Unintended Intentions

Let it never be said the Czar doesn’t let JAB get another word or two in.

Dear Your Czarness,

Reading the post from Operative B made me think of other inconvenient, unintended consequences:

I then asked him whether that included a couple who operated a small local bakery and baked custom-decorated cakes, or local florists who created custom arrangements.

“Absolutely.”

I can only imagine the outrage when the only gay florist in Topeka, Kansas is asked to provide a floral arrangement for the ….Westboro Baptist Church. The fact that our hypothetical gay florist finds the beliefs of that “church” to be repugnant can no longer be a justification for refusal, or can it?

Good Luck with the Beard Lice,
JAB

Beard lice… thy name is Legion!

You know, it doesn’t even need to be as dramatic as Westboro: imagine a liberal artist being asked to write a song for a Republican candidate. Sorry if your political beliefs don’t agree… we can now force you under some bizarre commerce clause to use your services.

It doesn’t matter that this is for a political purpose or some other vague cause: you cannot deny business to anyone for civil purposes.

Your point though is that this is going to blow up for the Left, will blow up in a big way, and will occur to a liberal long before it happens to a conservative. That’s how it always works: and the Left will come crying to the world to change this unfair law back!

Odds are 10:1 this will become the Republicans’ fault for allowing this to happen.

Unintended Consequences of Unexpected Conversations

The Czar has been away from both the dacha and the Castle lately, taking a bit of time off with the family to engage in some vacation up in the woods of south central Wisconsin. Indeed, the Czar normally deplores his beard lice, but was surprised when they organized a stiff and successful resistence to a wood tick the Czar unknowingly picked up while gathering poison ivy for a table display. The poor bastard had no clue what hit him. The Czar may not like his lice much, but they do meet his expectations for armed resistence.

In that time, we also picked up a couple of emails from creatures most unlike wood ticks. First up, JAB writes in from the Doublewide.

Dear Your Czarness,

This has been a week full of some much-needed educatin’ of yours truly, and I thought it only fitting that I share my newly-enlightenedness with you Castle-dwellers.

  1. Much to my surprise I discovered, that I owe Anthony Kennedy a hand-written thank-you note on elegant stationery. Why you ask? Well Justice Kennedy granted me (and other knuckle-dragging religious kooks) permission to actually say what I believe.

    Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. [emphasis mine]

    Whew! What a relief. I had labored, lo these many years, under the mistaken impression that I was endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that as an American, my rights don’t flow from the government, but that the government was instituted to protect those unalienable rights. And now I learn that the Supreme Court grants me permission to “… adhere to the religious doctrines” and I may say as much. So thanks for that, Anthony! I’ll get around to writing that note just as soon as I scrounge me up some stationery elegant enough for the epistle….

  2. I also learned this week that the mere sight of the old Confederate battle flag is capable of turning otherwise-reasonable people into mass-murders. I do wonder how we ever managed years of seeing said flag painted on the top of a bright orange car (better not write the name of that car, right?) during the TV run of The Dukes of Hazzard without any Daisey-Bo-Luke-inspired killings of grandparents at Bible study. But the sooner we expunge all representations of that flag from Confederate memorials, Gone With The Wind, the shelves of Wal-Mart, the on-line offerings of eBay, and, most especially, from orange cars with big, honking’ V-8 engines…then and only then, will we finally be safe from being mown by the deranged.

    By extension, I must presume that anything that reminds people of unpleasantness should be subject to removal. It’s only logical because we can never expect adults to endure the horror of knowing that history is replete with some seriously awful goings on. Instead, we should endeavor to make the world one big “safe space” complete with soothing music and Play-Doh.

