He’s Right

It’s one thing to condemn someone’s opinions. It’s another thing altogether to use your power as an elected official to hurt their business because of their opinions.

Even if the Chik-fil-A owner is a neanderthal.

348 replies
  1. 1
    jo6pac says:

    I saw that, pretty amazing. I’m sure raul will get his way but when the bat-shit-crazy owner moves his company out of town fires all the workers what will raul do then. Oh right he still has a job so no problem

  2. 2
    Butch says:

    Officials have done the same thing in Boston and Philadelphia. The problem isn’t the speech, it’s the behavior and the outright discrimination.

  3. 3
    NonyNony says:

    He’s absolutely right. Emmanuel and Menino are stupidly making an anti-gay fried chicken sandwich restaurant into free speech martyrs. That’s incredibly stupid.

  4. 4
    japa21 says:

    Agree. Let the customers express their opinions by patronizing or not paronizing the joint.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I have to agree it’s not a very smart move on Emmanuel’s part, but then again, I am no fan of his.

    Especially after he took credit for 2006 when he actively opposed Dean’s strategy that put the House under Democratic control.

  6. 6
    Joshua Norton says:

    I’m not ready to fluff up the pillows of the fainting couch over this one. Chik-fil-A made the whole thing a right wing political issue with their psuedo pious rantings. Maybe they should just clear up all doubt and apply for tax-free status as a church.

  7. 7
    pragmatism says:

    It’s always all about rahm. His ego trumps his brains nearly every time.

  8. 8
    NobodySpecial says:

    Disagree.

    Government and legislation are social engineering, no one serious disputes that. That’s why tax breaks for kids encourages procreation, and blue laws tend to break down against popular social practices like drinking and less so against more niche stuff like porn.

    Representatives of a district by definition are supposed to represent the views of the people in their district. If people are unhappy with Chick-Fil-A or their CEO’s views, should they be given a business license despite that?

  9. 9
    Cargo says:

    I sure love when straight liberals decide that one or another piece of support in the face of raw hatred is acceptable or isn’t. Please, tell me more! I don’t want to offend anyone.
    If a mayor is too highly ranked of a person to be anti-anti-gay, then what about city councils? Please provide a list of acceptable support and which “goes too far”. Thanks

  10. 10
    Zach says:

    I don’t remember many defending Lebron James’ freedom of speech rights when Ohio Gov. John Kasich attacked his speech and business decisions, which I’m pretty sure involved a desire to play basketball with good friends for lots of money in a state with no income tax rather than on a team that didn’t get another good player to play alongside him for 7 years, whereas Chic-Fil-A’s opposed because they fund organizations that recommend you beat your kids if they act gay.

    Elected officials always have and always will play this sort of populist demagogue. The rights of chicken joints are protected by the constitution and various statutes and unless the government moves to amend/eliminate those or hijack the courts it’s not a big deal.

  11. 11
    Rob in CT says:

    Agreed. Thanks for nothing, Rahmbo.

  12. 12
    KXB says:

    If anyone was looking for the story to knock Romney’s British foot-in-mouth disease off the TV, this is it.

  13. 13
    scav says:

    It’s funny all the same that the collar county zealots that are so usually 100% eager to deny permits for mosques and practicing synchronized fainting over whatever that Rumpled Kilt place being next door are suddenly breaking out into a full-throated call for free expression.

  14. 14
    david mizner says:

    @Butch:

    There’s no proof of discrimination, “outright” or otherwise.

    At this point, absent new info, this is a free speech issue.

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    Great. Now we’re in for weeks of “blah blah Chicago-style politics blah blah” from all of the usual suspects. This helps the President how, Rahm?

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OT, but it’s a darn good thing for Rmoney that the UK has no electoral college votes.

  17. 17
    david mizner says:

    @Cargo:

    Straight liberals? You mean like Greenwald?

  18. 18

    @Cargo: There’s a distinct difference between a mayor saying, “I think he’s wrong” and saying “I’m going to deny you permits because I disagree with your stance on an issue.”

    Once you cross that line, we’ll expand the culture war and have lots of reprisals, like a conservative mayor trying to make life a living hell for a business whose owner supports or gives money to a pro-gay marriage initiative.

    Doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that happening.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    did the Mayor of London clown Willard?

  20. 20

    I’m tired of being ‘fair’ to bigots, fools and assholes.

    You have a right-wing monied class, with minority opinions, foisting its beliefs on the rest of us with UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!

    If we can’t hit them where they live ($$$), then how, exactly, are we permitted to fight them, then? Sternly worded letters? Twitter-bombs? A concentrated dose of Bad Vibes, sent in their general direction?

    Scented Handkerchiefs at twenty paces?

  21. 21

    I suspect you misunderstimate Rahm’s priorities with regard to helping the President in this instance.

  22. 22

    Check out the #romneyshambles hashtag on Twitter, it is utterly hilarious.

    can this get any worse for Romney? Boris is now mocking him in front of 60,000 people in Hyde Park #romneyshambles

  23. 23
    Cargo says:

    Comrade Dread – such as already happens all the freaking time?

    The culture war is like the class war. One side is doing all the fighting, and when the other side raises a tiny objection in the smallest way, they fall down screaming for the refs.

  24. 24
    Halcyon says:

    What the hell is the point of having that power if not to use it to deal with neanderthals, John? Keeping worthless morons out of the city is part of what he’s supposed to be doing. I wouldn’t have any problem with the city making it illegal to sell cigarettes in city limits because it harms some of their citizens, I wouldn’t have a problem with them trying to keep a wal-mart out because of the negative effects on other businesses, and I don’t have a problem with this either. These mayors have shown that they care more about their citizens than about a business that wants to profit off culture war bullshit and supports discrimination. Good for them for letting them know they’re not welcome.

    Screw him, and screw chick-fil-a. And I say that as someone who lives in Georgia, and has enjoyed their diabeetus sandwich as long as I can remember. Remember this next time you’re being amazed at how divided liberals are and how much navel gazing there is when they tell off someone who righteously deserves it.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scav:

    suddenly breaking out into a full-throated call for free expression.

    You have to understand. Islam is not a “real” religion. Catholicism only qualifies temporarily because they’re rabidly anti-sex and in a common cause with the Protestant wowsers. Once the ghey, the liberal, the atheist, and the other enemies of Jeebus are dealt with, they’re back to whore of Rome status, and will be processed in the camps in due time.

  26. 26
    Nemo_N says:

    I have encountered a great deal of people (many who call themselves liberals) who apparently have a secret affair with state-sponsored censorship; they want to keep said lover close just in case something they dislike needs to be crushed.

    Attacks on free speech should have the appeal of getting shot on the knee, not as a tool to be kept handy “just in case”.

  27. 27
    John O says:

    Yep. Stupid, and oddly right-wing.

    I can’t understand why people criticize Glenzilla so much. He’s intellectually consistent, a trait sorely lacking in most of our “leaders.”

  28. 28
    Cargo says:

    Aw, what Rahm did wasn’t nice! I’m DONE being nice. Where has being nice gotten us?

    Thank you Rahm, and Mayor Menino of Boston, for standing up for what’s right. Bigotry has consequences. I’m so so so past done being nice to those fools.

  29. 29
    different-church-lady says:

    I wonder how long Glenn’s inner war went on before he decided his free speech fetish trumped his sexual orientation.

    Oh, wait: he gets to write a column slamming a former Obama staffer. It’s a no-brainer.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    Corporate headquarters of chik-fil-a opens its arms to all employees…. hahahahaha

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0723/080.html

  31. 31
    Donut says:

    I’m just going to ask the question, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that I know yet that I agree with what I’m about to say, because it’s not a simple issue where one can say the answer is obvious, IMO, but what if someone had asked Dan Cathy, “do you support keeping African people as slaves,” (which has been justified by Biblical interpretation)? And if he had said, “Guilty as charged”…Would we be so quick to say, well, it’s free speech, let people vote with their pocketbooks?

    It’s easy to dismiss this as a free speech thing, but I am actually kind of impressed that Emmanuel is speaking his mind. I have a bad taste for the guy when it comes to quite a few things, but I’m not sure this is one of them. I kinda think that, yeah, obviously the guy doesn’t have the absolute right to unilateraoo6 block Chick-Fil-A from opening stores in Chicago, but he sure as hell can make a stink about it. And Greenwald makes it sound like this is Emmanuel acting on his own, when there is some Aldermanic support for blocking the company, as well….so there’s that. I don’t know. I’m having a hard time worry about this being a moment where speech is truly chilled and taken away.

  32. 32
    Cassidy says:

    He’s absolutely not right. Someone just earned their merit badge in concern trollery.

    So fuck these bigoted, backwards, ingnorant, death cult worshiping motherfuckers and the goddamn cross rode in here on. I gives a flying fuck about their rights. The sooner these piles of shit are forced off a cliff into some swirling water, never to be heard from again, the better this whole country will be. I’m glad these Mayor’s are taking a public stand and telling these shitbags, that they don’t belong here. Let them be on the other side of some discrimination. They have gone out of their way to make homosexuals, and not as blantantly, minorities feel as others and as if they don’t belong here or even have the right to fucking breathe. Fuck them.

    And your chicken taste like shit.

  33. 33
    amk says:

    @Halcyon: +1. As usual, gg has managed to get cole’s panties in a twist.

  34. 34
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @scav: Exactly, it’s like two things I hate, self-satisfied homophobes vs. despotic big city politicians with control over zoning, gee, which will win?

    The back story to the zoning/permits, though, is that in highly politicized issues like this (as opposed to the everyday corruption/kickbacks more typical in this sphere) the elected officials are actually answering to the public by making it difficult for certain businesses to locate.

    To eliminate this power would be to eliminate modern zoning on one side (given its track record, part of me says “booyah!” but then you have to consider legal issues like environmental justice) and the remnants of English common law regarding land use on the other. Do we really want to follow this radical path of stating that any “land owner” can do “whatever they want” with their land?

    If people seriously believed that, why do all the “job creators” run to deed-restricted communities?

    Or is that only for the nears and urbans to have rammed down their throats.

    Enjoy the cancer from the incinerator next door. Free speech, doncha know. Oh, so sorry about all your local businesses going down for Walmart. That’s the genius of the free market. Oh, but how dare my next door neighbor Fred fly his American flag on a disapproved pole. I’ll have him fined by the HOA and by the time I’m done he’ll be begging for someone to buy him out of the neighborhood, that obnoxious communist!!!

  35. 35
    PopeRatzo says:

    My Mayor has not “blocked” Chuck-a-fil from Chicago. I passed a very busy Chick-a-Fil over on Chicago Avenue a little while ago.

    All he said was they don’t share Chicago’s values. If I remember correctly, Mayors get free speech too, not just religious whacko homophobes.

    If Emmanuel doesn’t let them have a business permit, or somehow prevents Chick-a-fil from doing business in Chicago, that’s another story. But I give him credit for calling out these guys who believe it’s safe to hate gay people.

    Did any of you see the signs Chick-a-Fil put up in their stores smearing Jim Henson productions just because they don’t want the muppets associated with bigots? Henson Productions didn’t smear Chick-a-fil, they just didn’t renew a contract. Chick-a-fil went after Henson.

    Here’s the truth: Chick-a-fil does not have the same values as Chicago. The Mayor told the truth. I don’t care for Rahm, but goddamn I give him credit for telling the truth.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @John O:

    He’s intellectually consistent

    …to a fault.

  37. 37

    @Halcyon:
    but..but..but… its BUSINESS! No politician should ever do anything to insult a BUSINESS!
    Businesses have fee-fees too!

  38. 38
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Once you cross that line, we’ll expand the culture war and have lots of reprisals, like a conservative mayor trying to make life a living hell for a business whose owner supports or gives money to a pro-gay marriage initiative.

    You say that like that’s a new thing.

    Does all of BJ have amnesia over the “Ground Zero Mosque” flap? Which by the way won zoning approval but that didn’t stop the chorus of shrieks demanding that it be stopped.

  39. 39

    @Cargo: So what are your examples?

    There are businesses that cater to what we traditionally call vice, I suppose, but that’s more and more accepted now and was previously bipartisan.

    Planned Parenthood in Mississippi also comes to mind, but that is being litigated (successfully thus far.)

    And if Chick-fil-a sues the cities of Boston and Chicago for any actual harm done, they will likely succeed as well.

  40. 40
    Culture of Truth says:

    What did Rahm do? I mean, specifically, using the powers of his office?

  41. 41
    Tim in SF says:

    If Chick-Fill-A were instead owned by David Duke and part of the profits went to support the KKK instead of NOM, would anybody be upset if Chick-Fill-A was denied permits by Rahm Emanuel?

    I’m not sure I would be all that upset.

  42. 42

    This made me LOL

    A few language differences b/t US and London: Chips=Fries, Lorry=Truck, Bobby=Cop, Romney=unwelcome, elitist douchebag

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    Yep, it’s bad. It’s terrible. It may make martyrs out of the Chick-Fil-A people.

    Keep it up, Rahm.

    It would be one thing if Rahm tried to shut down or interfere with existing stores. But to block expansion, I got no problem with that.

    And when the Chick folks pulled the muppet toys, they didn’t leave things soley to consumer choice (and yes, it’s not the gummint getting involved).

  44. 44
    Mattminus says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; at least half the folks here are no different than freepers, they just wear a different color jersey.

  45. 45
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Halcyon: Well said, Halcyon, well said.

    Unlike in some “take the cash, worry about the consequences later” jurisdictions, where I come from (which is built out), getting a permit is NOT a rubber stamp process and believe me, the neighbors WILL come out to object at the land use hearing. (Even if their objections are crap and they’re stinking NIMBYs but hey–there’s something a lot more disturbing about this shit just rolling through without oversight or debate.)

  46. 46

    but what if someone had asked Dan Cathy, “do you support keeping African people as slaves,” (which has been justified by Biblical interpretation)? And if he had said, “Guilty as charged”…Would we be so quick to say, well, it’s free speech, let people vote with their pocketbooks?

    Yes, as long as he was not otherwise violating any laws against discrimination.

    Just because I personally find someone’s speech abhorrent doesn’t mean I want the government slapping them down simply for the reason that I could find myself on the receiving end of that slap one day.

  47. 47
    KXB says:

    Again, people seem to be missing the narrative. Their dislike for the head of Chick-Fil-A overlooks this. Chicago is experiencing an almost 30% spike in murders over last year. Take the Colorado shooting – and we have that many killed every 3 weeks in Chicago. And that mayor is making news not by tackling that, but by going after a chicken shack. That is how this will read.

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    So Chick Fil A guy has free speech but Rahm doesn’t?

  49. 49
    eemom says:

    Flame. Cole ignites. Moths sizzle and obey.

    How many syllables is a haiku again?

  50. 50
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tim in SF:

    If Chick-Fill-A were instead owned by David Duke and part of the profits went to support the KKK instead of NOM, would anybody be upset if Chick-Fill-A was denied permits by Rahm Emanuel?

    Glenn Greenwald would. He’s “intellectually consistent”, don’t ya know…

  51. 51
    kuyahukduk says:

    opinions are not the issue. lots of CEOs hold ridiculous, hateful opinions that cost them nothing in terms of doing business. but this CEO is putting up the cash money to fund causes that propagate his hateful opinion, and then expects everyone else to consider cash money as the same as his opinion, of which no one is trying to deny to him.

    once cash money starts get thrown around, opinions aren’t just opinions.

  52. 52
    The Red Pen says:

    I believe that in the case of Boston, Chick-Fil-A was looking for a spot on the Freedom Trail. This is heavily protected and not everybody has an equal shot of getting such a choice location.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    NO one here gets out alive. Government officials represent the voters that elected them. And they can un elect them for the stuff they do in office. It ain’t fair in a polite society, but we don’t live in one of those. It isn’t about gay marriage, its about open bigotry dressed up in a preacher suit. Now THAT is more dangerous. chickenshitfill can take Rahm to court for a legal reckoning, if they want. Otherwise, free speech is not absolute, containing exceptions under the flag of discrimination and hate. You can pick sides if you want, for the greater good. I think I’ll throw in with the supporters of equality under the law, and let the voters, courts, and gawd sort it out.

    It isn’t a crime to believe what you believe. It could be a crime if you publicly espouse those beliefs with acts of discrimination.

  54. 54
    different-church-lady says:

    @KXB: If that’s the narrative they’re missing, I’d say people are smarter than I give them credit for.

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cathie from Canada: Exactly. Oh, how dare we punish a business for its antisocial acts. How dare this community get together and try to enact positive change. Apparently the urbans are uppity.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Even if the Chik-fil-A owner is a neanderthal.

