America’s Favorite ‘Failed” Education Reforms

Daily reports come in warning America’s public schools are failing. When a new report comes out there is a clamour for “reform” from politicians. Public schools in the US have been subject to at least seven periods of different reforms, not one of which has addressed the root cause of the failures in the classroom. The latest reform is Common Core State Standards, the be all and end all reform of reforms. Untested, unproven and not addressing the purpose of education, which is to “show the way forth” it will surely fail as well. Along with these education reform failures we have generations of children who are failures and become wards of the state.

A new Friedman Foundation report released today found what education reforms were most popular, in terms of their perceived effectiveness, among surveyed adults. The graphic below shows where Americans ranked them in importance, with one perceived as the most efficacious, and seven viewed as the least efficacious.,” write Katie Brooks and Drew Vessely from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

When looking at America’s top three favored reforms through a wider lens, we see them not as reforms, but rather outcomes of a better reform: school choice. There are two ways each item can be achieved.

Smaller Class Sizes

  1. Force schools to pay for expansions to build more classrooms and hire more teachers. Reducing class sizes this way could take years before parents and children see the effects. Plus, how many students per classroom is too many? Too few? That arbitrary decision will have to be made by politicians and administrators.
  2. Give parents school choice options, such as vouchers or education savings accounts, that empower them to find schools with classroom sizes they want. In time, trends in what parents want will emerge and all schools will tailor their class sizes based on families’ needs.


  1. Charge more taxes to afford buying schools more technology. The problem? Who decides which technology is best and how much schools need? What happens if they guessed wrong and all those taxpayer dollars were spent on technology that is obsolete in two years? Are new tablets for every student necessary if only a small percentage of them have an interest or natural gift with technology, programming, and computer science? This strategy awakens more questions than it does solutions.
  2. Give all parents school choice options, so they can choose schools that fit their desired levels of technology-usage in their children’s education. The technological needs of a child who wants to nurture a gift for writing, debate, and communications, for instance, is less than a kid who has a natural gift for computing or, say, graphic design.


  1. Force all schools to adopt the same curriculum and test all kids the same way to make all schools easily comparable. If teachers and schools cannot drive a minimum proficiency score, which lawmakers determine, then they get a poor rating. Enough poor ratings and teachers could be fired or schools shut down.
  2. Give all parents school choice. If a school is not providing the services or driving the outcomes parents expect, they have the financial power to leave. When parents move to a new school, their child’s money follows them. When schools lose money if they don’t meet parent standards, they have incentive to innovate and improve in such a way that will meet parent standards.

Ultimately, each of these desired outcomes in schools boils down to one question: What’s the best way to pay for it? Do we spend more money quickly in reaction to treat a symptom, or do we creatively invest money we already spend now to treat the cause?

To read the full report that analyzes multiple surveys to gauge Americans’ views on education reform, visit

The “War on Poverty” is lost – time to pull out!

“When President Johnson launched the War on Poverty on Jan. 8, 1964, he pledged ‘not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.’ Sadly, the half-century legacy of Johnson’s Great Society has not lived up to that noble goal,” writes Jennifer Mitchell from the Heritage Foundation.

The War on Poverty has not done justice to the poor. Our responsibility to our neighbors in need demands more: a redirection of public policy and a commitment from each of us to do what we can in our own communities.

Mitchell notes, “Despite spending nearly $20 trillion since the War on Poverty began, the poverty rate remains nearly as high today as it was in the mid-1960s. Today, government spends nearly $1 trillion annually on 80 federal means-tested programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted social services for poor and low-income Americans. Clearly, policymakers can’t hide behind reams of programs and billions in spending and declare they’ve done their duty to the poor. Good intentions aren’t enough.”

We need to change the character of public assistance. That means redirecting incentives in federal welfare programs. “Sometimes those incentives encourage dependence, even for generations,” said Robert L. Woodson, Sr., founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprisetestifying before the Senate Budget Committee last year. Woodson sees firsthand the effects of these programs as he works with community leaders across the country to empower those in need to overcome adversity.

On the other hand, the right kind of incentives can “help people gain personal responsibility and pursue their dreams,” observes Woodson. Transforming incentives to promote personal responsibility has a dramatic effect: After the 1996 welfare reform began to require recipients to work or prepare for work, welfare rolls fell by more than half, and poverty rates among single mothers and black children fell to historic lows. But that reform redirected the incentives of only one program among more than 80 federal welfare programs.

As Woodson concludes:

So if we want to help those in need, we need to ask: Is the approach we are taking to relieve poverty by what we call the safety net actually helping or is it injuring with the helping hand?

In addition to promoting work, any serious effort on behalf of those in need must get serious about restoring marriage, America’s most important inoculation against child poverty. Children born and raised outside of marriage are more than five times more likely to experience poverty than their peers raised in intact families.

When the War on Poverty began, 8 percent of all children in America were born outside marriage. Since the mid-’60s, unwed childbearing has skyrocketed to more than 40 percent of all births, and from 25 percent to about 73 percent among black children. A child born and raised outside marriage is more than five times more likely to experience poverty than a child raised in an intact family.

Rebuilding a culture of marriage calls for policy reform to reduce marriage penalties in welfare programs. It also requires the kind of relational restoration that must happen on a personal level, through the work of churches and community initiatives like First Things First in Chattanooga, TN, that build relational skills. These and other efforts to overcome poverty should engage us personally in the effort to help restore lives, families, and communities.

Promoting work and restoring marriage “would be a better battle plan for eradicating poverty in America than spending more money on failed programs,” writes Heritage Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector in today’s Wall Street Journal, “And it would help accomplish LBJ’s objective to ‘replace their despair with opportunity.’”

RELATED COLUMN: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record

Madison Rising – A pro-American Rock Band!

