Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

WorldNetDaily brings us news that a federal judge has ruled that the Secret Service illegally seized gospel tracts from The Great News Network.  The tracts are made to look like a million dollar bill, which does not exist.

Judge says seizing ‘Million Dollar Bill’ tracts illegal

Tactics against Ray Comfort message brought ‘disrepute’ to law enforcement

Posted: March 31, 2010
11:50 pm EasternBy Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A federal judge has ruled the seizure of thousands of Gospel tracts from a Texas ministry by U.S. Secret Service agents not only was illegal, it violated Fourth Amendment protections against an overbearing and intrusive government.

The decision yesterday by Judge Jorge Solis of the Northern District of Texas came in the long-running dispute over a tract deliberately made to look like a $1 million bill.

The Million Dollar Bill tract was created by evangelist Ray Comfort, who also is author of “Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution,” and “You Can Lead An Atheist to Evidence, but You Can’t Make Him Think.”

“The Million Dollar Bill, taken as a whole, poses no reasonable risk of deceiving an honest, sensible, and unsuspecting person,” the judge wrote. “First and foremost is the fact that the Million Dollar Bill purports to be worth a million dollars. There is no genuine currency in this amount.

“Million” Dollar Bill tracts

“More importantly, the amount the bill purports to be worth would lead any unsuspecting, honest, and reasonable person to become suspicious of the [bill’s] genuineness. Though many people would readily accept a one-hundred dollar bill without thinking there was a need to even give the bill a cursory examination, a reasonable and honest person would suspect that a bill purporting to be worth a million dollars is not genuine.”

Further, the judge ruled that the agents who confiscated 83 packets of the Gospel tracts from the Denton, Texas, offices of the Great News Network violated the U.S. Constitution.

Solis noted that the agents went to the office and confronted workers, demanding the tracts. The workers told the agents ministry leader Darrel Rundus was the only person who could give them permission to take the privately owned property. Rundus had said he would cooperate if the agents got a warrant or a court order, which they had chosen not to do.

According to the court’s opinion, the agents then threatened arrest if the workers did not cooperate.

“Agent [Mickey] Kennedy was not subtle in the manner by which he implied that he was taking the Million Dollar Bills with him no matter what – even if it meant arresting Mr. [Timothy] Crawford in the process. The facts and circumstances surrounding Agent Kennedy’s statements to Mr. Crawford on June 2, 2006, leave no doubt that Mr. Crawford believed he would be arrested if he did not retrieve the Million Dollar Bills from the closed closet in which they were hidden out of the agents’ sight,” the judge ruled.

“Agent Kennedy’s coercive tactics not only resulted in an unconstitutional search and seizure, it also resulted in bringing disrepute to the noble profession of law enforcement,” Solis wrote.

Further, the judge concluded that the agents involved in the seizure later “conspired together to cover up the actual events that took place at GNN’s office.

“Agents Kennedy and [Erin] Erdman persisted in covering up these events by being untruthful when they took the witness stand during the bench trial for this case,” the judge concluded.

WND contacted Secret Service offices in Dallas and in Washington, but no one would comment on the case.

Rundus told WND he was pleased with the outcome, and his attorney, Steve Crampton, said he was pleased with the ruling, given the stonewalling and coverup that appeared to have taken place throughout the government’s case.

“Hopefully, they will go back and rethink their big-picture strategy,” Rundus said.

The tracts at issue invite a recipient to answer the “million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven?”

The case was brought on behalf of the Great News Network, which was distributing the tracts. Crampton argued the case on behalf of the Florida-based non-profit legal advocacy group Liberty Counsel.

The tracts clearly state they are not legal tender and contain the Gospel message.

They are published by the Living Waters ministry of evangelist and author Ray Comfort, who says he has distributed millions over the years.

