Friday, September 28, 2007

If This Chimp Is A Person Then Who Is The Monkey's Uncle?


If an Austrian chimp gets legally declared to be a person consider the ramifications.

Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories worries that the shelter caring for the chimp might close, and has been pressing to get "Matthew Hiasl Pan" declared a "person" so a guardian can be appointed to look out for his interests and provide him with a home. So far, the organization has not been able to represent the interests of this chimp because the Viennese provincial judge in the city of Wiener Neustadt dismissed the case earlier this week, and ruled that the AAAF had no legal standing to argue on the chimp's behalf.

AAAF contends that only personhood will give Pan the basic rights he needs to ensure that he isn't sold to someone outside of Austria, where he's now protected by strict animal cruelty laws.
The Association Against Animal Factories points out that it's not trying to get Pan declared a human, but rather a person, which would give him some kind of legal status.

Otherwise, he is legally a thing. And with the genetic makeup of chimpanzees and humans so strikingly similar, it contends, that just can't be.
Ok - and with this case, plus God being sued in court I am seriously questioning the collective sanity of mankind, or at the very least the court systems that we have established.

I don't get why AAAF just doesn't buy the chimp and place it in protective care. I mean, after all they are probably spending enough in court and legal costs to equal the amount needed for his care anyway. On the other hand, I know plenty of persons who would qualify as being chimps.

You know what? You just can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tennessee Up In Smoke


Tennessee just began its "Cigarette Surveillance program"
Starting today, state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states, then charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.
In Tennessee I guess it is more of a crime to buy lots of cigarettes in a neighboring state to avoid high Tennessee taxes then it is to allow illegal immigrants to come in and live in their state.
While Immigration and Naturalization Services arrests of illegal aliens have risen since September 11, 2001, the agency says it is unlikely to arrest “the average individual with no arrest record and no prior run-ins with INS,” due to lack of manpower. The INS has only 20 agents to cover Tennessee, the east half of Arkansas, and the top half of Mississippi.
So while they have more agents inspecting cars for cigarettes, they don't have enough manpower to round up illegal aliens.

Go figure.

I guess they need those higher cigarette taxes to pay for illegal aliens being in their schools and using Tennessee social services and medical care.

The Mother's Act - Let Your Voice Be Heard On This One


"The Mother's Act" (H.R. 20) is a bill that calls for programs to be established whereby pregnant women can be screened for mental disorders and new mothers can be screened for "postpartum depression" which we all know will most likely result in them being prescribed dangerous antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs. The legislation was introduced 1/4/2007 by Rep. Bobby L.Rush, [IL-1]

A Senate Bill and a House Bill were introduced this year for this legislation. The House Bill is right NOW in the Energy and Commerce Committee and a vote is scheduled for today (Thursday 9/27) whereupon it will go to the House floor next week. The bill provides more appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct research into "postpartum depression" and biological treatments (drugs). In the past few years there have been many reports about conflict of interest between the NIH and drug makers. Concerns and investigations have centered around the issue that federal grant money should not go to scientists who may be predisposed to get results that favor their drug company sponsors.

This bill also is called the `Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act' and is intended to "To provide for research on, and services for individuals with, postpartum depression and psychosis." (Bill Summary)

You should contact your Congressional representatives and let them know how you feel about this one!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CT DCF Makes Some Policy Changes To Address School's Abuse Of Authority - But Are They Enough?


Many of you following my blogposts have come to know the problem of CT public school administrators (and the State Department of Education encouraging them) falsely reporting to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) families who have withdrawn their children from school in order to homeschool them. National Home Education Legal Defense Executive Director, Deborah Stevenson, has been working with DCF to clarify and amend DCF policies
1) to make them match more closely with what CT State Statutes say and
2) to prevent waste of time and money on DCF investigations caused by school administrators who knowingly falsely accuse homeschool families of educational neglect and truancy (etc.), in order to punish or harass them for not signing documents that are not required by state statute, or in order to force them into complying with other demands made by the school.

Public school administrators have been abusing their authority and using DCF as an "attack dog", threatening parents unless the school's demands are met. This is a serious problem which has affected well over 30 families in CT this year alone! It has cost the CT taxpayer incredible amounts of money wasted on court costs, unnecessary investigations and agency resources taken away from actual child abuse and neglect cases. DCF is already struggling to manage it's resources wisely, and has even received failing grades in meeting children's needs... This issue has caused parents and their children undue stress and has created a financial burden to many families as well. And yet, these school administrators have not been arrested for filing false complaints to DCF... which is a crime in CT.

For the benefit of homeschoolers, and parents in general, as well as other interested parties in CT, National Home Education Legal Defense has posted the correspondence between DCF Commissioner, Susan Hamilton, and her legal staff, and Deborah Stevenson Executive Director of NHELD regarding changes to DCF policies regarding educational neglect and truancy; Changes which we hope will prevent unnecessary and costly DCF investigation based on false reports made by school administrators regarding families who disenroll their child from public school to homeschool. While there are a few points that still present a significant problem, DCF has made some changes that move their policies closer to matching state statutes. DCF has stated that they do not intend to make further changes, although it is hoped that they will address the outstanding issues, such as the use of the vague and confusing term "educational needs". DCF also will not address the issue of schools filing false complaints against parents, nor will they state that it is unacceptable to accept an allegation of educational neglect simply because a family decides to withdraw their child from school to homeschool them.

Background:
Following our request some months ago, for DCF Commissioner Susan Hamilton to amend the DCF policy manual to accurately reflect existing law concerning homeschooling in order to eliminate any confusion and to prevent future episodes of school officials falsely reporting parents who homeschool as educationally neglectful or their children as truant, Commissioner Hamilton finally, this week, provided her proposals for a redrafted policy manual.

NHELD first proposed changes to the DCF policy manual in March of 2006, and presented Commissioner Hamilton with a copy of those changes again on June 11, 2007, at a meeting in the Governor’s office. Commissioner Hamilton adopted some of our recommended changes, but we remained concerned that she made other changes and/or did not adopt other of our recommendations. Commissioner Hamilton also alluded to the fact that her agency may propose legislation regarding other issues still under consideration. She did not elaborate as to what that legislation would be. NHELD submitted another letter with recommendations to further clarify the policies and they responded in kind.

