Ran across this story Thursday. A portion is reprinted here. The whole story plus other links are at the link.This story has a lot of twists and looks to me like one that may well wend its way to the Supreme Court. With the makeup of the current Court, that is a real concern.
An Iowa newspaper editor who was fired after posting an anti-LGBT blog post is irate over the firing and claims that his religious freedom was violated.
Media critic Jim Romenesko reported on his blog Wednesday that Bob Eschliman, former editor of Newton Daily News, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that he was fired for being a Christian.
Eschliman — who refers to himself on his Facebook page as an “Evil Conservative” — is being represented by an attorney from the Liberty Institute, a Christian law practice dedicated to injecting faith into public policy and to fighting efforts by the courts to separate matters of church and state.
The former editor was fired in May after publishing an anti-LGBT rant on his personal blog, in which he railed against “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo,” claiming that LGBT people of faith are attempting to rewrite the Bible to “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’”
Eschliman expressed an opinion publicly although not while he was working. Can he not express his personal opinions, especially religious ones, publicly without fearing loss of job and benefits? On the other hand, people in management positions can be fired without cause. Does the owner of the business not have the right(?) to pick employees at the highest levels.
Just a few weeks ago the SCOTUS told us that corporations had a right to impose their religious beliefs as part of the employment contract. Does it not also have a right to remove employees whose religious beliefs come in conflict with business practices? The guarantee of religious freedom is that the government will not interfere with a person’s freedom or create a state religion. It says nothing about private businesses. During my working days our company decided we would be a 7 day a week, 24 hour a day operation. When one man objected saying Sunday was a sacred day for him, the boss told him “Well., I guess you have a decision to make then.”
One issue that must loom large in the background is the effect of Mr. Eschliman’s now known religious conservatism may have on the business. Were I a subscriber, I would most likely drop the paper because I would think that the editor would be putting his slant into news stories. Beyond that there may be an effect on advertiser orders. Advertisers simply quit advertising in that paper fearing that they may be considered guilty by association for supporting this paper with its business.
Once upon a time in America (settle back, it’s story time) printing presses were in great supply. If a person had an opinion, they could buy a printing press and publish and distribute it. Nowadays our comparable technology would be the internet. As of today the internet remains open and neutral. If Mr. Eschliman has an opinion that he feels he must share with others, he can pay a small fee and grab a chunk of internet real estate to sound off.
If net neutrality is squashed by the FCC (and that is what I expect) then outlets for dissenting voices may well be choked by “the market.”
While I may disagree with Mr. Eschliman’s views – and I certainly do – to me it is much more important that he and any others who feel they need to express themselves in public have an outlet on the internet.
One of my favorite events of the year is on once more. The giant garage sale known as “Rummage in the Ramp” started Friday and continues until next Sunday, August 3rd. If you are unfamiliar with this event, it is something unique to Iowa City. Apartment leases in Iowa City go from August one year through July of the next year. As students and others move out, they often leave behind some pretty decent furniture.
A few years back someone had the brilliant idea to sell the stuff rather than bury it in a landfill. Over the years the City has expanded to taking donations of usable items from anyone. And thus you have the makings of a giant garage sale. New stuff is added daily, so if you have an item in mind you may want to chck back daily. Under the Chauncey Swan parking ramp by the City rec center. More info here:
Were you paying attention?
1) They can’t do anything, but Texas Governor Rick Perry is sending who to the border?
2) A Florida jury last week leveled tobacco company RJ Reynolds with a judgment worth how much in damages for a tobacco related death?
3) Deaths last week included this usually unflappable hero of TV series and movies. Who was this solid lifelong liberal, best known as Maverick?
4) The FDA issued a warning that the powdered form of what common substance – even a teaspoon – could be fatal following the death of an Ohio teenager?
5) Two big annual events in Iowa had their culmination yesterday, one in Davenport and one in Guttenburg. What are these two events?
6) In the crazy middle East, Israel shelled what thought to be safe building, killing 4 and wounding 16?
7) This June joined May as a record setter for what?
8) Once more acting because Republicans in Congress refuse to do their jobs, President Obama signed an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors against what group?
