Saturday, April 30, 2016


blue blue windows behind the stars, yellow moon on the rise

if you put Peter Lance, Nipper, Mr. Wimpy and that Montecito artist chump Thomas Van Mentally-Challenged (keeps painting the same thing over and over!) in a room with Robert Eringer, writer and barfly, I'd say Eringer is the only one with any talent...surrounding himself with dummies is a strategy I've long employed so I look and feel smarter, but for me it doesn't work all the time because ultimately, I'm not as smart as you think I am

but Eringer with all his spy stuff, Princess Grace, the stories, the groovy oratory is either a genuis or a shaman...and Bo Henry's bar of ill-repute? well it just adds to the intrigue

but I did... I THINK I DID...get an email about a rancher in Carpinteria,  ASA ALLEN...never heard of him but Eringer's Surreal Bounce website is investigating Asa's recent death.. was Asa a drunk who grew avocados and pot on his ranch??

the BOUNCY  WEBSITE TOOK THE POST OFF AND NOW ASA CAN RIP..ok groovy...make up your minds gentlemen!!

but the ranches behind Carpinteria along Highway 192 have some stories to tell...


I fell in love with Carp after living on Rancho Monte Alegre for a few years...for $600 per month, I had the privilege of living in Olive Carey's old pink bungalow...her ghost was there..she died in that house..and then I moved in...after work, I'd drive home in the wee hours and the yellow moon over the hills was my guiding light

the ranch owners, who were all insane and very colorful and included the Colonel, Maxi, and that nutty Segal woman, told me stories of Olive's cocktail parties with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum....Olive starred in the great old westerns and Wayne and Mitchum did "El Dorado", my fave western...John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Jame Caan and Edgar Allan Poe...AWESOME!!!

Listed in Forbes as one of the ten best ranches in the USA, Rancho Monte Alegre lost some mojo when it was sold to a developer and Arnold bought a house there..the thought of Arnold and Rob Lowe hanging around Carp gave me a heart murmur

and then there was the Young Ranch...John and June Young...June invented Santa Claus Lane and the Big Yellow House...Playmate Kym Herrin lived up there for awhile with Danny Young...I gave Kym a ride in my truck down to Kim's Market one day..she was just so sweet and nice...Doobie Bros Tom Johnstone lived up there for a spell

Kym Herrin poses for me!!

June Young rented out the cabins to folks and had a great big colorful Christmas Party every year

but the ranches had some secrets..some guns and drugs...the gals would skinny dip in the pond, right next to my ramshackle night I heard some commotion up the road and Josh and his girl were fighting..Josh had a gun and I went in and got it from him..told him he could get it tomorrow when he sobered up...the old west..we don't call the cops, we take care of things ourselves

the land was beautiful with plenty of wildlife and trees and rolling hills and vulgar Carpinteria farm girls....drugs did some serious damage to some of the folks on the ranches so the beauty of the land and the underlying insanity was very appealing to me ...I just had to live in this area!!

now this Asa guy that Eringer is telling about...his ranch must be next...what's buried there beneath the avocado groves? what secrets are whispered in the wind at night?

the story will unfold because the story must be told..these ranches up here in Carpinteria..the ag must be protected at all costs even if odd Dutch immigrants grow the flowers with illegals helping



but these ranches were just too cool...there's so much history back there...

back there..back there's where you got to go..back there

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Little Corner of the World

Come along with me, To my little corner of the world, And dream a little dream, In my little corner of the world

The News-Press had some front page stories. One was about the San Bernadino terrorists and the sham marriage they had...but since the murderous rage, other Americans have gone on a rage, too...Ohio family murders/executions, two U of VA students kidnapped and killed a 13-year old girl, some dude killed the Han family in Santa do you feel safe in your little corner of the world??

Wendy invited Oliver North, famous for the Iran/Contra affair with Ronald Reagan, to the Ron Reagan Roundtable Luncheon last month..the event sold out (200 people).. I read about this in the Montecito Journal  by some old gal who has a book out called The Magic Makeover: Tricks for Looking Younger, Thinner and More Confident...sounds like something Dr. Laura would write!

but the old gal had nothing but praise for Ollie stating that he rescued 800 students from Grenada, the tiny little island south of the border that Reagan invaded...

