Tag Archive: current-events


Student sues school district after her forced ‘confession’
By Michael F. Haverluck, OneNewsNow.com December 11, 2014 12:22 pm
courtroomNot long after a student from Loomis Basin Charter School (LBCS) invited her two friends to a Creation seminar held off campus, school officials became livid, summonsing her to the principal’s office four times in the same day in order to force her into writing a “confession” of what she had done.

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is now representing the student against Loomis Union School District (LUSD), located in Loomis, California, approximately 30 miles northeast of Sacramento. The legal non-profit organization alleges in the complaint that the school district violated the student’s constitutional rights by prohibiting her from expressing her beliefs.

After ordering the student — who PJI dubbed “Esther” for anonymity’s sake — to confess, school officials in the principal’s office vowed that they would censor any future invitations that she planned to give to friends.

In September, Esther had invited a couple of her friends to a free, off-campus, non-school seminar in response to the teaching of Darwinian evolution in her class, which has its curriculum based in the school-issued textbook Early Civilizations.

“Currently, the class is discussing plate tectonics and the Big Bang theory,” PJI’s complaint on behalf of Esther reads. “[Esther] sought out more information to be able to express her beliefs and understanding on the issue to participate in the ongoing conversation.”

Because evolutionary theory was routinely taught as fact in her class, and as many students in her class began comparing the creationist account of Genesis with Darwin’s biological evolutionary theory, Esther wanted her peers to join her in getting a more comprehensive understanding of human origins — as well as the origins of the earth and the known universe — by attending a Creationist seminar.

During the semester, Esther learned about the three-session Creationist seminar and became intrigued about the issue. She then invited one of her friends from science class — who also expressed a keen interest in the debate — to the second session. The two then invited a third friend to session three.

The seminar presented by the nonprofit Christian organization Genesis Apologetics, based in Folsom, California, has a stated mission of “equipping youth, pastors, parents and students with biblical answers for evolutionary teaching in public schools.”

Esther presented the Genesis Apologetics invitations to her friends during lunch breaks at school in the format of flyers so that their parents would have information to gauge whether or not they wanted them to attend.

It is believed that one of the parents of a student who received an invitation was the one who complained to school officials that her child was given the opportunity to attend an off campus, non-school event.

Not in my school

Esther’s complaint claims that LBCS director Erica Sloane, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, lashed out in anger at Esther when confronting her about the invitation. Sloan allegedly ordered her to submit a written confession and warned her that similar invitations in the future must be accompanied with an official stamp of approval from school officials.

“[Sloane] proceeded to scold [Esther] for bringing the … flyer to school because the content is religious and because it had not been approved by the school district,” the complaint reads. “Sloane told [Esther] that she was not permitted to distribute the flyer to students … and [that] her actions were unacceptable.”

The complaint also indicates that the school director was hostile toward Esther because of her Christian beliefs, which Sloane allegedly attempted to suppress, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

“[Sloane] expressed her anger, through an intimidating tone and expressions, at [Esther] over the situation … and further directed [Esther] to not talk about religion at school, even during lunch,” the complaint continues.

According to the lawsuit, the second of four summons Esther received to go to the principal’s office within 24 hours resulted in the student being compelled to fill out an incident report documenting her confession of what she had done on school grounds. Within 15 minutes, Sloane declared the confession “inadequate,” spurring Esther’s third summons of the day. After this attempt did not meet Sloane’s approval, Esther was summoned to the principal’s office for the fourth and final time that day.

Inconsistent with the treatment Esther experienced in the principal’s office that day, LBCS has a mission statement that encourages students to “think independently and connect content to real life” while pursuing the quest for knowledge.

“[Loomis Basin Charter School’s aim] is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, patriotic, honorable, responsible and caring young people who have the background, skills, knowledge and qualities necessary to participate successfully and actively in a changing and increasingly interrelated world,” the complaint reads, quoting the school’s educational goals.

But when Esther interacted with the school’s administration, she witnessed no trace of anything highlighted in the mission statement.

“[Esther] has been disturbed by these events and felt harassed, traumatized and unsafe to the point that she did not want to return to school in the days that followed because of the scolding and harsh interactions,” the lawsuit declares.

After Esther communicated her four office visits to her mother, the concerned parent sought an explanation from school officials, who told her that Esther was prohibited from disseminating any kind of flyer to any students on campus at any time — inside or outside of class, before or after school.

According to the lawsuit, an attached written consent must be attached to any literature Ester wishes to hand to any peer on campus.

“[Esther] cannot personally give printed material to another pupil without first obtaining a district disclaimer affixed to the literature,” the complaint states, expressing the school’s stance on the matter.