9) Jack Hatch blasted Governor Brandstad last week for turning down what?
10) According to LULAC spokesman Joe Henry, how many Central American refugee kids have come to Iowa (+-25)?
11) In northeast China the largest microraptor dinosaur fossil, Changyuraptor, was found. It had what unusual feature?
12) Tuesday two federal courts issued conflicting rulings about an hour apart on the legality of what?
13) The Johnson County, Iowa Board of Supervisors passed resolution Thursday to encourage the testing of what concept car in Johnson County?
14) History you never hear in school department. In 1919, the worst of the “Red Summer” race riots begins in what midwest city on July 27, 1919?
15) Republicans came unglued when the FAA banned American airline companies from landing in what airport due to danger from war?
And these are just a few of the happenings this week. Sixty-one years ago, the Korean War ended, but just 11 years later President Johnson sent 5,000 more “advisors” into Viet Nam signalling the involvement buildup yet to come. Oy Vey!
1) National Guard troops.
2) $23.6 billion
3) James Garner
5) In Davenport, the annual Bix Biederbeck celebration. In Guttenburg RAGBRAI ended.
6) a hospital
7) global temperature.
The average temperature over global surfaces for June 2014 was 1.3 degrees above the 20th-century average of 59.9 degrees. In May, the Earth’s temperature was 1.33 degrees above the average of 58.6 degrees.
9) $1 million grant to study solar applications in Iowa
10) 139 (114 – 154 range)
11) Four wings (and feathers)
12) ACA exchanges
13) driverless cars
14) Chicago – much of our labor and race history is seldom taught
15) Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
August next week which means (here it comes) back to school time!
I understand Terry Branstad is a Roman Catholic. I never knew this because I never cared before. As one who truly believes that the separation of Church and State must as wide as a galaxy it really irked me to see him leading the phony-baloney “day of prayer” last Monday. Terry, if you want to be bishop go for it. I think you would make a lousy one after cutting food aid for the poor 2 years in a row and doing all you could to stop Medicaid in Iowa before making the poor pay for it. You may be religious, but you sure as hell are not moral.
Sending The Refugees Home
Would be like telling fire fighters to take the people they just rescued back into the burning house. Really, Branstad? Really Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman? You both claim to be Christian, yet in a true test of your Christianity you turn your backs on those in need.
I do believe in the separation of Church and State. This is not a religious question, it is a question of morality. Here are two governors who proudly fail that test and want your vote. Morality and government should not be separated.
How To Pay For The Lawsuit Against Obama
The whole concept of the House suing President Obama is so ludicrous it is beyond laughter. Boehner and his sycophants think they have outsmarted both Dems and the far right with this one. But one thing Tea Baggers insist on is that the cost be offset. I have a humble suggestion and shall send it to Mr. Boehner.
Mr. Boehner, I recommend that this epitome of frivolous lawsuits be paid for by taking the salary, travel costs, staff salaries and any other perks from any member voting for this suit. If they truly believe this is a legitimate and necessary suit, they will gladly give up a few years of pay and perks. You may also need to ask them for donations. I see no reason why I or any other taxpayer should pay so much as a nickel for this tomfoolery!
Science On The March
Holy Moley is science ever marching forward at breakneck speed. Couple of really interesting developments these past couple of weeks. Too bad the Tea Party hates science, because they are truly missing some fantastic advances. When they come back to earth they will have a lot of catching up to do. Here are a couple that really caught my eye:
1) Researchers may have found a way to stop type 2 diabetes. Very preliminary, but very promising.
2) Future farming in a high-rise? Taking place now in Japan. Takes up less surface space while making it much easier to recycle, control pollution and farm darn near anywhere. My son-in-law and I have been talking of this for years.
At least as well as he can run for president while carrying around tons of corruption. Hobbled by many major corruption stories in his administration in New Jersey, Chris Christie has time to take a trip to Iowa and New Hampshire. At least in Iowa he will be able to compare corruption notes with another scandal plagued governor, our own Terry Branstad.
