Public Accommodation

There has been much discussion recently over Public Accommodation. The news has been filled with the story of a website designer who refused to accept a job from LGBTQ+ customers, citing religious objections. This is the most recent cause célèbre that found its way onto the supreme court docket and was argued yesterday. Dec 5th. At the center of the debate is whether a business can refuse service or is bound to provide service based on the public accommodation law.

This case follows a similar one in 2018, which also argued against the Colorado public accommodation law,that found for a baker who refused to use his talents to bake a cake for a same sex couple based on religious belief. The opinion of this last case was a narrow one based on the hostility shown during legal proceedings to the baker’s religious views.

The question to answer is. What is Public Accommodation. Under federal law it is:

 42 U.S.C. §2000a (a)All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. 42 U.S.C.

The Colorado law does go deeper into the class of persons, to include:

CO Rev Stat § 24-34-601 (2016) “An individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.”

I do believe in enforcing public accommodation laws. The concept of public accommodation lives deep in the heart of America. But there are limits when it comes to individual talent. I was against the Colorado baker feeling it was a violation of public accommodation until I found out the couple was asking for him to design a unique cake using his individual talents. This changed the tenor of the argument to forcing someone to sell not just a product but part of themselves. Had the couple asked for the Number “9” cake that would have fallen under public accommodation but when it went to asking the individual to provide his expertise which violated his individual belief, that went too far.

The same argument applies to the web designer. If she had standard templates and just added names, then she could not refuse service. To design an individual and unique web page requires her to apply her own talents and imagination. This should not be under public accommodation.

So, since I said I agree with the concept of public accommodation then let’s discuss how it should be applied.

In June of 2018, President Trumps Press Secretary, Sara Huckabee Sanders was refused service and asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va. because she worked for Trump. This week a restaurant in Richmond Va. canceled a reserved party less then two hours before the start because the group, the Family Foundation, was perceived as anti-LGBTQ and staff said they felt uncomfortable and unsafe serving them. Neither Sanders nor the Family Foundation asked for any special accommodation and ordered off the menu. The refusal to serve these groups is in direct confrontation to the sprit of public accommodation. In theory this does not violate the Virginia law – § 2.2-3904. Nondiscrimination in places of public accommodation – since there is nothing in the law that mentions political affiliation – other then sexual orientation and gender identity.

These last two however do violate the sprit of the law and flies in the face of American culture. There has been a long hard fight over the last 50 years to ensure anyone, who is not breaking the law, can go to any business and get what the business offers. The history of America also fights for the individual. You cannot discriminate just because you do not like someone, but the government cannot force you to perform a unique function against your wishes.

Democrat Hypocrisy

Among the headlines in the Washington Post this morning was “Trump’s dinner with antisemites provides test of GOP response to extremism.” While I agree that the dinner was wrong, even if Trump did not know who Nick Fuentes was, he knows Kanye West (now Ke) is an antisemite having made a series of antisemitic statements. I also have to question Trumps staff for not stepping in before the dinner

This all, however, brings up the hypocrisy of the democrats and the news media.  Where was the outrage over the statements of congresswoman Ilhan Omar and her fellow congressional antisemite congress woman Rashida Tlaib? The House under Democrat control has failed time and again to censor their actions or statements.

If we are to stand against evil, we must be ready to do so without prejudice. Antisemitism is evil, racism is evil, white supremacy is evil, and it does not matter the political affiliation. You cannot take the moral high ground if you are willing to ignore immoral acts based on politics. Wrong is wrong in all cases, not just in the third person, our side is right only their side is wrong.

Trump, the Press and the coming election

“You furnish the pictures and I will furnish the war.” This famous anecdote was attributed to William Randolph Hearst when the illustrator Frederick Remington, whom Hurst had sent to Cuba to cover the revolution, wired that there is no war and he would like to come home. I bring this up to illustrate the power a corrupt press has over the people. We are entering the next phase of elections which will result in the 2024 Presidential election as well as the second House election since Joe Biden has assumed office.

Many who had hoped for a red wave this past cycle are obviously disappointed yet should not be surprised. While part of the problem can be laid at the feet of the Republican party for putting up weak candidates, we must not forget the role the press plays in shaping public opinion.

