On April 23rd, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill “nullifying city and county gun restrictions” to ensure that it is legal to “openly carry firearms” throughout the state.
The law takes effect on July 1.
According to cjonline.com, the law will “sweep away restrictions on open carry.” It will also “prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on firearm sales or how guns are stored or transported.”
Supporters of the law say it will correct “a patchwork of local regulations [that have] infringed on gun-ownership rights.”
But Melissa Wangemann, legal counsel for the Kansas Association of Counties, believes the law “shows a lack of trust in local elected officials.” She said it takes away the ability of “pro-2nd Amendment counties” to expand concealed carry on their own.
Wangemann also said this law means her counties “can’t enact any regulation,” nor can they tell gun owners, “Keep your safety on, keep the gun on your side, don’t lay it on your desk.”
On March 25th, Breitbart News reported that West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed a bill eliminating local ordinances against carrying guns in his state as well.
The mellow, “peace now,” countercultural, environmentally conscious “420” celebration deposited 10,000 pounds of garbage on what is known as Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, leaving volunteers and park workers to clean up the mess.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SF Gate, this year’s celebration drew a massive amount of revelers estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000. The pot smokers’ untidiness will cost the city more than $10,000 in cleanup costs.
The immense load of empty bags of chips, candy wrappers, and snack containers left behind was evidence that it was indeed the remnants of weed smokers with a case of the munchies on steroids.
The SF Gate reported that one father, Dan Kling, who had taken his 2½-year-old daughter to the park for some family time, was repulsed by the behavior of the “420″ partiers. Although he didn’t mind that there was a party, he objected to the pigsty that they left behind. “If you can’t be responsible for yourselves, you can’t have a party,” he said.
In fairness to the stoners, the park does not provide additional waste management containers and portable toilets for unofficial events. Moreover, the fact that “420″ fell on a beautiful weekend added to the amount of people joining in the bacchanalia. Connie Chan, a spokeswoman with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, explained, “Permitted events are well organized and planned much in advance with multiple city agencies to ensure public safety and patron enjoyment.”
Lt. Simon Silverman of the San Francisco Police Department Park Divison remarked, “It’s almost completely unmanageable. There are no officials you can contact to deal with things so that’s a frustration for us.” The discouraged public servant added, “The people paying for all of this are going to be the taxpayers, so it’s not without cost.”
Since I wrote the article titled “Disarming America’s Heroes” I have been inundated with emails and phone calls from veterans and the families of veterans. The horror stories I am hearing are proof that the VA and the Obama administration have launched an all out assault on the Constitutional rights of our nation’s wounded warriors and other veterans.
Veterans are being declared incompetent not because they have a serious mental illness that makes them a danger to themselves or others, but because they have a physical disability resulting from their service in the armed forces or because they simply let their spouses pay the family bills.
If veterans have minor issues with PTSD, have expressed that they are depressed sometimes, or even in the case of Vietnam veterans admit that they are getting older and sometimes forget to pay their bills on time, the bureaucrats at the VA will seek to declare them incompetent. (I am a 65 year old veteran and often forget where I put my car keys, does that make me incompetent to handle my own financial affairs and even worse mean that I can’t own a firearm?) According to the VA it apparently does.
All of this has resulted in America’s heroes being declared incompetent by a process that blatantly violates their rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Then, for reasons that have not been explained these same veterans are also being denied their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Many of the veterans I have heard from were initially both scared because of what was happening to them, and hurt because it is their own government that is causing this fear. After all, when they joined the military they signed a blank check to their country to defend it and its Constitution even if it cost them their lives. Yet, now their own government is turning on them and taking from them the very Constitutional rights they fought to preserve.
However, now something else is happening; the fear and betrayal that these veterans felt is turning to anger. Their training and instincts as warriors is coming forth and they are once again prepared to fight for their rights and the rights of other Americans. I think that the Obama administration has picked a fight with the wrong dog. Veterans are fighting back.
As Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (www.usjf.net) I am committed to helping these veterans and protecting their Constitutional rights. We are putting together a top notch legal team that is already exploring several potential avenues including administrative procedures and a class action lawsuit.
It will be a huge undertaking since we have veterans who have just received the letter telling them that the VA is considering declaring them incompetent, veterans who have already been declared incompetent and lost their Second Amendment Rights, and even veterans who have gotten the incompetence ruling reversed, but are still blacklisted when it comes to buying firearms. There will be no charge to any veterans or their families that we represent. We will raise the money to finance our efforts from private sources.
