FL Common Core: A Schneider Debriefing on Weingarten

On Sunday, March 2, 2014, I participated in a much-publicized Common Core (CCSS) panel with four other individuals as part of the Network for Public Education (NPE) first annual conference in Austin, Texas. (A 40-minute video of the CCSS panel can be found here; a five-minute video excerpt of my seven-minute opener can be found here.)

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One of the panel members was American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten. Weingarten was the only panel member in favor of CCSS. The rest of us, including moderator Anthony Cody, were against CCSS.

In this post, I would like to reflect upon my involvement on the CCSS panel, especially in connection with Weingarten. Much of what I have written is not available on video because the events and/or reflections occurred outside of the CCSS panel itself. Some of what I have written involves responding to Weingarten’s words here since there was neither time nor opportunity to do so during the panel session.

My Position on Weingarten

First, a clear word on where I stand in regard to Weingarten. I think she chooses to be involved with the likes of Bill Gates and Eli Broad because she likes them. I believe that the money they bring is a reason, but a lesser reason, for her sustained relationship with them. These two men bring with them power, and connections, and influence. Weingarten likes to be “at the table,”– their table. And their table is one that promotes the privatization of public education.

I believe that Weingarten’s continued involvement with Gates and Broad and their extensive network of moneyed, powerful cronies is destroying the union. The destruction shows itself in every pro-privatizing decision that Weingarten makes– and such decisions appear to be countless. It seems that every time I dig deeper in researching a Weingarten decision, privatization is the winner.

I believe that Weingarten is at least partly motivated to continue her Gates/Broad relationships because she always has an eye to the “where next” of her own career. She became a teacher temporarily in order to become a teachers union president; she was willing to jump into Hillary Clinton’s open senate seat in 2008 after having just been elected AFT president, and she continues to seek the next avenue in her career rise. The result is that Weingarten is willing to sacrifice the health and security of the union for her own career aspirations.

It is always my hope that Weingarten will forsake her allegiance to her corporate reform connections and focus on the well being of the union. However, with each new decision she makes, what I must face is the reality that Weingarten must be pushed into a political corner in order to eke out a couple of drops of concession that are for teachers (and, by extension, for the union) and against her beloved corporate reform connections. This reluctance showed itself in the CCSS panel regarding discontinuing Gates money for the AFT Innovation Fund (more to come on this) and it show itself in Weingarten’s dealings with New Jersey in the week prior to the NPE conference. (See this link for Weingarten’s letter to NJ Governor Chris Christie accompanied by my “deeper dig.”)

I have heard the excuse that being AFT president is a “difficult” job, insinuating that Weingarten should be excused for her reckless and repeated union-damaging decisions. I do not excuse her. She sought the job of teachers union president; based upon AFT’s 2012 990, she makes almost eight times my salary (W-2 and/or 1099 MISC have her compensation at $454,416), and she was elected to serve public school teachers.

If elected to serve us, then let her be accountable to us.

Schneider Has a Weingarten Vendetta (??)

I have actually had the term vendetta used to describe my interactions with Weingarten. First of all, a vendetta involves seeking revenge for a single wrong, perceived or actual. I am not seeking revenge. What I am doing is exposing Weingarten’s continued pro-privatizing dealings as I learn of them in the course of my research.

Yes, I am angry at Weingarten’s wrecking of my union and my profession. However, I am not cruel in my dealings with her.

Pointed, yes; cruel, no.

It’s called accountability. Perhaps she will begin to think about how her corporate-reform-friendly bent will come back to haunt her in my posts and elsewhere. (The education blogger network has become a force in its own right, and the press should provide a healthy pressure on those whose decisions impact the masses.)

Allow me to present some behind-the-scenes dealings to underscore my balanced motivations in interacting with Randi Weingarten.

When  I agreed to participate on NPE’s CCSS panel, there was no mention of Weingarten as a panelist. So, I did not agree in an effort to have a “showdown” with Randi Weingarten. Anthony Cody invited me to participate because of my extensive writing on CCSS.

On December 30, 2013, I received an email from Cody telling me that Weingarten had accepted an invitation to appear as part of the NPE CCSS panel and that she did not yet know I also invited.

I phoned Cody to be sure that my appearance would be no surprise to Weingarten. I wanted her to experience no daytime-television-sensationalized shock at my being there. Cody assured me he had no such intention and that Weingarten would know that I was a panelist long before the event.

People with vendettas do not guard their opponents against shock.

On February 4, 2014, Cody asked my thoughts on the format for the CCSS panel. I asked him if Weingarten would be the only pro-CCSS panelist. He said yes; so, I proposed that she begin a structured seven-minute presentation time and be allowed three additional minutes at the end.

People with vendettas do not offer generous concessions.

One of my fellow bloggers told me that she assumed Weingarten demanded the extra time. Weingarten did not. I suggested we incorporate it since she was alone in her position; the remaining panel members agreed.

But there is another piece to this story. There was some email discussion over a conversational format for the panel. I did not believe this would work well with five people, and I noted as much. “Conversational hijacking” was too much of a possibility, and some panelists might be completely omitted from the discussion. However, my principal concern was for my own self control. I phoned Cody and told him as much: In an open format, I was much more likely to rip into Weingarten, and I did not want this panel to degenerate into the dregs of an ugly encounter. I asked Cody to “save me from myself” (my exact words). He assured me that he felt more comfortable with the structure originally proposed and to which Weingarten had initially agreed. (She later wanted the more open format.)

People with vendettas do not ask others to help them maintain control against potentially unruly, “vendetta-related” upset.

Prior to the NPE conference, I had not met Weingarten. I wanted to do so in a low-key manner. So, after serving a chauffeur on Saturday night (the first conference night and the night before the CCSS panel), I introduced myself to Weingarten, who was at the Mariott at a reception for NM Governor Howie Morales. The reception was ending– it was 10 p.m.– and I walked up to her, said my name, explained that I wanted to introduce myself before tomorrow, then excused myself and left. No fanfare. No showing off in front of a group of friends. Just a moment of ice breaking in an effort to make tomorrow’s introduction a smoother moment.

People with vendettas do not “break the ice” via low-key introductions.

So, yes, my intention was to confront Weingarten’ pro-CCSS position but to do so in a professional and controlled manner.

(An aside: Before I published my open exchange with Weingarten in November 2013, I not only informed her that I was writing an open letter to her; I sent the letter to her and gave her a full week to respond if she chose to prior to my posting the letter. Then I sent the finished post to her prior to publishing, including her response, and told her the exact time and locations of the posting. And let us not forget my December 2013 defense of AFT against the Center for Union Facts. No vendetta.)

Schneider Was Too Controlled (??)

Allow me to address the pendulum as it swings to the other side, namely, that I was too controlled. Some audience members expected me to rip into Weingarten. First of all, my intention was to destroy her logic for supporting CCSS– not her. I believe that this was accomplished not only by me but also by the other three anti-CCSS panel members.

There were some addiitonal Weingarten statements on which I would have liked to comment in real time. Nevertheless, time did not allow for all panelists to say all that they wanted during the panel. We had a schedule to keep.

That Sunday afternoon, I was able to elaborate on my position regarding the influence of philanthropy dependence  (the money as well as the power and connections) as such concerns Weingarten and others receiving philanthropic “assistance” to a packed room as part of the philanthropy panel discussion. Plus, I am writing my candid “debriefing” as part of this post.

Should Randi Weingarten and I ever engage in a one-to-one discussion of AFT involvements with those known to actively promote the corporate reform agenda, my discussion will be much more direct– never cruel– and likely without much raising of my voice– but like the skilled and precise slicing of a surgeon’s scalpel.

