By A.P. Dillon

Last week we looked at Moral Monday in North Carolina and how it’s now spreading to neighboring states.  I mentioned that was not a bug but a feature. In this installment, we’ll look at the union ties to Moral Monday, a quick look at a movement I’ve dubbed Occupy 2.0 and how the AFL-CIO’s “Organize the South or Die” campaign all figure into the mix.

Occupy 2.0

We’re going to start with this little label I’ve started for the coordinated Fast Food strikes we’ve seen happening in various cities around the country. I’ve called this movement Occupy 2.0 since it seems to be just a rebranding of the original Occupy. In fact, I think I state as much in the first article I did about Occupy 2.0 where I dissected the group behind the first strikes in New York. That group was NY Communities for Change (NYCC) and I wrote about it here in McRaging In NYThrough a little digging I managed to track NYCC back to ACORN and tie it to Occupy Wall Street.

All of these groups are backed by unions. You might recognize shiny storefront groups like Fight for 15, Action Now,  Raise Up, Low Pay is Not OK and Living Wage.  Dig even a little, you’ll find the connection. Raise Up and Low Pay Is Not OK seem to be connected.  I go into detail about these two in my article Occupy 2.0: Fast Food Worker Protest In Charlotte, Durham.  What I do know is the Raise Up, at least in NC, is Moral Monday:

Picketing in front of Art Pope owned Maxway in Raleigh @ncnaacp @NCStateAFLCIO Forward Together, Not One Step Back! pic.twitter.com/jJzFJLGq6l

— Raise Up For 15 (@RaiseUpfor15) December 18, 2013

Let’s Review

  1. Raise Up is the NC AFL-CIO & Moral Monday tied.
  • Low Pay Is Not Ok is out of NYC. Low Pay is Not OK is tied to The Other 98%, which is the “infrastructure partner” of US Uncut.
  • US Uncut is run by Carl Gibson, the professional arrestee/agitator arrested at Moral Monday in NC and also at the ALEC Moral Monday Coalition protest in Chicago.

Does your head hurt yet trying to follow this web?  Well, take an aspirin because it’s not over yet.

Another strong player in these fast food protests here in NC is FLOC – Farm Labor Organizing Committee. They’re basically an arm of the NC AFL-CIO. There’s also Triangle Jobs With Justice. It’s led by Adam Sotak – Moral Monday arrestee, Democracy NC’s organizing director and on the board of the “NC Vote Defenders”.  Also at Triangle Jobs with Justice is Nick Wood, who is the organizer for FLOC.

By the way, Moral Monday’s Defacto Leader was at one of the Fast Food Strikes… along with one of the NC Vote Defenders who posted this photo on their Facebook page:

 

 

Union Involvement In Moral Monday

What’s a protest without your union help? About 50 people on a sidewalk. That’s what Moral Monday was –  A handful of folks not getting much media attention even if they do get arrested. You need a bigger crowd if you want to get noticed. Well, a bigger crowd is what happened Reverend Barber called in his SEIU friends from NY.

The crowd was astroturfed; a source on the ground that day reported to me they witnessed three buses with NY and NJ license plates unloading around the corner from the North Carolina General Assembly at the June 3rd event. In fact, two prominent members of from the SEIU were arrested at a Moral Monday protest on June 3rd – Estela Vasquez and George Gresham. You can look them both up in the Civitas Moral Monday database.

Ms. Vazquez, a ‘woman of distinction‘, was also more recently arrested in Washington, D.C. during the big, loud immigration rally that took place on October 8, 2013.  For a full accounting of the SEIU in NC prior to the Fast Food strikes breaking out both in NC and other states, read an article I did back in June of 2013. That article also covers how the AFL-CIO astroturfed one of the other larger Moral Monday events in Asheville. Excerpt:

On June 24th’s Moral Monday, the AFL-CIO made sure anyone who wanted to get there had a bus to hop on as well.  Note that the President of the NC AFL-CIO, James Andrews, was voluntarily arrested on June 24th.  About 1,200 showed up for that according to police, not 3,000 or the 8,000 the NAACP was claiming. Math is hard. Note: AFL-CIO is backing Kay Hagan; main reason is Immigration.  Remember, Unions see illegal immigrants as pumping new blood into their ranks. Also, with union support like this, look for the ‘Moral Mondays’ theme to go national.

“Look for the ‘Moral Mondays’ theme to go national.”  Well, I called it last June and here we are in January 2014 with Georgia, Alabama and recently added South Carolina jumping in:

Moral Mondays in North Carolina spawned Truth and Justice Tuesdays in Alabama. When the Georgia legislature returns to session soon, a new Moral Monday protest will greet lawmakers there. Activists from a dozen states recently met in Raleigh with the founders of the Monday protests launched in response to Republican reforms in education and social services. One participant told The Associated Press that, “A lot of us are looking at it as a Southern strategy, the kind of Southern strategy that hasn’t existed in many decades.” – FayObserver.com (1/1/14)

Southern Strategy? You mean like forming a new party like the State’s Rights Democratic Party a.k.a the Dixiecrats?

Organize the South Or Die

That’s really what the campaign is called – “Organize the South Or Die“.  The NC AFL-CIO makes no bones about hiding the fact they want to take over the South. It bears noting, before moving on, that unions are scarce to none in the South. A lot of right to work states down here. Union memberships are dropping. The South is gaining in population steadily.  I suspect that infusing their numbers the true motivation behind the union involvement in Moral Mondays.  MaryBe MacMillan verifies this notion; emphasis is mine:

For decades, southern states have been “right to work for less” and have limited or denied their public employees the right to collectively bargain. Given the region’s culture and laws, unions have not invested heavily in organizing the region. And so, it’s no surprise that voters in the South keep electing state and federal officials who vote time and again against workers’ interests.

The anti-worker culture of the South has an impact far beyond the Mason-Dixon line. Southern Tea Party conservatives block progressive policies in Congress. Companies are increasingly moving to the South in order to lower labor costs and avoid union contracts. And more states are adopting the union-busting laws that originated in the South and now form the basis for ALEC model bills.

What happens in the South affects the nation, and the region’s influence will only grow as the South gains in both population and political representation. So what does that mean for the labor movement and for workers? Is our future one of greater worker exploitation, continued decline in union membership and increasingly hostile laws?

One of the major flaws of her argument is in the first emphasized sentence — especially in North Carolina. We were under Democrat control for nearly 150 years. Only recently has the Republican party taken control. Granted, North Carolina Democrats in the past were more center leaning but those centrists are long gone. Replacing them are increasingly far left leaning ones.

The AFL-CIO is leading the charge and even adopted an official resolution at their convention. The final statements of which announce their intent to assault the South:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Twenty- Seventh (27th) Convention of the AFL-CIO adopts as one of its top priorities a Southern Strategy that will include a long-term commitment to organize the South; and BE IT FURTHER

RESOLVED: That the AFL-CIO strongly impress upon every one of its affiliates to adopt the same long-term commitment necessary to sustain a strong and viable workers’ movement in the Southern Region of the United States.

