SCENES FROM THIS AMERICAN LIFE

Yesterday approximately 20,000 people around the world died of starvation while hordes of mostly old, mostly fat white American Christians flocked to a fast food chain to spend money and consume fried chicken from cancer- and disease-ridden chickens that suffered every second from birth to slaughter to show support for said chain's willingness to donate millions of dollars to stop The Gays from getting married.

Meanwhile, people who buy multiple boxes of Sudafed or who purchase money orders over $1000 end up being tracked by law enforcement while individuals who buy thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition are not.

Cool. Carry on.

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38 Responses to “SCENES FROM THIS AMERICAN LIFE”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Ah, but how many *more* people would have died if those Americans hadn't passionately shown their commitment to the will of an Almighty God, who surely now will leave our nation unsmitten? (Unsmited? Unsmote? Point is–)

    Look: A. there's a fairly good chance those people were going to be at Chik-Fil-A anyway. And, given where Chik-Fil-A operates, and the demographics of its clientele, I rather suspect they neither gained nor lost a single customer during all this unpleasantness.

    And B. if vehemently disagreeing with the politics or actions of a company's owners/directors is enough to send liberal Americans into a shit-fit of condemnation/boycotting, um…wow, you do realize just how *little* you people agree with *any* of the top-tier management/ownership of EVERY SINGLE chain store/franchise you visit? Banks, too. Also energy suppliers. Basically, everything that's cheap, and can't be produced locally. Those are all provided to you by Grade-A bastards doing horrible things to helpless people. That they are motivated primarily by greed/nationalism/racism instead of religious bigotry does not, to my mind, make them any less offensive than the Chik-Fil-A muckety-mucks.

    I'm not saying that we shouldn't boycott Chik-Fil-A–frankly, their product is enough of an incentive for me to give them a permanent 'no, thanks.' I'm just saying–echoes of what we were saying about the South recently–that C-F-A is only being loud about its cruel assholery, and is not by any means alone in that pursuit/practice.

    As a side-note, perhaps ammunition suppliers should be required to provide one Sudafed for every bullet sold. That would seem to solve the problem, yes?

  2. Alan C Says:

    We don't have CFA where I live, but I suppose if I stuck to the principle of not eating crap it would amount to the same thing as a boycott anyway.

  3. Middle Seaman Says:

    Nothing wrong with that. The starving are guilty for not being well fed. Who the hell cares about chickens and old people? Sudafed is dangerous, tomorrow it will be C3. We should all be armed to the teeth in case Chuck Norris attacks us.

    Stop complaining!

  4. Sarah Says:

    I don't think it's so much about agreeing or disagreeing with the Chik-Fil-A CEO as it is about not wanting one's money to go towards the cause he promotes. He says that he gives part of his profit to anti-LGBT organizations. The boycotters have said that they don't want to help fund that. I used to get coffee from Chik-Fil-A, but I can get it from elsewhere, so boycotting isn't a big deal to me.

    The CEO of Amazon recently disclosed a huge donation to efforts promoting gay marriage. I've been shopping there for years, so I was happy about that. On the other hand, the scuttlebutt I've heard says that they treat their warehouse workers terribly. Decisions, decisions.

  5. Castello Says:

    Sarah, they do treat their warehouse workers like crap. Not really a rumor. That said, most companies with warehouses don't exactly treat their workers like CEOs.

  6. c u n d gulag Says:

    "So it

  7. c u n d gulag Says:

    "So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

    So, someone remind which part of what, then candidate, Barack Hussein Obama said was/is wrong?

    He got blasted 4 years ago for saying that.

    Seems to me, as "post-racial" as we now are (at least according to "The Right") after the election of President Obama, we're not yet at the 'post-clinging' stage.

  8. anotherbozo Says:

    I like this format: ironic intellectual sandwiches! I think of it as a memorial to Gore Vidal, nice and pithy.

    Two fave quotes from the recently deceased, of which Ed, I'm sure, would resoundingly approve:

    The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.

