearing my mother tell a neighbor that we were going downtown for Xmas shopping. The neighbor said something like "there's a lot of colored people there". I don't know what color I was expecting those people to be, but I was quite disappointed that I didn't see any exotically colored people. Just shades of white and brown, as usual.

  55. I almost finished with a similar observation but I thought I'd see if someone else would say it and sure enough you came through.

  56. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps8:20 AM

    Because, like Wolfgang Pauli said, they're not even wrong; all your "critiques" are hyperfocused on proving your little Strivers of Rurality vs. Haughty Urban Professional Left diorama to be true, conveniently ignoring any contrary evidence and dismissing it as being not genuinely Ruralitist, because once you sat next to a guy at a sporting event.

  57. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps8:24 AM


    National Review. (chidingly) If you gays don't like getting discriminated against, maybe you should just find somewhere else to go.
    The NFL. (enters) OK. (picks up bindle labeled 'Super Bowl', exits)
    National Review Gasp! The gays have done it again!

  58. chuckling8:37 AM

    Even if that were true, why does that drive you to such anger that you must hurl insults at fictional characters on the internet? Dr, I say, examine yourself.

    But of course I realize that angry internet commenters aren't going to let facts get in their way. In this case, my comment had nothing to do with the abandonment of large swathes of the country by the Democratic establishment and in no case have I ever framed anything remotely like little strivers of rurality vs haughty urban professional left. Dr, I say, examine your own little diorama. When the best you can do is make ad hominem attacks based on factual errors, what makes you so superior to the wingnuts we all so much enjoy excoriating? You're conclusions? Okay, but still, why not try to be a better person?

    And why not just accept that people who generally agree on all the big issues can have little differences in how they think their shared goals can best be achieved. Or to put it another way, why don't you stop yelling at people to get off of someone else's lawn?

  59. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps8:41 AM

    No, don't even start. You can't stomp around calling everyone inactive and ignorant and snooty and then suddenly turn on the waterworks when someone calls you on it.

  60. You'll still post a nearly identical one, but you'll post it with a sense of completeness.

  61. Helmut Monotreme8:45 AM

    It's the conservative noise machine trying to distract from a history of America's injustices, bad decisions and scandals by creating ever newer injustices, bad decisions and scandals.

  62. BigHank538:45 AM

    And seriously, chuckling asks the wind, why all the nastiness over these little critiques of the establishment?

    Civility is right where you left it, Chuckling. I haven't forgotten my first encounter with you, and subsequent interactions haven't improved the impression. When you repeatedly act as though you're from Trolltown, guess what? Lots of people will assume you are, in fact, from Trolltown.

  63. chuckling8:46 AM

    Had I ever called everyone lazy and ignorant and snooty and disrespectful of my pet demographic, you might have a point, but that only occurred in your imagination.

  64. BigHank538:46 AM

    Really? I figure he'd be more the detached irony type.

  65. John McCain is indeed a towering intellectual giant amongst these people, if that tells you anything.

    I wouldn't go that far. Plenty of Arizonans know he's a raging thin-skinned complete dumbshit. And those are just his supporters.

  66. tigrismus8:53 AM

    How about calling it "The Market's Ready Solution?"

  67. chuckling8:54 AM

    A troll pops out from under a bridge and attacks passerby's. Or in internet terms, a troll is a stranger to a comment section who comes in and attacks the author or other commenters. Billy goat chuckling, on the other hand, has been around longer than just about everyone, makes no criticisms of the blog's author and so rarely we might as well say never attacks anyone else when they make a top level comment (he does, sadly, respond to ad hominem attacks, though not in kind). So by those rational criteria, one could easily conclude that the troll is you.

    Sorry I hurt your feelings once upon a time. Poor chuckling means well, but is admittedly a flawed character.

  68. glennisw9:00 AM

    What the Rich Lowrys of the world are asking is literally a return to Jim Crow laws.

  69. So 25 years later, Arizona has managed to elect a governor who is
    marginally less awful, and who can tell that money talks before having
    to be instructed. Um...progress?

    Well, she supposedly vetoed some anti-gay bill before, arguing that the legislature was wasting time that could be better spent on a whole stack of actual problems. So yes, having a reactionary conservative governor who takes the attitude "Oh, who cares about this stuff?" is progress ... or at least a change in the first derivative of regress. She also successfully pushed for a Medicaid expansion plan, which is anathema to most current Republican governors. Arizona is full of crazy, no doubt, but its legislature still manages to be to the right of the public most of the time. Which is the problem with a whole lot of legislatures these days.

  70. glennisw9:02 AM

    Who's hurling now?

  71. Helmut Monotreme9:07 AM

    They aren't asking, for a return, they are going ahead and doing it, and acting all surprised and hurt when they get called on their bullshit.

  72. They sued the businesses in question, an action that glibertarian
    types usually argue as a citizen's ultimate protection against, well,
    rampant libertarianism.

    You might need to update your glibertarian cheat sheet. Yesterday's glibertarians were all about civil actions, weregild, and the like as key components of any anarcho-capitalist utopia. Today's glibertarians are cheeleaders for tort reform.