The NC AFL-CIO is already putting it into action, with a panel set up for January 29th at Duke University. It’s unclear who will be attending or speaking. If you want to see all of the groups involved in “Organize the South Or Die”, you have no further than to browse the hashtag #OrganizeTheSouth on Twitter. And we have now come full circle:

 

 

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and for the 2nd week in a row we start a Thursday at 30% of our weekly pay goal.

Since however reaching Thursday means over 58% of the week has passed that means we are once again in a hole.

When you think about it the hole isn’t deep at the start of a week a mere $50 a day avg will assure us of full coffers, but with only three days to go we need at least $80 a day for the next three days to make the goal with only a dollar to spare.

So While I’d be delighted to get the full $239 out of the way if we can get $140 we’ll be back on track for the week. Even a mere $80 today would be a third of the way home with three days left.

If you think my writing and that of people like AP is worth your time and money please consider hitting  DaTipJar below..

Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.




 

By A.P. Dillon

In Part II of A Primer on the Left in NC, we looked at the leader of the “grassroots” Moral Monday movement, Reverend William Barber. This week, it’s important to learn about the start of Moral Monday and their tactics because, as I predicted, it’s spreading.  Just this past week, Barber met with various unnamed activists from 12 other states with the intent to help organize Moral Monday’s elsewhere. One of the attendees was Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Alabama. I view this as the reaction of the organized Left realizing how much power is held by the individual states. Too many for the comfort of the Left are under Republican leadership.

 

Moral Monday

Moral Monday really consists of a small core group of people and organizations that have been made to look large and loud. This is done using the BPNC attack memo as a model with the help of unions, outside agitators and help from local media. The talking points are less than factual and typically start with the word ‘regressive‘. That term has become a running joke locally.

Oh no, more regressive policies ==> NC Is One Of The nine states (and one District) that won 2013 http://t.co/iwC3CjTGM8 #ncpol #ncga #ncgov

— LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) January 1, 2014

 

Reverend Barber, as we saw last installment, is the defacto leader of Moral Monday. This “grassroots” movement complete with slogan and leader is driven by two things. It’s important to note here that no one seems to know how Moral Monday is being funded. What we do know is the lost control of power in the NC General Assembly was one of the driving factors, the other was money.

“We want to send a shock wave through this state,” state NAACP president the Rev. William Barber told the crowd estimated at about 200 people.

“If you thought we fought in 2013, you ought to see how we fight in an election year.”  – Citizen Times

The above quote came from Barber the Monday prior to Christmas. They called it the ‘Moral Monday Redemption Service‘.  It’s hard to say how many showed up two days before Christmas in the rain to protest, Barber claims 200 above. Anyone following Moral Monday could have predicted that Barber would say that because it’s always ‘hundreds’ or ‘the biggest protests yet’. Here’s a picture from the “Forward Americans” Facebook page.

“Forward Americans” is run by Jen Guerin Ferrell,  a Moral Monday participant who waved to her to little kids as she was arrested. Ferrell unsuccessfully ran for a local town council spot. The winner of that race was an NC Justice Center employee who also has ties to Moral Monday. Remember, NC Justice Center started BluePrint NC.

Here’s Another shot right of the ‘Redemption Service’ from the NC NAACP Twitter feed:

A sea of umbrellas at the #MoralMonday Service of Redemption pic.twitter.com/YeRzohP5xU

— NC NAACP (@ncnaacp) December 23, 2013

 

The Moral Money

The money being the $100 million in state funds that the Historic Thousands on Jones street (HKonJ) was receiving. Via Civitas:

As the head of the NCNAACP and the organizer of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ), he is the originator and ringmaster of the “Moral Money Monday” protests. Barber has said in many places that the HKonJ organizations are the organizers and force behind the “Moral Money Monday” protests.

It is a collection of groups that, like Barber’s group, has benefited handsomely from taxpayer dollars. While he cloaks his actions in morality and even the trappings of Christianity, going as far as wearing religious garb at the protests, his interest is really about that least religious of concerns – Mammon, or money.

Civitas also points out that Barber himself has stated this is not a spontaneous movement:

William Barber, NC NAACP President, has acknowledged that “Moral Mondays” are not a “spontaneous action.” He said that the seeds of the recent protests were first sowed  when he and others formed a coalition of liberal groups called Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ). In 2013, HKonJ became the coordinating umbrella organization for the groups protesting at Moral Mondays. But as I have noted, it might be more appropriate to call “Moral Mondays” – “Money Mondays.” Here’s why.

A Civitas study shows that HKonJ affiliated groups have received more than $100 million in direct state grants in recent years. These include $33 million for the Community Development Initiative, $20 million for the Minority Support Center, and $17.5 million for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development.

There is a full listing of the money involved above. Read the whole article. It is important to note here that one of HKonJ’s supporters under that umbrella is The NC Justice Center; founder of BluePrint NC.  Given the rhetoric, occupy style tactics and general theme of sowing discontent, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this movement was a planned and coordinated BluePrint NC style campaign. Remember the attack memo said to cripple, eviscerate, pressure and slam and that is what Moral Monday went out and did.

 

Beginning Of Protests

Moral Mondays started in late April and ran all the way through the Summer session. I covered most of them. The protests started small. The first one on April 29th only had a few dozen people show up. The April event had 17 people arrested, which was a lot given that not that many showed up.

The next one, May 7th, drew about the same size crowd.  Most of them were arrested, which was about 30 people. It was the May 7th event that unveiled the Marxist flavored slogan they would use all Summer long: Forward Together. One guess who inspired that one.

It was the third event when the name Moral Monday was introduced. At the May 13th event, a bigger crowd had come, 49 were arrested and that crowd consisted of a lot of clergy friends of the Reverend’s and far Left leaning academics. All kinds showed up to Moral Monday and to support it. Including friends like Saladin Muhammed, who is a socialist at heart:

Muhammad, a founding member of Black Workers For Justice, led the organizing as an organizer of the national United Electrical Workers Union (UE) that formed the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150, which has been a leader in the campaign to repeal the N.C. state ban on collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. – Southern Workers Assembly

 

No One Was Arrested Who Did Not Wish To Be

The protests eventually got bigger – with no small thanks to outside help like the SEIU out of NY. There were other outside agitators, who didn’t exist according to local Media WRAL. Just ask ‘reporter’ Carl Gibson, who the News and Observer actually photographed being arrested, yet didn’t follow-up on.  Luckily, I did and it led me to groups in other states using the Moral Monday name — but that is another story for later. By the way, Mr. Gibson has tweeted to me recently.

#2013TaughtMe that my tweets can be used as only mildly inaccurate oppo research by right-wing bloggers like @LadyLiberty1885

— Carl Gibson (@uncutcg) December 20, 2013

@uncutcg Mildly inaccurate? You mean you’re not a professional protestor who was arrested at Moral Monday in NC? #ncpol #2013TaughtMe

— LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) December 21, 2013

The bigger the protests, the more arrests there needed to be. That’s how you get media attention, you get arrested. The imagery of civil disobedience due to ‘regressive’ policies of the NC General Assembly is supposed to tug on your heart-strings. It’s supposed to instill a sense of outrage, but it usually helps the cause if you actually have something substantial beyond being mad your party is out of power.

