David Thompson
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March 31, 2015

Comments

Anna

I hope those Native American students aren't "appropriating" modern housing with modern amenities.

Atempdog

If people aren't "appropriating" your culture, it's because your culture has nothing to offer and nobody with any choice wants anything to do with it. Those who preach against "cultural appropriation" are preaching the gospel of stagnation and death.

Steve B

Anytime a "person of color" has a Starbucks or chows down on a Big Mac, I personally feeled gravely wounded at my ethno-spritual center that they are appropriating the culture of fat, spoiled white people.

For. Shame.

Joan

As Native American student Carmen Cordero pointed out, this void was soon filled with equally divisive dialogue. “I was told by other students to just get over it.

Getting over yourself is very, very hard.

David

Getting over yourself is very, very hard.

I’m not often sympathetic to art students, let alone art students who talk about “positive vibes,” but I sympathise to the extent that at least they’d put in some effort and they weren’t trying to irritate anyone or transgress something or other - itself a small mercy. I don’t think they were prepared for the expectation of deference and the assumption of impunity that go hand in hand with identitarian politics. And which are a very big part of its appeal.

Such that, if you build a kind of shelter that’s ostensible inoffensive but historically associated with Identity Group X – though by no means exclusively associated with that group* – then members of said identity group will believe they have a right to make you take it down while claiming to feel threatened by its very existence. And while calling you “racist,” obviously, and while feigning shock that anyone might find this conceit in any way questionable.

*The natives of Scandinavia, Siberia, Mongolia and China, all of whom used similar structures, could not be reached for comment.

Tell Sackett

My chickens live in a very similar structure. Rest assured that I will be having a discussion about sensitivity with them first thing tomorrow.

Stuck-Record

I sympathise to the extent that at least they’d put in some effort and they weren’t trying to irritate anyone or transgress something or other - itself a small mercy.

If there's anything that you've taught us, David, it's that the above is completely impossible. With the competitive grievance industry, there are always new shafts being dug in the offence mine.

I wait eagerly for the day when someone screams, "how dare you call me differently, able?"

To which someone will respond, "Oh for God's sake! What is it this week?"

Watcher In The Dark

Love the article from The Channels. I went through and compiled a list of important keywords, all of which I am sure will help the students understand the world they are about to enter. In no particular order, they include:

Offensive, opposing perspectives, undermine, stressful, hurtful, controversial, accusatory, hostile, dismantling, negative, disturbed, frustration, divisive, censorship, offend, ignorance and (the ever popular) racism.

I am cheered the students are being so well prepared for adult life.

R. Sherman

. . . celebrated as tied for No. 1 community college in the nation . . .

High praise.

BTW, was the Native American wearing pants?

Glenfilthie

Art.

Art!

ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! ART!ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! ART!ART! ART! ART!

Arty The Art Seal approves! Sometimes I really miss our friends at Diehipster.com

Connor

Damn it, David, you had me siding with art students. I'll never live it down.

DH

A few years ago, I was sent on a work trip to Ontario. En route into the wilds, I was scolded at length by the Canadian host after she overheard me using the term "Red Indians."
I remember the term First Nation being repeatedly emphasised, along with a meandering lecture about how, as a Brit, I may struggle to comprehend the cultural sensitivities of the native peoples.
Around half an hour later, the minibus was stopped for a comfort break at a roadside cafe run by local Indians. Our host could do nothing but look on in silent fury as the gentlemen running the cafe happily agreed to take photos of several of our delegation raising our hands and mouthing HOW next to the tacky fake teepee and totem pole they'd built outside the place.

David Davis

I wonder what would have happened if they'd built a Greek Temple or a a replica of the Houses of Parliament instead?

Or a White House...better? Then all those inside could pretend the be Barrraco Barner, surely, and they'd all be very happy?

rabbit

I have always admired the ability of the far left to eat its own. With some fava beans and a nice chianti.

rabbit

Classic liberalism: Intellectual conflict is healthy. We may disagree on almost everything, but we respect and defend each others' right to hold and put forth opinions.

Progressivism: Apostasy must be punished and eliminated. We must agree on everything, as disagreement is an assault upon my psyche.

Jonathan

Native Americans, Art Students. But which is better? There's only one way to find out: - FIGHT.

