Failed Parenting

One of the most important things a parent can do is lead by example. Any time a parent does something that is not above board, it is a pretty good bet that their child will learn that it is okay to take shortcuts that may not be entirely honest. Unfortunately there seems to be a group of parents that despite their success has not yet figured this out.

The Associated Press is reporting today that federal authorities have charged a number of wealthy and famous people with falsifying information to make sure their children got into their schools of choice. I understand the desire of any parent to provide the best education possible for their children, but this scheme definitely stepped over the line.

The article reports:

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the results of an investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues.

…At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance or business, were among those charged. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

The article continues:

The bribes allegedly were dispensed through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid William Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, the bribe money to get their children into college.

Prosecutors said Singer was scheduled to plead guilty in Boston Tuesday to charges including racketeering conspiracy. John Vandemoer, the former head sailing coach at Stanford, was also expected to plead guilty.

Colleges moved quickly to discipline the coaches accused. Stanford fired Vandemoer, UCLA suspended its soccer coach, and Wake Forest did the same with its volleyball coach.

Several schools, including USC and Yale, said they were victims themselves of the scam. USC also said it is reviewing its admissions process to prevent further such abuses.

This is a sad commentary on where we are as a society. Obviously some parents want to take the guess work out of college admissions. What is the lesson they are teaching their children? I wonder exactly how much of these scheme the children involved were aware of. Certainly if a child is recruited for a sport he has no knowledge of, he might notice that something is amiss. I hope the penalties for the parents are severe. As much as I can sympathize with the stress of getting children into good colleges (all three of my daughters are college graduates, two have advanced degrees), what these parents did is inexcusable–first of all because it is patently dishonest and second of all because of the example it sets for the students.

A Good News Story

On December 18th, a website called Flathead Beacon posted an article about Col. George Bristol, a Marine who retired to Whitefish, Montana, after serving 38 years in the Marine Corps.

The article reports:

Last summer, Bristol read a news story about the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force headed up by Det. Jeanne Parker and reached out to offer his services.

Parker was initially hesitant about bringing in a volunteer to the ICAC Task Force, especially considering the sensitive nature of their work. But that changed after she sat down for coffee with Bristol.

“When I left that meeting, I knew I had found the perfect man for the job,” she says.

When a child goes missing, law enforcement tries to determine if a crime has occurred and if the child is in immediate danger. If law enforcement believes the child may have been kidnapped or hurt, a full-fledged investigation is opened. But if it’s apparent that the child is a runaway, Bristol is called in.

Bristol interviews the child’s parents, classmates and friends in an effort to create what he calls “a pattern of life” that reveals where the child usually goes. Since this past summer, Bristol has helped bring more than two-dozen children home. Afterwards, Bristol helps the children and their families connect with services to help resolve, or at least improve, their situations at home.

Parker says Bristol’s work is particularly important because runaways are in danger of becoming human-traffic victims. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in five runaway juveniles became sex-trafficking victims in 2015. The primary reason runaways are at risk to become human-traffic victims is that within a few days of being away from home, they get desperate for food and shelter. If Bristol doesn’t get to them first, there’s a good chance someone with bad intentions will.

The important fact in this story is that one in five runaway juveniles became sex-trafficking victims in 2015. The article explains that part of the reason for Bristol’s success in finding and helping runaway children is the fact that he had a tough childhood and ran away in his younger years. He credits the Marine Corps for helping him get his life in order. Bristol is a beautiful example of someone who turned a negative aspect of his life into something that could help others. We can all learn from his example.

 

 

Fact Meets Theory

John Sexton posted an article at Hot Air today about some parents who decided to try to raise their children ‘without feeling a lot of cultural pressure related to gender.’ It was an interesting experiment–eventually nature took over.

The article reports

At a time when more kids and teens are raising questions about the meaning of gender, Bonnie and Brian made a point of bringing up their children — Eliot and his sisters Toni, now 10, and Lena, 7 — in relatively gender-neutral ways. “It irked me when people said you can’t play with that because it’s a boy toy, or you can’t play with that because it’s a girl toy,” Bonnie says. They didn’t dress the girls in fancy pink baby clothes, for instance.

But no matter what Bonnie and Brian did, what happened looked a lot to them like nature taking over. The first time the family went to the local children’s museum, the parents laughed as 3-year-old Toni discovered princess dresses for the first time. She pulled them on with astonishment, as if to say, “Can you believe this?” Eliot, not yet able to talk, toddled away from her and right over to the train table.