  73. glennisw9:15 AM

    I want to know what happens when the Hobby Lobby employee who disagrees with the corporate creed decides to sell seed pearls and grosgrain ribbon to a gay couple for their wedding decor. Do his religious beliefs prevail?

  74. chuckling9:16 AM

    Well, as mentioned elsewhere, I very rarely hurl the first stream (and will sincerely apologize when I do), but I have made it something of a policy to reply in kind, though hopefully with significantly more subtlety.

    And as I've mentioned on numerous occasions and demonstrated over and over, all you have to do is ignore me and there won't be any of these shitstorms. My comments are not directed at you. But if you feel you must comment on whatever I have to say, however critical it may be; if you do so politely, if I respond, my response will be polite.

  75. Phil Dennison9:21 AM

    I don't have the time or energy to look up just what this same bunch of clowns had to say in regards to practicing Muslim cab drivers who didn't want to carry passengers who were toting dogs or alcoholic beverages, but I bet I could make some guesses and not be too far off the mark.

  76. Al Swearengen9:22 AM

    Will all of you stop shitting up the thread? Please.

  77. Brian Schlosser9:24 AM

    Not Without My Frosting

  78. "Gay? What gay? No mention of gay in this bill,"

    No mention of Mormon, either, yet I knew some people in southeastern Arizona who would be able to figure that angle out, given time. And not all of them would buy Franklin Graham's revisionism, either. Polytheistic cultists need not apply. Or "Gentiles," if the shoe's on the other foot.

  79. Why can't he be both, like the late Earl Warren?

  80. Bubba Zanetti9:56 AM

    You'd want the Commodore 64 for it's sound synthesis chip - it has a particularly throaty triangle-wave FAAAAARRRRRTTTT.

  81. Bubba Zanetti10:09 AM

    There's a small part of me that wishes the bill had passed for a month or two, just to see all the brilliant code-word double entendre business names that would indicate a gay-friendly business. Ganache with Panache for starters. It would be like rewriting the John Waters Simpsons episode every single day.

  82. I'm just making fun of you. You are a hero in your own mind--polite or rude really isn't the issue you think it is. You are tedious and wrong, your interpretations and statements dull, repetitive, and just plain silly. It doesn't bother me. You go on with your bad self as much as you want. I will continue to point and laugh.

  83. I actually think that there would have been a fascinating line up, like iron filings with magnets, in which the law, passed for the benefit of people who wanted to be outrageously rude to specific imaginary customers quickly discovered that they now had to affirmatively advertise that they would accept all customers regardless because who the fuck is going to wander into a store without knowing in advance that the customer is going to be treated humanely? Unless you are, yourself, a proud bigot who wears a literal cross on your collar to demonstrate your bona fides pretty much everyone else has to assume they are going to be discriminated against.

    So what you would have seen, in short order, is people hanging out rainbow flags and then some kind of counter flag, yelp reviews in which "secret shoppers" on the left and right went in to expose discrimination or (even worse) faux bigotry in which conflicted businesspeople tried to have their cake and sell it too by telling their bigot friends that they had availed themselves of the privilige while telling gay customers that of course they'd make them a cake if they'd just pick it up at the back door (!) quietly.

    The law would have quickly separated the state into two warring factions--I don't actually think the bigots could have taken the harsh light of public opinion and contumely for long and they would then have started suing yelp and other apps for "smearing" them and fomenting boycotts.

  84. JennOfArk10:15 AM

    Lowry argues that the inconvenience caused by having to go elsewhere for accommodation for this one rare special occasion is no big deal.

    But what about the gay man, woman, or couple living in BFE 50 miles from the next town large enough to support a grocery store being denied the right to shop in the grocery right down the street because the owner has a "religious objection" to their identity? Suppose the owner of the gas station has a "religious objection" to letting them fill their tank at his station. Then they have to move to another town, because they can't buy food or fuel where they live. Really not such a "small" deal after all.

  85. Teresa10:17 AM

    I'll never understand the mental hoops that people like Lowery jump through to defend assholes. The market as they like to think of it is not a parental figure that spanks business men and women for being assholes and misbehaving. There is no magical invisible hand that bitch slaps business spontaneously and makes everyone behave better.

    Besides if there was such an invisible hand Lowery would be unemployed for the rest of his life.

  86. Can they really have it both ways--the law specifically doesn't mention sexual orientation. It focuses on the religious liberty (supposed) of the individual and the organization--so there is nothing stopping any person, regardless of their job (even firemen and even police officers and doctors) from refusing treatement or interaction with any person on religious grounds. Since AZ doesn't have any special protections for sexual orientation the law was actually moot with respect to gays, but not with respect to anyone else, at any time, and for any reason since some religion somewhere in this free for all of the US can decide to ban us and our behaviors.

  87. The law would have quickly separated the state into two warring factions

    As someone who spent part of vis childhood in Arizona, I feel compelled to point out that this wouldn't actually be much of a change.

  88. i would like to invite this comment over tonight to read aloud from corey robin's "the reactionary mind."

  89. Might even be an improvement. The flags would be pretty, anyway.

  90. chuckling10:38 AM

    And by choosing that course, you will continue to be pointed at and laughed at. Such a shame. The alternative of acting like a normal, decent person rather than an angry internet commenter is a much more attractive option.

