Category Archives: Marriage & Family

Fifty Shades of Gray—One Shade of Red

Some parents may be hot under the collar this week as the premier of the overly-hyped film Fifty Shades of Grey hits movie theaters this Valentine’s weekend. It’s not the film itself, but the fact that the books that spawned it are being used for everything from middle school assignments (yes- you read that right) to promoting sexual activity to young teens.

In what can only be called a bizarre class assignment, some middle schoolers in a Pennsylvania district were given a worksheet: a word search puzzle with words “inspired” by the film/book. WTVR reported on the incident and had blacked out several of the words they deemed too inappropriate for TV. You can see that worksheet on their website if you must, but many of the non-blackened words are pretty risqué, especially for young, impressionable minds. The racy worksheet was brought to the attention of James Carter, whose 13-year-old son attends Monessen Middle School.

Oddly enough, it was passed out to 5 eighth graders, Carter’s son being one, and he showed it to his father. Carter said he asked who gave it to him and was told that a teacher had passed it out. The irate parent was not given any information by the school as to how this happened. School leaders aren’t talking, saying that it’s a personnel issue, and the head of the school board told WTVR that an investigation will take place.

In possibly a more troubling case, Planned Parenthood has been caught (again) on tape telling young girls they must read the erotic book. The non-profit pro-life group Live Action, headed by Lila Rose, has become known for sending hidden cameras into Planned Parenthood offices all over the country and catching them in some less-than-stellar moments.

In this case, undercover Live Action investigators posed as under-age clients seeking guidance about sexual matters, eventually bringing up issues that are the main theme of Fifty Shades. Some PP staffers loved the books, and some were not big fans, but at least a couple of them encouraged girls they believed to be 15 or 16 years old to read them.

The books have been described as “mommy porn”, so why promote them to minors? Lila Rose has a theory, and she wrote about it in the New York Post last year. Basically, she says, it’s good for Planned Parenthood’s business. Encouraging young girls to experiment with all manner of sexual experiences keeps them coming back for their other services like getting help for STD’s, and especially in bringing them back for their biggest money-maker: abortion. Planned Parenthood wants your daughters to know they’re there for them, especially when “accidents” happen.

Rose also mentions how dangerous it can be for girls to abide by Planned Parenthood’s notion of having a “safe word” they can use with their partners to let them know things are getting out of hand and they want it to stop. She related this to some disturbing scenes from the book when she writes, “In short, Planned Parenthood counselors told our investigators that “no” doesn’t mean “no” anymore. It, and everything else, means “yes” — or at least it does to those looking for a quick sexual fix. Note that in one “50 Shades” scene, Grey explicitly ignores the safe word and even punishes Ana for trying to use it. In several others, he shows outright contempt for the girl’s limits and has his way with her, to the point where the sex scenes read like rapes.”

So this is a movie that’s coming out for Valentine’s Day? It’s supposed to be a day known for love, not lust…and real romance—not selfish acts of dominance over another person. In the real world, young women are being trafficked and sold into lives similar to the one chosen freely by the character in Fifty Shades. Sadly, the film—like the book series—will be a huge hit.

Fathers and father figures raising young girls should use this weekend to give their daughters a different message. So dads, take your girls to lunch and show them how they should expect to be treated by the boys they date…tell her anything less isn’t good enough.

teach our daughters

For Those Who Have No Voice

The annual March for Life draws people of all ages to the nation's capitol.

The annual March for Life draws people of all ages to the nation’s capitol.

Every year, they come. By car, by the busload.  In fact, many, many busloads. Some are very old. Others very young. Teens, twenty-somethings, moms, dads, grandparents, veterans, religious and non-religious types, members of Congress…and women who themselves have been wounded in the name of “choice”.

They brave the cold, unpredictable and often dreary Washington, D.C. winter weather to stand in the gap for the most innocent and defenseless among us: unborn children. But today, sunny skies and moving testimonies ruled the day.

