Monday, December 23, 2013

Duck Flap: Truth is ‘Hate’ to Those Who Hate Truth

Duck Flap: Truth is ‘Hate’ to Those Who Hate Truth                
12/23/2013 12:05:00 AM - Matt Barber
As widely reported, Phil Robertson, the patriarch in A&E’s breakaway hit “Duck Dynasty,” recently ran a-fowl of homosexual pressure groups, ruffling “progressive” feathers throughout concentrated pockets of deep blue America. He remains suspended “indefinitely” for candidly summarizing, in a recent interview with GQ Magazine, the millennia-long “Love the sinner, hate the sin” biblical stance on homosexual practice.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina – as a man – would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me,” he bluntly opined. “I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes!”

Dudes worldwide – save self-styled “gays,” Pajama Boy and a few liberal men actually rumored to be heterosexual – responded: “Eww! I know, right.”

“You know what I’m saying?” continued Robertson. “But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical,” he noted.

Robertson also addressed other sins, paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
“I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me,” he later added. “We are all created by the Almighty, and like Him, I love all of humanity.”

Barring a handful of “progressive” revisionists, Christian theologians have since observed that, while Robertson’s position on sexual sin is 100 percent biblically, morally and biologically correct, it is, nonetheless, precisely 0 percent politically correct.

Furthermore, Robertson seems to have been quoting directly from the rare, though accurate, “Louisiana Revised Standard Living Translation.”

Even so, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was outraged. GLAAD spokesman Francis Twinklebean offered a scathing, though typically insightful, analysis of Robertson’s opinion: “Quack quack quack bigot,” said Twinklebean. “Quack quack vile quack intolerance quack quack homophobia quack,” he added, finally demanding: “A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

The “gay”-activist Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was no less distressed, as evidenced by HRC mouthpiece Randy Van Grindr: “The First Amendment? That’s so 1776,” he said. “This is 2013. Speech isn’t free, you know. Intolerance will not be tolerated. Give us our pound of flesh! A&E must fire Phil Robertson.”

A&E, which had already begun censoring the cast’s Christian speech with fake bleeps to cover words like “Jesus” and “Christ,” dutifully complied. “We’re just sick of all this redneck Jesusy stuff,” A&E representative Moe Ronic told reporters. “And besides, making truckloads of money is really overrated,” he added, referencing the show’s No. 1 all-time ranking.

“In fact,” he continued, “just the other day I was sharing an Appletini with Bob, our program director, and he was pining for the good ol’ days – back when we had ratings like MSNBC’s ‘Winter Solstice Generic Holiday Special.’

“You know, more money means more work – what, with the bookkeeping and all,” he pointed out. “Most of us at A&E are actually quite excited to get back to the utter irrelevance and obscurity from whence we came.”

Meanwhile, the Fox Network and a bevy of cable channels have reportedly lined up with drool bibs to pounce on the show should relations with A&E go deeper south.

A Fox source offered comment on condition of anonymity: “Remember that time someone disagreed with Christianity and got fired?” he asked. “Me neither. A&E needs the Robertsons more than they need A&E.”

Still, questions remained as to who’s got it right on homosexuality; GLAAD, HRC and other “progressives,” or Phil Robertson and Christianity. To get answers, we went straight to the Source: God, Author of all truth, sovereign Creator of the universe and Maker of mankind.
God said to relax. The issue has been long settled.

All sexual sin – adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest and, yes, the practice of homosexuality – is “contrary to sound doctrine,” He noted unequivocally (1 Timothy 1:10). “Guys, when I said, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,’ I meant it,” He added (Leviticus 18:22).

The Creator then offered an urgent admonition to GLAAD, HRC and others living under both sexual deception and the unrepentant homosexual lifestyle. He warned that unnatural behaviors beget natural consequences: “Because of this, [I] gave [you] over to shameful lusts. Even [you ladies] exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way [you fellas] also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. [You’ve] committed shameful acts with other men, and [have] received in [yourselves] the due penalty for [your] error” (Romans 1:26-27).

Still, being both wholly righteous and merciful beyond measure, The Heavenly Father then offered hope for homosexuals, as well as for every other sinner on the planet (that would be all of us). He was quick to point out that no one person is better than another, and that He loves us all, not because of our sins – to include the “intrinsically disordered” homosexual identity and lifestyle – but in spite of them. “None is righteous, no, not one,” He said (Romans 3:10).

We are all lost and in need of the Savior, He further urged (especially yours truly), saying, with specific reference to homosexuality, adultery and other forms of sexual immorality: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by [My Spirit]” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

As untold thousands – likely millions – of former homosexuals will attest, through the unmatched grace of Christ, there can be freedom from all forms of bondage to sin – even “LGBT” behavior.
Meanwhile, since the Duck flap hit, Jesus Himself has reportedly reached out to Phil Robertson with a Word of encouragement. He told him to keep fishing for souls and hunting for ducks. He said that Robertson shouldn’t sweat the small stuff – like the ongoing assault for speaking truth in love.

“Phil,” He said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but [if you] stand firm to the end, [you] will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

“Oh, and by the way,” Jesus added: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
______________________________________________

To read more articles by Matt Barber, click here.

To read more about 'Duck Dynasty', click here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pandemonium: Obama partially waives individual mandate as ObamaCare comes crashing down


Pandemonium: Obama partially waives individual mandate as ObamaCare comes crashing down
By: John Hayward
12/20/2013 08:59 AM

It was already the biggest disaster in history, but even by the standards of ObamaCare failure we’ve grown accustomed to, this is jaw-dropping. Critics thought something like this was probably coming, but it’s still amazing to see it get here… delivered, of course, by the usual royal fiat of dubious legality. Barack Obama was kicking World War II veterans out of their own memorial during Shutdown Theater to thwart the kind of delay he just imposed.

Remember those old Obama lies about how virtually no one was actually losing their health insurance, and all the Democrats who sneered at those unfortunate souls as “red herrings” and “anecdotes?” Remember how the Republicans who accurately warned about this problem were dismissed as “Chicken Littles?”

Remember how, when he could no longer pretend it wasn’t happening, Obama tried to pin the blame for all those insurance cancellations on the captive corporations pinned under his boot? When that didn’t work, he tried to tell people who lost their insurance they should be glad he killed their plans – he did them a favor, because they were too stupid to realize their lousy old junk plans were “bad apple” products foisted upon them by shady insurance companies.

Attention all Obama drones, “journalists,” and liberal pundits: all Administration talking points from the past three months just became invalid. Fresh talking points will soon arrive from Obama’s vacation palace in Hawaii, where he’s jetting off for a fabulous 17-day holiday vacation after throwing the health insurance industry into utter chaos.

Rejoice, humble peasants, because if Obama’s Big Lie about “keeping your plan if you like your plan” resulted in your plan getting canceled, His Benevolent Majesty, King Clusterfark I, has decreed that you won’t be fined for not having the insurance that you can’t afford because of his idiotic “law,” and couldn’t buy if you wanted to, because of his crappy website. And the announcement was delivered in the most cowardly manner imaginable, on the eve of the Christmas holiday. From National Journal:

The Obama administration will not require the millions of Americans who received health-insurance plan cancellation notices to purchase a new policy next year.

They’re granting those consumers an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a Department of Heath and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.

The administration will also allow those consumers to sign up for catastrophic coverage. Those bare-bones plans are available to people who are under 30 or qualify for a “hardship exemption.”

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., that the administration is granting a “hardship exemption” to Americans whose plans were canceled and “might be having difficulty” paying for standard coverage.

To claim your hardship exemption, just write “OBAMA IS PRESIDENT” as the hardship on your paperwork. The old plan you liked was affordable and gave you all the coverage you needed, but now that Obama has destroyed it, he will graciously allow you to buy a bare-bones catastrophic plan instead. Why are you not on your knees with gratitude, lowly peasant?

Actually, these newly re-defined catastrophic plans are a bit more complicated than that. Avik Roy of Forbes - who predicts the “stunning reversal” of the individual mandate will unleash “utter chaos” in the industry – explains:

The catastrophic plans under ObamaCare aren’t like the ones you might be familiar with. ACA-compliant “catastrophic plans” have to cover all of the services defined as “preventive” by the government, along with all of the ObamaCare-defined “essential health benefits,” like drug-addiction therapy.

