Something go wrong? NOW Michael Bloomberg wants federal gov’t out of local politics

**Written by Doug Powers

I’m going to go ahead and assume Bloomberg and the progressive mayors who will take him up on his offer won’t be able to grasp the multiple levels of irony:

Entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) plans to launch a $17 million contest to incentivize U.S. cities to bypass policymaking in Washington under the Trump administration, according to The Associated Press.

Thirty-five cities will win $100,000, while four other cities will get $1 million. The grand prize is $5 million for one city.

The contest, which will be publicly unveiled on Monday, is aimed at pushing mayors across the country to tackle issues on their own, without federal help.

Alternate headline: “Former NYC Mayor to Pay US City Leaders to Ignore Federal Laws.”

Defy Trump, win cash! Maybe mayors who ignore federal laws can use Bloomberg’s prize for bail money.

But at least one consequence of Trump’s election has been to get those who have until Jan. 20th been proponents of a gigantic and over-reaching central government suddenly concerned about being squashed by their own creation.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut is another fine illustration of the contemporary state of Higher Education.  Johnny Eric Williams, a professor in its sociology department, is among the reasons why it enjoys this distinction.

On June 18, Williams—a black man—posted some blatantly anti-white remarks on his Facebook wall.  Supposedly, after they went viral, Trinity and Williams were besieged with threats. Such was the alleged intensity and nature of the threats that administrators closed campus on the day of June 21.

Williams, for his part, maintains that he never meant for his remarks to be made public and that he was deliberately misconstrued by “conservative” sites.

You be the judge of this.

Below are two of Williams’ posts from June 18. The first reads:

“It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do, put [an] end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system. #LetThemFuckingDie.

And then there was the second:

“I’m fed the fuck up with self identified ‘white’s’ daily violence directed at immigrants, Muslims, and sexual and racially oppressed people.  The time is now to confront these inhuman assholes and end this now.”

On June 16, Williams shared on his page an article from the Medium.  The essay’s title is: “Let Them Fucking Die.”

The author, “Son of Baldwin,” prefaces his own remarks with a quotation from a Fusion piece that references the mass shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and his colleagues in Alexandria, Virginia.  The article notes “the irony” that Scalise, a person who “kept company with racists” and “white supremacists” and who is “one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in Washington,” “may owe his life to a queer black woman.”

Son of Baldwin expresses his frustration over what this episode “symbolizes.”  He asks: “What does it mean, in general, when victims of bigotry save the lives of bigots?”

The author launches into a rant that, in addition to being replete with lies, fallacies, and inaccuracies, suffers from a painfully conspicuous lack of originality.  We have all heard this tirade before, tirelessly, for decades.  It is the cardinal dogma of what I have elsewhere referred to as “Blackism,” precisely that ideology designed to grant instant racial “authenticity” to any and all blacks who affirm it:

Blacks are perpetual victims of perpetual White Oppression.

Son of Baldwin is clear as to the course of action that blacks who are in a position to help white “bigots” should take. His position is boldfaced type:

Let. Them. Fucking. Die.”

But don’t just do this.  Blacks should “smile a bit” when they let white “bigots” die, for they “have done the universe a great service.”

And in case there is any ambiguity as to when, exactly, blacks should allow white “bigots” to die, Son of Baldwin tries his best to dispel it in advance.

“If you see them drowning,” “in a burning building,” “teetering on the edge of a cliff,” or if “their ships are sinking,” “their planes are crashing,” or “their cars are skidding,” blacks should smile as they let these white “bigots” die.

Bear in mind that while Son of Baldwin’s focus on white bigots would seem to suggest that he is not referring to all white people, it is a certitude to anyone familiar with Blackist newspeak, the rhetoric of “white supremacy,” “institutional racism,” “white supremacy” and the like—rhetoric, not incidentally, that both Son of Baldwin and Johnny Eric Williams espouse—that all white people are “bigoted.”

Son of Baldwin underscores this interpretation when he writes about “white/cisgender/heterosexuals who practice bigotry (or do not believe they practice bigotry even when they do)” (emphasis added) [.]”

This is article that Professor Williams shared.

Ever since Williams became the focal point of this controversy, he has maintained that he does not endorse allowing individual whites to die. Rather, it is for the death of a system of “white supremacy” that he calls.

“I’m calling for the death of a system, white supremacy, not the death of white people.”

The President of Trinity College, Joanne Berger-Sweeney, condemned Williams’ use of the hashtag, “LetThemFuckingDie,” as “reprehensible and, at the very least, in poor judgment.” She added that, “No matter its intent, it goes against our fundamental values as an institution [.]”  Before proceeding further, she has turned the matter over to the Dean of the Faculty to determine whether any college “procedures or policies were broken.”

