Today’s read is from Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D, a former Lt. Governor of New York State and author of Beating Obamacare. Here’s an excerpt:
Adults deciding where to settle and raise their families once considered tax rates, job opportunities and housing prices. Now they also have to ask themselves whether they want their children in schools that push gender fluidity, teach masturbation and provide tampons in the boys’ room for females transitioning to become males.
Several states have already joined Florida in barring teachers from instructing their classes about gender identity and LGBTQ choices, and many are considering similar legislation.
It’s an uphill battle in deep blue states. But in red states, legislatures are enacting laws to protect parental rights and scrub the curriculum of divisive sexual indoctrination.
Last week the Franklin Public Schools district (FPS) announced the school board had selected Annalee Bennin as the district’s next superintendent starting on July 1. Bennin most recently was the superintendent for the Sheboygan Falls District and before that, she was an assistant superintendent of teaching and learning in the Oak Creek-Franklin School District.
Bennin was one of three finalists for the job, and in my view was the least objectionable of a pretty bad list to choose from.
The absolute worst was Corey Golla, the superintendent of Menomonee Falls who had a long horrible track district as the district leader there.
I recall telling a Franklin school Board member during the selection process that if they picked Golla, “there would be Hell to pay.” He should have never so much as gotten an interview.
Golla has stepped in it…again.
In a lengthy piece Newstalk 1130 WISN’s Dan O’Donnell lasers in on Golla’s ridiculously ineffective leadership marked by students committing physical and sexual assault.
Here’s an excerpt from O’Donnell:
“Welcome 4k students! We’re so excited for you to come and join us at Ben Franklin,” says a chipper woman as she opens the doors to the Menomonee Falls School District elementary school, which houses grades 4k through second.
The virtual walkthrough, one of dozens of videos on the District’s YouTube page, is a testament to Menomonee Falls’ ability to market itself as a destination district which prides itself on being a beacon of academic achievement and a welcoming community.
“We are the home of the Statesmen,” the chipper woman continues, “where we practice being respectful, responsible, and safe.”
But for two former employees of Benjamin Franklin Elementary, it was anything but. There was no respect. There was no responsibility. And there certainly was no safety. Now, they are coming forward with shocking stories of physical and even sexual assault committed by shockingly young children.
The Menomonee Falls School District and Superintendent Corey Golla did not respond to repeated requests for comment on this story, specifically why the District violated its own policy in refusing to discipline the students who assaulted Corrine and Kina.
Since it quickly became clear that neither student would be removed from the classroom or face any discipline whatsoever, (the two) repeatedly asked the district and school for support in dealing with their extreme behaviors, but were repeatedly rebuffed.
A couple of weeks ago the Franklin Common Council’s Committee of the Whole met and on the agenda was discussion on a code of conduct for the city.
Alderman John Nelson began the code of conduct discussion by referring to yours truly. Nelson called me a “keyboard coward basement blogger” that “gets spoon fed information.” And then I go out and attack two council members. That would be himself and his council buddy Kristen Wilhelm.
“I don’t pay attention to this coward’s site,” said Nelson. Oh really? You could have fooled me!
I’m cowardly? Nelson’s name-calling is laughable.
Apparently I’ve upset the thin-skinned alderman. However:
He has never contacted me
He has never e-mailed me.
He has never written a single response or reply to any of my posts.
Tuesday night when the Common Council held its regularly scheduled meeting I made a rare appearance to respond during the citizen comment period.
NOTE: After I spoke and left the meeting Alderman Nelson weakly defended himself by claiming he never mentioned me or anybody else at the meeting in question and feigned puzzlement that I would believe he was, indeed, referring of me.
Good grief. Does this guy think people are that stupid? Of course everybody knows who he was talking about! What a piece of work.
This week the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about a new multi-part Apple TV+ podcast that examines Lawrencia Bembenek who was convicted of the 1981 murder of Schultz, the ex-wife of Bembenek’s then-husband, Elfred O. Schultz Jr.
Last year the producers of the podcast contacted me and asked me to be interviewed for the series.
