Archive for September, 2013


POLITICO

Justice Department to challenge North Carolina voter ID law

Eric Holder is pictured. | AP Photo

The justices’ 5-4 ruling outraged civil rights advocates. | AP Photo

The Justice Department will file suit against North Carolina on Monday, charging that the Tar Heel State’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against African Americans, according to a person familiar with the planned litigation.

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce the lawsuit at 11 a.m. Monday at Justice Department headquarters, flanked by the three U.S. Attorneys from North Carolina.

The suit, set to be filed in Greensboro, N.C., will ask that the state be barred from enforcing the new voter ID law, the source said. However, the case will also go further, demanding that the entire state of North Carolina be placed under a requirement to have all changes to voting laws, procedures and polling places “precleared” by either the Justice Department or a federal court, the source added.

Until this year, 40 North Carolina counties were under such a requirement. However, in June, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the formula Congress used to subject parts or all of 15 states to preclearance in recent decades.

The justices’ 5-4 ruling outraged civil rights advocates, but did not disturb a rarely-used “bail in” provision in the law that allows judges to put states or localities under the preclearance requirement. Civil rights groups and the Justice Department have since seized on that provision to try to recreate part of the regime that existed prior to the Supreme Court decision.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed the voter ID measure into law last last month.

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MSNBC

The battle for voting rights is just the beginning, says Holder


US Attorney General Eric Holder arrives to address the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference during a public policy forum on voting rights in Washington on September 20, 2013. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty)

This story has been updated and a correction appended. 

Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Justice Department will continue its efforts to protect voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision which gutted the Voting Rights Act earlier this summer.

During remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus, Holder explained that the lawsuits filed to stop Texas’s discriminatory redistricting and voter ID laws are “just the beginning.”

“Thanks to the hard work of our Civil Rights Division, we are continuing to refine and re-focus current enforcement efforts across the country,” he said. “And while the suits we’ve filed in Texas mark the first voting rights enforcement actions the Justice Department has taken since the Supreme Court ruling, they will not be the last.”

So far, the Justice Department has filed lawsuits to block redistricting and voter ID laws in Texas, along with pushing to see the state returned to preclearance under a different provision of the Voting Rights Act that remains intact after the Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier this week, the NAACP and Mexican American Legislative Caucus filed a lawsuit joining the DOJ in its attempt to block the voter ID law.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the Justice Department’s efforts a “scheme” to win Texas for Democrats.

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Southern States Are Moving to Tighten Voting Rules

 

Emboldened by the Supreme Court decision that struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, a growing number of Republican-led states are moving aggressively to tighten voting rules. Lawsuits by the Obama administration and voting rights activists say those efforts disproportionately affect minorities.

At least five Southern states, no longer required to ask Washington’s permission before changing election procedures, are adopting strict voter identification laws or toughening existing requirements.

Texas officials are battling the U.S. Justice Department to put in place a voter ID law that a federal court has ruled was discriminatory. In North Carolina, the GOP-controlled Legislature scaled back early voting and ended a pre-registration program for high school students nearing voting age.

Nowhere is the debate more heated than in Florida, where the chaotic recount in the disputed 2000 presidential race took place.

Florida election officials are set to resume an effort to remove noncitizens from the state’s voting rolls. A purge last year ended in embarrassment after hundreds of American citizens, most of whom were black or Hispanic, were asked to prove their citizenship or risk losing their right to vote.

Republican leaders across the South say the new measures are needed to prevent voter fraud, even though such crimes are rare. Democrats and civil rights groups say the changes are political attacks aimed at minorities and students — voting groups that tend to lean toward Democrats — in states with legacies of poll taxes and literacy tests.

In North Carolina, for example, a state board of elections survey found that more than 600,000 registered voters did not have a state-issued ID, a requirement to vote under the state’s new law. Many of those voters are young, black, poor or elderly.

“We’re in the middle of the biggest wave of voter suppression since the Voting Rights Act was enacted,” said Katherine Culliton-González, director of voter protection for the Advancement Project, a Washington-based civil rights group that has undertaken legal challenges in several states.

For five decades, states and localities with a history of discrimination had to submit all election laws, from new congressional district maps to precinct locations and voting hours, to federal lawyers for approval. That practice ended in June when the Supreme Court struck down the provision in the Voting Rights Act as outdated.

Voting rights groups said recent actions by Southern states highlight the need for Congress to retool the rejected sections of the landmark 1965 law that were credited with ensuring ballot access to millions of blacks, American Indians and other minorities.

