10 Questions Mark Zuckerberg Should Answer When He Testifies Before Congress

When Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress Tuesday and Wednesday he will have plenty of explaining to do to answer a torrent of criticism that has been leveled at his company in recent weeks.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most important questions we think lawmakers should ask Zuckerberg when he is scheduled to testify at a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday and then before the House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday. We list these below—but first, here’s some background.

Facebook’s handling of its users’ personal data has sparked privacy concerns as well as questions about how others—including political campaigns—have used that data.

Zuckerberg was invited to testify before Congress after multiple sources reported that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to as many as 87 million Facebook profiles. Cambridge Analytica allegedly used that information improperly after it was hired by the Donald Trump presidential campaign. This raises two questions.

First, what information did Cambridge Analytica acquire and how did it come by that information? Zuckerberg has indicated publicly that he knows the answers to these questions, so Congress should have no trouble sorting that out.

Cambridge Analytica used the information to craft sophisticated, targeted political ads. And that raises the second—and far more interesting—question: Did Cambridge Analytica’s actions constitute a novel use of Facebook user information, or is this precisely how the social media company intends the data to be used by its paying customers?

What members of Congress and the general public need to keep in mind is that nothing is free. While individuals who use Facebook don’t have to pay for it, Facebook makes money—and lots of it—using their information.

Facebook’s net income was nearly $16 billion last year. The company sells advertising to commercial clients seeking to target Facebook users based on profiles derived from those users’ online activities.

That very same ability—to identify and reach users most likely to be receptive to a client’s product or service—was valuable not just to the Trump campaign, but also to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election effort. Indeed, it was the Obama campaign that pioneered the use of such data to win elections.

In light of this, here are 10 of the most important questions that we suggest lawmakers ask Zuckerberg when he appears before Congress:

1. Mr. Zuckerberg, you recently said: “At Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use.” If users of your platform are not the source of your income, who is?

2. Specifically, what services do you provide to your paying customers and how much access do you give them to the data of Facebook users?

3. How do political campaigns leverage your services, and what are your rules governing campaign-sponsored advertisements and access to individual Facebook user data? What will be the impact of new rules you announced Friday to require people to reveal their identities and verify their location before they are allowed to buy political or “issue” ads?

4. Carol Davidsen, the director of data integration and media analytics for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, said: “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized what we were doing.” She noted that “they [Facebook] were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.” Did Facebook, in fact, let the Obama campaign use Facebook data in ways that were outside of the company’s normal and acceptable use standards? If so, why? Who at Facebook made this decision?

5. Did the Mitt Romney presidential campaign receive access to the same information and company expertise provided to the Obama campaign? If not, why not? Who at Facebook made this decision?

6. You and other Facebook executives tell users that “we do not sell your data.” Are you asserting that all marketing and targeting data that is sold to commercial customers is anonymized and generalized so that no individual Facebook user can be specifically targeted or marketed to?

7. Doesn’t the Obama campaign’s use of your information to identify and target individual so-called “persuadables” on Facebook contradict the above claim?

8. Did the way that the Obama campaign used Facebook’s data influence your decision to change your data use policies in 2014? If so, how?

9. Does Facebook now, or has it ever, deliberately collected the content of users’ phone calls and/or messages via any of your company’s applications or services? If so, what have you done with that data?

10. Why have you suggested that the government may need to regulate you and other tech companies? Why don’t you simply adopt the practices you believe are necessary to protect the privacy of your users without requiring government coercion?

Modern technology is changing how we communicate. Those changes bring major advantages, but they also raise serious questions. One of those questions is: How much privacy do users of a social media platform like Facebook have a right to expect when they post personal information to share with their families, their friends, and the world at large?

Internet companies owe their customers straightforward answers to those questions. But government regulation should be a last resort. For now, calls for more such regulation are premature. We must first examine the extent and nature of the problem, and then assess the pros and cons of all possible solutions.

Originally published by Fox News.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Hans von Spakovsky

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .

Portrait of Klon Kitchen

Klon Kitchen is senior fellow for technology, national security and science policy at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is by Brian Snyder/Reuters/Newscom.

VIDEO: Did Netflix show kill Anna Bright?

The hugely popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, has become a lightning rod for critics who say it glorifies suicide and might even make it an attractive option for teenagers who are enduring difficult times in their lives.

Watch the heartbreaking video about Anna Bright, a 14-year-old who committed suicide after binge-watching 13 Reasons Why.

Anna Bright Story from American Family Studios on Vimeo.

Anna’s parents contacted the American Family Association, asking us to help get the word out about the dangers of 13 Reasons Why. They shared their story with our film division.

On March 25, I sent a private letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, respectfully asking for a short meeting to discuss our concerns. The letter was ignored.

Season 1 was hugely popular. While it was airing last year, the web site for Teen Vogue said the series was Netflix’s most popular show on social media. Netflix plans to release a second season soon.

Read the AFA Journal feature about this series and its impact on the family of Anna Bright and others.

Even the mainstream media has publicized the potential dangers of 13 Reasons Why, and some schools here in America and abroad have sent home letters to warn parents about the series.

Those dangers are very real. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers.

Asking Netflix to drop this dangerous television series is the right thing to do. Please sign this petition, then share it as a way to warn other friends, family, and church members about the dangers of 13 Reasons Why.

Sign the petition demanding that Netflix pull Season 1 of the series and cancel plans to air Season 2.

If our mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

VIDEO: She Got Pregnant at 18 and Did Something That Today, Few Teens Do

Kelly Clemente found out she was pregnant when she was 18. She had just finished her first semester of college, and up until then, described herself as your typical “all-American girl.”

She got good grades, was a member of a sorority, and ran on the track team.

When she saw that pregnancy test, “My life is over,” she thought.

“I was like, it doesn’t even matter. Nothing matters anymore,” Kelly told The Daily Signal.

Kelly, unlike most girls her age, was familiar with the implications of an unplanned pregnancy. In high school, she volunteered at HOPE in Northern Virginia, a nonprofit that creates gift baskets for mothers faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

Although she shared compassion for them, Kelly had bought into the stigmas about birth moms. “I’ll never be one of those women,” she thought.

But she was wrong. At 18, Kelly became an unplanned pregnancy statistic. “I was no better than these women that I was creating baskets for,” she said.

After crying and feeling nothing but noise and chaos, Kelly thought of her little sister, who her parents had adopted into their family from Central America.

“I thought of the joy she brought into our family, and for the first moment after hours of crying, I felt calm, and I felt peaceful,” Kelly said. “I knew that I needed to make the decision that my sister’s birth mom had made.”

Kelly would carry her baby to term, and place him—or her—for adoption.

But first, she’d have to tell her parents.

‘Parents’ Worst Nightmare’

Within days upon learning she was pregnant, Kelly had to figure out how to come clean with her parents. “I expected them to be angry,” she said. “Parents’ worst nightmare, right?”

First, she called her mom from school to say she wasn’t feeling well.

“I was concerned enough to go to school to see firsthand what was going on,” Susan Clemente, Kelly’s mom, said.

The two went grocery shopping together, but Kelly avoided sharing the news. Sensing something was wrong, her mom invited Kelly to come back home.

“That entire ride home, I never once told you that I was pregnant,” Kelly said, speaking to her mom about that day. “You told me later that you just knew.”

“I did,” Kelly’s mom replied.

When they got home, they sat on the living room couch and talked so intently that the sun went down without anyone noticing. When her dad, Mark, arrived home from work, he asked, “Why are you all sitting in the dark?”

At that moment, Kelly had to confront one of her biggest fears—telling her dad she was pregnant.

“I could tell something was going on,” he said of the two sitting in the dark.

Almost in the same breath, Kelly broke the news that she was pregnant—and going to place the child for adoption.

Instead of responding with anger or disappointment, Mark told The Daily Signal, “I just remember being so grateful and proud.”

“We’d hoped that we had raised you that way,” her dad said, speaking to Kelly. “So the fact that you didn’t even entertain that thought [abortion], to be honest, it was a very proud moment.”

After that, Kelly moved back in with her parents and set up an appointment with Bethany Christian Services, an organization that facilitates private, faith-based adoptions.

‘Little Treasure’

Walking into Bethany Christian Services, Kelly was expecting “the wrath of God” to be on her.

“I’m going to an adoption agency, and I’m going to be judged,” she said. But when she walked in there, “I never experienced any of that,” she said.

“They showed me what it was like to walk with someone through the hardest time of their life when they are feeling so down on themselves and so alone, they were there.”

Shawn and Dave Hansen were the second couple Kelly and her mom met with in the adoption process.

“It was so obvious that these were the people that would have her little treasure,” her mom told The Daily Signal.

But finding them was the easy part. Kelly was 18, in college, and still pregnant.

‘Where’s My Choice?’

“Being pregnant and being in college is never really a great thing,” Kelly said. “I found out very quickly who my true friends were.”

At one point, she told a friend on her track team that she was pregnant and placing her child for adoption. His response was less than supportive.

“If you don’t get an abortion, I will lose all respect for you,” Kelly remembered him saying.

“I was horrified,” Kelly said. “You call yourself pro-choice, but where’s my choice? It’s my choice to choose adoption.”

Then, two weeks before the birth, Kelly got a phone call from the baby’s father’s best friend informing her the father—Kelly’s boyfriend at the time—wasn’t being faithful.

“I was devastated,” Kelly said. “This is someone I knew for eight years, this is someone I trusted. I’m having his baby. We had conversations about getting married.”

Hearing that news was the second hardest news to take over those nine months, Kelly said. Her entire identity had already been shattered, and her relationship now was, too.

At a low point, Kelly walked out to her parents’ driveway in the middle of the night. She laid down on the road, in the dark, and prayed that a car would come run her over.

“I want to die,” Kelly remembered thinking. “I can’t handle this. This is too much for me.”

At that moment, Kelly said she heard a voice from God telling her to get up. So she did.

