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Empower Kids by Giving Them ‘Keys to Peace’ PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 06:54
Well-Meaning Parents Often Fail to Teach Vital Values, Author Says

Parents and educators are always trying to spark student participation whether it’s in the classroom, in the local community, or throughout the world.

When middle-school students at Allison Academy in North Miami Beach were asked what they could do to improve their country, they focused on what they understood – bullying, violence and racism.

Those problems are all rooted in the same issues, says Rachel Albert, author of “Quest to Telos,” (www.QuestToTelos.com), a young adult novel where fantasy meets reality and even world peace is possible.

“They stem from a lack of personal integrity and absence of social responsibility,” she says.

“Children who choose to put those values into practice are actively working toward peace. But they can only put into practice what they’ve learned; instilling those values may seem simple, but many parents miss the mark and actually model the opposite.”

Throwing money at social problems like racism or violence doesn’t resolve them, Albert says. But children can.

“The energy from kids’ excitement can make a real difference and we need their energy focused right here at home,” says the mother of four. “They see problems; it’s up to us to give them the tools to address them.”

The following tips can help parents teach their children personal integrity and social responsibility, giving them the keys to world peace.

• Never lie in front of your kids. It may seem obvious, but many parents lie in front of their children or encourage them to lie; misstating a child’s age to save money on movie tickets or allowing them to take credit for school projects completed by the parent.  These seemingly inconsequential lies suggest it’s OK, even good, to distort the truth. This causes long-term damage a million times more costly than whatever was gained in the short term.

• Give your kids a reason why. Author Mark Twain once said that the two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why.  If you fail to tell your kids why we are here, you have missed the opportunity to
figure out what motivates them and gets them excited. This is the most important key to getting kids’ cooperation and empowering them to help the world.

• Don’t criticize your children. Criticism is toxic, so why do almost all parents criticize their kids?  When we focus on what they aren’t, they believe they can’t. This creates angry children who express their pain by bullying others.  It’s better to tell them how you feel rather than what you think of them, e.g., “I feel frustrated that you didn’t listen to me,” or “Can you say that in a more loving way?”

• Don’t speak badly about other people. This is probably one of the hardest things to do, considering we’re a generation that pays for gossip.  Speaking badly about others teaches kids to look for what they view as the negative in others and take joy in sharing it.

• Model charity. Actions speak louder than any words. When you teach kindness to children, they tend to feel empathy and have more successful lives, a crucial step toward achieving world peace.

Once we tackle the issues plaguing America, then as a model nation, we will be ready to tackle world peace, Albert says. Kids are hungry to form an identity and make their mark on the world. It’s easier to try to bring peace to another country, but that never works. We need to start at home.

About Rachel Albert

Rachel Albert is a certified court reporter and business owner. “Quest to Telos” is her debut novel; it’s being used by a private school to develop an inspirational, critical-thinking curriculum for middle-school students ready by the summer. Albert is currently working on a sequel. She is a staunch advocate of boosting teen literacy while inspiring kids to make a difference starting with their own hearts.

 
On Eve of Independence Day, Braley and Sen. Sherrod Brown Urge House Committee to Move on All-American Flag Act PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:51

Senate passed bipartisan bill year ago; House has not acted to keep flags made in USA

 

Washington, D.C. – On the eve of the Independence Day holiday, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) – the authors of the All-American Flag Act, which would require the federal government to purchase 100 percent made-in-America flags – urged the leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to move the bill forward to it can be brought to the House floor for a vote.

 

Braley said, “It’s just common sense: Americans’ tax dollars should be used to purchase flags made in the USA.  The Senate has agreed in a bipartisan vote.  Now, it’s time for the House to act.  I urge the Oversight Committee to protect America’s greatest symbol and support manufacturers right here in the United States by immediately considering this bill.”

 

Brown said, “Under current law, the American flags that fly from federal buildings—on July 4th and every day of the year—may be up to fifty percent foreign-made. Many American companies, including Annin and Company in Coshocton, proudly produce the American flag right here in the United States.  With strong bipartisan support in the Senate, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee should move to discharge the All-American Flag Act and send it to the House floor for a vote. We should do all we can to support American manufacturing and job creation, especially when it comes to our most treasured of patriotic symbols—the American flag.”

