By popular demand, we created this forum to cover almost any topic your heart desires. The Forum name, "Open Mike" refers to the tradition that some comedy and music clubs have of offering all comers the opportunity to perform live impromptu at their establishments, with any material they come up with that is consistent with the theme and policies of that organization (in our case, the Mission statement in "Read Me" section), We'll even consider stuff not consistent, if you can persuade us that changes are needed.
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What are the Fascists up to?
Here is the latest:
Dear MoveOn member,
Many of us have wrestled with intense emotions—sadness, anger, shock, and more—as we've followed the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
The police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown has ignited weeks of demonstrations. Even though most protesters have been peaceful, police appeared armed with military-grade equipment.1 Reporters have been threatened and arrested by police while trying to report the story.2 The whole country has been watching what's happening in Ferguson.3
Many of us have asked: What can we do to ensure justice for Michael Brown? What is this awful situation revealing—or reminding us—about racism in America, police militarization, and the way our criminal justice system too often fails communities of color?
Many of us have been moved to take action. Nearly 150,000 MoveOn members joined ColorOfChange.org to call on the Department of Justice to intervene in the investigation into Michael Brown's death. That petition will be delivered next week in Washington, DC.
Tens of thousands of us added our names to MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed's petition calling for an independent prosecutor in the case. And many of us have made phone calls, joined community protests and vigils, and more.
The vigils and national outcry have already had an impact in Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder—who came to meet with Ferguson residents in person—is overseeing a Department of Justice investigation.5 The FBI is conducting an investigation into civil rights abuses by the Ferguson police department.6 And a grand jury has been convened to determine if charges will be filed against Officer Darren Wilson.7
We still have much left to do and many complex issues to address before Ferguson—and America—can heal and move forward. There is no quick fix. But there are things we can all do right now to get involved in the push for justice.
One step you can take—if you haven't already—is to sign Senator Nasheed's petition calling for a special prosecutor to.... Faith leaders and local residents have joined Senator Nasheed in expressing serious doubts about whether the prosecutor in St. Louis County, who previously failed to charge officers for murdering two unarmed black men, will objectively investigate the officer responsible.8
There's also a huge amount of thoughtful online commentary that's been sparked by this tragedy. Whatever you're reading about Ferguson now, consider passing it along to a friend to keep the conversation going. Here's one option: This piece from MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes" puts the story in a broader perspective in a conversation with Marq Claxton, a retired New York Police Department detective, and Phillip Agnew, founder of the young activist group Dream Defenders:
Together, let's continue to reflect, to speak out, and to take action.
Thanks for all you do.
–Corinne, Maria, Anna, Mark, and the rest of the team
3. "A Movement Grows in Ferguson," The New Yorker, August 17, 2014
4. "Concerns arise about prosecutor in Michael Brown case," CNN, August 20, 2014
"Missouri Governor Won't Replace Prosecutor in Michael Brown Probe," Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2014
5. "Jay Nixon: Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Over Supervision Of Security In Ferguson," Associated Press, August 14, 2014
6. "FBI Will Investigate Death of Black Teenager in Missouri," The Washington Post, August 11, 2014
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Pretty muddled piece. They mix in the heavy-handed response to peaceful protesters and media (true), while the rioters tore apart the city without much opposition. Pretty ineffective police work. Then they decry the "racist" killing of Brown, which actually appeared to be fairly justified and not "racist", based on information coming to light.
Common Core State Standards a Threat to Personal Liberty — Thomas More Law Center Develops Opt-Out Form for Parents
Amidst growing concerns from parents and teachers surrounding the Common Core State Standards and the Federal government’s control of classroom curriculum, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) has prepared a Student Privacy Protection Request form for use by parents who wish to protect their children by opting-out of Common Core aligned curricula, data mining and the release of information concerning their children’s personal beliefs.
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, designed the comprehensive opt-out form for parents concerned about Common Core and who want to protect their children’s privacy from educational data mining. The form allows parents to choose which Common Core State Standards and data driven practices they do not want their children to be a part of, including standardized testing.
The form allows parents to opt-out of sharing their child’s information with the federal government, as well as outside agencies and private contractors. Information which parents can opt-out of sharing ranges from test scores and religious and political beliefs, to biographic, biometric, and psychometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and information related to children’s personality and aptitude.
Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented, “The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy. Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education. However, today, all but a handful of state governments, enticed by millions of dollars in federal grants, are voluntarily inviting the federal government to take control of our public schools, imposing untested educational standards and obtaining personal information on children and their parents which would make any totalitarian government blush with envy. We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.’ Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our Constitutional Republic.”
Religious and private school educators have also criticized Common Core. In a statement the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of faithful Catholic education said, “This school reform effort is nothing short of a revolution in how education is provided, relying on a technocratic, top-down approach to setting national standards that, despite claims to the contrary, will drive curricula, teaching texts, and the content of standardized tests. At its heart, the Common Core is a woefully inadequate set of standards in that it limits the understanding of education to a utilitarian ‘readiness for work’ mentality.”
Political Commentators Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin have repeatedly reported on the dangers and horrors of Common Core, with Malkin saying, “It’s about control, control and more control.”
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed under the supervision of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to ensure that education and educational outcomes were consistent across the United States. The CCSS provides a set of standards they claim are “essential, rigorous, clear and specific, coherent, and internationally benchmarked.”
However, the CCSS have come under heavy fire since the beginning for a variety of grievances including: incomprehensible, political and inappropriate assignments; costly ties to big corporations; in-test advertising; the elimination of locally appropriate standards; and the emphasis placed on standardized testing.
