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states where you can be fired for being gay
  1. Conservatives have rallied to Phil Robertson's defense, arguing that employers should not be allowed to fire someone for making homophobic remarks.
  2. Conservatives oppose passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because they believe employers should continue to be allowed to fire someone for being gay.

To recap: It's the gays who should be fired, not the people who make bigoted remarks about them.

Sign the petition: Tell House Republicans to join the 21st century and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Originally posted to Chris Bowers on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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  •  Another way of saying this. (22+ / 0-)

    Yes, in these states an employee can be fired for being gay, this is true.

    In these states an employee can also be fired for:  being- inattentive, lack of ambition, overly ambitious, a philanderer, a buzz kill, too attractive, too unattractive, supporting the wrong sports team.......

    In effect these are states that follow the common law of "employment at will"  This is modified only by federal anti-discrimination laws which are mostly related to discrimination categories at the point of employment, not to discharging of existing employees.

    The advantage of this common law rule is that for most profit motivated enterprises the only interest of the owner is that each employee contributes to his personal profit.  The vast majority of such owners or managers will take a gay person who is great at his or her job, over a lessor productive person who is heterosexual every time.  

    The federal laws include categories such as age, race, marriage status, religion and disabilities.  Age is unenforceable, as we see from the disproportionate unemployed who are older.  

    Those who staff their businesses based on their own prejudices will usually not succeed in their enterprise, which is the argument against such laws can actually exacerbate existing stereotypes and political dissension.    

    •  Lots of states have at-will employment (10+ / 0-)

      But also have non-discrimination laws. I have worked for an employer in MA who said out loud that he wanted to fire an at-will employee, but didn't because the person was "in a protected class," (his words) and he didn't want to face a lawsuit.

      The law isn't always a deterrent, but in states with an anti-discrimination law combined with actual enforcement, it's more of a deterrent than in states where it's outright legal.

    •  Not at all true (10+ / 0-)
      Those who staff their businesses based on their own prejudices will usually not succeed in their enterprise
      Especially in this job market in which there are dozens of equally qualified applicants for each job.  It's simple to fire someone for being gay and fill the job with another qualified person who is straight and shares the political views of the boss.

      You're post is incredibly naive since this sort of discrimination happens all the freakin' time.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:56:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How does "at will law" provide this advantage? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Sailor
      The advantage of this common law rule is that for most profit motivated enterprises the only interest of the owner is that each employee contributes to his personal profit.
      At Will:
      At-will employment is a term used in U.S. labor law for contractual relationships in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason (that is, without having to establish "just cause" for termination), and without warning.[1] When an employee is acknowledged as being hired "at will", courts deny the employee any claim for loss resulting from the dismissal.
      By accepting this as true (and it sounds reasonable enough)..
      The vast majority of such owners or managers will take a gay person who is great at his or her job, over a lessor productive person who is heterosexual every time.

      ..then "At will" law doesn't provide for the freedom to dismiss an employee in any way.
      If an employee doesn't perform, that alone is grounds for dismissal, no?

       'At Will' adds nothing that doesn't already legally exist in that "market based" situation. It merely codifies the absolute right to fire for any and all or no reason at all, while protecting the employer no matter how unjust the firing is/was

      That may be how some believe things should be  because.. "freedom" but it seems to me that it has zero to do with with an employers right to fire for just cause

      - imo - but then again ianal so could have this wrong

      •  "Incompetence" is in the eye of the beholder. (0+ / 0-)

        That is, in the eye of the employer, who can manipulate job descriptions, quotas, hours, reviews, etc. to make the targeted employee look as "incompetent" and/or as "disobedient" as they want.  Unless that employee is recognized as a "superstar" or has secret knowledge of some company process which would make it suicidal to fire him or her, the cost of training another employee and waiting for the trainee to come up to speed may be small enough that the boss is willing to endure it, if the boss FEELS that something about the current employee is bad for the business (or for the boss personally).

        In the case of the "secret holder," such as a programmer who runs some undocumented program once a week to stop a "logic bomb" from deleting the customer database, the company would probably hire him back ONCE after being threatened, but then put their security team to work to find out how to counter the threat, TEST that process, THEN fire the employee AND file charges of extortion.  But of course, that person deserves firing anyway, WHATEVER the gender, race, national origin, disability, political views, or sexual orientation.

        More often, a boss will set up the target with longer hours than others, creating more stress, then assign a project (long or short term) requiring more alertness than usual, and wait for the slightest error, then mark that down as a more grievous fault than would be the case for others.  And to keep labor costs down, EVERY employee is targeted to some extent at review time.  A classic episode of "Dilbert" is when Alice, the most productive person in the office, is being reviewed, and gets a "Meets Expectations" rating.  She angrily asked the boss if he noticed her huge money saving innovations, the number of patents she has obtained, etc.  The boss says "I expected that" each time.  Then she reminds him that she saved their biggest client's life with a bone marrow transplant TWICE.  The boss noted that under "absenteeism."

        If they want to reward you, even if you are a bad employee, they will find a way.  And if they want to punish you, no matter how productive you are, they will find a way.

    •  The difference, of course (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, LuvSet
      which is the argument against such laws can actually exacerbate existing stereotypes and political dissension
      Is that these protections already exist for race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. So the solution to "not exacerbate existing stereotypes" for these groups is the laws must be repealed.

      For gays the solution is to continue to not pass these protections into law.

      "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."
      —Dan Savage

      by Scott Wooledge on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:29:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To an extent (8+ / 0-)

    I think no one should be fired for anything not done either at work or as part of their official duties.  Does a television personality's interview with a reporter constitute official duties?  It is a bit of a gray area and a bit of a paradox.  If A&E was instrumental in arranging the interview, in which case it was part of his official duties, then shouldn't they not be surprised and shoulder some of the responsibility when the inevitable stupid comes out of his mouth?

    •  That kind of thing would result in much (8+ / 0-)

      higher unemployment levels.

      I am a part owner in a business.  If it's far harder to fire people, then we are much less likely to hire them in the first place.  If hiring someone basically means a lifetime commitment unless I can demonstrate that they did something wrong "in their official duties," I will be much, much, much more circumspect about hiring them in the first place.

      I don't mean to suggest that we fire people willy-nilly.  Actually, we have a very high number of long-term employees.  But what makes that work, in part, is being able to find people who have the same attitude about the workplace and who mesh well together.  That's often an intangible.  Sometimes, an employee can be very disruptive in the workplace without specifically doing something specifically "wrong" with respect to "official duties."  It can be as simple as the kinds of things they say to other employees and the attitude they display to other employees.  

      •  I highly doubt that most employers think like you (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        basquebob, JVolvo, MKS, Shotput8, greengemini

        Sensible business owners hire people because there's work to be done and there are too few people to do it. Non-discrimination laws have no impact on whether or not the business needs a new employee.

        •  that's simply not always true. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, arodb, skymutt

          Hiring decisions are not some formulaic thing.  Sometimes it's a choice between investing dollars in a number of different areas - capital improvements, some one-time expenses, expanding technology, or adding employees.  You generally weigh all the options.  And making hiring someone a more "permanent" decision makes the "new employee" choice less attractive.

          And your view is belied by your own comment.  Suppose in some fantasy world, more demand always meant "hire another employee."  What if that demand is just a short term thing?  what if there's more demand this year, but I am concerned it may go down some next year?  If I can't fire someone unless they do something wrong on the job, why would I hire them now if I'm not sure how long that increase in demand will last?  

          If I have an "at will" situation, I'm far more willing to take that risk, and hire them now, knowing that if demand stays up I'll keep them on but if demand goes down, I can fire them without having to justify it.  

          •  When you've reached the point where you need (9+ / 0-)

            employees in your investment decision-making, you need them regardless of whether or not you're allowed to discriminate against them.

            •  that's not what I was talking about at all. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, arodb

              If you read the comment I responded to, it was this:

              I think no one should be fired for anything not done either at work or as part of their official duties.
              My comment was if this was the law -- if there was not "at-will" employment but instead if the law were that you could ONLY fire someone for cause.

              My comments were exactly on point if the law were, once I hired someone, I could only fire that person for cause.  

              That kind of law would clearly hurt employment.  And I gave some examples of how that would happen.  

              •  There was a time before "at will" employment (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shotput8, Tonedevil, RUNDOWN, burlydee

                There was far more employment than there is now. Your argument doesn't stand in the face of historical reality.

                •  The time before "at will" employment has a name... (5+ / 0-)

                  It's feudalism.

                  "At will" employment is common law, it does not only apply to an absolute right to fire someone, but there is a corollary, which is the absolute right to quit.  

                  Negotiated contractual terms that limit an employers conditions for termination has long been done by individuals or groups-which is one of the benefits of a union.

                  Government restrictions on hiring or firing are a 20th century invention

                  •  Of course, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Old Sailor

                    at-will employment also makes it easier to fire someone for being in a union without explicitly firing them for that reason.

                    And union membership is down significantly from where it once was.

                    Yes, at-will also provides an absolute right to quit, but this assumes that employees and employers are in the same position of power, which is simply not true.

                    Why should an employer be able to fire someone for a reason not directly related to job performance?

                    •  Because employment is a contract (0+ / 0-)

                      You agree to do x,y,z and the employer agrees to pay you $x plus a, b, c benefits.  Just like many other areas, there are limits to what you can legally contract for.  But at its core, employment is a contract.    The employer can guarantee he won't fire you in exchange for something he wants from you in the contract (maybe a promise that you won't quit for more money elsewhere?).  But absent a negotiated-for deal, the default in the contract is that either side can terminate at any time in accordance with the terms of the contract (severance pay or whatever you negotiated for in the job offer and acceptance).  

                •  rs - with the exception of people in unions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  or who have employment contracts, the US has had an "at-will" employment law standard forever (with one state an exception).

                  When was the time before "at will"?

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:54:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Well, firing someone (6+ / 0-)

                for off work political involvement, for example, is wrong and should be prevented.

                I have had enough of this screw-the-world-I-am-out-for- myself Reaganism.  It used to be a much more communal oriented country--and was so when the Middle Class was built in this country.  

                •  Hmm. Would you say that if (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marina, skymutt, nextstep, VClib

                  You ran a business with a very diverse group of workers (workers of all races) and one of your employees spent every weekend very visibly demonstrating against civil rights laws with the Aryan Nation?  Suppose that person went on TV being interviewed on behalf of the Aryan Nation?  

                  Wouldn't you think that would cause some dissent among the other employees?  Wouldn't you think the business owner would want that one employee gone?  I don't think I would want that person working for us - I wouldn't blame our other employees if they had a real problem working with him/her.  I don't think I would want that person to be the "face" of our business to anyone - customers, suppliers, contractors, anyone.  

                  Remember, because of the First Amendment, if you outlaw consideration of "out of work political involvement" in employment considerations, it has to apply across the board -- even to members of the Aryan Nation.  They get the same protection as members of the Democratic Party.

                  When you talk about what should be legal, you have to think of it in terms of how it would apply not only to people/groups you like, but also in terms of how it would apply to people/groups you hate.    

                  •  Talk to me after (7+ / 0-)

                    you discipline one of your (married) partners for hitting on a vulnerable paralegal who goes to dinner with the boss just to keep her job.  Especially one of your top billers.  

                    You articulate the theory.  This hypothetical of the Aryan Nation devotee that you posit just does not happen, or at least would be very, very rare--that is why it is a hypothetical.   I have seen the reality of law firms.   It is the golden rule--those with the gold rule.   And, the partners can basically get away with anything so long as they are not disbarred and keep bringing in money.

                    All this free market stuff sorting out the bad employers only applies to the lower end of the compensation spectrum anyway.

                    •  Already done. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      We've disciplined a partner for inappropriate contact with women associates.  We've done that (and because I've been in firm management, I was involved in one specifically i remember).  No, it did not get to the "taking out to dinner" thing.  We are set up where the women (there was more than one) who felt uncomfortable could vent their concerns before it got to that point.  

                      As a woman, being involved in that (being involved in the actual discussions with the partner) was one of the more uncomfortable things I've done in firm management, so it really sticks out in my mind.

                      •  Your law firm isn't representative (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Old Sailor, MKS

                        of the average law firm.  Not by a long shot.

                        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                        by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:15:40 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  The partner denies it (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Old Sailor, burlydee

                        and then the whole issue dies.

                        And then the accuser all of sudden runs out of work.  I hate it and wish it were not so.  But partners in law firms that represent money get too big for their britches and go on a power trip.....Rules are for the little people.

                        If you have multiple accusers it sounds like you have a reckless partner.....But many of these guys are calculating (and very bright) and leave little objective evidence that can be used against them.

                    •  And ask anyone in New Orleans (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      who is old enough to have been around a while about the law firm "cookie" thing.  They will know exactly what you are talking about.  It wasn't my firm, but it was that kind of inappropriate contact and several partners were ousted from an old line law firm.  

          •  Do you have a file of topic ready word clouds? (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKS, Old Sailor, greengemini, Dirtandiron, Chi

            Short coffetalk on employment: No employee rights?

            Does your concept of "at will" hiring admit of any need for the employee to plan their life?  

            But more importantly, coffee talk, what does George Zimmerman think about employment law?

            •  No partner in a law firm (7+ / 0-)

              wants to admit the reality of their firm.  They want to see their firm as an oasis of fairness and merit.  

              The Good Wife, especially the recent episodes where Alicia starts her own firm and fights for clients is pretty close to the reality.

              And what happens is that idealistic law students have to adopt the values of the clients of the firm to succeed.  Coffee Talk sounds like she is in a firm that represents the moneyed interests.  No harm in that.  I did that for more than two decades.  But the insidious corrosion of values occurs slowly so that by the time one becomes partner, one has adopted the value of the money people. Which means reciting, in some form or fashion, the Reagan free market mantra.

              As the profits per partner have skyrocketed, have the salaries of the file clerks increased commensurately?  The answer is obvious--over the dead bodies of the partners at the top of the pyramid.

              And the solution?  A Pro Bono show case so the lawyers can pat themselves on the back on how charitable they are.

            •  I don't know why (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron, Tonedevil

              that obvious Republican is still here.

              Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

              by Old Sailor on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:13:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That "Obvious Republican"... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pi Li, OrganicChemist, VClib

       one of the best commenters here.  She is a critical thinker, consistently bringing up inconvenient facts that are missing from the conversation.  

                •  You remind me (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  of Melinda Shore's admirers on soc.motss.

                  Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

                  by Old Sailor on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:50:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  skymutt -- your comment made me lose my dinner. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Tonedevil, Old Sailor, burlydee
                •  inconvenient objections perhaps (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Old Sailor

                  but some of those who oppose, often rely on poorly-evidenced RW points, points which are never backed up by a diary

                  Show me the diary that shows that Bill Clinton won due to his right-wing positions

                  by GideonAB on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 12:25:49 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  coffeetalk is a person who uses her superior (4+ / 0-)

                  knowledge of the law to beat up lay people in defense of a neo-liberal agenda. She, like most lawyers, has mastered the art of being technically right while conveniently missing the larger point.  I know this because I am a lawyer.  Most of us are insufferable.  MKS earlier hit the nail on the head.

                  And what happens is that idealistic law students have to adopt the values of the clients of the firm to succeed.  Coffee Talk sounds like she is in a firm that represents the moneyed interests.  No harm in that.  I did that for more than two decades.  But the insidious corrosion of values occurs slowly so that by the time one becomes partner, one has adopted the value of the money people. Which means reciting, in some form or fashion, the Reagan free market mantra.

                  As the profits per partner have skyrocketed, have the salaries of the file clerks increased commensurately?  The answer is obvious--over the dead bodies of the partners at the top of the pyramid.  

                  I'd go even further than this, and say the corruption starts in law school. Where people start to replace what is right with what is legal. Most law schools are politically neo-liberal, while maintaining the illusion of political neutrality. Its one reason why I think taking a legal theory class is so important for the education of a lawyer.

                  If you can't understand how laws came to be, how power is reflected in the laws that we have and how power (race, class, gender) is used within the law, you're just another cog in the machine, no matter how successful a lawyer you are.  Lawyers to often get stuck in the minutia of the argument and miss the big picture.

                •  Coffeetalk is a critical thinker if your idea of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Old Sailor

                  critical thinking is based on what ifs, supposes, and in case of alien invasion type speculations.

            •  What a stupid comment. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li, skymutt, VClib

              Of course I support the civil rights and employment laws.  And as I've said we are careful to adhere to both.

              What I don't support is ending "at will" employment on grounds OTHER THAN those protected by the civil rights laws.

              And I'm fine with EDNA.  I just think people need to remember that the most publicized instances of people being fired for being gay were in religious schools or other religious institutions.  And under the Hosanna Tabor case, that would still be legal, even after EDNA.

              •  Please realize that not all employers (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greengemini, orlbucfan, Chi, Danali

                are as progressive and good hearted as you are.  While it's clear that you would only fire employees that deserve it, it's also clear that many employers do fire employees for their political views, sexual orientation, etc.  

                "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

                by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:21:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree with that. What I am saying is that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  for us, treating employees fairly is good business.   We recognize that.  But part of providing a good work environment means that we have flexibility in terminating people who do all their job tasks just fine but are disruptive or hurtful to the business environment in intangible, more subjective ways.  And the notion of "at-will" employment is what lets us do that.  And it works both ways -- if our employees don't like our work environment, they can go elsewhere, and they don't have to give us some justification for quitting.  

                  The fact that some employers are bad employers is not justification for tying the hands of all of us, making it harder for the rest of us to create a good work environment for the long-term employees that we want to keep, or making it harder for us to preserve our the image of our business to clients, contractors, and others (i.e., as I said in another comment, I want to be able to terminate the hypothetical guy who goes and very visibly protests with the Aryan nation every weekend because I don't want him as the "face" of our business).

              •  Did it ever occur to you, coffeetalk, in your (0+ / 0-)

                self satisfied and learned cruelty, that stupid comments might be the only kind I am capable of?

                And it seems to me that in your posts, you say of course you believe in employee rights and than you make the case for why there shouldn't be any…just stating.

            •  Grabber - why would anyone (0+ / 0-)

              including coffeetalk, care a whit about what George Zimmerman thinks about employment law?

              My guess is that this is just a dig because as it relates to the Zimmerman case coffeetalk was right on the law and always felt the state had a weak case based on the actual evidence and witnesses available to the prosecution.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 07:59:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  She was right about the case as presented by a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib, Tonedevil

                weak eyes wide shut prosecution, after an incompetent and  negligent police investigation. But I should get over what I perceived to be her defense of Zimmerman the man and just concentrate on why whatever her wrong headed take is on the diary she is commenting on. And that would be easier, if like the lawyer she is, she didn't post about five deferent what ifs in four paragraphs of legal blather instead of making a point. In my defense it is hard to respond to any of her posts in anything but a dig, short of writing a legal brief

                I guess I have missed her heroic efforts to stop neo liberalism in its tracks. If and when I do enjoy such a post, look for my hearty well done to her.

                •  I read 95% or more of her Zimmerman posts (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  and never read anything that defended Zimmerman the man. She did try to have people look at Zimmerman the defendant with all the presumption of innocence and rights that all defendants deserve. That was a very difficult task here at DKOS that received little support, although in most all other cases the DKOS community is an avid defender of the rights of the accused.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:51:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In Less of course the defendant is a gun (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    worshipping thug with a history of violence. But back to point, as I read coffeetalk's spray of wordy grapeshot, she is saying that we shouldn't have rules for protecting employees from 'bad' employers because it would inconvenience "good' employers. And that sounds like the argument about deregulating Wall St to me. Why have rules about cheating clients because it would not be in the interests of banks to cheat them! Honesty being the best policy and all that, even if billions were to be made by in fact selling clients investments as worthless as warm dog vomit and those sales resulting in the crash of the world economy.

                    I think her take on this diary's topic is bullshit. I think she is a bullshit artist.

                    But what does George Zimmerman think about coffetealks bullshit?      

          •  It's pretty well established (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that companies hire people when they need work to be done.  Sure there is some individual variation among businesses, but on average businesses hire when their products or services are in greater demand than their current workforce can meet.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:08:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where is that established? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep, VClib

              I've never seen some formula out there or something like that.  What's your source for that? Hiring more employees depends on a LOT of things -- demand being one, but not the only, factor.  

              Sure hugely increased demand over a long period can result in increased hiring.  But whether an increase in demand of, say, 20%, is going to result in 5% more employees or 30% more employees is going to depend on a lot of things, including whether you can replace some employees with technology, including whether you'd rather have your existing employees work overtime than hire an unknown, including how certain you are that the demand will last and how easy it will be to terminate some of those people if demand goes down.  And maybe you'd just be better off to meet the increased demand by raising prices, making higher profits with the employees you have.  For example, if there's a HUGE demand for the services of our law firm, we might consider whether, instead of hiring 10 new lawyers, we'd be better off hiring 2 lawyers and raising our rates 10%.  

