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Alec Baldwin

02 Mar

Did you ever read something or have a conversation  that made you look at long held assumptions in a different light?

An excerpt from his self-penned arrivederci in NY Magazine.

download            “I spent 25 years working hard for the issues I care about. When 30 Rock went into syndication, I sensed that I was going to be on TV for a bit, so I crafted my arrangement with Capital One Bank to fund my foundation for charitable giving. They paid me $15 million over nearly five years. After taxes and accounting fees, I will have given all of it, $14.125 million, to charity. After the TMZ event, Capital One did not renew my contract, although it politely said the two things were unrelated. AT&T had booked me for a paid speech in Orlando—and then canceled. WNYC lost funding for my radio show. Bill de Blasio, who apparently gets his news from TMZ, too, distanced himself from me.

Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it’s superfluous at best and toxic at its worst. If MSNBC went off the air tomorrow, what difference would it make? If the Huffington Post went out of business tomorrow, what difference would it make? Arianna Huffington accomplished what she wanted to accomplish. She created this wonderful thing. And what have they done with that? They want clicks, I get it. They’ve gotta have clicks for their advertisers, so they’re going to need as much Kim Kardashian and wardrobe malfunctions as possible. The other day, they had a thing on the home page about pimples. Tripe. Liberal and conservative media are now precisely equivalent.

I’m aware that it’s ironic that I’m making this case in the media—but this is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again.

When this whole thing happened, Warren Beatty, who is mystifyingly intelligent and wise, said to me: Your problem is a very basic one, and it’s very common to actors. And that’s when we step in front of a camera, we feel the need to make it into a moment. This instinct, even unconsciously, is to make the exchange in front of the camera a dramatic one. Perhaps I fell for that.

In the New Media culture, anything good you do is tossed in a pit, and you are measured by who you are on your worst day. What’s the Boy Scout code? Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful. Friendly. Courteous. Kind. Obedient. Cheerful. Thrifty. Brave. Clean. Reverent. I might be all of those things, at certain moments. But people suspect that whatever good you do, you are faking. You’re that guy. You’re that guy that says this. There is a core of outlets that are pushing these stories out. Breitbart clutters the blogosphere with “Alec Baldwin, he’s the Devil, he’s Fidel Baldwin.”

Broadway has changed, by my lights. The TV networks, too. New York has changed. Even the U.S., which is so preposterously judgmental now. The heart, the arteries of the country are now clogged with hate. The fuel of American political life is hatred. Who would ever dream that Obama would deserve to be treated the way he has been? The birth-certificate bullshit, which is just Obama’s version of Swiftboating. And all for the electoral nullification that seems like a cancer on the American system. But this is Roger Ailes. And Fox. And Breitbart. And this is all about hate. It’s Hate Incorporated. But the liberals have taken the bait and run in the same direction—and it’s just as corrosive. MSNBC, in its own way, is as full of shit, as redundant and as superfluous, as Fox.

I think America’s more fucked up now than it’s ever been. People are angry that in the game of musical chairs that is the U.S. economy, there are less seats at the table when the music stops. And at every recession, the music is stopping.

Am I bitter about some of the things that have happened to me in the past year? Yes, I’m a human being. I always had big ambitions. I had dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years. In the pyramid of decision-making in New York City politics, rich people come first, unions second, and rank-and-file New Yorkers come dead last. I wanted to change that. I wanted to find a way to lower the cost of the city government and thus reduce New York’s shameful tax burden. I would have decentralized the schools. My father was a public-school teacher. He always told me that although you could encourage a child to work hard, you could only go so far; that half the goal had to be achieved at home. As progressive as I’ve been in my politics, there are other things I don’t think of as liberal or progressive, just common sense. Of course, another thing I would have done—and this will not surprise anyone—is change the paparazzi law.”

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98 responses to “Alec Baldwin

  1. Cluster

    March 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I think America’s more fucked up now than it’s ever been. People are angry that in the game of musical chairs that is the U.S. economy, there are less seats at the table when the music stops. And at every recession, the music is stopping. Am I bitter about some of the things that have happened to me in the past year? Yes, I’m a human being. I always had big ambitions. I had dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years. In the pyramid of decision-making in New York City politics, rich people come first, unions second, and rank-and-file New Yorkers come dead last. I wanted to change that. I wanted to find a way to lower the cost of the city government and thus reduce New York’s shameful tax burden. I would have decentralized the schools

    I could not agree more. We need to decentralize a lot more than just the schools and we need to lower the cost of all governments; city, county, state and federal.

