Indy bakery could lose lease for turning away gays‎

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This is getting absolutely ridiculous  when a business can’t decide who it wants to do business with itself instead of the City,county,State or Federal government telling them what to do with their own business. The City of Indianapolis is violating their own law about discriminating against religions.

Indy bakery could lose lease for turning away gays‎

An Indianapolis cookie shop could be evicted from its longtime location for refusing a special order from a college homosexual group.

Gay pride flagThe bakery “Just Cookies” has operated in a city-owned market for over 20 years. The president of the board that oversees the market told the Indianapolis Star that he would “hate to lose them” as a tenant — but that could very well happen because owner David Stockton took a moral stand and did not want to endorse homosexual activity.

Controversy arose this week after the owners of the bakery cited moral objections to a special-order request for rainbow-decorated cookies for next week’s “National Coming Out Day” observance at a nearby university campus. Stockton told the caller he did not feel comfortable in supporting homosexual values, especially because it would not set a good example for his two daughters.

Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana says there are reports the city might evict Stockton, citing a local “anti-discrimination” statute.

“Indianapolis passed a sexual-orientation city ordinance five years ago,” Clark explains. “…We warned [at that time] that this type of thing would happen if they passed an ordinance elevating a sexual behavior to the same moral equivalent of race or skin color.”

Micah Clark (AFA of IN)Had the shop filled the special order, the owner felt he would be providing a microphone for homosexuals to celebrate their lifestyle. But there is another consideration, says Clark.

“If this were a Muslim-owned bakery, what would happen?” he wonders. “I don’t think the city would pursue it the way they’re pursuing it now. I think this is part of the liberal agenda where people must conform to the views that our culture wants in support of homosexuality.” (And Clark is probably correct about this)

In an interview with the Star, the AFA of Indiana spokesman argued for the rights of business owners. “It’s one thing if someone walks into a store and buys a cookie off the shelf, but [the Stocktons] were being asked to become part of the [pro-homosexual] celebration. To make rainbow cookies for a special event with which the company has a disagreement — I think that goes beyond the pale of what we should expect companies to do.”

Meanwhile, homosexual groups are circulating memos encouraging people to stop purchasing at Just Cookies. Clark’s response to that is to ask residents to do business there in support of the owners and their wholesome beliefs.

The Star reports the organizers of the homosexual celebration found another bakery to fill their order — “The Flying Cupcake.”

One News Now

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

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The Federal Government telling a city of a State what kind of street signs to use? Where does the Constitution give them the authority to do this? Excuse me if I can’t find it in the Constitution.

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

The Capital of the World is going lower-case.

Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs — such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx — from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability.

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said.

“We have already started replacing the signs in The Bronx,” city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told The Post. ‘We will have 11,000 done by the end of this fiscal year, and the rest finished by 2018.”

$27 million to turn PERRY AV into Perry Av

$27 million to turn PERRY AV into Perry Av

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.

The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.

As a result, even numbered street signs will have to be replaced.

“Safety is this department’s top priority,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last year, in support of the new guidelines. “These new and updated standards will help make our nation’s roads and bridges safer for drivers, construction workers and pedestrians alike.”

The Highway Administration acknowledged that New York and other states “opposed the change, and suggested that the use of all upper-case letters remain an option,” noting that “while the mixed-case words might be easier to read, the amount of improvement in legibility did not justify the cost.”

To compensate for those concerns, in 2003, the administration allowed for a 15-year phase-in period ending in 2018.

Although the city did not begin replacing the signs until earlier this year, Sadik-Khan said they will have no trouble meeting the deadline, as some 8,000 signs a year are replaced annually simply due to wear and tear.

The new diminutive signs, which will also feature new reflective sheeting, may also reflect a kinder, gentler New York, she said.

“On the Internet, writing in all caps means you are shouting,” she said. “Our new signs can quiet down, as well.”

New York Post

Senior House Dem to seek new coastal drilling bans

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Seems like the Democrats aren’t just satified with banning Deep Sea Oil Drilling, not Coastal Drilling Bans……Just where do they think we’ll get our oil and what about Oil Independence from the Middle East.

Senior House Dem to seek new coastal drilling bans

A top member of the House Appropriations Committee is plotting to re-impose oil-and-gas drilling bans off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts if Democrats retain control of the House.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) — who heads the subcommittee that crafts Interior Department spending bills — tells the Washington Post that he wants to protect the mid-Atlantic and sees a “50-50 chance of protecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.”

The 2012-2017 offshore leasing plan that the White House rolled out in March — before the BP oil spill — calls for leasing off the coasts of mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. It does not contemplate allowing West Coast drilling even though the region is no longer under a formal moratorium.