The Weingarten-BAT Incident

In this post, I wish to respond to Weingarten’s words during the CCSS panel. First, allow me to sidestep to her auditorium entrance.

Her privatizer-friendly positions make Weingarten a polarizing figure. And she is very much the politician, seeking to be regarded as a member of whatever group whose opinions she is trying to sway.

(In planning for the NPE conference, fellow blogger Jon Pelto created a group for conference panelists. A number of bloggers were on this list and were trying to arrange a bloggers meeting. At one point Weingarten entered the conversation and asked, “So am I a blogger? Or just a participant?” I wanted a clear boundary. I responded, “Randi, you are a participant.”)

On the morning of the NPE CCSS panel, Weingarten wore a BAT (Bad Ass Teachers) t-shirt.

Apparently Weingarten passed the BAT table and asked for a t-shirt. A BAT took her photo and created a meme. The entire event disturbed blogger Kris Nielsen, who responded on March 3 with this post. The next day, March 4, blogger Denisha Jones answered Nielsen. I particularly like what Jones notes here:

…Taking a picture of Randi Weingarten in a BAT t-shirt did not make BAT’s suddenly reverse their stance on CCSS. And let’s be clear, Randi Weingarten put on the BATs t-shirt. BAT’s did not put on a Randi Weingarten t-shirt and allow themselves to be photographed. [Emphasis added.]

The BATs did not endorse Weingarten. One simply gave her a t-shirt.

I am careful about my associations. My education reform writings have made me popular with a variety of groups, some of which I would not otherwise choose to ally. Anyone may choose to reblog my work. However, I am careful where I choose to become actively involved, be it webpage, or magazine, or blog, or speaking engagement.

And I never don a logo in order to mimic belonging.

Weingarten’s Opener (And My Written Commentary)

In her opening remarks, Weingarten equates “national standards” with CCSS.  She admits that she “believes in national standards.” However, the push for CCSS is that they are not “national”– they are “state-led.”

If the public were fine with “national” CCSS, there would be no push to “rebrand” in an effort to trick the public into believing the standards are unique to individual states.

In my opener, I state that “national standards” does not equal CCSS, and that “national standards” must be voluntary.

In her opener, Weingarten also acknowledges that AFT “was approached” to “review” CCSS.

Not “write.” Not “develop.” Only “review.”

Not to mention the passive voice, “was approached.” Top-down.

She adds, “There was a bunch of give and take, and they changed the standards in a lot of different ways.”

Note the top-down “they.” “They” have the power. “They” have the final word. And in the end, “they” decided to make CCSS rigid.

Weingarten admits that she believes CCSS is “inappropriate for K thru 2″ and that she knows this “because people have used them how inappropriate they are.”

No mention of the need to pilot before implementing. No mention of the damage to student, teachers and schools for forcing implementation of untested CCSS.

How about grades 3 thru 12?

Weingarten jumps to the “real problem is the testing, which comes from No Child Left Behind (NCLB).”

The real problem is that all of Race to the Top (RTTT) attempts to be a “standardized NCLB”– rigid standards so that curriculum and test makers can pattern their wares after the CCSS template. Testing is the offshoot of the CCSS hub.

Weingarten states that the “problem” is that “testing has conflated with everything else that happens in school.” She does not admit her contribution to the destruction brought about by testing dependence, not the least of which is her taking money from Gates for VAM and not declaring VAM problematic until the month following the expiration of the Gates grant. Neither does Weingarten acknowledge her contribution in tying Newark teachers into VAM (see Newark link above).

Weingarten maintains that it is the testing emphasis that makes “people feel like they have no voice whatsoever.”

It is not the testing alone. It is the entire spectrum of reforms intentionally and strategically pushed down the collective school and community throats by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the National Governors Association (NGA).

Weingarten focused her argument on “finding a way to break through on the fixation on testing and the fixation on test scores.”

The way to destroy the CCSS tests is to destroy CCSS. In my opener, I offered the advice for teachers to form committees and to start shuffling CCSS around. Doing so sabotages CCSS as a template for testing.

The through answer is to obliterate CCSS. No CCSS, no CCSS tests.

AFT and Gates Money

During Weingarten’s second time speaking (recorded at end of video), Weingarten attempted to defend AFT’s accepting Gates money by noting that it was one percent of the total AFT budget. (According to the AFT 2012 990, AFT spent $190 million from July 2011 to June 2012. About.com has AFT’s annual budget at “over $170 million.”) She offered the audience the concession that at the July convention,she would ask members to vote on a five-cent dues increase in order to continue the AFT Innovation Fund. She asked the audience if that would be okay. The audience applauded.

Weingarten implied that “so little” Gates money does not matter. However, it apparently does since not accepting “the next round” for the AFT Innovation Fund means a dues increase. The current Gates grant for the Innovation Fund and CCSS ($4.4 million) expires in May 2015.

Note: There was no mention of returning any Gates money. There was also no agreement to not accept Gates money in the future– just not for the Innovation Fund.

The Gates money matters to those who take it. However, the connection to Gates and the power that such connection brings matters to those benefiting from his circle of power more than does his money.

A five-cent annual annual dues increase for all 1.5 million AFT members yields $75,000 in additional revenue.

A two-dollar annual dues increase for all 1.5 million AFT members would yield an additional $3 million in AFT revenue.

I would like to challenge Weingarten to offer AFT members the total amount that AFT dues must rise in order for her to say no to all corporate-reform-associated philanthropic money given to AFT.

I would also like to challenge her to stop making contributions out of AFT money to those who openly advocate the corporate reform, corporation-benefiting, test-driven, teaching-profession-undermining agenda.

In Closing

At the close of the NPE CCSS panel, Weingarten spoke last. She reiterated that she likes CCSS and added that her reason was “personal” and connected to her time “as a teacher.”

Two points:

First, as the president of a national teachers union, the “bottom line” for continued support of CCSS cannot be “personal.” Weingarten is the leader of 1.5 million union members. Support for any program must put union membership ahead of personal preference.

Second, Weingarten concluded her time “as a teacher” in 1997. Thus, she has been away from the classroom for seventeen years. In a conversation over dinner, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis observed to me, “I have been away from the classroom for only three years, and I am out of touch with what is happening there now.”

I returned to the public school classroom in 2007 after teaching at the university level. My 2007 return is worlds away from what I know as a classroom teacher in 2014.

For me, CCSS is indeed “personal,” for it is very much associated with my daily classroom experience. But may I always offer a more detailed, factual, research-based reasoning for railing against corporate reform and its ardent supporters than to simply note, “It’s personal.”

RELATED COLUMN: Conspiracy Fact: Obama Budget to Cement Common Core

EPA Attacks World’s Largest Copper Mine

I could write every day about some new obscene Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effort to thwart energy the nation needs, forcing the shutdown more coal-fired plants and the mines that supply them. Goodbye thousands of jobs, goodbye electrical energy. The White House has delayed the construction of the Keystone Xl pipeline to transmit oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Do you wonder, still, why there are millions of Americans out of work or who have stopped looking because every effort to build the nation’s economy is attacked by some element of the Obama Administration.

We can now add another attack on natural resources because the EPA has announced its intention to restrict, if not prohibit, the development of Pebble Mine in Alaska. The mine could be one of the world’s largest sources of copper.

Beyond the economic benefits the mine would create, it would not only produce copper, but strategic metals like molybdenum and rhenium. Daniel McGroarty, the president of the American Resources Policy Network, noted in a July Wall Street Journal opinion that these two metals “are essential to countless American manufacturing, high-tech, and national security applications.”

