Florida Teacher Suspended Five Days For Forcing Fourth Grader to Recite Pledge of Allegiance: “If you can’t put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country”

"restrictions apply"Anne Daigle-McDonald, a middle
school teacher in Spring Hill, Florida, was suspended for five
days, without pay, for trying to physically force a fourth grade
Jehovah’s Witness to recite the pledge of allegiance on September
11. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is against their faith to pledge
allegiance to temporal powers, or the objects that represent them,
and the child had never recited the pledge of allegiance in class
before. Nevertheless, on 9/11 Daigle-McDonald apparently wanted to
teach him what America means. Via
the Tampa Bay Times:

As the students recited, teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald
took the boy’s wrist and placed his hand over his heart. He
protested, pulling his arm down, and reminded her he was a
Jehovah’s Witness.

“You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,”
Daigle-McDonald said, according to a statement the boy gave to a
school administrator.

The next day, Daigle-McDonald again placed the boy’s hand over his
heart.

She then addressed the class.

“In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says
that you can’t do the pledge,” several students told a school
administrator, according to a report. “If you can’t put your hand
on your heart, then you need to move out of the country.”

The fourth-grader, of course, likely knows a lot more about his own
religion than his teacher does.

A 2005 DOJ
memo
on the constitutionality of the Postal Service’s oath of
office does explain the government’s belief that a requirement to
“affirm” (but not “swear”) an oath to the Constitution does not
violate religious belief, largely because it “requires only that a
person abide by the nation’s constitutional system of government
and its laws.”

Daigle-McDonald, who sounds like an ignoramus, was probably not
referring to this, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in fact, were among
the first Americans to object to “the contradiction inherent in a
compulsory oath lauding individual liberty,” as Greg Beato
wrote
for Reason in 2010. The Jehovah’s Witnesses
efforts against the mandatory pledge culminated in a 1940 Supreme
Court decision, Minersville v. Gobitis, that ruled schools
could force Jehovah’s Witnesses to recite the pledge. The decision,
Beato notes, was followed by tar and featherings, public beatings,
and even the castration of one Jehovah’s Witness in Nebraska. The
plainly wrong decision was overturned by the Supreme Court just
three years later.

Today, young children are largely free to decline to pledge
allegiance to the flag, except when, for example, they’re being
bullied by their teachers. Now, the fight over the pledge of
allegiance is over the inclusion of the phrase “under God,” added
in the 1950s. Ronald Bailey wrote about the recent skirmishes in
that battle, and how it squares with a statute-mandated “voluntary”
pledge in the first place, which you can
read here
, and read Greg Beato’s “Face the Flag” on the history
of the pledge of allegiance, penned by a Christian Socialist who
believed in forcible wealth redistribution, here.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/florida-teacher-suspended-five-days-for
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Toronto Mayor Admits Smoking Crack, Rand Paul Addresses Lack of Citing in Works, Works with McConnell on National Right-to-Work Law: P.M. Links

  • Won't somebody think of the regulations?The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford,
    has finally admitted to
    smoking crack
    , probably in a “drunken stupor” (his actual
    words). He says he is not an addict and is refusing calls to
    resign.
  • In the wake of his
    plagiarism scandal
    , Sen. Rand Paul acknowledged that anecdotes
    in his material had not been properly “sourced and vetted” and will
    be implementing a new process.
  • In other Paul-related news, he’s working with fellow Sen. Mitch
    McConnell to try to append
    national right-to-work legislation
    to the Employment
    Non-Discrimination Act.
  • A
    New Jersey couple is suing
    over the state’s ban of therapy to
    try to turn gay kids straight, saying it denies their right to seek
    treatment for their teen son.
  • Officials in Eastvale, Calif., are going door-to-door checking

    dog licenses
    to
    justify their expensive contract with the county
    in response
    to complaints about loose dogs.
  • The latest
    limp White House defense
    of the Obamacare disaster and the
    president’s untruthful statements about citizens being able to keep
    their insurance policies is that Barack Obama lacks the ability to
    go back in time and not say those things.

