In an item headlined, "Obama not closing door on possible health care tax," Richard Alonso-Zaldivar, an Associated Press Writer, reported on 6/25/2009 that with lawmakers trying to crunch the numbers on a $1 trillion health care overhaul, President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to a new tax on employer-provided health care benefits. Senior senators (no doubt all Democrats) said Wednesday the benefits tax could be essential for the complex plan to be fully financed. As I said last month at the risk of sounding completely political, when the Democrats are in charge, they want your taxes to go up, UP, UP! to pay for everything that they want to do to help keep them in power.
I did something a couple of weeks ago that I almost never do–I picked up a copy of a magazine while standing in the checkout lane at the grocery store. It was the July issue of Good Housekeeping. Now, I really have little interest in Good Housekeeping, although if I am in a waiting room, have nothing to read, and see no news magazines (Time, Newsweek, U. S. News and World Report) I may pick up a Good Housekeeping because it has less objectionable material in it than a lot of other magazines (the waiting room at the place where I have my car serviced has only People and Us in the waiting room–ugh! Talk about objectionable material!). But the reason that I picked up this particular issue of Good Housekeeping is that it had a cover article on The Jonas Brothers. Now, I also have very little interest in the music of the Jonas Brothers, although, while they are not a "Christian" group but a secular "pop" boys band (when I mentioned it, even our thirteen year old son Jeremy, who has very little exposure to pop culture, knew who they were), because they are very religious their music is reputed to be clean and decent. However, it is just not my taste in music. So, the reason that I was interested in reading what Good Housekeeping had to say about The Jonas Brothers is that I happen to know that the Jonas family has homeschooled (the older two are 21 and nineteen; the younger one is sixteen, and they have an eight year old brother) and I wondered if the article said anything about that. It did not. It did mention the brothers’ wearing "purity rings, symbols of a commitment to remain virgins until marriage," and also their mother’s most important parenting principle, the one tenent she will not budge on. "Kevin and I aren’t friends with our children. We’re their parents. That’s very important." If you are interested in the Jonas Brothers, you might want to pick up a copy of the magazine.
In an item headlined, "Sorry, no Christian talent allowed: 7-year-old blocked from using religious song in sign language performance" on June 13, 2009, Drew Zahn of WorldNetDaily reported that a public elementary school in Oakley, Calif., told a seven-year-old second grader that she would not be able to perform her sign language accompaniment to the song "We Worship You" at the school’s evening talent show because the song is Christian. According to the Pacific Justice Institute, officials at Vintage Parkway Elementary School praised Bette Ouellette’s talent, but informed her after auditions that the song was unacceptable for the school’s June 1 talent show. Bette’s father, Brent, thought the school overreacted, and he called PJI, which in turn sent a demand letter to the school, explaining legal precedent that condemns the school’s action as a wrongful misapplication of constitutional law and requesting notification that future student performances will not be censored based on religious content. "Common sense and the federal courts both tell us that school talent shows are clearly student expression protected by the First Amendment," commented PJI President Brad Dacus in a statement. "Censoring one student’s expression based on religious content is therefore unconstitutional. We are hopeful that these straightforward principles will be quickly recognized by the school." The letter PJI sent informs the school that not only have federal courts repeatedly ruled that applying the "separation of church and state" to censor religious content from student performances is unconstitutional, but also that in an almost identical case in New Jersey, a federal court ruled that censoring a religious song at a school talent show amounted to viewpoint discrimination. "Contrary to popular belief, the United States Supreme Court has never insisted there be an impenetrable wall between church and state," the letter states, and then cites a pair of federal court rulings to affirm, "rather, the U.S. Constitution ‘affirmatively mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions, and forbids hostility toward any.’ To allow such hostility under the guise of total separation of church and state would necessarily bring this country into ‘war with our national tradition as embodied in the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion.’" Further, the letter states, "Federal courts have warned that school censorship of student-initiated religious activities is just as onerous as school sponsorship of such activities." PJI attorney Matthew B. McReynolds told WND that Bette Ouellette did not perform at the talent show. "All we want is an apology and a promise that this won’t happen again," said Bette’s father in a statement. "There are a variety of religious views within our own household, but we respect each other and don’t try to silence anyone. We think the school should be the same way."