Copper is one of the most important minerals used today because it is a good conductor of heat and electricity—second only to silver in electrical conductivity. It was discovered thousands of years ago in prehistoric times. Methods for refining copper from its ores were developed around 5,000 CE and, though too soft for many tools, when mixed with other metals, the resulting alloys were harder. The entire Bronze Age owes its name to the mixture of copper and tin. Brass is a mixture of copper and zinc.

McGroarty pointed out that “The irony here is that renewable-energy industries that environmentalists champion, like solar and wind, rely heavily on copper. More than three tons of it are needed for a single industrial wind turbine.” Solar panels depend on copper as well. And electric cables, usually made of copper, transmit the energy these two favored “renewable energy” sources. Together, though, they represent less than 3% of the electricity generated.

Expecting environmental groups to make any sense or even to tell the truth is a waste of time. The Pebble Mine is opposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthworks, and Trout Unlimited. The EPA claims to have researched the environmental impact of the Alaskan mine and concluded that it poses a serious risk to the salmon fisheries and native tribes in the Bristol Bay area.

EPA research is so wretchedly flawed that the Agency is still insisting that carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for “global warming” even though the Earth entered a new cooling cycle around 1996. None of the children born since then have ever spent a day experiencing a warming cycle.

The EPA has been engaged in its own interpretation of the Clean Air and Clear Water Acts. The Supreme Court, which erroneously ruled that CO2 was a “pollutant” in April 2007—it is vital to all life on Earth, providing for the growth of all vegetation—has just heard oral arguments for a case that could further ruin the nation’s economy. Environmental groups and the Obama administration argued that the EPA has the authority to require that power plants and other industrial facilities must get permits to emit carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases even though they have no effect at all on the Earth’s climate.

I often wonder why most Americans are so clueless about global warming. AKA climate change, and the rape of the nation’s economy by the EPA.

So we can anticipate that, when the partnership of those seeking to open the Pebble Mine does apply for a permit, we already know that the EPA will reject it. Gina McCarthy, the current EPA administrator, has made that clear. You can be sure that the EPA’s “research” has predetermined that outcome.

That’s not science. That’s just more environmental lies.

Those lies are a large component of why the nation is enduring an economic stalemate that is beginning to look like the next Great Depression. Those lies will try to stop the Pebble Mine and shut down more coal-fired plants. Those lies are the reason why so many potential new industrial and business enterprises are not being created.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED STORY: Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property | Fox News

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of Rob Lavinsky / iRocks.com. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

Calling the Global Warming Charlatans “Nazis”

On February 20th, the noted meteorologist, Dr. Roy W. Spencer, fed up with being called a “denier” of global warming, posted a commentary on his blog titled “Time to push back against the global warming Nazis.”

“When politicians and scientists started calling people like me ‘deniers’, they crossed the line. They are still doing it,” said Dr. Spencer. “They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all man made nor a serious problem with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.” The Holocaust happened, but global warming’s latest natural cycle ended about 17 years ago and, as a lot of people have noticed, it has been getting cold since then.

“Like the Nazis,” said Dr. Spencer, “they advocate the supreme authority of the state (fascism), which in turn supports their scientific research to support their cause…” In the case of global warming, this huge hoax was put forth by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The UN would like to be the world’s global government, but that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, the IPCC provided scientists that cooperated with lots of money for their alleged research, all of which “proved” that carbon dioxide was dramatically heating the Earth. Others like Al Gore made millions selling “carbon credits”. Along the way, both Gore and the IPCC received a Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Spencer received a Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. He was a Senior Scientists for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he and a colleague, Dr. John Christie, received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He became a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001 and continues to advise NASA as a U.S. Science Team Leader. As he points out on his blog, his research has been supported by U.S. government agencies, so the usual claim by Greens that he is a paid stooge of Big Oil just doesn’t work in his case.

Dr. Spencer’s decision to call a Nazi a Nazi ignited a lot of discussion among the global warming hustlers and those whom they have been calling “deniers” for many years. I always found it particularly offensive, but I suspect those I called charlatans and hustlers felt the same way. The difference, however, is the connotation applied to the term, “denier.” Even today anti-Semites of various descriptions deny that six million Jews died in the death camps of Nazi Germany during World War Two along with millions Christians and Eastern Slavic Europeans

What makes this particularly offensive and horrid is the fact that those in the Nazi leadership under Adolf Hitler were all environmentalists, deeply committed to conservation and similar expressions that put the Earth above the value of human life.

This is all revealed in a book by R. Mark Musser, “Nazi Oaks”, now in its third printing. Musser was introduced to environmentalism at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from which he graduated in 1989. In 1994 he received Master of Divinity and spent seven years as a missionary to Belarus and in the Ukraine.

Musser’s book is absolutely astonishing as he documents how “Green” the Nazis were from their earliest years until their defeat. It was Heinrich Himmler, the Reich Leader from 1929 to 1945, who was responsible for the “Final Solution”, the mass killing of Europe’s Jews. He led the Nazi party’s SS.

As Musser notes, “The Nazis were trying to eliminate both global capitalism and international communism in order to recover a reverence for nature lost in the modern cosmopolitan world.” The Nazis also held Judeo-Christian values in contempt.

“That this evolutionary Nazi nature religion was clothed in secular biology and colored by environmental policies and practices, is a historical truth that has been ignored and underreported for too long a time in all the discussions about the Holocaust,” writes Musser.

I am inclined to believe that it is no accident that the global warming charlatans began to use the term “deniers” to describe skeptics.

By 2011, a Gallup poll that surveyed people in 111 countries revealed that most of the human race did not see global warming as a serious threat. Still, worldwide 42% told Gallup that they thought global warming was either ‘somewhat serious’ or ‘very serious.’ That was down from 63% in polls taken in 2007 and 2008 in the U.S.

More than just a spat between scientists, in April 2012, the Congressional Research Service estimated that, since 2008, the federal government had spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’ That kind of money could build or repair a lot of bridges and roads. It could fund elements of our military. It could be spent on something other than a climate over which neither the government nor anyone in the world has any influence.

Bursting onto the national stage, Dr. Spencer’s decision to call the global warming scientists Nazis for their efforts to intimidate or smear the reputations of those whose research disputes their claims, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. a Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote on March 1 that “Surely some kind of ending is upon us. Last week climate protesters demanded the silencing of Charles Krauthammer for a Washington Post column that notices uncertainties in the global warming hypothesis.”

“In coming weeks,” wrote Jenkins, “a libel trial gets under way brought by Penn State’s Michael Mann, author of the famed “hockey stick” graph (Editor’s note: an IPCC graph Mann created that asserted a sudden, major increase in heat has been widely debunked) against the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writer Rand Simberg and roving commentator Mark Steyn for making wisecracks about his climate work.”

Revelations of several thousand emails between IPCC scientists, one of whom was Mann, were christened “climategate” and demonstrated the efforts in which they engaged to suppress the publication of any papers that questioned global warming in scientific journals. As the climate turned cooler, they became increasingly alarmed.

What we are likely witnessing are the long death throes of the global warming hoax. Calling those scientists and others like myself “deniers” and other names simply reveals the desperation of those who are seeing a great source of money slip away under the spotlight of scientific truth, nor will they be able to impose their lies on the rest of us.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-P049456 / CC-BY-SA

Going Outlaw – It’s not necessarily a bad thing!