Going forth with my new-found enlightenedness, I think I have a game plan. First, I need to come… out…of…the…closet. [No, no, not the “gay closet.” Bubba and I have been married, mostly happily, going on 30 years, and I have adhered to the vows I spoke in church.] I am coming out as member of an unpopular minority, and pleading that Anthony Kennedy et al. will see it within their beneficence to grant me equal dignity to the current majority. Here goes…I believe that marriage is…limited to one man and one woman. Period. Children cannot result from homosexual unions, as Mr. Puter correctly observed earlier. You have to rent a womb, buy sperm or otherwise use medical technology to mix ovum & sperm. Deal with it, Clay Aiken and Elton John. I’m OUT and PROUD. [Please, please, please, somebody celebrate me. I know, I need to design a colorful banner, get some cool dance tracks and some clever bumper-stickers, but this is only my 1st day OUT.]

As a member of a tiny group that refuses to bow down to societal or government-mandated cultural and/or religious diktats, I do have historical precedent to guide me on my path. The early Christian church had to contend with actual persecution from the Romans, yet the faithful multiplied despite the very real threat of ghastly tortures. The Romans were really creative that way, weren’t they? As a spiritual, if not actual, descendent of those who were martyred and/or enslaved by the Romans, I feel I need a safe space. You don’t want the sight of a toga to trigger a mass-murder, now do you? So, I want the togas edited out of Animal House. And if current, living American citizens can call for the removal of names and statues of anyone who owned slaves, why limit it just to American slaveowners? Lets get rid of all monuments everywhere that might involve a person who owned or exploited a slave. You want George Washington and Thomas Jefferson edited out? Well, I think the Colosseum in Rome needs to be leveled lest it be seen to honor those who sent my Christian ancestors to the lions. Besides the Romans were way big into enslaving defeated populations, regardless of faith, so how about we blow up the remains of the aqueducts that brought water into Rome? No water, no Rome, no Empire, no slaves. And why stop there? Slavery was evil in America, so it was evil in ancient Rome, and so it was evil in ancient Egypt. Bye-bye Pyramids, which were built with slave labor, after all.

Maybe Anthony Kennedy will take pity on me and people like me, right?

Yours from the Doublewide,
JAB

The Czar is a bit confused as to the Supreme Court’s decision, but reminds himself that in order for an issue gets to the Supreme Court, the other branches of government must have surely failed on their own.

Frankly, the Czar is quite specific that government needs to get out of marriage entirely, and let religion handle that. The state can deal with civil unions on a state level, and for the SCOTUS to tackle this issue is like them weighing in on drivers’ licenses.

Of course, now that we have the requirement that states obey other states’ rights with total reciprocity, the Czar is going to assume Constitutional Carry is now legal in all 50 states and will be packing an AR-15 for the rest of the week.

Yeah, liberals, you just celebrated our right to that. Unintended consequences are the biggest bitch.

Operative B writes in with a great conversation that shows how unintended consequences can bite well-meaning but shallow-thinking people right where the tick got the Czar. Check this out, and be entertained:

Your Imperiousness,

A friend and I were discussing Obergefell v. Hodges, and how the new “law of the land” could affect the business climate in the United States. I said that it would stifle business and possibly lead toward increased anger and dissent, and he said that it would actually calm things down considerably because now everyone would be treated equally.

During our friendly conversation, I asked whether bakers, florists, and venues would be able to continue using their deeply-felt religious convictions against gay “marriage” as justification to refuse to provide products or services to single-sex “couples”. He said that the law no longer allows corporations to violate the rights of homosexuals and must therefore provide those products or services whether they want to or not.

I asked him to “define corporation”. He told me that it was any business selling a product or service. I asked him whether that included both for-profit and non-profit businesses, and he said “yes”. I then asked him whether that included both incorporated and unincorporated businesses (no, I was not about to tell him that an unincorporated business was not a corporation). Again, he said “yes, that includes every business”. Sole proprietorships as well? “Yes”.

Then, I asked him if the businesses needed to sell a product, or whether it could only provide a service. He said that it doesn’t matter, because the business was open to the public and that meant everyone.

I then asked him whether that included a couple who operated a small local bakery and baked custom-decorated cakes, or local florists who created custom arrangements. “Absolutely.”

Then, I asked him whether a single mother, working out of her home as a janitor, could refuse to provide services to a venue where a gay wedding was held because she opposed gay relationships on religious grounds.

