Thursday, July 25, 2013


The Cosmic Joke

by / Personal Liberty Digest

Peruse the photograph that accompanies this column. Taken last Friday by the Cassini probe currently orbiting Saturn, it’s one of those pictures NASA likes to release to the public in an effort to remind us that they A) exist and B) can do stuff besides bum rides from the Russians to the International Space Station. Recalling the famed “family portrait” that the late, great Carl Sagan led the Voyager team to create in 1990, the Earth is in the picture. And much like the “pale blue dot” section of Sagan’s famous photo mosaic, the Earth is very, very small.

saturn0724
This latest photograph, which shows Saturn in all her majesty, actually includes the Earth only as a cosmic afterthought. Of course, our beautiful blue marble is a cosmic afterthought. Heck, Saturn is neither the largest of our planets, nor the farthest from home; those honors belong to Jupiter and Neptune, respectively.

Nonetheless, the photograph is as humbling as any image that accurately depicts our infinitesimal smallness against the backdrop of God’s infinite creation.

But forget the metaphysical stuff. In fact, let’s put all the really cool regular physics aside, as well. Focus on the photograph. It was snapped by Cassini just six days ago. And that simple act of clicking the shutter on a plutonium-powered camera is amazing all by itself.

See, it took 14 years of development and construction, 16 years flying via remote control across more than a billion miles, nearly $4 billion and the cooperation of some of the most brilliant humans available in more than a dozen separate countries just to take that picture. Even the Italians, the same guys responsible for Fiat, pitched in. To be sure, there have been a couple of hiccups. A European Space Agency programming error caused the loss of one of the Huygens data channels and about 350 images of Saturn’s moon Titan. But given the fact that Cassini is about the size of a school bus and is assigned to cover a neighborhood even less hospitable than South Central Los Angeles, a minor transmitter failure is cosmically small.

The usual suspects nearly derailed Cassini years before its launch date. As zero hour approached, a far left eco-loon group named the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice tried to scrub the project on the grounds that its plutonium fuel posed a threat to the human race (or something to that effect). The Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice still exists, and it has continued its mission of scaring people with pseudoscience claptrap. Sixteen years after getting it all wrong about Cassini, its website is currently a mélange of so-called “global warming” babble and advertisements for something called “The Sustainable Living Center,” which sounds an awful lot like a “campground.” Beyond that, an impassioned campaign by astronaut Sally Ride and some luck at the budgetary butcher shop barely saved the program. And it still had to achieve escape velocity from the entropy that afflicts nearly everything that wanders too close to Washington, D.C.’s wild orbit.

Cooperating nations spent billions of dollars to make what amounts to a really amazing car that has functioned just about flawlessly for nearly 20 years — all despite worse working conditions than those faced by Keith Olbermann’s limousine service. Think about that for a moment; I mean, really let it sink in. Right now, as you’re considering the magnitude of the scientific, technological and bureaucratic success that is Cassini as well as the many parts of the incredible journey that produced that amazing photograph, the United Nations is spending many billions more Cassini cost to combat so-called “global warming.”

On the one hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties worked on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of the actual universe. On the other hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties is working on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of pseudoscience that averages a name change per decade.

The next time President Barack Hussein Obama and/or one of his liberal cronies goes into hysterics over global warming or suggests throwing taxpayer dollars at another “green” energy boondoggle, think of this photograph. Then ask yourself: “Could the same guys who came up with ‘global warming’ and Solyndra pull this off?”

House Rejects Effort to Cut off NSA Program    Newsmax   

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The House narrowly rejected a challenge to the National Security Agency's secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records Wednesday night after a fierce debate pitting privacy rights against the government's efforts to thwart terrorism.

The vote was 217-205 on an issue that created unusual political coalitions in Washington, with libertarian-leaning conservatives and liberal Democrats pressing for the change against the Obama administration, the Republican establishment and Congress' national security experts.

The showdown vote marked the first chance for lawmakers to take a stand on the secret surveillance program since former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified documents last month that spelled out the monumental scope of the government's activities.

Backing the NSA program were 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who typically does not vote, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Rejecting the administration's last-minute pleas to spare the surveillance operation were 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats.