The Voter ID law (VIVA) was called racist, as expected. What was not totally unexpected was the theatrics that ensued when the public read the bill, agreed with voter ID over all and then started turning a deaf ear to the whining. Those theatrics were caskets:

Read the full story behind this pile of mortician style fail.

There was a lot of noise and fury around the abortion safety bill which the Left called a ‘sneak attack’ and mocked it being attached to a motorcycle safety bill by using the hashtag #MotorCycleVagina on Twitter. According to Moral Monday, pretty much anything the NC General Assembly passed, was ‘regressive, racist and taking NC backwards’.  Like I said earlier, ‘regressive’ is now a running joke in North Carolina, now you can see why.

What also helps if your arrest isn’t a carefully orchestrated event. What I mean by that is, everyone who was arrested chose to be— usually ahead of time. They even wore ribbons on their arms so they could be readily identified.  They volunteered.

These arrests and the subsequent overtime and court costs fell on the North Carolina taxpayers. When offered a deal to help the over 900 cases move through the system at a faster and more cost-effective manner, Barber and a core group refused. They wanted their show trial. These people didn’t think they should have to face the consequences of their ‘civil disobedience’.  Well, they got their wish and the verdict was guilty. To the very end, Barber complained. I recently wrote about the verdict and summed it up thusly and linked to a local article:

If you were serious about your civil disobedience enough to be arrested, man up and take the verdict handed down.  Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it too. If Moral Monday wants to further shred their credibility, they’re succeeding by “Moving Forward Together and Not One Step Back”.

“I’m also concerned that you know in most civil disobedience, the people that participate in the disobedience recognize that there’s to be some consequence,” says Willoughby. “I mean, that goes back to the sixties and Dr. King, I mean, those folks came to court and pled guilty and accepted responsibility for what they’ve done. These folks don’t really seem to want to accept responsibility for anything, and it’s um- makes it difficult to manage the cases.” – WUNC

Indeed. They don’t want to accept responsibility for anything. That’s how the NC General Assembly came to flip Republican in both houses, take the Lt. Governor and Governor’s spots. It’s likely they will stay that way, which has Democrats in the state turning up the heat with protests, ironic yet factually incorrect signs, arrests. Sounds familiar no?

At the start of this article, it was mentioned that Moral Monday is spreading. This is not a bug, it’s a planned feature. In the next installment, we’ll look at the role unions are playing, what a term I’ve developed called Occupy 2.0 and the “Organize the South or Die” campaign.

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

by AP Dillon

In the last installment, I laid out the back story and one of the main players pulling the multiple strings in North Carolina — NC Justice Center via their non-profit outfit BluePrint NC (BPNC). I left off the last entry introducing Reverend Barber as the face of ‘Moral Monday’ — the most recent series of BPNC campaigns and that is where I pick up this week.

The Reverend Doctor William Barber

Barber is the President of the NC NAACP, which in NC is a 501(c)(4) organization. Barber has a Masters in Divinity from Duke and a doctoral degree from a New Jersey university. He is pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro. Per his bio from the summit held in 2011″A NORTH CAROLINA SUMMIT:  POVERTY AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE IN A TIME OF CRISIS“:

Rev. Dr. William Barber, President, NC NAACP

Rev. Dr. William Barber is president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. He serves as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, a 120-year-old congregation with over 400 members and 30 active ministries. He is chairperson of the Rebuilding Broken Places Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization involved with building affordable single family homes and senior citizen 
housing and providing job training, affordable child care, and inner city revitalization in Goldsboro.

Barber has held adjunct faculty positions at both Duke University and  North Carolina Central University, and is the author of the book Preaching Through Unexpected Pain. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Public Administration from NC Central University, earned his Master of Divinity from the Duke Divinity School, and his doctoral  degree from Drew University in Madison, NJ. He has served as executive director for the NC Human Relations Commission, appointed by Governor James B. Hunt, and is a noted advocate for social justice issues in North Carolina

Be sure to check out all the speakers bios; it’s a who’s who of the organized Left in NC.

To be clear, the NAACP in North Carolina is 100% in the bag for the Democrats. There isn’t even an attempt to put on appearances otherwise.  Over the years, Barber has used his position as a ‘Reverend’ to claim rights to the moral high ground which, of course, is whatever ground the Democrats are standing on. The use of the church, religion and morality used over and over by this man in order to score political points is shameful.

It should not be surprising to learn that Reverend Barber sits on the Board of Directors at the NC Justice Center, which we learned in my last article was the group that started BluePrint NC. It should also be noted that Reverend Barber is a big fan of… Reverend Barber. If there’s a t.v. camera in a 10 mile radius, you’ll find Barber in front of it, especially if it’s MSNBC as Sister Toldjah notes:

As does the beat with the North Carolina NAACP, who started the whole “Moral Monday” anti-GOP policies march tradition in late April, with initially just a few dozen who protested at the NCGA – including our own version of Rev. Al Sharpton: Rev. William Barber, who has become a frequent guest on MSNBC (surprise!).  – Sister Toldjah

Reverend Barber has managed to insert him into every hot button topic coming down the pike in North Carolina and he usually ends up being arrested. To Barber, everything is a civil rights issue, every thing is racist and everything he says has to be delivered in a bellowing sermon-like voice. In a nutshell, Barber is well-known for his theatrics and his race baiting. You’ll see an example of just how far Barber pushes the envelope as we proceed.

The Rhetoric Of The Moral Reverend

Let’s cut to the chase and hear it right from Barber’s own mouth.

Wherein Trayvon Martin is the same as Emmett Till, according to Reverend Barber. This video was shot at the July 15th Moral Monday in Raleigh:

In the video below, Barber has taken his Moral Monday act on the road and is in Elizabeth city.  He has called a ‘press conference’ but has no intention of addressing any questions. In the opening 30 seconds, Barber says that in response to the Voter ID law recently passed that they are bringing in the “best legal minds” but that they aren’t stopping there:

“We’re not gonna just shoot one bullet, we’re gonna shoot ‘em all.”


Read more about this incident here.

Barber hasn’t stopped with attacks just on the NC General Assembly, he’s going after another target. That target is Art Pope — the Left’s equivalent of a local Koch Brother in North Carolina. Reverend Barber’s ‘moral’ answer to those pushing back against Moral Monday is to attack their livelihood, but in doing so, Barber is also attacking those employed by Pope. How is this being accomplished? Barber is using the NC NAACP to advocate boycotting two stores owned by Pope.

The pair had a brief interaction in public recently over this very tactic. For partial video of the exchange between the two, hit ABC 11.  As the ABC 11 report says, ‘this is the first time the two have met’, one should not be surprised. Barber likes to talk at his base, not engage in actual discussion with the opposition.  If Pope hadn’t been in the vicinity, this exchange never would have happened.

