Monday, 30 March 2020
WaPo Bashes Homeschooling During Coronavirus Epidemic
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Rachel Alexander  Posted: Mar 30, 2020 12:01 AM

 

Kevin Huffman, a former education commissioner of Tennessee and partner at a nonprofit which promotes public schools, has written an op-ed in The Washington Post bashing homeschooling. In “Homeschooling During the Coronavirus Will Set Back a Generation of Children,” he claims that the children sent home due to the coronavirus causing school closures are going to suffer academically. 

But he isn’t even talking about real homeschooling. He is referring to distance learning, where the kids are taught online by their teachers. He cites a report which found that “Full-time virtual schools are not a good fit for many children.” Unlike homeschooling, in distance learning parents don’t get to pick the curriculum for their children. So their kids may get stuck with teaching that’s not conducive to learning at home with parental assistance. That study may be accurate for distance learning, and even then it’s questionable since thousands of people successfully get online degrees every year. 

Then Huffman launches into a tirade about how summer break hurts learning, since students fall backward from where they were at the end of the school year. But again, this has nothing to do with homeschooling. He’s trying to make the outrageous claim that the two are equivalents, saying homeschooling puts children behind academically just like summer breaks.

If this was true, why do homeschoolers perform better academically than their peers in public schools? It’s true that some parents don’t do a good job of homeschooling their kids. But since homeschooled kids on average do better than public school kids, it’s unfair to lump all homeschooled kids in with the ones whose parents aren’t doing a very good job. We don’t lump all public school educated kids in with the worst performing ones. 

Huffman points out that some families don’t have computers or internet access, so their children will have a hard time learning from home. Again, this is not representative of homeschooling. Parents lacking in the resources to homeschool aren’t likely to homeschool. Forcing parents to accommodate their children learning virtually from their teachers is not homeschooling.

Similarly, Huffman says the lowest income children are less likely to have a parent at home to help with the virtual learning because the parents are less likely to work from home — so those kids are going to do the worst. Another strawman argument. Parents aren’t going to homeschool if they are unable to stay at home to homeschool! 

Huffman goes on and on about all the remedial action that will be necessary in order to make up for the poor learning experience children will have at home during the pandemic. He makes it sound like a terrible disaster, one that is unfairly discriminating against minority children. So now homeschooling is racist too. 

The truth is that if certain students were performing poorly in the public schools, they’re probably going to perform poorly at home with distance learning too. Fortunately, the kids are probably only going to be at home for two months. The article went into hysterics over what will amount to a hiccup.

 

This could end up being a positive experience, despite Huffman’s bias toward public schools. Some parents may discover that they want to look into real homeschooling. Both parents and children may find they enjoy spending extra time with each other. 

This could present a great opportunity to educate people about homeschooling and refute the stereotypes. For example, there is a stigma that homeschoolers are socially awkward since they aren’t around their peers all day. It’s not true. Homeschoolers do better than public school kids when it comes to social, emotional, and psychological development. They participate in a lot of group activities with other homeschoolers. They get interaction with others participating on field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.

Huffman’s article is nothing more than taking the most distorted, untrue view of homeschooling and saying since there are flaws, homeschooling is bad. Yeah, trying to force distance learning on students whose parents are unable to accommodate it doesn’t work perfectly. 

Since the article doesn’t even address real homeschooling, one has to wonder if Huffman’s editors at WaPo changed his title to attract attention through outrage. 

 

https://townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2020/03/30/wapo-bashes-homeschooling-during-coronavirus-epidemic-n2565947

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Posted on 03/30/2020 12:29 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 27 March 2020
Fauci: The Response Of Trump Admin Has Been Impressive, I Can't Imagine Anybody Could Be Doing More
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Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date March 23, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the White House Coronavirus Task Force is working around the clock to fight the coronavirus outbreak in an interview with Mark Levin on FNC's 'Life, Liberty & Levin.' Fauci said Trump has never challenged him on the science of coronavirus on 'Life, Liberty & Levin.'
 

MARK LEVIN: Welcome back. Dr. Fauci, let me ask you a question. You've been doing this a long time. Have you ever seen this big of a coordinated response by an administration to such a threat? A health threat?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, we've never had a threat like this and the coordinated response has been, there are a number of adjectives to describe it. Impressive, I think is one of them.

I mean, we're talking about all-hands on-deck is that I, as one of many people on a team, I'm not the only person, since the beginning that we even recognized what this was. I have been devoting almost full time on this -- almost full time.

I'm down at the White House virtually every day with the Taskforce. I'm connected by phone throughout the day and into the night and when I say night, I'm talking twelve, one, two in the morning. I'm not the only one. There's a whole group of us that are doing that. It's every single day.

So I can't imagine that that under any circumstances that anybody could be doing more. I mean, obviously, we're fighting a formidable enemy -- this virus. This virus is a serious issue here.

Take a look at what it's done to China, to Europe, to South Korea. It is serious and our response is aimed, and I know you've heard that many, many times, and this is true. I mean, I deal with viruses my entire career.

When you have an outbreak virus, if you leave it to its own devices, it will peak up and then come back down. What we learned from China, that letting it peak up is really bad, because it can do some serious damage. So we are focused now, like a laser on doing whatever we can, and there are two or three things that deserve to be mentioned -- to make this peak actually be a mound, which means you're going to have suffering, you're going to have illness, you're going to have death. But it's not going to be the maximum that the virus can do.

A couple of ways to do that. The first was, as we say, all the time, the very timely decision on the part of the President to shut off travel from China, because we saw that there was this possibility of people coming in and seeding in the country. We did it early.

And as it turned out, there were relatively few cases in the big picture of things that came in from China. Unfortunately, for our colleagues, and many of whom are my friends and people I've trained actually in Medicine, in European countries, they didn't do that. And they got hit really hard and are being hit really hard. The first thing.

Second thing, when the infection burden shifted from China to Europe, we did the same thing with Europe. We shut off travel from Europe, which again was another safeguard to prevent influx from without in.

The other way you do it is by containment and mitigation. And now everybody knows what the word mitigation means because it's the things that we're doing. No crowds, work from home. Don't go to places that you can be susceptible. Ten people in a room, not 50 and a hundred people. Stay away from theatres.

Take the elderly people who are susceptible and have them do self- isolation. Stay out of bars, stay out of restaurants.

If you're in an area where there's a lot of coronavirus activity, close the bars, close the restaurants. That's heavy duty mitigation.

So I think with all of those things going on at the same time, I believe we will -- we're already doing it, but you just can't notice it yet because you have the dynamics of the virus going up. We're trying to put it down. You're not really sure quantitatively what you're doing, but you can be actually certain that we're having an impact on it.

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/03/23/fauci_the_response_of_trump_admin_has_been_impressive_i_cant_imagine_anybody_could_be_doing_more.html?fbclid=IwAR3Twz6anLUuUcytElZ5hTePyliJAhNALT1dEqXdm4-RBJr030T_vh_Rak8

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Posted on 03/27/2020 10:53 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 26 March 2020
Kids are Home; Now What?
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A GUIDE TO SCHOOLING AT HOME

Lori Herring is the mother of 4 boys whom she and her husband home schooled for 28 years. She is a retired RN who is now the Director of Teen Eagles in Alabama. She has compiled a wealth of sound, readily available resources for parents to use with their children while this opportunity presents itself

Eagle Forum was started in 1975 when Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly realized that American families were in danger. The danger is different in these unique times, but Eagle Forum’s commitment to supporting families remains its most important pillar.