              And if you make it much, much harder to terminate employees, then even when you have increased demand, hiring is going to be on the lower end.

              •  source (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Old Sailor

                what is your source for

                And if you make it much, much harder to terminate employees, then even when you have increased demand, hiring is going to be on the lower end.

                Show me the diary that shows that Bill Clinton won due to his right-wing positions

                by GideonAB on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:45:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  couple things (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, greengemini, Tonedevil

        I didn't mean to imply that a change in business conditions is an invalid reason to fire someone.

        I am also sensitive to the objection that it is hard to prove why someone was fired so I'm not sure I would suggest codifying my 'should'.  But what makes society work is people not being dicks just because they are allowed to be.

        •  Well, like I said, I agree that it's (0+ / 0-)

          important to be fair to employees.  It's not only the "right" thing to do, but it's also good business.  If we are fair to our employees (as I think we are) we are far more likely to generate loyalty among our employees.  And the fact that we have a very large number of long-term employees who have stayed with us even when there were options for them elsewhere attests to the importance of treating employees fairly, I think.

          But I still think that, even on a "should" basis, what you've said is too narrow.  We've let people go because they were just jerks to other employees.  There are, for example, some people out there who suck up to "the boss" but treat their peers rudely or condescendingly.  Those people typically don't do anything specific that would justify firing them.  But we've done it on occasion, because they -- for lack of a better term -- simply cause problems.  (And usually our other employees are pretty glad we did.)  

          In other words, there are sometimes intangibles where a person is simply not a good "fit" for a workplace environment, and disrupts the environment among the other (long-term) employees.  And I think we should be able to do something about that for the good of both the business and the other employees.  

          •  And what about the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron, Tonedevil, Chi, Danali

            higher ups who are jerks who have contracts?   See, it is typically just the small frye who are treated so peremptorily.

            •  I'll give you another example specific to that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              We are a law firm.  We've had lawyers who are "real jerks" to the non-legal staff.  And yes, we've gotten rid of the lawyers, not the staff.  That's because we want to maintain a work place that is fair to our staff, because, as I said, that's how we keep long-term employees.  We were not going to let one or two lawyers ruin our business by being jerks to the "small frye" as you call them.  That lawyer being a jerk could be a big detriment to our business.  

      •  The balance of power (6+ / 0-)

        is tilted strongly in favor of employers.....and is getting worse imo.

        Yes, I understand your at will employment defense.  But typically only those at the bottom of the ladder are at will employees.  The bigger fish have contracts.

        So, the little fish get abused in the workplace.....

        And, having Democratic Appointees to the Supreme Court will give the LGBT community greater equality under the law.  True, a Civil Rights type act may be needed in order to prevent workplace discrimination.

        Sorry, but I do not feel sorry for the boss.  

        •  The balance of power shifts (0+ / 0-)

          depending on the employment situation and the skills the employee has.  

          I'll give you a specific example.  I'm a lawyer in downtown New Orleans.  Shortly after the Army Corps of Engineers Disaster (what most people call "Katrina), when many of us were returning to downtown New Orleans to try to resume business, it turned out that a lot of legal secretaries had, for various reasons, not come back.  Two things happened:  (1) there was a big shortage, meaning people with those skills had LOTS of options; and (2) salaries for people with those skills spiked considerably.

          I agree that in a bad employment market, people with few marketable skills have fewer options and therefore do not have as much negotiating power.

          More importantly, as any business owner can tell you, being a jerk to your employees., most of the time, is just bad business.  You don't keep long-term employees that way -- as soon as they have any other option, they leave.  And in most businesses, very large turnover is very disruptive and very bad for business.  So, in addition to it being the "right" thing to do, in addition to there being a threat of being sued if you violate civil rights laws, there is a very real business reason for treating employees fairly -- that's the best way to keep the valuable employees that you want to keep, and that helps any business become more profitable.  

          •  Yes, that is the micoreconomic (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron, Tonedevil, Chi, Danali

            theory that Reagan and his ilk worship.

            As a lawyer, you should know that you cannot fire partners.  They get away with all kinds of abuse.   Because they are not at will.  

            And, yes, you can fire all those file clerks who do not get along.  How often will you fire a partner for being a jerk or hitting on the women paralegals and associates?

            You talk about nice theory and how it should work.  But all this free market stuff typically applies to the little guy, not the big fish.

            I have seen the most horrible abuses in law firms by partners without a whisper of official criticism. And a file clerk has a Facebook page with the "wrong" politics gets fired?

            It is becoming a crock.

            •  You are wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am a partner, and if my partners believe I am not doing what I am supposed to do, or if they believe I am hurting the business overall, then I'm gone.  

              No employment contract -- nada, zilch -- provides that under no circumstances can you terminate someone.  At best, an employment contract provides that you cannot be terminated except for cause, and cause typically relates to something you do in the business.

              So yes, if a partner is such a jerk to everyone that no one wants to work for him, he'll be gone.  It's happened in my firm and several others I could name. (One specific person comes to mind immediately -- that person is working as a solo now, because he can't get anyone to work for him for long.)  That's a person who is hurting the business.  That's grounds for termination under anybody's contract.  

              And the thing about hitting on women associates and paralegals?  Yep, that's happened too -- and they were gone.   And I'm not just talking about at my law firm.  Someone in power who is hitting on women subordinates is putting the business at risk of a lawsuit.   That's clear, clear cause for termination under ANYBODY'S contract.  

              •  Partners are hard to fire (5+ / 0-)

                Most firms have partnership agreements.   Those that do not are playing with fire.

                And I have never, ever seen it happen to a partner for being a jerk to associates and file clerks and paralegals.  Partners are ousted when their collections and billables go down.

                This idea that a rude partner who does not get along with associates and paralegals is going to be ousted because he will cost the firm money is fantasy.

                Maybe you live in an ideal world.  I live in LA and have lived the big firm lifestyle for literally decades.  You articulate the pie-in-the-sky attitude that generally connotes naivete in the law firm universe that I know. In my world, people who talk like you in departmental meetings are the ones who do not last.  

                It is the Golden Rule.....he who has it,....  

                •  Then I think you've been working at (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pi Li

                  the wrong places.  

                  I understand that what you are saying may be more the case with the very very very high-paying firms with the associated very very high pressure.  But, of course, if part of the job description is you have to work for jerks, then generally you are going to be paid more.  Compare the staring salary of an associate at Skadden Arps or Cravath with the top of the market starting salary in New Orleans.  The non-legal staff  have similar pay scale differences.  

                  In other words, not every workplace is the same. If you want to be in a huge national law firm or a firm at the very top of the national market, you're going to have to live with a lot that those of us who don't make millions a year don't have to -- or want to -- live with.  

                  Even here in New Orleans, while we stay at the top level of the pay scale, we do not obsess about making sure we outbid everyone to pay absolutely the top.  The firms that have to outbid everybody else are the firms that are generally awful places to work, so they have to pay more.  

                  And my firm's been around longer than either you or me, I assure you.  And we've had partners and former partners in very very prominent places in the legal profession.  

                  And I can't imagine that ANYONE lets partners sexually harass associates and paralegals.  That's pure stupidity.  That's asking for a lawsuit.  Our insurer would have fits if there was a hint of that happening that they got wind of.  We report to them our processes for preventing that -- for that very reason.  

                  •  Stupidity? (4+ / 0-)

                    And what part of the body are they thinking with?  It happens all the time.  I have not seen a firm where it did not happen.  Perhaps it is impertinent for me to say, but you may not know all that goes on as a woman partner.   Perhaps a scared paralegal may confide in you.  But do you have the perceived power (i.e., client base) to really protect her?  I would hazard a guess that the bad stuff is kept pretty hidden--except to the victims--and if you are seen as a "reformer," I do wonder how much in the loop you would be.  

                    Ha! I should write a novel.  Reality is better than fiction.

                     And how many paralegals are looking for work?  Your labor shortage in New Orleans is an odd happenstance that is felt in few other places.  I was responsible for awhile for hiring paralegals and associates. I loved Monster rather than headhunters. I could get a dozen resumes within minutes, and over a hundred within a week.  I have never seen a market where clerical and paralegals had any bargaining leverage.  And legal secretaries are basically becoming obsolete very quickly.

                    Yes, there are a couple of nice, regional firms with a good tradition and fine partners.   And those firms that consciously forego profits for firm "cohesion" and "culture" etc., have largely ended up defunct.

                    The reason is simple.  Money rules.  It is the Microeconomics you have been articulating.  But being nice is really an externality that is not priced into the market.  Most clients do not want to hire "nice" lawyers.  Who wants a "nice" lawyer?  They want winners.  At the lowest cost.  The lawyers with the reputation for winning--especially those that win for the moneyed interests represented by the typical corporate firm--will cost a pretty penny because they really internalize the self-entitled "greed is good" ethos in the first place.  And that pressure to increase partner profits will lead to people overlooking a lot of bad stuff.  Just human nature.

                    The way to combat that is to have anti-discrimination laws that make it costly to get caught at bad behavior.  You seem to only grudgingly accept interference with the at will freedom to fire people for anything.   You view the market as perfect arbiter.  Maybe you have been lucky and that is the case for you.  It is not my experience.

                    •  Nah (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Perhaps it is impertinent for me to say, but you may not know all that goes on as a woman partner.  
                      It's not impertinent. Just sexist.

                      Coffeetalk got her name, and was made partner, you know, because she's good at making, and brining, the coffee.  It's what us women folk lawyers are best at...not messy stuff like knowing what goes on in our own firm.

                      PS. I hope one of those paralegals you hired does most of your writing for you.

                      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                      by Pi Li on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:39:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, okay, what a nasty response (5+ / 0-)

                        Knowing what goes on with men who sexually harass women--you bet, that kind of stuff would be concealed from a woman partner who takes on an egalitarian reformer role.

                        All kinds of stuff are concealed in law firms.  Moreso in bigger law firms.  With hundreds of employees and partners etc,, what level of arrogant omniscience leads you to say a partner knows all that goes on?  Most partners are so busy with their own cases and people they know little about others--except what others confide to them...and which "affairs" are going to be disclosed to a reformer partner?

                         I think this whole idea that law firms are meritocracies is incredibly naïve.  People do not make partner because they are good lawyers.  Good lawyers are a dime a dozen.  You need something else.  Mentors.  Clients.  Something more than good skills and hard work.  You sound very, very naïve to me.  It is not a straight up deal.  The key rule:  follow the money.  She  or he who has the clients, rules.     Not about merit in the traditional sense.

