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Yellowstone National Park Registers 130 Earthquakes in Less Than a Week
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
Nature World News
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues


A total of 130 earthquakes shook Yellowstone National Park between Sept. 10 and Sept. 15, according to a University of Utah press release, though most were too small for a person to feel.

Bob Smith is a geophysicist who has spent the last 53 years monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera. During this time, he told The Associated Press, he only recently witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms, or groupings. Then, last week, he detected three.

“It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?”

The answers aren’t clear, though Smith said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the swarms were related.

According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, the sequence of swarms began on Sept. 10 and have concentrated around Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and northwest of Norris Geyser Basin.

“Notably much of the seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms,” the press statement notes.

“This is pretty unusual, to be honest,” Smith said, explaining that an earthquake generally isn’t felt until it reaches a magnitude of 3.0 on the Richter scale. The range for the latest swarms have fallen between 0.6 and 3.6.

“We know that a significant enough earthquake in the region has potential to alter geyser activity,” park spokesman Al Nashtold the Jackson Hole News & Guide. “A strong enough earthquake, like the one that occurred out at Hebgen Lake in 1959, did change the interval of Old Faithful eruptions.”

Obama's Startling Linkage of Iran and Israeli - Palestinian Peace
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines;The Nation Of Israel

What's a bomb between allies?: US President Barack Obama's decision to equate the Israeli-Palestinian violence with the Iranian nuclear threat shows the depth of Obama's vested interest in Israel's existence and well-being.

US President Barack Obama addresses the 68th UN General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2013.

US President Barack Obama addresses the 68th UN General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2013. Photo: REUTERS

By equating Israeli-Palestinian violence with an Iranian nuclear bomb, US President Barack Obama in his speech Tuesday morning before the UN General Assembly appeared at first glance to have blown this conflict out of all reasonable proportions.

Hard to imagine how continued violence in Jerusalem or Ramallah could compare to a mushroom cloud from Tehran.

In the face of the Arab Spring, with the turbulence and body counts out of Syria and Egypt, it seems almost old-fashioned to consider this conflict as a major source of instability in the region.

Yet Obama outlined halting Iran’s nuclear program and the conflict as his two top foreign policy priorities.

“While these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace,” Obama said.

But there is an opposite side of the coin to this startling linkage, which speaks of the depth to which Obama shares Israel’s belief that an Iranian nuclear bomb would pose an existential threat to the State of Israel, as well as to his own country and the world.

The Iranian regime, which called for Israel’s demise, had also declared the United States as its enemy, and killed its citizens and soldiers, Obama explained.

In the past, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has hammered home comparisons between the Iranian threat and the Holocaust, to underscore the danger Tehran poses to Israel.

Obama in Tuesday’s speech reminded the United Nations that it was established to prevent atrocities such as the millions of deaths that occurred in the two world wars, and the threat of annihilation that nuclear weapons posed.

Even when speaking of Syrian chemical weapons, he said the world must act in the memory of Jews gassed in the Holocaust and Iranians poisoned by Iraq. He almost made it appear as if the UN was created for this moment in time.

In Obama’s view, when it comes to existential threats, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict threatens to destroy the Jewish state. There are those in Israel who believe that the opposite is true – that the creation of a Palestinian state will doom the Jewish state.

But Obama in his speech said: “Friends of Israel, including the United States, must recognize that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends upon the realization of a Palestinian state.”

If a miracle occurred and Obama achieved both the goals he set out in his speech – halting Iran’s nuclear program and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – he would have solved two of Israel’s most pressing international problems as well.

In speaking of a two-state solution, he did not go beyond the broad brush strokes of what has already been said. He did not define the borders of the two-state solution. He did not speak of the pre-1967 lines or of a settlement freeze.

Obama spoke against the West Bank occupation, but did not include Jerusalem in his terminology. Nor did he speak of a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel, he said, had the right to live in security and be recognized as a country by the international community.

Palestinians, he said, had the right to live in dignity within a sovereign state.

“Two states is the only real path to peace: because just as the Palestinian people must not be displaced, the State of Israel is here to stay,” Obama said.

But his core message, at least for the Israeli people, was not the detailing of his vision or even the fact that he believes in the two-state solution.

The message for those who have doubted the centrality of Israel to American foreign policy is the linkage of common interests between two old allies.

The same threats that endanger Israel’s future endanger America’s.

