Wednesday, 31 July 2019
DCCC faces mass staff upheaval after uproar over diversity
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The departures comes as chairwoman Cheri Bustos faces accusations that she has done little to address the lack of diversity in the upper ranks of the campaign arm.

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The top echelon of staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee left their jobs Monday, a shakeup following a pair of POLITICO stories detailing deep unease with the party’s campaign apparatus over a lack of diversity.

On Monday morning, Allison Jaslow, DCCC executive director and a close ally of Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) — chair of the committee — resigned during a tense meeting at the party’s Capitol Hill headquarters. And in the next 10 hours, much of the senior staff was out: Jared Smith, the communications director and another Bustos ally; Melissa Miller, a top DCCC communications aide; Molly Ritner, political director; Nick Pancrazio, deputy executive director; and Van Ornelas, the DCCC’s director of diversity.

Jacqui Newman, the chief operating officer for the campaign arm, will serve as interim executive director and facilitate the search for a permanent replacement, Bustos said in a statement late Monday.

“Today has been a sobering day filled with tough conversations that too often we avoid," Bustos said. "But I can say confidently that we are taking the first steps toward putting the DCCC back on path to protect and expand our majority, with a staff that truly reflects the diversity of our Democratic caucus and our party."

Ritner was one of two national political directors at the DCCC. Kory Kozloski, the other national political director, is still with the campaign arm, according to multiple sources. While most of the staff departures are effective immediately, Miller is expected to remain at DCCC temporarily to help transition a new communications team, according to sources.

POLITICO reported last week that top lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus were furious with Bustos, saying she was short-changing minorities by excluding them from her senior staff and failing to live up to promises she made during her campaign for the chairmanship. Bustos surrounded herself with loyalists, eschewing the typical campaign hands that run major party apparatuses.

"Today, I recognize that, at times, I have fallen short in leading these talented individuals. To my colleagues, who I have the upmost respect for, I hear your concerns, and we can and must do better," Bustos said.

Newman will chair an executive council to conduct a "national and open search" for a new executive director, Bustos said. Several other top DCCC staffers, including Danny Kazin, the deputy executive director, and Kozloski will also be on the council.

In addition, senior DCCC aides Charles Benton, Jackie Forte-Mackay, Samantha McClain, Dennis Raj, Jillian Shweiki, Alexandra Smith, Michael Smith and Ryan Thompson have been appointed to the committee leading the search.

The staff turmoil follows criticism from many Democrats that Bustos has done little to address the lack of diversity in the upper ranks of the campaign arm since winning the chairmanship late last year.

Bustos also rankled some Democrats by routinely saying she was out to “finally” build a “world class” DCCC — which was perceived as a slight to the previous chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, who helped lead the party back to the majority after eight years out of power.

And lawmakers felt misled about Bustos' handling of Tayhlor Coleman, a DCCC employee who came under fire for a series of derogatory tweets she sent nearly a decade ago disparaging the LGBTQ community and Hispanics. Coleman is still employed with the campaign arm.

A staff turnover of this magnitude seven months into the Democrats’ majority is jarring, and will present Bustos with a set of new challenges. She will be forced to rebuild the committee’s top leadership from scratch in the middle of a presidential campaign that has much of the party’s best talent tied up.

Bustos is, indeed, under a microscope. Democrats across the Capitol have privately griped about what they see as a subpar campaign committee with a chairwoman unresponsive to members' concerns, and unable or unwilling to live up to her own promises to hire a diverse staff.

Bustos did not respond to an email seeking comment. Much of the senior communications staff was in flux Monday evening, and did not respond to emails.

Bustos flew back to Washington this week — the beginning of the August recess — to attend an emergency staff meeting at the DCCC Monday. At the beginning of the meeting, Jaslow resigned and left the session immediately. The meeting — which was described by several sources as spirited and pointed — lasted more than an hour and a half.

"When I was in eighth grade, I decided that my life would be dedicated to serving my country. I did that first in uniform but since have tried to be a force of good in our politics," Jaslow, an Iraq War veteran, said in a statement later. "And sometimes selfless service means having the courage to take a bow for the sake of the mission — especially when the stakes are so high."

Bustos' decision to return to Washington to address committee staff in person came after several aides demanded an “immediate restructuring” of senior management in recent days.

The staff shakeup follows a tumultuous weekend for Bustos and her senior team, in which they struggled to respond to demands from Democratic lawmakers and committee aides that actions immediately be taken to address the diversity issues.

Jaslow convened an emergency all-staff meeting Friday that was described as "very emotional" by a committee aide present. Jaslow cried as she took responsibility for not doing enough to diversify the upper ranks as some staffers complained that neither she or her deputies were people of color.

Bustos held a tense call with staffers on Saturday before deciding to fly back and address the committee in person on Monday. On the call, Bustos "briefly" apologized for offending people by describing her husband and children as being of "Mexican descent" and announced she will undergo diversity and inclusion training in the coming weeks, according to multiple sources.

"I have never been more committed to expanding and protecting this majority, while creating a workplace that we can all be proud of. I will work tirelessly to ensure that our staff is truly inclusive," Bustos said Monday night. 

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/29/top-dccc-staffer-out-amid-diversity-uproar-1439525

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 07/31/2019 8:27 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 29 July 2019
Why Do Democrats Run All Of The Dangerous And Rodent Infested Cities?
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Kevin McCullough  Posted: Jul 28, 2019 10:05 AM

Congressman Elijah Cummings may honestly believe that his district in West Baltimore doesn’t stink. 

But it does.

I’ve been there, I’ve seen and smelled it.

Bernie Sanders called it “the third world" back in 2016.

Sometimes the truth hurts. Especially to those bathed, clothed, and dipped in the intoxication of corrupt power, but that’s why sunlight is so helpful.

And disinfecting!

Rep. Cummings, while being very obsessed with Russia, seems utterly bewildered with the idea that anyone could dare question why so many billions of federal dollars flow to places like West Baltimore when they are obviously doing no good.

Look at other cities in similar dilapidation and there holds a unique truth: Democrats run them all.

How long will sewage run down the streets of San Francisco? How long will St. Louis, Detroit, and Baltimore, continue to rotate as the nation’s most dangerous crime infested metros? And how long will federal dollars keep chasing bad money with new?

None of the elected officials seem to know—much less care. 

Why would they? 

They look and see that Elijah Cummings has been a “public servant” for most of his life yet owns not one but two homes.

Bernie Sanders owns three.

Nancy Pelosi owns at least ten properties, and has a net worth of $29 million. On a salary of $223,000.

Imagine.

But in San Francisco—or the West Coast version of West Baltimore—which is Nancy Pelosi’s home district, you literally can download an app to help navigate the streets with the least amount of fecal matter as possible.

Seattle is just as bad. Los Angeles has zoomed past them both.

And according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report and as reported in the USA Today (from Feb 19, 2019), the top 10 most dangerous cities in America are run by Democrats.

The overwhelming majority of them are also all governed by Democratic Governors. And the Congressional districts represented are also majority Democratic.