Students don’t abandon their rights at the schoolhouse gate

PJI argues that LBCS’s attempt to suppress Esther’s expression on campus violates her free-speech rights under the State of California’s Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

“[Esther] has a speech right to possess on her person and distribute a flyer expressing a religious viewpoint,” PJI attorneys express in the lawsuit.

They contend that Sloan and other school officials pressured Esther to give up her constitutionally protected rights every time she entered the schoolhouse gate.

“The scolding and intimidation by Sloane as against [Esther] to cease and desist from distributing said flyer, cease and desist from keeping a similar flyer on her person or in her backpack, and to just say no to anyone who may provide her with a flyer to share with her fellow classmates, or face additional administrative action are a form of censorship which is inconsistent with the rights guaranteed to [Esther] as a citizen,” the student’s complaint explains.

The lawsuit, which was filed in early November, also lists LUSD superintendent Gordon Medd and LBCS acting director Katie Messerli, along with other school officials, as defendants in the suit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California by PJI attorneys on behalf of Esther. Media outlets were unable to attain a response from school officials about their alleged violations of Esther’s constitutional rights.

Obama administration claims a right to hide evidence before Supreme Court
| DECEMBER 10, 2014 | 5:00 AM
The United States v. June case boils down to this: Can the federal government actively conceal material evidence in order to escape liability?
The United States v. June case boils down to this: Can the federal government actively conceal…
Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. June, a case that has received little attention, but will have far-reaching implications. The case boils down to this: Can the federal government actively conceal material evidence in order to escape liability? Common sense says no. The Obama administration says yes.

June involves the Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) and a doctrine called “equitable tolling.” Prior to 1946, the doctrine of sovereign immunity prohibited citizens from filing suit against the government. That all changed in 1946, when a military plane crashed into the Empire State Building, killing and injuring many civilians. Congress responded by enacting the FTCA, which waives sovereign immunity and allows citizens to sue the government in instances.

However, claimants must file a claim within two years of injury. Equitable tolling freezes those two years under certain considerations, like government officials hiding pertinent facts. Courts across the country have consistently applied the doctrine of equitable tolling to FTCA claims.

In the June case, a minor child was killed in a car crash when a median barrier failed. The barrier had failed safety crash testing; the government knew but installed it anyway. When the plaintiff investigated, the government would not make federal employees — who knew the truth — available for deposition until after the two year deadline to file. The government now argues that equitable tolling should not apply to claims brought under the FTCA. It maintains that it can avoid liability by hiding evidence and waiting for the clock to run out.

The June case raises serious issues for every government agency, especially the Veterans Administration, given the recent scandal where VA employees engaged in fraud and falsified records. If no whistleblower had come forward, VA employees could have waited out the clock. The VA has already demonstrated a propensity toward dishonesty and covering up. It needs no further incentives.

Importantly, some injuries are latent and may not appear for even years after the fact. Take, for instance, the example of veterans exposed to HIV and hepatitis by the VA during routine colonoscopies and dental work. Older vets, having no reason to be regularly tested, may not find out about their exposure until years later when HIV blossoms into full blown AIDS or when their livers malfunction. Moreover, in 2011 a Pittsburgh VA hospital’s water supply tested positive for Legionnaires disease but the hospital did not notify patients for over a year. Only after six patient deaths and 22 infections did the VA facility warn patients and distribute bottled water.

If government has its way in June, the VA and other government agencies would get off scot-free in similar situations. Say goodbye to transparency and the FTCA as we know it. A wrongdoer should not benefit by secrecy calculated to hide the truth and deprive harmed persons of their constitutional right to due process. Sunshine is the best disinfectant and the Supreme Court must rein in government abuse in June. After all, our laws do not allow private citizens to benefit from dishonesty and the same standard should be applied to government, too.

Ms. Miller Rotunda is Professor of Military and International Law at Chapman University and a former Major in the US Army JAG Corps; Admiral Carey is the President of the National Defense Committee; Mr. Carey is Executive Director of the National Defense Committee and a Captain in the Naval Reserves; Mr. Flynn-Brown is an attorney that specializes in military and veteran law. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials, available at this link.

Obama’s Endless Lies and His Media Accomplices
By Cliff Kincaid December 10, 2014 12:25 pm

Like the use of the word “chokehold” in connection with the death of Eric Garner, the term “torture” has been applied repeatedly by the media to the CIA’s treatment of suspected terrorists. These are examples of how left-wing forces in the Obama administration, the Democratic Party and the media try to control and manipulate the public debate in ways that demonize those defending our nation.
The purpose is to make the American people lose faith in the police and the intelligence community. But it is those using the loaded terms and language that deserve the scrutiny.