Late January 2021:
I’m a podcast producer working on a series revisiting Laurie Bembenek’s story with fresh eyes. The host of the podcast is Vanessa Grigoriadis, a writer for The New York Times magazine. We’re returning to Laurie’s story in light of the conversations about power and policing that have come up in the last few years. And we’re hoping to better understand both the case and how it affected the people at its center.
I’m reaching out to you because I read your blog post about covering the case and your interview with Ira Robins. Vanessa and I would be interested in talking to you about the experience of being in the courtroom and what being part of the press covering the case felt like at the time.
Thank you, Sam Leeds
The interview took place the following week.
I haven’t heard much of the podcast. However here are some of the main points I made:
1) We may never know what really happened.
2) However, I believe she did it.
3) We must respect the jury. They were at the trial every day and heard and saw all the evidence.
4) To this day I am dismayed at the total lack of sympathy or regard for the victim.
Today’s read is about the effect of CRT on one child. It’s from Ryan Mills, an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. Here’s an excerpt:
When Melissa Riley looks at her 13-year-old son, she sees a talented artist, a funny kid who likes playing pranks, and a gamer who spends a lot of time playing Fortnite with friends.
She sees a young man who’s excited about playing football, and maybe taking some architecture and engineering courses when he starts high school next fall.
But that’s not what the teachers and leaders of her son’s Virginia middle school see, she said. When they look at her son, she believes they see one thing first and foremost: a black kid.
Growing up in the Charlottesville area, Riley said her son never really saw himself as different from the other kids in school. Sure, his skin tone was a little darker — his dad is black and Riley is white and Native American — but Riley never thought it was appropriate to box him in with stifling racial classifications.
“He looks Hawaiian,” she said of her son. “He’s beautiful.”
But she said her son’s views on race and his conception of his own complex identity have been tossed in a blender and mixed up ever since the Albemarle School District adopted an “anti-racism” policy, with an explicit goal of eliminating “all forms of racism” from the local schools.
She said the school has changed her son in ways she doesn’t approve of, filling his head with racial-awareness lessons that emphasize oppression and privilege. Her son now sees himself as different from his mostly white classmates: as a young black man who will have more struggles in life because of his race and because of the systemic racism that is endemic in American life.
“He is changing,” Riley said of her son. “If things don’t go his way or things seem unfair, he will now claim it’s racism. He never did that before. He now identifies as a black man, because that’s how the school told him he looks and who he is.”
How many criminals were put to death last year (2021) in the United States? Try 11.
Now, how many unborn babies in 2019, the latest year I could data, were victims of abortion?
In 2019, 629,898 legal induced abortions were reported to the CDC. Reporting is voluntary and not 100%.
In some cases we can’t execute someone on death row because officials have decided that a lethal injection is cruel and unusual. Apparently what these scumbags did to their victims was not as abhorrent.
Again, the death penalty can never serve to dissuade others if never enforced.
As Congressman Henry Hyde once said, “Show me an unborn child who has been convicted of a capital crime by a jury of his peers, and he’s all yours!”
Back in 2016 prior to the election I saw a brochure in the vestibule of my church. Entitled “A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters,” it was written by Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD.
Fr. Stephen graduated from St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee, earned his Masters and Doctorate at Boston College and his Masters of Divinity at Harvard University. He was ordained in 1980. Since 1988 Fr. Torraco has been Associate Professor of Theology at Assumption College, Worcester, MA, until he died in 2010.
Fr. Torraco served on the Board of Catholic Experts of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), answering moral theology questions from people around the world at EWTN’s web site on a daily basis. He was the author of various books and articles in moral theology, medical ethics, the social teaching of the Catholic Church and the spiritual life.
If I may not vote for a pro-abortion candidate, then should it not also be true that I can’t vote for a pro-capital punishment candidate?