Rundus sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for violations of the Constitution’s First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unlawful search and seizure. The judge wrote that because he decided the tracts are not illegal, he didn’t have to reach a conclusion whether the statutory provisions the government alleged were being violated were constitutional.Rundus has reported the tracts are extremely effective. He uses them to share his faith with others. While the front of the tract has markings similar to paper currency, it states “This bill is not legal tender,” “Thou Shalt Not Steal” and “Department of Eternal Affairs.”

The judge noted those are among the indicators, along with the biblical quotations, that would tip off a “reasonable” person, along with the fact there is no such bill.

The dispute arose when a North Carolina bank brought the bill to the attention of local Secret Service agents. The agents contacted the Dallas office, which dispatched agents to the GNN ministry offices.

The confiscation drew local news coverage:

“There is no reasonable risk that an unsuspecting, reasonable, and prudent person would accept the Million Dollar Bill as genuine U.S. currency,” the judge wrote.

The judge noted that government attorneys repeatedly tried to convince the court that it could be mistaken for real currency when viewed from a distance. But the judge wondered who would figure a $1 million bill – viewed from a distance – was real.

“The problem with the government’s argument is that it is impossible to believe that any reasonable person would accept a bill purporting to be worth a million dollars under the circumstances counsel for the government tried to create. … Any person that would accept a bill purporting to be worth a million dollars without holding it or at least looking at it from closer than five-feet away is not a reasonable person,” he said.

The Barack Obama “million” dollar bill tracts

Besides the original million-dollar tract, Comfort also now offers tracts featuring caricatures of celebrities and the image of President Obama. Another has President Lincoln, with the amount of $1 trillion.

“An easy tract to give out with all the talk about ‘trillions’ of dollars in the news,” says the description.

The million dollar tract bears the message: “The million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself – ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.”

A website called Prank Place says its currency for sale “looks and feels real. Great conversation tool. Our funny money and fake million dollar bills look just like real U.S. Currency. These are very high quality, designed by an incredibly talented artist. Our fake money make great gifts, additions to greeting cards, or even sales promotions and sales tools.”


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CNSNews has two different stories here and here saying that the lawsuits against the U.S. Government are about to begin as soon as Obama signs the health care legislation (H.R. 3590) into law.  The lawsuits are an attempt by States and other agencies to strike down the required health care insurance law in the latest bill.

Update (1/22 @13:29): Reuters reports that 11 Attorneys General are geared to sue the Government after it is signed.  The full story is at the bottom.

Health Care Legislation: Here Come the Lawsuits

Monday, March 22, 2010
By Susan Jones, Senior Editor

(CNSNews.com) – The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative civil liberties group, says it is preparing to file a federal lawsuit challenging the “flawed” health care package that passed the House 219-212 on Sunday night.

The law “fails the American people and does not provide permanent protections for the life of the unborn,” the group said in a Sunday night news release.

The ACLJ said it would file a lawsuit “soon” in federal court, challenging the forced mandate that penalizes Americans who choose not to participate in universal health care. “That is unconstitutional, and we believe ultimately it will be overturned by the courts,” it said.

“The fact remains that the actual health care bill just approved does fund abortion,” ACLJ said.

“Those self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats put their trust in an executive order — subject to being rescinded by the president — a move that is not only short-sighted but does not provide the guarantees and pro-life protections secured by statutory language in a law approved by Congress.”

Which President Obama do you believe? ACLJ asked: The president who repeatedly and publicly opposed the pro-life language in the earlier House-passed bill, or the president who now promises an Executive Order to secure the votes he needed to pass a very dangerous health care package?

ACLJ noted that an executive order “is not a legislative fix and does not carry the force of congressionally approved legislation.  It does not supersede law.  It can be rescinded.”

Another concern, the group said, is that the executive order promised by President Obama will put Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in charge of the funding process – and she is a cabinet member “who has a long and documented history of supporting abortion.”


Virginia Is First to Announce Lawsuit Over Health-Care Bill

Monday, March 22, 2010
By Bob Lewis, Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) – Less than eight hours after Congress passed sweeping healthcare reforms, Virginia’s Attorney General became the first to announce a legal challenge against it.

