Smart Girl Nation : First Quarter 2012
Smart Girl Politics Action is proud to present our First Quarter of Smart Girl Nation. The magazine is part of our commitment to sharing the voices and opinions of Conservative women. Please take a look below at some of the great topics covered in this issue.
SmartGirlNation ENGAGE. EDUCATE. EMPOWER. First Quarter 2012 Charity Anchors Communities Protecting Children by Empowering Parents Growth of Charter Schools Increase Educational Options Thank You, President Obama! FROM THE President: Stacy Mott Women in this country better start paying attention, and not because they are in danger of losing contraception. Contraception is the least of any of our problems. Instead, we need to keep our eye on the ball and start coming together to focus on the real issues that really matter to our families. This administration and our elected officials are holding hearings to discuss contraception, but when was the last time you heard about them discussing job creation, lowering energy prices, or the threat of rising inflation rates? Over the last few months, gas prices have increased more than .70 cents a gallon with the average price creeping toward the $4.00 mark. We've been told that inflation rates are stable, but anyone who has shopped in their local supermarket is smart enough to see the cost of everything is rising and will continue to rise along with gas prices. Women are forced to make dire choices, fill up their tanks to get to work or pay for food and clothing for their families. While we are making hard yet necessary cuts to our expenses, some in Congress are refusing to take these same steps to balance their budget. The Senate has not passed a budget in three years. Heaven forbid they take a courageous stand in an election year and tell people the truth. Women, we cannot continue to let a small minority take our focus off of these real issues and divert our attention to this so-called "war on women." If we do, we have no one but ourselves to blame when our children suffer from our mistakes in the years to come. Please tell us which is worse: Paying $7 for contraception a month or $7 for a gallon of gas? Stacy Mott TABLE OF CONTENTS First Quarter 2012 P.4 Candidate Profile: Cherilyn Eager BigDawg Spotlight on Smart Girl Candi Goldman: The Original Ponytail Patriot P.14 Charity Anchors Communities P.6 Easy Money for the Next Generation Cut Public Spending, Grow the Economy P.8 Book Review: How Do You Kill 11 Million People P.9 Parental Rights.org: Protecting Children by Empowering Parents P.10 The War of Gog and Magog P.12 Growth of Charter Schools Increase Educational Options P.13 Thank You, President Obama! P.16 Dear Sheriff Smith, Your Silver Pen Made it to China P.18 The Politics of Blackness: Allen West- The Latest Target of Liberal Left Lies P.20 Maslow's Emotional Pyramid P.22 The Real War on Women: Abusing Basic Human Rights P.23 Chicago Rules White House Roost P.24 Candidate Profile: By Tami Nantz In 2011, Eagar led a delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in support of Natural Family Rights, the Stay-atHome Mom, a Pro-Life global policy, and the elimination of Planned Parenthood's tax subsidies. In 2010, she ran for the United States Senate while working to fight Obamacare and illegal immigration. In 2009, she helped organize the first Utah Tea Party rallies in Salt Lake. Her list of achievements goes on. Without exception, Cherilyn Eagar has a more than 30-year record of advocating for core conservative values, whether it be in her personal life or at the local, state and national levels. (See her entire record at www.eagar2012.com) Eagar has identified five time-honored principles the American Founders and Framers incorporated into the Constitution. She believes these principles must serve as a blueprint if we are to restore the American dream, and they are her top priorities: � Limited Government (as defined by the U.S. Constitution: a republican, representative form of government;) � Personal Accountability (an elected official's fiduciary role to balance a budget;) � Free Enterprise (ensuring the pursuit of happiness, private property ownership, and the American dream of home ownership;) � Peace through Strength (the Constitutional mandate to ensure national security and border protection;) "We shall stand on principle or we will not stand at all."--Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Meet Smart Girl Cherilyn Eagar, the first woman to ever run for U.S. Senate in Utah, the National Chairman of Constitutional Studies for the Eagle Forum, and 2012 candidate for Utah's 2nd Congressional district. A lifelong defender of the conservative values that have made this nation great, Cherilyn has a trusted, proven record that sets her apart from her opponents. Should the voters in Utah's 2nd Congressional district allow her the honor, Cherilyn's experience enables her to jump right into the job she's been sent to do. 4 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 � Public Virtue (doing what is best for all.) Her consistent record of a strong work ethic, and her "unfailing support of principled values" give her the tools she needs to implement these principles. See her website for how she plans to do so and be the true change that is needed in Washington today. Cherilyn and her husband Randy live in Holladay, Utah, where they co-own WebsTarget, a real estate internet marketing company. She has five grown children, two grown step children, and twelve grandchildren. In her words, they are "the reason why" - the reason why she has given so much of her life to defending the principles we hold dear as a nation. To learn more about Cherilyn Eagar, please visit her campaign website at www.eagar2012.com. SmartGirlNation First Quarter 2012 Smart Girl Nation would not be possible without the contributions of our writers, editors, sponsors, and staff. SGN Writers volunteer their time and write the great articles we get every month. Please check out their blogs or websites located in their bio's at the end of their articles. The sponsors of SGN are very much appreciated and we would love for you to support them. Please check them out and tell them Smart Girl Ppolitics Action sent you. *** SGN Staff Tami is the Blogger Outreach Coordinator for Smart Girl Politics Action and founder of Moms 4 Sarah Palin. CNN featured Tami and her blog on Anderson Cooper 360, as well as the Campbell Brown Show. Tami and her political writing also gained mention in Leslie Sanchez's book, You've Come a Long Way, Maybe. A writer and political activist engaged in conservative issues through social media, Tami is currently researching the rise of conservative women in American politics. She hopes to publish her findings in a book. Tami is a graduate of Bob Jones University and lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and daughter. Editor and Chief: Stacy Mott - Stacy is Founder of SGPA, and is the organization's President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Editor: Gilia Rethman - She is an American patriot who has gone rogue. She vents her political frustrations in her blog, Hump Day Report. Assosciate Editor: Teri Christoph - Teri Christoph is co-founder and vice president of Smart Girl Politics Production manager: Kristen Hawley - Kristen is the Director of Operations of SGP Social Media & Promotions Manager: Shannon Mann *** Writing for Smart Girl Nation Please contact us via Writer@sgpaction.com Sponsorsing Smart Girl Nation Please contact us for a sponsorship package at firstname.lastname@example.org *** The views expressed by our writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Girl Politics Action. Charity Anchors Communities T By: Mindy S. Reifer he lack of an official Senate-approved federal budget, coupled with out-of-control spending and debtceiling debates, has resulted in members of both political parties viewing some of President Obama's questionable reform proposals in a more conciliatory manner. While compromise is surely commendable in an effort to solve our country's pronounced crises, one of these proposed reforms threatens America's religious communities in a very real way: elimination or reduction of the tax-deductible status of charitable donations. few months ago that would reduce tax rates for families at every level, but in exchange would limit tax breaks like charitable donations. His plan would mostly affect individuals earning more than $174,400 and married couples earning more than $212,300. But it is exactly those people who tend to give the most money to support charities in the first place. Reducing current deductions will weaken the incentive for individuals to donate to great causes and organizations, organizations that make the job of local, state, and federal agencies easier by helping the needy in each community. In effect, the amount of money donated to charities will almost certainly drop dramatically. President Obama admitted, at the time he first introduced his highly controversial and Senate-failed 2010 budget proposal, that his plan would reduce charitable