The administration is using the remaining parts of the law to bring court cases.

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I suppose that  since they  can  no longer  claim that  Women  driving is  against  Sharia  Law  they  must  say  something.  The  excuse of damaged  ovaries  is as  good  as  any ,  especially  if  you are  counting  on   compliance  and  subservience…….Hmmmm.

 

How’s that compliant and subservient thing  working  for  you ????

~Desert Rose~

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Al Arabiya News

Last Update: Saturday, 28 September 2013 KSA 07:27 – GMT 04:27
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Saudi Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan said driving “could have a reverse physiological impact” on women. (Al Arabiya)
Al Arabiya

Saudi women seeking to challenge a de facto ban on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan, also a psychologist, told Saudi news website sabq.org.

Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.

Saudi female activists have launched an online campaign urging women to drive on Oct. 26.

More than 11,000 women have signed the oct26driving.com declaration that says: “Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving. We call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass.”

Sheikh al-Luhaydan urged these women to consider “the mind before the heart and emotion and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“The result of this is bad and they should wait and consider the negativities,” he said.

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Saudi women seek right to drive

A Saudi woman sits in a vehicle as a passenger in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013)
Stuck in the passenger seat: Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

A new campaign asking for the right for women to drive in Saudi Arabia has attracted more than 11,000 signatures in support.

The campaign has set 26 October as a day for Saudi women to take to the roads – in defiance of the informal ban on women behind the wheel.

In a sign of how pervasive online social networks have become in Saudi Arabia, the campaign was started on Twitter.

It is the idea of the activist, Eman al-Nafjan, who set things in motion with a simple message saying that Saudi women would express their feelings about driving on 26 October.

“There is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so”

Petition for women’s driving rights

The hope is that women will come out en masse to drive on that day, she told the BBC.

Ms Nafjan says the campaign is meant to be a grassroots movement open to all Saudis – men as well as women – to show their support.

Influential Saudis have given their public backing, while several videos of women driving have been posted on the campaign’s website.

There is even a song linked to the campaign by the Saudi-born singer Shams, entitled It’s Our Right to Drive.

Photos have also been sent in showing supporters’ hands with parts of the online petition written across them.

The first point in the petition reads: “Since there is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so, we urge the state to provide appropriate means for women seeking the issuance of permits and licenses to apply and obtain them”.

It goes on to say that the Saudi government must provide a valid and legal justification if it continues to deny women the right to drive.

Cars in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013) Many Saudi women are dependent on paid male drivers to get around

‘Window dressing’

Women activists in Saudi Arabia say the issue of being allowed to drive is key to gaining other rights.

There have been moves in this direction recently with women allowed onto the influential Shura council for the first time, as well as having the right to vote in the next municipal elections.

 

 

Read More Here

 

 

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Saudi Sheikh blasted on Twitter for saying women drivers ‘risk damaging ovaries’

Published time: September 29, 2013 17:43

>Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Comments by a Saudi psychologist that driving affects women’s ovaries and can lead to their children having health problems have outraged many women in the conservative Muslim country, who are protesting a de facto ban on women driving.

In an interview Friday with the sabq.org website, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan said campaigners should put “the mind before the heart and emotion, and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“Physiological science and functional medicine [found that driving] automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis,” the judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association said.

“This is why we find [that] for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees.”

Many Saudis have expressed their anger in Twitter, mocking the Sheikh’s “great scientific discoveries.”

A special hashtag “Women_driving_affects_ovaries_and_pelvises” appeared on the social network, and is widely used.

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Sep 29, 2013

As fighting continues in Syria, 43 Islamist groups have united to form a joint “Army of Islam.” The groups have agreed to act under the joint leadership of Sheikh Muhammad Zahran Alloush. The Army of Islam’s creation was officially announced in a ceremony on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, along with ideologically similar groups such as ‘Ahrar al-Sham’ (Free [Men] of the Levant), did not join the “Army of Islam”, despite sharing its goal of toppling President Bashar Assad and instituting Sharia (Islamic law) in Syria.

At the same time, the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) is working to reunite its leadership after several commanders disassociated themselves last week from its leadership.

Thirteen militant brigades announced that they reject the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the FSA under the leadership of Salim Idriss. The groups’ commanders called to unite under an Islamist umbrella group.

