Archive for the ‘Speaking Out’ Category
School Cuts Off Valedictorian’s Mic, Threatens His Naval Academy Appointment For Mentioning God And Constitution In Speech
Valedictorian’s mic cut off as he made impromptu speech about value of the constitution
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What happens when the star student dares to think for himself and speak from the heart instead of from a pre-approved script? The government-run school censorship brigade swings into action.
He was one of the most quiet and softspoken students of the Joshua High School graduating class, and what the valedictorian wasn’t allowed to say at commencement exercises is making national news.
“Most people have never ever heard me speak much less see me smile,” said Remington Reimer, as he addressed the large crowd gathered Thursday at Owl Stadium.
And then, the Burleson resident began what would have appeared to have been a traditional graduation speech – thanking his parents and naming special teachers that have helped him along the way and telling the crowd how proud he was of his class and how close they all were.
He discussed perseverance in life, and told fellow graduates its the finish that matters. He then told a story about a runner who finished a race with a broken leg. He added that, years from now, it wouldn’t matter that he was valedictorian or first in his class but, rather, that he and his classmates finished the race and finished well.
Nice words. Nice kid. Another graduation day in America.
Then Reimer discussed his faith and thanked God for “sending His only son to die for me and the rest of the world.”
Reimer, who has secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, talked about free speech and the U.S. Constitution and how that “yesterday, I was threatened with having the mic turned off and…”
And then the mic was turned off.
[…] Another Facebook posting emailed to the Burleson Star clarified what Reimer had said after the microphone was cut off:
“We are all fortunate to live in a country where we can express our beliefs, where our mics won’t be turned off, as I have been threatened to be if I veer away from the school-censored speech I have just finished. Just as Jesus spoke out against the authority of the Pharisees and Sadducees, who tried to silence him, I will not have my freedom of speech taken away from me. And I urge you all to do the same. Do not let anyone take away your religious or Constitutional rights from you.”
The crowd roared with enthusiasm and Reimer sat down.
Unfortunately, it didn’t stop with censorship. Afterwards, the principle apparently threatened to put his future in jeopardy by disparaging his character to the Naval Academy, where he had been recently accepted:
A Texas high school principal threatened to sabotage a valedictorian’s appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after the student delivered a speech that referenced God and the U.S. Constitution, the boy’s attorney alleges.
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation with the Liberty Institute, said Joshua High School principal Mick Cochran threatened to write a letter to the U.S. Naval Academy disparaging the character of Remington Reimer.
“It was intimidating having my high school principal threaten my future because I wanted to stand up for the Constitution and acknowledge my faith and not simply read a government approved speech,” the teenager said.
Sasser is now representing the teenager and is calling for the Joshua Independent School District to issue a public statement exonerating him of any wrongdoing.
He said the speech was edited and reviewed by four different school officials – including an officer in the JROTC. Sasser said the censorship violated federal and state laws.
[…] The following day the principal met with Reimer’s father and informed him “that he intended to punish Remington for his perceived misdeed.”
“Specifically, he threatened to send a letter to the United States Naval Academy advising them that Remington has poor character or words to that effect,” Sasser told Fox News.
After consulting with a school attorney, the principal temporarily retracted the threat, Sasser said.
“The principal said he wanted to try to ruin him for what he did – for talking about the Constitution and his faith,” Sasser said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be able to continue to be the principal of that school.”
Every life matters.
STILL is a documentary film aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. STILL will examine the effects of a grief avoidant society and will tell the stories of individuals and families from all walks of life who have suffered the death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy:
Nothing stirs the Left’s seething rage more than a woman, black or gay person refusing to toe the ideological line and daring to speak out for conservative values.
Dr. Ben Carson is the latest target of the bigoted Left, which does not allow independent thought from “minority” groups they seek to keep under their control. Mark Levin recently had an amazing interview with Carson, in which they discussed the Left’s agenda to silence conservative minorities.
Kyle Becker has the transcript at the Independent Journal Review:
MARK LEVIN, HOST: These attacks on you, I have to ask you. You’re a religious man. Do these attacks make you want to speak out more and do more or do they cause you to second guess coming out and talking like this?
DR. BENJAMIN CARSON: No, they make me recognize what serious trouble we’re in. And what has really brought it home to me is, you know, I’ve gotten so many letters of support or phone calls or emails from people who believe similarly, but are afraid to speak out because they think there may be retribution. And basically, it proves what I was saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation, and the fabric of our nation is changed without the benefit of a conversation.
LEVIN: Well, you’re right. They don’t want a conversation, do they? They don’t want us to engage. In fact they…
CARSON: No, they want to shut us up completely.
CARSON: And that’s why the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent, you know, an existential threat to them. They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me. They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me. So they take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.
LEVIN: And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race, because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?
CARSON: Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?
Listen to the whole interview on the Mark Levin show:
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If there’s one think Planned Parenthood is good at, it’s targeting and destroying the opposition. Prosecutors are terrified of going after them for their crimes. A lone teacher doesn’t stand a chance.
Neither did the people who tried to save the Jews from the holocaust. But they did it anyway, and today they are remembered as heroes.
