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I can already hear the libertarian comments on this one. "They're free to go to another restaurant!" As though I had never entertained that thought before. The problem is, that is basically apartheid. One suspects that the same people who are nonchalant about other people having to find a place that serves them would blow up if they were refused service.

Yes, "Free to Chew" is a geeky reference to the Milton Friedman book Free to Choose. Not that I'm a fan.

Get a signed print of this cartoon from the artist. Follow Jen on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally posted to Comics on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No Pauls at my place. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by voicemail on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:08:32 AM PST

  •  No one forces you to open a business (17+ / 0-)

    You want to open a business in this country then you can but there are rules.  Lots of them actually and one of them is that here in our democratic society you have to treat everyone equally.  Don't like that idea, then move to Russia or better yet the libertarian paradise in Somalia.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:14:42 AM PST

    •  that's not exactly true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrisculpepper, aratinga

      you open a business, your pricing policy is "What the market will bear".

      Lots of businesses use the "F-U" price. It's the price because they don't need or want your business.

      We only regulate gouging during crisises.

      some businesses are "Common Carriers" and have
      to post a rack rate and take all comers at that.
      Buses, airlines, hotels, restaurants,  but,
      lots of businesses set pricing on a "PITA" factor.
      Lots of plumbers won't service my neighborhood
      because its a "Black" area.

      My old plumber who i did business with for 30 years,
      gave me the F-U price for my new house.

      Great guy, just thinks it's a big PITA to come over the bridge.
      Lots of others won't come here at all, say their trucks will get broken into.

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aratinga

        There are still so many ways businesses discriminate... just with making folks feel unwelcome (and endangered) - and this happens everywhere.

        A latino friend and I met at a little hole-in-the-wall tavern - I got there first and there were no problems - BTW: I'm white.  My friend told me that as soon as he entered he felt unwelcome and after he joined me the quality of the service dropped noticeably.  And then some of the 'regulars' for some reason took out their pocket knives and started playing around with them!   We took the hint and left.

        BTW: This happened in Silicon Valley, part of the Bay Area, I am still shocked that it could happen here!

        •  Unfortunately, the assholes travel in packs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aratinga, Silina

          and reside anywhere and everywhere they can get a toehold.  Not that they're welcomed - like the early conquistadors, they claim space for themselves without bothering to ask anyone's approval.  Once settled, they'll use that status to make anyone they don't like feel (read: anyone with brown skin) distinctly unwelcome.

          I've found myself surprised at the number of rednecks residing in my generally deeply indigo state of Massachusetts - but it does have its splashes of bright crimson, and I happen to work with some of their representative citizenry.  Too many times, I've had to keep my lip zipped lest I let fly with some very unsavoury opinions about these people.

        •  happens, we fix the critical stuff (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geardup

          let the backwaters be.

  •  The one time I would prefer capitalism to (13+ / 0-)

    ... act as the be-all, end-all.  Why the hell would these wannabe sanctimonious businesses turn away potential customers and revenue, anyway?  Just to feel superior at the end of the day, knowing they turned away supposed sinners?  How about making sure their customers aren't adulterers or domestic abusers or whatever else?  Since when is serving patrons a sudden implicit endorsement of everything they do?

    So this comic has it right:  boycotts make more sense, and as we've seen, are definitely effective, stemming from the consumer rather than the other way around.

    But I do admit I miss seeing just what sort of gaydar test these people had planned on instituting prior to serving customers.  If you can name more than one Lady Gaga song, no service?  If you don't have a voice deeper than Barry White, no service?  I mean, what?

    •  Trying to apply rational thought to delusional (6+ / 0-)

      behavior will just give you a headache, but no answers.

      Try engaging one of them in quiet conversation and ask for real specifics as to how any gay marriage effects their own. You'll have plenty of time to finish a whole tuna sandwich, a peach and a glass of ice tea while you wait (i don't wear a watch, so that's as accurate as i can get).

      ;}  As to your last question, a poster of Barbra Streisand linked to a remote retinal scanner to measure pupil dilation (New this quarter from Siemens Business Solutions, look for the ad and order form in your local evangelical bookstore).  ;}

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:46:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remind me again? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, geez53, aratinga

        Where did Jesus tell the faithful not to serve homosexuals in their restaurants and businesses?

        It's not in the Old Testament either. The Old Testament commands the deaths of male homosexuals. So is it OK if I am dubious about the "sincerely held beliefs" of all Christians who are actively not killing male homosexuals?

