Daily Archives: December 27, 2010

Rees Lloyd: Oregonian "PolitifFact” Report Not Even "Barely True"

Free for the kids $1.75 adults!
After receipt of an e-mail from Portland Schools informing me that West Sylvan School  would be providing $1.75 breakfasts to non-needy adults –including, of course, non-needy teachers, administrators, and other education staff or bureaucrats – and $1 breakfasts to non-needy students, and not just free breakfasts to needy kids, I wrote an objection on Victoria Taft’s Blog to this breakfast give-away to the non-needy by the liberal progressives running Portland Schools—the same liberal progressives who want citizens to go into further debt by voting for a $548-million bond issue come May.
 
Among other things, I pointed out that aside from cavalierly spending taxpayer funds to subsidize breakfasts for non-needy adults, the invitation –“Come hungry! – on its face, had no limitation whatsoever as to who or which adults were to enjoy these taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts in taxpayer-paid schools
 
In response to the post on Victoria Taft’s Blog, the Oregonian, ever willing to cover up or gloss over the arrogant misuse of public funds by their-fellow liberal progressives in the Education Establishment,  liberal “good intentions” excusing a myriad of wrongs, on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, published a “PolitiFact” column headlined “Take school breakfast rant (sic) with a grain of salt,” written by Janie Har, rating my “rant” to be “Barely True,”  while, in fact, proving in the body of the report, evidence that everything I wrote on Victoria Taft’s blog is true.
 
First, it is absolutely and indisputably true that the Portland Schools in fact is providing, commencing on Jan. 3, 2011, as set forth in the Portland Schools invitation (see below), breakfasts for non-needy adults at $1.75,  and at $1 for non-needy students.
 
Second, it is absolutely true that Portland Public Schools announcement and invitation contains absolutely no limitation as to which adults are going to receive the benefit of this new taxpayer-subsidized “breakfast” benefit. Here it is in its entirety, as originally published on the Victoria Taft Blog.
 

“Dear West Sylvan parents and staff,
“Starting January 3rd, 2011, we will be serving a hot and cold breakfast in the hallway outside of the cafeteria at 8:30 am every Monday, as well as days when there is no break.  Please visit Ana, the kitchen lead, in the hall to pick up your delicious and nutritious breakfast.  We will continue to offer cold breakfast during your normal breakfast time at 8:30 am and hot breakfast at your normal scheduled break at 10:35 am  Tuesday through Friday.  Breakfast is only $1.00 for students, $1.75 for adults and free for all students on reduced or free priced meals.  Your breakfast will meet 1/4 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for children for many vitamins and nutrients and will include a juice, milk and entree, so come hungry!  Please remember you can put money on your child’s account at mylunchmoney.com or bring a check or cash to the cafeteria.” [Boldface emphasis supplied.]
 

It is signed by Kristin Palmer, RD, Program Manager, Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services, Office: 503.916.3572 I Cell: 971.227.3463 kpalmer@pps.k12.or.us., and forwarded by Cate Boyce, Principal.
 
I respectfully suggest there is nothing whatsoever in this notice to advise taxpayers that some adults will receive the cheap breakfast benefit, and others will not. That could very well be because I do not believe that the Public School Progressive Bureaucrats can, legally, pick and choose which non-needy adults can receive the benefit of taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts in city schools.
 
As to what the notice states, I am a lawyer (forgive me that). Every court or administrative adjudicative body in the nation determines what a document means by what it states, i.e., the words of the document. It’s called the “Best Evidence Rule,”  i.e., a document speaks for itself. An attempt to testify what the person who wrote it may have intended it to mean but didn’t include in the document, is irrelevant.  But that non-evidence is what the Oregonian relies on to attempt to persuade the public  that the Portland Schools taxpayer-subsidized give-away breakfast program for non-needy adults and students which the Victoria Taft Blog is not open to all non-needy adults who may want a cheap taxpayer-subsidized breakfast.
 
Alas, it is absolutely true, not barely true, that the invitation to $1.75 taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts for non-needy adults inside a public school does not have, on its face, any limitation on what adults are to receive that generous government benefit. Period. The Oregonian, and Janie Har, want to gloss that by asserting it was addressed only to West Sylvan teachers, administrators, staff, students, and their parents. Really? Where in the body of the invitation does it say that only those persons, among all adults, are to receive this government benefit? It doesn’t.
 
Further, how can the Portland Schools decide they will provide this benefit to one group of citizens (or non-citizens) at one school (if that is what is happening), and not all schools? Will the Albina Ministerial Alliance be pleased to learn they aren’t going to be eating $1.76 breakfasts while the Mercedes-Audi-Beamer-driving parents of West Sylvan students will? 
 
Why are non-needy kids at West Sylvan going to get “$1” breakfasts, and not all non-needy kids?
 
I asked Oregonian reporter Janie Har to ask the Portland Schools just what statutory or constitutional authority exists to legally support the provision of $1.75 breakfasts to non-needy adults and $1 breakfasts to non-needy students. The Oregonian’s “Not Even Barely True” purported “PolitiFact” by Janie Har doesn’t even mention this very critical issue. There may be a good reason for the silence of the Oregonian and the Portland Schools on this issue: There is no statutory authority of which I am aware for the Portland Schools to provide taxpayer-subsidized meals to non-needy adults in Portland schools. 
 
Even if there was such legal authority, it could not authorize the provision of such a benefit to some adults, and not others.
 
In short,  taxpayer-subsidized schools should not be advertising to non-needy parents or any adults to “Come hungry!” for taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts, lunches, or dinners, in school facilities paid for by taxpayers. Exposed as the folly that it is, the Portland Schools should rescind it. That’s what I told the Oregonian, and that’s what it should have said, instead of trying to find a way to justify  their co-liberal progressives in the Portland Schools bureaucracy.
 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Islamophobia Runs Rampant in PDX; Commissioner Claims Two Assaults of Muslims in Portland

Nov 25th attempted bombing, Nov 28th fire at mosque, Nov 30th announcement of healing meeting to get rid of Portland’s Islamaphobia
Dec 3 Fritz claims two assaults against Muslims

Portland City Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, claims that in the days after the arrest of accused terrorist, Mohamad Mohamud (Mo Mo),  two Muslim students were assaulted. Both victims were students: one an elementary school student and one a PSU student. Fritz claims the incidents were related to her while on a visit to the Islamic Center of Portland on December 3rd. This mosque is in her neighborhood and the same one which counted a younger Mo Mo as an adherent. This mosque, as we have pointed out, also turned out seven other convicted terrorists in the past few years (see here).
Here’s what Fritz wrote a 5th Listener:

I visited the mosque for two hours on Friday, to talk with my neighbors about
how they are doing.  They are scared.  One woman reported her grade school child
was spit upon.  Another young lady told me a man pushed her and yelled at her
while she was waiting for a bus home from PSU, where she is in school. 

See the email below.
Tolerant Portland, Oregon is churning out students who push others and kids who spit at others because they’re Muslim? Hmmm. I suppose it could happen.
But just days after these incidents were related to Fritz we see this being offered at the tolerant Rainbow City Council:

Most Americans are struggling to understand what separates — and what links — Islam, Islamism and Jihadism.
http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2010/09/18/opinion/doc4c957b7c3c7e0310084254.txt?viewmode=default

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/12/08/the_islamophobia_myth/

“We look forward to learning, exploring, and dialoguing with you about Islam, the Muslim and Somali American experience, Islamophobia in Portland and the U.S., and how we can effectively counter it.
I know how we can counter it: get their people to stop trying to blow us up and getting that imam over there at Islamic Center of Portland to knock off the violent jihad talk.
But that’s just me, I guess.


