Thursday, February 26, 2015

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Internet-access-is-a-human-right-says-united-nations-6fbf8d8528

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Obama and UN seek to transform

The following commentary by Ben Zycher on the United Nations’ top climate change official, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), tells how the goal of UNFCCC is to “intentionally transform” the world’s economic development model. In Christina Figueres own words, spoken on February 4th:

This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model.  This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the last 150 years; since the industrial revolution.

Instead of focusing on the central issue which is addressing the cost effectiveness of the global warming issue, the main focus continues to be on the nearly irrelevant causation issue. Neither does Christiana Figueres seem to understand that a transformation of the “economic development model” is a repository of consequences unintended but predictable; foremost among them, the impoverishment of many millions of people.

Africa in the crossfire with other 3rd world countries 

Much rides on the UN Kyoto Protocol of 1992 that legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began in January 2013 and will end in 2020.

Regarding CO2 emissions in Africa: Carbon emissions are estimated to be lower compared to western and emerging countriesIn so far as South Africa is so addicted to coal and dependent on coal, the country itself has very high emissions – 13th biggest emitter in the world — in contrast to the rest of the continent, where most countries have very low emissions, or even zero emissions.

The irony is that those who are behind the U.N. Agenda 21 road map, claim all of the changes they want forced upon us are for the good of our planet and people.  That simply is not true, and South Africa is a case in point.  The cost to switch from coal towards renewable energy in South Africa would be significant.  Energy needs in Africa and other developing countries will increase as countries become more industrialized and prosperous. Restricting or reducing CO2 emissions in places such as South Africa, to those below its position of 13th in the world, would cause much hardship and limit overall the growth within the African Continent. Even in this day and age heating and cooking is widely done by African natives with animal dung patties, which is a source of unhealthful pollution.

 Questions as to why the push for a successful UN Kyoto Protocol by 2020

Some brave souls have begun questioning whether there are more sinister and self-serving reasons that the UN Kyoto Protocol be successful by 2020.  Could one covert reason be to reduce populations by making life even more difficult for third world poor populations to prosper?  In 2009 a report was published by Scientific America, first appearing in Earth Talk produced by E/The Environmental Magazine, which questioned whether the rate of people reproducing needed to be controlled in order to save the environment. They postured that human population growth is a major contributor to global warming, as humans use fossil fuels to power their increasingly mechanized lifestyles.  According to the United Nations Population Fund, human population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion people during the course of the 20th century.  It was that unprecedented increase that began to concern people, who then began looking for ways to control our population. The United Nations Population Fund, likewise predicts that fast-growing, developing countries will contribute more than half of global CO2 emissions by 2050, thereby erasing other countries’ adoption of long held over-consumptive ways.

This article also published in 2009, began raising the question as to whether, given population and sustainability, the planet could avoid not limiting the number of people (or slowing the rise in human numbers) to save the planet.

Alex Epstein, in his book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” — adapted from a published review by Jay Lehr, Director of Science at the Heartland Institute — “lays out a clear story that the use of fossil fuels in the less developed world has dramatically increased life expectancy and reduced infant mortality.  Epstein further states that “millions of individuals in industrialized countries finally have their first light bulb, their first refrigerator, their first decent paying job, their first year with clean drinking water or a full stomach.” Hence, the moral case for fossil fuels is ultimately not about fossil fuels; it is the moral case for using cheap, plentiful, reliable energy to amplify our abilities to make the world a better place for human beings.

Shame on our leaders for proposing massive bans on fossil fuels with the promise that these radically inferior technologies will be their replacements, reflecting either an ignorance or indifference to the need for efficient cheap reliable energy for 1.3 billion people without electricity and over 3 billion who do not have adequate electricity.

In summing up his moral argument, Epstein made this excellent and common sense statement:

We don’t want to save the planet from human beings; we want to improve the planet for human beings. We need to say this loudly and proudly. We need to say that human life is our one and only standard of value.  And we need to say that the transformation of our environment, the essence of our survival, is a supreme virtue.  We need to recognize that to the extent we deny either, we are willing to harm real flesh and blood human beings for some antihuman dogma.

In a message to media and legislators:  “We will no longer take it!”

