By A.P. Dillon

This past week marked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States. While many took time out to remember the message of Dr. King and his Dream, others took time to assail political opponents and abuse the Dream. At Duke University, an event to commemorate the icon and day turned ugly, degenerating into a host of insults directed at Republican North Carolina legislators. The College Fix:

DURHAM – An observance at Duke University on Sunday meant to honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. ended up as a platform to bash North Carolina Republicans and their reform policies.

The event, held inside a chapel at Duke University, began with Duke student and president of the campus Black Student Alliance Marcus Benning citing Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” to criticize the Republican-controlled state Assembly.

“I know why the caged bird sings,” he said. “Because when institutions like the one in Raleigh put up restrictive laws, we begin to sing and fight back.”

Benning’s remarks were in reference to the state’s “Moral Monday” movement, large and disruptive civil disobedience demonstrations at the statehouse, where liberal activists decried the Republican-held majority and its approval of issues such as voter-ID laws and fiscal responsibility on public education.

Read the whole thing. NAACP’s Ben Jealous also got into the act. Paging James O’Keefe

Another such instance of abuse came from the leader of Moral Monday, Reverend Barber. Barber took aim at South Carolina’s Tim Scott, comparing him to a ventriloquist’s dummy as the Daily Haymaker documented:

“[…] A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Rev. William Barber II said of South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, according to South Carolina’s The State. “[T]he extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party. […]”   – North Carolina NAACP president William Barber  January 20, 2014

Scott did not take the comment lying down and fired back at Barber. The Daily Caller reported:

“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” Scott told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement. “Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man.  And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”

Also, further down:

Scott explained that he has never met Barber and implied that the NAACP chapter head knows nothing about him.

“I did not meet him when I was failing out of high school.  I did not see him on the streets of my neighborhoods where too many of my friends got off track and never recovered.  I did not meet him when I was working 85 hour weeks to start my business, nor did I meet him when I was running for Congress against long odds.  But who I did meet were people everywhere across this state who were willing to work hard and to help me succeed — and I them,” Scott said.

Indeed. Democrats and the Left truly have their heads in the sand when it comes to their own history.  Reverend Barber has a perverse sense of what Dr. King and his Dream are about as Sister Toldjah observes:

South Carolina’s “The State” news outlet published what equates to a puff piece this past weekend on the now-nationally recognized opportunistic NC NAACP President/Reverend William Barber.  Barber is the so-called “leader” of the unhinged “Moral Monday” movement here in NC that has waged a vicious war against our GOP-controlled state legislature (otherwise known as the General Assembly) since former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R) was sworn into the Governor’s office last January.   NC Democrats, drunk on FULL power here for well over a century, are not used to being in the passenger seat and are taking the “any means necessary” approach to trying to return to their glory days where they had little to no opposition.  I’ve written about both Barber and the “Moral Monday” activist left here, in case you’re curious about the back story.

Sister Toldjah also refuted the Left in NC proposing Barber is just like Dr. King.

In June 2013, NCNAACP’s Barber preached with hate, compared #NCVoterID to the crucifixion–> http://t.co/cK933wVxbF #NOTMLK #ncga #ncpol

— Stacey-SisterToldjah (@sistertoldjah) January 20, 2014

 

MLK was about judging ppl on character, NOT their race or anything else. Barber is just the opposite. That’s a fact. #NCGA#NCPOL#NOTMLK

— Stacey-SisterToldjah (@sistertoldjah) January 20, 2014

Indeed. I’ve written extensively on Reverend Barber, his race baiting and his rather violent rhetoric. For a refresher, revisit my articles A Primer on The Left In NC, part One, Two, Three and Four.

By the way, Barber has refused to apologize. 

 

Perversion of an icon to push a national agenda

Reverend Barber wasn’t the only one pushing the limit on Martin Luther King day as evidenced by a rather disgusting op-ed by NY Education Commissioner, John King.  In the op-ed, King promotes Common Core by playing on the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. The op-ed was titled “Dr. King and The Common Core” and equates Common Core with the emancipation proclamation. No, I’m not kidding.

Excerpt:

The Common Core offers a path to the precise reading, writing and thinking skills that will help propel their children and children across the state to success. Yet some now want us to delay, or even abandon, our efforts to raise standards.

I say no. As King said in that speech a little more than fifty years ago, “We do not have as much time as the cautious and the patient try to give us.”

We have many great schools in New York State, but we do not have time to wait to dramatically transform those that are not working. We do not have time to wait to give all students — regardless of their race or zip code or the language they speak at home — access to the enriching and engaging learning experiences they need and deserve. And we do not have time to wait to ensure that the students who graduate from our high schools do so ready to succeed in college and careers.

King concludes his speech this way: “And so I close by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher who didn’t quite have his grammar right but uttered words of great symbolic profundity and they were uttered in the form of a prayer: ‘Lord, we ain’t what we oughta be. We ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we wuz.’ ”

So let us all pledge today — Dr. King’s birthday — to do whatever we can to make real the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation, the promise of King’s words and the promise of equal educational opportunity for all. Our children cannot wait.

Good grief.

Did you get that? Common Core is like freeing the slaves… or something. Race card played. Billions spent on education in this country filled with more and more government intrusion has brought us to where we are today, yet Ed Commissioner King likens it to Martin Luther King’s Dream speech and the Emancipation Proclamation.  Common Core is the opposite of what Dr. King was dreaming of.

Dr. King’s messages of tolerance, of preserving the rights of the individual and of acceptance of the beliefs of others lay abused and tattered at the wayside by the very people who claim to be upholding them.

 

Quick update on the state of Common Core In North Carolina

The next meeting of the NC General Assembly’s Common Core Study Committee has been set for February 20th at 10 am. The full details can be viewed at StopCommonCoreNC.

What has also been revealed is that the 3rd and final meeting of this committee, which is the portion where public comment can be heard, has been pushed out to after the short session. That means the public won’t get to comment until right before school starts again; Common Core will persist in our classrooms.

This is unacceptable and amounts to shutuppery.  There have been no public forums on Common Core in NC. The citizens have had no way to speak out and now they are being put off until the 11th hour? I sincerely hope the committee reconsiders this, as it would be disadvantageous to this legislature to have both sides of the political fence protesting them in tandem.

Related Read: An Open Letter To NC Governor McCrory

 

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.

 

As crazy as this sounds, bear in mind that four years ago Thomas Friedman wanted the US “to be China for a day,” to “authorize the right solutions”:

UN Climate Chief Praises Communism, Dismisses Democracy

The Costa Rican executive secretary with the UN Convention on Climate Change, Christina Figueres, said in an interview on January 13 that democracy is a weak system to fight global warming, and instead praised China’s communist model.

Even though the Asian power is one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the country is “doing it right” in the fight against global warming.

Ms Figueres asserts that, being a Communist dictatorship, China approves laws and reforms with less struggles than occur in the US republic, where laws are debated.

(Unless, of course, Nancy insists that “you have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Maybe Ms Figueres is copacetic with that, but she could not be reached for comment.)

How right is China “doing it” in the fight against global warming? The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual sunrises.

“Doing it right” in Beijing

But then, if you’re a high official at the UN, you may have risen to your exalted position by proving that your head is buried far into a body cavity where the sun don’t shine, which probably explains a lot.

On the other hand, should we thank China for the 8″ of global warming that needs to be plowed off my driveway?

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on Latin American and US politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

We took the kids to a civil war reenactment this weekend.  It was a cold day for central Florida, which of course means that it wasn’t actually objectively cold, but when you are afraid to wear jeans in January because you might roast by the afternoon, you aren’t going to be prepared for a rare frigid wind.

After a couple of hours perusing the sutlery and the camps, I was thoroughly chilled and way more excited about the fry bread than the battle itself.  Wrapped in an odd assortment of whatever clothing I could extract from my van, I settled in a camp chair on a hill above the crowd.  Younger Son served as a much-needed blanket in my lap.

Alas, a number of folks crowded right in front of us at the last-minute.  A teenaged boy completely obscured Younger Son’s view of the battlefield, which really wouldn’t have annoyed me.  Much.  Except for the fact that he looked at his phone more often than the sweeping view he was blocking.

I grumbled, gathered our things, and moved forward until we were right next to that teenager.  Settling in the camp chair again, I cast a dark glance his way, but he was oblivious.

The minor inconvenience was quickly forgotten.  Cannons were fired, the cavalry rode in, Union troops marched, and a ragtag group of Rebels tried to ward them off.  Then, I couldn’t help but overhear the teenager ask his mom, “Which one is the North and which one is the South? I forget.”

In my old age I have found my trademark restraint (also known as shyness) failing me.  As my head whipped around to address this question, a guffaw of disbelief escaped my lips.  And so a conversation began.

They were both kind, thankfully, given the way I intruded into their conversation.  The mom acted somewhat sheepish that her son was so clueless, and the son simply explained that he hates history.

I said, that’s because you aren’t taught history properly.  Instead of sharing all the dramatic stories of our past, your teachers just recite dry facts and dates.  He further explained that he hadn’t had American History since 8th grade.

I must have embarrassed him, because he continued to enlighten me with whatBlank Stare Civil War history he did know.  He explained that his 8th grade teacher told him that the North had better weapons because they had all the factories, but the South had better armor because they had all the cotton.

Yeah.

I didn’t know what to make of that.  I didn’t want to be confrontational.  How, exactly, do you ask what the heck are you talking about without being confrontational?

His mother and I explained how the South didn’t have better anything.  He piped up one more time, saying that at least the South had more people.  SighThe awkward silence probably spoke volumes.  He nervously added, well, unless my teacher was wrong, because that’s what she said.

I offered that if he’d like to read a good story about the Civil War, he should read Company Aytch.  He didn’t ask for any details, so I doubt he’ll be taking my advice.  Perhaps, though, he’ll be thinking twice before he asks dumb Civil War questions during a Civil War reenactment.

This is purely anecdotal and all that.  Still.  It’s pretty powerful anecdotal evidence of how completely we have severed ourselves from our own history.

And as bad as Common Core is . . .

Common Core doesn’t even standardize the subject of history.

Yet.

The left has been rewriting history for some time now.  Common Core is merely the official stamp on progress already accomplished.

Update DTG: The left re-writing history, that sounds so familiar:

I have stated that modern liberalism & progressive is diametrically opposed to and actively targeting Christianity because it is all about truth and reality and rejecting truth and reality is the cornerstone that modern liberalism is built upon.

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If there is one bit of history I’d like to re-write it’s the history of DaTipJar for the Month of January 2014.

Yesterday we picked up a full $12 toward our weekly paycheck.

Normally that’s not a big deal on the first day of the week but as we have failed to make paycheck since 2014 another bad start to the week is not a good sign.

14 of you kicking in $25 will change that.

This is an election year, there will be a lot to cover, your tip jar hit will help me cover it and the Magnificent Seven like Linda do so as well.

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.




Northeastern Iowa
Northeastern Iowa

By John Ruberry

Have you heard about the propane shortage? Probably not. Although, despite my headline, it has been reported, albeit by local flyover country media.

Stories such as this one offers more evidence on why we need new media.

Liquid propane (LP) is a commonly used fuel for home heating in rural areas, where natural gas lines don’t often reach. And a colder-than-usual winter has of course increased demand for propane.

“There’s 22 states right now that are having LP problems,” a propane dealer told Minnesota’s KAAL-TV. “That’s just about half the country having problems getting LP.” That dealer told the TV station that two weeks ago his customers could fill up a propane tank for $644, but now it costs $976.

The shortage is particularly severe in the Upper Midwest.

A late and wet harvest–farmers use propane to dry crops–and the closing for maintenance of a Wisconsin propane facility has contributed to the shortage.

Yesterday Ohio Governor John Kasich issued an emergency declaration to speed up delivery of propane; in Michigan, two weeks ago Governor Rick Snyder declared an energy emergency that also covers heating oil. Way back in October, Governor Scott Walker made a similar move regarding propane.

Making matters worse, sub-zero temperatures are returning to the Upper Midwest this week.

So why are national media reporters ignoring the propane shortage? Does covering cold weather issues disrupt their agenda to advance their belief in global warming? Is the rural Midwest not worthy of their attention, unless there is a flood, a tornado, or a mass murder?

Update: This is a historic Instalanche for two reasons:

#1 It’s the first ever Instalanche for one of my Magnificent Seven writing at my blog. If you want to see more of John’s posts on this blog they are here and it goes without saying you should check out his own blog Marathon Pundit.

#2 It you remember this post. You know this brings me even with Chucky. I’m sure Diary of Daedalus will get a charge out of it.

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This post and the one before it all about a reality that’s ignored and right now reality is pretty ugly around here.

We have not made a full paycheck since the beginning of 2014. We are actually at a point where even if we make a full paycheck this week and next week I still won’t have the money cover January’s mortgage payment.

That’s reality and no amount of pretending otherwise changes it.

But It is also reality that if we can make payroll early enough this week we just might be able to make a dent in the monthly goal and close that gap.

It can’t be done without you. 14 of you to be exact kicking in $25.

If you think this site is worth it, I’d appreciate it if you were one of them.

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 Steve Eggleston

Usually, one can deride any particular ruling out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Occassionally, however, the gaggle of judges gets one right. A three-judge panel unanimously ruled that a blogger being sued for libel has the same court-ordered protections in a libel case that “established media” has.

The legal case, as is often the case on these matters, is not as clean as the driven snow. From the beginning of the Ninth Circuit opinion:

Kevin Padrick is a principal of Obsidian Finance Group, LLC (Obsidian), a firm that provides advice to financially distressed businesses. In December 2008, Summit Accommodators, Inc. (Summit), retained Obsidian in connection with a contemplated bankruptcy. After Summit filed for reorganization, the bankruptcy court appointed Padrick as the Chapter 11 trustee. Because Summit had misappropriated funds from clients, Padrick’s principal task was to marshal the firm’s assets for the benefit of those clients.

