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Discrimination Supporters Leap to New Level of Stupidity

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

It looks like those disgusting excuses for human beings who support
discrimination against homosexuals are now getting desperate as
their internal sickness is being rejected across the political
spectrum.

I’m sure yesterday was a particularly rough day for these sick
bastards as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the “Let’s
Discriminate Against Gays!” bill AND a federal District Court struck
down the Texas statute declaring marriage to be exclusively
between a man and woman.

In response to getting their asses handed to them across the board,
today they offer their latest example of their brilliance; a “challenge”
that questions whether a white man covered in Nazi, KKK, and other
racist tattoos can be refused service at a black barbershop. These
sick fucks would like you to believe there is some connection
between their barbershop scenario and denying products or services
to homosexuals.

Perhaps these turds actually believe there is some connection. Most
bigots have low IQs, so perhaps they actually believe their own
bullshit. Perhaps.

But let us be thorough and explore the reality [always lost on bigots]
of the absurd scenario they paint.

The only standard that should lawfully exist in a land of liberty for
denying anyone products or services that are readily and openly
available to every other member of society is if the person being
denied is/has engaged in conduct reasonably understood to harm
the business. A plain example of this would be someone who enters
a convenience store and starts tossing merchandise on the floor. At
best he is causing a disturbance that may well cause other
customers to leave, and at worst he is damaging/destroying the
property of the business. No matter how one looks at it, he is
harming the business.

Now let us look at another example. A woman walks into a
convenience store. She smiles pleasantly at the clerk, selects her
desired items, lays then on the counter before the clerk with money
in hand, ready to pay and be on her way. The clerk says “Get out of
here nigger bitch! We don’t want your kind in here!” I don’t know of
any rational thinking human who wishes the law to turn a blind eye to
that conduct.

Now let us imagine that very same situation, but this time the female
patron is white. As she waits for the clerk to ring up her items, a co-
work silently mouths to the clerk, “lesbian”. The clerk then says “Get
the fuck out of here you cunt-sucking lesbian!” I don’t know of any
rational thinking human who wishes the law to turn a blind eye to
that conduct – but I apparently know more than a few walking pieces
of shit who do.

Let us now turn our attention to the barbershop. After all, that is the
ignorance that spawned this article. The scenario painted by the
morons is that the white man is covered in tattoos that convey a
hatred of blacks. But let us alter that scenario for just a moment (and
then return to it “as presented”).

Imagine that the white man had no tattoos but walked into the
barbershop holding a big white sign bearing the words “I hate
niggers!” How should we look at that? How should the barbershop
owner look at that? Only a moron bigot (but I repeat myself) would
not see that such a sign certainly constitutes a “disturbance”, and
probably more than that. As such the man with the sign is harming
the business and the owner is quite properly within his rights to not
only deny the man service but to demand he leave the property.

Now let us return to the actual scenario. Is not a visible tattoo that
says “I hate niggers!” exactly the same as the sign? Of course it is.
What if the tattoo was simply the letters “KKK”. Most people, white
and black alike, are aware that the KKK is known for lynching black
Americans. I think it is reasonable for people – perhaps especially
blacks – to see a KKK tattoo as making the exact same statement as
“I hate niggers!” In other words, a white man entering a black
barbershop covered in tattoos that speak to racial hatred IS harming
the business and can be refused service and ordered off the
property.

Pretty simple stuff when you take half a second to think about it.

But as I indicated at the top, as these fucktards get desperate to
defend their inner sickness they have no choice but to show the
world exactly how far into the depths of ignorance their sickness
drives them.

Copyright 2014 Dave Champion

Time To End Violent Police Abuse

Friday, February 21st, 2014

I don’t know about you, but I have had it with police abuse. It continues at a rampant pace. Every day you can find a new deluge of audio and video evidence of criminal conduct by police. And nothing changes.

The fact that it is so prevalent speaks to the failure – perhaps the unwillingness – of the police command structure to address the problem in the firm, perhaps even harsh, terms that are now necessary to rein in this ugly, dangerous, and at times deadly, misconduct.

Since the police commanders who are supposed to be putting an end to this type of conduct are, in the vast majority of cases, merely sitting on their hands, it is time for the citizens to act through their elected officials. It is time to enact laws that allow the citizens to fight back. When cops break the law, the time has now come – actually it’s far overdue – for Americans to put the hurt on bad cops, not the other way around. Like all first steps, we cannot expect to complete the journey of a thousand miles with the first step. But a first step must surely be taken if the journey is to begin.

One area that is crystal clear is that citizens are free to record audio or video police in the public conduct of their job as long as the act of recording does not interfere with the commission of his lawful duties.

While there are still a few arcane laws being intentionally misused by police (and even a few reprobate prosecutors) to make the false claim that citizens cannot record officers without their consent, the courts have routinely held otherwise. The weight of these court cases is so overwhelming that despite the occasional archaic statute on the books, it is now a well-settled point of law in America that citizens may freely record cops – and that the act of doing so is not a criminal act.

In other words, there is ZERO legal justification that permits a cop to harass, threaten, assault, or arrest a citizen for recording his actions or the actions of other cops.

Despite this, we see cops physically attacking citizens nearly every day for recording. Recently cops beat a man to death in effort to seize his phone with which he was legally filming them. Citizens who have committed no crime are arrested and held for hours in cold concrete cells because…well…they committed no crime – except angering an asshole thug in a police costume.

Since there is ZERO legal justification for a cop to do ANYTHING to you – even speak to you, no less murder you – for recoding him, why should society put up with it for another second?

I can’t find one single reason why we should.

Since police commanders aren’t correcting it, citizens – with the assistance of your elected officials – should now take the lead in ending this noxious abuse.

To that end I offer this proposed legislation:

1) Any person who, having recorded any peace officer or other law enforcement officer/agent, without obstructing him in his duties, who is physically assaulted by any peace officer or other law enforcement officer/agent within this state, the officer or agent attempting to seize the recording device or detain or arrest the person for the act of recording, may use any degree of force deemed necessary, up to and including deadly force, to end the assault.

a) Because officers and agents are trained in physical control techniques, use of chemical weapons, impact weapons, Tasers, and firearms, any person defending himself under the provisions of section 1 is authorized to use that level of force he deems necessary without regard to any judgment by a prosecutor or court later as to the appropriateness of the level of force employed. If the person defending himself states that he was in fear for his safety, that statement justifies the level of force he employed against the attacking officer/agent, without further inquiry into the appropriateness of the level of force used.

b) No person defending himself from an attack as described in section 1 may be prosecuted criminally for the violence done to the attacking officer/agent.

c) No person defending himself from an attack as described in section 1 may be prosecuted civilly the violence done to the attacking officer/agent.

d) Injuries received by an officer/agent engaged in an attack as described in section 1 are not eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits.

e) Injuries received by an officer/agent engaged in an attack as described in section 1 may not be considered by the officer’s or agent’s employer, any outside arbitrator, or any court, in reference to disability retirement.

There is no excuse whatsoever for an officer to attempt to seize by threat or force a recording device from a person because that person was recording police in the public commission of their duties. If police wish to continue this illegal violent conduct against innocent citizens, I think it is imminently reasonable that the officer gets face-shot and the citizens goes free.

Do you know what that’s called? It’s called “Problem fucking solved!”

Copyright 2014 Dave Champion

Reflections on 2013: The Year I Realized I Was Wrong

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

I would never have imagined on New Year’s Eve 2012 that 2013 would be such a momentous year for me. I wish I could say it was momentous in a positive sense.

2013 is the year I learned I have been mistaken about America – and Americans.

Since 1993 I have been pounding the drum of liberty as loud, long, and hard as I could. I started out writing treatises on various items of history and law that I thought Americans should know and understand if they are to be free. These treatises contained information that would never be presented to you in the government schools.

As time went on, I was asked to bring my particular outlook on liberty to radio. My first show aired in 2003. It was an hour once a week. That first show was internet-only and less than 50 people hit the server. As nervous as I was, you’d have thought 1,000,000 people were listening!

Over the next 9 years my show moved from network to network. Because the so-called “liberty movement” is not well funded, the networks/stations that carry the “message of liberty” tend to be less than stable. At the height of my show I was doing a 2-hour show every afternoon, Monday – Friday.

It might shock people to know that I never earned a single penny from my radio show. From the start it was a labor of love; an opportunity to promote the single most important thing in one’s political existence. LIBERTY! I felt fortunate that I had the opportunity to serve such a worthy cause. Being compensated for it never entered my mind.

In the final year of the show other business obligations no longer permitted me the luxury of investing 18 hours a week (includes the show’s prep time) in a venture that had no tangible return. During that final year I went back to the beginning; back to internet-only broadcasts. Being back on the internet allowed me to do shows as and when it was convenient for me.

Having been restricted for 9 years to FCC, network, and station mandated controls on my choice of language, when I went back to internet-only I re-branded those shows “Champion Uncorked” and delivered the material in my own inimitable style; the style you’d hear me use if you and I were driving down the road together and I was really fired up about something. I don’t know how my podcast audience felt about the shift in my language, but it was both pleasurable and cathartic for me.

In October of 2012 I was asked to take my show to TV. I accepted. The over-the-air station covered Las Vegas and the town of Pahrump. Not exactly Fox or MSNBC, but it was another step in the adventure of life and the promotion of the message of liberty.

In 2010 I released my first book, “Income Tax: Shattering The Myths”, which shows – using the government’s own statutes, regulations, Treasury Orders, Treasury Decisions, and federal court decisions – the very limited actual scope of the income tax. It is, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, the definitive work on that subject. The lawyers who have read it tell me they agree with the book’s content and the undeniable conclusions derived therefrom, but that they cannot imagine any way a federal court would rule properly on the matter, even if presented with all the facts and law. (You might want to ponder a bit the implications of living in a country in which the courts refuse to take cognizance of the law.)

From 1993 until this very moment I have worked tirelessly for the cause of liberty. But 2013 was the year that events finally convinced me the vast majority of Americans, indeed even many in the “liberty movement”, don’t actually give a rat’s ass about liberty.

It is the year I learned that for most Americans – if they even bother to think about liberty at all – it falls into the category of “For me, but not thee”.

There are many reasons I have come to this depressing conclusion. Believe me, it is not a conclusion to which I would ever WANT to come. But it is a conclusion my fellow Americans made all too obvious to me during 2013.

The first inkling (for me) that Americans are completely lost, was in the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential election, as I reflected on what had transpired.

During the process of selecting the GOP candidate for President, the Republican National Committee (RNC) pulled every dirty trick in the book to ensure that the most liberty-minded American in national politics would not obtain the party’s nomination. Perhaps this would have been acceptable if the alternative candidate was somewhat liberty minded. But that was not the case. Instead of the liberty minded candidate, the RNC made sure that its candidate was a Socialist/Statist.

The party that was, in 2012, the last best hope to defeat socialism and statism at the national level had soundly rejected the liberty candidate, selecting instead a man who was a Socialist/Statist.

Possibly even more alarming was that many on the Right adoringly embraced Romney as a “conservative” and acted as though he was God’s gift to America. Can I vomit now?

