The Common Core Fight: What Went Wrong, What Went Right, What To Do Next

The Washington Post reported that within two years of an organizational meeting at Bill Gates’ Seattle headquarters, 45 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the Common Core State Standards. President Obama, whose administration was “populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates,” was “a major booster.” 

After legislative battles this year, 42 states and the District of Columbia remain in the vise of Common Core, the federal education dictates.

One of these states, Georgia, illustrates the incredible hurdles citizen-activists face in their fight against the united forces of big government and big business.  Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick) was blocked in his efforts to pass a Common Core withdrawal bill by the Republican governor and Republican-dominated House.

Jane Robbins, senior fellow at the American Principles in Action, which supported Ligon’s bill, comments, “During the last hearing on the bill, we saw dozens of corporate and other well-funded lobbyists parade up to the podium to explain why their interests should trump those of Georgia families.”

I observed this parade, and the smear-campaign against citizen-activists concerned about educational quality and government overreach.  While teachers and parents spoke about developmentally inappropriate assignments, mind-boggling busy-work math, and ideological curricula, the pro-Common Core lobbyists, legislators, superintendents, principals, and teachers seemed to follow a script.  I heard the same phrases repeated – “state-led,” “critical thinking skills,” “locally controlled,” “standards, not curriculum,” and on.

And then I learned that they were following a script.

Dts_news_bill_gates_wikipedia

Bill Gates. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The script was linked in the June 7 Washington Post front-page article, “How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution” – published after legislatures had recessed.  These were “Talking Points” developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers, the supposedly independent organization behind Common Core.  CCSSO received over $11 million from the Gates Foundation in 2013.

That Bill Gates was “de facto organizer,” influencing states through donations to teachers unions and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was hardly a revelation.  In August 2013, blogger Mercedes Schneider reported, “the four organizations primarily responsible for CCSS–[National Governors Association], CCSSO, Achieve, and Student Achievement Partners – have taken $147.9 million from Bill Gates.”  Jane Robbins and others also made the charge long before the Washington Post’s exposé.

The Post reported that within two years of an organizational meeting at Gates’ Seattle headquarters, 45 states and the District of Columbia had adopted the standards. President Obama, whose administration was “populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates,” was “a major booster.”

In the Post interview, Gates denied that he had any self-interest, but the article noted, “In February, [Gates’ company] Microsoft announced that it was joining Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher, to load Pearson’s Common Core classroom materials on Microsoft’s tablet, the Surface.”  This allowed Microsoft to compete for school district spending with rival company Apple, whose iPad dominates in classrooms.

According to a tape released by Glenn Beck last September, in 2009 Gates told the National Conference of State Legislators that he anticipated a “large uniform base of [Common Core] customers.”

More recently, Microsoft’s website warned schools to migrate to the new Microsoft Windows operating system.  Opponents had predicted that computer-administered Common Core tests would require expensive upgrades.

Still, Common Core promotional sites, such as the Georgia pro-Chamber of Commerce Republican blog, Peach Pundit, mocked the notion of “Obamacore” and called Gates’ profit-motive a “conspiracy theory.”

Editor-in-Chief Charlie Harper testified against the Common Core withdrawal bill, while directing the smear campaign through posts and comments. He also is executive director of the non-profit PolicyBEST.

In February, PolicyBEST Policy & Research Director – and Peach Pundit blogger – “Eric the Younger” called a rally in support of Ligon’s bill a “train wreck,” filled with “crazy talk”: “It’s [sic] attendees included Jane Robins [sic], Sen. Judson Hill, Sen. William Ligon, Ralph Hudgens’ wife, “and a few of the other usual suspects.”

He promoted a new coalition that included PolicyBEST, “Better Standards For A Better Georgia.”  The “diverse group . . . brought together through the Georgia Chamber” includes 100 Black Men, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia school board and school superintendents associations, Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia.  In 2013, 100 Black Men received $583,531 from the Gates Foundation; Georgia Association of Educational Leaders received $179,015 in 2012.

Eric the Younger’s creativity only extends to name-calling, however.

Consider the CCSS “talking point”: “This has always been, and continues to be, a state-led and driven initiative. States voluntarily adopted and are currently implementing the standards. . .  .  These standards are in no way federally-mandated. . . .”

Eric the Younger dutifully wrote, “The Origins of the Common Core State Standards are here in Georgia with our former governor Sonny Perdue and State School Superintendent. . . .”

Elders, like “youngers,” also recited CCSSO’s script.  The U.S. Chamber’s President and CEO Thomas Donahue wrote in the Washington Post, “Common Core is a not curriculum, a federal program or a federal mandate.”

Peach Pundit continued its campaign of smearing and repeating with a February 10 Courier-Herald column.  After charging Common Core opponents with “a campaign of misinformation that at times borders on hysteria,” the writer essentially repeated a talking point: “Common Core is not a curriculum,” but “a set of benchmarks. . . .  The curriculum – what is taught and how – remains up to states and local school systems…”

Cited also was a June 2, 2010, press release announcing then-Governor Sonny Perdue’s release of Common Core state standards that featured a panel discussion with the CEO of the PTA and Leah Luke, 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year.

Where did this idea come from?

The CCSSO toolkit recommends as key spokespeople “State Teachers of the Year,” “Award-winning school leaders and principals,” and “Heads of local PTAs.”

Nothing was left to chance in CCSSO’s well-orchestrated campaign that included strategies for “engaging” teachers, “stakeholders,” elected officials, etc. Provided were fill-in-the-blank “Scene-setting Op-ed,” “Letters to the Editor,” “Local Op-ed and Blog,” and “Teacher Communication Preferences Survey.” There were tips for pitching stories and providing background information to reporters.

Most reporters, indeed, repeated CCSSO’s “talking points.” Now an NBC reporter is on Gates’ payroll.

In spite of overwhelming odds, a couple states rejected Common Core this year, following changing public sentiment.  Pitfalls lie ahead, though.  What these are and tips for fighting them will be discussed next time in Part II.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Selous Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill to Revise Common Core
Common Core in Louisiana: Two Days, Two Lawsuits
A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced
American Federation of Teachers: “Remediating” Duncan and Retaining the “Corrupted” Common Core

Muslims in Miami scream “We Are HAMAS!”

Pro Hamas Rally Miami, FL – Muslims Scream, “Let’s go HAMAS. We are HAMAS!” We present a detailed examination of the HAMAS Charter, which states:

The historical dimension of the Islamic Resistance Movement [HAMAS] originates from its adoption of Islam as a system of life. It reaches far back to the birth of the Islamic Message and to the Pious Predecessors. Therefore, Allah is its goal, the Messenger its leader, and the Quran its constitution.

We also have an expert war analysis by Dr. Martin Sherman.

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The Nexus of Illegal Drugs and Illegal Immigration

All manner of reasons are being offered to explain the influx of thousands of illegal aliens, not the least of which is President Obama’s open invitation to Latin Americans to come here with the promise of becoming citizens at some point. By overloading the southern border, this has opened the doors to criminals and potential terrorists as well.

In March, the Huffington Post took note of the other far lesser known or discussed reason our southern border is so porous. “Americans Spent About A Trillion Dollars on Illegal Drugs in the Last Decade.” With that kind of money awaiting them, you can be sure that the drug cartels are going to make every effort to satisfy the market.

The article was about a Rand Corporation report by its Drug Policy Research Center as requested by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that tracked total expenditures, consumption, and number of users of marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin and methamphetamine. The decade tracked was 2000 to 2010.

Despite federal spending between $40 and $50 billion to fight the war on drugs, “American spending levels on illegal drugs stayed more or less the same.” RAND drew some of its data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, but it is no longer funded by the federal government which, one must assume, leaves it unable to know if the market for illegal drugs has expanded, shrunk or stayed the same.

criminal-immigrants

Criminal illegals.

The news about the illegal immigration from Latin American nations has a side to it that has not received much news coverage. It has to do with the views of four-star Marine Corps General John Kelly who heads the U.S. Military’s Southern Command. In a July 8 essay in the Military Times, “Central America Drug War a Dire Threat to U.S. National Security”, Gen. Kelly noted how the drug cartels have overwhelmed the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, rendering any opposition to them too great a threat.

“Due to the insatiable U.S. demand for drugs, particularly cocaine, heroin and now methamphetamines, all produced in Latin American and smuggled into the U.S.” said Gen. Kelly, they have been left “near broken societies” in which the rule of law has been destroyed. How bad is it? According to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., applications for asylum in neighboring countries—mostly Mexico and Costa Rica—are up 712%,

Cutting off aid to these countries as has been suggested by some will turn them into entities that are little more than names on a map and increase the distress of their law-abiding populations. Indeed, because so many of them have already come to the U.S., the children arriving here have families waiting for them. Seventy-three percent of the 47,017 minors apprehended at the border were from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. They will stay here to be processed by a system that has not deterred the estimated eleven million illegal aliens already living here.