There are those detractors who claim that the letter from the VA is not real even though several reporters have contacted me and said they have talked to representatives of the VA and it is confirmed that it is sending out these letters. The VA apparently downplays this by saying it is not a big deal. I suggest that to the veterans who are losing their rights it is a very big deal and we intend to join them in the fight.
If you are a veteran or have a friend or family member who is a veteran and has received one of these letters or already been declared incompetent, please contact me and the USJF. We intend to come out swinging. Our veterans deserve nothing less.
– Michael Connelly, Constitutional Attorney and United States Army Veteran –
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday a bill that expands gun rights in the state to allow weapons in government buildings, bars, places of worship, and school zones under certain circumstances.
Under House Bill 60, also known as the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, school districts will get to decide whether to allow authorized personnel to carry weapons within school safety zones under certain circumstances.
In addition, church leaders will be able to decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to bring weapons into their place of worship. The law also removes fingerprinting requirements for renewal licenses.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action called the bill the “most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history.”
Deal, who characterized himself as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, said the measure “will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License.”
“Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population,” Deal said in a press release. “License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law. This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules – and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules.”
“Our nation’s founders put the right to bear arms on par with freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Georgians cherish their Second Amendment rights, and this law embodies those values,” he added.
Executive Director Pia Carusone of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which lobbied against the bill, called it “extremism in action.”
“It moves Georgia out of the mainstream,” Carusone said. “Since the Georgia House first passed this expansive legislation, thousands of Georgians and tens of thousands of Americans have said loud and clear that they are tired of the gun lobby advancing its extreme agenda at the expense of their families’ safety.”
How often have you heard a Democrat prattle on and on about how well Barack Obama has done with the economy, given the mess he inherited? Usually, it’s some version of, “Things are getting better, but the economy the President started with was so awful, so he’s done as well as anyone could expect.”
When Ronald Reagan took over from Jimmy Carter in ’81, things were actually worse economically compared to when Obama took over from George W. Bush in ’08.
Consider these three important comparisons of economic indicators, then and now:
- Unemployment was at 10.8% versus 7.7%
- Inflation (Consumer Price Index) was at 13.5% versus 2.7%
- Interest rates (prime rate) was at 21.5% versus 3.25%
In other words, Reagan inherited a bigger mess. Yet, there’s this chart of job growth:
Yes, you read that right: net job growth has declined under Obama. And by the end of the second year of their terms as President, economic growth under Reagan averaged 7.1% , under Obama an anemic 2.8%.
So, how did Reagan manage it? Across-the-board tax cuts, non-defense spending cuts, a restrained monetary supply, and deregulation.
What’s Obama done? Tax increases, spending increases, a massive money-supply increase through “quantitative easing,” and an explosive increase in regulations.
Game, set, and match to Ronald Reagan – and a sound, conservative economic policy.
A new powdered alcohol product announced just days ago has had its approval promptly reversed following a barrage of negative publicity surrounding fears that it could encourage irresponsible – and even underage – drinking.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol’s powdered vodka, rum, and other cocktails ‘in error,’ Tom Hogue, the agency’s director of congressional and public affairs, told The Associated Press via email. The agency did not respond to further questions.
The company behind Palcohol, Tempe, Arizona-based Lipsmark, said that ‘there seemed to be a discrepancy [about] how much powder’ is in the packets, which are meant to be mixed with water.
According to the website for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, multiple varieties of Palcohol received ‘label approval’ on April 8.
Palcohol had previously announced six varieties of powdered alcohol, including vodka, rum and four cocktails – Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Powderita and Lemon Drop.
The company agreed to surrender its approvals on Monday and has said that it will resubmit the product for approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
No sooner had Palcohol announced its initial products than critics where questioning the potential dangers of a powered form of alcohol which could fit into a pocket, making it more portable than a bottle or flask of liquor.
The company initially did little to discourage these fears as the Palcohol website featured a lot of information on how the product could be used to consume alcohol in unusual ways and little about promoting ‘responsible drinking’.
‘Maybe you’re a college football fan. So many stadiums don’t even serve alcohol. What’s that about; watching football without drinking?! That’s almost criminal. Bring Palcohol in and enjoy the game,’ stated the website.
As well as adding the alcoholic power to water, the site also suggested that Palcohol could be poured over food.
‘Sprinkle Palcohol on almost any dish and give it an extra kick. Some of our favorites are the Kamikaze in guacamole, Rum on a BBQ sandwich, Cosmo on a salad and Vodka on eggs in the morning to start your day off right.’
There were even some rudimentary cooking instructions: ‘Remember, you have to add Palcohol AFTER a dish is cooked as the alcohol will burn off if you cook with it… and that defeats the whole purpose.’
