Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Building the Machine," the Common Core Documentary

“Common sense of the common people is more important for the health of the nation than the ideas of the philosophical elites.” – Wayne Brasler


In 2013, sixty-two percent of Americans have not heard of Common Core. Ian A. Reid set out to change that. He directed the best documentary on the National Common Core Standards, “Building the Machine.” www.CommonCoreMovie.com

The national teaching standards were adopted by 45 states without parental or teacher input, under confidentiality agreements, without public debate, untested, untried, unproven, and certainly not “internationally benchmarked” as is now promoted in non-stop ads or “state-led.”

The bait for adoption was the $4.35 billion worth of grants offered through the President’s stimulus package. States had two months to write proposals in order to be eligible for the Race to the Top grants. Hurting for money because the economy was so depressed, 45 states applied and, in doing so, they accepted the Race to the Top Standards.

The standards, which were to become Common Core standards were not debated, “the drafts were cloaked,” there were no hearings, no testimony, just “some truncated public comments and no response to comments.”

“The Common Core standards were designed for an industrial model school,” claiming that they are “rigorous, even though they can’t tell you what makes for rigorous or non-rigorous standards.” Marc Tucker believes that they are designed for “work force development in the German model system.” Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus at Queens College, called Common Core standards, “a radical change from the past.”

According to the documentary, the “players” involved in developing, funding, adopting, and advertising national Common Core standards were:

-          Achieve, Inc.

-          Fordham Institute

-          The National Governors Association

-          Council of Chief State School Officers

-          U.S. Department of Education

-          Foundation for Excellence in Education

-          U.S. Chamber of Commerce

-          45 governors

-          Jeb Bush

-          Mike Huckabee

-          School Officers

-          Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (donated $200 million in 2012 alone to adopt Common Core)

The Validation Committee was composed of 30 people who had to sign a confidentiality agreement that they would not discuss what took place in the meetings. (Sandra Stotsky)

Five committee members, a significant percentage, did not sign the final standards and were thus “expunged from the record.” Dr. Jim Milgram said, “They are not giving the public any idea of what’s going on.” Dr. Milgram and Dr. Stotsky were the only mathematician and English language arts content specialists on the 30-person validation committee. Neither approved the standards.”

Dr. Jim Milgram objected to forcing college presidents to accept students from any high school who had passed algebra, without any remedial math courses. According to statistics from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, in 2010 “over 40 percent of college freshmen specifically need remedial mathematics and over 60 percent of new college students need remediation of some sort.”

Dr. Milgram believes that the long-term effect of non-remediation is that college course content will have to drop in order to meet the lower quality of students coming in from k-12, in essence dumbing down the college mathematics curriculum.

The much advertised “college readiness” with Common Core is not going to be good enough for STEM (an acronym that refers to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), not good enough for selective colleges, it is going to be barely enough for a community college. But everybody can get into a community college. Common Core standards are not standards for excellence or competitive colleges, they are for mediocrity.

Ze’ev Wurman, 2010 member of CA Academic Content Standards Commission and former U.S. Department of Education official, argues that a student cannot be prepared for both “college and career readiness” as Common Core advertises. Declaring by fiat that everybody is “college and career ready” is “untenable,” in his opinion. Not all children want to go to college or should. Some children are better suited for a vocational career.

According to the documentary, the “Lead Common Core Standards writer, David Coleman, became president of the College Board in the fall of 2012. In 2013, the College Board began to simplify the material on the SAT exams and all AP courses to match the Common Core.”

Michael Farris, J.D., LL.M., founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, admits that David Coleman has some good ideas in education. What Michael Farris disagrees with is the fact that “David Coleman wants to use the force of law to require everybody to implement his ideas of education.”

Dr. Stotsky, who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, believes in “independent citizens who choose for themselves,” people who don’t need a “monarch and a central planner” but self-government. “Central planners are people who like power; they think they are an elite who knows how to run other people’s lives.”

Dr. Andrew Hacker, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Queens College, said that 22 percent of 9th graders do not finish high school. Many variables contribute to a student’s success; however, the most important is parental involvement.

Alternate high schools in Finland and Germany offer 8 different tracks for graduation in order to better match the students’ interests, talent, ability, and motivation. “Duncan [Secretary of Education] does not like that approach because it leaves choices up to kids,” said Dr. Stotsky. “They want a centralized system where things are directed by people like them who think they know better what’s good for other people’s children.”

