Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day: Ideas worth dying for

Since 1789, the members of America's armed forces have placed their lives in harms way by taking some version of this oath:
"I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
A heartbreakingly large number of them have lost their lives in service to that oath, and we remember them today.

It seems to me, that we can further honor their memories, by attending to what they pledged their lives to defend, from all enemies, foreign and domestic, bearing true faith and allegiance to, the Constitution of the United States of America.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...."
Remember those who lost their lives in service to this nation.

Honor them by remembering, and preserving, what they died defending.

One other suggestion, that document is only paper without those ideas of liberty which animate it - and they cannot truly live, if they do not live within you, the citizens of this nation, which those brave men and women gave their lives for. Fundamental to those ideas of "...Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..." for which the Constitution justly instituted our government to secure and uphold, was an understanding that made them more than just words, and which were ably summed up in James Madison's essay On Property, which ends with:
"...If the United States mean to obtain or deserve the full praise due to wise and just governments, they will equally respect the rights of property, and the property in rights: they will rival the government that most sacredly guards the former; and by repelling its example in violating the latter, will make themselves a pattern to that and all other governments."
I urge you to read the entire essay, it is not long (much shorter than most of my posts), and remember, especially today, that as the ideas within it have proven to be worth dying for, they should also be worth living for.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Touching on Tyranny - A Declaration of whose Independence?

Spring has sprung and while the bi-termal scandals are blooming furiously in Washington D.C., there has been a rare whiff of agreement between commentators ranging from MSNBC, to Fox to the Washington Post: the word in the air is Tyranny, and it is here, there and everywhere.

However, like Inigo Montoya, I'm not so sure dat word means wat dey tink it means. Not that there isn't evidence of tyranny abounding all around us...there most certainly is... I just am not so sure that if we took a walk together to see the sights, that we'd be pointing in as many of the same directions as we should be.

Let's take the hot media tour:
  • Benghazi - The press has caught the White house red handed.. 9 months late... that the White house has been lying, blatantly so, regarding whether or not they identified Benghazi as the work of terrorists (they didn't), as well as what they knew and when they knew it.
  • IRS - Since 2010, the IRS has been targeting conservative leaning organizations seeking the low level tax-exempt status of 501(c)(4), by way of their 'conservative sounding' names, meaning they referenced terms such as Tea Party, Liberty, Constitution or generally being Pro-American (think about that for a moment), as well as their donors. Oh, and Jewish organizations who were pro-Israel. Most left leaning organizations requesting the same status were approved poste haste, while most conservative leaning organizations seeking that status were either denied, or so tied up in red tape, that they are still waiting.
  • DOJ investigates AP Reporters - Turns out that, like most administrations, the Obama Administration doesn't appreciate leaks, but in trying to plug them they've gone to lengths that few others would attempt, maybe not even Nixon, by tracking and tapping the communications of a broad selection of AP reporters. Oops... FOX too... fair and balanced, I guess.
  • HHS Sebelius shakedown for Obamacare - Sec. Sebelieus, surprised that few in congress, left or right, are interested in forking over even more cash for the 'trainwreck' of Obamacare, decided to politely ask those whose lives and businesses it is within her power to make a living, or dying, hell, to volunteer donations so she can try and fundraise a publicity campaign for Obamacare.
  • EPA - agency for protecting a Leftist environment: - "Obama’s EPA Waives Fees For Liberal Groups 92% Of The Time, Denies Conservative Organization 93% Of The Time…: "Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise institute."
Those are the top five issues currently on the media rotation, as of last week.

So, what's to see here?
After talking with folks, at meetings, the recent IRS protest and online, I suspect that if we were both asked to point out the actual Tyrant in these instances, I think it's very likely that in many cases we'd be pointing in different directions.

I certainly agree that there is far more than a mere whiff of tyranny in these acts, especially in the case of the IRS. And I think that it is extremely interesting, not to mention sobering, to note that, as you can see from some of these pictures that I and others took at our protest at the St. Louis IRS office earlier this week - they had called out multiple Homeland Security Vehicles (and even a chopper in L.A.!), complete with well armed occupants, to be ready and waiting to greet us for our Tuesday afternoon lunch hour protest.

Note: They did NOT call out security or the Police - they brought in Homeland Security.

Someone in the hierarchy of our government felt that at least some of those Billions of rounds of ammunition recently purchased by Homeland Security, would be wise to call up and place at the ready in order to face us working people on a lunch break, retired people, a couple folks in wheelchairs, and more than a few students.

Were they hoping for a shot heard round the world?

Still, these are instances of tyrannical actions, but the tyrant itself, IMHO, wasn't so obviously visible. I worry that identifying the actions with the IRS as the Tyrant, or the EPA, or HHS, or the DOJ or even the Obama administration itself, is a mistake, and it is one that is made in the actual tyrants favor. These tyrannical actions are not the creature itself, and I worry that calling them tyranny, tends to let the true tyrant slip out the back (Jack), unseen, unidentified and unscathed - and no, I don't mean Obama.

Let me put it this way, these are signs of tyranny in the same way as that if you found a bee coated in pollen, it would be a sign that flowers were in bloom, but the bee is not itself the flower, and doing away with the bee is not going to do anything to stop the actual source of your allergies from cranking out the pollen. Yes, these issues indicate that tyrannical actions are in the air - no doubt about that - but they too are simply indicators, effects of tyranny, not the sources of it.

Closer to the mark
Wanna see one that comes much closer to the heart of the matter? It was in the news last week as well, though you'd have to dig fairly deep to find it.
  • Dept Of Justice rejects German family's request for asylum - German home schooling family, fleeing a 1930's era law (yeah, that means it's one of the few laws leftover from the little tyrant with the funny mustache), that forbids parents educating their children outside of the state's power. Nein!
    "The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama Administration’s decision to deny asylum to a German homeschooling family.

    The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States – where they hoped to home school their children. Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.

  • ... the Justice Dept. is ... arguing ‘it is not a human rights violation."

  • ...“If we go back to Germany we know that we would be prosecuted and it is very likely the Social Services authorities would take our children from us,” he said""
Why do I think that that's more indicative of tyranny, than the hot topics of the day? The answer can be found, and I think more easily seen, if we first look at what tyranny actually is, which will also help to illustrate how some of the currently popular libertarian 'solutions' to federal tyranny are likely to result in little more than more of the same themselves.

