Category Archives: Rich Mitchell

Twitter Hashtags Conservatives Use

Twitter is a different way of consuming and disseminating information. As a company that uses Twitter prolifically, we often get asked – how do I find Conservative content on Twitter?

Hashtags are your first, best way to locate Conservative content. Hashtags are keywords/terms that are preceded by a pound sign (#.) The most used by Conservatives are:

  • #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter)
  • #tlot (Top Libertarians on Twitter)
  • #gop (The Republican Party on Twitter)

If you are a supporter of gun rights and the second amendment, you might also search out:

  • #nra (National Rifle Association)
  • #2A (Second Amendment)

If you find other Conservative hashtags you’d like us to add to the list, post them in comments, DM @CDNNow, or email [email protected]

Once those hashtags show you something you’re interested in, just follow the people that tweeted the messages and favorite the ones that repeatedly show you things that matter to you.

 

Being Prepared for Disaster

Prepping… while it has received a bashing due to ill-conceived “reality” shows and negative news events is absolutely sane, responsible and a priority.

Preparing isn’t just about some mythical zombie apocalypse. It’s about that next tornado, winter storm, flood, or terrorist event.

There are many different considerations in surviving these events and realizing what is needed and in what order could mean the difference between life and death:

In an emergency – there are things that are more important and those that aren’t as important. Here’s a prioritized list:
First Aid – emergencies happen without warning, someone WILL get hurt
Communication – cell towers and utilities are usually compromised in an emergency. Comms might mean life or death
Water – once everyone is treated for injury and communication established, water is the most-important resource – 3 days without water can kill
– Shelter – protect yourself from the elements – a poncho, tent or lean-to can mean the difference between surviving and not
Defense – if you have the means to survive, others who do not will try to take those means from you – if you fail to defend your provisions, you WILL lose them
Food – the average human can go a few weeks without food. Make sure you don’t have to!

Obama threatens to go full-on dictator in 2014

White House senior staff are hitting the talk show circuit this weekend to relay President Obama’s newest threat: if Congress won’t do exactly as the White House wishes, the White House will go around them.

Press Secretary Jay Carney and Senior White House Advisor Dan Pleiffer made the President’s position clear on ABC’s “This Week” and Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday.”

Carney spun the dictatorial threat by saying that President Obama would work with Congress where possible, but will “bypass Congress where necessary” – a thinly-veiled threat to Congress to get-in-line or be circumvented by Presidential proclamation.

Pleiffer took an even more vague approach to informing Congress that the President will either get his way or throw a tantrum: “The President has a pen, and he has a phone, and he’s going to use those” – the pen threat conceivably hinting that the President will issue Executive Order edicts for any initiative on which the President has been unable to lead a divided government.

Unlike effective Presidents like Clinton or Reagan, Obama has been unable to lead a divided Congress to pass much of anything. Obamacare was passed with both the House and Senate being held by Democrats and most everything else the President has done through Executive Order, administrative action or other non-legislative paths.

Obama started his first term leading a parade. Democrats had control of Congress, he had just won the majority of the American vote and held high approval numbers – all squandered trying to push a heavily-extremist liberal agenda.

After shoving the incredibly unpopular Affordable Care Act down the throats of Americans, Democrats lost the majority in the House and Obama had to either lead a divided government or flounder. His current approval ratings have pegged-out on the floundering side.

Threats, like those issued by Carney and Pleiffer, are not how a confident leader gets things done. Compromise is difficult and in a divided Congress, compromise is required – unless you are operating in a dictatorial regime.

Now, Obama is throwing down the gauntlet: Do what I want, the way I want it, or I’ll stretch the powers of the Executive branch to their breaking point to get my way.

Obama’s DHS: Drones, Hollow Points, and Secrecy

stormfront2.org

What has our Department of Homeland Security metamorphosed into? Our third largest government agency has been stockpiling weapons and ammunition at a very alarming rate. Since early 2012, DHS and its 200,000 employees have purchased so much ammunition that many of the top weapon and bullet manufacturers have had trouble keeping up with the increased demand.

So why is our government buying hundreds of thousands of tactical weapons and millions upon millions of bullets? Do they think that the Russians are going to invade us? Do they think the North Koreans are going to show up in Washington State and take over like in the remake of Red Dawn? Do they think hygienically challenged Iranians are going to power chute into the country holding dull bladed swords and wearing dirty night shirts yelling, “Allah Akbar”?

