Friday, May 31, 2013

IRS ABUSE AND 10 MILLION STOLEN MEDICAL RECORDS


The ObamaCare Meltdown begins – The IRS has already been caught stealing records
Patriot Post – Arnold Ahlert – 5/30/2013

It appears the IRS is running roughshod over the rule of law, a reality pointed out in a paper written by Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon last July, in which they anticipated lawsuits being filed in this regard. They noted that an IRS rule "purports to extend these tax credits and subsidies to the purchase of health insurance in federal exchanges created in states without exchanges of their own," they wrote. "This rule lacks statutory authority. The text, structure, and history of the Act show that tax credits and subsidies are not available in federally run exchanges. The IRS rule is contrary to congressional intent and cannot be justified on other legal grounds. Because the granting of tax credits can trigger the imposition of fines on millions of individuals and employers, the IRS rule is likely to be challenged in court."

It is worse than that. As the Washington Post's Michael Gerson explains, the IRS "seized the authority to spend about $800 billion over 10 years on benefits that were not authorized by Congress." By law, only Congress can authorize such spending. Michael Cannon notes the political implications. "It doesn't look good from the road when IRS employees violate the clear language of federal law in a matter that just happens to rescue the top domestic policy achievement of their boss, the president," he contends. Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is coordinating the lawsuit, echoed that sentiment. "ObamaCare is already an incredibly massive program," he said. "For the IRS to expand it even more, without congressional authorization and in a manner aimed at undercutting state choice, is flagrantly illegal."

"Flagrantly illegal" is a phrase that provides an apt segue to lawsuit number two. Last month in San Diego, attorney Robert E. Barnes, representing an unnamed firm identified in court records as the "John Doe Company" filed a suit alleging that 15 IRS agents illegally seized the medical records of 10 million Americans. Among those targeted were "every state judge in California, every state court employee in California, leading and politically controversial members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild, and prominent citizens in the world of entertainment, business and government, from all walks of life."

The alleged abuses are shocking. "No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search," the suit contends.

The complaint seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages "per violation per individual," plus punitive damages for constitutional violations.


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

COMMON CORE – COMMON DEFICIENCIES

The beginning of Common Core’s trouble
Weekly Standard – Jamie Gass and Jim Stergios – 5/29/2013

Rather than learn from leading states like Massachusetts, Common Core draws from the so-called “21st century skills” movement, which elevates soft skills like global awareness, media literacy, cross-cultural flexibility and adaptability, and creativity to equal footing with academic content.  This less academic approach has, in fact, been road tested in places like Connecticut and West Virginia. Predictably, the results have been dismal.

West Virginia’s was perhaps the most enthusiastic embrace of 21st century skills.  As Matthew Ladner, a research scholar at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, has demonstrated, its impact on poor students is deeply troubling.  West Virginia is the only state whose NAEP reading and math scores for students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch fell between 2003 and 2009.  The major D.C.-based drivers of Common Core and national tests like the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association, Achieve, Inc., and the Obama administration all enthusiastically support 21st century skills.

Common Core’s problems, however, extend beyond academic deficiencies.  No estimate was ever performed to determine what it would cost to implement the new standards. In 2011, Pioneer Institute commissioned the first independent, comprehensive cost study, which showed that transitioning states to the new standards will be $16.7 billion, more than triple the amount of the federal Race to the Top inducements. Massive technology upgrades, training and support, together with the purchase of new textbooks and instructional materials, and professional development account for most of the expense.  

And yet Race to the Top favored a state’s grant application if it adopted Common Core.  The U.S. Department of Education subsequently awarded $362 million to directly fund two national testing consortia to develop common nationalized assessments. The consortia funding application clearly state that they will use federal funds to develop curriculum materials and to create a “model curriculum” and instructional materials “aligned with” Common Core.  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan himself noted that the consortia would develop “curriculum frameworks” and “instructional modules.” 


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EVOLUTION – STILL A MYTH AND A POOR THEORY


To God, or Not to God
Patriot Update – Rod Bedard Jr. – 5/30-2013

The title is “Tornado in a Junkyard-The Relentless Myth of Darwinism”. I didn’t know what it was about when I cracked it open. Sometimes though, like I said, you get what you need.

The book makes two overall points. First is that there is absolutely no proof to back up even a single example of so-called Evolution. Nothing in the genetics, nothing in the fossil record. The Evolution theory we were taught, Darwinism, is a complete fraud. Darwin himself said there was no actual proof. Even venerable science like carbon dating is, in truth, highly unreliable and based on a heap of assumptions (also not proven) and is now coming under scrutiny. Even the Big Bang is taken apart and shown to be an impossible explanation for the beginning of our universe.

The second point is Creation itself and that we recognize something “created”. A question is posed: If you kick a rock down the road for a million years will it eventually become an arrowhead? That is what Evolution claims for us…that all life came from the same single source…the Big Bang…and we all evolved from bacteria in the “Primordial Soup” and came to be, by chance and time, as we are. All life, with its many differences and complexities all came from one thing. It was all by chance and good luck I guess.