Cartel-Smuggling-Routes

For a larger view click on the map.

According to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, despite the illegal immigration crisis the U.S. has encountered, Gen. Kelly’s U.S. Southern Command is “only sourced (financed) at five percent of the capacity it needs.” Reducing the funding to the U.S. military has been a priority of the Obama agenda.

Allen West, a former Lt. Colonel and member of the House of Representatives, writing on his July 8 blog, said, “We know Obama has a penchant for turning generals who don’t toe his line and agenda points—like former CENTCOM Commander Marine Corps General Mattis—into civilians, I certainly hope we don’t see another truth-telling general, a commander, called on the carpet by Obama’s lapdog Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel—or worse, getting a call from the Capo di tutti Capi Valerie Jarrett.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that “a significant majority of children coming across are not unaccompanied alien children according to the definition found in federal law.” As noted above they have family here in the U.S. Moreover, “there is little evidence to suggest that the recent arrivals are victims of trafficking which involves coercion.” Their families have paid smugglers to bring them to the U.S.”

While we read and hear references to those who smuggle immigrants to the U.S. border, known as “coyotes”, an Associated Press report noted a 2010 U.N. study that estimated this “service” generated $6.6. billion for the smugglers as the migrants pay anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 each for the journey across thousands of miles “in the care of smuggling networks that in turn pay off government officials, gangs operating on trains and drug cartels controlling the routes north.”

The appetite for illegal drugs that has been a part of life in the U.S. for many citizens has contributed to the illegal alien flow from the Latin American nations whose governments have been undermined by the drug cartels. It’s a vicious circle that is not likely to be broken any time soon, if ever.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: U.S. corporations must be “punished” with new penalties and restrictions

More American jobs and the products that make your life better are under attack by those in Washington who do not seek a solution, but merely want to mask the failures of our horrific income tax code.

Currently, America’s corporations pay 39.1% in income taxes – the highest tax rate of 33 industrialized countries!

To stay alive under this punitive tax structure, American businesses first moved their profits to foreign countries. Now they are moving their headquarter operations.

And how is Washington responding? Incredibly, instead of addressing the real problem – the income tax code – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has stated these corporations must be “punished” with new penalties and restrictions!

Wasn’t it Albert Einstein who said insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”?

It’s time for our nation’s tax insanity to end. Our country does not need more punishing economic policy.

Corporations leaving vs FairTax

What we need – what we must demand – is for the FairTax® legislation to be given an immediate vote in Congress.

AFFT needs your immediate support with your most generous donation. We must send a strong and unified message to Washington that the American people want a strong and robust economy.

Our nation needs the millions of jobs that will result from corporations flooding into our country once the FairTax is enacted. The FairTax legislation will make America the “go-to” place for investing and growing a business.

Please join me in standing FairTax strong.

Send your gift today: www.FairTax.org/Donate

Let’s tell Washington that America defines economic patriotism as the FairTax Plan. 

Mark Zuckerberg is promoting the Queerest of Folks on Facebook

Facebook has over 1.23 billion users of which 945 million are mobile users with 757 million daily users. There are many families that use Facebook to share photos, videos and leave updates about their lives. A companies culture is determined by its CEO and Mark Zuckerberg is no exception. His stand on various issues is well known and his relationship with President Obama is well publicized.

Zuckerberg appears to be concerned about NSA spying using his platform and has said so publicly and privately to President Obama. However, while they may disagree on who is better at spying on individuals, the NSA or Facebook, Obama and Zuck agree on one thing — gay is good. Zuck 4 gays may be the best way to describe his embracing of the homosexual lifestyle.

facebook gay logoZuck is so pro-homosexual that he is actively reaching out to and promoting the queerest of folks on Facebook in the United States and United Kingdom.

 from the UK Telegraph in her article “Facebook’s 71 gender options come to UK users: Following its successful integration in the US, US Facebook users can choose from one of 50 gender options” writes:

UK Facebook users can now choose from one of 71 gender options, including asexual, polygender and two-spirit person, following the feature’s successful integration in the US.

Users can choose a different gender option from the previous male and female choices by selecting ‘custom’ in the gender tab of their profiles.

In addition, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).

Talking about gender is like talking about nature. There are only two genders, however, there are many forms of sexual behaviors and Zuck is tapping into that market. “Facebook worked with UK groups Press for Change and Gendered Intelligence to add 21 new options to ensure the list best reflected the ways UK users may choose to describe themselves,” notes Williams. Twenty-one new options on how to describe themselves? Really?

Let’s look at a few options that are so queer that they defy description: Female to male trans man, Female to male transgender man, Female to male transsexual man, F2M, Gender neutral and Hermaphrodite. To read the full list click here.

The Brits have many ways of describing a homosexual. Understanding this, there are some options that Zuck and his UK Facebook team may want to consider adding to the list: Bugger, BugR, Bugger2Bugger or the short form B2B (not to be confused with Business2Business unless one is giving the business to his/her M2F or F2M partner), Queer Mary or QM, F2F (you fill in the f-word of your choice), HomoUK, UKHomo and of course one of my favorites from Mel Brookssmuck“. You get the idea.

Ayn Rand warned,

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

Zuck is queering Facebook. Parents, families and the 98.4% of straight users in the U.S. beware. He is pandering to the 1.6% in the U.S. who are homosexuals.

Zuck recently friended us on Facebook. Let’s see if he unfriends us.

RELATED VIDEO: Before you share photos online, watch this video —

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo of Mark Zuckerberg marching with 700 Facebook employees in the 2013 San Francisco gay pride parade is by Mike Matas/Facebook.

Obama Executive Order once again attacks Christian Organizations — Will the Catholic Bishops stand up to him?

Obama launches a new attack on Christian organizations by signing yet another Executive Order that forces them to hire homosexuals!

The $17 trillion question:

Are the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the leaders of the Holy Catholic Church going to stand up to King Obama this time around and have every single Catholic institution file a law suit against this liberal administration or are we just going to continue to roll over and take our orders from the “Liberal sees” in the White House instead of the “Holy See” in the Vatican?

Hope all is well as I truly mean that. Seriously – “Hope all is well”…With the way this world is going today – when was the last time that “all was well”? It’s almost impossible to watch the news or read the newspaper in the mornings with a positive attitude as there are more conflicts going on around the world in this day and age than I have seen in my 56 years. I honestly think that if we were to combine all of the conflicts, violence and wars going on all over the world today and put them all together as One Big War – it would be equivalent to a World War III…It’s that bad and we have grown almost immune to it. Nothing phases us anymore. Even in our own country – where we fight the greatest war of all – “OBAMA’S WAR AGAINST CHRISTIANS”.

Friends, when the President of the Free World is able to use his dictatorial powers at free will – with the incompetent Congress scratching their heads at King Obama’s every move – why do we even have a government in the “Land of the Free”? Who is governing what? What is governing who? Where are the checks and balances? Why are there so many checks that don’t balance? Why do we have a House of Representatives? Why do we have a Senate? What does the term “judiciary” mean? How come we had never heard the term “Executive Order” until the “Executive & Almighty One” put his feet up on his desk in our White House back in January of 2009″?

And, if you have not heard the latest coming from the “Gay President” – (there is nothing wrong with saying that because in Obama’s world – anything goes and he is proud of that) – get ready for yet another “Executive Order” coming from the “left-handed” one. Beyond excruciating. Beyond surreal. Beyond the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution has no bearing in the way King Kenya runs our country. It hasn’t for the past 6 years…and counting…That pen and cell phone have wreaked havoc on our nation, our unborn, our Christian communities, our beloved citizens…

And, while Obama should be taking care of the more critical “world crisis” issues all around the world and even at our own borders (where a humanitarian fiasco is about to take place with the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants coming over from the Mexican border) – while watching former KGB wild man, Vladimir Putin, do as he pleases in shooting down airliners as if it were a “Russian roulette” game – Obama has no clue as to what is transpiring in Russia and the Ukraine – let alone, the volatile Middle East, even among our own ally, Israel, and their relentless struggle against the Palestinians. Does he have a clue of what is going on in Syria and Egypt? How about the 276 Nigerian young ladies who disappeared months ago at the hands of Boko Haram in his home continent of Africa?

No, Obama thinks it is more important to continue to attack the Catholic Church and the Christian organizations in our country by signing on more Executive Orders to try our patience and to tick off all the wholesome Christian faithful in this country. Obama seems to be focused on this issue as he knows that he only has a little more than two years left on his 8-year contract to try to turn our beloved United States of America into the “Divided States of Obama” – his twisted version of Sodom and Gomorrah. So, where are the President of the United States’ priorities at when so much conflict and strife is going on around the world? And, is signing a “Gay Executive Order” a priority in the Home of the Brave while the rest of the world is burning?

