(TMU) — An Arizona Republican official is hoping to force children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, by law, unless they are explicitly excused from doing so by their parents.
Rep. John Fillmore of Apache Junction introduced House Bill 2017 late last month, which would require all K-12 students to stand for the daily pledge unless parents intervene to excuse them. Students would also be required to sit for at least one minute to engage in so-called “quiet reflection and moral reasoning.”
Schools in Arizona, like most across the nation, designate time for students to recite the pledge if they are so inclined. However, the law does not compel people to participate in such patriotic displays unless they choose to.
In 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in West Virginia that required students to stand for the pledge on the basis that it would violate the First Amendment’s requirement of free speech and religious freedom, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement of due process.
At the time, the Supreme Court issued an opinion declaring that “no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”
Gov. Doug Ducey, who is also a Republican, commented Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of any requirement for students to say the pledge, but he refrained from commenting on the pending legislation—simply commenting that he believes that reciting the pledge is “a great idea.”
According to the Arizona Republic, Ducey told reporters:
“I’m a fan of the Pledge of Allegiance … I would be hopeful that all of our kids, especially our kids in grade school, would begin each day with the pledge.”
However, when pressed on whether he would embrace a bill that would deny students who don’t believe in the pledge the right to refrain from reciting it, he gave a somewhat clearer response:
“No. I think of course, you have an option.
This is America … That’s why I’m not commenting on the bill. I’m commenting on the idea of saying the pledge, which is a good idea every day.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has repeatedly defended students’ right to refrain from reciting the pledge, has argued that the proposed law would violate students’ rights.
Various local governments and school districts have attempted to undermine the 1943 decision by punishing students who don’t say the pledge.
In 1998, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against a San Diego, California school district that required a dissenting student to stand silently for the pledge, exit the classroom, or face detention. The school district later settled out of court with the civil liberties group and changed its policy.
ACLU of Arizona spokeswoman Marcella Taracena told KTAR news that students themselves have the right to choose whether or not to recite the pledge. She said:
“You know, the Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that forcing students to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.
Requiring them to seek parent approval takes away that individual [First Amendment] right.
What if the student has conflicting views with the parent? What if the student is estranged? Or, what if they have opposing political views? This can really chill their speech because it’s requiring kids to seek that approval.”
In addition to HB 2017, Fillmore also filed 32 other bills including HB 2005, which would put a halt to education about intimate partner or domestic violence in schools, and filed HB 2022, which would prohibit schools from discussing the “economic and social implications” of environmental topics.
WATCH: Video Shows Bullets Fly as Armored Car Crew Narrowly Escapes Brutal Heist
Dramatic dash cam footage from Pretoria, South Africa, shows the moment that the crew of an armored car narrowly escaped an attempt by armed robes to stage a heist.
The shocking video shows a pair of private security officers transporting cash in a bulletproof Toyota truck on April 22 before they suddenly come under attack by armed assailants.
For the first minute of the roughly three-minute-long video, the security guards can be seen routinely driving down a highway.
The vehicle then comes under fire as bullets can be heard slamming into the driver side of the car, with the window by the driver’s side shattering.
The driver, who maintains his calm and composure during the attack, manages to escape amid the traffic. He also seems to slam into one of the two vehicles belonging to the attackers.
“They’re going to shoot. They’re going to f**king shoot,” the driver then says, urging his colleague to pull out the rifle and prepare to defend their lives.
As gunshots continue to ring out, the two drive silently as the tension builds. The driver then shouts to his colleague: “Phone Robbie, phone Josh! Ask them where they are.”
As the video ends, the driver can be seen stopping the vehicle and grabbing his colleague’s rifle. At that point, it becomes clear that the assailants have realized that their attack was futile they had already fled the scene.
“The suspects fired several shots at the [Cash-In-Transit] vehicle in an attempt to stop it during a high-speed chase,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo , reports News24.
“The driver of the CIT vehicle managed to evade the robbers for a while but later stopped in wait for the robbers,” Naidoo added. “The robbers fled without taking any money. No arrests have yet been made.”
Online users have praised the steel nerves of the armored car’s crew in navigating what could have been a deadly attack.
After Strong Backlash, NYPD Kicks Robotic Dog “Spot” to the Curb
The New York City Police Department decided this week to stop leasing a robotic dog from Boston Dynamics following a sustained outcry from residents and lawmakers, who denounced the use of the high-tech, four-legged device in low-income neighborhoods as a misallocation of public resources and violation of civil liberties.
