Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Former CT Lt. Governor - Elected To Board Of Directors Of NAMI


Well, I can't say that I am surprised.

In fact, my friends and I predicted he'd land a job like this, (either that or lobbying for the mental health or pharmaceutical industry in D.C.) especially since he needed a new job after being replaced as CT's Lt. Governor in January 2007.

NAMI is of course the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
They have been called a front group for Big Pharma by many articles which "follow the money".

As Lt. Governor, Sullivan established his CT "mental health cabinet" and pushed mental health agendas in the state, as well as expanded funding for various initiatives. I wouldn't be surprised either if NAMI gave him a wink and a nod along the way for helping them expand the CT programs that they were most likely involved in.

Here's Sullivan's candidate pitch and his nomination letter.

It's interesting that he'll be working for NAMI which many have found to be heavily funded by "big pharma", and has a very questionable agenda. They sure could use a politically connected person like Sullivan to assist in getting their mental health agendas through various legislative bodies.

I am sure he'll be more than happy to help them screen and drug all of America's children.

And they will all line their pockets in the end - and as you already know - "It's for the children and their well-being."

The number of kids on psychotropic drugs has already skyrocketed.
Meanwhile kids on psychotropic drugs will be shooting up schools, and committing suicide and even babies will be drugged. It's pretty sad really. Taxpayer funded programs like Medicaid and CT's Husky even help pay for these drugs. Some states have even uncovered Medicaid fraud by the legislated drug protocols, and the use of psychotropic drugs on kids, in these programs - That happened in Texas and Florida.

NAMI is working diligently to make sure every school aged child is given a mental health screening. The screenings give many false positives and have been found to be very poor indicators of actual mental health problems, but there is lots of money in it. Whether they need medication or not, the folks at NAMI, and other groups advocating for universal mental health screening, would like to make sure that all kids are given some sort of psychotropic drug or therapy.

Also the funding between NAMI and Big Pharma for these screening programs is quite interesting reading.

In July 2006 NAMI held it's convention in Washington, DC.
here are some photos of the free tote bag being handed out by NAMI:



And as they say - a picture is worth a thousand words.


Do you think that with this new board of director position that Mr. Sullivan also will get a lifetime supply of sleeping pills to help him sleep at night?

Monday, July 30, 2007

House Democrats Abandon Homeless And Disabled In Congress

CT Democrat Congressmen Vote to Cut Veterans’ Housing!
So much for supporting our veterans and our disabled.

CT's 4 Democrat Representatives in the House, Murphy, Delauro, Larson, and Courtney, voted Nay and they voted in lock-step with Democrat leadership to block a motion aimed at protecting housing for America’s homeless and disabled veterans (House Roll Call 714).

The measure would have protected the funds set aside for housing assistance to homeless and disabled veterans and elderly citizens. By defeating the motion, CT Democrat Representatives allowed the funding to be stripped from these programs to be used for other purposes.

Gee.. that was a nice way to thank our Veterans!

If you aren't happy about it - write them a note.

FYI - The entire GOP delegation in the House voted Aye along with 7 Dems.
Chris Shays voted Aye. So did Republican Candidate for President: Ron Paul.

(H/T NE Republican)

Connecticut Mastery Test Results


Well, the CT test results are in.
And it isn't very good news.
Here are the actual results, town by town.
For all the money CT spends on education, it looks like we've had some pretty disappointing results here.

The Hartford Courant had this to report:
Despite spending nearly $190 million to bolster public school reading programs over much of the past decade, the state reported slight erosion of reading scores on this year's Connecticut Mastery Test, continuing a gradual downward trend that began five years ago.

"It's quite serious," said state Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan
A grade of 66 overall, in my opinion, is a failing grade - and CT has failed it's kids and the taxpayers who dump millions into education in this state. Sorry, but it is no longer acceptable to say - "but yeah, at least we are better than (insert some other state name here)".

Of course we all know where this will lead... asking the taxpayers to dig even more deeply into their pockets to add yet even more funding to a system that is obviously failing. For all the highly paid, Master and Doctoral Degreed specialists that our schools have in CT this is still what we end up with.

And of course the mantra continues to be we need more teachers, more specialists, more administrators, more, more, more.

Everyone seems to forget that better education is not directly proportional to the amount of money spent on it.

The studies abound, like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reports, to prove it.. but the myth that more money is needed continues to live on robustly.
"Raising student achievement levels and improving our schools is not a matter of spending more money doing the same things as before but rather using the resources we have available in better and more innovative ways," said ALEC Education Task Force Chairman Rep. Jane Cunningham from Missouri.
Hartford alone spends over $13,000 per student to educate them and yet they have fallen dead last in the CMT scores.
So what gives?
Blame it on what now?
Blame it on lack of funding to train teachers better?
Blame it on lack of funding to attract the best and brightest and most well equipped educators? (I keep hearing how CT has the highest paid and highest qualified teachers in the nation)
Blame it on the parents who don't have a book at home? (Well - who taught them to read or to love reading?)

Demand longer school days? It's stressful for children. And some studies have suggested that the time allocated doesn't translate into better performance.

Demand costly mandatory pre-school? This has already been proven not to work.

Demand year round schooling? Well this employs more people that's for sure, and it is a very costly endeavor. Many parents object to it as it infringes on family time.

Demand school dress codes or uniforms? This discourages gang wear - but hasn't proven to raise performance dramatically - A study published in The Journal of Education Research by David L. Brunsma,(University of Missouri), and Kerry A. Rockquemore,(University of Notre Dame) found that student uniforms neither improved attendance and discipline nor decreased drug use. According to Brunsma and Rockquemore, uniforms did not significantly improve academic performance or students' attitudes toward school, peer-group relations were not improved, and that uniforms actually had a negative effect on student attitudes.

It doesn't look like anything they have been studying and talking about is working.
They have been "attacking this problem" for years and still have come up short.

It looks to me like they ought to be looking at curriculum substance instead of style.
It looks like they ought to be looking at time on task versus school day distractions.
It looks to me like they ought to get the fluff and nonsense out of the curriculum and focus on the basics.
It looks to me like they need to eliminate busy work and meaningless assignments.
It looks to me like they ought to be putting more money in the classroom instead of in administrators' pockets.
It looks to me like we need some choice in education and have schools compete with each other. While I am not a fan of vouchers, I think we need competition.

Schools need to demand more from the kids and have some real discipline. Give the kids some respect and some real reasons to cultivate self respect and self esteem. Let them work hard to achieve results they can be proud of. Hire teachers who really understand what learning is all about. Have a curriculum in place that is interesting, and not just busy work. Believe it or not, some of the more successful charter schools in my area are doing the things I have just mentioned. Furthermore, I would, cut the school hours in half, and allow the kids to have a life and interests of their own choosing. There would be no homework because any work needing to be done would be done in school. Parents need to be fully involved in the endeavor of their kids’ learning. Kids should not be fed and clothed by the school system. If parents are not doing their job of taking care of their children’s needs then they should be prosecuted according to the laws having to do with parental neglect of duties.