We can see creation and DESIGN in an arrowhead. It is clear that erosion and time and chance didn’t make it but rather it was designed and made. There is just as much proof for Evolution as there is for arrowheads being made by chance, luck and enough time. The book continues with the “science” of Evolution being taken apart especially by scientists! We find that paleontologists, botanists, geologists etc have, in innumerable instances, just made it up, fudged findings, taken poetic license, hidden findings not supportive of the theory and made huge and yet unproven assumptions. In the name of potential fame many have tried to make the evidence fit the theory, not the other way around.


If you question faith and spirituality and God I recommend “Tornado in a Junkyard-The Relentless Myth of Darwinism”. Read it and pass it on to someone you think needs it. It is a stunning slap down to Evolution and it makes total sense! There is always a certain kind of peace to be found in the truth.
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IRS -- OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS

25 conservative groups file lawsuit against IRS for targeting them
Lifenews – Steven Ertelt – 5/29/2013

Sekulow told LifeNews: “As this unconstitutional scheme continues even today, the only way to stop this flagrant and arrogant abuse of our clients’ rights is to file a federal lawsuit, which we have done. The lawsuit sends a very powerful message to the IRS and the Obama Administration – including the White House: Americans are not going to be bullied and intimidated by our government. They will not be subjected to unconstitutional treatment and unlawfully singled out and punished because of their ideological beliefs. Those responsible for this unprecedented intimidation ploy must be held accountable.”

Sekulow says the lawsuit requests a declaratory judgment that the Defendants unlawfully delayed and obstructed the organizations’ applications for a determination of tax-exempt status by means of conduct that was based on unconstitutional criteria and impermissibly disparate treatment of the groups. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to protect our clients – and their officers and directors – from further IRS abuse or retaliation. Further, the lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive monetary damages to be determined at trial at a later date.

In the lawsuit, the ACLJ cites six counts arguing the federal government violated the Constitution, federal law, and even its own rules and regulations.

The ACLJ represents a total of 25 organizations in the lawsuit, with additional groups likely to be added to the suit as it progresses. Of the 25 groups, 13 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 10 are still pending, and two withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process.

Lawsuit – 29-page PDF


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PLANNED PARENTHOOD – THREE IN MARYLAND VIOLATE STATE REGULATIONS


12 of 16 Maryland abortion clinics fail inspections
Lifesite News – John Jalsevac – 5/27/2013

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) announced on Friday that of 16 abortion clinics inspected in the state, 12 of them have failed to meet the state’s safety regulations. The state's new regulations for abortion facilities went into effect in July of last year.

In a letter dated May 24, Joshua Sharfstein, the secretary of the Maryland DOH, said that among the three most common violations discovered was the:

  • Failure to maintain a sanitary environment at all times
  • To consistently use chemical indicator strips in sterilized equipment packing.
  • Failure to obtain information about the professional credentials of physicians on staff from the National Practitioner Data Bank
  • Failure to include a discharge diagnosis in the medical record.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported on Friday, the emergency suspension of the licenses of four of the clinics, all owned by Associates in OB/GYN Care, was deemed necessary earlier this month to protect “public health, safety or welfare.”


  • Non-physicians at the four abortion clinics were routinely distributing the abortion drug misprostol to women who had never been seen by a physician and who were up to 11 weeks pregnant.
  • Aat one of the clinics an unqualified staff member was performing ultrasounds and dispensing misoprostol.
  • Among the 12 abortion clinics caught violating state regulations were all three of the state's Planned Parenthood abortion facilities, as well as that of notorious late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart.
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COLLEGE EDUCATION – FREE TO CHEAP


Ten state universities join with online education provider
L.A. Now – Larry Gordon – 5/29/2013

Thursday’s announcement of the new partnerships means that the state schools, from New York to New Mexico, will experiment with using Coursera’s massive online open course (MOOC) video and testing platform to improve and widen online learning on their own campuses, officials said.

It is expected to bolster the so-called blended classroom in which online videotaped lectures from various online courses are an enrichment tool, like a textbook, in a class that also has face-to-face teaching and evaluation.

But the emphasis of the new partnerships is for the universities to bring their own in-state students back to degree programs, hasten graduation rates and start high school students on college education early, according to Daphne Koller, one of the two Stanford University professors who founded the Mountain View-based Coursera last year.

Busting the college monopoly:  Latest Phase
Tea Party Economist – Gary North – 5/30/2013

The institutions are:
  • State University of New York
  • University of Tennessee
  • Tennessee Board of Regents (which oversees other public campuses in that state),
  • University of Colorado system
  • University of Houston system
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of New Mexico
  • University System of Georgia
  • West University System

Several University of California campuses already offer non-credit classes through the for-profit Coursera and through rival edX, a nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Some Cal State schools have for-credit courses through edX and Udacity, another for-profit online provider in Silicon Valley.

