President Obama declared to an impassioned crowd of students at North Carolina State University Wednesday, "If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill!" In an auditorium holding more than 9,000 people, the President rehashed the supposed economic benefits of his new $447 billion American Jobs Act, as he pleaded with the audience to help him win congressional support. But do the merits of the President’s latest legislative attempt at reviving the U.S. economy have any relation to the American citizenry’s emotional feelings for their country’s political "leadership?" Using a copy of the bill as a stage prop, Obama ordered students: "For those of you who did skip class today, I’ve got a homework assignment for you.... Tell your Congressperson that the time for partisanship and politics is over.... The time for action is now.... Yes, we can," Obama clamored, evoking loud cheers from the crowd.
Big oil and big coal are destroying the planet. That was Al Gore's message in 24 Hours of Reality, which he wrapped up last night at 7. The live, day-long webcast told listeners human-generated greenhouse gases (GHGs) are causing cataclysmic weather events worldwide, and corrupt corporate shills are working hard to sow seeds of denial. "Climate change is not your fault," Gore told his audience. "Big oil and big coal are spending big money to spread doubt about climate change." He aimed his guns at "fossil fuel interests," and much of the 24 hours compared them to tobacco companies that fought regulations in the 1960s when research linked smoking to cancer and lung disease. Big tobacco denied the problems they caused then, and big oil and coal are denying the problems they're causing now, says Gore. Time ran out before he had a chance to mention the names of the nefarious, clandestine companies at the root of this climate crisis. Which leaves one to wonder what companies he meant.
The communist Chinese regime was, at the very least, plotting to covertly arm Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in violation of United Nations sanctions as recently as late July, documents discovered in Tripoli suggest. And despite official denials, analysts and rebel leaders said Beijing had actually delivered some of the weapons stockpiles. The Libyan memos, found and published by the Canadian Globe and Mail earlier this month, describe a meeting between Gaddafi “security” officials and the Chinese dictatorship’s state-controlled arms manufacturers. Three “companies” offered their entire inventory to the Libyan despot and even promised to manufacture more if needed. The $200 million in heavy weaponry included anti-tank missiles and surface-to-air rockets capable of bringing down airplanes. To sidestep the arms embargo against Gaddafi, the shipments were supposed to be routed through third-party nations.
A new bill making its way through the Tennessee General Assembly states that a federal employee who is not designated as a Tennessee peace officer may not make an arrest or conduct a search and seizure in the Volunteer State without the express consent of the sheriff of the county in which the arrest, search, and seizure is to occur except under certain enumerated circumstances. The measure, SB 1108, is currently under consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee (a companion measure offered on the House side has been referred to the House General Subcommittee on the Judiciary). The primary author of the legislation is a lawmaker familiar with controversy — Senator Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville). Campfield received vitriolic criticism by many for another bill he sponsored derisively (and incorrectly) nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
The truth is out. The leading lady of liberal America between 1960 and her death in 1994, the standard setter of au courant women with her pillbox hats, bouffant hairstyle, and jet-set friends, the Guinevere to Camelot’s King Arthur himself, didn’t much care for lesbians and Martin Luther King and other leftist world leaders. The tapes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are out, as The New American reported, and their first installment weeks ago revealed that she thought Vice President Lyndon Johnson, the most prodigious and successful election thief in American history, had a role in the killing of her husband. The latest release contain the whisper-voiced First Lady’s thought on everything and everyone, and she even reveals a weird fact about her husband. As London’s Daily Mail rightly put it, “The fact this purring, Chanel-clad kitten had claws shouldn’t have come as a shock.”
To the list of mega-corporations bailed out by the United States government, we now must add — Europe. In an announcement that rocked financial markets worldwide, the European Central Bank announced today a concerted effort in combination with four other major central banks — the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Switzerland, and yes, the United States Federal Reserve — to use dollars rather than euros in an attempt to paper over the European Union’s economic woes. Starting in October, the Federal Reserve and other major central banks will begin auctioning allotments of dollars to the European Central Bank, which will then use the new money to shore up shaky European megabanks. The allotments, which will have three-month maturities and will be structured like typical repurchase operations (“repos”), will be issued against euro-denominated collateral and repaid, with interest, in dollars. That, at least, is the theory. Currency swaps involving the Federal Reserve and other central banks are nothing new, and have been a focal concern of Fed opponents like Congressman Ron Paul, who has long suggested that much of the Fed’s financial chicanery has been carried out in the form of such currency deals with foreign central banks, in total secrecy.
For many years, I kept track of the SAT scores for my publication, The Blumenfeld Education Letter, as an indicator of the decline of literacy in America and the continued dumbing down of Americans. And since there has been no implementation of intensive phonics in our schools, I have not expected the SAT verbal scores to improve. And apparently, I’ve been right. The latest verbal scores for the class of 2011 are the lowest on record. Indeed, the combined reading and math scores have fallen to their lowest level since 1995. No surprise when you consider that No Child Left Behind has just about left every child in the government schools very far behind. There is actually no better evidence documenting the dumbing-down process than the SAT scores. For example, in 1972, 2,817 students achieved a verbal score of 750 to 800, the highest possible score. In 1987, only 1,363 students achieved that score. In 1994, it was up slightly to 1,438. In other words, over a thousand smarties became dumber.
The ACLU is targeting a Virginia school district for displaying the Ten Commandments in one of its high schools. “The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed the lawsuit [September 13th] against Giles County School Board in U.S. District Court in Roanoke on behalf of an unidentified Narrows High School student and the student’s parent,” reported the Washington Post. “The lawsuit says the display unconstitutionally promotes a specific religious faith and serves no secular purpose.” The ACLU is demanding that the Ten Commandments be removed from school walls and that the court impose a ban on any further biblical displays. According to CBN News, “School board members voted in June to re-hang the biblical texts as part of a display that included other U.S. historical documents. More than 50 students had walked out of class in protest over the commandments removal earlier in the year.”
On Saturday, September 17, our country celebrates its 224th birthday. Constitution Day commemorates the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the 39 statesmen who signed it that day in 1787. This year, since the anniversary falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed on Friday, September 16. John Adams said the Constitution was the result of "the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen." His praise was not exaggerated; by this document the Founding Fathers framed a republican form of government unique in history, restrained within strictly defined lawful bounds. It set up limited powers for the legislative, executive and judicial branches. Because its authors knew governments tend toward corruption, they added a Bill of Rights — the original 10 amendments to the Constitution — stipulating all the things the Federal government is not allowed to do. Sadly, many Americans today undervalue the worth of our founding documents and the safeguards of freedom they provide.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed SB 736 into law in March. The new law requires merit pay for teachers and it ends tenure for newly hired school teachers. The Florida Education Association has sued Florida alleging that the new law denies teachers their right to collective bargaining and is unconstitutional. Cory Williams, one of the teachers who are included in the lawsuit, said: “The provisions of SB 736 radically transform the teaching profession — and not for the better. The expertise and knowledge of teachers have been ignored throughout this process and our constitutional rights have been trampled.” Although other states have passed laws that weakened tenure and adopted new methods of evaluating teachers, no other state has made teacher merit for pay raises contingent upon how well students do on tests. Michelle Exstrom of the National Conference of State Legislatures observed: “Florida has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the merit pay issue. They’ve just struggled to do it in a way that’s most effective for students and their teachers. You know what, it’s not clear cut how to make this work.”