Common Core Realities

Last week this reporter gave you the facts behind the myths of Common Core (CC). If you wish to refresh your memory here is the link: Blog- Fact Vs Myth This week I will endeavor to explore CC a little more intimately.

Be forewarned! This report will have editorial content in addition to factual content!
CC is, among other things a direct insult to the tenth amendment which states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nothing in the constitution gives the power over our education system to the federal government. Furthermore, the welfare clause of the constitution states, in paraphrase, that if the states can do something the federal government cannot. The states have run their own schools since the inception of the constitution so I guess they can do it.

As part of the Race to the Top program, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a total of $330 million in September 2010 that will strengthen the hold that the federal government and special interests have on K-12 curriculum content, increase the frequency of standardized tests, diminish the importance of traditional classroom tests, and further marginalize the role of parents and teachers. 

There are basically two systems for the implementation of CC at the state level. These are:
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) partially funded by a grant from the Department of Education at $170 million and
SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for $160 million

CC is a direct insult to conservative tenets and apparently seeks to eliminate all such adherents via subtle indoctrination of our children. There are many examples of this in the proposed tests themselves. But time and space limit my ability to expose them all here. We will examine a couple. The first is rather more blatant than subtle.
Ronald Reagan’s famous words at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, in which he calls for Mikhail Gorbachev to, “come to this gate! … Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” becomes according to the College Board’s new Advanced Placement U.S. history exam, this was really a period of “increased assertiveness and bellicosity” on the part of the U.S. This is a multiple choice question so the ONLY correct answer is this one.

The phrase “… increased assertiveness and bellicosity ..” is so obviously editorial in nature as to verge on the ridiculous. One might be tempted to ask, increased from what or when? From the days of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis or perhaps the Nixon and Carter years? Probably not. You see Reagan had a reasonable expectation of a reasoned response from Gorbachev due to his diplomatic efforts. He got one. The wall came down. If I may paraphrase the same words in an editorial manner, that time can be viewed as a period of decreased bellicosity and assertiveness.

This is but one example of the left’s intent and attempt to brain wash our children.
There are a ridiculous number of examples of the idiocy of the math used in these tests, but we shall look at one only for reasons already stated.

18 students in a class room are told to count off increasing by a certain number. The last person to count off correctly said 90. What number was used to count off? Simple, right? 90 divided by 18 equals 5 so they were counting by fives. WRONG! The correct answer takes 128 steps and uses a format that most mathematicians can’t understand. If you gave your work in the straight forward 90/18=5 you got it wrong according to CC standards.

WV State Delegate Michael Folk is an airline pilot who has taught math in both high schools and colleges. It is my understanding that he holds a degree in math while his wife teaches science to WV children with a solid background in math. They are dismayed that they are unable to help their children with math homework for the simple reason that these well educated people can’t understand how the problems are to be solved! I have several other examples of this same thing, but again both time and space are prohibitive.

There is one other area that greatly concerns me and it is another of those ‘subtle’ intrusions into the parent-child rights. Many states, including WV have signed up for SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) which is funded by the Federal Department of Education to the tune of $160,000,000. This mandates that the schools will:

  • SBAC will test students using computer adaptive technology that will ask students tailored questions based on their previous answers.
  • SBAC “will continue to use one test at the end of the year for accountability purposes,” but will also create a series of interim tests used to inform students, parents, and teachers about whether students are on track.

That “… ask students tailored questions based on their previous answers.” thing bothers me. First who will devise these new questions? Presumably the Department of Education and their consultants. Consultants being those trade organizations mentioned at the beginning of this piece. So if your child missed that question regarding the bellicosity of the Reagan speech, they are going to receive reinforcement in the understanding of an editorialized question. Hmmmmm. (Time for some editorializing of my own.) Sounds more like indoctrination to me. Yeah, Stupid me. I am against the government indoctrinating my children or any body’s children with either liberal or conservative tenets. That is the responsibility of the parents and only the parents. Contrary to some, the child’s upbringing is the parents responsibility not the government’s.

The second mandate under the “Smarter” consortium is one test at the end of the year with periodic testing to “… inform students, parents and teachers about whether students are on track.” In the former case we already have a very good year end standardized test that has been in use for decades (with periodic updates). This does keep all informed the tack the students are on, so why spend the money to create a new one? The answer is left as an exercise for the reader.

Did you know that six states (Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming) plus American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands participated in neither consortium? It was never a requirement. And what did they give up for this non-participation? Nothing. The money from the government for signing up in one or the other was earmarked exclusively for implementing the tests. Notice that the amount that each state received was never enough to cover all of the costs of implementation. The six states actually saved money by saying no. Funny how that works sometimes.

There will be more on this after a brief hiatus so other issues may be addressed. Let me know if you are finding these comments on Common Core helpful or should I just move on?

