Friday, April 29, 2016

Thorner: Heartland Institute Panel: Vaping as a Public Policy ‘War’ – Part 2

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By Nancy Thorner –  

Public Health England last in August of 2015 became the first national government agency to endorse e-cigarettes as safer options for current smokers. Its report also dispelled several bogus anti-tobacco claims.  Why is it that e-Cigarettes are seen as life-savers by the UK Government, but condemned by the US?  Find out why by checking this recent article of Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

Brian Foitik, guest speaker at The Heartland Institute’s event about “The Vaping War” on Wednesday, April 20 (see Part 1), linked the “war” on vaping to a happening 52 years ago when the Surgeon General recognized tobacco as a health issue, where upon tobacco was taxed at all levels of government.  It was easy to levy a tax on tobacco because of the limited of individuals who smoked at the time.  Nevertheless, even after a 52-year campaign of educating the public about smoking and related health issues through word-of-mouth, negative advertising, and marketing restrictions, there are still 40+ million smokers in this nation.  450,000 will die every years from tobacco-related illnesses.  Although 70% of smokers want to quit; a majority have tried to quit but weren’t successful.

Even though many e-cigarette smokers begin vaping to wean themselves off tobacco products, why do e-cigarette smokers reap the same hatred from the non-smoking public as those who smoke tobacco cigarettes?   Might it be because people are taught not only to hate cigarettes, but also to hate the one who smokes them?  For these individuals a cigarette is a cigarette.  It matters not that one is a tobacco product and the other a vapor product that is not comparable to the thousands of toxic agents formed when tobacco is burned.

Vaping as a Consumer-Driven Business

As more and more individuals desire a product that is a safe and effective smoking cessation aid, the number of consumer driven vapor shops are growing proportionally.  There are 15,000 vapor shops.  All are new businesses; people are employed and property taxes are paid.  When there are people who want something, products are offered as a solution to the problem.  This is the free market at work.  Regulations and taxes only inhibit innovation in a free market system.

Pharmaceutical companies are able to come up with new products to help people stop smoking, but each new product must receive FDA approval, which requires an expensive and lengthy process to be able to market and sell a new product. Pharmaceutical companies do get a break from taxes.  As a result of ill-conceived tax breaks, the pharmaceutical industry pays just 5.6 percent of its profits in taxes.  After one product doesn’t work, repeat customers can be drawn back when a new cessation of smoking product is developed.  In contrast, the vaping community could ill afford, with its limited resources, to have each vaping product approved by the FDA.  Even a different vaping flavor would require new FDA approval at a great cost and with considerable approval time.

The vaping industry enjoyed a bit of a victory in a report dated April 14, 2016, when the House appropriations committee voted to approve an amendment to the FY 2017 Agricultural Appropriations bill that would change the predicate date for newly deemed tobacco products. Products on the market since 2007 would not have to retroactively go through the PMTA process.  As such vaping products would not be considered tobacco products. The bipartisan amendment by Rep. Tom Cole (R – OK) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D – GA) passed by a 31-19 vote.

Victoria Vasconcello, former long-time smoker and owner of Cignot Inc.

As already noted in Part 1, Ms. Vasconcello, as a former long-time smoker, has been in the vaping business since 2009.  She considers vaping as a consumer-driven solution to a problem; however, government is seeking to balance budgets by putting lives in jeopardy.  Victoria Vasconcello graciously relinquished most of her allotted speaking time, noting that Brian Fojtik had covered the vaping topic so thoroughly in his prior comments, likewise expressing that she wanted there to be ample time for a productive Question and Answer session.

In response to one of the question from the audience (questions were also submitted by those watching the live on-stream presentation) “What can the little guy do to have a presence in CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternates)?” Ms. Vasconcello suggested joining the 135,000 member CASAA group and meeting with local legislators.  The science is out there to support the use of e-cigarettes.  Help legislators know what the science is.  Genuine fear develops from not knowing the truth.  Finally long time smokers have found something that helps them, and they are standing up and fighting with truth on their side.  Consumers do have power!

Concluding Thoughts

Support for the vaping community can be broadened by minimizing the arguments of center left groups.  Unfortunately, PR hasn’t been on the side of e-cigarettes to enable them to become mainstream, unlike in England where the government backs e-cigarettes for smokers.  There is limited money in the vaping community to get out the truth. This results in most of the studies being done by those who hold a con e-cigarette agenda.  The minds of the American people must be changed.  A New Poll Finds Americans’ Risk Perception of Vaping is All Wrong.  The vaping community just wants to compete!

As government is addicted to the money it receives from tobacco products, and this money is decreasing as smoking decreases, there are attempts being made to tax e-cigarettes to keep coffers filled. The good news is that there have been 500 pieces of legislation enacted which attempt to tax and restrict e-cigarette use, but only a few of them have passed.  It is ironic, however, that the Omnibus Bill Will Protect Cigarette Markets & Harm Public Health.  Letters to the Editor are a good way to educate the public about e-cigarettes.

Below are three articles that show how Chicago is dealing with e-cigarettes.  The e-cigarette tax referred to in the first article went into effect on January 1, 2016.

Chicago’s Deadly E-Cigarette Tax Takes Effect Tomorrow

Chicago Vaping Tax is About Cigarette Tax Dollars, Not Health

Rahm Emanuel’s E-Cig Tax Will Kill Smokers & Small Businesses

Following are additional note-worthy e-cigarette articles:

1.  Articles by Brad Radu, Heartland’s Senior Fellow who holds the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction Research at the University of Louisville.