  91. There was a huge kerfuffle a few years ago about a bridal store that was run by a racist (IIRC) or perhaps she was anti-gay--I can't remember which it was but the woman got yelp bombed by people who described their own experiences, or alerted potential customers to the experience of the original woman who got discriminated against. I can't find the original articles on this topic but it was pretty clear that

    a) these small businesses are a hive of incompetence, racism, unprofessionalism, and thievery.

    b) the kind of person who runs them usually has an inflated sense of their own business acumen and talent and pisses off as many customers as they end up pleasing

    c)alienating a customer who is actually in your store to benefit either your own bigotry or an imaginary future base of customers who think just like you do is a losing proposition.

    d) small business owners will instantly pressure yelp and all independent reviewing systems to take their name out of the system and pretend that reviews are not "real" or authentic.

  92. Don't you find that accusing women of being "angry" is a bit dated?

  93. chuckling10:50 AM

    Oh, and just to bring it back to my initial comment, what's gotten you in such a tizzy of animus is my kind words for the civil rights act of 1964 and the declaration of independence and stated desire that they be used more often in this fight against anti-gay discrimination.

    I really don't get what makes angry internet commenters like you tick. It seems so much the opposite of all you profess to hold dear. And of course it's not just the angry internet commenters. The JPF angrily attacking the FPJ when the real enemy is the Romans joke only works because it's so true. And circling back to who's pointing and laughing at whom, yes, you are a punchline in one of the more famous Monty Python skits. No, two, if you count the Black Knight.

  94. Ooh. Someone's got his knickers in a twist. Now I'm "in a tizzy." Please proceed.

  95. chuckling10:58 AM

    Oh, so you are "women" now. No, obviously I never accused "women" of being angry. I simply observe that you are angry.

    I realize I'm speculating a bit, in my belief you are angry, but in my experience, those who constantly attack and/or are dismissive of people based on their background or geographic location are not doing so from a place of happiness.

    Again, why don't you just live up to the liberal ideas you profess to believe in? Why not just stop these ridiculous ad hominem attacks? What are you gaining by them? Even if you do get some kind of smug self-satisfaction from expressing your anger and frustration at strangers on the internet, can't you find it in your hear to respect Roy's blog and the other commenters? All you have to do is stop. It's entirely in your power.

  96. Susan of Texas's comment should come too. It would be a great party.

  97. Because knowing which side your bread is buttered on is, apparently, a much bigger deal than you'd think it would be.

  98. Halloween_Jack11:06 AM

    Cakewalk the Line

    Midnight Cakespress

    The French Vanilla Connection

    Layer Cake II: The Ganaching

  99. whetstone11:07 AM

    The free market must be defended against itself.

  100. chuckling11:07 AM

    Call it what you like. I know you are quite smart and like to think you are capable of self-reflection. I know that if I were obsessed with constantly attacking someone who made comments I generally agreed with (or anybody for that matter) I would do some serious self-examination. To put it bluntly, you're acting like a stalker, it's ugly, I think you're a better person than that and sincerely wish you could find your way to a better place. For my sake, sure, and for the sake of the other Alicublog commenters as well; but also for yourself. I just don't believe this isn't the kind of person you see yourself as being, much less the kind of person you want to be.

  101. Mr. Wonderful11:07 AM

    Yes, but so far in these comments I'm not seeing anyone address the religious angle. The whole basis of this law is "sincere" religious belief. You can just hear Thomas Jefferson saying, "Oh, SINCERE? That's different. Why didn't you say so?"

    Isn't part of what the proponents like about this bill is that it allows them (moralizing hypocrites that they are) to influence (read: pollute) the public sphere with their private "Christian" piety? And to equate the guarantee of someone else's civil rights with that Special Feeling they love so much, i.e., that they're being persecuted?

    To paraphrase Jenn of Ark: If you can't feel victimized and sanctified in your resentment at the modern world, then what good is religion?

  102. BigHank5311:07 AM

    Some litigants are more equal than others.

  103. sophronia11:09 AM

    You're right, most Arizonans can see right through John McCain, but compared to the idiots who make up the state legislature, he's Einstein. Most of our state reps should probably consider it a triumph that they manage to get out of bed every morning without injuring themselves.

  104. Halloween_Jack11:12 AM

    There is something to be said for, the next time chuckling shows up to babble about "rurality" and refer to himself in the third person, simply hitting the minus sign on the right hand side of his comment so that you don't have to look at it. It's really one of the better features of Dickus.

  105. whetstone11:13 AM

    But it's a paternal figure for people like Lowry: the overbearing father who will take care of their conflicts and whom they trust to clean up their own messes. When I hear that "the market will take care of it," it's not an economic philosophy, or even a deus ex machina; it's just the assumption that the invisible hand will clean up your room.

  106. I'm literally just trolling you now.

  107. Halloween_Jack11:15 AM

    I'm going to make it a minor, but ongoing, mission to spread the term "Butch Crow" as much as I can, for as long as this remains a thing.

  108. chuckling11:16 AM

    Realizing you are a troll could be a a good start. The next step is to stop being one.