A student can get access to courses at the world’s best universities. Then he can take CLEP exams for under $2,000 to quiz out of the first two years. Then he spends $10,000 on the last two years. At 18, he is a college graduate. If he wants great teachers, this costs him nothing.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FOOD STAMPS AND FRAUD – PERPETUAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

The facts about food stamps everyone should hear
Heritage – Rachel Sheffield and T. Elliot Gaiser – 5/27/2013

One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure.

Moreover, according to Obama’s budget plans, food stamp spending will not return to pre-recession levels when the economy improves. “For most of the next decade, food stamp spending, adjusted for inflation and population growth, would remain at nearly twice the levels seen during the non-recessionary periods under President Bill Clinton,” note Rector and Bradley.

What’s more, food stamps are just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs. The total cost of government welfare spending has been on a nearly continual climb over the past five decades and has increased 16-fold, to nearly $1 trillion annually, since the 1960s. Welfare is the fastest growing part of government spending, and under Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, total welfare spending will permanently increase from 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 6 percent of GDP.

However, a significant portion of able-bodied recipients of food stamps perform little to no work. Of the roughly 10.5 million households receiving food stamps containing an able-bodied, non-elderly adult (there are approximately 20 million households receiving food stamps total), more than half—5.5 million—performed no work during a given month in 2010. Another 1.5 million to 2 million performed fewer than 30 hours of work per week. This isn’t unique to the recession, but is typical even during good economic times.

Programs like food stamps should be reformed to promote self-reliance through work, empowering individuals and families to become free from government dependence.


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SHERIFF SEES NEED FOR BORDER SECURITY, NOT AMNESTY


NC Sheriff marshals opposition to Gang of 8
Daily Caller – Caroline May – 5/29/2013

A North Carolina sheriff is sounding the alarm about immigration enforcement and calling on other law enforcement officials and lawmakers to oppose the Senate immigration bill.

Rockingham Sherriff Sam Page has been a vocal opponent of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform plan, saying it lacks a focus and real solutions to immigration enforcement.

He and nearly 40 other North Carolina sheriffs have signed onto a coalition letter against the Senate immigration bill, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement union head Chris Crane, the Citizenship and Immigration Services union head Kenneth Palinkas, and dozens of other sheriffs across the country.

Page explained that one of the reasons he felt the need to advocate for immigration enforcement was what he has been seeing in his North Carolina county — hundreds of miles from the border.

“We were starting to make arrests in the past several years of persons that were associated with the Mexican drug cartel in North Carolina — in my county,” Page said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “And I said when we can arrest 12 people who are directly associated with the Mexican drug cartels, lots of drugs, lots of cash, lots of AR-15 rifles, I said, ‘You know what? We’ve got to do something. Are we really protecting our borders the way we should be?’”

“This flawed proposal would also provide immediate effective legal status and work authorization to millions of unlawful/undocumented immigrants and visa overstays while further restricting future enforcement,” he wrote. “I would be eager for an opportunity to discuss this letter and legislation with you. While the ‘Gang of Eight’ chose to exclude law enforcement input, I hope that you will provide the sheriffs of your state a chance to have their voices heard on this immigration proposal — including the opportunity to collaborate on any floor amendments.”

Page told TheDC that his goal is to recruit at least 1,000 more sheriffs across the country to sign onto the coalition letter before the Senate takes a vote on the legislation.
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WELFARE FRAUD AND ABUSE - INEPT GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY


Massachusetts paid out $2.39 million in welfare benefits to dead people
Daily Caller – Caroline May p 5/28/2013

Dead people continue to collect benefits, their EBT cards continue to spend money.  Do they continue to vote?  And does this happen in your state?  Read the whole article and reader comments about inept government bureaucracy.

An audit of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) issued Tuesday revealed millions of dollars in “questionable benefits,” including millions paid out to dead people.

According to Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump, the audit identified 1,164 cases in which welfare recipients continued to receive benefits from six to 27 months after they had died. These dead individuals received $2.39 million in total.

In most of the cases the auditors sampled, deceased individuals’ Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards was discovered to still be in use — thus leading to the assumption that people other than the intended recipients were using the benefits.


Additionally, the audit revealed that DTA paid out at least $368,000 in benefits to 178 guardians who were claiming dead individuals as dependents. In another category, auditors found 40 benefit recipients who were being claimed by more than one guardian.

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BOY SCOUTS – NEW POLICY AND ALTERNATIVES


Boy Scouts of America:  Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
Illinois Family Institute – Laurie Higgins – 5/28/2013

Click the link above for an honest look at Boy Scouts and Wayne Besen’s comments on the Boy Scouts’ decision.