    Mr. Cole? Counsel for the Neanderthals on line two, something about “gross defamation”.

  57. 57
    Spatula says:

    I’m gay and I live in Boston.

    I’ve been generally cheering Menino onward in his showdown with Chick Fil A, but wasn’t feeling real great about it. Something seemed off…

    Greenwald’s article clarifies my own misgivings.

    Seems to me Menino should be free to call out the chicken sandwich shop for being run by a bigot, but he shouldn’t be able to use government to affect their business.

    If the citizens of Boston choose to organize and impose a boycott, however, that is another story.

  58. 58
    Mattminus says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Yes, I would be, because I’m not a fucking idiot. There’s nothing illegal about the owner of a restaurant from giving money to the KKK, so I’m not sure why the state should get to have an opinion about it.

  59. 59
    Zifnab says:

    Chick-fil-A is dropping millions to lobby government representatives and prevent gay couples from signing a legal contract of marriage.

    Rahm Emanuel is flexing his political muscle and getting government representatives to prevent sandwich buyers from signing a legal contract of business.

    Pot meet kettle. Let the calling of “black” commence.

  60. 60
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Tim in SF: If Rahm has the despotic power to just deny permits without reason, yeah, I’d have a problem with that.

    Turning a permit process into a multi-year living hell for a business you don’t like, as a certain alderman has threatened to do, is actually SOP. The real scandal is when the mayor’s buddies and campaign contributors get a permit and sail past all the normal procedures.

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    @General Stuck:

    NO one here gets out alive.

    Fine, I’ll make us some mojitos then…

  62. 62
    Spatula says:

    @General Stuck:

    It isn’t a crime to believe what you believe. It could be a crime if you publicly espouse those beliefs with acts of discrimination.

    and yet exactly none of those have been alleged or proven.

    This should be up to private citizens and businesses to make life hell for Chick Fil A.

  63. 63
    Donut says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    That’s a good point about Chick-Fil-A making a claim about faulty Henson products. First Amendment doesn’t protect libel. Where is Greenwald’s outrage over that?

    The more I think about it, the less I give a shit about Emmanuel mouthing off about this. I can’t find any support for this notion that he’s stifling free speech or using his powers in some nefarious manner. News flash for Greenwald, as well: Aldermen and -women in this city have a lot of leeway to block development that they have any problems with. It’s part of the political fabric here. An

    Emmanuel most certainly is doing something awful in some other regard, I am willing to bet any amount of money that he is doing something awful on any given day, but fuck this. We are talking about human rights and it’s refreshing to see a high profile elected official taking a moral stance in a very public way.

    “If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” is what the Alderman is quoted as saying. I agree.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....9023.story

  64. 64
    jlow says:

    I wonder if the “liberals” who think enforcing our “better way of life” through state coercion realize that they come from a long and glorious line of “leftist” ideologues who belong on the same scrap heap of history as fascists, racists, and religious nuts.

  65. 65
    Rommie says:

    @eemom: Yeah, I think JC likes to throw these nuggets out there as a reminder of his pre-conversion days. The hornets go bzzz bzzz bzzz, and so do the page hits. Quite clever really, the man knows his audience.

  66. 66
    Culture of Truth says:

    Seems to me Menino should be free to call out the chicken sandwich shop for being run by a bigot, but he shouldn’t be able to use government to affect their business

    That seems right to me. Unless we have a new standard where elected officials can never say anything negative or positive about anybody or anything, ever

  67. 67
    different-church-lady says:

    @Spatula:

    If the citizens of Boston choose to organize and impose a boycott, however, that is another story.

    Throw cases of fried chicken into the harbor?

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    Cole must have got off work early and decided he needed some entertainment to go with his mojitos.

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    Everyone knows Rahm is bought and paid for by Harold’s Chicken Shack.

  70. 70
    Mattminus says:

    Just to be clear, we’d all be cool with an Alabama mayor refusing permits for gay friendly businesses as long as that reflected his community’s values, amirite?

  71. 71
    dmsilev says:

    @PopeRatzo:

    My Mayor has not “blocked” Chuck-a-fil from Chicago. I passed a very busy Chick-a-Fil over on Chicago Avenue a little while ago.

    The issue is over a proposed second store, in Logan Square if memory serves. The local alderman wasn’t keen on the idea, and he was the one who got the controversy going before the mayor got involved.

  72. 72
    jlow says:

    @Donut: Good grief what a stupid argument. There is a place to settle libel cases, and that is the courts. It’s a little bit different than using the power of the state.

  73. 73
    Donut says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It’s not Rahm who is doing it, which is part of why Greenwald’s piece is misleading. It’s the Alderman.

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @Donut:

    That’s a good point about Chick-Fil-A making a claim about faulty Henson products. First Amendment doesn’t protect libel. Where is Greenwald’s outrage over that?

    When he figures out a way to connect it to Obama somehow, it will appear.

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    Is that what they mean by Chicago politics?

  76. 76
    KXB says:

    BTW – Rahm has no problem giving tax goodies to his friends at CME and CBOT, while being very aggressive with public unions. So if you run in Rahm’s crowd, you’ll be taken care of. If you’re just in the business of fast food, well you better come with the right political viewpoint.

  77. 77
    dmsilev says:

    @BGinCHI: Or the burgeoning food-truck lobby.

    Come to think of it, I did see a fried-chicken food truck among today’s gaggle in Hyde Park.

  78. 78
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Donut: Oh, so some Alderman said something about the chicken people. I can barely keep up with the asshats in my own town.

  79. 79
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @NobodySpecial: “If people are unhappy with Chick-Fil-A or their CEO’s views, should they be given a business license despite that?”

    Yes. It’s one thing to tell places like Wal-Mart or Whole Foods (which violate the law in order to prevent unions) that you’re not going to help them grow.

    If unpopular is the test, then obviously you must have no problem with the wingnut states that constantly change the zoning laws covering abortion clinics. Why should Kansas or Mississippi make it easy for anyone to kill babies?

    If Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli do an ordinance that keeps the Jim Henson company from opening stores in Virginia, you’re down with that, right?

    You’re either a government or laws or government by fiat. You don’t get to pick whichever benefits you. The minutes you invoke morality, you’re not any different than Emperor W. the Godly.

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    Fucking baby Jeebus, their is some grade A wankery going on here.

  81. 81
    Donut says:

    @jlow:

    Fuck you. You call an argument stupid, please say why.

    Until then, fuck you.

    Can you please tell me based on your knowledge of IL and Chicago law/zoning regs why this is Big Brother overreach and/or stifling speech?

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    @Mattminus:

    One of those things is not like the other. One of them is bigotry motivated decision making. And the other is the opposite of that, in the final equation at issue. I admit it is a fine line, but a line nonetheless.

  83. 83
    Rafer Janders says:

    Speaking of the state using abusing its power to suppress speech it finds objectionable, this just in:

    NYPD covers up mural that calls police ‘murderers’
    (AP) – 6 hours ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police officers have painted over a mural that listed the NYPD as “murderers” along with global corporations.

    The mural was on the side of a dry cleaner in Upper Manhattan for five days. Two plainclothes police officers were dispatched with paintbrushes to cover it up on Tuesday.

    Graffiti artist Alan Ket had painted it with the business owner’s permission. But owner Maria Curet said she did not confront the police officers because she didn’t want trouble.

    Ket said the mural was partly inspired by the fatal February shooting of unarmed drug suspect Ramarley Graham in the Bronx.

    A police officer was indicted last month in Graham’s shooting. He has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    Very obvious First Amendment issue here, as obviously wrong as the efforts to block the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” were. You can’t deny someone a permit because they have odious views or they donate to the wrong causes. Come on.

  85. 85
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cassidy:

    Fucking baby Jeebus, their is some grade A wankery going on here.

    You came for the hunting?

  86. 86
    BGinCHI says:

    @dmsilev: I love that we’re finally getting serious food trucks.

    Progress.

  87. 87
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mattminus: I guess you thought TENT CITY was a bunch of freepers too.

    You know, before Citizens United, neighborhood activists galvanized communities to take control of their future away from the cronied-up eminent-domain run-amuck URBAN RENEWAL regime that was devastating neighborhoods and families.

    The result of that process was that THE PUBLIC GOT A SEAT AT THE TABLE.

    And now that’s tyranny?

    I guess you figure the scumbag who bulldozed a Jewish neighborhood so he could turn their ‘underused’ waterfront property into a highrise development, socialized subsidy, privatized profit, was a sainted JOB CREATOR who feet we were not worthy to kiss?

    There’s a reason all the Bostonians on my flist were sharing Menino’s letter yesterday. They agree with him and they find his statements and intended actions legitimate.

    Take your corporation-kissing face to the UAE, moneylover. I think you’ll fit in there.

  88. 88
    Marc says:

    I didn’t see any evidence at all that Rahm was blocking the crappy chicken franchise from expanding. He was saying that he didn’t like them.

    A different alderman was trying to block them from building a particular store.

    So Rahm can’t even say that he doesn’t like a chain run by bigots. There’s some nonsense here alright – yet more evidence that Greenwald can’t be trusted to honestly describe anything that Obama or one of his allies does.

  89. 89
    Zifnab says:

    @jlow: First they came for the bigoted chicken sandwich sellers, and we said nothing. Then they came for the talk radio hosts peddling lies and bullshit and novelty overpriced gold coins, and we said nothing.

    And the world was a better place for it, because all these people were assholes anyway.

    Of course, we could always keep at it with the “Hugs for Thugs” approach. That worked super well against Nixon during the 60s.

  90. 90

    A business license is about a company’s operation and products – are they lawful under the city’s charter. It is one thing for the mayor (or other elected) of a city to say the business owner is an asshole and the citizenry really ought not enrich him, it is another to use a legal club in regard to the owner’s speech assholery. If the mayor of “Yahooville, MS” blocked a pro-choice speech chicken outfit would you cheer? This kind of knife cuts both ways and if you wouldn’t want to be sliced by it, you shouldn’t advocate its use.

    (edit for accuracy)

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    @Marc: How do you know when GG is being dishonest?

    So, 400 comment GG slap fight again? Bored, Cole?

  92. 92
    Marc says:

    @chuck butcher:

    So talk about the local alderman, not the mayor that Greenwald hates because he worked with Obama. Because I couldn’t find a single piece of evidence that Rahm had proposed to block anything.

  93. 93
    Zifnab says:

    @Steve: You remember what happened to the “Somewhere relatively nearby Ground Zero” Mosque don’t you? It got blocked.

    So now Chick-fil-A is discovering bigotry cuts both ways. Good. Maybe now we can discuss setting up objective rules for doing business in a city, rather than government by demagoguery.

    You let me know when that Mosque starts being built again, and I’ll get right on defending Chick-fil-A’s rights. :-p Until then, I just don’t have the time or energy to defend the freedoms of someone so eager to deprive me of my own.

  94. 94
    the Conster says:

    Mayor Menino didn’t say he would prevent Chic-fil-A from trying to open a place, he said it would be an insult for them to open a place, and urged them to back out. He did them a favor by letting them know what they’d be up against if they went forward with their plans. Fuck the haters, that’s my mayah!

  95. 95
    Culture of Truth says:

    To my regret I just read the GG piece. A garbled word salad mess that left me more confused than when I started, something about Rahm and the Boston Mayor hating free speech, and UPDATED with some silly tweets. Still have no idea what’s going on, from which I conclude nothing is going on.

  96. 96
    jlow says:

    @Zifnab: You do understand why they put that whole 1st amendment thingy in the constitution right?

  97. 97
    Mattminus says:

    @General Stuck:

    That’s not a fine line, it’s an imaginary one that exists only in your mind. Is there any legal reasoning that supports it? There are plenty of types of bigotry that are completely legal.

    Again, no one has claimed that Chick Fil A has committed any discrimination. This is all about an agent of the state not liking what a business owner thinks, not what he does as a business.

  98. 98
    different-church-lady says:

    @chuck butcher:

    It is one thing for the mayor (or other elected) of a city to say the business owner is an asshole and the citizenry really ought not enrich him…

    Which, apparently, is exactly what is happening in this case.

  99. 99
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @General Stuck: Yes, and to the Broderites, this is hardly escalation as this is ALREADY GOING ON. I live in Florida: I have watched state, county, and local governments go to court over stupid shit, KNOWING THEY WERE WRONG AND WOULD LOSE, to score political points.

    Yeah, it wastes taxpayer money, all the more reason to give ATT and other big businesses tax breaks, if you’re Lord Voldemort, er Rick Scott.

    I don’t think any of the municipalities who have spoken out on CFA are, correct me if I’m wrong, proposing to go to court with a losing case (such as “let’s sue Obamacare because fuck the poors” or “let’s sue our own retirees because we believe that mandatory subject of bargaining is a made up concept like fairies and unicorns”). Actually, they’re just proposing to put up roadblocks of a very normal and routine variety. If ChickfilA sued now the suit would be tossed because they don’t have standing. Now, if they get illegally denied a permit (super hard to prove in most big cities, not that I’m saying that’s right, but it is so), sure, Rahm’s loose lips could provide some ammo. Or, maybe not, as IANAL and I have no knowledge of Illinois law. I’m sure CFA has lawyers who can advise them on that.

  100. 100
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @Culture of Truth: Technically, nothing. According to the story “Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) is… [blocking] Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood”, using the ‘unlimited hold’ power that Chicago Aldermen have.

    Emanuel is (a) agreeing that what Moreno is doing is right and (b) saying that if Chick Fil-A needs anything that the Mayor’s office has the power to veto, it will.

    By that logic, neither Bush nor Cheney actually tortured anyone– they just agreed with the people who did.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @Woodrow L. Goode, IV:

    You’re either a government or laws or government by fiat. You don’t get to pick whichever benefits you. The minutes you invoke morality, you’re not any different than Emperor W. the Godly.

    Seems to me that people invoked morality to declare discrimination unacceptable and to change the law.

    It is never a simplistic, mechanical either/or.

  102. 102
    taylormattd says:

    This is a bunch of ludicrous libertarian handwringing, yet again. And it’s another excuse for Greenwald to bash a democrat.

    Denying permits to businesses that are deemed unsavory for one reason or another has been going on since, well, forever. Why anybody gives two shits about these wingnuts is beyond me.

  103. 103
    Halcyon says:

    @Another Halocene Human: So, wait, you’re saying there’s a *process* to open a business? Like zoning and stuff? I assumed you just bought a lot and then started creating jobs until the evil regulations came and made you stop. And, on top of that, this process can be used to express displeasure about a proposed land use? Next you’ll be telling me I can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.

    Seriously, though, when Rahm goes down and starts personally assaulting the guys who are building the foundations for the new store, I’ll have a problem. Using the process to make life hell for people who don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, however, doesn’t bother me at all.

  104. 104
    MattR says:

    @Zifnab: When you say “Somewhere relatively nearby Ground Zero” Mosque“, I am guessing you mean the Park 51 Center which opened in September of last year.

    @taylormattd: So you are fine with Southern towns deeming black people unsavory and denying them business permits (as well as any one who supports Civil Rights)?

  105. 105
    thesherrifisani says:

    I’m not against this type of mayoring myself. Not at all.

  106. 106
    TG Chicago says:

    I was happy to hear that officials in my city were pushing back against the homophobia. But after reading the Greenwald piece, I have to admit he’s right. It’s the wrong use of government power that has a tremendous likelihood of producing bad blowback.

  107. 107
    jlow says:

    @Zifnab: You do understand why they put that whole 1st amendment thingy in the constitution right? @Donut: OK then. Your argument is stupid because you are equating GG “Was he outraged at CFA’s libel?” with the power of state. Do you really think we would be having this discussion if the Chic Fil A had a zoning problem? It’s a topic because Rahm says the the problem is the bigoted speech of the company’s owner. If you can’t see the distinction then my original point may have been to narrowly focused on just your argument.

  108. 108
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Woodrow L. Goode, IV: You’ve made this more clear than GG did in 10 tedious paras.

  109. 109
    Culture of Truth says:

    ‘unlimited hold”

    sounds ripe for abuse.

  110. 110
    Donut says:

    @jlow:

    I think you need to read some of the local news articles about this situation. I understand perfectly well the distinction you are making, and I’m not even saying you’re wrong. But, really, you’re not getting it right. You’ve missed the point about local zoning law and custom here in Chicago, my friend. Bone up, then come back and talk.

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jlow: If believing that a community is wiser than monied outside interests when it comes to bettering themselves, then color me a proud leftist.

    I thought community review was part of the “liberal consensus”.

    I mean, all the “job creators” make sure that every possible environmental and “traffic” and “quality of life” review is done for the smallest bike path project^1 or each single Habitat for Humanities house^2.