Unlike those in opposition to their cause, those who make the trip to the nation’s capital to take part in the annual March for Life aren’t there to celebrate the infamous decision that the Supreme Court made 42 years ago when abortion became the law of the land. They come to celebrate life. They come to speak for those unable to speak for themselves, and to remember all of those innocent children who never had a chance to speak: they are the nameless, faceless victims of more than 4 decades of “choice”. They committed no crimes for which they are being punished, but someone else’s choice sentenced them to death in the one place where they should have been safe: inside their mother’s wombs.

The theme of this year’s march, “Every Life is a Gift”, seeks to bring special attention to unborn children that are the most vulnerable: those who have been identified as having a disability prior to birth. One member of Congress, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), told the crowd how her own son, a 7-year-old with Down syndrome, has made her even more dedicated to the pro-life cause by repeating the theme of the day saying,  “Every child and every life is a gift”.

Meanwhile, the “courageous” new Congress backed off on a vote that was to have coincided with the March for Life. The bill would have banned abortions after 20 weeks (when an unborn child can feel pain) except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is endangered. This was the same bill that was passed overwhelmingly by the GOP lawmakers in 2013, but some of the women in Congress are now concerned about the law’s requirement that in cases of rape, the woman must have reported it to police. They say this will adversely affect women in that situation, many of whom do not report incidents of rape out of fear.   However, many of these same lawmakers were for this law…before they were against it.

The GOP did throw a bone to the marchers today…they passed a bill that bans taxpayer funds from providing most abortions, particularly through the Obamacare exchanges. They should have stayed strong and sent the 20-week bill to our veto-happy (now that Republicans control both houses of Congress) and very pro-abortion president. It would have been a good move to get him on record as president saying “no” to something that most polls say the majority of Americans are in favor of—more restrictions on late-term abortions. Isn’t it nice to know that the U.S. will remain one of just 7 nations in the world to allow this procedure? Two other big names on the list of seven are China and North Korea…such good company we’re in when it comes to valuing human life.

If the Republicans in Congress can’t manage to pass a bill supported by the majority of Americans when they hold both houses, how will they ever be able to tackle the really tough things the nation is facing?

Same stuff…different year.

Tricks and More Tricks

It’s somewhat ironic that Halloween falls so close to Election Day on the calendar. The inevitable deception, trickery and shenanigans that come with the political season are well-suited to this time of year when mischief takes center stage. This is certainly true in political ads as desperate candidates and their supporters make one last breathless plea for your vote.

Texas is a hotbed of tom-foolery this year. Feminist darling and pro-late-term abortion activist Wendy Davis is running for governor against Republican State Attorney General Greg Abbott. Davis has taken self-humiliation to new heights—or maybe it’s new lows— with one of her recent ads. The ad features an empty wheel chair, making a tasteless reference to Abbott’s disability. He was injured in 1984 when a tree fell on him and is confined to a wheel chair.

Even members of her own party thought that was tacky. But she didn’t stop there. She later accused Abbott, who is married to a woman of Mexican ancestry, of wanting to ban interracial marriage. As if these weren’t enough, she became a Twitter joke last week when she tweeted a picture of some young ladies that she said were some young supporters who had just voted early for her. It turns out that the photo was of a group of young Virginia College Republicans who were campaigning for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

Until all these outlandish political stunts, Davis was best known as the abortion activist who lobbied hard against restrictions on late-term abortions in Texas in early 2013. This was around the time that Philadelphia’s own Dr. Evil Kermit Gosnell was on trial for running his House of Horrors for decades on the backs of poor women and their children.

Speaking of horrors, the National Abortion Rights Action League is hitting Colorado hard with ads against Republican senate candidate Cory Gardner. The Washington Examiner calls the ads “cartoonishly bad” and that is a pretty good description. The radio ad is so bad from start to finish that it’s hard to believe they paid someone good money to write it. It features a couple talking about their inability to locate any condoms at any store in town due to Gardner’s so called “banning of birth control”.

