Category Archives: What Is / Who Is

Common Core Initiative – What is it?

Common Core logo

Overview:
The Common Core initiative (CCI) is a nation-wide education standard for students K through 12 to  help better prepare students for college.  It provides a standard that each child should achieve, guidelines on how to get each grade level to meet these standards, and standardize testing across all US schools.

CCI started from research prepared over 10 years ago on how to improve the US education system and then a few years ago (2009), the National Governors Association assigned various experts to develop a nation-wide educational standard program which became CCI.

The NGA is more like an industry association in which states governors and their staff may participate.  The objectives of NGA is to provide a single source for policy issues between the states and the Federal government.  Today, about 40 states have adopted the CCI standard.

Related:  See all ANC stories on Common Core.

History:
The goal over the past 10 years or so by the Federal government has been to improve education and narrow the gap between races.  Most, if not all, reports and studies show a huge gap between the education levels of Asians, Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics.

President Bush (W) started the “No Child Left Behind” program.  The goals on paper were noble and well-intended but the implementation and execution of this program fell way short of its intended objective.

The results showed very small improvements by the low performing students while the students who normally excelled in school actually performed worse because teachers has to spend 80% of their time focused on the low performers.

President Obama then created “Race to the Top” which provided $4.5 billion in funding to encourage states to compete for this money by improving education scores.  It has had no impact.  See Carol Burris’s Washington Post story for more details on the history and impact of these programs (Washington Post).

The major push for the Common Core came from the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, through his Gates Foundation which in 2013 alone has given over $200 million to encourage the creation and adoption of the Common Core.  (The Foundation’s contributions go further back but the amounts are unknown at this time.)  Most of this money was given to the US Department of Education and the NGA.

Gates’s intent with the Common Core is not known.  He is either pushing an agenda to Federalize education or does not completely understand the major issues with Common Core.  Based on our knowledge of Gates and his political affiliations (a liberal), we are speculating that Gates fully understands the impact of Common Core and therefore would be pushing an agenda and ideology.

Carol Burris, NYC Principle
Carol Burris, NYC Principle

CCI Pros and Cons:
The intended objectives of the CCI program are to improve education for our children.  With US students falling way behind our international counter-parts, we all probably agree education reform is needed.  However, the Federal government has failed over the past 20-30 years at improving our educational system.

Check out the video documentary from 2011 “Waiting on Superman” that is a fantastic film on the poor condition of the US school system.  It will not only leave you stunned at the educational crisis but also worried for your kids in school.

So, the Pros of CCI are:
-Improve our kids education
-Reduce disparity between races
-Standardize curriculum and testing on national level
-Improve the US education system on a world scale

However, the Cons are compelling:
-The Federal gov’t continues to create failing educational standards
-CCI tests appear to be so hard that up to 70% of students are failing
-Kids test scores in early adopting states (NY) are very bad
-Teachers are assessed on these scores and fired
-Kids are held back a grade because of these scores
-The scores between races have widened significantly
-The security and tracking of the student info to a Federal database

From Carol Burris’s research into NY CCI scores and her Washington Post article:  Instead of narrowing the race disparity, the gap has significantly increased with many black students scoring “Below Standard”.   This gap has shockingly increased from 15-20% below standard to now 50-70% below standard (see graph below; Blue is pre-CCI scores).

NY CCI Scores
NY CCI Scores

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many states who have adopted CCI are reconsidering this decision with Indiana being the first to drop it (story).  Youtube and many social sites are seeing more and more posts from frustrated parents on how CCI is much harder and confusing:

CCI Comment

 

Sources and Links for additional Information:
Video on the goal of Common Core (Vimeo)
Wiki Information
Washington Post:  The Myth of Common Core
Rethinkingschools.com:  The Problems with CC
United Nations: Human Development Report 201
Waiting on Superman – Documentary video from 2011

All  Absolute News Stories on Common Core

Common Core Documentary: Building the Machine

Common Core Documentary: Building the Machine

Common Core image

Most people had never heard of Common Core six months ago. From the initial look at it, on the surface it sounds like a great idea and a great program for our kid’s education.  However, as you peel back the layers and actual get to the “core”, you find it is rotten and infested with worms.

