By Steve Eggleston

An item released yesterday from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee caught my eye. In it, they note that nearly 1 in 8 men between the ages of 25 and 54, long considered the prime workforce, are not even in the workforce, and that once those officially unemployed are added to that, over 1 in 6 men aged 25-54 are out of work.

The 12.0% of men aged 25-54 not looking for work as of April 2014, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, was the second-highest non-participation rate on record going back to 1948, just short of the 12.1% not looking for work in October 2013.

The 16.7% of men aged 25-54 not working last month, the second-highest so far this year on a seasonally-adjusted basis, is higher than every month prior to January 2009.

The first graphic from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee is, all by itself, astonishing. The number of men aged 25-54 who were not working rose, on an unadjusted basis, from 7,569,000 in April 2007 to 10,208,000 last month, an increase of 3,523,000.

It, however, understates the problem. The male 25-54 portion of civilian noninstitutional population, or the potential workforce, actually shrank by 884,000. Moreover, continuing on the theme of workforce dropouts, 2,736,000 of the 3,523,000 million who lost work gave up looking for work and thus dropped out of the workforce.

Lest one thinks it is merely a problem among the males of America, I have more bad news from the ranks of prime-working-age women. First, I must point out that the labor force and employment numbers of men and women aged 25-54 have been functionally equivalent, changing at essentially the same rate, since 1995.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, 26.1% of women aged 25-54 were not part of the workforce in April 2014. While it isn’t as close to the Obama-era record of 26.5%, set in October 2013, as the men’s April 2014 non-participation rate was, and is “merely” the 6th-highest non-participation rate of the Obama era, it is higher than every month between January 1991 and April 2013.

The 30.2% of women aged 25-54 not working last month on a seasonally-adjusted basis is the highest percentage so far this year, and other than a tie with January 1991, higher than every month between October 1988 and September 2009.

Comparing the unadjusted numbers from April 2007 and April 2014 yields similar results for women aged 25-54 as it does for men aged 25-54. While the female 25-54 portion of the civilian noninstutional population shrank by 213,000, the number of women aged 25-54 not working rose from 17,505,000 to 18,824,000, an increase of 1,532,000. Of those 1,532,000 no longer working, 858,000 gave up looking for work and thus dropped out of the workforce.

Pastor KellyThe late historian Will Durant wrote the following definition of what he felt constituted a civilization in Book 1 of his landmark series on “The Story of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage” –

“Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation.  Four elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity end.  For when fear is overcome, curiosity and constructiveness are free, and man passes by natural impulse towards the understanding and embellishment of life.”

The last area that Mr. Durant mentions the area of knowledge and the arts brings us to an event that transpired this week – and that was the passing of the great poet and laureate Dr. Maya Angelou.

Ms. Angelou was to borrow from an old phrase “a Renaissance Woman” – who actually mastered many crafts.

Many people go through life attempting to accomplish at least one area of expertise. Dr. Maya Angelou pursued many different areas of human endeavor with purpose, passion, and a presence that was solely unique to her.

During her accomplished life she was known as a Writer and Poet laureate extraordinaire, a Wife and Mother, gifted in musicality, a Womanist (a champion of Female rights with a special emphasis on the unique plight of women of color), a Civil Rights activist – and a woman who married across the racial divide as early as 1951 – long before many of our nation’s miscegenation laws were either repealed or struck down by the courts.

The great poet Robert Frost recited a poem during the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961; conversely, the magnificent Dr. Angelou was asked by the newly elected President Bill Clinton if she would read one of her poems during his inauguration festivities in 1993.

This writer was impressed by the public manner in which Ms. Angelou comported herself; the words that would best describe her – verve, dignity, and class – are not as much in vogue in today’s language as they once were.

Late last year during the month of September 2013, this person stumbled across one of her many poems that spoke to his heart and mind.

The poem was entitled “Awaking in New York”:

Curtains forcing their will against the wind, children sleep, exchanging dreams with seraphim.

The city drags itself awake on subway straps; and I, an alarm, awake as a rumor of war, lie stretching into dawn, unasked and unheeded.

Wow!