  109. comment, i would invite you over to read from my first edition of the scholar corey robin's "the reactionary mind." then, comment, we would sit on my couch, purchased from the finest of ikea stores, covered in rose petals from roses i purchased from the gay florits, and i would feed you the most delicious of chocolates that i would buy from the gay baker. then, comment, we would fold my couch out, for it is also a futon, and make sweet sweet love with susan of texas' comment as well.

  110. BigHank5311:30 AM

    Various strains of evangelicals and dominionists have been trying to get a religious exemption to laws they don't like for quite a while. Since most of them are really dumb, they haven't read the existing literature and case law on conscientious objection, and the limits thereof. Most of these clowns are actually pretty earnest, and really believe that a baker who provides a wedding cake is somehow providing sanction to an unholy union, and will bear some responsibility for that in the eyes of God, but they're also so unimaginative that they truly can't see the opportunities for mischief a "sincerely held religious belief" would create. Can I refuse service to Jews because they're Christ-killers? Blacks, because they bear the mark of Cain? Catholics? Catholics who use birth control? Native American healers? How would you prove that an asshole baker is just an asshole and not an asshole with Holy Writ on his side?

    They're such towering cowards that they're not willing to live with the consequences of their own beliefs: rather than close up shop or add two short verses to the hundreds they already ignore, they insist that the State backstop them and their prejudice.

    As to whether the self-pity is the original cause or just a delicious by-product, I have no idea. Do we have anyone with a degree in abnormal psychology in the house?

  111. upvoted for "ganaching"

  112. Magatha11:36 AM

    Flour's In The Attic, Baked In Broad Daylight, Sleeping With The Devil's Food, Browned and Dangerous, A Cake To Die For, The Baker She Met Online, Her Costly Eclair, Moment Of Truth: A Mother's Confection, Icing Spiders. O god help me somebody.

  113. BigHank5311:37 AM

    Now I want a bumper sticker that says IMPEACH THE BIG BAD BALD BASTARD.

  114. How would you prove that an asshole baker is just an asshole and not an asshole with Holy Writ on his side?

    Since the asshole with Holy Writ on his side is really still just an asshole, the conundrum solves itself.

  115. Most of our state reps should probably consider it a triumph that they
    manage to get out of bed every morning without injuring themselves.

    That would be a refreshing change from considering it a triumph if they injure someone else.

  116. BigHank5311:40 AM

    And it would have been fun to stick your head into a business without a rainbow flag and ask, "Hey, where's your rainbow flag?", watch the muscles bunch in their jaw, and then stroll out again. Or grill 'em on the other whoppers in Leviticus.

    Well...actually dealing with hate-filled people sucks. But it's a nice fantasy for thirty seconds or so.

  117. ... Wow. That's, like, all the bingo cards.

  118. petesh11:44 AM

    True, but said midgets thought it was about fucking florists, not to mention fucking cupcakes, and who put the bi in bigots anyhoo?

  119. Nah, the counter flags would have eagles weeping blood, or bayoneted flamboyant homosexuals, or aborted fetuses because why the hell not. It would be different if they stuck to imaginative variations on a digitus impudicus, or something.

  120. If you're willing to do some editing, I have one for BIG BAD BALD BASTARD IS A PEACH.

  121. Do we have anyone with a degree in abnormal psychology in the house?

    Well, chuckling, but ... Oh, degree in. Never mind.

  122. Do his religious beliefs prevail?


  123. I know, right? Its like a combined PUA/MRA form of negging, sixth grade reverse psychology, and the projection format of a 37 room IMAX all rolled into one.

  124. Marcia Kazmierczak12:13 PM

    A falcon! It's amazing to this adult to think about things you may have believed as a small child (emphasize small here, too young to have much real knowledge of the world) based on fairy tales, overheard and misunderstood conversation, and an active imagination. The relevance to the actual topic at hand is that our minds are capable of sincerely believing much that isn't true in the real world.

  125. They just refuse to act like decent human beings, don't they? And then when they act the cunt and get called on it they all run around with their hair on fire mewling about "persecution!"
    What a pathetic bunch. Sure hope the electorate is taking notes, because these drama queens should be forever pulling their histrionics offstage.

  126. mortimer200012:29 PM

    3.4 MB is for the Intern's AI, the "emailer" generator, and the Lil' Debbie Cake jpg.

  127. mgmonklewis12:44 PM

    Also, suppose in a rural area someone has a "religious objection" (sic) to selling groceries or gas to a person who practices a different religion? It could get really tricky if the only services are run by a fundamentalist (of any stripe), or if there's simply a bigot living next to an Indian reservation who decides he doesn't want to serve "their type" and dresses his refusal up in "religious objection" drag.

    Conversely, what if you're living near Sedona (picking at random here), and the only services within fifty miles are run by vegans or New Age practitioners, who deny you service? It's a two-edged sword, and per usual, reactionary conservatives aren't good at spotting the unintended consequences.

  128. El Manquécito12:49 PM

    Good title for the post: Weeping, Wailing and Ganaching of Teeth.

  129. I'll never understand the mental hoops that people like Lowery jump through to defend assholes.

    Lowery is an asshole himself, there are no mental hoops for him.

