#Tolerance: Small Colorado biz gets death threats after refusal to make “gay” wedding cake

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Another day, another profile in left wing “tolerance”:

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A Lakewood gay couple may end up having a masterpiece of a wedding, but they won’t have a “Masterpiece” cake to go along with it.

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, told the couple they have their sexual orientation to thank for that. It’s an event that occurred on the afternoon of July 19, and it’s sparking national attention, a petition and a boycott of the local bakery.

Phillips said it has also spiked a boom in his business, which he said has doubled since the incident.

It all started when Dave Mullins, 28, and Charlie Craig, 31, went into the Masterpiece Cakeshop hoping to get a rainbow-layered cake with teal and red frosting for their wedding reception, which will take place in Denver this October after their wedding in Provincetown, Mass., which is set for September.

Phillips informed the couple his business does not create cakes for gay weddings. Mullins took to his Facebook page.

Describing the ordeal as an “awkward, surreal, very brief encounter,” Mullins said he responded by directing an expletive and an obscene gesture at the owner of what he is calling a “homophobic cake shop.”

Phillips said he isn’t a homophobe, and that he would gladly serve any other baked good to a gay couple — just not a wedding cake.

“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, so you could say this is a religious belief,” Phillips said. “I believe the Bible teaches that (homosexuality) is not an OK thing.”

The bakery is family owned and operated. Phillips said since 1993, it has turned away about a half dozen same sex weddings.

While this incident has brought about several death threats – the cake shop was forced to call the police Sunday – Phillips said the boom in publicity hasn’t hurt business. Just the opposite, in fact.

“(On Monday) we had about twice as much business as normal,” Phillips said. “There are people coming in to support us.”

As discussed numerous times at this blog and others before, we all have the right to take our business elsewhere if we don’t like the way a business, well, does business.  We also have the right, as American citizens, to organize boycotts against said business as well, especially in the case of a national chain – which is what the left is doing with Chick-fil-A, under the guise of  “discrimination” of course (in reality, it’s religious bigotry being promoted by the Rahm Emanuels of America, but I digress. Sort of.).

But does having “the right” to do something always make it “right” to do? No, it doesn’t. It never has and it never will.

What we have is one small business (Masterpiece Cakeshop) that will do other cakes for gays but will not create a gay wedding cake because of their religious beliefs.  It’s not clear whether the couple knew this before they took to Facebook to express their rant, or if the people who started the petition on their behalf did, but I think it’s safe to say that either way the response would have been the same: The couple would have been branded “homophobic’ and “haters” and been the target of a growing nationwide campaign designed to demean business owners who support the traditional definition of marriage.

Even if the motivations of the shop owners weren’t religious in nature, it’s possible to to be a secularist in opposition to alternative forms of marriage and to want to conduct your business accordingly. Also, secularist or not, you can oppose gay marriage without being “homophobic”, although liberal supporters of it surely don’t mind throwing that word around every chance they get towards anyone who disagrees with them, even if that person  hasn’t demonstrated any hateful nature towards gays.

Liberals will say this cake shop refusing to make a gay wedding cake is on par with a restaurant owner refusing to serve food to a black man back in the segregation days.  That isn’t the case here, because 1) this private business owner is exercising its right to religious freedom as per what the Bible says about homosexuality and 2) this shop didn’t refuse to serve the gay couple full stop – they refused to make a wedding cake for them.  Had they come in and requested a 4th of July cake or the like, the store owners say they would have made the cake without issue.

What would I do in the event I went into a local shop and they refused to provide for me what I asked for based on personal beliefs? I’d be understandably upset, but I wouldn’t react obscenely the way this couple reacted, nor would I organize a nationwide campaign against them.  I’d go home, cool off, analyze what happened, and if I were still upset later I’d tell people I know what happened, and let word of mouth do its thing around town.  Simple as that.