Ofay Cat

The progressives who seek 'positive vibe' from usurping native culture are now stewing in a vast social construct of their own making. One whose rules and regulations are so complex that even they do not know what that can do without offending others .... enjoy your tightrope you vacuous twits ... the rest of us don't want to live like Indians .. we have a much grander and more magnificent culture that allow the indians to have our standard of living without having to invent it, create it, or even pay for it. We don't tell them they are violating out culture when they buy a Ford 150 or a nice new Remington 700 .308 to shoot animals with ... beats the spear don't it? Yeah ... we have Indians and negroes and hispanics all chomping at the bit about something we have done or haven't done. I simply do not give a rats ass about any of them .. they are continental pan handlers and malcontents. Okay, I am done now.

EarlW

Teepee should have been solar powered and wheelchair accessible. Not too pointy or it could be interpreted as a male-centric symbol.

Art is a minefield...

Craig Mc

When they whine in English, don't these students realise they're appropriating white anglo culture? The bastards.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David, as a black woman of colour, I am very sensitive to other cultures.

So I'd have said to those indignant indigenes - "How! Let us smoke the pipe of peace! Me big heap medicine chief and me bringum blankets and firewater!"

And then we would have had a good laugh and headed off to the casino.

Why can't more people be enlightened, like me?

Lancastrian Oik

I wonder what they'd make of these guys: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mardi_Gras_Indians

Lancastrian Oik

@Steve: I foresee um heap big trouble.

mojo

Stick to UCSB is my advice. It's right on the beach. So you can take the long swim if necessary.

mojo

Oh, and just a BTW: the Chumash (the local tribe in the SB area) built dome-shaped houses, non-portable.

So stuff your cultural appropriation bullshit, Tonto.

The Phantom

Does this mean California hippies can't do Tai Chi in the park anymore? Harsh my mellow, man!

I think the unseen sin here is that the art students -built- something. Something kinda crappy maybe, something they better hope it doesn't rain on, but they put up a structure where once there was nothing.

This is a fundamental sin for your Serious Academic Lefty. Lefties are about tearing stuff down. Conservatives [boo, hisss!] are about building stuff up.

Art students. Can't even get being a Lefty right.

Darleen

I have always admired the ability of the far left to eat its own.

Unfortunately, not fast enough.

rabbit

I pity the kids who put up the teepee. Here they thought they were being diverse and inclusive, when really they were just a bunch of micro-aggressing appropriators, oppressing and invalidating Native Americans. It's a tricky business, this political correctness.

You go to college to get an education. These kids got their money's worth, if they are sensible enough to understand the lesson.

pst314

"It’s bewildering that this level of ignorance and racism would occur..."

I am deeply offended by the racism on display every time a Native American uses modern technology--especially medical technology. Sterile surgery, CAT scans and antibiotics are for white Europeans, not alien appropriators! /sarcasm and contempt

David

I have always admired the ability of the far left to eat its own.

Beneath the pretensions of high-mindedness, it often boils down to a pretty crude and unedifying dynamic: “They’re being brown and indignant; we must do as they say.” See, for instance, this. And of course this.

dicentra

When my cousins and I visited grandma we'd set up the cardboard tables and cover them with blankets in all sorts of wonderful configurations.

Then just as things got interesting the grown-ups inevitably told us it was time to take down everything and go home.

Wait.

What were we talking about? I guess I went off on a tangent.

Spiny Norman

David Davis,

I wonder what would have happened if they'd built a Greek Temple or a a replica of the Houses of Parliament instead?

The Overly Sensitive™ would have denounced it as a culturally-oppressive symbol of European colonialism and genocide.

I truly wish I were kidding.

Ten

Further to the progressive academy and its many enlightenments, count among them now this most just intolerance of...economists.

“Being exposed to a variety of views, including ones that question the premises of neoclassical economics, may be one way to make economists more honest and kind,” she concludes.

Yes, make them more kind, although won't Keynes, et al be dismayed by this new rigor. Time marches on, gentlemen; time marches on.

Franklin

As it happens I have an entire thesis going about this deeply stupid "appropriation" business. I'll alert the management when it goes up.

Darleen

I grew up in Southern California -- I recall the early days of Disneyland where there was an Indian Village nest to Frontierland. Tribes were invited to send performers so depending on when you went you could see ceremonial dances from any number of Plains Indian Tribes. It was less an entertainment than a presentation of Indian cultures and art.

I loved it, it was one of my favorite places to visit.

Or course it would never be possible today.

More's the pity.

dicentra

Selma Envy.

