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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

By now, everyone must know about the shenanigans our government has been up to lately. The IRS has been very naughty [1], the Department of Justice has it in for the free press [2], and the current administration’s deceit regarding the Benghazi affair is finally being covered by the mainstream media. In addition, nobody in the administration learned anything about these scandals until they aired on the news [3], because they’re just plain folks like you and me.

Now, I suppose it’s possible that the White House doesn’t know about every little decision that every low-level functionary makes. It’s also possible that a big mistake may fail to come to the attention of the President and his advisors. But as they say, once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, and three times is a pattern. There are simply too many disturbing examples of incompetence and overreach of power to buy the story that The White House’s only connection to them is that they watched them unfold on television.

But as chilling as these scandals are, the attempts at deceit are perhaps the worst part of the whole affair. Holder said that he recused himself from the DoJ’s seizure of reporter’s phone records, but it’s just come out that his signature was on the warrant [4]. Benghazi has been one lie after another, so much so that Bob Woodward, the reporter who covered Watergate, was reminded of Nixon’s selective editing of information to make himself look better [5]. Press Secretary Carney says that, yes, the White House knew about the IRS targeting, but that nobody told the President about it, as if that makes it any better [6]!

It’s bad enough if all these scandals are the result of administrative incompetence, but I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Obama gave a speech telling students not to believe stories about tyranny right before these examples of tyranny came to light [7].

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Corruption

 

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What Difference, At This Point, Does It Make

Back at the end of January, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her way into the history books by asking the now famous question, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” [1] when she was questioned about the initial claims that the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi sprang from a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video. As more hearings are now taking place about what really happened that night, the question has come back up. What difference, at this point, does it make about what really happened at Benghazi.

If you listen to left-leaning sources, you will hear that it makes no difference whatsoever, and that we should all move on with our lives. Several sources refer to it as a GOP witch-hunt, with the sole purpose of sullying the good name of Secretary Clinton before she runs for president in 2016 [2]. The Washington Post claims that inaccurate “media accounts” are to blame for the infamous Susan Rice talking points [3]. And Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is on the oversight committee, commented that “death is a part of life,” as if the murder of an ambassador is a part of the natural order of things and should be accepted [4].

However, there are plenty of other sources who are firm in their belief that the deaths of four Americans and an attack on a US embassy should be thoroughly investigated. An attack on an embassy is equivalent to an attack on the country itself, and for that reason alone, the Benghazi terrorist attack clearly deserves an exhaustive investigation. Whether or not there was a mishandling of the situation, and by whom, needs to be discovered. It is also clear that the American people have already been fed false information, and the question of whether it was due to incompetence or deliberate deception needs to be answered once and for all.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Left vs. Right, Politicking

 

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Rotten to the Core

There are so many issues with America’s education system that it’s tough to pinpoint what exactly is going wrong, but there are two interconnected factors that are clearly contributing to its decline: corporate-based education and a fixation on standardized tests. You may or may not be aware that 45 states, including Oregon, have adopted a common set of educational standards, known as Common Core. There are plenty of alarming issues surrounding Common Core, but one of the most alarming is that a lot of the tests, materials, and planning are  done by corporations.

These corporations have their fingers in all the educational pies, from writing standardized tests to running online charter schools. That means that schools that use their materials are teaching whatever the corporation wants them to, and not what teachers think is best for their students. And there are plenty of examples of how these materials show clear political and ideological bias that amounts to little more than indoctrination, such as a crossword puzzle that describes conservatism as the party that “restrict[s] personal freedom” and liberalism as believing in “equality and personal freedom for everyone” [1].

Education corporations also design the standardized tests that are forced upon our teachers and students. These expensive tests have little benefit to students, but they bring in a lot of money to the corporations [2]. One of the largest corporations, Pearson Education, has recently introduced product placement in the standardized exam administered to students in New York.  The test plugs brand names, like LEGO and Mug Root Beer, and their trademarks in test questions [3]. Pearson says they didn’t get any money from mentioning these brands, but it’s surely just a matter of time.

Parents owe it to their kids to stay informed about what kinds of information students are being presented at school, because the more Common Core is implemented, the more control corporations will have over education.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Education

 

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