You can also read a transcript of the conversation at WUNC, but the net-net is Barber wants the NC General Assembly to spend more money. Barber predictably sides with Democrats who ran up $2 billion in debt to the fed and left NC with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

Not Picketing Alone

Fear not, the NAACP is not going this road alone. The AFL-CIO, responsible for many of the fast food strikes in North Carolina and nationwide, are helping to provide the foot soldiers. Also engaging in this activity is Democracy NC.

The North Carolina NAACP, along with the state AFL-CIO and Democracy North Carolina, have organized pickets in 17 locations across the state in December, starting with events at Maxway and Roses stores owned by Pope in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. – Chris Kromm, Facing South

Remember that name, Chris Kromm and Democracy NC. You’ll see them again in this series. In the next installment, we’ll delve a little deeper into the “grassroots” movement called Moral Monday and those affiliated with it.

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

Those of you who follow my personal blog might be acquainted with my mapping of the Left in North Carolina already. For those of you just getting to know me and my writing, you’re in for some fun and a little bit of catch-up.  Back in May, I wrote about how the Democrats were melting down in North Carolina.  I had no idea writing on this back in May of the drama, vitriol and ridiculous rhetoric that would descend on my state. In the coming weeks, I’ll be laying it all out for Da Tech Guy readers. This article (part one of ?) is long and involved, but vital to understanding how the Left creates a web of a few dozen organizations to create the illusion of a larger force. Treat this article like a research paper.

Background

North Carolina went Red when Republicans took both houses, the Lt. Governor and Governor slots in the 2010 election cycle. The last time Republicans held the NC Senate, it was around 1898. Before 2010, the Democrats controlled the House 68-52 and Senate 30-20 prior to the election. After, the tables had turned and Republicans had a majority control of the House 67-53 and Senate control of 31-19. That’s 15 seats in the House and 11 in the Senate for a total of 26 seats flipped. That’s a big statement on how voters felt about the job Democrats in NC (and nationally) were doing.  It almost goes without saying that Democrats were angry. Very angry. They wanted their power back and didn’t sit still for long.

Blueprint NC

Enter Blueprint NC (BPNC) a “non-partisan” 501(c)(3) that is the child of the NC Justice Center. We’ll delve into the paper trail behind the formation of BPNC and it’s ties to NC Justice center further down in this article. Quick fact, the first Director of BPNC was Julie Mooney, who at the time was an employee of NC Justice Center. Mooney now sits on the board of Democracy NC and is a coordinator for Grantmakers For Southern Progress. In Fall of 2009, Mooney hired Sean Kosofsky to replace her as director:

RALEIGH, N.C. – An advocate for social justice and civil rights has been tapped to lead Blueprint NC, a Raleigh-based coalition of nonprofits working to foster a healthier and more equitable state.

Sean Kosofsky, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice NC, will succeed Julie Mooney, who has served as Blueprint’s first executive director since 2006.

The article states Mooney served since 2006, but I’ve only located documents indicating BPNC went back as far as 2007. Incorporation documents were filed in 2010.  Those articles of incorporation list the following board members:

At that same time of incorporation in 2010, BPNC changed addresses from 224 S. Dawson street in Raleigh to 2912 Highwoods Drive in Raleigh. 224 S. Dawson is the address for the NC Justice Center. BPNC’s new home is also where ‘Project Vote Against‘ originated and houses Progress NC, Public Policy Polling, NOW (Raleigh) and Lillian’s List.

BPNC has a very exclusive membership of Left leaning organizations, including Occupy Raleigh, a list of which we will get into further on in this article. For a quick peek at some on the list, LaborUnionReport has a graphic at Redstate for your review.  It is interesting to see a non-profit that requires a login to be issued to go beyond the front page of their website. It’s also interesting that nowhere on the site can you request said login. I guess you have to know one of the employees to get one?

BluePrint NC’s Attack Memo

The folks at BPNC are fans of their media usually, however BPNC garnered attention with its “attack memo” being leaked back in February of this year. The Charlotte Observer published it:

The memo was forwarded by Stephanie Bass, then Bluprint’s communications director, to the group’s nonprofit allies. The Observer obtained a copy.

Describing the control Republicans hold on North Carolina state government, it gave progressives a list of recommendations. Among them:

• “Crippling their leaders (McCrory, Tillis, Berger etc.).”

• “Eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern.”

• “Pressure McCrory at every public event.”

• “Slam him when he contradicts his promises.”

• “Private investigators and investigative reporting, especially in the executive branch…”

Those were among the talking points and action steps in a memo forwarded by Blueprint North Carolina, a partnership of advocacy and policy groups based in Raleigh.

The memo was emailed to groups last week with a warning: “It is CONFIDENTIAL to Blueprint, so please be careful – share with your boards and appropriate staff but not the whole world.”

The article went on to say that the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation funneled about 400k into BPNC, but that number turned out to be low. Civitas Institute corrected the record:

While they talk about the $400,000 figure for 2013 what is left unsaid is the large and continuing support by ZSR for Blueprint NC activities. Looking through past IRS 990’s on www.guidestar.com, along with the $400,000 above, ZSR has supplied $2.1 million since 2009 to Blueprint NC. They did this either directly or through the NC Justice Center which originally started and housed Blueprint NC with the assistance of a grant from Reynolds.

Reminder: NC Justice Center was the start-up point for BPNC and their 990 filings I located show NC Justice Center pumped money into BPNC going back to 2007. Excerpt from the 2007 filing in which they allocated $255,849:

“BLUEPRINT NC – ADVOCACY AND ORGANIZING GROUPS DEDICATED TO ACHIEVING A BETTER, FAIRER AND HEALTHIER NORTH CAROLINA THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND POLICY STRATEGY.”

  • 2008: $811,730 in expenses, grants $249,543
  • 2009: $584,316 in expenses, grants $6,500
  • 2010: $511,413 in expenses, grants $72,100

The 2008 annual report for NC Justice Center mentions their launch of Blueprint NC:

2008 brought new financial
support for the continuation and
expansion of our work. Our budget
(including the special non-profit
partnership project Blueprint NC) grew
to $4.78 million. As set out in the chart
below, support grew in every area –
individual contributions, state
foundations, and national foundations.

In the 2011 filing, BPNC disappears from NC Justice Center’s 990’s.  More information on NC Justice Center, its money flow and IRS filings can be found at WRAL.  Make sure to take a peek, this will not be the last time you hear about NC Justice Center in this series on the Left in North Carolina.

Follow the Money

Blueprint NC was clearly getting money on its own after 2010.  In large part BPNC is funded by one of the biggest left leaning charity organizations in the area mentioned previously, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. It should also be mentioned at this point that Matt Vespa at PJ media has a nice list of their ‘non-partisan partners’, including the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. The foundations big tag line last year was “Moving NC Forward“. Remember that line. It will comeback to visit us in future installments.

Why is A.J. Fletcher important? It’s housed with NC Justice Center and is very generous with grants to them. It’s also operated by the Goodmon family, of which Jim Goodmon is a member. Jim Goodmon owns Capitol broadcasting, which in turn runs local media outlet WRAL. As you can imagine, WRAL was less than balanced in their reporting on BPNC and for a long while failed to mention their stations connections to BPNC.

