"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." — Washington Irving    
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will be creating an “environmental justice” unit that will be overseeing environmental regulations, alongside local governments. The unit’s role of enforcing environmental regulations has prompted critics to refer to the new department as the “green police.”    
 After inexplicably allowing it to languish on his desk for over a month, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has finally joined the fight against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by agreeing to sign the bill prohibiting Virginia’s military or law enforcement from assisting in the detention of American citizens.    
Prosecutors in the case against George Zimmerman charged him with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin and released an affidavit explaining the grounds for their charges. The evidence presented thus far doesn’t quite square with facts of the case, but that aside, legal experts told media outlets that prosecutors will have a tough time convicting Zimmerman of murder.    
Vice President Joe Biden Thursday repeated one of the controversial statements he made in the 2008 campaign. Speaking in Exeter, New Hampshire, Biden said it is patriotic for rich people to pay more in taxes than they do now, and the wealthy know it.    
 After Charles Lindbergh flew The Spirit of St. Louis from New York to France in 1927, completing the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, he became America’s most admired hero. “The Lone Eagle,” as he was called, then helped develop aviation and married Anne Morrow, daughter of diplomat Dwight Morrow. Anne learned to fly, and she and Charles made spectacular intercontinental flights together. In 1930, the first of their six children, Charles, Jr., was born, dubbed “the Eaglet” by the press.    
 Energy Secretary Steven Chu is claiming that scientific evidence for climate change is as convincing as ever — a comment that arrives just as controversies surrounding the renewable energy industry and new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules face staunch opposition from Republicans and industry groups.    
A new Tennessee law, passed without the signature of Republican Governor Bill Haslam, will allow the teaching and discussion of creation theory alongside evolution in the state’s science classrooms. While Haslam did not veto the bill, he did not sign it into law either, citing concerns he had over its possible negative impact on science curriculums.    
Otto Otepka is not a name that automatically rings bells in the minds of most Americans, even those Americans with a historical understanding of the role of communism in suborning our government. Yet as William Gill relates in his magisterial work, The Ordeal of Otto Otepka, often lonely individuals guided only by their patriotism, their conscience, and their faith have been the Horatio at the Bridge, protecting the rest of us from evil.    
Values clarification is a humanist program that seeks to carry out Prof. Benjamin Bloom’s supposed purpose of education: “to effect a complete or thorough-going reorganization of [the student’s] attitudes and values.” The evidence suggests, Bloom wrote, that “a single hour of classroom activity under certain conditions may bring about a major reorganization in cognitive as well as affective behaviors.”    
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