Somewhere along the way people have forgotten what educating kids is all about. It has become more of an indoctrination of political correctness and less about actual learning and exploration. There is way too much fluff in the schools as they attempt to “teach” about sex education, AIDS awareness, gay and lesbian issues, anti-smoking, anti-drugs, and every other campaign that comes down the pike. The current "cause du jour" is Global Warming. Kids are not spending enough time actually learning the things that they need to learn. It seems to me that there is precious little on task time being spent on the essentials. Kids are not learning enough history or civics to become active informed citizens. The reading lists at most schools contain such contemporary trash and little in the way of real literature. It has been shown that kids who regularly read classic literature learn to read, speak and write better because they learn by example. Basic mathematics has become a confusing maze of "nouveau jibberish". Kids are not learning enough higher math or science and they cannot even read or write properly. This is evidenced by the huge number of remedial classes that colleges now have to offer in order to get their students up to speed. That is shocking!

Now just as a local anecdote: The superintendent in my school district (West Hartford, CT) just got a raise that gives him a salary of $188,000 per year. Perhaps they should have held off on his raise until they saw these test scores. We as a town have now budgeted $117.8 million dollars alone on education. Our test scores range from 65.9% to 79.6% of students who are at or above state goals. That puts us in the bottom of our District reference Group which compares us to similar towns. This leads me to suggest that perhaps we should be spending more on the classroom and less on the guy with the big office in the Education Center in Town Hall. But perhaps he is paid that highly because he can dream up all the excuses as to why we have been funding the schools more and getting much less in return.

I can't wait to hear how much more money we'll need to spend locally and as a state to raise our kids' performance.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

AHA

THE AMERICAN HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION

The American Homeschool Association is a network of homeschoolers working to support homeschooling by providing an online point of contact for news and information, resources and encouragement.

The American Homeschool Association sponsors free email lists, including AHA-Discussion for general topics of interest to homeschoolers, AHA-Libraries for networking between homeschoolers and public library contacts, and AHA-PoliticalAction for discussion of issues that impact homeschooling freedoms.

To join the AHA lists visit:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AHA-Discussion
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AHA-LibraryList
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AHA-PoliticalAction

The American Homeschool Association Web site offers:

• FAQs & Information for New Homeschoolers - What to do if this is a whole new idea for you.
• Articles, Essays, Editorials, etc. - The best writings on dozens of topics.
• The History of Homeschooling Series - Perspectives on where we've been, and where we're going.
• The Kaseman Columns - Homeschooling issues and political action from the pages of HEM.
• Interviews with Homeschool Personalities - Book authors, conference speakers and many others.
• Resource Links - Thousands of resources, from all the best sources.
• Book Reviews, Authors' Sites, and Book Lists - Reviews,recommendations and more.
• Book Catalog Sites - Where to buy homeschooling books and resources.
• Publications: Online and Printed - The best magazines, newsletters, and online publications.
• Support Groups & Organizations - Support, networking, conferences, resources, and more.
• Websites We Like - Click to these favorites for more information about homeschooling.
• What is the AHA? - Who, what, when, where, why, etc.
• AHA's Free Email Discussion Lists - News, views, and networking with others.
• AHA's Free Email Alerts - How to subscribe, how to access archives.
• Favorite Quotes and Excerpts - We think these folks said it best!

And here is one of their blogs about Homeschooling and Public Schooling at Home that you might enjoy.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Republicans Ought to Pass On You Tube "Poli-tainment"


Well yeah - I pretty much agree with the Republicans on this one.

Let's demand they debate the real issues folks, and stop with the "poli-tainment" of You Tube types of spectacles and glitz.(Poli-tainment = which I equate with making politics into some sort of Commercial TV reality show devoid of serious or deep content and designed to reach the masses with watered down drivel and pop culture appeal).

The CNN You Tube Democrat debate was very dumb and bordered on juvenile.
I mean c'mon questions from snowmen ?
What's next sock puppets?
or maybe Geico cavemen?

Many of the videos really showed a lack of seriousness or intelligence and the candidates did not really get to answer most of the questions in detail, nor did they all get to respond to many of the questions.

I found it to be a waste of time and quite an embarrassment to American politics in general.
If this is the best that "the people" can deliver in "the people's debate" then it is obvious why we are in the mess we are in today in this country.

I would like to see some very structured serious debate on serious issues with ALL of the candidates included, not just the "front runners", with time for them to debate one another. We can have questions from "the people" without it turning into a circus.

Otherwise why not just have Matt Groening draw out the characters and have a Simpson's style debate for the masses?
Or perhaps we can have the candidates run for office ala American Idol or Dancing with the Stars? Yes, let's pair up Mitt Romney with Heather Mills or Hillary Clinton with Apolo Anton and have them do some dancing in ball gowns and tails.

And by the way - I think we have all seen enough of Hillary's cleavage. Someone tell her to please cover up because a Pamela Anderson she is not. Otherwise we could also have Rudy Giuliani, et al, sport open shirts with chest hair showing and "some bling" and that would totally be gross.

Anyone ever hear the phrase "less is better"?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Made In The U.S.A.


Tired of seeing Made In China stamped all over everything in the major stores? (as well as in all of the other stores too)
I know I am.
I personally refuse to purchase items made by Chinese slave labor while pouring American dollars into a Communist country to support their military.
I went for a long time without a kitchen scale until I found one made in Vermont.
I am currently looking for a telephone with answering machine.

I also happen to believe Chinese made goods are not well made, and we all know the dangers of food products coming from China.
In my opinion, Chinese products have become monopolistic in the marketplace.
I object to that. I demand choice.
If everyone is so "hep" on globalism then bring it on..
Let's see products made from all over the place.. not just China!

But really, for me. I want to see more stuff made in the USA!!
So, since I have been doing some scouting around, I am going to share my results and also give you the means to make a choice in your purchases.

As a public service - Consent of the Governed has compiled a list of websites and information that will help you locate items made in the USA. I hope that you will take the time and opportunity to support American made products and the workers behind them. We all have the last say at the cash register!

You might also be interested to know what the US Government via the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has to say regarding what it means when a product has the Made In America/USA label.

So let's get started: Here is a webpage that shows you where to buy American in your state.

And here is the Buy American Campaign website.

Here are some great sites which offer a huge variety of American made goods.

Made In USA

Still Made In The USA

Buy American

Athletic Appeal

US Stuff

Zebulon USA

Shop For America

How to Buy American website and the book:



Union Jean Company

New Balance Shoes made in the USA - FYI - "The shoes produced in their U.S. factories are made by U.S. workers using both U.S. and imported materials. Where the level of domestic value is at least 70%, they have labeled the shoe "Made in USA."

Visit the Shop For America Blog

You might also be interested in this book by Sara Bongiorni who is the author of "A Year without 'Made in China': One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy."




And for all you homeschoolers who just love field trips, check out the Made in the USA factory tours.

The Lone Protester



Terry Funderburk lives in Columbia, SC.
He should gets the "Activist of the Year award".
Please read the blogpost at Freedom Folks to see what I am talking about.

I do believe he may just be starting a movement.

Picket the places that hire illegals.
Boycott the places that hire illegals.
Fine the businesses that hire illegals.

Give America back the jobs that Americans supposedly "do not want to do"!

Read his story.
Then please show him that you support him.
And then spread his story on your own blog.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Calling All Illegal Aliens - New Haven CT Is Calling You! C'mon Down!


New Haven, Connecticut, Mayor John DeStefano, is sending you an arms wide open invitation, for you to come and live in New Haven! Mooch off the city if you like. Maybe sign up for programs and enroll all of your kids in New Haven schools! You can even get discount admission to the golf courses!

Don't delay.. if you are living is some other inhospitable place like Arizona... why not just make your way to New Haven, Connecticut and you'll be golden!