Putin, Plane Shot Down and Republicans
When My wife and I heard of the tragedy in the Ukraine with the speculation that Vladimir Putin may be responsible either directly or indirectly we could not help but remember that only a few weeks ago Republicans from the US Senate to the Us House down to the state house were expressing such admiration for Putin. They used Putin as an example of a “man of action” and someone who gets things done. Wonder how they feel about their hero now. My teachers used to tell to be careful when you pick heroes. Most are not anything like what they appear to be.
I also recall how our last President Bush implied he was a good guy:
“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
Raise your hand if you are really glad Obama is President and not Bush or any other war hungry Republican.
Branstad Admin Nixes Solar Power Grant
Like a good corporate Tea Party governor the Branstad administration rejected a $1 million grant based on corporate lobbyists objections.
They wanted changes to the grant that the energy office were unwilling to make, since they were making them for no one else and they would gut the purpose of the project.
Terry, you can’t stop progress forever. If Iowa’s voters have a lick of sense it will only be for another few months. Jack Hatch will move Iowa forward!
Keep it up and Iowa Republicans will be irrelephant:
Come one, come all to the great Muscatine County Fair in historic West Liberty, Iowa. We have exhibits of plants and foods; we have show animals of all varieties and we have a midway with thrilling rides and scrumptious one of a kind fair food – including elephant ears and half-pound tenderloins and delicious fried onions! Mmmmm, Mmmmmm, once a year that is some fine eating.
See your friends, see your neighbors. Enjoy a show in the grove while you eat a delicacy. Stay for the races and cheer on the local favorites! See YOU at the fair.
Got to wonder how much longer the whole Fair circuit will survive. I am sure it is one tradition that will not go away easily. Many, many kids remember the fair with love all their lives – the rides, the animals, the friends. But most fairs are just scraping by these days. We wish them another hundred years of success.
I got some questions for you
1) The two big stories of the week happened within the same hour on Thursday. One was the downing of the plane in Ukraine. What was the other?
2) The Branstad administration nixed a million dollar deal from the feds this week which would have studied what in Iowa?
3) Surprisingly, an overwhelming number (74%) of Republicans who have this like it very much. What is it?
4) Steve King is seeking to end this wage scale on projects paid for with federal funds. What is this wage scale called?
5) A proposed pipeline that would cut across Iowa would move oil from where?
6) Reaching back to a historic events, 25 years ago yesterday was a tragic day in Sioux City. What happened?
7) Another week, another judge declares laws against marriage equality invalid. What state joined the ranks of equality this week?
8) Netroots Nation met in Detroit this week. Along with all its other troubles, Detroit is now cutting what utility from households in arrears in payments?
9) 73 in real years, but still looking all of 17, what character died taking a bullet aimed at his gay friend?
10) You would think after this long this guy could run on his record. Who spent $1M on his re-election in 7 weeks?
11) After becoming a right wing whipping dog, what soldier is out of therapy and assigned to a low pressure desk job?
12) In Arizona, a Congressional candidate staged a big show of stopping a bus of immigrant kids only to be informed the bus was actually what?
13) In California, a measure to split the state up has enough signatures for the 2016 ballot. This measure will split California into how many states?
14) What major tech company announced it would be laying off 18,000 over the next year?
15) If you lived in Los Angeles and wanted to wash your car, how much might it cost you?
Where were you 45 years ago when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon? I was working at a gas station on the interstate. I had a small B&W TV that barely got a picture. Customers came and went, most stopping for a few moments to watch events unfold. It was a magic day.
1) The invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israel
2) Solar Energy
3) Obamacare or the ACA. Please keep fighting it, Republicans.
4) the prevailing wage scale
5) North Dakota (the Bakken Field)
6) United Airline Flight 232 crash landed after losing all flight controls
8) Water. Citizens of Detroit have appealed to the UN.
9) Archie Andrews. Killed off after a long run
10) Branstad. And no, he can’t run on his record
11) Bowe Bergdahl
12) a group of YMCA kids going to camp. He said they looked really scared
15) $500 for frivolous use of water.
RAGBRAI??? Never heard of it!
Once more, the folks over at Iowa Policy Project take an hot button issue, take the emotion out of it and give us a sober fact based report. I certainly wish some of our politicians would take a cue from IPP in their actions. This month they look at the effect of immigrants in Iowa.