An exemplary math and computer science teacher has been unjustly escorted out of Benson High School by police following a protracted battle with school officials about Planned Parenthood’s presence in the school and its association with his students.
Bill Diss was notified on Tuesday after the last student left his class that he was being placed immediately on administrative leave “pending a recommendation to the superintendent that you be dismissed from your employment with Portland public schools for reasons that have been discussed with you.” The mild-mannered Mr. Diss told STOPP that he was given only a few minutes to gather his belongings before police escorted him out. He was ordered not to return to the Portland, Oregon, school where he has taught for 11 years.
Mr. Diss is an outstanding teacher, who recently was awarded certification and recognition as the only teacher in Oregon who is qualified to teach college level computer science to high school students for dual credit. He has taught at the college and high school level for a total of 18 years.
Planned Parenthood has been in pursuit of Mr. Diss since 2007 when he began organizing efforts to stop Planned Parenthood. A STOPP press release from February of 2009 noted that Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette wanted Bill Diss’ teaching license revoked. The press release quoted American Life League’s Jim Sedlak: “Bill has organized one of the most effective efforts against Planned Parenthood in the country. It’s no surprise Planned Parenthood will resort to anything—even going after his teaching license—in order to silence him.”
Bill was opposing, on his own time, outside of any school activities, the construction of a Planned Parenthood killing center in an African American neighborhood in Portland. The Planned Parenthood business was eventually built, and today targets minority women for abortions.
Planned Parenthood was unsuccessful in its revocation bid but, incredibly, a decree came from the school district that Bill could not indicate that he was a teacher at Benson or that he taught for the Portland schools when he was giving talks outside the school.
Things really started heating up again at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year when Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette began to push its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) in partnership with Benson High School. The program is fueled by a multi-million dollar Obamacare teen pregnancy prevention grant, funneled through a coalition of Planned Parenthood affiliates. Benson High is located in the inner city, where sixty-two percent of the students qualify for free or reduced price lunches.
On September 17, 2012, Planned Parenthood operatives entered Mr. Diss’ classroom where he was tutoring students in basic math skills and other subjects. They expected to be given the floor to recruit students for the Teen Outreach Program. Because Mr. Diss had been notified that TOP representatives were coming to speak to the class and they produced ID showing they were from Planned Parenthood rather than TOP, Mr. Diss asked them to leave his classroom. They left, and a few moments later the principal and vice principal came to remove Mr. Diss from class.
The next day he was forced to sit through a Planned Parenthood presentation. “They were extremely aggressive in obtaining the children’s signatures by promising them all sorts of gifts and cash,” Bill said. Planned Parenthood filed a formal complaint against Mr. Diss with the school. You can read STOPP’s coverage about the events of that day and the TOP permission forms here.
This is a very unique and insightful view from an openly gay man with adopted children.
I wholeheartedly support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but I am opposed to same-sex marriage. Because activists have made marriage, rather than civil unions, their goal, I am viewed by many as a self-loathing, traitorous gay. So be it. I prefer to think of myself as a reasoning, intellectually honest human being.
The notion of same-sex marriage is implausible, yet political correctness has made stating the obvious a risky business. Genderless marriage is not marriage at all. It is something else entirely.
Opposition to same-sex marriage is characterized in the media, at best, as clinging to “old-fashioned” religious beliefs and traditions, and at worst, as homophobia and hatred.
I’ve always been careful to avoid using religion or appeals to tradition as I’ve approached this topic. And with good reason: Neither religion nor tradition has played a significant role in forming my stance. But reason and experience certainly have.
Learning from Experience
As a young man, I wasn’t strongly inclined toward marriage or fatherhood, because I knew only homosexual desire.
I first recognized my strong yearning for men at age eight, when my parents took me to see The Sound of Music. While others marveled at the splendor of the Swiss Alps displayed on the huge Cinerama screen, I marveled at the uniformed, blond-haired Rolfe, who was seventeen going on eighteen. That proclivity, once awakened, never faded.
During college and throughout my twenties, I had many close friends who were handsome, athletic, and intelligent, with terrific personalities. I longed to have an intimate relationship with any and all of them. However, I enjoyed something far greater, something which surpassed carnality in every way: philia (the love between true friends)—a love unappreciated by so many because eros is promoted in its stead.
I wouldn’t have traded the quality of my relationships with any of these guys for an opportunity to engage in sex. No regrets. In fact, I always felt like the luckiest man on the planet. Denial didn’t diminish or impoverish my life. It made my life experience richer.
Philia love between men is far better, far stronger, and far more fulfilling than erotic love can ever be. But society now promotes the lowest form of love between men while sabotaging the higher forms. Gay culture continues to promote the sexualization of all (viewing one’s self and other males primarily as sexual beings), while proving itself nearly bankrupt when it comes to fostering any other aspect of male/male relationships.
When all my friends began to marry, I began to seriously consider marriage for the first time. The motive of avoiding social isolation may not have been the best, but it was the catalyst that changed the trajectory of my life. Even though I had to repress certain sexual desires, I found marriage to be extremely rewarding.
My future bride and I first met while singing in a youth choir. By the time I popped the question, we had become the very best of friends. “Soul mates” is the term we used to describe each other.