I subscribe to RECOIL Magazine. While perusing the latest edition I noticed an ad from Cabot Guns. The ad states, “Cabot guns salutes Madison Rising, a pro-American rock band. We advise you to listen.”

I did and I share the video below of just one of their songs, a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner:


To learn more about: RECOIL go here, Cabot Guns go here and Madison Rising go here.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) scheduled briefing with al-Qaeda-linked group

“This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Democrats have for years now been focused on ‘Islamophobia’ and building relationships with supposedly ‘moderate’ Muslims, without having any way to discern whether the Muslims they were dealing with were ‘extremist’ or ‘moderate,’ since they deny the reality of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify and assume that it’s a Religion of Peace. The Republicans, of course, are no better,” Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch reports.

“Rep. Alan Grayson Slammed for Scheduled Briefing With al Qaeda Linked Group,” from the Washington Free Beacon, January 6, 2014:

A GOP challenger to Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) is blasting the Democratic congressman for hosting a Capitol Hill briefing with a human rights group run by a designated al Qaeda terrorist.A representative from Geneva-based NGO Al Karama was scheduled to participate in the Nov. 19 briefing on U.S. drone policy with Reps. Grayson, Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.), the Washington Free Beacon first reported Monday. The representative was unable to attend because of reported visa issues.

Al Karama’s president and founder Abdul Rahman Naimi was designated as a global terrorist and al Qaeda financier by the U.S. Treasury Department in December.

Jorge Bonilla, a Republican running for Grayson’s seat in Florida’s 9th district, called the briefing a “slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served in the Global War On Terror,” according to a statement published by the National Review

Grayson was reelected to congress in 2012, after losing a prior seat in 2010. He drew fire during his 2010 campaign when he released an ad calling his GOP opponent Daniel Webster “Taliban Dan.” The ad was widely criticized by fact-checkers as misleading.

Former Secretary of Defense Gates slams Obama’s leadership in new book

In the Washington Post Bob Woodward did a column based on a memoir from former Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (pictured above) soon to be released. In the book titled “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.” The forward to the book states, “When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he’d long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.”

Gates outlines in his book an extraordinary and harsh critique of Obama’s actions as Commander in Chief.

Based on the memoir Woodward reports:

Quote—President Obama’s leadership and his commitment to the Afghanistan war, writing that by early 2010 he [Gates] had concluded the president “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”

Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that Obama had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan. The president was “skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail,” Gates writes in “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.”

At one point in the book Gates praised for Hillary Clinton among other things as hard working, bright, tough-minded, funny, etc. However he then mentioned a meeting between Obama and Clinton he found “remarkable” but dismaying.

Quote–He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary… The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.

Read more.

Common Law Grand Juries – Is There Such An Animal?

Yesterday I was contacted by an acquaintance whom I got to know through attendance at the Granada Forum, a patriot organization originally formed in Granada Hills, California, by Ralph Franklin and myself which we established in November of 1992. What this gentleman asked me if I would become a leader within what has become the Common Law Grand Jury Association. I expressed my views on the subject, and we made a conference call into another conference call that was underway taking place on the East Coast.

Within that conference call, I shared with them that approximately twelve or so years ago we used to have a group called “The Los Angeles County Common Law Grand Jury” that met here in the San Fernando Valley, Southern California, within Van Nuys, a suburb of the Greater City of Los Angeles. I attended not as a participant, but rather as an observer. I was personally known by many, if not all of the founders of this Common Law Grand Jury group. My expressed concern was in how these “Common Law Grand Jurors” were going to enforce their “indictments” within the system, and anticipated that someone was going to get hurt the moment this Los Angeles County Common Law Grand Jurors set forth to draw someone within their acclaimed jurisdiction for an indictment, and to have the “indicted” one criminally prosecuted. Since that time, this Los Angeles County Grand Jury has dissipated, and is no more. I am now hearing more about Common Law Grand Jury groups developing throughout the nation, and even a recent as yesterday, I am being asked to become a leader in this national development.

My concern is just the same as it was years ago, that someone is going to get hurt the moment these Common Law Grand Jurors assume jurisdiction and reach out to indict some government official and to have them criminally prosecuted.

Let me say, I certainly believe in the power of the People as manifest in the Magna Carta of 1215, which Great Charter in essence established that whenever the People have no remedies, they may take whatever actions they deem necessary to provide for a remedy. We have this same power delineated within our Declaration of Independence, to wit; “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” It is therefore manifest that if our future freedom demands an Armed Revolution, then Americans are charged with such duty to provide it. This is how I view what is being called, “Common Law Grand Juries.”

For years, this author has preached on the need for Grand Juries in an atmosphere when everyone was looking for a remedy via legislatures, presidents and governors. I am most grateful that I have recently witnessed the message sinking it with more realization that Grand Juries are the key for our future security. Make no doubt about, the establishment has become concerned on this point. The government has long striven to extract the power of Grand Juries out of the hands of the People, and sought to establish Grand Juries as a hammer in the hands of government prosecutors.

As a history lesson, it was back in 1960 that the California Legislature determined to strip the People of the power in the hand of the People by the creation of what the Legislature called, “The Commission on Judicial Qualifications”, later changed to “The Commission on Judicial Qualifications.”  By so doing, the power of the People to investigate judges within California through Grand Juries was transferred to a special commission made up of principally judges. So we had judges judging judges with little to no participation of the People as to judicial conduct. This legislation laid well with legislatures and judges across the nation. And so, within all fifty states there was created judicial commissions throughout the country for judges to oversee the conduct of judges. The net results was that the People lost control over their judges, and all judges were under the protection of other judges. There was thus created a “You watch my back, and I will watch yours” mentality. We were left only with the People suing Judge A before his friend and colleague Judge B. The decisions were always “You can’t sue Judge A because he is a judge and covered by Judicial Immunity.