Many families who never dreamed of entering the world of homeschooling have found themselves at home with their children, in charge of their education for at least a few weeks. This, my friends, is a blessed time, even if it’s difficult to see right now.

Now, take a deep breath…let it out slowly….and look at your children with fresh eyes…. The Lord has given you these particular children because YOU and your SPOUSE were picked to teach and raise His children. You are equipped to do this. Relax…ask your Father for direction and He will hear you.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

IMHO, the best way to start the day is to take a few minutes to thank the Lord for your blessings and ask Him for guidance for today. He is faithful. He will be your guide.  Then teach your children to do the same.

I have compiled a list of free or low-cost resources available online that anyone can use from home.  It is by no means a comprehensive list. In fact there is so much available it can be overwhelming.

The best way to homeschool is the way that works for your family, for each particular child.  What works great for one family, may not work for yours. Don’t be afraid to change if it’s not working

Kindergarten

For kindergarten, I recommend not using a particular curriculum. You are wanting to ignite the fire for learning. Children are born inquisitive and curious.  We just need to provide that fire with fuel and fun and it will burn brightly.  Most of all, READ, READ, READ!

Read out loud to your kids. Let them sit in your lap and follow the words with their finger.  If they are wiggly, let them play on the floor with blocks, or legos and read out loud to them. They are listening even if they aren’t still.  Every so often, stop and ask them to guess what’s next.  Ask them to tell you what just happened. The attention span of 5-year-olds is very short so don’t be upset if they can’t sit for several books in a row.

Elementary School

General Sites( free or very low price)

Middle School

High School

 

https://eagleforum.org/topics/education/kids-are-home-now-what.html 

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Posted on 03/26/2020 7:37 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 25 March 2020
President Trump Announces a General Timeframe for Re-Opening American Businesses
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Katie Pavlich  @KatiePavlich Posted: Mar 23, 2020 6:45 PM

 

Speaking from the White House Monday evening, President Donald Trump announced America will be "open for business very soon" as the country continues to battle the Wuhan coronavirus. 

"America will again and soon be open for business. Very soon, a lot sooner than three or four months as someone was suggesting. We're not going to let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We're not going to let the cure be worse than the problem," Trump said.  "This was a medical problem, we are not going to let it turn into a long lasting financial problem."

"Our country wasn't built to be shut down," he continued. "If you had a viable business in January we are committed to ensuring the same is true in the coming weeks, in fact we want to make it better than before." 

The tension between medical decisions and a cratering economy are increasing by the day as millions lose their jobs. President Trump urged Americans to continue the 15-day "stop the spread" plan, which includes social distancing and hygiene efforts. 

"I want Americans to know that we will get through this challenge. The hardship will end, it will end soon, normal life will return and our economy will rebound very very strongly but right now in the midst of this great national trial, Americans must remain united in purpose and focused on victory," Trump said. "To every single American please know that the sacrifice you are making at this time is saving lives." 

During his remarks, President Trump urged lawmakers on Capitol Hill to put partisanship aside to pass a relief package which he said was "close." He also thanked truckers, grocers and other Americans working hard to maintain crucial supply lines throughout the country. 

"I want to thank the American people for rising to the challenge and showing incredible courage, determination, patience, grace and grit. From New York to Seattle and everywhere in between your acts of selflessness and sacrifice and enguiniety are a powerful testimant to the American character," Trump said.  "We will win this war and we will win it much sooner than people think. We'll be back in business as a country pretty soon. You'll be hearing about that also pretty soon."

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2020/03/23/president-trump-america-will-be-back-in-business-soon-n2565564
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Posted on 03/25/2020 8:52 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Commentary: The Virus Is Not Invincible, But It’s Exposing Who’s Irreplaceable
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by Victor Davis Hanson

 

In all the gloom and doom, and media-driven nihilism, there is actually an array of good news. As many predicted, as testing spreads, and we get a better idea of the actual number and nature of cases, the death rate from coronavirus slowly but also seems to steadily decline.

Early estimates from the World Health Organization and the modeling of pessimists of a constant 4 percent death rate for those infected with the virus are for now proving exaggerated for the United States. More likely, as testing spreads, our fatality rates could descend to near 1 percent.

There is some evidence from Germany and to a lesser extent South Korea, that it may be possible to see the fatality rate dip below 1 percent. And with the breathing space from the lockdown, better hygiene (the degree of constant and near-obsessive cleaning at businesses that are still open is quite amazing), more knowledge and data, better medical protocols, the use of some efficacious drugs, warmer weather, and experience with the disease will, in perfect-storm fashion, begin to mitigate the effects of the virus.

Should we get the lethality rate down to German levels (currently two to three in 1,000), then we can cautiously assume that those who predicted that the coronavirus could eventually be contextualized as a bad, H1N1-like flu will no longer be demonized as nuts, and life can resume with reasonable precautions and focused quarantines and isolation.

In two or three weeks, if we can just allow most businesses to reopen, gear up to pandemic testing, track cases and contacts in the manner of past protocols that lessened polio, tuberculosis, AIDS, and measles outbreaks, and focus on the ill and elderly, then the economy will reboot.

But now the current economy is starting to resemble a patient in an induced coma, one whom no one knows whether he will recover after the respirator is disconnected. But still, there are reasons for optimism: historically low interest rates will eventually encourage bit-ticket buying.

After any war or national crisis, confidence soars with collective relief and people go out to eat, travel, buy, and consume. Airlines, and the entire commercial and private transportation sector, will receive a multi-billion-dollar subsidy in radically reduced gas and diesel prices. The same holds true for the utilities.

Summer is approaching. With it comes increased driving and travel at lower prices, at the exact time there is some good reason to believe warmer weather could curb viral transmissions – just as we are learning of an increased effort to defeat the coronavirus with experimental medicines, homogenized protocols, more plentiful medical supplies, and better data.

A Dry California?

We forget the world goes on amidst the viral panic, and the news apart from the outbreak is actually pretty good. California, the country’s largest state and biggest economy, was facing a harsh drought just three weeks ago.  There were near record dry months in January and February, when essentially no rain or snow fell, and the bounty of the prior December was melted or sent out to sea. There was not much hope, since the great preponderance of California’s precipitation falls before March 1.

However, a rare “March Miracle” has just seen the Sierra Nevada Mountains suddenly receive 4-6 feet of snow that covers dry ground (it is still snowing as I write this). And the later the snow, the better the spring runoff.

While 2020 will not prove an especially wet year, the state – and by extension, the country – has dodged a lethal bullet. Had California in the midst of the epidemic, whose spread is predicated on unhygienic behavior, been struggling also with drought-induced water rationing – less bathing, hand-washing, cleaning – the negative synergy could have been devastating.

Certainly, the public gloom would become endemic at being simultaneously ordered to practice nonstop washing and cleaning, while also being ordered to save water amidst a panic of hand cleanser and antiseptics hoarding and shortages.

Our Rivals

In geostrategic terms, we do not endure an absolute but rather a relative epidemic. Like it or not, national rivalries continue at a time of plague. Our three greatest rivals, China, Russia, and Iran are all faring far worse than are we in ways that transcend the virus.