I swear, it is has gotten to the point in this country where  two locals cannot disagree on a hot button issue without it making national headlines, campaigns being organized, etc, especially when it comes to gay marriage.  Yes, there are some people opposed to gay marriage because they “hate gays” but that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that others oppose alternative forms of marriage – including gay marriage –  for various legitimate reasons, including both religious and/or secular.  Some people – like me –  simply believe that the one man /one woman two parent structure is the ideal environment in which to raise  a child.  Others don’t think the government should have a say so in marriage at all. That’s fine. Let the discussions be had. But for God’s sake (and for the sake of the individual rights of private citizens/biz owners across America), stop start respecting religious freedom and stop making every disagreement national issue!

Arguments against the President “Valerie, may I?” story

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**Posted by Phineas

Yesterday I posted an article about the assertion in a forthcoming book by journalist Richard Miniter that President Obama let himself be talked out of the bin Laden assassination mission three times, before finally okaying it, by long-time close adviser Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum-lord. Now that I’ve had 24 hours to calm down (1), there are reasonable arguments for questioning the story. I’ll present them here and let you decide:

Anonymous sources: Miniter cites “an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.” The trouble with an unnamed source is that you have no way of verifying what the source is saying, because you don’t know who he or she is. You have to take the intermediary’s word (in this case, Miniter’s) that the source is credible, telling the truth.

What if the anonymous source was really in no place to know the things he claims? What if he’s making it all up to inflate his own importance? What if he observed things, but misinterpreted them? What if Miniter’s source and Ulsterman’s are one in the same? Then, instead of Miniter confirming the earlier piece, he’s merely repeating the same uncorroborated gossip. And (candy for the conspiracy buffs out there) what if the whole story is a Republican plant meant to embarrass Obama? It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened in American politics, that is, the press being used to bring down an opponent. From the reasonable to the wild, all these doubts show why we should be very careful of “anonymous insiders.”

In the end, it was his call, after all: The story paints a picture of Obama as indecisive, weak. As I put it, he ran to his political nursemaid to ask if launching the raid was a good idea, and she told him “no.”

But there’s another way to look at it. Obama is naturally cautious and diffident when faced with having to make a real decision, and invading the territory of an ally unannounced was darned risky — an act of war, without a doubt. And he is entitled to ask advice of anyone he chooses. Perhaps he felt the intel wasn’t solid enough and Jarrett’s arguments were enough to convince him of “not yet.” In other words, he sought advice, not permission. And he did, in the end, make the final decision to go.

Finally, Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot makes the following argument:

Put another way: apparently Valerie Jarrett made enemies like Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs at times. You don’t think guys like that would leak something like that if they knew, in an effort to undermine her influence?

Point taken.

(Geraghty also makes a political observation we should keep in mind: the Obama administration would love to argue about Osama’s death from now until election day, because the discussion always ends with “and then we got him.”)

For what it’s worth, the White House has denied and denounced the report, while Miniter has dared them to prove him wrong:

The author of a new book describing presidential paralysis prior to the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout is demanding the White House back up its vehement denials with documentation.

“I call on them to release the full [planning] timeline, starting in October 2010, of each of the major decisions that the president made relating to the bin Laden mission,” author Richard Miniter told The Daily Caller.

TheDC asked Miniter if his inside sources might go public with their accounts of presidential indecision. “Yes, yes,” he replied. “There is a chance.”

(via Nice Deb)

I hope the source does go public, since we, then, will be in a better position to make our own judgement. October surprise, anyone?

So, what do I think? At this point, I think it’s more likely true than not. Not because of Miniter’s or Ulsterman’s source(s), about whom we know nothing, but because it seems to fit with Obama and his long relationship with Jarrett. She has been a close patron and key counselor for Barack and Michelle Obama for many, many years. Close enough that the account in “Leading from Behind” is, I suspect, closer to the truth than not.

We’ll see.

Footnote:
(1) I freely and cheerily admit to having a “hot button” about 9/11, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and a president’s proper response. Said response being “Hunt them down like rabid dogs and kill every last one of them!” And I get angry at any hint of softness on this issue. I doubt I’ll ever change.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture

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**Posted by Phineas

And I write that with all due and genuine respect for a man who suffered much for his country and was a true leader to the men who were prisoners of war with him.

But, this is just utterly wrong:

It’s government, “not cultures” that define the difference between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who appeared to differ with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as he tried to defend him.