Did I mention that each of them also has higher unemployment rates than the national average?

In Baltimore, Democrats have run everything for more than four decades. Federal dollars have flowed in, and yet the stench, sight, and symbolism of it all—stinks.

In my life I’ve spent multiple seasons, time, and resources going to the actual third world. The heartbreak in places like Haiti, Guatemala, Ghana and the Congo, is that they have no opportunity to make their lives better. Those economies are largely run by corrupt governments whose only ambition is to use public office to enrich themselves. A lot like Cummings, Sanders, and Pelosi have done.

The “walk of fame,” the scenic hills of the Bay Area, the rainy skies of the northwest, these iconic images are being replaced by squatters, filth, crime, ANTIFA and rodents. (Is that redundant?)

For Baltimore it’s been this way for decades.

And the only reason that Elijah Cummings got passionate about the issue, isn’t because it’s true. It’s because he got called out on it, by someone who is working to make America better for everybody. Thus revealing—whether in knowledge or in ignorance—Congressman Cummings hasn’t been.

But Democrats who lives in these cities already know that.

They live in the land of corrupt squander every waking day.

 

https://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2019/07/28/why-do-democrats-run-all-of-the-dangerous-and-rodent-infested-cities-n2550734?fbclid=IwAR3rBU4d7Dfu0sI6i8897Fs5nN7c5Bh10vM3RwviyoVpcu1ZoKqju-dlaQg

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Posted on 07/29/2019 7:24 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 26 July 2019
Capitalism Is Not a Social Ill in Need of a Cure .
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In the United States, every four years we have the opportunity to participate in a democratic process that ultimately leads to the election of a president tasked with protecting and advancing our interests. The process whereby the opposing party chooses a nominee to challenge an incumbent can be wildly entertaining, bordering on the absurd at times. Given the number of Democratic candidates who are vying for the top post in 2020, it’s not surprising to find candidates saying and doing whatever they can to grab headlines.

While this may have broad appeal among some of the campaign’s most fervent supporters, candidates would be well-advised to avoid fringe comments and extreme positions associated with some of the more socialist-leaning factions of the Democratic Party. What may sound brilliant when preparing for a stump speech, for example, should be tested thoroughly, especially if it’s incendiary. Take last Friday when, in an effort to stand out from the pack, Beto O’Rourke went so far as to call our country’s capitalist economy “racist” while campaigning in Iowa. This kind of talk might be very popular among Bernie Sanders supporters and those who are openly flirting with socialism, but it flies in the face of logic.

Capitalism is no more racist than a chair or a car could be racist. Perhaps wha Mr. O’Rourke meant to say is that some policies can disenfranchise certain demographic groups, putting them at a disadvantage. If that is indeed what he meant, it would have served him well to illustrate said policies and how he proposes to rectify them. Or, maybe he meant that some politicians can sometimes fall woefully short of creating the kind of environment that leads to vibrant economic growth and job creation, thereby creating impoverished communities.

To avoid such communities, it’s important to have a robust understanding of the intended and unintended impact of policies on jobs and the economy. To ensure upward mobility and help people realize their God-given potential, it’s important to strengthen the only system that has proven capable of lifting people out of poverty, not through government largesse but individual initiative. Maybe that’s what he meant.

What I’m pretty sure Mr. O’Rourke did not mean — or perhaps he did not know this when he single-handedly attacked capitalism — is that today’s economy is actually working for some of the purported victims he may feel are oppressed. Latinos, African-Americans and Asians, for example, have the lowest unemployment numbers ever. And more women than ever have entered the workforce. Clearly, there’s still a lot work to do but it’s irrefutable that the policies of the current administration are having a positive impact on the lives of people who have not fared so well in the recent past.

And, in the case of Latinos, they are starting businesses at three times the rate of the general population and have done so for a while. Frankly, if you’re the victim of a “racist” economy, it’s hard to understand how it would be possible to launch businesses in such great numbers. Today, there are nearly 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. and we expect to see those numbers continue to grow if we can maintain a favorable tax and regulatory climate. Today, these businesses contribute more than $700 billion annually to the economy and we’re excited about what the future holds. Latino business owners will be paying very close attention to this election and won’t give up the gains they’ve made.

Nor should they. The numbers paint a picture of success and opportunity, not of oppression and racism. Candidates on the campaign trail shouldn’t rely on tired, divisive ideas and old clichés to divide and conquer voters. Instead, they should step up and outline plans for strengthening a system that has created more wealth, in greater numbers and in less time than at any other point in human history.

Across the United States, more people enjoy the comforts associated with economic and social progress, and that’s worth noting. Whether it’s a car, a smartphone, internet, etc., people can communicate and go places like never before. This, Mr. O’Rourke, is not due to some “racist” economy.

It is due to innovation and competition as well as supply and demand. As long as people have needs and desires, they will always look for and willingly purchase products and services that allow them to achieve a certain quality of life.  Instead of attacking a system that’s made that possible, let’s figure out how we make it stronger and how we can share it with other nations so we can continue to lift more humans out of poverty.

Luis Farias is a Latino small-business owner and Executive Director of The Latino Coalition.

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/03/23/capitalism_is_not_a_social_ill_in_need_of_a_cure_139824.html

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Posted on 07/26/2019 7:41 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 23 July 2019
New Budget Deal Puts Final Nail in the Tea-Party Coffin
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The conventional wisdom among Washington Republicans is that populist conservative voters no longer care about spending or deficits.

President Trump and congressional leaders are nearing a deal that would raise the discretionary-spending caps by $320 billion over two years and offset less than one-quarter of those costs (and even those offsets would take a decade to materialize). The budget deal would essentially repeal the final two years of the 2011 Budget Control Act and raise the baseline for future discretionary spending by nearly $2 trillion over the decade.

The story begins a decade ago, when a budget deficit that had declined to a modest $161 billion by 2007 was hit with the Great Recession. While recessions always automatically raise budget deficits (fewer tax revenues, more unemployment and welfare costs), President Bush, President Obama, and both parties in Congress deepened the red ink with the TARP bailouts, which were initially expected to cost $700 billion, as well as with President Obama’s nearly $1 trillion stimulus law, which failed to rescue the economy even by the White House’s own metrics. By 2009, the deficit had exceeded $1 trillion for the first time, reaching $1.4 trillion. Horrified by Washington spenders, CNBC’s Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009, and called for a “tea party” to end the bailouts, stimulus payments, and red ink. Grassroots tea-party groups formed — further enraged by the later enactment of an expensive new Obamacare entitlement — and helped Republicans capture the House in 2010 with a stunning 63-seat pickup and also pick up seven Senate seats.