The company also appeared to be encouraging users to try snorting their product: ‘You’ll get drunk almost instantly because the alcohol will be absorbed so quickly in your nose.’
Those posts were quickly taken down and the company claims it was simply experimenting with ‘edgy marketing’ that wasn’t meant to be seen by the public.
‘As Palcohol is a new product, we have yet to understand its potential of being added to food,’ the website now states, along with warning people that the powder shouldn’t be snorted.
According to the site, the product’s founder Mark Phillips came up with the idea because he is an ‘active guy’ and wanted a way to enjoy an adult beverage after long hours hiking, biking or camping without having to carry around heavy bottles.
‘What we can say now is that we hope the product will be used in a responsible and legal manner. Being in compliance with all Federal and State laws is very important to us. Palcohol will only be sold through establishments that are licensed to sell liquor.’
Powdered alcohol is not a new concept. Such products are already being sold in other countries including Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands.
According to some, alcohol laws would in general only apply to liquids.
This would mean that powder-based alcoholic beverages could be sold to minors and that the powder would be exempt from alcohol tax and laws, as is the case with certain products in the Netherlands.
You might have heard that the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 today that states have the right to ban racial preferences, euphemistically known as “affirmative action,” in public-university admission, but that’s not quite right. On that point the justices (save for Elena Kagan, who sat the case out) were unanimous. “When this Court holds that the Constitution permits a particular policy, nothing prevents a majority of a State’s voters from choosing not to adopt that policy,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
But in the case styled Schuette v. BAMN, Sotomayor endeavored to make nothing into something. She and Ginsburg would have upheld a decision by the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that held illicit the method by which Michigan’s voters accomplished that end: a ballot initiative, approved in 2006, that amended the state constitution to bar racial discrimination.
We noted the case, and offered a lengthy analysis, back in 2011, when a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel first ruled in favor of the unwieldily named Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary. We pegged the case then as a likely one for the high court to take up, and we didn’t expect the Sixth Circuit’s ruling to stand. But we’re disappointed the court didn’t repudiate BAMN’s arguments more clearly.
The background, in brief: As there was no colorable argument that the substance of the Michigan amendment was unconstitutional, BAMN invoked what the appellate court called the “political process doctrine.” It rested on two prior cases, Hunter v. Erickson (1969) and Washington v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1 (1982), in each of which the high court struck down a ballot measure repealing and banning a policy that, as Justice Harry Blackmun put it in Seattle, “inures primarily to the benefit of the minority.” In Hunter, the policy in question was a fair-housing ordinance enacted by the city council; in Seattle, a forced-busing program instituted by an elected school board.
The six justices who voted to reverse the Sixth Circuit and let the Michigan amendment stand split 3-2-1 on the grounds for doing so. The result is a clear outcome but a doctrinal muddle. We thought it would be amusing and enlightening to go through the four main opinions in descending order of clarity.
Clearest of all is Justice Antonin Scalia’s concurrence in the judgment, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. “It has come to this,” Scalia begins portentously. “Called upon to explore the jurisprudential twilight zone between two errant lines of precedent, we confront a frighteningly bizarre question: Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbid what its text plainly requires?”
Scalia and Thomas’s view, thus far joined by no other sitting justice, is that racial discrimination in public-university admissions is flatly unconstitutional. The prevailing view on the court is that such discrimination is permissible, but only for the purpose of realizing “the educational benefits” of a “diverse student body,” as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor put it in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).
As Scalia notes: “Were a public university to stake its defense of a race-based-admissions policy on the ground that it was designed to benefit primarily minorities (as opposed to all students, regardless of color, by enhancing diversity), we would hold the policy unconstitutional.” The Sixth Circuit had to reach just that conclusion in order to fit the Michigan amendment into the political-process doctrine.
Thus, as we noted in 2011, Grutter and BAMN were on a collision course. Either the racial preferences the court upheld in Grutter were unconstitutional or the political-process doctrine didn’t apply. Scalia and Thomas recognized this contradiction squarely and would have dealt with it by both holding the preferences unconstitutional and overturning Hunter and Seattle.
Justice Stephen Breyer concurred in the judgment on much narrower grounds. He was part of the Grutter majority in 2003 and still thinks racial preferences are constitutionally permissible. He ducked the question of whether the political-process doctrine applied to the substance of the Michigan amendment by saying it didn’t apply to the process. Because racial preferences were imposed by unelected university administrators, he argued, the process change isn’t a “political” one at all. It appears to be a way of evading the central questions of the case, but it does have the virtue of being relatively simple.
Then there’s the Sotomayor dissent, which begins as follows: “We are fortunate to live in a democratic society. But…” An empty piety, followed by an equivocation, followed by a total of 58 pages – you know this is going to be a tough slog.
The most quoted part of Sotomayor’s opinion is this: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.” This is a rejoinder to Chief Justice John Roberts’s assertion, in Parents Involved v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1 (2007), that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” (Roberts in turn rebutted Sotomayor in a separate concurrence to today’s decision, which we’re leaving out of our ranking by clarity.)
Roberts’s statement was trivially true, which means that Sotomayor’s defies logic. Her argument amounts to an assertion that a ban on racial discrimination is a form of racial discrimination–that everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Also Orwellian is her claim that she wants “to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.” Such an assertion is almost always disingenuous. After all, the way to speak openly and candidly is to speak openly and candidly. Declaring one’s intention to do so is at best superfluous throat clearing.
And while Sotomayor may be open, she isn’t candid. She presents a potted history of race in America in which there is a straight line from Jim Crow segregation through literacy tests to the Michigan amendment, which “involves this last chapter of discrimination” – even though it bans discrimination, and even though Sotomayor acknowledges that its substance is perfectly constitutional.
Yet for all the faults of the Sotomayor opinion, she does score some points against the plurality opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Kennedy refrained from either reversing the Hunter and Seattle precedents or distinguishing the Michigan amendment from those cases by noting the contradiction between the Sixth Circuit’s finding and the high court’s rationale for upholding racial preferences in Grutter.
Instead, he essentially rewrites Hunter and Seattle, as Sotomayor notes (citation omitted):
Disregarding the language used in Hunter, the plurality asks us to contort that case into one that “rests on the unremarkable principle that the State may not alter the procedures of government to target racial minorities.” And the plurality recasts Seattle “as a case in which the state action in question… had the serious risk, if not purpose, of causing specific injuries on account of race.” According to the plurality, the Hunter and Seattle Courts were not concerned with efforts to reconfigure the political process to the detriment of racial minorities; rather, those cases invalidated governmental actions merely because they reflected an invidious purpose to discriminate. This is not a tenable reading of those cases.
Although Sotomayor is right about this, she goes on to make an error that is the mirror image of Kennedy’s, in citing the 1996 case of Romer v. Evans (omitting another citation):
Romer involved a Colorado constitutional amendment that removed from the local political process an issue primarily affecting gay and lesbian citizens. The amendment, enacted in response to a number of local ordinances prohibiting discrimination against gay citizens, repealed these ordinances and effectively prohibited the adoption of similar ordinances in the future without another amendment to the State Constitution. Although the Court did not apply the political-process doctrine in Romer, the case resonates with the principles undergirding the political-process doctrine. The Court rejected an attempt by the majority to transfer decision-making authority from localities (where the targeted minority group could influence the process) to state government (where it had less ability to participate effectively).
Actually in Romer the high court, with Justice Kennedy writing for the majority, rejected the Colorado Supreme Court’s application of the political-process doctrine. Instead, Kennedy held that the amendment itself violated equal protection–something even Sotomayor concedes is not true of the Michigan measure.
The plurality opinion is frustratingly muddled, but it’s likely to be seen as the controlling one, since it reflects the farthest position in either direction that a majority of justices are willing to go. In effect it means that it will be difficult if not impossible to challenge state ballot initiatives banning racial preferences at public universities. And while the court did not overturn the Hunter and Seattle precedents, they do not look like especially robust law, now that they’ve been rewritten by Justice Kennedy.
As for the Roberts-Sotomayor kibitzing, it’s actually a continuation of a conversation that started many years earlier, when the late Justice Harry Blackmun, in an opinion in University of California v. Bakke, wrote: “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.”
Blackmun wrote those words in 1978, when Sonia Sotomayor was a law student. Thirty-six years later, Justice Sotomayor wrote these words:
Race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”
Are Sotomayor’s lamentations evidence that Blackmun was right, or that he was wrong?
“A freedom-destroying cocktail.”
That’s how Justice Antonin Scalia characterized Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement officers may pull over and search drivers based solely on an anonymous tip.
The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday to uphold a traffic stop in northern California in which officers subsequently found marijuana in the vehicle. The officers themselves did not see any evidence of the tipped reckless driving, which was interpreted as drunkenness, even after following the truck for several minutes.
Justice Clarence Thomas said the tip phoned in to 911 that a Ford pickup truck had run the caller off the road was sufficiently reliable to allow for the traffic stop without violating the driver’s constitutional rights.
But Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the dissent in Prado Navarette v. California, had strong words about the decision’s implications for the future.