Common Sense vs Common Core

Part. 1 Fact vs Myth

When I first envisioned writing this I thought a single condensed blog would do the trick. My researches quickly revealed it would take more. I thought I knew a lot about the subject, but as always, I delved into it to make sure. One reason is that when you follow the media, any media, you can get confused rather easily. One side promotes one thing while the other espouses something else. I hope to clear up some of those misconceptions.
Just what is Common Core? The basis of Common Core is simple. It is a mandate to have the students in public schools take a series of ‘standardized tests’. No Big Deal, right? I mean we all took standardized tests in primary and secondary school. The rub come from the formulation of those tests which requires teachers to to teach some very strange and objectionable things to our children. They must do this if they want the children (and the school) to make a decent showing on the tests. This decent showing criteria is part and parcel of the school funding issue. The worse you you rate on the tests the less you receive in federal funding. That is a simplistic view, but basically accurate. More on this aspect later. First we need to delve into the facts of the Common Core mandates.
Let’s dig into some of the myths and corresponding actualities.
Myth
.  Common Core (CC) was a state-led initiative.
This is not at all true. The CC was begun in Washington D.C. with no involvement from the states. The initiating organization was a group of people brought together by Bill gates and his organization according to my research. They did decide that they needed to appear to be a populist movement so they went to the National Governors Association (NGA) (a trade association that doesn’t include all governors) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), another DC-based trade association. Note here that neither of these trade associations had any authority from any state to act in their behalf. Achieve, Inc., a DC-based nonprofit that includes many liberal education reformers was the chief architect.
Myth
.  Under Common Core, the states will still control their standards.

Nope. In fact the standards are written so that the states must accept the standards “word for word” . They can not change or delete anything. They do have the ability to add content, but that content will not be covered in the tests.
Myth
.  The federal government is not involved in the Common Core scheme.
Do really believe this one? Here are the facts. The U.S. Dept. of Education has poured millions of dollars into cohersive tactics to force the states to adopt the CC and they act as the enforcement agency. They have made it very tricky to ‘opt out’. One of the reasons it is so hard to pass a state law to do so. During the last 10 or so years it has become necessary for states to have federal funding for their schools. Sorry that is just the way it is. I will attempt to write about that another time giving the reasons.
Myth

.  The Common Core standards are “internationally benchmarked.
No information was presented to the Validation Committee to show how CC stacked up against standards of other high-achieving countries. In fact, the CC establishment no longer claims that the standards are “internationally benchmarked” – the website now states that they are “informed by” the standards of other countries. There is no definition of “informed by.”
Myth
.  Common Core is only a set of standards, not curriculum; states will still control their curriculum.

The whole point of the standardized tests is to drive the curriculum. In order for the students to pass the tests the teachers must teach the subjects in the tests and teach what the tests will cover. The math used in the tests have nothing to do with the way current math is taught and understood by either the common man or the colleges that teach math, much less the sciences that depend upon math. One drafter of the CC math standards stated, CC is designed to prepare students for a nonselective two-year community college, not a four-year university. That is only one example. I don’t have time or space to go into all of them, but stop by your school one day and ask to check out a history text. That all by itself will dismay most. Even the testing consortia being funded by USED admitted in their grant applications that they would use the money to develop curriculum models. There is so much more from English to literature that would put the entire country behind other competing countries.
Myth

. We need common standards to be able to compare our students’ performance to that of students in other states.

Pardon my blunt words, but that is just so much BS. We already have that. In the lower grades we have standardized tests, National Assessment of Educational Progress, that are administered and the content is reviewed annually. In High School there is ACT and SAT.
I have a dear friend that is a welder by trade with no college. My friend has a son just entering the grades where CC is used. He told me that upon viewing his son’s home work he was afraid that nothing was being taught in either math or English that would allow his son to even go into the trades where math is a part of the everyday work. Proper English is, of course, helpful when dealing with customers and all sorts of people that he interacts with every day. Even his son’s reading skills are sadly lacking for his age. My friend tells me that his son is being taught to memorize words. No phonetics to aid in both spelling and pronunciation. Just rote memorization.
There is so much more about this subject to cover, but I think a solid grounding in the facts are necessary prior to exploring the full ramifications of this federal governmental intrusion into our way of life.
Stay tuned.