    1-Chevy Chase, MD. Community raised concerns about CO2 pollution from all the Lance Armstrong wannabes, which is a serious issue to which more attention should be paid (they forgot to mention the methane, as well).

    2-Hingham, MA. And really, who hasn’t said “there goes the neighborhood and our quiet streets” when HfH rehabs and sells a single house?

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    Does 0chicago have a sexual orientation ordnance? I believe they do. So why should they promote a business that violates their laws?

  113. 113
    The Red Pen says:

    @MattR:

    So you are fine with Southern towns deeming black people unsavory and denying them business permits (as well as any one who supports Civil Rights)?

    There are laws against that (the 14th Amendment springs to mind).

    There is no law that protects your right to be a douchebag. In Boston (at least), Chick-Fil-A sought a location that is subject to an utterly subjective standard. Granted, this kind of subjective standard can be used to quietly discriminate for non-subjective reasons. The only thing we can do about that is to eliminate subjective standards, which kind of defeats the purpose of having elected leaders in the first place.

  114. 114
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @KXB: Hahaha, as if ideology has something to do with it. Rahm’s corruption is of the power-hungry-scumbag variety. Nothing more to it than that.

    As others have noted, the alderman made the statement first, which would mean Rahm is just piling on to score cheap political points (the only time type he ever scores) without requiring him to do jack OR shit.

    Sounds like him, really.

    ETA: type of political point, being cheap, not only time he scores, but that was good for a freudian slip, doesn’t fit, though, sadly

  115. 115
    Donut says:

    @jlow:

    Adding, first clue, it is most certainly not “a topic because Rahm says the the problem is the bigoted speech of the company’s owner.”

    Rahm is not the issue. Get that through your head. Greenwald has a problem with Rahm, but he is not the issue. IT IS THE ALDERMAN.

  116. 116
    General Stuck says:

    @Mattminus:

    That’s not a fine line, it’s an imaginary one that exists only in your mind. Is there any legal reasoning that supports it? There are plenty of types of bigotry that are completely legal.

    Far as I know, license to do business in a particular location, is not an inherent right, and is subject to approval of the local authorities for whatever reason. Sometimes these things are denied for the powers that be just not liking the applicant. And the citizens that elected those powers that be can un elect them if they are not impressed by such actions. There are all sorts of businesses rejected by this process, that are otherwise legal, but not acceptable for reasons nothing more than some quaint local custom or views of morality. It is their business, the folks that live there, and not that of Glenn Greenwald to make those calls under some purist notion of absolutism of free speech, civil liberties, or whatever. If chickenfill wants to stand on a street corner and croon away about the injustice of it all, they can and the government can’t touch them. The government can deny them a permit to conduct business in their jurisdiction, for about any reason they want. It is not a free speech matter at that level. And neither is it at the Rahm Emmanuel level, for also voicing his approval of the Aldermen of jurisdiction.

  117. 117
    KXB says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    And the only reason that alderman is speaking out is that Logan Square is rapidly gentrifying. Gays with money are moving in, and the working class Latinos that had been living there are being priced out.

  118. 118
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rafer Janders: That sucks.

  119. 119
    Donut says:

    Fuck it, fuck Chick-Fil-A and fuck Popeye’s, and fuck Harold’s, too. It’s all about Brown’s, anyway.

  120. 120
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I thought community review was part of the “liberal consensus”.

    There is a difference between a community reviewing a project for the effects it will have on the community and reviewing it based on the political views of the owner. IMO, the latter is a very dangerous path to go down.

    @Yutsano: What does that ordinance cover and how did Chick Fil A break it? If they are taking discriminatory actions then I have no problem keeping them away, but if it just that they believe that discrimination is OK then I don’t think there is much that the government can do.

    @The Red Pen: Similarly, the First Ammendment protects the right to have douchy opinions and support crappy political policies without government reprisal.

  121. 121
    different-church-lady says:

    @KXB: Way to choke that wedge chicken.

  122. 122
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Zifnab:

    You remember what happened to the “Somewhere relatively nearby Ground Zero” Mosque don’t you? It got blocked.

    Um, no it didn’t. It opened last year. I’ve walked by it many times. See, for example, from the Los Angeles Times below

    Once-controversial Islamic center opens in New York
    September 22, 2011 | 4:00 am

    An Islamic community center that fueled angry demonstrations because of its proximity to the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has opened quietly in Lower Manhattan, drawing no protesters but bringing words of regret from the developer for not consulting with Sept. 11 survivors during its planning.

    You let me know when that Mosque starts being built again, and I’ll get right on defending Chick-fil-A’s rights. :-p Until then, I just don’t have the time or energy to defend the freedoms of someone so eager to deprive me of my own.

    Well, since I’ve let you know, then you can now start right on defending Chik-Fil-A’s rights. I’ve freed up some of your time and energy.

  123. 123
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Steve: Oh can’t you? Seems like some people in this country are being locked up for donating to the “wrong” charities.

    It’s always “whatever it takes to make us safe” (“whatever it takes to keep our property values up”–btw, the Roberts court has ruled that this IS a valid use of eminent domain, so long property rights, haha suckas) until it’s YOUR ox being gored.

  124. 124
    Donut says:

    @KXB:

    Oh, now, I gotta take a little exception to this. Logan Square has been “gentrified” for nearly 10 years. I lived there from 2003 to 2005, and it was a mix of mostly young-ish white people, Polish immigrants and Mexicans, with a few Puerto Ricans spilling over from the edges of Humboldt Park.

  125. 125
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Is it a reprehensible restriction on free speech to bar a sex shop from opening near an elementary school? What about a liquor store? Seems like municipal authorities have been picking and choosing what businesses get to open where since time immemorial. And seems like a whole lot of nothing to get all wankeriffically worked up about.

  126. 126
    patroclus says:

    As a Chicagoan, I’m siding with Rahmbo on this one. Fuck Chick-fil-A! If they want into Chicago, I want a LOT of groveling and pro-gay rhetoric. Business licenses don’t come cheap. And that goes for their attempt to get a high-paying BCS Bowl too. Blatantly homophobic businesses should be shunned at all levels.

    It’s nice to know Dear Leader Greenwald wants to inflict Chick-fil-A on gay Chicagoans with no input from our elected local representatives. He’s wrong, as usual.

  127. 127
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @taylormattd: I believe the answer goes “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    If the KKK set up a restaurant, and used the proceeds to further its propaganda, under their right to end their profits as they see fit, there is nothing that could or should be done, as long as they allow non-whites to visit and work in their restaurant. Now, everyone has the same right to boycott the business, so I really only see it working in a few places.

    When I was a kid, the KKK attempted to have a parade through my home town. They legally could do it, but the press coverage and protests caused them to cancel the march.

  128. 128
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Once again, just to reiterate, yesterday in New York two armed police officers went onto a store owner’s private property and painted over a message that they didn’t like, and the property owner didn’t protest because he felt intimidated by the implied threat of force. This is outrageous, it has to be broadcast, it has to become a major scandal. The NYPD is runnning roughshod over New Yorker’s rights.

  129. 129
    runt says:

    This is why we need laws to protect free speech: Even liberals (I’m not thinking of Rahm Emanuel, but commenters on this page) are perfectly happy to chuck it overboard if they get a chance to punish people they disagree with. I’d like to see those liberals defend this when some Republican mayor starts hitting back at businesses who support gay marriage. Rahm’s opened that door now.

  130. 130
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @chuck butcher: Chuck,

    A town I know had a banner across the main road into town. They provided the poles and the labor and different groups paid fees to have their banners for events like music festivals and farmer’s markets and gay pride hung from the poles for a certain number of weeks. This service was available first come, first served to whoever paid.

    An anti-abortion activist from out of town decided to purchase unused weeks to put up graphic images of dead fetuses. Although these images were offensive to the vast majority of the townspeople, legally, the town had no recourse.

    In the end, the town was forced to completely change the banner program (ruining it for everyone, you might say) because of one amoral actor who thought everyone in the town was going to hell and wished to be given a very, very public, publically subsidized forum to tell them so.

    Which is to say that this overly legalistic, Kantian approach to law and politics and society does not always serve us well.

    Let’s also keep in mind that minority rights were NOT won in the law courts alone. Not a bit of it.

  131. 131
    runt says:

    This is why we need laws to protect free speech: Even liberals (I’m not thinking of Rahm Emanuel, but commenters on this page) are perfectly happy to chuck it overboard if they get a chance to punish people they disagree with. I’d like to see those liberals defend this when some Republican mayor starts hitting back at businesses who support gay marriage. Rahm’s opened that door now.

  132. 132
    Steve says:

    @Zifnab: No, I don’t remember that the “mosque” got blocked. Considering the mayor was extremely supportive of their right to build, that would be a surprising result. Regardless, even if someone had gotten away with a First Amendment violation, that hardly means it’s open season and we can consider the amendment repealed.

    This is not a hard legal issue at all, and people should not be looking to make excuses.

  133. 133
    Rafer Janders says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Those decisions are not made, however, on the basis of the political opinions of the owners of the businesses in question, so the analogy fails.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I detest that expression. Of all the things to defend “to the death,” that has to be the stupidest. My life ain’t that cheap.

  135. 135
    Steve says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Laws against providing material support to terrorist organizations do, in certain cases, come into conflict with the First Amendment. Having said that, I do not think you have a constitutional right to fund al-Qaeda – Citizens United notwithstanding. Whether it’s fair to compare donating to a particular Islamic charity to sending money to al-Qaeda is really a factual question.

  136. 136
    MattR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Those examples are all related to the actual business taking place and not the political beliefs of the owners.

    @General Stuck: I hear what you are saying about towns having a lot of leeway in what they approve permits for. IMO, it is analagous to an employer firing a worker. They have a ton of leeway to do so – they can give almost any reason or no reason at all. What they cannot do is give a reason that is discriminatory based on race, sex, religion, etc. Similarly, I think that explicitly basing a zoning decision on the owner’s political views crosses beyond that leeway.

  137. 137

    @Spatula:

    I know that clicking on links supplied by others is an arduous task, so I’ll c&p the pertinent info for ya:

    Chick-fil-A, the corporate parent, has been sued at least 12 times since 1988 on charges of employment discrimination, according to records in U.S. District Courts. Aziz Latif, a former Chick-fil-A restaurant manager in Houston, sued the company in 2002 after Latif, a Muslim, says he was fired a day after he didn’t participate in a group prayer to Jesus Christ at a company training program in 2000. The suit was settled on undisclosed terms.

    That ain’t Chick-fil-a merely practicing free speech, it’s discriminatory employment practices.

  138. 138
    Donut says:

    @runt:

    Good god, it’s not Rahm. It’s the Alderman. Fuck me. Can you people please read some of the local write ups on this? Can you please use teh Google machines? Okay?

  139. 139
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mattminus: There have been some allegations of racial discrimination swirling, but none that have been proved.

    But just the other day, someone stated that they only give franchises to members of their church, which is perfectly legal in a privately-held corporation like that.

    I also recall several cases recently of CfA employees (in Cali, perhaps) using racist slurs on Asian customers.

    So this notion that “CfA doesn’t discriminate, this is FWEE SPWEEECH” (accepting that donations ARE free speech, eh?) is swill.

  140. 140
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Steve:

    As I pointed out to him above, the “mosque” (actually a community center with prayer facilities) did not get blocked, it opened September last year, I’ve walked by it many times.

  141. 141
    TG Chicago says:

    Also, several people are saying that Emanuel hasn’t moved to block the Chick-fil-a franchise, that he’s merely spoken about it.

    Here’s the first paragraph of the first link Greenwald included:

    The anti-gay views openly espoused by the president of a fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches have run afoul of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman, who are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.

    Emphasis added. Clearly they are reporting that it is both the mayor and the alderman who want to block CFA.

    First paragraph on HuffPo:

    A Chicago alderman is taking heat this week after announcing his Mayor Rahm Emanuel-backed plans to block fast-food chain Chick-fil-A‘s expansion into the Logan Square neighborhood he represents

    Emphasis added again.

    So Greenwald didn’t invent the idea that Emanuel supports the CFA block.

  142. 142
    Donut says:

    @runt:

    Also, fucking Chick-Fil-A has free speech rights, but it does not have the right to put a fucking store wherever it fucking wants. Not in Chicago, not anywhere. Why is this so hard to grasp? No one is stifling their speech.

  143. 143
    Steve says:

    @General Stuck: It’s true that local government sometimes has broad discretion to deny permits – although I’d note that people win lawsuits against local government every day, so it’s not like the discretion is unfettered. You’re incorrect to say it’s not a free speech issue, although as a practical matter, I would agree that it’s often difficult to prove that you were denied your permit because of your First Amendment activities as opposed to some other reason. But here, where officials have publicly declared their intention to deny a permit because of the company’s protected activities, it’s not hard to predict the chicken people would probably win that lawsuit.

    Governor Paterson’s legal team reached a similar conclusion when Carl Paladino vowed to use eminent domain to block the “Ground Zero Mosque.” They determined that even if you might normally be able to get away with using eminent domain, once you’ve publicly announced that you’re doing it because you don’t like someone’s religion it’s very unlikely that a court would let you get away with it.

  144. 144
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Halcyon: Shockingly, do you know that you can be kicked out of your own condo for running a business in a zone not zoned commercial or mixed? What is this country coming to?

    (Hm, and why are the police surveilling my suburban dwelling, just because I have the lights on 24/7 and people coming to the door at all hours?)

    Pretty sure it was in the Inland Empire, the ‘hood and cops shut down an unpermitted but totally groovy sex club. FWEEE SPWEEECH!

  145. 145
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Steve:

    I’m waiting for Zifnab to “get right on defending Chick-fil-A’s rights” as he promised he would when we let him know the “mosque” had opened. Do you think I’ll have long to wait?

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mattminus:

    There are plenty of types of bigotry that are completely legal.

    Except that Chicago has an ordinance banning anti-gay discrimination. So if Chik-fil-A does, in fact, refuse to hire or promote gay employees, then they are breaking the law in Chicago.

    But I’m guessing that knowing that Chik-fil-A actually would be breaking the law won’t change your mind about how whiny gays need to STFU about discrimination against them.

  147. 147
    different-church-lady says:

    @TG Chicago: It’s a damn good thing reporters never get facts wrong, eh?

  148. 148
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Rafer Janders: Is there something with legal force that specifies the reasons for which a business can not be approved for a license? I’m asking because I don’t know. Seems like zoning boards don’t always need a legitimate cause to turn down an application; they can just not feel like it. They can just say that in their reasoned view, it is not the best use of the space. No?

  149. 149
    Mattminus says:

    @General Stuck:

    So, once again, you’d be OK with a blanket ban on gay friendly businesses, because there’s no right to the permit and folks can always vote the administration out if they don’t like it?

    If the state can engage in viewpoint discrimination it has to cut both ways.

  150. 150
    Steve says:

    @Rafer Janders: Me too. I’ve yet to see the hordes of machine gun-wielding Islamofascists celebrating the construction of their “Victory Mosque,” the way the wingnuts predicted it – but maybe they do that on my off-days.

  151. 151
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Culture of Truth: And probably is!

    Film at 11.

  152. 152
    patroclus says:

    Free speech demands that Chicagoans have the right to demand that out elected representatives engage in a rigorous process to determine what Chick-fil-A’s actual views on non-discrimination statutes actually are, including demanding a public hearing, where Chick-fil-A representatives can be questioned about and be required to explain in great detail about how committed they are to non-discrimination statutes, including the detailing, with every single conceivable relevant document throughout Chick-fil-A’s entire history, of Chick-fil-A’s actual historic practices. Free speech demands that Chicagoans have a right to rigorously question any and all Chick-fil-A executives concerning any application for a business license to operate in our city.

    Dear Leader Greenwald can pontificate about free speech all he wants; if Chick-fil-A seeks a Chicago business license, free speech will be practiced.

  153. 153
    Marc says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Read the rest of the article, and read the links. None of them mention that Rahm actually did anything other than state his opinion. And the Sun-Times would bloody well have raked him over the coals if he did.

  154. 154
    FlipYrWhig says:

    If Bucky Dent wanted to open a business in Boston, couldn’t the relevant board just say, “Fuck no, you’re Bucky Fucking Dent?”

  155. 155
    different-church-lady says:

    @patroclus: Free speech is a pushy little mofo, ain’t he?

  156. 156
    General Stuck says:

    @runt:

    I’d like to see those liberals defend this when some Republican mayor starts hitting back at businesses who support gay marriage. Rahm’s opened that door now.