China’s brand is tarnished, despite its cheap and loud effort to Silkroad its way out of the disaster. Sending medical supplies to Italy does not balance out earlier sending hundreds of Chinese citizens with the virus to Italy, at a time the communist government knew the disease was transmissible, and well established among the Chinese population. It kept such knowledge from the world in general, and from its clients like Italy in particular.

Nations, if wise, will question Chinese reliability, transparency, and truthfulness as never before – despite likely Chinese discounts and outreach to maintain relationships. Many will still conclude that the upside of cheap labor cancels out the downside of dependency on such an unreliable and odious government partner.

In American terms, Trump’s supposedly quixotic effort to decouple key industries from China will no longer be the stuff of bemused scorn, but the new orthodoxy, with obvious advantages for the United States in terms of autonomy and autarky of life-sustaining goods – not to mention U.S. jobs.

Iran was in extremis before the virus – oil price crashes, oil sales boycotted and embargoed, unpopularity over killing 1,500 protestors and lying about shooting down a passenger airliner. Now its “China First” policy of relying on Beijing for help in avoiding U.S. sanctions boomeranged in catastrophic fashion: their atheistic and Islamic-persecuting Chinese patrons knowingly sent infectious people into Iran, with the full knowledge of the risk to their supposed client.

Russia’s Middle East agendas were already stagnating, given that Syria is an expensive hellhole that great powers are now wise to avoid, at least on the ground. Crashed oil prices robbed Moscow of revenue. Its military buildup, Middle East imperialism, and anti-American efforts are running short of cash. They will continue to do so as both Saudi Arabia and the United States pump more oil.

There is a golden opportunity for U.S. corporations to return to America and to become what has been called the new Roosevelt “arsenal of democracy,” the world’s supplier of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals that nations count on in times of crisis.

The Media

Everyone knew before just how biased and unprofessional the media had become in its maniacal hatred of Donald Trump. But few appreciated how uneducated, arrogant, and clueless about simple calculations and logic was this generation of reporters that has emerged from politicized schools of journalism, which taught therapy rather than knowledge, much less a code of conduct.

The media daily blares out preliminary models and data, without even the most remedial context. They parrot the supposedly historic death rate of the virus, without any knowledge that the numerator of virus cases is as inaccurate and misleading as the denominator of deaths is mostly factual.

Then they seemed surprised that the death rate dips as tests and supposed cases spread, without any appreciation that known cases are likely not representative of the populace as a whole, but represent only those who were tested (80-90 percent negative), and thus only of those who felt ill or were exposed enough to be tested. Few tell us that a small percentage of those tested, when ill, have COVID-19, or the death rate is warped by those over 70 with accompanying heart, respirator, and cancer challenges.

When journalists talk of “20,000 cases!” they never remind their readers that nearly 99 percent recover from the virus that has stealthily been with us likely since mid-January, and of those 20,000 or so cases, a large number of the sick are already well. There is now a parlor game on the Internet of cutting and pasting clips from cable news, PBS, and NPR to reveal how inane and unthinking reporters have become.

Not so long ago, it was “bombshells,” “turning points,” “game-changers,” and “walls are closing in” to assure us that Robert Mueller was about to indict the entire Trump team. And now “we will never be the same,” “worse than the 1918 flu,” “xenophobia,” etc. have become the new parroting. Only an ignoramus or worse, would employ the terms “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan flu” for most of January and February, and then suddenly declare such terms racist when Donald Trump or his supporters copied such common media parlance.

Whereas no one believed the media in the past, no one especially likes them now, either. The more they in Pavlovian fashion equate coronavirus with the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and Trump with Hitler, the more people, to the degree they hear of such silliness, tune them out.

Relative Value?

I think one of the strangest of all sequelae to the virus and the lockdowns might be the millions of high-paid Americans whose absences were hardly missed either by the public or count much in subsequent economic analyses of damage to the economy.

In a sophisticated society under lockdown, is it more existentially valuable to know how to fix a toilet, replace a circuit breaker, or change a tire, or to be a New York fashion designer, a Hollywood actor, or a corporate merger lawyer? At 9 p.m., when you go downtown in need of a critical prescription, are you really all that furious that a law-abiding citizen who has a gun and concealed permit is also in line – or would you be more relieved that gun control laws might ensure that his ilk never enters an all-night pharmacy?

So who is important and who not?

We were often told globalized elites on the coast were the deserved 21st-century winners, while the suckers and rubes in-between had better learn coding or head to the fracking fields.

But who now is more important than the trucker who drives 12-hours straight to deliver toilet paper to Costco? Or the mid-level manager of Target who calibrates supply and demand and is on the phone all day juggling deliveries before his store opens? Or the checker at the local supermarket who knows that the hundreds of customers inches away from her pose risks of infection, and yet she ensures that people walk out with food in their carts? The farmworker who is on the tractor all night to ensure that millions of carrots and lettuce don’t rot? The muddy frackers in West Texas who make it possible that natural gas reaches the home of the quarantined broker in Houston? The ER nurse on her fifth coronavirus of the day who matter-of-factly saves lives?

Do we really need to ask such questions of whether the presence of the czar for diversity and inclusion at Yale is missed as much as the often-caricatured cop on patrol at 2 a.m. in New Haven?

Do social justice student protestors who surround and heckle the politically suspicious now in ones and twos also scream in the faces of the incorrect plumber who unclogs their locked-down apartment drain?

The virus has reminded us again, but in an unorthodox fashion, that the world is bifurcated by the degreed versus the non-college educated, rural versus urban, sophisticates in opposition to supposed rubes – and the dichotomy has been telling. I don’t suppose Rick Wilson will go on CNN again to do his fake-Okie accent to ridicule the supposed unwashed, who deliver his food and energy, as viewers might wonder what exactly was his expertise.

Will multibillionaire Mike Bloomberg really convince anyone that a farmer operates by simplistic rote, and someone like himself is critical to America – one who censored the politically incorrect reporting of his own journalists while he schemed to find ways to capitalize Chinese Communist-owned companies with western currencies – at huge multi-billion-dollar profits to himself?

When your refrigerator goes out under quarantine and your supplies begin to rot, do you really need another rant from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) – or do you rather need a St. Michael Smith and St. Uriel Mendoza to appear out of nowhere as the archangels from Home Depot to wheel up and connect a new one?

– – –

Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004.
Photo “Community Builder” by the Department of Defense, “Truck Driver” by Veronica538 CC3.0, and “Grocer” is by Joel Martinez.

 

https://tennesseestar.com/2020/03/24/commentary-the-virus-is-not-invincible-but-its-exposing-whos-irreplaceable/

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Posted on 03/24/2020 6:33 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 23 March 2020
Pakistani Doctor Arrested in MN, Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS
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 Admin

 

The US Attorney for the District of Minnesota today announced charges against a former Rochester MN doctor for allegedly providing material support to ISIS.

Muhammad Masood, 28, was taken into custody on Thursday atthe Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to the Dept. of Justice press release.

According to the allegations in the complaint, Masood, who is a licensed medical doctor in Pakistan, was formerly employed as a research coordinator for a medical clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, under an H-1B Visa.

Between January 2020 and March 2020, Masood made several statements to others, including pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and its leader, and expressing his desire to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.

Masood also expressed his desire to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in the United States.

On Feb. 21, 2020, Masood purchased a plane ticket from Chicago, Illinois to Amman, Jordan, and from there planned to travel to Syria. On March 16, 2020, Masood’s travel plans changed because Jordan closed its borders to incoming travel due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Masood made a new plan to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet up with an individual who he believed would assist him with travel via cargo ship to deliver him to ISIS territory.