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/toronto-mayor-admits-smoking-crack-rand
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Peter Suderman on How Obama Relied on False Hope to Sell Obamacare

When
the October launch of Obamacare’s online insurance portals went
disastrously awry, the Obama administration had a handy
communications strategy ready: Distract people with false hope. On
October 21, as the online federal exchange system at the heart of
President Obama’s health law entered its third week of widespread
failures, the president gave a televised speech in which he
admitted that there were “kinks in the system,” but also insisted
that the exchange problems could be worked around, because the
online insurance portals weren’t the only way to enroll in
coverage. “While the website will ultimately be the easiest way to
buy insurance through the marketplace, it isn’t the only way,”
he said. “I want to emphasize this….you can still buy the same
quality affordable insurance plans available on the marketplace the
old-fashioned way, offline—either over the phone or in person.” The
application process, Obama said, would only take about 25 minutes
for an individual. As workarounds go, it was appealing enough. But,
writes Reason Senior Editor Peter Suderman, it was also basically
useless. 

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/peter-suderman-on-how-obama-relied-on-fa
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Cop Cleared After Killing Mentally Disabled Double Amputee Wielding a Pen

A police officer has been cleared of charges after fatally
shooting a man who was mentally disabled, a double amputee and
at the time of the shooting was wielding only a ballpoint pen.

Houston Police Officer Matthew Marin did not violate police
procedure in the shooting of Brian Claunch, a 45-year-old
man who had paranoid schizophrenia and used a wheelchair, said
Police Chief Charles McClelland on Oct. 24, according to local
radio station News 92FM.


Read full story at The Huffington Post
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/cop-cleared-after-killing-mentally-disab
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Virginia Governor’s Election Today: Mother Jones Attacks Dem McAuliffe, and Reason Roundup on Libertarian Sarvis

Even if Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins today’s Virginia
governor’s race, the
generally Democrat-friendly Mother Jones will be
disappointed
. Reporter Stephanie Mencimer has covered him since
the 1990s and she is:

dumbfounded that he (according to the polls) is poised to
become the next governor of Virginia.

Allow me to explain. McAuliffe represents an unseemly slice
of Washington. His primary role in politics for the past two
decades or more has been raising money—most notably, for the
Clintons. He cooked up the idea of essentially renting out the
Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration as a fundraising
vehicle, and he smashed all previous presidential fundraising
records in the process. When McAuliffe was the Dems’ top
fundraiser, a campaign finance scandal besieged the Clinton White
House. Coincidence? No. McAuliffe was all about pushing the
envelope when it came to the political money-chase.

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful
political candidate. What’s diff#mce_temp_url#erent
about McAuliffe is his brazen mixing of his campaign
fundraising activity and attempts to enrich himself
personally. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals
have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not
because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled
history has linked him to a long list of unsavory
characters. 

The rest of the story details many of those specific unsavory
associations.

In other Virginia race news, revisit various Reason
pieces examining surprisingly high-polling Libertarian candidate
Robert Sarvis, including hopes that he can cause permanent breaks
in Virginia’s crummily choiceless party system from
Ronald Bailey
and
Skip Oliva
, Nick Gillespie’s
stirring defense of Sarvis
from accusations of allegedly
stealing votes from a somehow worthwhile Republican, my
interview with Sarvis
from last month, and Scott Shackford on
polls indicating
that if he’s “stealing” votes from anyone
, it’s McAuliffe, not
GOPer Ken Cuccinelli.

Advertise
on MotherJones.com

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful
political candidate. What’s different about McAuliffe is
his brazen mixing of his campaign fundraising activity and attempts
to enrich himself
personally. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals
have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not
because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled
history has linked him to a long list of unsavory
characters. 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/virginia-governors-election-today-mother
via IFTTT

Virginia Governor's Election Today: Mother Jones Attacks Dem McAuliffe, and Reason Roundup on Libertarian Sarvis

Even if Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins today’s Virginia
governor’s race, the
generally Democrat-friendly Mother Jones will be
disappointed
. Reporter Stephanie Mencimer has covered him since
the 1990s and she is:

dumbfounded that he (according to the polls) is poised to
become the next governor of Virginia.

Allow me to explain. McAuliffe represents an unseemly slice
of Washington. His primary role in politics for the past two
decades or more has been raising money—most notably, for the
Clintons. He cooked up the idea of essentially renting out the
Lincoln bedroom during the Clinton administration as a fundraising
vehicle, and he smashed all previous presidential fundraising
records in the process. When McAuliffe was the Dems’ top
fundraiser, a campaign finance scandal besieged the Clinton White
House. Coincidence? No. McAuliffe was all about pushing the
envelope when it came to the political money-chase.

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful
political candidate. What’s diff#mce_temp_url#erent
about McAuliffe is his brazen mixing of his campaign
fundraising activity and attempts to enrich himself
personally. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals
have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not
because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled
history has linked him to a long list of unsavory
characters. 

The rest of the story details many of those specific unsavory
associations.

In other Virginia race news, revisit various Reason
pieces examining surprisingly high-polling Libertarian candidate
Robert Sarvis, including hopes that he can cause permanent breaks
in Virginia’s crummily choiceless party system from
Ronald Bailey
and
Skip Oliva
, Nick Gillespie’s
stirring defense of Sarvis
from accusations of allegedly
stealing votes from a somehow worthwhile Republican, my
interview with Sarvis
from last month, and Scott Shackford on
polls indicating
that if he’s “stealing” votes from anyone
, it’s McAuliffe, not
GOPer Ken Cuccinelli.

Advertise
on MotherJones.com

That alone might not be enough to render him a distasteful
political candidate. What’s different about McAuliffe is
his brazen mixing of his campaign fundraising activity and attempts
to enrich himself
personally. Many of McAuliffe’s business deals
have come about due to his place in the political cosmos, not
because he possesses a wealth of business skill. That tangled
history has linked him to a long list of unsavory
characters. 

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/virginia-governors-election-today-mother
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Gallup: President Obama’s Approval Hits a 52-Week Low

Obama approval November 5, 2013Maybe it’s not
just Obamacare.
Maybe NSA spying
revelations,
rough treatment of critical journalists
, a
lack of transparency
, and other presidential foibles have also
played a role. However it breaks down, though, Gallup reports that
President Barack Obama’s
approval rating
now stands at 39 percent, which is the lowest
it’s been in the past year. It’s also only one point higher than
his all-time low, which he hit October 14-16, 2011. That’s a bit of
a tumble from the early hopey-dreamy period, when he scored 69
percent in January 2009. Oh, how jaded we’ve all become. Our once
shiny, new president has lost our favor. Well…Maybe he actually
pushed the favor away.

Interestingly, Gallup has a tool that allows you to compare
approval ratings over time among presidents. It seems that
Americans have become a bit tougher on national chief executives
than was once the case. Of course, we’re probably a bit less naive,
and more knowledgeable of their flaws than we used to be, too. How
does the current guy stack up? Well, Obama may rank generally lower
than his predecessor (and let’s concede that 9/11 gave George W.
Bush an early advantage, public-perception-wise) though it’s
practically a dead heat this far into their administrations, but he
at least pulls greater support at this point relative
to…(drumroll, please)…Richard M. Nixon.

Obama vs Nixon vs Bush

So…He has that going for him.

Of course, approval rating or no, we’re stuck with the guy.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/gallup-president-obamas-approval-hits-a
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Gallup: President Obama's Approval Hits a 52-Week Low

Obama approval November 5, 2013Maybe it’s not
just Obamacare.
Maybe NSA spying
revelations,
rough treatment of critical journalists
, a
lack of transparency
, and other presidential foibles have also
played a role. However it breaks down, though, Gallup reports that
President Barack Obama’s
approval rating
now stands at 39 percent, which is the lowest
it’s been in the past year. It’s also only one point higher than
his all-time low, which he hit October 14-16, 2011. That’s a bit of
a tumble from the early hopey-dreamy period, when he scored 69
percent in January 2009. Oh, how jaded we’ve all become. Our once
shiny, new president has lost our favor. Well…Maybe he actually
pushed the favor away.

Interestingly, Gallup has a tool that allows you to compare
approval ratings over time among presidents. It seems that
Americans have become a bit tougher on national chief executives
than was once the case. Of course, we’re probably a bit less naive,
and more knowledgeable of their flaws than we used to be, too. How
does the current guy stack up? Well, Obama may rank generally lower
than his predecessor (and let’s concede that 9/11 gave George W.
Bush an early advantage, public-perception-wise) though it’s
practically a dead heat this far into their administrations, but he
at least pulls greater support at this point relative
to…(drumroll, please)…Richard M. Nixon.

Obama vs Nixon vs Bush

So…He has that going for him.

Of course, approval rating or no, we’re stuck with the guy.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/gallup-president-obamas-approval-hits-a
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Men Aren’t Paying For Sex Anymore Because the Internet Makes Free Sex Easy

Paying for sex may become a
thing of the past, and the Internet could be the cause. A
nationally representative survey suggests that the percentage of
men who pay money for sex, or get paid, is at its lowest point on
record.