And what form of protest did Takei threaten as Pence prepared to sign the accursed bill into law? Sit-ins? Bus boycotts? No, he threatened that a gaming convention would move out of Indianapolis. Our leader didn’t say, “I have a dream,” he said, “If you sign this bill that we’re all pretending says something it doesn’t, a bunch of grown men who pretend to be fictional characters will pretend to be fictional characters in another state that we’re pretending won’t almost certainly have an identical law already on the books.” How can any self-respecting person not explode in a ball of humiliation when comparing Selma with Gen Con, you ask? We don’t need self-respect anymore. We sacrificed it to keep the cause and our moral superiority.
That's what we have in the U.S.

Not sure what y'all on the other side of the pond resort to, but it's the same dynamic.

Jacob

I don’t think they were prepared for the expectation of deference and the assumption of impunity that go hand in hand with identitarian politics. And which are a very big part of its appeal.

That.

David

That.

Well, given the illogic and disregard for evidence, it might seem odd that so many people, supposedly clever people, are entranced by such feeble thinking. You might for instance think that students and lecturers would be embarrassed by such low intellectual standards. But if you view it as a license to behave in a certain way, to exert power over others, to scold at will, while pretending to be virtuous and clever, then it makes a kind of sense. For a certain kind of person.

Hal

Selma Envy.

Ah yes, a bit of scribble frantically hijacking assorted concepts---Selma, Etc.---in the vain hope that something utterly well documented as being a totally inexcusably idiotic planetary scale pratfall might be seen as anything with even the slightest hint of any success . . .

And then as we've all noted, there are also those really pesky bits of reality that rather overwhelm such attempts.

Let'ssss Ssseeee . . . 1) Create a law that is right wing and therefore has absolutely zero trace of any thought that is conservative---or in fact, any thought at all---which therefore is complete gibberish.

2) Watch as the right wing gets to frantically backpedal in response to the totally unsurprising, reasonable, and totally conservative reactions from all over, where;

2a) From outside of Indiana: The single example of GenCon will cost the Indianapolis economy tens of millions of dollars because of said total gibberish, and that is just one example of a reasoned, conservative, economically focused reaction to such gibberish.

2B) From inside of Indiana: Consider what scale of planetary social upheaval would be needed for a newspaper to use an entire front page for just three words. For years I had thought that the three words would be, basically: Alien Life Found. Instead, thanks to a mindless spasm of gibberish that got signed as a law instead of more correctly round filed, we have FIX THIS NOW.

3) Unfortunately and annoyingly, one continues to note as as the right wing liberal extreme provides just as much blatant idiocy and lack of function and clue as their exact and absolutely mirroring counterparts of the left wing extreme. One doesn't have to doubt that the rest of us thus bookended by the idiots will never run out of proof of conservatives holding the middle, as Barnum is only reported to have stated, there's someone right or left wing extreme born every minute.

4)“In that face, deformed by hatred of philosophy, I saw for the first time the portrait of the Antichrist, who does not come from the tribe of Judas, as his heralds have it, or from a far country. The Antichrist can be born from piety itself, from excessive love of God or of the truth, as the heretic is born from the saint and the possessed from the seer. Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them. Jorge did a diabolical thing because he loved his truth so lewdly that he dared anything in order to destroy falsehood.”
― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

---I had in mind a different quote, but then I'd have to find it. There's a particularly malevolent monk in the book, who wants William Of Baskerville to admit that anyone can and should be murdered by the state when convenient, because of course one can just take one's lead from the spirit and therefore all will be well . . . and instead the quite conservative William replies to the typically extreme right wing monk that all such convictions that William had taken part in had occurred only after quite clearly proving guilt by reason, witness, and unforced confession . . .

Hal

Well, given the illogic and disregard for evidence, it might seem odd that so many people, supposedly clever people, are entranced by such feeble thinking. You might for instance think that students and lecturers would be embarrassed by such low intellectual standards.

5) And then they become legislators in Indiana, and elsewhere . . .

Darleen

Geez, Hal, where were these "totally reasonable conservative reactions from all over" in 1993?

the mendacity is astounding.

wtp

Create a law that is right wing and therefore has absolutely zero trace of any thought that is conservative---or in fact, any thought at all---which therefore is complete gibberish.

So which law is that? Can you show me how/where/what wording "has absolutely zero trace of any thought that is conservative" in said law? As for "complete gibberish", pretty much sums up the breathless commentary and media-driven hysteria in reaction to the law you refer, or at least what law I think you refer.

dicentra

Hal, if the KKK wanted you to photograph their rally for their recruitment pamphlets, do you want the state to compel you to accept that gig? Are you really advocating that people be forced to labor on behalf of a cause they do not support?

