A high school student was apparently suspended for saying the words “God bless you” after a classmate sneezed. According to the student, the teacher didn’t want any “godly speaking.” Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, this happened in the United States of America.
From CBS News:
A high school student was allegedly suspended after breaking a class rule of saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.
Kendra Turner, a senior at Dyer County High School, said bless you to her classmate who sneezed and the teacher told her that the term was for church.
“She said that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class and that’s when I said we have a constitutional right,” Turner told WMC.
When she defended her actions, the teacher told Turner to see an administrator. The student said that she had to finish the class period in in-school suspension.
The article goes on to say that the teacher is defending herself by saying that the student was a distraction. But the evidence suggests otherwise.
Why do state and local police forces need tanks, grenade launchers, and predator drones? Why do they need full-blown military uniforms and fully automatic weapons?
The militarization of local police is no more evident right now than in Ferguson. Take a look at these photos:
Why the heck is a local police force wearing camo? Why do they have their guns pointed at a man who is clearly unarmed? Why do they have a tank with a gun turret? Why are they tear gassing local news crews and dismantling their camera gear?
Who thinks this is okay? Actually, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks it’s just dandy.
The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have drawn a police response that includes law enforcement officials armed with weaponry that several lawmakers have criticized as overmilitarized in appearance, with camouflage-clad officers wielding heavy weapons and armored vehicles. Many local police departments are able to acquire military-grade arms and equipment through the Defense Department’s “1033” program, established by Congress in the ’90s, which allows that equipment to trickle to the police
A bipartisan coalition of senators is angling to examine these programs and whether it’s appropriate for assault rifles and grenade launchers to flow to local law enforcement. But in an interview with “Nevada Newsmakers,” Reid seemed to short-circuit hopes for any sea change in the program.
“The issue is this: Whether we should we allow surplus equipment the military has to go to police departments. I say yes. We have police departments all over the country, including those in Nevada, who are desperate for more resources. And the mere fact that you have the equipment doesn’t mean that you have to use it,” Reid said in a joint interview with Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller that was taped on Monday night.
Oh, I get it, Harry Reid. The police should have tanks, drones, and fully automatic weapons; they just shouldn’t use them. That makes perfect sense!
I’m not arguing that police officers don’t have the means to protect civilians and themselves. I’m not arguing that the police shouldn’t use deadly force if confronted with deadly force. However, the militarization of police represents a rapid escalation of power and brute force.
Through daily occurrences of brutality across the country, police officers have squandered the respect that they once had with the American people. Now, without earning respect, they have simply amassed more weaponry in an effort to instill fear.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon just made a huge mistake. He released a YouTube video calling for the “vigorous prosecution” of the officer who shot Michael Brown. He didn’t call for a complete investigation, mind you, he called for prosecution.
Late Monday night, just minutes before tear gas began to be deployed against protesters in Ferguson, Mo., Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon issued a tweet asking the people of Ferguson to “show the world that we can protest peacefully and passionately.” That certainly didn’t happen, but tonight the governor is trying again, this time with a YouTube video “about the difficult but important test facing us all.” He also called for a “vigorous prosecution” (see video at 3:24). Not investigation, but prosecution.
This is terrible on a few levels.
1) This is a local investigation and Governor Nixon isn’t a prosecutor. Ordinarily, this would have nothing to do with the governor (and especially the President) but he has chosen to insert himself. Don’t get me wrong, he should denounce the riots and rampant violence that we have seen in the wake of the shooting, but he should should let investigators do their jobs.
2) He should understand that people are innocent until proven guilty and that authorities cannot (legally) prosecute someone until they feel that there is enough evidence to convict them. Furthermore, the officer is at a known location and presumably not a flight risk. And the investigation isn’t even over.
3) More than likely he is influencing the prosecutor. This is unacceptable. If I say that the officer should be prosecuted, no one cares. I have no influence. However, the governor of the state has great influence over a prosecutor who is employed by the state. Make no mistake, he was sending a signal to the prosecutor about what he wanted done. This is a terrible overreach of power that everyone should denounce.
Yesterday, we learned of the horrible news that American freelance journalist James Foley was brutally murdered by ISIS in Syria. Apparently, the White House knew this was going to happen days ago, but Obama continued to party and golf in Martha’s Vineyard.
from ABC News:
ISIS had recently threatened to kill U.S. journalist James Foley to avenge airstrikes the United States has conducted in Iraq, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
The White House had been aware of the threat prior to the release of a video Tuesday night that appears to show the beheading of Foley and warns that militants will carry out a similar act against U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff, who went missing in August, the official said.