  130. No doubt the uploaded Jonah consciousness would be powered by a potato.

  131. Tony Prost1:51 PM

    Isn't this exactly discrimination on the basis of religion? The statute doesn't say it has to be the customer's religion, it just says "on the ground of ... religion".

  132. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that the 1964 CRA "public accomodation act" applies, or should apply--of course it should. It was the inevitable swipe at Chuckling's favorite criminal the democrats who failed to make this obvious point in newspapers or tv or radio spots where chuckling was listening. Since everyone and their mother has been pointing out for days and days and days that this kind of law violates the public accomodation laws it just seemed rather insulting and, basically, wrong for Chuckling to pretend that no one had made this argument in the detail and care that it deserves. Literally NO ONE has missed this point except the republican party. You know how I know that? Because republicans have been responding to the comparison daily, even hourly, by denying it.

  133. Or, if there are, its another worm oroubourous situation.

  134. BG, dismayed leftie1:55 PM

    What gets me is that, underneath it all, they are confirming that religions advocate intolerance.

  135. Gromet2:04 PM

    Well said, and actually you mighta seen it in a thread right here on Alicublog 2 days ago -- I think under the Quinn Hillyer doozy. Alicublog's got your back! Why mess around with other comment threads?

  136. A piece of rope crawls into a bakery, and says "I'd like to order a wedding cake, please."

    The baker snarls at the piece of rope, saying "We don't serve your kind here! Go order your cake somewhere else!"

    So the piece of rope goes outside, ties itself into knots and scrapes itself on the sidewalk until it is unrecognizable. Then it rolls back into the bakery. The baker squints at the rope and says "I still recognize you! You're that piece of rope!"

    The rope replies "Nope. I'm a frayed knot."

  137. Bubba Zanetti2:41 PM

    A Cakewalk Orange

    “Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The icing roped like Cleopatra's chains, ganache flowers like a cage of spring pink. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. Levels and levels of pure white alabaster sugar. I was in such bliss, my brothers.”

  138. Thanks for replying. I think I understand a little better now.

  139. mortimer20003:08 PM

    You had me at Flour's In The Attic. But I'm easy.

  140. Chocolate Covered Cotton3:33 PM

    You made a cogent historical argument against the attempt to legalize bigotry by quoting the 1964 CRA, praising its simplicity and strength. A strong and useful argument, well-written, you could have left it at that or directed against the bigots you at first appear to be arguing against. But you then revealed that your purpose wasn't to defeat the bigots but to shame the people opposing the bigots for allegedly not having made the argument already. This makes you look like an asshole. And then you proceed to make a subthread all about you when you get a negative reaction. Again. Gosh, I wonder why nobody takes you seriously anymore? Must be all the brainwashing by the professional left in the msm.

  141. redoubtagain3:38 PM

    I hear the birds a tweetin'
    They're tweetin' round the bend
    But I ain't seen the outside since don't know when
    'Cause I'm stuck in Paris Pet Shop
    And time keeps draggin' on
    And those birds keep a flyin' on down to Carcassonne

  142. GrafZeppelin1273:43 PM

    Here's the part they don't get, and how I try to explain it to the haters. Like that ever works.

    1. Opening up a business, like a shop or a restaurant, constitutes an open and unconditional offer to the general public of goods and services for sale.

    2. Anyone and everyone who comes into the shop or restaurant can accept that offer by requesting such goods and/or services, and paying for them.

    With me so far?

    3. "Religious freedom," "religious liberty" and "religious conscience" do not include or provide any "right" to mistreat or harm other people.

    Now, here's where the crux of the disagreement lies:

    4. Withdrawing an open and unconditional offer to the general public from one particular customer, for no reason other than some characteristic of that customer being somehow inconsistent or incompatible with your unverifiable, unfalsifiable, subjective "beliefs," where the offer is still unconditionally open to anyone and everyone else without that characteristic, is mistreatment and is harmful.

    That's the part they don't get.

  143. BigHank534:10 PM

    D'you remember how last year sometime a poll showed that everyone in general and millenials in particular were getting totally turned off by loudmouthed evangelical Christianity, because they didn't seem to care about anything other than abortion and homosexuality?

    Keep shouting about the intolerable burden of having to serve a gay customer, folks. Everyone under thirty is looking at you like people used to look at the lunatic with his "THE END IS NEAR" sign, and they're doing it for the same reason.

  144. XeckyGilchrist4:22 PM

    I'd be interested to see, if one of these atrocities DID make it past a governor, whether the bigots ended up having to pre-register their affiliation with an establishment of religion that sincerely preaches the particular hate they wish to exercise.

    You know, like Conscientious Objectors have to do with respect to belonging to a Peace Church.

  145. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:37 PM

    That was my take, but IANAL, and thus am able to talk out of only one side of my mouth...

  146. RHWombat4:42 PM

    We had to destroy the legislation in order to save it.

  147. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:42 PM

    Running around with their hair on fire mewling about persecution is their hobby. You just know they were looking forward to some new martyrs when gay mobs burned down a few bakeries and tackily decorated B&Bs. I mean, it was inevitable, right? Yeesh.