    The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.

  9. buckyblue Says:

    We had somewhat a similar situation here in cheeseland with the Walker Recall. Not many, but a few, businesses insisted on putting the ugly, "I Stand With Walker" signs outside their businesses. Sorry, wasn't going to go there. One was a plumber, of all things, that I had used on occasion. Called another and ended up preferring him. I won't go back. One time my wife and I were out having drinks and dinner at a local establishment and bitching and moaning about Walker. The owner, who was bartending that night, jumped into our conversation and told us what a big SW supporter he was. That was the last night I've been there. A shame, because I really liked the place. The point I came to was that if you're going to shove it into my face and make me make a choice, then I will. Otherwise, I'm not going to have a political test for where my money goes, but if I have to I will.

  10. Hazy Davy Says:

    No CFA's around here, and I'm a vegetarian who avoids fast-food, so I'll probably never know the appeal. Still, the galling thing about CFA isn't that their CEO is opposed to gay marriage. (Really, I swear, that's not it.)
    .CFA has, for a while, found ways to, by policy, refuse to hire people on the basis of their sexual orientation. It's also clear that they have effectively screened for Christianity, borderline illegally, in their hiring, by asking the question "would you be willing to work on Sundays?" The persecution complex I see in folks claiming their faith justifies hatred ("But Jesus said…everybody judge the gays.") (If people were shutting out Christians, there'd be calls for boycotting In-N-Out, Tom's of Maine, Wal-Mart, among others. And there aren't.)

    Furthermore, this was Dan Cathy's about-face on a previous position that garnered them some positive marketing, when in 2011, Cathy stated that the company "will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family." which, really, makes him seem pretty manipulative. Not to mention his whole "slamming" of Jim Henson's Creature Shop (http://www.metafilter.com/118222/Here-Chicky-Chicky-Chicky )
    To put it another way, Dan Cathy's kind of a jerk. And it would be nice to not help him be more successful, as a result.

    In an earlier post, you made clear what drives the Sudafed/Ammo decisions. If folks are cooking up their own drugs, they'll actually buy less from the pharma companies. Restricting them may be less about morality, and more about money. Which makes it consistent with enabling the sale of lots of large-maagazines and ammo.

  11. Bentpine Says:

    The crazy christian's rally around Chickie Fil A just further illustrates they are one of the most easily manipulated demographics groups in the USA.

    It's no wonder they eat up like Fox news like it was scripture.

    I also like this quick hit format:
    Boom. Point made.

  12. xynzee Says:

    Never eaten CFA, and never will.

    I'm with Sarah, what to do when your product is manufactured in a way that goes against one's beliefs? Damn you Apple!!!

    I've seen things floating around wasteBook about his "Right to Free Speech". Well just because you have an opinion doesn't make it correct.

  13. unclemike Says:

    "Alls I gots to do is buy a chicken sammitch and that'll shut the gays up? Shore, I'll do that!!"

    At least, that's what it seems like to me.

  14. bb in GA Says:

    Most right wingers I listen to have no problem w/ whatever words or actions y'all Lefties want to engage in (up to and including some of the slander I see here) but the sticking point is government officials threatening any business using the full force of the (administrative) Law.

    Even our buds at the ACLU recognized that what Rahmbo, another Chicago city official and the Mayor of Boston engaged in what is technically called "view point discrimination," is patently un-Constitutional, and would be a loser in court.

    Another point is that CFA, like most of these chains, is a franchise deal. Ol' Dan gets some rake off from the franchise, but these are local people who own the store in your town.

    How would y'all feel if some Red State, R public official said that he would oppose the expansion of an Amazon warehouse/distribution center w/ the full force of the Law because the CEO promotes and contributes to LGBT causes?

    I'm agin' it either way…

    I see those big mouth pols have backed it down a little…

    //bb

  15. Tim Says:

    The difference, bb, is that one viewpoint is that a group should have its rights suppressed and/or stripped away. The other side is that those people should be treated exactly the same as the rest of the population.

