Baby Cassandra decided to make her debut a week early, at 3:36pm on Thursday, April 3rd. She was 7lbs, 5oz. Â She’s a wonderful addition to our family, and we’re so blessed to have her!
Sheâ€™s a cuddle bug, quiet and content as long as sheâ€™s in someoneâ€™s arms. Thankfully she doesnâ€™t seem to care who holds her, which makes it easy for me to hand her off when I need a break, but if Iâ€™m at home by myself and try to lay her down to get something done, I have 5 or 10 minutes max before sheâ€™ll cry to be picked up again. Cassie loves looking at faces, so her big sisters like to help out by hovering over her and cooing, or jingling baby toys over her head to look at. When that doesnâ€™t work, Iâ€™ll wear her in a sling, which she finds soothing. Itâ€™s a challenge learning once again how to get things done with older children and a baby in tow, but weâ€™re managing.
I want to thank my patient readers as I have taken a hiatus from blogging during this pregnancy.
It’s been a long 9 months of nausea, exhaustion, hope, fear and anticipation. Â Now our rainbow baby is due any time, and I can hardly believe I’ll actually get to hold her in my arms.
I hadn’t originally intended to suspend my blog, but with so many other demands on my body, energy and sanity during this period, something had to give. Â I’ve spent the past several months focused on staying rested and healthy in the midst of homeschooling my older three children, acting as Troop Coordinator for our local American Heritage Girls troop, and volunteering for the Oregon Tea Party.
These days my political activism is focused primarily on running theÂ Oregon Tea Party Facebook Page, soÂ please â€œlikeâ€Â and follow my posts there.Â Then click â€œshareâ€Â on the ones you find most important.Â Itâ€™s a simple way to spread the word and make a difference.
One important note: Facebook is now hiding up to 97% of posts of from pages you “like” from your news feed, in an attempt to force those pages to pay for “promoted posts.” So how do you get around Facebook censorship and make sure you don’t miss anything? Hover your mouse over the “Liked” button on our page, and select “Get Notifications” and “Add to Interest Lists.” That’s it.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to take up blogging again, but in the meantime, thank you for your patience and support, and keep up the good fight in whatever sphere of influence you have!
Thereâ€™s a tradition in our society that says itâ€™s not a good idea to tell people about your pregnancy until youâ€™re past the â€œsafe markâ€ of 12 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage diminishes. The unspoken message is that miscarriage is best kept quiet. Nobody wants to know about the ones that didnâ€™t make it. In fact, our culture barely regards them as even human. Thatâ€™s why you hear statements like â€œthank goodness you werenâ€™t that far along,â€ â€œdonâ€™t worry, Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll have another, â€œ or â€œat least you have (your older children),â€ as if youâ€™d lost a dream instead of a living child. These are things people would NEVER say to parents whoâ€™d lost an older child, but because of our cultureâ€™s dismissive attitude towards unborn life, these children are viewed as less valuable. Their mothers are expected to grieve in private silence, if they are given permission to grieve at all.
For those who find themselves pregnant after losing a baby, we know there is no such thing as a â€œsafe mark.â€ We know that life is fragile, and that it can just as easily be lost after 12 weeks as before. There are no guarantees. We have lost our innocenceâ€¦the ability to look at that little plus sign and instantly be filled with the joyful expectation of holding that little bundle in nine months. We walk a tightrope of joy and sorrow, hope and dread, knowing that the next appointment may bring the words that we fear most: â€œIâ€™m sorry, I canâ€™t find a heartbeat.â€
Even though I never got to hold Autumn, Eden and Hope, theyâ€™re still my babies. Iâ€™m still their mother. The only way I know to parent them is to honor their brief lives here on earth, and acknowledge that they are real children, now waiting in heaven for me. They werenâ€™t just blobs of tissue. They werenâ€™t just lines on a pregnancy test. They were precious, individual soulsâ€¦and so is the one I carry now.
