Apr 182014
 

Malaysian Flight 370 continues to be a tragic mystery, but some hard facts to deal with are the fact that the flight transponder was deliberately turned off and the recently located “ping” from the black box voice recorder has been heard from ships in the Indian Ocean; so it’s time to speculate that this may have been a terrorist act. If the plane had a structural failure or some other kind of mechanical failure, the transponder would not have been turned off. So, terrorism is the prime suspect.

The implications of this are enormous.  If it’s true that the pilot and/or co-pilot shut off the transponder, then all security measures that have been adopted for anti-terrorism reasons have  been defeated. It may still be a possibility that an onboard passenger was a terrorist and forced his way into the cockpit; but this is unlikely because of the bullet proof doors that are placed on all aircraft these days. So, all evidence points to the pilot as a suicidal terrorist. However, it must be said that the recovery of the cockpit voice recorder is the only definite way to establish what actually happened — until then it’s only speculation. As of now, the facts do point to a pilot terrorist act.

Now to understand how problematic this is, you have to consider a very old saying that states:

“Under perfect laboratory conditions, any security equipment one person puts together, another can take apart”.

This breaks down to the Spy vs. Spy drama where each needs to get a better weapon or method to defeat the enemy. History clearly shows this as better weapons are constantly created to defeat other weapons. At first there were rocks, then clubs, then spears, then slings and arrows, then guns, then missiles; and this just goes on and on.

The latest methods to stop terrorists has been scanners, passenger pat downs, sniffing dogs and bullet proof doors on passenger jets. The terrorists defeated all this by developing a new method to get around these tools by just putting the terrorist in the pilot seat to do the deadly deed. Malaysian Flight 370 may show that this deadly technique was effective with the deaths of 239 passengers.

Since Flight 370 may prove that all anti-terrorist technology developed to date is useless against these terrorists, where does this leave us? Well, some may say that we should let them into our homes to show them our humanity, and develop friendships with them; this failed because the 911 terrorist acts and the Boston Marathon bombings were committed by terrorists who lived among us and even went to our schools. This was a total failure on 911 because they went to our schools to learn how to fly the very airplanes they used to attack the World Trade Center and Pentagon where 3,000 Americans were killed.

Some people will now say that we must screen the pilots more carefully; this also can not work because the Muslims have developed communities in America so that there are many Muslims who are native American, they can not be screened out.

This situation with Islam is developing into anger and revulsion that can lead to a major war. This is not acceptable because it may spread to Russia, Asia, Europe, America and get many other countries involved with massive losses on all sides. Also, there are about a billion Muslims in the world today, and so the war will go on for a long time and most likely turn nuclear with unmanageable horrible  results.

A method that has been in use since 911 has been to find and get rid of the terrorists by throwing them in jail or killing them. This limited war has not worked as proven by Iraq and Afghanistan, whereas many as we kill, there are always more in increasing numbers to carry on the fight. The reason is revenge for family members killed. Also, the hate they learn in their schools and their Holy Book the Quran teaches that they must get rid of non-believers and they will be rewarded in heaven for their sacrifice.

One method that has not been tried is to inflict massive casualties on them to the point that they realize it’s a no-win situation for them. But this can not be used because it’s politically incorrect and may lead to the before mentioned major war. It also has to be realized that problems with Muslims are not new. President Thomas Jefferson fought a war against Muslims in Tripoli from the year 1801 to about 1815. And we all know about the Crusades that lasted about 500 years. The question here is, did the Crusades really end, or was there just a 600 year truce that ended with the establishment of Israel in 1948? It must be realized that during most of the history of the Mid East, there was no terrorism, just the usual turf wars that are common to the chaos of the human condition. But there was no terrorism until after the establishment of Israel, so what we call terrorism is really attempts to cut off the supply lines from America to Israel. So, a way to stop terrorism would be to establish peace between Israel and the Palestine people; but many people have tried and failed.

Basically, all the Israeli and Palestine people really want is a home they can call their own; the problem is they both want the same home. But if you add up all the costs of terrorism, it may be worth it if all the nations of the world got together and arrange a homeland for them all. Where I don’t know. It will be a massive undertaking, but well worth it if it ends terrorism.

The last option to counter terrorism would be to have effective leadership that can counter the terrorist threat, but since we do not have effective leaders, there is no solution to terrorism in sight, except maybe to get them all a homeland.

Jose Lugo

lugo@ddtv.org

Party Time For Russia

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Mar 092014
 

The world is a very dangerous place with Russia back at their old tricks of invading countries on their borders. But is this all Russia’s fault, or did America give them the green light?

Consider American policy in Afghanistan, a country on the Russian border, and how America deals with Hamid Karizai, President of Afghanistan. American politicians claim they do not like what he is doing, but American politicians do not seem to realize that they leave Karzai no other choice.

Among the decisions made by Karzai are his refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement that would have left American forces in Afghanistan and their not being subject to Afghan law in case of injuries to Afghan citizens. Also, (and the most important) is the release of 65 Afghan Taliban prisoners from jail, some of whom have killed Americans and are known bomb makers.

To anybody who has any common sense it is quickly apparent that Karzai had no choice, but to make these decisions like he did, if he wants to save his own skin after the American forces leave at the end of this year. Clearly it will be him and the Taliban alone, after the Americans leave, and he knows that the Taliban are very good at assignations of political hacks they do not like. This is why it was so wrong for Obama to unilaterally announce the American troop withdrawal at the end of the year, they forced Karzai’s hand. Also, it should be clear as day by now that Karzai is in fact a Taliban himself. His loyalties are to the Taliban, not America. Karzai’s problem is that he wants American money, but definitely not the Americans. In fact, the only reason he is still alive is because he has convinced his fellow Taliban that he is on THEIR side, and to make the best of the American occupation of his country; in other words, get American money!

This is why America has been using a policy that is all wrong. One minute America is acting like a door mat, just letting all kinds of nuts walk all over us, but then giving them money at the same time. Then demand that they accept American style democracy as their life style and form of government. It was apparent a long time ago that muslim countries do not want American style democracy. They want a society based on religious values that involves worship of their God and strong family values. They look at America with declining religious values, legal aboritions, open promotion of irresponsible sex, high divorce rates, one parent families and they react in horror at us. Clearly, they do not want American style democracy. In fact the only thing America has accomplished with this misguided foreign policy is to give democracy a bad name, a historic first!

