Lessons unlearned

Under the direction of the fledgling United Nations in 1949 the U.S. entered the calamitous quagmire of the Korean War costing the lives of 37,000 Americans, 8000 are still missing. Zero gain. The United States should never be subordinate to any international body, then or now.

At the Versailles peace talks in 1919 Nguyen Tat Thanh, inspired by Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points, urged the President not to support continued French control in Vietnam. He was ignored. By 1963 he was known as Ho Chi Minh and we were committing more Americans to a dead end military struggle that would mark the first embarrassing military loss for America. 50,000 Americans died, the communists took Saigon.

Jimmy Carter allowed the Shah of Iran to be toppled in 1979 replacing a U.S. friendly regime with radicals that now pose a potential nuclear threat to the western world.

One time U.S. ally Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990 threatening Saudi Arabia.
George H.W. Bush initiates Desert Shield, but then does not complete the job with Desert Storm.  Eleven years later Saudi terrorists attack us on 911, under son George W. Bush we were back in Iraq to oust Hussein and begin the war on terror.

The Obama administration has backed regime changes in Libya (and got Benghazi), in Egypt overthrowing a U.S. friendly dictatorship for the unrest of the Muslim Brotherhood. Bogged down in Afghanistan Obama seeks peace talks with terrorists (not an army nor a government – terrorists) after announcing the departure of our military presence there. And now are we to back Syrian rebels(?) with weapons and advisers fighting Russian backed government troops?
The Middle East has been at war with itself for a thousand years, American half-measures are not the solution; time to learn the lesson.

Randy Edwards
Cave Creek

Zimmerman verdict

As was reported this man had a fair trial and was found innocent by a fully sequestered jury of his peers. Yet in spite of this protests continue with the federal government weighing in on if Trayvon’s civil rights were violated. Marches have been held supporting the "victim."
Does one really believe that if the block watch shooter was black and the person shot was white that any of this would still be going on?

Aaron Grenley


Race equality?

Part of President Obama's response to the George Zimmerman trial verdict, was that "black men are use to being feared". I think that is true.  With all the (pre-Martin shooting) black on white violence such as the "knock-out game" where black-blacks single out a white person and beat them until they are unconscious (or in some cases dead); and black-black mob civil disobedience including flash raiding and plundering of retail stores (all of which goes unreported by the mainstream media), black-blacks resent the intimidation of deadly force self-defense laws like Stand-Your-Ground.  They would like to make it illegal, or very punitive, for a white person to kill a black person in self-defense or in defense of anyone else.

George Zimmerman was found not guilty in a court of law the same way O.J. Simpson was. You didn't see whites rioting, demonstrating and blocking freeways when that overt travesty of justice was handed down.

They say that if you want to be a millionaire, you should start by acting like one. If black-blacks want to feel equal with whites, and blacks that do, they should start acting like  white and black people and we would be a happier, more peaceful and prosperous country without restricting gun rights.


Michael W. Jarvis
Salt Lake City, Utah


Carefree vs. Cave Creek

Congratulations to Cave Creek for taking “the bull by the horns” (pun intended) by officially opposing APS’s attempt to penalize solar power users with a special rate hike.  I think most of us would agree that any attempt to conserve energy and protect our environment should be encouraged, not punished.

Once upon a time, Carefree was a leader in innovative methods in recycling and environmental protection.  Sadly, that is no longer the case.  We can only hope that while Carefree may no longer be a leader, the Carefree council will at least agree to follow Cave Creek in this endeavor and not bury their heads in the sand. 

I would urge all to write your representatives both locally and at the State level to oppose this APS retribution proposal.  It is just plain wrong that corporate greed should take precedence over an individual’s personal property decisions.

Bob Coady
Former Carefree Councilman


Immigration reform

I know many of the letters to the editor that you print have been mostly against immigration reform, but I was hoping that you would give equal time to the other side of the debate.  I am a Republican, and I am very much of the mindset that we have to secure the border first and foremost.  I also have experience hiring those who come to this country.  These are the folks that work in tech companies, who design, and who engineer.  These are skilled workers who come to America because we have the best tech firms in the world.  I have seen the hoops that these people have to jump through to stay in this country. 

It is an endless trail of bureaucratic red tape and government roadblocks.  Other countries do not make it this hard for the skilled workers that they recruit, so why should we?  It's a global economy, like it or not, and the U.S. must continue to recruit the best and brightest.  Yes - securing the border is important, but so is securing our country's standing in the global economy.  That won't happen if we don't pass immigration reform.