Obama’s foreign policy places securing Israel’s future as one of his top priorities, not just because Israel is important to the United States, but because the same solutions that secure Israel’s future secure America’s.

Obama Launches Diplomacy With Tehran After Quietly Accepting Iran’s Current Nuclear Capabilities
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

Iranian President Rouhani conspicuously avoided shaking the hand President Barack Obama extended to his government at the UN Tuesday, Sept. 24, by absenting himself from the UN reception for world readers. He made this gesture under strong international spotlight to underscore the value Iran places on being respected as an equal in the negotiations ahead with the United States, Iranian sources stress.

Although his words were relatively mild for an Iranian revolutionary, Rouhani nonetheless made no concessions on Tehran’s fundamentals: "Acceptance of and respect for implementation of the right to enrichment inside Iran and enjoyment of other related nuclear rights provides “the only path to the framework to manage our differences."

Obama knew the “handshake rebuff” was coming, yet he went through with his announcement of direct engagement with Iran earlier Tuesday. To give his rhetoric weight, he demonstratively instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to take charge of the pursuit of "face to face negotiations" with Tehran.

The link Obama made in his speech between the Iranian and Palestinians negotiating processes as the two focal issues of his Middle East policy was further embodied by his appointment of the same official, John Kerry, to take charge of both tracks. This has placed Israel at a disadvantage on both fronts.
Kerry finds the Iranian track in good shape. It has been secretly active for the past two months between president Obama and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, as first revealed by debkafile. Oman’s Sultan Qaboos was their go-between.

The Secretary of State wins a flying start from the four points of agreement they have already reached:

1. Iran’s nuclear capabilities will be preserved in their present state. Tehran has already pocketed respect for its right to enrich uranium and keep back in the country all accumulated stocks, including the quantities enriched to the 20 percent level (a short hop to weaponised grade).

2. Tehran accepts a cap on the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at the Natanz facility. The exact number has not been decided.
The number of machines for enriching uranium to 5 percent is still at issue. There are no restrictions on centrifuges generating a lower level of purity. 
Discussions on this point have not been finalized, since Washington wants to limit the number of advanced IR2 and IR1 centrifuges in operation and Tehran is holding out against this,

3. Iran will sign the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty-NPT, which allows International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to make unannounced visits outside declared nuclear sites, when they are suspected of carrying out banned operations.
It will also allow the IAEA to install cameras in the chambers where the centrifuges are spinning and not just the areas where the enriched uranium is deposited.
Here too, it is not clear whether Tehran will also stipulated that Israel sign the same article and permit inspections of its reputed nuclear sites.

4.  The US and European Union will gradually lift all sanctions.

The linkage President Obama made between the Iranian and Palestinian negotiating tracks is puzzling:

Does it imply that the more land Israel gives up on the West Bank for a Palestinian state, the more heavily he will lean on Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program?

Was the president suggesting that if Israel is ready to evacuate settlements and reach a land swap deal with the Palestinians, he will be all the more ready to use force to preempt a nuclear-armed Iran?

If that is the president’s thinking, he is giving the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, by accepting or rejecting the extent of Israeli concessions, the power to determine the endgame of US nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Does that make sense?

Obama’s interconnection of the two issues, if that can be extrapolated from his words, is self defeating: It would allow Tehran to carry on with its nuclear weapons program while spouting more pacific slogans to the American public and Binyamin Netanyahu to refuse to pull Israel out of substantial areas in Judea and Samaria, while advising the Palestinians to be satisfied with the control they have over seven West Bank cities and their economic autonomy.
Buried under the verbal avalanche produced in two days of UN business, was a major diplomatic concession tossed by Obama at Iran’s feet: His call on the UN Security Council to enforce Syria’s compliance with the international ban on chemical weapons as a major challenge to the international community.

First he shunted the Syrian chemical issue aside by relegating to the US Congress a decision on limited US military intervention.He then put it on the table for a US-Russian deal in Geneva; and finally he has passed it on to the UN. The Russians have made it clear that they will block any Security Council measures that would hold Syria to account for non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons ban.

So the buck-passing has reached a dead end and Iran’s ally Bashar Assad is off the hook for using poison gas against his own people.

Netanyahu: We will not Let Ourselves be Fooled By Iran
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
Israel Today Staff
Categories: Today's Headlines;The Nation Of Israel

The current charm offensive by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has not had the same effect on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as it has on other world leaders.

