Category Archives: Education

Hillary Clinton’s $1 trillion tax hikes will hit the middle class and every American

If Americans are so stupid and devoid of a moral compass as to elect pathological liar Hillary Clinton as president, they will get their just dessert when she unleashes a tsunami of taxes that will hit, not just “the rich,” but also the middle class and every American.

Hillary makes devil sign

Based on her campaign’s own figures, President Hillary will raise our taxes by a mind-boggling $1 trillion, at least, over the next 10 years.

If you think the $1 trillion in new taxes will come from “the rich” alone, then you’re living in Lala Land.

On July 24, 2016, interviewed on CBS’s 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley asked Hillary Clinton about her planned tax increases: “Who gets a tax increase? Who gets a tax cut?”

Hillary replied: “The middle class will not get a tax increase. That has been my pledge.”

When asked what “middle class” means, Hillary unambiguously replied, “Well, we say below $250,000.”

But her “rock-solid” pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans is a lie, because Hillary already has endorsed the following tax increases on not just middle income, but all Americans:

1) Payroll tax hike

On January 11, 2016, during the Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, referring to a plan called the FAMILY Act, which calls for a payroll tax increase on all Americans with wages of $113,700 and more, moderator Alicia Melendez pointedly asked Hillary if a payroll tax “were to reach your desk as President, would you veto it in order to make good on your tax pledge?” Hillary answered: “No. No.”

A video of Hillary’s tax hike admission can be viewed here. The relevant portion begins at 1:47:00.

Hillary’s refusal to veto a payroll tax is consistent with her admission on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on December 6, 2015, that her promise of “no tax increases at all on anyone earning $250,000” is merely a “goal”.

2) $350 Billion Income Tax increase

To pay for her proposed $350 billion New College Compact — of greatly-reduced costs for all students who attend a 4-year public state college, and free tuition for community college students — Hillary proposes a $350 billion 10-year income tax hike in the form of a 28% cap on itemized deductions.

3) Soda tax

Most, if not all, Americans drink soda.

On April 20, 2016, despite her “rock-solid” pledge to the American people that she will not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000, speaking in Philadelphia, Hillary said she is “very supportive” of a soda tax: “I’m very supportive of the mayor’s proposal to tax soda to get universal preschool for kids. I mean, we need universal preschool, and if that’s a way to do it, that’s how we should do it.”

The tax would be three cents per ounce of soda, which means 36 cents for the standard 12-oz. can of soda pop.

Hillary’s official campaign plan also calls for universal preschool for the entire country, which of course will have to be paid for — with higher taxes.

Hillary’s endorsement of a soda tax led her then-opponent Bernie Sanders to call it a regressive tax that would mainly hit low-income Americans. As reported by NBC News and The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, Sanders said:

“Frankly, I am very surprised that Secretary Clinton would support this regressive tax after pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000. This proposal clearly violates her pledge.”

“The mechanism here is fairly regressive. And that is, it will be increasing taxes on low income and working people.”

4) 25% national gun tax

In October 2015, NBC News reported that a study found that a third of Americans said they owned at least one gun. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. population on January 1, 2015, was 320.09 million, which means as many as 106.7 million Americans owned a gun. That number is probably larger because when asked by a polling group, Americans likely would deny they have one instead of lie that they own gun(s).

On Sept. 30, 1993, in a passionate Senate testimony, calling gun owners and dealers “purveyors of violence,” Hillary Clinton endorsed a new national 25% retail sales tax on guns and $2,500 license fees for gun dealers, saying “I am speaking personally, but I feel very strongly about that.”

5) Carbon Tax

The 2016 Democrat Party platform endorses a carbon tax because “Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and help meet out climate goals.”

Consistent with her party’s platform, Hillary’s campaign manager John Podesta recently said she would be open to a carbon tax. As reported by Politico Pro, Podesta told reporters, after speaking at an event hosted by green groups: “Right now we’ve not proposed a carbon tax. We believe we can get the job done. But if Congress wants to come forward with one, we’ll take a look at it.”