Tyranny Is... what exactly?
From John Locke, a description of what tyranny actually is, from his The Two Treatises of Civil Government (Hollis ed.) > CHAP. XVIII. Of TYRANNY.
" AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. [this sentence removed to be addressed below]. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion."
And the machinery that a tyrant requires in order to be able to tyrannize you, is summed up here by James Madison, from The Federalist (Gideon ed.) > No. 47: The meaning of the maxim, which requires a separation of the departments of power, examined and ascertained
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. "
And from John Adams, commenting on that which has been seen as the best antidote to tyranny, a Republic, described a Republic as :
"... It signified a government, in which the property of the public, or people, and of every one of them, was secured and protected by law. This idea, indeed, implies liberty; because property cannot be secure unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use, or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for that purpose..."
These points, and they really must be taken together, do apply directly to the hot five above, especially as regards the EPA & IRS, and all other administrative agencies, which, because our legislature has shamefully offloaded their responsibilities to them, they:
  • have been given power to write their own laws (a regulation by any other name, is a law just the same),
  • have been given power to enforce their own laws (administration by any other name is enforcement, just the same),
  • have been given power to judge themselves within their own judicial system (Govt arbitration of its own rules by any other name is arbitrary judgment, all the same).
Look back up at the quote from Madison's Federalist No. 47, and see if you don't see the shape of the beast here. But even so, what these issues still don't get to the heart of, is what it is that is at the heart of liberty itself, and through a negative light, tyranny, as well.

We often hear, often from myself, that we must have the Rule of Law, or we will be ruled by the whims of men, after all, where the rule of law ends, the power of the tyrant begins. But that leaves unsaid a dangerous assumption about laws themselves - that they are themselves in and of themselves, just. Madison touched upon this as well, in The Federalist (Gideon ed.) > No. 48: The same subject continued, with a view to the means of giving efficacy in practice to that maxim
"The founders of our republics have so much merit for the wisdom which they have displayed, that no task can be less pleasing than that of pointing out the errors into which they have fallen. A respect for truth, however, obliges us to remark, that they seem never for a moment to have turned their eyes from the danger to liberty, from the overgrown and all-grasping prerogative of an hereditary magistrate, supported and fortified by an hereditary branch of the legislative authority. They seem never to have recollected the danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpations." [emphasis mine]
At the very least, the Laws must themselves be Just, and while a written constitution is a necessary means of keeping them in line, if that constitution does not prevent the consolidation of power (which is what our famous 'Checks and Balances' are designed to do), if it does not provide boundaries to those laws by stating to the law makers that they may go this far and no farther (as our Bill of Rights do), then tyranny may be affected upon those living under that constitution every bit as tyrannically by law, as it might otherwise be done by royal whim.

Our justice dept, in denying asylum to this German family who are after all simply seeking to educate their children as they, their parents, see fit, as is their right, rips down that no trespassing sign of "This far, and no farther" from our judicial landscape, and you can be sure it does so in the hope and expectation of it not being discovered and nailed back into place.

The Justice Dept. is arguing that a German law banning home schooling (a law, BTW, leftover from the days of the little tyrant with the funny mustache... yeah, that guy) does not violate the family’s human rights." Note 'Human rights' not Individual Rights. At the risk of making an unpopular and/or laughable statement... I find this more... far more... disturbing than all of the other scandals of the week, because those hot issues are instances of existing laws and procedures being violated within the functioning of (what remains of) our constitutional framework.
(H/T for those borrowed pics from Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, and Caroline)
Alert DHS for the Assault Chair!

Assault Chair!

I try my 'Force Push' skills on the DHS

Hennesy & Hoft

Patch & I photo-bombing

Lloyd Sloan... wordless ;-)

Watch your step indeed...

DHS faces its greatest threats - youth and laughter

This decision doesn't merely violate the law, it seeks to create law, or rather, it seeks to uncreate the very source of our laws, striking directly at the heart of Individual Rights as such. It attacks our founding understanding that Rights are inherent in our nature as human beings and that they exist prior to, and superior to, what ever it is that governments might wish to grant to, or restrict from, We The People. This is what our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, was all about, that Individual Rights are what govt's are instituted to uphold and protect, and that is not only not reflected in this decision, it is explicitly repudiated by it, it is in effect, Govt's Declaration of Independence from We The People.

This decision declares that that most fundamental of Individual Rights, a parents rights over their children, to raise them and to educate them as they see fit, are of no substance whatsoever.

It may seem small in comparison to the scandalpalooza's of the day, but I promise you that in its implications it is huge, it is a dagger thrust at the heart of Individual Rights, and it is something which Holder's DOJ explicitly went out of its way to reverse. Realize that a lower court had already granted the Romelke family asylum, and Holder's Dept of Justice chose to expend great amounts of time, effort and expense in order to overturn it!.
"...In 2010, HSLDA took the family’s case and helped them win a legal battle. They became the first family to obtain asylum based on the protection of homeschooling rights. Shortly after, the U.S. government appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration, claiming the family’s case failed to show that there was any discrimination based on religion...."
This is extremely significant, in ways that - grave though they may be - simple run of the mill illegality on the part of government apparatchiks, pales in the face of.

If the basis of the Law is not itself Just, then no number of 'no trespassing' laws will keep tyranny away, for the law itself will have become the very source and means of exercising tyranny. Our Constitution was formed from, is an expression of, and is entirely dependent upon, an understanding of Natural Law and the concept of Individual Rights which follows from that, and it cannot function as designed without that understanding being present in those the govt derives its just powers from - that'd be you & me - see the last century for reference.

The United States of America's Department of Justice has not only stated, but taken action to establish, the 'fact' that parents do not have the right, do not have A Right, to their children, where the Govt might decide it wishes to assert that it has prior ownership and claim to them. If you do not think that this has bearing on other present and future government projects, if you don't think that this has a bearing on the Common Core Curriculum Standards... if you don't think that the Melissa Harris Perry's of Common Core of the world aren't taking courage from this... you are... dreaming. And if you think that if this decision is allowed to stand, that your own Rights will continue to stand as well... then you are not even dreaming.

Property Rights - your Right to what is yours, up to and including your own life - can have no standing whatsoever, in the face of a ruling that states that a parent has no right to their own children. If a Parent has no Right to their children, let alone to the education of their children, then there are NO Property Rights. Period. And in that case, Law, as we think of it, is merely a means of posting the Ruler's will.