Musings on Immigration

Article 2, Section 3 of the United States Constitution makes one of the duties of the president clear. It states the the president “… shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Naturally this assumes there is a law which he is supposed to “faithfully execute.” The current case of immigration is a problem that the president has decided to “fix” and since there is no law he has decided to make one on his own. This arrogation of congressional power to himself is plainly against the constitution he swore to uphold. If this power grab is allowed to stand we will have moved even further from a republic to tyranny.
Let’s face it, lawlessness breads lawlessness. Once you condone a lawless act you open the door for more such acts. Just to be clear, there are laws on the books, passed by congress as mandated by the supreme law of this land that state clearly how people can enter this country. The president maintains that prosecutorial discretion allows the DOJ to ignore this law if it so chooses. That just isn’t so. Prosecutorial discretion is clearly intended to be used on a case by case basis not on a blanket move to ignore a law. Now if the DOJ decides to investigate each illegal immigration to see if the laws are being broken and then decide, because of extenuation or some such reason, that is one thing. They have neither the funding nor the manpower to do so for millions of illegals.
The people of this country have stated that there is one way to gain entrance to our land. They have taken the proper action by codifying this in law. This law helps us weed out the lawless and the applicant that envisions brining down the government through acts of terror and just plain thievery or drug running. This president has decided to allow al to enter regardless of background or intent. Now he is proposing that they be given social security and a tax rebate on taxes they don’t pay. And yes, even grant them government support supposedly reserved for real citizens.
There is a quote from Heather Mac Donald, fellow of the Manhattan Institute that bears repeating.
On Feb 16, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen halted President Obama’s illegal amnesty with a temporary injunction. The proposed amnesty program, Judge Hanen found, went far beyond mere prosecutorial discretion not to enforce the law against individuals . Instead, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to confer on illegal aliens a new legal status known as “legal presence.” But Congress has not granted DHS the power to create and bestow legal status. The amnesty program represented a “complete abdication” of DHS’s responsibility to enforce the law, Judge Hanen declared. Indeed DHS was actively thwarting the express will of Congress.
Notice that this a rather narrow ruling. The Judge does not address the constitutional questions raised, but rather ruled against the administration. His ruling is based on laws governing the DHS’s rule making.
As bad as Obama’s amnesty is (did I say bad? Make that egregious) there is another baddy lurking underneath that. You see, the very second this clandestine border invader steps on American soil he/she is a criminal in the eyes of our law. It should be no surprise that many go ahead and break more laws and some of them get arrested for that and put in jail. The arresting agency then follows standard operating procedure and notifies ICE that they have an illegal in jail supposedly so they can pick him up and deport him. This is a very common practice called a ‘Detainer’. It is used all of the time. You get busted in one place and are wanted for another crime in another jurisdiction they ‘detain you at the end of your sentence so the other place can come and get you. You might say a common sense approach. (I am not typing the he/she thing anymore. Not sexist, just lazy.) Should be a no brainer, right? This is known as Secure Communities a program that has been targeted by liberals since its beginning. They make the rather amazing claim that it is just not fair to remove an illegal alien just because he has broken more laws. Many of them insist that he shouldn’t have been jailed in the first place. They really do! So last year the Obama administration decided that Secure Communities needed to be dismantled almost completely. After all, who needs our communities to be secure from lawlessness? Police authorities in high immigration areas are under tremendous pressure, political pressure, to completely ignore everything they have been taught about lawlessness and public safety in order to protect illegal immigrants.
The stated goal of this campaign against Secure Communities is to de-legitimize deportation as a legitimate response to illegal immigration. That effectively means that we have no immigration laws. So come on in, ISIS. We will not only welcome you we will give you a social security and help pay you to attack us. The same goes for the drug traffickers, human sex traffickers, etc.
Here you have a little insight into the administration’s amnesty packaging. Still like it?