The Man Leading Team ‘Cripple and Eviscerate’

There is an important player not yet mentioned here. The Reverend William Barber. He’s the NAACP’s  Al Sharpton wannabe for North Carolina who can be counted on to cry ‘that’s raaaacist!’ every chance he is given.  He also sits on the board of the NC Justice Center.

Reverend Barber has inserted himself into every issue imaginable in NC, most memorably the Wake County School board busing issues.  He’s a big fan of being arrested as an act of ‘civil disobedience’, not so much a fan of making an appointment to talk to officials. Here’s one of him being arrested at a Wake School board meeting:

Lovely chap.

Barber has moved on from his theatrics at school board meetings to a state-wide ‘cripple and eviscerate’ scheme called ‘Moral Monday’. Barber also has his hands in the Fast Food strike scene — a movement steeped in union supported front groups that I have labeled “Occupy 2.0“. I managed to figure out the union involvement back in June; the NY Times just caught up this week.

At any rate this ‘Moral Monday’ thing escalated over the Summer in Raleigh, predictably getting louder, nastier and beclowning itself at a rapid pace. As the session of the NC General Assembly came to a close, then came the inevitable burn out ala Occupy. Now we have little gatherings here and there; all of them drawing the same core group of Lefties.

You have to know that when the Left is using religion and morality as their platform, that they’re truly desperate and scraping the bottom of the hypocrisy barrel. We’ll get deeper into the Reverend and his ‘Moral Monday Movement’ in the next installment of A Primer on The Left In North Carolina.

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

Today I’d like you all to shut up. Yes, I just said shut up. I’d like to open with a flashback from Andrew Klavan from four years ago:

 

Shut Up.
It’s the main tactic of the Left and has been for some time now. A tactic I and others have dubbed “Shutuppery”. Shutuppery, like most silencing tactics, has its roots in Political Correctness. For those of you not familiar with the story about how Shutuppery was employed on yours truly, let me summarize for you.

I was doxed a few months ago by a group of “democrat recruiters” on Twitter alongside fellow blogger Sister Toldjah.  This was done with the express purpose of getting me to shut up.  The full details can be reviewed in my article, #Shutuppery and the Drums of War, wherein Stacy McCain came out firing with both barrels in our defense. Twitchy was not far behind in covering the story.

 

Shutuppery On The Federal Level

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s talk a moment about the move to employ Shutuppery to bloggers in general. I’m talking about the proposed Media Shield Law being floated in the Senate. The law, in essence, would create a rent-seeking class of journalists as the government would be able to pick and choose who qualifies as ‘real reporters’. Not shocking is that this bill is co-sponsored by Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham. Diane Feinstein is also on board as Doug Ross observes:

Senator Diane Feinstein has taken up the fight for truth and liberty, just as she has done for health care and the widespread disarmament of American citizens.

This month Congress has been debating a new media shield law, which according to its authors, aims to protect journalists and bloggers from being forced to testify about their work should their sources or information come into question.

But Diane Feinstein has refused to support the bill, noting that the law would essentially grant this shield privilege to anyone who chooses to share their opinion on the internet (including those pajama sporting bloggers and news aggregators working out of their basements).

But because freedom of speech, as interpreted by Feinstein, is nothing more than a privilege granted to us by her and her ilk in Congress, she has taken steps to ensure that only those journalists sanctioned by the government will be protected by the new shield laws.

Read the whole thing.

Going one step further, Feinstein has outright said she does not believe bloggers to be ‘real reporters’ and seemingly believes the First Amendment does not apply to all citizens.  In short, Sen. Feinstein wants to regulate the right to free speech. This is Shutuppery on a breathtaking scale.

 

Most Shutuppery Transparent Administration Ever

Now consider the lengths to which this administration has gone after those who, according to Schumer and company, would likely be ‘real reporters’. The most transparent administration in history has a chilling record of employing Shutuppery when it comes to the press, including secretly pulling phone records and spying on them. One has to take pause when an administration is actively seeking to silence the media which has so ardently defended them over the last four years.

Reminder: By the way, the guy who made the YouTube video that didn’t cause Benghazi just got a year in jail.

Related Read: Free Speech In Obama’s America

Indeed, the President himself launched an assault on Bloggers back in October when the government Shut Down ended.  In his press conference, Obama employed Shutuppery, statingall of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict…

This from the man who never lets a good crisis go to waste.

Remember Obama’s verbal attack on bloggers when media shield comes back up and gov’t argues why it should decide who is a “journalist.”

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 17, 2013

 

@DLoesch That immediately came to mind the moment I heard what he said. #Shutuppery on the Federal Level. — LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) October 17, 2013

 

Shutuppery On The State Level

A case to also consider, which hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is that of Jana Winter.  It would probably be naive to think there wasn’t any pressure being exerted from higher up on this case. Via Business Insider:

The 16-month saga of Fox News reporter Jana Winter is about to reach its boiling point on Tuesday, when the New York Court of Appeals will decide whether a New York state law protects Winter from revealing confidential sources in her reporting on accused Aurora, Colo., theater shooter James Holmes. 

On July 25, 2012, Winter wrote an exclusive story that detailed a chilling notebook Holmes mailed to a University of Colorado psychologist that was “full of details about how he was going to kill people.” That came before he allegedly killed 12 people and injured dozens in a shooting during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012.

The problem is that the notebook wasn’t intended to be public, and the defense contends that its release is interfering with their ability to get a fair trial. They want her to testify at a hearing that would get to the bottom of who leaked the information in the notebook.

Now, the New York Court of Appeals’ decision as to whether Winter will be compelled to testify could have a profound effect on newsgathering and protections for journalists — all in the name of doing their job.

Update: Court rules Winters cannot be forced to reveal sources

Think about this. A reporter with supposed protections is now being railroaded because authorities couldn’t shake loose her sources on their own. The proposed Media Shield Law would make certain there was no struggle, because if they can already do this to Winter – a credentialed employee of FOX news – they can do it to anyone.

There’s a cottage industry working to label reporting and reporters that they wish to squelch as “controversial.” It’s a clever PR tactic… — Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 10, 2013

But as soon as they think you recognize it, they’ll change it up. People are getting paid a lot of money to work on these tactics.

— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 10, 2013

 

By the way, if you live in Maryland and are a reporter or blogger, starting in 2014 you will need to undergo an extensive background check if you are going to cover the General Assembly.  No, not kidding.

In conclusion, I refer back to the opening of this article and political correctness with a quote from Theodore Dalrymple:

“Political correctness is communist propaganda. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

Or shorter: “Political correctness is tyranny with manners.” Charlton Heston 

It would follow that Shutuppery is tyranny without manners.  Anyway, just shut up.

 

 

 

A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.

Anxiety attacks. Bursting into tears. Vomiting. Headaches. Self-mutilation.