The time has come for truths to be told, and for the media to provide facts and articles by skeptics. We no longer are confident in the reporting on this important issue, nor do we have confidence in those who have already proven to have reported misinformation.  It is imperative that the unreported agendas of those at the highest level of government be fully documented by credible sources and revealed for what they portend for future generations of Americans.

While we are grateful more climate scientists and experts from other related fields have begun to carefully study these important issues and are finding fault with highly reported conclusions, we must demand their work be printed and reported. The views of skeptics are important for us and future generations, so that any misrepresented figures, deceptions, and mistakes are widely reported and revealed to the public.

It may become necessary for an enlightened public to demand that the media cease their practice of only publishing material that reflects the views of the U.N. and those of the ilk of Al Gore.  Accordingly, when so-called “established” facts are refuted, they must be reported as such by a media that has proven itself highly prejudiced to only one viewpoint.  The public deserves a two-sided debate, and it may come to the point citizens may have to demand it.

It is up to informed citizens, scientists and other experts to investigate and report false or questionable information about global warming in order to set the record straight.  Those with opposing opinions and fact must write letters and articles to newspapers and other offending media sources. Any media source that refuses to publish credible material should be exposed.  Derelict and biased media sources, and our elected legislators, must know that anything less is unacceptable to a concerned public.

Bravo to The Heartland Institute  for being the leader in the field of education by getting facts out to legislators here in the US, and individuals worldwide, about the false premise of global warming which has been and continues to be pushed worldwide as proposed by UN Agenda 21.

Thorner & O’Neil:  Fighting climate change through compact cities without cars (Part 1)

Thorner & O’Neil:  UN promotes Global Warming consistent with Agenda 21 (Part 2)

Thorner & O’Neil:  Man’s folly to curb CO2 emissions continues to advance unabated (Part 3)

Thorner & O’Neil:  Will Agenda 21 continue to go forward despite proven deception (Part 4) 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thorner: Children will be further left behind if states don’t grab education reins

Keeping-our-children-safe-classroom

By Nancy Thorner – 

In accordance with the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is no lawful role for the federal government in education, hence: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

 From ESEA to Common Core

Following the dictates of the 2nd amendment, the federal government has never had a primary role in the provision, administration, or funding of education. This all changed in 1965 when President Johnson passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which enormously expanded the federal government’s oversight of U.S. schools.  Historically reauthorized every five years, ESEA continued to expand with new mandates and billions of dollars in new spending.

About ESEA: Roughly 10% of the funding spent on K-12 education by the U.S. Department of Education — largely funneled through ESEA — goes to determine policies that impact everything from teacher certification, school assessment schedules, the types of program funding is spent on, and how much schools must spend in order to access federal funds.

With President George W. Bush came a bipartisan expansion and the renaming of ESEA to what we know as “No Child Left Behind.”  No Child Let Behind dictates that by the 2014-15 school year all students will have reached proficiency, with penalties for schools that do not meet the program’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  Nearly half of all American schools failed to meet AYP in 2012.  Read here about what NCLB requires of students and teachers.

It was No Child Left Behind that set the stage for Common Core.  Granted, NCLB did allow the Secretary of Education to waive some of its rather demanding provisions if a state requested relief, but the Obama administration went further by offering its own waivers in 2010 as an incentive (some say bribe) to adopt the administration’s preferred policies.  Forty-three states were receptive to the administration’s waiver that exempted them from the onerous requirement of NCLB to meet its Adequate Yearly Progress requirement.  Accordingly, the states agreed — sight unseen and in exchange for the waivers — to adopt standards that are “common to a significant number of states.”

Guess what?  The only standards that satisfied this commonality requirement are the Common Core standards.  As such states could continue to operate under NCLB and subject their schools to a cascade of penalties for failing to make AYP, or they could accede to the Obama administration’s wishes and adopt Common Core under which the federal government is dictating what is being taught in schools across the country.

 U.S. House and Senate responses for re-authorization of No Child Left Behind lack boldness

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is up for re-authorization in the next two of weeks.  A proposal was passed out of the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday, February 11th, for the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind.  The House version (an amended version of the Student Success Act), represents the largest federal law governing K-12 education policy with all the mandates that come with it.

Although the amended SSA that passed the House differs little from the proposal introduced in 2012 by Rep. John Kline (R-Minn) and could be considered a good first step, it is thought that given the new 2015 makeup of Congress, bolder conservative alternatives can be realized to improve NCLB.

Not unlike many proposal that originate in Congress, the existing House “Student Success Act” now under consideration for re-authorizing NCLB is a lengthy one at 616 pages long.  But despite its lengthy presentation, the proposal fails to take the necessary steps to genuinely limit federal intervention in education.  But is it even realistic to believe that a proposal 616 pages long would somehow reduce federal intervention in education?

The House proposal likewise maintains elevated levels of spending and does little to actually eliminate programs.  Although the House Committee does maintain that the bill consolidates more than 65 ineffective, duplicative and unnecessary programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant, as so often happens in bill-writing, the meaning of words used do matter.  In this case spending for duplicate and unnecessary program are hidden by being lumped together (consolidated) into a larger umbrella grant.

The House “Student Success Act” reauthorization discussion draft would spend $23 billion annually, which is roughly what is currently spent under No Child Left Behind. Specifically, the Student Success Act authorizes:

  • Title I (Funding for low-income districts) $16,245,163,000
  • Title II (Teacher Preparation) $2,788,356,000
  • Title III (Parental Engagement) $2,718,934,000
  • Title IV (Impact Aid) $1,288,603,000
  • Title V (Indian Education) $198,145,000
  • Total $23,239,201,000 (annually from 2016 – 2021)

In the Senate the HELP Committee, chaired by Lamar Alexander (R-TN), has produced an ESEA re-authorization discussion draft in the hope of gathering more support, which most likely will provide even fewer reductions in federal intervention. Not surprising is that the White House has already denounced the House produced “Student Success Act” because it shifts control from the federal to state levels.

In substance the House and Senate proposals mirror each other more than they differ.  Not good is that both proposals fail to sufficiently reduce federal intervention in education and therefore miss a golden opportunity to advance conservative principles. Despite the evident flaws, the committees in both the House and the Senate have expressed a desire to quickly reauthorize the NCLB law.

 Ballooning spending and a bloated federal bureaucracy restrict education progress 

How is it that this nation spends more money per student than any other country in the world except for Luxembourg, and yet scores below the Slovak Republican and the Russian Federation, both of which have a vastly lower standard of living and spend but a fraction of what this nation spends on education.  In 2012 alone the American taxpayers footed education to the tune of $25 billion.  And what about achievement results?  They have remained flat or have increased only slightly.

Not only is educational spending ballooning, but so is the bureaucracy that oversees education in Washington, D.C.  The federal Department of Education employs some 4,200 people.  At the state level an average of 540 individuals are employed in each state’s education agencies.  Need I say more about the cost factor of federal intervention in education?  Title I, a section of the Elementary and Secondary Act passed by President Johnson in 1965, costs states and school districts 7.8 million man-hours every year to administer.

 Suggested strategies for legislators to employ in re-authorization of NCLB

Following are suggested strategies for taking the federal government out of the education business when No Child Left Behind comes up for re-authorization in the next two weeks.

  1. An A-PLUS Approach
  2. Reduction of Federal Footprint.
  3. True Title 1 Portability.
  4. Elimination of Federal Mandates.
  5. Strengthen Prohibitions on National Standards and Testing.

The A-Plus Approach by itself would enable states to lead on education reform by allowing them to completely opt out of NCLB and then decide how their education dollars would be spent. Thus, all of a state’s federal funding authorized under NCLB could be used for any other lawful education purpose deemed beneficial.

It goes without reason that those interested in restoring state and local control of education need to advance genuine program elimination, as well as commensurate reductions in spending.  Policies must be enacted that put education on the path toward restoring state and local control of education,  so options are offered to entitle parents.  This would include making Title l dollars portable to public and private schools of choice.

 Getting engaged at local level

 In a message to U.S. House and Senate members, your present proposals fail to get the government out of the education business.  Instead, bold reforms are needed that are missing from your current legislative efforts to deal with No Child Left Behind. Policymakers should empower states to completely exit the 600-page law .  A half-century of federal meddling in education has produced very little except for growth in Washington bureaucracy at the expense of parents and local control.  Evidence accumulated over the last five decades attest to the ineffectiveness of federal government intervention in improving educational outcomes, over that of policy makers at the state and local levels.   NCLB is everything that’s wrong with the federal government’s involvement in education.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

College-graduation-ceremony

By Nancy Thorner – 

In the run up to President Obama’s election to his first term in office in 2008, there was much made of Obama’s remark about the resentment of his candidacy in smalltown, Pennsylvania, where residents cling to religion, guns, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration.

