Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
“Techno-progressives” at the local and federal levels are gathering more and more information on students in public and private schools — and many parents don’t realize it, says Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project.
According to Robbins, “techno-progressives” hope to guide workers from birth to the workplace with their social engineering in a planned economy, which benefits vendors hoping to grow rich from big data.
Whereas self-determination and families used to guide students in choosing their career path, proponents of Common Core think they know better when it comes to jobs that communities supposedly need. Privacy safeguards for concerned parents — much less for the students themselves — have been eviscerated over the last two-and-a-half years by agreements, regulations and the allure of federal funding to school districts for extensive, non-academic information being collected on students.
“Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”
Americans have a well-established constitutional right to record police officers as they publicly perform their duties. Yet cops across the country continue to harass and arrest people for exercising that right, using bogus charges such as wiretapping, resisting arrest, and interfering with police. Yesterday yet another federal judge issued a clear message to those cops: Cut it out.
The case was brought by Antonio Buehler, an Austin, Texas, activist who has had several run-ins with camera-shy cops. The first incident occurred on January 1, 2012, when Buehler pulled into a 7-11 in Austin to refuel his truck and observed a traffic stop during which police dragged a screaming passenger from a car and knocked her to the ground. After Buehler took out his phone and began taking pictures of the encounter from a distance, Officer Patrick Obosrki manhandled him and arrested him for “resisting arrest, search, or transportation.”
Buehler filed a complaint about the incident with the Austin Police Department but never received a satisfactory response. The experience led him to start the Peaceful Streets Project, which aims to help “individuals understand their rights and hold law enforcement officials accountable.” The organization routinely records police encounters “to prevent and document police brutality.” That work led to two more arrests of Buehler, both for “interference with public duties,” on August 26, 2012, and September 21, 2012. The third arrest again involved Oborski. On both occasions police took Buehler’s camera and never returned it.
In response to Buehler’s federal lawsuit, Oborski and several other officers claimed they did not realize he had a right to record them. But according to U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane, they really should have. In yesterday’s decision, which allowed the lawsuit to proceed, Lane cites “a robust consensus of circuit courts of appeals”—including the 1st, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th—that “the First Amendment encompasses a right to record public officials as they perform their official duties.” He also notes two decisions in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which includes Texas, “seems to assume, without explicitly stating, that photographing a police officer performing his official duties falls under the umbrella of protected expression.”
Cash Strapped CHICAGO Sees The Lucrative Business of Illegal Aliens As a Way To Help Cover Financial Hurdles….
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama administration chief of staff, wants to expand the city’s efforts to house young illegal immigrants from Central America, reportedly proposing to shelter an additional 1,000 of them by year’s end.
“The influx of unaccompanied child migrants is a growing humanitarian crisis that we can no longer ignore,” said Emanuel, according to The Chicago Tribune. “While we have our own challenges at home, we cannot turn our backs on children that are fleeing dangerous conditions.”
The mayor’s office says the federal government will pay for the youths’ shelter, education, health care, food, safety and social services¹.
However, officials are trying to get Chicago lawyers to *provide free legal services² for the youths, who arrived in hopes of staying with U.S. relatives but now face federal deportation hearings.
[ ¹, ² *Remember, Obama and Eric Holder have created a taxpayer funded system to use AmeriCorps to represent the illegal alien families during legal proceedings. Remember also there are no deportation hearings - that part is pure conjecture.]
To be sure, Chicago has its own challenges, including a recent violent-crime wave in which at least 82 people were shot over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, with 16 victims dying.
The Chicago area already has nine such facilities, which according to the National Immigrant Justice Center have roughly *500 beds for illegal-immigrant youths³ already in the United States.
On Saturday, hours after the U.S. embassy in Libya was being evacuated and a day after meeting with Central American presidents to address the border crisis, President Barack Obama golfed with ESPN “Pardon the Interruption” hosts Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser at Congressional Golf Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
Obama has golfed with Messrs. Wilbon and Kornheiser in recent outings, and this is reportedly his first round at the exclusive golf course.
This week, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said that Obama golfs and fundraises during crises because he knows he is “in over his head” as the country’s chief executive.
Obama aide Marvin Nicholson, a frequent companion, rounded out the foursome.
It might surprise some readers to hear that in Wenham, Massachusetts, a little north of Salem, is a theologically conservative Christian institution of higher learning: Gordon College. You might think having a conservative college like this in true blue Massachusetts would make it a perpetual vortex of the culture wars, but Gordon is conservative in an old-style New England way, concentrating on making their community one of virtue in following Christ and essentially staying out of everyone else’s business; in particular, staying out of politics. The Gordon administration and their alumni, spread out over the area, are known for being mild-mannered and compassionate; basically just good people, as this editorial in the Salem Evening News points out (while insisting that Gordon is getting what it deserves.)
So what happened? Gordon President D. Michael Lindsay sent a letter to President Obama asking to be exempted from the executive order banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Salem mayor Kim Driscoll got wind of it and immediately severed ties with the college, ending Gordon’s contract to manage Old Town Hall, where productions of “Cry Innocent” (about the Salem Witch Trials) are regularly performed. The President of Salem State University decided to pile on, local columnists compared Gordon to everything from witch hunters (of course) to the Klan, from slave owners to the Taliban. Inevitably, the bureaucrats got involved, with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges offering that Gordon’s accreditation needed to be “reviewed.”
