Author Archives: Dr. Eowyn

U.S. 9th Circuit Court rules high school can ban students from wearing American flag T-shirt

More than 4 years ago on May 5, 2010, Cinqo de Mayo, four students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California — a school with a predominant Mexican-American student body — were ordered by the vice principal Miguel Rodriguez to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out.

From left, Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano and Dominic Maciel were sent home from school because they were wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

One of the boys, Daniel Galli, said they were told they could wear the flag T-shirt any other day “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today” because their T-shirts were “incendiary” and could lead to fights on campus.

The boys said their T-shirts were an expression of their American pride. When they refused to turn their T-shirts inside out, they were ordered to go to the principal’s office and threatened with suspension. So the boys went home to avoid suspension.

The boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official. The district released a statement that “The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration’s interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.”

The boys were not suspended and were allowed to return to school, one of them wearing an American flag T-shirt. (Read more about this here.)

Fast forward four years.

Eric Owens reports for The Daily Caller that on Sept. 17, 2014, Constitution Day, the notoriously liberal U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order declining a request for an en banc (full court) hearing in a case involving the four Live Oak High School who were sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

In so doing, the Ninth Circuit judges signaled their agreement with a lower district court and with a trio of appellate judges that officials at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif. could censor students who wanted to wear flag-emblazoned shirts.

“[N]o further petitions shall be permitted,” the court ordered.

In the three-judge ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that school officials have wide latitude to limit freedom of expression: “Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence. Here, both the specific events of May 5, 2010, and the pattern of which those events were a part made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

Consequently, the court proclaimed, vice principal Rodriguez acted constitutionally when he told students to turn their American flag shirts inside-out or hit the road with an excused absence because he was trying to prevent potential violence.

An online version of the opinion, Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist., is available here.

The practice of limiting one group’s free speech rights because that speech might cause another group to react violently is known as a “heckler’s veto.” It is understood by free speech advocates to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights.

liberty gagged

~Eowyn

U.S. military does not support Commander-In-Chief Barack Obama

Dr. Eowyn:

Active and retired U.S. military officers are openly disagreeing with Obama’s policy toward the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadists, including none other than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

That means the commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military does not have the respect and support of the troops.

The implications are troubling, not the least of which is that this will be exploited by America’s enemies, unless they are terminally stupid.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

On September 10, 2014, 13 days after he had admitted not having a strategy on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, aka ISIS or IS), President Barack Obama finally spelled out the U.S. policy toward ISIL. (Watch and read his speech here.)

________________

Note: Levant consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and southern Turkey.

________________

Vowing the U.S. will increase its support to the Iraqi government fighting ISIL, Obama proclaimed an additional 475 servicemembers will be sent to Iraq. But he emphasized that “these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.

As reported by The Washington Post, Obama had ignored the advice of the military on how to deal with ISIL. 

Gen. Lloyd Austin III

Gen. Lloyd Austin III

Gen. Lloyd Austin, the top commander of U.S…

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Amerika: A nation of know-nothing potheads

sheeple

This past Wednesday, Sept. 17, was Constitution Day — the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a sad day for our Founding Fathers because after they had labored and sacrificed to establish a government of checks and balances and the rule of law, for the people, by the people, and of the people, only 36% or about one of every three Americans can name the three branches of government — executive, legislative, judicial — which the Constitution had created.

Reid Wilson reports for The Washington Post, Sept. 18, 2014, on more findings from the new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center:

  • Only 38% of Americans know the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, while 17% think Democrats are still in charge. Worse still, fewer Americans –a drop of 17% — now know the GOP controls the House than back in 2011, right after Republicans had reclaimed control of the lower chamber.
  • An identical number, 38%, knows Democrats run the Senate, while 20% believe Republicans control the upper chamber.
  • Only 27% know it takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
  • 15% of Americans correctly identified the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts; but 27% know Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.
  • Only 13% know the Constitution was signed in 1787.

There are groups, like the Civics Education Initiative (CEI), which are are pushing to include more civics education in high schools by requiring students to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants do when they come to America. CEI will introduce legislation in seven states that would require passage of the citizenship test before graduating.

Meanwhile, Kate Rogers reports for CNBC, Sept. 18, 2014, that 1 in 10 Americans are showing up to work high on pot.

A new survey conducted by Mashable.com in partnership with SurveyMonkey found 9.7% of Americans fessed up to smoking marijuana before showing up to the office. Worse still, nearly 81% said they scored their cannabis illegally.

james Madison

Think you can do better than the 36% of Americans who can’t name the three branches of the U.S. government? Take the American Civics Literacy Quiz!

After you’ve taken the quiz, compare your score to our elected officials by going to “How Elected Officials Scored on American Civics Literacy.”

~Eowyn

Dancing With the Old

Eat your hearts out, Dancing With the Stars.

This pair of senior citizens, Pete and Beulah Mae, can really dance!

Dancing is a great way to stay limber and in shape even in old age.  :)

H/t BigGeekDad and FOTM’s dee

~Eowyn

California charter school removes Christian books from library

River Springs Charter School

Springs Charter Schools, aka River Springs Charter School, is a charter school in the city of Temecula, Riverside County, southern California.