                        And, yeah, I like my syntax here.....I get to be free of the constraints of brief writing........And, yes, I know an ellipsis is only three someone on another blog tried to upbraid me.  But so what........

                        •  Your comment was sexist (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          And your entire tone in this exchange w/Coffeetalk, IMO, has been condescending.  If you're not telling her she's clueless as to what goes on her own office b/c she's a woman, you're going on about how her quaint experiences in her little New Orleans firm have nothing to do with those in a real, big-city fancy law offices. Please.

                          If anything, perhaps because she's a woman she's more apt to recognise the signs of sexual harassment...clues a male partner might miss. But I guess that didn't occur to you.

                          Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                          by Pi Li on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:07:49 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Clues do not matter (6+ / 0-)

                            You can't go on clues to fire someone. You need someone to inform, as unpleasant as that may seem.  You need someone to come to you and explain it.  Clues only tell you where the landmines are.  Absent a confession, you got nothin'.

                            Coffee Talk has internalized this Republican happy talk that the marketplace will take care of bad behavior in the workplace. One often self justifies and self rationalizes.  I just do not believe this free market place stuff really monetizes polite and decent behavior.

                          •  Gibberish (0+ / 0-)

                            You basically said there was an element of Coffeetalk's job, a pretty important element at that, that she couldn't do as well as a male because, well, she's a woman. That's sexist, in general towards women, and specially towards this woman, and wrong in so many ways because you're passing judgement on the abilities of a woman, a person, you know nothing about. How about giving her a little credit to rising to partner in the deep south? And then you just dig yourself deeper by making pronouncements on what the Louisiana business culture is. Expert on that are you? Ugh.

                            Everything else you're going on about...this nonsense about Republican happy talk, market economics and how they supposedly do business in the Big Easy, etc, is just gibberish.  And it's not even good gibberish.

                            No need to reply.

                            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                            by Pi Li on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 04:00:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are just thin (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Old Sailor

                            skinned.  And toss of accusations of sexism without basis.

                            You think a person on the Management Committee is supposed to know what people do outside of work?  And this is where most of this happens.    Really?  

                            A part of her job?  Good grief.   You have not one ounce of knowledge of what you are talking about.

                          •  And I did not start (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Old Sailor, Dirtandiron, Tonedevil

                            this I am a law firm partner stuff.  

                            I responded to someone who was generalizing a romanticized view of law firm life.

                          •  Not small town (5+ / 0-)

                            But conservative.  The business culture in Louisiana seems particularly susceptible to the Republican happy talk that the marketplace cures all, and all the winners are winners because they deserve it.

                          •  well said (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Old Sailor, Danali

                            Those who insist that the market solves everything should have realised that they were wrong when we had the banking crisis in 2008

                            Show me the diary that shows that Bill Clinton won due to his right-wing positions

                            by GideonAB on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 01:58:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  This was even more sexist. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Pi Li, VClib
                          Knowing what goes on with men who sexually harass women--you bet, that kind of stuff would be concealed from a woman partner who takes on an egalitarian reformer role.
                          I've been made aware of things -- bad and good -- because I was elected by my partners to firm management.  

                          It's really, really sexist to assume that because I'm a woman, I don't really know what's going on at my law firm.

                          You've obviously had a really bad experience at a law firm.  I feel badly for you about that.  But that's no justification for making sexist comments about me and my role as a woman partner in a law firm.  

                          •  You know what people reveal to you (5+ / 0-)

                            So maybe people confide in you.  Generally people only confide in people in positions of power who can protect them.

                            Being on a Management Committee may be enough....but typically the power resides with those who have the clients.  A lot of the power partners do not want management positions.   If you have clients, and people are willing to confide in you because you are perceived as willing to use your clout to protect them, good for you.

                            Your experience is not typical I would say.   Law firm politics can be understood by a Second Grader.  Just use math.  Follow the money.  Which partners control which clients.  That is it.  So many screw that up and their careers with it.

                          •  That is no excuse for sexist comments. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Pi Li, VClib

                            You are reiterating your view based on an obviously bad experience you've had.  

                            I do not question that you have had a bad experience.

                            Your bad experience, however, does not excuse sexist comments about what you assume must be going in my career on based on the fact that I'm a woman.

                            There is no excuse for that.  

                          •  No, it is not (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Old Sailor, burlydee, Danali

                            a bad experience I had.  What condescending claptrap.

                              It is based on years of personal observation, years of hearing what has happened to others, and constant feedback from others.....

                            You said basically that people in your firm would always report sexual harassment to financially protect your firm.  Really?  Without exceptions?  You have the perfect firm that does not suffer from the human condition? It sounds like you are in denial.  That is how it works, you see.  Those in power say nothing to see here, it does not happen here.

                            And you then say that the marketplace prices in bad behavior so at will employment is always just fine.  More Republican talk that the marketplace is heavenly and perfect.

                            I read what you wrote about firing someone based on their Facebook page.   And you cite that as a good thing.....No, I do not know you.  But I know what you have written here.  You sound like the great guardian of those with money.   And firing people willy nilly is what people with money do.  Mitt Romney's ethos.  That is what you protect.

                          •  I suggest you (MKS) look at her comment history. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dirtandiron, MKS, Tonedevil, Danali

                            You might find it revealing . She has spent most of her time recently on diaries about the Duck Dynasty issue. I found this comment particularly interesting:


                            I was particularly struck by the following parenthetical comment:

                            (if you want to call expressing a religious conviction bigotry)
                            As if a "religious conviction" can't be bigoted! Lol!

                            Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

                            by Old Sailor on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 03:57:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Reading Comphrehension (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            coffeetalk, VClib
                            As if a "religious conviction" can't be bigoted! Lol!
                            Of course, this is a complete misrepresentation of what I said. You "accidentally" forgot to include the entirety of it:
                            but just because someone spits out some bigotry (if you want to call expressing a religious conviction bigotry)
                            So in your attempt to claim that I said a "religious conviction can't be bigoted", you forgot to include the part where I said a religious conviction can be bigoted. And you kind of intentionally misinterpreted the part where I said (emphasis added for your convenience) "IF YOU WANT TO CALL EXPRESSING a religious conviction bigotry". But nowhere did I say "a religious conviction can't be  bigoted." So yeah, this pretty much makes you as disingenuous as your friend is sexist. :)

                            And what does this have to do with the discussion in this thread? Nothing. Which means at this moment you're trolling this thread.

                            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

                            by Pi Li on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 04:13:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've never been impressed by logic-chopping, (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            orlbucfan, MKS, Tonedevil, Danali

                            and I've seen some experts in my years on the internet. You pretend that the word "expressing" is somehow magically significant, when it clearly isn't. You did use the word "bigotry" immediately before the parenthetical statement, but then you make a U-turn in the parenthetical statement. When a statement of religious conviction is clearly bigoted, why on earth wouldn't someone want to identify it as bigoted? There is nothing necessarily "special" about a statement of religious conviction. When a statement based on religious conviction is clearly bigoted, you bet I want to identify it as bigoted, and as far as I'm concerned, any decent person should want to identify it as bigoted. I also note that in your profile you describe yourself as a "civil libertarian". I've been deeply suspicious of that label since Nat Hentoff made his lurch to the right in the 1980s, including joining the forced-birth crowd. Do you share Hentoff's views on freedom of choice? (For the record, I don't share them.)

                            Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

                            by Old Sailor on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 05:33:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, why the equivocation? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Old Sailor, Danali

                            Old Sailor has a very good point.

                          •  Yes, pretty freaky (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, Old Sailor, Danali

                            comment in support of the Duck Dynasty Dynamo.

                            Poor bigot is not a bigot just a redneck that is ignorant.  It was a bigoted comment from a bigot.  Why qualify it and defend it?

                            What was revolting was the perfunctory comment that, yes, gays and lesbians are entitled to human rights...What a revelation.  Gee, I did not know that.

                            Can we make marriage equality legal in her state right now?

                        •  An ellipsis is 3 dots: but in creative (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          MKS, Tonedevil

                          writing, it can be extended. Example: T and R....!

                          Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

                          by orlbucfan on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:44:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  And to the extent (5+ / 0-)

                        you want to denigrate my writing skills, you are in effect complimenting me--you know that, right?   So, someone so incapable of articulating an idea as me was able to become a partner in a large firm.  So, I clearly, according to you, did not do so on merit.........That means I finessed a partnership.  I made it in on b.s. alone.   That is as good as it gets for a litigator.....I was able to fool them the system......

                        The reality:  it takes skill, hard work, and then lots and lots of luck and timing to make it.  Good luck to you if you are going that route.  And if you are a partner or become one, realize that your status is in some ways more precarious than an associate.  You lose a client and you are out....Any day, a random three telephone calls before noon can end your career, skilled and hardworking lawyer or not.

              •  But that was routine until the mid 70's (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MKS, Dirtandiron, Tonedevil, myboo, Chi, Danali
                Someone in power who is hitting on women subordinates is putting the business at risk of a lawsuit.  
                It was the threat of lawsuits that changed this.  One day it was acceptable to sexually harass women and the next day it wasn't.  And it was literally almost that fast that it changed.  It happened because the laws changed and because there never was any business interest in harassing women.  It was just socially acceptable until it wasn't.   Likewise, there isn't any business interest in harassing or discriminating against gays so if the law makes it illegal to harass or discriminate against them hiring practices will change.  
          •  While your last paragraph is right in theory, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Old Sailor

            there are a lot of people looking for jobs now, which means it's become easier to replace employees that quit. In that environment, what incentive is there to not be an asshole as an employer?

            •  The incentives vary depending on (0+ / 0-)

              the skills and value of the employee.  If you are talking about unskilled workers (in the economic sense), you are probably right, there is little incentive for employers to do anything more than the law requires, because they are relatively easy to replace.  

              If you are talking about people with specific, marketable skills, who are very good at what they do, then yes, as an employer you WANT to keep those people.  Frequent turnovers can be very disruptive.  So, for us, there is a real incentive to be a good place to work for our legal secretaries and paralegals.  We have a lot of long-term employees in those positions who are not only very good at what they do, but also have a lot of institutional knowledge that is very valuable to us as a business.  So yes, we do have a very big incentive to be fair and be a good place to work to keep those employees.  And we generally apply the same policies to an employee in the mail room (although of course we don't pay that person as much because that person does not have the same level of skill/experience).  

              For people with certain education qualifications and with specific marketable skills, the job market is not bleak as it is for unskilled workers.  

