Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sen. Rubio Answers A Gotcha Question Correctly



One thing that Sen. Marco Rubio received grief for is when he delivered a response to one of the Dear Leader's endless indoctrination speeches State of the Union speeches and while still on the air, he picked up a bottle of water and took a swig to clear his throat.
It was as if Sen. Rubio was not human and could not get some dry throat giving a speech. I wrote a post on that here.
But Jorge Ramos from the Obama Spanish Television Network Univison asked a question of Sen. Rubio that you know not one Democrat will be asked.
Would you attend a friend's same-sex wedding?
OK, Mr. Ramos said gay, but I call it what it actually is. I thought my wedding was gay in the traditional meaning of the word. You know, happy. I don't think that in The Flintstones theme song when these words were sung, "we'll have a gay, old time" was meant in the modern sense.
Sen. Rubio said the right answer.
Yes, it is nuanced but the issue for those of us that support traditional marriage, especially in the religious sense, it is correct to say yes.  Here is the actual answer,

“How you treat a person that you care for and love is different from what your opinion is or what your faith teaches marriage should be.”

Now to some, the correct answer is no. Not a chance. Can't do it. As noted by Allahpundit in the link, the Rev. Pat Robertson of the 700 Club gave a pretty hard-line answer on this:

“You don’t agree with it. You’ve got to stand there and be a witness to it. By your attendance at the ceremony, you are agreeing with it … I just wouldn’t go. I would tell your child, ‘I love you but I cannot condone this. We will always love you but I don’t condone this activity."

I do not agree with the Rev. Robertson.
Let's say that a man-woman are getting married but not in the church. Say you are the son's parents and can't believe that all he was taught about marriage and it being part of God's plan was being thrown out the window. And let's throw in that the son is not marrying a Christian but a Muslim woman. Yet they have agreed to raise their potential children Christian. But since she does not want to convert as she is a lapsed Muslim, the son thinks it is being hypocritical to marry in the church. Using the Rev. Robertson argument, attending such a wedding is a negatory. Nyet. Nien. Not a chance.
When we wade into these issues we have to look at them in a way in which one can have the view of Sen. Rubio, he does not support same-sex marriage and supports RFRA laws that allow Christian vendors that do not want to participate in a same-sex ceremony to have a defense.
I think where Sen. Rubio is with the answer that the love and friendship kinda tops the religious understanding that he has on the subject.
That is where most Americans are on this subject, I believe.
Few if any people beyond the hard left and gay-rights activists would want to force any religious institution to perform a same-sex wedding. After all, in Judaism, Reform rabbis do perform same-sex marriages where they are permitted. In Mainline Protestant Christianity, The Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ also perform same-sex marriages. The Presbyterian Church USA is about to allow it as well. Within every aforementioned denomination there are a substantial number of holdouts and outright opponents to the rite. And of course the Roman Catholic church, all Orthodox churches, Evangelical Christians and fundamentalists are opposed to same-sex marriage.
At the end of the day, that is where I stand. My understanding of same-sex marriage is that there is no affirmation for it in the bible. There are a few admonishments but no direct "Thou shalt not marry man and man as man and woman" admonishment. More than likely the supreme court will rule that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land in all 50 states. Much like the court usurped the right of states and localities to have abortion laws and or regulations, the same will be done here. If not now, at some point.
That does not mean there will not be opposition. I will oppose it being forced on religious institutions. The fact is since not all of Christianity is on the same page on the issue, as is Judaism and probably Islam in the United States, there are plenty of churches, temples and mosques that would perform such ceremonies without the force of government.
And like Allahpundit asked, is there a conservative answer on the subject, I don't think there is a universally acceptable one when, as I noted, Christianity is not all together on the subject. I think that there is an honest and nuanced one. The answer that Sen. Rubio gave fits that category and showed that he will not be derailed by these kind of gotcha questions. Questions designed to make a candidate look bad by his or her answer. It won't please absolutionists, but it will make those that a Sen. Rubio have to reach out to, independents, take a look at where a person that maybe president stands on a particularly touchy subject.
And unlike the Dear Leader, President Obama, there is nothing in Sen. Rubio's public history to suggest that this is going to come back to haunt him. Like when then candidate for Illinois state senate, Barack Obama answered that he favored same-sex marriage. When running for senate and president, he clearly lied and only changed to his real position when it was deemed to not hurt his reelection chances.
A nuanced yet principled answer is probably the best we should expect from any politician and Sen. Rubio showed how it was done.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SEN. MARCO RUBIO IS IN THE 2016 GOP RACE!

