Deroy Murdock: Not Your Boss’s Business? Individual Coverage Would Stop Birth Control From Being The Man’s Concern.

‘NOT MY BOSS’S BUSINESS,” screamed several protest signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Hobby Lobby case was argued on March 25 and decided last Monday morning. Another placard hollered: “HEY SUPREME COURT — NO BOSSES IN MY BEDROOM.”

The first slogan belongs to NARAL Pro-Choice America, previously called the National Abortion Rights Action League. NARAL has lost the courage of its convictions. While it once proudly preached abortion rights, NARAL now peddles “choice,” without saying what, precisely, will be chosen. Perhaps the choice is NARAL itself.

In any case, these banners are laughable in one sense and laudable in another.

The accidental comedy involves demonstrators who want birth control to be none of their bosses’ business — until the bill arrives. Then it suddenly becomes their bosses’ business to purchase whatever contraception these protesters want. This includes drugs and devices that may kill human beings soon after conception. And, if bosses refuse to finance such birth-control methods, the federal government will force them to do so and fight them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if they disobey.

So, to be clear: Bosses should stay the hell out of America’s bedrooms — except to deliver contraceptives at no cost to their employees, especially when Uncle Sam so orders.

Thankfully, the Supremes excused from this unconstitutional contraceptive mandate Hobby Lobby and other companies closely held by pious owners. This odious rule is yet another reason to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Indeed, crushing Obamacare and its relentless edicts could give the “Not my boss’s business” crowd precisely what their posters demand.

This brouhaha exists because most Americans get group medical insurance through their employers. Consequently, it is the boss’s business to decide whether to cover birth control, mental-health or substance-abuse treatment, and even pills for erections. The protesters are right: Why should bosses control such intimate details of workers’ lives?

The answer is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a robust market for individual health insurance. Companies simply could pay their staffers to purchase whatever health plans satisfy their needs and wants. Employees who prefer insurance that includes birth control could buy it. Those who neither want nor need contraceptives could choose plans without it.


It doesn’t make national headlines, but the city’s level of violence is tragic.
For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks, and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different.

For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long holiday weekend that would generate headlines if it happened in Kabul.

“It’s Groundhog Day here in Chicago” is how police superintendent Garry McCarthy put it. This year, the tally of shame was more than 80 people shot and 14 killed. Last year, a slightly longer July Fourth weekend (the holiday fell on a Thursday) saw 75 people shot and 12 fatalities.

The astonishing numbers underline how Chicago, despite recent progress on crime, is still a byword for gunplay and urban chaos. It is a city where life, at least among young men living in the most dangerous neighborhoods, is cheap.

Chicago’s killings can’t readily be interpreted through a racial prism, so they don’t provoke gales of outrage from the nation’s opinion-makers. Only very rarely do they become national causes, as in the heartbreaking case of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, shot to death shortly after performing at President Barack Obama’s inauguration last year.

Chicago saw its homicides soar from roughly 430 in 2011 to more than 500 in 2012, before it got them back down below 2011 levels last year, thanks to more-aggressive policing. They are running slightly lower again this year, although they are still higher than in New York City, even though Chicago is a third of the size.

Why is Chicago the nation’s murder capital? Its officials always want to talk about gun laws, and Superintendent McCarthy complained about their laxity after the latest shootings. This is bizarre, since Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and has been slapped down in the courts for trampling on the Second Amendment in its zeal to make it all but impossible to own guns.

Chicago is a running illustration of the cliché that if you ban guns, only criminals will own them. Not surprisingly, if you are willing to shoot someone in a meaningless gang dispute, you are willing to disregard laws for the purchase and possession of firearms.

Gun laws are beside the point. The tony Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park could have the same laws as gun-friendly Vermont and it would still be extremely safe. What Chicago is suffering from is not a random citywide phenomenon, but a specific, highly concentrated one.

Federal Court Orders Chicago to pay NRA’s Legal Fees: David Sherfinski

Court orders Chicago to pay NRA’s legal fees

A federal court is ordering the city of Chicago to pay the National Rifle Association nearly $1 million in legal fees.

The NRA had challenged a Chicago law banning gun sales within the city limits that a federal court ruled unconstitutional in January.

Chicago also paid the NRA $600,000 in legal fees following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 ruling that the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms applies to the states.


During last year’s budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, “We don’t have a spending problem.” When Boehner responded with “But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem,” Obama replied, “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.” In one sense, the president is right. What’s being called a spending problem is really a symptom of an unappreciated deep-seated national moral rot. Let’s examine it with a few questions.