What dreams will come from that, are nightmarish, to say the least.

More on identifying and remedying the tyranny around us, and waking up from it, next post.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Declaration of Reascendance

A Declaration of Reascendance
In 1776, our Founding Fathers faced a crisis of tyranny in their own government, and lacking our good fortune of having them in their past, they found themselves left with no other option, than to issue the Declaration of Independence, which of course began with:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Fortunately for us however, because of their actions, and their later efforts almost two decades later, which resulted in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we no longer need to dissolve the political bands which connect us with one another, we only need to reassert them. First and foremost, we should reassert that:
  • --We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
  • --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
And amend the next phrase to:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter ***or to abolish*** it, ***and to institute new Government, laying*** reaffirming its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
That is the job of our legislators to perform, and to see to it that it is held to. But even more than that, it is our responsibility as citizens to see to it that our representatives are reminded of their responsibilities and of our awareness of that.

Through the creation of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, and further acts of Congress, we have an agency of the government, the Internal Revenue Service, which has been acting in rebellion to both the Constitution, the laws of the land and its own charter, abusing its power, intimidating the people of our land, and doing so while operating directly under the supervision and oversight of the Commerce Dept, the Justice Dept and the President of the United States of America.

As such, it has become self-evident that neither of these entities can any longer be trusted with managing or investigating that which they have already so completely lost control of.

As our representatives in Congress, We The People insist and demand that you, our Senators and Representatives, shall see to it that there be:
  1. an immediate halt to normal operations of this IRS
  2. an immediate hiring freeze
  3. an immediate investigation by an independent prosecutor
  4. an immediate halt to any plans that this agency be given oversight of any area of our healthcare system
For when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (H/T Dana Loesch's "Defund the IRS" and Jim Hoft "Now is the time to Speak Out):

IRS, Labor Department Audit Businessman on Obama’s Enemies List
Document: IRS ordered conservative educational group to turn over a list of high school and college students it trained
IRS Faces Class Action Suit For Theft Of Health Care Records
IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo
IRS to Tea Party Group: “Provide Details of Your Planned Event With NEWT GINGRICH”
IRS Asked For Facebook Posts, Thoughts
POLL: Most Want IRS Officials Fired or Jailed
Top Obama Official Illegally Revealed Conservative Group’s Tax Status in 2010
Obama Campaign Attacked Romney With Leaked IRS Documents
Pro-Israel Z Street Group: IRS Told Us We Might Be Funding Terrorism
Democrat Senators Demand IRS Scrutinize Tea Party Groups
Though it is our right, because we have you, our Senators and Representatives, representing us in government, we do not need to do as our Founders did, and throw off our Government, we only need to re-apprise you of your duty to institute reliable Guards upon it for our present and future security.

--And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Find your representative here.
Find your senator here.
John Boehner
Eric Cantor
Mitch McConnell
On Twitter: #DefundIRS


We The People of the United States of America

Blogodidact - GGI - The Bell News

Monday, May 06, 2013

Question: What to do with those who ask what to do about the parents? Common Core State Standards pt. 5

Question: What to do with those who ask what to do about the parents?
These posts have not been about the material that makes up the Common Core Curriculum itself - I & others have covered the worthless core they have in common before. Instead, these posts have been about something less talked about: What Common Core, Race To The Top, and all the rest, assume and presume to do with you, the parents, and to you, the community.

My previous post from the DESE Common Core State Standards meeting, demonstrated a prime example of how CCSS is attempting to do this. It also confirmed what I said at the end of the last post, where I said that there was something you can do to fight the likes of the Common Core Curriculum - you most definitely can.

What is my advice?

Don't just do something, talk about it.

Come again?

The preceding posts in The Common Core Curriculum - What to do about the parents:
* New answers to a very old question pt.1
* Questioning the goals of the questioners pt.2
* Popular new answers to the same old question pt.3
* The Royal Lie pt.4
If you're not sure what I mean, consider that alert parents in Texas recently fought the CCSS and won. And got CSCOPE, a program that is arguably even worse, in its place. Oops. Doing something is good... but it's rarely enough.

If you are a parent, you are no doubt familiar with the frustration of trying to affect change by complaining to your child's teacher, principal or school. More often than not, you are either not listened to, or are told that it is beyond their poor power to do anything about it.

Frustrating as that is, it is also key to defeating these programs, rather than simply replacing one pig with another in a different shade of lipstick. Equally frustrating, is the realization that charging out and demanding action is unlikely to accomplish as much as a few well chosen words, spread by word of mouth until they reach a roar - and that is in your power to initiate, spread and amplify. So try not to be discouraged or distracted by the situation, or even by the awful mess that is being put over on our children with the Common Core Curriculum; because those are, after all, nothing but the 'smart' ideas that they are seeking to put in place. And before they can succeed at that, what they still have to do, which they are very much aware of, is come up with an answer to the old question:
"What to do about the parents?"
And what they have to do about the parents, is manage the threat that they pose, living anchors into the past that they are, to the forward motion and transformational power of the royal lie. After all, if royalty's credibility is questioned, it crumbles, and they know it.

DESE worked very hard to manage the little people gathered to hear them, and their strategy, a favorite of committees who wish to control those they report to, called "The Delphi Technique", was successful in several locations that same night around Missouri, though not at the one I attended, or the one in Springfield MO (detailed video here). What was different was that several individuals simply did not want to be divided into groups (listen to the video, you can hear just a couple people saying to each other "I don't want to go into a group...") where we could be managed and handled, several people simply would not allow their questions to go unanswered, and several people, myself included, were infuriated by the obvious examples of 'choice architecture'. We spoke up and asked our questions, and not only could the DESE spokesmen not answer them, other people present, could, and did, and DESE quickly lost control and credibility in their own meeting.

Their question of "What to do about the parents?" is also the best question for you to focus upon, and not just because of the potential threat to your rights which the answers of those in power might be tempted to give; but because the question holds the key to the concerns which those in power have in regards to you, the parent today, as well as the parents of tomorrow, your child.
Related posts: Common Core State Standards proponents failed attempts to do something about the parents:
* Video of Lindbergh DESE Common Core Meeting. Crowd Refuses to be Delphied.
* Lindbergh Crowd Halts Scripted Common Core Meeting
* DESE attempts to drive the message, but drives away citizens/taxpayers instead
* If Govt is reckless with money that's not theirs, just imagine how they'll treat your human capital (aka:children) - Common Core State Standards
St. Louis DESE 'Communication Meeting' @Lindbergh#1:

As noted in the previous posts, this is a question that cannot not be dealt with by those who have, or seek to have, the power to transform society, and the options it leaves for them, is to either win you over, or silence you - neither of which, believe it or not, are they are fully confident in their power to do - hence their need for us to buy the Royal Lie.

