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Old 07-27-2012, 03:22 PM   #81
Ron Newman
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

I see no problem with what the Mayor did provided that he represents the majority opinion in the city on this issue. Whether he does, is not entirely clear to me.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #82
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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Very well put. I am shocked, appalled and frightened by the mindless rush among so many acquaintances and friends to praise what is a thuggish, totalitarian and blatantly unconstitutional power play by Boss Menino.
Huh?

What, exactly, did the Mayor do that was unconstitutional or totalitarian? He expressed his disgust (like many of us) with the company's stance on marriage equality. He's using his 1st Amendment rights as well. There's absolutely nothing unconstitutional about what he did.

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Are we this ready to give up essential freedoms like the freedom to say politically unpopular things just because we think that gay marriage (now supported by 50%+ of the population so speaking in favor of it is not exactly a brave moral stance, particularly in 2012 Boston) is so freaking great?

By no means am I against gay marriage, but there is NO political issue that is so all-consumingly good that my desire to intimidate and ostracize those on the opposite side of the issue it is so great as to merit the sacrifice of core intellectual freedoms.
See what's scary to me is that people get so up in arms about his expressing an opinion. He (stupidly) "vowed" to block them from locating in Boston, but never went so far as to actually threaten them (just read the letter) and has since admitted that he cannot legally block them from locating in Boston.

I find it even more scary that seemingly more and more people are just certain that our government is hellbent on taking away our freedoms. I'm thrilled with Menino's approach towards Chick-Fil-A (so long as it continues to remain well within the law) and not just because I agree with his stance. I'm thrilled because there are a lot of politicians who would keep quiet out of fear of what the next poll is going to show or how speaking out would impact their reelection chances. Menino expressed an opinion, that according to you, isn't even that bold. So again, what exactly did Menino do here that is in any way "unconstitutional," "totalitarian," or sacrifices "intellectual freedom."
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #83
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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What, exactly, did the Mayor do that was unconstitutional or totalitarian? He expressed his disgust (like many of us) with the company's stance on marriage equality. He's using his 1st Amendment rights as well. There's absolutely nothing unconstitutional about what he did.
Acting against people for what they think is Totalitarian (the state demanding "total" assent, not just in what you do, but in what you think).

So the problem is that the mayor threatened totalitarian action (punishing Chick-Fil-A for what they think), and thereby gave people the impression it might be OK to actually do so.

He was either
  • Lying about the extent of his powers when he gave the impression he could *do* something
  • Pandering/Demagoguing/Misrepresenting (knowing he was limited but giving the impression that "blocking" actions might be legal, hoping that his allies would applaud and his enemies would cower). I think this is what happened.
  • Willfully ignorant (actually thought it was within his power to deny permits to people based on what they think) Sadly, this is the second most likely because as Mayor-for-Life he has wide ability (whether legal or not) to reward political cronies and punish political enemies.

All of those are threats to freedom because they cloud what should be very clear: nobody (employer, store or Mayor) can act against you under color of law for what you think (anywhere) or say (in a political forum).

My preference would be for Thomas Menino to have personal stationery where he could give personal vent to anger over insults, and thereby not appear to be acting in his Office of Mayor in moments like this.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #84
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

I know what Totalitarian is. I think "vowing" to block them was a poor choice of words (he's since admitted he can't and won't do that). I'm just saying none of what he has done is totalitarian or unconstitutional. Hence why I think it's ridiculous that people are getting all up in arms about him stating his opinion which he legally/constitutionally has every right to do. He has done nothing even remotely illegal which is why it's ludicrous to toss around words like "totalitarian" and "unconstitutional." Even calling his ill-advised "vow" a threat is a bit absurd since there is really no way for him to follow through on that.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #85
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

Suppose this was a town rather than a city, and the representative town meeting (or, even better, general town meeting) voted to make a statement similar to what Menino just did. Would that be 'totalitarian' even though it was done by a fully democratic process?
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:51 PM   #86
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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I know what Totalitarian is. I think "vowing" to block them was a poor choice of words (he's since admitted he can't and won't do that). I'm just saying none of what he has done is totalitarian or unconstitutional. Hence why I think it's ridiculous that people are getting all up in arms about him stating his opinion which he legally/constitutionally has every right to do. He has done nothing even remotely illegal which is why it's ludicrous to toss around words like "totalitarian" and "unconstitutional." Even calling his ill-advised "vow" a threat is a bit absurd since there is really no way for him to follow through on that.
In most contexts, pointing a gun and saying "I'm going to kill you" is a verbal assault (and a crime) even when you know you have blanks in the gun.

