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Starbucks Asked to Protect Employees' Right to be Politically Active Without Penalty at Work

Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of its Free Enterprise Project, addressed the CEO, board and shareholders of Starbucks at Starbucks' 2016 shareholder meeting on March 23, 2016.


Shareholders were asked to vote for a human rights proposal and to support a policy change at Starbucks to protect employees from workplace retribution if they engage in legal political or civic activities outside of the workplace, on their own time, even if their superior holds differing views.

Justin's presentation was part of the National Center's Employee Conscience Protection Project, which, among other activities promoting human rights, has so far convinced 13 major corporations employing over 5 million workers to agree not to penalize or fire employees based on their legal political or civic activities undertaken in their free time.

Justin's remarks at the Starbucks meeting, as prepared for delivery, are available here.

More information about the National Center's presentation at Starbucks and its Employee Protection Policy Project is available here.


Socialism in the Bathroom: Insane "Free Tampons" Movement Wants to Divert Tuition Funds to Tampons

I wrote on March 12 about the insane idea that public restrooms “owe” women free tampons if they don’t charge for toilet paper.

The logic, such as it is, is that if a toiletry item used by both genders (toilet paper) is provided free of charge, then ALL toiletry items used by either gender must be provided free of charge.

Some go so far as to say universities should offer "free" tampons with student tuition money so homeless women can go on campuses to get tampons without paying -- as if tuition on most campuses isn't high enough already.

tampon box

In my earlier post, I questioned this logic and also the maturity of adults who believe they are entitled to have their needs met by others.

It occurs to me now that I missed two other key points in this ridiculous debate.

First, the feminist activists think it’s a key point that women use tampons while men do not (so, somehow, out of fairness, tampons should be free), but they ignore the fact that there are other things men need that women do not, and they are not provided free to the men.

For example, the average adult male needs more calories than the average female simply to survive.

By the logic of the free-tampon-feminists, men should get part of their food for free simply because they need more than women do. Eating is as much a normal biological function as menstruation.

Second, ever notice that very many public restrooms lock down the toilet paper in devices that make it difficult for people to steal the rolls?

That’s because some people actually do steal toilet paper rolls.

Think about tampons and pads for a second.

How do you distribute them for free in public restrooms without some ladies (well, Emily Post would probably say they aren’t ladies if they are thieves) filling their purse with them?

I suspect it is actually impossible to make tampons and pads free in many restrooms, because they’d continuously be stolen.

If someone has invented a device that gets around this problem, please, someone email me at and tell me.


Did Zoolander Influence the Future of iPhones?

Justin Danhof, Esq., the director of our Free Enterprise Project, appeared on the Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Monday to discuss the future of the iPhone, Apple’s battle with the FBI, Jesse Jackson’s appearance at the Apple shareholder meeting, and more.

To view his appearance, including how the “Zoolander” movie may have influenced the future of the iPhone, watch the clip below.


Are Abortionists Really "Butchers"?

Can abortionists be appropriately labeled “butchers?” That’s the term used by Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a term that sent his liberal counterpart Sam Bennett reeling in horror last night on the RT Network’s “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.”

Perhaps Ms. Bennett should watch a sonogram monitor while an abortion is performed, to see whether the baby she objectifies as simply an “embryo” is similarly screaming in horror as it is pulled apart limb by limb.

Watch the entire exchange below:


Activists Demand Free Tampons Because Men Don't Menstruate (Seriously!)

This is truly the age of grievances.

Case in point is the new political cause arguing that tampons should be distributed for free in public restrooms, simply because public restrooms almost never charge for toilet paperTampax Tampon Box.

From the New York Times:

"Tampons and pads should be treated just like toilet paper -- they're the equivalent," said Nancy Kramer, an entrepreneur from Columbus, Ohio, who started Free the Tampons, a campaign to make feminine products accessible in all restrooms. She said the cost of stocking restrooms at a school or business with sanitary supplies works out to $4.67 per girl per year. "Menstruation is a normal bodily function, and it should be treated like that."

In other words, if your local restaurant or store operates a public restroom for free, with free toilet paper, it somehow is obligated to also provide other free stuff.

The "logic" is that men don't use tampons; therefore, it is sexist for businesses and taxpayers not to give them to women for "free."


If someone gives you free toilet paper, that does not mean he or she owes you free tampons.

Likewise, if someone buys you a soda, he or she does not therefore owe you a bag of chips.

This is true without regard to whether men eat chips.

Whether we are ladies or we are gentlemen, let's be adults. We buy our own stuff and we buy the stuff our children need. If someone gives us something for free, we say, "thank you" -- not "gimme more or you're sexist."


Project 21 Members Stand up for Sanity at Mizzou

Stacy WashingtonWProject 21 members Stacy Washington and Nadra Enzi, among other Project 21 members, have been taking to the airwaves to counteract some of the more extreme statements by radical activists at the University of Missouri.

After Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi told University of Missouri students that the U.S. Constitution somehow protects white supremacy, Stacy Washington noted on national radio that:

"America is the best place in the world to be a minority of any kind, be it a woman, or a black person, or Hispanic person. The proof of that is that so many people of Hispanic or Latin origin are killing themselves to get into America. If it were a hotbed of racism and racial oppression, why would people come here?"

Nadra Enzi 125x125WA few days later, Project 21's Nadra Enzi jumped in with support for the school's new interim vice chancellor, who has sent what some have called a "tough love" message to the activists, telling them in essence that, no, you can't expect to get everything you demand, including "hiring faculty or staff, or admitting students based on protected characteristics to meet a numerical target." As One News Now reports, Nadra said:

"People have a right to be safe within their persons, their workplaces and their campuses," observes Nadra Enzi, a Project 21 spokesman.

When people cross the line from personal expression to intimidation, he says, that's when "responsible leadership" should stand up to intimidation...

Instead of listening and debating, Enzi says of the black activists, they feel "empowered" to disrupt, threaten and intimidate people who disagree with them.

"And at some point somebody has to draw the line," he says.


U.S. Senate Makes Bill to Fight Opioid Abuse a Priority, But Why Isn't This Best Left to States and Localities?

Old Heroin Pharmacy Bottle public domainHate to be a skunk at a garden party (as usual!), but I question the conventional wisdom about S.524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, a bi-partisan bill that permits the Justice Department and HHS to make grants and run task forces and undertake other measures to combat prescription opioid and heroin abuse.

The bill, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), is reportedly a high priority of the Senate. The news media, to the extent I have seen, consistently reports of the importance of getting it passed, and soon. I never see it report any skepticism.

Mindful that ObamaCare has a mandatory requirement that health insurance companies cover drug abuse programs, and that it is now mandatory for Americans to have health insurance in some form, I was wondering why this bill is necessary.

After reading it, I'm unconvinced. It's not that the bill does bad things, exactly, but it's hard to believe some of the money won't be wasted - task forces that issue reports (will they even be read?) and yet more government conferences that seem more likely to help government employees stay employed and visit with one another than to combat opioid abuse.

Other provisions are more direct, but I wonder why the programs they fund, if desired, are a federal as opposed to state or local responsibility.

For example, why is federal intervention necessary to train local EMS employees in the use of drugs to help or even save people who may be suffering an opioid overdose? EMS employees receive training in many things (almost certainly including handling drug overdoses) already. Why does opioid overdose require special intervention? Why would any competent EMS training program not include it already? (And if an incompetent training program, why would we assume a federal grant would help?)

Similarly, the legislation has opportunities for grants for kids in public schools to be warned against drug abuse. The schools already exist; all the schools presumably have competent teachers; warning kids against drug abuse does not require expensive equipment. Furthermore, there are many sample lesson plans and programs out there if any schools don't exactly know how to best warn kids about drug abuse, so no one need to expensively reinvent the wheel. And if extra funding is necessary (presumably not a lot), why would it be a federal responsibility anyway? The locality can budget for the lessons just as it budgets for all its other lessons.

Another program trains police departments in law enforcement-related aspects of enforcing our drug laws. Again, why is training people to enforce these laws any more a challenge than training them to enforce other laws? And aren't localities already training police officers in this area?

Is it really more efficient, in terms of best use of taxpayer dollars, to send the funds to Washington, so localities can go to the expense of sending in proposals in the hope of getting a limited-term grant, as opposed to, say, the state of Rhode Island budgeting properly to train its police officers, its EMS personnel, and so forth, and then just doing so, in a straightforward manner, in the way that best meets the needs of the people of Rhode Island?

I've only mentioned a small part of the grants and programs the bill wants to fund, so please, Google it and read it for yourself if this topic has caught your interest. If, after doing so, or if you already understand this bill well, you see why this federal legislation provides a more efficient and effective route to stemming opioid abuse than states could do on their own, please feel free to share your thoughts.

Honestly, short of any provisions that enhance border security to keep heroin out, all I'm seeing is that the Feds can borrow and/or print money to pay for this, whereas the states and localities are more likely to have to use funds from a funded budget. But that, surely, is an argument for keeping the job local. The federal debt is already $19 trillion. Surely, at minimum, we should make whatever government spending we do have as efficient as possible.

We'll post this on our Facebook pages. Feel free to comment there or on Twitter (our social media URLs are on the top left of this page) or email this blog at if you think I'm off-base here and want to set me straight.


What the FBI Wants Apple to Do

FBI Apple Logo WThere's much confusion about just what the FBI is asking Apple to do in the matter of the locked iPhone that was used by one or both of the San Bernardino terrorists.

FBI Director James Comey testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and listed, in response to a question, the three things the FBI wants. I'm sharing the information since this is an important issue, and most folks will not have seen or heard the hearing.