The Russians clearly see this really dumb American policy in Afghanistan that’s right on their border and decided to take advantage of it. Other examples of American diplomatic incompetence are the Libya situation, where a American ambassador was killed and nothing was done by America, then there was the Syria situation where America said, “Don’t cross the Red Line and kill civilians with poison gas”, but Syria crossed the Red Line and nothing was done until the Russians stepped in and solved the problem for America.

If you look at American policy with Russia during the Cold War, you will not see any American foreign aid, military intervention or America acting like a door mat. What happened was that a policy of MAD (mutual assured distruction) was used, in other words; you attack us, we distroy you. It worked great. There was no nuclear war, communism fell in Russia and their economy is progressing along nicely. Sure they have an annoying dictator, but this will pass and they will develop a better society as the years pass, all by themselves without American intervention. America on the other hand is not doing well at all. American politicians have adopted the same policy that caused the fall of  Ancient Rome and many other countries since then. The new/old American domestic policy is the old buying votes to gain power, free cell phones and rent free housing have proven effective in doing this; but the cost is sending America to bankruptcy and causing a crippling social rot to take hold.

The American response to the Russian invasion of Crimea is a lot of talk and sanctions. This will not work because Europe will not go along with sanctions, if they do, Russia will cut off their oil and gas supply. Besides, boycotts don’t work, Cuba has been boycotted by America for over 50 years with nothing accomplished.

Will another election of the lesser of two evils solve American problems; not likely. A slight majority of narrow minded Americans are in love with socialism (free stuff that other citizens pay for) and negative social values, all of which have historically led to the distruction nations.

America has to restructure the government to get special interests out of government, term limits, fire all unproductive teachers in the schools and enforce the Constitution, not minimize it. In a historically short period of time of 225 years, the Constitution made America the richest country the world has ever seen, it provided the highest standard of living for the largest percentage of the population. No other country has achieved this. On the other hand, the socialist path America has taken has proven in other countries that it destroys nations in about 63 years (using the Russian example). So we have 58 years to go before the end of America and hard times before the end. That is, if we don’t wise up.

In the mean time, the Russians see all these strange goings on in America and so decided to take advantage of it. The result is that they are really having a great time.

Jose Lugo, founder Direct Democracy TV

lugo@ddtv.org

 

 

Feb 132014
 

Article V Conventions and Nullification are NOT mutually exclusive, nor is one the magic pill for all our federal problems. Each is a legitimate Constitutional solution, but each has a different aim and application. Each plan has its inherent problems and there are legitimate concerns that should be considered and dangers guarded against. They can be used together in the defense of Liberty as long as we understand each in its own context and consider the pitfalls involved. It must be noted that we are having this discussion because of the very fact that we have stepped so far out of the Constitutional boundaries given to this government that we are operating practically in a post-Constitutional America. At this point, it is unlikely that any solution will be perfect or without peril.

Two different animals:

Article V Convention is a long term fix aimed at making corrections at the federal level. Nullification is an immediate defense at the state level. Article V aims to make structural changes or further clarifications to the operations of the federal government and its relation to the states by amending the Constitution. Nullification aims to make no changes to the current Constitution, but is simply an assertion by the individual sovereign states of the authority they already possess and a declaration of the limitations to federal power already defined by the Constitution. Article V convention in the current context seeks to fix what is assumed to be broken or lacking in the federal system and is to be used in the rarest of circumstances. Nullification, as intended by the framers, was to be a part of “republican maintenance,” whereby the central government was to be continually kept in check by its masters, the states.

Both have their merits and their dangers. Let us take a look some problems that we should keep in mind so we can work TOGETHER to defeat the common enemy…TYRANNY.

Some of the problems with Article V:

WHO are the delegates and what is their motivation?

According to James Madison in Federalist 49, one significant problem with conventions is – WHO will be the delegates? Madison discusses two options for choosing delegates: either through the Legislators or through popular vote of the people. In each case he believed there was cause for concern.

In modern terms, when delegates are chosen by the legislators, what we could see are appointments based upon party loyalty rather than upon Constitutional expertise and dedication to Liberty principles. When the delegates are chosen by popular vote, typical election dynamics could determine the outcome. Voters would vote based upon party popularity and perhaps even a “lesser of two evils” and the same corrupt politicians would now be “fixing” the very problems they created. The ultimate result of both options would be, as Madison states, “The same influence which had gained them an election into the legislature, would gain them a seat in the convention… They would consequently be parties to the very question to be decided by them.”

According to Madison, the real difficulty with delegates boils down to “motivation”. What will be the motivating force behind the delegates and their amendments? Madison recognized that the only reason we have our current Constitution is that the framers had just come from a bloody revolution that kept the delegates focused upon LIBERTY and that forced them to set aside their party politics and personal motivations:

“We are to recollect that all the existing constitutions were formed in the midst of a danger which repressed the passions most unfriendly to order and concord; of an enthusiastic confidence of the people in their patriotic leaders, which stifled the ordinary diversity of opinions on great national questions; of a universal ardor for new and opposite forms, produced by a universal resentment and indignation against the antient government;” ~ James Madison Federalist 49

Madison seems to be telling us that without some overriding and unifying motivation, the convention would likely degrade into another Republican vs. Democrat drama. If we cannot get delegates that are properly constitutionally minded rather than driven by political gain and greed, this will never benefit us.

WHEN will it be done?

One big difference between nullification and convention is the time each takes to implement. Any advocate of Article V must admit that this is a LONG TERM goal and not a quick fix. To call convention, choose delegates, agree on amendments, an Article V convention could take several years, possibly 5 to 10 years. Adding to the time frame is the Article V requirement of 3/4 ratification by the States. That means EVERY AMENDMENT must be agreed upon (debated), individually, by 3/4 of the States to ratify. During such a time frame, it would be prudent to use nullification puts the brakes on at the state level until corrections (if truly needed) can be made at the federal level.

What will be the scope and impact?

Probably the most debated aspect is the notion of a “runaway convention.” Some say the ¾ ratification is a check on a runaway convention, that ¾ of the states would never go along with a total rewrite of the Constitution or the addition of harmful amendments. Of course, ¾ of the states DID ratify the very harmful 16th and 17th amendments. Tinkering with the foundation is always risky business. SO at the end of the day it may well come back to the main issue of the motivation, focus and education of the people and their delegates.