    This isn't a situation where both sides have equal moral footing.

  16. bb in GA Says:

    @Tim

    I guess I just undercut my point by what you view as a false equivalence.

    So what if Ol' Dan is a butt head in his views and is absolutely wrong. How does that justify a government official from using his or her office to move against a legally constituted and law abiding business in the ways threatened?

    I don't like it either way no matter who may hold the correct position on the subject. And based on a prominent legal opinion of a group that is ordinarily sympathetic to the Left, the government behavior is not legally defensible.

    //bb

  17. mel in oregon Says:

    you know americans hate to be criticized, they love the world of let's pretend. i think the CEO of cfl is full of shit, but what else is new, with a very few exceptions all CEOs are. while so many on this site, or any other for that matter, piss & moan about the wealthy .1% that has stolen their money (which is true), we never think about how we exploit the hell out of people all around the world, replacing a democratically elected leader with a tyrant so we can steal that countries resources (mostly oil). i get so sick of some asshole on TV saying, "thank you american troops for protecting us". they aren't protecting ordinary people, they are protecting the adelsons, romneys, & big american business. no one with any sense doesn't respect our marines, soldiers, airmen & sailors, but don't confuse the issue. we have been responsible for a great deal of suffering for many, many people, millions of unnecessary deaths, all so a small group of contractors, armament makers, & a few admirals & generals can get wealthy. think about that while you wallow in self pity.

  18. Jason Says:

    I know it wasn't the backbone of the argument, but for Christ's sake, can we please drop the, "thousands of rounds of ammo" crap? It's not unusual. Serious hobbyists can go through that much in an afternoon, and lots of people buy in bulk because it saves a lot of money (group buys are common as well). I know one who is into historic guns (modern too). He's quite liberal, not interested in overthrowing the government or going on a shooting spree, and he's got over 20,000 rounds stockpiled simply because he tries not to miss really good bargains when they come up. And he's not all that out of the ordinary.

  19. NoPublic Says:

    for Christ's sake, can we please drop the, "thousands of rounds of ammo" crap? It's not unusual. Serious hobbyists can go through that much in an afternoon,

    No. Really. They don't. I shot competitively for years. I'd go through about 2000-3000 rounds a week when training (shooting 3-500 rounds a day). If you're lighting off thousands of rounds in an afternoon you're just slinging lead around and you're not serious by any definition I'd care to adhere to. You're just playing with dangerous toys. Which is fine, just not serious.

  20. Sarah Says:

    How would y'all feel if some Red State, R public official said that he would oppose the expansion of an Amazon warehouse/distribution center w/ the full force of the Law because the CEO promotes and contributes to LGBT causes?

    Never been to Chicago, and the last time I was in California I was a toddler. I visited Boston for a few days last year when my sister and her then-fiance were participating in commencement exercises at Boston University for their Master's degrees. I don't think that entitled me to vote in their mayoral election, though. Maybe you should send this question to the people of Boston, San Fran, and Chicago, along with your huffy and self-righteous tone, seeing as how they are the ones who voted those guys into office?

    Or, to put it another way: I'm all for free speech, even if it's morons like yourself and Dan Cathy who are making that speech. And as you yourself point out, the ACLU has come out against those mayors threatening Chik-Fil-A against expansion opportunities in their towns. (It may surprise you to learn that the ACLU has done a lot to protect the rights of Christians, even when those Christians are being bigoted assholes. Westboro Baptist Church comes immediately to mind.)

  21. sluggo Says:

    I assume that if someone is against gay marriage, that they are pro-gay divorce.

    Do any of these people that gay marriage is not mandatory?

    When two people get married, there are actually two events going on: the religious that everyone sees, and the legal contract signed in next room after the ceromony, and filed with the County Clerk afterwards. Legally that one counts. No one seems to understand that these are two separate events.

    Chik-Fil-A is closed on Sunday. That much they got right. More places should be closed on Sunday.