For context, you need to know that if you try to guess a password to get into a password-enabled iPhone, and you guess wrong six times in a row(1), the phone gets locked (disabled). Furthermore, there is a speed limitation. If you try to guess super fast (as if you are a computer hacker as opposed to a human who forgot his password), the phone may lock. To use the phone if it locks you have to erase it and set it up again. Obviously, the FBI does not want to erase the terrorists’ phone. Hence the issue.

The FBI is asking Apple to write code to do three things:

1) To lift the six-guess limit to permit the FBI to make an infinite number of guesses about the password.

2) That the speed limitation be eliminated, so the phone does not lock if the FBI guesses faster then once every 80 milliseconds.

3) That there be a way to use a computer to guess passwords instead of having to assign an employee to type them in one after another.

That's what the FBI wants, so if you didn't know, now you do.


(1) I read that the limit for guesses is six on Apple's website, but I also read that the FBI says it is ten. Either way, the important thing is that there is a limit.

(2) I read that there is an 80-millisecond delay required between guesses, but I have not confirmed this figure with Apple.


Liberal Congresswoman Calls for Federal Drug Tests for Farmers If Food Stamp Recipients Get Them

AddictThe left vs. the poor

Why shouldn't farmers have to get drug-tested before they receive agricultural subsidies or participate in federal agriculture programs, if people on various welfare programs, including food stamps (SNAP), do?

So asks Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) in a Colin Taylor article for Occupy Democrats, but she is only one of many liberals to whine recently about drug tests for people who rely on their fellow citizens to meet their basic needs (Think Progress also complains about this a lot).

This whining has more to do with the left trying to make people resentful than anything else, but I'll address the policy aspect anyway.

#1: People who receive agriculture subsidies, such as the federal crop insurance that DeLauro whines about, are functioning. The public isn't wondering if drug-taking is the reason they aren't functioning because they are functioning. The left can glorify poverty all it wants, but it can't change the basic fact that if a person cannot take care of himself or herself and his/her dependents, he or she is not fully functioning. Something is wrong. Why shouldn't the people who are being required under penalty of law to pay another person's bills be able to find out what, precisely, is wrong?

If a farmer applies for a genuine welfare payment, he or she would get the same drug tests, if any, that anyone else in their state gets for that particular welfare program.

#2: Not many people have figured out how to convert federal crop insurance policies to drugs. The street value of crop insurance just isn't there.

#3: Advocates of taxpayer giveaway programs, if they care at all about the recipients (I believe they mostly care about stoking resentment so they can drive resentful people to the polls and keep themselves in office), should support the drug tests, because the public at-large is more willing to support welfare programs if they believe the recipients are worthy of their support. One can argue the issue, but taxpayers are far more likely to support welfare programs if they believe most of the recipients are hardworking Moms and Dads who can't quite make ends meet, or someone who cannot find a job despite genuinely trying to do so, as opposed to a drug addict who isn't even trying to be self-sufficient.

Yes, quitting heroin is no easy thing and all that, but we all know I'm right. If the left wants broad public support for welfare programs, it should support drug tests so it can more effectively argue in the legislatures that the welfare recipients truly deserve the help.

As for agriculture subsidies, Rep. DeLauro: You aren't known for your efforts to cut them, or much else in the way of outlandish and unnecessary federal spending. Why don't you stop whining about drug tests and work on cutting spending -- including agriculture spending (which is excessive - very excessive, and which should be cut) -- instead?

If you don't, you're just another politician who is more interested in promoting divisiveness for political purposes than in genuinely helping the poor or the taxpayers. Shame on you.


Hollywood Specializes in Fiction -- Beware of Following Its Policy Advice

Robert RedfordA still from Redford's video

As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences meets tonight in California to give awards to itself, it is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that there's a reason Hollywood specializes in fiction.

Example #1 is a press release by the green Natural Resources Defense Council touting a Robert Redford video for supposed words of wisdom about climate change.

Redford is a guy who recently tried to do a movie about Rathergate -- an event orders of magnitude less complicated than the global warming theory -- and he couldn't even get that right.

Redford's Rathergate movie, "Truth," was mocked (see here and here or just Google it) for its failure to understand the basics of that scandal.

It's likely Redford and his cohorts made "Truth" based on what they wanted to be true, not what really happened. If that's the case, why would we not assume Redford's judgement on climate change is colored by his desire to believe there is a crisis?

Here's the press release for those interested. Believe it, and Redford's little video, at your own risk.

Robert Redford: World Leaders Should "Take Bold Action" in Paris Climate Agreement

WASHINGTON - "With a crucial climate summit beginning soon in Paris, Robert Redford has released a video kicking off a citizen petition drive calling on world leaders to 'take bold action' to avoid the damaging impacts of climate change.

