Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Starbucks FIRES barista who printed the word 'Pig' on the cups of five Oklahoma police officers working on Thanksgiving

On Thursday an officer with the Kiefer Police Department did a Starbucks run for emergency dispatchers working on the holiday and was shocked to find the word 'PIG' printed on the labels for all five drink orders.

The officer reported the labels to Police Chief Johnny O'Mara, who shared a picture of one of the offensive coffee cups on Facebook, where the incident went viral and led to public outrage.

Following the incident the officer who did the Starbucks run says the barista behind the 'Pig' label contacted him and apologized, saying the label was meant to be a joke.

Starbucks issued a company wide apology as well condemning the label and announcing that the barista was fired.

'The Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup used poor judgement and is no longer a partner after this violation of company policy,' the company said Friday.

'This is absolutely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and we are working to connect with the police chief as well as to express our remorse,' Starbucks said in a statement.

'This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,' the statement added.

Police Chief O'Mara was on vacation when the officer called to flag the 'Pig' labels. O'Mara then called the Starbucks location to demand an apology and the Glenpool store manager offered to reprint the cups, but it wasn't enough for O'Mara.

He shared pictures of the cups on Facebook saying: 'So... one of my on-duty officers decides to do something nice for our dispatchers.

'It's Thanksgiving Day; our dispatchers are under appreciated as it is. My officer goes to Starbucks to get the dispatchers coffee as a thank you for all they do (especially when they're working a holiday.)'

'What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town.'

'As a side note, I called the store and was told they'd be happy to 'replace the coffee with a correct label.' The proverb 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me' came to mind.

'Thank you, first responders, for risking it all this Thanksgiving away from your families.

As a result of the spat, Starbucks and the Kiefer Police Department plan to host a 'Coffee with a Cop' event where local law enforcement can meet with baristas and members of the community to discuss the role that dispatchers and officers play in keeping the city safe.

Kiefer is a small town with a population of less than 2,000 located about 20 miles south of Tulsa.


Congress warns E.U. against ‘Warning Labels’ for Jewish-made products
Nazism revived

Leading lawmakers in Congress are warning the European Union that issuing a mandate that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel carry consumer warning labels could trigger American anti-boycott laws and jeopardize U.S. trade with Europe.

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) is expected to issue an opinion this week on a long-running case brought by an Israeli winery challenging a requirement that Israeli-made products be labeled as coming from "settlements" and "Israeli colonies."

The decision is expected to be issued early Tuesday and follows a recent opinion by the E.U. court's advocate general stipulating that European law requires these Jewish-made products to be labeled. Critics said the law is reminiscent of Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish products and have viewed such requirements as a win for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

Ahead of the decision, Senator Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) petitioned E.U. ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis to raise concerns about a potential ruling in favor of the warning labels and said it could create policy tension with the United States.

Senators Benjamin Cardin (D., Md.) and Rob Portman (R., Ohio) sent a similar letter to U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer expressing concerns that the ruling holds Israel to a standard no other country is subjected to.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D., Calif.) sent a letter to U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland warning that the ruling would lead to discrimination against Israel.

The lawmakers also said such a ruling could trigger multiple U.S. anti-boycott laws and damage the nearly $1.3 trillion in trade between America and the E.U.

"The regulation in question is problematic for a number of reasons, including because it targets specific businesses based on the ethnicity and national origin of their owners," Menendez wrote in the letter he sent to Lambrinidis.

Menendez described the pro-BDS effort as an act of discrimination against Israel and Jews and said the ruling could open a "Pandora's Box" of labeling litigation.

"I am deeply concerned that if the CJEU decision empowers the EU to require or allow its Member States to label Israeli and Palestinian products in the manner proposed, it will allow and encourage the politicization of EU rules of origin labeling with potential adverse unintended consequences, including by opening the door to near-unlimited use of ‘ethical considerations' in food labeling which would enable Member State protectionism and nationalism, and be unhelpful for the EU single market," Menendez wrote.

"Additionally, it could facilitate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics and de facto boycotts and discrimination against Israel, and its products, and potentially lead to discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion and nationality, contrary to existing EU policies and laws against BDS campaigns, Israel boycotts and discrimination," the letter states.

The lawmakers warn that if American anti-boycott laws are triggered by the decision, it will elevate tensions between the United States and E.U.

