Monthly Archives: April 2014

20 percent of American families everyone unemployed, Record food stamp usage, Record labor force participation rate, Zero Hedge interprets BLS orwellian wording, 49 million dealing with food insecurity

20 percent of American families everyone unemployed, Record food stamp usage, Record labor force participation rate, Zero Hedge interprets BLS orwellian wording, 49 million dealing with food insecurity

“11.4%: What the U.S. unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were back to January 2008 levels.” …James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, June 2013

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

Citizen Wells has extensively covered the true employment and labor force situation in this country.

Zero Hedge has interptreted the latest BLS report on family employment.

Hats off to them.

From Zero Hedge  April 29, 2014.

“The Real Unemployment Rate: In 20% Of American Families, Everyone Is Unemployed”

“According to shocking new numbers that were just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of American families do not have a single person that is working. So when someone tries to tell you that the unemployment rate in the United States is about 7 percent, you should just laugh. One-fifth of the families in the entire country do not have a single member with a job. That is absolutely astonishing. How can a family survive if nobody is making any money? Well, the answer to that question is actually quite easy. There is a reason why government dependence has reached epidemic levels in the United States. Without enough jobs, tens of millions of additional Americans have been forced to reach out to the government for help. At this point, if you can believe it, the number of Americans getting money or benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million.

When I was growing up, it seemed like anyone that was willing to work hard could find a good paying job. But now that has all changed. At this point, 20 percent of all the families in the entire country do not have a single member that has a job. That includes fathers, mothers and children. The following is how CNSNews.com broke down the numbers…

A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage. In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000—or 20 percent–no one had a job.
To be honest, these really are Great Depression-type numbers. But over the years “unemployment” has been redefined so many times that it doesn’t mean the same thing that it once did. The government tells us that the official unemployment rate is about 7 percent, but that number is almost meaningless at this point.

A number that I find much more useful is the employment-population ratio. According to the employment-population ratio, the percentage of working age Americans that actually have a job has been below 59 percent for more than four years in a row…”

“And what is even more frightening is that more families are falling out of the middle class every single day.  As a recent CNN article explained, approximately one-third of all U.S. households are living “hand-to-mouth”.  In other words, they are constantly living on the edge of financial disaster…

About one-third of American households live “hand-to-mouth,” meaning that they spend all their paychecks. But what surprised the study authors is that 66% of these families are middle class, with a median income of $41,000. While they don’t have liquid assets, such as savings accounts or mutual fund holdings, they do have homes and retirement accounts, with a median net worth of $41,000.

“We don’t expect them to be living paycheck to paycheck,” said Greg Kaplan, study co-author and assistant professor of economics at Princeton University.

The American Dream is rapidly becoming an American nightmare.”

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-29/real-unemployment-rate-20-american-families-everyone-unemployed

From the BLS report.

“The share of families with an employed member was unchanged at 80.0 percent in 2013. The likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2013 for Asian families (to 88.8 percent) and for Hispanic families (to 85.1 percent). The likelihood for white and black families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and 75.7 percent, respectively).”

Read more.

Click to access famee.pdf

 

Obamacare impact on Americans and economy, Higher premiums and deductibles, Medicare payments redirected, Employer costs passed on, Part time jobs instead of full time

Obamacare impact on Americans and economy, Higher premiums and deductibles, Medicare payments redirected, Employer costs passed on, Part time jobs instead of full time

“About two-thirds of the hospitals serving Medicare patients, or some 2,200 facilities, will be hit with penalties averaging around $125,000 per facility this coming year, according to government estimates.”…NE News Now

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

The media has done a stellar job of focusing on signups for Obamacare and how this has improved. What they have, obviously intentionally, not done is focus on the worsening impact of Obamacare on all Americans and the economy.

Citizen Wells has revealed the impact of premium and deductible increases and the job losses and part time jobs trends.

We have also explained the impact of cost increases and taxes on companies. These costs are often passed on to consumers.

The impact of Obamacare is much more far reaching.

From The Foundry April 11, 2014.

“Talking about Obamacare’s effects is one thing; seeing hard data is another.

Heritage’s newly updated Obamacare in Pictures has 15 charts that show the law’s effects on Americans—from canceled insurance policies to new taxes, Medicare cuts, reduced choice for plans, and more.

Here’s a quick look at just three of these charts and how Obamacare is hitting three groups.

YOUNG PEOPLE

Obamacare in Pictures 2014: Premiums Age 27

Obamacare says you can stay on your parents’ health insurance until you turn 26. This chart looks at what happens after that—if you don’t have employer-sponsored insurance and you have to get insured through Obamacare. If you’re trying to save for a car or house—or just paying rent to have your own place—seeing your premiums double is quite a blow.

SENIORS

Obamacare in Pictures 2014: Medicare cuts

You may recall Heritage experts’ warning that Obamacare would cut $716 billion from Medicare. That’s still happening.

Despite the Obama administration’s recent walking back of Medicare Advantage cuts for this year, Obamacare’s planned cuts to Medicare are moving forward. This chart shows which parts of Medicare are affected.”

Read more:

http://blog.heritage.org/2014/04/11/obamacare-charts-obama-doesnt-want-see/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Obamacare will require employers to make changes to their health care plans

Created on April 9, 2014

Obamacare will require employers to make changes to their health care plans

 

Thanks to commenter bob strauss.

NC legislature proposes dumping Common Core, Conservatives most vocal opposition, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest opposes common core, Gov McCrory favors, Input from parents teachers administrators citizens

NC legislature proposes dumping Common Core, Conservatives most vocal opposition, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest opposes common core, Gov McCrory favors, Input from parents teachers administrators citizens

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”…Adolf Hitler 

“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From WRAL April 24, 2014.

“Lawmakers propose dumping Common Core standards in NC”

“North Carolina would begin walking away from the Common Core standards for math and English in public schools under proposed legislation that a student committee approved Thursday.

The full General Assembly will take up the measure when it returns to session in mid-May.

“Common Core is gone July 1 if this passes,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, one of the measure’s leading proponents. “This bill puts education back where the constitution says it belongs – in the hands of North Carolina.””
“The standards have come under fire nationally. While some political liberals have questioned how the standards were developed, political conservatives have been the most vocal in their opposition. They criticize the measures as a federal takeover of education.

“We’ve allowed the Common Core standard to be hijacked by the federal government for the sake of money,” said Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union.

While he initially favored the standards, Horn said that they made the state too dependent on the federal government.

“I just feel that it is time for the state of North Carolina to take responsibility for our own education system and not be dependent upon or subservient to the federal Department of Education or anybody else outside North Carolina for what we do in education,” said Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus.

Some members of the committee, mainly Democrats, blasted the bill.

“I think we are going down this road to appease a section of the political spectrum that is more conservative and is distrustful of Obama and the federal government,” Rep. Tricia Cotham, D-Mecklenburg, said after the meeting.”

Read more:

http://www.wral.com/lawmakers-propose-dumping-common-core-standards-in-nc/13591055/

From the Greensboro News and Record April 13, 2014.

“Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core

By Dan Forest

North Carolina should have the highest education standards in the world, but we can do better than Common Core.

Four years after Common Core was adopted by the State Board of Education, many students, parents and educators are getting their first glimpse of the implications of the new standards in the classroom. Yet after months of questions about the challenges of the standards from parents and educators, few answers have been revealed. Here is why we can to better than Common Core:

1. Local control of education is a bedrock of our nation. Parents, teachers and school boards should have ultimate control and authority over the education of their children. Common Core is a copyrighted set of standards, designed by two unaccountable national trade associations and pushed by the federal government through Race To The Top grants ($400 million in North Carolina) for states that adopted the standards. These standards cannot be changed or modified by state or local authorities. The argument is that we can add to them; however, the reality is that we cannot change anything written in them. Common Core is inflexible in meeting the demands of rapid change that is occurring around the world.

2. A One-Size-Fits-All set of standards for all of education in America is un-American. America is a nation of diversity and innovation. Each student is unique, and for the first time in the history of the world, through high-speed broadband technology and one-to-one devices in the hands of every student, we have the opportunity to customize curriculum and the education experience to each and every child. Our 50 states should be recognized for the innovation laboratories that they are, and they should be allowed to innovate in education, constantly improving standards and teaching methodologies in order to share their ideas with other states. A one-size-fits-all set of standards restricts that level of innovation.

3. Why would we settle for anything less than the best standards for North Carolina? Massachusetts had the best math standards in America, so why did we not start by adopting its standards for our students? Massachusetts educators improved their standards over decades, and they had been tried, tested, rewritten and aligned with working assessments. The Common Core standards still have not been tried, tested or rewritten for success four years after adoption in North Carolina. Why would we roll out Common Core to every school and every student in our state, all at once, without proper vetting and testing?

4. Common Core does not prepare our students for STEM education or careers.The promise of Common Core was that it was to be rigorous, internationally benchmarked, and it would prepare our students for college and career. Unfortunately, experts admit that rigor is difficult to define; the standards were never internationally benchmarked, and there is much debate as to Common Core college alignment. Experts have noted that the Common Core math sequence does not prepare our students for a rigorous STEM education in the university, nor does it prepare our students for STEM careers.
Why would the Chamber of Commerce, the conservative Fordham Institute, the Gates Foundation and others support Common Core despite its inability to prepare our students for STEM careers? Because there are significant financial interests for each. Experts have also noted that replacing classic literature with informational text, such as Consumer Reports, does not help our students develop better critical-thinking skills or reading skills.

5. Teachers need to be free to teach. Common Core is just another set of bureaucratic mandates that will force teachers to teach to the test. There has been much frustration from the teaching community regarding this aspect of No Child Left Behind, so the federal government created waivers from NCLB only to replace it with more burdensome guidelines that will take creativity and innovation out of the classroom. If we want innovation in education, we should focus less on standards and more on allowing our teachers to do what they do best — teach.

These are just a few reasons why Common Core should be replaced in North Carolina, not mentioning the high cost of implementation at a time when we need to increase teacher pay. Nor did I mention technology readiness for the standards, or even data collection of student information. It is time to replace Common Core with the best standards in the world — North Carolina standards.”

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/opinion/columns/article_ef0badac-c0f0-11e3-b83a-001a4bcf6878.html

 

Cliven Bundy reveals exploitation of blacks by Democrats and left, NY Times and left call Bundy racist, Allen Keyes explains, Modern day slavery, Exploited units of human capital

Cliven Bundy reveals exploitation of blacks by Democrats and left, NY Times and left call Bundy racist, Allen Keyes explains, Modern day slavery, Exploited units of human capital

“This commentary does not oppose CHD funding of genuine, grassroots community organizations, run and supported by individual members of a parish or diocese. There is potential value and virtue in the collective voice. However, when the CHD funds Alinsky-style, church-based community organizations as in the best interest of the poor and supports organizations which advance other agendas, it divests the poor of their right to an authentic voice. This process tends to treat the poor as exploited units of human capital, rather than as human beings created in the dignity of God’s image.”…Catholic Bishops Report

“Goebbels’ observation still applies.  The lie that “Republicans are racists” has been told so often that many Americans have come to believe it.”…American Thinker April 24, 2014

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.”…Adolf Hitler

 

 
The Democrat Party and the left have exploited blacks and helped create an environment of government dependence which has led to the breakdown of the family.