In our current two-party system, the Left had put up a communist and the Right responded by putting up a socialist. When I brought Romney’s political history into the discussion, and made it clear that he was a socialist/statist, I was viciously attacked by many on the Right. Although Barak Obama is even more repulsive as President than Romney would have been, I was branded an “Obama lover” for speaking the truth about Romney.

I also made it very clear that – using a beer analogy – you cannot run Bud-Light (socialism) against real Budweiser (communism) and hope to win. The outcome proved that principle. (My apologies to Anheuser-Busch.)

The next occurrence that proved to me Americans are lost is that – despite their choice for America’s Commander-in-Chief being either a communist or socialist – (both of which being completely antithetical to liberty) in the aftermath of that disgusting national debacle those on the Right STILL reject the creation of a liberty-based third party. If the Dems and the GOP are both offering nothing but collectivists/statists candidates, then by rejecting the idea of a liberty-based third party those in opposition to it are saying they are willing (perhaps even satisfied) to continue into the future with collectivist/statists running this nation.

I have nothing in common with such people. Collectivists/statists are not welcome in the government of my country no matter from under which party rock they crawl. Those who would accept, and even defend, a collectivist/statist in the United States government are, quite frankly, traitors.

Any American who supports a collectivist/statist in a bid for election to any office in this country simply cannot say he is an American who supports the ideal of unalienable rights, the vision of the Founding Fathers, or the principle of liberty. Some will attempt to defend their actions by saying that the other guy was worse, or that they “held their nose and voted for the lesser of two evils.” No matter what fig leaf one wishes to employ, the bare truth of the matter is if you voted for Obama or Romney YOU SANCTIONED – YOU ASKED FOR – a collectivist/statist to attain the office of President of the United States.

The reality of that election is that Democrats and Republicans voted together, as one giant voting block, for America’s Executive Branch to be led by a collectivist/statist. Each party may have voted for a different man, but both men are collectivist/statists. If you were willing to sanction that process by lending it the credibility of your vote, you and I simply have a different paradigm for what is acceptable.

What I have been discussing is how the citizens of this nation relate to the political process. There is however another measure of where people are on the issue of liberty, and that is how much liberty they extend to one another. And it is upon that matter I had my second unfortunate epiphany.

At the beginning of 2013 I got “sleeved”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it means having tattoos covering most of your arm from the shoulder to the wrist. I got sleeved on both arms.

I think we all know that some folks don’t like tattoos. And I don’t mean simply for themselves. There are people who don’t like any tattoo, anywhere, ever. And that’s fine. That is their choice. However, what I had not anticipated was the obnoxious level of discrimination I encountered after getting sleeved.

Since I have mentioned “liberty” a number of times in this post, perhaps I should share with you my definition of it. Let me begin by sharing Thomas Jefferson’s version, followed by my own.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Liberty is freedom restricted by our responsibility to respect the equal rights of others.
~ Dave Champion

Clearly, by these two definitions liberty is living life as you see fit so long as your activities don’t stop others from the same opportunity to live their lives freely. So I ask you; do tattoos on a man’s arm restrict the liberty of another man? Clearly not. (Hang in there; this is not about tattoos. Tattoos were simply the jumping off point.)

Do you know that in a 2013 poll 66% of human resource managers said they’d be more inclined to hire a person without tattoos than a person with tattoos?

If we have already agreed that one man having tattoos on his arms in no way affects the liberty of any other man, why then would some people want to turn around and restrict the liberty of the man with tattoos?

“But wait!”, you say; “A man is free to get tattoos. That is his right. But he must accept the consequences of that decision. That is also part of freedom.”

And THAT is exactly the problem in America!

Why in the hell should a man who has harmed no one, nor infringed upon the liberty of any other person, be required to “pay a price” or “accept a consequence” for his non-harmful actions? That is insanity in a (supposed) land of liberty!

On my TV show I have discussed the concept that liberty is not merely an equation between “We The People” and government. The far more important (but seemingly completely overlooked) dynamic is you and I extending liberty to our fellow citizens each and every day in our own communities. It is that part of the “liberty equation” at which Americans fail. And they don’t just fail a little bit; they fail miserably. More significant than merely failing is their unwillingness to even look at their failure.

What I have observed of my fellow Americans during 2013 has shown me that Americans absolutely LOVE to deprive their fellow citizens of liberty, and that they will FIGHT to maintain the…um… ”freedom” to do so.

Getting sleeved has been an interesting experience in that, for the first time in my life, it placed me in a group people love to discriminating against. Prior to that, being an intelligent, well-spoken, white, male, I hadn’t fit into a category of discrimination. I do now!

Being a target of discrimination for the first time in my life opened a vista I hadn’t been able to view before. I suppose – in a way – I should be appreciative of the narrow-minded shitbags who have reacted negatively to my sleeves. Without them I wouldn’t have had the new experience of being a target of discrimination! Of course that’s a bit like thanking a person who hasn’t showered for 2 weeks for giving you the experience of his foul stench.

As is my way, I like to perform research and explore issues that are new to me. So I started researching discrimination. When something is a cultural phenomenon, there are two ways to research; one is academic research and the other is personal discussion with people in society. I wouldn’t consider my research complete without doing both. So I did.

The academic side was straightforward and offered few surprises. I studied the history of discrimination in America, as well as the theories and principles of it, including position papers and research from academia and the psychiatric community.

But the shocker – and what irrevocably altered my view of America and Americans – was the discussions with my fellow citizens. I assumed that most Americans would stand against discrimination. I was sadly – and seriously – mistaken.

Most Americans support discrimination.

Of course they don’t come out and say it that plainly, but a person who rejects the only course of action history has shown to have ever achieved any notable reduction in discrimination is a person who actually supports discrimination. One cannot claim to oppose discrimination but then reject the only course of action that has ever reduced it.

If a person says he is opposed to structure fires (with their attendant risk to human life), but then opposes laws that require the installation of overhead fire suppressants (in commercial space), the presence of fire extinguishers, and the existence of fire departments, his claimed position is a lie. If a person claims to despise rape, but then opposes laws that criminalize rape, he actually is in favor of rape, no matter how often or how loudly he says otherwise.

I mentioned earlier that there has been only one form of action that has ever reduced discrimination in any notable way. That action was to make it a violation of law. The 1964 Civil Rights Act made discrimination in the workplace and housing a violation of federal law. And that law had sharp teeth! After 99 years of virtually no change, within 20 years of the 1964 Act America looked like a different country; a country in which racist assholes were (finally) no longer in charge.

Despite the inarguable success of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many Americans have angst over the concept of “protected classes”. OK; I heard you, and I created a solution to that!

I recently wrote what I see as a future constitutional provision to make discrimination against anyone (not just those in a “protected class”) a violation of law. It is a mere two paragraphs. The first paragraph is a broad but succinct definition of liberty. The second contains the prohibited conduct. Pretty simple stuff.

Liberty is a philosophy by which an individual can live among others, each individual being free to live any way that suits him, provided that his actions do not interfere with the equal rights of others.

“Interfering with the equal rights of others” includes, but is not limited to, denying to any person who is qualified for an opportunity, or able to make payment at the uniform scale applied to all other persons for the same product or service, the freedom to acquire, receive, give, buy, sell, trade, rent or lease, any lawful item, service, or opportunity, including but not limited to, the essentials of life such as work, food, housing, clothing, medical care; said denial being based on a person’s appearance (whether genetic or by choice) or any group affiliation (whether genetic or by choice), without the denier possessing particularized information about said person’s character, abilities, or suitability. Personal prejudice, including but not limited to, religious beliefs are not permissible factors in determining “suitability”.

The upshot of that language is that a person is perfectly free to deny someone a job, or refuse to sell/lease a product/service to a potential customer, etc., so long as that decision is based on an articulable rational reason. Because things like acquiring employment, or purchasing a product/service available to society generally, are under this provision things that cannot lawfully be denied a person without a “rational basis”, a person who denies someone these things must have a rational basis for doing so. Again, pretty simple stuff.

Want to deny a person a job position that you’ve advertised to the public? That’s your call – it’s your business – do what you need to do. But you can’t deny him the job because he’s black, or has long hair, or has a cleft palate, or is a Christian, or has visible tattoos, or at one time “she” was a “he”, or walks with a limp, etc. You CAN deny him the job because he’s not qualified! Or she’s been fired from her last several jobs for poor performance. Or his references were less than stellar. Or any other rational business-basis reason. In a land of liberty – populated by people of decency – isn’t that the standard all good people should want?

Sadly, I have discovered that is not what most Americans want. Though it is inarguably what good and decent people should want – it is not what Americans want. If that isn’t a self-damning proclamation by Americans, I don’t know what is.

Before I go further, let me make certain you understand a pivotal point. Discrimination is not harmless or benign; it is HARMFUL! Let me reinforce this by saying it a different way. Every act of discrimination is a willful and intentional act of HARM against another human being. If you have any question in your mind about this, watch the “Brown eye, blue eye experiment” video, which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeK759FF84s. (If you’re reading this article on the internet I’d suggest taking a moment now to watch the video and then return to this article.)

I equate discrimination with pouring poison in your community reservoir. When your community members begin falling ill, the reason is neither apparent nor understood. Despite the lack of knowing or understanding the cause, it infects the community. Even those who drink bottled water still get infected by those who have been exposed to the poison. Yet the cause of this debilitating phenomenon remains a mystery. While not an exact analogy to discrimination, the “poison” scenario is a close parallel of what discrimination does in your community.

But there are two significant differences. First, the result of the sickness discrimination causes in your community is even more insidious – more difficult to discern – than poison in your water supply, and its ill effects are deep and long lasting. Second, everyone agrees they do not want their water poisoned so there is a community consensus that poisoning the water supply should be a violation of law. How odd that people want one harmful act made illegal while stepping away from wanting an equally harmful, yet more insidious, action to have the same status.

So…if discrimination is not a violation of law, how can it be punished? No one seems to have that answer. Only one person I know ventured a suggestion. His suggestion was “education”. In other words, if people understood the harm that discrimination does, they wouldn’t discriminate.

To test his suggestion I recently conducted an informal on-line poll. I asked people to choose between two options concerning how society can best address rape and rapists. Note I did not say “stop” rape. There is no way to do that, so why ask a nonsense question. I also did not ask for a “solution” to rape, for the same reason. I chose the word “address” because that is what society can do.

The poll asked the respondent to choose from the current model; convicting and jailing those guilty of rape – or whether they thought “education” was a better option. 93% of the respondents chose the current model of punishment. Only 7% felt “education” was the way to go. Interestingly, before I tightened up the language of the poll (so people were clear they must choose only from the two options shown) people offered their own “solution” for rape. Nearly 100% of those offering their own “solution”, wanted to see violence take place against the perpetrator once convicted.

So, why are people so adamant about punishing rapists, but dramatically less so about punishing those who harm others through discrimination? Simple. Statistically speaking, very few people want to rape. But a whole lot of people want to discriminate without being held accountable for it.