Hardly.

Our government would never loose a wink of sleep thinking about any one of those scenarios unfolding. Our government’s enemies are not foreign, they are domestic. They are the 60 million Americans who rejected this sorry excuse for a President and are completely against his entire agenda to remake America.

When assessing the Department of Homeland Security’s actions, there is no other logical explanation or reason other than to say they are preparing for civil unrest at the very least and all out civil war at the very best.

What is so alarming and has many Americans on edge is the type of weaponry and ammunition they have purchased; in particular 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets.

Hollow point bullets for those who are not familiar with them are very different than regular bullets, or what are called full metal jackets. Hollow point bullets are designed to fray or fragment upon impact. Regular bullets when they hit their target make a smaller hole but for the most part stay in one piece. Hollow points do the exact opposite. When they hit their target they create substantially more damage by fragmenting on impact.

When questioned by members of Congress as to their motivations for such ammunition purchases a DHS spokesperson said they were purchased for “training exercises” at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.

According to retired Marine Richard Mason’s interview with WHPTV in Pennsylvania, hollow point bullets are rarely used for training purposes. In fact, in the interview Mr. Mason said, “Never in my entire military career did I know of any Marines training with hollow point bullets.”

When pressed further on why DHS has purchased and continues to purchase massive quantities of weapons and ammunition there answer was also one to be desired. The best they could come up with is buying so many in bulk allows for them to get better pricing.

Once again, this is a suspicious and ridiculous answer. First of all, hollow point bullets are almost twice as expensive as regular bullets. So why would DHS buy the most expensive, most dangerous bullets possible to save money? Furthermore, if hollow point bullets are typically not used for training purposes than why did DHS feel compelled to purchase 450 million rounds of hollow points rather than full metal jackets?

It doesn’t stop there.

They have also purchased 2,700 armored tanks that are designed to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, and improvised explosive devices. These tanks were not ordered to be used on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan. These tanks were ordered to be used on our city streets and in quiet towns all across America. In fact, many Americans have already spotted them in their neighborhoods.

So why does DHS need 2,700 ballistic arm and mine resistant military tanks patrolling our neighborhoods and towns? What do they plan on using them for? Who do they plan on using them on? These are the questions that every single American should be demanding their elected representatives in Congress ask the Department of Homeland Security.

Here is a partial list of their purchases since 2012:

450 million rounds of 40 caliber hollow point bullets, 175 million rifle ammunition rounds .233 caliber (the same ones used by NATO forces), 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, (you know, the same ones Dianne Feinstein and the Obama Administration are trying to ban), and so far over 2 billion with a capital B in total rounds of ammunition.

So now that we have the facts let’s discuss the possible reasons for all this provocative behavior by our government. You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to know that Barack Obama is a big government liberal. In fact, he is so far to the left he makes Jimmy Carter look like Ronald Reagan. Never in our nation’s history have we seen a more radical President.

The first thing any good leftist leader does when they come to power is try to get their military to go along with their agenda. If they find any major resistance to what type of change they are trying to implement they will usually resort to minimizing their strength or neutralizing it by creating a more loyal parallel force. Barack Obama’s goal has always been to create a loyal civilian army to help implement his type of transformational change.

In July of 2008 Barack Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We have got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well funded.”

We already have a civilian force Mr. President; it’s called the National Guard.

Zombie-like salivating yes we can sheeple will have you believe that the President wants to create a civilian army to help fight terrorism. The non kool-aid drinking folks on the right and many in the middle understand this is not the President’s true intent.

First off, the American military is the most powerful, most tactical, and well trained fighting force in the world. Our military is more than capable of fighting terrorism and doesn’t need a bunch of Communist radicals with Billy clubs and switchblades running around the country pretending to be patriotic freedom fighters. The only thing this coalition of Obama supporters would be terrorizing are the people that didn’t follow the President’s orders, mainly Conservatives.

Many fear that this may have been this administration’s goal all along. History has shown that during periods of major civil unrest and forcible revolutionary change many governments prepare themselves by insulating and arming their leaders while simultaneously depleting the resources of their adversaries.

So how do you make your resisters less resistant?

By purposely buying up as much ammunition as you can. Then you make sure law abiding citizens do not have access to ammunition they will need to defend themselves. Additionally, you make sure that local police departments sworn to protect and to serve their citizens suddenly do not have the tools needed to do so. Last but not least you strategically exploit a tragedy like the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting to pass draconian legislation that restricts the Second Amendment under the guise of public safety.