The main stream media played up Trump in every possible way as the spawn of the devil and the democrats pushed this narrative with all their might. While polls showed most Americans where not buying into the Dems narrative of any Republican victory meant the end of Democracy, they could not escape the constant drum beat of Trump, Trump, Trump being the end of the world as we know it.

I can blame Trump for many things that have happened in the past. He was never a leader from a political perspective. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit he should have led by example by, at least, wearing a mask. He did however lead by increasing the number of respirators available, moving hospital ships to high population areas and rushing the development of a vaccine. The press however concentrated on his being an arrogate ass and putting himself out there seeming to be on the side of those who refused to take the pandemic seriously.

There are those who are attempting to rehabilitate Trumps image by putting out on social media actually facts that showed Trumps successes such as reviving the economy and reducing unemployment, increasing the number of minority businesses and more. Theses are the things ignored by the MSM, if it could not be ignored at least it was minimized.  

For all the real good Trump did he will never overcome what the press has done to him. I am sorry to say that I cannot support Trump in his attempt to regain the White House, I would vote for him if he gets the nomination but I am very afraid he is coming with too much baggage and will hurt the republican party in the long run.

The Republican party needs to get a much larger portion of the middle road and Trump cannot do that this time around. The press will never allow the truth to come out and the right does not have the proper outlets to overcome that.

Why Has Biden Turned on the Kurds

During the Presidential election of 2020 I saw may Kurds attack Trump for abandoning Syria Kurds and stating with no uncertainty that Biden was a friend of the Kurds and would support them no matter what, including a new independence derive. I also had Kurdish friends, like Chiman Akrawi, who tried to explain that Biden was just another politician who only said what was popular to a group at a particular time.

Today we see the result of this misplaced trust. While saying they oppose any intervention by Turkey in Syria, they have signaled that they will not go very far in trying to stop it. While I was disappointed in Trump’s actions, and said so on many occasions, he in fact never said he would do anything different.

Today those of us. Like Chiman Akrawi and I, get no pleasure in saying we told you so. Turkey will  invade Syria and kill hundreds of Kurds in the name of counterterrorism, and the world will do nothing. Just like the killing of Kurds in Iran and Turkish attacks in Iraq, the world will ring its hands and say how terrible this all is, and do nothing.

A post I wrote in the past may help us understand:

Khalaf Zebari

Recently the University of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan renamed Kalaf Zebari hall to Peshmerga Hall. For those who do not know the Peshmerga are the military that has defended the Kurdish region from both external attacks and internal such as Saddam Hussein’s military and most recently ISIS. Khalafe Zebari on the other was a Kurdish intellectual, who also happened to be a former Peshmerga fighter. This change has caused considerable consternation in the region. While it is understood that it is right and proper to honor the Peshmerga who have sacrificed much for the Kurdish people, why remove the name of an honored intellectual and poet who himself sacrificed for the Kurdish people. Having uprooted himself and his family several times, first to escape the tyranny of the Saddam era then to secure a future for his family in the US. Lastly, he once again uprooted his entire family to move to Washington DC to begin Voice of America Kurdish broadcasts.

This last gave great comfort to the Kurdish people, not only in Iraq but Turkey, Syria and Iran. Bringing news, information and hope to the suppressed people of Kurdistan. Joining him was his wife, Chiman, who in addition to VoA worked with a number of US and international agencies supporting Kurdish and regional refugee programs as well as US government operations in the region.  I’ve known Chiman Zebari for a decade and have worked with her closely so I know her loyalty for her people.  My interest in this began as I read posts on Chiman’s FB page. While I do not read Kurdish and the google translations leave much to be desired, I understood the gist of the story.

While, as said. it is right to honor those Peshmerga who gave so much. There are a number of ways to do this, and they have been done throughout the Kurdish region. The University of Duhok, being an institute of higher education must not forget the contributions made by the poets and intellectuals. Return the name of this man who gave so much to support the intellectual freedom of the Kurds.  

Does America Have a Representative Government?