After a couple of years of diligently trying to conceive, doctors informed us we were infertile, so we sought to adopt. That became a long, arduous, heartbreaking process. We ultimately gave up. I had mixed emotions—disappointment tempered by relief.
Out of the blue, a couple of years after we resigned ourselves to childlessness, we were given the opportunity to adopt.
A great shock came the day after we brought our son home from the adoption agency. While driving home for lunch, I was suddenly overcome with such emotion that I had to pull the car off to the side of the road. Never in my life had I experienced such pure, distilled joy and sense of purpose. I kept repeating, “I’m a dad,” over and over again. Nothing else mattered. I knew exactly where I fit in within this huge universe. When we brought home his brother nearly two years later, I was prepared: I could not wait to take him up in my arms and declare our kinship and my unconditional love and irrevocable responsibility for him.
Neither religion nor tradition turned me into a dedicated father. It was something wonderful from within—a great strength that has only grown with time. A complete surprise of the human spirit. In this way and many others, marriage—my bond with the mother of my children—has made me a much better person, a person I had no idea I had the capacity to become.
Intellectual Honesty and Surprise Conclusions
Unfortunately, a few years later my marriage ended—a pain known too easily by too many. At this point, the divorce allowed me to explore my homosexuality for the first time in my life.
At first, I felt liberated. I dated some great guys, and was in a couple of long-term relationships. Over several years, intellectual honesty led me to some unexpected conclusions: (1) Creating a family with another man is not completely equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.
It took some doing, but after ten years of divorce, we began to pull our family back together. We have been under one roof for over two years now. Our kids are happier and better off in so many ways. My ex-wife, our kids, and I recently celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together and agreed these were the best holidays ever.
Because of my predilections, we deny our own sexual impulses. Has this led to depressing, claustrophobic repression? No. We enjoy each other’s company immensely. It has actually led to psychological health and a flourishing of our family. Did we do this for the sake of tradition? For the sake of religion? No. We did it because reason led us to resist selfish impulses and to seek the best for our children.
And wonderfully, she and I continue to regard each other as “soul mates” now, more than ever.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found our decision to rebuild our family ratified time after time. One day as I turned to climb the stairs I saw my sixteen-year-old son walk past his mom as she sat reading in the living room. As he did, he paused and stooped down to kiss her and give her a hug, and then continued on. With two dads in the house, this little moment of warmth and tenderness would never have occurred. My varsity-track-and-football-playing son and I can give each other a bear hug or a pat on the back, but the kiss thing is never going to happen. To be fully formed, children need to be free to generously receive from and express affection to parents of both genders. Genderless marriages deny this fullness.
There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week. Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold from them someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch “deprivation” on their hearts.
”This isn’t a struggle between Republicans and Democrats. This is a struggle between the President and the Constitution.” – Senator Rand Paul
On Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul went on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss Obama’s dangerous and unconstitutional threat to allow drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil – with no due process:
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On Wednesday at 11:47am, Paul launched a nearly 13-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate to draw attention to this blatant attack on constitutional rights, earning admiration and support from both sides of the aisle, as well as internationally.
Some of the best quotes of the day:
On John Brennan: “I have hounded and hounded and hounded him… Only after yanking his chain… does he say he’s going to obey the law. We should be alarmed by that.”
Taking a stand: “I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees…But I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution.”
On his colleagues in the Senate: “If there were an ounce of courage in this body I would be joined by other senators… saying they will not tolerate this.”
On White House “kill list”: “The people on the list might be me.”
On Obama: “He was elected by a majority, but the majority doesn’t get to decide who we execute.”
On making a point: “This will be a blip in his nomination process. But I hope people will see it as an argument for how important our rights are.”
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) served notice to both the Republican establishment and to the Democrat-Media Complex: conservatism isn’t gone. It’s not even on vacation. The new wave of conservatives is here, and they know how to play the game.
At approximately 11:47 a.m. EST, Paul took to the floor of the Senate to filibuster the nomination of counterterrorism czar John Brennan for CIA Director. Paul stated his reason specifically and clearly: the Obama administration has refused to answer question as to whether they believe it is acceptable under the Constitution to kill American citizens on US soil using drones if those citizens are not engaged in an immediate terrorist threat. Paul was broader than that, actually – he simply asked the administration for a set of rules that could be used to limit their power to execute American citizens here at home. Over and over again, the administration refused to turn over the legal memos detailing its policies.
And so Paul talked. And boy, did he talk. For nearly 13 hours, he talked, taking breaks only when spelled by Senators including fellow Tea Partiers Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Even an honest Democrat – apparently the only one in the chamber – got into the act: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). Citing everyone from left to right, Paul pointed out the hypocrisy of an administration ripping into waterboarding of terrorists but happy to target them for death from the skies. He asked repeatedly why the administration could not answer his simple question about the boundaries of government power. And the American people listened.