All the RFRA says is that the state must show compelling interest before overriding personal convictions. Is that not in line with First Amendment freedom-of-conscience protections? Does that not mean that the religious will win some cases and lose others?

The Indiana RFRA is the same as the federal RFRA from 1993 when Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer sponsored the bill that was signed into law by Bill Clinton, thus to permit Native Americans to use peyote in their religious ceremonies. Only three members of congress voted against it. Other states have similar laws, but there's only this Sturm und Drang over the Indiana law.

If you're accepting the widespread lie that RFRA permits a store owner to post "No Gays Allowed" signs, then I don't know what to say.

Religious liberty is the terms of surrender the Right is requesting in the culture war. It is conservative America saying to the cultural and political elites, you have your gay marriage, your no-fault divorce, your obscene music and television, your indoctrinating public schools and your abortion-on-demand. May we please be allowed to not participate in these?

But no. Tolerance isn't the goal. Religious conservatives must atone for their heretical views with acts of contrition: Bake me a cake, photograph my wedding, pay for my abortion and my contraception.

If SSM were merely a matter of fairness for a minority, conscientious objection would be permitted. Quakers can opt out of the draft but bakers can't opt out of a cake?

The "Selma Envy" article is a good explanation of the irrational, often malevolent glee with which the issue of SSM is being used to bludgeon the left's enemies. Having won the culture war, they're wandering through the battlefield, shooting survivors.

Your objections to the "Selma Envy" article strike me as awfully strange, to the point of incoherence. Nobody is giving religious people carte blanche to violate any law they please as long as they insist that "my faith made me do it." Nobody is advocating for it, and yet you argued against just that.

Ten

Re: Hal.

By now the right's failures are epic. One hundred years of capitulation, surrender, and intellectual failure regarding virtually everything it says it holds dear. Not one in a hundred "conservatives" can even identify what's wrong with statism because not one in a hundred can differentiate between leftwing statism and his or her own.

Which raises a simple point with which to refute Hal's screed: Non-aggression. Unless an aggression is particularly malevolent, invasive, and thus positive - murder, theft, fraud, and other forms of direct, unjustified harm - it falls under the category heading of private and therefore protected. Including dirty looks and lunch counter rules and cutting in line and bad words.

Because otherwise tyranny and because otherwise even sidewalk rules in Singapore. Same spectrum, same end result, same intellectual offense.

Taking liberty is an aggression. Rhen it occurs it becomes an act of positive force against a negative right; against a real right and against the only rights that may be as such. There is no such right to force an offender to remove gum from your heel and there is no such right to force particular wording in icing on cakes.

Yes, this principle includes the right to withhold service for any reason at any time and in any place if aggression and force are to be avoided, and aggression and force are naturally outlawed in any Western civilization and system of justice going back for the span of Western liberal civilization.

All other appeals aimed at forcing opponents into compliance are morally wrong and become statist when legalized, especially any effort to legislate in favor of coercion and force, a point rather lost on the partisan members of both sides of this divide. In fact, the Indiana law sought to prevent the improper use of force, which is more than a little ironic although not surprising in a day and age when we have to pass laws upholding a two hundred year old national founding contract.

You have no fundamental right, using the imprimatur of law and State, to force anything, and you have only the enforcement of law to collectively prevent the severest physical encroachments on life and liberty.

Liberals taking this issue to law are fascists whose nuanced tolerance long ago withered. And conservatives who capitulate on one hand and adopt false defenses on the other are doomed to lose yet another battle in their long, tragic history of losing everything.

Ten

Excuse please; "refute" above was too strong. Frame more reflects what I aimed to do. Apologies.

I don't disagree, but I do take issue with anything that cannot regard the kernel assumptions and planks of who we are - rather, who we once were - as classically liberal fundamentalists.

Hal

'Morning all, been busy juggling the assorted . . .

Hal, if the KKK wanted you to photograph their rally for their recruitment pamphlets, do you want the state to compel you to accept that gig?

Hmmmmmmm . . . . that could be an interesting gig . . . rather like any sort of documentary that someone would do to go in, document, come out with proof of what is occurring . . .

The main complication that comes to mind is that the Koo Koo Klucks rather prolly wouldn't hire me . . .