This brings me to the Boy Scouts new plan for cultivating moral straightness and honor for God: allowing boys who publicly affirm homosexuality as central to their identity to join the Scouts. No, this new policy does not allow openly homosexual adult leaders—yet. But just wait another couple of years for that too.* The prohibition of openly homosexual scout leaders doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of remaining in place. What possible justification can there be for retaining a prohibition of homosexual leaders when the Scouts have necessarily declared homosexuality normative and good?

And that’s precisely what’s happened. This is not a neutral policy. Adopting a policy that permits boys who openly affirm a homosexual identity to become members necessarily means that the Boy Scouts Council had to have come to a prior conclusion that homosexual acts are inherently moral. They couldn’t rationally conclude that homosexual acts are immoral and then allow boys who publicly affirm a homosexual identity to become members.

Further, this non-neutral position contradicts the will of God. The Boy Scouts of America now violate their own oath to honor God and cultivate “moral straightness,” all in the service of currying favor with homosexual activists and corporate donors who follow the edicts of homosexual activists like loyal lapdogs.

Parents, speak with your words and your deeds. Remove your sons from the Boy Scouts. Send letters to your local chapter leaders and the Boy Scouts Board explaining the reasons for your decision. Actively support and participate in one of the various alternatives that currently exist (see below) or are in the planning stages. Former Scouts, stop contributing. Send your donations instead to one of the following organizations:


*Here’s what infamous homosexual activist Wayne Besen Founding Executive Director of the ironically named Truth Wins Out (TWO) thinks about the new policy:

TWO Condemns Boy Scouts Decision As Cowardly, Incoherent, And Mean-Spirited


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BANK REGULATIONS ARE WRITTEN BY BANK LOBBYISTS ???


New York Times admits bank lobbyists write laws for banks
Last Resistance – Mark Horne – 5/25/2013
  
“The lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most comprehensive overhaul of regulation since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a friendlier place.”

Not exactly. The lobbying campaign shows that the supposedly “comprehensive overhaul” of regulation was never very meaningful. The banks knew full well that this was just a ruse to get people to relax so they could operate in the same fashion as before.

People who want to believe that government can control banking are fooling themselves that banking and government are actually two different entities. That is simply not true. With its Federal Reserve the government and the banking system are practically the same institution. The Federal Reserve, after all, was formed by the very people who the public were told the Federal Reserve was going to control and regulate.

“Industry officials acknowledged that they played a role in drafting the legislation, but argued that the practice was common in Washington. Some of the changes, they say, have gained wide support, including from Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman.”

Notice the admission that lobbyists write law all the time, as if that is supposed to be comforting to the American people! And then they say that even Ben Bernanke supports the lobbyists’ ideas as if Bernanke is anything other than another lobbyist for the banking industry.


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IRS AUDITS ADOPTIVE PARENTS


New Class of People identified as IRS enemies
WND – Gina Loudon – 5/27/2013

Adoptions are expensive. The average cost of adoption is $30,000. In response to those costs, and the millions of children in the U.S. and abroad waiting to be adopted, Congress passed Adoption Tax Credits. States then began to match those credits.

New information from the Taxpayer Advocate Service says that 90 percent of those who filed for the adoption tax credits in 2012 were asked for “additional information.”

And the study says 69 percent of the families who adopted were ultimately audited by the IRS. In comparison, millionaires have 12 percent chance of being audited. On average, $117,000 more in taxes is collected per audited millionaire. The audits of adoptive families bring in substantially smaller yield of 1.5 percent additional revenue.


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IRS - OBAMA CARE, YOU AND TAXES


IRS, ObamaCare and You:  The Taxes
The Foundry – Christopher Jacobs – 5/27/2013

Obamacare taxes most people with health insurance, and most people without health insurance. Likewise, the law taxes many employers who provide health insurance, and most employers who don’t provide health insurance.

Obamacare contains no fewer than 18 tax increases. What’s more, 12 of these taxes will be borne by the middle class, directly breaking President Obama’s 2008 “firm pledge” to those making under $250,000 per year that he would not “raise any of your taxes.” For instance, many seniors will end up paying the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices as the price of wheelchairs, defibrillators, and other needed medical equipment will rise.


ObamaCare Timetable of Taxes
2010 – 2018 - $836.3 billion through 2022
If you can't read this website, keep one finger on the Control key and scroll with your mouse to enlarge the image.


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BILLY GRAHAM – AUDITED BY IRS PRIOR TO ELECTION – QUALIFIES AFTER ELECTION

Billy Graham
Charlotte Observer – Franklin Graham – 5/14/2013

 2-page PDF - letter from Franklin Graham to President Obama

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OBAMA AND GOSNELL PRMOTE ABORTION AS GOOD

Obama, Gosnell & Abortion – The Evil That Men Do
Last Resistance – Bradlee Dean – 4/26/2013

“The church is the moral compass of society.”
–John Adams

Click the link above for three videos on President Obama's record on abortion.

Through their inaction, the professed church in America today has been the greatest advocate for the abortion industry. Three hundred thousand pulpits have become accomplices to murder by their silence while 3,700 babies a day are aborted.