giving. But President Obama and his fellow liberals believe that the federal government can best determine how to spend other (rich) people's money. Progressives argue that the additional tax dollars collected by the federal government can then be used to help those whom the federal government deems needy or worthy of its financing. This presents a unique problem for religious organizations and community associations. The greater American religious community thrives on charitable donations and volunteerism. A moral obligation, whether inbred or imbedded, is enshrined, although admittedly not exclusively, in our Judeo-Christian heritage and culture. The implications of a reduction in tax benefits for charity are potentially devastating for religious schools, hospitals, churches and temples, among myriad other institutions. Many wealthy people give charity to such organizations because it lowers their taxable income, and removing this incentive, particularly during difficult economic times, will have a detrimental effect on the most precious of our country's foundations. Most of the charity given in the United States originates, as might be expected, from wealthier donors. In fact, more than 60% of contributions in 2000 came from families whose adjusted gross income was in the top 20%. Families with adjusted gross income in the top 10% made almost half of all donations. Obama's tax plan would The charitable donations deduction was introduced in 1917, only four years after the US first instituted federal income taxes with the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. The current tax code allows for individuals and families to deduct any amount given to an eligible charitable organization from the total amount on which one is required to pay federal income taxes. The reason behind this allowance is clear: it encourages taxpayers to give to community organizations that will in turn take care of its members and alleviate the strain on government to do so. It is actually a beautiful allowance if one examines it � the government tells people to look around and decide for themselves whom they want to help. And if they give their own hard-earned money to help others, the government will allow that person to exclude those dollars from the income on which they are taxed. Republicans tend to like this exemption more than Democrats, but in recent months, there has been talk on both sides of the aisle of significantly reducing or outright eliminating this deduction in an effort to raise more tax revenue to fund federal spending. Republicans are considering eliminating the exemption only because it would be a tolerable concession to Democrats, who in general want to raise taxes as a way of dealing with the growing deficit. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), a member of the recently dismantled "Super Committee" that failed to reach a debt-reduction compromise, unveiled a plan a 6 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 reduce charitable contributions by $4-$8 billion dollars, the Heritage Foundation estimates. But even those members of the larger religious community whose incomes place them within the lower and middle classes give money to charity and reap the tax benefits. It is not only religious Americans who will find their organizations at the mercy of federal bureaucracy for funding; in general, the priorities of the federal government will likely not match those of the general public's. And while it is certainly a large part of religious heritage to support community organizations, the importance of local charities in the secular world has been examined as well. Local or ethnic-based organizations have a distinctive perspective and a precise understanding of the needs of their membership. They comprehend the individualized problems their own communities face, ranging from at-risk children to bone-marrow banks for specific genetic profiles. Charities can have a very broad range of acceptable functions, from food or clothing banks and academic tutoring to animal shelters and hospitals. They can address and provide for the specific needs of their individual communities in a way that a generic government agency never could. Consider, for example, a recent demonstration of what the United States government considers to be a valuable charitable use of taxpayer funds. The Obama Administration has given the US Department of Agriculture the job of distributing more than $400 million to expand access to high-speed internet into poor areas or rural areas of the country. The United Nations, after all, declared high-speed internet to be a basic human right. And it is the job of the federal government, according to liberal political ideology, to guarantee equal access of all people to basic human rights. And this is only one example of the many idiocies that Washington prioritizes. Perhaps most important for community members to consider, the desire to reduce the benefits of individual charita- ble donations is in effect a determination to undermine the efforts and passions of our community leaders. It rejects the role of religious and local administrators and insults individuals' values and belief systems. It sets the government and lobbyists in a position of influence and power, funding their own initiatives, even if those standards are anathema to our religious and societal values. As Planned Parenthood and ACORN funding have proven in the past, government control almost certainly guarantees that the recipients of our tax dollars will not be the organizations and causes that are most dear to us. Packaged as thrifty tax reform, unwrapped these provisions allow for more government impediment of the pursuit of happiness for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Mindy Reifer is the mother of four rambunctious boys, whose education she is constantly worried about. She currently works as a freelance writer and proofreader. She also has fifteen years of education experience that includes working with learning-disabled students, special-needs students and English-learner students. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 7 By Vince Emmer "Economic growth is just cheap materialism. It's a symptom of greed." Those are the earnest thoughts a friend with "Occupy Whatever" sympathies. Confusion grips the minds of many on money, wealth, and economic growth. Money may not buy happiness but it certainly can reduce misery. Human progress is clearly dependent on economic growth: � First, if an economy does not grow as fast as population, standards of living will fall. � Second, economic growth is a critical ingredient for the poor. Growth creates jobs which produce incomes. The change in well-being for the average Chinese family between the times of Mao TseTung and Hu Jintao is a thoroughly persuasive argument for economic expansion to reduce poverty. � Third, if middle class people are to live lives they themselves deem better: more education, better retirements, faster internet service - whatever they value - this requires additional economic growth. Why can't people live on less? They can and often do. That is what recessions are all about. We know how popular they are. America may be throwing away economic growth. Aside from a small core of critical public spending, most government activity is as productive as carrying stones in your backpack. Economists expect that a 10% reduction in government's share of the economy as a percentage of GDP generates a 1.0% increase in annual economic growth. Even if the effect is only half that, throttling government back to the 10% of GDP that covers truly essential government functions, instead of the 38% the public sector now devours, economic growth would speed up by 1.4% annually. If government had been held to 10% of GDP since 1950, the economy would now be 80% larger than it is. A family producing income of $70,000 would be making $126,000 instead. That's an extra $56,000 per family each year for retirement savings, charity, education, climate engineering, defense, Mickey Mouse sunglasses, or what8 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 ever individual families prefer. More money would be a good thing. Not a confusing concept. A related question was posed to me recently. "Was the growth during the last boom real?" In 1961 English economist Edmund Phelps wrote The Golden Rule of Accumulation: A Fable for Growthmen which laid down principles for balancing consumption and investment. The idea is that welfare is optimized across generations if people invest what is necessary to give subsequent generations a healthy economy, and consume the remainder. About 70% of America's economic output is currently consumed - as opposed to invested. That is too much consumption, perhaps by 10% of GDP. Such consumption has produced a vast array of inexpensive foodstuffs, the best housed people in the world, excellent but expensive medical care, very long retirements, wonderful vacations, widespread cosmetic surgery, a huge pet care industry, and phenomenal skis. It is largely positive but some folks might think