Update on something reported in an earlier blog: In an item headlined "Teacher dismissed over Bible sues district: Seeks $1 million damages, reinstatement to science post" on June 13, 2009 WorldNetDaily reported that a public school teacher fired by an Ohio district after he was accused of having a Bible on his classroom desk and burning a "cross" into a student’s arm with a scientific device has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the district, seeking $1 million in damages plus reinstatement to his position as an 8th-grade science teacher. This newsletter had items in previous editions about this incident of apparent anti-Christian bias in schools. John Freshwater has been suspended without pay since July of 2008 by the Mount Vernon School District in Mount Vernon, OH. The vote by the school board a year ago came after Freshwater was accused of having a Bible on his classroom desk and also using a highi-frequency generator – a Tesla coil – to make a cross on the arms of students, a mark that faded after a short time. A spokesman for Freshwater, Dave Daubenmire, confimred that Freshwater kept a 28-year-old copy of "The Living Bible – Paraphrased" on his desk because "he receives personal inspiration from the presence of the book." But he said he did not display or reference the Bible in the classroomand had not used the Bible in his interaction with students, and he didn’t follow instructions to remove the Bible because "other teachers employed by Defendant Board had various personal Bibles on their desks." Daubenmire, of Pass The Salt Ministries and Minutemen United, also explained that the "cross branding" was nothing of the sort. He characterized it as a science experiment Freshwater had been doing for 21 years in which he made X marks, not crosses, on the students’ skin with a Tesa Coil to demonstrate electrical current. "They tried to make it out to be a cross, because it made him look like some kind of idiot," Daubenmire said of two parents who had sued the school and Freshwater over the issue. Daubenmire pointed out experts have affirmed the experiment causes no injury to students. The suit was filed by lawyers for Freshwater in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, against the Mount Vernon School District in Mount Vernon, Ohio, by attorney R. Kelly Hamilton and alleges 16 counts including violations of Freshwater’s First and 14th Amendment rights of free speech, free association and free exercise of religion. It alleges that the defendants "deprived Freshwater of his rights secured and provided by the United States Constitution" and "discriminated, harassed, and are attempting to terminate the employment of Plaintiff Freshwater because Freshwater kept his personal Bible on his desk." Other "false allegations" have been made in an attempt to discredit him, according to the lawsuit. The complaint traces the alleged attacks by the school on Freshwater to his teaching of science, which included encouragement that his students question and analyze scientific theories such as evolution. The case alleges the defendants also violated state regulations and created a hostile work environment for him.
Even when you have a good teacher in public schools…: In an item headlined "Teacher fired for conservative website" Pete Chagnon of OneNewsNow reported on 6/23/2009 that Kansas teacher says he was wrongfully terminated for his conservative views. Tim Latham has been teaching history and U.S. Government for over 19 years. But after teaching for just one year in the Lawrence School District in Lawrence, Kansas, Latham says his contract was not renewed because school officials did not like his conservative views — particularly a teacher website that Latham hosted and paid for himself. A teacher coach confronted him on that issue. "She had concerns about it. I’ve never had a complaint about it — nothing but compliments. Parents love it because of their access to assignments, grades, etc. And she wanted a lot of the stuff that was on it removed. And when I asked why, I was told because it was too patriotic." Latham had an introductory video on the site where he stated that he wanted students to truly love the American way of life, and he says he was told to remove that as well because not everybody loves the American way of life. According to Latham, other complaints included that he was picking on Obama too much. When he asked for an explanation as to why his contract was not renewed he was told, "You refuse to conform" and "you just don’t fit in." "Those are word-for-word quotes given to me by the director of human resources, who says he is quoting what the administration told him — I refuse to conform and I just don’t fit in," Latham notes. He has since filed a grievance and is considering litigation if he does not get a satisfactory response. GOOD NEWS FOLLOW UP: Pete Chagnon reported on 6/25/2009 that after considering the grievance, the school superintendent stated that there were "inconsistencies in the evaluation process" and that "Mr. Latham’s teaching contract with the District should, and will be continued…." (Of course, that didn’t stop the leftists from trying to have him fired in the first place!)
Admittedly the vast majority of dances and proms for school-aged children are not like this, but given the current state of affairs, they may be headed in that direction. In an item headlined "Kids attend prom from ‘sexual hell’: You won’t believe how children as young as 12 years old partied" on June 12, 2009, Chelsea Schilling of WorldNetDaily reported that family advocates were outraged by a prom held at Boston City Hall that was open to children apparently as young as 12 featuring crossdressers, homosexual heavy petting, suspected drug use and a leather-clad doorman who teaches sexual bondage classes. Children from middle schools and high schools across Massachusetts on May 9 attended a Youth Pride Day event ending with a prom inside of Boston City Hall sponsored by the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth, or BAGLY, a group seated on the Massachusetts Commission for GLBT Youth. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino issued a proclamation welcoming homosexual and transgender youth to the celebration. A man in drag introduced a homosexual activist from Menino’s office to read the letter. MassResistance, an organization that describes itself as a pro-family action center, sent a 20-year-old college student named Max to the prom to take pictures and learn more about what Massachusetts children were doing there. Brian Camenker of MassResistance said Max was astonished by the number of children who appeared to be between 12 and 14 years old. Camenker told WND that according to Max they looked pretty young. "He said there were a lot of middle school kids there. It really bothered him." The day’s events began with a transgender Elvis and a parade. Attendees were given condoms and pro-homosexual material such as a bookmark for kids on how to get involved with several homosexual groups and "Transgender Rights Now" stickers. Then many children attended the prom that evening at City Hall. Max reported that three middle-aged lesbians with military haircuts shouted from megaphones at the more than 300 youth attendees in line for the event. Two men helped the lesbians herd youth into City Hall. One of the men reportedly wore exceptionally tight pants and eyeliner while calling the children "sweetie" and everything around him "fabulous." The other man wore leather bondage gear. While BAGLY advertised the event for youth 22 and younger, Max said identification was not checked – even for people who were obviously older than 22. A doorman, with a Mr. Boston Leather sash, had BAGLY’s official chaperone credentials around his neck, Camenker noted. He identified himself as a "leather BDSM (bondage discipline and sado-masochism) fetishist" and handed out business cards to youth. Mr. Boston Leather’s MySpace profile describes him as a single, middle-aged gay male who attends spanking parties and waxes for leather dancing events. "Starting in April I am teaching month BDSM classes at the MALE Center in Boston, and I will be running an event called Kinky Kamp … in Upstate New York at Easton Mountain Retreat Center," it states. Max said he also saw a prominent transsexual activist who specializes in recruiting middle and high school children enter the building. As Max moved through the crowd, he said he observed several adult homosexuals wearing T-shirts with "recruiter" written in rainbow colors. "The intention of these individuals, and of the entire event, is made plain by the slogans on those shirts," he noted. Camenker told WND this event takes place every year and the state of Massachusetts originally budgeted $850,000 last year for the Massachusetts Commission for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. He said members, such as BAGLY, usually receive funding from that commission. The Massachusetts Commission for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth sponsors programs in public schools such as Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, he noted. "The kids are contacted and brought in through this network of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and the money that funds that," he said. "There are also buses that often bring kids in. We’re not sure if they used buses this year, but they usually do. That’s basically how the kids get there." Camenker said he objects to the city hosting the event at City Hall and sanctioning it by providing a taxpayer-funded police presence. After his experience, Max said it is difficult for anyone who has never attended such an event to truly grasp the "perversion and disturbing nature" of the prom hosted by by the city and welcomed by the mayor. "As a young person who has been exposed to many disturbing things within today’s youth culture, I believed I was prepared to deal with what I saw at the 2009 BAGLY Prom," Max wrote. "Minutes after entering the event, I discovered that I was not." Camenker agreed that the affair was shocking. "This stuff doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t have these kinds of really weird people around these kids by accident. These guys actually think that this is what these kids should be experiencing," he said. "This movement has an obsession with kids, and there are no boundaries. It’s worse than anybody thought."
A USA Today Report from Bonn, Germany, headlined "Warming could cause greatest human migration ever" on 6/9/09 reported that "Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday." Notice, it said "could lead"–the word "could" implies that people are really just guessing here. "Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at U.N negotiations for a new climate treaty." When "estimates vary" it means that people really have no idea. "Researchers questioned more than 2,000 migrants in 23 countries about why they moved, said Koko Warner of the U.N. University, which conducted the study with CARE International. The results were ‘a clear signal’ that environmental stress already is causing population shifts, she said, and it could be ‘a mega-trend of the future.’" Notice that "could be" again–just guessing. And yet, with all this guessing about things concerning which people have no idea, it is still "a clear signal"! "The report, ‘In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement,’ studies people in some of the world’s great river deltas who could be subject to glacial melt, desert dwellers who are vulnerable to increasing drought, and islanders whose entire nations could be submerged by rising sea levels." Oh, it’s "could be subject" again–just guessing. "The report said 40 island states could disappear, in whole or in part, if seas rise by six feet." Yes, "could" again, and notice the "if seas rise by six feet." What "if" they don’t? "Melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten repeated flooding in the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow river basins, which support 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fourth of humanity, in India, southeast Asia and China. After the floods will come drought when seasonal glacier runoff no longer feeds the rivers, it said." That part of the world has been undergoing severe flooding that has uprooted people for countless ages! "In Mexico and Central America drought and hurricanes have led to migrations since the 1980s and they will get worse, it said." And that part of the world has been undergoing alternate droughts and hurricanes for hundreds of years too. So far the USA Today article is short on actual fact and long on hyped-up claims. What is the goal of all this? "A draft text calls on nations to prepare plans to adapt to climate change by accounting for possible migrations." In other words, we have no idea what is going to happen, and we don’t know what we’re doing, but we have to do something right now, which will probably involve a lot of cost and pain for a lot of people just to prepare for a bunch of "ifs" and "coulds" which may never come.
A blogger named Elijah Friedeman of the Millennial Perspective recently reported that Megan Fox, the actress who starred in "Transformers," was recently quoted by MSN in a piece entitled "The Wit and Wisdom of Megan Fox." There’s really not too much to say about this so I’ll just post her words and let you take what you want from it. The "Transformers" bombshell-***-uninhibited philosophizer also contemplates — reluctantly — what she would say to Megatron (a character off Transformers for those of you who didn’t know) to keep him from destroying the world. "I’d barter with him," she muses to the July issue Total Film UK, "and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?" One final thought: what would happen if an actor/actress came out and said the same thing about Blacks or Latinos as opposed to "white trash." What if she had said this about Homosexuals instead of "anti-gay" people or Muslims instead of Christians? They would, of course, be lambasted by the mainstream media. And rightly so. So why won’t Megan Fox be criticized by the mainstream media? The answer: because the large majority of the media agrees with her.