Recently former governor of Vermont, Dr. Howard Dean, a physician-turned politician who is best remembered for his 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, was guilty of discrimination against many of the same individuals when he attacked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a potential candidate for president in 2016, for not finishing college. Dean believes Scott Walker isn’t qualified to be president because he lacks a college degree. Said Dean, “If elected, Walker would be the first president in many generations that did not have a college degree.”

In the current political scene, Scott Walker, the heretofore little-known governor of Wisconsin, is emerging as the main challenger to Jeb Bush in the race to become the Republicans’ 2016 presidential candidate.  But while Jeb Bush is raising tens of millions of dollars and attracting huge media attention everywhere he goes, various polls indicate that a quiet momentum is building for Governor Scott Walker.  Many Republicans are being attracted to Walker for winning a series of bruising showdowns with public sector unions in Wisconsin in a state that leans Democrat.  Elected as governor in 2010, Walker survived a special recall election in 2012, and defied naysayers by being re-elected last November.

In reference to Dean’s remark and Walker’s lack of a college, 40% of the population have a college degree with slightly more having some college education. It never mattered to Dean and other Democrats that President George W. Bush had an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a Graduate Degree from Howard Business School.  Bush was routinely called a “nitwit” and “stupid” during his presidency.

As far as never earning a college degree Charles Krauthammer had this to say wondering, “Where’s the story here? Student who is bored with his studies with a year to go in credits in his senior year, interested in other events is offered a good job and leaves? That’s a story? That’s a dog bites man story.”

According to Walker, he dropped out of Marquette University in his senior year because he took a job with the American Red Cross. He was 36 credits short of receiving a degree.

Howard Dean’s attack against Governor Walker was not a surprise, for this is the strategy used by the Democratic Party when perceived that a Republican candidate is gaining traction in the public eye.  More Democratic attacks will follow to knock Walker down a peg or two, as will the use of smear campaigns designed to degrade other Republican candidates who show promise.

Dean should have done his homework before hurling his spurious comment against Governor Walker.  Dr. Dean just insulted 60% of the American people who don’t have college degrees, yet have succeeded or who are succeeding in life.  Some of the most brilliant and smartest minds never went to college, neither did presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.  As did Walker, founders of Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple all left college in their senior year.

Check this link for 100 top entrepreneurs who succeeded without college degrees. The young author of the article, Josh Hudson, made these all too true and disheartening statements:

Getting a college degree can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet once you are out, there is no guarantee of success. A pretty risky investment.

Many business-minded people decided to take the less conventional route to fame and fortune — instead of going to (or finishing) college, they chose to start their own businesses.

Many of these people are now considered to be the Elite of the Elite and did so all without a piece of paper stating that they were approved to be in the American workforce.

Who gets a college degree is still starkly divided by race – 27.6 percent of blacks, 23.4 percent of Native Americans and 19.8 percent of Latinos hold at least a two-year degree, compared to 43.9 percent of whites and 59.4 percent of Asians.  With more Americans headed to college, the findings of a new Gallup poll indicates that paying for college expenses is the most common financial challenge facing those between the ages of 18 and 49.

As many young adults are finding out the hard way, a college degree doesn’t add up to a great job in ones field of study.  Many college graduates are unable to find jobs, while staring at their accumulated college financial burden with no way of paying it back their college debts.

It doesn’t take a college degree to have common sense or to be passionate about an idea that is your own to explore and develop.  For if common sense is lacking, or not heeded, a college degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Unlike in the past when college degrees did have meaning, and before student were pushed toward college as the only way to succeed in life, college today resembles a 4-6 year extension of the propaganda program instituted in the public school system, especially now since the federal government has taken over education resulting in Common Core.

As far as a president is concerned, presidents should at all times be honest and demand those around him be honest.  A college degree does not instill these things in a president.  Obama supposedly went to Columbia and Harvard, yet he can’t talk cohesively without a teleprompter and honesty is not part of his persona.

Unless a young person wants to become a doctor or lawyer, etc., which requires special training, college is often a huge waste of money.  On the job training is what counts most, coupled with loyalty, honesty and good work ethics.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friday, February 06, 2015

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