Deb Lea Benefiel
It can be said some people think too much. I have been told I do. My favorite philosophy professor told me not to worry about it. He said “those who say you think too much probably don’t think enough”. Those words resonate in my head on a regular basis and I thank God I was fortunate and honored enough to be one of his students.
I mention this in passing to emphasize how important it is to think for ourselves about virtually everything these days. We cannot allow the main stream media or talking heads to do our thinking for us and must trust our gut feelings. This brings me to the subject of this opinion article which is what is happening that we are missing in regards to recent events surrounding Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md.
Since the several months following Ferguson, our nation has been under scrutiny by other nations as well as the UN governing body as having “rogue” police in every city, town and village in America. Of all places, even Iran has weighed in on our Law Enforcement. Is there anyone out there who is feeling the least bit outraged by this?
After the fuse has been lit, enter Al Sharpton injecting his warped brand of “equality and justice” to further fuel the fire of unrest. Honorable and loving people of God such as the Reverend Alveda King should be the voice of reason, sanity and clarity in these times but sadly, nobody is listening.
Does it not seem strange that Al Sharpton pays regular visits to the White House and has gone on record to state he assists President Obama in decision making for our country? Mr. Sharpton visited the White House before the Ferguson riots, and again afterward. He then visited the White House before the indictments in Baltimore and made his appearance with the mayor just before said indictments were announced. He acted as bodyguard and spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who also happens to be the present secretary of the DNC. Being an elected public official, Ms. Rawlings-Blake should always speak for herself.
I am not saying the Baltimore officers are not responsible for what ensued and ultimately resulted in the death of Freddie Gray, they may well have been. The problem is those six officers have already been tried and convicted by the very people who have sworn to find the truth through our judicial system.
The point of all this comes down to public opinion and being manipulated to believe the worst with very little evidence. Has anyone else noticed a steady increase in the amount of “bad cop” videos that are springing up on social media sites? There are so many these days it is becoming the norm. There is never any explanation or follow up information for these videos and people, even conservatives who supported Law Enforcement Officers until recently, are now allowing these videos to change their attitudes. They are making comments about how “out of control” law enforcement is.
Putting all of this together takes some thinking and paying attention to subtleties which have slowly surfaced. There have also been comments made which tie all this together, if one is willing to go there. I am.
Al Sharpton’s latest outrageous call to action should have resonated as something to be very wary of. Instead, it has gone largely unnoticed. He is calling for a national police force to be overseen by the Department of Justice which is now headed by Loretta Lynch who has been described as Eric Holder on steroids. Is anybody connecting the dots with me?
We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country. In the 20th century, they had to fight states’ rights in — to get the right to vote. We’re going to have to fight states’ rights in terms of closing down police cases. – Al Sharpton
It might be better to stop falling for what one allows the MSM to tell them and start thinking for oneself. We are being herded into total anarchy because we are falling in line with the rest of the sheep. As with so many other Executive Orders, it will happen and nobody will know until it is too late.
Please stop being so quick to judge based on limited information and start asking more questions and looking beyond the obvious.
* This is the first in a series of articles examining possible causes for the decline of America’s youth. It is not intended to incriminate anyone or any one thing. The intention is to provoke thought and possibly create a dialogue which can address some issues before it is too late for some of our youth and change the direction of our country’s future, to be outstanding citizens and leaders.
This article is not meant to indict the education system. It is to look at possible reasons why our children are becoming part of an entitlement society. Not all children are this way nor the majority, but there are enough to make it apparent our nation is in trouble. With the chaos infesting the world today, people are heard asking, “What happened, and how did we not notice?” What has happened is not an easy question to answer and there are many reasons why a large number of America’s youth are on a downhill slide.
Let’s take a good look at our schools. Higher and higher expectations are put on our children, yet the Huffington Post reports the nation’s world academic ranking has fallen to average and is ranked 14th in reading skills. Some may ask how that can be. The answers may lie in part, to the curriculum and also testing to determine a child’s progress. There is no accountability for actual learning in the classroom. In other words, as long as a student is scoring well on standardized testing, grades are not factors in determining whether a child is actually learning.
