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Monday, August 13, 2018

OTP 2018 August 13: ‘Don’t confuse sports with politics,’ Kosovo tells Bosnia

Kosovo’s team was scheduled to play against the Bosnia and Herzegovina side on Thursday, the first day of the tournament which runs until August 16.

However the Kosovo Basketball Federation (FBK) told local media that by late Wednesday it still had not received an answer from Bosnia’s nearest embassy in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, about the status of the team’s visa applications.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:31 AM | 1897 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1601. . Posted: August 19, 2018 at 08:54 AM (#5729584)
geesh, sometimes I think you guys deserve to be out of power - which considering the lunacy of the other side, is really saying something.


And that there is what we call a sublimely perfect summary of our current moment.
   1602. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:05 AM (#5729586)
Food very much can be art


Oh wow maaan.

A sprig of parsley is the fig leaf of discrimination.
   1603. baravelli Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5729588)
David N/1387
The easy way is to accept -- instead of sneering at -- the bakers' argument that they are not refusing to serve gay people, but are instead refusing to provide a specific product.
Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, but it sounds like it’s less about refusing to provide a specific product and more about refusing to provide a product for a particular use.

From Kennedy’s decision (emphasis added):
Phillips met Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins when they entered his shop in the summer of 2012. Craig and Mullins were planning to marry. At that time, Colorado did not recognize same-sex marriages, so the couple planned to wed legally in Massachusetts and afterwards to host a reception for their family and friends in Denver. To prepare for their celebration, Craig and Mullins visited the shop and told Phillips that they were interested in ordering a cake for “our wedding.” They did not mention the design of the cake they envisioned. Phillips informed the couple that he does not “create” wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. He explained, “I’ll make your birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same sex weddings.” The couple left the shop without further discussion.
How is this a matter of "refusing to provide a specific product" if details of the product being requested weren't even discussed?

If Jane Doe calls the baker and asks for a blue and pink cake with the message “Happy Birthday Jane” and provides no other information, is there a religious basis for refusing the order?

If Jane Doe calls the baker and asks for a blue and pink cake with the message “Happy Birthday Jane” and then explains that the cake is to celebrate her coming out as transgender, is there a religious basis for refusing the order?
   1604. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5729589)
Brian made the "Freedom from Thought" quip above, but of course there is truth in the old saw about freedom from religion. Without a First Amendment or something like it, atheists and other secularists would be vulnerable to blasphemy and apostasy laws and many another constraint on their conscience.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as so often, makes an interesting counterpart to the Bill of Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.


No mention of establishment, which is such a big deal in the US; but in practical terms, countries like England were able to leaders in religious freedom without ever resorting to disestablishment. But the UDHR in turn specifies some key freedoms that are only implicit in the First Amendment, such as freedom to change and to practice in both individual and communal ways. (The "alone" part is important because "Some keep the Sabbath staying at home," as Emily Dickinson said in a state - Massachusetts - which, at times in its colonial history, had imposed fines on those who did not go to church.)

Is there a way to protect freedom from religion without protecting religion? Maybe that needle could be threaded. I do think that if religious freedoms were suddenly unprotected, certain American states even right now, in 2018, would pass blasphemy laws. Hell, some people get incensed when you tell them "Happy Holidays," but right now they have to put up with it …
   1605. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5729590)
the baker has to bake cakes for them. he shouldn't have to decorate the top with slogans that amuse customers who are giddy over their power to trample on the baker's beliefs.
can you at least try to imagine a liberal baker being asked to create a cake topping that they might struggle with?
A reminder that you're going to be REQUIRED to imagine the slogans on wedding cakes, or how to determine the straight ones from the gay ones.

geesh, sometimes I think you guys deserve to be out of power
Sure.
   1606. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5729591)
nonresponsive

the streak continues

it's almost as if some want to discriminate against Christian bakers only

but that can't be right - and we will know that when we hear what Jewish, Muslim, and atheist bakers (among others) must put as slogans on top of cakes, even if they find it, well, distasteful

and if they don't like it, well - "Can't live with those laws? Find a new job."
   1607. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5729593)
Howie, I think what people are saying is that it's not about slogans. As Lassus points out, how many wedding cakes feature slogans? I think we all agree that no baker would have to take dictation for a wedding-cake slogan like "NOW FOR A THREE-WAY WITH RICK SANTORUM! PS THE GUY WHO FROSTED THIS CAKE IS A FLAMING CLOSET-CASE HOMOPHOBE."

And as baravelli points out, it's not about the slogan, because it's about the customer. "I just don’t make cakes for same sex weddings." Obviously the guy does make cakes for opposite-sex weddings. What's the difference between the two kinds of wedding? The sexual orientation of the customer, which is a protected class under some states' laws.
   1608. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5729594)
nonresponsive

Disagreement =/= nonresponsive, unless you've been talking to JE.

Talking about slogans on wedding cakes - or any cakes - is immaterial.
   1609. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5729595)
it's almost as if some want to discriminate against Christian bakers only


White Christian bakers. Let’s put the hysteria in a blender and hit frappe.
   1610. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5729599)
nonresponsive

Disagreement =/= nonresponsive, unless you've been talking to JE.

Talking about slogans on wedding cakes - or any cakes - is immaterial.


Howie's entire shtick consists of lecturing liberals about their incivility while occasionally flashing a fig leaf of condemnation of the Side of 4,229 Lies and Counting, just to prove that he's Fair and Balanced. He's the Uncrowned King of Passive Aggression, all the while posing as some sort of Miss Manners.
   1611. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:06 AM (#5729603)
from the Supreme Court ruling:

"One of the difficulties in this case is that the parties disagree as to the extent of the baker’s refusal to provide service. If a baker refused to design a special cake with words or images celebrating the marriage — for instance, a cake showing words with religious meaning — that might be different from a refusal to sell any cake at all. In defining whether a baker’s creation can be protected, these details might make a difference.
The same difficulties arise in determining whether a baker has a valid free exercise claim. A baker’s refusal to attend the wedding to ensure that the cake is cut the right way, or a refusal to put certain religious words or decorations on the cake, or even a refusal to sell a cake that has been baked for the public generally but includes certain religious words or symbols on it are just three examples of possibilities that seem all but endless."

"At the time, state law also afforded storekeepers some latitude to decline to create specific messages the storekeeper considered offensive. Indeed while enforcement proceedings against Phillips were ongoing, the Colorado Civil Rights Division itself endorsed this proposition in cases involving other bakers’ creation of cakes, on at least three occasions that a baker acted lawfully in declining to create cakes with decorations that demeaned gay persons or gay marriages."

so let's do this: the baker has to sell a wedding cake to anyone who wants one - but he doesn't have to add special decorations. we good?

and good to hear from Shticky Greene

   1612. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5729605)
Howie, I don't understand what point you are trying to make. Political views are not protected. Anyone can refuse to serve someone for being a liberal or conservative. Religion is protected and in some states LGBT status / orientation is protected. Are you just trying to parse out the distinction between refusing to serve a cake to a gay person and refusing to serve a cake that expresses a political POV?
   1613. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5729606)
"One of the difficulties in this case is that the parties disagree as to the extent of the baker’s refusal to provide service. If a baker refused to design a special cake with words or images celebrating the marriage — for instance, a cake showing words with religious meaning — that might be different from a refusal to sell any cake at all. In defining whether a baker’s creation can be protected, these details might make a difference.
The same difficulties arise in determining whether a baker has a valid free exercise claim. A baker’s refusal to attend the wedding to ensure that the cake is cut the right way, or a refusal to put certain religious words or decorations on the cake, or even a refusal to sell a cake that has been baked for the public generally but includes certain religious words or symbols on it are just three examples of possibilities that seem all but endless."

so let's do this: the baker has to sell a wedding cake to anyone who wants one - but he doesn't have to add special decorations. we good?


No, we aren't good, and the Supreme Court didn't rule for that principle. The Supreme Court punted because despite the conservative yammering about this issue it's a bad case and you can't find a principle that lets the cake baker discriminate here without eviscerating discrimination law. (Notice how the conservatives here keep ignoring this issue, other than DN, who is opposed to discrimination law much more broadly).

In order to punt on the case the Supreme Court just said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was too mean (it wasn't! Kennedy is just much more sensitive to perceived slights against Christians than against other groups).
   1614. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5729607)

Trump is indeed doing that. (At least, that's my read of it.) The problem is that Brennan would be a terrible plaintiff to challenge this with. Trump has wide -- though not unlimited -- power to strip a security clearance. But Trump couldn't, say, just strip the security clearances of all Democrats. That said, in this case Brennan (1) has lied to Congress (when he denied that CIA officials had accessed the files of staffers improperly) and (2) has indeed made some statements about Trump that seem more than unhinged. So as long as Trump can articulate a rational reason for stripping Brennan's clearance -- as Trump's lawyers have -- Trump will probably win in court.

Of course, Trump has also made some comments that go beyond his statement, and therefore this starts to look like the travel ban cases where courts were willing to look beyond what Trump's lawyers argued to what Trump himself said. But even there, the Court ultimately ruled in Trump's favor, tamping down on how far a court can look past the lawyer statements.

Trump's supporters have framed the legal issue wrong, though - at least as I understand it. It's of course true that nobody is entitled to a security clearance, and that Brennan was free to say what he wanted before the clearance was revoked and he's free to say what he wants after the clearance was revoked. But the constitutional issue as I understand it is that this could be seen as retaliation for Brennan saying things critical of Trump, and Trump's power to revoke security clearances is not unfettered such that he can strip clearances just _because_ the people are critical of him.

The people he's chosen, though, make terrible plaintiffs -- and not just Brennan. Clapper has perjured himself. McCabe seems guilty of making false statements as well. Comey leaked classified information. Hayden probably would make the best plaintiff of the lot to challenge this, as Hayden merely compared Trump to Hitler, but Trump could probably argue successfully that Hayden's comments are evidence that he's irrational and unhinged.

My bet is that Trump IS revoking clearances simply because people have been critical of him. But these people also don't have much of a leg to stand on, legally. If Trump goes case by case and his lawyers articulate rational reasons I expect he would win in court.


IIRC Presidents have broad powers to revoke security clearances, but to the extent it's done to intimidate witnesses (less so Brennan than others on the list) or to punish people for speech it may be illegal. In any event, it's certainly bad, which you are this close to admitting!
   1615. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5729608)
Follow the breadcrumbs people.
#Qanon
#Queueupjuan
   1616. Howie Menckel Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5729609)
the Supreme Court didn't rule for that principle.

but how would you rule?

see my third paragraph added from the SCOTUS decision. that's my point. a cake is a cake. but why does the baker have to add embellishments that might intrude on his religious beliefs?

it's telling that STILL no one wants to describe a situation where a non-Christian baker should be forced into creating some sort of decoration against their beliefs. doing so would strengthen the logic of the argument, even if I disagree with it. refusing to do so - not so much. why the resistance?
   1617. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5729612)
Trump on twitter this morning:

@realDonaldTrump
3h3 hours ago
No Collusion and No Obstruction, except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats. All of the resignations and corruption, yet heavily conflicted Bob Mueller refuses to even look in that direction. What about the Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Strzok lies to Congress, or Crooked’s Emails!

@realDonaldTrump
2h2 hours ago
Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!


He's really ramped up this stuff in the last couple of months - definitely not guilty!
   1618. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5729613)
but how would you rule?

see my third paragraph added from the SCOTUS decision. that's my point. a cake is a cake. but why does the baker have to add embellishments that might intrude on his religious beliefs?

it's telling that STILL no one wants to describe a situation where a non-Christian baker should be forced into creating some sort of decoration against their beliefs. doing so would strengthen the logic of the argument, even if I disagree with it. refusing to do so - not so much. why the resistance?


I would have ruled that you don't have a right to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding under Colorado law, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Similarly - and this is the point conservatives refuse to address because it would acknowledge their position would eviscerate discrimination law - I also would have ruled that you don't have a right to refuse to bake a cake for an interracial marriage under any state's law, since every state AFAIK and certainly the federal government bars such discrimination.

To answer your question, a non-Christian baker could not refuse to bake a cake for a Christian wedding or (in states and localities in which discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not allowed) refuse to bake a case for a heterosexual wedding. That's such an obvious point I think a lot of people, including me, were confused by your question.
   1619. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5729614)
Ah, in terms of decorations, which was not in front of the Supreme Court because it wasn't relevant to the cake at issue, a baker can apparently refuse to create a cake with a specific message disparaging gay marriage or heterosexual marriage.
   1620. . Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5729616)
As Lassus points out, how many wedding cakes feature slogans?


How many works of art feature slogans?

There's no requirement that something contain a slogan to be protected speech. Is this really that hard to understand, or are you and yours simply pretending it is?
   1621. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5729617)
There's a version of this argument in the Supreme Court opinion between the concurrence by Kagan and Breyer and the opinion by Judge Gorsuch (who has very quickly shown himself to be a bad writer and a conservative hack - congrats again on stealing that seat). This is in a discussion on pages 2-3 and a footnote on page 3 of the concurrence:

What makes the state agencies’ consideration yet more
disquieting is that a proper basis for distinguishing the
cases was available—in fact, was obvious. The Colorado
Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) makes it unlawful for a
place of public accommodation to deny “the full and equal
enjoyment” of goods and services to individuals based on
certain characteristics, including sexual orientation and
creed. Colo. Rev. Stat. §24–34–601(2)(a) (2017). The three
bakers in the Jack cases [where bakers refused to sell cakes
with offensive messages] did not violate that law. Jack
requested them to make a cake (one denigrating gay people
and same-sex marriage) that they would not have
made for any customer. In refusing that request, the
bakers did not single out Jack because of his religion, but
instead treated him in the same way they would have
treated anyone else—just as CADA requires. By contrast,
the same-sex couple in this case requested a wedding cake
that Phillips would have made for an opposite-sex couple.
In refusing that request, Phillips contravened CADA’s
demand that customers receive “the full and equal enjoyment”
of public accommodations irrespective of their
sexual orientation. Ibid. The different outcomes in the
Jack cases and the Phillips case could thus have been
justified by a plain reading and neutral application of
Colorado law—untainted by any bias against a religious
belief.*