    There is also just too much hate that has permeated into every corridor of this country, and both sides share blame. There is a lot of hate and presumption even on this site, and it precludes any opportunity for an adult like, or productive conversation. Anyone who stakes out the self superiority ground is impossible to converse with, and is not worth the time of day anyway.

     
  2. watsonthethird

    March 2, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    There is a lot of hate and presumption even on this site, and it precludes any opportunity for an adult like, or productive conversation.

    Actually, we have had some very good conversations that included commenters from across the political spectrum, but I get what you’re saying. However, to the extent the conversational tone isn’t to your liking is partly your responsibility, since you have been far and away the most prolific commenter, as you can see from the site statistics.

    So my challenge to you is to write a post using the tone you would like to see on this blog, and respond to comments in that same tone, even if the other commenters are slow to catch on. Perhaps an “adult like” conversation is more possible than you think.

     
    • rustybrown2012

      March 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      I could get behind that; I generally try to be courteous if people are courteous to me. It’s probably healthy for everyone to take a breath and adjust their tone, although in the long run this isn’t tiddlywinks, this is a blog of political debate where discussion will often get heated and I have no problem with that either. For everything, turn, turn, turn…

       
    • Cluster

      March 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I have written several posts using that tone, but it is more than just being civil. It’s also objectively looking at positions. It’s realizing that there are good, well intentioned ideas on the other side of the aisle. A concept of which I don’t think many of you can wrap your head around.

       
      • rustybrown2012

        March 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm

        I don’t think it’s a matter of our inability to wrap our heads around anything, I think it’s a matter of you failing to convince us of your positions using compelling, objective evidence. If we fail to see your point of view, that’s not an a priori failing on our part, we may just disagree with your point of view. What “good, well-intentioned ideas” from the other side of the aisle are we failing to appreciate?

         
      • Cluster

        March 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm

        It’s much more than just my point of view. Alec articulated one of the positions albeit vaguely, that tens of millions of people agree with, and of which are positions that are working quite well throughout the country. It’s also not my interest at all to convince you of anything. Especially you.

         
      • mitchethekid

        March 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        Read the entire article to put my quoted part in perspective.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        I’m not quite sure what you mean. If you’ll untangle your syntax I might get back to you.

         
      • Cluster

        March 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        I don’t care about you, what you think, or what you understand.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        So much for reaching across the the aisle. Oh well, I guess we should ignore what you said twenty minutes ago!

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

        And so much for thinly veiled passive aggressiveness!

         
  3. mitchethekid

    March 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    OK you two! Knock it off and get back in your seats! haHaha.
    I’ve been a Alec fan for a very long time. Before Beetlejuice probably. If I had to pick one reason why, it’s because he can play a self-absorbed narcissistic prick better than anyone.
    When I read the article, and his comments about “the media” and MSNBC, not only did his perspective give me pause to evaluate the reasons for some of my biases, but I immediately thought of Cluster. Why? Because he’s not a fan of MSNBC and I am. Very much so. Below is a link to the entire article. I think it shows that one can be generally progressive but still able to have it complimented by some judiciousness. And vice versa from a more conservative outlook as well.
    http://www.vulture.com/2014/02/alec-baldwin-good-bye-public-life.html
    And I highly recommended this as well.
    http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/alec-baldwin-just-a-lazy-shiftless-bastard

     
    • 02casper

      March 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Mitch,
      Good post and I love he comedians in cars link. Much to think about.

      I agree that there is way to much hate in this country, from both sides. There is way to much demonizing and not near enough talking abut what we all agree on.

       
  4. Cluster

    March 3, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Here is a very good analysis of the current divide on free speech:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/starparker/2014/03/03/the-cultural-war-against-christians-n1802160

    In a free society, both groups have the right to protect their “rights”

     
    • rustybrown2012

      March 3, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Let’s stop with the juvenile analogies like those on display in this article. Gays are not remotely like Klansman and Nazis in any way; providing flowers for a gay wedding is miles away from being compelled to participate in a porno. These false equivalencies are fatuous. Gays are protected from discrimination in some areas (including some cities in Arizona; that’s what SB1062 was trying to flout) and it’s just a matter of time before they’re a federally protected group. Can’t come soon enough.

      Although the slippery slope argument is overused, I think it’s instructive here. With SB1062 defeated, what happens now? What precedent has been set that religious people will have to worry about? None. Only that when dealing in the public square they must comply with the laws and standards of our secular society–like our shared, righteous values to not discriminate against groups of people for just being who they are. That’s a good thing, and religious liberty remains unscathed (at least the non-bigoted parts).

