Category Archives: Taxes

‘Clock Boy’ lawsuit thrown out in federal court

Ahmed Mohamed clock boy

Good.

From Fox News: A federal court has thrown out the civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of the Texas teenager known as “Clock Boy.”

The lawsuit alleged that the city of Irving and Irving school district discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed at Irving MacArthur High School in September of 2015.

Mohamed, a Muslim teenager who was 14 years old at the time, brought a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher. But an alarm on the clock went off in his English class and the teacher confiscated it. He was sent to the principal’s office.

“A.M. never stated the device was anything other than a clock, never threatened anyone with harm, never claimed to have made a bomb, and never attempted to scare or cause alarm to anyone. When he asked for his parents, he was told that he could not speak with them because he was in the middle of an interrogation,” his attorney argued according to the court’s ruling.

The lawsuit claimed Mohamed’s civil rights were violated when he was interrogated at length without his parents and arrested on hoax bomb charges.

When his father finally arrived at the school several hours later, the court documents state he “tried to explain to Officer Howman that A.M. was interested in robotics and created things, but she was unwilling to listen to his explanations.”

Police originally said Mohamed was not very forthcoming and the school as concerned that the device was possibly the infrastructure for a bomb. Officers acted in an abundance of caution.

“It was a very suspicious device. We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school. Of course we’ve seen across our country horrific things happen. We have to err on the side of caution,” Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd told FOX 4 in 2015.

The charges against Mohamed were later dropped but the school still suspended him for three days.

Read more at Fox 4 News.

DCG

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City jobs grow out of Seattle homelessness crisis

government solve all problems

In April 2016, I told you how the embattled Seattle Mayor Ed Murray decided to tackle the severe homelessness crisis in Seattle. He hired a “homelessness czar” to “lead and align efforts across City departments, provide oversight and evaluation of data and outcomes, provide strategic guidance on developing policy and protocols, and lead external engagement and communication strategies.”

And, as many could have predicted, the homelessness czar (and the high salary) is not enough to solve the problem. What to do? Hire more people!

From MyNorthwest.com: Two new jobs have been created to tackle the Seattle homelessness crisis. This adds to other positions directly related to homelessness the city created within the last year.

The new positions bring the total number of new homeless-related jobs to six that the city has hired for since August. The two positions currently advertised for will potentially pay more than $100,000 each.

    • Homelessness czar: $137,500 annually
    • Homeless encampment trash/litter program administrator: up to $46.80 / hour
    • Two homeless encampment field operations advisers (x2): up to $42 / hour
    • Executive for encampment response: Between $119,997.36 and $140,000.41 annually
    • Homeless communications director: Between $91,872 and $125,843.76 annually

Adding all that up – at the high end of estimated annual pay – it comes to $537,908.17 in new salaries.

Before Seattle and King County declared a state of emergency over the homeless crisis in 2015, the city spent about $40 million on the issue; the county spent $36 million. After the state of emergency was declared, Seattle put up $5 million more, and the county threw in $2 million more.

Job descriptions

“Executive overseeing the homeless encampment response program” pays between $119,997.36 and $140,000.41. The role of the executive will be to lead cleanup programs for homeless encampments on public property while finding housing for people living in those camps. The purpose will be to move people living in tents into “indoor housing alternatives.”

Communications director will be dedicated solely to the homeless response program. This position pays between $91,872 and $125,843.76 annually. They will handle all internal and external communications around encampment issues. They will work with everyone from the mayor to the council, the police department and more to create messaging around homelessness.

And let’s not forget, in August 2016, the city hired George Scarola to be Seattle’s homelessness czar. Scarola is charged with leading the city’s homeless response efforts, organizing multiple departments and providing oversight and strategic guidance.

Seattle began hiring again in March 2017, this time to solve the homelessness issue. One position was for an administrator for a homeless encampment trash/litter cleanup program. The position is paid up to $46.80 an hour and was listed as temporary. The city also advertised to hire two field positions that would coordinate cleanup of encampments. They are paid up to $42 an hour.

DCG

Illegal alien arrests up 38% nationwide under Trump

I might be illegalWorks for me.

From USA Today: In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order to enhance immigration enforcement, the arrests of undocumented immigrants illegal aliens is up 38% from the same time period in 2016, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released Wednesday.

