Taking a look at our top stories in 2015. Photo credit: Antonio Olmedo (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Taking a look back at our top stories in 2015.
Photo credit: Antonio Olmedo (CC-By-SA 2.0)

Happy New Year!  It has been a busy year! I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our stories published in 2015 and share our top 15 stories based on page views.

15. Planned Parenthood Caught Selling Baby Body Parts

Excerpt:

An investigative video released by the Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses, and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.

In the video, Nucatola is at a business lunch with actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company. As head of PPFA’s Medical Services department, Nucatola has overseen medical practice at all Planned Parenthood locations since 2009. She also trains new Planned Parenthood abortion doctors and performs abortions herself at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles up to 24 weeks.

14. Ted Cruz Talks to Robert P. George (Video)

Excerpt:

If you are looking for a substantive interview (beyond what we offer of course) of presidential candidates be sure to check out “Candidate Conversations” on EWTN hosted by Robert P. George who is a Princeton Law Professor, the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and founder of American Principles Project.  His first episode that aired last night he spends almost an hour with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

One interesting tidbit is that Cruz was a former student of George’s while he was at Princeton University.

13. We Endorse Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for President (CT’s formal endorsement before Jindal dropped out of the race).

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama kept his promise eight years ago that he would fundamentally transform America. He certainly has, but not for the better. Our national debt has skyrocketed. Our Constitution has been largely ignored, and our nation has become a nation governed by rule and court opinion rather than by law. We have seen incredible encroachment by our government into our liberty, in particular religious liberty, and it appears that it will only get worse.

We face extraordinary times, so our nation needs an extraordinary leader.

Looking for this leader has been a difficult process, but not because of a lack of choices. To the contrary, the current GOP field of presidential candidates is the strongest we’ve seen in decades. There are a number of candidates we believe could serve with distinction and honor in the White House, but there is one who we believe stands out.

12. The Des Moines Register Must Hate Homeschooling

Excerpt:

The Des Moines Register again attacked homeschooling families who opt to take part in Iowa’s independent private instruction (IPI) option passed as part of the education reform bill in 2013.  They first wrote an editorial in 2013 bemoaning the change in the law, and a year-and-a-half later they publish yet another editorial which follows a column written by Rekha Basu.  Basu balked at the idea of home education, homeschoolers benefiting from education savings accounts (or probably any tax credit or deduction I suppose) and even large families.

This is incredible.  Why are they fixated on us?  I have to wonder if there is some sort of mental disorder at play here?  Oh yeah, never mind, they’re liberal statists.

11. Eastern Iowa Is Now Part of Chicago

Excerpt:

The distance from Chicago to Dubuque, or Clinton, or Davenport is around 200 miles. It’s almost 250 from Burlington. This is a drive of four to five hours, even with no traffic. Yet recent and proposed actions by the federal government make Eastern Iowa part of the “greater-Chicago area.”

The expanding federal nanny state has decided that our river towns, struggling to provide good jobs and decent housing for low-income people who already live here, should focus on recruiting low-income people from outside the state, instead of recruiting military veterans, active retirees, or young graduates, who can remain home, start businesses, begin families, and lift their neighborhoods up.

10. Leaked Audio Undermines Cruz’s Image

Excerpt:

Audio of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking about same-sex marriage in Manhattan has led some, including GOP Presidential candidate, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, to question Cruz’s consistency and authenticity. Shane Vander Hart argued that Cruz was being perfectly consistent in both Iowa and New York. In both places, he stated that marriage was an issue best left up to the States:

Look if Cruz touted a Federal Marriage Amendment in Iowa, and if he said it was his top priority I could agree with Huckabee. The fact is that he didn’t.

Vander Hart argues Cruz’s policy stance in both places is the same and he’s correct. But I would contend the question isn’t really the consistency of Cruz’s policy but the authenticity of Cruz himself.

9. Carly Fiorina Criticizes Professional Political Class

Excerpt:

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina spoke at a fundraiser held for State Senator Ken Rozenboom (R-Oskaloosa) at Tassle Ridge Winery.

“I think this election is a fight over whether conservative values, principles, and policies will guide this nation going forward or whether left-wing, progressive values and policies will,” Fiorina said. “I think we need to reintroduce conservatism to the American people so they know it applies and lifts everyone up, truly.”

8. Five Things You Should Know About the Nordic Model

Excerpt:

The nordic model is greatly admired in progressive circles. The nordic countries are supposedly a great example of “socialism that works” and the wonders that could be accomplished if Americans would only give up on all those silly ideas that are enshrined in their constitution.

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a conservative with master’s degree in behavioral economics who was born and raised in Sweden, and in this article I intend to challenge the mainstream view of the Nordic countries as a utopia.

