» Paula Bolyard

The PJ Tatler

Paula Bolyard

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review,. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third. She is also a member of the Wayne County Ohio Executive Committee.
Follow Paula:

CNN FAIL: Real News Must Wait While Most Powerful Man in the World Is Telling Jokes

Sunday, April 26th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Barack Obama, Cecily Strong, Michelle Obama

 

Here’s what CNN was reporting while angry mobs were rampaging in the streets of Baltimore Saturday night:

 

download

Meanwhile, at least a dozen protesters were arrested in Baltimore as violence erputed and thousands took to the streets protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody earlier this month.

But the so-called Nerd Prom was calling and celebrity-obsessed CNN came running, sounding like a bunch of squealing teeny boppers reporting on a One Direction concert as they tweeted out “breaking news” about the event:

 

 

CNN correspondent Errol Louis admitted that the star-studded media schmooze-fest had taken priority over the actual news, advising viewers to head over to Twitter to search for a live feed if they wanted to know what was happening in Baltimore. “If people want to know…yes, twelve people were arrested…the Baltimore police have tweeted that. You can find that now. You can find the live feed if you actually wanna watch what’s going on — it sounds like complete chaos,” Louis said during CNN’s coverage of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But he defended the network’s decision saying, “The most powerful man in the world is going to tell some jokes.”

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

Journalism may be in its death throes at CNN, but at least it looks like Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, and senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta had a great time, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

 

The Left Won’t Be Happy Until All the Christians Are in Ghettos

Saturday, April 25th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

From the Washington Times:

A crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed Saturday after complaints from gay-rights advocates.

The website GoFundMe said in a statement Saturday that it took down the page because the campaign violated the policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”

On Friday the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries fined the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa $135,000 for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law. In 2013, Aaron and Melissa Klein declined to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.

These totalitarians are not satisfied with publicly shaming their enemies or forcing conscientious objectors out of business — or with the crippling fines that private business owners have no way of paying. It’s not even enough that the Christian faith has been criminalized in Oregon. Instead, drunk with power, the jackbooted fascists roam the streets, celebrating their conquests as they search for new victims and invent new ways to take them out. Everyone who refuses to sing from the erotic liberty choirbook must be purged from public life and forcibly relocated to the margins of society because the radical left can’t even tolerate breathing the same air as those with whom they disagree.

UPDATE: A reader pointed out that Samaritan’s Purse is now collecting donations to help the Kleins pay their fines and and meet other expenses. Click here to contribute.

 

 

 

Read bullet | 32 Comments »

It’s On: Two GOP Candidates Sign Pledge to Oppose and Veto All Tax Increases

Friday, April 24th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Pledge (1)

On Friday, Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul signed Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge that if they’re elected president they will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.

“My record supporting tax cuts is clear,” Cruz said in a statement. “I am pleased to be able to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge again as a candidate for president so taxpayers can be assured that I will do what I say I will do.”

“Senator Ted Cruz is a strong and consistent advocate for taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “He signed the pledge as a candidate for the Senate in 2012. He has kept that commitment to the people of Texas and in the Senate has fought to reduce federal spending and the nation’s tax burden.”

Paul was the first 2016 presidential candidate to sign the pledge. “Senator Rand Paul has been a taxpayer leader for more than 20 years,” Norquist said. “He has led taxpayer activists at the state and local level long before he became a U.S. Senator.  As Senator he signed and kept the pledge to the people of Kentucky  that he would oppose and vote against higher taxes.  Today, Paul continues that leadership and commitment.”

Senator Marco Rubio and Governors Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry have all signed ATF’s pledge in the past, but have not yet indicated whether they will do so as presidential candidates. Jeb Bush, who refused to sign the pledge as governor, vowed earlier this year that he will not sign any pledges if he decides to run for president.

Read bullet | Comments »

NYT Freak Out: Ermagersh! Ted Cruz Has Gay Friends — and Supporters!!!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download

It seems the New York Times has gotten itself all worked up because Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attended an event in his honor at the Manhattan apartment of — gasp! — “two prominent gay hoteliers.” (Apparently one cannot simply be a ‘hotelier’ these days — a sexual identifier is required.)

It’s obvious that Times reporter Maggie Haberman thought she had found the smoking gun that would tarnish Cruz’s conservative credentials forever when she reported that he’s not a hateful bigot or something. ”Mr. Cruz said he would not love his daughters any differently if one of them was gay,” she wrote, adding that “he did not mention his opposition to same-sex marriage, saying only that marriage is an issue that should be left to the states.”

CNN gave that statement the pretzel treatment and interpreted it to mean, ”His remarks seemed to signal a softening of his beliefs on same-sex marriage.” A spokeswoman for Cruz said in a statement later that the senator had “stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that he opposes same-sex marriage and supports traditional marriage.”

“[T]he juxtaposition of Mr. Cruz being the guest of honor at a home owned by two of the most visible gay businessmen in New York City was striking,” a seemingly shaken Haberman wrote.

If you’re a left-leaning reporter who believes that the only reason half of Americans oppose same sex marriage is because they’re hateful bigots who are acting out of raw animus, events and statements like this cause you all kinds of cognitive dissonance and consternation. All good leftist reporters believe in the deepest recesses of their hearts that mean-spirited Republicans who disagree with the push for same-sex marriage never, ever associate with gay people — unless they’re snooping around in their bedrooms.

But Haberman persisted, asking Ian Reisner, one of the hosts of the event, about the possible “dissonance” between his gay activism and being at an event for Cruz. “Reisner said that while he does not agree with Cruz on social issues, the two men do agree on national security and Israel. “Ted Cruz was on point on every issue that has to do with national security,” he said.

Though this may be difficult for some reporters to grasp, there are a lot of people for whom gay marriage is not the Great Litmus Test of the Ages (especially considering that it’s likely a done deal but for Justice Kennedy signing on the dotted line in June).

This may come as a surprise to reporters at the Times, but Senator Cruz — like most Republicans — has gay friends (and supporters) and he’s willing to engaging in dialogue with people with whom he disagrees. And guess what? This is not newsworthy.

Mati Weiderpass, one of the event’s hosts, expressed a similar sentiment on his Facebook page after apparently receiving some backlash:

 

 

Read bullet | 28 Comments »

It’s Actually Legal to Deny Anesthesia to Unborn Babies in Pain, But Some People Are Trying to Change That

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
Source Wikimedia Commons

Source Wikimedia Commons

If a Montana bill becomes law, doctors will be required to administer anesthesia to unborn children during surgical procedures — including abortions — to prevent pain and suffering. HB 479 states that “except in the case of a medical emergency or the refusal of a woman to provide informed consent, a person may not perform fetal surgery on an unborn child whose gestational age is 20 or more weeks without administering an amount of anesthesia to the unborn child that provides adequate relief from physical pain and suffering.”