You can read the documents here:
  • On March 2006, NHELD made recommendations to the Commissioner and proposed them again on June 11 at the meeting in the Governor’s office can be viewed online here.
  • Commissioner Hamilton’s response on 08/27/07 and her proposed DCF policy changes are located here.
  • NHELD responds on 08/28/07 to Commissioner Hamilton located here.
  • DCF responded with a few more changes but still failed to address a few significant problems on 9/13/07. This draft of their policies is indicated as being "their final version".
  • NHELD's 09/24/07 response regarding the outstanding significant issues which still should be addressed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Homeschool Legislative Forum Tonight In Branford, CT



State Representative Arthur O'Neill (R-Southbury) in conjunction with NHELD and CT Shoreline Homeschoolers, will be conducting an informational forum on home-schooling at Blackstone Library, September 25th from 7-9:30 pm in Branford, CT.

Locally elected legislative representatives will be attending to listen to the issues which are of concern to their constituents.

The forum is intended to be part of this series of forums being held around the state for home-schoolers to get information about home-schooling and interested parents and families to discuss the climate of home-schooling in Connecticut, as well as to discuss issues about CT homeschoolers being harassed by school administrators.

"These forums are intended to be informational and helpful to those who are currently home-schooling or those who are seriously considering home-schooling their children," said Representative O'Neill. "It is an opportunity to voice concerns, give support to other home-schoolers, and discuss relieving the many burdens, legal and otherwise, on those who choose to educate their own children at home."

=====================

NHELD (National Home Education Legal Defense) and local homeschool groups are working together with Rep. O'Neill on this effort and these forums should prove to be fun, thought provoking and very worthwhile. If you live in CT - please try to attend. Subsequent forums' dates and times and details will be posted.

GOD Gets A Defense Attorney



I think Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers (D-Omaha and self-proclaimed agnostic) better reconsider this case against GOD.

GOD apparently has now obtained a defense attorney. A Texas attorney, Eric Perkins of Corpus Christi, has filed one of two responses to the lawsuit. He said this:
"Defendant denies that this or any court has jurisdiction ... over Him any more than the court has jurisdiction over the wind or rain, sunlight or darkness," according to Perkins' response, as reported by AP.

As for Chambers' contention that God made terroristic threats, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization," Perkins wrote that God "contends that any harm or injury suffered is a direct and proximate result of mankind ignoring obvious warnings."
The other response, mysteriously appeared at the Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha.
"It was on the counter in legal filing yesterday,” Gordon Rieber in the Clerk of the District Court's office told Omaha’s Action 3 News. “No one saw it come in. She (an employee) turned her back and there it was, and in this paper, marked "Special Appearance," “God” says Chambers' suit should be thrown out because there was “[n]o proper and sufficient service of summons” by a deputy."
All in all, while there may be some tongue in cheek games being played here, Chambers' attempt to prove lawsuit frivolities may actually make him look more the fool than anything else.

This is certainly one case I intend to follow. It could get really interesting.

Friday, September 21, 2007

RIP - Roslyn Theodore - 1924-2007


My dear mother passed away peacefully last night in Hospice Care at the Hebrew Home and Hospital, with her family by her side. Her caregivers there were outstanding. In the end, she succumbed to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Roslyn was born on June 18, 1924, in Little Flower Hospital in New York City. Her mother and father were Ethel and Paul Newman of blessed memory.

She had a full life and was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and sister.

She had been working this past year to obtain her high school diploma, and was an A student.

She always had a passion for knitting, reading, watching Sci-Fi movies and enjoying good food.

My mother was truly a good hearted soul who had a wonderful sense of humor.
When the nurses would come in and ask her if she was comfortable she'd shrug and say, "Eh, I make a living."

She adored her grandchildren and was very proud of all of them.

She physically left us - but I know she is with us all in spirit, as is my dear father who passed away 10 years ago in this same time period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when the gates of heaven are open to all. There is inherent holiness in dying during the Days of Awe.

There's so much more to say... she was not only my mom, but she was my best friend who was always there for me. I was truly blessed to have her in my life.
She will be missed.

Her obituary is online at Weinstein Mortuary website and the Hartford Courant website.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Do You Know Who Has Your Student's Information?


I came across this interesting website which talks about how student information is sold to companies by schools and other institutions.

More and more states are establishing databases with all sorts of information about children attending public and private schools, as well as homeschools too! What they do with the data is anybody's guess. But every time you fill out a form or provide information to anyone, that data goes somewhere and sometimes it can end up being sold.

In Connecticut, the State Department of Education has established the Public School Information System student information database, which has been expanded to include more information over the years. Supposedly they use it to track student performance.

I have heard from a few people that they have gotten letters of solicitation from companies based on their student's performance on standardized tests. Of course we also know that the military also obtains information about high school and college students.

Parents should know that their children's information is protected under FERPA laws, but that parents must also stipulate how the data may or may not be used.

One has to wonder how companies like American Student List obtain their information.

With privacy becoming more and more of a big issue, it certainly should give all parents a wake up call to find out what their local school or Department of Education is doing with the data they have on file about their children as well as their family.

(H/T Bob M.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast Ye Maties! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day


Talk Like a Pirate Day only comes once a year (on September 19th)

On talk like a pirate day, everyone talks as if they were a pirate. For instance, instead of saying something like this:

The commitee has decided to reallocate your time to the filing group. We look forward to the exciting new synergies between these departments.

You would say this:

Aye matey, those scalawags in their fine breeches want ye’ to move o’er with the scurvy dogs yonder. If ye’ don’t come back with some fine booty, we be keelhaulin’ you next morn!
Some choice phrases can be found here

Of course the State of CT celebrates "Take Money from Citizens Like A Pirate Day", every day. Arrrggghhh.



(H/T Roger B. aka Jolly Roger)

...And Senator John Kerry Did NOTHING To Intervene

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
You think you have freedom of speech? Think again.