As an aside, in today’s parlance “immigrant’ has seemed to become synonomus with “Latino.” IPP in no way designates a specific group of immigrants in their report. This is some interesting reading for the Fourth of July weekend in a land built on immigration.
Immigrants in Iowa
What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy
Immigrants are important to Iowa and its economy:
- generating income as workers, spending money as consumers, and contributing to state and federal revenues as taxpayers;
- starting businesses that contribute to local economic development and job creation; and
- contributing to the vitality and culture of Iowa communities.
In fact, immigrants make up about 4.3 percent of the Iowa population, account for 4.5 percent of the state’s economic output and represent 1 in 20 Iowa workers.
These contributions would increase further if immigration reform were to make work authorization or a path to citizenship possible for the subset of Iowa immigrants who currently lack such documents. That subset — undocumented immigrants — pays an estimated $64 million in state and local taxes, and another $37 million in federal payroll taxes.
In a new report for the Iowa Policy Project, researchers Heather Gibney and Peter Fisher explore the facts that should be part of an accurate understanding of Iowa’s immigrant population and its relationship to the state’s economy. Read our new report — or the two-page executive summary here.
Did you know? The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over half of undocumented workers have federal and state income taxes withheld from paychecks, along with payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. Yet they are unable to access benefits that they are helping to fund. Learn more in our new paper.
They Need A Horse Race!
One thing you have to remember going into the silly political ad season is that this is the time of year that make TV stations and networks and those corporations that own them rich. No doubt those with corner offices on upper floors of corporate headquarters care for the most part that Republicans win. But beyond that they care more that all their air time is bought at top dollar.
So what the TV execs want more than anything else is a good old fashioned horse race so that candidates will keep forking over the big bucks to keep the candidates name out there right up to the end.
As Usual, Branstad Lies
Those damn Branstad commercials are on every channel in the universe. I wonder if they are getting them in London or Ottawa? As with anything Branstad, they are a load of lies. Yes we have gained some jobs but nowhere near what he promised. Since I can’t stand to watch his commercials, I can’t say they are lying. However since his administration puts out false numbers I would suspect his commercials do also.
SCOTUS Turns Its Back On Women.
Even the women on the Supreme Court seemed to have turned its back on women. Taking away the 35 foot buffer zone to women’s health clinics in Massachusetts is a hard blow to women’s reproductive rights. Once more the most activist Court makes another argument that it is the worst Court in history. In this case they seemed to think that the protesters free speech rights are somehow impinged if they can’t get right in patients faces to intimidate and harass. They were perfectly free to say whatever they wanted from their 35 foot distance.
I trust this means the end of the so called free speech zones at political functions. Based on this decision, anyone should be able to protest right up to the door of a convention or other meeting. Have at it.
ALEC To Meet To Sell Out America
Just a reminder that the oligarchs of ALEC (a subsidiary of Koch Industries) will be meeting in Dallas on July 30th to decide what they will have their puppet legislators throughout the country do in their state legislatures next winter. If you have a Republican legislator, you have a legislator who owes their allegiance to the oligarchs at ALEC not to their district or state.
Pesky Damned Facts
Jonah Goldberg via Dailykos:
“I supported the war, and I still think the arguments in favor at the time were superior to the arguments against. Alas, the facts on the ground didn’t care about the arguments.”
Portable Death Machines
They kill indiscriminately. Kill your neighbors. Kill your family. Kill yourselves. But do read the roundup of gun deaths weekly at dailykos.com. It is not sad. It is not funny. It is frightening. Don’t want to lose a son or daughter. Stand up against guns.
One of the most interesting hypocritical aspects of the Republican (or Tea Party) is their stance on “pro-life.” They want to force women to give birth no matter the circumstances. Yet when it comes to things that sustain life like food and medical care they do all they can to take access to them away if the child’s family has commited the mortal sin of being poor. It is like the Tea baggers want to teach the poor a lesson by making them watch their children suffer.
Then the Tea party fights like hell to make sure that weapons of death are easily attainable thus putting everyone’s life in jeopardy every day.Plus their answer to every international crisis is sending military which almost always ends with some deaths of those military. Usually these dead soldiers are quite young, just out of their teens.
