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6th Grader Suspended for a Year for Bringing Maple Leaf to School

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It may have been a Japanese maple leaf, or something similar. So why would a sixth grader be suspended for a year for simply bringing a piece of foliage with him to school? Because that leaf happened to resemble (somewhat) a cannabis leaf, and the school has a very strict “anti-fake-controlled-substance” policy.
Apparently, the kid was pretending that it was pot, and when the assistant principal found out about it, he was promptly suspended. It’s actually a little more complicated than that. You can read the entire account here. It’s very possible that the kid didn’t even know about the offensive leaf in his bag, and that some other student “planted” it there without the other kid knowing.
At any rate, this is like those rules where if a kid points his index finger and says, “bang,” he gets suspended or expelled for violating the school’s anti-gun laws, even though a finger can’t do nearly as much damage as an actual firearm. It’s the thought that counts though.
So, if some kid shows up to school with those candy cigarettes and pretends to smoke them, he’s violating the school’s non-smoking policy and would be promptly suspended with a “history of drug use” branded on his permanent record. And if a kid brings a Japanese maple leaf to school and pretends it’s marijuana, the principal will swiftly suspend the student and won’t allow him back for a year. The Washington Post reported:

Earlier this school year, a sixth-grader in the gifted-and-talented program at Bedford Middle School in Bedford, Virginia was suspended for one year after an assistant principal found something that looked like a marijuana leaf in his backpack.

The student, the 11-year-old son of two schoolteachers, had to enroll in the district’s alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he’s become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.

The only problem? The “leaf” found in the student’s backpack wasn’t what authorities thought it was — it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.

[…] While the juvenile court dropped its case against the student after the tests turned up negative, the school system, in a community located midway between Roanoke and Lynchburg, has been far less forgiving. That’s because stringent anti-drug policies in school districts in Virginia and elsewhere consider “imitation” drugs to be identical to real ones for disciplinary purposes.

The school’s lawyer, Jim Guynn, is quoted in the Roanoke Times article defending the policy on the basis that “it’s a pretty standard policy across the Commonwealth.” In 2011, for instance, four seventh-graders in Chesapeake, Virginia were suspended over bringing a bag of oregano to school.

A bag of oregano! Were the kids pretending that it was marijuana? Yeah, probably. They’re seventh graders. But it was oregano. You know, the savory and slightly bitter herb commonly used in Italian dishes and which as far as I know remains an uncontrolled substance. And it could probably be used on some public school cafeteria lunches. I hear the food there is not unlike prison food.
I guess the one good thing about this whole ordeal is that the “drug user” student had to be homeschooled. More time spent away from these empty-headed school administrators the better.

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Culture

Court Says Giant Cross in Florida Can Stay After Atheist Attack

A court in Pensacola, Florida, has ruled that a78-year-old Christian cross can stay right where it is.

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A court in Pensacola, Florida, has ruled that a 78-year-old Christian cross can stay right where it is despite the demands from radical atheists that it be torn down.

The historic World War II-era cross in Pensacola, Florida, will remain standing thanks to a victory at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, according to AL.com.

In Kondrat’yev et al. v. City of Pensacola (Link to case), an atheist group sued the City of Pensacola to remove the monument, which has been standing since 1941.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Association, protecting a World War I memorial cross in Bladensburg, Maryland, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the cross is constitutional, acknowledging that it has become “embedded in the fabric of the Pensacola community” and that removing it could “strike many as aggressively hostile to religion.”

The Bayview Cross is one of over 170 displays in Pensacola parks memorializing the City’s diverse history and culture. In 2016, four individuals, represented by the American Humanist Association, sued the City, demanding the cross be torn down, even though three of the individuals do not live in Pensacola and the fourth has held his own ceremonies at the cross. The trial court and an earlier decision by the Eleventh Circuit reluctantly agreed that the cross was unconstitutional under the notorious Lemon test, which has often been successfully invoked by anti-religious plaintiffs to push religion out of the public square. Earlier this year, however, the Supreme Court ordered the Eleventh Circuit to rethink its ruling in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in American Legion, which finally scrapped the Lemon test in cases involving longstanding symbols.

