Wichmer the attorney, Pokin the journalist, and the old game Telephone

When I decided to write this particular post, I wanted to make sure enough time had passed from what happened to discussing what happened. I did this in hopes that the reader would be able to see the main point I’m making with my story, not seeing the example that sets up the main point.

What is the example? The example used involved Springfield’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Ordinance and restrooms.

What is the main point I want to make with the example? That point is how the media can lose track of the truth through their trust of previous reports. Further, in doing so it can make them look like they are playing “loosey goosey” with the facts.

But let’s start by going back a long time to get started off on a good note.

When I was a kid, I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I went to some of my elementary school years there in the southern New Mexico city. When I wasn’t in school, I would be at Little Playmates. It was a daycare that provided my parents with summer care for me and my brother.

While there we would play many games, inside and out, and it was a pretty good time.

There was one game I really liked. It was called “Telephone”. This was a game where all the kids would get in a circle. At one end of the circle a kid would start by whispering in the ear of the child beside him. He would whisper anything. For instance, he could say, “The goat wore a blue coat to the store.” The second child would whisper the same to the third, and this would happen until all the kids whispered what they heard to the next kid.

By the end, “The goat wore a blue coat to the store,” may have become, “I wore a blue coat to school.”

I loved it! How the initial statement made 20 children ago could get distorted little by little, and by the end you had something being said that was little, sometimes nothing, like what was initially stated.

Now, let’s fast forward to 2015. In Springfield, Missouri, we had a vote on April 7th to decide whether or not to keep a law in place that was very controversial – in part – because of the “restroom issue”. This issue was one brought up by opponents. Their concern was that by passing this law, along with other concerns, the city government would now leave the business owner unable to ask a male to leave a female’s restroom, or a female to leave a male’s restroom.

This was such a contentious topic that the city council even had whispers of amending the bill before it was initially passed to prevent this from happening. However, in the end they didn’t amend anything – just passed the law.

So, as it stood, the public was with the impression that when the law passed any male could go in to any female restroom, and vice versa. Because of the law being passed, business owners would be “discriminating” if they asked the person to remove theirself from the “wrong” restroom. In my mind, this is one of the reasons the law was repealed through the petition and voting process by the citizens of Springfield.

With this being the understanding, you can imagine my shock when I read a Springfield News-Leader editorial board article stating the following: “And the use of bathrooms? It’s already legal to enter a men’s or women’s restroom, regardless of gender, according to City Attorney Dan Wichmer in a previous News-Leader story.”

The position the board was taking was no shock. They had, for months, been very vocal and bias in their reporting on the issue. They made no effort to refute the fact that, for this particular issue, they had become commentators and not journalists.

But this particular comment caught my eye. It’s already legal to use the opposite gender’s restroom in Springfield? My first thought was that the comment made no sense. If that was the case, why was it such a big deal and why – in the course of the debate – did not one person say, “Hey, this is already legal.”

So, the first thing I did was look for the article they were referencing. I found it. Steve Pokin, a journalist who does “Pokin Around”, a regular report he does after investigating a particular issue, did a piece on the SOGI Law: Gender Identity and the Bathroom Debate.

In the article, Pokin states the following: “Is it currently against Springfield law to use a public restroom designated for the opposite sex? City Attorney Dan Wichmer says no. It’s already legal in Springfield for men to use women’s public restrooms, and vice versa.”

Now this is where I was completely confused. Again, if this is the case, why was this not brought up for years during the debate about this law. Not until his article comes out right before the vote does this concept even make an appearance.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. So I wrote Dan Wichmer. I asked, “Dan, Is it correct when the News-Leader asserts I can walk in to and use a women’s public restroom in Springfield and it’s not illegal? (Or at least that’s what they said you said.)”

His response reminded me of the Dan Wichmer I knew when on City Council. Very detailed in response, and if you’re not paying attention or even “want” to hear a certain thing, you can misunderstand his closely chosen words. His response: “Well, they are not correct.”

Wow! Hold the phone! What did he just say?? They are not correct?!

He went on to say that Springfield has an ordinance that allows “a business or public place to designate a facility as single sex.” In that same email, he went as far as to say that he interprets the law based on behavior because, if strictly enforced, my wife taking my newborn son in to a ladies restroom violates the letter of the law.

Where did this game of Telephone go so very wrong as to say that something that is illegal be reported as being legal?

