Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Newhart Cancels Show for GLAAD

December 29, 2013

It seems that the drama involving the A & E Network and the Robertson family is nearly at an end. At any rate A & E gave in to the nearly overwhelming opposition of the show’s fans to their suspension of Phil Robertson and have allowed him to continue on the show. This is a victory, of sorts, for free speech and a stinging defeat for the GLAAD bullies. Unfortunately they will continue their efforts to marginalize anyone who happens to disagree with their views and not everyone has the resources or the will to fight them.

Comedian Bob Newhart was scheduled to give a performance at a conference by Legatus, a Catholic businessman’s organization. GLAAD decided that the group is anti-gay because they happen to support Catholic positions on sexuality and pressured Newhart to cancel the show. Unfortunately, Newhart complied.Here is an account in Lifesitenews.com.

Famed comedian Bob Newhart has canceled a headline show at a conference for Catholic business leaders after a homosexual activist group ran a campaign portraying the organizers as “anti-gay.”

After learning of the 84-year-old comedian’s scheduled appearance at the Legatus Summit in Orlando on February 6, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) began urging him last week to back out. Activists also organized a petition at Faithful America that garnered 17,000 signatures.

Legatus, which was begun by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan in 1987 to network Catholic business leaders, is faithful to the Church’s Magisterium and therefore upholds the Church’s teachings on all moral matters including homosexuality.

“It’s unfortunate that Bob Newhart has decided not to perform at Legatus’ annual Summit in February,” Legatus Executive Director John Hunt told LifeSiteNews.com. “It’s clear from stories in the media that certain organizations have asked him to cancel his appearance.”

Hunt continued, “Despite the rhetoric in these news reports, Legatus is a faith-based organization that proudly holds firm to the teachings of the Catholic Church especially, in this case, to the teachings on human sexuality.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church bases itself on the Bible, calling homosexual sex “acts of grave depravity” and the inclination toward homosexuality “objectively disordered.” At the same time, it says those with same-sex attractions “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

Newhart, a lifelong Catholic, announced the cancellation on his Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday. “Upcoming Bob Newhart Tour Date Change — Bob will not be performing at the Legatus Summit in Orlando FL on February 6th, 2014,” the post said.

I can’t say that I am very disappointed in Bob Newhart. As the article states, He is 84 years old and he certainly doesn’t need to be involved in any controversies at his time of life. Also, as a life long performer, it is very likely that his politics are closer to GLAAD than Legatus. All the same, I wish that he had kept the engagement in order to stand up for the principle that performers should not have to seek permission from pressure groups to decide where to book performances. Does Newhart really want to live in a country where entertainers have to seek permission to perform? Does he want future performers to have to submit their material in advance  to ensure that nothing offensive is said. This may seem far fetched, but there have been places in the world where this was  and is the case.

A long time ago, I happened to see the Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff on some late night talk show.I don’t remember which, but I think it might have been Johnny Carson. During the interview, Smirnoff mentioned that he while he worked in the Stoviet Union, he had to submit his material to a Department of Jokes. A comedian was not allowed to depart from the submitted material or improvise. The host thought this was a joke, but Smirnoff assured him this really was the case. When the host asked Smirnoff if a comedian who disobeyed would be sent to jail, Smirnoff answered that he would not, but he would never be allowed to perform again. Keep that in mind while reading what GLAAD has to say.

GLAAD praised Newhart’s decision Thursday. “Newhart is merely siding with the majority of fair-minded Americans who do not support the anti-LGBT agenda of organizations like Legatus,” said Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s vice president of communications.

“These groups constantly struggle to find high-profile people of faith to speak at their events, but at a time when more and more people of faith are accepting of LGBT people, they will continue to be left to choose between increasingly fringe figures,” he added.

The homosexual activist group launched the campaign in a December 12 post titled “Bob Newhart, don’t become the next Kirk Cameron!”

If you don’t accept GLAAD’s agenda then you will be labeled a fringe figure and marginalized until you cannot find work. The only difference between GLAAD and a Soviet commissar is that GLAAD’s dictates do not have the force of law, yet. In a legal environment where a baker can be compelled to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple against his religious scruples, can the day when legal sanctions against “hate speech” really be so hard to imagine.

What does Legatus say that is so hateful and bigoted? Do they advocate executing gays? Imprisoning them? Well, no. Here are the statements that GLAAD finds utterly unacceptable, as reported by GLAAD. They are quoting from a piece written by John Haas.

There are many reasons why people suffer from SSA disorder. Some “discover” this tendency within them. Others grow into it through pursuits of pleasure or experimentation. Some use it to punish themselves or others. Whether the disorder has some deep, unknown roots over which one has virtually no control, or whether it’s a developed disorder resulting from bad choices, it leaves an individual disposed toward activities and a lifestyle that are dangerous — physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Fortunately there is hope for those who suffer from the disorder. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality reports that significant numbers of homosexual persons have undergone treatment and had their sexual drives properly ordered. These findings are a beacon of hope to those suffering from SSA, as well as for their family and friends who desire their happiness and good health. Finally, for those who for whatever reason cannot be cured, there is a support group known as Courage to help them live safe, moral, chaste lives. Those who continue to suffer from this disorder can find true help through an orientation toward their Savior and Redeemer, “the Orient from on High,” and the life that He offers them in Himself.

And.

I often tell my students that no one has ever died from not having sex. Plenty of people have died from having sex, but no one has ever died from not having sex. This idea that sexual expression is the only or a necessary expression of love is the underlying principle behind the argument that we should not deny happiness to two people who are in love, even two people struggling with SSA.