The question holds the key to how concerned they are that you might disrupt their plans for you, your children and the the perfected state they are striving to bring us all into - for our own good. What is it you might do which they are so concerned about? That meeting the other day has the answer, and while we're working our way up to answering the question in detail, here are some key points to keep in mind when dealing with people who are trying to keep you in their power:

  1. Try not to let yourself see the problem as they want you to see it.
  2. Try not to hand over to them the power they are still only wishing they had.
  3. Remember the old saw: their strength holds the key to their weakness.
Look through your eyes, not theirs
When they say "it is beyond their power to do anything about it.", that is far from being a bug or a failure of their programs, it is a feature of the system, and it is one of its most coveted strengths.

Being able to say "It's out of my hands" is the bureaucratic equivalent of castle walls and a key to the strategy which has evolved for dealing with those bothersome parents who behave as if their parental rights to their children are more substantial than those of the states... or even of the 'Our' that the Melissa Harris-Perry's of the world claim to speak for.

But at the same time, that feature is a confession, a confession that they do not yet, yet, have the power to do with your child what they will. If they felt confident of their power to, no doubt the reply you'd receive would be more like "By what right do you question these rules? How dare you!". They certainly would if they could - for the greater good, of course, but they haven't yet, because of what they fear you would, and could do in response should they overstep the reach of their power.

How long can you count on that lasting? Well, consider how they're treating their own teachers who merely question the Common Core today:,
"... I suggested they become aware that there are two sides to this and to be prepared to have an opinion. I pointed out that questions could come from concerned parents or others in the community. I also shared that my main concern was with the changes to data privacy and losing local control. When I was finishing my administrator said that there would be no more emailing, or talking about the common core amongst the staff. There was a finality to his tone and the meeting was quickly over at that point. I then received an email from my administrator reminding me of our district policy of not using school resources to push political concerns or agendas. He also stated that there was to be no more discussion about common core unless it was on an “educational” basis between staff members."
Or how about this from a Math teacher, who being less than impressed with CCSS, made the 'mistake' of saying so:
"This teacher wrote a math problem into a Tweet. He got a negative response from someone he did not know. The next day, he was pulled out of his class and suspended on suspicion that he had leaked a Common Core test question on Twitter."
His crime was to tweet an example of a math problem - not an actual CCSS copyrighted(!) math problem, but one similar to what can be found in the Common Core testing:
"6x10+5x1+4(1/10)+2(1/100)+7(1/1000)=? Fifth graders better get it right or your teachers and schools may be ineffective"
This teacher was pulled from his class, during class, with no explanation given, suspended and smeared by unanswered rumors, because a CCSS evaluator who was monitoring his twitter stream (!), accused him of making public 'copyrighted material'. A math problem. Copyrighted. Grounds for being removed from class and suspended.

If that's how they're treating their own... the same and worse treatment for parents can't be far behind. They are chipping away at the very concept of individual rights, and the need for those in power to respect them - but they're not there yet, and you've got to let them know that you know that.

Don't let them AssUme the Sale
Knowing that they have to control you, and knowing that they don't yet have the power to control you, leaves them the alternative of trying to convince you that you do not have the power to interfere with them and their power over you. Caution: if you don't show them that you know that they don't have power over you... then they will have power over you, since you'd have given it to them by assuming that they do. The truth of this was demonstrated in the various DESE meetings around Missouri last Thursday night, many people allowed them to behave as if they had the power to control them, and so they did.

In sales, that's called assuming the sale, or the 'Assumptive Close', where they hand you the pen and say "Sign here please." and then practice that toughest of sales techniques - shutting up and letting the buyer sell themselves. The salesman knows that he can't force you to buy it - he knows that - but he can maneuver you into thinking that you have no choice but to buy it... and so you do.

That is the same technique you've experienced when complaining to your child's teacher or principal about a social studies book or worksheet. If you object to its saying something like "America is a Democracy!" in big happy font, and you point out that "That is false, we are a Republic, and we were deliberately designed to not be a democracy", you get a response such as,

"Oh, that was decided upon by Superintendent Big E. Wig. It's out of our hands."

And nothing more.

Talk about assuming the sale.

And to give credit where credit's due, it's effective, isn't it? They act as if you have no choice, they are assuming away your power to question their actions, moving you ever further from being the sole parents of your child, into a position where your parental rights are, at best, shared with the state.

That is what Cubberly had in mind when he enthused that,
"Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent."
'They' and the Planless Plans that corrupt our common core
From Lester Ward & Ellwood P. Cubberly on, the plan of our educational system, from the districts on down to the layout of the schools, the design has been to distance you, the parent, from an active role, or any decisive role in the decision making process.

What designing ever larger schools, ever larger school districts, ever larger bureaucracies, and testing services of nationwide scope accomplishes, is to displace local input in favor of the smart answers which they, from the district level right on up to the well funded foundations, seek to provide for you. The 'plan' has been to render your ability to be heard - and so the need for them to listen to you - ever less significant.

I say 'plan' and 'they' very loosely. Yes, aspects of it were consciously conceived by people such as Ward, Cubberly, Dewey, etc, but the system that has evolved and grown into what we know and love today, has been less the result of conspiracy or even conscious planning, than the natural outlook and tendency of the progressive worldview of experts providing answers from the top down.

It's an important point, as is the flipside of it - not only is no conspiracy needed to bring this present system about, neither can mere actions prevent it from coming about and being implemented - see how Texas moved to rid themselves of the plans of the Common Core, and found themselves wrapped up in CSCOPE.

If that's not clear, try looking at that exterior example, from an interior point of view. Why is it that at one time, the living room in most homes had their furniture angled so that those sitting in them faced towards each other - and now it is rare to find such a room? Was there an interior decorating conspiracy to turn people away from each other? Not at all. What happened of course, was television sets; nearly every home has one in its living room, and the rooms furniture is now all angled to face the T.V. The new central object 'caused' a nationwide, worldwide even, rearrangement of furniture with no coordinated effort at all. And were you to pass some fashionable taboo against furniture not being faced towards each other, something like two sided televisions would have been invented and placed between them.