When the NYPD acquired the K-9 machine last August, officials portrayed “Digidog”—the department’s name for the camera-equipped, 70-pound robot—as “a futuristic tool that could go places that were too dangerous to send officers,” the New York Times reported earlier this week.
Inspector Frank Digiacomo of the department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit said in a television interview in December: “This dog is going to save lives. It’s going to protect people. It’s going to protect officers.”
Instead—thanks to strong backlash from critics, including people who live in the Bronx apartment complex and the Manhattan public housing building where the robotic dog was deployed in recent weeks—the department is returning “Spot,” as Boston Dynamics calls the device, months earlier than expected.
According to the Times:
In response to a subpoena from City Councilman Ben Kallos and Council Speaker Corey Johnson requesting records related to the device, police officials said that a contract worth roughly $94,000 to lease the robotic dog from its maker, Boston Dynamics, had been terminated on April 22.
John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, confirmed on Wednesday that the contract had been canceled and that the dog had been returned to Boston Dynamics or would be soon.
Miller told the Times that the police had initially planned to continue testing the K-9 machine’s capabilities until August, when the lease had been scheduled to end.
“Robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response. “Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc. consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?”
And earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, footage of the robotic dog walking through a Manhattan public housing building went viral, sparking additional outrage and prompting a city council investigation.
“Why the hell do we need robot police dogs?” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) asked at the time.
While there are “people living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head, take care of their kids, afford child care—all this going on, and now we got damn robot police dogs walking down the street,” Bowman lamented.
Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who urged the police department to reconsider its use of the robot following objections from residents and lawmakers, said he was “glad the Digidog was put down.”
“It’s creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers,” Neidhardt said.
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons
Senate Intelligence Leaders Say Mystery “Sonic Weapon” Attacks on U.S. Officials Increasing
After it was revealed Thursday that US intelligence is investigating at least two potential “directed energy” sonic attacks on White House personnel – one of which is alleged to have happened just off White House grounds – the US Senate Intelligence Committee weighed in on Friday, saying such mysterious incidents appear to be happening with greater frequency worldwide.
Senators Mark Warner (D) and Marco Rubio (R) agreed that such microwave energy attacks have gone on for “nearly five years” and have targeted “US government personnel in Havana, Cuba and elsewhere around the world.” In a joint statement the two ranking members said, “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this,” according to Reuters.
As with the late 2016 into 2017 ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks in which some 50 diplomatic personnel reported experiencing strange symptoms from vomiting to concussions to extreme nausea to chronic headaches, which was believed the result of some kind of undetected ‘directed energy’ weapon, the most recent incidents saw media reports speculate that Russia or China might be behind them.
It was starting last week that the mysterious incidents returned to national media spotlight after defense officials said they believe Russia is likely behind microwave energy weapon attacks on US troops in northeast Syria. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting”flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reported that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”
Despite instances of strange symptoms and even head injuries experienced by diplomatic personnel or troops abroad, no “energy weapon” has ever been found or uncovered that’s believed to have caused any of these alleged attacks. Most often US personnel report the symptoms enough time after the alleged attack took place for the “plot” and culprit to remain undetected. Naturally this has resulted in immense skepticism and pushback.
One deeply critical response to all the reporting late this week quipped: “Another day, another mostly anonymously sourced story about unidentified assailants supposedly assaulting U.S. government employees around the globe. This time, according to CNN, federal agencies are looking into something closer to home: symptoms suffered by a White House employee in Virginia and National Security Council staffer near the south lawn of the White House.”
“Although a government report later concluded the most likely cause was instead some sort of ‘directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy’ (i.e. a microwave weapon), that conclusion was primarily based on a lack of evidence for other causes and received strong pushback from many others in the scientific community.”
The commentary in Gizmodo pointed out further that “No hard evidence of any kind for the technology has ever been publicly presented by the US government. Reports citing government officials who suspect Russian intelligence to be involved have largely been anonymous and buoyed primarily by rumors the Russian government may have resumed Soviet-era research into experimental weapons.”
Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission
News4 days ago
WATCH: Video Shows Bullets Fly as Armored Car Crew Narrowly Escapes Brutal Heist
Corruption6 days ago
Scientists Horrified as Over 27,000 Leaking Barrels of Toxic DDT Discovered on Seafloor Near LA
News6 days ago
Huge California Fire Last Year Was Arson Meant to Conceal Woman’s Murder, Officials Say
News2 weeks ago
Musk: “Honestly, a Bunch of People Will Probably Die” During SpaceX Mars Mission