Atheist group threatens to sue high school after football team prayed for injured player

We’ve covered these anti-religion intolerance mobs before. They’re scum.  Today’s outrage comes from the Freedom From Religion Foundation who threatened to sue a high school after its players knelt in prayer while an injured player was being tended to on the field. 

from FNC:

The injured player was on the ground being tended to by trainers and coaches.

So the Seminole High School football team did what many football teams do. The teenage boys took a knee, bowed their heads and prayed for their injured teammate.

But that simple act of compassion and humanity in Sanford, Florida sparked outrage from the Freedom From Religion Foundation – a group of perpetually offended atheists from Wisconsin.

An FFRF attorney fired off a letter to the superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools – accusing them of having an adult lead the prayer for the injured child.

A school district spokesman told me the injured child, who is the son of the team’s head coach, has since rejoined the team.

“It is our information and understanding that Seminole High School (is) allowing an adult, a local pastor, to act as a ‘volunteer chaplain’ for the football team,” FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel wrote.

The attorney said the school cannot “allow a non-school adult access to the children in its charge, and certainly cannot grant that access to a pastor seeking to organize prayer for the students.”

The FFRF told the school district to “refrain from having a ‘volunteer team chaplain’ at Seminole High School.

The school district said the prayer was instigated by students and denied that a chaplain prayed with the team. School spokesman Mike Blasewitz told MyNews13.com that the school doesn’t even have a team chaplain, contrary to the FFRF’s allegations.

“There is nothing to cease and desist because our behavior was within the guidelines in the first place,” he told television station WFTV. “No adults in the photo, no adults participating, no adults leading it.”

read the rest

Here’s the deal: 

It doesn’t matter if any adults participated in the prayer.  It doesn’t matter if an adult led the prayer.  It doesn’t matter if the team had a volunteer chaplain for the team.  NONE OF THAT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  The 1st Amendment guarantees students (and teachers, I might add) the right to practice their religions.  

There would only be a Constitutional issue if the high school was forcing people to participate in religious activities or disallowing students from participating in their own expression of religion. The school has not “established a religion” or any religious preference, and no amount of teachers or students praying changes that.  The teachers and students are all individuals protected by the Constitution, and as long as they don’t force other to participate or prevent others from practicing their own religions, there is no Constitutional infringement. 

Here’s what the FFRF really wants: to infringe on the rights of these young men.  They want to prevent these young men from praying because they’re a bunch of intolerant bullies.  What they advocate is an obvious distortion of the Constitution.  

If you want “freedom from religion,” I’ve got news for you: you already have it in America.  If you don’t like seeing people praying: don’t look at it.  It’s as simple as that. 

Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan guest-hosted the Sean Hannity show.  He took a call from a lady who asked whether or not Congress could use appropriations to defund Obamacare.  

Unfortunately, Paul Ryan doesn’t understand the Constitutional power of the Appropriations Clause and doesn’t believe that Obamacare can be defunded.  

Mark Levin took to his radio to set Ryan straight about the Constitutional “power of the purse.”

Obama: “We don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with ISIS

Well, as we approach the 9-11 anniversary, doesn’t this just fill you with confidence?

from CNN:

It’s too soon to say what steps the United States will take against ISIS in Syria, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

"I don’t want to put the cart before the horse," Obama told reporters during a White House news briefing. "We don’t have a strategy yet."

Obama said he’s asked America’s top defense officials to prepare “a range of options” about what the United States could do to go after ISIS in Syria, which he described as “a safe haven” for the Sunni extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

read the rest

I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, he actually wore that tan suit to yesterday’s press conference. Perhaps he thought it might distract everybody from the most powerful military in the world not having a strategy for dealing with the enemy. 

Apparently, you can’t come up with military strategy on the golf course.  

Al Michaels on Bob Costas: Viewers 'Don't Want to Be Lectured'

Al Michaels had some fairly sharp criticism of his colleague, Bob Costas, for his seemingly uncontrollable urge to insert his opinions on controversial political topics into football games. This is something we at Poor Richard’s News have been saying for a while now. It’s about time someone else said it too.