President Obama was briefed on the video aboard Air Force One Tuesday night as he returned to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, from Washington to resume his August vacation. The White House said the intelligence community is working to authenticate the gruesome video that allegedly shows Foley’s beheading.
President Obama simply cannot be bothered. Sure, there’s a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, that ISIS is threatening to behead, but Obama doesn’t seem to be concerned about that. He’s got to improve his golf short game.
Don’t you just feel so bad for President Obama? He had to, you know, do his job and stuff for two whole days! Whew! Now he’s back in Martha’s Vineyard for more partying and, of course, more golf.
from the Hill:
President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.
Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.
Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, since Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.
Judicial Watch estimates the extra roundtrip cost $1.1 million. Only daughter Malia accompanied Obama back to Washington.
Speculation for why Obama returned focused around the possibility of a secret foreign leader meeting or the roll out of a new administration initiative on immigration or corporate taxes.
But no such explanation materialized.
Administration officials constantly insist that Obama can fulfill all of his Presidential duties while on vacation. What was the point of a million dollar trip home?
This is not the way things usually look when a person goes to turn himself in on felony charges. TX Gov. Rick Perry used the opportunity to give a powerful speech, blasting his accusers for using bogus legal charges as a bludgeon against people they disagree with.
Here’s the video:
In case you were wondering, yes, Perry has a mug shot:
Freelance journalist James Foley was beheaded in Syria by ISIS, and video of the execution was posted online as a warning to President Obama to stop air strikes against the terrorist group. At the end of the beheading, the video shows a second American journalist who ISIS threatens to execute if Obama doesn’t call off the air strikes.
A video released by ISIS shows the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and threatens the life of another American if President Barack Obama doesn’t end military operations in Iraq.
In the video posted Tuesday on YouTube, Foley is seen kneeling next to a man dressed in black. He reads a message, presumably scripted by his captors, that his “real killer” is America.
"I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again," Foley can be heard saying in the video.
He is then shown being beheaded.
The National Security Council is aware of the video.
"The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available," NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.
Foley disappeared in November 2012 in northwest Syria, near the border with Turkey. He was reportedly forced into a vehicle by gunmen; he was not heard from again. At the time of his disappearance, he was working for the GlobalPost.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Facebook group set up to support Foley and his family, “Free James Foley,” wrote, “We know that many of you are looking for confirmation or answers. Please be patient until we all have more information, and keep the Foleys in your thoughts and prayers.”
The video also shows another American journalist. His life is said by the militants in the video to hang in the balance, depending on what Obama does next.
U.S. Official: ISIS ‘credible alternative to al Qaeda’
The journalist is believed to be Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped at the Syria-Turkey border in 2013. Sotloff is a contributor to Time and Foreign Policy magazines.
Note to President Obama: you don’t negotiate with terrorists. Giving in to their demands will only further endanger the lives of American citizens who will become valuable as hostages.
A vest camera would have certainly prevented a lot of havoc in Ferguson, but the more the physical evidence stacks up, the more the police officer who shot Michael Brown’s story is looking to be true.
from Gateway Pundit:
The Gateway Pundit can now confirm from two local St. Louis sources that police Officer Darren Wilson suffered facial fractures during his confrontation with deceased 18 year-old Michael Brown. Officer Wilson clearly feared for his life during the incident that led to the shooting death of Brown. This was after Michael Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson robbed a local Ferguson convenience store.
Michael Brown robbed a Ferguson convenience store the morning of his death.
Local St. Louis sources said Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.” This comes from a source within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.
A blowout fracture is a fracture of one or more of the bones surrounding the eye and is commonly referred to as an orbital floor fracture. (AAPOS)
This comes after St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter tweeted out last night that a dozen local witnesses confirmed Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s version of the Brown shooting story.
We also know now that Michael Brown’s gunshot wounds were front to back, and he was not shot in the back as early reports indicated. There are now at least 12 witnesses, including one who is heard on camera only moments after the shooting, that corroborate Officer Darren Wilson’s account that Brown attacked him.
Again, this is why we always advocate staying principled and sticking to facts.
UPDATE: CNN is directly conflicting this story. Again, we must wait and see the actual evidence.
Accountability: it’s one of the keys to preventing police brutality and the potential violent aftermath from rioters. Had the officer who shot Michael Brown been wearing a vest camera at the time of his encounter, there wouldn’t be violence in the streets of Ferguson right now.
Now the city of Ferguson is pledging to outfit all of its officers with cameras so that they will have accountability for their actions and the security of being able to back up their reports.
from the Wire:
The City of Ferguson has pledged to make some serious changes to their police force. Most notably, police officers will be wearing cameras on their vests so all acts will be recorded.