Is it moral for Congress to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another? I believe that most Americans would pretend that to do so is offensive. Think about it this way. Suppose I saw a homeless, hungry elderly woman huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. To help the woman, I ask somebody for a $200 donation to help her out. If the person refuses, I then use intimidation, threats and coercion to take the person’s money. I then purchase food and shelter for the needy woman. My question to you: Have I committed a crime? I hope that most people would answer yes. It’s theft to take the property of one person to give to another.

Now comes the hard part. Would it be theft if I managed to get three people to agree that I should take the person’s money to help the woman? What if I got 100, 1 million or 300 million people to agree to take the person’s $200? Would it be theft then? What if instead of personally taking the person’s $200, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take the person’s $200? The bottom-line question is: Does an act that’s clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?

For most of our history, Congress did a far better job of limiting its activities to what was both moral and constitutional. As a result, federal spending was only 3 to 5 percent of the gross domestic product from our founding until the 1920s, in contrast with today’s 25 percent.

Close to three-quarters of today’s federal spending can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.

During earlier times, such spending was deemed unconstitutional and immoral. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, Madison stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today’s Americans would crucify a politician expressing similar statements.


In September 2011, Asher Palmer, a United States citizen and his infant son were murdered when an Arab threw a rock at the car driven by Palmer. The rock pierced the vehicle’s windshield like a missile and shattered Asher’s skull at which point the vehicle careened out of control causing the death of both father and son. Despite the horrific nature of the crime and the fact that it involved a United States citizen, there was no condemnation by the White House and no expressions of condolences to the Israeli people.

On June 12, 2014 three Israeli teens, one of whom was an American citizen, were kidnapped and murdered by Arabs. It took the White House eighteen days to muster the courage to condemn the outrage and even then, the condemnation was qualified by perfunctory calls for “restraint.” Just imagine how the United States would have reacted to an atrocity that involved the harming of American citizens. The murder of four American military contractors in Fallujah in March 2004 prompted a major US invasion of that city. Calls for restraint from the White House are not only insulting; they represent the zenith of hypocrisy and moral morass.

On May 1, 2014 Shelly Dadon, a 20-year old Israeli was murdered by an Arab in central Galilee. She was stabbed 17 times by her Arab assailant and stood no chance. She was on her way to a job interview at a telecommunications company when the terrorist attack occurred. The White House reaction? Deafening silence.

The victims of these atrocities were Jewish and their attackers, Arabs. Their sole crime was their nationality, a circumstance of birth. They were not known to their attackers and did nothing to provoke them but that mattered not to those with the thirst for blood. All that mattered was that they were dhimmi Jews with the temerity to live productive lives in their ancestral homeland.

President Obama’s response to these and other terrorist attacks against Israelis is disquieting to say the least. However, when one considers his reaction to attacks by Jews against Arabs – a rarity – the disparity proves difficult to ignore.

The killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year old Arab from Jerusalem, ostensibly at the hands of Jews, sparked an immediate White House condemnation and expressions of “condolences to the Palestinian people” even before the circumstances of his unfortunate death were ascertained. Similarly, the roughing up of a Palestinian stone thrower by Israeli police prompted the White House to note that it was “profoundly troubled” by his treatment. An Israeli girl who is stabbed 17 times by an Arab is greeted by stone-cold silence while a violent Arab provocateur who gets roughed up warrants expressions of concern from the White House. Clearly, there is something manifestly unjust here.

It is no secret that Obama maintains a visceral dislike for Israel. From the moment he took office, he never missed an opportunity to take a swipe at the only democracy in the Mideast and America’s only stable ally in the region. While the Mideast is in turmoil, Israel remains a beacon of stability yet, judging by his actions and words, that matters little to Obama.

The Myth of Israeli Collective Punishment By Daniel Greenfield

The most enduring critique of Israel’s struggle against Islamic terrorism is the recurring accusation of “collective punishment.” Every time Israelis are murdered, the Jewish State is accused of punishing Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza for the actions of a few individuals.

Israel is fighting an enemy that insists on having all the advantages of a state and statelessness with none of the disadvantages. The PLO/Hamas unity government is a state when it wants something from the United Nations or the United States, but it’s not a state when it comes to taking responsibility. The Muslims who live in Gaza and the West Bank are considered citizens when it comes to having political rights, but not when it comes to taking responsibility for the consequences of their political decisions.