Well, first we have to understand the law. From what I can gather, if a business owner owns a place with a restroom, until he marks the restroom as gender specific, either gender can use any of the restrooms. As soon as he marks it for a specific gender, it is only lawful for that gender to use that restroom… so far as to go that Dan Wichmer himself recognizes that Susy can’t take her one-year-old in the ladies room without violating the letter of the law.

That should lead us to recognize that the response from Wichmer said the law “allows”, but doesn’t force a business to create gender specific restrooms.

So, in the course of reporting, what in the world happened?!

Here is what I can come up with.

To begin, I don’t think Pokin or the News-Leader editorial board did anything nefarious. I do, however, believe they wanted to put something to rest that was a valid argument, thought they heard an answer they wanted to hear, and ran with it. Pokin in particular; the editorial board simply followed his lead without checking his facts.

The point to be made is this: even the media can get it wrong.

We are supposed to be able to trust the news sources we read, watch, and hear. However, the media are made up of people and just like the rest of us and they are imperfect.

Suffice to say that when we read, read with an open mind, recalling previous knowledge, and always being willing to trust but verify.


Blacks, bigots, gays and gals!

When I first met Lyle Foster in 2008, I knew right away I would like the guy. A small business owner, very intelligent, and funny in his approach – three pros right off the bat. Plus, when we met we were sitting along side each other as candidates for a city council election. We weren’t running for the same seat, so that made it all the easier to like him.

Since that time, I have grown more and more respect for the man. He was one of the few who wrote me when I was incarcerated; he has believed in me when others didn’t; he has brought a lot of development on the north side of Springfield with little government help. Above all that, he is a good man.

One of the things he regularly does these days (aside from running two businesses, tending to tenants of his rental lofts, and being involved in several community organizations) is contribute to the News-Leader on a regular basis (I don’t think the guy sleeps… no, really).

His articles are ones I read with dedication, and rarely miss. Not because I always agree with him; I do not. Regardless of my position or his, he makes me think. A few times we have gone back and forth with our thoughts. In short, I enjoy the guy.

The reason I bring him up is this: he recently wrote an article in the News-Leader, Talking about race issues should not be taboo. In it, he asserts an overall belief that because race is a taboo issue to discuss, our best, brightest, and most educated young adults are making choices in life that are – well, in my words – ignorant. Whether its a college frat chanting racist songs about lynchings, or the “splash” made by Starbucks wanting to discuss the race issue over the counter, we seem to think the topic of race is either a joke or one that should be discussed in passing.

Why is this? Well, this is where I agree with Lyle Foster 100%: the issue of race is taboo – one we are almost afraid to talk about – and in not talking about it we leave our nation in a world of ignorance, especially the younger generations. We don’t talk about race, history, and things we as a nation have overcome. We don’t talk about things we could be doing to improve society. We don’t act like a civilized, enlightened and capable nation.

Now, here is where Lyle and I may disagree – and that’s the “why”.

Why is it we don’t talk about it? The same reason we can’t talk about gender or sexuality: yes, it’s taboo. Why is it taboo? Because it has become nothing more than a political issue, and the issue is completely monopolized by a group of people who, if you have any sort of difference of opinion, you are racist, sexist, or a bigot.

If you disagreed with Obama, it wasn’t because he is so far out in left field that Cubans find him more palatable than they do their own Socialist leaders. It can’t be because his policies on economics, foreign relations, and social issues are not in keeping with what your positions are. Nope – it’s solely because you are racist. That’s all.

Same thing goes with Ferguson: forget the forensics, forget the investigation, forget the truth – if you aren’t on the black guy’s side, you’re racist.

But this is not only limited to race. There are other taboo topics.

For instance, did you know that if you use terms like “polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over confident, out of touch, secretive, will do anything to win”, you are sexist… well, if it’s in reference to Hillary Clinton. You read that right, all the terms used daily in today’s political arena are now code words for “I’m sexist” when used in unison with Hillary. There is a group dedicated to telling you just that, and spending their time finding these references against the Democrat Presidential Candidate.

Let’s do one more category (yes, category – because we can’t be individuals, we have to be in groups). The LGBT community – well, not the community as a whole. The activists. The LGBT activists will tell you they want to promote tolerance, yet the blogs and social media posts by the same crowd are filled with terms like evil, ignorant, intolerant, backwoods, bigot, anti-Christ. That’s just the few I found in one article’s comments section, looking only at the first nine comments out of the 247 made. I personally know a MSU college professor – a doctor in Sociology – who uses very similar terms on his Facebook page.

