Trump presidency

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elasto
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:05 am UTC

Yablo wrote:Refusing service on the grounds of honest religious objection should be allowed ... because it's not okay to force anyone to go against their religious beliefs.

It's not ok to force anyone to do anything - but it's the one refusing to give service on religious grounds who should bear the burden for their beliefs.

We'd tell a doctor who refuses to treat a gay person that they shouldn't have become a doctor then. We'd tell a teacher who refuses to school a black kid that they shouldn't have become a teacher then. We should tell a baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding that they shouldn't have opened a bakery then.

Yes it's much more minor because someone can always go to another bakery (or do without a bespoke cake altogether), but the principle still remains: You are entitled to your religious freedoms so long as it doesn't impinge upon others. If it does, it's beholden upon you to find a profession where you don't have to compromise your beliefs...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:15 am UTC

elasto wrote:It's not ok to force anyone to do anything - but it's the one refusing to give service on religious grounds who should bear the burden for their beliefs.

We'd tell a doctor who refuses to treat a gay person that they shouldn't have become a doctor then. We'd tell a teacher who refuses to school a black kid that they shouldn't have become a teacher then. We should tell a baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding that they shouldn't have opened a bakery then.

Yes it's much more minor because someone can always go to another bakery (or do without a bespoke cake altogether), but the principle still remains: You are entitled to your religious freedoms so long as it doesn't impinge upon others. If it does, it's beholden upon you to find a profession where you don't have to compromise your beliefs...
To be fair, they later qualified:
Yablo wrote:Agreed. The intended purpose of the cake is, quite frankly, none of the bakery's concern. The form they're being asked to create is.
The correct analogue here, then, wouldn't be someone refusing to treat or provide service to a person, but refusing to provide a service of a specific type.

IE, an ER doctor refusing to perform blood transfusions because they're a Jehovah Witness.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:32 am UTC

Wait... should the baker be allowed to fire an assistant who refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay couple? What about a cab company that has Muslim drivers refusing to take passengers with pets or alcohol?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:33 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The correct analogue here, then, wouldn't be someone refusing to treat or provide service to a person, but refusing to provide a service of a specific type.

IE, an ER doctor refusing to perform blood transfusions because they're a Jehovah Witness.

If I'm understanding you correctly, then yes, conditionally. In that case, the ER doctor would be within his rights to refuse to perform the procedure, but the hospital wouldn't. Every procedure the hospital can perform, it should make sure it will perform. If the ER doctor won't perform a particular procedure, he has a duty to inform the hospital and give justification so the hospital can have an ER doctor on duty who will perform the procedure. If the ER doctor won't perform a procedure, and refuses to inform the hospital so they can make adjustments, he should be held criminally liable for any complication that arises.

I know that's not completely acceptable, really, because it still allows for the first patient who needs a particular procedure to be put at risk, so I'm open to a better solution. And I do realize taking this position means I have to also take the position that the hypothetical Christian bakery is also responsible for making sure a baker is on duty at all times who will make a cake for any given purpose, but I'll still argue the difference in severity of the offenses makes the hospital scenario far more important.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:39 am UTC

Yablo wrote:If I'm understanding you correctly, then yes, conditionally. In that case, the ER doctor would be within his rights to refuse to perform the procedure, but the hospital wouldn't. Every procedure the hospital can perform, it should make sure it will perform. If the ER doctor won't perform a particular procedure, he has a duty to inform the hospital and give justification so the hospital can have an ER doctor on duty who will perform the procedure. If the ER doctor won't perform a procedure, and refuses to inform the hospital so they can make adjustments, he should be held criminally liable for any complication that arises.
Having the hospital bend over backwards to accommodate both the patients who need life-saving treatments and the ER doctor who refuses to provide them is dumb.

If you can't perform blood transfusions in an emergency room, you shouldn't be an ER doctor. Fire them and hire one who can.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:45 am UTC

I think in general we should not compel people to act against their beliefs in order to earn a living in their profession unless it is causing a substantial problem for society. A gay couple putting their own figures on top of a cake instead of having the baker do it is trivial. An ER doctor who won't give blood transfusions seems like an issue because there isn't necessarily time to get someone else to do it and it will kill people (Note: I have never run an ER maybe there is some way they can just take patients that for sure aren't going to need an emergency blood transfusion but it seems likely that such a thing would be difficult and unfairly burden everyone else).

There is no reason to ruin livelihoods over trivialities. Just remember that society changes and some day it may be you who is asked to do something you find wrong.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:52 am UTC

I see this as pretty clear cut. In the case of the baker, would they refuse a hand to save his or her life if that hand belonged to a gay member of society? If they can't say yes to that then I have little or no respect for them. It makes them appear to be two faced. This is Christian privilege.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:55 am UTC

idonno wrote:I think in general we should not compel people to act against their beliefs in order to earn a living in their profession unless it is causing a substantial problem for society. A gay couple putting their own figures on top of a cake instead of having the baker do it is trivial. An ER doctor who won't give blood transfusions seems like an issue because there isn't necessarily time to get someone else to do it and it will kill people (Note: I have never run an ER maybe there is some way they can just take patients that for sure aren't going to need an emergency blood transfusion but it seems likely that such a thing would be difficult and unfairly burden everyone else).

