Mom Jailed Because She Let Her 9-Year-Old Daughter Play in the Park Unsupervised

Wow. Talk about a police state. A woman (whom The Atlantic inexplicably feels the need to note is black) was arrested, arrested for letting her responsible 9-year-old daughter play at a nearby park by herself. Now the state has taken her away.

From Reason:

Just in case you thought you could parent whatever way you see fit in 2014 America:

A North Augusta mother is in jail after witnesses say she left her nine-year-old daughter at a nearby park, for hours at a time.

Hours at a time? At a park? In the summer? Gosh! That certainly sounds normal and fun like a reason to throw a mom in jail—and place the child in state custody.

Here are the facts: Debra Harrell works at McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonald’s has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.

White House refuses to say whether border is secure.

I assume this is because Josh Earnest doesn’t want to be laughed at during his press conference.

VA director attempted to SPY on Congressional investigators with video recorders

Congressional staffers from the Veteran Affairs Committee who were investigating complaints against the VA benefits office said that employees there attempted to spy on the investigation with video and audio equipment at the direction of the regional director. 

Here’s audio of Rep. Jeff Miller talking about the incident on WMAL:

from Daily Caller:

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller told DC-based WMAL Radio on Tuesday about his congressional staffers recently being spied on when they looked into various VA complaints at a regional Veterans Benefits Administration office.

His staff was told on “three different occasions” to go to a specific room to do their work but one VA employee said it wasn’t necessary.

Miller, a Republican from Florida, recounted that the “VBA’s acting director took that employee outside” for several minutes and when they returned, his staff was directed again to the specific room on a different floor.

His staffers discovered the room’s sound and video system were prepared to observe their work while they reviewed case files.

“In that room, both of the mics were hot and the camera itself was activated,” the committee chairman told WMAL host Larry O’Connor.

Miller continued, “My staff said, ‘We’re not going to do it in this room,’ and they requested to be taken to another room.”

VBA relocated the committee staffers after they pushed back about the use of the room.

read the rest

The top officials at the VA are not denying the attempt to spy on Congressional investigators.  One wonders who was on the other end of the video conferencing feed…

Great. Plurality of Americans don’t like the 1st amendment

This should scare everyone. A recent poll published by the Christian Science Monitor reveals that a plurality (almost a majority) of Americans think that the 1st amendment doesn’t apply to those who engage in speech that is “offensive and harmful.” America, what have we become?

From a seemingly approving CSM:

Donald Sterling. Paula Deen. Juan Williams. Cliven Bundy. Phil Robertson.

Each of these individuals has landed in hot water thanks to controversial comments that unleashed similar responses – public outrage, a media blitz, and professional sacking or suspension. Along with scores of others, they represent a treadmill of inflammatory speech scandals that have tripped up America for decades.

Yet for all the attention devoted to the off-color comments – even President Obama weighed in on the Sterling scandal – Americans’ collective reaction to controversial speech may be far more revealing than the headline-making remarks themselves. Society’s reaction is more about style than substance, commentators say, suggesting Americans haven’t made as much progress as they think they have on issues of race, religion, gender, and sexuality.

Furthermore, incidents of inflammatory speech force Americans to confront the fine line between protecting free speech and fostering a tolerant, pluralistic society.

Read the Rest

This is frightening. The mere fact that we are at the point where we are taking polls about what people should and shouldn’t be allowed to say in America shows us just how far we’ve wandered from the founding principles of liberty.

The very wording of the question creates a perfect teachable moment. The 1st Amendment exists for the sole purpose of protecting speech deemed offensive, harmful or dangerous. If speech is not threatening or offensive to anyone, then there is no reason to protect it. Put another way, if we do not protect all speech, what’s the point of the first amendment?

Bergdahl hires a lawyer, thanks Obama

Lawyering up for his desertion trial I assume…

US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is grateful to President Barack Obama for the prisoner exchange that freed him from five years as a captive of the Taliban, his attorney said on Wednesday.

Bergdahl, who was cleared to return to a desk job this week after the Army said he had completed counseling and a reintegration process, has retained Eugene Fidell, a specialist in military law, to represent him.

Richard Dawkins defends “mild pedophilia” as not causing “lasting harm”

Richard Dawkins is a hero to the anti-religious left.  He is one of the worlds most high-profile voices against the existence of religion.  The bullies in the atheist movement in this country ironically cling to Dawkins’ writings like scripture.  Well, Dawkins recently gave to date the most high-profile stamp of approval on pedophilia.

from liberal nuts over at Salon:

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.