Wayne Brasler, Veteran Journalism Teacher, University of Chicago Lab Schools, explained that one standard for all is a ‘dead end.’ “It is stereotyping people that everyone wants to go to college, have the same career, same ability, same interests, and you are not worthwhile if you don’t do this.”

Dr. Andrew Hacker opined that “McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Gates, really regard education as a production line in which they are going to take little human beings and make them college or career ready.” Are these not our children, should we not have a say in what they learn? Is it the government’s right to teach our children what the government thinks our children should know?

Home-schooled children will not be insulated from this mediocre national curriculum. They will be affected because colleges, tests, and curriculum will be aligned with Common Core Standards.

Ian A. Reid, the director of the documentary, Building the Machine, wrote, “Lead writers of the Common Core, David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba, were asked to defend the standards in the film. Two declined, one never replied.”

American colleges were once the envy of the world. If we cut out chunks of mathematics that have been taught for 100 years, without proper research and testing, chances are great that we will no longer be the exceptional higher education bastion.

Quantifying everything will result in teaching to the standards in order to get the right score. Wayne Brasler thinks that “Systematization, centralization, and data collection are not good for the public schools but David Coleman believes so.”

Replacing basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication) with Constructivism, teaching children how to “construct” their own way of figuring out an answer, even if it’s the wrong answer, and replacing English literature selections with New Criticism Literary Analysis, using leftwing norms of morality and behavior, appears to be a recipe for mediocrity.

We are a diverse nation populated by individuals with different talents, ability, IQ, motivation, interests, and dissimilar childhood experiences. Some children live on farms and some in the cities, some are affluent and some are not.

College should help Americans become life-long learners, not ideological robots. Education should be about our children, not the “system.” Paul Horton, Veteran History Teacher, University of Chicago Lab Schools, thinks that the “Current policy makers see the purpose of education as training people to acquire the minimum level of skills that are required to work in a technical workplace.”

We are not trying to win a race, we are trying to pursue happiness and keep our constitutional republic intact and safe. What race are we supposed to win and against whom?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Dinosaur Exhibit Will Close for Five Years

National Museum of Natural History
Photo: Ileana Johnson, April 7, 2014
The National Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will receive its “first nearly-complete” T. Rex  specimen on April 15, 2014 during a live webcast ceremony. The Fossil Hall will close its doors on April 28, 2014 to undergo “the largest and most complex renovation” which will last five years. When the National Fossil Hall reopens in 2019, the dinosaur will become the centerpiece of the newly renovated museum. http://naturalhistory.si.edu/fossil-hall/

The museum will display an “unrivaled” fossil collection but will also explore how “The distant past affects all of us today and will continue to do so in the future. How will climate change impact the natural world and our daily lives? How can we make informed choices about our ecosystems as individuals and as a species? How can we all become informed citizens of a changing planet?”

Fossil Hall
Everybody loves the Smithsonian! On any given day, the most popular exhibit, the Fossil Hall, is teeming with adults and impressionable children of all ages from around the country who are eager to learn, see, touch, and experience what the world was like when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. There is a fascination with large mammals that every child has experienced growing up. What better place to add a heavy dose of environmental activism?

New signs have appeared in the museum, signs I had not seen during previous visits. For example, a board with very large letters, CLIMATE CHANGE, informed visitors about what scientists forecasted:

“During the 20th century, Earth had a relatively stable climate. Today, we know this is unusual and that climatic variation is normal. (Museum emphasis) Deep sea and lake sediments, along with ice cores reveal cycles of climate change that shifted grassland and forest boundaries, created and melted glaciers, and stimulated human migrations and retreats over millions of years.”

 
“The hall opened over 30 years ago. To keep the information fresh, we’ve added a series of signs throughout to show how geological processes and climate change are directly linked to changes in our ecosystem.” Does keeping the ‘information fresh’ mean adjusting scientific facts to fit the consensus political ideology of those who believe in anthropogenic global warming?

The Hall of Paleontology explains that “For over 4.6 billion years, the Earth has cycled through periods of ecosystem birth and death, species formation and extinction.”

If I was a curious student, I would be confused when another panel explains, “Following the historical pattern, after ten thousand years of interglacial warmth, we should be due for the onset of a new glacial epoch. However, unlike previous Ice Age cycles of warm and cold periods, human population growth and industry have disrupted the fluctuation of cycles. (Museum emphasis) Rising levels of CO2 are pushing Earth toward alarming levels of warming, resource depletion, and biological extinction.”

