It was a first last weekend, both for San Diego, California’s Patrick Henry High School and for the nation. On October 30, the school’s student body crowned self-described lesbian Rebeca Arellano their homecoming “king” at a school pep rally, naming Arellano’s “girlfriend” Haileigh Adams, also a student at the school, homecoming queen. The bizarre turn of events apparently marks the first time that a pair of homosexuals have been crowned royalty in the peculiarly American homecoming tradition.
A Federal Communications Commission ruling on closed captioning of television programs could jeopardize the continued broadcast of shows produced by “some 300 small- to medium-sized churches,” according to Politico.
The U.S House of Representatives voted 396-9 on November 1 to affirm “In God We Trust” as the official national motto of the United States. Reported the New York Times: “The resolution … is designed to clear up any confusion over the motto’s official status and to encourage schools and other public institutions to display it, said Representative J. Randy Forbes, Republican of Virginia and the measure’s sponsor.” Forbes explained that “what’s happened over the last several years is that we have had a number of confusing situations in which some who don’t like the motto have tried to convince people not to put it up.”
Despite the public perception that public school teachers in general are underpaid, Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and co-author of “Assessing the Compensation of Public-School Teachers,” says “the reality is that it’s just not true. There’s no way to look at the data and conclude that they are underpaid. They are certainly paid more than they can get if they work in the private sector…” In fact, Richwine found that “public-school teachers receive compensation about 52% higher than their skills would otherwise garner in the private sector.”
Demographic “experts” have said that the Earth now has 7 billion inhabitants, or soon will have, and population control groups are using the news as a pretext to warn of the need to check the population’s supposedly runaway growth. “Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the ‘symbolic’ date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it’s impossible to know for sure the specific time or day,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion threshold will not be reached until March.” The Times added that, whatever the differences in their methodology, “demographers agree that humanity remains on a steep growth curve, which is likely to keep climbing through the rest of this century.”
A candy wholesaler is targeting kids with a new product line: lollipops, gummy sours, and ring pops shaped like marijuana leaves. While the manufacturer says the candy, aptly named Potheads, is selling well so far, the trend has some community leaders upset.
Shareholders of PepsiCo have filed a resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to force the company to stop contracting with a research firm that uses cells from aborted babies in its process of producing artificial flavor enhancers. According to LifeNews.com, Pepsi has “ignored concerns and criticism from dozens of pro-life groups and tens of thousands of pro-life people who voiced their opposition to PepsiCo contracting with biotech company Senomyx even after it was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions.”
When Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) released his economic plan, which calls for eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, the howls of outrage from the media were predictable. Paul was accused of wanting to end the federal student loan program immediately and, therefore, of being anti-education.
Bobby Montoya, a seven-year-old boy living with his mother in Denver, wants to join the Girl Scouts, and the group’s Colorado headquarters says that’s okay. As reported by ABC News, a Girl Scout official originally told Felisha Archuleta that her son could not join a local Girl Scout troop, but, sensing a public relations nightmare, the group quickly changed its mind.
Young people who are exposed to profanity on television and in video games are not only more likely to use profanity themselves, but also to engage in aggressive behaviors. Those are the findings of a new study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A North Carolina county wants to resume its longtime practice of beginning government meetings with prayer, and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that bans prayers offered “in Jesus’ name.” As reported by The New American, in July the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ tradition of beginning their meetings with mostly Christian prayers offered by local clergy. Specifically, two area residents sued the county after attending a county board meeting on December 17, 2007, in which a local pastor “thanked God for allowing the birth of His Son to forgive us for our sins and closed by making the prayer in the name of Jesus,” according to an Associated Press report.