College Students Hang Harmless Item On Dorm Balcony, Immediately Threatened With Suspension

Should college students be threatened with expulsion for hanging the American flag from the balcony of their on-campus apartment?

Sophomore Cameron Box and junior Connor Fenwick received a notice from San Diego State University that their hanging of the American flag, the US Coast Guard flag, and the US Army flag  violate school policy and could result in a maximum penalty of expulsion from the school. Box is active duty Coast Guard, and Fenwick is an aspiring Army officer.

They told ABC affiliate KGTV about the letter and potential for expulsion.

Box stated: “We’re just being proud of what we’re affiliated with.They’re trying to say it’s a fire hazard, but it just doesn’t make much sense.”

Fenwick added: “Why can’t we have our First Amendment rights?”

The letter they received states that the students “may be expelled, suspended, placed on probation, or given a lesser sanction.” It adds that these consequences are not being currently pursued; rather, the students “are being issued a formal warning for this incident.”

The SDSU on-campus living agreement does specify that “Hangings, partitions, or curtains of any type may not be used on balconies or patios.”

Beth Chee, media relations manager at SDSU, said that “Any item, regardless of content, hanging from a balcony is considered a safety and security issue because of its potential to block visibility.” She notes that students are free to hang what they would like inside the apartment.

In a petition directed to California Governor Jerry Brown and the SDSU administrators, Box and Fenwick argue against the school’s interpretation.

According to Fenwick in the petition, he contends that the flags are techinically not “hangings, partitions, or curtains.”  He argues they are not partitions because they are not used to divide an area, they are not curtains which are used to shut out light or increase privacy, and, finally, they are not hangings because they are firmly attached and do not move.

Fenwick writes that campus safety is not the primary concern of SDSU in this case. Rather, the school “lacks the moral backbone to support cases such as mine and is too lazy to deal with other students who may take offense to a flag being portrayed in a residential setting.”

What do you think? Should the students be threatened with expulsion for hanging a US flag from the balcony?

Watch: Four Words On This Sign At A Marine Corps Base Are Causing Huge Controversy

Reports indicate military officials in Hawaii are facing threats from one activist group in response to a sign being displayed on base.

According a letter sent to the commanding officer at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation contends that the sign contains an unconstitutional message.

In an interview, MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein complained that the sign sticks out “like a tarantula on a wedding cake,” explaining that his organization acted on behalf of nearly two dozen complaints from Marines stationed on the base. Reaction to the group’s demand that the sign be removed has been largely negative. Many on social media noted that the message was first displayed in the wake of 9/11, heretofore without such backlash.

A number of those who approve of the sign wondered if nonbelievers are as genuinely offended by such a display as they appear to be.

A few atheists, among other opponents, weighed in on the controversy by declaring the sign a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

Such posts, however, were generally followed by one or more of a few typical responses.

Liberals Are Losing Their Minds Over 5 Words This High School Principal Wrote In A Letter

The war to preserve Christian faith in American society has another battleground. After a high school principal left an uplifting message to his students, he immediately came under attack in yet another lawsuit aimed at stamping out traces of Christianity in the public sphere.

Bossier, City, La. Principal, Jason Rowland, ended a statement on the school’s website writing, “The Future Starts Today – May God Bless You All.” The high school also supports a student-led chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) by allowing them to set up prayer boxes in the school.

It was all too much for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Louisiana. The ACLU wants the boxes with their “Christina symbols” removed and Rowland suitably punished. The Bossier Parish school board will discuss the complaint on Thursday.

In the meantime, supporters of the school are fighting back.

“In my 15 years of life, I have never, EVER, been told that freedom of religion was against the law,” said teen-ager Preston Wyatt on YouTube, urging the school’s supporters to rally at #istandwithAHS and #godsnotdead. “To all of my friends at Airline…I am praying for God’s mercy to prevail during this rough time that y’all have been struck with. Don’t let someone so senseless tell you that you have no place on acknowledging your religion. Just because they do not believe in it does not mean you shouldn’t either.”

Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, said the ACLU has its facts wrong, as well as its intentions. The prayer boxes should be allowed because they are a student-driven idea. All student groups have equal access to displays at the school, he said. He also pointed out that students have free speech rights.

