Movie: “Jumanji-Welcome to the Jungle” Reflection

I just watched this movie with my bro’s family and was very happy I saw it. This movie was better than I expected. The trailer doesn’t say it all. The movie had some “life lessons” that had me thinking and reevaluating more of my life. I decided to write about this while it is fresh in my mind and heart. Hope you readers can relate…

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) imdb.com
“..Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they choose. ..”

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – Official Trailer (HD) – YouTube

The movie started with a curious teen (Alex) that finds this video game console in the beach in the year of 1996 (note the “old school” video game console that looks like a “Super Nintendo”). Like all curious humans, we want to play with it (“curiosity kills the cat”).

Now, the future went forward to a group of teens that get into detention and they find that same “game console” at the school. ..

Sal: After the movie, my “bro’s family” and I were talking about this particular scene. I opened up to them that I’ve been to detention back in my high school days..once only! I explained to them that it was for a “little thing”. I was tardy to school 3x, so I had to serve detention after school one day. I didn’t share the rest of the story, but detention might vary from school to school. But, the detention at my high school was just like having an “open classroom”. We brought our homework to this classroom and just sat there quietly for a certain period of time (can’t remember how long 30 minutes-60 minutes??). This might not be too bad for some people, but it wasn’t good for after school athletes. I can’t remember if I was playing sports at the time, but I remembered I had to take the city bus back home after school . I didn’t want to call my parents to pick me up because I didn’t want to let them know I had to stay after school for detention..lol!

Another similar story was being suspended from school. This happened when I was in “middle school”. I was in 6th grade and had to go to the principal’s office before being sent home early in the school day. I won’t share “exactly” what I or my friend and I did, but it was pretty “serious” 😦 Anyways, let’s get back to the movie :)..

During detention, these teenagers find that same game console that cause the disappearance of Alex back in 1996 (20 years ago). These teenagers are about to get their “character” or behavior issues (e.g. selfish, stuck-up, etc..-typical “teenager” attitudes) change with this “jumanji experience”

Life can be like a “jungle” as we are surrounded by vicious “wild animals” (e.g. evil people). We can sometimes even act like “wild animals” ourselves in our “bad days” as were are just “human” (e.g. sinful nature-> Deep Thought: What “causes” us to do “bad” (sin) stuff? goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com ). However, we need a Savior (call upon “Jesus”-just like how they had to call out “jumanji” at the end to finalize the game to win!).

Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle – YouTube

I also reflected on the importance of individual’s gifts (e.g. talents, skills, spiritual -mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 above, etc..) that God has given to each of us that we “need” to use and help each other. We can’t do this life on our own! We need each other!

“We have only one life” ! Use it to better the world and help the people around you!

It’s getting late..past midnight! To BE CONTINUED! Till then, what were your thoughts, personal stories, etc..?

Behind the Scenes

jumanji 2 bloopers and cast funny moments 2017

Jumanji 2 – Hilarious Behind the Scenes – Try Not To Laugh with Kevin Hart & The Rock – 2017

jumanji 2 bloopers and cast funny moments 2017

‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ | Unscripted | Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan

JUMANJI interviews – Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Nick Jonas, Kevin Hart, Jack Black

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jessica Chastain, Dawn French, Rebel Wilson, Kevin Hart

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Theatrical Performance: “Spring Awakening” the Musical -Reflections

Spring Awakening on Broadway springawakeningthemusical.com

Spring Awakening ~ trailer

Spring Awakening Tony Performance – YouTube

Spring Awakening – I Believe – YouTube

Spring Awakening (musical) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“..is a rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the German play Spring Awakening (1891) by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score…”

All That’s Known: Facts about Spring Awakening Posted on July 9, 2015 by Victoria Barber musicalstagecompany.com
“..We are Totally…. Psyched to see how this show plays out on Broadway, and are excited to share some hidden gems that you might not have known…

Spring Awakening is based on the highly controversial and oft-censored 1891 play by German playwright Frank Wedekind. Spring Awakening was Frank Wedekind’s first play. He had it published at his own expense in 1891, but it was not performed until Wedekind started his own repertory company in 1906. The first production in the United States took place in 1912, but since the play was in German it failed to attract widespread interest. The play was finally performed in English in 1917. The debut performance almost didn’t take place because the New York City Commissioner of Licenses tried to shut it down, claiming that the play was pornographic in nature. Almost immediately, Wedekind was able to secure an injunction from the Supreme Court that allowed the play to go on. Unfortunately, the audience seemed to agree with the Commissioner, and the play closed after a single show…”

SPRING AWAKENING Press Reel

Personal Reflections

I thought the cast at the University of Minnesota-Morris theater group did a superb job “performance” wise. They are one very talented group (e.g. singing and acting)!

During one of the scenes when the student was going to tell his dad the “bad” news that he ‘ll be expelled or something. He was seen as a “failure” and “embarassment” to his dad, which he would get physically abused. Unfortunately, he would commit suicide. This brought up my indirect experience in high school when 3 classmates from my class were killed in different ways (one commited suicide too with a gun). This also brought me to one of the scenes from an old school movie called “Dead Poets Society”..

Dead poet society Neil Perry and his father – YouTube

Parents and their children need to “dialogue” with each other! Share how you feel and listen to each other-two way communication!

Dead Poets Society – Neil’s Suicide (original)

Reviews

Dealing with Sensitive Themes Onstage artsedge.kennedy-center.org
Navigating the risks and rewards of controversial themes in school theaters
“..Shorewood’s educational leadership sees these productions as social and educational investments rather than risks, suggests King. “First of all, students love performing these titles. So, the excitement level of students can’t be underestimated. A title can draw more students into the arts. Secondly, the social themes in these musicals are perfectly relevant to teenagers— homelessness, homophobia, child abuse, physical abuse, etc. ..”
*see Neutral Perspective: Same-Sex Marriage goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com
Spring Awakening at ANU Arts Centre is a rock musical about teen angst Ron Cerabona November 6 2016 – 3:18PM esperanceexpress.com.au
“The 2006 musical, Spring Awakening, is set in late 19th-century Germany, but its themes are close to being timeless and universal. Co-director Grant Pegg says, “It’s a show about teenage issues in general. It traverses every teenage issue you could imagine – sexuality, suicide, relationships, rebellion, authority, school, sex, friendship.”

These teenagers are growing up in a deeply religious community in 1891. Melchior (played by Callum Bodman) and Wendla (Kaitlin Nihill) have known each other since childhood but are developing strange new feelings for each other that they don’t know how to explain or handle. Melchior’s anxious friend Moritz (Pip Carroll) is particularly disturbed by the dreams he has been having. And Ernst (Jake Willis) and Hanschen (Lachlan Agett) are developing a relationship that goes beyond friendship…
*see Struggling with Sexual Temptation goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com

Spring Awakening addresses provocative issues By Joshua Claudio | Feb 6, 2012 /thetartan.org
“..Another outstanding performance was accomplished by Adrianne Knapp, who played Ilse. She is a societal outcast who ran away from home because her father beat her, only to run into the arms of another abusive man from a Bohemian colony…”
*see Abused: How do you heal from your traumatic “childhood” past? goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com

Theater and Broadway with an added Christian perspective. reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com
“… Melchior’s carefree behavior and rebellion are a catalyst for much of the show’s action (and the character is ably portrayed by McKenzie). He wonders about the origin of shame and believes that it is a product of education. He encourages close friend Moritz to embrace his sensual dreams and introduces Wendla to sex at his “special thinking place” while indulging her need to be punished. Her fate involves an abortion and death.

A friend, driven to achieve success by uncaring parents dies “Left Behind” the scene is very moving and effectively staged.

To take in the excellent performances, however, you need to be prepared for potentially offensive content. The show posts a Mature rating and contains nudity and all kinds of sexual activity. Some of the titles of the songs are so explicit that I can’t list them here. …..”
*see Neutral Perspective: Abortion and Pro-Life goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com

What to say about … Spring Awakening theguardian.com
You haven’t seen the teen musical sensation, but you can still regale your friends with tales of masturbation, sadism and body-popping – all stolen from the critics
‘..Now unfold the plot: the musical is set in the late 19th century and concerns itself with troubled puberty confronting strict bourgeois morality, you say, paraphrasing the Guardian. “We follow the linked fates of three teenage school pupils. Moritz is so tormented by sex and harried by exam pressure that he is driven to suicide. His rebellious friend, Melchior, unwarily impregnates a 14-year-old girl. Wendla, the innocent in question, dies in the course of an illegal abortion. Other pupils find release in masturbation and same-sex friendships but the show, like the play, remains an attack on a repressive, puritan culture.” Pause. Regain your enthusiasm. Then explode: “You’d have to be a dedicated churl, prude or bigot not to rejoice in the final sentiments and the final anthem” (Independent)…”

How to handle the “stressful” life as a teen?