*JUSTICE GORSUCH disagrees. In his view, the Jack cases and the
Phillips case must be treated the same because the bakers in all those
cases “would not sell the requested cakes to anyone.” Post, at 4. That
description perfectly fits the Jack cases—and explains why the bakers
there did not engage in unlawful discrimination. But it is a surprising
characterization of the Phillips case, given that Phillips routinely sells
wedding cakes to opposite-sex couples. JUSTICE GORSUCH can make the
claim only because he does not think a “wedding cake” is the relevant
product. As JUSTICE GORSUCH sees it, the product that Phillips refused
to sell here—and would refuse to sell to anyone—was a “cake celebrating
same-sex marriage.” Ibid.; see post, at 3, 6, 8–9. But that is wrong.
The cake requested was not a special “cake celebrating same-sex
marriage.” It was simply a wedding cake—one that (like other standard
wedding cakes) is suitable for use at same-sex and opposite-sex
weddings alike. See ante, at 4 (majority opinion) (recounting that
Phillips did not so much as discuss the cake’s design before he refused
to make it). And contrary to JUSTICE GORSUCH’S view, a wedding cake
does not become something different whenever a vendor like Phillips
invests its sale to particular customers with “religious significance.”
Post, at 11. As this Court has long held, and reaffirms today, a vendor
cannot escape a public accommodations law because his religion disapproves
selling a product to a group of customers, whether defined by
sexual orientation, race, sex, or other protected trait. See Newman v.
Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc., 390 U. S. 400, 402, n. 5 (1968) (per
curiam) (holding that a barbeque vendor must serve black customers
even if he perceives such service as vindicating racial equality, in
violation of his religious beliefs); ante, at 9. A vendor can choose the
products he sells, but not the customers he serves—no matter the
reason. Phillips sells wedding cakes. As to that product, he unlawfully
discriminates: He sells it to opposite-sex but not to same-sex couples.
And on that basis—which has nothing to do with Phillips’ religious
beliefs—Colorado could have distinguished Phillips from the bakers in
the Jack cases, who did not engage in any prohibited discrimination.
   1622. . Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5729619)
By contrast, the same-sex couple in this case requested a wedding cake that Phillips would have made for an opposite-sex couple.


This is completely false. Phillips would not have made a gay wedding cake even if it had been ordered by an opposite-sex couple.

As to that product, he unlawfully discriminates: He sells it to opposite-sex but not to same-sex couples.


This is also false. There is no "that product" or "it." No product exists to sell until Phillips creates it. Indeed, what Phillips is selling is a service that results in a product -- not simply a product.
   1623. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 19, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5729621)
No matter how many times you want to pretend otherwise, the case is not about whether cake bakers have to serve gay customers. The bakers did not assert a right to turn away people for being gay. If a gay person comes in and says, "I want a dozen of those brownies, two slices of that cheesecake over there, and six glazed donuts," then the baker will happily sell to them.


What if they said those products were for their wedding reception?
   1624. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5729622)
No product exists to sell until Phillips creates it. Indeed, what Phillips is selling is a service that results in a product


You've become quite the philosopher, Bear. By that reasoning, my latte this morning didn't exist until the barista created it. Admittedly, I could have done without her writing YOU ARE GOING TO HELL IF YOU DON'T ATTEND MASS TODAY in the foam on top.
   1625. . Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5729623)
You've become quite the philosopher, Bear. By that reasoning, my latte this morning didn't exist until the barista created it.


Yeah, that's the "omelet hypothetical," which we've been through at length and which was disposed of rather easily. Ask yourself what makes your latte not protected expressive content, and what makes the Mona Lisa or even better something like the chocolate sculpture discussed in that Smithsonian article I posted (*), protected expressive content ... and you will start to receive total consciousness.

(*)
Marinetti’s musings could not have predicted the role food would come to play in art nearly a century later. Contemporary artists have used food to make statements: political (especially feminist), economic, and social. They’ve opened restaurants as art projects, conducted performances in which food is prepared and served in galleries, and crafted elaborate sculptures from edible materials like chocolate and cheese.

   1626. Morty Causa Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5729624)
Would a baker who makes custom made cakes have to make one for a Satanist if he felt it violated his religious principles? A Wiccan? Or for the celebration of a polygamous marriage (forget that polygamy is illegal--let's say it isn't a civil marriage)? A marriage where one of the parties is a minor, although that marriage may be perfectly legal (say the minor has gotten the permission of its parents), and the baker objects on principle to minors marrying. I think the SCt envisions itself creating a shitstorm of California proportions.

Has the gay wedding cake case decision been linked? I see people here have quoted from it, so maybe the whole thing should be available. (If it's already been linked, please excuse.)

Supreme Court slip opinion on Gay Wedding Cake case.

From Kennedy's opinion, one gets the sense of a delicate maneuvering around a potential Scylla and Charybdis. Of walking on eggs. Even of a studied evasion. Kennedy and presumably the entire Court see the awful portent of having to decide some hairy matters in the future, beginning with that of resolving the conflict between two Constitutional (and philosophical) first precepts. It may not be out of the job description of the Court or justices (since they get to decide that), but they have qualms about being out of their element.

Moreover, implicated is the rights of the artist to create or not create willy-nilly (yes, even when he holds himself out as doing some job for pay), to do for some and not for others (in the case of, say, painters) as he sees fit. Yeah, I know some of you don't think makers of cakes are serious artists. But, many back then didn't take the idea of porn purveyors as serious artists either. However, they were deemed serious enough to have a deciding and far-effect on the First Amendment that has quite a history of entanglements.

EDIT: Note: the link is a pdf, if that matters.
   1627. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5729626)
@realDonaldTrump
2h2 hours ago
Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!


And who would know more about Joe McCarthy than someone who was schooled in political strategy by Roy Cohn?
   1628. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5729628)
I still say the best wedding cake compromise would be for bakers to stock figurines of men and women to put on top of the cake, and let customers mix and match as they please. That way the homophobic baker wouldn't have to be involved in the "creating" of the cake, and his twisted idea of his "conscience" would be clear.

The only catch is that couldn't do any extra "creating" for heterosexual couples. They'd just have to buy one man and one woman figurine and stick them on top of the cake themselves.
   1629. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5729630)
Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!


McCarthy was a Republican.
   1630. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5729634)
Go on SBB, you beat that one horse until it's screaming that no other horses exist.

Food for thought ... Why cuisine or couture can never equal great art

Clothes are to be worn and food is to be swallowed: they remain trapped in the physical world. True art, however, is of the mind.


The idea that food is an art, that cooking can be high culture, is nothing new. It goes back at least to Brillat-Savarin, a French aesthete who philosophised the pleasures of cuisine in the early 19th century. In fact, French culture has seen food as artful for a long time, and since the French also invented modern art, perhaps the imagination that can cherish a well-cooked omelette is also the imagination that can value the ordinary world as a cultural artefact. On the other hand, Vincent van Gogh joked that the folk of Provence were stupefied by their endless bowls of bouillabaisse, conveying the point of view that food is nothing more than carnal. It cannot feed the mind. It can soothe, but it does not inspire.

The same goes for clothes. Can fashion make you think? It can definitely make you think about fashion. But McQueen took on dark themes, or so argues a passionate piece about his posthumous exhibition in the Telegraph. The designer was a brooding romantic who used fashion to express his anxieties and release his demons. If that is the case, can his clothes be considered profound? Do they really go deeper than the surface?

I like food and fashion, but I do not believe they ever come close to doing what great art does. Food is to be swallowed, clothes are to be worn. But although I think about art every day, how many great works of art have I touched? I have handled Leonardo da Vinci drawings, but the physical contact, though moving, was not the point.

Art is of the mind; it is ethereal. Everything it gives us it gives to our brains. Fashion and food fail to be serious art because they are trapped in the physical world. Compare a still-life painting of food – one of those rich, laden Dutch images of lobsters and lemons – with a real plate of food. The painting is very obviously not food – it does not give what food gives. But it does nourish something deeper instead. It reaches the parts of us that chefs and couturiers cannot reach.
   1631. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5729641)
In order to punt on the case the Supreme Court just said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was too mean (it wasn't! Kennedy is just much more sensitive to perceived slights against Christians than against other groups).

