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Mar 31 2015

Open Thread

Hillarys-Privacy

Compliments of Stormfax.




79 Responses to “Open Thread”

  1. Henry says:

    We can dream, right?

  2. Henry says:

    We can dream, right?

  3. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Three-square and free healthcare at the way-station to here, sweetie.

  4. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Three-square and free healthcare at the way-station to here, sweetie.

  5. Bodhisattva says:

    Obama announces his intent to shred the Constitution with regards to the requirement for the Senate to ratify treaties

    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.

    U.S. officials stressed that their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, U.N. lingo for its official submission, stands on sound legal footing, with the measures drawing authority from legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act.

    Todd Stern, the lead U.S. climate change negotiator, said he frequently tells foreign counterparts that “undoing the kind of regulation we are putting in place is very tough to do.”

    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.

    “By strenuously invoking EPA regulations, the Administration is trying to convince skeptical international audiences that the U.S. can actually deliver on its new climate goals, despite Republican resistance,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House official who is now with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

  6. Bodhisattva says:

    Obama announces his intent to shred the Constitution with regards to the requirement for the Senate to ratify treaties

    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.

    U.S. officials stressed that their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, U.N. lingo for its official submission, stands on sound legal footing, with the measures drawing authority from legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Energy Independence and Security Act.

    Todd Stern, the lead U.S. climate change negotiator, said he frequently tells foreign counterparts that “undoing the kind of regulation we are putting in place is very tough to do.”

    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.

    “By strenuously invoking EPA regulations, the Administration is trying to convince skeptical international audiences that the U.S. can actually deliver on its new climate goals, despite Republican resistance,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House official who is now with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

  7. Bodhisattva says:

    Intrigue in Hollywood.

    Andrew Getty files restraining order against girlfriend. Is subsequently found (according to the first reports I heard) ‘dead of a heart attack’.

    The authorities are claiming no foul play is suspected.

    Getty was found naked from the waist down in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills estate Tuesday and appeared to have suffered from some type of blunt-force trauma.

  8. Bodhisattva says:

    Intrigue in Hollywood.

    Andrew Getty files restraining order against ‘a woman’. Is subsequently found (according to the first reports I heard) ‘dead of a heart attack’.

    The authorities are claiming no foul play is suspected.

    Getty was found naked from the waist down in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills estate Tuesday and appeared to have suffered from some type of blunt-force trauma.

    The authorities are claiming no foul play is suspected.

    Hey, it’s moonbat infested L.A., what did you expect?

  9. Bodhisattva says:

    If Obama wants to do some REAL good he should try enforcing the Clean Air Act… AGAINST CHINA!

    California is suffering from “second-hand smog” drifting in from Asia and other places, researchers said on Tuesday.

    About 10 percent of ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog, in the state’s San Joaquin Valley farm region comes from other countries, mostly in Asia, said Ian Faloona, an atmospheric scientist with the University of California, Davis.

    “What’s happening upwind strongly affects what’s happening downwind,” Faloona said. If California were a human body, the area around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be the mouth, “breathing in air from across the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

  10. Bodhisattva says:

    If Obama wants to do some REAL good he should try enforcing the Clean Air Act… AGAINST CHINA!

    California is suffering from “second-hand smog” drifting in from Asia and other places, researchers said on Tuesday.

    About 10 percent of ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog, in the state’s San Joaquin Valley farm region comes from other countries, mostly in Asia, said Ian Faloona, an atmospheric scientist with the University of California, Davis.

    “What’s happening upwind strongly affects what’s happening downwind,” Faloona said. If California were a human body, the area around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be the mouth, “breathing in air from across the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

  11. Bodhisattva says:

    Homo-fascists going to go after Arkansas next?

    And what about the other states (now a total of 19 or 20?) with such laws?

    Amid intense criticism of Indiana’s religious liberties law, which has prompted lawmakers in that state to vow to fix the legislation, another state charged ahead with a similar measure. Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday passed their own religious freedom bill, putting the state on the verge of formally adopting a law that could lead to another firestorm.

    On Tuesday afternoon, after some debate in the state House of Representatives, lawmakers signed off on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who has said he intends to sign it into law.

    “This legislation doesn’t allow anybody to discriminate against anybody, not here,” State Rep. Bob Ballinger, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “The bill does just the opposite. It focuses on the civil rights of people believing what they want to believe, and not letting the government interfere with that.”

    Ballinger, an attorney who represents a district in northwestern Arkansas, said that he agrees with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) in that “there needs to be some clarity in the perception of the legislation.”

    This is just more proof of what we already knew. This was never about ‘equality’. This was about a systematic attack on marriage and the family, about the very bedrock of our culture and society. The homo-fascists promised they would not use this to attack others and yet that is exactly what they’ve done and now they see that avenue being closed off.

  12. Bodhisattva says:

    Homo-fascists going to go after Arkansas next?

    And what about the other states (now a total of 19 or 20?) with such laws?

    Amid intense criticism of Indiana’s religious liberties law, which has prompted lawmakers in that state to vow to fix the legislation, another state charged ahead with a similar measure. Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday passed their own religious freedom bill, putting the state on the verge of formally adopting a law that could lead to another firestorm.

    On Tuesday afternoon, after some debate in the state House of Representatives, lawmakers signed off on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law now heads to the desk of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who has said he intends to sign it into law.

    “This legislation doesn’t allow anybody to discriminate against anybody, not here,” State Rep. Bob Ballinger, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “The bill does just the opposite. It focuses on the civil rights of people believing what they want to believe, and not letting the government interfere with that.”

    Ballinger, an attorney who represents a district in northwestern Arkansas, said that he agrees with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) in that “there needs to be some clarity in the perception of the legislation.”

    This is just more proof of what we already knew. This was never about ‘equality’. This was about a systematic attack on marriage and the family, about the very bedrock of our culture and society. The homo-fascists promised they would not use this to attack others and yet that is exactly what they’ve done and now they see that avenue being closed off.

    Apparently someone has the number of states which have passed similar laws wrong:

    “It may take some time for people to realize that it’s not any different from the law that’s in place in 31 other states,” he said. “The law that was voted on by President Clinton, that was voted on by President Obama, twice. This bill does exactly what those bills do, which is protect an individual’s religious liberty.”

  13. Bodhisattva says:

    An HONEST look at Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its precedents.

    Last week, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed into law the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Almost immediately, an uproar ensued, claiming that the law was discriminatory — that it provided a license for businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers. Entirely lost in this kerfuffle has been the simple fact that the Indiana law is modeled on the 1993 federal law of the same name, and that counterparts have been adopted in 19 other states. Further, four federal courts of appeals and the Obama Justice Department have all taken the position that RFRA can be used as a defense in private suits involving the enforcement of laws that substantially burden free exercise of religion. Important debates over the intersection of faith and equality are impaired when they are overtaken by misguided rhetoric, rather than being informed by the history and context of how our legal system has treated this issue.

    Actually, given the many openly wrong things the Obama (IN)justice department has done, the fact they’ve signed off on this type law is not an endorsement.

    NOBODY COMPLAINED WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE BEHIND THIS SORT OF LAW!

    In 1993, then-Representative Charles Schumer of New York introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the House of Representatives. Its counterpart bill in the Senate was co-sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy. The bill enjoyed such wide-ranging bipartisan support that it passed the House on a voice vote, passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 3, and was promptly signed into law by President Clinton.

    This, it turns out, is an example of Democrats deciding they don’t like a Supreme Court decision (Employment Division v. Smith) so they pass new law to nullify it.

    The law states that the federal “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it “is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest” and “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” At a minimum, RFRA attempted to reverse the Court’s construction of the Free Exercise clause in the Smith case. The scope of RFRA was clarified last year by the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The High Court found that the federal government could not mandate that Hobby Lobby offer its employees health insurance that would pay for certain emergency contraceptives. Unresolved by that decision, however, was whether the RFRA defense applies in private suits, not involving the government.

    The relief provision of RFRA provides that “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.” The use of the passive voice — “whose religious exercise has been burdened” — elides who is imposing the burden: the government, or private parties enforcing federal law. This language can be read two ways: first, RFRA can be asserted only to “obtain appropriate relief against” the government; second, RFRA can be raised as a “defense” whenever “religious exercise has been burdened” in any “judicial proceeding,” whether against the government, or a private party.

    As Shruti Chaganti explained in a 2013 article in the Virginia Law Review, the Second, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — which Chaganti dubbed the “defense circuits” — have allowed RFRA to be raised as a defense in a private suit, “finding the statute’s language and purpose sufficiently broad to create a defense regardless of the parties to the suit.” In 1996 — three years after RFRA was enacted — the D.C. Circuit held that the Catholic University of America could raise RFRA as a defense against a sex-discrimination claim brought by a nun and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alike. In 1998, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a church could assert RFRA as a defense against a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings. In a 2000 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one church sued another church for unlawfully using materials copyrighted by its late pastor. The court allowed the infringing church to raise the defense, but found that the application of the copyright law did not impose a “substantial burden” on its exercise of religion. In a 2005 decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a priest was forced into retirement by the New York Methodist Church when he turned 70. The priest brought an age-discrimination claim, and the church countered that enforcing the law would burden its free exercise. The Second Circuit found that “RFRA’s language surely seems broad enough to encompass” the church’s raising RFRA as a defense against the age-discrimination claim. In short, Judge Ralph Winter wrote, RFRA “easily covers” the church’s claim that applying the anti-discrimination law would “substantially burden” its exercise of religion. These four cases, and many others, concerned similar facts — private parties had brought suits against corporations. (Yes, Catholic University and Catholic churches are corporations.) In each case, the corporate defendants were allowed to raise RFRA as a defense to assert that the enforcement of a federal law — Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination, bankruptcy law, and even copyright law — would burden their free exercise of religion. In some cases, the defenses were successful, and in others they were not. But this is the rule of law in the states under the jurisdiction of these four circuits — nearly half the states in the union. Until recently, this was not particularly controversial. But not all judges agree. Taking the opposing view was then–Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor — now a Supreme Court justice — who dissented in the Methodist Church case. She found that RFRA “does not apply to disputes between private parties.” Judge Winter responded forcefully to Sotomayor’s suggestion: “The [dissent’s] narrowing interpretation — permitting the assertion of RFRA as a defense only when relief is also sought against a governmental party — involves a convoluted drawing of a hardly inevitable negative implication. If such a limitation was intended, Congress chose a most awkward way of inserting it.” Joining Judge’s Sotomayor’s dissenting view, however, are the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. Chaganti dubs these courts the “non-defense circuits,” as they have held that RFRA was meant to “provide a defense only when obtaining appropriate relief against a government and therefore cannot apply to suits in which the government is not a party.” In 2010, the Sixth Circuit Court found that the “Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church” could not raise RFRA as a defense in a trademark infringement suit brought by the “Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” In 2006, the ubiquitous Judge Richard Posner weighed in on this issue for the Seventh Circuit. In an age-discrimination claim brought by a organist against the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Posner wrote that “RFRA is applicable only to suits to which the government is a party.” The Supreme Court in 2012 unanimously and expressly reversed Posner’s opinion on other grounds in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, finding that the so-called “ministerial exception” to the Free Exercise clause could be raised as an “affirmative defense.” Judge Posner’s RFRA analysis was premised, in part, on the fact that since the Free Exercise Clause does not offer the “ministerial exception” as an affirmative defense, it was “hardly to be imagined” that Congress gave “greater protection to religious autonomy than RFRA does.” Since this predicate of Posner’s ruling was invalidated by the Court, the sustained validity of Judge Posner’s ruling is questionable. Joining the Second, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits in finding that RFRA can be asserted as a defense in a private cause of action is the Holder Justice Department. In August of 2012, the United States Government stated that Wheaton College, if sued by an employee for failing to provide insurance that covered contraceptives, “in its defense of such an action, would have an opportunity to raise its contention that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates” RFRA. Yes, you read that right. The Obama Administration held that a corporation, albeit a non-profit one, could defend itself against a private claim from an employee by asserting that the Obamacare’s contraception mandate imposes a “substantial burden” on its free exercise of religion. That is to say, the most controversial aspect of the new Indiana religious-freedom law was blessed by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department. This position is directly at odds with the views of Sotomayor, Posner, and others. Again, none of this was particularly controversial until fairly recently. Since the enactment of the federal RFRA in 1993, 19 states — including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina — implemented their own RFRAs, which were very similar to the federal law. The state courts, like the federal courts, have wrestled over whether state RFRAs can be raised as a defense in private suits. Most notable among these decisions is the New Mexico Supreme Court’s opinion in Elane Photography v. Willock. In this now-famous case, a photographer was fined for refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding. The Land of Enchantment’s High Court, mirroring Sotomayor’s and Posner’s narrow reading, concluded that the photographer could not raise the state RFRA as a defense against the discrimination claim. (The Supreme Court of the United States declined to review this case). This brings us back to the Hoosier State. Section 9 of Indiana’s RFRA provides that “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” In the wake of Elane Photography, Indiana made explicit for its own law what the four federal courts of appeals and the Obama Justice Department had already recognized about the federal counterpart. Indiana’s RFRA does no more than codify that the private enforcement of public laws — such as discrimination claims — can be defended if there is a substantial burden on free exercise of religion. That’s it. And again, until recently, this provision was not particularly controversial. I must stress — and this point has been totally lost in the Indiana debate — that RFRA does not provide immunity to discrimination claims. It only allows a defendant to raise a defense, which a finder of fact must consider, as in any other defense that can be raised under Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Yes, believe it or not, under employment-discrimination laws, the courts have long recognized that there are legitimate defenses to treating people differently based on protected statuses. In the Supreme Court’s decision in Hosanna-Tabor, mentioned earlier, the Court unanimously found that an employee terminated because of a disability could not sue the church, because of the Free Exercise clause. This may not seem fair or equitable, but this 9–0 decision by the Supreme Court was a recognition of clearly established principles of how religious beliefs can, in rare cases, provide a defense against discrimination claims. University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, an expert in free-exercise law, stated the issue well: “The hysteria over this law is so unjustified. It’s not about discriminating against gays in general or across the board. It’s about not being involved in a ceremony that you believe is inherently religious.” Like the First Amendment, RFRA is not a blank check for bigotry. In summary, four Courts of Appeals, covering nearly half the states in the Union, and the Obama Justice Department, have stated that RFRA can be asserted as a defense in a private case seeking the enforcement of federal law. As Indiana University law professor Daniel Conkle, a supporter of same-sex marriage, explained, “The proposed Indiana RFRA would provide valuable guidance to Indiana courts, directing them to balance religious freedom against competing interests under the same legal standard that applies throughout most of the land. It is anything but a ‘license to discriminate,’ and it should not be mischaracterized or dismissed on that basis.” In this sense, the Indiana law would operate as does its federal counterpart. None of this is to say whether allowing RFRA to be raised as a defense in private suits is a good or bad policy. Rather, the moral outrage and proposed boycotts over Indiana’s law reflect an inexcusable failure to put into context how these laws have developed over the last two decades. Public-policy decisions, even those involving the most controversial issues of social justice, should be made on the basis of reasoned debate, rather than inflamed diatribes.

    “social justice” – code words for another moonbat attack on reality.

  14. Bodhisattva says:

    An HONEST look at Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its precedents.

    Last week, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed into law the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Almost immediately, an uproar ensued, claiming that the law was discriminatory — that it provided a license for businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers. Entirely lost in this kerfuffle has been the simple fact that the Indiana law is modeled on the 1993 federal law of the same name, and that counterparts have been adopted in 19 other states. Further, four federal courts of appeals and the Obama Justice Department have all taken the position that RFRA can be used as a defense in private suits involving the enforcement of laws that substantially burden free exercise of religion. Important debates over the intersection of faith and equality are impaired when they are overtaken by misguided rhetoric, rather than being informed by the history and context of how our legal system has treated this issue.

    Actually, given the many openly wrong things the Obama (IN)justice department has done, the fact they’ve signed off on this type law is not an endorsement.

    NOBODY COMPLAINED WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE BEHIND THIS SORT OF LAW!

    In 1993, then-Representative Charles Schumer of New York introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the House of Representatives. Its counterpart bill in the Senate was co-sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy. The bill enjoyed such wide-ranging bipartisan support that it passed the House on a voice vote, passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 3, and was promptly signed into law by President Clinton.

    This, it turns out, is an example of Democrats deciding they don’t like a Supreme Court decision (Employment Division v. Smith) so they pass new law to nullify it.

    The law states that the federal “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it “is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest” and “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” At a minimum, RFRA attempted to reverse the Court’s construction of the Free Exercise clause in the Smith case. The scope of RFRA was clarified last year by the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The High Court found that the federal government could not mandate that Hobby Lobby offer its employees health insurance that would pay for certain emergency contraceptives. Unresolved by that decision, however, was whether the RFRA defense applies in private suits, not involving the government.

    The relief provision of RFRA provides that “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.” The use of the passive voice — “whose religious exercise has been burdened” — elides who is imposing the burden: the government, or private parties enforcing federal law. This language can be read two ways: first, RFRA can be asserted only to “obtain appropriate relief against” the government; second, RFRA can be raised as a “defense” whenever “religious exercise has been burdened” in any “judicial proceeding,” whether against the government, or a private party.

    As Shruti Chaganti explained in a 2013 article in the Virginia Law Review, the Second, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — which Chaganti dubbed the “defense circuits” — have allowed RFRA to be raised as a defense in a private suit, “finding the statute’s language and purpose sufficiently broad to create a defense regardless of the parties to the suit.” In 1996 — three years after RFRA was enacted — the D.C. Circuit held that the Catholic University of America could raise RFRA as a defense against a sex-discrimination claim brought by a nun and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alike. In 1998, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a church could assert RFRA as a defense against a trustee in bankruptcy proceedings. In a 2000 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one church sued another church for unlawfully using materials copyrighted by its late pastor. The court allowed the infringing church to raise the defense, but found that the application of the copyright law did not impose a “substantial burden” on its exercise of religion. In a 2005 decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a priest was forced into retirement by the New York Methodist Church when he turned 70. The priest brought an age-discrimination claim, and the church countered that enforcing the law would burden its free exercise. The Second Circuit found that “RFRA’s language surely seems broad enough to encompass” the church’s raising RFRA as a defense against the age-discrimination claim. In short, Judge Ralph Winter wrote, RFRA “easily covers” the church’s claim that applying the anti-discrimination law would “substantially burden” its exercise of religion. These four cases, and many others, concerned similar facts — private parties had brought suits against corporations. (Yes, Catholic University and Catholic churches are corporations.) In each case, the corporate defendants were allowed to raise RFRA as a defense to assert that the enforcement of a federal law — Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination, bankruptcy law, and even copyright law — would burden their free exercise of religion. In some cases, the defenses were successful, and in others they were not. But this is the rule of law in the states under the jurisdiction of these four circuits — nearly half the states in the union. Until recently, this was not particularly controversial. But not all judges agree. Taking the opposing view was then–Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor — now a Supreme Court justice — who dissented in the Methodist Church case. She found that RFRA “does not apply to disputes between private parties.” Judge Winter responded forcefully to Sotomayor’s suggestion: “The [dissent’s] narrowing interpretation — permitting the assertion of RFRA as a defense only when relief is also sought against a governmental party — involves a convoluted drawing of a hardly inevitable negative implication. If such a limitation was intended, Congress chose a most awkward way of inserting it.” Joining Judge’s Sotomayor’s dissenting view, however, are the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. Chaganti dubs these courts the “non-defense circuits,” as they have held that RFRA was meant to “provide a defense only when obtaining appropriate relief against a government and therefore cannot apply to suits in which the government is not a party.” In 2010, the Sixth Circuit Court found that the “Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church” could not raise RFRA as a defense in a trademark infringement suit brought by the “Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” In 2006, the ubiquitous Judge Richard Posner weighed in on this issue for the Seventh Circuit. In an age-discrimination claim brought by a organist against the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Posner wrote that “RFRA is applicable only to suits to which the government is a party.” The Supreme Court in 2012 unanimously and expressly reversed Posner’s opinion on other grounds in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, finding that the so-called “ministerial exception” to the Free Exercise clause could be raised as an “affirmative defense.” Judge Posner’s RFRA analysis was premised, in part, on the fact that since the Free Exercise Clause does not offer the “ministerial exception” as an affirmative defense, it was “hardly to be imagined” that Congress gave “greater protection to religious autonomy than RFRA does.” Since this predicate of Posner’s ruling was invalidated by the Court, the sustained validity of Judge Posner’s ruling is questionable. Joining the Second, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits in finding that RFRA can be asserted as a defense in a private cause of action is the Holder Justice Department. In August of 2012, the United States Government stated that Wheaton College, if sued by an employee for failing to provide insurance that covered contraceptives, “in its defense of such an action, would have an opportunity to raise its contention that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates” RFRA. Yes, you read that right. The Obama Administration held that a corporation, albeit a non-profit one, could defend itself against a private claim from an employee by asserting that the Obamacare’s contraception mandate imposes a “substantial burden” on its free exercise of religion. That is to say, the most controversial aspect of the new Indiana religious-freedom law was blessed by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department. This position is directly at odds with the views of Sotomayor, Posner, and others. Again, none of this was particularly controversial until fairly recently. Since the enactment of the federal RFRA in 1993, 19 states — including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina — implemented their own RFRAs, which were very similar to the federal law. The state courts, like the federal courts, have wrestled over whether state RFRAs can be raised as a defense in private suits. Most notable among these decisions is the New Mexico Supreme Court’s opinion in Elane Photography v. Willock. In this now-famous case, a photographer was fined for refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding. The Land of Enchantment’s High Court, mirroring Sotomayor’s and Posner’s narrow reading, concluded that the photographer could not raise the state RFRA as a defense against the discrimination claim. (The Supreme Court of the United States declined to review this case). This brings us back to the Hoosier State. Section 9 of Indiana’s RFRA provides that “A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.” In the wake of Elane Photography, Indiana made explicit for its own law what the four federal courts of appeals and the Obama Justice Department had already recognized about the federal counterpart. Indiana’s RFRA does no more than codify that the private enforcement of public laws — such as discrimination claims — can be defended if there is a substantial burden on free exercise of religion. That’s it. And again, until recently, this provision was not particularly controversial. I must stress — and this point has been totally lost in the Indiana debate — that RFRA does not provide immunity to discrimination claims. It only allows a defendant to raise a defense, which a finder of fact must consider, as in any other defense that can be raised under Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Yes, believe it or not, under employment-discrimination laws, the courts have long recognized that there are legitimate defenses to treating people differently based on protected statuses. In the Supreme Court’s decision in Hosanna-Tabor, mentioned earlier, the Court unanimously found that an employee terminated because of a disability could not sue the church, because of the Free Exercise clause. This may not seem fair or equitable, but this 9–0 decision by the Supreme Court was a recognition of clearly established principles of how religious beliefs can, in rare cases, provide a defense against discrimination claims. University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, an expert in free-exercise law, stated the issue well: “The hysteria over this law is so unjustified. It’s not about discriminating against gays in general or across the board. It’s about not being involved in a ceremony that you believe is inherently religious.” Like the First Amendment, RFRA is not a blank check for bigotry. In summary, four Courts of Appeals, covering nearly half the states in the Union, and the Obama Justice Department, have stated that RFRA can be asserted as a defense in a private case seeking the enforcement of federal law. As Indiana University law professor Daniel Conkle, a supporter of same-sex marriage, explained, “The proposed Indiana RFRA would provide valuable guidance to Indiana courts, directing them to balance religious freedom against competing interests under the same legal standard that applies throughout most of the land. It is anything but a ‘license to discriminate,’ and it should not be mischaracterized or dismissed on that basis.” In this sense, the Indiana law would operate as does its federal counterpart. None of this is to say whether allowing RFRA to be raised as a defense in private suits is a good or bad policy. Rather, the moral outrage and proposed boycotts over Indiana’s law reflect an inexcusable failure to put into context how these laws have developed over the last two decades. Public-policy decisions, even those involving the most controversial issues of social justice, should be made on the basis of reasoned debate, rather than inflamed diatribes.

    “social justice” – code words for another moonbat attack on reality.

  15. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Note to Hillary…when you compose an e-mail and sign it as Secretary of State, that e-mail is now an official government document, subject to all the retention laws associated with government documents.

    When you erase such a document, you have willfully destroyed US Government property. With an ongoing investigation, you have also obstructed justice.

    Huma should be getting lonely.

  16. Bodhisattva says:

    And the propaganda onslaught continues.

    More shows that won’t be on at my place.

  17. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Note to Hillary…when you compose an e-mail and sign it as Secretary of State, that e-mail is now an official government document, subject to all the retention laws associated with government documents.

    When you erase such a document, you have willfully destroyed US Government property. With an ongoing investigation, you have also obstructed justice.

    Huma should be getting lonely.

  18. Bodhisattva says:

    And the propaganda onslaught continues.

    More shows that won’t be on at my place.

  19. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Indiana’s Religious liberty act was patterned after the federal law of a similar name, sponsored by Chuck Schumer, which passed the Senate with a vote of 97 to 0. That bill was signed into law by that hater, Bill Clinton. The ACLU heralded the law as a great step forward in protecting religious rights.

    Of course we know the truth of the matter. Christians are exempt from the protections of such laws.

  20. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Indiana’s Religious liberty act was patterned after the federal law of a similar name, sponsored by Chuck Schumer, which passed the Senate with a vote of 97 to 0. That bill was signed into law by that hater, Bill Clinton. The ACLU heralded the law as a great step forward in protecting religious rights.

    Of course we know the truth of the matter. Christians are exempt from the protections of such laws.

  21. Bodhisattva says:

    Maybe they should try reporting FACTS instead of broadcasting propaganda and hate?

    MSNBC Ratings Crater To All-Time Lows

    Ever notice that despite their constant bashing of Fox news, Moonbats always seem to know what’s on it and indeed their ratings are consistently higher than any other? Moonbats always accuse me of being a Fox News watcher. I laugh – I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I last watched Fox News.

  22. Bodhisattva says:

    Maybe they should try reporting FACTS instead of broadcasting propaganda and hate?

    MSNBC Ratings Crater To All-Time Lows

    Ever notice that despite their constant bashing of Fox news, Moonbats always seem to know what’s on it and indeed their ratings are consistently higher than any other? Moonbats always accuse me of being a Fox News watcher. I laugh – I can’t remember how many years it’s been since I last watched Fox News.

  23. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Unfortunately, untreated mental illness does not simply go away.

  24. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Unfortunately, untreated mental illness does not simply go away.

  25. Bodhisattva says:

    Illegals – mostly the same males of ages who later become terrorists – flood the border thanks to Obama and the Democrats.

    We need to establish and stick to a policy of sending them back, though perhaps a period of incarceration under harsh conditions would be an added incentive to keep them from trying it again.

    The headline I’d actually like to see – U.S. begins deporting all illegal immigrants to Antarctica – they claim they’re not from there!

  26. Bodhisattva says:

    Illegals – mostly the same males of ages who later become terrorists – flood the border thanks to Obama and the Democrats.

    We need to establish and stick to a policy of sending them back, though perhaps a period of incarceration under harsh conditions would be an added incentive to keep them from trying it again.

    The headline I’d actually like to see – U.S. begins deporting all illegal immigrants to Antarctica – they claim they’re not from there!

  27. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Fox News at least makes some effort to be objective. To conservatives like me, they still have way too many leftists on their programs. To those on the left, they wouldn’t know real journalism if they could actually find examples of it.

  28. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Fox News at least makes some effort to be objective. To conservatives like me, they still have way too many leftists on their programs. To those on the left, they wouldn’t know real journalism if they could actually find examples of it.

  29. Bodhisattva says:

    With a bad deal on the table concerning Iran, Russia provides proof of the foolishness of treaties.

    Russia conducted a flight test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this month that some U.S. officials and security analysts say is a new violation of Moscow’s arms control treaty commitments.

    The March 18 flight test of a new RS-26 missile is part of a large-scale nuclear arms buildup by Russia and is raising concerns about treaty compliance, said U.S. officials familiar with details of the missile test.

  30. Bodhisattva says:

    With a bad deal on the table concerning Iran, Russia provides proof of the foolishness of treaties.

    Russia conducted a flight test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this month that some U.S. officials and security analysts say is a new violation of Moscow’s arms control treaty commitments.

    The March 18 flight test of a new RS-26 missile is part of a large-scale nuclear arms buildup by Russia and is raising concerns about treaty compliance, said U.S. officials familiar with details of the missile test.

  31. Bodhisattva says:

    Obama administration breaks the law – again.

    A group of Republican senators say they are aware of allegations of workplace retaliation against Homeland Security personnel who — in conflict with the administration’s immigration policies — are “faithfully discharging the duties of the offices in which they serve.”

    The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest revealed it is investigating the potential retaliation against DHS employees who have allegedly been punished for enforcing the laws as written, not Obama’s illegal attempts to get around them.

    Read the full letter:

    Dear Secretary Johnson:

    We write regarding potential retaliation against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel for upholding their oaths of office and faithfully discharging the duties of the offices in which they serve.

    On February 25, 2015, during a MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion at Florida International University in Miami, President Obama said:

    “There may be individual [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] officials or Border Patrol who aren’t paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, because he’s been very clear about what our priorities should be… If somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it.”

    Not only do the President’s statements ignore the plain language of several immigration statutes that command DHS personnel to take certain actions relating to illegal aliens, the comments seem to comport with a pattern and practice of threats toward DHS personnel who seek to fulfill their duties under the law. Such statements also illustrate why morale levels among DHS personnel continue to remain near the bottom of all federal entities.

    Indeed, we are aware of multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel who refuse to comply with this Administration’s willful disregard of our immigration laws—such as allegations made in lawsuits filed in federal court by an award-winning ICE attorney and by a group of 10 ICE officers and agents. President of the National ICE Council Chris Crane has said that agency leadership is “punishing law enforcement officers who are just trying to uphold U.S. law,” and is “willing to take away their retirement, their job, their ability to support their families in favor of someone who is here illegally and violating our laws . . . either taking a disciplinary action [or] threat[ening] disciplinary action.” Earlier this month, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council (Local 3307) Chris Cabrera testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that:

    “[Border Patrol] agents who repeatedly report groups [of aliens] larger than 20 face retribution. Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment. Needless to say agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group.”

    Due to our concerns regarding the potential mistreatment of DHS personnel, we request the following information:

    1. Please provide the number of employees the Department disciplined over the last six years, including through the issuance of an adverse annual review, relating in any way to the alleged refusal of those employees to comply with the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, the refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner, or the reporting of large groups of aliens apprehended after crossing the border.

    a. Please break down the data by Department component, by the employee’s employing office within each component, and provide a description of the nature and severity of the discipline imposed on each employee.

    b. Please provide the current employment status of each employee who was disciplined, including whether the Department terminated that employee subsequent to the discipline; whether the employee is currently employed, but reassigned to a different position subsequent to the discipline; whether the employee is currently employed in the same position as the employee was in before the discipline; and a brief description of any employee who does not fall within one of the above-referenced categories.

    2. Please provide statistics regarding the number of lawsuits or complaints filed by Department personnel, or former Department personnel, against the Department over the last six years relating in any way to the alleged refusal of those employees to follow the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner. Please describe the general nature of each lawsuit or complaint, the status of the lawsuit or complaint, and the ultimate outcome of any lawsuit or complaint that is not currently pending. Please break down the data by Department component and by the employee’s employing office within the component.

    3. Please provide any written guidance, or a description of any oral guidance, issued to Department personnel pertaining to the potential discipline of employees who refuse to comply with the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, the refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner.

    4. Please describe the authority upon which your Department will rely to penalize Department personnel for their failure to comply with an unlawful and unconstitutional order.

    Please provide the foregoing information, including all documents and data in native format, to our offices by the close of business on April 13, 2015. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Sessions

    Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest

    David Vitter

    Deputy Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest

    David Perdue

    U.S. Senator

    Charles E. Grassley

    Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary

    John Cornyn

    U.S. Senator

    Mike Lee

    U.S. Senator

    Ted Cruz

    U.S. Senator

    Thom Tillis

    U.S. Senator

  32. Bodhisattva says:

    Obama administration breaks the law – again.

    A group of Republican senators say they are aware of allegations of workplace retaliation against Homeland Security personnel who — in conflict with the administration’s immigration policies — are “faithfully discharging the duties of the offices in which they serve.”

    The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest revealed it is investigating the potential retaliation against DHS employees who have allegedly been punished for enforcing the laws as written, not Obama’s illegal attempts to get around them.

    Read the full letter:

    Dear Secretary Johnson:

    We write regarding potential retaliation against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel for upholding their oaths of office and faithfully discharging the duties of the offices in which they serve.

    On February 25, 2015, during a MSNBC/Telemundo town hall discussion at Florida International University in Miami, President Obama said:

    “There may be individual [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] officials or Border Patrol who aren’t paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, because he’s been very clear about what our priorities should be… If somebody is working for ICE and there is a policy and they don’t follow the policy, there are going to be consequences to it.”

    Not only do the President’s statements ignore the plain language of several immigration statutes that command DHS personnel to take certain actions relating to illegal aliens, the comments seem to comport with a pattern and practice of threats toward DHS personnel who seek to fulfill their duties under the law. Such statements also illustrate why morale levels among DHS personnel continue to remain near the bottom of all federal entities.

    Indeed, we are aware of multiple allegations of targeting and retaliation against DHS personnel who refuse to comply with this Administration’s willful disregard of our immigration laws—such as allegations made in lawsuits filed in federal court by an award-winning ICE attorney and by a group of 10 ICE officers and agents. President of the National ICE Council Chris Crane has said that agency leadership is “punishing law enforcement officers who are just trying to uphold U.S. law,” and is “willing to take away their retirement, their job, their ability to support their families in favor of someone who is here illegally and violating our laws . . . either taking a disciplinary action [or] threat[ening] disciplinary action.” Earlier this month, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council (Local 3307) Chris Cabrera testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that:

    “[Border Patrol] agents who repeatedly report groups [of aliens] larger than 20 face retribution. Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment. Needless to say agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group.”

    Due to our concerns regarding the potential mistreatment of DHS personnel, we request the following information:

    1. Please provide the number of employees the Department disciplined over the last six years, including through the issuance of an adverse annual review, relating in any way to the alleged refusal of those employees to comply with the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, the refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner, or the reporting of large groups of aliens apprehended after crossing the border.

    a. Please break down the data by Department component, by the employee’s employing office within each component, and provide a description of the nature and severity of the discipline imposed on each employee.

    b. Please provide the current employment status of each employee who was disciplined, including whether the Department terminated that employee subsequent to the discipline; whether the employee is currently employed, but reassigned to a different position subsequent to the discipline; whether the employee is currently employed in the same position as the employee was in before the discipline; and a brief description of any employee who does not fall within one of the above-referenced categories.

    2. Please provide statistics regarding the number of lawsuits or complaints filed by Department personnel, or former Department personnel, against the Department over the last six years relating in any way to the alleged refusal of those employees to follow the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner. Please describe the general nature of each lawsuit or complaint, the status of the lawsuit or complaint, and the ultimate outcome of any lawsuit or complaint that is not currently pending. Please break down the data by Department component and by the employee’s employing office within the component.

    3. Please provide any written guidance, or a description of any oral guidance, issued to Department personnel pertaining to the potential discipline of employees who refuse to comply with the Department’s administratively-created enforcement priorities—to include, but not limited to, the refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion in any manner.

    4. Please describe the authority upon which your Department will rely to penalize Department personnel for their failure to comply with an unlawful and unconstitutional order.

    Please provide the foregoing information, including all documents and data in native format, to our offices by the close of business on April 13, 2015. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Sessions

    Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest

    David Vitter

    Deputy Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest

    David Perdue

    U.S. Senator

    Charles E. Grassley

    Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary

    John Cornyn

    U.S. Senator

    Mike Lee

    U.S. Senator

    Ted Cruz

    U.S. Senator

    Thom Tillis

    U.S. Senator

  33. Bodhisattva says:

    IRS chief to GOP: You can’t abolish us

    Want to bet?

    Eliminate the system that created the need for them and you can eliminate them with it.

    Change from income taxes to consumption taxes. Put the burden on retailers, leave enforcement to the states. Eliminate the IRS.

    You could even do it with the Obama plan to simplify the tax code and create a two line tax form:

    Line 1: How much did you make this year?

    Line 2: Send it in.

  34. Bodhisattva says:

    IRS chief to GOP: You can’t abolish us

    Want to bet?

    Eliminate the system that created the need for them and you can eliminate them with it.

    Change from income taxes to consumption taxes. Put the burden on retailers, leave enforcement to the states. Eliminate the IRS.

    You could even do it with the Obama plan to simplify the tax code and create a two line tax form:

    Line 1: How much did you make this year?

    Line 2: Send it in.

  35. Bodhisattva says:

    “they still have way too many leftists on their programs.”

    My chief objection when I DID watch Fox News.

    Then as now you only heard lunatic rantings on MSLSD, rarely anything worth watching. And “Red” Turner’s Communist News Network? Not worth my time. There’s a new channel now – One America News I think. Might check it out and see if it’s worth watching.

    I think the ratings are confirmation of what I always said back when I did watch Fox – despite their flaws they were far and away the best available.

  36. Bodhisattva says:

    “they still have way too many leftists on their programs.”

    My chief objection when I DID watch Fox News.

    Then as now you only heard lunatic rantings on MSLSD, rarely anything worth watching. And “Red” Turner’s Communist News Network? Not worth my time. There’s a new channel now – One America News I think. Might check it out and see if it’s worth watching.

    I think the ratings are confirmation of what I always said back when I did watch Fox – despite their flaws they were far and away the best available.

  37. Bodhisattva says:

    Too true. Simply ignoring it won’t fix it.

  38. Bodhisattva says:

    Too true. Simply ignoring it won’t fix it.

  39. Bodhisattva says:

    Amazingly, Clinton also signed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” into law and yet only Republicans got blamed for it. The left has selective memory when it comes to reality and their own culpability for the problems they helped create, or exclusively created.

  40. Bodhisattva says:

    Amazingly, Clinton also signed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” into law and yet only Republicans got blamed for it. The left has selective memory when it comes to reality and their own culpability for the problems they helped create, or exclusively created.

  41. bob e says:

    you forgot to show the gallows outside the window .. the penalty
    for high treason ..

  42. bob e says:

    you forgot to show the gallows outside the window .. the penalty
    for high treason ..

  43. alohasteve says:

    Stolen Valor: Fake Outed Outside MacDill AFB Soliciting Money

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2015/04/veteran-garrett-goodwin-confronts-fake.html

  44. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Personally, I enjoy Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” along with American Thinker and, of course, Moonbattery. That’s about all the news I can take.

    The other thing is that kids today do not “watch the news.” More and more do not actually watch news programs, take the newspaper, and many don’t even have cable. Netflix and their smart phones are their contact with the outside world.

  45. Mr. Freemarket says:

    Personally, I enjoy Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze” along with American Thinker and, of course, Moonbattery. That’s about all the news I can take.

    The other thing is that kids today do not “watch the news.” More and more do not actually watch news programs, take the newspaper, and many don’t even have cable. Netflix and their smart phones are their contact with the outside world.

  46. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Conjugal visits?

  47. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Conjugal visits?

  48. Henry says:

    LOL I remember that one…

  49. Henry says:

    LOL I remember that one…

  50. Bodhisattva says:

    All reasonable sources, there are others too, then there are the typical moonbat sources that can never be trusted as well.

  51. Bodhisattva says:

    All reasonable sources, there are others too, then there are the typical moonbat sources that can never be trusted as well.

  52. Bodhisattva says:

    Hey, they finally found someone who would eat Mooch-elle Obama’s ‘Healthy Lunches’. You know she never would!

    There’s one group of young eaters who like Michelle Obama’s school lunch program: pigs.

    Earlier this year, a New York district estimated its students throw away 85 percent of their fruits and vegetables.

    “We throw away a ton of food,” Canton Central School Food Service Director Ella Mae “Bluejay” Fenlong tells the Watertown Daily Times.

    “If we cut up 20 pounds of cucumbers, we guess that 17 pounds get thrown away. I’ve watched kids take their cup of vegetables or fruit they’re required to take and just throw it away.”

    American schools spend an estimated $3.5 million per day on food that ends up in the garbage can.

    New Mexico’s Galloping Grace Youth Ranch is accepting fruits and vegetables thrown away by students at several elementary schools in the Rio Rancho area and collects some five tons per week.

    “It’s really whatever they don’t eat coming off of their trays, so when they get up to the trash cans they will scrape it into one of our buckets that we pick up on a daily basis,” ranch CEO Max Wade tells KRQE.

    Speaking of the pigs, goats and chickens gobbling up the students’ castaways, Wade says, “If you think about it, it’s a fresh salad bar every day. Fruits and vegetables and they love it.”

    To underscore the point, he’s talking about the farm animals, not the school children.

    Interestingly, the Rio Rancho “healthy” school lunch repurposing program isn’t unique.

    The Nebraska Farmers Union was working to partner with Lincoln-area schools to collect discarded food to fuel a worm farm, known as vermiculture.

    Some 3,000 pigs at a Rhode Island hog farm scarf up uneaten fruits and vegetables, too.

    Two Rhode Island districts – North Smithfield and Burrillville – that are sending their scraps to My Blue Heaven Farm. Both districts are participants in the National School Lunch Program, which is implementing the hated federal lunch rules.

  53. Bodhisattva says:

    Too funny, too true!

  54. Bodhisattva says:

    It’s normal to see guys you know never served standing at intersections with signs claiming they’re veterans.

  55. Bodhisattva says:

    Hey, they finally found someone who would eat Mooch-elle Obama’s ‘Healthy Lunches’. You know she never would!

    There’s one group of young eaters who like Michelle Obama’s school lunch program: pigs.

    Earlier this year, a New York district estimated its students throw away 85 percent of their fruits and vegetables.