Good and bad on “meditation”? goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com

Good News Youth
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Any other tips?
*see How to deal with Anxiety-Stress in life? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

Good News Theatre
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Weather: Hurricane Harvey Damage & Aftermath-Southern Texas Flooding

Harvey spins deeper inland; full scope of damage is unknownBy frank bajak, associated press CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Aug 27, 2017, 12:46 AM ET abcnews.go.com
“.. Throughout the region between Corpus Christi and Houston, many people feared that toll was only the beginning. Authorities did not know the full scope of damage because weather conditions prevented emergency crews from getting into the hardest-hit places. And they dreaded the destruction that was yet to come from a storm that could linger for days and unload more than 40 inches (100 centimeters) of rain on cities, including dangerously flood-prone Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest…”

Rockport, Texas

‘We lost everything’: Rockport, Texas suffers major hurricane damage By Eric Levenson, CNN Updated 5:13 PM ET, Sat August 26, 2017 cnn.com
“..”There’s been widespread devastation,” he said.
The storm, which landed as a Category 4 but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, brought high winds and heavy rains to the area. Further flooding over the next few days could add more considerable damage to the reeling city. ..”

Rockport, Texas, suffers “widespread damage” from Harvey, mayor says


“Published on Aug 26, 2017

The mayor of Rockport, Texas, says the town has suffered “widespread damage” from Hurricane Harvey as the storm continues to dump rain across southeast Texas. Mayor Charlie Wax joined CBSN to discuss the situation in Rockport, one of the towns hardest hit by the storm.”

Houston, Texas

Houston area copes with flooding as Harvey delivers pounding rainfall By Ray Sanchez, Nicole Chavez, Steve Almasy and Doug Criss, CNN
Updated 7:37 AM ET, Sun August 27, 2017 cnn.com
“…

A flash flood emergency was in effect for parts of the Houston area. National Weather Service and local officials are advising Houston-area residents to avoid traveling.
Three to 4 inches of rainfall were reported in the region in one hour’s time. First responders investigated the report of a woman swept away in her vehicle by floodwaters…”

-Aerial Views

08-27-2017 Houston, TX – Historic Flooding Drone Footage


“Published on Aug 27, 2017

***NOT FOR BROADCAST***
Contact Brett Adair with Live Storms Media to license.
brett@livestormsnow.com

Video By: Nik O”


Victoria

Victoria Continues To See New Harvey Damage


“Published on Aug 26, 2017

CBS 11 News reporter Jason Allen was in Victoria on Saturday morning as Hurricane Harvey continued to create damage.”

Crosby

Explosions possible after ‘pops’ heard at storm-crippled Texas chemical plant, officials say By Alex Horton, Amy B Wang and Lindsey Bever August 31 at 3:43 PM washingtonpost.com
“…CROSBY, Tex. — Hours after noisy “chemical reactions” and fires broke out at a storm-battered chemical plant — sending numerous sheriff’s deputies to the hospital, and spreading smoke and alarm across the area — the facility’s operators warned that explosions were possible, even as authorities scrambled to reassure the public that no “concerning” levels of hazardous chemicals had been detected in the air.

Arkema, the French chemicals group that runs the plant, said the Harris County Emergency Operations Center notified company officials early Thursday of two explosions and black smoke coming from the facility, which is about 25 miles northeast of Houston. The plant already had been under about six feet of water from the rains unleashed by Harvey, prompting officials the day before to establish a 1.5-mile evacuation zone…”

Animals

Harvey The Hurricane Hawk’ Hunkers Down With Cabbie During Storm
HuffPost Nina Golgowski,HuffPost 1 hour 33 minutes ago (8.27.17) yahoo.com
“…Houston driver William Bruso said he was stocking up on supplies on Friday ahead of Hurricane Harvey when he returned to find the bird sitting on his passenger seat.

“He looks like he’s scared. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” Bruso narrates in one of 10 YouTube videos documenting the bird’s surprise visit. “He just kind of hopped on in and doesn’t want to leave. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

Bruso said he tried to shoo the hawk away, to no avail. Videos later showed the animal perched on the door of his parked car, still refusing to fly away. Bruso eventually took the bird inside and gave it chicken hearts to snack on…”


1st UPDATE: Meet Harvey the Hurricane Hawk


“Published on Aug 25, 2017

Hurricane Harvey is approaching. This hawk sought refuge in my taxi and doesn’t wish to leave anytime soon. So I guess I’ll just allow him to hunker down and ride around with me till he wants to go.

Media Coverage

Houston Flooding – Fox 26 Houston Live Local News – Hurricane Harvey


Peacock Media
“tarted streaming 8 hours ago

Fox News Live Stream – Fox News Live – Fox News – Houston Flooding Video – Fox 26 Local News Live – Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey Live Beach Cam – Galveston Texas – Corpus Christi Texas – Houston Texas
The Weather Channel – MSNBC Live – CNN Live – FOX NEWS LIVE STREAM – Hurricane Harvey

Category
News & Politics “

LIVE COVERAGE: DEADLY HOUSTON FLOODS – People Trapped, Rescues Ongoing


Right Side Broadcasting Network
“Started streaming 8 hours ago

Live coverage of the Houston floods with Steve Lookner

To help victims of Hurricane Harvey, you can donate to the Red Cross here: http://www.redcross.org/hp/harvey2”

LIVE: Flood rescue operations in Texas (STREAMED LIVE)

Mother At Houston Shelter Goes Off On CNN Reporter!

Creativity

Trapped Mexican Bakery Staff Bake Hundreds Of Loaves For Harvey Flood Victims
Lee Moran,HuffPost 4 hours ago

Texas gospel singer’s powerful voice lifts spirits in Houston hurricane shelter.


“..Texas gospel singer’s powerful voice lifts spirits in Houston hurricane shelter. A Texas woman brings smiles to her fellow evacuees at a Hurricane Harvey shelter with her beautiful voice. A group of gospel singers broke into song at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center on Tuesday to lift the spirits of thousands brought to the shelter. Victoria White’s powerful voice can be heard throughout the hall filled with beds and cots…”
AMAZING! Houston Flooding Shelter Gospel Singers Perform on CNN Chris Cuomo Interview, from youtube.com
‘Victoria White, Marquist Taylor give impromptu concert for Harvey victims at Houston, Texas Shelter during flooding”

Crime

‘F— Off, Snitch’: ABC Reporter Blasted for Telling Cops About Hurricane ‘Looting’ The Wrap Brian Flood,The Wrap 9 hours ago (8.28.17) yahoo.com
“..ABC News chief national correspondent Tom Llamas suffered a massive Twitter backlash on Tuesday after he notified Houston police about “looting” during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“We informed police of the looting and Coast Guard is flying overhead. Multiple officers now on the scene,” Llamas said in a tweet he sent and later deleted.

Many on social media accused Llamas of snitching on people in need, arguing that there is a difference between “looting” and grabbing food and supplies to survive a devastating emergency…”

Houston Texas shock Looters arrive Hurricane Harvey floods who are they #Houston

Humanitarian

Mexico’s Red Cross delivers aid to storm-ravaged Houston
Reuters Reuters 7 hours ago (August 31st 2017)
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Red Cross sent an envoy of volunteers to storm-devastated Houston on Wednesday, hours after Texas governor Greg Abbott said the state accepted an offer of aid from the Mexican government, including vehicles, boats, supplies and food.

At least 25 people have been killed and tens of thousands driven from their homes after Harvey came ashore on Friday near Corpus Christi as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than half a century, swamping Houston with record rains and flooding.

The support from Mexico’s Red Cross, a non-government agency, is separate from the official aid offer.

The convoy of 33 English-speaking volunteers left from Mexico City for Texas, where they plan to work in Houston shelters for 20 days before being replaced by a fresh crop of volunteers.

Abbott said his state would accept the offer of assistance from neighboring Mexico as Harvey, now a tropical depression, spun across southeastern Texas into Louisiana on Wednesday, sending more people fleeing for shelter.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thanked Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who was visiting Washington, for the offer of assistance.

“They’ve offered a wide range of assistance coordinating with the governor down in Texas and also through FEMA, but very generous of Mexico to offer their help at this very, very challenging time for our citizens down in Texas and now moving toward the border with Louisiana,” said Tillerson. “So thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.”..”