That, in lowly Springfield, MO.

So, where Lyle and I agree is that when the issue of pretty much anything that creates groups or sub-categories of Americans comes up(race, gender, sexual orientation), we can’t talk about it. It is taboo.

I don’t know why he personally thinks that is, but it is pretty clear that the same group that has a monopoly on those groups as a voting bloc will destroy you socially if you disagree.

Talk bad about female democrats, you are sexist.

Disagree with Gay Right’s Activists, you will be threatened.

Disagree with forensic evidence and side with a white police officer, your town will burn.

From a conservative who sorely wishes to discuss race, gender, and sexuality in a rational manner, I am here to tell you it seems impossible. It seems that if I personally want to talk about these topics, my opinion (regardless of how grounded, educated, and well thought out) will lead me to be called a racist and misogynistic homophobe.

How do you “talk” when you are cornered? How do you have a rational discussion with somebody who promotes tolerance and hypocritically happens to be the most intolerant person you know? How do you say “I disagree” when you know that as soon as you say that you are a backwoods, ignorant bigot?

Maybe it’s not impossible. However, until those very same people who are saying they want unity stop dividing the debate in to “good and bad” or “right and wrong”, we will get nowhere.

So, in conclusion, when the other side is ready to stop being the adjectives they are using against me, I don’t really know how to talk to them. Not that I’m better than any other human being, but I am better than to act like a fifth grader crying on the playground because not everybody agrees with my point of view. And I’m not for sure, but I would venture to say I’m not alone in my position.

When the individuals who are acting like children are ready to put their big boy (or girl (watch it now!!) britches on, maybe race and other said topics will stop being so “taboo”.

Maybe when we can do all that, we can give a little more hope to American posterity and how their society will interact and behave.

Saw it coming from a mile away

You ever find yourself in a situation that, if you were a betting person, you would go all in on what is about to happen? Well, this is one of those stories.

I’m was in a hurry yesterday. After several meetings for local politics I had to hurry back to the store and get some merchandise packed and off to the post office before they closed. I scurried about from the store to the library (to print postage) then to the Post Office.

As I walk in, I realize I’m not the only one that is making the last minute rush to the mailman. I am about 20th in line. But, to be honest, I didn’t mind; I was glad to have made it in time after promising two overseas customers I would have their items shipped that day.

As I walk in I notice two men sitting at a desk, not in line. As we move forward in line the two men remain sitting there. Younger fellas, they appeared to just be hanging out at the desk and not in line.

Well, as I move forward about five or six places, they get up and get three places in front of me.

The lady directly in front of me, an older white lady, turned around and asked me if I saw what she just saw. I told her yes, it appeared to me they decided the line wasn’t going to get any shorter so they chose where they wanted to be in line and took that place.

The lady in front of me then turned to the two gentlemen and mentioned, “Typically we start in the back of the line, not just in the middle.” The two men then said they were already there and had just taken a seat waiting for the line to move forward and away from the door where the breeze was blowing in. This lady asked them again, then raising her voice, she said that they needed to go to the back of the line.

At this point a gentleman, appearing to be not with the two “line cutters”, turned around and said the two men who appeared to be cutting had actually been in line, got out of line to sit, then decided to get back in line as the line became shorter.

Well, not only did this upset the lady in front of me, but so did the fact that even as they were in line, they were not “in line”… they were standing to the side goofing off, playing on their phones, joking around. My thought is that they were some young kids that, like many other late teen/early 20 year olds, have little etiquette or appreciation for the social norms those of us a little more… “vintage”… might have. (Now, I know many of my readers are a little more “vintage” than me, but let’s just say I believe my generation (late 70s early 80s) are some of the last who appreciate social norms and appropriate behavior, and believe they still have a place in society.)

At this point the lady, now irate, asks me to watch her stuff and keep her place. I told her sure, not knowing what she was doing. She was getting a manager to complain.

It was at this time I realized that if this escalated any more, I could see where it was going to go from a mile away. What I saw from a mile away did not happen because I’m good at psychology, but because it is that “simple” to read the general public.

No sooner did the thought cross my mind did comments from those in front of me start. They went in just the direction I thought they were going to go. to The patrons were “sure they knew just what this was about.”