So, without further adieu, please take a look at the this article from our good friends at Catholic Vote as Joshua Mercer tells it like it is. This latest Executive Order by King Obama demands that all Federal Contractors and Subcontractors grant special treatment based on “sexual orientation” and “gender equity”. Truly amazing and absolutely unfair to every Christian organization – including the Holy Catholic Church – that does NOT believe in the immoral act of sodomy and the homosexual lifestyle. Forcing a conservative and religious organization like Catholic Charities to hire homosexual employees while knowing that it is against their religious beliefs (based on Holy Scripture) – is as blatant an act as I have ever seen. And, if the USCCB, our Church leaders and wonderful organizations like Catholic Charities, do not stand up for their religious freedoms like the bold and courageous Hobby Lobby did against the liberal Obama administration (and won) – once again, we can all kiss our Holy Rosaries a fond farewell and continue to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet over and over and over again until all 50 states in our beloved United States all turn gay…19 and counting…

May God give the USCCB the intestinal fortitude to instruct every single Catholic institution in the United States to file a lawsuit against this administration.

May all Christian organizations in the United States stand up for their religious liberty and freedoms and take this administration head on!

IN GOD WE MUST!!!



CV
Dear CV Friend, 

The Supreme Court has already rebuked Obama twice on religious liberty. 

But that isn’t stopping this president from launching another attack on religious liberty. 

This time, Obama is using the purse strings of the federal government to marginalize employers with religious convictions. 

President Obama today signed an executive order which demands that all federal contractors and subcontractors grant special treatment based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” 

The executive order signed by Obama thankfully preserves an exemption put in place by President George W. Bush which allows religious employers the freedom to favor employees of a certain religion in making hiring decisions. So under the new rules, a religious university could not fire a teacher for being a lesbian, but could fire her because she’s not a Catholic. 

Legal experts say that Obama’s new executive order will launch a flood of lawsuits against employers who have deeply-held convictions that certain kinds of sexual behavior is inconsistent with their moral or religious beliefs. 

The executive order, expected to take full effect in 2015, will affect 24,000 companies employing approximately 28 million American workers, or about one-fifth of the country’s workforce. 

President Obama could have easily issued this executive order for LGBT employees while maintaining a robust exemption for religious liberty. 

Once again, Obama has shown his strong hostility to religious expression in American life. In his mind, we have only “freedom to worship” inside the four walls of our church. But we dare not practice “freedom of religion” where we take our faith to the public square. If we do that, Obama believes that we must also sacrifice any religious principles out of sync with the federal government. 

In Obama’s mind, it’s ok if you go to Church on Sunday, but don’t you dare act like a Christian any other day of the week. 

Joshua Mercer 
Political Director

Common Core: “Effing the Ineffable”

“’One size fits all’ may be a term of mockery used by people who disdain the top-down solutions of centralized power; in the technocratic vision, ‘one size fits all’ describes the ideal.” – Andrew Ferguson

In his column “The Common Core Commotion: Haven’t we seen this movie before?” Andrew Ferguson gives both an historical and technocratic analysis of Common Core State Standards. Common Core is the end game of a process that began under President Ronald Reagan and is now in full force under President Barack Obama.

Ferguson writes, “The logic of education reform always points to more education reform. With experts having shown they didn’t really know how to improve education on a broad scale, and with state school officials having proved themselves in many cases to be cheats and bunco artists, the solution was clear to every educationist: State school officials should get together with experts to come up with a new reform. Except this time it would work.”

Ferguson describes the “world view” on education by technocrats like Bill Gates and those within government run education from the U.S. Department of Education to the local School Board. Ferguson describes Bill Gates thusly:

His faith is technocratic and materialist: In the end he believes the ability of highly credentialed observers to identify and solve problems through the social sciences is theoretically limitless. ‘Studies’ and ‘research’ unlock the human secret. This is the animating faith of most educationists, too. All human interactions can be dispassionately observed and their separate parts identified, isolated, analyzed, and quantified according to some version of the scientific method. The resulting data will yield reliable information about how and why we behave as we do, and from this process can be derived formulas that will be universally applicable and repeatable.

Ferguson concludes with, “The delays and distancing suggest a cloudy future for the Common Core. Even its advocates say that the best possible outcome for now involves a great deal more unpleasantness: The tests will be given to many students beginning next spring, and the results will demonstrate the catastrophic state of learning in American schools. Of course, we knew that, but still. ‘Maybe this will be a reality check,’ one booster told me the other day. ‘People will take a look at the results and say, ‘Aha! So this is what they’ve been talking about!’ It will send a very strong signal.’”

Ferguson notes, ” “Eff the Ineffable” is the technocrat’s motto.” Common Core is the technocrats way of Effing the Ineffable.

The following chart is courtesy of Education News and compares the traditional and Common Core education models:

Description

Type #1

Traditional

Classical Learning

Type #2

CSCOPE and

Common Core Standards

 

Progressive,

Radical Social Justice Agenda

     
Instruction Direct instruction by teacher Self-directed learning, group-think Emphasis on:Subjectivity, feelings, emotions, beliefs, multiculturalism, political correctness, social engineering, globalism, evolution, sexual freedom, contraceptives, environmental extremism, global warming and climate change, victimization, diversity, acceptance of homosexuality as normal, redistribution of wealth

 

 

De-emphasis on:

Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution, national sovereignty, Founding Fathers, American exceptionalism

 

     
Curriculum Academic, fact-based, skills, research Social concerns, project-based, constructivism, subjective, uses unproven fads and theories
     
Teacher’s Role Authority figure; sets the plan for the class; academic instruction Facilitator
     
Student’s Role Learn from teacher; focus on factual learning, develop foundation skills for logical and analytical reasoning, independent thinking Students teach each other; focus on feelings, emotions, opinions; group-think
     
English, Language Arts, Reading (ELAR) Phonics; classical literature; cursive handwriting; grammar; usage; correct spelling; expository, persuasive, research writing Whole language, balanced literacy,Guided Reading; no cursive writing instruction so cannot read primary documents of Founding Fathers
     
Mathematics “Drill and Skill,” four math functions learned to automaticity Fuzzy math, rejects drill and memorization of math facts, dependent on calculators
     
Social Studies Focus on American heritage and exceptionalism, national sovereignty, Founding documents Diversity, multiculturalism, globalization, revisionist history, political correctness
     
Character Development Pro-faith, self-control, personal responsibility, self-discipline, solid work ethic Secular, moral relativism, anti-faith, victimization
     
Equality Equal opportunities Equal outcomes
     
Assessment Students evaluated by earned grades, objective tests Inflated grades, subjective assessments evaluated based upon value system of grader, group grades
     
Outcomes Objective tests (right-or-wrong answers), emphasis on academic skills and knowledge Subjective assessments; emphasis on holistic, “feel good” scoring

Original chart produced by Carole H. Haynes, Ph.D. – chaynes777@gmail.comRevised chart produced 11.04.13.

Americans Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli Among the IDF fallen in Gaza

This weekend the IDF released the names of 13 members of the elite Golani Brigade who fell while engaged in heavy fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.  While supporters of Israel grieve for all of the IDF fallen and  those that were downed in mortal combat against the Jihadis of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza, two were dual Israeli-American citizens.

Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli, z”l

Max Steinberg, 24, of Woodlands Hills, California was killed when the APC that he and several others were riding in was hit by an IED. The second was Sean Carmeli 21, who was born of Israeli parents and raised in South Padre Island, Texas before returning to spend his high school years in Ra’anana Israeli. Carmeli was killed like Steinberg during the intense fighting in Shejaiya, what Israel PM Netanyahu called a “terrorist bastion” laden with rocket launching sites.

We learned yesterday of the injuries sustained by another dual Israeli American Golani Brigade member Jordan Low of Pikesville, Maryland who was injured in a fire while clearing buildings in Gaza.  Like Steinberg and Carmeli, this young American –Israeli left for Israel after high school to enter military training with the IDF. He has been removed for treatment at a hospital in Tel Aviv and his family will be flying to Israel to visit him.

These young Israeli American Jews are indicative of the commitment of many young diaspora Jews who make aliyah to Israel to undergo training in elite and regular IDF combat units.

According to the Lone Soldier Center  in Memory of Michael Levin, more than 5,700 Jewish men and women of different nationalities volunteer for service in the IDF, Israel’s armed forces, who have no biological relatives in the Jewish state.  Two sons of my former rabbi at a synagogue in Fairfield, Connecticut volunteered to serve in elite combat units of the IDF.  During Operation Cast lead in 2009, we wrote about the experience of  Givati Brigade member Zachary Rowen –Taylor, another Californian ,  who, like fallen Golani Brigade member Steinberg,  was a Sgt. Commander and sniper.  Rowen-Taylor, we understand has been recalled to active duty  as a reservist to serve, once again, in Gaza.

Steinberg’s family in California was interviewed by the Jewish Journal, “A Fallen Soldier, found his purpose in Israel”.  His story is similar to that of these other soldiers who decide to make aliyah and become Israeli citizens.   Here are some excerpts from the Jewish Journal article:

Just over two years ago, two brothers and a sister – Max, Jake and Paige Steinberg – returned to Los Angeles from a whirlwind tour of Israel.

The trip, which was sponsored by Taglit-Birthright, impacted all three. But none more than Max, who was 22 at the time, and the trio’s oldest. Then a student at Pierce College, Steinberg wasn’t finding what he wanted in school and was unsure of his path. But he was sure of at least one thing—Israel was where he was meant to be.

So, only three months after returning to California in July 2012, Steinberg went back to Israel in September, but this time to become a soldier in the Golani infantry brigade of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), one of the IDF’s most decorated units.

And early Sunday morning, as he and his unit made their way down a Gaza City street in the neighborhood of Shejaiya, a Hamas stronghold, their armored personnel carrier (APC) struck what was likely an improvised explosive device (IED) or a mine. The explosion killed seven soldiers, including Steinberg. A source in Israel’s Los Angeles  consulate said that the attack occurred around 1:30 am,  Israel time .

As to what motivated Max to undergo rigorous Golani training:

At just five feet and three inches, he took on nicknames like “Mighty Max” and “Little Dynamo.”

Prospering in one of the IDF’s most elite units, his mother said, helped him “earn respect for himself.”

Additionally, added his father, he viewed military service as an obligation were he to ever make aliyah to Israel.

“If he ever ultimately decided this was going to be his new home, not serving was just not an option for him,” Stuart said. And if he was going to serve, he wanted to be a Golani infantryman. “Anything less than that would be not as meaningful for him.”

In Sean Carmeli’s case, his family had returned to Israel from South Padre, Texas. The Algemeiner reported the his circumstances in an article, “Small South Texan Jewish Community Mourns Death of IDF Sergeant Sean Carmeli, Killed in Gaza

The Jewish community of a south Texas beach town was in mourning on Sunday after it was informed that one of its sons was among the Israeli troops that fell in a bloody Gaza battle on Saturday night.

“The whole community feels like they lost their own son,” Rabbi Yonatan, the family’s rabbi told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “The family is completely devastated,” Rabbi Asher Hecht, another rabbi/friend said.

Sean was the youngest of three children, and with two older sisters, Gal and Or, was an only son.

The last time Sean’s father spoke to his son was on Wednesday when Sean shared that his army officer had quizzed him over an unrelated minor leg injury. Responding to the officer’s suggestion that he may not be fit for service, Sean had said, “Bruise or no bruise I am coming with you.”

“He was enthusiastic to go in and to fight for the Jewish people, and he gave his life for the Jewish people,” Rabbi Hecht said.

The rabbis said that the local Shoova Israel Synagogue on South Padre Island is dedicated and named in memory of Sean’s grandfather Nissim whom Sean was named after.

As to what you can do to support of IDF soldiers serving in the ground incursion in Gaza, you might consider contacting, the American Friends of LIBI that “provides for the educational, religious, medical and recreational needs of Israeli soldiers.”  Then there is the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. My colleague Lisa Benson, presently on a tour of South Carolina, called with information on the program of No More Jewish Victims of the One Israel Fund that is raising funds for support equipment for IDF soldiers and residents of Judea and Samaria. Also there is Pizza IDF that delivers pizza, ice cream and other food to front-line units.

1000 Pizzas were delivered to an IDF reserve unit on the Israel Gaza frontier with contributions from both Christians and Jews around the world. That was the result of an international campaign by a couple in the community of Eli in Judea and Samaria.

Most importantly, please offer misheberachs (prayers) for those brave IDF service personnel in Israel’s fight to defeat the Jihadis of Hamas backed by Iran, Qatar and Turkey. They are the defenders of the Jewish nation of Israel, America’s only reliable ally facing extremist Islam threatening the West.

Watch this You Tube Video with a Misheberach for Tzahal:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.

Former Congressman Allen West: “America At Its Best”

Former Congressman and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West’s full “America At Its Best” speech from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/CNXADfiQUR8[/youtube]

Gaza-Israel Dateline Paris: Dispatch No.2 [+VIDEO]

Fourteen years after the al Dura blood libel France discovers bare faced anti-Semitism in its midst.

It’s on all the lips, in all the media: burning Jewish shops in Sarcelles is anti-Semitic. PM Manuel Valls declared, in an excellent speech at the commemoration of the rafle du Vel d’Hiv [mass roundup of Parisian Jews in 1942], that anti-Semitism was trying to hide behind anti-Zionism. Florian Philippot, VP of the Front National (FN) accused the PM of promoting French self-hatred.  Because he acknowledged the dishonor of Vichy France’s  compliance with orders from the German occupation that resulted in the deportation of 76,000 Jews from France to the death camps; 2,000 returned alive. Valls added a long tribute to the honor of the Résistance and courageous French people who risked their lives to hide Jews. Why would Philippot, speaking for the party that was supposedly going to liberate France from Islamization, prefer to lash out at the PM than to condemn the Islamic thugs? Valls defended the decision to ban further pro-Palestinian demonstrations that deteriorated into attacks on synagogues, in the Marais where Jews had been rounded up and sent to the death camps, and on rue de la Roquette, not far from the Japy Gymnasium where Jews were held before being sent to the Vel d’Hiv. Making the junction between the dishonor of 1942 and the intolerable assaults of 2014, the PM accurately measured the level of the threat hanging over the French Republic today.

Why is the FN so skittish? Who is the blatantly pro-Putin anti-American FN trying to protect? At the other end of the political spectrum, aging militants from the NPA or even more obscure fringe groups pop up in the media to defend the right to demonstrate. While videos of the authorized July 13th operation are freely available to refute all apologetics, these gentlemen place the blame on a repressive government. By denying the right to demonstrate they kept us from providing our own security service that would have prevented these unfortunate marginal acts of violence [like you did when they rushed to the synagogues last week?] No journalists were on the TVscreen to question the rationality [sic] of this discourse thrown at the public like a rock. The balding apparatchik warns us: You have to understand their anger.

The other day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius flew to the Middle East  with stops in Jordan, Egypt, and Israel, determined to impose an immediate ceasefire. He emerged, disappointed, from a half-hour conversation with Israeli PM Netanyahu. The French plan apparently is based on some kind of security guarantees that would reassure the Israeli government and convince it to lay down its arms and retreat, leaving Hamas victoriously intact. French forces can guarantee security at the Erez Crossing?  Riot police in Paris can’t even thwart a crowd of 3,000 punk jihadis in Sarcelles! Dozens of police were wounded, a pitiful handful of assailants have been arrested, shops were looted and torched. French authorities cannot prevent an anti-communist party from defying a perfectly legal ban and leading violent attacks on French citizens, their property, and law enforcement.

Gaza – Donetsk

Lethal narratives from Gaza alternate in the world’s media with coverage of the MH17 crash scene in the eastern Ukraine. The bereaved, side by side with billions of media-invited bystanders, watch as men described as “pro-Russian separatists” mishandle the bodies and belongings of crash victims and systematically destroy the evidence and cart off the wreckage to an unknown destination. No Ukrainian forces, no world leader, no international institution, no public opinion can stop them. It’s happening before our eyes.

Unlike PM Valls who intelligently linked the roundup of Parisian Jews in 1942 to attacks on Parisian Jews in 2014, commentators are not making the junction between demands for a ceasefire in Gaza and the spectacle in the Ukraine.  This is the way the world looks when legitimate forces are either helpless or hogtied. Hamas not only dreams of shooting down passenger planes landing at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, they are gearing up to be able to do it.

When a state does not mobilize its forces to defend itself, the civilian population is immobilized. Passengers boarding a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur belong to a fast disappearing world where ordinary people are free to do business, attend conferences, visit family, or frolic in a global playground. Lack of disclosure on the disappearance of flight MH370 coupled with under reporting of the conflict in the eastern Ukraine may well have contributed to the feeling of normality in boarding that flight.

French citizens, not only Jews, are wondering what next, where next? Turn any corner, walk into any shop, drive down any street and you might find yourself face to face with one of those enraged mobs. In Israel, 75% of the territory, attacked daily by Hamas rockets, is partially immobilized. In one failed state after another, maniacal tyrants immobilize terrified populations. If this movement is not stopped, how many countries will become no-go zones for commercial aviation?

Scenes of destruction in Gaza

Does anyone remember that these bombed buildings didn’t exist media-wise? The people of Gaza lived in hovels in miserable refugee camps. Now the buildings are discovered just in time to be reduced to rubble. The same kind of rubble we’ve seen in Libya and Syria, for example. Gaza has come of age, it finally has the death and destruction of its Muslim neighbors. Not in the same proportions of course. The “heartless Israelis” committing “war crimes” have opened a field hospital at the Erez Crossing to treat the injured from Gaza. Media-wise the field hospital doesn’t exist. No room for it in the lethal narrative.

There is indecent exposure of the dead and wounded in Gaza–innocent victims, all. Then Hamas boasts of capturing an Israeli soldier (Israel denies the claim); a jubilant crowd of the innocent citizens of Hamas-occupied Gaza explode in joy. Thirteen Israeli soldiers are killed in three separate incidents in the Sharjiya neighborhood but somehow no Hamas fighters show up in the casualty toll last night.