“I got up, and I said, ‘OK, I know that this sweet baby did nothing wrong, so I don’t want him to get hurt, so I’m going to have this baby and then I’m going to take my life.’ Because I was so broken, I didn’t think there was any meaning left.”

But then the voice came back and said, “No, I’m not done with you yet.”

“At that moment, I knew that I was loved by a really big God who had a really big heart, that didn’t judge me by my pregnancy and still loved me so much,” Kelly said.

A few weeks later, her water broke, and Kelly gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

‘An Answer to My Prayers’

“Those three days I spent in the hospital, he was mine,” Kelly said of her birth son, Alex. But after those three days, it was time to place Alex with his adoptive parents, Shawn and Dave Hansen.

“I don’t sugarcoat that because it’s real life and I loved this child so much, but I couldn’t give him a father, I couldn’t give him brothers and sisters for a long time, I couldn’t provide him with what felt like anything he deserved.”

She then walked to the hospital chapel, said a prayer for everything to be OK, and at that moment, Dave and Shawn walked in.

“I was like, wow,” Kelly said. “They truly are an answer to my prayers.”

Handing her baby to another family wasn’t going to be easy, even though the family was the living embodiment of her prayers.

“I thought the hardest day of my life would be finding out that I was pregnant,” Kelly said. “It wasn’t.”

“The hardest day of my life was driving away from that hospital without a baby. I had never felt more empty in my life. I was physically empty, and I felt so alone.”

Kelly made a decision that in today’s society, few women do.

In 2014, the latest data available, 18,329 women in the U.S. chose to place their children for adoption. That same year, more than 900,000 women chose abortion. According to the National Council for Adoption, a nonpartisan group that advocates adoption, for every 1,000 abortions and births to unmarried women, there were only 6.9 adoptions.

‘It’s Over Now’

Kelly gave birth in September 2008, and returned to college in January. Much like the pregnancy, the transition back wasn’t easy.

“I remember everybody just telling me over and over again, ‘It’s over now. It’s over. Aren’t you so glad that this is over?’” Kelly said.

But she felt differently.

“I was fine without drinking, I was fine without sleeping around. I had lived a life I was proud of while I was pregnant, and I wanted that to continue but I was feeling so much pressure to just be that fun sorority party girl that I was before my entire life changed. No one seemed to wrap their head around the fact that my entire worldview had been shifted.”

Today, Kelly is 28 years old. She graduated from college and went back to receive a master’s degree in school counseling.

“My heart is for children,” Kelly said. For now, she’s teaching preschool and hopes one day to be either a school counselor or a voice for teen moms and teen birth moms.

“I want them to know that they have value and their life isn’t over. They have their whole life ahead of them.”

She also wants birth moms to know that children placed with adoptive families “are not lacking in love.”

Her son, Kelly said, “not only receives love from his adoptive parents. He receives love from me, he receives love from my parents, there’s so much love to go around.”

Kelly chose to have an open adoption with Alex and his parents, and sees him a couple times every year.

After enjoying time together, Kelly said, “You would think that it would be this emotional thing where I’m so upset that my birth son is going back with his adoptive parents.”

“It’s not,” she said. “It’s this beautiful thing where he’s happy that he’s seen me, I’m happy that I’ve seen him. He knows who is parents are. He knows that I’m not mom. One day I hope to be a mom, but I’m not his mom. I get to be birth mommy. And that’s OK with me.”

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Kelsey Harkness

Kelsey Harkness

Kelsey Harkness is a senior news producer at The Daily Signal and co-host of “Problematic Women,” a podcast and Facebook Live show. Send an email to Kelsey. Twitter: @kelseyjharkness.

RELATED ARTICLE: Podcast: What It’s Like to Be a ‘Birth Mommy’

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

How an Obscure Author Made Chappaquiddick a National Story

If anyone ever truly deserved a Profiles in Courage Award, it was the late Leo Damore, the author of the book “Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up.

Of course, the awards are handed out by the Kennedy family, and they are all about not courage, but political correctness. But no one can dispute the fact that Damore put himself and his career on the line to write this book, and that one way or another, he paid the ultimate price—as a suicide, in 1995, at the age of 65.

I met Damore in 1994, on the 25th anniversary of Chappaquiddick. I was doing my radio show from the cottage on Chappaquiddick, and I booked some of the surviving principals.

Only Damore asked for money—$100. Every time I spoke to him, he seemed nervous, agitated. The day after the show he telephoned again, begging me to send him the money ASAP, which I did.

Fifteen months later, Damore was depressed and broke, about to be evicted from his rented house in Essex, Connecticut. As a visiting nurse and a constable (who was there to serve the eviction notice) looked on in horror, Damore pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., died of brain cancer in 2009, at the age of 77. In his later years, it was considered bad form to even mention Chappaquiddick in polite company. Teddy himself seemed oblivious to the scandal—he named his last dog Splash.

The Kennedys’ official fanzine has always been The Boston Globe. Every sixth year, when he was running for re-election, the Globe would run stories about how Teddy was “turning his life around,” and how in an amazing feat of self-discipline, he had totally sworn off alcohol until his birthday—Feb. 22. On the day after Chappaquiddick, the Globe ran a front-page headline saying, “Senator Wandered in Daze for Hours.”

In 2003, the Globe perfectly summed up the mainstream media’s revisionist take on Chappaquiddick: “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.”

In 2015, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate opened in Dorchester. One of its exhibits is titled the “Senate Immersion Module.” Immersion—you can’t make this stuff up.

Near the end of his life, in 2009, Teddy wrote a sorrowful letter to Pope Benedict XVI:

I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, though I have fallen short through human failings … I know that I have been an imperfect human being but with the help of my faith, I have tried to right my path.

Then he added, in a somewhat incongruous attempt at penance, “I have worked to welcome the immigrant.”

Somehow I don’t think Teddy was referring to Damore.

Few of the principals ever talked about what happened. The prosecutor, Walter Steele, was quickly appointed to a state judgeship—another nationwide search, as we say in Massachusetts.

As a judge, his most famous case involved allowing a convicted child predator to leave the state without restrictions, after which the offender moved to Montana and then murdered and cannibalized a 7-year-old boy.

When Steele reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 1996, the local New Bedford paper ran a story about him without a single mention of Chappaquiddick. But Steele did obliquely mention the difficulty of explaining to victims and their survivors how sometimes an obviously guilty party gets off scot-free: “It’s awful hard to explain to them that you think you’re doing justice.”

Do you think the Kopechnes would have understood what Steele was getting at?

The boiler-room girls you will soon be reading about have maintained omerta—silence—for almost half a century. But as Damore notes in Chapter 54, on the fifth anniversary of Mary Jo’s death in 1974, Rosemary “Cricket” Keough did issue the following terse statement: “My friend Mary Jo just happened to be in the wrong car at the wrong time with the wrong people.”

In a strange way, Damore’s life turned out like Mary Jo’s—“Senatorial Privilege,” now retitled as “Chappaquiddick: Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up” is an unforgettable book, muckraking in the best sense of the word. But for Damore personally, it was the wrong book at the wrong time about the wrong people, and it cost him his life.

But at least we still have his book—and the truth.

This partial excerpt of the foreword by Howie Carr has been republished with permission from Leo Damore’s “Chappaquiddick: Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing, 2018).

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Howie Carr

Howie Carr is a New York Times bestselling author, a Boston Herald columnist, and a syndicated talk radio host. He has chronicled Ted Kennedy’s career for 30 years in the Herald and in his own book, “Kennedy Babylon.” Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLES:

Chappaquiddick: Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing, 2018)

‘Chappaquiddick’ Depicts a Ted Kennedy Marked by Complexity and Guilt

The Shadow: a Review of “Chappaquiddick”

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

In Recognition of America’s Contributions to Humanity

By Mounir Bishay

I’m very much aware that what I’m going to argue here is not the way many from Middle Eastern origins regard the United States.

The mere mention of “America” upsets some so much, pushing them over the edge. To many, hatred for America has become a faith-like passion, very hard to change. Hence, my purpose here is not to change these people’s minds, nor am I trying to defend America, as it certainly does not need my defense!

But for me this is a matter of principle and conviction, and it is my way of paying back some of the debt I personally owe to this great country. This is particularly true because I probably know more about America than many who criticize it claim they do. I have lived and worked in America for almost half-a-century, and I was fortunate enough to experience much of what life is really like here in America.

This is not to say that America has no faults, as only God is perfect, and the fictional utopian philosophical ideas do not exist in the real world. Man is sinful by nature and is hence prone to commit all sorts of evil deeds. Nevertheless, in America the rule of law puts the brakes on these natural bents and everyone is subject to its authority, including the president. In my years here in America I have seen President Nixon lose his job as he covers up for his men when they were spying on the other party. Senior officials were convicted and sentenced to prison. Where else in the world can anything like that happen?

Perhaps the worst sin that was once attributed to America as a nation is racism. But, again, the most important virtue of America is its ability to confront and put a stop to it. African American citizens were, over time, elevated from slaves to like-citizens, to full citizens, now have even a preferred citizenship status, and finally attained to the prestigious position of head of state.

Not too long ago, America was a British colony, but the settlers decided to fight for their independence, rather than remain a mere vassal of the British Empire. Eventually, the United States of America assumed a leadership role and grew into a country greater than Britain. America was even able to protect Britain and all Europe against the Nazi threat by Hitler, who had tried to dominate the continent and had at first succeeded to some extent. But the balance of power turned against him after America entered World War II, which resulted in the defeat and elimination of Nazism. America is currently the most powerful nation on earth and any country which may achieve this status would be tempted to use it to subdue other nations. On the contrary, America has been a stabilizing force rather than a threat to other nations.

When the world was again threatened by the emergence of the Soviet Union and the spread of communism, no country, besides the United States, had the power to combat that danger, defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and stop the spread of communism. Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq, invaded Kuwait and threatened to control Middle East oil, and later ISIS came into being, terrorizing the region and promising to invade Europe. But thanks to American leadership, both were defeated.

