The school year may be over for most American students, but parents must remain as vigilant as ever when it comes to protecting their children’s privacy. Look no further than the shocking, invasive conduct of the Polk County, Fla., educational district last week. It’s a surveillance-state sign of the times.
Two days before their Memorial Day weekend break, kids from at least three different public schools — Bethune Academy (K-5), Davenport School of the Arts (K-5, middle and high school), and Daniel Jenkins Academy (6-12) — were subjected to iris scans without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The scans are essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.
One mother took to Facebook to decry the outrageous breach after her son informed her of the unauthorized imaging. She posted a face-saving letter from Polk County Senior Director of Support Services Rob Davis notifying families only after the high-definition eye scans had been conducted.
The mom, April Serrano of Kissimmee, Fla., recounted: “I have been in touch with the principal at my son’s school this morning regarding the iris scans. She verified everything my son told me. … She said that she was following instructions from the Polk County School Board (PCSB), and that she knew very little, if anything, about this before it occurred. She just did as she was told.”
War On Terror: As jihadists bomb Boston, behead a soldier in London and firebomb police in Sweden, President Obama has decided America’s actions have offended them and it’s time to retreat.
In arguably the weakest national security speech by a commander in chief, Obama denied Thursday that our terrorist enemy is inspired by Islam — while at the same time appeasing Islamic critics by apologizing for drone strikes and agreeing to throttle back on such precision bombings, and close down the terrorist prison at Guantanamo.
He vowed to wind down further military actions in the war on terror, arguing he can protect America through law enforcement actions, instead, as if the threat comes from bank robbers or other common criminals.
His mea culpas and capitulations will only embolden the Islamist enemy. In case you missed the interminably long and rambling speech, here are some of its many pusillanimous lowlights:
• “Force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the wellspring of extremism, a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating.”
• “So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism.”
Elite U.S. troops were completely capable of saving Ambassador Chris Stevens during the Benghazi Consulate attacks on September 11, 2012. Elements of the highly specialized Combatant Commanders In-Extremis (CIF) units are always on alert, on forward deployment, ready to respond. Their job description is to hit the ground in 3 to 5 hours. CIF elements are ready to engage in active combat anywhere in their region, 3 to 5 hours after the call.
Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense at the time, either misled the U.S. Congress or was incompetent. Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 7, 2013 that the U.S. military could not have responded in less than 9 to 12 hours.
Obama’s first secretary of defense, Robert Gates, told CBS’s Face the Nation on May 12, 2013 that “[w]e don’t have a ready force standing by” in that region.
But we absolutely do “have a ready force standing by” to reach any trouble spot in a few hours. Insider reports previously revealed that CIF elements were training in Croatia and could have been in Benghazi in three and a half hours.
Although rotating out of the United States, some CIF elements are always forward-deployed within each military command region, always on stand-by. Their training includes expertise within each local region. Some of each region’s unit is always ready. They don’t need to pack. Being ready to go — immediately — is their job description. It’s the reason they exist.
The U.S. military has developed a range of capabilities, from CIF teams to the Navy SEALs, to Rangers, to Green Berets. But now many in the special forces/special operators community feel betrayed. Commanders in Extremis units are so highly trained and expert that even elite Green Berets wash out of the highly demanding CIF training in large numbers.
Standard military doctrine is to activate all such resources immediately, even if they are ultimately not used. Military’s plans require getting such teams in the air and on the way, not waiting to see if they will be needed.
So Panetta’s and Gates’s statements to the public violate standard military protocol. Leon Panetta telegraphed to our enemies an image of incompetence of U.S. forces. Panetta’s testimony was an insult to the U.S. military. Elite forces go through constant, grueling training to be able to do what Panetta and Gates say they cannot do. One of the purposes of “special operators” is deterrence. Panetta and Gates undermined that deterrence.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
Common Core – it sends shivers down the spines of freedom loving individuals. It is the Obamacare of education with its national standards and testing and its one-size-fits-all government model.
While the implementation of the Common Core curriculum is new, the passion for and the idea of national education has been burning in the hearts of progressives for more than a century.
Many people blame George W. Bush for Common Core. After all Common Core is just the natural extension of Bush’s “No Child Left behind”, resulting in the progression to Obama’s “Race to the Top”.
“Race to the Top” was simply a bribe offered to cash poor states during the recession to entice them into accepting the Common Core curriculum. Just imagine the federal government saying to the states: “You may have this pile of money to help your state through these tough times.” “Great”, reply the states. “What do we have to do?” “Oh, not much”, say the feds. “Just accept these national education standards and teach exactly what we dictate with no possibility of change or adjustment to the curriculum. That’s all.” “Oh, is that all? We’ll take the cash and worry about the ramifications later”, say the states.
As I stated, Common Core is just the natural progression of an ever-intrusive federal government that has been advancing the idea of a national school system devoid of local control.
Each progressive administration, dating as far back as reconstruction, has moved the ball forward. Whether a little or a lot, the ball moved forward.
Before Bush’s “No Child Left behind” there was Bill Clinton, who in 1994 secured passage of the “Improving American Schools Act” and the “Goals 2000 Educate America Act”. Notice all the lovely flowery names for these laws? They picked these names so that no politician can vote against them. It’s quite dishonest.
Prior to Clinton there was kinder, gentler George HW Bush and his Charlottesville Education Summit in 1989. What came out of the summit were eight, typically liberal, pie-in-the-sky, feel-good, unachievable talking points dressed up as goals. Among these were gems such as “All children will start school ready to learn”, “Every adult American will be literate” and “the high school graduation rate will be at least 90%”. I won’t even waste my time commenting for I’m sure you’ve drawn the same conclusion. Absurd!
