Jun 7, 2013
commented on Why I Ride Fearfully Even With a Helmet
I wear a helmet every time I ride. I don't own a vehicle, and I live in the suburbs, so I ride almost every day. I don't understand the resistance to helmet use. I have had four accidents in the past 18 years. One accident involved getting doored by a vehicle. In the other three, I crashed because of mechanical problems, a streetcar track, and hitting a curb. The helmet did not prvent all injuries( In one case, I needed twelve stitches to close the cuts above my eye), but it certainly helped. A helmet costs a lot less than a visit to the ER. Of course it is not going to prevent every injury or death, but why not wear one if it reduces the likelihood?
Mar 8, 2013
commented on Did This Florist Break the Law by Refusing Service to a Gay Wedding?
#42 regarding the hypothetical situation where the Westboro Baptist Church requests that a gay sign maker create signs that say "God Hates Fags". There are three things to consider here. One would be whether the sign maker was to refuse the service on the basis that he/she did not like the beliefs of the Church. If the sign maker printed other signs with negative messages abut gays, but refused the Church's request, this might be illegal. A related issue would be whether the sign maker stated that he/she did not like the church, or simple did not like the message. The fact that the sign maker him/herself is gay does not make any difference. The whole point of discrimination laws is to protect people from being denied services on the basis of membership in certain groups. It does not matter if the business has reason to feel personally offended by providing the service.
There is a third issue. Under some circumstances, there are protections against "compelled speech", even for businesses. The case of the sign maker could fall under this exception. For example, a printing business may not have to produce flyers for an abortions rights group. A t-shirt company may not be compelled to print shirts with messages promoting things the owner finds offensive. The key issue could be whether a court determines that the printer/signmaker was forced to promote a message or simply to provide a service.
I think the florist has violated the law. Providing flowers is not a form of speech. I am commenting on the hypothetical sign maker. Cases in which non-discrimination law and First Amendment laws conflict are complicated and do not lend themselves to easy analysis, as they are very dependent on the facts of each situation.
Nov 19, 2012
commented on One Eastern WA County Isn't Mostly Bigots
I was also interested to see that more people voted to legalize marijuana than voted in favor of marriage equality. This was also true in Eastern Washington. For example Spokane County handily rejected marriage but approved marijuana. Several other eastern counties approved marijuana as well. I would have thought that people who favor legalization of marijuana would also favor gay marriage. It seems that this issues did track for a large majority of voters, but there were a significant minority who favored marijuana but rejected gay marriage.
I live near Portland, Or, but I spend 4 Saturdays in Clark COunty working for the passage of R-74. I am so thrilled and proud, and honored to be a small part of this victory
May 21, 2012
commented on Confidential to Conservative Christians: Keep Doubling Down On Hate, Assholes
What an abhorrent person! However, he did not advocate for starving people. He did say they should be given food. He just seems to think that all of the gays and lesbians will die off and then there will not be anymore of them. He does not understand biology, as there is probably a new gay person born every minute.
I don't know what is more infuriating, listening to him or hearing the amens from his church members.
May 18, 2012
commented on Christian Love In Action
I don't know what the laws are in Denmark. However, I agree with the posters who said that we have to allow churches the right to decide what rituals to perform, and who they wish to deal with. The actions in this case are odious, but as far as churches in America are concerned, we need to let them be odious.
Mar 15, 2012
commented on Responsible Gun Owner: An Oxymoron? Or Just a Moron?
Can we have a little compassion for these parents. They both made terrible mistakes, and they and their chidlren have paid the ultimate price. Believe it or not, most human beigns make a serious error in judgment at least once in their lives. It is often simpe luck that prevents someoe form being seriously injured or killed as a reusltof our mistakes. These parents had no business leaving loaded guns in the car with their children. This does not mean they do not sympathy in their time fo great anguish