Health-Club CEO Offers His Dallas Home to Houstonians Uprooted by Hurricane Harvey By Glenn Hunter Published in Business & Economy August 29, 2017 9:45 am dmagazine.com
Chris Roussos of 24 Hour Fitness, who says all 33 of its Houston clubs have been closed, tells how the company is assisting employees.
“North Texas executive Chris Roussos, who became CEO of health-club pioneer 24 Hour Fitness in May, has offered his Dallas home to the company’s district managers in Houston who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Thirty-three of the fitness company’s 71 Texas locations are in the Houston area, Roussos said, and all 33 have been shuttered in the wake of the devastating storm due to “safety concerns, and the inability of people to travel” within the city. 24 Hour Fitness, Roussos said, “set up emergency teams right away,” lining up volunteers and maintenance and reconstruction teams to deal with the storm’s destruction.

Most of the company’s locations, which range in size from 30,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet, have two stories, Roussos said, adding, “the first floors [of the Houston clubs] are gonna be pretty much wiped out.” A couple of 24 Hour Fitness employees were taken out of one club Sunday after being stranded and “eating protein bars and other products” from the club retail store until they could be rescued, he recalled….”

Petition to honor Houston’s ‘Mattress Mack’ gets support Good Morning America KELLY MCCARTHY,Good Morning America 16 hours ago (9.2.17)
“As the catastrophic floodwaters forced residents all over the Houston area out of their homes, one business owner opened his doors, offering evacuees a safe and dry place to stay.

Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack,” decided to turn his two Gallery Furniture showrooms in the city into evacuation shelters.

“I decided we’d open the store and make it a shelter for all the people who were disaffected,” McIngvale recently told ABC News. “We have these giant 24-foot box trucks that can get through 5 to 6 feet of water. We sent ’em out, picked up about 200 people. They were stranded on bridges, they were stranded in convenience stores, they were walking through the water with snakes and alligators, and we brought ’em out here.”

McIngvale said he’s not concerned at all about his merchandise and still plans to sell it after the storm.

“We’ll have a Harvey floor model sale, or something. I’ll come up with some shtick,” he said with a laugh. “These people are nice. They’re taking care of the furniture. Furniture’s made to be sat on, slept on, laid on, whatever. It’s just a product. It ain’t gonna hurt it.”

Since Sunday, Gallery Furniture estimates it’s had 400 people seek shelter at both stores. It’s also become a crash pad for National Guard members who have been deployed to the area.

What awaits Hurricane Harvey evacuees after they leave shelters

Hurricane Harvey victims: How to help

Now, the online community wants to show its appreciation for McIngvale by dedicating Aug. 26 as “Mattress Mack Day.”…”

How A Houston Mosque Became A Harvey Disaster Relief Command Center 09/10/2017 11:09 am ET Updated 5 hours ago
Abdul Naseer Malmi Kakkada, Contributor Scientist, writer and Muslim. huffingtonpost.com

“..Even before the floodwaters started to recede, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), in partnership with Humanity First, sprang into action, distributing drinking water and using their raft to help families in need.

As roads into Houston began to open up by Tuesday (Aug. 29), more than $1,000 worth of critical food supplies from Austin were brought in. Over the next two days, 600 hot meals were prepared and distributed to Harvey evacuees.

As the Labor Day weekend began, Ahmadi youth from all over Texas and the country began to trickle in from as far as Chicago and Los Angeles. The trickle grew into more than 175 volunteers over the weekend. The band of youth organized into groups and started roaming the hardest hit areas of Houston (Kashmere Gardens, especially), not with any bad intention, but to knock on doors and help residents struggling to clean up their apartments and homes.

By the end of the Labor Day weekend, we had volunteered a total of 1,800 man hours, helped clean up over 64 homes, done 30 boat rescues and donated more than $10,000 in supplies. All this using Baitus Samee Mosque North of Houston as our command center…”

Rescues

Hurricane Harvey survivors rescued from flooded homes, rooftops

Boy Rescued from Hurricane Harvey Flood

Emergency Crews Rescue Those Stranded in Harvey Flooding


Wall Street Journal
“Published on Aug 28, 2017

Emergency workers are trying to help those stranded in flooded areas of Texas as rain from what remains of Hurricane Harvey continues to batter the coast. Drone footage shows the extent of the damage across communities. Photo: AP”

DRAMATIC Rescue of Semi-Truck Driver From Houston Flooding Water as Hurricane Harvey Strikes Texas


“Published on Aug 27, 2017

EMOTIONAL Moment as Brandi Smith reporting a DRAMATIC Rescue of Semi-Truck Driver From Houston Flooding Water as Hurricane Harvey Strikes Texas, saved his life.”

People describe being rescued from Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters

Some of the Many True Acts of Heroism During Hurricane Harvey

Black MMA Fighter Says He Saved Stranded Harvey Victim With Confederate Flag
HuffPost Lilly Workneh,HuffPost 19 hours ago (August 31st 2017)
“…Lewis, who is popularly known within the UFC as “The Black Beast,” has been helping families since Sunday by responding to messages on Facebook and using his Chevy pickup truck to move residents to safer spaces. ..

“I picked up one guy and his family, his wife ― he just kept apologizing to me, because all he really had was his clothes, and he wanted to take his Confederate flag,” Lewis told MMAJunkie on Monday. “He wanted to take that with him, and he just apologized and said, ‘Man, I’ll sit in the back of your truck, man. I don’t want to have my flag inside of your truck like this.’ I said, ‘Man, I’m not worried about that.‘’’

“His wife kept hitting him and saying, ‘You should have just left it,’” he added.

Lewis said he was unbothered by the flag, which many feel symbolizes America’s long history of racism. He just wanted to help.

“I don’t care about that,” Lewis told MMAjunkie. “I live in Texas. It ain’t nothing new. I’ve been living in the South all my life, and it ain’t nothing I hadn’t seen before or discussed about. I don’t care about that type of stuff. I just wanted to help him.”…”
*see Neutral Perspective: Confederate Flag is Racist and Not? goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com/

-Animals

Hurricane Harvey: Dog rescue from flooding in Texas

Vehicles

Monster trucks travel to Houston to help with rescue work
By Ben Hooper Contact the Author | Sept. 1, 2017 at 11:52 AM
“..Sept. 1 (UPI) — A fleet of monster trucks from a Dallas racetrack are currently in Houston conducting operations to salvage vehicles and rescue residents.

Josh James posted a video Wednesday to Facebook, showing a monster truck from the Rednecks with Paychecks dirt racetrack in Dallas pulling what appears to be a camouflage military truck out of floodwaters in the Copperfield area of Houston…”

Creeping Critters!

This homeowner found a 10-foot gator in his flooded home near Houston Updated 11:26 AM ET, Sat September 2, 2017 By Artemis Moshtaghian and Marilia Brocchetto, CNN cnn.com

Wildernex Wildlife Control experts and local law enforcement agents remove a 10-foot gator from a home near Houston.
“… (CNN)A Texas homeowner returned to his flood-marred home Friday in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to a shocking surprise: a 10-foot gator in his living room.
Brian Foster made the discovery while assessing how badly the water had damaged his house near Lake Houston, north of Houston, he said…”

Ways to help?

How Can You Help Hurricane Harvey Victims? | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Here’s how to help victims of Hurricane Harvey USA Today NetworkFederico Martinez, San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times Published 7:56 p.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017 | Updated 7:57 p.m. ET Aug. 25, 2017 usatoday.com
“..Donate money

The best way to help Texans affected by disasters is to donate money to charitable agencies that are experienced in disaster relief, officials say.

Organizations such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are trained to respond to disasters such as Harvey, which is pounding the Texas Gulf Coast.

“Right now the best thing people can do is donate money,” said Katrina Farmer, director of American Red Cross offices in San Angelo, Abilene and Wichita Falls, Texas cities far from the coastline. “This is going to be an expensive disaster.”

While people often want to..”
Hurricane Harvey: How You Can Help the Victims By Eric Chaney
Aug 26 2017 01:00 PM EDT weather.com

Here’s How To Help The Victims Of Hurricane Harvey If you want to help those affected by the disaster, here are some suggestions. By Lee Moran , Hilary Hanson huffingtonpost.com
“..1. Donate Or Volunteer

A plethora of organizations are appealing for donations to help them as they send volunteers and supplies to the hardest-hit areas.

These include the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Save The Children, the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Heart to Heart International.

Food banks throughout Texas a..”


The Best Health Items to Donate to Hurricane Harvey Victims—and How To Do It health.com

“…Hurricane Harvey has been classified as one of the worst storms in American history, with some 30,000 people in need of shelter, and another 450,000 qualifying for federal assistance. Amid the devastating wreckage of the storm (the damage is estimated to cost up to $90 billion), it’s easy to forget about all the basic necessities so many Harvey victims are currently lacking, from soap and Band-Aids to diapers and clean underwear. But of course, these little, everyday things are essential for health and hygiene. Here are four types of items people in Houston desperately need—and how you can help provide them…”

Samaritan’s Purse
Humanitarian aid organization
samaritanspurse.org
Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Samaritan’s Purse Responds After Hurricane Harvey’s Punch August 28, 2017 • United States samaritanspurse.org
Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the devastation that Hurricane Harvey, once a Category 4 storm, has brought to the Texas coast.
“..UPDATE: Please see “All Disaster Units Bound for Texas as Harvey Keeps Churning” for all the latest information—that story is being updated regularly as of August 31. This story was last updated about 1 p.m. on August 28.

Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief units are now in Texas as Harvey’s deadly fury has moved inland and continues to pummel the state, especially flood-prone Houston. Our teams are ready to go in and help homeowners in Jesus’ Name as soon as we are able to access affected communities.

When the Category 4 hurricane came ashore late Friday night, the coastal town of Rockport and other areas suffered considerable damage and at least one fatality was reported.

Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., is now getting battered, with more than three feet of rain having fallen in the last 24 hours. At least two people have drowned, and more than 2,000 people have been rescued—many of those from rooftops. Much of the city is under water, and rains could last four to five more days…”
Samaritan’s Purse deploys 5 disaster relief units to Texas


Fox News
Published on Aug 29, 2017
Rev. Franklin Graham discusses the relief efforts on ‘The Story’

Hurricane Harvey Aftermath SalPhotoVideography facebook.com

“You Are Not Alone” (Hurricane Harvey Rescue Tribute)

*see

Would love to hear your stories, experiences, suggestions, feedback, prayers, etc.. related to the content above or wasn’t mentioned ..


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Neutral Perspective: Housing for Mental-Physical Challenged “Wasteful” or NOT?

NPR : People with Mental Illness, Who Needs Housing, Housing First npr.org
“..But in 1998, 283,800 people with mental illnesses were incarcerated in American jails or prisons – four times the number in state mental hospitals, according to the Department of Justice. “These days, the largest single provider of housing for people with severe mental illness is the criminal justice system,” says Sperling. ..

Today’s reality falls far short of the vision of four decades ago, when the deinstitutionalization movement was born. In theory, people were to move from mental hospitals into community mental health care systems, and be reintegrated into towns and neighborhoods where they’d get services and shelter. Several studies have shown the idea can work, and thousands of Americans with mental illness have benefited — but thousands more have failed to get adequate follow-up, treatment and assistance.
..

The supportive housing model also saves taxpayers money, experts say. Researchers at Berkeley University’s Goldman School of Public Policy examined the consequences of providing supportive housing for 250 people with mental illness. Before moving in, the participants had made frequent use of emergency rooms and hospitals, costing thousands of dollars per person annually. Once the people were placed in supportive housing, the study found a 58 percent decrease in emergency room visits, a corresponding drop in hospital stays, and virtual elimination of their use of residential mental health facilities. …

Approximately one-third of the nation’s homeless have a severe mental illness. Many others with mental illness end up living nomadically, moving among the homes of parents and other family members. Outside the family, group homes are the primary housing option for people with mental illness, but they often face stiff resistance from neighbors: “There are huge NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) battles about establishing a four-person home for people with depression,” says Allen. ..”

Maine

Our View: Maine government puts group homes at risk by cutting rates Posted December 11, 2016 pressherald.com

Families are right to be worried about the loss of services for adults with disabilities.
The Editorial Board
“..Mary Mayhew, Maine’s health and human services commissioner, wrote a Dec. 8 column in the Portland Press Herald, accusing the paper of “needlessly frighten(ing) families and vulnerable individuals,” because it reported how cuts to reimbursement rates were undermining the system of community-based services for people with developmental challenges. (“Maine used to be a leader in caring for adults with intellectual handicaps. What went wrong?” Dec. 4)..”

Minnesota

1 person, 1 home, millions of dollars By: Jeff Baillon Posted:Feb 02 2017 07:11PM CST fox9.com
“…One person lives in the three bedroom home and state employees come and go around the clock. There are at least three per shift and they are hired to support the needs of the lone occupant.

“They really don’t need a house this size for one person,” neighbor Bob Krahn said.

The Fox 9 Investigators discovered it is costing taxpayers almost a million dollars a year.

An 18-year-old man, whose initials are W.O., was placed in the home last summer.

W.O. is a ward of the state, has intellectual and developmental disabilities and a history of difficult behavior.

“Handled the right way it’s a good thing for a neighborhood because we need to see people of all abilities,” Lemoyne Corgard, a neighbor, said.”

Part 2: Alone and at risk in Minnesota’s group homes Story by Chris Serres and Glenn Howatt • Photos by David Joles • Star Tribune StarTribune.com NOVEMBER 9, 2015 — 12:00AM
Set up to be safe havens, some group homes for the disabled have become remote “prisons,” where residents are vulnerable to violence and neglect.

“..Remote clusters

Minnesota’s reliance on group homes dates to the late 1970s, when it led the nation in shutting down large state hospitals that housed people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. The state encouraged small, private group homes as a more humane and cost-effective alternative, and subsidized them through Medicaid and other programs…”

And though group homes were meant for people needing 24-hour care, such as patients with severe mental illnesses, many accept just about anyone with an intellectual or developmental disability. Records show that even clients who need just basic assistance with daily activities — like cooking meals or catching the bus — can wind up in group homes that cost up to $80,000 per person per year….

New York

GROUP HOMES OVERPAID Posted on Jun 30, 2015 11:00am PDT nyrealestatelawblog.com
“.. The state’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Service Office (DDSO) skirted state procurement laws for more than 1,400 purchases worth more than $1 million, gave one vendor an unfair advantage in obtaining the state’s business and overpaid for hundreds of household items, according to an audit recently released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“The state’s procurement process is intended to ensure fair competition, guard against favoritism, and protect taxpayers,” DiNapoli said. “By failing to follow the state’s procurement requirements, Finger Lakes DDSO wasted taxpayer dollars and gave an unfair advantage to one vendor. This cannot continue, and our recommendations should be implemented immediately.”

The Finger Lakes DDSO is responsible for coordinating services for approximately 1,500 persons with developmental disabilities living in 150 group homes across eight counties. Employees at each group home routinely purchase food and household items necessary to keep the homes operational.

The DDSO purchased food and household items through a centralized contract with Palmer Distributing until the contract expired in June 2012. Thereafter, the DDSO should have purchased items that met their needs first from preferred sources (which are established in state law), then from other centralized contracts, and, last, through a formal competitive process to ensure a fair procurement…”

Children-Youth

Congress to Consider Scaling Down Group Homes for Troubled Children by Joaquin Sapien ProPublica, May 20, 2015, 11:47 a.m. propublica.org
At a hearing in Washington, a renewed call for addressing the violence and neglect that plagues group homes for foster youth.
“..”There is tremendous momentum and truly bipartisan support for this right now, so hopefully we’re at a real turning point,” said Rob Geen, director of policy reform and advocacy for the Casey Foundation. “There are far too many children being separated from their families and being placed in what is available instead of what is best for them. Now we have an agreement that there is a problem and a growing consensus on how to fix it.”

According to the report, 40 percent of children living in group homes don’t have a diagnosis that warrants such a placement. The report suggests that children are often sent to the homes because there is nowhere else for them to go…

Grüber, the former foster child who testified at the hearing, said she certainly would have preferred staying with a family member as opposed to living in a group home for two years.

In an interview, she told ProPublica that when she was first removed from her biological parents’ home at age 15, she was placed with her uncle and his three sons in a three-bedroom home. She wanted to stay there. But she said that the Connecticut Department of Children and Families moved her to a homeless shelter and then into a foster home based on a technicality: that there weren’t enough bedrooms for all the children living in her uncle’s home.

“If I had stayed with my uncle, I would’ve had more stability. It would’ve been so much better to feel more involved with my family. My uncle is very involved in the church. He’s really strict, but I think that would’ve been helpful to me. I needed that structure,” Grüber said….

Kari Sisson, executive director for the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, told ProPublica that Australia closed its residential programs in the 1990s because foster care was cheaper. In time, she said, foster parents got overwhelmed and quit. Many youngsters ended up homeless or in jail. And Australia had to reopen the homes with more intensive therapeutic services in the mid-2000s.

“The conversation is fair, but it’s not informed,” she said. “I worry that they are making decisions that will seriously affect children who need therapeutic residential treatment. I’ve been a foster parent for many years and there are a lot of kids in the system that can’t live in my house, because it’s not safe for us and it’s not safe for the community. They need a lot more intensive care than a foster parent can offer. It’s very challenging.”

Sisson was not called to testify…”

Greed?

