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Is it too early to joke about the Lincoln assassination?: Political Discussion
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Dec 8th 2013

OK, got it...but the massive amounts of people on government assistance now count as having NO income...so do your numbers only count the lowest level workers, or ALL people?

I'm really not trying to be difficult, it just seems like this is an extremely difficult thing to measure, and the data can be sliced and diced to prove just about anything. It just seems to me that the poorest people are much better off now (maybe not in terms of raw salary, but definitely in terms of overall standard of living), which of course I have no data to back me up at all.

Feb 26th 2014

Regarding the hubub in Arizona...any business or person that won't serve a gay person (or race, or sex, or whatever) deserves our scorn. They won't get my business, and I'll show up to picket them with you. But I just don't think it's the government's role to tell you who you should do business with. What if you ran an advertising agency and the Westboro Baptist Church wanted to hire you to run promotional ads for them? Are you now not allowed to turn them away?

Feb 26th 2014 edited

I totally agree, Jinx. This is a very complicated issue. While a restaurant turning away services to people is absurd to me and should be "required", providing a service such as advertising is in a different category. I'm not sure exactly how this can be legislated.

Would an African American business owner of an ad agency be required to run ads for a white supremacist group?

Feb 26th 2014

The minute you begin to allow exceptions to this is the minute someone abuses the exception. Not every business that refuses to serve someone can be picketed.

Feb 26th 2014

I'm not sure this is a real issue so much as a cable news talker. I stopped watching cable news, for the most part, about a year ago. I feel much smarter now. Of course I've filled that void with sit-coms and a Mets-heavy Twitter feed, so it may be a wash.

Feb 26th 2014

In today's day and age, do you think a discriminatory company could exist? And if some small company won't serve wedding cakes to gay couples, who cares? Would you want them making your cake anyways? And if they really wanted to not serve you, they just have to say they are too busy.

This is a pointless law that we will have no affect on anyone. Except now Arizona has blown it's chance to host the Superbowl. Or the Tonys.

Feb 26th 2014

I see what you did there. Because of show biz.

Feb 26th 2014

And if some small company won't serve wedding cakes to gay couples, who cares?

What if it is a doctor who refuses to treat a gay man?

Feb 26th 2014

A doctor wouldn't do that. How else would he cure him?

Feb 26th 2014

With "healing touches" and shock therapy, presumably.

Feb 26th 2014

I would say emergency room doctors, cops, and schools cannot discriminate.

Private practice, sure. Would you really want to go to a doctor who obviously didn't like you?

In our area, a muslim worker at a grocery store refused to ring up people who purchased pork products. The store couldn't fire them...nor could they even move them to an area where it wouldn't be an issue. While the worker had every right to do this, the store should also have the right to fire them for whatever reason they want to.

Feb 27th 2014

While the worker had every right to do this, the store should also have the right to fire them for whatever reason they want to.

Yes, they should have. The bill in Arizona would have had the exact opposite effect. More people would have been able to refuse to serve people based on some nebulous "religious belief" standard.

Feb 27th 2014

I think you're reading the bill wrong. The cashier did something that the store didn't want her to do, in my case. But the store was afraid to offend muslims.

Laws meant to "protect" people usually have the opposite effect. I know owners who have told me that you don't want to hire a handicapped person, because if they don't work out, you will NEVER be able to get rid of them.

I am sure that the Westboro Baptist Church will show up in Arizona and find a small gay-owned print shop and try to hire them to print "GOD HATES F*GS" signs or something like that, just to be jerks. And then sue, and win in court, when they are refused the business.

Mind you, I'm not in favor of passing this new Arizona law. I'm also not for whatever original law "protected" gays. I'm for removal of all those laws! Let people decide who they want to do business with.

Feb 27th 2014

I think you're reading the bill wrong. The cashier did something that the store didn't want her to do, in my case. But the store was afraid to offend muslims.

The Arizona bill would have made it illegal to fire the muslim employee for refusing to serve those customers. People's religious beliefs should have no bearing on whether they perform the functions they were hired for.

I am sure that the Westboro Baptist Church will show up in Arizona and find a small gay-owned print shop and try to hire them to print "GOD HATES F*GS" signs or something like that, just to be jerks. And then sue, and win in court, when they are refused the business.

And that would be fine with me.

Let people decide who they want to do business with.

This is known as Jim Crow.

Feb 27th 2014

And that would be fine with me.

Really? I'm not OK with that. You should not be forced to do business with the Westboro Baptist Church.

This is known as Jim Crow

This is a big source of disagreement between us. We both realize that there are a lot of jerks out there. You think that you can legislate morality to these people.

Jim Crow went away, not because it was outlawed, but because enough people discarded old ways. What I'm saying is that WHETHER OR NOT the Civil Rights Act was passed in the 1960s, we would still be in the same place in our society. The Civil Rights Act passed because ENOUGH PEOPLE stopped being racist...it was not that people stopped being racist because of the Civil Rights Act.

Feb 27th 2014

What I'm saying is that WHETHER OR NOT the Civil Rights Act was passed in the 1960s, we would still be in the same place in our society.