Expecting Americans to want discrimination to be a violation of law is like expecting your elected officials to enact laws that would punish politicians for lying during a campaign. Politicians will never enact such laws because they have every intention of saying whatever it takes to get your vote, and being truthful isn’t an important part of that equation. Likewise, Americans have no desire to see a new anti-discrimination law enacted because they want to be “free” to harm others via discrimination whenever they so choose, without any consequences befalling them for their evil conduct. But yet they want poisoning the water supply to be a violation of law because they have no intention of doing that!

Now, some folks have told me that the problem with making discrimination a violation of law is that it brings the government into the picture and we have enough government in our lives. OK, so then let’s get the government out of making laws about rape or poisoning your water supply. Wait…what? We should still have the government involved in THOSE things? Of course, because that objection isn’t real; it’s merely a red herring to distract you from the fact that they don’t want consequences to befall them when they harm people by discriminating.

So, in summation we find that Americans want harmful acts they will never commit to be made a violation of law so the perpetrators can be punished. But they do not want harmful acts they may very well commit to be violations of law because they do not wish to be punished for the harmful acts they commit.

People who cherish liberty would say “Hell yeh! Make discrimination a violation of law because as a person who loves liberty it would never occur to me to discriminate against my fellow citizens, and those who do that ugly shit should be held accountable!” Yet just the opposite is being said by a huge block of our society, even those who (falsely) claim to love of liberty.

As I said earlier, if Americans even bother to think about liberty, it is in the sense of “For me, but not thee.” “I want to be free to harm you through discrimination, without you – the victim – having any recourse against me!” You can almost hear them giggling gleefully about it. Not much to be proud of there. And not much to respect.

There is a lot of talk in America about the Republicans versus the Democrats [sort of like trying to distinguish between a whore and a hooker], liberals versus conservatives, States Rights versus Federalism on steroids, collectivism versus the free market, and libertarianism versus statism. The truth is that none of that matters unless or until Americans open their hearts and choose to extend liberty to each other.

As long as Americans take the position that they want to be free to harm others by closing off opportunities, and other forms of deprivations, that have nothing to do with the character of the man being harmed, and refuse to take the only action that has ever been shown to reduce discrimination, then discussing all the political dynamics mentioned above is little more than intellectual masturbation. It is akin to talking about a great marriage while treating your spouse like shit.

It’s not your words that matter, it’s your actions. It’s not what you convince others you believe in, or even how you fool yourself, that matters. It is what lives in your heart that will create the future.

2013: The year I discovered I’d been wrong about my countrymen. The year I discovered that the vast majority of Americans don’t give a rat’s ass about liberty. They demand it for themselves, but have no intention of giving it to others.

America is waning as a world power and slipping into a police state here at home. Liberty is evaporating right before our eyes.

If I could write an epitaph for America’s tombstone, it would read, “They experienced the outcome that was directly proportional to the amount of liberty that dwelled within their hearts.”

Copyright 2014 Dave Champion

Are Tattoos Really “Unprofessional”?

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Not long ago I was having a discussion with some people about discrimination against those with visible tattoos. A recurring theme in the discussion, by some, was that tattoos project an unprofessional appearance.

I admit to being stunned by the certainty…perhaps I might even go so far as to say, arrogance…of those handing down that judgment. Conveniently, none of them have tattoos of course.

As I write this I am 54 years old. I am a former U.S. Army Ranger. I have a law enforcement background. I am well educated, well travelled, and well spoken. But more importantly, I have a significant business background. I have owned several successful companies. I have worked closely with large corporate enterprises such as banks, insurance companies, manufacturing firms, etc., as well as medium and small businesses. I spent 10 years in the corporate game. I am also an experienced legal researcher, a radio talk show host, and for the past year a TV talk show host. Oh…and I’m a published author.

I also happen to be sleeved on both arms, and I’m working on my legs.

As I sat there listening to these folks blithely passing judgment on the unprofessional appearance of tattoos I had to wonder how they justified making such a remark. As I pondered this I wondered which of my tattoos it was – exactly – that transformed me from a professional into something…less.

I wondered if, when I got my right sleeve (which is a single comprehensive piece), I lost the ability to verbally communicate ideas and principles clearly to a room full of business executives; something I have done repeatedly and well for many years. (Odd that my TV audience hasn’t noticed my degraded ability.) Perhaps when I got the piece that started my left sleeve I lost the ability to communicate effectively via the written word (though readers of my book and blog haven’t said a word about a decline in my talents). I wondered whether when I got the Spartan helmet with it’s stunning fuchsia plume on the outside of my left bicep that was the moment I lost my infectious aura of confidence that had always been such a powerful attribute when making a presentation in the boardroom.

It must be something like that, right? I mean, these guys couldn’t just be saying the mere appearance of ink was enough to declare a business professional, unprofessional.

As the discussion progressed, one of the men – a gentleman who holds a civil engineering degree and is employed as a structural engineer – commented that there is no place for visible tattoos in the professional engineering world. This man is certainly a professional. No doubt about it. If I needed a bang-up structural engineer, he’d be at the top of my list. But I wondered how he could, with a straight face, make the pronouncement that there is no place for visible ink in his profession. If someone appointed him the arbiter of professionalism within the engineering community, I missed that memo. In fact, I’m pretty certain 99.99% of all engineers missed that memo.

Wanting to understand his position better, I asked him the following. “If you got a tattoo on your forearm, would that diminish your expertise as an engineer?”

He acknowledged that it wouldn’t diminish his professional expertise in the least, but added that others wouldn’t see it that way. “Others?” I asked.

“Yes, the customers.”

Ah. So now we’re down to the truth of it! There is absolutely nothing about visible ink that is unprofessional. There is merely an opinion, held by some people, that tattoos will be considered to project an unprofessional appearance.

Well, an opinion that tattoos project an unprofessional appearance is certainly different than the statements that were being made, which characterized it as a concrete fact of life, on par with saying the body needs oxygen to survive. Forgive me for saying so, but portraying personal opinion as if it is a hard and fast truth doesn’t sound like something a “professional” should be doing.

All this wouldn’t be important if good people weren’t being hurt by it every day.

Let me be blunt. The statement that visible tattoos project an unprofessional appearance is nothing more than small-minded bigotry. The statement is merely the expression of the personal prejudice of the person speaking. There is no factual basis for it. Those words have no more rationality than if the person said “Black people have no place in the professional world.” Both statements are the result of personal prejudice, not intellect, not fact, not evidence, and not reason. Such words are uttered without a shred of evidence to support them. And like racism, the only veneer of correctness they garner comes from others with the same prejudice saying, “Right you are!” It is one dipshit using the agreement of other dipshits that his dipshit statement has some validity. How…um…”professional” of them.

The truth of the matter is that when a person says, “Tattoos project an unprofessional appearance” what he is really saying is “I am a judgment ass who likes to delude myself into thinking I am superior to others, and because I don’t like tattoos I choose to take the ridiculous and self-serving position that ‘tattoos project an unprofessional appearance’. Don’t ask me to substantiate that because I have no facts or evidence to support it; I just pulled the asinine statement out of my ass. [Perhaps I should have that on a business-size card and hand it to anyone who makes that ridiculous statement about tattoos appearing unprofessional!]

So…what should we make of these folks with their haughtiness, driven by crude baseless prejudice?

“Prejudice of any kind…means you don’t see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

Tolle speaks of reducing another person to a mere concept. I can’t imagine any thinking person would disagree with Tolle. Yet those we are discussing here are attempting to reduce people with visible ink not based on some arguably valid concept (which would be bad enough), but they are doing it based on a mindless prejudice. Yet I bet they would tell you they are kind wonderful people. Hmmm.

The truth is visible tattoos project neither a professional nor unprofessional appearance. They simply project the existence of body art.

If a man walks into a boardroom with a plainly evident scar down the side of his face, what does it say about him? Well…absent any additional information, all it says is he has a scar. Did he get it during the commission of a violent felony for which he went to prison? We don’t know. Did he get it in some foreign land fighting to save his life and the lives of his teammates? We don’t know. Did he get it defending his daughter from a rapist in a dark alley one night? We don’t know. Did he get it from something as ordinary as a traffic accident? We don’t know. Would anyone say the scar means he is “unprofessional”? Yet if a man walks into that same boardroom with visible ink showing, those in the room KNOW – without a doubt in their pee-size brains – that he is unprofessional. Isn’t that amazing!

And we haven’t even gotten into the issue of a person being all tat’d up, but covering it with a suit. We know what “they” would think if they could see his ink. But if he intentionally blinds them from seeing it, then because they don’t know he has ink he qualifies in their minds as “professional”? Some mighty intellectual giants right there!

I have a long history in the realm of firearms & tactics. As such I’ve had ample opportunity to observe the reaction of people to the presence of guns in public places. One behavior I’ve always found baffling is a person being visibly uncomfortable when a person nearby is wearing a firearm in an exposed manner, but happy as a clam if 20 people nearby are carrying concealed weapons. I guess ignorance really is bliss for some folks. Likewise, it seems the same mindset applies to tattoos in the (cough, cough) “professional” setting. If they can’t see the tattoos, then everyone is a “professional”. But if they can see the tattoos then someone’s appearance is “unprofessional”.

I’ve always considered people such as Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Special Forces, etc, to be the epitome of “professional” at what they do. I wonder how many of the folks who whine about tattoos projecting an unprofessional appearance know that most of America’s elite warriors are heavily tattooed? Oh…wait…they don’t mean warriors when they use the word “professional”.

It seems these folks have a very persnickety – one might even say, delicate – view of what constitutes a “professional”. Perhaps a guy who is too “manly” doesn’t qualify in their eyes as a “professional”?

I wonder about a lot of things. For instance, I wonder what these people who pronounce visible tattoos to be unprofessional fear from the people who have them. Remember, psychologically speaking, ALL baseless prejudice is rooted in fear.

So…what are these folks so damn afraid of? What is it they fear so much that when they walk into a corporate meeting room, see no ink, they can proceed joyfully. But walk into the same meeting room, see a man’s forearm with ink on it, and immediately have the hallucination that there is now something “unprofessional” afoot? If I may say so, that’s some pretty powerful fear!

Though I posed the question, I already know the answer. What drives the fear is one simple (apparently terrifying) thought: “He’s not like me. He’s…different.” Holy shit! Not THAT! Not “different”! Anything but THAT!!!

For a land frequently referred to as a “melting pot” Americans have a strangely narrow mental picture of what a decent person looks like. In the minds of far too many, folks with tattoos are outside that narrow picture. As such, in the minds of those folks, people with tattoos cannot be “decent” people. The haters put up with us [what choice do they have, right?] but in their eyes we are “less than” decent citizens. There’s something “not quite right” about us.

I recently read a comment made by a woman who has a strong dislike for tattoos and people who have them. She said, “Tattoos shout non-conformist.” Hmmm. So…in this (supposed) land of liberty there is something “wrong” with people who don’t conform? Sounds more like living under the Nazis than what I’d expect in a nation supposedly invested in the principle of personal liberty. I wish I had been able to ask her what it is she believes we are not conforming with, and what it is she would demand we conform with to be “decent people” in her eyes. I’m sure her response would have been fascinating!