Most important American achievements, however, have been those which contributed to improving the quality of human life. Thanks to American efforts, an environment that encourages innovation was created and America was a major player in developing countless inventions. It’s hard to imagine living without some of these inventions in the fields of food, and medicine, which make life easier for everyone. Some examples are: electricity, airplanes, TV, computers, the Internet, mobile phones, microwave ovens, laser beams, chemotherapy, and much more.

America pioneered the field of space travel, putting man on the moon for the first time. But America wouldn’t use this success or its technological advancement to threaten mankind but has used it for the good of humanity. Through this achievement, it was possible to develop satellite stations which are used to disseminate information to be passed on to people in their homes.

And, from America came the computer, which has revolutionized the lives of mankind, by helping to increase productivity and reduce corporate expenses, leading to lower prices. The development of personal computers (PC) and the launch of the Internet had changed the way people communicate with each other. With email, people can now reach anyone in the world and instantly know what is going on at the other end. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype have practically reduced the world to a small village.

Limitation of space for this article prompts me to jump ahead to other important points on this topic. The role of the American people in helping those in need around the world cannot be denied. Any time we hear of a devastating earthquake, a killer tsunami, deadly famines, war, or other natural or human-made disasters which turn people into refugees, we’re immediately aware that Americans are at the forefront of the relief work, with planeloads of food and medicine to help those victims, regardless of their race, color, or creed.

American efforts in defending human rights require coverage in another full-length article. Since its inception, America had identified this as a high calling of its worldwide presence. In this regard President Jimmy Carter said, “America didn’t invent human rights, human rights invented America.” This does not mean that America has become the policeman of the world, but with its influence, power and other means, America is able to promote democracy and stop repression and tyranny against vulnerable peoples in the world.

It is strange to hear words of criticism attributed to America (which at times amount to name calling) from people who would give anything for a chance to immigrate to the United States of America, who, even while they are in their homelands, may be living on American aid!


ABOUT MOUNIR BISHAY

Mounir Bishay, an Egyptian by birth, is a human rights activist and writer on Coptic (Christians of Egypt) issues. He is the head of the Los Angeles based Christian Copts of California. Mr. Bishay is also a contributorto SFPPR News & Analysis.

Related Articles

“Polish Death Camps” — More R…

Thoughts at the End of an Important Year

Marxism’s Failure Tripped the USSR

One hundred Years After the Bolshevik Revolution

In the Shadow of the Red Banner

Elections Have Consequences for the 2020 Census

By Jay O’ Callaghan

As former President Obama once told a group of House Republicans after his election, “Elections have consequences… and at the end of the day, I won. So, I think on that one I trump you.” That mainly describes the situation as the Census Bureau prepares the final list of questions for the 2020 census which must be sent to Congress for its approval.

The result has been the elimination of the Obama Census Bureau’s recommendations for two new complicated artificial questions for racial categories based on geography – Middle Eastern North African (MENA) and ethnicity – Hispanic-Latino, as well as a complex new sex question for those identifying themselves as LGBT persons.

The Trump administration, even, without a director at the helm of the Bureau, has proposed so far, a simpler more common sense set of questions similar to previous censuses with a few refinements. The Justice Department has proposed only one new major question for the main 2020 census form asking about citizenship. This question was recently approved by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Middle Eastern-North African (MENA) Region

The dilemma faced by those who are trying to improve what they believe is an Hispanic undercount (in the questions used for the last forty years) is described by Jomaira Salas Pujols, a sociology Ph.D. student at Rutgers University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellow recently in the Huffington Post.

Since 1970 “the U.S. Census Bureau has had two questions about race and ethnicity on the main form which is filled out by everyone. The two-question format first asks respondents to identify if they are “Hispanic or Latino,” and then prompts them to select their race: “American Indian and Alaska Native,” “Asian,” “Black or African American,” “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander,” “White,” or “some other race.”

Pujols points out that “many scholars and other experts had hoped that in the 2020 census, the bureau would change the format to one question by eliminating the ethnicity category and making “Hispanic/Latino” a new racial category. The advantage of this change, experts argued, would be to decrease the number of Latinos who select “some other race,” therefore capturing more accurate data about Latinos as a group.”

Pujols concedes that “there are good reasons to keep the two-part format, especially if Latinos like my father (who is Black and Latino) can be convinced to answer the question in a way that rejects internalized anti-blackness, and reflects their experiences as black Latinos. Latino is not a race, it is an ethnicity. Ethnicity describes a person’s culture, language, heritage and geography. Race, on the other hand, is about how others see us.”

In response to the concerns of scholars like Pujols, the Bureau will ask those who chose the “Black” racial category on their census forms to submit more information about their origins in 2020. They will be asked to add if they are also African-American, Nigerian, Ethiopian, etc. According to NPR, “the Census Bureau has reportedly attempting to respond to calls for more detailed disaggregated data for our diverse American experiences”.

The new suggested format also links specific origins under other race choices. For example, under the “White” choice, they can choose sample ancestries such as German, Irish, English, Italian, Lebanese and Egyptian. This will permit better choices for those from Middle Eastern countries. Respondents will also be allowed to mark one or more choices.

Samer Khalaf, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, expressed concern that the MENA racial category was not adopted by the Bureau because it might reduce government funding as well as the political power of Arab Americans. The ancestry question will still be asked on the American Community Survey, which will provide similar data on Arab Americans as it has in the past. As indicated above, the “White” category will be changed to provide data on Americans from Middle Eastern countries.

“For example, the social service organisation is providing social care to the Arab-American community and [finds] it hard to find funding. [It has] no way of giving that government entity how many Arab Americans they will be servicing.” He is also pointed out that “every ten years, each state divides up which areas congressmen are going to represent. They look at racial numbers and ethnic numbers. By stating that Arabs are white and not distinct on their own, this causes great disparities in statistics”

Even Khalad admits that there was a split with some Arab Americans considering themselves white while others do not. “There is also the big question of whether we are an ethnicity or a race. I don’t consider myself from the white race even though my skin tone is light,” he said. “There is a consolation prize in that we can identify ourselves as ‘Egyptian’ or ‘Lebanese’ but this is still not going to be very accurate.” Also, some Arab Americans said they were worried about the MENA category because it could help the government surveil their community.

A recent controversy about an Asian Data Disaggregation bill in Massachusetts raises questions about whether Asian-Americans support dividing Americans into ethnic subgroups. The bill requires all state agencies and entities created by the state identify Asian-Americans, and only Asian-Americans, based on their national origin or ancestry.

The Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight voted on Feb. 7 to postpone consideration of the bill and instead “establish a special commission to study the feasibility and impact of directing state agencies to collect disaggregated demographic data for all ethnic and racial groups, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The commission would submit its recommendations by December 31.”

George Shen, a naturalized American citizen from China and an associate partner at IBM in Cambridge, opposes the commission pointing out in an article in The Patriot-Ledger that “the state government’s attempt to divide ethnic groups based on national origin is counterproductive and even detrimental to the fight against deep-rooted racism. Our country has a shameful history of discrimination and xenophobia, from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Japanese American internment during World War II, and even today, the hidden Asian quota in many top American colleges and universities which reminds us of the Jewish quota in 1920s.”

Shen adds that “it’s not surprising that since the bill was introduced, racial tensions, anxieties, angers and resentments have been running high in many communities. There were half a dozen protests and demonstrations held in the last six months by concerned constituents and an overwhelming number of emails and calls to their representatives. Quite contrary to the original goals … the bill created a deep division and animosities between different ethnic minority groups.”

He quoted President Theodore Roosevelt’s forgotten warning that, “the one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”

Shen concluded that “we must stop subdividing and segregating people. With a common set of values, principles, beliefs, and ideals, and a culture which sets us apart from the rest of the world, we shall call ourselves Americans and focus on our shared destiny and shared citizenship. The Legislature must say no to the rise of identity politics, tribalism, favoritism based on race and ethnicity, to ‘a tangle of squabbling nationalities’ and to the divisive and harmful ethnic profiling based on national origin once and for all.”


ABOUT JAY O’CALLAGHAN

Jay O’Callaghan has worked extensively with issues involving the U.S. Census Bureau including serving as a professional staff member for the House Government Reform Census Subcommittee, as a senior legislative analyst for the Florida House of Representatives Redistricting Committee and for two U.S. House members. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis, of the Conservative-Online-Journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

Related Articles

The Emerging Arab Vote in Congressional Districts

Will Trump Save the 2020 Census?

Trump Lets You Vote on Controversial 2020 Census C…

Were Muslim Voters Behind Sanders’ Surprising Upse…

Is Obama’s Census Bureau Balkanizing America…

Underestimating Christ

Bevil Bramwell OMI on meeting the true Christ, who made the world and is in it. To place Him anywhere but at the center is the gravest possible mistake.

One of the underappreciated sides of John Paul II’s teaching is something that applies to all of us. In his encyclicals Fides et Ratio and Ex Corde Ecclesiae, his overall aim was to show just how vast is the influence of Jesus Christ.

This is not influence in a cultural sense. This is influence because: “All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.” (John 1:3, 4) This is influence, not at the level of society, but at the level of being.

The significance of this is undervalued because our culture has its roots in the anticlericalism and the anti-Christianity of the Enlightenment. Unfortunately, therefore, we often think the way the Enlightenment would want us to. To the Enlightenment, Jesus Christ was just another founder of one religion among many.

The truth, first of all, is that everything comes to be through the Divine Word of God who is Jesus. The things of Creation themselves speak of their divine origins by their beauty and truth. Then, second – and this is the light of which John spoke  – when we use our reason in a disciplined way, and allow it to be elevated by faith, we can truly learn about creatures and, even more excitingly, we begin to meet Christ more fully too.