It’s difficult to imagine how much medication would be required to provide relief to a tiny child who is being dismembered and killed during an abortion, because, as the bill notes, “substantial scientific evidence recognizes that an unborn child is capable of experiencing physical pain and suffering” at 20 weeks gestation. Montana lawmakers say the state has a compelling interest in preventing or minimizing the pain and suffering of an unborn child during an abortion but they say that the requirement does not impose any additional burden on the woman seeking an abortion, nor does it stand in the way of her decision. Note that the mother, after being informed of her baby’s ability to feel pain, can still deny her anesthesia under the Montana law. (That’s a truly horrifying thought, isn’t it?)

The bill was sent to Governor Bullock — a pro-abortion Democrat — on Monday and is awaiting his signature. All of Montana’s House Democrats oppose the bill, which would be the first of its kind in the nation.

“I’m sorry if women’s bodies get in the way of some people’s political beliefs,” said Rep. Jenny Eck (D) during floor discussion last week. “I’m sorry that women have autonomy, self-determination and constitutional rights. But that’s the way it is. And until men can carry babies or artificial incubators can build babies, you’re stuck with that reality: that women have our own rights, our own lives, our own wills.”

In other words, suffer away, precious little babies. Democrats — who weep over the plights of Shamu, puppies in puppy mills, and cows on antibiotics  – have not one ounce of compassion for you as your little arms and legs are torn from your body. In their haste to extinguish your life, they are willing to deny you even a tiny measure of comfort in your final minutes of life.

Read bullet | 21 Comments »

Remember That Stupid (Racist, Misogynist, Threatening) Thing You Tweeted Five Years Ago?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download

A former aide to Jeb Bush who was fired after posting offensive tweets has created Clear, an app that will clean up social media posts that could result in negative consequences at work, with potential employers, or with your new romantic interest.

Ethan Czahor, Bush’s former chief technology officer, was fired in February after some offensive tweets he posted were uncovered. In one tweet Czahor called female students “sluts.” In another he said, “When I burp in the gym I feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘sorry guys, but I’m not gay.’” Czahor said he launched “Clear“ to ensure what happened to him won’t happen to others.

“Clear” searches for keywords like “gay,” “black,” or swear words in your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram updates that might indicate offensive content. Posts that include those words are flagged and you’re given the option to keep or delete them.

Czahor told Time magazine: “Why wasn’t I smart enough to take care of this before it happens?”

download

 

Read bullet | 23 Comments »

NSA’s Creepy Earth Day Video Inadvertently Reveals Something Very Disturbing About the Agency

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

In a video created in honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency features “Dunk,” a creepy ’70s-era mascot that encourages kids to recycle. In the eight-minute version, Dunk — a recycle bin — brags that “diverting items away from landfills has become a primary goal for NSA employees.” Seems like their “primary goal” should be protecting Americans, but perhaps I’m misinformed.

Dunk also reveals that the nation’s top spy agency “has operated recycling programs for decades” and that the agency recycles 13-14 million pounds of garbage every year. That’s a staggering amount of trash for a federal agency. With an estimated 30,000 employees, that’s around 325 pounds of trash per person.

I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation, but all I can picture in my mind is NSA employees spending hours each day shredding government files related to cell-phone snooping and demolishing hard drives and backup tapes containing information that would be damaging to elected officials. I’m sure it’s mostly soda cans and outdated government manuals. But really, why so much trash?

Read bullet | 17 Comments »

Here’s a Video of Ted and Heidi Cruz Shooting a Full Auto Tommy Gun

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

 

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi stopped by the Londonderry Fish & Game Club in New Hampshire on Saturday to talk about the Second Amendment and to shoot a few rounds. The Texas senator is no slouch with a Thompson submachine gun (nicknamed the Tommy Gun). He confidently picked up and fired two guns at the range and didn’t appear to flinch at the powerful recoil. His aim must have been pretty good because someone at the range shouted, “He’s got my vote!” after his first rounds and another cried, “Woah!” after Cruz’s second round.

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

Heidi Cruz, who was sporting a baseball hat that said, “Armed and Dangerous,” also got in on the shooting action after her husband gave her some basic instructions.

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

Intelligent, beautiful, and not afraid of a powerful firearm. Senator Cruz is indeed a blessed man!

 

Read bullet | 19 Comments »

Michigan Lawmakers Want Homeschooled Children Registered Like Dogs and Inspected by Social Workers

Monday, April 20th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

mitchelle-blair-e1427383950899

In the wake of the tragic murders of two Michigan children whose mother tortured them before stuffing them into the family’s freezer, lawmakers are calling for more stringent regulation of homeschooling in the state.

The proposed legislation from state Rep. Stephanie Chang, a Detroit Democrat, would require homeschooled children to be inspected twice per year by a licensed social worker or law enforcement officer. The bill would also require homeschooling parents to register their children — like dogs or sex offenders — with the superintendent of the school district in which they reside. Michigan is one of eleven states that do not require homeschooling parents to report to state or local authorities.

CBS Detroit reported:

Chang cited the case of Stoni Ann Blair and Stephen Gage Berry as a reason for planning the legislation. Investigators believe Stephen was 9 when he died in August 2012 and that Stoni was 13 when she died the following May. Their mother, who is accused of torturing and killing them and then stuffing their bodies in the freezer, had said she homeschooled them.

“We all failed Stoni and Stephen because Michigan does not maintain a list of homeschooled children and so we have no way to identify and then protect any child who could be at risk for abuse,” Chang said. “Most homeschool parents have their child’s best interest in mind, and many do a fine job homeschooling, but with Stephen and Stoni, that wasn’t the case.”

Every few years legislation like this pops up as a knee-jerk reaction to some terrible tragedy that was inflicted upon children who were allegedly homeschooled. The most recent was in Ohio in 2013, when Democratic state Senator Capri Cafaro introduced Teddy’s Law in reaction to the very tragic death of Teddy Foltz-Tedesco in January 2013. The law (which was quickly withdrawn after an outpouring of state and national opposition) would have required homeschoolers to pass background checks and have their children inspected by authorities before being allowed to educate them at home. Teddy was killed by his mother’s boyfriend after he was withdrawn from school  because officials there suspected abuse. Relatives and neighbors say they reported the abuse to the children services board on repeated occasions but were rebuffed.

That’s a common thread in most of these tragic stories. In nearly every case — almost without exception — the family had a history of contact with child welfare officials because of allegations of abuse. And in almost every case — almost without exception — the authorities dropped the ball. In the case of the children in Detroit, the state had investigated allegations of abuse in 2002 and 2005 and the mother was referred for counseling. In the Ohio case, family members called authorities multiple times but nothing was done. They said they were accused of lying.

