By John Ruberry

Admiral Theater billboard outside of Chicago

Stormy Daniels was in Chicago last week, taking her clothes off and dancing for 15 minutes. Yep, a quarter of an hour, that was, at least on Thursday, the duration of her show.

Although I was off work on Thursday and the Admiral, an old vaudeville house that has been a strip club for decades, is just 10 miles from my home, I wasn’t there. Tickets to her show were pretty cheap, $30-$50. Compare that to the usual $25 entrance fee to the strip club, plus a one-drink minimum for a non-alcoholic beer which will set you back another eight bucks.

I assume the owners of the Admiral had to pay Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, a hefty fee for her appearances. If so, they had to make back their money elsewhere, so a photo meet-and-greet was organized–$20 bucks a pic–which ignited a spat that led to the Admiral’s owner, Sam Cecola, cancelling her Friday and Saturday night gigs.

Oh, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, Daniels claims to have had sex with Donald Trump twelve years ago. Trump’s former lawyer, the embattled Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to Daniels to keep quiet about it.

The dispute, according to the Chicago Reader, was not limited to Daniels’ objection to the photo ops. Keep in mind, this is a person who has sex, often unprotected, with men and women, and sometimes both at the same time, on camera. The Admiral also wanted Daniels to mimic Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” routine she offered to John F. Kennedy in 1962. Thursday was Trump’s 72nd birthday. She declined, another woman lip-synched Marilyn. Cecola says Daniels was an hour late for Thursday’s show, she demanded a bigger cut from that photo receiving line, and she didn’t rehearse her act. The porn actress also was perturbed by the presence of a Trump impersonator hired by the Admiral.

Sheesh, it’s only because of her claims about the real Trump that so many people, including myself of course, are paying attention to her.

By Friday afternoon Cecola and Daniels–metaphorically speaking, of course–kissed and made up. The shows were back on.

As you know, I didn’t attend any of the Daniels performances, but I’ve been to the Admiral a few times. (A blogger’s life brings me to many surprising places.). What kind of place is it? Muscular bouncers are everywhere and there is a no-touch policy in regards to the strippers–they prefer to be called dancers of course–although the last time I was there a friend of mine paid $100 for a booth dance. VIP rooms are even more. But table dances are just $10.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

The seedy side of the Admiral, in what the Chicago Tribune Morgan Greene called “a wide ranging interview” with Daniels about the Chicago dust up and her life as a mainstream celebrity, was not covered, nor was the content of her porn movies. Anyone who makes the president look bad must be taken seriously by the Trump-hating media. Greene says that Stormy isn’t interested in politics but a quick Google search uncovers that in 2010 she was briefly a Republican candidate for the US Senate seat then held by incumbent David Vitter of Louisiana, who once was a client of an escort service. Hey Greene, it’s called research.

At 39, Daniels doesn’t have much time left to cash in on her notoriety. If she doesn’t squirrel away her money, she might be on the washed-up celebrity bartender circuit in a few years and collecting money from photo meet-and-greets. Men wearing Trump wigs will be welcome, I am sure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court (thankfully) ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the baker who declined to be forced to bake and decorate a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding. The ruling was based almost completely on the documented religious hostility of the members of the Civil Rights Commission, and thus there is concern that in the future the Court would allow government to force bakers and other service providers to support same-sex weddings over their religious objections as long as the bureaucrats pretended to be neutral to the baker’s religious views.

There are a few fig leaves in the decision that an optimist could take as good news, such as Justice Kennedy saying “the religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression,” and that “government has no role in deciding or even suggesting whether the religious ground for Phillips’ conscience based objection is legitimate or illegitimate.” And at least he conceded that “a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform the ceremony without denial of his or her right to the free exercise of religion.”

The path to the case, if not necessarily the decision, in Masterpiece Cakeshop, is an easy one to follow.  It started back in 2003 with Lawrence v. Texas, which found a constitutional right to Liberty as exemplified by homosexual sodomy in that particular case (although Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion explicitly refused to declare that homosexual sodomy itself is a constitutional right). Justice Scalia correctly predicted the path in his dissenting opinion, noting that the decision “leaves on pretty shaky grounds state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.”

The next step in the chain was United States v. Windsor in 2012, which ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Roberts both pointed out that this Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion would inevitably lead to the Court declaring same-sex “marriage” to be a constitutional right, which of course it did in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 (also authored by Kennedy). This is where Justice Thomas presciently predicted that the decision “threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect.” And here we are.

A lot of the analysis of Masterpiece Cakeshop centered around whether baking a custom wedding cake counted as “speech” for the purposes of the Free Speech clause of the first amendment. And was Phillips really discriminating against the gay couple when he offered to sell them anything else in the store, or to create a cake for any other occasion? The answer is obviously “no” and therein, I think, lies the solution to this conundrum.