Doesn't matter who you are are or where you came from.... you can be instantly legitimized and share in all the benefits of being a New Haven resident! Just come and sign up for this multi-use ID card which is available to all residents, regardless of immigration status. All you need is a valid driver's license (foreign or US) and a library card! I am sure they won't even check the validity of any of the documents that you provide - so no big deal right? And here is the application form.

Mayor DeStefano wants YOU to deposit your cash in his new bank too (see below)! You see, he and his business partners (including his buddy Yale Law School professor Bob Solomon) want YOUR business! He thinks it's not fair that you have to walk around the streets with wads of cash in your pockets and become the victims of street crimes. So he wants you to deposit your money in his bank! (First City Bank)

And there will also be a whole army of Yale law students to help you out!

This is like a dream come true for you!

Forget US citizenship.. and US or CT laws... they're for saps.
Southern CT Immigration Reform and CT Citizens for Immigration Control are fighting this, but what do they know? They just want to protect US citizens and their jobs.

C'mon down! New Haven's calling baby!



--------------------------------------------
Personally - I can't wait until people do an FOIA and go in and confiscate all the records for the all of the ID's that are issued, then they can use them to track down all the Illegals and haul their carcasses off to jail or deport them. It's a brilliant plan John DeStefano!

But Wait There's More!

This just in from CT Citizens for Immigration Control:
Here's what they think about About That Bank -

1. When the New Haven Savings Bank wanted to convert from a privately owned bank to a publicly owned bank, Mayor DeStefano and the city administration put the squeeze on them. The New Haven Bank then made a $25 million “contribution” to benefit the residents of the city of New Haven. This money was paid to the First City Corporation. Mayor John DeStefano and others were the directors of the First City Corporation.

2. The First City Corporation then planned to start a First City Bank that would serve the low income “immigrant” community, meaning illegal aliens.

3. The First City Corporation gave the City of New Haven, some $250,000 to fund the New Haven ID card for illegal aliens. One of the stated purposes of ID Card was to encourage card holders to use banking services. This, in effect, would produce a list of potential clients for the First City Bank.

Thus, funds that were to be used for the residents of New Haven were diverted to the creation and promotion of the New Haven ID card. While the proposed First City Bank was to be a non-profit bank, this does not mean that directors, officers and employees of the bank could not be paid.

The ID Card offers few benefits to illegal aliens and exposes them to the risk of exposure, if there is a Freedom of Information Act request for the list of names. Illegal aliens can manufacture plenty of false ID for all types of purposes and because of a loophole in the banking act. And an illegal alien can open a bank account with an EIN number from the IRS. The card, in reality, served little purpose for the illegals.

This brings into question whether the use of the $25 million to start a bank with funds that were designated for the residents of New Haven could not be considered a misappropriation of funds and thus a violation of state laws. The Mayor's being on the board of directors would appear to be a direct conflict of interest and his promotion of the ID card simply compounds that.

My oh my !

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

CT Law Tribune Unable To Research CT Law Properly And Spreads Misinformation



My apologies - but this just has to be a long post - so get a cup of coffee and a danish or something - I promise you it will be worth your time if you are interested in the CT DCF-DOE issue here in CT.

DOUGLAS S. MALAN, reporter for the CT Law Tribune, interviewed Attorney Deborah Stevenson for an article appearing this week in that publication entitled, "Homeschool Advocates Claim Bias" (website registration required). He not only butchered the piece, but he misquoted Ms. Stevenson several times, and failed to look up the laws he was writing about! He pretty much continued to disseminate the misinformation by the Department of Education, and the lawyers that represent them, by not challenging them with what is actual statute and what is not actual statute.

With the photo of Ms. Stevenson captioned:
Southbury attorney Deborah Stevenson founded an organization that represents parents who teach their children at home. She and other advocates are upset that some of those parents are being reported to the Department of Children and Families.

and a photo of Mr. Mooney captioned:
Thomas B. Mooney, a school law partner in Shipman & Goodwin’s Hartford office, said school administrators can’t be sure that children are getting a good education unless homeschooling parents file curriculum plans.

The article starts off by saying this:
Deborah G. Stevenson believes the founding fathers of Connecticut got it right when they allowed, and in fact encouraged, parents to homeschool their children through a 1650 law known as Ludlow's Code.
Excuse me? Ludlow's Code was not a particular law. Ludlow's Code was the title given to the first codification of all of the laws that were in existence in our colony in 1650. Homeschooling was not even mentioned in Ludlow's code of 1650. Ludlow's code outlined the duties of parents and one of the duties of parents was "that all parents and masters do breed and bring up their children and apprentices in some honest, lawful calling, labor, or employment, either in husbandry or some other trade profitable for themselves and Commonwealth, if they will not nor cannot train them up in learning, to fit them for higher employments." That was later codified and is still present in our statutes (CGS 10-184) as "All parents and those who have the care of children shall bring them up in some lawful and honest employment and instruct them or cause them to be instructed in reading, writing, spelling, English grammar, geography, arithmetic and United States history and in citizenship, including a study of the town, state and federal governments". It was, and always has been, the duty and obligation of a parent to educate their child, or see to it that their child obtained an education. You think the author might have done some research on this?
Now, more than 350 years later, Stevenson and other homeschooling advocates say the state is going back on its word. They have gone public with complaints about educators threatening to report parents to the Department of Children and Families if the parents don't follow certain procedures in withdrawing children from school and drafting educational plans that describe how children will be taught at home.
Yeah... the schools are saying this: Either follow the VOLUNTARY guidelines or we'll report you to DCF.. and by the way, parents are not required by any CT statute, or even the voluntary guidelines, to "draft educational plans".
"There's a feeling on the part of some school administrators that their way of doing things is the only way of doing things," said Stevenson, a Southbury attorney who is founder of National Home Education Legal Defense.

In June, the organization held a news conference at the state capitol that featured three homeschooling parents who said they had been reported to DCF after public school officials labeled their children truant and alleged that the parents were educationally neglectful.

The news conference was attended by state Rep. Arthur O'Neill, R-Southbury, and Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford, who co-sponsored an amendment that would have codified the rights of parents wishing to withdraw their children from the public school system. The amendment was not approved during this year's legislative session.
How could the amendment not be approved? The amendment did not even come up for a vote! Raising the amendment was killed on a procedural issue that it was not "germane" to the bill being considered. The withdrawal bill originally proposed never even had a public hearing or even made it out of committee!
Education officials, and the lawyers who represent them, said that school administrators are not trying to be hurtful or petty, but they are being cautious about following the law and making sure children are being properly educated.

"The law is parents are supposed to file an education plan with the school district," said David H. Larson, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. "It truly is a minimal law. The state of Connecticut is doing children a big disservice by not monitoring what is happening" with homeschooled children, who are not required to take standardized tests.
David Larson is absolutely mistaken here, and clearly does not know what he is talking about, even as he is sitting and representing this group of school superintendents. What he said is in fact NOT the Law! I'd like to see him produce a copy of this law to me. He can't ... because THERE IS NONE! We have NO law that requires a homeschool parent, or even a private or non-public school, to file an education plan! David Larson needs to read the state statutes. I would have expected the author of this article to have asked for a copy of that law.
The dispute comes at a time of rapid growth in the homeschooling ranks. The numbers have increased nearly 30 percent in this decade, according to some estimates, as parents choose to teach their children at home for religious, academic or safety reasons.

