• https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/08/canada-conservative-leader-andrew-scheer-panders-to-imam-who-hates-israel-and-sanctions-wife-beating "The growing Muslim populations in the West have led inevitably to politicians pandering to them, with little or no critical thought or care to avoid Islamic leaders who preach values opposed to Western values."
    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/08/canada-conservative-leader-andrew-scheer-panders-to-imam-who-hates-israel-and-sanctions-wife-beating "The growing Muslim populations in the West have led inevitably to politicians pandering to them, with little or no critical thought or care to avoid Islamic leaders who preach values opposed to Western values."
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  • CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates [Ric Notes: "Having CNN "Sponsor" The Democratic Debates, Would Be Like Having King Menelaus Sponsor The Trojan Olympics."]
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/02/cnns-industry-spin-shows-need-independent-debates
    Julie Hollar

    CNN painfully demonstrated this week why we need independently run presidential debates. With its ESPN-like introductions to the candidates, and its insistence on questions that pit candidates against each other, CNN took an approach to the debates more befitting a football game than an exercise in democracy.

    The CNN hosts moderated as if they weren’t even listening to what candidates were saying, inflexibly cutting them off after the inevitably too-short 30-to-60-second time limit—in order to offer another, often seemingly randomly selected, candidate the generic prompt, “Your response?” At times, these followed on each other so many times it was unclear what the candidate was even supposed to respond to, or why.

    Bernie Sanders and John Delaney at CNN's Democratic debate

    CNN started its first debate (7/30/19) by challenging Bernie Sanders to respond to an attack on Medicare for All from Rep. John Delaney.
    But worse than the entirely unhelpful format was the heavy reliance on right-wing assumptions and talking points to frame the questions. Over the two nights, healthcare dominated the debates; the first night (7/30/19), CNN‘s Jake Tapper kicked off the questions with one to Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    You support Medicare for All, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored healthcare for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, he has called the idea “political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected.” What do you say to Congressman Delaney?

    Debate moderators will typically start with top-polling contenders and challenge them to defend their positions. Doing so with attacks from a contender polling below 1%, however, would seem unusual—except that in this case, the candidate unpopular with the public voiced an opinion very popular in corporate media.

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at CNN's Democratic debate

    The second night of the Detroit debates (7/31/19) also started out with CNN attacking Medicare for All—this time forcing Kamala Harris to respond to criticism from Joe Biden.

    It was a particularly noteworthy tactic, given that the next night (7/31/19), which also started off with healthcare, CNN lobbed the first challenge to Kamala Harris (polling around fourth place) in the form of an attack on her version of Medicare for All from the top-polling Biden campaign—letting the front-runner start off on the offensive.

    Tapper queried multiple candidates the first night about raising taxes on “middle-class Americans” to pay for Medicare for All, and when the floor came back to Sanders, he rebuked Tapper: “By the way, the healthcare industry will be advertising tonight, on this program, with that talking point.”

    Tapper quickly cut him off, but CNN‘s commercial breaks that night, as observers pointed out, indeed featured healthcare industry ads. In one, the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future—an industry group—ran an ad talking about how Medicare for All or the public option means “higher taxes or higher premiums; lower-quality care.”

    In other words, CNN debate viewers got industry talking points on healthcare from CNN moderators, bottom-tier industry-friendly candidates given outsized speaking time, and industry advertisements.

    Meanwhile, on the first night, CNN asked more non-policy questions (17)—primarily about whether some Democratic candidates were “moving too far to the left to win the White House”—than questions about the climate crisis (15). Across both nights, the 31 non-policy questions overwhelmed questions on important issues like gun control (11) and women’s rights (7).

    The second round of debates may not have enlightened the public much about the candidates, but they made one thing clear: We desperately need serious, independently run debates, not over-the-top industry-friendly spectacles of the sort put on by CNN—and endorsed and gate-kept by the major parties.
    CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates [Ric Notes: "Having CNN "Sponsor" The Democratic Debates, Would Be Like Having King Menelaus Sponsor The Trojan Olympics."] https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/02/cnns-industry-spin-shows-need-independent-debates Julie Hollar CNN painfully demonstrated this week why we need independently run presidential debates. With its ESPN-like introductions to the candidates, and its insistence on questions that pit candidates against each other, CNN took an approach to the debates more befitting a football game than an exercise in democracy. The CNN hosts moderated as if they weren’t even listening to what candidates were saying, inflexibly cutting them off after the inevitably too-short 30-to-60-second time limit—in order to offer another, often seemingly randomly selected, candidate the generic prompt, “Your response?” At times, these followed on each other so many times it was unclear what the candidate was even supposed to respond to, or why. Bernie Sanders and John Delaney at CNN's Democratic debate CNN started its first debate (7/30/19) by challenging Bernie Sanders to respond to an attack on Medicare for All from Rep. John Delaney. But worse than the entirely unhelpful format was the heavy reliance on right-wing assumptions and talking points to frame the questions. Over the two nights, healthcare dominated the debates; the first night (7/30/19), CNN‘s Jake Tapper kicked off the questions with one to Sen. Bernie Sanders: You support Medicare for All, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored healthcare for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, he has called the idea “political suicide that will just get President Trump re-elected.” What do you say to Congressman Delaney? Debate moderators will typically start with top-polling contenders and challenge them to defend their positions. Doing so with attacks from a contender polling below 1%, however, would seem unusual—except that in this case, the candidate unpopular with the public voiced an opinion very popular in corporate media. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at CNN's Democratic debate The second night of the Detroit debates (7/31/19) also started out with CNN attacking Medicare for All—this time forcing Kamala Harris to respond to criticism from Joe Biden. It was a particularly noteworthy tactic, given that the next night (7/31/19), which also started off with healthcare, CNN lobbed the first challenge to Kamala Harris (polling around fourth place) in the form of an attack on her version of Medicare for All from the top-polling Biden campaign—letting the front-runner start off on the offensive. Tapper queried multiple candidates the first night about raising taxes on “middle-class Americans” to pay for Medicare for All, and when the floor came back to Sanders, he rebuked Tapper: “By the way, the healthcare industry will be advertising tonight, on this program, with that talking point.” Tapper quickly cut him off, but CNN‘s commercial breaks that night, as observers pointed out, indeed featured healthcare industry ads. In one, the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future—an industry group—ran an ad talking about how Medicare for All or the public option means “higher taxes or higher premiums; lower-quality care.” In other words, CNN debate viewers got industry talking points on healthcare from CNN moderators, bottom-tier industry-friendly candidates given outsized speaking time, and industry advertisements. Meanwhile, on the first night, CNN asked more non-policy questions (17)—primarily about whether some Democratic candidates were “moving too far to the left to win the White House”—than questions about the climate crisis (15). Across both nights, the 31 non-policy questions overwhelmed questions on important issues like gun control (11) and women’s rights (7). The second round of debates may not have enlightened the public much about the candidates, but they made one thing clear: We desperately need serious, independently run debates, not over-the-top industry-friendly spectacles of the sort put on by CNN—and endorsed and gate-kept by the major parties.
    CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates
    We desperately need serious, independently run debates, not over-the-top industry-friendly spectacles of the sort put on by CNN—and endorsed and gate-kept by the major parties... CNN painfully demonstrated this week why we need independently run presidential debates. With its ESPN-like introductions to the candidates, and its insistence on questions that pit candidates against each other, CNN took an approach to the debates more befitting a football game than an exercise in democracy.
    WWW.COMMONDREAMS.ORG
    1
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  • *Happy Independence Day*

    IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

    New Hampshire:
    Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

    Massachusetts:
    John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

    Rhode Island:
    Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

    Connecticut:
    Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

    New York:
    William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

    New Jersey:
    Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

    Pennsylvania:
    Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

    Delaware:
    Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

    Maryland:
    Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    Virginia:
    George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