"We're running out of time. But as a husband, a father and a grandfather, I do have hope," Redford says in the 90-second video released today on social media. "If we want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a healthy planet, we've got to respond now to the challenge of climate change.

"This is our only planet," Redford adds. "This may be our last chance. So let's protect the most important thing in the world: our children's future."

In the video - featuring scenes of drought, fierce storms, and melting glaciers - the actor, producer, environmentalist and trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council says the world must come together now to slash dangerous carbon pollution making us and our planet sick.

"Moderate weather is virtually extinct - and global instability, poverty and conflict are rising along with the temperature," he says. "We can prevent this disaster, if we work together to do something different."

In December, world leaders hope to do so when they gather in Paris to hammer out an international climate accord. The U.N. announced it would go ahead with the 21st Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Robert Redford, a highly respected leader on environmental issues, has spoken out repeatedly for strong action to address climate change.

In 2013, he worked with NRDC on a TV and online ad calling on President Obama to rein in carbon pollution from the nation's biggest source, coal-fired power plants. The ad is here:

Last June, Redford delivered an impassioned speech on climate change at the U.N. here:

NRDC worked with Redford to produce the Paris climate video, which will run on NRDC social media channels and be sent to NRDC supporters and activists.

Redford's video is here:

The text of his comments in the video follows:

"We're running out of time. But as a husband, a father and a grandfather, I do have hope.

"If we want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a healthy planet, we've got to respond now to the challenge of climate change.

"You know as well as I do how serious the threat is.

"The carbon pollution that drives climate change is making us sick - it's poisoning the air we breathe and the water we drink.

"It's making our planet sick, too. Moderate weather is virtually extinct - and global instability, poverty and conflict are rising along with the temperature.

"We can prevent this disaster, if we work together to do something different.

"Everywhere we look people are beginning to take action on their own - in their homes, in their cities, in their own lives.

"And this December, leaders from every nation in the world will gather in Paris to work for change, too.

"They know that we've all contributed to this crisis, and therefore we've all got be part of the solution.

"If we stand together, we can change the course of history.

"I hope you will stand with me and others - by signing a global petition at calling on world leaders to take bold action now.

"This is our only planet. This may be our last chance.

"So let's protect the most important thing in the world: our children's future."


Interestingly, Redford's video lobbies President Obama -- something the press release doesn't mention. I surmise the NRDC does not trust Obama. I'm beginning to wonder if anyone does.

The extent of Redford's qualifications to analyze climate science is unstated. The NRDC calls him a "leader," but mentions only that he has given a speech and appeared in videos, and serves in the board of the NRDC. Just a guess, but I doubt he'd be on the board if he were not a rich and famous actor. Same for the speech and videos. So he's an actor, and if he's more than that, they're not telling.

So why should we believe this, again?

Note: The press release arrived in my in-box with garbage symbols throughout. I had to guess where the NRDC wanted to place quotation marks, hyphens and other punctuation marks. I may not have guessed correctly in all instances, but I did not change any words.


Apple Shareholders Reject Shareholder Proposal Claiming Board is "Too Vanilla" (aka, White)

Silver Apple Logo White

Lack of diversity has long been a problem among the many Silicon Valley companies that employ mostly white men. Apple has said previously it would work to address gaps in employee diversity.

-Time, "Apple Shareholders Reject Plan to Recruit Minorities for Top Positions" by Katie Reilly, February 27, 2016

Would you surmise from Time's reporting here that Apple's United States workforce is 54 percent white (male and female combined)? While the United States is 77.4 percent white?


I think that's the idea.

Even when companies employ white males at a lower rate than they exist in our country, it's still not good enough for the news media.

I wrote about this more here, including the quote from the shareholder proponent that Apple's board is "a little bit too vanilla," and facts and figures showing that Apple's record on diversity is actually quite good.


Tomorrow I Will Speak to Apple Shareholders About Human Rights

Silver Apple Logo WhiteTomorrow morning, at the annual Apple meeting of shareholders in Cupertino, California, I will speak in favor of Proposal #7, "Human Rights Review," a shareholder proposal submitted by the National Center for Public Policy Research.

(To read it, go here and scroll to page 62).

Last spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook penned an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he blasted religious freedom as having no place in our country. With no background in public policy or Constitutional scholarship, Mr. Cook used his poison pen to claim that religious freedom - a Constitutional right - should be trumped by his oppressive opinion. Speaking specifically about efforts in Indiana and Arkansas to pass religious freedom laws, Cook called this "something very dangerous" that "would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors." That's a lie.

The federal government and 31 states have RFRAs and none of them legalize discrimination against anyone. The federal RFRA was co-authored by now-deceased liberal icon Ted Kennedy and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. That law and similar state religious freedom laws simply set a high threshold if the government seeks to impinge upon someone's religious liberties. If the government crosses that line, the injured party can go to court and seek relief. That's it.

