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National News : The Threat: Attacks on Parental Rights
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/11/21 1:43:44 (1170 reads)

The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children has been recognized and upheld for centuries. But there are dark clouds on the horizon.

Today parental rights are coming under assault from federal judges who deny or refuse to recognize these rights. Adding further danger to the child-parent relationship, international law seeking to undermine the parental role is advancing on the horizon. Together, these threats are converging to create a "perfect storm" that looms over the child-parent relationship.

    In the early 1980s, a landmark parental rights case reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The case involved 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents were alarmed when they found evidence of their daughter's participation in illegal drug activity and escalating sexual involvement. Their response was to act immediately to cut off the negative influences in their daughter's life by grounding her.

    But when Sheila went to her school counselors complaining about her parent's actions, she was advised that she could be liberated from her parents because there was "conflict between parent and child." Listening to the advice she had received, Sheila notified Child Protective Services (CPS) about her situation. She was subsequently removed from her home and placed in foster care.

    Her parents, desperate to get their daughter back, challenged the actions of the social workers in court. They lost. Even though the judge found that Sheila's parents had enforced reasonable rules in a proper manner, the state law nevertheless gave CPS the authority to split apart the Sumey family and take Sheila away.
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National News : ♪ ♪ 76 Trombones Taken Away by the CPSC… ♪ ♪
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/11/17 23:30:00 (2893 reads)


♪ ♪ 76 Trombones Taken Away by the CPSC… ♪ ♪

CPSC Ruling: The Day the Music Died for Elementary School Brass Bands?
In an unfortunate but widely expected decision last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3-2 to reject a petition to exempt brass from the new CPSIA-mandated lead standard.
 
NOVEMBER 7, 2009
Congress's Brass Knuckles
Another casualty of the lead toy 'safety' law.

The wheels on the bus won't go 'round and 'round in many playrooms this year
if the Consumer Product Safety Commission has its way. On Wednesday, the Commission voted against a petition to exempt small pieces of brass used in the wheels on toy cars, tractors and buses from draconian lead standards. The fiasco is one more sign that Congress must address the chaos created by its 2008 law regulating lead in toys.

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National News : Hitler Youth Reborn in Explorer Scouts?
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/5/16 1:50:00 (2013 reads)

Now that article I read last week on the Boy Scouts cracking down on overweight Scouts and Leaders all makes sense. When I read that article last week I couldn't understand what the big deal was for Scouts & leaders to be overweight when so many Americans are. After seeing this article today in the New York Times it all became very clear. Check your history books, folks - do you remember the last time youth were trained like this?

Please note that their very first target is "a disgruntled Iraq war Veteran." Excuse me? These kids are being trained to be war mongering soldiers using American Veterans as targets. According to the article this group is affiliated with the DHS.

*I have not included the full article - just the highlights with a link to the full article.

Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More

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By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: May 13, 2009
IMPERIAL, Calif. — Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on the floor.

Todd Krainin for The New York Times
In a training exercise run by Border Patrol agents, Explorer scouts from Visalia, Calif., prepare to storm a “hijacked” bus. More Photos »

The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 — face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! — fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and masks affixed.

“United States Border Patrol! Put your hands up!” screams one in a voice cracking with adolescent determination as the suspect is subdued.

It is all quite a step up from the square knot.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

One participant, Felix Arce, 16, said he liked “the discipline of the program,” which was something he said his life was lacking. “I want to be a lawyer, and this teaches you about how crimes are committed,” he said.

Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets — in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.

“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me excited.”

If there are critics of the content or purpose of the law enforcement training, they have not made themselves known to the Explorers’ national organization in Irving, Tex., or to the volunteers here on the ground, national officials and local leaders said. That said, the Explorers have faced problems over the years. There have been numerous cases over the last three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them.

Many law enforcement officials, particularly those who work for the rapidly growing Border Patrol, part of the Homeland Security Department, have helped shape the program’s focus and see it as preparing the Explorers as potential employees. The Explorer posts are attached to various agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police and fire departments, that sponsor them much the way churches sponsor Boy Scout troops.

“Our end goal is to create more agents,” said April McKee, a senior Border Patrol agent and mentor at the session here.

But the more than 2,000 law enforcement posts across the country are the Explorers’ most popular, accounting for 35,000 of the group’s 145,000 members, said John Anthony, national director of Learning for Life. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many posts have taken on an emphasis of fighting terrorism and other less conventional threats.

“Before it was more about the basics,” said Johnny Longoria, a Border Patrol agent here. “But now our emphasis is on terrorism, illegal entry, drugs and human smuggling.”

The law enforcement posts are restricted to those ages 14 to 21 who have a C average, but there seems to be some wiggle room. “I will take them at 13 and a half,” Deputy Lowenthal said. “I would rather take a kid than possibly lose a kid.”

The law enforcement programs are highly decentralized, and each post is run in a way that reflects the culture of its sponsoring agency and region. Most have weekly meetings in which the children work on their law-enforcement techniques in preparing for competitions. Weekends are often spent on service projects.

Their hearts pounding, Explorers moved down alleys where there were hidden paper targets of people pointing guns, and made split-second decisions about when to shoot. In rescuing hostages from a bus taken over by terrorists, a baby-faced young girl screamed, “Separate your feet!” as she moved to handcuff her suspect.

Read the full article here...

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