It is unlikely to be the final word on government intrusion to defend the nation and Americans' civil liberties.

"Have 12 years gone by and our memories faded so badly that we forgot what happened on Sept. 11?" Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said in pleading with his colleagues to back the program during House debate.

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, chief sponsor of the repeal effort, said his aim was to end the indiscriminate collection of Americans' phone records.

His measure, offered as an addition to a $598.3 billion defense spending bill for 2014, would have canceled the statutory authority for the NSA program, ending the agency's ability to collect phone records and metadata under the USA Patriot Act unless it identified an individual under investigation.

The House later voted to pass the overall defense bill, 315-109.

Amash told the House that his effort was to defend the Constitution and "defend the privacy of every American."

"Opponents of this amendment will use the same tactic that every government throughout history has used to justify its violation of rights: Fear," he said. "They'll tell you that the government must violate the rights of the American people to protect us against those who hate our freedom."

The unlikely political coalitions were on full display during a spirited but brief House debate.

"Let us not deal in false narratives. Let's deal in facts that will keep Americans safe," said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a member of the Intelligence committee who implored her colleagues to back a program that she argued was vital in combatting terrorism.

But Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., a senior member of the Judiciary Committee who helped write the Patriot Act, insisted "the time has come" to stop the collection of phone records that goes far beyond what he envisioned.

Several Republicans acknowledged the difficulty in balancing civil liberties against national security, but expressed suspicion about the Obama administration's implementation of the NSA programs — and anger at Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

"Right now the balancing is being done by people we do not know. People who lied to this body," said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.

He was referring to Clapper who admitted he gave misleading statements to Congress on how much the U.S. spies on Americans. Clapper apologized to lawmakers earlier this month after saying in March that the U.S. does not gather data on citizens — something that Snowden revealed as false by releasing documents showing the NSA collects millions of phone records.

With a flurry of letters, statements and tweets, both sides lobbied furiously in the hours prior to the vote in the Republican-controlled House. In a last-minute statement, Clapper warned against dismantling a critical intelligence tool.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Congress has authorized — and a Republican and a Democratic president have signed — extensions of the powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

Two years ago, in a strong bipartisan statement, the Senate voted 72-23 to renew the Patriot Act and the House backed the extension 250-153.

Since the disclosures this year, however, lawmakers have said they were shocked by the scope of the two programs — one to collect records of hundreds of millions of calls and the other allowing the NSA to sweep up Internet usage data from around the world that goes through nine major U.S.-based providers.

Although Republican leaders agreed to a vote on the Amash amendment, one of 100 to the defense spending bill, time for debate was limited to 15 minutes out of the two days the House dedicated to the overall legislation.

The White House and the director of the NSA, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, made last-minute appeals to lawmakers, urging them to oppose the amendment. Rogers and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, implored their colleagues to back the NSA program.

Eight former attorneys general, CIA directors and national security experts wrote in a letter to lawmakers that the two programs are fully authorized by law and "conducted in a manner that appropriately respects the privacy and civil liberties interests of Americans."

White House press secretary Jay Carney issued an unusual, nighttime statement on the eve of Wednesday's vote, arguing that the change would "hastily dismantle one of our intelligence community's counterterrorism tools."

Proponents of the NSA programs argue that the surveillance operations have been successful in thwarting at least 50 terror plots across 20 countries, including 10 to 12 directed at the United States. Among them was a 2009 plot to strike at the New York Stock Exchange.

Rogers joined six GOP chairmen in a letter urging lawmakers to reject the Amash amendment.

"While many members have legitimate questions about the NSA metadata program, including whether there are sufficient protections for Americans' civil liberties," the chairman wrote, "eliminating this program altogether without careful deliberation would not reflect our duty, under Article I of the Constitution, to provide for the common defense."

The overall defense spending bill would provide the Pentagon with $512.5 billion for weapons, personnel, aircraft and ships plus $85.8 billion for the war in Afghanistan for the next budget year.

The total, which is $5.1 billion below current spending, has drawn a veto threat from the White House, which argues that it would force the administration to cut education, health research and other domestic programs in order to boost spending for the Pentagon.

