On Saturday, September 17, our country celebrates its 224th birthday. Constitution Day commemorates the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the 39 statesmen who signed it that day in 1787. This year, since the anniversary falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed on Friday, September 16. John Adams said the Constitution was the result of "the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen." His praise was not exaggerated; by this document the Founding Fathers framed a republican form of government unique in history, restrained within strictly defined lawful bounds. It set up limited powers for the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Because its authors knew governments tend toward corruption, they added a Bill of Rights — the original 10 amendments to the Constitution — stipulating all the things the Federal government is not allowed to do. Sadly, many Americans today undervalue the worth of our founding documents and the safeguards of freedom they provide.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed SB 736 into law in March.  The new law requires merit pay for teachers and it ends tenure for newly hired school teachers. The Florida Education Association has sued Florida alleging that the new law denies teachers their right to collective bargaining and is unconstitutional. Cory Williams, one of the teachers who are included in the lawsuit, said: “The provisions of SB 736 radically transform the teaching profession — and not for the better. The expertise and knowledge of teachers have been ignored throughout this process and our constitutional rights have been trampled.” Although other states have passed laws that weakened tenure and adopted new methods of evaluating teachers, no other state has made teacher merit for pay raises contingent upon how well students do on tests. Michelle Exstrom of the National Conference of State Legislatures observed: “Florida has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the merit pay issue. They’ve just struggled to do it in a way that’s most effective for students and their teachers. You know what, it’s not clear cut how to make this work.”
A U.S. House committee reported that President Obama’s aides pressed White House budget officials to review a $535 million federal loan guarantee to Solyndra, a failed solar-maker manufacturer that recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Republicans on a House Energy subcommittee released internal administration documents Wednesday revealing an attempt to expedite completion of the loan package so that Vice President Joe Biden could publicly announce the plan at a company event two years ago. The report, which included findings of a seven-month investigation, was released before two administration officials were grilled about White House support to risk hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money for a speculative investment in energy technology. The Department of Energy and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "did not take adequate steps to protect taxpayer dollars," read the report. "This was a half-billion-dollar mistake," asserted Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.). Shortly after Solyndra shut down its operations, which resulted in 1,100 immediate layoffs, the FBI raided the company’s headquarters, because of allegations that executives knowingly misled the government to swindle more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees.  
The United Nations Security Council is considering a resolution to establish a UN mission in Libya, unfreeze assets of two major oil companies and repeal a ban on flights by Libyan aircraft. Great Britain was circulating a draft of the resolution among the 15 member nations of the Security Council Tuesday night and is hoping for a vote on it by the end of this week, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Meanwhile the Financial Times of London quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that the United States will play a "modest" role in aiding recovery in Libya, where rebel forces recently ousted Muammar Qaddafi, ending his 42-year reign. "We're not going to be engaged in nation building in the traditional sense of what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, there are not going to be millions or billions of US taxpayer dollars going out there," a senior administration official in Washington told the international business daily. Instead, Libya's reconstruction would be guided by a UN framework and assisted by unspecified number of countries and by multilateral organizations like the World Bank and International Monetary fund.
New regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have many people up in arms, including some unions. Aware that the regulations will be job-killers, the unions and small government advocate have actually discovered some common ground. The Blaze reports: A Texas company is suing to block new EPA “cross-state air pollution” rules. If the regulations are not changed, Luminant Energy claims it will be forced to close two plants and fire 500 people. Texas was not initially included in the new EPA rules that target sulphur-dioxin emissions with a mandate requiring a 64% reduction from 2010 levels, but in July the Lone Star state was added to the list. According to the Titus County Chamber of Commerce Director Faustine Curry, the regulations would have a detrimental impact on the Texas economy. “This would be devastating to the Northeast Texas economy — not just Titus County. In Titus County, we have the power plant, the mines,” Curry explained.
The New Hampshire Legislature has overridden a veto by governor John Lynch of a bill to allow citizens to use deadly force against assailants anywhere they have a right to be. The state House of Representatives voted 251-111 in support of the bill Wednesday, exceeding the two-thirds vote needed for an override. The state Senate last week voted for the override. 17-7.   The bill expands a provision of existing law, often called the "castle doctrine," that allows the use of deadly force in self-defense, or the defense of others, in one's home or attached property. In all other places, current law requires a person under threat of attack to retreat to safety whenever possible. The new law, effective within 60 days of passage, removes the retreat requirement for someone under attack "anywhere he or she has a right to be." Supporters said a resort to lethal force in defense of one's life or the life of others should be legal in public places as much as in the home.
On September 13, physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, announced his resignation from the American Physical Society, disgusted by the company’s officially stated policy that “global warming is occurring.” The American Physical Society officially supports the theory that man’s actions have led to global warming through increased emissions of carbon dioxide, an assertion with which Dr. Giaever wholly disagrees. Giaever made his views very clear in his resignation e-mail, which was reprinted at Climate Depot, a website that has been committed to debunking the theory of manmade climate change. “I resign from APS,” he wrote. Responding to APS’s declaration that the evidence of manmade global warming is “incontrovertible,” Giaever opined, “In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?”
The federal government’s ban on the incandescent light bulb impacts even the most unexpected items, including the Easy Bake Oven, made by Hasbro, with which many young American girls play. The famous toy, first introduced in 1963, once relied on a heated bulb to bake miniature treats. However, the compact fluorescents, which are becoming the new standard for household use, are so energy efficient that they would be incapable of baking a brownie or any other baked good. Therefore, the makers of the Easy Bake Oven have had to reform the product so as to not necessitate a light bulb. The Blaze reports: Initially, news of the death of the 100-watt bulb prompted rumors that the Easy-Bake might be going the same way. Instead, the toy got its 11th redesign, at the heart of which is a new heating element much like that of a traditional oven. Hasbro touts some benefits of the forced redesign, such as the physical makeover of the product that the company believes gives the product a more realistic look.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled September 13th that a California teacher’s First Amendment guarantees were not violated when the principal at the school where he worked ordered him to remove classroom banners that connected America’s heritage of freedom to faith in God. The decision overturned a lower court’s ruling that the Poway Unified School District had violated the free speech rights of Bradley Johnson, a mathematics teacher in the district. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Johnson “had displayed banners in his classrooms for two decades that he saw as celebrating the religious heritage of America, including ‘In God We Trust,’ ‘God Bless America,’ and ‘God Shed His Grace on Thee.’ ” But when Johnson transferred to a another school in the district in 2007, his new principal, Dawn Kastner, ordered him to remove the banners, some over seven feet wide, saying that their size made them “a promotion of a particular viewpoint,” as Kastner was quoted in the court’s 40-page opinion.
The dispute between Boeing and the National Labor Relations Board was addressed today by a vote in the House of Representatives. The measure in question is one that would minimize the NLRB’s enforcement power. It passed by a vote of 239-176. Six Democrats crossed party lines to vote in favor of the bill. The bill, called “The Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act,” prohibits the labor board from “ordering any employer to close, relocate or transfer employment under any circumstances.” The battle between Boeing and the NLRB erupted when the NLRB attempted to block Boeing’s plan to open a production facility in South Carolina, a right to work state. The disagreement between the NLRB and Boeing has prompted Congress to introduce the measure.
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