If millions of ammunition purchases and thousands of tactical weapons don’t keep you up at night maybe unmanned aircraft capable of eliminating United State citizens will.

Drones have been typically used in the war on terror to eliminate potential terrorist threats in other countries. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have used these unmanned aircraft to kill many high profile targets such as former Al-Qaida leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in Iraq; and American born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. This type of aircraft is highly effective at eliminating specific targets while creating very little in collateral damage.

Our government would never use these types of weapons on American soil to eliminate American citizens would they?

On March 5, 2013 Attorney General Eric Holder actually said this, “Drone strikes against American citizens on US soil are legal.” He actually uttered these exact words from his lips. This should make every single American very nervous, especially the ones who vehemently disagree with this administration.

After Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster, Eric Holder sent him a letter backtracking from his statement. The fact that he said it at all is what is so scary. This administration could and would still use drones against Americans citizens regardless of what the attorney general says.

After more questioning and pressure from some members of Congress to clarify his prior statement Eric Holder than went on to say, “Using lethal force against American citizens on US soil is highly unlikely. We hope no president will ever be faced with that decision. However if there was an imminent threat such as a domestic terror attack on the country similar to a Pearl Harbor or 9-11 it is conceivable that the use of an unmanned aircraft could be used as a viable option.” That sounds like a whole lot of wiggle room to me.

Suppose the President is walking from his motorcade one day to the White House. He is surrounded by his security detail and the Secret Service. There is a sniper within range ready, willing, and able to take him out. The sniper is spotted and a drone is dispatched to eliminate the threat. How is this legal? How does this even constitute as an imminent threat to the nation?

The answer is it’s not legal and it doesn’t qualify as a threat to the nation. It qualifies as a threat to the President. Luckily for him he has the Secret Service and his personal security detail to protect him.

Whether or not we as Americans wake up one day and find out that the President is no longer with us doesn’t constitute as a national emergency or an imminent threat. Did the world stop when John F. Kennedy was assassinated? Did time stand still when Ronald Reagan was shot? None of these events stopped the country’s everyday routines and if these events should transpire once again in the future nothing will change how we live our daily lives.

Our Constitution was set up this way. We have a line of succession when it comes to events such as assassinations. The American people will go on with their lives and the Vice President will take over.

So let’s recap.

Our Attorney General says it is legal to kill American citizens on American soil. Barack Obama has cut the military and wants to reduce our nuclear weapons capability even though many rogue nations want to destroy us. Barack Obama wants to create a 1 million member strong civilian security force to “help defeat terrorism”. DHS has refused to answer questions under oath in judiciary hearings as to the intent of their purchases, only giving lame excuses such as training and bulk pricing discounts. And finally the Democrats in Congress and the Obama Administration are trying to strip law abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves by undermining the Second Amendment. Even Stevie Wonder can see what is happening.

So what do we do?

If our government is going to make provocative purchases over and over without reason or explanation I suggest we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I would implore all Americans if they haven’t done so already to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

I think it is time for all Americans to purchase as many firearms as they can get their hands on. Handguns, rifles, assault rifles, M-16’s, hunting rifles, shotguns, carbon rifles, AK 47’s, Mac 10’s, etc.

If most Americans decided to “arm up” than maybe our government will see that as a deterrent. We need to neutralize the potential threat from this administration by showing them we are not going to go quietly into that good night. We need to make sure that our government knows that if they decided to travel down this road that we the people will guarantee it will be a very bumpy ride.

Suggested by the author:
www.joshbernsteinpoliticalwriter.com
Dismantling Washington
Dreams from my surrogate father
URGENT: How to beat Barack Obama’s executive orders on gun control
How the left uses identity politics and fear tactics to influence voters

Apologize For What?

rigerousintuition2.ca

“Apologize for what?”

These three words have inspired and motivated millions of patriotic Americans. They have become a calling card to Conservatives everywhere who are sick and tired of out of control liberalism destroying this great country. On the anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s death I’m sure he is looking down on us from that special reserved spot in heaven where the heroes lay and is smiling. In the post Andrew Breitbart Conservative era, his legacy lives on and his influence continues to grow.

From Twitter to Facebook and everything in-between, Andrew is alive and well in spirit. His death to most Conservatives, including myself is one you will always remember and not soon forget. Like a great fallen warrior his disciples have picked up where he has left off. Their very simple and loyal battle cry is, “I Am Breitbart.”