We need look no further than to the criminal in the White House who has voted over 241 times advocating abortion, as if to say murdering children is lawful. If that’s not good enough, Barack Hussein Obama has even voted to make sure there is a second doctor in the room to “snuff out” the baby if it is born alive.

“If an individual carrying out an abortion, operating a clinic, or doing anything else is violating medical ethics, violating the law, then they should be prosecuted.”

“What I can say is this: … I think President Clinton said it pretty well when he said, ‘Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.’”
There is nothing safe, legal or rare about abortion.

“Rare,” Mr. President, like 57 million innocent babies who have been murdered since 1973? “Rare,” Mr. President, like 3,700 innocent babies who are slaughtered in the womb every day?

We also found last week that Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife went in for the kill as a financial profiteer from the abortion industry.


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Monday, May 27, 2013

MISSOURI – GUN CONTROL

  
MO Gov. May allow gun control nullification to pass without his signature
New American – Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. – 5/26/2013

In less than two weeks, Missouri could join Kansas in enacting a state law refusing to enforce federal gun control measures.
On May 22, the Second Amendment Preservation Act (HB 436) was sent to Governor Jay Nixon who has not indicated whether he plans to veto or sign the bill.  Earlier this month, both houses of the Republican-controlled state legislature passed the bill by an overwhelming majority.

Nixon may let the bill sit on his desk without signing or vetoing it, thus allowing the measure to become law without his participation.


Therefore, the Missouri gun control nullification bill could become law on June 6 without the governor’s signature.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

COMMON CORE - NATIONALIZED STATE-RUN EDUCATON

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/04/common_core_nationalized_state-run_education.html

Here is another excellent article about Common Core from American Thinker.

April 12, 2013
Common Core: Nationalized State-Run Education
By Dean Kalahar


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COMMON CORE TESTIMONY

Links to Testimony of two of those who testified before the Legislative Committee in Madison on May 22, 2013 regarding common core "state standards."



Advocates for Academic Freedom - Karen Schroeder’s testimony http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.blogspot.com/

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MEMORIAL DAY - 2013

The Path of the Warrior – 5 minutes

I Fought for You – 4 minutes


As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open. The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.
  
I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him.

 I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade. He then turned back to the old man.  I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying: 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

 I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.  He then went to his wife and spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough, and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

 He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head.  I looked under the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I would be right back.  I drove to the station and went inside. I saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem the old man had with his car.

I offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him. The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the
problem (overheated engine), I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'

He said that he served with the first Marine Division at Guadalcanal, Pelieliu, and Okinawa.  He had hit three of the worst ones, and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it, and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again, and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them pulled out a card from his pocket, looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time.

The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written: 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless, looking at the card and reading it over and over.  I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his presence.

Remember, as we approach another Memorial Day, OLD men like him gave you, and all of us, FREEDOM for America.

Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to support them.

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war.   America is at the Mall.
  
If you don't stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!  Remember, Freedom isn't Free. Thousands have paid the price, so that you can enjoy what you have today.
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COMMON CORE AND SMARTER BALANCE


SMARTER BALANCED
Smarter Balanced assessment Consortium


Sample Items and Performance Tasks

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COMMON CORE - PIONEER INSTITUTE

Common Core
Pioneer Institute 
  
Since 2009, Pioneer has led the campaign against Common Core national education standards and federal control of K-12 education policy, publishing a series of reports showing that the state’s adoption of national standards weakens the quality of academic content in Massachusetts’ classrooms, and raising serious questions about the legality and the costs of Common Core.


Check this website for videos, blogs, press releases, white papers.

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PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER EXPLAINS HER RESIGNATION


In Pursuit of Happiness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH9vxq1iJVM&feature=player_detailpage
12 minutes

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BENGHAZI - OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LEADERSHIP FAILED A VERY CAPABLE MILITARY


U.S. Military:  We could have saved Ambassador Stevens
American Thinker – Jonathon Moseley – 5/25/2013

The U.S. military perfected capabilities after the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, the 2008 U.S. Embassy bombing in Yemen, and similar events.  Gates emphasized the need for planning; Commanders in Extremis forces plan constantly for all contingencies.

CIF units answer directly to the general for each regional command to eliminate delay.  Therefore, if AFRICOM -- the U.S. military's regional command for matters involving Africa -- had actually wanted to rescue Ambassador Stevens -- and the classified secrets in the Consulate -- the AFRICOM general would have communicated directly with the CIF team on forward deployment in the region.

Panetta testified that the U.S. military could not react because they didn't know the situation on the ground in Benghazi.  In fact, two unmanned drones were overhead, sending real-time video, including infrared and night-vision cameras, back to the national command authority.  Everyone but Panetta seems to know how dumb Panetta's statement was.