That's really not the whole story. The Court didn't decide the merits of the baker's claim, but had they thought there was no way he could have prevailed on the merits - as some here do - they could have held the any defects in the state's administrative process didn't matter since the baker didn't have a valid claim. Quite clearly they didn't do that, and suggested that an unbiased adjudication might uphold the baker's claim. And no matter how many strawman are propped up here, that wouldn't eviscerate the civil rights laws.
   1632. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5729643)
What if they said those products were for their wedding reception?

I can understand some people not being up to reading the decision, or perhaps even missing any thorough news coverage of the case, but not reading this thread at all, yet continuing to comment on the case? As has repeatedly been noted, the baker was willing to sell any off-the-shelf baked goods, including cakes, to gay customers in general, and to the specific same-sex couple that complained. The only thing he wouldn't do is personally participate in a wedding that violated his religious beliefs by producing a custom-made product specifically for that type of event.
   1633. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5729644)

No matter how many times you want to pretend otherwise, the case is not about whether cake bakers have to serve gay customers. The bakers did not assert a right to turn away people for being gay. If a gay person comes in and says, "I want a dozen of those brownies, two slices of that cheesecake over there, and six glazed donuts," then the baker will happily sell to them.


Where does the transgender coming out cake fit into your grand theory?
In the same way. He's not refusing to sell bear claws to a transgender person; he's refusing to sell a cake celebrating gender transition to a (presumably) transgender person.
   1634. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5729646)
I can understand some people not being up to reading the decision, or perhaps even missing any thorough news coverage of the case, but not reading this thread at all, yet continuing to comment on the case?


Then help me out here. What is it about selling a cake to celebrate a same sex wedding that makes it violate his religious beliefs that is apparently not present in brownies, cheesecake (which I believe is a type of cake), and doughnuts?

In the same way. He's not refusing to sell bear claws to a transgender person; he's refusing to sell a cake celebrating gender transition to a (presumably) transgender person.


What about selling bear claws to celebrate a gender transition?
   1635. Lassus Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5729647)
I wonder how often Judaism conversion cakes have been denied?
   1636. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5729648)
(4) Your comment is in no way responsive to anything I said, anyway. I wasn't talking about whether Richard Spencer could file a lawsuit. I was talking about it from the point of view of the baker: that the baker would feel that making a cake for such an event would be wrong.

And they would be free to not bake the cake for Richard Spencer.
Even if that were true, and it is not correct as a categorical statement, it is not responsive. Let me boil this down:

Me: How would the baker feel about being asked to bake a cake for a Nazi celebration?
You: The law doesn't require him to bake Nazi cakes.
Me: Yes, but that's not what I asked. I asked how the baker would feel about being asked to bake a cake for a Nazi celebration.
You: The law doesn't require him to bake Nazi cakes.

Does that make clear how you're not answering the question?

When political ideology gets added to that mix, then we can discuss.
Well, we can discuss it now. What you're doing is called "dodging the hypo," which is what losing litigants do. Judges ask "What if this were the law instead? or "What if this happened instead?" and the bad litigant says, "But that's not the law now, so I don't want to answer that."
   1637. dlf Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5729650)
I think I've said this here before, but being repetitive has never stopped me before.

My daughter is in a two year long lesbian relationship. At some point she may marry. When she does, I would hate to give my money to someone who feels that the love she shares with another woman is a sin and is baking only because s/he was being forced to do so rather than at least a neutral view of my daughter's choices.

I understand the legal issues are somewhat different and won't opine on them, but the boots on the ground reality is I don't want to enrich in the slightest someone whose beliefs are counter to the participants on this incredibly personal subject.
   1638. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5729651)
Fear of MAGA goons. The judge has already been threatened.
Um, you do know that practically every commentator has said that Judge Ellis has been harsh (or too harsh) on the government's lawyers?

So no, it's a pretty good bet the threats come from scumbag antifa types.
   1639. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5729652)
the baker has to bake cakes for them. he shouldn't have to decorate the top with slogans that amuse customers who are giddy over their power to trample on the baker's beliefs.


All arguments along these lines are strawmen. As Count points out, he refused to make a cake for a gay wedding. Period. The Colorado commission had already ruled offensive slogans and such could be good reason not to make a cake.


Judge Gorsuch (who has very quickly shown himself to be a bad writer and a conservative hack


Oh yeah. Just like Kavenaugh will be. The court is a joke. I have to give Judge Ginsburg mad props for spending every ounce of her remaining life opposing the kangaroos.

the Supreme Court just said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was too mean (it wasn't! Kennedy is just much more sensitive to perceived slights against Christians than against other groups).


Precisely. They are protecting Christianity in a way they would protect no other religion. Imagine a President issuing a Christian ban and how fast they'd make your head spin overturning it.
   1640. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5729653)
I'll be glad to state that in future cases that are split along ideological lines, the Republican and Democratic Justices will themselves split along their previous ideological lines in the great majority of cases--

Sigh. They will do it in 100% of cases, not the great majority. That's because This. Is. A. Tautology.
Of course it's not. See Kennedy, Anthony, and in a handful of cases, Roberts, John.
Then definitionally those cases weren't "cases that are split along ideological lines," were they?
   1641. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5729654)
I don't like the government forcing someone to do that either. Fortunately, nobody is advocating the government do any such thing. The baker has a very simple path, if he does not want to bake cakes for gay people and transgender people. Find a new job.
But the customer has a much simpler and far less onerous path: find another baker.

Nobody has the right to trample on the rights of other people. And nobody should respect or defend such a right. If you religious beliefs are so strong and sincere, then find a career where you don't have to infringe on other people's rights.
Nobody has a right to have anyone else serve them. It violates no rights of any sort to turn away a customer for any reason. (It may violate the law, but the law, of course, is not the source of rights.)
   1642. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5729655)
To give meaning to both of those provisions, the first amendment's protection of the free exercise of religion must encompass something more than just the freedom of speech.


Yes, I understand perfectly. What I don't understand - and am not trying to score points here - is how specifically to draw the line.


Why "surely"? It's the freedom to not eat ham and the freedom to wear a head covering and the freedom to not serve in the army and the freedom to sacrifice chickens and the freedom to not swear oaths and the freedom to not endorse behavior one regards as sinful and a million more things.


OK, OK at least we are getting somewhere. Probably the problem is that I think people should have the freedom to do all these these *irregardless* of it being part of a religious ritual. I also liked how you slipped in the "endorse" bit.

But we don't have the freedom to do evil things. You can't make a local ordinance that prevent sacrifice of chickens in a religious ritual, but you can prevent the practice of child sacrifice. But note that the ENDORSE example (and to some extent, the serve in the army example) are explicitly interactions with other members of the community.


I honestly do not understand the difference between a religion and a sincerely held moral philosophy.
Okay, well that’s a pretty big blind spot on your part in your understanding of human nature.


Weak sauce. What's the actual, practical difference? Do you have to have a book? Do you have to have a group of worshippers/followers? Do you have to have a 501-c-3 corporation? I assume Cults count? I have one friend who runs a Druid circle, and another who is a priestess of The Morrigan. Do you just have to establish that your behavior is consistent? What if you just converted? What if my religion is that have a different religion for every day of the week because I want to cover all my afterlife bases?

And please don't cite case law. Obviously the government has to make the occasional arbitrary judgement.