        Patriotism is the FIRST refuge of the scoundrel.

        by Tony Seybert on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:20:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus is just a face they put on their (5+ / 0-)

          toast. A club membership password. Their victim-hood to be worn on the sleeve.

          As i've said too many times in the past, if JC does a comeback tour, these cultist will crucify him in front of a mega church and broadcast it live on every money changer broadcast service.

          Sorry if that sounds strong, but it really strikes a sour note to see the superhero of my youth mutated to a mean spirited, bigoted hate monger.

          21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

          by geez53 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:28:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite... (0+ / 0-)

          The Old Testament (Leviticus 18 & 20) forbids one particular kind of male-male sexual act. Other than that, it doesn't have much to say about homosexuality at all.

    •  It works... (0+ / 0-)
      The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1960 which led to the Woolworth department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States.

      While not the first sit-ins of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, leading to increased national sentiment at a crucial period in US history.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

      by rbird on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Refighting the Civil Rights Era (9+ / 0-)

    should result in the blood of NeoNazis, John Birchers, teabaggers, seessionsts, Ku Klux Kristians, and Confderates being spilled instead of peaceful protesters' blood for insisting that the basic citizenship rights of all of our fellow Americans be repected.

    Right-wing, ultraconservative authoritarians don't belong in a representative democracy that embraces the Constitution, the Rule of Law, equal protection under the law, and liberty and justice for all.

  •  That must be why (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, wader, JeffW, rbird, Janet 707, Silina

    all those segregated lunch counters in the South went out of business.

    The invisible hand of the free market didn't seem to be in any great hurry to fix that problem.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:28:48 AM PST

  •  Bizarroworld (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Duck, JeffW

    where the "right to discriminate" or the "right to dictate what health benefits an employee can receive" is attached to the "right of religion."

    Craven.

    The uber-conservatives seem to be looking to satire to write their most extreme policies of "freedom."

    Better what out. Swift could be next.

    Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

    by JrCrone on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:28:57 AM PST

  •  Their differing views of freedom (7+ / 0-)

    Progressives:  "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."

    Conservatives:  "How DARE you threaten my RIGHT to punch you in the face!"

    ------RM

  •  It reminds me of Orwell (9+ / 0-)
    War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:32:46 AM PST

  •  Congratulations, Jen (8+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:37:56 AM PST

  •  But how will singles prove they're heterosexual? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Duck, JeffW, NonnyO, Janet 707, Silina

    But how will singles prove they're heterosexual?

    "Next time, sir, bring a woman with you, or if you like, select from one of our willing female employees, and we will kindly escort you to our back room set up specifically for purposes of proof."

    As if all-day shopping trips weren't exhausting enough.

    Or perhaps there's a "pre-approved" program, whereby you only need "prove" it once and then be on a list?

    At any rate, I just can't imagine a system that wouldn't be susceptible  to "fraud".

    (Note that I am not saying that having sex with a person of the opposite sex is proof of anything; I'm just imagining what possible criteria the people running the business could use for unmarried people (and I also recognize that just because someone's married to a person of the opposite sex, it doesn't prove heterosexuality either.)

    First you fight them, then you laugh at them, then you ignore them, then you win. --me

    by Ace Pumpkin on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:41:56 AM PST

  •  I'm always amused when it appears as if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cleo1205, JeffW, aratinga

    people are seeking intelligent, sensible, and rational arguments, or "criteria", for the kind of thing to be found in the Arizona Statute concerning the - ABSLOLUTEY UNNECESSARY - "protection of religious rights" nonsense.

    The kind of nuts, loose screws, and superstitiously ignorant witlings, dolts, and simpletons who come up with garbage such as that wouldn't know "reason" if it came up and bit them in a sensitive spot.

    The Bill got vetoed.  There appears to be at least some small bit of sanity still around in the State.  'Nuff said!

  •  Discrimination is enforced in closed societies. (6+ / 0-)

    Say you're an enlightened business owner, who decides to do the right thing and open your doors to everyone, when everyone else segregates, and tells the minority to go somewhere else.

    Guess what. Everyone else who believes in segregation boycotts you. Let's say you offer your middle finger to that.

    Then in the bad old days of Jim Crow, the men in white sheets would burn crosses on your lawn and threaten, and commit acts of violence against you.

    Even if you brought a shotgun and fended off the Klan, local law enforcement would selectively enforce on your ass. All of the sudden, your store's in violation of a million petty little health laws passed exclusively for your benefit, and the health inspectors are crawling up your ass and trying to fine you into bankruptcy.

