III.PROCEDURES FOR ADDRESSING THE COMMISSION
h. Courtesy Speakers, Commissioners included, are to confine comments to the matter at hand, to act with courtesy, and to avoid negative comments of a personal nature targeted at any person or group.
This policy is certainly unConstitutional on many levels.
First, the Commission meeting itself is by law a “limited public forum” which is defined as:
a public forum created by the government voluntarily for expressive activity that may be restricted as to subject matter or class of speaker called also limited forum limited open forum compare open forum, public forum.
In the case of Commission meetings, the City of Cocoa Beach sets up a place for expressive activities in the form of comments and presentations. The restriction on the “subject matter” is when a topic may be discussed.
The City controls the subject matter by saying when in the meeting the comments / presentations may be made. For example, under “Public Comments” on the agenda, you will find this:
Comments will be heard on items that do not appear on the agenda of this meeting. Citizens will limit their comments to three (3) minutes. Per Commission Procedures, the City Commission will not take any action or discuss items brought up under the “Public Comment” section of the agenda. The City Commission may schedule such items as regular agenda items and act upon them in the future.
This means if a person wanted to talk about “apples,” and “apples” are not on the agenda, the comments would be made during the open comment period. If “apples” are an agenda item, the Commission can restrict the comments to that portion of the agenda.
However, even under a limited public forum, any restrictions on the subject matter must serve a legitimate governmental interest and is narrowly drawn (a bright line in the sand, if you will.) (See Carey v.Brown)
“We don’t want to hear that” is not a legitimate governmental interest.
Allow us to introduce you to Katie Nash. The 33 year old mother was recently let go from her position at the Frederick County Public Schools (Maryland) District as the “web-experience coordinator.”
The school hired Nash because according to the Nash:
“We had received feedback from some students in a focus group that our tweeting was a bit flat, they were looking for some more engagement,” Nash said. “They were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the student’s are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in.”
(They held a focus group concerning social media and Twitter? They really did that? “Social media” was somehow important to the School District?)
When winter weather was approaching the area, a student by the name of Nathan tweeted this: “close school tammarow PLEASE”
Nash responded by tweeting “but then how would you spell tomorrow : )”
Seems like a great response to us. It’s lighthearted, funny, and makes a point about education.
The exchange got “liked” and re-tweeted 1000’s of times and we assume eventually hit the desks of the head of the Frederick County Public Schools.
They held a meeting with Nash and ended her position with the school district.
“Dear Katie, this letter confirms our discussion today that your probationary period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended. You will be terminated from your assignment, effective January 13, 2017.”
Obviously, the tweet must have offended the student which is why the school took action, right?
While we were wondering what we going to write about today, one of our staff ninjas called and said they had just gotten off the phone with their mother.
The mother is a liberal Democrat while the staff member leans to the right. The mother wonders what happened to their child and why they went to the right.
Somehow today’s conversation started with the mother saying her church was organizing to send people to Washington D.C. to protest during the Trump Inauguration. The mother wasn’t sure of how appropriate the actions of the church were and wondered if the church should stay out of politics.
We certainly disagree with that assessment. After all, from the time of the American Revolution through the Civil War to the Women’s Suffrage movement to the Civil Rights movement, churches have always played a large roll in the shaping of America.
The staffer responded that he supported the church’s right to speak up and have their voice heard. He also said that given that most church members lean to the right, he suspected that the backlash and counter speak would be pretty loud.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s life had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States. Years after his death, he is the most widely known African-American leader of his era. His life and work have been honored with a national holiday, schools and public buildings named after him, and a memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, D.C. But his life remains controversial as well. In the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that he was under government surveillance, and suggested his involvement in adulterous relationships and communist influences. Over the years, extensive archival studies have led to a more balanced and comprehensive assessment of his life, portraying him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and limited in his control over the mass movements with which he was associated, yet a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means.
Some people will look at only his good deeds and view him as some sort of a saint. Some will view him only through his actions of adultery and other sordid acts.
In our opinion, neither is fair nor particularly accurate. There are very few people in the history of the United States who have influenced and inspired so many and for that alone, we should look at the man mostly through his impact.
One of his greatest speeches by far is the well known “I Have A Dream” speech which he delivered on August 28, 1963 as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom event. King delivered his speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the throngs of assembled people of all races and genders. (more…)
Democrats gasping at straws using the alleged Russian hacking as the reason for their defeat against Trump.
One of the things that we read on another site that resonates is that in 2000 when George Bush was elected, the Democrats screamed “selected not elected.” Now, after a legal election in 2016, the Democrats are again screaming that the election was somehow invalid as it was “hacked.”
The problem is that there is no evidence to support that the election was hacked. No one has come up with any evidence that any voting machine was compromised. No one has suggested, much less proved, that any vote tabulation machine was compromised.
Did the Russians hack the DNC through the stupidity of the DNC themselves? Probably. But the result of that hack was not changing votes in a computer, but rather the exposing the Democrats, Obama, and Hillary as vile. People looked at the emails and said “I don’t want to vote for that person.”
We don’t get it. People making up their own mind is not “hacking” an election. It sounds and is more like sour grapes.
By the way, if we are going to talk about ties to the Russians influencing an election in the US, can we at least remember when Ted Kennedy approached the Russians to stop the election of Ronald Reagan. (more…)
Sometimes you just have to bow and appreciate the minds of everyday ordinary people.
When you make non gunpowder weapons at home, you are usually restricted to single shot contraptions or manual repeaters at best. But of course the ultimate goal is to build a full auto machine gun style weapon!
In 2000, the children of Deanna Fogerty-Hardwick were taken from her in what seems to have been a nasty divorce. (The court calls the incident an “implosion” of the family.)
The children were taken from their mother due, in part to the false testimony of several social workers who lied in affidavits and on the stand in front of a judge.
In this case, the jury specifically concluded that Vreeken and Dwojak lied, falsified evidence and suppressed exculpatory evidence–all of which was material to the dependency court’s decision to deprive Fogarty-Hardwick of custody–and that they did so with malice. These findings are clearly sufficient to satisfy the Supreme Court’s definition of circumstances in which ‘qualified immunity would not be available.’
After a long battle, the mother won a case against the social workers and their employers the Social Services Agency and Orange County. The children initiated a civil suit as well.
The workers who lied in their testimony, in statements to judges and on affidavits claimed “absolute immunity” and also “qualified immunity” in their defense.
Absolute immunity from private lawsuits covers the official activities of social workers only when they perform quasi-prosecutorial or quasi-judicial functions in juvenile dependency court.
After losing the argument for qualified immunity at the trial level and at the State Appeals level, the County and their attorney Pancy Lin, a partner at Lynberg & Watkins, appealed to a three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit.
Incredibly, Lin tried to argue that no one had told the social workers they could not lie and therefore the civil suit had to be dismissed. (more…)