Case in point; Among all the juggling I've been doing in the last couple of days was an April First event where of the several years I've been working the event, on this occasion, Oy, Veh, did other participants and I notice the immensely larger number than any other time of lenses, cameras, whatnot, all pointing at us, gleefully recording the passing festivities with much amusement, Etc . . . We got A Lot of reactions of Ooh, Wow, this is fantastic, I gotta record this . . . and we also got the more confused than ever hipster being additionally totally bewildered by reality . . . and so getting back to the right wing lunatics and taking pictures, these days, to get pictures for pamphlets, the nut jobs would just shoot their own . . .

Soo from there, let's have a quick look at cake making, doing plumbing repair, working for the military, being in the military, Etc . . .

A body shows up. A body states an interest in doing Such. The body states complete willingness to peacefully and cordially hand over money, allow access, arrange repair and construction, fill out paperwork, go through boot camp, Etc.

There are very definite and plausible reasons for refusal to allow Such to happen, but as Ten points out, . . . particularly malevolent, invasive, and thus positive - murder, theft, fraud, and other forms of direct, unjustified harm . . . is quite the opposite of peacefully and cordially.

The baking of cakes is offered, plumbing repair is offered, a need for plumbing repair, military support, military service is is stated and noted. All of these, and more, remain absolutely separate from the totally irrelevant matter of who sleeps with whom, who marries whom, what whomever does, in any manner that is peacefully and cordially done, by and with someone else.

---Or if the matter and action is other than peaceful and cordial, such is stated up front; The United States Marine Corps, aka The Marines, never promise you a rose garden, and once the equally pointless and indefensible gibberish of preventing gays from being in the military was finally and correctly disposed of, The Marines made a point to openly and actively recruit among gays, who are well among the population of those who need plumbing repaired, bake cakes, work in the military, place orders for wedding cakes, serve in the military, Etc.

The basic and conservative--upper case C or lower---nature of all of these transactions is and will remain All The Same and that is what the right wing gibberish attempts to deny . . . .

Are any of either side of such transaction required to be gay, straight, purple, left handed, red haired, English, Peruvian, poker players, cross country runners, writers?

No.

A couple getting married wants to have a wedding cake. A bakery bakes custom wedding cakes to order. The couple gets in touch with the bakery and places a custom order for that couple's wedding. Money is handed over. The cake that has been baked exactly to order is handed over.

Done.

All done peacefully and cordially and lucratively and the bakery has very happy customers who will very openly recommend the bakery for more business---because business and making a living is why the bakery is there . . .

I've noted that the right wing gibberish that tried to hijack Selma, etc., winds up being gibberish, as well as trying to excuse more right wing gibberish. In the book The Few and the Proud: Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words, Hermann Rhett tells of his experience as a Marine who, oh, by the way, happens to be black.

I had one big stripe on my arm, I was a Pfc., and I wandered into the restaurant. The guy wanted to know what I was doing there. Mind you, I was in uniform. I told him I just wanted a sandwich or something. And he said, You can't stand here. I can't serve it to you here, nor can you eat it in here. You have to go around back, and I'll serve you there. Just then two white Marine Corps sentries walked in and wanted to know what was going on. So I told them. One of the sentries looked at the restaurant guy and said As of now, your restaurant is off limits to ALL Marines. If you're not going to serve this guy, you don't serve any of us.

And that is an example of The State, the conservative state, mandating that a commercial entity will serve any benign and peaceful customers, or will serve none of them.

Gay, straight, purple, left handed, red haired, English, Peruvian, poker players, cross country runners, writers? The cordial and and peaceful and benign are all the same.

Sooo . . as far as the law being gibberish as well as also being right wing and opposed to the conservative . . . My initial reaction as I saw the headlines popping up all over and repeating A Lot was, basically, Oh, My, that law is getting an awful lot of reactions, but I do wonder, What Is The Actual Text? And then I took a look at that actual text, and after that look, and picking my jaw up off the ground, I wrote the post listed above.

I saw seven introductory paragraphs that weren't the actual law, they're just there to extremely oh so carefully line things up just so---and if there are actual non gibberish laws out there that are equally badly arranged, I'll state that bad writing is bad writing---

Finally, there is the addressing of religion. Um. Which "religion"??!!

What about some religion that demands that assorted people be murdered on sight? When The State points out that such . . . particularly malevolent, invasive, and thus positive - murder, theft, fraud, and other forms of direct, unjustified harm . . . is forbidden, that prevention by the state is is considered perfectly fine and lacks objection.

However, when two or more people wish to engage in a totally non religious and totally benign and cordial transaction, such as the baking of a cake or the taking of wedding photographs, or the repair of plumbing, or serving in the military, the right wing and non conservative fantasy is that non related religious claims must be held relevant, even when there is the complete lack of relevance.

