I’m a mom and I’m not letting fear control my parenting
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can keep us from taking risks that would benefit us and our families, create apathy, fuel doubt and can enable us to stay in toxic patterns of behavior. Fear can even damage the bond between parent and child.
As a parent, there are so many unknowns about our kids that can quite literally keep us awake at night: they can be abducted, they can fall and break bones, they can get into a car accident, they won’t get into the college of their dreams and they can be bullied at school.
The list is endless, but parents cannot protect our kids from everything – nor should we. And nor should we let that fear control our lives. But how? How do you shove that fear aside and resist the urge to control your kids’ lives? How do we stop being just so overwhelmed as parents?
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The tendency many parents have when it comes to facing fear is to protect their kids from everything, hovering over them constantly (aka helicopter parenting) and paving the way for them, no matter the mental, emotional, physical, and financial cost.
This leads to kids who have no clue how to do anything for themselves and are afraid to even try. It’s not helping kids or their parents, who are constantly exhausted and stretched too thin. How is there even time to form true relationships when parents are in a constant state of heightened protection and their kids aren’t allowed to do anything for themselves and discover who they are?
Numerous studies have shown how helicopter parenting leads to emotional immaturity, lack of self-confidence, and heightened anxiety and depression among their children. One 2019 study on helicopter parenting published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services concluded that constant monitoring and micromanaging of kids by parents leads to a “decreasing a sense of independence and self-efficacy” as well as anxiety and depression.
If kids don’t learn how to fend for themselves and basic skills to get through life as adults, they are going to be in for a tough road.
Pushing that fear aside in favor of teaching your kids independence has to be a conscious choice. When my kids tripped and fell as toddlers, I’d take several seconds to see how they would react. If I didn’t immediately run over and comfort them, as long as the fall wasn’t serious, they would get up and happily go back to doing whatever it was they were doing.
If I ran over the instant they fell and scraped their knee, then they would start crying. Once I let them realize for themselves that they weren’t hurt, they figured out they could just get up and keep going.
Today, my kids know how to find the Band-Aids and Neosporin themselves to fix any scrapes or cuts they have or break out the tweezers to dislodge splinters. It’s a minor thing in the grand scheme of life, but it’s a stepping stone to building their own self-confidence.
I’ve brought that same spirit of independence elsewhere in my relationship with them. They understand safety rules of not getting in the car with strangers and making sure I’m in sight when we are shopping or at a festival or outdoor event. Yes, I’m fearful for their safety, but I’m not going to let that fear stop my kids from learning independence and building their own confidence.
There is no way to protect our kids from everything. We don’t live in a bubble, yet helicopter parenting doesn’t make that distinction. We have to get our kids out of that bubble and let them enjoy life. There is so much adventure to be had once that bubble has popped.
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While there are a lot of ways to pop the bubble, one huge step I’ve taken to address that constant fear I have as a parent is to get outside. I’ve taken my kids on some epic adventures – hiking the Grand Canyon, scaling mountains in North Carolina, paddleboarding among dolphins, ziplining on mountaintops and swimming in waterfalls.
Nature is such a balm to the soul and has helped my daughters to learn all kinds of skills they never would have learned in front of a screen or if I gave into my parenting fears.
As their mother, I’ve had the privilege to watch them grow as young ladies and see their individual personalities develop, their imaginations soar and learn what makes them tick. Essentially, because I’ve chosen not to be held captive by fear, the relationships I have with my children have been able to flourish.
None of us have tomorrow guaranteed. Living in fear can be paralyzing, and I don’t want to give up whatever control I have over my own life to those emotions. I don’t want my kids to see me cowering to fear, hovering over them and refusing to allow them to make their own mistakes or learn independence and then consequently choosing that path for their own lives. So that’s the decision: give in or fight back?
I choose the latter.
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‘Bridge Man’: The daring dissident who toppled China’s COVID lockdowns by ‘sacrificing’ himself
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been the ruling party in China for nearly 75 years. For those living there, this has meant limited individual rights, far-reaching governmental control and virtually no freedom of expression.
Life under the CCP, in a word, is oppressive.
Beijing’s autocratic tactics ramped up even more during the coronavirus pandemic when it implemented severe travel restrictions, lockdown measures, testing requirements and forced quarantining.
Though not everyone living in China has stood by and accepted the CCP’s oppressive standard of living, critics of the regime have often paid a price for dissidence with their lives.
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Peng Lifa, a name little known in the U.S. but revered among Chinese dissidents both inside and outside China, acted in a show of protest to ongoing COVID restrictions in China in the fall of 2022, when much of the world had long since lifted COVID mandates.
Peng, also known as “Bridge Man,” is widely believed to be the individual responsible for launching one of the greatest protests in China since the Tiananmen Square Massacre some 34 years ago — the “white paper protest,” or the A4 Revolution.
On Oct. 13, 2022, a man dressed in a yellow hard hat and orange shirt hung a banner on Sitong Bridge in Beijing that said, “We want food, not COVID testing. We want reform, not the Cultural Revolution. We want freedom, not lockdowns. We want to vote, not a leader. We want dignity, not lies. We are citizens, not slaves.”
A separate banner also hung that said, “Depose the traitorous dictator Xi Jinping” while a loudspeaker reportedly read out the banner’s commentary.
“He didn’t plan his escape at all. He was trying to buy as much time as possible to expose [the demonstration] for the public,” Xiao Qiang, a human rights activist, founder and chief editor of China Digital Times and a research scientist for UC Berkeley School of Information, where he researches the CCP and censorship, told Fox News Digital.