While attending a gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York this week, Netanyahu insisted that the policies of the Islamic Republic have not changed, even if the head of state has, and any nation that alters its approach to Iran just because of Rouhani's smile is a fool.

Netanyahu went a step further, ordering Israeli diplomats to conspicuously exit the General Assembly hall when Rouhani took the podium.

But Rouhani was doing his best to make the Israeli leader look intransigent. In an interview with CNN, Rouhani appeared to finally acknowledge the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews as a historical event, a gesture his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, very notably refused to make.

However, Netanyahu cautioned that, much as North Korea did in recent years, Iran is now looking to ease international pressure over its defiant nuclear program by making cosmetic concessions. Meanwhile, Tehran continues to push forward toward acquiring an atomic bomb.

In his own address before the UN General Assembly, Rouhani repeated the claim that Iran is interested in nuclear power only for peaceful purposes, and that anything else would be "contrary to our religious beliefs." He went on to describe Iran as an anchor of peace and stability in the Middle East.

US President Barack Obama seemed to be taken in by Rouhani's demeanor, much to the chagrin of Israel. Speaking from the UN podium, Obama said the US was ready to reengage Iran, but that Rouhani must back up his words with actions. The American added that US diplomacy in the Middle East currently has two focal points, Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and the Israeli-Arab conflict, a coupling that makes Israel very uncomfortable.

Mk Feiglin: Catastrophe is on the Way
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
INN - Gil Ronen
Categories: Today's Headlines;The Nation Of Israel

MK Moshe Feiglin, a maverick Likud MK who has positioned himself for years as an alternative to Binyamin Netanyahu in Likud's top seat, predicted Tuesday that a “catastrophe” is near and said that time is running out for him to take the nation's leadership.

“The goal is for me to be prime minister... Look right and left – is there another candidate? No. So I am the man. I need to be prime minister,”, he told the supporters who gathered at his Manhigut Yehudit faction's annual sukkot meeting, held at Rabbi Uri Sherky's Jerusalem home.

"The goal is to lead the Nation of Israel and quickly – we do not have time," said Feiglin. "And we have nobody to blame. Understand this...I have no complaint toward Netanyahu. I hold the man in esteem. I respect the man. I know that from his consciousness and his conceptual world, he cannot reach any other solution and he will not reach any other solution. And the catastrophe will come. It is on its way.”

"And I have no right to complain against him. Only against myself. Because I have not brought myself to the point in which I can replace him.”

Summing up his speech to his supporters, he said: "I want to wish us two things. First of all, just as we have made headway on the Temple Mount until now, let us wish ourselves that on Pesach, six months from now, we will say – 'Wow! A Pesach sacrifice is being sacrificed on the Temple Mount.”

"And the second thing that I want to wish upon all of us is that with the help of G-d, next year, we will not sit in... and I am saying this completely seriously... we will sit in the sukkah of the prime minister.”

Rookie MK Feiglin is widely recognized as a brilliant intellectual with highly original thoughts on numerous issues, including a libertarian philosophy that appeals to many non-religious people. His loyal Jewish Leadership faction within Likud has done much to shape the party's list of MKs over the years. On the other hand, he is portrayed by opponents as a dangerous religious fanatic who needlessly stirs up trouble by insisting on his right to tour the Temple Mount – a right that was taken away from him by government orders.

While Feiglin's high profile visits to the Mount, including an attempt to enter the Dome of the Rock itself, raised ire even among die-hard supporters of Jewish rights on the Mount, many admitted that the moves succeeded in making the Mount a focus of national attention and spurred many more Jews to begin to insist on their right to ascend it.

The Temple Mount is the site of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem, the last of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, and is Judaism's holiest place.

Yet despite that fact, Jews are banned from carrying out any forms of religious worship on the Mount, for fear of offending Muslim worshippers at the Al Aqsa Islamic complex which today sits upon the ruins of the Temples. 

Muslim extremists regularly incite against Jewish visitors to the Mount, and Jewish visitors sometimes face harassment and physical attacks at the hands of Muslim worshippers.

There is, however, an added layer of controversy to such visits: a number of Orthodox rabbis oppose Jewish ascents to the Mount, citing concerns over the laws of ritual purity which are especially stringent on the Temple Mount and which, they say, could be violated by uneducated Jewish visitors. Treading on certain areas according to Jewish law can incur the punishment of kareit, loosely translated as "spiritual excommunication."

