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Another libertarian for Mitt Romney
(Switching from supporting Gary Johnson to backing GOP nominee)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:12 pm - October 15, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Freedom,Tea Party

I knew Chris Barron would come to his senses.  He now joins Wayne Allan Root, the 2008 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee, in backing MItt Romney for President:

There is a time for idealism and a time for realism, and for me, the time for realism is now. I endorsed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson back in December of 2011, when he was still seeking the Republican nomination for President. I continued to support him even after he left the Republican Party and became the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President.  Indeed, I am a DC elector for Gary Johnson.  On Tuesday November 6th, however, I will not be casting my vote for Gary Johnson – instead I will be casting it for Mitt Romney.

I still believe strongly that Gary Johnson would make the best President of the three candidates running, however, it is time to recognize he will not be President. The next President will either be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and without hesitation I can say that Mitt Romney will be a vastly better President than Barack Obama.

He’s exactly right here.  Gary Johnson may have a better economic plan than does Mitt Romney, but the next president will be one of two men.  Chris echoes Root who said in September:

The only two candidates who can win are Mitt and Obama. Among those two the choice is clear. Mitt is a capitalist businessman, not a career politician. (more…)

Chicago politician tries to police political stands of private company

With Chicago’s murder rate surging, you’d think a city alderman would have better uses for his time than to pester a private company, yet Alderman Joe Moreno has garnered national headlines for his attempts to prevent Chick-fil-A from contributing to groups that support traditional marriage.

Even as the chicken chain’s management has “enacted workplace protections for its employees against discrimination“, Moreno wants more:

 A Chicago alderman says Chick-fil-A’s president is publicly contradicting what company executives personally assured him for months — that the fast-food chain is changing its stance on gay marriage — and he asked the company Sunday to clarify. . . .

Moreno said Chick-fil-A executives gave him a letter earlier this year saying the company’s non-profit arm, the WinShape Foundation, will not support organizations with political agendas. “We were told that these organizations included groups that politically work against the rights of gay and lesbian people,” Moreno said.

(Via HotAir headlines.)  Simply put, it is not the business of the government to police the political stands of private companies.

It is one thing for an individual not to choose to eat at the restaurant because of its management’s political stands, it’s quite another for a representative of the government to try to prevent them from taking a stand.

UPDATE:  Just caught this on Instapundit:

NEW VERB:  TO BE “CHICK-FIL-Aed”:  William McGurn astutely observes that the continuing saga of Chick-Fil-A’s skirmish with gay rights’ forces isn’t a political fight about a controversial topic, but instead part of a larger progressive agenda to silence all opposing views.   There’s one small problem that I see with the attempt to vilify CFA:  their sandwiches–oh, the essence of pickle!– are divine.

Yes, pretty much sums it up.  It is about silencing opposing views.  Does seem gay marriage advocates are quite eager to do that.  If they’re so confident in their cause, why don’t they relish the opportunity to debate it?

Non-discrimination laws limit freedom of companies to offer benefits to gay people

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:44 pm - September 23, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Legal Issues,Liberalism Run Amok

A federal judge for the Southern District of California is allowing a woman to proceed with her case against Avis Rent-A-Care because the company “did not give her the gay and lesbian group member price discount.”   In his ruling he cites “California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act” which “seeks to prevent any discrimination among people on the basis of listed characteristics.”  (Via Instapundit.)

The plaintiff, he wrote, “has stated a plausible claim for relief, i.e., that AVIS violated the prohibitions of the Act regarding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”  If she succeeds in her suit, private companies, like Avis, will no longer be able to offer discounts to members of gay and lesbian organizations.

If Avis wishes to offer discounts to members of gay and lesbian organizations as a means to promote their service, the company should be free to do so. And if this woman believes Avis is discriminating against her, she remains free to take her business elsewhere.  Avis is not the only rental car company.

Giving in to terrorists by going after filmmaker?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - September 16, 2012.
Filed under: Free Speech,Freedom,Post 9-11 America

Bruce and I have similar worldviews, but very different ways of expressing them.  Yesterday, shortly after reading Glenn Reynolds’s post saying Obama should resign for dispatching law enforcement to arrest* the man who made a crude film attacking the Muslim prophet Mohammed, I shared the link with some conservative Facebook friends, asking if they agreed with Glenn’s conclusion.

At the time, I wasn’t ready to post on the topic, wanted to sort out my thoughts a bit before I did.  A few moments after I posed my question on Facebook, I checked the blog and found that Bruce has already run with the story; he, however, did not include as question mark as I had.  My co-blogger agrees with Glenn; Barack Obama should resign.