    Baloney, maybe you haven’t spent much time in the south, as they don’t need Rahm Emmanuel to fuck with people and businesses they don’t approve of, for all the usual wingnut reasons they call ‘family values’. There is only a single abortion clinic in the state of MS, and that has been true for years. And you can be sure that some company supporting gay anything, that has as proudly flown its freek flag as the Chickfill family biz has, then you would see the very same thing as in Chicago. And again, permitting for places of business is not a free speech issue. It is a local governance issue. I am surprised at the the hand wringing of some libs on this matter. Maybe they still think capitulating to right wing bigotry has some noble rewards in the end. There is something to this Chicago thuggery meme of right wing angst at having hard balls thrown back in their faces. I fucking love it. We can have nice things like GG grade purity of free speech, when this war is over and we have won.

  157. 157
    Marc says:

    @Mattminus:

    It’s reasonable to ask them about their commitment to non-discrimination laws, no? Or are we compelled not to do that either, despite the actual history of the company?

  158. 158
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR:

    There is a difference between a community reviewing a project for the effects it will have on the community and reviewing it based on the political views of the owner. IMO, the latter is a very dangerous path to go down.

    Sure, all that fighting the Waltons was just wankery, right?

    Look, if we were talking about their political views in quiet rooms we wouldn’t be talking about it at all.

    These guys give BIG money to anti-gay groups and have for years. They are not shy about their political and religious views and I have outlined above, there is plenty of evidence of their discrimination in business practices and possible evidence of them fostering a culture of racial bias in the damn stores. Or at least allowing that to fester. It was all over the internet recently.

  159. 159
    Carl Nyberg says:

    This kind of thing happens all the time in Chicago.

    If a Polish-American alderman doesn’t want a Latino church in his ward, they aren’t getting zoning approval.

    If an alderman doesn’t like that “Felony Franks” hires ex-cons, they are going to have a hard time getting a permit for anything.

    If an alderman doesn’t like a mural, it doesn’t matter that it’s on private property. He’ll send the graffiti busters to sandblast the wall.

    While it’s nice when liberals show they are consistent in their principles by defending “conservatives”, there are far more examples of Chicago strong-arming progressives and ethnic minorities on the local level.

    And where were all these national level liberals on those fights?

    And which “conservatives” lifted a finger to help progressives and ethnic minorities?

  160. 160
    scav says:

    Forget the ground zero mosques, there were local mosques being blocked. And I think I read that there’d been a long back and forth about writing a non-discretionary hiring code, which does fall into a sort of greyish legal area of legitimate control (although they admitted not the strongest one). What fries my cork is the automatic kowtowning deference shown to “Xian” community values of the stricter kind, but not Other community values, even when the others from most of the community.

  161. 161

    @MattR:

    Similarly, the First Ammendment protects the right to have douchy opinions and support crappy political policies without government reprisal.

    Douchy opinions, yes, douchy actions, no. Whiskey Rebellion, War of the Rebellion, what have you…

  162. 162
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So John, if the CEO of Chick-fil-A had stated that it was opposed to interracial marriages and had donated $$$ to racist advocacy groups, would your position be the same?

    I have no problem with Emmanuel’s stance. Homophobes need to understand that they have no place in polite company. And anyways, all the bigots in the South/mid-West will continue to patronize Chick-fil-A to the nth degree, so I’m sure they’ll not lose out.

  163. 163
    Another Halocene Human says:

    The cashier was fired after the entire internet found out, but how did somebody like that get hired and actually think it would be okay?

  164. 164
    KXB says:

    @Donut:

    Yes, it is still a mix, and the gentrification has slowed down as a result of the housing bust. But Latinos have been complaining that their concerns in the area, such as better police protection or more money for the school, lose out to developers. While some trendy restaurants have opened up, many of them depend upon the labor of illegals, who can be easily fired if they ask for a raise or better working hours.

  165. 165
    eemom says:

    I see Julian Assange is still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden pursuant to the ruling of Britain’s highest court.

    Know what GG The Intellectually Consistent had to say about the rule of law in that case?

    “Who can blame him?”

  166. 166
    Rafer Janders says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Is there something with legal force that specifies the reasons for which a business can not be approved for a license?

    Yes, it obviously depends, but in general there are city,s state and federal laws and regulations that apply.

    I’m asking because I don’t know. Seems like zoning boards don’t always need a legitimate cause to turn down an application; they can just not feel like it. They can just say that in their reasoned view, it is not the best use of the space. No?

    Yes, but…they can usually turn down an application for no reason, but not for any reason. That is, they can turn down an application because they don’t feel like it, or because it’s Friday, or because they think another business is a better fit, or just because…but they can’t turn down an application for discriminatory reasons if the applicant is part of a protected class (they could not, for example, refuse to approve applications for Jews, or for Mormons).

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I do love how opening a fast-food franchise is now the moral equivalent of opening a house of worship. If you’re upset about someone blocking a mosque, then clearly it’s hypocritical for you to oppose the opening of a fast-food store!

  168. 168
    Donut says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    “This kind of thing happens all the time in Chicago.”

    True…but it happens all the time, everywhere. Why this is such a surprise to some is beyond me.

  169. 169
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Look, if we were talking about their political views in quiet rooms we wouldn’t be talking about it at all.
    __
    These guys give BIG money to anti-gay groups and have for years.

    I don’t see a difference between these two when it comes to whether the gov’t has a right to meddle in their business because of those views/donations.

    They are not shy about their political and religious views and I have outlined above, there is plenty of evidence of their discrimination in business practices and possible evidence of them fostering a culture of racial bias in the damn stores. Or at least allowing that to fester.

    This is clearly a different issue. I don’t think anyone has a problem with the city gov’t looking into those and using them as a basis to deny a permit (or to follow up with additional inspections once they are operational).

  170. 170
    different-church-lady says:

    @Marc: Yeah, but… A HEADLINE!

    UPDATE IV: For those claiming that the cities are not taking action against Chick-fil-A, but are merely expressing disapproval of the views of the CEO: you’re 100% wrong. The very first paragraph of the very first article I cited above — from The Chicago Sun-Times – reports: “The anti-gay views openly espoused by the president of a fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches have run afoul of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman, who are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.” It describes the efforts of Alderman Moreno “to block Chick-fil-A from opening its first free-standing restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.”

    Good god, instead of backing off a bit you’re gonna carabiner your argument with a paperclip of “That’s how the press described it”? That’s just pathetic, Greenwald.

    I think it’s really sad for him that our little snark group here is starting to engage the topic more thoroughly and interestingly than his original trolling article does.

  171. 171
    runt says:

    @Donut:

    My reaction is based on quotes like this:

    The Chicago Sun-Times – reports: “The anti-gay views openly espoused by the president of a fast food chain specializing in chicken sandwiches have run afoul of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a local alderman, who are determined to block Chick-fil-A from expanding in Chicago.”

    If I’m wrong about the origin of this idiocy, I would suggest that the blame rests with the Chicago Sun or Glenn Greenwald. However, I can’t see that this has any relevance for my view on the principle (punishing a business for its owner’s political views) – or on the thinking of those here who support that.

  172. 172
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Hell, federal law might have something to say about where you locate that incinerator, or the rock crushing plant, etc, etc.

    Apparently it was all good when rich, white people made sure that municipal pollutionworks and belcho-factories and cyanide dumps were placed in poor, black neighborhoods that nobody cared about, but then some jackass gave them the right to vote and the Civil Rights act and it’s all environmental justice this, and racial discrimation that, and our nice little 10-year environmental review process that we use to keep passenger trains from running through a marsh… that has had passenger trains for 100 years already… (*) has been jacked up to help POOR people take CONTROL of THEIR neighborhood?

    TYRANNY! Well, I never–!

    *Greenbush line. Ask Gov. Romney for all the gorey details. Ended up costing taxpayers an extra $100-150 MILLION DOLLARS in the end, but there’s no cost to be put upon peace of mind for social climbers. The end.

  173. 173
    patroclus says:

    @different-church-lady: We’ll give Chick-fil-A all the free speech it wants and then some! And Glenn Greenwald can come testify too. Free speech and rigorous good government principles both demand that Chick-fil-A undergo a rigorous lenghty painstakingly detailed public process, that is filled with free speech, in order to obtain a Chicago business license, should they wish to apply.

  174. 174
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Why aren’t these libertarians, tried and true blue, out there in the streets of Martha’s Vineyard protesting the Kennedy clan’s opposition to wind farms?

  175. 175
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rafer Janders: But they’re poors, not titans of industry, so good luck getting this crowd leaping to the bodega owner’s defense.

    Even the ones who said, “oh gosh, I wouldn’t want permit denial to happen to me.” Taste the crickets.

  176. 176
    General Stuck says:

    @Mattminus:

    I’d like to see those liberals defend this when some Republican mayor starts hitting back at businesses who support gay marriage. Rahm’s opened that door now.

    I’m pretty sure supposed Republcan mayors, have or will if those businesses are as openly spouting their pro gay marriage beliefs as chickenfil has. And you still can’t seem to wrap your head around the actual context of this matter, that these things are not the same in a moral sense. The right wing perpetrates bigotry, or at least does so via a company viewpoint in this case. The other side is calling the bigotry for what it is, AND acting on it in decisions about what they want in their community. Something they are entitled to. It is not a matter of what the WINGNUTS do in this battle of ideology. It is a matter of what WE do in response. The wingers will go right on laughing at timid liberals and their professed fealty to pure notions of civilized living. And keep cleaning our clocks. I like the right wing squealing I am hearing these days.

  177. 177
    different-church-lady says:

    @patroclus: Free speech and feather ’em, I say!

  178. 178
    TG Chicago says:

    @Marc: The reports specifically said that Emanuel supports the block.

    Do you have any evidence that Emanuel has come out against a city government block of CFA?

  179. 179
    runt says:

    @Donut:

    “No one is stifling their speech.”

    Oh, please! Stifling free speech can take other forms than censorship or imprisonment. If you use your position as an elected official to threaten a business with reprisals that will affect its bottom line because you disagree with its owner, you are most definitely stifling free speech. The government should evaluate requests from Chick-fil-A according to the same criteria that they would apply for any other business – and political opinons voiced by the owner should not be among them. To do otherwise would be a blatant abuse of their power.

    But once again: Let me see you defend this sort of thing if a Republican official does it to someone you agree with.

  180. 180

    @runt:

    I would suggest that the blame rests with the Chicago Sun or Glenn Greenwald.

    If Greenwald was defending the Emanuel rather than zealously prosecuting him, he’d be all over the lack of evidence contained within the source material.

    Insinuation is Greenwald’s stock in trade.

  181. 181
    Mattminus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    First, thanks for shitheadsplaining my bigotry to me.

    Second, just because the owner has a viewpoint is not indicative of any pattern of discrimination. If you want to complain about discrimination maybe you should, you know find some actual evidence of it. Protip: Your fee fees don’t count as evidence.

  182. 182
    tomvox1 says:

    If you support what Emanuel is doing here, then you should be equally supportive of a Mayor in Texas or a Governor in Idaho who blocks businesses from opening if they are run by those who support same-sex marriage — or who oppose American wars, or who support reproductive rights, or who favor single-payer health care, or which donates to LGBT groups and Planned Parenthood, on the ground that such views are offensive to Christian or conservative residents.

    When is the last time Glenn wrote an 8-pager on how elected officials in virtually every Red State are trying to put Planned Parenthood (a non-profit) out of business? I agree with his critique of Rahm’s actions but why does he seem to get most worked up bashing Dems? Hmmm…

  183. 183
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Can’t we have a serious discussion about the tragedy of the permitting process?

    Think of the lives wasted, the ambitions thwarted, the jobs destroyed by the weeks, months, and years spent navigating red tape, the money pissed away hiring “architects” and dealing with “code enforcement”, the terribly hurt fee-fees that result from public hearings and public comment periods, the terrible, unfiltered, comment periods. Edmund Burke weeps! The tyranny of the mob, with their 3-minute speech and their rabellaisian roars and boos for an hour in a public classroom after minimal public notice and inconveniently .75mi off the bus line and at a time such that the last bus will have left before the meeting is halfway through. The pain, nay, the UNCONSTITUTIONAL OUTRAGE of public officials stumping against the project. The embarrassment of the lickspittle local press publishing public records about the job creators involved, or the unbearably common teevee news showing film of dirty protesters shamelessly exhibiting themselves on the easement around the owner’s–THE OWNER’S–land.

  184. 184
    different-church-lady says:

    @runt:

    The government should evaluate requests from Chick-fil-A according to the same criteria that they would apply for any other business

    According to their whims, you mean?

  185. 185
    TG Chicago says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Good god, instead of backing off a bit you’re gonna carabiner your argument with a paperclip of “That’s how the press described it”? That’s just pathetic, Greenwald.

    No, that’s basing your opinions on actual facts as they have been reported.

    The report explicitly says that Emanuel supports the CFA block. Why should Greenwald pretend that it doesn’t?

    Is it possible that the report is wrong? Sure. And if it is, then we should expect Greenwald and everyone else to reevaluate the situation upon a correction. But without any correction, I don’t see why we should ignore the facts as they are currently being reported.

    I’m not aware that Emanuel has demanded a retraction, so it seems that he’s comfortable with the reporting.

  186. 186
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Steve: Well… why?

    Why does one donation (=free speech, amirite?) come with terrible consequences while another, well, also comes with consequences, so far consisting of a public shaming, but which commenters on this blog are incredibly butthurt about.

    Why does it make sense for government to impose a consequence in one case and not in another case?

    I’m genuinely confused as long as we take this from a logical point of view.

  187. 187
    The Red Pen says:

    @MattR:

    Similarly, the First Ammendment protects the right to have douchy opinions and support crappy political policies without government reprisal.

    On the Internet, no one knows you’re not a Constitution Lawyer…

    …except possibly when you post stuff like this.

  188. 188
    TG Chicago says:

    @tomvox1: Greenwald writes frequently about free speech and rarely about reproductive rights. There’s no hypocrisy there. If you disagree with his areas of focus, that’s fine, but it’s perfectly consistent.

  189. 189
    Mattminus says:

    @Marc:

    Thats entirely reasonable and would be a very good basis for denying them a permit. However, I have yet to hear anyone mention even an allegation that the organization has had any issues in this regard.

  190. 190
    taylormattd says:

    @MattR: MattR Says:

    “So you are fine with Southern towns deeming black people unsavory and denying them business permits (as well as any one who supports Civil Rights)?”

    Uh, no. You see, that would actually be illegal.

    You need to work on your slippery-slope arguments, because that was a terrible attempt.

  191. 191
    danimal says:

    If every a$$hole businessman were denied building permits, the American economy would approach the size of Switzerland. GG and JC are right. No bureaucrat should have the power to arbitrarily discriminate against a business simply because the owner is a douchenozzle.

  192. 192
    HG Hay says:

    Is update V up yet?

  193. 193
    Marc says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Yes. The fact that the editorial board of the Sun-Times wrote an article specifying that it was a local alderman, not the mayor, who was blocking the application. The fact that this was described as a traditional usage of an aldermans’ right to block things in his ward, and not as an action that the mayor was doing.

    If the mayor was doing something to specifically block a zoning application, that would be news and there would actually be a specific quote from him that said “I move to block CFA…” There isn’t a single specific quote to that effect in any of the reports. This means something.

  194. 194
    different-church-lady says:

    @TG Chicago: When it’s pointed out to GG that the facts maybe don’t align precisely with his narrative, does he adjust his narrative accordingly? Why, of course not! He merely hides behind the skirts of reporter language. Because it’s very important for us to get the proper truthiness out of this situation. And the truthiness of this situation is that Rahm’s a bad guy who can get the puppies to bark when GG rattles the cage. So if we wanna leave people with the impression that Rahm’s stepping all over free speech by abusing his powers, well, why we gonna let little things like subtlety and detail and accuracy complicate things? Because “blocked” means exactly what he says it means, no more, no less.

    Like I said: BJ is having a more thorough examination of an interesting and complex topic than Mr. Intellectually Consistent can muster. Mostly because Mr. Intellectually Consistent doesn’t really care for examinations about interesting and complex topics nearly as much as he does about being the Only Smart Person on the Internet™.

  195. 195
    Steve says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Send your resume to reason.com, stat.

  196. 196
    Someguy says:

    Oh please Cole. Enough with the concern trolling.

    The First Amendment protects free speech, but it doesn’t mean that you can support oppression without consequences. If you attach consequences to some of the positions advocated by the extreme right wing, I suspect they will work to reform their viewpoints pretty fast.

  197. 197
    MattR says:

    @taylormattd: Why would it be illegal to deny business permits to supporters of civil rights? How would that legally differ from denying a business permit to someone because of their support for traditional marriage? How about morally?