      But think about the flip side. If SB1062 had become law, religions would have precedent to disregard any laws they themselves deem violate their religious principles. That’s quite clearly an insanely slippery slope. You’ve opened the door to Sharia law. At the very least you’ve empowered Muslims to discriminate against Christians and other infidels in all kinds of ways that are anathema to our society. It wasn’t that long ago that Mormons discriminated against blacks; what if they should decide that was an important part of their canon that should be reinstated? The list goes on, and these are not false equivalencies, they are direct, logical consequences.

       
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

        I think every conservative agrees 1062 should have been vetoed as it was, primarily because the language was too vague. But those of religious conscious are being discriminated against by secular groups. The issue is not legal rights for gays, everyone supports that, the issue is whether or not gays can force a private business owner to act against their religious beliefs. And knowing that there are plenty other entities that will welcome there business, the discrimination meme is bullshit. It’s inconsiderate of gays to force others to act against their conscience.

        No one would force a religious business owner to film a pornographic film. There plenty of other photographers that will, and in a free society, that is how it should be.

        And that was a very good article from Star Parker. It spoke to issue quite well. Your intolerance of free speech, and Constitutional rights is just getting in the way.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

        I think every conservative agrees 1062 should have been vetoed as it was, primarily because the language was too vague.

        Boy, do I disagree with THAT. I’ve read plenty of conservative opinion lamenting 1062’s failure to pass and don’t recall vague language being a major complaint.

        But those of religious conscious are being discriminated against by secular groups. The issue is not legal rights for gays, everyone supports that, the issue is whether or not gays can force a private business owner to act against their religious beliefs.

        Balderdash. But fine, if you want to frame it that way, we’re discriminating against the discriminators, we’re being bigoted toward the bigots. Whatever. And where gays are specifically protected by anti discrimination law, as they are in parts of Arizona, the issue IS PRECISELY about the legal rights for gays, their legal right to not be discriminated against. The issue is that the private business owner must comply with the LAW as well as with the increasing judgement of this society that it is not OK to discriminate against gay people–personal, retrograde religious beliefs be damned.

        It’s inconsiderate of gays to force others to act against their conscience.

        That’s rich. How DARE they expect to be treated equally. They’re so inconsiderate to the bigots who want to freely exorcise their bigotry.

        Your intolerance of free speech, and Constitutional rights is just getting in the way.

        Discriminating against a protected class is not free speech; being a fundamentalist religious asshole is not protected in the constitution.

         
      • 02casper

        March 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm

        “Cluster says:
        March 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

        And I guess to answer your question. I think all sexual preference is a choice. Many people are asexual with no desire for sex whatsoever.”

        I’ve watched kids come out and seen what use to happen when they do. I can’t believe someone would chose to go through the hell they went through.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        Many people choose to go into small town politics and that is also a special kind of hell.

         
    • mitchethekid

      March 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      There is little difference between the religious right claiming that the ability to practice their faith is being hindered and stand your ground laws. What they are saying is that their right to be bigoted is protected by the constitution. The Bible also says it’s blasphemy to eat shellfish, have tattoos, mix fabrics or plant seeds of different plants next to each other.

       
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        Exactly. Fundamentalists are likewise prohibited from stoning their disobedient children–another example of religious intolerance in this country. But hey, if someone wants to piss and moan that their rights are being curtailed because they can’t be bigots in their chosen profession I say let them piss hard and moan loudly. It won’t matter because they’ve lost the debate and their intolerance is very instructive to the electorate. Win, win!

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        If you would look in the mirror, you’re just as bigoted as they are, towards them. I am not sure that you will understand that. I prefer a free society where people of all stripes can live as they see fit. You are the one who is forcing compliance.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        What they are saying is that their right to be bigoted is protected by the constitution.

        I would say that some are bigoted, others may not be, but they have the right to not act against their conscience. That’s what the Constitution and America was designed to be, for Christ’s sake (pun intended). There are plenty of other small business’s that will perform the service, or make the product. Gays are being inconsiderate to force people to act in certain ways.

         
      • watsonthethird

        March 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

        I would say that some are bigoted, others may not be, but they have the right to not act against their conscience.

        But Cluster, people used this exact rationale to enforce Jim Crow laws for decades. Do you think people in business to serve the public have the right to not serve people of specific races simply because it is against their conscience?

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Race and sexual orientation have nothing to do with each other. NOTHING. Religious precepts have never spoken to racism, in fact just the opposite.

         
      • mitchethekid

        March 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Separation of religion and government is absolutely necessary because if any religion co-opts legislature, it means that no other religion is free to practice as that legislature pertains to their beliefs. The range of applications is nearly unlimited: Marriage equality, right-to-die, abortion, birth control, sex ed, science education, science funding, religious school funding, liquor sales, business hours, employment discrimination, the list goes on and on and on.
        This isn’t discriminating against Christians, nor is it preventing them from practicing their faith. What it is preventing is for the state to provide protection to any religion for denying equality to others. Now instead of one group crying about discriminating, it’s Christians. Maybe the should practice more. Besides, what gay couple in their right mind would solicit a business where they know they are not wanted? Just to pick a fight? Like the guy suing McDonalds because he only got one napkin.