How emotionally retarded must a person be to allow fear of someone “different” than herself to push her around like a spastic puppet?

But of course such people are never going to admit they fear us because we are (in their minds) “different”, and they are emotionally retarded. They’ve spent a lifetime covering up their fear and denying it at every turn. They’re certainly not going to admit they’re emotional retards. Instead they attempt to cover their fear by constructing an argument they can pitch to others as (supposedly) “rational”.

It also helps when enlisting people to your point of view if you can convince your peer group they are superior and the “others guys” are inferior – such as claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that the “other guys” are unprofessional, while YOU, the non-tattooed, are the epitome of professionalism! Since a whole lot of humans love to feel superior – which means they need to find someone to brand as inferior – it’s is an easy and effective pitch.

It may be hard to imagine the man in the $3,000 suit and the $500 Italian loafers, with the $150,000 car parked outside, fears you because you have visible ink. But in psychological terms that is exactly what is happening.

I will admit I am tired of it. I am tired of the arrogance. I am tired of their “logic” that can’t stand up to the scrutiny of a gifted 10 year old. I’m tired of watching one guy spew complete mindless bullshit, and then feel his views have been validated when another petty fearful asshole agrees with his vacuous crap. It’s tiresome watching internal ugliness put on display as if it’s a virtue.

In fact, I’m so tired of it that I sometimes consider suggesting that tattooed folks who are in a position to hire prospective employees or contract personnel, don’t hire anyone who doesn’t have tattoos. But I won’t.

I’ve often said that tattooed people are just like non-tattooed people, except there are way fewer judgmental assholes in the tattooed crowd. And a lot fewer fearful ones too!

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

The Ugly Truth About Tattoo Discrimination In The Workplace

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

How many people have tattoos in America is hard to factually, determine, but there are some numbers that can help us do a decent job of “pinning the tail on the donkey”.

Slightly fewer than 40% of all Americans under the age of 30 have tattoos. There are roughly 121,800,000 Americans under 30, which means about 47,000,000 in that slice of the demographic pie have tattoos.

In the 30 to 45 age group 32% have tattoos. Since the census doesn’t break down the population by that particular age division, we have to extrapolate a bit, but it seems that roughly another 21,500,000 of the population have tattoos. If we lump the 46 to 65+ groups together we get something like an additional 10,000,000 tattooed souls.

Adding these numbers up it appears our best estimate of the total number of people in the U.S. with tattooed is 78,500,000 – or 25% of the nation’s population.

So why is 25% of the population being subject to hiring and workplace discrimination?

Before we discuss that, let’s look at what discrimination is:

Discriminate: (verb, used without object) – to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit.

I have a legal background so allow me to explain this somewhat stilted language. What is means is that the person who intends to discriminate against another doesn’t bother to determine if the target of the discrimination is talented or untalented, energetic or lazy, conscientious or unprincipled, brilliant or mundane, experienced or inexperienced, etc. (Aren’t these the kinds of things you’d want to know if you were going to hire someone for a job position?) Instead, the person bent on discriminating sees something about the person – black skin, Hispanic sir name, Star of David on a necklace, tattoos, etc, and automatically, without any rational thought process, simply lumps that person into a group that he has pre-labeled in his mind as “bad” or “undesirable”.

The critical factor here being there is zero evidence that the “group” is bad or undesirable, or that the person being lumped into the group is “bad” or “undesirable”. The person’s discriminatory decision is merely the result of baseless prejudice and/or mindless hate.

In 1964 Congress passed a law that forbade discrimination in the workplace based on race. The day before the law took effect it was just hunky dory in America to refuse to hire a thoroughly qualified job applicant for no better reason than he was black (or any other racial minority). And discriminating based on race was a rather commonplace occurrence at that time (hence the need for the law). The day the law went into effect that form of discrimination became a federal offense. Though it took almost a decade of prosecutions for the law to have the desired affect, today it is the exception, not the rule, for a person to be turned away from a job because of the color of his skin.

In 1964 the primary race Congress was stepping in to protect from hateful bigotry was black Americans. Interestingly, the percentage of black Americans has stayed relatively constant over the years, at about 13% of the population. Today few Americans fail to recognize the positive changes in employment, and our culture generally, that were created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Since the national legislature saw it as unacceptable for 13% of the population to be discriminated against, should we ask why it is acceptable for 25% of the population (i.e. those with tattoos) to be discriminated against today?

Having posed the question let me now adjust some of the numbers downward a bit. While approximately 25% of the nation’s population has tattoos, not all of them are being discriminated against in the workplace. This is for several reasons.

First, not all employers practice discrimination against people with tattoos. Notable major employers who do not discriminate are companies such as Walmart (which includes Sam’s Club), Home Depot, FedEx, and many others.

The second reason is that a lot of people with tattoos had them placed so they are not visible when the person is wearing long pants and a short-sleeve shirt. Those who are discriminated against are generally people with visible tattoos (though some employers will ask if you have any tattoos – visible or not – and if you answer ‘yes’ you will not be hired).

But the question is, why is any company permitted to discriminate against those with tattoos?

The answer comes in two flavors; legal and cultural.

The legal answer is that the act of discriminating against those with tattoos does not meet the legal definition of “discrimination”. In other words, it is discrimination in the moral sense, but (at this point in time) not discrimination in the legal sense. Each form of moral discrimination must be added into the legal definition of “discrimination” by the legislature before the courts can acknowledge it as discrimination.

The first object of the anti-discrimination laws was race. Several years later “gender” was added. Until gender was added, discriminating against women in the workplace was not legally cognizable “discrimination”. Once the legislature added “gender” to the definition, discriminating against women became a violation of law. Several years later “religion” was added; then “national origin”. After that, came “age”, making it a violation of law to refuse to hire a qualified applicant simply because he was older than a firm might prefer. As you can see, defining what legally constitutes discrimination has been an evolutionary process.

As things stand currently, to deny a man a job – even one for which he is more eminently qualified than any other candidate – because he has a tattoo (seen or unseen) is not a violation of law. Legally speaking, it is not “discrimination”.

Culturally, the spectrum of why companies discriminate against people with tattoos is wide and varied. That said, two things are true of every act of tattoo discrimination.

1) It is baseless personal prejudice and/or mindless hatred. In this regard it is no different than saying “Niggers can’t work here.” The object of the discrimination may be different; black skin versus inked skin – but the mindset of the person discriminating is exactly the same.

2) Like all bullies, the person discriminating will only do it until a more powerful force stops him. In America’s history that “more powerful force” has been government. When a bully realizes that men with guns will come and drag him into court and pain will be put on him for being a discriminatory douchebag, the bully stops discriminating.

Make no mistake; psychologically speaking, whether an employer says “I don’t hire niggers” or “I don’t hire people with tattoos”, it is an act that feeds an emotional need of someone with a sense of deep-seated inadequacies. Such people feel powerless in their day-to-day lives. Denying someone something he truly needs (such as a job), without a valid reason, and without the victim having any recourse, makes the person with deep-seated inadequacies feel powerful.

Keep in mind that we are discussing a deep-seated emotional issue. Many of the people exhibiting this behavior are not self-aware enough to be in touch with what it is driving their actions, and they may seem like wonderful happy people on the surface.

It is important to note that if the reason for denying a job is valid, such as the person not being qualified, the person with deep-seated inadequacies would not experience the sense of power they seek. Turning job applicants down for routine reasons does not offer the feeling they crave. But being able to harm an innocent person without a valid reason, with the victim not being able to fight back, brings a tremendous feeling of power to such people. (It is important to note that there is no amount of the petty illusion of power that will ever fill their emotional void or resolve their feelings of inadequacies.)

Once you understand that their need to feel powerful is the driving force behind their discriminatory acts you can better understand why only something like the threat of government-inflicted pain can deter them from committing further discriminatory acts. It is not a matter of “logic” or “education” or “maturity”. The need to discriminate comes from damage deep in that person’s psyche.

Those who wish to hide their feelings of inadequacies from others will claim there is some legitimate “business reason” for their discrimination. These claims come in two flavors and both are nonsense arguments meant as red herrings to keep you from seeing their true (ugly) motivation.

The first – and most easily disposed of – is that their actions aren’t actually “discrimination” because tattoos are a “choice.” Really? How odd. In America we don’t allow discrimination based on religious beliefs, which is also a choice.

“But wait!” some will say. “Freedom of religion” is a deeply enshrined right in this country’s national ethos. It is our deep reverence for freedom of religion that is the foundation of not permitting workplace discrimination because of a person’s faith. And right you are! Freedom of religion is deeply enshrined in our vision of liberty. In fact, it’s right up there with “freedom of expression”!

Yes my friends, tattoos are “freedom of expression” as that term has been used for 230+ years in American jurisprudence. Freedom of expression is an unalienable right and it is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as part of the First Amendment. (Courts have consistently held that the phrases “freedom of speech” and “freedom of expression” are synonymous for First Amendment purposes.)

It might interest you to know that the Arizona Supreme Court held that tattoos are “pure speech” protected under the First Amendment, and that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has held tattoos to be “Pure expression” protected by the First Amendment. Is it not strange that we do not allow discrimination based on freedom of religion, but we do allow discrimination based on freedom of expression? (More on this on a shortly.)

This leads us right to their second fabricated justification to deny tattooed applicants a job – that visible tattoos are bad for business; customers will go elsewhere. This is such a ludicrous argument that it’s hard to know where to start refuting it.

First off, we should note that this is the exact same argument put forth by racists who opposed the 1964 Civil Right Act. They claimed that “hiring niggers” would be bad for business and their customers would go elsewhere. As I said earlier; same sick mindset – just a new group for them to target.

Secondly, there is zero evidence to support their contention. What I mean by that is there is not one single study in existence, or any other form of evidence, that supports such a claim. While I would not represent my own efforts as a formal poll, I have sought out the views of quite a number of people on this subject. My question has been:

“If you were assisted in the business/professional environment by a person with visible tattoos who treated you in a respectful and professional manner, and he was excellent at his job, providing you with exactly what you hoped for or expected, would you use another company next time because the person assisting you had visible tattoos?”

The most common response I’ve gotten is being asked to explain the question. Not because the question is unclear, but because the person hearing it thinks they must have missed the important element that would lead them to use another company. The overwhelming consensus has been that visible ink would not be an issue – at all.

Thirdly, contrasting the complete lack of evidence to support their lame contention we have demonstrable evidence to the contrary in the form of major U.S. companies, such as B of A, Target, Whole Foods, etc., permitting visible tattoos. Does anyone in their right mind imagine these billion dollar companies would permit visible tattoos if their research showed a loss of customers, which would translate into a loss of revenue?

A tangential argument sometimes attached to the nonsensical “It’s bad for business” claim is that the courts have ruled employers have a right to significantly limit an employee’s freedom of expression while at work. What these less than candid folks don’t tell you is that the limiting of freedom of expression is tailored to a reasonably objective business concern. In other words, the courts have granted business significant latitude to curtail free expression at work, under the presumption that there is a legitimate business concern associated with the curtailment. No court has ever granted employers unrestricted power to curtail all free expression in the workplace.