In the report to the Catholic Bishops from 1997 groups such as ACORN were accused of exploiting the poor.

From WND April 24, 2014.
“BLACK LEADER SAYS BUNDY REMARKS NOT RACIST”

““He wasn’t talking so much about black folks, but about the harm and damage that the leftist socialism has done to blacks,” said former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes, who also is a columnist for WND.

The New York Times, in a report by Adam Nagourney, said Bundy, in a daily meeting Saturday with reporters and photographers covering his case, made the comments that critics are calling racist.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Nagourney quoted Bundy saying.

Bundy was recalling public housing projects in North Las Vegas.

“And in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do,” he said.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Ammon Bundy, Cliven Bundy’s son, told WND that the quotes were taken out of context and that his father was commiserating over the poor situation in which blacks find themselves because of oppressive government programs, regulations and practices.

Keyes said that was evident.

“I find it appalling that we basically have a history of the leftist liberalism that wants to extinguish black people by abortion [and] destroying the family structure,” Keyes told WND. “All of these things if you just look at the effects, you would say this was planned by some racist madman to destroy the black community.”

Then when somebody comes along to comment on that damage, the leftists all scream “racism,” he said.

“I think it’s time somebody started to recognize the racism that exists in its effects – the hard leftist ideology using the black community for their sacrificial lamb, for their sick ideology. It’s time we called them what they are,” he said.

“Now it’s racist to point it out.””

Read more:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/black-leader-says-bundy-remarks-not-racist/

From Citizen Wells September 15, 2009.

Catholic Bishops report on community organizing, Acorn

“Introduction: This commentary is submitted to the Catholic Bishops of the United States with respect to their possible consideration of changes in the organization, funding, and structure of the Campaign for Human Development (CHD). It is essential to note, however, the limited purpose and scope of this commentary:”

“COMMUNITY ORGANIZING: During the funding period of 1992-1995, CHD gave significant grants to community organizing efforts that implement many of the organizational techniques recommended by Saul Alinsky.”

“The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) which is also patterned on Alinsky’s organizational recommendations, recruits individual members.”

“To be eligible to receive CHD funds, a program must be run by the poor, benefit the poor, and change social structures that harm the poor.” However, in light of the politically oriented thrust of ACORN’s activities, it is fair to ask whether the CHD subsidies to ACORN are advisable and commensurate with the purposes of CHD.”

“This commentary does not oppose CHD funding of genuine, grassroots community organizations, run and supported by individual members of a parish or diocese. There is potential value and virtue in the collective voice. However, when the CHD funds Alinsky-style, church-based community organizations as in the best interest of the poor and supports organizations which advance other agendas, it divests the poor of their right to an authentic voice. This process tends to treat the poor as exploited units of human capital, rather than as human beings created in the dignity of God’s image.”

“There are alternative, self-determined organizations of the poor, which are supportive of life. Those alternative, grassroots community organizations do not merely serve their constituency but rather they are their constituency. They do not use community organizing to further an additional agenda.”
“It would be reasonable for the bishops to consider:

The immediate cessation of all CHD funding to Alinsky-style, church-based community organizations.

To accomplish its goals, as outlined in the People’s Platform, ACORN has developed a political alliance with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Together with others, ACORN and the DSA have formed a political party, the New Party.

National ACORN president, Maud Hurd, along with Dr. Cornel West (honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America) and a representative from the Reproductive Rights Coalition Fund, are listed as New Party supporters.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/acorn-catholics-cut-funding-in-2008-catholic-bishops-report-chd-funding-acorn-fraud-voter-fraud-community-organizers-obama-democratic-socialists-of-america-dsa-new-party-socialists-endorsed/

 

H. Brooke Paige V Vermont et al US Supreme Court case update, April 24, 2014, Obama eligibility, Natural born citizen status challege, Marbury V Madison revisited

H. Brooke Paige V Vermont et al US Supreme Court case update, April 24, 2014, Obama eligibility, Natural born citizen status challege, Marbury V Madison revisited

 

“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense,  to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells

“Moore said he’s seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a “natural born citizen” and a lot of evidence that suggests he is not.”…Judge Roy Moore interview by WND

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”…Abraham Lincoln

 

 

From H. Brooke Paige April 24, 2014.

“Wells,

Current “scoop” at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/docket.aspx  docket
13-1076 additional information appears at:
https://certpool.com/dockets/13-1076 where the case will be shown as
scheduled for conference when a date is set (no sooner than 14 days after
date set for response).

The State filed a response waver March 26th, if the case passes muster in
the conference, SCOTUS would request that the State file a response – in
the absence of which the case would proceed on the merits outlined in my
writ.

Another Vermont SCOTUS case just after mine – Daniel Brown v Vermont,
State filed response waver on was received on April 4th with the case
“distributed” on April 16th for the conference on May 2nd.
https://certpool.com/dockets/13-1113, the conference schedule is found at:
https://certpool.com/conferences/2014-05-02

I suspect that SCOTUS is awaiting “candidate Obama’s” response
(required by April 9th) before scheduling the case for conference. All
cases are considered in conference.