You cannot stop an idea by actions alone, the idea itself must be shown to be, and accepted as being, inadequate or wrong. And the idea being attacked is not just quality education, but your rights, your parental rights, and everyone's right to live their own lives. Behind all the rules, programs and gimmicks, the concept of individual rights, and the requirement that political power should only be used to defend them, is being replaced by the idea that the smart people in power, must be empowered to crack a few eggs for the greater good.

Just as conversation was replaced by entertainment at the center of our living rooms, the act of replacing, at the common core of our ethics, our concern for what is Right and Wrong, with a concern for what serves the Greater Good, has restructured our entire society from politics to education to entertainment, and it has required little or no efforts of coordination or conspiracies, to bring about the transformation of our educational system, into one suited to carrying that new purpose out. Likewise, the efforts of parents and legislators to alter these education reforms have been, and will continue to be, blatantly ineffective, because they are only altering the particular measures being taken, and leaving untouched the ideas which have been driving them.

There is no need for people to conspire, or even to cooperate. When a concern for Right and Wrong is replaced by a drive to increase social "efficiency" for the greater good, then smart plans such as these will continue to be designed in order to improve the lives of the unthinking little people for their own good - it is the natural and inevitable result.

Similarly with the incessant calls for 'Democracy!' that have been wailed at us for the last century, the concern for the greater good, rather than the good for all that only individual rights can bring about, requires us to give ourselves over to the will of the majority and since the majority is comprised of too many individuals to possibly be able to discuss or decide upon a single thing, leaders are required, smart leaders with well laid plans for your greater good, who can take 'important issues' off your hands. Imagine that.

"It's out of my hands" is the feature of the administrative system - it is not a bug.

The Greater Good requires that decisions be 'out of your hands', it requires that decisions be made for more people than you do now, or can ever know of, and that there be higher authorities with the power to make them for you.

And so, far from being a failing of the system, it is the design pattern that the entire structure has been founded upon, not just the schools, and every cog of it contributes to distancing individuals from those issues and people who are accountable to them, helped along by everyone assuming that the majority will agree with them. Be careful what you AssUme, lest you make an Ass out of U and me.

Cheer up, their expectations of your despair is cause for hope
That is not a reason for despair; being that it is central to their focus, it is an important clue as to how to fight back - by doing what they clearly are most afraid you might do, which is the whole reason why they do their best to instill that despair in you. Parents need to learn what those who see their children as human capital have always known: You are the threat they fear the most.


Not your ability to get things done, in fact I think they'd prefer that. Why? Because actions are containable and absorbable by the system, such interferences can be handled and have been handled, and do get handled... progressively. If you complain (only) through the system, your voice can be routed, tied up in red tape, diluted, handled, silenced and forgotten.

That is how we progressed from little red school houses, to large red central school systems in the first place.

But as with the Progressive problem in general, the answer lays in not allowing your views and options to be limited by the plans that they have prepared for you.

Which leads us back to what concerns them most - your voice, speaking with awareness of your rights, and the possibility that others hearing you will expose their disregard for your rights, for the law, and for truth and reality itself.

Assuming the sale is both the most powerful technique, and the weakest, since it relies upon your voice. If you accept it, it is not them taking power from you, but you giving it to them. Likewise, if you refuse to give it to them, they cannot take it from you and they are left powerless, exposed and embarrassed.

That is the power of your voice. But it also matters when, where and how you raise it. When you simply complain within the system that they've designed for you, it, and the peril to them, is easily swallowed whole.

But if you are heard outside the system and its processes... where others can not only hear you, but can hear you and take up your questions... ruh-roh! There is a default stagnation, a motionless momentum that builds up around people who have become progressively accustomed to wrongs, lies and inefficiencies, they are more likely to smile wryly and crack a joke when they hear a too, too familiar complaint - that too is a feature. But again, it only has the power those same people give it. If you can get them to question that too familiar issue, get them to join in on the dialog, then rather than reinforcing the despair, they will instead help amplify your voice and the ideas such questions cannot help but promote - and that is what concerns those who have plans for you.

They know you can't fight ideas with actions, they know, even if only unconsciously, that you can only fight one idea with another. And they know that their ideas cannot stand up to the light of reality and a demand for truth - that is why they need the Royal Lie - and if you question it, and others hear you and take up your questions, then they, and their fundamentally anti-American system, is doomed to destruction. All of it.

And that is cause for hope.

Questionable Behavior
It is critical that yo don't do what comes naturally to most of us - do not dismiss the sound of your voice as something small or insignificant - recall where it got Socrates himself, and why. Socrates was put to death, not for doing something, but for asking questions and for asking them where they would be overheard by other people, and as those others became crowds overhearing the answers that important and powerful people were providing were ridiculous, it became unbearable to them, and he was put to death.

How's that for a pep talk?! "Yes, you too could die for what you believe!", but it is important to recognize your position, and don't fool yourself into thinking that now is any different than then - don't laugh it off and don't run away - your voice is at the same time both a threat and a life vest, to them, and to yourself - it depends upon how you use it, or fail to. Just because forcing you to drink hemlock is no longer seen as being a politically correct solution, doesn't mean that bringing about your metaphorical, social, financial or even judicial demise, is out of the question for them.

The key to correcting errors and exposing lies, does not lay in simply raising your voice or providing answers - comfortable assumptions are impervious to undesirable truths. The key is to cause answers to be demanded, and that's done not by providing answers, at first, but by raising questions.

For central planners, even if they don't think questions need to be or should be asked, they are painfully aware that there is much more that can be said about their ideas,by the wrong sort of people, and that even more will be said and done, if they don't handle the spin well. And sadly, in America today, while neither Glaucon & Adeimantus or Pol Pot's solutions are likely to fly (stripping parents of their children and exiling them is still not quite PC. Yet.), I fear we are separated from them only by a differences of degree, and not of kind. While their drastic answers to the question of 'What to do about the parents?' might be unfashionable, you should never forget that methods are related to, and derived from, the goals they serve - remember the T.V. in the living room - you should be asking yourself just what it is that you are relying on to keep their methods in line with your standards of right and wrong. If they don't hold to your standards, or to any standards beyond what they see as being the smart thing to do - where is that likely to leave you?

