City Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-BEach-Sparlky-ROHThe Satellite Beach City Council meets twice tonight.

At 6:45 PM, the Council will meet in a public hearing on a grant proposal for improvements to the Satellite Beach sports and recreational facilities.

At 7:00 PM, the Council will meet in a regular session. The agenda for the meeting can be found here and the agenda packet here.

This is the last meeting on the 2014 – 2015 budget and millage rates for the city.

Hope to see you there.

Share the Hoecakes



Orioles Win!

Congratulations to the Baltimore Orioles, champions of the American League East Division.

Go O’s!

You Can’t Have That Here.

Confederate-Flag-Grunge-Wall-ROHA student at Glenelg High School in Harford County, Maryland has been disciplined for displaying a Confederate flag at a high school football game.

(Our information on this story is a little unclear, but we are going to assume that the student displayed the “Confederate battle flag” and not the “flag of the Confederate States of America.”)

Ah yes. The intolerance of intolerance raises its ugly head.

In Tinker v. Des Moines School District, the Supreme Court ruled that school administrations had the right to limit speech which may “materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school.”

While we are not sure that a football game is a place for academics, we can understand the school not wanting the flag to be displayed.

In 2007, the Supreme Court decided a case where the school may have been given more justification for removing the flag. The case is Morse v. Frederick and concerned a student who was attending a school sponsored event and who held up a sign that read “Bong Hits for Jesus.” The student was told to lower the sign and he refused. The student was then disciplined for his actions. The school argued that the sign advocated illegal drug use and the Supreme Court agreed that the school had a legitimate interest in restricting speech and signs that advocated illegal activities.

The Tinker case and the Morse case join together to make a fairly powerful statement that a school administration can restrict speech that may reasonable be seen to cause a disruption at school events. We agree that the Confederate Battle flag may be a symbol or speech that would cause a disruption at a school event such as a football game.

We do not have an issue with the school demanding the student take the flag down and not display it.

We do have an issue with the student being disciplined for displaying the flag to begin with.

Howard County School Superintendent Renee Foose said the incident was a “teachable moment.”



It’s a magic number.

Florida Roundup.

Florida-Steak---ROH Here are a few items that have caught our eye concerning our home state of Florida.

The Florida Today reports:

Brevard County wants to put restrictions on the height of future cellular phone towers as part of a proposed massive overhaul of rules for such structures.

While we respect the right of County to make regulations on buildings and projects, what caught our eye was this statement from Commissioner Robin Fisher:

Separately, Commissioner Robin Fisher urged Brevard planning staff to identify five county-owned sites where the county may want to consider building its own towers.

“It’s a very lucrative business, and I think it would be in our best interest to get in it,” Fisher said. “We can take a lead on this.”

The government should not get involved in any business. That is not its role in society. When it comes to businesses, the government should protect the rights of people and their ability to make money without harming others or violating the rights of others. There should be no place for the government to enter the market to compete against businesses over which it has regulatory powers.

The County should not only not “take the lead” on this as Fisher suggests, but get out of the way of others who legitimately are in the business.

The Mayor of Winter Park had a man removed from a City Council meeting because the man failed to stand during a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

While we disagree with the man’s choices, he has the right to stay seated and not participate in a prayer and the recitation of the Pledge.

“Oh Thus Be It Ever…..”

Ft._Henry_bombardement_1814-600px-ROHFor a second time in four decades, the military of a foreign nation was on US soil with malevolent intentions.

The British had entered the Chesapeake Bay in the late summer of 1814, intent on capturing the US capital of Washington and the deep sea port of Baltimore. While Washington as the capital was a major objective, Baltimore had a large naval yard in which ships for the Navy were being built as well as stores and goods for the Navy. In addition, Baltimore was the home to many privateers who preyed on British shipping while smuggling goods into the country.

On August 24, 1814, the British force of 4,300 veteran soldiers met an American army of 6,900 men – mostly militia – near Bladensburg, Maryland.

The resulting Battle of Bladensburg was a disaster for the Americans. As soldiers fled from the field in panic, the battle forever became known as the “Bladensburg Races,” due to the speed of the soldiers running.

The American militia ran everywhere and anywhere they could find safety. The result was that there were not enough US troops to defend Washington. The night of August 24th – 25th, the British entered Washington barely missing capturing many key members of the government. The night the sky glowed hues of red and orange as the British set fire the city.

After burning Washington, the British returned to their ships and headed farther up the Chesapeake.