Thank you Mr. Sorchych


Stacy Petersen


A disgusting candidate

I am a born and raised New Yorker who left in 1974 due to a job change and am now retired in wonderful Prescott Valley, Ariz.  I think if New Yorkers elect this icky weenie as Mayor, they deserve him. 

What a loser Weiner is.  He cannot control his disgusting actions.  He lies and cheats on his wife.  What makes New Yorkers think he won't cheat them too.  Obviously he has no moral compass.  Why do New Yorkers keep electing losers?  Bloomberg and John Lindsey (bankrupted New York City) to name just a few.  Must be something in your drinking water since your sodas are limited to just 16 oz. 

This weenie is a bigger embarrassment than Bloomberg.  He belongs with the cat size rats.  Did you see how his wife was looking at him at the forced press conference?  Actions speak louder than words.  Pure contempt.  Sure she forgives him.  Not.

My dad, John L. Koch, was chief investigator under Mayor Wagner in the 1960s.  They both would be spinning in their graves by now.  For shame.

Why not try something new.  Pick a moral, rational and caring candidate like Rudy Giuliani or LaGuardia.   There has to be someone out there who fits that bill.  The world is watching. 

Frances Barwood
Prescott Valley


Transparency: Barack Obama's best-kept secret-Part 4

Why I write about the presidential eligibility issue

I write not for fun but for faith-my Catholic Faith and my faith in America. In Barack Obama I believe we have an enemy of both. I was prepared to vote for Herman Cain until he withdrew from the Presidential race. Many African-Americans appreciate receiving copies of my letters, as I do theirs. Never concerned about Obama's color, I am very concerned about his moral character, as, for example, saying he had no problem if a deliberately-aborted infant was left to die (I repeat...left to die) should it survive the abortion! Sadly, the infant had no vote. Obama, when first seeking the Presidency, replied to a questioner regarding his feelings on abortion with a flippant "that issue is above my pay grade."

Apparently, his later "presidential" pay raise entered not only his pocket but his head and he now considers himself a teacher of morality and we as his pupils. I'm also concerned about his deliberate use of fraudulent birth certificates to hijack our Presidency, and, with his current attempts, as with Obamacare, to substitute immoral laws for our Faith-given teachings. When he was elected in 2008 I resigned myself to the outcome, believing him to having been a legitimate candidate, until hearing that he may have violated The Constitution in seeking the Presidency; hence this letter and others were born. The contents of my writings mostly pertain to his eligibility and its consequences and are not racially motivated. A moral conscience is my "soul" driving force.

Sharing concerns of millions of other Constitutional Defenders clamoring for proof of eligibility, I offer facts which many politicians and Media members are either unaware of or ignore, suffer "don’t rock the boat" syndrome, fear or use inane arguments or comments or "loud" silences to wish this issue away. I believe the old adage of the tortoise and the hare is rapidly unfolding and we should stand firm in exposing the deception which Obama has unleashed on America. In 2012, he pushed Mitt Romney to disclose previous tax returns, having the audacity to say "those seeking the White House must know their life is an open book." This from a man who lets no one even view the opening page of his life....his birth certificate. What hypocrisy! He travels around our Country speaking to minority students who desperately seek and deserve financial aid for higher education and a better life, yet, he has ignored a long-standing offer from Globe Magazine of $100,000 to assist those students with one condition....his producing a valid "Certificate of Live Birth". A simple request, repaid with silence. If responding could threaten his "legitimacy" he won't respond...and so he hasn't.

Who lost out? The students and our Country. Who cares? Certainly not Obama. Having spent an estimated 3-5 million dollars (not including costs to the taxpayers) in legal costs to hide any information about himself should convince anyone that he fears disclosure. A valid "Certificate of Live Birth", if any ever existed, would have saved Him and America millions and the discord which he has caused. Those students lost badly-needed assistance because if Obama admitted to a non-existent or fraudulent certificate it would have ended his political life and possibly his freedom. The ironic conclusion: Globe's free gift was too costly for Obama to accept! In addition, Donald Trump subsequently offered Obama $5,000,000 (that's five million) for charities of his choice for subjecting his birth certificate to public scrutiny, but, as with Globe's offer, silence ruled the airwaves. Remember, also, Obama cannot argue "confidentiality" since he, himself, exposed his fraudulent copy to the public.