What is a student to think after reading this? Humans are guilty of global warming. “As glaciers retreat, sea levels rise, and Arctic ice disappear at a dangerous rate, we need to ask ourselves how we can be better stewards. It’s OUR planet.” (Museum emphasis)

Does the average student know that the level of Antarctic ice has increased  last year? Would they know that the exploratory ship from Australia was ice bound for 13 miles and a rescue had to be mounted from different countries, at great expense of fossil fuels and time to save the global warming professors and scientists on board who were there to document and measure the melting of the Antarctic Ice? Has science definitively measured significant sea level rise?

If I were a student, I would be confused because I would not know what a planet steward is, how I could take care of the planet by myself, I would feel overwhelmed, and then I would wonder who decides what normal is and why are there conflicting messages - one panel in the museum says that climatic variation is normal and another that we are causing global warming.

Another board teaches students what causes Earth’s temperatures to fluctuate:

-          “Shifts in the Earth’s axis and changes in its orbit, affecting the intensity of sunlight reaching the Earth”

-          “Changes in the energy output of the sun”

-          “Reduction in North Atlantic Deep Water flow, which decreases or changes oceanic circulation patterns”

-          “Changes in the composition of the atmosphere”

The board points out that “the only factor that humans can affect is the composition of the atmosphere.” But the Earth has always been affected by the amount of energy coming from the sun that reaches the planet. And for several million years “changes in the Earth’s orbit called Milankovitch cycles have caused cycles of global warming and cooling.” Were humans changing the composition of the atmosphere millions of years ago?

The Earth can go through a cycle when the orbit is more oval than circular – this can last 100,000 years. The Earth can wobble when it spins – this cycle can be 21,000 years long. The Earth’s axis can tilt – this cycle can last 41,000 years. “When some parts of these cycles are combined and occur at the same time, they are responsible for major changes to the Earth’s climate… including ice ages.”

If I was an impressionable child and most of them are, I wouldn’t know that science uses modeling to make predictions about the future and these models can be flawed or represent just one point of view,  the view of the “consensus” scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ideologues.

I would leave the museum with the following words seared in my brain. “We may be facing decades and perhaps even centuries of higher temperatures than humanity has ever seen… due to an enhanced greenhouse effect.”

The museum also tells visitors that carbon dioxide affects climate change, that during the “past 1,000 years, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide from human burning of fossil fuels have caused the Earth’s temperatures to rise faster than would happen naturally during an interglacial period.” As a curious student, I would ask, who decides the “naturally” parameters of temperature change?

“Are we still in an Ice Age,” asks another display. The answer is very confusing. “Yes, but… right now we are in a warming period within an ice age.” The current ice age is called Pleistocene and its temperatures fluctuate between cooler periods called “glacials” and warmer periods called “interglacials.”  I wonder how many factories and humans were burning fossil fuels in this Pleistocene ice age that began 2.59 million years ago?

Another display tells students that “The glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park may be gone by 2030,” that’s a mere 15 years from now. They must run home and tell their parents and siblings that the Arctic ice is melting so fast that by “2040 or earlier, the Arctic Ocean may become entirely ice-free in summer. The polar bears are already affected by sea-ice loss, they are going to drown and starve. The students don’t know that polar bears are good swimmers, they play on ice floes, and have increased in numbers five-fold.

“Have you noticed an increase in storms and other extreme conditions near your hometown?” Students are not savvy enough to tell the difference between a severe weather event and climate, they see them as one and the same.

Scared out of their minds, the students leave the museum with the following advice to bring home, hopefully influencing their families to take action and read the Ocean Portal website:

-          Support renewable energy such as wind or solar (students don’t know how many billions have been wasted on 34 bankrupt solar enterprises, how expensive solar energy is , that it needs fossil fuel energy backup, and the damaging health effects on humans and birds)

-          Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances (students don’t know how toxic the CFL mercury laden bulbs are when they break)

-          Walk, bike, or take public transportation (not feasible or cost effective in many places)

It seems that the main stream media and pro-environmental organizations embellish the damage caused by climate change via “information manipulation and climate agreements.” http://ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/24/ajae.aau001.abstract

“You won’t find it shocking to learn that suppressing inconvenient facts, lying about climate science and exaggerating tales about natural weather are deliberate strategies for global warming campaigners.”   http://www.cfact.org/2014/04/04/peer-reviewed-paper-its-ok-to-lie-about-climate/

Yet every week, the Washington Post is running stories and entire sections dedicated to the perils of climate change. Faced with unusual and sustained cold temperatures, increased ice surface, the global warming alarmists repackaged their Gaia-worship as climate change.

