Thursday Morning: Two Too Good

I would post this video every week if I could get away with it. It’s a favorite in my household where three of us play string instruments. I’ve blown out speakers cranking these guys up as far as I can (shhh…don’t tell the dude in charge of speaker maintenance here).

You’ll note this post is pushed down the page as Marcy’s last two posts about #AppleVsFBI (here and here) have been picked up by several news outlets. Let’s let new readers have the rail for a bit.

NC and GA state legislatures wreaking bigoted havoc
Regressive bills allowing open practice of anti-LGBT bigotry have been working their way through states’ legislatures in the wake of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Indiana and Arizona are two examples where bills using a template based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) have been passed. Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer made an unusually rational move and vetoed the bill. Indiana did not, and many organizations protested until an amendment was passed modifying SB 101‘s worst component.

Georgia’s legislature passed their own spin on RFRA, The Free Exercise Protection Act; the bill is now in the hands of Gov. Nathan Deal, who has until the first week of May to sign it into law. The state has an emerging film and TV production industry, home to popular shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead. Disney and its subsidiary Marvel yesterday announced they would yank production out of Georgia if Gov. Deal signed the bill. AMC followed suit and announced it too would pull out of Georgia. Other corporations with business interests in GA, like The Dow Chemical Company, are also unhappy. How many more companies will it take before Deal wises up and vetoes the bill or demands amendment?

Sadly, North Carolina’s GOP-led legislature rushed through a bill yesterday with a slightly different spin — like a proof-of-concept for the rest of the states where RFRA bills have been unable to gain traction while avoiding the potential for boycotting leveraged against the governor. Anti-transgender fear-mongering was used to force HB2-Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act through while avoiding “religious freedom” as a promotional feature. It was signed into law yesterday by NC’s jackass governor, Pat McCrory, who tweeted,

Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room for instance. That’s why I signed bipartisan bill to stop it.

I signed bipartisan legislation to stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette, ensure privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms.

Except that HB2 not only overturns local ordinances protecting LGBT persons, it prevents transpersons from using the facilities appropriate to their transgender, and it allows businesses to post notices they will not serve groups. Welcome back, Jim Fucking Crow.

The bill was not truly bipartisan, either. Although 14 idiotic state house Democrats voted for the bill, the entire Democratic state senate caucus walked out in protest rather than vote on the bill at all. Methinks NC Dem Party discipline needs a little work, and state house members need a little less bigotry.

Speaking of which, DNC was typically ineffectual, offering a bunch of jargon instead of straight talk about NC’s discrimination. Are there any groups at all the DNC under its current leadership will really extend any effort except for corporations?

The speed at which the bill passed through NC’s legislature during an “emergency” session — because making sure the body parts align with the identity on the bathroom door is an emergency! — may have prevented the state’s largest employers from responding appropriately. Let’s see if NC’s largest employers, including University of North Carolina, Time Warner Cable, Duke Energy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, and the many sci-tech companies of Research Triangle, will wise up and demand an end to the ignorance and bigotry of Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.

Finished digging out here after a late season snow storm, now serving up a hot dish brunch casserole made with a mess of oddments.

  • Diebold buys German competitor Wincor Nixdorf (Bloomberg) — wonder how this industry shakes out as mobile payment systems become more popular and more widely accepted.
  • Speaking of mobile payment systems: Apple Pay expected to expand to apps and websites before Christmas shopping season (FastCompany) — expected to take a bite out of PayPal’s market share, but if transactions are conducted online, this could eat into other payment processing systems. Need the importance of encryption be pointed out yet again, too?
  • Apple’s new, smaller iPhone SE available for pre-orders today (BusinessInsider) — also iPad Pro. Already hearing strong interest from a lot of women about the smaller phone; they’ve been unhappy with the increasing size of iPhones.
  • Nielsen TV ratings data will begin tracking streaming equipment brands (FastCompany) — their data will be based on 40,000 households, though. Apparently sales of streaming equipment like Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku aren’t granular enough for firms acquiring content consumption data. Wonder how long before Nielsen itself is replaced by network sniffing?
  • Related? Funny how Iran is the focus of the first, but not mentioned in the second:
  • AI-written novel survives first round in Japanese literature contest (DigitalTrends) — and you thought it was just the news that was generated by robots.

That’s a wrap, catch you tomorrow morning!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
5 replies
  1. orionATL says:

    i have a particularly strong antipathy to religious organizations using politics to force others to behave as the religious organization – the church – thinks proper.

    back in january i concocted this argument as a first amendment argument for the unconstitutionality of this sort of political endrun around the first amendment.

    __________

    [… here is the first amendment as it relates to religious freedom:

    “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…. ”

    in recent times rightwing religious groups have begun to abuse the religious freedom insured by the first amemdment. a court clerk in kentucky declared herself free of obligation to issue civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples. a corporation declared itself free of obligation to pay health insurance for an employee’s birth control tablets. pharmacists have insisted they cannot be required to sell birth control medication if doing so contravenes their religion. in the case just cited above, a hospital refused to perform tubal ligation on a woman after child birth, a common and very effective means of birth control.

    the constitutional ban on congress declaring a particular religion the state religion had its roots in an english history very familiar to those who wrote it. in britain there was the church of england legally aligned with and obligated to the crown. there was a history of religious persecution by crown and church. the americans wanted no part of any particular religious group being perpetually favored by their government. not the least reason was practical politics; there were numerous different religious groups practicing in the u. s. in the late 1770’s. new england had been settled by persons persecuted in england for their religion. maryland had a catholic religious foundation. quakers were dissenters from crown policies that seemed perpetually to llead to war.

    the relationship between a government and a legally affiliated religion is, practically and politically, a very useful two way street. the church can help the crown with its political enemies and the crown can assure thru law and force that the church’s doctrine is unchallenged and that competitors to the established church do not thrive.

    if congress may not establish a religion as the state religion or prohibit the free exercise of religious preference, that implies, again, a two-way street. the state may not display favoritism to one religious group above another above another, BUT also, no religious group may use the rules or institutions or power of the state to impose its will on those citizens who do not accept its tenents. this is the reciprocity principal that should govern any dispute like those i alluded to in the beginning paragraph.

    put simply, a religious group, e. g., an. evangelical, baptist, etc. religious coalitions may not use the georgia legislature to force citizens to behave in ways prefered by that religious group.

    a catholic hospital may not use the protection the catholic church has been given of never being treated as subordinate to a state-sponsored church and then turn around and hold subordinate to its own religious rules a patient who does not accept the church’s teachings… ]

  2. martin says:

    quote”I signed bipartisan legislation to stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette, ensure privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms…so lock the door and get on with my blowjob John, and forget about getting caught’.

    ..said NC’s jackass governor to his partner in the bowling alley bathroom.” unquote

    And that’s the rest of the news.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    If a politician reacts to a terrorist attack by telling us we should be more cautious, or even more afraid, can we charge him with material support for terrorism? He’s helping to give the terror attacks their intended effect, after all – terrorizing (making afraid) the people.
    .
    Just a thought.

  4. by the lakeshore says:

    AI-written novel … and you thought it was just the news that was generated by robots.

    Microsoft AI Twitter ChatBot in the news

    a clear example of artificial intelligence gone wrong

    Twitter taught Microsoft’s AI chatbot to be racist a**hole in less than a day

    Microsoft’s Twitter AI starts posting offensive and racist comments

    Microsoft deleting its AI chatbot’s incredibly racist tweets

    Microsoft Chat Bot Goes On Racist, Genocidal Twitter Rampage

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/microsoft-tay-racist-tweets_us_56f3e678e4b04c4c37615502

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