“And then immediately, of course, people [were] taking videos with their cellphones. And then, a few minutes later, it’s already circulated Twitter and YouTube. At the same time the Chinese censors come in, in a matter of minutes, to delete those messages.”
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Some have argued Bridge Man’s actions were on par with globally recognized figures like “Tank Man,” the individual who stood in front of a line of nearly 60 tanks June 5, 1989, one day after the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The massacre was the result of the CCP’s response to student protesters demanding political freedoms and the measures Chinese military forces took to crack down and enforce martial law.
The Chinese government claimed some 200 people were killed in the clashes, though a British diplomatic cable released in 2017 suggested that figure was closer to 10,000.
Tank Man’s identity has never been revealed, and the uncertainty surrounding his whereabouts has led many to believe he was arrested by the CCP or disappeared, a fate many fear Peng faces.
Peng is believed to have been taken into custody shortly after he launched his protest, and his whereabouts, along with the whereabouts of his wife and daughter, remain unknown.
But his demonstration worked, and by November 2022, protestors across China began holding up blank sheets of standard A4 printing paper to symbolize the silence Chinese citizens are subject to under CCP rule.
The demonstrators also began chanting slogans like “End zero-COVID,” “We want human rights,” and “Down with the Communist Party,” which human rights advocates have attributed to Bridge Man.
“Peng Lifa stood up to Xi Jinping, all alone with just a piece of cloth and some paint. And he won,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., the chairman of the House Select Committee on the CCP, told Fox News Digital.
“His protest kicked off demonstrations around China, his words went viral being passed by AirDrop and on bathroom walls. And he inspired the ‘white paper’ protesters who ultimately toppled the techno-totalitarian zero-COVID lockdowns.
“It was the greatest embarrassment of Xi Jinping in his career.”
Gallagher described the demonstrations as “the most significant pro-freedom protests in China since Tiananmen Square.”
“I believe Peng Lifa’s courageous and peaceful protest at the Sitong Bridge belongs up there with Democracy Wall and Tank Man,” he added.
But Peng’s show of protest was significant beyond the inherent risk he took and widespread success it saw.
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“His final action is an incredible piece of not only planning but commitment — sacrificing his own life to do this,” Xiao said. “But he didn’t do that out of impulse.”
Ahead of the Bridge Man protest, Peng sent a booklet or manifesto around to a handful of human rights activists and CCP dissidents through his Twitter account, encouraging them to take further action to stand up to the Chinese government.
Xiao referred to the work as a “sort of tactical manual” on how to stand up to the CCP.
“If you read the manual, you know he had been thinking about this for years. It’s not something he does in just a moment of passion,” he explained.
The work included a collection of research, tactics and the different voices of various CCP dissidents that Xiao was already familiar with.
“But he put them together and put his life on it to sort of personalize this … Chinese resistance,” Xiao added. “He is truly the face of the courage and the resistance.”
The language used during the Bridge Man protest matched that of the manifesto that Peng sent to Xiao and others, which is how human rights groups and Chinese dissidents were able to verify Bridge Man’s identity.
Almost immediately, Xiao realized the significance of the protest and began working with his team to archive Peng’s manifesto to not only preserve his story, but to block the CCP from allowing his identity to again go missing like that of Tank Man.
“This is truly remarkable action. Under the zero-COVID policy, which was really brutal … so many Chinese were unhappy about it, but they cannot express themselves because they are intimidated by the [CCP] power,” Xiao explained. “And then there’s one man that’s standing up to the that power. And that single voice — that’s really a collection [of voices] — he says what all the other people want to say.”
Gallagher and Xiao said they would like to see the U.S. and the Biden administration do more to demand answers from the CCP on the whereabouts of Peng and his family. Though both men also argued that a critical step in ensuring Peng’s story is not lost is to make sure Americans know his courage and how he helped to bring down the oppressive COVID restrictions in China.
“There have been alarming reports that have detailed the crackdown on white paper protesters around China,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital. “My view is if the world turns its back on the peaceful white paper protesters and Peng Lifa now, the CCP will know it can still get away with brutalities like Tiananmen Square.
“The CCP wants to erase the memory of Bridge Man and the white paper protests because they show that the Chinese people are willing to stand up to authoritarianism and demand freedom.”
LGBTQ advocate scolds Target’s ‘rainbow capitalism,’ says it missed opportunity after pulling Pride displays
LGBTQ advocate Heather Hester scolded Target’s “rainbow capitalism” after the retailer dialed back Pride displays, insisting polarizing items such as “tuck-friendly” swimwear are vital while urging Americans to have uncomfortable conversations to help the community.
“Really what Target ultimately did was show that they were in this just for the money,” Hester told Fox News Digital.
“Rainbow capitalism is essentially, you know, selling Pride products for profit and not necessarily standing behind the community with support,” Hester continued. “That’s what happened, right? There are a lot of things that go into that, but that is what happened at the end of the day.”
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The saga began last month when a Target insider told Fox News Digital that customers were so bothered by some Pride merchandising displays that corporate decision makers would take steps to avoid a “Bud Light situation,” particularly in southern rural areas of the country.
“We were given 36 hours, told to take all of our Pride stuff, the entire section, and move it into a section that’s a third the size. From the front of the store to the back of the store, you can’t have anything on mannequins and no large signage,” the Target insider said.
Target then confirmed “adjustments” were made to in-store Pride displays with some items being removed altogether. Target said it was tamping down the Pride merchandising to help keep employees safe, claiming rank-and-file staffers have been threatened and harassed. But now, allies of the LGBTQ community –including some employees — feel abandoned.
“This is a huge betrayal because this is your livelihood saying, ‘We don’t see you. We don’t care who you inherently are as a human being. What we care about is our bottom line,’” Hester said.