What was it they were so sure about, you may ask? Oh, yeah, forgot to mention the two guys we’re talking about who were “cutting”… they were black.

And yes, it went there very quickly. The old white lady returned, visibly more upset than I thought it was worth. She continued to tell them they had cut, and those in front of the two men who had “cut” began to tell her that she needed to tell everybody present what “this was really about.” The words “simpleton” and “close minded” came out and in the direction of this one lady.

At one point the manager had to come out and tell everybody to calm down or she was going to get the Postmaster. Eventually it died down, but not before the line itself died down.

As people were leaving, the same manager was at the door apologizing for the disruption. When it came to my turn to receive her apology I told her she handled herself well. I also mentioned that I saw the race-card coming from a mile away. She said she saw it herself.

After I left I got to thinking. Maybe the older white woman in front of me was racist. Maybe she was an old KKK member. Fact is I don’t know and neither did anybody else. All that was clear was an older white lady tried to correct some young black men. That, in itself, is apparently racist.

As I left I had a heavy heart. Sure, it was apparent that maybe those kids were in fact there before we were. However, I don’t believe that gives them the right to assume their place in line is going to be held. It doesn’t. And what’s more, it deeply saddens me to know that regardless of the fact they were sitting down, away from the line, and until they decided it was convenient to get in line, what really mattered to three or four people is the color of the skin of those who were involved.

We say we want to get past race; however, we throw race in the mix any time something is awry and the cards are stacked against the minority. We can look to national stories and local stories and see that if race can be made a factor and you’re white, you lose in the public’s eye.

Until we can truly look past the color of one’s skin, and I mean all sides of the aisle, all races, in all situations, we are not going to ever truly know what it’s like to live in a society that judges men “by the content of their character” and not the color of their skin.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I come to this post as a half white/half Mexican kid who was a “cracker” in California, a “Spic” in Missouri, and been in fist fights with people because my step dad is black, making my mom a “Nigger Lover.” I have faced the racism from black people and white people alike.

What saddens me most is the close-minded attitude that people have when they think that they are providing some type of social justice and believe they are somehow more enlightened with their attitudes and dispositions, rather than seeing the reality: that they are as “simple” as they are accusing others of being.

Did I call it or did I call it?

Not too long ago I wrote about doing history homework with my daughter. I went over what a refreshing experience it was. It’s easy to forget factual history when we are so often consumed with political rhetoric that, in order for certain narratives to make sense, history itself has to be rewritten.

In that particular blog I made the following prediction: “We have an election coming up in November. We can count on issues such as Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer or other racially-driven issues concocted by the left being a part of the election. That being the case, we need to arm ourselves with the facts that help debunk the myths that so many are taught to accept as common knowledge in society. Learn; understand; share.”

With the mid-term national elections just a few days away, the prediction I made in August has borne fruit. What I find most interesting is the two more obvious and blatant race-baiting ads are being run in races which the Democrats are in extremely tight races and ones where incumbent liberals in panic mode because of recent polls.

It’s sad to see it has once again come to this… to watch what happens when even the most powerful people in Washington panic.

In Louisiana, Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu seems to disregard the fact that the current Governor is Indian and the previous Governor is a woman. What am I talking about? Well, in a recent interview she stated that if she loses her Senate race, it’s because her constituents are racist and sexist. Wow! Really? It couldn’t possibly be due to the fact that  since her party has been in control of the Senate and White House America has left men to die on the battlefield, our government has spied on everyday citizens in the name of security, and America has become weakened in the eyes of the international community due to non-existent red lines and weak-kneed approaches to brutal Islamo-Extremists. Nope, her poor polling is all because of the backwoods citizens she represents.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by thinking the accusations of racism are isolated in the Mid-South. North Carolona Democrat Senator Kay Hagen has a support ad making national headlines. Apparently, her opponent – who has nothing to do with Florida – had something to do with the shooting death of Treyvon Martin in Florida. You remember, Martin was the kid who was pummeling Jorge Zimmerman up and until Zimmerman took action, defended himself, and shot and killed his attacker. Additionally, the ad goes on to inadvertently state that if you are not white, you are unable to vote on time: “Instead, [Thom Tillis] made it harder for communities of color to vote, by restricting early voting and voter registration.” To begin, I’ll never understand why it is the black community continues to feed into the idea that the color of their skin somehow affects their ability to vote on time, get a picture I.D., or any other number of things that – as a minority myself – I find extremely offensive. While the Hagan/Tillis race is very close and right now in the Democrat’s favor, she hasn’t had the type of run you would expect an incumbent to have. Apparently scandals such as the IRS targeting private citizens for their political choices and government gun-running that has taken the lives of America’s guardians has taken a bit of a toll, and standard protocol for liberals in this situation is to throw out the race card.