2.  “Wall Street Journal” article published Monday, April 11, 2016.

In the article “Are E-Cigarettes a Healthy Way to Quit Smoking?”, both the pro and the con sides were presented.  Even though e-cigarette sales have been growing, they remain dwarfed by the $100 billion tobacco market. 

Jim Lakely, Communications Director at The Heartland Institute, served as moderator, describing The Heartland Institute as a free market think tank that fights for policies that increase freedom and liberty and promotes the free market.  Covering only domestic policies, Heartland is one of few think tanks that stands up for the rights of the smoker.

An announcement was made by Jim Lakely to join Heartland for the Grand Opening of the largest freedom library in Chicagoland. The Michael Parry Mazur Library, named after an economist who passed away in 1987 by his family in Mazur’s honor, is a rapidly growing research library containing an excellent collection of works on economics, history, political science, public policy, and related topics. The public is invited to attend on Wednesday, May 4, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m. at Heartland headquarters, 3939 N. Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004. Registration is free. See map: Google Maps.  Check this link for free registration for the event. 


 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Comments

Mark Weyermuller said…

Any thing called smart is usually not smart, these meters are dangerous.

Excellent job Nancy Thorner on your reporting

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Friday, April 15, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner and Elvira Hasty – 

The following comes from a recent article by Timm Amundson on The Federalist: 

“Trump is usually rude and obnoxious. His demeanor can be arrogant and dismissive. At times, he comports himself as reckless and willing to lash out prematurely, prior to fully understanding all of the facts at hand. To put it simply, he is a wrecking ball.”

While a Trump supporter, Mr. Amundson apparently felt he first had to apologize to his “conservative elitist friends.”  Does this sounds similar to other articles you’d read about “conservatives” who dare support Donald Trump?  How sad that maintaining political correctness has become the expected standard of operation.

Since every human being is sinful and harbors many faults, the same tone exhibited in the opening paragraph could apply to most individuals.  Why then is it that only Donald Trump deserves this hate-filled treatment, not only from organizations whose purpose it is to destroy the Trump candidacy, but also among those who call the shots within the Republican establishment?

Did we encounter this during the administration of Bill Clinton? There is no need to remind those who lived through the Clinton years of his vulgarity? And what about the vulgarity exhibited by the Republican establishment.  Under the pretense of listening to conservatives, the establishment enthusiastically endorsed John McCain and Mitt Romney in the last two presidential elections?  Or of the recent vulgarity shown by the GOP establishment through constant threats of a brokered convention, aimed at suppressing the voice of the Party’s base? It all depends on what the meaning of vulgarity is?  Right? 

Americans should welcome a Trump presidency with open arms, not only for what he can accomplish, but also for replacing the vulgarity of the Obama family with the classy Trump family.  CNN presented an hour-long town hall meeting on Wednesday night, April 12, highlighting Donald Trump, the man, and his outstanding family.  It would be an astonishing transformation and welcomed in every corner of the world.
Religious individuals accept Donald Trump for his flaws, just as God accepts Christians and others, for we all have flaws. We have never heard bad words from Mr. Trump. The accusation of vulgarity comes from privileged elitists who have no respect for working people in places like Queens and Brooklyn where Trump was raised. As his son Donald Jr. has said:  Donald Trump is a blue collar billionaire.

Donald J. Trump recognizes that those who make this country run are working class Americans.  As a young man, Trump worked alongside construction workers.  He learned more from the working men and women than most congressmen have the opportunity to ever do.  Trump knows the working class and respects workers as individuals, unlike politicians who see them as an expendable collective mass who can be replaced by foreigners at lesser salaries in order to please fat-cat Republican Party donors.  Trump would end their gravy train!

Truth be told, it is not “vulgarity” that the GOP establishment and the media actually care about; it is the way Donald Trump’s honesty has damaged their political correct speeches, coupled with their lack of transparency in dealing with legislation. No more hiding behind “reaching out to Hispanics” (code phrase for welfare to illegals); no more hiding behind the “race card” that continues to hurt Black Americans living in Democratic cities; no more hiding behind the “feminist card” of being offended when a woman is not strong enough to face competition; no more hiding behind the “islamophobia charge” for wanting to vet Muslim immigrants; no more hiding behind “DREAM” for the Mexican children crossing the border illegally.  It will all end!