We initially heard of Common Core through some emails received from citizens in our state attempting to get it out of the school systems.  So, we began wondering, “What is Common Core?

Common CoreAs we began our investigation, our first thought was this seems like a great idea!  But each time we peeled back a layer and then another layer, we really saw what Common Core is all about.

A quick summary is that there is a huge liberal agenda pushing Common Core driven by Bill Gates and other very wealthy  liberal individuals plus Obama through the Department of Education.  The Core appears to dumb-down our kids by completely changing not just the way they do math but by pushing agendas on gun control, marriage, and other issues that conservatives would take offense.

This new education initiative was pushed through the educational “approval process” with limited knowledge to the general public with no option given for public review and comment.  There were even false statements given by the “leaders” of this initiative to the public.

Stop Common CoreThis process reminds us of how Obamacare was implemented: 10’s of thousands of pages rushed to Congress with only hours to review before they voted.  Even Nancy Pelosi said: “We have to pass this bill in order to find out what’s in it”.  Really? Pass a bill and then read it later?!  Same thing with Common Core.

Seems hard to believe doesn’t it?  Well, below is a great documentary on how this initiative evolved and the major issues with it.  This is a 40 minute video but highly recommended.

For the 3 minute overview, see our story “What is the Common Core?” This video below goes into details that will leave you asking “How can this happen in America?”  It includes discussions with people who were actually involved with developing this initiative who later said this is not what they had signed up for.

Related stories:

What is Bitcoin Currency?

What is Bitcoin Currency?

BitcoinBitcoin is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet. Bitcoin can also be seen as the most prominent triple entry bookkeeping system in existence.

 Who created Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the first implementation of a concept called “crypto-currency”, which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list, suggesting the idea of a new form of money that uses cryptography to control its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. The first Bitcoin specification and proof of concept was published in 2009 in a cryptography mailing list by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi left the project in late 2010 without revealing much about himself. The community has since grown exponentially with many developers working on Bitcoin.

Satoshi’s anonymity often raised unjustified concerns, many of which are linked to misunderstanding of the open-source nature of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocol and software are published openly and any developer around the world can review the code or make their own modified version of the Bitcoin software. Just like current developers, Satoshi’s influence was limited to the changes he made being adopted by others and therefore he did not control Bitcoin. As such, the identity of Bitcoin’s inventor is probably as relevant today as the identity of the person who invented paper.

Who controls the Bitcoin network?

Nobody owns the Bitcoin network much like no one owns the technology behind email. Bitcoin is controlled by all Bitcoin users around the world. While developers are improving the software, they can’t force a change in the Bitcoin protocol because all users are free to choose what software and version they use. In order to stay compatible with each other, all users need to use software complying with the same rules. Bitcoin can only work correctly with a complete consensus among all users. Therefore, all users and developers have a strong incentive to protect this consensus.

How does Bitcoin work?

From a user perspective, Bitcoin is nothing more than a mobile app or computer program that provides a personal Bitcoin wallet and allows a user to send and receive bitcoins with them. This is how Bitcoin works for most users.

Behind the scenes, the Bitcoin network is sharing a public ledger called the “block chain”. This ledger contains every transaction ever processed, allowing a user’s computer to verify the validity of each transaction. The authenticity of each transaction is protected by digital signatures corresponding to the sending addresses, allowing all users to have full control over sending bitcoins from their own Bitcoin addresses. In addition, anyone can process transactions using the computing power of specialized hardware and earn a reward in bitcoins for this service. This is often called “mining”. To learn more about Bitcoin, you can consult the dedicated page and the original paper.

Is Bitcoin really used by people?

Yes. There is a growing number of businesses and individuals using Bitcoin. This includes brick and mortar businesses like restaurants, apartments, law firms, and popular online services such as Namecheap, WordPress, Reddit and Flattr. While Bitcoin remains a relatively new phenomenon, it is growing fast. At the end of August 2013, the value of all bitcoins in circulation exceeded US$ 1.5 billion with millions of dollars worth of bitcoins exchanged daily.