The major difference between the regular ObamaCare “bronze” plan and the ObamaCare “catastrophic” plan is that the catastrophic plan covers three primary care visits prior to hitting the deductible. Which isn’t that much of a difference at all.

The catastrophic plans are supposed to be available only to those under 30, and those older than 30 who can’t find coverage for less than 8 percent of their income. And the catastrophic plans are not eligible for ObamaCare’s premium support subsidies.

Which, as Roy notes, means that in some areas, the catastrophic plan will effectively cost more out-of-pocket than bronze-level coverage does. People confronted with this absurdity are likely to follow the path so many have already settled on, and make do without insurance altogether. But at least the King has decided to allow them a year’s grace before he begins fining them for surviving without the coverage he wiped out. You’re welcome, America!

The reason this news came in a letter to Senator Warner is that he’s part of a group of Democrats who wrote to Secretary Sebelius a few months ago, asking for “clarification” on whether that “hardship exemption” could be stretched to include the hardship of ObamaCare being a disaster.

Amusingly, flop-sweating anonymous Administration officials claim that only about 500,000 people will be affected by this exemption. That would mean over 90 percent of the nearly 6 million people who lost coverage when the Big Lie exploded have either made new arrangements with their providers, or miraculously got past the Healthcare.gov bugs to buy their shiny new hyper-expensive high-deductible Affordable Care Act plans. That seems… optimistic. But then, Standard Operating Procedure for the Administration throughout this debacle has involved conjuring whatever absurd factoids are necessary to survive the current news cycle, and hope everyone forgets it when the truth becomes impossible to spin. Judging by overnight reports of reaction from industry leaders, nobody really believes there will be only half a million people coming for those “catastrophic” plans, to say nothing of the folks who will just make do without insurance altogether.

You’re still out of luck if you didn’t have insurance before ObamaCare went into effect – i.e. you’re one of the people this pile of pseudo-fascist garbage was inflicted on the rest of us to help. You’ll still be paying a special tax if you haven’t overcome the odds to buy an insurance policy you probably can’t afford – assuming, of course, that His Benevolent Majesty doesn’t change the Settled Law of the Land with another wave of his hand next year.

How are the insurance companies taking this last-minute development, as they scramble to process a mountain of dead-tree applications and sort out the garbage data they’ve received from the ObamaCare exchanges, with just a few business days left on the calendar?

The deal for consumers is yet another burden for insurers, who earlier this week went along with the White House’s request to grant leniency to consumers paying premiums in January. Consumers will now be allowed to send payments until Jan. 10 and receive coverage retroactively to Jan. 1.

This change could have a more long-term impact. Catastrophic-coverage plans were priced with a 30-and-under consumer base in mind. And with thousands who were barred from the market due to preexisting conditions expected to purchase the new coverage, allowing people who already had coverage to go without it could upset the balance of the risk pool. The Affordable Care Act exchanges need enough healthy people to balance out the costs of care for the sick or premiums could rise in 2015, creating a “death spiral” and jeopardizing the law’s success altogether.

Consumers have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.


Oh, well, no pressure then. Plenty of hours remain until the deadline guillotine drops!

Karen Ignagni, president of the insurance industry trade associated AHIP, warned “this latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers.” Avik Roy at Forbes says industry executives are describing the current state of the Administration as “panic mode.”

Tax serfs, prepare to dig deep and cough up billions to bail out the insurance companies caught in this death spiral. They supported ObamaCare to gain access to your wallets, and by God, they’re going to get the guaranteed profits Barack Obama promised them, one way or the other. Attention drones, journalists, liberal bloggers: prepare to shred all Obama talking points related to fiscal discipline and deficit reduction.

This would all have been much easier to deal with if it had been done months ago, but Obama’s arrogance and political needs wouldn’t allow that. Instead, like everything else to do with ObamaCare, lies were told, documents were hidden, and everything was pushed back until the last possible moment. Fox News has some Republican responses in an article that describes this as “an 11th-hour change,” but it’s really more like 11:58, and the doomsday chimes are starting to crank up deep inside the Armageddon clock, while the cuckoo of despair limbers up its throat.

“Holding a fire sale of cheap insurance is not a responsible fix for a broken program. This is a slap in the face to the thousands of Americans who have already purchased expensive insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., described the move as “another major policy shift” from the Obama administration.

“We asked Secretary Sebelius point blank what would be the next holiday surprise, and she was silent. Yet, here we are with another major policy shift. The sad reality is that when the law takes effect come January 1, more Americans will be without coverage under Obamacare than one year ago,” Blackburn said in a statement released Thursday evening.

“Less than two weeks from going live, the White House seems to be in full panic mode. Rather than more White House delays, waivers, and exemptions, the administration should provide all Americans relief from its failed law.”


It may seem quaint to bring up the rule of law with respect to the naked power grab of ObamaCare, but it doesn’t seem entirely legal for the executive branch to arbitrarily waive a tax – certified as such by the Supreme Court, you may recall – for a select group of people. The only thing those people have in common is that they lost their insurance policies due to another Administration action, specifically the HHS regulations that made it nearly impossible for existing insurance plans to be “grandfathered” into the Affordable Care Act era.

We’ll probably have to wait months or years for retroactively processed lawsuits to sort that out, since in this lawless banana republic, there is no one to stop the Administration from doing whatever it pleases, statute and Constitution be damned. The choice always should have been between lawful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and repeal, but that’s how things work in better, stronger, more orderly republics.

I took the liberty of updating the infamous “Pajama Boy” ObamaCare ad to reflect the latest news:
________________________________________

To read more about Obamacare, click here.

Story of the year

Story of the year
By: Charles Krauthammer
12/20/2013 02:42 PM

The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is — which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place.

Obamacare was sold as simply a refinement of the current system, retaining competition among independent insurers but making things more efficient, fair and generous. Free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Free mammograms and checkups for you and me. Free (or subsidized) insurance for some 30 million uninsured. And, mirabile dictu, not costing the government a dime.

In fact, Obamacare is a full-scale federal takeover. The keep-your-plan-if-you-like-your-plan ruse was a way of saying to the millions of Americans who had insurance and liked what they had: Don’t worry. You’ll be left unmolested. For you, everything goes on as before.

That was a fraud from the very beginning. The law was designed to throw people off their private plans and into government-run exchanges where they would be made to overpay — forced to purchase government-mandated services they don’t need — as a way to subsidize others. (That’s how you get to the ostensible free lunch.)

It wasn’t until the first cancellation notices went out in late 2013 that the deception began to be understood. And felt. Six million Americans with private insurance have just lost it. And that’s just the beginning. By the Department of Health and Human Services’ own estimates, about 75 million Americanswould have plans that their employers would have the right to cancel. And millions of middle-class workers who will migrate to the exchanges and don’t qualify for government subsidies will see their premiums, deductibles and co-pays go up.

It gets worse. The dislocation extends to losing one’s doctor and drug coverage, as insurance companies narrow availability to compensate for the huge costs imposed on them by the extended coverage and “free” services the new law mandates.

But it’s not just individuals seeing their medical care turned upside down. The insurance providers, the backbone of the system, are being utterly transformed. They are rapidly becoming mere extensions of the federal government.

Look what happened just last week. Health and Human Services unilaterally and without warning changed coverage deadlines and guidelines. It asked insurers to start covering people on Jan. 1 even if they signed up as late as the day before and even if they hadn’t paid their premiums. And is “strongly encouraging” them to pay during the transition for doctor visits and medicinesnot covered in their current plans (if covered in the patient’s previous — canceled — plan).

On what authority does a Cabinet secretary tell private companies to pay for services not in their plans and cover people not on their rolls? Where in Obamacare’s 2,500 pages are such high-handed dictates authorized? Does anyone even ask? The bill itself is simply taken as a kind of blanket warrant for HHS to run, regulate and control the whole insurance system.

Remember the uproar over forcing religious institutions to provide contraception coverage? The president’s “fix” was a new regulation ordering insurers to provide these services for free. Apart from the fact that this transparent ruse does nothing to resolve the underlying issue of conscience — God sees — by what right does the government order private companies to provide free services for anyone?

Three years ago I predicted that Obamacare would turn insurers into the lapdog equivalent of utility companies. I undershot. They are being treated as wholly owned subsidiaries. Take the phrase “strongly encouraging.” Sweet persuasion? In reality, these are offers insurers can’t refuse. Disappoint your federal master and he has the power to kick you off the federal exchanges, where the health insurance business of the future is supposed to be conducted.