After Padrick’s appointment, Crystal Cox published blog posts on several websites that she created, accusing Padrick and Obsidian of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and other illegal activities in connection with the Summit bankruptcy. Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction. See David Carr, When Truth Survives Free Speech, N.Y. Times, Dec. 11, 2011, at B1. Padrick and Obsidian sent Cox a cease-and-desist letter, but she continued posting allegations. This defamation suit ensued.

The district court held that all but one of Cox’s posts were not actionable because they were opinion pieces that could not be held true or false. However, it rejected Cox’s pre-trial self-represented claim that the one post that was deemed to be an assertion of fact, and thus potentially actionable, fell under the New York Times Co. v. Sullivan regime of libel law, which requires the plaintiffs prove “actual malice”, due to the matter being of “public concern” or alternatively the claim Padrick and Obsidian were “public figures”. The district court, in a written opinion, expanded upon the oral rejection by saying the plaintiffs also did not have to prove negligence on Cox’s part, the standard set for “established media” in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., specifically because Cox did not submit “evidence suggestive of her status as a journalist.”

At the close of the trial, the district court instructed the jury that under Oregon law, neither the defendant’s knowledge of truthfulness of the statement nor the defendant’s intent were elements to be considered in determining liability, and the jury returned multi-million dollar judgements against Cox. The district court rejected Cox’s newly-acquired legal counsel’s motion for a new trial, while the plaintiffs sought to make the other posts actionable.

At that point, the Ninth Circuit stepped in. The bottom-line decision was, while only the single post was actionable, the plaintiffs must prove negligence in a new trial to get compensatory damages as they were not “public figures”. Quoting the relevant First Amendment parts from the Ninth Circuit’s opinion:

Padrick and Obsidian first argue that the Gertz negligence requirement applies only to suits against the institutional press. Padrick and Obsidian are correct in noting that Gertz involved an institutional media defendant and that the Court’s opinion specifically cited the need to shield “the press and broadcast media from the rigors of strict liability for defamation.” 418 U.S. at 348. We conclude, however, that the holding in Gertz sweeps more broadly.

The Gertz court did not expressly limit its holding to the defamation of institutional media defendants. And, although the Supreme Court has never directly held that the Gertz rule applies beyond the institutional press, it has repeatedly refused in non-defamation contexts to accord greater First Amendment protection to the institutional media than to other speakers. In Bartnicki v. Vopper, for example, in deciding whether defendants could be held liable under a statute banning the redistribution of illegally intercepted telephone conversations, the Court expressly noted that “we draw no distinction between the media respondents and” a non-institutional respondent. 532 U.S. 514, 525 & n.8 (2001)….

The Supreme Court recently emphasized the point in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: “We have consistently rejected the proposition that the institutional press has any constitutional privilege beyond that of other speakers.” 558 U.S. 310, 352 (2010) (internal quotations omitted). In construing the constitutionality of campaign finance statutes, the Court cited with approval, id., the position of five Justices in Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc., that “in the context of defamation law, the rights of the institutional media are no greater and no less than those enjoyed by other individuals engaged in the same activities.” 472 U.S. 749, 784 (1985) (Brennan, J., dissenting); id. at 773 (White, J., concurring in the judgment) (“[T]he First Amendment gives no more protection to the press in defamation suits than it does to others exercising their freedom of speech.”)….

The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story. As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: “With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media . . . the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.” Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue—not the identity of the speaker—provide the First Amendment touchstones.

In short, it is not merely a win for bloggers, but for anybody willing to not willfully lie and speak up in public. Willful libel, on the other hand, remains on the other side of the ethical tracks.

By A.P. Dillon

On Monday, DaTechGuy wrote about the sexual abuse cases taking place in schools as highlighted by Stacy McCain:

Lately Stacy McCain has been doing a large series on sexual criminals.  Yesterday he focused on Teachers

If you pay attention to the news, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that America’s public schools are staffed by sex-crazed perverts

It’s not his first dive into these waters but this time Glenn Reynolds linked with the line:

Obviously, we need to end mandatory celibacy and let high school teachers marry.