    North Carolina:
    William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

    South Carolina:
    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

    Georgia:
    Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
    *Happy Independence Day* IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
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  • "This is all just “ah well, you know, there was a boat that maybe they attacked, maybe they’re terrorists, you know, all kinds of possibilities with these people.” Starting a much more serious war on so much less stable propaganda grounds is going to lead to people being very angry. And it is inevitably going to lead to Jews being blamed. There simply is not a real explanation for any of this beyond “Israel controls America’s foreign policy.”" - Andrew Anglin

    https://dailystormer.name/nyt-trump-was-planning-to-attack-iran-thursday-called-it-off-at-the-last-minute/
    "This is all just “ah well, you know, there was a boat that maybe they attacked, maybe they’re terrorists, you know, all kinds of possibilities with these people.” Starting a much more serious war on so much less stable propaganda grounds is going to lead to people being very angry. And it is inevitably going to lead to Jews being blamed. There simply is not a real explanation for any of this beyond “Israel controls America’s foreign policy.”" - Andrew Anglin https://dailystormer.name/nyt-trump-was-planning-to-attack-iran-thursday-called-it-off-at-the-last-minute/
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  • The #PerfectPearl
    June 9 Again, #theKingdomOfHeaven is like a #merchant seeking #finePearls, and upon finding one #pearl of #greatValue, he went and #soldAllThatHeHad and #boughtIt … "But #seekFirst His #kingdom and His #righteousness, and #allTheseThings will be #added to you.” #Matthew13:45-46; #Matthew6:33

    #Sunrise: #PearlSeeking time. The #gemMerchant has one #passion, one #pursuit, one #goal for #hisDay, #finding the #perfectPearl. All other #concerns #turnToAsh in the #fire of that #objective. Finding the perfect pearl, he doesn’t #negotiate. He wants it at #anyPrice. #Sunrises are followed #inevitably by #sunsets. The #sunset is the test of #trueValue. Only the sunset #reveals whether the sunrise #pursuits were #worthIt.


    #Jesus promises that if our sunrise #quest is #GodsKingdom, we #arrive at the sunset of #life #recognizing we have the #pearlOfGreatPrice—and #allElseWeNeededAlongTheWay. https://mailchi.mp/62f72aeb3022/his-image-452477?e=9cbe669f39 #YHWH #Christ #JesusChrist #Lord #Yeshuah #OneTrueGod #TheLivingGod #RisenOne #GodAlmighty #GreatestTreasure #WhatMoneyCanBuy #heaven #promise #dailyinspiration #success #motivationalquote #dailymotivation #inspiration #victory #lifehack #sales #Jewlery #FineJewlery
    The #PerfectPearl June 9 Again, #theKingdomOfHeaven is like a #merchant seeking #finePearls, and upon finding one #pearl of #greatValue, he went and #soldAllThatHeHad and #boughtIt … "But #seekFirst His #kingdom and His #righteousness, and #allTheseThings will be #added to you.” #Matthew13:45-46; #Matthew6:33 #Sunrise: #PearlSeeking time. The #gemMerchant has one #passion, one #pursuit, one #goal for #hisDay, #finding the #perfectPearl. All other #concerns #turnToAsh in the #fire of that #objective. Finding the perfect pearl, he doesn’t #negotiate. He wants it at #anyPrice. #Sunrises are followed #inevitably by #sunsets. The #sunset is the test of #trueValue. Only the sunset #reveals whether the sunrise #pursuits were #worthIt. #Jesus promises that if our sunrise #quest is #GodsKingdom, we #arrive at the sunset of #life #recognizing we have the #pearlOfGreatPrice—and #allElseWeNeededAlongTheWay. https://mailchi.mp/62f72aeb3022/his-image-452477?e=9cbe669f39 #YHWH #Christ #JesusChrist #Lord #Yeshuah #OneTrueGod #TheLivingGod #RisenOne #GodAlmighty #GreatestTreasure #WhatMoneyCanBuy #heaven #promise #dailyinspiration #success #motivationalquote #dailymotivation #inspiration #victory #lifehack #sales #Jewlery #FineJewlery
    The Perfect Pearl
    Only the sunset reveals whether the sunrise pursuits were worth it.
    MAILCHI.MP
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  • Haha! Looks good on the flaming hypocrite.

    I tried to post this comment on the CHCH comments section but they make it impossible:

    I have never agreed with "human rights" laws mandating that cab drivers accept passengers with service animals. The last thing you want is a cab driver who is driven to panic and distraction for reasons similar to those cited by Susan Creer.

    It's unsafe.

    When I once voiced my opinion on a cab driver forum I was solidly denounced with some people declaring that people who are afraid of dogs should not be driving cabs in the first place. I wonder if the same logic will be applied to Susan Creer's complaint?

    Over a forty-plus year span of experience in the cab business, I can say with confidence that there are always plenty of drivers willing to take animals. I never had a problem with it. I love dogs. I often used to joke with the dispatchers that I would rather take dogs than many of our human passengers.

    The problem with so many SJW-based "human rights" these days is that they inevitably come into conflict with each other.

    The Mayor defends his behavior by stating that he likes his dog. I like my smokes. I wish I could have used the same excuse when I got fined for smoking in my cab.

    It will be interesting to see where this case goes. Maybe cab drivers will finally have their rights respected too.

    https://www.chch.com/mayors-dog-at-odds
    Haha! Looks good on the flaming hypocrite. I tried to post this comment on the CHCH comments section but they make it impossible: I have never agreed with "human rights" laws mandating that cab drivers accept passengers with service animals. The last thing you want is a cab driver who is driven to panic and distraction for reasons similar to those cited by Susan Creer. It's unsafe. When I once voiced my opinion on a cab driver forum I was solidly denounced with some people declaring that people who are afraid of dogs should not be driving cabs in the first place. I wonder if the same logic will be applied to Susan Creer's complaint? Over a forty-plus year span of experience in the cab business, I can say with confidence that there are always plenty of drivers willing to take animals. I never had a problem with it. I love dogs. I often used to joke with the dispatchers that I would rather take dogs than many of our human passengers. The problem with so many SJW-based "human rights" these days is that they inevitably come into conflict with each other. The Mayor defends his behavior by stating that he likes his dog. I like my smokes. I wish I could have used the same excuse when I got fined for smoking in my cab. It will be interesting to see where this case goes. Maybe cab drivers will finally have their rights respected too. https://www.chch.com/mayors-dog-at-odds
    Mayor’s dog at odds
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  • BUILDING BABIES BRAINS
    Brazil’s audacious plan to fight poverty using neuroscience and parents’ love
    By Jenny AndersonJune 29, 2018

    Osmar Terra is a tall man with a deep voice and an easy laugh—one that disguises the scale of his ambition to transform Brazilian society. A federal representative for nearly two decades, he is the driving force behind the world’s biggest experiment to prove that teaching poor parents how to love and nurture their infants will dramatically influence what kind of adults they become, and give Brazil its best shot at changing its current trajectory of violence, inequality, and poverty.

    Terra, aged 68, first became obsessed with the question of how humans develop nearly 30 years ago. As a cardiologist in the 1990s, he would read endless research papers about the neuroscience of early childhood. When he entered politics, becoming mayor of Santa Rosa in Rio Grande do Sul in 1992, he continued to grapple with the question, even studying for a master’s degree in neuroscience. The science, he believed, should lead to smart policy. As a doctor and a manager, a mayor and a state health secretary, he was always trying to figure out how to to tackle poverty head-on. “In every single activity I always ask myself, ‘What is the public policy that can be more transformative?'” he says. “How can we most dramatically improve the quality of life for our citizens, their health, their education?”

    The answer to that question, he came to realize, lay in starting at the beginning, at pregnancy, and in the first few years of a child’s life.

    Decades of groundbreaking research shows that the love and sense of safety experienced by a baby directly impacts how the child’s brain is wired. Adversity—especially persistent, stress-triggering adversity like neglect and abuse—hampers that development, and can result in poorer health, educational attainment, and early death. While science underpins his mission, Terra’s palpable passion for the topic and his skill at politicking eventually led him to create Criança Feliz, a highly ambitious parent coaching program he helped launch in 2017 to try and reach four million pregnant women and children by 2020.

    Under Criança Feliz, an army of trained social workers—a sort of national baby corps—are dispatched to the poorest corners of Brazil. Traveling by boat—sometimes battling crocodiles and floods—by foot, by car, by truck and by bus, these social workers go to people’s homes to show them how to play, sing, and show affection to their infants and young children. They explain to parents why this matters: Emotional safety underpins cognitive growth. Intelligence is not fixed, but formed through experience.

    HANNAH YI
    Home visitor, Sissi Elisabeth Gimenes visits a family in Arujá
    Parent coaching, and specifically, home visiting, is not new. The most famous study, which took place in Jamaica in the 1970s, showed that well-trained home visitors supporting poor mothers with weekly visits for two years led to big improvements in children’s cognition, behavior, and future earnings. One group of infants in that program who received coaching in their earliest years earned 25% more than a control group more than 20 years later.