Screenshot

 

Read more on Wiki and the Bitcoin website

Unethical Senator Harry Reid

Unethical Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid
Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, has has numerous unethical activities during his stint as Senator and as the Senate Majority leader for the Democrats. (Who is Senator Reid?)

Its no secret that many powerful politicians use their position for personal financial gain, unethical issues, and sometimes illegal activities.   Just a few years ago, John Edwards, a powerful Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate was charged with multiple felony violations of campaign contribution laws.  The list of other politicians committing illegal and/or unethical violations would be a long one.

Why?  With Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

absolute power

Senior politicians have lots of power. And Reid has Absolute Power.  He is untouchable.  He has Obama to protect him as well as other powerful Senate members and the US Attorney General, Eric Holder (see Holder’s scandals).

In John Edwards ‘s trial (the Presidential candidate), all charges were dropped even though there was irrefutable evidence he committed the crimes.  He was a powerful Democrat with a powerful Senator’s support (Reid) along with a Democratic President and a Democratic Attorney General.

Now back to Reid.

Very little has been mentioned about Reid’s misdeeds in the main stream media in the past.  For some reason most of his ethical violations have remained hidden from the public. Until now. Cliven Bundy

I think the confrontation last month in Nevada between Cliven Bundy, a cattle ranchers, and the now infamous Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has put the spot light on Reid.

As you can see from this video and the ones below, more focus has now been placed on the activities of the Senator.  He’s also been called a “school yard bully” for the way the he’s treated the American people, Republican Congressman, and the Tea Party.

Here are some of the issues and bullying that Reid has committed:

  1. Attempting to run a Nevada rancher off his land using the BLM for Chinese solar panels
  2. Called the Nevada rancher a “domestic terrorist
  3. Numerous insults at the Tea Party: Anarchist and Terrorist
  4. Huge Obamacare support even though a majority of Nevadans don’t support it
  5. Many verbal attacks against the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers
  6. Using taxpayer funded Twitter account (see Talking Points) for political attacks against the Kocks (which is illegal)
  7. Used campaign fund money to pay for gifts to his granddaughter (illegal)
  8. Sold Nevada land to the Chinese for 10% of its appraised value (a 90% discount) for a solar panel business
  9. In 2006 in the same area where Bundy lives, Reid made changes to Federal EPA laws so a friend could develop land in an area called Coyote Springs. This land was protected and off limits to anyone. He also had the BLM remove endangered turtles from the area so his friend, Harvey Whittemore, could develop 10,000 acres in to homes and golf courses. (more details)

There are many more unethical activities by Reid.  You can find more details from Discover The Networks.

How does Reid continue to keep his job? He’s not going to be prosecuted by the Attorney General (i.e. the Dept of Justice) because of Obama and Eric Holder.  The Republicans might eventual do an investigation but little will come of it.

I think most people aren’t aware of these issues.  And its most important for voters in Nevada to be aware his behavior and vote him out of office…or even do a special election to remove him.   I hope the great State of Nevada wakes up to his bad behavior, his bullying, and using his position for personal gain for himself, his family, and his close friends.

Sources: Washington Post,  Discover The Networks, FoxNews

Who are the Koch Brothers?

Who are the Koch Brothers?

Charles and David Koch, brothers
Charles and David Koch

The Koch Brothers own Koch Industries based out of Wichita, Kansas. It’s one of the worlds largest private companies estimated to worth billions.  The company employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries. It was started in 1940 by the father, Fred Koch.

The Koch (pronounced like “coke”) brothers are mostly in the news for their conservative political support and activities.  They generally keep a low profile working behind the scenes at both the company and at politics.

Charles and David are worth billions.

How rich are they?  (2011 estimate by Forbes)
Charles Koch: $25 billion net worth
David Koch: $25 billion net worth

How much is $25 billion?
If you had $25 billion, you could spend $1 million every DAY for 68 years.