Two Connecticut politicians, Republican House Leader Themis Klarides and state Senator George Logan, both Trinity graduates, wrote a letter to Berger-Sweeney imploring her to terminate Williams immediately.   “We are calling upon the school to immediately, and permanently, remove Mr. Williams from the ranks of the school’s faculty,” they state.

Perhaps Professor Williams is sincere when he insists that it is not the demise of individual whites, but, rather, that of a system that he wants to see die.  Judging from the quality, both stylistic and substantive, of his social media posts, this is a distinct possibility.  It is a distinct possibility that Williams is genuinely as intellectually inept as someone would have to be not to recognize that, grammatically and logically, his posts can only be read as a call for allowing white “bigots,” “ignorant assholes,” i.e. a plurality of beings, not a single “system,” to die.

The other option is that Williams is a coward and a liar who is now retreating from his initial position because of the backlash to it. Williams very well may be receiving the shock of his life in being made to realize that it isn’t just black leftist SJWs that can get angry, that when people understandably think that someone is calling for their deaths, they will call for the same in return.

At any rate, decent people must condemn the threats of violence against Williams that are now allegedly being made against him.  I for one won’t even call for his termination.  This, though, is only because Williams is but a symptom of a much larger system that has long since gone to the bad.

For sure, there remain many committed college instructors who care deeply about supplying their students with a genuine liberal arts education.  And, to be fair, many, possibly most, of these are liberal-left. Yet, regrettably, the Johnny Williams of the academy are legion.  The only difference between Williams and the untold numbers of humanities professors at colleges and universities throughout the country is that Williams got caught for expressing his anti-white vision.

Removing him would be like removing one cockroach from an infestation and thinking that the problem is solved.

The pressure that is now being brought upon Williams must be brought by the public upon the whole Academic Industrial Complex, for Williams’ view is but a variant of the intellectually vapid and morally toxic ideology that dominates academia today.

Source: Jack Kerwick @

The post PROFESSOR POSTS HIS WISH FOR WHITES: “LET THEM F**KING DIE!” appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

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This Republican May Sabotage the Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

If the Senate bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business does not get the 50 votes it needs to pass, here is one probation Republican you can thank.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is one of a couple of pro-abortion Republicans in the Senate who is strenuously opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood. Here’s what she said over the weekend:

“It makes absolutely no sense to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood,” Collins told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.”

“There are already longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion, so this is not what this debate is about. And Planned Parenthood is an important provider of healthcare services, including family planning and cancer screenings for millions of Americans, particularly women,” she continued.

“I am optimistic we’ll prevail on that issue,” Collins said, referring to amending the legislation.

Never mind that Planned Parenthood doesn’t actually engage in very much legitimate women’s healthcare and has been caught refusing to provide prenatal care for women who want to carry their baby to term as opposed to having an abortion.

Collins has defended Planned Parenthood funding before.

“I don’t think it makes sense to have the defunding of Planned Parenthood linked to this issue at all,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who voted against the repeal effort in 2015 because it included language defunding Planned Parenthood.

“If the House Republicans want to bring it up, it should be in a separate bill. I would oppose that bill, but it further complicates the negotiations to have it included in this bill.”

Because Republicans are going to repeal ObamaCare through reconciliation, a special budget maneuver that only needs 50 votes to pass because it can’t be filibustered, they can only lose two votes from their members.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a pro-abortion Republican from Alaska, has already said definitively she won’t support repeal if it includes Planned Parenthood language.

“I, for one, do not believe that Planned Parenthood has any place in our deliberations on the Affordable Care Act,” Murkowski said. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides.”

The news is not a surprise. Murkowski has defended the abortion giant Planned Parenthood numerous times. In 2011, she stood up for the abortion group’s taxpayer funding even after undercover videos showed staff at Planned Parenthood assisting alleged sex traffickers in getting abortions and STD testing for the girls they victimize.

Then in 2015, Murkowski joined two other Senators to try to strip a Planned Parenthood defunding provision from a similar Senate bill, according to The Hill.

Last month, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood finally released its annual report.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

The report shows increases in abortion numbers and taxpayer funding in 2015, alongside decreases in contraception, breast exams and overall patient numbers.

Planned Parenthood continued to maintain its status as the largest abortion provider in the United States. The abortion group performed 328,348 abortions on unborn babies, 4,349 more than the previous year, according to the report.

At the same time, it saw 2.4 million patients, about 100,000 fewer than the previous year and about 500,000 fewer than five years ago. Contraception services, which the abortion chain touts as its primary service, also dropped from 2.94 million to 2.8 million during the past two years.

Meanwhile, the abortion chain received more taxpayer funding. The report shows Planned Parenthood receiving $554.6 million, up from $553.7 million the previous year. This increase occurred while pro-abortion President Barack Obama was in power.