What about a theist or deist who is opposed to ORGANIZED religion? Can my religion state that I am against religions and that I don't want to "ENDORSE" them.

   1643. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5729656)
I understand the legal issues are somewhat different and won't opine on them, but the boots on the ground reality is I don't want to enrich in the slightest someone whose beliefs are counter to the participants on this incredibly personal subject.


I agree, but the danger here is the evisceration of state regulatory power. What happens when you can't redress grievance to the state? Vigilante justice. We already see it happening via social media... which is hazard to censorship.

Also, you are leaving this guy in place to discriminate against others of your class.
   1644. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5729657)
Nobody has a right to have anyone else serve them. It violates no rights of any sort to turn away a customer for any reason


Yes, David, we know you're on the side of Jesse Helms here.
   1645. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5729658)
What about selling bear claws to celebrate a gender transition?


Or if they prefer, twink claws.
   1646. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5729659)
Then help me out here. What is it about selling a cake to celebrate a same sex wedding that makes it violate his religious beliefs that is apparently not present in brownies, cheesecake (which I believe is a type of cake), and doughnuts?

This too has been covered numerous times. The baker feels that creating a custom-made cake specifically for a same-sex wedding is an artistic and expressive statement that is different from a customer buying off-the-shelf baked goods and putting them to whatever use the customer wishes. Some here apparently don't see a difference, or wish to sneer at the baker's distinction, but he's entitled to his views. A minister can't be required to participate in a type of wedding that violates his or her religious beliefs, and I don't believe it has ever been held that laymen enjoy less religious freedom than clergy.
   1647. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5729660)
What's the actual, practical difference?


Social practice. A sincerely held moral philosophy is only in your noggin. Your examples of actual groups hold to the extent they openly practice in a social setting. Illuminati of various kinds don't count.
   1648. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5729661)
Well, well, well...

It appears that someone finally got through to Brennan and the former CIA director is now desperately attempting to walk back his "treason" comments.

This pretty much sums up Brennan right now.

LOL.
   1649. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5729663)
he shouldn't have to decorate the top with slogans that amuse customers who are giddy over their power to trample on the baker's beliefs.


This is a fair point. When I said before this case was complicated - I mean that it should probably not be adjudicated in the general sense (although of course, the parties involved are forcing that).

I can imagine a case where - as you said above - some gay rights activist is just trying to force an issue on an honest, polite baker with some strange ideas about endorsing sin. Maybe this is that case, I guess it's not important enough for me to research - the courts will do their job and they will probably screw it up.

But it's also likely that in these cases that the baker is a homophobic camera hungry bigot who was a fantastic jerk to a theoretically happy couple, and wants to hide behind his alleged first amendment rights and strike a blow against the GAY AGENDA.

We all know there are both kinds of people in the world. But without further, detailed PERSONAL information (I will absolutely not trust a written news report on this from either side, I think I would have to look into a couple people's souls here), I am going to side for the people who have been historically discriminated for centuries.


if the customer wants "GOD IS GOOD," does the liberal atheist baker have to drizzle it on top? does the Jewish baker have to drizzle "ALLAHU AKBAR" on top of the Muslim customer's cake?


100% absolutely (assuming he does custom cakes). You want to change to "JEWS MURDERED BABY JESUS" and you might have a case.
   1650. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5729664)
I'll be glad to state that in future cases that are split along ideological lines, the Republican and Democratic Justices will themselves split along their previous ideological lines in the great majority of cases--

Sigh. They will do it in 100% of cases, not the great majority. That's because This. Is. A. Tautology.

Of course it's not. See Kennedy, Anthony, and in a handful of cases, Roberts, John.

Then definitionally those cases weren't "cases that are split along ideological lines," were they?


Right, David, I suppose that wasn't the case for the decision that upheld the ACA.** You really are the Mother of All Pedants.

** Want to run a check on how the parties divided on that in Congress? How many Democrats wanted the Court to strike down the law? How many Republicans wanted it to be upheld?
   1651. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5729666)
Juan got Pat Robertson’s holy relic out of his mouth long enough to remind us he gets his news from Red State.
   1652. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5729668)
I actually part ways with OTP's so-called left on religion, which they largely seem not to understand at all. I'll pick on Ben again since he would likely admit his opinions are not particularly well-informed.


SO ####### EXPLAIN IT. I may be ignorant but I am pretty damn quick on the uptake. I got into a FB argument with some liberal taunter who claimed that liberals don't understand economics and "everytime taxes are lowered the economy improved". I asked him to teach him economics (because I agree - I don't really understand it, not in the way most people use it) and all he would say was "look at reality".

Look - it's ok to feel superior in your knowledge and even call ignoramuses out on it -- BUT if someone makes a good faith attempt to understand WTF you are talking about you kind of owe it to them to make a cogent outline of your thesis or STFU.
   1653. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5729670)
I can understand some people not being up to reading the decision, or perhaps even missing any thorough news coverage of the case, but not reading this thread at all, yet continuing to comment on the case? As has repeatedly been noted, the baker was willing to sell any off-the-shelf baked goods, including cakes, to gay customers in general, and to the specific same-sex couple that complained.


I agree they should read the decision, despite its shortcomings, because they are ceding the higher ground to GOP political hackery.

The only thing he wouldn't do is personally participate in a wedding that violated his religious beliefs by producing a custom-made product specifically for that type of event.


"Personally participate" is absolute horseshit hackery. Phillips would not sell them a wedding cake. Full stop. End of story.

You and the GOP are aggrieved people are paying attention to your agenda to Make Discrimination Great Again.

Congratulations! As much as I oppose the entire Corporate Agenda that sways the Democratic Party even when not absolutely controlling it, you've made me a defacto Pelosi Democrat when it comes to the GOP.
   1654. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5729672)
Well, well, well...

It appears that someone finally got through to Brennan and the former CIA director is now desperately attempting to walk back his "treason" comments.

LOL.


Yeah, how desperate can you get? And what a walkback! Here's the damning segment of the Maddow interview that the unhinged** Red State writer features as a Big Gotcha:
BRENNAN: …for the president of the United States to continue to prevaricate on this issue, I think, does a great injustice and disservice to the men and womn of the intelligence, law enforcement and does a great disservice to the citizens of the United States. And that’s why I said “it’s nothing short of treasonous.” I didn’t mean that he’d committed treason, but it was a term I used, “nothing short of treasonous.”

MADDOW: You didn’t mean that he’d committed treason, though?

BRENNAN: I said “nothing short of treasonous,” that’s the term that I used, yeah.

MADDOW: That’s it? If we diagram the sentence, “nothing short of treasonous” means its treason.


** Quotes from that Red State writer:
This is some pretty extreme stuff that calls into question Brennan’s mental stability.

Now that he’s lost his clearance, Brennan seems to be on an apology tour walking back the bullsh** he’s slung about for months in an effort to show that he’s actually sane and rational. This was his first stop, it is hilarious. The scene is Rachel Maddow’s show from yesterday: [see above]


Yes, I can see why Red State is one of JE's go-to places: In the world of Red State, Trump's performance in Helsinki was perfectly normal, but John Brennan's reaction to it "calls into question Brennan’s mental stability". This is about par for the course in the swamps where JE has taken up residence.
   1655. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5729673)
Dossier Author Worried Comey Firing Would Expose Operation, New Messages Reveal:
According to notes handwritten by senior Justice Department (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr on May 10, 2017, Christopher Steele, the dossier’s author, was “very concerned about Comey’s firing, afraid they will be exposed.” The content of the notes was first published by investigative journalist Sara Carter.

