Comments of the Week: Alexander Cockburn, Chick-Fil-A and Voter ID Laws

Our best reader comments from Facebook, Twitter and our comment threads.

Storified by The Nation · Fri, Aug 03 2012 13:32:36

Cailin Pamela Martin in response to Katrina vanden Heuvel’s “Women for Paid Sick Days.” July 24, 2012 
I personally had this happen. A few years ago I worked at a restaurant as a server. Half way through my shift one day I started throwing up and informed my boss, asking to go home. I was told that I had to finish my shift and refused to l…et me leave, even after I had to run to the bathroom 4 more times. I called out sick the next day, and when I returned to work, I was told I needed a doctors note for leaving early and the day I stayed home. Not having insurance, I didn’t go to a doctor, I just stayed home, slept, and recovered, it was nothing too serious. They wouldn’t allow me to work my sift that day, and told me I could not work until I produced that note. I was essentially forced to quit because I had gotten sick, didn’t want to serve food while sick, ad didn’t have insurance. Cailin Pamela Martin
bob1019 in response to Victor Navasky’s “Alexander Cockburn: He Beat the Devil.” July 25, 2012 
Around 30 years ago I put out a very small (100 copies every 3 weeks or so) art, humor, alternative paper,  The Sentinel Guardian Observer. In retrospect, not so hot, although at the time I thought it was pretty subversive. In my youthfully inflated sense of self I would send this to various editors, writers, critics expecting a flood of accolades. Didn’t happen and no one would respond. Except for Mr. Cockburn who would write back every issue with a pat on the back and something funny. Just a nice guy reaching out a bit and being encouraging. I never forgot and I was sad to hear of his passing. Not enough good people like this man.
Andrea Shiell in response to Lee Fang’s “Liberal Defenders of Chick-fil-a Unwittingly Defend Corporate Personhood.” July 30, 2012
“Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights.” i gotta say, i’m in total agreement there – and it’s not because i believe in corporate personhood. i DO think that companies that are spending their profits on politics need to disclose what and how much they’re giving to who – it should be public info, as per some disclosure act that has yet to pass – but as the mayor of a town you can’t say "you’re not welcome here because i don’t like your CEO’s stance on same-sex marriage, or the company’s political/advocacy spending" – that IS a clear violation of cathy’s first amendment rights. all the same, just as cathy has a right express himself and contribute to whatever causes he likes, we as consumers have a right to express ourselves, too – whether that means boycotting the company or protesting outside their corporate headquarters. it wouldn’t be the first time that consumers put political pressure on corporations – we should just do more of that while we fight for greater transparency in who’s trying to lobby for legislation.Andrea Shiell
Samuel L. Plename in response to Dave Zirin’s “Damien Hooper: The Sanctioning of an Anti-Racist Olympic Rebel.” July 31, 2012 
Well said, and I think Damien needs more support. Since when is acknowledging your own people a ‘political’ statement?  Since somebody else decided they were NOT to be acknowleged.  Would any other athletes get in trouble for having something on it about where they came from? If he had the Queensland flag on his T-shirt instead of the Australian one, would THAT be a problem?
JDR in response to Jessica Valenti’s “The Upside of Ugly.” August 2, 2012 
Your article is further inspiration to me as a father to impart to my daughter the sense to "survive a misogynist culture with a fist, not a smile." Thank you.  
Domiobrien In response to Brentin Mock’s “I Have Photo ID, Therefore I Am.” August 2, 2012 
Catch-22. If you don’t have a birth certificate, you can’t get a photo ID. Without photo ID, you can’t get your birth certificate. There were no documents required to get a Social Security card, a driver’s licence, etc when I was young. (I am now retired on Social Security). I never had a certified copy of my birth certificate; neither did my mother; she had the little paper one handwritten given her at the hospital after I was born. I do have my high school diploma (most people my age did not graduate from high school); my ex destroyed my college and grad school ones. Two years ago I decided to get an official copy of my birth certificate to apply for a passport, since now I can’t even visit relatives in Canada, much less Ireland, without one. I know exactly where I was born– a little WWII air base in NY, which no longer exists. I sent the state of NY my information, with $45 (a week’s groceries for a low-income person). They informed me that Mitchel Field did not exist (it most certainly did) and they kept my $45. I am lucky enough to have an aunt in her 80’s who lives in that area and was willing to make phone calls– she located the records in the Village of Hempstead. If I had not had a current NH driver’s license (NH and Vermont do have photos on them now, something not true in Vermont just a few years ago or in NH for the first 15 years I held a license) plus an employee ID since I hadn’t retired yet and a letter from a government agency (I had one from the IRS), they would not have issued me a certified copy of my birth certificate. If I were using the name of my ex-husband and that name was the one on my ID, I would have also needed certified copies of my marriage license to prove the change of name. You need documents to get documents. And I am educated and middle-class; my birth was actually recorded; I actually graduated from high school; I went to college and grad school (a graduate degree means I’m in the top 5% education-wise); my late parents were a military officer and a registered nurse; I am not someone who can’t come up with $45 (though it certainly did not please me to have NY keep my money while insisting I didn’t exist).