Koch Industries is involved in many different industries including: oil refining, chemical production, lumber & paper products (Georgia Pacific), an commodities trading (speculation), and even a cattle ranch. They have numerous subsidiary companies throughout the world.

In 2013, Forbes called it the second largest privately held company in the United States (after Cargill), with an annual revenue of $115 billion. If Koch Industries were a public company in 2013, it would have ranked 17 in the Fortune 500.

Politics:
It appears Charles, David and Bill inherited their father’s libertarian political attitudes. Charles and David Koch are involved with, or fund, many right-wing groups. David was the Libertarian party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980.

Bill is also involved in conservative actions but is not generally involved with the same issues, or same groups, as Charles and David. It appears Fred Koch is heavily involved in philanthropic causes and not politics.

Koch-Funded Right-Wing Groups:
A few of the better-know groups the Kochs founded or fund include The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and AFP (Americans For Prosperity). According to this account, the Koch-funded FreedomWorks played a key role in forming and promoting the Tea Party.

Because of their conservative, right-wing, libertarian views and activities, Democratic, liberal, and progressive people are constantly attacking them personally.  See Fox News “Dems, Reid attack Koch Brothers“.

Sources: BoycottKoch, Wiki

What is a Libertarian?

What is a Libertarian?

Libertarian defined
Merriam-Webster

A Libertarian is literally a “believer in liberty”.

Liberty defined

Libertarians want much less involvement from the government in their daily lives.  They want a less intrusive government and they want a government that returns to following the US Constitution and operates like the US government was intended to function by our Founding Fathers.

The liberal media, Democratic leaders such as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, along with extreme liberal people will say the Libertarians want to completely abolish or overthrow the government.

This is completely untrue!

Libertarian funny posterThey want a MUCH smaller government, less intrusive in their personal lives, lower taxes, more economic freedom, and liberty for the “pursuit of happiness”.

Their idea of government is completely the opposite of the Democratic Party and Liberals.

They are more like the Republican Party and conservatives…with some major differences.  Republicans tend to be religiously conservative which involves issues such as gay marriage, abortion, and legislating morality.  Libertarians generally believe there should be little to no  censorship.

So less conservative Republicans and Libertarians tend to overlap somewhat in the same beliefs of limited government.

Libertarian Party logoLike the Democratic and Republican Parties, there is also a Libertarian Party you can join.  “Maximum Freedom, Minimum Government” is there motto.

From their website: “Libertarians believe that being free and independent is a great way to live. We want a system which encourages all people to choose what they want from life; that lets them live, love, work, play, and dream their own way.”

Source: Wiki, CatB

Recap on Nevada Rancher, Bundy, and US Govt Land Grab

Recap on Nevada Rancher, Bundy, and US Govt Land Grab

This is a brief recap on the Nevada cattle rancher, Cliven Bundy, and the attack against him by our US Government.  This story also discusses the bigger picture issues of the US Government grabbing land from private citizens, not just Bundy.

Cliven Bundy and friend
Cliven Bundy (and friend)

In April 2014 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas the US government’s Bureau of Land Management sent 200 armed agents to surround Bundy and his family while contractors took all his cattle.  This armed group included a dozen snipers aiming their weapons at Bundy and his family.

Then, in a confrontation between Bundy’s family members and the BLM, his son was tasered, his 57 year old sister thrown to the ground by the BLM, and a pregnant woman was attacked by a German Sheppard after one of the BLM agents commanded it on her.

See the video and more details at:  Rancher arming for war

This video angered many people who thought Bundy was right.  So armed private citizens came to Bundy’s rescue. An armed militia of over 5,000 came. (See “What is a Militia?“)  They were heavily armed and out-gunned the armed BLM agents. The agents wisely, and quickly, retreated leaving Bundy alone.  At least for now.

TyrantThink about this:  a large group of armed citizens stood up against an oppressive government!  This is what the Second Amendment is all about (see Second Amendment Overview).  It is also unheard of in the US this day in time for citizens to have to use guns to protect themselves FROM our government.