Donald Trump talks plainly and directly; he lets everyone know exactly what he thinks and what he’ll do to make America great again. And none of it includes the old politicians, the media, the lobbyists, the DC insiders. Finally the American people found a true patriot who is willing to sacrifice in order to stop the corruption of the D.C. bureaucracy. Welcome Donald Trump!  We’ve been waiting almost three decades.
For those who continue the mantra that Mr. Trump is not conservative, whatever it means these days, let me enumerate his position on our most pressing issues:
  1. Against illegal invasion of our country by securing the border building a WALL that Mexico will pay for.
  2. No amnesty. No sanctuary cities.
  3. Building a strong defense, with a feared military capacity.
  4. Support and help for our veterans, ending years of mistreatment.
  5. Support for our law enforcement agencies, such as the police and ICE.
  6. Stop the acceptance of Muslim immigrants until a time when we have a better understanding of the problem.  Best to build a safe zone in their countries.
  7. Destroy ISIS and fight radical Islam
  8. Rebuild our country infrastructure.
  9. Re-think and re-negotiate NATO and the expense of having our military all over the world.
  10. Reduce our over $19 Trillion debt.
  11. Eliminate waste by closing or reducing certain departments like Education.
  12. Reduce taxes for the low income and middle class Americans.
  13. Reduce regulations for businesses.
  14. Eliminate Common Core and make education local.
  15. Defend the Second Amendment.
  16. Repeal and replace Obamacare with private plans.
  17. Negotiate trade deals that are fair and take our country into account first.
  18. Bring jobs from overseas.
  19. Pro-life and support for our religious freedom rights.
  20. Become energy independent by exploiting all sources of energy production.
Which part of the above is not conservative?  But if the positions listed above are not conservative, then Thorner and Hasty cannot claim to be conservatives, yet at the same time stand in support of Trump. We need to stop labeling ourselves Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, and start by being American first.
Cruz supporters and others who genuinely hate Trump, continue to repeat that Trump is not serious about these positions because he once was “a Democrat.”  First, take a look at the table below that shows his political donations since 1989; keeping in mind that business people always give these donations to both parties.

Trump’s political contributions
Trump’s political contributions data is from https://www.opensecrets.org/ and http://www.followthemoney.org/. A breakdown of the data can be viewed here.
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Second, why is Trump being deceitful now, having been a businessman before his recent move to the political arena, while Cruz is perceived as the truth-teller after having served only a few years in the Senate?   What is the Cruz Senate record?  Ted Cruz voted in favor of amnesty; never proposed building a wall; voted for a very large increase of H-1B visas; favored neoconservatives in war expansions; never intervened for our veterans; and wrote with Paul Ryan an op-ed in WSJ in favor of TPP legislation.  Lately in his campaigning, Cruz seems to have changed his mind on several issues.
Donald Trump, unlike Ted Cruz, has already accomplished much in life. It cannot be disputed that Trump has built an excellent and successful business empire, but more importantly, he has raised incredibly bright, talented, articulate children who seemingly have good moral values.   By their fruits, you shall know them!

The next hurdle we must face is the nasty battle between Trump and Cruz, which is also causing friends to disagree and take offense.   Our enemies delight in seeing our “soft spots” exposed, making it easier for them to push through their radical agenda. 
May we not forget that whether we are firmly planted on the side of the Cruz or Trump camp, either one would be so much better for America than either Socialist Sanders or Hillary, who has left a long trail of terrible mistakes in her quest for power.

 

 

Monday, April 11, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner –

As part of The Heartland Institute’s continuing series of book and movie events, specifically designed to showcase freedom, the book, “Drilling through the Core”, edited with an introduction by Peter W. Wood, was presented by the author on Wednesday, April 6 in the newly named Andrew Breitbart Freedom Center, located at Heartland’s Arlington Heights facility, 3939 North Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.

As noted on the back outside cover of “Drilling through the Core”

“For the first time in history Americans face the prospect of a unified set of national standards for 8-12 education.  While this goal sound reasonable, and Common Core has been presented as a state-led effort, it is anything but.  This book analyzes Common Core from the standpoint of it deleterious effects on curriculum — language arts, mathematics, history, and more — as well as its questionable legality, its roots in the aggressive spending of a few wealthy donors, its often-underestimated costs, and the untold damage it will wreck on American higher education.  At a time when more and more people are questioning the wisdom of federally-mandated one-size-fits-all solutions, “Drilling through the Core” offers well-considered arguments for stopping Common Core in its tracts.” 

Peter W. Wood is an anthropologist and former provost.  He was appointed president of the National Association of Scholars in January 2009.  Before that he served as NAS’s executive director (2007-2008) and as provost of the King’s College in New York City (2005-2007).  Wood is the author of several books, including “A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now” in 2007 and in 2003 “Diversity: The Invention of a Concept.”  

Peter Wood was introduced by Lennie Jarratt, Project Manager – Education Transformation at The Heartland Institute.

According to Peter Wood, “The Common Core Is Dead”.  It died of parental opposition, teacher opposition, political defection, and perhaps most importantly, flat-out academic failure.  But it would be foolish to think that dead things can’t hurt us.  Consider Bernie Sander’s resurrection of the Socialist economic theories, twenty-five years after the burial of the Soviet Union.  Dead things can likewise also take the living with them, as in the case of Jeb Bush with his unconditional support of Common Core, from which he realized sizable financial gains. 

Common Core was first perceived by architects, David Coleman and Jason Zimba, as a solution to the achievement gap between White and Asians on one hand, and Blacks and Hispanics on the other hand. Finding this concept difficult to sell to the general public, the achievement gap premise was changed.  Common Core would now make all students ready for college and careers.

According to Peter Wood, Common Core was never intended to raise standards.  Instead, it was a plan to establish a nationwide floor that would also be a ceiling.  In other words, Common Core “was anti-excellence wrapped in the gift wrap and tinsel of excellence.”

A study by the liberal Brookings Institution in March of this year found no evidence that Common Core State Standards have made much of a difference during the six-year period when NAEP scores have been stagnant.  The good news in the report is that Common Core does not appear to be the cause for the NAEP stagnation, as states not accepting Common Core suffered the same stagnation. 

This troubling stagnation, as explained by Mr. Wood, has its basis in the following: an increase of single-parent families (the top factor); family dysfunction; financial insecurity, and immigration, all of which will result in poor school performance, and which likewise prove that changing the standards for K-12 education was never going to change the level performance of students. Common Core’s fine-tuned curriculum has seemingly moved in the opposite direction, which explains why SAT and ACT scores have dipped in the Common Core era. 