Republican Ken Cuccinelli said early Monday that he will file a court challenge against what he and other conservatives decry as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority.

Cuccinelli said he would file the lawsuit as soon as President Barack Obama signs the bill passed Sunday night into law.

Earlier this month, Virginia became the first state to finish legislative passage of a law that bucks any effort by President Barack Obama and an allied Democratic Congress to impose federal health care reform in the states.

Similar measures were filed or proposed in 34 other state legislatures.

Cuccinelli is expected to argue that the bill, with its mandate that requires nearly every American to be insured by 2014, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The attorney general’s office will file suit once President Barack Obama signs the bill into law, which could occur early this week.

“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,” Cuccinelli said in a statement Sunday night.

Word of the impending legal action came as the U.S. House debated late into the evening and passed the landmark reform legislation, 219-212.

Update from Reuters:

States launch lawsuits against healthcare plan

Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:21pm EDT
Opponents of the proposed U.S. health care bill are pictured  during a rally outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, March  21, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Less than 24 hours after the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping overhaul of healthcare, attorneys general from several states on Monday said they will sue to block the plan on constitutional grounds.

Republican attorneys general in 11 states warned that lawsuits will be filed to stop the federal government overstepping its constitutional powers and usurping states’ sovereignty.

States are concerned the burden of providing healthcare will fall on them without enough federal support.

Ten of the attorneys general plan to band together in a collective lawsuit on behalf of Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

“To protect all Texans’ constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation’s founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the State of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in a statement.

The Republican attorney generals say the reforms infringe on state powers under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who plans to file a lawsuit in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce to force people to buy insurance. The bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance, he added.

“If a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person by definition is not engaging in commerce,” Cuccinelli said in recorded comments. “If you are not engaging in commerce, how can the federal government regulate you?”

In addition to the pending lawsuits, bills and resolutions have been introduced in at least 36 state legislatures seeking to limit or oppose various aspects of the reform plan through laws or state constitutional amendments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

So far, only two states, Idaho and Virginia, have enacted laws, while an Arizona constitutional amendment is seeking voter approval on the November ballot. But the actual enactment of the bill by President Barack Obama could spur more movement on the measures by state lawmakers.

As is the case on the Congressional level, partisan politics is in play on the state level, where no anti-health care reform legislation has emerged in Democrat-dominated states like Illinois and New York, according to the NCSL.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican candidate running for governor, said the mandate would cost Florida at least $1.6 billion in Medicaid alone.

All states would receive extra funding to cover Medicaid costs that are expected to rise under the reform, including 100 percent federal coverage for new enrollees under the plan through 2016.

Medicaid is the healthcare program for the poor jointly administered by the states and federal government.

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CNSNews is reporting that Senator Kit Bond (R – Mo), the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that the Obama Administration is refusing to respond to requests for information regarding the terrorist attack on Ft. Hood.  “They just aren’t responding, “ said Senator Bond.

Administration ‘Just Not Responding’ to Questions on Fort Hood, Said Vice Chair of Senate Intel Committee

Thursday, February 11, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Kit Bond (R.-Mo.), the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, told bloggers on a conference call on Wednesday, Feb. 3, that the Obama administration still had not provided his committee with all the information it had requested on the November terrorist attack at Fort Hood in Texas.

“They still haven’t come through with all the information that we need,” Sen. Bond said.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R.-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, issued two statements in January complaining that the administration had not been forthcoming on information about the Fort Hood attack. Hoekstra also pointed to parallels between the Fort Hood attack and the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

On Nov. 5, Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly killed 13 people at a facility at Fort Hood. Hasan reportedly sent numerous emails to Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric now in Yemen who is believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Awlaki told a reporter for al-Jazeera last week that Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who tried to detonate a suicide bomb on Flight 253, was a student of his.

CNSNews.com asked Sen. Bond on the conference call whether he was satisfied that the administration had fully briefed members of the committee on what it has learned about the incident.