The House Select Committee on the January 6th riots held a professionally produced TV event, the result of which, to no one’s surprise, placed the blame for the attack on the capitol building on Donald Trump.  This result was a foregone conclusion from the outset of the hearings. The committee was designed to come to this conclusion from and by packing the so called “bipartisan” committee. The committee and the mass media have continued to call this event an attack on the foundation of democracy. They proceeded through the night to present evidence to back up their claim. The problem is that most of what they called evidence would likely not be allowed in a court of law in any democratic country.

Evidence implies facts and the facts are well known. On January 6th of 2021 a riot broke out in front of the Capitol building and proceeded into the building itself. No one denies this. The riot and subsequent assaults were and are criminal. There have been several arrests and convictions related to this. The problem now comes as we leave the world of evidence and enter the world of fantasy. While fantasy may be a harsh word, we could use assumption or conspiracy. Regardless of what you wish to call it, the intent is to prove Trump was responsible and controlled events. To this end there is no evidence, no facts to point to.

There have been civilian attacks on the government since the very beginning of the country. Shay’s Rebellion, The Whiskey Rebellion, John Brown at Harpers Ferry, The anti-war riots and race riots of the 1960’s. The list goes on and on. In 2011 union activist attacked and occupied the Wisconsin Capitol Building, which Nancy Pelosi called true democracy in action. Most recently we have seen a number of race riots directed by the Black Lives Matter movement, which have resulted in death and the destruction of businesses and other personal property. The congress has done nothing about those criminal acts and DOJ did nothing but try to blame whole police departments.

As I said what happened on Jan 6th 2021 was criminal and an insult to America. The reaction of congress however is far beyound what should have been done. The fact is that what the majority in congress has done has taken a criminal act of a few and turned it into a political drum beat. The way in which the Jan 6th committee has acted is so transparently partisan that it is insulting. From the beginning the majority attempted to ignore the facts and went after Trump through an impeachment that was doomed to fail and whose only reason was to keep Trump from running again. The special select committee is also an attempt to stop Trump and anyone who thinks of following him from regaining any power. In fact the actions of the left and this committee have done just the opposite by keeping Trump in the news. It is time to return to the age of reason were reason and reality are objective. The way that the truth has been ignored by the left indicates that they consider reason and reality to be subjective. They twist and turn every fact or rumor into what ever they what it to be and hope that the people will be fooled. This committee has been seated for over a year and has in fact come up with nothing, however their report will be issued sometime in September, just in time to impact the midterm elections.

The true attack on Democracy is a representative government that has stopped representing the people and is only concerned with partisan politics. Lets spend time and money on addressing the problems that currently face all Americans.

Roe V Wade

To begin, I believe life begins at conception. I believe that there are circumstances where pregnancies can and should be aborted such as rape, incest or for medical reasons. I have never been sure of Roe v. Wade as the correct way to handle the abortion issue or should it reside in the states. I am sure however that the response we are seeing to a leaked preliminary report is a further indication of how far we as a nation have fallen

The most troubling response has come from our political leaders. Raising up and declaring SCOTUS is not properly responding to the wishes of the people and using the time worn attack that this is going to bring democracy down. Courts have never and should never be conduits of popular opinion. Yes laws change over time, responding to changing social conditions, but this is evolutionary. By saying that once the Supreme Court rules that is the end of all further discussions. The court has overturned past rulings and likely will continue to do so. Plessy v. Ferguson found that separate but equal education was constitutional upholding the concept of segregation and Jim Crow laws. This was then settled law from 1896 until 1954 when segregation was ruled unconstitutional in the Brown v. The Board of Education ruling.

Before Roe v. Wade abortion was not a “constitutional right” nor was it universally illegal. Until then it was up to individual states to determine, as well as individual choice in states where it was legal. Roe v. Wade determined the constitutionality based on the 9th amendment arguing that if it not a right denied in the constitution it is the peoples right. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while supporting the spirit of Roe said it was founded on the wrong argument. When it is reargued, and it will be, it will be under the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

Why has this situation engendered such passion? To put abortion in perspective about .009% of woman between 15 and 49 get abortions on average per year. However both sides of the argument have taken it to extremes. On one side we say that any abortion is murder and have gone to the extreme of some now saying they wish to ban contraceptives and things like Plan B. On the other side we say, “My Body, My Choice.” This argument goes all the way up to the concept of partial birth abortions.