For now patience seems in order – the conference review is the
“gatekeeper” for SCOTUS cases – the “rule of four” decides which cases
will proceed – possibly on the May 22 or 29
http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/2013termcourtcalendar.pdf

Thank You for Your Continued Interest,

Brooke”

The FEC recently ruled in Hassan that since he was not a natural born citizen, he was ineligible for federal matching funds. That case was simple. Hassan admitted that he was not born in the US. The FEC may soon be confronted with a more complex ruling because the definition of natural born citizen has not been clarified. The US Supreme Court has failed to do their duty.

 
“The government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the legislature are defined, and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may, at any time, be pruledassed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction, between a government with limited and unlimited powers, is abolished, if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed, are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested, that the constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or, that the legislature may alter the constitution by an ordinary act.

Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.”
“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.

So if a law be in opposition to the constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.

If then the courts are to regard the constitution; and the constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature; the constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.”
“The judicial power of the United States is extended to all cases arising under the constitution. Could it be the intention of those who gave this power, to say that, in using it, the constitution should not be looked into? That a case arising under the constitution should be decided without examining the instrument under which it arises? This is too extravagant to be maintained.”
“Why does a judge swear to discharge his duties agreeably to the constitution of the United States, if that constitution forms no rule for his government? if it is closed upon him, and cannot be inspected by him?”

Marbury V Madison

 

Obama legacy middle class and jobs decline, Canada and North Dakota prosper, Embracing oil economy creates jobs and wealth, Canadian middle class better off than American

Obama legacy middle class and jobs decline, Canada and North Dakota prosper, Embracing oil economy creates jobs and wealth, Canadian middle class better off than American

“For the well-off in this country, high gas prices are mostly an annoyance, but to most Americans they’re a huge problem, bordering on a crisis.”…Barack Obama May 2008

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”…Barack Obama May 2008

“Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”…Barack Obama 

 

From Citizen Wells August 6, 2012.

“Obama’s “energy policy”, aka Chicago style pay to play politics, is destroying this country’s economy and jobs. Citizen Wells has kept you informed about the impact of high gas prices.

“Gas prices are going back up and currently average $ 3.49 in the US. One of the biggest reasons gasoline prices have not risen further is the downturn in the US and world economies.”

“In 2009 when Obama took office, gasoline averaged around $ 1.85 a gallon. Here is a chart of gasoline prices for the last 3 years.””

“TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline could mean 118,000 American jobs, if the U.S. government ever issues the permit.

A glimpse of what all this has cost the U.S. economy can be seen by looking north to Canada, where animal spirits have been unleashed in the energy sector. Canada’s close economic ties to the U.S. have traditionally meant that when the U.S. gets the sniffles, Canada gets swine flu. This time it’s been different. Part of the reason is that Canada’s housing market was not poisoned by a federal government push to put unqualified borrowers into homes they could not afford. After the 2008 collapse of the housing bubble in the U.S., the Canadian financial sector remained strong.

That alone was not enough to protect Canada from the effects of the U.S. recession. The manufacturing sector was hit hard, and in the first quarter of 2009 the economy contracted by an annualized 7.9%.

Yet Canada has outperformed the U.S. since then. In 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund, Canada grew at 3.2% versus 2.9% in the U.S. In 2011, the IMF estimates Canada will grow at 2.9%; unemployment is now 7.3%. The IMF’s U.S. growth forecast is 2.5% this year, and U.S. unemployment is 9.1%.

One explanation for Canada’s more robust growth is its strong commitment to energy, which has become more valuable in U.S. dollar terms under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s inflationary policies. Alberta is now producing two million barrels per day but expects that number will grow to four to five million within a decade.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/obama-gas-price-facts-august-6-2012-canadians-embrace-oil-jobs-canada-unemployment-rate-falls-to-7-2-percent-canadians-richer-than-americans-for-first-time/

From Zero Hedge April 23, 2014.

“The Middle Class In Canada Is Now Doing Better Than The Middle Class In America”

“For most of Canada’s existence, it has been regarded as the weak neighbor to the north by most Americans.  Well, that has changed dramatically over the past decade or so.  Back in the year 2000, middle class Canadians were earning much less than middle class Americans, but since then there has been a dramatic shift.  At this point, middle class Canadians are actually earning more than middle class Americans are.  The Canadian economy has been booming thanks to a rapidly growing oil industry, and meanwhile the U.S. middle class has beensteadily shrinking.  If current trends continue, a whole bunch of other countries are going to start passing us too.  The era of the “great U.S. middle class” is rapidly coming to a bitter end.

In recent years, I have been up to Canada frequently, and I am always amazed at how much nicer things are up there.  The stores and streets are cleaner, the people are more polite and it seems like almost everyone that wants to work has a job.

But despite knowing all this, I was still surprised when the New York Times reported this week that middle class incomes in Canada have now surpassed middle class incomes in the United States…

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — nowappear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

And things are particularly dire for those in the U.S. on the low end of the scale…

The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true.

Even while our politicians and the media continue to proclaim that everything is “just fine”, the U.S. middle class continues to slide toward oblivion.”

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/middle-class-canada-now-doing-better-middle-class-america

From CNN Money March 19, 2014.

“North Dakota wants you: Seeks to fill 20,000 jobs”

“In a new recruiting campaign to be rolled out in May, the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation is aiming to fill more than 20,000 jobs — ranging from truck drivers and oilfield workers to receptionists and food servers.

North Dakota’s huge oil boom has spurred thousands of job seekers to flock to the state for years now. In some cities, the population has quadrupled.”

“”It is being developed to target people in states with chronic unemployment, and people in industries that are high-demand in North Dakota, including: engineering, healthcare, energy, skilled trades, transportation and information technology,” the foundation said in a statement.”