Nationwide, a little more than 2 percent of all students are taught at home. If that ratio holds true in Connecticut, the state has roughly 15,000 homeschoolers.
Gee, isn't that interesting! Just last week on WNPR radio, Department of Education spokesman, Tom Murphy, said homeschooling was eroding in CT! - hah!
Under C.G.S. §10-184, parents are obligated either to instruct their own children or delegate that responsibility to another party, i.e. a public or private school. A home educator is fulfilling his or her statutory obligation if that parent or guardian "is able to show that the child is elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction in the studies taught in the public schools."

The statute also requires parents of public school children to formally inform the school district of their intent to withdraw their children and homeschool them.
This is not true at all. This is not what the statute says at all. You'd think the author of this piece would have looked at the statute to see what it says! Elsewhere receiving equivalent instruction is the phrase in which this state allows private schools to exist and has nothing whatsoever to do with parents educating their children! There is nothing in the statute about withdrawal except for children over the age of 16 or 17! Read the statute for yourselves CGS 10-184
Other statutes require boards of education to maintain a census of children in each school district and keep records of their identity, age and where they are being educated. Parents can be fined if they don't share that information when asked.
That's CGS 10-249
It was around 1990 when Stevenson joined the fray. She was not yet a lawyer, but she was a mother who had homeschooled her daughters since the mid-1980s. Stevenson and others became upset when the state Department of Education unveiled a proposal to further regulate home instruction.

Stevenson recalled that homeschooling advocates shouted down the state plan during a public hearing. The result was a compromise known as the C-14 guidelines. The guidelines suggested that parents file a notice of intent to homeschool their children, that they share an education plan with school officials and that they set a date to meet with school officials each academic year to review a child's portfolio.
What is this guy talking about? There is no requirement to submit, share or discuss an education plan!
Parents 'Intimidated'

But the precise wording caused confusion. One heading in C-14 reads "Suggested Procedures for Home Instruction." It states that parents "must file with the superintendent" of schools basic information about the home educational program. Homeschoolers focus on the word "suggested," school officials on the word "must."

The problem, said Stevenson, is that what started out as suggested procedures for parents on how to inform school officials of their intention to homeschool has been misinterpreted as law by some educators. Stevenson said the result is that officials try to pressure parents into obtaining school board approval.

Some parents are "intimidated into doing that which they don't want to do," said Stevenson.
And Deborah Stevenson never said this! Again, it isn't about what they do not want to do... it is about what they are NOT REQUIRED TO DO !!! The fact of the matter is that the "suggested procedure", the guidelines, do not match what the statutes say. Superintendents confuse the guidelines to be law, and the State Department of Education refuses to clarify that and instead encourages them to report parents to DCF for not following VOLUNTARY guidelines. I would like to know what part of VOLUNTARY or SUGGESTED they do not understand.
She gets involved when school officials and parents disagree over whether parents need to formally apply for permission to homeschool or to file an educational plan. "Most often, it is a matter of misunderstanding [the statutes] and it's resolved quickly," Stevenson said. "Certain few officials really dig in their heels" and make threats of reporting parents to DCF.

Not one of her clients, she noted, has ever lost custody of their children, and no claim of educational neglect against her clients has been substantiated.
Again, the author of this piece has his facts wrong.. Attorney Stevenson had several clients who had substantiated claims.. but those claims were later reversed to "unsubstantiated" by DCF after the files and the facts were reviewed, or the claims were withdrawn by the prosecutor in juvenile court.
Cautious Superintendents

There about a dozen in-state lawyers in the National Home Education Legal Defense referral network. Among them is New Britain attorney Ralph D. Sherman, who has been homeschooling for 13 years. The bulk of Sherman's legal work is criminal pardons and firearms law, but he also handles cases involving homeschooling matters.

"I've had no recent cases with DCF, but I've had to sit down [in the past] with superintendents of schools and explain what's going on [with the law]," Sherman noted. "The superintendents are not attorneys, but are told to be cautious, and I don't blame them for that. [But] for it to end up in the lap of DCF is outrageous."

Ellington attorney Michael H. Agranoff also provides help to Stevenson's organization. Agranoff defends parents in DCF cases, and he contends that the agency relies on the public school system for many of its referrals. School officials, he said, are quick to report any possible problems so as not to expose themselves to future lawsuits if actual abuse is found to have occurred.
Yeah, I like the term "possible problems" - what is this Minority Report type of thinking? Criminals are apprehended based on some sort of hunch about what might happen? Does the acronym CYA come to mind? Let's report a parent in case they might abuse or neglect their child at some point in the future. We have no real evidence now - but send DCF over and they'll dig around and go on a witch hunt to find something. It's scary and sick all in one breath.
In his experience, Agranoff said, children who are taught at home are more likely to be checked on by the DCF, even when parents are doing nothing wrong.

"What [Stevenson and I] have in common in parents' rights," Agranoff said. "There's a relationship because people who have homeschool problems usually have DCF problems."

Other attorneys, however, say that school administrators are receiving unjust criticism. They say educators are sensitive to children's needs and that they are right to report potential problems to the DCF. If parents won't file an educational plan, the lawyers say, administrators can't be sure a child is being properly educated.
OK - once again - parents are not required in CT to file anything. If they are removing their child from public school then they submit a letter of withdrawal telling the school to remove their child from enrollment. That's it. And schools are now even ignoring letters of withdrawal and keeping children on the enrollment lists as well! Then they later claim them to be truant. The truth is that parents MAY CHOOSE to follow the C-14 guidelines and file a Notice of Intent and do a portfolio review for that year, but they are NOT REQUIRED BY LAW to file an EDUCATIONAL PLAN or to file a Notice of Intent. Tell me, how does a school know if a child being enrolled in a private school is receiving what they consider to be "a proper education"? Do they check up on the private schools? NO. It is a bogus argument, and children not enrolled in public school are not the concern of the school administrators, otherwise they would have to monitor private school students as well.
"In the absence of any information [about the homeschool curriculum], it would be appropriate for DCF to check it out," said Thomas B. Mooney, a school law partner in Shipman & Goodwin's Hartford office.
It is not appropriate for "DCF to check it out". DCF is not, and should not be used as, the "school police" - they have much more important issues to address than running around after false complaints by the DOE or school administrators, just because some family didn't submit paperwork that is not required to submit. But what the hell, Mooney makes his money off of school legal cases.. he'd love to have these cases come to court so he could pay for his next car. Never mind what is best for the kids.. let's just traumatize the whole family with a false DCF referral. Lawyers like Mooney really nauseate me.
Around 1990, he was counseling the Avon Board of Education when it asked the Department of Education if a school board could reject a parent's homeschool educational plan. That request, said Mooney, helped launch the debate that led to C-14.

He said homeschooling parents should not see school district's reporting requirements as burdensome. "It is simply a matter of families and school officials working together in a minor way so school officials can be sure their statutory obligations are met," Mooney said.
If school officials knew their statutory obligations then this whole mess would be avoided in the first place. School administrators know nothing about what the law says or doesn't say, and it isn't until Attorney Stevenson sends them a copy and explains it to them that they leave families alone to homeschool in peace. Of course the Department of Education should be the ones doing that. And of course they don't.

I am very disgusted at how poorly researched this piece was. The author had no idea about what the statutes say. He obviously took what the school attorneys said as gospel when it is they that are only operating at the behest of the Department of Education, who have every interest in keeping these children hostages in their schools and discouraging homeschooling. They would rather have children commit suicide than allow them to leave in peace. We know that because it has happened. And as schools continue to berate and bully parents and their children in their system, we will continue to see the homeschool statistics rise in CT.