Mr. Cook distorted these commonsense laws to attack Americans of faith. In the words of esteemed law professor Richard Epstein, Cook and others have given these laws their "broadest possible construction and then give a parade of horribles, none of which have ever occurred."

America has always given special consideration to those who cannot protect themselves in the political or legal process - what we call the discreet and insular minorities. Cook attacked them. I hope that Mr. Cook will reflect on his words - which carry a strong totalitarian bent.

Everyone knows that Apple and other major American retailers would never discriminate against a gay customer. But Cook attacked the small fundamentalist Christian that may not want to be coerced by her government to partake in a marriage ceremony that contravenes her faith.

While Cook bemoans religious freedom here in America, Apple operates in 17 nations where homosexuality is outlawed. In four of those countries, homosexual acts are punishable by death. Apple also supports opening business relations with Iran - a state sponsor of terrorism. Good luck getting a Hamas or Hezbollah baker to make a cake for a gay wedding.

If you are an Apple shareholder, please join me in supporting proposal #7 and send a message to Apple's leaders that we shareholders support religious freedom.


Starbucks May Soon Have the World's Largest Menu

Starbucks Frappuccino 021916

Does the fact that there are 36,000 possible Frappuccino combinations at Starbucks mean that Starbucks soon must print the calorie count for all 36,000 combinations on its menu, under little-known regulations brought to us by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

Apparently so.

It's going to be interesting to see what that looks like.


Look at American Vets to See Future of Government Health Care

Project 21’s Kevin Martin participated in a televised discussion Wednesday about whether employers should be able to mine data about their employees in order to predict health risks. Kevin pointed out that government employees already have their data mined. He then took it a step further to say veteran health care should be a good predictor of the success of government-run health care.  

“You’re gonna tell me that the government that can’t do it for 13 million vets is gonna do it for 300 million people under Bernie Sanders’ program?” he asked incredulously.

You can watch the entire segment of RT Network’s “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann” below:


Liberals, It's a Lie to Say Criticism of Obama Is Because He's Black

Inaccurate Occupy Democrats meme 1MSNBC is not the only leftist outfit to falsely claim Reagan made a SCOTUS nomination in a presidential election year, but none of them have any excuse - the truth is widely available

To hear MSNBC tell it, Obama is prohibited from doing many things because of his black ancestry.

Case in point is an on-air discussion between MSNBC employees Joy Reid and Chris Matthews, in which Reid alleges that Barack Obama "uniquely" among Presidents (code for "he's black") is "not allowed" to issue executive orders or to make nominations to federal courts.

Matthews does not challenge Reid, who is either colossally ignorant or a flat-out liar. (If she writes to me with an explanation or a correction, or makes one elsewhere and I learn of it, I'll print it at the end of this post.)

Reid, in part (you can see the video here), says:

...only Barack Obama, unique of all the presidents, is not allowed, because we’ve invented this supposed precedent that in the eighth year, they don’t get to nominate, well, you know what, Ronald Reagan did, Lyndon Johnson did, and he announced he wasn’t going to run for reelection.

If a doctor doesn't know how to take out someone's tonsils, and he does so anyway, and causes injury, would we say, Oh! He didn't know any better! Don't blame the doctor!

No, and by the same standard, we should expect journalists (who at the MSNBC level get paid more than most doctors) to know what they are doing before they report. Joy Reid is either lying or committing malpractice, and Chris Matthews is the nurse who sees the surgeon opening the stomach looking for tonsils -- and says nothing.

Here is the truth:

Fact one: Ronald Reagan did not make any nominations in a presidential election year. He just didn't. Could Reid not look it up?

Fact two: Lyndon Johnson did make a nomination in a presidential election year, so Reid is correct on that point, but she leaves off a pertinent fact: After Johnson did so, the Senate filibustered his nominee, who withdrew from consideration. The nominee was never confirmed, and the seat was filled by the next President, who was of the opposite party. No one at the time claimed Johnson's ancestry had anything to do with these events.

Your point again, Reid?

Obama can nominate someone, so on point one, Reid is complaining although Obama can do something Reagan didn't do (because racism). As Walter Mondale once said, where's the beef? (Though Mondale, a Minnesotan, is white even by white standards, so possibly "white privilege" is at play.)

On point two, Reid is ignoring that Supreme Court nominees of white Presidents sometimes get shot down, so if it happens to Obama (so far, it has not), it cannot accurately be said to be something "unique" (her word) to black Presidents.

Reid's point seems to come down to: Poor Obama. He's being treated like other Presidents.

Inaccurate Occupy Democrats meme 2Divisive rhetoric that just isn't true; the left should avoid lies and make its case on the merits

Except he isn't. Obama stands out as a particularly egregious serial violator of the Constitution, and he's mostly getting away with it. He's not the only President to have violated the Constitution, of course, but he does it especially often (Google liberal law professor and Obama voter Jonathan Turley if you have no idea what I'm talking about, or go here, here or here), to the point that more than a few people, not all of them conservatives, believe he is putting our system of checks and balances at risk.