It was an astonishing demonstration of the power of ideas. Paul spoke directly to the American people from the floor of the Senate. No media interrogators. No Obama functionaries. No spin machine. He was not strident, but he was firm. […]
Paul’s dramatic action today may not have stopped John Brennan from becoming CIA Director. But that was not the point. He proved that conservatism in America is not merely alive, but that it has the potential for post-partisanship. He proved that conservatives can still seize the narrative, and fight back against an authoritarian-minded, non-transparent administration. And he proved that a new generation of conservatives is about to take the field for Republicans. Over the next 24 hours, look for the Democrat-Media Complex to strike back against Paul. They know the battle is on.
Finally, it appears that Republicans do too.
Oregon patriot Kristina Ribali remarked:
“Hey America, don’t look now, but it’s those crazy right wingers, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, and Senator Ted Cruz who are currently filibustering the United States Senate against the unconstitutional practice of executing you by drone without a trial. You’re welcome – Love, the Tea Party.”
“We are Americans. The politicians are only as powerful as We The People allow them to be.”
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The NRA comes out with both guns blazing…so to speak.
I so admire this man! Listen to the amazing speech he gave at the annual Prayer Breakfast:
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No doubt Obama was angry, but he managed to stay relatively straight-faced through the whole thing. Guess he didn’t want the pictorial proof of his rage hitting the social media circuit.
With President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other national leaders in attendance, Dr. Carson spoke plainly about the great challenges America faces today: “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.”
“One of our big problems right now is our deficit,” Dr. Carson states. “Our national debt, 16 and a half trillion dollars—you think that’s not a lot of money? Counting one number per second, you know how long it would take to count to one trillion—507,000 years.”
Dr. Carson continued:
I don’t like to bring up problems without coming up with solutions… What about our taxation system? It is so complex, there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and tittle. That doesn’t make any sense.
What we need to do is come up with something that’s simple. The inherently fair principle is proportionality: you make 10 billion dollars, you put in a billion. You make 10 dollars, you put in one. Of course, you have to get rid of the loopholes.
Some people say, ‘That’s not fair! It’s doesn’t hurt the guy who made 10 billion dollars.’ Where does it say you have to hurt that guy? He just put a billion dollars into the pot!
Growing up in dire poverty, Dr. Carson tells of taking responsibility for his own decisions thanks to “a mother who believed in me, who would never allow herself to be a victim no matter what happened—she never made excuses, and she never accepted excuses from us.”
Later, Dr. Carson went on Hannity to explain why he said what he did in front of the president:
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This is one of many reasons why we homeschool, but homeschooling is not for everyone. Parents have a God-given right and responsibility to choose the best education for their children. They should NOT be forced into a government monopoly that deliberately undermines the values they are trying to instill in the next generation.
When discussing the school choice issue with other Christians, I often here responses like “How are we supposed to be salt and light in the schools if we pull our kids out?” and “We can counter-act the bad stuff they learn in school by teaching them about God at home and in church.”
These are valid concerns, but the truth is that our children are not being salt and light; rather, they are being corrupted by the very system they are trying to influence. A recent study by the Barna Group found that approximately 70% of kids who grew up in a Christian church were no longer faithful to the church by their 20s. According to Barna, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. During the first half of the 20th century, young adults pretty much stayed faithful to the Christian faith. But this trend changed during the 1960s, when we saw the Bible and prayer taken out of government-run schools while at the same time witnessing the birth of the Sexual Revolution.
For decades, the anti-Christian crowd has been using government-run schools to undermine and attack Christianity. And that strategy continues today. Just last week, the Southern Education Foundation issued a paper claiming that Georgia’s school choice program (where individuals and corporations can receive tax credits for contributing to charitable funds that award scholarships to enable underprivileged kids to attend private schools) is supporting Christian schools with “anti-gay” policies. SEF claims that any private, Christian school that expects it teachers and students to adhere to Biblical standards of conduct—including those that prohibit pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior—is “anti-gay” and that those schools should not be allowed to participate in the scholarship program.
If a private school teaching Biblical morality is “anti-gay,” then wouldn’t parents and churches that teach these same ideas also be “anti-gay.” And this is the message that is being taught 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to our kids attending government-run schools. They are taught that Biblical values and beliefs are bigoted, ignorant, and unacceptable. So we if think that 2 hours a week (if that) at church can counter-act 40 hours a week of teaching that Christianity is wrong, we are fooling ourselves.
If you take seriously the Biblical command that you, as a parent, are to train up a child in the way he or she should go, then you realize that the command means more than just taking them to church once or twice a week. It means making sure that every aspect of their education affirms, not mocks, Biblical principles and values.
The radical gay left could give lessons in bullying, which is a shame, since I have several wonderful conservative gay friends who oppose this kind of behavior, and these disgusting tactics give the gay community a bad name.
Since the owner of “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” bakery in Oregon declined to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony, the bullies have been out in full force.
Trolls came in droves to spam the bakery’s Facebook page with hateful, threatening and pornographic comments and images (all in the name of “love” and “tolerance,” of course). They went after anybody who dared post comments of support. They harassed the bakery’s recommended vendors, family and friends, and spammed their Yelp and other business review pages with hate and slander.
