A Program That Is Getting Results

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the oldest voucher program in the United States. This program began in 1990. The program offers private school vouchers to low-income Milwaukee kids using a lottery system. The article reports that just 341 students participated in the program’s first year. Today, that figure is nearly 30,000 across 126 public schools.

The article reports:

Because it has been running for so long, the MPCP has been widely studied. Past analyses have found that it increases math scores (although not reading), as well as high-school graduation and college enrollment rates. Other voucher experiments have also shown encouraging results: A 2013 study found that Washington, D.C.’s voucher program increased graduation rates by 21 percentage points, while a 2015 analysis of New York’s voucher system saw an increase in college enrollment among students with black mothers.

The authors of the new paper looked at data on students from elementary school through ninth grade who were enrolled in Milwaukee private schools in 2006. They identified 2,727 MPCP students, then used a detailed methodology to “match” them to comparable students in the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system based on where they lived, their demographic information, their parents’ educational backgrounds, and other controls.

Having constructed their “treatment” and “control” groups, the researchers then looked at how each group faired in relation to pivotal achievement milestones: completing high school, ever enrolling in college, completing at least a year of college, and graduating from college.

The article concludes:

“MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and have more total years in a four-year college than their MPS peers,” the authors write. “We also find evidence that MPCP students are significantly more likely to graduate from college, although that college completion finding is only statistically significant in our sample of students who entered the program in third through eighth grade.”

Specifically, MPCP students who were in ninth grade in 2006 were 6 percentage points more likely than their MPS peers to enroll in a four-year college—46 percent versus 40 percent. MPCP students who were in third through eighth grades were 4 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college, and 3 percentage points more likely to graduate (all effects statistically significant).

These results contribute to what the authors call “a growing body of evaluation results indicating that private school voucher programs positively affect student educational attainment.” They point in particular to a Florida program, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the effects of which on graduation are “nearly identical.”

“The collective evidence in this paper indicates that students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than a carefully matched comparison group of Milwaukee Public School students,” the authors conclude. “The MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and experience more total years in a four-year college.”

Obviously the children using the vouchers to attend private schools are getting a better education than the students in public schools. I would guess that children involved in the voucher program also have a higher level of parental involvement–one of the keys to success for students. The children involved in the voucher program probably also know that there may be penalties for not doing the work required. I suspect that discipline in the private schools is probably more prevalent than in public schools. Our public schools have become places where children are not held to an academic or behavior standard. The success of the children in the voucher programs is an indication of problems in our public schools.

Abetting Child Abuse

On July 3, Real Clear Politics posted an article titled, “Lara Logan Reports: Cartels “Renting Kids To Fake Families” Then Sending Them Back To Be “Recycled”.” There are a few things that need to be considered when discussing the crisis at our southern border. The first is that if either the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress wanted to end the crisis, they could. The Democrats want future voters, the swamp-dwellers in the Republican party want cheap labor for their corporate sponsors. There are also rumors of payoffs to Congressmen by the cartels, but that isn’t yet proven. Second of all, the crisis at the border is being used as a political cudgel against a President the swamp does not like. As long as the crisis is useful, it will continue. Any mention of compassion is simply window dressing to cover actions that do not include compassion. I’m sorry if that sounds cynical, but it is honest. Congress makes the laws. If the laws are bad, Congress can change them. The same applies to any deportations this weekend. The deportations are in accordance with the laws currently in place. If Congress does not like the laws, it should change them—not scream hysterically when they are followed.

The article reports:

Lara Logan interviews incoming Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan about the uproar over conditions for children at some border facilities and broken laws that led to the migrant crisis.

Morgan said cartels are “renting” children to “fake families” who use the minors as a passport into the United States and then sends the kid back to Mexico or Central America to be “recycled.”

“With Mexican cartels controlling the human traffic, the innocent are paying the highest price,” Logan reported.

“The cartels are renting kids to fake families because they know, grab a kid, that’s like a US passport into the country,” Morgan said. “And then if they make it through, they’re actually taking the kid to a facilitator here in the US and recycling the kid, back to Mexico or the Northern Triangles to be recycled again. That’s horrible.”

“Now that we’ve been identifying these fake families, we’re starting to hear messages being told now, hey, look, you have to grab a kid. It’s your passport into the United States but you may want to make sure that it’s your kid now,” the acting commissioner said.

This is the video of the interview:

This is the consequence of the inaction of Congress to deal with this problem during the past fifty years.