A day at the museum for young and impressionable minds can be a frightening/brainwashing experience/lesson in global warming/climate change advocacy. It is easy to see how most young visitors would become life-long stewards/slaves to the religion of Mother Earth. And if the points were not driven home clearly enough that humans are destroying the planet with their mere existence and technology, visitors were urged to make a choice right now because “doing nothing is a choice.” After all the gloom and doom presented, “It’s not too late to avoid disaster, but we are running out of time.”
 
Note: The museum does a great job of pointing out the problems caused by trash pollution.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Teach Common Sense not Common Core

“Common Core will be raising good little socialists, who are in tune with their feelings, not so much their critical thinking skills.”  - Author unknown

I have seen many educational fads come and go, trying to replace teaching methodology in our public schools with something so revolutionary and never tried before that would make teaching a “science” instead of an art and place all children into a national standardized one mold fits all in spite of the human variability in intelligence, talent, aptitude, ability, and the desire to learn. All these fads were driven by the Department of Education’s intention to fund new research that justified its existence and the college professors of education who were under the threat of “publish or perish” when it came to obtaining the very sought-after tenure - life employment without dismissal for cause. Education grew more and more liberal, infusing non-science subjects with Chavezism, Castroism, Maoism, Stalinism, feminism, racism, socialism, and communism.

Why are we then sending our kids to college, borrowing the money we don’t have, knowing that the kids won’t be able to pay it back when they can’t find a job because the jobs don’t exist, the economy is in shambles? Why are we allowing these degenerate college professors many of whom hate America and what it stands for to destroy the minds of our children and reshape them in the vision of their professors’ ideology?

Common Core, the brainchild and work of 30 individuals under the aegis of the Governors’ Association and the almost $200 million sponsorship of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is something else. It is the tool to achieve the “fundamental transformation” of our society as promised in 2008. It is nationalized education “standards” that require students to find another way to reach an answer, particularly in math, even if the answer is wrong, justifying the incorrect answer as the path to help students learn to think critically. This would probably happen right after the student is turned off to math or he/she reaches the right developmental age to think analytically and critically.

A simple addition, 17+25=42, elicited the following response from a second grader in San Jose who was using the GO Math! Curriculum of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, aligned with the Common Core standards, “I got the assignment by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer that my brain got.” http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/30/this-second-graders-revenge-against-common-core-math-will-make-your-day/

Here is another simple math problem that a third grader should be able to solve immediately, 26+17=43. In the Common Core new, perplexing, and convoluted way of thinking, the problem is resolved this way:

“Add 26+17 by breaking apart numbers to make a 10.

Use a number that adds with the 6 in 26 to make a 10.

Since 6+4=10, use 4.

Think: 17=4+13

Add 26+4=30

Add 30+13=43

So, 26+17= 43”

If you are dumbfounded by this kind of stressful and irrational logic, you are not alone.

A simple subtraction, 243-87=156 done quickly “the old fashioned way,” turns into a complicated solution that requires strange logic and drawing a graph such as the one illustrated below:

   +3     +10             +100                  +43                                100+43+10+3=156

_____________________________________

87   90          100                    200                 243

Can we imagine now studying calculus and differential equations under such contorted thinking? But it gets much worse in reading, writing, government, and history.

A Common Core kindergarten problem instructs, “In each cube stick, color some cubes blue and the rest of the cubes red. Draw the cubes you colored in the number bond. Show the hidden partners on your fingers to an adult. Color the fingers you showed.” Aside from the fact that the problem is almost impossible for an adult to comprehend, it involves “cube sticks,” “number bonds” and “hidden partners.” The worksheet further urges children to impose this math concept on an adult. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=511540018952786&set=a.198312883608836.34844.198021666971291&type=3&theater

Another example from the Go Math! Common Core aligned math curriculum involves Mina Boyd’s kindergarten child who was given the worksheet to Count and Write 20, presumably 20 apples that looked curiously like bombs. There were actually only 19. Was it a printing mistake or were the publishers having difficulty with this “transformational” math? One reader described the assignment beyond brainwashing - a form of Pavlov’s dog conditioned response, “neuro-linguistic programming, and otherwise known as hypnosis.”
http://eagnews.org/before-the-math-gets-too-complicated-common-core-publishers-should-learn-to-count-to-20/

A fourth grade reading assignment asks students to describe adultery, a highly inappropriate topic for elementary school.  http://weaselzippers.us/180880-common-core-fourth-grade-worksheet-features-story-about-adultery/

Sixth grade students in Arkansas were given in 2013 the assignment to “revise” the “outdated” Bill of Rights, “suggesting that the government can grant and remove inalienable rights.” Middle School students were also told that the Second Amendment requires gun registration.