Sounds like someone suffering from any of a few mental disorders, but this list of symptoms is coming from a clinical social worker and psychologist in New York state. These symptoms are being displayed by children and the cause is Common Core.  Here is the testimony from Mary Calamia at a Suffolk, NY forum:

 

 

Read the text of Calamia’s testimony.  One excerpt worth highlighting:

A recent Cornell University study revealed that students who were overly stressed while preparing for high stakes exams performed worse than students who experienced less stress during the test preparation period. Their prefrontal cortexes—the same parts of the brain that we are prematurely trying to engage in our youngsters—were under-performing.

We are dealing with real people’s lives here. Allow me introduce you to some of them:

…an entire third grade class that spent the rest of the day sobbing after just one testing session,

…a 2nd grader who witnessed this and is now refusing to attend the 3rd grade—this 7-year-old is now being evaluated for psychotropic medication just to go to school,

…two 8-year-olds who opted out of the ELA exam and were publicly denied cookies when the teacher gave them to the rest of her third grade class,

…the teacher who, under duress, felt compelled to do such a thing,

…a sixth grader who once aspired to be a writer but now hates it because they “do it all day long—even in math,”

…a mother who has to leave work because her child is hysterical over his math homework and his CPA grandfather doesn’t even understand it,

…and countless other children who dread going to school, feel “stupid” and “like failures,” and are now completely turned off to education.

The early portions of the Common Core (K-3) have been protested the strongest in part because they are the most destructive.  The standards set in these years are age inappropriate and are asking kids to jump through hoops they have no hope of reaching even with a ladder. It’s breaking the spirits of the best and the brightest. The standards do not even remotely line up with the documented cognitive and developmental stages for children. A quick refresher of Piaget’s stages in relation to a First grader of an age range of 6 to 7:

Second cognitive development stage: The preoperational period (two to seven years)Preoperational Phase (two to four years)

Increased use of verbal representation, but speech is egocentric. The beginnings of symbolic rather than simple motor play. Transductive reasoning. Can think about something without the object being in front of them by using language to describe it.

Intuitive Phase (four to seven years)

Speech becomes more social, less egocentric. The child has an intuitive grasp of logical concepts but these are crude and irreversible. At this stage, kids believe in magical increases and decreases – their sense of reality is not firm and it is their perceptions of the world that dominate their judgments. In moral-ethical realm, the child is not able to show principles underlying best behaviour. For example, they can’t understand the reasoning behind the rules of a game, but can understand simple do’s and don’ts imposed by authority.

Third cognitive development stage: Concrete operations (seven to 12 years)

There is now evidence for organised, logical thought. There is the ability to classify many tasks, order objects in a logical sequence, and comprehend the principle of conservation. Thinking becomes less egocentric. The child is capable of concrete problem-solving.

 

Now, consider these standards (below) for First grade, remembering you are talking about 6 and 7-year-old children:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1a Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1b Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1c Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1d Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1e Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1f Use frequently occurring adjectives.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1g Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1h Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1i Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1j Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

The list starts out o.k. then turns into a set of skills these kids won’t be able to grasp, much less master, until much later. These kids are just learning to be proficient readers, they are building vocabulary and this should be a time for increasing their confidence, not tearing it down. They are concrete thinkers, not abstract thinkers.  As Piaget outlines, much of their language acquisition, writing and reading skills are founded in concrete terms and have trouble with deductive logic. Kids in First grade arguably are still in the pre-operational stage.

Consider also that there are comprehension components and writing components to the ELA (English Language Arts) portion of Common Core as on top of this list. Part of the writing component involves getting kids to write persuasion pieces requiring abstract thought and inference creation. That is something that kids won’t have until Piaget’s 4th stage of cognitive development… at 12 years old. Small wonder kids are melting down right and left. These standards are not just asking a kid to swim before they can walk, they are throwing them in the deep end of the pool and marking them down when they drown. This is child abuse. We now have COMMON CORE SYNDROME.

 

How In The World Did This Happen?

How did this happen? That’s what I asked myself as I became more familiar with the early ed portion of Common Core. Well, would you believe that no early education professionals or teachers were part of the 135 person “committee” that assembled the standards? That’s exactly what happened. When the standards reached light of day, it was too late. States had already adopted them.Early education professionals “shocked” by what they saw.

Recent critiques of the Common Core Standards by Marion Brady and John T. Spencer have noted that the process for creating the new K-12 standards involved too little research, public dialogue, or input from educators. The Washington Post reprinted part of an article by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, which lays bare the lack of input by early educators in the creation of the standards:

Nowhere was this more startlingly true than in the case of the early childhood standards—those imposed on kindergarten through grade 3. We reviewed the makeup of the committees that wrote and reviewed the Common Core Standards. In all, there were 135 people on those panels. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional.

It appears that early childhood teachers and child development experts were excluded from the K-3 standards-writing process.

When the standards were first revealed in March 2010, many early childhood educators and researchers were shocked. “The people who wrote these standards do not appear to have any background in child development or early childhood education,” wrote Stephanie Feeney of the University of Hawaii, chair of the Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

In 2010, 500 early education professionals penned a joint statement outlining some of the major flaws in the K-3 Standards and calling on the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to suspend said portion of the standards. To date, they have refused.

Quick Related Comment

The NC General Assembly’s Common Core Study Committee is meeting next week for the first time. We’ve heard rumblings that Common Core loving Jeb Bush’s crew are just going to happen to be in Raleigh for it. Convenient. Parents are organizing to show up and be seen even if we will not be heard until the next meeting sometime in early January. If you know someone in North Carolina who has a child grappling with Common Core, please consider passing this article on to them.

The meeting is happening Tuesday, December 17 at 1:00 PM, 643 LOB. More details in the link below or stop by StopCommonCoreNC.org:

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It’s Thanksgiving. Time for one of my train of thought diatribes that will either make fans of those reading and have them heading back for seconds or have people humming Crazy Train by the end of the article. Maybe a bit of both. Anyhoo — It’s also time to reflect on what we’re grateful for, spend time with family, watch college football, watch parades with over-sized cartoon character balloons float by and eat ourselves until we lapse into food comas. Some of us, in the wee hours of the morning, will rise and engage in the American version of the ‘running of the bulls’ known as “Black Friday”.

There are some folks just can’t seem to slow down for even twenty-four hours and really unwind over a holiday. Me? My version of “Black Friday” does not include such rushing around, urgency or stalking gifts like prey on the savannah. Nope.  I have no problem rolling out of bed as late as my young children will let me, padding down to the kitchen for my morning injection of caffeine and then lazing through the deals on Amazon.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to shop just like the next gal. I just don’t relish being mowed down by people who think Christmas shopping is a contact sport. My day will include watching parades, The Peanuts holiday classics and of course, my Thanksgiving favorite, Home for the Holidays. Can’t go on writing without playing the clip of one of my favorite scenes. This is the dinner scene, which epitomizes both the dysfunction and awkwardness of some family interactions with the added bonus of being chock full of Robert Downey Jr. comedy win.  NSFW warning

 

Of course, all that shopping mayhem comes after the food, drink and more food, drink and food and drink… lather, rinse, repeat. There’s the meal to deal with first and I guarantee you this year will have a slice of Obamacare conversation fun with a side of “how’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”  Those of us dealing with liquid courage fortified, progressive family members who just can’t let it go — Ace has some tips for you. Personally, I try to avoid politics talk at the holidays. I do enough of it every day as a blogger. Holidays are my reprieve.  When relatives on the other side of the political fence does bring it up, I politely side step the first time and even a second. If they persist… well, they’ve had fair warning and you should be recording it with your phone.  Nothing is a better wet blanket and subject changer than a liberal given a verbal wedgie caught on camera. Just sayin’.