In a leap of faith, the bill assumes that Congress and the administration will resolve the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that have led the Pentagon to furlough workers and cut back on training. The bill projects spending in the next fiscal year at $28.1 billion above the so-called sequester level.

By voice vote, the House backed an amendment that would require the president to seek congressional approval before sending U.S. military forces into the 2-year-old civil war in Syria.

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., sponsor of the measure, said Obama has a "cloudy foreign policy" and noted the nation's war weariness after more than 10 years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The administration is moving ahead with sending weapons to vetted rebels, but Obama and members of Congress have rejected the notion of U.S. ground forces.

The House also adopted, by voice vote, an amendment barring funds for military or paramilitary operations in Egypt. Several lawmakers, including Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, who heads the panel overseeing foreign aid, expressed concerns about the measure jeopardizing the United States' longstanding relationship with the Egyptian military.

The sponsor of the measure, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., insisted that his amendment would not affect that relationship.

The overall bill must be reconciled with whatever measure the Democratic-controlled Senate produces.
Newsmax
Cruz: Repeal Obamacare Now or It Will Be Here Forever
By Greg Richter



"If we want to stop this train wreck from hitting hard-working American families, the time to do so is now," the freshman from Texas said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Special Report." President Barack Obama desperately wants the exchanges and subsidies in place by January, Cruz said, so the administration can "get people hooked on Obamacare so it can never be unwound."

The continuing resolution that funds the federal government expires Sept. 30, and Cruz, along with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., are hoping to garner enough votes to prevent the resolution from being re-enacted for another year. But Cruz said they don't currently have enough votes in either house and need the public to put pressure on Republicans.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told Fox the action is the political equivalent of a temper tantrum and could create a backlash that could cost Republicans in Congress.

But Cruz argued that the power of the purse is the most important check and balance the Constitution gives Congress when dealing with and overreaching executive branch.

"If we're going to repeal it we've got to do so now or it will remain with us forever," Cruz said.

Obama halts delivery of F-16 jets to Egypt after Muslim Brotherhood removed from power

 From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


This is fine. He shouldn't have been giving Egypt F-16s in the first place. But this is yet another indication of how much he favors the Brotherhood. "Obama halts delivery of four F-16 jets to Egypt amid unrest," by Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube for NBC News, July 24 (thanks to all who sent this in):
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has delayed the delivery of four U.S. F-16 fighter jets to Egypt because of the country’s political unrest, officials said Wednesday - reversing earlier assurances from the Pentagon. 
Pentagon spokesman George Little said the U.S. no longer believes it is "appropriate to move forward with the delivery" of the jets.
The announcement contradicted statements two weeks ago by Pentagon officials that the U.S. would continue to send the jets as part of a large arms package.
Washington’s annual $1.5 billion aid to Egypt has been under the spotlight since the July 3 ousting of elected President Mohammed Morsi by the country’s military.
The army has installed an interim government and says it will seek fresh elections, but supporters of Morsi – including regional allies such as Turkey – have denounced the move as a coup.
U.S. law requires that aid be cut off to a country that undergoes a military coup, but Western leaders have stopped short of declaring the July 3 transition as such.
Egypt is the second-largest recipient of USAID support, after Israel. Almost all of it comes in the form of military funding that is mandated to be spent with U.S. defense companies. In 2011, a Cornell economist estimated that U.S. aid made up one-third of Egypt’s broader military budget, the Washington Post noted.
Little said Obama made the decision to delay the delivery "with the unanimous consent" of his national security team.
He would not elaborate on what had happened in Egypt to change the administration’s mind over the delivery, saying the decision was based on "the dynamics on the ground in Egypt," which he described as "a fluid situation."

The reaction to President Barack Obama's highly personal speech last Friday, ostensibly on race but actually on himself, has been surprisingly subdued. Some would have thought he was going to tone down the rhetoric. Instead, his rhetoric was inflammatory. I think he caught the country off guard. The vast majority of Americans were going about their business, and then -- whammo -- the president was in the White House press room emoting. Still, over the weekend things were relatively quiet. Most Americans wanted it that way.

I suppose one reason for the country's relative nonchalance was the country thought the president's remarks were embarrassing, as though he had burped in public. He reminded us Friday that back in March of 2012, when Martin was killed, he first inserted himself into the news story, saying, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." It was a tasteless remark then and it was tasteless when he repeated it Friday. Worse, he followed up with a another absurdity, declaring: "Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

Thirty-five years ago, Barack Obama was going by the name of Barry Obama. He was attending the posh Punahou School. He was on scholarship. I do not know about Punahou, but I do know about Hawaii. It is famous for its mixed-blood population. Hawaii is truly cosmopolitan. Trayvon, in his tough-guy outfit and his slang, would be distinctly out of place there. Barry was not.

Barry was being raised in Hawaii by his white grandparents. It was as a child of privilege that Barry attended Punahou, and before that, he was living in Indonesia among that nation's elite. Maybe one reason the president's talk about race Friday sounded so embarrassing was that it was artificial, and besides, Americans have heard it all before. They heard it from that poor little boy from Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Now they hear it from poor Barack Obama. Both attended elite schools, graduated from Ivy League universities, and entered the American establishment. My guess is that knowledgeable Americans know that Obama is a creature of his own imagination, aided and abetted by what might be called the liberal imagination. Clinton used his mythical upbringing for self-promotion. Obama is more egregious. He is inflaming racial animosities.

Almost nothing has been said by America's black leaders about Trayvon Martin or his recently acquitted assailant, George Zimmerman, that is accurate or true. From Jesse Jackson on down, it is almost as though they had developed some sort of mental block against both men. Yet there are people who have commented with sagacity, and, as a matter of fact, they are black.

From Bill Cosby, the entertainer and by now a common sense social critic, comes the observation that "you can't prove" Zimmerman a racist. "You can't prove," Cosby says, "if somebody is a racist unless they really come out and do the act. ... " From Charles Barkely, the retired basketball player and occasional commentator, "I feel sorry that the young kid got killed, but they didn't have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly went wrong that night ... but if you look at the case -- and there was some racial profiling -- something changed the dynamic that night." Speaking on CNBC, he concluded that Martin "flip[ped] the switch and started beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman."

Finally from Dr. Ben Carson, a distinguished neurosurgeon and now a promising columnist for the Washington Times, comes the definitive response to Obama's comments last week. "Tone down the rhetoric," says Carson, "and recognize that we the people are not each other's enemies.
Those are the observations of men with good sense with an interest in a peaceful society.



Turn on the TV.

This week the "big news" is the birth of a British royal.

Even Drudge ran the birth of the Prince of Cambridge at the top of his page, treating it like it was the biggest event out of Europe since D-Day.

Maybe the media wanted to change the subject to something pleasant -- or completely unimportant -- but the arrival of Kate and William's baby boy was a timely blessing.

It blew George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin and the issue of race in America off the front pages. It even eclipsed President Obama's teleprompter-free speech about the Zimmerman verdict last Friday afternoon.

The liberal media, as usual, gave the presidential sermon a standing ovation, saying that Obama -- who claimed Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago -- hit a home run.

But I agree with what that old boo-bird Bill O'Reilly said on his TV show Monday night. The president didn't whiff completely, but he grounded out weakly to second base.

O'Reilly, madder than usual, praised the president in his "Talking Points Memo" for bringing up the issue.

But then he blasted Obama and other black leaders for still having "no clue" how to solve the social and moral problems that continue to rip apart black communities in our cities.

They won't dare mention the issues of drug gangs, out-of-wedlock births, fatherless families and welfare dependency, O'Reilly railed, "because race hustlers and the grievance industry have intimidated the so-called 'conversation,' turning any valid criticism of African-American culture into charges of racial bias."

O'Reilly pointed out that, yes, Martin was profiled by Zimmerman, the community watchman. But it wasn't because of his race.

It was because Martin was wearing a hoodie -- the official national uniform of urban street thugs and drug gangs.

When President Obama said Martin could have been him 35 years ago, he was talking nonsense. Thirty-five years ago, Barack Obama wasn't stalking around gated communities at night wearing gangster clothes and getting in fistfights.

Trayvon Martin's death was a horrible tragedy. That cannot be said too many times.