East and West Coast leasing bans imposed for decades through spending bills lapsed in 2008 during an election season marked by record energy prices. But the BP spill is prompting calls for renewed bans. Moran also said he will seek limits on drilling off Alaska’s shores, where leasing is allowed in many areas, according to the Post.

The Interior Department imposed a temporary freeze on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP spill began, but that is expected to be lifted or relaxed soon. “The Gulf is going to go back to drilling. That’s just the nature of the Gulf,” Moran said.

The Hill

No Insurance for Ronald McDonald after Obamacare

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Sorry I haven’t done much posting…been busy on the main job, but hopefully that will slow up a little soon.  I wanted to post this one for our liberal friends who think that Obamacare will benefit the masses.  Don’t really know how one could still think that way after reading that it might cause a meltdown at the Golden Arches. From the Wall Street Journal:

By JANET ADAMY

McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn’t loosen a requirement for “mini-med” plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don’t offer health coverage, McDonald’s provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald’s official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain’s insurer won’t meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald’s and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims.

Democrats who drafted the health law wanted the requirement to prevent insurers from spending too much on executive salaries, marketing and other costs that they said don’t directly help patients.

mcinsure

Noah Rabinowitz for The Wall Street JournalMcDonald’s says the new health law threatens coverage for many workers, like these in Times Square.

McDonald’s move is the latest indication of possible unintended consequences from the health overhaul. Dozens of companies have taken charges against earnings—totaling more than $1 billion—over a tax change in prescription-drug benefits for retirees.

More recently, insurers have proposed a round of double-digit premium increases and said new coverage mandates in the law are partly to blame. HHS has criticized the proposed increases as unwarranted.

Democrats, looking toward midterm elections in which the health overhaul is an issue, say it already has stopped insurance practices they call abusive, has given rebates to seniors with high out-of-pocket prescription costs and has allowed parents to keep children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.

[MCINSURE]

McDonald’s, in a memo to federal officials, said “it would be economically prohibitive for our carrier to continue offering” the mini-med plan unless it got an exemption from the requirement to spend 80% to 85% of premiums on benefits. Officials said McDonald’s would probably have to hit the 85% figure, which applies to larger group plans. Its insurer, BCS Insurance Group of Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., declined to comment.

McDonald’s didn’t disclose what the plan’s current medical loss ratio was.

The issue of limited-benefit plans has also hit colleges, which face the same 80-to-85% requirement beginning next year.

“Having to drop our current mini-med offering would represent a huge disruption to our 29,500 participants,” said McDonald’s memo, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “It would deny our people this current benefit that positively impacts their lives and protects their health—and would leave many without an affordable, comparably designed alternative until 2014.”

The health law expands Medicaid and offers large subsidies to lower-income people to buy coverage, but those provisions don’t kick in until 2014.

Federal officials say there’s no guarantee they can grant mini-med carriers a waiver. They say the answer may not come by November, when many employers require employees to sign up for the coming year’s benefits.

The government is waiting for the association of state insurance commissioners to draft recommendations. The head of the association’s health-insurance committee, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, said she doesn’t think these types of mini-med plans deserve an exemption.

“If they are sold as comprehensive coverage, we expect them to meet the same [medical-loss ratio] standards as other health plans,” she said.

Without Coverage

Some options for low-wage workers if they don’t get health insurance on the job

Under current system:

  • May be eligible for Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, especially families with children
  • Can purchase private insurance on individual market, but premiums are likely to be too costly n Hospital emergency rooms must treat all comers without regard to ability to pay.
  • Some 1,200 federally funded community health centers offer low-cost basic care.

Starting in 2014 under health overhaul:

  • Everyone with income up to 133% of federal poverty level will be eligible for Medicaid. (Poverty level for individual is $10,830 in 2010.)
  • People with income between 133% and 400% of poverty level will be eligible for subsidized health insurance. Premiums are capped at 2% of income for those at the lowest end of that scale and 9.5% of income at the highest end.
  • Additional $11 billion spent on community health centers

Steven Larsen, the HHS official who received McDonald’s email memo, said the department doesn’t want employers to drop coverage over the law. The agency says it has already given the carrier for McDonald’s and others the chance to seek exemption from new annual limits on benefit payouts.

Insurers say dozens of other employers could find themselves in the same situation as McDonald’s. Aetna Inc., one of the largest sellers of mini-med plans, provides the plans to Home Depot Inc., Disney Worldwide Services, CVS Caremark Corp., Staples Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., among others, according to an Aetna client list obtained by the Journal. Aetna also covers AmeriCorps teaching-program sponsors, who are required by law to make health coverage available.

Aetna declined to comment; it has previously indicated that the requirement could hurt its limited benefit plans.

“There is not any issuer of limited benefit coverage that could meet the enhanced MLR standards,” said Neil Trautwein, a vice president at the National Retail Federation, using the abbreviation for medical loss ratio.

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s said it would look for other insurance options if it couldn’t get the waiver. The company’s chief people officer for the U.S., Steve Russell, said, “McDonald’s will continue to be committed to providing competitive pay and benefits.”

The chain has offered a limited benefits plan for more than 10 years. The current version provides outpatient, inpatient, preventive-care and prescription-drug coverage. McDonald’s says 85% of participants have less than $5,000 in medical expenses a year.

The new rules at issue apply only to fully insured health plans and not those where the employer absorbs the risk and directly pays out medical claims. The rules wouldn’t affect Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for instance, because it is self-insured.

Benefit consultants anticipate that, by 2014, most employers will stop offering mini-med plans. Such plans likely wouldn’t meet the definition of adequate coverage for full-time workers. Under the law, midsize and large employers that fail to offer such coverage will have to pay a fine.

Until 2014, workers on mini-med plans would have few affordable alternatives for coverage. According to a survey by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, workers without health insurance were three times as likely to visit the emergency room without being able to pay as their counterparts with health insurance.

“The packages maybe could be better, but for a start, they’re quite good,” said Jerry Newman, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, who worked under cover at McDonald’s to write “My Secret Life on the McJob.” He added: “For those who didn’t have health insurance through their spouse, it was a life saver.”

UPDATE: Jury Acquits Christians Arrested at Arab Fest; Dearborn to face Civil Lawsuit

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Well as predicted the Christians arrested at the Arab Festival in Dearbornistan, Michigan were acquitted by the jury and a civil lawsuit will be filed against the city.

Jury Acquits Christians Arrested at Arab Fest; Dearborn to face Civil Lawsuit

Arrested based on sharia law, acquitted based on U.S. law. That’s the good news, via Thomas More Law Center.

Late Friday evening, a jury of six Dearborn, Michigan residents returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty of breach of the peace charges, which were brought by the Dearborn Police Department against four Christian evangelists as they were peacefully proselytizing to Muslim youths during the Arab International Festival on June 18, 2010.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represented the evangelists, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, Negeen Mayel and David Wood, at no charge. The jury returned its verdict after an hour and half of deliberations. Nageen Mayel was found guilty of failing to obey a police officer—a charge unrelated to the actual incident, which will most likely be reversed on appeal.

Robert Muise, the Law Center’s Senior Trial Counsel, handled the five-day trial. The prosecutor placed seven witnesses on the stand including Chief of Police, Ron Haddad.

Even after the acquittals, Dearborn’s mayor, Jack O’Reilly, continued his ongoing and unprecedented personal attacks on the Christian evangelists, accusing them of being anti–Muslim bigots. O’Reilly’s continuous anti-Christian rhetoric was clearly an attempt to curry favor with Dearborn’s large Muslim population, which also explains the Police Department’s alarming mobilization to arrest the four Christians.

And the wrongly arrested/persecuted are fighting back:

For all those who’ve been asking, yes, a civil suit will be filed against the City of Dearborn for violating our Constitutional rights. The sad part is that this could have been avoided. If police had respected our rights at the festival, there wouldn’t have been a lawsuit. If the city had apologized after arresting us, acknowledging their wrong, I doubt any of us would have been interested in a lawsuit. (We were assaulted by multiple security guards last year, and we never pursued a lawsuit.) But instead of acknowledging their wrong and apologizing, the City of Dearborn declared war on us, blasting us with an endless supply of libelous accusations (read the Mayor’s letter), sending an obsessed prosecutor against us (who assured us in court that “it’s not personal”), bringing multiple liars (e.g. Roger Williams and Corporal Kapanowski) to the stand to bear false witness against us, and ultimately convicting Negeen because Judge Mark Somers seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable for police officers to manhandle a teenage girl who hadn’t even been accused of a crime. Yes, we’re finally ticked off, and during the trial, our resolve to seek justice was solidified. We’re happy that the Thomas More Law Center has decided to move forward with a civil case.

The bad news is that one of those arrested actually was convicted on one of the bogus charges, from Answering Muslims:

State Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) had the following statement regarding the verdicts given in the trial of the four Christian missionaries arrested at the Dearborn Arab American Festival:

“Today in Dearborn, the jury got it mostly right in finding Paul, David and Nabeel innocent of disturbing the peace. The city of Dearborn, the Dearborn Police and especially the Dearborn Mayor owe them a huge apology immediately.

However the guilty decision for Negeen Mayel’s charge of failure to obey a police officer is extremely disturbing to me. I met with the ACLU here in Michigan recently to make sure we had good laws protecting citizens’ right to video police officers and their activity and they said we have the model for other states. But based on today’s decision, it seems that police in Michigan can get cameras turned off before doing questionable things (like making an arrest that was just found to be bogus by the jury). And how did the police have the right to tell Negeen Mayel to turn off her video camera and how can he touch her….for what reason? The video she took made it clear the police stepped way out of bounds.

Now – for all this charade, the city of Dearborn needs to be dealt with firmly….unless they plan to try to secede from the union and have their own laws. This is the United States of America and we here in the USA have something called Freedom of Speech. Dearborn – get used to it!”

They just might, and we know what law they’d choose to govern by. We cannot get used to that.

More details and video of her arrest
via Blunder of Dearborn Judge Mark Somers Gets Negeen Mayel Convicted
http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/09/blunder-of-dearborn-judge-m

I would encourage people to go to the link above and read for themselves how the judge in this case did not follow law when making his decisions re: Negeen Mayel. Seems in Dearborn, the mayor, police, and Judge Somers believe they can make their own laws up as they go along, rather than following U.S. laws and precedents.
May I just express now my joy that 3 of these defendants received justice per the jury! But even more satisfying to me is the civil lawsuit Dearborn will now face for the injustices that Christians have suffered there, for Dearborn’s willing acceptance of islam and sharia law! More conservatives need to follow this example and file civil lawsuits across the nation when these cheap tactics are used to subvert the freedom of U.S. citizens!

Smart Girl Politics

FACT:Obamacare is even worse than critics thought

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To most of those who read this blog, this should not really be news. The polls are showing around 60% of Americans want Obamacare repealed.

Obamacare is even worse than critics thought

Six months ago, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rammed Obamacare down the throats of an unwilling American public. Half a year removed from the unprecedented legislative chicanery and backroom dealing that characterized the bill’s passage, we know much more about the bill than we did then. A few of the revelations are below:

» Obamacare won’t decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare’s actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.

» As written, Obamacare covers elective abortions, contrary to Obama’s promise that it wouldn’t. This means that tax dollars will be used to pay for a procedure millions of Americans across the political spectrum view as immoral. Supposedly, the Department of Health and Human Services will bar abortion coverage with new regulations but these will likely be tied up for years in litigation, and in the end may not survive the court challenge.

» Obamacare won’t allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama’s estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.

» Obamacare will increase insurance premiums — in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients’ children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare’s mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama’s only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.

» Obamacare will force seasonal employers — especially the ski and amusement park industries — to pay huge fines, cut hours, or lay off employees.

» Obamacare forces states to guarantee not only payment but also treatment for indigent Medicaid patients. With many doctors now refusing to take Medicaid (because they lose money doing so), cash-strapped states could be sued and ordered to increase reimbursement rates beyond their means.

» Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the measure.

» Obamacare allows the IRS to confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure Americans stay in line.

If you wonder why so many American voters are angry, and no longer give Obama the benefit of the doubt on a variety of issues, you need look no further than Obamacare, whose birthday gift to America might just be a GOP congressional majority.

Washington Examiner

Free Speech Muzzeling with DISCLOSE ACT Vote Today

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They won’t take no for an answer. So we have to give them both barrels again.

On July 27, the Senate voted down the Democrats’ union-friendly, loophole-ridden, Orwellian-titled DISCLOSE Act. The bogus campaign finance reform bill was, as Sen. Mitch McConnell put it, a “transparent attempt to rig fall elections” that was written “behind closed doors” with help from lobbyists and riddled with political carve-outs for labor and other deep-pocketed organizations. Now, the hide-and-seek hypocrites on the Hill have resurrected their union pay-off.

Priorities, you know.

Hapless Harry Reid is leading the charge:

Michelle Malkin

DISCLOSE ACT Vote this Evening

Today at 2:15pm, the United States Senate will, for the second time, vote on the DISCLOSE Act. In July, Republicans successfully filibustered the DISCLOSE Act, legislation aimed at curbing political speech in response to the Citizens United decision, from coming to the floor for limited debate and final passage this afternoon by a vote of 57 to 41 (60 votes are needed to move toward a vote for final passage).

Democrats hoped that an adjustment to the bill, which was to change the date the bill would go into law to the beginning of next year, preventing it from affecting the mid-term elections, would lure Republican support.

As Politico reports, it seems all but certain that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t have the votes, but is using the DISCLOSE Act to stall for time until the weekend:

When the defense authorization bill failed to clear cloture Tuesday, Democrats needed a measure to fill floor time before the weekend, and the DISCLOSE Act was one of the few measures in their legislative arsenal that was quickly available.Having failed cloture once, the campaign bill only requires a less strict “motion to recommit” from Reid to call another cloture vote. New legislation likely would need 30 hours after being filed, 30 hours the Senate doesn’t have.

So even if Democrats know they’re likely short of votes Thursday, the alternative was practically nothing.

In other words, they are wasting time to score cheap political points before adjournment. Sorry, that doesn’t look nearly as bad as failing to extend soon-to-expire tax cuts.

United Liberty.org

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