In the Nation of England from which we separated by the Declaration of Independence, we revolted against the doctrine that “THE KING CAN DO NO WRONG!” But, through the manipulation of politics we have established a new fable, which is “JUDGES CAN DO NO WRONG!” Out of this background has arisen the concept of JAIL4Judges, which means Judicial Accountability Initiative Law for Judges by the proposal of the creation of an Independent Special Grand Jury to which all judges shall give direct account to a panel of 25 citizens who judge judges as Grand Jurors independent of government prosecutors, members of the Bar Association, all law enforcement, and anyone connected with the judicial system. It places all judgment concerning the judiciary directly and totally in the hands of just you and me with no participation of the government.

The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law started right here where We the People were robbed of our autonomous right to be the Alpha and the Omega as the Grand Jurors. Through J.A.I.L., we can once again reclaim our power we once had prior to the deprivation of our rights as Grand Jurors. By simply adding the words “Common Law” in front of Grand Juries, and asserting we are now a Grand Jury only leads to physical confrontation in which those involved will get hurt. What makes Special Independent Grand Juries different is that it becomes a revision to our various State’s Constitution, of which all governments, including judges, legislators, and executive must give a sworn Oath to obedience thereto in order to hold, or retain their positions.

Article II, Sec. 1 of the California Constitution reads, “All political power is inherent in the People. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform i when the public good may require.” So it is manifest by the Constitution that the People are autonomous,” they have and control all political power”, which power is totally within their hands, and no government may interfere with that right. This is why all governments throughout the United States are afraid of the possibility of the People adopting the provisions within J.A.I.L., as it would spell the end of their dynasty of control over the People.

Citizens group wants common law grand jury in Westmoreland County [PA]

Sunday – January 5, 2013

By Rich Cholodofsky

Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A citizens group filed court documents on Friday seeking to convene a common law grand jury in Westmoreland County, but legal experts say such a body has no real authority.

It’s the latest of a number of similar filings throughout the nation by people wanting to empanel investigating grand juries that are separate from the government. Citizens in the group would seek jurors from the local population, then make presentments to prosecutors.

Locally, groups in Allegheny and Beaver counties have issued the same call.

The move, however, is not backed by the law, according to a local official and a legal scholar.

“This is a rogue band of citizens with no legal authority,” said Wes Oliver, associate professor and director of the criminal justice program at Duquesne University School of Law. “To what extent there was ever a common law grand jury system that was self-creating, there no longer is.”

The Westmoreland group, founded by Tom Altman of Greensburg, wants to convene a grand jury that is not presided over by a judge and/or convened by county or state prosecutors.

Altman claims his grand jury is legitimate under the law and the Constitution.

But legal experts say that in 1946, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure were established, doing away with the common law grand jury model.

District Attorney John Peck said grand juries must be approved by the courts.

“I don’t know there is a statute or procedural rule that allows citizens to convene grand juries,” Peck said.

Altman filed documents with Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline seeking to formalize the grand jury process. Kline said he was required under state law to accept the filing.

Altman said he paid the $21.40 filing fee under protest.

“We’re working to undo tyranny that’s been done,” he said. “We’re stirring a pot that’s real big, but it has to be stirred.”

Unless common law grand juries are officially recognized by the courts, prosecutors offered presentments or individuals subpoenaed by the self-formed grand juries would not be legally compelled to cooperate, Oliver said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or

Ideology: A Specter Haunting the World

“The fire-breathing Rebels arrive at the party early,
Their khaki coats are hung in the closet near the fur.
Asking handouts from the ladies, while they criticize the lords.
Boasting of the murder of the very hands that pour.
And the victims learn to giggle, for at least they are not bored.
And my shoulders had to shrug
As I crawl beneath the rug
And retune my piano.”
– Phil Ochs

Karl Marx once famously said that a specter was haunting Europe and that specter was Communism. Today, specters are haunting the world. They are “progressivism” and Islamism. Yet these are misunderstood because the progressives want to pretend they are liberals and the Islamists want to pretend to be normal, technically pious, traditional Muslims of a century or half century ago.

Islam is a religion, Islamism is a revolutionary movement. Liberalism is a center-to-left political movement, progressivism is a revolutionary movement.

In fact Islam/Islamism and liberalism/progressivism are parallel in many ways. Their differences are distracting, one as a religion and one as an atheist non-religious ideology.

For example; progressivism and Islamism both seek to be political monopolies and ideologies. They’re comprehensive. Both use intimidation, though progressivism is more verbal and Islamism is more violent.

Whenever anyone takes one to task, they insult the whole system. They are not rational systems and are not open to debate.

Both invite large elements of opportunism and careerism. People who see the winning side endorse them to benefit their own careers, not out of genuine belief.

Both of these institutions should be studied coherently. They’ve not been studied well on political terms. I will explore Islamism further in an upcoming article.

The English Civil War from 1642-1651, the struggle between monarchy and religious political ideologies, mirrors what Islamism is going through now. This was the West’s struggle between “Christianity” and “politics” which is now the equivalent of the struggle between “Islamism” and “politics.”

This could be called a Manichean model. One side is completely right, and one side is completely wrong. Therefore, a democratic dispute would not be possible.

Phil Ochs, quoted above, was creatively mocking the situation. He showed this ambiguity. Incidentally, I was his guide at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Here was the new professional elite: so pompous, so arrogant. They were benefiting materially, yet were contentious, simultaneously arrogant yet luxury-loving, but also virtuous and well-intentioned, superior. What more perfect combination would there be but the well-heeled Bill Ayers, the son of a senior Detroit automaker, and yet a bombing revolutionary who did nothing to deserve his good estate!

Imagine! Someone with a gold spoon in his mouth made a scruffy revolutionary, and yet the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars from conservative Republicans, superior to everyone. Surely a new ruling class if ever there was one.