My last three babies didnâ€™t make it to the â€œsafe zoneâ€ of 12 weeks. I live with the knowledge that there is a very real possibility that I wonâ€™t get to meet this baby on this side of heaven, either. My childrenâ€™s lives, like my own, are in Godâ€™s hands, and I have no control over them. But whatever the outcome, I have peace that God is in control, and I WILL meet my babies someday, although perhaps not as soon as I would hope. In the meantime, I best way I know to honor their lives is simply by acknowledging their presence. By recognizing that every life matters, no matter how brief.
So for now, I will partner with God in carrying this little life as long as He allows me to, and accept each day we have together as a gift.
This is the kind of stuff I used to read about in biographies of people who survived persecution in the Soviet Union and other communist countries. Â I can’t believe it’s happening here, and so many Americans are still asleep!
Remember when you lived in that America where you had freedom of expression? Well, itâ€™s easy to imagine that the old America doesnâ€™t exist any more with the story of the Secret Service agents that harassed a Twitter user because he dared criticize President Obama.
Tom Francois is an outspoken critic of President Obama on Twitter and has some 12 thousand followers that watch his every Tweet. (@Tom_Francois) But apparently his fans arenâ€™t the only ones hanging on his every Tweet.
As Tom found out, the Secret Service has blown in a â€œfollowâ€ to Tomâ€™s feed, too. But instead of laughing as Tom makes funny photoshopped, anti-Obama images and reveling in Obamaâ€™s many scandals, the Secret Service was watching and making plans to come pounding at his door to harass him for his political opinions.
On April 11, 2013, he heard relentless pounding on his door shouts of “Police!” The officers introduced themselves as members of TheÂ Secret ServiceÂ and asked if they could “take a look around.”
Since Tom had nothing to hide (and he didn’t want any return visits) – he complied fully with their request. He even signed a consent to search his premises AND an “Authorization To Review Medical and Mental Health Records!”
They asked Tom if he ever left his state or traveled to Washington, D.C.
One Agent asked Tom if he has any intentions of “whacking” the President.” To which Tom replied- “Of course not. I wish him no harm. I disagree with his policies and actions and I make no bones about it. It’s my First Amendment Right and I intend to exercise it.”
When I spoke to Tom he said, “Yes, I am EXTREMELY critical of Obama in my posts, but I never cross the line and threaten his being. EVER. It’s just the idea of Obama’s Secret Service intruding on my life when they knew I wasn’t really a threat.”
The Secret Service had a thick FBI file- filled with screenshots of hundreds of posts. Said Tom, “I flat out told them ‘I have NEVER threatened Obama’s life! Yes, I despise him as you can plainly see, but I have that right!’ They actually ADMITTED and agreed with me that I hadn’t threatened Obama.”
They had run a background check and discovered that Tom legally owned two guns- and they asked to see them. Tom showed them his firearms. They asked, “Are they loaded?” Tom replied in the affirmative. “What good are guns if they aren’t loaded?”
So why harass Tom? “The Secret Service officers claimed that “they were concerned that since I have a largeÂ TwitterÂ following, and the things I said could be acted upon by some nut case out there! What the hell? They turned my life upside down for THAT?”
Tom didn’t refuse the search because they just would have gone and gotten a warrant. “They would have proceeded to tear my house apart. No thanks. I have nothing to hide. They left empty-handed and my house is still intact.”
When they left Tom’s house, one Secret Service Agent ‘advised’-Â “Keep in mind, if you step over the line, we’ll come back for your guns.”
After the “visit” to Tom, the Secret Service also visited Tom’s 22 year old daughter- terrifying her and making her fear for her father’s safety. She asked them what they were going to do with the information about her Dad.Â They said they were going to “turn it over to Eric Holder- he has the last word on what to do, if anything.”
Notice that the raid on this innocent American came only four days before the Boston marathon bombing. While Islamic extremists were planning to kill people in Boston, the government was all worried about a Twitter user that made funny photoshopped pictures of Obama.
At the time, the arrest almost seemed secondary to the actions that the school was taking, but now that arrest is the story that is front and center as prosecutors move forward in actually pursuing the charges against the student. To be honest, I really assumed that the charge (obstruction of an officer) would be dropped.