Now this is a story we’ve been covering for a while, but as we’ve also had a real bump in readership in 2013 & 2014 so for new readers at DaTechGuy Blog let me acquaint you with some stories we covered and & posts we did that you might have missed on this subject over the years:

The Guardian April 29th 2010

Sexual abuse scandal rocks Boy Scouts of America after $18.5m payout

Organisation accused of cover-up as it seeks to keep thousands of ‘perversion files’ secret

Oddly this subject wasn’t raised when they changed their rules

Read the whole thing.  These stories don’t involve men wearing White collars or fit anti-gay narratives, so the media

Over at my pet project, ConMom, I’ve chronicled many stories of abuse. I was pleased to see an Instalanche on the ConMom category Who is Teaching Your Kid?‘, but sad at the same time I even have a category like that. Glenn Reynolds called it a ‘troubling collection’ and he’s right. It’s disturbing.

Back to Re: Oh THOSE abuse stories

Here’s my contribution to those horror stories, which for the most part, are going under-reported in the media. If you’re not wearing a white-collar or running for office, these stories are largely reported then forgotten. The specific one I want to concentrate on is one that made a top ten list at Huffington Post. It’s of a North Carolina former middle school principal named David Ellis Edwards.

What earned him that top ten spot? He raped a boy in his office while the parents were outside the room.

A former middle school principal in North Carolina is accused of sexually assaulting a student while the boy’s unsuspecting parent was outside the room.

David Ellis Edwards, 49, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree forcible sex offense, sexual acts with a student, taking indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature, WTVD reported.

Deputies say that between 2009 and 2011, Edwards molested at least three boys between the ages of 11 and 14. At least one of the incidents allegedly occurred in Edward’s office while the victim’s parent sat in a nearby waiting area.  – Huffington Post

The article goes on to say the police think there are at least three more victims. It’s hard to know much more because “The incident report has been sealed, due to the sensitivity of the allegations.” That’s just as well, the kids involved need to be protected. This guy, however, deserves the 9th circle of Hell and a white-hot poker where the sun doesn’t shine.

Abuse isn’t limited to just the sexual contact nature. There is a broader degree of what is and can be considered abuse in schools. There’s a few other aspects to consider, like zero tolerance — a topic I’ve piled into what I call “The Great Public School Experiment. Much of that zero tolerance lunacy only goes in one direction. Let’s not forget the educrat idiot brigades, of which Arne Duncan recently found himself the star of in his defense of the Common Core by saying those opposed are mainly ‘White Suburban Moms’.

Another avenue of what can be considered abuse is corruption coupled with neglect, as we recently found out was going on in a NYC school.  Via NY Post:

Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say.

The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day.

“The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.

The school nurse has no office equipped with a sink, refrigerator or cot.

The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”

No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes.

A classroom that includes learning-disabled kids doesn’t have the required special-ed co-teacher.

About 40 kindergartners have no room in the three-story brick building. They sit all day in dilapidated trailers that reek of “animal urine,” a parent said; rats and squirrels noisily scamper in the walls and ceiling.

NO GYM OR ART: With no phys-ed or art classes, students are left to watch movies, including “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Fat Albert.

NO SPACE: Without enough space in the main brick building, kindergartners are taught in what sources say are rat-infested trailers.

The article goes on to talk about the principal, Marcella Sills, who apparently shows up whenever she feels like it but is paid well for her lack of attendance:

Image via NY Post

 

 When she is out, an assistant principal  is left in charge. Yet Sills, who gets a $128,207 salary, also pockets overtime pay — $2,900 for 83 hours in 2011, the latest available records show.NY Post

 

 

 

 

Your tax dollars — Funding no-show principals with six figure salaries. The parents are finally speaking out, but one has to ask how long they’ve been doing so and had been ignored. That might be because no one is literally listening. Parents used to have a way to have their voice heard at their schools via the PTA. Now, they are left to contact administrators on their own or try to band together and make noise outside of the school.

Control and involvement in our schools by parents has eroded a lot since I attended primary school. The PTA, as I have experienced it, no longer is a Parent-Teacher Association that works to improve curriculum, conditions and set rules or guidelines like the one my mother belonged to when I was in school.  The ones I’ve come in contact with these days are more concerned with covering all the things a school budget should be able to cover like bringing in speakers, teacher appreciation related activities, having book and science fair and more. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important. The social aspect to schools for the kids and teachers is invaluable. Having said that, the primary function should be engagement in the education process, not social activities. This is especially apparent as we have seen how the Common Core was implemented largely by stealth. One has to wonder what would have happened if an engaged group of parents via a PTA were introduced to Common Core before implementation.

One final thought on abuse in schools, or rather abuse of schools as the case may be. It seems the Department of Justice has decided that discipline in schools is racist.  Via The Daily Caller:

Education experts decried a new memo from the Departments of Justice and Education that instructs public schools throughout the country to cease punishing disruptive students if they fall into certain racial categories, such as black or Hispanic.

The letter, released on Wednesday, states that it is a violation of federal law for schools to punish certain races more than others, even if those punishments stem from completely neutral rules. For example, equal numbers of black students and white students should be punished for tardiness, even if black students are more often tardy than white students.