From: Piazza, Vittoria
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:17 PM
To: Citywide All Employees Distribution List
Subject: Islam in Portland – A Timely Dialogue
Islam in Portland:
An Open Dialogue
Wednesday, December 1st
Noon to 1:30 PM
Portland Building, 2nd Floor, Auditorium
 
An Open Dialogue with:
Muna Abshir Mohamud
Peace Building Programs
Office of Human Relations
Building Peace. Ending Discrimination.
In light of recent events, Diverse and Empowered Employees (DEEP) and the Office of Human Relations (OHR) invite you to an open dialogue being held tomorrow at the auditorium at 12-1:30pm for city employees.
The dialogue will be used as a safe space where we seek to understand, find commonalities, and share our experiences.  We look forward to learning, exploring, and dialoguing with you about Islam, the Muslim and Somali American experience, Islamophobia in Portland and the U.S., and how we can effectively counter it.
For more information, please contact DEEP at deep@portlandoregon.gov.

Tori Piazza
DEEP ~ Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland
City of Portland

From: Commissioner Fritz <amanda@portlandoregon.gov&gt;
To: L***********@yahoo.com
Sent: Sun, December 5, 2010 11:04:59 PM
Subject: RE: Islamic Center of Portland  /  Mohamed Osman Mohamud
Dear *****,
Thank you for your message.  The Islamic Center of Portland mosque and school is
in my neighborhood.  Children of Muslim families attended school with my
children at the elementary and middle schools in the neighborhood.  I know many
of the people attending the mosque and living in the neighborhood.  They are
nice people.  They are my neighbors.  I recognize what you read about and see on
the news is scary.  It was scary for them when their sister mosque in Corvallis
was fire-bombed.  If you were to get to know the mosque attendees as neighbors,
you would see as I do that they are people who share the American dream and
subscribe to American values. 
I visited the mosque for two hours on Friday, to talk with my neighbors about
how they are doing.  They are scared.  One woman reported her grade school child
was spit upon.  Another young lady told me a man pushed her and yelled at her
while she was waiting for a bus home from PSU, where she is in school.  This
young woman is maybe 19 years old, maybe 100 pounds, maybe five feet tall.  Not
a threatening person, and minding her own business when this happened.  She
recognized people are scared – she said she would like to be able to get home
from school safely, that’s all.  The people at the mosque are horrified about
what the young man may have done.  He is, of course, innocent until proven
guilty, as an American citizen.  So is whoever fire-bombed the mosque in
Corvallis.  No country or culture has a monopoly on peace or on doing outrageous
things.  To me the more important issue is how we can work together as
neighbors, coming from a variety of backgrounds to uphold the land of the free
and the home of the brave – no matter where we were born, or the way we
worship. 
Our founding fathers put freedom of religion into the Bill of Rights.  I believe
that is no less important today than when it first became the law of the land.
Sincerely,
Amanda
Amanda Fritz
Commissioner, City of Portland
To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City
of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary
aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-2036, TTY 503-823-6868
with such requests or visit http://www.portlandonline.com/ADA_Forms

Portland Somali Community: Concerned About Other Muslim Youth

We’re grateful the Somali community is pulling the fire alarm on some of their youth
is that something you know about and how do you plan to deal with it?
His answer?

 Some of the friends said they attended mosque and studied the Koran with Mohamed at the Islamic Learning Center in Southwest Portland. A few said they have known him since elementary school and classes at Jackson Middle School. KATU

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10334-Sw-Ridgeview-Ln_Portland_OR_97219_M17457-39633
“Well, first off, actions of this individual, he’s being held accountable, there are difficult times for the youth in this nation, we have the highest youth unemployment rate in US history, we’ve got schools that are failing to achieve academically, the way we would want, we have tuition being increased exponentially in universities and colleges. That doesn’t excuse the criminal acts, don’t get me wrong, but it does explain when you add to the fact that alot of Somali Americans come from a place that has been in civil war for about 20 years, you do see the vulnerability of Somali youth locally and across the nation.
Is the city’s job to reach out to these?
Not only is it government’s job, not only the police bureau’s job it’s all of our collective  responsibility to make sure our youth have the opportunities afforded us when were the same age

on the jttf:
“you know it’s been five years since we last revisited the issue, I think that this particular event calls for a revisit, I also think that it’s been four or five years since we last looked at the policy, our status… I want to do a fact based review what’s best for Portland and what’s going to make Portland safe.

new white house and now you’re thinking about jttf. is this a political decision or..about safety?
“no when we last looked at this issue there were a series of federal policies and laws in place that meant people could be wiretappedwithout court oversight for issuing a warrant without a real normal probable cause in place. I voted against continuing in the JTTF at the time because I was concerned about our basic civil rights, I think that’s important. We have a new administration, we different local leadership in the FBI and the US Attorneys office it gives me more comfort, more trust but I still want to look at what federal laws are in place and make sure that we’re effective at preventing terrorist acts like this and the police bureau was a part of this partnership but also doing it in a way that respects state law and respects the values of this community.”

security at the square what changes are being made
“People should feel a level of confidence that because the patience and persistence and length of time that the law enforcement partnership put in to this particular incident that there’s no indication that  this individual in any sort of group effort he acted on his own and he chose the tree lighting ceremony as a target of opportunity but it doesn’t appear that there’s any evidence that it’s some sort of ideological focus on Portland. Having said that though, we’ve beefed up patrols… not only downtown to prevent any copy cat efforts, but also to reassure people. And we’ve also beefed up patrols around facilities like mosques and other place to prevent any ill guided retribution against the Muslim American community.”

http://www.startribune.com/local/111014364.html

Community leaders say while Mohamed Mohamud is innocent until proven guilty, there is a need to reach out to youth within the Somali community who may be at risk.
“We need to direct the right and appropriate resources to make sure young Muslim men do not continue to fall through the cracks, do not choose extremism or fanaticism as a real life option,” said Muna Abshir Mohamud.

The idea that “appropriate resources” be directed so young Muslim males do not “fall through the cracks” sounds a lot like a mooch for a big social services handout. Give us lots of money or we can’t guarantee that these wild Somali boys won’t kill you.
Apparently a normal American education of 12 years is not enough to overcome the Islamist ideology those boys get at the mosque or through the Islo-internet. Why do Muslims need more than other immigrant tribes? They don’t seem worth the trouble and danger, to put it kindly.
 http://www.limitstogrowth.org/articles/2010/11/29/portland-somalis-fumble-a-peace-rally/

From KGW here.