Maryland

Nonprofits reap generous perks April 11, 2005|By JOHN B. O’DONNELL AND JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF articles.baltimoresun.com
Children in private group homes may be shortchanged in care, but the owners can profit handsomely
“..Despite all the gaps in financial accountability, state officials say they don’t plan any major changes. DHR Secretary McCabe says that while department auditors should look at group homes’ financial statements, inspectors lack the expertise to ferret out improper spending. “Our licensing unit is not necessarily designed to do that,” he said.

Diane Coughlin, a health department official, also argues that inspectors lack the skills to police inappropriate spending, even if limits were put on salaries, rent and other non-care items.

“We’d never be able to enforce it,” said Coughlin, director of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, a health department unit that has licensed 35 group home companies with 115 facilities.

“But having said that, do we expect people to spend tax dollars wisely? You’re darn tootin’ we do.”

About the series

In an investigation of state oversight of group homes going back a decade, The Sun found that:

Mistreatment of children has gone unpunished.

People with criminal convictions can – and do – work at group homes.

Taxpayers’ money is often wasted on poor care, denying youths a range of services.

Maryland subsidizes high salaries and perks…”

New York

Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled By RUSS BUETTNERAUG. 2, 2011 nytimes.com
“..Medicaid money created quite a nice life for the Levy brothers from Flatbush, Brooklyn.

The brothers, Philip and Joel, earned close to $1 million a year each as the two top executives running a Medicaid-financed nonprofit organization serving the developmentally disabled.

They each had luxury cars paid for with public money. And when their children went to college, they could pass on the tuition bills to their nonprofit group.

Philip H. Levy went as far as charging the organization $50,400 for his daughter’s living expenses one year when she attended graduate school at New York University. That money paid not for a dorm room, but rather it helped her buy a co-op apartment in Greenwich Village.

The rise of the Levy brothers, from scruffy bearded social workers in the 1970s to millionaires with homes in the Hamptons, Sutton Place and Palm Beach Gardens, reveals much about New York’s system for caring for the developmentally disabled — those with conditions like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism…”

Homeless Shelters

State Seeks To Move Homeless From Hotel Rooms To Group Homes Rupa Shenoy
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting February 23, 2014 news.wgbh.org
“..Sixteen months ago Espada’s family became homeless, and she applied to the state for help. But Massachusetts has no room left for homeless families. The state’s 2,000 shelters filled up during the recession as parents who lost their jobs, got foreclosed on, got sick, or just couldn’t earn enough became homeless along with their children. So, like roughly 2,000 other families, Espada is living in a hotel paid for by the state…”

Solution-Models?

Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme youtube.com


“..Published on Sep 22, 2016

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), is working across Ireland to reduce disadvantage. SICAP is open to people and groups from different walks of life.

• Are you looking for a job or want to improve your skills?
• Could you benefit from an education or training opportunity?
• Are you in a community group which is working for changes locally?

If yes to any of these, SICAP can help you! To empower yourself or your community, find out more at http://www.pobal.ie..”

Others:

What abilities do you have?..Don’t focus on your “dis-abilities, but your “abilities”! goodnewseverybodycom.wordpress.com
Health: Mental-How to “fight” mental illness? goodnewshealthandfitness.wordpress.com

This is such a BIG on-going social issue, so all the article above that I found are just “some” of the challenges and have yet to re”search” the “positives” going on with group homes. Feel free to share any (both negative and bad)..

Good News Physical-Mental Challenges
https://www.facebook.com/groups/133973023445443/

What “lies” have you believed….do you still?

Hello…my name is___________?

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Can you fill the blank? What does your name mean to you? Have you ever been called “some other name” that you believed?…from a “bully”? teased/make fun of?

I remember being teased back in middle school/junior high and was called many names that I started to believe. For example, my physical features (e.g. “big eyes”, “Yoda”, “big nose”, “shorty”, “terrorist”, “you look like the enemy” (Persian Gulf War at the time), racist remarks , sexuality, etc..) weren’t the same with the people around me-who does anyways? -God has made us all uniquely-beautiful-and different! Can you relate? Feel free to boldly share your story down below or email me too.

Anyways, I started to believe in many of these “lies”..

The Fall (Genesis 3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203&version=NIV3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”What is the ROOT of SIN ? - [Part 1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRYotSp6wwM&feature=share&list=PLfotP9NdGXnbiva_msNjnbradohV6qE_-&index=5Good News Sinhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/189301851255458/http://www.openbible.info/topics/the_serpentPaul and the False Apostles (2 Corinthians 11 )http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%2011&version=ESVBut I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. ......13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds....Good News Futurehttps://www.facebook.com/groups/146174885575513/ Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

“…Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies…”-Hello, My Name Is
Share
Matthew West (myktis.com)

My self-esteem just went lower and lower as I grew older. I would at times have “suicidal” thoughts and suffered depression. I went through a season where I even wished I was “white” like most of my peers. With all this, my hatred and anger grew, which I would keep to myself and was anti-social.

I slowly grew out of the lies starting my college years when I had a “spiritual awakening” (see personal testimony). My low self-esteem didn’t disappear overnight, but it slowly faded away as I grew in my faith and my found identity as a “child of Him (Heavenly Father)…

“…And I have believed them for the very last time…..

Matthew West – Hello, My Name Is (Lyrics)

…Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed,
And I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

I am no longer defined
By all the wreckage behind
The one who makes all things new
Has proven it’s true
Just take a look at my life

What love the Father has lavished upon us
That we should be called His children
I am a child of the one true King.”- Hello, My Name Is
Matthew West (klove.com)

One last thought is we need to be careful what you put above God (e.g idols). I used to struggle with this (e.g. sports, music, celebrities, etc..), which I can share the “negative effects” on another blog topic. This will affect one’s identity, which will give you a false belief.

*NOTE: I’m not trying to be the “angel” (righteous) here, but I’ve had my share of being the “devil”. I’ve teased others too or said things that might’ve “offended” them, which some has boldly reminded me. If I have and I don’t know it, please forgive me and let me know (in person if possible or via email, phone, etc..) too! I want to learn from my mistakes.

Satan-“father of lies”

Testimony from an Ex Satanist! What satan DOES NOT! want you to know!!!


Providence
“Published on Oct 10, 2016

There sits today in rulership of this fallen world order one who has grown ancient in evil, cunning in subtlety, and cruel in deceit. He waged the first war of the universe in the distant planet called heaven, and subsequently brought conflict to this little world we call earth as it spins on the outer edges of the milky-way galaxy. He filled all heaven with discord and the earth with death, and both with great sorrow. He deceptively challenged every transparent purpose of the Creator, and even coveted the throne of the Eternal, planning to either assume rule of the universe or if not, then to plunge it into chaos and ruin.
This menacing figure who has hijacked our planet well explains the presence of every conflict that disturbs our world today, every pestilence that afflicts humanity, every sorrow and pain and death that tortures the children of earth. Lucifer, the former covering cherub and one-time honorable prime minister of the angelic intelligences in Heaven, has become Satan, the great adversary of our smitten world. This powerful angel heads a vast army of unseen intelligences, the hosts of darkness who oppose in this world, every beneficent purpose of our Creator the Almighty God of the universe. He especially hates the Holy One who in great condescension assumed our human nature that He might by divine power destroy the works of Satan, conquer evil and lift the terrible sentence of eternal death from our fallen race.
To speak of a throne of evil controlling this world system is no mere figure of speech, it is a grim reality. And the occupant of that throne is no figment of anyone’s imagination. Jesus Christ ascribes to him the title of “prince of this world.” John 14: 30. The famed Christian apostle Paul describes him as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” Eph. 2: 2. Paul also warns us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood , but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness…” Eph 6:12 John the Revelator describes this foe as “the great dragon,” “that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan who deceives the whole world.” Rev. 12:9.
When the leader of revolt against the Eternal Creator was expelled from heaven, expelled along with him were many other angel intelligences who had yielded to his cunning sophistries and had joined in his unworthy rebellion. This world is today their singular abode. This is because that tremendous event, which rid heaven of the fallen hosts, was followed by the tragic fall of our first parents under Satan’s lies. This historic fall let loose legions of fallen angels to bend all of their efforts and genius over many thousands of years in the work of spoiling, corrupting and ruining the once noble human family, originally created to be the crown of God’s handiwork. A key element of the strategy to ruin humanity has been to lead man to blight and degrade the fair earth that was intended to be our perfect and eternal home.
The apostle Peter warns us “Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 Finally, the inspired revelator says ” Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.” Rev. 12:12.”

So…what “lies” have you believed? Feel free to share down below your thoughts of any of the content above. Remember, you not alone! Lastly, do you believe them still? Why or why not?

Good News Sociology
https://www.facebook.com/groups/139706352858524/

ACTION: What are some ways to “heal” (e.g. emotionally) from the scars of your past?

