Mary Sanchez, KC Star editorial columnist, doesn’t often agree with the positions we take. So we were pleasantly shocked and surprised when we found ourselves nodding in agreement with two of her recent commentaries on the culture. In the first she asks: “Is Facebook Becoming a Permissive Parent?” In it she exposes out the obvious dangers of giving teens and children unguarded access to this [internet social experience gone wild] in the name of money and marketing. She points out what all engaged parents know…teens are savvy, but “they are also hard-wired to have less impulse control, more apt to be controlled by peer pressure, and prone to act first and only realize consequences later.”
Mary suggests that Facebook’s rationale for a policy allowing children more freedoms is short sighted. Even though Facebook points to all kinds of good that will come of these changes, Mary believes that Facebook holds some major (parent-esque) responsibility for protecting children. We agree. Read her commentary HERE
Mary also weighed in on the tragic, life altering and very public story of alleged sexual assault coming out of Maryville, MO. As she reflects on the public narrative that thrust this small town into the national spot light, she observes: “One of the most damaging things that can occur to a young girl is for her earliest sexual experience to become a twisted confusion of alcohol and regret.” It’s true, a twisted first sexual experience – with or without alcohol is damaging for our youth, boys and girls. Though, Mary might think it intolerant of us to narrow that “twist” down further to any sex outside of marriage. Read her commentary HERE
Art must be Mary’s cultural kryptonite. Her column has been a vocal opponent to our efforts in getting the Overland Park Arboretum “sexting” statue moved out of a children’s & family venue. Perhaps she’s missed stories, like Amanda Todd (whose YouTube video explained how sexting ultimately lead to her suicide - HERE). Or maybe she missed the recent Vanity Fair article detailing the stark reality of the entrenchment of sexting in the youth culture (HERE - Warning contains explicit language).
It’s hard to tell exactly where the line of responsibility is for Mary when it comes to pointing out the cultural failures. However – it’s clear that we do agree on some level that the culture is implicated when it refuses to protect the vulnerable!
Perhaps there’s a bit of neanderthal in all of us!
September of 2012 a citizen’s grand jury petition of 4,700 signers was submitted to the Johnson County Court and a grand jury was impaneled to examine the question of a negative “sexting” message, obscenity and possible harmful effects on minors.
The results? The citizen’s grand jury law allows for ninety days of independent investigations. However, in less than one day, the Johnson County DA’s office did influence and dispatched what was to be a robust, free and independent investigative process. Something about this quick “wink and a nod” from county to city government didn’t pass the smell test.
After hearing testimony and debate, the Kansas State Legislature (Democrat and Republican), found the citizen grand juries vulnerable to compromise. In their words “hijacked” by potentially self-serving power. In essence, the ‘king’ was usurping the ‘peoples’ court. New safeguards were signed into law.
The improved citizen’s grand jury is no longer be the lap dog of power but restored to its original independent watchdog role.
Registered voters in Johnson County, KS: WE MUST turn our attention to unfinished business. Let’s once again collect the necessary signatures and submit to the Johnson County Court a second grand jury petition. The goal is 4,700 signatures. It’s your move! Take Action – Sign the Petition
Just trust us. That’s what the porn industry-backed non-profit group Adult Sites Against Child Pornography (ASACP) said to US District Court Judge Michael Baylson. Judge Baylson presided over the case reviewing federal regulation 2257 – requiring that porn producers maintain documentation that their performers are over 18 years old. In a recent article outlining the case, co-writers David Levy & Gail Tines (author of Pornland) point out that “porn has become big business.” With big business comes a powerful lobbying forces to keep the laws on the side of those who have the money.
And the porn industry is flush with profits! From 2001 to 2007, Internet porn went from a $1-billion-a-year industry to a $3-billion-a-year in the U.S. That’s not all, as the web goes mobile – the industry expects their sales to soar. Up to $2.8 billion in mobile content and services alone by 2015 (Porn Stats, 2013, Covenant Eyes).
Can we trust porn producers to open their deep pockets to rehabilitate victims? Not likely! Congress had to pass the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Act of 1994 – declaring that a person harmed as a result of child pornography shall be paid by the defendant “the full amount of the victim’s losses.” In cases so far, rulings have been split – the restitution being awarded depends heavily on the Federal Court hearing the case. The Supreme Court is going to weigh in (full story HERE). This law only considers one way that porn harms – and it’s complicated. What about in sex crime cases? Could porn producers be liable in cases where men addicted to porn act out the fantasy-driven act that are crimes in the real world?