 

The All-American Flag Act unanimously passed the US Senate in July 2011, but the House has failed to schedule a vote for its companion bill, H.R. 1344, which was introduced by Rep. Braley. The bill must be approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in order to be voted on by the full House. Two years ago, the Braley-authored All-American Flag Act passed the House unanimously.

 

For more information on the All-American Flag Act, visit: http://go.usa.gov/wWU

 

Braley and Brown made the request in a letter to Oversight Committee leadership.  The text of that letter follows:

 

The Honorable Darrell Issa

Chairman

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Elijah Cummings

Ranking Member

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

2471 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings:

 

As we approach the 4th of July, we are reminded of the importance of the American flag as the symbol of our nation.  Unfortunately, current law requires the government to purchase flags made of only 50 percent American-made materials.  We strongly believe that U.S. flags should consist of only American made materials.

 

That is why we introduced the All-American Flag Act.  This bill would require the federal government to purchase flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials.  In the 111th Congress, both of you supported this legislation when it was passed out of the Oversight Committee.  The bill was later adopted by voice-vote in the House.  Last July, the Senate unanimously passed the All-American Flag Act.

 

As the two primary authors of this legislation, we ask that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee discharge the Senate passed version of the All-American Flag Act so it can be brought to the House floor for a vote.  Given that this legislation has already been passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, we believe that now is the time to see that this legislation is signed into law.

 

American flags should be made in America using American products.  Allowing the government to purchase flags with foreign-made materials is disrespectful to our country.  We urge you to discharge the All-American Flag Act from the House Oversight Committee so it can be brought to the House floor for a vote.

 

Thank you for your attention to our request.  We ask that you please reply to our letter within 10 business days with an answer on whether or not the Committee will discharge this legislation.  Please feel free to contact either of us if we can provide further assistance.

 

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Navy's So-called Green Fleet a "Floating Government Boondoggle" PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ryan Houck   
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 09:47

July 3, 2012, Washington, DC—Although traditional fuel costs $3.60 per gallon, the U.S. Navy has opted to power its so-called "Green Fleet" with a biofuel blend that costs $26 per gallon.   Apparently oblivious to staggering budget deficits, the Pentagon has funded the "Green Fleet"—which recently began its 6-week-long exercise in the Pacific—through its green fuels initiative.

"With our nation's defense budget set to lose hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years, this floating government boondoggle is a truly astonishing waste of taxpayer money," said Ryan Houck, executive director of Free Market America.  "It is seven times more expensive to fuel the so-called 'green fleet' than to fuel a traditional fleet, begging the question: What vital national defense programs are now on the chopping block thanks to the green agenda?  Members of congress and the Administration should note that when Americans express outrage over wasteful government spending, this is exactly the type of nonsense they are talking about."

The AP posted its story on the "Green Fleet" late yesterday afternoon.  It can read here.

Free Market America is a free market watchdog group that focuses on environmental issues.  In partnership with Americans for Limited Government, the group was launched earlier this year and is responsible for the viral video "If I wanted America to fail"—a runaway hit that scored over 2.4 million views on YouTube.

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Gov. Quinn Threatens Job Creation in NW Illinois by Offering to Sell Southern IL Prison to Feds PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:47

Tamms offer would compete with effort to open Thomson as a federal prison

[WASHINGTON]  – Governor Pat Quinn’s offer last week to sell a state prison in southern Illinois to the federal government could doom a two-year effort by Illinois’ Congressional delegation to create more than 1,100 jobs in northwest Illinois by opening the vacant Thomson Correctional Center as a federal prison.

In a letter to the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons released Friday, Quinn said the 14-year-old Tamms supermax prison – which still houses state prisoners – would be a valuable addition to the federal prison system. Quinn’s offer to sell the Tamms Correctional Center comes on the heels of ongoing efforts by U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo (R-IL), Bobby Schilling (R-IL) and other members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation to ink a deal for the federal government to purchase the vacant state prison in Thomson, IL and open it as a maximum security federal prison, creating more than 1,100 much-needed jobs in northwest Illinois.

“With his new offer to sell the Tamms state prison to the federal government, Gov. Quinn may have doomed our efforts to open Thomson as a federal prison and create more than 1,100 jobs in northern Illinois,” Manzullo said. “In these very tight financial times, we have been working hard to find the federal money needed to buy Thomson, and now the Governor has thrown a new option on the table that will compete with our efforts. The federal government certainly doesn’t have the money to buy two state prisons in Illinois.”