A notable exception in the “chokehold” coverage is Margaret Harding of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, who quoted Thomas Aveni, a retired officer and executive director of the Police Policy Studies Council, as saying about the video of Garner’s takedown, “The reason all these people are upset is because they don’t understand what they saw. People don’t understand what they’re looking at.”

She reported that Aveni, a police trainer in deadly and non-deadly force for more than 30 years, said that New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo did not use a chokehold on Garner, but rather a “lateral vascular neck restraint” or LVNR. The difference? “People can’t talk when they are being choked,” Aveni said.

The alleged use of “torture” against suspected terrorists is another example of how the media adopt a term that doesn’t apply to what is actually being described.

Jose Rodriguez, the author of Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, says the term “torture” is inaccurate and that the CIA received guidance from the Department of Justice as to what procedures could be used to avoid “lasting pain or harm” to the detainees. Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, defends the “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Rodriguez writes in his book about how Obama’s CIA director Leon Panetta had declared to the Senate that the program had used “torture,” though he had not even been briefed on it.

The media campaigns against the police “chokehold” and the CIA’s “torture” techniques remind me of the communist “Ban the Neutron Bomb” campaign of the early 1970s. The “neutron bomb” was an enhanced radiation weapon designed to counter a Soviet tank build-up in Europe.

Despite the name, the “neutron bomb” was more humane than conventional arms. Appearing at an Accuracy in Media conference at the time, Sam T. Cohen, the inventor of the weapon, noted that it killed people painlessly through radiation rather than a blast with catastrophic consequences. But the Soviets thought it gave the U.S. an unfair advantage and successfully waged an “active measures” campaign, using the U.S. media, against it. Distorted coverage of the weapon led President Jimmy Carter to ban it from the U.S. arsenal.

In the same way, banning a “chokehold,” when it is actually something else, puts American police forces at a disadvantage with the criminal element. Outlawing “torture,” when the techniques were not torture, deprives our intelligence community of procedures that can actually save lives.

When we examined Panetta’s fitness for public office, we found that he was an opponent of the “neutron bomb” when he was a liberal Congressman from California. Perhaps this explains why he was picked for the important posts of CIA director and then Secretary of Defense. He was susceptible to disinformation then and was judged as somebody who could “go with the program” of Obama to ban interrogation techniques that gave the U.S. an edge in the war on terror.

The “torture” controversy also proves to be a diversion from discussing Obama’s alternative—the use of drones to shoot air-to-surface Hellfire missiles and literally obliterate suspected terrorists.

When terrorists die in drone strikes, they yield no intelligence data because they do not end up alive in U.S. custody. Plus, women and children die alongside them.

This is supposed to be more “humane” than alleged “torture” of the individual terrorists, who survive the “torture” and then get fat at Gitmo.

Obama gets away with this because the media, once again, are feeding out of his hands, eager to take his line on foreign affairs when it is nonsensical and counter to U.S. interests.

In his 2013 remarks to the National Defense University, Obama acknowledged that “…it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in every war. And for the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred throughout conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Obama declared, “…America’s actions are legal.” Case closed. That’s good enough for the media.

At the same time, he said, “I believe we compromised our basic values—by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.”

Obama’s flimsy justification for drone strikes is a self-serving memo generated by his own administration. It purports to explain why killing Americans does not violate the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution for U.S. citizens accused of crimes. The memo refers to U.S. drone aircraft as “contemplated lethal operations.”

Apparently, however, wiping out terrorists and their families, friends, and relatives, is not something that compromises our basic values.

The fact that Obama gets away with this deception says something about the gullibility of the American media.

It was appropriate that the Democratic Senate report on “torture” was released on the same day that Jonathan Gruber was testifying about lying to the American people regarding the benefits of Obamacare. The Senate report was another form of deception, designed to confuse and mislead about what Obama has used in place of interrogation techniques of terrorists. Obama doesn’t interrogate terrorists, he kills them.

Yet, we are led to believe Obama believes in American values and practices them.

The American people would see through the lies if only they could depend on a media that would lead them out of all the deliberate obfuscation.

Primary Care Doctor Tough to Find Under Obamacare
By Associated Press December 8, 2014 12:20 pm
obamacare_logoMIAMI (AP) — When Olivia Papa signed up for a new health plan last year, her insurance company assigned her to a primary care doctor. The relatively healthy 61-year-old didn’t try to see the doctor until last month, when she and her husband both needed authorization to see separate specialists.

She called the doctor’s office several times without luck.

“They told me that they were not on the plan, they were never on the plan and they’d been trying to get their name off the plan all year,” said Papa, who recently bought a plan from a different insurance company.

It was no better with the next doctor she was assigned. The Naples, Florida, resident said she left a message to make an appointment, “and they never called back.”