In Rialto, California, the entire police force wears cameras of this kind. They record all interactions the officers have and they’re about the size of a pager. In the first year of their use in Rialto, use of force fell by 60 percent and citizen complaints by 88 percent. The Rialto police chief explained, “When you talk about putting a camera on somebody, human nature is going to dictate that you’re going to mind your p’s and q’s and you’re going to be on the best behavior. At the same time, I think it’s had an impact on citizens. If they know you’re wearing a camera, they too will be on their best behavior.”
Here’s the official statement from the city of Ferguson:
Another accolade for the “most transparent administration in history.”
from Cause of Action:
Cause of Action (CoA), a government accountability organization, sued 10 cabinet agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Internal Revenue Service today for refusing to disclose communications concerning documents the agencies shared with the White House. The records would reveal whether and how the White House politicizes records requests sent to federal agencies.
“Accountable and transparent government does not involve instructing agencies to send politically sensitive records to the White House for review. The bureaucracy has violated the law by stonewalling the public’s access to documents for political reasons. Cause of Action’s own investigation reveals that the White House is actually demanding access from agencies to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Congressional document requests, as well as the documents subject to those requests, in a manner that may obstruct congressional oversight and violate the spirit of FOIA,” stated Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s executive director.
After sending 22 FOIA requests between 2013 and 2014 to various agencies regarding the review of agency records by the Office of White House Counsel and releasing a report in April of this year about “White House equities,” a broad term the White House uses to review and advise agencies on what should or shouldn’t be released to FOIA requesters and Congress, 10 of the agencies have responded to Cause of Action.
Cause of Action’s White House equities investigation previously uncovered internal emails from the Environmental Protection Agency showing that the White House improperly withheld documents related to a request from Congress, leading to a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee. Cause of Action also obtained documents revealing that a public records appeal filed by Americans for Limited Government with the Department of Labor (DOL) concerning former Secretary Hilda Solis’ calendars was held up for years before DOL released the information, showing that agencies are hiding responsive documents, or delaying the production of responsive documents, because of what they are sharing with the White House.
The list of agencies that Cause of Action is suing include the Justice Department, Homeland Security, the VA, HHS, and the Treasury.
Solar energy has been largely impractical at this juncture because of the tremendous cost of manufacturing panels and the relatively small amount of energy these panels are capable of capturing. As technology improves, solar cells have been growing more and more efficient, but that efficiency comes at a cost: birds being fried in mid air.
Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.
Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
The deaths are “alarming. It’s hard to say whether that’s the location or the technology,” said Garry George, renewable-energy director for the California chapter of the Audubon Society. “There needs to be some caution.”
The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.
"We take this issue very seriously," said Jeff Holland, a spokesman for NRG Solar of Carlsbad, California, the second of the three companies behind the plant. The third, Google, deferred comment to its partners.
The $2.2 billion plant, which launched in February, is at Ivanpah Dry Lake near the California-Nevada border. The operator says it’s the world’s biggest plant to employ so-called power towers.
A $2.2 billion bird roaster…paid for by you, the taxpayer.
What bias at the New York Times? Nah, it couldn’t be true!
Take for example today’s editorial on Gov. Rick Perry’s recent indictment on corruption charges. An honest, straightforward piece of journalism would simply report the facts, and an honest, straightforward editorial board could simply say that the facts don’t support a conviction of Gov. Rick Perry.
But the New York Times can’t simply publish an honest, straightforward editorial about Gov. Rick Perry being innocent. They have to make sure their liberal readers know that it really, really hurts them to admit that he’s probably not guilty.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office. But bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony, and the indictment handed up against him on Friday — given the facts so far — appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution.
See what I mean? It’s an editorial about the indictment against him, but they have to write an entire paragraph about how much they hate him before they get to the facts.
Governors and presidents threaten vetoes and engage in horse-trading all the time to get what they want, but for that kind of political activity to become criminal requires far more evidence than has been revealed in the Perry case so far. Perhaps Mr. McCrum will have some solid proof to show once the case heads to trial. But, for now, Texas voters should be more furious at Mr. Perry for refusing to expand Medicaid, and for all the favors he has done for big donors, than for a budget veto.
read the rest (if you can stomach it)
You see how ridiculous this is? They can’t simply stick with the facts of the case. They feel obligated to make sure they let their readers know how much they can’t stand Perry’s views on immigration, abortion, and Obamacare which have absolutely nothing to do with this story.
I don’t think I could have dreamed up a more perfect example of how the New York Times’ editorial board’s political bias affects their reporting. This article is dripping with bias and only begrudgingly presents the facts.