In the 2013 KS Legislature session they passed HB-2017, Reporting Porn Act. This law is a practical connect the dot solution, providing more than an anecdotal evidence of the presence of porn at actual sex crime scenes. No other state has this law. For the first time, we don’t have to wait for the criminal to tell us that porn played a role in his crime. As this law takes effect, perhaps it will open a whole new world for holding the porn producers accountable for the harms the create.
Have you heard? Kid leaving Facebook for social media that’s a little less “parent friendly.”
Take a look at this STORY Check out these Parenting Resources
A few apps you should be aware of:
Instagram is a very popular photo sharing app. At first glance, it may seem harmless, but it’s a public forum and if the account isn’t set up correctly, ANYONE can follow your child & steal their pictures. Late last year, Instagram faced public controversy when they changed their terms of service to reflect that they owned all of the user content shared on their platform. Meaning they can use whatever is shared however they want. Parents should understand the terms of service for every app.
Snapchat is one of the top free downloaded apps with users sending more than 20 million “snaps” every day. Here’s how it works: Someone can send you a picture through the app and control how long you see it, up to 10 seconds. Many users thing the picture disappears forever. But you can actually take a scree shot of the picture and it will stay in the photo library. People still don’t realize that nothing is ever gone on the internet. This app is recognized by law enforcement at the #1 app for sexting. Snapchat recently launched SnapKidz, a new feature of the app made for kids under 13. With SnapKidz children will be able to use Snapchat as a drawing app, or to caption photos they take – but they won’t be able to share those drawings or photos with others. Twitter is known for its 140 character-limit status updates called tweets. Twitter’s current teen population is 22%. When you sign up for Twitter, you’ll search for people by name. So even if your child’s username is not their real name, it will still appear in the results if they registered their account with their real name. Vine is also a very popular app in this video crazed age. It allows users to share six second looping videos. It has a strong reputation for having pornographic content that can be shared with thousands of users.
ChatHOO? open options to for users to chat with other people. People can just randomly message you – other cities, states – no rules, no filters – Anything goes.
There is another opportunity to communicate the importance of this matter before his confirmation is finalized. Take a moment to contact your Senators and ask them to oppose Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation unless he agrees to lead a vigorous effort to protect and enforce Federal decency laws as they stand.
Last week we saw Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s nominee to chair the FCC, do a tap dance around his commitment to vigorously enforcing the federal decency law (18 U.S.C. 1464 – prohibiting indecency and profanity on TV and radio) in the Senate confirmation hearings.
You have to wonder what FCC Nominee Tom Wheeler would’ve said if more than 105,000 people had not made comment on their website (nearly 1,000 to 1 in opposition to lowering standards). His Senate confirmation is expected.
Though a bit squirmish in his response, he knows that your watching and that decency matters! We expect his confirmation. We’ll keep you informed as he takes his office and gets to work.
The Pentagon reported 26,000 military sexual assaults in 2011 (News Article). Secretary of Defense Hagel and President Obama voiced “outrage” and demanded a “cultural change” to end sexual assaults in the military (See news story on recent shocking arrest). More could be said about the social experimentation within the military and recent policy changes announcing women in close quarter/front line combat roles, but let’s concentrate on the obvious link, relative to the recent news about sexual assaults.
Yesterday at an Army PX I counted 38 separate magazines categorized as “sexually explicated.” Does it makes sense to have a policy promoting sexually explicit materials in military outlets and then puzzle over the increase of sexual assaults? This is a classic garbage in, garbage out scenario! Congress directed the military to examine their position on “sexually explicit materials” with the Military Honor and Decency Act. In 2006 the military reviewed their pornographic materials and continued a boys will be boys policy. At best it’s naive to think that a “Just Say No” policy will work to curb sexual assaults in the Armed Forces.
Kansas just enacted a law requiring the reporting of sexually explicit materials during the investigation of sexual crimes. Kansas is connecting the dots. It would serve the men and women who serve our country well if Secretary Hagel would do the same.
They are; the Children’s Internet protection Act which requires Internet filters on all Kansas public schools K-12 and public libraries.
The Reporting of the Presence of Pornographic Materials during the investigation of sex crimes. The goal of this bill is a future class action lawsuit against the porn industry similar to tobacco and cancer judgements for damages. Kansas is the first state to examine this data for possible cause and effect.
