Category Archives: Education

Obama admin told father of student imprisoned in North Korea to “keep a low profile”

obama and warmbier

In typical form, Obama was more concerned about his own image.

From Fox News: The father of Otto Warmbier said his son, who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months before being returned home in a coma this week, “fought to stay alive” during his ordeal.  

Fred Warmbier also dismissed whatever efforts were made on behalf of his 22-year-old son Otto by the Obama administration, which asked the family to keep a low profile when news of Otto’s arrest became public.

“The results speak for themselves,” he said in a news conference, adding that President Trump, by contrast, reached out to him personally.

“Last evening, we received a very nice phone call from Pres. Trump, who told us that Sec. of State Tillerson worked hard to bring Otto home. We are extremely grateful for their efforts and concern,” he said.

At the same news conference a spokeswoman for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center reported that Otto suffered a “severe neurological injury” and was in “satisfactory” condition.

Warmbier said his son “fought to stay alive” while in captivity since January 2016. “Otto is a fighter,” he said. “I’m so proud of Otto, my son, who has been in a pariah regime for the last 18 months – brutalized and terrorized.”

“His spirit is with us and I can share his spirit with my spirit,” said Warmbier, who was wearing the very same light-colored blazer his son wore during his trial in North Korea in March 2016.

His disgust for the Pyongyang regime was crystal clear. “We went for 15 months without a word from or about Otto. It was only a week ago that we were informed that the North Korean government now claims he was in a coma for almost all of that time. Even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill causing the coma — and we don’t — there is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top notch medical care for so long. North Korea is a pariah regime, they’re brutal (feed loses quality) and they’re terroristic.”

Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was detained on Jan. 2, 2016, at Pyongyang International Airport, while visiting the country as a tourist with Young Pioneer Tours. He was charged with stealing the sign from a staff-only floor in the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang and committing “crimes against the state.” He was given a one-hour trial in March 2016, when the government presented fingerprints, CCTV footage and pictures of a political banner to make its case against the American student. “I beg that you see how I am only human,” Warmbier said at his trial. “And how I have made the biggest mistake of my life.”

Despite his pleas, the college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. In a post-trial video released to the world, Warmbier, under obvious duress, praised his captors for his treatment and for handling of the case “fair and square.”

Before Thursday’s news conference, a U.S. official had told Fox News that Warmbier was in a coma for “over a year.” The official added that the North Koreans told the U.S. that Warmbier contracted botulism and slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. Neither the family nor doctors treating Warmbier have commented on that claim.

Fred Warmbier also criticized the companies that profit off young people’s naïve willingness to visit North Korea. “The North Koreans lure Americans to travel to North Korea via tour groups run out of China, who advertise slick ads on (feed loses quality) the internet proclaiming no American ever gets detained off of our tours and this is a safe place to go.”

In Wyoming, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, friends and neighbors of Warmbier said they were elated the young man was home but expressed grave concern over his condition.

“We’re very concerned for his health and future,” said neighbor Tom Purdy. “We hope he can return to normal. We’ve been praying for him every night.”

At Wyoming High School, where Warmbier attended, students described him as an “outstanding person” who was known in the community for his academic achievements and athleticism.

Foreigners who have been detained or imprisoned in the Hermit Kingdom often have a shared experience: confusion, forced confessions, communication blackouts and isolation.

Warmbier’s release leaves three U.S. citizens currently known to be held in North Korea: accounting professor Kim Sang Duk, businessman Kim Dong Chul and Kim Hak-Song, who worked at Pyongyang University.

When asked what advice he might have for their families, Warmbier said he had none. “I wouldn’t know what to say to them,” he said. “This is, I’ve been told, not precedented.”

DCG

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Democrat Illinois is broke and will cease all road work on July 1

The state of Illinois is broke, so broke that the state government sent a notice to contractors that beginning July 1, they are to halt all road work, except what is needed for safety.

Investment adviser Mike “Mish” Shedlock of Mish Talk reports that after years of over-spending and a very business unfriendly environment, the state of Illinois is in dire financial straits. The state government has not passed a budget for close to three years, its unpaid bills are a whopping $14.3 billion, and Moody’s has downgraded its bond rating, with five Illinois universities rated junk.

