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Criminal Background Checks Racist?

What happened with Hurricane Katrina is tragic - lives were lost, homes destroyed, many people were displaced.  Many states have opened their doors to evacuees needing shelter, and a fresh start.  I’ve been awed by the outpouring of support Americans have provided to their fellow citizens. 

A number of states decided it was best to do criminal background checks on evacuees coming to their state - just as a means of protecting citizens as well as other evacuees who would be housed together for what was an unknown period of time.  The ACLU, however, thinks the background checks are racially motivated.  But if you do a background check on all evacuees, how can it be perceived in this way?

I personally think states have an obligation to do criminal background checks to ensure their citizens are protected from thugs like this.  It’s natural that a criminal wanted for homicide, such as 53-year-old James Camper, would attempt to escape via the evacuee route - I’m sure as screwed up as the media made the rescue and evacuation efforts appear, the criminal mind would think it is the perfect escape.  Any smart law enforcement agency would know this as well, hence the background checks. 

ACLU - get your heads out of your asses.  You are livin’ in a dreamworld.

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The ACLU: Are They Trying to be Mom or Dad?

The ACLU is currently on a campaign to discourage the continuance of abstinence programs in junior and senior high schools.  There are 18 states specifically targeted for this campaign, called "Not in My State" (my state, Nebraska, is one of those targeted states).  Here is their position on the matter:

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today launched Not In My State, a nationwide action aimed at combating dangerous abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula. In a coordinated effort, ACLU affiliates across the country are sending letters to local officials calling for careful scrutiny of health and life-skills curricula.

“Today’s action should be a wake-up call for many states,” said Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “State officials need to ensure the health and safety of students by taking responsibility for the curricula taught in their classrooms.”

The ACLU relies on a single report prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).  Said report states that "many abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula used by federally funded programs contain false and misleading information and perpetuate harmful stereotypes."  It goes on to state that "the curricula misrepresent the effectiveness of contraceptives by vastly understating the effectiveness of condoms at protecting against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and preventing unintended pregnancy."

Here in Omaha, a well-known news anchor, Julie Cornell, took a look at the abstinence program taught in the middle schools back in May.  The program is called "WAIT" and it stands for "Why Am I Tempted?"  Here are the basic principles of the WAIT program:

The program teaches that there are various steps of intimacy, with many of those steps reserved for marriage.

Teens learn why to wait, how to wait, and they get support in the process.

"Love" has different meanings, and trainers help kids classify different relationships.

Respect is a basis for the program. Teens are told that the boy or girl they’re dating right now will be someone else’s bride or groom in the future, and to treat that date with respect, the same way you would want your future spouse to be treated.

STD facts. Kids learn that condoms are not 100 percent effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases, and they learn in great detail about more than 20 sexually transmitted diseases and the life altering consequences of living with an STD.

Marriage training: Teens learn that they’re chances of bonding with a marriage partner greatly increase when they have fewer sex partners.

Julie Cornell’s article is good as it points out the reason Nebraska schools employed WAIT’s program versus a straight "here’s how to put a condom on" approach (emphasis mine). 

The program was formed in 2001, in response to growing numbers of sexually transmitted diseases, high teen pregnancy rates, and increasing divorce rates. Recent federal grants supporting abstinence education have made it more possible than ever before for young people to gain the courage and knowledge necessary to hold off on making adult decisions too soon.
Wait (pun intended).  These programs were put in place to combat the very things the ACLU wants you to believe they inspire (STDs and teen pregnancy).  Gotta love that ACLU spin.
"This is not a ‘just say no’ approach," Donahue explained to about 30 parents on a recent night at OPS headquarters.
WAIT training is a three-pronged approach, teaching teenagers "why" to wait to have sex, "how" to hold off, and giving them support in the process.
Now just a minute.  The ACLU implies with their "abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula" label that programs such as WAIT just tell teens "don’t have sex until marriage" without delving into the other issues such as STDs or teen pregnancy (why to wait to have sex).  They imply that abstinence programs actually omit information, putting teens at risk for increased STDs and unwanted pregnancies.  From WAIT’s informational site:
We are not about witholding information but about giving information to teens.  It is how the information is given that is important.  For instance … there are thousands of teen pregnancy prevention programs all over the country.  The problem is not teen pregnancy it is teen sex.  Teen pregnancy is a symptom of a much larger challenge.
How true!

Omaha’s rate of sexually transmitted diseases - in particular Chlamydia and gonorrhea - is almost epidemic, according to health experts.  The age group most affected is the 13- to 19-year-olds.  Abstinence based sex-ed is very new in Omaha - only in place for a few years.  Health officials report that teen pregnancy rates are down following implementation of the program, but also note that because the abstinence program is just a few years old, they don’t expect to see an impact on STD rates for several years.  The ACLU is reacting in typical knee-jerk fashion.  Let the program stay in place long enough to establish its impact at the very least! 

As a parent, I feel it is *my* role to teach my children about sex, about marriage, about love and making the right decisions (as well as learning from their mistakes).  If my child makes an adult decision to have sex at a young age, it is MY charge as a parent (before anyone else) to arm my child with information on what the consequences may be.  I think programs in schools should support my role as a parent, not contradict it.  Teaching children how to put a condom on by having live demonstrations on cucumbers, for example, contradicts what I hope to convey to my children.  Abstinence is the ONLY sure way to face a 0% risk of pregnancy and STDs.

This is no place for the ACLU to butt in.  No one’s civil liberties are being violated here.  Enough’s enough.  To you, ACLU: "NOT IN *MY* STATE!"

**********

Please visit Stop the ACLU! and visit other blogs participating in the weekly Stop the ACLU! Blogburst.      

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Rachael Ray & John Cusimano Wedding

Finally!  The news that all of you fans are waiting for!

In a ceremony in Montalcino, Italy on Saturday, September 24, 2005, Rachael Ray and John Cusimano were wed.

Here’s the word directly from Fox News:

We’re betting that Rachael Ray’s wedding cost more than $40 for the day.

The bubbly cooking show cutie, host of three Food Network shows — "30 Minute Meals," "$40 a Day" and "Tasty Travels!" — tied the knot last Saturday with longtime squeeze John Cusimano in a ceremony held in Montalcino, Italy.

I’m sure they’ll be happy…and I bet they are enjoying the amazing cuisine over there!

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The Punishment Does NOT Fit the Crime

Read this carefully, as there is a quiz at the end:

Hill, 56, pleaded guilty to sexually touching native kids as young as three.

His crimes began in the 1970s.

Three of the victims - two nieces and a nephew - are now in their 20s and 30s. The other three - two boys and a girl - are ages six, eight and 11.

Hill is a non-native who has been married for 32 years to a Westbank band member and has lived on the reserve for 15 years.

All the victims were native children, who were either related to Hill or were his neighbours. None of the victims can be identified.

Court heard descriptions from the three adult victims from prosecutor Martin Nadon.

The man who is now 35 was assaulted by Hill from the time he was four or five until he was 14. The assaults included anal and oral sex.

At one point, Hill used a battery charger to make sparks, warning the boy that he would administer electric shocks if the boy ever talked to anyone about the assaults..

The victim estimated he was assaulted by Hill 200 times.

A niece, now 24, said Hill had sex with her between the ages of five and 11. "She just remembered that it (intercourse) hurt a lot," said Nadon.

"She was crying because it hurt so much, but she thought it was OK because Hill was her uncle. After one episode, she was limping because of the pain, but told others she had fallen and hurt her leg."

She said Hill told her that if she ever told, her father wouldn’t love her anymore and her family would be ashamed.

Quiz:  Guess what the sentence was for this repeat offender, low life scum pedophile.

(more…)

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Where’s Merri?

Um.

Canning stuff.

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I’m a Copy Cat!

I’m a copy cat!  In other words, I am not creative today.  I feel like crap, and generally don’t want to do anything.  So…..what would be better than to copy cat Beth?

You are a Social Conservative
(28% permissive)
and an… Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)
You are best described as a:

Strong Republican

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

I encourage you to copy Beth today!  You’ll be glad you did!

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ACLU: The Left Hand Doesn’t Know What the Right Hand is Doing!

Most everyone has read the most recent case the ACLU has inserted themselves into.  The case involves a second-grader who wants to sing “Awesome God” at a voluntary, although school endorsed, talent show.  Here’s a brief snapshot of the ACLU’s position (emphasis mine):

"There is a distinction between speech by a school and speech by individual students," said ACLU of New Jersey cooperating attorney Jennifer Klear of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in New York City. "The Constitution protects a student’s individual right to express herself, including the right to express herself religiously."

According to the complaint filed by the second-grade student and her parents, an elementary school in Frenchtown prohibited the student, Olivia Turton, from singing the song "Awesome God" in a voluntary, after-school talent show. The talent show was open for anyone from first through eighth grades who wished to play solo instruments, dance, perform a skit or sing to karaoke. Students were permitted to select their own songs or skits so long as they were “G-rated.”

Because the school left the choice of songs up to each individual student, the ACLU said, no reasonable observer would have believed that the school endorsed the content of each student’s selection.

On the outside, one could think this was a favorable move by the ACLU.  One may actually believe that the ACLU is doing what we expect and encourage the ACLU to do - stand up for the civil liberties of an American.  Perhaps this is the case, but do you recall the position that the ACLU has on Boy Scouts chartered via public schools? (emphasis, again is mine)

The Boy Scouts of America is pulling the charters of thousands of scouting units from public schools in an effort to spare them from lawsuits threatened by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a letter sent to the BSA last month, the ACLU vowed to take legal action against public schools and other taxpayer-funded governmental agencies that charter Scout groups, claiming their sponsorship amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state.

The ACLU specifically takes issue with the Scouts’ pledge of allegiance to God and country and the organization’s prohibition of homosexuals as scout masters.

What, my friends, is truly the difference between the two and why does the ACLU have completely different positions in these cases?

  1. Both take place in the public school building
  2. Both are "endorsed" by a public school
  3. Both are voluntary
  4. Both take place outside of school hours
  5. Both have religious components

No one is obligated to participate in the talent show and no one is obligated to show up to watch the talent show.  Boy Scouts - if you don’t want to belong, you certainly don’t need to show up after hours at a school to participate.  In both the case of the second-grader’s song and in the tradition of the Boy Scouts, clearly there are religious components.  Why is it that the ACLU would come to the defense of the second grader under the disguise of "freedom of religious expression" and comes out fighting against the boy Scouts under the umbrella of "religious discrimination" and violating "separation of church and state?"  Aren’t we dealing with cross-purposes here?  Whoops….I probably shouldn’t use the word "cross" huh?  …and, again, this quote:

Because the school left the choice of songs up to each individual student, the ACLU said, no reasonable observer would have believed that the school endorsed the content of each student’s selection.

Whether or not the school picked the songs for the students, it is a SCHOOL SANCTIONED EVENT and a natural conclusion can be drawn that the school was aware of what the students were doing - heck, they even established guidelines for them, right?  So, according to the ACLU, the school should allow her to sing religious songs at a SCHOOL SANCTIONED EVENT but does not feel that schools should endorse a group that has religious beliefs?

…and then they wonder why their organization has lost credibility on both sides of the proverbial fence.

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What a Day!

Life has given me the royal finger today, I think.  Do you ever have one of those days that bad thing after bad thing happens and you just want to crawl under your rock until tomorrow?  Hello!  Today was my day!  My son has pneumonia (luckily caught early enough he didn’t get full blown illness and it is treatable with antibiotics!), a co-worker’s twin brother passed away (and way too young, I might add), I had to go to the doctor because of some pain I’m having and now have to have some more tests tomorrow, and so on, and so forth.  </whining>

I know there’s lots out in the news, so please visit my blogroll and read some newsworthy stuff.  I ain’t so newsworthy today.  BUT…as I tend to have an opinion on everything, I will point out a few things. 

I have to say that Cindy Sheehan is an idiot.  She doesn’t KNOW the meaning of the words "roughed up."  I had one tiny pin-head of sympathy for her - I mean, after all she did lose a child.  But she’s gone too far and I’m sick of hearing about her being a "Peace Activist."  She needs to shut the hell up and go home and get on with her life.  She’s even an embarassment to her peace-nik peers.  Sheesh.

Stoopid Hurricane Rita should get the hell away from the gulf!

…and my hubby should quit blogging about hairy, pasty men mowing lawns without shirts and with their man boobs hanging out (okay, logic tells me he should pay me back since I made him watch the men on Biggest Loser II taking off their shirts during weigh in - oh, and during dinner…sorry Honey!)! 

Anyway, like I said - there’s much talent and entertainment on my blogrolls - please stop over at their sites and tell them I said "Hi!"

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Cotillion - Ladies Mas Fine!

It’s that day of the week again!  Please stop by the Cotillion and check out what the best female bloggers in the ’sphere have to say (certainly more than me lately!!!).  Thanks bunches to our hostesses this week:  Crystal Clear, Fistful of Fortnights, Soldiers’ Angel - Holly Aho and Knowledge Is Power - SondraK.com.

Update:  It appears that my post was missed in all the melee - all is good though.  You can read it here

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The ACLU Grows a Brain

Okay….so I know the title is a little too promising, but they did at least sprout one brain cell:

OMAHA, Neb.The Nebraska chapter of the Americans for Civil Liberties Union told KETV NewsWatch 7 that it will not appeal a ruling to keep the Ten Commandments monument in a Plattsmouth city park.