Which all goes to show that it is possible to remain ignorant of the nature of witch hunts even in a region that is constantly revisiting and rehashing the Salem Witch Trials. Witch hunts happen when someone, doing what they have always been doing, is picked out by the mob as a victim to its own self-righteousness. In this case, Gordon College is merely asking to go on as it has these many years, when the North Shore community had no problem with it. It is only because His Highness Obama in Washington has decided that Gordon must change its ways that this has become an issue at all. The local media, politicians, academics and bureaucrats have all united against the school, using the old Puritan punishment of shunning (the Salem News invites Gordon to “…rejoin its counterparts as an important leader on the North Shore”—i.e. get with the program or get the hell out.)
Salem State University’s President notes that Gordon has “received scant support, at least publicly.” Of course. The witch never does.
According to reporting from The Hill, The White House fears exactly that should the president take executive action to grant amnesty to thousands of illegals.
Senior White House advisers are taking very seriously the possibility that Republicans in Congress will try to impeach President Obama, especially if he takes executive action to slow deportations.
Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to Obama, said Friday that the White House is taking the prospect of impeachment in the GOP-controlled House more seriously than many others in Washington, who see it as unlikely.
Obama’s senior advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, as quoted by The Hill: “I saw a poll today that had a huge portion of the Republican Party base saying they supported impeaching the president. A lot of people in this town laugh that off. I would not discount that possibility.”
Like the rest of the world, the U.S. government appeared to have been taken aback last month when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fell to an offensive by jihadis of the Islamic State that triggered the collapse of five Iraqi army divisions and carried the extremists to the threshold of Baghdad.
A review of the record shows, however, that the Obama administration wasn’t surprised at all.
In congressional testimony as far back as November, U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials made clear that the United States had been closely tracking the al Qaida spinoff since 2012, when it enlarged its operations from Iraq to civil war-torn Syria, seized an oil-rich province there and signed up thousands of foreign fighters who’d infiltrated Syria through NATO ally Turkey.
The testimony, which received little news media attention at the time, also showed that Obama administration officials were well aware of the group’s declared intention to turn its Syrian sanctuary into a springboard from which it would send men and materiel back into Iraq and unleash waves of suicide bombings there. And they knew that the Iraqi security forces couldn’t handle it.
The best way to protect rainforests is to keep people out, right? Absolutely not. The best way to keep the trees, and prevent the carbon in them from entering the atmosphere, is by letting people into the forests: local people with the legal right to control what happens there.
Given the chance, most communities protect rather than plunder their forests, says a new study by the World Resources Institute and Rights and Resources Initiative, both in Washington DC. The forests provide food, water, shelter, medicines and much else.
The report, Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change collates many existing studies. It concludes that forest communities only have legal control over one-eighth of the world’s forests. The rest is mostly controlled by governments or leased for logging or mining, often in defiance of community claims.
But community-owned forests are often the best-protected. In the Amazon rainforest, deforestation rates in community-owned areas are far lower than outside.
“No one has a stronger interest in the health of forests than the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods and culture,” says Andy White of the Rights and Resources Initiative. “It is tragic that this has not yet been fully adopted as a climate change mitigation strategy.”
Give forests to local people to preserve them.
In comments little-remarked upon by the media, President Obama Monday suggested that too many African Americans are using their culture to separate themselves from mainstream society, and that this should come to an end.
Obama spoke during an event for his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in Washington. I don’t support the initiative: I think its goals are worthwhile, but I believe government shouldn’t be establishing programs targeting specific races. Nevertheless, Obama made many constructive statements to the youth attending the question and answer session, which went on for nearly an hour.
Addressing a question that was actually about Native American culture, Obama said cultural pride could be maintained even as minority cultures wove themselves into the larger society. And then he pivoted to black culture.
As the heads of African Americans in the audience shook in knowing agreement, Obama criticized a penchant within the black community for castigating those perceived as “acting white.”
From his remarks:
There’s no contradiction between knowing your culture — the traditional cultures out of which your families come, but also being part of the larger culture.
And I think that one of the things — this is true not just for Native Americans, but it’s also true for African Americans. Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of “acting white” — which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly?
And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. (Applause.) Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.
Obama touches on something it’s hard for people – particularly white conservatives who care about the issue – to say: that the real problems of black Americans today stem not from a lack of government assistance or quotas, but from intractable problems within their own culture and community.
Columbia River Cannabis in Douglas County was finally close to getting a marijuana-producer license after nine months.
That is, until a 15,000-acre wildfire encroached on its farm July 10 and burned its 5-week-old medical-marijuana plants that were eventually to be used to start growing in the recreational market. The farm planned to make its first shipments to retailers by September.
“We got singed real bad,” said Harold Jarboe, Columbia River Cannabis’ marketing director.
Throughout Central Washington this month, marijuana producers have struggled to keep their budding businesses afloat. Amid record-setting wildfires they worked to grow and water crops, or deliver products at a time when demand is high in a statewide marijuana shortage.
Jarboe wouldn’t disclose how many plants burned at Columbia River Cannabis but said it was a significant setback for his business, which seeks to have up to 21,000 square feet for marijuana production.
I’m sure those down-wind had few complaints…