Read more:

http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/18/pf/north-dakota-jobs/

 

 

Michael Shrimpton trial delayed until after 2014 elections, Shrimpton Obama born in Mombasa Kenya, CIA collected DNA from Obama and grandparent, Shrimpton to subpoena CIA and British intelligence records on Obama

Michael Shrimpton trial delayed until after 2014 elections, Shrimpton Obama born in Mombasa Kenya, CIA collected DNA from Obama and grandparent, Shrimpton to subpoena CIA and British intelligence records on Obama

“Why has Obama, since taking the White House, used Justice Department Attorneys, at taxpayer expense,  to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells

“Moore said he’s seen no convincing evidence that Obama is a “natural born citizen” and a lot of evidence that suggests he is not.”…Judge Roy Moore interview by WND

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed
–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into
history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the
Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present
controls the past.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

From WND April 20, 2014.
“In a nearly empty courtroom at the Southwerk Crown Court by the historic London Bridge, a hearing took place in a criminal case that not only has national security implications for the United Kingdom, but, curiously, is woven into the increasingly bizarre fabric of the controversy over Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility.

When it came his time to speak, defendant Michael Shrimpton, a middle-aged London barrister by profession and self-proclaimed intelligence expert, politely issued to the judge a series of interrogatories that made clear he plans to launch a vigorous defense, representing himself before the court.

The criminal charges brought by the British government against Shrimpton under Section 51(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 accuse him of falsely notifying the British government to prepare for a terrorist nuclear attack on the 2012 Olympics in London that the British government claims had no basis in reality.

It’s the same Michael Shrimpton who appears in a 2008 video that began re-circulating earlier this year on the Internet in which he claims to have been privy to shocking intelligence information on Obama’s origins. Shrimpton contends to this day that the CIA collected DNA from then-Sen. Obama and a grandparent, establishing that Stanley Ann Dunham was not Obama’s biological mother.”
“On March 17, in a courtroom devoid of news media except for WND, a short-tempered Senior Circuit Judge Alistair William McCreath, a resident judge based at Southwark Crown Court, surprised the Crown Prosecution Service and the defense by postponing Shrimpton’s trial until Nov. 10.

It was originally scheduled to begin that day.

The postponement meant any issues Shrimpton wants to pursue in his defense will not be aired in court until after the November mid-term elections in the U.S.”

“Shrimpton says he was informed that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya, in about 1960, which means, he said, the information sits in British intelligence files, because that territory was under the British Empire at the time.

Shrimpton alleged that through DNA tests conducted during Obama’s initial presidential campaign, the CIA established Stanley Ann Dunham was not Obama’s biological mother.

He said Dunham was not pregnant in July 1961, yet it is claimed that she gave birth to Barack Obama Jr. on Aug. 4, 1961.

Shrimpton said it was his understanding that the DNA samples were collected at a fundraising dinner from water glasses that were bagged after the dinner.

However, Stanley Ann Dunham’s father, Stanley Amour Dunham, died in 1992. Her mother, Madelyn Dunham, died of cancer Nov. 2, 2008, and was not know to have made public appearances in Obama’s campaign, though she did turn up briefly in an April 2008 Obama TV commercial. A TV news report on the commercial by Honolulu’s KITV said Madelyn Dunham had tried to stay out of the campaign and declined formal interviews. When a KITV reporter reached her by phone, she said she hadn’t seen the commercial and was surprised to learn she was in it.”

“In conversations with WND, nevertheless, Shrimpton doubled down on the claims he made in 2008 by asserting that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as part of his negotiations to leave Hong Kong, agreed to deliver to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow the classified U.S. military intelligence file on Obama’s DNA.

Shrimpton made clear he intends to subpoena from the CIA and from British intelligence any records either agency may have on Obama’s DNA.

“I intend to stand by my allegations regarding the Obama birth certificate, knowing that U.S. intelligence agencies will prefer to characterize me as crazy and delusional rather than admit the CIA has the files I believe they have on Obama DNA,” Shrimpton insisted.”

Read more:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/obamas-origins-resurface-at-intel-experts-trial/

From Citizen Wells March 2, 2014.

“The Barrister Michael Shrimpton video is not a recent fabrication and is by all indications legitimate.

Here is what we know.

The video was produced circa February 2008. We know this by the context of Shrimpton’s statements.

Barrister Michael Shrimpton provided the same info as stated in the video to Israel Insider in August 2008.

“Reuven Koret, Israel Insider Publisher

In August I received a curious email. As a magazine that covers international politics, with a focus on Mideast affairs, Israel Insider gets more from its fair share of baseless tips and phony rumors. I ignore most and delete them unread. This one was a bit different. It came from a national security lawyer with extensive credentials and intelligence connections that checked out, and a phone number.”

The video was placed on Google Videos by at least February 11, 2010.

The video was referenced on the following Google Group on February 11, 2010.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/uk.media.tv.misc/zZIROZDq3eg

According to Google it was scheduled  to be removed on April 29, 2011.

“On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)

We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already.”

Google videos shut down on August 20, 2012. The remaining videos were moved to Youtube.

The video was rediscovered by Gaia Militia.