This pattern is consistent with its annual reports from the past several years. Abortions and taxpayer funding keep going up, while patient numbers and other services go down.

A recent congressional investigation into the abortion business involving its sales of aborted baby parts concluded with lawmakers recommended that Congress defund it. Planned Parenthood also has been caught in numerous scandals involving Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are what really are important to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood claims it is an essential provider of women’s health care, but its own annual reports show it continues to center its practices around aborting unborn babies.

President Donald Trump promised to sign a bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Recent polls also indicate Americans support the defunding efforts. New polling found 56 percent of Americans in battleground states want Planned Parenthood defunded.

ACTION: Contact U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Contact Senator Susan Collins.

The abortion company has also been exposed for selling the body parts of aborted children. The expose’ videos catching Planned Parenthood officials selling the body parts of aborted babies have shocked the nation. Here is a list of all 14:

  • In the first video: Dr. Deborah Nucatola of Planned Parenthood commented on baby-crushing: “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
  • In the second video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.
  • In the third video: Holly O’Donnell, a former Stem Express employee who worked inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, detailed first-hand the unspeakable atrocities and how she fainted in horror over handling baby legs.
  • In the fourth video: Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” She also laughed while looking at a plate of fetal kidneys that were “good to go.”
  • In the fifth video: Melissa Farrell of Planned Parenthood-Gulf Coast in Houston boasted of Planned Parenthood’s skill in obtaining “intact fetal cadavers” and how her “research” department “contributes so much to the bottom line of our organization here, you know we’re one of the largest affiliates, our Research Department is the largest in the United States.”
  • In the sixth video: Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”
  • In the seventh and perhaps most disturbing video: Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”
  • In the eighth video: StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer admits Planned Parenthood sells “a lot of” fully intact aborted babies.
  • The ninth video: catches a Planned Parenthood medical director discussing how the abortion company sells fully intact aborted babies — including one who “just fell out” of the womb.
  • The 10th video: catches the nation’s biggest abortion business selling specific body parts — including the heart, eyes and “gonads” of unborn babies. The video also shows the shocking ways in which Planned Parenthood officials admit that they are breaking federal law by selling aborted baby body parts for profit.
  • Unreleased Videos: Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.
  • The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.
  • The 12th video in the series shows new footage of Jennefer Russo, medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.
  • The 13th video: exposes a Planned Parenthood medical director admitting that babies born alive after abortion are sometimes killed.
  • The 14th video: catches Planned Parenthood executives discussing gruesome abortion procedures and the sale of body parts from aborted babies for profit.

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The Fleeting Glory of Trump Magazine

TRUMP: The Complete Collection, edited by Denis Kitchen, Dark Horse Books, 184 pages, $29.99

Trump—the title of which, I feel compelled to point out, has nothing to do with the current POTUS—was an illustrated satirical magazine edited by Mad founder Harvey Kurtzman and published by Playboy‘s Hugh Hefner. Both men were young, very ambitious, and perhaps a little too idealistic. Thanks partly to a storm of unforeseen business woes that almost destroyed the Playboy empire and partly to Kurtzman and Hefner’s generosity toward their contributors, the publication lasted for only two issues, one released in 1956 and the other in 1957. The result, on display in a new collection edited and annotated by Denis Kitchen, was a tragic might-have-been.

Kurtzman is best known for founding Mad, which started out as a full-color comic book satirizing other comics. As one of only two staff editors at the EC Comics company, Kurtzman was expected to write every word of the titles he edited; prior to Mad he ran the imprint’s war titles, which often featured antiwar messages. Thanks to his obsessive determination to get all his facts straight, he routinely fell into “research holes.” Mad was supposed to be a relatively easy job for him, but he soon started obsessing over it too, especially as he started to run out of comic characters to spoof and began to expand his targets into the worlds of film, TV, advertising, and literature.

Mad was a surprise hit, and it soon attracted attention from outside the marginalized, lowbrow comics world, with Kurtzman becoming a cause célèbre among humorists of all kinds. This, combined with a new industry-wide self-censorship policy (known as the Comics Code) that was threatening EC Comics’ very existence, convinced Kurtzman to ask his publisher, William Gaines, to convert Mad from a kiddie comic to an adult humor magazine. Gaines agreed, and Mad became not just more popular than ever but, eventually, a cultural institution. All this sudden and unexpected attention went to Kurtzman’s head, and he soon began making outrageous demands that the publisher wouldn’t have agreed to under any circumstances, such as 51 percent ownership of Gaines’ own company. But Kurtzman thought he had an ace in the hole: Hugh Hefner.

