When it’s okay to discriminate

There are times when it is perfectly fine to discriminate. If you’re casting a movie about Abraham Lincoln, you have every right to not hire a short Asian woman for the part (unless you want to for some artistic reason). If you’re looking for someone to teach the Bible to students at a private religious school, you have every right to demand that person believe in the same religion as you. If you have started a private club for “Children of Italian-American immigrants” then you have every right to keep out anyone else. It’s not really discrimination when it’s a required qualification.

The preference of your customer base is not a “qualification.” Years ago, airlines only hired women to be flight attendants, pointing to surveys that showed their customers preferred to be served by women than by men. No, the court ruled, that’s not a “qualification.” Customer preference to be served only by women (or by white people or by Christians) doesn’t matter because rights are not voted on. A majority of Americans didn’t want schools integrated either when the courts ruled that they must, but that doesn’t mean the majority was right.cee2630f696668c25134c32dfabd4c73

You can’t create qualifications that are simply there to discriminate and don’t have a rational relationship to the position. For instance, groups like the Jaycees and the Rotary Club used to exclude women from joining. Why? No real reason. The Supreme Court saw through that, pointing out that the goals of the club had absolutely nothing to do with things that only applied to men.

While you have the right to start your own private club (Freedom of Association. It’s there in the 1st Amendment), you don’t have the right to discriminate in public accommodations. Hotels, clubs, stores, and restaurants and other places are not allowed to discriminate and that means your club meeting in these places can’t discriminate when there isn’t a qualification.  Having these groups meet on your own personal property? Probably fine.

Yeah, that’s a gray area, but in general, you can’t create a group that discriminates for no reason. “The Christian Men’s Group” could discriminate if indeed they are doing things that are applicable only to Christian men, but if they’re just a front for an organization whose real purpose is to provide business networking while keeping out non-Christians and women, then probably not.

What about private clubs that discriminate by having a bodyguard stand outside and decide who gets in? Perfectly fine so long as the reason for denying entrance isn’t based on race or sex or anything prohibited by the 14th Amendment. You technically don’t have a “right” to visit a club or shop in a store, which is why these places can deny service if you’re disruptive or don’t meet their dress code (no shoes, no shirt, no service) or have some other reasonable reason not related to things prohibited by the law.

Recently, a member of a group called the “Sad Puppies” — butthurt snowflake selfish white male Trumpites who whine about things like the 1% of female leads in science fiction — was barred from attending a major science fiction convention after he stated that he planned to take disruptive action at the convention, having done similar things in the past. So of course, he claimed he was being “discriminated against” because of his political views. But no, it’s not “discrimination.” A private organization has the right to deny entry to anyone they think will disrupt their group, including for political disruptions.

There’s also been a group of men who claim that they are being discriminated against by women who refuse to have sex with them. I am not making this up. These entitled jerks call themselves “incels” for “involuntarily celibate.”  (I know, sounds like an Onion satire, doesn’t it?) As if women owe them sex simply because they’re men. These guys have their own web pages and everything where they whine about how terrible it is that nobody wants to have sex with them. These idiots are not being discriminated against.

And just a few days ago, a judge ruled that it wasn’t discrimination for a bar to throw out a guy wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, especially because they didn’t want to have to deal with fights and arguments in their establishment.

Remember, you have every right to hold whatever terrible political viewpoints you want. That is guaranteed to you under the Constitution. You don’t have the right to demand that anyone else provide you with a place or a forum for you to express those opinions, nor do you have the right to demand that someone let you into their group when they believe you don’t meet their standards. No shirt no shoes no service.

If you choose to be the kind of guy people can’t stand to be around and they say they don’t want you near them, that’s not discrimination. You chose to be that person.

As Frank Zappa said, “It’s okay to discriminate against assholes, because nobody was born an asshole.”

Hannity and the Attorney/Client Privilege

To clear a few things up:

You have attorney/client privilege even if technically you never hire the attorney. If you come in to see me and we discuss your case and you later decide to hire someone else, everything you said to me is still privileged.

So when Hannity says he has a privilege and he was never Cohen’s client, that is certainly possible.

I don’t believe a word of it, of course.


Here’s a nice picture of Hannity posing with Cohen, a man he hardly knows, and giving a thumbs up approval to him for no reason whatsoever

I mean, come on. Why would Cohen be trying so hard to keep his third client secret? And why would he name Hannity if he didn’t consider him a client — which meant he had paid him? And don’t we all think some of the files the FBI had would clearly show that?

Since Cohen is known as a “fixer” (think of Robert Duvall’s lawyer in “The Godfather” if that helps), my biggest concern now is wondering what in the world he was supposed to “fix” for Hannity?

Strap yourselves in; it’s going to be a fun ride.

Trump confesses

Here’s one of his latest tweets:


Now let’s see… What’s it called when the police are investigating a crime and you “fight back”?  I know there’s a term for that, when you kind of obstruct a lawful investigation…  Hmmmm…..

Understanding Trump (the ultimate spoiled brat) and what we must do now

by Guest Blogger David Gerrold

The only way to understand the orange harangutan is that he doesn’t deal well with the word “no.”