Vetting and disgraceful courtroom dismissals

Vetting: to examine or scrutinize, as an expert. Federal Judge James Robertson (U.S. District Court-Wash., D.C.) previously threw out a lawsuit, saying Obama's citizenship was thoroughly vetted and "massaged by America's vigilant citizenry during his two year Presidential campaign." A completely false statement, denoting either a lie or ignorance of the truth.
Obama (then Senator) had his attorneys block the release of any documents which would have confirmed (or denied) his eligibility. Presidential vetting is not exercised by "America's vigilant citizenry" but by elected representatives charged with obeying the Constitution. Sadly, they ignored their responsibility, as did Judge Robertson. Obama has never been vetted. The "birth" certificate which he used on the Daily Kos website was a fraudulent " Certification of Live Birth"(COLB), a document which, even had it been legitimate, was ineligible for use in seeking the Presidency, and, Obama, a former Constitutional teacher, knew this. Today, our courts are no longer interpreting the law....they are re-writing or ignoring it. Also, the passport used by Obama to enter war-torn Pakistan in 1981, as well as his school, medical and social security records were all secreted from public access.

Georgia's Deputy Chief, Michael Maliki, subpoenaed Obama to appear in court with a valid birth certificate or suffer contempt of court. Obama, responding, enlightened the Judge as to what real "contempt of court" is by ignoring the subpoena and allowing his attorney to put into writing that neither Obama nor his attorney would even answer the subpoena. So much for Obama's vaunted "transparency".

The judge then warned he would take evidence solely from the plaintiff. It sounded good, but, in a rapid reversal, he dismissed the plaintiff's testimony and closed the case. Of particular note, he took no action against Obama for ignoring the subpoena. Who said "crime doesn't pay?" Obama's attorneys nationwide have never produced a valid birth certificate in any courtroom. What a disgrace! A simple order to the Hawaiian Health Dept. to send a Certificate of Live Birth to Washington for verification by experts could have resolved this issue five years ago. Instead, Obama's refusal to provide such proof resulted in our Country now being run by a foreign usurper! John Jay warned of the possible consequence of having other than a natural-born president leading our Nation. One Washington (George) agreed, hence Article II-U.S. Constitution, while our Washington (Obama), ignored that same document.

My letters stress facts regarding the eligibility issue, so when politicians of any Party casually ignore this with remarks like "this is not a major issue to me" are they aware of what they are saying? The person acting as President of the World's most powerful(?) nation has power to lead America toward prosperity or poverty, accommodation or anarchy! Also, to those who claim Obama's eligibility has been authenticated by proof which Obama provided them, I remind them that proof consisting of fraudulent and/or ineligible documents is merely proof of fraud and/or ineligibility.

Obama knowingly used a fraudulent "Certification of Live Birth (COLB) to deceive America for two years. Then, when States began preparing to require a Long-Form Certificate of Live Birth for Presidential verification Obama claimed that the Hawaiian Health Dept. located his copy (previously unknown to exist) and he began to display it, continuing his deception, even after it, too, was declared fraudulent by experts. He has used fraudulent documents, silence and even Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin's imprisonment (after destroying his 18 years of faithful Army service) rather than produce a valid birth certificate, even when subpoenaed. America believed it was electing a President, while Obama believed he was receiving a Coronation. He would spare no person or expense to prevent scrutiny of his documents. He believes only "blind obedience" to him will enable us to "see." Sounds like Nancy Pelosi's "first sign it, then read it philosophy."

"No standing" has become a mantra for dismissing most legal challenges to Obama's Presidential eligibility. How many citizens must be affected before "standing" is acknowledged? During the Revolutionary War a British Major, John Andre, was stopped by a few Colonials, searched and found with a secret diagram of West Point defenses which he was taking from a traitor, General Benedict Arnold, to the British Army. Imagine if a Colonial judge had ruled that a few individuals didn't constitute a sufficient quantity with "standing" to warrant indicting either Arnold or Andre as spies, and, therefore, the incriminating diagrams could not be admitted into a courtroom! Had that happened we would have lost a fort and possibly a war. Today, however, with a fraudulent resident in the White House, we face losing an entire Nation!