    And then the businesses you need to stay in business, like banks, distributors, delivery services, the local trash service, will either refuse to do business with you, jack their prices up, or make their service useless to you in a million different ways.

    Think you can keep your shop's doors open in that environment?

  •  Jim Crow (0+ / 0-)

    I thought that was old news, delegated to dust bin of history as they say.

  •  Imagine what would happen the first (5+ / 0-)

    time a Muslim or Wiccan owned business used one of these "religious freedom!" laws to discriminate against a Christian customer.

  •  The Freedom to Discriminate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgrein, aratinga

    I was thinking about how to explain why an owner of a private business that serves the public should be required to serve anyone in a class protected under the Civil Rights Act. How is that not a violation of their basic property rights and freedom of association? If you take those rights seriously I think it does need an explanation.

    In our economic system all goods are provided by the private marketplace. Or nearly all. It is not a real problem if a particular supplier won't sell to a particular class of people, but it does become a problem, and a serious one, when all or nearly all suppliers won't sell to that class.

    Prior to the CRA African Americans had such a hard time finding food, gas and lodging when traveling they needed a guide to help them do it. If the private market refuses to supply to a class of people, that class of people may find themselves excluded from the economy entirely. This puts an immense burden upon members of that class and strips them of essential liberty. The relatively small limits on liberty placed upon private business owners to serve all protected classes has to be considered the "lesser evil" and therefore justified. Furthermore, when a business opens its doors to the public it creates a gray area in which the public has an interest in what goes on within that property. We have many rules about such businesses as we should.  Non-discrimination is one such, very important rule.

    I don't think most libertarian types have considered this problem, or how the market itself can encourage discrimination. Even if a particular business owner would be happy to serve a protected class, if doing so would cost them customers they may feel compelled to discriminate or lose money. It's not as simple as an isolated business owner making a private decision that impacts only a few potential customers.

    There's a difference between a responsible gun owner and one that's been lucky so far.

    by BeerNotWar on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:23:28 AM PST

    •  If you benefit from the public, you serve the (6+ / 0-)

      public. The taxes of gay people, muslim people, black people, latinos, women, et al, all go towards the roads that lead to your business, the fire/police/emts that protect and serve your ass, and the tax base that makes your town attractive enough to open and support a business like yours. You get all those benefits as part of doing business in USA, and in return, you are responsible for (sometimes) paying your taxes (or purchasing some elected officials in lieu of), and serving all of the people who created that nice, stable, non Mad-Max society in which you can sling your hash or sell your quilting supplies.

      If your religion precludes you from following these common laws of the society in which you reside and do business, then it is suggested that you make a true religious sacrifice and get the hell out of the business of serving people.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:09:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Considered and rejected (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707
      I don't think most libertarian types have considered this problem...
      Most of the libertarians I have dealt with probably considered it for all of 2 milliseconds before rejecting it. Libertarianism is often like a cult, with a rigid worldview that does not allow any exceptions at any time for any reason: private property rights trump all (i.e., my rights are total, yours are irrelevant to me). I don't think it's possible to persuade most libertarians with facts or logic, it's like trying to convince a creationist that perhaps there should be some flexible interpretation of Genesis.
      •  The common libertarian answer to this issue, (0+ / 0-)

        in my experience, is simply "tough shit, strive harder." Mostly people with little empathy and a focus on their immediate world, not the larger society. It's all so simple, hey?

        "Trudy is beauth, beauth trudy."

        by Cuester on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:20:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's a bit of a mixed case (0+ / 0-)

    1) I don't believe any corporation has rights other
    then the de-minimus rights necessary only for
    it's administration and execution of routine business.
    (Application for license, Tax disputes, Lease disputes)
    basically Property rights.

    I don't believe Corporations have "Liberty" rights,
    Speech, religion, keep and bear arms, 5th Amendment,
    6th Amendment, 8th Amendment and really only a 4th amendment right to the extent of reducing police harassment.

    2) So in that case this corporate religious freedom stuff is crap.

    3) Now businesses and business proprietors put themselves into thes tream of commerce but they aren't always common carriers.  A taxi driver is, a small landlord isnt'.

    4) lets also look at the relative harms. If a black family is crossing tennessee, they need a motel room and food and gas. Refusing to serve them, is just harming commerce.

    But if someone doesn't want to make a wedding dress?
    does it really harm commerce? Can you get a dress elsewhere?  

    In many respects the bigots will lose business and get screwed.  Chick-Fil-A is realizing that being anti-gay marriage is bad business.

    So lets focus on the important fights

    DADT is dead, buried and the DoD has accepted gays in a way, i never thought would happen.