Here are some of Scalia’s points, in which he was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor (emphasis added):
* Law enforcement agencies follow closely our judgments on matters such as this, and they will identify at once our new rule: So long as the caller identifies where the car is, anonymous claims of a single instance of possibly careless or reckless driving, called in to 911, will support a traffic stop. This is not my concept, and I am sure would not be the Framers’, of a people secure from unreasonable searches and seizures.
* Anonymity is especially suspicious with respect to the call that is the subject of the present case. When does a victim complain to the police about an arguably criminal act (running the victim off the road) without giving his identity, so that he can accuse and testify when the culprit is caught?
* The Court’s opinion serves up a freedom-destroying cocktail consisting of two parts patent falsity: (1) that anonymous 911 reports of traffic violations are reliable so long as they correctly identify a car and its location, and (2) that a single instance of careless or reckless driving necessarily supports a reasonable suspicion of drunkenness. All the malevolent 911 caller need do is assert a traffic violation, and the targeted car will be stopped, forcibly if necessary, by the police. If the driver turns out not to be drunk (which will almost always be the case), the caller need fear no consequences, even if 911 knows his identity. After all, he never alleged drunkenness, but merely called in a traffic violation—and on that point his word is as good as his victim’s.
* Drunken driving is a serious matter, but so is the loss of our freedom to come and go as we please without police interference. To prevent and detect murder we do not allow searches without probable cause or targeted Terry stops without reasonable suspicion. We should not do so for drunken driving either. After today’s opinion all of us on the road, and not just drug dealers, are at risk of having our freedom of movement curtailed on suspicion of drunkenness, based upon a phone tip, true or false, of a single instance of careless driving.
As the Internal Revenue Service grapples with budget cuts, a newly reported audit reveals the federal tax collection agency doled out bonuses and other rewards to more than 2,800 workers who had conduct and tax-evasion issues.
The audit – issued March 21 by an IRS watchdog agency, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) – showed that between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, the IRS gave out more than $2.8 million in monetary awards, 27,000 hours in time-off awards, and 175 other awards to employees who had tax compliance problems and other work issues.
“With few exceptions, the IRS does not consider tax compliance or other misconduct when issuing performance awards or most other types of awards,” TIGTA stated, noting the audit was part of new federal guidelines that require agencies to reduce spending on awards programs.
“Thus, while not specifically prohibited, providing awards to employees with conduct issues, especially those who fail to pay [f]ederal taxes, appears to create a conflict with the IRS’ charge of ensuring the integrity of system of tax administration,” the audit added.
Overall in fiscal year 2012, the IRS gave out $86 million in cash awards and almost 490,000 hours of time-off awards to 67,870 of its approximately 98,000 employees, the report found.
In a written statement to USA Today, David Krieg, the agency’s chief human capital officer, responded: “We take seriously our unique role as the nation’s tax administrator, and we will strive to implement a policy that protects the integrity of the tax administration system and the reputation of the service.”
While the audit revealed that the IRS, for the most part, complied with federal requirements to limit its awards spending, this issue is yet another eyesore for an agency that has been charged with corruption for targeting Tea Party groups and wasting $4.1 million in taxpayer funds on a lavish conference that included $64,000 in free “swag” for attendees.
A former police officer died while trying to set ablaze a food cart belonging to a blogger who exposed crooked cops and other corrupt city officials. ArkansasMatters.com reported Friday that former Little Rock Police Officer Todd Payne died when blogger Ean Bordeaux (pictured above) tackled him as Payne tried to flee the scene of the attempted arson.
Bordeaux is the proprietor of the Corruption Sucks blog, a webpage dedicated to exposing corruption in the Little Rock local government and in the state government of Arkansas. At about 4:30 a.m. on Friday, he awoke to find the hot dog cart he operates for a living in flames.
“I looked outside and my hot dog cart’s on fire,” he told KARK. The cart operated on propane tanks, which, Bordeaux said, “could have blown up the house.”
He called 911, then ran outside in a bathrobe to put out the blaze. That was when he noticed a heavyset man in a mask running away.
Bordeaux was too busy trying to put out the flames then, he said, but about 15 minutes later, the man in the mask came back. The blogger watched from inside his house as the masked man tried to restart the fire.
Running outside again, Bordeaux said, he tackled the man as he tried to flee, hoping to hold him until police arrived.
Payne hit the pavement face-first, however, and died from his injuries. Bordeaux said his only desire had been to immobilize the perpetrator and hand him over to authorities.
He quickly realized, however, that the dead man was former LRPD officer Todd “Creepy Todd” Payne, who was fired from the force in 2010 for multiple violations, including a DUI crash in which Payne attempted to leave the scene, incidences of witness intimidation, lying to superiors and dereliction of duty.