Adding fuel to the already smoldering fire, Common Core has changed the way mathematics has been taught for decades and made it almost impossible to understand. Not only have mathematics been changed by Common Core, but history has been re-written to further dumb-down students about the actual history of our nation and the world. Common Core is teaching an alternate set of values as well as a false narrative about our country. The Federal government, who is undoubtedly responsible for bringing Common Core into our schools, should not be involved in our children’s education. Some states have taken action to remove Common Core from their schools and write their own standards for education.
The next issue goes back to parental involvement. There is no delicate way to say this but parents need to give control back to the faculty in matters of discipline. The ACLU, court system and teachers unions have all done good service in certain matters. Where schools are concerned, their involvement has had negative effects. They have done nothing but allow outrageous claims of injustice to be represented causing harm to the mission of schools as vehicles for molding children into responsible adults. All of the involvement has led to a breakdown of accountability by students. Tenured teachers are protected from being fired even when they are poor educators and some tenured staff become lazy because they know the union protects them. It is important to note that we certainly have more great teachers than poor ones, but the poor ones reflect on all teachers in a negative way. It would be better to stop protecting them for the benefit of all.
Children are well aware that discipline is limited to a ‘talking to’ or a phone call to parents. Unfortunately, this means nothing to students. Parents have reached the point where the child is put before the school. Parents believe their children won’t and don’t act out at school and are being ‘picked on’ by the faculty or staff. This is certainly not the case and far from the truth. Parents, simply put, your kids are lying to you. There are students who have little or no respect at all. They break rules, skip classes, use foul language and even make out in the halls in public. They do this because they know they can and nobody can step in to change it. It is strongly advised any parent who has a child in middle or high school to be a “fly on the wall” to see what actually goes on. The biggest mistake of all has been the removal of God from the schools. If you think back to a time when prayer was still allowed in schools, you would realize the difference.
This behavior is happening in most public school systems in America. When the ACLU, the courts and the teachers unions stepped through the front doors of our schools, it opened a Pandora’s Box of problems that has contributed greatly to the decline of America.
This article is not meant to offend anyone. It is, however, intended to shake people up and get them involved in taking back our schools. A discussion must be started and action needs to be taken. We all realize that not all students are indicative of what was covered here, but the time has come to realize there are problems which need to be addressed. We need strong, competent, intelligent, courteous and respectful students.
Parents can start by listening to their children and talking about issues with the curriculum. The next step is to get involved with other parents and discuss problems and possible solutions. Become so well versed the teacher’s unions and government will have to listen. Please get involved. They are our future.
Be sure to catch the next part in this Education series to be published on Wednesday, February 11.
Today’s society is amazing in the way that confounds the mind. Liberals and progressives recognize there is a “war on women” and speak to inequality in the workplace, concerning wages and position as the cause. Agreeably, there are still workplace inequalities, but women have made huge strides in this area. This makes one wonder what type of value system their liberal minds have created because the real war on women goes much deeper and is far more insidious. It is neglected by those same people, the liberals, who fail to recognize the abuses and atrocities happening all around us every minute of every single day. One may ask, “Why this is so?” It is, for the most part, because it is not politically correct to talk about such things. Unless one has been a victim or been involved in a situation indirectly, it is difficult to understand. Of course there are also those who choose to turn a blind eye rather than get involved.
Domestic violence is one huge way the real war on women is manifested. It has far reaching effects that involve more than the person being abused. It affects the entire family unit. Children are damaged mentally and emotionally and carry the scars for many years, sometimes without realizing it. Domestic violence doesn’t just happen. It has, in most cases, been a way of life for the abuser since childhood. Children learn what they see and hear.
Abuse comes in many forms; physical violence, emotional, verbal, sexual, and financial abuse. The old adage about “sticks and stones” is not always true. Words are a powerful tool for someone who aims to harm and control another. Verbal and emotional abuse can be the most difficult to overcome. The scars aren’t visible but are still very deep.
Physical violence is what we hear about in the news. There are those public figures who argue domestic violence is not at epidemic proportions. Dr. Ben Carson made such a claim recently on The O’Reilly Factor.
Dr. Carson is foremost in his field as a neurologist and is quite intelligent and esteemed, but one has to wonder how out of touch with society he is to make such a claim.
Consider this, according to the FBI, two million women are victims of physical abuse in the US annually. Physical abuse, by either spouse or partner, is the number one cause of injury to females who are age 15 to 44 years. Keep in mind these are only the reported incidents. More than 1400 women are killed annually from physical abuse. Violent children, who have been institutionalized, had witnessed extreme violence in 79% or cases.