He paused a moment. Then I asked, “Would you really be willing to force this single mother, against her will and against her religious convictions, to clean up the trash after a reception for a gay wedding?” He paused again, looked like he was going to say something, and said nothing.

Then, “How small does a business have to be before the business may refuse to provide a product or service due to religious grounds? Or are you claiming that nobody may use any reason to refuse business?”

He got very angry at me and began to rant about “That’s not what I meant!”

I said (in mostly the same words), “The minute you force one person to work for another, whether they want to or not, and whether they are paid or not, you are guilty of putting that person into slavery. One person is the slippery slope. And the minute you begin to use the power of The State to force someone to work against their will, that’s the end of ‘pursuit of happiness’. Are you really going to empower The State to choose who’s happiness is more important? What if you don’t agree with the choice?”

He stared at me with a blank expression on his face. I’m not sure whether he was angry, confused, or shocked. But the conversation ended there: because I want to keep him as a friend, I used Dennis Miller’s famous line, “F*ck it, who wants pie?” We both laughed – and I’m sure his was a laugh of relief that he didn’t have to answer my last questions.

Your Majesty, are we indeed already sliding down the slippery slope toward Marxism and communism, where religious conviction will be made illegal by The State, and where individuals will be forced by The State into serving others without being able to say “no”? If the coercive power of The State is used to force individuals to perform tasks that they would otherwise not perform, are we not violating the core tenets of the Founders: a country founded on the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Operative B

And that’s it, right? As soon as you grant a freedom to one person, you grant a freedom to all. But as soon as you make a restriction on one type of person, you kind open the door for all to be restricted. Great conversation, and great management of the topic. Commendations from the Czar.

‘Puter Pontificates: Obergefell v. Hodges

“Now, don’t you listen to ‘Puter, America. He’s going to fill your head with crazy notions like ‘fidelity to the Constitution’ and ‘judicial modesty’ and ‘separation of powers.’ The only thing that matters here is GAY MARRIAGE FTW, AMIRITE??!? W00000t!!1!”

Welcome to the brave new world, boys and girls, where words and law mean whatever a scant majority of nine unelected, robe-clad demigods say they mean, reality be damned.

If you haven’t yet ready the Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, you really ought to do so. Don’t worry, there’s no thorny legal analysis peppered with Latin legal terms and arcane concepts. That’s beneath our unelected overlords.

‘Puter’s read the opinion in its entirety. While sympathetic to the majority’s conclusion, the Justices in the majority have done little more today than elevate their personal self-regard over nearly three centuries of American law, including the governing document of our nation, the Constitution.

‘Puter will likely have more general thoughts on this case later, along with commentary as to the multiple lengthy dissents which he has not yet read. But as an appetizer, ‘Puter figured he’d give you the highlight quotes from the majority opinion, along with a brief, pithy (or pissy) analysis. So here goes nothing.

A first premise of the Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.

Good point, Justice Kennedy. Do you know what else is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy? Murder, rape, theft, slavery, and racial discrimination. ‘Puter eagerly awaits the majority’s embrace of these manifestations of ‘Puter’s individual autonomy, because freedom FTW, amirite?

A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals.

And this militate for accepting same-sex partners under the definition of marriage how, precisely, Justice Kennedy? Is the same principle applicable to multiple willing partners, or is it limited to a “two-person union?” If so, why? What’s your limiting principle? How about an incestuous heterosexual or homosexual couple? Why isn’t marriage fundamental to them as well? Surely, because marriage “supports a two-person union unlike any other,” marriage must be a fundamental right for incestuous couples as well? And since our only limiting principle seems to be a willing two-person couple, why should there be any age limit on the fundamental due process and equal protection right to marry? *crickets*

A third basis for protecting the right to marry is that it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education.

Children, you say, Justice Kennedy. Please explain how a union of two same sex individuals results in a child. ‘Puter’ll wait. Hint: parthenogenesis is not an acceptable answer. Budding would be kind of cool, though. Partial credit for that, if you illustrate it.