Andrew Breitbart was someone who was comfortable swimming in the belly of the beast and always relished the hatred and vitriol that he received from the left. He wore it like a badge of honor; never backing down or shying away. Andrew said things out loud that most of us would only think and that is what made him so effective yet controversial. He was the type of guy who would take ten to the chin just to deliver the one knockout punch.

Breitbart was unapologetic and his “apologize for what?” has posthumously become his trademark. He never let the left get away with anything which is why he was so demonized by them. His undercover investigative work was a major contributing factor to exposing the radical group ACORN. His work is the reason they were forced to change their name and are now thankfully defunded by Congress.

When the liberal media started to run stories about how the Tea Party was racist he called them out on it. Andrew knew that playing the race card was a Saul Alinsky tactic used by the left whenever they were losing the argument. Brilliantly, he offered a 100,000 dollar grant payable to the United Negro College Fund if they could find even one shred of evidence of racism at Tea Party rallies. Needless to say, the UNCF is still 100,000 dollars poorer.

His untimely death has always struck me as a little peculiar. Although I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories I do find the timing of his death remarkably odd. At the 2012 CPAC event, Andrew spoke about releasing “something big” on March 1st that apparently was going to be very damaging to Barack Obama. He spoke passionately about finally “vetting” Barack Obama and doing the job the liberal media has not done and refuses to do. Then coincidentally, the day he was to release this damaging information he allegedly dies of a heart attack?

More importantly, the media was very quick to point out that Andrew had a history of heart problems. The Los Angeles Police Department’s full investigation into Andrew’s death did not find any foul play and the Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy and full toxicology report which also turned up nothing.

Andrew Breitbart may be gone but his legacy still lives on. Like in war, when one soldier goes down the next soldier picks up the fallen soldier’s weapon and keeps on firing. Let’s just hope our aim is as good as his was. In this ideological war we find ourselves in we must master the strategies and tactics that Andrew perfected.

The silent majority in this country can no longer afford to be silent, or silenced. We can no longer be made to feel guilty or ashamed for our beliefs. We must be forceful in our convictions and be unapologetic for having them. This war is not about left versus right, it is about right versus wrong. This is about two very different visions for America. It is one of freedom and opportunity or slavery and bondage. As another great patriot Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not passed down through the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed down to our children and their children to do the same.”

Andrew knew this all too well and he lived his life on the frontlines of this battle. So the next time a liberal asks you to apologize for your beliefs, you tell them “apologize for what”?

Suggested by the author:
www.joshbernsteinpoliticalwriter.com
How the left uses identity politics and fear tactics to influence voters
Welcome to the dependent states of America
Obamacare is bad for business and your health
How to end the class warfare argument

Failure of the Matriarch

For generations Americans have blamed guns, laws, schools, circumstances and even traffic laws for the state of their nation – none are more responsible than those most able to turn the tide:  the matriarchs.

Many have blamed psychos, gun laws, schools, local restrictions, etc… but in reality, the failure of the traditional family is the issue.

Having a strong figure at the center of  any family prevents unethical behavior much better than any dumb-ass Senator or Representative ever could, but don’t tell them that.

Congress is useless simply because they never contemplate the future of their families – not just their direct offspring, but their entire familial legacy.

All mothers worry about their children and husband – that’s close. Only real matriarch’s worry about the continuous line that represents all of her familial lines. Most matriarchs deal with 3-7 different family lines and work out how to bring them together into a singular group. They deal with the responsibility of multiple families and they welcome the challenge.

Almost no human can make that happen – save the matriarch. Women everywhere have to ask – am I that strong? Am I that woman the media makes me to  be? Or am I – the leader of my family?

To prevent evil, one has to lead a family away from it. Legislating purity is no more sane than expecting the church to insure it. Believer or not, Atheist or other – only a human connection can prevent human tragedies. The human connection is the matriarch.

Who leads your family?

 

ACE to file amicus brief in affirmative action case

In a Monday press release ACE, the American Council on Education, stated that it was filing an amicus brief to support the University of Texas’ affirmative action admission standards in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Abilgail Fisher filed the suit after having been turned down for admission in 2008 what she believed was a decision based on her race – firmly in violation of the equal protections clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ACE said that it was filing the brief, ” urging the court to reaffirm the constitutionality of the university’s use of race and ethnicity in its admissions process.” (emphasis added)

While most Americans already knew that affirmative action was race/ethnicity-based, the fact ACE is filing a brief that flat out says it is astounding. How does changing the tone from “separate but equal” to “together and unequal” remove racial division? Why isn’t it simply… equality of opportunity?