On its “About Us: Vision & Mission” page, Springs Charter Schools describes itself as “created and is operated by parents” and that “We value Parent choice and involvement, Using the community as the classroom, Fostering a child’s innate creativity, Collaborating to achieve goals, Building relationships, and Personalizing learning.”

What the page leaves out is that Springs Charter Schools also values CENSORSHIP and ANTI-CHRISTIANITY.

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a conservative legal defense organization in California, is sounding the alert that Springs Charter Schools is violating the First Amendment by removing library books based on their perceived Christian content.

In an email, PJI states:

A parent of students enrolled at Springs Charter Schools was recently shocked to see some of the books being targeted for removal, including the well-known account of Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place.  The parent contacted PJI after library personnel explained to her that they had been directed to remove Christian books, books by Christian authors, and books from Christian publishers.

PJI attorney Michael Peffer sent the school a cease-and-desist letter on August 22, citing long-established Supreme Court precedent that strongly disapproves of school libraries removing books based on opposition to their content or message.   
 
Last week, the Superintendent of Springs Charter Schools, Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer, ignored the precedent in PJI’s letter and instead insisted, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.”
  
PJI President Brad Dacus commented, “It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors.  Indeed, some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization comes from people of faith.  Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  What about the Declaration of Independence that invokes the laws of nature and nature’s God?  We are calling on Springs Charter Schools to immediately reverse their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy.”  
 
PJI responded to the school this week by sending a public records request and is prepared to take further legal action if the school continues to ignore its constitutional obligations.  

To contact the Pacific Justice Institute:

Brad Dacus (916) 857-6900

Scrolling through the Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts(Bloated Bureaucracy Alert!), I can’t find any contact info for its superintendent.

As if that could end my search. [smirk]

From the California Department of Education website:

Kathleen M. Hermsmeyer
Superintendent
Ph: (951) 252-8800 ext. 891
Email: kathleen.hermsmeyer@harborspringscharter.org

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

I also saw this on Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts“:

Enchanted Learning – Amber Zielinski (951) 252-8841

“Enchanted Learning”? I dread to ask what that is.

H/t FOTM’s MomofIV

~Eowyn

3 graphs that should send shivers down your spine

Graph No. 1

Percentage of Americans satisfied with the direction the U.S. is going.

Gallup Poll of Sept. 12, 2014 found that only 23% of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the U.S.; 76% are not. Compare that to the high of 70% satisfied in 2002.

Click graph to enlarge

Gallup poll

Graph No. 2

Index of NATO’s military expenditures since 1950 (where 1950 expenditures = 100; calculated in 2011 constant US$). This is the longest data series on military expenditures that’s publicly available. (Source: SIPRI via ZeroHedge)

NATO military expenditures

Graph No. 3

World IQ level over time (Source: University of Hartford)

I.Q. is the intelligence quotient used to measure the intelligence of every human on the planet. Most people in modern day society have an average I.Q. ranging between 89 and 100.

The larger the human population grows, the average human I.Q. seems to drop. Studies conducted in recent years have shown a direct correlation between population growth and the decline in the standard I. Q of countries such as New Zeland, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. The average world I.Q. for 2011 is calculated to be 88.54 — the lowest I.Q. rate in years. At that rate, for every 10 years a .30 I.Q drop occurs, so it is predicted that by the year 2050, the average I. Q. will have fallen to 89.32 from 91.64 in 1950.

World IQ

See also:

~Eowyn

What time is it?

Did you know that prophecies account for nearly one third of the Bible?

Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Two recent essays point to the unsettling and troubling times we live in. Is the time near?

~Eowyn

Helm's Deep

Victor Davis Hanson, “Are the Orcs Winning?,” PJMedia, Sept. 7, 2014:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was sometimes faulted by literary critics for caricaturing the evil orcs as uniformly bad.  All of them were as unpleasant to look as they were deadly to encounter. There is not a single good orc or even a reformed orc in the trilogy. The apparent one-dimensional assumption of men, hobbits, dwarves, and elves is that the only good orc is a dead orc. So the absolutist Tolkien tried to teach us about the enduring nature of absolute good and evil. Apparently he did not think that anything from his contemporary experience might allow him to imagine reforming or rehabilitating such fictive folk.

Tolkien’s literary purpose with orcs was not to explore the many shades of evil or the struggle within oneself to avoid the dark side; he did that well enough in dozens of once good but weak characters who went bad such as the turncoat Saruman the wizard, his sidekick Wormtongue, a few of the hobbits who had ruined the Shire, and, best of all, the multifaceted Gollum. Orcs, on the other hand, are unredeemable. Orcs, goblins, and trolls exist as the tools of the even more sinister in proud towers to destroy civilization, and know nothing other than killing and destruction. Their reward is to feed on the crumbs of what they have ruined.

In the 21st century we are often lectured that such simplistic, one-dimensional evil is long gone. A ubiquitous civilization has so permeated the globe that even the worst sorts must absorb some mitigating popular culture from the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook, as if the sheer speed of transmitting thoughts ensures their moral improvement.

Even where democracy is absent, the “world community” and a “global consciousness” are such that billions supposedly won’t let Attila, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan reappear in our postmodern lives. To deal with a Major Hasan, Americans cannot cite his environment as the cause, at least not poverty, racism, religious bigotry, nativism, xenophobia, or any of the more popular –isms and-ologies in our politically correct tool box that we customarily use to excuse and contextualize evil behavior. So exasperated, we shrug and call his murdering “workplace violence” — an apparent understandable psychological condition attributable to the boredom and monotony of the bleak, postmodern office.

But then suddenly along comes the limb-lopping, child-snatching, and mutilating Nigerian-based Boko Haram. What conceivable Dark Age atrocity have they omitted? Not suicide bombing, mass murder, or random torture. They are absolutely unapologetic for their barbarity. They are ready to convert or kill preteens as their mood determines for the crime of being Christian. In response, the Nigerian government is powerless, while the United States is reduced to our first lady holding up Twitter hashtags, begging for the release of the latest batch of girls.

Is the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab worse? It likes the idea that it is premodern. In addition to the usual radical Islamic horrors of beheadings, rape, and mutilation, Al-Shabaab even kills protected elephants, perhaps thousands of them, to saw off tusks and fund their killing spree. They seem to make the medieval Taliban look tame in comparison.

Roger Cohen, “The Great Unraveling,” New York Times, Sept. 15, 2014:

(Note: my words are colored teal)

It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen?

It was a time of beheadings (ISIS). With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche.

It was a time of aggression. The leader of the largest nation (in land mass) on earth (Russia) pronounced his country encircled, even humiliated. He annexed part (Crimea) of a neighboring country (Ukraine), the first such act in Europe since 1945, and stirred up a war on further land he coveted. His surrogates shot down a civilian passenger plane (MH17). The victims, many of them Europeans, were left to rot in the sun for days. He denied any part in the violence, like a puppeteer denying that his puppets’ movements have any connection to his. He invoked the law the better to trample on it. He invoked history the better to turn it into farce. He reminded humankind that the idiom fascism knows best is untruth so grotesque it begets unreason.

(See “Was it really a Russian INVASION of Crimea?” )

It was a time of breakup. The most successful union (United Kingdom) in history, forged on an island in the North Sea in 1707, headed toward possible dissolution — not because it had failed (refugees from across the seas still clamored to get into it), nor even because of new hatreds between its peoples. The northernmost citizens (Scotland) were bored. They were disgruntled. They were irked, in some insidious way, by the south and its moneyed capital, an emblem to them of globalization and inequality. They imagined they had to control their National Health Service in order to save it even though they already controlled it through devolution and might well have less money for its preservation (not that it was threatened in the first place) as an independent state. The fact that the currency, the debt, the revenue, the defense, the solvency and the European Union membership of such a newborn state were all in doubt did not appear to weigh much on a decision driven by emotion, by urges, by a longing to be heard in the modern cacophony — and to heck with the day after. If all else failed, oil would come to the rescue (unless somebody else owned it or it just ran out).

It was a time of weakness. The most powerful nation on earth (USA) was tired of far-flung wars, its will and treasury depleted by absence of victory. An ungrateful world could damn well police itself. The nation had bridges to build and education systems to fix. Civil wars between Arabs could fester. Enemies might even kill other enemies, a low-cost gain. Middle Eastern borders could fade; they were artificial colonial lines on a map. Shiite could battle Sunni, and Sunni Shiite, there was no stopping them. Like Europe’s decades-long religious wars, these wars had to run their course. The nation’s leader (POS) mockingly derided his own “wan, diffident, professorial” approach to the world, implying he was none of these things, even if he gave that appearance. He set objectives for which he had no plan. He made commitments he did not keep. In the way of the world these things were noticed. Enemies probed. Allies were neglected, until they were needed to face the decapitators who talked of a Caliphate and called themselves a state. Words like “strength” and “resolve” returned to the leader’s vocabulary. But the world was already adrift, unmoored by the retreat of its ordering power. The rule book had been ripped up.

It was a time of hatred. Anti-Semitic slogans were heard in the land that invented industrialized mass murder for Europe’s Jews. Frightened European Jews removed mezuzahs from their homes. Europe’s Muslims felt the ugly backlash from the depravity of the decapitators, who were adept at Facebooking their message. The fabric of society frayed. Democracy looked quaint or outmoded beside new authoritarianisms. Politicians, haunted by their incapacity, played on the fears of their populations, who were device-distracted or under device-driven stress. Dystopia was a vogue word, like utopia in the 20th century. The great rising nations of vast populations held the fate of the world in their hands but hardly seemed to care.

It was a time of fever (Ebola). People in West Africa bled from the eyes.

It was a time of disorientation. Nobody connected the dots or read Kipling on life’s few certainties: “The Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire / And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.”

Until it was too late and people could see the Great Unraveling for what it was and what it had wrought.