Reactions cut across party lines in France

Reactions to the violent outbreaks in Paris and Sarcelles cut across party lines, with some political figures in the right wing opposition criticizing the government decision to allow people to demonstrate their outrage at the situation in Gaza.  Others are calling for more vigorous action, including the deportation of all dual nationals participating in the violence. Many politicians in the governing coalition object to the ban on “pro-Palestinian demonstrations” and what they see as the government’s excessive support for Israel in this conflict. Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice and outspoken friend of Israel, has transferred to the appropriate authorities CCTV footage that will allow them to identify and prosecute the law breakers.

Some details on the Sarcelles attack

My translation of excerpts from the richly illustrated Figaro article.

4 PM: standoff between demonstrators and the police in front of the synagogue on avenue Paul Valery; access to the synagogue in Garges is blocked…. Then a string of attacks: a Simply Market store right behind the Garges police station is torched, three people are grabbed by police as they were trying to hold up a tobacco shop, rioters target a bank in Sarcelles, demonstrators try to set fire to the Garges station and rip up the tramway rails. Several shops are looted… the police fire rubber-coated bullets at the rioters.

In front of the main Sarcelles synagogue, the atmosphere is tense. They just heard that the [Naouri] kosher grocery store was burned to the ground… In 2012 it was attacked with a grenade. ‘They burned pharmacies that belong to Jews and a bar that belongs to Chaldeans, they have no respect, all they want to do is smash Jews!’”

Note that JDL and other Jewish self-defenders, with the help of the police, successfully protected the synagogues in Garges and Sarcelles during the five hour demi-farhud; riot police were not able to protect the shops, pharmacies, cars, etc. They were able to foil an attempted incursion into the Garges police station. This time.

NOTES:

N.B. The neighborhood adjoining Sarcelles is Garges-les-Gonesses. A YouTube video by the artist, and film maker Esti of the start of the July 13th hate-fest:

A video by Guy Sauvage, of selected moments from the beginning of the July 13th hate-fest to its endpoint at the Place de la Bastille, plus interviews with people who were in the don Isaac Abravanel synagogue rue de la Roquette during the siege:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured photo is of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Sarcelles, north of Paris, July 20, 2014. Photo by the Associated Press.

Climate Catastrophe Cancelled! Geologist Debunks NOAA Climate Report Point-By-Point

dr-don-easterbrook-mugGeologist Dr. Don Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University and author of 150 scientific journal articles and 10 books, including “Evidence Based Climate Science,” issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the new NOAA climate report and the media articles surrounding it.

Live Science: ‘Climate Records Shattered in 2013’ – By Becky Oskin, Senior Writer | LiveScience.com – July 18, 2014 – “The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization,” said Thomas Karl, director of NOAA. (NOAA State Of The Climate In 2013: ‘Our Planet Is Becoming A Warmer Place’)

Climate Claim:

“The planet ranged well outside of normal levels in 2013, hitting new records for greenhouse gases.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment: 

“NOT TRUE–CO2 levels for the past 500 million years were consistently greater than 3,000 ppm. 400ppm is abnormally low.

[Climate Depot Related LinksCO2 at 400ppm: ‘Scientists note that geologically speaking, the Earth is currently in a ‘CO2 famine‘ and that the geologic record reveals that ice ages have occurred when CO2 was at 2000 ppm to as high as 8000 ppm. In addition, peer-reviewed studies have documented that there have been temperatures similar to the present day on Earth when carbon dioxide was up to twenty times higher than today’s levels’ – And, a peer-reviewed study this year found that the present day carbon dioxide level of 400 ppm was exceeded — without any human influence — 12,750 years ago when CO2 may have reached up to 425 ppm.]

Climate Claim:

“The levels of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 2013. The worldwide average reached 395.3 ppm, a 2.8 ppm increase from 2012, NOAA reports. (Parts per million denotes the volume of a gas in the air; in this case, for every 1 million air molecules, 400 are carbon dioxide.)”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“The CO2 composition of the atmosphere changed by only 0.004% since the onset of recent global warming (1978-2000).”

Climate Claim:

“The major greenhouse gases all reached new record high values in 2013,” said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., and a NOAA contractor who helped write the report.

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“So what? If you double nothing (0.004%), you still have nothing!”

Climate Claim:

“Rising sea levels. Sea level continued rising: Boosted by warm Pacific Ocean temperatures (which causes water to expand) and melting ice sheets, sea level rose 0.15 inches (3.8 millimeters), on par with the long-term trend of 0.13 inches (3.2 mm) per year over the past 20 years.”

Dr. Easterbrook:

“NOT TRUE–rates of sea level rise have declined slightly and are about 1.7 mmyr. Sea level has been rising at a relatively constant rate of only ~7 inches per century–that’s 3 1/2 inches in the next 50 years.

Related Links: New paper finds global sea level rise has decelerated 31% since 2002 along with the ‘pause’ of global warming – Published in Nature Climate Change

Latest NOAA mean sea level trend data through 2013 confirms lack of sea level rise acceleration

New paper finds sea level rise has decelerated 44% since 2004 to only 7 inches per century – Published in Global and Planetary Change

Global sea level rise from tide gauges (1.6 mm/year) is half of that claimed from satellites (3.2 mm/year). Which is right? – ‘There is no acceleration of the increase’ – [Climate Depot Note: According to tide gauges, Sea Level is rising LESS than the thickness of one nickel (1.95 mm thick) per year or about the thickness of one penny (1.52 mm thick) a year. According to satellite info it is rising slightly more than two pennies a year (3.04 mm)]

New study finds sea levels rising only 7 in. per century – with no acceleration

Climate Claim:

“The climate is changing more rapidly in today’s world than at any time in modern civilization,”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

NOT TRUE–Except for the Little Ice Age, all of the past 10,000 years has been 2.5 to 5.5 F warmer than today including much more intense periods of warming. It was warmer and climate changed more rapidly than in recent years during the Medieval Warm Period, as well as during half a dozen other warm periods.

Related Links:  New Paper: Roman & Medieval Warm Periods Were Warmer Than Previously Thought – ‘A paper published in Nature Climate Change finds prior temperature reconstructions from tree-rings ‘may underestimate pre-instrumental [pre-1850] temperatures including warmth during Medieval and Roman times.’ Many reconstructions show temperatures during the Medieval and Roman periods were warmer than the present, and this study suggests they were even warmer than previously thought’

‘More than 700 scientists from 400 institutions in 40 countries have contributed peer-reviewed papers providing evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was real, global, & warmer than the present’

Climate Claim:

“Most parts of the planet experienced above-average annual temperatures in 2013, NOAA officials said. Australia experienced its warmest year on record, while Argentina had its second warmest and New Zealand its third warmest.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“But only by massive tampering with temp records.”

Related Links: Global Temperature Standstill Lengthens: No global warming for 17 years 10 months – Since Sept. 1996 (214 months)

Climate Claim:

“There was a new high-temperature record set at the South Pole, of minus 53 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 47 degrees Celsius).”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

– 53 degrees F? “That must have caused a lot of ‘melting’!”

Climate Claim:

“Antarctic sea ice hit another record high: On October 1, Antarctic sea ice covered 7.56 million square miles (19.5 million square kilometers). This beats the old record set in 2012 by 0.7 percent. However, even though the Antarctic sea ice is growing, the continent’s land-based glaciers continued to melt and shrink.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“NOT TRUE–total Antarctic ice is increasing.  There is NO melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet which contains more than 90% of Antarctic ice.”

Related linksEarth’s All Time Record High Temp Set in 1913 — Earth’s All Time Record Low Set in 2010 & 2nd All Time Record Low Set in 2013 — ‘What would warmists say if the dates were reversed?’

New paper finds East Antarctic ice sheet will have negative contribution to sea levels over next 200 years – Published The Cryosphere – Paper ‘studies one of the largest ice shelves in East Antarctica and predicts increased accumulation of ice on the surface of the ice shelf will have a net contribution of decreasing sea levels over the 21st and 22nd centuries. 

Oops. New Study finds West Antarctic Ice Sheet outlet glacier being melted by magma – not CO2 global warming after all – Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Climate alarmists make major blunder in reporting Antarctica ice loss results: ‘Total ice loss from latest study is ‘consistent’ with, not ‘double’ prior study measurements’

Climate Claim:

“Arctic sea ice low: The Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. The sea ice extent is declining by about 14 percent per decade.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“Not this past year–it is rebounding.”

Climate Claim:

“Arctic heat, Temperatures over land are rising faster in the Arctic than in other regions of the planet. Fairbanks, Alaska, had a record 36 days with temperatures at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or warmer. However, Greenland had a cooler than average summer.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“NOT TRUE–the 1920s and 1930s were warmer in the Arctic than now. This can be claimed only by tampering with past records.”

