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ENTREPRENEURS TO TRUMP: Don’t take away our Obamacare.

The President-elect’s promise to repeal Obamacare next year has left these small business owners fearful that they will have to dismantle everything they’ve worked for and return to the corporate sector just to remain insured.

The Obama administration is also playing up Obamacare’s role in entrepreneurship as it seeks to promote the health reform law’s importance to Americans.

“We’re hearing from consumers who value the protections that [the Affordable Care Act] brings, but also about the economic freedom that the coverage has given them,” said Andy Slavitt, acting administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Obamacare.

War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is mandates.

The U.S. business formation rate — i.e., entrepreneurship — has been on the decline for 40 years, and business startups by the 20-34 demographic fell off the cliff the year after ObamaCare was signed into law.

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. ‘Religious freedom’ is just a code word for intolerance, says U.S. Civil Rights chairman.

Apparently, “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” are no longer constitutional rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, but “code words” for intolerance. Or so says the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The idea that the First Amendment is about intolerance helps explain Democrats’ recent efforts to weaken it in Congress. He said the concept of religious freedom is really about “Christian supremacy” and should be governed by anti-discrimination laws.

Chairman Martin Castro’s remarks were included in a report released Thursday titled: “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” A link to the actual report on the USCCR’s website is currently broken.

Chairman Castro, huh? If you put that in a novel, critics would call you heavyhanded.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH: DePaul launches free speech lecture series after banning conservatives.

Gentlemen, you can’t speak here, this is a university!

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, FREE SPEECH IS CENSORSHIP ALSO SHUT UP: The Left’s Free Speech Quandary at the University of Chicago.

WHEN MALE IS FEMALE, BLACK IS WHITE, AND OLD IS YOUNG: Peder Zane explores the meaning of the Obama Administration’s absurd interpretation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition of discrimination “on the basis of sex”:

A dispute about bathroom rights turned into a Pandora’s box of philosophical riddles about the nature of identity and the meaning of truth on May 13 when the Departments of Justice and Education issued a letter prohibiting “discrimination based on a student’s gender identity.”

The letter defines gender identity as “an individual’s internal sense of gender.” It also states “there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.” . . .

Sex is a biological fact. Almost everyone is born with distinct physical markers that define us as male or female.

Gender is a social construct that refers to the fluid range of expected behaviors taught to boys and girls. . . .

Though the administration might have the best of intentions, its fusion of sex and gender raises complex questions. Race, for example, is even more of a social construct than gender. Men and women will always be biologically distinct, but race is almost entirely an invention. It wasn’t too long ago that Italians, Jews and Aryans were considered separate races. . . .

Similarly, if one’s sex is a choice, why not one’s age? As 60 becomes the new 40, we increasingly see age as an attitude rather than a number. If I believe I am 65, what basis do you have for disagreeing with me? . . .It might sound absurd, but, given that logic, why can’t a white person claim the benefits of affirmative action or a middle-aged man demand Medicare and Social Security?

Exactly. If I feel like a 25 year-old black male today, who has a moral or legal basis to challenge this self identity? And if they dare to do so, they are “discriminating” against me based upon my age, race and gender.

Orwell would be so proud of today’s totalitarian progressives: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

As a legal matter, however, interpreting a 1964 law that bans discrimination “on the basis of sex” as banning discrimination “on the basis of sexual identity” is patently absurd. The 11 brave States that have filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s newfound construction of the 1964 Civil Rights Act will ultimately prevail, as congressional intent drives statutory construction.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): A reader sends this takeoff on the #ManEnough4Hillary campaign.

womanenough4hillary

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH: “Perhaps the worst thing about the new war on the internet is how Orwellian it is. The main argument made by the Guardian and other anti-troll warriors, and echoed by Maria Miller, is that if we allow people to spout whatever they want, then this will scare other people off the web, meaning, in Miller’s words, that foul online commentary can ‘actually stifle debate, lead to censorship’. So having unfettered free speech gives rise to censorship. And we need new laws that clamp down on abusive commentary in order to facilitate greater free speech. The slipperiness is astonishing. In their twisted world, free speech is censorship, and censorship is free speech.”

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH: EPA Head Gina McCarthy Named Conservationist Of The Year, After Spilling Tons Of Mine Waste.

STANFORD STUDENTS: OFFERING WESTERN CIVILIZATION CLASSES DESTROYS DIVERSITY!

Which dovetails rather well with the motto of one highly Progressive nation: war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

JAMES TARANTO: Obama goes “Full Orwell.” He’s been full Orwell for many years now, but Taranto’s right that Obama’s speech yesterday on the Iran nuclear deal was especially rich with patent falsehoods.

Rather than enumerate every flaw of Barack Obama’s defense of his Iran deal yesterday, we’d like to look deeply at the most glaring one, namely this passage:

Just because Iranian hard-liners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. . . .

Obama’s “common cause” argument rests on several factual premises that seem to us obviously false, and that certainly are not obviously true—among them, that Republicans desire war, that there is a meaningful distinction between “Iranian hard-liners” and the Iranian regime, and that those hard-liners would prefer American military action to American appeasement.

But there is an even more basic objection to Obama’s statement. Assume for the sake of argument that the “Iranian hard-liners” and the Republicans really do want an all-out military confrontation. Now, consider an example from history when such a result actually obtained. On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 8, Congress declared war on Japan. Would it make any sense to say that the Japanese and the U.S. Congress had made “common cause”?

Obama is equating mutual antagonism with its opposite, “common cause.” Again, Orwell put it more pithily: War is peace.

If Republicans who oppose the deal are “making common cause” with “Iranian hard-liners,” does it not follow that so are the Israelis—as well as those Democratic lawmakers who’ve announced opposition to the deal (seven so far, all in the House, according to the Hill), and 57% of the American public (including 55% of independents and 32% of Democrats), according to the latest Quinnipiac poll?