      •  True except that many don't recognize biases (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKS, musicsleuth, Dirtandiron, Tonedevil, myboo, Chi
        Sometimes, an employee can be very disruptive in the workplace without specifically doing something specifically "wrong" with respect to "official duties."  It can be as simple as the kinds of things they say to other employees and the attitude they display to other employees

        While it's true that employers want to hire people who are a good fit, in the past minorities, women, etc. were almost never a good fit.  I saw that change with amazing speed when large employers began enforcing affirmative action in the hiring of women.  Within five to ten years women suddenly became a good fit and lost that attitude that men so feared.  Of course, we women didn't change at all.

        While I'm thrilled that young women don't face the same obstacles today, I also regret that so many young women managers don't understand what a short time ago it was when women faced the same obstacles that they are willing inflict on others today as hiring managers.  

        Diversity is challenging for managers and the lazy ones will take the easy way out and hire the "good old boys" who don't challenge them.  

        •  I'm a woman so I understand (0+ / 0-)

          exactly what you are saying.  

          But what I am seeing, more and more, is that those who go the "good old boy" route are not the ones with the most successful businesses.  

          And success in business is the biggest motivator of all.  

          •  There are still few women (5+ / 0-)

            partners compared to the associate ranks.

            True, the good ol' boy style was much worse in the 80s, with strippers in conference rooms and trysts with call girls in partner offices.  

            But I have met only one female partner of a major firm who actually tries cases.  I know there are more--just not that many.  But there are still relatively few women partners--especially litigators.

          •  But the success of the business isn't always (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil, Chi

            the motivator when it comes to employment particularly at entry level or jobs below director levels.  What's easy is often the motivator and it's easier to hire someone who is just like everyone else.  

            I mentioned women because I think it was easier to see the impact there because it wasn't distorted so much by class and culture as it can be with minorities.  Once it became acceptable to hire women, men of the same social class for the most part had no trouble at all hiring them, but darn few would have stuck their necks out and hired the first one.  

            I think our state's equal employment requirement for gays goes back to the early 70s or maybe it was local to Minneapolis, I'm not sure, but anyway about the same time employers got pressure to hire and promote women and I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't help the marriage equality legislation pass in Minnesota because people have been accustomed to working with openly gay co-workers for decades.  People fit in after they are fitted in and it's only then that decisions based on merit and what's best for the business come into play.

    •  Factors impacting employee "free speech" (3+ / 0-)

      Major ones would be, the views themselves, the nature of and exposure of the expression, the impact of such views expressed in such a way, etc.

      The views themselves:
      Some views are more controversial than others. Take the view that "Democratic policies in general are more favorable to the middle class than Republican policies". It would be wonderful if employees were protected from employer retaliation over such views. But what about views like this guy's "Homosexuality is a sin equivalent to bestiality" and "back in the day black folk were happily singing in the cotton fields, but welfare has made them lazy, sullen and unhappy". As views, assuming he keeps them to himself, then an employer would have no reason to know them, let alone react against them.

      The nature and exposure of the expression:
      It's one thing to express your views over a beer at your local watering hole. It's a little more "out there" on a bumper sticker or a T-shirt. Your blog post or YouTube vid might get little exposure, or it might go viral. An interview in GQ (or on CNN or Rush Limbaugh's show) is guaranteed to be broader exposure than your local watering hole, though.

      The impact of such views expressed in such a way
      If, over lunch with friends, I say that “the Duck Dynasty guys are hate filled grifters”, the impact is going to be negligible, unless friends who adore them are present. On the other hand, if I agree to a TV interview while attending a gay rights protest, and they air the same statement, which is viewed by (and offends) many of my employer’s clients; the impact is going to be considerable. If one of the DD guys happens to be a client, the impact could well be explosive.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:06:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever happend to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        don't talk about politics or religion at work?

        •  Doesn't have to be "at work" to have impact (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As the comment spells out. If my boss's clients see my Facebook post, or see me wearing a T-shirt at the grocery store, or an LTE, it can have a negative impact on my employer, and thus my job.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:18:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That I do not agree with (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You are then discriminating against someone's First Amendment rights.

            What if you see someone going to Synagogue and decide to fire her or him because the boss does not like Jews?

            Low wage employees already get the short end of the stick without having to hide their off work religious or political views.

            •  Agree, or not. It's an issue. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk, RUNDOWN

              Your example is not appropriate to the point I'm making.

              And the issue isn't necessarily what the boss personally likes/dislikes; as it is what his customers, clients, donors, etc. might like or dislike. If I say or do something that embarasses the business the boss has a right to be concerned. If he runs a grocery store, and I'm all over town ranting against eating meat and processed foods, and his customers and suppliers know it, he's going to have a problem. I'm the source of his problem, and he's going to be looking for ways to solve the problem. One solution is that I don't work for him anymore. Likewise if the boss is a real estate agent, and I spend my off time with OWS picketing in front of local banks, and posting on FB about evil bankers. She's not going to be happy, given she depends on good working relationships with those very bankers.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:58:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Usually only applies to those (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Sailor

          who disagree with right wing politics.

          Righties constantly throw their politics in your face.

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

          by RUNDOWN on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:15:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The above factors make sense.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, Catte Nappe

        but should not be confused with the constitutional protection of free speech, which, along with federal legislation and associated judicial decisions, defines specific exceptions to the general assumption of "freedom of speech" in the 1st amendment.

        Now that's a big subject.

    •  If A&E arranged the interview, that should have to (0+ / 0-)

      told him what to say or not say.

    •  I agree, but I think there is a difference (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, a2nite, marina, Ahianne, orlbucfan

      between the employment that people like you and I have and the employment of celebrities.

      I can be fired for things I do off the clock, unrelated to work. The company I work for is a huge part of the economy here and is well-known. Everyone wants to work there because of higher-than-average wages and generous benefits.

      They take their reputation very seriously, and as such, have fired people for things that happen off the clock. Wet T-shirt contests, DUIs, facebook posts, etc.

      I think that's a bunch of BS, personally. The woman taking part in the T-shirt contest was in a bar outside of the city on a Saturday night. The DUI guy didn't have a driving job, he was an office drone.

      I'm not as crazy as I used to be, so I don't worry about it that much. But it's a stressful, demanding job and I think we should all be entitled to take a break and let our hair down.

      That said: no one looks at me and immediately knows I'm an employee of ACME Inc. Everyone knows that duck dude is an employee of A&E, and A&E deserves to keep its reputation intact, whatever that rep may be.

      So while I think it's BS that those of us slumming it in the real world can be fired for such offenses, I also think that when you agree to very publicly represent an entity, you are beholden to them in ways that others wouldn't be.

      But I agree that it is somewhat of a gray area.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:23:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Couple of points. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, marina

        First, let me just say I am a part owner of a business.  So, my comments come from that perspective.  

        The DUI thing is something that many businesses will take very, very seriously, especially if you have to at any time drive anywhere for business reasons.  That's because the business can be responsible if you are driving somewhere for business reasons (like, say, from one office to another, or to a customer's office, or even -- in some circumstances -- you are taking work home) and have some kind of accident.  

        So because of potential liability, some businesses will have blanket policies that a DUI -- even if it's off hours -- is unacceptable.  They don't say, for some employees, DUI's are ok and for some they are not.  Policies like that are much easier to defend, as a business, if they are applicable to everyone, or at least everyone in certain category of employees.  And there are reasons that it may not be limited to a "driving job," but also applicable to anybody who goes anywhere other than to and from the office for work.  Some businesses, for example, have blanket policies against talking on a cell phone while you are in a car -- or even talking on the phone TO anyone who is in a car -- for that reason.  

        As for the wet T-shirt contest, for us, that would depend on the job.  You don't have to be a celebrity to be the "face" of a business.  If you have any contact at all with customers or clients, you are the "face" of a business.

        I will say that we have terminated someone based in part Facebook postings, but the Facebook postings had to do with that person's job (and the person was "friends" with a lot of people at work so they saw the postings).  The Facebook postings were not the only reason, but they contributed to the decision.  

        •  I was a partner in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, Tonedevil

          top ten AmLaw 100 law firm in the LA area for years.

          This I-am-part-owner-of-a-small-business perspective, and you say you are a lawyer in New Orleans, sounds just like the top down abuse I saw in the law firm environment I lived in for years and years.

          So you fired someone for their Facebook page.  In Louisiana probably not a problem.   Have you ever disciplined a partner for wrong behavior?  Expelled them for anything other than weak billings?

    •  There is a good argument (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to be made that Robertson was being interviewed by GQ solely because he is the star of a popular TV show, and in light of that fact his expressed views are going to reflect on his employer, A&E.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:38:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yup (10+ / 0-)

    As arodb points out, most of those are also right to work states, where you can get fired for sneezing.

    It's interesting, though. Companies want to plop down in right to work states but still don't want to fire anyone. They usually demote them or do something else to force them to resign.

    Personally, to me it would be kind of cool to be fired for being gay because one lawsuit is all it takes to shut the practice down (since we know republicans aren't going to do anything about it).

    I say that as someone who has an impeccable employment record, though, and I'm in a field that is notoriously lacking qualified employees. Others in low-skilled jobs can't afford that luxury, and I do have a few friends who were fired for being gay without that being the reason on paper.

    Full circle: right to work means you can be fired for being gay, but the employer claims it's for something else.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:28:26 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the map, Chris (13+ / 0-)

    We need to post it every single chance we get until ENDA is SIGNED into law.

  •  Holy sh*t. That map is appalling. (5+ / 0-)

    Revolting, in the 21st century. Or at any time, really. Signing and tweeting.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

    by BadKitties on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:54:40 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the action link ! On it. (0+ / 0-)

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:02:43 AM PST

  •  I was fired for being gay (3+ / 0-)

    in Madison WI no less

    -8.25, -7.13 "Well, on second thought, let's not go to Camelot -- it is a silly place." "Right"

    by leathersmith on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:15:02 AM PST

    •  leathersmith - is that specifically what your (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, Cassandra Waites

      employer stated?

      Even if sexual identity is a protected class to sue and win a case of wrongful termination the ex-employee has to show by a preponderance of the evidence that they were fired for being gay. When dealing with employees who belong to a protected class nearly all employers have been trained to not leave smoking guns for the plaintiffs to find on discovery.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:42:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  wingers are partying in the aisles about this (10+ / 0-)

    "example of religious freedom".  Seems they think that their threats to boycott A&E brought immediate results (so now I guess they agree with folks boycotting Rush's advertisers) but I have pointed out to them that the show basically lampoons poor Southern whites with Phil as a sort of malicious Buddy Ebsen.
    One ecstatic DD viewer was all agog over the return of Phil til I pointed out that he held a Masters degree and was worth $15M while she has had one semester of secretarial science at the local community college and dropped out mid-semester while she earns about $27K annually, including her SS widow's benefits.  This would mean that she and Phil are not laughing at the redneck yahoos, but that to his mind, she was one of the redneck yahoos.