Nullification:

First, Nullification is a constitutional solution not because it is enumerated, but because the Constitution is a contract (technically a compact) among the States that created the federal government. The States are the parties to the Constitutional Contract and the federal government is the PRODUCT of that contract. Inherent in EVERY contract is the right of the parties to that contract to control the product of the contract. The States are the representatives of the people in this contract and have a DUTY to maintain the federal government within its constitutional boundaries and thus protecting the rights of the people. Nullification is that act of the PEOPLE through their States to maintain the federal government within in its “limited and defined” boundaries and should be as regularly carried out as an oil change in your car. Madison states this principle again in Federalist 49:

“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived; it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory, to recur to the same original authority, not only whenever it may be necessary to enlarge, diminish, or new-model the powers of government; but also whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”

This is not the forum for explanation of Nullification. If you are unfamiliar with this term or have in the past heard that it is not an option available to the States for a myriad of reasons, please take the time to read the FACTS about nullification before you give in to any one position.

Fear of Nullification

The first problem with nullification is fear and ignorance. For some, nullification’s association (rightly or wrongly) with the Civil War and slavery (despite the fact that it was used to resist slavery) throws a veil of fear over the entire issue. Many mistruths and misconceptions regarding this Liberty solution must be overcome in order to even utilize this option. Retorts such as “the South lost the war,” “SCOTUS says no,” or “it’s the law of the land” are common among those ignorant of the concepts of State sovereignty and nullification.

Even as nullification happens all around us today with, States legalizing marijuana and same sex marriage; states denying the federal government power to enforce the indefinite detention provisions of NDAA 2012 and Obamacare; local and state governments refusing to enforce federal gun restrictions, some will still say that nullification is an obscure and outdated concept. With more than 100 years of distorted history, overcoming the ignorance and fear surrounding Nullification is no easy task.

Participation by the States:

Whereas Article V requires 3/4 of the States to ratify any amendment, Nullification can be achieved on a State by State basis. But again, education of the States in this liberty option is a problem to State participation. Many state legislators do not understand the true nature of the states’ relationship to the federal government and they understand the states’ right and duty to interposition even less.

Federal Enforcement of Unconstitutional Acts:

One more roadblock to nullification is the federal government‘s attempt to bully the States into compliance with unconstitutional acts. The most obvious attempt at forced compliance will be through the withholding of federal funds. Any State who intends to maintain their supremacy over the federal government will have to be able to become self-sufficient in the face of federal funding withdrawal. In an arena where it’s all about the money and in a political system where politicians climb the ladder of power by giving and receiving favors this is a significant obstacle.

Runaway Nullification:

Sometimes opponents of nullification characterize the concept as “ignoring laws you don’t like.” The question at issue in nullification is not whether we like the law or not, the question is whether the law is constitutional or not. A possible danger is that states may wish to “nullify” inherent natural rights, such as those protected in the bill of rights from the abuse of the federal government. When such tyranny arises on the state level, the citizens must be ready to resist this tyranny as well, or else choose to live as slaves.

The REAL Solution lies within the operation of BOTH methods!

What Article V conventions cannot do to stop tyranny now, nullification can accomplish with near immediate effect. Where Nullification ends, Article V provides a long term solution to strengthening the restraints on the federal government, if done by the right people for the right reasons in the right way. If we DO NOT engage in Nullification now, we will never survive as a republic long enough for the Article V Convention to have any hopes. If we just engage in Nullification and do not follow through with shoring up the established boundaries, I believe we will dissolve into individual sovereign States and the Republic will die.

We will not succeed if we are so caught up in our own causes that we have to defeat everyone else’s. That is egocentric and immature. Truth be told, we will not succeed without all the efforts of all the people working together in the defense of Liberty. We need nullification daily to maintain the Republic, yet if we continue to allow the foundation to erode, we may indeed need a convention to right the ship.

So let’s approach the defense of Liberty like grown-ups. Let’s work together instead of trying to punch each other in the eye to elevate ourselves.

I have confidence that when all is said and done, our future will look back and say, “Coming up with a new and better form of government was nearly impossible. The original Constitution itself was not the problem; it was the ignorance of the people that lived under it.”

By KrisAnne Hall

About KrisAnne Hall

KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor, fired after teaching the Constitution to TEA Party groups – she would not sacrifice liberty for a paycheck. She is a disabled veteran of the US Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents. KrisAnne Hall does not just teach the Constitution, she lays the foundations that show how reliable and relevant our founding documents are today. She presents the “genealogy” of the Constitution – the 700 year history and five foundational documents that are the very roots of American Liberty.

Unfair Compensation

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Feb 082014
 

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don’t criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can’t let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country.

If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you’re going to get an average of $1,185,000.The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million. If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action,the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.

Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there’s a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.

Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it’s not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers.. (Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding officers.)

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.

You see where this is going, don’t you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It’s just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make
sense?

However, our own US Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you don’t know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month. And most are now equal to being millionaires plus.

They do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn’t have to pay into the system. If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed them in harm’s way receives a pension of $15,000 per month.

I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.

“When do we finally do something about this?” If this doesn’t seem fair to you, it is time to forward this to as many people as you can.

By Rush Limbaugh

Feb 022014
 

This powerful speech was written and delivered by Frank Sutliff to a crowd of concerned citizens and educators at the Oneonta (New York) Forum on January 18, 2014. Sutliff is a Principal and is also the President of SAANYS (School Administrators Association of New York State).

He said:

I appreciate the opportunity I have been given to speak here today. Although I am the President of the School Administrators Association of New York State, better known as SAANYS, I am not here today representing this organization of over 7000 administrators. Instead, I am here as a veteran Principal with 26 years of experience running a junior-senior high school, as well as having been in education over 30 years.

“here is one main issue for me with the APPR, the common core, and what I call the corporate takeover of American public education. That issue is the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on something that is of questionable benefit to children in any way, shape, or form. This hysteria over college and career readiness is a manufactured crisis based on data that compares apples to oranges, a crisis designed to enrich the coffers of publishing companies. The illusion that children in the United States are ill prepared and that they will never be competitive in a world market has manifested itself in many ways. I will concentrate on three of these issues today- the corporate takeover of education, high stakes testing, and the questionable data gathering in New York State via InBloom.