Though it is unclear what covert operation Steele is referring to, less than two weeks prior to the message, on March 28, 2017, the FBI filed a report on a meeting with Daniel Jones, who heads Penn Quarter Group, a “research and investigative advisory” firm. The report stated that Jones had retained the services of Steele as part of a project to gather dirt on President Donald Trump. The project, run by Penn Quarter Group, was funded by 7-10 wealthy donors “who provided approximately $50 million.”

Whether Steele was referring to the private dirt-digging operation or something else, Steele’s message raises questions about Comey’s role in clandestine activities against the president, the exposure of which Steele was “very concerned” about.

Steele was growing nervous about the covert operation being exposed even before Comey was fired. Two days prior to Comey’s March 20 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Steele wrote to Ohr that he and his associates were “apprehensive” about the upcoming hearing and hoped “important firewalls will hold.”

“Hi! Just wondering if you had any news? Obviously, we’re a bit apprehensive given scheduled appearance at Congress on Monday. Hoping that important firewalls will hold. Many thanks,” Steele texted to Ohr on March 18, 2017.

“Sorry, no new news. I believe my earlier information is still accurate. I will let you know immediately if there is any change,” Ohr replied the same day. ...

At the time of those communications between Steele and Ohr, Steele had already been officially terminated by the FBI and was prohibited from gathering intelligence on the bureau’s behalf. The FBI had terminated Steele on Nov. 1, 2016, for leaking to the media in violation of the bureau’s rules for confidential human sources. Ohr became Steele’s back channel to the FBI after the termination.

Ohr continued to aid Steele as late as November 2017 despite having no official role in the Russia investigation. ...

Ohr was demoted twice for concealing that his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS in 2016 on the same dirt-digging operation against the Trump campaign as Steele. Ohr would go on to hand all of his wife’s research to the FBI, according to a House Intelligence Committee report.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...
   1656. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5729675)
SO ####### EXPLAIN IT.


I did in at least two posts, but they were short explanations because of your basic misunderstanding and you may have missed them.

Yes, I agree you are smart, and will admit that I have read your opinions too closely a few times. I pick on you because you are quick on the uptake.... Again, religions are social practice and not individual belief. I am against the (liberal) tendency to turn every queation into one of individual belief and choice. Ironically, the Nieporent position, and the underlying reason the Borg is winning.

Thank you.
   1657. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5729676)
Yes, I can see why Red State is one of JE's go-to places: In the world of Red State, Trump's performance in Helsinki was perfectly normal, but John Brennan's reaction to it "calls into question Brennan’s mental stability". This is about par for the course in the swamps where JE has taken up residence.
Right, so now Brennan claims Trump hasn't committed treason?

Here's a reminder: Trump got sworn in as POTUS in January 2017. Brennan left his government job around the same time. The latter's not entitled to retain his security clearance, particularly after he's been giving aid and comfort to Putin with his baseless "treason" comments.

I suppose Brennan still can't get over Gus Hall not winning any electoral votes in '76.
   1658. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5729677)
Ohr was demoted twice for concealing that his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS in 2016 on the same dirt-digging operation against the Trump campaign as Steele. Ohr would go on to hand all of his wife’s research to the FBI, according to a House Intelligence Committee report.


The real problem is the lack of firewall.
   1659. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5729680)
MADDOW: That’s it? If we diagram the sentence, “nothing short of treasonous” means its treason.

That's certainly the point. Brennan knows he said something stupid that undermines his credibility, so he now wants to belatedly pretend he said something different. Not likely to work, except for those already shilling for him.
   1660. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5729683)
but the big thing in most every longstanding religion is PRACTICE. Doesn't matter what you think, but what you do.


OK so I practice* my moral philosophy that people who make dumb claims on the internet should be challenged and educated. How is that different? I mean - a better, broader 1st Amendment would be - "People have the freedom to do whatever the heck they want as long as it doesn't actually interfere with other people". Then you could carve out specific exceptions on what interactions were sufficiently benign that they would be allows. Wearing a MAGA cap might be "offensive" but it would certainly be permitted. Refusing to seat black people at a restaurant would be forbidden.

* I must confess I often let things go.
   1661. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5729684)
So SBB, Jason and Clapper are all still living in ####### Moron Shiteater Land, And Howie is creeping ever towards that end. Same shot, different day. Call me when the cleansing starts.
   1662. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5729685)
That's certainly the point. Brennan knows he said something stupid that undermines his credibility, so he now wants to belatedly pretend he said something different.

But according to Maddow, and unrefuted by anyone, Brennan's "walkback" was identical to what he said in the first place.

Jesus, talk about the lamest "gotcha" of the year.

And the only people who think Brennan's statement "undermines his credibility" are those who think that Donald Trump has any to begin with.

Of course that would be JE and Clapper, whose own credibility is in turn certified by Red State and Trump himself. Nice work if you can get it, as long as the chumps keep thinking they can see the pea under the shell.
   1663. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5729686)
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down


Follow the breadcrumbs Juan! FOLLOW THE BREADCRUMBS!
   1664. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5729687)
From the end of last month...

Judge orders Fusion GPS deposition in libel suit against BuzzFeed:
Fusion GPS, the impresario of the infamous Christopher Steele dossier, must undergo a deposition in a libel suit brought by a Russian entrepreneur, a federal judge ruled this week.

Judge Ursula Ungaro also ordered Fusion, a Washington investigative firm, to turn over written communications with Mr. Steele, who accused the Trump campaign of an “extensive conspiracy” yet to be proven publicly.

Aleksej Gubarev is suing the news site BuzzFeed in U.S. District Court in Miami for publishing the dossier’s final December 2016 memo. Mr. Steele accused him of hacking into Democratic Party computers at the behest of Moscow intelligence.

The Cyprus-based developer of Webzilla computer servers has denied the charge ever since the January 2017 web posting and says it damaged his global businesses.

Fusion, which paid Mr. Steele with money from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, fought in court to avoid being questioned by Mr. Gubarev’s attorneys. Fusion lawyers cited the First Amendment and invasion of privacy into the investigator’s business practices and confidential clients.

But Judge Ungaro rejected just about all of those arguments, meaning a Fusion representatives from its roster of former Wall Street Journal journalists will have to give testimony under oath. Fusion isn’t a defendant.

Mr. Gubarev’s lawyers will be allowed to ask about the hiring arrangement between Fusion and the Democrats and subsequently how Fusion contracted with Mr. Steele, a former British spy. Fusion will also be questioned on any communications with BuzzFeed and editor in chief Ben Smith.

“The circumstances of the preparation of the December memo are highly relevant to the truth or falsity of the statements that are at the heart of this case,” Judge Ungaro’s ruling said.

Gubarev can also ask Fusion about all the steps it and Mr. Steele took to obtain dossier information, but can not ask the identify of his Kremlin sources.

Fusion must also turn over its electronic communication with Mr. Steele, with sources redacted.
IIRC, Fusion will have to comply with the judge's order by month's end.
   1665. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5729689)
so let's do this: the baker has to sell a wedding cake to anyone who wants one - but he doesn't have to add special decorations. we good?


I think this is acceptable.
   1666. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5729691)
so let's do this: the baker has to sell a wedding cake to anyone who wants one - but he doesn't have to add special decorations. we good?


I think this is acceptable.


What? This doesn't make any sense. Are two grooms on top of the cake a special decoration?
   1667. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5729692)
That's certainly the point. Brennan knows he said something stupid that undermines his credibility, so he now wants to belatedly pretend he said something different.