Now, given that Mr. Obama’s resignation would mean the inauguration of Joe Biden as President of the United States, I tend to be wary of resignation as an option, preferring instead defeat at the ballot box.  And the Democrat’s actions this past week (not to mention what we’ve learned in the past two weeks) show him to be a most ineffective chief executive, leading from behind, as it were, particularly in regards to this crude and offensive film.

The White House dispatched the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call a crackpot preacher with a tiny congregation and ask him to end his mean-spirited diatribes.  The Obama team asked YouTube to remove the film.  And now, they’ve gone and gotten the filmmaker arrested.  He may have misrepresented the Muslim prophet in a mean-spirited manner, but the First Amendment protects his right to say offensive things.

The First Amendment also protects the rights of others to criticize the film for its flaws and defend the faith he faults.  That is how critics should respond.

And that is how the President of the United States should have responded to those, including Egypt’s President, who demanded the United States prosecute the filmmaker and/or censor the film.

Eugene Volokh thinks “suppression” of such films “would likely lead to more riots and more deaths, not less. Here’s why”:

Behavior that gets rewarded, gets repeated.  (more…)

When advocacy of tolerance becomes tyrannical

Many of you have read before about the New Mexico case where a lesbian couple filed a discrimination claim against a Christian photographer who refused to photograph their commitment ceremony.

When the two women filed their claim, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found against the photographer and ordered the company “to pay $6,600 in attorney fees.”  Said photographer, Elaine Huguenin, reported George Will in his column on Friday . . .

. . . says that she is being denied her right to the “free exercise” of religion guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and a similar provision in the New Mexico Constitution. Furthermore, New Mexico’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act defines “free exercise” as “an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief” and forbids government from abridging that right except to “further a compelling government interest.”

As New Mexico’s Supreme Court prepares to sort this out, Will offers how the cases . . .

. . . demonstrates how advocates of tolerance become tyrannical. First, a disputed behavior, such as sexual activities between people of the same sex, is declared so personal and intimate that government should have no jurisdiction over it. Then, having won recognition of what Louis Brandeis, a pioneer of the privacy right, called “the right to be let alone,” some who have benefited from this achievement assert a right not to let other people alone. It is the right to coerce anyone who disapproves of the now-protected behavior into acting as though they approve of it, or at least into not acting on their disapproval. (more…)

We Interrupt Our Petty Lives for this Announcement:

Ever since I first heard of Yousef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian pastor held captive in that horrible subnormal nation by its rulers for the crime of apostasy, I’ve had as my homepage at work the American Center for Law and Justice website which had been counting the days of his incarceration.

That count has ended.

While I was out of town this weekend with my partner and away from the news, Pastor Nadarkhani was released by the court that had originally sentenced him to death. The charge of apostasy has been reduced to that of evangelizing, and his punishment to time served.

There is so much to say that if I did would look like gift-horse material. For now, let’s all just say a prayer of thanksgiving that he has been delivered from these savages and is currently back in the embrace of his family.

Let’s also further pray that now that he’s out of jail he will find safety. All to often in places like Iran, prisoners of conscience are released from official bondage only to be torn apart by the mobs that populate such backward countries.

If you’d like to know more about Pastor Nadarkhani and his trials, check out the link to the ACLJ above.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

Searching for “free enterprise” on White House website

President Obama, writes the Cato Institute’s David Boaz:

doesn’t talk about free enterprise as an American value, not even when speaking of freedom to students in ChinaSearch for “free enterprise” on the White House website, and the first hit is to his famous “You didn’t build that” speech in Roanoke—which doesn’t include the word “enterprise,” or the word “free.”

Read the whole thing.

Ryan’s Reaganesque Remarks Echo Nation’s Founding Principles

Last year, from a seat on bloggers’ row in the (metaphorical) rafters the Excel Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, I watched the Republican vice presidential nominee deliver a speech that wowed us all.  ”If this were baseball,” I wrote from those rafters, “the ball would be up here.  Or further.  She’s hitting this out of the park.”

You could feel the energy in the hall.  You could feel it as people left the auditorium, seemingly floating, not walking, back to our cars and busses.

“Leaving the hall” last night, reports the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Republicans seem to have had similar feelings, offering “reviews of [this year vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan’s speech that ranged from ‘fantastic’ to ‘awe-inspiring.’  If any were underwhelmed, they didn’t show it.”  Even non-Repubilcans liked it.   One 2008 Obama voter blogged that “Ryan did a brilliant job. It was much more than a fine speech and an excellent delivery. He embodied that speech. We saw a brilliant candidate.