ACE goes on to trip all over themselves by describing the pluses of the UT admissions policy:

The ACE brief argues that a core holding in Grutter remains valid: Universities can consider race or ethnicity as a “plus” factor in the context of individualized consideration of each and every applicant.

The problem here is that if race is a “plus” factor for one group, does that not make it a “minus” factor for anyone not included in the “plus” groups?

Shouldn’t the focus be on achievement? If a middle-class hispanic student and a middle-class white student both score 1160’s on the SAT and have 3.4 GPAs, why should either one’s race come into the picture at all? According to ACE, it’s about diversity:

“Courts have long recognized that diversity is a compelling interest in higher education and that individual institutions are in the best position to determine how to pursue that interest in service to their own educational objectives.”

If a school wants to have a more diverse population, it should attract top performing members of ethnic groups, not knee-cap one group because there aren’t enough applicants from another.

One Supreme Court Justice won’t be deciding the case as Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself, likely due to her involvement with the case during her tenure as the Solicitor General. That leaves a right-leaning court that may seek to apply the 14th as it was intended, not as it has been abused.

The fourteenth amendment is precisely the amendment that was cited in Brown v. Board of Education that led to the de-segregation of schools. Can the supreme court possibly argue that the Constitution should protect one group more so than another?

If the court finds for Fisher, it will overturn Grutter v. Bollinger which affirmed the use of race and ethnicity in admissions. A win for the plaintiff will likely result in the end of affirmative action in schools across the nation.

Thankful for what really matters

I’ve given my thanks to those close to me, but there are more Americans not so near that deserve some contemplation, consideration and admiration.

I’m thankful for the farmer who goes to bed weary, but awakes before dawn to tend to the fields. He who has God riding shotgun on that tractor, runs it till it won’t then fixes it so it will. Thank you farmer, producer of food.

I’m thankful for the soldier who’s standing guard upon that wall. To their families that say their Thanksgiving prayers with an empty chair at the table. Thank you protectors of freedom.

I’m thankful for business owners, the tireless engine that keeps America going – worker of 20 hour days, taker of incredible risks, creator of jobs and wealth and the real creators of jobs. Thank you makers and sellers of goods.

I’m thankful for Conservatives, especially those “with a conscience”. Defending the right of all to say their piece, defend themselves, pursue property, and live freely. Thank you defenders of the Constitution.

At it’s core, I suppose I am actually saying that I am thankful for something simpler – The Constitution itself and those that show a determined resolve to hold our founding document true. For without that document, the blessings of liberty mentioned above will be lost to those less-thankful and blissfully unaware of the damage they do.

Happy Thanksgiving from CDN and George Washington

It is very easy to get caught up in the travesties of justice, mocking of our nation and insults to her people emanating from our own centers of government and the leaders within. It would not take long consideration to find many reasons for which we could ask the question, “what the heck do we have to be thankful for?”

It also takes very little time to answer that question. Most of all, I am thankful that I have the opportunities and freedoms present simply because I live in America – the greatest nation on Earth.

I am eternally grateful to have a wonderful, loving and supportive wife and family. Without whom all things would be much more difficult and of much less consequence.

I am incredibly thankful for the wealth of talent that has coalesced around the cause of freedom  to bring CDNews to where it is today and the fantastic possibilities presented for its continued success. The leadership team of Michelle Ray, Cindi Appleberry and A.F. Branco make CDN possible. Kira Davis, AiPolitics, Nicole Pearce are the staff members that help get it done. The 40+ contributors that think about, investigate and opine on CDN are the foundation. Without each and every one of them – CDN would still be a lonely personal blog with a few hundred visits a day (you can see them all HERE).

I am, without reservation, thankful for you – our readers, twitter followers, facebook fans, and google+ encircled people (really google.. circles?). You challenge us with your replies, comments and those sometimes #headdesk-causing letters to the editor. I value even those I disagree with in the hopes of beneficial discussion and debate.

Please accept a humble Thank You from all of the staff, contributors and myself. We wish you and your families a warm, festive, family-filled Thanksgiving day.

In closing, Michelle reminded me of the proclamation that gave us this day of thanks. I find it a great proof of the foundation from which all great things in this nation have come from.

