At this time in cultural America, disposing of human babies is all too often the preferred choice in dealing with unwanted pregnancies. At the very same time in that same cultural America, valiant efforts are underway to provide responsible options to the mothers of babies still safe within the womb.
In the very same politically-correct America, pregnant girls and woman are being welcomed into a safe-haven of viable alternatives. Some find these alternatives both emotionally and spiritually uplifting, for, when the alternatives are presented clearly by specialized volunteers, the expectant mothers are given hope through the empowerment of awareness.
The safe haven referred to is the Pregnancy Hope Center in Klamath Falls. The Center consists of a welcoming group of selfless volunteers, who provide essential information to pregnant mothers; so essential that it often leads to either choosing birth or seeking adoptive parents - two choices for the nurturing and raising of a future contributing member of our society.
The Pregnancy Hope Center functions under the auspices of Care Net, a well-established, highly reputed national organization, dedicated to real-life abortion alternatives. Although the Center has served our town for many years, in 2010 it was relocated to a more easily accessible location at 2421 Washburn way. It is now estimated that as much as twenty percent of its clientele walk through the facility’s front door, due to its improved visibility.
The executive directors are the dedicated husband-and-wife team, Vern and Judy Reynolds. Equipped with extensive experience at a California Care Net facility, they ensure that Klamath’s Pregnancy Hope Center provides its services in a beautiful and welcoming environment. A few of those services include free pregnancy testing, abortion education, post-abortion counseling, parenting classes, pregnancy education, and pregnancy prevention measures, including abstinence.
At a recent on-site interview, I found the Reynolds to be sincerely dedicated and devout missionaries. Judy emphasized that it was her vision to help the young people come to understand their divine purpose. That purpose is explained, in part, through the understanding that each of us has an inherently personal relationship with God. She has found that many young people have received little or no such training, but seem to hunger for the peace and fortifying reassurance that such counsel provides.
Without coercion, preaching, or judgement, Pregnancy Hope Center manages to effectively achieve its goals of conveying responsible options to abortion. In addition to its existing operations of free testing, counseling, and educating at its Washburn location, the Center provides speakers to our public schools. Two of the Center’s more well-known fund-raising activities are the on-going “baby bottle” drive and upcoming May 19th 1st Annual “True Beauty” Ladies Tea at the Shilo Inn, with key note speaker Katie Harman, Miss America 2002.
It is certainly not the only such group in town, but its combined attributes of trustworthy professionalism and dedication, are remarkable. The Center’s staff share the sincere wish to help young pregnant mothers, as well as the babies’ fathers, to develop those tools needed to provide their babies with the gift of dedicated parenting. The Center is an oasis of nurturing and uplifting hope; a positive force to be applauded and supported. Our Pregnancy Hope Center is aptly named, for it gives hope in countless ways; hope for the living, for the soon-to-arrive, and a promising future for Klamath Falls’ generational responsibilities.
In the months ahead, I will continue to report on our Pregnancy Hope Center by showcasing the individuals who comprise its devoted staff.
There is much upset about the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and increased numbers of parent groups are joining forces and pushing back. Until recently, I was among the clueless about this controversial program. However, only because I was researching my county’s public school curricula did I somehow stumbled upon information concerning Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”). The first thing I became aware of was that its implementation was already underway in Oregon and several other States.
Within those several other States there grows great fear and consternation over what is seen as covert indoctrination by the feds, and the legal backlash by fearful parents and educators is growing. I write “covert,” because, although there are many accessible pro-Common Core websites, those sites quite naturally do not offer the negatives of this untested multi-billion dollar stimulus program. Further, I do not recall Oregon’s legislators promulgating information about this centrally-planned program, or discussions and/or debates within its State Assembly. According to Michelle Malkin, the fire-breathing champion of the Constitution of the United States, writes, “The 2009 so-called stimulus package included a ‘State Fiscal Stabilization Fund’ to bribe States into constructing ‘longitudinal data systems to collect data on public school students.’ (Hence, do the program, as directed, and this administration will send more pork your way.)”
