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Oh, no–I think my OCD got mistaken for something else!
Jan 20th, 2017 by Dr Karma

So I pulled up outside my office building, got my bag out of my trunk, and then checked to make sure my car was locked.
There was a van parked beside me, with a guy unloading it.
“Hi.”
“Hey,” I said.
“Checking that you locked your door, huh? Well, you have a nice day.”
I walked into my building, confused.
Why was he making fun of me–does something about me just scream that I always double check my car, that I always double check my house door, that I always make sure the oven is off before I leave for work (sometimes even if I haven’t used the oven)?
How did he know? And why was he teasing me about it?
And then it hit me–he thought I was checking the car because of him.
I was already inside.
And there’s just no way to put that right.
If I’d gone running outside to try to explain, it would have made it worse.
“Hi, umm, I think you think I’m racist. Or maybe classist, or something. I am just a little neurotic. We could call my son right now–he will tell you that I’m unable to leave the car or house without saying, “did I lock it?” Please don’t think I’m a bad person.”
I just hope I’ve been more time being neurotic about this conversation than he has.

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“Private” business rights
May 22nd, 2010 by Dr Karma

I recently watched Rachel Maddow’s interview with Rand Paul (available all over the web, so I won’t post a link). Paul, as I’m sure you know, has gotten a lot of press recently because his brand of libertarianism means that he thinks private businesses should be able to discriminate.

As Paul keeps saying, this does not mean that he thinks they SHOULD discriminate, but that the government shouldn’t be able to tell a private business owner how “he” should be able to run “his” business.

Much of the debate has centered on the racist implications of the remarks–but let’s give Paul the benefit of the doubt for the sake of my particular argument. Assuming he’s not actually supporting discrimination, what’s the problem with his argument? Or, what are the two that immediately leap to mind?

1. The government already gets to tell the business owner how to run his/her business in many ways. It gets to tell you about having safe exits in case of fire and that you have to operate within certain health codes and that you have to not abuse your staff in certain ways. Owners are also not supposed to cheat their customers. These regulations are accepted by everyone except those who want to violate the rights of their customers and employees for profit.

2. Paul’s main point is that the government should be regulated, but private businesses should not. That would be fine if the private businesses did not benefit at all from taxpayer funds, but they do. The taxes I pay provide the fire department, the police department, etc. My taxes mean that governmental agencies have to serve me and have to serve private businesses, even if the individuals who serve are racist. Additionally, it means that those members of the fire and police department who would not be allowed into a bigot’s business would have to respond, which is why overt bigotry in business just isn’t allowed.

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