Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

Brief Thoughts on @ArneDuncan’s Attack on White, Suburban Mothers

For those that have not heard, Arne Duncan recently told a group of state school superintendents that he found it “fascinating” that opposition to the Common Core comes from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — [realize] their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t as good as they thought they were.”

So, here’s a couple of things I find fascinating. I find it fascinating that Mr. Duncan has never taught a day in his life. I find it fascinating that Mr. Duncan has never been a principal of a school at any level. But somehow, this guy with a sociology degree from Harvard, ended up the head of Chicago Public Schools for seven years and then would go on to head the Federal Department of Education. Who says people of inability can’t rise to greatness? Arne Duncan is quite possibly the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on education.

Now, Mr. Duncan has decided to generalize and stereotype an entire race of females. I thought that all progressives like Mr. Duncan were above this type of behavior? I thought they loved all women and all races of people? I thought they were highly educated intellectuals who saw the world in such a profound and deep way that little old me would never understand?

This comment is indicative of the worldview of Mr. Duncan and our Dear Leader, President Obama. They only see the world through race, gender, and class. Progressives can not stand being questioned by those they believe to be less educated than them. And people (that includes women and men and people of other skin color) are starting to question their “brilliant” education deform initiative called Common Core.

Keep it up! The more you push these people the more their true colors are revealed and the mask comes off. It shows you are making a difference once they start attacking you in ways such as this. People will eventually get tired of the middle school attacks that Common Core proponents often levy against the opposition. We just need to be ready for a solution when this thing comes crumbling down.

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

Mandated Behavioral Assessments for Connecticut Students? Homeschoolers Included?

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

Do you think you can keep your children from government mandates if you homeschool?  It is increasingly doubtful you can shield your children from having to submit to governmental data mining of their personal information, even if you don’t have your child enrolled in public education.  Government agencies want educational data as well as wanting to require information on your child’s behavioral health.  Watch out for this type of legislation in your state.

From the Family Institute of Connecticut:

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Stop New Mandate Attacking Parental Rights

Stop S.B. 374, Mandated Assessments of Children
In all the years we have been fighting for pro-family values at the state Capitol, we have never seen as invasive a bill as S.B. 374, An Act Requiring Behavioral Health Assessments for Children. This bill would mandate that public school children in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 and home-schooled children at ages 12, 14 and 17 be given behavioral health assessments, whether or not parents approve.
S.B. 374 will have a public hearing on Friday, March 8th at 11:00 A.M. at Wesleyan University. We need parents to be prepared, to attend the hearing and to help defeat this bill.
No one has the right to force children to have psychological evaluations that are against the will of their parents and possibly unnecessary. This bill may violate Connecticut’s HIPAA privacy law. What does the government intend to do with these assessments? If a child gets a “bad” assessment, the state is empowered to do…what, exactly? What will the test be? How will it be administered? These and other questions remain unanswered by S.B. 374.
S.B. 374 is a significant attack on homeschooling and public school families, interference by the government in compelling the upbringing of a child, something the State Board of Education does not have the authority to do.

Here are four ways you can help FIC Action stop the Mandated Assessments Bill and protect our parental rights: 

1) Use our Grassroots Action Center to send an e-mail directly to your state senator and state representative by clicking on the link at the bottom of this message (then click “take action” at the bottom of the next screen). We have provided some basic points, but please either put the message in your own words or add a brief introduction and conclusion!  Personalized and polite messages have a much greater impact. Let our legislators know that you oppose any bill that forces children to be “assessed” without their parents’ permission.
2) Attend the public hearing and testify against S.B. 374. The Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Beckham Hall, Wesleyan University, 55 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. The Committee is accepting electronic testimony via email at [email protected] Please submit electronic testimony no later than 5:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 7, 2013. If you are unable to submit electronic testimony, please submit 10 copies of written testimony at the time of sign-up. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 9:00 A.M. on the Second Floor of Beckham Hall. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Legislators, Constitutional Officers, State Agency Heads and Chief Elected Municipal Officials. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony.
3) Click here to donate to the Family Institute of Connecticut Action. FIC Action, the lobbying arm of Connecticut’s pro-family movement, is your eyes and ears at the state Capitol. Your support allows us to continue to be your voice for faith and family.
4) Forward this message to every like-minded state resident you know and ask them to do likewise. We need as much support as possible to protect our children from unwanted state-mandated “assessments.”
Thank you for making your voice heard in the fight to protect parental rights in Connecticut.
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Senator Harp said she is particularly eager to follow-up on one of President Obama’s recommendations with regard to enhanced delivery of mental health services: renewed focus on adolescents and providing for them access to the specific resources they need.