    She was not overly pleased and pointed out that she had the same cabinet tops as Phil does and therefore she is as classy as he is.  Who could argue with that argument?  

    •  She's right. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, PinHole, jayden, myboo

      She is the same "class" as he is.  They're both rednecks.  One's just richer then the other.

    •  And when she retires she might be one of those who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PinHole, Danali

      are on Social Security but complain that the country is being ruined by people receiving government money, and who demand to "keep the government out of my medicare".

      •  already saw that this holiday (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Sailor, Cassandra Waites, Danali

        One of daughter's friends who is ardent TP type is now indignant that she only qualifies for Family Planning Medicaid.  She was on a FB rant about how she works hard for her money (20 hrs weekly) and how she cannot get help while all those welfare loafers (does not mean shoes) lie about and won't work.  Funny thing is, she wants more plastic surgery for a facelift and a boob update and she would have to pay "Obamapremium" to get such coverage under ACA.  Her opinion is that her surgery should be free (My guess is she did not factor in the subsidy when she ran the numbers or went through one of the ubiquitous "insurance counselors" popping up at every insurance broker's office)  

  •  Honestly, has anyone who continues to write about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this Dick Dynasty show ever watched it? Of course they are racist homophobes or at least that's a part of their act.
    It's their dick stchick.

    They are only getting attention because the left is giving it to them.

    I don't have time for these made up TV indignities, I'm spending my time on honest to god real indignities that aren't being televised.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:37:01 AM PST

    •  Much of TV now consists of made-up Crapola. (7+ / 0-)

      Aside from the Royal Quackers, you have the various "Storage Catfights", the two or three forgettable Pawn sagas, and the newest series about a retarded swamp redneck who uses a crane to drop logs on his friend's pickup truck.  There is nothing informative, educational or amusing about any of these reality shows.

      When all else fails, try thinking!

      by edtheengineer on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 10:05:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  now now, logs dropping on a pickup could be quite (0+ / 0-)

        entertaining in a fart joke kinda way.....

        Why do you think monster truck shows are so isn't to see the trucks roll around...unless they're upside down while doing it.....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:58:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My money says it's money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Tonedevil

    I hear the ratings on A&E's "Duck Dynasty" marathon have been off the charts for a cable channel.  It's ka-ching on.  Most of these wingnuts loyally and loudly supporting it now never heard of "Duck Dynasty" before this brouhaha.  I have a wingnut older brother, I'm sure that's the case with him.  I guarantee he's never spent half an hour in a duck blind in his life.  But you know he's all whipped up for the "Duck Commander" now.

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:44:37 AM PST

  •  It's about publicity. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan, VClib, Tonedevil, Chi

    Phil Robertson becomes a conservative hero and wins more eyeballs from that than he loses from alienating gay people.  Duck Dynasty gets its name in the national media repeatedly.  I rarely think these celebrity outcries are anything other than publicity stunts.

    That said, it ought to be a far greater national outrage that you can be legally fired for being gay in half the country.  And illegally fired for it in the rest of it, because  employers have far too much power in this country to control employee behavior and get rid of people for any reason they damn well choose; even if it's a prohibited one, they often get away with it because of the burden of proof.

    •  birdboy - our entire system of civil litigation (0+ / 0-)

      is based on the idea that someone bringing a lawsuit must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that their complaint has merit. What would you replace that with in employee/employer wrongful termination cases?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 10:43:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only allow job-related reasons (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The current system where the employer can fire for whatever reason they damn well please has loopholes you can drive a truck through.  When "I don't like the person" is a permissible reason for firing, how are you supposed to prove racial discrimination, union-busting, or anything else illegal?

        Make the employer prove the firing was based on an actual business-related reason, such as poor performance or cutting costs.

        •  It's been my experience that people are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          terminated for work related reasons, rather than on a whim or because they are gay. For people in protected classes managers are coached on building a file on work related shortcomings that can be the basis for a defense, should a wrongful termination suit be filed. In large, public corporations such a file is typically required for all terminations.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:56:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Two things are getting lost in these conversations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, BoiseBlue, defluxion10, Tonedevil

    First his comments about happy singing negroes in the cotton fields are remarkably ignorant and racist, and second, he wasn't speaking as a private person. He was speaking as the Duck Dynasty personality. First, he gave himself up to a "reality show," making his personal life part of a public persona. Second, there is ZERO interest in what he has to say as a person. He was interviewed in GQ as the Duck Dynasty patriarch. In other words, he was speaking, not for himself or as himself, but as A&E's Duck Dynasty guy. Given that, it is utterly within A&E's rights, and likely contractual rights as well, to do whatever they want with his show. Think of it this way. If you go to a public park and yell "everybody from Thunder-ten-Tronckh is a pedophile and arsonist," you might be well within your rights. However, if you go to the same park wearing your work outfit, something supplied by your employer, easily identified as something from your employer, and subject to a contract with your employer that you act in ways that won't offend others while wearing their garb, and yell the same thing, you should expect to lose your job.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:58:31 AM PST

    •  I am shocked and saddened that his comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about POC being godly until the civil rights movement haven't been MORE front and center than the remarks about anuses.

      As I've said before, if I left work on the 24th and said to my co-workers "Have fun worshiping a make-believe sky-fairy and celebrating the birth of the biggest scam to ever curse our civilization, stupid christians," I would expect that I'd be reprimanded in some way by my employer, up to and including termination.

      When I was younger and worked in uniform, it was made very clear to me that as long as I was in that uniform, I was held to the same standard as if I was on the clock.

      As I said upthread, I am somewhat conflicted about this simply because I don't like the idea of someone losing their job for being an asshole (if that's the standard, unemployment would be at least 59% right now), but at the same time, employers do have the right to protect their reputation. That's a very significant part of a businesses success or failure.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 10:20:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except Daffy Duck's comments haven't hurt A&E (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They've helped it. Viewership has jumped higher, everyone in America now knows about the show. Even Kossacks, who can't stop talking about it. Phil is a household word and a hero to millions, but it's just as well if he's your nemesis. A&E has gotten the maximum bank for their buck out of the GQ interview.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:56:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All this was... (5+ / 0-)

    was a clever marketing strategy designed to draw attention to America's newest fad TV show.  And it worked perfectly.  We can't stop talking about Duck Dynasty.

    Face it, you've been played by a bunch of PR executives in fancy suits and a dude pretending to be a redneck into giving the show free publicity.  Thanks to this "controversy" Duck Dynasty is now more popular than ever.

  •  I take it they don't care he's a racist jackhole. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Tonedevil

    Right? Because the only thing I hear about the RW howls of outrage involve Philly's hate for the gay.

    That'll bring out power minority support this election year...for Democrats.

    •  Don't care? He's PROUD of it! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Old Sailor, Tonedevil

      Listen to how he embeds his hate in biblical references.  He thinks he's a man of God - or that's how the script portrays his character.  The patriarch bit also misogynist, since of course a good Christianist wife unquestioningly obeys her patriarchical husband.

      It's a Borderlander cultural tradition straight out of the 16th century, and Phil (or his character) is fiercly proud of his tradition.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:53:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if the entire curfufle was planned... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean, DeeDee001, exlrrp, Tonedevil, Chi

    I understand that the last episode of this program had 10 million viewers.  We are getting into Super Bowl territory now, but that yearly extravaganza production costs and rights are probably 50 million, a guess, while an episode of DD costs a few hundred thou.

    The sponsors and producers come up with a way to get tens of millions in free publicity, and they write the lines for Phil Robertson (gee, I even now know his name!!!) , like is done in every "reality" show, to be spoken this time in an interview.

    And like planned it becomes headline news everywhere,  People like myself who have never thought about Duck Dynasty, much less watch it, are bombarded with news about the cultural conflict.  

    The ad revenue on each episode of the show increases several million dollars in the short term, and continues perhaps for years.

    And of course, discussion of real issue, actual effects of policies advocated by different parties, are not so much fun, and even have less of a chance than before of getting any attention form the public.

    Party on America!

    •  A masterful piece of marketing (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb, DeeDee001, linkage, exlrrp, Amayi, Tonedevil, Chi

      It was timed for the holiday sales of Duck Dynasty swag, along with a Duck Dynasty marathon on A&E.   No filming took place during Phil's suspension.

      There is no doubt in my mind that this was scripted, since the media reaction to the comments was predictable.  The comments also strategically couched the hate in biblical references so they will gain maximum traction with the Duck Dynasty base.  

      Not bad for a show that isn't even airing new episodes at the moment.  And the whole stunt was free.  Someone at A&E is getting a big promotion for the new year!

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:43:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Duck Dynasty is all about mean-spritedness (5+ / 0-)

    They were hired to be laughed at, and compensated enough not to care.  But in the end, that crew was designed to be all bigot, all the time.  Those who watched those guys had to know that whether endorsing those beliefs or mocking them, neither attribute is worthwhile.  The good thing is to get these "spectacle" shows, be they Honey Boo Boo or Appalachian moonshiners need to stop.  Exploitation of ignorance is deplorable.

    •  I had an atty tell me she thought they were all (0+ / 0-)

      secretly very bright people. That there was no way they could be in business like that and not be.

      Having never seen the show, I couldn't agree or not. But she was convinced.

      Of course, I heard the same thing about GWB.

      •  Publicity Stunt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I haven't seen the show either, but I agree with your atty.  They've made a boatload of money doing what?  Not much.  The whole gay-comment and ensuing publicity seemed to me to be a Publicity Stunt.  Hey, it worked for Chick fil A, after all.

        Duck Dynasty is going to make alot of money from all the publicity generated from these well-chosen anti-gay comments.

        The goal here at Daily Kos is to make anti-gay comments unacceptable.  The culture is not there yet.

  •  A&E & Phil & his entire family can go to hell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cpqemp, jayden, Tonedevil

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 11:51:52 AM PST

  •  I look at that map, and it just seems like more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, jayden

    evidence that there are two Americas. The map is fairly close to the red state/blue state electoral map. It is also close to the map of the states with marriage equity. Many of the states shown in gray are also raising the minimum wage this year.