Moreover, if adverse selection drives insurers into a financial death spiral — too few healthy young people to offset more costly, sicker, older folks — their only recourse will be a government bailout. Do they really want to get on the wrong side of the White House, their only lifeline when facing insolvency?

I don’t care a whit for the insurance companies. They deserve what they get. They collaborated with the White House in concocting this scheme and are now being swallowed by it. But I do care about the citizenry and its access to a functioning, flourishing, choice-driven medical system.

Obamacare posed as a free-market alternative to a British-style single-payer system. Then, during congressional debate, the White House ostentatiously rejected the so-called “public option.” But that’s irrelevant. The whole damn thing is the public option. The federal government now runs the insurance market, dictating deadlines, procedures, rates, risk assessments and coverage requirements. It’s gotten so cocky it’s now telling insurers to cover the claims that, by law, they are not required to.

Welcome 2014, our first taste of nationalized health care.
____________________________________________

To read more about Charles Krauthammer, click here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Center for the Study of Individual Rights


Center for the Study of Individual Rights
Mike Adams
12/19/2013 12:01:00 AM - Mike Adams

Dear UNC Board of Governors:

I appreciate very much the interest you have shown in meeting with me after my current case against UNC Wilmington heads to court in just a few months. I also appreciate the efforts of key members of the Senate to set up such a meeting now that Republicans control the NC Senate, State General Assembly, and the Governor's mansion. When we meet in the spring, I am going to present you with a specific proposal which will help start to reform the UNC system in three important ways:

1) It will cut administrative overhead.

2) It will reduce the amount of money the DNC is funneling through the system for political purposes.

3) It will reopen debate on several key social issues that have not been debated in the UNC system for years (due to the university endorsement of one particular side of the issue).

The need to cut administrative overhead is urgent. When I became a UNC professor, here at the Wilmington campus, there was only one administrator, the provost, who made over $100,000 per year. Within 15 years, the number of six-digit salary administrators skyrocketed to 153. Many of those new administrators were put in charge of offices meant to promote diversity.

Unfortunately, in order to pay their salaries we had to increase tuition. Ironically, this meant that a lot of poor prospective students (disproportionately non-white) decided they could not afford to get a college education. The people who have truly experienced the "richness of diversity" are administrators who already have their PhDs. It is shameful hypocrisy.

My plan will address this hypocrisy and reduce administrative overhead by replacing two university offices - and two corresponding sets of administrators - with just one. Accordingly, I am proposing that each UNC campus that has both a Women's Resource Center and an LGBT Office immediately shut down both of those offices and replace it with one. The new office will be called the Center for the Study of Individual Rights, or CSIR. Before I explain what the new CSIRs will do, let me first explain why the Women's Centers and LGBT Offices need to be closed.

Many UNC Women's Centers have been operating for years as satellite political offices for the DNC. For example, the Women's Center at UNC-CH has actually been caught doing mass mailings in support of pending legislation with the use of university personnel and university computers. But most of the women's centers are a little more discreet. They simply endorse the broader positions of the DNC without actually endorsing specific legislation.

Abortion is probably the best example of this tendency. Our own Women's Resource Center at UNC-Wilmington has consistently refused to promote crisis pregnancy centers on its website even when they have been asked. But Planned Parenthood always gets space on the WRC website. In 2012, the WRC even sold "I had an abortion" tee shirts to students who aborted their children. This was at an official WRC taxpayer funded event. It's pretty obvious that this government office officially endorses abortion. Well, so much for diversity of viewpoint. The debate on abortion is over. It’s time to implement the DNC agenda.

The LGBT offices are worse, including the LGBTQIA Office here at UNC-Wilmington. By the way, the "I" is for "inter-sexed" and the "A" is for "allies." The word "allies" is the key because these people are engaged in a political war. By way of example, the UNCW office actually used state computers to send mass emails organizing a political campaign against Amendment One (which sought to ban gay marriage back in 2012). They squandered taxpayer dollars on their losing political battle during a deep state budget crisis. More importantly, they broke the law with impunity.

We don't need these offices squandering tax dollars trying to pass legislation and implement policy on behalf of special interest groups. The job of the university is to promote debate over policy. That is where my proposed CSIRs come into the picture.

The CSIRs will be cost effective because they won't do much and will only require a part time director and a part time administrative assistant - probably just a graduate assistant. The office will publish two newsletters per year. Each will contain eight essays - two opposing opinions on four controversial topics. The authors will be experts in their fields and will be drawn from universities all around the nation. The CSIRs will also host four debates per academic year. Each will focus on one important question. For the first year, I will propose debates on the following questions:

1. Is marriage an individual constitutional right?

2. How would legislation defining a "person" affect individual rights?

3. Who does affirmative action help and who does it hurt: individuals or groups?

4. What are the relative long term effects of amnesty on Hispanic, African, and Caucasian Americans?

When we talk about same sex marriage, abortion, affirmative action, and amnesty for illegals we are bound to offend a lot of students. But that is the point. These students haven't been offended in years because they haven't heard a clash of dissenting opinions in years.

The best part of this plan is that it will save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars while replacing ideological conformity with reasoned debate. I'm currently examining the budgets of the centers I plan to close and comparing them with the budgets of my proposed CSIRs. I'll publish the detailed fiscal plan in a future column.

In the meantime, count on the Women's Center saying that my plan to shut them down will deprive students of much needed services. But what services are they talking about? I know they set up tables on campus in order to teach students how to put a condom on a cucumber. But students learn that in the public high schools, long before they get to the public university. I know they sell candy covered vagina shaped lollipops on Valentine's Day. But students learn puerile vulgarity in middle school, long before they get to the public university. To be fair, I don't know of another place where students can buy "I had an abortion" tee shirts. Even Planned Parenthood had the good sense to stop doing that years ago.

And count on the LGBTQIA Office to throw an even bigger hissy fit. They will insist that their orgasm awareness seminars are the intellectual climax of the semester. They'll also tout their occasional showings of controversial films – for example, "Breasts: A Documentary" - as indispensable educational services. But the university is located just three miles from Wrightsville Beach. Unlimited exposure to breasts is practically within walking distance.

College students deserve better than this. They need an educational experience that is less expensive, less politicized, and less one-sided than the one they are getting in the UNC system. I'm not saying each individual has a right to a first-class education. But I do think the question is worthy of debate.
__________________________________________________

To read another article by Mike Adams, click here.

Duck Dynasty, Gay Activism, and the Clash of Two Cultures

Gay Activism, Duck Dynasty, and the Clash of Two Cultures
Michael Brown
12/19/2013 9:05:00 AM - Michael Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py6sEf5d92M

Video of Michael on Piers Morgan Show.

You knew it would happen sooner or later. An outspoken, wildly popular, conservative Christian who doesn’t give a hoot – or in this case, a quack – about political correctness would air his views about homosexuality, and overnight, Hollywood hell would break loose.

To catch you up on the latest events, earlier this week, the text of Phil Robertson’s interview with GQ Magazine was released online, containing controversial comments about homosexual practice, among other things. (For those who have been living under a rock, Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, and he is a self-proclaimed “Bible thumper.”)

Shortly after the interview was released, and quite predictably, GLAAD issued a statement condemning Robertson’s remarks as “some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication” and said “his quote was littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.” (Reminder: GLAAD officially stands for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, but I have long suggested that a more appropriate name would be the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement.)

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz said that, “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe. He clearly knows nothing about gay people or the majority of Louisianans -- and Americans -- who support legal recognition for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples. Phil's decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors, who now need to re-examine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.” (Note to GLAAD: The majority of Louisianans do not support same-sex “marriage.”)

This was followed by a clarification and apology of sorts by Robertson: “I myself am a product of the 60s; I centered my life around sex, drugs and rock and roll until I hit rock bottom and accepted Jesus as my Savior. My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.

“However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.”

The Human Rights Campaign, the world’s largest gay activist organization, also condemned Robertson’s remarks and called for A&E, the cable network which airs Duck Dynasty, to take action: “The A+E Network should take immediate action to condemn Phil Robertson’s remarks and make clear they don’t support his views.”

Later the same day, A&E issued its own statement: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”

In support of Robertson, the Faith Driven Consumer Facebook page started an “I Stand with Phil“ campaign, while another Facebook page, “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty,” had more than 100,000 Likes in a matter of hours. Talk about a clash of two cultures!