Ollie has some ideas about fighting Islamic terror, too

now today the front page of the News-Press had a complaint about Will Ferrel, the SNL actor/ seems that Will is going to do a film/satire of Ronald Reagan and the Young Miss America Foundation (Wendy's personal non-profit) is mad..the YMAF gals panties are in a bunch....I wouldn't mind examining them panties

but they claim Will will be mocking Reagan's Alz Disease which is nonsense...Reagan was always a confused guy, couldn't speak coherently without a script and the conservatives loved him because of the phony cowboy personna...Reagan was a lousy actor, a mediocre politician, allowed the killing of 200 American troops in Beirut and traded arms for hostages with Iran...with Ollie North as the gopher


fact is the Reagan presidency was smoke and the Young Miss America Foundation, like the News-Press, like Wendy and Nipper...

and the YMAF are acting like Islamic extemists who kill you when you mock Allah...Ronald Reagan is not Allah, girls and boys

but Will, you can use anything in this blog for your movie for a flat fee of $100000...

call me

Sunday, April 24, 2016

When Doves Cry

Dig if you will, the picture Of you and I engaged in a kiss The sweat of your body covers me Can you my darling, can you picture this?

So the Paula Lopez Story makes me cry...when people drink too much booze they do get rambunctious and start doing things maybe they wouldn't ordinarily harass and threaten women, or drive down the highway southbound in the northbound lane! or take swing or kick at a cop...geez Paula you make me feel all weird inside.. but you get some jail time and some counseling...once we become more aware of bad behavior, we can change it..well I can't but I know you can!

the News-Press covered the story on Saturday and said Paula was sentenced in Judge Anderle's Santa Maria courtroom...but Anderle is doling out justice in Santa Barbara, not Santa Maria

Judge Rigali is based in Santa Maria and it appears per the Superior Court calendar Wendy will be going to trial for killing that jogger..well Wendy didn't kill him...actually, Ampersand is being blamed for one of their paper delivery gals running over and killing a jogger in Santa Ynez...Wendy has been shirking her responsibilites forever well maybe now they will hold her accountable

05/09/2016 9:30 AM 1483950 Ampersand Publishing, LLC Rigali, James F SM Dept 2 1) Jury Trial 23-PI/PD/WD Tort - Other - Civil

now I see that SB Schools superintendent David Cash retired recently..never did like the drug-sniffing dog idea in public schools...teach kids about drugs and the dangers in class...and Cash brought alot of baggage from Fresno down to Santa Barbara as well as some weird teacher associates...

but there's a lawsuit involving a David Cash regarding civil rights.......

05/13/2016 8:30 AM 16CV00155 Cash, David Geck, Donna D SB Dept 4 1) Case Management Conference Unlimited Civil Rights (08)

not sure if it's the same guy...or maybe the dogs violated a student's civil rights??

I guess I'll find out sooner or later...probably later

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Keep On Running

Keep on running, keep on hiding / One fine day, I'm gonna be the one / To make you understand / Oh, yeah


I was in Santa Barbara yesterday to get some paint...Dunn-Edwards is a great paint store...being in there is almost therapeutic


I parked on a side street and was struck by the beauty of the mid-town Carrillo area...a cool old building towered over a not-so-cool building, but the shadows cast were of the warm morning sun..I stood there taking it in...I gazed across the street and saw the Arthur Murray Dance Studio...the building however concerned has an Islamic type dome on top indicating probable terrorist activity...then I caught myself in my Islamophobic moment...I felt ashamed

ok so I'm driving down some Santa Barbara road, narrowed from too many parked cars, and I see some women dancing by the Stop Sign...

about twenty gals pass in front of me as I watch.. and wait

this was one fine day

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


got to believe we are magic

hey where's our portion of State Water??? El Nino was a bust, April showers are a joke..what we need is a little magic


I was watching the SB City Council meeting and all the crazies came up during public comment...the City Council is not your mommy so stop crying about things they have no control over!!

wow, these folks who speak are way out dude wears a hat all the time and wants to be mayor in the year 2025...he tried to link the San Bernadino terror attack to the Egyptian style building at the corner of State and Mission...he's got some brain issues or fissures but I think if he wore a mesh hat he'd get some air into that puss-brain!! creepy dude!!

the city council was also talking about another Fess Parker hotel and I thought I heard them say they wanted to change the name of Cabrillo Blvd to Fess Parker Way....I hope I'm wrong but maybe Wendy wants to change State St to Ronald Reagan St?? turn right at Fess Parker Way and head up Ronald Reagan St...ugh!! Santa Barbara must never lose her Spanish influence to rich white conservatives..or Davy Crockett

the good thing about Donald Trump is he's keeping Ted Cruz away from the White House..I don't want another Texas conservative selling God to me every five minutes while picking my pocket!! too many religious cults in America

now I see an ad for the Urban Wine Trail..this is the drunk's version of a recreational hike...but it seems the Carrillo Rec Center was the site of a party to celebrate art and wine..and it's all presented by Mission Linen Supply who keep all the city worker uniforms clean....a bunch of artists (trust funders) showed their pictures and a bunch of wineries had tastings....former City Parks gal Nancy Rapp who looks like she knows her way around bottle of wine is involved as is the City Parks Dept!!

