In what Indiana‘s governor and his supporters describe as defense of any given individual’s religious convictions, detractors roundly decry as blatant discrimination against the LGBT community. Possibly the best explanation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) rendered down to two sentences would be that as reported by CBS News on March 30, 2015, “Supporters say it protects a person or business owner from government persecution when following their religious beliefs. But opponents say the measure gives businesses a free pass to refuse gay and lesbian customers on religious grounds.”
Despite the Hoosier State’s Governor Mike Pence stressing the new law wouldn’t legalize discrimination against certain individuals or groups, but instead would protect the religious convictions of service providers such as pro-life pharmacists forced to sell abortifacients (abortion-inducing drugs), a number of high profile pro-LBGT advocates have slammed Pence and the Indiana legislature. One of the more prominent would be Apple CEO Tim Cook, who the Gawker.com news portal tagged in 2011 as “The Most Powerful Gay Man in America.”
As reported by CBS, Cook took to the editorial pages of The Washington Post slam the RFRA as he believes it “goes against the very principles our nation was founded on.” Not done yet, Cook also opined “On behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement.”
However, Cook made no mention of Apple Inc. expanding to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last year. As reported by Arabian Business on Dec. 20, 2014, Apple opened two new stores in Riyadh and Al Khobar. According to Apple’s official website, the corporation has well over 14 retail stores within the Kingdom, as well as numerous other stores the width and breadth of the Muslim World. A number of the same Muslim-majority nations also adhere to Islamic Shari’a law which clearly states homosexuality to be illegal.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes it a bit further. Saudi Arabia executes homosexuals. Publicly executing homosexuals isn’t the only Shari’a compliant move taken in the oil rich nation. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the powerful Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, declared in 2012 that it is “necessary to destroy all the [Christian] churches of the region.” Not finished with calling for the death of homosexuals or bulldozing churches, the Sheikh also gave the official thumbs-up for 10-year-old girls to be married off against their will.
Author Archives: Heidi
The Obama administration’s plan for U.N. climate change talks encountered swift opposition after its release Tuesday, with Republican leaders warning other countries to “proceed with caution” in negotiations with Washington because any deal could be later undone.
The White House is seeking to enshrine its pledge in a global climate agreement to be negotiated Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris. It calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by close to 28 percent from 2005 levels within a decade, using a host of existing laws and executive actions targeting power plants, vehicles, oil and gas production and buildings.
But Republican critics say the administration lacks the political and legal backing to commit the United States to an international agreement.
“Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn’t even signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into a binding, unattainable deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
But elements of the administration’s climate policy already face legal challenges. On April 16, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. will hear arguments from 13 states opposed to as-yet-unfinalized regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that target emissions in existing power plants.
And McConnell’s warnings echoed the tone of a March 9 “open letter” from 47 Republican senators to Iran, in which they warned a Republican president would not be bound to honor a nuclear agreement struck by Democrat Obama without congressional approval, calling it a “mere executive agreement.”
Some observers said that resistance to the administration’s climate policies leaves foreign governments questioning whether Obama’s commitments can last.
Older workers who do lose a job spend longer periods out of work, and if they do find another job, it tends to pay less than the one they left. A new survey from the AARP sheds a lot of light on how older people react to sudden unemployment, what their new work looks like, and why.
So what happens if you do find another job? According to the AARP survey, although older people often found the working conditions at their new jobs were better than their old one, nearly half found that the new job paid less.
People who’ve spent a long time developing a specific skill set have more limited options when they go out looking for something new, and indeed, 53 percent of re-employed respondents said they changed occupations. Employers can be reluctant to hire someone who might come with higher health-care costs and have a shorter future with the company.
That’s why avoiding job loss in the first place is so important.
Reid, in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, not only refusing to apologize for the claim but defending it — in a very weird way.
“Romney didn’t win, did he?” Reid said in response to Bash’s question of whether he regretted what he had said about Romney.
Think about that logic for a minute. What Reid is saying is that it’s entirely immaterial whether what he said about Romney and his taxes was true. All that mattered was that Romney didn’t win.
Where to begin?