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

Tragedy Should Be A Teaching Moment

I live in North Carolina. Newbern and a few other communities are underwater and need help. This site made a contribution and  I also did from my personal funds. I then turned to my children and asked them what they they thought they should do.

My youngest is six and doesn’t fully understand money. Her answer was “ten”. I reminded her that her allowance was $1.50 or six quarters and she said, “oh, give them 2″. It took some time to figure out that she meant 1/3rd of her weekly income.

When I brought in my oldest in (9 next month) he looked at me, thought for a second and said, give them my whole allowance, I don’t need it – my eyes watered. That is the lesson I hoped to teach him, but he already knew. We give what we do not need when someone else demonstrates a need.

I had made the cash contributions before my conversation with my son, now, we will be doing even more. Tonight and tomorrow, the whole family will be digging through clothes, tools and toys that we don’t need. Those will get boxed-up and delivered to those that can use them.

We, as parents, are examples for our children. Every once-in-awhile, our children are examples for us.

My Kind of Indoctrination – Happy Independence Day

Patio on Independence Day

Old Glory is being blown by a gentle breeze, the smell of brisket, burgers and sausage waft through the air. It’s fourth of July and it’s a big deal in the Mitchell family.

It isn’t all about the stars and stripes banners hanging on the patio. It isn’t even the food. It’s sharing the greatest day in American history with some of the greatest Americans I know.

Since I can remember, Independence day has been an unannounced, no-invitations sent nor needed, family reunion. Four generations share stories and just catch up.

Conversation on politics and world events inevitably ensue and even in a closely-related set of Conservatives have differing ideas on how to solve the myriad of problems facing America.

Discussions of the Constitution and elections are intermingled with accounts of recent fishing, hunting, hiking and camping trips. Obviously, we are accidentally doing exactly what a Harvard Study said we do – we are indoctrinating our children and each other as American patriots.

The indoctrination is subtle, but it’s there. We are teaching our kids to disagree with their government when it gets too big, does too much, or limits liberties. We are teaching them that debate about our government is healthy and can be had and should be had. We are teaching our children that they are a part of the political system.

When we question the validity of the electoral college system, one-man one-vote, NATO and the U.N. we aren’t telling each other or our kids what to think. We often disagree on the problem or solution on many things. Instead, we are reminding everyone in attendance that they must be actively learning about and participating in the future of our Republic

That is my kind of indoctrination. My kind of Independence Day.

Charter Schools: A First Impression

For the first four years of his schooling, my son has been in a traditional public schools. At first, we had considered private schools. We visited several and even applied to one, but we also took the time to interview the principal and tour the school.

Initial Experience With Traditional Public Schools

The principal during his first 3 years really ran the place as a student-focused, parent-friendly facility. Her door was always open, the faculty turn-over wasn’t an issue and we always felt welcome to come see our kids in their learning environment any time we liked.

We volunteered to help, my wife became the class Mom for both of our kids and I helped with events and such when I could. This school was more like the private schools we had visited than the public schools I remembered -until the principal changed.

When our School Turned Into a Real Traditional Public School

This last year, the school has been the proto-typical traditional public school. Parents are almost discouraged from being in the classroom, the principal is available by appointment only, faculty turn-over is nightmarish and it seems like little – if any – learning is happening in the classroom.

In the current school year, our son has had FOUR different teachers. His first two years he had one. Each new teacher brings a new style, different expectations and introduces instability into the classroom. Won’t the kids detach from the teacher if they think he or she will be somebody else in a few weeks or months?

We had become used to being the reinforcement mechanism in his first few years at that school. He would come home knowing a basic math or reading concept, have homework to do, and we’d help him with the tougher examples. This last year, he flat out told us that the teachers really didn’t explain how to do whatever the basic technique was so we had to first figure out what the teacher wanted him to learn by looking through the homework, then we would create a lesson, teach him, then help him with the homework. My wife and I are not educators and we may not be doing this as well as someone with all the right tools in their bag, but right now, those persons are doing a disservice to the children.

Our son gets great grades. It is expected of him. We help him whenever the need arises, that is expected of us. His current school is not living up to either his, nor our expectations and it became time to leave it behind – and we soon found that many other parents from this school were doing the exact same thing.

Getting Into a Charter School

During the year, we filed an application to a science-focused charter school. Our son loves math and science so between this or the performing arts charter school, this academy made the best sense.

We knew that if he didn’t get selected in the lottery (1,500 kids didn’t) we would be putting him in private school and cutting back some things at home to pay for it.

Last week we got the call – he’s in. We were invited to an introductory event at the school and we both attended leaving the kids with a baby sitter.

The first 5 minutes of the principals opening speech told us that this was the kind of learning experience we wanted for our children.

What is a Charter School

According to The Center for Education Reform a charter school is different that traditional schools in several ways:

  • Choice: Charter schools give families an opportunity to pick the school most suitable for their child’s educational well-being. Teachers choose to create and work at schools where they directly shape the best working and learning environment for their students and themselves. Likewise, charter sponsors choose to authorize schools that are likely to best serve the needs of the students in a particular community.
  • Accountability: Charter schools are judged on how well they meet the student achievement goals established by their charter contract. Charter schools must also show that they can perform according to rigorous fiscal and managerial standards. If a charter school cannot perform up to the established standards, it will be closed.
    Check out CER’s Accountability Report: Charter Schools for more.
  • Freedom: While charter schools must adhere to the same major laws and regulations as all other public schools, they are freed from the red tape that often diverts a school’s energy and resources away from educational excellence. Instead of constantly jumping through procedural hoops, charter school leaders can focus on setting and reaching high academic standards for their students.

The first bullet point, “choice”, I believe is the key. Because parents can choose to go to the charter school and also choose to leave it, the school can’t take a local population for granted. A charter school must be superior to surrounding traditional public schools to attract students – which is the only basis for the school’s funding.

Why We Chose a Charter School

The first few minutes of the principals speech told us almost everything we wanted to know.

  • Children are expected to exceed state requirements, not meet them
  • Students will be taught critical thinking skills so that they understand how to learn, not just what to learn
  • The curriculum is taught through projects. A goal-oriented approach to learning subject matter. A test is not the final objective of the learning experience.
  • Parents are expected to help out in the class room
    • as teacher’s assistant
    • as lunch monitors
    • on field trips
    • during events
  • The school does not take on costs that have nothing to do with learning
    • No buses
      • parents will have to work out their own transportation
    • No cafeteria
      • parents will have to make lunches for their kids (much different that those schools that won’t even allow homemade lunches)
  • The dress code reflects the real-world, professional work environment
    • No denim, sweats or athletic wear in the classroom
    • Shirts with collars are required
    • No tight-fitting clothes

Then the teachers spoke. They genuinely seemed to love teaching in this atmosphere. They feel supported by the parents, respected by the kids, and free to teach instead of jumping through bureaucratic hoops. We were also surprised to learn that the school actually had competitive athletics – championship caliber competitive athletics. Why wouldn’t we put our kids into this school?

The Compromises

Charter schools may not be for everyone. Having no taxpayer-supported busing system helps the school contain non-classroom costs, but working parents will have to figure out how to drop-off and pick-up their children or pay for before and after-school care provided by the school or another facility. The lack of a cafeteria may be an issue for some families as lunches will have to come from home. These and other expenses are distractions from actual learning and expenses that all schools don’t need to take on.  For some families it will be too much of a burden, for us, it’s a time cost that is well worth an education-focused learning facility. This also might explain why charter schools spend $4,000 per student less than traditional schools.

Summary

As we go through our first year, I’ll write from time-to-time to let you know how the experience has lived (or not) up to the expectations set by the staff.

We know why the NEA and teacher’s unions fight against these kinds of schools, now I hope to present the case for why we should each be fighting for them – by going into the system personally.

CDN Staff Panel Live Radio Show – The Plain, Hard Truth

The Plain, Hard TruthSeveral of our staff and I made the jump to live internet radio. The Plain, Hard Truth aired it’s first show on Thursday, April 14th at 8pm Pacific/11pm Eastern. Our continuing fixed who time will be 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern.

While CDN is our serious side, the radio outlet is meant to show that we are human, not just word-churning, progressive-mashing, cynics. Ok, maybe it still will show that, but we’ll laugh about it .. or something.

This was our first episode so give it a listen as Michelle, Allenah and I talk about the worthlessness of zero tolerance rules, possible Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Mitch Daniels, the battle over budget cuts and the upcoming feature film, Atlas Shrugged.

You can listen to the archive version of the show with the player below (don’t forget to tweet and share it – we rock .. or something.

 

Listen to internet radio with Rich Mitchell on Blog Talk Radio

To keep up with the whole show and future episodes, go to the show site.

