by Brittany Smith
October 30, 2008
Jon Last has a fascinating article at the Weekly Standard on the depressingly sad state of the Icelandic economy-which historically hasn’t done all that bad ever since Erik the Red and his Viking cohorts settled the place a thousand or so years ago. As one might expect, inept government interventions and political posturing played very large roles in the collapse. I, for one, hope it gets better, given that Icelanders with no work or money are going to be looking for something to do. When someone descended from Vikings named “Magnusson” is looking for something to do, it’s time for some people to get worried-yes, I’m talking to you Newfoundland, Scotland, Ireland, England, and Normandy.
Vote ‘yes’ to change state constitution: On Election Day, Connecticut voters will decide whether there should be a convention to consider changes to the state constitution
In the latest Mapping America, federal surveys show that adolescents who live in an intact married family are less likely to run away from home than those who do not.
The pro-abortion group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and its partners requested and were granted a hearing today at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States according to their recent newsletter (see p. 2).
The Commission will hold a hearing today titled the “Risks and vulnerabilities affecting defenders of women’s rights in the Americas,” raising the specter of human rights activists and defenders of women’s rights being “affected”. You can review the Commission program here.
But what is CRR’s goal? Legal rights for women? Is it the legalization of abortion? CRR is more ambitious. Their newsletter references a previous letter they sent to the United Nations which makes it clear that they are not so much trying to protect human rights defenders or defenders of women’s rights as they are trying to get international legal bodies to include abortion providers under the legal designation of “human rights defender.” If they are successful, abortion providers would be protected under the 1999 UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.
It would be a travesty for international bodies to equate those who perform abortions, including those who perform partial birth abortions, with those who advocate fundamental human rights of others.
CRR in their letter raises violence against abortion providers as one of their key arguments. Violence against abortionists is wrong and should be condemned. But CRR goes much further. They are in fact making the case that any restrictions that would affect abortion providers’ practices would constitute an abuse of human rights defenders.
Indeed, CRR spends considerable time defending Dr. George Tiller of Kansas, an abortionist known for his late-term abortions (and advertising internationally for his services). It is odd that they would single out Dr. Tiller as a human rights paragon, until you realize that they oppose even peaceful protests at abortion clinics such as his, even when they acknowledge the fact that such protests are constitutionally protected.
CRR also opposes state laws that would require abortion clinics to have the same health standards as ambulatory clinics—regulations that would actually protect the health of women obtaining abortions. Indeed, CRR goes so far as asking the UN to “investigate” the United States for state and federal laws that conflict with their views. Again, violence against abortionists is wrong, period. But peaceful protests? Parental notification laws? Laws ensuring medical the competency of abortion providers? They want a UN investigation. Perhaps even more brazen, CRR wants international bodies to investigate cases of “smear campaigns” against abortion providers, in which any public campaign against such abortionists occur. They oppose the mere existence of legal restrictions because it would be burdensome to the abortionist, something most people think might be legitimate for physicians performing surgery on their patients. What about legal liability? Nope, CRR wants none of that either. The kicker may be that CRR wants these international bodies to impose fines on states that who disagree with them. Why? So they force local law enforcement agencies to implement “human rights teaching” on abortion in their training programs.
And these are people that many pro-choicers in Congress have tried to get you to fund with your taxes. I suppose if you can cast this asprotecting human rights defenders, it might just work.
Black clergy both for and against gay marriage speak out— LA Times article on the ongoing Proposition 8 debate
Gay Marriage in Peril in California— More on Prop. 8 and the battle in CA over same-sex marraige
In the latest Mapping America, federal surveys show that adolescents who attend religious services frequently are less likely to run away from home than those who do not.
Fourteen middle schools around D.C. have recently implemented a new program called Capital Gains along with New York and Chicago city schools. The program was designed by Harvard economist and researcher Roland Fryer to increase incentive for low income students to do their work and attend school. Hence, the reason why Harvard is covering half the cost of the $2.7 million dollar project, and the District has to pay the rest.
The D.C. students that are participating in the program have the potential to earn up to $100 a month for doing things like their homework, having a good attendance record and getting good grades.
But it begs the question, why pay people to do something they are required to do? Is paying them actually going to help students learn things like responsibility, hard work and duty? And what about the other middle schoolers in the District that go to school, turn their homework in on time and study without getting a paycheck? It seems that monetary incentive is telling these kids that they aren’t capable of learning on their own, that they have to be tricked into submission and into learning. It sends kids the message that doing the right thing has a price tag and isn’t something that should just be expected.
But of course the students like getting money, who wouldn’t want to get paid to go to school? When Christopher Johnson from Kelly-Miller Middle School was asked about getting paid he said, “People ain’t had money. It’s better now for people to have money than not having money.”
And while there have been no reports of the results of this program yet, it would seem that the money they are paying kids to go to school might be better spent on improving their grammar.
For more info check out: http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=76165&catid=158
Here is what we’re talking about at FRC today:
DC Students Get Cash for Good Grades, Behavior—Middle school students in D.C. are getting paid to follow the rules and do their homework.
DEMS GET SET TO MUZZLE THE RIGHT—New York Post article on the possibility of a resurrection The Fairness Doctrine.
Conn. ruling may boost Vt. gay marriage movement—Last week, Connecticut’s top court ruled that civil unions aren’t a substitute for marriage’s full benefits.
BLACKWELL: Voter fraud, an assault on fairness—This op-ed calls for Voter Fraud to be a bi-partisan issue. Both Democrats and Republicans should fight against the rampant fraud that is taking place this election season.