"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Today in WTF?

New Zealand starts to sound very good, and it's not just Trump:

Restaurants with the rather generic name “Lucky Teriyaki” in Washington are bearing the brunt online after a misunderstanding caused by a language barrier prompted the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office to post on their official Facebook page that the one in Sedro-Woolley wasn’t welcoming police officers to eat there.

On Thursday, four Skagit County deputies stopped at the Sedro-Woolley restaurant to eat. When they were paying their bill, they say the owner told them they were no longer welcome there because they upset other customers. But after Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt called for a boycott of the business, a local television station, KIRO-TV, sent a reporter to the restaurant with a Mandarin interpreter to ask them about the incident.

It turned out the restaurant owner and his son had not understood what was being said to them and didn’t intend to tell the officers that police weren’t welcome there.

OK, a misunderstanding because of a language barrier. So what the hell is the sheriff doing calling for a boycott? Get that? The sheriff, in his capacity as a government official, called for a boycott of a private business.

The did publish a follow-up which, frankly, is rather lame:

This morning I met with the owner of Lucky Teriyaki and his son. They apologized for the incident that made news yesterday, and expressed their desire to accept everyone to their business, including law enforcement officers associated with all offices and departments. I told both father and son that I was appreciative and grateful for their willingness to once again welcome everyone to visit their restaurant. And that it was my hope that this matter can quickly be put behind us all.

Thank you to all of the citizens who expressed support for law enforcement in Skagit County. Please accept that this matter has been resolved to our satisfaction, and we encourage everyone to patronize Lucky Teriyaki.
(Emphasis added.)

They never were unwilling to welcome everyone. They misunderstood your cops, your cops misunderstood them, and you shot from the hip. So who are you, John Wayne?

And, just to prove the level of intelligence in "real 'Muricans," get this:

“I couldn’t believe what your doing, if people don’t like the police, then the people in your dump are the same kind of people who ought to find some other country to live in,” wrote Ray Ginting on the review page for a Lucky Teriyaki restaurant in Everett, which is almost an hour away from Sedro-Woolley. “Who you gonna call if you get robbed ? Enough said – and i live 1,700 miles away. I think its time for some inspections, don’t you.”

Another man echoed the boycott call.

“Avoid this place at all cost,” Ross Zanzucchi wrote. “The fact that you won’t serve police officers is a total disgrace. Boycott this place and shut it down!”

Some tried to point out, to no avail, that it was the wrong business.

“You’ve got the wrong restaurant, Einstein,” one man wrote.

The Lucky Teriyaki in Tacoma, which is 100 miles away from Sedro-Woolley, is also facing a backlash.

“Is there a way too give negative stars,” wrote Paul C. on Yelp. “If I ever go back thru Tacoma, I will never give them my business. I hope that they are robbed and feel that need to call the police. ..hmm if I were part of the law enforcement in the Tacoma area of just tell them, well not not much we can do.”

It's instructive that these yahoos are immune to being corrected -- it's the mindset fostered by the more -- how shall I put it -- "conservative" elements in our country: What they "know" to be true is true, and that's that. Facts, as we learned from the Hobby Lobby* decision, take second place to belief.

* One of the key parts of that decision, authored by Justice Alito:

The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions. . . .

One thing that is not mentioned in the opinion is the scientific consensus on the particular contraceptives:

 In an editorial, the New England Journal of Medicine called the decision "a setback for both the ACA's foundational goal of access to universal health care and for women's health care specifically", voicing concern that "in assessing the competing claims about abortion and birth control, the Court's majority focused on the religious claims of the corporations without discussing scientific or medical opinions."[65] In JAMA Internal Medicine, Alta Charo wrote that "consistent with a disturbing trend among courts and legislatures to misstate or misuse scientific information in the context of women's reproductive rights and health, the Supreme Court's decision ignored the well-accepted distinction between contraception and abortion."[66] The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, representing 90% of U.S. board-certified gynecologists, supported a bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby ruling.[67]

Alito makes the point, amply supported by precedent, that the Court should not be adjudicating what constitutes a valid religious belief (although it has done so in the past). However, what this leaves us with is a ruling by the Supreme Court that says, in essence, belief trumps fact.

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