Yesterday, June 14, 2017, the state told contractors to halt all non-safety related roadwork.

Below is a screenshot of the letter sent to contractors by Pam R. Simon, Director of Illinois’ Office of Business and Workforce Diversity, stating that:

“At this time appropriate funding is not available after June 30, 2017 . . . .

On July 1, 2017, all work shall cease except for maintenance of existing traffic controls, maintenance of erosion and sediment controls and such efforts that will secure conditions of danger to highway system users as directed by the engineer.”

The parlous state of Illinois’ finances can be seen in its universities and the state’s economic activity:

  • Illinois’ economic growth is worse than during the Great Depression: total state economic activity has increased by only 4% since 2007, which is lower than the U.S.’ 10% GDP growth during the worst decade of the Great Depression according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
  • Despite an increase in population, Illinois has 146,000 fewer people working than during the Great Depression.
  • Although the number of administrators in Illinois’ universities grew by nearly a third (31.1%) between 2004 and 2010, the number of faculty and students only increased 1.8% and 2.3%, respectively. Student tuition and fees increased 100% since 2006, and retirement costs now consume more than 50% of all state spending on higher education.

Illinois’ answer to its financial insolvency is to raise taxes. But it took $31.6 billion of new tax revenue to reduce the backlog of bills by only $1.3 billion. At the same time, the state’s pension debt got worse, increasing by more than $25B from 2010 through 2015.

The result: Illinois is now called a failed state by Politico, the Heritage Foundation, and the Chicago Tribune.

Shedlock says that 5 reforms are desperately needed:

  1. Municipal bankruptcy legislation
  2. Pension reform
  3. Right-to-Work legislation
  4. End of prevailing wage laws
  5. Workers’ compensation reform

Illinois is a Democratic stronghold and considered one of the most Democratic states in the nation, as you can see in the posts FOTM has published:

~Eowyn

Lewd drag queen performs at NY school district talent show before 5-year-old kids

There is something very, very wrong with the New York City Board of Education.

Todd Starnes reports for Fox News that on May 25, 2017, the president of New York Public School 96 Parent Association performed in drag at a school district talent show before an audience comprised of grade school kids as young as 5.

At one point in his gyrating “performance,” the drag queen spread his legs, flashing his G-string, to wild cheers from the audience.

One parent told The New York Daily News, “I left the show the minute he started sticking his tongue out. I had my children with me and I wasn’t going to allow them to see that.”

Parent Raquel Morales filmed the seven-minute routine on her cell phone and provided Starnes with a copy. Here’s the video:

Morales told Starnes:

“My first reaction was what the hell is going on. Once he [drag queen] got to that part [dropping to the floor and writhing in a sexually-suggestive manner] it was chaos. People were yelling and leaving. A lot of parents were saying had they known this was going to happen they would have taken their kids out after they [the kids] had performed. The school district told me the performance was about LGBT awareness.”

Morales made it a point to explain that her objection had nothing to do with the LGBT movement, but is about age-appropriate behavior and what happened in that auditorium was not age appropriate. She said:

“I’m 100 percent against discrimination. The superintendent was the emcee – and she has a responsibility to protect all children. That wasn’t a child performing. It was an adult.”

The drag queen performer is Frankie Quinones, President of Public School 96 Parent Association.

The talent show was emceed by District 4 Superintendent Alexandra Estrella. Estrella is the Superintendent of the district’s elementary and middle schools.

Here’s Estrella’s contact info.:

Phone: (212) 348-2873.
Email: AEstrel3@schools.nyc.gov
LinkedIn page

District 4’s contact info:

160 East 120th Street, Room 401
New York, NY 10035
Email: cec4@schools.nyc.gov

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Seattle-area school districts turn to health centers for children

melissa harris perry

What is not mentioned in this article is if parental notification is required for a physician to meet/advise your minor child (especially if they receive family planning services). But I’m sure the lack thereof is on purpose, as noted by the spin of school health centers presented as an academic benefit for your minor children.

From Seattle Times: Evidence connecting students’ overall health with their academic performance has mushroomed in recent decades, such that Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman calls it one of the best-established links in all of social science.

Seattle’s school district, ahead of the curve on this issue, has for 30 years provided health services to kids in two-dozen schools. Now the success of that effort is spreading.