It is not correct to think of abortion and capital punishment as the very same kind of moral issue. On the one hand, direct abortion is an intrinsic evil, and cannot be justified for any purpose or in any circumstances. On the other hand, the Church has always taught that it is the right and responsibility of the legitimate temporal authority to defend and preserve the common good, and more specifically to defend citizens against the aggressor. This defense against the aggressor may resort to the death penalty if no other means of defense is sufficient. The point here is that the death penalty is understood as an act of self-defense on the part of civil society. In more recent times, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II has taught that the need for such self-defense to resort to the death penalty is “rare, if not virtually nonexistent.” Thus, while the Pope is saying that the burden of proving the need for the death penalty in specific cases should rest on the shoulders of the legitimate temporal authority, it remains true that the legitimate temporal authority alone has the authority to determine if and when a “rare” case arises that warrants the death penalty. Moreover, if such a rare case does arise and requires resorting to capital punishment, this societal act of self-defense would be a *morally good action* even if it does have the unintended and unavoidable evil effect of the death of the aggressor. Thus, unlike the case of abortion, it would be morally irresponsible to rule out all such “rare” possibilities a priori, just as it would be morally irresponsible to apply the death penalty indiscriminately.
Abused Woman Survives 4 Abortions, Turns to God After Dad’s Premonition, Tells the Truth of Abortion Clinics The Epoch Times, May 6, 2022
Kelly Lester speaks in a prayer rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. when it was announced that the Dobbs v. Jackson case would be heard in December 2021. (Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Lester)
The life of a pastor’s daughter was changed forever when she was molested as a child, and raped at just 12 years old. Riddled with shame, the budding athlete lost faith that she was worthy of God’s love.
It took years of suffering, including drug and alcohol addiction, four abortions, and domestic abuse, before Kelly Lester of Richmond, Virginia, got the wake-up call she needed to relocate her faith and reclaim her life.
Speaking to The Epoch Times, Lester, 45, said that her turning point came when her father had a vivid dream of her being dead due to a fatal head injury, and he prayed for her protection. The vision coincided with the time her boyfriend was threatening to hit her on the head with a wooden board before dropping it.
“That was definitely the final thing that led me to turn my life around. That was the wake-up call,” Lester said. “By this time, I was almost 30 years old, and just tired; tired of being tired, tired of running.”
Lester was molested by her great-uncle at 3 years old. The trauma was internalized, but Lester was a bright child, and she fast-tracked into high school for her academic prowess. However, as a freshman at 12, Lester snuck out of the house to attend a party and fell victim to sexual assault. Terrified, she confided in her youth pastor.
“She told me that if I hadn’t left the house and gone to that party, that would never have happened,” Lester said. “I was feeling shame, because I had planned on waiting until I got married to have sex. For that to happen, and for her basically to blame it on me, I shut down. That is partly what led me down the path I was on.”
Lester became promiscuous by her early teens while craving the love she felt she no longer deserved from God. She became pregnant at 15; desperate not to shame her family, she had an abortion, and went on with her life, graduating from high school two years later. Once a promising student who dreamed of becoming an astronaut, engineer, or professional dancer, her college career was short-lived.
“I went to the University of Georgia for one semester, and then came back to Richmond and went to Virginia Commonwealth University for a semester. That was it,” said Lester. “We were partying really hard. I wasn’t really going to school, and my grades were bad. My parents told me I needed to take a break and figure out what I wanted.”
Lester claims her parents, albeit loving and attentive, were sidetracked by her troubled younger sister who ran away from home around the time Lester’s rebellion began.
“I’m not going to say they didn’t see what was happening to me, but my need wasn’t as dire in their mind, and I did a really good job of hiding it,” she recalled.
Lester plunged into a world of shame-fueled drug and alcohol dependence, relationships with violent men, and three more aborted pregnancies roughly five years apart. She also experienced abortion from the other side of the counter: working in the abortion industry. Lester was bartending and “living a really chaotic life.” She was looking for a job when she noticed a local women’s clinic was hiring for a receptionist. Attending the interview, she realized it was the same clinic that had performed her second abortion.
“The thing about sin is, when you’re dealing with the shame and the guilt and the condemnation from your sin, you oftentimes lead other people into it as a way to cover up, to make yourself feel better—I certainly wasn’t trying to do that on purpose.”
Lester now believes her insider’s perspective informed the strength of her current pro-life stance.
She said: “Everything about it alarmed me. When these women would come in for their appointment, the first thing we would do is hand them a Dixie cup with Valium. They would take the Valium, then they would sit in the waiting room.