On March 19, 2020, Masood traveled from Rochester to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to board a flight bound for Los Angeles, California. Upon arrival at MSP, Masood checked in for his flight and was subsequently arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Masood has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and he made an initial appearance in federal court in Minneapolis on Thursday. Masood was ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

The clinic where Masood worked was not identified in the release, but a LinkedIn page for a man with the same name indicates that he has the same work history as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Mayo Clinic.

Several men who have resided in Minnesota have been linked to Middle East terrorist groups and several have been convicted on terrorism-related charges. Two weeks ago another former Rochester resident was charged in federal court with espionage for allegedly providing classified data to a foreign national with ties to Hezbollah.

Sponsor this content. You can help ensure that Alpha News can continue to publish important public safety news and information. Email: contactus@alphanewsmn.com.

– – –

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
Photo “Muhammad Masood” by Research Gate.

 

https://tennesseestar.com/2020/03/23/pakistani-doctor-arrested-in-mn-charged-with-attempting-to-provide-material-support-to-isis/

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Posted on 03/23/2020 8:08 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 20 March 2020
We Are in This Crisis Because of the Decisions of the Chinese Government
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By   

 

As a country, we’ve got our hands full right now. But while we’re sitting in various forms of self-quarantine, we — and a lot of other people around the world — will have a lot of time to read about the Chinese government destroying samples and suppressing information about the coronavirus in December:

Chinese laboratories identified a mystery virus as a highly infectious new pathogen by late December last year, but they were ordered to stop tests, destroy samples and suppress the news, a Chinese media outlet has revealed.

 

A regional health official in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak, demanded the destruction of the lab samples that established the cause of unexplained viral pneumonia on January 1. China did not acknowledge there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.

The detailed revelations by Caixin Global, a respected independent publication, provide the clearest evidence yet of the scale of the cover-up in the crucial early weeks when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak.

And the Chinese government’s attempt to silence doctors warning others about the disease:

As word of a mysterious virus mounted, Li Wenliang shared suspicions in a private chat with his fellow medical school graduates.

The doctor said that seven people seemed to have contracted SARS — the respiratory illness that spread from China to more than two dozen countries and left hundreds dead in the early 2000s. One patient was quarantined at his hospital in Wuhan, China, Li said. He urged people to be careful.

Li and seven other doctors were quickly summoned by Chinese authorities for propagating “rumors” about SARS-like cases in the area — but their warnings were prescient. Soon, health officials worldwide would be scrambling to combat a novel virus with a striking genetic resemblance to SARS.

And the Chinese authorities spending January “denying it could spread between humans — something doctors had known was happening since late December — and went ahead with a Chinese Lunar New Year banquet involving tens of thousands of families in Wuhan.” Doctors say that in Wuhan, people who had no connection to that Hua’nan market were among the first showing the symptoms — suggesting that from the beginning, Chinese authorities should have understood that human-to-human transmission was already happening.

Even by the Chinese government’s own account of events, President Xi Jinping knew about the disease for two weeks before making any public comments about it.

Under fire for its response to the coronavirus epidemic, China’s authoritarian government appears to be pushing a new account of events that presents President Xi Jinping as taking early action to fight the outbreak that has convulsed the country.

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But in doing so, the authorities have acknowledged for the first time that Mr. Xi was aware of the epidemic and involved in the response nearly two weeks before he first spoke publicly about it — and while officials at its epicenter in the city of Wuhan were still playing down its dangers.

The Wall Street Journal calculates that the Chinese government “let some five million people leave Wuhan without screening.” Chinese medical authorities were much more concerned about preserving Wuhan’s reputation than the contagious, deadly disease:

The hospital’s leadership also banned staff from discussing the disease in public or via texts or images, Dr. Ai Fen said. Eight days later, a nurse in her department started to feel sick, and it was later confirmed she was infected by the coronavirus. By early March, three doctors at the hospital had died from the infection.

Even today, prominent Chinese citizens who criticize the government’s response suddenly disappear. The Chinese government is much more effective at stopping the spread of information about the coronavirus than stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Pardon me, the “Wuhan virus.”

We are in this mess in large part because of the decisions of the Chinese government. And once it’s safe to come out, we’re going to face some extremely consequential decisions about how we choose to treat the Chinese government after their catastrophic secrecy, coverups, blundering, and disregard for human life around the globe.

 

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/coronavirus-crisis-caused-by-decisions-chinese-government/?fbclid=IwAR07nn1qqxEfjbl4wlHexZN5fnr4tJGx1kshj4OdtrZMk0AtjQPUx1ydKYU

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Posted on 03/20/2020 7:25 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 18 March 2020
HIGHER EDUCATION The Student Debt You Willingly Took On Is Not My Problem To Solve
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Apparently, the majority of Democratic presidential contenders want to parade student debt sob stories around. These stories don't show the full picture

By   AUGUST 15, 2019

 

Of all the pandering showcased during Democrats’ attempts to win back the presidency, wiping out student debt ranked at or near the top.

“I believe that education is the future for this country,” socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders barked during the first round of Democratic primary debates, explaining that’s why we must “eliminate student debt and we do that by placing a tax on Wall Street.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar spoke similarly. “I can tell you this,” the Minnesota senator demagogued, “if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.”

 

There can be no serious discussion of this issue, however, in 60-second sound bites. So, beyond the soak-the-rich shtick that shades every Democratic economic debate point, the candidates resorted to two tactics: shock and sob stories.

The Shock Strategy

The size of student debt provides the jolt necessary to peddle their plans to the American populace. “I got $100,000 in student loan debt myself,” California Rep. Eric Swalwell bemoaned. “College affordability is personal for us,” South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg shared, noting that his household has “six-figure student debt.” So, sure, “I believe in reducing student debt,” Buttigieg announced.

Next came the sob stories. Those student loans are suffocating a generation, the candidates suggested. After all, “40 million of us who can’t start a family,” the diaper-changing daddy Swalwell contradictorily proclaimed, adding that they “Can’t take a good idea and start a business and can’t buy our first home.”

“We can’t put people in a position where they aren’t able to go on and move on,” frontrunner Joe Biden agreed.

Tellingly, when not constrained by the debate format, these same politicians push the same narrative to garner support for bailing out student loans, all while the media provides the Democrats a free assist.

“With loans totaling more than $130,000,” Buttigieg’s household is “among the 43 million people in the United States who owe federal student loan debt,” the Associated Press reported last month, before highlighting the myriad plans to bail out student debt pushed by a cadre of presidential candidates. The AP then furthered the narrative by using statistics to shock the public into socialism:

The debtors are so numerous and the total debt so high—more than $1.447 trillion, according to federal statistics—that several of the Democratic candidates have made major policy proposals to address the crisis. Their ideas include wiping away debt, lowering interest rates, expanding programs that tie repayment terms to income and making college free or debt-free.  Student loan debt is often discussed as an issue that mostly affects millennials, but it cuts across age groups. Federal statistics show that about 7.8 million people age 50 and older owe a combined $291.9 billion in student loans. People age 35 to 49, a group that covers older millennials such as Buttigieg as well as Generation X, owe $548.4 billion. That group includes more than 14 million people.

Sob Stories Reign Supreme

Then the sad tales continue the sales pitch for a government solution to student debt—a ploy that began well before the 2016 elections. Here’s one of myriad media examples.