“I am sure that Gov. Romney was not talking about difference in cultures, or difference in anybody superior or inferior,” said McCain, a chief Romney foreign policy surrogate, today during a news conference after an event here with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “What I’m sure Gov. Romney was talking was that the Israeli economy has grown and prospered in a dramatic fashion. And unfortunately, the Palestinians have not had that same economic development.

“And that goes to the leadership of the Palestinians. Everybody knows that Yasser Arafat was corrupt. And we also know that the Palestinian people have not been blessed with the kind of government that has lower regulations, less taxes, entrepreneurship, which have caused the Israeli economy to be one of the world’s most successful. It has nothing to do with cultures. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. But facts of the booming Israeli economy has to do with the kind of government that the Israeli people have freely and democratically elected which has given them a very prosperous country.”

McCain noted he had not seen or heard Romney’s remarks, but that didn’t stop him from defending what Romney meant.

He has it exactly backwards: culture determines the type of society a nation has and shapes its form of government. Both are a reflection of the values of that society. Western civilization, which includes Israel, echoes the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman and, yes, for parts, Anglo-Saxon values that shaped it. It is a culture that values the individual and individual liberty, fosters initiative and wealth-creation, and that recognizes life is precious and not something to be taken carelessly. (1)

Arab Islamic culture on the other hand… What has it given the world lately? Dictatorship? Kleptocracy? Contempt for democracy? The near-enslavement of women? Honor killings? Suicide bombings? “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death“?

You want an example of the difference in cultures, Senator? Here’s just one from among hundreds. Israelis fight to save the life of a mother and child, even though they come from their sworn enemies. Palestinians murder Israeli children in their sleep, and the culture celebrates the killers as heroes.

Those values ripple throughout the respective cultures, and you can bet your bottom dollar they make a difference.

Natan Sharansky wrote a brilliant book called “The Case for Democracy.” In it he discusses the difference between what he calls “free societies” and “fear societies.” The Israelis are an example of the former, the Palestinians the latter, and the differences explain why, as Mitt Romney pointed out, Israel is successful, while “Palestine” is a failure.

You should read it, Senator. You might for once know what you’re talking about.

But I guess that’s a bit much to expect from a man who doesn’t even bother to check what his party’s nominee said before bloviating on it.

via Slublog

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, far from perfect, but also far better than the alternatives.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Man Obama painted as racist in 2008 to play a key role at #DNC2012

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I am literally laughing out loud after reading this:

The last time Bill Clinton talked about Barack Obama in the Carolinas, it wasn’t exactly in flattering terms.

Campaigning for his wife before the 2008 South Carolina primary, the former president questioned his qualifications and raised the hackles of Obama supporters. One S.C. lawmaker accused him of “character assassination.”

State party chairman Dick Harpootlian even compared him to Lee Atwater, the late S.C. Republican operative synonymous with negative politics. Now Democrats are applauding Clinton’s selection to nominate Obama in a prime time speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

“Look, primaries are bruising battles,” Harpootlian said Monday. “(Clinton) is the poster boy for staying the course with Barack Obama.”

Convention organizers Monday formally announced that Clinton would nominate Obama on Wednesday night, Sept. 5. That bumps Vice President Joe Biden to a Thursday night speech at Bank of America Stadium, just before the president’s acceptance speech.

Democrats hope Clinton can rally the party’s base and sway independents for Obama by evoking the memory of an administration that presided over a period of prosperity and balanced budgets.

[…]

Earlier this year he ruffled feathers when he said Romney had a “sterling” record at Bain Capital, even as the Obama campaign has tried to tear that record apart. But, when he stays on message, few speakers are as effective.

[…]

For their part, Democrats seem willing to move beyond the 2008 primary, when Clinton was accused of injecting race into the campaign, even dismissing Obama’s probable win by comparing him with Jesse Jackson, who won the state twice in Democratic primaries. U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, a S.C. Democrat and a leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, urged Clinton to “chill a little bit.”

But, said Duke University political scientist Kerry Haynie, who teaches African and African American studies, “bygones are bygones.”