According to a report byÂ WTRFÂ the prosecuting attorney is moving forward with that charge and a judge is allowing the case to move forward. Fourteen year old Jared Marcum could face up to a $500 fine and up to a year in jail (weâ€™ll seriously hope that isnâ€™t a real possibility) if found guilty.
According to theÂ report, the arresting officer alleges that when Jared refused to stop talking he hindered the officers ability to do his job and that is where the obstruction arrest came from. Iâ€™m guessing a 14 year old kid who felt intimidated was trying to explain himself, but letâ€™s throw him in jail for good measure.
Speaking to about 2,000 young people, which included many Catholics, Obama seemingly argued that religious education can promote division and resentment.
â€œIf towns remain dividedâ€”if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we canâ€™t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to hardenâ€”that too encourages division and discourages cooperation,â€ Obama said, according toÂ the Scottish Catholic Observer.
JustÂ two days beforeÂ Obama made his comments, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Â spokeÂ to a crowd in Glasgow, Scotland. Mueller told his listeners that religious education upholds the dignity of the human person, and Catholic schools should promote â€œall that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.â€ Mueller said that Catholic education is â€œa critical component of the Church.â€
In addition, MuellerÂ advocatedÂ for an understanding of â€œCatholicâ€ which includes the breadth of â€œall that is good in the philosophies of societies and human culture.â€ The archbishop spoke of relativism as a threat to education because the objects of educationâ€”the true and the goodâ€”â€œstand in some way outside the personâ€ and are transcendent.
â€œA danger in the relativism of modern society is the assumption that human freedom essentially entails creating oneâ€™s own truth and moral good.â€
Mueller said that the implications of relativism â€œwould lead to the breakdown of society… if pursued to their logical conclusion.â€
How ironicâ€”and perhaps providentialâ€”that Archbishop Mueller spoke his faith-filled words in Scotland at about the same time President Obama spoke his words of sabotage in Ireland.
As is often the case, Obama begins his process of undermining faith, the Constitutionâ€”whateverâ€”by speaking to young people, hoping to divide them from those who will hand down the traditions and the culture to them. In truth, it is Obamaâ€”not faith or the Churchâ€”who is the Great Divider, the promoter of class warfare, envy, racism, etc.
When I was 8 weeks pregnant, I went with some friends to a 3-hour women’s self defense seminar offered by a local Krav Maga studio. Â I put a name tag on my belly that said “baby” so nobody would grab me around the waist, and enjoyed every minute of it. Â They gave everyone a coupon for a month of free classes, but I didn’t want to push it as my pregnancy progressed.
When the studio offered a summer special on classes, I decided to take them up on it. Â I’ve been wanting to learn self-defense for awhile and need to get the baby weight off. Â Though most people I know do Zumba, my mood right now is much more towards fighting than dancing.
During my first class the instructor told me, “you’ve got a lot of aggression and fight in you.” Â No one has ever told me that before. Â I immediately knew it was coming from all the frustration of trying to fight something that can’t be conquered. Â The only reason I was even able to take the class was because I was no longer pregnant. Â No matter how hard I try, I can’t change that fact. Â I can’t bring my babies back. Â Suddenly I was slammed by a wave of grief and anger. Â The lump in my throat strangled me far more than my partner’s practice choke-hold.
The next day I argued with myself over what I had gotten myself into and whether I should go back. Â I hate it when my grief catches me off-guard in public, and was afraid of losing it in the middle of class. Â I forced myself to go back at the next available opportunity, knowing that if I didn’t face the fear immediately, I would find an excuse never to return.
Towards the end of my second class they did a drill where they exhausted you and then had you fight off an attacker with pure instinct and adrenaline. Â I was ready to give up and the instructor and two other students kept telling me I could do it. Â It reminded me of being in labor, when I’d be convinced I couldn’t go on and everyone around me would encourage me. Â But the difference was, there was a wonderful reward at the end of all that labor. Â And the last time I had been pushed to my limit like this, there had been no reward. Â Nobody to cheer me on. Â Just silence, and the remains of my babies to be buried. Â Another grief trigger. Â I managed to fight off my opponent but I couldn’t stop the tears once the class was over. Â They probably thought I was nuts.