Okay, so maybe I’m giving them too much credit.  Perhaps it’s not because they are wiser, or have employed a level of common sense.  More than likely they’ve realized the fame and fortune they sought to achieve here dried up.  But I’ll take it.  Any time the ACLU recognizes that they have LOST and CANNOT WIN is a good moment in time.

Update:  Welcome Jawa Report readers!  Thanks for stopping by!

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Whew!!!

Nebraska 7 / Pitt 6

Two field goal attempts by Pitt in the last 7 seconds.  One bad, one blocked.  There is a God, and he must be wearin’ red!

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Disgusting

It is stuff like this that infuriates me.

OMAHA, Neb.Two wanted men are in custody after they were caught posing as Hurricane Katrina victims in Nebraska this week.

Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins said the men were arrested after they claimed to be evacuees and tried to get aid at a state Health and Human Services office in Omaha earlier this week.

These idiots weren’t even from New Orleans - they are residents of Omaha. 

The patrol discovered that one man faced an arrest warrant for failure to appear in a felony forgery case. The other man faced a felony warrant for the unauthorized use of a financial transaction device.

Guess you can add "dumbass, stupid opportunist" to the list of charges as well.  Disgusting.

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Matthew Koso Redux

I dunno, perhaps I have a bit of OCD, but I can’t help but get thoroughly ticked off when I read stuff about Matthew Koso.  I posted on his, er, situation a number of times.

Good Morning America had Matthew and his 14 YEAR OLD "WIFE" on the morning of 9/13/05, along with their baby Samara (isn’t that the name of the freaky scary girl from the well in The Ring?).  You’ll have to read the summary, but I found some of the quotes and information just, well, awful.

Matthew first met Crystal through her half-brother when she was 8, and they began dating in the fall of 2003 when he was 20 and she was 12.

Oh my God…think about this for a moment.  The difference between 12 and 20 sounds bad enough, but 16 and 8?  He would have been thrown in some juvenile detention had they suspected he did anything to her then. 

Crystal’s mother, Cecilia Guyer, filed a restraining order against Matthew Koso on Sept. 17, 2004.

"He needs to hang around girls and boys his own age group," Guyer wrote in the complaint. "He needs to seek counseling. He has a history of the same, similar with other young girls, and he needs to be stopped here and now."

They knew the pregnancy was wrong, because they hid it.  Then Crystal’s mother found out when she saw the girl’s stretchmarks.  Remember, he impregnated her when she was 13 years old and he was 21.  That’s statutory rape in Nebraska, my friends.

"At that time, our options were limited," Matthew’s mother, Peggy Koso, said today on "Good Morning America." "It was either abortion, which was well past due; adoption, which was out of the question; and then it was to marry her, which we thought was the right thing to do."

WTF?!?!?!  Let me say that again…WTF????  "adoption, which was out of the question."  HUH?  Let the child be raised by ADULTS, who have the financial means, the security, and above all the maturity to be responsible parents.  Adoption is NEVER out of the question, especially in a case such as this.  A 13-year-old is selfish, that’s what 13-year-olds do.  Heck, 21-22 year-olds can tend to be selfish.  My gut feeling is perhaps the grandmother didn’t want to give up her grandchild, so to speak.  So for HER, perhaps adoption was out of the question.  If so, how selfish is that?  What a troubling situation her son, his child wife and the grandchild are in now.

What people don’t realize, too, is that Matt is not emotionally 22. He’s not mature like other young men his age are, so he is really at the same level of maturity as Crystal even though there are those years between them." 

Point one, his age is such that he is an adult, and he committed a crime (little Samara being evidence of that).  Point two, who cares…and do you really think, as "mature" as she thinks her daughter is, that her daughter would want to stay with a man who is "not mature" when she grows up?  This ain’t Barbie and Ken here.  the drama doesn’t go away when Barbie is thrown in her box and shoved under the bed…this is REAL LIFE and two children are in the middle of it.

Here is an amazingly mature comment from 14-year-old-Crystal:

"Here in Falls City you have two choices: go get drunk or high and die in a car accident or of an overdose, or go get pregnant," she said. "So which is the wrong choice?"

Ding, ding, ding.  All of them are wrong, Crystal.  I grew up in a small town here in Nebraska, not too far from Falls City.  There’s plenty to do, if you aren’t seeking trouble.

…and the most brilliant comment of all:

She added that if Samara starts dating a 20-year-old when she is 12, she will "send her to her room."

I can’t help ranting about it.  As a parent, I would not allow this to happen with my daughter.  What lessons do we teach kids when we file a restraining order because we know that an adult and a child should not be having sex and then turn around and "bless" a marriage because the sex resulted in a pregnancy?  Isn’t our obligation as parents to teach our children right from wrong?  As much as I would want to be with my grandchild, it’s plain common sense to know that adoption would have solved so much of this. 