For that matter, in June 2015, Hillary’s bud, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that a Hillary victory in 2016 could pave the way for a carbon tax: “There’s one sort of [value-added tax] Democrats might be for — and that’s a carbon tax. So you might get a compromise along those lines.”

6) Other Taxes

  • $275 billion business tax increase through undefined business tax reform, as described in a Clinton campaign document.
  • $400 billion “Fairness” tax increase: According to her published plan, Hillary calls for a tax increase of “between $400 and $500 billion” by “restoring basic fairness to our tax code.” These proposals include a “fair share surcharge,” the taxing of carried interest capital gains as ordinary income, and a hike in the Death Tax.
  • Capital Gains Tax Increase: Hillary has proposed an increase in the capital gains tax to counter the “tyranny of today’s earnings report.” Her plan calls for a byzantine capital gains tax regime with six rates. Her campaign has not put a dollar amount on this tax increase.
  • Tax on Stock Trading: Hillary has also proposed a new tax on stock trading, which will be borne by millions of American families who have 401(k)s, IRAs and other savings accounts. Again, no dollar figure for this tax hike has been released by the Clinton campaign.
  • Exit Tax: Hillary has proposed what she calls an “exit tax” on income earned overseas, which would raise $80 billion in tax revenue.

Hillary’s running-mate, Tim Kaine, is also dedicated to tax hikes. See:

Source: Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), which has a website dedicated to tracking Hillary’s tax hikes, HighTaxHillary.com.

See also:

H/t FOTM‘s josephbc69

~Eowyn

DC-area mayor (and a teacher) charged with offering meth for sex

Demorat Scott Silverthorne/Facebook Photo

Demorat Scott Silverthorne/Facebook Photo

Via NY Post: A northern Virginia mayor is facing drug charges after police say he was arrested in a meth-for-sex sting.

Fairfax County Police said in a statement Friday that investigators looking into a possible methamphetamine distributor made contact with a suspect who turned out to be Fairfax Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne through a website used to arrange sexual encounters between men.

Police say Silverthorne indicated he could provide methamphetamine for sexual encounters and undercover detectives agreed to meet.

Police say 50-year-old Silverthorne met the detectives at a hotel Thursday and was arrested after he gave them methamphetamine. Silverthorne, who is also a substitute teacher, is charged with felony distribution of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police say detectives located Silverthorne’s two suppliers and they were also arrested and charged.

DCG

2016 Templeton Prize recipient Lord Jonathan Sacks on the crisis of Western civilization

The Templeton Prize is an award of £1,100,000 sterling, established in 1972 by the late Sir John Templeton, to honor a living person — an “entrepreneur of the spirit” — who has made an exceptional contribution to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. The Prize celebrates no particular faith tradition or notion of God, but rather the quest for progress in humanity’s efforts to comprehend the many and diverse manifestations of the Divine.

The recipient of the 2016 Templeton Prize is Lord Jonathan Sacks, 68, who was the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013.

In his acceptance speech, Lord Sacks identifies “outsourcing” as the reason for our present crisis of Western civilization. The West has systematically outsourced jobs, bank risks, memory, and most devastasting and destructive of all, of morality — the outsourcing of the consequences of our misbehavior to government that cannot solve those problems, and the corresponding loss of our individual conscience and of virtue, resulting in a culture of irresponsibility that America’s Founding Fathers had warned would be the death of democracy.

Below is the bulk of his speech, exempting introductory remarks, on receiving the Prize on March 26 2016, in Central Hall Westminster, London.

Jonathan Sacks

Jonathan Sacks

This is a fateful moment in history. Wherever we look, politically, religiously, economically, environmentally, there is insecurity and instability. It is not too much to say that the future of the West and the unique form of freedom it has pioneered for the past four centuries is altogether at risk.

I want tonight to look at one phenomenon that has shaped the West, leading it at first to greatness, but now to crisis. It can be summed up in one word: outsourcing. On the face of it, nothing could be more innocent or productive. It’s the basis of the modern economy. It’s Adam Smith’s division of labour and David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage that says, even if you are better than me at everything, still we both gain if you do what you’re best at and I do what I’m best at and we trade. The question is: are there limits? Are there things we can’t or shouldn’t outsource?