Again, Thomas Menino can fire off angry notes on his personal stationery all he wants. The problem is that when he gives the impression that he's acting (and going to take further action) from the official power of his office, it is a real problem, even if he knows there are blanks in the gun.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #87
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Re: The New Retail Thread

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Anywho. I gave the mayor credit for his stance on intolerance... or his intolerance of intolerant people.

He was just an idiot to take a national stand to say you can't come here. That stuff only works in the local scenario buddy where you are king. You look like a fool on a national news outlet for trying to stop free consumerism and free market growth.
This is exactly how I feel.
If it were the 1960's Mr. Cathy would undoubtedly be arguing against desegregation of schools or interracial marriage. Times change. He will too (or at least his company will).
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #88
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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Suppose this was a town rather than a city, and the representative town meeting (or, even better, general town meeting) voted to make a statement similar to what Menino just did. Would that be 'totalitarian' even though it was done by a fully democratic process?
When any government (no matter how popular or democratic) demands total assent--demands you think about a something in a certain way--that's totalitarianism.

The whole point of the 1st Amendment was to limit the power of (even a) democratic legislature and executive to act or make empty threats against the beliefs, speech, press, peaceable assembly, and petitions its people.

Recall that it begins "Congress shall make no law..." (and they understood that the Executive (President or, in this case, Mayor) can only validly act with the authorization of a law.

Congress (and a town meeting) are free to pass "sense of the House" resolutions that are as cruel and petty and ridiculous as they like, but everyone would know that there's no law being made.

Still, the legislature and executive both have to be careful. If either says that some person or group is not welcome for what it believes or says, they've got a civil rights problem on their hands
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #89
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

I have mild dyslexia, so I keep reading this as "Chick Filler".

Anyway, the chain can apply for common victualler license pursuant to G.L. c. 140, ss 2 and 6. The licensing board has a fair amount of discretion as to whether to grant or deny. But if there is a denial, and if the chain can make a case that it satisfies the statutory criteria for approval, then in addition to the certiorari claim, there will be state and federal civil rights claims stemming from the Mayor's comments. These will end up being the tail that wags the dog.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:14 PM   #90
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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This is a complicated issue.

A restaurant cannot legally refuse to serve black people, but can they hang up a sign that reads "We are legally required to serve ********, but we would prefer they return to Africa"?

What if there is no sign, but the man behind the counter says the same? What if it's the president of the company making the statement? Does the state have any recourse? We cannot (and should not) throw these people in prison, as that would be a clear violation of the 1st amendment, but does a city have the right say, "No, we're not OK with that, you'll need to locate elsewhere"?
I don't think it's complicated. Chick-fil-a isn't discriminating within its company and restaurants. The founder/CEO just said he believe in traditional marriage and doesn't support same-sex marriage.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:52 PM   #91
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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The founder/CEO just said he believe in traditional marriage and doesn't support same-sex marriage.
That's incorrect. He doesn't just "believe" this. He actually donates money to groups that are fighting to continue the bigotry and discrimination. Thinking and acting are two very different things. For example, thinking about killing someone is much different than actually killing someone.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:29 AM   #92
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

Looks like the mayor and his lawyer have had a chat. But I'd say the cow has left the barn already: http://bostonherald.com/business/gen...eid=1061148712
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:14 PM   #93
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

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That's incorrect. He doesn't just "believe" this. He actually donates money to groups that are fighting to continue the bigotry and discrimination. Thinking and acting are two very different things. For example, thinking about killing someone is much different than paying someone to actually try to kill someone.
Fixed.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:32 PM   #94
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

Seen on Twitter:
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True Life: My Country Has Reduced Its Culture War To The Like/Dislike Of One Brand Of Fast Food
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #95
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Re: Menino vs Chick-fil-a

So I decided to check out Chick-fil-a in Chicago and I have to say, the servers are extremely nice (to the point that one of the server *ahem* my server was kind of creepy. They smile too damn much). I really like the fact that the shift manager comes out, calls your name, and hands you your food while saying have a great day with a smile. I don't know if this is because of its Christian background but I have to admit that this is a step up over places like McDonald's and BK. I didn't see how the food was incredibly amazing but that could be because I have no experience in food tasting. Regardless, they didn't discriminate customers nor did they hang any offensive signs inside the restaurant. While their donation definitely deserve criticism, I really don't see any problem with them operating in Boston.
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