Jim Geraghty called the speech “Reaganesque“.  Ryan skeptic Paul Mirengoff dubbed it “optimal“, his blogging colleague John Hinderaker called it “fantastic.”  The fetching Wisconsin Republican criticized, as Jennifer Rubin observed, “‘more in sadness than in anger’ with great expression of empathy for fellow citizens.

Glenn Reynolds listed his favorite lines, including the one about “fading Obama poster”.  Maybe everyone is buzzing about that one, but two other passages which struck me, the first, Ryan ribbing his running mate for his choice in music.  Can you imagine Joe Biden making fun of Barack Obama’s tastes in music (or anything else for that matter)?*

Perhaps, I should cite his conclusion where he harkened back to our nation’s “founding principles”, but it was this passage where he articulated one of those principles that really resonated with me:

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

In the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson listed the British government’s “long train of abuses and usurpations” against the American people.  The Constitution placed strict limits on what the new federal government could do. (more…)

David Lampo on the GOP & “gay rights”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:58 pm - August 23, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,Gay Conservatives (Homocons)

Reader MV passed along this interview David Lampo gave on Republicans and gay rights:

Having received a review copy of David’s book, A Fundamental Freedom: Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights, earlier in the summer, I read it and had mixed feelings. Perhaps, I should take the time to write a more formal review.

Lampo does a good job of debunking notions of anti-gay attitudes in the Tea Party, but at times, repeats the gay left narrative about Republican intolerance.

That said, if you have a moment, give the video a watch.

Paul Ryan Takes Down Obamacare in Six Minutes

Priceless.

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-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Why must opposition to gay marriage always be “hate”?

Since I was driving to Denver yesterday, I was unable to participate in the “Kiss-in” at the Hollywood Chick-fil-A.  Had I been in town, I may well have joined in, having fun by finding a fetching fellow to kiss in front of the franchise, then walking into the restaurant and buying him a nice chicken meal, while ordering a nice cup of their most refreshing lemonade for myself.

Given some of the photos (via Instapundit) I saw from the “Kiss-In”, it seems that most protesters were more interested in expressing themselves than in presenting a positive image of same-sex affection. Yeah, a three-person kiss and signs like “Eat More Carpet” will go a long way to changing social conservative attitudes toward gays.

Now, these folks were surely having fun.  One thing that’s great about America is that they are free to express so flamboyantly their opposition to the views of the chicken chain’s president.

But, just as such flamboyant displays of disagreement likely will make it more challenging to change minds, so too is labeling opposition to gay marriage as “hate” little likely to foster dialogue.  According to the Los Angeles Times, the Rev. Sarah Halverson of Fairview Community Church did just that, saying she

 . . . respects [Chick-fil-A President Dan] Cathy’s right to free speech, she said, but also exercised her own right to speak out against what she considers hate speech.

“We have the right to stand in disagreement with another’s speech,” she said.

At a Chick-fil-A in Torrance where vandals painted the words “Tastes Like Hate” on the side of the restaurant Thursday night, the “National Same-Sex Kiss Day” was off to a slow start.

She’s does have the right to stand in disagreement.  That said, we should also consider whether the way we stand causes those with whom we disagree to reconsider their views.  Calling those views “hate speech” is not likely to effect such reconsideration.  If anything, it may cause them to double down in disagreement.

NB:  Tweaked the conclusion to improve its flow.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Just Me finds it to be a shame that some utilize the confrontational tactics, “because I think gays would get much further by engaging in legitimate debate than the in your face, deliberately provocative displays that don’t pay any respect to the other opinion or with any attempt to find common ground.”

Is the Chick-fil-A Kiss-in Unnecessarily Provocative

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:18 am - August 3, 2012.
Filed under: Free Enterprise,Free Speech,Freedom,Gay America

As some gay activists are planning a “kiss-in” at Chick-fil-A franchises across the country today, the LA Times reports that a number of activists are “questioning whether such outward displays of affection will ultimately help or hurt their cause“:

But even among LGBT supporters, some wonder whether such an in-your-face act might be too provocative, or amount to taunting.

“I respect not patronizing their establishment … but by taunting them in their establishment is hate-filled and inciting anger and hate,” said one commenter on a Causes.com page urging people to participate in the kiss-in.

Suggested another: “Its okay to disagree but its not okay to confront a person on their views in such an aggressive and provocative manner. There are forums for that.”