We Are Being Played

We have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. We also have a legal crisis of our southern border. No country can randomly allow non-citizens to cross their borders illegally and then take advantage of the largess of their citizens. All of these immigrants crossing  into the country illegally are receiving  medical care, dental care, etc. at the border. Many of them manage to collect government benefits after being here. Many receive free college tuition that American citizens do not get. Yes, there is a problem. It would be nice if Congress solved the problem. Hopefully they are moving in that direction.

Meanwhile, as Rahm Emmanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

The first thing you do is create a really good photo op. Below is an example:

This is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crying over the plight of immigrant children at our southern border. There is only one problem with the picture.

This is the shot from another angle:

I guess it is touching that AOC has compassion for border patrol agents standing in an empty parking lot, but somehow that is not how the media described the picture. The media suggested that AOC was sobbing presumably at the sight of migrant children being inhumanely detained. From the looks of the second picture, that was not exactly the case.

Photos posted at The Gateway Pundit.

 

 

 

Does The North Carolina Legislation Really Want To Protect School Children?

I do not consider myself a person interested in guns although I am married to a person who grew up hunting and handling guns all his life. However, I am not against armed citizens. I don’t believe our crime problem is guns. I believe our crime problem has more to do with people not respecting the basic rules of an ordered society. I have also learned over the years that the only way to stop an evil person with a gun is to have an armed citizen protecting other citizens. That is why I support H216 which was introduced into the North Carolina legislature on February 28, 2019.

H216 is a simple two page law. This is the bill:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY OR STAFF OF A SCHOOL TO CARRY A HANDGUN ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS TO RESPOND TO ACTS OF VIOLENCE OR AN IMMINENT THREAT OF VIOLENCE.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION1.This act shall be known as “The School Self-Defense Act.”

SECTION 2.G.S.14-269.2 reads as rewritten:

Ҥ 14-269.2. Weapons on campus or other educational property.

(a)The following definitions apply to this section:

(3a)Volunteer school faculty guardian. –A person who (i) is a member of the faculty or staff of a school, (ii)is a full-time or part-time employee,and (iii) possesses a valid concealed handgun permit issued to the person in accordance with Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(3b)Volunteer school safety resource officer. –A person who volunteers as a school safety resource officer as provided by G.S.162-26 or 16G.S.160A-288.4.

(g)This section shall not apply to any of the following:

(8) Subject to the condition set forth in subsection (m) of this section, a volunteer school faculty guardian, while on the grounds of the school the person is employed by or assigned to, who meets all of the following requirements:

    1. Successfully completes 16 hours of active shooter training in the School Faculty Guardian program developed and administered by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission pursuant to G.S.17C-6(a)(21).
    2. Submits to the chief administrator of the school on an annual basis written notice that the person continues to possess a valid concealed handgun permit issued to the person in accordance with Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.
    3. Provides evidence satisfactory to the chief administrator of the school on an annual basis that the person has demonstrated proficiency with the type of handgun and handgun retention system used.

d.When on school grounds, only possesses the handgun during the conduct of his or her duties.

e.Except when responding to an act of violence or an imminent threat of violence at the school, keeps the handgun concealed at all times while on the school grounds. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “violence”means physical injury that a reasonable person would conclude could lead to permanent injury or death.

    1. Submits to annual drug testing.

(m)The governing body or entity of a school may opt out of the authority granted under subdivision (8) of subsection (g) of this section and prohibit a person from possessing a handgun pursuant to the authority in subdivision (8) of subsection (g) of this section on the grounds of the school or schools under its control.”

SECTION 3.G.S.17C-6(a) reads as rewritten:

“(a)In addition to powers conferred upon the Commission elsewhere in this Chapter, the Commission shall have the following powers, which shall be enforceable through its rules and regulations, certification procedures, or the provisions of G.S.17C-10:

(21)Establish and administer the School Faculty Guardian program, which provides active shooter training to volunteer school faculty guardians, as defined under G.S.14-269.2.”

SECTION 4.The provisions of G.S.143C-5-2 do not apply to this act.

SECTION 5.There is appropriated from the General Fund to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission the sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in nonrecurring funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year to be used to cover costs incurred in establishing the School Faculty Guardian program required under G.S.17C-6(a)(18), as enacted by Section 3 of this act.

SECTION 6. Section 5 of this act becomes effective July 1, 2019. The remainder of this act is effective when it becomes law.

Note that the teacher participation is voluntary. Also note that there is training involved. Since many of our teachers are military veterans, I think they would be well-suited for the training. Note that schools have the opportunity to opt out of the program.