Both extremes are unworkable and will do nothing but continue to wreak havoc on America. Both side have to learn the art of compromise and understand that they will not get everything they want.   

When Does Freedom of Press Become Propaganda

I want to give you my thoughts on the current crisis gripping Washington. It is not the fact that a war in Europe is raging and could potentially expand into a nuclear conflict, but a purported seven-hour gap in phone logs of President Trump on Jan 6th. These logs have been turned over to the House JAN 6TH committee and were reported by none other than Bob Woodward. This revelation comes soon after President Biden called for the removal of Russian Putin, suggested the 82d Airborne would be in Ukraine soon and suggests a possible US chemical weapons attack in response to Russia using chemicals in Ukraine, all which Biden denies but is on tape saying.

We are also in the midst of learning that Hunter Biden’s lap top is in fact real and the information that has been reported is in fact correct. All of this despite the fact that a number of Intelligence Professionals had claimed to be Russian misinformation.

But the big news is that a federal judge said Trump “probably” committed a crime. Not to forget that a Supreme Court Justices wife exchanged tweets with the WH CoS. This last has been followed by calls for his impeachment or at the least his resignation.

We are also recipients of reports from the confirmation hearings for a new Supreme Court Justise, that has not discussed her qualifications but centers on the “fact” that all the white republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are nothing more than racist for actually asking questions. As an aside I do not like the politics of this nominee but see no reason to deny confirmation.

In the end it would be remiss of me not to mention the biggest national news story, Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. Which has people talking about violence and racial stereotypes. Oh, and in case you missed it the Federal Election Commission has fined both Hilary Clintons campaign and the DNC for its part in the Steele Dossier. You remember the t.hing that started the whole Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

The news industry keeps asking why they are losing readers/viewers? Perhaps if they went back to reporting the new instead of pushing a narrative people would begin to trust them again. My blog is and all I ask of people id to please think. Look at the facts and see if it meets the criteria of news. News organizations are always going to take a side and have an opinion but leave that on the OpEd page. Opinions and personal agendas have no place in a front-page news story

Moral Obligations

Today the world faces a dilemma it had always hoped to avoid, morality going up against ideology. How do we handle the situation in Ukraine without understanding our moral obligation to the world? What is happening in Ukraine is a moral outrage with leadership acknowledging the fact. President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken as well as many of our NATO allies have called Putin a war criminal and say there is evidence that the Russians are committing war crimes in Ukraine. The crimes being committed are a daily occurrence. Economic sanctions will take time to become effective, if ever. The legal process that could be used is dysfunctional at best. The ICC in the Hauge has already opened an investigation, but it has no true power to charge Russia or Russians with any crime. The evidence to support the charges are inside a war zone.

The West has hidden behind the legalities of international treaties and law. I am not suggesting that we ignore laws or abrogate treaties, just that we need to remember who and what we are. Ukraine is not a NATO member so Russian actions do not trigger a NATO response. Russia is a nuclear power which means we must proceed carefully, but at what cost? President Biden likes to whisper into microphones that if we engage Russia its WWIII. This goes back to the claim President Obama made while negotiating the Iran deal, “Its this deal or war.” Is this the mentality we need to follow, let Ukraine be crushed or it’s WWIII? Does the West have a moral obligation that overrides the arguments of diplomacy?

We have been faced with these questions before. Our founding fathers needed the moral courage to stand up the greatest military force in fighting for independence. Then there came a time to fight to remove the stain of slavery from the country. The greatest generation then had to face off against the Axis powers. Let it be known there was much objection to this last in the US even through our leadership knew about the holocaust, but we found a way. Yes, Russia is a nuclear power but we faced off with them during the Cuban missile crisis. We found the moral courage to face down the bigots of the Jim Crow era. Can we find the courage now to understand our moral obligation before it is too late? If we cannot find the moral courage to do what is right now, what becomes of us in the future.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Freind

The United States today appears to be divided between left and right polls. If the news media is to be believed there is no middle ground. I personally believe there is a large middle ground, but they are being beaten into submission by the extremes. What is driving this may be understood using the old adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” We have seen this philosophy used countless times, not only in war but politics as well. Many are unaware that one of the reasons the founding fathers put freedom of speech in the constitution was to insure that people with opposing thoughts had the right to express them. This also kept opposing forces from joining together to oppose the government. As long as they could express their beliefs and opinions freely there was no need to join with their enemies. This could be a lesson for some social media groups who impose their “community standards” on their sites giving rise to competition. This was seen in the 2d World War with resistance movements such as the French maquis. The maquis included such groups as the French Communist party and the Young Catholic League. Two sworn enemy who joined together to fight the evil occupation. This did not end well, at the end of the war these groups turned on each other.

How does this reflect in today’s America? A recent example of how far we have fallen is a report from Yale University that around 100 Yale law students: “…disrupted a bipartisan panel on civil liberties by trying to shout down and intimidate the speakers — who had to be escorted out of the building by police, according to reports.

The panel “hosted by the Federalist Society featured Kristen Waggoner, a controversial anti-LGBTQ speaker with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, and Monica Miller, an associate at the progressive American Humanist Association,” when reminded of Yales policy of free speech and free expression the students could only understand that they had a right to protest and that the panel did not have a right to express their views.

On the other side we have some right-wing extremist in Congress calling the president of Ukraine a thug and saying we should not support him. The congress approved a measure designed to help pressure Russia with eight republicans voting against it, Of the two, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, have repeatedly pushed propaganda that mirrors that of the Putin. Why, because if Biden or the Dems say it, it must be wrong.  

We have been subjected to the concept of “Cancel Culture” which both sides use. Also called call out culture, it can be an effective way to pull back the curtain on things that otherwise would be left in the dark. The MeToo movement was a start to correcting the process that had kept survivors of sexual assault from speaking out. It was instrumental in bringing down people like Harvey Weinstein, but then it became a political tool. One of the most famous political uses of this was during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh, a distinctly conservative jurist, was about to be confirmed as a justice of the Supreme Court. Toward the end of the hearings a professor from Palo Alto CA, Christine Blasey Ford, claimed that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when the two were in High School. The cry rang out that victims must be believed. The problem with this is that there was no proof. Even after Ford named a friend at the party who could confirm the attack. This witness, Leland Ingham Keyser, stated she had no memory of the party and did not know who Kavanaugh was, regardless some of the public accepted Fords claim and would not be dissuaded by the facts. Similarly the public has been told that Trump is the personification of evil and regardless of facts continue to cancel him, with no direct or supportable evidence.

Today we see in the same type of cancel culture attacks on the current Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. To be honest she is much too liberal for my taste, but I cannot find a reason to deny her the nomination. Calls that she was too lenient on child pornographers are a subjective argument. She sentenced within the guidelines, which themselves may be too lenient, but the sentencing was legitimate. Worse are calls of how she defended clients when she was a public defender. While some of her clients may be the scum of the earth, it is a lawyer’s job to provide a defense.  

What does this all mean? Are we all becoming extremist or is the way we get our information failing? Information that the public gets has always been skewed by those reporting. A prime example was back when the US and Spain were almost at war. As the story goes William Randolph Hearst, a powerful news paper publisher, sent one of his illustrators, Frederick Remington, to cover the insurrection in Cuba. Remington cabled Hearst that there was no war to which the reply was “You furnish the pictures. I’ll furnish the war.” Today open any news paper or watch any news station and count the times the reporters attack a person or political party rather then just give us the news. Look at how many times you will see FOX News or CNN attacked by rivel networks. There was a time that those of us of a certain age remember watching a news show because of the popularity of the person giving the news, rarely did you have any idea of their political affiliation. Even worse is the proliferation of online sites that don’t even pretend to be news reporters but attempt to play into a certain segment of society while pretending the opinions or “news” they are giving are facts.

What to do? Remember there are no GOOD news sources, suspect story. If it is important to you do your own investigation. Accept that those with opposing views not only have the right to express them but that they may be right. In the end PLEASEThink for yourself.