In turn, the total and complete lack of relevance between being gay and being in the military, or baking cakes, or ordering custom wedding or other cakes, or doing quite a few other things, is among the reasons why there are gays openly serving in the military, why there are gays ordering and baking cakes, and other activities . . . .

---Oh, you're noticing that there are chaplains in the military as all of this is going on? Why yes, there are. Religion is the personally held personal experience of one individual and that one individual alone, which can and does occur in parallel with others who have the same experience or whatever the term, where there are individuals who specialize in that experience and related matters---called clergy--and there are times when non-clergy individuals can and do wish to consult with clergy, and that is why there are clergy in the military.

Quakers can opt out of the draft . . .

Why yes, they can.

Conscientious objectors who are openly and consistently opposed to taking part in any military in any way are rightfully and properly permitted to be excluded from the practice of any participation in any military at any time, barring of course the encounter with those who are themselves in and associated with any military, but that is covered by the basic fact that different individuals do encounter each other.---And in turn, the completely different discussion is the bit about asking a conscientious objector If you will not serve for me, why should I serve for you?.

The root of this discussion is to note the failing attempt to claim that the same permission of exception must be applied to the practice of being willing to do a peaceful and cordial transaction here, here, and there, but not the exact same transaction here, there, and here, and not there and here, but instead here is Ok.---Yes, that sentence should come out as being totally confused and confusing, because that law is totally confused and confusing.

When there is no willingness to practice some transaction, then don't get into any sort of transaction or at least accept that when you do get in to some, that will indeed lead to the distinct likelihood of any transaction.

The Quaker conscientious objector doesn't demand to have the uniform but not fight, the practice is to have no association or practice at all. The practice does not demand that all must must be the same in that transaction, the practice notes that one transaction is the exact same transaction as any other transaction, and there is no room for discrimination.

That law is a failing attempt to allow and support pointless and worthless discrimination.

That law is without any trace of being conservative.

That law is totally and absolutely and only mere right wing and the clear opposite of conservative.---yes, that poster which the link leads to should read right wing rather than conservative, but otherwise it serves.

That law and attempts to support it are and will forever remain gibberish.

Ten

Hal, you'll find no greater critic of right wing fail - by which I mean GOP, Republican, and "conservative" in the States and presumably any combined similar body in the UK - than I. The last century constituted perhaps the greatest systemic loss of liberty in history and it was the ostensible right's using up all the political oxygen that did it.

But that stands as a corollary to, as I said, taking stern issue with anything that cannot regard the kernel assumptions and planks of who we are - rather, who we once were - as classically liberal fundamentalists. And that thing was, in this case, not some dumb RFRA but the system that invented it.

Any condemnation of the right's RFRA - which is indeed the systemic positive feedback of attempting to correct an offense against the Constitution while not actually demanding fealty to the Constitution - has to follow and not lead the rejection of the core problem.

The RFRA is not that problem. What it addresses is. If it wasn't the RFRA wouldn't exist.

Hal

Ten . . . Out of curiosity, and feel free to object, agree, rip to shreds, whatever, I'm wondering what you would think of . . .

Among these facts are that once upon a time there was indeed the classical liberal and the cry that the will of the individual is supreme, is not questioned, and there are no alternatives. Once upon a time the term conservative did have a meaning of right wing, the old guard, the supporters of the way we do things because they work the best, and there are no alternatives.

By the industrial revolution, the liberals had split in two. Since then, the liberals have flanked the conservative, vehemently opposing all balanced, centered reality from their opposing and irrational extremes. The left wing liberal claims that the will of the individual person is supreme, is not questioned, and there are no alternatives. The right wing liberal claims that the will of the individual organization is supreme, is not questioned, and there are no alternatives. Both liberals get very pissy when reminded of the conservative axiom that individual remains a variable and there is and will always be infinite individual diversity, and only this diversity is what collectively forms viable organizations.

And, in turn . . . .

One particular analogy does come to mind for the right and left wing liberals, and the guidance and leadership of both that is provided to both by the conservative. The left wing liberal fantasy is that all individuals are individual and independent vines, each vine just like every other vine, and there is nothing but vines, everywhere . . . and all these vines thus wind up stuck on the ground, with everyone in everyone else's way, with all being trapped in a quite flat and limited sprawl, achieving little, if anything at all, ultimately finding blatant failure.

In turn, the right wing liberal fantasy is of all together forming the totally massive, monolithic and uniform structure that encompasses and consists of everything . . . and there is no space, total rigidity, no room for growth, no place to go, achieving little, if anything at all, ultimately finding blatant failure.

Contrasting with the right and left wing liberal extremes, the conservative sees and seeks out an ever rising and always open lattice, rock solid, ever extending, providing the support for all the vines to rise up in whatever ways and means that all and every vine can thus reach, with the lattice being totally rigid and totally open, so that all will achieve anything and everything, ultimately finding total success in all areas of absolute growth.

Contrasting always and absolutely against the left and the right, constantly dragging the right and left into the light of reason, the Conservative continues the ongoing focus upon the entire gathering of all of us discrete and different individuals and how are we doing, all together, and what will be done by We The People, of We The People, for the good of We The People.

. . . . in all such, the absolute and ongoing challenge is that balance between the absolutely rigid and extending structure and ensuring that the structure never closes, never seals, never locks down, is always open.

The right wing can only imagine the locked down tomb, so whether right wing liberal Xtian fundamentalist or right wing liberal haredi fundamentalist or right wing liberal Hindu fundamentalist or right wing liberal Muslim fundamentalist, there is the ongoing and absolute hatred of anything that is open and supportive and allowing of growth and individual freedom,

The left wing can only imagine no structure whatsoever, where even as the left wing liberal gleefully climbs up the structure that the conservative has crafted, the left wing liberal vehemently screams for the destruction of that same structure because there is the ongoing and absolute hatred of anything that is open and supportive and allowing of growth and individual freedom,


Each of these liberal extremes keep being incapable of realizing the subtlety of being totally rigid and totally open---both variations in equal amount--- and thus each of the liberal extremes keep demanding that even the balance of totally open and totally rigid must be obliterated so that the extremist agenda can be attempted . . .

Ten

I suppose I'm a pragmatist, Hal. The right cost the western world any formidable defense against leftist progressive statism, and while the latter number a paltry 20%, plus or minus, it's their long march through thought that eventually established all pop narratives since roughly 1900, and pop narrative is what the voter hews to.

The right was supposed to be that opposition. By today the right actually heralds, protects, and cherishes half a dozen foundational ststist principles and systems handed it by the progressive left. As I say, today that right can't identify its principles and who or what it is, much less what to do next. Meanwhile the progressive left has mastered co-opting all popular optics.

Classical theory about left/right dichotomy should at some point give way to a more immediate and useful redefinition of what's afoot. We must regain a working perspective but we cannot.

wtp

Ten, I would agree with most of what you state, but not understanding/following the "...and while the latter number a paltry 20%, plus or minus...". You are saying the left/statists number a paltry 20%? I doubt the right/classical liberal has ever numbered as high as 20% here in the US since WWI. While YMMV in the UK, my somewhat informed perspective is the left is much stronger in the UK than the US. Now if by left/statist you mean hard-socialist/communist, I still would say that number is at least in the 30 or 40s by now going by what people say they believe as opposed to who they say they are. With the "moderate socialists" making a solid majority in the neighborhood of 60%.

Ten

IIRC, the self-identified American Progressive constitutes 20% of the polled political body. Moderate "conservatives" are some 40%, as are Independents. Again, as self-identified and as I recall.

Functionally and practically speaking, your formulation is more realistic. We cannot and shall not regain a thorough, original perspective however, because we're locked in the partisan political domain, well above core philosophies we should have cemented into place long ago. They're lost to us.

The right is by now all but wholly codependent with the left.

Darleen

When there is no willingness to practice some transaction, then don't get into any sort of transaction or at least accept that when you do get in to some, that will indeed lead to the distinct likelihood of any transaction.

IOW, Hal, it is YOUR message that all others must adhere to or be denied pursing their livelihood.

If a photographer, custom cake baker or florist refuse to participate in an event (same-sex wedding, polygamous wedding, nudist wedding, Church of Christian identity wedding) and the State mandates they must or go out of business, why not then musicians, writers and filmmakers?

Why shouldn't The State force t-shirt shops to fulfill a "Leviticus 18:22" custom shirt order for Westboro Church?

Why wasn't the baker who refused to do a "happy birthday, Adolf Hitler" cake sued? (not Godwin, an actual case)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/store-wont-make-cake-for-adolf-hitler/

Where do you draw the line on how far you are willing to abrogate the First Amendment?

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Gosh, Hal, would you walk into a Muslim-owned bakery to demand your cake?