“Shayna Pilnick, 28, would like to buy an apartment but can’t afford a mortgage. Jacqueline Mannino, 23, and her boyfriend, Benjamin Prowse, 26, want to get married. Jacob Childerson, 24, and his wife, Jennifer, 25, wish they could start a family, but they live with Jennifer’s parents,” is how USA Today opened its 2013 profile of millennials unable to obtain their dream life because they are “tethered” to “tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.”

There are many ways to counter these arguments, based on both economics and equity. But it’s hard to counter soundbites with sense, so instead, here are my inquiries for these politicians, the press, and all the students demanding relief from the burdens of their debt: Tell me your sob stories from age 12 on, not what you can’t do now, but what you couldn’t do then. Tell what you had to do then and through college to avoid what is now, to you, crushing student debt.

What time did you get up to deliver papers in junior high? How many hours a week did you work since 14 to save for college? How many toilets did you scrub? How many high school football games did you miss because you were working? What dream college did you forgo to avoid taking out student loans?

Which 8 a.m. class did you take so you could complete your major’s requirements and still work in the afternoon? Which bus line did you take to get to your job because you didn’t borrow to buy a car? What job did you work full-time while completing your MBA at night?

What did you do to afford college? What didn’t you do because of the cost of college? Were you getting tattoos and traveling your way through college? Were you pledging and partying? Did you go to your top-choice university? Maybe an out-of-state public university with higher tuition rates? Which spring break and study abroad destinations did you visit along the way?

 

Did you splurge on your fairytale wedding instead of paying down your student loans? What cars did you buy or lease? Where did you live? What electronics did you own? What clothing and other personal expenditures did you have? In short, show me the money and how you spent it!

None of my business? You’re right. Nor is your student debt my business or my problem.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

 

https://thefederalist.com/2019/08/15/student-debt-willingly-took-not-problem-solve/?fbclid=IwAR0G-OqSCHoW8iCeE_PzOXJF5RKanX-Zmi2Qm5LjpR9xZa6IPSosWPE6WOM#.XlKMKI-6A9p.facebook

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Posted on 03/18/2020 6:38 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 13 March 2020
Free Speech and Student Fragility
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By THE INSTITUTE FOR HUMANE STUDIES

 

Jonathan Haidt Talks About Campus Free Speech and Student ‘Fragility’

When Jonathan Haidt spoke at an Institute for Humane Studies cosponsored event at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), he called for Gen Z students in the audience to reject the idea that “what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.”

 

 

“Gen Z often talks about emotional safety,” said Haidt, a New York University social psychologist and the bestselling coauthor of The Coddling of The American Mind. The concept of emotional safety is predicated on the belief that students are fragile and must be protected from “harmful” opinions, he explained. But everything we know about human physical and mental development suggests the opposite: humans are antifragile. We become stronger, not weaker, when our frameworks are tested and expanded.

“I urge you to embrace antifragility,” Haidt told students. He then played a video clip of “the best statement on antifragility ever.” In the clip, Democratic activist Van Jones explains to college students why safe spaces are a terrible idea:

I don’t want you to be safe ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong—that’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots and learn how to deal with adversity. I’m not going to take all the weights out of the gym. That’s the whole point of the gym. This is the gym.

Haidt’s speech at UCCS was one of many campus events the Institute for Humane Studies is supporting in partnership with professors around the country who are researching classical liberal ideas, including freedom of speech, economic freedom, and human progress. Learn more at The Institute for Humane Studies.

 

https://www.nationalreview.com/sponsored/?prx_t=dLcFAJgVCAfJgQA&&ntv_fpc=43d2f166-e132-4e8b-b074-e31f28e40cc9

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Posted on 03/13/2020 7:16 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 12 March 2020
House Majority Whip James Clyburn Reveals Plan to End Democratic Presidential Primary
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ByAAN Staff 

 

The third most powerful member of the House of Representatives has a decidedly undemocratic scheme to end his party’s presidential primary, despite Bernie Sanders’ refusal to concede to Joe Biden.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer has more:

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., appeared ready to call off the Democratic primary race Tuesday night and declare former Vice President Joe Biden the victor.

In a conversation with NPR as the results were coming in, Clyburn – who already has endorsed Biden – said that if Biden were to sweep the six contests, it would be best for the party to put an end to the primary race, debates and all.

While Sanders prevailed in North Dakota and the results in Washington State remain too close to call, Biden won decisively in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Idaho – leaving insiders to speculate that Clyburn remains committed to implementing his plan.

Significantly, Clyburn isn’t alone in his belief that the Democrats need to wrap the nomination process up ASAP.

“This is all about November, these voters want to shut this thing down,” famed Democratic strategist James Carville said Tuesday night on MSNBC. “Our mission as a party is to defeat Donald Trump.”

Clyburn’s remarks, meanwhile, made waves overnight. By “trouble,” Clyburn meant negative campaigning that could cause lasting damage to the eventual nominee in the general election. Clyburn specifically pointed to the 1988 Democratic primary race featuring Michael Dukakis and Al Gore that led to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush attacking Dukakis with the now-famous Willie Horton ad.

The elder Bush, who trailed Dukakis according to preliminary polls, ultimately won 40 states in a landslide.  

Referring back to that election, Clyburn said: “People will say things that you cannot overcome.”

 

https://americanactionnews.com/politics/house-majority-whip-james-clyburn-reveals-plan-to-end-democratic-presidential-primary/

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Posted on 03/12/2020 7:12 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 11 March 2020
PBS reboots ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ with character having two lesbian ‘moms’
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PBS KIDS should not introduce the LGBTQ lifestyle to young children.'

Fri Feb 28, 2020 - 1:00 pm EST

 

February 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – After a seventeen-year production hiatus, PBS has rebooted its enduring favorite, Clifford the Big Red Dog, but with one jarring change: The series now features a child with two lesbian “moms.”  

In the episode where the lesbian characters are introduced, “The Big Red Tomato/Dogbot,” the women are not identified as overtly lesbian, but in subsequent installments, the two are both called “Mom” by Samantha, the new friend of Emily Elizabeth, who remains the central character in the show along with her loveable gigantic red dog, Clifford.   

One Million Moms (1MM) director, Monica Cole, sent out a call to action to the organization’s followers headlined, “PBS KIDS is Taking Advantage of Parental Trust,” which slammed PBS for allowing a continuing infiltration of LGBT characters, personalities, and themes. 

In the widely circulated missive, Cole pointed out to her readers that this is part of a trend toward LGBT indoctrination at the formerly child-and-family-safe network: 

Apparently featuring a same-sex wedding between two males on the children's animated series Arthur wasn't enough for those who are pro-LGBTQ at PBS KIDS. That happened nine months ago.

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And if a same-sex wedding and a same-sex relationship in children’s programming weren’t enough, PBS recently announced that Sesame Street will feature a drag queen activist wearing a gender-bender tuxedo gown in one of its episodes this year. Sesame Street posted on its Facebook page: “Billy Porter bringing those fierce vibes to Sesame Street. #Season51” The post also included a fire emoji which is used to signify that something is cool, awesome, exciting, or “on fire.” It can also convey that someone is sexy or hot.

Discussion of such controversial topics and lifestyle choices should be left up to parents. PBS KIDS should not introduce the LGBTQ lifestyle to young children. PBS KIDS should stick to entertaining and providing family friendly programming, instead of pushing an agenda.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is based on Scholastic Books’ best selling series by Norman Bridwell, which debuted in 1963.  The animated PBS program based on the series originally aired on from 2002 to 2003 and was broadcast in 110 countries.  