But Martin's death should not be exploited any further by the president or anyone else as proof that white racism is the chief cause of problems in the black community.

Black communities have been breeding a criminal class for decades. Repealing stand-your-ground laws or passing stricter gun control laws will not change that. Nor will blaming the justice system.

The black community's problems begin at home. They are not a result of slavery or discrimination or poverty.

They are, as O'Reilly said, a result of the disintegration of the black family, a gangster culture that glorifies criminals, and a bunch of so-called civil rights leaders who ignore reality, preach victimhood and blame racism for everything.

Young black males are dying at disproportionate rates in Chicago and other cities not because they're being shot by racist white cops, or wanna-be cops like George Zimmerman, but because they are being gunned down by other young black males, usually over drug-gang turf wars.

O'Reilly said, "It's now time for the African-American leadership, including President Obama, to stop the nonsense. Walk away from the world of victimization and grievance and lead the way out of this mess."

Exactly.

Black leaders, including the president, need to step up and start talking about the real causes of crime and poverty in black communities. So should our gutless media.

For a year the president and black leaders have cynically exploited a tragedy to "prove" that society still needs to do much more for blacks.

Instead they should be using Trayvon Martin's death as an opportunity to start an honest national discussion about what the black community needs to do for itself.
 
Marco Rubio Opposes Common Core Education Standards July 25, 2013 0 The Shark Tank By JAVIER MANJARRES “The Common Core of Data (CCD) is a program of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics that annually collects fiscal and non-fiscal data about all public schools, public school districts and state education agencies in the United States. The data are supplied by state education agency officials and include information that describes schools and school districts, including name, address, and phone number; descriptive information about students and staff, including demographics; and fiscal data, including revenues and current expenditures.”- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics Common Core seems to have flown under the radar of most Americans, and its federalized ‘balanced playing field’ approach to education reform has received the praise and support of progressive education reformers within both the Republican and Democratic establishments in Washington, D.C. The idea of socialized education, like socialized medicine (Obamacare), appeals to the masses, but what many of these uninformed taxpayers don’t know about Common Core is that the program is just another egregious government overreach into their lives, and now the lives of their children. This new ‘innovative’ education reform initiative will bring substantial costs down upon state and local school education budgets when national standards tests are imposed. Columnist and Fox News Contributor, Michelle Malkin, along with a growing number of concerned Americans, has been railing against these progressive “Snoopercrats” and their initiative’s ‘data-mining’ efforts, that if deployed, will keep tabs of students and their study habits, among other things. While these Washington,D.C. “Snoopercrats” try to sell their progressive learning program as a state-by-state endeavor, the the ugly truth is that Common Core is a federally funded program that all but bribes state governments to accept the standards, as they do federal funding. Malkin writes that Common Core, whose goal is to create a 50-state standardized educational system, received initial funding from President Obama’s Stimulus(Porkulus) Act of 2009, as well hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Shark Tank The Shark Tank One of these intrusive data-mining tactics Common Core is employing are the iris scans of students, like the ones conducted as several schools in Polk County, Florida. Yes, iris scans, which Malkin says are “essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.” While many top Republicans, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have come out in support of Common Core, Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has once again bucked the establishment by stating that he is against the Common Core education standards. I caught up to Senator Rubio in Orlando, where I asked him what his position on the issue was. When asked if he was against the Common Core education standards, Rubio answered with a definitive ‘Yes’ response. Rubio says that he is “a supporter of curriculum reform,” but thinks that “curriculum reform should be done at the state level.” The junior Senator reiterated that he believes in “curriculum reform,” but thinks “it is best done at the state level, not at the federal level.” And I am very concerned, and quite frankly opposed to any effort to try to create some sort of national curriculum standard and then try to leverage the power of the federal government’s funding to force states to adopt a certain curriculum standard. State and local levels are the best places to come up with curriculum reform, and its something the federal government shouldn’t be deeply involved in.-Senator Marco Rubio Rubio first sounded off against the federal government’s education grab in early July, when he penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, stating the unconstitutionality of the move to create a national education curriculum. I am also concerned that the U.S. Department of Education has created, through its contractors, national curriculum materials to support these Common Core standards. Such activities are unacceptable; they violate three existing laws: NCLB, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the General Education Provisions Act. All three laws prohibit the federal government from creating or prescribing national curriculum.-FL Watchdog. - See more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/#sthash.79tmdCs7.dpuf