Like most men of that era, Kurtzman was fascinated by Playboy, with its unprecedented mixture of pornography, high-end production values, and intellectual aspirations (or pretensions, take your pick). And Hefner, who had been an unsuccessful cartoonist, was equally fascinated by what Kurtzman was doing with Mad, specifically in the way he would deconstruct—in a very pre-postmodernist fashion—his targets. Kurtzman’s commercial purpose was simply to mine humor from his subjects, but if in so doing he also revealed some heaping doses of hypocrisy and greed behind the mass media’s messages, then so much the better. (It should be noted here that Kurtzman’s parents were Communists. While he never shared their political beliefs, he certainly was raised to view American culture with a cynical eye.)

This approach appealed to Hefner’s own self-image as an observant Hip Outsider, and the two men were soon conspiring with each other to create a satirical publication that would put all others to shame, sparing no expense in the process.

Content-wise, Trump wasn’t much different than the early “adult” version of Mad that Kurtzman had only just started at EC. Kurtzman also took the cream of EC’s stable of artists with him, primarily the incomparable threesome of Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Wally Wood, as well as a young Al Jaffee. (Wood quickly returned to Mad when he learned he wasn’t allowed to work for both publications, while Davis and Jaffee were welcomed back after Trump folded. Jaffee still works there 60 years later.) What separated Trump from Mad was the former’s determination to be a demonstrably “adult” publication, which meant it included (possibly at Hefner’s insistence) a lot of semi-clad young women in the art; the only nod to modesty was a rule against exposed nipples. Mad, meanwhile, slipped back into appealing to a more adolescent audience. This noticeable difference in the sexual maturity of the respective magazines’ intended readerships was recreated 15 years later with the arrival of National Lampoon.

One highly ambitious feature from the first issue was an elaborate take-off of Life magazine’s illustrated panoramas of various stages of human development over specific time periods. Trump‘s version imagined what archeologists would make of our own culture, a million years in the future, as they study such “art objects” as fire hydrants and coke bottles and marvel over such “fertility goddesses” as Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Being a fold-out feature, it also teased readers into thinking they were opening a Playboy centerfold by inserting a partial photo of a nude model just as you begin to turn the page.

This feature in particular represents the noticeable difference between Trump and Mad in terms of production. The former was printed on slick magazine paper rather than cheap newsprint, and it featured a lot of full-color art in its interiors—hand-colored art at that, which was unheard-of in comic books up until then. So while Kurtzman was generous with his artists, he also was quite demanding, expecting them to turn in the very best quality work they were capable of. Thus, the otherwise slapdashy (but always excellent) Jack Davis employed a far more time-consuming cross-hatching technique instead of his usual water-color approach, with stunning results.

Even more stunning are the incredibly detailed painted illustrations by Kurtzman’s childhood friend and lifelong collaborator, Will Elder. Their collaborations in the early Mads still stand out as that publication’s most remarkable achievements, and with Trump it was obvious that both men saw this as a golden opportunity to strut their stuff. There’s something almost harrowing in the way they would employ a Sistine Chapel–like effort simply to make fun of, say, Howdy Doody or Coca-Cola, and their work in this collection is worth the cover price alone. But Kurtzman and Elder’s obsessive, laborious approach was also why Trump (like the Kurtzman-era Mad) was rarely completed by deadline time. You have to wonder how two artists with such an it’s-done-when-it’s-done-and-damn-the-distributors attitude wound up working in the world of periodicals to begin with. Such prima donnas are more likely to be fine artists—though it’s unlikely that these two would have been welcomed in that world either.

Kitchen’s collection includes not just the complete run of Trump but also (mostly) unfinished work on what would have been the third issue of the magazine. And there are examples of work in progress from the two existing issues, which serves as a window into Harvey Kurtzman’s perfectionist mind. As was the case with the early Mads, he not only wrote and edited almost every feature but also roughed out and/or laid out each piece in great detail. The artists were expected to remain faithful to these blueprints. His sense of timing and composition is flawless, and has served as a go-to model of sorts for visual satirists ever since. The only shame in all of this is the relative lack of Kurtzman’s own finished art, since he was convinced the public didn’t care for it. (His stock response to anyone who complimented his art was “yeah, you and my mother.”) His drawing style was highly expressive and energetic, and he employed it to great effect in dramatic stories as well as humorous ones.

In a sense, Kurtzman’s entry into the world of Hefner was both the best and the worst thing that ever happened to him. Yes, it resulted in Trump, but the ultimate differences between the two men—one an unflinching realist, the other a peddler of fantasies—were bound to come to a head at some point. Still, they liked and respected each other, and they continued to work together for decades afterward on the long-running Playboy comic Little Annie Fanny. But that aforementioned conflict of sensibilities always hung over this feature, with one man attempting to enlighten the reader while the other was primarily interested in titillating him.

Kurtzman’s later career consisted mainly of various failed or aborted projects. But this never diminished the impact his early work—including Trump—has had on almost everyone in the comedy world ever since, whether they know it or not. He sure has inspired the hell out of me. He is one of America’s all-time greatest artists, and he deserves to be a household name.