They “doxed” the family – who have small children – by publicly posting their personal information where identity thieves and dangerous people could find it:
They sent activists after Aaron and Melissa’s personal Facebook pages to harass them:
Someone even created a fake impersonator page in an attempt to slander them, by posting a racist, homophobic quote and claiming that it was Aaron and Melissa who said it (warning, foul language):
The conveniently cropped screen shot has since gone viral, and a reporter at the Examiner gave false confirmation that the quote was real.
What they’re NOT showing you is the whole picture (click to enlarge):
Notice, the impersonator page only has 8 “likes,” while the REAL page had over 600. Notice also that under “Recent Activity,” it says “joined Facebook,” meaning that the impersonator page was only recently created, while the REAL page has been on Facebook since 2010.
The impersonator page, which used images lifted from their website, was only online for a couple of hours – long enough to post a couple of disgusting quotes and take screen shots to outrage the gullible.
The REAL page looks like this:
Several boycott pages have also been set up on Facebook, as well as one specifically designed to bully, called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa is run by Homophobes,” which uses the same photos as the real page in order to confuse people. Facebook insists the page doesn’t violate their terms of service and refuses to take it down.
Sadly, much of the bullying has come from Christians who blame this family for the treatment they’re receiving and claim that they deserve it. “Just bake the cake! What’s the big deal?” “Who are you to judge?” “People like you are why gays hate Christians!” “Jesus loves gays, and you should, too!” They compare the owner to the Westboro Baptist freaks, even though he NEVER said he hates gays or called them an “abomination,” or anything of the sort. He simply politely said, “I’m sorry, I don’t make cakes for gay weddings.” When they asked why, he explained it violated his faith. And now some Christians are harassing him for it. It’s really sad. There IS a balanced approach between the ridiculous claim that “God hates gays” and just caving to the entire leftist agenda.
This honestly has nothing to do with Aaron and Melissa or cake. They’re just the pawns these radicals needed to make a frightening example out of anybody that dared to stand in their way. I recommend that Christians and conservatives read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals,” so they understand the playbook tactics that are being used against us. My friend Barbara Curtis, a former radical leftist who became a Christian author and mother of 12, did a book study to help Christians understand what we’re dealing with.
Most of us innocently living our daily lives have no idea how cruel and dangerous these people can be if you end up in their cross-hairs. I hope the church is waking up to the fact that the enemy we are dealing with is VERY real, and ignoring the problem is not the answer. Neither is throwing our own under the bus, as many Christians are apt to do to save their own hides. We can’t afford to be naïve and think, “If we just give them everything they want, they’ll leave us in peace.” No. They want to destroy us and everything our faith stands for. They don’t need a provocation to come after us. Our mere existence is a threat. That is the reality.
I hope the church is beginning to wake up and realize that we are ALL on the front lines of the culture war now. Even a small family bakery is no longer safe and off-limits.
Thankfully, this family is also receiving lots of support from Christians, conservatives and libertarians (some of whom are gay) who recognize that nobody should be intimidated by government and harassed by bullies for exercising their 1st Amendment conscience rights. Even if you disagree with their particular stand on this issue, it’s important to remember that someday YOU might be bullied and coerced because of YOUR convictions, whatever they are.
It’s also important to recognize that there are many people who support gay marriage who do NOT condone bullying of this sort. There are some people who are genuinely hurt and offended, who will probably show up to protest, and who just need to be reached out to with love and respect. It’s a great opportunity to start a conversation, but that can only happen in a civil atmosphere where both sides feel safe.
No wonder the left does everything it can to make sure that this debate is hyper-emotionalized and anything BUT civil.
Slew of online hate reviews plagues ‘Sweet Cakes’ bakery
It is maddening how a century of “progressive education reform” has conditioned American parents to unquestioningly surrender their children to a system that has proven to fail no matter how much money it gets or reforms are tried.
It’s maddening that we have tacitly accepted the notion that government bureaucrats should decide where, when, how, and even what our children learn.
It’s maddening that no matter how much their child’s needs are not being met, poor parents are virtually powerless to do anything about it, while their children remain trapped in failing and – often dangerous – government schools.
Every parent deserves a choice. Every child deserves a chance. It’s LONG past time to take back the power that rightfully belongs to parents to determine what is best for their children when it comes to education.
The third annual National School Choice Week is officially underway. Once again, school choice advocates—including parents, teachers, schoolchildren and administrators, and many others—will come together to promote educational choice, with more than 3,600 events taking place nationwide.
School choice is something to celebrate, because it gives families the power to choose the best schools for their children—helping children to improve educational outcomes and increasing overall parental satisfaction.
School Choice Students Graduate at Higher Rates
For example, students who participate in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP)—a private school voucher program for low-income K-12 students—graduate at significantly higher rates than their peers, according to the results of a “gold standard” (randomized, control group) study. More than 90 percent of DCOSP students graduate high school, compared to just 70 percent of their peers.
Similarly, research reveals that students who participate in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)—the nation’s longest running school choice program—for all four of their high school years had a 94 percent graduation rate, compared to a 75 percent graduation rate for their peers who attended four years of public high school.
School Choice Means Academic Gains
Research also shows that students who participate in school choice programs do better in school. In a review of all the “gold standard” evaluations of school choice programs in the United States, researchers found that nine of the 10 studies revealed positive, albeit generally modest, academic improvement for school choice students.