Meeting Jesus Christ in faith draws us to Him. He is “the person” par excellence. He draws us into the best inter-personal relationship we will ever have. We get drawn into being persons in the fuller sense. In Hans Urs von Balthasar’s words: in meeting Christ, God freely “offers [us] . . . the greatest possible chance of becoming a person, of laying hold of his own substance, of grasping that most intimate idea of his own self – which otherwise would remain undiscoverable.” This is something that takes one’s whole life to appreciate.

Further, meeting Jesus Christ does not remain an individual, private experience: “[A]ccording to the laws of the communion of saints, [the individual] can offer himself to God on behalf of other people. . .by asking, suffering, and being for them.” Communion comes about through Christ taking on human nature and redeeming us. But we gain a role in this great process of redemption. He intervened in history and he empowers us to intervene too.

This communion is called the “Church.” And it is constituted by Christ. Liturgically, which does not mean theatrically, He continues to be born and lives and dies and rises again in the life of the Church, until He comes again in judgment.

But back to the notion of truth: the great truths of the faith are expressions from the mouth of Christ, in his life and in his Body, the Church. Bishops do not speak for the absent Christ. They speak Christ’s words as his presence. They do this well or badly depending on their personal abilities, the gaps in their knowledge and their sinfulness. They do it best when they use the words of Scripture, or the Tradition of the Church – guaranteed divine revelations in our world.

There is an interesting line in the Breviary about the Church only using the resources of the Church. The resource of the Church is Jesus Christ, who pours out his gifts for the enrichment of the Church including the Scriptures (the work of the divine Word) and the Tradition (Christ speaking through Liturgies and his Mediators).

I raise this point because, in a way that probably has not happened with such frequency since the times of Martin Luther, we are hearing teachings from bishops that are contrary to established doctrines. Let us be clear: this does not put Christ at issue. He is still with the Church in full-force. So catastrophic thinking like thinking Christ has left the Church is, for a Christian, simply nonsense.

If a bishop makes a statement, such as, for example, expressing the thought that some homosexual unions might be blessed (German Cardinal Reinhold Marx, recently), then he is simply speaking contrary to the Judeo-Christian Tradition. The Tradition has not changed; he has simply and erroneously departed from it.

The Church contains many people who contradict Church teaching. I meet them every day. But as a grown-up Catholic, I know that my faith does not depend on people who deny Catholic teaching. Faith is not reactive; it is an ever growing, deepening spiritual union with Christ and his Church.

A bishop who has been seduced by the politics of meaning, wherein a political constituency imagines that it can flip established teaching on its head, does not change established teaching.

Yes, teaching “develops” (in Newman’s very precise and limited sense). It develops – and there is continuity and consistency of meaning in authentic teaching over time. But Cardinal Marx’s personal view is not a development of doctrine. It is simply a sign of an individual aberration.

To think any differently is to underestimate Christ’s presence in the Church and hisability to co-exist, even with bishops who do not think very clearly. The wheat and the tares coexist until the harvest comes. But we should be in no doubt about which is which.

Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Fr. Bevil Bramwell, OMI, PhD is the former Undergraduate Dean at Catholic Distance University. His books are: Laity: Beautiful, Good and TrueThe World of the Sacraments;Catholics Read the Scriptures: Commentary on Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini, and, most recently, John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae: The Gift of Catholic Universities to the World.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Dark Side of the Enlightenment – Wall Street Journal

EDITORS NOTE: © 2018 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image is the Resurrection fresco, artist unknown, c. 1320 [Church of the Holy Saviour (Chora Church), Istanbul] Now the Chora Museum.

FBI Seizes Website Linked to Sex Trafficking — Owners Donated to Hillary and Pelosi

The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra in a column titled “FBI Seizes Website Linked To Sex Crimes; Owners Donated To Democrats” reports:

On Friday, the U.S. government seized Backpage.com as part of a law enforcement action by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies after the site came under intense legal scrutiny for allegations of facilitating sex trafficking and underage prostitution.

An FBI official said that there was “law enforcement activity” at the home of Michael Lacey, one of the website’s founders, at his home in Arizona, Reuters reported. The seizure banner on the website stated:

backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, with analytical assistance from the Joint Regional Intelligence Center.

Other agencies participating in and supporting the enforcement action include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the office of the California Attorney General, and the office of the Texas Attorney General.

[ … ]

The owners of the website have given tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats in recent years, including a Super PAC backed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the failed presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, Democratic candidate for governor in Arizona David Garcia, and the Arizona Democratic Party.

Read Saavedra’s full article here.

VIDEOS: Fatal Fire at Trump Tower in New York City

Fire Department of New York Reports Fire at Trump Tower.

Hollywood Reporter, April 7, 2018:

The Fire Department of New York has reported a fire on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in a tweet on Saturday.

“FDNYalerts MAN 2-ALARM 721 5 AVE, HIGH RISE (TRUMP TOWER) FIRE ON 50TH FLR,” the tweet read. A later tweet read that three alarms had gone off in the building.

The New York Police Department has reported that the area near 5th Ave. and West 57th Street would experience police presence and traffic closures due to the fire.

Calls to the FDNY by The Hollywood Reporter have not yet been returned. President Trump’s office in the Tower is on the 26th floor, according to media reports.

On Saturday Twitter users posted videos of visible flames from a window of a floor halfway up the building.

More to come…

RELATED ARTICLE: One dead after fire breaks out at Trump Tower apartment

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

What’s in our schools? What is Choice?

Would you be surprised if I started this article by saying that every problem we have in America today can be traced back to what kids learn in school?  To be perfectly clear I mean any and every type of school. Due to Common Core and ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) all students will answer to exactly the same curricula, standards and data manipulation. Once vouchers are initiated or any other type of Federal Funds), private schools and home schools will be forced to follow along.  Schools are the lowest common denominator (the one thing that every American attends in some shape or form.) Every American gets their basic information from something they learned in school.

In the ’50s and ’60s, when I went to school, America was in the top ten worldwide.  Americans held our heads high and took pride in ourselves and our country. We invented more energy saving devices, helped humanity and produced millions of patents (by then) for American innovators. We created more millionaires than any other country. Americans had real heroes to follow—today the heroes are comic book versions. Our students followed wonderful examples and became heroes themselves creating the best military, the best industry, the best and most successful country worldwide. But as a teacher, I began to feel the seed of socialism beginning to grow as my texts and supplemental materials began to morph into “Modern Education”.  I noticed the math books no longer taught budgeting, financing and had little or no economic references.

I went to a “Teachers College”, a college devoted to actually training teachers how to teach, not the five-week course given today by Teach for America.

I attended continuing education classes every year I taught. While I was in those classes, I began to notice a change taking place.  Phonics was out and whole word reading.

(a failed program) was in.  Learning math facts were out and feeling good about math was in.  We, teachers, were ever so slowly being told that facts were not important; the emphasis should be placed on values. “But whose values?” I thought. The New School of Social Research, NYC, was a John Dewey incubator. It was there I learned John Dewey’s theories. I learned the truth about the shift from Traditional Education—fact based—to Modern Education—value based—and its father, John Dewey).

The prime objective, the goal, the underlying principal, the original intent of “Modern Education” school was to dumb down the kids. The heroes of Modern Education told us continually that the populace should not be educated, because they are incapable of thinking for themselves.  People are basically dumb, they said, they are nothing more than animals with two legs.   Therefore, it was their job to keep the dumb people happy so their brilliant leaders should tell the people what to think. Following Edward Louis Bernays,  (Sigmund Freud’s nephew), of combining psychology and propaganda, multiple and proven faulty programs were instituted in public schools to make America dumb.  Bernays knew he could combine the message and turn the heads of Americans into buying anything he promoted. In one campaign, Bernays decided that bacon and eggs was the true American breakfast. He also promoted the idea of thinness so more women would smoke, not eat. Bernays knew and understood the power of words and used them to promote emotional responses forcing action. The socialist message was then pushed through the media and Hollywood, supporting what was taught in school.

Psychological manipulation replaced independent thought as most educational programs followed the academia of socialists from pre- war Germany, demanding the acceptance of the theory of Evolution (Secular Humanism) and making sure this theory was paramount in schools. The immediate push was to get G-d and morality out of schools. When children are taught that they can do whatever they want without consequences, you would be shocked at some of the things they do.

Finally, in 1963, the Supreme Court eliminated prayer in schools. As the Ten Commandments came down, perversion and acceptance of perversion went up. Secular Humanism teaches that there is nothing else outside the universe. Man is supreme, no heaven or hell, nothing to be accountable for; therefore anything goes. Man is accountable only to himself.  Man becomes God. (The Jesuit, communist Pope Francis just proclaimed that there is no Hell.)

Because of the lack of history and references, the founders of Modern Education and their theories were often omitted. Today most Americans have no idea whose theories they follow. People educated in the ’50s-’70s have no idea of the change in school curricula.  Modern Education was drawing conclusions from the manipulative academia theories promoted by people like:

Georg Friedrich Hegel—in his universe, there is no real G-d handing down His law to His creatures, therefore the only law that exists is man’s law. Man becomes G-d. His psychological dialectic is taught as gospel today.

Karl Marx—Man is just matter in the universe.  The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense. Democracy will not survive…people will vote themselves all the money in the treasury and bankrupt the nation. He believed that promoting the call for class warfare—dividing the people—will lead to their demise making them easier to control. Recognize “cradle to grave education”?  “It Takes a Village”?

Vladimir Lenin—He believed that an educated populace demands more from their government, therefore it is the duty of government to dumb down the populace.

Sigmund Freud—Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. He believed that people were victims of their experiences.  The constant lying is a perfect example of Psychological Projection, one of Freud’s theories (and one of Hillary’s favorites).  Freud loved and promoted blame shifting.  In order to be a good liar, you have to have inside knowledge of the deed and the steps involved.  (That is why Dems can run around yelling Russian Collusion.  They were involved in Russian collusion so they know what to expect. You project your trait on your opponent and build a case against them because you know how it works.)