There is no reason to ruin livelihoods over trivialities. Just remember that society changes and some day it may be you who is asked to do something you find wrong.
I can't genuinely believe anyone really wants the government to come in and tell a baker they have to put 'two brides' or 'two grooms' on top of a cake even if they really don't want to. The baker is being petty, stupid, small-minded, and homophobic -- but do we really want to involve the police, here? We can address this via other means. We have options -- ones that don't involve government over-sight.

But doctors in an ER setting? Yes. If that's what it takes, I want the government to intervene. I want a police officer to walk into the ER, look that doctor in the eye, and tell them that if they don't do everything within their power as a medical provider to save this patient's life, they will be led out in handcuffs -- dragged down to the police station -- charged with murder -- and likely thrown in prison. I don't care what their justification is -- religious or otherwise. If they can't do their job, then they don't get to be there.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:53 am UTC

Or just, you know, have their medical license revoked because they didn't do what is required of a doctor? Not every recourse has to be through the government. Most professions have a society or association that is quasi-government and routinely disciplines and removes members that do terrible things, so it's kind of a moot point anyway...

...until now, when the Trump administration is specifically protecting those kinds of doctors, so it's no longer moot.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:36 am UTC

Can we please stop with the ad hominum attacks? They are not productive, they are counter productive, and they reduce us to the very thing we despise.
Yablo wrote:...but so far, (in my opinion) he's managed to do a lot of good and undo a lot of bad.
Well, I think that the "bad" he's undoing is Good, and the "good" that he's doing is Bad. But my problem with Trump isn't about policy. It's about something far more dangerous.

My issue is that Trump is destroying the very idea of truth. Politicians lie. They all do. But in doing so, they are actually affirming the idea of the importance of truth - they want you to believe that what they say is true, as justification for their actions.

Trump does not lie for that purpose.

Trump lies so often, and so transparently, that it can only be for the purpose of getting people to realize that it doesn't matter whether what he is saying as justification is true or not. He's going to do it anyway. And that is the beginning of dictatorship.

In addition, he is actively driving a wedge in America any way he can, stirring up bigotry, discord, violence, and anger, both locally and internationally.

His actual policies are of far less importance than that bit above.

The world is complicated, and can't be dominated by a strongman...not without consequences that will be played out later. This kind of thing is arguably the root of World War II, and may well start World War III. At least WWIII won't last more than about an hour.

Yablo wrote:But forcing someone to violate some tenet of their religion is not okay either.
Why all the support of religion?
Spoiler:
(I had originally written "organized superstition", but in light of my request above, I rephrased it). This is a serious question. Religious beliefs run the gamut from things that are very good and supportive to things that are hideously evil and destructive. Further, religious beliefs are just that - statements whose validity is based solely on assertion. Religion when used as a hiding place for atrocities should not be supported.

So... how should we decide whether homosexuality is an atrocity, or whether catering to gay folk is? Certainly not by consulting a Holy Book, or by defending others who do so. And even if the country's values originate in some Holy Book or another, it is the resulting set of values that should be the guiding light, not whatever Holy Book any individual trots out.

So, we should certainly violate religious tenets that lead to Bad Things, and as a society we need to grow to figure out whether these Bad Things are actually bad, or that we are bad for persecuting them.
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More on bigotry:
Spoiler:
Yablo wrote:Once you are officially in the business of making and selling cakes, it merits attention. I think, even then, the answer is 'yes.' [(referring to hypotheticals about refusing to bake cakes for Nazis and BDSM)]
Should I be able to refuse to bake cakes that glorify Blacks? Muslims? Women? Orientals? That is, how many of the anti-discrimiation laws are you willing to overturn? The line between not baking a cake because you are a Muslim and not baking a cake because it has Arabic on it isn't all that wide.
Yablo wrote:because it's not okay to force anyone to go against their religious beliefs.
Well, what if my religous belief is that Blacks are unclean and I don't want them in my bakery? We should certainly force people to go against some of their religious beliefs if those beliefs go against society.

Pfhorrest wrote:state should basically ignore the existence of religion in all of its proceedings.
Absolutely!

Yablo wrote:Killing someone for their beliefs is unacceptable, and so is killing someone for your own beliefs.
What about leaving them to die? That is the effect of the health care refusal provisions. You can't always "go somewhere else".

elasto wrote:You are entitled to your religious freedoms so long as it doesn't impinge upon others.
Also absolutely!

The Great Hippo wrote:IE, an ER doctor refusing to perform blood transfusions because they're a Jehovah Witness.
Then they shouldn't be a doctor.