No one is denying them love or happiness. We are not denying love or happiness to the alcoholic by taking away his alcohol. We are not denying love or happiness to the drug addict by taking away his drugs. We are not denying love or happiness to the pedophile by keeping him away from children. In fact, we are showing true love to the sinner by denying him his disordered passions.

Second, even if we grant that people are “born that way,” it is a specious argument to conclude that it is natural and must be accepted. People are born with bad eyesight, but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with glasses or contacts. People are born without arms and legs, but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with prosthetic limbs. People are born bipolar and with A.D.D., but we do not consider that natural. We consider it a disorder that should be corrected with medicine and psychological counseling. There is even scientific research showing that alcoholism and pedophilia are genetic, that people are “born that way,” but we still consider them disorders that should be corrected.

Consider that we are all born with original sin. Yet, we recognize that it is a disorder within us and we do our best to overcome it with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, with the help of the sacraments, and the grace of God.

These do not seem to be malicious or hateful statements. The author feels that homosexuality is a disorder and wishes to cure those afflicted by it. Considering that homosexuality is not, in fact, conducive to a healthy or well-adjusted life, there are high levels of depression, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and compulsive risk taking among homosexuals, there is good reason to consider it a disorder not dissimilar to alcoholism. It is perhaps more compassionate to seek to cure the homosexual than tell them that their orientation is fixed at birth and is immutable, especially if they are young people. The idea that sexuality is fixed at birth is, if not actually a lie, is vastly simplistic about a very complex part of human behavior. I strongly suspect that sexual orientation is, to some degree, fluid in most individuals.

I have long on long enough about this subject and frankly I am feeling a little ducked out.

Food Justice

December 5, 2013

I had never heard of the concept of “food justice” before receiving e-mail from Moveon.org.

Dear David, 

I’m Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Cooked. For many years now, I’ve been passionately outspoken about the food justice movement, and low-wage workers represent a key front in the fight for fair and just food.

That’s why I hope you’ll join me and millions of MoveOn members across the country in expressing solidarity with the fast-food workers going on strike for fair wages today. 

Those of us working in the food movement often speak of our economy’s unhealthy reliance on “cheap food.” But cheap food only seems cheap because the real costs of its production are hidden from us: the exploitation of food and farm workers, the brutalization of animals, and the undermining of the health of the soil, the water, and the atmosphere.

As a society, we’ve trapped ourselves in a kind of reverse Fordism. Instead of paying workers well enough so that they can afford good, honestly-priced products—as Henry Ford endeavored to do so that his workers might afford to buy his cars—we pay them so little that the only food they can afford is junk food destructive of their health and the environment’s.

If we are ever to right this wrong, to produce food sustainably and justly and sell it at an honest price, we will first have to pay people a living wage so that they can afford to buy it. Let’s start with the people who work so hard to feed us.

Please stand with the brave fast-food strikers by sharing this image on Facebook.

In solidarity,

Michael Pollan

P.S. There are nearly 100 fast-food worker rallies at 12:30 p.m. local time all across the country today. Head over during lunch and show your support in person. Click here to find a rally near you.

Henry Ford did not decide to pay his workers the then exorbitant wage of $5 per day solely out of humanitarian concerns for his workers. He wanted to eliminate the heavy turnover in his factories and to attract the best workers he could. It was a shrewd business decision on his part that also gained him a great deal of good publicity. There was a slightly dark side to his benevolence. The $5 a day wage only applied to workers who had six months employment at Ford’s factories and were of good moral character. Ford’s Social Department investigated workers’ personal lives to ensure that they qualified.

But enough of Henry Ford. Mr. Pollan’s argument is that we must pay fast food workers higher wages so that they can afford to buy higher priced sustainable food to eat instead of the crap they are already eating. I am not sure he has the best interests of those workers in mind, however. I am not sure too many of these workers are all that interested in sustainable food. They, quite naturally, would prefer to be paid higher wages. Now, the question is, is there labor worth the higher wages? Ford’s factory workers proved to be worth the high wage he paid them, other wise Ford would have had to discontinue the program or go out of business. Ford was trying to attract skilled workers as well as unskilled workers willing to work on an assembly line for 8-12 hours a day. Not many fast food workers can be classified as skilled labor. Many of them do not have all that much in skills or experience to offer an employer, otherwise they would be working elsewhere. The question is, will doubling their wages result in increased productivity that will increase the value of the company that employs them. If yes, than they will do well.

If no, than the company will have to increase prices, considering that people go to fast food restaurants because the food is fast and cheap, and no for the fine dining experience, there may be limits on how much they can raise prices. They can also reduce expenditures. The company can close stores that are no longer profitable. They can decide not to hire as many people and to automate as much as possible. It may well turn out that the fast food workers that Mr. Pollan claims to care about will find themselves hard pressed to afford junk food, much less the sustainable food he wishes them to eat.

I can understand why supporting higher wages for fast food workers is popular, both politically and emotionally. It feels good to support the little guy, the hard-working people who aren’t being rewarded properly for their efforts. It costs nothing, since you do not have to worry about how the companies are going to handle the increased payroll expenses. Indeed, you can simply assume that the companies have infinite amounts of money to spend or that they need not show a profit. But, feeling good does not necessarily make good policies. You must consider the consequences. Even the most well-intentioned policies can have disastrous consequences and hurt the people they are meant to help.

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 340 other followers

%d bloggers like this: