It was a first last weekend, both for San Diego, California’s Patrick Henry High School and for the nation. On October 30, the school’s student body crowned self-described lesbian Rebeca Arellano their homecoming “king” at a school pep rally, naming Arellano’s “girlfriend” Haileigh Adams, also a student at the school, homecoming queen. The bizarre turn of events apparently marks the first time that a pair of homosexuals have been crowned royalty in the peculiarly American homecoming tradition.
“Thanks to every single one of you!” Arellano wrote on her Facebook page, according to ABC News. “You guys made this happen and we are all part of something huge. I can’t fully express how grateful I am. I am completely shocked that this happened.” Added Arellano of Adams, “My girl looks absolutely flawless.”
Predictably, the pair received overwhelming support both locally and nationally, with Arellano’s Facebook page covered with congratulations, reported ABC. Teachers at the school made sure their approval was apparent as well, with one teacher telling Arellano, “Today school is a bit better because of you girls.”
Despite the public perception that public school teachers in general are underpaid, Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of “Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers,” says “the reality is that it’s just not true. There’s no way to look at the data and conclude that they are underpaid. They are certainly paid more than they can get if they work in the private sector…” In fact, Richwine found that “public-school teachers receive compensation about 52% higher than their skills would otherwise garner in the private sector.”
The reason for the study is that “We want to reform the way teachers are paid. We want to pay the good teachers a lot and the bad teachers not much, or move them out of the profession. We can’t really [get] reform of that kind without understanding the current situation.”
Previous studies that show teachers to be underpaid have grievous flaws and leave out critically important pieces of the compensation package, says Richwine. Most studies that show teachers as underpaid don’t take into account the richer retirement plans provided to teachers, their post-retirement health insurance coverage, and their shorter work year. In addition, job security is provably higher in teaching than in the private sector, says Richwine. Finally, under current practice it’s hard not only to pay the good teachers what they’re worth, it’s hard to know who those teachers are.
Demographic “experts” have said that the Earth now has 7 billion inhabitants, or soon will have, and population control groups are using the news as a pretext to warn of the need to check the population’s supposedly runaway growth. “Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the ‘symbolic’ date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it’s impossible to know for sure the specific time or day,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion threshold will not be reached until March.” The Times added that, whatever the differences in their methodology, “demographers agree that humanity remains on a steep growth curve, which is likely to keep climbing through the rest of this century.”
The United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) estimates that the world’s population will exceed 9.3 billion by 2050, and will pass 10.1 billion by the end of the century. “It could be far more, if birthrates do not continue to drop as they have in the last half-century,” warned the Times. Computer models have the bulk of the growth this century occurring in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, while the numbers in the wealthy and developed nations of Europe and North America are expected to remain stable. In fact, the populations of some countries, including Germany, Russia, and even Japan, are expected to drop.
The news prompted warning and debate from an army of population control “experts,” who lined up to offer their views on the extent of the “problem” brought on by the dramatic increase of people, and how best to address the issues.
When news broke of two women making sexual harassment allegations against GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, the women's identities were kept confidential to protect their privacy. Days after the story broke, however, one of Cain’s accusers — frustrated because of Cain's constant denials of such inappropriate conduct — indicated that she wanted to come forward and tell her side of the story. Yesterday evening, however, the Washington Post reported, “Joel P. Bennett, a lawyer representing one of two women who made the claims against Cain, said Tuesday that his client is barred from publicly relating her side because of a non-disclosure agreement she signed upon leaving the National Restaurant Association, where Cain served as president from 1996 through 1999.”
On Sunday, Politico reported that during Cain’s tenure as president and CEO of the restaurant association, two women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them “angry and uncomfortable.” Reports indicate that the women ultimately left the restaurant association after they signed non-disclosure agreements and were given financial payouts to settle the matter.
The story almost immediately went viral, prompting often-inconsistent answers from the Cain campaign. Cain attempted to explain his inconsistencies by asserting that because a significant amount of time had passed, he could not remember the details of the charges lodged against him. “When I was initially hit with this … I didn’t recall it right away,” he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham this morning, adding that he was “not changing the story but trying to fill as many details as I could possibly recall.”
Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, opened a news conference on Monday about an assault and attempted rape on Sunday in a local park by exhorting his law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals: “Our form of justice is not making it. Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.” Wright was pointing to the example of 46-year-old habitual criminal Walter Lance, of Spartanburg, to express his frustration with the flawed justice system that allows such a man to still be out on the streets committing crimes. Lance's latest arrest was for allegedly choking a woman walking her dog in Spartanburg's Milliken Park on Sunday and attempting to rape her.
According to Fox News, Wright told his citizens:
It just struck me wrong that we keep telling everyone "trust us, trust us, trust us," but in reality, you need to protect yourself. If you are not a convicted felon or someone who causes trouble or don't have any mental issues, buy a weapon to protect yourself and get some good training.
Mikhail Gorbachev has been at it again. The peripatetic former head of the Soviet Union was particularly busy in October, roving the world and spreading his gospel of globalism, global crises, and global solutions. On October 19, Gorbachev was the honored speaker at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he delivered an address entitled “Perspectives on Global Change.”
Lafayette College President Daniel H. Weiss introduced Gorbachev, noting that his visit was a celebration of the new Oechsle Center for Global Education.
“We have invited such a renowned international figure to address us tonight because what he has to say is enormously important,” said Weiss, “…he exemplifies the type of visionary, transformative leadership which we hope the Oechsle Center will inspire — and prepare — our students to emulate as they engage with the world throughout their own lives and careers.”
“Transformation,” transformational,” and “transformative” are well-worn words in Mr. Gorbachev’s globalist lexicon, always signifying a supposed urgent need to deconstruct the current political/economic system of sovereign, independent nation states and the market-based economy and restructure (transform) it into a globalized, centralized, socialized “new world order” (NWO).
In an effort to curb rising healthcare costs, states are limiting Medicaid hospital coverage for the poor to as few as 10 days a year. State governments claim the move is necessary to balance their meager budgets which have been battered by the economic downturn and the end to federal stimulus funding that helped keep their Medicaid programs afloat. Hospital executives and advocates for the impoverished adamantly oppose the measure, as it will place limits on medical care, bear more costs to hospitals, and inflate charges for privately insured patients.
Some states will be instituting more stringent restrictions than others, as Arizona plans to limit Medicaid recipients to 25 days of coverage while Hawaii plans to slash coverage to a mere 10 days a year, the fewest of any other state. The restrictions will not include children, the elderly, disabled, pregnant women, and those receiving cancer treatment.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade association for the health insurance industry, says private insurers generally do not limit hospital coverage. Rosemary Blackmon, executive vice president of the Alabama Hospital Association, said that "for the most part hospitals do what they can" to treat Medicaid patients despite government limits. Likewise, Arizona hospitals will not discharge or refuse treatment to Medicaid patients who need care, asserted Peter Wertheim, spokesman for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, so "hospitals will get stuck with the bill."
One of the great advantages to being an octogenarian is having lived through a great deal of history. That gives one a perspective on life that the young — everyone under 60 — does not have. I remember the days when I would look around and find myself perhaps the youngest person in the crowd. I took great delight in that. Today I look around and I am usually the oldest.
But I know that God has kept me around for a purpose, and I suspect that He wants me to keep doing what I have been doing for the last 40 years: writing mainly about education and promoting homeschooling.
How different is education today from what it was when I first attended a public school back in New York City in the early 1930s! That was during the Great Depression, but I don’t remember anyone I knew being depressed. My father was in the produce business; thus, we always had plenty of food on the table. My mother actually made her own noodles for chicken soup. She also made her own gefilte fish (stuffed fish), which tasted a lot better than the bottled variety they sell in today’s supermarkets. I was also able to walk to school and come home for lunch, which consisted of a fried egg sandwich and a glass of milk. I remember admiring the smiling policeman who stopped traffic so that we could cross the avenue on our way to the neighborhood school.
On Saturdays my friends and I went to the movies. Price of admission? Ten cents. In those days a penny could get you a Tootsie Roll, a package of gum, a bun. Five cents could get you a great tasting hotdog.