it is a bit junky. This approach has not produced secure retirements, quality public education, or cost-effective health care. What is very clear is that the US will be a long time paying for past playing - with a growth-choked economy. The US could desperately use faster economic growth, pay down debt and build up tomorrow, yet it is wasting much of the future through a slow, unresponsive, and obese government. It's time to cut public spending, lighten the economic load, and grow the economy much faster. It is easy money. Easy money to make the world a better place for all its young people. Vince Emmer is a financial analyst in Eagle, Colorado. He can be reached at email@example.com. MyGovSpending. com By Tami Nantz "The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men." --Plato In this season of heated political rhetoric, it's difficult to imagine that an author could write a book that is political in nature, is slanted neither right nor left, yet deeply touches every person who dares to explore its pages. However, that's exactly what New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews managed to accomplish in his latest book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think.) If you're not typically one who would willingly pick up a political book and take a crack at it, you have to admit you want to after reading that title. Andy is a masterful storyteller, and one of the best speakers to ever grace the stage. He also happens to love history, and nearly every book he's ever written revolves around what we can glean from those who've gone before us. So, while I expected it to be that sort of work, I was completely unprepared for how deeply this little masterpiece would touch my heart. So, how do you kill 11 million people? Or, more precisely, how do you kill 11,283,000 people? The answer is both obvious, and...not. As I read the details of how the Nazi German regime first deceived and then led millions to their deaths between 1933 and 1945, I was floored. Andy explains the facts of the story in great detail, painting a vivid picture. He explores some questions that hit pretty close to home: � Does it matter that millions of Americans have checked out of participating in the decisions that shape the future of the United States? � What is more dangerous: politicians with ill intent, or the too-trusting population that allows such people to lead them? � How are we supposed to tell the difference between the "good guys" and the "bad guys"? � How do truth and lies in the past affect our destiny as a nation? � What happens to a society in which truth is absent? The number of Americans who fail to participate, for whatever reason, in the decisions that shape the future of this nation is stunning and should serve as a reminder to us all. Did you know that 100 million Americans of voting age fail to vote in any given election? Wouldn't we be better off trying to convince those 100 million Americans to seek truth rather than fighting tooth and nail with those who've already made up their minds, regardless of the truth? Andy Andrews issues a wake-up call in How Do You Kill 11 Million People? We would do well to listen: "become informed, passionate citizens who demand honesty and integrity from our leaders, or suffer the consequences of our own ignorance and apathy. Furthermore, we can no longer measure a leader's worth by the yardsticks provided by the left or the right. Instead, we must use an unchanging standard: the pure, unvarnished truth." **Join the SGP Book Club as we explore How Do You Kill 11 Million People in greater detail on Tuesday, May 21, at 9 PM. Hear portions of Tami's interview with author Andy Andrews as he talks about his motivation for writing the book, and how we can more effectively share the unvarnished truth with all those would-be voters who have not yet become a part of the process.** Get the book here & Join Here! Tami is the Blogger Outreach Coordinator for Smart Girl Politics Action and founder of Moms 4 Sarah Palin. CNN featured Tami and her blog on Anderson Cooper 360, as well as the Campbell Brown Show. Tami and her political writing also gained mention in Leslie Sanchez's book, You've Come a Long Way, Maybe. A writer and political activist engaged in conservative issues through social media, Tami is currently researching the rise of conservative women in American politics. She hopes to publish her findings in a book. Tami is a graduate of Bob Jones University and lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and daughter. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 9 By Jonathan R. Horton The year is 1925. The U.S. Supreme Court has just decided its first parental rights case, Pierce v. Society of Sisters. In their decision, the court identifies the existence of "the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control." This is just the beginning of a long history of favorable parental rights cases. Fast forward to 1972, where the Supreme Court declares in Wisconsin v. Yoder: "The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition." In 1978, the Supreme Court decided Quilloin v. Walcott, and stated: "We have recognized on numerous occasions that the relationship between parent and child is constitutionally protected." Up to now, parental rights have been regarded by the Court as fundamental, thus requiring a very high burden of proof on the part of the government (known as "strict scrutiny review") before any infringement occurs, and the Court has been very clear and specific on this point. In 2000, when the Court decides Troxel v. Granville, the tide begins to turn. While the court decides in favor of the parents in the case, only three justices sign on to the controlling, plurality opinion. The other six justices write 5 separate opinions on the matter. Though several of the justices call parental rights "fundamental" in their opinions (some of the others reduce the status of parental rights to the level of a non-fundamental right), only Justice Thomas rightly applies "strict scrutiny review" to the case. The rest leave it out. Most disturbingly of all, Justice Scalia argues that the Constitution does not protect parental rights because they are not listed anywhere in the Constitution, and thus there is nothing that he as 10 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 a Supreme Court Justice can do to safeguard them. The Supreme Court's well-established protections for parental rights have begun to collapse. Though the Supreme Court has yet to accept another parental rights case since Troxel, that decision has thoroughly muddied the waters for parental rights. Lower federal courts have taken advantage of the Supreme Court's fragmentation on the subject to make radically anti-parent decisions. Examples of this antiparent legal trend include Fields v. Palmdale School District, 427 F. 3d 1197 (2005) and Parker v. Hurley, 514 F. 3d 87 (2008). Parental rights are also threatened by federal laws and programs, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, a.k.a. "Obamacare"), the No Child Left Behind Act, "Race to the Top," etc. In addition, state agencies and courts routinely violate parental rights in the name of "the best interest of the child." Last but not least, a dangerous treaty lurks on the horizon - the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Among many other dangers, the CRC reduces parents to agents of government, temporary caretakers and advisors of the State's children for as long as the State sees fit. This is completely backwards, as I'm sure you'll agree! You can find out much more about the treaty at ParentalRights.org, and I plan to discuss it more thoroughly in future columns. So what can we do about all of these many threats to parental rights? Because the collapse of the traditional doctrine of parental rights goes all the way to the top of our legal system, only a solution strong enough to return the Supreme Court to its traditional view of parental rights can hold the rest of our legal and political system in line. In addition, only a Constitutional Amendment will permanently prevent ratification of the CRC. No other options are available. Thus, putting a Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) in the U.S. Constitution is the necessary method for permanently restoring parental rights to fundamental right status in this country. That's where ParentalRights.org comes in. March 13, 2012: Parental rights activists watch Wyoming Governor Matt Mead sign HJ 3, a resolution urging Congress to pass a national Parental Rights Amendment. Wyoming is the 6th state to pass a pro-PRA resolution. Founded in 2007, ParentalRights.org has had the Parental Rights Amendment introduced in every session of Congress since then. Congressional support in the last Congress swelled to 149 U.S. Representatives and Senators. We expect the Amendment to be reintroduced by the time this magazine is distributed, so be sure to check out our website for the latest update! ParentalRights. org has also spearheaded an anti-CRC resolution in the U.S. Senate that has gained the