We Once Were …

We Once Were …

Our once great nation began life as an independent nation. We were a group of rugged individualist that depended upon our families and neighbors for our lives, sustenance and happiness. We knew our security rested within ourselves. If I may paraphrase a scholar of those time, Benjamin Franklin, who once said ‘If you wish to give up freedom for security you will have neither.’ Yeah, I know that isn’t an exact quote, but it is close.
Today we have a large group of people that believe they should receive all things from the government. They are owed something just for being born. The only thing they are owed is a mother and father that teach them and protect them until they are old enough to do those things for themselves.
You see the founding fathers knew this and set up a system of government that allow for individual growth and liberty. They did a pretty good job, in my humble opinion. Oh, sure there were some things that they simply couldn’t foresee, but they tried to allow for even that by making sure we, the individuals of that new nation, could modify the founding document to accommodate for growth and changing paradigms.
The basic assumption was that each individual would have the freedom to become that which they both wanted and were capable of achieving. They made it plain in the founding documents that we were all created equal. Does that mean that we can all achieve the same level of prosperity and greatness in our lives? Nope. It means that the law of the land will treat us all with equal respect and deference. The rest is up to you. Nobody owes you more than that. Once you are both mentally and physically capable of taking cae of yourself it is time for you to begin the process of growth and paying back what you were given for the first part of your life.
What? Payback? What payback? You began this life as a dependent. You were dependent upon others for everything. You could do nothing for yourself except attempt to get somebody’s attention to the needs of your body. And for the most part that was given to you without the expectation of payback. Just because none expected payback does not mean that it isn’t owed by the honorable.
Hmmm Honorable. Interesting word that. According to Merriam-Webster it has the following short definition: “: deserving honor and respect : having or showing honesty and good moral character : fair and proper : not deserving blame or criticism.” That was so important at one time in this country that is deserves special mention. Men pledged their “Sacred” honor only to really important goals. Their honor was so important that some gave their lives to protect it. There are few among us willing to do that in this day of infamy we now find ourselves living. Soldiers do it on a daily basis and are to be thanked for that. They deserve to be ‘honored’ for that. How about you? Are you deserving of anybodies honor? Really?
Through out our countries history we have set in law a variety of procedures that both define us and aid in protecting us from those that would destroy our honor and independence. Let’s look at one small example of that. How about new people that want in on this land of liberty? We felt you should observe the niceties and ask permission. Sort of like knocking on the door of a stranger you want to become familiar with. First you knock on the door and ask permission to enter. Should you decide not to do this simple act and enter without permission, you are subject to a plethora of possible penalties. It was intended that you should follow the proper procedure in gaining access to all this country has to offer. First you ask permission to enter then you indicate your desire to stay a while then you ask to become a member of the family and become a citizen.
Before you ‘marry’ into the family that is American we require that you know something about us and we know something about you. You have to learn our constitution and we give you a test to make sure that you have. Then you take the vows or the oath promising to defend that constitution and there are all those penalties for failure of that oath. Shucks, we even require people that want to work for us to take an oath before they may do so. I took an oath when I joined the service and did so willingly. That oath is for life. No one ever has came by and said that I didn’t need to obey it anymore. I willingly, loyally and even happily follow that oath to this day.
It seems to this writer that today honor and law has become a matter of personal convenience. If a law is inconvenient simply ignore we it. This is happening from the so clled pillars of our nation to the man in the street. Our judges, our media pundits, even our ministers. Our judges seem to believe that the first line of the constitution is a matter of convenience. Sharia law was never even considered by our our congress yet some judges feel it is OK to use it as a basis for some decisions. Our media feels that the Constitution is just an old, out dated writing with some suggestions on how we should behave. Some ministers feel that the bible wasn’t really serious when it condemned homosexuality, etc. The president calls us an Islamic nation. It doesn’t matter that most of our founding documents and the reason for the existence of this nation was religious, Christian freedom. Not a freedom from religion. Not so we could revere a philosophy that preaches the hate and destruction of any people that do not accept their narrow and hate filled so called religion.
We once were a nation that had honor. We once were a nation that held to the principle of self determination and respect for others. We once were a nation that stood proud and strong. We once were a nation of proud people. We once were.

A Little Common Sense

For the first time I will be posting the same commentaries to two of my own Blogs.

I am going to answer a recurring and spurious objection to the Article V convention and attempt to explain the necessity.

The objection usually points out that the federal government doesn’t follow the constitution now, why should they follow it after the convention? The misconception here is that we believe we can stop Obama. We don’t. I doubt that anyone can at this point when you consider the RINO support he is seeing. The whole point of the Article V is prevent future Obamas. How, you ask?

The answer to that is actually simple. We remove the factors that make it possible in the way the wording of the constitution currently exists. The answer lies in bringing the wording into the modern cultural paradigm as opposed to the one in which the founders worked. You see the founders could not envision that “politics” would become a path to immense wealth and power. Hamilton alludes to this in his Patriot Papers. They knew from their experience that people would seek election out of a sense of duty, fulfill that duty and go back to their private lives and more profitable jobs. They saw no need for term limits and probably never even considered such a measure. In their world it simply wasn’t necessary.

Today, in our culture, we have politicians winning elections based almost solely on their ability to raise money and/or from ineligible voters. Most, if not all spend many times the annual salary of the position they seek. Oh, it isn’t their money they spend. Heavens no. The money comes from special interest groups that have an agenda that may or may not be similar to what the people actually want. But then who cares about what the people want. It makes it impossible for the honest, hard working person to win an election. They just can’t afford to run. So we have the professional, career politician representing a few of the people. They can and do say anything they think you want to hear to get your vote knowing that they can ‘change their minds’ once in office and that the incumbent is the highly favored one in any race to election. I know. I know. That isn’t always true. On very rare occasions the people get mad and vote out incumbents.

Now we come to the crux of the amendment drive. Term limits. Voter ID. Limited government. Fiscal responsibility. Term limits would rid us of those self same professional politicians. If you aren’t able to make a career out of being a politician you move on to something a little more useful. And here I am talking not just of the elected ones, but the appointed ones also. Like the Supreme Court. Put in office by a bunch of self serving professional politicians For Life? Sorry, in todays world that just doesn’t make any sense.

The Constitution makes it plain that voters must be citizens it just doesn’t provide for making the voter prove that they are, in fact, citizens. It not only wasn’t necessary when the document was written. It was unnecessary. If you lived here in those days you were a citizen. If you were a black or a native or a woman you could not vote. We finally made some changes via the amendment process that changed that part. However back in the founders day there were no driver’s licenses or birth certificates or even government issued ID cards.