More recently, Circuit Court Judge Kevin Carroll (Leon County, Florida) dismissed a lawsuit challenging Obama's eligibility with a pathetic twist of reasoning. "The Court notes that President Obama lives in the White House, flies on Air Force One, appears before Congress", etc. Does the judge really believe that simply living in the White House and enjoying the "perks" confirms Obama's eligibility? Those actions simply provided false respectability for his deception. Most people who commit fraudulent impersonations don't hide themselves – they hide, or falsify, anything which might expose their duplicity, as Obama has done for more than four years. Benedict Arnold lawfully took command of West Point and accepted the privileges and the honored obligations accorded because of a previously determined military eligibility, allowing him to live on the premises. His later treason immediately voided all his rights and privileges, including living on the premises. Obama's treason, however, began before the 2008 election with his fraudulent birth certificate, making him immediately ineligible to even seek the Office of President, no less to reside in the White House or enjoy other privileges reserved for eligible recipients. When a thief occupies an empty home does that make him a lawful resident of that home? No more than when Obama stole our Presidency and proceeded to occupy the White House, yet, he, the courts, politicians from both parties and the Major Media refuse to acknowledge a basic truth: an ineligible President is no President at all.

Some argue that if the lawsuits presently in various courts force Obama to release documents which confirm he is not a "natural-born" American citizen there will be riots in the streets if he is removed from office. Why, I ask, if he obtained the Office unlawfully by deception or fraud, should he be rewarded with the prize he unlawfully sought? Are truth and honesty no longer attributes in a candidate? In 1973 some members of the Supreme Court voted to permit the killing of innocent children in the womb while other members today are more concerned about riots in the streets. How ironic-the first group didn't fear God's anger while the second group fears Man's! If a Caucasian was found guilty of obtaining the Presidency in like manner would anyone argue that he or she should remain in office to avoid Caucasian riots? If the withheld documents would have confirmed Obama’s eligibility the Democratic Party, particularly the vocal members who presently dismiss the eligibility issue, would have insisted he release the documents to satisfy America, yet silence (there's that word again) prevails. Remember Obama's words: The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are those with something to hide. How odd....he seems to have forgotten them. When his defenders claim "eligibility" arguments are racially motivated, consider Alan Keyes, a black former Presidential candidate who instituted a lawsuit charging Obama was not a natural-born American citizen and, therefore, ineligible for the Presidency. Did that make Mr. Keyes a black, caucasian racist?
The Supreme Court could have easily resolved the "eligibility" issue by instructing Obama to produce a birth certificate (if any) for scrutiny by computer experts to verify its authenticity, yet the Court has remained supremely silent. Justice Roberts didn't hesitate to previously suggest how Obamacare could "skirt" our Constitution, yet, a simple "show your birth certificate for verification" never came up in any court proceedings nationwide. Why? Because to "show" would be to "tell"; to tell the Country that Obama deceived it and was now driving us into ruin! Has the statute of limitation for treason expired? There is no statute of limitation for murdering an individual....what about for murdering a Nation?

America-purchased in blood....now languishing in betrayal

What made Lexington, Concord, Valley Forge, and other hallowed Revolutionary War sites unique? The answer: They were America's first blood banks. Men and women put their lives on the line and many paid the ultimate price (those same lives) to create and sustain a free Nation. Our forefathers might have hesitated had they known what a "take it or leave it" attitude toward our Constitution would prevail in only 230 plus years on the part of many who had sworn to defend it, yet, now allow Obama, an ineligible pretender, to upend it. Stand up America and be counted while you can. A great chasm separates "late" from "too late". Don't wait until it's too late. DEMAND THAT OBAMA RELEASE HIS RECORDS TO AMERICA!

Robert Quinn


Brewer and rogue Republicans versus Reagan and PCs

Recently Governor Jan Brewer sent an email to “Fellow Republicans.” The drumbeat is old. She takes credit for every piece of legislation the conservative super-majority had to drag her kicking and screaming to sign. She continues a litany of the same old tiring message blatantly treating the precinct committeemen (PCs) like uninformed, low information voters. Bolding words and underlining and underlining and underlining she once again goes on a tirade of how she only wants to help ensure that crony-capitalism rules the day in Arizona completely ignoring the fact that Obamacare in no way fits in the Republican Party platform. Invoking the words of Ronald Reagan she ignores his conservative message along with the message in the resolutions that every legislative district in Arizona, but one, passed.