It’s amazing how raw emotion rises to the surface when you’re pushed to the limits. Â The ache in my muscles is nothing compared to the aching chasm in my heart, and no amount of Advil can touch it.Â Right now I’m faced with two choices: keep learning to swim in this ocean of grief, or allow myself to drown in it. Â I’m coming to terms with the fact that sometimes the only way to heal is simply toÂ fight through the pain.
He was one of the most quiet and softspoken students of the Joshua High School graduating class, and what the valedictorian wasn’t allowed to say at commencement exercises is making national news.
â€œMost people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile,â€ said Remington Reimer, as he addressed the large crowd gathered Thursday at Owl Stadium.
And then, the Burleson resident began what would have appeared to have been a traditional graduation speech â€“ thanking his parents and naming special teachers that have helped him along the way and telling the crowd how proud he was of his class and how close they all were.
He discussed perseverance in life, and told fellow graduates its the finish that matters. He then told a story about a runner who finished a race with a broken leg. He added that, years from now, it wouldn’t matter that he was valedictorian or first in his class but, rather, that he and his classmates finished the race and finished well.
Nice words. Nice kid. Another graduation day in America.
Then Reimer discussed his faith and thanked God for â€œsending His only son to die for me and the rest of the world.â€
Reimer, who has secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, talked about free speech and the U.S. Constitution and how that â€œyesterday, I was threatened with having the mic turned off and…â€
And then the mic was turned off.
[…] Â Another Facebook posting emailed to the Burleson Star clarified what Reimer had said after the microphone was cut off:
â€œWe are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished. Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.â€
The crowd roared with enthusiasm and Reimer sat down.
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with censorship. Â Afterwards, the principle apparently threatened to put his future in jeopardy by disparaging his character to the Naval Academy, where he had been recently accepted:
A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorianâ€™s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution, the boyâ€™s attorney alleges.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, said Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran threatened to write a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy disparaging the character of Remington Reimer.
â€œIt was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech,â€ the teenager said.
Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.
He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials â€“ including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.
[…] Â The following day the principal met with Reimerâ€™s father and informed him â€œthat he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.â€
â€œSpecifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,â€ Sasser told Fox News.
After consulting with a school attorney, the principal temporarily retracted the threat, Sasser said.
â€œThe principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did â€“ for talking about the Constitution and his faith,â€ Sasser said. â€œI donâ€™t know if heâ€™s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.â€
How have we gotten to the point where government can force private companies to pay for controversial services like abortion from another private company? Â Whatever happened to the freedom to VOLUNTARILY decide which products and services you want toÂ purchase, and from whom?
In a move that sends the message that her role is a powerful one, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has required health insurers to include Planned Parenthood as an â€œessential community providerâ€ along with other doctors and health facilities in their networks.
Paul Bedard at theÂ Washington Examiner (WE)Â reportsÂ that most of Planned Parenthoodâ€™s 750 health and abortion clinics in the country will be covered by ObamaCare. Sebelius’ command means that health insurers who wish to participate in the state health care exchanges must cover services by Planned Parenthood, as well as other â€œessential community providers,â€ such as AIDS clinics, pain management facilities, and alternative medicine providers.
[…] Â Â Though ObamaCare is not, technically speaking,Â supposed to cover abortions, the fact that Planned Parenthood has always had significant support from Sebelius, and is already an important player in the â€œnavigator systemâ€–assisting insurance advisers in signing Americans up for the exchanges–is a real concern for Americans seeking limited government and those who are pro-life.
Planned Parenthood, which she deems as an “essential community provider,” is part of the long list of local organizations that insurers are required to partner with. (Others,Â Bedard says, include lesbian and gay centers, family planning clinics, and “holistic” centers.)
“We’ve never covered these sorts of thing,” a Wisconsin provider told Bedard. He, like most health care representatives, is probably horrified at the prospect of collaborating with an organization which (when it isn’tÂ lobbying for infanticide) is on trial forÂ government fraudÂ andÂ botched abortions. Unfortunately for Americans, Sebelius — not Congress — decides what belongs in state exchanges. And if herÂ past relationshipsÂ are any indication, taxpayers are in for even more surprises when ObamaCare goes into effect January 1.