We’re All Pagans Now: U.N. Creates MOMiE

Modern DruidsPerhaps in preparation for the second anniversary of the U.N.’s “International Mother Earth Day”, the international body is set to consider a draft treaty from Bolivia that would give “Mother Earth” the same rights as people. Bolivian President Evo Morales, a socialist that believes that the planet should be granted a set of specific rights has authored a resolution that also creates a new bureaucracy, The Ministry of Mother Earth (MOMiE?).

Based on the Gaia hypothesis, poses that the planet is a living organism instead of being formed of rocks, water and numerous minerals on top of which organisms thrive. The same basis is that used by Native Americans, druids, and other pagan cultures. The Earth and it’s creatures are to be worshiped and glorified.

It would not be new for environmentalists to create or harbor a failed ideology, and certainly one in-conflict with itself. While fighting for wind and solar, they fight solar plants in order to protect the desert and wind farms to protect the birds. Now it would seem we will protect the Earth and its, er sorry, her organisms to destroy humans (um, also organisms).

Certainly those that enjoy a good steak are harming an organism of Mother Earth, but what about you salad munchers. That iceburg lettuce didn’t come from thin air.

Considering the lack of action, accountability or efficacy of the entirety of the U.N., I cannot imagine that The Ministry of Mother Earth will be much different. Every time we seek to build a new store on hallowed ground – which is all of the ground now – we will have to seek a permit through this new U.N. agency. Fishing permits, hunting licenses, farming registration, mining, gardening, timber, you name it – will all require the blessing of the high druid of MOMiE. Will this blessing will come with a regular tithe to the new church of the MOMiE? I already have a God, thank you.

One more hair-brained idea among many from the United Nations. More proof the One World Government is nothing more than a Utopian fantasy. At first, we might hope that things like this fail to pass the assembly, then again, would it matter if it did?

What’s So Scary About NPR? Nothing!

Joe Conason, a full-on liberal journalist and writer asked the question, “What’s So Scary About NPR?”. There doesn’t seem to be any relevance to the play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” other than possibly the first act where Goerge tells a story of a college buddy that “accidentally” killed his own mother and father. Here, Joe is possibly putting the last nail in NPRs coffin “accidentally”.

Mr. Conason’s article wrests with the recent video where NPR executives are exposed as willing to accept $5 Million from the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only would they take the money, they joked about most Americans and their constitutional rights. What’s worse is that they may well have offered to shield the donors from American law.

When a man posing as Ibrahim Kasaam asked, “It sounded like you were saying NPR would be able to shield us from a government audit, is that correct?” NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, Betsy Liley, responded, “I think that is the case, especially if you are anonymous.[1]

Where Joe’s article takes the ridiculous and pushes it right off the ledge of sanity is when he first makes the assertion that NPR is fair and balanced:

It has been decades since NPR — one of the least-slanted and best-reported news sources in the country — depended for a significant part of its revenue on federal funding. The amount that congressional Republicans suddenly decided to ax on an “emergency” basis, around $5 million, represents not only a tiny fragment of the network’s own financing..[2]

NPR hosted animation - Learn to Speak Tea Bag

First, anyone that thinks NPR is the least-slanted and best-reported news sources in the country… is clearly a liberal – oh wait.. we have to remember that Mr. Conason’s most-known work is a book about Conservative lies about liberals (Big Lies – 2003). Secondly, what great news!! Here’s more corroboration that NPR does indeed NOT need taxpayers to pay for the content that most of us do not want. I guess the Republicans will have no trouble axing that funding since even liberal agree that NPR doesn’t need it.

To answer Joe’s bigger question – what’s so scary about NPR?  I say, nothing.  Nothing at all.  It’s not about fear. We aren’t scared of the imbalanced coverage, leftist drivel and liberal bias of much of the media and certainly not one mainly on AM radio. We don’t want NPR de-funded because we are scared of it, we want it de-funded because it’s our money and we no longer wish to pay for programming that we don’t like. I know this might be a surprise to you Mr. Conason, but that’s how free markets work. Create products or services that consumers want, or go out of business.

Sources:
[1] http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/10/new-video-npr-was-going-to-accept-muslim-education-action-center-donation-and-hide-it-from-the-government/#ixzz1HIH5LZvW
[2] http://www.creators.com/opinion/joe-conason/what-s-so-scary-about-npr.html

« Older Entries