Something else to consider:

 

  • Arming faculty reduces school shootings: A new study entitled “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns Are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry found that:
    • Zero school shootings at schools with armed faculty: During hours when armed teachers would logically be present, none of the schools with armed faculty experienced school shootings.
    • A significant increase in school shootings at schools which do NOT allow armed faculty: Between 2001 and 2018, the number of school shootings at schools which did not allow armed faculty more than doubled.

Calling your North Carolina legislator to vote this bill out of committee and on to the floor for a vote would be a really good idea. The website to get names and phones numbers and email addresses is ncleg.gov.

 

 

What Our Children Watch Matters

In July 2017, a website called Intellectual Takeout posted an article titled, “How Classic Cartoons Created a Culturally Literate Generation”  written by Annie Holmquist. I must admit that this is something I never considered, but after I read the article, I was impressed by the writer’s idea.

The article states:

I recently picked up Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for the first time. Finding the plot rather amusing, I began relaying it to my father over the weekend. Because he had never read the book, I was rather surprised when he began asking informed questions about the story. In no time at all, he was the one schooling me on plot elements I had not yet reached.

“Wait a minute,” I asked. “Are you sure you’ve never read this book?”

“No, never have,” he replied, “but I saw a cartoon version of the story when I was younger and everything I know comes from that.”

His revelation was intriguing, and to be honest, not the first of its kind. Like many in the Boomer generation, my father grew up watching classic cartoons, numbers of which were produced by the likes of Warner Bros.

But those cartoons did more than mind-numbingly entertain a generation of children. They also introduced millions of young people to key facets of cultural literacy, particularly in the realm of literature and music.

Beyond the aforementioned case of Mark Twain’s novel, these cartoons introduced children to stories such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde through the medium of Bugs Bunny. Key quotations and scenes from William Shakespeare’s works were the main theme in a Goofy Gophers cartoon known as A Ham in a Role. And Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha was placed front and center in a Walt Disney short called Little Hiawatha.

Perhaps even more famous than the literature references are the many ways in which cartoons introduced children to the world of classical music, including both instrumental and operatic selections, one of which is the famous Rabbit of Saville.

There were a lot of criticisms of cartoons back in the fifties and sixties–watching the coyote drop things on the roadrunner would make children violent or encourage them to do stupid things. Somehow I don’t remember anyone attaching a rocket to themselves to enable them to run faster, but I might have missed something. We all knew that Tom and Jerry was not real.

The article also notes that the early cartoons were an introduction to classical music for many children:

In fact, as the famous pianist Lang Lang testifies, it was Tom and Jerry’s rendition of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody in The Cat Concerto which first inspired him to start piano at age two.

The article concludes:

These examples just brush the surface of the cultural literacy lessons which the old cartoons taught our parents and grandparents. Even if they never learned these elements in school, they at least had some frame of reference upon which they could build their understanding of the books and music and even ideas which have impacted culture and the world we live in today.

But can the same be said of the current generation? Admittedly, I’m not very well-versed in current cartoon offerings, but a quick search of popular titles seems to suggest that the answer is no. A majority of the time they seem to offer fluff, fantasy, and a focus on the here and now.

In short, neither schools, nor Saturday morning cartoons seem to be passing on the torch of cultural knowledge and literacy. Could such a scenario be one reason why we see an increased apathy and lack of substance in the current generation?

The lady may be on to something.

 

Congress Needs To Remember That They Are Responsible For Making Laws

There was some genuine ugly in Congress this week. Unfortunately that is fairly common lately, but sometimes things are said that are really over the top. Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a discussion Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez probably should not have gotten involved in.

The article reports:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a fellow Democrat who argued in a Wednesday hearing that the deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody were “intentional.”

“Yesterday, GOP moved to silence Lauren Underwood’s words bc she had the audacity to say the obvious: that stealing children away from their parents, trafficking, & caging them w/o end is intended to do harm,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “They tried to silence her; make her back down. She didn’t. Be proud.”

…Underwood, a Democrat representative from Illinois, had claimed a day earlier that Republicans, and specifically the Trump administration, had intentionally chosen a policy that they knew would result in harm or death to migrant children.

…What neither Ocasio-Cortez nor Underwood acknowledged was the fact that the family separation policy had been adopted in part to reduce the trafficking of children, and neither mentioned the hundreds of children who had been removed from adults who were not actually their parents or even relatives, some of whom had been “rented” in order to help a single adult gain entry to the U.S. more easily.

Just for the record, the policy was implemented during the Obama administration. If Congress is against the policy, it is their responsibility to change it–not to blame someone else for their inaction.