“So much of the gun violence we have witnessed is committed by troubled young people—we really must redouble our efforts to help adolescents with their unique developmental issues,” Senator Harp said. “Researchers are consistently learning more about brain development and the challenges some young adults face. We have to be sure all that new information becomes widely available so it can be useful.”

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Book Review: Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow

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by Andrew Palmer

This book examines the history of the “Hitler Youth” and how Hitler was able to take young people and turn them into monsters. The book is structured in chapters. There are 10 in all with a small introduction to kick it all off. Each chapter looks at the youth role in Nazi Germany in a little different way. Bartoletti also sticks to a loose sequential timeline as she moves through each chapter. The book includes some incredible pictures that are well matched to the text.

My favorite chapter, and arguably the most terrifying, was Chapter 7, “Serving a Mass Murderer: The Holocaust Begins.” I never knew that Hitler instituted a euthanasia program in Germany. Maybe the strangest and scariest part of all is how it started. In 1938 the parents of a five-month-old baby boy that was born developmentally disabled petitioned Hitler to allow their doctor to kill the child in a merciful manner. Hitler sent his own doctor to examine the child. The doctor agreed and the baby was “put to sleep.” As a result of this, Hitler thought that he could make the Aryan race better and at the same time save government money. So began a secret euthanasia program that eventually killed at least 100,000 Germans (it may have been up to 200,000). The program not only included deformed babies, it included adults who were deemed too physically or mentally unfit to live productive lives.

I was also surprised by how important the youth were to what Hitler did. How do you kill eleven million people? You lie to them and you brainwash their children. By 1939 there were 7,287,470 youth enrolled in the “Hitler Youth” program. The terror of Hitler was impossible without the help of teenagers and young adults.

As I read this book, I was reminded of American youth and their passion for President Obama. No, I don’t think that Obama is creating the new Hitler Youth program, and no, I don’t think Obama is equivalent to Hitler. There are some parallels to what is happening to many of our youth in this country. The left, especially the Hollywood, limousine-liberals, are brilliant propagandists. While our children aren’t enrolled in some massive Obama Youth program, I do think they are being brainwashed to accept liberalism and follow Obama.

I see this in my classroom. I teach middle school, and some of the kids are just enamored with Obama. It’s not because  they have an in depth understanding of the issues and where Obama stands. They like him because he is cool and has star power. Why do they feel this way? Because it has been presented to them through the media and entertainment they consume.

What is happening right now with regards to the gun control debate has nothing to do with banning guns right now. This is about the future, they are grooming this generation to accept gun control. They are moving the mob in America to accept their positions. They are using the media to scare them about the supposed risks of firearms. Hitler was patient, it took years, but he was able to program German teenagers to accept his insanity. Remember, progressives are patient, as well. It’s not about right now, its about how the ends justify the means. It is my only hope that conservatives wake-up to this sooner or later. We must focus on the youth through different mediums, especially pop culture.

I was struck by a couple passages in the book. The first came at the end of the body of the book. I love how the author talks right to the young reader that has just finished this book.

“In October 1932, when Adolf Hitler praised the Hitler Youth for their loyalty, bravery, and readiness to create a new Germany, he asked them, ‘What can happen to a people whose youth sacrifices everything in order to serve its great ideals?’

“On that day, no one could have predicted the answer to that question. No one could have predicted the extent and degree to which a person such as Adolf Hitler could exploit the idealism of children and teenagers.