“It isn’t that much of a story…I’ve been researching the German involvement in the European Union & the New World Order, I was listening to WW2 Codebreaker Dr Harry Beckhough in a playlist…the next video that came on was Shrimpton…who has never let me down yet…so I let it play…all of a sudden, I heard the name Obama mentioned and Kenya…it brought a big smile to my face, and I thought of America straight away…so I cut out the Obama parts, stuck them together and uploaded…I contact Carl Gallups straight away as I knew he was the person who would get this video where it needed to go…as far as I am aware it was from 2008…I got it from MRG – Michael Shrimpton – European Union – Legal & Legitimate? which is dated 2012…I care about the American people, and I want the best for your country…since Obama has come to power ‘watched America go down hill…I’ve watched him lie over and over and over…It all started 5 years ago when I stumbled across Dr Steven Greer…I’ve been on a roller coaster ride since then…Google deleted 5 years worth of research 3 times, I’ve been locked out of Facebook and banned from twitter 7 times…I’ve been gang stalked and had posts changed by sys admins…alot of things…all I wanted to know was if aliens are real and we ended up here”

http://www.birtherreport.com/2014/02/report-who-is-british-intel-advisor.html#IDComment799310781

The video is important for a number of reasons.

First, Barrister Michael Shrimpton  has the credentials and apparent access to privileged and classified information.

Second, Shrimpton’s statements were made matter of factly prior to Obama securing the Democrat nomination.

We knew that the Clintons found out about Obama’s eligibility deficiencies by early 2008. Bettina Viviano has spoken of this. Shrimpton states that he informed them.

Most of the information about Obama prior to and going into 2008 indicated that he was  born in Kenya. This is further corroboration.

Next step?

Barrister Michael Shrimpton should be subpoenaed by Congress and perhaps the Alabama Supreme court which still has before it the Obama eligibility appeal.

If the statements of Shrimpton are validated. Barack Hussein Obama should be arrested.

More information:

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/barrister-michael-shrimpton-obama-born-in-mombasa-kenya-in-1960-cia-dna-testing-confirms-obama-dunham-grandparents-not-linked-wikipedia-scrubs-shrimpton-profile-british-intelligence-files/

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/barrister-michael-shrimpton-video-facts-2008-video-shrimpton-claimed-obama-born-in-mombasa-kenya-in-1960-obama-camp-john-edwards-clintons-mccain-informed-shrimpton-should-be-subpoened/

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/barrister-michael-shrimpton-tipped-off-israel-insider-in-august-2008-obama-mombasa-kenya-birth-cia-dna-tests-dunhams-not-grandparents-obama-is-a-german-sleeper-agent-shrimpton-video/

http://www.birtherreport.com/

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/obama-arrest-barrister-michael-shrimpton-video-timeline-obama-born-in-mombasa-kenya-cia-dna-testing-dunhams-not-grandparents-shrimpton-testimony-could-lead-to-obama-arrest/

 

Thanks to commenter GORDO>

Another Loretta Fuddy mysterious death smoking gun, HI medical examiner autopsy reports public records, Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act, UIPA, Most of Fuddy report blacked out

Another Loretta Fuddy mysterious death smoking gun, HI medical examiner autopsy reports public records, Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act, UIPA, Most of Fuddy report blacked out

“Who benefited most from the suicide/murder of Orlando Jones?
Who benefited most from the murder of Donald Young?
Who benefited most from the murder of Lt. Quarles Harris Jr.?
Who benefited most from the suicide/murder of Christopher Kelly?
Who benefited most from the murder of Bill Gwatney?
Who benefited most from the death/murder of Andrew Breitbart?
And now
Loretta Fuddy?”…Citizen Wells

“Was Loretta Fuddy’s plane fueled or fuel tainted in Molokai?”…Citizen Wells

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

Another smoking gun in another mysterious death associated with Obama.

Most of the HI medical examiner autopsy report on Loretta Fuddy was blacked out even though these reports are subject to Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) and are a public record.

From Birther Report April 18, 2014.

“Revealed: Hawaii Keeps Autopsy Report Top Secret; Evidence Of Fuddy Death Withheld”

“Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) (HRS 92F) [1] classifies medical examiner autopsy reports as public records subject to UIPA and dictates that copies be released to an “agency or business entity” upon request. [2] Accordingly this reporter requested Loretta Fuddy’s autopsy report on April 7, 2014. [3]

When I opened my copy a week or so later I was surprised to find the seven page report was a big black hole. Every single medical observation noted during the autopsy detailing the physical examination of Loretta’s body, had faded to black.

Citing HRS 92F-13(1)(4), 92F-22 [4] and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) [5] the Maui Police Department had taken a virtual Sharpie to almost every word of the Medical Examiner’s report before releasing it.

The Hawaii Office of Information Practices (OIP) [6] is charged with administering UIPA. OIP has concluded several times that Hawaii autopsy reports are subject to UIPA and that “deceased individuals do not have a recognizable privacy interest in their autopsy reports “. [7] In fact this December 31, 1991 OIP opinion also concluded that, “Our research disclosed no provision of chapter 841, Hawaii Revised Statutes, entitled “Inquests, Coroners,” that expressly prohibits the disclosure of autopsy reports. Accordingly, it is our opinion that autopsy reports are not protected from disclosure by section 92F-13(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes.” [8] I find no evidence that HRS 841 been repealed or amended to void this section.

However, in 2003, an OIP opinion determined that, in light of HIPAA, their previous views on the rights of deceased individuals “medical records” needed to be re-visited and concluded that medical records from agencies covered under HIPAA, would also be kept private under UIPA.

But here’s the problem, coroners and medical examiners are not considered a “covered entity” under HIPAA. They are not a health care provider, a health care plan or a health care clearinghouse. [9]”

Read more:

http://www.birtherreport.com/2014/04/revealed-hawaii-keeps-autopsy-report.html

fuddy autopsy page 4221--800

I still believe that it is entirely possible that water was introduced to the fuel supply of the plane with the intent of it crashing.

A fail safe plan could have taken out Fuddy when it safely glided to the water.