Do me a personal favor... drop these guys a line or two and let them know what poor reporting this is and how disappointing an article it was. If anything, the author could have done a bit of research on the statutes and quoted Ms. Stevenson properly.

Is is incredibly disappointing that journalism is in such a sorry state these days. Doesn't anybody check their facts anymore?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thanks - But I'll Pass on The Chips



The American Medical Association (AMA) has came out with an ethics code regarding Radio Frequency IDentification implants since doctors would be storing important medical information under the skin of the patients. Actually the data itself isn't stored, but a number that is a reference number to a larger database is what is on the chip. Technology like the Veri-Chip has already been approved by the FDA. These chips are the size of a grain of rice and they are implanted with a needle subdermally. This technology has already been used on animals. The AMA noted that RFID chips may actually interfere with certain other medical procedures and even medications that people may take.

Apparently some people in the medical community believe that RFID chipping of people is a good thing, because theoretically in an emergency situation data stored on the chip is supposed to be accessed easily and quickly, and if the patient is unconscious it can save time and maybe the person's life. As far as I know, the speed of treatment hasn't been changed because of implanted RFIDs, and I know of no studies that were done to prove or disprove more prompt treatment.

It is claimed that these chips are removable, and can even be relocated within the body. It's not that simple. They can migrate and they cause scar tissue to develop around the chip. It certainly is easier to implant them then it is to remove them.

The downside to these chips are that the privacy of the patient might be compromised if someone has access to a chip scanner. That may already be happening and can contribute to medical identity theft.

If you don't read anything else you must read this article by TODD LEWAN posted at MyWay News entitled "Microchip Implants Raise Privacy Concerns" It is an excellent article and discusses this issue in depth. Here is an excerpt:
To some, the microchip was a wondrous invention - a high-tech helper that could increase security at nuclear plants and military bases, help authorities identify wandering Alzheimer's patients, allow consumers to buy their groceries, literally, with the wave of a chipped hand.

To others, the notion of tagging people was Orwellian, a departure from centuries of history and tradition in which people had the right to go and do as they pleased, without being tracked, unless they were harming someone else.

Chipping, these critics said, might start with Alzheimer's patients or Army Rangers, but would eventually be suggested for convicts, then parolees, then sex offenders, then illegal aliens - until one day, a majority of Americans, falling into one category or another, would find themselves electronically tagged.

The concept of making all things traceable isn't alien to Americans. Thirty years ago, the first electronic tags were fixed to the ears of cattle, to permit ranchers to track a herd's reproductive and eating habits. In the 1990s, millions of chips were implanted in livestock, fish, dogs, cats, even racehorses.

Microchips are now fixed to car windshields as toll-paying devices, on "contactless" payment cards (Chase's "Blink," or MasterCard's "PayPass"). They're embedded in Michelin tires, library books, passports, work uniforms, luggage, and, unbeknownst to many consumers, on a host of individual items, from Hewlett Packard printers to Sanyo TVs, at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

But CityWatcher.com employees weren't appliances or pets: They were people made scannable.
Yup, I am not an appliance or livestock or inventory to be scanned, so I'll pass on the chips: I am just that kind of an old fashioned girl.

Monday, July 23, 2007

J.K. Rowling And Government Meddling In Education


Most of you have probably heard enough about Harry Potter - but I have to tell you how delighted I am that J.K. Rowling is making certain views known through her writing.

I recently saw the movie "Order of the Phoenix", and was I quite intrigued with Rowling's portrayal of government (Ministry of Magic) meddling in a private school (Hogwarts). Of course in the movie, Dolores Umbridge is placed at Hogwarts School for Wizardry and Magic by Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, for the purpose of "reforming", or as Hermione defines it - "interfere with" - the school's curriculum. Umbridge eventually has the power, as the Hogwarts' High Inquisitor, and later headmistress, to fire teachers and torture the students. She begins to strip away the right to assemble, as well as a host of other freedoms from the young wizards by invoking repressive edicts. The story line eventually portrays how damaging government meddling in education can be. Dolores Umbridge manages to water down the curriculum that was originally designed to teach students to defend themselves against the "Dark Arts". The young wizards ended up learning nothing and they decide that the skills are so necessary that they must "school themselves" in stealth. They were essentially "homeschooling". The criticism of the "nanny state" and government bureaucracy and control is quite apparent.

This from an article by Benjamin Barton, entitled "Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureaucracy":
Consider this partial list of government activities: a) torturing children for lying; b) utilizing a prison designed and staffed specifically to suck all life and hope out of the inmates; c) placing citizens in that prison without a hearing; d) allows the death penalty without a trial; e) allowing the powerful, rich or famous to control policy and practice; f) selective prosecution (the powerful go unpunished and the unpopular face trumped-up charges); g) conducting criminal trials without independent defense counsel; h) using truth serum to force confessions; i) maintaining constant surveillance over all citizens; j) allowing no elections whatsoever and no democratic lawmaking process; k) controlling the press.
With that said, I am delighted to share this amazing and delightful quote from J.K. Rowling's latest and final book in the Harry Potter series:

"Of course, nearly every witch [magical girl] and wizard [magical boy]in Britain had been educated at Hogwarts [a privately run school under the watchful eye of government workers], but THEIR PARENTS HAD THE RIGHT TO TEACH THEM AT HOME or send them abroad if they preferred." ("Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows", p. 210, Copryright 2007)

Pretty cool huh?
Parental rights in education mentioned in HP.
School choice mentioned in HP.
Maybe with all the millions of kids and parents reading the series they will get a smattering of the notions regarding freedom in education, parental rights and educational choice free from government control. They may even recognize how government bureaucracy, and too much government control can be detrimental. Parts of the fantasy world of HP certainly mirrors our own life.

J.K. Rowling is wonderful.
But we all knew that.

(H/T for the quote: A. Arias)
By the way: Great piece about "Order of the Phoenix" by Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies

Saturday, July 21, 2007

WNPR Features Homeschooling - DOE Spokesman Tom Murphy Less Than Truthful On Radio

Christine at Thinking Mother blogged about this before I had a chance to get my post finished, so here is my take on the program.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil contacted NHELD after the protest we had at the State Capitol in Hartford on June 28th. She wanted to do a show on the DOE-DCF issue. She invited me and Deborah Stevenson to be on the show. Then they uninvited me - because I found out that they wanted me to be a spokesperson for CT Homeschool Network. Since I have not been involved on their board for a while now, I indicated that I could not fulfill that function - so they uninvited me. The show was supposed to be entirely about the DCF DOE issue and then it got watered down to include a segment in the beginning about homeschooling and support groups in CT, the middle segment was with Tom Murphy of the DOE and Deborah Stevenson of NHELD, and the last segment featured Northstar Learning Center in Massachusetts. I'd be remiss if I did not mention that Sue Stern, of the Quiet Corner Homeschoolers, was featured in the first segment of the program to speak about homeschool support groups in CT. Sue is a good friend of mine and a veteran homeschool mom.

Listen to the WNPR radio segment - it is an hour long program. Here is the webpage for that program.

Tom Murphy, spokesman for the CT Department of Education, spoke some untruths on that show.

1) He tried to marginalize the parents who are fighting against being reported to DCF by marginalizing the homeschool growth in this state and by saying that it was only a handful of parents who were fighting the current issue of DCF and DOE abuses. He claimed that this handful of parents are those who object to following the DOE's guidelines and filing a Notice of Intent - yet there were parents who were reported who DID file an NOI, as well as submit a letter to withdraw their child(ren) from school. For Mr. Murphy to say homeschooling is eroding in CT is laughable. His agency is obviously trying to marginalize the issue, and/or it is apparent that they are totally clueless as to the growth of homeschool support groups all across the state! Maybe what is eroding is the number of people filing their Notice of Intent form. Yes.. that is what they don't like, people making the choice not to file or do annual portfolio reviews.