It’s absurd to think that a mother who tortured her children with scalding hot water and a searing hot curling iron before murdering them and stuffing them into the freezer — all while committing welfare fraud — is going to file a pile of paperwork that would trigger an inspection of her children — the children she has stored in the freezer. People who commit diabolical crimes against children will just go further underground if such a law is enacted — they’ll move to a different school district and pretend they don’t have any children, they’ll ignore the regulations, or worse, they’ll go off the grid completely, compounding the danger to the children.

It’s not the sick, twisted individuals like Stoni and Stephen’s mother who will be caught up in the state’s dragnet. Instead, it’s law-abiding parents who are exercising their constitutional right to home educate their children — and doing an admirable job of it —  who will be harmed by these intrusive regulations. In addition to the creepy registry, they’ll be forced to live under a presumption of guilt and will be required to “prove” twice per year to some (allegedly qualified) government official that they are not abusing their children.

I wrote this in response to the proposed Ohio law in 2013:

The logic — if you can call it that — behind this law seems to be that parents cannot be trusted with their own children. Unless they are under the watchful eye of state officials, children face great peril and so there must be new laws enacted in order to mitigate the risk. This ignores the fact, of course, that children from birth to age six are the most likely to die from child abuse — they account for 76% of fatalities. Will the next step be to subject all parents to interrogations by social workers from birth until the time they enroll their children in the safe bubble of the public school? And why stop there? After all, many children are abused at home and become experts at hiding and excusing the bumps and bruises. Shouldn’t we hire armies of government agents to keep an eye on what’s going on in the home after school? Not only that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, violent victimization rates at school were 34 per 1,000 students ages 12–14 and 14 per 1,000 students ages 15–18. Shouldn’t the government just require semi-annual interrogations of all students to solve the school violence problem? You can see the absurdity of this logic.

Not only that, but if the proposed legislation in Michigan becomes law, an estimated 50,000 children will be added to the caseloads of already overburdened social workers, law enforcement officers, and truant officers who will be tasked with tracking these newly “registered” children in much the same way they monitor parolees and sex offenders, requiring them to periodically report their whereabouts and show up for meetings and inspections. Instead of spending scarce resources on known cases of child abuse and neglect, they’ll be forced to cast a wide net over thousands of law-abiding families without probable cause — or any cause — to suspect there’s abuse in those homes.

The courts have ruled that parents have the right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. In any system where citizens are allowed to exercise their liberties and their rights are protected there will always be those who abuse those freedoms, occasionally with tragic consequences. We don’t solve the murder problem by putting body cameras on all gun owners — just to keep some from murdering. We don’t solve the problem of thievery by frisking everyone who exits a store — just in case someone has pocketed an eyeliner or a package of batteries. In the same way, we don’t surveil all homeschooling families — treating them like de facto criminals and subjecting their children to intrusive “registries” and inspections —  just so we can net a handful of bad actors.

Read bullet | 48 Comments »

How Do You Even…? Man Faked Kidnapping by Tying Himself to Tree

Monday, April 20th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

clarence-taylor-8e0dc4bf3ff602da

According to police, an Akron, Ohio, man faked his own kidnapping, claiming he was abducted and tied to a tree for three days. Clarence Taylor, 44, has been charged with falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. Police say they believe he tied himself to the tree. 

According to Cleveland.com:

Taylor’s 45-year-old girlfriend reported to police on Nov. 1 that Taylor had been missing for five days.

A friend of Taylor’s called the girlfriend as she spoke with investigators and said that Taylor had been located bound to a tree with zip ties in a wooded area near Stoner Street and Pickford Avenue.

The friend led police to where Taylor was tied. He had duct tape on his mouth and was still tied to the tree, according to police reports. Police cut him down and took him to Akron General Medical Center.

Taylor told police that he was walking on Beechwood Drive when three men with shotguns abducted him and forced him into a van. He said they stole $2,500 from him and tied him to the tree, where they left him for several days.

Police say that Taylor had no visible injuries, despite his claims of being in the cold and rain for several days, and he was not dehydrated. When investigators subpoenaed his medical records from his hospital stay, they found that his condition was not consistent with his story about being abducted and tied to a tree.

Some parts of this story just don’t add up. First, is it even possible for someone to tie himself to a tree with zip ties? Second, why didn’t the friend who called Taylor’s girlfriend to report his whereabouts untie him? Why wait for police to arrive?

Was Taylor hoping for a GoFundMe campaign to replace the money he said was “stolen” from him? Or was there another motive? Police say they don’t know — and he’s still at large with a warrant for his arrest.

Get out your Encyclopedia Brown spyglasses and tell me what you think happened.

 

 

Read bullet | 9 Comments »

Welp…Now We Know How Hillary Feels About Common Core

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

[Begins at 5:33]

During a campaign event at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was finally asked to say something about Common Core — which promises to be a prominent issue in the 2016 campaign. Of course, it wasn’t a reporter who asked Clinton about the wildly unpopular educational standards, it was a teacher and Common Core supporter who said it is “painful” for her to see the standards attacked.

Clinton agreed wholeheartedly. “You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful,” she said.

[Not to be confused with the Benghazi attack, which she said was "very, very painful."]

She defended the standards, saying they were the result of a “bipartisan effort … actually, nonpartisan project.”

“It wasn’t politicized. It was about coming up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was. That there wouldn’t be two tiers of education,” Clinton said.

She speculated that Iowans were more supportive of Common Core because “Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time. And you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. A lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that. So [they] don’t understand the value of a core, in this sense a common core.”

[Perhaps what they don't understand is why every state needs the same standards with the same tests and why the federal government needs to be involved.]

“I was a senator and voted for Leave No Child Behind (sic) because I thought every child should matter,” Clinton said. “And [it] shouldn’t be ‘you’re poor or you’ve got disabilities so we’re going to sweep you to the back, don’t show up on test day because we don’t want to mess up our scores.’” Instead, Clinton said every child should have the same opportunities.

[Has she not heard of the Atlanta testing scandal where teachers were sent to prison for leaving poor and disabled children behind by falsifying their test scores?]

So in summary, Clinton supports a federally mandated one-size-fits all set of standards for every school in the country. It’s good that we got this cleared up early on in the campaign. Common Core promises to be a tremendous populist and crossover issue for Republicans — as long as they don’t choose a pro-Common Core candidate like Jeb Bush or John Kasich.

Read bullet | 10 Comments »

Forget the Scandals — Here’s the One Thing That Would Utterly Demolish Hillary’s Presidential Hopes

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
Project_Yoga_Richmond_2

By Eli Christman via Wikimedia Commons

 

What is it going to take for voters to turn on Hillary? I suspect it’s not going to be Benghazi, Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, or her husband nailing the interns in the Oval Office. Sadly a large percentage of the electorate is shallow and celebrity obsessed — they rarely wander into the deep weeds of political intrigue. But fear not, all is not lost. I do think there is one thing that would be guaranteed to sink Clinton in our shallow, cult-of-celebrity culture: Pictures of Hillary doing those “yoga routines” she said were in the emails she deleted from her servers.