What 'Right' of yours can you expect to be respected, from people who don't believe in Rights?

It's not what you might do that alarms the common core of those we've placed in power over us today, their goal is to reform the world into some ideal that is pleasing and conducive to those who have power over it, and it has been their policy to progressively reshape your every action to suit their ends, for well over a century. They've gotten very good at handling action. No, your only real chance at keeping them in check, is to question them, loudly and unceasingly and to demand answers of them which actually reflect reality. They will happily respond with spin and out and out lies if allowed to - again it is your voice that decides the matter - you must not allow it! Question them!

What concerns them most is the possibility that your questions might be heard outside the restraints of the system. What concerns them most is that if your questions are heard outside the system, they will cause others to become concerned and ask even more questions - questions which they know damn well they have no good answers for, which is the entire reason for concocting the Royal Lie in the first place. If you want your voice to be heard you need to cause others to ask those questions too, as well as more of their own - that will be get your voice heard outside the system

Talk. Be heard. And not just to your legislators, but to your neighbors. Ask more questions of your neighbors than you try providing answers for; uncomfortable questions about their children and whose they really are - Theirs, or the State' s... or Melissa Harris-Perry's. Ask the sorts of questions that get people talking - there's nothing those who desire power over you fear more.

One reason why they are concerned by your voice, is because no matter how hard they've tried to bury the idea, in a Republic, power doesn't come from the government, it is not vested in the will of the Majority, it comes from the consent of the governed. In a Republic, if you can keep it, the voice of the people is where the power is vested and it is We The People that can restrain those we put in power over us - but only if we demand it.

When the people are silent, their representatives can claim to be acting in their name. Do not mistake me: we are not, despite the ardent wishes of proRegressives, a Democracy, we are a constitutional representative republic. We The People do not dictate to our representatives, the decisions they will make - the entire purpose of electing them, is not just so that they can give matters the deeper attention which our necessarily less informed opinions might reflect - though that too - the greater matter is to keep the source of power out of the hands of those charged with exercising it. This is a central (and forgotten) aspect of the design of our government - a Republic, if you can keep it. Tyranny is every bit as tyrannical when exercised by one hand or a thousand - our Representatives do not actually hold power, they exercise it for us, as managers, as employees.

And that is also the key. We elect them, or at least we should, based upon their principles, we elect them to speak with our voice, because we trust their understanding, judgment and character to do the right thing which we might, if we had the same time and energy to devote to the matter - they can only behave as if they own the place, if We The People don't raise our voices and call them out on it.

When your community leaders actions can be shown to be following not from principle, but instead from particulars which they are favorable to (and which those with power and money show favors for), then their own power and influence are in danger of losing all in the next election. When the people speak out, in numbers, loudly, their representatives claims of representing our common principles become increasingly questionable... and their power - the ability to influence others - is dealt a body blow, and perhaps even a knockout punch, because power flees such situations like rats from sinking ships. In such a situation, particulars cannot be appeased, only those who rely on principle have a chance of prevailing.

When they act not on principles, but upon particulars - benefits, powers - they can only do so by abandoning principle and law.

Question them, question them to your neighbors to your friends, family and co-workers - question them om blogs, on facebook, on Twitter. You won't be alone if you do, there are others, others who are still today under the strange impression that Education should involve more than toothless questions and those 'answers' to them that are spun from the royal lie.

The answer for us today, is to ask questions and demand answers, and not just any answers - which they'll be more than happy to supply you - but answers that make sense (check out the Socratic method for hints on how), Ask them what they are doing, pick up those statements that they just lay down there, such as: "Prepare for success!" for instance, and continue the Socratic dialog yourself, as Angie began to (see MOEW link): What do they mean by that?, What new skills have they identified and developed curriculum for, that did not exist in the 20th, 19th, 18th & 17th centuries and which couldn't be handled just as well or better? Twitter 101? Really?

Who do you think is going to be more effective at expressing themselves in 140 characters or less... the person who is able to identify plot and theme and summarize them briefly... or the CCSS student whose depth of training is an ability to find the missing words in worksheets whose source they don't even need to bother reading?

Please. If schools had anything to do with preparing the young for the Internet age, they'd still be playing pong, not Halo

The shtick of the Royal Lie cannot survive scrutiny, you merely need to expose it for what it is. Ask them to define the words they are using. Ask them for examples. And if you feel at all foolish for asking 'obvious questions', just wait till you hear how foolish they look trying to explain them.

Ask them about the obvious contradictions that crop up between their initial statements and their explanations of them.

  • What respectable studies do they have showing that the CCSS will be effective in Educating their students?
  • Given the importance they've placed on testing, what testing evidence can they point to showing the effectiveness of these standards?
  • A large part of parental involvement in their childs education has been reviewing homework and tests with their kids, CCSS testing eliminates that possibility - how will eliminating this key piece of parental involvement from students eduation, contribute to their education?
Brian Bollman has an excellent list of practical questions from their meeting in Cape Girardeau, I encourage you to print these out and start them stewing amongst your friends, family & neighbors. Pursue these questions, you'll soon come up with many more, such as some of those that the ladies at Missouri Education Watchdog, Gretchen & Angie, have been so persistently asking. Questions such as the problem with turning over the nation's education development and delivery to a 501(c)(3)?

  • Who will be in control of the standards?
  • Who will be designing the assessments?
  • Will voters have any say in who is educating their children?
  • Could billionaires with an agenda (pick your side, left or right) organize a nonprofit to deliver the type of education they believe students should learn?"
There are no shortage of links I can supply you for this, but the briefest encapsulation, with links to others, can be found on Mo Education Watchdog such as this ( one of many, many posts) post on ... that Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, which asks some very good questions of the assertions made about 'world class' standards, such as, if world class education is the purpose of the standards, why is it that,

  • the main CCSS writers are not educators and have spent little to zero time in the classroom
If Education is the goal, isn't that just a wee bit counter intuitive? However, if that's not strictly the case, if they are more interested in reshaping society, managing the state's human capital, then some other points become illuminating and become increasingly interesting. Perhaps some questions should be asked about why:

  • CCSS is allowing private corporations (data mining companies) access to student data that are not educational in nature as well as various Federal agencies such as Health/Human services, Department of Defense and Labor
  • SBAC has mandated assessments and computer infrastructure that districts cannot afford
  • SBAC is out of federal stimulus money as of 2014 and states are expected to pony up for the ongoing additional costs expected to be in the millions
  • to leave the SBAC consortia requires the majority of other states' approval and the Department of Education's approval
  • And a question that should become the common core of every parent and person concerned about education,
    Questions:... Is this an acceptable way to institute educational reform?
    And of course there's my favorite,
    • How do you define Education, and how do these standards contribute to it? In this or any century?
    That is the question which, if followed, will eventually lead us to abandon this fruitless century long pursuit of transforming Education into a system for business skills delivery, and reorient it towards a system for the transmission and appreciation of wisdom. And seriously, even for those who expect nothing more from school than enabling their kids to get a good job... a skilled fool is going to wind up poor in more ways than one, but a wise person is capable of acquiring whatever skills and wealth they set their minds to - that is what made America America - pursue that, and your children will have a real chance at finding happiness.