         
      • watsonthethird

        March 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

        Okay, but let’s be clear before continuing. Do you think people in business to serve the public have the right to not serve people of specific races simply because it is against their conscience?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm

        If you would look in the mirror, you’re just as bigoted as they are, towards them. I am not sure that you will understand that.

        Fine. Like I said, I’m intolerant of the intolerant, bigoted against bigots. I can proudly live with that, and I’m thankful to live in a country which agrees with me. At least my “bigotry” is against the reality of people who want to treat other people like shit and not merely based on an interpretation of iron age fairy tales. I’ll proudly cop to that.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        So you want to live in a country that agrees with you? WOW. That’s fucking messed up. Like I said, you are an extreme bigot.

         
      • watsonthethird

        March 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        My question to Cluster still stands: Do you think people in business to serve the public have the right to not serve people of specific races simply because it is against their conscience?

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        We’re not talking about racial issues Watson. Try and keep up.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        I would say that some are bigoted, others may not be

        Wrong, they’re ALL bigots. Words have meaning and the definition of a bigot is very clear.

        Race and sexual orientation have nothing to do with each other. NOTHING.

        Wrong again. Neither race nor sexual orientation are choices, they’re birthrights. As such, they should not be discriminated against.

        Religious precepts have never spoken to racism, in fact just the opposite.

        Wrong again, hat trick. You ever hear of the bible? Whole lotta god-sanctioned slavery goin’ on in there! Not to mention Christianity was used as justification for slavery for centuries.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

        Just opinions you pull out of your ass. You are a much bigger bigot than anyone else that I know of.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm

        In fact Rusty, you are an extreme intolerant bigot and you display that here daily. You have called conservative women stupid, and attack those of Faith regularly. You have some real personal issues.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

        Just opinions you pull out of your ass.

        I see your quest for civility didn’t last very long. Maybe you could try a support group. My assertions aren’t opinions, they’re facts. Which one do take issue with? The definition of bigot is not clear and consistent regardless of motive? Homosexuality is not genetic? God did not endorse slavery in the bible? Enlighten us.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        I will take just one. Prove to us that homosexuality is genetic.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm

        Oh and I have to ask you to prove that God endorsed slavery.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        So you want to live in a country that agrees with you? WOW. That’s fucking messed up.

        What’s so bad about enjoying the fact that the majority of your fellow countrymen share an opinion or two with you? We’re talking about a single issue here. You want to live in a country where nobody agrees with you? Now THAT’S fucked up; but you’re well on your way!

        Yeah, I’ve called people who vote against their own self interest stupid, including conservative women. I stand by that. And yep, I “attack” people of faith who are discriminatory bigots and/or try to impose their silly beliefs upon others. Proudly.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        Homosexuality is not proven to be genetic, but there’s a growing body of research which strongly suggests that it is and/or early environmental factors are responsible. The main thing here is that it’s ridiculous to think of homosexuality as a choice, and therefore it’s morally repugnant to discriminate against gays. Is it your view your view that homosexuality is a choice? When did you choose to be straight?

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm

        Well, thank you for that admission. Now, according to your logic on conservative women, I suppose black Christians are stupid too, right? They just don’t realize that God endorsed slavery.

        http://blackdemographics.com/culture/religion/

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

        And I guess to answer your question. I think all sexual preference is a choice. Many people are asexual with no desire for sex whatsoever.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Regarding slavery in the bible, there is much to read:

        “The Holiness Code of Leviticus explicitly allows participation in the slave trade,[20] with non-Israelite residents who had been sold into slavery being regarded as a type of property that could be inherited.[20] Foreign residents were included in this permission, and were allowed to own Israelite slaves.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_slavery

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        So you’ve discovered that the Bible mentions the practice of slavery, great job. Prove to us that God endorsed it, as was your earlier assertion. And furthermore, there were many black slave owners throughout history – were they racist?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm

        Yeah, black conservatives who vote against their own interest are dumb in my opinion. So when did you choose to become heterosexual? Do you ever feel like switch-hitting just for variety’s sake? If not, why?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        So you’ve discovered that the Bible mentions the practice of slavery, great job. Prove to us that God endorsed it, as was your earlier assertion. And furthermore, there were many black slave owners throughout history – were they racist?