    But Brazil’s ambition is audacious. No city or country has ever attempted to reach so many people in such a short amount of time. (The largest program doing this now is probably in Peru, reaching about 100,000 families; Criança Feliz is already reaching 300,000.) “They are raising the bar for what is possible nationally,” says Jan Sanderson, the former deputy minister of children from Manitoba, Canada, who is an expert in home visiting and recently traveled to observe the program.

    Talking to lawmakers in Brazil can feel like wandering around a neuroscience convention.
    Just how Brazil—a massive country with endemic poverty and grating inequality—came to embrace parent coaching as the next frontier in combating poverty is a story of Terra’s political will, the strategic savvy of a few foundations, the pivotal role of a Harvard program, and the compassion of a growing group of unlikely allies, from communists to far-right wing politicians. Talking to lawmakers in Brazil can feel like wandering around a neuroscience convention: One senator from the south can’t stop talking about working memory, while a mayor from the northern town of Boa Vista in Roirama state is fixated on synapse connection. At least 68 senators and congresspeople, judges, and mayors have converted to the cause, becoming evangelical in their focus on early childhood development.

    “I believe that this is the solution, not only for Brazil, but for any country in the world in terms of security, public security, education, and health care,” says José Medeiros, a senator from the state of Mato Grosso who heads the parliamentary committee on early childhood development. “It’s a cheap solution.”

    Terra’s claims are more dramatic. “We will change the world, starting from the very beginning.”

    Those words are hardly surprising coming from the man whom Ely Harasawa, Criança Feliz’s director, calls the program’s “godfather.” But the devil, of course, is in the details—and in Terra and his allies’ ability to steer a course through some rather treacherous political terrain.

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    Criança Feliz in action
    On a hot day in May, Adriana Miranda, a 22-year-old accounting student, visits Gabriela Carolina Herrera Campero, also 22, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her third child. Campero arrived in Brazil less than a year ago from Venezuela, fleeing with her husband and two children from that country’s financial collapse and ensuing chaos. She lives in Boa Vista, a city in the north of Brazil where 10% of the population are estimated to be refugees.

    HANNAH YI
    Adriana Miranda visits Gabriela Carolina Herrera Campero, who fled Venezuela’s financial collapse with her family one year ago.
    The two women greet each other warmly and start chatting, in spite of the fact that Miranda is speaking in Portuguese and Campero in Spanish. They sit together on plastic chairs on a concrete patio as Miranda goes through a checklist of questions about the pregnancy. Has Campero been to her prenatal visits? (Yes.) How is she feeling? (Hot.) Is she drinking enough water? (Yes.) And walking? (When it’s not too hot.) Is she depressed or anxious? (No, but worried, yes.) Does she feel supported by her husband? (Yes.) How is she sleeping and what kinds of foods is she eating? (She’s not sleeping well because she always has to pee, and she is eating a lot of fruit.)

    Miranda moves on to talking with Campero about attachment—how to create a strong bond with a baby in utero, and also once the baby is born. Does she know that at five months, the baby can hear her and that her voice will provide comfort to the baby when it is born?

    “It’s important the baby feel the love we are transmitting. When he is in distress, he will know your voice and it will calm him,” says Miranda.

    JENNY ANDERSON
    The curriculum.
    It’s a topic they have discussed before. Campero is eager to show what she has learned about the baby. (A part of the program requires that visitors check for knowledge.) “It has five senses, and if I talk, he will know my voice,” she says. “The baby will develop more.” They discuss the importance of cuddling a baby and being patient.

    Having a baby in the best of circumstances can be challenging. As an impoverished refugee, in a new country, it can be utterly overwhelming.


    I ask Campero, in Spanish, whether the program has been helpful. After all, she already has two kids. Doesn’t she know what to expect? She starts to cry. “They have helped me emotionally,” she says. “She has taught me so many things I didn’t know.” For example, she didn’t know to read to a baby, or that her baby could hear her in utero. Her son used to hit her belly; he now sings songs to the baby because she explained to him what she learned from Miranda. “I feel supported,” she tells me.

    ”I raised my kids as if I were taking care of a plant,” Medeiros recalls.
    Many people, rich and poor alike, have no idea what infants are capable of. Psychologists and neuroscientists believe they are creative geniuses, able to process information in far more sophisticated ways than we ever knew. But for that genius to show itself, the baby needs to feel safe and loved and to have attention.

    Medeiros explains how he viewed parenting before he went to the Harvard program.

    ”I raised my kids as if I were taking care of a plant,” he recalls. “You give them food, you take care of them.” He says he did the best he could, but “I did not have all this information. If I had encouraged them, stimulated them more, I would have been able to contribute much more to their development.”

    He is hardly the exception. A 2012 nationally representative survey in Brazil asked mothers, 52% of whom were college educated, what things were most important for the development of their children up to three years of age. Only 19% mentioned playing and walking, 18% said receiving attention from adults, and 12% picked receiving affection. “So playing, talking to the child, attachment, it’s not important for more than 80% of the people who are interviewed,” says Harasawa, the director of Criança Feliz.

    Criança Feliz is part of Brazil’s welfare program for its poorest citizens, called Bolsa Familia. Started 15 years ago, the welfare program is rooted in a cash transfer system that makes payments contingent on kids getting vaccines and staying in school, and pregnant mothers getting prenatal care. Vaccination rates in Brazil exceed 95% and primary school enrollment is near universal. Originally derided, and still criticized by some in Brazil as a handout program for the poor, Bolsa Familia is nevertheless being replicated worldwide. But a powerful coterie of Brazil’s political leaders believe it’s not enough. Cash transfers alleviate the conditions of poverty, but do not change its trajectory.

    “You’re in their home, you can’t interfere. But you are there to change their mindset.”
    That’s where Criança Feliz comes in. The program is adapted from UNICEF and the World Health Organization’s Care for Child Development parent coaching program. Trained social workers visit pregnant women every month and new parents once a week for the first three years of a child’s life. Sessions last about an hour. The goal is to not to play with the baby or train the parent, but to help parents have a more loving relationship with their children. The program costs $20 per child per month. The ministry of social development allocated $100 million in 2017 and $200 million in 2018.


    Cesar Victoria, an epidemiology professor at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, will conduct a three-year randomized control trial comparing kids in the program to kids who are not, on measures of cognition, attachment, and motor development. Caregivers will be evaluated to see what they have learned about stimulation and play.

    Criança Feliz neither pities poverty nor romanticizes it. It recognizes that low-income people often lack information about how to raise their children and offers that information up, allowing parents to do what they will with it. “It’s one thing to say ‘read to your baby twice a day,'” says Sanderson. “It’s another thing to say, ‘when your baby hears your voice, there are little sparks firing in his brain that are helping him get ready to learn.'”

    Of course, it’s a delicate balance between respecting the right of a family to raise their children the way they see fit and offering information and evidence that could help the child and the family. “You’re in their home, you can’t interfere,” says Teresa Surrita, mayor of Boa Vista. “But you are there to change their mindset.”

    Liticia Lopes da Silva 23, a home visitor from Arujá, outside Sao Paulo, says that the initial visits with families can be hard. “They don’t understand the importance of stimulation and they are resistant to the idea of playing with children,” she says. “They are raised a different way, their parents did not have this interaction with them.” The issue is not just that some mothers don’t play with their babies; some barely look at them. Others treat the visitors as nannies, leaving them to play with the child, thus thwarting the very purpose of the visit—the interaction between parent and child.

    “It’s amazing to see the families evolve.”
    But after a few weeks of watching a social worker sit on the floor, playing with the child, and talking with her about the baby’s development, the mothers sometimes join in. “It’s amazing to see the families evolve,” says one home visitor in Arujá. “Three to four months after, you see the difference [in how] the mother plays with the child. In a different way, the whole family gets involved. Fathers often get involved and many families start to ask the visitors to come more often, although the visitors cannot oblige.

    When a home visitor named Sissi Elisabeth Gimenes visits a family in Arujá, she brings a color wheel painted onto a piece of recycled cardboard, along with painted clothespins. She asks Agatha, age three, to put a brown clip on the brown color. Agatha doesn’t know her colors and gets very shy. Sissi encourages Agatha while chatting with her mother, Alda Ferreira, about how play benefits brain development. She quietly models how to use encouragement and praise, praising Agatha for finding white—”the color of clouds”—as the girl slowly gets more confident and gets off her mother’s lap to play.