The Papas were among the 6.7 million people who gained insurance through the Affordable Care Act last year, flooding a primary care system that is struggling to keep up with demand.

A survey this year by The Physicians Foundation found that 81 percent of doctors describe themselves as either over-extended or at full capacity, and 44 percent said they planned to cut back on the number of patients they see, retire, work part-time or close their practice to new patients.

At the same time, insurance companies have routinely limited the number of doctors and providers on their plans as a way to cut costs. The result has further restricted some patients’ ability to get appointments quickly.

One purpose of the new health law was connecting patients, many of whom never had insurance before, with primary care doctors to prevent them from landing in the emergency room when they are sicker and their care is more expensive. Yet nearly 1 in 5 Americans lives in a region designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians, and the number of doctors entering the field isn’t expected to keep pace with demand.

The Association of American Medical Colleges projects the shortage will grow to about 66,000 in little more than a decade as fewer residency slots are available and as more medical students choose higher-paying specialty areas.

For now, experts say most patients are receiving the care they need, even if they have to drive farther, wait longer or see a nurse practitioner or physician assistant rather than a doctor.

More importantly, many are getting care for the first time. The surge also has forced many doctors to streamline their practice and rely more on mid-tier professionals instead of seeing every patient themselves.

“Family doctors are seeing a pretty significant increase in requests for appointments from new patients,” said Dr. Wanda Filer, a primary care doctor in York, Pennsylvania, and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

In response, the academy of more than 115,000 doctors say they’re adding new physicians to their practices, relying more on nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, adding evening and weekend appointments. Despite the demand, Filer said most patients can get same-day appointments with someone on their team.

Dr. Laura Byerly has seen a surge of more than 2,000 new patients since January at her chain of health clinics in Hillsboro, Oregon, about 30 minutes west of Portland. Many had sporadic or no medical care for many years.

She hired new primary care doctors, receptionists and nurses whose sole role is to see new patients and prepare the chart for the first visit with the doctor. They even opened a new clinic so patients who used to drive 45 minutes for a visit could now see a doctor five minutes from home.

“The new patients required a significant amount of work to understand just what medications they should be on, what are their active diagnoses, what studies are needed now, and just who they are and what their life is like,” said Byerly, who is the medical director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation health clinics.

Dr. Jack Chou takes patients only during open enrollment. Otherwise, it’s a six to nine-month wait at his Los Angeles-area practice, where most of the new patients were covered through Medicaid expansion.

“The initial visit takes much longer because we’re trying to learn about patients who had fragmented care or no care at all,” said Chou. Despite the staffing struggles, “it’s actually a godsend for some of my patients.”

While most doctors are successfully juggling the influx, there have been cases like that of the Papas, in which consumers call multiple doctors only to find they are not in network or the doctors are not taking new patients.

Insurance agent Anthony Halby heard similar complaints from his clients in Grass Valley, California, a Sierra foothill community about an hour east of Sacramento. He said half a dozen consumers wanted him to switch their health plans as soon as the second round of open enrollment started earlier this month. They told him the plan they chose last year made it extremely difficult to find primary care doctors.

Only two insurance companies in the Gold Rush-era town offer coverage through the state exchange, and just four or five primary care doctors out of about 135 signed up with one insurer.

The other insurer has more doctors, but most are considered out of network. That means patients who use them will pay 60 percent of the bill, he said.

“Coverage does not equal access,” said Halby, who instead recommends his clients choose a plan outside the exchange that has a much broader provider network but also will not come with the government premium subsidies given to most of those who buy insurance through the exchange. “I tell people this up front: The premiums are going to be higher because there’s no subsidy. However, I’m going to guarantee you can keep your doctor.”

Should Churches Be Subsidized For Preaching Politically Correct Propaganda?
Posted by Frederick Meekins on November 23, 2014 at 9:39amView Blog
In compliance with the state mandate to curb storm water run off, the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment is considering a proposal that would waive the unpopular impervious surface property tax assessment for their properties if churches agree to preach environmentally friendly sermons or engage in other forms of mental conditioning.

What’s the big deal, some will ask.

After all, does the Bible not teach us to be good stewards of God’s creation?

God’s word also instructs the believer to be on guard against wolves in sheep’s clothing.

If governments grant tax code favors to religious organizations for ideological compliance in regards to one issue, what is to prevent them from doing so in regards to more controversial matters?

In the name tolerance and diversity, what if governments granted tax and regulatory relief to congregations supporting gay marriage?

What if a government wanted to promote pluralism and inclusion by lavishing all manner of benefits upon a church that agreed not to lift the name of Jesus above all names but instead only reference a nondescript generic God or no God at all but rather just the Ultimate Concern as formulated by Paul Tillich?

How about putting the shoe on the other foot for a moment?

What if to bolster declining birthrates a government lavished tax favors upon churches promising to preach prolife messages?

It is said that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

Advocates insist that that the program is strictly voluntary.

However, government programs that start off voluntary can easily end up becoming mandatory.

Anybody remember the assurances of if you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan?

From one perspective, the program is completely voluntary with no government shocktroops raiding churches failing to put in the environmental upgrades or enunciating church dogma in such a way to win the approval of the state (at least not yet anyway).

Yet from another perspective, aren’t churches that refuse to have their very thoughts policed in this manner punished by having to pay the tax?

Courts have forbidden graduation prayers for being less of a mental intrusion.

By Frederick Meekins

Uh oh: New York Times creates big trouble for tax-dodging Obama ally Al Sharpton
POSTED AT 7:21 PM ON NOVEMBER 18, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

On Tuesday, The New York Times took its readers inside the city’s exclusive Four Seasons Restaurant where Al Sharpton celebrated his 60th birthday party at what was dubbed his “party for a cause.”

“Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo hailed him as a civil rights icon,” the profile of New York City-based activist and MSNBC began. “President [Barack] Obama sent an aide to read a message commending Mr. Sharpton’s ‘dedication to the righteous cause of perfecting our union.’ Major corporations sponsored the lavish affair.”

It is a spectacular raise for an agitator who began his career inciting race riots outside of Freddy’s Fashion Mart, ruining the lives of the men who were falsely accused of raping Tawana Brawley, and serving as an FBI informant after affiliating with the mafia and expressing interest in securing a hefty amount of cocaine.

Sharpton has been described as Obama’s “go-to man on race” by the well-connected Politico reporter Glenn Thrush. He was contacted directly in August by Valerie Jarrett amid spiraling violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and was deployed to deescalate the situation. Well before Obama’s reelection, Sharpton emerged as one of the president’s most valued outreach figures. In 2010, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Sharpton was tasked to tamp down the “increasingly public criticism in the black community over his economic policy.”

The value Sharpton represented to the Obama White House perhaps made it easier to overlook the fact that, as The Times reported, the MSNBC host is a serial tax evader and violator of the public trust.

“Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligation most people see as inevitable,” The Times reported, “like taxes, rent, and other bills.”

Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.
“With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as ‘abusive,’ or ‘potentially criminal,’ if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful,” The Times report continued.

This is just the kind of economic treason that the president spent much of his reelection campaign railing against, only the public was lead to believe that Obama the populist crusader was railing against businessmen and women who exclusively voted Republican.

The Patriot Post
Immigration Executive Order — All Smoke and Mirrors
The Demos’ REAL “Immigration Reform” Strategy
By Mark Alexander

Nov. 19, 2014

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” –George Washington1 (1783)

So, the Imperial President2 claims that, because Republicans are not passing the immigration “reform” legislation that best suits the Democratic Party’s3 political agenda, he is going to bypass Congress and issue an executive order (EO).

Don’t believe it.

Oh, Barack Obama is going to center stage Thursday night to set up his EO play, and sign that diktat Friday in Las Vegas – a fitting venue for a gutless gamble by a “big hat, no cattle” dude rancher. But what is the Demos’ real strategy?

In leftist parlance, “immigration reform” means providing a jackpot to illegal aliens – giving them official status so they can work and receive all associated taxpayer-subsidized services like housing, schooling and medical care. Once integrated, the second step is to provide a fast-track to citizenship. In other words, for Democrats, immigration reform means, first and foremost, seeding a large constituency.

But is Obama really attempting to give millions of illegal immigrants worker status?

In 2008, then President-elect Obama declared, “I can guarantee that we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.” In 2009 and 2010, Obama had the benefit of Democrat Party control of both the House and Senate, however, his congressional Demos never passed an amnesty bill and thus he did not sign one.

Why?

Because he and his fellow Democrats were just pandering to Latinos; they had no intention of passing legislation to provide worker permits for five to 10 million illegal immigrants.

Why?

Because another larger and more critical Democrat voter constituency is composed of low-income Americans4, whom the Left baits with class warfare rhetoric5 centered on issues like “living wages” and increasing the minimum wage.

As my daughter, a university student working toward a business degree, framed this issue, “Labor inflation results in wage deflation.” In other words, the Democrats really don’t want to dump millions of immigrant laborers, who are willing to take low wages, onto their dependable American low-income constituency, because that will, in effect, drive wages even lower.

This is a fundamental supply-and-demand equation.

Just before Democrats were shellacked during the midterm “Republican wave6,” Obama borrowed a line from The Gipper for a national campaign interview: “Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office.” But according to BO, the problem is the American people “don’t feel it,” and he insisted, “The reason they don’t feel it is because incomes and wages are not going up.”

Of course, the reason for wage stagnation is that Obama’s economic “recovery” policies7 have been a colossal failure. On top of that, the influx of cheap illegal immigrant labor effectively caps any increase in wages for unskilled workers.

Democrats argue raising the minimum wage will protect their low-wage constituents, but that is a fabrication. As the Congressional Budget Office made clear, artificially increasing wages will decrease employment8.

The issue of immigrant labor undermining the ability of low-income earners to achieve a “living wage” is nothing new. A primary reason Abraham Lincoln did not emancipate slaves at the onset of the War Between the States is that the influx of black labor into northern markets competing for jobs held by white laborers would have undermined Lincoln’s political support9 from the latter.

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass was so angry with Lincoln for delaying the liberation of some slaves that he scarcely contacted him before 1863, noting that Lincoln was loyal only “to the welfare of the white race.” Apparently, more than a few Latino politicos are equally disenchanted with Obama’s failure to provide immigrant work permits.

So what of Obama’s EO?

The Demo strategy is to craft that EO in such a way that Republicans can successfully chip away at it, primarily by defunding and de-authorizing key components of its implementation, as well as by issuing legal challenges. Thus, Democrats will receive credit from both their legal and illegal Latino constituencies for, ostensibly, attempting to provide them with nine million10 Permanent Residency or Employment Authorization cards. Then they can blame those “obstructionist” Republicans for blocking them.

This week, Senate Democrats, in a letter to Obama supporting his EO plan, made clear their intent to share in the political fruits of this charade.

Obama, as we’ve often noted, is a master of the BIG Lie11, and, just like the litany of lies12 that he and his party used to deceive Americans into supporting ObamaCare13, they are also deceiving millions of Americans into believing Democrats support both “living wages” and “immigration reform.”

Apparently, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) got it right when he interrupted Obama’s 2009 introduction of ObamaCare to a joint session of Congress and the nation. “You lie! You lie!” Wilson memorably yelled.

Indeed, “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter,” in the words of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber14, are also applicable to Obama’s low-wage and Latino constituencies in regard to amnesty by EO. Of course, there is plenty of evidence that Obama constituents are too ignorant to know they’re being duped – after all, they elected him. Twice.

Not only do Democrats assume their constituents are too stupid to understand Obama’s amnesty EO subterfuge, but Obama is willing to, once again, turn constitutional Rule of Law15 on end to accomplish this deceit.

Last week, Obama declared his intent to issue the immigration EO: “I indicated to Speaker Boehner several months ago that if in fact Congress failed to act I would use all the lawful authority that I possess to try to make the system work better.”

Of course, “lawful authority” is whatever Obama defines it to be at a given time. He was against unlawful executive orders16 before he was for them.

On March 31, 2008, candidate Obama said, “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

But having failed to pass immigration reform in his first two years in office when he owned the House and Senate, and then having lost control of the House in the 2010 midterm election, Obama repeatedly pleaded in Latino forums17 that he had no power to implement the changes he’d promised. Rebuffing calls that he legislate by executive order, Obama insisted, “I am not a dictator. I’m the president. … If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress then I would do so. … I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

Obama may not have implemented his immigration policies by EO, but he certainly suspended enforcement of immigration laws with an executive order.

But by 2014, with his singular centerpiece legislation – ObamaCare – falling apart, and Democrats putting as much distance between him and them as possible, Obama believed the only way his party could stave off a resounding defeat in the midterm election was if he delivered Latino votes.

He began the year promising, “Where Congress isn’t acting, I’ll act on my own. … I’ve got a pen … and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.” In other words, when Republicans don’t give Obama what he wants on immigration, he will pull an executive order end run.

Obama has broadly demonstrated his willingness to end-run our Constitution via EO, most notably his so-called “climate change18” policies and his repeated rewrites of ObamaCare13.

Asked about his revised position to implement amnesty by executive order, Obama regurgitated this spin: “Well, actually, my position hasn’t changed. When I was talking to the advocates, their interest was in me, through executive action, duplicating the legislation that was stalled in Congress. … There are certain limits to what falls within the realm of prosecutorial discretion in terms of how we apply existing immigration laws.”

Of course, that is just more constitutional obfuscation.

Despite his faux devotion to our Constitution, Obama has wantonly violated his oath to “to Support and Defend19” it.

Though Obama claims to be a “professor of constitutional law,” a genuine constitutional scholar, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has issued severe criticism20 of Obama’s “über presidency,” his abuse of executive orders and regulations to bypass Congress.

According to Turley, “When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done, is very problematic. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws [and] has effectively rewritten laws through active interpretation that I find very problematic.”

He continued: “What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency. … When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in the establishment of our tripartite system of government. … Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. … What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. … We are now at the constitutional tipping point21 for our system. … No one in our system can ‘go it alone’ – not Congress, not the courts, and not the president.”

When asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly how he would respond “to those who say many presidents have issued executive orders on immigration,” Turley responded, “This would be unprecedented, and I think it would be an unprecedented threat to the balance of powers. … I hope he does not get away with it.”

Over on Obama’s MSNBC network, even leftist commentator Lawrence O’Donnell finds the prospect of Obama’s executive amnesty diktat daunting. He asked Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) about Obama’s authority to issue an EO22 giving work permits to millions of illegal immigrants: “No one at the White House has been able to give me the legal justification for the following component of the president’s plan. … Has the White House told you – what is the legal justification for the president to create a new category of beneficiaries for work documents? How can that be done without legislation?”

Of course, Welch could not answer O’Donnell, because there is no such authority.

Before the midterm election, Obama declared, “Make no mistake, [my] policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” Make no mistake: The American people resoundingly rejected his policies on November 4.

That notwithstanding, Obama has dismissed the election results23. Perhaps he believes his immigration EO artifice will deliver enough Latino voters to Democrat candidates in 2016 to hold the presidency and regain the Senate, and somehow that will restore his “Dear Leader” status. After all, more than a million illegal immigrants24 were unlawfully registered to vote in the midterm election, particularly in states where Democrats have thwarted efforts to require voter IDs25.

The bottom line for Republicans is that they need to drive home four points.

First, the “immigration reform” pledges by Obama and his Democrats are disingenuous because they would undermine the Left’s entire “living wage” platform. But Democrats believe their low-income and Latino constituencies are too stupid to understand this ruse. Remember: “Labor inflation results in wage deflation.”

Second, as Dr. Turley noted, Obama is willing to trash the Constitution in order to advance his ruinous policies. Republicans need to use his abject abuse of power and the threat it poses to Liberty as a constitutional teachable moment.

Third, any debate about immigration26 is useless unless it begins with a commitment to securing our borders first27. As Ronald Reagan28 declared, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” Likewise, it must address the issue of so-called “birthright citizenship29,” which is a gross misinterpretation of our Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

And last, Republicans need to embrace the fact that Liberty is colorblind30. It’s not a “white thing.” Essential Liberty31 is timeless. And because it transcends all racial, ethnic, gender and class distinctions, it will appeal to all freedom-loving people when properly presented.

Time to see what the incoming House and Senate Republican majorities are made of!

Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis

Links

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/12704

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/27481

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/9235

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/14816

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22892

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/30689

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/19290

http://patriotpost.us/articles/28852

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3181

http://patriotpost.us/articles/30185

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22209

http://patriotpost.us/articles/30967

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/22065

http://patriotpost.us/posts/31072

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/7324

http://patriotpost.us/articles/30958

http://patriotpost.us/posts/31089

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/25733

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3192

http://patriotpost.us/posts/31094

http://jonathanturley.org/2014/03/10/the-constitutional-tipping-point/

http://patriotpost.us/posts/31090

http://patriotpost.us/posts/30710

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/30609

http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/29/latest-reason-oppose-amnesty-voter-fraud-2/

http://dailysignal.com/2014/11/13/10-point-immigration-plan-obama-follow/

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/2762

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/8891

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/6932

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/23173

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3467

School punishment by racial quota
By Thomas Sowell November 18, 2014 12:25 pm
If anyone still has any doubt about the utter cynicism of the Obama administration, a recent agreement between the federal government and the Minneapolis Public Schools should open their eyes.

Under the Obama administration, both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have been leaning on public schools around the country to reduce what they call the “disproportionate” numbers of black male students who are punished for various offenses in schools.

Under an implicit threat of losing their federal subsidies, the Minneapolis Public Schools have agreed to reduce the disparity in punishment of black students by 25 percent by the end of this school year, and then by 50 percent, 75 percent and finally 100 percent in each of the following years. In other words, there are now racial quota limits for punishment in the Minneapolis schools.

If we stop and think — as old-fashioned as that may seem — there is not the slightest reason to expect black males to commit the same number of offenses as Asian females or any other set of students.

When different groups of human beings have behaved differently in all sorts of ways, in countries around the world, for thousands of years of recorded history, why would we accept as dogma that the only reason one set of students gets punished more than others is because the people who are doing the punishing are picking on them?

Politically — which is the way the Obama administration looks at everything — any time they can depict blacks as victims, and depict themselves as their rescuers, that means an opportunity to get out the black vote for Democrats.

On the surface, this may look like a favor to blacks. But only on the surface.