When people complain about Obama's unconstitutional executive orders, it is because they are unconstitutional, not because Obama's half black.

White Presidents shouldn't issue unconstitutional executive orders, either. Look up "Bush unconstitutional actions" on Google sometime. If the Google results then look like they do today, you'll see the first few results are criticisms of Bush on this point by conservative and libertarian groups. Are you claiming, Reid, that conservatives only defended the Constitution during the Bush 43 Administration because Obama's black?

Or maybe Obama being black just does not have anything to do with any of this...?

As for federal court nominations, Reid. You claim Obama is "not allowed" to make any. He's made 323 so far, just counting those confirmed by the Senate, including a two-for-two record of appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Reid, if you have any evidence Obama is being treated differently because one of his biological parents was black, you sure have managed not to share any.

If you make your case on the merits, you'll be more persuasive. If you can't make your case on the merits, change your mind.


Nannystaters Try Censorship Again, Put Lives at Stake

Jeff Stier in UtahThe National Center's Jeff Stier (r) with the attorney for the state who agreed the public has a right to peacefully protest

The National Center's Jeff Stier is in Salt Lake City today, where he and a group of about thirty people politely, and silently, held signs opposing a massive 86.5 percent tax hike on e-cigarettes, the tobacco-free devices that permit people who are addicted to nicotine to get that nicotine "fix" without inhaling dangerous tobacco carcinogens.

Nannystaters, not for the first time, tried to get their silent protest shut down.

The nannystaters were holding a press conference supporting tax increases. Jeff and his crew stood unobtrusively nearby, holding signs and staying silent. The nannystaters asked them to leave, and when they declined, they called the sheriff, who asked them to leave as well.

Jeff, however, asked to speak to the attorney for the state, pointing out some relevant laws. He also asked that gentleman if, looking at the crowd, he was even able to identify Jeff's crew -- the very group the nannystaters claimed was disrupting their event. He could not.

The state, to its credit, decided in favor of free speech and free association and decided not to ask Jeff's group to leave.

Nannystaters, to their credit, are consistent. Freedom simply does not appeal to them.

It's up to the rest of us to decide if it appeals to us. If it does, we will reject the nanny state agenda, and choose our own beverages, food portions, salt intake and, yes, nicotine consumption, even if we drive the nannystaters nuts by doing such things as quitting tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes instead of the more politically-correct stop-smoking drugs made by major pharmaceutical companies.

State legislators, in Utah but also elsewhere, should reject calls for punitive taxes on e-cigarettes because they help people quit a cancer-causing activity. Cancer is a bad thing. One would think one would not have to point that out, but...

Some say kids who never smoked tobacco will smoke e-cigarettes, so they must be banned for everyone or punitively taxed to prevent this. A better option is to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. This keeps the e-cigarettes away from the kids while allowing access to adults who are addicted to nicotine and have up-to-now been using carcinogenic tobacco as a nicotine delivery device.

Jeff notes an irony: policies promoted by nannystaters may put more e-cigarettes in the hands of kids. Here's how: Vaping (e-cigarette) shops in many localities do not even let minors enter the shop, let alone buy e-cigarettes. So if kids do want access, unless they have an adult buying them for them, they have to go to the Internet. When states raise taxes on e-cigarettes, local shops become less attractive to buyers, and (presumably out-of-state) Internet shops, more so. The kids then end up with more online options to get e-cigarettes, while avoiding the taxes.

Another irony Jeff noted was that the nannystaters, at their press conference, were using minors to say taxes should be raised on e-cigarettes because the frontal lobes of minors are not yet fully developed (that's what they say), so minors are not clever enough to decide whether to vape for themselves. So, apparently, minors are not clever enough to decide whether to vape (even in the face of laws banning e-cigarette sales to them), but they are clever enough to design state laws. I guess the anti-vapers believe state legislators are dumber than teenagers.

Our view is that the law, and government, should have biases in favor of freedom and public health. The nannystaters have a bias toward control and their vision of a perfect society, which apparently is one in which no one ingests anything the nannystaters deem unhealthy. The nanny state agenda is unworkable, as people don't always make perfect choices and they are notoriously unwilling to let an unelected group of strangers decide what they do. In the case of e-cigarettes, the nanny agenda agenda is also dangerous. Some people -- many people -- find it less difficult to quit tobacco if they have a nicotine-delivery device that mimics the experience of smoking a cigarette, minus the tobacco, the smoke, and the smell. It is not a proper function of government to devise laws to deter people from doing safer things.

Let's not have public policies that help keep these people hooked on cigarettes. Save lives. Say "no" to the nannystaters.