“Recent announcements out of the Governor’s office state how students are being “put first” in improving and reforming education and that education funding has been increased by $1.8 billion over the last two years.

Let me talk about how students are being “put first” in my district the last two years. I am sure that many of you here in the audience have seen the same thing.

• Is cutting 14 courses so that some students sit in so called “study halls” or the senior lounge for five periods a day “putting students first”? We no longer offer Computer Graphic Design, Construction Systems, World War II, or History and Digital Media just to name a few courses lost to cuts to teaching positions.

• Is the end of all professional development, including curriculum mapping and data analysis “putting students first?”

• Is cutting a guidance counselor as students’ academic and emotional needs increase “putting students first”?

• Is the cutting of numerous sports, clubs, and activities “putting students first”?

In this state and across the country, where we have been sold a bag of goods with Race to the Top, we are supposedly “putting students first”. In my district, we could “put students first” by providing them with needed and desired courses, providing their teachers with professional development, and providing these students with services and activities. Instead, on the Friday before Christmas, I received yet another huge shipment of common core modules where kindergarten students can learn about Mesopotamia, fifth graders can do close reading of passages from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and high school students can close read documents from the Federal Reserve Bank. As I sorted and distributed these boxes of material, I could see my senior lounge where students sit period after period due to the lack of course offerings. However, the millions and millions of dollars for Expeditionary Learning and Common Core Inc. continue to flow unabated.

“I am encouraged by the efforts of groups such as yours and I feel that grassroots efforts such as those done by the “Oneonta Area for Public Education” are well worth the effort in trying to effect change.

“I would like to share an email that I wrote about these issues and then sent to my teachers a few months ago. I believe my email sums up where we now are in this fight to restore sanity to our schools and how groups such as yours came to be.

“As the wasteful APPR system came into being with hundreds of millions foolishly allocated through Obama’s Race to the Top, there was little public outcry against it. Any objections were mainly from educators and the public could have cared less due to the disdain spewed against teachers and administrators by our governor and others. When the common core came in with it, there was little outcry against it, as no one understood the implications- a few “shifts” here and there and a few billions for testing and publishing companies. Again, no one outside of education really cared as criticisms were viewed as just those of whiny teachers and self serving administrators.

During this time, various educational groups formed to fight back against these initiatives, particularly on Long Island and in Western New York. However, these were isolated pockets and the public took little or no interest, nor did the legislators.

However, when students returned to school and began to have hours and hours of homework with the expectation that parents would help with things they did not know and when young elementary students started saying that they hated school, things began to change quickly. The final straw was when the test results were sent home; parents who had previously been told that their children were above average and doing well found out that their children were instead, barely achieving and in need of AIS. This is when the heat got turned up, resulting in common core forums where parents (“special interest” groups according to Commissioner King) got involved and heatedly voiced their opinions. As we know, this resulted in the cancellation of these forums by King and a public outcry.

What Commissioner King does not understand and has not dealt with in his limited experience as a school administrator is the vehemence of parents when it comes to defending their children. Any administrator with experience understands this and this is when the top down and forced compliance of the APPR/common core debacle thankfully went off the track. When parents got involved because their children were treated as lab experiments and started to voice their opinions as well as contact their legislators, the “revolt” against this nonsense found its voice.”

This is the voice with which you are all now speaking- speaking out against all of the testing, all of the squandered resources, and the decisions being made by corporate leaders with no experience in public schools. I look at my own district and try to find one positive thing about the APPR and the common core and I find none. However, when I look at the negative impact it has brought us, I see morale at an all time low, teachers reluctant to share their practices with colleagues due to concerns about their “score” and money spent on purchasing tests that could be spent on students. This is my own experience; to be fair, I know colleagues in other districts and within my own professional organization who appear to be quite pleased with the so called reform agenda, particularly the common core. My question to them would be the same- could these hundreds of millions have been better spent by providing services and opportunities to students instead of being spent in a top down experiment?

I would like to take a few minutes to talk about the testing. I have been giving 3-8 assessments (in my case 7-8), as well as Regents exams for years and years. I never had a problem with these tests before, other than a few blips along the way (a 2004 fiasco with Algebra being a prime example). Overall, it was an excellent system with tests of relatively high quality administered from district to district. What we did at my school with the 3-8 assessments in particular was to invite K-12 teachers as a group to scrutinize and study them in the following year. We looked for strengths and weaknesses, not to get better test scores, but to inform instruction. In fact, leading these data groups was one of the highlights of my professional career- to have 3rd grade teachers discussing math standards with the trig teacher is a wonderful use of educators’ time. However, with no money for professional development and the secretive nature of the tests now, this activity no longer occurs.

Now as part of “putting students first” and the mantra of college and career readiness, we give 3-8 tests that are longer than the law boards and include concepts and topics never taught. This is part of the now famous State Ed analogy of “building the plane in the air.” However, as we “build the plane in the air”, we not only fail children, we fail their teachers in the quest to make teaching an activity that can be assigned a number.

Another thing associated with testing that I find truly disingenuous is the notion put out from Albany that all of the additional SLO testing is the fault of districts and the APPR plans they adopted. The fact that we spend money purchasing these tests for the so called non-core courses and then waste students’ time giving them came directly from State Ed as they instituted the APPR. This testing, given for no other reason than to give teachers who do not get a NYS growth score a number, comes right out of Albany’s directives and their inability to answer simple APPR questions with one consistent and correct answer. To suggest otherwise and to blame districts for this is disingenuous.

I am not going to go into specifics about the common core due to time limitations today; I will leave that better said by others. However, as a former librarian, it is hard to see the little regard with which fiction is held as we are given mandated acceptable levels of nonfiction. As a child growing up in Gloversville, my books came from the Gloversville Free Library and so did much of my education. I know that I loved reading due to the worlds that it opened; I also know that our so called close readings of prescribed documents and passages will not open up that same love of literature in today’s students.

Everywhere I turn the common core rears its head. One of the most disappointing recently was on the Kindle Free Time product that Amazon.com offers. My soon to be four year old granddaughter enjoys this feature of the Kindle with all of its games, activities, books, and videos; it really is a wonderful product. Recently Amazon tweeted out “Kindle Free Time launches Learn First and Bedtime Educational Features.” I saw the tweet and thought great, a good product getting even better. I clicked on the link and saw the following- “Now with thousands of educational titles- hundreds of common core aligned level readers and supplemental readers.” Enough is enough- preschool?- can’t kids just have fun?