If a tyrannical government passes laws we cannot obey, we will be outlaws. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Dirty Dozen Sexual Exploiters of 2014 list includes Eric Holder, Verizon, Google and American Library Association

Morality In Media (MIM) has released its 2014 Dirty Dozen LIst: 12 Leading Contributors to Sexual Exploitation. The top purveyors of pornography in America are:

  1. Attorney General Eric Holder – Mr. Holder refuses to enforce existing federal obscenity laws against hard-core adult pornography, despite the fact that these laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and effectively enforced by previous attorneys general.
  2. Verizon – Verizon pushes porn into our homes now through hardcore pay-per-view movies on FIOS, smartphones and tablets and as an Internet Service Provider with insufficient filtering options.
  3. Sex Week – Yale and other colleges and universities repeatedly offer Sex Week on campus. Porn stars are routinely invited to lecture, and pornography that glamorizes “fantasy rape” is screened.
  4. Playstation – PlayStation’s live-streaming abilities are filling thousands of homes with live porn, and the PlayStation Store sells hundreds of pornographic and sexually violent games.
  5. Facebook – Facebook has become a top place to trade pornography, child pornography and for sexual exploitation. Facebook’s guidelines prohibit such behavior, but the company is doing little to enforce them.
  6. Barnes & Noble – This Fortune 500 Company is a major supplier of adult pornography and child erotica. They regularly put pornography near the children’s sections in their stores and provide free, unfiltered porn publications on their Nook e-reader.
  7. Hilton – This hotel chain, like Hyatt, Starwood and many other top hotel chains, provides hardcore pornography movie choices. Porn channels are often the first advertisement on their in-room TVs.
  8. American Library Association – The ALA encourages public libraries to keep their computers unfiltered and allow patrons, including children, to access pornography.
  9. Google – Google’s empire thrives on porn. Porn is easily available, even to children, through YouTube, GooglePlay, Google Images and Google Ads.
  10. Tumblr – This popular social media blogging site bombards users with porn. Users must only be 13, and the filters do not work.
  11. 50 Shades of Gray – This bestselling book series and upcoming movie are normalizing sexual violence, domination and torture of women. Oprah Winfrey Network, Broadway and other mainstream outlets have even promoted this abusive lifestyle.
  12. Cosmopolitan Magazine – The magazine is a full-on pornographic, “how-to” sex guide, encouraging women to accept the pornified culture around them. They specifically market this content to teen girls.

Read more.

ABOUT MORALITY IN MEDIA

Founded in 1962, Morality In Media (MIM) is the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law. MIM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Currently, Morality In Media directs the War on Illegal Pornography coalition, an effort with Congress to pressure the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce existing federal obscenity laws.

MIM also maintains a research website about the harms of pornography and regularly directs national awareness campaigns to help the public understand the consequences of pornography and find resources to aid in their struggles. To see MIM other current efforts, click here.

Congress: Going Around and Around Again

Long before the digital age, Americans of all ages loved to listen to music on 78/45 and 33 rpm records. That is, until the record became scratched and the diamond needle stuck in the groove and all one heard were pops, cracks and the same sound over and over.

These long forgotten records came to mind earlier this week when the Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Dave Camp, released his 979-page tax reform plan. Reactions have been swift and ranged from warnings about mid-term election fallout to indignant outrage by a few K-Street lobbyists whose carve-outs didn’t make the cut.

Although well intentioned, this plan is nothing more than a simpler version of a corrupted income tax code that panders to special interests and enables the IRS to continue as a partisan weapon.

Or as Congressman Jim Bridenstine declared, “This is a noble objective, but the plan released Wednesday inappropriately preserves both the IRS and all the nefarious opportunities for politicians to again use the tax code to hand out cash, control markets, and manipulate human behavior”.

For nearly a year, Congressional investigators have been reporting findings and oversight committees holding investigations on the IRS targeting scandal. Congressman Camp was at the center of these oversight and investigatory activities including Lois Lerner repeatedly invoking the 5thAmendment prior to negotiating immunity in exchange for testimony.

Given this, how can any Member of Congress, advocate for tax legislation that continues an agency as abusive as the IRS? Rest assured, to support the continuation of the income tax is to support this continued abuse!

There is a solution and it awaits a promised vote by the Committee on Ways and Means. HR 25, “The FairTax Act of 2013” is a simple, fair and transparent tax replacement plan that disbands and defunds the IRS in its entirety. It is the only tax plan before Congress that accomplishes this and is ready to be immediately implemented.

The FairTax fully funds the federal government, including Social Security and Medicare, and will stimulate the economy while generating jobs – jobs the American people desperately want and need.

Our income tax code is beyond repair and should be thrown into the dust heap of failed legislative experiments. The American people have labored under a punitive income tax code for 100 years. They are tired, demoralized and desperately want elected representatives who have the courage to end partisan game playing while doing what’s right for taxpayers and the nation. They want the FairTax.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image This image was originally posted to piqs.de was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 21:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC) by Bryan. The use of this image does not in any way imply the endorsement of this author or the Fair Tax.

RELATED COLUMN: Congress Recalling Former IRS Official Lois Lerner, Who Took the Fifth: ‘If We Have to Hold Her in Contempt, So Be It’

US Chamber and Alex Sink agree: We need more workers to clean hotel rooms and mow lawns

It appears that Democrat Alex Sink, candidate FL 13th Congressional District, is accurately stating the US Chamber of Commerce’s position on immigration.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_w4peAzj5hw[/youtube]

 

Now listen to the US Chamber interview with Republican Grover Norquist and others talking about immigration reform:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ToGQXhyWHnY#aid=P9DJ4Mbv2Uw[/youtube]

 

According to the US Chamber immigration website, “Immigrants do not typically compete with Americans for jobs, and, in fact, create more jobs through entrepreneurship, economic activity, and tax revenues. Immigrants serve as a complement to U.S.-born workers and can help fill labor shortages across the skill spectrum and in key sectors.”

“Across the skill spectrum” is code for more low cost workers to pick oranges, clean hotel rooms and mow lawns.

Appearances by Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, Frank Keating, the President & CEO of the American Bankers Association, Alberto R. Cardenas, the Chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the President of the American Action Forum explain why Immigration Reform is important to the Conservative cause in the United States.

EDITORS NOTE: Featured images is courtesy of MSNBC.

RELATED COLUMN: Ann Coulter – RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $14 AN HOUR USING THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK!

Ten Bills, Ten Solutions to save America

Russ Vought, Political Director for Heritage Action for America, notes, “During the State of the Union address, President Obama called for 2014 to be a year of action. We agree, but Americans deserve action that will take the nation in the right direction. That’s why, with no clear goals or mandate from the Washington Establishment, we hosted the first Conservative Policy Summit.

On February 10th, Heritage Action brought together leaders to highlight conservative bills that would improve the lives of hardworking Americans. 10 speakers. 10 solutions.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/26d0H5Wl43M[/youtube]

Conservatives must lead through action. And we are. Heritage Action brought these leaders together on February 10th. The Conservative Policy Summit highlights the bills they have introduced, showing Americans a winning conservative reform agenda. Watch important discussion about our nation’s most pressing issues and learn about the conservative answers.

 

Privacy – Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
Social Welfare – Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 
Health Care – Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) 
Health Care – Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) 
Energy – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Housing – Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Transportation – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)
School Choice – Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Higher Education – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Religious Freedom – Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Claude Covo-Farchi. The use of this image does not in any way that suggests that Covo-Farchi endorses Heritage Action or the use of the work in this column. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks out on Free Markets and “Heavy-Handed” Regulations

Ashton Kutcher (L) greets 2nd Security Forces Squadron Airmen. The Airmen provided security support on the set of “The Guardian” while it filmed on base.