According to the workbook, “This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison.”
http://eagnews.org/middle-school-assignment-second-amendment-requires-gun-registration/#more-29159

It gets even more interesting. The USDA is now in the business of nudging grandparents to use ChooseMyPlate.gov to help their grandkids eat healthier, and giving instructions to offer their grandchildren “hugs” instead of treats and to “read government bedtime stories.” http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/03/31/grandparents-help-kids-develop-good-eating-habits/

People like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee have constantly pushed the Common Core standards. If implemented, they are “designed to make the United States more competitive with the rest of the world.” How exactly would a dumbed down curriculum make children more competitive? Were we not competitive enough before Common Core? Was American higher education not the envy of the world? Why must we now destroy it? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/24/jeb-bush-common-core-critics-care-too-much-about-kids-self-esteem/

Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education is running Common Core ads non-stop. Parents are waking up and garnering the support of some teachers. But there are powerful groups who are pushing Common Core because there is a lot of money at stake. Common Core standards are not a grass-roots, nor state-led initiative.  It is the Obama administration Race to the Top competition bribing schools with billions of dollars if they adopt Common Core. It is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it is Pearson, the billion dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate, the Center for American Progress, the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and recipients of Bill Gates Foundation money who continue to propagandize Common Core.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373881/your-common-core-marketing-overlords-michelle-malkin

U.S. News and World Report quoted Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (1.5 million members), who stated that the Common Core implementation is ‘far worse’ than Obamacare.”
http://www.newsmax.com/US/common-core-chamber-of-commerce-repeal-conservative/2014/03/14/id/559652/

Money is no object when it comes to sending school administrators to a luxurious hotel and spa ($38,000) in order to discuss strategies for implementing Common Core standards at schools in the Inglewood, California impoverished school district that had to be bailed out in 2012 to the tune of $55 million. http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/06/impoverished-school-district-sends-admins-on-lavish-common-core-spa-trip/#ixzz2vUNgQYxe

The Daily Caller assembled a list of complicated, dreadful math problems and worksheets that are glaring evidence that Common Core standards are not really trying to improve our children’s education, but are hurting their education. http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/07/heres-proof-that-common-core-aims-to-make-americas-children-cry/

Common Core math standards are based on the theory of Constructivism. This theory rejects the drilling of children on basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication). Instead, children are taught to “construct” their own way of figuring out an answer. An incorrect answer is acceptable as long as the child explains how he/she got the wrong answer.

The reading found in the English literature selections is not chosen for the joy of reading and learning, but instead, they are to be “analyzed and discussed by students using leftwing norms” of morality and behavior. This unproven theory of education is called New Criticism Literary Analysis.

Moral ambiguity, acceptance of perverse and aberrant behavior presented as courage, overt sexuality, adultery, and even pornography are some of the themes chosen for young and older students. For example, schools in North Carolina who adopted the Common Core standards are requiring the reading of the sexually explicit book, The House of Spirits.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_the_Spirits_(film)

Middle school readings include the complete United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the complete United Nations Millennium Declaration with the main theme being global diversity and global citizenship. Stories include head scarves of Muslims in France, an American teenager punished in Singapore, an arranged marriage in India, learning Japanese, an African novel, and articles promoting global warming as settled science. The readings indicate the progressives’ love affair with third world societies which they deem superior to our own.

Centuries of European and American civilization and culture are glossed over. The few stories devoted to American culture include a kid who tries to avoid parental punishment for breaking curfew, Halloween, and a controversy over sea lions in Oregon.
http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2014/03/why-moms-are-protesting-common-core/#.UxgO2lNibRA.gmail

The Eagle Forum described some of the reading materials aligned with Common Core. The common denominators are anti-Americanism, sexuality, porn, and global warming:

-          Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia (10th grade reading, anti-American and sexually explicit)

-          Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (9th grade, a 13-year old boy describing his father’s genitals and a sex act)

-          Wind Power (k-1, telling children their electricity comes from wind mills)

-          Ted the Fly Guy (k-1, cartoon characters with large eyes)

-          Where Do Polar Bears Live? by Sarah Thomson (2nd and 3rd graders, global warming, climate change, carbon foot print)

-          Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher (4th and 5th graders, woman learns of her own murder plot when phone wires get crossed; is this the kind of reading appropriate for 9 and 10 year olds?)