The Great Hippo wrote:I can't genuinely believe anyone really wants the government to come in and tell a baker they have to put 'two brides' or 'two grooms' on top of a cake even if they really don't want to.
It is what having a public business means.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:40 am UTC

Religious objections are one thing, but people can have objections on whatever they derive their ethics from. Could we, say, require a vegan to handle meat or animal products, or require vegan doctors to use insulin derived from animals?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby paulisa » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:33 am UTC

I know I'm kinda late to the party, but to me the concept that a business - an economic entity that involves people but is not human - can have a religous belief (and be protected in that belief) is mind boggling, bordering on absurd. But I know that attitudes in the USA are different, so I'm finding this discussion very interesting.

CorruptUser wrote:Religious objections are one thing, but people can have objections on whatever they derive their ethics from. Could we, say, require a vegan to handle meat or animal products, or require vegan doctors to use insulin derived from animals?


"Require" is a strong word, it depends on the job. For instance, a supermarket shelver will be required to stock meat products, or alcohol, or something else that they ethically object to, as part of their job. If they do not want to do this, they should work in a vegan/dry/whatever supermarket. This is not always possible, but why is it on the employer to cater to their whims. Of course, if the business makes a private deal with the employee that they will not handle the objectional item in the normal course of their duties, but will do so it if - for instance - the usual worker is off. This is between the business and the employee, and I don't think the government needs to get involved even though employment is often an asymmetric transaction.
Concerning doctors, I believe that professionals in this and similar positions should be held to a higher standard. If someone does not want to use animal derived insulin themselves even if their bodies react better to it, that's on them; but a doctor not giving his patients the care they need seems very iffy to me.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:41 am UTC

ucim wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I can't genuinely believe anyone really wants the government to come in and tell a baker they have to put 'two brides' or 'two grooms' on top of a cake even if they really don't want to.
It is what having a public business means.
Right, but when the stakes are that low, it seems like trying to fish with a bazooka.

I'd feel differently if this was corporate policy; every McBakery refusing to place two grooms on top of a cake is one thing, and in that instance, I'm comfortable with government intervention. But a privately owned business? I feel like we have better options than asking for government regulation or interference.

I can see the opposing viewpoint in principle, but just on a practical scale, it appears to be a relatively trivial issue -- one small business owner's bigotry doesn't strike me as something the government ought to be addressing. Not unless that bigotry has serious consequences for its victims (like a business that supplies insurance, or medical supplies -- I'd feel much differently about a privately owned pharmacy that refuses to sell birth control to teenagers, for example).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:52 am UTC

IIRC the opinion of the appeals court is that you have to provide the same service to every customer if you are open to the public. If that's making a wedding cake, then that's what it is. If you are asked to make a wedding cake that's different from what you would sell to other customers, you can refuse. That is, you don't have to put two grooms on if you don't want to. The bakery is appealing that ruling as they are opposed to baking any cake for a gay wedding, which is discrimination.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ivnja » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:08 am UTC

paulisa wrote:I know I'm kinda late to the party, but to me the concept that a business - an economic entity that involves people but is not human - can have a religous belief (and be protected in that belief) is mind boggling, bordering on absurd.


Along these lines, (even?) as someone who leans libertarian, I've always been perplexed by people who seem to think that incorporation should carry all benefit without any commensurate responsibility. I own an LLC, so for the (honestly, astonishingly low) price of $85/year paid to government my personal assets are almost totally protected from judgment if one of my clients were to successfully sue my business. That's a tremendous benefit that the government grants me over any non-incorporated competitors as well as obviously vis-a-vis anyone trying to sue me, worth much more than what they charge for it. In exchange, it's totally fair for the government to require that I provide a benefit for the entire populace (for example, by not discriminating in who I serve, particularly when it comes to protected classes).

There are areas that I do think get murky (commissioned pieces being one of those areas, honestly), and I *do* think that unincorporated businesses should be treated like private citizens and both should be allowed to discriminate freely in who they associate with and/or serve (despite my personal feelings on the matter), but the number of people who said things like "Well, Hobby Lobby is a private business, they should be able to do whatever they want" while ignoring that they're a corporation and therefore officially government-sanctioned.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:10 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote: Right, but when the stakes are that low, it seems like trying to fish with a bazooka.
I don't advocate hunting cakes with a bazooka, but the little things add up. Ask any marginalized person. The point of anti discrimination laws isn't just to keep sharks at bay, it's to prevent the death by a thousand bites that is just as effective.

After all, how high are the stakes in refusing to serve blacks? They can shop elsewhere; there are lots of stores around. They can rent their own space, and have their own little ghetto community, right? No big deal.

Yes, there is the aspect of using the government to change social policy. That's not a bad thing. Arguably, social progress does not succeed unless the government backs it.