“It’s funny,” Brian says. “I feel like I read stuff and listen to interviews with people that are like ‘Disney executives are driving little girls to want princess dresses!’ And I’m like, ‘Nope, little girls love this, and Disney’s making money off it.’ ” He laughs. “They just gravitated toward those things. They like what they like.”

Obviously not all little girls or all little boys will gravitate toward the same toys, but it is interesting to know that in most cases, there are some very basic differences between boys and girls. We need to recognize that all children are different and although they will have different strengths, there is more to the concept of gender than just a label.

Who’s In The Caravan?

On October 25th, Judicial Watch posted an article about the caravan heading for the southern border of America. The title of the article is, “Guatemalan Authorities Rescue Group of Minors from Human Smugglers in Caravan.”

The article reports:

Judicial Watch has obtained exclusive information and photos from Guatemalan authorities revealing that they have recovered seven unaccompanied minors from human smugglers working inside the caravan. The children have been taken into custody and they are being provided with food, water and medical attention, according to a high-level Guatemalan government official. The smugglers have been arrested and the broader investigation into criminal activity in the caravan is ongoing.

A Judicial Watch team, headed by Director of Investigations Chris Farrell, spent several days on the Guatemala-Honduras border covering the illegal alien caravan, which originated in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. The team filed a number of exclusive reports and videos and met with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and other top government officials.

“Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of this top news story, reporting exclusive information from inside that no other news organization is reporting,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Chris Farrell and Irene Garcia put themselves in harm’s way to get this material, and Judicial Watch supporters nationwide are highly grateful for their sacrifices.”

In articles posted October 26th, Judicial Watch reported:

The migrant caravan marching northbound through Central America is an “elaborately planned” movement that’s benefiting human smugglers and bringing disturbing numbers of violent gang members and other criminal elements through Guatemala, according to government sources in the capital city.

“MS-13 gang members have been detained and coyotes (human smugglers) are joining the march with clients who pay to get smuggled into the United States,” a Guatemalan official told Judicial Watch. People from Asian countries waiting to get smuggled into the U.S. through Central America are also integrating with poor Hondurans in the caravan, a high-level Guatemalan government source confirmed. Among them are nationals of Bangladesh, a south Asian Islamic country that’s well known as a recruiting ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). “There are lots of dirty businesses associated with this,” Guatemalan authorities told Judicial Watch. “There’s lots of human trafficking.”

Sandwiched between Honduras and Mexico, Guatemala has been overrun with the onslaught of migrants that began their journey last week in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula. At last count around 7,000 have participated in the trek, a great deal of them rowdy, angry men ages 17 to 40. President Jimmy Morales has ordered the military and police to detain all of the migrants and facilitate their safe return back to Honduras, though thousands have already reached the Mexican border. In a morning interview with Judicial Watch at the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense, Secretary of Defense General Luis Miguel Ralda Moreno said more than 2,000 Hondurans have been sent back home on buses. “We’re doing everything possible to stop the caravan while still respecting human rights,” General Moreno said.

During an afternoon interview at the National Palace, President Morales said that Guatemala has absorbed the huge cost of mobilizing police and military to return thousands of people to Honduras. He would like the United States to help him find the organizers of the caravan so they can face legal consequences. “Mass immigration like this endangers lives,” Morales said. “This is unprecedented. We are in the process of investigating who is behind the caravan.” Morales assures that Guatemala is doing everything possible to curb illegal immigration and asked for cooperation from the United States.

It has been a delicate and complicated task, Guatemalan officials say, because the caravan is a very organized movement that has been well orchestrated. There are rest points along the route with food, water and shelter for the migrants as well as medical care in some areas. “It’s very strategic and extremely organized,” a Guatemalan government source told Judicial Watch. “It is very complex, not a simple march. There is nothing spontaneous about it.” During a visit to the Guatemalan-Honduran border this week Judicial Watch interviewed multiple migrants who repeated the same rehearsed line when asked who organized the caravan, insisting it was a spontaneous event even though there were clearly organizers shouting instructions in Spanish and putting select persons in front of cameras for interviews. All of them said the caravan was not about politics but rather poverty.

Guatemalan officials disagree, estimating that the caravan is a movement of radicalized forces to destabilize Central American countries. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, a conservative, echoes that assessment. In a local newspaper report published last week Hernández asserted that leftist interests seeking to destabilize the country are manipulating migrants. Women and children are being used without regard to the risks to their lives, Hernández said. “The irregular mobilization was organized for political reasons to negatively affect the governance and image of Honduras and to destabilize the peace of neighboring countries,” the president said, adding that many have returned to the country after realizing they’ve been fooled.