Common Core Language Arts and Math Standards evaluated

There has been a decline of instruction in literature, to be replaced by non-fiction.  Why?  Because Common Core insists that students learn best from treating everything as informational texts, despite the ability of literature to teach students how to read beyond the literal text.  As such students learn how to see the forest and not just the pine needles.  Common Core leads students into the territory of pine needles.

Regarding Common Core English Language Arts own standards, Mr. Wood knows of no college that would value an approach to literature that chops everything into fine pieces and then dissolves content so students come away not knowing why they read “Moby Dick” or any other book.  However, such a spoon diet of fragmented versions of great literature conforms to how Common Core views literature.  In its fragmented approach, Common Core is able to ward off literature as dangerously privilege or even elitist.   

Common Core math slows down the pace of math instruction.  Instead of third grade before pre-Common Core, when almost all state expected students to master basic addition and subtraction, Common core decided fourth grade would do.  Instead of 5th grade, the multiplication table and long division has been moved to the 6th grade.  Algebra is kicked up to the 9th grade.  Often there is no room for pre-calculus instruction, logarithms are barely mentions, parametric equations are absent, and Arithmetic series are omitted.  Adults can live without this mathematical knowledge, but the door is being shut for millions of students for careers in fields where a solid foundation in math is critical. 

The thinning out of math standards betrays the two main promises made by Common Core architects, already mentioned David Coleman and Jason Zimba, that the Standards would make students college and career ready, and that the Standards would be internationally bench marked to at least as high as the standards in countries that excel in math.  Last year the U.S. ranked a dismal 28th.   

Many parents have noticed that there children are being taught tediously complicated forms of computation in primary school, which are deliberately meant to drive a wedge between parent and child.  Geometry is now being taught in a way tried before in the Soviet Union in the 1980’s, where it was deemed a failure and discarded.

The aims of Common Core

As to what kind of people we want our children to become, as inferred by the nature of Common Core standards, the outcome is summarily set forth by Peter Wood:

Common Core aims to make children into well-organized utility-maximizers — people who do not waste time contemplating hard problems or dreaming big dreams, but who have a ready means to cut things down to the size they already know how to handle.  The perfect job for a Common Core graduate is probably coding. 

Parroting the confession made by one of the Common Core architect, Common Core defenders are now using the excuse that the initial  “college ready” promise of Common Core was meant to convey a readiness to attend a “community” college.

Peter Wood is adamant that Common Core is finished and that a resurrection by die-hard partisans can’t be achieved, for dead is dead!  Mr. Wood mused how the Common Core mess will be cleaned up; who will pay for it, and what will come next? 

Not so sure about “dead is dead”

Given the millions of dollars the Gates Foundation provided to set the stage for Common Core (some of which was used as bribe money to convince cash-strapped states to sign on to Common Core sight unseen) to the large investments spent in school districts on textbooks, teacher training, and computers to support the Common Core tests, the Common Core curriculum can’t be eliminated just by wishing it were so by waving a magic wand.

Consider what happened this past December when both the U.S. Senate and the House voted to continue this nation’s federal boondoggle in education.  Despite talking points about getting the feds out of creating standards, there is still a requirement that states continue to maintain high state standards, a clear nod to the continuation of the much-hated Common Core State Standards.  Furthermore, states must continue to submit their state plans for review and approval by the U. S. Secretary of Education.

Eagle Forum described the bill, “Every Student Succeeds”, as Common Core by a New Name and on Steroids.  Supported by the owners of the Common Core standards, the bill (S 1177) was guided through Congress by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Concluding thoughts

Suggestions given by Mr. Wood as to how parents can survive waiting out the bad years ahead: 

1) Move children out of public schools.

2) Keep children in public schools but work extra hard at home to compensate for Common Core’s poor delivery of essential knowledge and it mis-channeling of children’s intellectual development. 

Peter Wood’s current focus is to make less harsh the upstream damage to higher education.  One of his battles will be to fight the continuing effort of the College Board, under David Coleman’s stewardship, to institutionalize as much of the Common Core as possible through the SAT’s and Advanced Placement examinations.

A live stream youtube video of the Patrick Wood event can be seen here

Upcoming Heartland events in April will feature F. W. Buckley, author of “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America” on Thursday, April 14, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

On Wednesday, April 18, Brian Fojtik and Victoria Vasconcellos will speak about the impact the new “vapor wars” (e-cigarettes) have on science, public policy, business and jobs?  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

John Dewey, known as “the father of modern education,” was an avowed socialist and the co-author of the “Humanist Manifesto.” The U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities discovered that he belonged to 15 Marxist front organizations. Dewey taught the professors who trained America’s teachers. Obsessed with “the group,” he said:

“You can’t make socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society, which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.”

Author Rosalie Gordon, writing about Dewey’s progressive (socialist) education in her book, What’s Happened To Our Schools, said:

“The progressive system has reached all the way down to the lowest grades to prepare the children of America for their role as the collectivists of the future. The group – not the individual child – is the quintessence of progressivism. The child must always be made to feel part of the group. He must indulge in group thinking and group activity.”

After visiting the Soviet Union, Dewey wrote six articles on the “wonders” of Soviet education. The School-To-Work program, now in our public schools in all 50 states, is modeled after the Soviet poly-technical system.