Here is the relevant section of the letter:

“Schools also violate Federal law when they even-handedly implement facially neutral policies and practices that, although not adopted with the intent to discriminate, nonetheless have an unjustified effect of discriminating against students on the basis of race.

Examples of policies that can raise disparate impact concerns include policies that impose mandatory suspension, expulsion, or citation (e.g., ticketing or other fines or summonses) upon any student who commits a specified offense — such as being tardy to class, being in possession of a cellular phone, being found insubordinate, acting out, or not wearing the proper school uniform.”

So, in a nutshell, the DOJ wants quotas on discipline. So if teachers have to discipline any given race of child in their class, they then have to make sure they hit all the others present there? The stupid, it burns.   I guess I missed the memo where the DOJ was now the Department of Education, which by the way, is unconstitutional in and of itself.  Those quotas? Well, that is another example of more local control being ceded to the federal government.

Weasel Zippers ran this story from CNS about the DOJ wanting to know about the race, gender and more of misbehaving students. which is a straight shot to the discipline quotas letter. All the DOJ has to do it be an approved party and they can get access to all of this data via the Department of Education’s National Education Data Model (NEDM). How?

Common Core.

The Department of education made it a stipulation that the states had to build Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) when they adopted the Common Core. States are required to send data collected via these SLDS’s to the Department of Education as part of the agreement that went along with funding.

I can’t speak for other states, but in North Carolina, that includes juvenile record via USDDC is the Uniform System of Disciplinary Data Collection.  CEDARS is the SLDS for North Carolina. Those opposing Common Core and upset about the data collection have been told we are over-reacting. I assure you, we’re not. The Department of Public Instruction in NC has made denials about data collection, of which were promptly refuted by yours truly.

It also should be mentioned here that Arne Duncan effectively stripped the medical privacy rights of students out of FERPA (Family Educational Right Privacy Act) last year.  This is important to know, because whether your kid visits the nurse or the school psychologist, that data is being collected. All the DOJ needs to do is access it. By the looks of these discipline quotas, they may just have found their way in.

 

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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Only $157 is left to go to this week’s paycheck that mans just 6 tip jar hits of $25 (actually $26) will get us to a full paycheck for 2014

I would appreciate your help.

Olimometer 2.52

Then I’ll worry about catching up for the slowest month we’ve had in the last 6.

Also if we can get 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

Can you be one of them?




Yes, you’re adventurous, and yes, your bucket list includes driving the PanAmerican Highway, crossing Russia, and checking out the Angel Falls.

But you will do well to read the State Department’s travel alerts and warnings before you go travel abroad. Each country’s warning/alerts pages also link to additional information.

For instance, the Colombia travel warning starts by saying,

Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota and Cartagena, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities.

Mexico’s travel warning has state-by-state details, and was updated on January 9. While the situation in some states is very dangerous, other areas are relatively safe.

The Venezuela travel warning is way more alarming, for good reason (since the country has the highest per-capita murder rate), and divides Caracas in yellow, orange, and red zones for all U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to U.S. Embassy in Caracas, who “are required to take an armored vehicle when traveling to/from Maiquetía Airport.” As a tourist (emphasis added),

U.S. citizens should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times and in all locations, especially when entering or exiting their homes, hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, U.S. citizens should travel in groups of two or more persons; avoid wearing jewelry and carrying large sums of money or displaying cash, ATM/credit cards, mobile phones, or other valuables; and avoid walking at night in most areas of Venezuela or walking alone on beaches, historic ruins, and trails. Incidents of crime along inter-city roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Venezuela. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested city streets.

Sadly, Monica Spear and her husband Henry Thomas Berry (who owned an adventure travel business) ignored these warnings.

Heed the warnings. It may save your life.

Fausta writes at Fausta’s blog on Latin America/US politics and culture.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Wednesday and January 2014 continues to be the worst month the Tip Jar has seen since I started using it toward the mortgage.

Yesterday the combined take from the since January 1st finally passed the goal for a single pay week.

As for this week, we are not even 22% of the way to a full paycheck on a Wednesday. and we are on the pace for our third consecutive shortfall.

Hopefully a late surge will change that, but it can only change with your help because if we fail to meet the weekly goal

Olimometer 2.52

Then the monthly goal and the Mortgage becomes in doubt. (don’t worry Fausta DaMagnificent Seven is always paid first.)

Now if we can get 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

Can you be one of them?




By baldilocks

The governmental–read: Obama Administration–response to Bridgegate and its (lack of) response to Benghazi are not the least bit surprising. (By the way, I prefer the moniker Bridgeghazi.) The GOP is the enemy. What part of “boots on their necks” and “revenge” was unclear? But this dichotomy is a mere symptom of the chaos which now reigns.