support of 37 U.S. Senators, enough to ensure that the treaty cannot pass during this session of Congress. Numerous state legislators are getting involved and working on passing state resolutions in support of the PRA. South Dakota, Louisiana, Idaho, Montana, Florida and Wyoming have passed resolutions so far. Efforts have been made this session or are currently underway in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah. We are making efforts to see that most of the remaining states pass pro-PRA resolutions in 2013, including Texas and Virginia. In order to succeed, all of our efforts, whether in the states or in Congress, require an army of grassroots activists That's where you come in! Whether it's leading volunteers in your area, holding petition drives at churches, Tea Parties and other organizations, spreading the word to your friends and family, or lobbying and liaising with your state and Federal elected representatives, there is a role in this movement that is perfect for you. I hope you'll go to our website, find out more about us, and then become a volunteer. We cannot win the fight for parental rights without you! Even if you're not a parent, but you understand how important parental rights are, your voice is just as vital! For a compelling, 35-minute presentation about the need for the PRA, check out our recent docudrama "Overruled: Government Invasion of Your Parental Rights" at OverruledMovie.com. You can watch the entire film for free online. Jonathan R. Horton is the National Grassroots Director at ParentalRights.org, a position he has held since shortly after graduating Patrick Henry College in May 2010. In college, he earned a B.A. in Government with a Political Theory emphasis, and worked part-time for ParentalRights.org from January 2009May 2010. Jonathan's passion for parental rights was ignited while he was growing up, thanks to the strong, positive influence of his parents in his life. Originally raised in Oregon's Willamette Valley, he now lives and works in Northern Virginia. Jonathan may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-751-1240. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 11 T The War of Gog and Magog By Alisha Venetis is also mentioned, which in the past has been a friend of Israel and a NATO ally. There has been some scuffling between Israel and Turkey recently, however, there has also been some headway made in mending their relationship. There are a few interesting side-notes to the story. Among them is the fact that Egypt and Iraq are not mentioned, even amid the tensions growing in these regions. Additionally, according to the prophecy, Gog will travel through Syria. Today, we read in the headlines about the alliance being formed between Syria and Russia. Recently, Russia along with China vetoed the United Nations from intervening in Syria's slaughtering of its people. There are rumors that Russia sent troops to help the reigning regime stay in power. Aside from keeping a skeptical eye on Iran, we must also watch Russia, particularly the exKGB member, past President and current Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. More and more, Putin has been showing his political muscle in recent events by aligning Russia against the West and alongside its enemies. As the sound of the war drums are becoming louder between Israel and Iran, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stated "none of us can afford to wait much longer." One wonders what all this means. No one knows for sure how this current state of affairs will turn out, despite all the war-gaming going on. No one knows if a smaller war will ultimately lead to the War of Gog and Magog or if there will be another major war that is not described in the Bible. No one knows how many will be affected by some of the scenarios proposed, or whether peace is possible. No one but God, that is, and ultimately He is in control. The Lord has established his throne in the Heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all. Psalm 103:19 Alisha Guiang Venetis is co-founder of www.thePrepRoom.net; an online store specializing in emergency preparedness supplies. She is also a blogger, where she reports on domestic and global economics, world politics and the potentially negative ramifications they may have on America here is an intriguing prophecy in the Bible about a war that will take place in the last days (or End Times) before the coming of the Messiah. What is of particular interest about this war is that it has been prophesied in all three of the major religions; Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Depending on which book you're reading, the outcome of the war is dramatically different. In the Qur'an, the Muslim countries overtake Israel, yet in the Bible, Israel, through the miraculous intervening of God, overtakes the Muslim countries. The War of Gog and Magog is described in the Old Testament of the Bible. According to most biblical scholars, the prophesies written by Ezekiel, approximately 2600 years ago, are now history to those of us living today. Ezekiel prophesied that Israel will be reborn as a country and that the Jewish people will come back to the Holy Land after being dispersed through the entire world. The writings also foretold that the ancient ruins will be rebuilt and the desert will bloom again. Many believe that this has already occurred with Israel being reborn in 1948. Today, the ancient ruins are a popular tourist attraction and Israel has one of the most flourishing fruit export businesses in the world, based from desert land. In Ezekiel 38, it describes a major war that will be led by someone knows as "Gog." Most biblical scholars believe "Gog" is a title, like "Pharaoh" or "Czar". This "Gog" is a military or political leader who builds up an army of many nations. "Gog" is from the "land of Magog." There are many ancient writings that describe the people of Magog and scholars believe that the ancient settlers of Magog settled in the region we know today as Russia. The Bible gives another clue as to the identity of Gog, by telling us that he will come from the remote parts of the North. The country farthest to the north of Israel is Russia. The coalition that Gog will build up against Israel is very peculiar, today more than ever. The first ally Russia will have is Persia. In 1935, with aid from Adolf Hitler, Persia changed it's name to Iran. Another country mentioned is Cush, which, today is known as Sudan. It also happens to be a radical Islamic, anti-Israel state. The next ally is the country of Put, or modern day Libya and Algeria. Both are hostile towards Israel and have Russian alliances. Turkey 12 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 Growth of Charter Schools Increase Educational Options By Rhonda Gatch M any state legislatures around the country are addressing school choice legislation this year. One of the most successful types of school choice options is charter schools. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, "This year marks the largest single-year increase ever recorded in terms of the number of additional students attending charters. There are now approximately 5,600 public charter schools enrolling what is estimated to be more than two million students nationwide." Charter schools are public schools that must follow state and federal academic requirements just like traditional public schools. They do not charge tuition and must allow all students to apply. Students are admitted based on random lotteries because charter schools are usually oversubscribed. Parents, advocates, and legislators are calling for more charter schools all over the United States as many traditional public schools fail to provide successful educations for students. Charter schools are free to innovate and meet individualized needs of students. They may use different curricula, focus on a specific field such as technology and science, reward teachers, or offer extended learning time. They are run by independent boards but are held accountable to a local or state board according to a contract or charter that is reviewed after about five years. They are funded through taxpayer dollars that are simply reallocated to follow the student to the parents' school of choice. Public charter schools generally operate on fewer educational dollars than do traditional public schools. Best of all, charter schools often achieve their greatest success where the need is the greatest - in communities where the schools are lowachieving and families have lower incomes. Currently, there are ten states that do not allow charter schools. Alabama has been one of those states, but this year that may change. Governor Bentley along with legislative leaders offered a bill that will allow charter schools and will also provide superintendents the option to apply for waivers from state mandates in exchange for new accountability requirements. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is striving to overhaul the educational system in his state. The sweeping charter schools expansion bill, HB 976, has passed the House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate where it is likely to pass as well. The bill gives the state board of education the power to allow entities, such as public universities and local nonprofits, the ability to approve new charter schools. Additionally, a parent trigger is included for failing schools. The bill would also expand the pilot voucher program to include certain low-income students statewide. Florida is one of the leaders in the charter school movement. There are over 500 charter schools operating in Florida. During the Florida legislative session this year, major bills such as the Parent Empowerment in Education bill failed to pass. But there was a great victory for school choice supporters as the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program (HB 859) passed, raising current caps on these scholarships, and was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on March 23rd. New legislation also expanded Florida's virtual schools options. Charter schools are an important component of school choice. States must examine new approaches to deal with massive educational systems that have frequently come up short on delivering the success that is promised to and expected by families. Much of a state's budget goes to fund education, and well-prepared students are necessary for a strong workforce and economy. As state legislatures seek solutions for families who are desperate for new options, school choice will continue to grow and provide students with a renewed zeal for learning and achievement. Sources: http://www.publiccharters.org/ PressReleasePublic/?id=643 + http://www.publiccharters.org/ About-Charter-Schools/What-are-Charter-Schools003F.aspx + http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/03/jindal_vouchercharter_bill_cl.html + http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article. cfm?id=26815154 A graduate of Clemson University, Rhonda has lived in the Atlanta area for over fifteen years now. She is a mom of 2 and was a secondary teacher for ten years. She continues to enjoy learning and researching issues of the day. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 13 Candi joined us as soon as she returned home and quickly became one of the shining stars at our site. She freely gives of her time to let her blog readers know about BDMM and our members, regularly greets our newcomers, leaves a kind word for members celebrating birthdays, and is a regular listener of our shows in our chat room. My fellow Co-Founder, BigDawg Andrew and I knew she belonged in our BigDawg Brigade and since joining us, she has really stepped up her game. Andrew and I are always looking to find new ways to share the great work and music of our members, and currently do so through our weekly shows that we include under our "Operation Occupy Airwaves" umbrella. Candi is now the host of our weekly BigDawg's Music Hour where she shares five songs from our members and One of the things I love about Smart Girl Politics is getreflects on her life experiences that listening to those songs ting to know some of the beautiful, intelligent, God-fearevokes - experiences many of us can relate to. The second ing, lady patriots that the lovely Co-Founders Stacy Mott half hour of the show has Candi chatting with a featured and Teri Christoph have brought together and provided a guest artist and she does a fabulous job making the guests home to "Engage, Educate, and Empower." One such lady feel right at home. Listeners get to learn more about their patriot is fellow Smart Girl and fellow BigDawg Brigade music, their art, or whatever their craft happens to be. Babe, Candi Goldman, who will no doubt fuss about my spotlighting her here. Well, it's a spotlight well-deserved! Candi also hosts our weekly live show, BigDawg Live I first met Candi last year at Smart Girl Summit 2011 in St. Louis. Another fellow BigDawg Brigade Babe, Jeannie Hinck, (whose song, "Pretty Girls with Guns and Guitars" was featured in the December 2011 edition of Smart Girl Nation Magazine) and I were "manning" our BigDawg Music Mafia (BDMM) table, sharing our mission, recruiting new members, and handing out assorted goodies. Candi stopped by and when she heard about our mission was excited to learn there was a place for conservatives to share and enjoy the creativity of fellow talented patriots. She told us she was a blogger who shares her views on various topics from politics to fellow patriots making a difference through her three blogs, Shasta Savvy, Patton's Point, and Ponytail Patriots. The cool thing about Shasta Savvy and Patton's Place is that they are presented from her dog's perspective. I told Candi she would fit right in with the rest of us Stray Conservative Dawgers at BDMM. 14 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 Open Mic � Off the Cuff `n' Ruff, where artists stream live video from their homes to our site. We have the opportunity to interact with them during their shows in our Culture Warrior Chat Room. She and I had a blast at CPAC 2012 live streaming video interviews for nearly two full days from the hotel bar. Candi got an opportunity to chat with dozens of great conservatives from fellow BDMM musicians like Toots Sweet, Ezra Dulis, and Madison Rising and local grassroots leaders. She also talked with some of our top national conservative leaders, and media personalities at CPAC including Amy Kremer, Dana Loesch, Victoria Jackson, Trevor Louden, Teri Christoph, Stacy Mott, Stephen Kruiser, Mark Skoda, Tony Katz, and many more. I even had the great honor of interviewing the late, great, Ultimate Culture Warrior, "King of the Mountain" Andrew Breitbart, who was taken from us much too soon. May he rest in peace as we continue to march forward in his honor. But wait, there's more! Candi is also "Co-Pilot" (cohost) for the Freedom's Wings Show Hosted by "Captain" Diane Student (also a Smart Girl and BigDawg Brigade Babe!) and can be heard singing back-up vocals on the show's new theme song, "Wings of Freedom." The song is written, produced and performed by BigDawg Andrew himself, joined by yours truly on lead vocals and Diane and Candi on back-up. It's clear to see that Ms. Candi Goldman, the daughter of a Preacher Man, was raised right - to love God and Country and not sit on the sidelines at a time where we need all hands on deck to turn this country around. I look forward to hanging out with Candi and Diane Student at the Road to Repeal Rally on 25 March in Washington, D.C. and again at Smart Girl Summit 2012 in July. We at BigDawg Music Mafia are blessed to be in the foxhole of this culture war with this lovely and talented Ponytail Patriot! SOURCE: http://www.bigdawgmusicmafia.com/profile/CandiGoldman + http://www.bigdawgmusicmafia.com/ + http:// shastasavvy.blogspot.com/ + http://www.pattons-point.blogspot.com/ + http://ponytailpatriots.blogspot.com/ Lisa Mei Norton is a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant turned conservative singer/songwriter. She is Co-Founder of BigDawg Music Mafia, a free social networking site she and her songmate, "BigDawg Andrew" (a retired Marine Corps officer), launched in August 2010 to help showcase conservative, grassroots artists. Lisa is also a contributing writer for BigHollywood and Host of the weekly top ten countdown, Culture Warriors & The Fan Jam on FTR Radio and Liberty Bell Radio. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 15 Thank You, PresidentBowra Obama! By Bethany "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson's words have been the foundation for many Americans' recent involvement in the political process. Looking prior to the 2008 election, there was a minority of Americans who were involved in choosing our elected officials; the rest either voted flippantly on Election Day or stayed out of it altogether. In 2008, though, someone was elected who inspired thousands of Americans to get off their couches and become involved. The reason they were inspired by him, though, was not expected nor anticipated by politician himself. Following Barack Obama's election in 2008, thousands of Americans were on alert. A select few knew of Obama's alarming background prior to his election and realized it was only a matter of time before those tendencies showed themselves once again. It didn't take long. One of the first things President Obama did was sign a $787 billion "stimulus" bill into effect. This infuriated many Americans, who disagreed with the way their new President was spending their money. President Obama ignored their protests and put his plan, set to "boost" the economy, into action. Needless to say, this bill did not live up to expectations. As if this was not enough, the Affordable Care Act of 2009-- better known as ObamaCare-- is what catapulted thousands more Americans into action and really got the ball rolling for the coming conservative movement. When President Obama created a government-mandated healthcare system that would cost our country billions of dollars by the time it was implemented, Americans bolted into action. People who had never been