Hester dedicated herself to helping the LGBTQ community when her son came out as gay six years ago. She initially couldn’t find resources to help him, so she took matters into her own hands. Hester now hosts the podcast “Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen,” writes for an in-depth website Chrysalis Mama, and speaks with everyone from parents to high-powered executives about how to support kids who come out.
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She believes Pride displays, like the initial versions that Target dialed back, are vital.
“It is representation. So it allows LGBTQ+, you know, kids, young adults, adults, to see themselves, to have a product that is for them,” she said. “It’s like having representation in media, or in books, or any of those things. It’s important.”
Hester said her son, now 22, was “angry” about Target’s decision, adding it proves the big-box retailer is simply “another corporation showing their true colors.”
“They don’t actually support us,” she said. “They only care about money.”
Hester said Target essentially ran at “the first sign of bullying or intimidation” and could have handled the entire situation in a way that benefited both the LGTBQ community, its detractors and Target staffers. She said management should have properly trained employees how to deal with customers who critiqued the displays, and extra security could have been brought in to protect workers in high-tension locations.
“There were definitely lessons they could have learned from the Bud Light situation,” she said. “Because now what they’ve done is alienate themselves from everybody. Everybody is mad, right? Which is, I don’t think, what they wanted to happen.”
In a perfect world, Hester feels Target could have responded to critics in a way that would have advanced the national conversation surrounding polarizing issues.
“They could have really come out of there smelling like a rose,” Hester said. “This could have been a really cool opportunity for them to really solidify themselves as an ally.”
Instead, Target’s stock dropped for nine consecutive days and billions were shed from its market cap.
Critics of Target’s Pride displays objected to a variety of products, with female-style swimsuits that can be used to “tuck” male genitalia initially making waves on social media. But many were only concerned with the issue because of children, as the LGBTQ community’s influence on America’s youth has been a hot-button issue. Target placed the tuck-friendly swimsuits near items for kids, offered coloring books of same-sex couples kissing, sold a plethora of merchandise with various Pride slogans for children, including onesies for newborn babies, and displayed it all with colorful rainbows directly in the front of stores.
Hester dismissed the term “grooming” that many use to describe Target’s initial Pride displays.
“Grooming is a very negative word and, it’s really, frankly, a distraction and a scare tactic from people who are on the other side of this issue, right? It really takes the focus away from what we should be focusing on. So, I think that this word is thrown out, and it’s become irrelevant,” she said. “It’s meant to scare you. So, do I think Target Pride products groom children? Absolutely not.”
While Hester is annoyed that Target tamped down the displays, she insists none of it was too over-the-top.
“I think the point is we don’t think it’s a big deal if we see straight people kissing, right? And they’re kissing, right? I mean, adults kiss,” Hester said. “It’s just trying to normalize that all people kiss.”
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The now-infamous Target Pride swimsuits boasts “tuck-friendly construction” and “extra crotch coverage,” presumably to accommodate male genitalia, even if they are made in an otherwise female style. Hester said it’s “important” that such an item is available to anyone who desires it.
“It’s something that’s not been readily accessible for trans people. And trans people are people,” she said.
“It has historically been something that you have to look really hard to find, and are typically at higher price points, so to have something that is available and to be able to be like, ‘Oh, wow, that’s me and there is something for me,’” Hester continued. “There’s so much value in that. People are just uncomfortable because it’s new. But being uncomfortable is not a bad thing.”
Hester, who has been open about the story of her son, said young LGBTQ people “just want to be seen and loved for who they are.”
“This is who they are. Just love them,” she said, adding that she feels Target can bounce back despite the “missed opportunity” to connect with the LGBTQ community.
“It’s just going to take a little sensitivity… you know, some conversations. Don’t be afraid of the conversations,” Hester said.
Target didn’t respond to a request for comment about the threats it says have been made against its workers.
Detransitioned Navy SEAL warns parents about gender surgery for minors: ‘Not sharing all the data’
A retired Navy SEAL is speaking out against allowing children to receive gender surgery and be put on puberty blockers, telling parents they need to thoroughly look at the data available before making a life-changing decision.
Chris Beck, a detransitioner formerly known as Kristen Beck, said one crucial piece of data about gender dysphoria isn’t talked about enough.
“So I was in mental health counseling for my graduate degree here at a university where I live and so I was learning all the procedures, I was learning all about human development from birth all the way through – up to 25 years old, you’re still developing your brain. So the thing is, is that when you’re going through these courses, they’re coaching you and they’re coaching you on what to say to parents, and they’re not showing all the data,” he argued on “Fox News Tonight.”
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“So one of the biggest pieces of data that they’re missing right now is that 80% of the kids who are going through gender dysphoria or gender confusion either before puberty and during puberty, 80% of those kids are corrected – [They] will get rid of all that gender confusion by the time puberty is over. 80%!”
Beck added that puberty blockers are another irreversible step and can impact minors’ fertility in the future.
“If a kid goes on puberty blockers when they’re 13, 14, 15 years old, they’re chemically castrated. They’re not going to have children when they get older. They’re not given this data,” he told host Joey Jones. “So eight of those kids, out of those ten, are going to want to go back to be just a regular old person and they’re not going to be able to.”
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Beck came out as transgender in a 2013 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper but expressed regret years later, telling conservative influencer Robby Starbuck in a December 2022 interview, “Everything you see on CNN with my face, do not even believe a word of it.” “Everything that happened to me for the last 10 years destroyed my life. I destroyed my life. I’m not a victim. I did this to myself, but I had help.”