For decades now, many people have been watching what's going on in this country and noting each offense to this nation and to its founding principles. But to take all of the offenses, connect them, and come to an ugly conclusion is daunting.

That ugly conclusion is that progressives have been poised to appropriate this country for a long time, a good hundred years. We had a defense against, but we turned away from it, believing that defense was unnecessary. That defense is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

From the moment we turn God out of the public sphere, it's been downhill. Heck, mere months after the decision, JFK got his head blown off on national television. Think of all the things which have happened since then–things which are the result of God removing the hand of protection on this country.

The event which made me sit up and take notice to the rot in this country was the pseudo-prosecution of Sandy Burger. I worked in intel for a number of years and if I had done what he did, I would have done time. But, because he is one of the anointed, he was fined $50,000–pocket change on that level and probably paid by those who put him up to boosting and destroying classified files–and did time sitting doing his no-doubt usual cocktail party circuit.

It was a harbinger of the lawlessness that was to come.

Now we have the ultimate judgment of God upon our country, the evidence of the supposition that He has withdrawn His protection from us: Barack Hussein Obama. And with President Obama have come idiots, the treacherous, the sycophants, the infiltrators and the pillagers. And, with him have come brazen acts of tyranny by the dozen. With him has come the hollowing out of our earthly protection: our military. With him has come the treachery to our friends and the sidling-up to our enemies.

With him has come chaos.

And with every single stab at the body of our Constitution and the philosophical body of it, comes this implicit assertion: “We can do anything we want and, if you, the People, don't like it, we couldn't care less.”

I can't blame people for not wanting to face the fact that we are beset on all sides by our enemies. But when we stopped acknowledging God, He stopped acknowledging us. It's a frightening thing, if one has no source of hope. I do, and I pray to Him daily. And I pray that others will turn back to Him as well–or turn to Him the first time.

That's why I'm not afraid and it's the only reason.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel,Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen's Harem, is due in January 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Ever wonder how many .gov websites are geared toward children?  Lemme tell ya, there are quite a few.  Ben's Guide

Ben’s Guide, brought to you by the Superintendent of Documents in the U.S. Government Printing Office, provides pretty comprehensive listings, by both subject and agency.  If you click over and give a scroll, you’ll get an idea of the wide range.

Some of the sites are not a surprise–like the DEA wanting to make sure our children know drugs are bad, m’kay?

Of course, the EPA has lots of educational material on how you too can sacrifice your quality of life while people like Al Gore burn more fossil fuel than a small town.  Behold the silliness that is Energy Star Kids.  You can save the planet by turning off your electronics, boys and girls!

Hi!  I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!
Hi! I look cute and harmless while I teach your kids to worry about how much water they use!

Witness the misleading nature of a happy lil water drop:  “As our population grows, more and more people are using up this limited resource.”  Ain’t he cute, the way he ignores the water cycle and implies that water is nonrenewable?

Recycle City is another typical government page for kids.  The only thing that would surprise me would be to learn that children actually use and enjoy the “Dumptown Game.”

Credit is due to whoever wrote the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids section on greenhouse gasses.  They had the integrity to use the word may while discussing climate change.

The EPA, on the other hand, goes straight into “settled science” mode in the official Student Guide to Global Climate Change:

“The Earth is getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels. . . . Warmer temperatures are causing other changes around the world, such as melting glaciers and stronger storms.”  Emphasis mine.

Two sites are in competition for Worst Advice Ever:  The Great Bully Round-up by the Center for Disease Control, and the Kids’ Place at the Social Security Administration.  I just don’t know which is worse:  telling children that Social Security is their piggy bank, or advising them to inform a bully, “I don’t do this to you.  You should really think about that.”

The CDC needs to leave anti-bully campaigning to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The .gov kid sites are not all bad.  The U.S. Mint’s H.I.P. Pocket Change has loads of online games that look promising.  (The acronym stands for “History In your Pocket.”)  Kids.gov has a bunch too.   The Department of Energy’s Science Education page is actually, well, educational.  I wouldn’t mind trying the Federal Trade Commission’s mall shopping game.  And as much as I hate to admit it, letting children share their very own recipes at the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate is a cute idea.  The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s site is in need of a makeover, but I like the canary story.

Neither is this kids’ stuff new.  The federal government has aimed its informational messaging towards children for a long time.  The whole “let’s get our youth fit!” thing started when Eisenhower was presidentSmokey Bear has been around since 1944, and thanks to him we all know that only we can prevent forest fires.