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Supreme ruling coming on forcing Christians to betray faith

Jack Phillips

A Colorado baker being punished by his state, which also imposed an indoctrination requirement on him and his employees, for living by his Christian faith now will have his case reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices announced on Monday they will hear the dispute involving Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop in the fall.

He was publicly berated and punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission – one supposedly neutral commissioner lashed out at him publicly and compared him to a Nazi – when Phillips said he could not use his artistry to promote a same-sex “wedding.”

The state Supreme Court then refused to intervene – and refused to explain – setting up Phillips’ request to the nation’s highest court – where his arguments that the government does not have the right to order him to make an artistic statement that violates his beliefs will be heard.

It was Diann Rice of the state commission who blew up at Phillips.

“I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting,” Rice said during consideration of Phillips’ case. “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”

Hear a recording of Rice’s statement:

“Outlasting the Gay Revolution” spells out eight principles to help Americans who hold conservative moral values counter attacks on freedoms of religion, speech and conscience by homosexual activists

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is working on behalf of Phillips, said such “animus” in a state is “alarming.”

And, the group said, it “has no place in civil society. At least one commission member holds such beliefs. And her comment suggests that other members of the commission may share her view that people who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman are comparable to those who committed the Holocaust. This anti-religious bias undermines the integrity of the commission.”

The Colorado state Supreme Court then, in a decision that included a judge who boasted on a state website of being a homosexual-rights advocate through the Denver mayor’s “GLBT Commission,” refused to intervene.

The Colorado court said that Chief Justice Nancy Rice and Justice Nathan Coats would have reviewed the case because of the important questions it raises. But four other justices, including Monica Marquiz, who boasted of winning the Colorado GLBT Bar Association’s 2009 Outstanding GLBT Attorney Award, joined with a growing social movement that insists homosexual rights trump the religious rights protected by the Constitution.

See the Big List of Christian Coercion compiled by WND, where officials, business owners and others have been bludgeoned by the law, activists – even judges – for their faith.

The other three justices joining the campaign were Brian Boatright, William Hood III, and Richard Gabriel..

All four refused to respond to WND requests for comment.

They left standing a lower court opinion forcing Phillips and his staff to create cakes for same-sex celebrations in violation of his religion faith. The lower court ruling also ordered a re-education program for Phillips and his staff.

The ADF noted the re-education order from the state.

The order was that “Phillips and his employees … create cakes that celebrate same-sex ceremonies and required Phillips to comply with Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act by re-educating his staff (which includes members of his own family) and filing quarterly ‘compliance’ reports for two years.”

“Every American should be free to choose which art they will create and which art they won’t create without fear of being unjustly punished by the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “That’s why the bad decision in this case needs to be reversed. It imperils everyone’s freedom by crushing dissent instead of tolerating a diversity of views. We are all at risk when government is able to punish citizens like Jack just because it doesn’t like how he exercises his artistic freedom. America must have room for people who disagree to coexist.”

Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for ADF, continued, “Jack’s ability to make a living and run his family business shouldn’t be threatened simply because he exercised his artistic freedom. Artists speak through their art, and when Jack creates custom wedding cakes, he is promoting and celebrating the couple’s wedding. Jack will gladly allow anyone to purchase any product he sells, but he simply can’t put his artistic talents to use on a custom cake for an event so at odds with his faith convictions.

“The ACLU, which is opposing Jack and other artists in Washington and Arizona, would rather use the strong-arm of government to eradicate from the public square people whose views differ from the government’s. We hope the Supreme Court will affirm how illegitimate that is,” he said.

Back in July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins wanted Phillips to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex “marriage.”

“Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith,” ADF said.

The duo complained to the state commission, which after Rice’s diatribe, ruled against Phillips.

“In contrast to the ruling against Phillips, the commission found in 2015 that three other Denver cake artists were not guilty of creed discrimination when they declined a Christian customer’s request for a cake that reflected his religious opposition to same-sex marriage,” ADF pointed out.

The petition to the Supreme Court noted the state of Colorado’s conclusion in the case “flouts this court’s controlling precedent … conflicts with Ninth and Eleventh Circuit decisions regarding the free speech protection of art … deepens an existing conflict between the Second, Third, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits as to the proper test for identifying expressive conduct, and … conflicts with free exercise rulings by the Third, Sixth, and Tenth Circuits.”