Read more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/ | The Shark Tank
Marco Rubio Opposes Common Core Education Standards July 25, 2013 0 The Shark Tank By JAVIER MANJARRES “The Common Core of Data (CCD) is a program of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics that annually collects fiscal and non-fiscal data about all public schools, public school districts and state education agencies in the United States. The data are supplied by state education agency officials and include information that describes schools and school districts, including name, address, and phone number; descriptive information about students and staff, including demographics; and fiscal data, including revenues and current expenditures.”- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics Common Core seems to have flown under the radar of most Americans, and its federalized ‘balanced playing field’ approach to education reform has received the praise and support of progressive education reformers within both the Republican and Democratic establishments in Washington, D.C. The idea of socialized education, like socialized medicine (Obamacare), appeals to the masses, but what many of these uninformed taxpayers don’t know about Common Core is that the program is just another egregious government overreach into their lives, and now the lives of their children. This new ‘innovative’ education reform initiative will bring substantial costs down upon state and local school education budgets when national standards tests are imposed. Columnist and Fox News Contributor, Michelle Malkin, along with a growing number of concerned Americans, has been railing against these progressive “Snoopercrats” and their initiative’s ‘data-mining’ efforts, that if deployed, will keep tabs of students and their study habits, among other things. While these Washington,D.C. “Snoopercrats” try to sell their progressive learning program as a state-by-state endeavor, the the ugly truth is that Common Core is a federally funded program that all but bribes state governments to accept the standards, as they do federal funding. Malkin writes that Common Core, whose goal is to create a 50-state standardized educational system, received initial funding from President Obama’s Stimulus(Porkulus) Act of 2009, as well hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Shark Tank The Shark Tank One of these intrusive data-mining tactics Common Core is employing are the iris scans of students, like the ones conducted as several schools in Polk County, Florida. Yes, iris scans, which Malkin says are “essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.” While many top Republicans, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have come out in support of Common Core, Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has once again bucked the establishment by stating that he is against the Common Core education standards. I caught up to Senator Rubio in Orlando, where I asked him what his position on the issue was. When asked if he was against the Common Core education standards, Rubio answered with a definitive ‘Yes’ response. Rubio says that he is “a supporter of curriculum reform,” but thinks that “curriculum reform should be done at the state level.” The junior Senator reiterated that he believes in “curriculum reform,” but thinks “it is best done at the state level, not at the federal level.” And I am very concerned, and quite frankly opposed to any effort to try to create some sort of national curriculum standard and then try to leverage the power of the federal government’s funding to force states to adopt a certain curriculum standard. State and local levels are the best places to come up with curriculum reform, and its something the federal government shouldn’t be deeply involved in.-Senator Marco Rubio Rubio first sounded off against the federal government’s education grab in early July, when he penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, stating the unconstitutionality of the move to create a national education curriculum. I am also concerned that the U.S. Department of Education has created, through its contractors, national curriculum materials to support these Common Core standards. Such activities are unacceptable; they violate three existing laws: NCLB, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the General Education Provisions Act. All three laws prohibit the federal government from creating or prescribing national curriculum.-FL Watchdog. Sha - See more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/#sthash.aWWTU9jY.dpuf