Not exactly the world's best kept secret, but Florida senator Marco Rubio is officially a candidate for the Republican nomination for president as announced earlier today in his hometown of Miami, Florida.
Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog knows that I have been on the Rubio bandwagon since he launched his seemingly quiotix run against the then Republican Charlie Christ in 2009. The establishment GOP rallied behind Mr. Christ, who for now claims to be a Democrat, as the only candidate who could defeat any Democrat.
Where have we heard such things before?!
You can watch Sen. Rubio's announcement right here:

And Sen. Rubio, more than anyone else who has formally announced has the most to lose as he is giving up his Florida senate seat to run for president. Already shows that he is someone that is willing to take a risk. The senate seat probably was his for reelection. Sen Ted Cruz is not up for reelection until 2018. Sen. Rand Paul was able to get a change in Kentucky law so he could both run for president and his senate seat, also up in 2016.  But we will have to see how that turns out.
Yes, I know the most obvious thought out there is that why would another first-term senator, like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Kt.) make a run after in one way or another have used the current occupant of the White House, the Dear Leader, President Obama, inexperience (also a first-term senator).
The only defense, and I admit that it is lame but true.
The Dear Leader, President Obama, set the bar low enough that others could do what he did. Thus the three current GOP announced presidential candidates are first-term senators. All have positives and negatives. But Sen. Rubio has the least negatives over Sens. Cruz and Paul.
Rather than bore you with such details at this writing, let me just get you to this link to Five Thirty Eight and this article by Harry Enten as to the fact that the Republicans have a serious contender for the nomination in Sen. Rubio.
Some highlights from the speech, courtesy of Bloomberg News.

For almost all of human history, power and wealth belonged only to a select few. Most people who have ever lived were trapped by the circumstances of their birth, destined to live the life their parents had. But America is different. Here, we are the children and grandchildren of people who refused to accept this.
Both of my parents were born to poor families in Cuba. After his mother died when he was nine, my father left school to go work. My mother was one of seven girls raised by a disabled father who struggled to provide for his family.
When they were young, my parents had big dreams for themselves. But because they were not born into wealth or power, their future was destined to be defined by their past. So in 1956 they came here, to the one place on earth where the aspirations of people like them could be more than just dreams.
My father became a bartender. My mother a cashier, a maid and a Kmart stock clerk. They never made it big. But they were successful. Two immigrants with little money or education found stable jobs, owned a home, retired with security and gave all four of their children a life far better than their own.

A powerful personal story and a clear respect and love for America and what it offered not just his parents but their children, including Marco.

If we reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare, the American people will create millions of better-paying modern jobs.

Short, to the point, concise. One thing that will bore the American people is an overly detailed plan explained in such fashion by the candidate. It is the general theme on which Sen. Rubio is basing his whole candidacy.

Just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for President by promising to take us back to yesterday.
But yesterday is over, and we are never going back. We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future. Before us now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing story of America.
We can’t do that by going back to the leaders and ideas of the past. We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.

Yes, that is a direct hit at the presumptive and now official Democrat candidate, former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. And a little jab at potential Republican candidate, former Florida governor, Jeb Bush. And the following is a more direct jab on Mr. Bush:

My candidacy might seem improbable to some watching from abroad. In many countries, the highest office in the land is reserved for the rich and powerful. But I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege.