Jill?? are you ok with this.....using the Carrillo Rec Center for wine tastings?? that great old brownstone building normally used for healthy recreation and exercise is being used to ply some well-heeled phonies with more wine than they need?? you need to put your foot down!!

the City of Santa Barbara promoting a wine tasting event...what next, medical marijuana for sale at City Hall?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Goin' Up The Country

baby don't you wanna go....


Earth Day makes me happy...Earth Day weekend....I got the ground beneath my feet..I got dirt..I got flowers..I got bees and Ladybugs....

hey nativists... I was out walking and the hills were brilliant yellow with mustard...introduced from Europe, it is non-native and invasive..and it's just lovely!!

seeds blew in on the March winds.. healthy with the rain...can you dig it???


hey a bumble bee!!

this is how the earth works....

Happy Earth Days!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Crystal Ship

before you slip into unconsciousness

I've lived on a few ranches and we never had an outbreak of norovirus...we had horses, dogs, cats, rats, birds, endangered species and white people and even some Mexicans..but no diseases spreading like wildfire thru the cabins..

so the Alisol Ranch in Solvang has had problems lately with norovirus breakouts...I think it's the cruise ships bringing in these people....these white people who are already infected come ashore and get bussed to the Casino or the Alisol Ranch and spread their diseases everywhere...yuck!!


Solvang is a Danish community and Danish gals are generally very clean from the tips of their heads down to their tippy toes...blonde and clean... gimme a Danish...YUMMY!!

now if the Alisol ranch employed a celebrity chef, maybe things would be different..maybe Cat Cora but Cat seems busy these days as she and her ex are duking it out per a judges's tentative ruling: Cat’s contention that there is "sensitive commercial information" that should be protected is rejected; the Court does not ignore Cat’s point that she is a "celebrity chef;" her claim that because dissemination of the commercial information could harm her, Jennifer’s refusal to enter into a protective order must prove that Jennifer has malicious intent does not follow; if any sensitive commercial information is improperly used, Cat has her remedies. With this said, the Court will not change its ruling with an argument that the "horse has then been let out of the barn." This decision requires a balancing process; the Court sees far more likelihood of contentious litigation over an alleged "Protective Order" violation than disclosure of sensitive commercial confidential information. Indeed, Jennifer would have no logical reason to disseminate such information because it would only hurt her own interests.

all people really need sometimes is a nice hot bowl of clam chowder..

when did that become so complicated???

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Valley of the Dolls

Gotta get off, gonna get
Have to get off from this ride
Gotta get hold, gonna get
Need to get hold of my pride

one of the weirdest, darkest, most beautiful films I've ever seen thanks to Dionne Warwick, Barbara Parkins, Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate....

and Patty Duke

Friday, April 8, 2016


a lovely girl with sunlight in her hair

ok so ever since I reported on the Santa Claus Lane beach access issue, everyone jumped on the band wagon

the county's plans are not a done deal but I don't want to see fences blocking off the beach from the Lane...

people love this beach for its natural beauty...I shudder to think it may look like Hendry's.. once a nice beach but now too many dogs and people ...not really a beach all the drunks and fights that spring from Hendry's now...

the Coastal View had a little story about the SCL beach access and they mentioned one County guy, one planner named Allen Bell who really ticked me off...he's the one pushing for a single- point access to the beach and claims presently it's a disaster waiting to happen..."If you've been down there on a busy spring or summer day, it's terrible"


WTF is he talking about?? there is nothing "terrible" about Santa Claus Lane beach!!! a busy summer day or holiday at Santa Claus beach is awesome...bright beach umbrellas, kids playing in the sand, cars, surfers, dolphins and best of all, pretty women in bikinis!! this jackass Allen Bell is full of crap!!

a single point access is like we'd be passing into Nazi Germany!!

this beach is not a disaster waiting to happen..there has been one accident in all the years I've been here...the unleashed dog and the dumbass owner who tried to save it..both were killed by the train because they had no common sense...