 

Obama Yellen Perez Big Brother, Distortions and lies aboout economy and jobs, Orwellian employment spin, Jobs added jobs lost, Labor force plummets, Obamacare and Obama economy cause part time jobs

Obama Yellen Perez Big Brother, Distortions and lies aboout economy and jobs, Orwellian employment spin, Jobs added jobs lost, Labor force plummets, Obamacare and Obama economy cause part time jobs

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

“The Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones. As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error which could be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a ‘categorical pledge’ were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.”…George Orwell, “1984”

 

 
Of course jobs have been added over the past 5 years. Jobs have also been lost. The big story is the record drop in the labor force participation rate and the increase in part time jobs due to Obamacare and the Obama economy.

Obama, Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Perez have used the best Orwellian linguistics to portray a dismal jobs situation as rosy.

Janet Yellen gave a speech yesterday.

Yellen talks out of both sides of her mouth.

From the transcript.

“Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come a long way. More than 8 million jobs have been added to nonfarm payrolls since 2009, almost the same number lost as a result of the recession.”

“It is a sign of how far the economy has come that a return to full employment is, for the first time since the crisis, in the medium-term outlooks of many forecasters. It is a reminder of how far we have to go, however, that this long-awaited outcome is projected to be more than two years away.”

“The continued improvement in labor market conditions has been important in this judgment. The unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent, has fallen three-tenths of 1 percentage point since late last year. Broader measures of unemployment that include workers marginally attached to the labor force and those working part time for economic reasons have fallen a bit more than the headline unemployment rate, and labor force participation, which had been falling, has ticked up this year.”

“In sum, the central tendency of FOMC participant projections for the unemployment rate at the end of 2016 is 5.2 to 5.6 percent, and for inflation the central tendency is 1.7 to 2 percent. If this forecast was to become reality, the economy would be approaching what my colleagues and I view as maximum employment and price stability for the first time in nearly a decade. I find this baseline outlook quite plausible.”

“Other data suggest that there may be more slack in labor markets than indicated by the unemployment rate. For example, the share of the workforce that is working part time but would prefer to work full time remains quite high by historical standards. Similarly, while the share of workers in the labor force who are unemployed and have been looking for work for more than six months has fallen from its peak in 2010, it remains as high as any time prior to the Great Recession. There is ongoing debate about why long-term unemployment remains so high and the degree to which it might decline in a more robust economy. As I argued more fully in a recent speech, I believe that long-term unemployment might fall appreciably if economic conditions were stronger.

The low level of labor force participation may also signal additional slack that is not reflected in the headline unemployment rate. Participation would be expected to fall because of the aging of the population, but the decline steepened in the recovery. Although economists differ over what share of those currently outside the labor market might join or rejoin the labor force in a stronger economy, my own view is that some portion of the decline in participation likely represents labor market slack.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/text-of-janet-yellens-speech-2014-04-16?link=MW_latest_news
How about this gem.

“I believe that long-term unemployment might fall appreciably if economic conditions were stronger.”

Ya think?
Classic Obama lies from a speech yesterday in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

“Now, we’ve spent the past five and a half years fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs. We’ve created nearly 9 million jobs over the past four years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half. Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. (Applause.) The first time since the 1990s. High school dropout rates are going down. College attendance rates and graduation rates are going up. Our troops are coming home. (Applause.) We’re seeing an energy boom all across the country. And more than 7.5 million people have been able to sign up for health care, many for the very first time, through the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.) And 7.5 million people, by the way, is about the number that it would take to fill up Heinz Field 115 times.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/16/remarks-president-and-vice-president-skills-training

From Citizen Wells April 7, 2014.

 

“The US Labor Dept. reported the March employment data on Friday April 4, 2014.

US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement:

“Today’s report tells the story of a solid and steady economic recovery delivering more opportunity for more people. We saw 192,000 new jobs in the month of March, and the private sector has now created 8.9 million jobs over the last 49 consecutive months of employment growth. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent and is down from 7.5 percent a year ago.
“There is encouraging news across sectors. Health-care employment increased by 19,000 jobs. The average work week in manufacturing rebounded to 42.0 hours, tied for the highest mark since July 1945. Motor vehicle sales had their strongest month in seven years. At the height of the recession, there were six job seekers for every job available. Today, it’s two-and-a-half people competing for every open job.
“Without question, there is more still to do. On issues from infrastructure to immigration reform, from manufacturing to the minimum wage, there are steps Congress can take that will help more people punch their ticket to the middle class.
“For the 57th straight month (since the middle of 2009), at least one-third of jobless Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. So, priority number one must be for the House and Senate to extend emergency unemployment benefits that they irresponsibly allowed to expire more than three months ago, creating profound hardship for 2.3 million people. These benefits are a critical lifeline for job seekers struggling to get back on their feet; but they also act as a broader economic stimulus, putting money in people’s pockets and spurring consumer demand.
“The success of the Affordable Care Act is helping working families enjoy greater economic security, the peace of mind of knowing they won’t be wiped out by an injury or illness. The open enrollment period ended with 7.1 million people signing up for health coverage they didn’t have before. The ACA will help provide a shot in the arm to the economy, as people are free to start their own businesses and pursue entrepreneurial ventures now that their health insurance is no longer tied to their job.”

http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/opa/opa20140572.htm

The “1984″ analogy is obvious.

As most of you know, Obamacare is costing millions of Americans far more in healthcare premiums.

Despite the best linguistic efforts of Secretary Perez to put a positive spin on the impact of Obamacare, it is also impacting jobs.

From the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, December 11, 2013.