Lame duck Obama no longer cares about even the appearance of civility with Republicans, or any Democrat who dares to oppose him. His gloves are now off, it’s all personal to him (and his worshippers), and his radical ideological agenda is on full display. It’s full Orwell, replete with blatant lies, rewriting of history, and assault on the fabric of society itself. Obama is a bully, with a bully pulpit, and he doesn’t give a damn about the Constitution or its founding principles, which he thinks is deeply flawed. He has done more to damage the Constitution, the economy, and societal unity than all prior presidents combined.

January 2017 cannot come fast enough.

WHEN BLACK IS WHITE, AND MEN ARE WOMEN: So now that NAACP’s Rachel Dolezal has been “outed” as “white,” it makes me wonder: What is “white” anyway? Okay, admittedly, Dolezal doesn’t appear to have any African ancestry in her blood, as her parents say she is of German, Czech, and Swedish ancestry, with a smidgen of Native American in there somewhere.

Homer Plessy, the plaintiff in the famous “separate but equal” Supreme Court decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, was 7/8 white and 1/8 black, and so he was required, by Louisiana’s law, to ride in the “colored” railway car.  Plessy argued that he had a “right” to ride in the white railway car:

It is claimed by the plaintiff in error that, in any mixed community, the reputation of belonging to the dominant race, in this instance the white race, is property in the same sense that a right of action or of inheritance is property. Conceding this to be so for the purposes of this case, we are unable to see how this statute deprives him of, or in any way affects his right to, such property. If he be a white man and assigned to a colored coach, he may have his action for damages against the company for being deprived of his so-called property.

But of course the Supreme Court never indicated how, exactly, Mr. Plessy could “prove” that he was “white”– i.e., how much “white blood” was required to be “white.”

Since Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court has generally not countenanced any race-based distinctions in law, as they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yet the Court has, oddly, allowed race-conscious admissions programs in public universities, on the rationale that achieving racial “diversity” is a compelling government objective.  Yet clearly, this race-consciousness flows in one direction, in favor of “minority” students who are supposedly “underrepresented.” It does not seem to favor “overrepresented” minorities, such as Asians, who have recently filed a lawsuit against Harvard University, claiming they are discriminated against because they are too well-qualified.

So given the high importance the law apparently places on being a member of a “minority” group, how does the law decide whether an individual is a member of such a minority group?

The question arises more recently with our current President, Barack Obama, whose mother is white and father is black/Kenyan. Despite this 50/50 white/black ancestry, President Obama self-identifies as “black.”  But why? If one is of “mixed” race, may one simply choose whichever race one wishes?

What makes someone “black,” for example? Was Plessy really “black”? The railroad conductor thought he was. Is one’s race merely a subjective matter of self-identification?

Self-identification does appear, at least to the political left, to be the sine qua non of gender. Progressives/liberals have aggressively defended the “right” of Bruce Jenner to call himself a “woman,” if/when he so desires, despite the fact that he has not yet had his male genitalia removed, and will always have male XY chromosomes.

If gender is merely a matter of self-identification, should not race be also? I have always thought that, given the affirmative action-laden higher education admissions process, applicants should self-identify as “black” or “Native American” whenever they so desire.  I mean, why not? If they feel black or Native American, should not they be able to claim such an identity, as Rachel Dolezal has done? Doing so would quickly cause affirmative action to collapse of its own ridiculous weight.

Indeed, all of this race balkanization–with such extreme emphasis as belonging to this or that race–only further divides us, as race baiters like Al Sharpton well know. So why not accept the progressives’ terms of the debate–that our gender and race is all simply a matter of self-identity–and identify as a member of races that are favored/more protected by law? After all, no one can ever really know what lies in another’s heart. Does Bruce Jenner sincerely believe he is a female, or does he simply like to dress up in women’s clothes? Does Rachel Dolezal sincerely believe she is black? No one can possibly know the answer, perhaps not even Mr./Ms. Jenner and Ms. Dolezal.

What would a university do if an applicant self-identified as “black” on an application but showed up looking “white”? And if the university made such a judgment, what on earth would that mean? How would the university defend its belief that a student didn’t “look” black?  What sort of bizarre racial stereotypes would it rely upon in making such an appearance-based judgment? And if the university actually decided to take action against the student for racial misrepresentation, what on earth would that mean? How would the university judge whether the student was really “black”?  What percentage of blood would suffice for such a progressive institution? Fifty percent? Ten percent? One percent?

And if an individual, like Rachel Dolezal, has no black ancestry at all, would a progressive/liberal university allow her to self-identify as black, as they would (presumably) do for gender classification, if the student was born male and self-identified as a transgendered male (without yet having any surgery)? After all, the EEOC recently ruled in the Lusardi case that an individual in the Army who was born male, yet self-identified as female (but had not undergone surgery to remove his male genitalia) was to be considered a female and allowed to use the women’s bathroom.

The problem with progressive thinking is that black is white, male is female, and as Orwell observed in 1984, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” After all, if one can destroy words, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, DEATH IS LIFE.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, DITHERING IS STRENGTH.

Related item here.

UPDATE: Afghanistan: The Failure to Plan Is “The Plan.” “Veterans of dysfunctional corporations will recognize the Obama style as the one in which upper management is fond of giving middle management ‘All the responsibility, none of the authority, and zero resources.’ It’s a time-tested recipe for failure and demoralization while maintaining an aloof, ‘concerned,’ and above the fray posture on the part of the CEO.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Dick Blocksma writes: “Kind of sounds like how GM was run, no?”

MORE: Tom Maguire bursts a bubble.

JOHN STOSSEL: War is peace. Up is down.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, and The U.N. cares about human rights.