Let the Headlines Speak
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

French town unveils Jewish treasure hidden before Holocaust
Members of the town’s former Jewish community hid the cache of thousands of items — including old Torah scrolls and texts from the 16th century — in the space of a double ceiling, designed especially for concealment, according to the report.  

US default risk is real, Washington warns Wall Street
Money lenders trust America so implicitly that they generally dismiss the risk it won’t pay its debts. But in the US capital, fears are growing that political dysfunction might trigger the unthinkable. A few years ago one would have said, ‘Don’t be silly. Of course they will raise the debt ceiling.’ But one can’t say that any more.  

North Korea seen close to miniaturizing nuclear warhead
North Korea is close to developing a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on a long-range ballistic missile, a Chinese expert said in Seoul Wednesday.  

Syrian army hitting militants hard in Damascus suburb
The Syrian army continues to tighten the noose around foreign-backed militants in the town of Jobar in east of the capital Damascus, Press TV reports.  

Obama's startling linkage of Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace
By equating Israeli-Palestinian violence with an Iranian nuclear bomb, US President Barack Obama in his speech Tuesday morning before the UN General Assembly appeared at first glance to have blown this conflict out of all reasonable proportions. Hard to imagine how continued violence in Jerusalem or Ramallah could compare to a mushroom cloud from Tehran.  

Were ‘Black Flags Of Jihad’ Flying Over NYC’s Muslim Day Parade?
As dozens of innocent victims were massacred and hundreds more injured during Al-Shabaab’s attack on a shopping mall in Kenya (where they reportedly let Muslims go and terrorized non-Muslims), some handmade flags resembling the black flag of Islamic jihad were spotted flying around New York City:  

he Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount was the scene of clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police Wednesday morning, the latest in a series
Investigators are looking into reports of an explosion at Columbus Police headquarters in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Homeland Security Officials were on the scene at around 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday,  

Troops clash with Palestinians on Temple Mount
The Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount was the scene of clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police Wednesday morning, the latest in a series of skirmishes as Jewish pilgrims have flocked to the site over the holiday.  

Attackers claim 137 civilians dead, Kenya denies
Al-Shabab group tweets allegations that army buried civilians alive in mall, used chemical gas.  

US lawmakers unenthused by drive for rapprochment with Iran
“We support the willingness of the Obama Administration to test the credibility of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic overtures,” Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte said in a statement released Tuesday. “However, we are deeply skeptical about the real motivations behind Iran’s charm offensive.  

Pakistan earthquake creates new island, 'mud volcano' to blame
Seismologists suspect the island is a temporary formation resulting from a "mud volcano," a jet of mud, sand and water that gushed to the surface as the temblor churned and pressurized that slurry under the ocean floor.  

US will use 'military force' to secure Middle East interests: Obama
Obama warned Tuesday that the United States was ready to use military force to protect US and global interests in the Middle East and Africa.  

Moderate earthquake jolts Shangla
According seismic centre the magnitude of the earthquake was 4.7 on the Richter Scale, while its epicentre was in Afghanistan’s Hindukush region at a depth of 163 kilometre.  

Militant Sunni group takes aim at minorities
A Sunni militant group known for targeting rival Muslims has emerged as a dangerous new player in Pakistan, sending a pair of suicide bombers this week to detonate themselves inside a church in the deadliest ever attack against Pakistani Christians. The brutal assault, which killed 85 worshippers during Sunday services, was the first time that a militant group has taken direct aim at Pakistan's tiny Christian community.  

Pakistan earthquake latest: Death toll 238 and rising; New island created
UPDATE: Officials said 238 deaths had been confirmed so far, 208 in Awaran district, and the toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach more villages in the remote area. ...The 7.7-magnitude quake hit in the Awaran district of Baluchistan province on Tuesday afternoon, destroying scores of mud-built houses and prompting a new island to rise from the sea just off the country's southern coast.  

Number of Dutch killed by euthanasia rises by 13 per cent
The number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188. Voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, where a doctor is present while a patient kills themselves, usually by drinking a strong barbiturate potion, has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002.  

Euro Model toys with retro Nor'easter this weekend
Above are the maps from the EURO model for Sunday and Sunday night. The LOW gets caught under the HIGH, and may push West than North. The other models are not in this arena so we'll watch and wait. I'm not saying this is in any way shape or form like just has a few little things that trend to that idea.  

Kerry to sign UN arms treaty, despite senators' opposition
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told Fox News -- despite warnings from lawmakers that the Senate will not ratify the agreement. A State official said the treaty would "reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world's worst crimes," while protecting gun rights.  