there is no reason to fear the trains!!

but I would support a dog-free beach here and how long does this idiot Bell think a fence will last??

and parking is not an many places can you just pull over and jump out, run across the ice plant and tracks and hang out at the beach with virtually nothing but mountains and ocean to sooth's a trip back to the 1950s and 1960s and Disney Girls....and Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon....and Charlie Manson

and rural beaches..and the Big Yellow House...and hot dogs and Pepsi

and not one wine tasting room!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Heart Of Gold

I've been a miner for a heart of gold


well it appears according to the Independent that Bo Henry's bar on the westside of Santa Barbara and the eastside of Bombay was busted for serving booze to a miner and the bartender was drunk, a 30 day suspension was ordered so now and coke at Bo Henry's???

I think miners deserve some beer after a hard day in the coal mine...but Bo Henry' you just never know what's gonna happen next..even though I  don't go to bars, Bo Henry's is my fave..they try to propel conservative candidates off the karaoke stage into the political arena..but they would have more luck shooting Justin Fareed from a cannon!!

it's just all too esoteric for me

speaking of vain drunkards, Just For Men haircolor will burn your skin so there's a bunch of law firms lining up to sue...looking you best guys comes with a price

I sent my instructions to the County of SB about Santa Claus Lane beach access.. I told them to stop all the nonsense and if they wanted an approved crossing area, just use the existing RR crossing at SCL and Padaro..folks can cross and be warned of approaching trains with the bell that's already there

I've been listening to lots of dead musicians lately I wonder what it would be like to have sex with a dead gal..about an hour dead..I probably could bring her back to life with my conch but how would I go about that..get a job in a cemetery maybe...just an idea

dead girls..hmmmm

be careful when you're crossing the train tracks, ladies

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Hot Fun in the Summertime

them summer days, those summer days

SAVE SANTA CLAUS LANE..again...this time it's the beach access and a bastardized addition to the Toro Canyon plan of 1998 which wants to limit access

access to public beaches is essential to the pursuit of happiness!

ok so I told you about Santa Claus Lane and the beach access issue..the County Of Santa Barbara is trying to restrict access and has some big development plans to keep people from crossing at the railroad tracks...

I was at the beach on this foggy day and noticed a notice pinned to a tree....lots of notices..oh cool..this is info on the County proposal from concerned residents who use the beach...ACTIVISM!! thanks to these folks!

and we need to act before the county turns Santa Claus Lane into an over-developed strip mall with only ONE BEACH ACCESS POINT..and the rest of the gorgeous funky beach fenced off!!

this scheme by the county is worse than I thought and IT MUST BE STOPPED!! the history of Santa Claus Lane beach is at stake!!

sidewalks, fences, one access point, bathrooms, a signal house..ONE BEACH ACCESS POINT???

and a dog spa probably....crazy

email Ryan Cooksey:

or call 805 884-6836..or send comments to the County at 123 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Are You Ready

yes I'm learn


so thanks to the suspicious death of Justice Scalia at an elite weird hunting club in a weird Texas town, the SCOTUS handed a win to the Teachers' unions in California! AWESOME!

now I've often said that religious wackos think public schools compete with God by teaching reality vs superstition..and here's a great article that says it better than I Sarah Posner

for the record, I am not spiritually or morally bankrupt...well, morally maybe

and this case was not about free speech as the petitioners claim

Anti-union SCOTUS case propelled by right-wing religious group

By: Sarah Posner

Here Clarion presents the third article in our series examining the forces behind and implications of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the free speech case with potentially serious ramifications for unions that is currently before the Supreme Court of the United States. At issue is the underpinning of public-sector unionism that public employees who opt out of union membership can still be obligated to pay for their individual share of the services and collective bargaining they receive from the union. This has been considered settled law since the 1977 Supreme Court decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, but the present conservative majority on the Court could decide to overturn Abood, either wholly or in part, depending on its decision in Friedrichs. For public-sector unions such as the PSC, the consequences could be profound.

Tucked away in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a lawsuit purportedly about unions and free speech, lies another, real First Amendment concern: the separation of church and state. The lead plaintiff in the case is Rebecca Friedrichs, a teacher in the Savanna School District; she is joined in the suit by nine additional individuals, and one organization: the Christian Educators Association International (CEAI), which bills itself as an alternative to the "secular" teachers’ unions, and maintains that the Constitution does not bar teachers from imparting their Christian faith in their classrooms.