involved in politics suddenly found themselves in the thick of election season. April 15th, 2009, brought people from all over the country together to stage the first "Tea Party" rally in Washington, D.C. This event, designed to protest the consistent growth rate of government under the Obama Administration, was an enormous success and gave people inspiration to continue growing the movement. People who joined the Tea Party movement were brought together by a common 16 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 goal: They were tired of the government overreaching in their lives. The Tea Party became known for helping elect small-government, Constitutional conservatives to office at all levels across the country. In the 2010 Midterm elections, Tea Party members sent a huge message to members of Congress by giving Republicans control of the House of Representatives. That unbelievable turnout on Election Day in 2010 did not happen overnight; it had been coming since President Obama's election. Getting that many people motivated to change the direction of our country is something that, in most cases, would take hundreds of people to do. In this case, however, it only took one person. Much like Andrew Breitbart inspired conservatives to get involved and attempt to mirror his actions, Barack Obama inspired people to get involved as well; but in his case, the people were trying to undo his actions rather than imitate them. The Tea Party movement had been brewing for some time before April 15th, 2009; but it took Barack Obama's big-government "solutions" to actually bring it to fruition. President Obama has done for the conservative movement what hundreds of people have been seeking to do for years: He got people excited about politics. They weren't excited about the self-serving, greedy kind of politics; they were excited about reversing that trend and ridding the system of people who practiced it. The fact that every American has a voice in the direction the country is headed is something many Americans did not seem to comprehend. After seeing the destructive policies implemented by President Obama, people realized that their voices do matter on Election Day and throughout the year. Rather than viewing their vote as one drop in an enormous bucket, they now viewed it as a significant factor; every drop is needed to fill that bucket. Naturally, conservatives around the country are working hard to defeat President Obama in November; but we also have a lot to thank him for. He has inspired countless numbers of Americans to voice their opinions regarding our country's direction. He has given thousands of people the motivation needed to work against corrupt politics in Washington D.C. That minority has now grown to become a majority. Conservatives are no longer placed in the margin and looked upon as a small movement; now we are a strong, determined group that fits comfortably in the middle of the political arena. That minority has grown to include thousands of people around the country who are eager to get involved and make their voices heard. Even I have reason to thank President Obama; without his destructive policies that have put my future at risk, I would not be involved in politics today. You could ask nearly every conservative involved today what motivated them to get involved, and nearly every answer would be the same: President Obama's policies have harmed them or have the potential to, and they are not willing to sit by and let this country go down the drain. While all of us would never choose for this ill to come upon our country, we do all have a reason to thank him for it. Now, we can all work together in November to reverse his dangerous politics. Until then, we can work toward reversing what policies we do have a say in, and all the while remember that without those policies we may not have as strong a conservative movement as we do today. Bethany is 15 years old, homeschooled, and a proud conservative. She blogs at http://nextgenerationvoters.com. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 17 Dear Sheriff Smith, Your Silver Pen Made it to China By Princella Smith Nearly every week in China presents another cultural lesson for me. As a true-bred Arkansan who made such a stark transition, I am more than amazed each time a new event happens. It's enough that I am a nearly 6-foot-tall black woman walking around in a sea of 5-foot-tall Asians, I also teach English to children who are very curious about "the land that I come from." "Mei guo!" they call it. It means beautiful country. They believe that America is a beautiful country. Daily, when you watch the national news, you hear of "those Chinese companies" that have taken our manufacturing jobs. It's sad when you think about it. According to the reports, so many Americans have lost jobs at the manufacturing plants where got steady paychecks because the plant was either shut down, sold to an overseas company, or chose to outsource jobs overseas. CNN's business outlet, "CNN Money," recently ran stories about this issue. They highlighted a group of young Americans who are making strides in the manufacturing industry, discussing both a positive and a negative element of this issue. The positive is that there are some young people under the age of 40 who have decided to engage in the manufacturing trade which many people feel is a dying profession of that generation. The negative is that there is still a gaping hole of availability in the manufacturing field. The United States has to make a collective effort to return to our manufacturing roots. With such a high unemployment rate it is a shame that we 18 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 are not hiring more people in this field to help increase the size of our economy. CNN reported that "U.S. factories are creating many new jobs. But owners are hard pressed to find skilled American workers to fill them." Rob Akers is the Vice President of the Tooling and Machining Association recently stated that there is a: "critical shortage of machinists." He also said that technical schools have suffered. "Enrollment in this field in technical schools has been down for a long time." It's horrible timing - domestic contract manufacturers are actually seeing an uptick in business. Although people poked fun at Newt Gingrich's idea of developing space exploration technology as a way to address some of the country's economic issues, in Kennesaw, Georgia, companies like Win-Tech are receiving more manufacturing orders than they can fill from its customers in the defense and aerospace industries. Win-Tech's owner, Dennis Winslow even said that he's "... facing a real conundrum" and cited "There are so many unemployed people in the country. But I can't find the skill sets that I need. I would hire tomorrow if I could." The interesting thing about all of this is that for all the shipping of American jobs to China, the Chinese people actually would rather buy items made in America! That's right. They value products made in America more than the products made in their own country. They KNOW that American manufacturers produce goods that last longer and perform better. That is why it is hard to fault people in America who protest "Only buy American-made products!" There are some caveats to that argument - particularly if you are a true believer in free trade -but it is indeed an understandable stance to take. Perhaps we are learning something after all. I'm spending a year in China on an English teaching contract, but while I'm here, I'm also paying close attention to China's economy. A February economic report showed that U.S. small businesses, which initially hurried over to Chinese factories to produce their products, are now dumping them for American manufacturers. Mitch Free, CEO of Atlanta-based MFG.com, told CNN Money that his company has seen a 15% uptick in inquiries since 2009 from U.S. firms looking for American factories to replace their Chinese suppliers. Despite this glimmer of positive news, the country is still dealing with the serious issue of having too many American manufacturing jobs outsourced to China and the closings of several U.S.