Although it is clear it is anti-Bush, it is another assault on the Clinton candidacy as well.
As I write this, I realize that there are some who will not forgive Sen. Rubio for trying to work with the so-called Gang of Eight in pursing so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform. I can't fault him for the effort. But Sen. Rubio clearly realized that the so-called Gang of Eight had no desire and want of a strong border security aspect of the plan and he bailed out. A leader does sometimes make mistakes. This was a mistake and we should be glad that when it came down to voting on it, Sen. Rubio pulled his support and is going to pursue border security first, then what to do with the millions of illegal aliens here.
People underestimate Sen. Rubio at their own peril. Remember as I noted earlier, the whole of the GOP establishment in Washington and Florida were lining up behind Mr. Christ for the senate seat. When Mr. Christ lost the nomination to Mr. Rubio, a rather large margin of victory, the spoiled-sport Christ mounted an "independent" challenge in the general election and all that did was put the Democrat candidate, Kendrick Meek, in third place. Mr. Rubio almost won a three-way race with 50% of the vote.
Not bad for a candidate with no chance of even getting the GOP nomination.
And now, the giant killer, Marco Antonio Rubio, is officially in for the Republican nomination for president. Can Sen. Rubio kill some more GOP folks and be the 2016 presidential nominee? I think that is a very real possibility.




Sunday, April 05, 2015

EASTER 2015

Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark:

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise be to thee, Lord Christ

Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter, 2015.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Hey College Kids, Don't Major In Economics In College Because You're A Hater Or Something

This is but another reason that it is even impossible to have a semi-reasonable discussion with a socialist liberal on pretty much any issue.
I get that to many college is supposed to be a certain kind of experience. You know, to open one up to a world of possibility. For someone to discover one's self. It can be, for many, a truly life changing experience.
For others, it is part of a career path. And some people will major in economics. And get an undergraduate degree in said subject.
But, according to Professor Lisa Wade, if you are an economics major and worse, understand economics, you are probably "anti-social". Which is probably code for just being a hater.
No, I am sorry to write, this is not a joke. This is based on an article she wrote, "Are Economic Majors Anti-Social?"
I mean, why read the rest of the article when she answers the question in the very first word?! Well, I read it so you don't have to.
Needless to say, Prof. Wade answers her question with a "Yep".
Now what does the esteemed Prof. Wade actually know about economics herself?
I will have to say very little to now knowledge of economics since she is a professor of sociology.
But right after her affirmative answer, Prof. Wade suggests that people who do take economics whether it be classes or as a major were already anti-social to begin with. And that once they are done, they are less likely to be generous (Re: wanting to give up hard-earned money to the government), don't want to share (again, they oppose socialism), specifically less generous to the needy (which seems to be a redundancy of not being generous in the first place) and more likely to lie, cheat and steal. And Prof. Wade links to this site that has studies to buttress her argument.
So Prof. Wade writes about a study by two economists, Yoram Bauman and Elaina Rose that cites how stingy that they are because they offer two examples of what they can donate and or financially support when they register for school. So what do they offer as two examples? Take a look.
WashPIRG (a left-leaning public interest group).
ATN (a non-partisan group that lobbies to reduce tuition rates).
What is missing here?
How about a conservative group? If there was a conservative group, would more econ majors support that or similar groups? Well, I don't know because they did not seem to include that third option.
So, if you are an econ major, because you don't want to financially support a left-wing "public interest group" or a supposed non-partisan group, you are anti-social! But if you are just taking econ classes and not majoring in econ, you're cool!
Awesome!
Choice of where one's money goes makes one anti-social.
What the study and or studies do not bother to do is some follow up. Such as where the econ majors ended up. What did they do beyond their employment such as what organizations they belong to and whether they financial support such organizations.
Nope, based on some flimsy studies at best, they make a harsh assumption that their natural "anti-social" tendencies make them more likely to end up being econ majors. And the further they pursue that degree, the more "anti-social" they become.
As noted in the post by Aurelius, giving money to liberal and or non-partisan groups does not make one a better person. What about giving to one's church, temple or mosque? What about giving time to a cause that is meaning to that person?
But of course sociologists do not have to really worry about the consequences of bad monetary investments. They judge one's proper social behavior as if they support leftist causes. Especially with money. The fact is that an econ major is going to be exposed to more than "neo-classical" economics as cited by Prof. Wade. As such they will be critically thinking of what has worked and what does not work. And that determines their attitude to any given group and what they are promoting.
So what is WashPIRG? Well, it's a typical left-wing group. Among the issues that they are all about include the overuse of anti-biotics at "factory" farms. Closing those pesky corporate tax loopholes. So-called 21st century transportation (that means walking, bikes and massive public transportation). Now yes, a person learning about economics and that includes economic theory is going to have some of their tuition money go to this group.
SMH* until I bleed!
And what about the ATN group?
Well, the acronym stood for Affordable Tuition Now. Wait, what do I mean stood for? This is the closest thing to find this group even existed.
Imagine that.
Econ majors don't want money to go to a group that may or may have not really existed.
Again, SMH until I bleed!
The problem that is not really a problem in that people who have a basic understanding of economics will deal with matters in what economically benefits them. That does not mean that because they do not want to give money to left-wing causes they are anti-social. They are simply employing choice. They are possibly waiting until leaving college and getting a job to find their cause to support. Whether that be financially and or by being a member of any given organization. In fact, who is to say that someone with a degree in economics would not possibly even work for a left-wing group and or promote leftist economics?
Kids, I am here to write to you that despite the propaganda of how terrible you are and even worse wanting to major in economics, it's perfectly fine. Go ahead and seek a degree in economics. And use it well. To your ability. Not the ability of grifting left-wingers.