Regardless of your stance on gun control, think about what would have happened if citizens did NOT have guns and what all the government could do.  This is WHY the Second Amendment exists.   See “Do Americans have a Right to Defend themselves against the US government?”.


ABC News

The reason the BLM said they were removing Bundy’s cattle from the land was to protect an endangered turtle. It was quickly determined that not only were the BLM killing the turtles themselves (see story), there was a much bigger plan for this land that reached all the way to the most senior levels of the White House.

Reid, Chinese forcing Bundy
Reid, Chinese forcing Bundy

The real reason they wanted the land was because Senator Harry Reid had signed a $5 billion deal with the Chinese to build a solar panel array on this land (see story).

Reid has placed one of his very close friends in charge of the BLM and his son, Rory, who lives in Las Vegas, was overseeing the deal with the Chinese.  Reid was the puppeteer pulling the strings at the BLM, with Rory, and with the Chinese.  (See story)

Bundy cow being dug up
Bundy Cow being dug up

The Government lied about protecting  the turtles to cover up the land grab that Harry Reid had orchestrated in order to support his deal with the Chinese.  Oh, and the cattle of Bundy’s the BLM rounded up, they shot and killed them and buried in mass graves.

While most conservatives support Bundy and how he stood up to our government when they came after him with guns, the liberal media sources will tell you this guy is a no-good law breaking citizen.  Reid even called him a “domestic terrorist“.

And then Bundy was videoed saying “negros” and “Mexicans”.  He was instantly crucified by the liberal media outlets as a “racists“.

 

 

There was more media coverage on his “negro” comment by the liberal media than all other stories of his stance against the government.   Just like the media did during the Trevon Martin case, they instantly jumped on him as a racist.

Watch the Bundy video and decide for yourself.  He may have used a poor choice of words, but this man is NOT a racists.  Think about it:  He grew up when those words were acceptable in society and not this twisted politically correct country we live in today.  He may have just crawled out from under a rock, but he’s not a racists.

US Government Land Grab

When we started digging deeper, there is a massive invasion and trend by the US government to grab land from private citizens for its own greedy needs.  Well, the greedy needs of the politicians.

Endangered desert turtleOur government who states they are here to protect us are actually the one’s inflicting the pain.  They have taken land from many people.  Usually rural farmers and ranchers.  Taking their cattle and killing their cows or horses.  Keep in mind the BLM is an agency required to protect endangers animals.  If the animals aren’t on the government’s endangered list, I guess the animals are now endangered to the government.  No, we take that back.  The turtles were on this endangered list and the BLM killed them too.

Here’s a list of the government stealing land from citizens:

    1. Cliven Bundy, Nevada Rancher (by the BLM)
    2. Dann sisters, Nevada (by the BLM)
    3. Texas/Oklahoma ranch (by the BLM)
    4. Barrie couple, Colorado (by Colorado)
    5. Confiscate Wyoming Rancher’s horses (by the BLM)

There are many other instances like the one’s above that we will report on soon.  The Dann’s sisters is really a very sad and horrible story that is just hard to believe our government did this to these old ladies.  Took their land and killed hundreds of their horses and cattle. Their Indian ancestors were here WAY before the BLM or even the US government (story).

The Bundy incident in Nevada has opened the eyes of the public and even government leaders to the  over-reach and illegal activities of our government and some politicians.

The battle over land between private citizens and the US Government goes way beyond Cliven Bundy.

Related:  “Bigger than Bundy” say Utah Representative

See a list of all stories related to the US Government’s Land Grab against private citizens.

 

Who is Senator Harry Reid?

Who is Senator Harry Reid?

Senator Harry Reid
Senator Harry Reid

Harry Reid is a Democratic Senator from Nevada.  He is a “career politician” meaning he has served most of his career in a political position.  Since 1969, his entire career has been in government office.    He’s 74.