  198. 198
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Donut: We aren’t bowing down before the ones we serve, it seems.

    As Heinlein said, Americans believe that if you have made a buck a certain way in the past, you are entitled to make a buck that way forever.

    Also, too, the Kochs’ campaign to extend that notion to any Job Cremator engaging in any business practice at any time (water pollution smells like money! i love cancer, it’s good for business!) has been more successful than anyone could have imagined.

    Not just fuck regulations, fuck communities having any say whatsoever. That’s clearly illegitimate because FWEEE SPWEEECH.

  199. 199
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I’m genuinely confused as long as we take this from a logical point of view.

    I see what you did there, but I’m not sure if you did.

  200. 200
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mattminus: Menino shut down the gay-owned sex club in Boston (but it was our only sex club /Rev. Lovejoy voice), so what is your point?

  201. 201
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human: And? Did he shut it down because it was owned by gay people?

  202. 202
    Rafer Janders says:

    Zifnab?

  203. 203
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @General Stuck: Well said. I’ve lived it, both sides. Sounds like a lot of people with more theoretical than practical understanding of How Things Work In Teh Reel Wurld.

  204. 204
    Spatula says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    That ain’t Chick-fil-a merely practicing free speech, it’s discriminatory employment practices.

    Great, then if Menino can legally use those prior complaints and settlements as a legal justification not to allow them into Boston, that’s fine with me.

    I don’t really think that’s how it works. There have been no complaints against the chain in Boston because they aren’t here yet.

  205. 205
    Mattminus says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    I don’t know the specifics, but I’d guess that had more to do with IT BEING A SEX CLUB than it being gay owned. They typically get zoned into oblivion. You wouldn’t believe the distance I have to drive for a tranny tugjob these days.

  206. 206

    @different-church-lady:

    When it’s pointed out to GG that the facts maybe don’t align precisely with his narrative, does he adjust his narrative accordingly?

    Yeah, sorta, sometimes. Here’s Greenwald-in-a-nutshell regarding Bradley Manning:

    Adrian Lamo is a delusional, mentally ill liar! His testimony doesn’t prove Bradley Manning did anything!

    Uhm, I mean, uh, Bradley Manning is a hero for doing what Adrian Lamo says he did.

  207. 207
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Carl Nyberg: Oh noes, can’t associate with those people. They make Oakshotte in the Widener library cry. Uppity nears, spics, and DFHs, probably communists, too.

    Lots of police brutality in the alternative press wires this last week, but people on this thread are DEEPLY CONCERNED that Rahm’s unBroderlike statements might lead Southron local governments to START discriminating against gay-owned firms.

    They’re so cute when they try to make sense of the world.

  208. 208
    different-church-lady says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Note my use of the word “accordingly”.

  209. 209
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    people on this thread are DEEPLY CONCERNED that Rahm’s unBroderlike statements might lead Southron local governments to START discriminating against gay-owned firms.

    It is not that they are going to start doing it. The problem is that it takes a weapon away from those owners as they try to fight the discrimination by legitimizing ir.

  210. 210
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @runt: So where are all of you deeply concerned libertarians when governments or private areas or most recently, the University of Florida, decide to ban all newspaper boxes (“they’re all banned equally!”) and put up brown condoboxes that the paper companies must rent access to?

    Isn’t that an ACTUAL example of functional restriction of free speech?

    Where’s Greenwald’s book on THAT?

  211. 211
    j says:

    First things first, The way Chicago works (what is the real “Chicago Way”) is that local aldermen have the final say on zoning matters and business development.

    Rahm was just agreeing with the Alderman (Joe Moreno) who has been negotiating with CFA for over 3 months on a zoning variance. CFA wants the variance so they can put in a very large parking lot on land that is currently zoned for a few brick and mortar businesses, but is located adjacent to the lot they want to build on. That would deprive his ward of at least 2 new businesses (in an increasingly Yuppified neighborhood) and the resulting tax revenue because parking lots don;t pay sales tax.

    Further, CFA REFUSES to sign the city’s anti-discrimination paperwork, and also refuses to put in writing their newly coined corporate statement, which they posted on their Facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA/posts/10151226208515101

    Chicago has strict non-discrimination LAWS on the books, and it isn’t up to any wingnut corporation to dictate which LAWS they will choose to follow, and which they will ignore.

    It took Wal-Mart over 10 years to be allowed to build stores within the city limits (and the 2 they now have been allowed to open are being watched like an eagle watches a mouse) much to the delight of Target, which can basically open a store whenever and wherever they want.

  212. 212
    General Stuck says:

    It begins with a society that blithely accepts bigotry under the protective wing of religious belief, and therefore legitimate. It ends when society breaks that connection for viewing bigotry for what it is. It should be the right and empowerment of people living where they do, making such an effort to end bigotry, by denying the bigot the privilege of doing business in their neighborhood. And doing what they can to sever the cloak of legitimacy given to bigotry by claims of deeply held beliefs, under the first amendment. We were all raised to accept inviolate this kind of bullshit that is well entrenched in our neural nets. To varying degrees in this religious country. Maybe its time we stopped doing it by saying no through our elected reps. The greater good demands it, imo, whatever it takes.

  213. 213
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @danimal: Wow, I didn’t think someone would actually come on here and seriously make the argument that denying permits (a senseless tragedy that happens every day) is TOOKING ER JAWBS.

    a) not all regulations and restraint of trade actually reduce the size of GDP… the notion that they do is a libertarian lie, or perhaps I should say, a frequently repeated ignorant betisme that they promulgate with reckless disregard for the truth?

    b) having a positive or negative effect on GDP isn’t everything, for example, one needs to consider what it is that GDP actually measures. I think most real people, Mittbot excluded, care quite a bit more about your basic development measures, as opposed to be able to say ‘we’re number one’ while struggling to pay the bills for their low birth weight premature baby’s asthma…

  214. 214

    @different-church-lady:

    Only if you note my use of “sorta”. ;)

    When the evidence against Manning mounted, Greenwald adjusted his narrative from, “You can’t prove that Manning did anything,” to, “Yeah, he did it [and there’s no “maybe” present in Greenwald’s new narrative], but it’s justifiable.”

  215. 215
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @different-church-lady: Not sure what you’re seeing in it, but you know that old Vulcan guy said that logic is only the beginning of wisdom, and that is what I was trying to imply.

  216. 216
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @Brachiator: Seems to me that people invoked morality to declare discrimination unacceptable and to change the law.

    If you see no difference between (a) using the democratic process to change a law and (b) applying a law arbitrarily to punish people, there isn’t any point in arguing with you.

    Appealing to morality is a tactical argument. It’s typically used to reach people in the middle, who are saying “Oh, why don’t we wait and hope that someday the people unalterably opposed to this policy change their minds? What harm can waiting do?”

    I grew up in Evanston, which isn’t far from Skokie, and I worked for an organization that helped defend Larry Flynt. I understand the views of people who want to selectively apply laws. The problem, of course is that Sam Alito and Nino Scalia agree with you.

  217. 217
    different-church-lady says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    here’s no “maybe” present in Greenwald’s new narrative

    Hell, there’s no ‘maybe’ present in Greenwald’s vocabulary.

  218. 218
    General Stuck says:

    @j:

    Further, CFA REFUSES to sign the city’s anti-discrimination paperwork, and also refuses to put in writing their newly coined corporate statement, which they posted on their Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA/posts/10151226208515101

    Chicago has strict non-discrimination LAWS on the books, and it isn’t up to any wingnut corporation to dictate which LAWS they will choose to follow, and which they will ignore.

    Thanks!!
    There you go. I figured it was something like this, curiously absent from Greenwalds wankery. Case closed.

  219. 219
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: It was gay friendly. See upthread.

    Why was it shut down? Well BPD said they found illicit drugs in a locker which was being rented by a patron. Take that for what it’s worth. AFAIK, having a patron of your private club smuggle contraband in is not grounds necessarily to get rid of your business license, more to arrest that person, unless it’s some sort of pattern of behavior. OTOH, actually operating a sex club is illegal in Boston–they don’t call it Banned in Boston for nothing.

    So you tell me.

  220. 220
    jakester says:

    @PopeRatzo: Thank you for pointing this out. No fan of Rahm here, but Greenwald has gotten on his high horse without admitting that Rahm actually hasn’t done anything – or intimated he would do anything – wrong.

    In fact, per his spokeswoman, “He did not say that he would block or play any role in the company opening a new restaurant here,” Hamilton said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....perts-say/

  221. 221
    Real American says:

    Businesses don’t have a right to a business license and they don’t have a right to operate wherever they feel like. Hence, zoning regulations and enforcement authority.

    Cities have a lot of leeway over who can build what where and have been denying certain businesses license to operate since forever.

    So some elected officials in Chicago and Boston don’t want Chick-Fil-A expanding. If they have the legal authority to do that–if they’re not appropriating or inventing new powers just to stop Chick-Fil-A–then I don’t see what the issue really is. Plenty of governments have blocked businesses for far more capricious reasons.

    My girlfriend grew up in a small town that refused to allow any chain stores to open along their main street. Is that wrong too? Is blocking a chain for being a chain any less arbitrary than blocking a business because they support bigotry?

    Or are we just arguing that zoning laws are tyranny and we should let businesses do whatever because job creators?

  222. 222
    different-church-lady says:

    @General Stuck:

    Case closed.

    Oh, I’m sure “Update XVIII” will pry that sucker right open again.

  223. 223
    burnspbesq says:

    I’ll assume for the sake of discussion that Greenwald has the better of the argument on this issue.

    That said, his priorities are seriously fucked up if he’s focusing on this to exclusion of a couple of dozen real civil liberties issues. Like, for example, this.

    C’mon, Glenn, get a grip.

  224. 224
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Spatula:

    I don’t really think that’s how it works. There have been no complaints against the chain in Boston because they aren’t here yet.

    Lolwut? It was here. I guess it wasn’t a resounding success because it got replaced.

    I think I had food there once but it was meh. Besides, there was this awesome pizza joint that made its own dough and sauce right next to Cambridge Ringe & Latin School, just down the street.

  225. 225
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human: So it was shut down because it was a sex club, regardless of the type of sex that was going on. Is that right?

  226. 226
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Cambridge. Boston. Not the same.

  227. 227

    @different-church-lady:

    No, there isn’t. Here he takes an absolutist position on Diane Feinstein, based on the strength of exactly one tweet.

  228. 228
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mattminus: The argument that Very Serious People are making on this thread is that all the saber-rattling by northern politicians about CfA will lead to “retaliation” against gay-friendly businesses against the South despite the fact that:

    a)while that is an extreme example, gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses have a long history of troubled relationships with zoning boards in the North

    b)Southern governments already discriminate like crazy, even when it’s fairly protected activity, like a mosque trying to open up or expand

    And you kind of proved my point by saying GOSH, IT’S A SEX CLUB, OF COURSE WE CAN’T HAVE THAT.

    Soooo, uhhhhh, not to be a three year old or anything but, why?

    Why the unthinking approval of one use of TYRANNICAL STATE OVERREACH but the other case is UNPOSSIBLE END THIS STAT?

  229. 229
    Donut says:

    @runt:

    “The government should evaluate requests from Chick-fil-A according to the same criteria that they would apply for any other business – and political opinons voiced by the owner should not be among them. To do otherwise would be a blatant abuse of their power.”

    Are you really that dense? I will say it again, please bone up a little bit on how this stuff actually works. Hell, do yourself a favor, go to Google News Archives and put in the terms “Chicago WalMart Zoning”. Go on, try it, you’ll learn some more about how zoning works in Chicago.

    Approval to build a restaurant is not a meritocracy where each application to do business is evaluated by the exact same check list of objective criteria. Jebus, there is no city in the world that zones that way.

  230. 230
    patroclus says:

    @j: Thank you for the details. I don’t think a parking lot at Logan Square is a good idea because of the loss of potential tax revenue and the reduction of alternative businesses. Further, I expect CFA to comply with all non-discrimination ordinances, and as such, would like competent counsel to review all relevant CFA records and reasonably require answers to reasonable questions (with free and public speech) put to CFA regarding their application for an amended franchise. I’m glad that Rahmbo and the alderman are practicing good government.

    If Greenwald likes Chick-fil-A so much, why doesn’t he pressure his elected representatives in Brazil to get one there, hopefully close to his home? I live just a few miles from Logan Square – why is Free Speech so precious that Greenwald gets to inflict a Chick-fil-A on me? If he gets that parking lot, it’s gonna be named after him.

  231. 231
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: As a longtime donor to Americans United, ACLU, and FFA who actually happens to read their publications explaining what they do and how they do it, I respectfully disagree.

  232. 232
    General Stuck says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Once again, the portal to ignorance was opened by this blog’s owner, without getting all the facts and trusting Glenn Greenwald to provide them. Once again, we cycle through another comedy of errors on Balloon Juice. Now we wait to see if Cickenfools retroactively signs the required paperwork.

  233. 233
  234. 234
    MattR says:

    @burnspbesq: He wrote a piece about Gitmo on Monday that referenced the Esmail case. I am sure he will note the government’s response soon enough.

  235. 235
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Personally, I’m not sure there’s something wrong with a private sex club per se. If it were licensed and regulated to ensure that safer sex practices were not only encouraged but pretty much de rigueur, why not?

    Also, it was discrimination as they shut down him and tried to shut down private BDSM flogging parties (arresting several participants who were exonerated in the courts, thank FSM), the $300/hr escorts continue to hawk their wares in the finer urban weeklies as ever with nary a whisper of police interference. And that’s, well, even more illegal. Ahem.

  236. 236
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @Rafer Janders: I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention the most common imposition of an arbitrary standard. We just had one of these deals:

    McDonalds wants to set up next to the Burger King which is across the street from Arby’s, which is kitty-corner from Rally’s, which is one block south of KFC/Taco Hell which is across from Wendy’s.

    The board said “Look, enough is enough– you guys are two miles away” and turned it down. Mickey D’s appealed on the “The neighborhood is already shot to hell” argument. The judge is making “I don’t want to rule for either of you” noises, so now the anti-toadburger groups are trying a traffic density argument.

    Obviously these processes aren’t perfect, but when someone says “I don’t agree with the views of someone who works for you”, that’s a pretty good line.

  237. 237
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Also, too, what kind of libertarians are you on this thread to be pissing and moaning about sex clubs?

    Is it the fact that all the whores are volunteers? Is that a crime against the free market?

    First they came for the unlicensed sex clubs, and I said nothing, because not to monetize every atom that could be monetized offended my sense of justice.

  238. 238
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    If preventing Chick-Fil-A from opening a restaurant in Chicago violates free speech, does that mean that Citizens United was right?

  239. 239
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @j: Thank you for this. There’s usually a good reason an alderman or city councilor wants to block a business.

    I like the irony of this as some quisling above was arguing that blocking Chick-Fil-A would destroy the US economy.

    I hate businesses that want to put up more parking lots in dense urban landscapes anyway. They deserve to lose.

    And the stuff about them not signing anti-discrimination paperwork is the icing on the cake. Sounds like a lot of concerned tr–thread-contributors need to STFU right about now!

  240. 240
    runt says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    So where are all of you deeply concerned libertarians when governments or private areas or most recently, the University of Florida, decide to ban all newspaper boxes (“they’re all banned equally!”) and put up brown condoboxes that the paper companies must rent access to?

    Not being Omnipresent Man, I can’t be everywhere (I assume the same is the case for Glenn Greenwald). Are we really going to do the “You Didn’t Speak Out Against Every Single Case Of Abuse Of Power, Therefore You Have No Right To Complain About This One” dance?

    Apart from not being a superhero, I’m also not a libertarian. Support for free speech used to be perfectly compatible with liberalism, but it seems that may be changing?

  241. 241
    MattR says:

    @General Stuck: Regardless of the details of this particular case, it was illuminating to see the opinions of the commentariat regarding the theoretical power of local government to punish people with political views they disagree with.

    @Another Halocene Human: Fair enough. Very understandable. Just pointing out that it is different than believing that these actions would lead parts of the South to START to discriminate. (EDIT: Though I do think the cover of “both sides do it” will embolden more towns to give it a try)

  242. 242
    runt says:

    @Donut:

    “Jebus, there is no city in the world that zones that way.”

    There are plenty of cities in the world who don’t zone according to whether or not they like the opinions of the business owner. If Chicago is not among them, they should aspire to be so.

  243. 243
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @different-church-lady: Only 365 smoots apart!

    I’d call that a community of common interest… now if you bombed the bridges, seeded the Massachusetts with alligators and the banks with landmines, making the river an impassible barrier… **gggg**

    I know we all WANT to disown Cambridge from time to time…

  244. 244
    tomvox1 says:

    @TG Chicago:

    OK, so where is the Glennzilla rant on something like this:

    a federal appellate court has ruled South Dakota abortion clinics must inform women seeking abortions they face greater suicide risks.

    How is that not a free speech issue? I think you mean Glenn gets to pick and choose what he feels is a valid free speech issue and not so much whether Issue A or Issue B is his “area of focus.” And so I will continue to question his shifting criterion for what issues he chooses to go to bat for.

  245. 245
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Donut: Be careful with those absolutist statements. There are plenty of places in Floriduh where the list of criteria (sic) is:

    1. Did the check clear?

  246. 246
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I should mention The Demon Rum here, as that requires a SEPARATE permit, for which the criteria are:

    1. Did the campaign contribution check clear?
    2. Is it bigger than Fred’s?
    3. Can Fred be bargained up?
    4. Yah, fuck it, pull this asshole a permit.

  247. 247
    Mattminus says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    For one, I’m not making a utilitarian argument, Im making a principled one that it is wrong for the government to punish someone foe his completely legal personal beliefs.

    You don’t see the difference between a sex club and a CFA? In the case of a sex club, it’s being zoned into the industrial district because of NIMBYism. People of all stripes (except mine) think they’re yucky and don’t want them around. I can imagine a conservative, white, straight, man having the same problems with his sex club.

    Most places have actual honest to god laws, not just moral intuitions and gut feelings, governing where you an put different types of businesses. Are they designed to harass certain types of businesses, like sex clubs? Sure, but they actually followed the legislative process and drafted criteria, like proximity to schools, percentage of non-sex items on the shelf, etc.

    These things have nothing to do with the beliefs of the owner, but rather on the impact on the community. It’s a clear difference.

    I will say that having seen the recent link indicating that there are actually some legal issues, like getting a zoning variance for the parking lot, not signing a non-discrimination statement, I don’t really have a problem with withholding their permit.

  248. 248
    different-church-lady says:

    @Another Halocene Human: There is no question that in nearly any other city in America, Cambridge would be a neighborhood of Boston. But in the context of this discussion, the distinction is important, since Boston is a separate legal entity from Cambridge, and as such C-A-F’s track record in one would probably not have any legal bearing on the permitting decisions of the other.

    (364.4, give or take an ear)

  249. 249
    j says:

    @Culture of Truth: YES! Finally someone “gets it”. Chicago style politics is a system where EVERYTHING is handled through the Ward office. Everything from potholes to burned out street lights to garbage pick up to rat control.

    Rahm is changing that (as was Daley) since the start of the non-emergency 311 phone number. Chicago is made up of about 100 small towns who all annexed to the city on the same day. Part of the annexation agreement was that ALL local services would remain local, so each ward had it’s own police district, and library, and (in the case of Rogers Park) a ZOO.

    Rumsfeld was quoted as saying he wanted to make Iraq modeled on teh Chicago style of politics where the local boss ran the local show. What he failed to do, though, was install enough local bosses.

    Failure on Rummy’s part.

  250. 250
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    So where are all of you deeply concerned libertarians when governments or private areas or most recently, the University of Florida, decide to ban all newspaper boxes (“they’re all banned equally!”) and put up brown condoboxes that the paper companies must rent access to?

    Speaking for myself, first, not a libertarian. Second, I was completely unaware of it. I have a life, you know.

    Isn’t that an ACTUAL example of functional restriction of free speech?

    Not necessarily, no. Assuming that the newspaper boxes are put up on the UF campus, the university has no obligation to allow private businesses to set up boxes on the university’s state-owned property for free. A university, just as a town, has the right and ability to regulate the uses that private businesses can make of the common byways such as sidewalks and state university campuses.

  251. 251
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @runt: How is them opening a business on a particular lot free speech?

    How is “contributions = speech” as stated above by several persons not a libertarian argument? Is some other philosophy also pimping this notion?

    It just strikes me as odd that people can make these very Kantian, logical, “it must be this way all the time” arguments, but they back away when an example that, I dunno, clearly squicks some people here, comes up.

    Either the local government has the power to regulate land use and permits or it doesn’t, to use a very logical formation, don’t mind if I do.

  252. 252
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: Maybe some towns. But they’re pretty busy at it already.

    Nor does this change the legal environment in which they do so.

  253. 253
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @j: Assuming that what you say is correct– if they haven’t complied with the procedures and filled out the paperwork– then Moreno and Emanuel are both grandstanding for political gain. That’s in bad taste, but it certainly isn’t a violation of law. (If it were, Jim Trafficant would have been jailed much sooner.)

    However, that’s not what they’re saying and it isn’t what the Sun Times is reporting. I’d be skeptical of Examiner.com, or that one suburban paper– or even the Tribune.

    I would find it surprising if what you say is true. I don’t deal with Chick-Fil-A, but I bump up against Wal-Mart all the time. Those guys know that they’re not welcome, and their compliance is almost always letter-perfect. (When they weren’t sure which version of a document they needed, they brought two different documents and said “Which is the one you want?”) McDonalds is really prepared; I’d swear they have paid informants in every neighborhood group in the county.

    But there are only four Chick-Fil-A’s within 50 miles of me, and two are in malls. Maybe they are that sloppy.

  254. 254
    Woodrow L. Goode, IV says:

    @j: Assuming that what you say is correct– if they haven’t complied with the procedures and filled out the paperwork– then Moreno and Emanuel are both grandstanding for political gain. That’s in bad taste, but it certainly isn’t a violation of law. (If it were, Jim Trafficant would have been jailed much sooner.)

    However, that’s not what they’re saying and it isn’t what the Sun Times is reporting. I’d be skeptical of Examiner.com, or that one suburban paper– or even the Tribune.

    I would find it surprising if what you say is true. I don’t deal with Chick-Fil-A, but I bump up against Wal-Mart all the time. Those guys know that they’re not welcome, and their compliance is almost always letter-perfect. (When they weren’t sure which version of a document they needed, they brought two different documents and said “Which is the one you want?”) McDonalds is really prepared; I’d swear they have paid informants in every neighborhood group in the county.

    But there are only four Chick-Fil-A’s within 50 miles of me, and two are in malls. Maybe they are that sloppy.

  255. 255
    MattR says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Either the local government has the power to regulate land use and permits or it doesn’t, to use a very logical formation, don’t mind if I do.

    Do you agree that there are limits on this power, such as refusing to give a premit to someone due to their race, sex or religion? Or, theoretically at least, bribery?

  256. 256
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Mattminus:

    These things have nothing to do with the beliefs of the owner, but rather on the impact on the community. It’s a clear difference.

    Even absent the very real issues enumerated above, I feel that CfA does have a negative impact on the community.

    That’s an issue that should be subject to open debate, just like the sex club or the mosque next door.

    And don’t we expect just a modicum of wisdom from our elected officials… ie, maybe Chabad doesn’t get to expand their tiny synagogue five fold in the middle of a residential neighborhood because there is a traffic issue, but at the same time ye olde mosque does get their permit to upgrade their A/C unit, omgwtfbbq?

  257. 257
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mattminus:

    I will say that having seen the recent link indicating that there are actually some legal issues, like getting a zoning variance for the parking lot, not signing a non-discrimination statement, I don’t really have a problem with withholding their permit.

    So, once again GG has successfully engaged in his favorite pursuit: whipping everyone into a frenzy by manufacturing an outrage. He really is a treasure. Why our dear host (and a lot of others) can’t see him for the blowhard he patently is escapes me.

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mattminus:

    Yes, if only there was a way to find out whether or not Chik-fil-A has a history of discrimination, like perhaps using some kind of magical research machine to find out.

    Too bad we’ll never know.

  259. 259
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Rafer Janders: You know, if I was going to breach my principles and concern troll on something, it would be that. Favoring big corporate papers and squelching the press, you know “freedom of the press” and all that jazz? Sure, it’s legal, but is it right? Should we let this go down? Etc, etc.

    But oh no, newspaper boxes are just a common nuisance to you… however, how dare these unrepentant liberals threaten to block a blatantly Christianist organization’s business permit. FREEEE SPEEEECH!!!

    Is it really free speech? Or is it something else?

  260. 260
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Woodrow L. Goode, IV:

    However, that’s not what they’re saying and it isn’t what the Sun Times is reporting. I’d be skeptical of Examiner.com, or that one suburban paper—or even the Tribune.

    Uh, the Sun-Times is a tabloid. They’re the Chicago equivalent of the NY Daily News. There is NOTHING they love more than to create a controversy out of nothing.

    Sorry, but they ain’t the bastion of honest journalism you seem to think. And, yes, I have a personal grudge against the S-T because when my uncle, his wife, and their three kids died in a car accident, the fucking Sun-Times put their goddamned family portrait on the cover of the fucking paper.

    The Sun-Times is one step above the National Enquirer, except that the Enquirer tells the truth more often.

  261. 261
    runt says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Opening a business is not free speech. But if the government says: “If you hold this opinion, we will prevent you from opening a business,” that is an attack on free speech. It’s not up to elected officials to decide which opinions you are allowed to hold.

    The government may of course deny permission on a great variety of other grounds, but the owner’s opinions should not play any part in the process. It’s not relevant, any more than the colour of a restaurant’s walls should be relevant to a health inspector.

  262. 262
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @MattR: Limits, sure. But I’m not feeling the OUTRAGE because a pol indicated they were determined to keep a business (in a city in which you do not live?) out.

    My argument is, the exercise of government power in this way IS legitimate. We may restrain it in the case of certain suspect classes. This is necessary because of the history of legal and de facto discrimination in the United States and the tendency of the majority to abuse their power over the minority. However, being a bigot on this issue does not make you a member of a suspect class. If Rahm said he was going to block all businesses run by Christians from Chicago, because Christians are shits who fuck you in business deals and scheme against you behind your back, then, I dunno, I might get on the rage train with you.

    I just see a lot of statements at the top of the thread that imply that local government control of the permitting process (wrangling concessions, laying down limits, running particularly bad actors out of town) is somehow not a legitimate use of state power.

    I am not a libertarian. Therefore I disagree.

  263. 263
    patroclus says:

    @different-church-lady: Nonsense. I learned all about a local Chicago issue by j’s reporting on this thread, which was precipitated by Greenwald’s ridiculous, ill-informed, wrongheaded, screed. This kind of local Chicago reporting is what I come for at BJ!

    A parking lot at Logan Square is a bad idea. If Rahmbo/Moreno succeed in either killing it or delaying it in Wal-mart fashion, then they’re entitled to some grandstanding.

  264. 264
    eemom says:

    @different-church-lady:

    His upcoming move to The Guardian, imo, rather poignantly illustrates the downside of the cyberworld. If this were 20 years ago and he were moving to The Guardian, we’d actually be rid of him.

  265. 265
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @runt: Really?

    Suppose Mr. Sex Club owner from the vignette above applies for a permit for a private bottle club, complete with detailed plans, blah blah blah, all in order, but runs around telling the gay press that he thinks the City was totally wrong to shut down his old sex club, and he wants to bring back the good old days, and why won’t the City stop discriminating against him?

    Do you think the City would be wrong to maybe, I dunno, suspect that he has another plan in mind than the bottle club? Or maybe that they are sick of his shit? Or that his last business was a public nuisance (allegedly because he was allowing recreational drug use) so he’ll get a permit for a private bottle club in hell?

  266. 266
    different-church-lady says:

    @patroclus:

    I learned all about a local Chicago issue by j’s reporting on this thread, which was precipitated by Greenwald’s ridiculous, ill-informed, wrongheaded, screed.

    The silver lining in the acid cloud.

  267. 267
    Mattminus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Glad to see you’re still an asshole. Anyway, I don’t see anything particularly compelling in that article. Is 12 suits in 24 years outrageous? I don’t know. What would a comparable sized company’s legal situation look like over that span?

  268. 268
    General Stuck says:

    @Mattminus:

    So you believe everyone has an inherent right to set up a place of business anywhere they want, as some kind of constitutional right? And local officials can only act altruistically through a set of T’s to cross and I’s to dot. And that no judgements can be made by those elected officials as to what people believe. WHEN THAT BELIEF IS MADE LOUD AND PUBLIC. It is like book burnings. No one cares, and it is not an issue, until people do it PUBLICLY, then it becomes a political act, as obviously this was. In a proud declaration that specifically invokes that persons religious beliefs as a valid shield for bigotry. And the people in those neighborhoods have no recourse, nor do those they elect, to make a call of not granting a business permit because they morally oppose cloaking bigotry under religious belief? Seems to me both sides are practicing their free speech rights, but only one can grant a business permit per their discretion, whether that be a set of standard rules, as in this case that were not followed by CFA, as is their right, and the local folks saying no to them to set up shop in their neighborhood just because.

  269. 269
    runt says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    That’s different. If the owner has a history of misleading the city officials and abusing previous permits, that is obviously relevant. But his opposition to/support for gay marriage is not. It would be his previous actions that would justify a rejection, not his opinions on unrelated subjects.

  270. 270
    HG Hay says:

    @different-church-lady: As a former/ reformed Greenwald reader, I’ve discovered it’s best to wait at least 8 hours even when I’m inclined to agree with him. That’s when bothering to read him at all, which is extremely rare.
    It’s amazing how this one has pretty much fallen apart but his commenters don’t really care – they just keep going and going.

  271. 271
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Greenwald writes frequently about free speech and rarely about reproductive rights. There’s no hypocrisy there.

    The governments of several states are currently dictating what personnel at abortion clinics are and are not allowed to tell patients, and in several cases those personnel are legally required to lie to their patients by, say, claiming that getting an abortion raises your chances of getting breast cancer.

    How is the government mandating that medical personnel out-and-out lie to patients not a free speech issue?

  272. 272
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mattminus: I really just can’t believe you’re actually going the “Well, the looking, feeling, smelling, and quacking-like bits seem almost convincing, but until we find a tattoo on the thing that says ‘Anas platyrhynchos’ we’ve got to treat this as though it could be a kangaroo” route here.

  273. 273
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mattminus:

    Glad to see you’re still an asshole.

    Dude, if you’re going to dish it out, you can’t whine like a baby when someone gives it right back to you. If you want people to not be assholes to you, try not being an asshole. I have no social obligation to be polite to someone who’s rude to me.

    Anyway, I don’t see anything particularly compelling in that article. Is 12 suits in 24 years outrageous? I don’t know. What would a comparable sized company’s legal situation look like over that span?

    Yes, I was pretty sure you would hand-wave it away even after I gave you exactly what you asked for since it doesn’t fit your image of CfA as a blameless company being held back by The Man.

    And, again, I find it quite hilarious that you’re convinced that religious rights and the right to build a fast-food restaurant should be equally sacred. I don’t remember seeing “fast food” as one of the protected rights in the First Amendment, but maybe you can point it out to me.

  274. 274
    General Stuck says:

    @MattR:

    Regardless of the details of this particular case, it was illuminating to see the opinions of the commentariat regarding the theoretical power of local government to punish people with political views they disagree with.

    Again, this BS that people have an inherent right to set up a business anywhere they want. And the people are powerless but to grant this right for anything but preappoved reasons by bloggers. Read my above comment on personal beliefs versus public political acts of making those rights known to the world. @General Stuck: They do not have equal status in the real world, nor for whatever rights you claim are being violated concerning CFY. The people of Chicago are not punishing them, because they owe them exactly nothing. They are simply exercising their own rights for granting the privilege to do business where they live.

  275. 275
    Beauzeaux says:

    @NonyNony: Oh please. We were all up and cheering when we hurt Rush Limbaugh’s business because of his opinions on Sandra Fluke.

    Using your power as an elected official is what elected officials are elected to do. If the voters in Chicago are offended enough, they can vote him out of office or even recall him.

  276. 276
    patroclus says:

    Evidently, it’s not just the “fast food” sub-clause in the Constitution, it’s the “parking lot next to the fast food” codicil.

    I want to know more about these 12 legal cases in just the last 24 years. What were the allegations and results? I want competent counsel to review some CFA documents. Why won’t they sign the non-discrimination pledge? This sounds fishy… Parking lot space is at a huge premium in Chicago and it seems to me, as a nearby resident to Logan Square, that this whole “franchise amendment” favor that CFA is seeking for their supposed “parking lot” needs to be looked into more thoroughly.

  277. 277
    different-church-lady says:

    @HG Hay:

    …even when I’m inclined to agree with him.

    ESPECIALLY when one is inclined to agree with him. That’s his greatest warped strength: he short-circuits your bullshit immunity system by wrapping the bullshit in a thick layer of what appears to be your own white blood cells.

    his commenters don’t really care – they just keep going and going.

    Epistemic closure: it’s not just for conservatives anymore.