Next fall, Bellevue, Renton and Vashon Island each will open one school-based health center, offering an array of services from annual checkups to behavioral counseling — far more than the school nurses of old used to do.

Nationally, the use of such school-based clinics has increased rapidly, particularly in rural areas where families may lack a regular pediatrician, or might have to drive an hour for children’s basic medical care. Not surprisingly, lack of a nearby doctor results in high absenteeism.

But urban Bellevue has seen a marked increase in the need for such services, too, said Jessica Knaster Wasse, who oversees school-based health centers for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Some 500 students — nearly half of them low-income — attend Highland Middle School, the first site in the district to get its own health center. “Most people think of Bellevue as an affluent community, but the demographics have really shifted,” Knaster Wasse said. “The immunization rate at Highland Middle is 76 percent — one of the lowest in the county, and it’s really just an access issue.”

Statewide, there are 35 school-based health centers — most of them in King County — and the driver behind them is academic as much as medical.

A study published in 2010 found that adolescents who used a school-based center for mental health improved their grades, compared to nonusers. And kids were 21 times more likely to get help when counselors were on-site, compared with those whose only access was off school grounds.

In New York City, asthmatic children who used a school-based health center markedly increased their attendance, with fewer trips to the hospital. “Time out of class can really add up, particularly for students who have chronic conditions,” Knaster Wasse said.

At Highland Middle, mental-health counseling will be provided by Youth Eastside Services, and the nonprofit International Community Health Services, which already operates a clinic at Seattle World School, will staff the medical side.

Startup costs for the three new health centers will be covered through a $2 million grant from King County’s Best Starts for Kids levy (aka taxpayers). Each plans to provide counseling offices, a pharmacy and space for mobile dental units.

“We took what we knew was working in Seattle and extended it,” said Michael McKee, director of health services and community partnerships at ICHS. “It’s exciting because we know it improves access.”

DCG

Robert De Niro rants that the U.S. has fallen from ‘uplifting drama’ to ‘tragic, dumba** comedy’

robert de niro

TDS causes ugliness both inside and out

Last October De Niro said he’d “like to punch him (Trump) in the face.” De Niro has also been very vocal about his distaste for all things Trump.

It is my opinion that Trump Derangement Syndrome has turned the proggies’ butt hurt into a “tragic, dumba** comedy.” Just see my previous post on the “comic” Kathy Griffin” for verifiable proof.

From Yahoo: Critically acclaimed actor Robert De Niro said Sunday that the once-inspiring United States has descended into a “tragic, dumbass comedy.”

De Niro, 73, offered his assessment of the country under President Trump while delivering a commencement address at Brown University.

The movie star received an honorary doctorate of fine arts at the Ivy League school in Providence, R.I. He described what he sees as America’s fall from grace “in movie terms” and encouraged the 2017 graduating class to work toward repairing what’s damaged.

“When you started school, the country was an inspiring, uplifting drama,” he said. “You are graduating into a tragic, dumbass comedy. My advice is to lock the Van Wickle Gates and stay here. But if you do leave, work for the change. Work to stop the insanity. Start now so the Class of 2018 will graduate into a better world.”

De Niro, a well-known Democrat, was as outspoken in his support of former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as he is in his disdain for Trump.

During the presidential campaign, De Niro shot a video, denouncing Trump as a “national disaster” and “an embarrassment to this country.” It was supposed to be part of the #VoteYourFuture campaign but organizers considered it too partisan to include in the final project. The video was published separately.

“I mean he’s so blatantly stupid,” he said in the video. “He’s a punk, he’s a dog, he’s a pig, he’s a con, a bulls*** artist, a mutt who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t care, thinks he’s gaming society, doesn’t pay his taxes. He’s an idiot.

On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, De Niro again condemned Trump at a protest outside Trump Tower in New York. He gave a speech criticizing Trump’s rhetoric around immigration and said he hopes the former reality TV show star will abandon his “divisive, racist, misogynist, ignorant plan.”

“Just like our Founding Fathers, you can love our country and not love everything about it. That’s understandable. You can love your city, as I do, and not love everything about it either,” De Niro said in the speech. “That may have been what I was thinking about when I said I wish you-know-who would leave this city. I don’t care where he goes, I just never thought he’d go to Washington. He’s a bad example of this country, this city.