Liberal columnist Maureen Dowd commented: "The defense secretary at the time, Leon Panetta, insisted, 'We quickly responded.' But they responded that they would not respond."  Dowd sums it up: "All the factions wove their own mythologies at the expense of our deepest national mythology: that if there is anything, no matter how unlikely or difficult, that we can do to try to save the lives of Americans who have volunteered for dangerous assignments, we must do it."


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COMMON CORE, BILL GATES AND PEARSON PUBLISHING

Going Down the Rabbit Hole: The Mad World of Bill Gates and Pearson Publishing 
Living behind the gates – 5/7/2012


20-page article with a lot of background on Bill Gates, grants, tests and American children at public schools.

Who is leading America’s public school children down the rabbit hole of madness?

“It’s sad to watch a once smart and talented man go mad right before our eyes. There needs to be an intervention for Bill Gates. I fear that he has taken leave of his senses and finally jumped the shark…

I shrugged when the Obama Administration’s Department of Education was flooded with former Gates Foundation employees. I was unamused when Microsoft’s business partner, NBC News, had my FaceBook access blocked for criticizing their shameless publicity on behalf ot the Gates-financed propaganda film, Waiting for Superman. I tweeted in horror when I learned that the Gates Foundation was funding a scheme to put earpieces in teachers so they may be controlled while teaching.

You would think that nothing else could surprise me, but now, Bill Gates has descended into the delusional world of Charlie Sheen. Gates told the nation’s governors (they seem to speak with Bill more than their caddies) that the critical cuts to public schools could actually improve education ifclass sizes were increased so that we can “get more students in front of the very best teachers.”That’s right, Bill Gates is now advocating for larger class size! Since when do philanthropists call for the deprivation of children?

Gates’ crazy plan to raise class sizes FOR THE CHILDREN is one thing, but his desire to get more students “in front of the very best teachers” reveals his ignorance on how learning occurs. Learning is an active process constructed by each learner. It is not simply the immediate result of being taught.

Who elected Bill Gates and gave him control of a national treasure, our public schools? Would someone please suggest that he return to the corporate world and refocus his energies on the technological triumph that is the Zune?” ~  Gary Stager, “Who Elected Bill Gates?” (2011)

How did the madness begin?  

All this testing madness started in Texas with Senator Kress, Bush, Pearson, and No Child Left Behind.    
The testing madness creates an environment where American children are abused and oppressed to the point of endangering their health and safety.
There was just one problem: It wasn’t working back in Texas. It wasn’t that the teachers and students weren’t trying. In fact, they were stressing themselves out over the tests. Nervous stomachs became so common that one test company included instructions for teachers on what to do if a student vomits on the test.” ~  John Stanford, “Senator Kress’ STAAR Chamber, Education Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas” (2012)

Senator Kress seems to have some personal reasons for his political positions on testing. Here’s a little scoop on but one of the shady lobbying recipients – Senator Kress of Texas, is paid by Pearson for lobbying.  I include this to get the reader to IMAGINE the context, the sheer corruption of how much money is involved in promoting the testing and Common Core agenda!

Senator Kress is feathering his nest via lobbying money.  

Keep in mind, Senator Kress’s pay-off is merely a drop in the bucket of lobby spending that occurs in the Pearson and Gates magic mushroom forest.
$10,000 Pearson lobbying report (per quarter) in 2011 paid to Senator Sandy Kress, TX.

$10,000 Pearson lobbying report (per quarter) in 2012 paid to Senator Sandy Kress, TX.

Senator Kress isn’t the only one feathering his nest with education lobbying.  So are many others through a mega-lobbying power called ALEC.
Lobbying through this organization called ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) has come under high criticism.
   
Through ALEC and other corporate lobbying, the corporations are creating a system of government where people have less control over their government than ever before through powerful lobbying.

Bill Gates, and his company Microsoft are heavily involved as members of ALEC.  The Gates Foundation granted nearly $350,000 to ALEC to push their education reform agenda through ALEC lobbies as well.  

The Gates Foundation may have broken the law, as we see here from Seattle Weekly.

Perhaps Microsoft took a cue from chairman Bill Gates, whose foundation has also been involved with ALEC. Last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave ALEC nearly $377,000, for education efforts–in particular, according to the foundation’s website, measures dealing with evaluating teachers, a favorite issue in reform circles.
Earlier this month, however, as ALEC started drawing criticism from liberal activists, the Gates Foundation announced that it would no longer make grants to the non-profit. Microsoft could not or would not say yesterday whether it has followed suit.

More is at stake than just company PR. Common Cause’s Edgar says that many companies have been writing off their ALEC membership dues–running from $7,000 to $25,000–as tax deductions. Those might not be valid if the IRS finds that ALEC abused its non-profit status.

Corporations like Microsoft, Edgar says, could be liable for thousands of dollars in back taxes and fines.” ~ Nina Shapiro,“Microsoft Identified as Supporter of ALEC, Conservative Non-Profit Accused of Abusing Non-Profit”Seattle Weekly, The Daily Weekly (2012)

The ALEC  Education Agenda comes with more and more testing.  And with more and more testing we have more and more madness. 