Imagine a picture of a sweaty, haggard-looking 67-year-old Clinton in yoga pants appearing on every Facebook feed, mobile device, and news outlet in the country. It would be a devastating blow to her campaign. (Think I’m exaggerating? See: Dukakis in the tank, Nixon in the first televised debate, and Howard Dean’s Rebel Yell for other examples of campaign-ending memes.)

But this raises some questions. If you were in sole possession of the hypothetical picture of Hillary in yoga pants, would you leak it to the press and/or her opponent’s campaign? Is all fair in love and war — and campaigns? Would it be unfair to leak it because Hillary is a woman and she will be judged more harshly on her appearance? Could you throw a middle-aged woman under the bus (or Scooby van) if it meant saving the country? Do the ends justify the means?

I’m not sure I could do it. I know campaigns are dirty and almost nothing is off-limits these days, but I still think we ought to keep personal attacks out of these contests.

How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.

Read bullet | 50 Comments »

Here’s a Hilarious Video of the Adoring Media Chasing Hillary’s ‘Scooby’ Van

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

(HT: Washington Free Beacon)

 

Check out the real journalists chasing after Hillary’s van (dubbed ‘Scooby’) during her first event in Iowa today. I wonder if they teach these mad phys ed skills in J-school?

Read bullet | Comments »

Hillary’s Campaign-Video Hypocrisy Exposed

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement video featured a lineup of ordinary Americans talking about things they’re getting ready for, including a mother and daughter who were packing up their belongings and preparing to move.

“My daughter is about to start kindergarten next year,” the mother says, “so we’re moving, just so she can belong to a better school.”

Someone — actually everyone — on Team Hillary apparently missed the irony of a family being forced to move to a different school district to find a better school when it’s well known that Hillary is vehemently (and irrationally) opposed to school vouchers.

In the video above Clinton says that if school vouchers were allowed, parents would be lining up to get government money to pay for (imaginary) white supremacist schools and the “School of the Jihad.” That hasn’t happened anywhere in the country where vouchers are allowed, but it’s a scary bogeyman opponents like to use to counter those who say poor children in failing schools ought to be allowed to take their funding dollars to the school of their choice.

If Hillary really wanted to be the “champion” for that little girl in her video — and for families across the nation — she’d stop supporting policies that force families to move in order to escape failing, sclerotic school systems. She would support school choice in all forms, including school vouchers, instead of standing in the way of progress.

 

Read bullet | 21 Comments »

Gov. Kasich: No Religious Freedom Law for Ohio

Monday, April 13th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

RFRA_Indianapolis_Protests_-_2015_-_Justin_Eagan_02

Ohio Governor Kasich, who is considering a presidential run, responded to a question last week about religious freedom laws like the ones that recently caused a stir in Indiana and Arkansas.

In his first remarks since the passage of the controversial laws, Kasich said on Thursday, “I think we’re doing fine in Ohio. Everybody’s opinion has to be respected in all of this and we have to strike a balance.” He added, “I think we have a good balance in Ohio and I don’t see a reason to do any more.”

Kasich, who voted for the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act when he was a member of Congress, said his position on the issue was based on his interpretation of Christianity.

“As a person of faith, I think one of the things that I always try to ask, (as) I think about myself, is, I like to focus a whole lot on the do’s of religion,” he said. “The do’s impose a real challenge to me — love those or pray for those who don’t like me. That’s a tough one for all of us. How many of you pray for your enemies?” Kasich asked in his typical confrontational style.

“The do’s are a very important part of faith for me. It doesn’t mean that don’ts don’t matter. But, I think we strike a balance pretty well in Ohio,” said Kasich.

The problem, of course, is that you can’t “strike a balance” when there is a collision of competing rights. When one person is demanding a wedding cake from a conscientious objector and another person is saying, “My faith constrains me from participating in a gay wedding,” there can only be an impasse. There is no middle ground when there are irreconcilable differences. Either Ohio (and the other states) will decide how the competing rights will be sorted out legislatively, or these matters will be decided by unelected judges an bureaucrats. Kasich, it seems, would prefer to take the easy way out. He’s like a modern-day Pontius Pilate who, rather than staking out a courageous position, symbolically washes his hands of the matter, allowing the mobs to do the dirty work for him.

Read bullet | 24 Comments »

Dos Amigos: President Obama and Raúl Castro Shake Hands in Panama

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

President Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro passed each other in a crowd and stopped to shake hands Friday night at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Obama spoke briefly with Castro, with whom he is expected to meet on Saturday.

The president is pressing for normalization of relations with Cuba. Castro, however, has made removal from the terrorist-sponsor list a condition for the opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana and has also demanded reparations for economic damage caused by the U.S. embargo of Cuba and the immediate transfer of Guantanamo Bay to the Cuban government.
Not everyone thought this was a great moment of diplomacy for Obama (have there been any?).

Ted Cruz’s communications director pointed out that Cruz, whose father fled the brutal Castro regime to come to the United States, skipped out on a meeting with Castro:

David Limbaugh thinks that it’s just party politics as usual:

But least Obama didn’t bow before Castro like he did the Saudi leader. Or did he?

EXCLUSIVO: encuentro del pdte de Cuba Raul Catro y el pdte de EEUU Barack a Obama

A video posted by Madelein Garcia (@madeleintelesur) on

Read bullet | 14 Comments »

A Florida County Wants to ‘Plant’ Cadavers in a ‘Body Farm’

Friday, April 10th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor via Wiki Commons

Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor via Wiki Commons

From the Brandon Patch:

The University of South Florida and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office have joined forces to bring this particular proposal to life.  The program, dubbed the Facility for Outdoor Experimental Research and Training (FORT), is being proposed to serve as a resource and training center for Florida’s medical and legal communities.

The “body farm” would sit on 2 acres of county owned and controlled land at the Walter C. Heinrich Practical Training Center in Lithia. Bodies for the farm would come from USF’s After Life Body Donation Program to advance research in forensic anthropology and legal medicine, the county explained in a media release. The cadavers “planted” on the farm would be left exposed to the elements so they can be studied by researchers and law enforcement.

Researchers want to help law enforcement better understand human decomposition under a variety of conditions. The facility will also be used as an outdoor crime scene training location.

Colorado, Illinois, Maine, and Texas also have active body farms, but the facility in Florida would offer a unique view into the effects of Florida’s subtropical climate on human remains.

No word on what this will do to the property values in the neighborhood.

 

Read bullet | 25 Comments »

School District Releases Sensitive Student Data and Parent ‘Cooperativeness’ Ratings

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

Parents were outraged to learn that the Tewksbury Public School District in Massachusetts released a 200-page document last week that included sensitive student data, including parental cooperative ratings.