He explained on “Fox News Tonight” that he is speaking out now so parents are aware of what their children might go through if they are put on puberty blockers or choose to get gender surgery.
“Ya’ll need to start leaving these kids alone. They’re castrating them. They’re doing these double mastectomies. They’re hurting kids. Eight out of ten, 80% of those kids, there’s studies, massive studies, 80% of those kids are not transgender. Eighty percent of those kids are just confused,” he argued. “Parents, you need to wake up. Don’t let your kids get into stuff. You better share all the data. All of the data.”
Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report
The Holy Trinity is a ‘supernatural concept’ that leads to salvation, Virginia pastor says
There are many aspects of faith that are difficult to grasp due to their supernatural nature, faith leaders say.
While the concept of the Holy Trinity can be one that is extremely hard for the average person to understand, doing so brings both comfort and salvation, Dr. Ben Gutierrez, senior pastor at Grove Church in Richmond, Virginia, told Fox News Digital.
“The God of the Bible is a triune God — one God existing in three persons — God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,” he said.
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“It is difficult to grasp, no doubt,” Gutierrez also said. “It is difficult because it is a supernatural concept attempted to be understood by our finite minds.”
While this concept is complicated, “this supernatural reality is evidenced throughout the holy scriptures and is on clear display in scenes and scenarios, along with being referenced in the prayers of the scripture writers,” he noted.
While the word “trinity” does not appear in the Bible, “it is equally weighty to recognize what attributes are attributed to God alone — then look to see if those unique attributes are attributed to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Gutierrez continued.
“If you see these attributes attributed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you have what can appropriately be labeled as the ‘trinity,’” he said.
There are many examples throughout the Bible of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit receiving the same type of attributes, Gutierrez said.
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“For example, worship is reserved for God alone,” he noted, citing Exodus 34:14, Psalms 18:3, Revelation 22:9 and Isaiah 46:9.
Gutierrez then posed this question: “Does the ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ receive this type of worship reserved for God alone?”
“Yes,” he said.
In the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Paul states, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (II Corinthians, 13:14)
“Paul’s final prayer of blessing conveys that anyone can receive grace from the Lord Jesus Christ because of the love of God the Father,” explained Gutierrez. “And as a result, anyone may join a special bond of fellowship with other Christians because of the Holy Spirit.”
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While this is “not a formal treatment of the doctrine of the Trinity,” he said, Paul’s blessing is beautiful in its own way.
It is “a natural reference to the Trinity from a mature believer who understands that true salvation for sins is provided by a triune God,” said Gutierrez.
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“Paul knew the teachings of scripture well enough in his final sentence to the people of Corinth,” he also said.
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“Paul prayed a blessing upon all believers to remember who was the giver of all blessings, along with praying that all would receive the gift of grace, love, and fellowship offered to them by a loving triune God,” he added.
North Dakota woman who grilled school board for defying gender identity law leads group to empower parents
Cassie Schmidt confronted school board members in a North Dakota district that pledged not to “openly out” students despite a newly-passed state law requiring otherwise, but she holds a history of fighting back on behalf of parents.
Though she chose the private school route for her own family, she stood before the Fargo, North Dakota board and spoke on behalf of the “Let Parents Decide That” Facebook group of community members concerned over allegations that the board has concealed – and will continue to conceal – children’s gender identities from their families.
“Whose kids are these? Do they belong to you as a school board? Do they belong to Fargo Public Schools or is each parent’s child ultimately the decision-maker in their family over what is allowed and what is safe for that child…?
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“There is no possible way for each teacher to know every kid as intimately as their parents do,” she said at a board meeting last Tuesday.
“Parenting 101: You teach your kids that nobody that asks you to keep a secret is safe,” she continued.
Schmidt told Fox News Digital about her role in advocating for parental rights in her community and how a Facebook group she helped found to push back against mask mandates during the COVID pandemic in 2021 continues to strive for the overall wellbeing of children while offering a voice to parents who feel they have none.
After two years, the group has over two thousand members.
“It [mask mandates] was something at the time that was really hard for parents to talk about. They were really being shamed into silence. Nobody wanted to look like the selfish parent that didn’t want to protect all the other kids in class, even though masks have been proven to do nothing. So we really tried to build a community of concerned parents to just kind of support each other,” she explained.
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Schmidt said the group has taken on several key education issues in the two years since its founding, including violence in North Dakota schools and the most recent gender identity concealment issue that garnered media attention in recent days.
“Instead of addressing actual issues that we’re having, they kind of start to take up these social justice flags, and it just gets really frustrating,” she continued.
The most recent issue in the district came after Superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi said, “We will not openly out any student because of one law if we know that that’s going to cause harm to that child” at a May 9 meeting, one day after Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed the state’s HB1522 into law.
HB1522, establishes policy prohibiting districts from taking up pronoun policies and bars the district, boards or teachers from “withhold[ing] or conceal[ing] information about a student’s transgender status from the student’s parent or legal guardian.”
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The law also touches on transgender restroom policies and other LGBTQ+ related key issues.
Still, she said reaching out to state officials to challenge the issue is getting parents nowhere since they continue to kick the issue back to the local level.
“I think what’s happening here is this issue is getting really pigeonholed into an LGBTQ plus issue, and I think people aren’t thinking about it kind of how they should be. It’s really a parents’ rights issue because what’s really happening is the schools are getting in between the student and the parents to gate keep information from the parents,” Schmidt said.
“That is really concerning, and it should be concerning for people on both sides of this LGBTQ issue, whether you’re for it or against it. We should be able to come together and understand that the parent makes the decisions for the child and that protecting kids does not mean hiding information from parents.”