I said it in August and I’ll say it now – liberals love the race card and they’ll use it at every turn. Nevermind we have elected and re-elected “our first black President”; nevermind the only white male (John Kerry) who has been Secretary of State in 14 years was appointed by President Obama. Nevermind the progress we have made as a nation in race relations. If it means winning an election, those lefties will use race quicker than the blink of an eye.

Now, did I call it or did I call it?

Sexual Deviants, Transgenders, Women’s Restrooms and the Media

One of the big issues with the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Bill being discussed in Springfield right now is the ability for men to use women’s restrooms. This has caused quite a stir and the media is giving much attention to the topic. In a recent KY3 interview, Mike Landis asked Springfield Citizens United spokesman Calvin Morrow to list any situations he knew of in which transgender men entered women’s restrooms for nefarious purposes. Mr. Morrow couldn’t list any off the top of his head, and Landis was sure to report that.

In response to that report, I emailed the following to more than 20 media outlets (including Mike Landis) this morning. We’ll see how well they ignore it… after all, they have their narrative and bias and that’s how they “roll”.

Anyhow – here it is:

Mike Landis Asks, Mike Landis Gets

In a recent story by KY3, Mike Landis asked Springfield Citizens United spokesman Calvin Morrow about examples of sexual deviants using transgender restroom laws insincerely and as a tool to prey. Spokesman Calvin Morrow didn’t have any examples off hand.

In response to that article, I thought I would share with you what I have found in about an hour of research since reading the article. 

It is my sincere hope that KY3 and Landis will be willing to publicly discuss these examples on account of the fact they asked for them. 
Here goes:
  1. March 2014, Toronto: A man claiming to be a woman is jailed after gaining access to a women’s shelter and prey on two women. 
  2. September 2006, Sydney: Government officials are made aware of a male sexual predator posing as a female to be imprisoned with women. He subsequently assaulted and impregnated at least one female inmate. Speaking of – has Sheriff Arnott been asked about how he feels knowing that if passed as/is, the potential for “inter-mingling” inmates?
  3. March 2012, Dallas: Paul Witherspoon, a registered sex offender, is ticketed for using a women’s restroom after becoming “Paula”, a transgender.
  4. 2010 and 2012, British Columbia: Being accused of sexually assaulting 60 girls, convicted felon and repeat sex offender Matthew Harks becomes a transgender in prison. If the SOGI Law is passed in Springfield, Mr/Ms Harks would not be prohibited from using a women’s restroom.
  5. April 2014, San Fransisco: Women’s Rights, Transgender Rights, Twitter engineer and transgender, Dana McCallum is charged with five felonies that include rape, false imprisonment, and is also charged with domestic violence.
  6. September 2013, Oklahoma City: Christopher T. Gard waits inside a women’s restroom until a young girl comes inside, he locks the door, and while the girls hear her screams while she is held at gunpoint and choked. Gard was wearing only a pair of women’s panties.
  7. August 2013, Marion County, AR: Sexual predator Carl Dahn is arrested after being dressed in women’s clothing and sexually soliciting himself to what he thought was an underage girl, but was instead an undercover police officer.
  8. May 2013, Detroit: Transgender Sean Gossman is charged with child pornography after federal police uncovered a thumb drive linked to him with incriminating evidence. 
While only some of the stories actually portray examples relating to Mike’s question, it would disingenuous to say that the other stories could not be inductively attached to the Springfield SOGI Bill. That is why I listed them. 
Alright, I’m a little tired so I’m going to wrap up. However, before I do, I have one more link. It has many of the same stories and more. It is a list of stories that should be discussed in the media given the “bathroom concern” is the talk of the town. 
Have a good one!
Update: I found a new article. In May 2013, Palmdale, CA, a cross-dressing man was caught video taping women in a Macy’s dressing room.

I’ll support President Obama… IF….