This poem gives a reader a taste and a sample of the unique things about Ms. Angelou’s writing; she was noted for both style and substance.

Finally, while this journalist did not always agree with all of Dr. Angelou’s political views or philosophical predilections (but in reality no one agrees fully with anyone other than himself or herself); however, he always respected the brave and fearless manner in which Maya Angelou expressed her convictions.

The great British statesman Sir Edmund Burke wrote nearly two hundred years ago that “the easiest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Well, one could argue that Maya Angelou was a living embodiment of the opposite of Mr. Burke’s warning as she conducted herself as a “good woman who did SOMETHING!” She stood for her cherished values and principles and defied the political correctness of her generation (1928 to 2014).

Ms. Maya Angelou, thank you for both your courage and ground breaking achievements; it is my hope and desire that you are truly “resting in peace.”

The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday HR4587, the Venezuela Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act, which will

impose targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for carrying out or ordering human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela

The purpose of the bill is to deny visas to enter the United States, block property, freeze assets, and prohibit financial transactions to members of the Venezuelan regime who are responsible for the commission of serious human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela.

At my blog I have posted about how the amount of oil revenues spent in the U.S. by highly-placed chavista is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, while the country sinks into abject poverty.

(If you are fluent in Spanish, I recommend Casto Ocando’s book, Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos, a thorough investigation on the subject.)

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), was co-sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus members Democrats Corrine Brown, Frederica Wilson, and Alcee Hastings, along with Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Joe Garcia (D-FL), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Christopher Smith (R-FL), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ted Poe (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).

Fourteen members of Congress had written a letter to Pres. Obama against Venezuela sanctions; they are Representatives John Conyers, Henry “Hank” Johnson, Karen Bass, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, James McGovern, Sam Farr, Chellie Pingree, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Emmanuerl Cleaver, Jose Serrano, Michael Capuano, and Peter Welch.

Passage of the bill

raises pressure on the Obama administration, which has been wary of passing any kind of sanctions for fear it could create a backlash by allowing Mr. Maduro to mobilize supporters against the U.S. and distract from Venezuela’s growing homemade troubles. The administration also fears that the sanctions could jeopardize attempts at reaching a negotiated solution between the government and the opposition.

What negotiated solution? The so-called “negotiations” fell apart already.

Russia opposes the sanctions. Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro wasted no time and accused the U.S. ambassador to Colombia of plotting to destabilize Venezuela.

Yleem D.S. Poblete posits that, in addition to the human rights violations,

For the sake of U.S. national security interests, the United States needs to act swiftly and resolutely to hold the Chavez-Maduro apparatus accountable.

A similar bill was approved by a Senate committee, and is now headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

Video report here:

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics at Fausta’s Blog.

By A.P. Dillon

When I began writing here at DaTechGuy, I opened with a series of articles that laid out the landscape of the Left in North Carolina called “A Primer on The Left In NC“. You can read parts twothree and four.  One of the main characters in that series is Reverend William Barber of the NC NAACP. He began a series of protests called “Moral Monday”, which in 2013 led to nearly 900 arrests at the NC General Assembly.

These protests are just a “tool of the Democrats in an election year“. 

The list of complaints by this ‘movement’ are what one might expect — demands for more big government, more spending, more Medicaid, opposing  the very popular Voter ID law and a sustained assault on the Republican leadership in the state through a strategy calling for activists to “cripple, eviscerat, pressure and slam” them. Moral Monday desperately wants to emulate the protests in Wisconsin, but to date have yet to do much besides become the punchline to local jokes.

Adding insult to injury for the protests, the policy changes enacted by the Republican held legislature seem to be turning around the economy in North Carolina.  In fact, CEO magazine just dubbed North Carolina the 4th best state for business.  The new NC tax reform package passed in 2013 has been called ‘one of the most significant proposal in the US’ and it ‘blew other states away’ by going from a three-tiered system to a flat rate.

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s tax reform package, cutting the personal income tax rate, is the most significant plan likely to be approved in 2013, an analyst with a national tax reform organization said Tuesday.

Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform, spoke to the reduction in the top marginal income tax rate of 7.75 percent that would be drop in 2015 to 5.75 percent

“North Carolina, with a 25 percent reduction in the top rate, pretty much blew the other states away,” Gleason said. Gleason and Elizabeth Malm, an economist with the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, said that North Carolina ranks at the top of the nation in magnitude of tax reforms this year.

Malm said the changes would make North Carolina’s tax code friendlier for business, jumping the Tar Heel State from 44th to 17th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.

That index takes into account personal and corporate income taxes, along with sales, unemployment insurance, and property taxes.

The compromise tax reform package announced Monday by GOP Gov. Pat McCrory and General Assembly leaders won initial passage in both legislative chambers Tuesday. Final approval could come today. Then it would be sent to McCrory.

“This is the biggest one we’ve seen this year,” Malm said, referring to amount of money that would stay in taxpayers’ pockets instead of going to the state as a result of the proposal.

“Even though [the plan appears] modest, it looks like it’s over $700 million in tax cuts,” Malm said. – Carolina Journal, 7/17/13

Occupy Monday

Well, Occupy Monday has returned. They had a welcoming party for the legislators when the short session began which was sparsely attended. This week, the Memorial Day holiday got in their way, so their event was held on Tuesday the 27th.   I don’t use the term ‘Moral Monday’ and haven’t for some time.

I prefer Occupy Monday since the protests generally mimic a lot of what we saw Occupiers doing in the past. Occupy Wall Street concurs.That kind of past activity  being seeing again includes camping out, which is what 14 of the protesters did this week. A collection of the Occupy Monday crowd brought sleeping bags and ordered pizza as they sat in the office of Thom Tillis. Tillis is the challenger to embattled Democrat Senator Kay Hagan. The protesters were finally arrested for trespassing after being told to disperse eight times by police.

Note this Tweet came from “Raise Up For 15”. That’s one of the many Union minimum wage protest outfits we’ve seen encouraging fast food workers to strike. Two of those arrested were wearing Raise Up t-shirts. Conveniently, Reverend Barber was not arrested with his flock.

The woman in the loud pink shirt  in the Tweet above is “Minister Rubye Harris”.  Local North Carolina new media outlet, Carolina Plott Hound, learned that Harris already had a criminal record, so being arrested for her was likely not as big a thrill as it was for the others. You can view their mug shots, video of Rubye Harris speaking on behalf of the arrestees and some vague demands for “change” at ABC-11.

You can see more pictures and get more details on the Occupy Monday protest held on 5-27-14  on my personal blog, LadyLiberty1885.com. I’ll be covering the antics by this collection of Far Left Democrat endorsed activists all Summer and bringing the news here to you at DaTechGuy. Catch up on the activity so far this year and from 2013 at my archive.

If you enjoyed this article, you should really check out other pieces written by Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven writers and maybe hit that tip jar!

AP DillonA.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, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, 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 Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Colombia, the closest Western ally in South America, has been waging a war for half a century against narco-terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The FARC, which the U.S. considers to be a terrorist and drug trafficking organization, relies heavily on cocaine trafficking to finance its activities.

Previous president Alvaro Uribe brought the FARC to its knees. Current president Juan Manuel Santos began peace negotiations with the FARC in Havana, Cuba, in November 2013. Throughout the negotiation period, the FARC have continued their criminal activities, attacking the Colombian army, killing military and civilians, kidnapping an American, and sheltering international terrorists, as

the FARC continues to control swathes of territory and mount attacks on army patrol and oil pipelines.

Now Santos is running for re-election, after having promised the FARC’s unelected guerrilla leaders seats in Congress

Voters would pass a referendum containing unpopular measures such as the transformation of the FARC into a political party and special treatment in the justice system for crimes committed by guerrillas, as part of a package that ends half a century of bloodshed, Santos said.

In addition to Santos’s sweet deal deal, FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez, a.k.a. Timochenko, in a rambling video celebrating the FARC’s 50th anniversary (video in Spanish), asked for the abolishment of the Colombian military. Essentially, this would place the the closest Western ally in South America in the hands of the terrorist group, their ‘dream of effective peace.’