Ashton Kutcher is an entrepreneur and popular actor. He denounced heavy-handed regulation in a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/EoQo0HM9D3k[/youtube]

Scott Blakeman from The Foundry reports:

Kutcher is a managing partner of the investment fund A-Grade Investments. One company his fund has invested in is Uber, the app-based service that connects drivers with passengers. Uber is rapidly expanding to cities across the U.S. and is in over 24 countries worldwide. But Kutcher is experiencing firsthand some of the roadblocks many businesses have endured.

Kutcher noted that “old-school monopolies and incumbents and old-school governments” are interfering with the transportation market, picking the winners and losers, and barring innovation.

For instance, Kutcher mentioned that Uber isn’t allowed to operate in Miami “because of some dumb regulation that says it can’t exist there.”

Miami’s cab industry is heavily regulated, such that “local laws have protected taxi-medallion holders for so long that any attempt to tinker with the rules is met with stiff political resistance.”

Audrey Edmonson, a member on the Board of County Commissioners for Miami-Dade County, proposed legislation deregulating the county’s transportation market so Uber and other companies could compete with traditional transportation services. But Dennis Moss, a fellow board member who is also the chairman of Miami’s Transportation and Aviation Committee, helped craft the existing restrictive regulations and is opposed to letting Uber enter the Miami transportation market:

If you want to pay for a luxury ride, then you should basically have to pay for a luxury ride.… That way we make sure that cab companies can also continue to make a living.

Read more.

Florida based rocket scientist is America’s best Climate Prediction Expert

Who Is America’s Best Climate Prediction Expert? It’s a fair enough question, given all our government and the mainstream media have been telling us about the threats we all face from climate change (a.k.a. man-made global warming).

With twenty five years and tens of billions of dollars spent by the US government alone on understanding what the causes and effects of climate change are, surely someone has risen to the top in terms of making accurate climate change predictions, right?

The answer is likely a surprise to most. I have an idea who this person is.

According to any number of internet searches, there is one person who may well rank number one in this question of who the best American climate prediction expert is. He has risked it all in publishing his predictions on line, with the science to back it up for all to see, and critique. In doing so, this lone researcher has been subjected to the ‘slings and arrows’ of the established scientific community and those who have invested so much capital, political power and personal prestige at making sure manmade global warming and its experts come out on top.

Despite being heavily criticized for years, this person has amassed an impressive list of major climate predictions that as of today makes him one of the best if not the best climate expert in the Americas. However he is not as you may surmise, on the list of the thousands of researchers the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC) has been using for its many climate reports. He is not a solar physicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and definitely does not work for NASA’s Goddard center where much of the US media gets its manmade climate info. He is not on the staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or any of its several centers that deal extensively with climate change research. He is not a PhD professor at some prestigious university and also is not working for the Department of Defense or any national science agency.

In fact, this maverick among climate researchers is a single individual with a courageous band of other scientists from around the world who have, with little funding to speak of have been operating out of a small office with no special interests assisting from either side of the climate debate. Yet this team, led by this one person have routinely beat the best US government science agencies and the United Nations (UN) for the past six years in telling us what the Earth’s climate is doing and what it will do in the future.

John L. Casey, President of the Space and Science Research Corporation

Mr. Casey has had a distinguished career in any case. A former White House space policy adviser consultant to NASA Headquarters and a space shuttle engineer with a major aerospace contractor, he is no stranger to tackling and solving tough problems. For example, after the space shuttle Challenger accident in January 1986, NASA brought him in to chair an internal investigation into the breakdown in quality and space flight safety systems that were at the heart of the tragedy.

Many years later in 2007, while doing some solar physics research he stumbled on a curious pattern among sunspots that would prove to be the most important problem he had ever confronted – what causes climate change and what is the planet’s next climate era going to be like? A few months later after completing his research, he made several a startling announcements to the world. In April and May of 2007 he said:

1. Global warming was about to end, within three years!

2. The Sun was going to begin a “solar hibernation” beginning with the next solar cycle #24 (which began in 2008). This hibernation would result in a record reduction in the energy output of the Sun.

3. The Earth’s atmosphere and oceans were about to begin a long term drop in temperatures lasting for decades.

4. A new cold climate era was beginning that posed a serious threat to all with the potential to bring global crop damage and loss of life through starvation, cold weather fatalities, and social upheaval on a historic scale.

He proposed that a new climate theory which he called the “Relational Cycle Theory” or simply the “RC Theory” should replace the greenhouse gas theory of manmade climate change and asserted that the Sun and not mankind was the primary cause of climate change.

His announcement and predictions at that time were received with hostility reminiscent of that Galileo received by the Catholic Church when he said the Sun was at the center of the solar system instead of the Church’s opinion that the Earth was. Once more, by saying the Sun was at the center (of climate change) and not the Earth (not mankind), he immediately was attacked by all sides of the global warming debate including conservatives and liberals. He was slandered and demeaned by members of the established scientific community, some of whom were reaping windfall research grants to study man’s emissions of CO2. So called ‘authorities’ at prominent internet science blog sites were equally as unkind. The most prominent science periodicals and many in the media as well as the government did even worse – they ignored him!

Even Casey admits his timing was bad for his predictions by saying, “My announcements and predictions could not have come at a worse time. Both presidential party candidates were saying manmade global warming was real and they were going to fix it. Al Gore and the UN were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in alerting the world to the effects of man’s industrial emissions on the climate. Many former friends stopped returning may calls or emails. My message was one that no one wanted to hear.”

Now six years later much has changed. Scientists outside the US and not tied to US politics or US government research funding began to take notice of his work. In June of 2011 when he published his internationally acclaimed climate science book, “Cold Sun,” it included some of the strongest endorsements yet seen from other scientists for a climate book. Other scientists have called his work “…simply a great work!” or “…adds a brilliant page to the history of science…,” or “…this is an Earth-shattering book!”

Here we are in early 2013 and his diligence in getting his word out about what is really happening with the climate for all to read has led to Mr. Casey becoming the most often quoted and referenced on the web on the subject of climate change to a cold era. He still sees a few lingering critics repeat personal attacks and derogatory remarks from 2008 but no one has countered any of his science. They can’t!

Other scientists have joined his team and are actively cooperating with him in their own countries by trying to alert their countrymen to the dangers of the coming cold climate. His prominent and vocal stance on the next climate change has made it easier for others to now come forward to make similar predictions. Past researchers who made such forecasts many years before Casey are now seeing a resurrection from the dusty science journals where their research was buried and are once again seeing the light of day.

Because of his success in climate prediction, other scientists from around the world in earthquake research have now asked him to help in the great humanitarian cause of saving thousands of lives yearly by finally predicting the world’s largest quakes well in advance. As of December 2012, this new group has already had some success!

He is now frequently called on to do interviews and speak to large groups of interested citizens on his RC Theory, his book “Cold Sun,” and most importantly how to prepare for the coming difficult cold climate.

In March of this year Mr. Casey stepped up the gain on describing what is happening with the Earth’s climate by publishing the Global Climate Status Report (GCSR) ©. This heavily researched and data filled resource he and his supporting scientists have published, is intended for all individuals and leaders who want to have a different perspective on climate change from the one they have been receiving from the government and the media. As Casey puts it, “Too long now our people and our leaders have been given only one side, the wrong side, of the climate change story. With the regular publication of the GCSR, anyone can now have a single source for the true status of the Earth’s climate rather than the heavily politicized version we have been force fed for twenty five years now.”

But what about the accuracy of his predictions?

Why should he be on our list of candidates for America’s best climate researcher? This one is easy. All his predictions, as disruptive and controversial as they were in 2007, have now either come to pass or are about to! This remarkable record according to internet searches is without peer. Casey acknowledges this by commenting, “No other climate researcher that I can find has such a public record for similar major climate predictions. There is nothing predicted by the UN-IPCC, NASA or NOAA from 2007-2008 that comes even close to what I was forecasting. In fact they all said that global temperatures could only go up for the foreseeable future and yet as I correctly predicted, they have been dropping.”