According to the Tewksbury Town Crier:

The list, which replaces student names with numbers, remains in alphabetical order. Information included the student’s current grade, the out-of-district school, the last school attended, the year the student began attending the new school, information on whether or not the decision was made by the IEP team, a legal settlement (typically kept strictly confidential), or if the student moved in from another town, and miscellaneous detail such as the involvement of the Department of Children and Families, passage of MCAS assessments, and more.

The office of Student Services also published its rating of parents according to their ‘cooperativeness with the district.’ Parents rated a ‘1’ are cooperative, ‘2’ somewhat cooperative, and those rated ‘3’ are ‘not cooperative.’

The newspaper says it was able to easily identify a number of the families in the report and they were contacted by others who were able to identify additional families.

Asked about the cooperation ratings, Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor said, “Probably the choice of wording for the descriptor in the heading should be something different. We were trying to convey to the school committee and finance committee, even if we were to build programs, I’m not certain that all of the families with children who might benefit from the program would want to come back. That is the explanation for that.”

Parents were understandably outraged at the privacy violation and at what they feel is the district’s disrespect for parents of special-needs students.

School districts are collecting more and more information about school children — in fact, it’s a requirement of Common Core — and despite the promises that “no personally identifiable information” will ever be released without parental permission, the example above shows how, even when names are removed, students can still be identified. The promises that our children’s data will be kept private are only as good as the administrators who control that data.

 

Read bullet | 21 Comments »

Lawyer Claims 13 Girls Framed a Fellow Student for Rape ‘To Teach Him a Lesson’

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

From The Independent:

Lawyers for a 19-year-old accused of sexually assaulting several girls at his former school have claimed the alleged victims lied about the accusations and decided to “teach him a lesson” after being inspired by a Hollywood movie.

Tyler Kost appeared in court on Monday after being arrested last year when he was accused of a series of sexual crimes against 13 girls aged between 13 and 17. The Associated Press said that most of the girls were former classmates at his school in Arizona.

But lawyers filed documents with the court that included a group Facebook chat where three of the accusers and three witnesses made plans to target Mr Kost and referred to the movie John Tucker Must Die, in which ex-girlfriends take revenge on a former boyfriend. The exchange happened weeks before the women accused Mr Kost of sexual assault.

The defense is in possession of some of the social media records, but they say they need access to more in order to see how far the conspiracy to frame Kost went. However, Facebook privacy policies only allow law enforcement to request the records and the prosecutor says it’s “not the state’s job to go on a fishing expedition for the defense.”

“Quite frankly the fact that the state is refusing to get any additional social media records is concerning. It’s shocking. Based on what we’ve uncovered so far they should be dismissing several charges. Instead they are digging their heels in and they are refusing to give us anything additional,” defense attorney Michael Alarid said.

Meanwhile, Kost, who has been in jail for a year, remains in custody, quite possibly another victim of the fake rape culture.

Read bullet | 30 Comments »

[VIDEO] College Students Can’t Answer Basic Questions About the Holocaust and WW II

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download (43)

Jerry Amernic, author of The Last Witness, asked university students in Toronto some very simple questions about the Holocaust and World War II. Their answers demonstrate a remarkable ignorance of some of the most important events of the 20th century. The students couldn’t answer even the most basic questions, like how many Jews died in the Holocaust or who perpetrated the atrocities. They were also clueless about D-Day and they didn’t know who FDR or Churchill were.

Makes you wonder if they have Common Core in Canada.

 

YouTube Preview Image

Read bullet | 34 Comments »

This Poll About Gays and Evangelical Christians Might Just Change How You Think About This Whole Debate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download (42)

Which group do you think is more popular in the United States — evangelical Christians or gay people?

 

According to a recent poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Human Rights Campaign, gay and lesbian people are now more popular than evangelical Christians.

The survey of 1000 likely 2016 voters nationwide asked respondents about their feelings toward gay and lesbian people and evangelical Christians. Fifty-three percent said they had favorable feelings toward gays and lesbians (up 13 points from 2011) while only 42% felt the same way about evangelical Christians. When it came to unfavorable feelings, only 18% claimed to have them toward gays and lesbians while 28% feel that way about evangelical Christians.

We’ve been told that the LGBT community is a minority in need of special legal rights and protections, but as this group continues to gain acceptance and win legal battles nationwide, another group — evangelical Christians — is finding itself increasingly marginalized and discriminated against. Now that the LGBT community is winning the nation’s popularity contest (and Christians are losing) maybe we ought to rethink who the real powerbrokers are in this country.

download (41)

 

Read bullet | 106 Comments »

9 Important Issues That Were Conspicuously Absent from Rand Paul’s Announcement Speech

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
download (39)
Did you notice anything missing from Sen. Rand Paul’s speech on Tuesday announcing that he’s running for president? During the speech, Paul mentioned the word “liberty” eleven times and “government” seven times. There were, however, some important issues the senator from Kentucky neglected to talk about:
  • Free Speech
  • Religious Liberty
  • Obamacare
  • Second Amendment
  • Sanctity of Life
  • Common Core
  • Marriage/Family
  • Israel
  • Faith

All of these issues are, arguably, important to the base of the Republican Party (some appealing to certain sectors of the base and others, like the Second Amendment and Israel, appealing to wide swaths of GOP primary voters).

Instead, Paul talked about the War on Terror, the economy, self-esteem, and how we have “two Americas.” He somehow managed to get a room full of libertarians to cheer for increased infrastructure spending and for a proposed billion dollar stimulus for Detroit (I have a feeling some of them are going to wake up tomorrow and have a “wait…what?” moment).

It’s an interesting strategy, to be sure. Usually the Republican candidates wait until after the primary to ditch the base and set themselves up as mushy moderates. But perhaps Paul thinks he can cobble together enough libertarians and establishment Republicans to win the nomination (without alienating either or both in the process).

He says he wants to be a “different kind of Republican” and it seems that, like Jeb Bush, Paul might be trying to win the primary by tiptoeing around the base. However, a base that is hungry for a principled conservative — one whose core values are easily discernable and don’t change with the political winds —  may ultimately reject Paul’s “all things to all people” strategy. (See my post from yesterday for another example of Rand Paul sending a confusing message to the base.)

One more thing. I was going to include the full video of Paul’s announcement speech with this post, but I was having trouble finding it. Apparently, it has been taken down by YouTube for a copyright violation (the dispute is over the use of John Rich’s song, “Shuttin’ Detroit Down”).

 

 

 

Read bullet | 30 Comments »

Fighting Back: Free Speech Brief Filed on Behalf of Religious Leaders in SCOTUS Marriage Case

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

rewrittenimage

As the country has been immersed in a divisive battle over competing rights in recent weeks, many Americans, especially those who have sincere religious objections to same sex marriage, fear that the First Amendment is disappearing before our eyes and that religious liberty is becoming an antiquated notion. But one group saw the trajectory of this tidal wave of social change and they’ve been working behind the scenes to defend the rights of people of faith.

