On Friday I attended the Carenet Dinner in Hollis NH.

For those not familiar with it, Carenet is a protestant ministry for pregnant woman, women removing from abortion and men and women learning how to be parents.

I spoke to Linda Barrie one of the officials about their work

And to their keynote speaker Pastor Keith Ferrin from Seattle

I shared a table with Mike Rogers and Steve MacDonald of Granite Grok who spoke to me after the event about both Carenet and the Election:

As Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for life said there is plenty of room for all of us in the pro-life movement, I’m pleased to see Carenet do their part.

Moira Noonan & Fr Denis interviewed by WQPH
Moira Noonan & Fr Denis interviewed by WQPH
On Sunday at the former Madonna of the Holy Rosary Church in Fitchburg WQPH sponsored Holy Mass and healing service with Catholic Evangelist, Author and international speaker Moira Newman and Fr. Denis Phaneuf of the Diocese of saskatoon Saskatchewan and an advisor on the Vatican consultation on Exorcism and Deliverance Ministry.

A fair sized crowd came and heard this gospel and sermon at the mass

And stayed for the healing service, heard them speak and bought the various books available.

When all was said and done I interviewed both Moira:

and Fr. Denis

Baldilocks is tied up and her piece will go up thursday so to tide you over here are a pair of videos from the St. John Paul II Eucharistic Center at Mother angelica’s Monastery:

The role of Saint Juliana and Thomas Aquinas on the feast of Corpus Christi

and an interview with the gentleman who presented the tour

And lets throw in a few photos too

Meet one of the monks/priests at St Bernard Abbey in Cullman Alabama Fr. Ken McGrath

It’s really something to think of a man being a monk since I was five years old but what’s really something is to check out this page and see how many of the monks here are young enough to be my kids.

Orthodoxy creates vocations

This election has been one of confusion.

We see the MSM spinning and editing Donald Trump for electoral purposes

We see polls showing results all across the spectrum

We see huge crowds at Trump events & diddly for Clinton yet we’re told she’s a shoe in

We see talking heads saying a lot of things but not actually reporting a lot of things.

I’ve reached the point where I have no idea what’s actually going on. I hate that and I suspect you do too.

Rather than just bitching about it I propose a solution.

DaTechGuy’s 20 (or 30) days of Trump

 

My proposal is that I follow the campaign for 20 (or 30) days.  Report at each stop , do my patented interviews with those who attend Trump events, get credentialed at pressers interview campaign people (& Mr. Trump himself if he is willing) and basically report first hand on what I see and what is going on rather than counting on the MSM or anyone else doing so.

I submit that I am an excellent choice for this because:

My biases are out there, I endorsed Ted Cruz Sept of 2015 and then Trump July of this year. I have been both willing to praise and critique Trump.

I have interviewed Trump fans all over you can directly see my work and how I approach it.

I have questioned Trump at press conferences and have covered such events live in the past so you’ve seen my work and what I do.

It’s been shown that I don’t edit my videos so you will see what is actually shot

And while many have disagreed with me over the years I’d like to think I have a rep of saying things as I see them and not being for sale to anyone except you the reader.

 

What it would involve:

I would be thinking of either a 20 day period from October 18th to November 6th  or a 30 day period from Sept 13 to Oct 12th  (I have a commitment to cook at a Knights of Columbus Charity dinner Oct 16th so I have to be home for that).

Basically I would travel by air, living out of my suitcase flying to the various cities where Trump is appearing, renting cars to head for and hit Trump events, Shooting videos and writing stories and then back to the airport for the next leg all the while finding time to eat, sleep and get laundry done in between so people are willing to approach me to be interviewed.

This would not be cheap.  I would not only have to spring for hotels, rented cars, meals, cleaning, gas and internet but I’d also have to replace my pay from my overnight job that I would have to get a leave of absence from.

It will also be tiring but I can’t see it being more tiring than working overnight 5 days a week.

 

What it will take:

There is no way I can even think of doing this unless I have the cash on hand in place to pay for it, particularly as I can’t guarantee that I’d have a job to come back to if I do this.

So I’m leaving it up to you dear readers.

If I can get $20,000 in pledges by Sept 7th and have them redeemed by Sept 10th I figure I can afford to do the 30 days of Trump coverage listed above, being able to pay expenses while still being covered if I have to risk my night job to do it.

If I can get $15,000 in pledges by October 10 and have them redeemed by October 15 I can do the shorter 20 days of Trump.

(If I raise the full $35 K I’ll do both adjusting the schedule slightly to allow myself to make it home for my son’s birthday)

Now I know this is not an insignificant amount of cash but it’s also going to be a significant amount of work and travel not to mention a lot of time spent away from my wife and family including my son’s birthday depending on which way this goes.  Furthermore you will know that you’ll be seeing things as they are from a person you presumably trust.

So here is how it will work, if you are willing to pledge an amount toward this project contact me by filling out this form  

Once I get the required pledges I’ll contact you for payment and then contact my employer to get a leave of absence (or give notice if necessary).