Fourth and finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of our social order.

Um, yes, Justice Kennedy. Marriage, as traditionally defined, is the keystone of our social order. Please explain how gay marriage, which undermines marriage’s traditional definition, is equally “a keystone of our social order.” Please show your work.

The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.

On what basis, Justice Kennedy? The enlightened wisdom of your colleagues in the majority? The enlightened opinion of the Washington-New York-Boston metroplex chattering classes? Or did you just pull this out of your ass and make no effort to justify it? ‘Puter’s going with the latter.

Loving did not ask about a “right to interracial marriage”; Turner did not ask about a “right of inmates to marry”; and Zablocki did not ask about a “right of fathers with unpaid child support duties to marry.”

Hey, does Justice Kennedy finally have something here? Nah. Looking behind the curtain, none of these cases involved any alteration to the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. There is nothing in the traditional definition of marriage that denies the right of interracial couples to marry, prisoners to marry, or deadbeat dads to marry. However, the traditional definition of marriage, as admitted by the majority, does expressly limit marriage to one man and one woman. Gay marriage directly violates this definition, unlike the precedents the majority cites in support. That’s the critical (and unspoken) distinction the majority would have us ignore.

This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

This is an interesting statement, coming from a group of Justices who fervently believe “elections have consequences” and “I won” are reason enough for government to deprive individuals of their right to select their own health insurance policies.

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.

Note carefully the language here. People who disagree with gay marriage “may continue to advocate” against it. There is no language stating that courts may not punish individuals and entities for acting in accordance with those self-same beliefs, as is guaranteed by the First Amendment. The majority is telegraphing that it is just peachy-keen with sticking it to those backwards hicks in the Catholic Church and conservative Judaism who refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Even assuming, arguendo, that gay marriage is a great thing and the highest good ever, the majority’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is nothing short of a declaration that the Constitution means exactly nothing when confronted with a liberal policy wish.

You are on notice, America.

‘Puter Pontificates: Texas Housing v. Inclusive Communities Edition

Ruth Bader Ginsburg responds to ‘Puter’s assertion that Supreme Court liberals rewrite Congress’ enactments to suit their preferred policy goals, saying “I’ve got a lifetime appointment, bitch! Ain’t nothin’ you can do to stop me!”

Difficult to believe based on yesterday’s news coverage, but the Supreme Court issued another important decision yesterday as well. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority*, held disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). You can (and should) read Justice Kennedy’s opinion and the two dissents here, in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.

Here are your takeaways:

  • Disparate impact analysis may now be used to bring claims against governmental and private entities under the FHA.
  • Disparate impact analysis is used for “removal of artificial, arbitrary and unnecessary barriers.”
  • “[R]acial imbalance … does not, without more, establish a prima facie case of disparate impact.”
  • A claim based solely on statistical disparity is insufficient. A claim must also show “defendant’s policy or policies causing that disparity.”
  • “[P]rompt resolution of these cases is important. A plaintiff who fails to allege facts at the pleading stage or produce statistical evidence demonstrating a causal connection cannot make out a prima facie case of disparate impact.”
  • “Remedial orders in disparate-impact cases should concentrate on the elimination of the offending practice that ‘arbitrar[ily] . . . operate[s] invidiously to discriminate on the basis of rac[e].’ If additional measures are adopted, courts should strive to design them to eliminate racial disparities through race-neutral means.” (citations omitted)

‘Puter left out the majority’s lengthy discussion analogizing the FHA to other statutes (Civil Rights Act, etc.) in which the Court previously permitted disparate impact claims. ‘Puter also notes Justice Kennedy is mightily concerned with disparate impact claims bogging down the work of housing authorities and private property rehabilitators, and notes courts must take care to prevent this.

Justice Kennedy’s concerns aside, his decision will do exactly what he fears: bog down otherwise good and valid projects as local racial grievance mongers community organizers cry “racism.” Permitting plaintiffs to sue based on nothing more than a statistical showing of a disproportionate impact on minorities unconvincingly tied to a regulation or policy is a formula for chaos.