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Schmidt also alleged the board has a history of ignoring parents by refusing to address anything they say. Noting Dr. Gandhi’s remarks about protecting transgender students, she mentioned his discussion about suicide rates among transgender youth.
“If you think about that, that these issues might lead to an increased risk of suicide for the student, that is something that must be shared with the parents, that are responsible for the child in every situation. They spend nights and weekends with the child, long holidays over the summer. Where are the where are the schools in the summer time?
“We’re setting a really bad precedent again over what who’s allowed to have the information, and the parents, in my opinion, should always be allowed all the information on their child.”
When reached for comment on the issue earlier this week, a representative for Fargo Public Schools stated that Gandhi never explicitly said “the district is keeping students’ gender identities hidden from parents.”
Schmidt argued that the language used to convey the district’s message is intentionally vague.
“Whose kids are these? They don’t belong to the schools, and people don’t like to think about children belonging to anybody, but they belong to the parent. They belong to the family,” she said,
“What the school is doing is they’re placing themselves right in the middle of your family, and they’re deciding what’s okay for you to believe. Because if your beliefs don’t align with their beliefs, then they’re going to protect the student from you. They’re teaching kids that keeping secrets from their parents is safe. That is not safe. It is not safe. That’s not how we protect them.”
Four Texas kittens nicknamed the ‘G Litter’ are ready for loving homes
An adorable group of nearly identical orange tabby kittens is available for adoption in Houston, Texas.
The group, which has been nicknamed the “G Litter,” consists of kittens Gregory, Gus, Georgie and Ginger. They are estimated to be 8 weeks old, the Best Friends Animal Society, headquartered in Utah, told Fox News Digital.
Three male kittens and one female kitten make up this cute quartet.
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Despite their young age, they have already traveled quite a long way. The foursome originated in Brownsville, Texas.
“They are a very spirited, curious bunch,” according to the Best Friends Animal Society.
“They are almost identical.”
Typical of most kittens, the group “loves to explore and practice their climbing and pouncing skills,” the shelter said.
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They also like “basking and purring in the sun-filled windowsill.”
The G Litter is ready for adoption, and anyone interested in taking home one (or more) of these kittens can email HoustonAdoption@bestfriends.org.
Orange females like Ginger are relatively uncommon. About 80% of orange cats are male, cat educator and internet personality Hannah Shaw said in a YouTube video.
This is because the color of a cat’s fur is determined by its genes — specifically, its X chromosome.
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Shaw, who known on YouTube as “The Kitten Lady,” explained the gene for fur color is carried by the X chromosome.
This gene is either for black or orange fur.
As male cats receive only one X chromosome from their parents, they will be orange if their X chromosome has the gene for orange fur or black if their X chromosome has the gene for black fur. A female orange kitten would have received orange X chromosomes from both parents.
Conversely, nearly all calico cats, a mixture of orange, black and white, are female, as they received one X chromosome with orange fur genes and one with black fur genes.
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Male calico cats are rare, and they all have a genetic abnormality with two X chromosomes in addition to a Y chromosome, said Shaw.
Summer is often a particularly crowded and busy time for animal shelters, the Best Friends Animal Society told Fox News Digital. Cats in particular are at risk of being euthanized at shelters due to overpopulation.
“While dogs and cats entered shelters at about an equal rate, cats made up 55% of the killing, and dogs were 45%,” according to the Best Friends Animal Society.
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“Cats remain the most vulnerable in shelters, especially during ‘kitten season,’ the summer months when cats reproduce and kittens flood shelters.”
In its annual report released May 31, Best Friends found 57% of shelters in the United States are “no-kill,” an increase from 24% in 2016.
A shelter is considered “no-kill” if it has a save rate of over 90%. About 10% of pets who enter shelters may need human euthanasia due to behavorial or medical problems, according to Best Friends.
Best Friends has a goal of making the United States “no-kill” by 2025.
“We are at the tipping point of taking the country no-kill,” Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends, said in a news release.
“This critical mass of no-kill shelters shows that it’s possible to save every healthy and treatable pet in a shelter, and it’s sustainable. Ninety-three percent of shelters that were no-kill in 2021 were able to maintain it the following year.”
Want to read about other pets up for adoption? Check out this recent article from Fox News Digital: New York cat Julie, rescued from hoarders, needs a new and healthier home
And click here for other Fox News Digital Adoptable Pets stories.
Pro-life pregnancy centers sue NJ over alert alleging the centers engage in ‘deceptive practices’
The New Jersey Consortium of Pregnancy Centers is suing the state over a consumer alert that argues the centers engage in deceptive practices.
Eileen Den Bleyker, an attorney representing the consortium, told Fox News Digital the alerts were a “surprise” to her because the centers, which she says are in compliance with state law, have been serving clients for over 30 years and were not aware of complaints against them.
“Many CPCs do not provide health care at all, despite suggesting to the public that they do,” the consumer alert reads. “CPCs are not licensed medical facilities and do not employ licensed medical professionals, which means that CPC staff likely are not required to keep your health information private or follow medical ethics rules and standards of care. CPCs may also provide false or misleading information about abortion, including the physical and mental health effects of abortion, to deter people from choosing abortion.”
“Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, the first thing we said was, ‘What is the problem?’ If there is a problem, we want to know about it, we want to see where it is, we want to correct it,” Den Bleyker said. “… We focused their attention on those and asked for documents to support those (claims)… where are the facts?”
The attorney, who is also a member of the board of directors of a pregnancy center, first submitted a government records request asking for information about complaints against the pregnancy centers, a list of the centers and any investigations into them. The state replied that they needed a time extension, which was granted. A month later, government records request officials said the request was not proper because the consortium did not adequately describe what they were looking for.