But, there is something else.

Among his major predictions he made a very specific one of a detailed scientific nature that goes far beyond simple chance that some may ascribe to it. In early 2007, he contacted NASA’s top solar physicist to discuss what Casey believed was a significant error by NASA in predicting the behavior of the Sun during the next 11-year solar cycle (cycle #24). Casey said at the time that NASA was, “way off” in its calculations for the peak year and level of activity for the next solar cycle. NASA was at the time saying cycle #24 was going to be of record high level of activity and as measured by sunspot count would be at least 145 average sunspot count, likely much higher, and peaking in 2011. Casey, on the other hand, said his math showed the peak would be in 2012 and would be no more than 74 sunspots at peak. In other words Casey told NASA they were more than 100 % in error! The NASA opinion in a joint conference with NOAA scientists went the same. They all said cycle #24 was going to be one of the most energetic ever.

This month, NASA, after making downward adjustments with NOAA every year since 2007, have now issued their latest forecast for cycle #24. Guess what? Now in the peak period for cycle#24, NASA says the peak will be this year, in 2013 with an average of 70 sunspots plus or minus 18 with a likely final cycle average of 69 sunspots! It looks like Casey has done it again – he has beat the US government best scientists on predicting the very complicated nature of the Sun’s behavior to an astounding level of accuracy! And he did it with a shoe string budget by himself, compared to these science agencies who had thousands of researchers, state of the art advanced computers and billions of dollars at their disposal.

According to one of Casey’s now growing number of supporters in a recent email, a Mr. RV said “In 2007 you said the (cycle#24) peak would be in 2012 and the sunspot count would not be greater than 74, half of what NASA was saying…Your prediction turned out to be SPOT ON! Congratulations on your prediction. That was nothing short of awesome.”

But what about the peak in 2013 as NASA now predicts. Casey said the peak of activity would be in 2012. Actually he got that call right also, Casey elaborates with, “ Most except a few solar physicists are not even aware that the typical 11-year solar cycle has a double peak, the first being the primary followed a year or two later by a lesser secondary peak. We then average the two as the cycle winds down and we are certain both peaks have passed. If we look at a chart of sunspots for cycle #24 we did in fact have the primary peak in 2012 as I predicted.”

When it comes to picking America’s best climate prediction expert there are also some intangibles I think we should consider. The first that comes to mind is how tough a challenge was it for the researcher to make his predictions? Were they easy to make scientifically, or were they controversial and likely to bring the researcher much criticism? It takes a lot of endurance to last out a solar cycle and maintain one’s opinion in face of incredible public, media, scientific, and political opposition.

Second is purpose. Casey from the outset has said his goal and that of his company, SSRC is to do what they could to alert the people to the next climate change so they can be prepared for what he calls a “life altering event.” He never expected to get rich as many “warmists” have by pushing manmade climate change. He has on the contrary, spent all he had keeping his research going and the lights on in his little office. As to purpose, Casey reflects on a quote from his book “Cold Sun,” by George Elliott, by saying, “I think Elliott was right with his question, ‘What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?’ ”

Is there any doubt. Casey gets my vote. He is not only America’s best climate prediction expert, but he is also among America’s best, period!

References: NASA’s latest Solar Cycle prediction

RELATED COLUMNS: 

Charles Krauthammer—The Myth of Settled Science

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REPORT: 500 stranded on drifting ice floes…

PAPER: It’s the cold, not global warming, we should be worried about…

Are “We The People” really members of “The Union”?

Recently, in my court battle with the State of Florida, the lawyer for the State argued that, although I am the sole owner of and stockholder in my company, that I was not “personally injured” when the State of Florida forcibly removed money from my company bank account. He argued that “only the company was injured and that I suffered no injury”, and the judge agreed.

Sorry, but the money they took was headed straight for my pocket so I’m pretty sure, in some circles, that would be considered a mugging. That battle is continuing and I am going to have to reconfigure some paperwork so a jury can decide that, but it made me think something this judge and lawyer may regret later.

The preamble of The Constitution Of The United States starts out “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union……..” So, who exactly is a “member” of the Union and who is not? Does the administration of this “Union” have any power or authority over an individual or group that is not a “member” of this Union?

The answer to the second question should be easy, NO.

Here is an example: My brother is an electrician and a member of the electricians union. They can make him, under their agreement to be a member of the union, to pay dues (taxes) to support the union and to participate in the union’s retirement plan. They could also declare that immediate family members of the members of the union “shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities” that the members of the union receive, but it still would not have the authority to require those immediate family members to also pay dues and participate in the retirement plan, as they are not the actual members of the union.

The first question is the real big one; who exactly is a “member” of the Union and who is not?

Once you read and understand the document, or as I like to call it “The Contract”, that formed the Union, “The Constitution Of The United States” the simple answer is The States and only The States are the members of the Union. This is important because if this is the case, The Union and the Administration of The Union, can NOT impose anything on an individual that is not a member of The Union. Only the States, under the authority of their State Constitution, can impose anything upon an individual citizen of their State. One point to note is the pure abstract and limited authorities and boundaries of The Union, is the FACT that we are the only country on the planet that does not have boundaries that are legally defined. The States are the ones with legally defined boundaries and the borders of the country are defined by the joining of the boundaries of the States when they become members of The Union. The fact is that the borders of our country have changed several times by the act of States joining and seceding from The Union.

Here is how I came to this conclusion:

  • Article. VII. “done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States” This is the enacting clause of The Constitution. It was done with the “Consent of the States” not the consent of “The People”.
  • The signers who did so were sent by the legislatures of the States with the authority to act on behalf of The States, not The People.
  • Article I Section 2. “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers”. The direct taxation addressed is to the several States, not “The People” because it’s the States that are the members of the Union, not The People.

So I know what you are saying “What about the 16th Amendment smart guy?” Well let’s look at what the 16th Amendment ACTUALLY says: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Does anyone see the words “direct taxes” in the 16 Amendment? Nope!

The 16th Amendment only gives Congress the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from “Members of the Union”. It never gave Congress the authority to bypass the States and Directly tax “Citizens of the Member States” as the Citizens of the Member States are not themselves “Members of the Union”. We the People have been duped by a word game.

If Congress could actually tax people that are not actually members of the Union because this Amendment declares “from whatever source derived” then they could lay and collect taxes on people from Canada, Mexico and every place on the planet, so I demand these people start paying “THEIR FAIR SHARE!”

Now let’s continue with more supporting evidence that “The States” are the members of the Union and not “The People”:

  • Article. IV. Section. 2. “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” First note that if “The People” were the members of the Union, this section would have no reason to be written. Second “The People” are referred to as “The Citizens of each State” further indication that The People or The Citizens are not actually members of The Union.
  • Article I Section 8 declares that Congress shall have the power To “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”. Please note the “not exceeding ten Miles square” The Congress has no power or authority to “exercise exclusive Legislation” Outside of this ten square mile area. It only has the power and authority to exercise legislation on the Members of the Union, and only with the consent of the representatives of those members.

The last thing we are going to consider is how we elect a President.

As you know, we use a system known as the “Electoral College”. We don’t actually cast votes directly for the President. Instead we are casting votes for our “Preference” in candidates for President and those votes actually elect delegates to represent The State and its those delegates that actually cast the votes as “representatives of the State.” In addition, each State, through the legislature of that State, makes it’s own rules as to how the delegates are awarded. Some are “winner take all” and some are divided based on the percentage of votes cast for each candidate. In the end, the delegates, who are technically not bound to vote a certain way, cast the vote on behalf of the legislature of the State, not on behalf of the Citizens.