    Gay Marriage is happening, it will either go to the supremes and DOMA is i think dying.  That's in final acts.

    ENDA is a good one to add orientation to the EEOC.

    But, you can't legally fix people's hearts.

    Where it's critical to commerce (Govt Jobs, Benefits, Employment), sure, lets fix that but it may not be effective
    or good policy to fix everything.  

  •  Great! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    tipped etc and shared widely!

    Keep up the great work!

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:58:52 AM PST

  •  Boom! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Janet 707, chrisculpepper

    "One suspects that the same people who are nonchalant about other people having to find a place that serves them would blow up if they were refused service."

    It is exactly this that infuriates me about these bigots. Maybe even more than their bigotry itself.

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:15:06 AM PST

  •  here we go again... (0+ / 0-)

    it should read "...closed for violations of human rights..."

  •  Libertarians, you're free to live ... (0+ / 0-)

    in another country. Hopefully, it will be as 'freedom loving' as you are. If not, you have a shot at being their Founding Fathers, and building the utopia that you seek.


    I just missed being run over by the wheel of good fortune. The guy standing next to me was not so lucky.

    by glb3 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:43:47 AM PST

  •  I love your (0+ / 0-)

    cartoons, Jen. So what does Slow Poke think about this? We need Slow Poke's (his/her/hirs?) opinion too.

    Fitzwalkerstan - Like feudal England, with serfdom but minus thatch roofs, open latrines and plague.

    by MouseNoMore on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:46:09 AM PST

  •  Congratulations on the Herblock Prize, Jen! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

    by Fe Bongolan on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:05:46 AM PST

  •  Free to go elsewhere? (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you, I will.

    Life ain't like a box of chocolates. You pretty much do know what you're gonna get.

    by Nodin on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:31:01 AM PST

  •  disappointed (3+ / 0-)

    Bill Maher missed an excellent opportunity to spear the ever-smarmy Bill Kristol, who is sympathetic to this law.
    Tell us, Mr. Kristol, what's your reaction to a restaurant that refuses to serve people who "killed Christ.'
    Eh, Bill?

  •  MEGACONGRATS on the Herblock prize!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:26:15 PM PST

  •  Religious Freedom to discriminate (0+ / 0-)

    Religion is inclusive, these people are exclusive, they would not past the test of being a believer of Christ. James 1:25 calls the bible the perfect Law of Liberty.

  •  The Englush Onlely folks (0+ / 0-)

    like to talk about 'balkanization" that will result if immigrants are not forcibly turned into English monoglots.  Wouldn't  these "religious freedom" laws also lead to balkanization if they were to be enacted?

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:47:15 PM PST

  •  Reverse discrimination... again. (0+ / 0-)

    Ah, I see that 'religious discrimination' has taken a 180 again.

    By the way, if it wasn't for the Reformation (Protestants), there would not have even been an 'enlightenment.'

    Also, they are not against using birth control, you just need to buy your own.  Or would the other side like to offer to pay for our personal supplies to help us get pregnant?  No?  I didn't think so.  Neither do we want to pay for your bloody abortions.

    By the way, I use birth control too, but I pay for it myself.

    I will say this, I think everyone should be able to get a sandwich.  But no one can force me to marry you, decorate your cake, or take your wedding photo against MY will.

  •  What would Jesus say? (0+ / 0-)

    Go and sin no more.

    •  I think he'd say (0+ / 0-)

      "You guys are a bunch of uptight, idiotic pricks!" (To his own fan club. He would probably love the KOS crowd, if he was real that is...)

      How can people claim to love the messenger so much while shitting all over his message?

      Hypocrisy is probably my biggest problem with these people. They love to take away freedoms from others under the guise of protecting their own from non-existent threats. The Nazi analogy has been used and misused to death, but it really is a very similar situation to the buildup of anti-Semetic rules and laws and blame placing for all the problems in pre-war Germany.

      What will these shop keeping bigots insist on next, that all homosexuals wear a Star of "Gayvid" on their sleeves?

      The only thing that keeps me from going truly batshit on these people is the somewhat humorous thought of them in their ever shrinking numbers forced eventually to huddling in caves like the American Taliban that they are.  

      Repeatedly screaming Bengazi and Obamacare seems to me to be their version of firing their guns in the air chanting "Allah Akbar"

      I swear, one of these days these asshats are going to force me to go on some kind of spree.... Not the killing type, I have mellowed out much to much for that sort of thing but I could be persuaded for a good ol' fashioned kick to the groin and noogie spree. (If that ain't a real thing, it should be.)

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