  148. chuckling4:46 PM

    Shaming? I call it constructive criticism and it is directed at the wind, not anyone here. And twas not I who made the subthread all about me, twas those who attacked me personally rather than my argument. And geez, how much do I have to beg people to stop taking me seriously? Please. Stop taking me seriously.

  149. Thats good but I don't think you can get very far with these people arguing this way because they aren't already thinking this way in terms of other people's feelings. They can only be moved by thinking "ohmygod what if this happened to people like me????"

    You see, one thing that I think is really clear is that these people lack imagination and tend to lack the ability to think about precedent or about the natural extension of a law or a proposition. Although they are very willing to make slippery slope arguments when it comes to butt sex, or to gay marriage, they don't understand that everything can have a downside. Its part of their belief that there are basically either good people, or bad people, in the world. All the things that good people do are governed by their intentions, which are good--not by the consequences or fallout from their intentions. Meanwhile there are also bad people in the world and all the things they do are bad, even if they look good. Their version of the antichrist is quintessentially this way: the antichrist looks really good, brings peace and love and harmony, but in reality is evil.

    So they look at this law, or these kinds of laws, the Religious Freedom laws, as a way of protecting good people and their good intentions from interference from bad people and their bad intentions. They literally can't grasp that their good god fearing people, with their good intentions, can also be seen as guilty of hurting other people (its the gay person's own fault for shoving in where they aren't wanted). By flipping the discussion from the consumer's right to shop to the religious person's right of association (to refuse association) they have done a bang up job of preventing the kind of argument you are making from taking hold.

    Instead you've got to force them to imagine themselves in the position of the consumer being denied, and you have to remind them that the terms of the debate are so vast and the legislation so broad that the muslim shopkeeper can refuse to sell gas or food to your wife or daughter because she's not in a burka. That the mormon bank could refuse to loan money to non mormon clients. That a police officer who is of a different religion from yours could refuse to take your statement or help you out when you call up for help. That a doctor of a different faith could (and will) refuse you medical attention under certain circumstances.

  150. I was looking forward to the gay bake offs as travelling gay bakers would bust into town and outbake the refusenik shops. It would be a combination Ace of Cakes and Zoolander.

  151. chuckling5:03 PM

    The shaming angle is new and interesting. I'm genuinely curious why you think anything I wrote in the original comment is shaming anybody. It's an observation, or at least contention, that the professionals are not using those powerful arguments and that they should. What's shaming in that observation? And beyond being an observation, it implies constructive criticism, or maybe even just a mild suggestion from someone with the same goals. I see no shaming in that either.

    Now that I think about it, I notice the term "shaming" has become popular. Is it always used as a synonym for "suggesting" or "critiquing?" Makes me curious about the age and education of the people using the term. One reads so many scary stories about kids being taught in self-esteem uber alles environments. Is there a connection? Do some people taught that way consider any kind of questioning, no matter how polite, of their position to be shaming?

    Is that Egyptian cotton, btw?

  152. Howlin Wolfe5:18 PM

    You'll somebody else's shoe if you eat BBBB's gay wedding cake.

  153. Mooser5:19 PM

    Look, an individual wants to open up a business on a public street, and avail himself of the infrastructure, police and legal protection of the state, he has to play by the rules. And the rule is no discrimination.

  154. More horrible government regulation choking the life out of our entrepreneurs. Or maybe I should say buggering them.

  155. Mooser5:35 PM

    "Even if that were true, why does that drive you to such anger that you
    must hurl insults at fictional characters on the internet?"

    Of course, you could try not being a fictional character, and just being yourself, but you know what you are trying to accomplish, not me.
    If your commenting is nothing but a cynical working out of a "fictional character" you have invented for yourself, you can't complain if people get irritated with the technique.. Especially when the fictional character isn't pleasant.

  156. Mooser5:37 PM

    "but I have made it something of a policy to reply in kind, though hopefully with significantly more subtlety."

    Oy Gevalt a "policy" he's got, already. We're all prawns in this shrimp's game.

  157. Mooser5:41 PM

    "Please. Stop taking me seriously."

    Okay, now that you've admitted you are a timewaster, I guess we can move on.

  158. chuckling5:42 PM

    So just don't play. Don't launch personal attacks. Encourage your buddies to stop rather than continuing to encourage them in their ugliness. Then you only have to fight to ignore my fairly rare comments instead of reading these endless threads where I answer personal insults with snark. How hard can that be? Just stop. It's that simple.

  159. Mooser5:43 PM

    "The alternative of acting like a normal, decent person rather than an
    angry internet commenter is a much more attractive option that would
    benefit everybody here"

    And how does that work with your "policy" of giving as good as you get? Referred to upthread.

  160. chuckling5:44 PM

    Yes, please move on. Stop wasting your time on me. Please. Thanks.

  161. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:56 PM

    Indeed. Better can tell him to hush. (Only works up to 15 comments deep in a subthread, for some reason)

  162. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:59 PM

    Clap. Clap. Clap.

    Jonah wishes he were as smart as Wheatley...

  163. Ellen Smith6:09 PM

    You can eat it, but you can't swallow.

  164. smut clyde6:09 PM

    It's a slippery see-saw.