On Thursday, the Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could significantly impact the future of marriage laws in the United States.

The brief, filed on behalf of a group of prominent religious organizations, public speakers, and scholars, asks the justices to affirm the Sixth Circuit decision upholding marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Perhaps more significantly, especially considering the events of the past week related to Indiana’s RFRA, the brief asks the court to “expressly affirm the First Amendment free speech rights of Christian ministers, teachers, and leaders who are compelled by faith and conscience to preach and speak aloud their millennia-old and sincerely held religious view that marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman,” the Liberty Institute said in a press release on Thursday.

The impressive list of heavy-hitting signatories of the brief include: National Religious Broadcasters, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, In Touch Ministries, Pathway to Victory, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Daniel L. Akin, Dr. Mark L. Bailey, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dr. Byron R. Johnson, Eric Metaxas, Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr., Dr. Charles F. Stanley, John Stonestreet and Dr. Owen Strachan.

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Sixth Circuit reversed a lower court decision that found in favor of sixteen gay and lesbian couples who said their rights had been violated because the states in question did not allow same sex marriage. The majority opinion, penned by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, is worth reading in its entirety. Sutton carefully explained the historical reasons that our government has sanctioned complementary marriage and railed against those who believe that decisions of such import should be left to a small panel of judges.

“Of all the ways to resolve this question,” Sutton wrote, “one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea.” He added,

Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us—just two of us in truth—to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Sutton also made a point of explaining that there are “real people” on both sides of the issue. “It is no less unfair to paint the proponents of the measures as a monolithic group of hate-mongers than it is to paint the opponents as a monolithic group trying to undo American families. ‘Tolerance,’ like respect and dignity, is best traveled on a ‘two-way street,’” Sutton wrote.

The friend-of-the-court brief filed by Liberty Institute echoes Sutton’s sentiment. Also worth reading in its entirety, the brief describes the history of Christian persecution and the faithfulness of the Church during periods when Christians have been marginalized minorities in society. In many ways, it reads like a treatise on the last stand for religious liberty in America. The brief cites a variety of sources ranging from the Bible and John Milton to stories of individuals who have been deprived of their religious liberty to dozens of relevant court case related to free speech and religious liberty.

“Unfortunately, in their zeal to advance and affirm same-sex marriage, many state actors have ignored or violated the very free speech principles that facilitated free and open dialogue on this once-settled question,” the brief begins. It warns that a decisions from the Court imposing same-sex marriage nationwide would exacerbate the problem, resulting in increased free speech violations. The respondents call on the Court to reaffirm “that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment protects religious dissenters who disagree with state recognized same-sex marriage and to reaffirm the importance of free debate and free inquiry in this democratic Republic.”

If anything should be settled law in this great nation, the right to free debate and free inquiry should be at the top of the list; nevertheless, it seems that almost daily we see another Christian who’s been dragged out into the public square, shamed and punished for the “crime” of merely expressing his disfavored opinion on the subject of sexual ethics.

The brief explains that Christians have spoken and preached on controversial issues in ways that offended powerful forces in society for over 20 centuries and that’s not about to change with the legalization of gay marriage. They say:

Christian ministers, teachers, and leaders must continue to preach and speak aloud their millennia-old and sincerely held religious view that marriage is the sacred “one flesh” union of one man and one woman. If their sermons and words clash with the views of politically powerful groups or even Government orthodoxy on same-sex marriage, they will have no choice but to seek refuge in the First Amendment generally, and the Free Speech Clause specifically.

They argue that, “The freedom to speak according to religious conscience is essential to the dignity of each person and to the stability of our self-governing Republic.” The brief liberally quotes Justice Anthony Kennedy (thought to be the swing vote in the case) who agreed with the respondents’ position in his previous opinions and cleverly sprinkles in the language of the Left — words like coexist, dignity, and marginalize.

They also claim that the Free Speech Clause is most needed when the views of religious dissenters are “controversial and inconvenient.” They fear the republic will be harmed if dissenters are silenced and afraid to speak.

The brief then goes on to give examples of high-profile religious dissenters who have been actively silenced by government actors — college students, members of the military, an Atlanta fire chief, the Georgia director of public health, the five pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by the city of Houston. The respondents say the rights of many others have been violated through memoranda, manuals, and training materials that federal agencies have used to impose speech codes on their employees, “silencing or at least chilling religious dissenters,” which they say harms the marketplace of ideas.

“These core First Amendment principles cannot peacefully coexist alongside Government speech codes designed to enforce a superficial and false conformity of belief,” the brief asserts. “Instead, the Free Speech Clause protects a noisy, crowded, and vibrant marketplace of ideas, populated with both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.”

The respondents say that if the Court decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states, it will “tilt the playing field” even more decisively against persons of faith, many of whom will continue to maintain traditional beliefs about marriage:

Politically powerful advocates of same-sex marriage would likely use this Court’s decision as a weapon to marginalize persons of faith who will continue to adhere to their millennia-old definition of marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman. That in turn would lead to countless additional violations of the Free Speech Clause.

After seeing the human wrath that was poured out upon the state of Indiana this past week and the resulting carnage, including the disturbing attack on the owners Memories Pizza, who were simply expressing their religious views, this brief may prove to be a prophetic document — one we’ll refer to when our children ask us about the moment when our generation gave up on the First Amendment and decided that erotic liberty was more important than religious liberty.

Let’s hope and pray that the Supreme Court heeds the warnings of these faithful Christian leaders and that somehow, the tide can be turned back on this tsunami of intolerance heading toward people of faith.

Read bullet | 15 Comments »

I Don’t Think This New Rand Paul Ad Sends the Right Message

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Rand Paul’s new ad, released this weekend ahead of his announcement that he is running for president, is a bit…unusual, to say the least. Instead of leading with America, apple pie, and corn fields, Rand Paul chose to lead with — I am not making this up — CNN’s Candy Crowley!

The video, called “A Different Kind of Republican Leader,” features a lineup of liberal media personalities praising Rand Paul, including Crowley, Jon Stewart, and Chris Matthews as well as former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who has spent the last year trashing nearly every conservative tenet of the Republican Party. In fairness, the video does also include Sean Hannity and Chris Wallace from Fox News, interspersed with clips of Paul’s speech at CPAC.

Paul’s decision to feature the media — the conservative-hating the liberal media — in an ad the week he’s announcing that he’s running for president is a little (actually, a lot) tone deaf. Has there been a single poll of Republican primary voters in which “approved by the liberal media elites” is a top priority? If there is, I haven’t seen it.

It leaves me wondering who Rand Paul is trying to impress with this ad. The media? The Republican establishment? Big money donors? “Even Candy Crowley loves him!” is not exactly rallying cry for the GOP base, is it?