2) No one is fighting against filing an Notice of Intent as he claimed. What we are fighting about is that despite signing an NOI or even submitting a letter of withdrawal both are ignored and the families are almost automatically reported to DCF for withdrawing their child(ren) to homeschool them. The fact is that NHELD has always said that filing is voluntary and you can choose to do so if you wished but that you are not statutorily bound to do so. The DOE doesn't want people to know that they have a choice and they act like it is statutorily required... and they will report you to DCF if you do not sign one yearly. The issue that "it is just a piece of paper"... is nonsense. Signing an NOI is not just mere notification... it has become more of a matter of control for the DOE. If they want to know who is homeschooling they have a statute that already allows them to do that. (CGS 10-249).

3) Mr. Murphy also misconstrued the issue of equivalent instruction. There is no issue of homeschoolers having to meet "equivalency" with the public schools. If so, equivalent to what? Equivalent to schools in Hartford, or schools in Greenwich? Public government schools cannot even meet equivalency among themselves! That is one of the things that Sheff v. O'Neill is all about (i.e. in a sense saying the suburban schools are better than the urban schools). The notion of equivalent instruction is a myth. But honestly, why would anyone want to be equivalent to the education received in government schools? That's one of the reasons why these families are leaving!

4) Yes, CT is a free state to homeschool in, but Mr. Murphy apparently does not know about what is going on in other states with regard to homeschool legislation. Many states like NH have started to relax their homeschool requirements. With HB406 signed into law, now they no longer have to submit their curriculum! We have seen a shift in state legislation being very stringent to states letting go of ridiculous requirements, especially those costly to the taxpayer. To say we are a "laissez-faire" state is also misleading by Mr. Murphy, now that they are attempting to control homeschooling by coercing families to sign documents not required by law under threat of being reported to DCF for truancy and neglect. That is far from laissez-faire.

5) Oh yes, and he of course liked to drag in the old "abuse and neglect" issue. Regarding signing and submitting an NOI to the school - it will not stop child abuse - it will not insure that people do a good job in educating their kids. The DOE is saying that they need people to sign it so they can make sure that those things are or are not happening in the home. That is total malarkey.
For Mr. Murphy to assert that filing an NOI insures that the school knows what is happening to these kids is ridiculous. Children who are in government school are not learning anything and are being abused by instances of bullying or teacher humiliation of the student (and more!). So much for oversight. Abuse and neglect are not homeschool issues. They are social issues that are already addressed by our laws. The CT Department of Education fails to understand the basic presumption of innocence which our system is based upon. But in their minds homeschoolers are guilty of abuse just by virtue of their homeschooling. To them we are to be suspected.

The fact of the matter is that the schools in CT already have a means of knowing who is homeschooling - either people write a letter of withdrawal indicating they will be homeschooling (so there is no need for an NOI) or the school can simply do as the statutes allow and contact parents in the district to ask how their child is being educated (CGS 10-249). The NOI is merely a means of control.

Tom Murphy mentioned how schools are afraid of the liability regarding what would happen if a homeschooled kid later sued the DOE because he didn't receive an "adequate education". I think he better be more concerned about government school kids suing the school system for not receiving an "adequate education". Especially compared with the track record that homeschoolers have in this state and nationwide.

I also want to mention that Lucy Nalpathanchil opened her show by saying that homeschooling in an unconventional way of educating one's children. It is not unconventional, it is how people have educated their children since the beginning of time and before government education arrived on the scene.

Tom Murphy from the DOE was allowed to make false statements about the growth of homeschooling in CT - and about numbers of people protesting the DCF DOE issue of parents getting reported to DCF after withdrawing their children from school. With the excuse that time was running out - Mr. Murphy was not allowed to be questioned by Deborah Stevenson about why a letter of withdrawal is not honored, and why children are still being kept on enrollment lists after submitting a letter of withdrawal, and the audience was not allowed to be educated by the facts that homeschooling is growing in CT and all across the country (not eroding as Tom Murphy claimed). Tom Murphy used this opportunity to marginalize homeschoolers. He did not tell the public why even though filing an NOI is voluntary, that the school administrators are being encouraged by his agency to coerce parents into filing by threatening DCF referral. Deborah Stevenson was not given adequate time to rebut some of Mr. Murphy's inaccurate information.

There was much that was NOT said in this interview and I encourage you to not only listen to the show - but to write to the station about it.

I would all encourage you to write to Lucy Nalpathanchil, lnalpathanchil@wnpr.org or wherewelive@wnpr.org

Lucy Nalpathanchil
WNPR Reporter/Producer
1049 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

860-275-7300
860-275-7482 (fax)


Oh and by the way - yet another family's substantiated DCF referral was overturned by DCF to be "unsubstantiated". It is nice to see that DCF is seeing these school complaints for what they really are, false and a complete waste of their resources.
We are glad that Commissioner Hamilton is working to resolve this issue.
Congratulations to the Aguillar family!
Congratulations to Attorney Deborah Stevenson and her determination to fight this harassment and coercion of homeschool families in CT. The good thing too is that other lawyers in CT are now coming forth and contacting her to work together on this issue.

Eight Things About Me - I Got Tagged For This Meme


Oh my... I was tagged for this meme by Valerie over at Happy As Kings .. so I guess I'll play along (although as Valerie points out: although "8 things about me" doesn't really come under the heading of "information you need to know before you consent" to be governed... LOL)

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

ok, so lets get on with it:

1. I can't drive a stick shift.. tried to learn once .. but nope.. it made me crazy. Just put the thing in drive and go already, that's my speed.

2. I was selected to be a member of the National Honor Society in high school. That sounds too snobby, so instead I'll say that riding on merry go rounds and some theme park rides makes me sick.

3. Before my last two kids were born,I used to be a manager in data processing at the Travelers Insurance Company. I worked on Securities (Stocks and Bonds) and Personal Lines-Automobile Systems. I can't imagine doing that now. I left my corporate career to be a mom to my kids. I absolutely hated having my first child in day care even though it was a private home and the woman who cared for him was wonderful. Having strangers raise my children was definitely not for me, even if they were great people. Giving up half of our family income at the time was a sacrifice - but it was well worth it. We merely lived within our means. No regrets at all.

4. My husband and I started dating, and three months later he asked me to marry him: I accepted. We got married 2 years later after we both finished college. We just celebrated 29 years on Monday July 9.

5. When time allows, I make my own soap, bread, and occasionally yogurt. Sometimes it's like a "Little House on the Prairie" moment around here. I enjoy many crafts and here is a list of things I like to do when I am not being an activist or blogging:
a) stained glass
b) needlepoint
c) crochet
d) quilting
e) gourmet cooking (and eating)

6. I just earned my Competent Communicator award in Toastmasters International.

7. I produce a TV show on my local cable TV access channel (West Hartford Cable TV WHC-TV) entitled "What You Should Know", and I find it fun and interesting to be a TV talk show host.

8. I used to own my own travel business called "Adventures In Travel" and I enjoyed being a travel agent before commissions were slashed to nothingness, and people began booking their own travel on the Internet. I got out of the business at the right time. I sure enjoyed all the "comp" trips though, and honestly you can go broke going on free trips.