The issue has arisen because of the new technologies and instantaneous global communication. So instead of outsourcing within an economy, we do it between economies. We’ve seen the outsourcing of production to low wage countries. We’ve seen the outsourcing of services, so that you can be in one town in America, booking a hotel in another, unaware that your call is being taken in India. This seemed like a good idea at the time, as if the West was saying to the world: you do the producing and we’ll do the consuming. But is that sustainable in the long run?

Then banks began to outsource risk, lending far beyond their capacities in the belief that either property prices would go on rising forever, or more significantly, if they crashed, it would be someone else’s problem, not mine.

There is, though, one form of outsourcing that tends to be little noticed: the outsourcing of memory. Our computers and smartphones have developed larger and larger memories, from kilobytes to megabytes to gigabytes, while our memories, and those of our children have got smaller and smaller. In fact, why bother to remember anything these days if you can look it up in a microsecond on Google or Wikipedia?

But here, I think, we made a mistake. We confused history and memory, which are not the same thing at all. History is an answer to the question, “What happened?” Memory is an answer to the question, “Who am I?” History is about facts, memory is about identity. History is his-story. It happened to someone else, not me. Memory is my story, the past that made me who I am, of whose legacy I am the guardian for the sake of generations yet to come. Without memory, there is no identity. And without identity, we are mere dust on the surface of infinity.

Lacking memory we have forgotten one of the most important lessons to have emerged from the wars of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and the new birth of freedom that followed. Even to say it sounds antiquarian but it is this: A free society is a moral achievement. Without self-restraint, without the capacity to defer the gratification of instinct, and without the habits of heart and deed that we call virtues, we will eventually lose our freedom.

That is what Locke meant when he contrasted liberty, the freedom to do what we ought, with licence, the freedom to do what we want. It’s what Adam Smith signalled when, before he wrote The Wealth of Nations, he wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. It’s what Washington meant when he said, “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.” And Benjamin Franklin when he said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” And Jefferson when he said, “A nation as a society forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.”

At some point the West abandoned this belief. When I went to Cambridge in the late 60s, the philosophy course was then called Moral Sciences, meaning that just like the natural sciences, morality was objective, real, part of the external world. I soon discovered, though, that almost no one believed this anymore. Morality was no more than the expression of emotion, or subjective feeling, or private intuition, or autonomous choice. It was, within limits, whatever I chose it to be. In fact there was nothing left to study but the meaning of words. To me this seemed less like civilization than the breakdown of a civilization.

It took me years to work out what had happened. Morality had been split in two and outsourced to other institutions. There were moral choices and there were the consequences of our moral choices. Morality itself was outsourced to the market. The market gives us choices, and morality itself is just a set of choices in which right or wrong have no meaning beyond the satisfaction or frustration of desire. The result is that we find it increasingly hard to understand why there might be things we want to do, can afford to do, and have a legal right to do, that nonetheless we should not do because they are unjust or dishonourable or disloyal or demeaning: in a word, unethical. Ethics was reduced to economics.

As for the consequences of our choices, these were outsourced to the state. Bad choices lead to bad outcomes: failed relationships, neglected children, depressive illness, wasted lives. But the government would deal with it. Forget about marriage as a sacred bond between husband and wife. Forget about the need of children for a loving and secure human environment. Forget about the need for communities to give us support in times of need. Welfare was outsourced to the state. As for conscience, that once played so large a part in the moral life, that could be outsourced to regulatory bodies. So having reduced moral choice to economics, we transferred the consequences of our choices to politics.

And it seemed to work, at least for a generation or two. But by now problems have arisen that can’t be solved by the market or the state alone. To mention just a few: The structural unemployment that follows the outsourcing of production and services. The further unemployment that will come when artificial intelligence increasingly replaces human judgment and skill. Artificially low interest rates that encourage borrowing and debt and discourage saving and investment. Wildly inflated CEO pay. The lowering of living standards, first of the working class, then of the middle class. The insecurity of employment, even for graduates. The inability of young families to afford a home. The collapse of marriage, leading to intractable problems of child poverty and depression. The collapse of birthrates throughout Europe, leading to unprecedented levels of immigration that are now the only way the West can sustain its population, and the systemic failure to integrate some of these groups. The loss of family, community and identity, that once gave us the strength to survive unstable times. And there are others.

Why have they proved insoluble? First, because they are global, and governments are only national. Second, because they are long term while the market and liberal democratic politics are short term. Third, because they depend on changing habits of behaviour, which neither the market nor the liberal democratic state are mandated to do. Above all, though, because they can’t be solved by the market and the state alone. You can’t outsource conscience. You can’t delegate moral responsibility away.

When you do, you raise expectations that cannot be met. And when, inevitably, they are not met, society becomes freighted with disappointment, anger, fear, resentment and blame. People start to take refuge in magical thinking, which today takes one of four forms: the far right, the far left, religious extremism and aggressive secularism. The far right seeks a return to a golden past that never was. The far left seeks a utopian future that will never be. Religious extremists believe you can bring salvation by terror. Aggressive secularists believe that if you get rid of religion there will be peace. These are all fantasies, and pursuing them will endanger the very foundations of freedom. Yet we have seen, even in mainstream British and American politics, forms of ugliness and irrationality I never thought I would see in my lifetime. We have seen on university campuses in Britain and America the abandonment of academic freedom in the name of the right not to be offended by being confronted by views with which I disagree. This is le trahison des clercs, the intellectual betrayal, of our time, and it is very dangerous indeed. So is there another way?

Two historical phenomena have long fascinated me. One is the strange fact that, having lagged behind China for a thousand years, the West overtook it in the seventeenth century, creating science, industry, technology, the free market and the free society.

The second is the no less strange fact that Jews and Judaism survived for two thousand years after the destruction of the Second Temple, having lost everything on which their existence was predicated in the Bible: their land, their home, their freedom, their Temple, their kings, their prophets and priests.

The explanation in both cases, is the same. It is the precise opposite of outsourcing: namely the internalization of what had once been external. Wherever in the world Jews prayed, there was the Temple. Every prayer was a sacrifice, every Jew a priest, and every community a fragment of Jerusalem. Something similar happened in those strands of Islam that interpreted jihad
not as a physical war on the battlefield but as a spiritual struggle within the soul.

A parallel phenomenon occurred in Christianity after the Reformation, especially in the Calvinism that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries transformed Holland, Scotland, England of the Revolution and America of the Pilgrim Fathers. It was this to which Max Weber famously attributed the spirit of capitalism. The external authority of the Church was replaced by the internal voice of conscience. This made possible the widely distributed networks of trust on which the smooth functioning of the market depends. We are so used to contrasting the material and the spiritual that we sometimes forget that the word credit comes from the Latin credo, I believe, and confidence, that requisite of investment and economic growth, comes from fidentia meaning faith or trust.

What emerged in Judaism and post-Reformation Christianity was the rarest of character-types: the inner-directed personality. Most societies, for most of history, have been either tradition-directed or other-directed. People do what they do, either because that is how they have always been done, or because that’s what other people do.

Inner-directed types are different. They become the pioneers, the innovators and the survivors. They have an internalized satellite navigation system, so they aren’t fazed by uncharted territory. They have a strong sense of duty to others. They try to have secure marriages. They hand on their values to their children. They belong to strong communities. They take daring but carefully calculated risks. When they fail, they have rapid recovery times.

They have discipline. They enjoy tough challenges and hard work. They play it long. They are more interested in sustainability than quick profits. They know they have to be responsible to customers, employees and shareholders, as well as to the wider public, because only thus will they survive in the long run. They don’t do foolish things like creative accounting, subprime mortgages, and falsified emissions data, because they know you can’t fake it forever. They don’t consume the present at the cost of the future, because they have a sense of responsibility for the future. They have the capacity to defer the gratification of instinct. They do all this because they have an inner moral voice. Some call it conscience. Some call it the voice of God.

