Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Barrel Full of Shut The Fuck Up

AWWW, now Bob! You know you can't say gay!
In the days of the internet, one can find just about anything to support a claim. Articles dating back ten, twenty, even fifty years are within a few keystrokes.  So, I'm not surprised that when people make accusations or seek to support a point-of-view, they instantly turn to Google, Yahoo! or Bing, and generally, within the first five pages, find exactly what they are looking for based on their search parameters.

 Take, for example, the man of the hour, the Thunder from Down Under (Kentucky), Lady In Waiting to the Queen of Bigotdom, Senator Stacey Campfield. Recently, he was asked to leave a fine establishment in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Bistro at the Bijou.  Having briefly worked for the Bijou, I was not an infrequent guest of the cafe, so when I read this, I immediately thought "My god... someone in Knoxville is standing up against this guy and its at a place I used to eat! Score!"  I was elated and so proud to have given my hard earned, liberal dollars to such a fine, upstanding eatery.

After denying to speak to any media sources about his Sunday Brunch Bust (admittedly, the GAYEST meal of the day), Mr. Campfield took to his blog, which I will NOT link to, to post the following in regards to the ordeal.  My comments are in bold, because this is how I roll.

As you may have read I was asked to leave a restaurant in Knoxville because my beliefs did not support the owners beliefs on homosexuality. I had not said anything. I was just standing there waiting for a table when the owner came up and started yelling at me calling me names and telling me they were not going to serve me because of my alleged beliefs saying I hate gays. I said in as calm a way as I could that I don't hate gays and the things I have said were backed up by the CDC. I offered to send her the links

(Links removed due to assholery... they link back to his own blog posts) I highly doubt, Stacey, that Ms. Boggs, a professional in her own right, stormed up to you and began to throw down in the middle of her brunch rush. And even if she did, that's the way America works. She owns her restaurant and she can refuse service. That is her right, just as it is yours to hold on to your bigoted, medieval beliefs.

As for your links, it seems pretty arrogant of you to simply link back to your own blog, which has already been highly discredited, by this blog and MANY others. You don't offer even one more valuable piece of evidence to support the already tired argument you keep attempting to make. Its like watching an octopus try to get at a fish inside a corked bottle. Eventually, the octopus should figure out how to remove the cork and eat the fish.  Mr. Campfield, you as an octopus are an Octoplegic. No matter how hard you try, you won't get that fish. Ever.

I have been quite open and clear on my beliefs and have backed them up with facts from the CDC and others. Unfortunately some people do not let facts get in the way of their prejudice.

At no point, sir, do you offer ANY facts from the CDC.  In that vein, let's see exactly what the CDC has to say about your stances.  For starters, you link to an Oxford Journal article as a source of life expectancy rates among gay men living with HIV. The statistics used for the article are from 1987 to 1992, dates ENDING twenty years ago.  This is hardly relevant data, and is refuted by the authors in their article of 2001, which is linked at the bottom of the page. But of course, you would probably have had to have read that far.

The CDC, on the other hand, notes that
"The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) since 1996 has significantly improved survival for persons infected with HIV. Schackman et al. estimated life expectancy from the time of infection to be 32.1 years from a large dataset of persons in routine outpatient care in the current treatment era.4 Using US national HIV surveillance data, another study estimated that average life expectancy after an HIV diagnosis increased from 10.5 to 22.5 years from 1996 to 2005.13"

That's a huge jump, and yes, while MSM are the highest, at-risk category for HIV infections, it is also noted by the CDC that "The term men who have sex with men (MSM) is used in CDC surveillance systems. It indicates the behaviors that transmit HIV infection, rather than how individuals self-identify in terms of their sexuality."

So guess what? That also includes some of your Republican colleagues, staunch conservatives and gay-haters, such as George Reckers and Chris Meyers,

She looked confused on what to do for a second then she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave. As Jesus said, "If you are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on". My friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.

The cries of "Ha ha. we showed him!" fall flat to me. It is not I who lost out. My friends and I still had a good meal. We just gave our money to a more gracious host.

It seems to me that, yet again, you have missed the point of what happened. Whether or not "we showed him!" is the general sentiment, one of your hard-working, small business-owning, tax-paying constituents took such issue with the radical and hateful way you express your personal feelings (and attempt to instill them in not just our legislature, but our school systems) that she felt she had no other choice but to ask you to vacate her establishment.  That you come away from a confrontation with the very tax-paying citizens you represent with an air of sanctimony and arrogance is astounding and shameful. Screw your breakfast. Voters are pissed and its your job, your JOB, to find out why and rectify it. You represent the people, not the other way around.

What was showed was a lack of professionalism. In my legislative role I have always had an open door to any of my constituency. Gay rights groups have been in my office several times and I would like to think that even though we may disagree on some issues I have always treated them graciously. 

Somehow, I find that VERY hard to digest (food pun). If gay rights groups had, in fact, met with you in your office and been confronted with the same bigotry and ignorance on our plight that you showed on Michelangelo Signorile's show, you would have been dealing with the fallout for quite some time, and not just now making a name for you in Annals of Intolerance.

In my private business (Property rental) I have rented to people of all races and creeds. Black, white, Asians, gay, straight, christian and non christian alike. I do not discriminate. I wonder how the owner of the restaurant would act toward another restaurant if the shoe were on the other foot and the business refused service to a gay person? I know I would not eat there.

As a property renter/owner, then you, of course, are well aware of the Fair Housing Act which prohibits you from denying rental, sale, etc. to any of the above mentioned attributes. And while the Civil Rights Act does protect people based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, it does NOT deny small business owners the ability to deny service to individuals whom they  feel may creative a disruptive environment for the establishment or its patrons, and sir, your ignorance is disruptive.

In the 60's my grandfather sat at the lunch counters with the blacks in Knoxville to help break up the segregation of the races. I guess some people still support segregation. Just segregation of thought. Some people have told me my civil rights were violated under the 1964 civil rights act in that a person can not be denied service based on their religious beliefs. (I am catholic and the catholic church does not support the act of homosexuality) I had not thought about that much.

I just figured this is just another example of the open minded tolerant left. They claim tolerances for divergent points of view.....Until someone actually has one. Then they don't know how to handle it.

Again, see my previous comment, but as for your grandfather, good for him. Perhaps you could learn a thing or two from a man who steps beyond the beliefs of an era and puts himself in such a position to effect change and tolerance. He should be applauded.

You, however, should not. You cling to a belief that homosexuality is wrong or evil, based on nothing but a book that has been revised, translated and rewritten countless times. You hide behind religion, and, much like the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition (or dare I say, The Holocaust) seek to justify your narrow-minded, hateful existence with the word of your God, a god, I might add, that does not represent the whole of America and has no place in politics.

And Liberals... we are EXTREMELY open to new points of view. We represent the parts of America Conservatives would either like to ship out or drown. We fight for the little guy (black people, Latinos, gays, lesbians, trans, women, small businesses, etc.) and celebrate our diversity. If we don't, who will? The rich, white Conservative party? The fat cats on Wall Street? No, sir. Liberals fight the good fight, we rage against the machine and seek out change where change is due.

No one is denying you your right to think or say stupid things, but as a legislature, and representative of a larger body, you are held to a much higher standard. And frankly, Mr. Stacey... it isn't your freedom of voice and expression we are pissed about, its your unabashed ignorance.

P.S. Cute title for your blog post: A Barrel Full Of Monkeys. I see what you did there, bringing up the monkey thing again. Nice. 


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