"Many public school educators believe that they must make their schools God-less under the banner of ‘separation of church and state,’" CEAI’s executive director, Finn Laursen, has written [2], "to the extent that an environment is created that is hostile to religion."

The teachers’ unions, Laursen maintains, "have such control that student needs become secondary" to those of the union. In that "hostile" public-school environment, according to Laursen, "the sin nature [sic] of mankind is accepted and even promoted." There are "forces are at work," he writes, that aim to "control the minds of our children by systematically promoting such things as sexual orientation being genetically driven and same sex marriage being acceptable under the banner of tolerance."

Missionaries in Public Schools

The CEAI considers the public schools to be a setting ripe for proselytizing, and its members the foot soldiers in a battle for the students’ minds and souls. "There are over 50 million students in our public schools, 70 million parents, three and half million teachers," Laursen said in a 2007 video, "Christian Teacher Core Values [3]." That represents nearly 124 million people, he added, "many of them spiritually and morally bankrupt. We know the truth, and we need to send our missionaries into that area."

In CEAI’s brief in support of its petition for Supreme Court review of the Friedrichs case, which the Court granted in June, there is no mention of the organization’s positions on church-state separation, secularism, or its conservative Christian beliefs. But in materials disseminated through its website, in media interviews, and at its events, CEAI makes clear that it aims to help teachers skirt the Constitution by claiming that their right to free religious expression is thwarted by the separation of church and state. Under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the government, including public schools, cannot endorse or appear to endorse a particular religion. CEAI officials have claimed that this principle is not in the Constitution; in fact, one has called the assertion of constitutional church-state separation "a lie."

Laursen declined to be interviewed for this article.

Anti-labor Christian Groups

Founded in 1953 in California as the Fellowship of Christian Educators, CEAI now presents itself as an alternative to the National Education Association (NEA), which it claims promotes secular, liberal political positions that conflict with Christian values. The association currently has chapters in 20 states; its website says its mission is "to encourage, equip, and empower educators according to biblical principles."

The history of evangelical involvement in anti-union activity dates back at least to the 1930s, said Baruch College history professor Clarence Taylor, in an interview with Clarion. At the time, many conservative evangelicals viewed unions as part of a supposed communist threat, and business-allied leaders, such as James Fifield and Abraham Vereide, organized events to evangelize against the New Deal. (Vereide convened prayer breakfasts for business elites and Fifield founded the Spiritual Mobilization movement.) The fear of unions intensified in evangelical circles during the Cold War and amid the backlash against movements for racial equality and women’s rights. In 1979, the Moral Majority was founded, and played a significant role in electing Ronald Reagan to the presidency.

"When looking at that long history, clearly by the 1970s, the Christian right decided to get involved in politics," said Taylor, "they particularly targeted unions because they saw them as strong opposition to their agenda," which includes officially sanctioned prayer in public schools. Ken Estey, associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College, cautions that not all evangelicals hew to an anti-union line. While it’s true that "for a lot of people in the further-right, labor unions are just a step away from communism," many evangelicals not only support but belong to labor unions, he said. A monolithic view of their position on unions, said Estey, "doesn’t capture the complexity in American evangelicalism, especially on the social justice side."

Collective Bargaining Targeted

The legal claims in Friedrichs rest on the assertion that paying agency fees (also described by unions as "fair share" fees) to the California Teachers Association violates the plaintiffs’ free speech rights because of their disagreements with CTA’s political positions. But agency-fee payers teachers who have opted out of union membership, and are consequently mandated only to pay for their share of services the union provides on their behalf, such as collective bargaining are not required to pay for the union’s political activities.

CEAI, however, argues in Friedrichs that it and its members 600, it says, in California, including six of the individual plaintiffs in Friedrichs are "fundamentally opposed to many of the positions taken by teachers’ unions, both within the collective bargaining process and outside of that process," and frames the collective bargaining process as an expression of politics in and of itself, and therefore a violation of the freedom of association guaranteed under the First Amendment.

In a section of its website devoted to warning [4] prospective members of the National Education Association’s "liberal political stance," CEAI notes, "You may also be surprised at what you find as you compare your Christian beliefs with the agendas of the NEA and realize your membership dollars makes [sic] the NEA’s agenda possible."

Furthermore, CEAI maintains, California’s agency shop laws have the "effect of creating a drain on CEAI’s resources." According to Laursen’s affidavit filed in the case, the "scheme operated by" the teachers’ union causes CEAI to spend money counseling its members on how they can opt out of union fees based on religious objections, rather than spending money on other services for its members.