How about with the fact that this all-means-justify-the-ends logic — assuming the end is your desired one — is absolutely toxic for politics and, more importantly, democracy.
If you can lie — or, at a minimum, mislead based on scant information or rumor — then anything is justified in pursuit of winning.
But allowing elected officials to say anything they want about people running for office — and requiring zero proof in order to report those claims — seems to be a bridge too far. And to defend that behavior by saying, “Well, we won, didn’t we?” feels like the junior high school logic that shouldn’t be employed by the men and women trusted with representing us in Washington — or anywhere else.
Take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together… take wine and bullocks gall, mix with the leek… let it stand nine days in the brass vessel…
So goes a thousand-year-old Anglo Saxon recipe to vanquish a stye, an infected eyelash follicle.
The medieval medics might have been on to something. A modern-day recreation of this remedy seems to alleviate infections caused by the bacteria that are usually responsible for styes. The work might ultimately help create drugs for hard-to-treat skin infections.
The project was born when Freya Harrison, a microbiologist at the University of Nottingham, UK, got talking to Christina Lee, an Anglo Saxon scholar. They decided to test a recipe from an Old English medical compendium called Bald’s Leechbook, housed in the British Library.
Some of the ingredients, such as copper from the brass vessel, kill bacteria grown in a dish – but it was unknown if they would work on a real infection or how they would combine.
An Israeli biotech company is developing a vaccine for cancer that it says can help prevent the return of the lethal disease for 90% of the different types of cancer.
Vaxil BioTherapeutics based in Nes Ziona has been developing ImMucin for more than five years, and already has seen strong success in testing indicating it can be a vital tool in combating cancer. The disease kills eight million people worldwide per year, and sees 14 million new cases diagnosed annually according to the World Health Organization.
“Vaxil is developing a drug to keep the cancer from coming back,” Vaxil’s CFO Julian Levy told NoCamels. “We are trying to harness the natural power of the immune system to fight against cancer by seeking out cancer cells and destroying them.”
Last year, hundreds of children across the country got sick with what looked like a common cold. Nothing to worry about: body aches, runny nose, coughing and sneezing. But then, mysteriously, a handful of those kids became paralyzed—first, just in an arm or a leg, and then spreading so far that some children needed a ventilator to breathe. The CDC reports that since August 2014, at least 115 children in 34 states have developed unexplained muscle weakness or paralysis, which they’re now calling acute flaccid myelitis. Doctors have urgently been hunting down the origin of this strange illness for over half a year, and now they think they’ve finally identified the culprit: enterovirus D68.
Enterovirus D68 has been around for decades—it was first identified in California in 1962, and it’s one of many viral strains to blame for the common cold. It also belongs to the same genus as poliovirus, an infectious, nerve-damaging pathogen that can cause paralysis. But up until 2012, EV-D68 had never been associated with anything beyond respiratory illness. That’s when some children with baffling cases of muscle weakness and paralysis also tested positive for EV-D68. At the time, there were so few cases that doctors couldn’t definitively blame the enterovirus for the frightening symptoms. Epidemiologists also suspected EV-D86 in last fall’s outbreak, but tests of spinal fluid showed no signs of the virus, so the cause of the paralysis remained a mystery.
Now a study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases confirms doctors’ suspicions, finally linking EV-D68 to the strange neurological effects. A team led by University of California, San Francisco scientists analyzed samples of blood, spinal fluid, stool, and respiratory secretions of 48 pediatric patients from two hospitals in California and Colorado, where the largest cluster of paralysis cases occurred. The researchers used genetic tests to look for all potential sources of the disease, from viruses to bacteria to fungi.
While it’s hardly surprising to see legally ignorant sportswriters use the language of segregated lunch counters, it’s disturbing to see well-informed CEOs such as Apple’s Tim Cook conjuring up the specter of the Old South.
Simply put, their concerns about systematic invidious discrimination are utter hogwash, and they either know it or should know it. Why? Because RFRAs aren’t new, the legal standard they protect is decades older than the RFRAs themselves, and these legal standards have not been used — nor can they be used — to create the dystopian future the Left claims to fear. After all, the current RFRA legal tests were the law of the land for all 50 states — constitutionally mandated — until the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Employment Division v. Smith, where the Court allowed fear of drug use to overcome its constitutional good sense. And yet during the decades before Smith, non-discrimination statutes proliferated, and were successfully enforced to open public accommodations to people of all races, creeds, colors, and — yes — sexual orientations.