In 1936, the National Education Association stated the position from which it has never wavered:  “We stand for socializing the individual.”

The NEA, in its Policy For American Education, opined

“The major problem of education in our times arises out of the fact that we live in a period of fundamental social change. In the new democracy [what happened to our republic?], education must share in the responsibility of giving purpose and direction to social change. The major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual . . . Education must operate according to a well-formulated social policy.” 

An excerpt from the article states:

“As recently as the early 1950s, the typical American university professor held social and political views quite similar to those of the general population. Today — well, you’ve all heard the jokes that circulated after the collapse of central planning in Eastern Europe and the former USSR, how the only place in the world where Marxists were still thriving was the Harvard political science department.”

Higher education reflects inmates running the asylum

More generally, U.S. higher education often looks like a clear case of the inmates running the asylum.  This condition can be traced to students who were radicalized in the 1960s who rose to positions of influence within colleges and universities.

One needs only to observe the aggressive pursuit of “diversity” in admissions and hiring, the abandonment of the traditional curriculum in favor of highly politicized “studies” based on group identity, the mandatory workshops on sensitivity training, and so on to fully comprehend the stranglehold the Left has managed to secure today within our schools, especially at the university level where instructors need not be as concerned with parental interference, but instead have a captive audience in which to indoctrinate our children to their Marxist philosophies

Examining Chicago’s own Bill Ayers

An example of the Socialist infiltration in education can be seen in studying former terrorist, Bill Ayers, past leader of the radical Weather Underground in the 1960s.  Ayers decided blowing up America’s federal buildings was not working out for him or his gang of like-minded extremists.  He escaped going to prison due to the FBI illegally wire-tapping his conversations, probably helped by his father’s political clout in Chicago as head of ComEd.  This lucky break most likely caused Ayes to contemplate another more effective approach to change America from within, rather than from outside the nation’s mainstream institutions.

In 1984 Ayers earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. Three years later, he received a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia UniversityHad Bill Ayers and his friends just immigrated to a socialist state, it would have been much better for this nation, but instead Ayers became entrenched in the university system where he quietly began to invade college classrooms with his anti-American philosophies. This article documents the progression of Ayer’s radical educational network dating back to the 60s.  Hired in 1987 as a professor of education at the University of Illinois, Ayers held that post until retirement in 2010, retiring with the title of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar.  As of October 2008, Ayer’s office door at the university was adorned with photographs of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Che Guevara, and Malcolm X.

By 2008, Ayers was elected Vice President for Curriculum Studies by the American Educational Research Association.  He worked with Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, with the goal of creating changes in Chicago’s school reform program.  Bill Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn continued to develop relationships and friendships with like-minded people, such as Barack Obama — even though Obama has denied knowing Ayers and Dohrn — and other Chicago politicians. It is documented that Ayers had a fundraiser in his home for Obama, and the Obamas were invited to at least one private party at the Ayers’ home.

Both men served on boards which Obama headed.  One of those boards awarded $2 million for Bill Ayers/Klonsky Small Schools Workshop.  Its goal, as Ayers repeatedly made clear, most prominently in a 2006 speech before Hugo Chavez at an education forum in Caracas, was to bring the same Leftist revolution that has always galvanized them into the classroom.  Regarding Klonsky, an unabashed communist, Obama gave Klonsky a broad platform to broadcast his ideas through a “social justice” blog on the official Obama campaign website.

Ayers was also the key force behind obtaining wealthy Annenberg’s $387 million dollar donation to Chicago schools, which became known as the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. What appeared odd is that if Annenberg’s purpose was to elevate the dismal test scores of Chicago schools, why did the grant not require the recipients of his donation to meet specific education benchmarks?  Funds were not dispersed on the basis of the schools raising test score percentages in either reading or math.  It should be noted that Barack Obama was on the founding Board of Directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and elected as the Board’s Chairman when Bill Ayers was awarded the money for his Small Schools Project.

One would hope the infusion of such major funding into the Chicago schools would have made a major difference in the quality of education.  A recent 2014 report indicated students in grades two through six did not meet the national average in reading and no grades met the national averages for math.

Obama appoints Duncan to promote progressive Common Core standards

President Obama, upon being the newly elected President, quickly initiated a committee to develop a national education program, now known as the controversial Common Core.  Bill Gates donated at least $200 million dollars to promote the education program to state governors and teacher organizations.  Others, such as the Annenberg Foundation made significant donations, but the one that raised eyebrows was a $50 million grant from a Qatar Foundation International member, who gave it to Bill Ayers with the agreement it would be used to promote Muslims’ views and lead American children away from actual historical events, replacing them with specific propaganda.

This article, published in the Chicago Reader on November 8, 1990, by Ben Joravsky, tells of “The Long, Strange Trip of Bill Ayers.” It is a riveting interview account.  The article is prefaced by:

“He [Ayers) wasn’t just any suburban-bred all-American boy; his father ran Commonwealth Edison.  Ayers didn’t just rebel; he was a leader of the Weathermen, the group that bombed the Pentagon and sprung LSD guru Timothy Leary from jail.”

And Ayers hasn’t changed since Joravsky’s November 1990 published article.  Having retired from the University of Illinois in 2010, radical left-wing activist, education expert, and domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, (wearing a Black Lives matter T-shirt) recently attended the huge Trump rally protest that resulted in the cancellation of Trump’s rally at the University of Illinois. Here is what Ayers had to say:

“I’ve never seen anything this big at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  And it’s huge.  It’s galvanized Latino students, black students, Muslim students and white students. And everybody feels like, ‘Look, this is a university’.  We don’t need . . . organized hatred spilling into our center.”