Bordeaux had written extensively about Payne at Corruption Sucks, and believes that the former cop was attempting to strike back at him for exposing his crimes.
In 1979, there was a student takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage. Then President Jimmy Carter was lambasted for his weak foreign policy which lead the Iranians to view him as an inconsequential leader. Therefore, they did not fear America. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, with the spinelessness of Jimmy Carter purged from the White House, the hostages were released on the very day of his inauguration.
But, the pain of those nearly 15 months in captivity would linger not just for those held hostage, but for America as the people remembered that horrible time in our history. The country would have to recover and again position itself as a world leader to be feared and respected.
We have seen our position of power in the world erode over the last 5 years, with the most recent indicator being the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative who is unafraid of Obama’s weak warnings.
As the world has watched this invasion, events that some believe are a signal to the beginning of another Cold War, the pain caused by the Iran hostage crisis some 35 years ago is being renewed.
Hamid Abutalebi has been selected by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as their United States Ambassador. Abutalebi was one of the hostage takers of those 52 Americans. While he claims he only served as a translator and negotiator, the United States Congress voted unanimously to deny his entry into the United States, since the U.N. meetings are held in New York.
The bill passed by Congress was authored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado. After the bill passed unanimously with bi-partisan support, Cruz and Lamborn released the following statements in calling for Obama to sign the bill to prevent terrorists from obtaining visas to enter the U.S. as U.N. ambassadors.
Congress has voted unanimously in support of a bill to reject Iran’s deliberately insulting nomination of a known terrorist – one of the 1979 hostage-takers – to be their ambassador to the United Nations,” said Sen. Cruz. “I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting it, and urge the President to act quickly. We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior.”
“I have been working hard with House Leadership to move this bill even before it passed the Senate,” said Congressman Lamborn. “I appreciate House Leadership’s rapid response to my request to quickly bring the Cruz/Lamborn bill to the House Floor for a vote. It will give the President the power to prevent an Iranian terrorist from entering our country with diplomatic immunity. This is a great example of leadership in action by both Houses of Congress. After Senator Cruz worked to ensure Senate passage earlier in the week, I felt that it was extremely important that the House respond in-kind by considering the Cruz/Lamborn bill in an expedited manner. It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists. Terrorists, from Iran or elsewhere, should not be allowed to walk the streets of Manhattan with diplomatic immunity.”
Individuals with diplomatic immunity cannot be prosecuted or even charged with so much as a traffic ticket, let alone an act of terrorism.
Eight days later, President Obama has signed the bill into law, but, according to the Washington Examiner, he immediately released a statement saying that he would not enforce the law. While Obama recognized the concerns of Congress regarding allowing a terrorist to gain access to our country, he stated the following to explain his decision to ignore the law of the land.
“Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation.”
When Bush was president, then Senator Obama was extremely critical of him for signing such statements stating that, “Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it.” The statements that Bush signed did not grant a terrorist unfettered access to our country.
Now that Obama is president, he has demonstrated time and again his complete disregard for any laws that he does not like. Certain laws, like his signature legislation Obamacare, are deemed the law of the land that must be followed. However, he very often changes parts of that law unconstitutionally via executive order to fit his political needs. With others, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he would, in his lawlessness, decide that he would not enforce the law.
His decision to sign the bill into law, but immediately state that he will not enforce it flies in the face of the rule of law upon which this country was built and endangers America.
Obama’s disregard for the law as passed by Congress and signed by him, thereby allowing a known terrorist who committed an act of terrorism against the American people unto American soil, comes days after the one year anniversary of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Iran was insistent that the terrorist Abutalebi was their choice for ambassador. When the U.S. threatened denial, they requested an investigation by the U.N.
Thanks to Obama, no investigation is needed. The President of the United States is going to allow a known terrorist to violate the law with no repercussions and give him complete access to America and its citizens with diplomatic immunity.
Ah, Obamacare deals out yet another blow to the American public. Apparently Obamacare enrollee’s better make sure they want to tie the knot – or better yet if they can afford it, before signing up.
As we all know, the Affordable Care Act, isn’t as affordable as the president would like to have us think. That being said, couples living together, could potentially save $10,000 over the couple who are doing the same thing, but possess the legal document.
That’s right, Obamacare is punishing you for being married.
The way this loophole works is based on income levels. You see, when you are single, it appears that you only make so much, and having less than a married couple, you can afford less. But when you live with someone, and aren’t married you incur half the cost of living expenses. Obamacare does not factor this in.
This in turn makes it look like you are making less than the married folk, but in all reality, the income may be exactly the same between competing couples.