Finally, I want to discuss one other area of Race to the Top that is very concerning to me and should concern you as parents and educators- InBloom. This is the data system New York State has bought into where students’ confidential information is stored by private companies in the cloud. In fact, this data system is so concerning that some districts are returning Race to the Top funds in an attempt to not have their children’s private data stored in this way. One example is the Pearl River School system; on October 31 they voted to opt out of Race to the Top, due to concerns about privacy. Their Superintendent, Dr. John Morgano, was quoted as saying “However, we learned from the State Education Department that they will be collecting individual student discipline data and sending it to InBloom. There is no need for a private company to possess a child’s disciplinary history so that it is potentially available to prospective colleges and employers. I will not be a party to this infringement of privacy rights.” Kudos to Superintendent Morgano and I second this, as should each of you. I have handled all the student discipline in my school for the past 26 years. I send a form or letter or a certified letter home, depending on the incident, and then put a copy in my desk for future discarding, never in the student’s permanent file.

Although I know my way around data, computers, and student systems, I do not put discipline in digital form in our student system for just that reason. I have no problem reporting out to State Ed that I suspended 20 students out of school last year; however, I can think of no reason why they or a private company needs the name of these students. This assault on privacy, which is all too commonplace in our country today, should concern each of you.

In closing, I received a memo dated October 24, 2013 from our Education Commissioner, as did most of you working in schools. This memo detailed changes in testing, continued the illusion of our failures as educators, and ended with the statement “Teaching is the core.”

Of course, “teaching is the core” but making a difference in the life of a child should be more of the core. Learning and motivating children to develop their full potential is the core art of teaching. I could stand here the rest of the afternoon as could each of you and mention a teacher or adult who has impacted our lives. For me it was Zane Peterson from Gloversville High School, Dr. Wayne Mahood at SUNY Geneseo, and Esther Tasner, Children’s Librarian at the Gloversville Free Library. For you, the names are different but the idea is the same.

An anonymous public school teacher in Delaware wrote the following which appeared in a blog site on Washington.com; it was then quoted in an article by Valarie Strauss and I would like to share it with you. “They assume the best teaching and best learning can be quantified with tests and data. Yet I’ve never once had a student compliment me on my academic knowledge or my data collection skills. I’ve never had a student thank me for writing insightful test questions or staying up late to write a stunning lesson plan. But students HAVE thanked me for being there, for listening to them, for encouraging them, for believing in them even before they could believe in themselves.”

In our field of education, these stories happen every day. Just a few weeks ago, my ninth grade English teacher spent hours of each day helping a young lady who had previously met with very little academic success in her life. This teacher worked with her as she prepared her speech for a local oratorical contest, and this same student placed and went on to the next levels. To see the hugs and the high fives for this girl’s success and to see her beaming with pride is really what it is all about. This young student, years from now, won’t recall her close reads or the scripted lessons that have resulted from the state’s fabricated illusion of our failing students and failing educators. However, she will recall the kindness of this teacher helping her to be successful; this kindness is not quantifiable, data driven, or able to be reported to the state. Really, at the end of the day and at the end of a career, isn’t it all about helping a child to be successful?

Thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts with you this afternoon and I thank you for your efforts on behalf of all of our children.

Written by: Diane Ravitch

Jan 272014
 

It is beneficial to remind ourselves periodically of the realities in the struggle between Constitutionalism, Capitalism and Marxism-Leninism. It is a continual struggle, whether we acknowledge it or not. And the enemy of America as a constitutional republic with a capitalistic economic system is Marxism-Leninism, whether it be characterized as communism, socialism, progressivism, leftism, statism, or liberalism (in its current state).

Historically, we can consider the birth of the fusion between Marxism and Leninism to be in 1917, when Vladimir Lenin first took power as the leader of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, later to be known as the USSR. Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution that gave the world its first taste of socialism, established as Communism. He transformed the political philosophy of Marxism into his own brand, Marxism-Leninism. Here are a few of his famous quotations1:

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament.”

“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.”

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”

“Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.”

>”Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

“Democracy is indispensable to socialism.”

“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”

Joseph Stalin took over leadership of the new USSR after Lenin’s death. He was ruthless in crushing dissent, killing thousands of counter-revolutionaries and political opponents through military actions and political purges. His singular achievement was in killing seven million Ukrainians by starving them to death, a triumph of socialist collective power over political opposition known to history as the Holdomor.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com

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To Stop a Dictator

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Jan 152014
 

Barack Obama believes he is a dictator. He ignores Congress. He thumbs his nose at the Constitution. He attacks your freedom every single chance he can get. He does this all while trying to make it sound like his tyranny is what is best for you. We must stand against his tyrannical aggression!

 On Tuesday, Obama promised to take more executive action whenever he feels that it is necessary to accomplish his agenda to fundamentally destroy America. He said, “I’ve got a pen…..and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions to move the ball forward to help middle class families.”

In other words, he believes that the way our system of government works is he says what he wants and Congress just gives it to him. Well, that is NOT the way our founders intended our government to be structured. We’ve got a system of checks and balances for a reason. Please, help us fight this tyranny and help us hold Congress accountable to standing up to Obama’s flagrant abuse of power!

 This ruling by edict has no place in America!

 The Executive Order ability of the president was never put in place to make laws. Only Congress can do that. Its purpose is only to give direction and guidance in how to execute existing and legally passed laws by Congress; not used to enact his anti-American agenda! But, Obama thinks you’re stupid sheep. In fact, he’s counting on it. For it is through ignorance of the masses that he will get away with an attack on your freedom and making you believe it is for your own good.

 We say ENOUGH! Help us fight this tyranny.

 When the original 13 colonies were established, it was done so by a people seeking refuge from a tyrannical King. His attack on their religious liberty led to their seeking new opportunity in what would become the great experiment that we know as America. As time wore on, they grew tired of the King taxing them beyond belief without representation. They became dollar signs in his eyes as he saw their success as a way to feed his hunger for power.

 Despite all the lives that were lost in the American Revolution and every war that followed in which our soldiers fought so that we might have freedom, we yet again find ourselves as a nation fighting against a power hungry tyrant who will attack your freedom at any angle, even if it means shredding the Constitution, so that he can have the ultimate power.

