Convenient Stereotype

     I once applied for a job at a 7-Eleven.
     It was the only job interview I’ve ever had that included a lie detector test.
     Security clearance is vital when you’re being considered for a sensitive position.
     The experience made me a lifelong skeptic about lie detector tests. The contraption made me so nervous that apparently I was lying about my own name.
     I got hired anyway.
     Maybe they didn’t care what my name was.
     I bring this up because a lawsuit was filed recently in Los Angeles Federal Court that surprisingly (to me, anyway) confirmed a racial stereotype.
     It seems that people from South Asia do indeed run a lot of convenience stores. There is truth to the world of “The Simpsons.”
     Limousine liberal that I am – well, actually, compact car liberal – I always assumed this guy-from-India running a 7-Eleven store thing was just racist mythology.
     But when a group called FOAGLA, Inc., which represents more than 1,200 California 7-Eleven franchisees, files a federal lawsuit claiming that all of its members are affected by a corporate policy discriminating against South Asian franchise owners, you have to admit there may be some truth to the stereotype.
     The software engineer/spelling bee champion thing is probably true too. I’m not sure why we haven’t seen convenience stores with web design and proofreading aisles.
     In case you missed the news story , the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles was epic. It contained sentences such as this one: “Once a validation of the uniquely American franchise model, 7-Eleven is now a modern validation of historian John Dalberg-Acton’s warning that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
     Morgan Freeman should do the audiobook version of this thing.
     If true, it is a dramatic tale.
     Indians and Pakistanis make 7-Eleven a success only to see a Japanese company buy out the company.
     The Japanese then hire a bunch of West Point grads “with a cold, predatory and militaristic approach to business” as corporate hitmen to, allegedly, manufacture reasons to cancel franchises belonging to South Asians so the franchises can be resold – over and over again.
     I won’t go into the details, but one sentence did catch my eye: “7-Eleven knowingly violated its franchisees’ rights to privacy with a surveillance program arguably more sophisticated and invasive than ever deployed in the franchise industry.”
     I guess they wouldn’t hire me today if I didn’t get my name right.
     Advise your clients not to shoplift at 7-Eleven.
     Let it Begin: What would happen if the entire Supreme Court had to recuse itself?
     I don’t know the answer to this question. If any of you do, let me know.
     Since I don’t know the answer, I’ll do what comes naturally – make a suggestion.
     Before I do that, let me explain why I’ve been thinking about this. The U.S. Supreme Court got a tad of criticism lately after it unanimously ruled that a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics was an infringement of free speech.
     This seemed hypocritical to critics who noted that the Supreme Court has an even larger buffer zone around its own building.
     But is it hypocritical?
     It may just be that no one has thought to sue the Supreme Court over this issue.
     This concept inevitably leads to the question of entire Supreme Court recusal. There’s definitely a conflict of interest there and the court can’t appoint replacements either because, well, they have a conflict of interest.
     The obvious solution is to let Joe Biden decide.
     Then let the constitutional crisis begin.

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