“This is typical of the ACLU,” he said. “They’re on a seek-and-destroy mission for all things religious. I hope the school will stand its ground.”

Freedom Guard, a non-profit public interest law firm, has also offered free legal defense to Airline High School, according to KSLA.

Freedom Guard successfully defended the Bossier schools in a lawsuit challenging a nativity display several years ago, Johnson said.

Johnson defended Rowland’s use of the phrase “God bless” as an “an innocuous reference to our religious heritage” much like the mention of God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Just because an activist organization in New Orleans trolls the Internet in search of something to be offended by does not mean than any constitutional line has been crossed here or that any behavior should be modified,” Johnson said.

h/t: Fox News

Watch: Man Starts Tearing Koran At University Rally, Gets Met With Immediate Response

A video of a man who decided to show what he feels about Islam, by tearing pages out of the Koran on a college campus, has gone viral.

The incident happened last week at the Wright State University campus quad (near Dayton, Ohio), where speakers often gather to express their views on a variety of subjects.

In the video of the man’s speech, he holds up a book, which he says is the Koran, and yells, “This is evil…Muhammad is sinful…I hate the Koran!” as other students yells at him. Some in the growing crowd try to drown him down, chanting, “God is Love.”

The scene quickly grows chaotic as he begins to rip pages out of the Koran, causing campus police to step in and surround the man, who they then escorted to his car and off of the campus.

“To my knowledge, in my 16, 17 years here, I’ve never seen that,” Wright State Police Chief David Finnie told WHIO. “Our role here was simple. First of all, we support people expressing their First Amendment rights. There’s no better place than an academic setting.”

“If they’re inciting riots with their speech, if they’re going to damage property or hurt people, then we will intervene and shut down the event,” he added, referring to public speakers who frequent the quad.

The individual, who identified himself as John Williams, is not a Wright State student according to campus officials. “A Wright State spokesperson says the man is a student who travels to campuses across the country to demonstrate,” according to WDTN. University President David Hopkins said in a statement:

An individual not associated with our university ventured onto our campus and expressed himself in ways that many found disrespectful to various groups because of their religion, sexual orientation, gender, or status as a victim of sexual assault. His actions, in my opinion, were vile and disgusting. We all understand that public universities are places where a free exchange of ideas promotes the intellectual development of students and informs civic activity and policy beyond campus.

Hopkins added in a campus-wide email to students following the event that: “His actions are a reminder to all of us that we have a great responsibility in higher education to be the change that we seek in the world.”

Williams defends his actions: “Sometimes it takes a radical approach to get people’s attention. We’re just fishing for souls out there.”

“He said he is part of an organization he calls ‘Official Street Preachers’ whose members visit college campuses and employ ‘confrontational evangelism’ when preaching. ‘We confront people in their sins,’ he said,” according to WHIO. 

Wright State University also made news earlier this week when it was announced that it will host the first presidential debate next fall, featuring the Republican and Democratic nominees.

The university was the location in 2008 where GOP nominee Sen. John McCain announced former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

WVXU reports:

The Wright State debate will be the first of four hosted the Commission on Presidential Debates.

A vice presidential debate will follow on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. The presidential candidates will meet again on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The third and final presidential debate will be Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

All four debates are being held in what are likely to be key swing states in next year’s presidential election – Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and Nevada.

Authoritarians Do Not Get What America Is All About

There is a very lengthy and informative article this week by retired U.S. Army Maj. Todd Pierce, titled, U.S. War Theories Target Dissenters. The article discusses the U.S. Defense Department’s Law of War Manual, which says that journalists can be declared as “unprivileged belligerents” by the government and be placed into military detention without charges or evidence against the accused, or they can be killed.

Maj. Pierce brings up the hysterical West Point law professor William Bradford, who calls for the military to target civilians who express a dissenting point of view of the post-9/11 war on terrorism, and targeting in particular, quoting Bradford, “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews.”