DCG

Seattle guidance counselor fined twice by state regulators – and fired as a coach over a decade ago – continues to advise students

raymond willis ap photo

Raymond Willis: Liar guiding children in Seattle/AP Photo

What a role model he is for the students. And very telling about how the unions will go to a great length to protect liars – all to “help young people.”

From Seattle Times: A guidance counselor in Seattle Public Schools has twice been fined by state regulators for selling stocks without a broker’s license. But violating the Securities Act of Washington — and misleading investorsdoes not disqualify Raymond Willis from continuing to advise students at Garfield High School, where he has worked since 2007.

As of last fall, the state Department of Financial Institutions had fined Willis and his nutritional-supplement company, the MiniHYA Corp., $37,000 in penalties and associated legal costs for fraudulently selling securities.

Willis, reached by phone last month at a Miami Beach hotel, would not discuss the matter. “That’s all been resolved,” he said, before hanging up.

Not to the satisfaction of regulators in Olympia, who say Willis failed to show up at his most recent hearing and has not paid the fines.

Michael Galletch, a lawyer representing Willis, said the guidance counselor and his company will make good. The dollar amounts collected from outside investors were very small, Galletch added, each about $1,000.  “Whatever issues they’ve got, they’ve corrected,” Galletch said. “And as they go forward, they will comply. They are not taking any more money in.”

Violating state finance laws does not necessarily bar Willis from holding onto a job providing guidance in schools, according to Nate Olson, a spokesman for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. “There are specific offenses that would trigger suspension and generate an investigation,” Olson said. “Fraud is not on that list.”

Short of violence or sexual crimes against a child — which can automatically trigger action by the state — it is up to school districts to file complaints. And so far, Seattle has taken no such action against Willis.

“Mr. Willis is currently employed by Seattle Public Schools. We are aware of the situation and are looking into it and will follow state law,” said a district spokesman in an emailed statement.

Neither the Washington Education Association nor the Seattle teachers union would comment on Willis’ legal situation or whether they support the fact that he continues to guide young people.

In 2014, state documents say, Willis raised more than $40,000 from several dozen investors in MiniHYA, which he said would soon market an anti-wrinkle product. It had been patented, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and subjected to “extensive ‘research clinical studies,’ ” the documents quote Willis as saying. But few of those things were true, investigators said.

“A search of filings with the United States Patent Office does not reveal that MiniHYA Corporation or Raymond Willis had any patent applications pending or that they hold any patents,” they wrote in a statement of charges dated December 2015.

Meanwhile, Willis continued to portray himself as a successful entrepreneur. Last summer, he contacted Florida real-estate agent Chris Rey, who says Willis told him he owned three large pharmaceutical companies and wanted to purchase two luxury properties for his investors — each valued at about $50 million. “That’s a life-changing commission for me,” said Rey, who works at The Nickley Group in Orlando.

Rey got to work. But his suspicions were quickly piqued. “He said his investors were part of the royal family of Abu Dhabi! It was this tall tale that just seemed extremely bizarre,” recalled Rey in an interview.

He began searching online for information about Willis, and the legal proceedings from the Department of Financial Institutions popped up, as did Willis’ day job as a guidance counselor at Garfield. “It floored me — big-time,” Rey said.

Willis has a checkered history in Seattle schools. He was fired from his coaching job at Chief Sealth High in 2005 for improperly recruiting athletes for the girls basketball team. Two years later, the district reassigned him to work as a counselor at Garfield, saying only that the loss of his coaching job didn’t affect his status as a counselor.

There, Willis, who is African American, has worked primarily with black students. There is no evidence that Willis approached students or their families about his businesses.

According to Department of Financial Institutions documents, Willis told would-be investors that by 2018 MiniHYA would be worth $160 million, and a $2,000 investment could net them up to $40,000. They also said he solicited blacks, in particular, as investors, contacting them through an online chat room aimed at African Americans.

One woman earned a salary barely above the minimum wage and had used money from her retirement account to buy into MiniHYA, hoping it would help her “earn enough money from the investment to live independently,” investigators wrote.

It was not the first time Willis has been in trouble with financial regulators.