“It is undisputed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission…does not apply CADA [Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act] to ban (1) an African-American cake artist from refusing to create a cake promoting white-supremacism for the Aryan Nation, (2) an Islamic cake artist from refusing to create a cake denigrating the Quran for the Westboro Baptist Church, and (3) three secular cake artists from refusing to create cakes opposing same-sex marriage for a Christian patron,” the request to the high court explained. “Neither should CADA ban Jack Phillips’ polite declining to create a cake celebrating same-sex marriage on religious grounds when he is happy to create other items for gay and lesbian clients.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “The U.S. Supreme Court now has an opportunity to issue a ruling that makes clear the government has no authority to force Americans like Jack Phillips to use their artistic talents to celebrate events with which they have a moral and/or religious disagreement.

“With Justice Gorsuch now on the bench, we are more optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold our nation’s long tradition of respecting the freedom of Americans to follow their deeply held beliefs, especially when it comes to participating in activities and ceremonies that so many Americans consider sacred.

“The First Amendment has long protected Americans from being compelled by the government to advocate a message to which one objects. As Americans, our consensus on religious freedom has historically recognized the God-given right of Americans to live all aspects of their lives according to their faith. This is no different today. Attempting to restrict religious conviction to the four walls of a church is not freedom, that is tyranny,” concluded Perkins.

While many bureaucratic and court decisions in recent years have endorsed the homosexual agenda’s requirement that Christians not just allow but support that cause have decided that those designated “civil rights” trump the Constitution’s religious rights provisions, there have been two decisions just recently that have gone against the tide.

WND reported just this month when a federal appeals court upheld a Mississippi law that protects the religious freedom of those who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and that gender is determined at birth.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court not only reversed an injunction imposed by a lower court – preventing the implementation of the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act – it went further and simply dismissed the case.

The ruling found that the individuals and homosexual advocacy organizations who challenged the law didn’t have standing to bring their claims.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys are part of the legal team representing Gov. Phil Bryant in the lawsuits, Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant.

ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot reacted to the ruling.

“Good laws like Mississippi’s protect freedom and harm no one. The court did the right thing in finding that those who have challenged this law haven’t been harmed and, therefore, can’t try to take the law down,” he said.

Theriot explained that the sole purpose of the law is “to ensure that Mississippians don’t live in fear of losing their careers or their businesses simply for affirming marriage as a husband-wife union.”

“Those who filed suit have not and will not be harmed but want to restrict freedom and impose their beliefs on others by ensuring dissenters are left open to the government discrimination that has already occurred in states without protective laws like this one,” he said.

“Outlasting the Gay Revolution” spells out eight principles to help Americans who hold conservative moral values counter attacks on freedoms of religion, speech and conscience by homosexual activists

The organization explained state House Bill 1523 “protects citizens, public servants, businesses, and religious institutions from government reprisal for operating publicly according to their belief that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.”

The governor signed the bill into law in April 2016, but a federal district court stopped its enforcement shortly thereafter.

The law provides that those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman, people should not have sex outside such marriages, and a person’s gender is set at birth cannot be persecuted by the government for acting on these beliefs.

For example, a business owner who declines to promote same-sex weddings would be protected. The law directly defeats many of the agenda points homosexuals cling to: it says religious organizations are protected when they make decisions regarding employment, housing, the placement of children in foster or adoptive homes, or the solemnization of marriage based on their beliefs. Also parents are protected if they raise foster or adoptive children according to their beliefs. And doctors and mental health counselors cannot be compelled to provide services in violation of their beliefs. Businesses are protected if they decline to provide services on the basis of their faith.

WND also reported earlier on a case brought against a T-shirt maker by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission in Kentucky.

The group appealed to the state’s Supreme Court a recent appeals court decision that business owners must serve all people equally but don’t have to treat all messages equally.

It was a T-shirt printer, Blaine Adamson, who, with his company Hands On Originals, was sued by the local Human Rights Commission for refusing to promote “gay” rights.

WND reported in May when the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed a Fayette Circuit Court decision that sided with Adamson, saying he could not be forced, in violation of his faith, to print messages demanded by “gay” customers.

The Alliance Defending Freedom contends the high court should leave the decision alone.

“Americans should always have the freedom to say no when asked to express ideas that violate their conscience. Blaine is willing to serve all people, but he cannot print all messages. The two lower courts properly affirmed that Blaine can’t be forced to print words and logos that express ideas in conflict with his faith. The Kentucky Supreme Court should leave those decisions in place,” said Senior Counsel Jim Campbell.

In the T-shirt case, Adamson declined to promote homosexuality, and the Human Rights Commission ordered he “must print messages that conflict with his faith when customers ask him to do so.”

See WND’s complete catalogue of same-sex marriage entrapments: Dozens of cases in which homosexual activists have legally bludgeoned believers

But the court in the Kentucky case said, “Nothing of record demonstrates HOO, through Adamson, refused any individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations it offered to everyone else because the individual in question had a specific sexual orientation or gender identity. Adamson testified he never learned of or asked about the sexual orientation or gender identity of of Don Lowe, the only representative of GLSO with whom he spoke regarding the T-shirts.