"The Illinois delegation has been working closely to find a bipartisan way to advance Thomson Prison," Schilling said. "But to really move this forward, we need the Governor to focus in on and join us in our efforts. I remain optimistic that we can get Thomson opened, and will continue working to see it through."

The operation of Thomson as a federal prison is expected to create more than 1,100 jobs and provide $19 million in local labor income and $61 million in local business sales each year. Total local economic impact, both direct and indirect, is expected to be at least $202 million each year. That annual economic impact would provide more than $20 million in direct federal income tax revenue, $6.2 million in direct state income tax revenue, and $3.8 million in sales tax revenue.

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Governor’s office releases list of all appointments made to boards and commissions since March 1 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Iowa Governor's Office   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:34

(DES MOINES) – The governor’s office today released a list of all appointments that have been made to boards and commissions since March 1 of this year. The appointments are as follows:

 

Council on Agricultural Education

Michael Earll, Sibley

Crystal Jauer, Hinton

Larry Marek, Riverside

 

Architectural Examining Board

Emily Forquer, Afton

 

Iowa Arts Council

Linda Grandquist, West Des Moines

Kent Hartwig, Des Moines

Chawne Paige, Waterloo

Frances Parrott, Council Bluffs

Lisa Walsh, Burlington

 

State Banking Council

Surasee Rodari, Des Moines

Gina Sitzmann, Sioux City

 

Advisory Council on Brain Injuries

Thomas Brown, Pleasant Hill

Dennis Byrnes, Atalissa

Roxanne Cogil, Jamaica

Michael Hall, Coralville

Kendalyn Huff, Greenfield

Karen Jones, Norwalk

Jenifer Krischel, Havelock

Joseph Linn, Fairfax

 

State Building Code Advisory Council

Amy Infelt, Coralville

Kristin Mohr, Ankeny

Mark Reetz, West Des Moines

Barbara Welander, Mt. Pleasant

 

Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation

Janet Metcalf, Urbandale

 

Child Advocacy Board

Elaine Sanders, Sioux City

 

City Finance Committee

Kent Anderson, Orange City

Randall Cook, Creston

Chris Ward, West Liberty

Michelle Weidner, Waterloo

 

College Student Aid Commission

Roger Claypool, Le Mars

 

Criminal Justice Information Advisory Committee

John Baldwin, Clive

David Heuton, Altoona

 

Dependent Adult Protective Advisory Council

Michael Owens, Waterloo

 

Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council

Frank Forcucci, Urbandale

Emilea Hillman, Independence

Paul Kiburz, Marion

Barbara McClannahan, Des Moines

Gary Sample, Pleasantville

William Stumpf, Dubuque

Lisa Yunek, Mason City

Aaron Anderson, Mason City

Tonya Fustos, Council Bluffs

Roger Girard, Marion

Koki, Nakagawa, Ames

Nathaniel Pierson, Marion

Alissa Underfer, West Des Moines

 

Iowa Council for Early ACCESS

Jodi Angus, Mount Ayr

Mary Butler, West Des Moines

Maria Cashman, Marion

Chad Dahm, Pella

Gary Guetzko, Dubuque

Julie Hahn, Des Moines

Shari Huecksteadt, Bettendorf

Martin Ikeda, Urbandale

Representative Kevin Koester, Ankeny

Aryn Kruse, Ames

Heather Moorman, Corydon

 

State Board of Education

McKenzie Baker, Forest City

 

State Board of Educational Examiners

Mary Overholtzer, Tingley

 

Interstate Commission on Education Opportunity for Military Children

Martha Kester, Des Moines

Heather Stephenson, Ankeny

 

Electrical Examining Board

Wayne Engle, Marion

John Marino, Clear Lake

Patricia Weese, Bedford

 

Iowa Emergency Response Commission

Robin Pruisner, McCallsburg

 

Fire Services and Emergency Response Council

Mike Bryant, Ames

Gerald Hoffman, Grundy Center

Reylon Meeks, Runnells

Rex Mundt, Ankeny

 

State Board of Health

Ted George, Rockwell City

Jay Hansen, Mason City

Cheryl Straub-Morarend, Coralville

Diane Thomas, Manchester

 