What did Robertson actually say that was so controversial?

First he remarked, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

Was he accusing all (or most) gays of engaging in bestiality or of sleeping with multiple women? It appears not, although I can easily see why his critics would think otherwise, and in that context, he was right to clarify his comments.

What he was saying, though, was that gay sex should be seen as part of the “anything goes” mentality of the sexual revolution of the 60s, and in that regard he was right. In fact, while gay activists emphasize homosexual identity, placing the gay rights movement in the context of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, Robertson and other conservative Christians emphasize homosexual behavior, placing gay activism in the context of the sexual revolution of the same era.

Robertson next quoted from 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, a famous passage in Paul’s letters in which he clearly states that practicing homosexuals, along with practicing heterosexual sinners of various stripes, will not inherit God’s kingdom. (For the record, despite frequent objections to the contrary, the Greek text is quite clear in terms of its overall sense.)

Was A&E genuinely unaware that he held to these views? I seriously doubt it. My guess is that they were just glad (not GLAAD) that he hadn’t aired them publicly.

Finally, he suggested (speaking first for himself) that the female sexual organ was “more desirable” than a man’s rectum and that a woman had “more to offer” a man.

And for these comments he was promptly suspended.

The fact is, though, no matter how much two men may love each other, it remains indisputably clear that men were biologically designed to be with women, and vice versa. In that regard, no matter how crude Robertson’s comments may have been, they were correct.

As for his quotation from 1 Corinthians 6, did anyone really think that Robertson would say, “You know, now that I’ve become a TV celebrity, I’m going to revise my views on God’s intent for human sexuality and marriage”?

Personally, I don’t believe for a moment that Robertson will bow down to A&E and compromise his convictions, although I could see him offering a further clarification of his statements, explaining, for example, that he was not accusing homosexuals of practicing bestiality any more than heterosexuals engage in such perversion.

And I don’t see how A&E can back down from their position regardless of how popular the show is. The gay lobby is far too powerful. (I imagine that Alec Baldwin has an opinion on this as well, although, to be clear, I am not comparing Robertson to Baldwin.)

In fact, I don’t see either of them about to blink, which means that the culture wars are about to hit the fan, and this could very ugly very quickly.

I suggest that those of us who agree fundamentally with Robertson make clear that: 1) We are unashamed of our belief in Jesus and in biblical morality. 2) We stand against the mistreatment of all people, including gays and lesbians. 3) We will not support the radical redefinition of marriage, regardless of the cost involved, nor do we see cultural capitulation to gay activism as inevitable.

Now would be a perfect time to take a stand, but with grace, precision, and wisdom.
________________________________________________

To read more on the subject, click here.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Government Can Now Force You to Bake a Cake

The Government Can Now Force You to Bake a Cake
Leslie Ford
December 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

An administrative law judge in Denver, Colorado—a state that constitutionally defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman in 2006—has declared that Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, violated the law when he refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

When a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts asked Phillips to bake a cake for a reception celebrating their union back home in Colorado, Phillips declined on the basis of his faith: “I don’t feel like I can participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I am participating in their wedding.”

After the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop with the state for alleged violations of Colorado’s public accommodation law, Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled on December 6 against the bakery, concluding that Phillips refused service to the couple “because of their sexual orientation.”

Phillips objects to this characterization and responded that that he would happily sell the couple his baked goods for any number of occasions, but baking a wedding cake would force him to express something that he does not believe.

Phillips argues that he has a right to run his business in accord with his conscience:

The United States Constitution as well as the Colorado Constitution both protect my right to freely practice my religious beliefs while I am at my work.
Americans do not need to leave their religious beliefs at the door to provide for their families.


The decision against Masterpiece Cakeshop is another instance of state governments punishing people who believe that marriage is the union of man and woman. Wedding-related businesses are specifically at risk.

Elaine Huguenin of New Mexico–based Elane Photography is appealing to the Supreme Court for protection against the coercion of her artistic talents for declining to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. Last summer, an Oregon bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, was forced to shut its doors to evade fines for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, was fined $2,000 for running her business in accord with her religious beliefs, choosing not to design floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

Federal and state governments should respect citizens’ fundamental freedoms. State policymakers should make laws that protect the right of all American citizens to live out their beliefs where they work, when they speak, and when they serve others.
___________________________________________

To read more about Gay's trampling on people's Religious freedoms, click here.
___________________________________________

But Hey! Living Gay is a sin! Click here.

America’s Chief Export: Immorality

America’s Chief Export: Immorality              
12/16/2013 12:01:00 AM - Matt Barber
Why are Americans so peeved?

Is it Obamacare?

Well, partly – and in a big way. One wonders, in fact, if that sign language interpreter at the Mandela funeral moonlighted as the lead IT consultant for Healthcare.gov.

But it’s much more than just Obamacare. How do we explain America’s red-level economic and socio-political misery index?

Is it rising unemployment, or the shrinking economy?

Is it explosive debt and deficits, or pervasive government eavesdropping?

Is it the atrophy of individual liberty, or an unprecedented trampling of the First, Second, Fourth and nearly every other amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Finally, is it the systematic assault on natural marriage and family, or government sanctioning of mass infanticide?

Yes.

It’s all of these things and more.

Still, these things are only symptomatic of a far greater problem. There remains a broader explanation, a definitive catalyst, for this, the domestic winter of our discontent – and, as so often happens, a mere 14 words from the Holy Scriptures better elucidates that catalyst than ream upon ream of opinion page copy. The words are these: “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).

America groans because the wicked rule.

Indeed, under this president, America’s chief export has become immorality. Sexual deviancy, murder of the unborn, redistribution of wealth and other evils have been sanitized and propagandized as “basic human rights.”

Thus, when this arrogant man stands before the U.N. and decries those nations that refuse to embrace his special brand of pagan relativism, we shouldn’t be surprised if those nations push back.
And so they push back.

To be sure, in addition to triggering our own spike in angst, Obama’s fevered push to “call evil good and good evil,” is likewise responsible for America’s snowballing marginalization across the globe.
Under the tragic leadership of this “selfie”-centered narcissist, the United States, while never perfect, now looks less like Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” and more like the biblical Whore of Babylon. A nation that once stood alone as the world’s moral guidepost now leads the contemptible charge to infect our privileged planet with its own viral iniquities.
And so the world pushes back.

For instance, there has been, of late, great weeping and gnashing of teeth among mainstream media – and other circles of intolerant “tolerance” – over successful efforts by several foreign governments to stem the tide of “LGBT” propaganda within their own sovereign borders.

Russia, India, Croatia, Peru, Jamaica and even Australia, for instance, along with other nations, are now moving to inoculate themselves from the fast-metastasizing cancer of sexual relativism.
Having witnessed, from afar, the poisonous results of such propaganda here in the U.S. (the hyper-sexualization of children, the deconstruction of natural marriage and family, the rampant spread of sexually transmitted disease, religious persecution and the like), there seems an emerging global recognition that the radical “LGBT” agenda – a pet cause of Obama’s – is not about securing “human rights,” but, rather, is about promulgating moral wrongs.

The world is finding that forcing others to “tolerate” – indeed, to celebrate – unfettered licentiousness, under penalty of law, is as harmful to society as is said licentiousness to those who practice it.

The world has looked to America’s moral leadership and found it wanting. The climate under Obama has gotten so bad, in fact, that Russian leader Vladimir Putin feels emboldened to claim for Russia the mantle of world moral leader – a proud distinction hitherto held by the good ol’ USA.

The Daily Mail reports that, in his state of the nation address, “Putin sought to cast Russia as the moral arbiter of the world on Thursday, as he hit out at America’s ‘non-traditional values’ and its influence across the world.”

Russia has barred “LGBT” and other sexual anarchist propaganda.

“Mr Putin defended his government’s increasingly conservative values,” continued the report, “and decried the ‘review of norms of morality’ in the West and elsewhere.

“‘This destruction of traditional values from above not only entails negative consequences for society, but is also inherently anti-democratic because it is based on an abstract notion and runs counter to the will of the majority of people,’ Mr Putin said, adding there could be no benefit for society for treating ‘good and evil’ equally.”

How sad that the leader of an atheist government, in a country where tens of millions have died under Marxism – another of Obama’s pet causes – could out-Christian our once-Christian nation.
Meanwhile, the tiny nation of Jamaica is among hundreds more that are likewise feeling the squeeze from both the Obama administration and allied “LGBT” pressure groups. They’re pushing for unrestrained sexual license in that Caribbean state as well.