    The activity is intentional. The clips hone Agatha’s fine motor skills as well as her cognitive ones; the interaction with her mother helps create the synaptic connections that allow her brain to grow and pave the way to more effective learning later on. Alda tells us her daughter knows many things that her older daughter did not at the same age.

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    Agatha, age 3.
    The process changes the social workers as well. One social worker, who has a three-year-old herself, says that as parents, we think we know everything. “But I knew nothing.” In Arujá, where the home visitors are all psychology students at the local university, working with the program as part-time interns, many admitted to being shocked at seeing the reality of what they’d been taught in the classroom. Poverty looks different off the page. “We are changing because we are out of the bubble,” said one. “Theory is very shallow.”

    As we leave Campero’s house, I ask Miranda what she thought of the visit. She too starts to cry. “Gabriella recognizes the program is making a difference in her life,” she says, embarrassed and surprised at her own emotions. Campero had told Miranda a few weeks earlier that she was worried because the baby was not moving. Miranda suggested that Campero try singing to the child in her womb; the baby started to move.

    The man who made it happen
    In 2003, as secretary of health in Rio Grande do Sul, Terra created Programa Primeira Infância Melhor (the Better Early Childhood Development Program, or PIM), a home visiting program based on Educa tu Hijo, a very successful case study from Cuba (pdf). Results have been mixed, but Terra saw the impact it had on families and communities. He set his sights on expanding the program nationally.

    One of the most persuasive arguments for the program, he knew, was the science. But he had to build votes for that science. In 2011, he started lobbying everyone he could to try and get financial backing from congress to fund a week-long course that he helped create at Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child. He thought if lawmakers—who would be attracted to the prestige of a course at Harvard—could learn from the neuroscientists and physicians there, they might also become advocates for the policy.

    “Anybody in the corridor he sees, it’s a hug, it’s a tap on the chest, and then it’s early childhood development,” says Mary Young, director of the Center for Child Development at the China Development Research Foundation and an advisor to Criança Feliz. “He’s got the will and the skill.”

    “Anybody in the corridor he sees, it’s a hug, it’s a tap on the chest, and then it’s early childhood development. He’s got the will and the skill.”
    One convert, Michel Temer, who was vice president from 2011 and became president in 2016 when his boss was impeached, tapped Terra to be minister of social development. Soon after, Criança Feliz was born. But trying to get Terra to talk about legislation can be a challenge. What he wants to talk about are neurons, synapses, and working memory. Did I know that one million new neural connections are formed every second in the first few years of life? And that those neural connections are key to forming memories?

    “The number of connections depends on the stimuli of the environment,” he says. And the environment of poverty is relentlessly unkind to the stimuli available to children.

    HANNAH YI
    Osmar Terra’s enthusiasm is infectious.
    Attachment, he explains, is key—not just psychologically, but neurobiologically. “If a child feels emotionally safe and secure and attached they explore the world in a better way. The safer they feel, the safer their base, the faster they learn,” he says.

    The first 1,000 days
    Over the past 20 years, scientists have focused on the importance of the first 1,000 days of life. Brains build themselves, starting with basic connections and moving to more complex ones. Like a house, the better the foundation of basic connections, the more complex are the ones that can be built on top. In an infant’s earliest days, it’s not flashcards that create their brains, but relationships (pdf), via an interactive process that scientists call “serve and return.” When an infant or young child babbles, looks at an adult, or cries, and the adult responds with an affectionate gaze, words, or hugs, neural connections are created in the child’s brain that allow them to later develop critical tools like self-control and communication.

    “Children who experience profound neglect early in life, if you don’t reverse that by the age of two, the chance they will end up with poor development outcomes is high.”
    If kids do not experience stimulation and nurturing care, or if they face repeated neglect or abuse, the neural networks do not organize well. And that, says Charles Nelson, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School, can affect the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the metabolic system, and even alter the physical structure of the brain. “Children who experience profound neglect early in life, if you don’t reverse that by the age of two, the chance they will end up with poor development outcomes is high,” he says. The strongest buffer to protect against that? A parent, or caring adult.

    The case for early childhood as policy was elevated by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman. As founder of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago, he demonstrated the economic case for why the best investment a policymaker can make is in the earliest years of childhood, because that’s when intervention has the highest payoffs.

    “The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families,” Heckman said in 2012. His work showed that every dollar invested in a child over those years delivers a 13% return on investment every year. “Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complementary and dynamic way,” he said.

    More than 506 Brazilian legislators, judges, mayors, state politicians and prosecutors have attended the Harvard course that Terra helped set up. There, Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician and professor, explains what infants need to thrive, what toxic stress does to a child and how to build resilience. The attendees are put in groups—maybe a state senator from one state with council members from municipalities in the same state—to spend the week on a project; in the next two-and-a-half months, they finish it with the help of a technical facilitator.

    “It’s a little facilitation and a little manipulation,” says Eduardo Queiroz, outgoing head of the Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal, a foundation which has played an integral role in supporting and shepherding Crianza Feliz. “We create a community.”

    It costs $8,800 to attend the program. Some pay their own way. Congress pays for lawmakers to go, and the Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal funds between 10 and 12 scholarships a year. The fellowship does not require the participants to do anything with their knowledge. But many have. Surrita, who is in her fifth term as mayor of Boa Vista, focused her early governing efforts on working with teens, tackling drugs and gangs as a way to help them. After her week at Harvard, she changed her approach, deciding to make Boa Vista the “early childhood development capital of Brazil.” Investing in young children, she argues, will mean not so many problems with teens:

    ”After taking this course Harvard on the ECD I realized how important it would be for us to work with the kids from pregnancy up to 6 years old that to develop them mentally and cognitively and that way I realized that it would be possible for us to improve the performance of the teenagers lives by working on them when their kids.”

    Obstacles and opportunities
    Criança Feliz faces two significant threats: the prospect of being shut down, and the challenges created by its own ambition.

    Although the Legal Framework for Early Childhood Development, passed in 2016, underpins Criança Feliz, it currently exists as a decree of the president. Of the last three presidents, one is in jail, one was impeached and the current one, Temer, faces criminal charges. With approval ratings of around 3%, Temer has decided not to run again, and the program’s supporters are worried that whoever wins the election will dismantle what the previous government has done (a common practice in Brazil). “We are concerned every day because the program is ongoing and we don’t know if the [next] president will support it,” says Ilnara Trajano, the state coordinator from Roirama state.

    “We are not trying to replace the family. We are trying to support it.”
    Mederios and Terra say the solution to avoiding political death is to create a law that will automatically fund Criança Feliz at the state level, rather than relying on presidential support. Terra, who exudes confidence and optimism, is sure such a law can be passed before the October date set for presidential elections. Others, including Harasawa, are not so sanguine. “We are in a race against time,” she says. She is working around the clock to build support one municipality at a time. She worries that not everyone thinks the government should play a role in parenting. “We are not trying to replace the family,” she says. “We are trying to support it.”

    Beyond its political future, the program itself faces a host of issues. In many places, there aren’t enough skilled workers to act as home visitors. There’s also the fraught logistics of getting around. In Careiro da Varzea, in Amazonas state, home visitors often travel five hours, by foot, to reach pregnant women and young children; they are tired when they arrive. In Arujá, seven home visitors share one car to visit 200 families, or 30 visits each, per week. Internet services can be terrible, and wild dogs often chase the social workers.

    The visitors are trained in a curriculum that tells them which materials to use, what to teach and when, and the research that underpins the guidance they give to mothers. But they need more training, and the curriculum does not always prepare them for the poverty and distress they see. Some mothers want to give up their babies; they did not want them in the first place. Many suffer from depression. The social workers are trained to support nurturing care, but they are not mental-health experts. Inevitably, turnover is high.

    In Careiro da Varzea, in Amazonas state, home visitors often travel five hours, by foot, to reach pregnant women and young children.
    The evidence for the value of home visiting at scale is at once highly compelling and frustratingly imprecise. Consider the case of Colombia: From 2009 to 2011, researchers there studied 1,419 children between the ages of 12 to 24 months to see whether coaching their mothers on interactions with their babies could help the children’s development. After 18 months, the researchers found a host of benefits. The children whose mothers had received coaching got smarter. Their language skills improved, and their home environments were judged to be more stimulating. But when researchers went back two years later, they found the children—now about five years old—had not maintained those benefits. “Two years after the intervention ended, we found no effects on children’s cognition, language, school readiness, executive functioning, or behavioral development,” the study reported. (Criança Feliz will run for a longer period of time, however.)