State Historical Records Advisory Board

Shelley Bishop, Council Bluffs

Michael Gibson, Dubuque

Larry Murphy, Ankeny

 

State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees

John Brown, Johnston

Alyse Hunter, Chariton

Jill Wanderscheid, Sioux City

 

Iowa Council on Homelessness

Allan Axeen, Iowa City

Zebulon Beikle-McCallum, Urbandale

David Boss, New Hampton

Ann Davidson, Fort Dodge

Carrie Dunnwald, Waterloo

Rebecca Falck, Oskaloosa

Mariliegh Fisher, Cedar Falls

David Hagen, Cedar Rapids

Kristine Harris, Cedar Rapids

Clifton Heckman, Grimes

Nancy Schulze, Council Bluffs

Timothy Wilson, Mt. Vernon

 

Hospital Licensing Board

Monte Neitzel, Creston

 

Human Rights Board

Mark Alba, Council Bluffs

Redmond Jones, Davenport

Karen Mackey, Sioux City

Sheryl Soich, Des Moines

Robert Tyson, Waterloo

Jennifer Upah, Cedar Rapids

 

Statewide Independent Living Council

Kristen Aller, Cedar Rapids

Joel Lightcap, Dubuque

Michael Cook, Des Moines

Gary “Joe” Sample, Pleasantville

 

Iowa Innovation Council

Gordon Neumann, Des Moines

 

Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board

Jason Leonard, Waverly

Sandra Morris, Des Moines

Rick Roe, Clive

 

Juvenile Justice Advisory Council

Jacey Bair-Waddell, Cedar Rapids

Morgan Dodson, Le Mars

Margaret Johnson, Sidney

Jeremy Kaiser, Eldridge

Bill Ockerman, Polk City

John Quinn, Urbandale

Shauna Soderstrum, West Des Moines

Zachary Thomas, Nevada

Jeralyn Westercamp, Cedar Rapids

Karen Jones, Glenwood

Tony Reed, Marshalltown

Carl Smith, Ankeny

 

Latino Affairs Commission

Ramon Rodriguez, Pleasant Hill

 

Medical Assistance Advisory Council

Julie Frischmeyer, Carroll

John Grush, Boone

Cecilia Tomlonovic, Des Moines

Mark Wiskus, Pella

 

Board of Medicine

Frank Bognanno, Des Moines

Ann Gales, Bode

Michael Thompson, Pella

 

Mid-America Port Commission

Daniel Wiedemeier, Burlington

 

Organic Advisory Council

Thomas German, Holstein

 

Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Examining Board

Susan Pleva, Woodward

 

Preserves Advisory Board

Kirk Larsen, Decorah

Leesa McNeil, Sioux City

 

Iowa Public Broadcasting Board

Mary Kramer, Clive

 

Real Estate Commission

John Goede, Spencer

 

STEM Advisory Council

Cameron Evans, Euless

Steven Leath, Ames

Bradley Woody, Monroe

 

Student Loan Liquidity Corporation

Daniel Clute, Urbandale

Scott Schneidermann, Rock Rapids

Adam Voigts, Indianola

 

Terrace Hill Commission

Deborah Hubbell, Des Moines

Kay Runge, Davenport

Eric Wieland, West Des Moines

 

Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Commission

Shirley Daniels, Des Moines

Chad Jensen, Carroll

 

Commission on Uniform State Laws

Rosemary Sackett, Okoboji

Teresa Wagner, Iowa City

David Walker, Windsor Heights

 

Vocational Rehabilitation Council

Curtis Chong, Des Moines

Sherri Clark, Red Oak

Jill Crosser, Ames

Nancy Cruz-Tretina, Ames

John Mikelson, Columbus Junction

Christopher Townsend, Davenport

 

Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service

Jordan DeGree, Dubuque

Ashley Farmer-Hanson, Alta

Patti Fields, Iowa City

Khayree Fitten, Mt. Pleasant

Gary Fry, Mitchellville

Michelle Gowdy, Des Moines

Daniel Weiser, Urbandale

 

Watershed Improvement Review Board

Larry Alliger, Gowrie

David Coppess, Urbandale

Larry Gullett, Center Junction

Susan Heathcote, Des Moines

Jane Weber, Bettendorf

 

 

 

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