President Obama wasted no time in appointing Arnie Duncan  as his Secretary of Education who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2009.  Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he held from June 2001 through December 2008, when he resigned to join Obama in Washington, D.C.  Duncan helped convince 42 states to adopt education goals based on Common Core, and 21 of them to use tests that directly align with those standards, which were created by a bi-partisan group and attempted to make U.S. schools more challenging and the curriculum more similar from state-to-state.

Universities resemble Marxist indoctrination centers

We cannot blame just Dewey, Ayers, and Obama.   Much of the damage to our schools has been done by Teacher Unions that use mandatory teacher dues to support Leftist politicians, liberal organizations, and Left leaning school board candidates.  It is a very cozy group, and they have way too much power. Parents would be wise to investigate their children’s curriculum with a practiced eye in order to catch the clever ways liberal political viewpoints are strategically woven into their books and study materials. Professors in colleges are not even subtle. They have captive audiences who depend upon them for good grades and rarely worry about parents.

As Abraham Lincoln wisely stated:  “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” 

Dewey, Ayers, and many others of their ilk knew this to be true and thus manipulated our universities into resembling Marxist indoctrination centers rather than schools that provide a well-rounded education that prepares students for successful transitioning to the real world. Most of us had no idea what was going on behind the iron curtain classrooms which socialists created.  Certainly this explains how socialist, Bernie Sanders, can run for president of the United States and draw large crowds applauding him.  Not too long ago, he would have been booed off the stage by outraged American patriots who understood the dangers of the socialism he advocates. 

Exposing Anti-American teaching tactics

The anti-American teaching tactics need to be exposed, but the media has also become largely liberal, thus begging the question “who will speak up for our children?”   It must be those of us who remember the way it once was, who have read and honor our Constitution, and who know the history of how clever socialists ruined once great countries.

Each of us must contact our elected officials and demand tax-payer funds be yanked from any school with unfair hiring practices and/or that reflect an unequal number of conservatives verses liberal teachers/professors.  Each classroom must be monitored for any curriculum that opposes our Constitution or our basic Founding Fathers’ principles, and there must be fairness in presenting diverse viewpoints.  The future of America depends upon all of us demanding no less.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 

ComEd’s smart meter deployment is being propelled by a public relations campaign which minimizes and/or dismisses the health and safety impacts that the wireless meters are creating for their customers. What has been known for decades about the health effects of Radio Frequency/microwave radiation is now being passed off by ComEd as a small amount of Radio Frequency being emitted from a smart meter six times a day.

A call to customer service posing the question, “Are smart meters safe?” will elicit a response, “You don’t have anything to worry about, it is safer than a baby monitor”. And, with that simple explanation, the deployment of four million smart meters is underway in Illinois. Community leaders and residents deserve a real answer and hard facts.

Throughout this article Radio Frequency/microwave radiation will also be referred to as non-ionizing or non-thermal. For clarification: A definition of thermal or ionizing radiation means it can cause heat shock or burn body tissue. Non-ionizing or non-thermal radiation is a lower intensity that can cause other negative effects on living tissue (human, animal, or plant).

Let the truth be known:

What is being hidden from the consumer and decision-maker is what has been known by the military for decades: Radio Frequency/microwave radiation even at low levels is a health threat. U.S. military reports nearly 60 years ago confirmed the biological effects of exposure to low level Electromagnetic Radiation.

Jerry Flynn is a retired Canadian Armed Forces captain with 22 years of experience in Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence. In that capacity, he worked with U.S. and NATO armies. Flynn writes:

“In 1956 the U.S. Department of Defense directed the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force to investigate the biological effects of exposure to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation (RF/MW) and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). In 1957 they reported many implications: evidence it can cause cancer, damage major organs, and disrupt important biological processes. It can harm the immune and nervous systems, cause behavioral effects, interfere with the ability to learn, and damage the chemical barrier that prevents blood toxins from entering the brain. It could possibly cause genetic defects, birth defects, and general effects on growth and the aging processes.”

Flynn emphasizes, “The military noted that pulsed radiation appeared to be more harmful than non-pulsed radiation.” (ComEd smart meters emit pulsed radiation.)

Air Force Report, 1994  

A June 1994 U.S. Air Force document, entitled, “Radio Frequency/microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards”, acknowledged non-thermal health effects.  Stated in its abstract, “It is known that Electromagnetic Radiation has a biological effect on human tissue. Researchers have discovered a number of biological dysfunctions that can occur in living organisms. Exposure of the human body to Radio Frequency/microwave [RF/MW] radiation has many biological implications that range from innocuous sensation of warmth to serious physiological damage to the eye”, and added that “there is also evidence that RF/MW radiation can cause cancer

Other adverse health issues include: “mutagenic effects, cardiovascular effects, negative effects on chromosomes and notes that Soviet investigators claim that exposure to low-level radiation can induce serious CNS [central nervous system] dysfunctions”.