What is free expression in the workplace? Is it the clothes you wear? Of course! (Unless you wear a company uniform.) How about your hairstyle? Yup. The car you drive into the employer’s parking lot? Yes! How about the manner in which you engage co-workers? Indeed. How about the discussions you hold with fellow employees in the lunchroom. Of course. And the non-business conservation you might have with a customer/client? Yes. These are all examples of free expression. And unless one of them is such that it has an arguably adverse affect on business, it is beyond the scope of the employer to restrict it.

Can you imagine the outcome if an employer insisted employees not speak in the company lunchroom – and then fired employees for breaking that policy by saying things such as “Please pass me the salt”? The point being that employers are not free to do whatever they want. If they were, some companies would still say “We don’t hire niggers”, they’d have employees engage in unsafe work practices, they’d force employees to engage in humiliating conduct for the personal pleasure of the owner, etc. We don’t allow those things in this country, so do not buy into the myth that employers can do whatever they want.

As an example, if a black employee wears a multicolor blouse conveying pride in her African heritage, or an employee wears a shirt with the crest of the Knights Templar, possibly conveying an association with Christianity, it is beyond the scope of the employer to ban their personal attire unless it can objectively be seen as adverse to the business.

Let’s go further, because existing law prohibits discrimination based on national origin, there is likely nothing the employer could do about the “African pride” blouse, short of mandating company uniforms for all employees. If the employee with the Templars shirt is working in an accounting office, having no contact with customers, and no co-workers have complained, the employer would be hard pressed to ban a shirt that hints at a religious affiliation (absent a company-wide policy against all attire with religious meaning).

Let’s change the situation a bit. What if the employee with the Templar shirt worked directly with customers and many of those customers were Muslims? The Templars were involved in the Crusades and fought against and killed Muslims in the Middle East for hundreds of years. Might that shirt arguably have a detrimental affect on the business in that context? It might indeed. The employer may now choose to enact a company-wide policy that items of personal clothing worn at work may not have any symbols that could be construed as telegraphing any religious affiliation or ideal. (Note that the employer can ban all religious symbols but he is still not free to ban the symbols of one faith while allowing the symbols of others. That is discrimination.)

So…now let’s bring this back to tattoos. The vast majority of tattoos are simply “art”. Even tattoos that have a “message” (as opposed to “personal meaning”) do not necessarily telegraph that message to the casual observer.

In theory, as well as in real world application, there is zero difference – concerning any possible harm to the business – between a woman wearing a blouse with a beautiful artistic pattern and a woman with a beautiful artist pattern on her arm. Both represent freedom of expression and both do not harm the business in any way.

Most businesses do not prohibit shirts with colorful graphic designs on them. (In fact, I don’t know of any that do.) Yet many of these very same companies feel it is just fine to have a policy against colorful graphic design on your forearm. It seems hard to imagine how owners/managers could justify such an inane and inconsequential distinction. And in fact they can’t because it is “a distinction without a difference”.

With that said, since discrimination against tattooed people isn’t (yet) legally recognized “discrimination” the owner/manager feels free to impose inane restrictions, based on ridiculous non-factual fantasy distinctions, that are clearly discriminatory.

Another of the seemingly countless ludicrous contentions thrown out by those who want to engage in discrimination is that tattoos are a “distraction” in the workplace. I’m sure you immediately grasp how inane that claim is, but I’ll cover a few points anyway.

The question is not whether tattoos (or anything else) are a distraction. Life – including the workplace – has many distractions. The question is the level of distraction. If we say tattoos are a distraction – and thus not acceptable in the workplace, then we must also say that men over 6’5” cannot be employed because such extraordinarily tall men garner quite a bit of attention when they walk in a room. Likewise women with very large breasts (whether real or augmented) also create a distraction. One (cough, cough) “business professional” told me that women with large breasts can be asked to dress discreetly. Really? So a set of “EE” breasts isn’t going to grab the attention of every man in the room (and perhaps the women as well) – even if the lady is wearing a burlap sack? It’s complete nonsense, but it is one more contrived desperate argument to support doing something for which there is no credible justification.

We see the same tattoo discrimination in the public employment sector as we do in the private sector, and for no more credible reasons.

I’ve heard a number of public agency managers claim that “it’s different” in the public sector because they “serve the public”. That is a brainless argument. 25% of the public is tattooed. What happened to the long-standing principle that government agencies should reflect the communities they serve? Oh…well…that apparently only applies to race, gender, religion, age, etc. Makes sense. NOT!

Public agency managers also push the same non-credible manure about the appearance of tattoos making the public (it’s “customers”) uncomfortable. Is that true? All available evidence says it is absolutely false! It is merely a convenient myth used by those who want to substantiate a position they hold without any credibility.

Interestingly, when an agency manager says “We don’t want to the public to feel uncomfortable by our people having visible tattoos” he is making the very same argument that was made several decades ago in an attempt to stop blacks from being employed by public agencies. Agency managers back then claimed that their “customers” (i.e. the public) didn’t want to be served by “niggers”.

How do we know the “reasoning” of these agency managers is nonsense? We know that because agencies that do not have any tattoo restrictions (except about tattoos that are considered obscene), report no feedback for the public that visible tattoos bother them!

In fact, public agencies should follow the lead of private sector corporations such Walmart, Home Depot, and Bank of America. These companies determined that excluding tattooed applicants was hurting their business. And whether the job is private sector or public, good applicants also have little interest in being forced to wear long sleeves every day.

I had a deputy sheriff recently tell me that visible tattoos must be covered up in law enforcement because police must portray a “professional image” for the public. Again, that argument fails in light of the experience of law enforcement agencies that have no tattoo restrictions. Agencies without restrictive tattoo policies do not receive complaints from the public about their officers looking “unprofessional”. Or phrased another way, agencies that have done what other agencies refuse to do, do not experience the consequences that the refusing agencies cite as their justification to refuse! It would be interesting to ask an agency manager why his agency would want to force its tattooed employees to hide their tattoos if – as the evidence confirms – the public doesn’t care about visible tattoos!

(You may wish to also read my article on tattoos in the “professional” work environment. It can be found at http://www.davechampionshow.com/archives/?p=2412)

You can tell when an agency doesn’t care about the truth, or the public, if it refuses to engage in a trial program in which some officers, perhaps in certain geographic areas, or working certain patrol shifts, will be permitted to display their tattoos as a gauge of the public’s reaction. I should tell you that “trial programs” are a tool used often in law enforcement. So an agency that refuses to engage in a trial program for visible tattoos almost certainly already knows the truth, and doesn’t want it confirmed by a trial program. In other words, they intend to continue telling you the lie while making sure the truth remains hidden. Not much of a “public servant” if you ask me. Seems like they’re “serving” their own prejudices, not the public interest.

Since public agencies exist for no other reason than the good of the public, if the public has no issue with visible tattoos there can be no credible or supportable position to insist the agency’s employees cover their tattoos.

Those who want to discriminate will say any ridiculous thing in an effort to gin up some false credibility they hope will justify (in the minds of others) harming innocent people through discriminatory conduct.

I’ve made some pretty harsh statements about the underlying psychological reasons that people feel compelled to discriminate against others – whoever “others” may be at any given moment. There’s no need to take my word for it. Ask a psychologist. The psychologist will tell you the underlying emotional dynamics I’ve described in this article are correct.

With that said, these observations are generalities. Something can be considered a generality if it is true of most people or most of the time. In this case, most people who discriminate do so for the reasons stated here. This can be hard to swallow if someone close to you engages in discrimination. Or perhaps you do. Whether it’s you, your parents, your friends, or your spouse – the reason stated here is the most likely explanation for their actions – by far. Remember, whatever “reason” they give you for their decision to discriminate, it is the “cover story” they give hoping the cover story will keep their true reason obscured and unnoticed; the true reason being the need to victimize innocent people who cannot fight back, so that they can feel powerful.

In closing, do not expect to be able to win an argument with those who wish to discriminate. They have a damaged psyche. I know from experience that when you ask them questions about their positions, the answers to which put their irrationality and lack of credibility on display, they get angry. Their end of the conversation will become insulting. And finally they will take refuge in “I can do anything I want. It’s my business!” You and I know this to be false, but as far as discriminating (i.e. committing a harmful act) against people with tattoos, they are – at this time – free to do as they please.

Perhaps it is time we legislatively removed from them the option to harm the innocent.

If I could leave you with one truth that would stay with you from this article, it would be that saying “I don’t hire people with tattoos” is no different (from a psychological perspective) than saying “I don’t hire niggers.” It may not (yet) be “legal” discrimination, but it is neither tolerable nor permissible if we reject the notion of mindless prejudice in the workplace.

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

Zimmerman Trial Insanity

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

You might think from the title of this piece that I’m referring to what has taken place so far during the trial. Though I would agree what we’ve seen has been pretty nutty, that’s not what I’m referring to.

I am referring to the remarks I’ve heard people make about Zimmerman and their view that this trial is good, proper, and necessary. That is the insanity to which I refer.

Apparently some Americans [far too many in my view] have lost sight of the purpose of criminal trial. There is one – and only one – purpose for a criminal trial. That is to determine whether a defendant accused of a violation of one of more criminal statues will be found guilty or acquitted.

What a criminal trial is NOT about is punishing a person for doing things of which you disapprove, but which are not violations of any criminal statute(s).

Sadly, most people who believe that Zimmerman should be tried in a criminal court feel that way because they don’t approve of what Zimmerman did when he first spotted Trayvon Martin. Whether or not Zimmerman committed any violations of the criminal statutes of the State of Florida – or whether Trayvon did – are completely irrelevant to them. They view Zimmerman’s trial as a social statement, not a legal one. And frankly, they don’t particularly care if their view even comports itself with the facts of what happened that night.

These are the worst kind of citizens. They would gladly make a political/social mockery out of criminal law, and the state courts that enforce it, simply to assuage their “feelings” about Zimmerman. They don’t care about facts. They merely want their “feelings” validated – even if it costs an innocent man his life. How pathetic is that!

So…what are the facts?

George Zimmerman was acting that night in the role of Neighborhood Watch. As many of you know, the idea of a formalized Neighborhood Watch has been around for several decades now. Some police departments will even have officers meet with residents and discuss how to set up a Neighborhood Watch program.

Despite the formalization of this thing called “Neighborhood Watch”, the principle of watching out for yourself and your neighbor’s safety and property are as old as society itself. And in my opinion, it is a particularly American characteristic! America was founded on the principle that We The People are the source of all power and government is merely our servants. Or phrased another way, my neighbors and I, being good American citizens, have every right to keep an eye on our own neighborhood, and we don’t need our servants to do that for us – or to tell us we can’t!

