Car dealers fear Tesla. In states across the country, powerful car dealer associations have lobbied to ensure the electric car maker and its direct-sales model are kept out. This movement claimed another victory this week when New Jersey banned Tesla stores in the state.
On the surface, the fear is hard to fathom. In New Jersey, for instance, sales of Tesla’s $70,000 Model S reportedly number in the hundreds. But if you dig a little deeper, it becomes obvious why dealers are worried. They don’t just fear Tesla’s cars. They fear Tesla’s plan to create a world where you never have to bring your car into the shop again.
The first and most striking way Tesla kills the dealer service department cash cow is downloads. As part of its sales pitch, Tesla says you should think of its Model S sedan as “an app on four wheels.” That may sound like vacuous Silicon Valley marketing copy, but the company isn’t just being metaphorical. Software is at the heart of what keeps Teslas running. These internet-connected cars are designed to self-diagnose their problems. The vehicles can also download software fixes or updates — even new features — much like an iPhone when Apple puts out a new version of iOS. When fixes happen over the air, there’s no need for a shop in the first place.
Some absolutely sickening news out of Kentucky this month: Sunrise Children’s Services, which shelters and feeds more than 2,000 abused and neglected children every year, is facing a $7 million budget shortfall—a shortfall entirely manufactured by the Kentucky Baptist Convention in order to prevent Sunrise from hiring gay people.
MARK JOSEPH STERN
Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.
The trouble started last year, when Sunrise’s then-president and CEO, Bill Smithwick, suggested that the group end its ban on hiring gay people. Smithwick reasoned that, with LGBT nondiscrimination legislation on the horizon, Sunrise’s anti-gay policies could cause the charity to lose its taxpayer funding, which accounts for about 85 percent of its operating budget. Kentucky’s Baptist community, however, wasn’t so enthusiastic. As soon as Smithwick introduced the proposal, the Kentucky Baptist Convention encouraged its affiliates to blacklist Sunrise until it abandoned its proposed nondiscrimination policy. Church donors across the state immediately began withholding their usual contributions,
Aside from Smithwick, no one will understand that message better than the 2,000 children who rely upon Sunrise every year to protect them from dire poverty or abusive parents. Thanks to the convention’s actions against Sunrise, those children’s wellbeing is now imperiled by a grave (and entirely manufactured) budget shortfall. In protesting Smithwick’s proposal, the convention claimed that hiring gay people would violate Baptist teaching. It seems, then, that depriving impoverished kids of food, clothes, and services in order to make a political point is more Christian than allowing a children’s charity to stop discriminating against gays.
Noah Rothman, Mediaite’s resident right wing moll, in a new article claims:
You can gauge the scope of a movement’s influence by the causes they adopt, and the cultural left has set their sights pretty low in recent months.
While not controversial in its own right, it’s controversial in light of the position of the gop and the plank of the modern right (homophobia? check..misogyny and chauvinism? check… thinly veiled racism…check).
Noah does not stop by suggesting that the left are simply intolerant; he goes on to claim:
the latest row over former Washington Post “WonkBlog” columnist Ezra Klein’s decision to hire a young writer by the name of Brandon Ambrosino for his new venture, Vox Media. Klein’s hiring of the 23-year-old aspiring writer for a one-year fellowship inspired a backlash utterly disproportionate to the scale of his infraction.
And what was his infraction? Ambrosino, an out gay man, refused to conform to the expected stereotypes to which progressives believe a gay man should kowtow. Worse still, he challenged and disconfirmed their biases on a regular basis.
Hear that left wing bigots? Your bias against homophobia is ‘disconfirmed’, not true, nonsense, and that makes you a bigot.
He rests his argument on claims that Ambrosini is not, in fact, a homophobe:
Ambrosino compounded his sin in the eyes of the reactionary left when he defended the likes of Alec Baldwin who was accused, himself, of being a homophobe when he used anti-gay slurs in one of his regular fits of rage. But an actor who has enjoyed a storied career in New York City’s theater scene, Ambrosino thought, is unlikely to be a bigoted caricature.