As I have said before, no one has a right to force someone else to provide a good or service. If Phillips had refused to sell a pre-baked cake to the gay couple, that would have been discriminatory since he had already invested his time and talent to create the cake and it was already available for purchase by the general public. This would be the same as if a gay couple tried to by a photo print from a studio where the photographer was displaying his images for sale. But in either case, the gay couple does not have the right to force the baker or photographer to participate in a gay wedding if the vendor’s religious beliefs prevent him from doing so. So the government could not force the photographer to attend the ceremony, document the event and then produce the images, all of which require him to devote his time and talent to an event that violates his religious views.

This rule would also apply to the Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington case currently being petitioned to the Supreme Court.

If Mrs. Stutzman had refused to sell a floral arrangement available to the general public to a gay customer, she would be guilty of discrimination. But she had sold flowers to the gay couple – whom she considered friends – for years without a problem. It was only when she refused to be forced to design the flowers for their wedding, which involves not only creativity on her part, but also the nuts and bolts of getting the flowers to the ceremony and arranging them there, that she supposedly discriminated against them. Clearly, this is an infringement on her first amendment rights to free expression and freedom of religion.

Justice Kennedy’s reasoning in all of these cases seems to be rooted in the infamous “Sweet Mystery of Life” passage from Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which he wrote “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”  As Justice Scalia correctly pointed out, this is “the passage that ate the rule of law,” but is nonetheless central to Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence. A person’s religious views, by definition, define his or her “own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Why is a religious person’s liberty, which is expressly guaranteed by the Constitution, worth less than a gay person’s?

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There are a lot of opinions on the IG report this week concerning Comey and company from a lot of people more prominent than me and while I’m feeling a tad lonely and melancholy today with my son and wife at work I’m not inclined to debate the issue on twitter although I will quote the single best advice for those trying to make up their mind about it which came, surprisingly from a rather strident liberal.

This is of course why one should always do when confronted by such things but while you are reading and pondering this report and if the FBI had a hand on the scales there is a totally different consideration that should be going through your head, one that should be the first thing that comes to your mind as you read the FBI report.

If Hillary is elected all this behavior is not only rewarded but normalized in government forever.

This is not a new consideration, it’s something I’ve written about before concerning the IRS scandal

This is , in my opinion, the most important factor in the upcoming election. It’s very clear that this administration is not going to punish anyone for this and I guarantee you that if the next president is Hillary Clinton not only will nobody punished but do you really believe that given the power of the white house behind her a president Hillary Clinton will not do the same?

And it was illustrated by more than just the IRS scandal as noted here:

Carlos Henriquez didn’t pull out of his race at the time of his arrest because he understood that even with the war on woman being the theme of the 2012 election and one of the most prominent female candidates in the country running in his state,  the media, local state & national would ignore it.  He remains in his seat because he understands that even with his conviction for actually assaulting a women the media will never find his story more interesting than Mike Huckabee saying the word: “libido”

The administration appointed a political friend and donor to investigate itself on a critical scandal because they understood  that the national media would not press the issue or report on a story they had ignored for months on end.

The Senator and his office feels themselves free to attempt to pressure his state to change it’s reported numbers because they understood that the media would not press them nor nor keep a close eye on any investigation that might come.

and that’s also why The Governor & his administration felt fee to stack the investigating committee of  a prominent member of his political party because it is their understanding that while the story has broken today it will not go far and will certainly not go national.

That’s why I endorsed Trump a bit before the GOP convention because the danger to the republic in general and to conservatives in particular was astounding.

I think the breaking point is near, I think there are a lot of people in this country who are deciding that the Government is openly hostile to them.  I think that the sight of women and gay men being beaten by leftists because they support the presumptive GOP nominee, having it happen in full sight of police ordered to do nothing AND SEEING THOSE OFFICERS CHOOSING TO LET THEM BE BEATEN means that they can not count on the authorities to obey their oaths of office if they think doing so might cost them their jobs.

Even worse than this is the obvious question it raises: If leftists are willing to resort to violence and boast about it before an election when it might hurt their ability to persuade the people to vote for them, how much more willing will they be to violently suppress their political foes when such behavior is rewarded with electoral victory by the people?

What will that tell a populace that has already been arming itself nonstop for the last 4-6 years?

and why I re-endorsed him at the time of the Bush tape.

Right now a lot of people are forgetting that for good or I’ll the only thing standing between us and the financial, military, security, cultural and constitutional rights disaster that a Hillary Clinton administration would be is Donald Trump.

People are in panic and when the line is breaking someone has to pick up the flag and shout “FORWARD”. And if it costs some me some readers then so be it.

Before the election I suspected that the election of Hillary meant the end of civil liberties for the right and maybe even eventual civil war.  With the IG report this is, in my opinion no longer speculation but something that is now clearly established.

Thank God she lost.