A government report released this week shows that enormous walls, rabid coon-hunting dogs, venomous snakes, and other obstacles erected by the Arkansas Immigration Department are doing little to prevent hundreds of unaccompanied Missourian children from illegally crossing the border into Arkansas.
The immigration department’s controversial response to the crisis has been met with criticism from residents of both states. In a recent poll, 100 percent of Missouri residents and nearly 60 percent of Arkansas residents said they opposed the use of tetanus and dangerous animals to deter the children.
“These kids are fleeing what are essentially third world conditions,” Arkansas native Barbara Tompson said. “There’s the rampant government corruption, moonshine cartels, a confusing state motto, and an educational system that’s severely lacking. It’s no wonder the children can’t speak English.”
Sympathy held by those like Tompson falls on deaf ears when it comes to the Arkansas Immigration Department’s director, Patrick Scaggs.
“I’m sick of all the bleeding-heart liberals meddling with the security of this state,” Scaggs said. “We can’t use rusty barbed wire, mutant poison ivy, or genetically engineered wasps? Fine. Get ready for a mile-long line of 10-year-old Missouri punks lining up for your job.”
It has not been determined just how many Arkansas jobs can be performed by 10-year-olds, but the Arkansas Department of Child Labor is compiling data and preparing a report on the subject. Initial findings show a higher than expected average.
On Wednesday Missouri executed a man who still had appeals pending in the Federal Courts. They literally pulled him off the phone with his lawyers. His lawyers that were desperately trying to get in touch with the prosecutors, and the prosecutors couldn’t have been bothered to respond.
This isn’t the first time Missouri has done such a thing in recent months.
To my mind, this is an outstanding example of how little esteem the government and politicians of red states hold for ethics and justice. And how little they care for anything save their power.
Jedediah Stout (Green Co. Sheriff’s Office)
Tucked into the deeply evangelical corner of southwestern Missouri, the Islamic Society of Joplin’s mosque was an oasis for Muslims — the only mosque within a 50-mile radius.
But in August 2012, during Ramadan, the building burned to the ground in an apparent arson fire. It was the second attempt made on the mosque in about a month; activists feared a hate crime, and a team of federal and local investigators couldn’t find a suspect.
But now, a surprise turn in a different arson case has implicated an Iraq veteran, who officials say confessed over the weekend to burning down the mosque in addition to making attempts on the local Planned Parenthood office. […]
Officials have not yet charged Stout in the mosque fire. On Monday, federal prosecutors filed a request to hold a detention hearing to determine Stout’s status as the case unfolds.
No reason was given in court filings for the attacks.
In Facebook and online dating profiles under his name and showing a photo that appeared to match his booking picture, Stout self-identified as a politically conservative Christian and a struggling veteran. According to U.S. Army records, Stout was a combat engineer from October 2002 to July 2005 and had deployed to Iraq from September 2003 to September 2004. […]
Wonkette has also commented on the story in its signature style, heh:
[…] Now, let’s not be too quick in attributing a religious motivation to Mr. Stout. After all, “Authorities gave no motive for Stout’s alleged actions at the mosque or the Planned Parenthood clinic, which does not provide abortion services.” So there’s just no telling. Could be he just happened to pick those two places to burn because he’s a false flagger trying to make mosque-and-clinic-burners look bad. Or for no particular reason at all. We wouldn’t want Allen West to sic the NAACP on us, after all.
A gun bill currently rests on Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D-MO) desk, after passing the Missouri legislature by a veto-proof margin. Should it actually take effect, it would neutralize three generations of federal gun regulation, invite firearms into elementary schools and hold the First Amendment at the barrel of a gun. Here are four of the most bizarre ideas packed into this bill:
Returning Gun Laws To The Hoover Administration:
Not only does the bill claim the power to declare federal gun laws “null and void and of no effect in this state,” it then lists a long list of longstanding laws that it purports to nullify. Among them are “the federal Gun Control Act of 1934,” “the federal Gun Control Act of 1968,” and “any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens” — so a federal ban on machine guns would cease to exist in Missouri if this bill took effect. Nullification bills such as this one conflict with the express language of the Constitution, which provides that duly enacted federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Armed Kindergarten Teachers:
The bill also permits school districts to “designate one or more elementary or secondary school teachers or administrators as a school protection officer,” a designation that authorizes them to carry a concealed firearm on campus. These armed educators also gain a limited power to detain people — “[a]ny person designated as a school protection officer may detain, on view, any person the officer sees violating or who such officer has reasonable grounds to believe has violated any law of this state, including a misdemeanor or infraction, or any policy of the school.” Such detention may only last up to four hours, however, before the person being detained must be turned over to real police.
Sanity prevails; another paranoid, unnecessary bill bites the dust. I wonder how much this exercise in stupidity cost Missouri taxpayers?
Read the Governor’s full veto statement here (PDF).
Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed an anti-“Sharia Law” bill, saying that in its zeal to address an imaginary problem, the legislation creates a real one for parents seeking foreign adoptions.
The bill, SB267, would make it illegal for Missouri enforce any foreign law or legal decision deemed “repugnant or inconsistent” with Missouri or U.S. law.
The bill doesn’t mention Islamist Sharia religious law, but is part of a movement by conservative lawmakers in more than 20 states who have pushed similar measures in the past few years to highlight alleged Sharia influences in the U.S.
Just in case you were worried that our elected officials might be paying insufficient attempts to completely imaginary attempts to sully our precious national body fluids, or something, the legislature in Missouri has stepped up and bravely thrown itself athwart Agenda 21, the secret Illuminati UN plot to steal all our golfs.
“Agenda 21, a lot of people think it is a conspiracy theory, but it is a real book,” state Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob) said. “It deals with property rights and our food source. It deals with our ability to produce food and employ agricultural methods.”
Note to Rep. Fitzpatrick. If you’re going to represent a place called “Shell Knob,” it’s probably better if you didn’t sound so much like, well, a knob.
As is typical when legislatures discuss imaginary things, the debate in Missouri was held at a very high level.
House Minority Leader Jacob Hummel (D-St. Louis) questioned how the state could ban something that is not law. “Do you think we should waste time on a mythical thing?” Hummel asked Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick argued that lawmakers “absolutely” should be discussing the bill and that local government executives may try to implement Agenda 21 through executive orders. Hummel asked if the state Legislature should consider other bans. “Could we talk about space aliens coming down? That could happen,” Hummel said. “If you believe space aliens exist, then you are welcome to introduce a bill,” Fitzpatrick shouted back.
OK, maybe not. But there was some very high-quality paranoia involved in the proceedings.
State Rep. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) linked Agenda 21 to a federal government declaration in 2011 that she said would have seized 1,200 homes along Lake of the Ozarks. The government said the homes were built on land belonging to a hydroelectric power plant. Franklin had no proof the U.N. was involved in the lake plan and acknowledged it’s unlikely there are U.N. spies in the federal or state governments.
Well, the folks can rest easily now, and stop frisking the guy running the Slurpee machine for wires.
The plan, first adopted in 2006, empowers “incident commanders” from the fire or police departments to make the evacuation call during routine emergencies, including “minor threats from explosions.”
Private workers aren’t mentioned. But the protocol instructs incident commanders to consider a “worst probable scenario” when making the decision.
Such a scenario struck Tuesday.
Answering to 911 calls of a strong natural gas odor, first-responding Kansas City firefighters followed the lead of a Missouri Gas Energy worker and did not initiate an evacuation of JJ’s restaurant or nearby homes and businesses.
An hour after those calls, the Country Club Plaza restaurant exploded, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others.
Accounts by the city and the utility indicate MGE did ask people to leave in the moments before the explosion — but well after the odor of natural gas filled the tiny eating spot and wine bar.
“Four US states are considering new legislation about teaching science in schools, allowing pupils to be taught religious versions of how life on earth developed in what critics say would establish a backdoor way of questioning the theory of evolution,” the Guardian (January 13, 2013) summarizes. The states in question are Colorado (House Bill 13-1089), Missouri (House Bill 179 and House Bill 291), Montana (House Bill 183), and Oklahoma (Senate Bill 758 and House Bill 1674) — to which should be added Arizona (Senate Bill 1213) and Indiana (House Bill 1283), for a grand total of eight bills in six states.
Missouri’s HB 179 and HB 291 target evolution only, with HB 291 requiring, “If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught.” Arizona’s SB 1213, Colorado’s HB 13-1089, Oklahoma’s HB 1674, and Montana’s HB 183 target, in varying wording, “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” Oklahoma’s SB 758 and Indiana’s HB 1283 mention no specific topics, although evolution is clearly the implicit target.
Except for Missouri’s HB 291, all of the bills share three features, expressed in more or less the same language. First, they are permissive, allowing rather than requiring teachers to help pupils understand the supposed “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of scientific theories. Second, they are protective, forbidding state and local educational authorities from prohibiting teachers to do so. (Oklahoma’s HB 1674 also protects students from being penalized for subscribing “to a particular position on scientific theories.”) Third, they disavow any intention to promote any religious or antireligious view.
Discussing the bills, NCSE’s Joshua Rosenau commented, “Taken at face value, they sound innocuous and lovely: critical thinking, debate and analysis. It seems so innocent, so pure. But they chose to question only areas that religious conservatives are uncomfortable with. There is a religious agenda here.” Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State concurred, telling the Guardian, “This is just another attempt to bring creationism in through the back door. The only academic freedom they really want to encourage is the freedom to be ignorant.”
Although over forty such bills have been introduced over the last decade, only two have been enacted: in Louisiana in 2008 and in Tennessee in 2012. Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University (and a member of NCSE’s board of directors) attributed the popularity of such bills to the outcome of the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, in which teaching “intelligent design” in the public schools was found to be unconstitutional. “Creationists never give up. They never do. The language of these bills may be highly sanitized but it is creationist code,” she said.
“The laws can have a direct impact on a state,” the Guardian reported, citing the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology’s boycott of Louisiana (recently rescinded for the city of New Orleans, after the New Orleans City Council and the Orleans Parish School Board both took firm stands against teaching creationism). Zack Kopplin, the young Lousiana activist, argued that similar bills risk the economy and the reputation of states considering them. “It really hurts students. It can be embarrassing to be from a state which has become a laughing stock in this area,” Kopplin remarked.
One of the first Chinese business owners ever to be charged with stealing trade secrets from a U.S. company received an 18-month sentence Friday in Kansas City federal court.
Ji Li Huang, 45, came to Missouri last year and thought he was bribing an employee of the Pittsburgh Corning plant in Sedalia to hand over the firm’s secret formula for cellular glass insulation.
In fact, he walked into an FBI trap, organized after Huang clumsily took out ads in the Sedalia newspaper announcing that he wanted to speak with Pittsburgh Corning employees because he was planning a similar plant in Asia.
Huang, who speaks no English, appeared anguished after a translator whispered the sentence from U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes.
HCA, the nation’s largest profit-making hospital chain, was ordered on Thursday to pay $162 million after a judge in Missouri ruled that it had failed to abide by an agreement to make improvements to dilapidated hospitals that it bought in the Kansas City area several years ago.
The judge also ordered a court-appointed accountant to determine whether HCA had actually provided the levels of charitable care that it agreed to at the time.
The ruling came in response to a suit filed in 2009 by a community foundation that was created when HCA acquired the hospitals. Among other things, the foundation was responsible for ensuring that HCA met the obligations outlined in the deal.