And re: Hobby Lobby and the like; it's not so much that it's a private(ly owned) business as that it's a big (public-serving) business. One of the reasons for government in the first place is to protect the small from the powerful. Arguably, that's its only job.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:39 am UTC

ucim wrote:I don't advocate hunting cakes with a bazooka, but the little things add up. Ask any marginalized person. The point of anti discrimination laws isn't just to keep sharks at bay, it's to prevent the death by a thousand bites that is just as effective.
On one hand, I feel very comfortable saying that a bakery must provide service to homosexual patrons. On the other hand, I feel differently about saying that a bakery must produce cakes that match the specifications we might expect from those patrons (like a cake with two grooms). Admittedly, I kind of confused things by bringing up the pharmacist example (where we deny service based on age); this is more comparable to the ER doctor example (where we deny service to everyone based on the nature of the service itself). For example, a heterosexual couple who wanted two grooms on their cake would also be denied; it's not the customer who's prohibited, but the thing that the customer wants.

Obviously, the bakery owner is targeting homosexual people with their homophobic policy; however, for something so trivial as wedding cakes, I feel conflicted about government intervention. You can't make every expression of homophobia illegal. This is something I suspect would be handled better on a local level -- with people exerting financial and social pressure against the bakery owner.

I mean, full disclosure: I can't speak to what it's like to be denied service based on my sexual preferences. I imagine I'd be pretty angry about it -- but I also feel like I'd be super-uncomfortable with the notion of having the means to apply legal penalties on this business based on their homophobic values.

To provide another example: Say I'm an artist who specializes in painting couples. Say that a gay man asks me to paint a picture of him and his husband holding hands at a wedding altar. I'm homophobic; this painting makes me super-uncomfortable, so I turn him down. Should I be penalized for that? Should I be forced to paint a picture I don't want to paint?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:39 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:To provide another example: Say I'm an artist who specializes in painting couples. Say that a gay man asks me to paint a picture of him and his husband holding hands at a wedding altar. I'm homophobic; this painting makes me super-uncomfortable, so I turn him down. Should I be penalized for that? Should I be forced to paint a picture I don't want to paint?


It's actually not that complicated in practice.

As opposed to the doctor example, most of the harm from this kind of low level discrimination (cakes, paintings etc.) comes from the person being told to their face that they are being discriminated against because of their sexuality. That causes the death by a thousand bites that ucim speaks of.

So just make up an excuse: Say sorry, you're too busy or whatever. Yeah, it sucks when you get caught out, but most of the time it saves face for both parties. Telling the truth in this case is actually quite mean-spirited.

Because, yeah, getting the police and the courts involved is overkill. So this is pretty much the least worst option except for the business owner in question not being a bigot...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:30 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:IIRC the opinion of the appeals court is that you have to provide the same service to every customer if you are open to the public. If that's making a wedding cake, then that's what it is. If you are asked to make a wedding cake that's different from what you would sell to other customers, you can refuse. That is, you don't have to put two grooms on if you don't want to. The bakery is appealing that ruling as they are opposed to baking any cake for a gay wedding, which is discrimination.


So if someone walks in wearing Klan robes, I'm not allowed to refuse them service?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:32 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Admittedly, I kind of confused things by bringing up the pharmacist example (where we deny service based on age); this is more comparable to the ER doctor example (where we deny service to everyone based on the nature of the service itself). For example, a heterosexual couple who wanted two grooms on their cake would also be denied; it's not the customer who's prohibited, but the thing that the customer wants.
A pharmacist who is fine handing out insulin, but not the morning after pill is the example I was referring to (i.e., denial of service based on situational violations of one's religious code). I'm not sure what is meant by an ER doctor - in what situation would an ER doctor have grounds to refuse an emergency life saving procedure? Or do you mean situations wherein a doctor would have to decide between a fetus and a mother, and be instructed to save the mother?

The Great Hippo wrote:For example, a heterosexual couple who wanted two grooms on their cake would also be denied; it's not the customer who's prohibited, but the thing that the customer wants.
I think this is fine distinction, but not one that reflects reality - afaik, the gay couple that was denied a cake were not denied because of the type of cake they wanted.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:22 pm UTC

Amazing how much difference there is between "refused to bake a wedding cake for gay couple" and "refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby emceng » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:54 pm UTC

Yablo, would you please describe exactly what Trump is doing that you support? You keep saying he's doing a good job, and following through on his promises. Which exactly do you support? This is what we are seeing from this administration:


The intentional undermining of nearly every cabinet department - destroying the EPA, interior department, encouraging businesses in rapacious land use, removing regulations that prevent companies from hurting the environment
Encouraging discrimination against LGBT people
Active discrimination against people of color
A belief that only white Americans are real Americans
Packing the justice system with judges based on political motives, not any sort of judicial skill
Damaging the relationships with our best allies
Cozying up to dictators
Attacking the press for reporting the truth
Undermining confidence in the FBI for political gain
Signing a tax bill that is based on the lie that the economy will grow at twice the rate of any reasonable projection, and that will cause huge economic burdens for years to come
Trying to kill the ACA
Appointing anti-Net Neutrality people to the FCC
Violating the emoluments clause since day 1
Putting billionaires in his administration that potentially profit from what they are doing
Provoking North Korea for no fucking reason
Completely ignoring any potential Russian interference in the 2016 or 2018 elections