    Are you going going to insist on a real dialog with those who presume to think for you, or are you going to let them assume the sale? Are you really willing to hand over your human capital (aka: your kids) in payment for the mockery of education that programs like the Common Core State Standards are seeking to put you in your place with? If you don't think that state educational policies should be adopted outside of your legislature, and imposed upon you without even the pretense of representatives, while containing
    "... unfunded and continually evolving mandates, please sign the petition of rid Missouri of Common Core standards.
    Heh, 'No Education without Representation!' But seriously, you need to do more than raise your voice, you need to raise questions and demand answers that reflect reality, and you need to let your representatives know that you expect them to be doing that for you - that's their job!

    Fortunately some lawmakers are beginning to take a moments break from knowing what's best, both on the state level , to ask a few questions of their own, such as this one in Missouri,
    "HB616 requires the state to stop implementation of Common Core Standards and Assessments."
    as well as on the Federal level, with this one by Sen. Grassley
    “The reality is that the U.S. Department of Education has made adoption of standards matching those in Common Core a requirement for getting waivers and funds,” Grassley said. “This violates the structure of our education system, where academic content decisions are made at the state level giving parents a direct line of accountability to those making the decisions. The federal government should not be allowed to coerce state education decision makers.”

    Grassley is inviting senators to join him in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds education. The letter urges appropriators to set clear restrictions on the U.S. Department of Education
    How about you?

    Would you like to show some signs of having an Education and ask a few more questions? Are you willing to demand answers that reflect the reality you can see slipping away? Are you willing to raise a little Cain?

    Or are you, like Glaucon & Adeimantus, satisfied with the seemingly smart and common sense answer of leaving matters to the central planners to work out? Are you so confident in giving such power over your life and family to those who believe themselves to be so much smarter than you? Did you see how well it worked out for the millions of Cambodians under Pol Pot?

    Though doubtless smarter people than I feel quite sure that it'll all work out fine for us. In the end.

    And with no more questions to be asked, nothing more will need to be said.

    Show Me Action for today against the Common Core State Standards in Missouri

    My final (for the moment) post on Common Core State Standards will be posted tonight, in the meantime, I'm forwarding a message that you can - must! - take action on today:

    A Message from:
    Missouri Coalition Against Common Core
    Missouri Education Watchdog

    RE: Senate Bill 210,
    Sen. John Lamping
    Sen. Brian Nieves
    Text of SB 210 here:

    Common Core Standards are a hot topic in the State of Missouri these days, especially after the eight meetings held across the State last Thursday by the Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). From the reports received from those attending these meetings, it is apparent that things did not go as smoothly as DESE would have liked, due in large part to an ever-increasingly informed citizenry. We now feel it is time to strike “while the iron is hot”.

    • At the meetings, DESE never did answer questions on cost or data. These are the two issues Senator Lamping wants DESE to talk about in SB210 in the eight townhall meetings around the state with Commissioner Nicastro in attendance.
    • No answers were given as to the data mining of students…
    • Exactly what data is being collected?
    • WHY are they collecting the data?
    • Who is going to be privy to the data?
    • We know for a fact that third parties will be given access to this data…
    • Who are these third parties?
    • What do they plan to do with this information?
    • Have they asked for the parents’ permission before collecting this data?
    • DESE and Governor Nixon adopted these standards BEFORE they were even written!
    It is imperative that SB210 is passed so DESE finally has to answer to the Legislature and the people on these critical questions.

    Here’s what you can do to help…
    Note: Please help us spread the word by forwarding this information to all of your contacts/network affiliations, asking them to take action as well.

    Please call and e-mail your senator, as well as Senator Lamping, Senator Dempsey, and Senator Richard and tell them you support SB 210 (text below).

    It's easy!

    To find your senator's contact information, just enter your zip code in the appropriate box on this senate webpage

    Also, please e-mail and call the following senators. Thank Senator Lamping for sponsoring the bill, and ask Senators Dempsey and Richards to see that SB 210 passes in the senate:

    Senator John Lamping, Sponsor of SB 210
    State Capitol Room 426
    (573) 751-2514

    Senator Tom Dempsey, President Pro Tem
    State Capitol Room 326
    (573) 751-1141

    Senator Ron Richard, Majority Floor Leader
    (573) 751-2173
    Why isn't the media covering this important issue? The story is as massive and important as the Department of Revenue debacle and the governor's involvement in lack of transparency and setting policy outside of legislative approval.

    Call the Media today and ask them that question. Send in your “letters to the editor” letting them know your opinion, questions and concerns about Common Core.


    • Go to the MO Education Watchdog website and sign the "Get MO out of Common Core" petition (at this link
    • MO Coalition Against Common Core is building a speaker's bureau so you can have them give a presentation at meetings with your friends, relatives, neighbors, and groups you are affiliated with. Sign up on their website…
    • Be sure to become a member of MO Coalition Against Common Core to receive emails with important action can also volunteer to visit/lobby legislators in Jeff City. Education and spreading the word is so imperative!
    If you want more information on Common Core before taking action go to:
    Missouri Coalition Against Common Core
    Missouri Education Watchdog

    Friday, May 03, 2013

    If Govt is reckless with money that's not theirs, just imagine how they'll treat your human capital (aka:children) - Common Core State Standards

    After attending our local Common Core 'presentation' by Missouri's DESE, I've only time for a brief pre-post post. This picture (H/T Adam Bohn) of the only informational hand out that the DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) people brought to the meeting tonight, should tip you off to how the evening went.