Read bullet | 38 Comments »

A Guy Walked Into a Muslim Bakery and Ordered a Gay Wedding Cake…

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Is anyone surprised by this? Steven Crowder went into a bunch of Muslim bakeries in Dearborn, Michigan, and tried to order a “gay” wedding cake. Many of the bakers politely declined and sent him to other bakeries, including one man who tried to send him up the street to Kroger.

Oddly enough, we haven’t seen any mainstream media reporters ambushing unsuspecting Muslim bakers and demanding in McCarthyesque fashion, “Are you now, or have you ever been a homosexual hater?”

Could it be because, as Crowder notes in the video, “You’re still killed in virtually every Muslim country for being gay.”

 

Read bullet | 87 Comments »

Atlanta Teachers Who Cheated on Student Test Scores Are Now in JAIL!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

ATLANTA (AP) — A group of former Atlanta educators convicted in a test cheating scandal were locked up in jail Thursday as they await sentences that could send them to prison for years.

In one of the nation’s largest cheating scandals of its kind, the 11 defendants were convicted Wednesday of racketeering for their roles in a scheme to inflate students’ scores on standardized exams.

They include teachers, a principal and other administrators, who were accused of falsifying test results to collect bonuses or keep their jobs in the 50,000-student Atlanta public school system. A 12th defendant, a teacher, was acquitted of all charges by the jury.

The racketeering charges carry up to 20 years in prison. The convicted former educators are set to be sentenced later this month.

The teachers and administrators involved were feeding answers to students and erasing and changing answers on tests after they were turned in. State investigators found evidence of cheating in 44 schools. Teachers who tried to report it said they feared severe retaliation.

The convicted teachers were led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

“They are convicted felons as far as I’m concerned,” Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said, later adding, “They have made their bed and they’re going to have to lie in it.”

 

Read bullet | 37 Comments »

The Couple Living in This Gorgeous Upscale Home Collected $114,000 in Public Assistance

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download (23)

Mary Jo Carini-Gallagher and Todd Schaller, who live in the gorgeous home in this picture,  have been charged with fraudulently obtaining food stamps and Medicaid benefits in excess of $100,000.

From the Foundation for Government Accountability:

The couple was turned in by an anonymous tipster. Police state that they received $64,000 in food stamps, and $114,000 overall, in a nine year period. Both Carini-Gallagher and Schaller are employed in well paying jobs…The fraud included Carini-Gallagher reporting that she lived alone at the home, as seen in public aid applications she filed every six months. It turns out that the couple has lived together for nine years.

The couple had been documenting the progress they made in their remodeling projects on Facebook, but the page has been taken down. This is no ordinary fixer upper – their home has been described as “the nicest on the block.”

In fact the home was so nice it was featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s ”At Home“ section, which described Carini-Gallagher’s flair for design:

In a nod to the gentlemen of the home, who she said also inspired some of the look, she balanced feminine touches with masculine ones. The master bedroom has a light pink color, but a corner of the room is wallpapered in a unisex fleur-de-lis design. She’s recently completed a remodel of the master bathroom upstairs in much the same vein, suiting both genders by using river-rock tile in the shower and a crystal chandelier for light.

Their next digs may be a little less glamorous. The two, who have been released on signature bonds, now face a maximum of ten years in federal prison.

Screen-Shot-2015-03-30-at-2.07.19-PM-848x400

 

Read bullet | 19 Comments »

Hillary Responds to Drone Crash Email with Breezy Furniture Chitchat

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

nuke_button

It’s frightening to think that someone who hasn’t yet mastered the basics of a simple email program might have control of America’s nuclear weapons in 2017.

The AP released a copy of an email they received from the State Department as a result of a 2013 Freedom of Information Act request on Tuesday. The email features a 2011 exchange between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and adviser Huma Abedin (wife of Anthony Weiner) that begins with a report sent from Abedin to Clinton’s private email address about a drone crash in Pakistan.

Hillary then wandered off into whimsical musings about furniture.

“I like the idea of these,” Hillary responded to Abedin. “How high are they? What would the bench be made of? And I’d prefer two shelves or attractive boxes/baskets/ conmtainers (sic) on one. What do you think?”

Abedin seemed (rightly) confused by the response. “Did u mean to send to me?”

“No-sorry!” Clinton replied. “Also, pls let me know if you got a reply from my ipad. I’m not sure replies go thru.”

Is anyone else with me in thinking that this woman should not be allowed anywhere near the nuke button?

 

11096501_1555415941413636_7934683641233509688_n

 

Read bullet | 16 Comments »

I’m Only Going to Do Business in States That Support the First Amendment From Now On

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

This protest movement against Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Restoration Act has gotten completely out of hand. The outrage is based on lies, misinformation, and propaganda about things that are not even in the law.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a Washington Post editorial that the new law says “individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.” That’s a complete fabrication and the Washington Post allowed him to get away with it.

You will not find one word in the law that allows someone to refuse service to a customer. All it says is that the government must show a compelling interest if it’s going to force people to violate their religious beliefs and if people believe the government has done so, they are allowed to raise religious liberty as a defense in a court case. That’s all. Not one word about gay lunch counters and no separate drinking fountains, despite the hyperbole comparing the RFRA to Jim Crow laws.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that an “avalanche of intolerance” has been poured out on his state and the media coverage has been “shameless and reckless.” To read media reports, half the country is boycotting the state, taking their business to neighboring states, half of which have practically the exact same law. Even the NBA weighed in, bothering fans who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a basketball game by self-righteously declaring that they’re not anything like those bigots in Indiana.

There is a powerful, vocal minority of activists in this country that despises the First Amendment. Oh, they like it just fine if it protects pornography or the rights of children to receive explicit sex instruction in schools, but if it’s speech they don’t agree with — like someone having a deeply held religious belief that homosexuality is sinful — it’s considered hate speech and it needs to be banned.  They don’t mind religious liberty if it means that native Americans can smoke peyote, but the minute that Hobby Lobby objects to paying for abortion pills, all bets are off. They don’t want tolerance, they want complete compliance with their moral hegemony.

 

 

In case you’re interested, here are the states with laws in place protecting religious liberty, in case you want to consult it when you’re deciding where to do business (from the Washington Post):

imrs

 

Read bullet | 30 Comments »

Uh Oh. How Is Hillary Going to Explain Throwing Bill Under the Bus?

Friday, March 27th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Hillary Clinton is very unhappy about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and on Thursday, she joined in the histrionics of the angry mobs who were complaining about the horrid, discriminatory law.

 

 

But Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, pointed out that it was Hillary’s husband, then-President Clinton, who signed the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993.

 

 

Davis then noted a whole litany of Bill Clinton policies that Hillary Clinton apparently finds problematic.

 

 

Just to set the record straight on Indiana’s RFRA, despite Hillary’s hysterics and the shrieks of the mobs calling for a boycott of the entire state (but not the other 30 states that have religious liberty protections), the new law does not actually discriminate against anyone. There’s not one word in the legislation that enshrines discrimination into Indiana law.