Trump is also blatantly lying constantly. Do you really think the president should 1) lie to the American people all the time, and 2) do it on trivial things, and 3) be really incompetent at it?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:00 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:IIRC the opinion of the appeals court is that you have to provide the same service to every customer if you are open to the public. If that's making a wedding cake, then that's what it is. If you are asked to make a wedding cake that's different from what you would sell to other customers, you can refuse. That is, you don't have to put two grooms on if you don't want to. The bakery is appealing that ruling as they are opposed to baking any cake for a gay wedding, which is discrimination.


As CorruptUser mentions, I'm pretty sure you can discriminate on non-protected classes with impunity. Some person is being an asshole to me in the store I can refuse to serve them because assholes aren't a protected class. I can't refuse to serve a woman because sex/gender is a protected class (well gender only in some places in the US at least).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:02 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:Admittedly, I kind of confused things by bringing up the pharmacist example (where we deny service based on age); this is more comparable to the ER doctor example (where we deny service to everyone based on the nature of the service itself). For example, a heterosexual couple who wanted two grooms on their cake would also be denied; it's not the customer who's prohibited, but the thing that the customer wants.
A pharmacist who is fine handing out insulin, but not the morning after pill is the example I was referring to (i.e., denial of service based on situational violations of one's religious code). I'm not sure what is meant by an ER doctor - in what situation would an ER doctor have grounds to refuse an emergency life saving procedure? Or do you mean situations wherein a doctor would have to decide between a fetus and a mother, and be instructed to save the mother?

The Great Hippo wrote:For example, a heterosexual couple who wanted two grooms on their cake would also be denied; it's not the customer who's prohibited, but the thing that the customer wants.
I think this is fine distinction, but not one that reflects reality - afaik, the gay couple that was denied a cake were not denied because of the type of cake they wanted.

There may have been more than one "gay cake" story. The one I'm familiar with happened in Northern Ireland, and involved a cake with the message "support gay marriage" on it. The bakery refused to make it, and ultimately lost their case in the UK Supreme Court, on the grounds that it was discriminatory. I actually have some sympathy: at the time, same-sex marriage wasn't allowed, and opposing it was therefore clearly a legitimate political position to take. I mean, it would be a bizarre state of affairs where supporting the legal status quo is itself somehow unlawful. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that a company should be obliged to create political campaign material that its employees and owners don't agree with. Of course I don't agree with their view, but ... don't advertising companies have a right to turn away a contact for a political party or product they don't agree with? I guess what must have happened is that the cart got before the horse on this. The Human Rights Act meant that prohibiting same-sex marriage was unlawful, and the law would eventually have had to change. But that just went and happened anyway, whilst the cake case rumbled through the courts.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:08 pm UTC

Chen wrote:As CorruptUser mentions, I'm pretty sure you can discriminate on non-protected classes with impunity. Some person is being an asshole to me in the store I can refuse to serve them because assholes aren't a protected class. I can't refuse to serve a woman because sex/gender is a protected class (well gender only in some places in the US at least).


You can have rules governing things like behavior and dress, sure. If you are wearing a clan robe, it's because you want to be disruptive. Being an asshole is disruptive. On the other hand, wearing clothes that are generally considered acceptable and part of that person's religion or culture is not being disruptive, and you have to allow it. Yes, there's a gray area, but that doesn't detract from the point.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:14 pm UTC

Also just because I you can doesn't mean you're not a shitty person actively causing harm to other people.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:40 pm UTC

Wait. If Dick Spencer walks into your bar, not dressed like a Nazi, just himself, are you allowed to refuse him service?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ProZac » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:42 pm UTC

freezeblade wrote:Even further, I've seen many of them joke about the same thing with the entirely of California as if it weren't the largest economy in the united states among states (output of $2.6 trillion in 2016*), with the largest Agricultural industry of any other state ($42.6 billion dollar industry that generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity, making it more than twice the size of any other state's agriculture industry**). The country needs us more than we need them, and I'm frankly sick of the Trumpettes, and to a lesser extent, GOP's ignorant and shitty attitude. Keep writing us off and see what happens. Our day will come, and when it does, they better hope we treat them better than they treat us.

* https://www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/ ... &geotype=3
** "CDFA History". California Department of Food and Agriculture. Retrieved April 2, 2015.


