By Allen David
In an inspirational show of support—and a depressing show of misunderstanding—for the right of free speech, thousands of people jam Chick-fil-A restaurants as part of a national “appreciation day” for the fast-food chicken chain’s president, Dan Cathy, who said recently that he supports what he called the biblical definition of marriage and warned that the country is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation” by trying to redefine matrimony. Chick-fil-A executives and foundation created by the Atlanta-based company have made donations to anti-gay-rights causes. The protesters are mostly indignant because proponents of same-sex marriage have called for a boycott of Chick-fil-A in response to Dan Cathy’s comments. They see the boycott as an infringement on Dan Cathy’s right to speak freely. Of course, it is not an infringement on Dan Cathy’s free-speech rights. Dan Cathy can speak and speak and speak and speak, no charge. But invoking one’s right to free speech does not create immunity from the consequences of that speech. And the call for a boycott is one of the consequences of Dan Cathy’s free-speaking—viewed in its most-positive light, it is proof that Dan Cathy’s opinions were heard and considered, as opposed to blabbered into space. Of course, Dan Cathy’s opinions happen to be self-righteous calls to deprive others of their rights, which may be OK in his Bible, but not in our Constitution. And they constitute a rather surprising position, too, considering all the discrimination that Dan Cathy has undoubtedly faced, living his whole life with a name that simply shouts gender confusion.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2
As Tyler Clary came off the final turn of today’s Olympic 200-meter backstroke final, the self-anointed hardest-working man in swimming was still best known for working his mouth in a way that ultimately worked against him—specifically, for his disdainful evaluation the work ethic of his Olympic teammate, Michael Phelps. When Clary clued into the fact that nobody gives a piss-in-the-pool about the “work ethic” of the most-prolific medal-winner in Olympic history, he apologized to Phelps—who said he did not hold any bad feelings against, um, what-was-that-guy’s-name again? But as Tyler Clary came off the final turn just behind defending Olympic 200-meter backstroke gold medalist Ryan Lochte, the value of his work ethic was on the line. It was either put up or shut up. And? “You always have big dreams in your head that you think you might be able to pull off something like that,” Clary told the Associated Press after surging past Lochte to win the gold medal and set an Olympic record. “The fact that it just came to fruition is something that hasn’t even processed in my mind yet. The fact that I’m now an Olympic champion and Olympic-record holder is something that is very humbling. It’s also very motivating for the next four years.” In other words, it doesn’t sound as though Tyler Clary will be shutting up anytime soon.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3
Woke up this morning from a dream in which the U.S. and Spain played for Olympic basketball gold medal, which Spain won when Pau Gasol dunked over Kobe Bryant—who subsequently found himself at the line with a chance at redemption, but missed both free throws.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4
Woke up this morning to the news that a U.S.-Spain gold-medal final is in jeopardy after Russia beat the Spaniards, 77-74. Pau Gasol scored 20 points for Spain, but missed the first of two free throws with 5.2 seconds left and his team trailing by two. The latest example of dreams being better than reality.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 5
As if the rising heat doesn’t make a walk through the local wilds hellish enough, there’s this: snakes! Yep, snakes like it hot, and six species of rattlesnakes inhabit the Inland Empire— the Red Diamond, Western Diamondback, Southern Pacific, Speckled, Sidewinder and Mojave snakes that roam about San Bernardino County’s sloping terrain. The Mojave is especially dangerous because its venom is neuro-toxic, meaning that a bite can result in paralysis and impaired breathing. Not pretty. It’s no surprise that the incidence of snakebites rises at this time of year. It not much of a surprise that the majority of the victims are males between 15 and 30 years of age. But it is surprising that they are most-often bitten on the lower arm—as opposed to the lower legs or ankles—frequently because they have handled or tried to pick up a snake! I was surprised, anyway . . . until I thought about it a little. Now, it figures. Idiots!
MONDAY, AUGUST 6
Also not surprised that a crazy, ex-Army white supremacist just shot up a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing 6.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
Citius. Altius. Fortius.