Glaringly absent in the Governor’s repertoire is SB1070. SB1070 is the landmark legislation of Arizona that encompasses our true individualistic spirit and the Governor does not mention it once. State sovereignty exists in the fiber of every Principled Conservative but is lacking in the Governor. She has the audacity to claim that the super majority win in 2010 was due to her one cent sales tax increase, Prop 100, instead of the tireless work of the PCs fueled by the energy of SB1070!

The Governor rants for 453 words attempting to justify why she had to shove Obamacare down our throats, completely ignoring Ronald Reagan’s simple statement, “Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.”

The PCs question if she read the resolutions where they state, “Supporting the big government takeover of our health care system, even for a short term gift of federal funds, does NOT reflect the values of the Republican Party or the interests of the taxpayers of Arizona.”

She cannot win on the issues so she tries to bedazzle with facts and gloomy predictions of sickness and death when we believe in the Ronald Reagan idea that, “We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”

She predicts State ruin and attempts to bedazzle with facts throwing around “millions” and “billions” and attempts to differentiate between State and Federal taxes when all the Principled Republicans are asking is what happened to the Ronald Reagan idea, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

The GOP PCs understand this and included it in their resolutions, “The long term and evolving costs of the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion will surely bankrupt Arizona just as surely as Obamacare will bankrupt the USA.”

She then proves that she has not lost her mastery of deceit by stating the fact that “Arizona’s Medicaid program is NOT Obamacare” when she knows full well that she is implementing the Federal Medicaid Expansion, aka Obrewercare and it IS Obamacare. Does she expect us to forget the emails, letters in the mail and herself in interviews telling us we have to accept “Obamacare as the law of the land?” We made it clear we understood this to be an untruth and we said, “The US Supreme Court explicitly ruled that each State is free to reject implementation of the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion and Insurance Exchanges.”

The PCs reject Brewer’s socialize medicine and embrace Reagan’s conservatism believing that “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!”

The PCs could not have been clearer “We urge Governor Brewer, and all Republican legislators, to hold the line against enabling the socialist takeover of our health care system and insurance industry by rejecting the Medicaid expansion.”

When one reaches the end, one cannot help but wonder why this letter is addressed to Republicans when she has gone so far left that she is proving Ronald Reagan correct when he said, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.”

So now she demands we “move on” and attempts to lay guilt on the heads of the PCs she has tramped all over. Her arrogance would astonish if we had not recently witnessed her suspending the rules and rolling our conservative leaders. Governor Brewer, the 20 percent carries more weight if it entails throwing someone under the bus.

Let us not forget the ending of the Pima GOP resolution:
“Governor Brewer is correct that "elections have consequences". She is wrong in believing that it means that we must roll over and forsake our core values as the Arizona Republican Party whenever Republicans lose a national race.”

"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."  John Parker, Battle of Lexington, 1775.

Governor Brewer - you fired the first shot. The PC’s pleas to not fire fell on deaf ears. It is indeed time for you and your band of rogue republicans to “move on.”

Christine Bauserman
United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives


Hillary Clinton supports abortion

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the United States would engage in a massive funding over the next five years to promote “reproductive health care and family planning” as a “basic right” around the world. Clinton said that this includes abortion.

Commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Clinton said that there were only five years left to achieve the proposed goals that “all governments will make access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services, a basic right.”

However, in 1984, Mexico City requested that all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding refrain from promoting abortion as a method of family planning.

Clement Ferrer
Independent Forum of Opinion

A solution to our economic woes/politicians’ power

Millions of people out of work, underemployed, or relegated to part-time employment. Thirty percent of Americans getting some type of food assistance from the government.  The federal government so far in debt that anyone paying attention has to be worried.  No, I'm not talking about the 1930s.  We're in big trouble now.  Our national leaders, the House, the Senate and the White House are so bogged down that they don't seem to see the forest for the trees.  In the meantime, our deterioration accelerates.   It's time they drop their nonsense and do what's right for the country.  There is only one completely vetted solution out there, HR25, the FairTax Bill, that both revives our economy for the foreseeable future and reduces politicians' power to grant favors to special interests.  The bill eliminates all taxes on any income and all payroll taxes and replaces them with a consumption tax on new goods and services.  A prebate system provides for no taxes to be paid by any American up to a government set level.  The poor pay less, big spenders pay more and jobs are plentiful.  Best of all, the IRS is eliminated.
Contact your Congressman today and ask that they co-sponsor the bill.