Plus, he added, though his other classmates also experienced abuse at the hands of this teacher, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

Child welfare experts responded to Dawkins’ remarks with outrage — and concern over their effect on survivors of abuse.

read the rest

This falls in line with recent calls by far-left whack jobs to consider pedophilia a sexual orientation.  Child sexual abuse is not harmless, and anybody who claims as much does not need to be hanging around anybody’s children. 

Russia to reopen Cold War era spy station on Cuba

I’m sure we can credit this to the Obama’s “reset” with Russia.  We’ve reset all the way to 1960. 

from Daily Mail:

Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.

Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal ‘in principle’ after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.

Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: ‘The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday.

The signals intelligence facility near Havana at Torrens, also known as Lourdes, was the largest Russian SIGINT site abroad, but has been mothballed since 2001.

It covered a 28 square-mile area with 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base.

Russia had closed the Lourdes spy base south of Havana on Putin’s orders to save money and due to a warming of relations with the U.S. after the September 11 attacks.

read the rest

Whatever “warming” there was in US relations after 911 is officially ice cold again.  

White House political chief defies Congressional subpoena to testify citing “executive privilege”

Over the weekend, we gave some background on House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa’s subpoena of White House Political Director David Simas.  Simas heads up a department in the White House that mysteriously closed its doors days before being cited by Office of Special Council for campaigning using taxpayer money. Now, it has mysteriously re-opened…just in time for the November mid-term elections.  

Issa wants answers as Simas’s entire job description is to use the taxpayer’s money for campaign purposes.  But no.  This, the most transparent White House in history, refuses to let Simas testify, citing “executive privilege.” 

from the Hill:

White House political director David Simas will not appear before the House Oversight Committee to testify Wednesday, despite a subpoena from Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the White House said Tuesday.

In a letter to Issa on Tuesday, White House counsel Neil Eggleston said the California congressman had “made no effort to justify your extraordinary demand that one of the president’s immediate advisers testify at a committee hearing.”

In the letter, the White House argues Simas is “immune from congressional compulsion to testify on matters relating to his official duties” because doing so would threaten “longstanding interests of the Executive Branch in preserving the president’s independence and autonomy.”
In a statement issued Tuesday night, Issa said he would proceed with the hearing to find out whether “President Obama actually intends to assert executive privilege.”

The California Republican said a federal court had “already rejected” the notion senior presidential advisers were exempt from congressional subpoena. He pointed to a 2008 ruling in which a federal court ruled that Bush advisers Harriet Miers and Josh Bolton must obey congressional subpoenas.

“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our Nation’s Constitution by this President,” Issa said.

“Assertions that this Administration’s taxpayer-funded political efforts should be above Congressional oversight are absurd,” he added.

read the rest

If you’ve got nothing to hide, why not testify?  Isn’t that what “transparency” is all about out?

Barbaric: Palestinian Authority rejects Israel’s offer to supply blood donations to Gaza

Hamas doesn’t want the civilians in Gaza to get any Jew blood, even if it costs them their lives. 

from Haaretz:

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday rejected an Israeli offer to supply blood to Gaza, the Algemeiner reported.

The offer was made by Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency services organization, the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross.

Director Eli Bin said the organization had also offered to assist the Palestinians by facilitating blood drives involving Palestinian or Israeli Arab donors, but that offer too was rejected.

Bin described Israel’s attempt assist the Palestinian medical services as a humanitarian gesture. “I believe in it—this brings us respect as human beings,” he said.

source

Hamas has rejected the cease fire that Israel agreed to.  They’ve told civilians not to evacuate in order to use them as human shields.  Now, they’re rejecting Israel’s offer of medical aid.

Somebody in the mainstream media explain to me: how is Israel supposed to be the bad guy here?

FCC seeks rule change to enable Obama to send messages directly to every cell phone

I don’t care if it’s for “emergencies.”  Giving the President back door access to every cell phone is an incredibly stupid and invasive idea. 

from the giddy cheerleaders at NBC (emphasis mine):

Imagine your cell phone alerts you to a text message … and it’s from the president!

That may soon become a reality, if the Federal Communication Commission implements a plan proposed Tuesday to give the president the ability to communicate with the country in emergencies through phones and other emergency alert systems.

The proposal suggests shoring up a number of technological problems with the existing systems, typically used by local authorities in cases of extreme weather, so that the president or the Federal Emergency Management Agency can quickly and effectively communicate with the country. The proposal also seeks to expand the alert system to include wireless technology—like the cell phone you may be reading this on—so that you may indeed start receiving emergency messages from the president.

The public will have 30 days to respond to the proposal from the date of publication on the FCC website and in the Federal Register.