Parents Are More Satisfied with their Child’s Academic Experience
Parents of school choice students also report high levels of satisfaction with their children’s schools. In Florida, 93 percent of parents whose children participate in the McKay Scholarship Program—a voucher program for special-needs students—report being satisfied with their child’s school, compared to just 33 percent of parents whose special-needs children were enrolled in public schools. DCOSP parents are also more likely to report satisfaction with their children’s schools and are more likely to describe their schools as safe. And Milwaukee school choice parents also report high satisfaction rates with the schools their children attend.
Education comes in many forms—from private school choice to online learning, to charter schools and public schools and home schooling. Parents should be empowered to give their children the education that best meets their child’s unique learning needs. School choice makes this possible by giving families from every background the ability to set the course for the brightest educational future for their children.
This week, find out how you can get involved in National School Choice Week.
Learn more about Freedom of Education
Learn more about the Separation of School and State
Robert Oscar Lopez has taken so much heat since he penned this article about growing up with two lesbian mothers, but he believes it’s worth it because he wants to be the voice for children who are being used as pawns in the gay marriage debate:
Between 1973 and 1990, when my beloved mother passed away, she and her female romantic partner raised me. They had separate houses but spent nearly all their weekends together, with me, in a trailer tucked discreetly in an RV park 50 minutes away from the town where we lived. As the youngest of my mother’s biological children, I was the only child who experienced childhood without my father being around.
After my mother’s partner’s children had left for college, she moved into our house in town. I lived with both of them for the brief time before my mother died at the age of 53. I was 19. In other words, I was the only child who experienced life under “gay parenting” as that term is understood today.
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.
Inside, however, I was confused. When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird. I have no mental health disorders or biological conditions. I just grew up in a house so unusual that I was destined to exist as a social outcast.
My peers learned all the unwritten rules of decorum and body language in their homes; they understood what was appropriate to say in certain settings and what wasn’t; they learned both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine social mechanisms.
Even if my peers’ parents were divorced, and many of them were, they still grew up seeing male and female social models. They learned, typically, how to be bold and unflinching from male figures and how to write thank-you cards and be sensitive from female figures. These are stereotypes, of course, but stereotypes come in handy when you inevitably leave the safety of your lesbian mom’s trailer and have to work and survive in a world where everybody thinks in stereotypical terms, even gays.
I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mother and her partner were both unlike traditional fathers or traditional mothers. As a result, I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends, since I was neither confident nor sensitive to others. Thus I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily. Gay people who grew up in straight parents’ households may have struggled with their sexual orientation; but when it came to the vast social universe of adaptations not dealing with sexuality—how to act, how to speak, how to behave—they had the advantage of learning at home. Many gays don’t realize what a blessing it was to be reared in a traditional home.
My home life was not traditional nor conventional. I suffered because of it, in ways that are difficult for sociologists to index. Both nervous and yet blunt, I would later seem strange even in the eyes of gay and bisexual adults who had little patience for someone like me. I was just as odd to them as I was to straight people.
Life is hard when you are strange. Even now, I have very few friends and often feel as though I do not understand people because of the unspoken gender cues that everyone around me, even gays raised in traditional homes, takes for granted. Though I am hard-working and a quick learner, I have trouble in professional settings because co-workers find me bizarre.
In terms of sexuality, gays who grew up in traditional households benefited from at least seeing some kind of functional courtship rituals around them. I had no clue how to make myself attractive to girls. When I stepped outside of my mothers’ trailer, I was immediately tagged as an outcast because of my girlish mannerisms, funny clothes, lisp, and outlandishness. Not surprisingly, I left high school as a virgin, never having had a girlfriend, instead having gone to four proms as a wisecracking sidekick to girls who just wanted someone to chip in for a limousine.
When I got to college, I set off everyone’s “gaydar” and the campus LGBT group quickly descended upon me to tell me it was 100-percent certain I must be a homosexual. When I came out as bisexual, they told everyone I was lying and just wasn’t ready to come out of the closet as gay yet. Frightened and traumatized by my mother’s death, I dropped out of college in 1990 and fell in with what can only be called the gay underworld. Terrible things happened to me there.
It was not until I was twenty-eight that I suddenly found myself in a relationship with a woman, through coincidences that shocked everyone who knew me and surprised even myself. I call myself bisexual because it would take several novels to explain how I ended up “straight” after almost thirty years as a gay man. I don’t feel like dealing with gay activists skewering me the way they go on search-and-destroy missions against ex-gays, “closet cases,” or “homocons.”
Though I have a biography particularly relevant to gay issues, the first person who contacted me to thank me for sharing my perspective on LGBT issues was Mark Regnerus, in an email dated July 17, 2012. I was not part of his massive survey, but he noticed a comment I’d left on a website about it and took the initiative to begin an email correspondence.
Forty-one years I’d lived, and nobody—least of all gay activists—had wanted me to speak honestly about the complicated gay threads of my life. If for no other reason than this, Mark Regnerus deserves tremendous credit—and the gay community ought to be crediting him rather than trying to silence him.