PROFESSOR HURLS STUDENTS’ PRO-LIFE DISPLAY AFTER PROFANITY-LACED TIRADE: ‘TRIGGERING MY STUDENTS’
Den Bleyker sent another detailed request and says she was told a list of the pregnancy centers and documented complaints against them did not exist. Further requested information about the consumer alert claims was denied. The centers tried to avoid litigation by reaching out to the attorney general’s office for a meeting, but they did not respond to the request and the case is currently pending.
“If there is a problem, why wouldn’t (they) tell us about it so it can be corrected?,” she said. “Why not have a dialogue with the pregnancy centers? I just fail to understand. Other industries, they would reach out to correct problems.”
Den Bleyker argues the alert, which warns citizens the centers try to prevent women from getting abortions, is “outright false” because abortion has been legal in New Jersey since 1973 and the Dobbs decision did not change that.
“They are implying a motive that is just not true and how can you ever prove someone’s motive… which makes me skeptical about this alert,” she explained. “…We would like to see where they are coming up with the facts to say that.”
The state’s allegations that “some” pregnancy centers engage in deceptive practices is nefarious, according to the plaintiff, because there is no way to distinguish between the “bad actors” and those complying with the law. While the state alleges centers use unlicensed individuals, the attorney said ultrasound sonographers are not licensed by the state of New Jersey. She said claims the centers, which often provide material needs, support services and parenting classes, have people wearing lab coats and pretending they are medical clinics are “ludicrous.”
“When you have something that is put out in this fashion, allegations like this, there is no way to defend against it. It is totally unfair,” Den Bleyker argued. “If you were being charged with a crime, by the state or a law enforcement agency, the law requires that they come and set out the allegations so you can defend it and then they have to prove it. They can’t just say something without proof behind it.”
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Den Bleyker said it is important because Americans must make sure the state’s power protects all citizens, not just those who share the viewpoint of those in power.
“The case is so important to a healthy democracy,” she said. “The question is: are citizens who are impacted by a government action entitled to know the facts the government relied on when they took that action?’’ It could be anything. It could be abortion today. It could be school segregation tomorrow. It could be any hot topic of the day and our position is the citizens do have a right to know. The government is accountable to us and we need this information to protect ourselves in this context.”
Fox News reached out to the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs to ask why they believe the centers engage in deceptive practices. They had no comment at this time.
California judge robbed of Rolex, car keys by 3 men at gunpoint in broad daylight: police
The judge was left unscathed and called the police immediately after the thieves fled the scene.
Exclusive: The last living Jimmy Hoffa suspect’s shocking claim
He has not talked about Jimmy Hoffa since 1975.
Now, Gabriel Briguglio, the last Jimmy Hoffa suspect still alive, has decided to speak out to me and Fox News.
“I have nothing to hide,” he says. “I was home that night … and If they don’t want to believe me, that’s their business.”
Briguglio is 84 years old and has lived his life for nearly five decades under the shadow of suspicion he murdered Jimmy Hoffa.
FBI WON’T GIVE UP EFFORT TO SOLVE THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JIMMY HOFFA
He says the FBI, federal prosecutors and the media were all hoodwinked by a lying mob informer who misdirected the investigation in its early stages with self-serving, fabricated claims that only served to damage the investigation. The result, he says, has been a false narrative cemented in the American public’s mind of what happened and who was responsible.
“A lot of time was wasted,” he says. “I wish that they really get it through their mind to ‘X’ me out of that and say that it’s impossible because I have all the proof in the world that I wasn’t even involved in anything and what I was doing I was doing, what I said I was doing.”
Gabe is a retired New Jersey truck driver and Teamsters Union local vice president and business agent who, through the years, has also been called a suspected member of the New Jersey Genovese crime family. It is a label he pointedly denies and says he has long given up trying to do anything about.
“My kids, even now to this day, are wondering why I am even here, doing the interview with you,” he said in the emotional Fox Nation television taping with me as he teared up thinking about the damage that the years of Hoffa allegations have done to his family. He is married but separated and has four adult children who have lived under the Hoffa shadow since they were children.
“I think it hurt my kids more than it hurt me because I know I was not involved,” he says. “They knew that what they were saying about me wasn’t true.”
Gabe told me that he is finally speaking out to correct the record. His interview can be seen in the latest episode of our Hoffa investigation series, “Riddle, The Search for James R. Hoffa,” streaming on Fox Nation.
“I don’t know how much longer I have to live. I hope that it’s a long time. But for whatever time I have left, I want to get it off my head, I want to let it be known,” he said.
His name first became forever linked with Hoffa a few months after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters president disappeared. Gabe was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury investigating the case in Detroit and in a lineup as one of the key suspects.
Hoffa, the legendary labor leader who had been president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, vanished July 30, 1975. It is believed he was on his way to a mob meeting with powerful Detroit family mob boss Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone and New Jersey Teamsters Union Local President Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, who was also a volatile and feared Capo in the Genovese crime family.
Hoffa, who had been released from federal prison on fraud and bribery charges, was determined to regain his old job as the Teamsters president, and the sit-down was meant to advance his goal. But the Mafia was against it, and it was Hoffa’s bullheaded intransigence in not stepping aside that cost him his life.
He was last seen climbing into a car in the parking lot of the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan restaurant, The Machus Red Fox, just over the Detroit city line.
Besides Gabe, the other New Jersey-based suspects, along with “Tony Pro,” were three other New Jersey men who investigators said were part of Tony Pro’s crew. They were Gabe’s brother, Sal Briguglio, and another pair of brothers, Thomas and Steven Andretta.