You get the privilege but pretend you are the victim. You can take a lot of wealth while pretending to be the champion of the downtrodden.

Nowadays nobody seems to know what “progressive” means, though it is in the history books. From around 1910-1924, “Progressive” meant liberal, which was not anything like what it is today. When Theodore Roosevelt was disappointed by his chosen successor, William Taft, he formed the Bull Moose Party from the Republican, often referred to as “the progressive party.”

The progressive party of that day did well among people who wanted to continue liberalism.

FDR was always conscious that the American system might turn sharply to the left if he failed, leading to some kind of Obamaesque situation. Remember there was large scale violence (mostly labor related) and an extremely left-oriented culture war. People forget that there was a looming radical threat at that time, for example the Labor Movement.

In 1924, Robert Lafollette decided that his party, Republican, was not liberal enough, and ran under the “progressive” title. He actually got 17% of the popular vote, but concluded that this was not the amount of people needed to win an election, even though this was a rare opportunity to create a three-party system. Ultimately, he decided that the country was not left enough. The brilliance of President Roosevelt was in playing the centrist view. There were communists and progressives and horrid “reactionary republicans.”

Roosevelt, however, pitted the idea that the far left (i.e. communists and socialists) were the only other alternative to the “reactionary republicans.” Often, liberals said that these were the only choices.

During the 1924 election and the 1930s, Earl Browder and other Communist Party leaders used the word “progressive” as a cover.  In 1948, it was the name chosen by the Communist Party for its front party.

Consider how the Communist Party approached the New Deal. Here’s that party’s leader, Earl Browder, in a 1936 interview:

“Roosevelt was being pulled by some to the left and by the others to the right. Consequently, it would be wrong for ‘all progressives to unite around Roosevelt as the sole means to defeat reaction.’  …It seems that personally Roosevelt and [Republican leader Alf] Landon look pretty much alike to Browder.”

Incidentally, I’ve never seen anyone note that when the 2010 electoral organization’s far-left organized, it was called Progressives for Obama. The head was Carl Davidson, the former chief of SDS in the 1960s.

What the Obama movement did was to combine philosophical idealism, the farthest left of the old democratic party, and the lumpen proletariat, convincing more moderate liberals that this more radical movement identified with them, while everyone else was reactionary (as was done in the 1930s).

Furthermore the Republican leadership was headed by an unimaginative “rhino.”

If you want to understand Obama and his movement, you have to go back to the 1960s and 1970s. For more on this, see Silent Revolution: How the Left Rose to Political Power and Cultural Dominance (Harper Collins, forthcoming April 2014)

Kerry’s Absurd Diplomatic Agenda

As far as Secretary of State John Kerry is concerned, the greatest threat to the Earth is “climate change.” That is his view as well of the Obama administration that, according to a CNS News article, wasted $7.45 billion taxpayer dollars over the last three years “to help developing countries cope with climate change in fiscal years 2010 through 2012, according to a federal government report submitted to the United Nations.” In Kerry’s words, climate change is “a truly life-and-death challenge.”

Since the first humans stood upright and began to walk, they have never played any role in climate change, a natural aspect of the Earth that is cyclical, moving between periods of warmth and cooling. We are currently in a 17-year-long cooling cycle which forced the army of environmental liars who claimed that “global warming” was the greatest threat to change its name to “climate change.”

Another name change caused a lot of problems as well.

Since Israel declared its independence and sovereignty in 1948, it has fought a succession of wars against its Arab “neighbors” and been subjected to the claim that former occupants were “Palestinians” despite the fact that there never was and still is not a nation called Palestine. Arabs that chose to remain became citizens of Israel.

It was the Roman Emperor Hadrian who tried to change the name of Israel to Palestine. The name reappeared following World War One when the Treaty of Versailles used it to designate a swath of land south of Syria as a British mandate. In 1948, when the British left, Israel was born again after 2,000 years.

Israel joined the United Nations on May 11, 1949. Resisting the existence of Israel became an Arab cause. These days Israel maintains diplomatic relations with more than 150 nations.

Successive American administrations sought to provide an agreement between those claiming to represent Palestinians and the nation of Israel. All such efforts have all failed. At present the Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah on the West Bank, is the focus of such efforts. Hamas, a proxy of Iran, controls Gaza, a territory abandoned by Israel in the hope that “land for peace” would succeed. It did not and Gaza is little more than a staging ground for ceaseless rocket attacks.

When Secretary Kerry arrived in Israel on January 3 to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the streets of Ramallah filled with several hundred protesters chanting “Kerry, you coward, there is no place for you in Palestine!” Abbas has never expressed any opinion other than a hope for the destruction of Israel. He replaced Yasser Arafat who waged an “intifada” against Israel as the self-appointed head of the Palestinians.

Kerry is so obsessed with getting a peace accord that he has spent five months trying to negotiate it with no progress. He has made ten trips to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has had to pretend, like all the former prime ministers, that an agreement is possible. After the 1967 war, Egypt decided to sign a peace treaty that secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula. These days the Egyptian military it is fighting jihadists located there.

The Palestinians are losing ground. Abbas’ refusal to come to any agreement with Israel has resulted in the announcement by the European Union to discontinue its $1 billion annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority if a peace accord is not signed within a year. The US-EU aid packages total $1.5 billion and account for nearly all of the PA’s regular revenue. Jordan has already made it clear it does not want Palestinians providing “security” on its West Bank border with Israel.

Yoram Ettinger, a columnist for Israel Hayom, recently wrote that “Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring delusion into a reality of an Arab Tsunami, highlighting the 1,400-year-old intra-Muslim and intra-Arab uncertainty, unpredictability, instability, fragmentation, violent intolerance and absence of Arab democracy and civil liberties.”