“Sixty years have passed since the bloodiest war in history ended. Some people wonder: Could another despot like Hitler rise to power on the shoulders of young people?

“Only young people today can answer that question. What are you willing to do to prevent such a shadow from falling over you and others.”

And from the “Author’s Note” at the end of the book. This is exactly why we read and write.

“By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget.

“This book is my attempt to understand the role of young people during a devastating twelve-year period of history that changed our world forever. It is my attempt to make sense out of the fact that adults taught young people to hate, to kill, and to feel superior over others. After all, the Hitler Youth weren’t born Nazis; they became Nazis.

“The stories in this book are complicated. They are riveting. But most of all, they turn the heart over.”

This is, by far, one of the greatest young-adult books ever written.

Lexile: 1050

Awards:

Newberry Honor

Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews, Young Adult Books

Common Core Battles Explained. It’s Really Not About the Standards. Really.

by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

If you are new to the Common Core Standards battle, below is an article that explains the outcome of the standards.  The basic truth of the standards is that they are unproven, untested, underfunded and proponents cannot point to “internationally benchmarked” standards to which they are purportedly aligned. They are a cash cow for those education reformers providing the infrastructure and implementation: new text, new computers, new training manuals, etc.  What a great cash infusion into the economy…you’ve got to love those private companies taking advantage of that public money/partnership opportunity.

The method of making money (not really providing education reform for the sake of education) is in full swing.  But look down the road.  WHY are we experiencing this monstrous wave of centralized control?  It’s for the data.  The linked article explains about the surveillance of Americans via the National Security Agency (NSA) capturing email information (without Americans realizing it) and the massive storage and infrastructure needed for this activity.  WHY is the government keeping your information?  Michael S. Rozeff writing in LewRockwell.com:

If we examine the legality of this NSA warrantless surveillance, we will quickly become mired down in abstruse issues of statutory and constitutional law.   Let us not go there. That won’t give us the central answer to the question of what’s wrong with a wide network of government surveillance of Americans, with or without warrants.

It’s the same for Common Core Standards.  The grab of educational direction by the Department of Education is unconstitutional, but trying to get them out of your state legislatively promises to take several years.  Look bigger picture. WHY is the government so interested in establishing common core standards?  Like the NSA and the tracking of financial transactions, the tracking of student data will be able to determine your student’s place in a managed workforce.  Your students will be placed in a position based on his/her data set.

So what’s the problem?  If Americans want a nanny state, CCSS is the answer to figuring out what type of job your student will secure in the future.  No hard decisions for your little one to worry about:

The mandated Longitudinal Data System (a nationwide computer system connected to states using Common Core standards) will be connected not only to other states for educational information, but also to various federal agencies, such as the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services for information to supply the workforce:

The term workforce is defined as consisting of the workers engaged in a specific activity, business or industry or the number of workers who are available to be assigned to any purpose as in a nation’s workforce.

The public workforce system is a network of federal, state, and local offices that function to support economic expansion and facilitate the development United States workforce. The system is designed to create partnership with employers, educators, and community leaders in order to foster economic development and high-growth opportunities in regional economies so that businesses find qualified workers to meet their present and future workforce needs. (Emphasis added)

Your student’s data (educational and personal) is to be fed into the LDS to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses. This is surveillance most taxpayers/parents probably don‘t even know is occurring.  Do you remember signing a permission form giving the government the right to share your child’s information with a network of federal, state, and local offices that function to support economic expansion?  Is this what you envision for your child as he/she sets off for school each day?

The education reformers and some nanny state parents ask: Isn’t this a positive service our government is doing to/for our children?  Helping our children decide what to do for a job and where to work?  Whatever is the problem?  The answer:  What occurs if your student decides he/she doesn’t want to do the job designated for him by his/her data?

What’s wrong with the surveillance state? The balance of power between citizens and government in America is already lopsided and becoming increasingly so. The surveillance state opens up new opportunities and new vistas for government control of its citizens.

The biggest danger is that Americans be trained to accept the State’s controls over their lives, or that they have a limited notion of what freedom means. In roughly 15 years of training, a new generation can be taught that the State’s controls are PROPER and that what the State is doing is RIGHT and for the GOOD of the people. When this happens, further restrictions and controls become easier and a high degree of oppression reigns, and it even meets with a high degree of acceptance.

As you read What’s Wrong with the Survelliance State, think how this applies to the intrusion and data mining in education and the real purpose of Common Core standards.  If there is no common data mined and shared via state computers to other agencies, this silent surveillance on your student cannot occur…at least in school.

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Do you know what the NSA is? It’s the National Security Agency. The NSA has collected an estimated 15 to 20 trillion communications involving Americans.

Government spying on Americans and surveillance of Americans are rapidly increasing. The government has forced telecommunications companies to participate. This is being litigated in lawsuits.

Financial institutions must report certain cash transactions to the Department of the Treasury. This is accepted practice. This reporting includes the following and I quote the U.S. Treasury:

“Individuals transporting over $10,000 in currency or other monetary instruments into/out of the US.
“Shippers/Receivers of over $10,000 in currency or other monetary instruments into/out of the US
“For each person engaged in a trade or business who receives over $10,000 in cash in one transaction or two or more related transactions.
“For each U.S. person who has a financial interest in, or signature authority, or other authority, over any financial accounts, including bank, securities, or other types of financial accounts in a foreign country, if the aggregate value of these financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.”

Former NSA official, William Binney, says that the government is collecting and storing everyone’s e-mails.

“…the FBI has access to the data collected, which is basically the emails of virtually everybody in the country. And the FBI has access to it. All the congressional members are on the surveillance too, no one is excluded. They are all included. So, yes, this can happen to anyone. If they become a target for whatever reason – they are targeted by the government, the government can go in, or the FBI, or other agencies of the government, they can go into their database, pull all that data collected on them over the years, and we analyze it all. So, we have to actively analyze everything they’ve done for the last 10 years at least.”

Asked if this collection were only of those who could be a threat to national security, he said

“It’s everybody. The Naris device, if it takes in the entire line, so it takes in all the data. In fact they advertised they can process the lines at session rates, which means 10-gigabit lines. I forgot the name of the device (it’s not the Naris) – the other one does it at 10 gigabits. That’s why they’re building Bluffdale [database facility], because they have to have more storage, because they can’t figure out what’s important, so they are just storing everything there. So, emails are going to be stored there in the future, but right now stored in different places around the country. But it is being collected – and the FBI has access to it.”

If we examine the legality of this NSA warrantless surveillance, we will quickly become mired down in abstruse issues of statutory and constitutional law.

Let us not go there. That won’t give us the central answer to the question of what’s wrong with a wide network of government surveillance of Americans, with or without warrants.

Binney gives us the beginning of the answer:

“Unfortunately, the state of our surveillance state is: all set, to be turned on for the imperial presidency to do whatever it wants to do.”

What’s wrong with the surveillance state is (1) that the State has far more power than each individual American has, and (2) the State can and will turn that power against Americans if it can get away with it.

The State is not some beneficent body of men and women devoted to public service who are unselfishly acting on behalf of the welfare of Americans. Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein, John Boehner, Harry Reid, John Roberts, David Petraeus, Keith B. Alexander, Robert Mueller, and Michael Hayden are not saints. They are not even close.

We have had recent examples of the abuses of power as exercised by George Bush and his administration. Barack Obama continues those abuses and adds more of his own. The Congress continues its many abuses. The Supreme Court continues its abuses. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that men and women in the U.S. government have immense power to do many evil and foul deeds, and they have done them, and they will continue to do them.

It is built into human nature and into the nature of the institutions of government that such evils can and will occur, and they must be curtailed or else they annihilate civil society.

The State consists of a relatively small group of men and women with great power, and they will abuse this power if they can, that is to say, if the governed do not control their governors.

The State has organized and official power that we as individuals do not have. The State has the power to make laws and say what is legal or not legal, constitutional or not constitutional. It has the power to carry out and enforce its laws. The State’s power also finds acceptance among many Americans.