The testing madness of the “pineapple question” is only a small bite of the madness.  Testing errors are finally being made public.  The increase in testing is proving to come with a whole new set of problems that America does not  appear to be prepared to face.


According to R.L. Ratto, error after error appeared on the tests, yet King (NY) blames teachers for the problems just like the rest of the edreformers.  Who is really to blame? 

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COMMON CORE IS EDUCATION FOR PROFIT


Children for sale:  A mother speaks out against common core
Education Reporter – Alyson Williams – 1/51/2013

What about the part where I said I felt my children had been sold? I learned that the U.S. market for education is one of the most lucrative — bigger than energy or technology by one account — especially in light of these new national standards that not only create economy of scale for education vendors, but require schools to purchase all new materials, tests and related technology. Almost everything the schools had was suddenly outdated.

When I discovered that the vendors with the biggest market share and in the position to profit the most from this new regulation had actually helped write or finance the standards, the mama bear inside me ROARED!

Could it be that the new standards had more to do with profit than what was best for students? Good thing for their shareholders they were able to avoid a messy process involving parents or their legislative representatives.

When I was told that the end would justify the means, that it was for the common good of our children and our society, and to sit back and trust that they had my children’s best interests at heart they lost my trust.

As I kept note of the vast sums of money exchanging hands in connection with these standards with none of it going to address the critical needs of my local school — I felt cheated.

As I listened to the Governor and education policy makers on a state and national level speak about my children and their education in terms of tracking, alignment, workforce, and human capitalI was offended.

When I was told that this is a done deal, and there was nothing as a parent or citizen that I could do about itI was motivated.

If you agree, I encourage you to share this information. Post it, pin it, email it, tweet it.

No more decisions behind closed doors! Let’s get everyone talking about Common Core.

Alyson Williams is the mother of four children. Two attend public school.


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SCHOOL CHOICE – LEGAL IN INDIANA – MORE STATES NEEDED!

Indiana Supreme Court upholds voucher program
Education Reporter – May 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in March 2013 that the state voucher program allowing school choice for parents and students is constitutional. The unanimous court decision stated that it is within the legislature’s power to provide vouchers and that public tax dollars can be used to fund private school tuition, even if the school has a religious affiliation.

The ruling is a major victory for those who support educational choice; it allows lower-income families to send their children to private school if they feel that public schools are wrong for their children.

In 2011 almost 4,000 Indiana students used vouchers and the number jumped to over 9,000 in 2012. While there were limits on the number of students who could use vouchers in the first two years of the program, there are no limits in place for future years.

It is unlikely that plaintiffs will pursue a federal case because the Supreme Court already ruled that voucher programs are legal in a 2002 decision on an Ohio case. (Indianapolis Star, 03-27-13)


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COMMON CORE: PRIVATE EDUCATION MEANS PROFIT FOR BILL GATES


Push against common core gains momentum
Education Reporter – May 2013
  
Critics of Common Core say it is an untried experiment that lacks legitimacy and empirical study and is now being foisted upon the entire U.S. school system. It has the potential to waste billions of dollars, multiple years of education efforts, and the learning potential of all schoolchildren.

Several state legislatures are considering withdrawing from Common Core (CC), delaying or not funding implementation, or withdrawing from national testing by government-funded consortia.

Private organizations developed CC; it was neither debated in public nor enacted by state legislators.

There is an immense amount of money flowing to public education because of Common Core implementation, and also to specific companies that are CC public-private partners that develop curriculum, create tests, and train educators to teach Common Core.

Federal Education Standards

On a national level, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is asking the Senate Appropriations Committee to cut off funds that allow the Obama administration to cajole states into adopting Common Core standards and national standardized tests by tying some funding to CC adoption. Grassley challenges other legislators to co-sign his letter to the Appropriations Committee which documents that the Obama administration forced states to sign on to CC as a prerequisite to get Race to the Top money or to receive No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers. These waivers allow a state to continue receiving federal funding although NCLB requirements have not been met. Grassley’s letter also addresses concerns about federalizing education:

The decision about what students should be taught and when it should be taught has enormous consequences for our children. Therefore, parents ought to have a straight line of accountability to those who are making such decisions. State legislatures, which are directly accountable to the citizens of their states, are the appropriate place for those decisions to be made, free from any pressure from the U.S. Department of Education.

Opponents of Common Core state that nationalized education standards are unconstitutional, citing the 10th Amendment, which limits federal influence over states. The General Educational Provisions Act also prohibits federal overreach by prohibiting “any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States [from exercising] any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system. . . .”

Federal Standardized Testing

Critics suggest nationwide tests will neither improve education nor register whether education is improving. Some experts point to teachers “teaching to tests” and students who are anxious over standardized test results as root problems in American education.