We need to use whatever force is necessary to keep the people in the caravan from illegally entering America. If they are economic migrants, they need to come here legally through our immigration system. What we see happening is an illustration of the fact that Congress is unwilling to deal with this issue. Congress is responsible for making laws in the United States. They have not put in place sane immigration laws because the Democrats believe that the illegals will eventually become legalized and be a Democrat voting bloc and the Republican big money wants cheap labor. Meanwhile ordinary Americans are caught in the middle.

A Frightening Story

On October 10, WCVB 5 in Boston reported that 123 children were recovered in Detroit as part of an initiative to find victims of sex trafficking.

The article reports:

All the children who were recovered were interviewed by authorities. Investigators said at least three of the children showed signs that they were victims of sex trafficking or sexually victimized.

The search was conducted along with the efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as well as the Michigan Police Department. Overall, the sweep took place over the course of one day in Wayne County, Michigan.

In their efforts, the teams began investigating cases and looking through files of children reported missing. Participating officers then started visiting locations where the children were reportedly last seen. They also spoke with friends and schools to question about the children who were being sought out.

Information as to where all of the missing children are currently located was not made readily available by officials involved. Officials said the investigation is still ongoing.

The article also reported that The U.S. Marshals Service found 123 children on Sept. 26 out of the total 301 cases they were investigating. The investigation is ongoing.

The number of children found is totally frightening.

 

Why You Should Bring Your Children With You To Church

On Thursday, Townhall posted an article about the impact of church attendance on children.

The article reports:

According to a new study, children raised in a religious environment are more likely to grow up to be happy and well-adjusted adults.

The study, conducted by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was published last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Titled “Associations of Religious Upbringing With Subsequent Health and Well-Being From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: An Outcome-Wide Analysis,” the study’s results indicate that both children and adults who engaged in regular religious or spiritual practices were at a lower risk of developing mental health issues and substance abuse problems during their lives.

Roughly 5,000 participants engaged in the study, which followed children for a time period of between eight and 14 years. Researchers looked at the frequency with which children and teens attend church services with their parents, in addition to how often those same young people prayed and meditated on their own. As the children entered their 20s, researchers then evaluated their physical and mental health.

Children who attended church once a week with their parents were more likely to be happy. Children who prayed or meditated were emotionally stronger and less likely to engage in destructive behaviors. They also had a lower number of STD’s.

The article concludes:

The study’s senior author Tyler VanderWeele added, “While decisions about religion are not shaped principally by health, for adolescents who already hold religious beliefs, encouraging service attendance and private practices may be meaningful avenues to protect against some of the dangers of adolescence, including depression, substance abuse, and risk taking.”

“In addition, these practices may positively contribute to happiness, volunteering, a greater sense of mission and purpose, and to forgiveness,” he added.

The results of last week’s study confirm previous studies which have also linked adults’ religious involvement to “better health and well-being outcomes, including lower risk of premature death.”

When prayer was taken out of the schools, children learned that they were not accountable to anyone higher than themselves. That wasn’t what we meant to teach them, but it was what they learned. A child with a perspective that includes accountability is going to be more secure, behave better, and be happier. The framework of religion helps provide the security our children need.

When The State Thinks It’s Your Mother

The Independent Journal Review posted an article today about a new law that California is planning to pass.

The article reports:

In an attempt to reduce childhood obesity rates, the state of California is taking the reigns from parents and banning restaurants from serving sugary beverages to children. 

The new bill restricts children’s drink options to be listed as just water or milk. The bill passed through the state legislature and is expected to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown. 

The American Cancer Society led the charge on this bill, telling CBS 13, “Cancer is fought in the halls of government, not just in the halls of a hospital.”

…Mike Slater, a radio host in San Diego told Fox News, “It amazes me always, the progressive instinct to ban things they don’t like. Whether in California it’s banning plastic bags or straws, or even speech.”

Under this bill, parents are still allowed to ask for a different drink, such as soda or chocolate milk, but it cannot be listed as a default beverage by the restaurant. 

If a restaurant fails to comply with the new bill, they could face a fine of up to $500. 

Maybe it would be better simply to educate parents on basic nutrition. I also think that if a child is taken out to dinner by his (or her) parents on a special occasion, he (she) should be allowed to drink anything he (she) wants.