Read more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/ | The Shark Tank
Marco Rubio Opposes Common Core Education Standards July 25, 2013 0 The Shark Tank By JAVIER MANJARRES “The Common Core of Data (CCD) is a program of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics that annually collects fiscal and non-fiscal data about all public schools, public school districts and state education agencies in the United States. The data are supplied by state education agency officials and include information that describes schools and school districts, including name, address, and phone number; descriptive information about students and staff, including demographics; and fiscal data, including revenues and current expenditures.”- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics Common Core seems to have flown under the radar of most Americans, and its federalized ‘balanced playing field’ approach to education reform has received the praise and support of progressive education reformers within both the Republican and Democratic establishments in Washington, D.C. The idea of socialized education, like socialized medicine (Obamacare), appeals to the masses, but what many of these uninformed taxpayers don’t know about Common Core is that the program is just another egregious government overreach into their lives, and now the lives of their children. This new ‘innovative’ education reform initiative will bring substantial costs down upon state and local school education budgets when national standards tests are imposed. Columnist and Fox News Contributor, Michelle Malkin, along with a growing number of concerned Americans, has been railing against these progressive “Snoopercrats” and their initiative’s ‘data-mining’ efforts, that if deployed, will keep tabs of students and their study habits, among other things. While these Washington,D.C. “Snoopercrats” try to sell their progressive learning program as a state-by-state endeavor, the the ugly truth is that Common Core is a federally funded program that all but bribes state governments to accept the standards, as they do federal funding. Malkin writes that Common Core, whose goal is to create a 50-state standardized educational system, received initial funding from President Obama’s Stimulus(Porkulus) Act of 2009, as well hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Shark Tank The Shark Tank One of these intrusive data-mining tactics Common Core is employing are the iris scans of students, like the ones conducted as several schools in Polk County, Florida. Yes, iris scans, which Malkin says are “essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.” While many top Republicans, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, have come out in support of Common Core, Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has once again bucked the establishment by stating that he is against the Common Core education standards. I caught up to Senator Rubio in Orlando, where I asked him what his position on the issue was. When asked if he was against the Common Core education standards, Rubio answered with a definitive ‘Yes’ response. Rubio says that he is “a supporter of curriculum reform,” but thinks that “curriculum reform should be done at the state level.” The junior Senator reiterated that he believes in “curriculum reform,” but thinks “it is best done at the state level, not at the federal level.” And I am very concerned, and quite frankly opposed to any effort to try to create some sort of national curriculum standard and then try to leverage the power of the federal government’s funding to force states to adopt a certain curriculum standard. State and local levels are the best places to come up with curriculum reform, and its something the federal government shouldn’t be deeply involved in.-Senator Marco Rubio Rubio first sounded off against the federal government’s education grab in early July, when he penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, stating the unconstitutionality of the move to create a national education curriculum. I am also concerned that the U.S. Department of Education has created, through its contractors, national curriculum materials to support these Common Core standards. Such activities are unacceptable; they violate three existing laws: NCLB, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the General Education Provisions Act. All three laws prohibit the federal government from creating or prescribing national curriculum.-FL Watchdog. - See more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/#sthash.79tmdCs7.dpuf

Read more at: http://shark-tank.net/2013/07/25/marco-rubio-opposes-common-core-education-standards/ | The Shark Tank

Immigration bill outlaws 'discrimination' against illegals!

Justice Department to prosecute 'unfair practices

By: Aaron Klein / WND

illegal-alien
Case of such discrimination would be referred to the Justice Department’s Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

The text of the bill makes it an “unfair immigration-related employment practice” for a “person, other entity, or employment agency, to discriminate against any individual because of such individual’s national origin or citizenship status.”
The anti-discrimination law applies to the following:
  • The hiring of the individual for employment.
  • The verification of the individual’s eligibility to work in the United States.
  • The firing of the individual.
The bill makes an exception for cases in which a newly legalized alien is competing for the same job with a U.S. citizen or national or against another newly legalized alien provided the two competitors are “equally qualified.”

Another exception is a business that employs fewer than three employees or if discrimination is necessary to comply with federal, state or local law, or a federal government contract.

Employers found guilty of discrimination could be fined a penalty of between $2,000 and $25,000 for each individual discriminated against. The fee depends on the “unfair” employment practice.

Op-ed:
Remember block-busting...it's back and with an ulterior motive 
By: Diane Sori

Adding more fuel to the Obama, Jackson, Sharpton, and Holder initiated racial fire, last week HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Secretary Shaun Donovan, speaking at an NAACP Convention in Orlando, Florida (where else as it seems Orlando is now ground zero for all things race related thanks to the trumped up Zimmerman case) blamed what he called ‘black failure’ solely on discrimination by white people against black people.