‘Puter notes also the majority’s complete disregard of the constitutional separation of powers. The majority opinion usurps the legislature’s Article I powers, rewriting the statute to contain a remedy not otherwise provided for in the FHA’s text. In this respect, Justice Kennedy’s opinion is of a piece with Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in King v. Burwell.

In sum, the Supreme Court compounded its earlier errors by reading a remedy into a statute that Congress did not provide. Congress knows darned well how to write into a law what it intends. It is not the Court’s job to do so for Congress. If a preferred or desired remedy is not available in the law, the Court should say so, and leave it to Congress to amend (or not) the statute as it sees fit. When a bare majority of nine, unelected lifetime appointees can rewrite statutes as they see fit, we may as well not have a Constitution.

Both Justice Thomas and Justice Alito’s dissent ably dismantle the majority’s premise and argument. You would do well to read them both.

In one day, two separate “conservative” Justices wrote opinions weakening the rule of law and flouting separation of powers. To say it was not a good day for Constitutional government is an understatement.

* Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan constituted the majority. Justice Thomas wrote a separate dissent. Justice Alito wrote a dissent in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas joined.

‘Puter Pontificates: King v. Burwell Edition

‘Puter, unlike many Twitteratti, read the entire King v. Burwell opinion (and Scalia’s most entertaining dissent) today. ‘Puter will spare you his detailed, legalistic opinion of the decision.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • The majority opinion* did serious damage to rule of law. It ignored relevant precedent, misapplied other precedent, denied words’ plain meaning, and contorted logic to reach its predetermined end: upholding ObamaCare’s subsidies.
  • The majority unconstitutionally usurped legislative powers to reach its preferred policy result.
  • The majority did irreparable damage to the Court’s reputation for being neutral arbiters of law.
  • Justice Scalia is a total badass.**

In holding the unambiguous phrase “established by the State” to be ambiguous, the majority informed America the law is what at least five unelected judges say it is, regardless of what the statute actually says. In short, rule of law is for suckers.

Chief Justice Roberts, in his zeal to protect the Court’s reputation, succeeded in accomplishing the opposite. Roberts sacrificed the bulwark of rule of law in service to the ephemeral wishes of man. The majority believed, correctly, if it held “established by the State” to be clear, Congress would not “fix” the issue. The majority knowingly chose to jettison law to reach a desired policy result. History will not look favorably on the Chief Justice Roberts and his majority.

The majority opinion simply beggars belief. It is a bald-faced ex post facto justification of the Court’s unconstitutional rewriting of a piece of legislation to suit its desired outcome.

That said, here’s a little food for thought from your contrarian ‘Puter.

‘Puter, unlike most conservatives, believes there may be a more favorable interpretation of Roberts’ vote in King v. Burwell. Roberts may have voted with the majority in order to prevent either Kennedy or Ginsburg (the next most senior Justices in the majority) from writing the opinion. The most senior Justice in the majority decides who writes the majority decision. The same is true in dissent.

While Roberts’ opinion was bad – very bad – it is likely far less damaging to the rule of law than anything Kennedy or Ginsburg would’ve written.

Ginsburg may well have written an opinion based in the Left’s pulled-it-out-of-my-butt “penumbra” jurisprudence, using the opportunity to expand Roe v. Wade and uphold the Affordable Care Act.

Kennedy would’ve come up with a meaningless 73 part balancing test, full of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

The only good thing ‘Puter can say about the majority opinion is this: someday it will be used by conservatives to rewrite the plain language of a law liberals love in contravention of Congress’ actual words.

* Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.

** Read Scalia’s dissent. You know you want to. It’s worth your time, I promise.

Okay, Maybe Not the Stars and Bars

Mitch writes in to point out that Czar’s memory is oftimes scratchy and clumped up in tufts like a shedding dog’s butt:

You’ve got nine-tenths of a good argument there, but the red-and-blue Andrew’s Cross flag with the stars isn’t the Stars and Bars, it’s the Battle Flag of the ANV, which eventually became the basis for the second and third official flags of the Confederacy, none of which flies over the South Carolina capitol building these days. The Stars and Bars was the three-stripe with blue canton deal that you describe as looking like the Ohio state flag. The name sounds like it should describe the Confederate Battle Flag – the one that is today’s symbol of rebellion, racism, or heritage depending on your angle – so the mis-usage is damn near ubiquitous, but it’s still wrong.