**With UPDATE!*PDX’s Rigler Public Grade School Provides Students With Bibles, Gives Kids Special Chapel in School to Pray During Math Class

(UPDATE BELOW) Oh, wait, I’m sorry, I got it all wrong. Whoops. Dang I knew I messed something up. Wrong religion. Nothing to see here. Go about your business.
For English Speakers: Photo Retakes, Conferences and Prayer Rugs Available
Muslim students at Portland’s Rigler Elementary School are given their own school provided prayer room, prayer rugs, helpfully stored in the prayer room by the school, and let out of class five times a day to pray to Allah. Did I mention this is during school hours? School officials AND the PPS spokesman confirmed before I went on the air with this earlier this month. 
This was first reported to us by the relative of a teacher at the school who called to the show thinking it odd that schools in Portland who don’t allow creche scenes and can’t bring themselves to call it a “Christmas” tree actually provide the prayer implements for the mostly Somalian Muslims at Rigler Elementary. Apparently that whole prayer in public school being unconstitutional thing applies only to Christians. 
The school stores the Muslim prayer rugs for the students in a special room and they roll them all out for the kids five times a day.
Government schools are required to accommodate religious beliefs of students to a point, but this is beyond the pale. LDS families, for instance, are allowed to excuse their children for religious instruction during school but decamp to another building to provide it. Christian prayer groups have to meet off school time if they can meet at all at a school. The same goes for any other religion except Islam at this and other schools in Portland. 
In SW Portland, near the Portland Islamic Center, students are allowed to leave school–as accused terrorist Mo Mo used to–and go to the Mosque to pray five times a day. This father wrote in to describe how that constant interruption takes away learning time from other students:
Victoria,
My son attends high school in SW Portland.  He said that a number of his classes are disrupted by a group of Muslims who are brought late to class by a school administrator after they have completed their prayers.  The class comes to a halt while the kids come in and the administrator apologizes for interrupting the class.
Ken Klukowski, the head of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Christian based Family Research Council, to me about this Rigler Elementary issue recently on the program (Click to listen).
Klukowski says case law regarding Muslim prayer and other considerations hasn’t caught up with the real world on this issue but says this situation is, “completely inconsistent with how federal courts have treated other religious groups especially Christian.” Not only can you not have Christian prayer in school but you can’t even have a moment of silence because it was “intended to help facilitate prayer”– a violation of the establishment clause according to a Supreme Court decision.
He believes cases like this and others involving special accommodations for Muslim students, for instance separate foot washing sinks in school, need to have a full, frank judicial reconsideration to put all religions on the same footing. He believes if these students were Christian or Orthodox Jew they would not be given a separate room in which to pray during school hours.
The Muslim faith is treated with much more respect in schools than Christianity. Who can forget the Massachusetts elementary school children taken to a mosque? Remember? The boys were separated from the girls and the boys were “allowed” to pray to Allah.

Since this original post was made weeks ago the spokesman for PPS says never confirmed the story. Then he sent a message confirming the story. Check the Comments section as well. Here’s a post made on 1/18/11. Please read on:

January 18, 2011

Zero’s “Politifact” Goes After Claims About Rigler Elementary

Let’s go back to the beginning. We received a phone call at the program on KPAM 860 from the relative of a Rigler teacher who claimed that, unlike any other children of faith, Muslim kids were allowed to use school facilities to pray as often as they wished (Muslim adherents can pray up to five times per day) and had their gear stored at school in a room to accommodate their needs when they wanted to pray. 

We checked it out and found out from a school official it was true. My producer contacted Matt Shelby, the spokesman for Portland Public Schools, whom I was told was checking into it but said that of course they did make accommodations for children of faith. So it was a half confirmation, if you will. (here’s the original post complete with his comments) Shelby has now confirmed that children have used the accommodations before but he claims it’s been a long time.  He’s attempting to suggest that I “LIED” about the situation at Rigler. That is NOT true. I did not lie. I may have conflated his “checking it out” with the other confirmations but it’s not a lie–intentional or otherwise. In fact his subsequent email/comment on the blog (which was held up because, a) it awaited moderation, b) while I checked out his claim) actually CONFIRMS the accommodation at Rigler. 

Here’s Matt’s email/comment to the blog:

    Victoria,
    The reader board in Spanish advertises: days with no school in November, Parent Teacher conferences and Book Fair.
    Rigler School does not have any students that pray as part of their school day. This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.
    Consequently, the school does not have any space or equipment devoted to any type of religious practice at school
    Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
    Those are the facts.
    Remind me when you or Eric spoke to me about this. I don’t recall.
    Matt Shelby
    PPS Communications

When Matt refers to the reader board at Rigler he’s referring to a reader board in front of the school which is all in Spanish. I translated the reader board. I was being sarcastic and engaging in what we call satire when I said in the caption: 
I actually know a little Spanish, hence I actually read most of it right. The “prayer rug” reference was satire. I figured I’m not the only person who knows a little Spanish and that most people would know it was a joke. 
Now let’s get to the part where Shelby says the school has no students who pray as part of their day,

“This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.”

Since children of other faiths don’t require separate places to pray during the day and Muslims are the only adherents who pray as many as five times a day, his reference to other religions is immaterial. People of other faiths don’t have to go to another room–provided by the school by the way–and pray, therefore this is a moot point.
And here’s where we get to it. Shelby confirms that the district has provided a spot at the school to pray.
Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
The people we spoke to about it confirmed these things but not when. That Shelby’s example happened four years ago is interesting but not material. That the school provided the space to pray is the material point. That they prayed only during Ramadan is helpful but not material. The fact that they prayed “once a day” is of no material value.
What is material is this: The school district provided a place for children of one religion to pray during school hours. My understanding is the school actually stored the equipment (prayer rugs etc) to help them do it. Matt doesn’t take up this concern.
Personally, I think there should be more prayer in school. I believe that this same accommodation would NOT occur for children of other faiths. Indeed, the ACLU and other groups have seen to that. The dockets of many courts are peppered with cases fighting just such unequal treatment.
Perhaps it is this last point that Shelby is most concerned about. We spoke on the program with an expert in establishment clause cases using the information we were given by the folks who confirmed this.
Ken Klukowski is quoted on the original blog post:

Klukowski says case law regarding Muslim prayer and other considerations hasn’t caught up with the real world on this issue but says this situation is, “completely inconsistent with how federal courts have treated other religious groups especially Christian.” Not only can you not have Christian prayer in school but you can’t even have a moment of silence because it was “intended to help facilitate prayer”– a violation of the establishment clause according to a Supreme Court decision.
He believes cases like this and others involving special accommodations for Muslim students, for instance separate foot washing sinks in school, need to have a full, frank judicial reconsideration to put all religions on the same footing. He believes if these students were Christian or Orthodox Jew they would not be given a separate room in which to pray during school hours.


Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Oregonian "PolitifFact” Report Not Even "Barely True"

Free for the kids $1.75 adults!
After receipt of an e-mail from Portland Schools informing me that West Sylvan School  would be providing $1.75 breakfasts to non-needy adults –including, of course, non-needy teachers, administrators, and other education staff or bureaucrats – and $1 breakfasts to non-needy students, and not just free breakfasts to needy kids, I wrote an objection on Victoria Taft’s Blog to this breakfast give-away to the non-needy by the liberal progressives running Portland Schools—the same liberal progressives who want citizens to go into further debt by voting for a $548-million bond issue come May.
 
Among other things, I pointed out that aside from cavalierly spending taxpayer funds to subsidize breakfasts for non-needy adults, the invitation –“Come hungry! – on its face, had no limitation whatsoever as to who or which adults were to enjoy these taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts in taxpayer-paid schools
 
In response to the post on Victoria Taft’s Blog, the Oregonian, ever willing to cover up or gloss over the arrogant misuse of public funds by their-fellow liberal progressives in the Education Establishment,  liberal “good intentions” excusing a myriad of wrongs, on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, published a “PolitiFact” column headlined “Take school breakfast rant (sic) with a grain of salt,” written by Janie Har, rating my “rant” to be “Barely True,”  while, in fact, proving in the body of the report, evidence that everything I wrote on Victoria Taft’s blog is true.
 
First, it is absolutely and indisputably true that the Portland Schools in fact is providing, commencing on Jan. 3, 2011, as set forth in the Portland Schools invitation (see below), breakfasts for non-needy adults at $1.75,  and at $1 for non-needy students.
 
