It certainly isn't funny
In his letter to the editor on Monday, Bill Schaffner stated that if Roseanne had used the same language as Samantha Bee, Roseanne would still have a show. I completely agree! But likely not for the same reason.
You see, there is a significant and meaningful difference between name calling and racial slurs. Not that name calling is a decent thing, but dressing like a Nazi and baking people-shaped cookies in the oven and tweeting about a black woman while referring to her as a product of Planet of the Apes and Islam is definitely racist, definitely different. When someone makes fun of something and diminishes a person about that which they cannot change (think skin color, birth defects, physical features, gender, etc.), it crosses a line and should be off-limits. For instance, it's like making fun of a reporter with a birth defect on national television. I will not defend the crudeness of Samantha Bee's remark, but the joke was against the behavior of Ivanka Trump, not her race or ethnicity, gender, or physical characteristics.
And why are we expecting a comedian to behave better than the person who occupies the Oval Office, and where is the outrage and insistence for him to apologize or behave better? When we demand more of ABC and TBS than we do of the highest office in the land, it lessens us all. That's no joke, and it certainly isn't funny.
Decision set no precedent
I write today because of your paper's recent editorial regarding the Masterpiece Cake decision. While the decision is newsworthy beyond all doubt, your editorial misconstrued the court's ruling in service of your political ideology.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips only in the most charitable understanding of the term. The focus of the court's decision was upon the treatment of Phillips by the Colorado authorities, not his alleged expression. Not only did the court not reach the issue of whether baking a cake rises to the level of expressive conduct, but the concurring opinions make clear that even bakers are unclear as to whether their work constitutes speech, and if it does, whose speech it represents.
This decision will provide little guidance in future cases and is generally unhelpful as precedent. An identical case where Phillips was treated "neutrally" by the state of Colorado would likely be found in favor of the gay couple whose rights and dignity were infringed upon by the Phillips.
There will come a time when the court will be forced to revisit these same issues with facts that do not allow them an easy escape. When they do so, Phillips will not prevail. The dignity of our fellow citizens in the LGBTQ community depends upon knowledge that they cannot be turned away simply due to the private beliefs of a shopkeeper running an otherwise religiously unaffiliated establishment. That justification did not protect those who wished to avoid serving black patrons during segregation, and it will fare no better in the modern day.
Two sides to every coin
In defense of the writer of the recent review of Senor Manuel's restaurant in The Gazette, I offer these thoughts: there are two sides to each coin; you only get one chance to make a first impression; for every ying there's a yang; one man's junk is another man's treasure; ad nauseum!
I thought your reviewer was dead on. As a lover of Mexican food, I am always looking for the next delicious meal being served somewhere and will give an opportunity for every Mexican restaurant to have me as a loyal customer. One visit to Senor Manuel's years ago convinced me never to go back.
The point is, everyone has different tastes (pun intended) as evidenced by the loyal fans of Senor Manuel's writing to The Gazette.
Intellectually inbred thinking
A subtle but important nuance concerning California Democrats' one-party hegemony was predictably lost in the article concerning its evolving political landscape ("Calif. primary could set stage for midterms," June 5).
Twice the article referenced Republicans' diminishing fortunes due to the state becoming "more diverse."
Swimming in the mainstream media's ocean of identity politics the AP reflexively equates ethnic and racial diversity with diversity of thought, when nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, as ethnic minorities flooded the state it has become substantially more ideologically monochromatic, that is, less diverse in the manner most critical to the human condition - the universe of ideas. The threat to civil society rises when intellectually inbred thinking seeps into the groundwater of our culture.
Ironically, our Founding Fathers were far more intellectually curious and diverse than the Democratic Party, which is striving to become a hermetically sealed kingdom, walled off from the great unwashed masses of mainstream Americans.
Indeed, as we approach the midterms it's becoming clear that the left has unwittingly painted itself into an ideological corner, a politically lonely place whose only comfort is the numbing echo of its voice.