Before we dissect the actual homophobia and anti-transsexual mutterings of Ambrosino, let’s have a look at Rothman’s hammering of liberals for calling Baldwin homophobic:
MSNBC’s newest host, Alec Baldwin, is in some hot water - again - for allowing his basest impulses to overrule his better judgment. When confronted by a paparazzo on the streets of New York City recently, Baldwin let loose a stream of sexually explicit and homophobic slurs. This behavior has become commonplace with Baldwin. But now that he is no longer an eccentric actor but a cable news host, the former 30 Rock star is being held to a higher standard.
The actor’s new role as an on-air host at a cable news network requires, some would say, that he conduct himself in a fashion consistent with the standards of the network he represents. Indeed, some media personalities are no longer laughing at Baldwin’s antics.
The fact that the Baldwin incident has not yet been addressed is shocking. This is hardly an isolated incident. MSNBC knew what they were getting when they hired Baldwin, and should have been prepared to discipline him when - not if - the next torrent of expletives came streaming from the actor’s unfiltered subconscious.
Yes, that is the same Noah Rothman, calling out MSNBC for not directly addressing Baldwin’s homophobia.
However, let’s not pause on what appears to be shocking hypocrisy; let us move on to Ambrosino’s remarks that Noah feels so desperate to defend, and seems to infer harms the left when they criticize them.
His gross distortions of mainstream gay views and stunning lack of fluency in the basic language of gay equality reveals him to be little but a feckless provocateur. His mischaracterization of 20th-century philosopher Michel Foucault—Ambrosino warps the philosopher’s idea that sexuality is a “social construct” to justify his view that gays choose their sexuality—has gotten him called out by academics. But his use of nonsensical phrases like “intersexed crossdressers” (intersexuality, a medical condition, has nothing to do with cross-dressing) and penchant for referring to transsexualism as a “sexual choice” (it’s not about sexuality) show that his lack of familiarity with his subject matter runs even deeper.
A 23-year-old graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Ambrosino has earned his name as a journalist—and his coveted spot at Vox Media—by being the gay writer who comes to the defense of gay-rights antagonists.
He most recently stirred up a storm by proclaiming, at The New Republic, that homosexuality is a choice and that he has chosen to be gay.
Time magazine gave him space to call gays the real bigots for piling on Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, who had equated homosexuality with bestiality and said gays weren’t going to heaven (still, Ambrosino says he wouldn’t mind going fishing with the guy).
At The Atlantic, Ambrosino threw his hat in the ring for the founder of his alma mater, who blamed September 11 on gays and accused them of trying to “recruit” children; Ambrosino says liberals like Bill Maher have slandered the Moral Majority founder and says, in Falwell’s defense, that the guy with the “big fat smile” probably wouldn’t have had him stoned to death if he’d known about Ambrosino’s sexuality.
Ambrosino also defends the views of ex-gay therapists and same-sex marriage opponents, whom he says aren’t motivated by bigotry.
In The Baltimore Sun, Ambrosino went after the guys in “butt-less chaps and high-heels” at gay-pride marches who earn society’s prejudice with their “hypersexual antics”: “I think there is a subversive power in living out my gay life in a way that seeks to emphasize the common ground I share with straight communities,” he wrote.
“I don’t want to participate in an event that seeks to highlight how countercultural I am.” Unsurprisingly, the religious right has been thrilled to find an acolyte among the fallen.
So Rothman wants all you liberals to understand: calling out Duck Dynasty, and Phil Robertson, and Ambrosino, and Falwell as homophobic or bigots is wrong, and amounts to bigotry.
The harm, Rothman, concludes, is to the left for intolerance of intolerance, not to the right for intolerance of sexuality and gender.
This is of course nonsense, as I wrote in ‘on the tolerance paradox.’
It is that simple - ethics applies different criteria to different principles. Yes, while this makes the idea of tolerance somewhat subjective, when the ethics tend to be universal the anterior principle should simply not be tolerated.
an example of this is gay rights.
When a religious person attempts to use the ‘tolerance paradox’ to defend their use of discrimination they violate the ‘objective universal ethics of non-discrimination’ and therefore, there simply is no paradox.
Their rights to tolerance apply only insofar as they do not violate the personal rights of another for any reason. It does not matter if the reason is homosexuality anymore than it matters if it is because they have blonde hair. The religious person has violated the others universal ethical principle of not discriminating against anyone for any reason. It is also not redundant to point out that here the principle claimed by the religious person is also highly subjective meanwhile the principle of non discrimination is highly objective.