One of Cole’s complaints was that there was no disclaimer at the beginning of the episode alerting parents that a lesbian relationship was about to be introduced to the show’s very young viewers.

Last year, the PBS series, Arthur, began its twenty-second season with the surprise “marriage” of Arthur the aardvark’s teacher Mr. Ratburn to another man. 

 

In the episode, Arthur and his classmates were intrigued to discover that their teacher is getting married and begin to investigate who his bride might be. When the children arrive at the ceremony, they discover that Mr. Ratburn doesn’t have a bride. Instead, he walks down the aisle of the wedding tent on the arm of a male aardvark named Patrick. 

Last month, Sesame Street announced an upcoming guest appearance by actor and LGBT activist Billy Porter, best known as Pray Tell in the FX’s LGBT ballroom drama Pose and for wearing extravagant dresses.  

Porter will appear during the 51st season of the beloved children’s show, according to Sesame Street’s official Facebook page. 

In June 2017, nowadays referred to as “Pride Month,” Sesame Street tweeted an image of the show’s biggest celebrity character, Elmo, next to his multi-colored Muppet friends – a clear tribute to the "Gay Pride" rainbow flag.

The Tweet declared, “Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes, and colors.” 

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Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes, and colors. ❤️

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Later that year, its song “Anyone Can Play” purported to smash gender norms for children’s toys and costumes, including the lyrics “some boys like to play dolls” while the male character Grover is seen in a purple dress.

“Many families have already discovered that PBS KIDS, largely supported by federal funds, is anything but family friendly,” said Cole at the conclusion of her letter. “However, 1MM is warning anyone who continues to watch the channel.”

 

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pbs-reboots-clifford-the-big-red-dog-with-character-having-two-lesbian-moms

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Posted on 03/11/2020 5:03 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 9 March 2020
Attention Pro-Life Americans: Keep Fighting and Praying to End Abortion
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FATHER FRANK PAVONE   FEB 19, 2020   

 

LifeNews Note: Priests for Life recently hosted a meeting with pro-life leaders and activists. They released the following statement to encourage pro-life Americans to continue fighting and praying to end abortion:

A Statement of Encouragement for the Pro-life Movement

Having gathered in Titusville, Florida for a national strategic summit meeting, we, as leaders in the pro-life movement, want to issue a word of encouragement and a call to action.

The year 2020 brings us to a momentous and pivotal point in the effort to end abortion and to restore protection to children in the first nine months of their lives, as well as to protect vulnerable people from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing another case regarding abortion. The outcome of this case could make it easier for the states to protect mothers from the devastating actions of an unregulated and unscrupulous abortion industry.

We call on our brothers and sisters in this movement to inform themselves about this case, discuss it with others, and pray for a favorable outcome. Many members of Congress have expressed to the Court their support for the pro-life side of this case, and we should thank those who have done so. Numerous mothers who suffer from a past abortion have also let their voices be heard in this case; we should listen to and spread their testimonies to all our fellow citizens.

This year 2020 also brings us to national, state and local elections which will shape our courts for decades to come, decide the fate of tens of millions of children, determine whether we will continue to fund the abortion industry, and impact how much longer it will take to end the violence of abortion in our land.

We urge our fellow citizens to be active and informed voters, to see the right to life as the most fundamental electoral issue, and to educate and mobilize other voters to do the same. Likewise, we urge everyone to pray for our nation as we elect our leaders.

Thanks to the perseverance, faith, and tireless efforts of a very large and diverse pro-life movement for five decades, we have saved countless lives, changed countless minds and healed countless hearts. We have passed numerous laws, prevented the abortion industry from doing even more damage than it has done, and brought our nation closer to the fulfillment of its creed of equal justice under law.

Grateful for all these  efforts, we look forward to our continued progress and encourage all in our movement to redouble their efforts on behalf of our youngest brothers and sisters and their mothers, and to redouble their confidence that those efforts will succeed.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life

Janet Morana
Executive Director
Priests for Life

Evangelist Alveda King
Civil Rights for the Unborn
Priests for Life

Jor-El Godsey
President
Heartbeat International

HELP LIFENEWS SAVE BABIES FROM ABORTION! Please help LifeNews.com with a year-end donation!

Bradley Mattes
President
Life Issues Institute

Kristan Hawkins
President
Students for Life of America
Students for Life Action

Allan E. Parker, Jr.
President
The Justice Foundation

Thomas Glessner
President
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates

Joe Langfeld
Human Life Alliance

Shari Richard,RDMS
Unborn.com

Connie Eller, Founder
Missouri Blacks For Life

Joel Brind, PhD
Member, Medical Advisory Council
Heartbeat International

Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath
Director of Ministry Engagement
Douglass Leadership Institute

Larry Cirignano
Children First Foundation

Chris Slattery
Founder and President
Expectant Mother Care-EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers

John J Jakubczyk
Southwest Life & Law Center

Bryan Kemper
President – Stand True Youth Pro-life Outreach

Ann Lauren Rooney Morris
Florida Director
National Life Chain

Matthew and Cathy Connolly
Red Rose Rescue

Jeff White
Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

Cheryl Conrad
Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

JoAnn Gerling
Coalition on Abortion and Breast Cancer

Rev. Patrick Mahoney
Christian Defense Coalition

Dr. Michael New
Pro-life Researcher

Brendan H. O’Connell
Life Matters TV and Media, Inc.

Elise Rose
United Prayer Vigils for Life

Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Chris Slattery
Expectant Mother Care

Brandi Swindell
Stanton International

 

https://www.lifenews.com/2020/02/19/attention-pro-life-americans-keep-fighting-and-praying-to-end-abortion/?fbclid=IwAR0vnlXVvQjfRgsaq3w9I5QzJkAN8XqZCBY-C3pwyIVCZnStO6hzQFfmVg0

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Posted on 03/09/2020 6:47 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 5 March 2020
Why Tennessee's adoption law doesn't discriminate against LGBTQ people | Opinion
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Brian Ericson, Guest columnistPublished 7:00 a.m. CT Feb. 25, 2020

 

At the end of January, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that would allow continued taxpayer funding of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that exclude same-sex families on the basis of religion.

Unsurprisingly, the LGBTQ community and its allies, both in Tennessee and across the nation, have widely condemned the move, and some media outlets have called the governor's signature anti-LGBTQ. But dig a little deeper than the headlines and the collective outrage, and you'll find an ideal solution that gets the government out of the private sector while doing absolutely nothing to restrict the LGBTQ community's rights to adopt.

LGBTQ news site NewNowNext somewhat dishonestly reports that the new bill “allows agencies to reject LGBTQ couples seeking to foster or adopt on a moral or religious conviction” and suggests that it “green-lights discrimination against LGBTQ couples.” And companies like Amazon have come out against the new law, emphasizing the company’s “long history of supporting equality” even as it breaks ground on a new facility in Nashville.

At the end of January, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that would allow continued taxpayer funding of faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that exclude same-sex families on the basis of religion.

Unsurprisingly, the LGBTQ community and its allies, both in Tennessee and across the nation, have widely condemned the move, and some media outlets have called the governor's signature anti-LGBTQ. But dig a little deeper than the headlines and the collective outrage, and you'll find an ideal solution that gets the government out of the private sector while doing absolutely nothing to restrict the LGBTQ community's rights to adopt.