“I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom.
That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.”
It would appear that his tune has changed since becoming president:
During his speech in San Jose, California on Friday, President Obama took one question from the press on national security monitoring of Americans. Without any sense of irony whatsoever in the aftermath of the IRSâ€™ targeting of conservatives, the administrationâ€™s stonewalling on Benghazi, the Department of Justiceâ€™s targeting of reporters, the Department of Health and Human Servicesâ€™ leveraging of private organizations for Obamacare public relations cash, and the Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s secret email addresses, Obama unloaded this line:
If people canâ€™t trust not only the executive branch but also donâ€™t trust Congress, and donâ€™t trust federal judges, to make sure that weâ€™re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then weâ€™re going to have some problems here.
Obama acknowledged that the U.S. government is collecting reams of phone records, including phone numbers and the duration of calls, but said this does not include listening to calls or gathering the names of callers.
“Nobody’s listening to the content of people’s phone calls,” Obama said.
The Investors Business Daily editorial board opines:
Barack Obama is now not only following George Orwell’s model in his newly uncovered domestic spying practices; he’s copying one of the most shocking aspects of the dystopian society Orwell conjured: telling people the exact opposite of the truth with a straight face.
[…] Â When a president who promised “the most open and transparent administration in history” must now scramble and assure the country that “nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” it exposes a grave breach of trust.
AÂ poll released Monday showsÂ that despite the uproar over the National Security Agencyâ€™s newly leaked surveillance programs, a majority of Americans are fine with the agency’s pervasive reach. Still, a sizable majority is opposed to the vast NSA surveillance net.
The snap poll comes courtesy of the Pew Research CenterÂ and the Washington Post. After asking 1,004 American adults for their opinions on NSA surveillance programs like the newly revealed tech-spying program PRISM, pollsters found that 56 percent of Americans have no objection.
That’s the most pressing question. The civic negligence required to reach this point is the thing that most disappoints me about my fellow citizens, who ought to throw out every last member of Congress complicit in the metastasizing surveillance state. I am serious. Look up your representative. In a letter or phone call, demand they take a stand against this, on penalty of you voting against them in a primary or general.
That’s how change happens when the president who promised it turns out to have lied.
We don’t knowÂ if the federal government has a similar order for AT&T or any other carrier. Or if they’re spying on Americans’ emails as well. Why? That isn’t the sort of thing President Obama thinks he needs to tell us, and Congress persists in giving him that latitude. Americans, who haven’t been objecting to any of this in large numbers, aren’t even demanding to know whether or not their government is assemblingÂ the most sophisticated surveillance state in human history.
Has fear of terrorism done this to us?
Whatever the cause, the current behavior of the American electorate does not befit a free people.
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a pro-life Republican from Washington state, recently shared the sad news about her unborn baby and a potentially fatal diagnosis.
Beutler posted a message on Facebook saying her unborn child has been diagnosed with Potterâ€™s Syndrome, a condition which prevents the childâ€™s kidneys from developing properly and is typically fatal for the baby.
On May 1, Beutler, 34, announced that she and her husband, Daniel Beutler, were expecting their first baby this fall.
â€œWe donâ€™t know what the future holds for our family, but we ask for your prayers and appreciate the privacy a family needs in such circumstances,â€ Herrera Beutler wrote. â€œAccording to the medical information and advice weâ€™ve received, I will be able to continue to balance the responsibilities of an expectant mother with serving as your representative in Congress.â€
â€œOur baby has a serious medical condition called Potterâ€™s Syndrome,â€ Herrera Beutler announced Monday on Facebook. â€œWe have had a second opinion and the medical diagnosis was consistent with the initial news: there is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle.â€
â€“ Oh goodyâ€¦ and sheâ€™s GOPâ€¦. letâ€™s all watch this one develop. Letâ€™s see if she follows the party line â€¦.
â€“Abort the baby. Wait a few months. Get pregnant again. This is not a big deal.
â€“ Why not be proactive and get an abortion?
â€“ Sorry, prayers wonâ€™t do a damn thing.
â€“ She should just go to a Planned Parenthood and be done with â€œitâ€, after all, itâ€™s not a human yet.