According to a Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, recently spoke at a pro-family conference there. LaBarbera “encouraged Jamaicans to be grounded in their Christian beliefs and not to be lured by other countries in repealing the buggery (sodomy) law.”

“The United States has no business lecturing anybody about sexual morality,” he observed. “America has rampant abortions, rampant promiscuity, and I stand wholeheartedly with Jamaicans and encourage you all to hold to your beliefs,” he said.

“The moral clarity of my kind, pro-family hosts was refreshing, and something we in the United States need to learn from and take heart from,” said LaBarbera upon his return. “I told them, The United States government has nothing to teach you about sexual morality, but you have much to teach us!”

“We are all watching Jamaica to see what happens,” he concluded, “and I believe if Jamaica can stand up and not bow to the pressure, you can be an example to the world. There is no need to follow anybody,” LaBarbera encouraged.

Indeed, there is certainly no need to follow America. Not on this. Fewer nations are buying what we’re selling. They’ve placed an embargo on our chief export.

While America may be lost (though I pray not), it would seem that her traditional values – values still shared by many, if not most, of the American people – are, nonetheless, gaining momentum abroad.
And that is encouraging.

Now let’s pray those values come full circle.
______________________________________________

To read another article by Matt Barber, click here.

CO Sheriff: Gun control laws ‘hurt law-abiding citizens’

CO Sheriff: Gun control laws ‘hurt law-abiding citizens’   

 
Colorado is a curious place. It went blue for Obama both in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but when it comes to gun control, the Rocky Mountain state definitely does not have the president’s agenda in its sights.

John Cooke has been sheriff of Weld County for 11 years. His family moved to the area in the 1860s. He told Human Events exclusively, “I never thought I would see Colorado make marijuana legal and try to make guns illegal.”

New laws in CO mandate universal background checks and ban magazines that carry more than 15 rounds. Cooke and the majority of his fellow sheriffs (55 of 62 total) in the state say they won’t be enforcing these laws.

Both laws, Cooke says, “are going to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.”

“Basically, the magazine ban says that any magazine that can be readily converted to hold more than 15 rounds is illegal,” Cooke explained. “Almost every single magazine has a removable base plate, and so just about every magazine can be converted to hold more rounds than the 15, which means everybody who owns a 15 round magazine is basically committing a crime.”

“These laws are vague,” Sheriff Cooke said, “They’re really ineffective and they’re unenforceable.”
Moreover, Cooke believes the laws “hurt law-abiding citizens.”

“If you want to lend your rifle to a neighbor or to a friend because he’s going on a hunting trip, after three days, that’s illegal,” Cooke said. “If you want to lend your 17 round magazine to your wife, if you go on a business trip and you give your wife the gun for self-defense, well now she’s a criminal, because the magazines have to be in your continuous possession.”

Both new gun control laws were passed in Colorado after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut and the Aurora Theatre shooting in Colorado last year.

“These laws,” Cooke said, “would not have done anything to stop Newtown and they wouldn’t have stopped the Aurora Theatre shooting. They’re feel-good laws because they have to do something. They were knee-jerk reactions to [two] tragedies.”

Sheriff Cooke believes that making guns “more readily available to law-abiding citizens” will help to decrease violence.
“There’s a reason why our nighttime ho
me invasion occurrences are so much lower than in Europe,” Cooke said. “The FBI stats have shown since 1992, the violent crime rate has dropped by almost 50 percent, but yet we continue to sell guns at about 3 million a year. I think there’s a coloration there.”

“These gun laws are not going to do anything to make this state safer,” Cooke went on. “If anything, I think they could hinder public safety.”

Cooke said he’s always been of the mind that “an armed society is a polite society,” and now, Coloradans are backing him.

The public reaction, according to Cooke, has been “overwhelmingly in favor of our stance.”
Cooke explained that as a sheriff, he’s an “independent elected official. We don’t report to anybody but the public. I don’t report to the commissioners, I don’t report to the mayor, or to the attorney general. They can’t tell us what to do and the only ones that we represent are the public.”

Cooke told the New York Times: “In my oath it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Colorado. It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”

Cooke said he’s witnessed many Coloradans “pushing back” and stocking up on guns and ammo “while they still can.” In Colorado, only the sheriff can issue concealed  weapons permits. Cooke said he used to average about 150 permits per month, but after Obama came out with his list of 23 executive actions to stop gun violence, that number spiked to about 500 permit applications per month.

“People have a right to be concerned,” Cooke said.

Colorado voters have a pro-gun track record. Earlier this year, voters recalled Senate President John Morse (D) of Colorado Springs and State Senator Angela Giron (D) of Pueblo for passing legislation imposing stricter gun laws.

“It’s not a Republican/Democrat issue,” Cooke said. “It sends a message to the rest of the country, and it’s been heard in Washington, D.C. When we can recall the president of the senate in a Democrat district, a Hispanic female in a Hispanic district, that sets the tone and national legislators will think twice about trying to make ridiculous federal gun control laws.”

Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events. 
______________________________________________

To read more about gun control, click here.

Silencing Conservatives - the Administration's latest attempt to censor political speech

Silencing Conservatives – the Administration’s latest attempt to censor political speech
By: Hans von Spakovsky
12/18/2013 06:00 AM

On Nov. 29, when Americans were with their families giving thanks for the founding of our great nation, the Obama administration quietly unveiled its latest attempt to silence the political opposition to a mostly-empty Washington.

As if the indefensible attack on Tea Party and other conservative organizations documented by the IRS Inspector General wasn’t enough, the IRS is now proposing new regulations that would further restrict the activity of these organizations and give IRS officials even more power to intimidate – sorry, regulate – them. This is, of course, the exact opposite of what should be done to reverse the politicized targeting that IRS bureaucrats have been engaged in.

The proposed regulation would redefine what the IRS considers “candidate-related political activity” for §501(c)(4) organizations. It is a thinly veiled attempt to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United by executive fiat, after the administration failed in a similar attempt when it couldn’t get the DISCLOSE Act passed by Congress. The regulation would seriously infringe the First Amendment rights of advocacy organizations.

The vast majority of advocacy organizations don’t apply for charitable status under §501(c)(3) of the tax code, under which donations are tax deductible, which is available for religious institutions, art museums, and the like. Instead, organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club apply for tax-exempt status under §501(c)(4), which simply exempts them from paying income taxes on the donations they receive from their members (donations the members have already paid taxes on and which are not tax deductible). The statute passed by Congress says that §501(c)(4) governs “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.”

When it comes to political activity, §501(c)(3) charitable organizations are by statute not allowed to “participate in, or intervene” in the political campaign of any candidate. However, despite the fact that there is no such equivalent ban in the statutory definition of §501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations, starting in 1959, the IRS imposed such a restriction by regulation without the authority to do so.

Under that regulation, a §501(c)(4)such as the NRA can engage in political activity as long as that activity does not constitute the primary engagement or purpose of the organization. In other words, as long as its “candidate-related political activity” is less than 50 percent of what it does, an organization can keep its tax-exempt status.

The current IRS regulation is so broad and ill-defined that the IRS applies a “facts and circumstances” test to determine what constitutes “political activity” by an organization. This test can vary greatly depending on the subjective views of the particular IRS bureaucrat applying the test. IRS employees took advantage of this vague and subjective standard to unfairly delay granting tax-exempt status to Tea Party organizations and subject them to unreasonable scrutiny.

But the new proposed regulation would make things even worse. It suffers from a crucial defect: the assumption by the IRS that engaging in political speech and political activity do not “promote social welfare.” We live in a society in which an all-too-powerful federal government regulates almost every facet of Americans’ lives, businesses, and property. Membership organizations such as the NRA or NARAL have to participate in the political life of the nation if they want to advance the particular issues their members care about. As former FEC Chairman Brad Smith says, “What kind of democracy claims that political participation is not in the interest of ‘social welfare’?”

Another fundamental mistake with the proposed regulation is its sweeping view of “candidate-related political activity.” This would include nonpartisan voter registration and get-out-the vote drives as well as voter guides and hosting of candidate debates or meet-the-candidate events.

What is partisan about inviting the candidates in a particular election to a debate to discuss their views on the issues of interest to an organization’s members? How is an organization supposed to educate its members if it can’t provide them with a voter guide that lists an officeholder’s votes on bills affecting the particular issues the organization is organized around?