"If these unfair requirements are mandated or allowed by the CJEU, European countries would be forced to choose whether to single out the world's only Jewish state for distinct, defamatory treatment, and thereby create policy tensions with the United States, or to continue to delay implementation while finding an appropriate approach," Menendez wrote in a letter that strikes a similar tone to the other congressional missives.

A decision mandating the labeling of Jewish goods also would be seen as an effort by the E.U. to interfere in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"The U.S. Federal Government and many U.S. states have enacted strong anti-boycott provisions that impose severe penalties and restrictions on companies that participate in boycotts or other economic pressure campaigns against Israel," Menendez wrote. "If the CJEU decision empowers the EU to mandate or allow Member States to implement such labels which target Israeli businesses and exports there will be serious and far-reaching implications and unintended consequences."


New York Law Forces Abortion Orthodoxy on Pro-Life Employers, Even Churches

A New York law would force abortion orthodoxy on pro-life employers, including crisis pregnancy centers and churches. The law would undermine the very reason many pro-life centers exist — to prevent abortion and protect the lives of the unborn. Two pregnancy center groups and a church have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the law from going into effect.

Early this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) signed SB 660, the so-called "Boss Bill," which prohibits New York employers from firing, demoting, or taking other action against employees based on "reproductive health decision making." The law also bans any "waiver" or code of conduct preventing an employee from making "reproductive health care decisions" — code for getting an abortion. Finally, the bill requires employers to cite this law in any employee handbook and allows employees to sue if this "right" is infringed.

Curiously, Cuomo signed the bill with little fanfare. His office did not even put out a press release related to the bill on the date of the signing (November 8), despite many press releases on funding for an animal shelter, a vaping investigation, and a new engineering facility. In January, by contrast, Cuomo signed New York's radical abortion bill with great fanfare, including lighting up the One World Trade Center in pink.

Less than a week after Cuomo signed the bill, three pro-life organizations filed a lawsuit to prevent it from going into effect. CompassCare Pregnancy Services, a pro-life pregnancy care center in Rochester, teamed up with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a pregnancy center membership organization with 41 member centers in New York, and First Bible Baptist Church located in Hilton.

According to the lawsuit, "SB 660 intentionally and by design sacrifices the associational, speech, and religious freedom of employers in New York State—including religious non-profits, churches, and schools— to the government’s desire to promote abortion rights by gutting the ability of pro-life employers to hire to their pro-life missions."

Denise Harle, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents the plaintiffs, explained the dangers of the Boss Bill in a New York Post op-ed.

"The Boss Bill tells employers they have to be willing to employ people whose beliefs and behavior as to 'reproductive-health decisions' run counter to their own," she wrote. "That’s bad enough if you run a family-owned restaurant. It is intolerable if you run a church, a Catholic school or a pregnancy care center — and now are required by your own state government to hire people who have no ­respect for your faith and who ­oppose your pro-life convictions."

It would be bad enough if the government were merely requiring pro-life employers to hire women who had abortions or support abortion. Yet since the bill does not bother to define "reproductive health decision making," Harle argued that it may restrict employers' ability to set rules on a whole host of complex moral and sexual issues, such as "sexual conduct, procreation, pregnancy, contraception, surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization or sexually transmitted disease."

"Under SB 660, an employer can’t even require workers to sign a code of moral conduct. Adding insult to injury, employers are forced to ­include these reproductive-health rights in their employee handbooks — effectively compelling them to communicate the government’s ideological message," she lamented.

Indeed, the Boss Bill was first introduced to combat the religious freedom of employers like Hobby Lobby to refuse to pay for certain kinds of contraceptives for their employees. State Senator Jennifer Metzger drafted the bill after the Supreme Court struck down the Obamacare contraceptive mandate in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014). She condemned that decision as a "dangerous, slippery slope."

In remarks this past January, Metzger condemned the "over 100 lawsuits ... filed by employers determined to deny workers coverage of reproductive health services and products based on the employer's own personal and political beliefs." She explained that "the Boss Bill seeks to prevent this further encroachment by employers into the private decisions of employees."

Yet Hobby Lobby had good reason to oppose the specific kinds of contraception the company refused to pay for. Hobby Lobby did not refuse to provide any contraception, but only the forms of contraception that arguably constitute abortion.

"Further proof of SB 660’s stark animus toward, and its intentional targeting of, religion is provided by the complete absence of any religious exemptions, even for churches," the lawsuit claims.

Tragically, this is not the first case in which NIFLA fought a law forcing crisis pregnancy centers to support abortion. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a California law mandating that these pro-life centers must advertise abortion. In NIFLA v. Becerra, the Court ruled that the law "imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill [the centers'] protected speech."