You are of course entirely correct, and the Czar regrets the error.

On the Stars and Bars

Two schools of thought approach the Stars and Bars—the ongoing display of the Confederate Flag—and both are wrong.

  • The flag is vile, racist, and a symbol of hatred. This of course denies all of its historical implications and traditions, and shows the person to be of particularly shallow thought.
  • The flag is noble expression in the reaffirmation of states’ rights, and has a long tradition of opposing government overreach. This of course is utterly insensitive and dumb.

The Czar isn’t even going to address the first point in much detail, because the screaming noise from the Left—who fail to realize their pet party, the Democrats, invented the freaking thing in the first place and used it in their marketing as recently as 1992—is making everybody totally well aware of how offensive it is, and so forth.

But let’s face it: when the average person—defined as someone who loves their country and expects it to do better—sees a Confederate Flag hanging from a house, pasted to the bumper of a truck, or flown in a yard, that average person thinks “That guy’s a jackass.” It’s true.

And if you are among the many who disagree, you’re not all that well-versed in what it means. It’s like wearing a Che T-shirt: people do it because it’s trendy and apparently says something or other. It never seems to register with the wearer, who can’t be bothered to do real research, at how offensive it can be and, at best make most people uncomfortable.

Historically—and the Czar was there, let him tell you—the Stars and Bars is a symbol of stupid, futile failure.

Want to assert states’ rights? Fly a Gadsden flag. You get the Don’t Tread On Me libertarianism of states and the practical functionality of Join or Die federalism without the awful historical baggage. You may disagree, of course, but you’re admitting you believe the Secession was legal and a good idea. It wasn’t and it wasn’t. The South went about things in exactly the wrong way. Denial doesn’t strengthen your argument here.

Want to honor the South and Dixie and its war dead? You can fly the American flag. Unless you’re flying the Union Jack of 1862, the current American flag represents the good people of the North and the South. You may disagree, but if you do, you might as well admit you don’t know a lot about the Civil War, because the Stars and Bars—yes, the Confederate Flag—wasn’t the flag of the Confederacy. The Flag of the Confederacy had a blue canton of 13 white stars in a circle, with two red horizontal stripes surrounding a single white stripe in the middle. Most so-called opponents of the fatuously named War of Northern Aggression won’t know or admit this fact, but the actual Confederate flag looks a lot like the flag of that Northern Aggressor state of Ohio. The Confederate Battle Flag, on the other hand, isn’t a good tool for honoring the good men of the South, since good men of the South didn’t support the war but fought only because they were forced to.

Want to make a statement that you oppose liberalism, and its gun controls and regulations and abortions, and so on? Okay, but maybe choose a symbol that wasn’t used by a terrible economic system based on slave labor. Yes, the Stars and Bars is a great middle finger to the liberal, but it’s also a middle finger to everybody else. Hence, you’re a jackass. Again, your Gadsden flag is a perfect solution.

Any other general use of the flag, we have to assume, is either anti-American or pro-White. Sorry. Unless you’re a historical re-enactor in costume, or have a collection of American flags of all kinds, you have no non-jackass reason to display it.

So what’s the Czar think? The Czar automatically opposes banning symbols: the Confederate Flag is a perfectly useful form of living history, with lots to discuss. It has a place in history, terrible though that place is. Banning it because it’s scary is no different that banning an AR-15 rifle because it’s scary or banning a movie because its political content is scary. The Czar actually doesn’t care if it’s offensive to 30 million American blacks, or even just one. Some symbols will offend no matter what, and it’s a fool’s errand to try to take them all down. Banning that flag is a waste of time and intelligence.