Gov. Mike Pence defended the RFRA in a statement after he signed it into law:

This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

The RFRA simply provides that state or local governments may not “substantially burden” a person’s right to exercise his religion unless there is a “compelling governmental interest” and the government must use the “least restrictive means” to further that interest. It also provides that a person who believes his religious liberty has been violated by a state or local government action may raise that as a claim or a defense in a judicial proceeding. It doesn’t say who would prevail in that proceeding, only that the individual can have his day in court.

Read bullet | 17 Comments »

Josh Earnest Requests Twitter Questions and Twitter Does Not Disappoint

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

download (10)

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest held a Twitter Q & A today:

 

 

It didn’t take long for some sharp Twitter users to come out swinging:

 

 

And Twitter collectively answered, “Game on!”

 

 

Sadly, Earnest answered none of these probing questions. Not even this one from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:

 

 

Instead, the White House spinmeister pontificated about baseball and The West Wing (the TV show, not the real West Wing):

 

 

To be fair, Earnest did field a couple of substantive policy questions (by “field” I mean that he head-faked and dodged the questions while typing 140 characters on Twitter):

 

 

That’s not what AG asked, but head pats for trying, Josh. Let’s try again with another substantive question:

 

 

Another disappointed interrogator whose question was dodged by Earnest. One more try on Iran:

 

 

 

So glad to hear your thoughts on the Royals, Josh! Maybe next time you can give us your rundown on House of Cards.

 

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

Think You Could Get Away With This Congress Member’s Astonishing Parking Fail?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District of Columbia, was caught on video Wednesday trying — and failing — to maneuver her vehicle into parking spot in a lot between the Longworth and Cannon House Office buildings. According to Roll Call:

Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.

Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.

Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck truck’s windshield? Or perhaps a business card?

Nope.

Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.

Note that around the 40-second mark in the video a U.S. Capitol Police officer rides by on a motorcycle and ignores the silver car, which is obviously parked the wrong way in the slanted parking space.

According to Roll Call’s tipster, after spending twenty minutes in the Cannon Office Building, Norton simply got into her car and drove away, not even bothering to leave a note on the red car that she struck several times with her vehicle.

Her office told Roll Call that there was no damage to the adjacent cars, but said they “left a note with a business card” just in case.

The good news is that Ms. Norton, a delegate from the District of Columbia, is a non-voting member of Congress. The bad news, if you live in the District, is that she might try parking next to you the next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. And you thought the drivers with the diplomatic license plates were bad!

 

Read bullet | 29 Comments »

That Time Rand Paul Forced Liberty U. Students to Listen to His Convocation Speech

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard
YouTube Preview Image

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had some snippy comments about Sen. Ted Cruz choosing a Liberty University Convocation to announce that he’s running for president.

Asked by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly if he had organized the handful of students in the audience who were wearing bright red t-shirts with his name emblazoned across the front, Paul said, “I’m not sure who did orchestrate it, but I kind of remember those days because I went to Baylor University and we were all required to go to convocation.”

In case anyone missed it the first time, Paul repeated, “So all these kids are required and some of those who are required wanted to make sure that just by having to be there they weren’t expressing their support.” (In case you lost count, Paul repeated the word required three times in two sentences.)

Unlike Donald Trump, who had nothing but gracious comments about Cruz’s announcement when he appeared on a later segment of Megyn Kelly’s show, Rand Paul was the turd in the punchbowl on Cruz’s big day, grousing about the required attendance at the event (he didn’t mention that the applause and multiple standing ovations were not mandatory) and complaining that Cruz was reaching out to young people at a Christian university.

“I’ve spent the last couple years trying to go places Republicans haven’t gone,” Paul bragged, contrasting himself to Cruz. “And maybe not just throwing out red meat but throwing out something intellectually enticing to people who haven’t been listening to our message before.”

You know, like that time in late 2013 when Rand Paul spoke at a required Convocation at one of those places Republicans haven’t gone Liberty University and threw out red meat “intellectually enticing” lines warning students about drones hovering outside their bedroom windows. Paul spent most of his speech painting a depressing picture of a bleak dystopian future awaiting the fresh-faced young people at Liberty.

The Kentucky senator seemed to have trouble connecting with the young people at Liberty that day. When students didn’t laugh at his joke about only having three TV channels growing up, a frustrated-looking Paul threw up his hands and said, “You don’t even know what I’m talking about!”

And you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium of the Baptist university when he said, “Laws don’t really restrain people.” He went on to explain that virtue was more important than laws and said the country needs a “revival” — one of the few lines that drew enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Though there were one or two smatterings of polite applause during the speech, it was no where near the enthusiastic response Ted Cruz received on Monday. Is that lack of enthusiasm the reason Rand Paul has his knickers all in a twist about this?

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Ted Cruz Delights Followers with Midnight Tweet: ‘I’m Running for President’

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was expected to announce his plans to run for president in a speech at Liberty University on Monday morning, instead took a non-traditional approach, sending out a midnight tweet saying, “I’m running for president. I hope to earn your support!”

Earlier on Sunday, Cruz sent a text message to his followers, telling them to watch for an announcement on Twitter at midnight. Those who stayed up waiting for the tweet were not disappointed, because in addition to the announcement, they were rewarded with a new campaign video (paid for by Cruz for President). It features scenes of American flags waving, cute babies, tractors (with lots of corn) and motorcycles. It’s evocative of President Reagan’s “Morning in America” ad with its iconic scenes of American life.

His campaign also launched a new website, Ted Cruz 2016.

Pictures surfaced on Twitter Sunday night of the Cruz family doing a walk-through at Liberty University in preparation for Monday’s event, which will likely receive even more buzz after tonight’s surprise Twitter announcement.

 

Responses from Cruz’s followers on Twitter were, not surprisingly, enthusiastic:

 

Read bullet | 72 Comments »

Stay Tuned for a Midnight Announcement from Ted Cruz

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

 

 

Anonymous staffers told the Houston Chronicle that Cruz will launch his presidential campaign at Liberty University on Monday, bypassing the exploratory committee process, and becoming the first Republican to officially announce his candidacy.

Liberty University president Jerry Falwell confirmed that Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be speaking at the school’s weekly Convocation on Monday.

“We’re honored that political candidates are now requesting to appear at Liberty,” Falwell said in an article on Liberty University’s website. “We never had that happen years ago — we had to invite them. I think it’s a testament to what Liberty students have accomplished and what they are accomplishing.”

Cruz, the son of a Baptist minister, has joked to Dallas News, “I’m Cuban, Irish and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist.”

Sen. Cruz will appear on Hannity on Fox News Monday night, following what is likely to be his presidential announcement during Liberty University’s 10:00 a.m. Convocation.

Read bullet | Comments »