In his Neighborhood Watch role, Zimmerman happened to see Trayvon walking down the street and felt he bore watching. I should point out that decision (i.e. Zimmerman deciding to keep an eye on Trayvon) is what most people who hold Zimmerman responsible for Trayvon’s death, have a problem with – though they won’t admit it and cover it up with all sorts of other nonsensical claims. They “feel” that Zimmerman’s decision to keep on eye on Trayvon was racist. They “feel” that everything that happened thereafter was a result of Zimmerman’s “obvious” racism.

But they are making a presumption. And an unsupportable presumption at that. They don’t know Zimmerman’s heart. There is no historical evidence that Zimmerman is a racist. People are branding him a racist for no better reason than they want to. They leap to the unsupportable conclusion that because Zimmerman felt a man who was black should be watched, his decision was based on skin color. Oh…I should add that Zimmerman is not white. He’s Hispanic. But that doesn’t matter to the crowd that wants Zimmerman prosecuted because…well…he “looks white”. I’d certainly agree there is racism involved in this case!

Years ago a couple of Hispanic young men stole some Porsche hubcaps off of a custom VW Bug. The victims (the married couple that owned the Bug) saw the crime in progress and called it in. A two-man unit under my supervision located the fleeing suspect vehicle and stopped it. As their supervisor I decided to stop at the scene and see how they were handling the situation. As soon as the two suspects realized I was a supervisor, they informed me that they’d done nothing and had only been pulled over because they were Hispanic and the two officers who had made the stop were racist.

What these two rocket scientists didn’t realize was that the victims were about 60 yards away and had identified both of the suspects (and the vehicle) as being the ones who had stolen their hubcaps.

I shared this information with the two suspects and pointed out that the victims were black, so “obviously” they – the suspects – were racist and had chosen to steal from black people. The suspects had nothing to say to me after that! LOL

The suspect’s self-serving claim that the officers were racist was not true. Nor was my tongue-in-cheek comment that the suspects were racist. The point being that when people don’t like what is going on, the claim of “racism” is easy to throw around without a shred of proof. And that is precisely what those who want Zimmerman tried are doing. It is despicable and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Once we get past the real reason they want Zimmerman prosecuted, we begin to get to the things they use as “cover” for their racist stance. (Yes, to accuse someone of racism, without proof, for no better reason then the two parties are of different races, is racist.)

One of the most common criticisms of Zimmerman is that the police dispatcher had instructed Zimmerman to stop following Trayvon and let the responding officers handle it and Zimmerman ignored her. My response: So what?

Anyone with any familiarity with police dispatch procedures knows that is a standard line. It is not situation dependent, nor does it mean that is the proper course of action for the citizen to take. Let me give you an example. If you called the police to report a stranger was dragging your child toward a non-descript gray vehicle – and the police admitted their closest unit was 11 minutes away – they would still tell you to stay away from the suspect and let them handle it. The fact that the man was stealing your child, using a non-descript car, and within 1 minute he, your child, and that car may be forever gone would be of ZERO consequence to the dispatcher. She would still tell you “Let the responding officers handle it.” Good luck with that!

But more importantly than that nauseating reality is the fact that statements – or “instructions” if you prefer – made by a dispatcher are meaningless; they convey no authority nor obligate anyone to do, or not do, anything.

Zimmerman’s neighborhood had been plagued by thefts. They had called the police time and again – and nothing had changed. Zimmerman’s response to the dispatcher was “These assholes. They always get away.” When Zimmerman said “assholes” did he mean black men? There is no evidence of that. What makes far more sense is that by “assholes” he meant the guys (of any color) who were committed the frequent thefts and had NOT been caught by responding police! And I can tell you from professional experience that a “suspicious person” report is a VERY low priority radio call. If your neighborhood has been plagued with theft and you’re banking on that changing by calling the police, you’re in a fantasy world. As a member of the Neighborhood Watch, Zimmerman had come to understand that. That is what his response to the dispatcher conveys.

Do you want the man to stand trial for being right?!

Understanding that the police were not going to stop the thefts by him walking away from someone he thought was suspicious, he did what any moral thinking American would do – he ignored the non-authoritative “suggestion” of the dispatcher and continued to do what he felt was a better path to resolving the matter. That path was to keep on eye on Trayvon.

“Keep on eye on Trayvon.” This conduct irks some weird folks. So what? Who cares? What is important is that Zimmerman did not approach Trayvon, did not inhibit his freedom of movement, did not accuse Trayvon, did not attempt to detain or arrest Trayvon – he simply watched him. I want you to listen very carefully to the next statement: There is no law anywhere in the U.S. that prevents one person on a public street from watching another person on the public street. Also, there is no “right of privacy” when walking down a public street.

Since we’re getting to the critical moment, let’s take a moment to look at what we’ve covered so far.

1. Zimmerman was serving in his Neighborhood Watch role. Is that a criminal act? No!
2. Zimmerman saw Trayvon and felt he was suspicious. Is that a crime? No!
3. Zimmerman called the police to tell them what he was doing. Is that a crime? No!
4. Zimmerman declined the dispatcher’s suggestion to stop observing Trayvon. Is that a crime? No!
5. Zimmerman continued to observe Trayvon from a distance without making contact or interfering with Trayvon. Is that a crime? No!

So…as we approach the critical moments of the event we see that up until this moment Zimmerman had violated no laws at all.

Do you support Zimmerman being prosecuted for breaking no laws? Let us move on.

According to courtroom testimony, Zimmerman lost sight of Trayvon. As Zimmerman was walking along attempting to locate Trayvon, Trayvon jumped out of some bushes and confronted Zimmerman face-to-face.

The testimony is that Trayvon spoke first, saying to Zimmerman “What the fuck is your problem homie?” Did Trayvon commit a crime by verbally challenging Zimmerman? Of course not.

Zimmerman replied, “Hey man, I don’t have a problem.” Any crime so far? Nope.

Trayvon then said, “Now you have a problem.” Any crime in saying Zimmerman has a problem? Nope.

But then Trayvon punches Zimmerman in the face. Is THAT a crime? You bet!

It is important to understand that Trayvon, not Zimmerman initiated the violence and was the only person to commit a criminal act in the entire affair!

But it doesn’t end with a punch in the face.

When Trayvon hit Zimmerman, he fell on his back. Zimmerman had been punched in the nose. EMTs at the scene who examined Zimmerman at the scene shortly after the confrontation stated that his nose was broken. Photos of Zimmerman taken in the back of a patrol car sometime afterward also confirm this. His nose is noticeably bent to one side, swollen, and blood is running down from his nose across his lips. This physical evidence supports his additional testimony that we will get to in just a moment.

Courtroom testimony by Zimmerman is that when he hit the ground, Trayvon jumped on his chest in a sitting position and started punching Zimmerman repeatedly in the face. This is corroborated by a neighbor who testified in court that Trayvon was straddling Zimmerman in a “ground and pound” position. Zimmerman’s testimony is that it was as this time that Trayvon said, “You’re going to die tonight mother fucker.”

Zimmerman stated to police, and under oath in court, that he could neither see nor breath while being violently attacked by Trayvon. While most Americans these days have never been in a violent physical altercation, getting slammed in the nose produces exactly the response Zimmerman described. Your eyes start watering ferociously and the blood from your nose filling your nasal passages and running into your throat (if you’re on your back as Zimmerman was) makes you feel like you can’t get any air into your lungs.

Imagine if it was you who was on your back, felt blind and suffocating, and you were being beaten mercilessly by a man who had just told you that you were going to die. How terrified would you be?

Despite the horror Zimmerman must have been feeling at that moment, that was not the end of it. Once Trayvon felt he had softened Zimmerman up enough with the head punches, he then grabbed Zimmerman’s head in both his hands and began smashing the back of his head into the concrete.

I believe it’s important to mention at this point that Trayvon’s actions are a felony. In some jurisdictions, depending on the temperament of the D.A., the first punch might be seen as a misdemeanor. But of course a violent misdemeanor is still an act of violence and still a crime! However, once Zimmerman was on the ground and Trayvon attacked him again, there is no jurisdiction I know of that would not consider that “felony battery”. Additionally, once Trayvon uttered the words “You’re going to die tonight mother fucker” and began smashing Zimmerman’s head into the concrete, it went from “felony battery” to “attempted murder”.

So, at this point Zimmerman cannot see or breathe. He has been told by his attacker that he is going to be killed. And his skull is being smashed repeatedly into the concrete beneath him. For those who think Zimmerman is the bad guy in this, at what point do you think self-defense is called for?

It’s clear Zimmerman can’t beat Trayvon in a physical altercation; certainly not after getting sucker punched and losing his vision and ability to breath properly. Zimmerman goes for the tool he has. He reached for his gun, which is below the area to which Trayvon is giving his full attention. Zimmerman fired one round into Trayvon’s torso and that ends the vicious attack Zimmerman was enduring.

I should also add that jut hours after the incident, a police detective attempted to fake-out Zimmerman and falsely told him that the incident had been videotaped. Zimmerman’s immediate response was “Thank God.”

People are free to feel that Zimmerman should have handled things differently prior to the violent attack. But oddly, when I observe that Trayvon also had the opportunity to handle things differently prior to initiating his violent attack, such as simply saying something like “Looks asshole, my dad lives here. Fuck off” and walking away, they refuse to acknowledge that Trayvon also had a choice. It’s as if their view is that Zimmerman could choose his conduct, but Trayvon couldn’t. I guess that’s because they feel a young black man isn’t capable of controlling his violent instincts. Gee…I wonder who the racists are.

Much has been said of Trayvon’s and Zimmerman’s lives prior to the incident. None of that is relevant in this particular criminal case because none of it pertains to, or affects, what happened seconds after Trayvon jumped from the bushes. What happened at that moment was that a man who had harmed no one was violently and viciously attacked by another man, and told he was going to be murdered right there. What happened at that moment was that a man who had broken no laws had a violent felony unleashed upon him.

Violence was Trayvon’s answer to a circumstance that pissed him off. In fact, his own words were that he was going to murder Zimmerman; a man who had committed no crime and harmed no one.

Self-defense is an unalienable right. Under our system of jurisprudence, a right can never be converted into a crime. It should be obvious to even a person of the most modest intelligence that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot Trayvon. Whether you agree with Zimmerman’s earlier choices is irrelevant to the truth that he was acting in self-defense. Your “preferences” as to how you think he should have acted earlier on can’t change the hard reality that he was in fear for his life when he shot Trayvon.

So, if you still think Zimmerman should be tried for murder, all I can say is you’re a fucking asshole who represents everything that is wrong with this nation.

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

Is Dave on a “crusade”?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Today a friend half-jokingly mentioned that it appears I am on a crusade concerning tattoos. Well…not exactly. 

Have you ever purchased a vehicle of a particular make & model, and after getting it you notice how many of them suddenly are on the road? Of course there aren’t suddenly more of them on the road; you just notice more of them. Likewise, since I got sleeved several months ago I now take note of more stories concerning tattoos. And, sadly, a lot of them discuss the mindless prejudice that many Americans have concerning tattoos.

So…is it really all about tattoos? NO!