Climate Claim:

“Melting permafrost: For the second year in a row, record high temperatures were measured in permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range.”

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“A weather condition brought about by recent shift in the jet stream that produced record-breaking cold in the US.”

Related LinksAlaska Dispatch Dec. 2012: ‘In the first decade since 2000, the 49th state (Alaska) cooled 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit’

New paper finds 4 Alaskan glaciers are about the same size as during the Medieval Warm Period

Alaskan Villages Have Been Sinking Into Permafrost For 70 Years

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry: Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.’

Arctic ‘sea ice extent has varied naturally over the decades with some Russian data suggesting similar or even greater ice loss in some local areas in the 1930s’ – Analysis of Arctic ice: ‘Russian data shows that the [Arctic] ice was just as thin in 1940 as it is now. Models did not predict the record amount of Antarctic sea ice’  

Arctic Study Countered: ‘Studies have found that Arctic temperatures have fluctuated, and are now around the same level as they were in the mid-1930s’ – ‘Scientist Igor Polyakov of the International Arctic Research Center at the U. of Alaska, Fairbanks tracked Arctic temp records from latter part of 19th century until current decade, and found that 1930s marked the warmest time during that period’

Climate Claim:

“Extreme weather: Deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan had the highest wind speed ever recorded for a tropical cyclone, with one-minute sustained winds reaching 196 mph (315 km/h). Flooding in central Europe caused billions of dollars in damage and killed 24 people.

Dr. Easterbrook comment:

“This is weather, not climate!”

Related Links: UN Climate Summit Rejects Its Own Science – Links Typhoon Haiyan to Global Warming – UN Summit Degenerates Into Unscientific Claims to Advance Political Agenda – Climate Depot Special Report

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue demolishes claims that Typhoon Haiyan was ‘strongest storm ever’ – ‘Fact: Haiyan is 58th Super Typhoon since 1950 to reach central pressure of 900 mb or lower from historical records’ — Maue: ’50 of 58 Super Typhoons with pressure of 900 mb or lower occurred from 1950-1987 — only 8 in past 25 years’

Strongest storm ever? ‘Haiyan ranks at number 7 among the strongest storms ever to have hit the Philippines’

Extreme Weather: “It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Hurricanes: ‘Hurricanes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage in the U.S. since 1900.

Tornadoes: Tornadoes and tropical cyclones have also not become more intense or frequent since 1950 and 1970, respectfully.

Floods & Droughts: U.S. floods have not increased in frequency or intensity since 1950, according to Professor Roger Pielke Jr., and droughts have become shorter, less frequent, and smaller over the last century. Globally, floods have changed very little in the last 60 years.

Climate Claim:

“The ocean surface continues to warm.”

Four independent data-sets show that for surface ocean temperatures, last year was among the 10 warmest years on record. The North Pacific set a new record.

Climatologist Dr. Tim Ball comment:

“The data prior to the satellite data is extremely questionable. For example, there is the difference in results by water temperatures taken by dipping, leather, wooden and metal buckets. Even the first couple of years of the satellite data was problematic as they got results that were some times 6°C warmer than ocean “ground-truthing” results.  As I recall the major problem was in estimating the effect of particulates in the atmosphere. There was also an issue with the effects of measuring the surface molecular layer from which molecules are constantly escaping in the evaporative cooling process. Then there is question of how much SST data is available through cloud cover?

So, at best we can consider satellite data from 1970. As Don Easterbrook and others note, hardly a significant length in temperatures that can cycle over hundreds and even thousands of years, caused by either solar input changes or circulations within the oceans. Somebody once said economists are trying to predict the tide by measuring one wave. Climate scientists are much worse. Despite all this it is the headline from NOOA’s Karl that will dominate the news and remain in the public mind.”

Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer comments:

“2014 is not quite as warm as the last time we were ramping into El Nino conditions (2009):

Satellite microwave SST anomalies (global) since mid-2002, updated through mid-July 2014.

Satellite microwave SST anomalies (global) since mid-2002, updated through mid-July 2014.

The Nemesis of Agenda21

Watching left-wing organizations lose their wits denouncing conservatives is always fun and particularly if you know one of their targets. In my case, that would be Tom DeWeese, the founder and president of the American Policy Center; the most expert and outspoken opponent of Agenda21 in the nation.

In the early 1990s I sent him a commentary and he published it in The DeWeese Report, a publication of the Center, and thereafter I served as the Center’s communications director for a while. These days I am on its board of advisors.

AA - Agenda21 - One World OrderHe is a patriot and he lives his love for America by devoting himself to educating people to the dangers of the United Nations Agenda 21 with its emphasis on “sustainable development” and a range of issues involving ill-conceived environmental policies and programs, the importance of private property rights, the threat of federal computer banks to individual privacy rights, as well as issues such as federal education policies in our nation’s schools.

At the heart of Agenda21 is “sustainable development” which is justified by the global warming hoax that is based on reductions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. The Earth’s temperature and climate is determined by the sun. The gases of its atmosphere are in flux as oceans absorb and release CO2, and clouds come and go in a constant dynamic of change. What mankind does has virtually no impact on the weather short-term or the climate long-term.

“Sustainable Development”, Tom wrote in “How Global Policy Becomes Local”, “is truly stunning in its magnitude to transform the world into feudal-like governance by make nature the central organizing principle for our economy and society. It is a scheme fueled by unsound science and discredited economics that can only lead modern society down the road to a new Dark Age.”

“It is systematically implemented through the creation of non-elected visioning boards and planning commissions. There is no place in the Sustainable world for individual thought, private property or free enterprise. It is the exact opposite of the free society envisioned by this nation’s founders.”

I told you he was a patriot, didn’t I? Because only patriots feel that passionately about individual freedom, property rights, free enterprise, and all those concepts that make Leftists break out in a cold sweat.

Among the left-wing groups that do not like Tom is the Southern Poverty Law Center and it devotes a lot of time denouncing him. On their website, the SPLC reveals its own agenda and why Tom is the enemy. “For 20 years now, Tom DeWeese has been on a jihad against global plans for sustainable development.” The key word here is “global” as in U.N., not U.S.

Imagine my surprise as I read the SPLC post that said, “Serving on the board of DeWeese’s American Policy Center (is) Alan Caruba” and noting that I blog for the Tea Party Nation. I contribute to their blog section, but I do not blog for the group. It should come as no surprise that the SPLC identifies Tea Party Nation as “a hate group.” It’s a pretty good description of the SPLC!

“DeWeese’s outfit,” says the SPLC denunciation, “is only one of several obsessed with what has become one of the main conspiracy theories of the antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement.” What’s amusing is the backhanded way SPLC acknowledged his success. “The effect of the fear-mongering fairy tale offered up by DeWeese and other conspiracy theorists have been almost unbelievable. Not only have some counties passed resolutions opposing Agenda21” including the Republican National Committee” in 2012.

DeWeese offers advice to those who visit the APC site on how to stop Agenda21.

If “fear-mongering” includes pointing out that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the last seventeen years and that wind and solar power is an illusion costing far more than the value of the electricity it produces, then the SPLC has plenty to worry about.

America is fortunate to have patriots like Tom DeWeese who take its Constitution and its values so seriously that they devote their lives to protecting them.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED ARTICLE: Pew poll suggests U.S. leads the world in climate change denial

When the Lamps Went Out: The Great War and the death of liberal England by Alastair Paynter

This summer marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. One hundred years ago, in late July of the hot summer of 1914, Europe ignited. The significance of the war for those living today, especially those interested in individual liberty, cannot be overstated.

The four-year conflict left nine million men dead, governments toppled, and ancient monarchies replaced by unstable republics. The United States had become directly active in European affairs for the first time. The twentieth century, Mussolini’s “century of the state,” was well and truly underway.

By modern standards, the British state prior to 1914 was rather small. In the nineteenth century, the ability of the government to effectively regulate and enforce was limited, not only by widespread support for a general attitude of laissez faire, but also by the lack of a bureaucratic administration that could grease the cogs of a centralized state in the manner of, say, Bismarck’s Germany.

This is not to say that a slow aggrandizement of the State was not occurring. Successive enlargements of the franchise, in 1867 and 1884, and the increasing popularity of interventionist political philosophies chipped away at the laissez-faire state of the mid-Victorian years. The transformation of the Liberal Party from actual (classical) liberalism into social liberalism (better described as social democracy) had been completed under the leadership of Herbert Asquith. Slowly, a new Britain was coming into being. The vast British Empire was growing vaster still, as was the revenue required to support it. Even so, at home, Britain was still a remarkably liberal place. Relative to the citizens of most countries in the world, the Englishman could still consider himself free from excessive State interference.