John Dewey, Father of Modern Education—Progressive education is essentially a view of education that emphasizes the need to learn by doing. Dewey believed that human beings learn through a “hands-on” approach. This places Dewey in the educational philosophy of pragmatism (theories are measured by their success). As a philosopher, social reformer and educator, he changed fundamental approaches to teaching and learning. His ideas about education sprang from a philosophy of pragmatism and were central to the Progressive Movement in schooling. To Dewey, the central ethical imperative in education was democracy—a democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49% (Teaching democracy in school is why Americans think America is a democracy). Look at the texts today promoting a democracy. America is NOT a Democracy. How many students know that?

Traditional education relies on teachers’ authority and rote learning of life skills. Progressive Education relies on “teaching” what the students are interested in. Learning by doing will give the student life skills. Dewey critics feel that students will fail to acquire basic academic skills and knowledge while classroom order and teachers authority would disappear. Oops.

School democracy is paramount as the school community and work would be merged (School to Work).  It is the job of the school to train the student in community service to gain a feeling of accomplishment; only then will we achieve Utopia.

Margaret Sanger,  and William Gates Sr,  (Yes, Bill’s father)—started Planned Parenthood with the intent of survival of the fittest, population control, elimination of inferior races (like Negroes) and eliminating the handicapped. Wonder why Bill Jr. is so big on abortions and vaccines to control population? William had close ties to Hitler. No surprise here.

Skinner/Pavlov – People are no more than animals and should be trained as such.  Stimulus/Response learning.  This is perfect theory for that computer will continually feed the student questions until the student answers are perfect as required.  No free thought here.

By eliminating history, who knows the theories and roots of Modern Education? Yet their failed programs like Eureka Math, https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/22What-Parents-Rail-Against-Common-Core-Math-259363861.html, Whole Word Reading,  and failed Common Core, are forced on our students. It should be no surprise that Millennials prefer socialism. That is what they are learning. They have no idea what America stands for. If there is no truth, then lies are accepted. Compliance, apathy, blind acceptance of any government program is demanded. Disagreement will not be tolerated. They (globalists, socialists, progressives) are good, conservatives or anyone who disagrees is EVIL. End of discussion.

Once lying becomes accepted, lies become the new normal. To learn the truth, one must know that leaders lie; then research to find the opposite of what lying leaders report. Leaders practice newspeak—whatever they say, the opposite is usually true. A recent example of newspeak was CNN host Brian Stelter, who admits that CNN often includes sharing lies and misinformation with the American public.  Why?  For Ratings—which equals Money! After all, one of their icons, Karl Marx said:  “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” Here we have capitalists who made fortunes, telling you the door to prosperity is closed by convincing students to be children until age 27 (Obamacare), become renters (slaves of landlords), the one with the biggest debt wins, an entry level job is all you can hope for, you are a victim of your life circumstances. Only the government can help.

When we keep our youth as children, refusing to allow them to grow up and have free thought, we see the results. David Hogg (age 17),  Parkland survivor, constantly refers to himself and his peers as children.  Using Bernays’ approach, calling everyone children, Hogg will elicit the desired response. After all, no one wants to “harm the children.”  How will America’s youth be prepared for the perils of life and the dangers? Do they know that other countries teach their youth to be warriors?

Recently many talk show and media hosts kept asking the same question, How does Hogg know what to say? He is using the talking points as the DNC and he is only 17. People were amazed at his mastery of talking points.  Does anyone realize that David and class of Millenials are being taught Saul Alinsky strategy?  David knows Alinsky’s, “Rules for Radicals” and exercised it brilliantly on Laura Ingram.  You have to be taught to be an activist, to hate, to accuse, to lie. We are living the results. When students are taught to hate America, whites, Jews, guess what, they hate. Tucker, Rush, you want the answer to “Why” and “How”, the answer is “What’s in your school?”

Class warfare and victimization are high priority in schools. Students are trained that there is only one side of an argument because if what you believe is for the common good, then any opposing point of view is evil. Evil must be tuned out…or in extreme cases snuffed out. Freedom of speech can only be tolerated if everyone believes the same thing. If you are a victim, you cannot be successful; because if you are successful, you are not a victim. School perpetuates a society of lifelong dependents on government assistance.

By giving a trophy to everyone so no student will feel bad creates an abnormal view of life. Students believe that everyone must have the same and equal outcome of life. Social justice means equal outcome. This theory never takes into consideration that life circumstances are different and unpredictable and humans have different thoughts and experiences. Therefore, when disappointment comes, it becomes extreme: making life not worth living. More teens today turn to suicide, drugs, liquor. Criticism is unacceptable—it may hurt your feelings. Competition is out—no one can be better than another. Innovation is out—if you can’t be different, then why create?

Students are taught that G-d is dead, man is the ultimate god, human life is only for the here and now. You are accountable to you, so anything goes. If someone else gets in the way, do whatever you want to feel better; too bad for them. When students read about abuse in school literature, they believe abuse is the norm.

Recommended Summer Reading List for 11 Yr. Olds, FLDOE supplemental reading list—There are over 60 books containing sexually explicit material on the list recommended for young children.  Are these books age appropriate for 11 year olds?

Examples: “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison (graphic depictions of incest between father and daughter, rape, violence) – RATED YOUNG ADULT – Page 181: “The little girls are the only things I’ll miss. Do you know that when I touched their sturdy little t*** and bit them—just a little—I felt I was being friendly?—If I’d been hurting them, would they have come back? . . . They’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them. It was like a party.” Pages 84-85: “He must enter her surreptitiously, lifting the hem of her nightgown only to her navel. He must rest his weight on his elbows when they make love, to avoid hurting her breasts…When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm. She might wonder again, for the six hundredth time, what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband’s penis is inside her.Available in media centers at Gulf Coast HS, Naples HS, East Naples HS Golden Gate HS, Lely HS (2 copies) Palmetto Ridge HS (2 copies) and Immokalee HS (18 copies) 

Beloved by Toni Morrison—It contains steamy sex, sex for favors, a white male guard forcing a male black prisoner to perform oral sex on him, calling it “breakfast”; a black slave mother kills her infants, decapitating her daughter with a handsaw and then attempts to kill her three sons). It also includes three references to males sexually molesting animals – RATED YOUNG ADULT. Available in media centers Corkscrew MIDDLE SCHOOL, Gulf Coast HS, Barron Collier HS, Naples HS Lely HS (2 copies), Palmetto Ridge HS, Golden Gate HS (2 copies), Immokalee HS (3 copies) and Lorenzo Walker.

Once you create an atmosphere of hopelessness, vulnerable victims are easy to control. If they kill themselves, there is one less mouth to feed. Unless there is a political reason to make an example, the killing of individuals often goes unreported in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.

“The overwhelming content of these types of stories and victimization, racism and bigotry are not teaching our children to be good citizens, but victims of an oppressive culture and with moral values that ‘anything goes’.”—Deirdre Clemons, educator and mother of 10. 

Even though the individual may be trained, progressives/globalists/socialists must attack the last the last bastion of morality, the family.  The traditional family must be broken, for it is in the way and must be replaced by your school family.  Kids are told that anyone over 30 is stupid, family stands in the way of you doing what you want.  Therefore, it is OK to ignore, run away, to destroy, to kill anyone in your way. The family must be destroyed at all costs.  Welfare, school programs and single parent homes contribute to the welfare and attitude of the individual. When there is “no place to turn because Mom and Dad are stupid and know nothing”, students turn to school.

So where in a textbook can I find this information from public schools to the kids?  You might not. Information is subtle, hardly noticeable, impossible to analyze or describe. In a literature textbook, Voices, you will find passages like :  Mom ______ her daughter to make the bed. Answers: tells or nags.  The correct answer is NAGS.  So when Mary goes home and mom asks for help, Mary says, “Stop nagging me.”  This creates a small wedge between Mom and child.  Do this enough and Mom and child will stop talking. Get the picture?

By commandeering the language, parents will talk to children and children will respond but often the result will be an argument. Why? Because the definitions of word have been changed or eliminated. Diversity is one of those words that come to mind. Diversity simply means variety. Yet today we have diversity training, diversity classes, diversity degrees.  Why? Because the word diversity now has a different meaning.  “…diversity as a representation of fairness and protection to all, regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Inclusion demanded on? boomers, gen-Xers and employers in the business environment integrates individuals of all of the above demographics into one workplace.” (Notice what is missing: ABILITY.)  Business people know that time is money and the one making the fewest mistakes wins. Yet business are forced to be “diverse”, not excellent.  The globalists went off the rails when Secretary Pruitt said that the EPA does not use the diversity criteria to pick workers; they use ability.

Sustainability is another word with a new definition.  If we follow its author?: Gro Harlem Bruntland, Hillary’s friend, we learn that sustainability is “meeting the demands of the present generations while preserving the rights of future generations to meet their own needs.” In other words NO GROWTH. This is the transformation Obama talked about. He tried. America experienced sustainability throughout his 8 years as President.

Mediocre students focused on feelings, not ability, produced by schools, create a workforce of mediocre workers prone to errors, as common sense is a thing of the past. Many cannot ever read instructions.  Just look at the government (school and Sheriff) in Parkland that allowed a shooting to occur; or the pedestrian bridge in Miami whose engineer said she was more concerned with esthetics than strength and foundation; or the Army Corps of Engineers who let the NOLA? dykes (levees?) decay.  Dumbed-down workers following unproven theories created by mediocre people are recipes for disaster.

When you need repairs in your home from, say, a plumber, do you check to see what race? ethnicity? religion?  Or do you want the best person for the job?  Do you want to buy the best product or the one made by the most diverse company?   Look at Parkland. Here is a perfect example of what happens when you do not choose the best. The mediocre but diverse government (school and Sheriff) took a Promise Grant,

NOT TO REPORT CRIME. So they didn’t. The result is 17 dead for a crime that could have been stopped. But the kids were told, “It’s the gun’s fault”.  So, like little soldiers, they marched against guns.  Mob rule. Where is the common sense?