I remember in junior high school (back in the age of dinosaurs) that the class did a science experiment with mice. There were two mice. One mouse was fed potato chips and soda (the dream diet of many children), and the other mouse was fed vegetables and things that were considered healthy. After a few weeks, the junk-food mouse was actually skinny and not healthy looking and the healthy-food mouse was growing and doing well. Do they still teach basic nutrition in schools? Might that be part of the problem?

Just for the record, I am not sure that what the children are drinking is the problem. Admittedly, soda is not good for you. However, what about looking at the ingredients in the foods you buy in the supermarket every week. How much of our bread has high fructose corn syrup in it? Isn’t that a product that contributes to obesity? How much of our children’s cereal has high fructose corn syrup in it? What is the price difference between real maple syrup and syrup made up of everything but natural maple syrup?

Aside from the government intrusion involved in this law, I think it is taking aim at the wrong thing. Soda is the least of our worries in terms of what our children are eating.

I Robbed A Bank, But That Was Okay Since It Helped Them Improve Their Security Measures

The Media Research Center posted a startling article yesterday about a media outlet in America and their attitude toward truth.

The article reports:

ABC openly admitted Sunday to having published “fake news” – their words, not mine – about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 migrant children, a debunked story that quickly caught fire and spawned countless hashtag campaigns and anti-ICE protests across the country. (Here’s MSNBC’s Chris Hayes boo-hooing over the whole nonsensical thing about a month ago.)

Now, well after the myth has been permanently ensconced as fact in the brains of millions of rapid anti-Trumpers nationwide, ABC’s admitting the entire thing was false – but, in a stunning feat of mental gymnastics, they claim the bogus story ended up being a good thing.

In an article actually entitled, “A fake news story helps expose a real crisis,” author Lauren Pearle admits the Trump administration was unfairly accused of having “lost” 1,500 kids who’d crossed the southwest U.S. border illegally – a claim I’d disputed in a video roughly four weeks ago, only to be accused of Nazism by radical progressives.

But by ABC’s own admission (and as I’d pointed out), the administration didn’t “lose” anyone; they’d simply placed these kids with sponsors, usually a family member, who didn’t respond when the government tried to check up on the child.

Wow. So it’s okay to report news that is false as long as you believe it serves a higher purpose. Does that mean it’s okay for your child to tell you a lie if that serves a higher purpose? Is it okay for your government to lie to you if that serves a higher purpose? Whatever happened to the concept of integrity.

The article explains what actually happened at the border:

Pearle doesn’t point out, of course, that the Obama administration also had a policy of temporarily separating families at the border (a fact MSNBC finally and begrudgingly admitted after weeks of slamming Trump), albeit to a lesser extent given the administration’s policy of simply releasing illegal aliens into the country without so much as a slap on the wrist. In fact, the policy of family separation was first launched after the Obama administration was sued for holding migrant children in detention facilities with their parents for extended periods of time – a court case that ended when the Ninth Circuit ruled these kids couldn’t be held for more than 20 days.

When the Trump administration reversed the previous policy of simply letting illegal alien families go free, that Obama-era court decision resulted in temporary family separations.

Is it okay to lie because you have an agenda to push and then claim it was done for higher purposes? Evidently the mainstream media thinks so.

An Horrific Crime That Needs To End

Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a discovery by Veterans on Patrol in Tuscon, Arizona. Veterans on Patrol is a group that searches bridges and washes to find and aid homeless. However, a homeless camp was not what they found.

The article reports:

In the middle of the Arizona desert,  they found trees with restraints on them at the site, children’s clothing a baby crib and stroller, an outdoor bathroom, pornographic material, hair dye and a five feet tall underground cave that had dresser and crates. The cave the was not big enough for an adult, but a child could easily fit inside.

“The solar lights are what gave it away. If we hadn’t been walking on the right trail we would have never seen it, we would have walked right past it,” one of the veterans, Lewis Arthur, told Arizona local affiliate KOLD. “And we are right there and our city is right there, our children are right there and it’s not my problem if it’s not in my backyard. Now it’s in our backyard.”

After finding the encampment, the a homeless advocacy group notified Veterans For Children Rescue, “a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist law enforcement and Non-Governmental Organizations to eliminate Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking,” according to the organization’s website.

“I didn’t expect to see something this heinous and inhumane this close,” Craig Sawyer, founder of Veterans For Children, said . “I served in the military to keep things like this from happening here that’s why I risked my security, so nobody here would have to put up with this.”