“Don Lowe testified he never told Adamson anything regarding his sexual orientation or gender identity. The GLSO itself also has no sexual orientation or gender identity: it is a gender-neutral organization that functions as a support network and advocate for individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered,” the court found.

“Also, nothing of record demonstrates HOO, through Adamson, refused any individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations it offered to everyone else because the individual in question was engaging in an activity or conduct exclusively or predominantly by a protected class of people.”

The ruling said: “The ‘service’ HOO offers is the promotion of messages. The ‘conduct’ HOO chose not to promote was pure speech. There is no contention that HOO is a public forum in addition to a public accommodation. Nothing in the fairness ordinance prohibits HOO, a private business, from engaging in viewpoint or message censorship.”

Obama’s ‘gay’ agenda’

Only last year, under ex-President Obama, a report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights lamented that the Constitution limits governmental burdens on religion.

The agency’s report last year, when Obama only had a few months left in the White House, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties,” gets immediately to the point.

On the first of 306 pages, the “letter of transmittal” to Obama states, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”

It says the fault lies with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which “constricts the ability of government actors to curtail private citizens’ rights to the protections of nondiscrimination laws and policies.”

“Although the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … limit the ability of government actors to impede individuals from practicing their religious beliefs, religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws and policies must be weighed carefully and defined narrowly on a fact-specific basis,” states the letter.

Then the commission got to what it really wants, stating federal legislation “should be considered to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions and only to the extent that they do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination.”

“States with RFRA-style laws should amend those statutes to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions. States with laws modeled after RFRA must guarantee that those statutes do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights with status-based discrimination,” the Obama agenda claimed.

“Outlasting the Gay Revolution” spells out eight principles to help Americans with conservative moral values counter attacks on freedoms of religion, speech and conscience by homosexual activists


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Florida sheriff encourages constituents: ‘If you’re not afraid of a gun, get one’

One straight-shooting Florida sheriff is encouraging his constituents to carry firearms to protect themselves from a potential attack.

“The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a recent interview with WTVT-TV. “He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just a sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.”

Judd went on to encourage his constituents to obtain concealed carry permits and regularly carry a firearm.

“If you’re not afraid of a gun, get one,” he said. “And if you need to shoot somebody, shoot ’em a lot.”

Judd even suggested the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016 might not have ended with 49 people dead and 58 other wounded had one person in the popular event space been carrying a gun.

And the Polk County sheriff isn’t alone in his opinion, either.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey recently posted a similar message to Facebook. He encouraged citizens to carry guns because “doing nothing” or “just hoping it won’t happen to you” won’t save your life.

“Terrorists and active shooters are using every weapon available to target citizens: Guns, knives, trucks, hammers, and even explosives,” Ivey said. “Folks, now more than ever is the time for our citizens to be prepared to serve as the first line of defense.”

In addition to pressing his constituents to be armed, Judd has started a first-of-its-kind program to train and deputize school officials.

Though it is illegal to carry a firearm on a school campus in the Sunshine State, Judd has started teaching staffers at Southeastern University, a private Christian liberal arts college in Lakeland, Fla., how to shoot.

If there is ever an active shooter situation on the campus, the trained staffers are immediately deputized, freeing them to use the firearm for self-defense.

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Another Supreme Court pick for Trump? Rumors swirl over one justice’s potential retirement

With only one week remaining before the Supreme Court wraps up for the summer break, rumors about the possible retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy are running wild.

According to multiple reports, people close to Kennedy have said they believe the 80-year-old justice is considering stepping down soon. The Associated Press cited in a report on Saturday “several” former law clerks who said they think Kennedy might only have a year left.

Rumors of Kennedy’s possible departure have been floating around for more than a year, but they have grown much stronger in recent months after a reunion between Kennedy and his law clerks was rescheduled to occur this year. The reunion was originally scheduled for next year.

A former law clerk for Kennedy, George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr, confirmed on Friday that rumors have been circulating about Kennedy’s retirement, writing on Twitter, “Soon we’ll know if rumors of Kennedy’s retirement are accurate …”

Some have said the rumors are unfounded, pointing to the fact Kennedy has already hired his law clerks for the fall term, but those believing a retirement could soon be in the works have said that Kennedy’s announcement could come soon, while the retirement might not happen until 2018.

In May, when rumors first started picking up about a possible retirement, multiple outlets reached out to Kennedy, who refused to comment.

The Washington Times asked Trump in May what he thought of the rumors.

“I don’t know,” Trump said. “I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy, but I just don’t know. I don’t like talking about it. I’ve heard the same rumors that a lot of people have heard. And I have a lot of respect for that gentleman, a lot.”