So what’s really going on here? A toxic combination of anti-Christian bigotry and sexual revolution radicalism. It is simply uninformed and bigoted to believe that Christians are somehow lurking in the shadows, ready to deny food, shelter, and basic services to their gay fellow citizens — blocked from such vicious actions only by the strong arm of the state. In my entire life as an Evangelical, I’ve never met a fellow Christian who wouldn’t gladly serve a gay customer. If there are exceptions to that nearly-universal rule, they are so marginal (and marginalized) in the Christian community that they’re irrelevant not only to Christendom but also to the body politic.
While RFRAs protect people of all faiths, from peyote-smoking Native Americans to Bible-toting florists, the Left’s outrage is narrowly targeted — against the Christian people whose livelihoods they seek to ruin, whose consciences they seek to appropriate, and whose organizations they seek to disrupt. #BoycottIndiana isn’t a cry for freedom. It’s nothing more than an online mob, seeking to bully those it hates.
When people defend abortion, this is one of the consequences. I’m not sure the Planned Parenthood, pro-infanticide crowd sees this as a feature or a bug:
A former nurse’s aide will not face murder charges for allegedly cutting and removing an unborn baby from the mother’s womb, Boulder County, Colorado, prosecutor Stanley Garnett said Thursday.
The mother, Michelle Wilkins, answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes on March 18.
When she arrived at the purported seller’s home in Longmont, she was attacked, beaten, cut open and her fetus was removed. The baby did not survive.
Wilkins was treated at a hospital and later released.
The woman as seven months pregnant. Why, you might ask, would this not result in a murder charge?
After the attack, prosecutors said it may be hard to muster a murder charge. Colorado state law does not recognize a fetus as a person, unless it is capable of surviving for a period of time outside the womb, a prosecutor said then.
But the extent of the period that the fetus must survive in order to be defined as a baby is not legally clear.
The reason for this is simple. If killing a baby in utero resulted in a murder charge the whole abortion industry would be shut down overnight. By declaring a fetus is not a “person,” it is completely legal to suck the brains out of a mostly delivered child so long as it hasn’t drawn breath. Colorado allows abortions up to 34 weeks, for those of you counting that is 8.5 months.
Over the next two weeks, while Congress is in recess, the House and Senate will begin to hammer out small differences between the budget resolutions that passed each chamber. Leaders in both chambers have vowed to meet the April 15th deadline to produce a final budget resolution.
The final product of House and Senate negotiations on a budget resolution matters less than the process by which any deal will be enacted. Congress, particularly the Senate, can use “reconciliation” to make policy changes that involve the final budget agreement. Reconciliation limits the amount of debate in the Senate on the final resolution and, most importantly, operates outside the filibuster process, so it requires only a simply majority of 51 votes for passage.
Reconciliation was used in the 1990s when Bill Clinton was in the White House and Republicans controlled Congress to produce the last real balanced budget. It was used to pass the Bush tax cuts early in his presidency. It was also used to enact ObamaCare.
Keep these examples in mind, because if the GOP finally uses its power to repeal ObamaCare under reconciliation, the media will no doubt scream about the “unprecedented” nature of the congressional actions.
With reconciliation, the GOP now has the very tool it campaigned for during these past 5 years. It could repeal ObamaCare, enact long-overdue tax reform and give citizens real choices over entitlement programs. It can push its policies without the specter of a government shutdown or against the false narrative of a government default.
Obama will no doubt veto the final budget resolution, especially if it repeals his signature legislative legacy. Fine. No single action will better define the stakes in the next presidential election.
Congress can simply make small changes to the final document and repeatedly resubmit to Obama for his continued vetoes. In this case, he alone will be blocking the adoption of a final budget resolution. The media will no doubt try to continue his false “GOP obstructionist” narrative, but the optics will be inescapable for voters.