Some believe it was done this way to make it easier to count the votes for President in the days before modern electronics, but that is a false conclusion. It’s because we are a “Representative Republic”, not a Democracy and because The People are not the members of the Union, only the States. This process is a way to let their preference be known to the legislature, but the legislature is still not technically bound because The Citizens of the State are not members of the Union. This is also why changing the voting to count the popular vote of the citizens would be unconstitutional, as only members of the Union have standing in the process.

The final conclusion is this:

The People are not members of the Union, so the Administration of the Union cannot impose anything on The People. In addition, the Union was formed by The States and the Administration of the Union was created specifically to perform tasks outlined in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

Anything outside of these delegated powers is wholly unauthorized, but unfortunately exists because the States have taken their eye off the ball and allowed these actions to happen, partially from ignorance, but mostly from being co-conspirators with the administration of the Union, letting the Administration of the Union be the muscle to pilfer the coffers of The People and then accepting bribes and payoffs from the Administration of The Union to the legislature of the State to allow the pilfering to happen.

FL Rep. Dane Eagle Introduces HB 733 – Second Amendment Preservation Act

Florida State Representative Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral) introduced the Second Amendment Preservation Act, House Bill 733. The provisions of H.B. 733 are simple and easy to understand. Florida officials would be barred from enforcing federal gun control laws and would be fired if they did.

Gun Owners of America (GOA) in an email states, “Whatever the intent of the 1968 Gun Control Act, it has become a monstrosity. It has been used to strip more than 150,000 veterans of their constitutional rights without due process. The ATF is now using annual inspections to Xerox 4473’s and compile a national gun registry.”

“And the Obama administration is now setting the stage for using medical information to strip tens of millions of Americans of their constitutional rights — again, with no due process. This includes individuals with ADHD and PTSD — plus those with common anxiety disorders or Alzheimer’s. And while no one has been able to identify any ‘danger of gun violence’ posed by people with Alzheimer’s, many of them do have very large and valuable gun collections which they would like to pass on to their children,” reports GOA.

GOA warns, “Unfortunately, like prisoners who have come to identify with their captors — called the “Stockholm Syndrome” — a few gun owners have become addicted to federal infringements.”

GOA observes:

  1. Under the Supreme Court’s Printz decision, Florida has no obligation to be a regulatory lap dog for President Obama.
  2. Even without Federal Law, Florida has more than enough laws regulating firearms ownership.
  3. Contrary to promises, the Brady Act hasn’t worked particularly well, producing “false positives” in roughly 95% of the cases where gun owners are denied by the Brady Check. Not only that, the law sure hasn’t stopped calls for more gun control.

To those who have become addicted to having their constitutional rights taken away, we would say this: “You will get used to freedom, and you will really like it.”

GOA ACTION: Contact your State Representative. Tell our representative how you feel about House Bill 733.

HOW TO CONTACT-WRITE YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES:

  1. Go to http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspxand type in your street name and city.
  2. Click on the “Full Detail” banner under the picture of your state representative.
  3. Click on the “Email Representative” banner.
  4. Once you are at your legislator’s webmail site, you can fill in your name and address, and then copy-n-paste the letter below.

GOA Pre-written letter:

Dear Representative:

Please cosponsor and support the Second Amendment Preservation Act (H.B. 733).

The provisions of this bill are simple and easy to understand. Florida officials would be barred from enforcing federal gun control laws and would be fired if they did.

Whatever the intent of the 1968 Gun Control Act, it has become a monstrosity. It has been used to strip more than 150,000 veterans of their constitutional rights without due process.

The ATF is now using annual inspections to Xerox 4473’s and compile a national gun registry.

And the Obama administration is now setting the stage for using medical information to strip tens of millions of Americans of their constitutional rights — again, with no due process. This includes individuals with ADHD and PTSD — plus those with common anxiety disorders or Alzheimer’s. And while no one has been able to identify any “danger of gun violence” posed by people with Alzheimer’s, many of them do have very large and valuable gun collections which they would like to pass on to their children.

Sincerely,

EDITORS NOTE: Kansas and Alaska have enacted Second Amendment Preservation Acts.

Florida Public Service Commission caves to FP&L smart meter demands

As expected the Florida Public Service Commission approved the staff recommendation today to allow FP&L to charge $95 upfront and $13 per month to those customers who wish to opt out of a smart meter.

My apologies, I did not know you could call in and make verbal public comments at this meeting over the phone. One citizen did that.

The OPC did little but suggest a reduced fee of $75 upfront and $10/month and based it off of California. They also recommended two paragraph’s be included in the Order. It was read quickly and I did not fully understand the significance, if any, of those inclusions. But basically OPC supported the tariff and the fee being charged.

Health and medical exemptions were never even discussed. No discussion of the definition of a non-communicating meter occurred, nor any of the other issues brought up to mitigate costs such as self-readings.

FP&L did admit that the fee needed to be and was designed to be high enough to disincentivize opt outs!

When questioned, they claimed customers who had an analog could keep it but also said there were NO savings by people opting out (which is not true since they will not be spending money putting on a smart meter). They also re-enforced that at any time if a customer wants to switch from an analog to a smart meter that there would be NO fee. Those customers refusing to pay the fees will be put into their normal collection process for non-payment. They admitted that the $77 visit charge may not occur for all customers but some customer may have 5 visits and it is meant to be an average assumption (so much for cost based and cost causer!).

If you wish to watch the meeting, it will be archived at this link and Item #6 starts at the 57 minute mark: http://www.floridapsc.com/agendas/audiovideo/index.aspx

FP&L will be revising their tariff and resubmitting today to reflect the staff recommendations. They indicated that they expected this service to become effective in May 2014 (I assume that is when they will start charging us).

If no protest is filed, the Order will become effective in 21 days.

How Our Public Schools Came to Promote a Social Disease

Not so long ago, American high-school students were educated in “sex hygiene.” They were told, “Save the conjugal act until marriage or you’ll get horrid diseases; if you’re a girl, you might become pregnant; and, boys, don’t marry an easy girl.” The lessons yielded low rates of STDs, illegitimacy, abortions, fatherless households, and welfare dependency. They saw high rates of virginity (even Hugh Hefner was a virgin in college) and social stability.

But after World War II, a new “science” arose that transformed sex education into an ally for the sexual revolution. Leading the radicals was the closeted sexual psychopath, Professor Alfred C. Kinsey, “the father of the sexual revolution.” Backed by Indiana University and the Rockefeller Foundation, Kinsey’s pseudoscientific claims in Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) would displace the Judeo-Christian worldview in sexual criminal law, public policy, medicine, art, and entertainment, and would lead to the creation of a new “sex education” field.

The Infection

Kinsey’s books went viral and were translated into a dozen languages. According to Lena Lennerhed, a professor of gender studies at Södertörn University near Stockholm, the Swedes even spurned Freud for Kinsey during legislative debates in the 1960s:

Alfred Kinsey . . . was the scientific authority. Kinsey’s rejection of Freud’s sublimation theory was interpreted as an argument for the right among the young, even teenagers, to have an unrestricted sex life . . . and evidence that traditional moral standards were outdated and contrary to human nature. (emphasis added)

This opinion was parroted by professors everywhere. Newly minted college “sexperts” began teaching wide-eyed students that sexual self-expression was healthy and that self-control was repression and psychologically bad for you. By 1955, Kinsey’s sexual worldview had shaped the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code, which urged all 50 states to view our sex laws as “outdated and contrary to human nature.” Conversely, the institute report spurred lawyerly claims that “sex education” would reduce sex crimes and diseases.