Oh, this old self-important Californian bullshit. California isn't some special unique place where the goods and services produced there can ONLY be made there. If California didn't exist (I'm in no way advocating for this), the rest of the US wouldn't be like "Shit what do we eat!" There are plenty of other places in the US that can and already do produce food. Silicon Valley wouldn't cease to exist as we slowly revert to the stone age. That shit would power on somewhere else just fine. But you know, stay in your little bubble and keep writing off the rest of the country as dependent on you.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:03 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:Oh, this old self-important Californian bullshit. California isn't some special unique place where the goods and services produced there can ONLY be made there. If California didn't exist (I'm in no way advocating for this), the rest of the US wouldn't be like "Shit what do we eat!" There are plenty of other places in the US that can and already do produce food. Silicon Valley wouldn't cease to exist as we slowly revert to the stone age. That shit would power on somewhere else just fine. But you know, stay in your little bubble and keep writing off the rest of the country as dependent on you.


West Coast Best Coast. Climate and Ports aren't fungible.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:17 pm UTC

bantler wrote:
ProZac wrote:Oh, this old self-important Californian bullshit. California isn't some special unique place where the goods and services produced there can ONLY be made there. If California didn't exist (I'm in no way advocating for this), the rest of the US wouldn't be like "Shit what do we eat!" There are plenty of other places in the US that can and already do produce food. Silicon Valley wouldn't cease to exist as we slowly revert to the stone age. That shit would power on somewhere else just fine. But you know, stay in your little bubble and keep writing off the rest of the country as dependent on you.


West Coast Best Coast. Climate and Ports aren't fungible.


Nope, Gulf Coast. Silicon Valley can easily be replaced by Austin, which if I had to place a bet on Amazon's HQ is the place it'll be. The beaches on the Gulf are the very best in the country, because unlike the Atlantic or Pacific, the walkable part of the water lasts hundreds of feet. You are mostly protected from hurricanes and storms, mostly, and you don't have earthquakes.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:37 pm UTC

ProZac wrote:Oh, this old self-important Californian bullshit. California isn't some special unique place where the goods and services produced there can ONLY be made there. If California didn't exist (I'm in no way advocating for this), the rest of the US wouldn't be like "Shit what do we eat!" There are plenty of other places in the US that can and already do produce food. Silicon Valley wouldn't cease to exist as we slowly revert to the stone age. That shit would power on somewhere else just fine. But you know, stay in your little bubble and keep writing off the rest of the country as dependent on you.


*pats head* Aww aren't you cute with your pretty little strawman.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:51 pm UTC

American Exceptionalism has nothing on California's overinflated ego

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:58 pm UTC

orthogon wrote: I'm uncomfortable with the idea that a company should be obliged to create political campaign material that its employees and owners don't agree with.
Yeah, which is why my signs and banner company carefully reviews everything I print off and I definitely get involved with literally every piece of business that goes through. Campaign season is a real doosey!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:37 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:You can have rules governing things like behavior and dress, sure. If you are wearing a clan robe, it's because you want to be disruptive. Being an asshole is disruptive. On the other hand, wearing clothes that are generally considered acceptable and part of that person's religion or culture is not being disruptive, and you have to allow it. Yes, there's a gray area, but that doesn't detract from the point.


From what I can see in US federal law, political affiliation isn't a protected class. So as a business owner I could refuse to server Republicans or Democrats or really any political leaning. It doesn't need to be disruptive. I can refuse to serve some dude who cut me off on the street just because I hold a grudge, as long as my refusal isn't based on something that is protected.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:53 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
orthogon wrote: I'm uncomfortable with the idea that a company should be obliged to create political campaign material that its employees and owners don't agree with.
Yeah, which is why my signs and banner company carefully reviews everything I print off and I definitely get involved with literally every piece of business that goes through. Campaign season is a real doosey!

OK, it's quite nuanced. In that kind of business, I guess you have to print whatever your customer wants. That is the service that your company offers. For the bakery, their business is presumably making cakes that say "happy birthday" and suchlike. They could legitimately have a policy of not doing political messages at all, but in this case they had no such policy (although this may have been the first time they were ever asked). In both cases, though, it doesn't seem unreasonable that the company could refuse to help promote a message it doesn't agree with. The objection is to the message, not the customer. But the supreme court explicitly didn't accept that distinction, for reasons I haven't been able to fully understand.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:26 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Nope, Gulf Coast. Silicon Valley can easily be replaced by Austin, which if I had to place a bet on Amazon's HQ is the place it'll be. The beaches on the Gulf are the very best in the country, because unlike the Atlantic or Pacific, the walkable part of the water lasts hundreds of feet. You are mostly protected from hurricanes and storms, mostly, and you don't have earthquakes.


That's bizarrely irrational. If England or France ceased to produce for Europe there would certainly be catastrophic economic disturbances for at least decades, regardless of the fact Spain and Italy are coastal.

England and France happen to bookend California on the world GDP scale..

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:40 pm UTC

You take out any region and the economy struggles for a while. Capital takes a long time to accumulate, especially human capital. It's not like *poof* a factory appears someplace.