The Improvements to the Citizens Grand Jury Process, insuring it’s independent investigative charge and insulating it from manipulations of institutional powers. The Kansas legislature did agree that the peoples court process, while addressing obscenity and pro-life questions, had been most likely under, or ill-informed multiple times. This Kansas peoples court will now be the envy of other states as we rediscover and revived the original constitutional intent of the Citizens Grand Jury. It was never intended to be the prosecutors lap dog, it is an ancient watchdog for when the king becomes indifferent through cronyism, collusion and corruption. A free and independent court for a free and independent people!
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is considering dropping current decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity. Read the FCC press release HERE
If enacted, the new FCC policy would allow network television and local radio stations to air the f-word, the s-word and allow programs to show frontal female nudity, even during hours when they know children will be watching and listening. They only want to investigate the most “egregious cases” of indecencies.
ACT NOW to urge the FCC to reject any changes to the current policy. To be effective, you must file a formal comment on the FCC’s website.
Please follow these instructions carefully to ensure your comment is accepted:
1. Go to http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/begin?procName=&filedFrom=X 2. Enter the code “13-86″ in the “Proceeding Number” box and fill out the few remaining required fields.
3. Enter your comment in the text box provided and click “Continue.”
4. From there, review your comment and click “Confirm.”Sample Comment:
I oppose any changes to the current FCC indecency standards that would allow television and radio stations to broadcast expletives and nudity on the public airwaves, even if brief or “fleeting.”The Supreme Court has confirmed the FCC’s authority to enforce policies regarding expletives and nudity, especially during times when children are likely to be watching or listening.Relaxing the current policy would not serve the public interest and I urge the FCC to reject all proposals that would allow for the broadcast of expletives and nudity on FCC-licensed stations.
The future of Scouting hangs in the balance – as they continue to face the assault of political correctness.
On May 23rd, Boy Scout leaders from each state will meet together to vote on whether or not to amend its longstanding membership policy restricting open and avowed homosexuals. BSA have emailed a survey to parents to establish how they feel about the changes.
We need you to get involved!
Your local council executive and at least one local citizen will represent your community by voting for or against a resolution to change the current policy.
• We believe scouting should not include homosexual men who go on overnight camping trips with young boys.
• We believe scouting should not cave to political correctness is the form of social experimentation.
• We believe scouting should not make its religious sponsoring organizations vulnerable to lawsuits by homosexual activist. (Chartering organizations are currently protected, but any change to the policy could severely jeopardize that legal protection.)
Visit or call your local council executive.Click Here for Kansas City Area – Heart of America Council with District Leadership
• Ask your local scout executive where his position is.
• Politely share your concerns and ask your local council representative to vote against any change to the current membership policy.
The U.S. Department of Justice released a report to law enforcement reinforcing the intent around the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 Public Law 106-386. The report linked pornography with the victimization of children, sexual trafficking and the incidents of other sexual crimes such as rape and sodomy. Pornography was showcased as a catalyst, fueling fantasy-driven criminal behavior. Quantifying pornography’s deleterious effects is critical in applying remedies to reduce those effects. This bill passed the Kansas House (HB 2042) in Feb 2011by a vote of 119 yea; 2 nay. It died in a Senate committee.
Tell the KS House to protect children from the predatory nature of porn by providing internet protection at schools and in public libraries! Encourage them to support CIPA – SB 104 passed the Senate 40-0 and a unanimous vote in the House Education Committee.
This bill would require Internet filters on Kansas public libraries and schools. It mirrors the 2000 Federal Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) intended on protecting minors from obscene or harmful materials. The Federal Law was upheld as constitutional by the SCOTUS in 2003.
Status: PENDING Statewide Sexually Oriented Business (SOB) statute that enacts constitutional “time and manner” restrictions on SOBs (i.e.…distance between dancers and patrons, lighting, elimination of private booths, elimination of alcohol at SOBs, total nude ban and midnight to six am closing of operations.)
The Grand Jury system is pre colonial and enshrined in the U.S. constitution. In Kansas the process is statutory. Statutory changes are necessary to keep the CGJ fully effective and truly independent, investigative / accusatory citizens remedy.
“A free and independent court for a free and independent people”
The Grand Jury system is pre colonial and enshrined in the U.S. constitution. In Kansas the process is statutory. The current verbiage framing the Citizens Grand Jury (CGJ) by petition is too easily influenced by power, rendering the Kansas CGJ tool ineffective and disenfranchised as a truly independent, investigative / accusatory citizens remedy.