If I don’t get the required pledges or if people don’t come through with the dough in time to do this, then I’ll stay put and keep doing what I’m doing.

We often hear people say they want honest reporting on the campaign as opposed to what the MSM offers well if you’re willing to support me in doing it, I’m willing to provide you with it.

Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.

The Incredibles 2004

Last Sunday when I woke up after getting home from Denver I turned on the TV as I got dressed for the Madonna Della Cava festival and noticed a commercial playing attacking Charter Schools and question 2 which began with the words.

“400 million dollars, that’s how much charter schools will drain from Massachusetts public schools this year”

Under normal circumstances this would be more background political noise that I would ignore but I had just come back from the Amplify choice conference put on by the Franklin Center where we spent a day and a half listening to speakers talk about Charter Schools both in Denver and across the nation.

And having attended said conference I knew that best the “Save our schools” crowd was being deceptive and at worst they were lying through their teeth because that statement ignores a cogent fact about charter schools…

Charter schools are public schools.

That would seem to be a rather important fact for that argument but an ad saying: “400 million dollars, that’s how much money will be spent on some public schools instead of others this year”  is unlikely to scare voters.

From that point the ad argument doesn’t get better.

400 million syphoned from local districts that desperately need it.

Except for the fact the Charter Schools are still part of the school districts that they are located in.

400 million that won’t fund more science and technology…

Actually the 400 million will just fund science and technology at a different school as anyone who joined me in visiting the Denver School of Science and Technology last week would know and met Sheila…

…and some of her classmates

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

…would see that science would not suffer, it will prosper.

arts or preschool, counseling or smaller class sizes

In fact charter that money would not only fund smaller class sizes which are the norm at charter schools but would fund them for groups that traditionally don’t get them as this enrollment chart shows:

In fact the STRIVE charter schools in Denver enrollment is 97% of color reflecting the neighborhoods they operate in.

$400 million unavailable to the 96% of students who don’t attend charter schools

That sentence is funny , it would be just as accurate to say to describe the $1.013 billion budgeted to the Boston Public schools as….

$1.013 Billion dollars unavailable to students who don’t attend Boston public schools”

…which again isn’t going to scare anyone.

The “save our schools” ads when they finish with

“Let’s improve public schools for all students, not just a select few.”

Forgetting for a second that by this argument your public school should not get a new lab because said lab is not for all public school students, just for the select few that go to it. It ignores that fact that the rising tide of Charter schools tends to lift all boats as evidenced by the results in Denver before expansion of charter schoolsDenver mid 2000'sand after
denver after

What is this ad actually arguing? It’s arguing to keep schools that are failing from having to compete with schools that are not, and it’s counting on the fact that most of the people seeing this ad, did not attend the Franklin Center #amplifychoice event this year.

Or to put it another way this “save our schools” ad is completely dependent on its audience being uneducated and uninformed about the results charter schools bring to protect failing public schools

Rather ironic isn’t it?

If you want to find out more about charter schools check out the #amplifychoice hashtag here or check out these posts at DaTechGuyblog:

Denver Day Two The Zoo and then Six #AmplifyChoice Conference Interviews

Denver Day Three Part 1: Panels and speakers

Denver Day Three Part 2: Da Writers at #AmplifyChoice

Denver Day Four Part 1: #AmplifyChoice on the Road


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

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Day Four in Denver and the last day of Amplify Choice started with a Bus Trip to a pair of charter Schools in the Denver area and me being me I took advantage of the time waiting for the bus after mass to interview bloggers Art Gallagher

and Mark Lerner

some bloggers during the wait for the bus

and then on the bus to interview Aaron Gardner

Once we got to STRIVE Prep the CEO Chris Gibbons gave us a presentation

Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep
Chris Gibbons of STRIVE Prep

He discussed STRIVE, how they operated, the various cost saving functions (for example the multiple schools shared a single administration, cafeteria and gym) The college acceptance rate (97%) and took multiple questions from the audience.

When the presentation was done I interviewed the community outreach manager for STRIVE

I was very impressed at the idea that even though there is a waiting list for all the grades for the school that they go door to door to recruit students so the whole community knows the possibilities.

We then headed or the next school when Will Franklin who I interviewed the day before produced a Drone with a camera on it from his backpack to take aerial photos of the schools.

We then walked to the nearly adjacent Denver School of Science and technology, Where we were given a brief introduction of their methods

As we were going upstairs for our final presentation I spoke to one of their graduates Shelia who was college bound.

once upstairs we had a second presentation where questions were taken. Here is a brief excerpt.

at the end Shelia and two other students who had graduated and had internships in companies also took questions.

The three wise young women
The three wise young women

All three where immigrants or children of immigrants and all had excelled. What impressed me the most was when I asked the responsibilities of a work environment was not unfamiliar thanks to the expectations from their time at the School of Science and Technology.