The new “tea party” House majority declared an end to deficit politics as usual. The new majority quickly banned pork-barrel earmarks and trimmed the 2011 appropriations bills that had been carried over from the previous year. The House then rallied around a budget produced by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would gradually eliminate the deficit by converting Medicare to a premium-support model, repealing Obamacare, and cutting other spending. While Senate Democrats blocked these reforms, the need to raise the debt limit over the summer gave House Republicans unique leverage to force policy concessions from President Obama and Senate Democrats. The deficit-obsessed Republicans expressed a willingness to risk defaulting on national-debt interest payments in order to force spending cuts. And after months of intense negotiations, the two parties agreed to the Budget Control Act, which would cap discretionary spending through 2021 at much lower levels than the baseline, saving $2.1 trillion over that period.

Once the 2014 and 2015 spending caps were raised, there was no way lawmakers would ratchet spending back down to the cap levels in 2016. So two years later, another “Ryan-Murray” deal raised the 2016 and 2017 spending caps by a combined $80 billion, once again with ten years of somewhat-gimmicky mandatory spending offsets.

But the election of President Trump — with the tea-party Senator Ted Cruz, among others, defeated in the process — may have finally killed the tea party as a whole. Trump, who called himself the “king of debt,” deemphasized spending restraint and even promised that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the overwhelming drivers of long-term deficits, would be off limits to reform. His surprising election marked a replacement of the GOP’s free-market conservatism, exemplified by Ryan, with a more populist, big-government conservatism. By 2017, a Pew poll showed that just 15 percent of Republicans supported paring back the escalating costs of Medicare or Social Security to bring down the deficit

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Posted on 07/23/2019 11:33 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 22 July 2019
Six Reasons The Left’s Hatred For The Electoral College Should Make You Love It
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March 4, 2019 by   

(ThyBlackMan.com) The left wants you to believe that the Electoral College is irrelevant, out of date and undemocratic. The truth is they’d like to bypass this ingenious institution because it’ll be easier for them to implement their tried and failed socialist agenda across America.

After Colorado’s Legislature passed a bill to join 12 other states in an effort to abandon the Electoral College for a national popular vote movement, known as the “interstate compact,” former Attorney General Eric Holder chimed in on Twitter:

“Time to make Electoral College a vestige of the past. It’s undemocratic, forces candidates to ignore majority of the voters and campaign in a small number of states. The presidency is our one national office and should be decided – directly – by the voters.”

If you follow politics closely, you’ll quickly realize that using a popular vote system would be undemocratic and would force candidates to ignore a large portion of blue-collar voters in both “flyover” country and in less populated areas in states like California and New York. In other words, as is customary with Eric Holder, he lied.

In an article on the Daily Signal entitled “Effort to Abandon Electoral College Gains Steam. Here’s What It Would Ruin for America,” Jarrett Stepman points out that the Founding Fathers disagreed on many things, but the Electoral College received the most wide acceptance.

Here are several reasons why we should embrace, not abandon our Electoral College system:

1. The Electoral College helped end slavery in America: President Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president and the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves, won the Electoral College. But he lost the popular vote because slave states in the South wouldn’t create ballots with his name on it. There’s no telling how long slavery would’ve existed in America were it not for the Electoral College.

2. The Electoral College embraces true state diversity: One of America’s greatest attributes is our recognition of the geographical, agricultural and cultural diversity that exist from state-to-state. If I travel to New York, I want to eat the best hot dogs and pizza America has to offer, attend a Yankee’s game, visit Times Square and mourn at the 911 Memorial right before taking in a Broadway play. But if I travel to Arizona, I want to experience its uniqueness, including its people. I’d want to hike the Grand Canyon, view Native American cliff dwellings, marvel at the engineering of the Hoover Dam, mine for gold and witness the desert creatures and animals unique to the landscape. The Electoral College ensures me that I can have a unique experience no matter what state I travel to within the Union.

3. The Electoral College preserves the power of the states, aka Federalism: At the annual CPAC gathering this past weekend, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Ut), said we need to rebalance the power between the 3 branches of government by “sending power back to where it belongs, which is with the people.” If too much power resides in the hands of too few people in Washington D.C. states will no longer remain the laboratories of freedom that our Forefathers intended. For instance, states that have flirted with socialism and have been fiscally irresponsible with their budgets, like California and New York, shouldn’t be bailed out by states who have not. Similarly, Vermont and Massachusetts experimented with socialized medicine. It failed in both cases. Why should all states be forced by the federal government to succumb to Medicare-for-All when we know it’s already failed? Let each state determine what’s best for their citizen’s.

4. More than California, New York and Texas should decide the presidency: If we get rid of the Electoral College in exchange for the popular vote, presidential candidates wouldn’t have to campaign in states with smaller populations. Fewer voices would be heard not more! Candidates wouldn’t waste their time getting to know the unique interests of voters in smaller states. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost in states that typically vote democratic because she courted her far left-wing base in large states while ignoring the issues of blue-collar voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. If all that was required to win the presidency was the popular vote, these states would never be visited by presidential candidates again.

5. The popular vote is un-American: Proponents of the popular vote movement support it because they know it would silence the voices of anyone who disagrees with socialism. That is anti-diversity. It is anti-democratic because it emboldens the majority of voters at the expense of the minority. That’s mob rule. That’s un-American.

6. The Electoral College protects against election fraud: as Jarrett Stepman of the Daily Signal also pointed out in his column, “the diffused federal nature of the Electoral College is a vital tool to counteract election fraud and contentious recounts that could undo the public will.” Just imagine if there was a recount required in the Bush v. Gore race of 2000 after a popular vote system had been implemented. Every vote in every state would had to have been recounted, not just Florida. That would’ve been a total disaster.

Some democrats want to upend the Electoral College because they despise America’s founding and they want to fundamentally transform America. Others simply believe the system is antiquated. Both are wrong. America is the greatest country in the world, despite being amongst the youngest, partly due to our Electoral College. We deserve what we get, if we get rid of it.

Written by Carl Jackson

 

http://thyblackman.com/2019/03/04/six-reasons-the-lefts-hatred-for-the-electoral-college-should-make-you-love-it/comment-page-1/?fbclid=IwAR03rkX_M1t0Gyqs6cZyA8nBTXMesuVscq2pRNgPS2bWFhtQnnkXrieyE-w#comment-280672

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Posted on 07/22/2019 7:04 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 16 July 2019
The National Education Association’s Determination to Indoctrinate Your Children
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Our schools have become ground zero for “gender inclusive” guerrilla warfare, and impressionable children will suffer the collateral damage. The National Education Association, supposedly the champion of all that is good for students, is a primary proponent of these efforts. Parents must understand and take action before it’s too latePat Daugherty, Ed.D.

 

This week the National Education Association is holding its annual meetingin Houston, Texas. The NEA describes itself as “America’s largest professional employees association” as it represents more than 3 million educators. Started in the 1850s, the organization initially advocated for improvements in teaching conditions, enhanced training and credentialing for educators, and public school access for all children. A comparison of these founding goals with its current focus, however, might be shocking to parents of school-aged children.