Components that need attention to improve the KS CGJ system are:
* Fully instruct, empower and insulate the CGJ
* Judge Assignment / Challenge
* Jury Selection Process
* Citizen Access to Deliver Testimony and Evidence
* Petition Sponsor Has Standing and Involved
* Independent Legal Counsel Selection
* Indictments Acted Upon.
The re-crafting of the Kansas Grand Jury by Petition law will revive it’s intended robust independence, insulated from and resistant to manipulation by those same positions in power, who either by indifference, corruption or collusion have turned a blind eye to the law(s) and the peoples concerns in the first place.
If love has a language, then authors Mark and Debbie Laaser have uncovered the soul receptors for love in their book, The Seven Desires of Every Heart. Written in clear, conversational tone they describe the desires and how we are often wounded in seeking to have these desires fulfilled. They offer practical insights into why we have these desires, how we seek to meet them and tangible ways to correct bad habits or good intentions gone wrong. There is a sense of encouragement throughout the book with relevant “Points to Ponder” at the end of each chapter.
We think this book is great for anyone who wants to be an asset in their relationships. The publisher says, “This book gives you the tools and skills you need to rebuild relationship and keep them rich in emotional and spiritual intimacy.” We couldn’t agree more! Publisher: Zondervan; 2008. Available for purchase on the Laaser’s website: Faithful & True Ministries
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal 6:9
Sometimes as we confront the sexualizing of our culture we take it on the nose for a variety of reasons.
It is tough to experience a defeat as we did at the hand of DA Steve Howe and his trashing of the Citizens Grand Jury’s investigative process.
Is it interesting that our lack of success was showcased in the KC Star , above the fold, front page and become a political cartoon. KC STAR STORY Probably to no ones surprise the Star for the most part has been less than complimentary towards our work and they took the opportunity to spike the football.
I must confess that to fail so publicly on the front page was hard. I had to lick my wounds for a couple of days and prayerfully consider the options now before us. Hope springs eternal. This is not the first defeat I have experienced and although past success is sweet and is my preferred outcome…it is the sting of a setback that has always been most instructive and more often than not lays the patient groundwork for a greater victory.
Some strategic partners and thinkers were quick to contact me and point out that the DA’s acts, his contempt for the Grand Jury process and his expediting of its quick demise was so egregious and obvious that his victory will be short lived and in fact…a gift. The pro-life community suffered a similar unjust handling of the Planned Parenthood case from the same DA’s office. This may be just the thing that will help link the purity and pro-life energies this next legislative session.
We are already in the draft mode of rewriting the Grand Jury law to truly secure its future robust independent investigative charge and process. DA Howe’s willful and clumsy overstepping of his authority was just the catalyst needed to wrest the Grand Jury process from the hands of those who have increasingly manipulated the outcome of the peoples court.
We smelled out the DA’s office’s ill intent and pointed out their unauthorized acts of usurping the process, a week prior to the impaneling of the Grand Jury. DA Howe and two of his assistant DA’s ignored our written demands that they cease their witness tampering and investigations. All investigative authority emanates from an impaneled Grand Jury, not the DA’s office. All three are now in the pipeline for a disciplinary hearing to explain their contempt for and usurping of the Grand Jury investigative process.
Our filing of the seven page detailed ethics complaint isn’t sour grapes in response to the Grand Jury’s dismissal after a few short hours. We saw it coming and called it. Our ethics complaint was filed prior to the unjust action that short stopped the Grand Jury’s oath and charge to investigate the truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth.
We can celebrate that the conversation surrounding the subject of “sexting” and the statue in the OP Arboretum was vigorously engaged in the metro.
To quote Woodrow Wilson ” I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately triumph than to triumph in a cause that will ultimately fail.”
Part of our mission in challenging the indifference concerning the sexualizing of our culture is encouraging elected officials to understand the damage that the sex industry inflicts on communities and to do their core purpose (why taxes are paid) as outlined in Romans Chapter 13, in short the protection from evil and the rewarding of good.
We just completed a four question survey of all the Kansas State level Senate and House candidates. Their response, a past vote on the “Community Defense Act” or non response will interest you.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children works with the FBI to investigate tips regarding sexually misleading, enticement, & exploitation of children or unsolicited obscenity sent to a child 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.