 

 

Those were the days

When I was younger – school age, Thanksgiving often included some kind of artistic expression like tracing your hand. You know, a hand turkey? Your thumb becomes the head and you decorate the other fingers like they were feathers. I can remember half our the class one year making Pilgrim hats and the other half making Indian vests out of paper grocery bags, complete with papooses for the girls. Almost every year without fail, there was the inevitable Thanksgiving luncheon. Moms and dads showed up and the cafeteria served turkey and stuffing.

When I got older, Thanksgiving meant an essay or research paper. Some of the over-achievers would make Mayflower replicas or pilgrim settlement dioramas. These tasks all reminds me of The Peanuts, which are staples in our house on every holiday. Their straightforward take on just about everything is something sorely missing these days. I dare say some of the politically correct parents probably find Peanuts appalling. I find them refreshing.  Sally sums it up nicely:

Going back to the research paper bit, I always seem to remember Myles Standish first. One thing that irked me then and still irks me now, is most places spell his name Miles when it’s really Myles. Pet peeve I suppose. Anyway — Standish was, for all intents and purposes, the Pilgrim’s military leader.  The Pilgrims hired him to both lead and coordinate the defenses of the Plymouth Colony. The consensus is that Standish was stationed in Holland as part of Queen Elizabeth’s army when he was engaged by the Pilgrims to become their military leader. His duties were not only of a defensive nature, he was instrumental in some of the exploration of the area we know today as Cape Cod. At History.com, there is a decent summary of the departure of the Mayflower for America.

 

Myles Standish Proud

The farthest thing from history lessons and The Peanuts is probably my retro taste in 80’s music. Peanuts are nostalgic and so is music for most folks. This might be jumping the train tracks a bit I know, but for me the name Myles Standish also conjures up the opening to R.E.M.’s song

The song Begin the Begin is the first track off R.E.M.’s fourth album, Life’s Rich Pageant, which came out in 1986. Yep. I’m a bit of an R.E.M addict… still.

Begin the Begin was meant to be a protest song, which in a historical way, suits the reference it makes to Myles Standish. Standish after all was basically accompanying protesters. I think I also like this song because how often do we see historical references like that in lyrics any more? The number of kids getting the reference the first time around today would probably be less than those who get the obscure references in a Dennis Miller stand up routine. That failure to grasp onto knowledge is becoming a systemic failure nationwide. No one thinks anymore – hence the rise of the low info voters.  But I digress…back to the song.

The opening lyrics:

Birdie in the hand for life’s rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Myles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer’s tie, a murderer’s shoe
Life’s rich demand creates supply in the hand
Of the power, the only vote that matters

Silence means security, silence means approval
Watchin’ Zenith on the TV, tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter

 

The song overall is a statement on the corruption of society and its institutions. . It’s also got a bit of the ‘look at me!’ bit in the line ‘Myles Standish proud, congratulate me.’  Shorter:  Look at me, see what I’ve created of what you rejected. The last refrain I included above (bold text), for me,  is a little shout out to the media right now.  You reap what you sow, guys.

When it came out, Reagan had just been re-elected and Iran-Contra was swirling in the media. The title itself was a call to arms that is arguably more applicable today, given the transparency issues and scandal of the Obama administration, than when first written.  Hopefully, our history books will read in a more straightforward manner like a Peanuts cartoon or have the brutal honesty of an R.E.M song. That would be something to be grateful for I think.

As I said in the opening paragraph, you’re either going back for seconds with a re-read or humming Crazy Train. Well, enough of the train of thought ramblings from me, pass the pie and whipped cream. Enjoy your food comas, folks. Either way, let’s begin again…Take a page out of Linus’ book and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Those of us engaged in political debate know the term ‘new tone’. We’re used to seeing the hyperbolic, vitriol packed statements from legislators, talking heads and the like. Seeing people called racists, bigots, terrorists and worse have increasingly filled the airwaves and have been pounded out into articles and blogs all over the internet. Sadly, this is par for the course when it comes to political debate. I’ve been subjected to various incarnations of new tone in my time and have come to dub such attempts as ‘shutuppery‘ — as that is really a truer connotation of what these tactics are about; getting the opposing opinion to shut up.

In a rather unsettling series of events, we’re now seeing it displayed in discussions and forums on education. When forced off their talking points and scripts, officials are getting ugly. Specifically, those dealing with Common Core. Most upsetting was the recent statements from Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. Duncan took aim at mom’s recently. Yep, moms.  Not just any mom’s, but “white suburban moms”.  War on women anyone? Heck, War on Moms? Duncan has performed an apoloattack, saying his comments were “clumsily phrased“. Yeah, right…whatever. Here’s what the Washington Post reported:

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” – Washington Post

Just consider for a moment that the top education official in our country has just gone after parents – moms in particular –  in a rather rude and bigoted manner.  Not really confidence inspiring and, in fact, it’s a rather horrifying attempt at bullying on a national level.Dan Savage, call your office!

Here is the full quote as posted by the Daily Caller:

“It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary,” Duncan told education officials at a conference in Richmond, Va.

Yeah, it’s fascinating how parents across the country are pushing back to the stealth adopted, untested, unproven, age inappropriate, unrigorous, poorly planned and poorly implemented, costly educational federal overreach of Common Core. Many of us have figured it out, others are figuring it on a daily basis. Revolt is going on in every single state that has adopted it. Parents might be more brilliant than you think, Arne and I am sure that’s pretty scary for you. To borrow a sentiment from Instapundit: He’s a putz. He should go.  YEP.

 

Michelle Malkin jumped right on the Washington Post story’s report with two feet and pushed back in her customary, straight-forward style:

The preposterousness of Duncan’s tirade is outweighed only by its arrogance and falsehood.

As a brown-skinned suburban mom opposed to Common Core, I can tell you I’ve personally met moms and dads of ALL races, of ALL backgrounds, and from ALL parts of the country, who have sacrificed to get their kids into the best schools possible. They are outraged that dumbed-down, untested federal “standards” pose an existential threat to their excellent educational arrangements — be they public, private, religious, or homeschooling.

Duncan’s derision betrays the very control-freak impulses that drive Common Core. He presumes that only technocratic elites in Washington can determine what quality standards and curricula look like. He pretends that minority parents and students in inner-city charter and magnet schools with locally-crafted, rigorous classical education missions simply don’t exist. A textbook liberal racist, Duncan whitewashes all minority parents and educators who oppose Common Core out of the debate. And he condescendingly implies that the only reason “white suburban moms” object to Common Core is that their children are too dumb to score well on tests that are…a complete and utter mess.