“We have taken a long time to draw it out and I think that we still have got lots more to learn about it,” said Sen. Bond. “It took a long time. They still haven’t come through with all the information that we need.”

CNSNews.com then asked Sen. Bond if he believed the administration was withholding information about the incident from members of the intelligence committee.

“Yes,” said Sen. Bond. “You know, as I said, I tried for a month and a half just to find what had previously been announced publicly, when I asked Director Blair what the recidivism rate was, and he had to wait until John Brennan released it–when they released it to blame Bush for it. That was right before the hearing was the first time we got it. So, yes, there have been problems in the past, but I think the problems are greater. The holding classified–some classified reports that the intelligence committee still has not received.”

Sen. Bond said the administration ought to provide the intelligence committee with a classified report on what it has learned about Maj. Hasan. “There are more questions we asked about the background information on Maj. Hasan. What they did, why they didn’t do it,” said Sen. Bond.  “They ought to give us a classified report on that. That would be step one.”

“And thus far, they have not responded to those questions?” CNSNews.com asked.

“No,” said Sen. Bond. “They just aren’t responding. “

In a Jan. 7 statement, Rep. Hoekstra pointed to parallels between the Nov. 5 Fort Hood attack and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 and said the administration needed to provide more information about Fort Hood to Congress and the public.

“It is striking that the same factors and actors involved in the Fort Hood attack seem to be at issue in the attempt to bring down a plane over the city of Detroit,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “I warned after the Fort Hood terrorist attack that we needed tough congressional oversight and hearings to understand the intelligence lapses that happened then to help prevent future attacks.

“The White House still has not shared its Fort Hood report with Congress or the public, but the one thing that seems clear is that the administration did little after it received the report on Nov. 30 of last year,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “Congress needs the analysis of both attacks to fully understand the shortcomings that need to be addressed to help prevent the next attack.

“The Obama administration’s go-it-alone approach after the Fort Hood attack did not work before and it will not work now,” said  Hoekstra. “We need tough, independent congressional oversight and hearings to determine the necessary tools, authorities and resources to address the gaps exposed by the Fort Hood and Detroit attacks, and so that our national security apparatus can be forward-leaning in its efforts to detect, disrupt and stop future attacks.”

Rep. Hoekstra visited Yemen on Jan. 1. In an opening statement to Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair at a Jan. 13 intelligence committee hearing on the attempted bombing of Flight 245, Rep. Hoekstra told the DNI that the administration had not been sharing sufficient information about the Fort Hood attack with Congress and that on his trip to Yemen the U.S. ambassador there had told him that he had been instructed by the administration not to inform the congressman of specific intelligence operations there. Rep. Hoekstra said this was the first time this had ever happened to him.

“Director Blair, you have repeatedly indicated your willingness to help in the process of congressional oversight, yet the White House continues to put up roadblocks and hurdles to prevent us from getting information or answers to even basic questions,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “I am on the public record for stating that I do not believe the problem is the Director of National Intelligence or the Intelligence Community, but is has been the absolute refusal of the Obama Administration to meet the requirement that Congress be kept fully and currently informed. Unfortunately, although I appreciate your efforts to keep us informed, the fact that the White House is directing you to do otherwise on critical national security issues is extraordinarily disappointing.”

“The smoking gun here was Fort Hood,” said Hoekstra. “The White House review on that attack was completed on November 30th. Despite our requests, the Administration has yet to brief us on the findings of that report. This is inexcusable and contradicts the many promises from you and the Intelligence Community to be brief us in a timely manner.

“What could we have learned in the wake of that terrorist attack that could have prevented this attack? There are striking similarities to both the Fort Hood attack and the attack aboard Flight 253,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “You’ve got the same actor, Awlaki, associated someway in both of these attacks.

“There appears to be a lack of urgency on part of this Administration,” said Rep. Hoekstra. “We need to be forward leaning in trying to figure out al-Qa’ida, and we can’t stop at the Fort Hood attack or the Flight 253 attack. This is about detecting, disrupting,
and preventing the next attack.

