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.

Attacked For Doing His Job

A smart police force keeps track of groups coming into town to hold rallies or protests. I am sure that any time the Tea Party or Antifa holds a rally in a city, the police are aware of the gathering and keep close tabs on it. That is their job. However, some of the residents of Portland, Oregon, seem to be unaware of the procedures involved in policing rallies.

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about some recent events in Portland.

The article reports:

Last week a Portland police lieutenant named Jeff Niiya was accused of colluding with right-wing protest group Patriot Prayer after a string of his texts were released to the public. Lt. Niiya’s job is to coordinate with protest groups coming to the city and the texts show him doing just that, i.e. chatting with Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson about the group’s intentions and planned movements. As I noted last week, Lt. Niiya has previously been in close contact with a member of Antifa who became an outcast when other members of the group learned she’d be talking with police.

…Despite the fact that it was the Mayor’s own office requesting the information Lt. Niiya was gathering on Patriot Prayer, the investigation prompted by Niiya’s texts remains ongoing. As part of that process, Police Chief Outlaw scheduled a listening session to hear the community’s concerns Thursday night. Reporter Andy Ngo, who attended the meeting, says it quickly became a “sh*tshow” and a “circus of identity politics and hysteria.”

Some attendees at the listening session called for the Portland police to be disbanded. This sort of foolishness in Portland is not all that unusual.

The article concludes:

It’s not hard to imagine why Antifa anarchists like the idea of a city without a police force. That’s pretty much what they got last August when Mayor Ted Wheeler allowed an Occupy ICE camp full of vile extremists to grow and fester. Protestesters became so violent that ICE officers called 911 for help but Mayor Wheeler ordered the police not to respond. When the same mob turned on a woman running a food cart and burned it down, the police never responded. In the end, it was Police Chief Danielle Outlaw who demanded the Mayor allow her to clear out the camp. Naturally, the protesters left behind loads of garbage for the city to clean up.

At this point, Chief Outlaw seems to be one of the few city officials with any sense. Hopefully, she won’t buckle under the pressure from extremists to condemn Lt. Niiya.

This would be comical if it were not so serious.

Eventually Justice Shows Up

Most of us remember the stand-off between ranchers and the federal government in Oregon in 2016. Robert LaVoy Finicum was killed during the protests surrounding these events. Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about W. Joseph Astarita, who was part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team deployed out of Quantico, Va., to assist other state and federal law-enforcement officers during the standoff. Mr. Astarita is now on trial in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore., on charges of making false statements and obstruction of justice related to the 2016 fatal shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum.

The article reports:

The trial will bring to a head the tensions between Western ranchers and the government that had been at the heart of the 2016 standoffs. Mr. Bundy’s armed occupation was fueled by the federal prosecution of Oregon rancher Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, for arson. The duo, who were sentenced to five years in prison, received a presidential pardon earlier this month.

Mr. Bundy was acquitted for his role in the occupation, along with six followers.

The death of Mr. Finicum has spurred outrage among friends and family. They have long accused the government of carrying out a deadly vendetta. While federal investigators determined the rancher was reaching in his coat for a gun when he was shot, supporters said he was surrendering.

“Someone needs to be charged with murder,” said Angie Bundy, wife of Mr. Bundy’s brother, Ryan.

Local law-enforcement authorities also have criticized the Justice Department for Mr. Astarita’s alleged actions. When the indictments of Mr. Astarita were announced last summer, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said they “damage the integrity of the entire law-enforcement profession, which makes me both disappointed and angry.”

The original disagreement between the Bundy family and the federal government had to do with federal regulation of grazing lands.

American Soldiers Are Very Special People

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today that is an update of an incident that occurred on a Paris to Amsterdam train on Friday. Two American military men in civilian clothes were riding a high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam on Friday.

The article reports:

A friend of the heroes, Anthony Sadler, also was aboard the train and saw what happened. He identified them as Spencer Stone, of Sacramento, who was injured and Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., who was unhurt.

“We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,” Sadler told the AP.

Then they spotted a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle.
“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,” Sadler said.

“Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious. The gunman never said a word.”

A military friend of mine reminded me that the American military is trained ‘to run to the sound of guns.’ These men did exactly that. All of us should be grateful for their training and for the lives they saved that day.

The Double Standard At Work

On Friday I posted an article about Aaron and Melissa Klein, who ran a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. They were also ordered “to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.” This occurred in the State of Oregon. I guess Michigan doesn’t do things that way.

This was posted on YouTube on April 2nd of this year:

Now that same-sex marriage is legal, will Muslim bakeries still be able to refuse to bake cakes for those weddings without any consequences?