Sexual libertinism became the leading scholarly opinion. In 1964, as New York University began awarding degrees in “sexual health,” “brave pioneers” met at the Kinsey Institute to allot “sex education” to the newly formed Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). This organization joined with Planned Parenthood in attacking sexual morality on a global scale. Both groups were funded by the Playboy Foundation to train children about sexual “health.”

In 1968, a book by Kinsey’s coauthor and sometime lover Wardell Pomeroy, Boys and Sex, appeared as a school sex-ed text nationwide, normalizing sodomy, prostitution, sadomasochism, and homosexuality. It even described bestiality as “a loving sexual relationship with an animal.” Pomeroy advised children that “premarital intercourse does have its definite values as a training ground.”

The Disease

By the 1970s, public schools in the U.S. were flooded with radical sex “education.” Thomas Sowell and others have noted that teen “pregnancies soared as ‘sex education’ spread pervasively throughout the public schools.” This all helped to erode the barriers to legalized abortion, until Roe v. Wade wiped them out in 1973. That same year, Planned Parenthood’s president, Alan Guttmacher, noted, “The only avenue the International Planned Parenthood Federation and its allies could travel to win the battle for abortion on demand is through sex education.”

At that time, “sex positive” education rarely mentioned condoms, an omission that likely helped lead to an increase in teen pregnancies that ended in abortion—which in turn increased the “need” for more school sex education. By 1974, Planned Parenthood was mass-distributing a booklet called “You’ve Changed the Combination.” It was a full-blown, frontal assault on traditional American sexual morality, including marriage. The authors told our children, “Sex is best between friends. . . . Have sexual relationships only with friends. . . . If she’s young, always ask.” The booklet also normalized homosexuality and ridiculed marriage: “Do you want a virgin to marry? Buy one. There are girls in that business, too. Marriage is the price you’ll pay, and you’ll get the virgin. Very temporarily.”

Today, Planned Parenthood dominates public-school sex education. It battles every attempt at abstinence education, for a resurgence in teen chastity would reduce teen pregnancies and threaten Planned Parenthood’s lucrative abortion business and its pharmaceutical profits.

Read my full column in PDF format by clicking here.

RELATED STORIES:

US reports rare case of woman-to-woman HIV transmission – Yahoo News

Parents’ rights vs. sex-ed bills in MA Legislature – public hearing this Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What’s Taught to Young Students Today Used to Be Illegal

Benefit Corporations: The new government-industrial complex

President Eisenhower warned America about a growing military-industrial complex stating, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Whenever and wherever government and industry partner Americans face “the acquisition of unwarranted influence”.

Most recently we saw how appointed officials working in partnership with a corporation can directly impact every Floridian. Robert Trigaux, Tampa Bay Times Business Columnist, in “At the PSC, a confederacy of yes men — and women” wrote:

The first thing we do is pass a truth-in-government law that changes the name of the Florida Public Service Commission [PSC] to the Florida Utility Suckup Club.

The PSC hearing held in Tallahassee this past week was beyond embarrassing. It was billed as a review and vote on a proposed settlement with Duke Energy Florida to finalize who gets stuck paying for the $5 billion wasted by the company on the broken Crystal River and the proposed-then-canceled Levy County nuclear power plants.

The vote: 4 to 1 in favor of the settlement agreement. Duke Energy’s Florida customers — victims would be a better word — will pay a whopping 64 percent, or $3.2 billion. Duke shareholders will pay just 20 percent, or $1 billion. The rest will be covered by an insurance policy.

This is a terrible precedent.

Trigaux and Floridians should be prepared for ever more “terrible” precedents.

Since Eisenhower’s speech in 1961 Florida has seen a government industrial complex with growing influence — economic, political, even spiritual — felt in every city, county and in Tallahassee. This greatest threat to one-man-one-vote and local control of government goes by many names: globalization, regionalism, sustainability and a new form of corporation called simply “B” Corp or “Benefit Corporation”.

According to the BenefitCorp.net website, “Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business…Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders…Over 600 businesses have already joined our community, encouraging all companies to compete not just to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. As a result of our collective success, individuals and communities will enjoy greater economic opportunity, society will address its most challenging environmental problems, and more people will find fulfillment by bringing their whole selves to work.”

Esquire magazine is quoted on the B Corp website, “B Corps might turn out to be like civil rights for blacks or voting rights for women – eccentric, unpopular ideas that took hold and changed the world.” B Corps want to fundamentally change American business.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have passed Benefit Corporation legislation. There is a move to pass Benefit Corporation legislation in Florida. The model Benefit Corporation legislations states, “This chapter authorizes the organization of a form of business corporation that offers entrepreneurs and investors the option to build, and invest in, businesses that operate with a corporate purpose broader than maximizing shareholder value and a responsibility to consider the impact of its decisions on all stakeholders, not just shareholders. Enforcement of those duties comes not from governmental oversight, but rather from new provisions on transparency and accountability included in this chapter.”

This fundamental change has been embraced by the Florida Chamber of Commerce in the form or regionalization. In July 2012, Dale A. Brill, Ph.D., wrote on the Florida Chamber website, “Let’s get the bad news out of the way: Too many participants in the private and public economic development arena are missing the considerable opportunity represented by regionalism when they insist on going it alone—even when there is insufficient economic density to make a real difference despite the best of intentions.”

Brill notes, “Let’s start with three straight-forward explanations of regionalism that you already know to be true but may not recognize as one in the same: ‘There is strength in numbers.’ ‘The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.’ ‘I get by with a little help from my friends.’ … Regionalism’s genesis can be traced to the increasing role played by coordinated investments as catalysts for economic development.”

Brill uses Harvard professor Michael Porter’s definition of economic regions, “Economic regionalism exists where geographically contiguous regions coordinate economic development activities tied to a comprehensive economic development strategy.  Economic regionalism focuses on the collaboration of organizations, governments, and businesses across multiple jurisdictions. These stakeholders work to manage the economic opportunities and constraints created by the geographic and social characteristics of a region.”

Regionalism, sustainability and “B” Corps are part of the idea of globalization. Everything feeds into a system that move power – economic, political, even spiritual – away from the city and county into regions that can have grave consequences that Florida is just experiencing with Duke Power – Florida.

Milton Friedman wrote, “Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.” What we are seeing is the government and businesses working in concert to protect each other at the expense of consumers. The Duke Power – Florida is a case in point.

As Trigaux wrote, “There are a few voices expressing opposition. But they are faint and few…I fear for Florida.”

EDITORS NOTE:

Florida League of Cities in addition to individual municipalities, leagues and organizations of local community authorities have also endorsed the Earth Charter. ICLEI – The Local Governments for Sustainability endorsed the Earth Charter – Sustainable Development in the year 2000. The Florida League of Cities, which is a voluntary municipal league comprised of 404 of Florida’s 408 municipalities and six charter counties, endorsed the Earth Charter in 2001. In the same year, the Earth Charter was also endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors, the official nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 1,183 cities with populations over 30,000.

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism. NARC advocates for and provides services to its member councils of government and metropolitan planning organizations.

RELATED: 

What is a corporation?

Benefit Corporations: The Demise of Free Enterprise

VIDEO: Florida Chamber of Commerce – The Importance of Regionalism to Florida’s Future

Regionalism and Fair Housing Enforcement

Walter Tejada Elected to National Association of Regional Councils to promote Regionalism

Community Progress Blog – The BUILD Act of 2013: How EPA brownfield funds can create more sustainable communities by Kate O’Brien, Groundwork USA