  278. 278
    JR in WV says:

    No, no. no!

    Rahm is wrong, and John is correct. The 1st amendment prohibits any government in the USA from taking any adverse action against any entity for that entity’s expressed opinions.

    Whether they are Nazi’s wishing to parade through a Jewish neighborhood, the KKK wanting to walk through Watts, or Christianist haters and bigots spending money to oppose freedom and equal rights for people with different sexual patterns.

    I hate Nazis, the KKK, and anti-gay bigots, like the BSA for a recent example. But they all have the right to their despicable opinion, and the right to express that opinion. Now, in a town with equal rights for gay folk, Chickin-fillits can’t refuse to hire a gay cook or counter person because they suspect they are gay.

    They can’t fire someone for expressing their desire for freedom for all gay folks, everywhere. In a place where legislation protects gay rights, which I support wholeheartedly, they just can’t take adverse action against folks because of their orientation, or suspected orientation.

    I grew up in a media family, so concepts of libel and freedom of speech were things we talked about around the dinner table, along with death threats and symbolic vandalism, like paint, a metaphor for gasoline, thrown on the side of the house.

    I hate hate speech, really hard, but I realize that most hate speech is protected speech. Most folks don’t, including people who should know better. The ACLU defends the right to speak for nazis, communists, and haters of all kinds. They are patriots and defenders of the rights of everyone to do so.

    Anyone who can’t figure that out doesn’t understand how their own freedoms work, and should take civics classes over and over until they get it. Politicians and lawyers in particular have no business dissing the ACLU, because every time they do so they reveal that they don’t understand foundation document of the nation’s laws that define the freedoms most here can take for granted.

  279. 279
    General Stuck says:

    @JR in WV:

    NO one has a right to a business permit. It is a privilege granted, and to not be given something you have no inherent constitutional right to, is not punishment. And you can’t really separate the local officials from their constituents that voted them in. It is what representative democracy is, and the voters have a solution to vote these folks out of office for doing things they don’t like.

  280. 280
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @JR in WV: Wait, Rahm is wrong to support an alderman who refuses to grant Chick-Fil-A a permit until they: (a) indicate in writing that they will adhere to Chicago *LAW* forbidding discrimination against gays, (b) alter their plans to put a large parking lot on land that could be leased to other businesses, netting the city more money?

  281. 281
    the Conster says:

    Fucking purity trolls and their OH NOES IT’S WRONG WHEN THEY DO IT SO WE CAN’T DO IT! You know what will change bad behavior? Taking the opportunity to shove your “bad” behavior up their ass so they’ll think twice about driving through all the red lights when it’s their turn again. And you know what? They still won’t care, because they didn’t care when Bush did it. It was a particularly frustrating time during the Bush years to tell my wingnut friends that President Hitlery would do the same things that they were high fiving Bush for, and they just couldn’t grasp the concept. So instead of unilaterally disarming ourselves every. fucking. time. we need to press whatever advantage we have when the opportunity presents itself, every. fucking. time., and when the hypocrisy is too much for even wingtards to ignore, then that’s when we agree to abide by the rules that everyone has to follow.

  282. 282
    NA says:

    @j:
    Thank you for filling out and substantiating this point! It seemed to me likely that this was the case even from the early, not very specific, article language.

  283. 283
    General Stuck says:

    Listen, as I said in my first comment on this thread, that it is a thin line and not clearly cut where the right and wrong of this matter comes down on as a legal matter. And I am all for CFA using their courts to challenge whatever rights they think has been denied them due to their religious beliefs, of what they are hiding behind. It wouldn’t surprise me if they prevailed to some degree, absent the fact they didn’t sign the paperwork to begin with. I just don’t care much for the first thought being capitulation to some notion of purity of purpose in the times we live in, as the sole arbiter of how to proceed.

  284. 284
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    nevermind

  285. 285
    General Stuck says:

    @the Conster:

    I agree, very much so.

  286. 286
    the Conster says:

    @General Stuck:

    That’s how I parented, and it worked out pretty well. Showing the impact of the same bad behavior from the receiving end instead of the giving end tends to make a lasting impression.

  287. 287
    TG Chicago says:

    From Greenwald (go to the original link for the links included, but I’m including his bolding):

    UPDATE VII: The uproar over all of this today seems to have produced some positive movement. In Boston, Mayor Menino now acknowledges that his planned actions would violate the rights of the restaurant chain, and thus “backed away from a threat to actively block the fast-food chain from setting up shop in the city,” saying: “I make mistakes all the time. That’s a Menino-ism.”

    Meanwhile, in Chicago, multiple media sources — as set forth in Update IV — had reported that Emanuel supported Alderman Moreno’s announcement that the alderman, as the Chicago Tribune put it, ”planned to use his aldermanic privilege to block the construction of a second Chick-fil-A in Logan Square because of comments made last week by company President Dan Cathy” (see also The Huffington Post: “A Chicago alderman is taking heat this week after announcing his Mayor Rahm Emanuel-backed plans to block fast-food chain Chick-fil-A’s expansion into the Logan Square neighborhood he represents”; The Chicago Tribune yesterday: “An alderman trying to block a Northwest Side Chick-fil-A restaurant because of the company president’s opposition to gay marriage found himself under fire Wednesday . . . . Mayor Rahm Emanuel, long a supporter of gay marriage, remains in Moreno’s corner“). Yet today, in the wake of an explosion of controversy over this story — in which numerous groups including the ACLU accused him of unconstitutional conduct — Emanuel had his spokesman issue a statement vowing: “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.” This is why vocally objecting to such actions is so necessary.

    So the politicians realized they overreached and backed down. Good result.

  288. 288
    different-church-lady says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Good result.

    Yay! More cardiac-event inducing fast food for everyone, with the profits going to homophobes! Good result, indeed!

    You Greenwaldians live in a really strange world.

  289. 289
    MattMinus says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Yeah, really. It would be much better if we could just bar everyone with opinions that we don’t like from public life AND force everyone to be a vegan.

    GO TEAM BLUE!

  290. 290
    General Stuck says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You Greenwaldians live in a really strange world

    Yuppers, and to the last one of them, they view the constitution as a suicide pact for the cause of purity, IN EVERY WAY. And the wingnuts are driving their big rigs of hate on protected jeebus trucks to the heart of a neighborhood near you. They are free to spout their bile, but do we have to give them a platform and bullhorn in a local bucket of greasy chicken?

  291. 291
    different-church-lady says:

    @MattMinus: For the record, vegans are really annoying, and there’s ground up cow waiting for me in my fridge right now.

    What is it that’s so ‘effin difficult about “mixed result?”

  292. 292
    Keith G says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Personally, I’m not sure there’s something wrong with a private sex club per se. If it were licensed and regulated to ensure that safer sex practices were not only encouraged but pretty much de rigueur, why not?

    I’m not try trying to be picky, but how do you propose that type of legal requirement be subjected to oversight and enforcement?

    @j: Thanks for your input. You need to be a front pager here. It seems like that position is being handed out like beads at Marti Gras, and you have a much firmer relationship with the world of facts than many who get to post here.

  293. 293
    Rex Everything says:

    It’s amazing how whatever the issue is, General Stuck, eemom, memnosyne, and different-church-lady are squarely on the wrong side of it. Of course they’re making it out to be “GG bashing the Dems again”; never mind that Adam Serwer, Atrios, Kevin Drum, the Boston Globe and the ACLU are saying the same thing, or that now Menino and, apparently, Rahm himself have admitted the error of their ways … No, Stuck will just keep on explaining to us how there’s no constitutional right to a business permit and GG just pulled this issue out of thin air to mess with Democrats.

    “The true test of a belief in free speech is whether you defend that right not when views you like are being punished — then it’s easy to object — but when views you intensely dislike are being punished.” Simple foundational statement of liberal principle—but since it’s from Greenwald, Stuck, eemom et al act like it’s obscure legal hairsplitting, or a derivation of the secret teachings of Scientology.

  294. 294
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything: I’m not “squarely” on the wrong side of this, because I am not squarely on any side of it.

    What I’m squarely against is bullshit, and in particular, GG’s brand of bullshit, for which I will actually pull out a T-Square and ensure that I’m at a very precise 90 degree angle.

    But as for the intersection of free speech and regulatory pressure as a social tool — there’s nothing simple here. And the thing I condemn GG for is not being in favor of free speech, but for trying to over-simplify the issue in the service of polemics.

  295. 295
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady:

    What I’m squarely against is bullshit, and in particular, GG’s brand of bullshit,

    And–don’t forget–Adam Serwer’s brand of bullshit, MB Dougherty’s brand of bullshit, Atrios’ brand of bullshit, Kevin Drum’s brand of bullshit, the Boston Globe’s brand of bullshit, the ACLU’s brand of bullshit, etc, etc, etc.

    Plus Tom Menino’s brand of bullshit and Rahm Emmanuel’s brand of bullshit.

    You guys like to say that GG just wants to bash Dems. It looks to me like you just want to bash basic liberal principles. Since, you know, every time GG invokes one, you try to taint it as his own personal “brand of bullshit.”

  296. 296
    Right/Left = Impulse/Thoughtfulness says:

    Greenwald stood up for every gay bar owner in the country trying to open a business in a conservative city, stood up for every clinic trying to provide services to women, and even stood up for Angry Black Lady if she should ever try opening a newspaper in a conservative city.

    Greenwald stood up for all those businesses even if I don’t like teh gay, or women getting legal medical care, or detest Angry (vicious) Black (racist) Lady (sexist).

    My first impulse was right-wing thoughtlessness that cheered treating the bigots at Chik-fil-e-coli as they treat others.

    My more thoughtful (ahem, left-wing) examination of the facts made me realize that as detestable as Greenwald’s defense of those bigots is, it’s the framework that protects all of those businesses I listed above.

  297. 297
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Boston Globe’s brand of bullshit

    Does this look like Menino is backing down?

    For that matter, does it look like Menino was “planning to take action” in the way Greenwald insinuated in the first place?

    Greenwald spins you. You like it that way. I haven’t read the others, so I don’t know if they’re “agreeing” with GG, or coming to similar conclusions but for different reasons. Of course, in GG’s wonderful world of 1-bit color, anyone who thinks the the two mayors are wrong means that GG is right in every way. And you buy into that.

    Free speech is a liberal principle. Anti-homophobia is a liberal principle. GG has to make a really tough binary choice on this one, made it, and then decided that people who had more colors on their pallet were all wrong. That’s a form of bullshit.

  298. 298
    Spatula says:

    My god, the usual reactionary mega-commenters who dominate most threads here with black/white hysteria are going all out to highlight the dumbassitude tonight.

    Mem, Stuck, and Church Lady have paraphrased a reliable Right Wing trope into: “Licensing laws and ordinances? We don’t need no stinking licensing laws and ordinances!”

    The mirror image of asinine reasoning is still asinine.

  299. 299
    Spatula says:

    Oh and Church Lady’s unhinged obsession with Glenn Greenwald continues, reaching even new levels of intensity.

    You want him, lady. Admit it.

    Entertaining!

  300. 300
    different-church-lady says:

    @Spatula: I’d love to issue a rejoinder here, but I can’t even decode what the ‘eff you’re actually saying here enough to come up with one.

  301. 301
    different-church-lady says:

    @Spatula: I am bored with you now.

  302. 302
    Spatula says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Oh come on, you want me. Admit it. ;D

  303. 303
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Does this look like Menino is backing down?

    No, this–“I can’t do that. That would be interference to his rights to go there… I make mistakes all the time. That’s a Menino-ism.”–looks like Menino backing down. Because it clearly is.

    Greenwald spins you. You like it that way.

    Weak. That’s, like, the warmed-over Swanson potatoes of snark.

    Listen, I’m all for nuance and fine shades, but sometimes they’re not called for. Sometimes things really come down to basics. And at those times, you can tell who’s spinning and who’s not very easily. The non-spinners are keeping it simple while the spinners are “pounding on the table and yelling like hell.”

    I haven’t read the others,

    Ehhh, why bother? The Boston Globe and the ACLU are just Greenwaldians who live in a very strange world…

    so I don’t know if they’re “agreeing” with GG, or coming to similar conclusions but for different reasons.

    Or maybe a third option: They’re coming to similar conclusions for the SAME reason. Because this is really a pretty simple issue. (Again I’d be inclined to suspect that the people taking a simple issue and demanding that we see the complex pallet and nuances of it are the ones doing the spinning.)

  304. 304
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Or maybe a third option: They’re coming to similar conclusions for the SAME reason.

    Yes, that’s possible too, and I didn’t mean to exclude the possibility. My point is that the only evidence I have seen presented to support that they “agree” with GG thusfar here is… GG himself. I don’t consider that to be a trustworthy source.

    Because this is really a pretty simple issue.

    I have a credo I have lived by for a long time: any time someone tells you something is simple they are trying to snow you.

    Now you go back to lumping me in with people I only half agree with and don’t speak for, and the wheels on this clown car can just continue to go ’round and ’round.

  305. 305
    General Stuck says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Before you get out yer Greenwald pom poms, you might want to read the thread, to where your hero left out of his storytelling the fact that CFY refused to sign a pledge to not discriminate in Chicago. I take that as a vindication that this company’s public proclamations to not like gay people being gay due to their religious belief, as in fact an indication that actual discrimination if they are allowed to set up a business as proposed in Chicago. Plus, they have a history of doing so. I think they were telling the world that no gay peeps need apply to work in their chicken house. In any event, Mr. Greenwald did in fact pull this shit out of his ass by leaving out that little detail, regardless of what I had to say on the matter.

  306. 306
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady:

    My point is that the only evidence I have seen presented to support that they “agree” with GG thusfar here is… GG himself. I don’t consider that to be a trustworthy source.

    “GG himself,” rather than asking us to take his word for it, provided links to every one of them. If you’re to lazy to even click on them it’s not GG’s fault.

    I have a credo I have lived by for a long time: any time someone tells you something is simple they are trying to snow you.

    Again, you don’t need to take anyone’s word for it–you have the entire Internet with which to examine the story and come to your own conclusions. It’s easy. But I admit it’s not quite as easy as reciting a snappy “credo.”

    (Your “credo,” by the way, is exactly the kind of simplistic bunk it pretends to expose, and will make you a sucker for every 2-bit lawyer who knows how to obfuscate.)

  307. 307
    different-church-lady says:

    @General Stuck: Having read recent comments regarding my views, I must conclude that I agree with everything you say here. Even though I actually don’t.

    But, you know, it’s all terribly simple — I’m ether on your side or on GG’s — there are no other options for me, I’m afraid.

  308. 308
    General Stuck says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Having read recent comments regarding my views, I must conclude that I agree with everything you say here. Even though I actually don’t.

    LOL, me neither, believe everything I’ve said on this thread. I’m just sick and tired of having the rules used to deny other people their rights, even if it is just in public word and not deed. I want to fight them, and bend the rules like they do, and like I said earlier, we have a judicial branch to sort out this shit.

    It’s what the wingnuts do from everything from abortion to voting rights. Stare the little shitstains down now and then, and give them a taste of their own medicine, and fuck the rules to test the system to the max. The world won’t end if liberals say enough and fight it out to the fullest extent of our divided government for what they believe is the better of two wrongs. Instead of always punting for purity.

  309. 309
    j says:

    @General Stuck: Not to mention flattening a whole swath of sidewalk space that is zoned for retail, just to have a ginormous parking lot which will be empty on Sundays. The Master Plan for that up and coming neighborhood calls for a walking community (lots of CTA and Metra service is already there) and getting people out on the streets walking around.

    CFA wants to put a suburban style DRIVE THRU fast food oasis in the middle of acres of blacktop. That is NOT conducive to a family friendly walking neighborhood on the upswing. The zoning plan is a way to bust up the gangs, not give them a place to sit in their cars 100 feet from a street and reload between shootings.

    Fuck CFA.

    ALSO, to press this point, Rahm didn’t say he was stopping CFA, he just said “I don’t know why they want to invest a lot of money in a place that will be empty”.

  310. 310
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    “GG himself,” rather than asking us to take his word for it, provided links to every one of them. If you’re to lazy to even click on them it’s not GG’s fault.

    Well, you were correct: they do agree with GG. And the vast majority of them seem to agree with GG because… (wait for it…) they simply take GG at his word.

    Serwer seems to be the only one who reached his conclusion without simply linking back to GG. This includes our dear host. Digby cites Serwer, and reaches some quite sane conclusions. Had her post been cited by Cole you might not find me focused on the same side of the argument as much.

    And you know something? I myself might say that I agree with some of the views GG has on this topic. If only he weren’t such a complete divisive ass who has decided it’s all terribly “simple” and he’s not wrong in any way, shape or form.