Losing Our Rights

The Weekly Standard posted an article today about Aaron and Melissa Klein, who previously ran a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The bakery is now closed and shuttered after the State of Oregon fined them  $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. To add insult to injury, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian added a gag order to the fine, ordering the Kleins “to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.”

I am hoping that the gag order will be repealed. The fine should also be repealed, but I don’t see much chance of that happening in Oregon. This is another example of what is happening to our First Amendment–the concept of the ‘free exercise of religion‘ has been replaced with the idea of ‘freedom of religion.’ The concept of ‘free exercise’ allows people to practice their religion in the public square. The concept of ‘freedom of religion’ confines religion to the interior of the church. It is hard to be ‘salt and light’ in a society (as mentioned by Jesus) when you are not allowed to express your views in that society.

An Interesting Development For The Political Left In America

The political left in America loves the United Nations. When the U.N. condemns Israel and supports countries that routinely practice persecution of non-Muslim religions, the political left in America doesn’t seem to notice. When the U.N. creates gun treaties that will take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights, the political left doesn’t worry about American sovereignty. Well, the question of American sovereignty is about to impact some of the political left.

Reuters posted a story yesterday reporting that Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has told reporters that moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions.

The article reports:

“I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions,” Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters.

Asked whether there was anything the UNODC could do about it, Fedotov said he would raise the problem next week with the U.S. State Department and other U.N. agencies.

I have stated before that I do not support the legalization of marijuana. However, I do support American sovereignty and states’ rights. Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have all authority not enumerated as federal authority (Tenth Amendment). I believe that according to the U.S. Constitution, the states are within their rights to legalize marijuana. Has America given the U.N. sovereignty over our states?

The article concludes:

On the international level, Uruguay‘s parliament in late 2013 approved a bill to legalize and regulate the production and sale of marijuana — the first country to do so.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has said Uruguay’s new bill contravened the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it says requires states to limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential. The Vienna-based INCB monitors compliance with this and two other drug control treaties.

This could get interesting.

 

 

I Don’t Think This Was Part Of The Plan

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted an article about the Maryland Obamacare exchange. It is currently under federal investigation for fraud.

The article reports:

The inspector general’s office for the Department of Health and Human Services reportedly told Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris that it will proceed with an investigation into how Maryland’s Obamacare exchange spent copious amounts of federal grant money in the face of its failing exchange.

Oregon’s Obamacare exchange will also be investigated by the General Accountability Office after a separate request from House Republicans.

Large amounts of federal money were given to these two states to set up their exchanges–Oregon was awarded $304 million in federal funding for its Obamacare exchange — in addition to $160 million spent in state funding so far, the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange expects to spend $261 million, over 80 percent of its federal grants, by the end of 2015.

It seems to me that any person with some degree of common sense would be looking at these numbers and wondering how Obamacare was going to save money. It really is time to get the federal government out of the health insurance business and let the free market reign. There are ways that the government can set basic regulations to make it easier for people to afford health insurance–more competition in the free market would allow prices to drop, as would portability across state lines, tort reform, tax credits for individuals purchasing health insurance, and some other basic changes. It’s time to admit that Obamacare does not work and needs to be done away with and replaced with a free market system. The insurance industry is a business. There is nothing evil about business. Businesses work best with the least amount of government interference.

 

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What About The Baker’s Rights?

On Sunday, KATU.com reported that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that the Gresham bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it refused the order for a wedding cake on Jan.17, 2013.

The article reports:

Portland, OR—A Gresham bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it denied service based on sexual orientation, a Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) investigation has found.

The couple filed the complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, a law that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Oregonians in employment, housing and public places.

Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion.

The investigation concludes that the bakery is not a religious institution under law and that the business’ policy of refusing to make same-sex wedding cakes represents unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation.

What about the rights of the bakery owners to practice their religion? If they are Bible-believing Christians, their Bible states that homosexual marriage is wrong. To bake a cake for a lesbian couple goes against the bakery owners’ religious beliefs. I think this is a situation where the law should not be involved–the couple could have easily gone to another bakery for their cake. If we are going to support the rights of homosexuals, we also need to support the rights of Christians.

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When Reality Gets In The Way Of Promises

Remember the promise that ObamaCare would eventually make health care cheaper for everyone because universal coverage would make us all healthier? Well, it seems as if we tend to be as healthy as we want to be regardless of whether or not we have universal coverage.

On Friday the Daily Beast reported that a study on Oregon’s Medicaid expansion showed that the people who were now eligible for medical treatment had no improvement in their health (as measured by basic health indicators such as like blood pressure or cholesterol).

The article reports:

health insurance doesn’t actually improve access to necessary treatment that much.  If someone else covers the cost, it can help with the financial burden of health care.  But uninsured people will mostly find a way for the most important treatments, the ones we know improve health, from stitches to control bleeding, to antibiotics, to blood pressure medication.  It’s the expensive stuff on the frontier–the stuff that’s as likely to be useless, or harmful, as it is to help–that the uninsured mostly forego. 