As one would expect of Ronald Reagan, although he supported education, he felt it better left to the states. But even in the Reagan Administration the “Improving America’s Schools Act” was passed in 1983.
Jimmy Carter, being the leftist he was and still is, did not feel the same about local control. We all know to thank Yimmy for his signature on October 17, 1979; the creation of the Department of Education. Ugh!
Before Carter there was Nixon. His 1970 “Special Message to Congress on Education Reform” simply threw money at the supposed problem. He did however discover a new human right. It was the right to read. Madison must’ve forgotten that amendment when crafting the Constitution.
Then there was Lyndon Johnson – modern-day father of the ruination of the United States. Johnson’s “Great Society” debacle was an umbrella vision. Under that large umbrella were handouts for job training programs, housing programs, healthcare, poverty programs and of course education. Everything the federal government shouldn’t be involved in.
He chose to sell his idea of “Education Reform” as part of his “War on Poverty” because “poor kids can learn too”. This cause gave rise to ESEA, Johnson’s “Elementary and Secondary Education Act”. He claimed it was to break the “cycle of poverty” and as is always the case, throwing money at the education problem via a government “investment” will solve things.
In a conversation with VP Hubert Humphrey, Johnson told Humphrey: “Don’t ever argue with me. I’ll go a hundred million or 1 billion on health or education. I don’t argue about that anymore than I argue about [First Lady] Lady Bird buying flour. I’ll spend the God damned money. I may cut back on some tanks.”
As we’ve experienced over these many decades, massive federal government spending solves every problem and that was a lot of money then.
I originally intended to take this all the way back to Woodrow Wilson but frankly it’s depressing to think what has happened just since the 1960s and I think you get the point. Common Core is not the beginning but it may be the end of proper education in this country if it is not stopped.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
The other morning Glenn Beck asked if the president really does know what’s going on?
Is he in charge? Is anyone in charge? Do any of his people actually report to him or not. Eric Holder for example. Does he report to Obama? If not, than to whom does he report; himself?
Was Leon Panetta telling the truth when he said he had no additional contact with the president. It was rumored that Obama went to sleep the night of the Benghazi attack.
Obama had no idea of the fast & furious scandal. Not even Holder had any notion of the gun running into Mexico. Is any of this to be believed?
The IRS was and for all we know still is, targeting groups that don’t agree with the administration. Are we to believe the president knew nothing of this either?
Is this guy the most incompetent official ever to hold office? Is he the most disengaged Chief executive ever, or is he the most corrupt politician in history?
That’s a tough choice.
Well, I agree with Rush and have contended this for years. Liberals and radical leftists all think the alike. Obama doesn’t need to coach or tell them how to think or act. They don’t require meetings and strategy sessions to make sure all are on the same page. So, although I doubt it, it could be possible that Obama isn’t aware of some the nefarious goings-on.
He has a circle of friends and colleagues that are cut from the same cloth. So Obama can hire or promote someone like Lois Lerner and just walk away. She knows what to do. She knows to wield her power. She doesn’t need instructions from Obama. She is also able to hire others radicals to do her bidding, and so on down the ladder. That way everyone can claim to be ignorant.
If they do appear to be caught in the act, they just clam up.
Regarding Lois Lerner, of IRS infamy; she claimed the Fifth before Darrell Issa’s committee. Many republicans thought, we’ve got her now!
Conservatives claim she lost the benefit of the Fifth Amendment and wish to her force her to return and testify to the commission.
They certainly have the right to do so, but what will happen? She will reappear, plead the Fifth and refuse to testify again. The republicans will then remind her that due to her original opening statement, she effectively surrendered her Constitutional right to silence. The republicans will then hold her in contempt of Congress. How naïve.
Now being in contempt of Congress is not the same as it is in a courtroom. A Judge can find someone in contempt and toss him or her in jail until they answer his questions. It’s different with Congress.
The committee will find Ms. Lerner in contempt. They then must bring the contempt order to the entire body of the House of Representatives for a vote. Now during this time, Ms Lerner isn’t sitting in the slammer. She is out, going about her business completely unencumbered, and getting paid.
The House votes on the contempt charge. If they vote it down, that’s it; she’s off scot-free. But what if Congress votes in favor? She’ll be in deep doo-doo, right?
Ummm…No. If the body votes to hold her in contempt, they must hand the order over to…, you got it; the Obama Justice Department. Eric Holder’s Justice Department. And what will happen to Ms. Lerner? Absolutely nothing. Well, maybe she’ll get another raise and promotion for a job well done.
So I ask again. Who is running the country anyway? Is there anyone really in charge? Does the buck actually stop anywhere? No, of course not silly. If there were one individual in charge, either the president or department head, he, she or it would bear ultimate responsibility for all the high crimes and shenanigans.
No one who should be in charge seems to know anything, including our dear president. Is it because they really don’t know, or are they all liars? You make the call.
Gun control is supposed to be about safety. Proponents argue that if only no one had guns, we’d all be better off. But as we all know, that only applies to those not inclined nor determined to commit crimes. It doesn’t apply to those that are bent on breaking the law.
Just look at the horrific attack in London. If England weren’t so foolish with their gun laws, someone could have done something to stop the Muslim in the act. And those odds are a lot better than knowing that nothing at all could have been done.
And when bad things do happen that could have been prevented by a firearm-wielding citizen, we’re supposed to condemn the gun. Or the sword and meat cleaver.
In Oregon, the Joesphine County Police Department is facing budget cuts and are not able to be on call over the weekends. So, when an unidentified Josephine County woman called 911, her call was forwarded to the Oregon State Police. She was calling because her ex-boyfriend was breaking into her house, and she was sure that she was going to be assaulted. He had already put her in the hospital before, and she knew it was going to happen again. Here’s what the dispatcher told her: