Tragedy of the American Dreamland
...Reading Dreamland, you can see why unemployed former mill workers could fall into this kind of addiction, but it’s harder to see why the kids of the rich do. Quinones shows that the specific motivations may be different, but the basic motivation is the same: wanting relief from the perceived pain of living. For the middle class and the well-off, it’s a matter of boredom, of believing that life should be pleasurable all the time, and that instant gratification is their birthright as Americans.
The book is full of sad stories, but the saddest is the tale of Russian Pentecostals in Portland, Oregon. Massive number of these persecuted Christians emigrated from the Soviet Union to the US, and settled mostly on the West Coast. They were religious, conservative, and strict churchgoers. But their kids went to school with other Americans, and came to see church life as boring and too restrictive. They tried OxyContin, and moved into heroin. Hundreds of these Russian Pentecostal kids became addicts. Their parents did not know what to do... Don't miss-we are all touched by this in some way....PD
The Abortion Debate Is Not About When Life Begins
...Other pro-choicers argue that human rights are dependent on factors such “having wants and desires
” or the capability “of attributing to her own existence some . . . basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her,”
or a maternal choice.
These positions are less arbitrary and more intellectually sound than viability, but they are morally abhorent.
Some on the pro-choice side acknowledge
that — based on these approaches — some humans outside a womb also are not entitled to human rights. As two pro-choicers admit
, in their view, “all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons,” including some “mentally retarded human individuals.” It is unnecessary to point out the ghastly implications of the pro-choice position as its proponents freely acknowledge them...
Why Animal Lovers Should Abhor Planned Parenthood
...If an analogous series of undercover videos had documented the cold-blooded mass-scale killing, dissection, and part-selling of other members of the animal kingdom — elephants, say — all hell would have broken loose by now. Moreover, it would be issuing specifically from quarters that are either sitting out the debate over Planned Parenthood or on the wrong side of it. Every animal-welfare organization would be parading in the streets with pictures of the carnage, collecting petition signatures and demanding new legislation. Every Millennial with a Facebook page would post a new symbol of righteousness — for starters, Cecil the lion. From the New York Times to Media Matters, Huffington Post to Jezebel, the liberal-Left blogosphere would thunder with cries for justice and humanity. And they would be joined by many others outside their precincts, by people who just can’t bear cruelty to animals.
To point out the obvious similarities between pictures of callously destroyed fetuses such as those in the videos and pictures of other callously destroyed animals already out of the womb isn’t to posit moral equivalence. Nor is it to expect moral change overnight. But this moment should be seized for what it is: a new opportunity to reach people of good intentions who are concerned for animal well-being, and to show them why they should want no part in the industrial bloodbath that is abortion on demand...
Who are the Planned Parenthood Clergy?
...Eight are Christian pastors, three are Reformed Jewish rabbis, one is Muslim, one is a Unitarian Universalist and one is an adherent of Universal Sufism. Of the pastors, three are Episcopalians, two are Congregationalist (UCC), two are Baptist and one is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I’ve reported a few interesting tidbits about each clergy person below...
45 Suspected Human Trafficking Victims Rescued in Indonesia
Forty-five Burmese fishermen have been rescued from a hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they had been placed by human traffickers after traveling to the country with fabricated documents. The AP
reports reports the men were victims of human trafficking and had previously worked for four years as slave labor on Thai boats in the Ambon island chain.
Indonesian police found the men from a cellphone signal in Jakarta. Authorities do not yet know who was the mastermind behind the trafficking network, nor do they know who they men traveled without real documents.
What Vacation Bible School Looks Like in a Nursing Home
The men are now being kept in a safe house for protection. Some were confused about how they came to Jakarta from Ambon...
Scandinavia Isn’t A Socialist Paradise
If you’re looking for a prosperous European country to emulate, don’t look to the high-tax social democracies of Scandinavia. Check out Switzerland, instead...
Homeschooling in the City
...One myth that needs busting is that homeschoolers dream of re-creating the one-room schoolhouses of yesteryear. “Public schools were designed in a time when people were working in factories and offices and had the same job for 30 or 40 years. That’s not the way the world is anymore,” says Smith. “Nowadays you can get anything customized,” she says, including children’s educations, and modern communications technology and Internet-based curricula have enabled homeschoolers to do just that. Customization is not typically what traditional schools do well—certainly not in the sclerotic school districts of the nation’s biggest cities.
Lousy as the public schools often are, urban parochial schools don’t always measure up, either. Ottavia Egan grew up in Italy, the daughter of an American mother and an Italian father. Today, she lives on 72nd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her husband, Patrick, and their four kids. The Egans’ middle school–aged daughter had attended a local parochial school, where the books assigned tended toward “junky” literature, paranormal horror stories, and vampire-themed fiction. “These were the only kinds of books my daughter would read willingly. I had to plead with her to give the classics a try,” she says...
This summer, a staff member at my grandmother’s nursing home noticed all the announcements around our community for Vacation Bible School programs. She began talking with the residents about their VBS experiences, many of them as teachers over the years. As they reminisced, the idea came to her to bring VBS back to them.
“This is their home,” said Anita Douglas, who coordinates activities for the center. “They can’t leave here, so I wanted to bring something they have such fond memories of back to them.” One of the residents suggested asking my mother, who visits my grandmother there every day and holds a reading hour for the patients each week, to coordinate it.
Though we’d never heard of VBS going on the road to a nursing home, my mother was a natural choice. She teaches the kindergarten Sunday School class at her church and helps with VBS, so she has a ready store of ideas, crafts, and curriculum...