Cultures like that stay young. They defeat the entropy, the loss of energy, that has spelled the decline and fall of every other empire and superpower in history. But the West has, in the immortal words of Queen Elsa in Frozen, let it go. It’s externalized what it once internalized. It has outsourced responsibility. It’s reduced ethics to economics and politics. Which means we are dependent on the market and the state, forces we can do little to control. And one day our descendants will look back and ask, How did the West lose what once made it great?

Every observer of the grand sweep of history, from the prophets of Israel to the Islamic sage ibn Khaldun, from Giambattista Vico to John Stuart Mill, and Bertrand Russell to Will Durant, has said essentially the same thing: that civilizations begin to die when they lose the moral passion that brought them into being in the first place. It happened to Greece and Rome, and it can happen to the West. The sure signs are these: a falling birthrate, moral decay, growing inequalities, a loss of trust in social institutions, self-indulgence on the part of the rich, hopelessness on the part of the poor, unintegrated minorities, a failure to make sacrifices in the present for the sake of the future, a loss of faith in old beliefs and no new vision to take their place. These are the danger signals and they are flashing now.

There is an alternative: to become inner-directed again. This means recovering the moral dimension that links our welfare to the welfare of others, making us collectively responsible for the common good. It means recovering the spiritual dimension that helps us tell the difference between the value of things and their price. We are more than consumers and voters; our dignity transcends what we earn and own. It means remembering that what’s important is not just satisfying our desires but also knowing which desires to satisfy. It means restraining ourselves in the present so that our children may have a viable future. It means reclaiming collective memory and identity so that society becomes less of a hotel and more of a home. In short, it means learning that there are some things we cannot or should not outsource, some responsibilities we cannot or should not delegate away.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren not to throw away what once made the West great, and not for the sake of some idealized past, but for the sake of a demanding and deeply challenging future. If we do simply let it go, if we continue to forget that a free society is a moral achievement that depends on habits of responsibility and restraint, then what will come next — be it Russia, China, ISIS or Iran — will be neither liberal nor democratic, and it will certainly not be free. We need to restate the moral and spiritual dimensions in
the language of the twenty-first century, using the media of the twenty-first century, and in ways that are uniting rather than divisive.

-End of Sacks speech-

~Eowyn

New York City’s public schools join fight against ‘white power’

New York City tax dollars at work in the public indoctrination system.

Principal Darlene Cameron

Principal Darlene Cameron

Via NY Post: On the last day of school, Principal Darlene Cameron of Star Academy-PS 63 in the East Village gave her small faculty a chart defining racist and non-racist institutions and asked them to think about where their school fits in.

A non-racist institution, among other things, is conscious of and aims to wipe out a culture of “white power,” “white privilege” and “inherent white advantage.” “We fit into the category of white power and privilege!” a white teacher at the K-5 school told her colleagues. The concept that whites enjoy everyday benefits simply because of their skin color has become the rage.

Elite private schools have grappled with the notion. The Post exposed an extreme case — how the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side made white kids feel guilty about their “whiteness” while heaping praise and cupcakes on kids of color. The school’s diversity director stepped down after the report.

Now public schools are jumping on the bandwagon.

Carmen Farina/AP Photo

Carmen Farina/AP Photo

After recent killings of black men by cops and murders of police officers, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña called on educators to tackle “tough conversations” about race, violence and guns.

In addition, Fariña announced a new curriculum that emphasizes social justice. She also recommended a K-12 reading list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Perspectives for a Diverse America,” which includes selections on race, gender and LGBTQ issues. In K-2, for instance, kids can learn the true story of Z and Vielpunk, a couple of gay male penguins rearing a chick in a German zoo.

The ninth-through-12th-grade readings include a 1990 essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” which lists 50 hidden benefits whites enjoy. No. 17: “I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.”

The chart handed out at Star Academy, written by an Illinois-based anti-racism ministry, angered some parents questioned by The Post. “When you start sending out things like this, it divides us,” said Robert Powell, a black dad in The Bronx who served on the city’s Panel for Educational Policy. “It’s a subtle form of racism.”

Education author Sol Stern called the chart “left-wing propaganda” and “brainwashing.” White privilege “is an argument, not a fact,” he said.