-          English language arts lesson plans for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders based on the book, Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, portray President Obama as a “messianic figure,” clearly a propaganda effort to align ideology with Common Core

-          Common Core Anti-American teaching guides produced by Zaner-Bloser company

1.      Two-week lesson for 4th graders using the book The Jacket indoctrinates children into the concept of racism and white privilege; the left-wing concept that the values of American society are designed to benefit white people to the exclusion of black people

2.      Another Zaner-Bloser guide uses the book Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, to indoctrinate 2nd graders into the founder of the United Farm Workers union and “equality.” The conditions of the farmers and the landowners are presented on opposite pages, instructing teachers to say, “Fairness and equality exist when the scales are balanced” and “unfairness and inequality exist when the scales are weighted heavily on one side and are out of balance.” Do 7 year olds understand economics and property rights? Do they understand that first generation Americans came to this country with the clothes on their backs to escape poverty and religious persecution, worked very hard and made a better life for themselves and their children? (EAGNews.org, 10-17-13 and 10-21-13)

“These lesson plans will indoctrinate students against the same American opportunities that allowed millions of immigrants to arrive here penniless, work hard, and achieve the American dream.” http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/jan14/controversy-porn-pervade-common-core-curriculum.html

Phyllis Schlafly explained that parents also object to Common Core for its massive data collection on every student in the United States, in-depth longitudinal studies from birth to college, an invasion of privacy, and the mark of a totalitarian state.

To make the Common Core more acceptable, some states are changing the name. Iowa calls it the Iowa Core. Florida found a more euphemistic name, Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to erase the name Common Core.

“Even under a different name, the Common Core Standards are still mediocre, at best, and continue to put American students at a significant disadvantage to their international peers,” Glyn Wright, executive director of the Eagle Forum.” http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/22/name-game-amid-opposition-states-change-title-common-core/?intcmp=trending

Should parents question the Common Core standards that are unproven and untested, they might experience what happened to the father who showed up at a school board meeting in Towson, Maryland, asking questions the board had not picked – he was forcibly escorted out of the meeting by a hired security guard and arrested. http://benswann.com/maryland-parent-arrested-for-challenging-common-core/

The latest Common Core outrage comes from California. The Mark Twain School in Sacramento has suspended Katherine Duran, the mother of a 12-year old student, for 14 days in her home for “disrupting the school.” Duran’s son, Christopher, distributed Common Core opt-out forms to other students to take home to their parents. The principal confiscated the forms. Mrs. Duran visited the school and confronted the principal who then called the police. She was served with the two-week suspension order. According to the Blaze, the principal “sent police with a chilling note that contained notice of the two-week ‘Withdrawal of Consent’ as well as a threat of arrest should she violate the order,” including the legalese, “The District will seek reimbursement for attorney costs the courts may impose.” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/04/moms-anti-common-core-stance-gets-her-suspended-from-sons-school-threatened-with-arrest/

In light of the recent developments in Scotland where a bill was passed that appoints a health worker to act as a “named person” for every child until the age of five, then to a council with teachers until the child reaches 18, parents should be concerned.  Conservatives tried to argue that such measures should have been taken only when the well-being or safety of a child was at stake. A Christian charity promised to take court action to overturn the law because it violates parental rights. The law was passed under the guise of identifying children with developmental difficulties and potential cases of abuse. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10650090/Scottish-ministers-threatened-with-legal-action-over-state-guardian-plans.html

Michael Ramey, of ParentalRights.org, writing to his supporters, pointed out that “the legislation was specifically aimed at compliance with the radical U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Where are the rights of the parents vis-à-vis excessive government intrusion?
http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/17748-citing-un-treaty-scotland-assigns-overseer-to-every-child

American parents should better wise up before it is too late and they too will lose their parental rights because the government deems that it is better positioned to be mommy and daddy.