We have all heard the horror stories about voter fraud, Most recently in the presidential election of 2012. The main stream media would not even discuss the fact that there were entire counties across the nation that had no opposition parties that voted. Every single voter cast their ballot for B.O.H. 100% Now that is not only improbable, it is flat out impossible. Then you have politicians like Harry Reid. He has gone into election day behind in the poles for all but for his first election and goes on to win by a substantial margin. It is speculated that he receives more votes from dead people than live ones! I have no way of confirming that, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Democrats would have you believe that voter IDs would be discriminatory. It would disenfranchise many people. I spend a lot of my time each election cycle registering voters. That concept is just plain phony. There are dozes of ways to make sure every one that is a citizen and wants to vote are able to do so. But then if you invoke the law about only citizens voting you lose all of the illegal immigrants and the dead and the multiple voter from voting so in that area it certainly is discriminatory.

Fiscal responsibility is another bugaboo. We now have a national debt that consumes forty eight percent of the national income from our taxes just to pay the interest. Then there is social security. The money that the working stiff pays into that fund doesn’t go to pay for social security. It is ‘borrowed’ by congress and the loan has never been paid. This one is NOT an entitlement, folks. I was told when very young that my payment of that particular tax would guarantee me a certain amount of income upon reaching a certain age. In other words my money would be returned at least in part. Because of that borrowing the social Security Administration has to then borrow from other countries to make good on their word. That means we have to pay more interest on the new loan. A vicious circle. This one a simple balanced budget amendment may not be equal to solving.

Last and far from least is limiting government. The Preamble to the Constitution makes it quite plain that the federal government is actually quite limited. “ … establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …” They are empowered to regulate actions between states, but not within any state border. Things like interstate commerce. That word interstate means between states. If a state can handle it the feds can’t. A little tweak to the welfare clause of the Constitution would eliminate things like denying mining permits and Obamacare to name only two. A cultural updating, not a rewrite. In simple language, if a state can do it, the feds can’t.

The Federal government is limited to providing for the establishment of the judicial system, provide the military for common defense, promote the general welfare and above all secure the liberty of the people.

I have reached my self imposed 1000 word limit. More next time. If you read it please comment.

Amnesty, Voters and Voter Id

I sincerely believe the liberal push for amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants is a political ploy that seems to be working to the detriment of “The American Way.” Let’s face the fact that we all know there is significant voter fraud in this country. I sincerely doubt that Harry Reid or even Obama himself could have been re-elected without it I have explained my position on that many times.

The liberals would have you believe that amnesty is all about bringing into our country workers that will take the jobs Americans won’t. They would have you believe it is all about the children. They would have you believe it is all about compassion. I would have you believe that all of their posturing is a very large load of Horse Manure. There is a very well documented and practical way for immigrants to enter this country. It has worked for many, many years. My fore bearers entered this country using that series of laws to obtain entry and become citizens of the United States. I am told the day they took the oath of citizenship was the proudest day of their entire lives. Would you believe that they even had to swear that they would obey the laws of their new country? Weird? Nah, just practical. How many of the illegals have to do that?

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the times my father and I would sit around the table, late at night(well past my bed time) and talk. On one of these occasions we were talking about our fore fathers and he related a simple story to me. It seems one of the friends of those forbearers had broken an unspecified law and was deported. The stated reason? He broke his “entry oath”. He was a legal entrant to this country, but he broke the law and was sent back where he came from. Please remember that an ‘executive order’ cannot make something that is illegal, legal. Illegals are not law abiding by definition. They are not legal voters, by definition. Hell, they are not legal … by definition. Please don’t let the liberal “bleeding heart” diatribe sway you from this.

The liberal objection to voter ID is all about ensuring that there are citizens that simply can’t obtain a valid photo ID that identifies them as American Citizens are able to vote. This situation may exist. I don’t know. I have engaged in a few voter registration drives and we always ask for such and I have never found even the most bed ridden citizen that didn’t have such proof. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Truthfully I would rather have a small minority of citizens disenfranchised than have millions of non Americans become registered voters. Voting is an American citizen’s right and obligation. I really don’t want non-Americans deciding who runs things in either Washington or the state capital.

Amnesty is against the law; it is against tradition; it is against America. And no amount of executive orders directing the DOJ not to enforce the laws of our country can change that.

The Best Defense

It is very apparent that the Judeo-Christian ethic is under egregious attack by the liberals in our once stalwart country. I suggest we counter attack. It has been wisely said that the best defence is a good offence. That said just how do we counter attack?

First please note that I used the term Judeo-Christian in my opening line. Make no mistake I count myself as a Christian; however, I respect other beliefs and religions. And yes I see Judaism as a vibrant and viable religion.

The thing is the anti Christian and indeed the the anti religion bigots in this country are winning the battles in this. Why? Because the Christians and the Jews, and the Buddhists and the Shintoists and every other religion in this country are not launching a counter offensive.

We counter attack by an old and tried tactic of civil disobedience and refusal to bow to misguided and sometimes wrong thinking. Civil disobedience comes in many forms. The county and city governments where I live has an ongoing tradition of displaying a manger scene every Christmas on the lawn of the County Court House! Supreme court be damned. Our children say the Pledge of Allegiance with the words ‘Under God’ included. In other words our local government practices a form of Civil disobedience. Oh, by the way, this town is considered a bastion of the democratic party.

Another way to counter attack is education. I don’t mean just in our schools, but in our everyday lives. Are you aware that there is no place in the Constitution of our country that states that there shall be a separation of church and state? The sole comment and proviso having anything to do with religion comes in the first amendment to that document and it simply says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” The underline is mine. Look at that. Posting the ten commandments in front of your courthouse has nothing to do with establishing a religion and certainly nothing to do with congress passing any law! Spread the word. COUNTER ATTACK.

The second part of that is “or prohibiting the free exercise the free exercise thereof…” It is, or should be, my right to run my business in any manner that does not threaten the life or property of another. If I should want to bar any but bible carrying Christians or Wearers of the Star of David or any other religious symbol that is MY business. It may not make good business sense, but it is my right. The Declaration of Independence has it as a God given right. The government has absolutely no power to deny me that right, even though they seem to think they do. Not even public opinion can deny me that right. It may cost me business, but that is all. There does seem to be one exception to that comment about bad for business. Many businesses are finding it very profitable to, say nothing about safer, for businesses to ban Muslims.

Another way to further the education process is to respond to any published action that is against the American God given freedoms. Have you seen a rant by homosexuals about how they have the ‘right’ to marry or adopt or attempt to bring public pressure on businesses that refuse to offer their services to them such as wedding cakes? Step up and rationally defend their right to run their business in any way their conscience dictates, in a post of your own. One caution here. Don’t post or respond with a rant. When you start with the name calling and bad language most people just turn you off as being too juvenile to be in the discussion. If you can’t respond with a modicum of reason, I suggest you take your frustration and anger elsewhere.

I was in another town a few days ago and as I was driving down the main drag my eyes came to rest on a sign in a restaurant window. I had to stop and read it as my driving interfered with comprehension. The sign read: “We are Christian Americans and your legal guns are welcome here.” I just had to go in even though I wasn’t ‘packing’. The place was comfortably full and I sauntered to the counter for a coffee and an English muffin. I looked around the room and must have seen 20 hip weapons scattered about the room. Never felt safer in my life. I had to ask to speak to the owner. I was introduced to a pleasant middle aged woman and in answer to my question she stated that her business had actually increased since she and her husband put up the sign. She said they had put up the sign in response to a robbery. Now her customers were an invincible security force that paid them for their service. I still think that was a great solution to a problem. They counter attacked.

All I am saying here is that we need to take the battle for our ideals to the enemy. Not sit around on our plush posteriors waiting for ‘somebody’ to do something. Remember – if you look in the mirror ‘somebody’ is looking back at you.

Reply to a naysayer

I received an email from a gentleman that was against an Article V Convention that demonstrated to me just how confused and wrong some people can be about a major issue in this country.  This is my response.

At the end of this post I will give you a link that will allow you to help with this cause if you so desire.

1. The Constitution is not the problem.
I submit that the constitution is the problem for one major reason, it was written by very brilliant men that were trapped by their own culture. The culture of the time could never envision a person making a career out of being a politician. In their culture, a person would stand for election similar to serving in the military. They would do their patriotic duty, serve a term or two and go back to their farms or businesses with a sigh of relief that their duty was done. That mind set could never envision politicians becoming very wealthy while feeding at the public tough and gaining enormous power while they were at it. BUT! Culture evolves, and massive changes occur. Changes the founders had no way of anticipating. Solution? Limit the amount of time that aby politician can serve and then put someone else in their place.. An informed electorate? While it is true we do need that, it probably can never happen in THIS culture. Why? Partly because of the enormous number of factions trying to do the educating and the wide variety of proposed methods to be used. What we end up with is either a confused electorate with a few wild eyed radicals insisting they know the answer. Plus how do you educate a populous that has chronic attention deficit?

Some other changes that are necessary are things like the Welfare Clause. The loopholes in that alone allowed the SCOTUS to allow obamacare among other injustices. Just a few simple words would make a massive change. The SCOTUS has never yet struck down any part of the constitution if they couldn’t find a loophole to sneak through. I could go on, but it is time to move on.

2. All Article V conventions would have the inherent power to be runaway
conventions.
This time worn argument has been so thoroughly debunked I am surprised to see it here; however allow me to address it one more time.

Number one an Article V convention is NOT a Constitutional Convention and can never become one!

Thirty four state legislatures must pass a resolution that contains exactly the same wording. Oh the preamble may differ widely but the resolution itself must be the same. If any submitting state attempts to put in any wording which might allow a runaway it will not become part of the convention. Add to this the wording in this resolution which place very strict limits on what can be considered. Her is the pertinent wording: “… kimited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” Add to this the fact that most states have either proposed or enacted legal penalties for any delegate (properly called Commissioners) that include fines and jail time along with immediate removal form the convention and a runaway becomes virtually impossible. Delegate Overington has submitted such a bill to the WV legislature and many states have already passed such a bill prior to submitting the Convention resolution which allows the legislature to KNOW the convention will stick to the business it is convened to conduct. If this is not enough to allay any fears in this area please let me know as there are many other factors addressing this very issue.

3. An Article V convention would enable powerful special interests to
revise the Constitution in their favor.
This comment is well thought out and so very wrong. Let me quote one section: ”The power elites mentioned above have learned how to elect and influence large numbers of federal and state legislators a very long time ago.” What happened to that philosophy in the 2014 election? 2012?

Just prior to this you state and I quote: “Proponents of an Article V convention assure us that delegates appointed by state legislatures can propose amendments, the amendments can be ratified by
the states, and the resulting amendments will miraculously rein in our “out-of-control” federal government. This starry-eyed scenario is a major fairy tale. (Emphasis mine)
I guess that at this point I should ask you to point out just how influential these people are that can’t even put a stop to a proposal that could eliminate that so called power of that so called “power elite”.

You also state: “A good example of this influence is how hard it has been for grassroots activists to get state legislatures to reconsider their commitment to the special interests’ Common Core education standards.” Hard? I guess that depends upon your definition of the word. Many state legislatures, including WV have before the legislature bills to eradicate CC in their states. Chance of success? According to those polls you are so find of, better than 89%. Some things take time. People have to see the damage before they can act to correct it. Let’s get back on topic.

You stated that the Constitution is not the problem. I answered that rather conclusively.

You stated the Convention would be a runaway. I have shown you how that is a practical impossibility.

You stated that an Article V convention would enable powerful special interests to
revise the Constitution in their favor. I pretty well answered that when addressing the second point , but felt it necessary to expand on it with some specifics.

Any questions?

If your would like to join with this group I urge you to follow the link and at the very least take a few minutes to sign the petition.  Please remember to include your address as this is the only way they can determine which legislator you are petitioning.  Every time a constituent contacts an elected official at the state level it makes a difference.

http://www.cosaction.com/?recruiter_id=239046

A Look at Political Conservatives

A Look at Political Conservatism
My Father was a staunch Republican way back when that meant he and members of that party were conservatives. Whenever you spoke about a political conservative your audience knew you were talking about a Republican. The two words were interchangeable. He once defined conservative to me as someone that was against change. As he put it “What was good enough for my father is good enough for me.”

OK that was then. What about now? Today. I call myself a conservative; does that mean I am anti change? Yes, it does. I am very much against the government changing my country from one of individual responsibility, capitalism, personal liberty and so forth. Yet, here I am working hard to amend the constitution. Isn’t that change? Not really. Let me explain before you blow your top.

You see I want to amend the constitution to PREVENT change. All of those years ago when those eminent scholars got together and hammered out that truly great instrument we call our constitution they had a vision, but that vision was based on the culture they knew. The one they had lived in all of their collective lives. And each one was a die hard liberal! (Sometimes being a liberal can be a good thing. Seldom, I grant you, but sometimes.) They wanted change! They wanted to change from a government with a king that could decide what freedoms to grant and which to keep for the elite. And he did. Those flaming liberals wanted and end to that. They wanted to change everything about government! They wanted and wrote a constitution which granted the rights they saw as ordained by God, not men. Yeah, back then it really meant men. Women were not even considered to be in the mix. Remember that culture I mentioned?

Then the country and, indeed, the world slowly and over time changed. One day the state of Wyoming actually had the temerity to grant the vote to women, of all things. Who’da thunk it! Women making decisions just like they actually had brains! Turns out they did and do have every bit as good brain power as any man. Then along came the notion that the phrase “…all men are created equal…” became a recognized fact. Even if your skin happened to be a different color. WOW! What a concept. The culture changed.

It is well known that the Federalist Papers shows the thinking of the founders that those elected to the seats of government would not want that job for long. It would be, at best, a temporary job. Who would actually want to make a career out of sitting in a room with a bunch of guys talking about something as dry as the creation of law. How the culture has changed.

Today we see a man that was a Community Organizer with a barley living wage, just able to afford a house, switch his “profession” to politics and become a multi millionaire. He recently bought a house in California that had multimillion dollar price tag. No sweat. We even have elected officials bragging about the number of years they have fed at the public trough! The founding fathers must be turning over in their graves.