Mediocre students with no common sense become mediocre adults with no common sense, who work in government and industry creating mediocre government and industry. How many times must we hear “the government failed” before we turn our heads to the cause…mediocre school curricula? “Modern Education” is globalist thinking, forcing the “We are the World” mentality; not “we are proud Americans”. Forgotten are the days when the American Dream meant Pride in Ownership; when competition between nations led to innovation and new ideas flooded the marketplace. Trade, economy, competition and sovereignty were not dirty words to be espoused by those hoping to make America mediocre in order to fit in with the rest of the world. Desire to excel is suppressed by the desire to fit in. In order to “fit in”, students are taught to subordinate America’s leadership role in the world because America is the cause of all world problems. World leaders cannot have America stand out—home ownership, business ownership, gun ownership must be stopped.

While we treat our youth as babies until age 27, the rest of the world scratches its head. America creates gun free zones, while the rest of the world trains for terrorist attacks. In America we give a bucket of rocks for defense while in Israel, the students learn gun safety.  For those of you who still think that the purpose of school is to educate, I strongly recommend Samuel L. Blumenfeld’s book, NEA—Trojan Horse in American Education.

The world can be an ugly place.  Are your children prepared? Notice the flag in the background: this is Israel 2018. Where Teachers Carry CAR-15s. Where it’s mandatory that young people serve in the Military … and be armed 24/7. Where they eat right and don’t over medicate … Where the murder rate for the whole country is a fraction of Nashville’s … Where parents teach respect and values instead of letting Disney and X-Box raise their children … Where people stand for their flag and would defend it with their lives.

WE DON’T HAVE A GUN PROBLEM; WE HAVE A SOCIETY PROBLEM PROMOTED IN SCHOOL

W.A. Johnson’s Daily News Digest summary is the best description of our current school system. “An educational mafia captured the high ground of American public education in the late 1800s by their own words and deeds, their carefully orchestrated, partially hidden agenda has deliberately steered the public schools, its teachers, and children down a disaster road to socialism, secular humanism, radicalism, planned failure of reading, writing and math, suffocation of Christianity, the trashing of basic values and the establishment of one of the most powerful dangerous unions, the National Education Association (NEA).”

Now that you know what is going on, what can you do? America was created to give its citizens a voice in their government. Remaining silent is affirmation. Now you know the truth.  The great thing about the truth is once you know it you can’t unlearn it.  Don’t be fooled by promises of “choice” in schools.  Trust but verify.  Common Core by any other name is still Common Core. What are your students learning? For it does not matter where a child learns, it only matters what they learn.

Will you look at what students in your community read?  Will you expose the errors, blatant lies and misrepresentations?  Will you run for office or support a candidate who believes in America? Will you share the information with others especially those who have different opinions?  You have the power. Will you use it or give it away? We are destroying the minds of America’s future. We cannot expect those in power to “fix” anything.  We know their goal: Illiteracy. The only fix will come from Americans coming together to make a change. I will not participate in the destruction of America, will YOU?

Make America Great Again. Bring back TRADITIONAL EDUCATION!

RELATED ARTICLE: A Third Of Millennials Aren’t Sure The Earth Is Round, Survey Finds

Civil War: What you get when one side doesn’t accept the results of a free election

What do you get when one side will not accept the results of a free election?

9 Amazing Benefits of Technology in the Classroom (+18 Best Ways to Incorporate Technology)

Have you ever wondered if technology improves learning? Educational technology supporters and researchers tout the amazing benefits of incorporating technology in the classroom. Those who are on the fence about how useful technology is in the modern classroom provide several counterarguments that warrant further discussion about how to find a happy medium between using technology and traditional teaching strategies.

Technology has its place. The trick is using it to enhance learning instead of doing the same thing in a different way. This article presents a balanced perspective on the advantages of using technology in the classroom. Each benefit provides actionable tips you can use to put on your technology A-game in your classroom.

Creates a Better Learning Environment

Think about your primary to tertiary level learning experiences. You probably were educated in an era when technology wasn’t as ubiquitous and the chalk-and-talk approach to teaching was all teachers knew. Ah, the good ol’ days when you were fighting the urge to sleep every five minutes.

Educase indicates that the world has so drastically changed that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been updated to include access to Wifi as a fundamental human need. The 21st century student desires to be connected with the world. Finding ways to help your students create this connection in the classroom is necessary. A study conducted by Justin Tosco, a Masters student at Saint Catherine University, shows that students prefer lessons that use technology.

Effectively engaging your students throughout a lesson helps you win half the battle of getting them to learn the content.  In fact, a classroom environment that promotes learning engages students by:

  • Encouraging them to ask meaningful questions
  • Helping them develop the ability to solve real problems
  • Promoting an environment of inclusion where each learner’s needs are met and each learner’s thoughts are valued
  • Using a variety of learning models
  • Providing them with assessments that are done to promote learning instead of meet administrative requirements
  • Having clear standards for excellence

It is true that such an environment can be created without technology. Some teachers have no choice but to find ways to do this because technological resources are limited. This articleemphasises the numerous benefits technology offers to rural school but also discusses the limitations access to technology poses on teachers and students.

Nevertheless, innovative teachers find ways to use technology to create a vibrant learning environment. Two such strategies are described below.

How To Create a Vibrant Learning Environment

  1. Appeal to a Variety of Modalities

A home theatre projector is a worthwhile investment that either a teacher or school administrator can make  for a classroom. Projectors allow you to add audio-visual stimuli to a lesson, even if there is no Wifi access at your school. A study conducted by Rasul, Bukhsh and Batool showed that audio-visual aids make the teaching and learning process more effective.

A variety of apps are available that have audio-visual and kinesthetic elements. For instance, graphs are a common problem for high school students. You can encourage your school’s administration to purchase a class set of graphing calculators if your school is in an area with limited or no internet access. However, if your school is in an area that has internet access and digital tablets, you can consider incorporating the Free Calculator-Pocket CAS lite app in your lessons.

You can also recommend that parents purchase an Osmo Pro Genius Kit for their children. This kit allows children to extend their learning outside of class in a practical way.This review explains how the kit can be used to create tangrams, help children learn new words and develop Physics skills.

2. Develop Problem Solving Skills

One of the arguments against the use of technology in the classroom is that it perpetuates a growing problem amongst generation Y and Z students. They spend so many hours engaging with devices that they lose the ability to think critically and develop motor and social skills.

You, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that the technological tools you use are meaningful. All technology used in your lesson should help students develop essential skills such as problem solving and team work. They shouldn’t be mindless activities.

Epistemic games offer a solution to this problem. These games essentially help players model real-world skills required to excel in particular professions. A plethora of epistemic games can be found here.

Improves Knowledge Retention

You think you’ve done a good job comprehensively explaining a concept to your students. They’re answering the questions correctly in class and, therefore, should be ready for a test.  However, after administering the test you discover that something went terribly wrong.

Students’ poor performance is closely linked to their ability to retain information. A study conducted by Kamuche and Ledman showed a non-linear relationship between length of time and knowledge retention. Their study explained that the amount that was initially learned plays the most important role in long-term retention.

Technology in the classroom can facilitate an increase in the amount of information retained. However, this can only be effectively accomplished when you carefully plan how technology will be incorporated in your lesson.

Teachers have experienced vast improvements in their students’ performances when they incorporate technology in their lessons. One of the most profound success stories is that of the engineering-technology program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

A study was conducted over a 6 year period. The focus was identifying how to decrease the amount of students who either failed or left the engineering-technology program. Lecturers began using multiple types of technology, such as tablets, collaborative software, and projection screens. The result was an improvement of the retention rate to 71 percent. Students indicated that this success resulted from them being able to retain more information using the technology available.

Another study conducted by Justin Tusco ina Montessori elementary classroom showed a 16 percent increase in test scores when technology was used in instruction. Both sets of results provide substantial evidence in support of the use of technology in the classroom.

How To Promote Knowledge Retention

  1. Utilize the Features of Blended Learning

Blended learning merges the best of both worlds. It combines the benefits of technology with face-to-face instruction. Technology should be used to enhance traditional instruction, not replace it. As futureready.org puts it, “Blended learning models intentionally integrate technology to boost learning and leverage talent; they don’t just layer technology on top of business as usual.”

Key features of blended learning are listed below:

  • Students must be given some control over the content and instruction. This control includes monitoring the pace and timing of instruction. Think of it like an e-learning course on Udemy
  • The online and face-to-face components must work in harmony. They must connect in a way that makes sense
  • The technology used should adapt to each students’ abilities and unique needs
  • The ability to record and report student data. You must be able to track the progress of each student.
  • Appropriate follow-up actions should be recommended based on the data received
  • Online results should be used to inform in-class instruction

2. Use Games to Increase Practice

Consistent practice outside the classroom is important. Many students don’t develop the intrinsic motivation needed to get additional practice and support. For them, it’s more exciting to find ways to have fun.

Feed that excitement by introducing your students to gamification.Top Hat explains four interesting ways to include gamification in your instruction.

Encourages Individual Learning

Teaching for the average student is easier than differentiating instruction. A one-size-fits-all strategy, however, can’t work when your classroom is filled with diverse learners. Some students are slower than others, some process information quicker than others, and some fall somewhere in between.

Differentiated instruction is a useful concept in theory. You would ideally love to create a personalized learning plan for each student. The demands placed on you, however, often make it impossible for you to plan such ideal lessons all the time.

Technology provides solutions that make planning differentiated lessons easier. Activities can be created to match each learner’s unique needs and pace. This is particularly evident in the Math classroom where consistent practice is necessary for mastery. As Kelly Tenkley, a technology teacher, states technology enables struggling students to interact with material suitable for their level and progress at their own pace.

How to Plan a Differentiated Technology Lesson

  1. Differentiate the content.

You can plan tiered lessons. In tiered lessons, learners are divided into 3 groups: upper, middle and lower. The content of the lesson can be adjusted to suit each level of students. Upper-tiered students can handle more advanced content than lower-tiered students. Students can be provided with the opportunity to move from one tier to the other once they have mastered the content of their current tier.