Thank you to my Heavenly Father for giving the inspiration to Matthew West to write this song to touch others, like me (see Who Am I?) !

What are some “solutions” to the challenges in our public schools?

I decided to write a blog on this topic after reading a post a “friend” (former high school classmate) shared on facebook concerning our former high school alma mater..

Distrust and Disorder: A Racial Equity Policy Summons Chaos in the St. Paul Schools
By Susan Du Wed., May 27 2015 at 3:00 AM
Comments (44)
Categories: Education, Longform, St. Paul
http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/05/a_racial_equity_policy_summons_chaos_in_the_st_paul_schools.php

Many memories from 91'-95' :) Anyone else have stories and what year?

Just from my “personal experiences” (e.g. job with physically-mentally challenged youth-adults), I personally don’t think the teacher should’ve “touched” that kid that wasn’t supposed to be walking around the hallways…

“A student walks down a Harding High hallway wearing headphones, chanting along to violent rap lyrics. Teacher Erik Brandt taps him on the shoulder. Turn it down, he gestures.

The kid stares at Brandt with chilling intensity. He points at the older man, fingers bent in the shape of a gun, and shoots. Then moves on….”

Just from my personal experiences with the work I do, I’ve learned to “try” to be seen and “verbally” gesture the individual first. Later in the article, the student replied during a
dialogue
(very important after any “misunderstanding” that could’ve led to a “physical” serious confrontation) ..

“…The boy and Brandt sat down together face to face. Brandt expressed how he’d felt disrespected. The student explained his own perception of “respect” — he doesn’t like being touched….”

I don’t know the “exact” background of this boy, but people who have been “abused” in the past don’t like this either.

CHALLENGES

10 Major Challenges Facing Public Schools
Updated March 03, 2015 | by Grace Chen publicschoolreview.com
“Are our public schools in a state of crisis? Learn about the 10 biggest problems with public schools today, both from the perspective of the administrators and the teachers…

The rank of the 10 probably varies region to region of the state, nation, or world. How would you rank the 10 the author of the blog above gives? Would you add or subtract any?



“..Identifying Numerous Challenges

There are numerous challenges threatening the stability and survival of public schools across the country. ..

Hardship and Family Issues

…One of the biggest problems though is the refusal of parents to collaborate with school administrators and teachers to provide for needs of children. ..

The Biggest Challenges Facing Students Today

*teacher role is to not teach students “what” to think, but “how”!

Challenges Facing Schools in the 21st Century

Social Issues

-Abuse of Teachers

Violence Against Teachers – An Overlooked Crisis?
By Tim Walker
February 19, 2013 • 11:16AM neatoday.org
“According to a recent article published by the American Psychological Association (APA), 80 percent of teachers surveyed were victimized at school at least once in the current school year or prior year. Violence against teachers is a “national crisis,” says Dr. Dorothy Espelage of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who served as chair of the APA task force on Classroom Violence Directed at Teachers. And yet, the issue is generally ignored or at least underreported by the media and given inadequate attention by scholars – a deficiency that has widespread implications for school safety, the teaching profession and student learning….”
Teachers experience a growing number of angry, abusive parents

September 14, 2013 kansascity.com
“..Whether they work in poor urban districts or affluent suburban ones, experts say, teachers and administrators are increasingly becoming punching bags and targets of verbal abuse by students as well as their parents…”
9th Grade Student Attacks Teacher For Giving Her A Failing Grade from youtube.com

-Abused by Teachers

When the teacher is the bully
Bullying has become a national issue. But what do you do if the school bully is your child’s teacher?

by: Jessica Kelmon greatschools.org
How Many Kids Are Sexually Abused by Their Teachers?
Probably millions.

By Brian Palmer slate.com/

-Discipline?

Violence Against Teachers and School Staff April 14th, 2008 7:09 am ET blogs.cdc.gov
“..Because of an increase in the prevalence of school-based policies aimed at reducing violence in youth and recent reports suggesting that teachers and other school staff may face daily threats of workplace violence, NIOSH was prompted to examine risk factors and prevention polices and practices for workplace violence for K-12 school staff. Recent data demonstrates that teachers experience 39 crimes per 1,000 teachers (25 thefts and 14 violent crimes) and the true rate may be much higher since most incidents go unreported. As recent media reports have illustrated, this is a troubling problem affecting school personnel in elementary, middle and high schools across the nation…

Violence in Schools Comes From Teachers Too August 20, 2014 By Samantha Cowan takepart.com
“Research has shown corporal punishment to be ineffective and even harmful, yet 19 states still allow teachers to spank students…”

Q: As a teacher, have you been “abused”? Feel free to share your story (anonymously or non)…

-Family Structure


Family Challenges: Divorce, Blended Families & Family Violence

Chapter 11 / Lesson 5 study.com
“..The following lesson covers some of the more challenging issues a growing number of families are currently facing, including divorce, blending of families, and abuse. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding…”

Health

Students Aren’t Eating Healthy School Lunches, Despite Availability; How Cafeterias Fail To Improve Student Health
Nov 17, 2014 12:00 AM By Samantha Olson medicaldaily.com
Fast Food May Be Linked to Slow Progress in School abcnews.go.com

-Immigrant/Refugee Families

Children from immigrant families ‘face significant challenges’ in UK schools theguardian.com
“…The phenomenon is illustrated by statistics in the latest Education at a Glance report, which found that 80% of children of immigrant families in the UK were being taught in schools with large numbers of other immigrant or disadvantaged pupils – the highest proportion of any country in the survey and significantly above the OECD average of 68%…”

Education challenges for Syrian refugees Andrea Mitchell Reports 12/22/14 msnbc.com
“NBC’s Keir Simmons spent months documenting the lives of Syrian refugees who’ve been displaced by the civil war, and shares more of their stories in his continuing series, “Faces of War.” Duration: 5:29

-Poverty

Combating Poverty: Understanding New Challenges for Families By: Ron Haskins Testimony | June 5, 2012 brookings.edu
“…Figure 1 shows poverty trends since the 1960s for the elderly, children, and all people. After some initial progress in the 1960s, and continuing progress for the elderly, the nation has made surprisingly little progress against poverty. The nation’s inability to reduce children’s poverty is especially troublesome. A review of the leading causes of poverty shows why trends in the economy, demography, and education make progress against poverty so difficult to achieve. ..”

-Special Ed


The Special Education Problems We Aren’t Solving

Monday, July 23, 2012 – 04:28 PM

By Laura Klein wnyc.org
“…Danny failed his state exams, which consigned him to summer school this year. In all likelihood, he has a learning disability, but without parental consent he was never formally evaluated. Our documentation of interventions and testing didn’t lead to him getting the Individualized Education Program that he likely needs.

This is a sad story, but it is a common and untold one; students who should be classified as having a disability and eligible for services that support and assist them often aren’t.

In my school, the most common reason is a lack of parental consent. And so the years go by, and students slip further and further behind, struck down daily by the barriers that have not been adequately evaluated…”

Autistic 8-Year-Old Child Arrested, Brought to Jail & Put In Straight Jacket Over School Outburst

By Cassandra Fairbanks on January 17, 2015 thefreethoughtproject.com

SOLUTIONS?

-Abused

Schools ‘failing to expel students who bully teachers’ as verbal abuse in the classroom soars by a third

By Javier Espinoza, Education Editor telegraph.co.uk

12:01AM BST 04 Apr 2015
Schools must push for “zero tolerance” policies on teachers being bullied by students, a top schools union has said
“.. “Verbal abuse is one of the most devastating things that teachers can face. It can be incredibly abusing: from swearing, to comments on their appearance and it is not being taken seriously by schools.”

She said practical steps need to be taken to tackle this form of abuse. Ms Keates said: “Every school should have a zero tolerance policy on verbal abuse. As soon as pupils abuse teachers verbally, they should be summing the parents to the school and make clear to them it could lead to permanent exclusion.

“There is only a small step from being verbally abused to being physically abused.” ..”

Bullying

How to prevent & stop bullying in schools – uTip Bully Buster from bully-buster.com
Back to School: How to Stop the Cycle of Bullying
Paul Coughlin Contributing Writer, Author, Speaker 2011 30 Aug
“…Bystanders should treat cyber bullying the same way they should treat face-to-face bullying. They should stand against it. Imagine if two or three people saw a classmate being bullied on Facebook and they intervened with assertive but non-violent words such as, “That’s wrong. Leave her alone.” Bullies aren’t planning on dealing with multiple people. They are likely to stop what they’re doing…

A Severely Bullied Child Will Inspire You With His Courage Against Bullies from saraserves on GodTube.