That defining document states in the very first article that the power to enact laws shall rest solely with the legislature. Today that self same legislature has delegated and abrogated that grave responsibility to “regulatory agencies”. So much so that one talking head states that the regulatory agencies have passed over 21000 ‘regulations in the past year alone, each with the force of law. Congress, meanwhile, passed far fewer actual laws than that.

Getting back to the founding fathers and the government they tried to establish, one that worked so well for so long, established a system of checks and balances within the federal government which had strictly limited powers, and that worked in the culture of the day. Not so today. Today the Supreme Court, appointed for life, remember, obtain their jobs by promising, behind closed doors, to follow the political ideology of the person that nominates them. FOR LIFE! Congressmen and congresswomen tell their constituents whatever they want to hear just to get the job. No one is the least surprised when it turns out they lied. That is politics. Take a look at Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia. Didn’t take her long to turn her back on those that elected her. Damn! She hasn’t even officially been sworn is as a senator yet! She still sits in her seat in the house! Oh, Well, don’t get me started down that road.

I, a conservative do not want to change the constitution. I do want to amend it so that it reflects the culture of today. Yes, I want term limits for ALL federal government officials. Even the Supreme Court. Enough of the professional politician. Let’s force the feds to balance the federal budget. Let us alter the wording of the welfare clause of the constitution to reflect today’s culture. Maybe even take a look at repealing an existing amendment like the 17th. There are a few. What about voter IDs? Racist? Give me a break! The only thing close to racist is the prevention of non-citizen and the dead from voting. Yeah, I guess I am racist at that. I honestly believe you must be a living citizen of this country to vote. I don’t care if your skin is green as long as you are in fact alive, a citizen and can prove both.

If an Article V convention can get 38 states to agree on just one or two of these types of amendments, we just might get the country of our fathers back.

I really am proud of being a conservative.

The 4th Branch

The 4th Branch

The common belief is that the constitution establishes three branches of our government. This is incorrect as I will attempt to explain. The first three are well known, but let’s go over them for old times sake and perhaps a little clarification.

The first branch of our government to be mentioned in our Constitution is the legislative. The Constitution takes some pains in laying out the duties and responsibilities of this branch and divides it into two separate and distinct houses. This has become known as a bicameral form. The primary and well delineated responsibility is the enactment of laws and the Constitution is quite clear in stating that this is the only branch of government that may do this. They have abrogated much of this responsibility through both laziness and greed in recent years. You see the founding fathers did not foresee the advent of the professional politician. The Patriot Papers make this quite clear when Hamilton points out that the expected course of events would be for a citizen to serve his time in office and go back to the private sector where he (back then it was inconceivable that a women would even want such responsibility. Thankfully that has changed.) could better support his family,. Yeah, this too has changed. Nowadays you can get rich in politics, but that is another blog.

Among the other responsibilities of the legislature is a little known one. Believe it or not, the Seargent of Arms of the United States House of Representatives is the only person with the Constitutional authority to arrest the President. Upon the direction of those elected representatives, he and only he is required to arrest the President.

The second branch mentioned is the so called Executive Branch. The duties and the responsibilities of this branch is primarily to enforce the laws passed by Congress. To be sure, there are other lesser responsibilities placed upon him, but, again that is another blog. Would you believe that the only law enforcement agency the constitution set ups is the office of county Sheriff? There is no mention that this is the only such agency that the government may establish.

The third branch is the judiciary. The supreme court is specifically designated to settle disputes of constitutionality of the laws passed by congress and the impeachment power over lesser judges.

OK, that covers the first three Articles of the Constitution. What about that 4th branch I mentioned. That is established in the fifth Article. You see the fifth article gives the power of the fourth branch by establishing the Constitutional right and responsibility pf the people to Amend the constitution and prevents any government, local, county, state or federal from interfering with that process. Upon passage by two thirds of the state legislatures a thing called a Convention of States MUST be established to propose amendments to that Constitution. Amend not rewrite. The Constitution clearly establishes this fourth branch to protect the people and to be another of those ‘checks and balances’. The Constitution was established to place the major responsibility to govern on the states. The governmental body closest to the people. A court decision may have put it best: “This framework has been sufficiently flexible over the past two centuries to allow for enormous changes in the nature of government. The Federal Government undertakes activities today that would have been unimaginable to the Framers in two senses; first, because the Framers would not have conceived that any government would conduct such activities; and second, because the Framers would not have believed that the Federal Government, rather than the States, would assume such responsibilities. Yet the powers conferred upon the Federal Government by the Constitution were phrased in language broad enough to allow for the expansion of the Federal Government’s role.

New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 157 (1992).”

What we need to do is use this Constitutional right to tighten up the constitution and return the power to the states and thus we the people.

People much better qualified than me have established a web site where you can learn all of the ins and outs and find the answers to all of your questions about this process at this link: Convention of States