This officially concluded Amplify choice but there was still the bus trip back and there were still interviews to get one on the way back to the bus with Rich Eber:

And one on the bus with blogger and radio talk host Abdul Hakeem Shabazz

When we got back to the hotel those staying for the box lunch stayed. Others were heading to Union Station and their outgoing fights including Darvio Morrow who would be my last very brief interview of Amplify choice cut off by loud cleaning and the impending bus trip.

But there was no more time, the bus was leaving, Amplify choice was done, it was time for Redstate


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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The speakers and the presentations are obviously the meat of the Amplify Choice conference but no less important are the writers / blogger who attended and I spoke to as many as I had time to.

Since there wasn’t a lot free time I struck the lunch ine:

I spoke to Kemberlee Kaye of Legal Insurrection

and Ernesto Cullari

And Will Franklin

We would see him again tomorrow

Once the presentations were over it was time to clear the room for dinner so I packed up as soon as I could and caught managed to talk to Heather Kays

We saw a glimpse of her during the Ben Scafidi interview and she was on the panel of reporters who cover the subject as well (Incidently her piece at Watchdog.org Teachers and tummy tucks: Buffalo’s $5 million bill for cosmetic surgery is a must read.)

and of course old friend and past Magnificent Seven writer AP Dillon

Her going onwards and upwards is the reason why we are interviewing Da Magnificent Prospects

Just before the dinner keynote & managed to grab Fay Anderson

Her point about the safety of charter schools as a motivation for parents was repeated in the keynote and is well made.

And my last interview of the night was James Foytlin

Now some of you might think that these are a lot of interviews, I suspect that if you do so, you’re new to this blog because I still had two more days in Denver to go and you ain’t seen nothing yet.


There were a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

Also this is week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects to replace AP Lady Liberty Dillon that I interviewed above, You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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After a pleasant reception at the end of day 2 for attendees on Day three in Denver the Franklin Center event began in earnest with the speakers.

It started with a presentation from the Colorado League of Charter Schools which documented the improvements in Denver since the rise of Charter Schools.

The fact that if a Charter school doesn’t perform it closes makes a huge difference in terms of performance, the people involved know their jobs and business are on the line.

The Next speakers were State Rep Angela Williams & Dr John Evans who talked about the political struggle to get these things into law Rep Williams (who is running for state senate) noted the need to keep people at the table and Dr. Evans talks of the various struggles.

The compromises involved in getting bills passed is considerable. The way I see it the problem is less the local pols who either having children or friends with children in the system have an intrinsic interest in success but the national groups have an intrinsic interest in seeing it fail.

The independence institute came up next with three speakers Pam Benigno

Ross Izard

and Erick Valencia who I didn’t managed to get an interview with

The Blaine Amendment designed as an Anti-Catholic measure which failed on the national level but was pushed as a requirement for statehood by congress has been used as a club against the progress of charter schools. On the bright side it likely means that Islamic schools pushing sharia are not going to be funded either which is something that didn’t come up in any of the panels but which hit me right off. It also struck me that if, as the various presentations suggested that losing regulation was such a benefit for charter schools why not repeal these rules altogether for all schools?

There were many other presentations including the makers of Frack Nation

Education writers at Amplify Choice
Education writers at Amplify Choice
(who advised us to tell a story with clear heroes an villains) A talk on home schooling (which was due to a suggestion by one of the attendees, A strong talk on the constant legal battles on the state level (Since the federal win on Zelman vs Harris was 5-4 I expect to see the left go federal again) A presentation on what was done in Douglas County (where accountability is king and every single innovation involved long protracted legal fights) and some panels consisting of some of the writers who attended (those interviews will later) but from my conversation with the writers who attended the most popular speaker, bar none was Professor Ben Scafidi

His presentation was on statistics and the raw numbers and was DEVASTATING. It displayed that the schools systems were adding administration at a rate MUCH greater than the increase in students and teachers. His presentation was very tweetable

Even more devastating was the fact that even in states and districts like Louisiana and DC where the student population fell, the number of administrators still soared. It’s basically a jobs programs for bureaucrats.

At the end of the evening was dinner presentation by Ed Choice formerly the Freeman (as in Milton Freeman) foundation which talked about how this fight for school choice will makes all the difference for those who are trapped in bad schools and poor education.

Bottom line I learned that there is a lot going on in the fight for school choice that I had no idea about. I’m pleased to say that I came away much better informed.

A postscript. Just a few days later back home I would see a Wisconsin State legislator on CNN defending rioting and looting while talking about people who have no hope to get out of poverty. the presenters at Amplify Choice are fighting hard to give that hope through educational opportunities that are not defined by class or race lines.

I wonder how many of those office holders decrying such situations spend their time on the federal state and local levels fighting against groups like Ed choice and people like our presenters to maintain the status quo?


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During my stay in Denver I went to daily mass on a regular basis, you would often see the homeless congregated there.

Christopher approached me asking if I knew if there was a soup kitchen nearby. Not knowing denver I couldn’t answer that question but I did know there was a McDonald’s next door to the Basilica so we went there and he spoke to me over breakfast

There are in fact such places in Denver such as the Denver Catholic Worker Soup Kitchen and a list of such services avaialbe in the city can be found here.