I recently completed my review of several of Oregon’s Common Core textbooks, as well as an attendant handbook (presumably designed for the classroom educators) called, “Navigating the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards.” Had I not carefully delved into these books, I would not have seen first-hand their troubling subtleties. For instance, the Glencoe textbook, “Economics Today and Tomorrow,” supposedly intended for 12th graders, on one hand provides as an inside flap an invitingly brilliant graphic of our American flag’s established etiquette, our Nation’s “American’s Creed,” and “Pledge of Allegiance.” I was duly touched by the patriotism!
That same textbook describes in neutral tones some basic differences between capitalism, communism, and other centralized government economies. At the same time, however, it touches lightly upon America’s projected production capabilities without making mention of our superior petroleum resources. In addition to that glaring absence within the chapter entitled, “Global Economy,” I found the statement, “Americans demand oil for many purposes, but mostly as a fuel for their automobiles” to be both simplistic and misleading. It is well known that, since the 19th Century, America’s high production and consumption of petroleum products have created extraordinary wealth, as well as sustained the highest standards of living ever known. Those standards of living go way beyond the use and ownership of automobiles; is it not true that everything from cleaning products to clothing to electronic and industrial equipment are the end products of petroleum? So, the absence of a more open discussion about this magnificent source of prosperity immediately piqued my interest. I suspected that, either the purveyors of this textbook are innocently ignorant of the petroleum industry, or they are pursuing an ideological agenda.
The other thing that stood out about this 12th grade economics text book was its voluminous size. Notably, the wasteful expense of glossy paper, brilliant inks, and production space utilized for the unnecessary and totally overdone graphics could easily have been avoided, or greatly minimized. The excessive use of graphics reminded me of garish video games, or cartoon-like story books published for preschoolers. Based upon my own empirical knowledge, I am willing to wager that this high school learning aid would have been directed toward 6th and 7th graders only a few generations ago. And, even though the discussed topics could be construed as “fair and balanced” on the surface, both the grammar school vocabulary and pop-culture topics of this supposed senior year material would probably have been directed to 7th and 8th graders in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. As someone who hasn’t been accustomed to reading high school texts for many years, I’m appalled at what I see as intentional simplification of today’s educational material for “secondary” learning.
Aside from the overuse of glaring graphics and wasted space in all the reviewed CCSS textbooks, I recognized the absence of any serious literary study. I was bowled over to see this in on Page 1395 of the literature textbook: “Strategies for Taking Multiple Choice Tests.” I emphasize “bowled over” because multiple choice quizzes used to be a constant diet for both 6th and 7th graders during the mid-to-late-1950’s. Finally, after an insipid review of “Macbeth,” rather than a relevant discussion, this childish exercise was offered: “ Make and play a ballad.” I mean, seriously, can anyone say, “dumbed down”?
Finally, publisher Holt Rinehart and Winston’s “Holt Sixth Course Elements of Literature - Essentials of British and World Literature, ” presumably prepared this text for the high school student. “Essentials” is the operative word here, for I questioned which bureaucratic literary scholars actually determined which writings were essential enough to study. It was disappointing to see mediocre chapter review questions about a cross section of severely abridged works. I had been expecting to see detailed presentations of the Great Books’ of our revered American and British authors; i.e., “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “ The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman, “The Sun Also Rises,” by Ernest Hemmingway, and so on. Sadly, none of these classics were included in the “Essentials” collection. Was this because they were thought to be grade-inappropriate, or are the masters of these fine classics being intentionally passed over due to their Politically Correct classification of “those dead white guys”? Either way, something is amiss. I personally recall a 1957 9th grade required reading list that included these and so many more acclaimed American and British classics that were glaringly omitted in Common Core. So, what gives?
My over-riding question about these materials is this: Are these textbooks, supposedly prepared for the advanced education of high school seniors, evidence of today’s sadly dumbed-down educational standards? It is the observation of this older citizen, who attended school prior to the 1970’s, that quality and attention to enhancing our students’ individual critical thinking capabilities has been sorely neglected, if not completely abandoned.
Naturally, my critique of this particular Oregon county’s textbook content cannot be complete until I’m able to study the teachers’ instruction manuals/lesson plans that coincide with that content. Once this is accomplished, I would be in a position to better discern what messages this administration’s U.S. Department of Education intends to drive home to our children.
As to the damaging impact of this unwelcomed federal intrusion, it has been reported that Ze’ev Wuman, prominent software architect, electrical engineer, and established math advisory expert for California and Washington, D.C., opines that [rather than raising the bars of public education] CCSS’ watered down standards will delay proficiency with addition, subtraction, and multiplication in early grade school and gives miserly mathematical instruction at the high school level.
A more disturbing observation about Common Core is its invasive and prolonged psychological testing (“data mining”) of our children that is scheduled to proceed despite parental objection. According to Dr. Gary T. Thompson, Director of Clinical Training & Community Advocacy at the Early Life Child Psychology & Education Center, Inc., “Utah’s parents have been told in multiple town hall meetings by USOE [Utah State Office of Education] that they will never be able to have access to testing questions devised by AIR [American Institutes for Research] in order to ensure ‘test integrity.’ Although I am impressed with USOE and various politicians who stated that 15 parents and a few politicians will be allowed to view the tests being designed by AIR, I question their qualifications to perform anything more than a cursory review of the questions being designed.”
It should be noted that pursuant to the recently revised provisions (34 CFR § 99.31) of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), this mined data will span 20 years (K-12) of a child’s psychological, medical, personal, and educational information, and be marketed to government agencies and other high bidders.
A number of educators have come to know more about the actual CCSS teaching plans and, consequently, now protest that this federal program circumvents parental authority. There are some school districts wherein parents and teachers are allowed to be heard. Nevertheless, those same parents and teachers complain that their input will neither influence what Common Core ultimately teaches our children, nor will the parents and classroom teachers be provided the data mining measurements of how an individual child reacts either physically or emotionally to presented materials. If this is so, it is easy to conclude that this roughshod Common Core program is an intrusion; one that draws a strong parallel to well-established federal diktats that young children may be treated for venereal diseases and undergo abortions without the knowledge or permission of their parents. If, indeed, this program excludes parental and legislative oversight, it delivers the same type of wounding assault on parental authority and the American nuclear family. The feds are doing this unconstitutionally by claiming supreme authority over the emotional and psychological indoctrination of all America’s children.
At present, opting out may still be a legal – albeit not openly discussed - choice for those who prefer private or home schooling to public education. At first glance, this appears to be benign, but those opposing Common Core allege that this option is insidious; that it is based on children having to meet “accredited” standards to graduate. What the opposition points out is those “accredited” standards are to be set by Common Core and, unless those being privately or home schooled follow CCSS curricula and testing requirements, they will not be considered eligible for graduation and higher learning examinations.
It’s no secret that the Utah and Mississippi School systems are fighting mad, as are Californians Against Common Core. More States are climbing onto this bandwagon to protect the few children’s privacy and parental rights that remain. Just last week in Montgomery, Alabama, Republicans seeking to repeal the Common Core educational standards in Alabama scored their first victory. The Senate Education Committee approved a bill to knock down the standards adopted by the State Board of Education.
As I glean more facts about this seethingly controversial initiative, I will report by way of additional articles in this Common Core series. One thing is certain; this no-holds-barred indoctrination of our children has gone way too far. I suggest that after too many generations of public schooling by the federal government, we look closely at what is at stake and ask ourselves why, as a people, we have forgotten what we stand for, and what it is we can do to stop Common Core’s implementation. Do we acquiesce to this Administration’s transformative pet project, guaranteed to promote statist mediocrity and further dumbing down?
As a more positive alternative, we could give the feds their walking papers by reclaiming our Tenth Amendment autonomy. We could turn to a free market system where educators compete for education money by offering the finest, most challenging programs to reinvigorate the quest for excellence in America. Whichever we may decide, there is little time to act. By 2014, this indoctrination will have become fully ingrained in American life.
Bill O'Reilly's recent Fox News commentary really hit home with me when he lamented, "We're living in a barbaric society with the way we treat our elderly and our unborn."
"Webster defines the word "barbarian" this way: "a person regarded as savage, primitive, or uncivilized." And Webster defines "barbarity" like this: "brutal or inhuman conduct; an act or instance of cruelty." (The antonym for barbarity, by the way, is "kindness.")
One can conclude from these definitions that the actions of a barbarian are barbaric, defined as being "without civilizing influences; uncivilized, primitive," and certainly not kind by any stretch.
Mr. O'Reilly's comments were prompted by two reported acts that struck him as being barbaric. The first was an expectant mother's ingestion of cocaine only two days prior to her baby's anticipated birth. The second was New York Governor Cuomo's publicly announced intention to expand the abortion restrictions to allow for late-term abortions within his kingdom - no matter the viability of the baby. Existing New York law prohibits late-term slaughters of the innocent in the last trimester.
Kirsten Powers, Democrat contributor to O'Reilly's program, responded to these two news stories with, "The way this baby was disregarded and late term abortions are barbaric." Well, this writer couldn't agree with her more. And you tell me whether you agree with us only after you've actually heard the pitiful screams of such innocents.
I grew up in a time that allowed me to witness the wondrous early years of post-WWII America. Those were the years of infectious national pride and individual self-reliance. To the average Joe and his family, our nation represented earned rewards for honesty, hard work, and Christian charity. That concept of charity included families' caring for their elderly and offspring. Most particularly, we were a nation that regarded life as sacred and understood there was absolutely nothing more precious than the life of a newborn. As united people who shared the same moral standards, Americans then believed that the unborn child was to be cherished, as was its mother, who was charged by virtue of Nature's Law to nurture her precious creation both during pregnancy and up to adulthood. Those Americans were - and still are - in awe of the Reverence for Life and the individual's responsibility to uphold it.
The questions of whether Americans are really decent people who commit barbaric acts, and what care a mother should provide her innocent within, are matters yet to be decided by us, as a united nation. The fact that we are already a people who kill their own, however, is today's indisputable reality.
It’s been two years since I self-published “I Know You Know I’m Out Here! – A Contrarian’s Call for Respectful Communications.”
I set it up to be an “easy read” and something with which most readers would nod in understanding, if not total agreement. My core reasoning behind the writing was to clearly state my case regarding the critical importance of civility, in the hope that friends, family, associates, and acquaintances would understand the methods of my communicating madness.
The “madness” to which I refer is that of – in defiance of contemporary ridicule – an insistence that we each display basic respect to others. This is easily accomplished through exchanges of respectful civility throughout any and all communications. It is with severe chagrin, however, that I face the reality that my expressed reasoning on those pages appears to have been lost on most “I Know…”
readers, but for a few.
Because poorly written or generally disrespectful communications reflect inexcusable juvenile and/or undisciplined conduct that erodes societal fabric, I have decided to continue my battle against this unacceptable behavior. I intend to do so by means of this blog. If you miss the civility of good manners and believe such civility must be reinstated if our children are to enjoy a future in which good manners and mature communications strengthen its healthy viability, please activate the "RSS Feed" below, so we may journey together.
The following are points we'll be examining together. Kindly post a “yea” or “nay,” to let me know whether you like the idea.
- Thoughtful, timely, and well-mannered communications demonstrate a healthy regard for others.
- Instilling in our children their very real responsibility of demonstrating respectful behavior toward others will help guide them into a future of liberating integrity.