This journalism student, Andrew Meyer, who attended the University of Florida forum, was asking a question of Senator John Kerry - and then taken away by police and tasered allegedly when he did not yield the floor.

While the scuffle ensued, Senator John Kerry, did nothing but tell everyone to "cool down".

Sen. Kerry did not request that the police let the fellow continue to speak, nor did he otherwise intervene. Shame on him!

Everyone else looks on as well, and no one speaks up despite this fellow's rights being denied before their eyes.

Are we so afraid of the police that we will not insure that our rights are not denied? What exactly was this fellow's crime here? That he didn't shut up? Quite frankly I would have liked to hear Sen. Kerry's answers to those questions.

No... instead what is happening now is that this young man is being vilified as a prankster and troublemaker.

Even if this guy was acting for the benefit of the cameras, and even if he is a known "class clown", this display is outrageous and that no one else stood up and verbally protested this from happening is just beyond me.

So remember: do not resist arrest if you are doing nothing wrong and breaking no law and you should be fine.

Welcome to the Police State.



and another view

State Senator Sues GOD



Now here is a novel frivolous lawsuit... and admittedly it was filed by Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers to prove a point about frivolous lawsuits. In my opinion, if this Senator is truly against frivolous lawsuits, then he should not have filed one.

It seems this Senator has a problem with the notion that anyone can sue anyone. Apparently his main objection is that the Constitution requires that "the doors to the courthouse be open to all".

Sigh... yet another Senator that likes to waste time with nonsense instead of serving the actual and real needs of his constituents. One can clearly see the desire here to grab national headlines and make a name for oneself.

I wonder if Senator Chambers knows that God is probably responsible for his election victories. And thank God for term limits in Nebraska.

This also reminds me of the movie Miracle on 34th Street and the court proceedings regarding proof of there being a Santa Claus.

Anyway...The article says this:
Chambers said he decided to file the lawsuit after a suit was filed in early September in federal court against Lancaster County Judge Jeffre Cheuvront. He's the judge who was hearing a sexual assault case in which the plaintiff wants to use the words rape and victim during her testimony.

Chambers lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in Douglas County Court, seeks a permanent injunction ordering God to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.

The lawsuit admits God goes by all sorts of alias, names, titles and designations and it also recognizes the fact that the defendant is omnipresent.

In the lawsuit, Chambers said he's tried to contact God numerous times.

"Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon defendant 'Come out, come out, wherever you are,' has been unable to do so,'" Chambers said.

The suit also requests that the court, given the peculiar circumstances of this case, waive personal service. It said that being omniscient, the plaintiff assumes God will have actual knowledge of the action.

The lawsuit accuses God "of making and continuing to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff who Plaintiff has the duty to represent." It says God has caused "fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects and the like."

The suit also says God has caused "calamitous catastrophes resulting in the wide-spread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction."

Chambers also says God "has manifested neither compassion nor remorse, proclaiming that defendant will laugh" when calamity comes.

Chambers asks for the court to grant him a summary judgment. He said as an alternative, he wants the judge to set a date for a hearing as expeditiously as possible and enter a permanent injunction enjoining God from engaging in the types of deleterious actions and the making of terroristic threats described in the lawsuit.
Now .. what I'd like to know is what this guy plans to do if God shows up in court, which he will of course, being omnipresent and all. It'll be interesting if too if God counter sues in some way. Perhaps Senator Chambers should get a restraining order; I mean this guy could get struck down by lightning some time before the trial.

The Senator claims that he tried to contact God numerous times...well perhaps God doesn't reply to frivolous requests, or perhaps he has replied, but Chambers did not get the message, or perhaps like many people he did not wish to hear the message.

As a rule, God gets blamed for many things he has not done. Many of the charges stated against God, like wars and terrorism and evil behavior, probably can be attributed to the Devil and his many accomplices. or they could also be attributed to mankind's free will. It looks to me like God is being framed here for crimes he has not actually committed. This Senator will have to prove if God really did commit the crimes in question.

Given that God has also been responsible for some of the more beautiful and awesome aspects of life, like the miracle of birth (Senator Chambers' birth included), rainbows, flora and fauna, and the creation of the universe and everything in it in general, as well as making sure the sun rises and sets everyday, I think that all of the charges against God should be dropped.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Psychiatrists Under Scrutiny


"The New York Times found that psychiatrists who took the most money from makers of antipsychotic drugs tended to prescribe the drugs to children the most often. These and other stories have helped to fuel a growing interest among state and federal officials to document and restrict payments to doctors from drug makers."

A new federal bill called the "Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2007" has been filed.

In the New York Times article entitled, "Senators Seek Public Listing of Payments to Doctors", By GARDINER HARRIS, September 7, 2007, reported this:
Makers of drugs and medical devices would be required to report publicly nearly all payments and gifts to doctors under legislation introduced Thursday in the Senate.

“Right now, the public has no way to know whether a doctor’s been given money that might affect prescribing habits,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and one of the bill’s authors.

Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, said drug and medical device makers had long defended their payments and gifts to doctors as appropriate.

“If that is the case, full disclosure will only serve to prove them right,” Mr. Kohl said.

Ken Johnson, senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said, “A new law is not necessary when pharmaceutical marketing is already heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.”

The F.D.A. does not regulate the gifts or consulting arrangements drug and device makers routinely provide doctors, and it reviews only a fraction of the scripted marketing talks doctors make on companies’ behalf.

The bill results from growing concerns that free meals and consulting payments — which in some cases have exceeded $100,000 annually — lead doctors to prescribe more expensive drugs and devices, increasing the costs of health care and sometimes endangering patients.

Minnesota and Vermont require disclosures, and the legislatures of Maine and West Virginia have passed measures that may soon require them. Other states are considering similar measures.

The bill introduced Thursday is more comprehensive than any state measure. It includes medical device companies, not just drug makers, and has a more inclusive list of gifts and benefits that must be disclosed.

For instance, any payments or benefits made “directly, indirectly, through an agent, subsidiary or other third party” would have to be disclosed. That could include payments by universities and an array of small companies that, with industry financing, set up conferences for influential doctors at expensive hotels. Such payments have never been disclosed on a widespread basis.