The 1976 FBI Hoffex report, the bureau-wide compilation of the investigation, said Gabe was “a trusted associate of ‘Tony Pro’ reported by Newark source to be involved in the actual disappearance of JRH” … James Riddle Hoffa.
FOX NATION REVEALS JIMMY HOFFA COULD BE BURIED UNDER NJ BRIDGE AS SEARCH CONTINUES
For decades, the media and books portrayed Gabe as one of Hoffa’s Mafia killers.
“Provenzano plotted to kill Hoffa, with the help of an associate, Gabriel Briguglio;” or “Gabriel waited to ambush Hoffa;” or “the second suspected hitman was Gabriel Briguglio.” As recently as last year, articles alleged Gabe “was involved in Hoffa’s murder,” or that he was “potentially part of a ‘clean-up crew’ tasked with getting rid of Hoffa’s body” and that “he belonged to Tony Pro’s New Jersey mob crew.”
Gabe says he was in New Jersey playing cards in a union hall the day Hoffa disappeared, paid a contractor for re-siding his East Rutherford, New Jersey, house with aluminum siding and came home from work as usual to be greeted by his kids.
“I was playing Greek rummy at lunchtime. Then, I had a meeting at one of my companies to discuss a problem with the contract, and then, from there, I had to be at my house that was being sided.”
An FBI report confirms Gabe was re-siding his house in East Rutherford, New Jersey, that month. Gabe says he paid Jersey Home Sales for the job on the day Hoffa disappeared because it was the end of the month and the job had been completed. Fox News attempted to confirm the transaction with the company, but it went out of business.
Gabe says to this day the FBI never asked him what he was doing on the day Hoffa vanished.
“They ever asked me anything about where I was, not even once,” he says. “Never did.”
“When they first came to see me with the warrant to go to Detroit, because they said I was involved in (Hoffa’s) disappearance … that’s when, forget about it. You know, I got even more aggravated because they don’t even ask you, ‘Where were you?’ or ‘What were you doing that day?’ I know what I was doing. I can’t forget. I won $600 bucks that day,” he said, referring to his card playing winnings.
“I couldn’t believe that somebody would put my name in there, until I found out it was Picardo.”
Ralph Picardo was a young mobster in Tony Pro’s crew, his former driver who was serving more than 20 years in Trenton State Prison for murder. He told the FBI he believed Tony Pro’s men had killed Hoffa and that Gabe was one of them. The feds then took Picardo’s story and used it to empanel a grand jury in Detroit in December 1975, five months after Hoffa vanished.
“When I heard it was him, I knew right away what he had in mind. He wanted to get out of jail,” says Gabe. “That’s the only way that he was going to get out. He’s got to look for the best story that he could make up that would be believable, because he’s a believable liar. That’s exactly what he did.”
Picardo’s plan worked.
The young mobster was sprung from prison, placed in the Witness Protection Program and has since died. But as the feds started to roll out Picardo in succeeding cases after Hoffa in 1975, it became clear he encountered serious credibility problems. His veracity was eventually exposed as so non-existent even Picardo’s FBI handler in the Hoffa case did not buy what he was claiming.
Jim Dooley, one of Picardo’s FBI case agents, said last year that he “would not believe a word that came out of (Picardo’s) mouth, ‘including a and the,’ to quote Mary McCarthy, unless there was independent corroboration.”
Dooley told Harvard Law professor and author Jack Goldsmith of the Lawfareblog that Picardo would “take the little he knew firsthand and extend it as far as he could, using what he heard, up to and including gossip.”
“That was Ralph” Dooley said. “We put up with him because he was the only game in town.”
Picardo “hated prison,” and his claims were “a gambit to get out of jail and get him and his family into the Witness Protection Program. (In this goal Picardo eventually succeeded),” Goldsmith wrote.
“How can you take a guy that’s such a liar?” Gabe asked.
JIMMY HOFFA MYSTERY: A LOOK AT THEORIES AS FBI INVESTIGATES POSSIBLE LEAD
Picardo claimed suspect Steven Andretta spilled the story to him during a prison visit, but even the FBI’s own documents show Picardo was merely guessing.
Picardo “speculated” that “if” Tony Pro was involved, it would “figure” that the Andrettas and Briguglios were also involved in Hoffa’s disappearance, the FBI report says. Observers point out that the mob stoolie did not provide any hard evidence to authorities, but they pounced on his guesses because they had no other leads. Gabe acknowledges that no witness, physical evidence or any other statements have backed up what Picardo said.
Picardo’s unraveling then started after the feds used him in the Hoffa case.
Court documents branded Picardo “a liar,” “a pathological liar,” “off-the-wall” and a “little crazy.” He “used relatives without their knowledge to further his criminal schemes, and that he believed self-preservation was ‘the name of the game.’” It was also revealed that he had been held in the psychiatric wing of the Trenton State Prison.
The New York Times reported that Picardo was “fond of telling federal agents stories that had no basis in fact.”
Then, in 1981, Picardo set his sights a little higher than Gabe, “Tony Pro” and the others.
He aimed at the White House.
President Ronald Reagan had nominated New Jersey construction company executive Raymond Donovan as his administration’s labor secretary. Picardo told his FBI handlers that Donovan had given him payoffs for labor peace. His allegations against the secretary-designate hit Washington, D.C., like a bombshell.
The U.S. Senate Labor Subcommittee held hearings on Donovan’s nomination, and he was blunt and direct in his testimony about Picardo’s claims.
Donovan told the senators: “Picardo is lying. I know he is lying. In fact, I believe he’s a pathological liar. … There are witnesses … who call him ‘a wacko,’ ‘off the wall,’ ‘full of s—.’ OK? And a pathological liar.”