A quick perusal of the NEA website shows that Human & Civil Rights initiatives have been the primary focus of the organization over the past year. This should not be surprising given the NEA’s political activism in recent decades. What might surprise those who do not immerse themselves in the politics of education on a daily basis is this goal from the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly:

11. Gender Inclusive SchoolsNEA shall, using existing digital media, have all state and local affiliates encourage K-12 teachers to view a series of films called Creating Gender Inclusive Schools and use the accompanying study guides of the Youth and Gender Media Project to create inclusive communities for all youth, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum of gender identity and expression.

Just what are Gender Inclusive Schools and how did they become a critical goal of the NEA? A number of national organizations have been pushing radical sex education agendas in public schools for awhile, but two groups in particular are now developing strategies to force extremist political propaganda onto unsuspecting schools: Gender Spectrum and the above-mentioned Youth & Gender Media Project. The NEA is their most powerful conduit.

According to its website, Gender Spectrum seeks to “create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.” How exactly does it do this? By developing sophisticated and insistent indoctrination and normalization propaganda. Gender Spectrum offers how-to instruction, training materials, and “respected research” so that everyone will have “the tools necessary to create gender inclusive environments in your homes, offices, and communities.” Teacher workshops, manuals, films, short videos, and games are all a part of the effort to fundamentally transform the classrooms and recreation areas of pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers and beyond.

The training for educators is broad and intense. On July 19-21, for example, Gender Spectrum will host its 13th annual Conference and Professionals Symposium at St. Mary’s College of California. Topics will include such things as Gender Inclusive Puberty Education, creating global online communities for teens, parents, and professionals through the Gender Spectrum Lounge, and a Documents Clinic to “explore the process for aligning your child’s gender identity with various identity documents (identity cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and birth certificates.” Programming and activities will be provided for K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th-grade students. Those who cannot attend the conference will have access to a multitude of resources online.

The Youth & Gender Media Project is just as organized. To introduce the offerings on its website, it first asks, “Are you a boy? A girl? Neither, both, or somewhere in between? Together we can create communities where all genders are celebrated and all children are loved!”

One of its videos, “The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children,” asserts that “More children are emerging as transgender at younger ages. It’s up to their families to support them.” Another video asks the question, “What happens when you bring gender training to an elementary school?” Through film screenings, workshops, and “full-color, professionally printed” study guides, educators and community leaders are encouraged to make gender inclusive schools their top priority.

Parents must realize that this is not a passing fad. It is happening right now in schools across the country, and most parents are, by design, completely unaware. That is why you must ask questions. Call a local school board member and share these websites. Talk to the superintendents and/or principals of your children’s schools and provide this information. Tell them that you just want to give them a heads-up so that these disturbing efforts will be cut off at the pass in your school districts.

This is what the National Education Association is promoting as it convenes its annual meeting this week. It has many determined and well-funded partners, and they are working around the clock to make these messages acceptable. Impressionable children will continue to be the guinea pigs unless parents stand up and say “No Way.”

Dr. Pat Daugherty was a student affairs administrator on university campuses for almost 40 years and saw firsthand the increasingly leftist political ideology of Colleges of Education and student services. She is the editor of Eagle Forum Insights.

 

https://eagleforum.org/publications/insights/are-you-a-boy-a-girl-neither-both-or-somewhere-in-between.html

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Posted on 07/16/2019 6:17 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Trump abortion restrictions effective immediately
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  • ByRICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Jul 16, 2019, 5:30 AM ET

 

Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately, the Trump administration said Monday, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women's rights groups.

The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following "an ideological agenda" that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.

Ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics, the Health and Human Services Department formally notified them that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.

The rule is widely seen as a blow against Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately. The organization is a mainstay of the federally funded family planning program and it has threatened to quit over the issue.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in a statement that "our doors are still open" as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court. "We will not stop fighting for all those across the country in need of essential care," Wen said.

HHS said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the litigation proceeds.

Clare Coleman, president of the umbrella group National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said "the administration's actions show its intent is to further an ideological agenda."

Abortion opponents welcomed the administration's move. "Ending the connection between abortion and family planning is a victory for common-sense health care," Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, said in a statement.

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthoodaffiliates, which serve about 40 percent of all clients. The program provides about $260 million a year in grants to clinics.

The family planning rule is part of a series of Trump administration efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health. Other regulations tangled up in court would allow employers to opt out of offering free birth control to women workers on the basis of religious or moral objections, and grant health care professionals wider leeway to opt out of procedures that offend their religious or moral scruples.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

Under the administration's rule, clinic staff would still be permitted to discuss abortion with clients, along with other options. However, that would no longer be required.

The American Medical Association is among the professional groups opposed to the administration's policy, saying it could affect low-income women's access to basic medical care, including birth control, cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. By law, the family planning program does not pay for abortions.

Religious conservatives see the regulation as a means to end what they call an indirect taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers.

Although abortion remains politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly, from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 in 2014. Better contraception, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions may have played a role, according to a recent scientific report. Polls show most Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

The Trump administration's policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled it was appropriate.

The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule took effect requiring "nondirective" counseling to include a full range of options for women. The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement.

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/trump-abortion-restrictions-effective-immediately-64352860?fbclid=IwAR0R9UyZiEMflQD3l8ru2MvHeRhBlbJ2TLTpmUXa1oINOhXzqx0bxtBLaL0

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Posted on 07/16/2019 6:13 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 15 July 2019
Nashville La Raza Affiliate Conexión Américas Hires Juliana Ospina Cano as Director, Who Vows to Continue Social Justice Work
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 Jason M. Reynolds

 

Juliana Ospina Cano will lead Conexión Américas, a Nashville Latino advocacy group, as its new executive director beginning today. Ospina Cano succeeds Renata Soto, who co-founded Conexión Américas 17 years ago.

“Juliana is the ideal leader for Conexión Américas’ next chapter,” said Board President Terry Maroney. “She brings with her a sharp mind honed by her doctoral studies, an empathetic heart grounded in her own immigrant experience, and deep knowledge of Nashville, the state and Conexión Américas. Her combination of vision, skill, work ethic and history with this organization will be invaluable resources for our community.”

Ospina Cano said, “It is with great excitement that I come home to Nashville. I look forward to re-joining an organization that views economic, civic and social integration as the vehicle to equip, inspire and mobilize immigrant families to fulfill their potential while celebrating their roots. My commitment to these values has been the compass guiding my professional and personal journey. I look forward to honoring Renata’s unparalleled legacy and serving the Tennessee community alongside Conexión Américas’ team, Board of Directors and partners.”

Conexión Américas is an affiliate of The National Council of La Raza.

The National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino advocacy organization, changed its name to UnidosUS in 2017, NBC News said. The media outlet blamed the name change on pressure from “right wing groups.”

The name change comes after years of the organization defending itself against right wing groups that applied a literal translation to “la raza” as “the race” and said the advocacy group for Latinos was pushing a racist agenda.

A Facebook video of the announcement with Soto and Ospina Cano is available here.

In the rambling interview, Ospina Cano talked about her quest for social justice and her life when her family immigrated to America when she was in high school in the 2000s. They moved to a “very conservative” district of Atlanta. She talked about an immigration policy developed there, 287(g) that allowed state and local agencies to act as immigration enforcement agents. Under 287(g), ICE forms an agreement with a state or local agency to start the deportation process.