Read the Whole Thing

Per usual, Malkin hits the nail on the head. You cannot paint this movement with a single brush stroke.  Those speaking out come from all walks of life, religion and socioeconomic status. They also aren’t all moms – as Ethan Young can clearly attest to. Pretty sure Nick Hladick can back that up as well. Trying to Alkinsky-ize Common Core opponents isn’t going to work. These are our kids. In a nutshell: We’re not shutting up.

 

Some related stories for your shutuppery viewing pleasure:

Robert Small in Maryland: Forcibly removed, arrested and then all charges dropped after he dared question officials at an open meeting in Baltimore. This particular incident went viral as it was captured on video:

 

Lt. Governor Dan Forest of North Carolina sent a 20 page letter of questions on Common Core to the state school superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson. The response he received was less than helpful if not down right snarky, claiming she’d need 10,000 pieces of paper to answer him.  The Lt. Governor did finally receive a reply, and it was incredible.  Dr. June Atkinson had sent over dozens of boxes containing thumb drives, CD’s and over 40,00 documents. That means each answer to his original list of questions took 597 pages.  Watch the video the Lt. Governor posted about it:

 

Parent Natalie Adams of Colorado was given a no trespass order for asking questions about data collection of the Common Core by inBloom.

 

A parent in North Carolina was told by their child’s principal they were causing ‘unrest’ by attempting to discuss Common Core with other parents.

 

Parents in NY were treated to Education Commissioner John King canceling forums when dissent and rejection of the pre-packaged presentation at the Poughkeepsie event was overwhelming. King has since reinstituted the forums, however you now need a ticket to enter and the events have ‘fixed’ formats. That didn’t stop parents from continuing to speak out in Albany, Port Chester and Whitesboro. Here is a clip from the forum at Ward Melville High school of an educator that went viral. In it she tells King he’s “awoken the mommies” and he’s in trouble:

AMEN!

 

In Florida, school board member Amy Kneessy called 911 over what she claimed intimidation by another board member. The Blaze reported the incident:

Brevard County School Board member Amy Kneessy says she called 911 after school board candidate Dean Paterakis refused to give up the microphone, intimidated her and hurled allegations at school officials. A short time after the 911 call, Paterakis claims a deputy forcibly removed, or trespassed, him from the Sept. 12 meeting.

 

In Wisconsin, Dr. Gary Thompson testified on the negative effects of Common Core testing on at-risk youth. His reward was not to be asked questions and engage in debate but to be asked who paid for his testimony and smears of ‘extremism’.  Dr. Thompson was undeterred and shot back, “Let me get straight to the point: On behalf of every African-American, Latino, Autistic, gifted, depressed, anxious and learning-disabled child in the state of Wisconsin, I demand your immediate resignation from public office.

 

Since 2010, the states one by one have been adopting the Common Core Standards in education. These standards were intended to bring uniformity of what was being taught across the nation. In other words, little Johnny who is in 3rd grade in Nebraska would be learning the same set of skills as little Susie in 3rd grade in Alabama. The standards were supposed to be rigorous and high reaching, but in reality have shown to be less rigorous than most state standards they are intended to replace. Instead of high reaching, the Common Core reaches more to the middle.  Fun fact to note here, the bulk of curriculum behind these standards wasn’t even written when the states adopted it.

The Common Core curriculum aligned lessons that have surfaced recently in the media and those landing on Facebook pages, Twitter and the like, have led many parents to wonder in horror exactly what little Johnny and Susie are learning. Case in point, a rather disturbing English lesson that is aligned with Common Core coming out of a South Milwaukee High School. In this lesson, kids are asked to decide who gets to get into a fictitious lifeboat based on religious and political views, race and sexual orientation.  Sounds like a Benetton ad gone horribly wrong, no?  Mind you, not all lessons you see popping up in the media like this one are specific to the Common Core curriculum. Some existed before the standards were adopted. Frankly, I don’t find comfort in either notion.

 

 

Twitchy has a close up of the text of the image in that tweet.

Horrifying.

In this case, our kids might have to cheat in order to win with Core aligned lessons like this one.  I hence have dubbed this lesson The Identity Politics Kobayashi Maru. An alternative name in our universe might be ‘GOP Messaging Maru’.  Anyway, Captain Kirk beat it:

Another Kobayashi Maru style lesson teaches 4th grade kids about their “White privilege”.  EAG news looked at teaching guides being produced by the Zaner-Bloser company and found this reference to “White privilege” in the 4th grade section:

 

This guide is for 4th grade teachers, and it contains texts and lessons that have the common theme of “Meeting Challenges.”

This particular lesson is based on a book called “The Jacket.” The Zaner-Bloser folks obviously consider this an important book because they designed a two-week lesson plan for it.

The story centers around a young white boy named Phil who wrongly accuses an African-American student of stealing his brother’s jacket.

It’s a fun little book about racism and white privilege – a left-wing concept that teaches African Americans the values of American society are designed to benefit white people.

 

Lovely. Those doubting indoctrination can chew on that one.

For more facts and information on Common Core, I recommend checking out the site I contribute to in North Carolina called StopCommonCoreNC.org.

http://stopcommoncorenc.org/

Of particular use is the resource page:

http://stopcommoncorenc.org/resources/

 

Rise in Home Schooling

Common Core designed and aligned or not, these lessons are likely playing a part of the rise in home schooling. The mere mention of the words ‘zero tolerance’ will make most people with kids cringe. Parents I’ve talked to who have pulled their kids out to home school directly cite the big reason for their switch being linked to wanting more control over the content of what their children were learning. One mother I spoke to said that, for her, watching the increasing government presence in their lives overall made her look more closely at the impact  of increasing government overreach was having on her children. That meant looking at the public school her three kids attended. They didn’t like the broad influences they saw and pulled their kids out.

Parents are looking for more customization for their children’s educations.  Glenn Reynolds wrote an article about that very concept of customizing your kid’s schooling.  Earlier this week, fellow M-7er Linda Szugyi mentioned this same article. We clearly have amazing taste in reading. Heh.  Back to Professor Reynolds.

The article was titled, How Home Schooling Threatens the Education Monopoly. Here is the opening, but read the whole thing:

“What about home schooling? You know, it’s not just for scary religious people any more.” That’s a line from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and it should strike fear into the hearts, not of vampires, but of public-school administrators everywhere.

The fact is, Americans across the country — but especially in large, urban school systems — are voting with their feet and abandoning traditional public schools, to the point that teachers are facing layoffs. Some are going to charter schools, which are still public but are run more flexibly. Some are leaving for private schools. But many others are going another step beyond traditional education, and switching to online school or even pure home schooling.

 

What the article doesn’t cover is the anxiety some moms out here have about taking that leap. Moms like yours truly, for example. So what’s holding me back?  This question opens up a new can of worms to possibly discuss and write about another time. Stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed my Magnificent Seven Debut!