************** 

Note:  Michelle Malkin is informing parents that there is a Common Core opt-out form, courtesy of Truth in American Education. “You can exercise your parental rights to protect your children from the nationalized Common Core.” http://michellemalkin.com/2013/03/11/attention-parents-common-core-opt-out-form-now-available/

Watch the recently released documentary on Common Core by Ian A. Reid, Building the Machine, www.CommonCoreMovie.com

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Butler on Business, March 26, 2014 Smart Meters

My segment with Alan Butler on Liberty Express Radio, March 26, 2014. Topic: Smart Meters and their effects on health. I come on at the 43 minute mark.
http://host1.cyberears.com//25365.mp3

Abundant Energy Supply Strangled by Environmentally Driven Regulations

The Committee on Energy and Commerce convened on March 25, 2014 to hear testimony on H.R. 6, the “Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act,” introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner. This bill was precipitated by the Energy Information Administration’s statement that “America’s natural gas has been raising since 2006. EIA projects such increases to continue through 2040, and expects domestic production of natural gas to remain well above domestic demand.” 

Chairman Fred Upton believes that our natural gas surplus is needed by “our allies around the world” and we should engage in “a mutually beneficial trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG).” In his opinion, federal policy has not yet “adjusted to the new reality of American energy abundance, and in fact Obama administration red tape often stands in the way of the potential benefits of the energy boom.”

Besides job creation at home, “constructing and running the LNG export facilities and additional energy industry jobs as natural gas producers expand their output to meet the increase in demand,” Chairman Upton believes that H.R. 6 would help Ukraine and Eastern and Central European countries who are dependent on Russian natural gas. Russia would have less “leverage over these nations” and prices of LNG would come down. https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/hr-6-domestic-prosperity-and-global-freedom-act

The Hoover Institution agreed that “the hydrocarbon boom in the United States has been driven by fracking.” Shale-gas production through fracking in North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York accounts for 44 percent of total U.S. natural gas output. http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/170026

Predictions in the 1970s indicating that America would run out of natural gas were wrong. Even the production of oil fell (1990-2008), increasing our oil dependency on imports from unstable and hostile nations. The International Energy Agency reported that in 2013 U.S. production of crude oil increased by 991,000 barrels a day and oil imports declined by 16 percent.

Newsmax.com wrote that “America produced an average of about 12.1 million barrels of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and biofuels a day in 2013 – that’s 300,000 barrels a day more than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia, the two previous leaders.”

Gary D. Libecap, Economics professor at the University of California and research fellow at Hoover Institution, said that “fracking and natural gas production have been good for the economy, good for democracies worldwide, and good for the environment.” Environmentalists would probably disagree since complaints have been lodged with the EPA about the deleterious effects on soil and ground water from fracking and horizontal drilling.

Energy experts believe that the Obama administration slows or prevents drilling on federal lands by delaying and denying permits. Consequently, production on federal lands fell 23 percent since 2007. According to the Institute for Policy Innovation, the federal government owns 28 percent of U.S. land, 62 percent in Alaska and 47 percent in 11 western states. http://www.ipi.org/

The current administration chooses instead to concentrate on very expensive and insufficient wind and solar energy generation, particularly solar. In addition to the 34 failed green companies funded with taxpayer dollars, of which Solyndra was the poster child of a $535 million colossal failure, the Aqua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma, Arizona takes the top spot with $967 million in federal loans. Yuma has an unemployment rate of 26.1 percent. So far, the Yuma project created 10 permanent jobs. When completed at the end of this year, the solar facility will have 16 permanent employees. It will only cost taxpayers $60.4 million per job creation. http://lastresistance.com/5226/obama-spends-967-million-create-10-solar-energy-jobs/

Fracking on the other hand, creates real jobs and helps towns like Midland, Texas to increase per capita income three times the national average and to reduce unemployment to a low 2.9 percent, while extracting oil which is needed to produce energy and to run our large economy.

Because the current administration believes that carbon pollution drives climate change, the proposed budget for FY 2015 includes a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund to fight man-made (anthropogenic) global warming. Our electricity generation from “dirty” coal will then be curtailed by EPA’s expensive job-killing and coal fire-plant closing regulations and we will be stuck with huge electric bills and potential shortages.  