She called the community hostile to immigrants. Her high school was “monolithic” and she learned about equity. “I knew there was something wrong,” she said.

A former staff member, Ospina Cano was part of Conexión Américas’ family engagement program, the organization said. While in Nashville, Ospina Cano also worked at Metropolitan Nashville Public School’s Office of English Learners and served as STEM Preparatory Academy’s founding director of family and community engagement.

She returns to Nashville after working the last five years in Washington, D.C. as the Associate Director of Education for UnidosUS. There, she spearheaded national programs and influenced policies that championed the needs of Latino youth.

Conexión Américas has drawn the support of two prominent Tennessee politicians.

Tennessee gubernatorial candidates Karl Dean and Randy Boyd both considered Renata Soto’s Conexión Américas organization a worthy investment, The Tennessee Star reported in July 2018. Democrat Karl Dean used the government’s money while mega-millionaire Republican Randy Boyd used his personal wealth to help Conexion’s legal and illegal alien clients.

The Star story discusses Conexión Américas’ ties to “education equity” policies.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205 endorsed Gini Pupo-Walker for the Metro Nashville School Board, The Star reported in July 2018. Pupo-Walker serves as the Education Policy Director for Conexión Américas.

In 2016, Conexión Américas launched the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition (TEEC) which Pupo-Walker leads, tying Boyd even closer to Soto and her Nashville organization. Boyd’s own education non-profit Complete Tennessee is listed as a State Partner on the TEEC website and Conexion’s Renata Soto serves on the Complete Tennessee Board.

Boyd’s ties to the La Raza affiliate and his interlocked relationship with its education projects earned him the nickname “La Raza” Randy.

Pupo-Walker, Soto and Boyd are tied to organizations that support “tuition equity,” which is the legislative reference to a bill that would grant the in-state tuition benefit to illegal alien students.

– – –

Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photos “Juliana Ospina Cano” and “Renata Soto” by Conexcion Americas.

 

https://tennesseestar.com/2019/07/08/nashville-la-raza-affiliate-conexion-americas-hires-juliana-ospina-cano-as-director-who-vows-to-continue-social-justice-work/

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Posted on 07/15/2019 11:58 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 12 July 2019
Young Texas Man Planned to Join ISIS Overseas or Attack in the US
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A young Texas man pleaded guilty to terrorism charges after he was caught trying to join ISIS and providing information to fellow ISIS supporters about how to use machetes, make automatic weapons and build explosives.

Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya, a now 20-year-old U.S. citizen from Houston, tried to join and support ISIS from August 2017 until his arrest in December 2017.

Under a plea deal, Damlarkaya admitted to charges of material support for a terrorist group and the government dropped a charge of unlawfully distributing bomb-making instructions.

Damlarkaya had many conversations online with people he believed to be fellow ISIS supporters. During these conversations, he described how he intended to travel to Syria or Afghanistan to fight with ISIS. If he was unable to pull off joining ISIS overseas, he said he planned to carry out a terrorist attack on non-Muslims in the United States.

In those conversations, he said it was his “dream” to be a martyr.

Prosecutors say his goal was to perpetrate an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombings, where brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev set off two homemade pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the event in April 2013. Three people were killed in that attack and several hundred injured, including 16 who lost limbs.

At least twice, Damalarkaya explained to other ISIS supporters how to manufacture bombs – even giving over the specifics of a formula using the chemical triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and cautioning his fellow jihadis to “take safety seriously while you make this” to be “useful until you can strike.”

Damlarkaya also described to his fellow ISIS supporters how to construct an automatic weapon. But if money was an object, he told them how they could buy a “GIANT machete for $15,” saying, “a lot of us are poor… or we don’t have experience. So not all of us can get a gun or make explosives, but we can afford to buy a $15 knife.”

He claimed he slept with a machete under his pillow ready to use if law enforcement raided his house, and in fact, when agents searched his home, they found a machete by his bed.

Damlarkaya faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 possible fine at his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for September 2019.

According to his lawyer, Damlarkaya, who has a Turkish father and Latin American mother, grew up in a non-religious family and was radicalized by viewing online content.

His lawyer told the court that Damlarkaya now has “significant remorse.”

https://clarionproject.org/youn-texas-man-join-isis-overseas-attack-us/

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Posted on 07/12/2019 6:04 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Texas' discovery of 95,000 noncitizens on voter rolls lauded by election integrity hawks
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By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Voter integrity hawks are hailing an investigation by the Texas secretary of state that uncovered 95,000 noncitizen residents who illegally registered to vote.

It was one of the largest discoveries of non-eligible voters by any one state. Conservative groups say Secretary of State David Whitley’s inquiry produced real numbers to support their years of lawsuits and research. They say noncitizen voter fraud is significant, as opposed to the left’s contention that it is rare.

“Demonstrating, much less discussing, noncitizen voting activity is the worst form of heresy one can commit for left-wing groups,” Logan Churchwell, director of communications and research at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Washington Times.

In Texas, there will be a legal fight. The League of United Latin American Citizens filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the upcoming voter purge.

“It’s clear that the right-wing elements in Texas government are trying to rig the system to keep power and disenfranchise 95,000 American citizens,” said Domingo Garcia, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. “There is no voter fraud in Texas. It’s a lie repeated time and again to suppress minority voters, and we’re going to fight hard against it.”

How did Mr. Whitley obtain the numbers? He compared two main databases — Department of Public Safety driver license records, which include immigration status, and voter rolls. He found about 95,000 noncitizens registered among 16 million voters on Texas rosters, of whom 58,000 actually voted since 1996.

In issuing driver licenses, the Department of Public Safety verifies an applicant is a legal U.S. resident by checking with the Department of Homeland Security. But proof of citizenship isn’t needed to register to vote.

“It is the tip of the iceberg,” Tom Fitton, director of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, told The Times. “This shows the urgent need for citizenship verification for voting. The Department of Justice should follow up with a national investigation.”

Mr. Fitton operates an election integrity project. On Jan. 4, he announced the settlement of a lawsuit with the state of California and Los Angeles County to expunge as many as 1.5 million inactive voters for their rolls. Conservatives believe such bloated lists lead to fraud.

“Los Angeles County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register,” he said.

No state requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. A U.S. District Court judge last year struck down a law championed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to require citizenship documentation. Kansas appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Honor system

Liberal states are moving in the other direction. Maryland this year became one of 14 states that allow voters to register on Election Day. They need to show only that they live in the state. Like other state’s voter registration form, the citizenship question is on the honor system.

Preventing noncitizens from voting illegally is particularly important for Republicans in Texas, which for now is a solid “red” state. Democrats are counting on shifting demographics to turn it “blue,” thus greatly lessening a Republican’s chances of winning the White House.

