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Archive for February 8th, 2012

Obama’s contraceptive overreach is a huge opportunity

Of all the overreaching President Obama has done in three years, his overreach on requiring church-affiliated health institutions to provide contraception and abortion services contrary to their beliefs is the most egregious. It may also turn out to be the most disastrous for his election prospects.

Millions of people have been going about their busy lives trying to survive in an economy increasingly strangled by Obama’s policies. They haven’t paid much attention to the power-grabbing moves of Obama’s executive branch. Even these HHS policies, which Carolina Journal discussed nearly three years ago, were not a secret. But a compliant press and a populace concentrating on survival kept them from becoming top-of-mind for the general public.

The ham-handed announcement late last month by Health and Human Services changed all that. Suddenly a full-fledged protest had materialized, led by none other than Catholic bishops, and they were not coy about their feelings.

Even many Democrats are furiously putting distance between themselves and this policy. One Democrat has even said if she’d known this was part of Obamacare she wouldn’t have voted for the bill. Nice of her to tell us now.

The Obama administration has gotten away with so many outrageous freedom-destroying policies in the past three years, they surely thought this would be another that would be finessed by a media fully on board with the policy. The media played its part, of course, but the alternative media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) got the word out, and the previously complacent became outraged. Suddenly the Tea Partiers had a lot more people thinking, like them, that big government is indeed a danger.

The frantic reaction from the Obama White House and others in the executive branch is evidence of the strength of the adverse public reaction. The Secretary of the Army, which had ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter from Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio criticizing the policy, quickly relented. The White House, which announced these rules in an imperious manner a couple of weeks ago, suddenly was trying to sound reasonable and open to “compromise” with faith-based institutions.

When the history of the Obama administration has been written, I predict this will be seen as a pivotal moment. They have awakened millions of Americans of faith to the fact that their religious freedom is in jeopardy.

The panic at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is palpable. They are on the run on this issue. If those who believe the government has no business dictating that churches turn their backs on their tenets don’t grab this opportunity and push vigorously their opposition to this administration’s policies, they might not get another one.

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The Free Market Works. Again.

If you fly much, you know that  baggage fees are prevalent on many airlines. They say the fees are necessary to help pay for the rising cost of jet fuel. Consumers continue to complain. So what happens next? Some members of Congress want government to intercede to prohibit or cut back fees the airlines are “allowed” to charge, which would inappropriately infuse government into the industry. As usual, however, the innovative marketplace is coming  up with new products and services to address the baggage-fee development. No government intervention needed — just good old creativity and risk-taking.

An entire cottage industry has emerged for products that help people evade the baggage-check fees, according to Kate Hanni, director of FlyersRights.org, a consumer group that represents airline passengers. Ms. Hanni uses vacuum-seal bags inside her carry-on bags, she said; the bags, which shrink down to a compact package when air is pulled out by a vacuum cleaner, allow her to fit considerably more items in a carry-on than would normally be possible.

“I can fit three times the amount of clothes in a carry-on than I used to be able to,” she said.

There is also the Scottevest line of travel clothing in which trench coats, vests and other garments are made with large built-in pockets that allow people to carry everything from folded shirts to an iPad.

“You can fit all of your folded shirts, iPad, cellphone, iPod, sunglasses, camera, passport, keys — you can put everything in the jacket that you would put in a carry-on,” Ms. Hanni said. “It’s sort of sweet justice.”

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Carrboro Anarchist/Squatters Chant:”(Expletive) the pigs! We don’t need ‘em”

The Leftists in Carrboro who invaded private property came up with this chant to express their supposed commitment to community, peace, love, and the common good:

“(Expletive) the pigs! We don’t need ‘em,” the crowd began to chant. “All we want is freedom, freedom.”

They define “freedom” as the right to take from others without permission. And in a civil society, that is called crime — not freedom.

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