Nowhere, perhaps, is the ensuing change more famously chronicled than in A. J. P. Taylor’s English History 1914–1945, where the historian noted that “until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman” (see chapter 1). As to the particulars of life, Taylor notes that the Englishman could live where and as he liked, without any sort of number or identity card. He could travel abroad without any sort of passport or permit, exchange his money for any currency without any limits and buy anything from anywhere. Conversely, a foreigner could reside in England without a permit and without having to notify the police. No military service was required and the demands of national defense could be ignored. Although some householders could be called upon for jury service, “only those helped the state who wished to do so.” Less than 8 percent of the national income was consumed by taxes. State intervention was limited and existed in the capacity of attempting to prevent the sale of contaminated food and the spread of infectious diseases, imposing some safety limits on factories, limiting the number of hours that men and women could work in some industries and attempting to provide an education for children up until the age of 13, as well as those social liberal measures outlined above.

The essential change wrought upon life by the war was one of the relationship between individual person and the State. The people became, in Taylor’s words, “active citizens … shaped by orders from above.” This meant service to the state, rather than the pursuit of one’s own interests. Five million men were conscripted for the war effort. Domestically, the age of central planning had begun. Food was limited and regulated by the State, pub licensing hours were limited, and beer was watered down. Movement and work were restricted and regulated. As news became controlled, so did every part of the minutiae of life, from the brightness of street lights to the time on the clock. Taylor made perhaps the most important conclusion the historian could draw from this strange transformation:

The state established a hold over its citizens which, though relaxed in peacetime, was never to be removed and which the second world war was again to increase. The history of the English state and of the English people merged for the first time.

Nearly all wars serve to aggrandize the State. The First World War just did so to a degree that was hitherto unprecedented. Some did attempt to halt or at least slow the path to destruction. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, the Fifth Marquess of Lansdowne, published a letter calling for a negotiated peace with Germany. Rather more farsighted than many in government at the time, he thought the prolongation of the war would “spell ruin for the civilised world.” In this endeavor he was supported by Francis Wrigley Hirst, the Cobdenite Liberal and anti-statist, who drew up an outline for a possible replacement government composed of more old-fashioned liberals than those currently in office. The Lansdowne letter was rejected. The war went its course and Britain, of course, was on the side of the victors. As far as the old concept of the limited state was concerned, both liberals and conservatives lost. Emboldened by the influence they had enjoyed during the war, social and economic planners were ascendant.

In many ways, the Great War represents the destruction of a civilization, the old order, and its replacement with the modern State with its dilatant reach into every aspect of life. Upon the outbreak of war, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey is said to have remarked, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” As a century of relative peace was coming to an end, the lamps really were going out, and with them, the most liberal age the world had ever known.

ABOUT ALASTAIR PAYNTER

Alastair Paynter is a masters graduate in history, from the University of Southampton. He lives in southern England.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Meteorologists and “climate scientists” — Who are you going to trust?

We’ve all seen polls of professions that enjoy high credibility with the public – nurses, medical doctors, pharmacists and engineers top the list. At the bottom are car salesmen, Congressmen, advertising people, and stockbrokers. I used to believe that scientists had high credibility. Unfortunately, the group that call themselves “climate scientists” are destroying that credibility, for all scientists. They’re doing it so quickly I can hardly keep up.

There are three examples of reasons for skepticism:

  1. The expensive computer climate models that have cost – literally – billions of dollars to develop have proven to be worthless. They’ve forecast continuous warming for decades, starting in the late 1970’s. But there has been no measurable global warming for the last 17 years, and the count continues, while carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to increase. The physics incorporated in these models is, ipse facto, invalid. That’s the Scientific Method; every hypothesis is tested against an experiment. The hypothesis said global temperature would increase, due to increasing atmospheric CO2. Nope! The “science” in “climate science” doesn’t work. But a recent article in last week’s Wall Street Journal (Confessions of a Computer Modeler, 8 July) also demonstrates that computer models can easily be manipulated to produce any answer wanted. Robert Caprara wrote computerized environmental models for the Environmental Protection Agency. His advice: be skeptical, especially if you’re hearing only one side of the argument. You want “warming”? Twiddle this parameter.
  2. Now another perversion of science – as in “climate science” – has come along, in the form of fraudulent “peer review.” The Wall Street Journal (14 July) and other publications report that SAGE Publishers is retracting 60 articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control after an investigation revealed a “peer review and citation ring.” “It was discovered that the author had created various aliases on SAGE Track, providing different email addresses to set up more than one account. Consequently, SAGE scrutinized further the coauthors of and reviewers selected for Peter Chen’s papers, [and] these names appear to form part of a peer review ring.” In November 2009, just before the Copenhagen IPCC Meeting, there was a major disclosure of emails to and from Hadley Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University, called “ClimateGate.” In it, in a July 8, 2004 email, one scientist assured another that the hypothesis they shared would prevail “even if we have to redefine what the peer-reviewed literature is!” Perversion of the peer review process has been a problem in “climate science” for a long time.
  3. That’s bad enough, and now a new problem has come to light. Multiple authors now claim that NOAA, and especially NASA, have been changing observations of temperature over many years – warming temperatures from recent years, and cooling temperatures from years before the 1980’s back to the 1940’s.
Illtempadjusts

U.S. Historical Climate Network data. For a larger view click on the graph.

Here’s an example from a leading claimant, Steven Goddard:

“NCDC is doing some impressive adjusting in President Obama’s home state, turning a measured cooling trend into a fake warming trend – by adjusting the data upwards at a spectacular three degrees per century.”

NCDC is the National Climatic Data Center; the data shown is from the US Historical Climate Network. Numerous other authors, after some initial questioning of Goddard’s methods, now agree that the “adjustments” being made are excessive, one sided, and cumulatively in the direction of an apparent “global warming.”

Let’s understand that adjustments to the raw data – the on-the-spot observation of temperature, mostly highly automated – are necessary. That’s because, over many years, our weather observing network has become surrounded by cities and major airports. A study conducted by Anthony Watts and a group of volunteers found that 90% of NOAA weather stations don’t meet NOAA standards for an observing site. You can read Watts’ report on the weather stations they investigated at. Perhaps the worst is the site now located in the parking lot of the University of Phoenix. The standard requires the observing site to be on a natural grass surface, several yards away from buildings or any source of heat. We have observing sites located next to a brick building, next to the outflow from the building air conditioner. At airports, we have observing sites out by the runway, where they get a blast of jet exhaust every few minutes. Those are the gross problems, but the whole phenomenon goes by the moniker of “urban heat island (UHI).” Concrete, asphalt, and brick buildings store heat during the day, and release it during the night; multi-story building air conditioners, cars, buses, pump heat into the urban air.

Remember, we’re trying to rely on data, with a precision of a few tenths of a degree, from this Historical Climate Network to make major policy decisions that will affect – and perhaps seriously damage – our economy for years to come. In addition, the USA, as a major financial supporter of the Third World, controls access to fossil fuel electricity generation in large parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa. Such distortion of scientific fact dooms millions of poor African people to continuing poverty, hardship, and a shorter life span. Serious stuff.

So, it’s time to seriously rip those liars at NOAA and NCDC, right? Well, maybe not. NOAA is a Federal bureaucracy, and is subject to some amount of political pressure. I’d like to give NOAA some credit for trying to overcome the handicaps they have to deal with; the Urban Heat Island distortion of the data is serious. They have made a commendable effort to overcome it; it’s called the Climate Reference Network (USCRN). NOAA has completed a triply-redundant, pristine, state-of-the-art climate network nationwide that doesn’t require the adjustments and corrections that confuse older measurements. Here’s the network – you can read documentation and results here.

crn_map

For a larger view click on the map.

There are 114 locations in the continental U.S., with 10 more in Alaska and Hawaii (see map on the right). As you see, there are five in or on the borders of Florida; all are completely automated, in pristine locations, but close enough to existing stations to be easily compared. Credit to NOAA; this is as good as it gets, and this network has been in operation for 10 years now. So, you ask, what does the data show? Glad you asked!

uscrn_avg_temp_jan2004-april2014

For a larger view click on the chart.

I’ve deliberately left off any trend line. The chart on the left is the U.S. temperature anomaly (the difference from average) over the last ten years, January 2005 to April 2014, plotted by NOAA. Sometimes the US average temperature is 4 C above normal (even around February 2012). Sometimes average U.S. temperature is below normal (such as around February 2010). See a trend? Neither do I. It’s weather. Kudos to NOAA for creating such a highly accurate network and to NCDC for putting the data out there. Hmmm, I wonder if Barack knows? It puts the lie to his assertions about climate change.

Medium-range forecast:

Earlier this year, it was expected an El Nino was developing in the Pacific Ocean. In such a situation, the tropical Western Pacific warms, the warming moves east, the storm track into the US drops south, the Santa Monica Pier gets wiped out, California and Arizona and New Mexico and west Texas and Florida get rain.

That forecast was wrong. The El Nino seems to be failing. Unfortunately, the failure of that warm, wet regime makes the long-range forecast worse.

WINTER1415

For a larger view click on the image.