-Discipline

6 Start children off on the way they should go,    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2022:6&version=KJVGood News Childrenhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/562167770461262/

Family

Financial

Articles on School Fundraising for Parent Volunteers and … from afrds.org

Support (volunteer or financially donate) your local schools as “many hands makes the work easier”..

I won the Twins hat!!!Go Twins!https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.467877696691593&type=1

Sal: I started as a volunteer in 2004 at the local school (see Morris Literacy Project) where I’m at helping teach GED and ESL students, which has become a part-time job now after going back to school to get a “Teaching Certificate” for ESL.

Health

How Nutrition Affects Learning
https://youtu.be/197eUaQQkhQ
“…
• Make sure your child eats breakfast before going to school. This will give him energy to start his day and help reduce hunger throughout the day.
• Prepare a healthy lunch for him to take to school if you feel the school menu is not providing good choices for your child to maintain a healthy diet. Check the school menu daily to be sure your child will eat the choices provided. Discuss the menu with your child.
• Send your child to school with healthy snacks like natural fruits, vegetables and nuts he can eat between classes.”…

Feeding the Brain for Academic Success: How Nutrition and Hydration Boost Learning healthybrainforlife.com
“..Nutrition and hydration are part of a foundation for healthy learning. Helping students make healthier choices is an essential part of their education and well-being. What can educators do to help create an optimal internal environment?..”

Studies: Fitness Improves Kids’ Academic Performance , from
Carol Pearson

July 01, 2014 6:54 PM voanews.com
“…That’s why schools across the U.S., such as Lincoln Elementary in Redondo Beach, California, have instituted programs like the “walking school bus,” in which kids carry a large cardboard cutout of a school bus and join other kids along the way.

Parents see it as a way to get the kids exercising in the morning, while kids see it as a way to have fun and talk to their friends on the way to school.

Experts say parents and schools have to find ways to keep kids active, even if they are participating in interactive exercise programs, like the WII Fit jogging program…”

-Immigrant/Refugee Students

A Look at Immigrant Youth: Prospects and Promising Practices, from ncsl.org
“..The United States is facing an unprecedented challenge in serving immigrant youth. Today’s immigrants arrive from widely diverse source countries, and are increasingly likely to resettle in nontraditional states and in rural communities, areas that often have the least experience and/or infrastructure to help students learn English and adapt to their new schools and neighborhoods. With immigration levels sustained at well over one million arrivals per year, immigrant students are entering public schools in record numbers. This has tremendous implications for program development, curricula, and funding…
]A Resource Guide for Educating Refugee Children … p12.nysed.gov

-Misc

->Music

Music Education Improves Students’ Academic Performance, But Active Participation Is Required
Dec 16, 2014 04:00 PM By Dana Dovey

The Benefits of Music Education -Riff Academy Homeschool Music Curriculum

-Model Schools (more positive?)

Public education success story for inner-city kids
CBS NewsJanuary 21, 2015, 7:00 AM cbsnews.com
“…At the Bronx school, every student’s day begins with breakfast and a town hall meeting where students get to discuss with administrators school announcements and any issues they are having — one of many things that sets Eagle apart from other public schools….

Sheridan, the oldest of six, lives in a violent and crime-ridden neighborhood in the North Bronx. Like 67 percent of black children in America, he has grown up in a single-parent home….

Students must wear uniforms, each boy gets paired with a mentor from the community, school days are longer to avoid idle time on the streets, and the kicker:

“No girls, and it makes a huge difference,” Banks said. “I think to be able to come to a place where they don’t have to worry about competing for girls, or getting dressed up for girls, they can be very focused on their school work. Many of our young men, other schools would shy away from. But we admit all of these young men and we say we will put all of them in there together and will get everybody to the finish line.”…

New Orleans to be home to nation’s first all-charter school district, April 4, 2014 8:00AM ET Updated April 9, 2014 12:28PM ET
by Dexter Mullins america.aljazeera.com
‘…He has been teaching for two years and teaches eighth grade, working with students in a special education program. He opted to work with Teach for America — a program for recent college graduates — and the organization placed him in a charter school. He said his job would have been much more challenging if he had to work in a public school because, he said, he wouldn’t have had the same level of financial and professional support.

“The biggest difference is that the teachers [in charter schools] are more motivated and there are more resources” to get the job done, Brown said.

He acknowledged that it is common for a charter school to be allocated more money than a traditional public school, since charter schools often receive private funding from wealthy foundations or major corporations while public schools rely on funding drawn from the local tax base. He would like to see a better balance between the two systems…”

-Poverty

Model Schools empowers marginalized students — and their parents, too By: Louise Brown GTA, Published on Fri Jan 23 2015 thestar.com
Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents.

“…

Fate had dropped Palmer’s son into the TDSB’s award-winning Model Schools for Inner City program, which fills many of the gaps facing students in the city’s most high-needs neighborhoods.

“They have a medical centre on-site once a week, which is amazing when you’re on a strict budget, because sometimes you can’t afford the $10 to take your kids back and forth to the clinic,” said Palmer.

Her son signed up for free basketball, soccer and martial arts offered after school. All kindergarten students received social skills training in workshops offered by a child development agency.
..”

Prayer

San Francisco Schools Transformed by the Power of Meditation from nbcnews.com

“..Silence isn’t something people usually associate with middle school, but twice a day the halls of Visitacion Valley School in San Francisco fall quiet as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for fifteen minutes. ..”
Canadian School’s Solution to Daily Prayer: Just Put Non-Christians in a Separate Classroom
May 6, 2012 by Hemant Mehta patheos.com
“…They will continue to recite the Lord’s Prayer… and just segregate all non-Christians into a different classroom.

No, really….”

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A9-13&version=KJVTeachings http://smu.gs/1O6DZuZThe Gospel of Matthew - [4/26] http://youtu.be/RWOpPj9gr_w?t=6m27smore..http://prayer.goodnewseverybody.comPrayer grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/609542502392314/

School Prayer Both Sides of the Coin freepages.religions.rootsweb.ancestry.com
“…I thinks kids should continue to pray at their desks if they want. If kids want to have a pre-school prayer group, they should be allowed to. There is plenty of time before and after school for them to organize into their own groups unsolicited or unpromoted by the school system. If kids want to hear a crusade and permission slips are given by the parents I feel it should be allowed. But be prepared for religions other than Baptist and Methodist to ask for the same opportunity to reach these kids. ….
How to Get Prayer Back in Schools ebony.com
[OPINION] Jamilah Lemieux responds to critics who blame ‘lack of prayer’ for the Connecticut school tragedy
*see school Shootings
“…In all seriousness, my personal spiritual beliefs make it hard to reconcile the idea that God is launching an attack on children at school because they don’t take the time to pray as a class. People who pray, worship and serve a higher power as they see fit are often the victims of violence, illness, tragedy and strife. We can’t say that the Sandy Hook killings would never take place at a Baptist or Catholic school….
No, the teacher isn’t going to announce “Prayer time!” after recess, but your child can absolutely take a moment for personal worship during the school day. He or she may also read the Bible (or Qur’an or Torah or any other religious text) during personal free time.
If your child knows how to pray, she doesn’t need the teacher to require her to do so. In fact, many children from religious backgrounds pray throughout the school day. If you so desire that your kids take the time to do so everyday, then that should be a conversation for your household. Perhaps you can send your little ones to school with a small notebook where they keep track of their daily prayer times and/or you can pencil it in on their daily schedule organizers.

The separation between church and state is too often ignored by those who feel that the freedom of others to practice that which they take moral issue with is a violation of their sacred texts. What we must remember is that this a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc, etc. And even within the major religions, there is no universal agreement about how God moves or what is required of His followers. For us to peacefully co-exist in this country, we cannot waste time demanding that federal law bends to accommodate our spiritual ones. The Constitution provides you the right to worship as you see fit and protects your ability to do so. Instead of blasting our country for failing to force religion upon its citizens, be grateful that you have the freedom to practice the one of your choosing. You want prayer in schools? Teach your children how to do it.”

Special Ed

Solutions in Special Education-
Smart districts use tech-based approaches to keep special education requirements from draining staff

By:
Lisa Fratt
District Administration, Jun 2005 districtadministration.com
“…Technology-based special education management certainly improves special education; however, the next level of software implementation promises to have an even greater impact. “The most exciting part about this is where we are headed,” Dempsey says. The software gives the district the ability to link instruction to special education outcomes. If research indicates a given curriculum is a good approach for high-functioning learning disabled kids, the district can analyze standardized test results to determine how students taught with that curriculum perform compared to kids taught with other methods. As test results are linked with instructional practices the district can connect the dots and use data to deliver staff development and training and make budget decisions based on student outcomes. ..”
Learning Strategies, Teaching Solutions, Taking Learning to the Next Level: Found Here!