Second, it is absolutely true that Portland Public Schools announcement and invitation contains absolutely no limitation as to which adults are going to receive the benefit of this new taxpayer-subsidized “breakfast” benefit. Here it is in its entirety, as originally published on the Victoria Taft Blog.
 

“Dear West Sylvan parents and staff,
“Starting January 3rd, 2011, we will be serving a hot and cold breakfast in the hallway outside of the cafeteria at 8:30 am every Monday, as well as days when there is no break.  Please visit Ana, the kitchen lead, in the hall to pick up your delicious and nutritious breakfast.  We will continue to offer cold breakfast during your normal breakfast time at 8:30 am and hot breakfast at your normal scheduled break at 10:35 am  Tuesday through Friday.  Breakfast is only $1.00 for students, $1.75 for adults and free for all students on reduced or free priced meals.  Your breakfast will meet 1/4 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for children for many vitamins and nutrients and will include a juice, milk and entree, so come hungry!  Please remember you can put money on your child’s account at mylunchmoney.com or bring a check or cash to the cafeteria.” [Boldface emphasis supplied.]
 

It is signed by Kristin Palmer, RD, Program Manager, Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services, Office: 503.916.3572 I Cell: 971.227.3463 kpalmer@pps.k12.or.us., and forwarded by Cate Boyce, Principal.
 
I respectfully suggest there is nothing whatsoever in this notice to advise taxpayers that some adults will receive the cheap breakfast benefit, and others will not. That could very well be because I do not believe that the Public School Progressive Bureaucrats can, legally, pick and choose which non-needy adults can receive the benefit of taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts in city schools.
 
As to what the notice states, I am a lawyer (forgive me that). Every court or administrative adjudicative body in the nation determines what a document means by what it states, i.e., the words of the document. It’s called the “Best Evidence Rule,”  i.e., a document speaks for itself. An attempt to testify what the person who wrote it may have intended it to mean but didn’t include in the document, is irrelevant.  But that non-evidence is what the Oregonian relies on to attempt to persuade the public  that the Portland Schools taxpayer-subsidized give-away breakfast program for non-needy adults and students which the Victoria Taft Blog is not open to all non-needy adults who may want a cheap taxpayer-subsidized breakfast.
 
Alas, it is absolutely true, not barely true, that the invitation to $1.75 taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts for non-needy adults inside a public school does not have, on its face, any limitation on what adults are to receive that generous government benefit. Period. The Oregonian, and Janie Har, want to gloss that by asserting it was addressed only to West Sylvan teachers, administrators, staff, students, and their parents. Really? Where in the body of the invitation does it say that only those persons, among all adults, are to receive this government benefit? It doesn’t.
 
Further, how can the Portland Schools decide they will provide this benefit to one group of citizens (or non-citizens) at one school (if that is what is happening), and not all schools? Will the Albina Ministerial Alliance be pleased to learn they aren’t going to be eating $1.76 breakfasts while the Mercedes-Audi-Beamer-driving parents of West Sylvan students will? 
 
Why are non-needy kids at West Sylvan going to get “$1” breakfasts, and not all non-needy kids?
 
I asked Oregonian reporter Janie Har to ask the Portland Schools just what statutory or constitutional authority exists to legally support the provision of $1.75 breakfasts to non-needy adults and $1 breakfasts to non-needy students. The Oregonian’s “Not Even Barely True” purported “PolitiFact” by Janie Har doesn’t even mention this very critical issue. There may be a good reason for the silence of the Oregonian and the Portland Schools on this issue: There is no statutory authority of which I am aware for the Portland Schools to provide taxpayer-subsidized meals to non-needy adults in Portland schools. 
 
Even if there was such legal authority, it could not authorize the provision of such a benefit to some adults, and not others.
 
In short,  taxpayer-subsidized schools should not be advertising to non-needy parents or any adults to “Come hungry!” for taxpayer-subsidized breakfasts, lunches, or dinners, in school facilities paid for by taxpayers. Exposed as the folly that it is, the Portland Schools should rescind it. That’s what I told the Oregonian, and that’s what it should have said, instead of trying to find a way to justify  their co-liberal progressives in the Portland Schools bureaucracy.
 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Zero "Fact Checks" Our Blog Post. We Rate Their Response "Politically Naive"

It’s clear that the Blogforce who write for this website have captured the notice of the liberatti, local institutions and the daily newspaper of record with our opinion pieces about the Kyron Horman case by former Multnomah County Sheriff, Bernie Giusto, and Bruce McCain (here and here and and here. ) and Pete the Banker’s demonstration that then candidate, John Kitzhaber’s home loan was and is illegal (here and here and here). Mr. Why has captured the notice of the land use and light rail crowd including Tri Met’s hired blogger/commenter (here and here). Rees Lloyd’s pieces go national with regularity (here and here) and Lew consistently tweaks the noses of the power crowd which can’t make them happy (here and here). I spend a lot of time writing about local stories such as Mo Mo, local government’s overreaching etc. See examples here, herehere, here, and here.

Our blog posts, as most blog posts do, take a set of facts about which we have an opinion. We lay them out for you to read and accept or dismiss at your whim. 
The Zero’s “Politifact” reporter, Janie Harr scrutinized Rees’ recent piece about the reduced breakfast program at a local Portland Public School. Rees is pretty steamed about the program  because it, among other things, apparently invites any adult who wants, to come on in, pony up $1.75, a taxpayer subsidized meal. See his piece here.

He doesn’t fancy strangers or dead beats (or rich dead beats for that matter) making a beeline for a school filled with innocents. Who can blame him? Add the fact that the taxpayers are subsidizing the meals for people who can well afford to buy their own food and he’s downright irate.
Here’s what Harr reports about Rees’ claim:

Matt Shelby, spokesman for the school district, confirms that a Dec. 9 school e-mail re-posted on Taft’s blog is correct. In it, district nutrition services program manager Kristin Palmer reminds “West Sylvan parents and staff” that hot and cold breakfasts start up again in the new year.

Adults unaffiliated with the school need to sign in to get on campus, so the idea of an undocumented worker dropping “in at West Sylvan School for a $1.75 breakfast on their way to a job ‘Americans don’t want’” is pretty far-fetched (contrary to Lloyd’s musings). Strike this part as a Pants on Fire claim.

(By the way, Lloyd doesn’t buy it. He interprets the e-mail as a more sweeping invitation, despite it being addressed to “West Sylvan parents and staff.” “That’s what makes it so stupid, inviting adults to come in for $1.75. It’s without limitation and they know damn well we don’t want people walking into schools, what in the hell are they thinking? If they’re not inviting everyone in there, they should know how to say so.”) 

Clearly, the breakfast offer is not intended for the general public, which means no drug addicts, homeless or suspected terrorists, domestic or otherwise, get to mingle with the kids unless they happen to be staff or parents at the well-to-do school.

She gives Rees an atta boy for being concerned about taxpayer money but then gives the claim that the meal is open to anyone a “barely true.” 
Why would Rees every think that a school meal program would be open to anyone? Oh, I dunno, maybe because they are. Here’s a factoid from the summer breakfast and lunch program at PPS schools (here), 

No application or paperwork is necessary to participate. Sites are open to all children on a first-come, first-served basis; adult meals cost $3.75.

We know Matt Shelby says the intention is to have only school attached adults and children avail themselves of the program. And very few adults do take advantage of them. But who will be at the door turning unknown adults away? Who’s ever turned down for a free school  meal program. That’s what I thought. 
Consider what Matt Shelby himself tells Harr,

Shelby says the USDA reimburses the district $1.76 for every free breakfast, $1.46 for every reduced-price breakfast and 26 cents for every fully paid breakfast. The district is not reimbursed for adult meals, which is why adults pay $1.75 to cover the cost of labor and food. The total districtwide budget for school lunches and breakfasts is $17.5 million, sustained by sales of meals to students and reimbursements from the federal government.

On our ratings system we rate the reporter and any adult who doesn’t think this program will be abused: politically naive. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Islamophobia Runs Rampant in PDX; Commissioner Claims Two Assaults of Muslims in Portland

Nov 25th attempted bombing, Nov 28th fire at mosque, Nov 30th announcement of healing meeting to get rid of Portland’s Islamaphobia
Dec 3 Fritz claims two assaults against Muslims

Portland City Commissioner, Amanda Fritz, claims that in the days after the arrest of accused terrorist, Mohamad Mohamud (Mo Mo),  two Muslim students were assaulted. Both victims were students: one an elementary school student and one a PSU student. Fritz claims the incidents were related to her while on a visit to the Islamic Center of Portland on December 3rd. This mosque is in her neighborhood and the same one which counted a younger Mo Mo as an adherent. This mosque, as we have pointed out, also turned out seven other convicted terrorists in the past few years (see here).
Here’s what Fritz wrote a 5th Listener:

I visited the mosque for two hours on Friday, to talk with my neighbors about
how they are doing.  They are scared.  One woman reported her grade school child
was spit upon.  Another young lady told me a man pushed her and yelled at her
while she was waiting for a bus home from PSU, where she is in school. 

See the email below.
Tolerant Portland, Oregon is churning out students who push others and kids who spit at others because they’re Muslim? Hmmm. I suppose it could happen.
But just days after these incidents were related to Fritz we see this being offered at the tolerant Rainbow City Council:

Most Americans are struggling to understand what separates — and what links — Islam, Islamism and Jihadism.
http://www.timesherald.com/articles/2010/09/18/opinion/doc4c957b7c3c7e0310084254.txt?viewmode=default

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/12/08/the_islamophobia_myth/

“We look forward to learning, exploring, and dialoguing with you about Islam, the Muslim and Somali American experience, Islamophobia in Portland and the U.S., and how we can effectively counter it.
I know how we can counter it: get their people to stop trying to blow us up and getting that imam over there at Islamic Center of Portland to knock off the violent jihad talk.
But that’s just me, I guess.


From: Piazza, Vittoria
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:17 PM
To: Citywide All Employees Distribution List
Subject: Islam in Portland – A Timely Dialogue
Islam in Portland:
An Open Dialogue
Wednesday, December 1st
Noon to 1:30 PM
Portland Building, 2nd Floor, Auditorium
 
An Open Dialogue with:
Muna Abshir Mohamud
Peace Building Programs
Office of Human Relations
Building Peace. Ending Discrimination.
In light of recent events, Diverse and Empowered Employees (DEEP) and the Office of Human Relations (OHR) invite you to an open dialogue being held tomorrow at the auditorium at 12-1:30pm for city employees.
The dialogue will be used as a safe space where we seek to understand, find commonalities, and share our experiences.  We look forward to learning, exploring, and dialoguing with you about Islam, the Muslim and Somali American experience, Islamophobia in Portland and the U.S., and how we can effectively counter it.
For more information, please contact DEEP at deep@portlandoregon.gov.

Tori Piazza
DEEP ~ Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland
City of Portland

From: Commissioner Fritz <amanda@portlandoregon.gov&gt;
To: L***********@yahoo.com
Sent: Sun, December 5, 2010 11:04:59 PM
Subject: RE: Islamic Center of Portland  /  Mohamed Osman Mohamud
Dear *****,
Thank you for your message.  The Islamic Center of Portland mosque and school is
in my neighborhood.  Children of Muslim families attended school with my
children at the elementary and middle schools in the neighborhood.  I know many
of the people attending the mosque and living in the neighborhood.  They are
nice people.  They are my neighbors.  I recognize what you read about and see on
the news is scary.  It was scary for them when their sister mosque in Corvallis
was fire-bombed.  If you were to get to know the mosque attendees as neighbors,
you would see as I do that they are people who share the American dream and
subscribe to American values. 
I visited the mosque for two hours on Friday, to talk with my neighbors about
how they are doing.  They are scared.  One woman reported her grade school child
was spit upon.  Another young lady told me a man pushed her and yelled at her
while she was waiting for a bus home from PSU, where she is in school.  This
young woman is maybe 19 years old, maybe 100 pounds, maybe five feet tall.  Not
a threatening person, and minding her own business when this happened.  She
recognized people are scared – she said she would like to be able to get home
from school safely, that’s all.  The people at the mosque are horrified about
what the young man may have done.  He is, of course, innocent until proven
guilty, as an American citizen.  So is whoever fire-bombed the mosque in
Corvallis.  No country or culture has a monopoly on peace or on doing outrageous
things.  To me the more important issue is how we can work together as
neighbors, coming from a variety of backgrounds to uphold the land of the free
and the home of the brave – no matter where we were born, or the way we
worship. 
Our founding fathers put freedom of religion into the Bill of Rights.  I believe
that is no less important today than when it first became the law of the land.
Sincerely,
Amanda
Amanda Fritz
Commissioner, City of Portland
To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City
of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary
aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-2036, TTY 503-823-6868
with such requests or visit http://www.portlandonline.com/ADA_Forms

Portland Somali Community: Concerned About Other Muslim Youth

We’re grateful the Somali community is pulling the fire alarm on some of their youth
is that something you know about and how do you plan to deal with it?
His answer?

 Some of the friends said they attended mosque and studied the Koran with Mohamed at the Islamic Learning Center in Southwest Portland. A few said they have known him since elementary school and classes at Jackson Middle School. KATU

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10334-Sw-Ridgeview-Ln_Portland_OR_97219_M17457-39633
“Well, first off, actions of this individual, he’s being held accountable, there are difficult times for the youth in this nation, we have the highest youth unemployment rate in US history, we’ve got schools that are failing to achieve academically, the way we would want, we have tuition being increased exponentially in universities and colleges. That doesn’t excuse the criminal acts, don’t get me wrong, but it does explain when you add to the fact that alot of Somali Americans come from a place that has been in civil war for about 20 years, you do see the vulnerability of Somali youth locally and across the nation.
Is the city’s job to reach out to these?
Not only is it government’s job, not only the police bureau’s job it’s all of our collective  responsibility to make sure our youth have the opportunities afforded us when were the same age

on the jttf:
“you know it’s been five years since we last revisited the issue, I think that this particular event calls for a revisit, I also think that it’s been four or five years since we last looked at the policy, our status… I want to do a fact based review what’s best for Portland and what’s going to make Portland safe.

new white house and now you’re thinking about jttf. is this a political decision or..about safety?
“no when we last looked at this issue there were a series of federal policies and laws in place that meant people could be wiretappedwithout court oversight for issuing a warrant without a real normal probable cause in place. I voted against continuing in the JTTF at the time because I was concerned about our basic civil rights, I think that’s important. We have a new administration, we different local leadership in the FBI and the US Attorneys office it gives me more comfort, more trust but I still want to look at what federal laws are in place and make sure that we’re effective at preventing terrorist acts like this and the police bureau was a part of this partnership but also doing it in a way that respects state law and respects the values of this community.”

security at the square what changes are being made
“People should feel a level of confidence that because the patience and persistence and length of time that the law enforcement partnership put in to this particular incident that there’s no indication that  this individual in any sort of group effort he acted on his own and he chose the tree lighting ceremony as a target of opportunity but it doesn’t appear that there’s any evidence that it’s some sort of ideological focus on Portland. Having said that though, we’ve beefed up patrols… not only downtown to prevent any copy cat efforts, but also to reassure people. And we’ve also beefed up patrols around facilities like mosques and other place to prevent any ill guided retribution against the Muslim American community.”

http://www.startribune.com/local/111014364.html

Community leaders say while Mohamed Mohamud is innocent until proven guilty, there is a need to reach out to youth within the Somali community who may be at risk.
“We need to direct the right and appropriate resources to make sure young Muslim men do not continue to fall through the cracks, do not choose extremism or fanaticism as a real life option,” said Muna Abshir Mohamud.