The bill would also require the disclosure of financing for continuing medical education. Drug and device makers now underwrite much of the continuing education that is required of nearly all doctors.

Companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues would have to make quarterly disclosures of gifts or payments that exceed $25, and the reports would be posted on a Web site. Companies failing to make the disclosures — and many have not complied with the laws in Minnesota and Vermont — would be fined at least $10,000 per infraction.
Under the bill, the provision of free drug samples and financing for clinical trials would not have to be disclosed.

Rob Restuccia, executive director of the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group that works to eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine, said some academic medical centers already restricted gifts to faculty members. Greater disclosures would lead to more such restrictions, Mr. Restuccia said.
Legislation like this is a breath of fresh air. Any kind of disclosure to the public regarding this type of activity can only be a very good thing.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

When Government Meddles In Family Size


In China they are cracking down on enforcement of the one child per family rule which has been around for 28 years. There are now higher economic sanctions placed on couples who violate the mandate. Fines are being raised because wealthier couples apparently have been able to "buy their way out of the mandate".
China has about 1.3 billion people—20 percent of the global total. The government has pledged to keep the population under 1.36 billion by 2010 and under 1.45 billion by 2020.

at the same time...

In Russia they encouraged people to take the day off from work (Sept 12) to stay home and celebrate "procreation day".
The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia's national day. Couples who "give birth to a patriot" during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes

...snip...

Russia, with one-seventh of Earth's land surface, has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world. With a low birth rate and a high death rate, the population has been shrinking since the early 1990s.


So one country punishes, and the other rewards for giving birth. maybe they ought to be sending the Chinese families that want more kids over to Russia?

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Look At RomneyCare


Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and current U.S. presidential candidate, touts the healthcare initiatives that he instituted as governor, now known as Romneycare. The CATO institute has a briefing paper on "Romneycare" which it released at the end of June 2007. Written by David Hyman, it is entitled, “The Massachusetts Health Plan: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

So under this plan, and as I understand it, Massachusetts now requires that every individual purchase health insurance. You must purchase it whether you want it or not and whether you need it or not. In fact, when 2009 rolls around, the state of Massachusetts will fine those who do not have health insurance the amount of half of the cost of a health insurance policy. For most people that could mean some figure translating to roughly $1000 per year. Massachusetts has also banned insurance policies which feature any deductible totaling over $2000. If that's not bad enough, the health insurance must also feature mental health coverage.

So the Massachusetts plan is not something where the government is providing healthcare, or even telling you what providers to use, they are just mandating that you buy insurance - which is almost as bad.

But wait - here's a great editorial about it by Liz Mair.

(H/T Stephen M.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

School Bans American Flag On Clothing - And Then Rescinds The Ban After Public Protest



I guess a T-shirt with Che would have been o.k. though.


Here's the initial article
:
SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. – On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, students at one high school were not allowed to wear clothes with an American flag.

Under a new school rule, students at Hobbton High School are not allowed to wear items with flags, from any country, including the United States.

The new rule stems from a controversy over students wearing shirts bearing flags of other countries.

...snip...

The superintendent of schools in Sampson County calls the situation unfortunate, but says educators didn’t want to be forced to pick and choose which flags should be permissible.
Does anyone actually read or understand the rules that people are putting in place for their schools? This was certainly a silly rule to begin with, but it sure took some time for people to notice it.
Then this is what happened after public uproar:
SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C – A North Carolina High School that came under national attention over their rule that prohibited students from wearing items with the American flag, or any flag from other countries, has lifted the ban.

Superintendent Dr. L. Stewart Hobbs, Jr said they have lifted the ban on flags and “from this point on, all dress code changes will be made at the school board level.”

Hobbs said the county has a dress code policy in place and says individual school dress codes are not allowed.

He adds that principals cannot make a policy that exceeds the board policy, "The principal acted in good faith and said no flags."

According to Hobbs, the policy all stems from information from law enforcement of gangs wearing foreign flags as gang symbols and the board does have a policy to prevent gang signs in schools.

He said they are just as patriotic as other Americans flying the flag over the school, saying the pledge and have planned to have Constitution day at the school next week.

Under the previous rule, students at Hobbton High School were not allowed to wear items with flags, from any country, including the United States.

The board will be meeting with school attorneys to look into the issue further.
So how many attorneys will it take to come up with a dress code? I guess it depends how much they can get in billable hours from the taxpayer.

Common sense anyone?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For My Friends Celebrating Jewish New Year - 5768

Apples and Honey symbolizing a sweet year

...In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24

My wish to you and yours -
"L'shanah tovah tikateiv v'taichateim"
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

May your year be a sweet one filled with Health, Happiness and Prosperity.

Background about Rosh Hashanah here.

Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies also has a great post about this holiday.


"The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram's horn, which represents the trumpet blast of a people's coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man's first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the "Ten Days of Repentance" which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac's place as an offering to G-d; we evoke Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, the shofar is sounded 100 times in the course of the Rosh Hashanah service."

Gun Control - A Failure In Preventing Crime


2nd amendment of the US Constitution:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."


Not too long ago (July 20 to be exact), a fellow named Rod Black had his Op-Ed, entitled "Laws Restricting Guns Misfire" printed in the Hartford Courant. Mr. Black is one 26 year old commercial insurance account executive who knows what he's talking about.

He asserted that states with stricter gun control laws have higher crime rates.
Read it for yourself:
Though Connecticut has some of the more restrictive gun control laws in the country, residents of many cities throughout the state would argue that the regulations are doing nothing to curb the violence. Why? Because Connecticut lawmakers are only attacking "supply" and doing nothing about "demand." The recent passage of the "straw-buyer" bill, which requires the reporting of all lost and stolen firearms to the police, was just the latest manifestation of the General Assembly getting it wrong.

If you look at New England, there is a trend. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are governed by restrictive gun laws. Conversely, law-abiding residents in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have limited roadblocks to legally procuring a firearm. The gun control advocate would believe that violence in the latter states would far exceed those in the former states.

In 2004, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island a B or better for their efforts to inhibit gun violence (Connecticut and Massachusetts got an A-), while Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont all received a D-.