 We must stand together in this fight for our freedom for we have a president who has demonstrated complete disdain for you. In a tyrant like Obama’s eyes, you must be content with whatever he deems is good enough for you…whether it be the type of weapons you can have, the amount of money he allows you to keep or the insurance you can buy.

 Is that the type of America you want to live in? Is that the type of a once free society that you want to leave for your children? Are you content with giving up your God given rights just because of a wanna-be dictator like Obama?

 If you are not, then stand with us in helping us fight him.

Thank you,

Todd Cefaratti

Freedom Organizer

Join your local Tea Party

Jan 152014
 

With some 60 cities participating in federal checkpoints, pushback from citizens and local police and sheriff’s departments is increasing. In its defense, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in an e-mail:

Each year, close to 10,000 people die in drunk driving crashes: 27 people a day, or one person every 53 minutes, according to [our] data.

To better understand the issue, the agency has regularly conducted its National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drugged Driving in communities across the country for over 40 years. The survey provides useful data about alcohol and drug use by drivers, and participation is completely voluntary and anonymous. More than 60 communities across the country will participate this year, many of which participated in the previous survey in 2007.

NHTSA always works closely with state and local safety officials and local law enforcement to conduct these surveys as we work to better inform our efforts to reduce drunk and drugged driving.

This disclaimer neatly avoids any discussion of privacy or unreasonable searches and seizures prohibited under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. It also raises the question of what is “voluntary” and “anonymous.” The NHTSA has contracted out the operation of these checkpoints to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), which in turn invites off-duty police officers and sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies to help with the stops. According to USA Today, the officers flag down drivers who then are directed to park beside the road where they are questioned by PIRE employees about their driving habits. The drivers are then offered to give up cheek swabs and blood samples for cash ranging from $10 to $50.

But this is hardly “voluntary,” noted Mary Catherine Roper, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Pennsylvania:

It looks like an exercise of official authority when a cop pulls you over. People assume it’s mandatory, and of course you’re going to stop. That’s a constitutional problem right there.

Normally, police cannot pull you over unless they have a good reason for thinking you’ve done something wrong.

There’s no exemption in the Constitution for conducting a survey.

The Constitutional “problem” Roper is referring to is the 1990 Supreme Court case Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, where a majority decided that such checkpoints and roadblocks were allowed under the Fourth Amendment, as a result of “balancing” interests in public safety by the police with concerns about individual protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Chief Justice William Rehnquist explained that there are three parts to the balancing act: 1) the state’s interest in preventing accidents caused by drunk drivers; 2) the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints in achieving that goal; and 3) the level of intrusion into a citizen’s privacy caused by the checkpoints.

At no time did Rehnquist even raise the issue of the Fourth Amendment, but based his, and the court’s, decision on practical matters of expediency and public safety. It took Justice William Brennan, writing for the three dissenters on the court to bring that up:

Once the Court establishes that the [stop] is “slight,” it asserts without explanation that the balance “weighs” in favor of the state….

The [majority] ignores the fact that … we have generally required the Government to prove that it had reasonable suspicion for a minimally intrusive [stop] to be considered reasonable.

Some level of individualized suspicion is a core component of the protection the Fourth Amendment provides against arbitrary government action….

By holding that no level of suspicion is necessary before the police may stop a car for the purpose of preventing drunken driving, the Court potentially subjects the general public to arbitrary or harassing conduct by the police.

I would have hoped that before taking such a step, the Court would carefully explain how such a plan fits within our Constitutional framework.

The closer one looks at what the NHTSA has been doing all these years, the more troubling it appears. The NHTSA has no police power of its own. It has to “borrow” that from local police and sheriff “volunteers” who are approached with the offer of some off-duty pay to help with the surveys. Little did they know they would be the “cover” for the illegal roadside stops. Tom Neer is the sheriff of St. Charles County, Missouri, who authorized such off-duty opportunities for six of his employees. Explained Neer:

Our department coordinator got information from the contractor (PIRE), and came to me. I approve all overtime compliance with private entities. They wanted to know if we’d provide a couple of deputies just for security. [Emphasis added.]

Neer added:

We will not cooperate with one of these federal checkpoints again. We would not have contracted with the subcontractor on this one if we had known in advance that our officers would be asked to flag down motorists.

In essence, we got duped…

Neer isn’t the only one. Fort Worth, Texas, Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead, who bought the line from PIRE and later regretted it, wrote on his Facebook page:

Any future Federal survey of this nature, which jeopardizes the public’s trust, will not be approved for the use of Fort Worth police.

Another point: Why would it be necessary to involve the uniformed officers at all, just to conduct a survey? And why would it be necessary to stop the flow of traffic, just to ask a few questions? If this were truly voluntary why couldn’t this be done, say, at a rest stop or offered at a toll both? Kim Cope, writing at PoliceStateUSA.com, thinks there’s another reason:

The program has the passive effect of conditioning the public to accept government agents setting up roadblocks in their communities for any reason imaginable.

If Americans wish to live in a society that does not accept police checkpoints as a routine part of their daily lives, it is important to push back against these programs at every opportunity.

This video shows how well-informed drivers can minimize any risk of letting just such a stop get out of hand and possibly leading to much more serious problems. When the officer asks:

What’s going on, guys? You guys legal US citizens still? Haven’t given it up yet?

Driver: Are we free to go?

Officer: Yes. You know what? You guys are awesome for exercising your constitutional rights. I totally respect that.

A lot of guys come here and they’re jerks to us and we don’t appreciate that, but I totally appreciate you guys who are respectful, who don’t want to talk. We really can’t force you to….

You guys have a good day.

The driver has obviously taken to heart the training offered by the ACLU through its videos offered at FlexYourRights.com, one of which — “10 Rules for Dealing with Police” — recommends that precise phrase: “Officer, am I free to go?” The video is also available for purchase for $15.00 on the website. Says Judge Andrew Napolitano:

I watched [10 Rules]. I loved it. It’s right on the law, and everybody should see it.

Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police Chief, called it:

Legally accurate, realistic and entertaining. 10 Rules will prepare you for how policing is done in America. Only those officers who disregard the law have something to fear from its message.

As an ex-cop, I thank Flex Your Rights for all you’ve done.