        The Bible more than mentions slavery. The god of the Bible endorses it. Read through these passages and tell me god isn’t just honky-dory with slavery:

        http://godisimaginary.com/i13.htm

        Sure seems like slavery is just fine and dandy. And remember, the Bible is supposed to be a holy text, the word of god. Everything in there is a priori endorsed by god, it’s his friggin’ book. If he can’t be responsible for whats written in his own book what good is he, fer Chrissakes?

        And no, not all slave owners throughout history were racist. Never said they were. Many were just opportunistic scumbags. But slavery in the Bible, which is what we’re talking about, was often clearly practiced on racial lines.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm

        So now your interpretation of Bible passages is now fact??? Isn’t that what you and the left scold others of doing??

        You are a bizarre human being Rusty with huge personal issues.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm

        So now your interpretation of Bible passages is now fact???

        My interpretation? OK, scholar, why don’t you explain how this passage (as well as all the others in the link) does not endorse slavery, please be specific:

        “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.”

        As an aside, shame you have to consistently resort to personal ad hominem attacks. You betray a weak mind and a lame argument, but I guess it’s just a matter of the “adult” debating style you endorse.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm

        The Bible is 100% interpretation.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        The Bible is 100% interpretation.

        Well that’s fine. My question still stands: why don’t you explain how this passage (as well as all the others in the link) does not endorse slavery, please be specific:

        “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.”

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

        Not for nothing, but if the Bible is 100% interpretation, presumably by anybody, I guess it’s pretty worthless. Thanks for pointing that out. Still breathlessly waiting for your interpretation of all of those many, horrible slavery passages, this should be good…

         
      • Cluster

        March 4, 2014 at 4:19 am

        Remind me again Rusty, you have admitted that you don’t believe in God, right? But now you’re arguing not only His existence, but His fact based beliefs?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

        Remind me again Rusty, you have admitted that you don’t believe in God, right? But now you’re arguing not only His existence, but His fact based beliefs?

        Right, I don’t believe in God. How did you get the impression I was arguing for his existence? What I said was the God of the Bible endorsed slavery, and I’ve proved it. For your information, you can point out what a fictitious character says in a work of fiction and still believe that the character and work are fictitious. Were you the one in lit class who kept raising his hand to ask if Huck Finn was real when the teacher quoted him? Poor kid.

        Here’s more Holy Words of Wisdom from the Bible:

        “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

        …now what was is your interpretation that has this not endorsing slavery?

         
  5. 02casper

    March 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

     
  6. watsonthethird

    March 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Cluster, you said, I would say that some are bigoted, others may not be, but they have the right to not act against their conscience.

    I said: But Cluster, people used this exact rationale to enforce Jim Crow laws for decades. Do you think people in business to serve the public have the right to not serve people of specific races simply because it is against their conscience?

    You didn’t answer the question. I understand you differentiate between race and sexual orientation. But you have not clarified your stance with respect to race and private businesses. I merely asked you to do so in order for me to continue the discussion. It isn’t a matter of keeping up.

     
    • Cluster

      March 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Watson, again I am surprised by your naïveté but I guess I shouldn’t be. Liberalism teaches you false notions. There is not a religion on the planet, to my knowledge, that teaches the doctrine of racism, so racism would not be protected by the freedom of religious conscience.

      I think this issue exposes two truths – the absolute intolerance of the left, and the need for liberals to conflate issues and brow the opponent to win the point.

       
  7. Marner

    March 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I will take just one. Prove to us that homosexuality is genetic.

    When did you make the conscious choice to be attracted to women rather than men? If sexual orientation is nothing but a choice, could you choose today to be gay and enjoy it? Knowing the discrimination gays face today, would anyone actually choose to be gay?

    I’ve been pretty busy with work lately and haven’t participated like I usually do, but I’ll jump into this.

    If you make the argument that people should be allowed to discriminate based on their religious beliefs, anyone could be discriminated against for any reason. A fundamentalist whack-job like Jeremiah could discriminate against a mixed race couple. A white supremacist could discriminate against non-whites. Southern Baptists could discriminate against Catholics. All other Christian religions could discriminate against Mormons. Christians could discriminate against Muslims. It’s all religious freedom, right?

    Let’s take it another step down the path. Why do the “sincerely held beliefs” have to be religion-based? Why is a non-religious belief any less valid. allowing anyone to discriminate for any reason. Discrimination is wrong and based on bigotry no matter how you cut it.

     
    • rustybrown2012

      March 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Marner, you do a great job in fleshing out the slippery slope scenarios that I argued earlier.

       
    • Cluster

      March 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      You can argue your opinion all you want, but I refer to science knowing that to a liberal science is everything. Sexual preference is not genetically proven either way, therefore a choice. Many people choose not to have sex, and many people choose to be bi sexual and enjoy sex with both genders.

       
      • Marner

        March 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

        Well then, since it is perfectly okay to discriminate against “choices,” (and I obviously do not agree that being gay is a choice) you should support discrimination against religions. After all, religion is indisputable a choice.

        And you didn’t say when you chose to be straight. Was it in your teen years? Kinda hard to make a choice like that before puberty. And can you choose today to be attracted to and have sex with men and enjoy it? I didn’t think so.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm

        Well again you’re conflating issues. A Christian, or Muslim, photographer opting out of taking photos of a gay wedding is not discriminatory. They are exercising their Constitutional right. That’s why this country was founded. Gay folks have plenty of other choices to have their wedding photographed.

        And let’s dispense with the playground questions. It just makes you look foolish.

         
      • Marner

        March 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

        You are still avoiding answering the questions. Also, if a photographer, florist, or baker can discriminate, why not anyone else? Why are they special? Can a teacher also discriminate, a cop, a firefighter? Shouldn’t their religious beliefs be protected?

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

        It’s not discrimination. Again, see my response to Watson.

         
      • Marner

        March 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        I did see it. We just have different definitions of discrimination and when it is acceptable.

         
      • Marner

        March 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm

        Those aren’t playground questions, Cluster. They are serious questions that expose the fallacy of your beliefs. Otherwise you could easily answer them.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        Here’s how badly you guys have lost this argument – you’re now relegated to asking me when I chose women over men, and what a firefighter would do. Two completely inane topics that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

        And you guys think you’re smart. Unbelievable. Good night.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

        That’s ridiculous. Again, when did you choose to become straight? Did you have a party? If sexuality is a choice, why are there so many conflicted, self-hating gays? Why does their inner turmoil often lead to suicide? According to you they could just choose to not be gay. Are you going to continue to ignore these questions as you’ve ignored so many others? So much for adult debate.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        You have already admitted that homosexuality is not genetically proven, nor is heterosexuality, asexuality, or bisexuality. Of course I had to bring you around to that admission after you asserted that it was a genetically predisposition.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm

        Of course I had to bring you around to that admission after you asserted that it was a genetically predisposition.

        I originally said it was a “birthright” and I stand by that claim.

         
      • Cluster

        March 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm

        No you did not. This was your exact quote:

        My assertions aren’t opinions, they’re facts. Which one do take issue with? The definition of bigot is not clear and consistent regardless of motive? Homosexuality is not genetic?

        You asserted that homosexuality was a genetic fact.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm

        I misspoke. I stand by my original assertion that it is a birthright and I also believe there is a strong contributing genetic component.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        And let’s dispense with the playground questions. It just makes you look foolish.

        Are you fuckin’ kidding me? You claim sexual preference is a choice. We ask you when you chose to be heterosexual. Jesus Christ, that’s about as on-topic and relevant as you can get!

        So, to be clear, asking you about your choice of sexuality is inane; it’s everybody ELSE that chooses their sexual orientation. Whew! Logic sure isn’t your strong suite.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        I meant “suit”.

         
  8. watsonthethird

    March 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Cluster said: Watson, again I am surprised by your naïveté but I guess I shouldn’t be. Liberalism teaches you false notions. There is not a religion on the planet, to my knowledge, that teaches the doctrine of racism, so racism would not be protected by the freedom of religious conscience.

    I think this issue exposes two truths – the absolute intolerance of the left, and the need for liberals to conflate issues and brow the opponent to win the point.

    Well, excuse my naiveté, but you still haven’t answered my question. I don’t know how asking you a question in order to help me understand your position is a false notion, or absolute intolerance.

    Here is the question again: Do you think people in business to serve the public have the right to not serve people of specific races simply because it is against their conscience?

    It’s not a trick question, Cluster. It’s not a gotcha. I’m sincerely asking the question and all you have done is ridicule me for even asking.

     
    • Cluster

      March 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Watson, I answered your question specifically. I am sorry you’re too stupid to understand that.

       
      • watsonthethird

        March 4, 2014 at 12:19 am

        No, Cluster, you never answered the question at all. I don’t know why it is so hard for you to answer, but I’m pretty sure everyone else here could easily provide an unequivocal answer without thinking too hard about it. In any event, all of your responses to me have been condescending and demeaning, so I have to assume that that is your intent here. So much for an opportunity to have an adult conversation.

         
      • Cluster

        March 4, 2014 at 4:11 am

        I hesitate to repeat myself yet again, but I answered your racial inquiry very specifically, and I will repost that answer here:

        There is not a religion on the planet, to my knowledge, that teaches the doctrine of racism, so racism would not be protected by the freedom of religious conscience

        Do you have any follow up questions?

         
      • watsonthethird

        March 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

        I guess I give up. It was a straightforward yes-no question, but you refuse to answer it in a straightforward manner. Honestly, I still don’t know how you would answer, and I don’t think anyone else does either. All you have done, by essentially dodging the question, is create doubt about your stance. Maybe that’s your intent, I don’t know. Maybe you subscribe to the Rand Paul theories about private enterprise and civil rights.

         
    • rustybrown2012

      March 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Don’t hold your breath, Watson. Some simple questions seem to be a bit too, er, uncomfortable for Cluster’s liking.

       
  9. Marner

    March 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Steve King agrees with you, Cluster. Fine company, there.

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/03/steve-king-gays-dont-deserve-rights-unless

     
    • Cluster

      March 4, 2014 at 4:17 am

      I want to make all of you aware that I am the only one here supporting the rights of both the gay community and the Faith based community to exercise their rights. Faith based people, on a private level mind you, have the Constitutional right to opt out of acting against their religious conscience. And the gay community has the right to all civil legalities afforded to every other union and have the right to live their life as they see fit. What neither group should do is to impose their lifestyle on the other. This is what America is all about.

      You guys are the ones being exclusionary and bigoted. So I ask you, who is the liberal?

       
  10. 02casper

    March 4, 2014 at 7:13 am

    “Faith based people, on a private level mind you, have the Constitutional right to opt out of acting against their religious conscience.”

    I agree 100%. However, if a faith based person is performing a public service, then that person should be required to offer that service to anyone in the public.

    “And the gay community has the right to all civil legalities afforded to every other union and have the right to live their life as they see fit. What neither group should do is to impose their lifestyle on the other.”

    Again, I agree. No one should have to have sex with someone they don’t want to have sex with.

     
    • Cluster

      March 4, 2014 at 7:28 am

      if a faith based person is performing a public service

      Running a private business is not a public service. It’s a for profit business, and business’s often publicly post that they have the right to refuse to business. Ever see the sign – “no shirt, no shoes, no business” – that’s not discrimination. I don’t think anyone would complain if a Christian, or Muslim business turned away the KKK, or the adult film industry.

       
      • mitchethekid

        March 4, 2014 at 7:58 am

        All true but what are the chances of a KKK person patronizing the business of a person who he would rather see swing from a tree branch? And what if a gay person went into a coffee shop. Or a dry cleaner. Or an auto dealership. Or any of a thousand businesses. How is the owner supposed to tell? What if the owner isn’t there and an employee thinks someone is gay? Talk about law suits!
        That’s why religion….any religion….has no place in either government or commerce. Hobby Lobby gets away with it because they don’t give away bibles, try to convert their customers and who doesn’t like Sunday’s off. Chic Fil A is another story. They tried to rub it our faces. Stupid move. If a business only wants to cater to a certain group, then they should be like an exclusive country club. Dallas Buyers comes to mind.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

        Running a private business is not a public service. It’s a for profit business, and business’s often publicly post that they have the right to refuse to business. Ever see the sign – “no shirt, no shoes, no business” – that’s not discrimination.

        You’re right, that’s not seen as legal discrimination because society generally deems it OK for businesses to set reasonable dress codes as long as they’re applied evenly. But discriminating on religious grounds in the public sphere is a whole different ball of wax. This article explains that, and should also help clear up your confusion about public/private differences and obligations:

        “The law against discrimination is a neutral, generally applicable law. It doesn’t target any discriminator in particular; and it doesn’t care about the underlying motivation for racism or sexism. If the government can’t bring anti-discrimination cases against people who discriminate unlawfully for religious reasons, then religious discriminators would get a de facto exception from the law.

        Such an exception for religious discriminators may sound like a good idea — but it isn’t. Suppose I claim the religious liberty right not to serve Latino customers in my business because my religion dictates that I stay among my own kind and avoid contact with seductive outsiders. The Constitution recognizes no such right, nor should it. If I run a business open to the public — in technical legal jargon, a “public accommodation” — then I can’t choose customers on the basis of a prohibited category such as race, religion or sex. The constitutional interest in affording everyone equal protection of the laws and combating discrimination trumps my religious values, no matter how sincerely they may be held.

        Under the Constitution, I have a perfect right to be as racist, sexist and exclusionary as I like in my private life and affairs. But business is fundamentally different. Even if I own my store and work there myself, the fact that I am open to the public puts me in the category of commerce, which Congress may regulate if it affects interstate business and the local government may regulate regardless of its reach.”

        http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-01-21/no-shirt-no-shoes-no-civil-rights-

         
      • mitchethekid

        March 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

        Do you think we should try to get in touch with Alec and tell him what he started?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        No, I think we should try to get in touch with Cluster and see if he has any response to our arguments besides ignoring them and repeating his original premise.

         
      • Cluster

        March 5, 2014 at 1:14 am

        Well so far Rusty, your argument is that black Christians are stupid, conservative women are stupid, the fictional account of the Mythic figure God proved he was pro slavery, and that you would prefer to live in a country where everyone thinks like you, where religious bigotry is celebrated.

        You are bat shit insane Rusty, so there isn’t a whole lot of substance to work with. But good luck with that.

         
      • mitchethekid

        March 5, 2014 at 7:49 am

        Now now! Everyone has some redeeming qualities. Look at me for example.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 5, 2014 at 8:34 am

        Well Cluster, you’ve just proved yourself a liar as well as a bigot because you’ve grossly mischaracterized my position on every single point you’ve mentioned. Or maybe you’re just stupid and really believe that’s what I think. Or maybe both. That’s the eternal question about you: stupid or dishonest? We know it’s both.

        You did get the Bible part more or less right though. My contention was that the god of the Bible endorsed slavery and I’ve backed up my claim with text from the source. It’s a bonus that I got you to admit the Bible’s complete bullshit though, a work of “fiction” as you say. That sure is news to Christians! But I’ll tell you what, since it’s from the Bible that religious bigots get their instruction to shun gays, this whole time you’ve essentially been arguing that people have a constitutional right to discriminate based a book of fairy tales. And you call me crazy.

         
      • Cluster

        March 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

        I encourage you to keep up with that line of thinking on the Bible Rusty. That’s good stuff. And you have said that black Christians and conservative women vote against their interests and are stupid, so don’t blame me for pointing that out. I know when you see it in black and white it seems crazy …. and that’s because it is.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        March 5, 2014 at 11:32 am

        Hey you’re the one who said the Bibles’ fiction; I’m just agreeing with you. If you have a point to make, make it. Stop being such a weasel.

        But thanks for finally clarifying my position that those WHO VOTE against their self interest (obviously on important issues, like discrimination against themselves) are stupid, whether black, female, conservative, Chinese or amputees (Chinese or Amputees/band name). My position is, and always has been, that people who vote against their own interests on important issues that affect them are dumb and misled regardless of race gender or sexual preference; I don’t discriminate. Just my opinion. And it’s a far cry from your original lie that I said “black Christians are stupid, conservative women are stupid”.

         
    • mitchethekid

      March 4, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Or bake them a pie either! I think the problem with imposing a lifestyle is more prevalent on the “pray away the gay” side rather than a gay person who wants to patronize a business. Not that I’m judging, just being realistic. You never hear of a hetero agenda.
      The long and the short of it is society is changing. I am libertarian enough to think that a business owner has a right to chose his customers. I think it’s incredibly stupid, bigoted, biased and close minded to be that selective but hey. If someone wants to reduce their chances of financial success because hate and prejudice are more important, then by all means; take a stand in the sand! Stand in the sand. Another band. Name. Or perhaps if you owned a beach volleyball business you could name it that.
      The puritans who are behind this legislation are upset that the country isn’t puritanical enough to suit them. Maybe they should emulate the Amish.

       
      • Cluster

        March 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

        I don’t agree necessarily that society is changing – I think it’s been this way for centuries. Gays have been around forever. In fact ancient Rome had many gay bath houses.

        If someone wants to reduce their chances of financial success because hate and prejudice are more important, then by all means; take a stand in the sand!

        And that’s exactly right. They risk their financial livelihood, but I don’t think it’s hate. These small business owners aren’t spiteful to the gay community, they are just refusing their business on religious freedom grounds. What is spiteful, is forcing that business owner with the heavy hand of government to act against his conscience.

         
      • mitchethekid

        March 4, 2014 at 9:23 am

        By changing I do not mean human nature / behavior. The change I am referring to is from repressive to progressive. Things that were once considered taboo or not within the norms of society are now commonplace. Superstitions replaced by science. It’s cliched and a slogan, but as a species with culture, we move forward. Hopefully to greater enlightenment and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the universe in which we live.

         
  11. Cavalor Epthith, Esquire, D.S.V.J

    March 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

    This post, and the article by Baldwin have inspired me to take a look at how we do business here in Hell. Keep up the good work and like us let us begin to look for more solutions rather than pointing out the worst that separate us politically, socially and economically.

     
  12. rustybrown2012

    March 4, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Arguing with Cluster is like arguing with a statue, only the statue is a slightly better debater–at least it doesn’t make a fool of itself.

     
 
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