“In the first time ever, a U.S. Ambassador, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, stated he was directed by the Administration not to brief me on specific intelligence operations,”said Rep. Hoekstra. “Other embassy officials were given similar instructions.”

Here is a partial transcript of Sen. Kit Bond’s conference call with bloggers:

Terry Jeffrey: Sen. Bond, Congressman Hoekstra, who is the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, has complained that the administration has not been forthcoming in fully briefing him and Republicans on that committee, or members of that committee, on the results of its investigation of what went on with the Fort Hood shooting. Are you satisfied that the administration at this point has come forward and told members of the intelligence committee all that it knows and has fully briefed you and other committee members on that incident.

Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Kit Bond (R.-Mo.): I think that, you know, we have taken a long time to draw it out and I think that we still have got lots more to learn about it. It took a long time. They still haven’t come through with all the information that we need.

Jeffrey: Do you believe they are withholding information from members of the intelligence committee about what they know?

Sen. Bond: Yes. You know, as I said, I tried for a month and a half just to find what had previously been announced publicly, when I asked Director Blair what the recidivism rate was, and he had to wait until John Brennan released it–when they released it to blame Bush for it. That was right before the hearing was the first time we got it. So, yes, there have been problems in the past, but I think the problems are greater. The holding classified, some classified reports that the intelligence committee still has not received.

Jeffrey: What would you like to see the administration do now in terms of being forthcoming in informing people on the intelligence committee about Fort Hood? What do you want them to do?

Sen. Bond: There are more questions we asked about the background information on Maj. Hasan. What they did, why they didn’t do it.  They ought to give us a classified report on that. That would be step one.

Jeffrey: You asked for those, you asked those questions in writing, senator? Was that a letter that was sent to the director of national intelligence or someone in the administration?

Sen. Bond: We have asked them several times, and I can’t, I don’t have—I think in phone calls and in person, primarily.

Jeffrey: And thus far, they have not responded to those questions?

Sen. Bond: No. They just aren’t responding.

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CNSNews reports that Debra Medina, a Republican candidate for Texas Governor, has pretty much shot herself in the foot for the upcoming race by publicly questioning whether the U.S. Government played a role in the 9/11 attacks.  Rasmussen Reports shows Medina trails both Republican incumbent Rick Perry and contender Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the polls, but she has pulled ahead of the leading Democrat contender Bill White.

Texas Gov. Candidate Questions US Role in 9/11

Friday, February 12, 2010
By April Castro, Associated Press

Austin, Texas (AP) – A Republican gubernatorial candidate said Thursday she has questions about whether the U.S. government was involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks – a statement she swiftly backed away from and one that drew immediate criticism from her better-known rivals in the race.

Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison dismissed the comments made by Debra Medina on the Glenn Beck Show that there were “some very good arguments” that the U.S. was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I don’t have all of the evidence there, Glenn,” Medina said. “I think some very good questions have been raised. In that regard there’s some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there.”

Medina later released a statement saying she did not believe the government was involved in the attacks.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into those buildings on 9/11,” Medina said in the written statement. “I have not seen any evidence nor have I ever believed that our government was involved or directed those individuals in any way.”

Medina, Perry and Hutchison are battling for the GOP nomination. In recent weeks, Medina has surprised political observers by surging in public opinion polls and raising her profile in two televised debates.

Perry said Medina’s remarks “were an insult to the thousands of Americans who lost loved ones.” He countered that anyone “should be ashamed” for suggesting involvement by former President George W. Bush’s administration. Bush was Perry’s predecessor as Texas governor.

Hutchison stressed that it was “al-Qaida terrorists who declared war on America. To suggest otherwise is an affront to the men and women who are sacrificing their lives to root out the terrorists in Afghanistan and around the globe.”

Beck, who is influential among the Libertarian-leaning voters that Medina has attracted, said he had been flooded with mail since he announced she would be on the show. Medina said in the interview that she has not been questioning the attacks publicly.