Another way to look at this is that he has never had a real job.  No disrespect, but I think it’s important that people learn about building a business, operating a company, managing a budget and expenses, and earning a living…earning a paycheck.  He has not.   Maybe it is a jab at him but its entirely the truth, which you are most welcome to verify.  (Wiki)

He’s a person you either love or hate.  If you are neutral on your thoughts of him, you do not know him or his history.  He has had a tremendous positive impact to the State of Nevada.  At least on the surface.  But I believe his success for the state, comes at the expense  of everyday people.

He is a Mormon.  And Mormons overall are exceptionally good people. Reid has used his religious faith to promote how ethically and caring he is.  However, it does not take much digging to see what an unethical career he has had.

His list of dirty laundry and ethical issues is rather long.  One issue that recently came to light was his $5 billion deal with the Chinese to build a solar panel array in Nevada’s desert near Las Vegas.  He used his political position for personal wealth for him and his son Rory (see story).  His Bureau of Land Management (BLM) he controls has destroyed many rural families and farms.

While the construction of the Chinese solar project is underway, Reid was almost able to keep this activity completely under the radar of the media and every day people like us. That is, until Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher stood up to the BLM and the media began digging into this story. (see story)

He has been accused of numerous ethics violations and non-ethical behavior.  See Dirty Harry and ethics violations stories.

But he is well connected and at the highest levels including the President and the Attorney General.  When you have the chief executive and the chief judicial leader on your side, not much can happen to you. So he remains untouchable to any sort of punishment, investigations, and inquiries.

Second Amendment Overview

Second Amendment Overview

2nd Amendment

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Let’s break this down:

Well regulated militia: A militia is a fully legal and authorized group of armed citizens.  A militia is NOT the military, National Guard, or law enforcement.  It is simply citizens who are armed.  If YOU are armed, you are in the militia.  See our in depth explanation of a militia at “What is a Militia?

A free state:  Today we think of “states” as California, Florida, and all states in between.  Technically, a state is: “a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government. Germany, Italy, and other European countries are states.”  So as we think of states from a US standpoint, “states” actually means a “country”.  In the US we are 50 countries (or states) that are united as one federal state.  Or, at least we use to be.

Infringed defined actively break the terms of a law or agreement.

The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 or 225 years ago. The style of writing back then was slightly different than today. Therefore, to “translate” into a slightly more modern style:

The people of our free states (the United States), who are the armed militia, have the right to keep and bear arms.  Their right to this shall not be be legally broken.

Again, this is NOT referring to the military or law enforcement.  It is referring to “We the people”.

There are many, many ways liberals and Democrats are attempting to re-write the Second Amendment.

In Muslim terrorist countries, Muslims begin their teaching children as early as two years old, that the United States,  Christians, and Jews are their enemies.  And its okay to slaughter them like cattle.  Literally.

With the new Common Core curriculum being used in many states today, it too teaches children a new and different version of the Second Amendment.  See: Common Core Rewrites 2nd Amendment. The point is that US educators have begun teaching our children at an early age that guns are bad and the Constitution is wrong.

The US Government is also going after gun and ammo manufacturers. One very brilliant way they are doing this is through the EPA.  The EPA Clean Air act has already caused one major ammo manufacturer of lead used in ammunition to close at the end of 2013.  This will make lead much harder to get and much more expensive.  (See story.)

The FBI and DHS are also treating people who buy ammo and guns as domestic terrorist.  See “Gov’t asks businesses to rat-out preppers“.

Former New York Mayor and huge anti-gun activist Michael Bloomberg is spending $50 million dollars of his own money to fight the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He wants all guns taken from citizens and is going to use this opportunity to increase anti-gun feelings with US citizens.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s signing of the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) “on behalf of President Barack Obama and the people of the United States.”

Article 3 of that agreement outlaws the buying, selling, trading, or transferring by civilians of all “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms.”

Woman shooting gun
Home self-defense

We could continue with other stories but I believe this proves that there is an attack on the Second Amendment.  If you support your Second Amendment rights, you need to get involved.

Join the NRA, National Association of Gun Owners, and even your state sponsored militia (sometimes called the State Guard and open to everyone).