David Bloomfield

David Bloomfield

But David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center education professor, who is white, lauds the idea. “It reminds me a bit of when ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ was recommended reading by the DOE before same-sex couples became mainstream,” he said. Greater awareness can help teachers pick books that reflect other races, he added.

It can also spur classroom discussion. “If you put the US presidents on your classroom wall, it sends a signal of who’s in charge,” Bloomfield said. “The teacher might point out to students that these are all white, except one, and all, currently, males.”

Cameron told The Post she plans to have teachers discuss the race-based issues in the fall. “We want to be sure we’re as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and that we’re all aware of the different backgrounds that come together to make up our community,” she said.

Star Academy students are 65 percent Hispanic, 20 percent black, 10 percent white and 4 percent Asian, records show.

An essay included in city high-schoolers’ reading list seeks to explain the hidden benefits supposedly enjoyed by white people. Some examples of so-called “white privilege”:

  • I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
  • I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
  • I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
  • I can choose…bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
  • I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

DCG

School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree

Children (6-13) in school auditorium giving standing ovation, portrait

Via new.com.au: Clapping has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”. The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic). “If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads. “Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot. The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.”

no clapping

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed. Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.

The ban follows a direction at exclusive Cheltenham Girls High School in northwest Sydney for teachers to avoid discrimination and support LGBTI students by avoiding the words “girls”, “ladies” or “women”.

The measure followed the introduction of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and teachers were told at a meeting if they did not comply they could be deemed homophobic and breaking the law.

The school also has a “Queer-Straight alliance” club and holds gender equality events such as Wear it Purple Day. Last month, it lowered the Aboriginal flag to raise the rainbow flag at half-mast following the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Local MP Damien Tudehope told the Daily Telegraph that parents feared their daughters might be ostracised if they didn’t comply with Rainbow Day and Purple Day.

Elanora Heights Public School’s ban on clapping in favour of silent cheering comes after several schools have banned hugging. In April, hugging was banned at a Geelong primary school and children were told to find other ways to show affection. St. Patrick’s Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused hugging to be replaced by high fiving or “a knuckle handshake”. “But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.

He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and then the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home on Monday.

“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr. Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”

Children at the school have been enthusiastic huggers, he said, with hugs given out to teachers and other children. “We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”

Comment from Elanora Heights Public School about the clapping ban has been sought by news.com.au.

DCG

New USDA Rules Eliminate Junk Food in Schools

Apparently Michelle hasn’t ruined the kids’ lunches enough already.

An example of Michelle Obama's mandated school lunches

An example of Michelle Obama’s mandated school lunches

From Yahoo:  Students might notice some changes in the cafeteria when they go back to school in a few weeks.  The USDA will announce rules today that require schools to get rid of unhealthy snacks and eliminate students’ exposure to junk food, ABC News has exclusively learned.

The biggest difference this year will be what students see around the school. If a snack, food item or beverage is not healthy enough for a school to sell or serve, it can’t be advertised either. That means no more pictures of soda on vending machines or in the cafeteria.

Katie Wilson, USDA deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said many schools requested these changes.  “Education and wellness and advertising to kids about healthier choices [and] that all has to be part of the school environment just like making sure they have pencils and paper and computers,” Wilson said.

One study found that 70 percent of elementary and middle school students see ads for junk food at school and research published earlier this month showed that kids tend to eat more after seeing ads for unhealthy food.

Another lovely school lunch

Another lovely school lunch

Snacks can’t have too many calories or too much sodium, fat or sugar, according to the guidelines for schools. Foods that are “whole grain-rich” or mostly made up of fruits or vegetables are emphasized, and schools are recommended to sell only water, low-fat milk or milk alternatives, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Wilson said 98 percent of schools around the country already meet these standards. Now that the rules are finalized, she said the USDA will continue its efforts to educate parents, communities and school staff about better nutritional food choices.

Healthier food in schools is nothing new. Guidelines about healthy school lunches and snacks have been rolling out for several years and are part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010 to fight childhood obesity.

mooch eating

DCG