XRaty

Well, there are exceptions, right (a joke). As it is an extremely complicated subject, unless that is, one lives outside of Western Civilization, then it is cut and dry. Throw off roof tops, crucify, hang, and etc.

You do make a lot of sense, Hal. It's just that we are so far gone that each molecule of further subjugation is of importance, and worth refuting. Even if perhaps futile in the end.

Hal

Hullo all again, long weekend. Many pictures, speaking of pictures, a bit of sunburn, and a bashed in knee and ripped at hand---was sprinting across gravel, and tripped. Oh, don't worry, the camera's fine.

Why wasn't the baker who refused to do a "happy birthday, Adolf Hitler" cake sued? (not Godwin, an actual case)

. . . I have no idea. At a practical level, what is the cost of a lawsuit these days? With one easy or cheaper answer being to just go somewhere else, if the circumstances fit.

Now for general consideration, what if someone goes to a fundamentalist Xtian bakery and wants a cake reading Wedding blessings to Tim and Greg, except that when the cake is ordered, with that message, the explanation is also given that both names were picked at random and the destination of the cake is actually going to a museum to be part of a display of the sorts of horrid things that Those Gays will Make People Do. Given a law that The State now mandates that faith must take precedence over all other decisions, how is that baker thus required to decide?---And never mind which faith, somehow that doesn't quite seem to ever get explained, everything seems to relate to some variety of Xtianity . . . nevermind which branch, sect, subsect, cult, subcult, whatever.

Gosh, Hal, would you walk into a Muslim-owned bakery to demand your cake?

Speaking of whom . . . . So, what of a Xtian wedding cake ordered from a Muslim bakery? What of a cake celebrating someone's ordination in pick-your-faith, and the owner is a vehement practitioner of that faith called atheism?

No, y'all don't get to duck that one by demanding that atheism be declared other than faith. Whether the form of the faith demands that there really is a god, or the form of the faith demands that god is a fictional sky pixie, the complete lack of any proof of both sorts of faith---because it's all faith---means that, yes, the faith of atheism remains just as valid as the faith of protestant Xtianity, the faith of Jains, the faith of Orthodox Xtianity, the faith of Islam, the faith of . . . keep going, it's a long list.

As an editorial note, that is an inherent advantage to . . . . well the practice tends to get called Buddhism, of some sort or another, but also gets named as the practice of the buddha-dharma, with basically the same message noted from Gautama in mebbe 500 BCE, Dogen in the 1200s, Ikkyu in the 1300s to 1400s, Bankei in the 1600s, Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle these days . . . and there are others . . . . All of whom basically stating that the individual must ascertain individually, faith is mere faith and an illusion, direct personal experience is all . . . . which I why and how I do note that religion is not faith, but that's a different discussion . . . and digression.

In The Meantime, as all this has been bubbling up, I ran across a rather fascinating bit of commentary which does rather remind what is actually being discussed here, and reminds that, really now, really, when someone makes a perfectly polite and benign request for the baking of a cake, all that is needed is that the customer hand off some payment, and the baker hand off a cake . . . . . . . . . . or pizza. Y'know, that pizza company really should have gotten themselves their own website, instead of letting someone else set up a website for them . . .

How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions

It seems like this election season "religious liberty" is a hot topic. Rumors of its demise are all around, as are politicians who want to make sure that you know they will never do anything to intrude upon it.

I'm a religious person with a lifelong passion for civil rights, so this is of great interest to me. So much so, that I believe we all need to determine whether our religious liberties are indeed at risk. So, as a public service, I've come up with this little quiz. I call it "How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions." Just pick "A" or "B" for each question.

1. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.

2. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.

3. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am being forced to use birth control.
B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control.

4. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to pray privately.
B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.

5. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.
B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.

6. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.
B) Others are allowed to have access books, movies and websites that I do not like.

7. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.
B) My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.

8. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.
B) My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.

9. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.
B) A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.

10. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A) I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.
B) Public school science classes are teaching science.

Scoring key:

If you answered "A" to any question, then perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law. But just remember this one little, constitutional, concept: this means you can fight for your equality -- not your superiority.

If you answered "B" to any question, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others. This is the point where I would invite you to refer back to the tenets of your faith, especially the ones about your neighbors.

In closing, no matter what soundbites you hear this election year, remember this: Religious liberty is never secured by a campaign of religious superiority. The only way to ensure your own religious liberty remains strong is by advocating for the religious liberty of all, including those with whom you may passionately disagree. Because they deserve the same rights as you. Nothing more. Nothing less.


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