  1. Differentiate the process

The upper-tiered group can work collaboratively on higher-ended tasks related to the content. The middle-tiered group can use videos from websites such as Moby Max, Khan Academy and IXL to guide their activities. The lower-tiered group can receive individual attention from you supported by technology games and resources.

3. Differentiate the product.

Upper-tiered students can be challenged to create presentations using websites such as Prezi, Powtoon and EduBlogs. After you’ve vetted these presentations, these students can be asked to use their presentations to teach the class.  Lower-tiered students can use collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, to share what they learned from the presentations.

Students in each group can also prepare written work for presentation. This written work can be projected for the class to view during the presentation using a document camera. This article highlights some of the best document cameras for your classroom.

Project-based learning can also be differentiated. The students can be placed in homogenous groups and asked to choose a topic. Each group would use some type of technology to make their presentations. For instance, you could provide each group with a camcorder to create a music video depicting the topic. A discussion can be facilitated at the end of each presentation to see how much the students have learned.

4. Provide resources that can be used outside the classroom.

Students should be provided with additional resources that they can access outside of the classroom. This is what truly allows them to work at their own pace. Make videos and practice assignments available to students outside the classroom.

Encourages Collaboration

Students must be provided with opportunities to work together.Working in isolation isn’t the way the world works. Collaborative learning is student-centered and allows students to work together to solve real-world problems.

Carefully planned collaborative instruction allows students to develop crucial skills. These skills include:

  • Critical-thinking
  • Self-management
  • Leadership
  • Learning to work with diverse people

Collaborative learning isn’t merely placing students in groups and giving them practice questions to complete. It is a discussion-rich environment that challenges students to think outside the box. Focusing on recall and lower-level tasks has no place in the collaborative learning environment.

How To Use Technology in Collaborative Learning

  1. Connect with classrooms around the world

Technology allows teachers around the world to provide opportunities for their students to collaborate on projects. Rockingham Middle School in North Carolina collaborated with a classroom in Sweden on a science project. The collaboration made the project more interesting since students were able to share their results and learn more about each other.

2. Create a Google Classroom

Google classroom allows you to create a collaborative online environment for your students.  There are over 50 apps that integrate with Google classroom. You can use a combination of apps that meet the unique needs of your students.

3. Utilize other online learning platforms and digital tools

Other online learning platforms and digital tools also exist. Each platform offers various combinations of features that you can adapt to suit your classroom. Some of these platforms and digital tools include:

  • Blackboard Collaborate
  • Learn Boost
  • Moodle
  • Class Dojo
  • Pixton
  • Voice Thread
  • Socrative
  • Engrade
  • Top Hat
  • Trello
  • Kahoot
  • ReadWriteThink

Creates a System for Managing Learning (a LMS)

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an internet-based software application that allows users to create eLearning courses, monitor these courses, track students’ progress, and provide relevant student-related reports. A LMS is used in a variety of industries to make training more accessible.Some of the software previously mentioned, such as Moodle, are examples of LMSs.

Tertiary-level institutions in particular depend heavily on a LMS for course delivery. The University of Buffalo indicates that approximately 99 percent of tertiary-level institutions use a LMS. Such prominent use of the software can be attributed to the following benefits:

  • The ability to access content anywhere, anytime
  • Reliable tools for monitoring student progress
  • Closer monitoring of assignment submission
  • The creation of a communication pathway between teachers and students

One of the strongest benefits of a LMS is the ability for students to collaborate. However, Steven Lonn, in his research on the use of a LMS for collaboration and knowledge construction, discovered that although the students effectively interacted using the system, there was little knowledge construction. Therefore, you must be very deliberate about helping students acquire new knowledge through critical thinking if you plan to use a LMS.

How to Use a LMS to Develop Critical Thinking

  1. Create student-centered activities

Student-centered teaching is commonly discussed amongst educators. Teachers are often encouraged to become facilitators of learning instead of deliverers of content. The reality, however, is that it’s often difficult to create such an environment.

A question that may be running through your mind is, “How can I ensure that all my students learn the correct concepts if I’m not telling them what to do?” A well-planned lesson that allows you to ask the right questions that guide learning, and effectively incorporates a LMS, is the answer.

Remember that you’re using blended learning as previously discussed. Consequently, there’ll be elements of your lesson that use technology and others that don’t. Both instructional media should incorporate opportunities for collaborative learning, research, and informal assessments.

Collaborative learning helps students learn from enriched discussions. A LMS typically provides opportunities to create group forums and allows participants to leave comments on other’s posts. Some LMSs also allow users to collaborate on documents. Pose the right discussion questions and allow your students to collaborate to find the answers.

Independent research is important for self-paced learning. The video tutorials and material you create for your LMS should encourage students to do further research. It is through extending their learning that they will make the necessary connections to learn new concepts.

Students dread assessments. Watch the reactions on your students’ faces the next time you tell them that they have a graded assessment to complete. A LMS allows you to create fun, interactive informal assessments that students will appreciate. These assessments also help both you and your students have a clear picture of what has been learned.

Prepares Students for the Future

The world has changed. Traditional jobs are gradually becoming obsolete as technology gains prominence. The World Economic Forum states that about 65 percent of primary-school aged children will eventually get jobs that don’t exist today. They further state that there will be about 1.5 million new technology-related jobs by 2020.

Students must be prepared to meet the demands of this changing world. Consequently, the way students are taught must help them develop the skills needed to meet the demands of the IT world.

Technology is improving at a faster rate than our education system. Improvements have been made to the education system over the past decade, but students still don’t have the requisite skills and knowledge they need to truly succeed in this digital world. Dr. William Daggett states supports this point by saying that “society demands a higher level and different skill sets than schools were ever designed to teach.”

He further highlights that although money has been spent to include technology in the classrooms, many teachers aren’t using it effectively. This points to a lack of training about integrating technology into instruction.

This growing need has encouraged discussions about the characteristics of a future-ready school. Such robust discussions resulted in the creation of the futureready.org website. This website provides a plethora of digital resources to help you plan lessons that prepare your students for the future. The organization also offers micro-courses to train teachers, school administrators and district leaders in strategies for creating a future-ready school framework.

How To Create a Future-Ready School

  1. Provide ubiquitous access to technology.

Future-ready schools have internet access and technological resources for all students. You won’t be able to create technologically- enriched lessons without access to the right technology.

The benefits of technology highlighted in this article are based on the assumption that all teachers and students have equal access to technology resources. Sadly, this isn’t the case. There is a huge gap between technology access for low and high income communities.A report published by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education states that computer ownership, the quality of devices, and internet access is lower for lower-income teens and teens of color than it is for high-income and white teens.

This presents a grave cause for concern since there are more low-income students and students of color in the U.S. education system than there are high-income and white students. Lower-income students often aren’t provided with the quality of technology instruction they need since resources are limited, teachers aren’t adequately trained, and they don’t have access to technology at home. Teachers, school administrators, and other key education stakeholders must find ways to bridge the gap so that these students can experience the enhanced learning experience technology provides.

Adapting technology to suit the context of low income communities is another concern. Michael Trucano, in an article published on the World Bank’s blog, says that “most products, services, usage models, expertise, and research related to ICT use in education come from high-income contexts and environments.” This leads to the conclusion that ICT use in low-income classrooms is useless because the results achieved in high income environments aren’t the same in the more challenging, low-income environments.

These points emphasise the need for careful consideration about the integration of technology in low-income communities and classrooms. Educators and policy-makers must pay attention to the type of technology being implemented and how accessible it is to all stakeholders.

2. Provide training to both school leaders and teachers.

People can’t be thrown into the deep without learning to swim. Dr. Tim Ham cites a source in this article that states that any program that prepares school leaders and teachers to embrace technology in education “should be an adaptive and open system which is dynamic, differentiated and a continued renewal process that leads to continuous learning.” Technology will always be advancing. Training programs must, therefore, offer continuous learning opportunities.

An approach that school districts can use to train teachers is to link technology training with incentives. Madison School District developed 3 types of training initiatives that rewarded teachers with technological resources upon successful completion of each course.

One was differentiated and allowed teachers to choose specific courses that met their teaching needs. The other involved selecting a teacher from each school in the district to be trained on using technology to improve teacher achievement.This teacher was then charge with using what was learned to train others. The final program included coursework that teachers took at their own pace. Successful completion of the coursework resulted in each teacher being rewarded with a laptop.

The program has received resounding success. Teachers have voluntarily participated and received SmartBoards, document cameras, and response pads for their classrooms. A continuous training program that offers such incentives could be useful for encouraging teachers to willingly participate in training opportunities.

However, it must be noted that creating a classroom transformed by technology doesn’t happen overnight. The Shelby County School District encouraged school leaders to make technology integration a mandatory part of their teacher assessments. They also created a series of training sessions on the effective use of technology. True change didn’t occur until 2 years later.

Helps Teachers Reach Students

Technology helps you reach students outside the classroom. It also helps you appeal to students’ interests. Both elements are important in the teaching and learning process.

Students must view themselves as lifelong learners. They must see learning as an extension of what they do in the classroom, not a separate experience.  An article published by the University of Washington states that students have greater autonomy of the learning process when they have access to course material outside of class, do additional reading, watch pre-recorded video lectures, and complete research assignments.

A teacher who gets students excited about learning has won half the battle of having them retain information. You want to be this teacher. Jake Spanberger cites a study in which 70 percent of the students who participated stated that they learn best in a blended learning environment.  Fifty percent of the respondents also stated that they are more engaged in classes that use technology.

How to Use Technology to Reach Students

  1. Plan technology related activities for students to complete outside of class.

Some of the ways technology can be used outside the classroom were mentioned earlier in the article. Some additional strategies that can be used are a webquest, a class webpage, an email exchange, or a class blog.