A summary of those rights, responsibilities, and responses is also available in print form at online-paralegal-programs.com and entitled “You have the right to remain out of prison.”

Pushback against the extra-legal, unconstitutional checkpoints being instituted around the country by the NHTSA is increasing, not only in the form of police and sheriff’s departments backing off, but 11 states have passed legislation outlawing them as well. The best pushback, however, is from informed citizens, asking: “Am I being detained, or am I free to go?”

Written by Bob Adlemann

Jan 112014
 

Next spring, the Supreme Court will rule on whether the EPA has the power under the Clean Air Act to regulate and assess fees against large emitters of greenhouse gases (primarily CO2) above arbitrary levels the EPA has been setting under the law. This is the first attempt by the EPA to regulate GHG’s, which it considers an “Endangerment” to mankind/U.S. and the world. As you will recall, Congress has refused to enact Obama’s “Cap and Trade” legislation, which would have given the EPA the same powers it is now seeking under its regulatory authority.
Based on my submission below and the attached “new” Amicus Brief, which scientifically supports all plaintiffs’ claims against the EPA and clearly shows the public that EPA is a rogue governmental agency trying to act and operate in a manner that is unconstitutional and totally against Congressional intent.
If plaintiffs lose this battle and the Supreme via the Court ruling for the EPA (which has no strong rebuttal to Amicus scientists’ conclusions and proof), then I believe two things will be clear/happen, which are (1) the Supreme Court has become hopelessly politicized, big government philosophically oriented and is in fact corrupt itself; and (2) the people of this country will be subjected without any defense to the tyranny of the federal government and its agencies, which will have free rein to destroy your liberties as they relate to the key areas of energy, healthcare and the foods you eat. When government controls these three critical essentials of life, then each of us will go from being free to being bondsman subservient to political tyranny.
A multi plaintiff lawsuit was instigated in 2012 against the EPA in the D.C. Circuit Court. The plaintiffs lost given a lottery that enabled three of the most liberal judges on that court to hear the case and rule on the charges. Fortunately, two other judges on the court independently reviewed the case and concluded the evidence presented by plaintiffs should have caused the court to rule against the EPA. Each judge wrote letters stating their position, which provided the plaintiffs the avenue to petition the Supreme Court and get it to agree to review the case in its 2014 session. The Supreme Court agreed to the review after hearings were conducted in October 2013, but agreed only to consider the legality of the EPA’s right to license/charge fees against emitters of GHG’s under the Clean Air Act. This decision by the SC was half a loaf, but still represents a key decision for all Americans.
In contention is the EPA’s right to regulate/initiate fee assessments against GHG emitters, which rights EPA contends to be based on its assertion that GHG’s are an endangerment. For the EPA to be correct, an EPA created GHG “Hot Spot” located in atmosphere over the tropics, which theory anchors their contention GHG’s are an Endangerment, must be found valid by the courts.
Enter a team of recognized scientists and economists, who possess vast collective experience in weather/climate analysis and expected economic affects thereof. The team, who wrote an Amicus Brief in support of the original D.C. Circuit lawsuit, scientifically proved all three major evidentiary standards used by the EPA to prove GHG endangerment were all fraudulent.
Now an expanded scientific team has written another Amicus Brief specifically tailored to address the areas the Supreme Court has agreed to review. Again, that team shows that the EPA’s methodology used to provide the basis upon which it can regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act is totally devoid of the empirically based scientific proof required for the EPA Endangerment declaration to be valid. .
This key legal decision will decide if our future freedoms will be preserved under the constitution or totally lost. It is imperative this story be passed on to many people, including politicians. Hopefully, all of you will agree it is a mandatory task of each of us to spread the word via e-mail, letters, social media et al, for if the people who will be subjected to governmental tyranny validated by Supreme Court consent do not stand up and fight to protect their individual freedoms, all will be lost and the great nation our Founding Fathers gave us in the 1700’s will become just another page in the history books.
I solicit your assistance in spreading this story.
P.S. If we lose this battle next year, the first shoe to drop will be the truthfulness of Barack Obama words in his Presidential Campaign, which were captured on video as follows, “”Under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.”—-as will all forms of energy thereby crushing the American Economy for decades.
 

Karen Bracken
www.tnacc.net
www.americadontforget.com
215-692-2147

“Common Core is just the “smoke” hiding the fire.  After we clear the smoke we must put out the fire.”  k. bracken
 
 ”The change we seek has always required great struggle and great sacrifice.” – Barack Hussein Obama

“The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” – Ayn Rand

10 Predictions For 2014

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Dec 312013
 

As this year comes to a close it is once again time to reflect, learn from events, and plan for a new year with some predictions.

Without question, 2013 was not the best year for freedom, economic prosperity or peace. The police state has gotten more militarized, intrusive and violent. More laws against protesting and press freedoms infested the Western world. More money was funneled from the poor to the rich. And more war was waged with a careless joystick trigger finger.

It is often difficult to see the bright side amid such a maelstrom of injustice, until one realizes that the greater the oppression grows, the closer we are to reversing the trend. 2013 also gave us many reasons to be optimistic about the future for peace, love, and liberty.

In 2013, we witnessed a global uprising to halt unprovoked military action in Syria. The powers-that-be demanded war and the people said no. For those keeping track, it’s the first time in history that that’s ever happened on a global scale.

Also in 2013, we saw the rise of a global peer-to-peer barter economy and Bitcoin, which level the economic playing field much like the Internet did for information dissemination. The media this year was clearly dominated by the independent media with the help of whistlebowers like Edward Snowden. In dictatorial fashion the US government blocked millions of computers from viewing NSA abuse articles and it was still by far the biggest story of the year. There’s tremendous momentum for the alternative media going into 2014.

Finally, the militarized police state is being opposed just as fast as it is being built. Its unjustified presence is accelerating the support for ending the war on drugs and calling into question the role of police in society, as well as the need for further runaway prison expansion.

We have nearly reached the zenith of the ability for the few to control the many. This is evidenced by their great desperation manifesting in overtly insane and despotic behavior. 2014 will be pivotal. But this is mostly cause for optimism.

That said, there is no question who still currently holds the keys to unleashing truly devastating weapons, both virtual and real. 2014 certainly could see the realization of something horrible as the cornered beast lashes out. Their options to maintain control are becoming scarce, however. Short of a total Internet take down, full-scale banking collapse, or the use of a large-scale and devastating false flag event (EMP, nuclear, “alien”), the elite controllers will almost surely continue to lose their grip on humanity.