Meanwhile, long-time Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu stuck her foot in her mouth by insulting the very people she needs to vote for her on Tuesday. Landrieu, who has been in the Senate since 1997, is in a close race with her Republican rival, and like other Democrats in her situation, she’s not real happy having to defend Obama’s actions. So, she suggested that the South is still racist and sexist and is hard on women and minorities like Obama. Referring to the South in general and Louisiana in particular, Landrieu said. “It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader. It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place, so we’ve had to work a little bit harder on that.”

She’s been elected and re-elected in Louisiana, as has Obama by the population as a whole. Where is the evidence of sexism and racism?

Continuing the race baiting in an effort to scare Black voters into going to the polls, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was at a rally to get Governor Andrew Cuomo re-elected. He claimed the GOP was a hate-filled, racist collection of monsters that live as if it were 1862: “Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over and they and think they won the Civil War.”

Huh? They won the Civil War? Which they is he referring to? If only these idiots knew history. As has been documented here on this blog, it was Democrats in the South after the Civil War who formed the KKK, and it was a group of abolitionists after that same war that began what became the Republican Party in an effort get rid of slavery. Apparently, Rangel has long had a habit of comparing Republicans to Confederates…and he keeps on winning his own seat again and again.

So, in the waning days and hours before Election Day, it seems like Democrats keep resorting to the same, tired accusations. They try to get women to vote for them based on abortion and contraception, and Blacks to vote based on the fear of being returned to slavery.

When women, minorities or any other voter, for that matter, continue to choose the same people to represent them, even though they still don’t feel like any progress has been made, maybe they deserve to be tricked and not treated.

political halloween

Why Some Give Cold Shoulder to Latest FB Fad

Several Catholic and other pro-life groups are encouraging people to cool it on the latest Facebook trend that’s leaving participants across the land– from politicians to grandmothers— with wet heads and cold feet.

So what could possibly be wrong with raising awareness and money for ALS, usually known as Lou Gehrig’s disease?  After all, this is a terrible disease that strikes without warning.  Though not as common as other diseases, it debilitates those it strikes and devastates their lives and the lives of those that love them. For anyone who has it or who knows someone suffering with it, anything that can draw attention and raise funds to help find a cure—no matter how offbeat it may seem—is a welcome thing.

It’s not the Ice Bucket Challenge itself that leaves Catholic leaders and others cold, it’s where the money is going and how it’s being used.  You see, the ALS Association is using embryonic stem cells in its research.  This may not be an issue for you, and that’s fine.  But many pro-lifers struggle with the usage of embryonic stem cells to advance science for moral purposes.

The Superintendent of Catholic schools in Cincinnati has discouraged it’s students from participating in the challenge, and suggests all money raised should go to research facilities that aren’t involved in using embryonic stem cells in their studies.  The Archdiocese there issued a statement stating, “The beneficiary of the ice-bucket challenge funds a study using embryonic stem cells, which can only be obtained by destroying embryonic life. For that reason, we have determined that our schools should not raise money for the ALS Association, and should instead – if they wish – donate to another organization doing ALS research.”

The ALS website clearly states that the possibility of using these stem cells “presents a great deal of ethical questions”, but for Kevin McCullough of the American Family Association, that’s not good enough.  In his article warning against giving to the ALS, he states, “There should be no forced taking of any innocent person’s life just so that another may live longer. That is in essence philosophical cannibalism and moral persons should have no part in it.”

The American Life League, another pro-life organization, received an email from Carrie Munk of the ALS Association that states the organization is currently funding only one study that uses embryonic stem cells. Munk wrote in her email, “This research is funded by one specific donor, who is committed to this area of research. In fact, donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project. Under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future.”

So it looks like the ALS, while having only the one study at the moment that uses embryonic stem cells, will most likely continue down that road. That is definitely something to think about before you write that check if this issue concerns you. Or you can just get wet and get it over with, since from what I understand, only those that “wimp out” if challenged and decide not to do it are the ones that have to pay up.  Apparently, there’s a lot more wimps around.  Last I checked, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than 109 million dollars***.  That’s some pretty serious fundraising, and it has apparently set a record for them.