However, as valuable as California is, it's not the only source of technology in the US. San Francisco is full, and Austin is growing. The actors of California are not unique, most are not born there, and if California were to sink into the ocean move, movies and tv would suck for a decade or so but the industry would recover in another region. The real reason Hollywood was chosen to be the HQ of movies was its proximity to New Jersey. Seriously, Edison was almost as vicious with copyrights as Hollywood is today, so there's some irony there. California may have year round harvests, but it's not the breadbasket of the US.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:23 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Yablo, would you please describe exactly what Trump is doing that you support? You keep saying he's doing a good job, and following through on his promises. Which exactly do you support? This is what we are seeing from this administration:


The intentional undermining of nearly every cabinet department - destroying the EPA, interior department, encouraging businesses in rapacious land use, removing regulations that prevent companies from hurting the environment

Changing policy and/or direction isn’t exactly undermining. I’m a governmental accountant for the State of Alaska, and I handle federal grants for contaminated sites and spill prevention, so I deal pretty closely with the EPA. For several years now, I’ve felt the EPA has had far too much power and has been allowed to bully states. What Trump’s administration is doing there is reining in a lot of that power to check its abuse.

Regarding the Interior Department, I fully support the protection and preservation of parks and monuments, and I’m open to the argument that the administration may go too far in removing those protections. At the same time, there is a lot of land that could (and probably even should) be used for other purposes.
Encouraging discrimination against LGBT people
Active discrimination against people of color

These points would definitely be unacceptable, but I don’t see Trump actually doing this. Well, other than the selection of A Wet Rag Stuffed Into a Tailpipe as a running mate. I absolutely believe he could be more sensitive to LGBT and racial issues, but I don’t see that he’s actively discriminating. It seems to me more like a blustery stand-off with Basic Human Decency (which I also believe has gotten way out of hand).
A belief that only white Americans are real Americans

Again, I don’t see this. He started one of the biggest outreach movements by the Republican party toward the African-American community. I’ll admit he’s said some really unacceptable things about Hispanics in the past, and I don’t appreciate that sort of negative generalization against any group. But if he’s ever expressed the belief that only white Americans are real Americans, I’ve never heard it, and neither has Google.
Packing the justice system with judges based on political motives, not any sort of judicial skill

I’m not saying this is okay, but presidents have been doing this for a long time. If a president can find appointees for judgeships who both fit the president’s politics and have judicial skill, all the better. If it comes down to one or the other, unfortunately, most presidents are going to go with someone who agrees with them. Political appointments can’t completely be placed on Trump’s shoulders either, though. When he got into office, he had hundreds of nominations to make, and Congress had to confirm each one. In many cases, Democrats and Republicans alike stalled the process for political gains. To my knowledge, we still don’t have an ambassador to Germany despite Trump’s appointment months ago.
Damaging the relationships with our best allies

It could be argued Obama did the same thing. I personally consider countries like Israel and Guatemala to be among out best allies. Every action an administration takes is going to please some countries and upset others. What I see is that Trump ignores the opinions of the rest of the world in much of his decision-making as it affects the U.S. That’s not to say the opinions of the rest of the world don’t matter. In fact, I wish Trump would pay more attention to the rest of the world even if he ultimately does decide it’s in America’s best interests to go against them. Brushing off the concerns of our allies is bad. They may not like it if we go against them, but it would go over much better if Trump at least pretended to consider their concerns.
Cozying up to dictators

Like Obama did in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba … Or how Obama told Medvedev to let Putin know he’d have more flexibility to deal after the election? I don’t advocate cozying up to dictators, but it seems like it’s what presidents do. Bush, Jr. loved Saudi Arabia. Lyndon Johnson loved an oppressive Brazilian regime his CIA helped to install. Kennedy and Park Chung-Hee in South Korea … Hell, I love Ronald Reagan, but even he cozied up to Indonesia while their death squads slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. At least Trump called Taiwan.
Attacking the press for reporting the truth

In an astounding number of cases, though, they aren’t reporting the truth. Or they’re twisting the truth or leaving out important details. I will admit to being so tired of hearing Trump mention “Fake News.” Whether what they report is true or not, the president should, in most cases, ignore it publicly. That’s why he has a press secretary.
Undermining confidence in the FBI for political gain

To be fair, the FBI did a lot of that undermining on its own.
Signing a tax bill that is based on the lie that the economy will grow at twice the rate of any reasonable projection, and that will cause huge economic burdens for years to come

He does exaggerate nearly everything, but he didn’t draft the bill, and he didn’t vote on the bill. I don’t believe the tax bill he signed will be nearly as great as he says it will, and there are some things I think it should have done differently, but I also don’t think it’ll be an economic burden at all. What he should have done is get involved with the tax bill at the foundation rather than just telling Congress to throw a little of this and some of that in there, and get it done by Christmas.
Trying to kill the ACA

Everything I’ve personally experienced with the ACA has been negative. Because I’m a state employee, I have a great healthcare system compared to a lot of private businesses and individuals, but even my premiums and copays have almost doubled. The free market system we had before the ACA may not have been perfect, but in my experience, it was far better.