There are signs which will allow a person to recognize a potentially violent domestic environment. These signs are not only recognizable in men, but women as well. Domestic violence is not gender based. The warning signs consist of:
- A partner with a bad temper who is jealous or possessive.
- An over eagerness to please a partner by the victim.
- Injuries explained as “accidents” or clumsiness, which occur frequently.
- Absences from work, school or other activities which are inconsistent.
- Inappropriate clothing or accessories used to hide injuries.
- Low self esteem and self worth.
- Limited accessibility to family, friends, money and transportation.
- Depression and/or anxiety disorders and changes in personality.
To read more about the symptoms of abuse click here.
Domestic violence is not limited to adults. Two in ten teenage girls say they have been abused, either physically or sexually, by a dating partner. Both boys and girls are equal victims of abuse in teen relationships. One in five teenage girls, who have been in a relationship, stated boyfriends threatened violence or self harm if the relationship ended. Click here for more statistics on domestic violence.
The real war on women is happening every day in every neighborhood in every town or city across the nation. The next time someone suggests it isn’t necessarily an epidemic, remind them they have no idea what is happening in the real world. This is just one example of the war on women. There are others to be sure, but we must to start a dialogue which exposes it and sets the record straight.
For more information on domestic violence, please contact The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you are in a situation where domestic violence is taking place and are ready for help, call the national Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). They can, and will, provide you with resources in your area.
Until watching Dinesh D’Souza’s “America”, words to describe The Pledge of Allegiance failed to convey what it meant. The pledge is a declaration of love for this great country called The United States of America. In D’Souza’s words, it is the idea of America that makes it so great.
It’s been suggested the pledge should be done away with because of its socialist origins. Others say it should only be a pledge to our constitution. I think the pledge is perfect the way it is. It is the idea it conveys to the rest of the world of what our country represents. It is the symbol of that idea we are pledging our allegiance to.
Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister (who was later forced out of the church for preaching socialism) and also a member of the Socialist Party, was hired in 1891 by James Upham to write the pledge for the purpose of encouraging public schools to fly the flag. This was to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Columbus “discovering” the Americas. Bellamy took advantage of the opportunity as a way to further his socialist beliefs. The original version Bellamy penned was, “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Those words convey a completely different meaning from the ones we know today, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
These words are our declaration of love and support for the idea which is America. We are not pledging to the flag itself, we are pledging to what it stands for! No other country does this. We are unique in every way. There are those that want to destroy this idea so they seek out ways to attack from within.
If you choose to not say the pledge, you are free to do so. It’s based on the idea our flag represents. If you do not want to believe our country was built on Judeo-Christian values and think “under God” isn’t appropriate, don’t say it! Nobody is forced to believe what they don’t because of the idea of freedom of religion.
If you don’t support the pledge or the ideas it represents, it does make me wonder; why are you here? If the idea of the United States of America and pledging allegiance to it is so repulsive, why are you here? You are free to leave any time you wish. The rest of us will wish you well, say a prayer for you and send you on your way with a big God Bless America.
You see, this is a unique and quite wonderful country and we want to keep it that way. We are free because of the idea. And the pledge? It reminds us of it every time we stand proudly and recite it.
During virtually every election cycle, people are heard saying “I’m not voting.” Yet, their reasons are usually based on fairly inane excuses. Let’s take a look back at history and how we came to have the right to vote in the first place. Perhaps some of the non-voting population simply needs a refresher in our nation’s history. It may remind all of us about how and why our country came to be the greatest in the world.
The Mayflower landed in Massachusetts on November 21, 1620. The Pilgrims came to the European colony to escape religious persecution and economic hardship. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The next part of history is, of course, the establishment of a new country with individual rights. Our forefathers wrote documents to insure these rights to be inalienable, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights which is part of the Constitution of the United States of America. Since the formation of our country, there have been thirteen wars to defend these rights. The number of service members who either died or were permanently disabled as a result is quite sobering. These statistics don’t even include the previous two years.