    All they thought to provide interested parents, was a one sided questionnaire, to a meeting of parents who have been chaffing for a chance to comment on and ask questions about the monstrosity that is the Common Core Curriculum. Their handout has two sections. The first says:
    "1. What do you like about the Common Core State Standards?"
    , followed by a number of blank lines suitable for recording our praises, and then a second line:
    "2. What questions do you have?"
    and another section of lines, followed by an optimistic section to be filled out afterwards, for
    "Location:___, Table Recorder:___, Table Facilitator:______".
    They never got that far, as their 'Nudge' bombed, big time.

    Bringing a knife to a gunfight would have been a step up from bringing a Thank You/"How do you like me now?" questionnaire to a Common Core Curriculum 'presentation' for angry parents armed with burning questions and an expectation of obtaining real answers. They oughta pay closer attention to the Missouri State Motto (maybe it's not in their tests?).

    The presenter, a former school superintendent, Maureen Clancy May, gamely attempted to deliver a lengthy PowerPoint puff presentation, complete with video commentary from DESE leader, Chris Nicastro... to an audience who quickly realized, and politely (at first), let her know that her information was neither new, informational or in any way adequate to their expectations of useful information, discussion and debate.

    I felt sorry for her, briefly, but... seriously - very briefly. While I understand and sympathize with the expectation of being given a polite hearing, once it is clear that your audience finds that the information you are presenting is neither new nor adequate, and yet you still attempt to press on and over your audience with more of the same, you've passed well beyond the realm of the sympathetic and charged directly onto the grounds of the disrespectful.

    To lure people out of their lives in the expectation of information, discussion and debate, and then to make it clear that not only have you not come prepared to answer any of their questions, but she also made it clear that neither she nor DESE had ever had any intention whatsoever of answering any of our questions - that was infuriating. Her one comment to one of many questions on the CCSS summed it up well, and I quote:
    "I can't answer your question in a public sense."
    There ya go. They simply called us parents out of our evenings to be hosed down with a content-less presentation and a healthy heaping of condescension. Sums their educational philosophy up rather well.
    Gretchen Logue of MEW


    Towards the end of the Q&A that we finally forced upon them, I asked her, truly puzzled,
    'Why are you surprised by the reaction of the people here?'
    , and she was speechless. When I followed up afterwards, she so much as said that she really expected our common decency to yield to their completely disrespectful presentation. Surprise. Another DESE representative, Doug, I think his name was, said that he couldn't understand why anyone was the least upset, after all, he said,
    "This is the first time, the very first time I can remember, where everyone agrees upon a plan. Our big corporations agree, our governors agree and the leaders of our educational system all agree, these standards are the best for all concerned - I can't understand why you don't welcome them."
    I don't doubt his surprise. Much as we'd like to attribute nefarious conspiracies, the truth of the matter is probably closer to being that these standards are the results of smart people who think that what they think is best, should be simply accepted by the little people, to help improve their lives and serve the greater good.

    One good thing did come from it though, it provided corroboration for the fifth and last post in my look at the flip side of "Common Core Curriculum Standards: What to do about the parents?", which will be coming Monday.

    Ok, it's late and I'm beginning to sleep type, so for the moment I'll just leave you with Brian Bollmann's post whch  lists a number of the questions that were also not answered in the DESE presentation given in Cape Girardeau, MO. There are questions there, some of which were asked at our gathering as well, which I strongly suggest that every parent and citizen read, ponder, and ask of their friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers and representatives.

    I'll close with this reply I made to someone tonight who'd mentioned how famously irresponsible government is with our money, because it's not theirs:
    If Govt is irresponsible with our money, because it's not theirs, just imagine how irresponsible they are with our human capital (aka: our children), that is also not theirs.
    Morning Coffee Comments
    I'll tack on a couple comments before heading out to work. First, let your MO State Representatives know that you support HB 616 that:
    "Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting and implementing the standards for public schools developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative"
    Sponsor: Rep. Bahr, Kurt (102), Co-Sponsor:Jones, Timothy (110) ... et al. , and your MO State Senator about SB 210 (which last night's fiasco was an attempt to head off):
    "SCS/SB 210" - This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to conduct at least one public hearing in each Missouri congressional district prior to the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The Department must notify school districts and parents of public school students of the hearings at least two weeks in advance.

    At least two weeks prior to the first of the public hearings, the Department must perform a fiscal analysis of the projected cost to the state and school districts of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The Department must also prepare, at least two weeks prior to the first of the public hearings, a report identifying any data that will be collected as a result of the Common Core State Standards and any governmental or quasi-governmental entities or consortium that collects or receives any data. These reports must be published on the Department's website and must be provided to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Joint Committee on Education."
    They're not enough - action rarely is - but they're a start. If you want to bring about real change, begin questioning Common Core to everyone you know.

    Second point, it was interesting the differing expectations for the evening, from people of the Lindbergh School District, and the DESE representatives. When I asked Lindbergh people if they were surprised by our reaction to the 'presentation', and none of them were, there was a distinct "I can't speak my mind at the moment, but NoooOOOooo I'm not surprised - LOL!" smirk on several of their faces. Yet the DESE were completely shocked. My bet is that they are far to used to merely delivering the fruits of their thoughts to people, anything approaching Dialog, being completely foreign to them.

    Also, while the DESE gent I spoke with, Doug, who said he was surprised by their reception because for the very first time business, govt and the educational bureaucracy were in agreement on a plan, he seemed completely unaware that that was far from the case. When I pointed out to him that the one slide of the presentation that showed multiple descending lines of student performance on a graph, were lines that have always been descending, and that CCSS would continue with more of the same, he was quick to disagree... but he had no basis for that disagreement. He seemed to know nothing of several earlier moments of the sort of agreement he was so impressed by, and gave no indication of knowing that in fact modern (post Civil War) American Education began with such ominous instances of agreement, and has been pushed forward by multiple periods of such agreement.

    Of the recent fame of Finland's success in education, he knew only of "In Finland, teachers are held in high regard... not so much here..." and knew nothing of (though he was quick to deny it) the autonomy Finland gives their teachers to choose their curriculum, lesson plans, and write their own tests.

    In short, he was another smart guy, with no base of information from which to guide his intelligence, and when mixed in with the power to affect other people's lives, that is a recipe for disaster.