Some common sense questions about Quebec's new government-funded "registry of homophobic acts"
(Posted by Bryana Joy on June 27, 2012)
Homosexual activists have become progressively more demanding over the past few decades. First they wanted their lifestyle to be legalized. Then they wanted civil unions. Then they wanted their relationships to be recognized by the government as marriages. Then they wanted religious business owners to be forced to provide services for their weddings. Then they wanted public schools to present same-sex marriage as normal to children as young as five. Then they wanted to ensure that schools didn’t inform parents about these curriculums. Then they wanted to prohibit parents from removing their children from these classes. Then they wanted to ban mental health professionals from treating minors with any form of sexual orientation change therapy.
Now they want to keep a government-funded registry of dissenting opinions. In Quebec, they already are.
On Monday, Quebec homosexual activist group, Gai Ecoute, launched a “registry of homophobic acts” with support and funding from the Quebec Government’s Justice Department. The Justice Ministry last year pledged $7 million to “anti-homophobia” activities. The registry will take reports from anonymous tipsters calling attention to actions deemed to be “homophobic.” Gai Ecoute stated in a press release that anyone experiencing or witnessing such actions “must” report them to the registry.
Included in the definition of actions classified as ‘homophobic’ and deemed worthy of reporting to the registry are: ‘any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, offensive graffiti, abuse, injurious mockery, inappropriate media coverage and discrimination.’
Yes, in Quebec, “any negative word toward homosexuality in general,” will now be documented in a registry maintained by a homosexual activist group and analyzed by police. Furthermore, “inappropriate media coverage” will likewise be recorded. I wonder if that includes this article I’m writing right now?
Montreal police Commander Alain Gagnon explained, “Not all hurtful things that are said are illegal. Some things may just be part of a person’s freedom of speech. But this registry will help (police) understand what is going on province-wide.”
It sounds like the sort of rationale we might hear presented in defense of any other form of intrusive government surveillance of our lives: “don’t worry. You’re not necessarily doing anything wrong. We’re just here to make sure you don’t. And to gauge the cultural climate, you know – (to understand who you are and what you do and how you think and why in the heck you insist on disagreeing with us.)”
What’s the big deal? Well, I’ll be frank: I’m distrustful of a government that encourages its citizens to spy on one another, to report each other, a government that breeds distrust and ill-will and makes people afraid to say what they think. I have this nagging suspicion that a government which expends energy, money and time in getting its citizens to squabble among themselves is a government up to no good. It sounds too much like the infamous totalitarian regimes in dystopian literature and the recent history of the world.
But there’s another reason why I’m so stalwartly opposed to any “national registry of homophobic acts.” There’s another reason why it makes me feel harried and troubled and concerned about the future. If, as Gagnon assures us, not all of the actions that the government is encouraging citizens to report are, in fact, illegal, why are they being encouraged to report these activities at all? If, as he explains, much of what is being recorded is protected by the right to freedom of speech, why is this speech being recorded in the first place?
The answer to this question is painfully obvious: Quebec’s Justice Department disapproves of a certain form of speech that happens to be protected by free speech laws in Quebec. The Justice Department apparently disapproves of religious leaders who disapprove of homosexuality. It disapproves of journalists who portray gay pride events in a negative light, perhaps. In short, it would seem that it disapproves of any criticism of anything pertaining to homosexuality. And thus, although it cannot legally do anything to censor this speech, it has determined to do everything it can to intimidate, frighten and hassle citizens into keeping their “unacceptable” ideas to themselves.
And here is where we arrive at the crucial question: since when is it the government’s responsibility to stifle discussion of controversial issues? Why does the government feel that it must take sides in national philosophical debates and force the will of one party onto the other? When there is dissension in a nation concerning a point of moral or religious creed or doctrine, how dare the government come down on one side of the divide and pressure the other side to cease its opposition?
Moreover, pertaining to incidents of petty name-calling and childish insults, since when is the government a babysitter who has to make sure that we all “play nice” and that no one calls little Johnny “four eyes” on account of his glasses?
SHOCK VIDEO: President Obama admits that his new immigration directive is illegal
(Posted by Bryana Joy on June 19, 2012)
President Obama promised on Friday to “lift the shadow of deportation” from America and unleashed a maelstrom of criticism when he announced his new plan to halt deportations of illegal US residents who were brought to the country as children. After the Republican-majority Congress killed the more far-reaching Dream Act, Obama’s new measure has been referred to as the “Dream Act Lite.” The controversy, however, stems not simply from the fact that Republicans and Democrats have radically differing opinions on the issue of immigration. No, the contention is primarily due to the President’s use of an executive order to bypass Congress.
Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the change, “violates President Obama’s oath to uphold the laws of this land."
Florida Representative Allen West agreed. “We have representative government,” West said in a statement, “and I think right now this shows that we're getting away from government that's based upon the consent of the American people, and we're starting to live under a rule by edict or executive order.”