â€“I laugh at her in that her political ideology has her in a corner I would wish nobody in.
This sickening behavior â€“ gloating over a babyâ€™s illness and her motherâ€™s pain â€“ is more common than you might think.
[…] Â What motivates these people to abuse women who have chosen to carry to term despite a poor prenatal diagnosis? I strongly suspect that many of them have been involved in an abortion â€“ or know they would want one in a similar situation. It angers them to see someone make a choice they didnâ€™t have the courage to make themselves. But itâ€™s impossible for any normal-thinking person to really know what motivates them.
Like all good sociopaths, the bullies try to shift blame on to the victims, saying they were â€œasking forâ€ such treatment because of their political views. Since a pro-lifer would â€œforceâ€ women in her situation to give birth, she deserves to be shamed and harassed throughout her difficult pregnancy.
But anyone with a normal sense of compassion and empathy would say thatâ€™s not just irrational. Itâ€™s evil. Few things are more sociopathic than abusing a pregnant woman carrying a terminally ill child â€“ no matter what her political affiliation.
As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools.
A recentÂ reportÂ inÂ Education NewsÂ states that, since 1999, the number of children who are homeschooled has increased by 75%. Though homeschooled children represent only 4% of all school-age children nationwide, the number of children whose parents choose to educate them at home rather than a traditional academic setting is growing seven times faster than the number of children enrolling in grades K-12 every year.
As homeschooling has become increasingly popular, common myths that have long been associated with the practice of homeschooling have been debunked.
Any concerns about the quality of education children receive by their parents can be put to rest by the consistently high placement of homeschooled students on standardized assessment exams. Â […]
Similarly, the common myth that homeschoolers â€œmiss outâ€ on so-called â€œsocialization opportunities,â€ often thought to be a vital aspect of traditional academic settings, has proven to be without merit. According to the National Home Education Research Institute survey, homeschoolers tend to be more socially engaged than their peers and demonstrate â€œhealthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood.â€
Common Coreâ€™s English standardsÂ stressÂ nonfiction over literature. By grade 12, 70 percent of what studentsÂ readÂ should be informational rather than literary.Â Supporters of the guidelines say an increased focus on informational texts will better prepare kids for post-college employment.
Many of these nonfiction texts come from government websites and promote the findings of various government agencies.
Some might find the texts a bit dry. (And thatâ€™s without including â€œKenyaâ€™s Long Dry Season.â€)
Here are a few recommended informational texts.
â€œInvasive Plant Inventory,â€ by the California Invasive Plant Council. This is just a list of invasive plant species in California.
â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While assuredly a fascinating read, The DC News Foundation was unable to review â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ because the websiteÂ was hacked.
â€œFedViews,â€ by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This report from 2009 explains that the federal stimulus helped to stabilize the economy and asserts that there is no link between deficit spending and inflation.
I must admit that I would have been too embarrassed to teach Julia Alvarezâ€™s sexually explicit novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, to the college students I have taught for over twenty years, much less to ninth- and tenth-graders, as many Georgia high school teachers have been instructed to do.
Some high school teachers also have a problem with its overtly feminist and leftist-leaning ideology. The men are portrayed as weak drunkards, continually cheating on their wives.
For example, there is a drunken New Yearâ€™s celebration of â€œthe triumphant announcement.Â Batista had fled!Â Fidel, his brother Raul, and Ernesto they call Che had entered Havana and liberated the country.â€ No indication in the novel that Fidel and Raul turned out to be tyrants, or Che a mass murderer.
The novel has explicit descriptions of masturbation and intercourse, but Iâ€™m too embarrassed to quote those.
The novel is taken straight from Common Coreâ€™s â€œText Exemplarsâ€ for ninth and tenth grades.Â Although the â€œexemplarsâ€ are officially intended to be suggested readings, educrats take the suggestions literally.Â They know that they have to prepare students for theÂ national testsÂ being rolled out in 2014/2015.