A lot of Americans these days have grave concerns about the apparent loss of liberty that is taking place in this country, and fear that even greater losses of liberty are coming.  A recent poll revealed that 29% of Americans believe that we will have to resort to armed rebellion against the federal government if we want to protect our rights. I don’t know how you see it, but 29% of Americans believing that violence is the only way to preserve our rights is a HUGE number.

But here’s the problem. Americans see the issue of liberty, and “their rights” as something that is exclusively the domain of one’s relationship with government. Americans seem to believe that they can act day in and day out in a way that rejects liberty in their interactions with their fellow citizens, and yet expect to magically preserve it for themselves by griping at the government.  It appears Americans have forgotten that like charity, liberty begins at home. Or phrased more precisely, liberty is something you plant the seeds of every day in your own community through your actions with your fellow citizens. Like dignity, it is something you give to others and expect in return. Sadly, we are doing anything but that.

It may be completely appropriate to demand that the government respect your rights and not diminish your liberty, but that is a wholly worthless sentiment that will accomplish nothing if liberty is not an “American mindset” at home, in the workplace, and is not present in our interactions with one another.

Americans are the architects of their own loss of liberty. They can gripe all they want about government, but they are murdering liberty every day by the way they reject it in their interactions with others. They wish to receive it, but they don’t wish to give it – or live it. Today’s concept of liberty in the minds of all too many Americans matches the old adage “For me, but not thee”.  In other words Americans feel passionately about liberty for themselves, but have no interest in ensuring their fellow citizens are receiving it. A selfish self-centered people can never sustain liberty because liberty is based on morality and virtue. Selfishness and self-centeredness are neither.

A debate has been on-going for a few years in this country concerning whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry. After much reflection and debate, it is easy and accurate to describe the two opposing sides as; those who believe every American is entitled to equal rights, versus those who want to prohibit a minority from enjoying the same rights the majority enjoys. And no matter what rationale they give for denying equal rights, every argument boils down to “I don’t like it.”  That makes sense because homosexuals getting married does harm to no one. Since it does harm to no one, the only possible objection must be merely someone’s “opinion”. Simply more of “For me, but not thee.”

Now we return to the tattoo issue. Visible tattoos on the arms harm no one. Yet, despite this, 61% of human resource directors say that having such tattoos may prevent an applicant from being hired. Again, since ink on one’s arms harms no one, people are being denied the ability to earn a living based on someone’s absurd “opinion”.

What these examples (and many others) tell us is that Americans (that’s YOU!) only want their fellow citizens to enjoy liberty on the “community” basis – that is, liberty provided to others by YOU (not government) – if the person you are interacting with is “just like you”.  In other words “I will address you with a heart for liberty only if you conform to how I think you should look, think, and act.”  Or phrased another way “I will not offer you liberty because you are ‘different’ than me. You are not in compliance with how I want you to look and act.”  Holy cow!  How can a society that thinks like THAT have any expectation of being a country of liberty?  The very notion is preposterous!

Many people who oppose equal marriage rights for all Americans believe fervently in the right to keep and bear arms and see those who would take away their guns as “the enemy”.  I have pointed out to these people that the anti-gunners see “gun rights” in the same way pro-gunners reject equal marriage rights. The anti-gunner’s “opinion” is that law-abiding citizens should not be allowed to own guns. The “opinion” of many pro-gunners is that homosexuals should not have equal marriage rights. Law abiding citizens harm no one with guns and homosexuals marrying harms no one. Despite this obvious parallel, both sides are working feverishly to insure their “opinions” become law so that the “other guys” – you know…the ones who are ‘different’ than you – can be deprived of parts of their liberty. Insanity!!!!

Should the anti-equal rights, pro-gun, crowd prevail and block gays from marrying, I can see no logical reason they should be upset in the least when the majority votes to take away their guns. If mere “opinion” can be converted into law to stop one minority from enjoying a particular right, I can’t find a good reason for the majority on another issue not to successfully take away some other right (gun ownership) from that minority.  What’s good for the goose…, right?

My point is that whether it is gay marriage, gun rights, or a job for the guy with tattoos on his arm, or a myriad of other issues, Americans have ZERO interest in securing the blessings of liberty to anyone but themselves – or possibly people they recognize as being within “their group”, defined as people who look, think, and act, just like them.

So…my issue is not about tattoos. It is with a nation in which citizens scream for their own liberty while working vigorously (politically and in personal interactions in their community) to deny it to others.  

The open festering wound of hypocrisy that was a part of this nation’s early years was citizens professing a love and respect for liberty while allowing people to own other human beings. That moral hypocrisy – which spit in the face of liberty – did not directly result in the Civil War, but I believe the karma of this nation permitting slavery is what killed 620,000 Americans in the Civil War.

Today in all manner of things, big and small, Americans are working feverishly to re-create that same karma of hypocrisy against liberty – “For me, but not thee”.  Unless Americans recognize what they are doing, and end it, and start filling their hearts with the desire to expand liberty to everyone, in every circumstance possible, instead of being miserly and petty in denying it, we are doomed as a free country.

And I am not the only one who sees it that way:

“What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.

~ Judge Learned Hand

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

The Narrow Minded Republican

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Yesterday a fellow stated, on my personal Facebook page, that people who get tattoos are stupid. (I’m confident he took note of my profile pic, in which one can see several of mine.)

He’s a big “support our troops” guy, so I informed him that a large percentage of this nation’s Spec Ops warriors are heavily tat’d and I’m sure they appreciate him calling them “stupid”. There are likely also quite a few tat’d folks with IQ’s higher than his.

This fellow is a fervent Republican. His statement exemplifies something all too common in Republicans’ thinking (or lack thereof). They believe the only “good Americans” are those who look, act, and think, just like they do. Not only is this incredible petty, narrow minded, and arrogant, but it is also completely antithetical to the principle of liberty! With guys like him the equation goes like this:

Longer hair than they like to see on a man – You’re the problem with America.

Wear a style of clothing they don’t like – You’re the problem with America.

Use language they don’t like – You’re the problem with America.

Follow a different religion than they do (or no religion at all) – You’re the problem with America.

Express sentiments with which they don’t agree – You’re the problem with America.

Have visible piercings (other than 1 in each ear, and only if you’re female) – You’re the problem with America.

Don’t walk in lock-step with their political views – You’re the problem with America.

Married to a person who is visually obvious as being of another race – You’re the problem with America.

Have tattoos that are visible when you’re wearing a tank-top and shorts – You’re the problem with America.

Homosexual – You’re EVERYTHING that is wrong with America.

(Side Note: If you smoke a couple of packs of cigarettes a day, drink to excess nightly, and are 60 pounds overweight, you’re good-to-go to be in the club!)

In a world that is ever more diverse, these small-minded dolts have created a “just like me” club and anyone not in the club is “the problem”.

With all the difficulties this country is facing, this guy chooses to insult those who may otherwise have been political allies, and spits in the face of Thomas Jefferson – all the while claiming he loves this country.

And for the record, such people do NOT love this country. This country is made up of all sorts of people. But these narrow-minded creeps do NOT love the America in which The People are free to be themselves. They love the ideal that is in their head of what America “should be” once all the “losers” (see the above list) get straightened out. In other words, they love their fantasy version of America in which everyone is a member of the “just like me” club and all that “individuality” nonsense has been forced into its proper boundaries!

Why do I say, “spits in the face of Thomas Jefferson”?

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

These folks would have made great Nazis. Their definition of what constitutes a ”good German”…oh, I mean a “good American”…is only slightly more permissive than Adolph’s – and that’s only because one of their own doesn’t have dictatorial powers at this time.

This of course does not describe all Republicans.

There are many reasons why Barack Obama is sitting in the oval office. But one of those reasons is that far too many Republicans are those I just described above.

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

Fragile Faith

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Not long ago I did a show on laying out the facts and debunking the nonsensical myths about what is most often referred to as “gay marriage”. I prefer referring to it by the more realistically descriptive phrase; “equal marriage rights for all Americans.”

While those who oppose equal rights are comprised of people from various demographic groups, the leading category of people opposing equal rights (by far) is, ironically, Christians.

Because I am about to say some uncomplimentary things about a certain type of Christian, I will begin as I usually do by reminding you – in this case, Christians – that my words are directed at those exhibiting the conduct described in this article, not all Christians. If the shoe fits, then you earned it. If it doesn’t, good on you!

I’m not going to re-hash the points covered in the show because it’s available for you to watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-39iefjVs. However, for your convenience I am providing a 1 minute and 40 second clip from that show that is directly applicable to what I am addressing in this article. It can be seen at http://archives.davechampionshow.com/Championtv_gaymythsclip.mp4.

I entitled this article “Fragile Faith” because apparently there are some Christians whose beliefs are held so tenuously that they simply cannot expose themselves to facts that may contradict what they have been told to believe.

On the other hand, I suppose the same behavior could be equally well explained if the Christian was so arrogant – or stupid – as to believe that once he has a particular understanding of something (allegedly) from the Bible, then there simply can be no information, of any kind, from any source, no matter how valid, that could possibly alter that Christian’s (false) understanding of the Word.

Possibly there is a third explanation, though I think it less likely. It is that the Christian has built his emotional stability – his “self image” – upon certain things he believes to be so, and anything that might prove these emotionally important beliefs false, thus pushing him outside his chosen comfort zone, simply will not be permitted. The difference between this characterization, and the first one, is that the first one fears that his faith will be damaged. In this one it is not as much about faith as it is simply an unwillingness to change – even if the facts dictate that change is called for.

I will leave you to determine which is the most likely scenario.

As you can see from the three possible characterizations, this is not strictly about Christians. These points are just as applicable to Jews, Muslims, Hindus…or atheists.

If these kinds of people exist within virtually all demographic groups, why am I using Christians as the example? For a couple of reasons. First, the situation I am soon to describe came to pass in a discussion about equal marriage rights for all Americans. Second, the man who conducted himself in the manner I am about to describe is a self-professed Christian and will let you know that at the drop of a hat. Third, as I stated earlier it is the Christian community (though not all Christians) that is leading the resistance against equal rights.

My fourth reason is a bit more complex. There is old adage, oft repeated, that “God is love”. I would posit there is another more fundamental reality; that “God is truth”. If it is true that “God is truth”, then those who profess to be God’s followers should be those who are most committed to seeking truth. Therefore, to close one’s self off from facts and information is to show that one is not a follower of God, but rather a follower of whatever you may believe is the opposite of God. (Most Christians would likely describe that as “evil” or “Satan”.) I should also remark that this is true no matter what the person’s motives are (the 3 characterizations discussed above), for refusing to look at facts. It remains the opposite of seeking God.

So, with the framework laid out, I will now get to the occurrence that spawned this article.

The discussion began because of an on-line post (mine) excoriating a Christian band for demanding that the lead guitarist/lead singer change his pro equal rights position or leave the band. A gentleman who is known to me, and who is of course a professed Christian, made a continuing effort to defend the Christian band members.

I have a very clear view of this matter. It is not applicable solely to the gay marriage question, but to all bigotry. It goes like this: “Any time you attempt to justify denying any minority the same rights you enjoy, you’re a hypocritical piece of shit and if you died tomorrow the world would be a better place.” Given that is my paradigm, when someone defends pieces of shit there is always some ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth the person is trying to support.