The only point of injecting political commentary into football broadcasts to “piss [the fans] off,” says Sunday Night Football play-by-play man Al Michaels, commenting on his NBC Sports colleague Bob Costas’s new habit of offering commentary during halftime broadcasts.

Over the past few seasons, Costas has used his halftime soliloquies to tackle various political or cultural issues, including gun control and the name of the Washington Redskins.

“You should have seen Twitter on Bob that night, but that’s a whole other story,” he told the Hollywood Reporter when asked about the name controversy. “Our audience wants to watch a football game, and all you really do to fans when they’re watching the game, if you go in that direction, is piss ’em off. They don’t want to be lectured to — period.”

VIDEO: Robin Williams as the American Flag

Time for a midweek break from the usual serious nature of what we cover around here.  I stumbled across this brilliant routine from the late Robin Williams and wanted to share it.  

here’s the video:

What a brilliant mind he had.  He will truly be missed.

Department of Transportation proposal would mandate cars broadcasting their location and speed

More regulation.  Less privacy.  The Department of Transportation appears to be jealous of the NSA’s domestic spying abilities.  They want to be able to track your car wherever you go. 

from CNS:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, published last week an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” on “vehicle-to-vehicle communications.”

What NHTSA is proposing could begin a transformation in the American transportation system that makes our lives better and freer — or gives government more power over where we go and when.

In announcing its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA is stressing its intention to protect the “privacy” of American drivers.

"This document initiates rulemaking that would propose to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability for light vehicles," says NHTSA’s dryly-worded notice.

What do vehicle-to-vehicle communications entail?

NHTSA has crafted a nice phrase to describe the information cars would broadcast. It is the “Basic Safety Message.”

"An integrated V2V system is connected to proprietary data busses and can provide highly accurate information using in-vehicle information to generate the Basic Safety Message," says NHTSA’s technical report on "Readiness of V2V for Application."

"The integrated system both broadcasts and receives BSMs," says the report. "In addition, it can process the content of received messages to provide advisories and/or warnings to the driver of the vehicle in which it is installed."

The “Basic Safety Message” will be broadcast by the vehicle’s dedicated short-range communications system. According to NHTSA, this system will need to transmit certain specific information.

"For example," says the technical report, "when a DSRC unit sends out a BSM, the BSM needs to: Contain the relevant elements and describe them accurately (e.g., vehicle speed; GPS position; vehicle heading; DSRC message ID, etc.)."

read the rest

I sincerely believe that private industry can come up with the necessary standards for high-tech cars without the need for government regulation, mandated standardization, or the further invasion of citizens’ privacy. 

We don’t need Big Brother watching the speed and location of every car.  They can mask it in the name of “public safety” (which they always do), but this would be a full-scale invasion of privacy and a violation of the 4th Amendment. 

Huh? Joe Biden claims that his granddaughters have fewer rights than his grandsons

Pray tell, Uncle Joe.  What rights do your daughters not have? Last time I checked, women have equal rights under the law as men. 

Law enforcement experts advise CNN that their “Michael Brown shooting audio” is probably a hoax.

CNN just can’t help themselves.  That have to go to the air with every morsel of coverage they can find. They’ve made a lot of money off of Michael Brown. 

Obama admin working to circumvent Constitution/Congress to ratify UN climate change treaty

The Obama administration is working feverishly at the UN to try to ratify some sort of climate change agreement without following the Constitutional requirement for Congress to ratify it. 

from New York Times:

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

read the rest

What on earth is a “politically binding” deal?  How on earth would a politically but wholly un-Constitutional UN agreement give the Obama administration the authority to enact a single new regulation in the United States. 

We are in completely uncharted Constitutional waters, ladies and gentlemen.

Walmart surveillance video shows man talking on cell phone before police shoot him.

This is yet another case in which full police transparency would avoid a great amount of heartache and controversy.  

from Daily Caller (emphasis mine):

Surveillance video of the fatal police shooting of John Crawford in an Ohio Wal-Mart earlier this month shows the 22-year-old talking on the phone and leaning on an air rifle sold in the store before he was shot, the attorney for Crawford’s family says.

Crawford, a father of two, was shot by two police officers Aug. 5 after several shoppers called 911 to report that a man was carrying a gun around the store.