  •  When I came to Tampa FL in 1978 (6+ / 0-)

    and was looking for an apartment with my partner at the time (I worked for the state of FL and he was a UT student), we were told by office staff at two complexes that they would not rent a one bedroom apt to two men.  

    Since then the local county enacted a non-discrimination law (which was repealed due to a bible thumper county commissioner a few years ago - then reinstated) and the city of Tampa also has had a non-discrimination law in place for many years.

    I refuse to eat at Cracker Barrel.  I refuse to allow anyone to take away my dignity as a person, as a gay American who has served honorably (disabled Vietnam veteran) to protect and defend the US Constitution.  No one has the right to say with whom I sleep at night (or at noon for that matter).

    Peace & Love

  •  I just thought of something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Chi

    The tenuous grasp we in the US seem to have on reality and our shaky way of living, seems to be directly connected to things like "employment at will," with no protections for the workers.  Also, to the weakness of labor unions in our system and among our citizens' perceptions.  And then there is the definite discrimination against the poor and the weak and sick and old in our society which is apparent to anyone who looks at everyday life in the US - including commercials and ads in our media.

    We really are the victims, every single day, of usury charges on cable TV, cell phone, utility bills and in many other aspects of our consumer culture.

    I would emigrate tomorrow (I have net income of approx. $2,700.00 per month) and live well in Panama, Costa Rica, even the South of France - if I were in better health and younger.  Being over sixty-five changes everything.  If you are younger and healthier, I would advise you to seriously consider leaving the US

  •  Screw MI, IN, OH, and PA... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not to mention the other red states in the map. I am a proud Northerner, and we are suffering too much bagguerization in this Nation.

    I guess we will have to wait until all the angry old men and the women who appease them to die off.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:23:02 PM PST

  •  Not to mention "At will" employment laws (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, The Dude 415

    Conservatives are for them, until conservatives are the ones being fired "at will".

    Feel trickled on yet?

    by War4Sale on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:43:08 PM PST

  •  About their so-called "faith".. (5+ / 0-)

    ..err, hoax, that they exploit.

    The young girl on the show is exploited to the fullest. There is a program where she tries on several sexy dresses for a dance. The horny old men loved that episode.

    When they take the child skeet shooting, she's wearing the tightest damn pants you'll ever see. And of course, during the Hawaii vacation episode, they show her falling off a surf board. Surprise, the shot is of her ass sticking up in the air.

    The show is a fraud. One day they are great white hunters. The next day, they leave the camp for the RV. Not video games at the camp.

    The old man talks about "rough sex" with the wife.
    So why should we believe their "faith" isn't a hoax, too?

    God is the glue holding them together. We need to crack the religion nut before it destroys the country just as it has destroyed so many others.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:21:28 PM PST

  •  I'm glad to see that every state and commonwealth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Old Sailor

    in my native New England says "No!" to that kind of bigotry. Of course, we also have marriage equality in every one of them.

    I can't wait for Maine to get rid of our Tea Party Governor who is a racist and homophobe. He'll very likely be replaced by a working-class, out, gay man: ME-02 Congressman Mike Michaud.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:08:14 PM PST

  •  I think there are also commercial reasons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Tonedevil

    Duck Dynasty is now a hit when 2 months ago they were WTF is that? Phil Robertson's net worth has tripled, DD is now mainstream, DD merchandise was all right there n the shelves. ($400 million worth I just heard on the teevee)
    All in a matter of two weeks!
    Could not have been better if it was planned that way and its hard to think it wasn't. and all they did was double  down on what they already did: religious zealotry and homophobia

    Anybody who sees this only about bigotry should stand back and take a look at the bigger picture

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:44:17 PM PST

  •  I hope you don't mind that I don't care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what that bigot said.  Bigots will be bigots, that's who they are and they have and always will be amongst us.

    I care that 1.3 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits today.

  •  and no, not signing the petition. It's useless. (0+ / 0-)

    It "looks like it means something," but it really means nothing.

  •  And if you care about "petitions," I'd suggest you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    reach out to Democrats, not the republicans, since this is a Democratic site.  We have no influence with republicans.

    Maybe I missed it, probably did, but what is the official Democrat Party's response to this duck, duck bigotry?

    If you don't mind, can you post the link where the major Democrat Party response is?  Thanks.  And please include President's Obama's pushback against what some guy on Duck Dynasty said.

    thank you.  

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Petitions should be addressed to Democrats, not Republicans.

      Republicans might even be encouraged to know that some many Democrats support the opposite of what they are doing

      Show me the diary that shows that Bill Clinton won due to his right-wing positions

      by GideonAB on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 12:59:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am of 2 minds over this (0+ / 0-)

    Idaho, my home state, is now in the beginnings of a gay challenge to our anti-gay marriage law. Our law is as tough and over-reaching as Utah's, but it appears that the challenge, which was brought in Boise by 4 gay couples, may be different.

    Our folks sued Gov. Otter and Ada county, the home of Boise, and not the state. Right now, their lawyers are wrestling with our state Atty. General, who wants a seat in the courtroom to argue for the state. It is yet to be settled if the lawsuit against Otter has anything to do with his official capacity as Governor.

    I'm thinking that the best time to go after the labor law may be when this lawsuit is well under way. The GOP legislators here may become confused and mix the two cases up, possibly making a fatal error in one or the other. They're already confused, so adding to the confusion may help.

    Even if that happens, it's not going to stop them. Our legislators have passed 41 anti-abortion laws, and not one has stood up to legal review so far. Most of the sessions are filled up with some flamboyant wing-nut bill or other every year while needed legislation never happens.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 09:15:10 PM PST

  •  Three cheers for Jesus !! (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, look, those same red states are those same states that have thousands of little churches.  Those little churches are like tiny sparks.  Those tiny sparks all join together to build a big flame.  That big flame, is joined by other big flames, to burn away at peoples rights, and what truly can be described as "Freedoms"  Like, the freedom to be gay.  ( I happen to not be gay.)  Yes, those tiny churches that are everywhere in those red states all together push the hate, and create the infection that helps keep the laws in place that actually do hurt people.  

    So, when you go to your Church today, you too can feel grate about how your tiny spark, is part of the flame that spreads the hate.

    You can't say "your church" is different.  It's not.  It's a big brainwashing machine, and they want you to bring in your children, so they will grow up to be on the same page, and continue to spread  the hate.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 04:54:36 AM PST

  •  STOP IT. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    It will not get easier before it gets harder. But the harder it gets, the easier it will be.

    by Richard Cranium on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:44:08 AM PST

  •  I thought this was an intentional ploy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Sailor

    Now everyone knows what Duck Dynasty is, and A&E's target audience for the show probably just increased.

    Tell me I'm crazy, but this is exactly the sort of PR move someone might pull for a short-lived show. When you want eyeballs, controversy sells, and it became free advertisement for the program.

    A&E gets to pretend that they're just victims of a powerful and organized christians right, instead of a company that planned an intentional viral marketing campaign.

    I know if I was both evil and a TV exec trying to compete with Netflix, this is exactly the sort of stunt that I would try to pull.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:32:48 AM PST

  •  Face it. Robertson is a closet case. Too much (0+ / 0-)

    energy on gay folks to be taken for anything else.  He probably lays awake at night obsessing about  all the stuff gay men are getting up to, ans is ashamed of his erotic feelings.

    GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

    by SGWM on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:08:25 AM PST

  •  Cancel Duck Dynasty (0+ / 0-)

    And while you're at it, take Disney to task for profiting off Phil Robertson's racism and homophobia.

  •  daffy duck Americans (0+ / 0-)

    Good lord , I would sure be amazed if stupid Americans would get fired up about a friggin real reality other than a friggin reality show that has no friggin affect on their friggin lives what so ever ! WAR !!! Or as two time Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient , USMC General Smedley Butler wrote in 1935 " The Racket Of War ", (goggle it ) is what ignorant Americans should be friggin concerned and outraged about ! The friggin Afghan and Iraq War's have cost America more than 5,000 of our Son's and daughter's lives and left thousands of other American mother's sons and daughters blind , maimed and wounded ; leaving these wounded Veterans missing arms , legs and damaged brains causing God only knows how many deaths by suicide . VA hospitals are overwhelmed ; due to the stupid , Congressional implemented , sequestration cuts forced down our throats by our House Of Representatives elected by corporate fooled , teabag , fools . These wars have cost American taxpayers $3,000,000,000,000 or up to $13,000,000,000,000
    ( that's Trillion, with a T ) depending on which economist has it right . Just think how much better off AMERICA WOULD BE with 1 of those wasted trillions of our tax dollars . Its time to recall Republican President Eisenhower's words " beware the military industrial complex " and worry about whats really harming America instead of daffy duck millionaires jacking up their friggin  , daffy duck , reality show ratings .

  •  NOW WAIT A MINUTE! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A&E's reinstatement of the racist and homophobic "Duck Dynasty" patriarch, Phil Robertson, is no doubt about bigotry. However, since this shitty hick program is their #1 show, it's obvious that the motive is filthy lucre.

  •  racism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Phil Robertson's comments about African Americans are arguably more offensive than his homophobic comments--just saying that so we don't forget the totality of this guy's bigotry.

    Now that A&E has decided that Phil Robertson's redeemed and will bring him back for those many thousands of  haters out there, it's A&E that we should hold our disdain for. Robertson will be a footnote in the history of ignorant bigotry when the show ends.

    A&E's greed or cowardice (against the tea party fueled onslaught), or both, is, to me, more reprehensible.They took a principled stand, and then abandoned their principles. I think their audience should abandon them (that part of their audience whose IQ reaches triple digits, that is.)

    As for those public figures coming out in support of Robertson, well, there should be no surprise there. These are people who, after all, have revealed themselves repeatedly over the years to be pond scum. The real problem is that they still have a public platform to spout their ignorance and hate.  Why do we as a country put up with it?  And how do we disempower them?  

    Men who have no respect for human life or for freedom or justice have taken over this beautiful country of ours. It will be up to the American people to tak

    by liandro on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:02:08 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Chris Excellent rebuttal to the apologists (0+ / 0-)

    White-ringers clinging to their bigoted beliefs aren't likely to be swayed by any amount of persuasive evidence, but for the apologists who defend them with good intent albeit misguided logic this is a simple and effective argument.

  •  Remember, even though you can be fired (0+ / 0-)

    for being gay, if you say that on live TV you'll get pants on fire from Politi"facts."

    That is all.

    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

    by PhillyJeff on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:56:20 PM PST

  •  Basically, a map of flyover country (0+ / 0-)

    -- considering that Denver and Chicago, which are sometimes actual destinations, are in grey areas.