But according to Maddow, and unrefuted by anyone, Brennan's "walkback" was identical to what he said in the first place.

Exactly, so why do you think Brennan is desperately spinning that he said or meant something different? The obvious reason is that he knows his statement is indefensible.
   1668. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5729693)
Right, so now Brennan claims Trump hasn't committed treason?

Here's a reminder: Trump got sworn in as POTUS in January 2017. Brennan left his government job around the same time. The latter's not entitled to retain his security clearance, particularly after he's been giving aid and comfort to Putin with his baseless "treason" comments.

I suppose Brennan still can't get over Gus Hall not winning any electoral votes in '76.


Classic - in total support of vindictive stripping of security clearances. I'm sure you'll support them for all the other players in your conspiracy theories.
   1669. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5729694)
creating a custom-made cake specifically for a same-sex wedding is an artistic and expressive statement that is different from a customer buying off-the-shelf baked goods and putting them to whatever use the customer wishes. Some here apparently don't see a difference


I think we don't see the difference because it's a difference extremely finely drawn for a specific case. The baker has presumably put his creative heart and soul into his bear claws. He has to know there's a risk that those artworks will end up on a gay wedding buffet. The distinction between the bear claws and the custom cupcakes is simply when he finds out.

I mean, I'd see a difference between selling shoes off the rack to people of all races but only making custom shoes for people of one race; but I'm not sure that's a difference that anti-discrimination laws are designed to encourage.
   1670. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5729695)
I understand the legal issues are somewhat different and won't opine on them, but the boots on the ground reality is I don't want to enrich in the slightest someone whose beliefs are counter to the participants on this incredibly personal subject.


Right this is how the world should work. But LBGT rights are in a transition (nyuk, nyuk) in the 21st century. In 20 years it won't be an issue. What (I think) is going on here is a reactionary rearguard action to attempt to preserve the right of people to discriminate - in at least a petty and vindictive way. Sincere or not - we all know that there are PLENTY of "Christian" bakers who sell cakes to sinners - it is an extremely fine parsing to say 'well it's not the person they are objecting to, it's the SPECIFIC ACT of marriage. It's a crock. What OTHER specific sinful acts do they refuse? Has anyone ever refused to make a "divorce" cake? What about a "I lost my virginity before marriage cake"?





   1671. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5729697)
OK so I practice* my moral philosophy that people who make dumb claims on the internet should be challenged and educated. How is that different?

* I must confess I often let things go


There is no I in TEAM.

I recognize the importqnce of individual conscience and its tension with broader society, but it's vital to recognize the power of the group, pros and cons, from every angle.

Srul's queation re different branches of Buddhism was aimed right here -- are you involved in saving yourself, or doing it for everybody?

You have to pull yourself from the fire first, but then everybody else you can, or why not just burn?
   1672. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5729698)
But the customer has a much simpler and far less onerous path: find another baker.


Now we are back to the density of gay marriage friendly bakers. You do agree that as the density approaches zero (and the gay marriage density remains significantly higher) then anti-discrimination law is warranted?
   1673. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5729699)
Classic - in total support of vindictive stripping of security clearances. I'm sure you'll support them for all the other players in your conspiracy theories.
Based on all of the #### that's been coming out of late, it seems like you're the one clinging to conspiracy theories.

FFS, even your buddy Wittes has conceded defeat on Papadopoulos.
   1674. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5729700)
Your examples of actual groups hold to the extent they openly practice in a social setting. Illuminati of various kinds don't count.


So you are going with the 501-3-c argument? Not like you. What's the threshold? And more importantly WHY should we make such a distinction.
   1675. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5729701)
so let's do this: the baker has to sell a wedding cake to anyone who wants one - but he doesn't have to add special decorations. we good?

I think this is acceptable.


No, it's not okay for him to discriminate against gays in his business practice. This is a clever attempt to not only avoid equal protection under the law, but win on principle.

"Hey, gay guys, the Entenmann Wedding Cake is over by the cash register. Hurry up and remove your icky selves from the premises, your upsetting my real customers."
   1676. . Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5729702)
The baker has presumably put his creative heart and soul into his bear claws. He has to know there's a risk that those artworks will end up on a gay wedding buffet. The distinction between the bear claws and the custom cupcakes is simply when he finds out.


You've left out the variable that the cake, but not the bear claws, will be displayed for other people to admire, in a setting one of whose primary goals is aesthetic beauty. It is also purchased for its aesthetic merit, to be so displayed. The context of its creation and ultimate exhibition is critical. You're eliding this reality.

If the guy created the cake, put it in an transparent acrylic container, gave it a fancy artistic name with a sheen of proper politics, like "Oppression," and had it displayed in an urban art gallery, there is zero doubt that it would be protected expression. Is the entire context of its wedding creation and display more like that ... or more like your latte prepared with no aesthetic intent, displayed with no aesthetic intent or context, for immediate consumption?

The answer is obvious.
   1677. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:23 PM (#5729703)
What? This doesn't make any sense. Are two grooms on top of the cake a special decoration?


Shrug. it's a special order. It's not something you need the ACTUAL BAKER to do (like say make the frosty not taste like ass). It's a compromise. I mean, as in dlf's example I sure as hell wouldn't buy their cake.
   1678. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5729705)
CHUCK TODD: "Can't you speed up Mueller's report, and can't you have more credibility about getting Mueller's report if you get the president to sit down with him?"

RUDY GIULIANI: "Get the word credibility out of it. We have plenty of credibility. It is a week and a half later and they have not responded to our letter. Now, don't tell me that we're delaying this if they are spending a week and a half getting back to us."

TODD: "You believe this is on them? That you guys have not delayed the interviewing, delayed the negotiations?"

GIULIANI: "No! Yeah, yes. Each time by three or four days so we could write a letter in response, they have taken two to three weeks to get back to us. So, what I have to tell you is, look, I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury. And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he is going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, that stuff's silly because it's somebody's version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn't have a conversation about--"

TODD: "Truth is truth. I don't mean to--"

GIULIANI: "No, it isn't truth! Truth isn't truth! The President of the United States says, 'I didn't--'"

TODD: "Truth is the truth. Mr. Mayor, do you realize... I mean, ah, ah, ah. This is going to become a bad meme."

GIULIANI: "No! No, no! Don't, don't, don't do this, don't do this to me!"

TODD: "Don't do 'Truth isn't truth' to me."

"Fake news" and "alternative facts" have a new little friend to play with.
   1679. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5729706)
So you are going with the 501-3-c argument? Not like you. What's the threshold? And more importantly WHY should we make such a distinction.


I don't care for any legalese, what I'm getting at is religion is vital insofar that it's engaged in larger community. That's kind of the point of American pluralism, that Jews and Muslims and Buddhists can join the common project of American society as Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists. It's a similar point I'm making regarding whiteness -- Chrisrianity shouldn't be the invisible norm the government rules by, which is what happens when you make it all about individual belief.

Your little covens probably don't care because they have enough privilege carved out to do as they wilt.
   1680. Jay Z Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5729709)
But the customer has a much simpler and far less onerous path: find another baker.


Misdirection. You don't care if the customer can't purchase the service at all. You support Jim Crow in theory and practice.
   1681. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5729711)
"Fake news" and "alternative facts" have a new little friend to play with.
More Gonfalonism, this time cutting off the transcript prematurely.