Islamist rebels in Syria reject National Coalition
Eleven Islamist rebel groups in Syria have announced they do not recognise the authority of the main opposition alliance, the National Coalition. A joint statement says: "All groups formed abroad without having returned to the country do not represent us." They also call for the opposition to unite under an "Islamic framework".  

Empty F-16 jet tested by Boeing and US Air Force
Boeing has revealed that it has retrofitted retired fighter jets to turn them into drones. It said that one of the Lockheed Martin F-16 made a first flight with an empty cockpit last week. Two US Air Force pilots controlled the plane from the ground as it flew from a Florida base to the Gulf of Mexico.  

Turkey, Jordan say world has responsibility to end Syria war
Turkey and Jordan called on Tuesday for a more robust international effort to end Syria's civil war, saying the global community had a responsibility not to abandon the Syrian people. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Jordan's King Abdullah made the remarks while addressing the UN General Assembly in New York.  

Obama's startling linkage of Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace
By equating Israeli-Palestinian violence with an Iranian nuclear bomb, US President Barack Obama in his speech Tuesday morning before the UN General Assembly appeared at first glance to have blown this conflict out of all reasonable proportions. Hard to imagine how continued violence in Jerusalem or Ramallah could compare to a mushroom cloud from Tehran.  

Pakistan church bombing death toll hits 81 as and Christians protest deadly attack
Angry Pakistani Christians on Monday denounced the deadliest attack ever in this country against members of their faith as the death toll from the church bombings climbed overnight to 81.  

Shale oil poses threat to Gulf exports
Shale oil production could pose a threat to exports from the Gulf region, whose energy wealth has given it pivotal role in the global market and a geopolitical importance, experts say. Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil producer, but is only marginally ahead of the United States, whose output is gaining rapidly thanks in part to development of oil shale reserves.  

Syria crisis: 'Deadly blast' hits capital Damascus
Several people have been killed and wounded in an explosion in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian state TV reports. The state new agency Sana said a "terrorist bombing" attack had taken place in the Tadamon district in the south of the capital. Tadamon has been a battleground between rebel forces and the army for months.  

Pakistan earthquake: Hundreds dead in Balochistan
A powerful earthquake has killed at least 208 people in Pakistan's remote south-west province of Balochistan. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday afternoon at a depth of 20km (13 miles) north-east of Awaran, the US Geological Survey said. Many houses were flattened and thousands of people have spent the night in the open.  

Iran ready for nuclear talks, says President Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he is prepared to engage in "time-bound and results-oriented" talks on his country's nuclear programme. He told the UN General Assembly's annual meeting in New York that sanctions against Iran were "violent".  

Challenge ‘Common Core’ At Your Own Peril
Sep 25th, 2013
Daily News
By Arnold Ahlert
Categories: Contemporary Issues;Warning

Last Thursday in Towson, Maryland, concerned parent Robert Small was physically removed from a public forum for daring to interrupt Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance during the so-called “question-and-answer” portion of a school board meeting. Dance was only answering questions from parents previously submitted in writing. When Small stood up to tell the audience that he believed the introduction of the new Common Core curriculum would compromise education standards, he was approached by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard and forcibly removed from the auditorium. He was subsequently handcuffed, and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer. Though the charges have reportedly been dropped, the incident remains a shocking reminder of the oppressive nature of Common Core and the liberal educational establishment charged with enforcing it.