  165. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:10 PM

    this bill isn't about fucking florists and cupcakes

    Jeeze Louise, nobody said the gays wanted to fuck the florist (I mean, I admit it's a possibility, but not one that was ever voiced), just order some damn flowers. As for the cupcakes, I dunno. Nice and warm from the oven, the...but I've said too much. Anyway, they *are* awfully small...

  166. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person6:11 PM

    They heard about the sequins.

  167. smut clyde6:18 PM

    we were only going to buy a parakeet

    Is that better or worse than an ordinary keet?

  168. philadelphialawyer6:22 PM

    Yeah, the notion that an otherwise asshole bigoted practice becomes OK because someone "sincerely" believes that that is what God wants is a strange one.
    Who says Holy Writ cannot be bigoted assholery?
    I don't care what their allegedly holy book says, I don't care how they interpret what it says, I don't care which verse they are quoting, or if there are other verses that say something else, I don't care if their view of it what they purport is their religion is defensible from a historical/traditional perspective or was made up out of whole cloth yesterday afternoon, nor do I care if they "sincerely" believe or are only pretending to, nor do I care about the degree of centrality that belief has in relation to their overall religious beliefs.
    I don't care what they believe, why they believe it, or even if they really believe it or not. Belief is their business. Anyone can believe any damn thing they want. (Me, personally, I believe there is no God, but, if there was one, he or she would probably be something like a giant Old English sheep dog! And my view of the ideal practices in the world flow from that! But there is no reason why others should have to accept that as the law!)
    Behavior, practice, is the law's concern. Not belief. Not why you believe you don't have to follow the law or shouldn't have to follow it.

  169. smut clyde6:23 PM

    Is it simply the matter of the little human figures on top of the cake

    I happen to have an image here showing the figurines for the Mickey Kaus wedding cake, but a sense of decency holds me back.

  170. mgmonklewis6:28 PM

    Wilde: "I wish I'd said that."
    Whistler: "You will, Oscar. You will."

  171. smut clyde6:32 PM

    Fire Bake with Me.

    Icing Station Zebra.

  172. randomworker6:44 PM

    Rich's house fag over there just posted a "it didn't go far enough" post.

  173. chuckling6:46 PM

    Aimai and a few other outspoken commenters find it objectionable that I am often critical of the political and communication strategies of professional liberals, as well as the term "professional liberal" itself. To me, these failures could hardly be more evident. All you have to do is look at the polls or electoral map or talk to a wide cross section of people outside the bubble. In the past, I've objected to people characterizing those outside of coastal urban areas as "morons from flyover country" and similar put downs and posited that that kind of snobby attitude is a major contributing factor to the right's ascendency throughout most of the country and those observations have not been warmly received.

    It's hardly a novel observation that some people just can't act civilly on the internet, but it's sad that this comment section is now so often overrun by that sort. I started commenting here back in 2003 or 2004 and have seen a lot of people come and go. Back then and for a long time thereafter, there were an amazing number of excellent, very quirky and independent writers who commented here and being critical of the liberal establishment and their ineffective ways was common. But times change, old people leave and new people arrive and since the 2008 election, there's been much more of an either for us or against us attitude. In essence, it's next to treasonous to criticize drone strikes or executing people without trial or omnipresent government surveillance or any other total abdication of traditional liberal values because the Republicans are so much worse. Essentially, they've signed a 21st century treaty of Neerlandia.

    But as you can see by the invective that these rather common criticisms and observations draw, some people have developed personal issues. As I occasionally note, it's like the JPF vs the FPJ skit in "Life of Brian" or the much deeper description of the phenomenon in Vargas Llosa's masterpiece "The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta."

    As for the anti-gay thing and the historical context, in which I included the declaration of independence and the mayflower, not just the civil rights act; certainly the professional liberals could do a better job communicating. I never said the civil rights act doesn't get mentioned, but I've seen no evidence that it and other, equally strong, arguments are anywhere near front and center. I think they should be.

  174. what if you're living near Sedona (picking at random here), and the only services within fifty miles are run by vegans or New Age practitioners, who deny you service?

    The thing is that vegans & New Agers aren't big on refusing service to people, as they prefer to be open to the world. It's generally conservatives who want to refuse service to people. So your point about the potential for blowback is logical, but I suspect that were such a law to be enacted, the conservatives would use it to refuse service to gays and vegans wouldn't change their actions much. In other words, I think everyone really knows what this law is meant to accomplish, despite Lowry's attempts to confuse the issue.

  175. TGuerrant7:11 PM

  176. Two keet are always better than one.

  177. Spaghetti Lee7:42 PM

    And what annoys me (and I'm probably more religious than most here, but these sort of people disgust me nonetheless) is that I've always interpreted the "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and God that which is God's" quote from the Bible as "Don't fret about civic or governmental obligation ruining your standing with God; it wouldn't be fair to count that against you," i.e. pretty much the opposite of the "sincere" opposition saying that their beliefs should supersede the government.

  178. XeckyGilchrist7:44 PM

    Great title, but the critics marzipanned it.

  179. Spaghetti Lee7:46 PM

    Out of context, I would have assumed that was an argument against. Showing how ridiculous and subjective the thing is, and how the "sincere" stipulation is a joke.