But guys, come on.  Some federal agencies just don’t need a kids’ page.  I mean, the Veteran’s Administration?  And must it include cheesy games?  Let’s see . . . there’s the Disaster Master game at FEMA.  (Being a hero is fun!)  There are games hosted by Twitchy the Tourette Cat Broadband the Cat over at the FCC’s kid zone.  The CIA games, hosted by a Cool Spy Chick, include an aerial analysis challenge.

The trend just keeps on growing.  The U.S. Postal Service is teaming up with SpongeBob to teach children how to send snail mail.  And the latest federal agency to add a webpage just for da littles?  Drum roll please . . .

Wait for it . . .

Wait for it . . .

The Transportation Security Administration!

Stop Screen and Go
Stop Screen and Go

Via Lily Dane at The Daily Sheeple, we learn that TSA.gov now includes “TSA Kids” and a “Fun Page.”  Click on over to The Daily Sheeple and compare the “Stop, Screen, Go” cartoon propaganda at TSA Kids to actual experiences of some unfortunate children screened by TSA.  The excellent TSA News Blog has a long list of additional examples like poor Lucy Forck, lest you think the cases are isolated.

Lucy Forck Detained by the TSA
Lucy Forck

I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that you have to try to make a frightened toddler walk through the metal detector on his own, if the agent is in the mood to watch your two-year-old try to climb up your legs while screaming himself sweaty and beet-red.  At least until a supervisor comes over and shows you a little mercy.

But I haven’t yet revealed the worst part of all: TSA.gov’s section for kids does not yet feature any video games.

TSA needs to get with the program.  Stat.   I bet we can all pitch some great game ideas.  Like Patdown Party or Baby Stroller-and-Gear Breakdown-Then-Reassemble-While-Putting-Shoes-On Race.

Or . . What’s In Grandma’s Underwear?

I better stop now.  Add your own TSA video game suggestions in the comments!

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Monday, and we have so far moved the ball only $22 dollars toward a full paycheck.

While part of that is a new subscriber which moves us closer to our goals in a permanent way one new subscriber still doesn’t do the trick to permanently secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager.

But lets focus on the positive with 13 tip jar hits of $25 we will get our first full paycheck of 2014.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

That new subscriber means we’re now only 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis. It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

What do you say?

Beanie : $2.00USD – weeklyCap : $10.00USD – monthlyHat : $20.00USD – monthlyFedora : $25.00USD – monthlyGrand Fedora : $100.00USD – monthly

Illinois Blago

People who follow politics often argue which state is America’s corrupt, but my state, Illinois, almost always comes up as one of the contenders for that dis-honor.

In this space two months ago I offered my thoughts as to why Illinois is so dominated by mendacious politicians.

Now I’m looking at a potential but cure for this disease.

On Friday former Chicago alderman Ambrosio Medrano was given a 10 1/2 year federal prison sentence for his role in a kickback scandal. Tomorrow he’ll be sentenced again in a separate case–both schemes involve Cook County’s public health care system.

In 1996 Medrano pleaded guilty for accepting a bribe from a city contractor. He was the first of six crooked City Council members reeled in by the feds in the Silver Shovel corruption probe. The Southwest Sider is the only Chicago alderman convicted more than once. That’s a big achievement–since 1972 thirty-one members of the Chicago City Council have been found guilty of crimes.

Medrano wept at his 1996 sentencing and he wept again Friday. But in ’96 Medrano received only a 2 1/2 year sentence. He probably would have wailed for hours if he was handed a 10 1/2 year stay in the house-of-many-doors that first time. But then perhaps he would have learned his lesson–even if out of fear–and pursued an honest living upon his release from prison. And perhaps a stiff sentence would have served as warning to nascent corrupt Illinois pols, such as then-state representative Rod Blagojevich. The hair-brained former Illinois governor is now marking time in a Colorado federal prison–Blago was sentenced to 14 years. It was the second-longest political sentence ever given to a Prairie State elected official–and that record-holder was a judge who fixed murder trials. 

What about that Illinois public corruption cure? I just wrote about it. Ten or fifteen year sentences for crooked elected officials should be the norm. In fact, dishonest public-sector employees should receive similar terms in the pokey.

The fear of God–or of a long stay in a prison–by public workers and elected officials can finally reform Illinois.

So far nothing else has worked.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Sunday, a new week which is a good thing because the last two weeks have not been very successful.

Well that’s not entirely true, we’ve had fair traffic but not only have we failed to make goal to secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager the first two weeks combined didn’t manage to come up to a single week’s goal

But we’re back again, with a $345 goal for the week to try and start to move the ball forward toward getting the mortgage and the writers paid this month.

Olimometer 2.52

Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.

Of course if we can get 58 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

What do you say?