“The Supreme Court has now made clear that religious symbols are an important part of our nation’s history and culture,” said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket.

The 78-year-old cross was built in the City’s Bayview Park in 1941, as the U.S. prepared to enter WWII, as a place for the community to unite. Since then, Pensacola citizens have held community events such as Easter sunrise services, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day remembrances, and other voluntary gatherings at the monument, which has become a significant symbol for the Pensacola community.

“Pensacola is a historic city with a rich and diverse history. The Bayview Cross is an important part of that history as a symbol of our community’s coming together during a national crisis,” said Grover C. Robinson IV, mayor of Pensacola. “Today the citizens of Pensacola will celebrate our long-awaited victory and the preservation of the Bayview Cross.”

In the June 2019 Supreme Court ruling upholding the World War I memorial cross in Maryland, Justices cited Becket’s friend-of-the-court brief multiple times. Becket has also successfully defended a statue of Jesus in Montana commemorating fallen World War II soldiers, a historic cross artifact at Ground Zero, and a Pennsylvania county seal.

Becket  is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court.

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Culture

Flashback: Bloomberg Bans Food Donations To The Homeless

Who needs charities when we can redistribute wealth?

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In 2011 Michael Bloomberg banned individuals from giving food donations to the homeless.

When Glenn Richter tried to donate a bag of bagels to the poor in 2011, he was informed that the Bloomberg administration no longer allowed for food donations. CBS reported at the time, he stated that “over the years he’s delivered more than two tons of food to the homeless. Mr. Richter vented that “Bloomberg is eating away at his ability to do good.”

CBS:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food police have struck again!

Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Glenn Richter arrived at a West Side synagogue on Monday to collect surplus bagels — fresh nutritious bagels — to donate to the poor. However, under a new edict from Bloomberg’s food police he can no longer donate the food to city homeless shelters.

It’s the “no bagels for you” edict.

“I can’t give you something that’s a supplement to the food you already have? Sorry that’s wrong,” Richter said.

Richter has been collecting food from places like the Ohav Zedek synagogue and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently his donation, including a “cholent” or carrot stew, was turned away because the Bloomberg administration wants to monitor the salt, fat and fiber eaten by the homeless.

Richter said he was stunned. He said his family has eaten the same food forever and flourished.

“My father lived to 97; my grandfather lived to 97, and they all enjoyed it and somehow we’re being told that this is no good and I think there is a degree of management that becomes micromanagement and when you cross that line simply what you’re doing is wrong,” Richter said. More

Um, so Mike Bloomberg wanted the government (ie the taxpayers) to supply the food to the homeless when there are people being innovative and providing fresh foods for them.

I don’t think a hungry person is worried about salt, fat or fiber content they just need a full belly. Leftist liberals would rather have people starve! 

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Culture

Trump Commutes Dem. Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Sentence, Illinois Republicans Furious

Illinois Republicans were furious on Tuesday when President Donald Trump commuted the remaining sentence of Democrat Rod Blagojevich.

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Illinois Republicans were furious on Tuesday when President Donald Trump commuted the remaining sentence of Democrat Rod Blagojevich who is serving a hefty prison term for corruption.

Trump has been making noise for years, saying that he feels that Blagojevich’s sentence was way too long and did not fit his crimes.

Blagojevich was convicted of 17 charges of public corruption in 2011 and was handed a hefty 14-year prison term for his crimes. One of the claims against the former Democrat governor is that he was looking to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2008 when then Illinois Senator Barack Obama was preparing to abandon his senate seat to enter the White House.

Blagojevich was heard on a federal wiretap saying, “I’ve got this thing, and it’s fucking golden,” while trying to figure out how to profit off Obama’s open senate seat.

However, there was never any evidence that anyone actually gave the governor any money nor that he made any arrangements to take any. But he was heard on tape offering different positions to different people as he tried to shuffle seekers around to his best advantage.