*-SMH - Smack My Head

Monday, March 30, 2015

You Know The Real Story Of The Indiana Religious Freedom Law? Mike Pence

It's an interesting aspect that the discussion going all over the internets over the passage and subsequent signing of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act has not even brought up one aspect that I absolutely believe is the real issue here.
The real issue is the governor who signed the legislation, Mike Pence.
Now this post is not going to delve into the merits of the law or not. I will provide this link by a gay conservative in favor of same-sex marriage to give a case for the legislation being OK. But there is the angst by the other side. And this link gives one of the reasons they do not like this legislation.
Now why is Gov. Pence the real story here?
Because he has expressed some interest in running for president. If that were to pass, the Republican governor would be the 318th non-announced potential Republican candidate for president.
Let's look at a fact.
Now 20 states and the federal government have some kind of RFRA on their books. The law is designed to allow religious groups to use religion as a legitimate defense if they break the law in any way. 
In essence it is to protect the American Indians who use peyote, which is illegal, as part of their religious ceremonies. It protects Christian Scientists, who do not believe in modern medicine, when their belief is challenged in court. In the case of CS', it is usually when a child's life is in danger and when modern medicine has an overwhelming chance to help lead to a full recovery. What about Jehovah's Witnesses who do not believe in blood transfusions? Sikh men and or teen boys that, as a part of their faith, wear a dagger on their person.?
In other words, this is very broad based.
However, suddenly the gay left has realized, OMG, that Indiana has jumped on board with this clarification and protection for Christians that have a business, such as bakeries and or wedding photographers, who chose to not provide the service to those same-sex couples due to their sincere belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
The rub is that it really just provides a defense and a day in court for those mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The same thing applies to the groups mentioned in the paragraph before that one.
What it does not do is give people a right to deny service based on flimsy belief. But that belief must be real and provable.
It is important to give background on this to understand the issue at hand.
So, when Gov. Pence was running for governor, this is one of the things that he ran on. That he supported the legislation and would sign it. Keep in mind that again, there are 19 other states that have similar legislation. There was not this kind of backlash against all the other states save for Arizona. In that state, under a ton of pressure from the usual suspects, then Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill. Here is a map to see exactly what states have similar laws.