Kerry wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders, reflecting Obama’s goal. That is an idiotic demand that ignores Israel’s need for security or the provision of housing for its growing population. Obama has criticized the building of such housing in Jerusalem and the West Bank, but few give much thought to the absurdity and arrogance of this. Imagine if Obama expressed a similar criticism of new housing in Canada or Mexico?

The only overt ally the United States has in the Middle East is Israel, but you would not know that from Kerry’s efforts and Obama’s barely hidden enmity. Like the effort to strike a deal with Iran to stop enriching uranium to build nuclear weapons, both are oblivious to the reality of events in the Middle East, all of which reflect a region in turmoil. Having withdrawn our troops from Iraq and preparing to leave Afghanistan, Obama’s foreign policy only portends further turmoil.

The Obama administration would rather fight “climate change” than deal with the harsh realities of the real world.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED COLUMNReport: Kerry Proposes Return of 80,000 Palestinian Refugees to Israel

Proposed charter school for MacDill Air Force Base gets the ax

Hillsborough County Public Schools denied the charter application for a new charter school at MacDill Air Force Base saying that they can’t tell who is in charge, but the charter application was submitted by Charter Schools USA. Charter Schools USA already has three other charter schools in Hillsborough County having previously received charters from the very same Hillsborough County School Board as previously recommended by Superintendent Elia. But this time the school district and school board claim that they just can’t figure it out.

So how is it that the school district suddenly can’t figure out who is in charge when Charter Schools USA applies for their fourth charter in Hillsborough County?

Charter Schools USA is one of the largest Charter school organizations in the United States; do you think the school district and school board get many charter school applications that have this level of detail- 500 pages?

Charter Schools USA is based in Fort Lauderdale and already manages 42 schools in Florida, three of which are already in Hillsborough County. These Charter Schools USA facilities are first class. Check out their website.

It seems that the only meaningful difference is that this charter is on prime educational turf that serves our dedicated service personnel on MacDill Air Foce Base. This Charter was supported by MacDill AFB staff who have clearly considered both options- HCPS and Charter Schools USA- and have concluded that Charter Schools USA is the superior choice. But Superintendent Elia, the school board and the HCPS staff all pompously think they know better than our Air Force command what is better for them and their children.

What could the Air Force Base possibly know about organization? They are just protecting our country while the School District is valiantly protecting their own jobs.

It is pretty embarrassing when the second largest employer in the County, MacDill AFB, decides that the first largest employer in the County, Hillsborough County Public Schools is not doing a very good job. Perhaps MacDill AFB was responding to the scathing performance review that Elia recently received.

Perhaps MacDill AFB does not like leadership that has been described by her own board as unethical, cussing, yelling and bullying. Board Chair April Griffin stated “You have demonstrated a complete lack of professionalism with staff members and board members by cussing, yelling and bullying”. Board member Susan Valdes said “It is unethical for you to not have notified us of the death of one of our students in January 2012”

Perhaps they were concerned with the lack of qualifications and training revealed recently by multiple Student deaths. Perhaps they checked qualifications at other relevant departments like the Facilities department that includes Planning & Construction and Transportation and found them wanting. Anyone can check licenses at Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation at this link for those professions and businesses that are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

This includes licenses for Architecture, engineering, construction Industry, etc. Cathy Valdes is the Chief of Facilities at the HCPS but a search for her name does not yield any licenses. Likewise Rory Salimbene is the General Manager of Planning and Construction but a search for his name does not yield any licenses.

Perhaps MacDill AFB wants to avoid the bloated bureaucracy and the glacial pace down at the school district. Perhaps they don’t want to deal with an organization that, by its own admission, has decades old policies, lack of qualifications and training. Failures that arguably resulted in 2 ESE deaths

Elia warned ‘If any charter school gets consecutive ‘F’ grades, ‘I’m in the position where I would close them.’
And yet if Elia had ever fully disclosed the circumstances of the death of Isabella Herrera she should have received 2 consecutive F’s for her own performance review. And what about Cathy Valdes review from Superintendent Elia? Cathy Valdes almost certainly also knew of the death and also never supposedly disclosed it to the School board. She also should have received 2 consecutive F’s. These people routinely use this rationale to kill charters and fire people but when it comes to themselves they use a different grading system.

Perhaps Macdill AFB wants a high performance organization that compliments their own organization.

Are US Judges more Racist and Bigoted than either the Ku Klux Klan or New Black Panthers?

There is a growing concern in America that the judiciary is no longer enforcing natures laws as written in the US Constitution or upholding the Bill of Rights. The US Constitution, Article VI states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Citizens are seeing a judiciary that is part of a growing dysfunctional government, particularly at the federal level. Recent decisions by federal district court judges and the US Supreme Court have ordinary people scratching their heads. This growing dissatisfaction has led to the creation of grassroots groups like Jail4Judges website states it is a, “[N]ational grassroots organization designed to end the rampant and pervasive judicial corruption in the legal system of the United States.”

Perhaps the recent and most watched case of “rampant and pervasive judicial corruption in the legal system” at the state level was the George Zimmerman case in Florida. Many saw the Zimmerman case as a “political show trial” rather than an effort to serve justice and enforce the law. In the Zimmerman case no grand jury was ever empaneled. Had there been a grand jury, the case may never have gone to trial. Mark I. Sutherland in his book “Judicial Tyranny: The New Kings of America” forward notes, “We live in the greatest nation on Planet Earth, but it is becoming more and more apparent that in order to keep it great, people must do something to stop the federal courts that are daily setting themselves above the law and dictating how we should live and what we should think.”

History demonstrates that those wearing black robes are not immune to racism and bigotry.