It didn’t take long for this gentleman to play the card I knew was behind him defending immoral reprobates who were punishing a good man who was standing for equal rights and against bigotry. Of course, in reality, he wasn’t defending the band members at all. He was defending a “ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth”. And what was the “ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth” he was defending? It was that the Bible declares homosexuality to be a sin.

So…when he finally unzipped his zipper and showed me what he had, what did I do? Did I explain that the vast majority of Christians take Leviticus 18:22 out of context and that it is actually in reference to homosexual acts with the male priests in the temple of Ba’al (and other polytheistic gentile cultures in proximity to the Hebrews)? No. Since that is not what Christians are taught in Sunday School, most Christians refuse to believe it (despite it being reality).

Did I tell him that Leviticus was the law given to the Hebrews and not the gentiles, thus making it wholly inapplicable to anyone who is not Jewish? No. And for the same reason; if it ain’t taught in Sunday School, Christians won’t believe it. Whether it is the truth is completely irrelevant to them.

Did I remind him (if he even knows) that once the “New Covenant” was ushered in that the “Old Covenant” is no longer operative? No. The Christian herd says “homosexuality is a sin”. He can’t be expected to cut himself away from the herd by using his rational faculties. God forbid!

Did I tell him that in Galatians Paul makes the point that Leviticus is the law of slaves? Nope. He’d simply justify his position by making up some bullshit like “Paul didn’t mean verse 18:22.” Of course Paul didn’t say that but this fellow would have to make it up in order to continue to hold onto his fantasy.

Having listed all the things I DIDN’T say, what did I say? Well, I did something really terrible. I informed him that he was mistaken and suggested that he watch the show wherein I discuss the matter so that he could get the facts. I sure am heavy handed, aren’t I?

On-line discussions have the benefit that they can be left and returned to later. Later in the evening I noticed he appeared to still be anchored on that same fallacious point. (He wasn’t saying it directly, but absent a reliance on “homosexuality is a sin” he would have sounded even more ridiculous than he did.)

I asked if he had watched the show. He told me he had not. I asked him to watch it before we continued with the discussion. He refused. I asked why he was refusing. He replied that he knew what the Bible said about homosexuality so there was no reason to watch it. I reminded him that in my view his position was based on incomplete information and an absence of pivotal facts. I indicated that I would not be willing to waste my time continuing with the discussion if he willfully refused to examine the available evidence. He adamantly refused to watch the show.

So…apparently “knowing” God’s Word means excluding facts that are inconvenient to one’s declared position. That’s pretty pathetic. And it does not bode well for Christians.

Many Christians today feel they are being muzzled and/or marginalized in American society. Let me ask you a question. If, for the sake of argument, we presume that a significant percentage of Christians act like the fellow I’ve describe in this article, why wouldn’t people want to marginalize Christians? And if Christians act like this fellow, do Christians imagine it engenders respect for Christianity?

How many Christians act like this fellow? I don’t know. But I will tell you it seems like the percentage is growing. Twenty year ago I would have said this fellow was the exception. Today I see him as the rule.

I will close with two points.

Not only did this “Christian” fellow close himself off from facts, and the learning that facts can impart, (thus moving himself away from God in my view), but he also apparently picks and chooses the parts of the Word he wants to follow.

Earlier I stated the position that “God is truth”. Without knowledge how can one discern what is true? Well, the Bible speaks to that. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” I guess this fellow closed himself off from that info too!

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and will never be.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

A nation is made of people, so what Jefferson is really saying is that if people want to be ignorant and free they are expecting what never was and will never be. (When you have enough people and the proper circumstances, you end up with a nation.)

Some Christians claim that America is going downhill because the people are turning away from God. That statement is almost always used to imply that everyone except Christians are responsible for America’s decline. If “God is truth” and “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” are eternal truths, then I would posit that there are some Christians contributing to America’s decline by rejecting knowledge, which makes truth difficult to discern, which means such Christians are actually turning away from God – no matter what they would like others to believe.

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion

 

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A Midlife Crisis?

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

This is my first blog article for davechampionshow.com, so I thought I’d make it something personal (as opposed to political), lighthearted, and not very profound.

A few months ago I got a “sleeve” on my right arm. (For those who don’t know, “sleeve” means a tattoo, or tattoos collectively, that cover the majority of one’s arm.)

In a few days I am getting the left arm sleeved as well.

As I am 53 years old, I started to wonder how many of my friends are quietly saying, “Wow. Dave is going through midlife crisis.” I know some folks are saying that because I’ve said it about others at times.

Although I know that in my case it isn’t midlife crisis (and I’ll get into that shortly), it got me wondering about the whole “midlife crisis” story that society tells itself.

My definition of midlife crisis has always been more severe than getting some ink. When I’ve looked at a man’s life and made the judgment that he is going through midlife crisis, his actions normally include drastic changes such as walking away from a well-established successful career, divorcing a woman who has been a good wife to him, disappearing for weeks or months, and in some case walking away from children at home.

By comparison, some tattoos seem trivial.

I have a political TV talk show that is at its beginning and holds great promise for success. That comes after 9 years of doing a successful political talk radio show. This seems to me more like an upgrade than “walking away from a well-established successful career”. I’m not married so I won’t be getting a divorce. While I might go on vacation at some point, I have no plans to “disappear for weeks or months”. And since I have no children at home, I can’t walk out on them.

So…if I am not fulfilling the traditional view of “midlife crisis”, what is going on? I’m glad you asked! (This article would have been real short if you hadn’t.)

Some people are raised by parents who take care to insure their children know the truth about life and the world in which they will be expected to succeed. I didn’t have that. To be blunt about it, my parents essentially told me a bunch of fairytales and sent me down the road. Sort of like being a teenager who still believes in Santa Claus.

My fairytales were things like; the government is good and moral, policemen never break the law, attorneys are to be admired, judges are men of the highest character who would never make decisions on any basis but a correct application of law, etc. I think you get the point.

The day I moved out my parent’s home was the first of a very long process of unwinding all the nonsense I’d been programmed with for 17 years. Unfortunately, in the early years I didn’t even know it was nonsense. I just couldn’t understand why people weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing – at least what they were supposed to be doing according the ridiculous way my parents had programmed me to believe the world worked.

I won’t bore you with a slew of stories about some real moments that shocked the hell out of me. But I will tell you that it took many years for me to completely unwind those ingrained false models of how the world works – or at least most of them. Which brings me to tattoos.

Like most people my age I’d been programmed that anyone with tattoos, visible or not, was a LOSER. I don’t know anyone my age that wasn’t told that story. I was told that if one had tattoos one would always be seen by police as a scumbag; that there was a hard ceiling in business that one could never pass through with tattoos. And in fairness to a whole lot of parents of that era, there was – at that point in time – likely some truth to that. (Whether it was an actual truth, or a self-fulfilling truth, is a whole other question.)

The “tattoos make you a scumbag” story was so deeply ingrained in my psyche that when I was an Army Ranger – and everyone at the battalion was getting Ranger tats – I adamantly refused. I left the Army with the same number of tattoos I went in with, which was zero.

When I got home and entered corporate America, I received further reinforcement of the “tattoo story”. If you’ve been in the corporate world I don’t need to explain this to you. Later, when I was involved in law enforcement, the story was further ingrained by the type of people I encountered with tattoos. I was usually putting handcuffs on them. (Looking back I failed to take stock of the fact that many of the best cops I knew had tattoos. Probably because they were in discreet places where they’d only be seen at pool parties and the like.)

As I continued on my journey through life, I found that not only were most of the “stories” I’d been programmed with by my parents false, but most “stories” circulating in society were false!

Some of you may be aware that the tattoo culture began to change about 10 years ago. Real artists became more prevalent in the industry. We’re talking guys who not only tattoo but also engage in other artistic expressions, such as sculpting and oil painting. There was a revolution beginning in the technology of the inks being used. No more were tats restricted to dark unattractive tones. Vivid colors were now becoming a part of the tattoo landscape. The advent of diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS drove the industry to become successfully self-regulated in the areas of cleanliness and sanitation. Along with these industry changes came a wave of public popularity with tattoos that had never been seen! One might even apply the word “trendy”. Interestingly, this new public view of tattoos was led by young people, and those in their fifties who had retired and no longer had any professional reason to refrain. There are more than a few grandmas and grandpas with relatively new tats!

What I began to notice was that the people with highly visible tattoos (such as sleeves) were not assholes. They were not losers. In fact, they were some pretty grounded folks. They were the kind of men and women who would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it – without hesitating. And unlike those still maintaining the old “story” about tattoos, these folks were not judgmental about the choices other people made about what was right for them in their lives. Hmmm.

So here we had bright, outgoing, creative, productive, non-judgmental people being judged by others over some ink. And in my opinion, many of the people doing the judging weren’t half the men/women that the tat’d folks were. I had to ask myself; What’s wrong with this picture?

I won’t speak to the dynamics of 40 years ago, but I will speak to the dynamics that exist today.

Are people refused opportunities in business today because of visible tattoos? Unquestionably “yes”. But the reality is the people denying others those opportunities are precisely the judgmental folks I noticed weren’t particularly good people. So, in today’s society the “story” that being tattooed creates problems in the business world IS a self-fulfilling prophecy. The very people who are telling that “story” are also the ones making it come true by denying opportunities to good people – over some ink.

Senator Rand Paul recently declared that government is 10 years behind the public in its thinking. Likewise, American business is at least 10 years behind society on the issue of visible tattoos. The number of customers who actually care if their needs are taken care of by a person with tattoos is pretty close to zero. But business still acts like people care. In reality, they don’t. My personal experience is people are curious about great looking tattoos and want to ask questions about them. It’s an opportunity to create rapport! Other tattooed business people tell me they’ve had the same experience.

But enough philosophizing! How did my former view of tattoos change and how did I become the proud recipient of several tattoos?

It wasn’t hard. Once I realized that people with lots of visible ink, such as sleeves, were some pretty awesome folks (often far nicer people than those judging them), I simply had no choice but to let go of my former bias. It could no longer stand the test of reality, so it had to get jettisoned in consideration of the current truth. This took place over about a 4-year period. Once my former bias was gone, I was then much better able to determine my views about that kind of ink ON ME!

My re-evaluation came in two aspects. First was – I like it and I had some really compelling ideas about what I’d like on my arm. Second was – I just couldn’t bring myself to care what judgmental assholes think of me. Here was my paradigm: If someone is going to judge me over something as superficial as ink on my arms, then he is, in my opinion, an asshole. And why would I care what an asshole thinks of me?

Might there be some possible financial consequence at some point in the future. Who knows? Maybe. But am I to live my life the way that pleases me, or the way that pleases some petty judgmental asshole who might attempt to (financially) penalize me someday? I don’t know about you, but there was only one decision for me.

So…midlife crisis? Nope; just the latest evolution in the on-going process of living a wonderful and happy life.

How about you? Who are you living for?

Copyright 2013 – Dave Champion