The victories we have experienced in previous years by pressuring the ruling elite out into the open for all to see is irreversible. Nearly all establishment institutions are now held in wide disregard and condemnation for their corruption, dishonesty, manipulation, ineptitude, and subversion of universal human rights.

2014 very well could mark the critical battle between the dinosaur system of the feudal elite milking the “commoners”, and the evolution of a new open-source, peer-to-peer model of prosperity that trusts the power of individual creativity, reputation, and planet-wide cooperation toward solutions that begin from the bottom up.

The pyramid of power has been wobbled by pressure from the bottom in 2013. We believe that 2014 is the year when that structure begins to fall. Here are 10 predictions for 2014:

1. Obamacare Nightmare. The implementation and enforcement of Obamacare will be a catastrophic failure in 2014. It will lead to a political awakening on the Left who in large numbers will lose faith in the ruling class to solve this and other problems. Some will attempt to offer a solution of a single-payer option like Medicare for all, which will seem to temporarily calm the storm. That is until everyone realizes they’ll be required by law to accept “mandated” treatments and untreatments (death panels). We must, as individuals, become healthier in order to weather the coming healthcare storm.

2. Growth of Independent Media. 2013 saw record traffic to independent media outlets. Also, big names like Ben Swann and Amber Lyon became independents. David Icke’s non-profit, uncensored media project The People’s Voice raised over $400K in crowdfunding and launched in 2013. Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill announced plans for a new media platform in 2014. Are these biased, activist reporters? Yes, and thank goodness. The very fact that there is a growing market for peace and liberty information is a bellwether for where we’re heading as a society.

3. Wide Adoption of Cryptocurrencies. The wild volatility of Bitcoin and its competing cryptocurrencies has overshadowed the ideological and technological revolution that has been unleashed. While many have focused merely on the monetary value of Bitcoin, we predict that a new wave of understanding will mark the wide adoption and perhaps the stabilization of the cryptocurrency economy. Central banks have been exposed all across the planet for the thieves they are. People are realizing who the true enemy really is, and they are beginning to feel empowered by the ability to disrupt that predatory system. All they needed was a choice to opt out, and now they have it.

4. The Awakened Take Action. It seems like the whole world is in a state of civil unrest. It is precisely what arch-globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski warned his cohorts of. People are tired of talking and they have lost too much. Violated, hungry people have nothing to lose by directly confronting their oppressors. This does not have to mean physical violence, but it does mean physical demonstrations of power and a refusal to remain quiet. We also believe that people will become clearer about making specific demands, rather than merely being satisfied to show their outrage.

5. More Whistleblowers Come Forward. 2013 may very well go down as the year of the whistleblower; Edward Snowden being the most prominent among them. As more people view Snowden as a hero for giving a face and voice to the human right to privacy, we expect more whistleblowers to put their lives on the line to expose hidden truths. Consequently, we will shift closer to more transparency for the top and more privacy for citizens; the way a free society is supposed to function.

6. Expansion of Open-Source Technology. 2013 was an incredible year in the area of 3D printing. We saw the rise and subsequent stifling of 3D printed weapons, but the technology is still out there and is increasingly open and falling in cost. Inventors are launching open-source vehicles, alternative energy generators, and so much more. 2014 will be a truly breakout year for 3D printing especially, as well as open-source technologies for everything from farming to governance.

7. Manufactured Tension With China. We have heard the rhetoric of wars, economic and military, with China beginning to escalate toward the end of 2013. We happen to believe that an outright war with China is very unlikely. China is part of the very same centralized control system as the West. In other words, Coca Cola who just invested $4 billion in China doesn’t want to lose that market and vice versa, so there will be no war. Therefore any aggression with China should be viewed as complete theater to maintain control of domestic populations on both sides. Rather, we will probably continue to see a series of calculated economic moves on both sides that tip the balance of “super” power away from America and toward China. Nothing new here.

8. Economic Crisis. Some form of great economic crisis is probable in 2014. Perhaps it will be many small dominoes that lead to something bigger, but it will no doubt manifest as centralized theft and more controls. The kickoff could be the Fed’s tapering of quantitative easing which could crush the momentum in stock markets around the world. Or it could be the next battle to raise the US debt ceiling in February. As mentioned above, it could be an extension of moves already made by China. Whatever the trigger, expect and plan accordingly for more bank bailouts and bailins, higher food and energy prices, less jobs and more capital controls, all while fiat currencies continue their steady or abrupt decline.

9. Attempted Crackdown on Internet Freedom. Warnings of imminent cyber attack and other infrastructure weakness herald an attempt at a full-scale military takeover of the Internet. However, such an extreme measure is probably unlikely in the short term. More likely, what will come first is an extension of the attempt to criminalize whistleblowers, as well as imposing Dianne Feinstein’s suggestion that there be government-approved journalists. Coupled with the severe penalties for copyright infringement and other methods of backdoor censorship contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and 2014 could see a new level of information warfare.

10. False Flag Watch. As alluded to above, warnings of imminent cyber attacks or a so-called Pearl Harbor for the Internet have been broadcast by US security officials for some time. In our opinion, an attack on the Internet is the most probable false flag event for 2014. If it happens, it won’t be long before world leaders demand ending online anonymity. Also, small, FBI-orchestrated bombers and shooters may make an appearance as well, but it worked so poorly for them in 2013 to move policy that we think there’ll be less of those types of false flags in 2014. Finally, the biggest false flag could be whatever economic crisis manifests in 2014 (see #8). At minimum, expect desperate manipulation by Wall Street and Central Banks. As fragile as things are, one spark can set off the powder keg.

Many of these predictions might seem like wishful thinking, but to admit that we are powerless to affect change is only to embrace our own destruction. We have enough evidence of that already. And to ignore our victories, no matter how small, is to consign ourselves to fear, defeatism and worthlessness.

We would do well to identify positive developments and trends, shifting our focus to the areas we can improve upon, while having the courage to ignore the increasingly irrelevant concept of power coming only from the top. The elite mindset and the top-down philosophy will never disappear entirely, but it is up to us to build something better and render that outdated form of control powerless.

- See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/10-predictions-for-2014_122013#sthash.R19SMZUW.dpuf