Perhaps the most notable case, of many, of racism and bigotry is that of Carrie Buck, a helpless Virginia teenager. Edwin Black, in his book “War Against the Weak” shows how judicial corruption was rampant in Carrie Buck’s case. Black writes, “Carrie Buck’s mother, Emma, was one of Charlottesville’s least respected citizens. Widowed and worthless, living on the margins of society, Emma was deemed a perfect candidate for feeblemindedness … On April 1, 1920, Emma was hauled before the so-called Commission on Feeblemindedness. Justice of the Peace C.D. Shackleford convened the very brief hearing … A few minutes later, Emma was officially deemed feebleminded. Shackleford signed the order of commitment, declaring she was ‘suspected of being feeble minded or epileptic.’ Five days later, Emma was driven to the Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. There she was consigned to Ward Five . She would remain at the colony for the rest of her life.”

But it did not end there.

Black found, “One day in the summer of 1923, seventeen-year-old Carrie [the daughter of Emma Buck] was found to be pregnant. She explained she had been raped … On January 23, 1924, [Justice] Shackleford convened a brief hearing … Carrie was quickly declared ‘feebleminded’ and transferred to the custody of the Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. For Shackleford it was the second generation of Bucks he had sent to the colony-first the mother, Emma, and now the daughter, Carrie.”

“By March 30, 1924, Virginia’s eugenics law, which now included numerous due process safeguards, was finally passed by both state houses and signed by the governor. It was to take effect on June 17, 1924,” notes Black. “Carrie’s arrival at the colony was delayed until June 4, just days before the new [Virginia] sterilization law took effect. A legal guardian, Robert Shelton, was properly appointed for her and properly paid $5 per day, just as the statute and due process required. On September 10, 1924, a colony review board properly met and ruled Carrie ‘is feebleminded and by the laws of heredity is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted…”

Carrie became a test of Virginia’s eugenic law. The idea was to appeal of Virginia’s sterilization law “[I]n order that we may test the constitutionality through our state courts, event to the Supreme Court of the United States.” The legal challenge was scheduled for November 18, 1924 with Carrie represented by attorney Irving Whitehead “a staunch eugenicist, founding father of the colony and an advocate of sterilization, who was to champion Carrie Buck’s defense.”

“If the Supreme Court would uphold Carrie Buck’s sterilization, the floodgates of eugenic cleansing would be opened across the United States for thousands,” wrote Black. In Buck vs Bell 1927, none other than Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in the majority opinion “the words that would reverberate forever”:

It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

Eugenical sterilization was now the law of the land.

Buck vs Bell would be quoted in the US Supreme Court decision in Roe vs Wade in 1972 and in San Antonio Independent School Board vs Rodrigues in 1973.

Fast forward to today. The judicial system is accountable only to itself. There is no outside review of judicial malfeasance from the bench. Judges are closely protected by none other than their fellow judges, who among other things, cannot be sued. Is it any wonder that there are groups like Jail4Judges springing up across America?

Bold predictions for 2014

Now that a 2014 has come, I have decided to pull out my trusted crystal ball and give you some of my predictions for the year.

I think the biggest thing to watch is on the political front. This year we will have congressional elections for the House and Senate. Republicans will keep the House. Even if Republicans have a total meltdown, they will still keep the House. But their margins may shrink (currently the Republicans hold a 17-vote margin over the Democrats). The way congressional districts have been gerrymandered , that virtually guarantees minimum change in the composition of the House.

Republicans have a better than even chance to take over the Senate if they nominate the best conservative candidate that is “electable.” The GOP should be able to pick up seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and West Virginia. Republicans need only a net of six seats to win the Senate.

The Black vote could be the margin of victory in states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. Each has Black voters who thoroughly turned off by the Democrats and Obama. If these Republican candidates take their message to the Black community, Republicans will take over the Senate.
I know many of my Democratic friends will laugh at me and my Republican friends will continue to want to dismiss the Black vote; but I dare my Republican leaders to call my bluff if they really want to win the Senate.

As I often say, I have been Black most of my life and I know the sentiments of my community very well. To prove my point, what was unthinkable just a month ago is going to happen more frequently going forward. Democrats, especially Blacks, for the first time are publicly voicing their dissatisfaction with Obama.

A group of very liberal Blacks are about to file a lawsuit against Obama for enacting policies that have decreased the number of Black students attending HBCUs. Civil Rights leaders such as Congressman John Lewis have publicly threatened to go to war with Obama over the lack of Black judges being nominated. On Black radio, there is huge vocalization of dissatisfaction with Obama. This was unimaginable only a few weeks ago.

Blacks turning away from Obama will be one of the top news stories of the year. The question is are Republicans prepared to take advantage of this opening within the Black community?

Gun violence and mass shootings will continue, not because of the availability of guns; but because of the continued breakdown in our moral fabric. By 2016, I predict that morals and values will be in the top five issues of importance to voters. This liberal drift towards pluralism and relativism will begin to reverse itself with a lot of help from within the Black community. Republicans, are you listening?

Look for a major reduction in corporate support for many of the reality TV shows that have proliferated over the past several years. These corporations will find it increasingly more difficult to justify the expenditure of their corporate dollars from a cost/benefit analysis.

I expect to see more suicides from those who played professional football and hockey. The issue of trauma to the brain during violent sports is a lot worse than the public is being told. I think over the next few years, pro football will become unrecognizable as we know it today.

There will be no comprehensive immigration reform. However, as a compromise, there will be a path to legalization, but not citizenship. Republicans who vote for citizenship will lose their next election and some will even be recalled before their next election (on the local level).

Journalism will continue its downward spiral towards the cult of personality. Journalists will continue down the path of becoming bigger than the story they are supposed to be covering. They will continue to put more emphasis on being famous versus being accurate.

My final prediction is that Obamacare will be a huge albatross around the necks of the Democrats for the next three years and will make their retaining the White House very problematic. The issue will be are the Republicans prepared to address some the major problems facing America with policy solutions?