The numbers come from the General Social Survey
(GSS), a massive, decades-long project of the independent National
Opinion Research Center (NORC). The Los Angeles Times

reports
some of the most interesting facts:

In a string of surveys between 1991 and 1996, nearly 17% of men
said they had ever paid for or received payment for sex; that fell
to 13.2% between 2006 and 2012. Last year, that number hit the
lowest point since the question was first asked — 9.1% — though
statisticians caution the unusually small number could be a
fluke.

The survey drew no distinction between buying and selling sex,
but men are widely assumed to be customers far more often than they
are sellers.

The numbers seem to be shifting with the generations: Older men
are much more likely to say they have bought or sold sex at some
point in their lives. Younger men, in turn, have been less likely
to report doing so than men of the same ages a few decades ago.

[…]

The sweeping survey, funded principally by the National Science
Foundation, has questioned more than 57,000 Americans since 1972.
Nearly 11,000 men have answered the question about paying or being
paid for sex since it was first asked in 1991.

The question is: Why? A range of possibilities exist,
from fear of AIDS to changing dynamics in the military. Another
possibility the Times points to is that the Internet makes
it so easy to get off for free.

The scale and
scope
of online dating and the niche-conducive culture of the
web make finding sexual partners easier than ever. As BuzzFeed

points out
, “ugly schmucks,” diaper-fetishists, and even people
with mullets have their own Web sites to find like-minded
mates.

For those not into commitment to other people, the Internet’s
endless terabytes of free, instantaneously accessible pornography
satisfies the appetite. As an added bonus, statistics have
shown for years
that there is a correlation between the rise of
porn and the fall of sexual crimes.

Although most Americans have a negative outlook about our
collective moral well-being, as Nick Gillespie
suggests
in “Society is Coarser But Better,” the growing
ubiquity of porn (and the relaxing of other taboos) is a pretty
good trade-off for a society in which “youth violence, sex, and
drug use are all trending down.” The GSS data indicates something
even better. Consenting adults do not need to make a trade-off; The
goods they want simply became more freely available.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/men-arent-paying-for-sex-anymore-because
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Men Aren't Paying For Sex Anymore Because the Internet Makes Free Sex Easy

Paying for sex may become a
thing of the past, and the Internet could be the cause. A
nationally representative survey suggests that the percentage of
men who pay money for sex, or get paid, is at its lowest point on
record.

The numbers come from the General Social Survey
(GSS), a massive, decades-long project of the independent National
Opinion Research Center (NORC). The Los Angeles Times

reports
some of the most interesting facts:

In a string of surveys between 1991 and 1996, nearly 17% of men
said they had ever paid for or received payment for sex; that fell
to 13.2% between 2006 and 2012. Last year, that number hit the
lowest point since the question was first asked — 9.1% — though
statisticians caution the unusually small number could be a
fluke.

The survey drew no distinction between buying and selling sex,
but men are widely assumed to be customers far more often than they
are sellers.

The numbers seem to be shifting with the generations: Older men
are much more likely to say they have bought or sold sex at some
point in their lives. Younger men, in turn, have been less likely
to report doing so than men of the same ages a few decades ago.

[…]

The sweeping survey, funded principally by the National Science
Foundation, has questioned more than 57,000 Americans since 1972.
Nearly 11,000 men have answered the question about paying or being
paid for sex since it was first asked in 1991.

The question is: Why? A range of possibilities exist,
from fear of AIDS to changing dynamics in the military. Another
possibility the Times points to is that the Internet makes
it so easy to get off for free.

The scale and
scope
of online dating and the niche-conducive culture of the
web make finding sexual partners easier than ever. As BuzzFeed

points out
, “ugly schmucks,” diaper-fetishists, and even people
with mullets have their own Web sites to find like-minded
mates.

For those not into commitment to other people, the Internet’s
endless terabytes of free, instantaneously accessible pornography
satisfies the appetite. As an added bonus, statistics have
shown for years
that there is a correlation between the rise of
porn and the fall of sexual crimes.

Although most Americans have a negative outlook about our
collective moral well-being, as Nick Gillespie
suggests
in “Society is Coarser But Better,” the growing
ubiquity of porn (and the relaxing of other taboos) is a pretty
good trade-off for a society in which “youth violence, sex, and
drug use are all trending down.” The GSS data indicates something
even better. Consenting adults do not need to make a trade-off; The
goods they want simply became more freely available.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/men-arent-paying-for-sex-anymore-because
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