Those services include providing backing to CEAI’s member teachers when their school districts censure them for crossing that church-state separation line.

The CEAI, Laursen has said [5], is "here to encourage, equip, and empower Christian educators in our public become transformational agents." The organization will, according to its website [6], offer members "prayer support," "guidance on establishing prayer groups in your building," and connections with "ministries that equip you to be an effective witness for Jesus our Lord in your school or district."

Case of the Creationist Science Teacher

CEAI often takes positions that are in conflict with prevailing law on the major church-state separation issues in the public schools. In 2006, after a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled the teaching of intelligent design unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Laursen insisted [7] that teachers be permitted to teach "the controversy," terminology creationists use to portray the teaching of creationism as simply another viewpoint. (One of the benefits of CEAI membership is discounted tickets [8] to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.)

But while CEAI has pressed this agenda to its members, its efforts to test them in the legal system have largely met with failure. CEAI’s forays into the legal system, apart from the Friedrichs case, have involved what it has framed as the defense of teachers expressing their faith in the classroom. Their attempts have been routinely rejected by the courts as violations of the Establishment Clause.

In 2010, Laursen served as an expert witness in hearings reviewing the termination of John Freshwater, a middle school science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, who was fired in 2008 for refusing to follow school district directives to remove displays of religious texts and the Ten Commandments from his classroom. Freshwater’s troubles began in 2007 when a student sued the school district, alleging that the veteran teacher had burned a cross into the student’s arm with a Tesla coil. The school district settled the case with the student out of court.

In CEAI’s Teachers of Vision Magazine, Laursen recounted [9] his testimony at Freshwater’s administrative proceedings challenging the teacher’s dismissal. "I invested over two hours clarifying the religious freedoms teachers have in our public schools that were relevant in Mr. Freshwater’s case," Laursen wrote. "All the pieces of the testimony lined up with the key issues of the case and the peace of the Lord could be felt during the process."

‘A Hero of the Faith’

When Freshwater filed a separate federal case against the school district, claiming that its actions violated his First Amendment right to his free exercise of religion, Laursen said [10] in a statement that he was "happy to serve someone of such high moral character as John Freshwater as a member of CEAI. John is proving to be a hero of the faith."

Although Freshwater ended up dropping his First Amendment case against the district, his appeal of his termination went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled in his employer’s favor in 2013. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote [11] in the majority opinion that Freshwater "not only ignored the school district’s directive, he defied it." He did not have a Free Exercise right to display those items in his classroom, she added, "because they were not a part of his exercise of his religion. Freshwater’s willful disobedience of these direct orders demonstrates blatant insubordination." The US Supreme Court denied review [12] of the case in 2014.

CEAI also sought to intervene in a case in the Santa Rosa School District in Florida, where, in 2009, the school district had settled a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, charging numerous violations of the Establishment Clause. The school district’s conduct was "over the top," said Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, citing, for example, the high school teacher handbook, which required school personnel to "embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue." Mach said that teachers and coaches regularly led students in prayer, and some teachers "were effectively teaching Sunday school lessons in public school classes" and "proselytizing students, sometimes with a bullhorn."

Kim Davis’s Attorneys

The school district admitted liability and agreed to a comprehensive settlement, after which CEAI, represented by Liberty Counsel the same religious-right law firm that represented the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in her quest to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples sought to intervene in an effort to vacate the consent decree. "They invented these fanciful readings of the consent decree," said Mach, including concerns that it would prevent teachers from saying, "God bless you" if someone sneezed, or in the case of one CEAI member, from praying quietly in the stands if her grandson, who attended school in the district, was injured in a wrestling match.

The court ruled their fears "objectively unreasonable," a "strained interpretation of the decree," and denied CEAI’s motion to intervene. The CEAI later brought its own lawsuit, which resulted, in 2011, in only minor clarifications [13] of the consent decree, such as spelling out that saying "God bless you" does not violate the Establishment Clause.

Although it is not apparent from reading CEAI’s Supreme Court brief, if the Friedrichs plaintiffs are successful, the ripple effect of their efforts could do more than undermine unions: It could open another chapter in the war over religion in public schools, emboldening groups such as CEAI to intensify efforts to allow public school teachers to endorse and promote religion with their students once their best-organized opponents the teachers’ unions are weakened.


Sarah Posner is a senior correspondent for Religion Dispatches and an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The American Prospect, The Nation and many other publications.

December 2015 [1]