The drive to purge non-citizen voters is a Republican show. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott appointed fellow GOPer Whitley as secretary of State. If any one is to be prosecuted it will be done by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“Every single instance of illegal voting threatens democracy in our state and deprives individual Texans of their voice,” Mr. Paxton said. “My Election Fraud Unit stands ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against the democratic process when needed.”

From now on, the secretary of state will on a monthly basis compare newly registered voters to federal immigration records at the Department of Homeland Security.

“This carries the benefit of being a report plus a reform,” Mr. Churchwell said. “This wasn’t a one-off research project. Texas will be actively screening for existing potential non-citizen registrants on a monthly basis, which is something we’ve long pushed for.”

The Latino group’s Texas law suit accuses the state of “voter intimidation and voter suppression.”

It says more than 50,000 Texans are naturalized each year and most of them vote in their first election.

Earlier, a coalition of 13 liberal groups, including the ACLU, sent a letter to Mr. Whitley demanding he rescind his advisory to 254 local election boards.

“The methodology your office apparently employed to identify such voters looks deeply flawed and its origins and intent are highly suspect,” the letter said.

They said that since drivers’ licenses are issued every six years, the person could have become a citizen after their immigration status was submitted to the Department of Public Safety.

Mr. Shipley set out a process whereby the boards will notify each of the 95,000 and ask them to verify they are citizens. So if the person did in fact become a citizen, they will remain as a registered voter.

Wide range

The non-citizen debate reached the national level in 2014 when Jesse T. Richman, a professor at Old Dominion University, and two colleagues, began publishing estimates of thousands and perhaps millions of illegal voters.

Focusing on the 2008 presidential election, he concluded a wide range, from 38,000 to 2.8 million non-citizens, voted.

Mr. Whitley’s report said that of 95,000 non-citizens, 58,000 none citizens have voted in the past 20 years.

Every state is different. In theory, if the 58,000 voted in the 2008 presidential election, for example, that would be 0.73 percent of 8 million cast that year in Texas.

Taken nationwide, 0.73 percent would mean 950,000 voted.

Mr. Richman based his numbers on the comprehensive Cooperative Congressional Election Studies conducted by YouGov polling and a consortium of colleges. It is one of the few polls that attempts to find non-citizen voters.

The consortium’s professors dismissed Mr. Richman’s work. After whittling down their own polling of aliens, they determined that, statistically, “zero” vote in U.S. elections.

They have allies at the liberal Brennan Center. Two scholars wrote in 2017: “Like voter fraud generally, non-citizen voting is incredibly rare. Simply put, we already know that ineligible non-citizens do not vote in American elections — including the 2016 election — except at negligible rates.”

They were responding to President Trump’s post-election assertion that millions of non-citizens voted in 2016.

The U.S. Census Bureau says there are about 22 million non-citizens, about half of whom are here illegally.

A 2013 poll called the National Hispanic Poll by Republican pollster John McLaughlin found that 13 percent of non-citizen Hispanic respondents said they were registered to vote.

James Agresti, who directs research at the “Just Facts” non-profit, applied the 13 percent figure to the 2013 Census which said 11.8 million non-citizen Hispanics live here. Mr. Agresti calculated that the range of illegal registered Hispanics could be 800,000 to 2.2 million.

“We know for a fact, you have massive numbers of non-citizens registered to vote in this country,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said in 2017.

In a sense, Texas’ Mr. Whitley did what Mr. Trump wanted his ill-fated voter fraud commission to do: compare voter registration data with immigration status to come up with a firm national number. But Mr. Trump disbanded his panel in January 2018 after an onslaught of lawsuits.

 

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/30/texas-finds-95000-noncitizens-voter-rolls/

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Posted on 07/10/2019 8:32 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 9 July 2019
After Abstaining Until Marriage, NFL Star Russell Wilson and Ciara Get Married: “We Did It Jesus’ Way”
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A standout celebrity couple who publicly committed to saving sex for marriage were married this week in an emotional, fairy tale wedding.

E News reports singer Ciara and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got married at Peckforton Castle in England, surrounded by family, friends and other celebrities during an “emotional” ceremony. The couple announced their happy news with a photo of their special day on Instagram. They captioned it with the message, “We are the Wilsons!”

Last year, Wilson talked with ESPN about their relationship: “She’s everything you could ever want, honestly. Funny thing is, I told somebody that that’s the girl I wanted to be with before I ever met her. I told somebody, ‘I’m probably going to end up with Ciara.’”

In 2015, the couple made headlines in entertainment news for announcing their decision to commit to abstinence before marriage – a rarity in Hollywood these days. Wilson told The Rock Church that they decided to abstain from sex before marriage.

“And so I’ll never forget: She was on tour. She was traveling, and I was looking at her in the mirror. I was sitting in the dressing room, and she was getting ready to go about 15 minutes before she went on stage, and she was sitting there, and God spoke to me and said, ‘I need you to lead her.’ And I was like, ‘Really? Right now?'” he said.

Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures and the latest pro-life news.

“He goes, ‘I want you and need you to lead her,’” Wilson said. “And so anyways I told her right then and there, what would you do if we took all that extra stuff off the table and just did it Jesus’ way?”

Wilson said he was talking about waiting to have sex.

“I said to her, and she completely agreed: ‘Could we love each other without that?’ If you can really love somebody without that, then you can really love somebody,” Wilson said.

The couple faced some criticism for their commitment, as well as their Christian faith. Both Ciara and Wilson have spoken openly about how their faith influences their lives.

Earlier this year, Ciara said she was looking for a God-fearing man and found one in Wilson.

“Marriage is something I look forward to,” she said. “I believe in family, and the beauty of two people committing to spend their lives together.”

 

https://www.lifenews.com/2016/07/07/after-abstaining-until-marriage-nfl-star-russell-wilson-and-ciara-get-married-we-did-it-jesus-way/?fbclid=IwAR2FbcKKLyRcSby3AkoST6GrTQTMBuocOtxJyIGgwmBWE5jjnRCitb15vhs

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Posted on 07/09/2019 5:20 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 8 July 2019
Are You a Boy? A Girl? Neither, Both, or Somewhere In-Between?
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Editor’s Note:

Our schools have become ground zero for “gender inclusive” guerrilla warfare, and impressionable children will suffer the collateral damage. The National Education Association, supposedly the champion of all that is good for students, is a primary proponent of these efforts. Parents must understand and take action before it’s too late. Pat Daugherty, Ed.D.

 

The National Education Association’s Determination to Indoctrinate Your Children 

This week the National Education Association is holding its annual meetingin Houston, Texas. The NEA describes itself as “America’s largest professional employees association” as it represents more than 3 million educators. Started in the 1850s, the organization initially advocated for improvements in teaching conditions, enhanced training and credentialing for educators, and public school access for all children. A comparison of these founding goals with its current focus, however, might be shocking to parents of school-aged children.

A quick perusal of the NEA website shows that Human & Civil Rights initiatives have been the primary focus of the organization over the past year. This should not be surprising given the NEA’s political activism in recent decades. What might surprise those who do not immerse themselves in the politics of education on a daily basis is this goal from the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly:

11. Gender Inclusive SchoolsNEA shall, using existing digital media, have all state and local affiliates encourage K-12 teachers to view a series of films called Creating Gender Inclusive Schools and use the accompanying study guides of the Youth and Gender Media Project to create inclusive communities for all youth, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum of gender identity and expression.

Just what are Gender Inclusive Schools and how did they become a critical goal of the NEA? A number of national organizations have been pushing radical sex education agendas in public schools for awhile, but two groups in particular are now developing strategies to force extremist political propaganda onto unsuspecting schools: Gender Spectrum and the above-mentioned Youth & Gender Media Project. The NEA is their most powerful conduit.

According to its website, Gender Spectrum seeks to “create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.” How exactly does it do this? By developing sophisticated and insistent indoctrination and normalization propaganda. Gender Spectrum offers how-to instruction, training materials, and “respected research” so that everyone will have “the tools necessary to create gender inclusive environments in your homes, offices, and communities.” Teacher workshops, manuals, films, short videos, and games are all a part of the effort to fundamentally transform the classrooms and recreation areas of pre-kindergarteners through high schoolers and beyond.

The training for educators is broad and intense. On July 19-21, for example, Gender Spectrum will host its 13th annual Conference and Professionals Symposium at St. Mary’s College of California. Topics will include such things as Gender Inclusive Puberty Education, creating global online communities for teens, parents, and professionals through the Gender Spectrum Lounge, and a Documents Clinic to “explore the process for aligning your child’s gender identity with various identity documents (identity cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and birth certificates.” Programming and activities will be provided for K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th-grade students. Those who cannot attend the conference will have access to a multitude of resources online.

The Youth & Gender Media Project is just as organized. To introduce the offerings on its website, it first asks, “Are you a boy? A girl? Neither, both, or somewhere in between? Together we can create communities where all genders are celebrated and all children are loved!”

One of its videos, “The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children,” asserts that “More children are emerging as transgender at younger ages. It’s up to their families to support them.” Another video asks the question, “What happens when you bring gender training to an elementary school?” Through film screenings, workshops, and “full-color, professionally printed” study guides, educators and community leaders are encouraged to make gender inclusive schools their top priority.

Parents must realize that this is not a passing fad. It is happening right now in schools across the country, and most parents are, by design, completely unaware. That is why you must ask questions. Call a local school board member and share these websites. Talk to the superintendents and/or principals of your children’s schools and provide this information. Tell them that you just want to give them a heads-up so that these disturbing efforts will be cut off at the pass in your school districts.

This is what the National Education Association is promoting as it convenes its annual meeting this week. It has many determined and well-funded partners, and they are working around the clock to make these messages acceptable. Impressionable children will continue to be the guinea pigs unless parents stand up and say “No Way.”

Dr. Pat Daugherty was a student affairs administrator on university campuses for almost 40 years and saw firsthand the increasingly leftist political ideology of Colleges of Education and student services. She is the editor of Eagle Forum Insights.

 

https://eagleforum.org/publications/insights/are-you-a-boy-a-girl-neither-both-or-somewhere-in-between.html

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Posted on 07/08/2019 3:31 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 5 July 2019
I Want my Language Back
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Posted on  by temeritydowell

“He who controls the language controls the masses.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

The fall of the culture can be seen in the fall of the language. It’s no surprise to most reading this that those with a liberal bias are working diligently to control the language. The most simple, and most obvious, example may be found in the word ‘gay.’ As a child, I remember my grandmother saying that a relative was gay because she had just received a letter from a loved one who was overseas on military active duty. ‘Gay’ clearly meant happy. That is no longer the main definition of that word. *

Language shapes our thoughts.

When we consider a young child’s activities, they appear to be simple to adults. That’s because they are. Almost by definition, a child has limited language. They simply haven’t been around long enough to have acquired a large vocabulary. Therefore, they are not capable of transferring more mature concepts into their understanding, which means they cannot yet do those things that adults find to be basic. Language shapes our thoughts and, therefore, our actions, too.

This week most Americans will have an opportunity to enjoy a brief vacation from their workday due to the national holiday on July 4th, Independence Day. This writer has been asked numerous times about plans for “the fourth.” Social media is rife with announcements regarding celebrations for “the fourth.” Stores have announced sales in honor of “the fourth.”

Our language has been changed right under our eyes, and we haven’t noticed. Rarely is the term “Independence Day” used regarding these things. This use of the words “the fourth” has diminished the meaning and history behind what we are actually celebrating. We don’t celebrate the fourth day of July simply because it is the fourth day of July. Sadly, many Americans have no idea what we are celebrating, yet they will go out to the beach, enjoy their backyard cookouts, and watch the fireworks show honoring “the fourth.”

In case you missed it, July 4th marks Independence Day, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by our Founding Fathers** stating that this land was a free and independent country and no longer under the authority of the British crown. This happened in 1776 – at this writing, that was 243 years ago. It marks the beginning of our declared freedom as a new country, although our Constitution establishing our foundation would not be written for another 11 years in 1787.

If we don’t remember our history, we cannot understand our current situation. Why are you free to enjoy a backyard cookout, a fireworks show, a day off from work, a vacation wherever you choose, and a million other things that you take for granted? Because the Founding Fathers were willing to risk their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” so that we would be a free nation. The penalty for renouncing loyalty to the British throne was death! These men were willing to lay down their lives for this and all of posterity (that’s you!) by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, it cost some of these men their lives when they were captured by British soldiers.

I often watch “man on the street” interviews in which young adults are asked questions regarding celebrations, candidates, or government 

matters. The ones that sicken me the most are those in which they are asked the meaning of a specific holiday, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, or Independence Day. Some interviewers will set up the question with a lie regarding the significance of the day and unwitting, uninformed, and uneducated adults will follow the lie like a sheep to slaughter.

How did we get to this point? We lost our language, which caused us to lose the concept behind it. If we allow ourselves to minimize the significance of this day, we should not be surprised when we lose the very thing that we are celebrating – freedom.

 

~Temerity Dowell

 

*Originally, ‘gay’ meant bowlegged:  i.e. the gay man looked odd walking down the street with his bowed legs.

**One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration of Independence is that it was signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776. 

 

https://temeritydowell.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/i-want-my-language-back/?fbclid=IwAR1NovEx5IXladhRMWgJplMehsAzvLrGY-98hP1C0M-npVhgnc-HD_D_i28

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Posted on 07/05/2019 7:07 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 4 July 2019
Declaration of Independence: A Transcription
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Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.


In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

 

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

 

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

 

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

 

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

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Posted on 07/04/2019 5:36 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Fun Facts: 4th of July by the Numbers
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On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million - In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970

311.7 million - The nation's estimated population on this July Fourth.

Source: US Census Population clock

Flags

$4.0 million

- In 2013, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($3.9 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.

Source: Flag Manufacturers Association of America

$781,222 - Dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2013. The Dominican Republic was the leading customer, purchasing $160,000 worth.