“Most people understood that this was a battle,” Haynie said, “and they also remember some of the issues that President Clinton supported that black folks care about.”

You really cannot make this stuff up. Of COURSE Democrats who slammed Bubba and Hillary during the bruising 2008 Democrat party primary battle while jumping on the HopenChange bandwagon are “willing to let bygones be bygones” … they want Obama to win another four years in the WH and they think that the same guy THEY threw under the “raaacism” bus in 2008 can help deliver in 2012 in perhaps a way that our celebrity President no longer can.

Isn’t it hysterical how, when Team Obama is against the wall, they will turn to Bill Clinton to try and bail them out? It must drive President Obama himself nuts, because he and the Clintons are not close in any way – certainly not the cozy way he is with Chicago Way types like Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod. In fact, they only tolerate each other. The only reason President Obama asked Hillary Clinton to be his Sec. of State was as payback for her reluctant but critical support for him in the summer and fall of 2008 after the primaries were over and he wanted to shore up the women’s vote. There is no love lost between these two camps – especially between Bill Clinton and President Obama. It’s obvious when you see them together.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall to listen to the Clintons discuss this! LOL ….

Federal Court: Political appointees to DOJ interfered in New Black Panthers case

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I’m sure the mainstream media will be all over this in 3, 2, …

Increasing attention is being paid to irregularities at the polls, and the legitimacy of efforts to minimize them.  A federal judge just issued a ruling that will become part of this debate.  As reported by Conn Carroll of the Washington ExaminerU.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton “held today that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.”

[…]

Watchdog group Judicial Watch followed the normal course of action for asking tough questions of Obama’s wonderfully “transparent” administration, suing the Justice Department to enforce a Freedom of Information Act request for documents concerning the New Black Panthers case.  Judicial Watch won, and then sued for attorney’s fees.  The Justice Department defended itself by insisting the documents procured by Judicial Watch didn’t prove there was any political interference in the NBPP case, so they shouldn’t be liable for the plaintiff’s legal fees.

Judge Walton’s ruling disagreed with the DOJ defense, saying, “The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.”

Worse still, did a DOJ official lie under oath?  Hans von Spakovsky digs deeper (via Clayton Cramer):

In a little noted decision on July 23, a federal district court judge concluded that internal DOJ documents about the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case “contradict Assistant Attorney General [Thomas] Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in” the decision to dismiss the case.

In other words, the sworn testimony of Perez, the Obama political appointee who heads the Civil Rights Division, before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was apparently false.

[…]

But what is most disturbing about this court order is that it strongly suggests that Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez essentially lied in sworn testimony. At a hearing before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on May 14, 2010, Perez was asked by Commissioner Peter Kirsanow whether “any political leadership [was] involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case?” Perez’s answer, on page 79 of the transcript of that hearing is an uncategorical “No.” When the statements of Perez are compared to the documents that Judicial Watch forced DOJ to release in the FOIA lawsuit, Judge Walton was polite when he said they are contradictory and “cast doubt on the accuracy” of Perez’s account.

A less diplomatic judge might have said that Perez testified falsely in his hearing testimony before the Commission on Civil Rights. In other words, he may have committed perjury if he knew his statements were false when uttered.

The Commission on Civil Rights repeatedly asked Attorney General Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the NPBB case by the Department and the refusal of Perez to comply with lawful documents requests and subpoenas served on DOJ by the Commission. When will the Attorney General do so, and when will he ask for an investigation of this possible perjury by Perez?

Where is the investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of whether Perez violated his ethical and professional obligations as a DOJ attorney? Will the DOJ Inspector General open an investigation of the possible violation by Perez of 18 U.S.C. §1621, which outlaws presenting false statements under oath in official federal proceedings? Or will they all respectively yawn and ignore this?

Imagine if a conservative political appointee at DOJ had just been cited in a federal court decision as having apparently testified falsely under oath. Not only would it be a top headline at The New York Times and The Washington Post, but the IG and OPR would be rushing to investigate. All of which is a sad commentary on the liberal bias not just of the media, but of too many of the offices and officials within the Justice Department who are supposed to administer justice in an objective, non-political and impartial manner.

Move along here, nothing to see …..