The dark green state have RFRAs. Interesting that there are several pretty blue states as part of the 19 other states. Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Actually, the accompanying story is worth a read.
Back to point.
There was not one bit of a secret that Gov. Pence was for this and signed it.
And the left, especially the gay-friendly left went on an unbelievable screed as if this just happened out of nowhere.
It didn't.
But what makes the reaction interesting is how the venom is out for Gov. Pence.
Since he became governor, there has not been much to nail him on that could stick in the world of the left. Gov. Pence served in congress and gave up a sure seat for as long as he wanted it to run for and win the governor's seat in Indiana. He is pretty popular in his state. It is this reason that Gov. Pence has been on a fair number of people's lists of serious GOP presidential candidates. Now it's not like there has been a Pence for Prez bandwagon bursting at the seems. Gov. Pence is but one name in a large mix. But what would happen if he caught on and actually decided to run for president?
Nothing like a little bit of making Gov. Pence being Bull Conner and making Indiana the Alabama of the Upper Midwest in regard to businesses raging to deny services to gays, lesbians and all others in between.
One of the reasons the opponents have to use against the law is the fact that Indiana as a state does not have anti-discrimination laws. Yes, localities do, but not the whole state. Thus all those anti-gay bigots can whip out their signs that they don't want to serve gays, lesbians and all in between. Maybe throw in other liberals and Godless commies too.
Judging by the hysteria of many big businesses, it appears that there is not a slew of bigoted sexists using religion to deny a meal to anyone.
In 2015 America, does anyone really believe that a major company would use the RFRA to legally discriminate based on religion? Of course people will disagree on what constitutes discrimination. The point of the legislation is that those that have a genuine, deeply held religious belief have the right to defend themselves if they do deny a very specific service. As Christian Scientists do. As Jehovah's Witness' do. As Sikhs do. As American Indian religions do.
But what is really at play is whether or not Gov. Pence wants to run for president. If he does, the left is prepared to hang this one bill he signed as proof positive he is not fit to run for let alone be president. It would be something for Gov. Pence to consider in running for the presidency. And while he made a somewhat weak case for the bill on the Sunday political gab-fests, he has written this article to appear in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal (sorry there is a pay-wall, but excerpts appear here at the Pence Facebook page). I think that it presents the bill as it is supposed to be and is better than his appearances on national television on Sunday.
The moral is that if there is any chance of a solid conservative thinking about running for president, he better not tangle with the left unprepared. Mike Pence, not the law itself, is the real issue no matter what you will read and or hear.









Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Act Of Kindness, An Overreaction And The Social Justice Warriors Go Wild

This is a story that will by tomorrow, if not later today, that will gain national attention as it involves a restaurant, a woman doing a good thing and a homeless panhandler caught in the crossfire of the Social Justice Warriors and the rest of us.
This past Saturday, Florentina Albert, and her husband went to have a family breakfast at a local Pasadena, California family restaurant, Conrad's. It is been a fixture on the northeast corner of Lake and Walnut Avenue for decades. Neither Mrs. RVFTLC or I have ever been there. Every so often, we are thinking about going there, but do not.
Mrs. Albert saw a homeless man named Michael. The man asked Mrs. Albert if she could but him French Toast. She said sure. Her and her husband and Michael all went in. According to Mrs. Albert's account, she said that she would like to buy Michael a meal and to make sure that he would sit at the counter to eat his meal. A seemingly decent request.
It went downhill from there.
Mrs. Albert says that the owner gave Michael the food and asked him to take the food to go. And she was not happy with that and her husband saw Michael waiting to cross the street. She chased him down, told him to come back and confronted the owner. His response clearly was one of frustration:

"We don’t want him here. Why not? Michael sits outside and panhandles, bothering our customers asking for food.”

Does anyone doubt this?
Save that thought for later.
After a little more conversation, the owner relented and let Michael eat his meal. But not without the warning, "Today is the last time">
Mrs. Albert originally shared all of this on Facebook on a Pasadena page. But she also took photos. Of the receipts and a note she wrote of her displeasure.