Anthony Gasbarro
Fairhope, Alabama

Open letter to Boards of Education nationwide

[Note: I encourage all our readers to print out the open letter to Boards of Education and hand deliver it to your local boards at their next meeting.  Please be sure to find out how many members there are on your board and bring a copy for each member.]

Dear Educator,

Thomas Jefferson put it this way: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."  In his comment, Jefferson was not simply referring to ignorance as lack of knowledge.  To Jefferson, ignorance is also the result of exposure to a government-run or biased press as well as modes of education.  In other words, when the government controls and prescribes what information the people may receive, the result is a populace that is ill-informed and less free.
The federal government is in the process of instituting a program that will dictate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and essentially the curricula to all schools nationwide.  While the federal officials claim this will elevate academic standards nationwide, it will eliminate any local input or control over your children’s education. This will usurp the most basic of our liberties and constitutional rights - the right to self-govern and the right to parent.

Denying our rights and local control is only the beginning. The “Common Core State Standards” (CCSS) as it is called has not been tested.  In my home state of New Jersey, the Department of Education issued this statement:

In June 2010, the New Jersey State Board of Education (NJBOE) and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) adopted the CCSS. The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.
When the NJBOE was questioned regarding exactly who the teachers, administrators and experts were that provided this analysis prior to adopting CCSS, no explanation was given.  The NJDOE and the NJBOE may have been acting in good faith believing that the federal government had tested CCSS before imposing it upon the states.  However, the truth is that the CCSS has not been tested by the government and pilot programs have not been implemented anywhere throughout the country.  Worse, it has proven to be a financial fiasco in the states that have already accepted the federal funding for CCSS.

U.S. Senator Charles Grassley from Iowa made this point in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

The decision about what students should be taught and when it should be taught has enormous consequences for our children.  Therefore, parents ought to have a straight line of accountability to those who are making such decisions.  State legislatures, which are directly accountable to the citizens of their states, are the appropriate place for those decisions to be made, free from any pressure from the U.S. Department of Education. (Emphasis added.)

Senator Grassley went on to ask the Senate Appropriations Committee to cut off funds that have allowed the Administration to cajole states through funding into adopting CCSS and national standardized tests.

While I agree with most of the Senator’s statement, I disagree on one point.  I do not believe state legislatures should make educational decisions for their constituents.  I believe that across this country, Boards of Education have been elected to do just that. In fact, the local Board of Education system grew out of Jefferson’s belief that the parents, townsfolk and local officials were best positioned to decide what their children should learn.  It should also be noted that if Grassley is successful in persuading the Senate Appropriations Committee to defund CCSS, the costs of partially implemented programs will fall upon the states and by extension, local sending districts – another federal unfunded mandate.

We have endured a number of well-meant, but ill-conceived academic programs promoted by government bodies that are out of touch with the communities they impact.  One of the most recent was No Child Left Behind, of course there is Race to the Top, Goals 2000 and Outcome-Based Education - all extremely expensive disasters that have degraded academics.  Now the federal government (which has proven to be woefully ineffective in the field of education) wants to impose standards unilaterally across the nation - rendering our local BOEs totally powerless.  One-size-fits-all programs have never been successful in a country as large and culturally diverse as the USA.  Given such a poor track record and the fact that the CCSS has never been tested, the program will bankrupt our currently strained education budgets, since the costs of implementing this program have not been built into the federal funding.

There are many concerns regarding CCSS that range from the foolishness of adopting untested standards, to unanticipated expenses, to the surrendering of our liberties and responsibilities as parents and local BOEs to centralized planning.  These planners have proven that they are very often out of touch with life in certain demographic regions. Why should these faceless, unelected bureaucrats have the power to dictate what every child will learn, not learn, and how they learn it?

Recent history proves that federal control over education is not working. When I was in school during the 1950’s and 60’s, the USA was always ranked as the world leader in academics. The three-yearly Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics. Even more disappointing is the fact that between 1995 and 2008, the United States slipped from ranking second in college graduation rates to 13th. Of 34 OECD countries, only 8 have a lower high school graduation rate.

However, the problem goes beyond exacerbating an already struggling academic system; it will also most assuredly be tested legally.  The legal challenges to the states and the local districts will consume resources that should be devoted toward improving academics.  This is not a good scenario.