As long as the organization is not engaging in express advocacy — that is, telling its members who to vote for or against — it should be able to engage in all of these activities without penalty. Doing so promotes “social welfare” by educating the public on important issues and encouraging basic civic participation, an essential ingredient in maintaining a health democracy.

Finally, the proposed regulation very unsubtly tries to impose a new rule that the Supreme Court already found unconstitutional in Citizens United v. FEC. One issue in that case was a federal campaign finance rule that prohibited labor unions and corporations – both profit and nonprofit – from running any broadcast ad that “refers to a clearly identified” federal candidate within 30 days of a federal primary or 60 days of the general election. The problem with this provision was that it banned pure grassroots lobbying ads that had nothing to do with an election.

If, for example, Congress scheduled a vote on an abortion bill two weeks out from the November election, both NARAL and Americans United for Life Action would be prohibited from running an ad asking people to call specific senators to vote for or against the bill if those senators were up for reelection. Such an ad about a legislative issue has nothing to do with the senator’s reelection, yet the First Amendment rights of these organizations and their members to speak on an issue important to them were stilled.

The Supreme Court quite properly found this 30/60-day provision unconstitutional, since it suppressed speech “in the realm where its necessity is most evident: in the public dialogue preceding a real election” when Congress tends to schedule lots of votes.

The Supreme Court also found that the regulation the FEC had promulgated on whether political speech was “candidate-related” was unconstitutional. The FEC determined if a communication was the “functional equivalent of express advocacy” even if it did not directly call for a vote for or against a candidate if it was “susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against” a candidate.

In essence, the complex regulation the FEC implemented to apply this definition required a speaker to “ask a governmental agency for prior permission to speak” if it wanted to avoid “threats of criminal liability and the heavy costs of defending against FEC enforcement.” Therefore, it violated the First Amendment as an onerous “ongoing chill upon speech” that was the “equivalent of prior restraint…analogous to licensing laws implemented in 16th- and 17th- century England, laws and governmental practices of the sort that the First Amendment was drawn to prohibit.”

Yet the IRS is proposing to implement the exact same language the Supreme Court found unconstitutional. It defines as “candidate-related political activity” a communication “within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election that refers to one or more clearly identified candidates.”

It even repeats the confusing language from the FEC regulation that the Supreme Court threw out about candidate advocacy including any communication “susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than a call” for a vote for against a candidate – and the definition of candidate is so broad that it would include nominees, not just political candidates. This would effectively bar discussion of the president’s nominations, such as his controversial judicial nominees to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Not surprisingly, none of these new rules would apply to unions, which are the backbone of the voter registration and get-out-the vote activities of the president’s political party. But advocacy groups of all political persuasions should protest this proposed IRS regulation. It is aimed at chilling political speech and political activity.

Alexis de Tocqueville said that when Americans “want to proclaim a truth or propagate some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form an association.” Such associations are critical to the First Amendment ecosystem; citizens use them not only to assert their views and opinions under the protection of the First Amendment, but also to try to advance the social welfare of the country. To their shame, the IRS and the Obama administration are taking steps that would thwart that.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org) and is a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.
___________________________________________________

To read more about government's removal of free speech, click here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Tolerance" Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration

"Tolerance" Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration
Dennis Prager
12/17/2013 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager

Jack Phillips owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., about 10 miles from downtown Denver. In July 2012, two gay men, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, asked Phillips to provide the cake for their wedding celebration. Though same-sex marriage is not allowed in Colorado -- the Colorado Constitution states that "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state" -- the two men had been married in Massachusetts.

As acknowledged by all parties, Phillips told the men, "I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings."

Jack Phillips is an evangelical Christian, and his religion does not allow him to participate in same-sex marriages or celebrations of same-sex marriages.

In other words, Phillips made it clear from the outset that he does not discriminate based on the sexual orientation of a prospective customer. He will knowingly sell his products to any gay person who wishes to purchase his baked goods.

Nevertheless, Craig and Mullins went to the ACLU, which then sued Phillips. On Dec. 6, administrative law Judge Robert N. Spencer handed down his decision:

"The undisputed facts show that Respondents [Masterpiece Cakeshop] discriminated against Complainants [Craig and Mullins] because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage, in violation of ? 24-34-601(2), C.R.S."

The section of the C.R.S. (Colorado Revised Statutes) cited by Judge Spencer reads:

"It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of ... sexual orientation ... the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation."

Thus, under penalty of fines and, potentially, jail:

1. Jack Phillips must participate in an event that the Colorado constitution explicitly prohibits.

2. He must do so against deeply held religious convictions.

3. He must do so despite the fact that there are hundreds of other cake makers in the Denver area.

Those who support this decision argue that religious principles do not apply here: What if, for example, someone's religious principles prohibited interracial marriages? Should that individual be allowed to deny services to an interracial wedding?

Of course not.

Here's why that objection is irrelevant:

1. No religion practiced in America -- indeed, no world religion -- has ever banned interracial marriage. That some American Christians opposed interracial marriage is of no consequence. No one assumes that every position held by any member of a religion means that the religion holds that position.

2. If opposition to same-sex marriage is not a legitimately held religious conviction, there is no such thing as a legitimately held religious position. Unlike opposition to interracial marriage, opposition to same-sex marriage has been the position of every religion in recorded history -- as well as of every country and every American state until the 21st century.

3. The Colorado baker made it clear to the gay couple -- as acknowledged by the court -- that he would be happy to bake and sell cakes to these gay men any other time they wanted. Therefore, he is not discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. He readily sells to people he knows to be gay. What he is unwilling to do is to participate in an (SET ITAL) event (END ITAL) that he opposes for legitimate religious reasons. Until, at the most, 10 years ago, no one would have imagined that a person could be forced to provide goods or services for a same-sex wedding.

4. If a baker refused on religious grounds to provide the wedding cake for a polygamous wedding, should the state force him to do so? If a baker refused to provide a cake to a heterosexual couple that was celebrating living together without getting married, should the state force him to?

Some years ago, Jonah Goldberg wrote a bestseller titled "Liberal Fascism." If you think that title is an exaggeration, read the book. Or just watch what liberals are doing to those who oppose same-sex marriage.

In the name of tolerance, the left is eroding liberty in America.
_____________________________________________

To read another article by Dennis Prager, click here.
_____________________________________________

To read a related article, click here.

5 Things Obamacare Teaches You About Liberals

5 Things Obamacare Teaches You About Liberals
John Hawkins
12/17/2013 12:01:00 AM - John Hawkins

1) It's inherently dishonest: In many ways, Obamacare is a typical liberal program. Unfortunately for Barack Obama, there are two key differences. The first is that the Affordable Care Act was implemented on a short enough timetable for people to remember the promises that were made about it. Furthermore, because it is such an enormous program, it impacts a lot more lives. Otherwise, it's a standard liberal program that makes promises it never intends to keep and does more damage than good. Liberal programs usually have huge, yet very predictable downsides that are systematically hidden, ignored and downplayed because liberal ideas can't survive an educated, honest debate about whether they work or not.

2) Results are irrelevant: Barack Obama promised that if you like your insurance, you can keep it. He said the same thing about your doctor. He claimed Obamacare would REDUCE the cost of health care, save the average person money and provide universal coverage. Not only are all of those promises untrue, it's hard to miss the fact that no one on the Left SEEMS TO CARE. That's because whether Obamacare actually works or not is secondary to left-wing goals like centralizing government power, gaining more control over the American people and making liberals feel good about themselves. This is the rule, not the exception when it comes to liberals. Put another way, whether a liberal supports a program doesn't have anything to do with whether it works or not.

3) It penalizes success: Contrary to what you'd believe if you listen to the Left, 85% of Americans were perfectly happy with their insurance before the Affordable Care Act came along. Yet because of Obamacare, tens of millions of those people are going to lose their health insurance and most of them will pay more. In other words, our health care system was working just fine for the vast majority of Americans until Barack Obama took a wrecking ball to it. So, in order to help a relatively small number of people, liberals are perfectly willing to penalize Americans -- who worked hard, played by the rules and took care of themselves -- with much higher costs and lost plans. This is standard operating procedure for liberals who act as if doing well enough to live your life free of welfare, food stamps and government nannies is "cheating."