-based factories in general. The innocence of a child can often teach us a lot. One of my students whose mother asked me to tutor him is a 10-year old boy whose English name is "Prince." (Kind of close to "Princella," don't you think?) Prince saw a shiny silver pen on my desk during his tutoring session. The pen looked newer than it actually was and had "Cross County Sheriff" engraved on it. Sheriff J.R. Smith of my hometown, Wynne, Arkansas, had furnished me with several of them during a campaign visit I made to his office during the 2010 primary election cycle. Prince's eyes lit up as he saw the pen. He said: "Is from America?? Very beautiful!" Of course, I gave it to him and told him to keep it. He went home skipping because he "Have pen from America, now! Have pen from America, now!" (We're still working on his English grammar.) It was quite intriguing to me that a pen from the humble sheriff's office of Cross County, Arkansas could bring a 10-year-old child such joy, but it did, nonetheless, and it opened my eyes a bit wider about the value of the American-made product. Princella Smith is a political operative, and the founder of American Pride Strategies and the American Pride PAC. She has served as a staffer on Capitol Hill and as National Spokesperson for Newt Gingrich's American Solutions. Princella is currently an Instructor of Oral English at the Changsha Joy Enterprise in Hunan, China and a Young Ambassador for Save a Child's Heart in Azur, Israel. She has been featured on many national outlets as a commenator on social and political issues and writes a column entitled "Dispatches from China". First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 19 The Politics of Blackness�: By Barbara Howard A Divide and Conquer Lunatic! This was only one of the names in the most incredulous emails I have received about Black Republicans and the worst blasting Congressman Allen West. It accuses him of saying "I'm Black by birth, not by choice" in an interview with CNN anchor John King. The quote continues:"In light of this month being Black History Month, I feel no way involved with this negro celebration of half accomplishments and borderline Communist agendas. View the list of these "fearless" leaders of black America. Black inhabitants of America knew their place at the table, and knew they could not eat off the same plate of the more than welcoming white men and women of the time. These men, I use that term lightly, like Malcolm X pushed themselves into the homes of innocent white Americans. This action riled up the Negro, and scared the living hell out of people. I am in no way a part of this community of transported Africans. I myself am an American. I'm a good ol' boy from the great state of Florida, and a citizen of this great nation. I know God recognizes me as my true self, a proud, strong white man given dark pigmentation. God had to give the blacks at least one intelligent person, so he chose to give me dark skin. I curse my birth as a black man every day. I'm black by birth, not by choice. It will all be sorted out when my name is called, and I step in front of the great white Jesus himself." In one of the emails, it claims that the NAACP has gotten involved: "In outrage, many black organizations and churches took to the internet. The NAACP posted a Tweet saying, "Mr. West is 20 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 Allen West - The Latest Target of Liberal Left Lies entitled to his own opinion, no matter how outrageous it is." Many black Americans feel that Mr. West should be removed from his position according to a recent Yahoo! poll." The outrage at Allen was palpable � "If this is true, this man is an idiot." One person claims to have researched this statement and found it to be true: "This was forwarded to me and I of course found it incredulous. I went to Snopes to check authentication and found the same quote. I respected his military accomplishments but not his politics, but this statement seriously questions his mentality." How Snopes verified this is beyond me since the very website that posted the made-up statement clearly tells the world that it is NOT true. Freewoodpost.com states unequivocally in "Satire Disclaimer" that the post on Allen West is pure fiction and "fake news": "Free Wood Post is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within FreeWoodPost.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction." No one took the time to investigate this absurd claim? "I'm white by birth, not by choice?" Are you serious? Who says that kind of thing? And if it was an interview on CNN, where is the video? Why was there just a narrative of what he supposedly said? Nobody questioned it. Their hatred for all things Republican was so overwhelming that it overshadowed common sense. And these were seemingly intelligent, successful black folk who passed this junk around. Only a few (mostly Black Republicans who knew me and knew that I knew Allen) even thought to question its validity. One called it "The highest evidence of psychoneurosis of racism". Indeed. Even the white boys who own Free Wood Post knew that all they had to do was to "play the race card" and 95% of the black folk reading it would take it for gospel truth. Even when I disputed the claims, my "friends" did nothing to revoke the original lie. All were too glad to participate in destroying this man's reputation and his job � all because he was a Black Republican, which most blacks consider an abomination. They lack what I call "The 3 Vitamin Cs" � Character, Courage, and Cojones. Nobody had the character to even question what this could do to this man and his family or the courage to either delete the email or to denounce it. And nobody had the cojones to admonish everyone that passing around unfounded gossip was wrong. How did all the God-fearing Christians send this out without flinching? "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape." Proverbs 19:5 (KJV). "The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar" Proverbs 19:22 (KJV). Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel." Proverbs 20:17 (KJV). How many will now tell the truth? Barbara Howard is the Florida State Chair of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Trade and Travel Goodwill Ambassador to Kenya and a political consultant. She can be reached at bhoward11@ bellsouth.net. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 21 Maslow's Emotional Pyramid By Louise Butler Our students are no longer competing against one another for academic excellence. They are competing against the whole world. Visit any college campus and count the number of foreign accents you hear in the quad. Our college system is a multi-cultural, multi-national meeting ground. And the students challenging American children for spots at school and jobs in the workplace are the very best their countries have to offer. How do we make sure our students can both compete and excel? One way to know our students are ready to learn is to pay attention to Maslow's emotional pyramid. Abraham Maslow was a product of the streets of New York. He was born shortly after the turn of the century, and died in 1970. He is best known for his work in dividing the psychological needs of humans into five broad levels. These levels are called a hierarchy and usually shown as a pyramid. Levels in the hierarchy have to be addressed in order. At the base of the hierarchy are physiological needs--the physical needs required for life: food, water, oxygen, sleep, good health and freedom from pain. Because these are survival needs, nothing else can be addressed if they are not being met. Children who are hungry, sleepy or ill will not learn. The next level on Maslow's Hierarchy refers to safety and security needs. Children must be free from worry about the basics of life. They must not feel threatened by peers, adults or the school setting itself. Social and belonging needs come next. They deal with the human need to be part of a social group. What many people don't realize is that learning is a social behavior and children want to be successful parts of that society. They will learn what their social group says they must. If their family, friends and neighborhood value education, so will they. The next level, self-esteem, refers to recognition from our peers. Instead of the love of others, we are looking for their respect, which is loaded with conditions and obligations. Yet, despite the demands it places on us, people will seek it out. Unfortunately, the schools that choose to promote legitimate self-esteem with academic rigor and challenging curriculum often receive limited support. Former Secretary Of Labor under Bill Clinton, Mr. Robert Reich, wrote that all children do not need the rigorous courses of algebra, geometry, biology and other sciences required 22 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 by most high schools. He felt that these difficult courses were disheartening for the students, and he saw no immediate use for them. He could not have been more wrong! This attitude not only exists, but it is pervasive among the teachers' unions who continually low ball academic standards because high standards require more work and accountability from their rank and file members. The final level of the pyramid, self-actualization, is a special case. This is the only journey up the hierarchy that our students must make all on their own, and it will not occur during childhood. This is a level that many adults fail to reach. Self-actualization means feeling worthwhile as a human being. It means meeting a standard set in our hearts and judged by ourselves when no one else is watching. Our children will probably be long since out of our homes and immediate influence when they do reach this goal. But we can work in focused, selfless ways to move them, step by step, through the rest of Maslow's Hierarchy. We can build the foundation for self-actualization to occur. We can also try to reach this level ourselves. You, as parents, will