Top 10 Resources for Special Education Teachers online.sju.edu
“..In addition to advanced training and professional certification, there are plenty of helpful online resources for new and creative teaching tools and techniques. Here are ten of the best resources for special education teachers today:..”

Please feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions, feedback, stories, etc.. to help all of us improve our educational system locally, regionally, nationally, and globally!

*Note: This is such a long on-going topic, so information will continue to change…keep coming back for new additional resources!

Good News Education
https://www.facebook.com/groups/707482649266495/

Ways to deal with Bullying as a “former” victim and bully too

I was bullied for various reasons growing-up while attending Battle Creek Middle School from 6th to 8th grade.
It wasn’t such a big topic in the media back then, so I never thought of it much. I thought it was just part of life and didn’t see it as a social epidemic as it is covered in the media now. As I hear stories of bullying, I feel like what I went through was really nothing compared to the serious violence and abuse (both mental and physical) victims goes through nowadays.

Here are some “lite” stories of bullying I went through:

When I used to deliver newspapers for the local paper in St. Paul (Pioneer Press Dispatch), I hated going through certain parts of my neighborhood after school. Living by the middle school, kids would be coming out of school in groups and would walk by my route. I would find a particular “safer” route as I did it more, but when I first started, I ran into some really obnoxious peers at the time. For example, one time when I was delivering newspapers (PM edition), some group of kids started yelling “gook” or “chink” at me. They then would do the infamous popular “kung-fu”/”karate” moves at me. Being a “smaller” boy at the time and being one individual, I didn’t have a chance to fight them back. At the time, I reflected on some friends/neighbors (Vietnamese-Another neighbor and I loved watching Bruce Lee movies growing-up!) that offered my dad to have my siblings and I to learn Karate from them. During this and other times of being bullied, I wished my dad took the offer as I would’ve used karate on them! I just continued walking away and ignored them. I look back and wondered if I did know karate, what would’ve I’ve done. I had a lot of anger issues (due to family up-bringing and all the social pressures during that stage of my life) and probably would’ve got myself more in trouble!

Deep Thought:

However, I can’t imagine if I was the opposite-taller and built. They probably would’ve not even said anything like this and would be intimidated or just ignored me. What causes a group of people to team against or oppress an individual the deemed as “weaker” or “lesser”? Doesn’t this occur even amongst adults? (e.g. politically, religiously, economically, racially/ethnically, etc…) Sorry, getting too deep here, but what motivates one(s) want to “pick-on” another/other individual(s)? You hear it’s because a “bully” got “abused” (physically/mentally) by someone older (e.g. parent). Does this give them the reason to do this?

Is this the reason why movie goers are very fascinated with movie characters (e.g. Harry Potter, Marvel Comic Heroes, etc..) with special “powers”. I’ve heard from younger folks that they wished they had “special” powers and they would’ve used it on their “bullies”.

Another story was in the classroom at the school. I remember it vividly as it’s been a scar or was a traumatic experience at the time. I was sitting in a science class (Physics) and the teacher was gone. Several known “bullies” of mine started “gleaking” (lightly spitting) at me. Being a “passive-shy-weakling” at the time, I pretended to ignore them and just took it. What could’ve I done, stand-up and fight the taller-bigger guys than me? I was outnumbered!

Being “Asian”, I was stereotyped as a “bookworm” and I was a studious guy (ey, I got to college on a full-ride scholarship, so it paid off ;)) A friend (taller than me) and I were heading out after school ended. While I was heading to my locker, this “bigger-taller” boy closed my locker and told me to do his homework. I had some “boldness” (learned from watching t.v., like “Saved by the Bell“-I didn’t want to be like Screech-lol!) in me, so I told this guy “no”. He probably wasn’t expecting this, so he actually pushed me against the lockers and demanded that I do this. Fortunately, my “taller” friend stood-up for me and told this “bully” to leave me alone. Unfortunately, this “bully” was bigger than my friend, so this “bully” pushed him too against the lockers. I was very thankful for my friend and was more focused with gratefulness of my friend doing this for me than the “terror” of this bully. We were both shoved to the lockers so loudly that one of my teachers came out of his classroom wondering what all this noise was about. Fortunately, we were both “saved” by this “bully’s” rapture as we both walked out of school “safely” that day.

Due to my “multicultural” looks, I would be teased with various racist remarks. During the Persian Gulf War, a “friend” would tease me that I “looked like the enemy” (Arabic). This would go on even through college and beyond, which I grew to have a very lose self-esteem and was self-conscious about my “physical features” in various places. Due to this remark “way back then”, it effected me when 9-11 happened after my college years. I haven’t shared this with many people, but when 9-11 happened and watching on the news of “Arabs” or “Muslims” that “look-like” the enemy were targeted in America. I got scared and hid for a season. I was afraid to go out of my house during these tense times as I was afraid of getting “attacked” in retaliation of 9-11 (would find out later about the “truth” behind the attacks, which can be another story ;)).

A “Bully” Myself Once

I have to be fair and honest too in this blog post that I wasn’t always “bullied”, but I was also in the “dark” side too-“bully” himself! 😦 I’m not proud of this either, but I look back and probably was a “bully” in some instances because I was “bullied” myself. I felt like I had a position of power in some scenarios and abused them. For instance, I remember fighting this younger-smaller guy in elementary school. I still can’t remember why I did this. I pushed him around and nothing too violent, so I wasn’t too rough on him. 😉 Another instance, this individual in high school was so annoying and I had to “act” tough. I told him that we should fight after school, which he accepted. During class, I then began thinking that this individual will probably bring his “hommies” or “gang” friends and “jump” on me. I then told him “cowardly-humbly” that I decided I don’t want to fight, which he agreed..lol! I also had some instances where I teased people because they “look” poor or whatever, but I regret this because I too was in their shoes and don’t understand why I did this.

My parents immigrated here (St. Paul) from the Philippines in the early 70’s and we didn’t have much like many other immigrants residing in a “new” land. I remember one Christmas, we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree like many other “Americans”. We found a tree branch in our neighborhood while walking in one cold winter day, so we decided to take this tree branch inside and make it our “1st” family Christmas tree. We even decorated it and put ornaments that we just creatively made. My parents couldn’t afford the current trending shoes (e.g. Nike) those days, so I wore “Pro-Wings” from Payless Shoes Store (I’ve bought shoes still from this place as they have some good deals, but honestly-not very quality). Growing-up at that time (still I heard), students in school would just ridicule you with the brand or type of clothing-shoes you wore. I just got teased “left and right” back in elementary school for wearing these “cheap” shoes. Another similar instance was when I was wearing some “old-school” pj’s underneath my jeans with a hole. It was winter time and these “pj’s” were like my thermal underwear to keep me “extra” warm. I guess I would tease someone with this type of dress code. I felt like I was “worthless” at the time and it got worse growing-up through high school.

I actually feared going to high school after watching t.v. shows or movies on how “nerds” or “losers” (like me) were treated. Fortunately, folks in high school were a little more mature and it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I got teased a little (e.g. looks-physical characteristics) once in awhile, but I just had a very low self-esteem (due to factors in and out of school). I had some “suicidal tendencies” due to depression caused by many factors that I can share for another blog, but this is one of the effects people still face due to bullying.

I finally started going up-hill during my college years, which here is my story.


“Power of non-violence (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, etc..) instead of retaliating with violence”

Stop Bullying Today (Christian Themed)

Matthew 5-7New International Version (NIV)-
Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
biblegateway.com
https://www.facebook.com/SalPhotoVideography/photos /a.1134525149895689.1073742035.443035202378024/1825428997471964/?type=3&theater
“…The Beatitudes

He said:

3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you…”

In conclusion, I believe social support and communication or dialogue is very important to stop bullying! I really didn’t get this growing-up. I grew up in a very quiet-passive (Asian culture) family, which I never shared this with my dad, mom, and even my siblings (I shared one of my stories with one of my siblings the past year or two and they replied-“How come you never told us?”) . I just kept it inside of me like a volcano that was waiting to interrupt. My personal tip now is parents need to have an honest one to one dialogue with their child/children. This can happen over a meal time at the dinner table (get your kids to put their smart phones away, shut the television, etc..). If you read my story above, building self-esteem is very important to help “victims” of bullying overcome this stage or season in their life. As a former “victim of bullying” and “a bully” too, I want to help those in this category through social networking (e.g. Good News Sociology, Youth, etc…). How can we “work-together” in helping those out there?

Follow us at #goodnewseverybodycom
https://www.instagram.com/goodnewseverybodycom/

Would love any feedback (e.g. personal stories, advice to help others, other resources, etc..) more….. http://issues.goodnewseverybody.com/bullying.html

Good News Abused
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