Rather than increasing costs for everyone just to subsidize insurance for millions of people who may not even want it, and then penalizing the people who still don’t want it is just ridiculous. I totally agree everyone should have access to healthcare, and many people can’t afford even basic insurance, but I don’t believe it’s okay to force people into plans they don’t want or don’t need and then charge them more for it just to cover other people.

So, yes. I support killing the ACA, but not without a plan that’s at least as good as the free market system we had before.
Appointing anti-Net Neutrality people to the FCC

Net Neutrality is basically Internet-ACA, so much of my comments above apply here as well.
Violating the emoluments clause since day 1

So far, every lawsuit brought against him on those grounds has been dismissed, so until there’s a change in that regard, I honestly don’t think anything else needs to be said on the matter. If he ever is found to have knowingly violated the clause, he should be held accountable just as any other U.S. citizen would. He’s a businessman, so he would have no excuse.
Putting billionaires in his administration that potentially profit from what they are doing

Every member of every president’s cabinet can potentially profit from what they are doing. The only way the president can be accountable for that is if he appoints them knowing they’ll do that. It’s not only illegal for them to profit from their position, the profit they stand to gain probably isn’t close to the profit most of them would gain outside the cabinet.
I haven’t looked at his cabinet members’ net worth recently, but to my knowledge, most of them are only multi-millionaires. The net worth of his cabinet members is quite a bit more than Obama’s, I’ll give you that.
Provoking North Korea for no fucking reason

I’ll give you this, too. North Korea is doing a lot that isn’t in the best interests of America or much of the rest of the world, but ridiculing another world leader isn’t presidential. Telling them his nuclear button is bigger and actually works is pretty funny, but it’s not presidential. The whole world already knows how North Korea feels about America and they know how America feels about North Korea. There’s no need for either side to make it worse.

He should definitely not ignore North Korea, but he shouldn’t antagonize them. Assure the U.S., North Korea, and the rest of the world that we are prepared for any eventuality and we have measures in place to defend ourselves and our allies. Then assure the world that we are committed first and foremost to a diplomatic solution, but remind them we will match an act of war with a fast and decisive strike. Then leave it at that.

Responding to every threat North Korea makes with a threat or scoff of our own only makes us look bad and makes them relevant.
Completely ignoring any potential Russian interference in the 2016 or 2018 elections

Of course, Russia interfered. It’s what they do. We do the same to them. Governments all over the world do that to everyone else. There’s been no credible evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and I don’t believe there ever will be, but I have no doubt Russia interfered. I think their goal was to cause and amplify the division and antagonism we’re experiencing, and I think they love watching the fallout. Fighting with ourselves over this is only helping their cause.

Still, the Trump administration should address it beyond simply dismissing accusations of collusion.
Trump is also blatantly lying constantly. Do you really think the president should 1) lie to the American people all the time, and 2) do it on trivial things, and 3) be really incompetent at it?

Most politicians lie blatantly and if not constantly, at least often. I think what he’s doing most of the time is exaggerating rather than lying, and that’s something politicians do, too. It’s also something people with a level of arrogance displayed by Trump, Obama, and both Clintons do.

I don’t believe the president should lie to the American people at all. There are things we need to know and have a right to know. But there are also things we don’t need to know, and with the culture of leaking we’ve developed, those things come out whether we need them or not, whether we have a right to them or not.

Lying about trivial things is a problem. I’ve known several people who do that. They volunteer lies about things I don’t even care about or never even thought about which will never affect me or even come up again. They lie to me. About things that just happened to us. And they tell me like I wasn’t there. And they’re telling it wrong. I don’t like lying in any form, and I’ve always believed that honesty is to be respected. It’s by far the biggest reason I opposed Clinton.

But I still don’t see most of what Trump says as lying so much as exaggerating. I don’t care for that either, but my tolerance for it is higher.

If a president is going to lie to the American public, he’d damned-well better be a master of it. If what I see as exaggeration on Trump’s part actually turns out to be just very poor lying, I’ll be embarrassed for our entire country.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:30 pm UTC

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank XKCD and the forum for remaining neutral and open-minded regarding politics. You know, except that our Vice President's name is auto-replaced with "A Wet Rag Stuffed Into a Tailpipe."

While I find that funny, it's hardly welcoming and encouraging to anyone with a pro-Trump and/or conservative viewpoint.

ETA: Also, replacing something else a conservative might cite as liberal abuse with "Basic Human Decency."
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

Reading over your responses, I'm convinced you must side on the 'don't take trump literally take him seriously' side of things? You're performing some Fox and Friends level revisionism mixed with at best admissions that 'he's said/done some things that aren't great'.

I'm not saying this to be slapfighty, but I would urge you to look at your excuses and willingness to ignore things he has actually said and done on these matters more directly.
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