Yes, "truth isn't truth" sounds hysterical but maybe include the rest of the exchange, in which you learn what Giuliani is (most clumsily) getting at and Todd agrees that it's he said/he said?
   1682. Count Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5729722)
JE is now linking to "The Epoch Times," which in turn was aggregating a story from saracarter.com. I'm not saying the actual statements are false - they were likely leaked by House morons who want to protect Trump - just that we have no idea what the context of the statements are, and there's a reason reputable journalists are steering clear of this stuff. In any event, the comments suggest that Ohr and Steele were concerned about sources being exposed, a concern that was justified given the behavior of Trump and House Republicans. Trump is now threatening to take away Ohr's security clearance, another vindictive act I'm sure JE will support because he is all in on throwing mud at anyone with the temerity to investigate the president.
   1683. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5729724)
Popularity of Texas BBQ Fuels Demand for Thousand-Gallon Smokers:
Once a week, Sunny Moberg sets a cutting torch onto the surface of steel containers that once held one thousand gallons of flammable fuel. These propane tanks, delivered to Moberg’s shop in Dripping Springs by the trailer load, are all salvaged. Some were decommissioned decades ago. It seems counterintuitive to introduce fire to such a container, but Moberg is used to it. “I’ve been cutting into tanks for twenty years,” he tells me. I ask him whether he worries about an explosion from unreleased propane, a gas that’s heavier than air, sitting in the tanks after all these years. “I don’t want to say I get too comfortable,” Moberg says, adding, “I say a little prayer before cutting into each one.”

What was once considered trash is now in high demand. The popularity of smokers made from propane tanks has risen right along with the Texas-style barbecue boom across the state and the world. Instead of discussing smoker size by length, width, or cubic inches, it’s gallons that have become the most recognizable unit. One-thousand-gallon smokers are the big ones inside many restaurant smokehouses. They also come in five-hundred and 250-hundred-gallon sizes, but the latter are often cut in half to serve as fireboxes for the big boys. All of them are getting harder to find.

Moberg, who owns Moberg Smokers, says he used to find them for free, but salvage yards have gotten wise to the popularity of propane tanks. The 16-foot-long tubes, with half spheres on either end, have become the badge proving a new barbecue joint’s wood-cooking bonafides. Beauty shots of one-thousand-gallon smokers in barbecue joints all over the world—Moberg has smokers headed to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada currently—have become almost as popular as photos of the barbecue itself. Moberg is now paying anywhere from $300 to $1,200 for a one-thousand-gallon propane tank. He even jokes, “There may be a day where I’ll have to buy from the manufacturer,” but quickly adds that the older ones are prized because the walls of the tanks are thicker, making for more efficient smokers. They’re a finite commodity.

As the grandson of Albert C. “Smokey” Denmark, the founder of Smokey Denmark’s Smoked Meats Co., Moberg says, “I have smoking in my genes.” The first smoker he ever built was for himself, made from a water heater, and he describes it as “a horrible smoker.” He built another from a propane tank in 1992 after a customer brought it to him. It was an improvement, but he didn’t think much about making a career out of it then. Moberg’s welding skills were focused on building trailers. It took a Texas pitmaster to first make these smokers a real commercial venture.
On a completely unrelated note: BDC, when's your birthday? :)
   1684. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5729728)
BDC, when's your birthday? :)


Kind of you to think of me, JE, but I'm gradually cutting meat out of my diet, and that smoker story may hurry the process along :)
   1685. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5729729)
they were likely leaked by House morons who want to protect Trump -
Still unable to acknowledge Grassley and Graham? Sad!
there's a reason reputable journalists are steering clear of this stuff.
You mean all of the ones who Fusion GPS has paid to run their "research" as fact?
In any event, the comments suggest that Ohr and Steele were concerned about sources being exposed,
Don't you mean *they* would be exposed? After all, what subsequently happened to Ohr? Are you challenging his demotions?
anyone with the temerity to investigate use whatever means necessary to bring down the president.
FTFY.
   1686. Chicago Joe Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5729730)
Holy #### we are still talking about the cake.
   1687. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5729736)
@1671 I realize this is futile with you but please state your points in plain english. Or at least provide a translation.
   1688. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:08 PM (#5729738)
Holy #### we are still talking about the cake.
I know, right??? It's been so long that Colorado has probably opened up a second bakery by now.
   1689. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5729739)
JE it's "win win" for actual* liberals. Watching intelligence agencies and the GOP rip each other apart is fascinating. And I am not going to bother to fact check you because I don't want to be disappointed.


* aka "modern"
   1690. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5729743)
what I'm getting at is religion is vital insofar that it's engaged in larger community.


Wow you are bad at this. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO I NEED TO QUALIFY? Can I just make it my family?


Your little covens probably don't care because they have enough privilege carved out to do as they wilt.


Put down the bong. You are literally arguing that that the LARGER the religion the MORE they need protection.
   1691. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5729744)
Holy #### we are still talking about the cake.


I would like to point out that I am trying to make a more interesting philosophical argument. Cake is just cake. Or if I was Rudy "CAKE ISN'T CAKE".

   1692. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5729745)
@1671 I realize this is futile with you but please state your points in plain english. Or at least provide a translation.


Individualism alone is killing the US by every social measure.
   1693. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5729747)
Wow you are bad at this.


Go #### yourself, and #### OTP with its petty personal bickering. You are a privileged nitwit and religious illiterate.

   1694. zenbitz Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5729750)
Ah, so as I suspected you were making a *almost* completely unrelated point. Because I know your point is not that "without religion we have no community". That would be an SBB level "point".



   1695. BDC Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5729753)
Well, here's something completely different: a map of US counties by proximity to Presidential birthplaces.

Looks like it doesn't include Queens, though. Easy enough to fix.

How many have you been to? I have visited most of the ones that are relatively isolated, in the middle of the country; not many in the East, oddly enough.

Quite a few of the birthplaces are reconstructions or simply markers of sites that are long-gone. It can depend on social class (nobody really knows where Andrew Jackson was born because his parents were so poor and so little noteworthy; John Tyler, by contrast, came from a blueblood family and his parents' house still stands). Accidents happen both to destroy and preserve some of the sites. I was at Harry Truman's birthplace a few weeks ago. It's about the most ordinary little house imaginable, in the middle of the most ordinary Missouri town imaginable. The Trumans did not live there long, and the house just happened to pass through a succession of other owners till it was acquired by the state and preserved. It's most interesting just for the randomness of it, the "any child can grow up to be President" quality.

With the last few Presidents being born in hospitals, I think we're on the path to losing most of the actual sites, going forward. Not many hospitals are going to scruple about tearing down an old wing because some rising politician was born there 30 years earlier.
   1696. Stormy JE Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5729755)
JE it's "win win" for actual* liberals.
Fair enough. To the rest of us, zenbitz vs. perros is "win win." :)
   1697. Chicago Joe Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5729759)
Individualism alone


Well, how else would it be?
   1698. Greg K Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5729760)
Individualism by time share?

Individualism by committee?
   1699. perros Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5729762)
All that bong #### is completely bankrupt. If my thoughts aren't pristine it's because I'm up every night working while you sleep.

OTP is all about personality and very rarely about substance. You chase away other voices, and I don't even mean mine. I admittedly like coming at things sideways and outside the narrow trough of partisan talking points. Still, I've had enough of getting pissed off by this ####.

Life is elsewhere.
   1700. Chicago Joe Posted: August 19, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5729763)
Not many hospitals are going to scruple about tearing down an old wing because some rising politician was born there 30 years earlier.


And they probably don’t even know which hut in Kenya.
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