Regnerus’s study identified 248 adult children of parents who had same-sex romantic relationships. Offered a chance to provide frank responses with the hindsight of adulthood, they gave reports unfavorable to the gay marriage equality agenda. Yet the results are backed up by an important thing in life called common sense: Growing up different from other people is difficult and the difficulties raise the risk that children will develop maladjustments or self-medicate with alcohol and other dangerous behaviors. Each of those 248 is a human story, no doubt with many complexities.
Like my story, these 248 people’s stories deserve to be told. The gay movement is doing everything it can to make sure that nobody hears them. But I care more about the stories than the numbers (especially as an English professor), and Regnerus stumbled unwittingly on a narrative treasure chest.
Now, Lopez is warning that the current state of the LGBT agenda is leading to a potential human rights crisis for children:
A year ago, I was afraid to fight what is happening in the LGBT community. Unaware of what the response would be, I published some articles about being the product of gay parenting and received hundreds of e-mails from around the world pleading with me to fight against a growing human-rights crisis caused by the LGBT movement. They wrote from so many places, so many countries; they had such eloquence and force; they were children of sperm donors, troubled adoptees, people agonized by the baby-farming in India and elsewhere, gays horrified at what is being done in the name of “gay families,” religious people, atheists, people who know for whatever reason that buying babies and erasing fatherhood or motherhood is not the fruit of love.
I cannot stay silent anymore. My race forbids it; perhaps, being the descendant of Puerto Rican slaves and knowing that the LGBT movement is reducing people — children, sperm donors, surrogate mothers — to chattel. I have assembled a document listing the main points of urgency. I fear that the only movement that can take action would have to be global; in the United States, as I explain, the academy, the fourth estate, the democratic process, and the judiciary are all ill-equipped to stop what the LGBT movement is doing.
[…] What is the slogan that I speak of with greatest horror? “I deserve the same rights as anyone else.” That might be a harmless slogan, except not when the “right” you are referring to is the right to “build a family” to show that “you are capable of love.”
“I deserve the same rights” eventually means that a same-sex couple deserves to have a child provided to them, even though they can’t conceive it themselves.
If straight couples get to have undiluted custody of such a child, so should gay couples. So they must have the “right” to enforce contracts preventing surrogate mothers from wanting their babies back, the “right” to have sperm banks operate and sell them sperm, the “right” to jump the queue in line for Catholic Charities, the “right” to farm babies in the third world, the “right” to extort gratitude from the children they’ve placed in these situations, and the “right” to blind a child to at least one of his or her biological parents. If any of these “rights” is not held up with the full force of a state apparatus, then the slogan fails. Hence, we see the case of Dred Scott revived. To be treated as first-class citizens, gays need the government to cow their chattel into submission.
Underneath the appeals to “love” lies a morass of brutally gory market mechanisms, approaching science fiction. The changes in gay culture have created a large pool of same-sex couples who not only want children without involving themselves with the opposite sex, but also feel that any qualms are banned forms of hate speech. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that each generation of Americans is becoming gayer: now, over 6% of citizens under the age of 29 identify as LGBT. As recently as three years ago, polling consistently found LGBTs to make up less than 2% of the population.
The fight for marriage has never been about marriage. Marriage is the only way to have legal cover and shield themselves from criticism for their bioethical stunts.
Market demand is a powerful thing, and it is growing because of the increase in LGBT couples as well as the cultural messages convincing young gays that they will be given children or else society is oppressing them. Here in Los Angeles, I’ve seen the eerie proliferation of designer babies in gayborhoods, and the increasingly anesthetized reaction of gay couples’ friends. People go to third-world getaways to pick out babies, place ads for surrogates who can give them a certain eye color, and even collaborate with human trafficking. Never forgetful of my own pains as a lesbian’s son in the 1970s, I see the faces of these gay couple’s children, and sometimes, I have to run away and cry. I know the dazed glare, the powerlessness of these children, their helpless desire to please their parents, their fear of showing their parents any sign that the arrangement has been hurtful.
And yet, I can scarcely forget, this is only the beginning. While some say “it gets better,” all signs show that it will grow far worse.
BoomTown: A must watch!
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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ~ Animal Farm
In a recent Sean Hannity program entitled, Boomtown, his 2 guests used the entire hour to show how corrupt Washington DC politics has become. “While one out of every 6 Americans wonder where their next meal is coming from, Washington DC has the highest rate of fine wine consumption in the United States,” said author Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute. Mr. Schweizer also pointed out that one out of four Americans has a mortgage that is underwater, while 7 out of 10 of the wealthiest counties in the nation are in the DC area. Furthermore, DC now has the highest per capita income in the US, recently passing Silicon Valley. How was this wealth created in a geographical area that doesn’t produce a product or create anything the public wants to purchase? Other boomtowns in our history became prosperous because they offered something to build upon. DC, however, offers nothing but connections to power and patronage. The result is a permanent political class invested in the growth of government as they grow their personal portfolios.
Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, said the best and the brightest now come to Washington because they see Washington as a Tammany Hall that will allow them to get rich off of influence peddling. He noted that Washington D.C. runs the equivalent of a $4 trillion private equity fund every year and essentially doles out 25% of the country’s wealth to those who are connected.