The right to vote has been both hard fought and costly, in terms of currency and, more importantly, human lives. For some, though, the right to vote became a waiting game. Black Americans did not have the right to vote until 1870 with the addition of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. They were still denied the right by some states until the Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, a nearly 100 year wait. Women, meanwhile, didn’t gain the right to vote until August 18, 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
With all the history attached to just one single right, it really is the height of hypocrisy for anyone that doesn’t exercise that right to complain about the state of our great nation right now or how our local governments are failing. With today’s methods for voting, standing in line may take 15 minutes out of your day. Young children are allowed in polling places, so that’s no excuse either. In many places polls are open for as many as twelve and sometimes a full fourteen hours. If none of these options work, absentee ballots are available to anyone.
The apex of this hypocrisy has to be defined as someone who refuses to vote because their personal favorite did not make the ballot. WHAT?? That statement may sum up what is wrong with this country! It seems we live in an “all about me” society. No candidate will ever meet every voter’s criteria. The most anyone can do is to vote for the person whose ideals most closely align with their own. It may be necessary to become involved with the candidate you like. What better way to help get their message out and fund raise than by becoming a part of their campaign!
Some food for thought: If every registered Republican had gone to the polls and voted in November of 2012, Mitt Romney would have, without a doubt, been elected President. This is an undeniable fact. Instead, because “their guy” wasn’t nominated, they stayed home. Did that attitude help or hinder the state of our Nation?
There is a lesson to be learned. Do not let your ego keep you from exercising the right to vote. Too many people have either given their lives or left part of themselves on the battlefield to insure that right. It’s not too late. You have more than two weeks until election day; plenty of time to get out there and vote!!
In light of recent stories about First Lady Michelle Obama’s guidelines for school lunches becoming even tighter, it’s time to take an insider’s look at the situation. This is based on a school system in a small town in middle America. This school system takes care of students from two towns and outlying areas. Some students are from families who have lived in the area for generations and are farmers. Other families are upper middle class who commute to work in a large city environment. There are all economic backgrounds represented. The school system consists of three elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school and one high school. There are free breakfast and lunch programs for those in need. The focus will be on the high school although there are some remarks on the elementary school as well.
The high school has a population of approximately 1400 students divided into three lunch hours. There are four serving lines for each lunch hour. Each day, there is 1965 gallons of trash just from lunch. Based on a five-day week, that is 9825 gallons of trash. Mind you, this is trash accumulated from lunch only. There is a meal protocol each student is required to follow telling them what they must have on their tray when checking out. This might sound like a great idea on the face of it, ensuring students get enough food to fill them up. Not so! Most times, fruit which is required never makes it to the table. It is thrown away immediately after checking out and before students even sit down. Some fruit is used for various activities such as catch and soccer. These would be apples and oranges. Vegetables make it further. They get to the table but then end up in the trash as students exit the cafeteria.
The lunch menus are kept for nine weeks before they are changed. This means the same foods are being eaten every week for nine weeks. There are some items that are on the menu as many as three times per week. Because the students like one of the menu items, they tend to eat that same thing at least three times in the same week. They complain about the taste of the food saying they wish they had their old menu items back. They use an exorbitant amount of condiments to mask the taste of the food. Ranch dressing is by far the most popular. There are those students who have resorted to bringing their own lunches to avoid the ones being served at school.
The reason for watching and learning about what is happening at school regarding lunches is because of comments that have been made ranging from elementary students saying they are still hungry after eating lunch because they don’t get enough to eat, to high school students remarks that Mrs. Obama needs to stop telling them what to eat. Please note the elementary schools lunch menus differ from the high school. Each level has its own protocol to follow. High school students are allowed to go back through the line and purchase extra food if they want.
The unfortunate consequence of all this, parents are paying twice for food their children aren’t even eating because it doesn’t taste good. They pay first through taxes that fund the school, and they pay again for their children’s weekly lunches. Some students spend up to $20 weekly on lunches in high school.
To qualify all this, the school system referred to has a very large and active athletic program and many of the students are involved. The community has many athletic programs available and the majority of children participate in at least one.
Michelle Obama, not being a registered dietitian or nutritionist has failed to see the real problem with runaway obesity in school age children. The obesity rate in this school system would rank in the minimal category. It is mostly because the children are physically active and are physically fit. There is no denying soda and fast food are not good for children, BUT everything in moderation. Mrs. Obama is a bit of a hypocrite in that her own daughters attend a private school with chefs and an unlimited menu.
Maybe Mrs. Obama would be better off sticking to what she does best… oh snap! That would be spending taxpayer money on lavish vacations all over the world. Well, then she should stick to dancing with turnips and stop forcing them on our children!