Via Instapundit.  Well, I did kiss a guy at Chick-fil-A Wednesday night and had he been more boyfriend, the kiss would have been, well, a little more affectionate.  Anyway, I’m with Ed Morrissey (and Mike Huckabee!) on this one:

. . . there is nothing wrong with protesting over Chick-fil-A’s political connections or ownership’s political views, as long as protestors obey the law in doing so.  That is a perfectly acceptable free-speech, free-market approach to disagreement within commerce.  I’d rather see kiss-ins than lawsuits, for instance, and certainly more than seeing politicians extort businessmen to support their political agendas, as is exactly what Thomas Menino and Rahm Emanuel attempted to do in Boston and Chicago, respectively.  Protests that don’t block customers from accessing the business or act violently are a good release valve for a free society.

Now, there is a difference between kissing someone out of affection and kissing someone to make a statement. And the latter seems to serve only to politicize an intimate gesture.  So, the question we should ask is how will the kiss-in be seen? (more…)

It Takes the Free Market

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:10 am - August 3, 2012.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,Free Enterprise,Freedom

Via Walter Olson (on Facebook) via Lachlan Mackay (also on Facebook)

Dodging Lasers To Get Chicken

My sincere apologies that it appears the last place this video is posted is at my very own blog!

My intent was to get this posted here sooner, but it just wasn’t possible until this morning. The video was shot on Wednesday, but it wasn’t cleared by the powers-that-be until Thursday morning. Well, I was driving from Charlotte to Jacksonville, FL all day Thursday. (I’m in JAX for the RedState Gathering…. more on that later)

So here it is, members of the GayPatriot community — my trip to Chik-Fil-A on Wednesday…

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-Bruce (GayPatriot)

How Chick-fil-A haters promoted that chicken chain’s lemonade

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:44 pm - August 2, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,Hysteria on the Left

As a lemonade lover, I find it relatively easy to order a lemonade at restaurants, but rarely, alas do I chance upon a good cup of my preferred summer drink.  Most establishments serve a processed version of that refreshing beverage.

Last night at the Hollywood Chick-fil-A, I enjoyed a deliciously tart cup of lemonade.  Had it not been for politically correct politicians  attempting to keep the chicken chain out of their cities, I likely wouldn’t have visited the local franchise.

Their demagoguery coupled with Mike Huckabee’s decision to create Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day served as promotion for the chicken chain.  Now that I know how tasty their lemonade is, I’ll likely return when I’m craving a cup.

Mayor Menino and his politically correct cohorts may have been trying to deny Chick-fil-A business because of its owners politically incorrect views, but he instead succeeded in making me aware of the restaurant’s wonderful lemonade.  How many other people yesterday discovered the quality of the chicken chain’s products and intend to return to try them again?

I bought Chick-fil-A’s product; I didn’t buy its owner’s politics

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 pm - August 2, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom

Last night, Allahpundit linked an interview with the man behind Chick-fil-A appreciation day, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. I don’t always agree with the charismatic social conservative, but this time he’s spot on; I encourage you to watch the video in its entirety. It’s only four minutes.

Huckabee made it clear that this was largely about freedom of speech, not about gay marriage, as some would spin it.

Just after the 2-minute mark, he says he’d love to ask the various urban politicians (who want to block Chick-fil-A from building franchises in their community) what gave them the “right to censor” commerce just because they disagreed with “someone who worked there.” Then, he points out that the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Ben and Jerry’s and Starbucks all “give generously” to support same-sex marriage, yet he still partakes of those products.

“I’m not buying their politics,” he emphasized, “I’m buying their products.” And that’s what I felt like last night when I joined a gay and a lesbian reader at the Chick-fil-A on Sunset & Highland in Hollywood.

How many products do we buy everyday with a full knowledge of the political views of the owners of the company show produces?  On my desk, by this Apple computer, I see a variety of Uniball pens, Stabilo and Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, a Canon camera, a Sony digital recorder, a cup of coffee made from beans bought at Starbucks, a bowl which until recently contained McCann’s Irish Oatmeal.

I have been impressed by their quality of these products.  Now, from Governor Huckabee’s interview, I learned that two of those products (the computer and the coffee) have CEOs who support state recognition of same-sex marriage.  What do the CEOs of the other companies support?  I don’t know.  I do know that I like their products. (more…)

At the Hollywood Chick-fil-A with a gay and a lesbian reader

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:20 am - August 2, 2012.
Filed under: Freedom,LA Stories

Along with two readers, Chris H and a former left-leaning lesbian, I ventured out last night to the Chick-fil-A at Sunset and Highland in Hollywood.  I had to park three blocks away.  When I arrived, the line for the drive-thru wrapped around the block from McCadden (where the entrance was, onto Sunset and then onto Highland.