A simpler understanding could be surmised from music:
You have every ethical right to not enjoy the music of Jon Bon Jovi. while your dislike is highly subjective, it does not violate the universal ethical principles of anyone else, so hate on brother……
however, you have no right to refuse to sell Jon Bon Jovi a samosa simply because you dislike his music. It does not matter if you feel that violates your rights, your hatred of his music is subjective, and his universal right to not be discriminated against is objective.
There simply is no paradox because they exist in different criteria, and therefore are not mutually exclusive.
There simply is no paradox of tolerance in relation to bigotry due to someone’s gender nor sexuality, because intolerance of bigotry directed at gender or sexuality exists as a different ethical principle than intolerance of said bigotry.
Rothman is simply defending bigotry, and did so while contradicting his own intolerance of Baldwin’s homophobia.
When aspiring model Mori Montgomery posted photos of the horrific injuries she allegedly sustained at the hands of her boyfriend, she shocked cyberspace. But she may have done more than that. Her courage may play a role in ending the stigma that often silences survivors of domestic violence.
Besides actual violence, the silence that accompanies domestic violence often can be just as destabilizing and damaging to families and communities. In a landmark 2006 article Essence magazine highlighted the startling rate of family violence in Prince George’s County, Md., an affluent enclave with a sizable black population. The fact that so much pain was occurring within a community that looked so perfect on the outside jolted many, and resulted in one of the first candid public discussions of the way silence and shame perpetuate violence in communities of color. Subsequent articles in the wake of the Essence article in outlets like the Washington Post highlighted community-wide campaigns to better address the issue. But silence and the stigma that accompanies victims who speak out have remained obstacles in efforts to end domestic violence.
Yet social media is increasingly giving victims a voice. In January social media was credited with saving the life of a woman allegedly beaten by her husband. After the assault, he ripped out the phone line. The victim then photographed her injuries and posted the photo on Facebook with the message, “Help please anyone,” leading her friends to call the police and to her husband’s arrest.
Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around AD 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national centre of commerce, population, and governmental activities. It is among the cleanest, greenest, and safest cities in the world.
Constituency Reykjavík North
• Mayor (Borgarstjóri) Jón Gnarr
• City and Municipality 274.5 km2 (106 sq mi)
• Metro 777 km2 (300 sq mi)
• City and Municipality 119,108
• Density 436.5/km2 (1,131/sq mi)
• Metro 202,341
• Metro density 259.4/km2 (672/sq mi)
View of the sea front line and the city of Reykjavik
View of part of the bay in front of the city hall
People attend a demonstration in Reykjavik
A protester blows a horn to protest against the Iceland’s 63-seat assembly vote from members of the Icelandic parliament in Reykjavík in favour of applying for EU membership on July 16, 2009
Riot police stand guard in front of the Icelandic Parliament house protesting the governments inability to handle the country’s ongoing financial crisis on October 1, 2010
Icelandic voters cross abridge on their way to the polling station at the City Hall
A low-lying rain cloud hovers above Reykjavík
A general view of crowd atmosphere during Sonar Reykjavik 2014 at Harpa Concert Hall on February 13, 2014
HARPA conference hall venue during Iceland Airwaves Music Festival on November 4, 2012 in Reykjavik,
A general view of The Marina during Iceland Airwaves Music Festival on November 4, 2012
downtown of Reykjavik
The house of Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson is seen outside Reykjavik
an elevated view of the capital
general atmosphere at the Blue Lagoon Chill Party on day 4 of the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival on November 2, 2013
the Icelandic parliament, Althingi
people relax in a park in front of the Alpingi parliament in Reykjavík
A garden next to the Alpingi Icelandic Parliament
the headquarters of Iceland’s biggest bank Kaupthing in Reykjavik
According to a Putin mouthpiece outlet in Russia, a specialized electronic warfare truck is claimed to have brought down an aging US spy drone (due for retirement and already being replaced) today in Ukraine.
The fact that Russia is capable of bringing down an older model US drone is not surprising, considering that it is rumored Iran used just such a Russian asset to bring down the much newer stealth spy drone a few years ago. What I find surprising is the nonchalance all of this is unfolding, with both sides avoiding any overtly fiery rhetoric.