I will assume that the first receipt is that for Michael's meal. It is not for French Toast, but hey, he changed his mind. And Mrs. Albert didn't care and wanted to willingly pay for it.
If anyone reads this blog with any regularity, I am not very sympathetic to the homeless because we as a society are allowing them to be out there and in most cases not getting the proper help that they need.
In this case, I actually side with both people.
I do get where the owner is coming from. I don't like going somewhere and before I get in the door, I am accosted by a homeless person. Most will ask for change, but there are many that ask for dollars. Not just a buck but dollars. Usually its a buck or five bucks. I always say no and that is no matter what. And I am usually not a happy camper to be accosted in the first place. Mrs. RVFTLC is more open to being sympathetic and has helped me at least try to have compassion about the homeless. But the problem has grown a lot here in Pasadena. I have lived here for 13 years and it is clear that there is a larger problem. Ask any member of the Pasadena police department. They will not speak on the record and it is like anything else there is some variance of opinion but they all will admit that the problem has grown, especially since the Gold Line light rail train from Los Angeles to here opened up. While most are not overly aggressive, many are. As I noted, they want more than the change you may have in your pocket. And many of these homeless are addicts, mentally ill or just plain not wanting to deal with life. The families that may get to a terrible condition of homelessness are much, much lower than we are led to believe by homeless advocates.
So, the unidentified owner of this family restaurant deals with Michael, or someone like Michael, almost every day. And there is no doubt that they scare a fair share of customers off.
But the unidentified owner could have dealt with the matter differently.
He did not need to be abrupt for after all, Mrs. Albert was taking responsibility for Michael by paying for his bill and I am sure watching for him to see how he would be in regards to the other customers. Now I do not know what Michael looked like. How he was dressed. Whether or not he was somewhat clean or dirty and smelly beyond belief. He should have taken the initiative to personally go to where Mrs. Albert was sitting with her husband and explained that although a nice gesture, Michael is a "regular" and does this all the time and that he will let Michael have his meal at the counter but it's probably not a good idea to do this again. If Mrs. Albert is a regular, I have no doubt she is, the owner should be more thoughtful.
As Mrs. Albert was actually doing something that many homeless advocates recommend. Offering to buy a meal, or in this case she was asked by Michael, instead of giving some loose change or dollars. It is a way to test if a homeless person is really hungry or just wanting money for other things. She had a moment of compassion for Michael and decided not just to pay for the meal but told him to come in with them and have the hot meal at the counter of the restaurant. She gave a down and out man a moment of dignity.
I don't question either person's motive.
The restaurant owner is doing two things. Looking out for his customers and, like it or not, trying to make a buck the way that he best knows how.
Mrs. Albert wanted to do something awesome for a man that needed a lift up. Even if it is for a few moments of time on a Saturday morning.
What is irritating about this is the Social Justice Warriors, who have no clue what it is like to run any business let alone a family restaurant, are leading the charge of condemnation against Conrad's. As I noted, this story will get bigger as the local ABC television station had this story on the 11pm news last night. It will be nationwide before you know it.
The SJW crowd loves to show how much they care for the cause they are fighting for, but how many really get both sides of such a story? I get Mrs. Albert being upset and not wanting to eat there again. But here is an opportunity for a businessman to show some good will and reach out to Mrs. Albert and at least try to make things right. Maybe they can do something good together.
I don't think that the owner is getting it, however.
In the aforementioned story on the 11pm news, an attorney spoke for the owner of the restaurant. Not dissing an attorney, but at this point the owner needs to show his face and explain his side of the story. It just is bad optics.
Here's something the SJW crowd does not get or care in reality.
Homelessness is one of those problems where there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are varying degrees of how to deal with the different kinds of homeless. Mentally ill. Addicts. A combination of both. Transients. And the few but very sad cases of families caught in this economy.
Neither they or businesses can look at the issue and offer anything beyond the bromides. It does not help when people who have probably never set foot into Conrad's use social media to diss the restaurant and give it poor ratings on outlets like Yelp. The owner feels cornered and that he is convinced he did nothing wrong.
An act of kindness and an overreaction by a frustrated businessman should not be so blown out of proportion but some cooler heads should prevail and maybe, just one time something good can come out of such a situation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Starbucks "Encourages" Baristas To Discuss Race Relations; What Can Go Wrong?!

Good Lord, I swear that Starbucks is doing everything in it's immeasurable power to discourage me from remaining a customer.
Really, I mean I don't care that there about 50 Starbucks in my hometown of Pasadena, California. For if the latest attempt at feasting on a festering social issue as race relations by having baristas write a message, "Race Together" and encourage customers to discuss their views on race relations continues, many customers will finally say enough is enough with the fricken social activism.
OK, OK, I get it. Starbucks' CEO, Howard Schultz, is a big liberal. And this is not his first foray into using Starbucks not just to make a buck but to do so on the back of controversial issues.
One thing we can all agree on is that race relations in the United States is at the lowest it has been in my 50 years of God's Green Earth.
Blacks against Whites.
Whites against Blacks.
Hispanics against Blacks.
Blacks against Hispanics.
Whites against Hispanics.
Hispanics against Whites.
And so on, and so on and so on.
So Mr. Schultz seems to think that if his mostly White, hipster crew of baristas (also known as coffee makers for the regular folks) just write a smarmy, sentimental message of "Race Together" and encourage people to talk about their "race journey" then he is in for a rude awakening.
Picture this scenario.
Some Black gal steps into a Starbucks in Urbanville, USA. Let's say her name is Azelia Banks. You know who she is, right? She is a a rapper. In an interview with Playboy magazine, she made it clear what she hates about the United States. It's us eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll WHITE Americans! Here is the inflammatory comment:

"I hate everything about this country,"Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma -- that's really America."