Our Founders displayed a great deal of wisdom when they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The 10th Amendment specifically states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

They understood the importance of a federal government and they also understood the importance of state and local governments that were more closely connected and accountable to the people.  CCSS sanctions the federal government’s power-grab by ignoring the federal government’s restricted powers as enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

As bad as the constitutional crisis CCSS creates is, there are other affronts against our laws that are equally unacceptable. The General Educational Provisions Act (20 USC § 123a) (GEPA) also prohibits federal overreach.  It states:
"No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any education institution or school system, or to require the assignment or transportation of students or teachers in order to overcome racial imbalance.”

Additionally, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 USC 7907(a)) (NCLBA) also makes the federal over-reach of CCSS ill-advised.  It states:
"Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State and local resources, or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act.”

In New York, where CCSS has been adopted, privacy acts have also been violated. The The New York Daily News reported that parents were neither informed nor did they give permission for New York to allow private data about their children to be collected and shared. This violates  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20.U.S.C. Sect 1232g et seq ), (FERPA)  which is a national  Student Privacy Laws requiring written parental consent. FERPA provides student and parent access to school records and a parent’s right to request modification of them; as well as protecting confidentiality of student records.  It should be noted that a student or teacher who feels that one of these statutes passed by the United States Congress has been violated by state action may bring an action in a federal court after exhausting the applicable administrative remedies.

The New York Daily News reported on the CCSS privacy violations in New York.  It stated:

If this information leaks out or is improperly used, it could stigmatize a child and damage his or her prospects for life. The state and the city are setting themselves up for multimillion-dollar class-action suits if and when these data breaches occur. (03-13-13 - emphasis added.)

The Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington is suing the U.S. Education Department in an effort to stop the illegal collection, storage, and sharing of student data (The New York Daily News - 03-13-13 - emphasis added.)

Regarding the illegal collection of data about students, in another article, The New York Daily News (03-14-13) reported:

The city will collect information from parents, students and teachers, share it with the state Education Department and store it on inBloom. The information is then shared with contractors who peddle educational products and services using the sensitive data.

The data [which] inBloom receives from the education department will be placed in a vulnerable data cloud. Many technology professionals do not trust clouds for their more sensitive data.

Should this be enacted in New Jersey, CCSS would also be in violation of the New Jersey Privacy Bill, which clearly states that no survey shall be given without written informed parental consent. It also states that “unless a school district received prior written informed consent from a student’s parent or legal guardian and provides for a copy of the document to be available for viewing at convenient locations and time periods, the school district shall not administer to a student any academic or nonacademic survey.”

Furthermore, CCSS violates the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), (20 U.S.C. § 1232h), which requires [School District] to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities. These activities include a student survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight areas (“protected information surveys”):

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes (“marketing surveys”), and certain physical exams and screenings.

As someone who has served on a local Board of Education for a private secondary education school for nearly ten years, with the utmost sincerity I can say that I believe that BOE members are dedicated to providing the best education possible to those in their sending districts. I can further state that I believe that the elected BOEs and private school BOEs throughout the country take their fiduciary responsibility toward their constituents, their students, and the future of this country very seriously. My own experience has led me to a great appreciation for those who serve without any recompense except knowing that they are helping to provide as good an academic system to their districts as is humanly possible - often without acknowledgment of any kind for the time and commitment they contribute. However much time and dedication may have been offered in the past, now is the time when the citizens of America need you - our BOE members - to stand up for our parents and our students and make your voices heard. Whether you serve on the Board for a private or public school, you need to understand that CCSS will affect all schools and all modes of education - none withstanding!

All across America, various organizations, groups and individuals from all walks of life have been fighting this battle against CCSS.  However, precious little has been heard from our BOEs who seem to believe they have little choice but to take these egregious orders from the U.S. Department of Education.  I respectfully remind you that you were not elected to take orders from central planners; you were elected to make the tough decisions about education for the parents and students in your sending district.  This power-grab by the federal and state governments will not stand if you stand.  

As a mother and as an American, I am begging you to live up to the responsibility you accepted when you were elected to your BOE.  You may very well be our last line of defense against educrats that have already inflicted debilitating blows to the world’s once most admired education system. This insanity must be stopped and you may just be in the best position to stop it.  I urge you to do whatever you can, and once you have done so, do more - possibly unionizing all BOEs across America in an effort to rescue our system of education.  While teachers’ unions have been organized to protect the jobs of teachers, you exist to protect the standards of education.   Perhaps it’s time you organize appropriately. It is certainly time you take a stand.

RoseAnn Salanitri,
Mother and Concerned Citizen