Statistics from 2005, however, tell a much different story. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the murder rates in Portland, Maine, and Manchester, N.H., were 4.7 and 3.6 respectively per 100,000 residents - low when compared to the murder rates in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Boston, Springfield and Providence, which were more than twice their northern neighbors' and higher than the national average of 6.9 per 100,000 during the same time period.

Other violent crimes (aggravated assault, armed robbery, rape) were lower in the latter states as well. Additionally, Vermont had eight instances of homicide in the entire state and only two of those were attributed to firearms. Furthermore, Nashua, N.H., is consistently ranked as one of the best cities in the U.S. in which to live due to its low crime rate and quality of life.

What do these statistics tell us? Restrictive and needless legislation does nothing to prevent violence. Erecting unnecessary roadblocks (i.e. gun control) to legal gun ownership only hurts, and at times dissuades, the law-abiding citizen. More importantly such laws do nothing to impede the criminal, because criminals do not adhere to the law. This is why lawmakers would better serve and protect those of us in Connecticut if they sought to address and remedy the destructive culture in our cities and elsewhere. Destroy this mindset as opposed to devising harmful legislation that does nothing to solve the true ills that plague certain communities, which are the real reasons why violence is occurring in the first place.

Hold Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano and the General Assembly responsible for not doing enough to combat the illegal frame of mind in Connecticut's cities, not the lifeless piece of polymer and steel. After all, a firearm is merely an inanimate object that can no more cause harm to an individual than these words. A Ford does not become a dangerous tool of death until a person who consumed an inordinate amount of alcohol or anyone else with an adverse mental state gets behind its wheel. How is a Glock any different than a Ford Focus? The wrong mindset can result in disastrous consequences, no matter what the device.

If there is one thing that we can learn from the Brady Campaign, it is that unsound and ill-conceived gun control frequently makes a state less safe and does not prevent violence. At best, crime rates stay at the status quo, at worst (and more often than not), there is a significant increase in both crime and the number of victims. Just ask the residents of Hartford and New Haven, as well as Massachusetts. Moreover, ask them how well gun control is protecting them. As long as there is a demand, there is always going to be a supply, no matter how many restrictive laws are enacted.
Hmm.. I am also waiting to see if they will enact knife laws and remove the knives from our homes, or require us to register knives or other sharp objects ... we may be doomed to a life of eating nothing more than strained baby food.

I was actually shocked that the Hartford Courant, even printed this "pro gun rights" op-ed.

As far as I am concerned 2nd amendment rights are incredibly vital, and our founders knew that. The 2nd amendment has little to do with deer or duck hunting. An unarmed citizenry is nothing more than sitting ducks for criminals, and more importantly those who wish to subjugate said citizenry. One only has to look at what happened during Hurricane Katrina to understand what can happen (The government took registered guns from law abiding citizens). People were left defenseless against looters and criminals as their private property was seized by agents.

And excuse me, but last I checked, criminals do not pay much attention to the laws as it is. That's what makes them criminals! Perhaps we ought to be enforcing the laws we already have on the books. Rest assured, if we had laws that outlawed guns all together, criminals would still use guns or they would find other means to commit crimes and murders.

In the CNN Democratic You Tube debate there was a guy who asked the candidates about gun control - Joe Biden then called this AR15 owner "mentally ill" with words to the effect of "If that man thinks that weapon is his baby, he shouldn't be allowed to own it. He's mentally ill". Actually I think Joe Biden is mentally ill, but that's just my opinion.

Read more at Gunsafe.
Here is also a great article about the 2nd amendment.

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11 - We Remember



There She Stands.

No matter how you feel about where our government has taken us since 9/11/01...
No matter what your political leanings...
No matter your religious beliefs...

This is a time to reflect - to hug our loved ones - and say a prayer for the souls that were lost in that tragedy.

Strive to protect our freedoms and liberties and our principles as a nation.
Work to restore the intentions of our Founders.
Honor those who were lost by doing something kind or charitable today.

We should remember these thoughts as well:

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. - Thomas Jefferson

But if we are to be told by a foreign Power ... what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.
- George Washington, letter to Alexander Hamilton, May 8, 1796

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary. - The Talmud

Monday, September 10, 2007

Your Baby's Name Here Dot Com



Ditch the strollers and onesies....

Here is the latest rage in baby gifts... domain names.

Yup - kids can have their very own online identity claimed even before they even know what a computer or the Internet is.

It is even proving to be an inexpensive gift - costing about $9.00 a year, and it guarantees that no one else can have "your kid's name dot com" in cyberspace (as long as you keep paying for the domain name).

Parents are snapping up and reserving domain names for their kids,as well as for other people. In fact someone claimed the ".com" for Britney Spears' 11-month-old son before she could.

As for me, my name has already been taken - that would be judyaron.com and she's a singer not a homeschool or parental rights activist - her music is pretty nice too.

So what are you waiting for?
Quick grab your kid's domain name before someone else does!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The U.S. Government Forgives Student Loans - For Its Own Employees


It Really Pays To Work For The Government!!

Forbes featured this news story about how the members of Congress have given themselves and their aides forgiveness of federal student loan debt.

So if you are a full-time public service employee (including law enforcement, or the military, public health, teaching and of course, the government) then you can take advantage of one of the provisions of a major education bill that was just passed which forgives the balance on your Federal Direct Loans if you have made at least 10 years worth of payments on those loans.

The articles says this:
The bill, known as the College Cost Reduction Act, is designed to provide $20 billion in student aid to borrowers by reducing government subsidies to lenders. The money saved will be used primarily for student grants and scholarships, including a $1090 increase in individual Pell Grants for needy students by 2013. It also reduces interest rates on many federal Stafford loans by 50% by 2011, and it includes $500 million in aid for predominantly minority colleges. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law soon.

“Our loan forgiveness program will allow students to follow their hearts and dreams into professions they love, rather than choosing jobs on the basis of their student loan burden," says Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who chairs the senate education committee. "All of us will benefit as a result.”

Maybe. But the loan forgiveness provision raises eyebrows, and not just because it would directly benefit people who work on Capitol Hill. It's also a tasty treat for loyal political donors such as the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)--the largest organizations representing public service workers.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group that tracks political fundraising, AFSCME has given nearly $38.7 million to politicians since 1989--more than any other group in the country. SEIU was the ninth biggest donor during the same period. Both groups raise more than 90% of their funds for Democrats. Among their top recipients are members of the House and Senate education committees, including Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

SEIU spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller says the union was not actively involved with lawmakers in crafting the legislation. AFSCME officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
I have absolutely no problem with relieving members of the military or law enforcement of their loan obligations. They put their lives on the line for Americans everyday that they serve. But, I guess all of those Poli-Sci majors working as Congressional aides really cashed in. So who picks up the tab of those forgiven loans? I'll give you a few guesses...

I have the opinion that this may be a move by Democrats like Ted Kennedy to begin government paid secondary education - in fact presidential candidate and US Senator from CT, Chris Dodd, has already expressed a desire for the government to provide a "free" college education to every student - free of course meaning taxpayer funded by YOU and ME (and those students would be attending State Universities of course).

So let's see - taxpayer funded universal pre-school and taxpayer funded k-12 education and now taxpayer funded college education... Oh and let's not forget taxpayer funded universal healthcare... Will I get to keep any of the money of our family income? Probably not - and that folks is Socialism and redistribution of wealth. Plus it is government controlled education from age 3 to age 22. (Now here is an interesting read and here's another on that topic)

"A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state." --Isabel Paterson

"Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already….what are you?" --Adolf Hitler

Friday, September 7, 2007

Another Stupid Study Proves What We Already Knew


A report just came out that said, Food Additives May Make Kids Hyper. This British study found that Artificial Colors, Preservatives and Additives Boost Hyperactive Behavior in Toddlers and Children. The U.K. Food Standards Agency already came out with recommendations to ban food additives earlier this year.

Golly Mabel, whodathunkit? I mean honestly one does not have to be a rocket scientist or university professor to figure this one out. Any parent worth their salt knows that when the kiddos eat food with junk in it they get a bit "bouncing off the walls crazy", or they develop hives, or have some other reaction.

The Feingold Institute has been confirming this with their books and information for more than 30 years! Their website is full of really great information too, and I have known a few parents who have used their programs with great success.

Of course now some public policy "experts" will want to begin mandating what we parents "ought to do", as others still remain "skeptical" (as evidenced by this quote):
But a U.S. expert said that scientific evidence overall does not point to a definitive link between additives and hyperactivity. He said it is premature, based on these study results, to suggest a public policy change. But the U.K. Food Standards Agency, which funded the study, has already revised its advice to parents about what to feed their children.
...snip...
U.K. Food Standards Agency issued new advice after the study was published, advising parents of children who show signs of hyperactivity to cut out the additives studied in the recent research.
Of course if the garbage is cut out of our food supply then what will all those pharmaceutical companies do with all of the Ritalin and other drugs that they have been pushing on American school children?

It is reported that roughly 2 million children in the U.S. have ADHD, according to the National Institutes of Health. If even 3/4 of those kids are "cured" by healthier eating - boy, that would certainly put a dent in Big Pharma's bottomline! Stockholders might not be too happy with that, eh? People could lose their jobs and everything. Face it, disease is big business. Curing it can be harmful to Big Pharma's profit margin. We can't go around curing diseases by eating healthier, cleaner foods now, can we? And lest we forget the burgeoning problem of obesity and diabetes, which have major health implications in this country (as well as become an employment opportunity for more nurses and doctors).

It is interesting to note that American children did not start to develop all of these behavioral maladies and health issues until chemicals, additives, food colorings and preservatives were blessed by the Food and Drug Administration and allowed into our food supply. It wasn't until high fructose corn syrup was put into just about every food we eat, that obesity became a major issue in this country.

One doesn't need a University study to figure this one out folks.

It is time we all realized how poisoned our food supply has really become, and unfortunately the only ones benefiting from that are the drug manufacturers who produce more even chemicals to treat the resulting symptoms. And it isn't a wonder to know that some of those drugs produce side effects that need to be controlled by even more medication. (i.e. like the psychotropic drugs that cause diabetes)

GOP Politics

Fred Thompson throws his hat into the ring


While Ron Paul dukes it out with Huckabee about Iraq



See more of Ron Paul's comments here - especially the part (4:15 into this tape) when he says he takes his marching orders from the Constitution, not from Al Quaida. Like him or not - as a Constitutionalist he sure makes some points to think about.

By the way, Ron Paul won the Fox text messaging poll with 33% of the viewers voting that Ron Paul was the winner in the debates. That was something worth noting, however that fact has not gotten much press at all. I think if Giuliani or McCain had gotten those numbers we wouldn't have heard the end of it.

Surely this GOP race is very interesting indeed.

As for the Democrats ... yawn ... they are already printing up the Hillary Obama signs no doubt.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

More On Avery Doninger - Is It A Parental Rights Issue Too?



I just read this post from Cool Justice, entitled "Ruling You Would Expect In A Police State". (also see my previous blog post)

Parents have to wake up and realize how their authority is constantly being eroded and undermined by the schools and the state in general.

You cannot even provide education or healthcare to your child without the state butting in. If State or school officials don't agree with your decisions and choices on how to care for your child (barring intentional abuse) then you are slapped with all sorts of allegations of neglect, abuse and so on. CT Homeschooling parents have been dealing with this for a few years now as they battle with schools who are trying to create conditional withdrawal from public school. (For more on that read here and here)

Slowly the public school system is usurping the authority of parents over every aspect of a child’s life. In Loco Parentis is being broadened.

The assumption is no longer that you are doing your job as a parent. Instead you must prove that you are doing what the state feels is appropriate in raising your children, and the duties of raising your children are slowly being assumed by "the village".

I am surprised they have not ordered psychological tests on Avery Doninger's parents to see if they are "in need of services" or if the parents are fit parents (perhaps they have and I don't know), in order to discredit their authority all together.

I absolutely loved this piece from Avery's mom (now fast becoming a hero in my eyes):
"Punishment is up to me," said Doninger, who insisted that her daughter write a letter of apology. "This erodes the training ground for the democratic process, which must be that you have to distrust democracy occasionally in order to make it work. The embedded lesson of democracy at Lewis S. Mills is hollow. Theirs is an overreaching power to orchestrate.

The school assumed a parent's right to discipline it doesn't have, she said. In one of several interviews given in the wake of Friday's preliminary ruling at U.S. District Court in New Haven, Doninger was praised by a radio commentator as the mother who told her daughter "you're grounded, and we're going to federal court to file a civil suit.""
It is appalling the lengths these schools go to and I wonder most of all what makes them think that they have the power that they believe they have in the first place.

For this school to be so bold as to dictate what a child does or says off of school grounds in her own home and even on the Internet is beyond me. This case is yet another example of abuse of authority by the public schools.

ALL parents better start waking up to the measure of control being exerted over their families by the schools and by the State as this case proceeds... and they better also be taking a very close look at the court system that is allowing it.

We've got some serious problems in the realm of civil liberties going on in this country, and I don't care if you are a Republican, Democrat or anything in between.. we are in serious trouble here if judges are making these kinds of rulings.

And just so you know, the Doningers are appealing this crazy ruling. Schools have unlimited resources for legal fees, and families do not, and that is precisely what the school litigation teams and school administrators bank on. You know what really is incredible? They are using YOUR tax money to eliminate our rights.



Update: Great post over at Apollos Academy



Luciano Pavarotti - RIP - You Will Be Missed


From Breitbart:
ROME (AP) - Luciano Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C's and ebullient showmanship made him one the most beloved tenors, has died, his manager told The Associated Press. He was 71.

Pavarotti had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August 2007. His manager, Terri Robson, told the AP in an e-mail statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5 a.m. local time.
This music great will forever live in our hearts.
Arrivederci Luciano, and Grazie.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Socialized Medicine - Universal Healthcare - Will It Really Be For Everyone?



Blueberry at Goodberry Hills had a great post about Universal Healthcare that was really quite timely, and you'll see why in a moment. In her commentary she says this:
Universal healthcare, a blessing or a curse? At first it may be great, that is until your government doesn't deem you worthy enough to provide medical care and keep you alive. By the time you're a senior citizen you'll be costing the system more money than you're worth. What happens when they have to cut costs? Do you think the average person will be considered special enough to save? What makes you so special?
The British are facing huge healthcare costs in their National Healthcare System, and now apparently are seeking ways to curb those costs, and some propose to ban certain people from care based on what are deemed "unhealthy lifestyles".

They are in essence considering creating a division in care in order to cut costs as is evidenced by these statements in the report at This Is London:
Patients who refuse to change their unhealthy lifestyles should not be treated by the NHS, the Conservatives said today.

In a bid to ease spiralling levels of obesity and other health concerns, a Tory panel said certain treatments should be denied to patients who refuse to co-operate with health professionals and live healthier lifestyles.

And those who do manage to improve their general health by losing weight and quitting smoking, for example, would receive "Health Miles" cards.

Points earned could then be used to pay for health-related products such as gym membership and fresh vegetables.

The aim is a shift in the NHS towards preventing disease and ill-health rather than having to treat it.

...snip...

"It is inconsistent with the concept of the responsible citizen to imagine that it is realistic for citizens, having paid their taxes, to expect that the state will underwrite the health implications of any lifestyle decision they choose to make," the report states."
When the government takes over healthcare invariably they will also determine how you should live your life as well... because now they (through tax dollars) are paying for the care of your body. They also will determine what treatments you are allowed and what facilities or practitioners you can see. Therein lies the rub... you see how personal responsibility in healthcare is subsumed by that government which in turn must become tyrannical to dictate the rules of your healthcare including how people live their lives, since now the government pays the bills.

Where the original purpose of universal healthcare/socialized medicine is to relieve the burden of individuals paying for their own healthcare it is easy to see how it morphs into the nanny state telling you how to live your life. (Actually Blogmeister had a great post to this effect too).

It truly is like mom telling, actually demanding, you to eat your vegetables all over again. As a nation of grown adults do we really want that?

Whose care will be denied by the State because the State believes their health condition was foolishly and unabashedly self inflicted?

Now that's food for thought.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Another Really Good Reason To Homeschool


In the Avery Doninger case, it seems the court just ruled that the school is within its right to regulate a student's speech on or off campus as well as on the Internet.

This teenager wrote on a blog, that school officials were "douchebags". She didn't even name anyone in particular. Her language was perhaps not exactly a nice thing to say, but I have heard much worse, and as I understand the girl did apologize to school officials. She was punished rather harshly by the school and they are not allowing her to run for class office this year as a senior. The family took the issue to court saying the girl's right to free speech had been violated by the school.

It's an interesting case.. but bottom line - schools are now dictating children's speech and behavior off of school grounds and in Cyberspace. That's pretty jarring, especially if the courts say that they are within their rights to do so.

I'd say if you don't like the school's rules then don't go there,
especially if those rules reach out to their speech and their actions at all times, not just on campus.

Yup, another extremely good reason to homeschool.

Celebrate Labor Day - And Say Goodbye To Summer



My Summer was pleasant, and it flew by - Labor Day signals the end of Summer as we move into Autumn.

Find out more about Labor Day here at the Department of Labor Webpage - Here's an excerpt:
"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
And this is from another webpage:
It was meant as a celebration of the working class. The Socialist Party held a similar celebration of the working class on May 1. This date eventually became known as May Day, and was celebrated by Socialists and Communists in commemoration of the working man. In the U.S., the first Monday in September was selected to reject any identification with Communism.

Americans recognize it to be more of the unofficial end of the summer season. In the northern half of the U.S. at least, the summer vacation season begins with Memorial Day and ends with Labor Day.
Well, it is important to recognize the working men and women in our country and I hope you all enjoy your Labor Day celebrations, or whatever it is that you choose to do today. Have Fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Well, Here Come The Mexican Trucks


Mexican trucks are scheduled to roll on U.S. highways - (AP News)

The US Border will be open to long haul Mexican trucks on September 6 now that an appeals court rejected a bid by labor, consumer and environmental interests to block them from being able to operate on US roadways. There were bids to delay the initiative, but apparently they have failed.

This Reuters article said this:
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco late on Friday denied an emergency petition sought by the Teamsters union, the Sierra Club and consumer group Public Citizen to halt the start of a one-year pilot program that was approved by Congress after years of legal and political wrangling.

The Transportation Department welcomed the decision and said in a statement that allowing more direct shipments from Mexico will benefit U.S. consumers.

The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement approved broader access for ground shipments from both countries but the Clinton administration never complied with the trucking provision. A special tribunal ordered the Bush administration to do so in 2001.

"This is the wrong decision for working men and women," Jim Hoffa, president of the Teamsters, said in a statement after the court ruling. "We believe this program clearly breaks the law." The Teamsters represents truckers that would be affected by the change.

The emergency stay was sought on grounds the administration's pilot program had not satisfied the U.S. Congress' requirements on safety and other issues. But the appeals court ruled otherwise.

(snip...)

Public Citizen and the Teamsters still plan to proceed with a lawsuit they filed in federal court, challenging the Mexican truck program on broader grounds. That case will not likely be decided until next year.
Gee, I wonder how many more illegals will be brought across the border in these trucks? There is also a huge safety issue with Mexican trucks and Mexican truckers, especially as they are claimed to be uninsured. I don't believe that we will have enough inspectors to check every Mexican truck coming over the border. Some people are also saying that this becomes a security risk if Mexicans are paid handsomely to bring terrorists into the country.



Looks as if the have Teamsters and other groups may lose this fight if the courts are allowing this to happen. But they are also continuing to ask people to write to their Congressmen. They say:
As a recent Transportation Department Inspector General audit report revealed, this dangerous pilot program still does not meet all the safety conditions required by Congress. The safety of millions of Americans traveling on U.S. highways will be put in danger if these unsafe Mexican trucks are allowed to cross the border.
Can anything save this country from NAFTA and our eventual movement towards a North American Union? It's time to speak up America.

One Of The NAFTA Highway Corridors


Proponents say this is good for American business.
They say this is good for American consumers.

I say the only thing that would be good for American business and American consumers is to relax the restrictions and taxes on American business that have made doing business here more expensive. This country has made the cost of doing business and hiring workers so exorbitant that now we have to import cheap goods and labor from outside this country, forcing us to lose American jobs and business in the long run. You cannot have a free market and competition if one side's hands are tied with mandated higher costs doled out by government regulations; either that or they must level the playing field and force the other side to abide by the same costly rules and taxes American businesses must follow or pay for.

It seems to me that the American government is forcing American business out of business.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

So Does This Mean That CT Is Rich - Not So Fat - And Stupid?


Top 10 wealthiest states - Here's where the median household income is highest

State Income

Maryland........$65,144
New Jersey......$64,470
Connecticut.....$63,422
Hawaii..........$61,160
Massachusetts...$59,963
New Hampshire...$59,683
Alaska..........$59,393
California......$56,645
Virginia........$56,277
Minnesota.......$54,023

In one report you can find the chart, and in this report from the Hartford Courant you can find this analysis:
In a state-by-state comparison, Connecticut - with 20.6 percent of adults classified as obese. Colorado, Vermont and Massachusetts had lower percentages of people meeting the definition of obesity - having a body mass index greater than 30.

Connecticut's adult obesity rate posted a slight increase, up from 19.7 in the earlier period. Connecticut's youths did not do as well as their adults. Youths were ranked 37th among all of the states. The obesity rate among 10- to 17-year-olds was 12.3 percent, compared with a national average of 14.8 percent for that age group.
CT students didn't do that well on the CT Mastery Tests, and the CAPT scores are now in as well. Unfortunately, 10th-graders missed the goals on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test too:

CT State averages:
Math: 45.2
Science: 44.4
Reading: 45.6
Writing: 52.9
Almost one-third of all public schools in Connecticut fell short of federal standards and landed Thursday on an academic warning list - a number that is expected to grow even larger as the standards continue to get tougher, state officials said.

In Connecticut, the targets this year call for between 68 percent and 74 percent of students to meet proficiency standards on state reading and math tests. But those targets will gradually increase to 100 percent by 2014 under the federal law - a moving goal that many educators believe is unrealistic.

Of Connecticut's 805 public elementary and middle schools, 265 failed to make adequate progress this year, down from 290 a year ago.

Of 182 public high schools, 50 fell short, 10 more than in 2006.
Here's the long list of failing schools in CT.

In my town of West Hartford: King Philip Middle School, and Hall High School made the failing list in Math and Reading. Those are the two schools in my district that my own kids would have attended (my oldest went to King Philip when I pulled him out to begin to homeschool 11 years ago). Our taxes are sky high here in West Hartford, our school budget is enormous, and everyone always says how marvelous our schools are. I guess they'll find something to blame this poor measurement on; of course it isn't our "top notch teachers, programs and curriculum".

Quite frankly, I think the average state scores are appalling, especially for the amount of money we spend on education in this state. Supposedly the worst schools in urban areas get the most funding - Hartford spends well over $13,000 per student and still ranks bottom of the barrel. Yet it seems to me that what the money is spend on is mostly administrative salaries and consultants. It never seems to show up in the classroom for updated books and materials, or even basic supplies. Art and Music programs get cut, and the basics of reading writing and arithmetic, are relinquished in favor of UNESCO agenda curriculum (diversity education, globalism, junk science, and vague social sciences etc), plus now we are very busy teaching to the test - or "how to game the test". I don't think that our new education commissioner is prepared to fix the real problems - as it seems he is concentrating more on bringing to CT Univer$al Pre$chool and high school exit exams and more centralized control of education in the state.


But here's some more good things about CT:
- The weather is pleasant and seasonal
- We've got some great country fairs going on
- There's a nice mix of urban, surburban, and rural - and lots of places to get organic farm products.
- We have homeschooled our children without government interference since the 1600's and we enjoy strong homeschool groups and networks, and we plan to keep it that way for present and future homeschoolers.