The conditions – mostly oceanic temperatures – that brought the U.S. the “polar vortex” last year are still in place. The Midwest is having a taste of polar vortex this week; Chicago is enjoying the coolth, and there will be remarks about the cool weather at the All-Star baseball game this evening in Minneapolis. It won’t be so enjoyable next December-January-February. Like to see a picture? This chart (right) is from the Icecap.us website, but the proprietor, Joe D’Aleo, is a principal in Weatherbell.com.

You’re seeing a preview of the information he sells to major companies. Doesn’t look good for Florida oranges.

Think I’ll tell Cousin Gwen in Columbus to hunker down. Meanwhile, Obama’s EPA is shutting down coal-fired electricity generating plants in….yes, you guessed it….Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky. Those coal plants were essential in meeting crunch-time electricity needs last Winter. Expect some Barack Blackouts in January.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Pew poll suggests U.S. leads the world in climate change denial
EPA Goes Overboard on Greenhouse Gas Overreach, Supreme Court Rules

Gaza-Israel Dateline Paris: Despatch No. 1

Lethal Narratives

Many of you are drowning in floods of information, can’t keep up with your email correspondence, don’t have time to read the best compilations let alone the middling ones, not even time for the “must reads” sent by trusted sources… But I encourage you to buy and read my book, Al Dura: Long Range Ballistic Myth. It sheds original light on events that are turning our world upside down, with the Middle East as the pivot. While Israeli civilians run for the bunkers to escape the murderous intentions of Hamas rockets and Israeli soldiers confront Hamas mujahidin on their own territory in the confines of the Gaza Strip, “international opinion” has mobilized for another round of lethal narrative warfare. On the third day of an all-out Hamas offensive against Israeli civilians, the lethal narrative kicked in. Today it has reached the height of frenzy. And Western media have gone berserk, in step with the raging crowd.

Metula News Agency [Cessez-le-feu humanitaire (info # 022007/14) ] reports today that several journalists that wanted to leave Gaza were blocked at the Erez Crossing by Hamas operatives. Why? Might they fear that once outside Gaza, journalists would report the truth about what is happening there? Western media fervently defends the fighting forces of a jihad movement that would just as easily behead them as enslave them, but would never allow them to report freely as they are doing today. Even though they abuse that freedom, they enjoy it.

The question is not “why do they act against their own interests”? It’s like asking a gun why it shoots bullets at this or that target. A gun is a weapon in the hands of a gunman. The media, academia, international organizations, charities…the list is endless of entities and institutions that have become weapons of 21stcentury jihad conquest. Israel, a democratic nation, is the target of an all-out genocidal assault from the Hamas branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and one week after it mobilizes in self-defense, Kill-the-Jews stampedes are on the march worldwide, and the facts have disappeared from mass media. We are assailed by something that is not reportage. It is not biased, one-sided, twisted; it is non-existent, and it fills the eyes and ears for hours on end. It’s not news, not journalism, it’s lethal narrative. A weapon. And it works.

Kill-the-Jews stampede in Paris on July 13, 2014

My brief article published in Tablet http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/179169/anti-israel-protestors-attack-paris-synagogues was based on information available at the time. When the July 14th holiday weekend ended I started to receive eyewitness accounts from Web sites, Jewish radio, and my own sources. It became apparent that the original Agence France Presse release, used by outlets worldwide, was concocted in lethal narrative format. Now we have videos of the “demonstration” from start to middle to semi-finish at Place de la Bastille that reveal its true nature. It was not a peaceful gathering slightly tarnished by a few rowdies at the last minute. [annotated links to videos below] Distinguished members of the Jewish community who were in the synagogue, including the Chief Rabbi of France, testified to the violence of the attempted intrusion. A [bad] translation of a text by a member of the congregation is posted on Tablet.

Interviewed on radio Communauté Juive, a peace & love novelist, Valerie Zeccati, eloquently described the mobs that fanned out from the Bastille into the nearby Marais: they were filled with murderous rage, they wanted to kill, they were thrilled by their own blood lust, the masses of demonstrators applauded them as they ran screaming, “We’re going to smash the Jews!” The “imam” on the sound truck declared “No provocation, and segued to a resounding allahou akhbar followed by other blood lust cries.

A widely circulated video shows the young men who were in fact protecting the synagogue from the mob that was trying to break in. I haven’t been able to find out who shot the film, but it is emblematic of the vision of the Hamas attack on Israel: the attackers have been edited out, making the Jews look like the aggressors. And that’s the purpose of the film.

One of the organizers of that stampede (they called it a demonstration) ingenuously explains that the contingent that went up rue de la Roquette [in fact they ran, screaming their heads off] were just on their way to a métro station. A member of a Jewish pro-Palestinian [and now pro-Hamas] organization claims the roughnecks from the Jewish Defense League started the fight. Four of them sitting on a bench somewhere along the route insulted the demonstrators and threw things at them. She doesn’t explain how they lured the mob of hundreds all the way up rue de la Roquette to the synagogue, 400 meters from the Place de la Bastille. Or why, once they got there, the mob decided to attack the synagogue instead of taking the métro.

These apologists have a lot of explaining to do. Why did the mob first try to break into the synagogues on Rue des Tournelles and Place des Vosges. They couldn’t get in because there were enough riot police there to stop them. How about the horde that chased a young couple walking their four month-old son in his stroller. They had to run for their lives. The harrowing tale is posted on the Metula News Agency Facebook page. Did the over-enthusiastic “pro-Palestinians” mistake them for Jewish Defense League adversaries?

The bobo weekly Nouvel Observateur ratcheted up and hammered out the revisionist version that, when you think of it, undermines the Agence France Pressewhitewash. Yes, there was violence, but it was all the fault of the Jews. Subsequently in a France 24 debate a German freelancer with a steely smile took a ride with the revisionist version: not only are the Israelis merciless in Gaza, the Jews are persecuting pro-Palestinians in Paris.

Subsequent developments here in France should put that story out of commission. First, the government is not fooled by media tricks this time around. Particularly Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who until recently was Minister of the Interior. He knows what kind of volcano is boiling up in France, and what kind of people are behind these so-called pro-Palestinian demonstrations. His successor, Bernard Cazeneuve announced that local préfets [police commissioners]will deny permits to demonstrations that are likely to disturb the peace.

The demonstration scheduled for Saturday July 19th was banned. Unless I am mistaken, France is the only country that took this step. The organizers appealed, their appeal was rejected. So what did they do? Stay home and write op-eds? Send pizzas to the harassed citizens of Gaza? No, they proudly and publicly declared that they would demonstrate anyway. Loudly proclaiming their democratic right to march, they trampled on the duty incumbent on law-abiding citizens.

This time the stampede didn’t get far past its starting point in Barbès. Riot police hemmed them in [they are complaining about police brutality]. They weren’t rounded up and sent to jail for breaking the law. So they showed their appreciation by going wild, tearing up the asphalt and throwing chunks at the police; injuring 15. They set fire to cars, garbage cans, wooden pallets, and Israeli flags, smashed whatever was in reach, wreaked havoc for hours on end. And there were no Jewish Defense League boys to blame it on. An informative article in Le Point describes the assault on the Lariboisoière Hospital. The security guards were outnumbered [disproportionate force?], ran for cover. An elderly man shouted at the mob, “Are you crazy, that’s a hospital.” “It’s a Zionist hospital,” they shouted. But didn’t burn it down…this time around.

Today, they did a repeat performance in Sarcelles, known as little Jerusalem because a large contingent of the Sephardic Jews chased from the Maghreb settled there in public housing. For which they were grateful. From which many moved on to successful careers. And those who still live in neat and clean Sarcelles are constantly harassed by their Muslim neighbors in Gonesse. Many Jewish men have been attacked at the train station that serves the side by side communities.

Again, riot police were locked in battle for five hours while residents hunkered down in their homes.

How is the government going to deal with this flagrant and ever more violent disrespect? What will be the consequences for the  New Anti-Capitalist Party, the NPA, the extreme radical far left anti-capitalist party that got about 1% of the vote in the last municipal elections, and suddenly appears as an organizer of these stampedes? In 2005 the insurrection was almost exclusively confined to the banlieues, on the other side of the péripherique [ring road]. This time it penetrates to the center of Paris and it is fired with murderous hatred of Jews. Many who fled the Maghreb say it reminds them of those times. Some observers are saying this looks like the early stages of “pogroms” but I think the appropriate term would be “farhud.” [“ violent dispossession” in Arabic, a reference  to the 1941 Nazi–inspired jihad pogrom in Baghdad].

RELATED ARTICLES:

Jewish men defend the synagogue on rue de la Roquette
la Bastille, pro-Hamas marchers harass riot police
Le Nouvel Obs spins a blame the Jews tale for the battle at Don Isaac Abravanel synagogue
Huffington Post (France) report on the July 13th demonstration
Report on the battle at Barbès

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review. The featured image of a pro –Hamas Protest in Paris is dated July 19, 2014 is courtesy of NER. Source: Francois Guillot/AFP.