When there is a contest between some Americans and the State, or when some Americans oppose the government’s powers, their means of recourse are not as strong as the State’s, not as well organized, not as well known, not as well focused, and not as well accepted. It is more difficult for Americans to find ways to control the State than it is for the State to devise ways to control Americans. The citizens who wish to keep the State under control do not as a routine and accepted matter have institutions that they have built up and used over time to check the State’s power.

As government has grown and State power accumulated, the powers of civil society to control the State have atrophied. It is in the interest of the State to diminish those powers, and over time it is doing this. It is in the State’s interest to diminish an armed citizen militia and to replace it with a nationalized, centralized and professionalized armed force. It is in the State’s interest to replace common law and dispersed courts with a nationalized and centralized system of law-making, law-interpretation and law-enforcement.

It is by no means impossible to control the State, but it’s a non-routine and trying task. When the State flexes its muscles and oversteps, legal and electoral mechanisms may be slow and unwieldy and they may fail. The State has staying power.

And so William Binney accurately pinpoints the risk. With a surveillance state in place and with access to information on everyone, the few at the top who run the State and particularly the imperial President, who already is attempting to rule by Executive Order, can do whatever he or she wants to do.

What I envision is creeping totalitarianism, also one can call it democratic totalitarianism. It is a totalitarianism in which a facade of democratic or republican government, call it what you will, is maintained, but the actuality is increasingly detailed and oppressive control over ordinary life. The State will know where you are and what you are doing, and it will have the means of punishing you if you do not obey its rules.

Surveillance is a key component of such totalitarianism. Imagine that the State controls currency and eliminates hand-to-hand cash altogether, replacing it by electronic transactions. These can be monitored and collected. The State can know every item that you buy or sell. The State then can pass a law, according to its whim, that outlaws a certain food or item or service, or it can do the opposite. It can pass a law requiring a certain food or medical procedure. Surveillance gives it the means of enforcing its laws by knowing who is obeying and who is not. The State can turn anyone into a criminal ex post facto by passing a law and then searching past records, communications and transactions to find evidence of their previous wrongdoing. The U.S. Constitution forbids ex post facto laws, but it also forbids fiat money and requires declarations of wars by Congress. Many other constitutional provisions are ignored.

What’s wrong with the surveillance state? The balance of power between citizens and government in America is already lopsided and becoming increasingly so. The surveillance state opens up new opportunities and new vistas for government control of its citizens.
The biggest danger is that Americans be trained to accept the State’s controls over their lives, or that they have a limited notion of what freedom means. In roughly 15 years of training, a new generation can be taught that the State’s controls are PROPER and that what the State is doing is RIGHT and for the GOOD of the people. When this happens, further restrictions and controls become easier and a high degree of oppression reigns, and it even meets with a high degree of acceptance.

Totally free communication is absolutely essential to prevent this from occurring. There must be the capacity to speak freely and to educate all people, young and old, about freedom and the challenges to freedom emanating from the State. If surveillance is used to instill fear of speaking freely or used to control speech or used to prevent people from earning a livelihood or used to tie people up in legal proceedings or used to blackmail people into silence, the threat to freedom at that point is open and severe.

The surveillance State constantly drags its heels and seeks to keep its surveillance secret. There is no possibility of citizens controlling a government when they don’t know what the government is doing. If whistle blowers, soldiers and ex-soldiers, government officials and ex-government officials, and media figures are repressed and prevented from making information public, in other words, as the surveillance state seeks to keep its activities secret, the threat to freedom amplifies.

The battle lines between citizens and the State are always drawn. They never go away. The State is always a threat to freedom. The State is always pushing for greater control unless the citizens push back, develop and use means to control the State. Growing surveillance by the State is an offensive operation of the State in this never-ending war. It is up to the citizens to resist the State’s surveillance, form ongoing institutions to control the State, form a culture of citizen control, and dismantle the State’s capacity for such surveillance. It is that or else surrender more of their disappearing freedom.

December 31, 2012
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core)

College Students Chant ‘Karl Marx’ ‘Socialism’ At Obama Victory Rally

Useful idiots…

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