In a mathematical demonstration, Britbart explains:
“In order to receive a government subside, a married couple must earn less than $62,040. Therefore, a married couple with each spouse making $35,000 annually for a combined income of $70,000 dollars would not qualify for a healthcare subside. In contrast, an unmarried couple with each partner making $40,000 for a combined income of $80,000 could qualify for thousands of dollars in subsides.”
The fair thing to do here is to base the insurance on household incomes, but that may just be the point.
Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with Heritage Foundation, speculates that the “law was formulated on ideological grounds,” because, “unmarried couples often vote Democrat and married couples lean Republican.”
What do you think – just unfair, or liberal ploy?
An Orange County homeowner called the power company to report a problem, and ended up leading them straight to a major marijuana grow house, authorities said.
Investigators said they carried out more than 100 pot plants from the home in the Canyon Ridge subdivision near Clarcona-Ocoee Road.
When Channel 9’s Kristyn Caddell went to the home, the odor of marijuana was so pungent, she could smell it from across the street.
Investigators were at the home all night Wednesday removing the plants from the top floor of the home.
They said there was so much marijuana in the home, that there was very little living space.
“They were actually remodeling the back room into another grow operation, which was going to be even larger,” said Robert white with the Corporal Narcotics Tip Squad.
Neighbors watched in awe as the plants were being carried out.
Norm Pozzie said he never noticed the pungent smell, but did see a lot of expensive cars and well-dressed people stopping by the house on a regular basis.
When the homeowner called the power company to report an electrical short, officials with Duke Energy noticed the lines had been tampered with.
The man was allegedly running some illegal power to the home to run his grow house, but it shorted out his power.
“We know who lives here, we know who paid for everything and we know who set it up,” White said.
Investigators said they will be putting out a warrant for the man’s arrest.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of law students that it might be a good idea to revolt if taxes become too high in the future.
While speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, Justice Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of the constitutionality of the income tax, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
The longest-serving justice currently on the bench answered the student by saying that the government has the constitutional right to implement the tax, “but if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”
Justice Scalia continued to tell the students that they have every right to express criticism of the government.
“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” he said, according to the News Sentinel.
The Justice was invited to deliver the annual “Rose Lecture” and the Tennessee law school. He discussed pivotal events in his time in the Supreme Court including the decision in 1989 to rule that flag-burning was constitutionally protected speech.
President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court in 1986.
He told the law students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn’t care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of originalism, meaning that the Constitution is a fixed law and not open to change or interpretation over time.
“The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake,” he said. “It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted.”
A graphic meant to inspire anti-gun sentiment instead raised a lot of laughter and ridicule from gun-owners, as they noticed the image bearing the name and logo of the “Everytown for Gun Safety” Bloomberg funded-group has a pretty ignorant blunder in it:
What do you think a knowledgeable gun owner would say about this?
A Humansville, MO resident got some inhumane treatment from his local police department. Elbert Breshears, 78, called for an ambulance when his wife, who suffers from dementia, was having an episode. The police arrived first and things heated up in a hurry. The video has some commentary that lasts for 14 seconds, it isn’t me but that was the only version of the video available on YouTube.
Breshears details how he and his wife were standing at the edge of his yard, next to the road, talking and waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Her episode involved her waving an arm and calling for help. She was doing that when the police showed up and her husband had his back to the direction the officers came from.
Breshears said he was holding on to his wife’s right arm, talking to her when suddenly an officer knocked him to the ground. The officer then told him to get up, and Breshears said he told the officer that he couldn’t.
Breshears reports that the officers then took him, one by each arm, lifting him up and throwing him into a gravel area. He said one of the officers sat on his back, at waist level and the other sat on his head.
They were trying to handcuff him and he says he told them he can’t physically get his arms into that position, if they’ll let him up they can cuff him, saying “I’ve got no objection to being handcuffed,” he just can’t get there from the position he was in.
That’s when the paramedics arrived and the couple was transported to the hospital. Breshears had to have gravel dug out of his head at the hospital and required stitches.
Breshears says, “I didn’t know what to think, I’ve never had nobody come up on me for doing nothing. You can’t talk to the officers, they won’t talk to you.”
As if to prove his point, the reporter then details how she attempted to speak with both the police chief and the mayor and neither would talk to her. She was able to speak to the police chief on the phone; he restricted his comments to a statement of the charges against Breshears: Elder Abuse, Refusing Arrest, and Assaulting a Police Officer.
Mr. Breshears told the reporter, “I don’t hit my wife, I’ve been with her forty something years, I love the woman. She can’t help what she does.” He continued, “That’s what I was trying to do was do my job, and this is what I got for it.”
Breshears is looking for a lawyer to press his case against the city.