Hmm.. now I get to tag 8 people...
Tamara
Jennifer
Irdial
David
Blueberry
Michelle
Izzy
Dy

Friday, July 20, 2007

How Networking Helps Homeschool Families


While it is generally accepted that homeschoolers are an independent lot, it is really a good thing when they get together and do some networking. You may have your own suggestions - but here are some benefits of networking with other homeschoolers and homeschool groups:

Networking can:

• Provide information about various curriculum and how to obtain it

• Provide information about how to get started if families are new to homeschooling

• Provide opportunities for children to socialize – field trips – classes – crafts – sports activities

• Provide help with problems encountered – families get valuable advice from each other on how to deal with different issues – and discuss different educational philosophies

• Provide an opportunity for families to share experiences – curriculum they have used - places they’ve visited – projects they have done

• Provide various resources like online services and forums to keep people informed of issues important to homeschooling families, both locally and nationally

• Provide people with listings of up to date web sites which list recommended reading lists, sites of interest to visit, information about the law, Frequently Asked Questions, message boards, articles about homeschooling and education in general and a myriad of other interesting educational web site links

• Provide written materials to keep people informed of events and items of interest

• Provide information about fairs and forums for homeschooling families to do workshops and purchase educational materials

• Provide families with Special Education issues have access to web link information and resources to aid them

• Provide Teens opportunities to get together for educational and social events – they usually plan their own programs or activities

• Provide many instances where community involvement or volunteering is included in networking activities – clothing swaps – work at senior centers – canned good collections for food pantries –etc.

• Provide opportunities for parents to organize classes, writing co-ops, language lessons, tours to special places like TV studios, etc.

Networking is healthy, beneficial, and fosters community among homeschoolers.
Weekly get-togethers, field trips, conferences, mom's night out and other events are great times to network and meet new families or connect with veteran homeschoolers.

We must all hang together,
or assuredly, we shall all hang separately. - Benjamin Franklin

"If I could solve all the problems myself, I would."
- Thomas Edison, when asked why he had a team of twenty-one assistants

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Garden And Lawn Clippings Just May Fuel Your Car Someday


EcoGeek posted a very interesting blogpost about a different way to produce ethanol.

The State of Georgia has granted Range Fuels a permit to set up the first cellulosic ethanol plant.

EcoGeek posted this:
Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol that comes from cellulose instead of sugar. This is good because most plants don't have a lot of sugar, but all plants have lots of cellulose. So, instead of using food crops, (like corn and sugar cane which have lots of sugar) to create fuel, we can use any crops, like mown grass clippings, fallen tree limbs or corn stalks (instead of corn ears) to create ethanol.

Cellulosic ethanol can contain up to 16 times more energy than is required to create it! If that doesn't sound ridiculously impressive, consider that gasoline contains only 5 times more energy than was required to create it and corn ethanol is totally lame, containing only 1.3 times the energy required to create it.
So this is pretty good news, because this idea and the technology behind it is being explored.

Woodchips apparently were used during WW2 as a means of creating energy in what is known as wood gasifiers. That technology is also being explored at the University of Georgia as they work to produce biofuel from trees.

While I'd rather not be cutting down massive amounts of trees for fuel.. I believe that the concept of growing the materials to be used to create fuel for energy is very worthy of exploration. Developing renewable energy sources is very appealing as well as very necessary. I think that we have the capability to develop many alternative fuel sources that will be abundant and eventually relatively inexpensive. There have already been new advances in the development of hydrogen fuels.

Here is an interesting set of questions and answers regarding biofuels.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Press One For English



The email that I received which contained this You Tube video link also said:
Now here's one politically incorrect video for ya!

Better check it out fast, before the ACLU and Mexican Consulate force You-Tube to take it down and have this musical couple locked up tight down in GITMO for "Hate speech" and aggravated insensitivity!

They might even stuff them in the same Federal cage with political prisoners and former Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean.

(H/T LOUZIOTIS DEMETRIOS)

FYI - You can help the Ramos and Compean families here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

THE AMERO vs. THE DOLLAR

One Gold Dollar above used to be our US currency.

Jason Kirby wrote an editorial THE AMERO vs. THE DOLLAR which interested me. If you have been following my blog then you know I have had a few posts about the North American Union and there has also been little discussion in the media about how the North American Union is being formed. CNN's Lou Dobbs has spoken about it many times. Here's another link.

Of course there are people in the government who deny the formation of the NAU, yet people in Canada have also begun to object to this "deep integration".

Associated with this scheme is also a plan to replace the Dollar, and the Canadian dollar and the Peso with the 'Amero', very much in the same fashion as the Euro is used in lieu of European currencies. People in the government deny this as well (as Lou Dobbs' video pointed out).

The thought of replacing the Dollar with another currency called the Amero has raised more than a few eyebrows.

As a line in a National Ledger article reads, "Our currency will be replaced with the 'Amero'. And, we'll be one giant step closer to the U.N.'s perverse dream of a one-world government."

One must recognize that the currency we now use is not really ours to begin with.. it belongs to the Federal Reserve. That is certainly something worth noting if you don't know about it. With regard to currency backed by real gold and silver, check out a previous post which talks a bit about the Liberty Dollars being produced in the US.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has actually spoken a lot about our monetary policy and he fears a collapse of the dollar is eminent on our current course .. that is probably just about when the Amero will make its debut.

In the article mentioned above, Jason Kirby says this: That Federal Reserve System currency is already not ours and that our currency has long since been replaced.
He goes on to explain, and even show specimens, of what our real coinage used to be before it was replaced.
The coinage and paper notes used to be exactly what the U.S. Constitution mandates we citizens of the United States of America use as money. The laws, and the code, of the United States of America at that time sustained the circulation and use of the specimens as money. Our money was not debt. It was wealth. It was born of nature and worked by the National mint into what it is. It was an asset which was not simultaneously someone else's liability. Debt freedom, once achieved, was much closer to absolute under such a money system. It bore no interest except when its owner consented to lend it to a borrower for a rate of return. When it was spent, it was considered at common law that a debt was paid. And it respected the tradition from time immemorial that in exchange, value would be exchanged for value; it was equitable. When it was saved, instead of spent, it preserved the wealth of the saver, who could reasonably expect prices to be within reasonable range of what they were when the coin was saved. It was backed by gold and silver.

Our currency enjoyed the protection of the law and counterfeiters faced capital punishment. Coin clipping, shaving, sweating, mixing with base metals, all being ways in which kings and princes cheated the public, even our own government was prohibited from such activities.

Paper money was in use and that was acceptable as long at the paper promised to pay gold or silver coin on demand. If the paper circulated, then the coin it represented was on deposit; if the coin was circulating, then the paper was not circulating. The silver and gold certificate was a token, but a lawful claim on the real coin.

By law, the SUBSTANCE of OUR money was gold and silver bullion, and the LAWS of money in the United States made gold and silver coin LAWFUL MONEY.

Where do you find such specimens of money today? In coin shops and personal collections.