This article highlights the numerous benefits of WebQuests. A WebQuest is a discovery learning tool that provides students with step-by-step online resources to complete a task. The resources act as the map for the quest.  The quest begins with a challenge question related to a real-world problem.

For instance, the students could be given the following scenario, “Mrs. Lilly wants to build a rectangular garden plot that has an area of 120 ft2 . How many tomato seeds can she plant in this plot? How would she have to plant them?” The students will then be taken through a list of online resources that provide information about how to plant tomato seeds and how to create a garden plot. You could then require the students to collaborate and make presentations that demonstrate their findings.

There are several free website creator tools that can be used to create a class website. The most popular tools are WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. The website  can be used to feature students’ work and classroom activities, provide access to assignments and syllabuses, and communicate with parents.

An email exchange allows students to see themselves as global citizens, develop email writing skills and interact with other students outside of their school. It’s a modern take on the penpal system of the 90s. The email exchange can be further extended to cross-boundary class projects.

A class blog can be a good tool for helping your students develop their writing skills. It’s also good for extending learning outside the classroom. Two of the most popular classroom blog creators are Kidblog.com and Edublog.com.

2.  Provide choices.

Provide students with choices of the technology media to use in the classroom. Larry Ferlazzo states that students can be happier and more willing to learn and accept challenges if they are given choices. Choices can include video creation, animations, 3D printing, creating comics, creating simple apps, online games, app games, or augmented reality. The options you provide depend on the resources available.

Helps Teachers Better Prepare Lessons

Teaching requires constant creativity. It can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to come up with engaging activities to teach concepts. Thankfully, there are numerous online resources available to help you plan creative lessons.

Planning creative lessons isn’t your only task as a teacher. You must become a lifelong learner willing to hone your skills to become the best possible educator. This requires a lot of reading, interaction with other colleagues, and actively pursuing professional development opportunities.

How to Use Technology to Better Prepare Lessons

  1. Collaborate with other teachers.

Technology provides more than just an opportunity to get sample lesson plans. Teachers can collaborate with other teachers from around the world to get ideas for effectively reaching their students.

2. Keep Up-to-Date With Recent Education Developments

Research is ongoing in the education industry. New developments can help you better tailor your lessons to suit your students. There are also a variety of education conferences held throughout the year that can help you keep current.

Helps School Leaders Keep Track of a School’s Progress

School leaders must carefully monitor the progress of their students. Each district sets annual targets which school leaders must either meet or exceed. Achieving such success is only possible if school leaders effectively communicate these goals and expectations to teachers and consistently monitor students’ progress.

How To Keep Track of Students’ Progress as an Administrator

  1. Implement and monitor the effective use of a student data system.

A report published by the U.S. Department of Education underscores the importance of data-driven educational decisions. The report states that these decisions center on “a set of expectations and practices around the ongoing examination of student data to ascertain the effectiveness of educational activities and subsequently refine programs and practices to improve outcomes for students.” Therefore, school administrators must not only find the right student data system for their schools. They must also train teachers on how to use the data obtained from this system to improve results.

Effective use of the data obtained from a student data system makes the possibility of no child being left behind a greater reality.

A student data system can only work if:

  • teachers regularly upload grades, attendance records, and disciplinary data
  • all assessments  are meaningful and free of discrepancies
  • strategies are implemented to address the challenges identified in the data

Encourage your school’s administrator to make this a reality if it isn’t already happening at your school.

Putting It All Together

Our children are a part of the third industrial revolution. The skills they need to succeed in today’s digital world surpass those you needed for your career. Technology must be effectively implemented in instruction so that all students can develop the skills needed to excel in this new era.

Effective use of technology in the classroom focuses on student-centered learning. Students are active participants who develop the critical thinking skills needed to solve real-world problems. It’s more than just piquing their interest.

As an educator, it’s important for you to embrace blended instruction. Technology and teacher facilitated instruction must come together in your classroom. You can only make this happen if you:

  • Take the time to deliberately plan your lessons
  • Plan activities that provide students with the appropriate challenge
  • Provide opportunities for students to collaborate
  • Use technology for individual learning
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Encourage and guide students through the use of various technology media.

The task seems challenging, but the results are ultimately worth every ounce of effort.

VIDEO: It’s Anti-American to Want Open Borders

My appearance on Dana’s excellent program was predicated by President Trump ordering members of the National Guard to back up U.S. Border Patrol agents along the U.S./Mexican border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.

I addressed some of those other concerns during my conversation with Dana- I hope you will watch the video!

Of course, as I have stated repeatedly, while that dangerous border must be secured, it only represents one component of a immigration system upon which depends national security, public safety and the overall wellbeing of America and Americans.

Ignorance is not bliss.  Knowledge is power so my article provides some cold hard facts for you to consider and hopefully share with others.

Being “Pro-Enforcement” is not “Anti-Immigrant.”

Indeed, advocates for immigration anarchy are actually taking an “Anti-Immigrant” position by obfuscating the line that separates lawful immigrants from illegal aliens.  To provide a bit of clarity, while we are indeed a “Nation of immigrants” America is not a nation of trespassers.  The difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

Americans must be willing to stand their ground and not be intimidated by the false accusations- far too much hangs in the balance!  We must speak out against mayors and governors who create “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States.”

Many people have come to complain that we have become too “Politically Correct” to speak the truth about important issues.  My view is that the artful use of language that has been described as examples of political correctness are in fact, examples of Orwellian “Newspeak.”

Having invoked George Orwell, it is appropriate to consider a couple of his brilliant quotes:

Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

RELATED ARTICLE: Texas, Arizona announce troop deployments to Mexico border.

RELATED VIDEOS: 

Border Walls – Israel and The United States.

INS Senior Special Agent, Michael Cutler, (Ret). on Immigration Issues – The Daily Ledger.

Time is Running Out: Sign the Floridian’s For E-Verify Petition Now!

I have written several messages about Congress and the Florida Legislature’s failure to make mandatory E-Verify law so all workers are legal. In response to their failure to act hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are attending our schools and undercutting legal workers for jobs. Seven Southern states have passed and implemented mandatory E-Verify so illegal aliens looking for work are coming to Florida. The Taxpayer cost last year alone to educate, medicate and incarcerate them was an outrageous $6,300,000,000.00 ($6.3 BILLION).

We are fed up by their inaction so we decided to go around them and get the measure to make mandatory E-Verify an amendment to the Florida Constitution. The Commission which only meets once every 20 years will decide very shortly whether to put it on the November Ballot or not so we need your help!

Please go to the below link and sign the Floridian’s For E-Verify petition showing you support the amendment getting on the November 2018 ballot.

floridiansforeverifynow.org/petition

The Blurred Lines of Modern Media

Facebook is once again under heavy fire for its seemingly insatiable appetite for slurping up and analyzing endless streams of user data. The social media giant is again playing defense over its powerful role in controlling the news that each of us sees on our Facebook feeds.

Like so many other modern sites, Facebook takes an algorithmic approach to news. It uses code to draw its own conclusions about what stories we want to see, thereby impacting how we look at certain issues.

The chorus of criticism is deafening. However, the mainstream media is being incredibly hypocritical by teaming up against Mark Zuckerberg and his company. After all, how is the media process of determining what people to feature and what topics to cover any different than what Facebook is doing?

If anything, the old way of choosing the news is likely more prone to political or situational bias and more susceptible to human error. After all, people are fallible, and we all make mistakes.

I know about this firsthand. As a syndicated columnist, my articles run in print in various publications across the world and appear on various websites. My reach is further expanded through my own social media channels, as well as through dedicated readers consistently sharing my content with an ever-widening audience by posting links to the stories in their social media feeds, or by emailing them to their family members and friends.

I will be the first to admit that the topics I explore are often determined by situations arising in my own life. It’s not an inherently good or bad thing, it just is.

If a friend were to be diagnosed with an illness, then without any conscious effort I would probably be more inclined to write pieces related to wellness or nutrition, or I might talk philosophically upon the most important things in our lives.

While there are many similarities between the “curation” of news in newsrooms, and around the table during editorial meetings, and the curation of news algorithmically by Facebook and other sites, there are also some notable differences.

Social media often forces us to experience a stronger media bias. This is likely due in large part to the fact that the goal is to drive clicks, to extend the time we spend within the confines of any one platform, and to increase the number of stories with which we interact.

There are clear financial incentives for this approach: Facebook benefits by collecting user data about our preferences. It also increases the likelihood of converting visitors into customers, because Facebook’s advertisers are able to bombard us with sales pitches. In addition, when we increase the amount of time we spend on any one platform, we boost their statistics. This provides the foundation for ever-increasing prices in advertising payments by corporations and brands eager to connect with captive audiences.

Also, let’s not forget that the “social” aspect of social media all but guarantees that we become more firmly ensconced in silos and echo chambers. If one person’s friends are talking about a specific topic, then Facebook is more likely to display content related to it. While for me, this ironically often means that I am presented with a diverse array of viewpoints and topics, for most people, the opposite seems to be true. For the average user, Facebook’s machines lead them to like-minded people talking in similar ways about the same topics as dictated by the platform.

Another clear differentiator is that social media is more likely than traditional media to comingle stories that are related thematically, but may not be from the same news cycle or timeframe. How many times have we all experienced reading a story about a topic in the news, only to click on a related story that is linked below or even hyperlinked from within the text itself?

A negative byproduct of this machine approach to sharing news is that it is sometimes very hard to quickly grasp time differences between pieces that otherwise seemed to be correlated. This can create confusion, as well as compounding issues that should actually be kept separate.

While reading recent coverage of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I suddenly found myself skimming a story about a mass stabbing in another school. When it showed up in my news feed, I mistakenly thought that it was a breaking story; however, it was actually an older incident that took place in 2014.

With access to more information than ever before, we must be ever vigilant of the drawbacks of modern media, and we must always be ready to read with a critical eye.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a columnist for The Daily Signal and host of “The Armstrong Williams Show,” a nationally syndicated TV program. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Jaap Arriens/ZUMA Press/Newscom