But, having said that, the Czar is not easily swayed by arguments from the other side. Generally, it takes about a minute of honest conversation before the pro-Confederate flag guy either admits he doesn’t really understand his history beyond bumper stickers, or he’s an offensive putz who might as well wear a Che T-shirt. It’s not that it’s offensive to the Czar personally or even to a group of people: it’s just freaking ignorant. The only other people who will support you are people equally ignorant and maybe not all that nice.*

The Czar has spoken about this elsewhere, and sure enough there come the emails with objections to the historical facts. Again, most of the arguments reduce down to one of the above, but ultimately the last word is some variant of “I’ve always flown it, and taking it down now would make me look like a fool.”

Perhaps; but not as much as leaving the flag on display makes you look like an ass. Take it down—and if anyone asks, tell them “You know, it just doesn’t mean what it could have. There’s too much ugliness on both sides about it, and I could simply fly something that expresses my views better.”

*The Czar is also on record for opposing the Earth Day flag for the exact same reasons: the flag was designed by and for the Left to celebrate the destruction of modern civilization in lieu of a progressive utopian paradise. It’s true! The Earth symbol in the canton is actually the Greek letter theta—Θάνατος, or “death.” That’s why Earth Day is on Lenin’s birthday, and why the hippie teenager who designed it was prevented from flying it at her school: she made no bones about its meaning.

Thoughts on the Mother Emanuel AME Church Shooting

Mrs. GorT has plenty of extended family in Charleston, South Carolina and it’s one of our favorite Charleston_South_Carolinaplaces to visit and vacation.  Since the tragic event, GorT has followed various news outlet reports (CNN, Fox [local affiliate], radio) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs) and read and listened to what is out there and had a few thoughts.

First, let’s be honest about the event: this is a heinous racial crime by a bigot who has no place in our society.  What he did was evil.  Period.  Treating it as anything less vile is a mistake.  Thinking that we shouldn’t put some effort into addressing these issues.

Second, we can pass all the laws we want: more restrictive gun legislation, banning flags from the Civil War, etc. – none of which will address the problem.  It only addresses the symptoms or by-products.  Criminals will continue to seek and find illegal weapons.  Bigots will continue to believe and spout hatred.  Society needs to change.

John Stewart had what I would characterize as a heart-felt monologue about the shooting and a broad satirical statement about the likelihood that we, as a nation, will do nothing.  While he’s right, he’s also part of it.  Politicians – on both sides, pundits, news outlets, et al will either talk about it, or worse, complain but do nothing.  Stewart essentially complained about the problem.  President Obama essentially complained about the problem.  But while we continue to segregate the nation into groups: black, white, hispanic, latino, gay, straight, etc. – we will continue to have divisions. Politicians continue to paint with broad strokes like “the GOP is arming these killers” (a report this morning on CNN) but you see and know that many conservatives are just as outraged as this event.

Let’s all pray for these families and really work in our daily lives to improve this country.  See the best in people and give your best.

Self-Identification Means No Self-Indemnification

If anything was ever ripe for Gormogons takedown, it’s this Rachel Dolezal story. What a perfect blend of lunacy masquerading as social something or other. Look, Ms. Dolezal is either a liar at the end of the line or she has some curious mental issues. The Czar guesses the former, but accepts the latter is still much in play.

The more entertaining aspect to this story is how long she got away with it. Anyone looking at her photograph—in either guise—shakes their head in disbelief. What it all tells the Czar is that the NAACP and other race hucksters are so clueless on the subject of race that they can be hoodwinked by what seems to reasonable people to be an obvious fraud. The race community—and they are legion—have embarrassed themselves. Ms. Dolezal has revealed they have no clue what they’re talking about.

Meanwhile, that same community is making utterly futile attempts to explain this away. Ms. Dolezal, one approach goes, is proof that we are so color-blind in our own racial attitudes that we can be fooled. Good luck with that.

