RIP. One More Malaria Death on to Malaria’s Annual Million Fatalities Worldwide

June 2012 opened with the closing of a coffin. Under the sun-sheltering expanse of a white canvas tent, amidst a hundred men and women, hailing from over a dozen countries, we came to give our final respects to a colleague who died of malaria. The victim, very well-educated, bi-lingual, Africa-savvy and very well-liked … an American, a wonderful example of the best our nation can offer … lost consciousness at home for hours before alarmed neighbors, after a no-show, no replies to phone calls, broke down the door and discovered the disaster, too far advanced to turn around even with emergency medical intervention.

That this person’s responsibility had been with coordination and support for prevention/treatment programs for HIV/AIDS in a number of countries across Africa only added an uncomfortable irony and a wider impact to the loss, and a reminder that HIV/AIDS infection requires a lot more purposeful intimate physical contact than just dining out in the evening at a restaurant, sitting typing at the office computer, slicing vegetables in the kitchen for dinner, playing in the yard, reading a book in a hammock at the end of a day or sound asleep alone in bed. Malaria is transmitted in the most common of circumstances, by mosquitoes which lurk in homes, schools, offices, buses, bushes, trees … even the colorful bloom-filled flower pots can shelter killers.

Malaria strikes anyone, no respecter of age, sex or social status. We nearly lost three of our own to it … in three different countries. We’ve spent days at a time in hospitals, sleeping on the floor by our children’s sides to keep 24/7 vigil during the malaria seasons, in grim solidarity with crowded clinic wards of African parents staying by their children’s bedsides, watching the life-saving drip-drip of the IVs. Over the years, we’ve hauled disoriented colleagues to the hospital who were unaware their reasoning faculties were degrading as their fevers were spiking, been part of pounding on doors to find other absent colleagues in their apartments. Every single fever must be evaluated with the potential of malaria in mind … misjudged and the costs are appalling.

We were all bitterly reminded the hard way a few days ago: in malaria zones, one has to keep track of co-workers, especially of the unmarried staff, because without a spouse or family to raise the alarm or take charge, more single aid workers die, not caught in the cross-fire of actual conflict in conflict zones, but silently on their couches in the security of their rooms. In this region, five thousand miles wide, there is not a soul who doesn’t know personally someone who’s been sick or died from it or been sick with it themselves or not been treated at least once for it, preventatively or therapeutically.

The oil companies seem to get nothing but dismissive abuse from our media and administration, so it would be inconvenient to report the number of employees of oil companies stationed overseas who’ve died of malaria or how many of their spouses and children have been lost to it as a result of their work location. Maybe we will remember next time at the pump that a percentage of any offshore-originating gallon of gas extracted out of tropical malaria-endemic zones didn’t make it to our gas tanks without a collateral human cost in malaria mortalities. Our Military, our State Department, our Foreign Service and every type of foreign-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and private company or corporation loses staff every year to malaria. That’s all despite medicines and preventative resources.

We can reduce the transmission, and protect ourselves to a point, but until malaria’s destroyed, it’s an omnipresent mortal danger. This month, as happened again this time with a face and a name we all knew, a person who lived quite comfortably over twenty years in Africa died of malaria … the parasite is extremely unforgiving of complacency.

The onslaught of the infection initially resembles flu … so staying home resting seems to be the sensible thing to do. But single adults die at higher rates simply because no one knows what’s happening to them, and before they comprehend they need help, they are incapacitated.

Yet for the toll which malaria takes on Westerners, noting that before the discovery of quinine, the malarial regions of Africa were once called, “The White Man’s Graveyard,” and Christian missionaries accepted missions to Africa knowing full well in advance they could only hope to live on average only about two years after their arrival, it is nothing compared to the magnitude of the devastation it wrecks on Africans every single day. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are sickened with it every year, up to a million die from it – men, women, children, infants and growing children in the womb, killed by the parasite before they had a chance to see the light of the world, women carrying robust babies to term, then delivering stillborn, the malaria devastation of the body … and of the spirits of the grieving. Malaria leaves widowers, widows and orphans; it strikes down breadwinners and caretakers leaving many of those who depend on them destitute or stranded.  It destroys children at higher rates than adults.

Malaria invades the liver and attacks the blood cells. The parasite enters a cell, consumes it, reproduces itself and bursts out multiple parasites, looking to invade other cells. It progresses then exponentially, destroying more blood cells. The destroyed cells float uselessly, pumped around by the heart, unable to carry oxygen or nutrients. The heart stresses pumping blood which doesn’t work, organs are damaged, the victims struggle for oxygen. Chronic sufferers, in a slow-motion downward spiral can’t sleep, yet are exhausted. They can hardly fulfill their normal tasks; they work at a greatly lowered capacity, and are extremely vulnerable to opportunistic secondary infections of all kinds, including deadly tuberculosis, thus enabling the spread of that scourge and others.

Is there any greater active mortal threat to human life on this planet today? But the priorities of today’s world are peculiar. Sudanese struggling with a deadly cholera epidemic were disgusted that epidemiological research teams had been flown to Sudan at great expense to investigate possible avian flu in literally a handful of local chickens … an urgent priority apparently based on a computer model of a hypothetical avian flu pandemic which never materialized … money which could have gone to the cholera outbreak for urgently needed treatment for real, not virtual sufferers. While doctors of virology sternly inspected a few barnyard birds, humans were literally dropping like flies a couple miles away. The terror of potential avian flu was obsessive in the media … the real cholera – well … same old same old: a short, buried paragraph … maybe.  Not noteworthy. 

Any American readers recall any news reports heralding the annual opening of the onslaught of the full-bore malaria season in thirty countries and how awful it is? No?  Did we all not get grim statistics from Iraq intoned daily from the networks?  Today, in this 24 hours, while you are reading this, more people worldwide are dying from malaria than a year of war in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.  The media can make time if they want to.  We had wealthy suburbanites outside of Washington DC earnestly ask us if we were afraid of the avian flu. With the real deal, malaria, cholera, yellow fever, dysentery, meningitis, dengue fever … well avian flu … wildly mild in comparison, bordering on a joke … has a lot of serious real-world competition.

What was going on alarmed us: WHY are so many Americans today terrified of computer models while ignorant of common brute reality? Africa is not a country, it’s a huge continent plagued by malaria. America is actually in the minority of the planet which isn’t affected by malaria … thanks to the efforts of Americans.

In America, Malaria-free wasn’t a natural gift, it had to be accomplished.

With battle triumphs under America’s belt in the war against malaria, how goes the war today?  When Bill and Melinda Gates announced their Gates Foundation’s support of anti-malaria efforts, they discovered their one gift had nearly doubled the entire world’s funding for that sector. So many people at risk and affected, yet so underfunded.

President George W. Bush committed billions to fighting and treating malaria and HIV/AIDS in Africa. When Africans came to the White House to thank him, the media mentioned not the funding, not the diseases, not Bush’s unprecedented efforts to help Africans have a better quality of life, but that he was an awkward dancer.

Decades ago, Americans broke the back of malaria parasite transmission in the United States with a massive integrated public health program.  America’s astounding transformation of Panama a hundred years ago during the construction of the Panama Canal from a deadly, disease-ridden zone to a beautiful, healthy,  tropical settlement is a tour-de-force of Occam’s Razor applied up and down to cut malaria and yellow fever out of the area, a superb case study on how it’s done.*  The anopheles mosquitoes continued on … but no longer infected with the deadly malaria parasite, yet the drive was cut short in Africa before that critical tipping point had been reached so malaria came back with a vengeance.

Environmentalists must still value their hatred of DDT over the value of human life in Africa; they constantly resist the use of it to hard-hit regions, pushing measureably less effective alternatives, yet insecticides have never been or will be a magic bullet.  Their effectiveness depends completely on the effectiveness of a combination of complementary works.  DDT was and remains the best suited of all the insecticides to the habits of the anopheles mosquitoes, yet was always simply a “force-multiplier.” Alone, it was not enough. Malaria has always required a multi-pronged attack for malaria eradication, by shovel and trowel, hammers, saws and nails basics: draining standing water, leveling ground, installation of window screens, bed nets, removal of trash, debris and other objects, denying the mosquitos stagnant water in which to lay their eggs, educating the public as to the nature and quirks of the insect enabler of their microscopic enemy, to be used against it.   The malaria parasite will die out without the vehicle of a particular species of mosquito to move it from infected person to uninfected person.

Today’s generation –  healthy and robust, beneficiaries of earlier, concerted efforts to wipe out malaria from America evidently have little empathy for doing the same efforts for Africans. Despite proof it can be done, a lazy argument that ‘we just have to live with it’ is making the rounds. Our forefathers didn’t accept that, why do the beneficiaries of their hard work shrug off their duty to the next generation or to those in this generation who are still under siege from this ruinous parasite? Our means are more than ever before in history, so why the unnecessary surrender?

The second the world believed it might be vulnerable to dying by avian flu, the media gushed and money surged to the cause … evidently the same people who panicked about avian flu cutting their own lives short don’t think malaria can reach them, so they aren’t interested. No skin in the malaria game. The ‘we have to live with it’ is really, ‘they have to live with it. Yet, if malaria re-appeared in Philadelphia or in Washington, DC where it once flourished, how long would it take for the massive public panic and a frantic outcry to DO something?

Now, at the cusp of the arrival of rains to break the long dry season, knowing the dusty ground will be inundated soon with puddles the size of ponds, ponds the size of lakes, and water, water standing everywhere in open drains, those with means have much to consider to prepare … screens, nets, repellents. Africans with little spare money prepare themselves to be stoic. The rains mean the agricultural season can begin, which means food and life, but the swarms of mosquitoes out of all that stagnant water bring death and debilitation.

It is no mystery how to stop transmission of the malaria parasite. The world, led by Americans in historical malaria eradication, has many successful historical models which wiped it out in entire regions, even before any newer innovations in drugs and technology. What is required today is to restore the will and the conscience to use what we have to decisively defeat a plague which destroys life and handicaps the productivity of a huge part of modern humanity.

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* Superb account of the malaria and yellow fever eradication program in Panama is found in The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough

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Update from West Africa:  Many thanks and welcome to Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit readers!

One Cherokee, One Vote … With Valid ID, Just like Post-Apartheid South Africa Requires

Who knew Cherokees+Elections could be trending hot regarding election integrity this year. The Carter Center, perhaps the most prestigious of the international election monitoring groups, founded by former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, with 91 election monitoring experiences in 36 countries, which provides independent expert inspections of the integrity of voter registration and voting protocols around the world, recommended in 1999 that Cherokee voters provide Photo Identification to enhance trust in “the elections process of the Cherokee Nation.”

Cherokees, being dispersed through many states, need a reliable yet simple election protocol to capture as many legitimate blood-line Cherokees as determined by “Blue Card” tribal registration to vote, while barring opportunistic folks who just claim they are Cherokee without any proof, from voting in important Cherokee Nation elections.

Carter Center Postelection Statement on Cherokee National Elections, June 1, 1999
“ATLANTA, GA….Before going into details, we would once again like to congratulate you on your dedication to well-run tribal elections and to the professionalism and unflappability of your staff. If you accomplished nothing else in this election, your voters can feel confident they have a truly secret ballot which should go a long way toward building their trust in the elections process of the Cherokee Nation.

Consistent with what was said in the opening above and …. the Cherokee Nation wishes to continue choosing its leadership through open elections, we suggest the Commission consider the following options:

Eliminate registration entirely. This can be done in several ways: Voting on the basis of tribal registration (blue card) with no permanent voter registration list maintained. Multiple voting in different precincts would be eliminated by checking tribal registration numbers against the master list; Allowing day-of-election registration (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine). The voter simply appears with the blue tribal registration card and a picture ID, casts a ballot and is logged into the system…. Key to this system is a method of ensuring the voter does not vote in several precincts …

Converting the blue card into a permanent ID card would facilitate either of the above options.”

http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc254.html

South Africa knows a thing or two about racism and discrimination. What do they require for citizens to vote in their Apartheid-Free democracy?

 SOUTHAFRICA Electoral Act, 73 of 1998  SECTION 38
“Voting procedure(1) A voter may only vote once in an election, and may vote only at the voting station in the voting district for which that voter is registered. (2) A voter is entitled to vote at a voting station — (a) on production of that voter’s identity document to the presiding officer or a voting officer at the voting station; and (b) if that voter’s name is in the certified segment of the voters’ roll for the voting district concerned.
(3) When a voter produces an identity document to a presiding officer or voting officer as required by subsection (2) (a), the presiding officer or voting officer must examine the identity document and determine whether –
Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (ss 36-38) 29
(a) the voter is the person described in that identity document; (b) the voter’s name is in the certified segment of the voters’ roll for the voting district concerned; and (c) that voter has not already voted in the election.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) (a), the presiding officer or voting officer may require that the voter’s fingerprints be taken. (5) If the presiding officer or voting officer is satisfied in respect of all the matters mentioned in subsection (3), that officer must— (a) record that the voter is regarded to have voted in the election; (aA) mark the voter’s identity document in the prescribed manner; [Para. (aA) inserted by s. 11 of Act 34 of 2003.]
(b) mark the hand of the voter in the prescribed manner;”

The Carter Center, noted in their Executive Summary of the October 31, 1991 National Elections in Zambia, this approving observation about the Zambia elections:

 “On October 31, 1991, Zambia elected a new president and 150-member National Assembly in the nation’s first multiparty elections since 1968 … a four-month comprehensive election monitoring effort of the Zambia Voting Observation Team (Z-Vote), the Carter Center of Emory University and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) organized a 40-member international observer delegation for the elections …The delegation’s principal findings … are as follows …”

 E. Voter Cards
The electoral law required only that a prospective voter be listed on the electoral roll and be properly identified. To ensure that only eligible voters cast ballots, however, the Electoral Commission, as in previous elections, promulgated regulations providing additional safeguards: voters were required to produce both national identity and voter registration cards and to have their thumbs marked with indelible ink.”