[…] Â Even my question in private to the school board member (who claimed to love â€œliteratureâ€) about the fact that informational texts like EPA directives will be replacing a large percentage of literary works was met with the retort, â€œSo how many times do you use Beowulf?Â Graduates need to learn how to read informational texts in order to be able to read instructions at work.â€
No doubt, high school students sharing his opinion would rather read Alvarezâ€™s unchallenging polemical and titillating prose than Beowulf or Paradise Lost.Â Â No doubt, her novel will bring them up to speed on politically correct figures and sex tips.Â The accompanying EPA directives will teach them how to scan boring texts for required instructions at their â€œ21stÂ centuryâ€ jobs where they will do tasks that require little concentration or independent thought.
When I walked into this yearâ€™sÂ Oregon Adolescent Sexuality ConferenceÂ in Seaside, Oregon, one of the first things I encountered was a table manned by three young teen boys. On the table was a collage that included many depictions of totally bare female genitaliaâ€”obviously pornographic and, one would think, illegal.
The collage included a drawing of a woman circa 1950 declaring, in the most base terms, what a womanâ€™s private parts should smell like. It also included a drawing of a pigtailed little girl riding on a tricycle with the word â€œVagina!â€ written above her, and another drawing of a young female child standing by a rose, with the word â€œVaginaâ€ written below her on a chalkboard.
â€œEveryone can come insideâ€ are the words visible along the outer edge of the piece, which appeared to be a decoupaged plate.
The boys smiled nervously as hordes of teens, who had arrived for what some described as a field trip, passed the display table. Planned Parenthood was on the steering committee of this conference.
The booth belonged to Youth for Education and Prevention of Sexual Assault (YEPSA), a supposedly teen-led initiative from Eugene, Oregon. At a booth whose stated mission was the prevention of sexual assault, I could only wonder why the teen boys would be manning a table containing graphic pictures of female genitalia, suggesting that â€œeveryone can come insideâ€ a pigtailed little girl on a tricycle.
With that question in mind, I checked on the Internet and found that the group puts on performances, the first of which wasÂ The Vagina Monologues. The students stated they just finished a run of a play that they wrote about the life struggles of a transgendered woman. They have a transgender education panel coming up, and they do art shows around teen sexuality and gender.
Day two of the conference found me very reluctantly attending a workshop led by YEPSA entitled â€œYou Say Porn, I Say Porn!â€
The program description did not even begin to touch the stark reality of the session. â€œTo porn or not to porn, that is the question. YEPSA will be leading the masses through the very exciting world of pornography.â€ The session was held in a large room, filled with teens and adults. It started with a soft porn video commercial.
About 10 teen facilitators lined up across the front of the room and introduced themselves. They gave their names and the pronoun they prefer (â€œI prefer â€˜she,â€™â€ â€œI donâ€™t have a preference but I identify as male,â€ etc.). This was in keeping with a theory emphasized over and over at the conferenceâ€”that gender is fluid and is determined only by the person in question and how that person feels at that particular time about his or her gender. In others words, biology has nothing to do with gender.
[…] Â This is just a sampling of the plan that Planned Parenthood has for our teens. Check out our website atÂ www.stopp.org, where I will be writing for several weeks on the unbelievably inappropriate materials and scenarios that were presented at this conference.
Oregon Education Department â€œsexuality education expertâ€ Brad VictorÂ prides himselfÂ on the fact that Oregon has the â€œmost progressive sex education laws in the nation,â€ and brags about how he easily slid Oregonâ€™s explicit Administrative Rule under the radar as a consent item at the state board level. The plan is that other states will follow suit. Many are already deeply embroiled in Planned Parenthoodâ€™s sex education. Those who are not embroiled are targeted.
But as we pointed out inÂ our last editionÂ ofÂ The Wednesday STOPP Report, Brad Victor also demonstrated that if parents will speak out at every level, sex education can be easily derailed in a school districtâ€”even one where the programs are already firmly in place. The sooner parents start their challenges, however, the better.
Jim Sedlakâ€™s bookÂ Parent Power!!Â is available free of charge on our website. It is a brilliant instructional tool that lays out the plan that parents can follow to get Planned Parenthood out of local schools. It is a plan that has been proven to work time and time again when parents follow it. Read Jimâ€™s book today and take action!