    “We throw away a ton of food,” Canton Central School Food Service Director Ella Mae “Bluejay” Fenlong tells the Watertown Daily Times.

    “If we cut up 20 pounds of cucumbers, we guess that 17 pounds get thrown away. I’ve watched kids take their cup of vegetables or fruit they’re required to take and just throw it away.”

    American schools spend an estimated $3.5 million per day on food that ends up in the garbage can.

    New Mexico’s Galloping Grace Youth Ranch is accepting fruits and vegetables thrown away by students at several elementary schools in the Rio Rancho area and collects some five tons per week.

    “It’s really whatever they don’t eat coming off of their trays, so when they get up to the trash cans they will scrape it into one of our buckets that we pick up on a daily basis,” ranch CEO Max Wade tells KRQE.

    Speaking of the pigs, goats and chickens gobbling up the students’ castaways, Wade says, “If you think about it, it’s a fresh salad bar every day. Fruits and vegetables and they love it.”

    To underscore the point, he’s talking about the farm animals, not the school children.

    Interestingly, the Rio Rancho “healthy” school lunch repurposing program isn’t unique.

    The Nebraska Farmers Union was working to partner with Lincoln-area schools to collect discarded food to fuel a worm farm, known as vermiculture.

    Some 3,000 pigs at a Rhode Island hog farm scarf up uneaten fruits and vegetables, too.

    Two Rhode Island districts – North Smithfield and Burrillville – that are sending their scraps to My Blue Heaven Farm. Both districts are participants in the National School Lunch Program, which is implementing the hated federal lunch rules.

  56. Bodhisattva says:

    Too funny, too true!

  57. Bodhisattva says:

    It’s normal to see guys you know never served standing at intersections with signs claiming they’re veterans.

  58. Bodhisattva says:

    Sounds like they’re trying to get themselves banned – which will no doubt trigger a civil rights lawsuit from the ACLU and such

    A café owner is feeling like he’s behind enemy lines as more than a dozen protesters have demonstrated at restaurants for the last two Sundays over police shootings involving unarmed black men.

    “I really thought it was a very disrespectful thing,” he told WGCL. “We had nothing to do with the political issue.”

    Gurenvitch has put up signs at his café asking the protesters to respect his place of business.

    “We respect lives. We respect free speech. Please respect us. Please respect our guests,” the signs read.

    Gurenvitch says he has been in contact with police about the protesters.

    “I understand they want to stir emotions to get people involved and I somewhat agree with that, but again, it’s just not the right place to do it,” Gurenvitch told WGCL. “I think that it is a very dangerous thing, when you take a really busy time and escalate emotions. I think it can be a very dangerous thing.”

  59. Bodhisattva says:

    Sounds like they’re trying to get themselves banned – which will no doubt trigger a civil rights lawsuit from the ACLU and such

    A café owner is feeling like he’s behind enemy lines as more than a dozen protesters have demonstrated at restaurants for the last two Sundays over police shootings involving unarmed black men.

    “I really thought it was a very disrespectful thing,” he told WGCL. “We had nothing to do with the political issue.”

    Gurenvitch has put up signs at his café asking the protesters to respect his place of business.

    “We respect lives. We respect free speech. Please respect us. Please respect our guests,” the signs read.

    Gurenvitch says he has been in contact with police about the protesters.

    “I understand they want to stir emotions to get people involved and I somewhat agree with that, but again, it’s just not the right place to do it,” Gurenvitch told WGCL. “I think that it is a very dangerous thing, when you take a really busy time and escalate emotions. I think it can be a very dangerous thing.”

  60. Bodhisattva says:

    The headline, as printed, is FALSE: An Indiana pizza shop may be the first to publicly say it will not serve gay and lesbian customers.

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor tells WBND-TV, adding, “We are a Christian establishment.”

    But if two gay guys, or two lesbian women, simply come in and say ‘We need 20 pizzas for a function’, they will likely be served like anyone else, as long as they don’t rub it in their faces it’s for a ‘gay wedding’, don’t announce loudly that they’re gay – also see below concerning that, too.

    Family members say they agree with Gov. Mike Pence that the bill does not encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” O’Connor told WBND.

    The family has owned the pizzeria for nine years andsupports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Kevin O’Connor says the negative backlash against Indiana is not fair.

    “That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” he tells the station.

    Despite their opposition to gay marriages, the O’Connor family promises that if a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion come in to the restaurant to eat, they would not be turned away.

  61. Bodhisattva says:

    The headline, as printed, is FALSE: An Indiana pizza shop may be the first to publicly say it will not serve gay and lesbian customers.

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal O’Connor tells WBND-TV, adding, “We are a Christian establishment.”

    But if two gay guys, or two lesbian women, simply come in and say ‘We need 20 pizzas for a function’, they will likely be served like anyone else, as long as they don’t rub it in their faces it’s for a ‘gay wedding’, don’t announce loudly that they’re gay – also see below concerning that, too.

    Family members say they agree with Gov. Mike Pence that the bill does not encourage discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” O’Connor told WBND.

    The family has owned the pizzeria for nine years andsupports the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Kevin O’Connor says the negative backlash against Indiana is not fair.

    “That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual. They choose to be homosexual. Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?” he tells the station.

    Despite their opposition to gay marriages, the O’Connor family promises that if a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion come in to the restaurant to eat, they would not be turned away.

  62. Anne says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVCtvQiRA0M

    Have you ever heard of Chris Crass? Here is a radio interview with him talking about “white privilege” on the Walton and Johnson show. (They are out of Houston). The interview is a few months old. I heard it originally on the radio, but I came across it on youtube and wanted to share. Chris Crass is what some might call an a** hat!

  63. Anne says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVCtvQiRA0M

    Have you ever heard of Chris Crass? Here is a radio interview with him talking about “white privilege” on the Walton and Johnson show. (They are out of Houston). The interview is a few months old. I heard it originally on the radio, but I came across it on youtube and wanted to share. Chris Crass is what some might call an a** hat!

  64. Momster says:

    She can wear a state-provided orange pant-suit.

  65. Momster says:

    She can wear a state-provided orange pant-suit.

  66. Tread7 says:

    Excellent !

  67. Tread7 says:

    Excellent !

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