In both California and New York, liberal states passed laws quashing dissent on abortion following Planned Parenthood's playbook.

Abortion advocates argue that crisis pregnancy centers are not real clinics, and therefore they must advertise for abortion clinics. They also claim that employers should never be able to fire employees for getting abortions or advocating for abortion, even if the employees work at companies that exist to save unborn babies from abortion. These amount to quasi-religious tests forcing pro-life centers to violate the very reason for their existence.

The Constitution protects free speech, religious freedom, and free association for all people, religious and secular alike. The Supreme Court rulings in the Hobby Lobby and NIFLA cases suggest the Boss Bill should lose in court, but abortion advocates will continue to push legislation like this. Both the LGBT and abortion movements are targeting religious freedom to force their views on those who disagree.


From farms and coal mines to airports and water supplies: How China is buying up millions of acres of land, vital infrastructure and companies - as part of its 'disturbing' plan to exert greater influence and control over Australia

This is just racist paranoia. China is not particularly targeting Australia.  It is buying up assets wherever it can worldwide.  And what harm is there in it?  China can't just pick up Australian farms and take them back to China.  And if they don't manage their assets commercially, they will send them broke, which is hardly what they would want.  They are in the business of acquiring assets, not destroying them.

So why the worldwide buying frenzy?  It's simple.  They may be communists but they are following orthodox Western economics.  Most economists are freaked by the huge issue of new American dollars that began under Obama and is continuing under Trump.  Such actions normally lead to inflation and in a sense MUST lead to inflation.   The inflation has been inexplicably delayed but the longer the unfunded spending  goes on the more likely it becomes. And inflation means that any greenbhacks you possess become steadily worthless.

So what would you do if you owned a trillion of such unsafe greenbacks?  China sells so much to America that they have earned greenbacks by the billion.  But just saving it is out of the question.  Even the banks don't do that.  They lend it out. The bubble  in the value of the dollar could burst any time and leave China with nothing in return for all the stuff they have sent to Amerrica.  So they need to spend it NOW while they can get worthwhile things with it -- things that will tend to retain their value.

They have been doing it for years. They put their trust in real things, not bits of printed paper.  So they told their millions of keen businessmen to buy overseas and their government would give them the dollars.  And they really ramped that up in the Obama years.  And they mostly like what they have got: Assets with  both a future and a present that will be a reliable store of value.

So why is Trump continuing the Obama excess?  Because he can.  He has a distinguished economics degree so he can analyse the situation for himself.  And he obviously thinks he can use the bubble while it lasts.  Just printing money instead of raising it in taxes has a lot of appeal to any politician.  Conservative econmists are squawking but Trump is ahead of them.  Just look at how he has revitalized the economy

China is buying up Australian land, infrastructure and businesses at an alarming rate as it seeks to project power and influence beyond its shores.

The communist nation of 1.4billion people owns an airport in Western Australia, nine million hectares of Australian land, several Aussie coalmines and wind farms and even the Port of Darwin, a key strategic asset.

China is also the largest foreign owner of Australian water and has projected soft power Down Under by planting Communist Party-approved Mandarin teachers in schools and universities.

Last week 'disturbing' stories emerged that China tried to install a spy as a federal MP - and it is also suspected of carrying out major cyber attacks on Parliament.

In November 2015, the Northern Territory government decided to lease the Port of Darwin - now known as Darwin Port - to a Chinese company for 99 years.

Landbridge Australia, a subsidiary of Shandong Landbridge, won the lease with its bid of $506 million.

The territory's Country Liberal Party government decided to lease the port - a key strategic asset because of its location at the top of the country - because it was desperate for investment in the absence of federal funds.

Executive director of the Australia Defence Association (ADA), Neil James, called the leasing of the base a 'seriously dumb idea'. And Labor MP Nick Champion called for the lease to be scrapped so the port can be returned to Australian control.


China is the second largest foreign owner of land in Australia with Chinese companies in control of 2.3 per cent of the nation's soil.

Investors from the the United Kingdom own more with 2.6 per cent and buyers from the US are third with 0.7 per cent, according to the 2018 Register Of Foreign Ownership.

Most of the foreign-owned land is in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and is used for cattle farming. 

When the land register report was released in December, federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that foreign investment was important for growth.

But he also warned: 'It is important to ensure that foreign investment is not contrary to the national interest'.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here.


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