“I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we’re ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” -George W. Bush, July 12, 2007

When Nick Ibarra becomes President the foreign policy will be quite simple:

“From the date of my inauguration, all foreign allies will have 180 days to contact my administration and renegotiate the terms of our alliance and of any American military presence on your soil (ie, military bases in Germany, Japan, etc.). After that 180 days, America will place you in the category of Inactive Ally.

“To those nations who we renegotiate with in the first 180 days: as our Active Allies, we got your back.

“To all nations: for the next two years all foreign aide will cease; in order for the United States to put our home in order, we have to first put our finances in order. It’s nothing personal.

“To those nations, organizations, and other entities who view the United States and our Active Allies as the enemy: we are going to begin the process of rebuilding our nation’s military to once again be the most powerful military in the world. We will succeed. If you decide you want to act in hostility against the United States, our economic interests, or our Active Allies, we will destroy you. We know that in the past political correctness has hindered our ability to destroy our enemy, so we are going to redefine the terms in which we fight. Under the new Rules of Engagement, we will follow one rule: Win.”

Now – that’s some years down the road, so until then we have to deal with the current Administration of President Obama. Unfortunately he and his predecessor, President Bush, didn’t heed President Bush’s advice as stated in the quote above.

That brings us to this evening and the President’s 8pm (CST) address to the nation regarding ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). After months of the mayhem and destruction, Mr. Obama is going to discuss his plan with us.

If there is one, and if it involves destroying the current threat of Radical Islamic Militants, I am on board – I’ll support him ON THIS ISSUE. I don’t want any discussion of “Red Lines”, his concern or “need to be clear”, or any other weak kneed statements about disabling the enemy. Destroy them.  

In 2014, Obama Talk is about as unreliable as a Mini with 100,000 miles on it. He needs to do something or stop alluding to the idea that he will.

I’m tired of it.

That’s all for today. No moral to the story or insight from the SW MO Thinker. Just an former Marine Sergeant and Iraq Veteran who is tired of America looking weak.

Sexual Orientation, Freedom, and the Law

Tonight, Springfield, Missouri’s City Council is going to revisit an issue it put on the back burner two years ago. It is an Ordinance that, if passed, will place the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community into the protected class category the same as women and minorities. It will prevent an employer from discriminating against any person LGB or T in that business owner’s hiring practice; it will place landlords at odds with city law if they discriminate in their leasing practices of that same community; it will be a violation of the law for a business owner to deny service to a potential customer due to their Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (SOGI) – meaning their status as a member of the LGBT Community. The penalty for a business owner if found in violation of this potential law if passed? $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in jail.

Now, before I begin the discussion, I want to make something very clear. I hope those reading this blog that are opposed to it will see that there is no bigotry involved, no direct religious aspect involved, and no assumptions involved. I’m going to try and approach this from a logical, legal, and while I have my opinion, I hope an objective standpoint. I will add that some of the people I admire most in life are part of the community we are discussing, and this is nothing personal… I love and don’t judge; I’m as flawed a man as any; I believe that we all have our paths we choose in life and we must own them; and I believe I am no more credible a judge than the next man.

I also am a firm believer in freedom and man’s free will.

With that, let’s make sure we are on the same ground when defining freedom.

Freedom: the ability for one man to pursue his own self interests as long as doing so does not impede on the next man from doing the same. When there is a conflict, the default goes to the man on whose property the conflict resides or is about (property being anything one owns, including money). There are very few exceptions, but as a rule of thumb we are going to stick with this definition.

So, let’s visit what has been deemed the “SOGI Ordinance.” For me, this is not about bigotry, intolerance, hatred, or lack of understanding. Of those I have met who agree with me on what should happen to this bill I have yet to meet anybody that disagrees with my belief on why, though many people do in fact take the religious perspective as the main perspective in their argument. For me it is an issue of: (1) Safety; (2) Property Rights; (3) the 1st Amendment; (4) The Role of Government; (5) Tolerance.

Let’s take them one at a time:

  1. Safety: The proponents of this Bill will have you believe there is no other alternative and that doing this will only bring equality and harmony, tolerance and acceptance. What they won’t tell you about are the safety issues with this Ordinance – that is both the economic safety and the physical safety of the individual. What do I mean?
    1. If passed, this bill will allow any man who claims he feels like a woman to enter a woman’s restroom in WalMart, Applebees, gas station, or any other public venue. This is not about a concern so much of the “T” community – though there is that concern. Three words for Springfield: Craig Michael Wood (here, here, and here). All it takes is one sick pervert to decide he “feels like a woman” and having ill intent to destroy the heart of this community once more.
    2. If passed, this ordinance will not only enforce the non-discrimination of hiring and of leasing property, but also from services. If you host weddings you will be forced to host those of gay couples regardless of your convictions – just like in New York. If you are a photographer you will be forced to conduct wedding and engagement shoots for gay couples regardless of it violating your conscience – just like in New Mexico. If you own a bakery and tell a gay couple your religious beliefs would be violated if you made their wedding cake, you can be told otherwise by the police power of government, and you will make that cake – just like in Colorado.  Remember, in Springfield the punishment can be up to $1,000 fine and 180 days in the slammer… not to mention the fact that regardless of the validity of the complaint by the LGBT community member, your business will be all over the media. And this, all because a business owner decided to place his beliefs over the dollar.
  2. Property Rights: Really quick, you don’t have the right to a job! You don’t have the right to tell somebody what to do with their money! If you don’t like their point of view, their beliefs, their convictions, go somewhere else! It’s called the free market!
  3. The 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” Let’s consider the second part of the quote – the Congress shall make no law “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” with regards to religion. Now, there has been 200+ years of litigation revolving around what that term means. However, I would defer to the Father of the Constitution first: “James Madison’s statement that religion includes “the manner of discharging” duties to God….” As a linear thought, we can conclude that he didn’t say, “Only on Sundays,” or “Only when at church” – it says “exercise” means the manner in which we discharge our beliefs. As for my belief, I believe I have been charged to fear God in all I do and obey his commandments. I believe that pertains to every conscious decision I make – it’s not reserved for particular times and places – it means all the time and in all I do. And if we are to violate this law, have we the right to tell Muslims that because their religious garb offends us they have no right to exercise their religion? After all, they need to tolerate and accept me and my wants and expectations.  
  4. Role of Government: If we are able to be told how we are to practice our convictions and beliefs even on our own property, what is it the government can’t tell us to do?
  5. Tolerance: For two years I have asked the same question and never had a cogent answer given. I am told I need to tolerate and even accept others for who they are; I have been told I need to be non-judgmental; I have been told I shouldn’t discriminate because of a different lifestyle, belief, or conviction than mine. Shouldn’t that same ideal be reciprocated? Where is the tolerance, acceptance, non-discrimination, and lack of judgment towards me and my lifestyle, beliefs, and convictions? Jussayin’, if that’s not hypocrisy, I’m not sure what is.

For those paying attention, you are going to hear some things said tonight and in the near future that I would like to rebut ahead of time.

You are going to hear that if you oppose this Ordinance you are a bigot and religious zealot. No, actually I don’t want to interfere in any way or tell others what to do with their life. That’s their prerogative. However, I do have a problem with them saying I don’t have the same rights they do with regards to me pursuing my own interests.

This fight is going to be compared to that of slavery and women’s suffrage. However, at no time has the LGBT community been enslaved, denied the right to vote, made to use separate water fountains and restrooms, or lynched systematically and institutionally because they were LGB or T.

We are going to be told that there was a survey done in which 60%+ of respondents either witnessed discrimination or have been discriminated against. This survey was done by the same people who are trying to get this Ordinance passed (PROMO), it surveyed less than 300 people across the state of Missouri (population 6+ million), and less than 100 of those respondents had Springfield addresses (Springfield population 150,000+). Hardly reliable given the source and complete lack of statistical validity.

We are going to be preached at and told to be tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Please refer to the question posed in my 5th point above: “Where is the tolerance, acceptance, non-discrimination, and lack of judgment towards me and my lifestyle, beliefs, and convictions?”

I really hope I’m not perceived as being hateful. I know personally I’m not bigoted. I don’t want to come off as mad or spiteful. I’m not. I am, however, very concerned that inch by inch, we as Americans are having our rights taken away under the guise protection, help, and charity.

As somebody who has been called a Spic, who has been in fist fights because my mother was called a “N***er Lover”, had a grandfather who called his son-in-law (my uncle) a raghead, and listened to workplace jokes that were racist against all of the above, I have no room for hatred… it sickens me and I despise it. However, it exists and always will. The only thing legislation like this does is make people more partisan to their own point of view, and less likely to “tolerate” others when in fact those others are forcing their way in to the lives of those who aren’t doing anything other than trying to get by in today’s world.