Chilling might be an understatement. Small was held until 3 a.m. after being charged. He faced a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison for the alleged assault, as well as a fine of $2,500 and up to six months in jail for disturbing a school operation. The police report contended Small attempted to push the officer away when he was first confronted.
On Friday, Small spoke with the Baltimore Sun. “Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told the paper on Friday. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great Common Core is.”
The “greatness” of Common Core deserves to be questioned at length, and those questions go far beyond Small’s characterization that the curriculum was lowering school standards and preparing students for junior college. Other critics of the program, currently being rolled out in 45 states and the District of Columbia, rightly say that the implementation of federal standards amounts to a federal attempt to seize control of public school education.
Common Core was created—and copyrighted—by two Washington, DC lobbying organizations. They received input from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), which are DC-based trade associations.  Most of the creative work was implemented by ACHIEVE, Inc., a progressive non-profit group largely underwritten by uber leftist Bill Gates, via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The series of educational standards was put together without any input from state legislators, teachers, local school boards or parents. The program was sold to individual states coercively, with governors promised large sums of stimulus money to sign on and enticed by waivers relieving them of the requirements demanded by No Child Left Behind or threatened with a withholding of funds for resisting.
Even then, the federal government will only be paying for approximately half of the huge costs associated with implementing the program. Those costs include providing a computer to every child, and introducing another level of bureaucracy known as “master teachers.” The master teachers will be tasked with coaching, monitoring and assessing classroom teachers. Much of that effort is aimed at making sure teachers “teach the test,” because their jobs depend on it. After implementation, states and local school boards will bear the lion’s share of funding the program’s continuation.
The standards themselves are equally dubious. Cursive will no longer be taught. (no handwriting)Euclidian geometry, emphasizing logic, will be replaced by a geometry “standard” so dubious, it was jettisoned by the Soviet Union 50 years ago. Rote memorization will be greatly reduced. (MY COMMENT:  memory is already so bad in young people, that it has a name, digital dementia....computers make it not necessary for children remember;  computers auto-correct, and store for the child.  Actual brain damage not reversible esp. in young children, has been found in alarming numbers in Asian studies where this phenomenon is seen..)Great literature will be eliminated in favor technical material, such as manuals, that enhance the computer-centric method stressed by Common Core. Moreover, an integral part of the progressive agenda with be served. Social justice will be stressed, along with redistributionist economic theories and radical environmentalism. (read that as Marxism=communism=globalism=new world order= ready for the tribulation/my comment).
Yet the most disturbing aspect of the program by far is the reality that it paves the way for the acquisition of an unprecedented level of personal information by schools. The federal government is aiming to sell that info to interested third parties using a loophole in the 2009 stimulus bill as its vehicle. While the feds can’t create a national database of student information, the bill allows individual states to develop State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS), cataloguing data generated by Common Core testing. Moreover, in 2011 the federal Department of Education concluded that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was to be “reinterpreted” to allow the dissemination of that student data to virtually anyone without written parental consent. According to the conservative think tank the American Principles Project, this “data mining” is nothing less than “one part of a much broader plan by the federal government to track individuals from birth through their participation in the workforce.”
The extent of the data collection is highly disturbing. On page 44 of its February 2013 report, the U.S. Department of Education displayed photographs of “four parallel streams of affective sensors.” Once the program is fully implemented, those sensors will be used to “provide constant, parallel streams of data…used with data mining techniques and self-report measures to examine frustration, motivation/flow, confidence, boredom, and fatigue” of children. In short, they will become de facto lab rats.
It gets worse. Last year, 24 states and territories reached a deal to proceed with data mining in exchange for grants. “Personally Identifiable Information” will be collected from each student. that data includes: parents’ names, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc.
Almost unbelievably, the intrusion doesn’t stop there. A November 2010 report released by the Institute of Education Sciences as guidance for the aforementioned State Longitudinal Database Systems revealed that “Sensitive Information” will also be acquired from children. It is listed in the report as follows:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;
  2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
  3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;
  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or
  8. Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).

The data mining of Sensitive Information ostensibly requires written parental consent. But as Mary Black, curriculum director for Freedom Project Education explains, that requirement can be circumvented. “I think they would get around parental consent through testing,” Black said, warning that academic exams could be tailored in such a manner as to extract the relevant data without parents’ knowledge. Black further contends that even if parents are successful in keeping their children away from such invasive questions, they could be “branded” and placed in a special category a result.
Yet getting parents on board may be even simpler than that. The extraction of such information could be heavily sold to unsuspecting parents under the auspices that it constitutes a critical component of their child’s educational development and success.
As of last March, nine states have embraced the data mining component of Common Core. Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina will be “pilot testing” the effort. Students’ personal information will then be sent to a database managed by inBloom, Inc., a private organization funded largely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Furthermore, as long as the school districts agree, inBloom, Inc. can disseminate the information to any company with whom they choose to share it.
Perhaps all of the above explains why Superintendent Dance required pre-submitted questions—and why Robert Small was hustled out of the meeting when it became apparent he had the potential to steer it dangerously “off-script.” It is a script largely designed to obscure the reality that the Common Core is not merely a one-size-fits-all effort to federalize education. It is arguably one of the most egregious invasions of personal privacy ever perpetrated by the federal government, in collaboration with duplicitous state officials and profit-hungry businesses.
In answer to Robert Small’s question, yes this is America—until Americans decide they’ve had enough of it.

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