Well, maybe it’s a Black African continental cultural thang to require Black, Brown and White voters to produce identification to vote … how does voter ID go over in a Hispanic Nation?

Carter Center Postelection Statement on Dominican Republic Elections, May 18, 2000: SUMMARY
“On May 16, the Dominican people successfully exercised their right to vote for their nation’s next president. In a process marked with enthusiasm and dedication, Dominican voters went to the polls in large numbers. This commitment was echoed by fellow citizens serving as election officials, political party delegates and nonpartisan election monitors who brought intelligence, dedication and common sense to the process. The administration of the elections was enhanced by a new, modernized electoral registry that helped safeguard the process and by an unprecedented “verification exercise” to check the voter registry to prevent problems on election day…

A successful election. Though reactions to the results by candidates, parties and the public are still emerging, it appears at this point that the election has been successful overall. The Dominican people demonstrated great enthusiasm, patience and fortitude on May 16, as they went to the polls to cast their votes for a new president. Turnout was high, at about 74 percent, … Independent nonpartisan observers, both national and international, enjoyed full access to every phase of the process … Some widely anticipated problems, such as inconsistencies in the voter registry, did not materialize.

Indeed, the voter registry containing color photos of virtually all voters provided a degree of certitude about the identity of voters that should, as it is perfected in future years, provide a substantial new degree of security and confidence in the electoral process.”

Perhaps Congress can invite former President Jimmy Carter to provide expert testimony to support states voter ID laws because  it appears by their copious years of reporting, that it has been his Carter Center’s decades-long international experience that voters adequately identifying themselves to election officials provides “additional safeguards”, “a substantial degree of security and confidence in the electoral” system, no matter what country, what race, what color, what language.

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Zambia: http://www.cartercenter.org/documents/electionreports/democracy/FinalReportZambia1991.pdf

Zambia http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=989

Carter Center Election monitoring: http://www.cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/index.html

Carter Center Dominican Republic: http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc248.html

Cherokee Nation Election: http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc254.html

SOUTHAFRICA Electoral Act, 73 of 1998

http://www.eisa.org.za/WEP/comlaw.htm  links to various African country-by-country  election laws

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Time-Consuming US Schools Vs EURO-ZONE Academic Success Style: Achieving A LOT More in A LOT LESS Time

Time to learn the difference between the words gourmand (glutton) gourmet (connoisseur) and gaspillage (squandering when it comes to education. With Arizona school hours running from 32 to 35 hours a week for Elementary grades, with 30 to 40 minute lunch breaks per day, how does that compare with a rather typical Continental European Elementary School schedule, such as done in say … France

Elementary School EURO-Style

Monday    7:45 am – 11:45 am  (4 hrs)  Lunch 11:45-1:45*  (2 hrs)  1:45 pm – 3:45 pm  (2 hrs)

Tuesday         7:45 am – 11:45 am   (4 hrs)
Wednesday   7:45 am – 11:45 am   (4 hrs)

Thursday  7:45 am – 11:45 am  (4 hrs) Lunch 11:45 – 1:45*  (2 hrs)  1:45 pm – 3:45 pm (2 hrs)

Friday            7:45 am – 11:45 am   (4 hrs)

Total:        24 hours/week    (IF the student goes home for lunch) or   28 hours/week (IF the student stays for the two hour lunch break)

* Lunch. Now technically, Mondays and Thursdays are full days, requiring a two hour lunch break. Many students go home for lunch on those days and return for the afternoon session.

Due to transportation logistics problems, some schools operate what is called a ‘continuing’ day. One typical continuing day schedule for Elementary:   7:30 am to 12:20 pm = 4 h 50 minutes every day = approximately 24 hours a week.

Unsurprisingly, many parents prefer it; drop off- pick up, home for lunch and the rest of the day, and the schools don’t require the expense of a cafeteria. Meals, including packing a mid-morning snack, remain the full responsibility of the families … at home.  Hmm … radical concept … eat at home?

To add to this type of ‘grinding’ schedule, school systems have a one week break every eight weeks.  Plus, July & August: Summer vacation

USA: 32 to 35 hours per week versus 24 hours.  Currently nearly a TEN HOUR difference PER WEEK for Elementary Grades.

The Point?  If ‘hours’ and ‘homework’ and ‘number of computers’ were the keys to academic success, Americans should be #1 worldwide, but by sophomore year High School, most Continental European students no matter the country are running two – three years academically ahead of American students, which should be plain proof that more of hours/money/gadgets are not the key elements which make for academic success. It also means that students in other countries routinely graduate with higher competencies in all subjects than American students graduate with, as Americans never actually catch up.  The fall behind starts early: in First Grade.  Fail to teach SKILLS which are needed for efficiency in school work holds American kids back as kids all over the world steadily move ahead of them even in the first three years of school.

One could suggest copying the six/seven day a week with hours of after school cram-cram-cram of the Chinese and Japanese for only a marginal benefit over the Europeans, but Europeans actually have a life after school. So one has to weigh the marginal increase in exam point scoring benefits versus the human costs of a few extra points to be Number 1 Worldwide in Test Scores at the price of being completely burned-out by age eighteen versus being comfortable/competitive close at Number 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9 and be relaxed, have a social life, hobbies and be far, far ahead of American students. This isn’t about lunging from one extreme to another, but common sense.

Going by historical examples from previous behaviors of our failing schools, to solve the mess ‘education professionals’ constructed and foisted on everyone, they will propose a wonderful-sounding fix-it like … ‘Common Core Standards’ which doubles down on the same losing model, demand more hours, more money, more homework, more classroom assistants and more computers, plus suggest more dreary standardized tests they can complain about while spending their time figuring out how to cheat to cover the collapsing scores.

Remember, education professionals claiming ‘progressive’ are invoking new ‘Common Core State Standards’ to influence the public to accept, amongst other premises, that they don’t have time for this standard quality work that European schools routinely produce at fewer hours a week starting early in the First Grade with no computers in the classrooms.

(The scale below is Euro composition paper placed directly on US Third Grade composition paper).

Source: Tout Savoir CP, Hatier, Paris ; and U.S. composition sheets: ‘Softschools’ writing worksheets 3rd Grade.

How is more achieved in less time? Achievement rests on two major pillars: Solid, well-ordered CURRICULUM and actual TEACHERS who know their subjects, plus a structure where most of the workload is accomplished in class under teacher-guided supervision, not at home. Work hard during school hours, then play hard. When European students go home, they can relax, it’s their time. They focus better in class because they aren’t burned out by many tedious hours of after-school demands. Logically too, a poor home environment would not have so much of a negative effect on a student’s academic achievement if a student wasn’t required to do any school work after hours in a dysfunctional home.

Americans do have a wonderful sports structure, and worth preserving, so shorter school days and far less homework would actually make the workloads on student athletes and overall athletic participation much less onerous and more accessible to more students. Few student athletic teams, especially during say, Basketball season, would protest a drastic reduction in after-hours homework obligations.

Parents don’t accept having to work past midnight to finish office work, why do they ignore how unfair it is for their children to be exhausted by it, especially given the quality of what’s demanded? Our Arizona second grader was given 400 math problems for homework, due the next day, with no guidance on how to do the calculations – that was the parents’ job. Our high schooler had to write five essays a week and hand them in stapled together. The teacher only graded the top essay, didn’t even look at the others, even though they consumed hours and hours of after school time. That’s child abuse, not a little stay-sharp practice.

If schools expect students to tediously try-and-fail reinvent the wheel, then schools are a waste of time. Education is meant to accelerate learning to empower students with skills to advance in life.

The needs of the students to be effective and competitive in this modern world are not the priorities in our current education system. If they were, our schools would have long ago dumped the experimental ‘progressive’ model and re-installed a proven results education model which is in use around the world today and produces competent students who outperform ours in every measure, with less effort and in less time. It is not necessary to reinvent academic structures which are currently in use for millions of students and actually work. These exist and are readily available.   Being left in ignorance enables the current progressive school failure, and the fail to serve the needs of this nation and its people is unsustainable folly.

Still Scamming Americans: Decades of Progressive Assault on Writing Skills – Dumping Cursive Via Common Core State Standards

With 41 states adopting the Common Core curriculum standards*, the self-described Education Progressives are busy nailing the coffin shut on cursive writing in the United States, condemning the next generation to illiteracy. Centuries of empowering the masses by breaking the monopoly of court scribes by teaching the average man or woman and child to read and write efficiently and it’s “progressive” to dump all that achievement on the ash heap of history?

“…an Indiana clinical psychologist, said the time children spend labouring over script could be better used …”1

“… an education official in Lawrence Township, Indiana, said there were many more important things for students to be learning at school… “I think it’s progressive of our state to be ahead on this,” 2

Oh, better used on … what, precisely? Schools stopped students laboring over math calculations and now graduates cannot even add or subtract without the crutch of a calculator. Schools stopped laboring over teaching students how to spell – let the computer do that – so with a computer, a student’s term paper looks like a Hollywood multimedia production, but without a computer a student’s term paper looks like … well nothing… because the students of today cannot actually write, spell or form grammatically correct sentences with punctuation to produce a term paper without the computer doing all the fixing.

Schools stopped the labor of teaching reading so we see reports like this week’s “Half of Florida’s high school students fail reading test.” 3

Now the very same Education Progressives, firmly on a multiple decades losing streak of FAIL, firmly proving every single time they …  is there any adequate way to say it otherwise – don’t know what the hell they are talking about – are aggressively pushing cursive handwriting out of student education. On the very same grounds: ‘progressive’ and then ‘modern’ and ‘intuitive’ and then what should be the dead giveaway: ‘we don’t have time.’

Well how about making the time? They’ve got kids in school most of the day, most of the week, most of the year and they just don’t have time to teach cursive handwriting? Really? What are they doing all day long? They don’t seem to have time to teach math, either or reading or science … judging by our atrocious international rankings. They send three hours of homework home at night, so what’s going on all those hours in the classroom?

The current ‘education’ culture is driving our nation’s younger generation into the abyss, and instead of reforming is doubling down on failure with the Common Core Standards. And the word ‘aggressively’ is accurate. Parents who don’t agree are insulted, objections are sneered at, and plain historical evidence is dismissed.  The most effective mastery of academics is 3-fold:  audio/listening to lecture, visual/reading/writing and practice/practice/practice.   Photocopied hand-outs are no substitutes for  students writing out the notes themselves.

The truth is, the education progressives have been decades chewing at the hull planks in schools forming the narrative to justify jettisoning cursive off the sinking ship of American education.  Yet cursive writing is the key life skill for fast, efficient accurate note-taking -  useful in school, at home and at work.  So goes cursive so goes effective note-taking … actions have consequences.

In harmony with other countries, American education once upon a time (up until the mid-1960s) expected all students to master cursive early on, but the Official Progressive Idea introduced that it was ‘too demanding for young children’ so they bumped cursive aside for manuscript – that is to say ‘printing,’ starting cursive instruction later rather than earlier, in most cases not before grade three.

The oversized, simple printing we associate with ‘childish’ is literally an American Progressive Education Artificial Construct dating from the 1960s that from first grade severely handicaps American students compared to their age-mates in other countries.

An unsuspecting American parent looking at a European second-grader’s handwriting thinks it’s the work of an adult. Not only an adult, but a ‘smart’ adult!  The scale below has not been exaggerated: a standard piece of French composition page simply laid on top of a US composition page.  The first three lines of the French cursive are literally kindergarten-level,  quickly shrunk to the required scale below it in first grade.  The blue grid-lines are the standard format of French composition notebooks and lined notebook paper, providing superior page guidance than American lined composition paper.  The American composition paper used here was COLLEGE-lined, considered too small for U.S. Elementary and Middle School composition paper.

Source: Cahier d’ecriture GRAPHILETTRE CP-CE1 6 to 8 years old MAGNARD, Paris

While European students just ‘do it,’ Americans have been fed a false narrative that children don’t have the ‘development’  to learn cursive in first grade. Progressives heavily employ pseudo-psychological ‘clinicalisms’ on the public to promote what can’t be ‘education’ but ‘agenda’  to obliterating education expectations. They took away precise pencils and pushed clumsy and blunt crayons into little hands – coloring implements which are so awkward that even adults can’t use them with any degree of control, much less a child.  Now from the same rotted root source of ‘Progressive Education Theory’ Americans are being coached to abandon cursive altogether. Give it up, can’t be bothered, too hard.

Other countries every day prove the lie of the American Education Progressives with fewer hours, and no oppressive drudgery of after school homework in elementary grades, other countries’ schools continue to successfully teach useful handwriting skills, top math skills, top reading and rhetoric skills which empower students to achieve in higher academics and in advanced work opportunities in every field of endeavor in this modern world. Point this inconvenient truth out and the Education Progressives show their bankruptcy by a thousand and one excuses and a lot of aggressive and insulting remarks to denigrate the messengers.

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3. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/half-florida-high-school-students-fail-reading-test-232516894.html
1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14121541
2. http://www.gpb.org/news/2011/01/18/teachers-debate-keeping-cursive-in-curriculum
http://abcnews.go.com/US/end-cursive/story?id=12749517 Forty-one states have so far adopted the new Common Core State Standards for English, which does not require cursive. Set by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA), the standards provide a general framework for what students are expected to learn before college.

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Reality Check: Was Your High Schooler Taught Skills to Compete in the ‘Global Economy?’ Sit Down … Take a Deep Breath or a Shot of Whiskey… a Peek at the French National Brevet Exam for ALL Ninth Graders

In a few weeks, at the end of the U.S. school equivalent of ninth grade, in June, all students enrolled in the French National education system worldwide are required to sit for the National Brevet Diploma Exam to demonstrate academic competencies in order to continue to the next grade, which would be ‘Seconde’ – the equivalent to the U.S. tenth grade level.

Students have two chances to pass, a fail generally requires repeating the ninth grade for another attempt. Students who pass continue study for three more years towards the Baccalaureate which is given at the end of the U.S. equivalent of 12th grade and is meant for entry to university.

A number of students pass the Brevet and simply graduate at age 15-16 with the Brevet Diploma, leaving school for work or trade schools, better equipped in math, reading and writing required for quality trade skills than their American counterparts who graduate  with a high school diploma two-three years later at age 18.

The Brevet is a required end of ninth grade exam, but exceeds most American high school senior requirements. Most countries in Europe have a very similar structure and expectations by grade for their students, so even though the French Brevet is used as an example, it reflects what is typical across Europe. French-speaking students, enrolled in certified French education systems in Africa and Asia all sit for the Brevet. It is administered in a manner similar to the SAT, everyone takes it on the same days, at designated testing venues, but unlike the SAT it is not optional and it’s not a computerized exam. Teams of teachers grade the Brevet exams of other schools; they are not permitted to grade their own students.

Students worldwide have just completed a practice exam, called the ‘white Brevet’ or ‘Brevet blanc,’ and have a few more weeks before the actual 2012 Brevet. It’s a two day exam, covering rhetoric (writing, reading, essay and grammar), history and math. There are no multiple choice or true/false questions, all answers are written out.  That’s written, as in cursive, which is being dropped out of many US public schools as the excuse goes … ‘irrelevent’ to modern life.  Calculators are allowed for the math section, but they are no substitutes for compasses, which most American students have never even held in their hands in 12 years of schooling, much less learned how to use to reproduce a complex geometric figure or simply demonstrate how to perfectly bisect an angle, something that the typical student outside the USA learns before 5th grade.

Above, the graphic shows a typical pair of geometry problems at the Brevet level. The English translation was added. The French have one standard for students, no ‘low’ ‘middle’ or ‘advanced’ separations as American schools have done. French and European students are competitive in math with Chinese and Japanese students, yet without the stressed, unbalanced, over-studying cram lifestyle that is such a problem in Asia.

Typical history/geo/social-studies questions of the Brevet (choose one):

1) What were the political entities which formed the Popular Front? What were the principal measures announced by Leon Blum? What types of obstacles did the Popular Front encounter?  Using the information in the documents provided and the information you know, write an argumentative paragraph of at least twenty lines discussing the successes and also the political fragility of the Popular Front.

2) What were the two great changes made by Mikhail Gorbachev to reform the Russian society? Define these in a precise manner. In what manner did these changes affect the political situation in Czechoslovakia? What were the changes going on in the Soviet block at the end of the 1980s? Which were the consequences of this revolution for the political career of Mikhail Gorbechev and for the USSR?
Drawing from the information in these documents and what you know, write an argumentative paragraph of twenty lines describing the end of the Soviet block from 1985 to 1991.

Language/Rhetoric composition: Brevet Level

Jules was great friends with a soldier in the French army. His nephew decides to write about his uncle including how these two people met. Write, in the point of view of the nephew, a narrative of the encounter of these two characters.” Grading criteria: Complexity of ideas, the paragraphs are well organized, use the proper verb tenses (employ the correct usages of the verb tenses: imperfect, composite past or simple past), spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Source: Hachette 3eme Livre 2007

Regarding Math instruction:
The teacher, who has a demonstrated competency certificate in math, introduces a new concept to the class. He/she then explains and demonstrates the problem on the board, followed by a short lecture so the students write the lecture points into their notebooks, which are tightly supervised to be extremely structured and thus serve as excellent study guides. The remainder of the class is spent by students practicing working the problems at the board or in their notebooks under the supervision of the teacher. The teacher may assign a couple of extra problems for homework, requiring only a few minutes at home. No computers in the classroom, no teaching assistants, no ‘smart boards.’ The teacher grades all exams and checks all notebooks for neatness and completeness. Exams are not multiple-choice and require the frequent use of compasses, rulers, right angles, protractors … and erasers. The typical class size in better schools locally is 25-30 students, all handled by the teacher, no assistants.

Answers to the geometry problems in the graphic above:
#4: requires usage of the Pythagorean Theorem and the Theorem of Thales.
The Section A’B’C’D’ is thus a square with the length of a side x = (25√94) ÷ 47  cm

#5. Circumference C corresponds to the length of the circle 2(pi)R.  C = 2(pi) x 6370 = 12,740(pi) or about 40,024 km  … then  x =( 40 024 x 33) ÷360  thus length of the arc AB is 3669 km.

If your freshman, sophomore, junior or senior high school graduate cannot solve these problems or is not able to answer or write out responses appropriate to the history or rhetoric questions, then he or she, despite enormous amounts of financing to our schools,  did not receive training in a level of math, history and rhetoric required as national standards in most other developed countries at ninth grade … delivered at less cost, shorter school days, and far less homework.  The proposed national CORE standards double down on worthless, seemingly constructed by political ideologues who prefer to perpetuate ignorance in the classroom and ignorance of the reality outside our borders.  Our schools love to talk ‘globally competitive’ but don’t actually teach the nuts and bolts skills required for it: readin’, ritin’ and ‘rithmetic.  We haven’t even touched on foreign language requirements outside the Brevet … the students taking the Brevet are also required in 9th grade to study English plus another language such as Spanish or German.

And when was the last time our own school history textbooks put on their covers our victorious, liberatin’ American G.I Joe soldiers with guns getting hugged by appreciative, pretty French babes?  Our young teenage American male was quite surprised to see his textbook for 2011-2012.  History suddenly was a bit more interesting.

Source: Hachette Education 3eme, Source: Plan Brevet Maths 3eme Editions Magnard

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Invented Guests and Ladies Under Extinguished Gentlemen? Barack Obama’s Toilet Flush at the Très Gauche 2012 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

Despite the mass media present en mass, if one had not been there nor watched the unedited video, one wouldn’t know Obama acted through a bizarre and vulgar opening “outhouse theatre,” grossly – in both senses of the word – beneath the dignity of the Office of the President of the United States. American culture has definitely coarsened, thanks largely to that very audience in attendance, but not so much that this opening-the-event bathroom farce wasn’t received with nervous confusion as grotesquely out of place.

As Sherlock Holmes once deduced the significance of the absence of a dog’s barking, long before Obama ate a dog, it’s also noticeable the near total absence of comment on the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and staged entry of President Obama. He performed a jaw-dropping awkward, adolescent-quality skit of “open mike” pretending to be overheard getting ready, making everyone wait in their seats while he complained about the evening event, his grumbling ending with an amplified grand gurgling swoosh of a flushing toilet, before emerging to take his place at the podium as guest of honor.

2012 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfG8Btb0l3g

While pundits focused on Obama’s inappropriate dancing with vulgarity “tasty-pit bull” dig at Governor Palin, a fail to co-opt the New Media blow-back at Obama’s old autobiographical attempt to gain World-Traveler (WT) ‘cool’ ‘cred’ through dog-eating, but a success in dragging Palin’s name into the night’s sophomoric groping for tawdry laughs, with not enough focus on the inexcusable leadership disconnect of Obama to slam one by one the people and agencies which report to him, as if he lost the ‘Buck Stops Here’ sign with his snarky and damaging comments such as the Secretary of State “drunk texting from Cartagena,” how many are asking why did the POTUS put so much effort into literally potty humor at an extraordinarily elite and sophisticated soiree?

None of it was off the cuff; all of it was planned, written and practiced. The audience receiving Obama’s full mooning was his own elite support base … an A-List Hollywood – Beltway Insider MSM – Harvard crowd. Just because this diamond-studded media crowd is responsible for products like “Dumb and Dumber,” and who were the ones who dragged “tea-bagger” out of the gay bathhouse culture and into the nightly news, doesn’t mean they consider their debauched product represents them.

When was the last time anyone can recall any president of any nation wallowing in vulgar innuendos and toilet references, much less the actual sound of a flushing commode to demean everyone in attendance at a high level, exclusive, black tie and evening gown official event?
Coincidentally, there is one precedent of president + black tie + crapper. It’s not known much in the USA, but in East Africa it’s legend. It was simply a sensation at the time, “viral” before “viral” was coined, a tour de force of insults and double-entendre.

With breath-taking audacity in London, at the most elite diplomatic function for heads of state and royalty in black tie, sashes, ribbons, tiaras and crowns, adroitly playing off the lazy analysis that he was a half-educated buffoon to explain his seemingly erratic behavior, the presidential guest of honor, a product of British education and British military training, dished it back to his hosts … what he really thought of them.

Amongst the myriad veiled vulgar word plays of this speech, the product of a plainly intelligent, educated, tri-lingual and incredibly shrewd but supremely angry and vengeful man, is a common East African slangy usage of “short call” and “long call,” used mostly by English speakers to connote a short visit or a ‘chat” and a longer visit or ‘discussion,’ but in colloquial Uganda, ‘short call’ meant ‘taking a piss’ and ‘long call’ meant ‘taking a crap.’

President Idi Amin Dada’s speech to Queen Elizabeth:
“My majesty Mr. Queen Sir, horrible ministers and members of parliament, invented Guests, ladies under gentlemen; I hereby thank you completely … Mr. Queen, sir … and also what he has done for me and my fellow Uganda who come with me.

We have really eaten very much and we are fed up completely. Also very thanks to you keenly open up from all windows so that those plenty climates can come into lunch. But before I go back to my country with a plane from the Entebbe airport of London, I wish to invitation you Mr. Queen, to become home to Uganda so that we can also revenge on you.

You will eat a full cow, and also feel up your stomach and walk with difficult because of full stomach completely. Even when you want to rest at night, I will make sure that you sleep on top of me in the top upstairs of my mansion completely so that you can enjoy all the gravity of fresh air.

But now am sorry because I have to tell you that I have made a short call on you only. But next time I shall make a long call on you to last the whole moon completely. Thank you very much to allow me to undress you completely before these extinguished ladies under gentlemen sir.

Lastly but not list, I ask the band to play our international anthem of the Republic of Uganda and also the British international anthem. Your majesty sir, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and from the bottoms of all the people of Uganda. With this few words I thank you Sir.”

This speech would be the archest of political satire if Idi Amin hadn’t slaughtered so many of his own Black African countrymen while destroying Uganda’s economy, governing institutions, society – schools, hospitals, policing, national security – aggressively fueling racial and tribal animosities to justify seizing private property, industry, businesses and re-distributing them to his tribal cronies. Most of these looted investments were founded and owned by Ugandan Asians, that is to say, entrepreneurial shopkeepers and traders from India whose parents had immigrated a generation before, brought in with the British colonization and more despised than the British.  The Ugandan economy collapsed with shocking speed.

It redefined ‘cheeky,’ but hateful mockery infuses it, delivered directly to the faces of the hated persons by a man who employed deadly code constantly, where innocuous words like ‘serve some tea’ meant a particular type of assassination, and it had Idi Amin’s supporters by the thousands laughing out loud at home, greatly increasing his populist appeal to millions more as the British elites, who’d deluded themselves that because he’d grown up in their education system, trained and advanced along the British system, rewarded by and conformed to all things British that he was really one of them, sat with uneasy incomprehension, while his political opposition who could interpret Amin’s own personal variation of a double-talking, two-faced dialect of English, fled in terror as Amin held the tyrannical power to decree who lived or died in Uganda.

Ignoring that Amin dragged beautiful, once-prosperous Uganda into horrific ruin,  Idi Amin Dada’s speech is preserved today as the supreme in-your-face payback of the Black African against the White Colonialists, in Uganda and Kenya’s case, specifically Great Britain as represented by the Queen of England. Those who do not know the context consider it amateur slapstick comedy, a terrible fail to grasp what Amin very deliberately was doing as part of his grand political strategy.

For over thirty years The Speech has been infamous for Idi Ami Dada alluding to his trip to white Anglo-Saxon Britain as, “I came to crap on you all.”

Given Obama’s background, his choices of associates in Chicago, his long East African Luo tribal connections along the Kenya-Uganda border, it would be very unlikely he isn’t familiar with Amin’s speech. Moments before crudely flushing the toilet on his glitterati audience, Obama reminded everyone that he as POTUS holds the nuclear codes – the power of life and death over hundreds of millions of people – a very strange choice of un-humorous subject to be idly passing the time contemplating as Barack Obama ostensibly sat in the loo, ostensibly evacuating either his bladder or his bowels or both, making the multimillionaire movers and shakers of the media audience wait for him, during his ‘long call.’

It was quite unique in modern political oratory, until Obama flushed on his audience. At best, what Obama did was a complete disgrace, a total civility fail, but never should a U.S. president’s behavior or rhetoric even hint of any parallels with any despot, much less with one of the quality of Idi Amin Dada.

Further, with an administration obsessed with controlling the ‘messaging,’ what then was the meaning of the message Barack Obama spent so much time on the ‘john’ crafting to deliver?

The elite media which was witness to all this, uncharacteristically mute … has ‘no comment.’

Not obscure: http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Atx.bzmLwMhwDnhWNaWSHjGbvZx4?p=idi+amins+speech+to+queen&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701

A popular topic long after Amin’s 1979 toppling by the Tanzanians and his subsequent flight to Saudi Arabia.  Amin  appealed for asylum in The Kingdom on the grounds of being a Muslim convert.

Oddities of the Celtic world. Coincidentally, while Barack Obama promoted his Celtic roots just a couple of months ago during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day as the Irish ‘O’Bama,’ Idi Amin, who rose up the ranks in a Scottish military regiment, often made a slyly complex political statement paralleling the English conquest and oppression of Celtic Scotland to the English conquest of Uganda by promoting himself as “King of Scotland.”

Toilet flushing will do that: Brokaw says WHCA Dinner is sending wrong message  http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/may/6/brokaw-white-house-correspondents-dinner-hurting-p/

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South Sudan: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Rhetoric of Racism in the War of Blood for Freedom

While the racism industry continues to employ the language of racism against Republicans and Conservatives, they ignore Sudan President Bashir’s encouraging of the use of ‘slaves” and ‘descendents of slaves” to dehumanize the people of the new nation of South Sudan.

While wealthy Al Sharpton and Bill Maher use their privileged mass media access to claim Americans are racists, as they both live in their own expensive homes with abundant food, clean water, dress themselves from closets full of the best garments and shoes, both roll around town in expensive cars, rallying to infuriate other well-fed Americans who dress in the latest fashions as they stride about on clean city streets engineered to keep rubbish and sewage away from their pristine, expensive new shoes, living healthily in urban and suburban communities that years before exterminated the plagues of malaria and yellow fever which once killed Americans of all colors by the thousands in cities like Philadelphia and Washington, DC., and accessorized with sophisticated multi-functional cell phones at their ears, the war-scarred people of South Sudan who lost two million of their loved ones to a twenty-year vicious civil war are being threatened with revenge rage to be reduced from free men to slaves, in every absolute definition and nuance of the word. A recent commentary in the Sudan Tribune provides a translation guide:

President Bashir’s Dictionary by Magdi El Gizouli

“April 24, 2012 — Following the lead of President Bashir the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) started using the term hashara, a pun on haraka (movement), when referring to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). President Bashir also suggested tadmeer (destruction) instead of tahreer (liberation) but only hashara caught on. The resemblance with inyenzi (cockroaches), the term used by Hutu extremists to depict their Tutsi enemies in the run up to the 1994 Rwanda massacres, cannot be missed. The President inaugurated the public use of hashara in his victory speech to a company of Sudanese troops in al-Kurmuk, once the stronghold of the SPLM-North in the Blue Nile, on 6 November 2011, granting the observer a glimpse into the combat obscenities of the SAF (Sudanese Armed Forces) …

… President Bashir popularized the term in two mobilisation speeches …When the President rose to speak he was welcomed with the cheer kul al-guwa juba juwa – all the force into Juba, a recycle of the battle cry of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) kul al-guwa al-khartoum juwa – all the force into Khartoum, followed by al-shaab yureed tahreer al-janub – the people want the liberation of South [Sudan]. The President said the SAF would proceed to crush the hasharat (pl.) in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile but made no mention of the declaration two days earlier that his plan was now to topple the SPLM regime in Juba …

Emboldened by the President’s sanction individual patriots rehabilitated the words abd (slave) and farkh (a descendant of slaves) for use in the public domain when referring to the South Sudanese. The racial slurs are in themselves not novel; they constitute elements of the ideological baggage of Sudan’s ruling class. Novel however is their unashamed public employment. I came across a salvo of such insults in the comments section of a Youtube recording of a South Sudan Television interview with Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the country’s Minister of Information…”
http://www.sudantribune.com/President-Bashir-s-dictionary,42384

As bitter-clinging to denial about defeat as Britain was in 1812 against the new breakaway nation America, the historically slaving Khartoum government in order to stay in power, to deflect from their epic fail of greedy, cronyism mis-governing that they lost a third of a country, is unleashing the same sort of marginalizing, mob-enraging, racism-based rhetoric employed by agitators like Al Sharpton and echoed by Bill Maher to enflame Sudanese to rise against a people a number of them actually once owned as slaves, consider to be slaves and descendents of slaves, stoking elitist fury against the black, mostly rural, poor, but uppity South Sudanese who refused to accept the Official Narrative, a narrative spread unquestioningly by all the world’s media, that they didn’t “deserve” to be independent, that they “don’t possess the ability” to self-govern, they didn’t “know what was good” for them, a people who were “stupidly voting against their own interests,” that Khartoum told the world was a “failed state” before it became a state.

The racism cacophony blaring out of the sophisticated and state of the art mass American media mouthpieces resounds with that tail wagging the rest of the word: “phony.” Out of the strange artificial bubble of narcissist American self-gazing, when The Official Narrative is compared against the reality of the world beyond our borders, it sounds not like truth it pretends to be, but like the screech of well-manicured, glitter-glued fake fingernails across a chalkboard.

Who of the racism-mongers wants to mention much less explain why South Sudan declared a national holiday to celebrate Republican George W. Bush’s re-election? While the celebrities were crying “no blood for oil” in Iraq, President Bush came to the aid of the South Sudanese in their darkest hours of war and destruction, when no one would help them, while Khartoum was bombing them, paying and sheltering their useful proxy warlord Joseph Kony to live in a mansion in the South Sudanese city of Juba while his LRA slaughtered South Sudanese villages and kidnapped South Sudanese children … while American racism-mongers were too busy calling the Republican George W. Bush a racist to notice or care about Bush interceding in a murderous civil war. A war waged against 8.9 million Africans who refused to be slaves, an under genocide-sieged Black African population greater than the African-descended portions of the populations of New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Houston, and Sanford, Florida combined.

Al Sharpton and Bill Maher use their media positions to accuse oppression and racism against ordinary and decent Americans all day long, ignoring the long years of unheralded and cooperative efforts of thousands upon thousands of conscientious Americans of all political persuasions to help the South Sudanese.  They then go home to eat nice meals, watch themselves on TV to relax, then sleep secure in soft beds in nice homes.

In the morning,  mainstream Americans who gave years of their time and their money to help a people they didn’t even know, but felt compassion for,  wake up slandered,  while the hungry citizens of South Sudan today wake up off their thin mattresses and tattered mats to explosions and flames, death raining down from the sky, more unwanted gifts from their emboldened former government which either killed them outright, starved them slowly or enslaved them, leaving a country with the world’s highest percentages of widows and orphans. The racism industry has nothing to say about that, the media simply doesn’t report it… it interferes with the self-focused, divisive narrative. In the cynical and claustrophobic world of the racism-mongers, America is worse.

The South Sudanese can’t afford right now to pay anyone to like them, so the professional racism and oppression organizers who could mobilize international pressure to help them, apparently aren’t interested.

Author’s note: The South Sudanese Diaspora community in Arizona is significant enough to have Phoenix designated as one of the few international voting polling centers for the 2011 Referendum for South Sudan Independence.

Speaking in Forked Tongues

The counter culture, drug,  and anarchist Left has developed over the years a rather extensive street language of which Conservatives need to be aware, because it’s moved off the street and out of the drug dens into mainstream political discourse.   Using very common terms, there exists a parallel universe dialect to communicate vulgar and abusive insults through the most innocuous rhetoric. Thus, all sorts of hidden messages are conveyed openly in public, without the public understanding it’s all code.

The Tea Party public did not know for over a week that the highly paid network ‘news reporters’ were displaying their true dirty characters, looking straight into the camera and taking advantage of general ignorance of the term ‘tea-bagger,” using a gay slang name for a sex act to insult the Tea Party movement in the most demeaning manner possible.

The Trayvon Martin case: it was widely reported that he was a little kid with a bag of Skittles and a bottle of ice tea. It’s a confirmed fact that Trayvon was over 6 feet tall, a 17-year-old young man and suspended from his school for possession of traces of drugs. So, what’s so relevant about the Skittles and ice tea?

In the street slang: Skittles: A misc mix of assorted narcotics pills, tossed together in a bag. Due to the random collection, it is usually multi-colored like a bag of Skittles. Potentially lethal, as identification of the individual pills is not possible, so the effects are an unpredictable high.

Ice tea: a slang term for pot

While some  local Florida schools encouraged kids to solidarity parade with candy Skittles and cans of ice tea, the truth remains shrouded … no one knows outside the police department and the prosecutor which Skittles and ice tea Trayvon had in his possession – highly germane to the circumstances of the case.

How goeth the on-going viral campaign by the NGO Invisible Voices which bought us the manipulative  KONY 2012 ? They racked up 35 million Youtube hits to rally high school and college students around the world to donate their cash to pay for KONY 2012 T-shirts, KONY 2012 posters, bumper stickers.

After a growing backlash from critics who actually know something about Joseph Kony and the LRA, and to where all the money is going, the Invisible Voices director seemingly did the next best thing to actual ‘in hiding’ to avoid questions, via exposing himself in public and being ‘put away,’  Invisible Voices has come out with KONY 2012 The Sequel, wherein they continue their manipulative distortions of the Joseph Kony history, continue to solicit for money primarily amongst high schools and college students, and continue to urge students to ‘organize’ with posters, t-shirts, what looks like KONY pizza boxes … and stencils for that triangle, they took an A and rotated it and stylized, with a new plan of mass vandalism:  Cover the Night: April 30th. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Ue6REkeTA

Apart from the laundry list of factual inaccuracies and distortions in both their KONY 2012 videos, a very little research into the anarchist world reveals the creepy spirit of Invisible Voices:

The A: This symbol is so important to their message, they dedicated a Youtube video to “make your own.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JufdQIs76g

And encourage students to put it everywhere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbuHC3XNWMo&feature=relmfu

Let’s look elsewhere if A has any significance. It is seen on flags at #OWS camps, usually inside a circle.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=anarchy+a&view=detail&id=387B7CFD26EAB5A5E7DF298AD32A3F4ACB117A65&first=0&qpvt=anarchy+a&FORM=IDFRIR

A for Anarchy: “Popular among school aged children today, this symbol for anarchy fits the message that pervades the most popular video games, role-playing games, movies and television. The lines of the “A” often extend outside the circle. To many Satanists and other fast-growing occult groups it represents their slogan, “do what thou wilt.” A former occultist explained that it represents the ASMODEAS: a demonic force driving teenagers toward sexual perversion and suicide.” http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html

This is a bit of a chilling coincidence given that the KONY 2012 director stripped, went off masturbating in public and has been detained ostensibly for his own safety.

Given symbolism is so important to this strange group of Liberals who are actually redefining crass and money-grubbing, using the name of a murderous warlord to raise money for themselves along with their stated goal to keep the current administration in office, to raise funds amongst gullible students, then is there an unstated but in-your-face reason for why they choose April 30th to ‘Cover the Night” in red – the color of blood? Type in April 30th and what do we find?

The hard core Left of Invisible Voices picked the day Adolph Hitler committed suicide, a day of black and red mourning for NAZI socialists and neo-NAZIs, April 30, 1945, which in tidy coincidence, happen also to be the colors of the NAZI flag.
So is Invisible Voices actually implying a superstitious power convergence based on t-shirts, picking up trash and painting walls to do something about Joseph Kony, a murderous warlord, to raise money out of the pockets of students to carry out vandalism and defacing in cities across the world during the night of the anniversary of Adolph Hitler’s suicide, under the benign cover of ‘caring?’  It’s a convenient all-nighter in red to slide into the Socialist’s reddest holiday, May 1st, the Worker’s holiday, so #OWS wants a General Strike (called #M1GS) to celebrate.  From Joseph Kony to Workers Solidarity against illegal forclosures, evil bankers,  in less than 24 hours.

Kony’s general whereabouts are already known by security forces in the region. Does Invisible Voices actually need him alive for a little longer at the expense of local villagers, to let some money be made off him, first, after Invisible Voices has led our youth into sly Hitler commemorations? What is really going on? Parents around … anywhere?  Those are their children  and their money going to …  celebrate … conjure … what? Who?

In more mundane venues, recently many Conservative blogs were flooded with new posters who tore their robes and wailed about how awful Rush Limbaugh was to add up Sandra Fluke’s patently outrageous claims that all the women she knows ‘need’ $3,000 worth of contraceptive reimbursements, to arrive at the sum … summed up as “slut.” Outrageous statements beg the logical conclusions, but a strong offense is the best defense, so out came the Miss Prissies … legions of them.

It was all a staged act of Left trolls using innocuous names that are used on the street and in anarchist circuits comprised of 99% vulgar gay sex acts and 1% just plain vulgar other sex acts when translated through the Urban Dictionary. So the Left gimmick counterattack surging through the blogs to denounce Limbaugh was: loudly pitch the irate tantrum about the use of the word, ‘slut’ while concurrently insulting in the most hateful, degrading sexual perversions and disrespectful manner possible, far worse than any timid slut … hidden in plain view in the nic.

Let’s put this to the test? How does a small sampling of self-described Liberals and Democrats who post on Sonoran Alliance name themselves? We take a few nics and look them up at Urban Dictionary:

True Conservative : A weak definition of a conservative used by some overly-nationalist douche who has no idea what they’re talking about and usually thinks that any American who existed in the 19th century was a conservative

Lampoon: what one accomplishes before being arrested for bestiality and statutory rape.

Nordin: a typically potty mouth pompous male or female

Crub: rubbing a certain unmentionable female body part thru clothing

A couple other nics of the most spotted Liberal Left posters who come to tell readers at SA how stupid they are, were not really possible to re-convey in non-vulgar language, so let’s just stop there. Morbidly curious readers can confirm for themselves. Many words or names have multiple entries – which plays into the game of double-triple-entendres – which entry was intended? The innocuous one or the third and fourth ones down the list? The one seemingly by itself or the vulgar one not showing until one scrolls down an apparently blank page?

A quick perusal will confirm that much of the Urban Dictionary is NSFW not safe for work. It is a window into a world of re-translating everything normal into pure filth and degradation, the dissolute, decadent and hateful dialect of #OWS and the Left.

Decent people who value morals, truth and genuine justice must be aware of the language, the hate and aggressive hidden agendas and symbolism of the Left. In this political battle, it is long past urgent necessary to let more people be aware of the dual nature of the Left’s vernacular and how it’s used against ordinary Americans.
The Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com

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RECALL 2011: Basic Arithmetic Multiplied by the Ghost of Ephialtes

When RECALL apologists’ pie charts begin to resemble mille feuille pastry,  requiring Sherlock Holmes to link them through unrelated numbers in tables that actually don’t easily correspond to each other, it’s time to check the original ingredients used for the recipes, in this case: The raw numbers of the 2010 GENERAL ELECTION as compared to the 2011 RECALL.

2011 November RECALL                                  2010 November GENERAL ELECTION

Lewis:            10,816 = 53.4%                              Democrat            10,663 = 34%
Pearce:            9,188 = 45.4 %                             Pearce:                 17,552 = 57%
Cortez:                252 =    1.2%                              L:                          2,808 =    9%
TOTAL:         20,256 votes cast                           TOTAL:               31,023 votes cast

Difference between 2010 and 2011:
Total RECALL votes cast show an overall decline in voter participation of 10,767, which took more than a 1/3 chunk out of the general election turnout numbers of 2010. That’s a 35% no-show out of the same total voters in that district. Thus, the 2011 RECALL had only 65% of the 2010 general election voter participation.

Of that, 77.7% of that 35% decrease in total votes was suffered by Pearce; he received 17,552 votes in 2010 and only 9,188 in 2011, which is an 8,364 vote difference. (8,364 of 10,767 is 77.68%)

Pearce’s voters didn’t show up a second time: 17,552 – 9,188 = 8,364 who didn’t  come back to vote again,  which is a 48% loss of pro-Pearce voting, which critically impacted Pearce. Pearce’s 2010 general election base turnout was essentially cut in half in the RECALL. They didn’t shift their votes to Lewis, they just didn’t show up.

Interestingly, the total votes cast for the 2010 Democrat who opposed Pearce, is nearly the same as total votes cast for 2011 Lewis that is:  10,816 vs. 10,663, only a net positive 153 votes increase. It is essentially the same number, with only a miniscule positive difference; almost as if there was a neat 100% shift in votes opposing Pearce which moved from the 2010 Democrat to Lewis.

Referring back to the official tallies in the table above, only in 2010 did (L) differentiate: 2,808 votes for a third candidate. In 2011, those numbers did not translate to increasing the Pearce column, or anything significant above what the Democrat got in 2010. So, the (L)s stayed home and those who did vote were consistent in only their opposition to Pearce, they threw their votes to Lewis make up for any missing Democrats, not to Pearce.

Polling charts provided by recall supporters indicate that a number of those (L) voters who voted against Pearce in 2010 came back and voted against Pearce by voting for Lewis, yet the combined Democrat and (L) votes of the 2011 RECALL as votes opposing Pearce were still less than the Democrat votes alone in 2010 opposing Pearce.  In the RECALL, Democrat plus (L) turnout combined opposing Pearce were thousands of  votes less than  in 2010, but not as devastatingly poor for the RECALLers as the no-shows on Pearce’s side in 2011.

So, looking back at the charts above, the combined opposition against Pearce in November 2011 was 10,663 (D) + 2,808 (L) = 13,471 to Pearce’s 17,552.

In the RECALL 2011, the total opposition votes of three groups united against Pearce was less than the numbers of two opposition groups in the 2010 results. The recall supporters are claiming a wide surge of voter discontent with Pearce, but the raw numbers don’t support that claim.  The RECALL absolutely required a composite of fewer votes from three separate political groups to cobble together that number of 10,816, essentially the same as the 100% Democrat vote against Pearce in 2011.

So in the 2011 RECALL,  an even smaller number of district voters who opposed Pearce in 2010, three minorities of the minority vote, took away the results from a resounding majority vote in the general election.  The minority upset the majority not because the majority was out-numbered in any measure, but complacent.   The RECALL absolutely could not afford a third party candidate,  they needed as many of those  (L) votes which had been cast against Pearce in 2010  to contribute to the aggregate total against Pearce in 2011.

It seems that the  Pearce defeat was a result of a typical recall dynamic: voter no-show depressing overall turnout, combined with a shift in the opposition Democrat and (L) votes to Lewis  in order to oppose Pearce in the absence of a Democrat or (L) on the ballot. The RECALL was not a primary of any sort, so Democrats and Independents were free to vote for either candidate.

The votes do not support any contention that there was widespread Republican disenchantment with Pearce, but the RECALLers with great glee highlight the existence of a small minority of self-identified disgruntled Republicans, perhaps henceforth, the Ephialtes contingent from Mesa, who were willing to act on allying with two other politically hostile minorities,  to deliver defeat at the great expense and detriment of the large Republican majority in that particular district.   So, it wasn’t mille feuille, but old baclava on a new plate being served up.

The voters who showed up for RECALL voted as they had  voted in 2010: those who opposed Pearce in 2010, opposed him in 2011, those who voted for Pearce in 2010, voted for him again in 2011.

The Democrat vote against Pearce in 2010 represented 34% of the total turnout, but that same total number of votes in an aggregate against Pearce in 2011 had a far greater effect, resulting in 53.4% of the total turnout votes, even though that new aggregate had far fewer Democrat voters in it than who also supported the Democrat candidate in 2010.  It was part of a proportional increase in opposition to Pearce, not an actual increase, in fact with the lower turnout in every voter category,  actual decreases were across the board.

The RECALL task was to convert an extreme losing position into a winning position.  If the voters couldn’t be changed, then the playing field needed adjustment, and two shallow bench teams had to be re-combined against one deep bench team, which needed to be cut down to a more defeatable size, through massive attrition and some key defections.

If one expects the same essential political base at work, it is not unusual that the opposing votes in a recall just after a general election should be very similar as in the general election and yet that same number in 2010 making 34% suddenly reaches 53%, proportionally in 2011, due entirely to lower total voter participation.

How effective?  The Recall Organizers inserted Jerry Lewis (RM: Recall Man), a complete political neophyte, who without even breaking a sweat, showed up half way through the recall petition drive, and won with just over half of less than two-thirds of the turnout Russell Pearce faced for re-election in 2010. Lewis’s short campaign was arguably a much easier task as compared to Pearce’s go at it. What took Pearce long over a year to accomplish, at great time and effort and expense, Lewis, a political unknown, accomplished practically overnight.

Pearce had to slog through both the primary and the general election campaigns to win in 2010. What sort of charismatic political magic does newbie Lewis possess and how come it wasn’t evident before, because he should bottle it and sell it and make a bundle.

Lewis won RECALL with the same vote total as the losing Democrat only a few months before, in 2010.  If Lewis had won those identical numbers in 2010 against Pearce, had Lewis actually showed up as an actual candidate  in the general election, with those numbers, he would have lost, resoundingly.

Depending on a coalition of a minority of Democrats, a minority of (L) and a minority of Republicans as his voter base, Lewis would not have prevailed in any actual primary against Pearce, who represented a much larger and politically uniform block of voters.  The only way this small disparate coalition  could work was through a RECALL -  employed in this case as not a relief from tyranny or criminality, but as a basic end-run around the usual rules, usual dynamics and sifting of primaries and general elections, and critically, the higher turnout  …  something sobering to remember as the Liberal Left promotes their self-interested campaign for open primaries.

So, what to make of this?  Peeling away the cover of layers of pie charts, the RECALL re-organized the ground for unknown Lewis, while fully one half of Pearce voters naively assumed that the general election meant something and that their job was done until next general election.  The RECALL didn’t bring in anything new, its tactic just reshuffled fewer chairs on the same deck, for the first class passengers, while the majority of the passengers sat below decks, not included.

The votes don’t support any broad mandate of “anger” against Pearce, as claimed.  The RECALL numbers actually reconfirm the results of the 2010 general election, but the tactic of recall removed the usual rules and election schedule to fully exploit the off-cycle dynamics.  The 2010 general election was a more fair result of the consensus of a majority of voters in that district with much wider participation,  while the 2011 RECALL was representative of a minority of three minorities, a fundamentally unrepresentative election.  The voters of that district are now represented by someone the overwhelming majority didn’t vote for, and twice, at that.  The disenfranchisement of the majority of the 2010 general election voters has been accomplished, in twelve months flat.

Pearce didn’t get the message to his base that they absolutely needed to hustle themselves back to the polls or Lewis would have been trounced.

The mathematics of a political coup.

Governor Brewer’s very comfortable margin over her Democrat opponent in November 2010 is of the same magnitude as the very comfortable margin Pearce celebrated in November 2010. It’s only twelve months later and Pearce isn’t celebrating any more. The Recall organizers, giddily huddled around the microphones have already declared the next heads they think should roll: Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Arpaio. The Democrats seem to have calculated another way to win at the ballot box. It’s not a good bet that they will give it up. It’s too easy and much cheaper than those pesky primaries and general elections.

The Republican Party needs to be pro-active, forward-thinking and innovative to address this new political battle tactic – plugging leaking holes is not the solution to the problem of a ship under a broadside attack.

***************

2011 November recall: http://www.azcentral.com/elections/index.php?pgDate=20111108

2010 November RECALL : http://www.azcentral.com/elections/index.php

***************

Recall: Une Nouvelle Forme de COUP D’ETAT ou Bien un GOLPE de ESTADO?

From the French, coup, meaning a quick strike and état meaning state, and playing  on the similarity of  état and the word for head,  tête,  the concept describes a decapitating strike aimed at the top office-holders and leadership of a sitting government in order to quickly insert a rival power structure, a targeted blow at the head of state to enable a minority to upset the status quo maintained by the majority.

With the United States being a unity of fifty states, which under our Constitution function more like independent countries, with their own locally elected governments, a politically partisan recall orchestrated against the duly-elected governor, actively being organized in Arizona and Wisconsin, seems uncomfortably close to fulfilling every criteria of a coup d’état or as it is known in  Central America,  a golpe de estado.

No guns are required; this would be how lawyers and political organizers wage battle, bloodless and cold, not the heat of hand to hand combat on the front steps of the presidency and in the hallways of parliament, in these cases, in the lobbies of the Governor’s Offices and the State Legislatures. The weapon used would be a cynical application of legal processes meant to provide relief in a tyrannical or criminally abusive situation, but in 2011 seized by a disgruntled losing party of 2010 to effectively throw out the results of general elections, and by that, the votes of the majority of the people.

The open bragging during the press conference the day after the recall of Senator Pearce displayed what appeared to be grander objectives than previously argued by the recallers. The organizers and supporters had for months insisted it was a simple issue of Russell Pearce’s character alone, but literally within hours of his defeat, it was exposed that the recall vision went far beyond Russell. As articulated by the organizers of the recall, in their own words as public record, upon contemplation seems uncomfortably like a rather focused strike at the top office holders of the State of Arizona … or in international diplomatic parlance, something like a golpe de estado, to destroy the results of the November 2010 elections. The Recallers named names:

Senator Russell Pearce: President of the AZ Senate
Governor Jan Brewer
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Hmm. The laundry list appearance of it brings to mind dynamics which are common elsewhere in power struggles. The first two represent the highest levels of Arizona government, the governor’s office and the top of the legislative branch. Though not a state-wide office holder, Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s closest parallel in an actual independent nation would be a somewhat impartial chief of police or perhaps gendarmerie, not open to being swayed and with some wider popular public support, so in a classic coup d’état someone like him in that sort of position would have been pre-judged by coup plotters as an impediment to making such a strike to stick, and thus marked for removal.

The parallels are disconcerting or should be, but how many Americans have ever seen such political dynamics and would think of them?  What would make any Third World citizen sit up with alarm, goes unnoticed in First World … but many of what are called “Third World” used to be well on their way to “First World” until that first coup d’état smashed the electoral process by which the shared consensus of the people is normally established as to who has lawful authority to govern. Politics no longer was about the will of the People, but about whoever had the brute force to grab and keep the top offices, throwing political calculations into chaos.

Who can make alliances, coalitions, and consensus if the officer holders can be here today, gone tomorrow, with no warning? Shocked political office-holders at all levels react to this arbitrary uncertainty with a siege mentality of self-preservation, not by representing the People, so the entire system is degraded and damaged, top to bottom.

A recall denies an elected official their majority, voter-bestowed, lawful mandate to govern. A politically-motivated recall is never satisfied, because more than one office-holder has to go, demanding voters return again and again to defend their choices, exhausting voters, a cynical abuse of voters’ rights, budgets and energy.

In Wisconsin, the majority of the voters acting on their desire for change from decades of Democrat Party-controlled stagnation decisively put Scott Walker into the governor’s office. Yet, not even twelve months into his term, infuriated Democrats have dumped a massive stack of signatures of petitioners for a recall of him, and are feverishly working on a system-clogging million signatures from people who seemingly absolutely positively cannot live another minute with Walker as governor, an expected over twice the number required for the recall trigger, an astounding figure give the population of the state, and completely counter-intuitive to the plain will of the majority only twelve months ago.

Arizonans, who pooh-pooh any real threat to popular Governor Jan Brewer, should take what’s happening right now in Wisconsin to heart, as an open call to begin collecting signatures against her was made by Recall organizers in their press conference after Pearce’s defeat. The Democrat Party recallers in Wisconsin seem to be using the same script as the recallers here used against Pearce in Arizona; that they do not have any challenger as yet to Scott Walker, but they expect someone will step forward … what, a million signatures and not a thought of who would be governor if the governor is ripped out?

Walker had to campaign to all the people of the state of Wisconsin, he had to convince them he would carry their will through the governor’s office and the majority liked what they heard from him and voted him in. The Democrats want to put in a nobody? Someone the voters don’t know, haven’t had a chance to vet, and who necessarily would be voted in by fewer than the majority which Scott Walker required to win in the general election? How about a political neophyte with no experience, no record to examine, perhaps? Someone who the voters would have no idea what he or she would do once in office? What nonsense! Who would go for that? Russell Pearce banked on that common sense and he’s abruptly out of a job.

One wonders where those million were just last November. The sheer magnitude and practical feasibility of collecting a million signatures in such little time alone should provoke questions. If there were truly that many motivated, disgruntled opposing voters, then Walker wouldn’t have been elected in the first place, but there they are … upstanding Wisconsin residents including Mickey Mouse and Adolph Hitler could be the means by which a duly elected governor of an American state be ripped from office.

The GAB Petition Review board in Wisconsin overseeing this have publically shrugged; they stated that Mickey Mouse and Adolph Hitler if signed on the petition will stay on the petition so long as they have a valid Wisconsin zip code, unless Governor Walker challenges them, one by one. With a projected over a million signatures and only so many days, the Democrats seem to be supremely confident it isn’t physically possible for Walker to verify the validity of the signatures to lodge a protest, and the checks and balances of a supposedly impartial petition review board are not in evidence, to the detriment of Governor Walker.

Governor Scott Walker should feel vindicated that his rabid political opponents include the likes of Adolph Hitler, proving once and for all that the socialist Hitler is not and has never been politically or ideologically affiliated with Republicans in any measure, but there is no time to laugh out loud and the threat to our Constitutionally-established system of elections is too grave.

If the Democrats succeed in their recall strike at Walker, to haul him out of office long before his mandated term ends, then the socialist Hitler will have done what no one else has achieved, overthrown the existing political system, risen to power TWICE by raw manipulation of the lawful systems, and from the dead, no less. In Wisconsin, Democrats have actually physically inserted Mickey Mouse into the metaphor for a complete, bad electoral joke.

Ominously for 2012, instead of focusing on the presidential election, every local state and national popularly-elected Republican official is at risk of being embroiled in a two-front political war, harassed from the rear and the front by the Democrats who are increasingly remote from and hostile to the will and spirit of the majority, and cannot provide a political vision and governing competency which attracts voters in normal elections.

Instead of taking a hard look at the validity of their premises and philosophies, Democrats seemed to have cast their lot to invest in recalls, a decidedly undemocratic and tyrannical solution to ballot-box failure, via an increasingly well-oiled and organized blitzkrieg designed to overwhelming and stripping out Republicans in state after state sitting governments, as easily as Hitler’s tanks once overran the horse soldiers of unprepared Poland, a nation whose main fault was that it was prepared for the previous, non-mechanized war, not the one that ground them under the tank treads.   Immigrants, legal and illegal have long viewed America as a haven from this sort of political disaster, how tragic that they are being asked to facilitate the introduction of the chaotic conditions they fled.

Mickey Mouse and Hitler in Wisconsin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tELtKMPKAq4

 

ARIZONA

The assignment this week  was a poem, the bane of high schoolers, but a daunting task in another language.  We did not know what our son had in mind when he sat down to work, the only American in his class.   We hope you all will enjoy it much as we did.

From the heart of a young man in Africa,  this is what he wrote:

~~~~~~~~~

ARIZONA
Dans la fraicheur de fin de soirée
Le soleil se prépare à rentrer à l’ouest
Les couleurs vives brillent dans l’aire céleste
Avec les mélanges de jaune, violet, rouge et dorée
Des minutes passeront peu à peu dans le calme
Avant que le sombre ciel ne s’allume
Au grand bonheur des êtres humains
Les étioles scintillantes et brillantes
Font leur apparition fracassante
Sur la Terre qui se dévoile soudain.

~~~~~~~~~

ARIZONA

In the freshness of the end of the evening

The sun prepares itself to enter the west

The bright colors shine in the celestial air

With the mixes of yellow, violet, red and gold

The minutes pass little by little in the calm

Before the dark sky alights

To the great delight of mankind

The sparkling and brilliant stars

Make their astonishing appearance

On the Earth which suddenly unveils itself

 ~~~~~~~~~~~

Rotting the Mind and the Body: UNT Texas University Serves Up All-Vegan Cafeteria

Mandate morphing from education to four-year resorts, state universities drain state resources and families’ budgets to woo students with trendy food courts, spa-like amenities and luxury rooms, not academic excellence or useful degrees. Worse, putting politics over science and in-loco-parentis duty one major state university has put a huge stamp of approval on one of the most body-damaging diets ever invented by devoting an entire cafeteria to it. The media is proving itself to be complicit in conveying it approves of the spread of deadly Veganism by reporting only positively on Veganism and a state-funded cafeteria to promote it, without any dissent allowed to spoil the digestion of this toxic and dishonest combination.

Reuters this week published a gushing and approving report on a new development in which Reuters hopes will catch on with other universities:

“The University of North Texas in Denton, known for its jazz program and hipster vibe, has opened an all-vegan full-service campus cafeteria that it and animal-rights activists say appears to be the first in the nation.
After just a week of school, the lines at “Mean Greens” – a play on the UNT Mean Green football team name – snaked out the door.
Students balanced plates of paninis made with fresh focaccia baked at the cafeteria, roasted vegetables, vegetarian sushi, bowls of asparagus soup, glasses of flavored vitamin waters and shot glasses of bananas foster. The hall doesn’t serve any animal products including meat, milk or eggs.
“It’s healthy. I was trying not to gain the freshman 15, but I actually like it,” said Rebecca Arroyo, a freshman from Paris, Texas, who isn’t vegan.
The university food czars who masterminded the unusual venue in one of five campus dining halls are finding many of the students who eat there are not vegans but simply want to eat healthy meals.
“Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals agreed, and gave UNT its Compassionate Campus award this month for responding to student requests and supporting veganism, said Ryan Huling, manager of college campaigns for PETA2, the college arm of the organization …”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/30/us-vegan-cafeteria-idUSTRE77T4TF20110830 

Hard to know what’s worse here. The state sanctioning a politically religious cult by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to give the cult a showcase for their “approved” way of eating, or Reuters’ soothing portrayal of it without a syllable of critique in order to give it wider publicity, or that children, teens and college-age students are the most vulnerable to the damaging effects of Veganism and that the UNT university ought to have a nutrition department that can testify to that fact, or that state universities as institutions are shape-shifting into nothing more than four and increasingly five years of high-end resort living complexes with season passes to sports games in state of the art stadiums, courts and fields.

This is not isolated to UNT, but has become the pattern across the country as state universities invest in non-educational frills to sell themselves instead of a solid educational product. They are promoting a comprehensive “lifestyle,” not market skills. Useful degrees are no longer the priority, but milking students by any means out of hard-earned money, which for many will manifest later as over a decade of steep debt payments for their four years of luxury, high-end, catered living. The state universities do not care. They got the cash and they’re constantly off looking for more. Students graduate out of the bubble with a degree the market can’t use, no way to pay to maintain the spa lifestyle they became habituated to and now take for granted.  Add Veganism to the mix and more than few students can now graduate with permanent nerve damage, weaker bones and skin problems.

Surrounded by spare, lower middle class neighborhoods from which come some of the taxes to finance this, ASU, typical now for state universities across the nation, is a bubble of upper middle class Liberal Left living, with the “correct” décor, mass transit, “green” “green” that magic color, funding massive food courts with elaborate menus and all the “right” foods for “progressive people,” investing millions to expand on-campus housing square footage with more student apartments, making ASU “Big Landlord” while bored students sit in classes in front of computers drearily dragging and clicking through monotonous on-line instruction they could do just as well at home for a practically nothing when they’d signed up with what is turning out to be a naive expectation that they would be taught by an actual human being faculty professional who actually knows his or her subject.  Across the country at state universities,  the statistics now say the staffer in the button-down sweater and clogs  puttering down the hallway with a Starbucks latte in hand is an administrator, not any teaching faculty member.  All those amenities need managers to manage them.

State universities continue to feather their luxury nests without any budgetary restraint while the rural areas of the state remain rural, unpaved roads that could have been paved, rural schools close unable to meet costs. The universities love that word, “sustainability” but they do not practice it. They spend a million dollars to save three hundred a month. They epitomize “un-sustainability.”

And for the “intellectual rigor” universities claim, it is chillingly informative to find that Vegans defend their lethal diet by attacking actual nutritionists, much the way the Soviet Lysenko attacked actual agronomists who disputed his half-baked “agro-biology” a sort of scientific sounding complete fraud that destroyed Soviet agriculture, and by that condemned millions of Soviets to poverty and hunger.

Meanwhile, young women under pressure to be “good people” damage their growing bodies by denying them essential proteins and vitamins. Vegans preach that they aren’t “moral” unless they don’t eat any animal products and make them feel guilty if they are literally hungry for a better diet, a philosophy which is blatantly religious in concept and expectations. Movie stars and celebrities preen and preach Veganism across the media, a means to “eat healthy” and “get slim.” Vegans teach that people who eat a normal, varied diet are inferior in morals, goodness, and health and  thus are accepted targets of mockery and distain.

How confusing is it then for many women who imposed a strict Vegan diet inexorably gaining weight because they start to compulsively snack. If they understood their bodies were desperately trying to amass essential proteins out of empty calories, the weight gains wouldn’t be a surprise. They don’t talk about the literally unnerving symptoms they develop, looking everywhere but at their dinner plates for an explanation as to why they don’t feel “healthy” the way they were told they would feel. But Veganism proponents, in classic religious cultishness blame the practitioners, not the diet for the failures, and like the insecure fawning elite in the “Emperor’s New Clothes” Vegans choke down Vegan concoctions all the while telling everyone they “like it” when it’s plain by their own faces they don’t.

While university health units are reporting cases of early signs of kwashiorkor amongst young, affluent college women, UNT a major Texas university, home to tens of thousands of students has enabled increasing manifestations of this damaging malnutrition by providing a three meal a day restricted diet cafeteria. The Liberal media promotes this when it should be condemning it. The lack of intellectual, nutritional and moral honesty in all this is staggering.

UNT university opened this cafeteria as a marketing ploy to attract students. It did not pour that money into better professors who can actually teach and convey information and skills. The media wants more of it; PETA has an extreme and hateful agenda, which they are selling to naïve young women in particular who then become physically harmed by the PETA-approved Veganism. PETA has always been against human beings, their world view is of people being no more value than cockroaches. That’s SHOULD have raised some doubts and a critical analysis amongst the university administration making this funding decision, but obviously not.

Greedy state universities making decisions based on valuing students only as cash cows while installing crippling Veganism as a marketing plus, then suppressing information that exposes the truth of Veganism are together a cruelly ironic combination. The goal is to make this the “new normal” at state universities across the country.   The educational establishment is already advanced down that route;  truth, knowledge, responsibility and quality education are being left at the curb.

Counterpoint

It’s far too early to suggest the government can’t be fixed by normal channels when voting still works. The November 2010 elections are proof that that power of The People still exists. How peculiar to be arguing isolation and despair when the 2012 elections are just ahead, a BIG chance to make CHANGE at the BALLOT BOX.

PATIENCE is a VIRTUE. We need to remind ourselves of this in this instant gratification age.

There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK.  If people want change in 2012, they will have to work together with a lot of other poeple to achieve that at the ballot box.  It means putting aside petty differences and functioning as a national team, the PEOPLE acting through the Constitution to preserve their Constitutional rights.

It is not right to discourage people into believing government is not changeable through lawful processes. That’s simply not true at this point in time. Further, unlawful processes have no backing by the majority of the People. If the system is torn down, there is no consensus as to lawful means of gaining power. Then chaos and anarchy rule, and usually the toughest, baddest prevail, precisely NOT what people wanted.

This is also unBiblical to advocate non-cooperation, as God commands to “obey the authorities.”   The teachings of Christ constantly state that the kingdom is in heaven, NOT on earth.  Earth will be problematic, be challenging, be hard.  Any preaching to establish a kingdom on earth is heresy, one of the three temptations Satan put to Jesus Christ to intice him off his purpose.

Even in a tyranny, any nation is in a better state after a lawful removal of leaders than by an unlawful removal of leadership. Honduras was an excellent example of the RIGHT way to deal with presidential unlawfulness because they established a CONSTITUTIONAL CONSENSUS amongst the branches of government.  Devastated Liberia and Sierra Leone are grim warnings that unlawful seizing of power, even with the seductive excuse of a corrupt government creates WORSE problems. Usurpers may have self-righteously removed the heads of state, but tiem and time again prove by wretched failures that they have not captured the CONSENT of the PEOPLE.

That said, “grumpy isolationists” and their alarmist rhetoric haven’t yet demonstrated they deserve being lumped in with “terrorists” who are designated as such by a proven record of murder and mayhem. It seems to diminish the guilt of the historical and contemporary terrorists who are blowing up people and chopping off heads, while inflating the threat of people who spent most of their time spouting high-falutin’ rhetoric without doing much else that actually bothers anyone else.   Just trying to argue and convince to win people to the debate side isn’t enough.  That’s just free speech.

The Constitution discusses the right of dissolving offending governments by the consensus of the people, which means VOTE.  Until THAT mechanism is totally taken from the PEOPLE, it is the way to orderly and lawful changes of goevrnance.

Veganism: Suicide by Diet – A Metaphor for Modern American Deficiency of Will

The Left Progressive social conditioning of the Western nations is reaching achievements that would astound the generations of two hundred, one hundred, even fifty years ago. But these achievements are bearing fruit that rots on the vine, the abandonment of reason and morality that is stunting the physical, intellectual and moral growth of the next generation.

The “tolerance” crusade of the so-called ‘Progressives’ is a multi-pronged attack on individual responsibility, self-discipline and the individual’s duty to society, marriage and children. In the name of ‘tolerance” people turn their backs on murder of unborn infants, needing to be “open-minded” - a state of being more fearful of being taunted than fearing violent death of an innocent and defenseless human being. In the name of “tolerance” Americans back off debate, conditioned to react with fear and timidity when confronted with the vaguely defined, but daily utilized “controversial” – not champions of truth but cowed subjects to an artificial ‘peace and quiet.”

But Americans will pay a steep price for this passivity, this cowardice, this incuriosity. The next generation has been raised by television, by video games, by malls as their parents occupied their attentions elsewhere. Their morals, their guides have been gleaned and aped off of the 24/7 media, from fiction television shows, to false reality voyeurism, sophisticated cinema vapidity – years of steeping in a broth of Progressive conditioning to capitulate to a monolithic state of conformity that claims to be diverse as it steadily narrows the scope of “approved” behaviors, dress, beliefs.

One of the most egregious of the manifestations of ignorance in this “Information Age,” enabled by the cowed passivity of this phony “tolerance” is the unquestioned spread of a dietary-driven lifestyle that is constructed to deliver death. In a finicky society that insists on “organic” chemical-free food, “natural” products, “sustainably harvested,” “pure artesian water” and exposes a rigid no tolerance for a plethora of fillers, additives, colorings, “allergen-free” hotels, chlorine-free pools, carbon-free anything, the complete lack of comment on a extremist and physically damaging lifestyle promoted in the media by attractive celebrities is astounding.

It was eye-opening years ago, fresh out of college and full of idealism, to be planted with precisely sixteen weeks of intensive agriculture, health, nutrition and local language training into a rural rehabilitation center in Western Kenya for severely malnourished children.

A stone’s throw from Uganda, during the time of brutal dictator Idi Amin’s violent rule just across the deceptively peaceful border, this center didn’t have a single average case in it. It was marasmus and kwashiorkor, the two most dramatic forms of malnutrition and our jobs were to rehabilitate the suffering children through food, no medicines, and as we did so, to teach the mothers how to feed their children. A number of these children died, too far gone to respond to treatment. Decades later, here in the prosperous United States with food aplenty, it’s been a shock to discover the lessons learned amongst poverty, remoteness and isolation are urgently required to be taught in this abundantly fed, and famine-free, yet disturbingly physically and intellectually malnourished contemporary American society.

Simply, marasmus is the classic starvation look, stick-thin arms and legs, toddlers with faces of old men, sunken cheeks, sculpted cheek bones under stretched thin skin, teeth bared in a strained grimace, the bellies seeming to be swollen, but just holding the internal organs which don’t wither away the way fat and muscles do. Children, adults as well, with marasmus are hungry, and will eat and fairly quickly recover over time, so without other complications, prognosis is good. Marasmus is just not enough food in all categories of sustenance.

Kwashiorkor, on the other hand is something more insidious. It is a protein-calorie malnutrition, meaning the body is not getting enough of two essentials, protein, certain vitamins plus a lack of suffiicient  calories. It is marasmus without protein and the effect is even more shocking.

The human body is built to be extremely versatile to whatever environment it is subjected to. Given a well-balanced diet, a child will grow to his or her maximum potential as defined by his or her DNA. In circumstances in growth periods during childhood when food intake is reduced, the body has a number of reactive mechanisms that adjust to protect the body from disaster by slowing down the metabolism, slowing down growth, even halting actual growth.
Such cases are called, “Stunting.” The adults whose growth was stunted during childhood are far shorter than they would have been. There is nothing at all wrong with their proportions, their overall health, they are simply smaller in size, their bodies managed the low food intake against the growth demands and simply turned down the growth to turn down demands required to build bones, muscles, nerves, skin and normal repair of all of that. It is quite common to see tall children from small parents – the parents had a greater potential height, but never achieved it do to a subtle form of malnutrition during critical growth periods. Their better fed children soon tower over them.

In marasmus and kwashiorkor, the severity of lack of food is more than the body can manage through self-regulation, a physical stress exceeding the self-regulating mechanisms of the body. Stunting fails, the body in desperation begins to consume itself, fat, and then muscle. With kwashiorkor, despite a net higher availability of calories than marasmus, a lack of key proteins and vitamins results in the body unable to repair itself. The cells begin to weaken and rupture; hair becomes brittle, loses color and breaks. Leaking cells create an overall edema, a swollen total body puffy effect of pure misery for the sufferer. Deceptively, at first glance the kwashiorkor sufferer can appear “fat,” and early counseling has to lead families through their perceptions that it can’t possibly be a starvation problem as the victim eats daily.

Kwashiorkor is much more difficult to treat – the victims are listless and miserable, and what destruction is evident on the outside is also manifesting on the inside. The internal organs are in a degraded capacity to process and absorb food. In the race to save a dying person, it is a delicate balancing act of inserting as many high-quality calories as possible into a malfunctioning system without overloading it. Literally, every spoon-full must be strategic. Recovery is slower than with marasmus, as more lasting and sometimes irrevocable damage is done to the body. Alarmed parents at our rehabilitation centre would often become enraged that treatment apparently wasn’t working as the first sign that kwashiorkor is being reversed is a loss of edema as the body begins to repair its cells. The “fat” sufferer is suddenly the image of an emaciated war orphan.

What a shock it was to discover that American college health units have been reporting cases of kwashiorkor amongst students, usually girls. It seemed unbelievable that ANY health unit on any American university would even know what kwashiorkor looks like. Surely it was a mistake. How was it possible that in this land of plenty with expensive schooling, plasma screen TVs, cell phones, smart phones, vacation homes, two and three car garages … ah, back to those plasma screen TVs and what college-bound girls were absorbing from them. Sleek celebrities on talk shows, attired in designer garments, promoting their latest movies … and their diets to make themselves thin. The most rarified of these is the Vegan Diet, a total rejection of all meat, eggs and milk products.

What does one glean about the quality of American education from Kindergarten to Bachelors to hear the likes of Harvard graduate, actress Natalie Portman, a child-waif adult coo about being vegan?  One notes that India, which as a vegetarian nation with a lower GNP per capita than what Natalie Portman spends on one nice dinner out, eats actually better than she preaches, for Indians consume milk and eggs, many do eat chicken and fish. Tellingly, it’s a massive sub-continent of a billion bustling people, but still struggles to produce an athlete or team capable of snagging an Olympic gold.

Adult celebrities like Alicia Silverstone earnestly tell their audiences of the superiority of their vegan dietary lifestyle. Their hosts and hostesses nod and affirm these statements, when they should be lunging across the couches and slapping the messengers.    Few in the national audience absorbing their ignorant pronouncements have the basic background that they should have after spending most of their lives in some classroom or another about common sense dietary requirements of life. That a multimillionaire Harvard graduate could be more ignorant of what’s required to eat to survive than any uneducated village peasant should be a noticeable flaw to most people, but it isn’t.  The physical condition of thousands upom thousands of American teenage girls, smaller than their parents, thin without muscle mass, wane and waifish, doesn’t seem to catch many people’s notice, yet should.  “Robust” should be the word that people think of when they consider American youth, but that’s not often what the eye sees.

Veganism is suicide by diet, the diet to kwashiorkor. There is no getting around it. Our bodies require certain proteins and vitamins that only are obtained from animal products, through meat, milk or eggs. Denying human bodies these materials used to build and repair the core structure is a death sentence, starting with nerve die off.

Worse, an adult, a person who has finished their growth period requires less of these essential foods than a growing child or teenager. Kwashiorkor can manifest itself very quickly as growing bodies are suddenly denied critical nutrients, starting with tingling and numbness in the extremities, the warning of permanent nerve damage. Thus, perversely, adult celebrities who advocate Veganism will manifest physical damage after their gullible teenage followers begin manifesting irrevocable nerve damage as they try to copy their ignorant and irresponsible media idols.  Veganism is especially brutal for pregnant women whose bodies, denied calcium and proteins, will leech even out of the  mother’s bones and teeth the necessary building materials for the developing babies. 

In the face of this mortal danger, a wide swath of American adulthood seems enfeebled in providing life-saving leadership and informed direction to their children, shrugging off veganism as a just another “choice” amongst many choices. Yes, it is, and so is the choice to cross the railroad tracks in front of a train. How many people would leap to stop a teenager from the train, yet can’t find the inner fiber to denounce deadly veganism or even question whether a plant-only diet makes any sense whatsoever? Even the cat seems to have a better grip on the concept that there is a vast difference between a hamster and a human, and without any benefit of an Ivy League education. Is it tragic or pathetic to see a narcissist, unnecessary, self-induced malnutrition in a land of prosperity and security – a place that genuinely starving people elsewhere have yearned to go for refuge from their wretched circumstances?

Ominously, veganism is a manifestation of an ignorant and vapid culture that is losing touch with common sense, basic facts, and right and wrong. If Americans can’t even rally themselves to demand accountability from the vapid pushers of dangerous veganism, to protect the next generation from foolishly embracing malnutrition, from what reservoir of strength do Americans find the backbone to stand up against a hundred other debilitating malaises that will stunt and enfeeble the body of American leadership through families, to local, to state, to national levels of this nation to resist  illegality, corruption and narcissistic self-absorption? What a disgrace that this generation is poised to bequeath a intellectually and physically weaker nation and people out of the next generation than the one their parents bequeathed to them.

American Education Miscommunication: ESL and Foreign Language Instruction FAIL

Navy Heritage Language program “To meet the increasing demands of the Navy’s expanding missions around the globe, the Navy Heritage Language Program seeks to identify and reward individuals with varying degrees of fluency in specific languages. The ability to speak and translate as well as apply relevant cultural insights can lead to responsibilities, incentives and training above and beyond what a typical Navy career provides.”

Fine words indeed, but the Navy put some real world incentives behind the rhetoric: “Qualified candidates can get an initial bonus of up to $10,000 upon being accepted into the program. Receive up to $400 in extra monthly pay for each language.

$400 extra a month? Just for being able to do one’s normal duties in another language? Let’s take a look at what the Navy is interested in:  Arabic, Baluchi, Chechen, Hindi, Indonesian, Kurdish, Malay, Pashtu, Persian Arabic, Punjabi, Somali, Swahili, Tamil, Tauseg/Moro, Urdu.   They’ll pay for others, too.   Sweet!

Just reading the list of exotic and international languages is enough to excite many a young man and woman to sit up. Punjab? The language of the Sikh warrior caste of India? Malay, the far East island world of jungles and tropical beaches? Swahili, the coastal trading Arabic-derived language of the Omani dhow trade routes, the language that gave the world “on safari?” The Navy, indeed all the other branches of the United States Military will PAY for that? What would a 20 year-old guy pay to have “Tuareg” on his resume, the tongue of the turban-wrapped, nomadic “Blue Men” of the Sahara? How cool is that?

Well, how is the American Public and Private Education system addressing this need?

The American public education system seems to be in a race to see how many schools can phase out the old foreign language staples of French and German for Spanish, and with that Spanish taught in many schools not by qualified Spanish teachers, but by computer programs like “Rosetta Stone.”

One Arizona school intoned that French was passé, so they were dropping it while they contemplated picking up Chinese to replace it. Which was never going to happen as they were suggesting replacing a pretty standard language with a shared alphabet that they had trouble teaching competently, with a different language  that was hard to find in the USA and which required years of arduous study to be able to read and write, thanks to its lack of alphabet.

Spanish, we were assured, was necessary now in the United States, which should have then been justification for better instruction in it, not reliance on computers. One doesn’t go to Mexico City to talk Spanish to an ATM machine, which is about all one would be qualified to speak to.

But Americans travel all over the globe. They need languages that many people don’t even know exist.  Our schools, in pace with their fail to teach math, science, history and English, each year fall behind some more in teaching foreign languages.

A Spanish exchange student here in Arizona last week leaned over next to a classmate and pointed out, “Ah, your name has an accent there, you know.”
The student, of Mexican heritage, and Hispanic, was surprised, “It does?”
The Spanish student was shocked, “These so-called Hispanic kids can’t even read or write Spanish!  That guy didn’t even know how to write his own name properly!”

We encountered this same problem with our own kids as foreign students in French schools. They spoke English perfectly, with American accents, and French perfectly with French accents, but when they opened their American textbooks, they couldn’t understand them and couldn’t write in English to save their lives. It took years of deliberate and organized efforts to make sure they became competent in their mother tongue of English – paired with a year of accepting initially poor grades without panicking as the kids struggled to catch up to their Anglophone classmates.

Language competency goes beyond just conversation; it requires years of systematic vocabulary building, grammar, spelling, and composition training. The example of a Belgium family we knew personally in Ivory Coast who’d put their kids in French schools for years and then sent their oldest to Belgium to take his final exam – the Baccalaureate – in anticipation of college, was a lesson to heed. The family was from Belgium, a tiny country with two languages, French and Flemish. The boy had gone through his school years in French, but his Flemish-speaking parents blithely sent him to take the Flemish Baccalaureate. Even though he spoke fluent Flemish, he failed his Flemish BAC. He’d never learned to read or write his first language, and because of the rigidity of the European university entrance process, this unexpected fail had put his entire college and career plans in jeopardy.

The fail of language study in this country is pervasive. Anglophone Americans find grammar “hard” and spelling is not a skill, but a computer function. Exams are multiple-choice, built for ease of grading for the teacher, not for the students’ need for regular sentence or paragraph-writing discipline. Reading, crippled by the cumbersome word memorization of “Whole Language” instruction becomes an unpleasant and unproductive chore as students quickly find it impossible to memorize every word in the unabridged dictionary in order to be able to tackle comprehending even fifth grade textbooks.

Hispanic students languish in American public schools with second-rate speaking skills, and no proper training in reading and writing, setting them far behind their peers out of Mexican schools who must read, write and spell Spanish on a daily basis – in literature, in math, in science, in history classes. Few schools offer ESL courses for Hispanic students; designed to improve their spelling, grammar and composition n English, and the foreign language Spanish classes are not designed to make students competent in basic written tasks. Our children benefitted immensely through the French school FLE programs – French as a Foreign Language – designed to get non-Francophone students up to speed to be able to achieve in their regular classroom work.

Our kids have noticed the tendency for Hispanic kids to take Spanish as their foreign language – and snort. They take German, Spanish, and Japanese in addition to their French. This year, one of our students picked up Spanish class in the second semester – cold. Started halfway through and is top of the class, which includes Hispanic students, who should by rights be Easy A students, but aren’t. Meanwhile, their counterparts in Spain do all their work in Spanish, plus study English AND another foreign language like French or German or Italian. French students take English, German, Arabic, Spanish and can also add Latin.

How bad is it?  The Spanish exchange student is amongst the top three in the High School English class – beating out the majority of our town’s native English speakers easily. Our initially failing first year returnee French-speaking American students shot to the top of their classes in year two.  As “brown” as any Southern New World Hispanic, the multi-lingual sophomore student from Spain is taking pre-calculus and physics – with two years to go in high school;  our schools have nothing higher to offer. Solid study and academic skills make achievement  possible, even with an initial language handicap.

Those that do not know their history are doomed to repeat it: George Washington was well-known before he became commander of the Continental Army; his lack of foreign language skills literally provoked an international diplomatic crisis:
“When he was around twenty two years old, Washington fired some of the first shots of what would become a war between colonial powers…in 1753, when the French began to build a series of forts in Ohio Country…on land also claimed by Virginia. Robert Dinwiddie the governor of Virginia sent Major Washington to deliver a letter to the French commander asking them to leave, the French refused. In 1754 Dinwiddie sent Washington, now promoted to Lieutenant Colonel to ambush a French Canadian scouting party. After a short skirmish, Washington’s American Indian ally Tanacharison killed the wounded French commander Ensign Jumonville.

Washington then built Fort Necessity, which soon proved inadequate, as he was compelled to surrender to a larger French and American Indian force. The surrender terms that Washington signed included an admission that he had “assassinated” Jumonville. (The document was written in French, which Washington could not read.) The “Jumonville Affair” became an international incident and helped to ignite the French and Indian War, a part of the Seven Years’ War.” 1

As our military pays bonuses for what have become scarce skills in foreign languages, our schools – from coast to coast – have not delivered. Worse, ignorant educators, who are supposed to by their stated profession know better, push grossly faulty assumptions. French as a foreign language is considered “European” and somehow less relevant, so it’s disappearing as a study option for American students. Yet, the most useful foreign languages in the huge continent of Africa are English, French, Arabic and Portuguese.

While more people speak French throughout West and North Africa than in France, Portuguese is spoken by half of South America and in a number of African nations, plus Portugal, but it’s not an option in American schools. Ask most American students why Latin America is not called, “Hispanic America” and get blank stares. “Luzophone” doesn’t evoke any glimmers of recognition. What remains for French language instruction in American schools is mired in irrelevant, antiquated literature readings of truly annoying French authors like the terminally depressed and pathologically narcissist Maupassant, with nothing of the extremely popular and hilarious Asterisk and Obelisk or the sly Iznogaud.

The magic pill of computer instruction so loved by today’s schools as applied to foreign languages is a disaster. Language is fundamentally a human contact skill – meant to foster communications, cooperation and understanding between people. A machine is wholly inadequate. Languages must be taught by human beings – men and women who are competent in the languages and who can instruct others in learning to converse competently.

While students in other countries apply themselves to rigorous language study, American students are found again to be receiving a poor education product that doesn’t even come close to addressing national defense needs, much less business, commerce, diplomatic needs, and successful integration despite this nation spending billions nationally every year for schools and teachers.

Of course, how cool and how American culturally savvy would it be to have “APACHE” listed on one’s resume under ‘foreign languages?” The so-called educators today truly do not have the imaginations required to take advantage of what’s available right here, around us.

1(from: http://gvctemp01.virtualclassroom.org/leaders/washington/soldier.html )

Latte Daze: “Reduced rates” in University-Speak means only increasing living costs half as much as planned

While businesses are closing, or downsizing and retreating into bunker-mode to weather what ahead is sizing up to be another set of dismal economic conditions, throwing more and more Arizonans into unemployment, the self-described best and brightest minds, as evidenced by their PhDs, their MAs and erudite dissertations, in Arizona come up with this:

Hardly a week after getting their whopping 22% increase in tuition for 2011-2012 approved, in time for the Freshman acceptance letters mass mailing, U of A calculated they also needed a 7.1 % increase in their charges for student housing and food services, ASU really couldn’t get by without a needed 7%,  and NAU - a bit more charmingly shy in their demands - calculated they needed to charge students 3.5% more for living on campus. Meanwhile, last week, students complaining after the mandatory drudgework of AIMS exams, reported they were told that the AIMS scholarships are drying up.

For 2010-2011, acting like  the Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum of Arizona State Universities, ASU and Uof A posted tuition costs of about $8,000 per year, which sounded great, until the rest of the university costs were added … room and board and fees, bringing the actual two semester Freshman year costs to about $23,000.  Not exactly a bargain , nor in the spirit of “affordable” for in-state residents.  In a time of economic hardship, with no relief in sight, now those costs will be increased 22% plus 3.5% for 2011-2012.

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/state/board-approves-reduced-rates-for-meals%2C-housing-at-3-arizona–universities

What kind of political cover is the news media providing the university administrations by headlining an additional burden on top of 22% of a 3.5% cost of living hike as a “reduced rate,” on the basis that it was haggled down from a 7% increase?  Inadvertently, NAU didn’t provide much cover, asking for 3.5% when sister schools ASU and Uof A tried the demand-the-moon and grab-all-we-can technique and came up with 7% and 7.1%,  then quickly abandoned what appears in comparison to be patently inflated figures to match NAU’s.

If, say Best Buy, announced their corporate office approved a raise in their TV and computer prices of 22% plus 3.5%, they’d be out of business by Freshman Orientation Fall Semester  2011.  Is there any current “evil corporation” or “profits-driven business” that ASU and U of A warns students about  that has dared even suggest jacking their product prices as much as the Arizona state universities have just done?

How nice for the Arizona state universities to be so protected from the free market forces of supply, demand and competition. Ah, perhaps that’s too premature a statement. The 2011-2012 enrollment figures may show that free market forces are still a reality that coddled and greedy university administrations will have to recognize as a critical factor in their budget decision-making.   The universities have pushed low-interest college loans on naive students  as hard as any commission-driven loan agents pushed big sub-prime mortgages.  Once those loan papers are signed, the university gets the money, it’s not their problem if the student fails or drops out.  The loan commitment goes with the student.  The university got the money, the crippling debt at graduation or withdrawal is not their problem, nor is any reasonable rate of return on the investment in any of the degrees they offer.   As more and more students and their families become savvy to this, forced to by economic stress, the abiity of universities to market loans will wither.  In economic terms, university is ultimate a luxury expenditure, and luxuries get cut first during tight economic times.

Those Ivory Towers are pretty solid redoubts, though.  They’ll go crying to the state first, as they argue other creative ways to pay for their over-spending, like lobbying for increasing out of state enrollment ceilings so that theoretically, they will be able to milk more out of state residents who will inexplicably hustle to come in and pay a steep surcharge for the privilege of attending a nationally-ranked average state university, but when the cocooned leadership of the state universities hold to the concept of “cut” to define  an increase in real terms, and they cannot control their gluttonous spending ways, they will find a less-than-sympathetic public becoming more and more disgusted at their political lobbying to ensure they can continue to gouge their customers – the tax-paying public.

Democrats want to end all wars – through a Totalitarian DRAFT

Last week, the Democratic Party-controlled Congress produced a Democrat-dominated Congressional Committee panel announcement that it was “time for women to be cleared for combat positions.”  This is a curious announcement, since the military is easily meeting all recruitment goals and has not asked for this, and the timing of it in the middle of a lame-duck period should raise eyebrows.

Right on cue, blogs began to be salted with comments from “women” claiming to be out-performing their male counterparts on PT tests, and grumbling about being barred from combat duty.  This has been added to the current media narrative already found in papers across the country – “some regions disproportionately serve in the military” and that “disparity” should be “fixed.”  Unemployed and undisciplined youth it is “suggested,” could “benefit” from national service, plus repetitions of the disproved lie that our current high-tech, high skill, multilingual military is full of the “poor and uneducated.”   Hmm.  To employ the favorite media rhetoric: “Experts suggest” and “Data suggest” that … “something wicked this way comes.”

Quite a number of people who have neither military experience nor background nor interest for soldiering may shrug.  If some women want to be in combat, then isn’t it the dreaded “intolerant” to say no?  After all, we have an all-volunteer military, so male or female, if one wants to join the military as a career; they can, and concurrently, not join as the case may be.  It’s quite obvious that a volunteer army is self-selecting, appealing to only those who have an affinity and talent for soldiering and the military life.  This self-selecting saves the military numerous enormous headaches – they start with a population that wants to be there, instead having to sort out and manage a hodge-podge of disgruntled civilians – the onerous separating the sheep from the goats – that is the result of a Draft.    Not every male is cut out for combat; the military spends quite a bit of its time already testing and sorting out who’s better at it than who is not within the all-volunteer military.  Only a fraction of all military positions are actual combat, even true during the height of World War II, so there is no practical need to open it to women.  What happens though when the all-volunteer military abruptly isn’t volunteer anymore – to serve not the  nation, but the goals of one political party?

The wild card is being held up the Democratic Party’s sleeve: the game-changing, odious and despicable H.R.5741 — Universal National Service Act, quietly reintroduced by now-disgraced Democrat Charles Rangel in this session of Congress this past summer, waiting for an opportune moment, that is when no one looking, to be voted into law.

Disgraced Democrat Charles Rangel’s bill has morphed over the past several years, from its initial very bad idea, heavily praised and promoted early on expressly as a means to sour Americans on any military undertakings by Democrat Hillary Clinton, of a Universal Draft of all males and females 18-26; to today’s extremist version of a totalitarian national servitude by Draft, under the direct authority and highly centralized control of the POTUS as Commander-in-Chief,  of all males and females, 18-42 for three types of service:

1)      Military

2)      National Service

3)      Other Purpose

No provision in this bill exists to address the problem of a husband and wife with children, and both parents being called up for service.  There are no limits specified to the chillingly vague “Other Purpose.”  Politically-appointed committees determine who is selected for “Military” who gets “National Service” and who under the full force of government authority, must abandon a job, business or family to be tasked for “Other Purpose.”  The potential for massive fraud, bribery and abuse in such a system is enormous, the uncertainly and disruption this would cause amongst our most productive sector of our economy and amongst families would be devastating. 

The Democratic Party evidently still secretly harbors its reprehensible love of slavery.  It’s despicable that such an inhumane scheme would come out of the minds of men and women who have lived in comfort, peace and security all their lives; this disgusting desire to deny to the next generations of Americans by oppressive legislation what  Rangel and his fellow Democrats like Hillary Clinton take for granted for themselves.  That they introduced it, it’s waiting, they have a multi-faceted campaign to promote it,  they fully intended to push it through with a Democratic Party majority and a sitting president, Obama, who wants it for his disturbing vision of a “National Service Corps as well-funded as the military” is clear or they wouldn’t have slipped the bill into the House this year. 

 Its passage is now uncertain with a GOP resurgence to rein in what is becoming rampant Democratic Party legislative excesses, but it never should have even occurred to any Democrat to even consider anything remotely like this in the first place.  As with previous efforts, Democrats will  just put H.R .5741 it back in the file cabinet, waiting for another chance, put a new number on it to confuse identifying it,  sell it as a noble-sounding “National Service” when it should be burned.  One would say, “Shame,” but it’s evidently a word and moral concept wasted on a political party that has none.  

http://sonoranalliance.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=13787&action=edit