Obama and Friends Cry False Racism for Supreme Court Battle

color change lie

I wrote yesterday about President Obama's attempt to cast the coming Supreme Court confirmation battle as being about him personally, so he can cast it as an issue of mostly white Senators opposing the nominee of a (half) black President.

This, he and his allies hope, will anger black Americans and help drive turnout among black voters this fall.

More evidence of this theory is a Facebook post by the left-wing Color of Change organization, founded by a man who left the White House staff to do it.

Color of Change claims in its post:

The modern process for vetting and approving Supreme Court Justices is rooted in racism. The extensive examination of nominees that we have today only began after conservative outrage for the Supreme Court's Brown vs Board of Ed. ruling to desegregate schools.

Except to the extent that 1987 came after 1954, this is a lie.

The extensive examination of Supreme Court justices began in 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork, easily one of the greatest legal minds of his age. Leftist Senators, led by Ted Kennedy and the man Obama selected to be his vice president, Joe Biden, attacked Bork with a series of lies so vicious that the process gave birth to a new verb, to "bork."

The prior Supreme Court nomination vote, that of Antonin Scalia, was a unanimous 98-0.

The Bork confirmation battle was one of the nastiest and most disgraceful episodes in U.S. Senate history, but it was not about race and it was not led by conservatives.

Color of Change is unlikely to volunteer this information, so I will: Brown v. Board of Education was a unanimous 9-0 decision. The chief justice of the court at the time, Earl Warren, who wrote the majority decision, was a Republican (a former Republican politician, in fact) and was appointed by a Republican.

Indeed, if any single modern-era Supreme Court decision did contribute to an upswing in the examination of the views of court nominees, it would be Roe. v. Wade, the 1973 abortion decision in which the court twisted itself into pretzels to conclude a "right to privacy" unseen in the Constitution included the right to kill unborn babies (but not, apparently, geriatric Supreme Court justices).

Roe v. Wade is not seen as a racial case, although black babies are aborted at a far higher rate than white babies, and the total number of black babies aborted equals the astonishing and appalling level of 11 percent of the U.S. black population.

Obama's exploitation of genuine differences of opinion about the best way to interpret the Constitution (the right wants to interpret as written; the left wants to decide cases based on which policy outcome best promotes its agenda) as actually a battle of nasty racist people against poor, pure him has no bearing in truth, but it will be believed by many, making an already-divided America even more divided.

Few people believe making America a less unified country was the reason he was elected, but Obama either doesn't care, or he considers dividing America to be a worthwhile price to pay if doing so helps to promote his leftist agenda.


It's Not About You, Mr. President

Justice Scalia

Handing more ammo to people who suspect he's a narcissist, President Obama in his news conference today referred to Senators who might choose not to give consent to a future judicial nominee of his as doing so because they "don't like the President."

As even middle schoolers know, people who have believed for decades that the Constitution should be interpreted as written and that Supreme Court cases do not exist to give jurists a policy outcome that fits with their personal political beliefs, which describes most of the Republicans presently in the U.S. Senate, did not develop this viewpoint because they somehow realized that at some future date some guy named Obama was going to be President and they would't like him.

That's just stupid, and self-centered...

...but it's also strategic.

Obama is laying the groundwork for the lie that Republican Senators will oppose his Supreme Court nominee because they are racist -- either because he's (half) black, and he appointed the nominee, or the nominee is black or partly black, or a combination of all three.

Part of his motive will be to help Democrats win races this fall by motivating black turnout, as black Americans overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

Dishonestly is necessary for President Obama's strategy to work.

The Supreme Court nomination battle is not about race. It's about saving the Constitution and the United States of America. Anyone who tries to divide Americans from one another by pretending a racism that doesn't exist for political advantage is a low-down scalawag and totally undeserving of not only respect, but employment as a servant of the people.

Obama on Scalia death

We are as yet in early days of this nomination battle. It's possible I'm wrong, and the President and his allies intend to act with honesty and honor, presenting a decent nominee who can take the oath of office ("I... do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.") without crossing his or her fingers, and promoting said nominee before the Senate with arguments based on actual issues of judicial philosophy, competence and temperament.

Stranger things have happened... theoretically.

But the most likely thing is that President Obama plans to play dirty, to lie repeatedly and then again for good measure, and to try to increase racial, gender or any other divisions he can in order to promote his political agenda, even if it hurts the American people and the country he theoretically is supposed to be making stronger. So expect that, and when the President behaves as a narcissist, look for the secret agenda that explains why he's willing to let everyone believe he's a narcissist. Obama's statement today makes him look self-centered. There's a reason he was willing to look that way in public.

Most of the time, narcissists hide what they are -- unless they see a way to use the disclosure to personal advantage. Obama sees an advantage. Beware.


Genital Checks: Not Coming to a Restroom Near You

RestroomSignDPCLeft-wing websites have in recent weeks been running false stories that Republican legislators in various states are introducing bills to mandate "genital checks" - literally, genital inspections, on the public to make certain their anatomical gender matches the restroom they are entering.