The “proposed changes are essential for the [Emergency Alert System] to function properly and thus share the common benefit of saving human lives, reducing injuries, mitigating property damage, and minimizing the disruption of our national economy,” the report notes.

The changes would cost $7 million and $13.6 million, but the FCC writes that “we believe that the significant public safety benefit of the rules we propose today far outweighs the costs associated with those rules.”

read the rest

You can, right now, go on the FCC  website and tell Obama to stay the heck away from your phone. It’s a giant waste of your money money as a taxpayer and it’s a service you absolutely do not need. Seriously, go leave a comment on the FCC’s website opposing the rule change.

House slashes IRS budget

The House of Representatives voted to dramatically cut the funds the IRS uses to enforce taxes. It’s not as good as eliminating it altogether, but it’s a start. The AP laments…

The GOP-controlled House has slashed the budget for the Internal Revenue Service’s tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.

The House approved the cuts by voice vote after little debate Monday night as it took up a $21 billion spending bill that sets the IRS budget.

The cuts reflect GOP outrage over the agency’s scrutiny of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status and frustration over the agency’s failure to produce thousands of emails by Lois Lerner, the official formerly in charge of the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

"The use of a government agency to harass, target, intimidate and threaten lawful, honest citizens was the worst form of authoritarianism," said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., author of an amendment to cut the IRS tax enforcement budget by $353 million. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., followed up with an amendment to cut $788 million more.

Pretty much every Obama speech 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one…

TSA agent denies DC man clearance because he thought "District of Columbia" was a foreign country

Only the best and the brightest at the TSA keeping our country “safe”:

What happened to a Washington, D.C., resident at a Florida TSA checkpoint over the weekend has some saying it “makes you wonder what’s going on with their training and their policies.”

“They simply have not been either applying or maintaining standards for good personnel,” Douglas Kidd with the National Association of Airline Passengers told WFTV-TV.

On Saturday WSB-TV Washington Correspondent Justin Gray initially was denied clearance through the Transportation Security Administration’s checkpoint at Orlando International Airport because he had a driver’s license from the District of Columbia.

Common Core “critical thinking” assignment leads 50 eighth graders to deny holocaust

image

"Holocaust is a propaganda tool so Israel can make money for Jews."  That’s what one 8th grader in California’s Rialto school district wrote for his "critical thinking" exercise.  

A profitable hoax made by the Jews to obtain land, money and power” is how another eight grader describes the holocaust.  

School district administration actually assigned holocaust denial reading materials as a part of the preparation for this assignment. 

from Los Angeles Daily News (emphasis mine):

Dozens of Rialto eighth-graders questioned whether the Holocaust occurred in essays written for an in-class assignment this spring.

Rialto Unified School District administrators, besieged by criticism after the assignment became public in May, claimed at the time that none of the students who completed the assignment questioned or denied the Holocaust, but a survey of the students’ work by this news organization found numerous examples of students expressing doubt or flatly denying that the Holocaust occurred.

“I believe the event was fake, according to source 2 the event was exhaggerated,” one student wrote. (Students’ and teachers’ original spelling and grammar are retained throughout this story.) “I felt that was strong enogh evidence to persuade me the event was a hoax.”

In some cases, students earned high marks and praise for arguing the Holocaust never occurred, with teachers praising their well-reasoned arguments:

“you did well using the evidence to support your claim,” the above student’s teacher wrote on his assignment.

[…]

The complete archive of the essays was provided to the Los Angeles News Group in the form of 45 PDF files, some of which contain hundreds of pages of student assignments. An examination of the essays by newsroom staff found that at least 50 essays denied or doubted the Holocaust occurred. Even many students who agreed the Holocaust occurred said there were good reasons to believe it had not or that elements of the historical record were actually hoaxes.

The argument-style writing assignment was developed by district English Language Arts teachers and was coordinated by staff at the district headquarters level.

read the rest

California adopted the federal Common Core standards in August 2010.  ”Critical thinking” exercises like these are a primary component of the centralized public school program that passed as a part of Obama’s stimulus package.  

Poll: Voters overwhelmingly disagree with Eric Holder that opposition to Obama is because of racism

This is not really that big a surprise.  Voters pretty much disagree with everything Attorney General Eric Holder says.

from Rasmussen:

Attorney General Eric Holder on ABC News this past weekend again raised the idea that opposition to his and President Obama’s agenda is due in part to race. Most voters still don’t see racism playing a big part in that opposition.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters think people who oppose the president’s policies do so primarily because they believe his policies are bad, not because of racism.

read the rest (h/t Weasel Zippers)

As we discussed over the weekend, criticism of Eric Holder and the Obama administration has nothing to do with the color of their skin but with the culture of corruption they’ve created in Washington.