Documents show that in 2013, after an investor sued him, alleging fraud, Willis agreed to stop selling stock in two other companies — a skin-care firm called AuJeune, and a health-care company called Ra Ghala that was marketing a mammogram machine, a bandage and “a device to pick up pet waste.”

He’d solicited more than $250,000 from 40 investors to fund those two enterprises, according to state regulators, who fined Willis $4,000 for violating securities law, an amount determined based on Willis’ ability to pay, not the gravity of the charges, said Suzanne Sarason, chief of securities enforcement with DFI.

Willis, who earns about $70,000 through his guidance-counselor job, paid the penalty and agreed to stop selling stock. But it did not stop him from advertising himself as a CEO, trusted board chairman and respected health-care industry official — all titles that appear on the CV Willis submitted to real-estate agent Rey.

That paperwork makes no mention of his job with Seattle Public Schools. “Mr. Willis’s work as a guidance counselor is community effort,” said Galletch, the lawyer. “He doesn’t do it as a regular source of income. He does it to help young people.

DCG

‘We all hate you’: Eighth graders on field trip to DC refuse to pose with Paul Ryan

paul ryan with kids

This is what “civil discourse” and “political engagement” passes for this day. The teachers and parents of these children are so proud. Course they are just following in the footsteps of demorat leaders. Stay classy kids!

From Daily Mail: A free-thinking group of eighth grades refused to pose with House Speaker Paul Ryan during a field trip to Washington DC on Thursday.

Half of the students from South Orange Middle School in New Jersey stood on the other side of the street as their classmates had their photo taken with Ryan outside the United States Capitol.

When he uploaded the image to Instagram, the ones who had refused to be in it flooded the comments section with insults and complaints‘Half of us stood across the street including me because we hate you,’ said one.

Another spoke to DailyMail.com to explain his decision to not take part. ‘The fact that he puts his party before his country, he likes to think of what his party will think of him other than what his country will think of him,’ Matthew Malespina, 13 said. Ryan’s Republican stance on healthcare, education and LGBT rights were among the things Matthew disagreed with.

The school has not commented on their protest but Matthew’s mother said it gave all students the option to take part or not.  ‘The school allowed the children to make a choice, they were very good about that. It was all quite peaceful,’ she said.

The children were taking part in a field trip to DC when they were told on Wednesday that they would be meeting Ryan.

Matthew texted his mother immediately to tell her that he was concerned and she urged him to let the teachers know he was uncomfortable with it.

When Ryan emerged from the Capitol on Thursday, some students who had agreed to take part were gathered on the steps to have their photograph taken. The others were stood across the street and Ryan was unaware that they had refused.

On Friday, he uploaded the photograph with the willing students to Instagram, writing alongside it: ‘Got that #FridayFeeling’.

The students pounced, pointing out in the comments section that half did not want to be associated with him and accusing him of merely using them as a photo-opp.

‘I find this really funny because this is my school and more than half of us chose to step out of that picture. And to add, the school is from a very liberal town, so I’m very proud to say that I was amongst the students who stood ACROSS the street.

‘Plus most of the kids who were standing there were only there to make fun of him because he’s a walking talking meme, ‘said one.

They were met with comments from Republican supporters who accused them of being disrespectful to the office of the Speaker of the House.

Matthew’s mother Elissa supported his decision, telling DailyMail.com she was proud of him and the rest of the children for standing up for what they believe in.  ‘We’ve always talked about politics so we’ve always been a family that has been politically active. We didn’t indoctrinate him, he has had a mind of his own ever since he was a small child and he’s gathered up his own views. We are lucky to live in a community with a large number of active and engaged young people.’

Read the rest of the story here.

FYI: From the South Orange Middle School web site (not sure of the exact date):

South Orange Middle School celebrated its second schoolwide “Winter Blast of Kindness” Day last week — and the entire school felt like one big celebration. The event was filled with scores of activities for students and staff that emphasized the importance of being kind to one another, family members and teachers.

Launched last year by health teacher Allison Cahill and social worker Allison Steiner (who were joined this year by PE teacher Jackie Gronek) the idea stemmed from a desire to respond to the issue of bullying by creating a climate of kindness throughout the school.”

At least these children have mastered the proggies’ technique of being a hypocrite.

DCG