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said his agency is focusing on undocumented immigrants illegal aliens with criminal records, the “bad hombres” that Trump spoke about throughout his presidential campaign. But the data show that the biggest jump in arrests involved undocumented immigrants illegal aliens without a criminal record, a 156% increase from last year. (Seems to me they have a criminal record because they are here ILLEGALLY.)

Between Jan. 22 and April 29, ICE arrested 10,845 people whose immigration violations were the only marks on their record. That’s nearly triple the 4,242 people arrested during the same time period in President Barack Obama’s final year in office.

Of all the people arrested by ICE this year, nearly 75% had a criminal record. In Obama’s final year in office, 92% of people arrested by ICE in the country had a criminal record.

“I get asked a lot why we arrest somebody that’s not a criminal,” Homan said. “Those who do enter the country illegally, they do violate the law, that is a criminal act.”

Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a group that advocates for immigrants, said Trump’s public comments about going after the most dangerous immigrants were a diversion from his goal: mass deportations. “If we don’t call it out and stand up to it, America is moving in the direction of committing a mistake of historic proportions — driving millions of immigrants who are deeply rooted in our country out of the country they now call home,” Sharry said.

ICE agents have been able to arrest more non-criminals due to an executive order Trump signed on Jan. 25. In that order, the president expanded the pool of undocumented immigrants illegal aliens considered “priorities” for deportation.

Under Obama, undocumented immigrants illegal aliens had to be a gang member, convicted of a felony, or convicted of several misdemeanors to be deemed a deportation priority. Under Trump, undocumented immigrants illegal aliens simply have to be arrested for a crime — not convicted — to become a priority. Trump also allowed ICE agents to focus on undocumented immigrants illegal aliens who they deem to be a “risk to public safety or national security.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly further expanded the powers of ICE agents through new directives in February.

Under Obama, ICE agents who were conducting raids or seeking specific individuals could generally not arrest other undocumented immigrants illegal aliens they encountered along the way. For example, if an ICE officer entered a home looking for an undocumented immigrant illegal aliens with a violent record, they would not arrest other people found in the home.

Kelly’s order changed that. Now, ICE agents are allowed to round up anybody they encounter and arrest them if they’re in the country illegally, which has driven up the number of non-criminals arrested by the agency.

On Wednesday, Homan emphasized all undocumented immigrants illegal aliens will still receive their day in court and be able to fight back against their removal. “All of those arrested will receive the due process afforded to them under the law,” Homan said. “We are a nation of laws, and ignoring orders issued by federal judges undermines our constitutional government.”

ICE did see a drop in one area: deportations.

Homan said the agency removed 56,315 people from the U.S. in that time period, a 12% drop from the same period in 2016. He said that was due to a backlog in immigration courts, the time-consuming nature of deportations of undocumented immigrants illegal aliens living in the country and a drop in people caught crossing the southwest border, which often leads to quick deportations.

DCG

Austria bans the burka and demands all refugees take intensive language lessons in new migrant clampdown

autrian muslim women protesting

Muslim women not happy with this decision

From The Sun: From the autumn those seen out in public wearing a full face covering will be subjected to a fine of around £128.Migrants to the European nation will also be forced to undergo a one-year integration course including intensive training in understanding German. They will also be urged, but not forced, to carry out charity work while preparing to enter the country.

This aspect of the plan is allegedly meant to help them prepare for a working life.

But the right wing Freedom Party opposed the measures arguing that they did not go far enough, while the Greens said they were too strong.

Back in January, Chancellor Christian Kern said the niqab and burka ban will be enforced over the next 18 months. He said: “The full-face veil will be banned in public spaces.”

The agreement read: “We believe in an open society that is also based on open communication. Full-body veils in public spaces stand against that and will therefore be prohibited.”

The coalition said police officers, judges, magistrates and public prosecutors should not wear head scarves so they could appear “ideologically and religiously neutral” while serving the state.

The news comes just weeks after MPs in neighbouring Germany approved a ban on the full-face burka for female public servants at work as part of a package of new security measures aimed to prevent ISIS attacks.

The Bundestag lower house of parliament agreed to a draft law today that will stop female civil servants, judges and soldiers in Germany from wearing full-face veils at work. The text of the law passed reads: “The state has a duty to present itself in an ideologically and religiously neutral manner.”

New security measures also include the use of electronic ankle bracelets for people deemed a security threat – like known Islamic radicals considered potentially violent by security services.

Last year Angela Merkel called for a ban on the Burka for the first time amid concerns she seemed soft on immigration.

DCG

Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, “I will pray for you”

serious

Unbelievable.

From Yahoo: (AUGUSTA, Maine/RNewswire-USNewswire) Toni Richardson, an educational technician employed by the Augusta School Department, filed charges of religious discrimination and retaliation yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after being instructed to never use phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with coworkers.  A copy of the charge is available here.

“What Augusta Public Schools did by punishing Toni for discussing her faith in a private conversation with a coworker is unconscionable,” said Timothy Woodcock of the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody. “The law is clear: employers cannot discriminate against employees who privately discuss their faith while at work.”

Toni tried to privately encourage a coworker—with whom she attends church—by saying, “I will pray for you.”  Even though the coworker thanked Toni, the Augusta Schools Department interrogated her, asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him. Later, she received an official “coaching memorandum,” explaining that she could not use “phrases that integrate public and private belief systems” while at schoolThe memo specifically explains that she will face discipline or dismissal in the future for using phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with colleagues at work.

“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Toni Richardson says, “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.”

“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, says. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while on campus.”

To read the charge of discrimination, go to FirstLiberty.org/Richardson.

DCG

The solution to Chiraq’s gun violence: Yo-Yo Ma to perform at ‘Concert for Peace’ in Chicago

yo yo ma

Yo Yo Ma: Bringing a cello to the gunfight

Over Mother’s Day weekend, Chiraq saw 3 dead and 13 shot (at the time of my writing this post). To date, Chiraq has had 962 people shot and wounded.

Apparently all it takes to address the out-of-control gun violence is a cello performance. Who knew?

From ABC7: Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will join other performers for a concert aimed at reducing violence in Chicago. The Concert for Peace is scheduled for June 11 at St. Sabina Church on the city’s South Side. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association says Ma will perform with members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Chicago Children’s Choir. The Rev. Michael Pfleger also will speak during the concert.

All proceeds will go toward anti-violence and employment programs at St. Sabina. Ma is a creative consultant for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ricardo Muti is music director.

Ma and Muti teamed with Pfleger in planning the concert. They say it builds on their belief that art and music play a critical role in solving issues facing the community.

DCG

North Carolina school district recalls yearbooks over Trump quote

yearbook quote

The inappropriate and, of course, raciiiiiiiiist comment

Good grief.

From Fox News: A North Carolina high school recalled its yearbooks after officials saw a senior’s quote which read “Build that wall” ascribed to President Donald Trump — but the move drew criticism online.

Yearbooks for Richmond Early College High School in Hamlet were recalled because some senior quotes were considered controversialThe News & Observer reported.

“Earlier this week, it was discovered by school administration that Richmond Early College yearbooks had errors and inappropriate comments,” the school district said on Facebook Tuesday. “The principal immediately collected the distributed yearbooks.”

The school district apologized and said it was working on making corrections with the yearbook publisher.

“As a district, we do not and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any of our students,” the post said.

School and district officials found several quotes deemed inappropriate, school district spokeswoman Ashley-Michelle Thublin said. She said that included the “Build that Wall” comment that became one of Trump’s campaign slogans last year.

“Only a handful of annuals were distributed before the mistake was discovered by the principal,” Thublin said in a statement. “Those were taken back up the same morning and the rest were not distributed.”

She did not answer a question from Fox News about which other senior quotes aside from the “wall” one were considered inappropriate.

An image of the senior quote was posted on Facebook Tuesday by user Artney Ellerbe, the Richmond County Daily Journal reported.

“So Richmond county school system allowed this to be printed in their 2017 year book,” Ellerbe captioned the post.  “I already knew this city was racist. Get a court date you’ll find out. This doesn’t surprise me at all.” Ellerbe’s caption concluded with “#Share.”

“I feel that young lady only stood up for her freedom of speech by using the quote of her choice,” Charity Davis, a mother of a freshman at the school, told the Daily Journal. “Every senior was given the opportunity to choose a quote. It was her right as an American to choose any quote under the sun.”

Thublin said none of the students are being disciplined.

It’s too late to get the books reprinted so students are being refunded. They cost $30 to $39 dollars based on time of purchase.

DCG