If the answer is yes, then Republicans will win the White House. If the answer is no, we can kiss the America we know goodbye. is fraudulent, deceptive and illegal

My good friend Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, USMC (Ret.) was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission in 1997 and remained in that position until 2005. I have been friends with Colonel Swindle for many years.

The Honorable Orson Swindle asked me to remind us, the American people, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal government’s principal Law Enforcement Agency for enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws. The FTC deals with mergers and acquisitions, fraudulent, deceptive, and illegal business practices, and information system privacy and security.

In a National Review Online article by Andrew Stiles, former FTC Commissioner Swindle outlines a number of illegal aspects in the Obama administrations healthcare website ( and how the Obama administration has been promoting the Health Care law. He points out how the website runs afoul of Federal Regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Here are excerpts from the Stiles column:

Orson Swindle, who served as an FTC commissioner from 1997 to 2005, says there are a number of practices that, if were a private entity, would result in its being “taken to the shed and horsewhipped” by government regulators.

President Obama’s oft-repeated falsehood, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” — something the administration knew was untrue — would almost certainly be a textbook case of deceptive advertising, punishable under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practice in or affecting commerce.” This includes a “representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer,” such that the consumer would be “likely to have chosen differently but for the deception.”

Other examples of potentially deceptive practices include the apparently deliberate decision to withhold information from visitors as to the actual prices of the policies offered via the exchanges. In fact, users aren’t told how much those policies will cost until after they have created an account, which requires giving a slew of personal and financial information.

Additionally, a recent CBS News investigation found that contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s gross violations of FTC’s and CFPB’s Federal Regulations are being ignored by US Attorney General Holder and the Democratically controlled Senate, whose members continue to permit the President to disregard Federal Laws, Federal Regulations and provisions of the US Constitution with impunity.

We are appreciative of the fact that Orson Swindle has pointed out these violations of Federal Laws and Federal Regulations by the President.


Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, III, USMC (Ret.), former Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Orson Swindle’s impressive background follows.

Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, III, USMC (Ret.) is a Vietnam POW who retired from the US Marine Corps in 1979. His military career is one of extraordinary triumph. On November 11, 1966, he was serving as a US Marine Corps aviator in South Vietnam flying his 205th mission, on what was to be his final combat mission, when he was shot down, captured by the North Vietnamese, and held as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi for six years and four months.

On March 4, 1973, LTC Swindle was released from captivity at the conclusion of America’s involvement in the Vietnamese War. For valor in combat, he was awarded with more than twenty military decorations, including two Silver Star Medals, two Bronze Star Medals, two Legions of Merit Medals, thirteen Air Medals, and two Purple Heart Medals. From 1981 to 1989 Mr Swindle served in the Reagan Administration, where he directed financial assistance programs to economically-distressed rural and municipal areas of the country.

As the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development he managed the Department of Commerce’s national economic development initiatives, directing seven offices across the country. In 1993, Orson Swindle worked with former Cabinet Secretaries Jack Kemp and William Bennett, former Congressman Vin Weber, and Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick to form Empower America.

He was the Republican candidate for Congress in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 1994 and 1996. LTC Swindle was a former roommate of Senator John McCain’s in the Hanoi Hilton prison in North Vietnam.

The Honorable Orson Swindle’s full biography is listed on the “Leadership” page of the Combat Veterans For Congress PAC website.

TAKE ACTION: Speaker Boehner, install a Select Committee on Benghazi now!

I’ve joined family members of the victims of the Benghazi terrorist attack and more than 70 fellow conservative and military leaders in sending a letter to House Speaker John Boehner demanding that he install a select committee to once and for all get the answers and the truth regarding the tragic events of September 11, 2012.

There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors. Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?

We can no longer accept silence, obfuscation and inaction on this subject.

You can read the letter here. Please feel free to download and circulate it widely.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on

RELATED COLUMN: Obama admin bungled Benghazi, could have prevented attack: report

Global Cooling Awareness Project Launched

The Orlando, Florida headquartered Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC), has launched the “Global Cooling Awareness Project” (GCAP). The purpose of GCAP is to draw attention to the growing concern among the world’s scientists and climate researchers that a new record setting cold climate epoch may have begun.

The GCAP will be a listing of science educators, researchers, and science-degreed individuals, similar to that of the Global Warming Petition Project started by Dr. Arthur Robinson in 1998 at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM). That decades-long project eventually compiled a list of over 30,000 professionals who signed a short statement that they were opposed to the concept of manmade global warming.

The SSRC has already begun to encourage the signup of the GCAP with an initial batch of mailings on January 1, 2014, to original Petition Project signatories. The GCAP is expected to take at least two years of consistent effort to reach or exceed the numbers seen in the Petition Project.

According to SSRC President, John L. Casey, “We have been deeply honored that Dr. Arthur Robinson has been so helpful in getting the GCAP started by providing the list of the Petition Project signers as well as his advice on how to proceed. There is no question that Dr. Robinson’s project has become one of the most visible and important counters to the deeply flawed concept of manmade global warming.

Now that global warming has ended and a challenging cold climate has begun, it is time to up the gain globally on preparing for the coming cold.

The SSRC’s December 10, 2013 edition of the Global Climate Status Report (GCSR)© for example, shows that of twenty four climate parameters we keep track of, eighteen now show global cooling as the dominant trend. The remainder of the set of parameters are expected to switch to cooling within the next five to ten years. It is vital that the world changes its focus from debating the now thoroughly discredited notion of manmade climate change, to the far more important subject of preparing for the approaching decades of what may be extreme cold weather.

“The Global Cooling Awareness Project is the next logical extension of Dr. Robinson’s history-making Petition Project. It will once more allow scientists and experts worldwide to have a voice in telling the truth about climate change,” notes Casey.