There are other options for pro-lifers who don’t want to unwittingly fund embryonic stem cell research.  As stated above in the ALS representative’s email, you can specifically designate your donation not to go to that study.  Another organization conducting research to find a cure for ALS is The John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa that does not use embryonic stem cells.

As so many social media fads that have disappeared as quickly as they came (i.e. Kony 2012), let’s hope that the momentum for awareness for this crippling disease doesn’t fade when the leaves start to fall.

***UPDATED 9/5/14

 

President George W. Bush takes the challenge for ALS

President George W. Bush takes the challenge for ALS

2+2= Whatever

When I wrote last week that the Common Core State Standards were like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for all good progressives, I based it on what I know from history. The early progressives–elitists from the political realm, the business world and academia—have been trying to re-work public education to suit their own needs for more than 100 years…always under the guise of doing what they do “for the children”.

Common Core has been criticized, not for what it’s doing for children, but for what it’s doing to them…and to parents and teachers. I previously posted the photographer’s picture of her tearful daughter as she worked on her 2nd grade Common Core math homework. I’m certainly no expert on it, but from all I’ve read and listened to, doing math the Common Core way, especially for the youngest students is sort of like taking a road trip from New York to Miami by way of Los Angeles. Eventually, you’ll get where you want to be- with any luck- but not without a lot of wasted time and energy. It appears to be an inefficient way to teach the basics of math with a lot of unnecessary stress added in. Rather than try to explain this wacky math in writing, it’s easier to watch this video by Caleb Bonham. It puts it all in perspective.

Parents are finding it difficult, if not impossible to help their children with their homework, because the “old math” that is logical and makes sense in the real world just doesn’t cut it anymore. The real idea lurking behind Common Core, like so many of the supposedly “progressive” reforms throughout history (things that have been tried and failed) may be this: Mom and Dad don’t know anything; the old ways don’t work. After all, it was progressive darling President Woodrow Wilson who said, “The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”

That point of view, however, isn’t limited to universities. Author and former New York City public school teacher John Taylor Gatto makes this case in his book The Underground History of American Education (2000). Gatto lays out several ideas progressives hold about public education that must be debunked in order for real and positive changes to happen in education. One idea that must go, according to Gatto, is the idea that his family should not be the center of a child’s universe. He writes:
“Children will inevitably grow apart from their parents in belief, and this process must be encouraged by diluting parental influence and disabusing children of the idea their parents are sovereign in mind or morality. That prescription alone has been enough to cripple the American family.”  Gatto wrote those words more than a decade ago—long before Common Core itself existed, but he could clearly see the trend where education was heading even back then.

If CCSS is unnecessarily difficult for the littlest students, it’s criticized for not being rigorous enough in the years leading into college. Where most students begin Algebra in the 8th grade, Common Core postpones it until 9th grade, giving less time for students who may want to pursue STEM careers (those in science, technology, engineering and math) to get in the pre-calculus and calculus courses they need by the time they enter college. University of Arkansas Professor of Education Reform Sandra Stotsky wrote about the Common Core Math Standards for the Pioneer Institute, a non-partisan private organization that is advocating strongly against CCSS. Professor Stotsky says some states may have to lower their math standards in order to align with Common Core. That will hurt high-achieving students who want to pursue STEM careers, and could in the long-term, lead to a lowering of standards on college campuses. She indicates that students who excel in math will be under-served by CCSS because the math standards will only prepare them for entrance into “non-selective” colleges: “Why should their high school mathematics programs ignore those students who might become our future engineers and scientists? This is apparently the grand bargain that over 45 state boards of education bought into without asking engineering and science faculty in their own state’s colleges and universities…”

Like so much that comes with progressivism, the devil is in the details. Remember when Nancy Pelosi said “We have to pass the bill (Obamacare) to find out what’s in it? That scheme spreads the wealth—and the health. Common Core is attempting to redistribute knowledge. So much for the’Rithmetic part of Common Core…wait until you see what they do to Readin’ and Writin’…

Leveling the playing field? Courtesy of The Patriot Post

Leveling the playing field?
Courtesy of The Patriot Post

The Face of Education Reform?