I would like to think that this incident was a ruse by the US to give up an aging pawn in order to gauge the response of Russian electronic warfare capabilities, but it probably was a legitimate loss. The dangerous problem is that if drones cannot render survellience then it will probably come down to manned reconnaissance and that will get ugly really fast if an F-16 is downed and the pilot captured.
Nepal’s most prominent crusader for equal rights to sexual minorities, Sunil Babu Pant, is among the record 278 nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Pant, a former MP and Nepal’s first openly gay politician, is one of the several gay rights activists and organizations nominated alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin who is known for his anti-gay stance.
“I didn’t believe the news at first, but when many said “it’s true” and sent emails of congratulations, it made me happy,” Pant wrote to HT from UK where he is taking care of his unwell partner.
The 42-year-old founded Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s biggest organization fighting for rights of lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgendered (LGBTs) and is responsible for the 2007 Supreme Court ruling which directed Nepal government to grant equal status to sexual minorities.
These days LGBTs in Nepal can get their citizenship certificates, passports, voter identity cards and other important documents by enlisting themselves as third gender instead of calling themselves male or female.
According to Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), gay rights activists Igor Kochetkov from Russia, Frank Mugisha of Uganda and International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association are also among the nominees.
All of them have been nominated by Norwegian MPs Anette Trettebergstuen and Hakon Haugli.
I say good for Sam Adams!
The Boston Beer Company, which produces Sam Adams beer, has pulled its support of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade over its exclusion of LGBT groups. The company released the following statement explaining its decision:
We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.
We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.
We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade. We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor Thursday to castigate fellow Republicans for holding up aid to Ukraine over provisions boosting funding for the International Monetary Fund.
“What has happened? Where are our priorities? Is the IMF, no matter whether it’s fixed or not fixed with this legislation, more important than the lives of thousands of people? Is that what we’re talking about here?” he said.
He invoked Republicans’ secular saint — President Ronald Reagan. “I will say to my friends who were objecting to this — and there are a number of them on my side — you can call yourself Republicans. That’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans. Ronald Reagan would never, would never let this kind of aggression go unresponded to by the American people.”
He went on, “So now because of an IMF fix, or a campaign finance fix, we are now going to reject a piece of legislation that was done in a bipartisan basis with the leadership of the chairman who I see on the floor, of which I’m proud, ranking member, Senator Corker of Tennessee, and we’re going to say ‘no.’ And you know the most ridiculous thing about all of this is? The majority leader has filed cloture. We have well over 60 votes. So we’re going to be back in about 11 or 12 days, whatever it is. Cloture will have been expired. It’s well over 60 votes. And we will pass this.”
Marathon Petroleum, which received a $175-million tax break from the City of Detroit in a mammoth expansion project, is coming under fire from City Council for failing to hire enough Detroiters.
When Marathon asked the city for the tax break as part of the company’s plan to expand its operations in southeast Detroit in 2007, with the appeal came a pledge to recruit Detroiters for new jobs at the refinery.
The City Council granted the company the personal property tax abatement, forgoing millions in tax revenue. Even with the tax break, a city analysis estimated the expansion would generate $181 million in income taxes, real property taxes and other fees for the city over two decades.
“As we discuss job creation, please understand that we will do what we can to hire qualified Detroit residents,” then-Marathon Senior Vice President Garry Peiffer wrote to City Council in 2007. “It is our intention to work closely with the Detroit Workforce Development Department and a local institution of higher education to develop curriculum and offer training for interested Detroit residents.”
But the vision to hire more Detroiters never materialized. Now city officials will more closely monitor Marathon’s hiring practices to ensure the company is making an effort to hire Detroit residents.
“In a city with double-digit unemployment, any company that’s receiving a tax abatement of nearly $180 million should be giving more back, including hiring residents,” Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said in an interview.
Marathon employs 514 full-time workers at its refinery, thanks to the $2.2-billion expansion. That’s up from about 320 employees in 2007, when the city approved the personal property tax abatement, the largest of its kind in Detroit history.
Of the 514 employees, 30 are listed as Detroit residents as of January. In 2007, before the expansion, the company employed 15 Detroit residents. That means fewer than 6% of Marathon’s workers at the refinery live in the city, according to the company’s employment records, which must be submitted to the city annually under terms of its abatement agreement.