The Czar thinks the whole notion of clear distinctions between races went out in the 1960s as some social theory often cited but widely disregarded, like flying cars. So many millions of people are multiracial that the whole thought is stupid; Michael Jackson even wrote a song about it. So what the NAACP should have said is “We don’t care, and never did, whether Ms. Dolezal is black; however, she lied to us repeatedly about the matter and we cannot accept that intensity of deception in our management. We have dismissed her.” Done, because nobody cares except the Left (who are losing their minds over this story).

Adding confusion to the fraud v. illness balance is her insistence that she identifies as black—a clear sign that she’s aware of her fraud. Accuse a black person of being white, and he or she will likely laugh and ask what the hell you’re talking about; instead, Ms. Dolezal accepts the claim but insists there’s something to be said for your beliefs. Real people don’t talk that way because there’s no reason to.

But what about this self-identification? Operative BJ writes in:

This lowly one approaches to ask whether he can change his identification. No, not his driver license identification, or his voter identification, or his Facebook identification, or his cell phone number.

I want to change my racial, religious, genetic, hereditary, ancestral, species, and lifeform identification.

Since birth, I have been an XY chromosome caucasian male of eastern-European descent (both sides of the family). However, I have been wondering whether that identification has imbued me with far too much “white privilege” which I have exercised by paying excessive taxes and receiving almost no benefits from UncleSam.gov.

So I come to you, not quite on bended knee, asking to change my identification to a rarely found species that might be able to gain special financial and medical benefits: that of a dark-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, half-African, trans-Toltec witch-doctor herbalist with Harvard law and medicine PhDs.

I’m tired of being treated as the 60+, slightly overweight, thin-haired and brown-eyed, nearsighted, caucasian male that I am. I don’t want to “present” exactly as I am. I want to be “present” as younger, smarter, and more capable than I am today, and I want the liberal media and progressive apologists to accept me that way – regardless of whether it is the truth.

But I’m having some trouble: which gender should I choose to identify as? I would identify as female, but Jenner and Cox have that one sewn up (so to speak). I would identify as male, but Beatie has that one under control – along with her children… uh, his children… uh…

Hence my confusion, and my offer to appear as a different species altogether. I was thinking about telling those aforementioned liberals/progressives that I “present” as a post-modification satyr or harpie, hence a non-human species that attained human appearance through surgical procedures and lots (and lots) of botox.

O Great Czar, what wisdom can you offer?

Plenty. Actually, the Czar is surprised Operative BJ doesn’t want to change his operative name, but yes—the Czar recommends you self-identify as an eagle.

As Operative BG explained in a brilliant essay, he realizes he is “an American Bald Eagle – haliaeetus leucocephalus – mistakenly born into the body of a white man.”

And this has real possibilities. For example, Federal Law allows eagles to do all sorts of things. Here are two:

  • I may decide to use your roof, or your front porch, or your car, or your own person, as a toilet. You must not interfere with this behavior. You are welcome to use my leavings as organic sustenance for your flower beds.
  • As a protected species, I can not be expected to observe the “No Trespassing” restrictions on your property, and I may decide to hunt small game or small children there. You should be grateful that I am doing my part to maintain the balance of nature.

Operative BG lists many more colorful things that he can do now that he has self-identified as an American bald eagle. Read all of them, and recognize that if Ms. Dolezal is black, then anything is possible.

And this is why the Left is going nuts over her: nobody has to do a goshdarned thing anymore for them.

A Brief PSA

public_service_announcementMark Spahn writes in with the following Public Service Announcement:

Hack a Bunch of Hacks discusses the fact that all current government employees are security-compromised. Hence the government will have to hire all-new top-secret personnel who have never before worked for the federal government. If this describes you, you are eligible for a new, high-paying, high-security job.  When you apply, you will be given a form to be filled out in order for your new employer to conduct a security check.
But do not be fooled. This request for information is your first test: If you give any information beyond your name and the town you live in (“name-and-town, name-and-town”), you will be insulting the team that investigates you, as if they require any more information than your name-and-town. This is Question 1 of the IQ test for all new high-security hires in the federal government. The correct answer is to not answer it (except name-and-town).
— Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY) <– my name-and-town