Chicago public schools are set to introduce a new Afro-centric curriculum, according to a closely-guarded copy obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The curriculum covers kindergarten through tenth grade and is designed to align with Common Core. It includes a web link to TheAfrican.com, a website whose publisher decries “fake-Jews” and calls the United States a “Zionist-occupied enemy territory.”
The site also claims that the world will end sometime this year and that President Barack Obama is “merely another trick of [the beast of the 4th Kingdom].”
The new Chicago curriculum was announced last December.
“CPS has taken great pride in developing a yearlong, interdisciplinary African and African-American studies program that will enrich the understanding and appreciation of African and African-American history and culture to help build stronger and more cohesive student communities,” said Chicago Public School chief executive Byrd Bennett in an announcement of the curriculum, dubbed IAAAS.
CPS began developing IAAAS after a push last year from groups that wanted to implement a state law passed in 1990 that required public schools to offer one unit on African-American history.
But CPS went above and beyond, implementing the curriculum across all core disciplines, which include literacy, mathematics, science, social science, the arts, physical education and health.
“The law said it had to be one unit devoted to the history of African-Americans,” Annette Gurley, CPS chief officer of teaching and learning told the Chicago Tribune in 2013. “What we’ve done is we’ve taken it throughout the year for all subjects, not just one subject.”
But some of the subjects, including those discussed at TheAfrican.com, are heavily controversial. The Chicago curriculum topic discussed at TheAfrican.com is “The Black Athena,” a book written by historian Martin Bernal. Sixth and ninth grade Chicago students will discuss the book and an accompanying full-length Youtube documentary.
In the work, Bernal claimed that ancient Greeks stole much of its civilization from Egypt, which, Bernal asserts, was populated by blacks. The Chicago curriculum entertains rebuttals to Bernal’s theory but skews heavily in its favor.
Ron Fritze, a historian, the dean of Athens State University, and author of the book “Invented Knowledge,” says that Bernal’s theories are not historically accurate and have no place in Chicago schools.
“As a historian and an educator, I am very troubled by the notion of [students] in Chicago city schools spending five weeks on Bernal’s ideas,” Fritze told TheDCNF.
“His ideas are outliers of scholarship and have been largely discredited among other scholars,” said Fritze, noting that few scholars from Egypt or even China and Japan subscribe to Bernal’s theories.
Fritze says that while most of Bernal’s critics had proven expertise in Classical studies, ancient history, and Egyptology, most of his supporters were not specialized in those fields.
“But they were people who found his ideas to be politically attractive,” said Fritze.
Chicago fifth graders will be exposed to another controversial and widely-criticized theory in Ivan van Sertima’s “They Came Before Columbus.” Van Sertima, who taught at Rutgers University, theorized that Africans populated the Americas well before Columbus.
But critics largely panned the work. In a 1977 New York Times book review, archaeologist Glyn Daniel called van Sertima’s work “ignorant rubbish” and labeled it “myth and folklore.”
Fritze is critical as well.
“I and most historians of exploration consider ‘They Came Before Columbus’ to be very wrong in its contentions about African voyages to the Americas,” he told TheDCNF.
Nevertheless, the IAAAS curriculum provides a unit on the work that includes links to seven-part Youtube video series.
Laid out in the curriculum are pictures with arrows drawn to help guide teachers’ lessons. One asks, “Is the water under the ‘boat’ telling us that these people traveled over the ocean from a place with pyramids?”
CPS initially denied TheDCNF’s request for a copy of the curriculum, made last year, citing the fact that the curriculum was still a preliminary draft.
But last December, Byrd-Bennett made a presentation using slides taken from the IAAAS curriculum. State open records laws require officials to release records of preliminary drafts when those records have been discussed in a public forum.
The Chicago curriculum does focus heavily on well established history and events – including discussions on slavery, the histories of black inventors, the civil rights movement and President Obama.
But other sections also delve into controversial areas. The eighth grade literacy section unit, titled “Being an Advocate to Social Justice,” directs students to the website for the American Civil Liberties Union. It also includes a poem titled “Racism is Around Me Everywhere,” cartoons from the website LeftyCartoons.com, and it encourages discussion of Attorney General Eric Holder’s infamous “nation of cowards” quote.
The ninth grade literacy section encompasses a study of the Pan African Movement. Teachers are encouraged to engage their students in debate over voluntary segregation. “Have someone read the following resolution, Resolved: voluntary segregation promotes growth in a diverse community. Teams then participate in a graded formal debate.”
Tenth graders are introduced to “critical race theory,” which holds that institutional racism and white privilege are pervasive throughout society.
A request for comment from Chicago Public Schools was not answered.