“Sometimes, women would come up and say, ‘You know what, I’ve changed my mind.’ We would say to them, ‘Okay, we understand that you are currently under medication, so we’re required by law to monitor you.’ Once the Valium had kicked in, one of our nurses would come out and say, ‘Now look, honey, you are here. You’ve got the money. We’ve got everything that we need to do this. Let’s go ahead and take care of it for you today.’”
Ironically, the “interesting thing” amid this feigned care, Lester said, was that the staff wanted those women “out the door within 20 minutes” even after having their procedure done under “heavy sedation, which includes a cocktail of drugs, including fentanyl.”
Lester recalls women hemorrhaging and not receiving the proper aftercare, and women being sent home, uninformed.
“The majority of the procedures we did were under twilight sedation, a very heavy sedation where not only do you not feel much, but it actually erases your memory of what happened during the procedure and for most of the day. These women would have no idea what happened to them, and that bothered me,” she explained.
Yet, still shrouded in shame, it took a series of life-threatening accidents to convince Lester she could start over, and this time, holding firm to her faith in God.
Hit by a car while driving a Jeep in Phoenix, Arizona, Lester was thrown from the vehicle but felt something grab her and bring her back inside. “I had two other people with me,” she recalled; “nobody had seatbelts on, nobody got thrown out, and nobody got injured.”
On another occasion, Lester hit an embankment, and felt a presence envelop and protect her. “[It was] almost like an airbag, but that was pre airbag age,” she recalled. “I’ve had countless incidents over the years where there was undoubtedly the hand of the Lord protecting my life. I just wasn’t ready to surrender my life to Him.”
Lester’s surrender came after a further incident in New Orleans, in which an abusive boyfriend threatened to hit her over the head with a length of wood. It led Lester to call her father to come get her.
Lester said her father was her best friend growing up, and their relationship remained strong until his passing in July 2021 at the age of 73. Lester and Robbie, who have six children together, have since bought the beloved Richmond home she grew up in.
“Over those years, the Lord began healing those places in my heart that led me to sin, restoring my identity, restoring that He loves me in spite of what I had done,” Lester reflected. “Over the years of trusting Him more and allowing Him to work, my faith and trust became stronger.”
Lester now works for Abby Johnson’s ProLove Ministries as director of outreach and government engagement and has testified to help get legislation passed. She travels the country to spread the pro-life message, meets with investors, and leads sidewalk advocacy campaigns in her hometown of Richmond.
“I’ve been a woman who’s had abortions, I’ve been a woman who’s worked in the abortion industry, and now I’m a woman who’s stood up against abortion clinics,” she said. “Forgiveness is a very powerful thing.”
Today’s read is from columnist Scott Morefield. Here’s an excerpt:
This is a different list. Instead of simply naming the most powerful people, or the richest, or the prettiest, or the most likely to find themselves in a drug-induced coma by the end of 2022, my purpose here is to list the five most “important” people alive in America today. “Important how?” you ask. Great question!
In addition to having power on their own, whether through their massive platforms or money or positions they hold, the people on my list all play key roles in sparking the kinds of conversations that don’t just perk up ears at dinner tables and water coolers, but change enough minds in ways that have the potential to change the culture and turn this country around in a positive way.
Thomas Reeves, a friend of mine, wrote on his Facebook page:
If the beauty of May was insufficient to raise our spirits, the large Catholic, Latin Rite church we attend in Milwaukee chose Sunday to celebrate First Communion. The thirty children, dressed up, and surrounded by admiring relatives, were now able to partake of the grace found in the Blessed Sacrament. It was beautiful to behold the aftermath when we entered—all of the cameras, the smiles, the pride, the sense of belonging, the spiritual presence—here was something ancient, Christian, and inspiring. Watching all of this, I felt, well, clean. Here were young people drawing closer to Christ. And most, if not all, of them would have the power to resist and oppose the Culture of Death that is mounding the vast majority all over the world. Thanks be to God.
Another friend of mine is Ryan Patrick McEldowney. Ryan used to be the organist at my beloved St. Anthony’s parish in Milwaukee. He now lives with his family in Louisville.
Ryan’s daughter Mary Cecelia made her First Holy Communion on May 12 at Christi Classical Academy. Words cannot describe. Unbelievably precious.