And Pierce also quotes retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters as writing that “‘Future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.’ (Emphasis in original.)” Pierce brings up the news media coverage of the Vietnam War, which some U.S. military officers have apparently been brainwashed to believe was a “stab in the back,” even though media critics of the war merely recognized the impossibility of the U.S. winning the Vietnam War, which the military commanders already knew as early as 1967 as was revealed by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 with the “Pentagon Papers.”

Despite his exercising his Press freedom rights as thoroughly protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Ellsberg was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, even though the information he released was to the American people, and not some foreign government.

You see, deep down, those in power know that their wars and aggressions and power-grabbing are illicit and criminal; and when the lights get shined on them, they not only hide and cover up–but they go after those who shine the lights on them.

More recently, Edward Snowden had been labeled a “traitor” because he revealed a lot of information to the American people regarding the criminality being committed by government agencies against them, the American people. In other words, Snowden revealed what have in fact been treasonous acts, as the U.S. Constitution would define them, being committed by various government employees.

The relevant part of Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

By “them,” the writers referred to the United States in the plural sense–that is, the various States of the Union, and the people of the States. So when federal government bureaucrats and their armed enforcers and soldiers direct the forces of the federal government against their own people, including the Press, those acts should be considered acts of “levying war” against the people, and thus should be considered treasonous.

In other words, it is the agents of the federal government in Washington who owe their loyalty to the American people, not the other way around.

There was also another important article this past week, On Conscientious Objection and Moral Injury, by Maria Santelli of the Center on Conscience and War. In that article, Santelli notes the concept of “killology,” in which the U.S. military has been training the soldiers to suppress their conscience, their moral scruples, in order to make it psychologically easier for them to kill innocent people, and to do so reflexively without a second thought. Santelli also notes that much of the trauma experienced by the soldiers is associated with a guilty conscience, a major cause for the 22+ U.S. military veterans committing suicide each day.

Despite such training, it is the soldier or officer who nevertheless retains his sense of moral conscience who is better able to recognize the injustices and crimes being committed by his own government; and real bravery is exhibited by those who reveal the truth.

Former U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning (now known as Chelsea Manning) was the real deal, in my view. Manning witnessed first hand the war crimes being committed by his fellow soldiers overseas, in Iraq, the murders of innocent civilians, and also became aware of criminality committed by U.S. diplomats. Manning acted on his own moral conscience and took great risks releasing troves of documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning didn’t give the information to some foreign regime. He released the material to WikiLeaks because he wanted the American people to know the truth about what their government and military were up to.

Worse than the government’s treatment of Daniel Ellsberg, whose charges of “espionage” were dismissed by the judge at his trial, Bradley Manning’s trial was a farce, a kangaroo court, in which he ended up getting sentenced to 35 years in prison, in addition to the 3 years of mostly solitary confinement and torture he endured upon his initial arrest. So this is much more like the Soviet Union than the America envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

But the government’s treatment of Bradley Manning is how the criminally-minded bureaucracy responds when its crimes are exposed for all to see.

Yet, the U.S. “leaders” have treated actual spies against America much better, such as Robert Hanssen, Aldrich Ames, James Hall and George Trofimoff. They may have sold U.S. government secrets to the Soviets or others, but they apparently didn’t expose embarrassing details of U.S. government incompetence, corruption and war crimes as Manning did.

So the authoritarians of the centralized bureaucracy have it all backwards: these military fascists and their little yes-men minions believe that the federal government is the authority over the people of the States, and the citizens must follow their orders without question. And to criticize them, or expose their wrongdoing, is “treasonous” to these apparatchiks of the regime in Washington. And God forbid someone might satirize or lampoon these fools!

Of course the Vietnam War should have been criticized, by anyone who has a moral conscience. Sec. of Defense McNamara, Sec. of State Kissinger and Presidents Johnson and Nixon were war criminals, as they knowingly and willfully continued to send U.S. troops to their deaths in an unjust war with full knowledge that the war would never be won. They were murderers, in fact, not only of innocents overseas, but of their own fellow Americans.

And in 1991, interventionist President George H.W. Bush attacked Iraq, a country that was of no threat to America, including the bombing of civilian infrastructure, which was followed by sanctions which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, which caused retaliation and blowback, more terrorist attacks against the supposedly “civilized” West, a new war on Iraq perpetrated by Bush’s son, an Iraqi Sharia Law theocracy and now ISIS.

So of course those two Presidents Bush not only must be criticized, and their military must be criticized for war crimes; but they are the ones who should be imprisoned, certainly not those who exposed or criticized their crimes!

And of course, the government’s incompetence and criminality in unlawfully apprehending and detaining innocent people and torturing them must be criticized and condemned. When the former CIA officer John Kiriakou reveals the sick torture program and is himself imprisoned but not the criminal torturers, we must condemn that injustice. We must also criticize and condemn CIA directors such as John Brennan who defend indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas and a program of murdering suspects without trial or evidence, goofy generals such as Keith Alexander who model a war room after the bridge on Star Trek, and of course Gen. David Petraeus, whose extramarital affairs make the top headlines. And by the way, if someone like that is going to cheat on his own wife, can we really trust him to be loyal to the people he was appointed to serve?

And in fact, this whole “war on terror” must also be criticized and condemned and de-legitimized, which to many ignorant authoritarians in Washington would be a “treasonous” offense. The “war on terror” in fact has been a war on freedom, and a war on the American people, our security, our property and whatever wealth that hasn’t already been siphoned away. And it is actually these psychopathic terror-warriors who are the actual traitors, as their treason against the American people fits the actual constitutional definition of Treason as discussed above.

But indoctrinated militarist authoritarians believe in a top-down command society, in which the masses are obediently subject to the rule and whim of the “leaders.” The authoritarians do not seem to genuinely understand the ideas of self-determination, self-defense, and each individual’s inherent human right of freedom of thought and conscience, the right to investigate and ask questions, and the right to hold “The Authorities” accountable. Or the authoritarians do understand those ideas, but they merely oppose them. (Perhaps the Soviet Union is more to their liking!)

One thing the authoritarians who are drawn to 21st Century central planning in America don’t seem to understand is, while they love militarism and U.S. military power and oppose the individual rights the American Revolutionaries fought for, those early Americans themselves were opposed to militarism. They, including James Madison, opposed the idea of their new federal government even having a standing army; and Madison warned that governments’ standing armies had been used against their own people.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was the Framers’ answer to the possibility of a centralized government turning its weapons against the people. That is one reason why the Second Amendment refers to “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” not the right of the government to keep and bear arms. The Framers, or at least those who were sincerely concerned with preserving liberty, clearly believed that the people themselves should be armed and responsible for their defense. They did not trust a centralized government army, especially given the early Americans’ conflicts against the British tyrants.

In an article linking the right to keep and bear arms with freedom, Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote: “There have been practical historical reasons for the near universal historical acceptance of the individual possession of this right. The dictators and monsters of the 20th century — from Stalin to Hitler, from Castro to Pol Pot, from Mao to Assad — have disarmed their people, and only because some of those people resisted the disarming were all eventually enabled to fight the dictators for freedom. Sometimes they lost. Sometimes they won.

“The principal reason the colonists won the American Revolution is that they possessed weapons equivalent in power and precision to those of the British government.”

And in recognizing that the new federal government was to be subject to the scrutiny of the American people, and not the other way around, James Madison himself observed in Federalist No. 46 that, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Now, the modern militarists and free speech-suppressors can shout about the “terrorists,” the “Islamists,” and ISIS all they want. But because of the existence of the U.S. military and U.S. Presidents’ misuse of such a dangerous institution for over a century, having a central planning monopoly in “defense” has mainly been used for offense and provocation, and not for genuine defense. The modern threats which exist are due to the blowback of the U.S. government’s own aggressions against foreigners, which only provokes them and makes the American people more vulnerable because of it. (See Morris and Linda Tannehill, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Gustave de Molinari, for more on how an armed civilian population would be more effective at protecting themselves from foreign aggression, and certainly less threatening to their liberty than an armed government currently is.)

And finally, on the people’s right to express themselves, to be informed on what their government is up to, and to criticize government goons when such goons deserve to be criticized, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

You bet.

This commentary originally appeared on Scott’s blog

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by