  •  a sorta flipside tangent to the Dick Dynasty flap (0+ / 0-)

    is the coming out of Good Morning America host Robin Roberts.

    A friend posted the Roberts story on Facebook and was lamenting why the media reports upon the "coming out" of celebrities and those in the public eye, and why it matters that LGBTQ people do so despite the idea that there's a lot more news to be reported that he would view as way more important than such things. I replied:

    Honestly, I see what you are saying but it isn't for you -- or anyone who doesn't share the experience of what it is like to be LGBTQ, really -- to say who is influential as a role model upon whom. If this woman (whom I'd never heard of before yesterday myself) alluding to her orientation reaches the sphere of one young gay teenager in one isolated area, it makes a huge difference. Granted, the media hypes it in all the wrong ways -- if it bleeds, it leads and if it's f*cking, you better be ducking from all the slavering disinformation that is coming in the reporting about it -- and I'd stress that this GMA lady didn't really make a big deal or histrionic "coming out" spectacle.... she just thanked her girlfriend in a post she wrote about New Year's like 1,000,000,000 straight folks will do in 1,000,000,000 posts and letters and public showings in the next few days, thanking their significant others without any fanfare or media obsession manifested whatsoever.

    This is a function of what us queers -- the crazy political ones like me, anyway! -- often term Heterodoxy: where even straight folks who are ostensibly our allies (like you, your friend, and probably everyone who commented here in this thread) make assumptions and projections based on and in your status as members of the overwhelming majority, as if the entire world culture isn't (and hasn't always, until very recently been) a living, breathing commercial for heteronormality and all its attendant benefits and celebrations, from the "Sports Illustrated" Swimsuit issue to every single commercial ever shown in the history of TV, of which 100% still depict heteronormative family structures despite the fact that these are not the only functional family structures happening in today's world. I mean, look at what your pal -- whom I can see is an undoubtedly well-meaning and accepting person when it comes to these gender issues -- said: that us coming out makes us seem less like "monsters and freaks" to the public at large, many of whom aren't yet as accepting of LGBTQ people as y'all are.

    Imagine for a minute what that would be like: to have the most essential and internal human expression within you as a person -- the impulse to bond with another and love them in the most intimate emotional, physical and spiritual ways -- be grounds for someone or a lot of people to dehumanize you to the point where you'd be in a position to have to prove to them that you were not some sort of animal or bestial monster. This is sort of parallel or analogous to what people of African-American descent went through 50 years ago (and still, to an impactful extent, do go through) and before that, previous to the advent of the Civil Rights movement... the idea that one cannot just be accepted and humanized by others for whom one is, but must instead take on the burden of probation as to whether or not one's implicit identity actually belongs in the human race as more than a pariah or a second-class citizen. You could say that us LGBTQ people are the n***s of gender, but that's a word I am sworn off using so let's term it as GHOULs: that to many, many straight people we are Gender Heretical Ostracizable Unacceptable Lepers, with all the attendant toxic myths that come with such an unfortunate category. Think of how this would affect you: that because of the lies and distortions and prurient phantasies they have been taught about these issues, other people would make automatic assumptions about you as a human being that would cast you as some sort of perverted demon and that this would be a notion that you would have to in some sense obviate or disprove or convince them otherwise. This, on top of how insanely difficult pair bonding and "finding the right person" can be, even for heterosexuals... think about how such a dialectic would inform your life experience and the additional, often prohibitive, limitations this would impose on an already difficult human experience.

    Look at what your friend wrote in reply to this story -- again, in a totally well-meaning manner that I in no way wish to let go unacknowledged -- about how she doesn't care who the Good Morning America lady "sleeps with". You see, that right there is symptomatic of exactly what I am talking about... where hetero folks make a narrowcasted reference to a gay relationship as all about someone who is "sleeping with" -- a euphemism for "having sex with" -- someone of the same gender. Ask yourself, do we do that to your relationships? Do gay or otherwise gender-alternative people view heteronormative relationships purely as one person getting down with another as straight people often seem available to feel it's acceptable to do to ours? Truth be told, our relationships are little to do with the 1% of the time we spend with our clothes off and a LOT to do with the other 99% of what it means to accommodate another human being in an effort to unite with them in love and become as one with that person.... JUST LIKE YOURS ARE. To endure these projections that we are somehow all one-dimensional sexmongers to be feared -- with a mordant fascination at best and a homocidal, revulsion-based impulse to exclude, devalue and exterminate at worst -- is perhaps more offensive and dehumanizing than heterosexuals do or even can know, but still it's almost the norm of how even our allies in the struggle for equality can often view us. I'm just trying to help you see how the the rubber of the stereotypes hit the road of reality around these issues, because I've lived a life where my romantic possibilities -- particularly as what might be termed a "straight appearing gay guy" who would already be closed off from many of these opportunities to an even greater degree, because I do not project the stereotypes so many of us queers have been forced to internalize and outwardly project so we could feebly try to adjust to the maze of caricatural madness straight people (as the majority) have constructed for us in which to live our lives.

    Surely you have heard the famous 1977 audio recording he made detailing it, or you saw the movie and you heard Sean Penn-as-Harvey Milk say that we have to come streaming out of the closet en masse so the heterosexual folks will know that we are all around them and it's only been our fear of their toxic and often violent reactions to the news that has kept us concealed and hidden in plain sight from their view. And that if a bullet should enter his brain -- which, so sadly, several did -- that he would want that to be the slug that breaks down all the closet doors, forever. That if they (hetero people) know that we are their family, their friends, their co-workers, their heroes, the people they already love and value... that this would inoculate them against the reflexive hatred and exclusion LGBTQ (then just called, in the most derisive tone possible a la Anita Bryant, "homosexual"-- pronounced "HOmoSEXshul") people face in their lives as they navigate the already-treacherous waters of human interaction and engagement.

    This has proven true in many ways and not-so-true in others... because let's face it, gender and sexuality and in particular all the alternative views of it as expressed by LGBTQ folks like myself are what a lot of people call the last acceptable bigotry, largely because they speak to ingrained and imprinted patterns of shame and guilt that ALL people, regardless of putative orientation, suffer with when it comes to that material and those issues. And this, to say nothing of the mountain of misunderstanding and horror that Trans-folk and those at the even further fringes of the world of sexuality and gender face. At the end of the day I think something we all should get about learning and comprehending at the molecular level is that sexuality and gender are two very distinct imprints -- which of course inform each other to a tremendous degree, but which are separate in that sexuality takes place mostly between the legs and gender takes place between the ears, where all such ideations begin. IMO, if there is ever to be equality and eventual acceptance of LGBTQ people on a meaningful and lasting level -- which we hope is what we are living through and going through the process of at the moment as a society and culture -- than a key to such a transformation (sorry, no pun intended) must be a refined and evolved sensibility around where the distinctions lay (man, so many bad puns!) between exactly this: the interstices of where sexuality and gender meet and what about them is indeed separate and distinct. In other words, precisely the kind of mythos-free education that I have attempted to provide in this very long and verbose comment.

    Sorry for the length of this and my failure to make it expressly about Phil Robertson or whatever his name is, but I thought it appropriate nonetheless to put it on here.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:20:31 PM PST

  •  We should perhaps introduce Phil Robertson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Sheeping of America

    to Pat Robertson (a marriage made in Heaven...or Hell)
    Actually, no, Pat for all his insanity has more class and could never be accused of being a fake professional redneck.

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 04:23:27 PM PST

  •  Nearly Identical to 2012 Election (0+ / 0-)

     photo ElectoralCollege2012LGBT_zpse2eb92ad.png

  •  I used to say I'll never go east... (0+ / 0-)

    of the Mississippi again after moving to the west (WA). From the looks of this map I'll never go east of the Rockies again until those folks straighten out their shit.

    A hungry man is not a free man ~ Adlai Stevenson

    by Max Runk on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:02:44 PM PST

  •  I don't think the assertion is true (0+ / 0-)

    "States where you can be fired for being gay", that is the assertion. At will firing means you can be fired for ANY disagreement you have with those who pay you. Gay-ness may be a reason. Catholicism may be a reason. A love of pork may be a reason. Color of hair may be a reason. ... Is this article really targeting at-will states where people who employ others cannot fire someone because they don't like them for whatever reason?

    Advice is judged by results, not by intentions. Cicero

    by egbegb on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 05:29:31 PM PST

  •  state tyranny (0+ / 0-)

    In many states, you can  be fired for exercising your First Amendment (and other) Rights during  your own  time.

    This means that a corporation has the tyrannical power that even the government does not have (govt employees cannot be fired for being gay, free speech or assembly, etc).

    This means that while the Constitution protects us from government tyranny (punishing us for political views), it does not protect us from private tyranny (firing us for expressing political views on our own time).  

    It's time people investigated libertarian socialism, which opposes both public and private forms of tyranny.  

    Private tyranny is more dangerous and evil than government tyranny because while governments can be voted out or overthrown, private corporations are unaccountable to the public.

    Why do we tolerate this form of fascism, while pretending to be "free."  For example, the dominant corporations of Nazi Germany survived (excepting IG Farben) and prospered after the Nazis were defeated.  Even a catastrophic war defeat did not destroy them.  Sartre's play The Condemned of Altona highlights this triumph of the fascist corporation (when Mussolini dismantled the elected Parliament, he replaced it with the Charter of Fascist Corporations).  

  •  at will firing (0+ / 0-)

    As an employer (small business, up to 10 employees) I appreciate the freedom to be able to chose who I hire (and fire).  I have had to fire a number of people over the years for numerous reasons, and some of those were as simple as 'she dressed like a hooker'.  While I've never fired anyone for being gay, if I ever have a gay employee that can't control his 'swish' (think Nathan Lane's character in Birdcage), he is out the door, just like the chick with her knockers hanging out.  Sometimes, the employee can be just plain wrong for the job, and you can call that discrimination if you want.  I work to make money, just like you.  I just happen to own the business and do not want any kind of fool destroying my efforts.

  •  Why shouldn't I be bigoted against the UNCLEAN? (0+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't this fictional teen, gay or straight, be a danger to themselves if they engage in deadly, risky and UNCLEAN behavior?

    That is, Doesn't the medical community recommend that you, "Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom."?

    Yet, now there are some in the medical community that now say it's OK to "Sleep with the waste that gets flushed down in the toilet?" and that it's possible to live a perfectly normal life.

    And by the way, HPV and oral cancer is on the rise. And there is a much more aggressive form of AIDS
    Google: Medical News Today Aggressive Form recombinant HIV

    Twitter Handle: @AhContraire

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