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Student Kicked out of Class for Refusing to Recite Pledge of Allegiance

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Vintage photo of the Pledge of Allegiance being recited.

An 11-year-old at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida was arrested and removed from class after a substitute teacher demanded the student recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The teacher, who was filling in on February 4, asked her sixth-grade class to stand and recite the pledge, but the student refused, reportedly telling the substitute teacher that the flag was racist, and adding that the National Anthem was offensive to black people. 

The substitute challenged the boy, saying in a statement to the district that she told the student, “Why if it was so bad here he did not go to another place to live?”

He answered, saying, “they brought me here.”

She pressed the issue, “Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore I would find another place to live.”

“Then I had to call the office because I did not want to continue dealing with him,” the substitute teacher said.

After this point, the student was arrested by the school’s resource officer. According to the arrest report, the boy refused to follow multiple commands, and called staff members of the school “racist.” He was reported to also have threatened to get both the principal and the resource officer fired from their jobs, and that he would beat the teacher. The latter claim the boy and his mother, Dhakira Talbot, disputes.

Talbot blames the substitute for the incident, telling Bay News 9, “She was wrong. She was way out of place. If she felt like there was an issue with my son not standing for the flag, she should’ve resolved that in a way different manner than she did.”

The school district has removed the substitute teacher from their schools and is investigating the incident. According to a spokesperson for the school district, they do not require students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but the substitute may not have been aware of this. 

Image by Marjory Collins [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

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Worse Than It Looks: On the Same-Sex Marriage Bill Many More Republicans This Time Really Showed Up – to Vote No

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Respect for Marriage Act a second time, approving even stronger religious liberty protections after the legislation was changed in the Senate. But this time was different – this time Republicans really showed up, in even bigger numbers, to vote no.

And it’s worse than it looks.

The bill once again did pass, and will now be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

But how we got here does not bode well for the future of civil rights.

READ MORE: Watch: ‘Biblical Conservative’ Republican Likens Bestiality and Polygamy to Same-Sex Marriage in Angry Speech Against Bill

On July 19, the bill passed the House 267-157, with 47 Republicans voting yes and all 157 no votes also coming from Republicans.

On Thursday the bill passed in a 258-169 vote, with just 39 Republicans voting yes and all 169 no votes again coming from Republicans.

Just looking at the overall vote totals, comparing the vote in July to the vote on Thursday, it’s easy to think eight Republicans (47 minus 39) switched their yes vote to no.

It’s a bit more complicated.

And it’s the no votes that are striking. Because in reality, this time a lot more Republicans voted no.

READ MORE: Watch: Speaker Pelosi Excitedly Announces House Passage of Same-Sex Marriage Protection Bill – 169 Republicans Vote No

Eight Republicans who did not vote in July showed up this time to vote no. Only one who did not vote in July voted yes on Thursday.

Another six Republicans switched their vote from yes in July to no on Thursday.

Two who voted yes in July did not vote on Thursday.

One switched from no to yes.
One switched from yes to present.
One who voted no in July is now deceased.

Republicans on the House floor on Thursday made their message clear.

Republicans like Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, a former anti-LGBTQ activist who worked for an organization created to block same-sex marriage. She literally cried own the floor begging her colleagues to vote no. And Rep. Bob Good of Virginia, who said practically everything wrong in society can be traced back to same-sex marriage.

Here’s the breakdown. (If they are not listed they voted no.)

Here’s how we get to eight fewer yes votes:

Bentz Republican Oregon Yes to No
Mast Republican Florida Yes to No
Meuser Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Perry Republican Pennsylvania Yes to No
Salazar Republican Florida Yes to No
Van Drew Republican New Jersey Yes to No

Owens Republican Utah Yes to Present

Kinzinger Republican Illinois Yes to Did Not Vote
Zeldin Republican New York Yes to Did Not Vote

Herrera Beutler Republican Washington No to Yes

Here’s how we get a lot more no votes:

Babin Republican Texas Did Not Vote to No
Burchett Republican Tennessee Did Not Vote to No
Diaz-Balart Republican Florida Did Not Vote to No
Finstad Republican Minnesota Did Not Vote to No
Hartzler Republican Missouri Did Not Vote to No
Lucas Republican Oklahoma Did Not Vote to No
McKinley Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No
Miller (WV) Republican West Virginia Did Not Vote to No

Gallagher Republican Wisconsin No to Did Not Vote

Sempolinski Republican New York New Member to No
Yakym Republican Indiana New Member to No

Brady Republican Texas No to Did Not Vote
Walorski Republican Indiana No to deceased

 

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Kellyanne Conway Serves up Some Alternative Facts About Herschel Walker’s Failed Election Bid

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Kellyanne Conway, a political strategist who also served as White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, recently delivered critical remarks leveled at Republican senators.

According to Conway, Republican lawmakers did not stand behind Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker in the days leading up to the state’s highly publicized election runoff.

Walker, who was endorsed by Trump, lost the election by less than 100,000 votes.

On Wednesday, December 7, Conway appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” where she voiced her concerns about the election.

According to Mediaite, Conway also “railed against Walker’s fellow Republicans for abandoning him.”

“To the 49 Republican senators, where were most of you?” Conway asked while appealing to other Republican lawmakers to support members of the party. “Why weren’t you in Georgia?”

Conway continued:

“They all should have been because they should’ve been there in some form, town hall, in person, saying the following: ‘I serve in the United States with Raphael Warnock. He’s a terrible senator. He doesn’t represent Georgia. He’s not fit to serve. He votes with Joe Biden. He voted for the Inflation Reduction Act that doesn’t do that. He said nothing when they pulled out of Afghanistan. He said nothing that Joe Biden has been to Delaware 174 days and down to the border zero days.’ That’s what needs to happen. Where were the other senators to say, ‘I want Herschel Walker, not Raphael Warnock in the Senate with me?'”

Conway’s remarks come shortly after another prominent conservative went on a rant about Walker; however, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) perspective is starkly different from Conway’s.

Speaking to far-right influencer Steve Bannon, Greene said that Walker’s campaign rarely reached out for assistance; something she describes as “insulting.” During the interview, Greene insisted, ″They only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting.”

 

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FBI Investigating Five Power Substations Attacked in Pacific Northwest in Strikes Similar to North Carolina

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The FBI is investigating at least five attacks on electricity substations in the Pacific northwest similar to one that caused widespread power outages in North Carolina.

Representatives from Puget Sound Energy, the Cowlitz County Public Utility District and Bonneville Power Administration confirmed the attacks took place in November, although the FBI declined to confirm the investigations and it’s not clear whether any of the damage resulted in service disruptions, reported the Seattle Times.

“BPA is actively cooperating with the FBI on this incident and has encouraged other utilities throughout the region to increase their vigilance and report any suspicious or similar activity to law enforcement,” said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for BPA.

Johnson declined to give details about the equipment that was damaged, but he said a “deliberate physical attack” at a Clackamas, Oregon, substation damaged a fence and equipment over the Thanksgiving holiday.

A spokesman said two Puget Sound Energy substations were damaged last month but declined to provide details, and a spokeswoman said two Cowlitz County Public Utility District substations in Woodland, Washington, were damaged by vandals in mid-November but have since been repaired.

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