When you consider the fact that hospitals are not permitted to turn away patients because of their inability to pay, this makes sense.

The article concludes:

…But I think it’s instructive that the political campaign for Obamacare leaned so heavily on claims about death and untreated suffering.  Whether or not we should provide that sort of insurance, I don’t think that Obamacare would have passed if its backers had said “The best study available shows that we’ll probably get a nice reduction in depression and catastrophic expenses, but no statistically significant improvement in diabetes, mortality, or cardiovascular health.”

That should give us pause.  We passed a big, complicated piece of legislation on the assumption that Medicaid expansions like Oregon would make us healthier–so much helathier that we’d obviously be able to measure it.  It just made gut sense, after all.  And that shouldn’t just make us pause and think about Obamacare. What other policies are we pulling out of our intestinal loops?

Frankly, I think the best thing the government could do for the health of Americans would be to get out of healthcare. Repeal ObamaCare, and set up a system that subsidizes low income people who need insurance and let the free market run healthcare. There would have to be some basic guidelines set up for pre-existing conditions, but the healthcare industry knows much more about healthcare than the government does. Let’s let them take care of America.

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The Health And Human Services War Against Religion Continues

A website called Catholic Online is reporting a new aspect of Obamacare. Under Obamacare, children 15 and over in the state of Oregon will now be able to undergo sterilization without parental consent. Just for the record, children younger than 18 need parental consent to get their ears pierced.

The article states:

The “Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines” set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states: “Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost-sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan year.that begins on or after August 1, 2012.All [FDA] approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”

Under Oregon State Law, the state’s revised statutes (ORS) defines “informed consent” for 15-year-olds independently pursuing reproductive sterilization as being “(a) Based upon a full understanding of the nature and consequences of sterilization pursuant to information requirements set forth in ORS 436.225(1); (b) Given by an individual competent to make such a decision; and (c) Wholly voluntary and free from coercion, express or implied.”

I need to state here–I am not Catholic and I am not opposed to sterilization of an adult who makes that choice. That is not the point. What is happening here is that a major decision that will affect a child for the rest of his (or her) life is being made without parental input. That is just too much government for my taste.

 

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Why Voters Need To Pay Attention When They Vote

CNSNews posted a story today about Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

According to the article:

Democrat Gov. Kitzhaber has granted a reprieve “for the duration of my service as governor” to Gary D. Haugen, who has twice been convicted of aggravated murder. Haugen – who wants to be executed – was first convicted of killing the mother of his girlfriend and later was found guilty of murdering a fellow inmate.

The irony here is that Mr. Haugen claims that the state allows him to refuse the reprieve and has asked the state to execute him. He has filed a lawsuit against the state to invalidate the reprieve so that he can be executed.

Meanwhile, in another case in Oregon, the Governor has refused even to discuss clemency in the case of a man facing prison time for collecting rainwater on his property. Gary Harrington is scheduled to begin serving a 30 day jail term this week.

The article reports:

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., was sentenced July 25 in Jackson County Circuit Court to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines for violating Oregon state laws that say all water is publically owned–making the 3 reservoirs on his property used to house rainwater and snow runoff illegal.

CNSNews.com has repeatedly contacted the governor’s office via phone and email to ask if the governor has any intention of pardoning Harrington or commuting his sentence. But the governor’s office has not responded to any of those inquiries.

Does this mean that if I have a water feature in my backyard and rainwater falls in it that I am breaking the law? Doesn’t the state government of Oregon have anything better to do than send people who collect rainwater to jail?

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Now The Legal System Has Decided To Play God

In February, CBS News posted a story about a couple in who received more than $ 21 million in damages because of the “wrongful birth” of their son. My heart goes out to this couple–they have two small children who have severe birth defects. The suit was filed against the doctor who declared that the second child would be normal–a misdiagnosis.

On March 11, the New York Daily News reported that an Oregon couple had been awarded $2.9 million for the “wrongful birth” of their Down’s Syndrome child.

The Daily News reports:

Ariel and Deborah Levy won their “wrongful birth” suit against Legacy Health System, arguing they chose to continue their pregnancy based on what doctors told them, according to ABC News, and would have terminated it if they had not been assured their baby did not have the genetic condition.

I don’t know what to think of this. I can’t imagine the struggles involved in raising a handicapped child, but I also can’t imagine the guilt of knowing you aborted a child because you didn’t think it was perfect. There is no easy answer to this, but I think suing doctors for millions of dollars is about as far from the right answer as you can get. Is “wrongful birth” significantly different from “wrongful life?”

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