The gun turned out to be a Crosman MK-177 pellet gun, which Wal-Mart sells for approximately $100.

The Crawford family, along with their attorney Michael Wright, were shown portions of the surveillance video last week and shared what they saw in a press conference Tuesday.

Wright said that Crawford was on a cell phone before the shooting and was likely not aware that police were approaching. He also said that the video showed Crawford leaning on the butt of the air rifle while on the phone. In the next frame, he is shown on the ground after having been shot.

“From what we’ve seen, John had no opportunity to put the gun down,” Wright said, adding that Crawford was “doing nothing more, nothing less than shopping,” according to WHIO.

Crawford’s girlfriend has said that she was on the phone with him at the time of the shooting. She said she heard the father of two say “It’s not real” before the shots were fired.

read the rest

Why haven’t the police released the surveillance video in its entirety? By releasing only a portion of the video to the family, it only enflames the story of police, once again, using deadly force without just cause.  

It is important to note that the man was not carrying a real gun.  He was carrying a product that you can buy in the store.  Therefore, if he was thinking about buying the pellet gun, he had every justification for carrying it around while he continued shopping.

It’s also important to note that the video currently available to the family’s attorneys does not show him engaging with the police at all.

Perhaps when the full video is made available, the story might change, but right now, this certainly looks like a case of an innocent man being shot by police while shopping inside a Walmart. 

What are the police waiting for?

As always, stay principled.  Stick to the facts.  All parties are innocent until proven guilty. 

Low information voters or wrong information voters?

As frustrating as it is to try to have a political conversation with someone who has no idea what’s going on, it’s even more frustrating to have a political conversation with someone who thinks they have a clue but don’t.

Liz Sheld, examining some Pew survey results and confirming our worst suspicions, that a significant minority of the electorate walk around believing that certain political terms mean the opposite of what they really do:

Looking just at the first question, which Pew has used to determine whether people who say they are libertarians actually know what the term means, 57% correctly identified the definition of “libertarian” with the proper corresponding ideological label. Looking at the other answers, an astonishing 20% say that someone who emphasizes freedom and less government is a progressive, 6% say that is the definition of an authoritarian and 6% say that is the definition of a communist.

As E. Strobel notes, “The term ‘low-info voter’ is inadequate… . More like ‘wrong-info voter.’”

Perhaps when we’re trying to persuade the electorate as a whole, we have to toss out terms like “conservative” or “libertarian.” Not because they’re not accurate, but because they represent obscure hieroglyphics to a chunk of the people we’re trying to persuade.

Louis Farrakhan says it’s okay for blacks to steal from Arabs, Chinese, Koreans, and Indians

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Speaking of racism being alive and well in America

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (one of Obama’s spiritual mentors) said in his most recent sermon that it’s okay for blacks to steal from Arab, Chinese, Korean, and Indian store owners.  His racist screed was met with thunderous applause from the attendees of the mosque. 

from Breitbart:

Farrakhan said, “With 67 percent of black people you have to live under a white mayor with 67 percent white people you cant make the laws that govern that town. Now if that’s the condition let me set the stage for Michael Brown. See I don’t know about the store they say he strong armed somebody and took some cigars but I know this, coming to Chicago … when you live in the hood you don’t control no economy so you have Arab store owners that don’t give a damn about you and have no respect for you. You got Korean, you got Chinese, you got Indians, you got other people all in our community taking the money out but not giving a damn thing to this community. I imagine that blacks under those conditions suffer everyday.”

Speaking about Ferguson, Farrakhan said, “That town is a microcosm of whats going on all over the country. Black men are being shot down but the courts don’t give us justice.”

read the rest (click through to see video of the sermon clip)

You won’t find a peep about Farrakhan’s naked racism in the media, but you’ll sure as heck find a bunch of people screaming about “white privilege.”  If you listen to Farrakhan, “black privilege” would be the ability to be morally immune from committing strong arm robbery…as long as the store owner is of a different race.  

It bothers me to no end to hear the race hustlers like Farrakhan, Jackson, and Sharpton use the expressions “our community.” Farrakhan uses “our community” to exclude the business owners of a different skin color than him.  That community belongs just as much to those Arabs, Chinese, Koreans, Indians, and “other people” as it does to the blacks.