Sawyer, a Marine sniper and a member of the elite Navy SEAL Team Six, founded Veterans 4 Child Rescue Foundation in 2017 and has since dedicated his life to raising awareness about child sex slavery, rescuing victims and putting child sex traffickers behind bars. He recruited an elite force with world class skill sets — former FBI, CIA, Delta Force and Seal Team 6 — to extract victims and thin the herd of sex traffickers and works with police departments to run covert operations across the country.

This hurts my heart. Child trafficking is an horrendous crime that needs to be stopped immediately if not sooner. President Trump has taken measures to fight online trafficking, but there is a lot of room for improvement. All of us need to be aware of this issue and do what we can to stop it.

 

 

I Support Protecting Children From Abuse, But This Incident Does Not Seem To Be Abuse

It is getting to the point where if your neighbor does not like you, he can report you to whatever authorities he chooses and there is a chance your children will be taken away. This is definitely government overreach.

Chicks On The Right posted a story today about a family living in Kentuckyoff the grid.’ It seems that somehow living off the grid is an offense to local authorities, there have recently been a few cases of people being treated very badly because they are living off the grid.

The story reports:

According to that sourcelink, police seized 10 kids from their rural Kentucky home after receiving an anonymous tip to investigate the family’s “off the grid” lifestyle.

Joe Naugler happened to be away with eight of his children when the authorities arrived on the scene. Nicole Naugler, who happens to be five months pregnant, took their oldest children with her to drive away, but the authorities stopped her and took took them. She was arrested for “disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” but she claims she was arrested after not allowing the officers to take her children without a “fight.” Officers told her husband he needed to hand over the other children or face felony charges, and he complied. 

Pace Ellsworth, a family friend, said he believes the Nauglers were targeted because the government disagrees with their “free” lifestyle of “unschooling,” which focuses on learning through life experience and each child’s individual strengths.

That sounds like the way we used to do it! The authorities seem to have some question as to whether or not the children’s needs were being met, but the neighbors and friends tell a very different story. The neighbors have stated that the children are being raised in a loving environment and are well taken care of.

The children were taken on an anonymous tip. If this was supposed to be an investigation, why were the children taken? Has anyone asked the children basic questions to see if their education is appropriate for their age levels? Has anyone compared the education of the children to the education children in public schools are getting?

It seems to me that unless there was actual evidence of abuse or neglect of the children, the authorities did not have the right to take them. I hope that when this is sorted out, the parents find a good lawyer, figure out who issued the order to take the children, who was responsible for the anonymous tip that resulted in the taking of the children, and proceed to become millionaires.

In The Midst Of All The Turmoil, There Is Good News

The Blaze posted a story today that illustrates why we shouldn’t throw people away when they make a serious mistake.

The article reports:

A Georgia man is being hailed as a hero after saving a baby he saw crawling near a highway last Friday.

The article goes on to explain that the baby was crying and that the man who rescued the baby, Bryant Collins, calmed the child down by playing gospel music on his phone.

Mr. Collins stated that  he is an ex-convict who served time and reformed himself in prison.

The article reports:

“I did ten years in the federal institution for manufacturing cocaine,” he said. “When I was in prison, I made a very conscientious effort to change, and I did.”

The baby was 15 months old, and had wandered from her house, into the woods, fallen down an embankment, and was crawling along the highway.

Ignoring The Value Of Life

CBN News is reporting today that Belgium’s parliament has passed a law to legalize euthanasia for children of any age. This is frightening. I know how traumatic it has been in the past for my husband and I to euthanize a pet–I can’t imaging putting a parent in a position where euthanizing a child is an option. I am sure that there will be pressure exerted on parents with extremely sick or disabled children to opt for euthanasia rather than use extensive medical resources to treat the child.

The article reports:

Under the new law, if both parents agree their child should be killed, three doctors and a psychologist would then have to certify that the child was aware of the consequences of his or her decision. The child would have to be under medical care.

“We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life, and it’s not that they have months or years to go. They will, their life will end anyway,” Dr. Gerlant Van Berlaer, chief of clinic for pediatric critical care at the University Hospital of Brussels, explained.

“And the question they ask us is, ‘Well, don’t make me go in a terrible, horrifying way. Let me go now while I’m still a human being and while I’m still, while I still have my dignity,'” he said.

But critics asked how anyone could gauge a child’s capacity for discernment in such a situation.

How long will it be before children with minor disabilities will be candidates for euthanasia?

 

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