“Nobody has ever turned a camera on them,” Bannon said, indicating he intends to change that in the future. “This is a permanent political class that has now formed an aristocracy. That’s why nothing has changed in Washington.”
Bannon explained people arrive in Washington as country lawyers and then decide to “turn the business of government into a family business” by having their wives and kids work in lobbying.
“And this is how they become a permanent political class,” he concluded.
Hannity mentioned that Washington politicians “kick money back to family, friends, or people that hire them when they retire.”
And Schweizer concurred. He claimed the permanent political class is bipartisan and those who are a part of this permanent aristocracy either marry or are born into it.
You’d think if half a million people showed up in D.C. for ANY cause, it would generate more recognition on the evening news than a 10-second soundbite and a few dismissive remarks. With today’s media hopelessly intertwined with the Left, you’d be wrong.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country gathered on the National Mall to voice their opposition to legal abortion in America at the 40th annual March for Life Friday.
Standing below a banner highlighting the 55 million abortions that have occurred since the legalization of Roe v. Wade, politicians and advocates spoke against the practice and the policies that validate it.
In a new low, the lamestream media have found a way to omit the inconvenient word “life” from their reporting:
Thinking of learning a new language? Try English – broadcast media style. Specifically, try abortion-reporting speak – a tongue as notable for the words it doesn’t use as those it does.
This year’s annual March for Life, this Friday, Jan. 25th, marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. And, though you might think it would be difficult to talk about something called the March for Life without using the word “life,” the broadcast networks have shown the utility of abortion-reporting speak. In the past 10 years, 91 percent of ABC, NBC, and CBS anchor reports on the March for Life and Roe v. Wade failed to mention the word, “life.”
In 22 reports, “life” was used just twice. The first came from NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell. O’Donnell said in a Jan. 22, 2003, “Today” segment when she introduced a “pro-life group.” The other came from CBS’ Russ Mitchell in a Jan. 22, 2007, “Early Show” report when he described a “march for life” marking the 34th Roe v. Wade anniversary.
The other 20 reports employed a variety of alternate descriptions for the March for Life and pro-life activists. The March and counter-demonstrations were rallies sponsored by both opponents and supporters of Roe v. Wade, according to NBC’s Brian Williams on Jan. 24, 2005 and his colleague Ann Curry on Jan. 22, 2007. The marchers were “opponents” (ABC’s Jake Tapper, Jan. 23, 2006), and “anti-abortion activists” (NBC’s Tom Brokaw, Jan. 22, 2003) rather than “pro-lifers” or “pro-life marchers,” as they self-describe.
The linguistic selections are far from unconscious. A recent interview by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell illustrated the “life” language prejudice pervading broadcast media. When Republican strategist Juleanna Glover identified herself as “deeply pro-life” in an interview, Mitchell interrupted, “Well, what I would call anti-abortion,” and added, “to use the term that I think is more value neutral.”
And the bias is institutionalized. Journalists should “Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice,” according to The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook’s 44th edition. Instead of making the argument about life and death or choice and constraint, AP advocates for the flat, procedural term: abortion.
Mark Levin: Time To Politically Sabotage Obama Administration
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Let’s give it to him!
“What Obama deserves from us is defiance- what he deserves from Republicans in high elected office is obstruction -political sabotage- we shouldn’t participate as political partners in our own demise, and that’s exactly what’s going on here- this is for all the marbles…I don’t care what Obama ‘wants’ -‘Oh, I want 1.6 trillion’
– who gives a damn what you ‘want’, Mr President…?The US credit rating has already been downgraded, and it’s going to be downgraded again- they’re destroying the financial backbone of this country right before our eyes, and for what? Fora few more weeks of unemployment? So more people can be on food stamps? So Obama can create his paradise? And take money from people who actually earn it… a high price to pay for this experiment, and it’s a failed experiment- it’s been tried over, and over, and over…We have president of the United States who’s chosen to not participate in the free-market, capitalist system - never, ever-
yet today he rules over itWe have a president who’s only success is as a demagogue- where he trashes his opponents… lies and decieves in a serial fashion… he gets elected, and somehow -SOMEhow- he’s qualified to run everything! He’s qualified to re-write the Constitution… how did that happen? I dunno…In America now we’re supposed to despise people who actually achieve the American Dream… we’re supposed to despise people who follow the law, follow the rules, though hard work, through intelligence… long hours… invest everything they have… many of whom began with very modest means- now suddenly, if they don’t contribute to 50% of their income to Obama, to the Sentate, to the Congress, to the massive bureaucracy, SOMEHOW that’s unfair- unfair to whom?Like the mob, they’ve got their hands in our pockets- they’re the first ones there!This isn’t only a financial disaster, it is a constitutional disaster- and that’s the point, ever since the federal government became un-moored from the federal Constitution, it’s become this: an insatiable leviathan monster, it can’t stop- you heard Obama.It’s not about the rich… it’s about YOU- (Obama) hasn’t gotten enough, he wants more…This fiscal cliff discussion- what happened? The Republicans sold their soul to a president who would make Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky proud…