Blagojevich was found guilty on all counts in 2012 and sent to prison where he was to have served until 2024.

Trump noted on Tuesday that he was finally ready to send Blagojevich home.

“Yes, we commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Trump said. “He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person — don’t know him.”

“He’ll be able to go back home with his family,” Trump added. “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion.”

But the Republican congressional delegation from Illinois — what few of them there are– were not happy at all with the president’s move.

As Newsweek noted:

The five-member delegation—Reps. John Shimkus, Darin LaHood, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger—shared a statement today saying that the commutation of Blagojevich’s prison sentence had “disappointed” them.

“We are disappointed by the President’s commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s federal sentence. We believe he received an appropriate and fair sentence, which was the low-end of the federal sentencing guidelines for the gravity of his public corruption convictions. Blagojevich is the face of public corruption in Illinois, and not once has he shown any remorse for his clear and documented record of egregious crimes that undermined the trust placed in him by voters,” the representatives wrote. “As our state continues to grapple with political corruption, we shouldn’t let those who breached the public trust off the hook.”

“History will not judge Rod Blagojevich well,” they added.

Trump, of course, has known Blagojevich since the Illinoisan was on Trump’s TV show, The Celebrity Apprentice, in 2010.

Trump has often said he thinks the sentence was too long. Her is a tweet from last August, for instance:

So, the move to commute the remainder of Blagojevich’s sentence does not come as a surprise.

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Culture

Chicago Transit Apologizes for Posting About Abe Lincoln During Black History Month

The Chicago Transit Authority was sent to its social media to apologize for daring to mention Abraham Lincoln during Black History Month.

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The Chicago Transit Authority was sent racing to its social media accounts last week to apologize for daring to mention Abraham Lincoln during Black History Month.

I guess Abraham Lincoln, the president who freed the slaves and helped end slavery, has no part in back history, huh?

Last week, the CTA’s official Twitter account retweeted a post with photos of a man dressed as Lincoln at one of the Windy City’s Red Line train stations.

“In honor of Black History Month, Abraham Lincoln was seen making a guest appearance on the CTA,” the commuter line wrote last Wednesday, which was also Lincoln’s 211th birthday.

But after complaints began pouring in, the CTA deleted the tweet and profusely apologized.

“Apologies,” the CTA later tweeted, “unfortunately our last retweet went in a direction that was not at all intended. Nonetheless, we WILL continue to honor the African Americans who have played a large role in CTA history.”

Now, let’s review… Lincoln must not be mentioned during black history month despite that he:

1). Ramped up a war that freed the slaves
2). Pushed a proclamation asserting that freedom
3). Helped usher an Amendment to the Constitution to ratify that idea
4). Won a war that secured that idea

So… this is the guy who is persona non grata for Black History Month?

It seems that liberals don’t understand “history,” do they?

We know the answer to that question.

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Culture

Bank Finally Bucks Leftists, Decides to Continue Funding School Choice Program

A Florida bank has finally decided to ignore the radical left and continue to fund a local school scholarship program.

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A Florida bank has finally decided to ignore the radical left and continue to fund a local school scholarship program and risking the displeasure of the gay lobby.

Fifth Third Bank decided not to end its participation in the program, according to the Daily Signal. Indeed, the bank has decided to continue supplying the $5.4 million it had previously agreed to give to the program.

Thanks to the bank’s change of heart, the scholarship program will continue.

But advocates for the program were worried for a while. For a short time, the bank had been leaning toward allowing the radical LGBTQ lobby to bully them into quitting the school program.

So, why was the bank leaning toward ending its participation in the program?

Because some parents were using the scholarship funds to send their kids to religious schools. And the radical gay lobby couldn’t have that.

Naturally, hateful liberal Florida politicians have now launched into a campaign of harassment against the bank. As the Signal noted:

Democratic state Reps. Anna Eskamani and Carlos Guillermo Smith apparently object to that and have been harassing corporate donors to drop their contributions over those schools’ biblical views on marriage and sexuality.