The photo below went viral last month on the internet.  The picture shows a pretty common scene:  a little girl, wearing princess pajamas sits at the table with a paper and pencil, most likely trying to finish up her homework before bedtime.  But the look on her face is one of frustration, sadness and absolute stress as she tearfully tries to get it done.  Her mom, a professional photographer, snapped the picture while preparing her camera for a photo shoot the next day.  She posted it with commentary that says it all: CC-littlegirlcrying The little girl is 7-year-old second grader Maddie and her mother, Kelly Maher Poynter, was both praised and criticized for posting the picture, by people on both sides of what’s known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Critics of the posting say all kids hate doing homework and they might as well learn early that they have to do things they don’t want to do.  Some even claimed the photo was staged in order to make a point about the controversial CCSS that have been implemented in public schools in nearly all of the states in the nation. Kelly, a mother of three, defended the photo and the situation by letting critics on her Facebook page know that Maddie is not a child who hates homework.

She had been working on her Common Core-aligned math questions and was able to get the correct answer using the “old” math (i.e. the math most everyone knows how to do), but was unable to get it using the new CCSS standards of showing three different processes to get the right answer.  Here’s how she explains it:  “After checking her work, I had found 2 math problems were incorrect. I tried to help her understand where she went wrong through her process but I don’t understand it myself and was not much help.” [emphasis mine]  I told her to forget about it and we’d try again tomorrow but she became very upset that she could not get the answer and kept trying and trying to fix it. She is hard on herself as she very much wants to excel in school and not be pulled for extra help all of the time. I was talking to her and clicking my camera as I changed settings … it’s something that is very common in our household … and that is when I caught this image.”

Supporters of the posting rallied around Kelly and her decision to put it out there for all to see because many of them were parents dealing with the same difficulties CCSS is bringing to their own homes.   There are many, many blogs and websites out there dedicated only to CCSS written by supporters of the standards and opponents alike.  I’ve been learning about Common Core for about a year and was going to leave this topic to those blogs.  After seeing that picture, however, I thought it deserved at least some mention here.  After all, you have to wonder whether something is good when it causes this much stress in a 2nd grader.  I don’t think math homework brought me to tears until high school geometry. What I’ve learned about CCSS isn’t good, nor is it anything new if you know about history and progressivism.  Just recall the words of Maddie’s mother Kelly, above:  “I don’t understand it myself and was not much help”.

Those are scary words.  There was a time when kids and parents could work together on homework.  Kids were encouraged to ask parents for help, and most parents were eager to give it.  With these “reforms”, children will be less inclined to ask mom or dad for help because after a while, they know their parents just won’t know how to help them.  They’ll be forced to go back to the teacher—the government—for help. Progressives the world over have been trying to separate children from their parents for ages.  You could say that if there is any virtue in progressivism, it’s patience. Why else would they be so against today’s home schooling movement?   In the next few postings, I want to show how these reforms could threaten freedom as they seek to make children into good “global citizens” rather than patriotic Americans.  The late 19th and early 20th century elitists would look at today’s Common Core standards as the pot at the end of their rainbow.

 

Bringing Justina Home

If you’re a parent, this story dealing with parental rights should concern you. It’s been quietly unfolding for the past year, flying under the radar of most of the mainstream press as many important stories seem to do.