    In fact, if this weren’t such an insane place filled with people who have but pen and ink, I might say something along the lines of, “Well, the CEO of C-A-F still has his first amendment rights intact, so GG is wrong about that, but I do think that what Menino and Emanuel are doing does constitute an abuse of power.” But, you know, I can’t actually come right out and SAY something like that because it wouldn’t be “simple” and I frequently make the mistake of focusing on the largest turd in the room instead of commenting on the topic from all the angles.

    Now, you go back to telling me that no, it actually IS simple, and GG is correct in all ways, and that I’m aginst liberal principles. I hate to stand in the way of a deliberate misunderstanding.

  311. 311
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    (Your “credo,” by the way, is exactly the kind of simplistic bunk it pretends to expose, and will make you a sucker for every 2-bit lawyer who knows how to obfuscate.)

    Having made it a rather lengthy portion of my life without ever once interacting with a 2-bit lawyer, I supposed I would have to put that in the category of “hypothetical guess”.

    But you know, I’m kinda sure I understand that “obfuscation” is not the binary-state alternative to “simplicity,” so I’m not quite as worried about my naivety as you are. It’s all about knowing how to navigate in that weird gray area you seem clinically unable to grasp.

  312. 312
    Rex Everything says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Now, you go back to telling me that no, it actually IS simple, and GG is correct in all ways, and that I’m aginst liberal principles.

    I think I’ve gotten all the fun to be had from an evening of shooting fish in a barrel.

    One last word, though, to Stuck: “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind” is not a mindless commitment to purity, it’s a purely pragmatic tenet for people who want to avoid blindness.

  313. 313
    dead existentialist says:

    Do fries come with that free speech?

    A lame comment for one of the lamest threads I’ve seen here.

  314. 314
    j says:

    @runt: In Chicago King Tichie II saw a bunch of newspaper boxes blown down by a heavy storm. Of course they were all chained to a lamp post so they were all tangled up in each other’s chains.

    He made a law that ALL newspapers share condo boxes. They are really cool looking (Art Deco) and are stuck in cement so they aren’t blocking the sidewalks. And you KNOW the Tribune guy isn’t going to pick up the USA TODAY box or the Sun-Times box.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?i.....38;dur=184

  315. 315
    Wazmo says:

    @j: A somewhat serious question: is there a history of their corporate values from when they first opened their doors to their latest Facebook proclamation? Might be interesting to see how it has “evolved” over the years…

  316. 316
    Wazmo says:

    @General Stuck: And heaven help you if you’re Muslim and employed by a CfA store.

  317. 317
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    I think I’ve gotten all the fun to be had from an evening of shooting fish in a barrel.

    What a shame to go home empty handed after that kind of expedition.

  318. 318
    General Stuck says:

    @Rex Everything:

    One last word, though, to Stuck: “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind” is not a mindless commitment to purity, it’s a purely pragmatic tenet for people who want to avoid blindness.

    Nope, not what I was saying. I don’t want to punish CFA. I want follow the tenets of disputes via our democratic institutions. For the purpose of gaining clarity to what the arguments are. And like DCL was saying, we live a lot of time in the gray zone of human affairs, and that is complicated. I think this situation of rights in apparent conflict need to be challenged from time to time, to sort out moral and legal interpretations of competing ideals of what is right and wrong. The folks claiming this is an open and shut case of free speech rights being violated, seem to be arriving at that destination from a Scalia like textual approach to defining what the founders intended in our constitution. I don’t agree with that, and would rather push the matter through the system instead. Then there is the pesky fact that CFY refused to affirm in writing what they claim as being a non discriminating business entity. I think that speaks for itself as to their intent and covers the free speech argument with a layer of doubt.

  319. 319
    Wazmo says:

    @General Stuck: Bingo. Or, to put it into terms that CFA tries to understand, but fail miserably:

    Render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s.

  320. 320
    General Stuck says:

    @Wazmo:

    Good catch. and so it goes.

  321. 321
    j says:

    @Woodrow L. Goode, IV: WRONG-O.

    CfA was the one running to wingnut media with that “They hate JEEBUS” bullshit. Once the wingnut Wurlitzer got fired up all the 3 months of legal negotiations fell off the page.

    CfA changed it from a zoning issue to a “Christian” issue.

    They want their million acres of blacktop, and that’s IT. I wouldn’t be surprised if they rent (for profit) out the gazillion acre parking lot every Sunday to the local “Christian” “Hate the Gay” church. (Yep, they are there.)

    And the “church” can deduct that parking fee from their for profit business, and CFA can pocket their rental money as “below market value charitable offerings” and claim they are losing money on THAT too.

    Nothing but a tax scam.

    They ain’t gonna get it.

  322. 322
    Wazmo says:

    @Rex Everything: GG, being a constitutional lawyer and all, realized that he was fighting too many battles-and retreated out of the US to be with his spouse first and foremost due to the enormous consequences he would face had he decided to bring his spouse here.

    It’s one thing to lob virtual packet bombs. Its another to be defending people he claims to be backing, yet isn’t on the actual battlefield.

  323. 323
    Wazmo says:

    @j: Is the Chicago site a franchise or a corporate store?

  324. 324
    j says:

    @Mnemosyne: The ONLY reason I get the Sun-Times is for the 3 best crossword puzzles in the country. They have at least 5 gossip columnists, (Sneed, Smoron (sorry, she got fired for making shit up) Zwecker, Stella Foster, something called “The Page” or whatever they call it, and I don’t know who the other one is. They also have 3 versions of Dear Abby and (get this ) TWO Horoscope columns!!

    Well, if it’s such a friggin science WHY have 2??

    But the 3 crosswords (one doesn’t have the black squares filled in – you have to figure out the pattern yourself) are a sale for me.

    Yeah, it’s a rag.

  325. 325
    Wazmo says:

    @TG Chicago: It isn’t over until a court strikes down Chicago’s anti-discrimmination law.

  326. 326
    Wazmo says:

    Now let’s add fuel to the fire.

    News of Chick-fil-A’s spring arrival comes on the heels of McDonald’s departure from MSP. Late last year, Delta Air Lines booted the chain’s two locations from Concourse G, which it controls, because it wanted to refine the dining experience with higher-scale eateries. But the closures caused a stir with passengers who were used to getting their fries, Big Macs and Egg McMuffins before flights.
    Since then, airport officials have been working to get McDonald’s back at the airport. But Greer believes Chick-fil-A might be a good fix. Prices at Chick-fil-A are similar to McDonald’s. A combo meal, which includes a chicken sandwich, waffle fries and a drink, is in the $6 range, comparable to a value meal at McDonald’s. “They offer a really high-quality product at an affordable price,” said Greer, adding that “it will be an easy stretch over from [Concourse G] to get there.”

    Both Delta and Chik-Fil-A’ HQ’s are in Atlanta.

    Total Number of standalone CfA’s in MN: Zero.

    Just sayin’….

  327. 327
    different-church-lady says:

    @j:

    Well, if it’s such a friggin science WHY have 2??

    Peer review?

  328. 328

    @j:

    So let me get this straight: There’s been a zoning dispute going on here for months, the central issues being land use and revenues that will flow to the city coffers, but CFA has recently spun this to make it seem that free-speech rights are central to the issue? And Glenn Greenwald is either unaware of the way that this unfolded or chooses to ignore the backstory?

    Quelle surprise!

  329. 329
    j says:

    @Keith G: Heh, Thanks, but NOBODY wants to see my tits.

  330. 330
    gwangung says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): That sounds a whole lot more plausible than just a free speech issue…

  331. 331
    j says:

    @Rex Everything: Because Atrios (blah blah et al) have been working off the same page. And that page is the “cram Rahm’s name into the first paragraph” shit that is now the lie going around the world before the facts have time to tie it’s shoes.

    A BADLY written article is ignoring 3 months of FACTS because Jeezuz Burgers got the right wing Wurlitzer pumped up.

    Do you really think that famously reclusive old bigot just decided to go on “Baptist Radio” this weekend and spew his bullshit without a PR team behind him?

    Really, he did it on a whim?

    And Chicago, during a presidential campaign? And a zoning fight??? During a presidential campaign??

    Cue Sean Hannity in 3…2…1…

    What a co-incidence!!!

    Only Jeebus coulda figured THAT out.

  332. 332

    @gwangung:

    I’m going to go ahead and chalk-up the outrage to

    1).Greenwald’s abject hatred of Rahm Emanuel, and

    2).Greenwald’s absolute lack of both journalistic ability and journalistic integrity.

  333. 333
    j says:

    @Rex Everything:

    , the warmed-over Swanson potatoes of snark

    Isn’t that Tucker Carlson?

    Oh, forget about it. He’s half baked.

  334. 334
    j says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Or maybe a third option: They’re coming to similar conclusions for the SAME reasonfrom the same WRONG, fact free, source.

    FIFY.

    They ALL were operating on that same WRONG newspaper article which totally ignored the last 3 months of local negotiations.

    It is all about a zoning issue, which will need curb cuts and left turn lanes (all paid for by the taxpayers, BTW) and THE BEST USE of already zoned business lots, which CFA wants to turn into a barren underutilized asphalt heat zone, instead of sidewalk businesses with housing on the second floor.

    It ain’t like setting up a tent in a vacant lot for a local street fair, ya know?

    Logan Square (where CFA wants to put in acres of blacktop) is a walking (and biking BIG TIME) community quickly becoming one of the “go to” spots for young families because of the wall to wall streetscape and shops, restaurants and bars cheek by jowl. Breaking that community shopping district with a suburban style drive thru fast food joint in an ocean of parking is NOT what that neighborhood needs. If CFA wants to open there, fine. But they don’t need parking for a shit load of cars.

    Putting a fast food drive thru in a sea of blacktop IS NOT in keeping with the fabric of that neighborhood!

    Here is a picture page of Logan Square.

    http://www.dreamtown.com/photos/logan-square.html

    They can put their CFA somewhere else down the road, but the corner they want to decimate is the worst thing for that up and coming rebirthed area.

  335. 335
    Cartman says:

    Right-wing authoritarian says:

    RESPEKKKT MAH AUTHORITAH!

    Have any of you censors thought this through?

    Can my state deny the Balloon-Juice.com business access to my state based on the offensive and moronic beliefs expressed here?

    Cole is correct. Greenwald is correct.

    Offensive and moronic comments need to be protected or else the offensive morons here wouldn’t have a voice.

    Or is that the kind of comment that’s censored by you moronic thugs?

  336. 336
    j says:

    @different-church-lady: HAHAHAHAH!

    That’s it. I’m going to bed.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  337. 337
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Maybe Glenn Greenwald can next write about how Catholic hospitals should be allowed to deny health coverage to non-Catholic employees because somebody somewhere might have an abortion. You know, because of “civil liberties.”

  338. 338

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Maybe he can stand up in vocal support of ACORN or Planned Parenthood, because those, I think, are more analogous to Chick-fil-A in this case. Like those, Chick-fil-A in this case would require the government (local rather than federal) to lay out cash for a left turn-lane, and possibly a traffic light. Is a government official permitted to deny issuing a zoning variance- based on political differences with the party seeking that variance- that would end up costing the city money?

    If the answer is (as Greenwald would have it) no, then the federal government owes those ACORN people a lot of money.

  339. 339
    different-church-lady says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Private business, donchaknow. They have special rights in the alternate constitution written in invisible ink by the invisible hand.

  340. 340
    different-church-lady says:

    @j:

    They ALL were operating on that same WRONG newspaper article which totally ignored the last 3 months of local negotiations.

    Reminded me of this classic from the Great Orange Satan.

  341. 341
  342. 342
    Cartman says:

    {facepalm}

    The ideal way the law is supposed to work: Everyone is treated equally before the law.

    By standing up for offensive speech, yes, by extension Greenwald is standing up for what others might find offensive speech.

    So if some right-wing state finds the Balloon-Juice.com business (yes, this website is a business) offensive based on the offensive speech on Balloon-Juice.com, that right-wing state can’t cut the cord and say Balloon-Juice.com doesn’t reflect their states values and deny it entry.

    A precedent that says that offensive speech can be used to deny businesses access means that precedent will be used in ways clearly none of you offensive authoritarian half-wits have thought through.

    This is an evil precedent that Rahm is pushing.

    Authoritarian simpletons might not understand that, apparently it takes one of those, whatchyacallit, liberal minds to think this through.

  343. 343

    @Cartman:

    CFA isn’t simply asking for access, they’re asking for a zoning variance. They’re asking for special treatment.

  344. 344
    Cartman says:

    Rahm made it about offensive SPEECH, which is illegal under the Constitution’s First Amendment.

    Had Rahm and the city kept the refusal to zoning arguments and not loudly and clearly cited clearly un-Constitutional reasons to deny that business that would have been different.

    It’s like saying “those people” were refused a business license because they say offensive things but then claiming that it was really only about the “zoning” …

    … well, “those people” now have legitimate reasons to claim otherwise.

  345. 345

    @Cartman:

    First, it’s not about Emanuel, it’s about Alderman Proco Joe Moreno. Emanuel doesn’t have to take a single action, and he hasn’t. All he’s done is practice his right of free speech to support Moreno. Greenwald wouldn’t draw much traffic if the headline read “Proco Joe Moreno’s dangerous free speech attack”.

    I suggest you read Moreno’s op-ed piece at the Trib (penned earlier in the week and published yesterday).

    Home Depot in the 2500 block of North Elston Avenue wants to sell a piece of its land so that a Chick-fil-A restaurant can open in the 1st Ward, where I am alderman. It would be the fast-food chain’s first “stand-alone” Chicago restaurant. But to subdivide the land, the companies need my approval.

    Initially, I had some traffic concerns with their plan. But then I heard the bigoted, homophobic comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, who recently came out against same-sex marriage.

    There are consequences for one’s actions, statements and beliefs. Because of this man’s ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward.

    I’ve been in discussions with the company for the past nine months. Every time we met, I brought up my concerns that the company supported a homophobic agenda. My concerns were based on financial contributions made by WinShape Foundation, Chick-fil-A’s charitable endeavor, to anti-gay groups. I was repeatedly told by company officials that “we (Chick-fil-A) are not political” and that the company “had no political agenda.” Just recently, an attorney for the chain tried to convince me of Chick-fil-A’s benevolence. During each meeting, I challenged the company to change its ways. Although I thought we had made some progress, Cathy’s anti-gay comments made it abundantly clear what the company’s true stance is toward equal rights.

    So they’re negotiating for nine months (where was Greenwald on this back in December?), CFA’s negotiators are starting to convince him that the company doesn’t discriminate, and the company’s president/COO makes a lie of everything that the negotiators have been telling Moreno. What other lies were they telling to Moreno?

    And when you boil it down, Moreno can still employ his privilege as the ward’s alderman to block CFA over the issue of zoning variances alone. Greenwald doesn’t seem to have a problem with this. From Greenwald update VII:

    Yet today, in the wake of an explosion of controversy over this story — in which numerous groups including the ACLU accused him of unconstitutional conduct — Emanuel had his spokesman issue a statement vowing: “If they meet all the usual requirements, then they can open their restaurant, but their values aren’t reflective of our city.” This is why vocally objecting to such actions is so necessary.

  346. 346
    Cartman says:

    {double facepalm}

    Right-wingers use “zoning” excuses to prohibit gay bars, women’s clinics, Muslim churches, and adult video outlets.

    At core is the illegal prohibition of free speech by government’s heavy hand.

    Rahm and Moreno crippled any legitimate “zoning” argument when they explicitly stated that Chick-fil-e-coli was refused permits because of the SPEECH of it’s owner.

    And if you’d read any of the above comments, there was a lot of cheering by the authoritarians here that SPEECH was being punished by government.

  347. 347

    […] exactly the right reasons; see, e.g., Kevin Drum, Adam Serwer, Scott Lemieux, Digby, Richard Kim, John Cole, and Atrios. The true test of a belief in free speech is whether you defend that right not when […]

  348. 348

    […] Serwer, The American Prospect‘s Scott Lemieux, Digby, The Nation‘s Richard Kim, John Cole, Amanda Marcotte, and Atrios). Today, though, The Nation‘s Lee Fang became the first progressive […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Serwer, The American Prospect‘s Scott Lemieux, Digby, The Nation‘s Richard Kim, John Cole, Amanda Marcotte, and Atrios). Today, though, The Nation‘s Lee Fang became the first progressive […]

  2. […] exactly the right reasons; see, e.g., Kevin Drum, Adam Serwer, Scott Lemieux, Digby, Richard Kim, John Cole, and Atrios. The true test of a belief in free speech is whether you defend that right not when […]

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