LGBTQ news site NewNowNext somewhat dishonestly reports that the new bill “allows agencies to reject LGBTQ couples seeking to foster or adopt on a moral or religious conviction” and suggests that it “green-lights discrimination against LGBTQ couples.” And companies like Amazon have come out against the new law, emphasizing the company’s “long history of supporting equality” even as it breaks ground on a new facility in Nashville.

So what does the new law do, exactly?

The text of the bill states that “no private licensed child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

Hear more Tennessee Voices: Get the weekly opinion newsletter for insightful and thought provoking columns.

Of course, private agencies and nonprofits have had the freedom to choose their clientele for over a decade under the Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act (a state code based on the federal RFRA proposed by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in 1993). So this portion of the bill is nothing new — and anyone who claims that Lee’s freshly signed law green-lights further discrimination is making a scene for no reason.

 

The only thing the bill really did, then, is protect private agencies both from civil action lawsuits and from losing any current or potential public funding. The bill’s text says that “a state or local government entity shall not deny to a private licensed child-placing agency any grant, contract, or participation in a government program because of the agency's objection to” participating in a placement that violates its policies.

Most adoption agencies remain available to everyone

Nowhere in this bill are same-sex couples or faith-based agencies even mentioned. None of the text prohibits or restricts same-sex couples from seeking to adopt or foster. It simply prevents the government from overreaching into the private sector’s agencies — faith-based or otherwise. In fact, under these new guidelines, the law would even protect a secular private agency that refused services to religious couples on the basis of the agency’s “written…moral convictions or policies.”

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Paul Rose, even acknowledged that faith-based agencies constitute only “12 to 15 percent of placement agencies” in Tennessee. That means that same-sex couples looking to adopt or foster can go to 85% to 88% of public and private agencies and more than likely receive the services they need — and that’s not including any faith-based agency that does provide service for same-sex couples.

So while fearmongers continue to sensationalize the story and warn of an imminent homophobic dystopia, Tennessee’s newest law will quietly put the government right where it should be: out of the way of any agency or person who wants to give children a home.

Brian Ericson is a Nashville-based editor and Young Voices contributor. His writing has been featured in the Washington Examiner, Free the People, Townhall and Spiked magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @brianscott67.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2020/02/25/tennessee-adoption-law-doesnt-discriminate-against-lgbtq-people/4862008002/

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Posted on 03/05/2020 6:52 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 4 March 2020
New group launches to warn young people about socialism
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The popularity of socialism in the United States is on the rise, especially with young people.

A recent Gallup poll found 58 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 think socialism is good for the country, and democratic socialist politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez enjoy broad support from millennial and Generation Z voters.

Morgan Zegers is determined to change their minds.

CAL THOMAS: SCHOOLS DON'T TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT FAILURES OF SOCIALISM - NEW GROUP TAKES ON TASK

The 22-year-old Zegers recently founded a nonprofit organization called Young Americans Against Socialism, with the aim of using social media to expose the “failures of socialism” and make capitalism cool again.

“Socialism is such a threat to this country,” Zegers told Fox News. “It really troubles me.”

She added: "People in America don’t realize how good we have it. Sure we have some problems that need to be fixed, but socialism is not going to do that.”

As some of the biggest opponents to the rise in socialism include hardened Cold Warriors, Cuban expats and Republican lawmakers sounding the alarm about a fundamental shift in the country's economic philosophy, Zegers certainly breaks the mold.

The daughter of U.S. Army Col. Arthur Zegers IV, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Zegers has been involved in politics since high school in upstate New York, where she became the youngest-known officer in the state’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies’ Auxiliary. During her time at American University in Washington, D.C., Zegers founded Zegers Freedom Flags, a small woodworking business that sells handcrafted wooden American flags, and became involved in making YouTube videos.

Zegers worked briefly after graduation at the United Service Organizations (USO) and in 2018 ran unsuccessfully for New York State Assembly, before dedicating herself full-time to Young Americans Against Socialism. The group is currently staffed by Zegers and two other people and supports itself much in the same way Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign does, through small-dollar donations.

"We are definitely open to large donations and grants, but so far we have been really blessed with a strong support from Americans across the country," she said, adding that their average online donation is $71.

The YouTube page for Young Americans Against Socialism is fairly lean at the moment -- featuring clips of Zegers' recent interviews on radio and television along with a video of a young Venezuelan who fled the regime of Nicolás Maduro -- but she hopes to have more videos up soon. She adds that the political left uses social media sites like YouTube and Instagram effectively and that opponents of socialism need to start using the same tactics.

"Young people are consuming hours of social media each day, which is dominated by leftist propaganda," she said, "and pulling at their emotions while ignoring basic economics and history."

 

Zegers balks at the notion that there is any difference between “socialism” and “democratic socialism” – arguing that all socialist leaders come into power saying they want to be democratic leaders, but quickly become authoritarian rulers.

“Look at Venezuela today, or Cuba,” she said. “Fidel Castro came to the U.S. after he came to power and met with [then-vice president Richard] Nixon and said he wanted democracy, but then he went back to Cuba and began killing political opponents.”

She added: “That’s why I find it so confusing when I see someone wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt at a Pride rally. Che Guevara killed gay people.”

Guevara was an Argentinean doctor and revolutionary who became a key figure in Castro’s revolution in Cuba in the late 1950s. While it is unclear if Guevara ordered the execution of people based on their sexual identity, the Castro regime did send many LGBTQ people to forced labor camps.

Zegers also takes issue with supporters of socialism touting the economic success that Nordic countries enjoy – saying they may have some socialist leanings when it comes to issues like education and health care, but these programs are funded because of the success of capitalism in those countries.

 

“Capitalism and the wealth that it provides are what allow these countries to pay for health care and schools,” she said. “It’s the same here in the U.S., capitalism and the wealth it brings make the country better, not socialism.”

While Zegers ran for office once before, she says that – at least at the moment – she has no political ambitions and just wants to get her organization more notice and spread her message.

“People who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” she said. “Seeing how devastating socialism has been in other countries and then seeing how popular it's becoming in the U.S. has really shook me.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/new-group-young-people-socialism?fbclid=IwAR2j7D9AEhdnJGJIJ1nC0MSLWBdfPOzkgQLSv1x69pGxn-Xj-fGwDyEj6uA

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Posted on 03/04/2020 5:23 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Trump team yanking green cards from immigrants who abuse U.S. welfare system
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By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
Saturday, February 29, 2020


Conservatives have been trying for decades to create an immigration system that rewards immigrants who won’t be a burden on society and discourages those who will.

The Trump administration this week began enforcing the “public charge” rule, giving U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the authority to refuse green cards — the key step on the path to citizenship — to people who have used a wide range of nonemergency welfare programs.

“The main reason this got done is because we have a president who is determined enough to make self-sufficiency matter again in a meaningful way,” said Ken Cuccinelli, who pushed through the rule as acting chief of USCIS and is now acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. “That kind of entrepreneurial mentality is a natural for him.”

Like most of President Trump’s other immigration moves, this one has survived an onslaught of court challenges, howls of complaints from Democrats on Capitol Hill and fierce opposition of immigration rights groups, who called it racist and elitist.

The administration said the vision of self-sufficient immigrants has been part of the American vision since Colonial times and was explicitly written into law in 1882, when Congress banned any immigrant who was “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.”