What we had then (gold, silver coin) was replaced with what is today in your pocket and your bank account. Today, we use THEIR money. You cannot tell me that Federal Reserve Notes are our money. The Constitution does not contemplate them. The First Money Act of April 2, 1792 does not contemplate them. The code of the United States for most of our history does not contemplate them. It is not our money. It doesn't matter that it has been around since granddad was a young man. Crime has been around for a long time too. The long lived perpetration of a wrong does not lend it legitimacy. It is alien to the Constitution, and our money is effectively in exile. Their money resembles ours, more or less, if you need glasses or don't read; there are pictures of our dead Presidents on it. Many Americans simply believe it is our currency because that is the way it has been since their birth, and they don't know what they are looking at. Or they do and do not distinguish between real value and debt. We, including those of us who know better, begrudgingly use it mainly because our own government refuses to follow the Constitution on the money issue. And we must use something so we use this. Our government has long since bought into central banking with debt-based irredeemable paper. If you want to read why, look up Alan Greenspan's essay, "Gold and Economic Freedom," which gives as good an explanation as any: it is the easiest way to set up and maintain a socialist welfare state.
You just have to read the rest as he concludes:
In the final analysis, no one should be worried about our money being replaced with the Amero, because (A) the coin money of the Constitution as already been replaced and we have been using their irredeemable debt-based money for a long, long time. We are using exactly the money that the bankers, not the founding fathers, would have us use. The move from the above shown coin money of the Constitution, to that of the Federal Reserve System was unimaginably VAST in terms of its legal, financial, and sovereignty implications. And (B) we are not really being threatened with a second replacement, but only a cosmetic alteration to make it psychologically acceptable to this so-called "Union."

To rephrase substantially the line in the National Register article that started all this inquiry: The plan to replace gold and silver coin with central bank debt was the necessary giant step closer to socialism's perverse dream of a one-world government. Socialism is not new. It goes back to the mid 1800's. They've had since their beginning, their agenda for the supremacy of the state and the limitation of individual property rights and individual liberties. A depreciated paper currency and State control of credit has always been part of their agenda. It is pointless to be alarmed about the Amero today with no way to go back to the gold and silver coin of the U.S. Constitution as the national money. It is as insignificant as changing the designs that appear on our copper quarters.
Even though the "Federal" Reserve Bank has the name FEDERAL in it's title, it has no connection with the Federal Government. The President of the U.S. and Secretary of the Treasury do not sit on its board!! The Chairman is appointed for a period of 14 years. The President does appoint him but that is just a formality as the Fed can easily ruin an uncooperative President by causing a recession or depression.

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson

"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who writes its laws" - Maier Amschel Rothschild

Monday, July 16, 2007

Council On Foreign Relations - Supporters of the North American Union

The European Union (EU) is a model which is being used to construct the North American Union (NAU). Our government is illegally creating the NAU outside the auspices of Congress by making great changes to business and regulatory laws (euphemistically called harmonizations). Legal regulatory laws are being rewritten to benefit big business. Funding has already been earmarked for huge road projects cutting a swath of highways through our country from Mexico to Canada to accommodate movement of goods through our country. By instituting the NAU , essentially our sovereignty will be lost to a higher order.

This is definitely a video to watch and it includes information about the Council on Foreign relations (CFR) and their involvement. They are seeking to abolish our sovereignty in the name of globalisation.



What Presidential Candidates are part of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)?
What are they trying to accomplish?

Fred Thompson
Rudy Giuliani
John McCain
Mitt Romney
Jim Gilmore
Newt Gingrich
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
John Edwards
Joe Biden
Chris Dodd
Bill Richardson

Who Opposes the CFR?
Ron Paul
Dennis Kucinich
Mike Gravel

Read the article by Richard N. Haass - it is an eye opener for sure.
Sovereignty and globalisation

Author:
Richard N. Haass, President Council of Foreign Relations

February 17, 2006
Project Syndicate

The world’s 190-plus states now co-exist with a larger number of powerful non-sovereign and at least partly (and often largely) independent actors, ranging from corporations to non-government organisations (NGOs), from terrorist groups to drug cartels, from regional and global institutions to banks and private equity funds. The sovereign state is influenced by them (for better and for worse) as much as it is able to influence them. The near monopoly of power once enjoyed by sovereign entities is being eroded.

As a result, new mechanisms are needed for regional and global governance that include actors other than states. This is not to argue that Microsoft, Amnesty International, or Goldman Sachs be given seats in the United Nations General Assembly, but it does mean including representatives of such organisations in regional and global deliberations when they have the capacity to affect whether and how regional and global challenges are met.

Moreover, states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies if the international system is to function.

This is already taking place in the trade realm. Governments agree to accept the rulings of the World Trade Organisation because on balance they benefit from an international trading order, even if a particular decision requires that they alter a practice that is their sovereign right to carry out.

Some governments are prepared to give up elements of sovereignty to address the threat of global climate change. Under one such arrangement, the Kyoto Protocol, which runs through 2012, signatories agree to cap specific emissions. What is needed now is a successor arrangement in which a larger number of governments, including the United States, China and India, accept emission limits or adopt common standards because they recognise that they would be worse off if no country did.

All of this suggests that sovereignty must be redefined if states are to cope with globalisation.

At its core, globalisation entails the increasing volume, velocity and importance of flows within and across borders of people, ideas, greenhouse gases, goods, dollars, drugs, viruses, emails, weapons, and a good deal else, challenging one of sovereignty’s fundamental principles: the ability to control what crosses borders in either direction. Sovereign states increasingly measure their vulnerability not to one another, but to forces beyond their control.

Globalisation thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker. States would be wise to weaken sovereignty in order to protect themselves, because they cannot insulate themselves from what goes on elsewhere. Sovereignty is no longer a sanctuary.

This was demonstrated by the American and world reaction to terrorism. Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which provided access and support to al-Qaeda, was removed from power. Similarly, America’s preventive war against an Iraq that ignored the UN and was thought to possess weapons of mass destruction showed that sovereignty no longer provides absolute protection. Imagine how the world would react if some government were known to be planning to use or transfer a nuclear device or had already done so. Many would argue correctly that sovereignty provides no protection for that state.

Necessity may also lead to reducing or even eliminating sovereignty when a government, whether from a lack of capacity or conscious policy, is unable to provide for the basic needs of its citizens. This reflects not simply scruples, but a view that state failure and genocide can lead to destabilising refugee flows and create openings for terrorists to take root.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s intervention in Kosovo was an example where a number of governments chose to violate the sovereignty of another government (Serbia) to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide. By contrast, the mass killing in Rwanda a decade ago and now in Darfur, Sudan, demonstrate the high price of judging sovereignty to be supreme and thus doing little to prevent the slaughter of innocents.

Our notion of sovereignty must therefore be conditional, even contractual, rather than absolute. If a state fails to live up to its side of the bargain by sponsoring terrorism, either transferring or using weapons of mass destruction, or conducting genocide, then it forfeits the normal benefits of sovereignty and opens itself up to attack, removal or occupation. The diplomatic challenge for this era is to gain widespread support for principles of state conduct and a procedure for determining remedies when these principles are violated.

The goal should be to redefine sovereignty for the era of globalisation, to find a balance between a world of fully sovereign states and an international system of either world government or anarchy.

The basic idea of sovereignty, which still provides a useful constraint on violence between states, needs to be preserved. But the concept needs to be adapted to a world in which the main challenges to order come from what global forces do to states and what governments do to their citizens, rather than from what states do to one another.
It isn't conspiracy theory .. it's real.. The North American Union is coming unless we all do something to stop it. Allowing Illegal Immigration is part of the plan.

There is a meeting planned between President Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper scheduled for August. They will be meeting to further their OPEN BORDER and "North American" INTEGRATION agenda on 8/20 - 8/21.

PROTEST MARCH AGAINST THE SPP SUMMIT
March in Seattle, Saturday August 18th
-OR- Assemble your OWN March Locally