  22. mothra Says:

    bb: FYI, slander is spoken, libel is written. Generally, both get a pass when used in opinion speech or writing. You didn't see Sandra Fluke suing Limbaugh when he went on his tirade against her, did you? That's because his speech is considered opinion. Although he did tread a fine line when talking her sexual activity. Regardless, the point of Ed's post was not that Chick-Fil-A's owner does not have a right to express his opinion, but that it is a circus sideshow that should have been ignored by ALL concerned.

    At least I think that was his point.

  23. Ellie Says:

    Well, seeing the lines at Chik-fil-A actually kinda cheered me up.

    The people in the photos were almost all white, and the age range looked older than average to me. Old people die off, and white people are steadily becoming a smaller portion of the population.

    It's something, anyway.

  24. jeffteaches Says:

    @bb:

    Seriously? "Most right wingers I listen to have no problem w/ whatever words or actions y'all Lefties want to engage in (up to and including some of the slander I see here)…" SERIOUSLY?

    I live in Georgia, born and raised. A few of us lurk here, and I often feel motivated to defend my state when it is painted with broad strokes, or when the South is blamed for the frightening state of stupidity currently plaguing our nation.

    But when you make a statement like this, you just make us look…stupid. You really believe this statement, don't you? I bristle when someone syas, "Let Dixie leave the Union again, and the country will be a better place!" But if you can believe your own words, and I know you can because all my old friends have morphed into conservative Repubs who say similar, disingenious shit, then maybe sinking us into the sea is America's best hope…

    BTW, CFA is quite tasty. But I rarely eat there, so I won't miss it.

  25. Elle Says:

    So what if Ol' Dan is a butt head in his views and is absolutely wrong. How does that justify a government official from using his or her office to move against a legally constituted and law abiding business in the ways threatened?

    I make this point very tentatively, because I think there is no end to the things I don't understand about this discussion.

    I've been trying to read some background, and came across the Turlock law, which is described as the basis for keeping big box retailers out of a town centre to provide some measure of protection for small business owners. NYC has apparently declined to permit Wal-Mart to trade in the five boroughs because of its failure to comply with employment law.

    If it's reasonable (or lawful) to deny permission to companies to trade in specific areas on the grounds of their impact on local businesses, why isn't it reasonable to deny permission to companies to trade on the grounds of their impact on groups of people? I assume that the demand for chicken in Boston is not infinite. Why should whomever makes the decisions not prefer to proffer permits to any chickenmongers who are more likely to offer fair employment to LGBT people in Boston, and to be a good corporate citizen in a way that benefits all of the community?

  26. bb in GA Says:

    @jeffteaches

    Sorry if I make you look/feel stupid. I listen/talk to a more libertarian crowd. Again, sorry if I'm too narrow. I said nothing about Secession II nor do I yearn for it. Fill me in Jeff, I'm sufficiently dense that I don't quite get it.

    @mothra

    thanks for the re-instruction on libel/slander. I meant libel here at G&T. Some things have been printed here are mere vile speculation.

    I meant 'slander' in the colloquial, non-legal sense of the word where the speaker says something that is just their mean spirited opinion mostly devoid of fact, not some actionable behavior.

    @Elle

    We are not there yet, but running about 200 mph w/ our hair on fire in the direction you lay out.

    Right now, our legal system still protects stupid speech (even mine Jeff) from 'view point' discrimination relative to Government actions against someone like CFA.

    However, if those public officials wanted to nail CFA effectively from expanding in their jurisdictions they could have indicated their desires quietly inside their administrative machinery to choke Cathy's gang with red-tape. That's the real Chicago/New York/Boston way isn't it?

    Politicians just can't seem to keep their mouths shut though and they probably have ruined that option for awhile…

    @Sarah

    If we do a weighted average of who the ACLU defends, I speculate that the Left leaning defendants and causes are easily the majority and I'm guessing 75% – 90% of their work. My bias is (without proof) that they take the occasional right wing case or Christian butt heads like WBC just for pointing purposes when they are called names by right wingers.

