Log in

No account? Create an account

Mon, May. 24th, 2010, 01:25 pm
Human Monsters, #834 in a Series

I may actually have to start numbering the Human Monsters entries for real. Although I suspect that would be all I'd post.

See, first there was Rand Paul being an utter fucking douchebag and saying that businesses should be able to discriminate (we discussed it here).

Stupid ol' Americans With Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964

Then we've had people defending his right to free speech, lambasting the media for asking "gotcha" questions about the political positions they campaign on, and lawmakers rallying behind his thoughts on how the aforementioned Acts are just too darn inconvenient for businesses.

And now we have John Stossel from (where else?) Fox News explicitly calling for the repeal of that part of the Civil Rights Act.

I guess darkies and crips should relearn their place, or somethin'.

Just as with torture, I am flabbergasted that this is even a point of debate. And it really isn't, except that the Corpulent Media keeps giving airtime to these idiots. Which is enough in itself to have at least a certain percentage of the easily led start thinking, "Gosh, maybe we don't need to have any such laws."

For the moment, at least, I will leave it at: If I have to explain why this insanely stupid idea has no place in the United States of America... you're not gonna like it when I do.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
capplor: I'll concede that

a healthy white male, with an underactive imagination will never SEE the need for such laws, but will see the inevitable rare instance where such laws are abused. And if there isn't an absolute jackbooted effort to to keep "them" (whichever "them" it is) in their place, there will ocasionally be abuse.

I was absolutely amazed at Pat Roberson on Rachael Maddow, that she did NOT call him up on citing the same THREE cases of alleged discrimination against white protestant males (multiple times, loudly and quickly to crowd out any rebuttle). They may well be genuine, but if he can only come up with a handful of specific people against multiple class-action suits, what does that say about the stats?

(Too many people just don't do the math).

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)
capplor: Re: I'll concede that

make that "MAY" never see the need. It isn't worth repeating the whole post, and of course I LIKE healthy white males; I'm married to one, so please don't take this as "bashing"

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:06 pm (UTC)

if they didn't give these mouth-breathers airtime, we would have no clue how backwards they were until they were in charge. And then it would be too late...

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)

There there, Tom.

I know it's frustrating, but there's a couple facts of life that come with living in a world, and more specifically a nation, such as ours. The first being that there will always be people who confuse "The Right to Free Speech" with "The Right to Speech Without Consequence". The second being what I like to call Gentile's Laws of Punditry;

1. No matter how cockamamie, monstrous or downright insane a statement of opinion may be, there's always at least a handful of people who consider it gospel truth.

2. Chances are those people have disposable income.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)

For some time I've been saying, "If doing something is bad, doing it for religious reasons doesn't make it better." Maybe it's time for a parallel version that substitutes 'business reasons' in there.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)

Are you saying then that some ideas are so sacrosanct (and I use this word in particular because, in my opinion, intolerant religions demand this) that they are not subject to debate?


Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)


Yes, I am saying exactly that.

Here's one of 'em: Don't discriminate against people because they're physically different from you. Skin color, gender, ableness, sexual orientation (and, yes, that's physical, it's bound up in your brain chemistry dammit). That is why we have those laws: to ensure that people are treated fairly and equally in situations where others might, for whatever reason, not treat them fairly and equally.

Edited at 2010-05-24 06:26 pm (UTC)

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 06:42 pm (UTC)

This is absolutely ridiculous. I posted twice about this myself. I'm right there with you, Tom.

On a higher note, see you at Duckon!

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)

I also love how Rand Paul never brings the fact that it's immoral into his arguments... He wouldn't discriminate because it's bad for business. It has nothing to do with the fact that it's ethically and morally disgusting to discriminate.

IMO, the ADA doesn't go far enough in many cases.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)

The question to ask any libertarian is what their favorite crime is.

Whichever crime they are working hardest to make legal can be very illuminating re: their personality.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)

I have things I should be doing this afternoon, and if I don't do them, I'm gonna get back to reading the fiction I want to, so I'm not going to try to follow the links and see if any of them aren't video.

I just want to say a few things about the general topic. Like every other big issue that people argue about, it's actually complicated, and nobody on either side has a simple right answer that can just make it go away.

I believe that the basic underlying idea of the ADA -- that society should make reasonable accommodations to let the disabled be part of society -- is good sense both ethically and pragmatically. But I've had a couple of run-ins with its actual requirements.

Case 1: at a place where I worked several years ago, some of the employees would like to bicycle to work, but if they did, they'd really need a shower before associating with their coworkers. There was a closet that in a former incarnation of the building had been part of a public bathroom, it actually had bathroom tile floor and water in it. It would have cost a few hundred bucks to have a professional plumbing contractor put in a shower. But when they tried to do it, they ran afoul of the ADA. See, the ADA does not require that a workplace have a shower -- but it does say that if you put one in it has to meet accessibility standards. And the standards would have meant doing a whole lot more work, and a cost well over $10,000. Which meant that it went from being a no brainer to put in the shower to a no brainer to *not* put in a shower.

Case 2: a non-profit club I used to be involved with owned a crappy old building. They wanted to build a new building, and through a lot of determined work and some very optimistic budgeting, it went from a pipe dream to an actual project. In the course of putting up the building, they ran into the ADA parking requirements. They weren't going to pave the parking lot (do you actually know how much that costs?) but they *had* to pour concrete for the handicapped parking spaces and the sidewalk from them to the building. I think it added close to 10% to the total cost of the entire project of turning a cornfield into a facility where 100 people could gather comfortably.

These two cases have made me hypersensitive on the subject of the ADA. In these two cases, the ADA requirements were excessive, well beyond the bounds of reasonable, and my close personal experience with them have made me a lot more sympathetic to complaints that I hear in other places about how the ADA goes too far.

My real point, though, is that the stereotype liberal solution to social problems -- "let's pass a law that makes specific rules you have to follow" -- tends to lead to a whole lot of stupid when the rules run into real people trying to do real things. If we kept the laws simple, with wide enforcement discretion, we'd avoid mandating less stupid things, but we've spent the last several generations making a whole industry out of avoiding the spirit of the law, and responding by spelling things out in exacting detail. But the more complex we make the law, the more it grinds up individual lives, and the more people become disillusioned. And people who are disillusioned because they've been screwed over by one specific aspect of a law that was generally a good idea tend to overreact and hate the whole thing.

The libertarians are right: big, intrusive government sucks. Unfortunately, the liberals are also right: what people get up to when they don't have a government looking over their shoulder sucks.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)

Just as a note: I do believe that there are exemption processes for the ADA in the case of small businesses if it would be an extreme hardship. In one city I used to tramp around in, Northampton MA, a place not known for its right-wing-edness, there are a number of small shops on or near Main Street that you have to climb up steps to get into because of how the buildings were originally built, long before code. There is no possible entrance for somebody in a wheelchair, including for the best durn chocolate shop in the city. There is a 3-story independent bookstore that installed an elevator that does decent trade but they are more the exception.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)

I think "Human Monsters" would make a fine blog - and one I would follow closely.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)


The problem is, humans will and do revert to barbaric behaviour if left to their own devices. Civilisation is not a natural or stable state. No matter how far we come.

There will always be the likes of Rand Paul, who'll try to undo civilisation just because it's 'inconvenient' to treat people decently. Because they justify their savage instinctual impulses, fight against anything that restricts them, rather than try to overcome them.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)

Hey Stossel, you know you've lost when one of Fox's talking hair-do's makes more sense than you do.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)

Has Olbermann had Rand Paul as his Worst Person in the World yet? Because, yes, he should.

Wed, May. 26th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)

I think he did a few days ago. But I'm not positive. That segment is my favorite on the show.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)

'Gotcha' journalism only happens to right-wingers. To anybody left of center it's called 'responsible, deep, though-provoking journalism'.
Well, at least to the people accusing a Rhodes Scholar of 'gotcha' journalism.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)

I can't wait to hear fires accuse firemen of "Gotcha Firefighting."

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)

If Rand Paul is so worried about government having the power to make businesses have to comply with big evil restrictive government regulations why is he fighting about a racist topic? Why doesn't he go after the fire code? Can you imagine how restrictive and expensive it must be for all those landlords having to allow fire safety inspections of all their apartments annually? Seems to me if Mr. Paul actually was concerned with what he says he is concerned with then he had a much less incendiary topic he could have chosen.
(Deleted comment)

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)

Because last time I checked, a private business still runs with the permission of their local, state, and/or federal government's permission. Business license, liquor license, food license, etc. So while they may be privately owned, they are "public" in that sense.

It's the same argument I had with someone who wanted to say that a business should have the right to only hire thin females as servers. There is one near me who has only thin waitresses, and the boys work in the back. My husband was denied a server position because he is a male. They likewise would not hire me because I am 5'2" and not thin in the kindest light.

So maybe we can't force them, but there some be some sort of balance.

Mon, May. 24th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)

should be* some sort of balance.

And body size is a far cry of an issue from race, religion, etc, but where does discrimination begin and end?