Our way of life depends on electricity - lights, refrigerators, air conditioning, furnaces, computers, internet, radios, TVs, ATMs, banks, grocery stores, cell phones, chargers, medical devices, life support systems, operating rooms, gas pumps, electric cars, plants, farms, refineries, water purification, sewer systems – 68 percent is generated by fossil fuels, 20 percent by nuclear, and 7 percent by hydro power. http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2014/03/22/us-electricity-system-in-regulatory-and-terrorist-crosshairs-n1812722/page/full

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), net energy generation from coal has dropped from 49 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in 2012. Right now, the shortage is partly offset by increases in natural gas.

EPA’s retrofitting regulations and the requirement to use non-existent carbon capture technology, has resulted in coal fire plant closures. This prompted Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, to propose an amendment to H.R. 3826 (http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3826)
that would make sure that EPA’s standards for all types of new power plants use existing technology.  Rep. Smith said, “By requiring carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that doesn’t even exist, the EPA’s new power plant proposal effectively bans new coal power. There is no coal power plant anywhere in the world that can meet the EPA’s radical proposal.” http://schweikert.house.gov/press-releases/rep-schweikert-cosponsors-amendment-to-curb-epa-overreach-on-power-plant-emissions-standards/

Robert Romano explained that “largely as a result of coal plant closures, overall electricity generation in the U.S. has dropped from 4.005 trillion kWh in 2007 to 3.89 trillion kWh in 2012, meanwhile end use has only decreased from 3.89 trillion kWh to just 3.832 trillion kWh. The difference between electricity generation and end use, or implied spare capacity, has dropped from 115 billion kWh to 58 billion kWh from 2007-2012.” This decrease of 50 percent is troublesome - steady demand would cause eventual brownouts. http://netrightdaily.com/2014/03/epa-lost-mind/#ixzz2vaOr9QUP

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), approximately 11.5 million American homes use wood burning stoves for heat. EPA issued new rules on emissions of particles and gases released from residential wood stoves and other wood-fired heaters built after 2015 and the rules will be more stringent in five years.  EPA “estimates that 85,695 wood stoves will be manufactured and sold in 2015.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/epa-moves-to-regulate-new-wood-stoves/2014/01/03/b08cb232-7484-11e3f-b1666705ca3b_story.html

The airborne particulates allowed change from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12. Bob Adelman put it in proper perspective, “Secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed-car exposes a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.”  According to John Crouch of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, particulate pollution from wood burning stoves often occurs because consumers use insufficiently dried wood.

I wrote about cook stoves in my book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy.” The drive to replace cook stoves with “clean cook stoves” with chimneys came from the United Nations and translated into grants of $100,000 to $750,000 awarded by the Department of Energy through the “Clean Biomass Cook stove Technologies” initiative.  The grants were intended to help 100 million households in third world countries by 2020. http://www.amazon.com/U-N-Agenda-21-Environmental-Piracy-ebook/dp/B009WC6JXO/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396282329&sr=1-1&keywords=UN+Agenda+21%3A+Environmental+Piracy

Two studies evaluated the “clean cook stoves” and found that they delivered the same amount of measured pollution as the previous stoves. RESPIRA (Randomized Exposure Study of Pollution Indoors) showed improved air quality but not overall health.  “Up in Smoke,” a much larger study from MIT showed same amount of measured pollution and no significant change in overall health. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is forging ahead with studies in Ghana, Nepal, and Kenya in spite of the two studies’ results.

Should our power grid fail because of a solar flare, EMP, cyber, or terrorist attack, we will experience a civilization setback and population demise that is hard to fathom. While our administration concentrates on environmental issues, on April 16, 2013, terrorists attacked a power substation near San Jose, California as reported by the Wall Street Journal on February 5, 2014.  The fact that this very important piece of information was not reported by the media until a year later is disturbing. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579359141941621778

Terrorists cut fiber optic cables and destroyed 17 transformers by causing them to leak oil coolant, resulting in overheating and failure. The targeted attack which lasted one hour indicated that the terrorists were very knowledgeable. The repairs took 27 days. Those maintaining the grid were able to reroute power and avoid blackouts.

Electricity is delivered to us through “a complex, interconnected system of power lines, substations, and transformers called the power grid. The entire United States is divided into just three separate grid segments: East, West, and Texas.” (Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek)

Billions are spent on “climate change prevention,” and on expensive smart meters that endanger and harm our health and attack our privacy, while our complex grid is easy prey to sabotage and attacks, protected only by cameras and chain link fences. It is not just that electricity prices must “necessarily skyrocket,” as our President promised, our grid is a sitting duck to potential attacks, and our energy production is being reduced significantly by overly stringent EPA regulations.