I am going to list five uncomfortable facts about the nordic model that you are very unlikely to learn from American media & its political pundits – this may be partly because they don’t want you to know, but mostly because they don’t know themselves (very few Americans have more than a very basic understanding of European politics & economics).

7. I Endorse Ted Cruz for President (My personal endorsement)

Excerpt:

I believe Ted Cruz will stand firm on restoring the Constitution. How do I know this? I’ve seen him do it time and time and time again in the U.S. Senate. He certainly has not won any popularity contests in DC, but, in my opinion, he has all of the right people mad at him.

I am supporting Ted Cruz because he has followed through on his campaign promises, a rare quality we see in DC these days. He has fought for those seeking reform in Washington.  He has fought for limited government. He has gone against party leadership, and we will need a fighter in the White House.

Cruz has successfully thread the needle between liberty and security. He has fought for personal liberty in light of government overreach in the name of security.  At the same time, he also demonstrates a commitment to national security and to strengthen America’s position in the world.

6. Cornell College Sorority Revokes Alumni Status of Pro-Life Member

Excerpt:

MacKenzie Dreeszen, who currently works as a fundraising consultant for the Polk County Republican Party,  told Caffeinated Thoughts that she had her alumi status revoked by her sorority, Delta Phi Delta, at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa because of her pro-life views.

Dreeszen participated in a protest of Planned Parenthood that occurred after the Center for Medical Progress released several videos linking Planned Parenthood to the practice of harvesting fetal tissue for profit.  She posted about it on Facebook, “220 people are here in Des Moines protesting taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood…not exactly something that you can ignore #‎alllivesmatter‬‪#‎defundPP‬ ‪#‎ProtestPP‬.”

5. Iowa House Democrats File Anti-Homeschooling Measure

Excerpt:

Yesterday HF 214 was introduced into the Iowa House of Representatives by State Representative Sharon Steckman (D-Mason City).  The bill if enacted would repeal Independent Private Instruction enacted in 2013 as part of a deal with Iowa Senate Democrats in exchange for passing 4% allowable growth for public school aid.

Independent Private Instruction simply means that students who are of compulsory school age who do not attend a public school or accredited private school do not have to report their intent to homeschool to their local school district or provide an assessment, portfolio or have a supervisory teacher that are requirements under Competent Private Instruction which prior to the 2013 law was the only way one could legally homeschool in Iowa.

4. Global Teaching Prize Winner Discourages Teaching Because of Common Core

Nancie Atwell, a teacher since 1973 and founder of the Center for Teaching & Learning in Edgecomb, ME over the weekend won the Varkey Foundation’s first Global Teacher Prize that comes with $1 million.  It is intended to become a “Nobel Prize” of sorts for teachers.

She was interviewed on CNN’s New Day this morning because of winning the prize and announcing she was giving it to her school.  Toward the end of the short segment Alisyn Camerota asked, “What do you say to kids who are growing up that may want to consider teaching?”

Her reply was rather unexpected I’m sure.

3. New York Court Deems Six-Day-Old Child Is Not a Person

Excerpt:

A New York Appeals Court decided last week that the mother of a six-day-old baby who died should not be held accountable for the baby’s death because, according to the court, the baby is not a person.

On May 30, 2008, the defendant, Jennifer Jorgensen, was driving eastbound on Whiskey Road in Suffolk County. She then entered the westbound lane and struck the vehicle of Robert and Mary Kelly head on, killing them both.  Jorgensen at the time was 34 weeks pregnant, and was given a consensual emergency c-section after being taken to the hospital due to signs of fetal distress.  The baby died six days later and an autopsy concluded the death was the result of the accident.

2. “Nothing Worse” That Homeschoolers Weighing in on Public School Policy

Excerpt:

Nothing worse than homeschool parents trying to tell us legislators how to run public schools when they don’t use them themselves.”

One would think that quote is from a Democrat state legislator who desires to repeal all that “homeschooling crap.”  But you would be wrong.  That statement is from State Representative Josh Byrnes (R-Osage) in an email to Jeff Moorman of Iowa for Student Achievement.

1. Hillary Clinton: Says Education is a Non-Family Enterprise

Excerpt:

Also Clinton calls education the “most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation.”  This is a sign that she still holds on to her “it takes a village to raise a child” philosophy which is nothing but liberal nonsense.  It takes a family to raise a child, and it takes parents to educate children as the involvement of parents is the number one factor determining student achievement.

Education is not a “non-family” enterprise because parents are the ones responsible for the education of their children.  Homeschooling is a great example of this, but even with private and public education parents must be involved.  The appeal to teachers “leading the way” is interesting as hardly any classroom teachers were on the writing, research or validation committees developing Common Core.  Also it doesn’t seem to leave room for parents who are the biggest stakeholders.

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