“There was a theme that ran against you, and that is, you are a ‘9/11 Truther,'” Beck said, referring to the term given to people who doubt the official account of Sept. 11.

“While I don’t endorse anyone … I think I can write her off the list,” Beck said. “Let me take another look at Kay Bailey Hutchison if I have to. Rick, I think you and I could French kiss right now.”

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WorldNetDaily has a post detailing some of the proposed changed to Texas schoolbooks, including dropping some American heroes from the text and replacing them with more “progressive” ideas like dropping Christmas, Columbus Day, Independence Day, and removal of references to God in various places.

Look what they’re erasing from U.S. history!

American heroes could get swapped for hip-hop culture in textbooks

Posted: February 11, 2010
12:50 am Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A state board of only 15 people will vote on whether to revise U.S. textbooks to omit references to Daniel Boone, Gen. George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day and Christmas.

The Texas State Board of Education will also vote on a proposal to substitute the term “American” with “global citizen.”

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, is warning Americans to speak up before only eight people, with a majority vote, have a chance to literally rewrite American history.

He appeared on the “Huckabee Show” to explain why the board’s vote matters to the rest of America. Staver said Texas and California are the two largest textbook purchasers in the nation.

“Whatever textbooks they select affect the rest of the country because publishers publish those kinds of books, and the rest of the country follows,” he said.

But because of California’s budget crisis, the state hasn’t been able to purchase as many new textbooks, he explained. So the default is Texas.

“So when this 15-member board – eight people of that will make a majority – make a decision, it will affect the entire nation,” Staver said.

Those eight people could decide what children will learn in various other parts of the country.

According to Liberty Counsel, some of the suggestions that have come forward at various times include:

  • Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day and Christmas.
  • Including the cultural impact of hip-hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
  • Replacing the term “American” with “global citizen” – stating that students need to be shaped “for responsible citizenship in a global society” without any mention of citizenship in American society.
  • Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.

Staver said one proposal suggests the name of Nathan Hale, a patriot of the American Revolutionary War, be removed and replaced with the name of a man who invented fireman helmets. He also said one proposal suggests removal of references to Independence Day.

“Those are no good anymore,” Staver told Mike Huckabee. “America is looked at, not as some country that gave liberty and freedom to others around the world, but as a global villain.”

He warns, one proposal suggests take the Declaration of Independence and literally erasing God from its Preamble.

“A lot of the history – particularly religious history or patriotic history and American exceptionalism – all of that will simply be removed if people around the country don’t speak up,” he said.

Cynthia Dunbar, an elected member of the board and assistant professor at Liberty University School of Law, said, “James Madison warned us that when error is allowed to become steeped in precedent it leads to tyranny. If an erroneous view of our American heritage is allowed to stand, that view will be even more entrenched when we revisit this issue again in 10 years. Since the board consists of only 15 members, the decision of eight individuals may determine what goes into textbooks on a national level; it is crucial that the voices of patriotic Americans be heard.”

The board’s next meeting is in March, and the final reading and adoption of the social studies guidelines will be in May.

Note: Concerned individuals may call or fax board members or e-mail the Texas State Board of Education.

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CNSNews is reporting that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of a moment of silence in Texas public schools.

Moment of Silence Upheld in Texas Schools

Monday, March 16, 2009
By Staff, Associated Press
New Orleans (AP) – A federal appeals court panel has upheld a Texas law that calls for schoolchildren to have a moment of silence during which they can pray, reflect or meditate.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said Monday the moment of a silence is constitutional.

David and Shannon Croft sued on behalf of their three children over the moment of silence.

The suburban Dallas couple contended that including the word “pray” in the law was a way for lawmakers to advance religion in schools.

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Voting for a candidate is easy, but getting informed about each candidate’s values takes a bit more work.  Fortunately, the Free Market Foundation has done a lot of the work for you.  They offer a free voter’s guide for Texans that shows each candidate for federal and Texas state offices.  You can get them via mail, or you can download the PDF right from their site.  They won’t be able to give you information on local elections, so that’ll be up to you.

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