I joined my lesbian friend in long line to a packed restaurant.  We would not be able to find a seat in the outdoor seating area (and had to stand while we ate our meal).  A news team was there and interviewed me when they learned I was gay.

The crowd was very supportive as I made clear that this was about freedom, saying that I disagreed with Mr. Cathy’s stand on gay marriage, but also that I disagreed with Ben and Jerry’s politics, but still eat their ice cream.

Chris soon arrived and we hugged, right in front of Chick-fil-A. No one insulted us. In fact, one woman thanked me for saying when I did. She would not be the last patron to approach us when we indicated we were gay.

It was almost a party atmosphere, with everyone friendly. My lesbian friend said it reminded her of a Tea Party. The service was most polite. The manager Alex had remembered me from earlier in the day and welcomed me back. The food was good, with the lemonade particularly tart, the way I like it. Alex told me they squeeze the lemons fresh every morning.

And there were some protesters, most friendly, but a few angry.  (Pictures below the fold.)  When it was time for us to head home, I hugged Chris and kissed him on the cheek.   Our lesbian friend engaged the protesters. (more…)

On the HHS Mandate

There’s so much to celebrate today: My beautiful home state turns 136 today, Michael Phelps has made history with his 19th medal on behalf of America, and Ted Cruz not only won, but schwacked establishment candidate Lt. Governor David Dewhurst by a margin of over 13 percentage points in yesterday’s Texas GOP runoff, sending a clear message that the Constitution is back in business (or will be, come January) in the US Senate.

However, I have to admit, today is a sad dark day for America.

While Youcef Nadarkhani spends his 1024th day in an Iranian prison for the crime of having become a Christian, our Nation took another chip out of the rock of religious liberties as well. Surely we cannot compare the offense to religious freedoms that President Obama’s and Kathleen Sebelius’ mandate that employers abdicate their First Amendment rights (which goes in effect today) to those of Pastor Nadarkhani. But while mayors across the country attempt to deny a business owner his Due Process and First Amendment rights, today calls attention to just how far we’ve come in our Nation.

I actually woke this morning to a fraternity brother’s post on his Facebook page that read:

Btw american women everywhere, congratulations!

Today your insurance plans MUST ‘cover specific preventive health services for women without cost-sharing, such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. These services include well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, STD screening and contraceptives.’

I caution those who would vote for romney (especially women who would vote for romney) to recognize the implications of a repeal. We would eliminate the gains that have been made today, and will continue to be made by the landmark legislation for the next 5 years.

As offensive as it is to someone like me who’s pro-life to see someone write in literally congratulatory tones about the growth and spread of abortion, this is also symbolic of just how far we’ve come. (more…)

Happy Milton Friedman’s Centennial!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - July 31, 2012.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Economy,Freedom,Great Men

Glenn Reynolds quotes my fellow University of Virginia School of Law Federalist Don Boudreaux who in his centennial appreciation of the Nobel-prize winning economists offered this contrast between Mr. Friedman’s ideas and those of the incumbent President of the United States:

Note that Friedman would heartily agree with President Obama that no one prospers in today’s economy exclusively through his or her own individual efforts. Where Friedman would disagree – and disagree strongly – is with Obama’s suggestion that the main source of help that each of us gets from others is government. While government might supply some necessary pieces, such as highways and law courts, the vast bulk of what society supplies for each person’s sustenance and success comes not from government but from the ongoing private efforts of millions of individuals acting in free markets.

Emerging “civil libertarian” consensus on Chick-Fil-A

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:48 am - July 30, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Entrepreneurs,Freedom,Gay PC Silliness

While I was celebrating a friend’s birthday yesterday at the happiest place on earth (with seemingly fewer happy people this summer than in past years), Glenn Reynolds linked and quoted from a blogger who offered a nice succinct, synopsis of an emerging consensus on the Chick-Fil-A hullabaloo:

Among pretty much everyone with a civil libertarian, or just plain libertarian, background, the verdict on the Chick-Fil-A furor is the same: while private persons and groups are within their rights to boycott a business, it’s outrageous and dangerous for government officials to threaten to use regulation to keep the fast-food chain out of their cities because they disapprove of its president’s anti-gay-marriage views.

Exactly.  Exactly.  Read the whole thing.

Do wonder yet again why Democratic politicians were so eager to attack this private company for the opinions of its president.  And to do so when they had no evidence that the company had ever discriminated against an employee because he was gay or denied service to or otherwise denigrated a customer because of his sexual orientation.