always be the person your child looks to first and most frequently as role model. Louise Butler is an award-winning educator with a passion for both the art and science of teaching. Her writing is distinguished by its use of data-driven research couched in anecdotes and observations drawn from over 30 years as a trench-fighter in the war against ignorance. Ms. Butler has fought this battle as a teacher, principal, and college professor. During these years, her reputation for no-nonsense teaching and good writing awarded her Fellowships at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard, the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and an advanced degree at the University of Delaware. She is co-author of a science textbook and has written over 30 articles for the Mensa Bulletin and other publications. She is a featured speaker and has made presentations to hundreds of people at conferences across the country, including the Global Summit on Science and Science Education. By Ericka Andersen due to the country's reprehensible one-child policy. In Saudi Arabia, women are still fighting for the right to drive, to be seen in public alone, to be educated and to play sports. So is there a war against women? You bet. And the United States has an opportunity to address the horrific injustices against the world's women by promoting freedom through our foreign policy and encouraging the respect and care of women throughout the world. As Heritage's Grace Melton wrote, "The U.S. should work conscientiously to identify and address the real needs of women around the world, such as advancing maternal health, preventing and treating disease, securing legal rights, and seeking greater economic empowerment." It's time liberals recognize that the real fight for women's basic human rights is happening in places like Morocco, Saudi Arabia & Afghanistan � where women are treated like second class citizens and worse. The women in that war need all they help they can get. This was cross-posted on Heritage Foundation. http://blog. heritage.org/2012/03/19/the-real-war-on-women-abusingbasic-human-rights/ Source: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/03/19/the-real-war-on-women-abusingbasic-human-rights/ + http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/06/in-bedwith-radical-feminists-the-uns-misguided-womens-agenda + http://blog.amnestyusa.org/women/u-s-dont-abandon-afghan-women/#more-27134 + http:// news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/chinese-woman-forced-to-abort-8mthfetus-20101021-16w76.html + http://www.pri.org/stories/arts-entertainment/ movies/saving-face-oscar-winning-film-faces-abusers-8840.html + http://www. womenforwomen.org/global-initiatives-helping-women/assets/files/DRCongoCountry-Sheet.pdf + http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/14/200577. html Liberals have declared that there is a "war on women" in the United States but is that really true? A little bit of international perspective on women's rights goes a long way. The truth is this: there is a war on women in the world � and here's what it looks like: Last week in Morocco, 16-year old Amina's al-Filali committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist. After charges were filed against the rapist by al-Filali's parents, a local judge determined the best route to be marriage -- in order to "resolve" the impurity of sexual violation against her. For Amina, it was too much. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Honorata Kizende was kidnapped and raped by armed militias, then forced to be a sex slave for a year. After being released, her family rejected her due to the stigma of rape. In a place where violent rape is rampant, many women live without the support and comfort of family due to the shame cast on rape victims. A recent Oscar-winning Hollywood documentary, "Saving Face," documents the horrifying trend of acid attacks on females in Pakistan. Simply disrespecting or divorcing their husbands is the usual justification for such action. Most abusers go unpunished. Last year in Afghanistan, the Taliban forced a woman to abort her baby � then shot her dead, for alleged adultery. Chinese women are routinely forced to abort their babies Ericka Andersen is a senior digital communications associate at The Heritage Foundation. Previously, she worked on the press team at The House Republican Conference, under Rep. Mike Pence (IN). She was also a reporter at Human Events newspaper. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 23 By Erin Aitcheson First Lady Michelle Obama talks values and family (among other matters) on Letterman's late night show. Armed with her charismatic sarcasm and usual lavish couture, the First Lady played it cool during her recent debut appearance on the David Letterman show. A comfortable Mrs. Obama joked and opened up with Letterman on an array of topics including the important values she allegedly clings to. Lets just say her moral compass does not point due North but rather South Chicagoland. Michelle Obama proudly proclaims South Chicago is not only her home but also the only place she finds appropriate to associate herself with. She also prefers the cultural values that Chicago has to offer, boasting the town harbors a positive sense of kindness, empathy, and respect. Perhaps living in a million dollar mansion in Hyde Park may have caused some confusion for the now First Lady. Kindness, empathy, and respect must be code for cronyism and corruption, the real promoted "values" of the Chicago cesspool. Chicago has a long history of corruption at every level. Scandal, bribery, secrecy, and payoffs are the norm, a far cry from being considered valuable. House. "We want the White House to feel like South Side Chicago, same values, rules, and responsibility" states the First Lady. Chicago values are being instilled in the Obama daughters and simultaneously forced down the throats of Americans. As a nation, America has had to swallow Obama's Chicago politics, which can only stem from the so-called Chicago values. The Obama administration has been anything but respectful and empathetic to the rest of the country particularly when the President says in a demeaning fashion "we are a nation of arrogance" or reprimanding the values of others for "clinging to their guns and Bibles." It is Chicago politics as usual as accountability and transparency have gone out the White House window. Obama's presidency is summed up by the notion "do as I say, not as I do." Michelle Obama also gushed over her deeply rooted sense of family and warmed the hearts of her fans by revealing her emotional side. Her simplistic Chicago childhood has influenced her to believe that "children don't need anything but to know they are unconditionally adored." However, it only seems appropriate that this unconditional adoring love be a choice. The First Lady may tout the sanctity of love, parenthood, and family but her true allegiance lies with women's rights to contraception use and abortions, which have only served to help destroy the idea of family. Rest assured, the Obamas did not leave their Chicago ways behind them. The Windy City way of life blustered right to the nation's capitol and straight into the White House. For Michelle Obama, nothing could be of higher priority than instilling South Side Chicago values in her famIronically, Mrs. Obama also believes in enforcing ily. That means generating the Toddlin' town's boundaries and limits for her children. This can atmosphere into every square inch of the People's only help explain the reasoning behind allowing 24 Smart Girl Nation | First Quarter 2012 her 13-year-old daughter to spend Spring break in a risky part of Mexico without mom and dad. The Obama's also practice the technique of taking their children's things when they do not obey. Practice must make perfect in the President's case because he has successfully carried out this same method on the country. The wholesome Chicago family values of the Obama's may not match that of the country, but they do what they can to methodically enforce it. Source: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2012/03/michelle-obamanearly-comes-to-tears-with-david-letterman/1#. T2z2RY4Vwb0 I was born January 16, 1990. I grew up with a military background and I have lived all over the U.S. I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and was a member of the women's Division I competitive gymnastics team. I majored in philosophy with a focus in pre-law. I graduated early this past December (2011) as being in the top 15% of my class. I am now applying to law schools in hopes of attending this coming fall. I became interested in politics during my freshman year of college. I have been involved with the ACLJ and the Tea Party Patriots. In fact, I first discovered Smart Girl Politics while reading about Tea Party Patriot events. I feel very honored and privileged to be working with Smart Girl Politics and educating not only myself but also other women. First Quarter 2012 | Smart Girl Nation 25 Please Support Smart Girl Politics Donate Now!