    //bb

  27. Major Kong Says:

    Unless of course we were talking about someone wanting to build a house of worship from that other Abrahamic religion (you know who). Then it's just fine for politicians to openly try to zone it out of existence.

    Right-wing hypocrisy, it's not a bug it's a feature.

  28. Bernard Says:

    yes, supporting bigotry is not good, whether liberal "keep out of my town" or "gays have no right to marriage," my way or the highway John Wayne Americanism.

    haven't heard too many rightwingers tell the Lord and Mighty Fox news or others to respect the loonie left. mostly attack full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

    i guess that is what amazes me. the desire to force religious/marriage beliefs on others is what astoundes me about the Right. they seem to have no clue they are forcing their "religious" beliefs on others.

    but this is America, and as i have said earlier, the Right has God on their side. so that's all the "correctness" the Media wants. at least the white folks are dying off, though i won't be around to enjoy the renaissance of intelligence, if it were to be allowed. and i am white, by the way.

    i just can't imagine using that much ammo. you got to have lots of money to waste to shoot that much. if you aint good enough of a shot after shooting all that, wow. you are even worse of a shooter and shoudln't handle a gun.

    as someone once said. try to help the poor and you are a hero, try to question why there are poor and you are a trouble maker. America, wonderful example of The Elites running things, their way, even if we cared.

  29. Bernard Says:

    the loony white folks, as in Arizona and the rest of the scared shitless, hate brigades. those are the "whites" i am referring to, aka dying off.

  30. Leon Says:

    Bb: My bias is (without proof) that they take the occasional right wing case or Christian butt heads like WBC just for pointing purposes when they are called names by right wingers.

    I think you perceive much more calculation than is actually there. The ACLU, in my view is pretty ideologically pure and consistent, and I think it sometimes frustrates the hell out of them when they're put in the position of defending repugnant groups like WBC. What's the saying?: I may not agree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. Lot's of people say it, the ACLU does it. When I find myself on the opposite side of an issue from the ACLU, I have no question why; it's my gutteral inconsistency going up against their ideological consistency.

    Re: CFA: you think they treat gay people poorly, think of how they treat their chickens.

    Re: re: CFA: seems like a sideshow and a stupid shitstorm blown way out of proportion by social media. You want to boycott them, welcome aboard-I wouldn't dream of eating there after reading Omnivore's Dilemma. They apparently don't exist in my state (Oregon), so that makes the decision that much easier… How does one express their dissatisfaction with a place they already would never go to? I think my problem with the boycotts and the counter boycotts are the noise of it all. Vote with your dollars and STFU.

    Re: our gun laws and the short attention spans of my fellow 'mercins: it's been, what, two weeks, and CFA is now page one top story noos?! WASF

  31. Elle Says:

    Right now, our legal system still protects stupid speech (even mine Jeff) from 'view point' discrimination relative to Government actions against someone like CFA.

    Wading into even deeper waters, here, but does the First Amendment really give lifetime protection against the consequences of speech?

    Imagine company G said, "Environment, schmenvironment. We think the Charles River is underpolluted, and intend to dump our chicken waste in it if we ever open a site in Boston, and tree huggers can go crying to their mothers if they don't like it." Would it be unreasonable of a Government to do additional due diligence, beyond that which they would do with companies A-F, to work out how much they didn't intend to abide by environmental regulations, and then to factor that into a decision?

  32. Xynzee Says:

    @Bernard: the original
    When I fed the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why are the poor hungry, they called me a communist.
    –Dom Helder Camara (archbishop of São Paulo)

    Though I believe he was quoting a French Jesuit Priest.
    Either way there's a good chance neither would be pro-gay marriage.

  33. Sarah Says:

    If we do a weighted average of who the ACLU defends, I speculate that the Left leaning defendants and causes are easily the majority and I'm guessing 75% – 90% of their work. My bias is (without proof) that they take the occasional right wing case or Christian butt heads like WBC just for pointing purposes when they are called names by right wingers.

    Eh, and here I was just thinking that right-wingers who spend any effort (marginal effort, of course) which happens to benefit a left-wing cause are doing so just to say that they are not as big on assholery as they are made out to be.

    So, bb, how much time did you spend calling out Sarah Palin when she was harassing the Muslims of New York about their "ground zero mosque" which was NOT a mosque and was NOT at ground zero?

    It is also very interesting to me that you attempt to distance yourself from Westboro by calling them "butt heads," considering that they are only doing what Dan Cathy is doing and taking it to the extreme.

  34. bb in GA Says:

    @Sarah

    Let's not play that game. I don't have complete knowledge nor responsibility for every action of every right of center person on the planet nor do you for the Left.

    I disagree w/ WBC and maybe SP if I knew the details of her particulars in that case.

    Would it be just as fair to say that Pol Pot was just taking Liberal thoughts and policies to the extreme? Obviously no. Stop w/ the sophistry.

    //bb

  35. Sarah Says:

    @bb:

    Dude, you are the one who came in here all smugly self-righteous about how you are "agin'" the use of government to infringe on people who exercise their free speech, when we weren't even discussing what was said by the mayors of the cities in question.

    Bully for you, by-the-by; what do you want, anyway? A cookie?

    There's a Christian virtue you ought to remember–the one about humility, and pride being one of the seven deadly sins. The greatest of the seven deadly sins, in fact.

    Maybe it didn't occur to you, with the two brain cells you have to rub together, that most liberals wouldn't support what those mayors were saying, even if we did appreciate their intent–and that's why many of us maintain memberships with the ACLU and other organizations which promote free speech.

    But maybe your problem with the ACLU is that they promote free speech and free exercise of religion for non-Christians. If, in fact, 90% (your number which you admit to pulling out of your ass) of the ACLU's business is going towards the protection of the rights of non-Christians, perhaps that is because Christians comprise the majority in this country, exercise most of the political and social power and engage in 90% of the assholery.

  36. Hazy Davy Says:

    This is actually one of the rare times when I appreciate bb. I say that, sincerely. I'm able to understand his/her perspective, better than I could have, before.

    Still, my issue was *never* with CFA president's position on gay marriage (even though I vehemently disagree with it.)

    No, no, it was with the fact that he benefited from some "good will" by saying, just last year, that the company "will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family."
    To then do exactly what he said he wouldn't suggests that the first statement was Machiavellian.

    And my issue is with the masses of people who are lining up to consume fast-food chicken sammiches to support a corporation (all in the name of "faith") How many of those same people ridiculed President Obama for campaigning on "Hope"? How many are genuinely "charitable" (perhaps through service or unconditional generosity)? How many are "faithful", heartily praying to God, rather than preaching on streetcorners or being seen at church?

    In summary:
    - Dan Cathy's a lying jerk.
    - Supporters of CFA, at this time, are claiming that they're supporting CFA's Christian definition of marriage. At the same time, it seems to me they've replaced the theological virtues of "Faith, Hope, and Charity" with "Materialism, Blame, and Judgment".
    - I'm a vegetarian, and not a Christian. Gosh, I hope the maker of anghang suka doesn't do this kind of crap, because then, what would I eat on my cucumbers?

  37. Noshoes Says:

    I have a friend, a sweet guy actually, who changes into an obnoxious right-wing hypocrite every time his hands touch his computer's keyboard. He posted his "support" of Chik-Fil-A recently by eating there twice, going on and on about the long lines, the deliciousness of the food, blah blah blah… so I challenged his ass: "Hey, remember me? Your lesbian friend who wants to marry her girlfriend someday? WTF's up with you?" His response had something to do with "freedom of speech," which apparently only needs to be defended when far-right crazy christians aren't getting enough publicity. My reply: "I love freedom of speech and I love it when a company like Chik-Fil-A lets me know exactly where they stand so I can never, ever give them any of my money and I can encourage everyone I know to also refrain from giving Chik-Fil-A their money." He couldn't really argue with that.

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