“——————————————-
DUKE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Duke University Office of News & Communications

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu

——————————————-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
CONTACTS: Kevin Anselmo (Duke’s Fuqua School of Business)
(919) 660-7722
kevin.anselmo@duke.edu
or
David W. Owens (CFO Magazine)
(617) 790-3000
davidowens@cfo.com

CFO SURVEY: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT COULD CURTAIL HIRING

Note to editors: For additional comment, see contact information at the end of this release.
Watch professor John Graham discuss the results (or use this link
http://youtu.be/F4oj8d5F9Jo). You may also post this video on your website. Names of CFOs who took part in the survey and agreed to speak with media are available by request.

DURHAM, N.C. — A significant percentage of U.S. chief financial officers indicate that because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they may reduce employment growth at their firms and shift toward part-time workers.

A majority of finance chiefs also believe the full Social Security retirement age should be raised to help close the budget shortfall.

Despite these issues, underlying economic conditions are expected to improve in 2014 and, except in Europe, corporate charitable giving remains strong

These are some of the findings from the latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, which concluded Dec. 5. The survey has been conducted for 71 consecutive quarters and spans the globe, making it the world’s longest running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives. Presented results are for U.S. firms unless otherwise noted.

EMPLOYMENT EFFECTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA.
One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”

Read more:

http://www.cfosurvey.org/14q1/PressRelease.pdf

From data provided by the US Labor Dept. we learn:

The Labor Force Participation Rate has dropped 2.5 percent since Obama took office in January 2009 and actually has dropped .1 percent the past year.

The number of people who could only find part time work has risen 1,055,000 since Obama took office and has risen 146,000 in the past year.

The only statement from Secretary Perez that reflects reality is:

“For the 57th straight month (since the middle of 2009), at least one-third of jobless Americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks.””

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/labor-secretary-perez-on-march-employment-numbers-fact-vs-fiction-solid-and-steady-economic-recovery-obamacare-helping-working-families-enjoy-greater-economic-security/

 

NC common core, Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Local control important, One size doesn’t fit all, Common core not vetted and tested and costly

NC common core, Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Local control important, One size doesn’t fit all, Common core not vetted and tested and costly

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

 
“When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”…Adolf Hitler 

“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From the Greensboro News and Record April 13, 2014.

“Why North Carolina should get away from Common Core

By Dan Forest

North Carolina should have the highest education standards in the world, but we can do better than Common Core.

Four years after Common Core was adopted by the State Board of Education, many students, parents and educators are getting their first glimpse of the implications of the new standards in the classroom. Yet after months of questions about the challenges of the standards from parents and educators, few answers have been revealed. Here is why we can to better than Common Core:

1. Local control of education is a bedrock of our nation. Parents, teachers and school boards should have ultimate control and authority over the education of their children. Common Core is a copyrighted set of standards, designed by two unaccountable national trade associations and pushed by the federal government through Race To The Top grants ($400 million in North Carolina) for states that adopted the standards. These standards cannot be changed or modified by state or local authorities. The argument is that we can add to them; however, the reality is that we cannot change anything written in them. Common Core is inflexible in meeting the demands of rapid change that is occurring around the world.

2. A One-Size-Fits-All set of standards for all of education in America is un-American. America is a nation of diversity and innovation. Each student is unique, and for the first time in the history of the world, through high-speed broadband technology and one-to-one devices in the hands of every student, we have the opportunity to customize curriculum and the education experience to each and every child. Our 50 states should be recognized for the innovation laboratories that they are, and they should be allowed to innovate in education, constantly improving standards and teaching methodologies in order to share their ideas with other states. A one-size-fits-all set of standards restricts that level of innovation.

3. Why would we settle for anything less than the best standards for North Carolina? Massachusetts had the best math standards in America, so why did we not start by adopting its standards for our students? Massachusetts educators improved their standards over decades, and they had been tried, tested, rewritten and aligned with working assessments. The Common Core standards still have not been tried, tested or rewritten for success four years after adoption in North Carolina. Why would we roll out Common Core to every school and every student in our state, all at once, without proper vetting and testing?

4. Common Core does not prepare our students for STEM education or careers.The promise of Common Core was that it was to be rigorous, internationally benchmarked, and it would prepare our students for college and career. Unfortunately, experts admit that rigor is difficult to define; the standards were never internationally benchmarked, and there is much debate as to Common Core college alignment. Experts have noted that the Common Core math sequence does not prepare our students for a rigorous STEM education in the university, nor does it prepare our students for STEM careers.
Why would the Chamber of Commerce, the conservative Fordham Institute, the Gates Foundation and others support Common Core despite its inability to prepare our students for STEM careers? Because there are significant financial interests for each. Experts have also noted that replacing classic literature with informational text, such as Consumer Reports, does not help our students develop better critical-thinking skills or reading skills.

5. Teachers need to be free to teach. Common Core is just another set of bureaucratic mandates that will force teachers to teach to the test. There has been much frustration from the teaching community regarding this aspect of No Child Left Behind, so the federal government created waivers from NCLB only to replace it with more burdensome guidelines that will take creativity and innovation out of the classroom. If we want innovation in education, we should focus less on standards and more on allowing our teachers to do what they do best — teach.

These are just a few reasons why Common Core should be replaced in North Carolina, not mentioning the high cost of implementation at a time when we need to increase teacher pay. Nor did I mention technology readiness for the standards, or even data collection of student information. It is time to replace Common Core with the best standards in the world — North Carolina standards.”

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/opinion/columns/article_ef0badac-c0f0-11e3-b83a-001a4bcf6878.html