Special Prosecutor Leon Silverman was appointed to investigate Picardo’s claims, and after the grand jury rejected Picardo’s accusations against Donovan, the prosecutor was forced to reveal what certainly must have been an embarrassing revelation: Picardo had lied.
“The source (Picardo) admitted having deliberately lied about all of the allegations and stated that none of them were true … the source stated that the source had deliberately fabricated the allegations … that the allegations had all been lies,” Silverman wrote to the panel of federal judges overseeing the case.
Donovan said he told Silverman Picardo should be charged with perjury, but the government again gave Picardo a break, and he never faced any charges.
Picardo also broke the law while he was in the Witness Protection Program.
Two days before Christmas in 1975, he escaped from the Special Protection unit where he was being held in the federal prison in Portland, Maine. A warrant was issued for his arrest. And when he was nabbed in New York two months later, the U.S. Attorney spared him and declined to press charges.
Gabe did end up serving two years in federal prison in an unrelated labor racketeering case, which he says was a setup. The prosecution’s main witness against him: Ralph Picardo.
He also denies having ever been in the Mafia.
FBI SAYS JIMMY HOFFA’S REMAINS NOT BURIED UNDER NEW JERSEY’S PULASKI SKYWAY; DECADES-OLD MYSTERY CONTINUES
“No way. They can all think what they want to think,” he says. “I didn’t participate in anything to do with the mob.”
His brother Sal, however, was a suspected mob hitman for “Tony Pro.”
“That was his life,” Gabe says. “I don’t speak for him.”
Sal was gunned down gangland style in 1978, three years after Hoffa disappeared, as he left a Mafia social club in Manhattan’s Little Italy. It was believed “Tony Pro” feared Sal was going to testify against him in a murder of a New Jersey Teamsters official more than a decade earlier. Sal’s killing is still unsolved.
Some reports have also long claimed that Sal was the actual shooter of Jimmy Hoffa. But Gabe says that was impossible because, on the day Hoffa vanished, his brother was sitting in a dentist chair in New Jersey.
“The day that they claimed he was involved in the Hoffa’s thing, he had periodontal work done on his mouth,” he explained. “During the morning, I saw him in the office when I started to play cards, and then he said, ‘I’m leaving to go to the dentist.’ He says, ‘I got this thing and it’s killing me.”
Gabe and his family say his is a story of faulty assumptions, false accusations, inaccurate reporting and a criminal justice system that offers no remedy to correct misguided judgments that tar a person for life.
Others believe Picardo was credible.
Dan Moldea, a noted Hoffa case expert and author of a 1978 book, “The Hoffa Wars,” has said, “As far as the disposal of the body, Picardo is the state of the art.” He has said that Picardo’s story that Tony Pro’s crew was involved and transported Hoffa’s remains to New Jersey fits the FBI timeline of the Hoffa case.
“Picardo was one of the boys,” Moldea has told Fox Nation. “He was one of the Provenzano crew, He was close friends with all of these guys. We are not dealing with a bunch of Boy Scouts here. This guy was a killer, and this is the world we’re living in.”
Picardo’s son has also told me he thinks his father was telling the truth.
But others say the rush by law enforcement to embrace Picardo’s claims diverted attention from the real culprits.
“I don’t believe Gabe Briguglio killed Jimmy Hoffa or was anywhere near Jimmy Hoffa when he was killed,” says noted organized crime journalist Scott Burnstein, who publishes the website Gangster Report and co-hosts the podcast Original Gangsters.
He says the perception that the East Coast mob carried out Hoffa’s murder is just wrong.
“I don’t believe that the New Jersey Provenzano crew really had that much to do with the Hoffa conspiracy. It was all based on speculation, and second-, third – and fourth-hand information.”
Even the former head of the Detroit Organized Crime Strike Force, Keith Corbett, who oversaw the Hoffa case as a top federal prosecutor, believes Gabe was not Hoffa’s killer.
“I know people who’ve been involved in the strike forces have felt very strongly, some of them, about the New Jersey connection, and people whose opinions I respect. But, personally, the answer to that question is no,” Corbett says.
He and Burnstein do not fault prosecutors for pursuing Picardo’s tip at the time because he appeared plausible and the FBI had little, if anything credible, to go on.
“It was the best information they had available at the time,” Corbett said
“What you have to do, if you’re the bureau, you do some assessment and say, ‘Look, is this guy a person who might have been in a position to know this?’ And I think the answer to that question is yes. And if you determine that he might have known this, then I think you have to follow it out,” he said.
“In August 1975, that was a great tip,” says Burnstein. “It hasn’t aged well, but at the time, I wouldn’t fault any investigator from running that lead down.”
Both believe that Hoffa was kidnapped and killed by the Detroit Mafia.
After Gabe appeared in the lineup without being identified, he went home to New Jersey, but the Hoffa case has never left him. He says he hopes to meet Hoffa’s son, former Teamsters President James P. Hoffa, and his daughter, retired Missouri Judge Barbara Crancer, to share his story.
Gabe also believes the time and effort that law enforcement expended on Picardo ultimately damaged the investigation.
“If they had not listened to that kid (Picardo), maybe they might have resolved it,” he says.
“I’m the only suspect that’s around. There’s nothing that they can get from me that I know, because I don’t know anything.”
To this day, Gabe has never been charged, let alone found guilty in the Hoffa case.
Requests for comment about Gabe were not returned by the FBI.
Watch the interview with Gabe Briguglio on Fox Nation’s new episode of “Riddle, The Search For James R. Hoffa.” And catch the five previous programs that investigate one of the greatest continuing mysteries in American history.