By his saying, “We have got to shape a future where ladders of opportunity are available for all Americans…For African Americans, this is critically important. Historically, for this community, the rungs on these ladders have been too far apart making it harder to reach the middle class” Donovan is NOT only stirring racial hatred but is also fueling a class warfare battle…a hallmark of this administration.

In his speech, Donovan went on to claim that discrimination by whites is what forces…YES forces… blacks to live in run-down, dangerous neighborhoods as well as forces them to attend bad schools (gee, he seems to have conveniently forgotten all about the voucher program). And by making this ridiculous claim Donovan stirred up all the old hatreds to willfully cause further racial animosity while advancing the hate agenda of the afore mentioned race-baiters.

Oh and by the way, I think most blacks would take offense to being told that they’re failures when the vast majority are NOT…but in today’s reality of all things Obama, we have to cater to that ‘small but vocal militant black minority’ and that is exactly what Donovan did.

And the Obama administration’s HUD initiated solution to this supposed discrimination and unfair ladder rung climbing…drum roll please…old-fashioned block-busting (or ‘Social Engineering’ as their proponents like to call it) of white neighborhoods on a grand scale…meaning that wherever white people live, NO matter the income level, there has to be the right racial mix…a racial mix deemed appropriate according to this wonderful (gag) group that claim this will be based on the newest census data….and we all know how reliable that data is…said sarcastically of course.

And if Obama and his buddies at HUD say there isn’t what they consider to be the right racial mix, then federal funding for said city, town, county, or state will be cut off.

But what most do NOT realize is that by forcing integration of neighborhoods using the withholding of federal funds and grant monies as blackmail…YES this is blackmail…with the claim that the Fair Housing Act requires grantees, such as cities, that receive federal housing funds to ‘affirmatively further fair housing’ (whether the blacks want to live in those white areas or NOT or can afford to keep up the places they will be moved into) Obama has once again successfully played the race card to his advantage. …and Congress will fund HUD’s budget to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars to implement this nonsense for fear of being called racists themselves.

In fact, HUD already tested this program. Using Westchester county, the fourth most racially diverse county in New York state according to the 2010 census and also one of the wealthiest, as the test case, HUD used majority white neighborhoods as evidence that the county somehow discriminated against blacks, thus allowing the Obama administration to sue the county for allegedly violating the terms of their HUD grants…overlooking the fact that anyone could live there who could afford to buy there with racial discrimination playing NO part in the demographics. So, to get back the grants (even wealthy communities need grants) and fulfill a 2009 settlement with HUD in which the county agreed to spend over $50 million on 750 new subsidized housing units for minorities, HUD then suddenly upped the deal and demanded that 50% of those 750 low-income housing units have at least three bedrooms and that they be built in above average school districts (now raising the cost outlay for the county to $94 million). Never mind that it meant that the affected local municipalities had to change their long-standing zoning laws as well as being forced to counter community opposition…in other words the public and the neighborhoods be damned…either they’ll integrate as Obama and his buddies see fit or else NO monies.

Blackmail if you ask me.

And all this is extremely unfair because blacks make up only 13% of the entire American population, yet that 13%…or more precisely the ‘small but vocal militant black minority’ within that 13%… is now dictating to the 87% where they will live, and all with race-baiter Obama’s stamp of approval.

And to make matters worse, Obama and his cronies at HUD will ‘selectively’ pick which white neighborhoods across the country they want to ‘bust’ as they will have the census data of where the majority of whites live to guide them, and you can be sure it will be the upper middle class white neighborhoods as witnessed by what they did in Westchester county. And when the small but vocal ‘element’ (and you know exactly what I mean by that) moves into those neighborhoods (and brings down the property values because what has NOT been addressed is how those black neighborhoods got so bad in the first place) you can clearly see the true motive behind all this…relocating minorities (who get away with voting numerous times) into upper income white areas because those upper income white areas are more likely to vote Republican or Tea-Party, and with the midterms coming up Obama needs to change the voting demographics in those white areas across America from the R-column to the D-column.

After all, there’s too much at stake for Obama NOT to do this as Benghazi and the other scandals are starting to take their toll on his and the Democrats poll numbers…and with Barack HUSSEIN Obama it’s all about votes and hating his white half.