On September 12, the British landed 4,500 men at what is called “North Point,” near Baltimore. The Americans again came out to meet the British only this time with a smaller force of 3,200 men. Unlike at Bladensburg, the bulk of the American force at North Point were regulars in the Army. The US held off the British until the end of the day when they slowly withdrew. In the fighting, the Americans lost 163 killed and wounded and 200 captured. British casualties numbered 46 killed and 273 wounded.

While the Battle of North Point was a tactical loss for the US, the battle had given the US forces defending the City of Baltimore time to finish defensive works – works that were now manned by 12,000 soldiers. After looking at the defenses erected to protect Baltimore, the British concluded they would have to take the city from the sea – and that meant getting past Fort McHenry which guarded the entrance to the Baltimore harbor.

Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry was built between 1798 and 1800 and replaced Fort Whetstone that had been built on the same ground. The five pointed fort made of brick, mortar and concrete was named after James McHenry, a delegate to the Continental Congress, a signer of the Constitution and had served as Secretary of War.

Fort McHenry was commanded by Major George Armistead one of five brothers who served in the War of 1812. He and his 1,000 men within the fort were all that stood between the British, Baltimore and the likelihood of the British winning the War of 1812.

Of Candy Canes And Football Helmets.

Candy-Cane-Holly-ROHLast December, first grade student Isaiah Martinez took candy canes to give as gifts to his classmates at Merced Elementary in the West Covina Unified School District (CA).

Isaiah seems to have been fascinated by the “legend of the candy cane” and printed a card that he attached to each candy cane. The card read:

A candy maker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the CHRISTmas Candy Cane to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White, to symbolize the Virgin Birth, the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our savior. It also represents the staff of the “Good Shepherd” with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

The candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used the three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in Him.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane — a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who “have eyes to see and ears to hear”.

I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

When Isaiah turned in his candy canes for the Christmas party, his teacher noticed the card attached to the candy canes. The teacher took possession of the candy canes and proceeded to confer with the school principal.

Advocates for Faith & Freedom,” a group who represents Isaiah and his family, describes what happened next:

On approximately December 18, 2013 [Isaiah's teacher] Ms. Lu spoke to [school principal] Mr. Pfitzer who instructed Ms. Lu that Isaiah was not permitted to distribute his Christmas gift because it contained a religious message. Ms. Lu then spoke to Isaiah and told him that “Jesus is not allowed at school.” In fear that he was in some sort of trouble, Isaiah then watched as Ms. Lu proceeded to rip the candy cane legend off of each candy cane and then throw the Christian messages back in to the box. He then watched as the box and messages were thrown into the trash by Ms. Lu. She then told Isaiah that he could distribute the candy canes now that the Christian messages were eliminated. (emphasis ours)

Isaiah’s 21 year old sister talked with her brother and then got involved.

The Un-Civil World Of Civil Forfeitures.

Institute-for-Justice-Grunge---ROHThe Institute for Justice has initiated a class action lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia over the City’s actions in regards to civil forfeiture cases.

We have written about civil forfeiture cases before, including the successful return of funds to two Michigan businesses who had over $100,000 seized by the IRS despite not having a warrant, hearing or trial.

From 2002 to 2012, the City of Philadelphia seized $64 million in property from people – slightly less than $6 million a year. The City then turned that money to pay for more prosecutors and salaries for those seizing the property.

This is how the city’s forfeiture machine works: Property owners who have their cash, cars or homes seized must go to Courtroom 478. But Courtroom 478 isn’t a courtroom at all: there is no judge or jury, just a scheduler and the prosecutors who run the show. Owners who ask for a lawyer are frequently told their case isn’t complicated and a lawyer isn’t necessary, but are then given a stack of complicated legal documents to fill out under oath. Time and time again, property owners must return to Courtroom 478—up to ten or more times in some cases. If they miss a single appearance, they can lose their property forever.

Civil forfeiture laws are based on what many consider a good idea where criminals should not profit from illegal activities. For example, drug dealers should not be able to keep houses, cars and boats they obtain from the profits of selling illegal drugs. The law intended the government to demonstrate a direct connection between illegal activity and the property.

However, just as criminals look at luxuries and see dollar signs, so do the police and prosecutors. Civil forfeiture laws have been expanded so the government can seize property even if there is no connection between illegal activity, the property or the property owner.

Take the case of Chris Sourovelis:

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