Source: Flag Manufacturers Association of America

$302.7 million - Annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers, according to the latest published economic census data.

Source: 2007 Economic Census

Fireworks

$223.6 million - The value of fireworks imported from China in 2011, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($232.5 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $15.8 million in 2011, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.5 million).

Source: Foreign Trade Statistics

$231.8 million - The value of U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks and pyrotechnics (including flares, igniters, etc.) in 2007.

Source: 2007 Economic Census

Towns with Patriotic Names

31 - Places have “liberty” in their names. The most populous one as of April 1, 2010, is Liberty, Mo. (2,339) Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.

35 - Places have “eagle” in their names. The most populous one is Eagle Pass, Texas (26,248).

11 - Places have “independence” in their names. The most populous one is Independence, Mo. (116,830).

9 - Places have “freedom” in their names. The most populous one is New Freedom, Pa. (4,464).

1 - One place with “patriot” in the name. Patriot, Ind. (209).

- Places have “America” in their names. The most populous is American Fork, Utah (26,263).

Source: US Census - American FactFinder

Early Presidential Last Names

138 - Ranking of the frequency of the surname of our first president, George Washington, among all last names tabulated in the 2000 Census. Other early presidential names that appear on the list, along with their ranking, were Adams (39), Jefferson (594), Madison (1,209) and Monroe (567).

Source: Census 2000 Genealogy

Fourth of July Cookouts

More than 1 in 4 - The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.0 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2011. This estimate represents more than one-fourth of the nation's estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6.8 billion pounds - Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2010. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6 - Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was $1 billion or greater between December 2009 and November 2010. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over 1 in 3 - The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 36 percent of the nation's dry, edible beans in 2010. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 68 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2010.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over 7 in 10 - Of the nation's head lettuce production in 2010 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

7 in 10 - The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 71 percent of U.S. fresh market tomato production last year.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

2.5 Billion Pounds - Florida led the nation in watermelon production last year (750 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular fruit included California, Georgia and Texas, each had an estimate of more than 600 million pounds.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

81 million - Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.

Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011

 

https://www.military.com/independence-day/fun-facts-about-the-fourth.html

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Posted on 07/03/2019 7:07 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 1 July 2019
Tennessee Students Still Struggle After Common Core ‘Rebranded’
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Students attending K-12 public schools in Tennessee are struggling to perform above average on national standardized tests. Partially adopted in 2010 and fully implemented by the 2013-14 school year, Common Core State Standards (CCSS) failed to produce the academic results expected. The Tennessee Department of Education and Governor Bill Haslam “rebranded” CCSS as Tennessee standards after the legislature passed a bill to repeal the Core in April 2015.

“Common Core is as big a change in education as Obamacare is in health care, but unlike Obamacare it needed no votes in Congress to become national policy,” Joy Pullman, executive editor of The Federalist, wrote in her 2017 book, The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids.

These controversial K-12 public education standards, “garnered practically no notice from the media before the Obama administration, in concert with largely unelected state bureaucrats and a shadow bureaucracy of private organizations, locked it in nationwide. That meant no public debate before the scheme was imposed upon a country supposedly run with the consent of the governed,” Pullman observed.

Common Core State Standards were adopted in full or in part by the governments of 46 states beginning in 2009, the first year of the Obama administration. Tennessee began with partial adoption of those standards in 2010 but moved to full implementation during the first year of President Obama’s second term in 2013.

Despite the hype from the public education establishment the results of these new standards upon student performance, both in Tennessee and around the country, have not been good. Common Core, Pullman wrote, “falls short in building a solid foundation of cultural knowledge and in teaching practical skills.”

In Tennessee, the most recent data from the “Nation’s Report Card” using the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reveals neither the Common Core State Standards nor Common Core-lite have been able to move students above the national average in 4th grade math, 4th grade reading, 8th grade math or 8th grade reading.

The Tennessee Legislature repealed CCSS after pushback from parents and teachers. Tennessee Eagle Forum and others were hopeful that after 3 years of grassroots activism against Common Core, they might have succeeded at eliminating them. Opponents were unimpressed with the results.

“Starting with the Common Core is the problem. A true repeal would set the standards and the committees would start from scratch,” said Shane Vander Hart of Truth in Education.  “This process would just lead to tweaks. Granted there may be some improvements, but let’s be clear this wasn’t a repeal and Tennessee has adopted Common Core lite sans the name Common Core.”

National Results

Research investigating whether CCSS has had a positive or negative impact has been ongoing. A 2015 report by Tom Loveless for the Brookings Institute of results around the country found the early impact to be “…quite small, amounting to (at most) 0.04 standard deviations (SD) on the NAEP scale.”

A “standard deviation” is a measure that is used to quantify the amount of variation or dispersion of a set of data values. According to Loveless, “A threshold of 0.20 SD—five times larger—is often invoked as the minimum size for a test score change to be regarded as noticeable.”

More recently, the 2018 Brown Center Report shows both math and reading scores have dropped in 4th and 8th grades. By 2017, all states had implemented CCSS, although at least 11 states, including Tennessee, have repealed or renamed them while 4 never adopted them. Of those who still have CCSS, Montana adopted only the English Language Arts standards.

 

Another significant change following the wide acceptance of CCSS is the drop in the number of states using the tests designed specifically to align with the standards. Initially, 45 states agreed to use either Smarter Balanced or PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) as their statewide assessment tool for the Common Core State Standards.  That number has dropped to just 16, including the District of Columbia.

Many teachers are unenthusiastic about CCSS, while others consider them just another requirement of their jobs.

At TeachHub, Jacqui Murray said that “the biggest pedagogic change to American education since the arrival of John Dewey is happening right now. It’s called the Common Core State Standards. Its goal: to prepare the nation’s tens of thousands of students for college and/or career.”

“If you are involved in any part of teaching, administrating, or planning, you are holding your breath, downing an aspirin, and crossing your fingers, knowing a storm is about to hit. You’ve prepared, but is it enough?” she added.

Common Core State Standards and their “rebranded” siblings do not appear to be preparing students for college or careers.

One college entrance exam, the ACT, breaks down the “percent of college students who met college readiness benchmarks” for 2014 through 2018—after most states implemented CCSS.

The percentages of students “ready” for college fell in reading, from 64 percent in 2014 to 60 percent in 2018, and math, from 43 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2018. Reading readiness stayed roughly the same, fluctuating between 44 percent and 47 percent over the five year period and ending at 46 percent for 2018.

The most recently available ACT scores place Tennessee students more than a full point behind the national averages for composite score, 0.8 behind in English, 1.4 behind in math and 1.4 behind in reading.

Even Bill Gates, a long-time supporter and major funder behind CCSS, realizes they are not doing well.

“Bill Gates tacitly admits his common core experiment was a failure,” author Joy Pullman notes.

– – –

Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star. Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.

 

 http://tennesseestar.com/2019/06/25/tennessee-students-still-struggle-after-common-core-rebranded/

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Posted on 07/01/2019 12:09 PM by Bobbie Patray
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