The proposed bills do no such thing. In short, the articles lie.

In Washington State, a proposed bill that keeps the state out of regulating who enters which public restroom -- literally the opposite of what the leftists are contending, is being described as a bill that "will force everyone to show their private parts before they can use a restroom."

"Now these perverts want to sexually abuse little girls in bathrooms, over and over and over," the same article says.

It's nonsense.

Another article is headlined, "Republicans demand girls flash their vaginas to get into women's toilets."

Another foolish website asks, "who the hell is going to check for genitals outside of all the bathrooms in the state of Washington? Doesn't that sound a little ridiculous and unreasonable?"

Yes it does. So ridiculous and unreasonable, it is hard not to suspect that most if not all of these websites' editors know perfectly well they are misleading their readers.

In fact, the proposed law, the current version of which is easily available on the Washington legislature's website, simply says that businesses or institutions that offer the use of restrooms to the public are allowed to segregate their restrooms by anatomical gender if they want to -- but they do not have to. That's all.

Basically, the state would be staying out of restroom regulation.

In other words, Washington State, if it passes this law, will not create a right for people to announce what their gender is and then enter the restroom of their choice. By not creating this right, and please note the word right, Washington State protects the owners of public restrooms from being sued by people who are either not allowed to enter the restroom they prefer (by the restroom's owner) or even feel like they are being made uncomfortable if they enter the restroom they prefer.

This bill protects restroom owners from lawsuits, which in turn is in the public interest, because if business owners start to fear expensive lawsuits because they offer free restroom access to the public, guess what? They'll stop letting the public use their restrooms in self-defense.

Try to find a public restroom then!

Please note, though, that the proposed legislation does not require restroom owners to have any particular rules. If the restroom owners don't care if adults with different genitals use the same restroom, Washington State (if it passes this bill) doesn't care, either.

From a freedom perspective, this bill seems to be as good as it gets. But certain "trans" activists (I very much doubt they speak for all "trans" activists) are angry about this bill because they want the states to require businesses and institutions that offer public restroom access to let any adult in any restroom they wish to enter, and they want to be able to sue any business, charity or institution that doesn't allow this. So a state law that leaves the rule making in the hands of the restrooms' owners very much dissatisfies them.

But rather than say so -- which, admittedly, won't get them much public sympathy -- they've made up the canard that a bill that creates no state requirements on who uses which restroom in fact 1) sets strict requirements, and 2) mandates that an official inspector look at everyone's genitals before they enter a restroom.

SnopesLogoIdiotically, some incredibly gullible people are believing "genital check" claims -- even when the websites, in at least a bit of a concession to honesty, print a portion of the legislation that says the opposite.

I've mentioned one bill in Washington state, but this lie is being told elsewhere, about other bills. The national leftist web news site Raw Story, for example, ran a story saying a proposed Virginia law would mean "adults would be required to inspect children's genitals before they use the bathroom."

Raw Story quoted an "expert" claiming, falsely, "This is what the conservative movement has devolved into: forcing children to allow adults to examine their genitals out of misplaced fear that transgender kids and adults might commit a hypothetical never-before-seen act of violence or sexual aggression..."

Snopes took apart the Raw Story "genital checks" claim, noting that the proposed bill only says that kids in Virginia public schools are to use restrooms based on their anatomical gender. The bill calls for no genital examinations; after all, the public schools already are aware of the gender of each of their students. In short, the bill only codifies the practice the public schools have been following since the first public school in Virginia got large enough to have separate restrooms for boys and girls. No controversy there.

I wrote this blog post so anyone who sees one of these silly stories, regardless of the state, can find an article though Google to explain what is going on.

The entire thing is silly, and it is disheartening that activists are willing to so brazenly lie, but I suppose they think they have to to win. They certainly won't get the public outraged with truthful headlines such as: "Proposed State Law Would Leave Restroom Policies The Way They've Been Since Before You Were Born."


Exposers of Planned Parenthood Should Be Hailed as Good Journalists

On RT Network’s “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann,” Horace Cooper went on the attack against Planned Parenthood, and urged the organization to refuse federal funding.

“The lion’s share of Planned Parenthood’s work is killing people. They ought to call it Death Care, not Health Care,” said Cooper on the February 3 show. “But if they want to operate with impunity they should do so without taxpayer support. You will find the scrutiny goes away completely…’”

Cooper also defended anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who faces legal trouble for his undercover videos exposing the gruesome profit motives of some Planned Parenthood executives.

“If an RT reporter goes to a Whole Foods grocery store and attempts to sell tainted beef to them and videotapes it, you guys would be telling us that’s good journalism. You wouldn’t be saying that that person ought to be charged criminally for attempting to put poisonous material into the market,” said Cooper.

The portion of the show dealing with Planned Parenthood and abortion can be viewed below: