Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A and Other Food for Thought

Lots of news and views to review from the last week or so ...

So liberal-minded cities and universities have rallied against Chick-fil-A because its president voiced religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Not a position I would endorse but probably not one solely held by Dan T. Cathy, son of the founder, S. Truett Cathy, a deeply religious man whose beliefs are underscored by keeping all 1,600 of his restaurants closed on Sundays.

The liberal elite wants to make an example of Chick-fil-A, denying it permission to open new units or by revoking existing permits. I wonder, though, would these same liberals denounce one of their store favorites if they knew it harbored similar anti-gay biases? As Matt Bai reported in the July 22 NY Times Sunday magazine, Target in 2010 contributed $150,000 to a Minnesota group backing a conservative candidate opposing gay marriage. 

During Sunday night’s telecast of the NY Yankees-Boston Red Sox game, the camera lingered on Paul Simon in the box seats at Yankee Stadium. Yes, he’s worth pointing out to the audience. But what about the mustachioed gentleman sitting to his left? He probably wields as much influence, if not more, than Simon, though not as an entertainer. He does it with the weight of his ideas, the scope of his vision, the power of his reasoning. That man was Thomas L. Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for The NY Times. Sadly, neither the broadcasters on ESPN nor the people in the control booth had any idea who he was.

Sticking with foreign affairs, Mitt Romney continued his gaffe-prone world tour, this time praising Poland’s vibrant economy while ignoring its 12% unemployment rate (50% higher than U.S. jobless rate), and lauding Solidarity for its part in overturning Communist rule. Solidarity, however, reacted coolly to Romney’s visit because of his anti-union positions in America. Former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, on the other hand, who invited Romney to Poland, praised him.

On a topic that can be classified as “nothing new here,” an article suggesting Barack Obama’s mother might have had African ancestry has caused quite a stir, with conservative commentators suggesting it’s merely a ploy to make the president’s life story appear more appealing while liberals are fascinated by the possibility. 

Regardless of its veracity, the research by demonstrated that just as happens today, in the distant past blacks received unequal, more severe punishment for identical crimes committed by whites. According to, a geneology company based in Provo, Utah, an African indentured servant named John Punch escaped from Virginia in 1640. After his capture in Maryland along with two white escapees, Punch received a life sentence of servitude, a punishment “harsher than what the white servants received,” The Times reported. The two white men received just four additional years of servitude.