Imagine yourself in this scenario: you’re the parent of a 15-year-old girl who’s much like any teenaged girl, with the exception that she lives with a disorder known as mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder that causes a weakening of her muscles. She received the diagnosis from Hospital One for this disease, where she then gets treatment for it. Then she gets the flu, and gets to the point where she won’t eat and can barely walk. You take her to that hospital, and her doctor suggests you take her to one of his former colleagues at Hospital Two, which happens to be a children’s hospital. However, she never gets to see that doctor before another doctor steps in, claiming she doesn’t have mitochondrial disease, but in fact has a mental illness. Much to your dismay and disapproval, Hospital Two’s doctors accuse you and your spouse of “over-medicalizing” your daughter and pretty much declare that the docs at Hospital One didn’t know what they were doing. They stop giving her the medications she had been getting to treat mitochondrial disease, and confine her to the psychiatric ward of their hospital against her will and yours. You attempt to re-gain control of your daughter’s health care, but it’s to no avail. The state has stepped in. You’re being accused of being unfit parents because you disagree with Hospital Two’s diagnosis. Hospital Two and the state won’t let you take her home. You now can only see your own daughter for one hour per week during supervised visits. Hospital Two then transfers her to another facility- a residential treatment facility where the supervised visits continue. You watch your teenaged girl go from a young lady learning to live with her disorder to a weak, frail shell of herself confined to a wheelchair. Her hairline is receding…so are her gums. She needs her family but can’t be with them and she’s not being treated for her original disease. What’s more, a judge has ordered you not to speak of your custody battle to the media. For a year, you watch her waste away, fearing for her very life. You’re then told that she will soon be sent to a “farm” of some sort which to you sounds like a place where they send people to die. You decide to do what any good parent would do: you defy the gag order and tell your story to anyone who will listen. You’re then held in contempt of court, threatened with jail time or a fine. You have no money left after a year of battling a hospital and the state for custody of your sick daughter. Now what?

If only this were a scene from some horrible futuristic film, but it’s really happening to the Pelletier family of West Hartford, Connecticut. This is how young Justina looked in January 2013:

justina_012013

…this is what she looks like now:

justina_nowSomething is rotten in the state of Massachusetts, and quite possibly at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Justina isn’t your daughter…but she could be.

If you choose , you can help to be her voice.  Learn more details HERE, HERE and HERE.  Justina’s father, Lou, will be interviewed tonight (2/20/14) on Megyn Kelly’s show on the Fox News Channel at 9pm Eastern time/ 8pm Central. 

Share this story via social media, and if you want to take it further and are in a position to do so, you can help this family financially at www.freejustina.com

Movie Review- “Gimme Shelter”

If you don’t care much for football, don’t even know who’s playing in the Super Bowl, or you’re just dreading what Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction will be tomorrow…this may be a good weekend to check out the newly-released film, Gimme Shelter*.

This isn’t just another run-of-the-mill pregnant teenager from a broken home who ends up on the streets movie.  Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Agnes “Apple” Bailey, a young girl who is trying to break the cycle of poverty, abuse, welfare and addiction that has surrounded her for all of her 16 years.  She is determined to change her family tree, right from the beginning, when we see her chopping off her long hair (probably in an effort to be as different from her mother as possible)  and telling her drug-addicted, abusive mom (Rosario Dawson- also doing some excellent work here), “I’m done.”

The story follows her on her quest to find her birth father, whose only contact with her came in the form of a letter that he sent to her before she was born.  Her father Tom, played by Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), is now a wealthy Wall Street guy living in New Jersey with his wife and two young children.  They agree to help her, but when they find out she’s pregnant, they want her to end her pregnancy.  Her father tells her to “turn the page” and put “this” behind her.  When Apple refuses to do that, she ends up back out in the streets.  However, even in this darkest of dark times, she prays to God for help.

As so often happens in real life, help doesn’t seem to come when or how we want it to, but it’s at this point in time that Apple meets a Catholic priest, Frank McCarthy (James Earl Jones), who reaches out to her with God’s love and truth from the Bible.  At first, Apple is less than receptive to anything about God as she angrily asks Father McCarthy, “Where was God when I was being abused and suffering all those years?”