The New York Daily News reports that students from 33 New York City schools boycotted state exams that tested students according to Common Core standards that New York will not even begin teaching until September. Parents said their students would boycott tests because they oppose Common Core and the overuse of standardized testing. When 3rd- through 8th-graders took the tests in mid-April, one-third of students at the Earth School in Manhattan opted-out. The New York Times reports that among students who did take the tests, “many did not finish, and some students said classmates were crying at the end.” (04-19-13)

A further complication in the rush to adopt Common Core is that competition to federal tests from private companies has arisen. The U.S. Department of Education gave $360 million from the federal economic-stimulus act of 2009 to two consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) to develop national standardized tests.

Some observers say competition could be the beginning of the end for PARCC and SBAC, as states like Alabama opt to use tests being prepared by non-federal competitors, like ACT/Pearson. Alabama chose ACT because it has background, infrastructure, and many years of successfully testing students (Fordham Institute, 04-16-13).

Invasion of Students’ Privacy

Common Core gives unprecedented access to students’ personal information to schools and third parties and thus may invade student and family privacy. Privacy laws have previously prohibited such data from being available, but those laws have been changed and reinterpreted to allow such information as name, address, social security number, attendance, test scores, learning disabilities, and family information to be recorded and shared.

The Obama administration made changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), broadening the collection of students’ information and sharing it with other agencies. This information will not only be available to schools, but also to researchers and private companies. The Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. have funded and developed this database system and recently turned it over to a nonprofit corporation called inBloom, established for the purpose of controlling the information. There are security risks involved in the collection and storage of students’ data.

The New York Daily News reports that parents were neither informed nor did they give permission for New York to allow private data about their children to be collected and shared. The report continues:

If this information leaks out or is improperly used, it could stigmatize a child and damage his or her prospects for life. The state and the city are setting themselves up for multimillion-dollar class-action suits if and when these data breaches occur. The data [which] inBloom receives from the education department will be placed in a vulnerable data cloud. Many technology professionals do not trust clouds for their more sensitive data (03-14-13).

Opponents of the data collection and storage, which is already in full swing in nine states and scheduled for use in all Common Core states, include the New York Civil Liberties Union and ParentalRights.org.

The “sphere of privacy within the family” is effectively being broken down and destroyed by those who want to track children. This is in alignment with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which “has repeatedly browbeat nations to create a national database just like this that will allow the government to track children, purportedly to make sure their human rights are being protected — different declared purpose, same kind of system, same invasion of privacy for government purposes,” states ParentalRights.org President Michael P. Farris (WorldNetDaily.com, 04-25-13).

“Turning massive amounts of personal data about public school students [over] to a private corporation without any public input is profoundly disturbing and irresponsible,” the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union told the Daily News. The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington is suing the U.S. Education Department in an effort to stop the illegal collection, storage, and sharing of student data (03-13-13).

Follow the Money

Those who oppose Common Core are fighting an uphill battle against the money and political forces that created, fund, and promote Common Core.

Why has Bill Gates spent millions of dollars to develop, support, and fund the establishment of Common Core standards and testing in U.S. public schools?

Why did Exxon Mobil Corporation blitz television coverage of the Masters golf tournament with ads promoting Common Core? These questions are not easily answered.

Along with the federal government, private philanthropies and private companies have dumped money into Common Core in a manner unprecedented in American education. Arne Duncan’s appointment as President Obama’s Secretary of Education marked a new era of opportunity for private influence on public education, and under his watch public-private partnerships have flourished.

There are also swinging personnel doors between the Gates Foundation and the Department of Education, although that would be illegal if they were professional rather than amateur lobbyists.

The Common Core revolt is definitely grassroots whereas Common Core has big money behind it. Bill Gates gave the National PTA $1 million and funds think tanks that favor Common Core. And the Gates Foundation money isn’t slowing down. It is currently soliciting proposals from teachers:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting proposals from organizations, primarily those that consider themselves to be networks of teachers, to support implementation of Common Core State Standards in literacy and mathematics. Through its “Shifting into High Gear: Accelerating the Common Core Through Teacher Networks” initiative, the foundation will award grants ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 to organizations working to accelerate implementation of the Common Core across a robust teacher network. Priority will be given to innovative approaches, which create scalable solutions that travel across networks quickly and broadly (FoundationCenter.org, 03-13-13).

The Gates Foundation now wields tremendous influence in American education. Michael B. Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that has received millions in Gates Foundation grant money, told the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2009, “It is not unfair to say that the Gates Foundation’s agenda has become the country’s agenda in education.” Mr. Petrilli wrote at the Fordham website in April 2013, criticizing the Republican National Committee statement against Common Core, “Republicans used to stand for standards. We’re confident that once GOP governors and legislators have a chance to give this language a look, they will again.” Mr. Petrilli seems to suggest that those who oppose Common Core are opposed to standards. But for many of Common Core’s opponents, the opposite is true. The more they learn about the standards and the way they are being implemented, the less they find to like.


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