The idea that “appropriate resources” be directed so young Muslim males do not “fall through the cracks” sounds a lot like a mooch for a big social services handout. Give us lots of money or we can’t guarantee that these wild Somali boys won’t kill you.
Apparently a normal American education of 12 years is not enough to overcome the Islamist ideology those boys get at the mosque or through the Islo-internet. Why do Muslims need more than other immigrant tribes? They don’t seem worth the trouble and danger, to put it kindly.
 http://www.limitstogrowth.org/articles/2010/11/29/portland-somalis-fumble-a-peace-rally/

From KGW here.

**With UPDATE!*PDX’s Rigler Public Grade School Provides Students With Bibles, Gives Kids Special Chapel in School to Pray During Math Class

(UPDATE BELOW) Oh, wait, I’m sorry, I got it all wrong. Whoops. Dang I knew I messed something up. Wrong religion. Nothing to see here. Go about your business.
For English Speakers: Photo Retakes, Conferences and Prayer Rugs Available
Muslim students at Portland’s Rigler Elementary School are given their own school provided prayer room, prayer rugs, helpfully stored in the prayer room by the school, and let out of class five times a day to pray to Allah. Did I mention this is during school hours? School officials AND the PPS spokesman confirmed before I went on the air with this earlier this month. 
This was first reported to us by the relative of a teacher at the school who called to the show thinking it odd that schools in Portland who don’t allow creche scenes and can’t bring themselves to call it a “Christmas” tree actually provide the prayer implements for the mostly Somalian Muslims at Rigler Elementary. Apparently that whole prayer in public school being unconstitutional thing applies only to Christians. 
The school stores the Muslim prayer rugs for the students in a special room and they roll them all out for the kids five times a day.
Government schools are required to accommodate religious beliefs of students to a point, but this is beyond the pale. LDS families, for instance, are allowed to excuse their children for religious instruction during school but decamp to another building to provide it. Christian prayer groups have to meet off school time if they can meet at all at a school. The same goes for any other religion except Islam at this and other schools in Portland. 
In SW Portland, near the Portland Islamic Center, students are allowed to leave school–as accused terrorist Mo Mo used to–and go to the Mosque to pray five times a day. This father wrote in to describe how that constant interruption takes away learning time from other students:
Victoria,
My son attends high school in SW Portland.  He said that a number of his classes are disrupted by a group of Muslims who are brought late to class by a school administrator after they have completed their prayers.  The class comes to a halt while the kids come in and the administrator apologizes for interrupting the class.
Ken Klukowski, the head of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Christian based Family Research Council, to me about this Rigler Elementary issue recently on the program (Click to listen).
Klukowski says case law regarding Muslim prayer and other considerations hasn’t caught up with the real world on this issue but says this situation is, “completely inconsistent with how federal courts have treated other religious groups especially Christian.” Not only can you not have Christian prayer in school but you can’t even have a moment of silence because it was “intended to help facilitate prayer”– a violation of the establishment clause according to a Supreme Court decision.
He believes cases like this and others involving special accommodations for Muslim students, for instance separate foot washing sinks in school, need to have a full, frank judicial reconsideration to put all religions on the same footing. He believes if these students were Christian or Orthodox Jew they would not be given a separate room in which to pray during school hours.
The Muslim faith is treated with much more respect in schools than Christianity. Who can forget the Massachusetts elementary school children taken to a mosque? Remember? The boys were separated from the girls and the boys were “allowed” to pray to Allah.

Since this original post was made weeks ago the spokesman for PPS says never confirmed the story. Then he sent a message confirming the story. Check the Comments section as well. Here’s a post made on 1/18/11. Please read on:

January 18, 2011

Zero’s “Politifact” Goes After Claims About Rigler Elementary

Let’s go back to the beginning. We received a phone call at the program on KPAM 860 from the relative of a Rigler teacher who claimed that, unlike any other children of faith, Muslim kids were allowed to use school facilities to pray as often as they wished (Muslim adherents can pray up to five times per day) and had their gear stored at school in a room to accommodate their needs when they wanted to pray. 

We checked it out and found out from a school official it was true. My producer contacted Matt Shelby, the spokesman for Portland Public Schools, whom I was told was checking into it but said that of course they did make accommodations for children of faith. So it was a half confirmation, if you will. (here’s the original post complete with his comments) Shelby has now confirmed that children have used the accommodations before but he claims it’s been a long time.  He’s attempting to suggest that I “LIED” about the situation at Rigler. That is NOT true. I did not lie. I may have conflated his “checking it out” with the other confirmations but it’s not a lie–intentional or otherwise. In fact his subsequent email/comment on the blog (which was held up because, a) it awaited moderation, b) while I checked out his claim) actually CONFIRMS the accommodation at Rigler. 

Here’s Matt’s email/comment to the blog:

    Victoria,
    The reader board in Spanish advertises: days with no school in November, Parent Teacher conferences and Book Fair.
    Rigler School does not have any students that pray as part of their school day. This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.
    Consequently, the school does not have any space or equipment devoted to any type of religious practice at school
    Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
    Those are the facts.
    Remind me when you or Eric spoke to me about this. I don’t recall.
    Matt Shelby
    PPS Communications

When Matt refers to the reader board at Rigler he’s referring to a reader board in front of the school which is all in Spanish. I translated the reader board. I was being sarcastic and engaging in what we call satire when I said in the caption: 
I actually know a little Spanish, hence I actually read most of it right. The “prayer rug” reference was satire. I figured I’m not the only person who knows a little Spanish and that most people would know it was a joke. 
Now let’s get to the part where Shelby says the school has no students who pray as part of their day,

“This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.”

Since children of other faiths don’t require separate places to pray during the day and Muslims are the only adherents who pray as many as five times a day, his reference to other religions is immaterial. People of other faiths don’t have to go to another room–provided by the school by the way–and pray, therefore this is a moot point.
And here’s where we get to it. Shelby confirms that the district has provided a spot at the school to pray.
Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
The people we spoke to about it confirmed these things but not when. That Shelby’s example happened four years ago is interesting but not material. That the school provided the space to pray is the material point. That they prayed only during Ramadan is helpful but not material. The fact that they prayed “once a day” is of no material value.
What is material is this: The school district provided a place for children of one religion to pray during school hours. My understanding is the school actually stored the equipment (prayer rugs etc) to help them do it. Matt doesn’t take up this concern.
Personally, I think there should be more prayer in school. I believe that this same accommodation would NOT occur for children of other faiths. Indeed, the ACLU and other groups have seen to that. The dockets of many courts are peppered with cases fighting just such unequal treatment.
Perhaps it is this last point that Shelby is most concerned about. We spoke on the program with an expert in establishment clause cases using the information we were given by the folks who confirmed this.
Ken Klukowski is quoted on the original blog post:

Klukowski says case law regarding Muslim prayer and other considerations hasn’t caught up with the real world on this issue but says this situation is, “completely inconsistent with how federal courts have treated other religious groups especially Christian.” Not only can you not have Christian prayer in school but you can’t even have a moment of silence because it was “intended to help facilitate prayer”– a violation of the establishment clause according to a Supreme Court decision.
He believes cases like this and others involving special accommodations for Muslim students, for instance separate foot washing sinks in school, need to have a full, frank judicial reconsideration to put all religions on the same footing. He believes if these students were Christian or Orthodox Jew they would not be given a separate room in which to pray during school hours.


Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Cash For Clunkers 2.0; General Motors – A Federal Government and TARP Success Story?

By Pete the Banker

The Administration and Treasury have been promoting GM as an amazing success story due to the Federal Government’s involvement and TARP. Yet prompting GM’s “success” is nothing more than the Federal Government’s acting as owner, manager, financier, and biggest consumer.

GM was reputed to have paid off all their debt in record time, in April, 2010 or at least according to Media headlines. Others including Inspector General Barofsky suggested the assertion was premature.

More recently with the approaching of the initial public offering (IPO), we were suddenly informed through the same Media that the Government was still due some $50 Billion through their GM stock and debt holdings. Was the disclosure last Spring simply a minor oversight by the Media and then GM CEO Ed Whitacre?

And GM is now profitable with its latest quarter profit of $2B; its first profit in five years. An amazing accomplishment, even given cost reductions associated with the eradication stockholders’ and diminution of bondholders’ interests. And GM products are flying off the showroom floors like hot cakes. Well, at least heavy pickup trucks and older models are flying out of the showroom floors.

The much heralded and under achieving Chevy “All Electric” Volt which has been promoted to get 93 miles per gallon (down from 230 mpg last year) hasn’t received tremendous public reception yet. And well the Volt, despite GM’s assurance, is not quite “all electric”, nor quite all that energy efficient. So why is it surprising it hasn’t garnered much consumer enthusiasm. Rumors suggest however that the nascent demand on the highly touted Chevy Volt and other “hybrids” is likely to be reversed when a major fleet buyer swoops in to buy the unpopular vehicles.

And that rumored buyer is none other than the Federal Government.
“U.S. sales of hybrids are projected to decline for the third year in 2010, and will account for less than 3 percent of all auto sales. For American automakers, the news gets worse: More than half of all those sales were Toyota Prius’, and Uncle Sam bought almost a fourth of the GM and Ford Motor hybrids, according to government data obtained by Bloomberg News.” And what will be the ultimate taxpayer cost incurred by the purchases and reduced productivity inherent in the Volt?

And while GM and the Administration seemed to assure us that the Government was paid off six months ago, the recent IPO raised some $13.7 Billion in equity funds and another $9.5B in debt of the remaining $50 Billion still owed to the Treasury by GM?!? The United Autoworker’s Health Care and Pension Trust Fund also received $3.4 Billion.

So now the Administration, the Treasury, and General Motors are all now touting the IPO and Government rescue as an outstanding success? Yet GM has misled about Spring payoff of debt obligation to the Federal Government. GM has misled about the all “electric” Chevy Volt and 93 mpg (assumes multiple battery recharging stops at 4 hours each). GM’s first profit in five years is not because of their new “green” product line which wasn’t readily pointed out by the company. GM’s “success” in new compacts and hybrids sales depends on major fleet orders from the Federal Government again bailing out GM at American taxpayer expense.

GM still owes the US taxpayer nearly $30 Billion after the IPO, with the Federal Governments equity stake in GM still accounting for 33% of GM’s outstanding stock. So is this truly a success story? Or do you suppose that GM, the Treasury and the Administration are guilty of using deceptive sales practices with the general investment public in their disclosures about the success of GM’s marketing, sales, and financial initiatives as well as the quality/consumer reception of their new products like the Chevy Volt?

Where is the outrage from Attorney General Eric Holder, Consumer Advocates and the reigning Democrat House and Senate Committee Chairs? Where were the calls for Congressional investigations? So why isn’t the FBI raiding the offices of GM, the Treasury and the White House for deceptive sales and securities practices? After all the FBI is raiding Hedge and Mutual Funds for violating insider trading laws. And how much future cash will taxpayers’ be called upon to pump into GM to save it and its new poorly conceived product lines supported by Federal Government fleet purchases?

See also, Dec 27, 2010 Wall Street Journal Car Dealers Hope for a Year-End Bump

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Repeal Lame Duck Democrats’ Destruction of DA/DT in 112th Congress


As a former enlisted man who joined the Army at the age 17, as do many recruits, I know about the enormous power of non-commissioned and commission officers over the lives of those in the enlisted ranks. I think it is unconscionable for members of House, Senate, and the White House to congratulate themselves on voting to compel young enlisted men and women to serve under openly practicing homosexual non-coms or officers, including predatory homosexuals, who may have a sexual rather than military interest in them, and who have enormous power to retaliate if their advances are rejected.


Just how does a young man or woman subject to military discipline, culture, and control, protect himself or herself, and seek redress, from unwanted sexual interest, advances, or assaults? A member of the military in the ranks is often at the mercy of non-coms or officers, including in duty assignments which can not only be the worst of unwanted duties but assignments which can put them in harm’s way at risk of loss of limbs or life.
Does Coming “Out” Serve Country or Individual?

Simply stated: Military life is not civilian life. A victim of “sexual harassment,” predation, or actual assault in the military cannot respond to such sexual abuse as can a person in civilian life. Enlisted personnel cannot, without great fear of retaliation, report a non-com or officer for homosexual misconduct. A member of the military cannot respond to an advance by a homosexual non-com or officer with crude language, or threats of physical action that would be used in a civilian situation. A member of the military cannot physically ward off unwanted homosexual contact by a non-com or officer without risk of court martial for a major crime, i.e., “assault on an officer.” A member of the military cannot file a complaint with local police, or with local, state, or federal agencies enforcing anti-discrimination laws. A member of the military cannot sue a homosexual molester, or the predatory homosexual’s employer, i.e., the military branch in which the victim serves.
A member of the military cannot simply “quit and get another job” if subjected to unwanted homosexual attention by a superior, as a civilian can if harassed by a supervisor. Military personnel are in the their military branch for the duration of their period of enlistment, even if a homosexual clone of Chester the Molester is their platoon sergeant, First Sgt., or an Officer. One can’t “resign” from the military because of unacceptable working conditions, including predatory homosexual superiors.
Consider: Just what does a 17-year-old heterosexual recruit, male or female, do when a 35-year-old same-sex predatory non-com or officer decides to join that 17-year-old in the shower, or latrine, or field tent, or common area, and not only “tell” about but act out his or her homosexuality?
For one personal example of homosexuality in the military, even when it was forbidden, when I was stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas, I was dating a bright, young, woman of my age who joined the Women’s Army Corps because she grew up in extreme poverty in the South and thought the WAC would provide her with opportunities. Instead, she begged me to marry her to get her out of the WAC, which was possible then, and quickly divorce once she was out. Why? Because, even though she was not personally a victim — she visibly had a man to protect her — she couldn’t take the almost nightly attacks on young WACs by older lesbian non-coms. In the barracks of Ft. Bliss in that Vietnam-era, such attacks were not silent affairs. Anyone who served in such barracks will understand what I mean about the acoustical effects of sexual activity.
I didn’t marry that fine young woman as she asked, so she could escape from predatory homosexual female non-coms, but I have never forgotten her, or her anguish, anxieties, and disgust, at being caught in a situation in which she was under the control of predatory homosexual WAC non-coms and could not extricate herself from that situation. We even strolled about the WAC area arm-in-arm to make a display of our relationship and her heterosexuality, making it clear that she was attached to a man, if not engaged. She informed me that she deliberately told the other women that while I was a nice guy to her generally, I had a violent temper and was wildly jealous about her. Who knew what I might do if she was molested?
Truth was, at 17, she wasn’t making it up. Like many others coming to the Army from some very rough streets in a Midwest steel town, I was a wild man; resistant to orders and barely controllable even under military discipline, which I admit I often observed in the breach. My one stripe was pulled off so often I stopped sewing it on and attached it with velcro–easier for the sergeant to pull off. Had I been advanced upon or assaulted by a homosexual in the Army, including a non-com or officer, at that still-wild age, there would have been mayhem, the consequences be damned. What are young heterosexual men and women in military service to do now that open homosexuality is not only not forbidden, it is approved?
I reflected much on the memory of my relationship at Ft. Bliss with that decent young WAC from the South who abhorred the homosexual reality she was trapped in, when my own elder daughter elected to follow in the footsteps of her great- grandfather, her grandfather, and her father (me) and join the military at 17, right out of high school, in order to serve her country in this time of war against terrorism. She is the fourth generation in America and all four have served. Had the military by Act of Congress made acceptable and even advocated as a norm the kind of homosexual conduct I had witnessed pertaining to my WAC girlfriend described above, I would have done my best to dissuade my daughter from joining the service rather than risking that kind of homosexual degradation.
Does any one of those liberal “progressives” who voted to impose open homosexuality in the military seriously believe that homosexual predators can be kept out of the military, or controlled in it? Have the female members of House and Senate considered the impact on young women who will be exposed to predatory lesbian non-coms and officers, of which there is no shortage? Does anyone seriously believe that predatory homosexuals, male or female, will not be attracted to the armed forces, or remain in, with all those young “targets of opportunity” in the ranks, and Congress approving of open homosexuality?
Consider, especially, those troops in combat zones, and their parents and loved ones back home worrying about them. Just how much confidence can they have that their lives and limbs will be equally valued and defended if their officer or non-com, or fellow troop, is having a homosexual affair with one or more of the other troops? Can they have confidence that they are not at risk if some of the troops are in homosexual relationships with each other, or with non-coms or officers? Will non-coms and officers, or troops, who have a homosexual interest or relationship with one or more of the troops, not act to save their “significant others” before other troops? Can anyone say with confidence that a homosexual in a sexual relationship with a troop will not act to save that troop first, or otherwise favor that troop so as to keep him or her out of harm’s way as much as possible? In that regard, do men and women, no matter how decent, not act first to save their own spouses or children, rather than someone else’s spouse or child, in a disaster, accident, or other life-threatening situation? Why would anyone think homosexuals would not act in the same way when the object of their homosexual love is the one at risk?
Liberal “progressives” are great at imposing on American citizens policies which cannot affect them. DA/DT is a prime example: Most in Congress have not served in the uniform of their country. The present President of the United States never deigned to serve. He is only the second president of the modern era not to serve, other than liberal progressive Bill Clinton. Ironically, it was Clinton who in fact established DA/DT in his regime. Clinton never served, and distinguished himself, it should be remembered with disgust, by chatting on the phone with a member of Congress about troop decisions while being serviced below by Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Why should anyone be surprised that such liberal “progressives” as Obama, the President Who Bows From the Waist, and Clinton, President Fellatio, would be in favor of elevating anal and oral intercourse to a norm in the military
We are told by the same Democrat Liberal Progressives who have destroyed DA/DT that open homosexuality in the military will not be a problem, including as to unit cohesion, putting enlisted men and women at risk, and that they can control homosexual predators. Really? Just look at Liberal Progressive Portland, the Principality of Political Correctness, which reportedly strongly supports abolition of DA/DT. Portland could not even keep its predatory homosexual Mayor Sam Adam from preying on a 17-year-old male intern in the City Hall Men’s Room in the now infamous Beau Breedlove affair. What a field day such a homosexual predator would have in the closed military circumstance now that open homosexuality is to be the military norm.
Those voting for abolition of DA/DT and for the norming of open homosexual conduct as acceptable in the military, all those politicians in House and Senate and the President-Who-Never-Served, are preening in their self-righteousness in establishing a military policy which will never affect them, and is unlikely to affect their sons and daughters, since the progeny of those liberal “progressive” legislators are unlikely to have an economic incentive to join the armed forces.
I believe that the incoming 112th Congress should repeal this Lame Duck Democrat Liberal Progressive destruction of DA/DT. Such fundamental changes in the military culture, and the Military Code of Justice, and leave it to the military to decide what to do and how to do it. The most important voice in the ultimate decision should be the members of the military most immediately affected, — combat troops.
The ultimate decision should not be made by liberal self-defined “progressive” politicians, bureaucrats, self-interested predatory homosexuals like Portland’s Progressive Mayor Sam Adams, or military personnel far from combat and unlikely to have to depend on a homosexual with a sexual interest in him or her or in some other troop with whom they may have a homosexual crush or be a bedmate.
Further, unless and until the action of the Lame Duck Obama-Reid-Pelosi 111th Congress is repealed, every member of the House and Senate, as well as Obama, He Who Bows From The Waist, and his White House gaggle of liberal “progressives” creating their Brave New Homosexual Military World, should be compelled to shower daily with the homosexual Barney Frank in the Congressional gym. If they won’t do that, then they should not inflict a similar fate on members of the American military, and their families.
Indeed, Americans should repeal the Lame Duck Democrat DA/DT destruction in the 112th Congress, and repeal of them in House and Senate who voted for it, and real him who so gushingly signed it, in the 2012 election.
In support thereof, I urge you again to read the report in WorldNetDaily.com by Eugene Koprowski on the growing response of troops and veterans to open homosexuality in the military: “Vets Protest Plan Opening Military To Homosexuals”


NOTE added by Lew: The Department of Defense now has a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, where Troops are being inundated with ads informing them just what sexual assault is and how to report it. While a step to correct an dangerous situation, unless there is physical evidence it largely amounts to who is believed, the senior NCO, Officer or a young enlisted man.

In fiscal year 2009 a total of 3,230 restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault were filed, representing an 11% increase over fiscal year 2008.

As reported in the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, page 359 “During FY09, there was a strong education campaign, Navy/Marine Corps-wide, to educate Sailors, Marines and civilians about sexual assault reporting options (Restricted and Unrestricted), services available to victims of sexual assault, and crime prevention. Training focused on defining criminal behavior so that more personnel within the Department better understand and recognize a sexual assault. As Sailors and Marines receive this training ad become better educated about the SAPR program, they have begun to report their sexual assault victimization in larger numbers. By way of example, male victim reports nearly doubled in FY09 and rose from 9% in FY08 to 17% in FY09.”
Our Troops do not deserve to be further saddled with even more of the above at a time they are expected to fight a two front war.

[Rees Lloyd is a longtime civil rights attorney, a veterans activist, and, among other things, a member of the Victoria Taft Show Blogforce.]

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