He’s the ultimate spoiled brat — he’s learned that temper tantrums get him what he wants. That works everywhere in business, but nowhere in politics.angry trump

Because he’s been a spoiled brat for so long — all his life — he thinks that’s winning. He thinks he’s good at everything because no one says no to him, they’re afraid of him, and he perceives everyone around him as either an enemy or an object to be used.

He has no empathy.

It’s an alien experience.

He’s never had to figure anything out for himself, never had to solve a problem, never had to learn any of the real skills of success.

For those who came in late — the real skills of success are partnership, negotiation, contribution, generosity, self-awareness, rationality, and an ability to consider the consequences of every action and choose appropriately. Trump has none of these. He is an undeveloped human.

But he has been so good at conning people and bullying people that he looked like a white knight for all those people who were frustrated and angry — Trump knows how to con people, he knows how to bully people, he knows how to claim all kinds of things that he isn’t. It’s a shallow pretense, not backed up by anything he demonstrates — because he is a gigantic spoiled brat.

He didn’t want to be president, he didn’t want the responsibility, he didn’t want the challenge. He simply wanted the prize. He wanted to win for the sake of winning, not because he wanted to actually roll up his sleeves and do the job.

And 60 million Americans fell for it.trump evil

Are the coal miners winning? Nope. Are the steelworkers winning? Nope. Are the farmers winning? Nope. Are you tired of winning yet?

The only ones who are winning are the millionaires, the billionaires, and the Russians.

We are approaching the end of Act 2 in this farce — the badministration of the Screechweasel-In-Chief is being peeled back like the layers of an onion. More and more of the corruption and collusion is being exposed.

The precedent is Watergate, where the crimes of the underlings gave the investigators a ladder all the way to the top. There are indictments yet to come. There is evidence yet to be heard. There are crimes yet to be uncovered. There is so much more that will come spewing out of this nightmare.

But when enough has been laid out, there will be a sea change in the country, a shift in the wind, a moment in which the national conversation will turn from an outraged submission to process to an outraged demand for an end to the frightmare in the White House.

That could happen before the end of this month. It might not happen until some time in the summer, but it will happen. We are too far down this road for it not to happen.

Removing Trump from the levers of authority?

Well — because he has turned us into a gigantic banana republic, all bets are off. All of the political and judicial processes that we have depended on for so many years have been under assault by the neo-fascists in our midst. The political mechanism has been captured. The judicial mechanisms are under assault.

What’s left — unfortunately — is violence. Assassination? Either political or literal? It could happen. Even the possibility of a military coup cannot be dismissed. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that somebody in the Kremlin has blocked out various scenarios for taking out Trump — probably before the full extent of Russian meddling can be known.

But Trump represents the greatest existential crisis for the identity of America since the Civil War. Before this is over, all of us are going to be asking who are we? What are we up to? What does it mean to be an American? What is the American promise?

Myself — I’m old fashioned.

Donald Trump

I believe that the founding document of the nation, the Declaration of Independence, had a one sentence mission statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

(The words “by their creator” were added by the religion-imbued fuddy-duddies of the Continental Congress, pouring God over everything like ketchup over a burnt meat-loaf to hide the flavor.)

Notice, by the way, that the mission statement does not say that these are the only inalienable rights. It says “among these rights” with the implication that there are others — like, oh say, the right of privacy for instance.

Our Constitution has a bill of rights, affirming the freedom of expression in its very first amendment.

Our greatest president, the man who preserved the Union, said that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. He also meant that this government must be accountable to the people.

The idea of America is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed.

The idea of America is that we are a land of opportunity — that we are the land of the free, the home of the brave.

The idea of the America is that we are a nation of immigrants, with the Statue of Liberty not only standing as a beacon of hope, but also as a welcome to those seeking a better life.

As a nation, we have not always kept our promises. We’ve been selfish, stupid, greedy, and dangerous. We have a history of slavery, genocide, and conquest. We’ve been at war for most of our history. We’ve exploited the resources of other nations. We have bases all over the world, we have become an empire.

And yet — we still give lip service to the promises of the past. Despite the efforts of the neo-fascists to rewrite the national conversation, most Americans have grown up with the promises of the past as a promise for a better future. It is up to us to remember the better angels of our nature, the greater goals that this nation has set for itself.loser

The words of John F. Kennedy are a good start. “We choose to do these things because they are hard, not because they are easy.”

That’s the spirit of America that has inspired us to greatness. This is the nation that ended polio and put men on the moon. There are greater challenges ahead of us. Economic. Ecological. Social.

But it’s in our Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Right there — that’s the promise of America. That’s what we need to remember. That’s what we need to recommit ourselves to.

Nebula and Hugo award winning author David Gerrold is the author of over 50 books, several hundred articles and columns, and over a dozen television episodes. TV credits include episodes of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Land Of The Lost, Logan’s Run, and many others. Novels include WHEN HARLIE WAS ONE, THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF, the “War Against the Chtorr” septology, The “Star Wolf” trilogy, The “Dingilliad” young adult trilogy, and more. The autobiographical tale of his son’s adoption, THE MARTIAN CHILD won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette of the Year and was the basis for the 2007 movie starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack. He also has a story in the anthology BAKER STREET IRREGULARS (edited by me!). His web page is here.