The departure of Kennedy, who has served on the Supreme Court for three decades, could potentially lead to one of the most important ideological shifts for the court in 50 years. The Supreme Court is currently divided in arguably four groups, but broadly speaking, eight of the justices fall into one of two camps: those who believe the Constitution is a “living and breathing” document that can be reinterpreted as times change and those who don’t.

Kennedy has been the court’s most important swing vote on numerous issues. If Kennedy is replaced by Trump with a constitutional originalist similar to Trump’s latest pick, Neil Gorsuch, it would push the nation’s most powerful institution firmly into the hands of those who reject liberals’ “living and breathing” view. Such a change could be disastrous for those who support abortion and the federal government’s ability to limit the power of the states.

In the Washington Times interview, Trump was asked whether a future Supreme Court pick would also come from the same list of highly conservative justices released by Trump during the campaign. (Gorsuch was a member of that list.)

“Yes,” Trump said. “That list was a big thing.”

On Sunday, as reported by The Hill, White House aide Kellyanne Conway refused to confirm or deny the Kennedy rumors, telling ABC News’ “This Week,” “I will never reveal a conversation between a sitting justice and the president or the White House, but we’re paying very close attention to these last bit of decisions.”

“Just as the president did with Justice Neil Gorsuch, whenever there are vacancies — whenever that happens — [Trump] will look for somebody who has fidelity to the Constitution, who doesn’t make up the law as they go along and somebody who has the judicial temperament and a record that’s beyond reproach, as did Justice Gorsuch,” Conway added during the interview.

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Why ‘There Will Always Be a Place’ for Horses in the US Border Patrol

SAN DIEGO—Since Congress established the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924, a lot has changed. From ATVs to drones, agents are constantly tapping into the latest technology to keep the country’s borders safe. But amidst all the change, one unit inside the U.S. Border Patrol has, since its start, essentially remained the same: the Horse Patrol Unit.

“The Border Patrol was born on the back of horses,” said Jamie Cluff, supervisory Border Patrol agent of the San Diego Sector Horse Patrol Unit. “In 1924, when the Border Patrol was established by Congress, horse training was actually part of the curriculum. They would learn how to ride a horse and that’s how they would patrol, that was a mode of transportation.”

Watch the video to learn why nearly a century later, the U.S. Border Patrol Horse Patrol unit remains such an asset.

The post Why ‘There Will Always Be a Place’ for Horses in the US Border Patrol appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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Pro-Family Groups Push Back After GuideStar Labels 46 American Organizations ‘Hate Groups’

Over 40 pro-family groups recently signed a letter to the charity database site GuideStar after it labeled dozens of organizations as “hate groups” based on a list compiled by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). “The ‘hate group’ list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad…

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McDonald’s stock is soaring because of… automation

They’re popping the champagne over at McDonald’s HQ this month and they have every reason to do so. Wall Street analysts have increased their projections for the fast food giant’s performance on the stock market this year in a big way. Their estimated target share price has been bumped up by nearly 20% and the current stock price is surging in response. And what was the cause of this optimism? Some new secret sauce recipe for the Big Mac? Making the McRib permanent?

Nope. It was all because of their next round of automation being announced, with ordering kiosks and mobile ordering coming to thousands of stores over the summer. (CNBC)

McDonald’s shares rallied 26 percent this year through Monday compared to the S&P 500’s 10 percent return.

Andrew Charles from Cowen cited plans for the restaurant chain to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017. The technology upgrades, part of what McDonald’s calls “Experience of the Future,” includes digital ordering kiosks that will be offered in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and table delivery.

“MCD is cultivating a digital platform through mobile ordering and Experience of the Future (EOTF), an in-store technological overhaul most conspicuous through kiosk ordering and table delivery,” Charles wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018 with a combined 130 bps [basis points] contribution to U.S. comps [comparable sales].”

He raised his 2018 U.S. same store sales growth estimate for the fast-food chain to 3 percent from 2 percent.

Of course, reports such as these prefer to focus on the positive (at least in the eyes of investors) while leaving the other half of the story untold for the most part. Those kiosks are taking the place of entry level workers at the cash registers. Mobil ordering options also allow an app to load up the orders for the cooks in the back. One person can bring most of the orders to the tables or the pick-up window, cutting out the need for several workers in each store.

There was a time when such automation was pretty much impossible or at least prohibitively expensive to implement. Not so anymore. It’s still not cheap to do on the front end, but managers have to weigh those costs against what human workers would cost in the long run. Even in places where cities and states haven’t already raised the minimum wage massively they’ve been threatening to. One of our major political parties is pushing to do it on the national level. If you scare these employers enough over a sufficient period of time they’ll eventually begin to believe you.

Fight for 15, meet Robby the Robot. He’ll be taking your place now and you can fight for a spot in the unemployment line.

The post McDonald’s stock is soaring because of… automation appeared first on Hot Air.

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