Without beating her over the head with it, Father McCarthy gives her the Good Book and tells her to “turn to page 72”.  She does, and reads the words from Jeremiah 29:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

While these brief mentions of God and the Bible may be enough to turn off some people, the film is definitely not preachy.  Just as Father McCarthy is non-assuming in his dealings with Apple, this film brings a very life-affirming and hopeful message without beating the audience over the head with it.  Apple begins to learn to trust, and with Father McCarthy’s help, finds shelter in a home for young un-wed mothers and mothers-to-be.  The shelter is run by Kathy Difiore (Ann Dowd), the woman on whose real-life story this movie is based.  It’s here where she begins to face the truth about herself and her life through the bonds she develops with the other girls in the house.  Even as she learns to live in a more stable setting, her old life keeps trying to drag her down as her junkie mother refuses to let her go.

There’s a lot going on in this film, and it’s extremely well-acted and directed.  So many of the movies coming out of Hollywood take stories like this and wallow in victimhood, darkness and hopelessness— never showing that something good can still happen even in the worst situations.  While Gimme Shelter doesn’t shy away from showing the grim hopelessness of a life on the streets or a life of growing up in chaos, it doesn’t stay there.

In fact, director Ron Krauss had a hard time getting this movie out.  Krauss told National Review that he faced criticism from the Hollywood machine and tried for a year to get this movie in theaters.  He said, “A lot of people in Hollywood actually went out of their way to make sure this movie would not come out. People tried to pay me off”.

Fortunately for us, the movie is out and it’s message of what love can do to change lives, hearts and futures is out there for anyone who wants to see it.  If you’ve ever asked, “Where was God when____?”— this movie is for you.

But bring Kleenex…lots of it.

Brendan Fraser and Vanessa Hudgens in "Gimme Shelter"

Brendan Fraser and Vanessa Hudgens in “Gimme Shelter”

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Behind the Mask

“The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”-“A Plan for Peace” by Margaret Sanger published in Birth Control Review, April 1932

 Forty-one years ago today, the Supreme Court decided the case of Roe v. Wade which gave women the right to end the lives of their unborn children.  The legacy of that decision is 55 million lives that have gone un-lived.  Since common sense and my faith tell me that the greatest resource any society has for survival is more people, this isn’t a happy anniversary.

The words above came from the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States, which in fiscal year 2012 received $542 million from taxpayers.  Using public funds to aid in the snuffing out of our posterity–who according to The Declaration of Independence, also have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”– makes as much sense as spending taxpayer funds to burn our food supply for fuel (ethanol).

But that’s the kind of “logic” and “compassion” you can expect from a progressive and the organization that was supposed to help poor women gain the knowledge and resources they needed to plan the size of their families in an effort to eliminate poverty, disease and other social ills.  That sounds like a very noble idea, but if you go deeper into Sanger’s life and her other writings, you find something else.  She was an elitist–definitely a complicated person who, while maybe not overtly endorsing eugenics, she had some twisted ideas on how to win people to her side in the contraceptive debate of her time.  She was big on believing that overpopulation led to all of the world’s troubles.  So, even as she claimed to be working for the welfare of women, she was also blaming them for all the problems because they were having too many kids.

She even proposed that Congress get more involved in controlling population—the progressives answer to everything!  She thought it would be a good idea to appoint a “Parliament of Population” which would, among other things, give “the whole dysgenic population” the choice between segregation and sterilization.”  Congress would put those choosing segregation on farms where they “would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives”. [Emphasis mine]

Who exactly would be “dysgenic”?  In her own words:

“The first step would thus be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics. The second step would be to take an inventory of the secondary group such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate on farms and open spaces as long as necessary for the strengthening and development of moral conduct.”

 Margaret Sanger was much like the organization she founded.  She worked for things that appear to be good, but there’s a thread of something sinister running through her mindset.  Planned Parenthood, while it does provide some health care services for women, has a nice little “side business” in abortion that rakes in millions for them each year.