I fundamentally disagree. Federal intervention was required to force local political forces to integrate. If you think racism has magically disappeared, then try some internet comment threads. Jim Crow lasted for 100 years until the Civil Rights Act and federal enforcement came along. Sure, maybe Jim Crow would have disappeared eventually, but not on the same time line.

Feb 27th 2014

If you think racism has magically disappeared, then try some internet comment threads.

So the Civil Rights Act failed, right? It didn't stop racism?

This reminds me of the graph that OSHA used to show, which shows that workplace injuries have declined at a steady rate since the creation of OSHA 50 years ago. Sounds like OSHA is working, right? Then you stretch the graph back another 50 years and find out that workplace injuries have been declining by the same rate for the past 100 years, both pre-OSHA and post-OSHA.

Unions also love to say that if it wasn't for them, we'd still be employing child labor and working 80 hours a week in sweatshops. Really? If there were no unions, we'd still be doing that?

Feb 27th 2014

So the Civil Rights Act failed, right? It didn't stop racism?

No, it wasn't intended to stop racism. It was intended to stop racists from harming people. It has succeeded to a large degree in that. By forcing private businesses to serve all customers and forcing schools to take all children and to force local governments to allow all people to vote.

Really? If there were no unions, we'd still be doing that?

Look at countries that don't have unions. Like Bangladesh.

Feb 27th 2014

I was all ready to welcome Arizona into the Confederacy...then they veto the anti-gay bill. Shoot...

Feb 27th 2014

I was all ready to welcome Arizona into the Confederacy

Sure. But nobody north of 36°30′, OK?

Feb 27th 2014

Easy there, Carolina. Don't make us attack you with the north. Speaking of which, I heard the Avett Bros. were from Maine.

Feb 28th 2014 edited

Don't make us attack you with the north.

Ah!

Speaking of which, I heard the Avett Bros. were from Maine.

Wut? What were you reading? I guess, technically, all the guys aren't from NC. Maybe somebody is... Wait, is there a Concord, Maine? Maybe somebody got confused.

Really? If there were no unions, we'd still be doing that?

Look at countries that don't have unions. Like Bangladesh.

This reminds me of something my dad says a lot - anybody is capable of any thing. There's no sin that you can't do, or crime you can't commit. And any horrible situation can happen in any time.

See, there's no reason that we're immune to those kinds of problems, just because we're the US. Circumstances could change to where we would be the ones doing horrible things. We're all just people.

For instance - regardless of if you think unions are good or bad now, the unions obviously served a valuable purpose. My point is... the people who were employing children in dangerous conditions a hundred years ago weren't evil. They were just people, too.

And lots of times, for lots of reasons, people make bad decisions.

Feb 28th 2014

Wut? What were you reading?

Reading?

Wait, is there a Concord, Maine? Maybe somebody got confused.

You're thinking of Michele Bachmann.

Look at countries that don't have unions. Like Bangladesh.

But they do have great concerts.

For instance - regardless of if you think unions are good or bad now, the unions obviously served a valuable purpose. My point is... the people who were employing children in dangerous conditions a hundred years ago weren't evil. They were just people, too.

I wouldn't take this thinking too far but it does have a solid grain of truth. We're all products of our times, and actions are judged very differently across history. What was OK in one moment might appear evil by later standards. But then some things are always evil. Like romantic comedies.

Feb 28th 2014

We're all products of our times, and actions are judged very differently across history.

Yeah, I'm not saying, "Those guys were saints! They should be thanked for employing those children at all!" (But to themselves, they were saints. I just mean, nobody thinks they are bad.)

Feb 28th 2014

My point is that conditions get better in a civilized country...as people get more information and more power, companies can't enslave you, and governments can't take your liberty as easily as they did 100 years ago. Bangladesh is still a couple hundred years behind us. Suddenly instituting unions in Bangladesh wouldn't work. Just like getting rid of the unions in the US wouldn't take us back to those days. Unions, Civil Rights laws, etc, are more PRODUCTS of the times they are in, rather than DRIVERS of the times.

Yes, I'm sure DC will rightly point out that the Civil Rights Act forced some racists guys to do things they didn't want to do, years ahead of when they would have done it. And the Civil Rights Act was a good thing. I'm not arguing against that, obviously. But some people act like if it wasn't for the Civil Rights Act, we'd STILL be living in Jim Crow times, or if it wasn't for unions, we'd STILL be working in sweat shops, as if these corporations are just hankering to hire children and abuse us, and only unions are holding them back. In today's modern society, you just can't get away with being racist or discriminatory, at least in any meaningful way. YES, there is still the occasional baker who won't make a wedding cake for a gay couple, or hire a black guy, but I think we are way past the point of needing government help to protect the aggrieved parties.

Feb 28th 2014

Easy there, Carolina. Don't make us attack you with the north.

The Northern invasion of North Carolina has been going on for 30 years.

Feb 28th 2014

Are we winning?

Feb 28th 2014

Everyone loses:

.

Feb 28th 2014 edited

That's more offensive than hardcore slavery.

Feb 28th 2014

Too far? Ok.

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