Good Lord. I can’t turn on the TV and not get a damned Branstad commercial. Not just local stations which I seldom watch, but ESPN, MSNBC, TBS and multiple others. This is not on some local cable station, but on DISH. We know Branstad has a train load of money and apparently he is spending it. Nothing like taking advantage of the Citizen’s United decision, right Governor? He is trying to brainwash us so much that by November we won’t know he is even opposed. Sure would be funny if all his money and all those ads couldn’t cover the lousy job he is doing and he lost anyway.
It could happen. Iowans are not happy with the half-assed answers to problems like medicaid and education and especially jobs. Branstad lies, distorts and misleads but in the age of the internet it is getting harder and harder to cover a pile of manure. Saturating the airwaves, even the satellite companies shows me that Branstad is truly scared that voters know he is doing a crappy job. So his only hope is to try to cover it up. I would so love it if Iowa were the national leader in showing Republicans that vaults of money can’t replace the will of the people to have the government work for them, not for the rich.
THIS IS SCARY!
Wikileaks revealed Thursday that there is yet another trade deal that is being negotiated in even deeper secret than either the Trans Pacific Partnership or it Trans Atlantic brother. Of course the main reason for super secret negotiations is that the terms will be disastrous for a vast majority of the world’s people.
“The whistleblower and transparency website WikiLeaks published on Thursday the secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, a controversial global trade agreement promoted by the United States and European Union that covers 50 countries and is opposed by global trade unions and anti-globalization activists.
Activists expect the TISA deal to promote privatization of public services in countries across the globe, and WikiLeaks said the secrecy surrounding the trade negotiations exceeds that of even the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that has made headlines in the past year.
Demonstrations erupted in Geneva in April as diplomats met in secret for the sixth round of negotiations over TISA, which would cover international trade in a wide range of service industries ranging from finance and telecommunications to transportation and even local utilities such as water. Protesters demanded that the draft text be released, but it has remained secret until now.”
Much more at the link. Negotiations in secret never lead to good outcomes for the people. This is why we do things in the open in America.
This Really Nails It!
As my old friend used to tell me all the time, it ain’t the heat but the stupidity that gets you. When we speak of stupidity my thoughts immediately turn to the Tea Party. If Obama does it they are immediately against it
I sometimes wish Obama would sign an executive order mandating that all Americans breathe. Many on the right may self-suffocate just to continue to obstruct anything Obama may do. Until then we have a quiz.
1) I missed Juneteenth? What the heck is Juneteenth?
2) GM recalled another 3.4 million cars this week. That brings their total recall for this year to approximately how many cars? (+-3 million)
3) Hope you didn’t miss this. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch announced who as his running mate?
4) This silver tongued radio voice of years past and the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo died last week. Can you name this host of America’s Top 40?
5) 50 years ago during the “Freedom Summer” in Mississippi, 3 civil rights workers were murdered. What city did this act take place near? Give yourself extra points if you can remember the workers’ names.
6) Researchers at New Mexico University and Northwestern found vast quantities of what 400 miles below the earth’s surface?
7) Two dozen Delta Force commandos seized Ahmed Abu Khattala Monday. What is Khattala accused of doing?
8) Senate candidate Bruce Braley came out totally in favor of what government program while his opponent has called over and over for privatizing it?
9) Also 50 years ago this week the Catholic Church handed women a major setback when they issued a condemnation for what medical item?
10) What FOX News(?) host made headlines by telling former VP Dick Cheney to his face “You got it wrong, sir!” Who is this Fox talking head?
11) Two other extreme right wing personalities came out this week and said invading Iraq was the wrong thing to do. Can you name them?
12) People in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota have been overwhelmed by what the past couple of weeks?
13) In Florida a man was bringing his newborn baby and his wife home from the hospital when what happened to him?
14) The new Pope seemed to be picking up much liberal cred up until this week when he came out and condemned what?
15) In a shocker, the US patent office said that what word was offensive and thus no longer can be trademarked?
16) For the first time since WWII the displaced population worldwide has passed what number?