The idea was reaffirmed as recently as 1996, when President Clinton signed legislation giving officers explicit powers to deny visas to potential public charges.

Yet the Clinton administration issued guidance that took much of the teeth out of the law, saying only a few cash-benefit programs such as welfare checks would be considered.

Critics said that left immigrants free to collect food stamps, Medicaid and other “noncash” benefits and had long pressed for action.

The Trump rules expand the calculation to include noncash programs such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid. Anyone who used those benefits for at least 12 months out of a three-year period would be flagged.

It’s not an automatic disqualifier, but it will be “an important factor, heavily weighted to the negative” when USCIS officers decide whether to grant a green card, Mr. Cuccinelli said.

The State Department said it will begin following the same rules for those applying for entry from outside the U.S.

Homeland Security won’t guess how many people may be denied under the rule, though Mr. Cuccinelli said the bigger change will be in immigrants’ behavior.

He predicted some rejections in the short term as people apply after taking welfare. Over the long run, he said, they will adjust their behavior and decline to take benefits if it isn’t absolutely necessary, “which is actually a useful measure, at the margin, of who’s able to be self-sufficient.”

“The goal is to make sure that people who are granted long-term status, legal permanent residence status, can stand on their own two feet. And get back to that American tradition that has been in law for over 140 years,” Mr. Cuccinelli said.

The rules don’t apply to refugees, asylum-seekers and those in the U.S. on special victim visas.

Applications filed before Monday will be judged under the old rules.

Critics of the new policy include immigrant rights groups and the American Psychological Association, which weighed in last month with a statement declaring that the change will “negatively affect the physical and mental health of those immigrants who are most in need.”

“It would effectively bar many of them from life-sustaining and potentially life-saving programs under the threat of losing a path to citizenship and potential deportation, leading to more immigrant family separations,” said Sandra L. Shullman, president of the APA.

“Those guys are crazy,” said Mr. Cuccinelli, adding that it’s not incumbent on the government to make sure nobody faces stressful choices.

“How can you complain that life has decisions to make?” he said. “Guess what? Life has decisions to make.”

Some immigration rights groups predicted that those who are rejected will be deported.

Federal law does allow for deportation, but Homeland Security says the new rule applies only to admissibility. Those whose applications are rejected will remain in their current status.

Immigrant rights activists do say they have seen a drop in the number of people asking for benefits — even those who wouldn’t be affected by the changes. Some activists compared the rule to the travel ban, saying it’s another way for the Trump administration to shape the flow of migrants.

“The rule would reshape the immigrant demographics to become both richer and whiter,” said Carlos Guevara, associate director for immigration policy at UnidosUS.

The rule was finalized last summer and was supposed to take effect in October, but it was met with a flurry of lawsuits like much of the Trump immigration agenda.

Five federal judges — all appointed by Democratic presidents — issued rulings against the policy. But several appeals courts, and later the Supreme Court, stepped in and ruled that the policy could take effect while the case is being fought.

The final ruling was issued last week when the high court, in a 5-4 decision, stayed an injunction by a Chicago-area federal court.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who opposed the stay, unloaded on her Republican-appointed colleagues, saying they have created a “breakdown” in the appeals process by being too quick to agree with the Trump administration.

“The court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others,” she wrote.

The decision is part of a string of Supreme Court victories after a series of lower-court losses on issues including border wall construction and the president’s travel ban.

Mr. Cuccinelli said that is affirmation of Mr. Trump’s approach.

“We’re not trying to push envelopes, like they did in the Obama administration,” he said.

The high court’s intervention strongly signals that the justices will side with Mr. Trump when the cases reach their doorstep in full.

But Mr. Cuccinelli said USCIS will be able to tell which applications were affected by the public charge rule, should the justices need to revisit them.

 

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/29/trump-team-yanking-green-cards-immigrants-who-abus/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork&fbclid=IwAR33KO69hZppSMtrto1T9RE1yIF4wSvbFZdjVZqwPM88e8mlYuIvZggOw-I

 

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Posted on 03/03/2020 5:16 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 2 March 2020
Alabama Now 16th State to Recognize Pornography as a 'Public Health Crisis'
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At the end of the article, you will notice that TENNESSEE is among the 16 states to recognize  porn as a 'Public Health Crisis'.  Thanks to then-Senator Mae Beavers, who passed the appropriate resolution in 2017.

 

By Michael W. Chapman | February 28, 2020 | 3:02pm EST

 

(CNSNews.com) -- Following the lead of the Alabama Senate, the Alabama House of Representatives voted on Thursday (67-19) to recognize that pornography is a "public health crisis," the 16th state in the nation make such a declaration.

“Alabama has become the 16th state to formally recognize the harmful effects of pornography on public health,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, in a press release. 

“Modern pornography -- with its limitless quantity, speed, and violent or degrading themes -- is a jarring new variable in human development," she said. "It’s not surprising that such a variable would have negative effects on brains and bodies built for person-to-person sexual contact."

"Medical professionals, elected officials, therapists and more are beginning to acknowledge the universal harms of pornography," said Hawkins. 

 

The resolution, in part, states, "WHEREAS, due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, children, adolescents, and adults are frequently exposed to what used to be referred  to as 'hardcore pornography'....

"WHEREAS, pornography promotes and encourages sexually toxic expectations and behaviors, and it also contributes to the hyper-sexualization of children, adolescents, and adults;

"WHEREAS, because pornography treats women like objects and commodities for the viewers' use, it teaches younger girls and women that they are to be used and teaches boys and men to be users;

"WHEREAS, pornography increases the demand for sex trafficking by increasing the demand for prostitution and child sexual abuse images;

"WHEREAS, research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive....

"WHEREAS, pornography use is linked to difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships, lessening the desire in young men to marry....

"BE IT RESOLVED ... That we recognize that pornography is a public health hazard that leads to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms; furthermore, we recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the local, state, and national level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our State and nation."

The resolution, which is a statement of intent, not a law, was introduced by Alabama State Representative Danny Garret (R-Trussville). "Numerous psychological, medical, mental health and neurological studies have concluded that repeated exposure to porn often leads to addiction," Garrett said in a Feb. 20 commentary. "Pornography addictions tend to augment, often leading to other forms and levels of pornographic activity, sometimes culminating in criminal acts."

 

If legislators are concerned enough to take action against tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs that are harmful to children, then they must take similar action against pornography, argues Garrett. 

On its website, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) host a research summary on "Pornography & Public Health." 

The summary shows, among other things, that 93% of boys and 62% of girls saw Internet porn during adolescence. For college males, 49% "first encountered pornography before age 13."

Also, "64% of young people, ages 13–24, actively seek out pornography weekly or more often," and 11 porn sites are "among the world’s top 300 most popular Internet sites."

"The pornification of culture (i.e. softcore, hypersexualized imagery) is widespread and evident everywhere, from the grocery store checkout lane to advertising, popular entertainment, unsolicited email, and beyond," according to the NCOSE. "It’s becoming increasingly difficult -- if not impossible -- to live a porn-free life. ... [P]ornography constitutes a public health crisis."

Besides Alabama, the states that have formally recognized pornography as a public health crisis are Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

 

https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/michael-w-chapman/alabama-now-16th-state-recognize-pornography-public-health

 

 

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Posted on 03/02/2020 6:35 AM by Bobbie Patray
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