Jumping The Shark In Children’s Television

Yesterday, WCYB Channel 5 reported that the writers of the children’s show “Arthur” have decided that this season Arthur is going to a wedding of his teacher Mr. Ratburn where Mr. Ratburn marries another man.

The article reports:

Following the scene that shows the teacher and his husband Patrick walking down the aisle, Arthur is shown at the reception saying he cannot believe that Mr. Ratburn is married.

“Yep. It’s a brand new world,” says Arthur’s friend Francine in the episode entitled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” which can be seen by clicking here.

The article continues:

The Public Broadcasting System issued a statement on the episode on Monday to the publication People:

PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day

Why is PBS doing this? Parents will introduce their children to diversity when they feel the children are ready for it. Children do not need to be indoctrinated by Public Television. Keep in mind that our taxpayer dollars are paying for this garbage. Children should be taught respect and tolerance, but it is up to their parents to teach them the values the parents espouse. I would never want a child to be disrespectful of a person because they were gay, but I would also want my child to understand the Biblical view of homosexuality, despite the fact that it is in opposition to the current liberal view.

The Problem Of Illegal Immigration Continues

Yesterday One America News posted an article about the crisis of illegal immigration at our southern border.

The article includes this video:

The article states:

The latest immigration numbers for April are in, with the Border Patrol revealing nearly 110,000 illegal aliens were apprehended or denied at the border last month. Illegals are now “renting” children in their efforts to cross the border. One America’s Pearson Sharp reports.

Fixing this situation would be fairly easy if Congress were willing to work with the President. Unfortunately they are not. Meanwhile, we are under invasion. My sympathies are with the people fleeing poverty, but that is not who the asylum system was set up to help. Poverty and economic hopelessness are not valid excuses for asylum. We need to control our borders. That is not the entire answer, but it will cut down on drugs coming into the country and will less the negative impact on wages at the lower end of the wage scale that illegal immigration produces.

Child Abuse In Our Schools

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a lawsuit filed by some parents against an Oregon school district. The case began with an 8-year-old boy with a stomach issue and ends with that child being encouraged to be a girl.

The article reports:

Parents in Woodburn said their 8-year-old son was held back from recess multiple times for one-on-one conversations about his gender identity – and they had no idea.

The mother and father in Woodburn are now suing a school district for nearly a million dollars after they say a second-grade teacher singled out their son by asking him if he was transgender. The parents say the teacher had inappropriate conversations with the child at school without their permission. …

The parents say this all started when their son started using the staff restroom because of a stomach problem. They say their son was uncomfortable using the boy’s bathroom because of his medical condition. However, they believe the teacher assumed their son was uncomfortable because he was transgender.

“Still today, a year later, if he plays with my niece, he’s a girl in that moment… if he plays with my nephew, he’s a boy,” said the mother.

The mother says her son was left confused and hurt after being singled out. Now, a year later, the 9-year-old is taking anxiety medication and going to therapy, according to his parents. The family says the boy’s confusion and emotional distress has also affected the entire family. The father says he’s suffering from panic attacks and the mother says she’s now on medical leave, suffering from anxiety and depression, and staying home from work.

It is entirely possible that the panic attacks and anxiety on the part of the parents might be something of an overreaction, but their complaint is certainly valid.

The article notes:

There’s video at the link, but it’s not embeddable here. Bear in mind that this wasn’t a teenager, which might be bad enough, but an eight year old with a stomach problem. Even granting the best of possible intentions, why wouldn’t the first step in dealing with suspicions of gender dysphoria be to contact the child’s parents? It’s not as if the parents in this case are social neanderthals, at least from the perspective of Academia. They tell reporter Bonnie Silkman in the video that they aren’t concerned about what identity he chooses as long as he chooses it, and not get indoctrinated into it by an activist teacher.

The article concludes:

The most impressively loco part of this story is that the teacher still works at the school — a full year after the school confirmed the parents’ story. The only correction the teacher received was to be reminded of the district’s policies on “controversial issues” and to notify parents and the school when she “alters a student’s regular school day.” Meanwhile, this family will be dealing with the aftershocks of her actions for years.

The school district declined to comment on the story because of the lawsuit, but they might owe an explanation to the other parents in the district, especially to those whose children are within this teacher’s supervision. How many other children has she attempted to indoctrinate into transgender identities? And how many of the parents in this school district — and elsewhere — might start considering private schools or home-schooling to protect their children from predatory behavior?

If I had children in that school district, this article would cause me to consider seriously the option of home-schooling.

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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