On Sunday’s election, opposition candidate and

former finance minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga finished atop the five-candidate field with 29 percent, setting up a June 15 runoff with Santos, who was second at 26 percent.

The main issue that separates the two candidates and has become the central debate of the campaign is the Havana-based peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

The president launched the talks in 2011. He says he is committed to a settlement with the narcoterrorists that will end the conflict while delivering justice to their victims. But the rebels publicly insist they won’t spend even one day in jail. Many Colombians don’t trust a deal between thugs and a president who seems too eager to get a deal. They prefer Mr. Zuluaga’s emphasis on security. He believes the only way to end the violence is to defeat the enemy militarily.

From the start of his campaign, Zuluaga has said that he will only continue talks with the FARC if the rebels “cease all criminal actions against Colombians.”

Experts agree that Zuluaga would jack up miltary and police operations against rebel groups across Colombia, as he would likley not be involved in negotiations with the guerrillas. This would lead to greater confrontations with armed groups, but possibly would increase security for people who work in the countryside, who are most subject to kidnappings and extortion at the hand of the guerrillas.

Since neither Santos nor Zuluaga were able to get more than 50 percent for victory, there will be a runoff election on June 15.

faustaThe results will have consequences affecting the security of the entire hemisphere.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

linda thumbThrough the 4 Magnificent Seven Movies there were always casualties among the seven but the one character that was in every movie was Chris played by Yul Brenner (Magnificent Seven, Return of the Seven) , George Kennedy (Guns of the Magnificent Seven) and Lee Van Cleef (The Magnificent Seven ride)

It’s ironic that among DaTechGuy’s Magnificent Seven Chris is the first to fall.

I assigned my magnificent Seven names from the movie based on when they joined, for example Pastor George Kelly is Chico because he was the last of my seven to sign on, the first of the seven was Linda of the blog No One of Any Import and thus she became Chris.

Linda is both a military vet and wife mired in a blue state, her husband has just come home from deployment and she is also homeschooling her kids. She has been doing a lot, so much that she has neglected her own excellent blog while continuing here but now that has become just too much for her

I have enjoyed this opportunity to be a paid writer. I have loved the camaraderie with fellow Magnificent Seven members.

But I’m tired.

In a few months, my husband will begin negotiating for a new set of orders. This will be our last summer in Florida. I’d like to drive around and see some of it while we have the chance. In three months, I’ll be back to signing up for volunteer positions, shuffling the children to various classes and sports, and trying to stuff Saxon and Sonlight into their brains. Experience is teaching me that I need to put more of my creativity into the curricula stuffing, instead of the blogging.

Linda was worth considerably more than every penny I paid her, her writing was an excellent contribution to this site. She brought a perspective I didn’t have and made this site better.

Her departure left Monday without a paid writer, fortunately we had two excellent Sunday writers so Pat Austin of And so it goes in Shreveport has traded her Sunday Evening posting time for Monday afternoons and has, as expected done an excellent job, I’m pleased and proud to have her here.

LindaBut Linda was my first paid writer, back in November she wrote the first paid post on this blog and her pieces on homeschooling, in fact all of her posts are as far as I’m conerned required reading.

I owe Linda a debt of thanks. She will be missed and as far as I”m concerned she will always be a person of great import.

She will be missed

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — It’s probably safe to say that Saving Private Ryan is all over your television menu this Memorial Day weekend.   It’s difficult to escape the endless rebroadcasts of the moving story of Private First Class James Francis Ryan lost behind enemy lines after the Normandy D-Day invasion and the ensuing quest to save him.

The film is fiction but there is a real life version of this story right here in Shreveport.  In fact, this sort of scenario existed across the nation for multiple families during that turbulent time.  As we observe Memorial Day today, let me share with you the story of the Kelley family who lost three sons in less than two years.

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William
William “Bob” Kelley

Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:

“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”

He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

bose
Bose F. Kelley, Jr.

Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82nd Airborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,

“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”

Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:

I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy.

We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July.

When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, “mucksnell toot sweet Americanos”.

We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.

Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

edgarrew
Edgar Rew Kelley

A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryan where General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

kelleys
Sunday, May 18, 2014

The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby’s daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe Memorial Day today, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor each Memorial Day.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Author in New Mexico
Author in New Mexico

By John Ruberry

Last week, while few people outside of the west noticed, President Obama declared nearly 780 square miles in southern New Mexico America’s newest national monument, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, his largest designation yet. Two months ago the president, who infamously boasted early in his term, “We can’t wait for Congress to do its job, so where they won’t act, I will,” added 1,660 acres to the California Coastal National Monument.

So far Obama has declared eleven national monuments.  But another shoe, or actually I should say more shoes are about to drop:  “And I am not finished,” the president said at the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks announcement.

In another brazen move that still angers Utahns, shortly before his reelection, Bill Clinton set aside nearly 3,000 square miles of southern Utah to create the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I’ve been there. It’s pretty. But it doesn’t measure up to the grandeur of Grand Canyon or Yosemite. When we were driving through Grand Staircase-Escalante in 2010, Mrs. Marathon Pundit remarked to me, “You know, the land on this side of the monument isn’t any better or worse than what’s inside it.”

As that monument and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks are located in sparsely populated areas of our nation, it’s likely that you are reading this post many miles away from both places. So, you may ask, “What does this have to do with me?”  Grand Staircase-Escalante and Organ Mountains Desert Peaks are closed off to drilling and fracking.Grand Staircase sign

Regular gasoline is selling for just under $4-per-gasoline where I live.

As for the newest monument, national security could be threatened.

From the Wall Street Journal [paid registration required]:

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), though, faulted the president’s “unilateral action,” saying the latest national monument designation would undermine security by limiting law enforcement access to high crime areas near the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Once again, the president has chosen to bypass the legislative branch—and, in this case, do so in a manner that adds yet another challenge in our ongoing efforts to secure our Southern border,” Mr. Boehner said. “At a time of continued cartel violence in Mexico, we should not be putting any additional restraints on efforts to protect our borders.”

The Obama administration should have included protections to ensure the U.S. Border Patrol and other agencies have adequate access the southwest border, Mr. Boehner said. Such legislation was introduced in Congress but never passed into law.

As you’d expect, local law enforcement officials are even more hostile to Obama’s declaration.

From the Las Cruces Sun-News:

Doña Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison recalls the times his deputies and federal agents were shot at as they pursued suspected drug smugglers through the area that will now be known as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. He also talked about the dozens of stolen cars that have been used to ferry drugs along pathways that lead through the desert and past border patrol checkpoints.

“If we have no ability to patrol that area, crime is going to increase. It will be akin to the Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona. I wonder how many years it will be before we have to post signs that say ‘Enter at your own risk.’ That’s my concern,” Garrison said.

Remember, Obama says, “And I am not finished.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By Steve Eggleston

In an interview with the Associated Press, former Polish President Lech Walesa said of the world and the American role in it, “(T)he world is disorganized and the superpower is not taking the lead. I am displeased.” Walesa, who led the Solidarity movement that led to the end of Communism in Poland, knows a thing or two about leadership. After all, unlike the “peaceful transition” the AP article insinuates, his Solidarity movement was brutally repressed by the Polish Communist leaders in the early 1980s.

Now, why would Walesa say the US is not taking the lead? Among the many reasons, there are several just related to Poland. One of President Barack Obama’s first foreign policy actions was to cancel a European missile shield that would have been based in Poland at the insistence of Russia. Never mind that Russia is prohibited by treaty from having missiles that target Europe, and that the shield was designed more for protection from missiles launched from Iran.

Obama’s promise of more flexibility vis a vis Russia in his second term is rather disturbing to Poland. Going back through history, not only did the former Soviet Union dominate a nominally-independent Poland after it (re)seized eastern Poland following World War II, but before World War I, it directly ruled Poland as a part of the Russian Empire.

Obama’s and Secretary of State John Kerry’s rudderless reaction to Russia’s seizure of the Crimea peninsula and designs on other parts of Ukraine bear that out. Like Poland, Ukraine was forcibly annexed into the pre-World War I Russian Empire, and Russian President Vladmir Putin has expressed a desire to recreate that version of Russia.

One more thing – the AP story notes that Obama didn’t meet with Walesa on his previous trip to Poland. Something tells me that, even though the purpose of the June trip is to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism, Obama will duck Walesa again.

By A.P. Dillon

This is a look at the ‘experts’ behind Common Core. First, let’s recap the tactics used by the proponents to silence the opposition to the standards.

Common Core Shutuppery

So, to date, Common Core opposition have been called stupid, sad, misguided, liars, racists, conspiracy theory nuts and more for opposing the fundamentally flawed and experimental standards.  Opposition has been mocked by the same people promoting Common Core and parents have been arrested for speaking out at forums and school board meetings. I’ve chronicled some of this here already in The New Tone Of Common Core, but more has transpired since then.

The top education official in the county, Arne Duncan, even insulted “White suburban moms” across the country for opposing Common Core. In NY, Education Commissioner John King brought in the race card and compared Common Core to the Emancipation Proclamation. Citizens in NY have called him out and called for his resignation. In NC, the state Superintendent told a crowd that people who oppose Common Core are “bearing false witness“.  By the way, the NC Superintendent is also President-elect of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which is one of the two D.C. trade organizations responsible for Common Core. Convenient, right?

Gene Arnold Common Core NCSPIN QuoteEven elected officials have disparaged their own constituents. The latest form of ‘shut’ up comes as “politicizing“. I’ve witnessed it myself  first hand at the legislature in North Carolina. The legislature, of course, is worried about the pushing of Common Core by the NC Chamber of Commerce. They should be concerned, because according to former legislator Gene Arnold, the NC Chamber plans to blackmail legislators to kill the Common Core replacement bills now in play at the NC General Assembly.

Not one of these proponents of Common Core or any of the entities supporting the Core has actually defended the standards against the complaints being made against them. Instead, they demonize. Opposition to Common Core has endured a long series of shutuppery tactics from ‘experts’.

The Common Core Expert 

We’ve also been told ‘experts’ wrote the Common Core and to basically, shut up and sit down.

Let me introduce you to one of the ‘experts’.

Meet Dr. David Pook. Pook is a teacher at a private school in Derryfield, New Hampshire. He has testified in front of the New Hamsphire Legislature; his testimony was characterized as misleading.

Pook wants you to know why he helped author Common Core’s English Language Arts standards.  Remember, Common Core only had 5 authors, so Pook is likely over-inflating his role. Dr. Pook says it was “White privilege” that drove him to assist.

Pook claims he helped write the standards. What he really means is he probably commented on the standards when they were finally made available. If he did write anything, that is yet another reason to end Common Core immediately. Pook’s outrageous statement: “As a white male in society I’m given a lot of privilege I didn’t earn’ and as a result I think it’s really important that all kids get an equal opportunity to learn how to read.” Is he saying that minority children don’t learn how to read the same as white children? How is it that white children have a perceived “privilege” over minority children?

The irony? This guy teaches at a $30,000 a year private school that has not implemented Common Core. Maybe he should check his “privilege” at the door. While he’s teaching history, not reading at his private school, he wants public school kids to have to suffer under lower standards. Why? Because this man believes that minority kids aren’t as smart as white kids so the standards have to be lowered in order for them to be able to read. The guy is demented and is part of the insane “White Privilege” far left who hate themselves and are teaching white children to hate themselves.  – Examiner.com, 5/20/14 [Emphasis added]

You got that? Shorter: Pook didn’t build that.  He didn’t earn that privilege, it was his whiteness that gave it to him. This is who is dictating to us what our kids should be learning.

There is video of Pook at the above referenced New Hampshire forum. The audio is a little quiet so turn it up or visit Stop Common Core New Hampshire where they have a link to the full debate with stronger sound. Pook’s comments in the full video are at the 1:52:00 mark. Audio only is available at GerardAtLarge.com.The gentleman who precedes Pook at the 1:52:00 mark uses all the standard Pro-Common Core talking points and talks about how the people using it in the classroom love it. He makes no mention of the children suffering under it. Typical.

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AP DillonA.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, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, 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.