4) It doesn't work: A hammer is a good tool to use for pounding nails. It's not such a great tool to use in place of a screwdriver, saw or wrench. Government can be a good tool as well when it's used for the limited purposes for which it’s designed -- such as putting up street signs, building roads and forming a military to protect us from other nations. The problem with liberals is that they want to use their government hammer for every task imaginable instead of letting the free market provide the right tool for the job. You think a billing dispute with an insurance company is unpleasant? Wait until you're hashing it out with the IRS. You don't like to deal with your insurance company? Wait until you have a problem with your insurance and can't get it corrected until you get approval from a government agent. Our government is slow, stupid, arrogant and generally unfriendly to consumers. The more government you have in your life, the more unpleasant your life is likely to be.

5) There are no trade-offs: Liberals seem to be incapable of mentally comprehending trade-offs. So instead, they present Utopian visions of how life would look in a perfect world and offer that up as a political alternative to the messy, oftentimes unpleasant reality we live in. It would be fantastic if Santa Claus, Star Trek replicators, and genies were real, but when you seek heaven on earth, you're more likely to start wandering towards hell.
_____________________________________________

To read another article by John Hawkins, click here.

A TRUE STORY ABOUT GEN McCrystal's resignation in Obama's office

A TRUE STORY ABOUT GEN McCrystal's resignation in Obama's office

Worth reading from Gen McCrystal's book!

NEVER STAND IN LINE AGAIN (Gen. Stanley McCrystal )

Some men carry and handle their diplomacy better than others........

When former U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan , Stanley McChrystal, was called into the Oval Office by Barack Obama, he knew things weren't going to go well when the President accused him of not supporting him in his political role as President. "It's not my job to support you as a politician, Mr. President, it's my job to support you as Commander-in-Chief," McChrystal replied, and he handed Obama his resignation.

Not satisfied with accepting McChrystal's resignation the President made a cheap parting shot. "I bet when I die you'll be happy to pee on my grave." The General saluted. "Mr. President, I always told myself after leaving the Army I'd never stand in line again."

Monday, December 16, 2013

The highly inconvenient Arapahoe High School shooter

The highly inconvenient Arapahoe High School shooter
By: John Hayward
12/16/2013 09:48 AM

All of a sudden, the left-wing media doesn’t think the political views of a crazed gunman are worth discussing. Under the media rules of engagement set forth after the Tucson shooting in 2011, we should be having a huge national conversation about the Left-Wing Climate of Hate right now, and asking how the bitter personal attacks favored by leftists – who are currently fond of asserting that anyone who disagrees with President Barack Obama is a subhuman racist monster – drove student Karl Pierson, 18, of Colorado to attack the Arapahoe High School, critically injuring a fellow student before killing himself. Every American should be asking how Pierson’s devotion to socialism and communism led him to violence. MSNBC hosts should be flogging themselves live on the air for their role in creating the Climate of Hate that led to this outburst of youthful violence, citing their own words from 2011 to explain why they must be held to account.

Of course, instead of putting Pierson’s outspoken political views in the headlines – as they most assuredly would, if it was even remotely possible to link him to conservative causes or the Tea Party – the media is burying this aspect of the story, and rather swiftly losing interest in talking about Pierson at all. The Denver Post actually stealth-edited their story to quietly remove the word “socialist,” changing this sentence:

Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with the gunman, described him as a very opinionated Socialist.

… to read as follows:


Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.

The headline to the Denver Post article declares, “Arapaho High Gunman Held Strong Political Beliefs, Classmates Said.” Not until the end of the story do you get any idea as to what those beliefs might have been:

In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith, who through his invisible-hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as “Keynesian.”

“I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn’t the market correcting itself?” he wrote. “If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn’t it be able to overpower regulations?”

Wow, that’s some scintillating, hard-hitting logic right there. The Invisible Hand can’t “overpower regulations,” because the regulators have guns, kid. But the Invisible Hand most certainly can play merry hell with the big plans of regulators, as anyone following the collapse of ObamaCare should understand by now.

Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”

The Wall Street Journal adds a fellow student’s recollection that Pierson “once wore a shirt emblazoned with the letters U.S.S.R. and described himself as a communist.”  I wonder if we’ll learn which faculty members took Pierson under their wings and nourished his dreary closed-minded liberal views.  We’ve heard quite a few stories lately from across the nation about left-wing teachers using their classrooms as captive audiences for political diatribes that sounded quite a bit like young Mr. Pierson’s views.

Somehow the school’s debate coach and librarian, Tracy Murphy, decided the debate team could do without this sharp and insightful political analysis, and gave Pierson a demotion.  This led Pierson to “half-jokingly threaten to kill Mr. Murphy,” according to a teammate quoted  by the New York Daily News.  This led to Pierson’s temporary suspension from the debate team (but apparently not from the school, as early reports had it.)  He evidently thought the suspension would interfere with his plans to go to the Air Force Academy, so he wound up marching into the school with a shotgun, a machete, and some Molotov cocktails – sounds like his studies of Communism were quite thorough – screaming Murphy’s name.  Murphy has been praised for attempting to lead the gunman out of the school and away from endangered students, but alas Pierson still shot a randomly-selected girl in the face before turning the gun on himself.

The gun angle is powerfully inconvenient for the Left, too.  The Denver Post coyly relates a student saying Pierson “had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff,” but doesn’t bother to inform readers of what those strong beliefs might have been.  It falls to the UK Daily Mail to tell us that he “seemingly supported gun control.”  It doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to find out exactly where he stood on the issue, seeing as how he was so outspoken, and his stance on gun legislation was so strong.  The fact that no media outlets seem interested in clarifying the matter speaks volumes.
As for the gun Pierson used in the assault, it was a shotgun – the preferred weapon of Vice President Joe Biden, who has often gone on the record with his support for the legal purchase of such firearms for use in self defense.  Next to hunting rifles, shotguns are the weapons gun-control enthusiasts most commonly promise they will never, ever, ever try to take away.  Pierson bought his shotgun legally, although of course he was violating all sorts of laws by bringing it to the school and employing it during an assault.  Colorado passed a boatload of new gun control laws earlier this year, following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, leading to political upheaval that resulted in the successful recall of two state lawmakers who favored stricter gun control measures.  There is absolutely nothing in the Arapahoe High School shooting for gun control zealots to work with.

On the contrary, the incident demolishes some of their cherished beliefs, most obviously their talismanic faith in the power of regulations to suppress this type of violence.  Given his political activism, it seems likely that Karl Pierson was well aware of the local gun laws, but those laws did not dissuade him from going on a rampage.  According to CNN, what ended his rampage in just 80 seconds, preventing him from dealing far more injury and death, was one of the measures strongly endorsed by the National Rifle Association: an armed adult on school grounds.

In less than 80 seconds, Karl Pierson ”fired one random shot down a hallway,” then entered an area where 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis was seated with a friend, “and shot the female victim point-blank” in the head. “There was no time for the victim to run from the shooter,” Robinson told reporters on Saturday.
Pierson then fired another round down a hallway, then entered the library, where he fired again and ignited one of the Molotov cocktails, according to Robinson.
That ignited at least three bookshelves, causing smoke to pour into the library.
He then fired a fifth round and ran to the library’s back corner, “and there took his own life.”
By 12:35 p.m., it was all over.

It takes CNN ten more paragraphs before they get around to telling you why the attack ended so suddenly, despite Pierson’s use of the fire bomb to set the stage for more chaos and death:
The rampage might have resulted in many more casualties had it not been for the quick response of a deputy sheriff who was working as a school resource officer at the school, [Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson] Robinson said.
Once he learned of the threat, he ran — accompanied by an unarmed school security officer and two administrators — from the cafeteria to the library, Robinson said. “It’s a fairly long hallway, but the deputy sheriff got there very quickly.”
The deputy was yelling for people to get down and identified himself as a county deputy sheriff, Robinson said. “We know for a fact that the shooter knew that the deputy was in the immediate area and, while the deputy was containing the shooter, the shooter took his own life.”
He praised the deputy’s response as “a critical element to the shooter’s decision” to kill himself, and lauded his response to hearing gunshots. “He went to the thunder,” he said. “He heard the noise of gunshot and, when many would run away from it, he ran toward it to make other people safe.”
The NRA was torn to shreds for suggesting that armed police officers, armed teachers, and similar security measures were the most effective way to reduce the threat of school violence, because “gun-free zones” are always going to be a magnet for deranged individuals seeking high-profile soft targets, obviously even more so when the shooter is a a student at the school in question.  