In addition, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, whose educational value has not been demonstrated, also comes an alarming explosion of data mining within the classroom. Student data are stored in databases designed to follow students from their entry into schools in pre-Kindergarten up through their entry into the workforce. These databases, through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies. Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to “remediate” student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts.
These state databases, often referred to as P-20 systems, like Common Core are tied to federal funding, through the 2009 Federal Stimulus package and Race to the Top waivers, and in some instances can contain over 400 individual data points per student including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood type, likes and dislikes and homework completion. The data is then available to numerous public agencies. Despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the administration is paving the way for private entities to buy the data while the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging the shift from aggregate data collection to individual student data collection.
As a result of concerns expressed by a Michigan member of the TMLC regarding Common Core in March 2014, the Law Center began its study of the issues regarding the Common Core Standards. The Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request was designed by the Thomas More Law Center as a result of that study. It is available as a general reference and guide for all concerned parents. However, each state has different laws that may impact educational issues differently. Therefore, if parents are dealing with schools outside of the state of Michigan, it is important that they consult with a licensed attorney in their state for additional review and modifications of the opt-out form to comport with the laws of their respective states.
The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States – The Heartland Institute
Common Core Issues – Home School Legal Defense Association
Common Core: What’s Behind the Language – Rachel Alexander
Common Core – The Eagle Forum
10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core – Cardinal Newman Society
We have a form specifically designed for California:
One Word Essays
May your blessings be more
May nothing but happiness come through your door!
Pentagon, Friday September 18. 2014 - After Action Report
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has come in first in the Values Voter Summit presidential straw poll for the second year running. Receiving 25 percent of the votes cast, down from 42 percent in 2013, Cruz was the favorite for the 2016 Republican president nomination among the 2,000 social conservatives activists at the conference.
Dr. Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon, was second in the poll with 20 percent of the vote, up from 13 percent last year, while former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee came in third with 12 percent. Other speakers at this year's summit include Rick Santorum, who was fourth with 10 percent, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, fifth with 7 percent.
One name often mentioned for 2016 fared less well amongst social conservatives. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who spoke after Cruz on Saturday with a more measured address, came in sixth — 7 percent chose Paul. In his speech, Paul attempted to show his pro-life and religious liberty credentials but many values voters appear to remain unconvinced.
Carson topped the vice presidential poll with 22 percent, while Cruz was second with 14 percent and Jindal third with 11 percent. The Republican Leadership Conference also put Cruz first and Carson second in a straw poll earlier this year — raising the prospect of social conservatives backing a Cruz-Carson ticket in 2016.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council Action which sponsored the annual conference, said that values voters are looking for leaders who “say what they mean and mean what they say.”
“They are looking for leaders who will take clear, unequivocal stands on the challenges facing our nation, not nuanced politically correct speeches. This is evidenced by those who finished top of this year’s straw poll,” he said in a statement.
Cruz’s vigorous speech to the summit has raised his standing amongst some activists. He warned the crowdthat we are living in “dangerous, extreme, radical times,” and dubbed Democrats “an extreme, radical party.”
Stephen Jones, a retired accountant from Miami Beach, Fla. said, “I came here thinking I’d vote for Carson until I heard Cruz yesterday. I liked his passion. I felt he was the more spirited candidate.”
His sister Lavinia Griffin, a retired nurse, described Cruz as "passionate." "I felt we need someone who is really going to be able to portray what’s important with some strength. After hearing him yesterday, that’s what persuaded me.”
Too bad he's not eligible. He will split the party if he tries and use up a lot of good will.
Dear MoveOn member,
I don't need to tell you that this election is a toss-up, that time is short, or that control of the Senate is at stake—and what a disaster it would be if Republicans took the majority.
You already know all this. After all, you're reading this email.
You might be thinking, "You're preaching to the choir."
You're right: You—as a MoveOn member reading this email—are among the most passionate progressives in the country. I'm not worried whether you'll turn out.
I'm worried about the millions of Obama Democrats who don't plan to vote on November 4—voters who elected the president in 2008 and 2012 but sat out in 2010, when the Tea Party swept into power. They may decide control of the Senate—and we need your help getting them to the polls.
If we can get these "drop-off" voters to the polls, we can win. In the key states that will determine control of the Senate, a few thousand votes—a few thousand people—will make the difference. Polls have been swinging back and forth in Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, and other close races. In the end, it all comes down to turnout.
I can't reach all those Democratic voters with this email, nor convince them to come out and vote. But MoveOn members can mobilize them with our Voters Rising campaign.
And that's where you come in. This campaign is ambitious and effective—through a combination of technology and targeting, MoveOn members are making calls six times as effective as the calls we made in 2012. And we know that person-to-person contact is the only way to cut through the campaign noise and overcome the Republican Money Machine.
The program is in place. Now, we just need to make the calls. Will you join the all-hands-on-deck effort to get out the progressive vote? The best way to do it is together with other MoveOn members at a call party near you.
You know, there's a reason why preachers preach to the choir every week: Because it works.
So, yes, I'm preaching to the choir—for the same reasons preachers do: We want to hear that choir sing.
If you're ready, it's time to sing out!
When MoveOn members take action together, amazing things can happen—like saving America from a Republican takeover of the Senate.
Thanks for all you do.
–Matt, Ben O., Joan, Mark, and the rest of the team
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Start a monthly donation here or chip in a one-time donation here.
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And this is what they up to.
This would be more visible if you posted it as blog, Don.
Is the "New World Order" real? wooooo-woooooo!
A liberal troll on the CA Republican site claimed NWo was a "conspiracy theory." So, in the public interest, we provide these quotes which show otherwise.