    Governments face notoriously hard choices about where to invest their money. “Early childhood development is a really valuable investment,” says Dave Evans, an economist at the World Bank. “But so is primary education and the quality of primary education, and if you spend a dollar in one place, it’s a dollar you aren’t spending in another place.”

    Samuel, Keith, and Giliane
    One of the virtues of a home visiting program, compared to say, building child-care centers, is that social workers can see what is happening inside a home: signs of domestic violence, other children in need, a mother’s depression, a father’s unemployment. They can help with kids like Samuel, who was born with cerebral palsy.

    At two-and-a-half years old, Samuel loves his ball, and shrieks with delight when he is presented with a truck. He can’t stop smiling at his mother, Giliane de Almedida Trindade Dorea. She and social worker Keith Mayara Ribeiro da Silva, gather around him to talk and play.

    “Where is the dog? Yes! That’s the dog. Very good Samuel!” says da Silva.

    The two encourage Samuel to try and stand up. He struggles. “Get up, use your legs,” says Dorea. “You are lazy. Be strong!”

    JENNY ANDERSON
    Samuel has made huge progress under the program.
    Samuel ignores the women’s requests. He wants to play. They shift gears. “Where is the ball?” da Silva asks. He grabs it and plays. “He’s very smart!” she says. She and Dorea are trying to get Samuel to use one hand, which cannot open, to play with the ball and then the truck. They work together for 15 minutes to find a way to get him to use his weak hand, but he just wants to play with his dominant hand.

    Dorea adores her son and plays with him patiently. But it has been hard, she says. When da Silva started to visit, Samuel could not sit up, he was quite shy and often cried. Da Silva has helped the family access the services and care that Samuel needs: a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, an acupuncturist, and a doctor to check his hearing. These are services the government will provide, but finding them and organizing the appointments is time consuming and can be overwhelming.

    Dorea says Samuel has changed since Keith has been coming. “His interaction with people, he’s totally different. He was so shy.” In fact, she says the whole family has benefitted. Her older daughter also knows how to play with Samuel and loves to help. She appreciates the support. Raising a child with a disability is hard work. “The visitor is a like a friend who comes every week not just for fun but also to share my concerns,” she says. Her biggest complaint about the program? “It’s too short.”

    Will it survive?
    There is a maxim in investing that you have to survive short-run volatility to get to the long run—you can’t make money if you don’t have any. Criança Feliz faces the same problem. Child development takes time. It is not a jobs program or a construction project, which voters can see. The benefits can take years to show up, and politicians have never been known for their long-term thinking.

    Alberto Beltrame, the current minister of social development, is a believer. Start early and you shape character, transforming the child into a better young adult and, eventually, creating an improved workforce, he says. You reduce violence and crime. He agrees that Bolsa Familia alone is not enough. It does not promote autonomy, or break the cycle of poverty. What is needed is a two-pronged approach: In the short term, promote training, microcredit, and entrepreneurialism to create jobs. For the medium and long term, Criança Feliz.

    “We have a huge array of benefits that we are going to gain with this one program, and the cost is very, very low compared to others,” he says.

    In every home we visited, mothers said they loved the support, be it information, toys, or more often, company to share their challenges and triumphs. Priscila Soares da Silva has three children, including six-month-old Allyce, and another on the way. With Allyce, she says, she has changed her approach to parenting, setting time aside to play every day now. “You raise children your way,” she explains cooing over Allyce. “When you see there are other visions, you see the way you did it was not so right.” She is also refreshingly honest about something all parents know: We do it better when someone is watching. “There are things we know, but we are lazy. When she comes, we are better.”

    When I quietly ask her teenage daughter, who is lingering in the corner, what she thinks of the visits, she answers immediately: “She’s so much more patient,” she says of her mother. Her own takeaway: Parenting is hard, and she does not want to do it anytime soon. Priscila smiles at this, agreeing she started too soon, and noting the benefits of the program have extended beyond Allyce and the baby she will soon have. “The program got the family closer.”

    Evans, from the World Bank, is watching the program closely. “I see Criança Feliz as a big, bold, gamble about which I am optimistic,” he says. “But I think the measurement and the evaluation is crucial to see if it is a model that other countries want to echo.”

    If it survives the near term political turbulence, Beltrame says it can go way beyond the poor to benefit everyone. “We are trying to make the Brazilian people realize, independent from their level of income, that stimulating children from pregnancy through the first 1,000 days of life is important,” he says. Better young people equal healthier and better adults, who are more emotionally connected and can be better citizens.

    With Criança Feliz, Beltrame says, we have the “possibility of having a new destiny and future for each one of these children.”

    This reporting is part of a series supported by a grant from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The foundation is also providing financial support to Criança Feliz. The author’s views are not necessarily those of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

    https://qz.com/1298387/brazils-wildly-ambitious-incredibly-precarious-program-to-visit-every-poor-mother-and-change-their-childrens-destiny/
    BUILDING BABIES BRAINS Brazil’s audacious plan to fight poverty using neuroscience and parents’ love By Jenny AndersonJune 29, 2018 Osmar Terra is a tall man with a deep voice and an easy laugh—one that disguises the scale of his ambition to transform Brazilian society. A federal representative for nearly two decades, he is the driving force behind the world’s biggest experiment to prove that teaching poor parents how to love and nurture their infants will dramatically influence what kind of adults they become, and give Brazil its best shot at changing its current trajectory of violence, inequality, and poverty. Terra, aged 68, first became obsessed with the question of how humans develop nearly 30 years ago. As a cardiologist in the 1990s, he would read endless research papers about the neuroscience of early childhood. When he entered politics, becoming mayor of Santa Rosa in Rio Grande do Sul in 1992, he continued to grapple with the question, even studying for a master’s degree in neuroscience. The science, he believed, should lead to smart policy. As a doctor and a manager, a mayor and a state health secretary, he was always trying to figure out how to to tackle poverty head-on. “In every single activity I always ask myself, ‘What is the public policy that can be more transformative?'” he says. “How can we most dramatically improve the quality of life for our citizens, their health, their education?” The answer to that question, he came to realize, lay in starting at the beginning, at pregnancy, and in the first few years of a child’s life. Decades of groundbreaking research shows that the love and sense of safety experienced by a baby directly impacts how the child’s brain is wired. Adversity—especially persistent, stress-triggering adversity like neglect and abuse—hampers that development, and can result in poorer health, educational attainment, and early death. While science underpins his mission, Terra’s palpable passion for the topic and his skill at politicking eventually led him to create Criança Feliz, a highly ambitious parent coaching program he helped launch in 2017 to try and reach four million pregnant women and children by 2020. Under Criança Feliz, an army of trained social workers—a sort of national baby corps—are dispatched to the poorest corners of Brazil. Traveling by boat—sometimes battling crocodiles and floods—by foot, by car, by truck and by bus, these social workers go to people’s homes to show them how to play, sing, and show affection to their infants and young children. They explain to parents why this matters: Emotional safety underpins cognitive growth. Intelligence is not fixed, but formed through experience. HANNAH YI Home visitor, Sissi Elisabeth Gimenes visits a family in Arujá Parent coaching, and specifically, home visiting, is not new. The most famous study, which took place in Jamaica in the 1970s, showed that well-trained home visitors supporting poor mothers with weekly visits for two years led to big improvements in children’s cognition, behavior, and future earnings. One group of infants in that program who received coaching in their earliest years earned 25% more than a control group more than 20 years later. But Brazil’s ambition is audacious. No city or country has ever attempted to reach so many people in such a short amount of time. (The largest program doing this now is probably in Peru, reaching about 100,000 families; Criança Feliz is already reaching 300,000.) “They are raising the bar for what is possible nationally,” says Jan Sanderson, the former deputy minister of children from Manitoba, Canada, who is an expert in home visiting and recently traveled to observe the program. Talking to lawmakers in Brazil can feel like wandering around a neuroscience convention. Just how Brazil—a massive country with endemic poverty and grating inequality—came to embrace parent coaching as the next frontier in combating poverty is a story of Terra’s political will, the strategic savvy of a few foundations, the pivotal role of a Harvard program, and the compassion of a growing group of unlikely allies, from communists to far-right wing politicians. Talking to lawmakers in Brazil can feel like wandering around a neuroscience convention: One senator from the south can’t stop talking about working memory, while a mayor from the northern town of Boa Vista in Roirama state is fixated on synapse connection. At least 68 senators and congresspeople, judges, and mayors have converted to the cause, becoming evangelical in their focus on early childhood development. “I believe that this is the solution, not only for Brazil, but for any country in the world in terms of security, public security, education, and health care,” says José Medeiros, a senator from the state of Mato Grosso who heads the parliamentary committee on early childhood development. “It’s a cheap solution.” Terra’s claims are more dramatic. “We will change the world, starting from the very beginning.” Those words are hardly surprising coming from the man whom Ely Harasawa, Criança Feliz’s director, calls the program’s “godfather.” But the devil, of course, is in the details—and in Terra and his allies’ ability to steer a course through some rather treacherous political terrain. HANNAH YI Criança Feliz in action On a hot day in May, Adriana Miranda, a 22-year-old accounting student, visits Gabriela Carolina Herrera Campero, also 22, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her third child. Campero arrived in Brazil less than a year ago from Venezuela, fleeing with her husband and two children from that country’s financial collapse and ensuing chaos. She lives in Boa Vista, a city in the north of Brazil where 10% of the population are estimated to be refugees. HANNAH YI Adriana Miranda visits Gabriela Carolina Herrera Campero, who fled Venezuela’s financial collapse with her family one year ago. The two women greet each other warmly and start chatting, in spite of the fact that Miranda is speaking in Portuguese and Campero in Spanish. They sit together on plastic chairs on a concrete patio as Miranda goes through a checklist of questions about the pregnancy. Has Campero been to her prenatal visits? (Yes.) How is she feeling? (Hot.) Is she drinking enough water? (Yes.) And walking? (When it’s not too hot.) Is she depressed or anxious? (No, but worried, yes.) Does she feel supported by her husband? (Yes.) How is she sleeping and what kinds of foods is she eating? (She’s not sleeping well because she always has to pee, and she is eating a lot of fruit.) Miranda moves on to talking with Campero about attachment—how to create a strong bond with a baby in utero, and also once the baby is born. Does she know that at five months, the baby can hear her and that her voice will provide comfort to the baby when it is born? “It’s important the baby feel the love we are transmitting. When he is in distress, he will know your voice and it will calm him,” says Miranda. JENNY ANDERSON The curriculum. It’s a topic they have discussed before. Campero is eager to show what she has learned about the baby. (A part of the program requires that visitors check for knowledge.) “It has five senses, and if I talk, he will know my voice,” she says. “The baby will develop more.” They discuss the importance of cuddling a baby and being patient. Having a baby in the best of circumstances can be challenging. As an impoverished refugee, in a new country, it can be utterly overwhelming. I ask Campero, in Spanish, whether the program has been helpful. After all, she already has two kids. Doesn’t she know what to expect? She starts to cry. “They have helped me emotionally,” she says. “She has taught me so many things I didn’t know.” For example, she didn’t know to read to a baby, or that her baby could hear her in utero. Her son used to hit her belly; he now sings songs to the baby because she explained to him what she learned from Miranda. “I feel supported,” she tells me. ”I raised my kids as if I were taking care of a plant,” Medeiros recalls. Many people, rich and poor alike, have no idea what infants are capable of. Psychologists and neuroscientists believe they are creative geniuses, able to process information in far more sophisticated ways than we ever knew. But for that genius to show itself, the baby needs to feel safe and loved and to have attention. Medeiros explains how he viewed parenting before he went to the Harvard program. ”I raised my kids as if I were taking care of a plant,” he recalls. “You give them food, you take care of them.” He says he did the best he could, but “I did not have all this information. If I had encouraged them, stimulated them more, I would have been able to contribute much more to their development.” He is hardly the exception. A 2012 nationally representative survey in Brazil asked mothers, 52% of whom were college educated, what things were most important for the development of their children up to three years of age. Only 19% mentioned playing and walking, 18% said receiving attention from adults, and 12% picked receiving affection. “So playing, talking to the child, attachment, it’s not important for more than 80% of the people who are interviewed,” says Harasawa, the director of Criança Feliz. Criança Feliz is part of Brazil’s welfare program for its poorest citizens, called Bolsa Familia. Started 15 years ago, the welfare program is rooted in a cash transfer system that makes payments contingent on kids getting vaccines and staying in school, and pregnant mothers getting prenatal care. Vaccination rates in Brazil exceed 95% and primary school enrollment is near universal. Originally derided, and still criticized by some in Brazil as a handout program for the poor, Bolsa Familia is nevertheless being replicated worldwide. But a powerful coterie of Brazil’s political leaders believe it’s not enough. Cash transfers alleviate the conditions of poverty, but do not change its trajectory. “You’re in their home, you can’t interfere. But you are there to change their mindset.” That’s where Criança Feliz comes in. The program is adapted from UNICEF and the World Health Organization’s Care for Child Development parent coaching program. Trained social workers visit pregnant women every month and new parents once a week for the first three years of a child’s life. Sessions last about an hour. The goal is to not to play with the baby or train the parent, but to help parents have a more loving relationship with their children. The program costs $20 per child per month. The ministry of social development allocated $100 million in 2017 and $200 million in 2018. Cesar Victoria, an epidemiology professor at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, will conduct a three-year randomized control trial comparing kids in the program to kids who are not, on measures of cognition, attachment, and motor development. Caregivers will be evaluated to see what they have learned about stimulation and play. Criança Feliz neither pities poverty nor romanticizes it. It recognizes that low-income people often lack information about how to raise their children and offers that information up, allowing parents to do what they will with it. “It’s one thing to say ‘read to your baby twice a day,'” says Sanderson. “It’s another thing to say, ‘when your baby hears your voice, there are little sparks firing in his brain that are helping him get ready to learn.'” Of course, it’s a delicate balance between respecting the right of a family to raise their children the way they see fit and offering information and evidence that could help the child and the family. “You’re in their home, you can’t interfere,” says Teresa Surrita, mayor of Boa Vista. “But you are there to change their mindset.” Liticia Lopes da Silva 23, a home visitor from Arujá, outside Sao Paulo, says that the initial visits with families can be hard. “They don’t understand the importance of stimulation and they are resistant to the idea of playing with children,” she says. “They are raised a different way, their parents did not have this interaction with them.” The issue is not just that some mothers don’t play with their babies; some barely look at them. Others treat the visitors as nannies, leaving them to play with the child, thus thwarting the very purpose of the visit—the interaction between parent and child. “It’s amazing to see the families evolve.” But after a few weeks of watching a social worker sit on the floor, playing with the child, and talking with her about the baby’s development, the mothers sometimes join in. “It’s amazing to see the families evolve,” says one home visitor in Arujá. “Three to four months after, you see the difference [in how] the mother plays with the child. In a different way, the whole family gets involved. Fathers often get involved and many families start to ask the visitors to come more often, although the visitors cannot oblige. When a home visitor named Sissi Elisabeth Gimenes visits a family in Arujá, she brings a color wheel painted onto a piece of recycled cardboard, along with painted clothespins. She asks Agatha, age three, to put a brown clip on the brown color. Agatha doesn’t know her colors and gets very shy. Sissi encourages Agatha while chatting with her mother, Alda Ferreira, about how play benefits brain development. She quietly models how to use encouragement and praise, praising Agatha for finding white—”the color of clouds”—as the girl slowly gets more confident and gets off her mother’s lap to play. The activity is intentional. The clips hone Agatha’s fine motor skills as well as her cognitive ones; the interaction with her mother helps create the synaptic connections that allow her brain to grow and pave the way to more effective learning later on. Alda tells us her daughter knows many things that her older daughter did not at the same age. HANNAH YI Agatha, age 3. The process changes the social workers as well. One social worker, who has a three-year-old herself, says that as parents, we think we know everything. “But I knew nothing.” In Arujá, where the home visitors are all psychology students at the local university, working with the program as part-time interns, many admitted to being shocked at seeing the reality of what they’d been taught in the classroom. Poverty looks different off the page. “We are changing because we are out of the bubble,” said one. “Theory is very shallow.” As we leave Campero’s house, I ask Miranda what she thought of the visit. She too starts to cry. “Gabriella recognizes the program is making a difference in her life,” she says, embarrassed and surprised at her own emotions. Campero had told Miranda a few weeks earlier that she was worried because the baby was not moving. Miranda suggested that Campero try singing to the child in her womb; the baby started to move. The man who made it happen In 2003, as secretary of health in Rio Grande do Sul, Terra created Programa Primeira Infância Melhor (the Better Early Childhood Development Program, or PIM), a home visiting program based on Educa tu Hijo, a very successful case study from Cuba (pdf). Results have been mixed, but Terra saw the impact it had on families and communities. He set his sights on expanding the program nationally. One of the most persuasive arguments for the program, he knew, was the science. But he had to build votes for that science. In 2011, he started lobbying everyone he could to try and get financial backing from congress to fund a week-long course that he helped create at Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child. He thought if lawmakers—who would be attracted to the prestige of a course at Harvard—could learn from the neuroscientists and physicians there, they might also become advocates for the policy. “Anybody in the corridor he sees, it’s a hug, it’s a tap on the chest, and then it’s early childhood development,” says Mary Young, director of the Center for Child Development at the China Development Research Foundation and an advisor to Criança Feliz. “He’s got the will and the skill.” “Anybody in the corridor he sees, it’s a hug, it’s a tap on the chest, and then it’s early childhood development. He’s got the will and the skill.” One convert, Michel Temer, who was vice president from 2011 and became president in 2016 when his boss was impeached, tapped Terra to be minister of social development. Soon after, Criança Feliz was born. But trying to get Terra to talk about legislation can be a challenge. What he wants to talk about are neurons, synapses, and working memory. Did I know that one million new neural connections are formed every second in the first few years of life? And that those neural connections are key to forming memories? “The number of connections depends on the stimuli of the environment,” he says. And the environment of poverty is relentlessly unkind to the stimuli available to children. HANNAH YI Osmar Terra’s enthusiasm is infectious. Attachment, he explains, is key—not just psychologically, but neurobiologically. “If a child feels emotionally safe and secure and attached they explore the world in a better way. The safer they feel, the safer their base, the faster they learn,” he says. The first 1,000 days Over the past 20 years, scientists have focused on the importance of the first 1,000 days of life. Brains build themselves, starting with basic connections and moving to more complex ones. Like a house, the better the foundation of basic connections, the more complex are the ones that can be built on top. In an infant’s earliest days, it’s not flashcards that create their brains, but relationships (pdf), via an interactive process that scientists call “serve and return.” When an infant or young child babbles, looks at an adult, or cries, and the adult responds with an affectionate gaze, words, or hugs, neural connections are created in the child’s brain that allow them to later develop critical tools like self-control and communication. “Children who experience profound neglect early in life, if you don’t reverse that by the age of two, the chance they will end up with poor development outcomes is high.” If kids do not experience stimulation and nurturing care, or if they face repeated neglect or abuse, the neural networks do not organize well. And that, says Charles Nelson, a pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School, can affect the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the metabolic system, and even alter the physical structure of the brain. “Children who experience profound neglect early in life, if you don’t reverse that by the age of two, the chance they will end up with poor development outcomes is high,” he says. The strongest buffer to protect against that? A parent, or caring adult. The case for early childhood as policy was elevated by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman. As founder of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago, he demonstrated the economic case for why the best investment a policymaker can make is in the earliest years of childhood, because that’s when intervention has the highest payoffs. “The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families,” Heckman said in 2012. His work showed that every dollar invested in a child over those years delivers a 13% return on investment every year. “Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complementary and dynamic way,” he said. More than 506 Brazilian legislators, judges, mayors, state politicians and prosecutors have attended the Harvard course that Terra helped set up. There, Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician and professor, explains what infants need to thrive, what toxic stress does to a child and how to build resilience. The attendees are put in groups—maybe a state senator from one state with council members from municipalities in the same state—to spend the week on a project; in the next two-and-a-half months, they finish it with the help of a technical facilitator. “It’s a little facilitation and a little manipulation,” says Eduardo Queiroz, outgoing head of the Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal, a foundation which has played an integral role in supporting and shepherding Crianza Feliz. “We create a community.” It costs $8,800 to attend the program. Some pay their own way. Congress pays for lawmakers to go, and the Fundação Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal funds between 10 and 12 scholarships a year. The fellowship does not require the participants to do anything with their knowledge. But many have. Surrita, who is in her fifth term as mayor of Boa Vista, focused her early governing efforts on working with teens, tackling drugs and gangs as a way to help them. After her week at Harvard, she changed her approach, deciding to make Boa Vista the “early childhood development capital of Brazil.” Investing in young children, she argues, will mean not so many problems with teens: ”After taking this course Harvard on the ECD I realized how important it would be for us to work with the kids from pregnancy up to 6 years old that to develop them mentally and cognitively and that way I realized that it would be possible for us to improve the performance of the teenagers lives by working on them when their kids.” Obstacles and opportunities Criança Feliz faces two significant threats: the prospect of being shut down, and the challenges created by its own ambition. Although the Legal Framework for Early Childhood Development, passed in 2016, underpins Criança Feliz, it currently exists as a decree of the president. Of the last three presidents, one is in jail, one was impeached and the current one, Temer, faces criminal charges. With approval ratings of around 3%, Temer has decided not to run again, and the program’s supporters are worried that whoever wins the election will dismantle what the previous government has done (a common practice in Brazil). “We are concerned every day because the program is ongoing and we don’t know if the [next] president will support it,” says Ilnara Trajano, the state coordinator from Roirama state. “We are not trying to replace the family. We are trying to support it.” Mederios and Terra say the solution to avoiding political death is to create a law that will automatically fund Criança Feliz at the state level, rather than relying on presidential support. Terra, who exudes confidence and optimism, is sure such a law can be passed before the October date set for presidential elections. Others, including Harasawa, are not so sanguine. “We are in a race against time,” she says. She is working around the clock to build support one municipality at a time. She worries that not everyone thinks the government should play a role in parenting. “We are not trying to replace the family,” she says. “We are trying to support it.” Beyond its political future, the program itself faces a host of issues. In many places, there aren’t enough skilled workers to act as home visitors. There’s also the fraught logistics of getting around. In Careiro da Varzea, in Amazonas state, home visitors often travel five hours, by foot, to reach pregnant women and young children; they are tired when they arrive. In Arujá, seven home visitors share one car to visit 200 families, or 30 visits each, per week. Internet services can be terrible, and wild dogs often chase the social workers. The visitors are trained in a curriculum that tells them which materials to use, what to teach and when, and the research that underpins the guidance they give to mothers. But they need more training, and the curriculum does not always prepare them for the poverty and distress they see. Some mothers want to give up their babies; they did not want them in the first place. Many suffer from depression. The social workers are trained to support nurturing care, but they are not mental-health experts. Inevitably, turnover is high. In Careiro da Varzea, in Amazonas state, home visitors often travel five hours, by foot, to reach pregnant women and young children. The evidence for the value of home visiting at scale is at once highly compelling and frustratingly imprecise. Consider the case of Colombia: From 2009 to 2011, researchers there studied 1,419 children between the ages of 12 to 24 months to see whether coaching their mothers on interactions with their babies could help the children’s development. After 18 months, the researchers found a host of benefits. The children whose mothers had received coaching got smarter. Their language skills improved, and their home environments were judged to be more stimulating. But when researchers went back two years later, they found the children—now about five years old—had not maintained those benefits. “Two years after the intervention ended, we found no effects on children’s cognition, language, school readiness, executive functioning, or behavioral development,” the study reported. (Criança Feliz will run for a longer period of time, however.) Governments face notoriously hard choices about where to invest their money. “Early childhood development is a really valuable investment,” says Dave Evans, an economist at the World Bank. “But so is primary education and the quality of primary education, and if you spend a dollar in one place, it’s a dollar you aren’t spending in another place.” Samuel, Keith, and Giliane One of the virtues of a home visiting program, compared to say, building child-care centers, is that social workers can see what is happening inside a home: signs of domestic violence, other children in need, a mother’s depression, a father’s unemployment. They can help with kids like Samuel, who was born with cerebral palsy. At two-and-a-half years old, Samuel loves his ball, and shrieks with delight when he is presented with a truck. He can’t stop smiling at his mother, Giliane de Almedida Trindade Dorea. She and social worker Keith Mayara Ribeiro da Silva, gather around him to talk and play. “Where is the dog? Yes! That’s the dog. Very good Samuel!” says da Silva. The two encourage Samuel to try and stand up. He struggles. “Get up, use your legs,” says Dorea. “You are lazy. Be strong!” JENNY ANDERSON Samuel has made huge progress under the program. Samuel ignores the women’s requests. He wants to play. They shift gears. “Where is the ball?” da Silva asks. He grabs it and plays. “He’s very smart!” she says. She and Dorea are trying to get Samuel to use one hand, which cannot open, to play with the ball and then the truck. They work together for 15 minutes to find a way to get him to use his weak hand, but he just wants to play with his dominant hand. Dorea adores her son and plays with him patiently. But it has been hard, she says. When da Silva started to visit, Samuel could not sit up, he was quite shy and often cried. Da Silva has helped the family access the services and care that Samuel needs: a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, an acupuncturist, and a doctor to check his hearing. These are services the government will provide, but finding them and organizing the appointments is time consuming and can be overwhelming. Dorea says Samuel has changed since Keith has been coming. “His interaction with people, he’s totally different. He was so shy.” In fact, she says the whole family has benefitted. Her older daughter also knows how to play with Samuel and loves to help. She appreciates the support. Raising a child with a disability is hard work. “The visitor is a like a friend who comes every week not just for fun but also to share my concerns,” she says. Her biggest complaint about the program? “It’s too short.” Will it survive? There is a maxim in investing that you have to survive short-run volatility to get to the long run—you can’t make money if you don’t have any. Criança Feliz faces the same problem. Child development takes time. It is not a jobs program or a construction project, which voters can see. The benefits can take years to show up, and politicians have never been known for their long-term thinking. Alberto Beltrame, the current minister of social development, is a believer. Start early and you shape character, transforming the child into a better young adult and, eventually, creating an improved workforce, he says. You reduce violence and crime. He agrees that Bolsa Familia alone is not enough. It does not promote autonomy, or break the cycle of poverty. What is needed is a two-pronged approach: In the short term, promote training, microcredit, and entrepreneurialism to create jobs. For the medium and long term, Criança Feliz. “We have a huge array of benefits that we are going to gain with this one program, and the cost is very, very low compared to others,” he says. In every home we visited, mothers said they loved the support, be it information, toys, or more often, company to share their challenges and triumphs. Priscila Soares da Silva has three children, including six-month-old Allyce, and another on the way. With Allyce, she says, she has changed her approach to parenting, setting time aside to play every day now. “You raise children your way,” she explains cooing over Allyce. “When you see there are other visions, you see the way you did it was not so right.” She is also refreshingly honest about something all parents know: We do it better when someone is watching. “There are things we know, but we are lazy. When she comes, we are better.” When I quietly ask her teenage daughter, who is lingering in the corner, what she thinks of the visits, she answers immediately: “She’s so much more patient,” she says of her mother. Her own takeaway: Parenting is hard, and she does not want to do it anytime soon. Priscila smiles at this, agreeing she started too soon, and noting the benefits of the program have extended beyond Allyce and the baby she will soon have. “The program got the family closer.” Evans, from the World Bank, is watching the program closely. “I see Criança Feliz as a big, bold, gamble about which I am optimistic,” he says. “But I think the measurement and the evaluation is crucial to see if it is a model that other countries want to echo.” If it survives the near term political turbulence, Beltrame says it can go way beyond the poor to benefit everyone. “We are trying to make the Brazilian people realize, independent from their level of income, that stimulating children from pregnancy through the first 1,000 days of life is important,” he says. Better young people equal healthier and better adults, who are more emotionally connected and can be better citizens. With Criança Feliz, Beltrame says, we have the “possibility of having a new destiny and future for each one of these children.” This reporting is part of a series supported by a grant from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The foundation is also providing financial support to Criança Feliz. The author’s views are not necessarily those of the Bernard van Leer Foundation. https://qz.com/1298387/brazils-wildly-ambitious-incredibly-precarious-program-to-visit-every-poor-mother-and-change-their-childrens-destiny/
    Brazil's audacious plan to fight poverty using neuroscience and parents' love
    Brazil has launched the world's biggest experiment to prove that how parents nurture their children will dramatically influence the adults they become.
    QZ.COM
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  • "No one should ever be censored. Speech isn’t violence. Nothing bad comes from open, free speech. You would only ever regulate speech if you were trying to do something bad. There is no other reason you would ever do it. Speech prevents violence and open discussion and debate leads to a healthy society.

    Silencing speech inevitably leads to violence, both by and against those doing the silencing." - Andrew Anglin

    https://dailystormer.name/tiana-strumpet-now-doing-retard-attacks-on-paul-watson-because-he-supports-free-speech/
    "No one should ever be censored. Speech isn’t violence. Nothing bad comes from open, free speech. You would only ever regulate speech if you were trying to do something bad. There is no other reason you would ever do it. Speech prevents violence and open discussion and debate leads to a healthy society. Silencing speech inevitably leads to violence, both by and against those doing the silencing." - Andrew Anglin https://dailystormer.name/tiana-strumpet-now-doing-retard-attacks-on-paul-watson-because-he-supports-free-speech/
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  • "It is almost shocking how often people denounce or dismiss individualist anarchism on the grounds that it is a utopian doctrine. But those who insist that anarchy (an absence of imposed rulers) can never work simultaneously believe that because people are not angels, great power must be given to a gang that monopolizes violent force and inevitably consists of the least angelic of all, and that such a government can be kept limited. Who are the real utopians here?

    In any event, individualist anarchists do not believe that people are angels; on the contrary. Which is why they oppose the imposed rule of a diabolical gang of disreputable wretches who fancy themselves fit to possess and wield a monopoly of violent power over their fellows. The individualist anarchists recognize the folly of destroying the people's liberties and natural rights at the outset as an allegedly necessary means of protecting them." ~ Robert Higgs

    "I have often heard people charge libertarian anarchists with being irresponsible for wishing to get rid of the current system of government and replace it with genuine self-governance. It's as if -- however difficult it may be to believe -- these critics actually believe that rulers in the current setup are responsible. Responsible! These rulers, however, preside over domestic murder and foreign mass murder that never ends; they plunder the society of its private wealth in countless ways and in amounts that the mind can scarcely grasp; they bully and oppress everyone outside the ruling precincts in thousands of distinct ways. Yet these rulers are presumed to act responsibly! In the name of God, what are these deaf and dumb critics of libertarian anarchism thinking?" ~ Robert Higgs

    “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children.

    In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.” ~ Robert Higgs
    "It is almost shocking how often people denounce or dismiss individualist anarchism on the grounds that it is a utopian doctrine. But those who insist that anarchy (an absence of imposed rulers) can never work simultaneously believe that because people are not angels, great power must be given to a gang that monopolizes violent force and inevitably consists of the least angelic of all, and that such a government can be kept limited. Who are the real utopians here? In any event, individualist anarchists do not believe that people are angels; on the contrary. Which is why they oppose the imposed rule of a diabolical gang of disreputable wretches who fancy themselves fit to possess and wield a monopoly of violent power over their fellows. The individualist anarchists recognize the folly of destroying the people's liberties and natural rights at the outset as an allegedly necessary means of protecting them." ~ Robert Higgs "I have often heard people charge libertarian anarchists with being irresponsible for wishing to get rid of the current system of government and replace it with genuine self-governance. It's as if -- however difficult it may be to believe -- these critics actually believe that rulers in the current setup are responsible. Responsible! These rulers, however, preside over domestic murder and foreign mass murder that never ends; they plunder the society of its private wealth in countless ways and in amounts that the mind can scarcely grasp; they bully and oppress everyone outside the ruling precincts in thousands of distinct ways. Yet these rulers are presumed to act responsibly! In the name of God, what are these deaf and dumb critics of libertarian anarchism thinking?" ~ Robert Higgs “Anarchists did not try to carry out genocide against the Armenians in Turkey; they did not deliberately starve millions of Ukrainians; they did not create a system of death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, and Slavs in Europe; they did not fire-bomb scores of large German and Japanese cities and drop nuclear bombs on two of them; they did not carry out a ‘Great Leap Forward’ that killed scores of millions of Chinese; they did not attempt to kill everybody with any appreciable education in Cambodia; they did not launch one aggressive war after another; they did not implement trade sanctions that killed perhaps 500,000 Iraqi children. In debates between anarchists and statists, the burden of proof clearly should rest on those who place their trust in the state. Anarchy’s mayhem is wholly conjectural; the state’s mayhem is undeniably, factually horrendous.” ~ Robert Higgs
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