Dr. Robinson adds his own thoughts to the GCAP by saying, “The Petition Project has been a long labor of love and necessity to help tell the truth about the so-called ‘consensus of scientists’ that allegedly supported manmade climate change. The tens of thousands of science professionals who signed the Petition have clearly shown that the ‘consensus’ just like manmade global warming, is also just another politically motivated myth. I strongly endorse Mr. Casey’s Global Cooling Awareness Project and urge every science professional to lend their support to his cause. John like me, has endured the expected ‘slings and arrows’ for years from those who wants us to believe in something that does not exist so they can gain more power and control over our lives, all at the expense of scientific integrity. We need more researchers like John Casey, who are willing to risk everything to make sure the truth is told.”

Further supporting the launch of the GCAP is world renowned sea level expert, Dr. Nils-Axel Morner. From his office in Sweden, Dr. Morner says, “The start of the Global Cooling Awareness Project is yet another indicator of the quality and strength of leadership in climate research coming out of the SSRC. Recently, I helped coordinate an important climate research document that made a firm statement that the Sun and its interaction with the other planets are what drive climate change on Earth. Mankind’s influence is negligible. John Casey joined other world leaders in climate research to co-author that position paper. It has been my pleasure to have supported his efforts to make sure the truth about the world’s climate and especially the reality of global sea level measurements and sea level rise predictions, are properly told. I think we must stress that all forces must now be redirected to real problems in the real world, and leave the propaganda nonsense of global warming. But I don’t think we should substitute the global warming hysteria for a global cooling hysteria. Mr. Casey and I have both forecast a significant drop in global sea levels in the coming cold climate epoch. I hope that others will also accept that conclusion as well as the need to sign on to the Global Cooling Awareness Project.”

The Global Cooling Awareness Project is open to anyone with a hard science or engineering degree at any level.  To sign up for the GCAP, interested participants need only go to the “Global Cooling Awareness Project” page at the SSRC website. They then need to simply send an email back to the SSRC with the requested contact information and their approval of the following statement:

“I _______________ do hereby agree that the last planetary climate phase of global warming which was produced primarily by natural cycles, may have ended, and that a long, cold, climate epoch is now likely.”

Applicant’s names will be posted in the GCAP registry after verification.

President Obama’s “Climate Change” Lies

The extreme cold that gripped the nation at the beginning of the year just added to the growing public dismissal of the claims that “greenhouse gas emissions” would lead to a dangerous stage of “global warming.” Indeed, even the charlatans that have devoted decades to this hoax are now using the phrase “climate change.”

We tend not to recall what the weather was like a year ago. In May 2013, Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, noted that “Lots of us are commenting on the U.S. having the second coldest spring in the official thermometer record (starting ca. 1860) and the coldest since 1975. This cold spring highlights another climate cycle that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Records of cold weather are being broken all around the nation and the world. That’s not exactly what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting since it was set up in 1988 to get nations to sign onto the Kyoto Protocols to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming they were causing warming.

We are all going to have to pay attention to what President Obama will have to say in his forthcoming State of the Union speech and other pronouncements about “climate change” because that is going to be a major theme of his as he begins the second year of his second term. Climate change ranks right up there with “If you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can. Period.”

Last February, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an extremely liberal group, wrote Obama to say “We are inspired and gratified by your commitment to address the threat of climate change. Still gushing, they said that the “science of climate change…calls for action to swiftly and deeply reduce heat-trapping emissions and better prepare our nation for now unavoidable impacts.”

If one merely refers to “climate change” without specifically identifying it, how can the UCS be so sure that emissions from our cars, trucks, manufacturing, and of course the coal-fired plants that, until Obama arrived, provided half of all the electricity Americans need and use. To save us all from the “climate change” 150 of these plants have been closed since he took office.

To replace them, the Obama administration “invested” in a variety of wind and solar businesses, most of which promptly went bankrupt with our taxpayer funds. To get us to stop driving, Obama advocated high-speed railroads in a nation where people routinely get on an airplane to get to distant cities. Amtrak has never made a profit since it was created in 1970.

The President, however, can be counted upon to talk about “climate change” as if recent examples of it threaten our lives. The facts say something else. For example, there has been NO global warming for over 17 years. In 2013 there was a record quiet tornado season and severe tornadoes have been declining for 40 years.

Other than tropical storm Sandy in 2012, the U.S. has gone more than 8 years without a major hurricane strike and the U.S. has experienced the fewest forest fires in three decades and, over the same time period, there has been no sea level rise on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada.

In contrast, an Antarctic global warming expedition of 74 eco-tourists, certain that sea ice there was melting, was trapped by it. In the summer of 2013, all manner of yachts, sailboats, and others got trapped by sea ice while trying to sail the Northwest Passage after being told it would be free of ice. It turned out that 2013 recorded the second highest volume of sea ice ever recorded.

It’s not that the climate is not changing. The climate—measured in decades and centuries—has always changed and it does so in remarkably predictable cycles. The period between ice ages is 11.500 years. We are overdue for the next one, though we did have a mini ice age from 1300 to 1850.

All this scientific data guarantees one thing. The President is lying when he talks of “climate change” by which he means a warming cycle. He is lying when he blames it on carbon dioxide which plays no role whatever in climate change. The $7.45 billion his administration gave to 120 nations between 2010 and 2012 to cope with “climate change” was an utter waste of our taxpayer dollars. Given the nation’s $17 trillion in debt, it was money we did not have, but which added to our debt.

Recall, too, that Obama refused to negotiate with the Republican Party in 2013 when it wanted to reduce such spending, resulting in the government shutdown that was blamed on the GOP.

You can forget about “climate change”, but you should keep in mind what the President is doing to bankrupt America and deny it the production of the energy it needs as the weather gets colder.

© Alan Caruba, 2014