Thought I’d throw an extra one in to give you a reason not to go out and cut grass. We’re done now. Here are some answers:
1) June 19th every year commemorates the day that Texas finally was notified that the slaves had been freed. Thus it commemorates the ending of slavery in the US.
2) 20 million
3) Monica Vernon of Cedar Rapids
4) Casey Kasem
5) Philadelphia, Ms. the workers were Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Cheney
7) master minding the attack at Benghazi
8) Social Security
9) the birth control pill.
10) Megyn Kelly
11) Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck
12) weather – repeated strong storms with torrential rains.
13) He was killed by a bullet that penetrated his home’s exterior wall and hit him in the back of the head. His neighbor was playing with
his gun when it went off.
16) 50 million. Currently at about 52 million.
Today I will dedicate the quiz to Stephanie Miller. We took a trip to Minneapolis last week to see what may have been the last of her “Sexy Liberal Tour.” Stephanie and a changing cast of hilarious cronies have been touring the country for the past several years bringing liberal humor and some sexy humor to the hinterlands. In case people don’t know Stephanie Miller is the daughter of late Republican VP candidate William Miller of New York. Stephanie does a liberal radio show out of Los Angeles. Unfortunately thanks to Rush Limbaugh talk radio in general has become toxic.
The show was hilarious. Up and coming star John Fugelsang with a wide ranging set. Fugelsang had some great jokes. The only one I remember is “The economy is broken because an elephant sat on it.” Carlos Alazraqui added some humor from his home. Then Steph came out less to perform and more to schmooze with a very friendly audience. The evening ended with a quite humorous panel of the three. All in all a great evening. Stephanie can be heard online at 8AM central at http://www.chicagoprogressivetalk.com/
Were you paying attention?
1) ISIS is no longer just an Egyptian goddess. Why is ISIS in the news these days?
2) Joni Ernst is getting some help from the home team. What member of her family called Hillary Clinton a “hag” on facebook?
3) To avoid a controversial decision, what development in Sioux City declined money from the Vision Iowa Fund?
4) He’s back! Surely you know the name of the now controversial(?) POW who returned to the US this week?
5) Comedian Tracey Morgan was critically injured in a traffic accident when the driver of the truck that hit his cab fell asleep. Why did the truck driver fall asleep?
6) US House powerhouse Eric Cantor had his plug pulled in the Virginia Republican primary this week. Who defeated Cantor?
7) Ford company is joining with what American food processor to create plant based plastics for their cars?
8) The Iowa Supreme Court last week allowed a case concerning the attempted removal and then pay cut for a state employee against what official to proceed?
9) Another week, another school shooting. Where did this week’s incident occur?
10) After her bill to bring some relief to college debtors was blocked by Republicans, Elizabeth Warren essentially declared war on what Republican leader?
11) Once more turning to executive orders where congress fails to act, Pres. Obama issued an executive order to cap student repayments on loans at what percent of their income?
12) Holy fix the rotten Iowa highways, Batman! What Iowa politician called for a 10 cent increase in the gas tax to fix our crappy roads?
13) A bill that attempts to make some fixes to the problems at VA hospitals passed the US senate 97-3. What polar opposites drew up this bill?
14) In an incredible move, what leading edge auto technology company made all its patents open source?
15) “Copa Mudial.” What does it mean?
I must mention that the condition of Iowa’s highways compared to Minnesota’s is like the difference between heaven and hell. We need someone who cares leading Iowa. Not someone who sees it as his retirement job.
1) ISIS (Islamic Stte in Iraq and Syria) is heading up the other side in the Iraq civil war.
2) Her husband Gail. He also had a post calling Janet Napolitano a “traitorous skank”
3) The proposed Christian park
4) Bowe Bergdahl
5) He had been driving for 24 hours for Walmart.
6) Dave Brat
7) Heinz – using the fibers from tomato skins.
8) Gov. Branstad
9) Reynolds High, Troutdale, Oregon
10) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Tell me again why 40 votes defeats 60?
12) Jack Hatch
13) Bernie Sanders and John McCain.
15) “World Cup” as in it’s World Cup time again!