Local parents, pastors, and politicians were furious—including a good number of their Democratic colleagues. Members like state Reps. James Bush III and Al Jacquet couldn’t believe their party would actually use children as pawns to appease the LGBT Left.

But so far, the bank is not bending. It has made its decision to stay with the program.

After all, the program gets results. More Florida kids are now graduating high school and going on to good colleges. In the end, Fifth Third Bank could not argue with real-life results.

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Virginia: Suitcase With Dead Birds From China Intercepted At Airport

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Airport authorities at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia, discovered a suitcase containing dead birds from China.

According to WTHR-TV, the suitcase contained dozens of dead birds of an unknown variety ranging in size from 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

The suitcase belonged to a passenger from Beijing. Authorities say that the traveler’s ultimate destination was a residence in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Who the heck is feeding their cats dead birds‽ This is enough of an idiotic move that the Feds should have the birds tested for pathogens and investigate this moron.

TDW:

No matter what the reason, we should all be able to agree that sending a suitcase full of dead birds – from anywhere, to anywhere – is not right.

The ordeal is made more disturbing by the fact that the suitcase was sent from China, which is currently dealing with the coronavirus and has struggled in the past with a bird flu epidemic. WTHR reported Monday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents intercepted a package at Dulles International Airport in Virginia that was filled with small dead birds.

“According to officials, the traveler arrived on a flight from Beijing, China on Jan. 27, 2020 where the traveler’s final destination was to a residence in Prince George’s County, Maryland,” the outlet reported. “During a baggage examination, CBP specialists discovered a package with pictures of a cat and dog that the passenger said was ‘cat food.’ The package, according to officials, contained a bunch of unknown small birds, about 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.”

CBP provided disturbing images of the pet-food packaging that does, in fact, contain dead birds. More

What this article doesn’t say is whether the birds were tested for any diseases, and what those results may have been. At what point do we consider China may be intentionally trying to infect us?

Why isn’t this on the MSM news in America?

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Culture

After Seeking to End Second Amendment, Virginia Democrats Now Want Driver’s Licenses for Illegals

After working to end our constitutional rights, Virginia Democrats are now working to on giving driver’s licenses to 300,000 illegal aliens.

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Putting an end to the Second Amendment is not all Virginia Democrats are working to achieve as they next set their sights on giving driver’s licenses to 300,000 illegal aliens in the Commonwealth.

The Democrats in Virginia are now looking to “ease fear” among illegals, even as they hope to drive up the fear of the average citizen of their state.

Virginia Democrat Scott Surovell praised the bill to give lawbreaking illegals a legal driver’s license. “There’s 17 other states who have done it and the other states have removed the legal presence requirement, the number of collisions have gone down,” he exclaimed.

Fox 5 reported the large population of illegal immigrants that could be issued licenses:

Senator Surovell says it would impact between 160,000 and 300,000 undocumented immigrants without driver’s licenses in the Commonwealth; immigrants in Virginia illegally but working, going to doctor’s appointments and more. Many who if stopped in a routine traffic stop could face being detained or deported.

Surovell says granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants could generate between ten million and seventeen million dollars a year.

If passed, Virginia would join the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington in giving criminal illegals a driver’s license.

Such a law has already brought consequences down upon the State of New York. Last week the Empire State announced the plan to sue the Trump administration over the state’s exclusion from the trusted traveler programs.

Per NPR:

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York Civil Liberties Union announced their intention to file lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security. DHS said this week that it will no longer allow New York state residents to sign up for popular programs intended to speed up international travel because of a state law that blocks immigration authorities from accessing motor vehicle records.

The Trump administration noted that the driver’s license law puts New York at risk.

“Here we have a state that was one of the targets on [Sept. 11] walking backwards to bar the sharing of law enforcement relevant information,” DHS secretary Ken Cuccinelli said Thursday on a call with reporters, “and crucially, criminal records, which are kept up to date in DMV databases.”

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