…and this cycle will continue.  A child should not be raising a child.  And a man should not be allowed to commit these crimes, whether there is a pregnancy or not.   

Tracked over at Beth’s Open Trackback Party.

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The ACLU Doesn’t Always Get Its Way

Level 3 sex offenders are deemed as sex offenders whose risk of reoffense is high and the degree of danger posed to the public is of concern enough that a substantial public safety interest is served by active dissemination.  These criminals are usually put on public databases and they are required to report their address and other such information should they move.  They are generally limited to where they can live (i.e. they cannot live within a certain distance of schools, parks, etc.).  As a parent, I appreciate that, if the judicial system can’t keep this scum in a prison (my first residence of choice for these criminals), there are at least limitations to where they can live.  Well, the ACLU doesn’t necessarily agree - heck, they want the criminals to live wherever they want:

The ACLU filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of Kyle Lewis, a Level 3 sex offender, and his mother, who owns the property where her son lives. The Issaquah ordinance passed last month also makes it illegal to rent homes to sex offenders in prohibited areas.

But not everyone agrees with the ACLU’s high level of criminal support:

Last week, a court commissioner denied an ACLU request for a temporary restraining order to block the ordinance until the preliminary-injunction hearing date of Sept. 23. The city then began issuing fines of $250 a day to Lewis and his mother.

Lewis didn’t want his mother to be penalized and has agreed to move out of Issaquah, said ACLU spokesman Doug Honig.

"The lawsuit is proceeding, just on a slower schedule," Honig said. A trial date is set for Feb. 27, 2007, but a summary judgment could be issued earlier, he said.

The ACLU withdrew their motion seeking to bar the city of Issaquah from enforcing an ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live.  In other words, when things weren’t going their way, they pulled back.

I find this interesting.  If you dig for a bit on the Internet, you will find these little stories hidden in the corners - hidden in quite a number of corners.  When the ACLU wins a case, or depending on what the subject matter is, the MSM generally picks up on the story and makes it a national news event.  When the ACLU withdraws, or loses, it’s buried on page seven - not nearly as newsworthy.  I also find that stories relating to sexual predators, or other such criminals tend to get less media attention (and the ACLU tends to brag less about these cases).  What they are doing is so political in nature and is more about the money they want to win, the notoriety they hope to achieve and the leaders’ own personal agendas.  I find it disgusting, and absolutely criminal.  As is the situation in the aforementioned case, the criminal is represented, the victim(s) and potential victims are not.  It’s good that the judicial system put the hammer down on this one - that’s one for the victim(s), zero for the ACLU. 

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I Love Knives!

One of my readers (thanks, Jackie!), let me know that Rachael has a new signature knife out at Sur la Table.  This knife is called "Rachael Ray Gusto Grip Santuko by Füriâ„¢" and here’s the details:

Use the knife that Rachael uses on her latest TV shows. Patented "grippy" orange silicone polypropylene handle in an inventive wedge shape helps keep hand from slipping toward the blade when wet - the direction that counts. Enjoy the rocking/sawing motion of a chef’s knife and the chopper work of a Santoku. Hollow-edged blade reduces friction for easier slicing. Blade bolster and tang are forged from a single piece of fine German stainless steel. Hand wash.

I was really tempted to throw this one, or her original Füri signature knife on the ole Christmas list.  But I do like my Wustof knives.  But one can never have too many knives, right?  Well, when I looked further, I found that Sur la Table also has the new oval saute pan.  Now THAT’s something for my list.  When I first saw her using it on her show, I absolutely wanted it - there are some things that just don’t fit in even my largest circular pan.  Here’s the details:

Unique oval shape allows two 5-qt. sautés to fit side by side on a standard range. Even-heating anodized aluminum exterior with nonstick interior; glass lid. Handles are oven safe to 400˚F.

If the description doesn’t job your memory, here’s the picture:

Pretty ain’t it?!?

I’m anxious to hear about Rachael’s wedding.  Word has it, her mom and John (Cusimano - her MAN) planned the entire event since she has been so busy with cook books, magazines, new shows, etc.  She said she just has to "show up."  She should be getting married sometime in the next couple of weeks in Tuscany.  I’m sure there will be more to come!

She has a new cookbook coming out November 1st - "365-No Repeats."  I can’t wait!  I also can’t wait to read her new magazine! 

Thanks to all of you who stop by and read about Rachael Ray…let me know if there’s anything I can add to the site that you’re interested in.

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