The frightening thing about Sanger and others like her is that her hit list, as described above could include lots of people.  Who gets to decide who’s a moron or a mental defective?  Could those with differing political or religious beliefs than those in power be defined that way?  Progressives always use the word “moral” when making their arguments, as if they and they alone are capable of deciding who or what is or isn’t moral, and who should or shouldn’t be allowed to live as a free person.  It was true then.  It’s true now.

Turkeys Can’t Fly

I love vintage television, and one of my favorite old shows from when I was growing up was WKRP in Cincinnati.  If you’re familiar with it, you might know what I’m about to write.  One of the most memorable episodes was a Thanksgiving episode where the station manager, Mr. Carlson, had planned a big surprise radio promotion at a shopping mall.

Carlson’s plan was to have a helicopter, pulling a banner proclaiming “Happy Thanksgiving from WKRP”, flying over the shopping center—while dropping live turkeys.  While the station’s newsman, Les Nessman, gives the play-by-play of what’s unfolding at the mall, Dr. Johnny Fever and the other staff members are back in the studio listening to the whole fiasco.  They all know what Mr. Carlson didn’t know:  turkeys have wings- but they don’t use them.  Later, a very disheveled and exhausted Carlson returns to the station and delivers the classic line, which is a twist on an even older classic line:  “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

Maybe that’s what Barack Obama thought in the days following the launch of Healthcare.gov, the error-ridden website that serves as the gateway to his signature “reform” of healthcare for our nation.  You see, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has an appearance of being both affordable (hence the name), and of increasing access to care for those most in need of it.  However, there’s no wind beneath the wings of this over-sized turkey.

Millions of Americans, once content with the healthcare they’ve been receiving and the doctors and hospitals they use, are being told they cannot keep the plans they liked.  Many are being steered towards other plans that, while comparable to what they had, are costing them more, and require them to give up the doctors they’ve built relationships with over time.

So bad have the bad stories been that BarackObama.com has put out a video—aimed at young people, of course—that encourages families to have “The Talk” about healthcare over your holiday meal.  This is meant to encourage young healthy individuals—on whose backs Obamacare must be carried— to sign up for coverage.  Coverage they can neither afford nor do they need (do young, unmarried men really need to have maternity coverage and free mammograms?).  The video conveniently leaves that inconvenient information out of “The Talk”.

Bringing up a topic like Obamacare before, during or after your Thanksgiving dinner is generally a very bad idea.  I have visions of mashed potatoes flying across the table and gravy boats “mysteriously” ending up in liberal laps.

Not to worry.  If you chicken out of having The Talk over turkey, the media will help Obamacare rise from the ashes.  One supposedly “non-partisan” organization, Families USA, was given a $1 million grant to help find people who actually have good stories to tell about Obamacare, and then make sure the media highlights them.  Families USA has close ties with the administration and George Soros—so much for being non-partisan.  The grant they received was from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which just so happens to be located in the same office building as Families USA and Enroll America, an organization begun by the Families USA co-founder and executive director in order to raise money to fund enrollment in Obamacare.  Not only do these entities share the same building, they share the same office suite.  How cozy is that?

The next deadline for having the Healthcare.gov website up and running at full steam is this Saturday.  However, administration officials are encouraging people to “take turns” so to speak in signing up for it, fearing that the website will crash again from being overwhelmed by healthcare shoppers.  Reports say it was designed for about 50,000 users at a time.  That’s fifty thousand.  If Amazon and Ebay worked this way, we would never have heard of them.  Adding to the website’s problems, it was announced today that small businesses have been given a one year delay for when they must sign up.

So as you sit down to your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, don’t think about the turkey that one party shoved down the throats of Americans via Obamacare.  Think about all the things we still have that we can be thankful for like our families (even the knuckle-headed liberal relatives) and that we live in America…and for the brave men and women standing in harm’s way for us.  And if you are lucky enough to have either not gotten through to sign up for healthcare, or are just planning to pay the fine— you can be thankful your name and other personal information are not yet in the hands of faceless government bureaucrats.

Ocare Turkey