Healthcare.gov price tag: $1.7 billion (yes, with a ‘b’)

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According to a new report, the web site Healthcare.gov has cost taxpayers a staggering $1.7 billion dollars. To put that into perspective, here is a list of a few other things that cost less than this web site.

Gateway Arch in St. Louis,  Estimated cost: $97.3 million (in 2014 dollars)

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Empire State Building in New York. Estimated Cost: $635 million (in 2014 dollars)

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Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE (tallest building in the world), Estimated Cost: $1.5 billion

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Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, Estimated Cost: $36 million (in 2014 dollars)

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Seattle Space Needle in Seattle Washington, Estimated Cost: $21 million (in 2014 dollars)

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AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium) in Arlington, Texas, Estimated Cost: $1.3 billion

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Yes. There is racism in America.

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With the shooting death of Michael Brown, the subject of race has been a hot topic in America lately. We hear daily about “white privilege” and how racist white Americans are. But a few stories recently paint a slightly different picture of racism. Yes, racism exists, but not always in the way the left describes it.

From the DC:

The family of a white man who was assaulted on Aug. 21 believe that he was a victim of a hate crime, CBS Baltimore reports.

The unnamed 25-year-old victim was walking home from his lifeguarding job in the Otterbein neighborhood of Baltimore when he was allegedly attacked by three black teens.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the teens shouted “Hey white boy” and “What you got?” at the victim. A rock was thrown at the victim’s face, and according to police, one of the teens tried to stab him with a pocket knife. The victim dodged the knife.

The teen suspected of the attempted stabbing, identified as 19-year-old Sidney Joyner, was arrested and currently faces charges of armed robbery, robbery and two counts of assault.

But the victim’s father, who also is unidentified, thinks that Joyner should have been charged with a hate crime, citing the “Hey white boy” line.

“If roles were reversed, it definitely would be no question whether it was a hate crime or not,” the father told CBS Baltimore.

Read the Rest

The father is exactly right. Don’t get me wrong, the entire notion of “hate crimes” is ridiculous. But if this doesn’t fit the definition of one, I don’t know what does. 

We’ve written before about how ludicrous “hate crime” legislation is.

Let me state, for the record, that I believe the entire idea of so-called “hate crimes”, specifically, is ludicrous. A crime is a crime. End of story. A person’s motive for committing that crime is irrelevant and should have no bearing on the punishment given (with the obvious exception of having lesser punishments for things like crimes of passion, etc). By having unequal punishments, it is implied that certain victims’ lives are worth more than others. This is quite the opposite of justice.

Not only this, but it gives prosecutors the broad power to determine what constitutes a “hate crime” and what doesn’t. This leaves the door wide open for abuse by officials who might have a personal bias of their own. This is unacceptable.

But if we’re going to have it, we should at least apply it fairly and consistently. But actually, if progressives were honest, they would admit the entire point of hate crime legislation is so the government has the ability to punish certain groups differently than others.

There’s a similar story out of Mississippi.

Also, from the DC:

A rural Mississippi man suffered life-threatening injuries and required brain surgery after he entered a Waffle House despite receiving a warning not to enter the restaurant because of the color of his skin.

The severe beating occurred early Sunday morning around 2 a.m., reports The Clarion-Ledger. Up to 20 assailants participated.

The injured man is Ralph Weems IV, a veteran of the Iraq War and a Marine. He is white.

The altercation began at about 1 a.m. when Weems and a friend, David Knighten, chose to go inside the Waffle House. They made this decision after a man in the parking lot diplomatically suggested that they should leave because the patrons inside were angry about the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Thus, the unidentified man explained, the restaurant would not be a safe place for two white people.

Read the Rest

Can. You. Imagine.

Seriously. Think about what the media would do if a black man had been warned not to enter a restaurant, entered anyway, and was subsequently beaten nearly to death while racial epithets were hurled at him…in Mississippi of all places. Just think about it.

The left needs to stop pretending that racism is only a one way street. It’s not. It’s about time that we put a stop to the tyranny of low expectations and begin holding everyone to the same, objective standard.