Their votes are to be taken seriously, but once those votes lead to war they are no longer responsible.

The Palestinian Authority is a state when it comes to its territorial claims, but not a state when it insists on open borders with Israel while claiming that any Israeli border security is a violation of its rights.

Terrorists routinely operate in such legal twilight zones, but the Palestinian Authority is unique in that it has all the structure of a state with none of the responsibilities of statehood. If Israel treats it as a state in response to acts of war, it is accused of collective punishment, even though the Palestinian Authority is the product of a collective political will and attacking it is not a collective punishment, but simply war.

When the Palestinian Authority unity government of Hamas and the PLO wants to go to the UN, it is said to represent the political will of a populace. But when Hamas attacks Israel, suddenly it’s not a collective act, but an individual crime. If Israel targets Hamas leaders, then it’s attacking political representatives. But if Israel blockades an area run by terrorists who claim to be a state, it’s accused of engaging in collective punishment. The terrorists claim political immunity as leaders of a collective and immunity from collective attack as individuals, rather than leaders and citizens of a political entity.

Critics of Israel not only want to have it both ways, they want to have it every single possible way that advantages the terrorists and disadvantages Israel, so that in every possible scenario Israel is wrong.

The paradox deepens when it comes to Israel.

Bridget Johnson:Khamenei: U.S. Hands ‘Empty in Both Fields of Sanctions and Threats’

While the Obama administration is painting the ongoing Iran nuclear talks in Vienna as a fluid process with flexibility on the table, Tehran is stressing that non-negotiables remain yet the U.S. is in the palm of its hand.

In an address [1] last week to mark Mining and Industry Day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the sanctions eased by President Obama are demolished for good and cannot be rebuilt even if a deal is not struck 13 days from now — confirming the warnings of the president’s harshest Democratic critics in the Senate.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested in a meeting with senior officials today that the U.S. is keeping Israel from striking at Iranian facilities.

“The reason of the US’ prevention is that [it] does not see the attack affordable and we also strongly emphasize that a military attack on the Islamic Republic is not affordable for anyone,” Khamenei said, according to [2] Iran Press TV.

The ayatollah added that the “enemy’s hand is empty in both fields of sanctions and threats.”

He stressed that uranium enrichment remains a sticking point in negotiations with the P5+1, saying that Iran’s bottom line is an enrichment capacity of at least 190,000 Separative Work Units (SWUs) while the U.S. wants to limit the Islamic Republic to 10,000 SWUs.

Khamenei also said it would be “laughable” to consider shutting down the Fordow nuclear facility.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters last week that she wouldn’t go into specifics about “where the biggest gaps remain,” but stressed that the main issues are centrifuges, enrichment, the Arak heavy water reactor, and Fordow, an underground uranium enrichment facility near Qom.

A senior administration official said Thursday that the negotiations proceeding toward the July 20 deadline were “very intense” and centered around “a series of reasonable, verifiable, and we believe easily achievable measures that would ensure Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon and that its program is limited to exclusively peaceful purposes.”

Deputy Secretary William J. Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, and National Security Adviser to the Vice President Jacob J. Sullivan led the delegation to Vienna at the beginning of the month.


There’s a good lesson in Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s heated dissent from a Thursday order in the case of Wheaton College v. Burwell: When making an argument, you should be cautious about imputing bad faith to your adversaries–not only because civility has intrinsic value but also because such aggression magnifies the embarrassment if you turn out to be mistaken.

That’s just what Sotomayor, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, did in this dissent. “Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” she declared, using the first-person plural to refer to the court. “Not so today.” In making that assertion, Sotomayor committed an elementary error of logic.

The decision to which she referred was Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which the court handed down just three days earlier. By a 5-4 majority, with Sotomayor, Ginsburg and Kagan among the dissenters, the court held that Hobby Lobby and two other closely held corporations were entitled to an exemption from parts of ObamaCare’s administrative mandate that employer-provided medical plans include coverage for birth-control drugs and devices. The companies’ owners have religious objections to birth-control methods that also act as abortifacients and filed lawsuits seeking relief under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The government can overcome a RFRA claim if it can show, among other things, that the burden it seeks to impose on the plaintiff is the “least restrictive means” of achieving its goal. The justices held that the Department of Health and Human Services had failed that test–and quite obviously, for it had already developed a less-restrictive means, available only to religiously based nonprofit corporations. Rather than pay directly for the disputed coverage, those nonprofits may sign a form directing their insurance companies to take care of it.

Many nonprofits, including Wheaton College, take the position that even that accommodation intolerably burdens their religious liberty. The court didn’t rule on that contention Thursday; its stay merely bars enforcement of the modified mandate while the litigation proceeds.

Sotomayor imagines that the court gave its blessing to the nonprofit accommodation by citing it in deciding Hobby Lobby. In reality, the court expressly disavowed that position: “We do not decide today whether an approach of this type complies with RFRA for purposes of all religious claims,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito.

Logic is on the majority’s side. In order to disprove the government’s contention that the mandate is the least restrictive alternative, it is sufficient to establish that there is a less restrictive alternative–the nonprofit accommodation. But for the accommodation to withstand a RFRA challenge, the government would have to prove that it is the least restrictive alternative.

Radicalized Overseas and Coming Home: Mitchell Silber

How to combat the threat of domestic terrorism waged by Americans trained amid Middle Eastern conflict.

Mr. Silber is an executive managing director of K2 Intelligence, and former director of intelligence analysis for the New York Police Department.

‘I’ll see you in New York.” Those were Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s parting words to his U.S. captors in 2009 when he was handed over to the Iraqi government, which subsequently released him. Now, as the extremist group he leads, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, expands the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, concerns have grown that he intends to launch attacks on U.S. soil. Local and federal counterterrorism officials would be wise to take this threat seriously.

Even before ISIS’s recent territorial gains, Jeh Johnson, the new head of the Department of Homeland Security, pointed out in his first policy address in February how individuals from North America and Europe were heading to war-torn Syria where “they will encounter radical, extremist influences” and “possibly return to their home countries with the intent to do harm.”

Like it or not, local law enforcement is on the front lines of this counterterrorism fight. While I was the director of intelligence analysis at the New York Police Department from 2007-12, we identified and thwarted a number of individuals from the greater metropolitan area who sought to train and fight in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere. Our fear was that if we missed outbound aspiring jihadists they would return home to carry out attacks—like the ones that hit London when two waves of homegrown British suicide bombers were launched in July 2005, one of which killed 52 people.

The primary and most effective counterterrorist tool we had was collecting “humint” or human-derived intelligence. As opposed to electronic surveillance, this involved utilizing undercover officers and confidential informants, when certain legal thresholds were met, to penetrate budding terrorist conspiracies and to gather evidence of unlawful and violent intentions and plans, sometimes recording conversations. Humint was absolutely vital in detecting New Yorkers who aspired to join terrorist groups abroad and subsequently thwarting them.

The NYPD operates under the authority of a federal consent decree, known as the Handschu Guidelines, which specifically authorizes the department to utilize humint as an investigative technique when certain legal thresholds are met. This capability was often paired with federal antiterrorism statute 18 U.S. Code 2339B, which barred the provision of material support to proscribed terrorist groups.

Westchester USA :A Case of Racial Engineering that Obama Wants to Take Nationwide. see note

Rob Astorino is a decent, intelligent man who would make a great governor for New York State. He is running against a political pitbull Andrew Cuomo and deserves to win…..rsk
Residents of the northern New York City suburbs were recently treated to a TV ad invoking images of the Jim Crow South and claiming that Westchester County executive Rob Astorino has “repeatedly violated anti-discrimination laws for years.” None of the ad is true, but it does reveal some important political news with national implications.

To wit, Mr. Astorino is resisting the Obama Administration’s attempt to rewrite local zoning laws by federal fiat, and as the Republican candidate for Governor of New York he has a better chance to beat incumbent Andrew Cuomo than the conventional wisdom believes.

On the credibility of the discrimination charge, consider that Al Sharpton, the racial provocateur, recently made a trip to Westchester to deplore making race a political issue. He was sent by Mr. Cuomo specifically to make race a political issue.

New York state gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino Associated Press

The facts are that Mr. Astorino took office in 2010 in the heavily Democratic county and inherited a 2009 housing settlement with the federal government signed by his Democratic predecessor. The deputy county executive at the time the original lawsuit was filed was none other than Larry Schwartz, who is now Mr. Cuomo’s chief of staff. In 2007 the county executive’s chief adviser, Susan Tolchin, called the lawsuit “garbage.”

The suit was always dubious given the lack of evidence of discriminatory practices. Between 2000 and 2010, the numbers of blacks and Hispanics living in Westchester’s mostly white neighborhoods increased by 56%. The county is the fourth-most diverse in the state and rivals Manhattan in the number of black and Hispanic residents.