  180. XeckyGilchrist8:00 PM

    Right! I remember it saying that the thing young people associated most with the concept of "Christianity" was anti-homosexuality. Way to witness, there, folks.

  181. TGuerrant8:12 PM

    When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.

    Chief Justice Warren Burger delivering the opinion of the Court in United States v. Lee (1982). The case involved an Amish employer of other Amish. He sued the federal government after being assessed for unpaid social security taxes. He argued that imposing the tax violated his freedom of conscience because the Amish believe it is sinful not to provide for their own elderly and needy. Justice John Paul Stevens concurring:

    It is the overriding interest in keeping the government - whether it be the legislature or the courts - out of the business of evaluating the relative merits of differing religious claims. The risk that governmental approval of some and disapproval of others will be perceived as favoring one religion over another is an important risk the Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.

  182. I really should know better than to jump in the middle of an on-going dispute and expect to know what's going on.

    I remember the old White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs using the term "Professional Left" in a disparaging way, and I like to listen to a podcast of the same name, but your use of the phrase "professional liberal" doesn't seem to mean the same thing at all.

  183. chuckling9:31 PM

    Yea, I just wish it would go away, but your sane words were appreciated.

    And no, by professional liberal I generally mean someone whose job it is to promote liberal policies. Though I am often critical of them, the phrase itself is not a put-down at all. I root for them, but am not whatcha'd call a cheerleader type.

    If you stick around though, and have some time, you should consider going back and browsing around the archives pre-2008 (if they're still available). There really were some great writers participating on a regular basis. There still are some great writers about, but they generally don't put as much effort into it these days. Nor do I. But of course I was never in the upper echelon, but it was one of those situations in which an incredibly creative community made everyone better.

  184. There's got to be an "Oh, you bore us!" joke in here somewhere...

  185. JennOfArk9:49 PM

    Let me guess...they bleat.

  186. JennOfArk9:51 PM

    It's not nice to make fun of disabled birds.

  187. JennOfArk9:52 PM

    Someone's been watching too much Lifetime Movie Network.

  188. In On Wings of Song by the late great Thomas Disch, which I've probably brought up here before, there's a near-future dystopia in Disch's native Midwest that's sort of informally theocratic: the ruling business class is secular, but there's a small elite of hardcore fundamentalists with a disproportionate amount of power. The narrator explains that theoretically you could get the benefit of all the pro-fundie bias in the system by just pretending to be a hardcore believer, but that since that would be really exhausting and no fun, most people don't bother and are willing to be ruled by the assholes who can bring a deep conviction to being assholes.

  189. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person9:59 PM

    choking the life out of our entrepreneurs

    Gov't regulation isn't normally delivered orally, but this seems to be what they expect, so...

  190. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:17 PM

    They literally can't grasp that their good god fearing people, with
    their good intentions, can also be seen as guilty of hurting other

    And it's for this reason that your arguments, and GZ127's, good ones though they are, will get you absofuckinglutely nowhere. They have no grasp of the world outside their religion's bubble of isolation beyond the fact that they don't want it intruding into their world. Trying to tell them that their heart's desire is a bad thing will work about as well as telling a kid emptying the cookie jar and ice cream tub will result in a tummyache, and the oopsies will do no good untill after it happens. This is why I almost, almost wish the law had stood. I really think there are enough right-minded people in AZ that would be willing to make the JeezoNazis' lives so miserable (in a now-perfectly-legal manner) that they might, just might, get the idea that they'd fucked up. OK, probably not, but...maybe.

  191. JennOfArk10:17 PM

    That sounds a lot like non-fiction.

  192. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:33 PM

    Not sure the Laws of Capitalism apply to a magazine that never made any money, and never will. The Wingnut Welfare economy, I think, would baffle Adam Smith...

  193. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:38 PM

    Really, all they need to do is put that little fish in the window where people can see it. That turns me away in a big hurry. I assume that the proprietors of such places feel nothing but contempt for the likes of me, and a thumb on the scale would be the least I could expect from them. And if their tithers, 10% of my money might end up paying for some lying asshole preacher's new Lincoln. Fuck that.

  194. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:40 PM

    Just the bloody Jesus-on-a-stick flags would be bad enough.

  195. Bubba Zanetti11:22 PM

    I guess you've never had a neighbor with guinea fowl.

  196. I agree with this--I almost wish the law had stood (until it was struck down) and people had had to line up and show their damned colors to their neighbors and been responsible for acting out their hate. Not that it wouldn't have been awful for the people affected--but it would have quickly turned into a battle royal for the public square and I actually don't think the bigots would have won. There aren't enough of these goobers to stage a chik fil a day style of support for everyone of these loons.

  197. Magatha11:33 PM

    Some SyFy in there too. Cakenado. And TCM. How Green Was My Frosting.

  198. I've often wondered, if you can refuse to serve somebody because they are gay or black, why not simply charge them triple the price? Is there a reason why one is legal and the other not?

  199. AGoodQuestion12:04 AM

    My guess would be that it's a PR issue. It's harder to sell bigotry as a sincerely held and thus righteous value if it's accompanied by swindling, even if the real morality doesn't change much. That's just a guess, though.