Anyone with common sense knows that letting a kid get away with bad behavior is an open invitation to worse behavior in the future. Punishing a kid for misbehavior in school when he is 10 years old may reduce the chances that he will have to be sent to prison when he is 20 years old.

Other schools in other cities, which have also caved under pressure from the federal government, and agreed to lighten up on black kids who misbehave, have reported an increase in misbehavior, including violence. Who would have thought otherwise?

Letting kids who are behavior problems in schools grow up to become hoodlums and then criminals is no favor to them or to the black community. Moreover, it takes no more than a small fraction of troublemakers in a class to make it impossible to give that class a decent education. And for many poor people, whether black or white, education is their one big chance to escape poverty.

The people in the Obama administration who are pushing this counterproductive policy are not stupid. They are political, which is worse. They know what they are doing and they are willing to sacrifice young blacks to do it.

This punishment issue made me think back to the 8th grade, when I was punished by being kept after school, more often than any other kid in the class — black, white, Hispanic or whatever. I was bored in school and did various pranks to liven things up.

One day, after school, as I sat alone among the empty chairs in the classroom, the teacher said, sarcastically: “Well, here we are again, Sowell, just the two of us!”

“Good grief, Miss Sharoff,” I said. “If we keep staying in after school together all the time, people will begin to talk.”

“We will just have to live with the scandal,” she said, without even looking up from the papers she was correcting.

Thank heaven there was no Obama administration to exempt me from punishment. Who knows how I might have ended up?

Years ago, there was a study of a working class community where there were black, Hispanic and Italian kids, and where many of the cops were Italian. When a black or Hispanic kid broke the law, the police took him down to the station and booked him. But, if an Italian kid did the same thing, they reacted differently.

The Italian cop would take the Italian kid out into an alley and rough him up. Then he would take him home to his family, tell them what had happened and leave him there — where the kid could expect another beating, instead of the wrist-slap punishment of the law. Those cops understood the realities of life that politicians ignore. And they were doing a favor to their own.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is http://www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com

The Government Is Controlling Private Property to Save Frog Species Not Seen in 50 Years

Scott Blakeman / August 29, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking to protect the dusky gopher frog on the Endangered Species List by designating over 1,500 acres of private property in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana as a “critical habitat” for the embattled amphibian.

But here’s the kicker: The frog hasn’t been seen on the land in question for over 50 years.

The federal government has the ability through the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to designate land as “critical habitat” subjecting it to additional regulations. But the government can’t simply claim that private property is “critical habitat” without first conducting an economic analysis to determine the economic impact. If the analysis shows that the cost of creating a critical habitat burdens the property owner and outweighs the perceived benefit to the endangered species, the land can be exempted from the regulation.

In the case of the St. Tammany property, the economic analysis produced by the USFWS revealed that the “designation could preclude all development on the land, causing the landowners to lose as much as $36 million.” Meanwhile, the land is not actively benefitting a single dusky gopher frog. But the plans to make the land a critical habitat proceed. This is a federal land grab at its worst. And, unfortunately, the courts are complicit.

Oral arguments were heard in a U.S. district court last week regarding the situation. U.S. Department of Justice attorney Mary Hollingsworth noted that the property in dispute is a good prospective breeding ground for the frog and is “in very good shape and could be used today if the frogs were there.”

But, as noted earlier, the intriguing thing is that the frogs aren’t there – and they haven’t been seen there or anywhere in Louisiana for 50 years. Moreover, calling the land suitable for the frog is debatable at best. Pacific Legal Foundation lawyer M. Reed Hopper noted that “this land does not include the physical and biological features that are critical for the dusky gopher frog, so it’s no surprise that there aren’t any frogs on the property.” The government wants to effectively restrict use of private land that could cost the landowners millions to protect a creature that doesn’t live, and possibly could not even survive, there.

Unfortunately, the court’s decision allows this inanity to proceed. Pacific Legal Foundation reported that a federal judge “reluctantly” upheld the designation of this unsuitable area as “critical habitat.” The judge acknowledged the ESA appears to go too far but suggested that is a matter for Congress to address and not the courts.” The Foundation called the action by the USFWS to not follow its own rules an “irrational decision.”

An “irrational decision” is a good way to put it. Moreover, it’s outrageous that the government could restrict development of private property and cost a family $36 million dollars, not to mention the cost in jobs and economic activity of not productively using the land. And the deeper issue of excessive government intervention shouldn’t be forgotten. M. Reed Hopper says it well:

“Essentially this is sort of a test case for the Fish & Wildlife Service. This is the first time they’ve ever extended their authority this far, and if they get away with it here, they’re likely to do it in the future.”

Though the frog may be little, through the Endangered Species Act, this amphibian is trashing private property rights that should be protected under the Constitution, potentially costing people millions, and setting a dangerous precedent for the future.

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