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham weighed in on the debate, tweeting, “President Obama’s attempt to go around Congress and the American people is at best unwise and possibly illegal.”
Someone else went even further, explaining how the act of suspending deportations through executive order is entirely contrary to the law of the land. “ Congress passes the law,” explained this prominent Constitutional Law professor. “The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. There are enough laws on the books, by Congress, that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates, would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”
Yes, you have it: it was President Obama who made this statement just over a year ago, in the spring of 2011. This may be one of those situations where you just have to see it for yourself:
When America was forged into a nation just a couple of dozen decades ago, it was unique in that it was a nation governed by the rule of law. Whereas all of Europe was ruled by leaders who bore the government on their shoulders, composed laws, and issued mandates, America’s governmental system was set up in such a way that an executive official presided over the people for the express purpose of enforcing the laws created by the legislature. This design was no accident – it was intended to prevent any one person from wielding power over the rest. We’re not supposed to be a nation ruled by people, but a nation ruled by law. And in a nation under the rule of law, no one is above the law.
President Obama seems to have understood this at one time, although it is evident from the video clip above that he didn’t respect it, appreciate it, or like it. Unfortunately, his recent action indicates that he no longer cares about the foundation upon which America was erected.
Is DREAM legislation a good thing? Maybe. Maybe not. But if President Obama feels as strongly about it as he appears to, he has definitely missed his calling. Obama should be in the legislature, not in the Oval office. It is the legislature which makes decisions regarding the law. The duties of the executive branch are merely to execute the laws that a representative body of citizens has already passed. When the executive disregards the will of the people’s duly elected representatives and begins dictating commands at his own whims, we call him a dic^#&@!*$tor.
Gay rights abridged in California as California senate votes to ban sexual orientation change efforts and same-sex attraction therapy for minors
(Posted by Bryana Joy on June 11, 2012)
Gay rights were abridged in California earlier this week when the California Senate passed a bill which would make it a crime for a mental health professional to conduct sexual orientation change efforts with a consensual minor. If this bill is signed into law, it will mean that California teenagers with gender identity issues will be prohibited from seeking reparative counseling from credentialed psychologists – even if both they and their parents want this therapy.
SB 1172 as it was originally written criminalized sexual orientation change efforts “ by means of therapeutic deception,” which was defined as “a representation by a psychotherapist that sexual orientation change efforts ... can or will reduce [homosexual conduct or desire]. While the version of the bill that was finally passed does not include any of these flowery explanations and merely consists of the ban itself, the additional comments from the earlier version of the bill reveal the mindset of its author.
The person who sat down to write this bill clearly did so in the confidence that a psychology which allows for sexual orientation change (practicing homosexuals choosing to become ex-gays) is flawed and harmful to patients. Are they right? The ex-gay community certainly doesn’t think so! On the contrary, they are grateful for the counselors and mental health practitioners that helped them kick a lifestyle they abhorred.
Unbeknownst to many, the American Psychological Association, an organization very supportive of homosexuality, admits that there is no scientific consensus concerning the root factors which cause people to identify as homosexual. They state on their site:
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.
Another fascinating study which was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Wheaton College, recently explored the experiences of homosexuals who participated in sexual orientation change counseling. The authors of the study state that,
Evidence emerged from the study suggesting that change of homosexual orientation appears possible for some, and that psychological distress did not increase on average as a result of the involvement in the change process.
Despite this evidence, many remain unmoved and, like the author of this bill, insist that therapy which considers same-sex attraction as treatable or alterable is quack-science. And that’s OK. That’s one of their inalienable rights. What these doubters do not have a right to do, however, is to impose their views on others through the medium of government by prohibiting the practice of counseling they deem inappropriate. What these doubters do not have a right to do is to ban parents from choosing the therapist that they deem best for their children. What they do not have a right to do is to prohibit teens from getting the help they want. What they do not have a right to do is to dictate what mental health practices are best for us and to come down on one side of the scientific establishment to the exclusion of the other.
Mental health practice differs significantly from most medical practice by its very definition. While the term “mental health” describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder, most other forms of medical practice deal with physical well-being. With modern technology and years of scientific data and experimentation to draw from, it’s relatively easy in our society to determine whether or not a person is physically healthy and how to make them more so. Unfortunately, it’s often not as easy to determine whether or not a person is mentally healthy, simple due to the fact that there are differing opinions concerning what it means to be in a state of so-called psychological well-being.
Persons from different cultures who adhere to different belief systems are sure to clash on matters of mental health. Some may assert that the seemingly primitive ideologies of others render them mentally unstable and unhealthy. What some perceive as healthy responses to conflict may be perceived by others to be entirely inappropriate given the circumstances. In conclusion, it is impossible to determine what psychological well-being looks like without making a value-based judgment.
We don’t all share the same values in America. We can’t allow the government to stifle freedom of expression by defining mental health for us. And if our legislators are blocking young people’s access to a reparative therapy they feel may restore them to a state of psychological well-being, perhaps these legislators are infringing on the right to the pursuit of happiness… (First posted at The College Conservative)
"There is nothing more distressing to every good patriot, to every good American, than the hard, scoffing spirit which treats the allegation of dishonesty in a public man as a cause for laughter. Such laughter is worse than the crackling of thorns under a pot, for it denotes not merely the vacant mind, but the heart in which high emotions have been choked before they could grow to fruition."(The Man With The Muck Rake)
Stories From The Education System: Tales of incompetent educators, short-sighted policies, and the general failure of the public education system from the week of June 1st.
(Posted by Bryana Joy on June 03, 2012)
Half of Florida students fail reading portion of new state test
Reuters reported last week that almost half of Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state’s new standardized test. Only 52% of freshman and 50% of sophomores managed to score at their grade levels. According to Reuters, students in the 10th grade must pass the exam in order to eventually graduate but can retake it if they fail. More information about the new test is available on the Florida Depart of Education website. The test had been toughened since last year and Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson said in a statement: "We are asking more from our students and teachers than we ever have, and I am proud of their hard work.”
While Robinson’s optimism may be entertaining, it certainly isn’t laudable, considering that the disappointment at hand concerns the mental well-being and competence of an entire generation of Floridians. The sample reading questions for the new test, which are available online, deal with non-fiction articles and a user’s manual which the student is expected to read before answering a series of comprehension questions. The fact that only half of Florida’s high school students were able to earn even a passing grade on this test raises questions about these students’ abilities to process and understand ideas presented in the written form. How will a barely literate population become informed and how will it know how to weigh and consider the opinions it encounters?
While Florida’s long-term prospects may seem grim, a little investigation into the state’s testing system might explain why the Florida Department of Education does not appear to be overly concerned by the test results. Only days before the test was administered, the State Board of Education had met in an emergency session to lower the standards needed to pass the writing portion of the test. Preliminary results had indicated that only about one-third of students would pass the writing portion.
After all, why should the Board of Education fret themselves over the concerns of the future generation? They won’t even be here to see most of it!
Head Start disappointments
Even as President Obama’s new Life of Julia campaign meme stirs up controversy among politically liberal and conservative pundits alike, another disturbing story from Florida raises some questions about the prudence of touting the early-childhood education program, Head Start. The Life of Julia, which seeks to, “take a look at how President Obama's policies help one woman over her lifetime—and how Mitt Romney would change her story,” speaks glowingly of Head Start. It proclaims:
“Under President Obama, Julia is enrolled in a Head Start program to help get her ready for school. Because of steps President Obama has taken to improve programs like this one, Julia joins thousands of students across the country who will start kindergarten ready to learn and succeed.”
Unfortunately for President Obama’s campaign, the Miami Herald had some sad news to report this month concerning the Head Start program, as Miami-Dade county chose to offload the administration of the program to other agencies due to generous salaries that the county says have become too extravagant. The Herald reports that Miami-Dade paid its Head Start teachers an average of $76,860 in salary and fringe benefits in 2011, which is about 90 percent higher than the second highest-paying Head Start provider in the county, Catholic Charities, which paid its teachers an average of $40,418 in salary and benefits. On the administrative side, 17 county Head Start staffers made more than $100,000 in salary and benefits.
Lisa Martinez, senior advisor to the Miami-Dade county mayor, told reporters that the county hopes to save more than $3 million annually by outsourcing the program.
How much good does Head Start really do? A new report from Britain concerning that nation’s state-funded pre-school education program suggests that even if the checks were in place to keep local officials from robbing underprivileged children, state programs for early-childhood education may be grossly overrated.
The Telegraph reported Tuesday that Members of Parliament (MPs) are claiming billions of pounds worth of public money invested in pre-school education is failing to improve children’s grasp of the basics. According to the Telegraph, assessments carried out last summer showed some 15 per cent of seven-year-olds – 80,000 – were unable to read after two full years of primary school and that data also showed one-in-five infants were failing to write to the expected standard. A further 10 per cent are struggling with basic numeracy.
Schools deliberately choosing not to correct spelling mistakes in order to prevent damage to self-esteem
British MP Andrew Selous revealed earlier this month that teachers are being told not to correct more than three spelling errors at a time in order to avoid damaging pupils’ self-confidence. The Daily Mail reported on the story recently, citing the case of a mother who wrote to Selous saying, “I have spent hours of frustration letter-writing but no one is able to help or offer support. My children are hard-working but they need to be given the basic building blocks of English.” According to the Daily Mail, the school’s marking policy states, “Teaching staff are not to highlight any more than three incorrect spellings on any piece of work. This is in order that the children’s self-confidence is not damaged.”
The sad facts of life happen to be that if a child’s self-confidence is not damaged (as this school puts it) when they are young, it will most assuredly be damaged when they are older and discover themselves to be entirely incompetent and unable to find employment or succeed in the fields of higher education.