Yeah, so Miss Banks steps into the Starbucks and makes her request. The young, White hipster with his beard and horned-rimmed glasses gets her order, probably all wrong, and writes the requisite "Race Together". Miss Banks reads it and, well I'm sure there will be an intellectual discourse that probably would include the police department of Urbanville, USA. And probably see the hipster dude carted off to jail for his trouble.
Somehow, I see this happening all across the United States. Not necessarily angry, but with many customers saying that their views on race relations are not the business of some barista at Starbucks.
You know what those customers care about? The barista getting their order right. They don't care if said barista is name the race group. The average customer is shopping their for a specific service.
COFFEE. And COFFEE related products. Maybe some FOOD to go with that.
The average customer is not going there for discussion on current events with a server and fancy title. Really, we are not.
I like Starbucks coffee. Yeah, so sue me. And I just want to get a large coffee most of the time when I partake going there. Maybe I want a  large Frappacino. Oh, and since I am a simple guy, it's small, medium and large. Not Tall, Venti and whatever large is. I don't care who provided the coffee. I don't care if it is "fair trade", free trade or whatever. I do not care what Starbucks does in the community. I don't care what cause their management thinks I should care about.
I am there for a product. I am there to use the free wi-fi while I am enjoying me drink. If I have time to stick around.
It is so pretentious  people like Mr. Schultz to use his angst and self-flagellation about race relations to all but force employees to start a "conversation" with someone on race relations.
What would happen if a Black employee wanted to start a race conversation with a seemingly nice White guy? What if it turned out that he was the local chair of the Ku Klux Klan and used this tender moment to explain to said Black employee why he and all Blacks are sub-human and if he had his way, they would all be shipped back to the African continent.
How about an Asian employee starting the conversation with a tatted-out, shaved head Hispanic customer? Yeah, somehow I don't think it would go all that well as there is already resentment in the area I live among non-Asians about their seemingly strong economic power over other race groups including Whites and, and ethnic Jews.
Oh, that would also be an awesome conversation. Any group suggesting that Jews have unfair advantages and that really, they control everything.
Do you see how such an idea is so bad? Do you, Mr. Schultz?
There is a place and time for any discussion. But not in such a way at a business that depends on goodwill to all people. All potential customers. To bring up such a alienating issue is beyond asking for trouble.
If this goes as well as I expect it will, Starbucks may lose a lot of customers. Customers that they should be listening to and not disrespecting.
What can go wrong with a Starbucks barista wanting to discuss race relations? Everything and anything.



GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns From Congress

Embattled GOP Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) announced today that he is resigning from congress as questions have embroiled the congressman over using taxpayer and campaign funds for remodeling his Washington office, taking trips that were questionable.
The fact is that evidence was mounting that Rep. Schock was fast and loose with money for himself. In the linked article are other stories about a clear pattern of Rep. Schock taking plane trips with heavy-hitting campaign contributors. Also, the cost and Downton Abbey style of his office remodel was exorbitant, even by Washington standards.
One of the youngest members of congress, Rep. Schock was emerging as a foreign policy hawk. But getting fast and loose with money is not a good thing and it is clear that he saves having the Republican majority in the house of representatives from doing an investigation from the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee. But he still could face potential charges as the Federal Election Commission and the Justice department could continue investigating Rep. Schock.
Good that Rep. Schock resigned.
Look, the GOP can not claim to a party of reform and have a potential major league crook be the face of the party. We can not say we are fighting corruption while having a member all but stick his middle-finger in the face of the taxpayers.
We conservatives must hold our people to the high standards we set for them. No excuses. If we do not then there truly is not one difference between the Democrats and Republicans.
This is a message to other Republicans who think that they can pull off this kind of corruption and think that they can get away with it. They can not. Not in this age of social media. A social media that the narcissistic Rep. Schock used and ended up being the albatross that brought him down.
One less Corruptican like Rep. Aaron Schock in congress is better for all.