NASA Report, 1981

A NASA report published in April 1981, entitled “Electromagnetic Field Interactions with the Human Body: Observed Effects and Theories”, discussed what EMF and RF/microwave radiation inflicts on humans. Health effects of RF/microwave radiation that were reported are headaches, sleep problems, neurological symptoms, cardiac symptoms, memory problems, increased cholesterol, gastritis, ulcers, increased fasting blood glucose, irritability, inability to concentrate, apprehension, and cataracts (clouding of posterior part of lens in those caused by microwave radiation instead of anterior clouding as seen with regular types)Information for the NASA report was collected from over 1,000 written sources that included journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, books, abstracts, and news items.

Navy Report, 1971

In October 1971, the Naval Medical Research Institute published a research report, “Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation”,  which was a compilation of over 2000 references on the biological responses to RF/microwave radiation.  It lists well over 100 negative biological effects caused by RF/ microwave radiation. Here is a partial list from the report: corneal damage, brain heating, alteration of the diameter of blood vessels, liver enlargement, decreased fertility, sterility, altered fetal development, decreased lactation in nursing mothers, cranial nerve disorders, seizures, convulsions, depression, insomnia, hand tremors, chest pain, thrombosis, alteration in the rate of cellular division, anorexia, altered adrenal cortex activity, chromosome aberrations, tumors, loss of hair, and sparking between dental fillings.

Also mentioned in the Navy Report is, “altered orientation of animals, birds and fish”.

Barrie Trower, a British Secret Service Microwave Weapons Specialist, states:

“The paradox is how Radio Frequency/microwave radiation can be used as a weapon to cause impairment, illness and death; and at the same time be used as a communications instrument [such as in a smart meter]. By 1971 we knew everything that needed to be known. A 1976 document summarizing U.S. Defense Intelligence research is the saddest and most despicable document ever published in history. The document lists all of the health hazards caused by wireless devices and concludes: This should be kept secret to preserve industrial profit.

Since the health threats have been known for decades, where do we stand now?

At this time, the installation of smart meters is mandated by law on every home, school, and building in ComEd’s customer service territory. NO permanent opt-out option is available. Parents, who know the truth about the health risks, have nowhere to turn. There is no avenue available for parents, who are aware of the dangers, to protect their children. Does this sound like Flint, Michigan all over again?

Illinois is in the midst of an avoidable, man-made health crisis. What happens when the state faces Flint’s horrible position concerning water, but with electricity? ComEd’s smart meter deployment is creating just such a tragic situation. It is up to the residents to take action, push legislators and the Illinois Commerce Commission for a permanent opt-out, and protect the children in Illinois as well as all living beings in the state.

Part 2 –Follow this article to find out what other agencies, corporations, and organizations knew about the health effects related to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation and when they knew it. Also covered is who is sounding the alarm in an effort to protect public health and welfare.

 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Heritage’s 11th stop in its nationwide tour to “Reclaim America” took place in Chicago on Tuesday, March 8, at the Inter-Continental Chicago, 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, and attracted Heritage supporters and friends. Featured was a 4:30 p.m. panel discussion, followed by the 6:00 p.m. main event after a short break. These four strategies were cited as the way to “Reclaim America through restoring America’s Timeless Foundation.”  

The Heritage Foundation and its sister organization, Heritage Action for America, are leading a six year, $750 million campaign to Reclaim America from the destructive dominance of the Left. Located in Washington, D.C., The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America are “in” Washington, but not “of” Washington. Whereas, the Heritage Foundation does the policy work, Heritage Action goes to Congress and further, keeps a scorecard on how each legislator votes on every bill. 

Part 1: Panel Discussion

Participating in the panel discussion were Andrew McIndoe and Paul Winfree of The Heritage Foundation and Jason Yaworske from Heritage Action. As moderator, Andrew McIndoe set the stage for the panel discussion in describing the tax code as an out-of-control 70,000 page monster, this in contrast to Heritage’s pro-growth tax policies. 

Paul Winfree was introduced by McIndoe as an economist and leading voice in Washington for free markets and fiscal responsibility.  Paul is also director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, as well as the think tank’s inaugural Richard F. Aster fellow. 

Winfree noted how tax reform is shaping up to be a big issue this fall.  Every Republican presidential candidate is talking about tax reform proposals in one form or another, unlike Democrats who are  recycling policies that received top priority in President Obama’s budgets during the past eight years. In that a page of new regulations is added every day to the tax code, there is an urgency for Republican candidates to be updated with their message presentations.

Two major tax code problems were highlighted by Mr. Winfree:   1)  Fairness, relating to the horizontal inequity issue, so what one invests in and how an individual spends his own money is not the same across  board, and 2) Complexity, which gives rise to $5 – $6 billion in lost investments every year.   Americans spend 6 billion hours complying with the tax code. This leads to tax enforcement, of which tax avoidance is paramount.

Mr. Winfree further suggested that tax reform will have to wait until another administration, hopefully a Republican one.  Furthermore, spending must be taken into consideration when talking about tax reform, as the power to tax is linked to the power to spend.  Spending, as mandated by our Constitution, is threefold:  paying our debt, funding the military, and providing for the general welfare. 

Following Paul Winfree’s comments, moderator Andrew McIndoe introduced Jason Yaworske, a legislative strategist and a registered lobbying for Heritage Action. 

Mr. Yaworske’s initial comments outlined last year’s tax reform measures on the Hill.  A Task Force for Tax Reform was set up by Paul Ryan’s Ways and Means Committee.  In the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee looked into International Tax Reform.   While some progress was made, tax proposals are too often put on hold when both sides conclude that the tax reform favored would better serve as a campaign issue.  Jason predicted that tax reform during this election year would not happen.  Although legislators do recognize a need for tax reform, especially corporate, reducing corporate tax rates hit a brick wall when opposed by Democrats.

Thinking outside of the box, Mr. Yaworske suggested that Congress must be encouraged to make changes in Congressional Budget Action personnel. Presently the Congressional Budget Office hires friends who see eye-to-eye.  New blood is needed in the agency. 

A sobering thought:  $230 billion is spent on annual interest payments. This amount will balloon to $830 billion in the next 10 years if the nation’s debt is not reduced.  Because of the way Washington operates, it means nothing to speak of the debt as half as much as it was a year ago.  Why?  Because things need not be given up.  The attitude is:  If you want something, then I want this in return.  There is only one solution:  Congress must cut spending!

Check Heritage Foundation’s “Blueprint for Balance:  A federal budget for 2017”, published March 6, 2016.  It is the latest from The Heritage Foundation in its effort to present budget-cutting ideas.

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Part 2:  Main Event – 6:00 p.m:  Jim DeMInt, CEO, The Heritage Foundation, and Michael Needham, CEO, Heritage Action

With confidence, vigor, and enthusiasm Jim DeMint mounted the stage to the podium.  The crowd of well-wishers at the InterContinuental Chicago greeted DeMint with a round of applause that reflected their affirmation, admiration, and support of Jim DeMint as CEO of The Heritage Foundation. 

DeMint recounted his own remarkable entry into politics at age 47. Prior to his plunge into politics, DeMint had led a busy life.  A father of four, DeMint was involved in his community and with his business of 15 years. Having never thought about party labels, DeMint was a member of neither party.  At some point DeMint began reading policy papers published by The Heritage Foundation. Noting how many of the policies being put into practice were encouraging the wrong behavior, and in agreeing with Heritage on issues such as welfare and the tax code, DeMint came to the conclusion (a Don Quixote moment) that he too must be a Republican in keeping with those defined in Heritage’s policy positions.  

As a marketing guy, DeMint knew he had to run on an issue people cared about. Determining that Republicans wanted change, DeMint’s slogan became: “Bring Freedom Home.” Jim DeMint went to Washington, D.C. in 1999 to save the country, elected by South Carolina’s 4th Congressional district.   

Speaking from his knowledge and own experience, Jim DeMint revealed what happens when elected officials go to Washington. Seated in a room with other elected Congressional representatives, DeMint was asked to vote in favor of a bill because it would get worse when sent over to the Senate.  DeMint stood up and expressed displeasure, only to be told, “Don’t worry you’ll get used to it.”  The process as explained by DeMint: “You go to Washington to drain the swamp, but like a hot tub, it feels so good to join in.

Cited by DeMint was the twin threat of Progressiveness and the Establishment. Elaborating further, progressiveness involves centralized power where experts make decisions for folk who aren’t qualified to make decisions for themselves. Detroit, Baltimore and possibly Chicago were given as examples where governments under central management and control have failed. The Establishment includes those in our won party, who vilify others if they don’t fall in step with the establishment movers and shakers.

As DeMint cautioned, this nation has a $19 trillion debt.  She didn’t accumulate so much debt without partisanship to arrive at such an astronomical figure.  Government must be created with opportunities for all, but with favoritism toward none, to create a level playing field.  As to the job of The Heritage Foundation, it is not a political organization.  Rather, its responsibility is to be a light — such as the North Star — to guide the thinking of the public through research presented through written and on-line publications.  As DeMint stated, “We can’t win the battle from the inside.  The battle must be won by winning the hearts and minds of the people.

Following DeMint comments, Mark Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, addressed the Heritage assemblage. Needham’s Heritage Action organization involves citizens at the grassroots level interacting with members of Congress.  A telephone call takes place every Monday night to alert those in Heritage Action’s Sentinel Program to what will be happening in the Congress and the Senate during the week to follow. Sentinels then follow up accordingly by contacting their elected legislators. Needham believes that money must be taken away from the government and given back to individuals, and that Washington must be changed from the inside out.

Needham presented this brief history of Heritage Action:  From 1980 – 1990 Heritage made a big difference with its ideas and research papers.  But that was not enough.  As a 501(c)3 organization, The Heritage Foundation could not engage in direct lobbying, so it created Heritage Action to serve as its lobbying and advocacy arm in 2010. 

Heritage Action first went to battle with Mark Needham as CEO, over what became Obamacare, following the March, 2010, passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Republicans were warned not to campaign on healthcare.  However, In July, 2010, Heritage Action launched its first advocacy campaign  targeting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  By August 2010 the organization had helped to secure 170 Republican co-sponsors for a petition by Rep. Steve King to force a vote on repealing the healthcare reform.

In August of 2013, Heritage Action went into action again with its campaign to link the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” with laws to keep the federal government open or to increase the federal debt limit.  Despite the shut-down which resulted, contradicting Republican fears, the Party gained seat in 2014.

Needham reflected whether Republicans were really serious about repealing Obamacare in 2013 when they offered up for negotiation, as a requisite for consideration, Obamacare’s Medical-Device Tax which had bi-partisan support. Weren’t there far more important Obamacare issues that needed to be entertained?

There was a invitation made for those in attendance to join the Heritage Action Sentinel Program.  Noted was that citizens who are engaged and informed frighten politicians, when elected officials become aware their votes are being scrutinized by those who elect them.

A reception followed a Question and Answer session.