Thursday, May 28, 2015

MOTHER’S DAY, PROGRESSIVE STYLE: (DP: Just found this--worth reading and links)

Kentucky child protective services has forcibly taken 10 children from their parents, Joe and Nicole Naughler, based on an anonymous tip.  Their “crime”? The parents are Mormons who live off the gridand to “un-school” their children, a type of homeschooling that emphasizes learning through life experiences, play, household management, travel, family and reading books– you know, the way children have been raised for much of history, before “public” schools were invented by statists in the latter half of the 1800s.
The Naughler family may be off-the-grid, but they’ve had a Facebook page called “Blessed Little Homestead” for several years.  On the Facebook page, the Naughler’s have posted recent pictures, including a picture of an “emergency custody order affidavit” issued by child services, in which the affiant (whose name is whited out) “the family is residing on property with only one makeshift shed and two makeshift tents.  Allegations are that there is no running water and no septic and the mother and father refuse to cooperate with the Cabinet and the police. Children are not living in appropriate conditions and are no [sic] enrolled in school.  The parents refuse to cooperate with the investigation.”  They also provide pictures of the sheds in which they live and the children, who all look healthy and happy.
It seems to me the “crime” this family has committed is living unconventionally– off-the-grid, and outside the public school system.  While I wouldn’t want to live this way personally, people must have liberty to do so, if there is to be any liberty at all. Parents must have the right to raise their children as they see fit, short of evidence of child abuse, which in this instance, seems utterly lacking.  The Supreme Court, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), invalidated an Oregon law that required all children to attend public school, concluding:
[It] unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control. The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excluded any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.
A famous progressive brief in the Pierce case, penned by the State of Oregon, argued that the mandatory public school law was necessary to properly educate “the State’s children” and thus overrode any parents’ right to direct the upbringing of their own children.  This notion– of children as belonging to the State, rather than the parents–is a persistent theme in progressivism/communism.  Just ask MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry.  Or Hillary Clinton, who famously proclaimed in 1996 that  ”[W]e have learned that to raise a happy, healthy, and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers, it takes clergy, it takes business people, it takes community leaders it takes those who protect our health and safety, it takes all of us.  Yes, it takes a village.”   And in Komunistka, published in 1920, the communist vision of children was articulated:
Under capitalism children were frequently, too frequently, a heavy and unbearable burden on the proletarian family. Communist society will come to the aid of the parents. In Soviet Russia the Commissariats of Public Education and of Social Welfare are already doing much to assist the family. We already have homes for very small babies, creches, kindergartens, children’s colonies and homes, hospitals and health resorts for sick children. restaurants, free lunches at school and free distribution of text books, warm clothing and shoes to schoolchildren. All this goes to show that the responsibility for the child is passing from the family to the collective. . . .
The playgrounds, gardens, homes and other amenities where the child will spend the greater part of the day under the supervision of qualified educators will, on the other hand, offer an environment in which the child can grow up a conscious communist who recognizes the need for solidarity, comradeship, mutual help and loyalty to the collective. . . . There is no escaping the fact: the old type of family has had its day. The family is withering away not because it is being forcibly destroyed by the state, but because the family is ceasing to be a necessity.
Sound familiar?  It should.  The forcible removal of the Kentucky 10 children reminds me a lot of the Massachusetts girl, Jessica Pellietier, who was removed from her family and spent 16 months in State custody based on ridiculous, unfounded concerns of doctors at Boston Chidren’s Hospital, who second-guessed her existing Tufts University doctors’ diagnosis.  Or how about the removal in January of 7 children from an Arkansas home, after an anonymous caller said the children were running barefoot in the snow.  The parents were religious “preppers” who have homeschooled 9 children (two were grown and lived outside the home at the time the other 7 were taken by the State).  The children are still in State custody.
It is getting far, far too easy for idiotic progressives to impose their views, and take children out of their homes based on their belief that they aren’t getting the “right” care, the “right” education, or the “right” modern amenities.  There is a major difference between “unconventional” parenting and child abuse.
For all of you good, loving parents out there: embrace your children and teach them well.  Happy Mother’s Day.
by Elizabeth Price Foley  

ICE, ICE BABY: Stop. Collaborate and listen

ICE, ICE BABY:   Stop. Collaborate and listen:  
Ice is back, and apparently, it isn’t at risk of disappearing, as Steven Hayward explains.  Okay, it’s a bad reference to Vanilla Ice, but the horrific, imminent doom-and-gloom melting of the Earth’s ice caps–which Al Gore predicted would disappear completely by 2013– are doing quite well, thank you very much.  Indeed, satellite images show the Arctic ice cap has grown and thickened 43-63% since 2012.
President Obama was just down here in South Florida, giving a speech in the Everglades on the hazards of
global warmingclimate change, where he did his best Al Gore imitation:
This is not a problem for another generation.  Not anymore.  This is a problem now.  It has serious implications for the way we live right now.  Stronger storms.  Deeper droughts.  Longer wildfire seasons.  The world’s top climate scientists are warning that a changing climate already affects the air that our children are breathing.  The Surgeon General and I recently met with doctors and nurses and parents who see patients and kids grappling with the health impacts.  The Pentagon says that climate change poses an increasing set of risks to our national security.
Huh– that’s weird:  How come Obama and the Surgeon General are seeing “patients and kids grappling with the health impacts” from the “air that our children are breathing,” when the EPA’s own data indicates that U.S. air quality has improved markedly since 1980? And it seems odd to conclude that “our national security” is at risk due to
global warming climate change, when the Obama Administration’s massive Clean Power Plan will cause severe electricity reliability problems, which could cause a major breakdown of law-and-order if coal-fired plants are shut down without first identifying adequate electricity generation alternatives to meet citizens’ needs.
It’s almost like Obama and the
global warming climate change alarmists are making this stuff up or something.

Why Should Terrorists Be Harder to Investigate than Routine Criminals?

Why Should Terrorists Be Harder to Investigate than Routine Criminals?
By Jeff Sessions 

Iraq’s Decline into Chaos Traces Back to 2011, Not 2003

Iraq’s Decline into Chaos Traces Back to 2011, Not 2003
By Charles Krauthammer


The death of Freddie Gray drew outrage from Baltimore’s Black community, and rightly so. Gray was alive and well when the police took him into their custody, and ended up dead. The resulting protests (but not the rioting) were a reasonable response.
But police mistreatment of suspects is far from the most serious problem of violence that confronts Baltimore’s Black community. The Washington Post reports that during the period from mid-April to mid-May, 31 people were murdered in Baltimore. 39 others were wounded by gunfire.
Twice during this period, 10 people were shot on a single day. By mid-May, the city’s homicide count was 91, 21 above last year at the same time.
Lodging criminal charges against six police officers in the Gray case quelled the city’s rioting. But it had no real impact on the murder rate.
The victims of Baltimore’s homicides are, in virtually all instances, African-American. They comprised 211 of the 216 homicide victims in 2014.
The killers are also, almost invariably, African-American, as the city’s political leadership acknowledges in its more sober moments. A month before Gray’s death, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake held a summit to urge black men to help stop black-on-black killings.
A great many of the murders, including the one featured in the Post’s article, are drug related. It’s reasonable to believe that such murders would increase if more drug dealers, even low-level ones, were put back into, or permitted to remain in, the street — as many criminal justice “reformers” favor.
The Baltimore police force, which is roughly 50 percent African-American, represents a line of protection against the violence that is plaguing the Black community. But according to the Post, it has been left thoroughly demoralized by recent events:
“Officers are coming up to me and saying, ‘I’m afraid to do my job,’ ” said Lt. Kenneth Butler, a 29-year veteran and president of a group for black officers. He said officers, black and white, are “equally upset, their morale is low.”
Lt. Victor Gearhart, with 33 years of experience, said officers are second-guessing themselves, tamping down aggressive policing. “Now they have to think, ‘What happens if this turns bad? What is going to happen to me?’”
Police officers cannot, of course, be immunized from prosecution, whatever the impact on department morale. It may well have been reasonable to charge at least some of the officers who were involved with Gray on the night of his arrest.
But the Baltimore police force has plenty of good reasons to be demoralized. First, the timing of the charges and the demagoguery that accompanied them made it look like the charges were designed to placate a mob, not deliver justice. Second, it appears that the prosecutor overcharged at least some of the officers.
Third, the mayor did not permit police officers properly to defend themselves during the rioting. Limited essentially to shielding themselves from protesters throwing rocks, bricks and concrete slabs at them, nearly two dozen officers sustained injury.
Fourth, the Gray episode is held out as emblematic of the way the police treats blacks in Baltimore’s poor neighborhoods. To my knowledge, the evidence doesn’t support this claim. In any event, the claim is demoralizing.
If the police is going to do its job — to help make cities, including their poor communities, safer — it needs to be more active and vigilant. Yet, the loudest voices are urging it to be less so. More importantly, the incentives are being stacked in favor of less activity and vigilance.
I expect there will be hell to pay. In Baltimore, it looks like there already is.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam 'not a religion of peace,' but could become one

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam 'not a religion of peace,' but could become one

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of Islam, said Friday that the religion she once belonged to was not peaceful, and any politicians that claimed otherwise were not to be trusted.
Hirsi Ali made the remarks at the National Review Institute's Idea Summit in Washington, D.C.
"Islam is not a religion of peace," Hirsi Ali said, "but it can become a religion of peace."
She went on to separate Muslims into three categories: jihadists, a moderate majority and reformers. Hirsi Ali said she had been a member of each group at some point in her life, and that "if there was an Islamic State when I was 15, 16, I probably would have joined it."
She claimed that Islam is not peaceful, yet she described the majority of Muslims as observers who aren't radical and who are being pulled in two directions — either by the jihadists or the reformers (also called "heretics," according to Hirsi Ali).
But her speech on Friday was actually somewhat subdued from her usual style. Last November Hirsi Ali described modern feminism as being too focused on "trivial bull----." This time, however, she avoided such inflammatory remarks.
Still, she was arguing for changing Islam into something completely different than it is today, but emphasized that the change will have to come from within the religion, aided by the West.
"Change is not going to be top-down, it's going to be bottom-up," Hirsi Ali said. "And we can influence it. We can catalyze it."

Save the Patriot Act, Don’t Neuter It

Save the Patriot Act, Don’t Neuter It
By The Editors 

Were We Right to Take Out Saddam?

Were We Right to Take Out Saddam?
Public opinion veers with every change in current conditions in Iraq.
By Victor Davis Hanson 

The First — and a Half — Amendment

The First — and a Half — Amendment

By Victor Davis Hanson