You can dig up any liberal “Climate of Hate” screed written in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting and plug in Pierson’s left-wing activism, instead of whatever garbage they were spewing about Sarah Palin’s campaign map bullseye symbols or Rush Limbaugh’s anti-authoritarian rhetoric.  Not a single author of those screeds could possibly defend themselves today from the scurrilous charges they were so quick to lob back then, when they saw an opportunity to use horrific tragedy as a club to beat their opponents into silence.  Why don’t we bring Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in as a consultant on the Arapahoe case, and invite him to adapt his theories about how right-wing talk radio drove Tucson shooter Jared Loughner to murder – even though he never listened to it – into a broad indictment of the mainstream Left for their complicity in Karl Pierson’s crime?
What the Left did after Tucson was nauseating.  Of course, it would be equally irrational and dishonest to pretend that honest liberals are even slightly responsible for Karl Pierson’s actions.  But we should remember what so many liberals and top media figures said back then, and make sure they understand how easy it would be to turn their twisted, hateful, totalitarian thinking against them now.
And we should be quick to notice how very different the media treatment of politicized crime becomes, the instant it becomes clear that the shooter isn’t a conservative.  The hunt for the elusive Tea Party Killer continues, and one of these days he’ll most likely turn up, human nature being what it is.  When he does, you may rest assured his political leanings will scream in boldfaced type from every headline in the country, and will be explored in the first few paragraphs of every story written about him.

Prayers for Claire Davis, the 17-year-old student Pierson shot at point-blank range, and who remains stable but comatose at the time of this writing.  She’s fighting for her life; her father told CNN that “doctors are worried about swelling to her brain.”  A Twitter hashtag, #prayforclaire, has been established to gather best wishes for her recovery.
__________________________________________________

To read another article by John Hayward, click here.

Gingrich: "Every major city which is a poverty center is run by Democrats."

Gingrich: “Every major city which is a poverty center is run by Democrats.”
By: John Hayward
12/16/2013 11:47 AM

Courtesy of NewsBusters, here’s one of those heated exchanges that partisans of both Left and Right are bound to view as a slam-dunk in-your-face win for their side, as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich spar over poverty and policy on ABC’s “This Week.”

In the exchange, Reich argues that the War on Poverty was going great until tight-fisted Republicans started interfering with Democrat plans to redistribute even more wealth, and claims “income inequality” has gotten worse under Obama because of Republican resistance to his agenda. This is, quite possibly, the dumbest thing anyone has ever said. Just for starters, it projects staggering ignorance about the War on Poverty. To agree with Reich, you have to be just about completely ignorant of actual history, not only from decades past but from the explosion of wealth redistribution and social welfare spending under the past few Presidents, particularly Obama.

But of course, it’s tedious leftist cant to insist that the only reason their policies fail is that they weren’t given another couple trillion dollars to pursue them more vigorously. Every failure of State control is caused by insufficient State control. The Daily Caller offers a look at how the War on Poverty was going when Reich was on the front lines under Clinton, and his history of deliberately misrepresenting that history:

One thing Reich isn’t taking responsibility for is his own contribution to inequality during his widely regretted stint in the White House. Working as the Clinton Administration’s Labor Secretary from 1993 to 1997, Reich oversaw a substantial hike in the federal minimum wage and implementation of the Family Leave Act. Despite these apparent War-On-Poverty victories, according to inequality.org‘s chart of after-tax income by income group, U.S. inequality during his tenure grew at the fastest rate ever seen up until that time.

Reich left office prior to the late-Clinton-era boom that lifted all wage groups and saw the last balanced budgets in American history. He later slammed his former colleagues in the memoir “Locked In the Cabinet,” which was universally criticized and had to be substantially re-edited in later editions due to Reich’s multiple distortions and outright falsehoods.

Reich is a hardcore socialist, and socialists lie. It’s what they do. It’s baked into the very essence of their being, because their philosophy assumes the absolute primacy of a wise Ruling Class elite that knows how best to arrange society in a “fair” and “just” manner. This involves the use of compulsive force to seize assets and income from their rightful owners, plus a good deal of forcing average citizens to live as the Ruling Class desires.

Unfortunately, the Western socialist lives with the unpleasant reality of popular elections, where the people have a distressing ability to reject the vision of the Ruling Class and insist on their liberties. Therefore, it is inescapably necessary for the great and wise to lie to voters, because they can’t handle the truth. It’s for their own good, so it’s all totally justified. By definition, the common man lacks the vision of the elite, so he cannot be allowed to thwart that vision by voting against it. You will never be granted complete candor by people who believe that you must be forced to do certain things for the greater benefit of society, as they envision it, because such candor would inevitably lead to greater resistance. The path to utopia will require many sacrifices, so the ignorant people must be led down it blindfolded.

Gingrich hits back hard against Reich’s assertion that Republican stonewalling of the Obama agenda is the only reason we haven’t drawn closer to utopia over the past five years, calling it “baloney.” Gingrich shot back: “Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats. Every major city. Their policies have failed, they’re not willing to admit it, and the fact is, it’s the poor who suffer from bad government.”

Reich stammered something about how outgoing New York mayor Michael Bloomberg wasn’t a Democrat, but aside from Bloomberg’s decidedly government-centered philosophy, the rest of New York’s political machinery has been safely in Democrat hands forever. No one is going to “solve” the poverty debate in an exchange of sound bites, but Gingrich’s point about how badly-run government causes the greatest suffering among the poor is far more solid than anything Reich says, and it’s worth exploring further.

Perhaps the point begins as something of a tautology, because the poor are, by definition, “suffering” worst from a policy standpoint under any system of government. But what Gingrich means is that bad government policies are particularly destructive to the opportunities for employment and stability essential to the climb out of poverty. Reich is an utter fool to believe that these opportunities can be replaced by titanic government spending programs; the Obama years are definitive proof that doesn’t work. As a left-wing propagandist, he might deserve a little applause for having the chutzpah to make his “just give us more money to spend and we’ll get it right” argument in favor of managerial liberalism at the exact moment ObamaCare is crashing down in flames, the most devastating failure of Reich’s ideals since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Over a trillion dollars in “stimulus” spending gave us permanent double-digit real unemployment. Even the heavily cooked unemployment rate popularized by the news media has been stuck over 7 percent for years, and it’s a lot worse in the demographics Gingrich and Reich are discussing. When Obama imposed his stimulus spending agenda, all the “smart people” in his elite team assured us their plans would bring unemployment under 5 percent by the end of the President’s first term. Instead, the job market tracked consistently and significantly worse than the worst-case scare-tactic conditions they warned would occur without their redistribution scheme.

The social pathologies incubated by the Great Society turned cities into blighted war zones, not only because of the corrosive effect cradle-to-grave welfare has on the people it’s ostensibly trying to “help,” but because the cities ruled by Democrats have become the hardest places in America to launch a business venture or hire someone. Their stale political cultures have been very lucrative for the ruling party’s cronies, but smokestacks of despair for everyone else. Knowing that things will never change makes small entrepreneurs – the people who don’t get front-page headline coverage for throwing political fundraisers – depart the dying cities to seek opportunity elsewhere. We’re not talking about a few people bailing out and skedaddling for the burbs just because a couple of elections don’t go their way. We’re discussing cities with generational histories of one-party rule and machine politics. To this day, their ruling political machines have absolutely no idea how to reverse the decline, because everything that might work is completely antithetical to their statist ideology, not to mention their hunger for government revenue.

The day Margaret Thatcher warned about has arrived – the Left has run out of other peoples’ money to spend. Even the vast ocean of federal spending and debt is not bottomless. We’ve arguably passed the point where the geese of industry can be squeezed by the State for more golden eggs, without choking them to death. A great deal of Obama malaise is caused by government overtaxing and over-regulating the private sector far beyond the point where the net result is counter-productive. This economy is begging for pro-growth tax reforms and the privatization of moribund government programs, beginning with ObamaCare, which managed the neat trick of being born moribund. The situation is even more pronounced in the cities Newt Gingrich mentioned, which offer a glimpse into our national future for anyone with the intellectual honesty to look clearly. The private sector needs to get bigger, and fast. It is no longer strong enough to carry the flabby Ruling Class riding on its back.
_____________________________________________

To read another article by John Hayward, click here.