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The Long War Journal

Free Syrian Army units ally with al Qaeda, reject Syrian National Coalition, and call for sharia

Some of the largest Free Syrian Army brigades teamed up with an al Qaeda affiliate and other large Islamist groups to reject the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition and call for the establishment of sharia, or Islamic Law, throughout Syria. The move is a major blow to the US-backed Syrian National Coalition and Free Syrian Army, which the West has held up as the moderate faction of the Syrian rebellion.

Abd al Aziz Salamah, the leader of Liwa al Tawhid, announced that 11 rebel groups, including al Qaeda’s Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, signed a statement that called for sharia, denounced the Syrian National Coalition, and urged all groups to unite. Salamah’s video announcing the development was posted on Sept. 24 on YouTube. A translation of his statement was obtained by The Long War Journal.

“The mujahideen militant factions and forces that have signed this statement convened, consulted with each other, and concluded the following,” Salamah said, listing four points of agreement.

“These forces and factions call on all military and civilian organizations to unite under a clear Islamic framework, set forth by the magnanimity of Islam, operating on the basis that Sharia is the arbiter of governance and making it the sole source of legislation,” he said.

He said that only those serving on the front lines are able to represent the Syrian people, and that “all formations established outside the country without consulting those inside do not represent them and are not recognized by them ….”

“[T]he Coalition and the would-be government under the presidency of Ahmad Tu’mah [the leader of the Syrian National Coalition] do not represent the factions and are not recognized by them,” Salamah continued.

Additionally he called on “all militant and civilian organizations to unify their ranks and words, eschew division and discord, and put the interests of the Ummah [the global Muslim community] over that of any single group.”

Salamah then named the 11 groups that signed the agreement. The groups include the Al Nusrah Front, one of two official al Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria; three large Islamist groups that fight alongside al Qaeda — Ahrar al Sham, Liwa al Islam, and Al Fajr Islamic Movement; and two large Free Syrian Army formations — Liwa al Tawhid and Suqur al Sham Brigades – which also fight alongside al Qaeda [see a list of the groups below]. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al Qaeda’s other affiliate that operates in Syria, did not sign the statement.

Syria’s insurgency becomes more radicalized

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THE TELEGRAPH.CO.UK

Syrian opposition splits after Islamists push for sharia state

Western hopes of building a moderate Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad have been set back after the Islamist militias which dominate the rebel movement said they were “going it alone” and intended to establish a sharia state.

Children make their way to school in Aleppo as Western hopes of building a moderate opposition to Bashar al-Assad suffer a set back Photo: JM LOPEZ/EPA

Western hopes of building a moderate Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad have been set back after the Islamist militias that dominate the rebel movement said they were “going it alone” and intended to establish a sharia state.

The new Islamist alliance includes Jabhat al-Nusra, a jihadist group that has sworn loyalty to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, Ahrar al-Sham, a hardline militant group, and a string of other brigades from across the country.

Representatives of secular forces in the opposition blamed President Barack Obama’s decision to hold off from air strikes against the Assad regime following the chemical weapons attack on east Damascus last month, and the West’s wider failure to arm the pro-democracy opposition.

“If there is no international intervention in Syria it will become a second Afghanistan, a second Somalia,” said Fahad al-Masri, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army, the broadly secular movement founded largely by army defectors.

The Islamists are funded and supplied by donors in the Gulf, many linked to militant causes.

The breakaway coalition includes major groups such as the Liwa Tawhid, the strongest opposition group in Aleppo. It had previously been loyal to the Syrian National Coalition, the “exiled leadership” backed by the West.

A statement agreed on Tuesday night said that the rebel leaders in question would no longer have anything to do with the SNC.

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Sep 29, 2013

This al-Aan TV exclusive footage shows militants from al-Qaeda’s the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) vandalizing the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of the Lady of the Annunciation in the northern Syrian city of al-Raqqa. The militants attempt to dismount the church’s bell, remove the church’s cross, and raise the al-Qaeda flag on top. They also destroyed and burnt the church’s contents.

The video also reveals the way these terrorists think, as a Saudi militant is filmed talking to Syrian kids and brainwashing them that the Christians worship the cross, which he held in his hand after managing to step on it.

Source: al-Aan TV

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Prevent Disease.com

  September 27, 2013 by MARCO TORRES

We are now very conscious to ingredient exclusions in our foods and cosmetics. No-GMO, no-dairy, no-gluten, no-soy, no-artificial flavors or colors are just a few of the warnings we look out for on labels. However, one very important and often overlooked warning is no-nanotechnology or non-nano. Nano particles that enter the circulatory system are implicated in arteriosclerosis, blood clots, arrhythmia, heart diseases, and ultimately death from heart disease. Should these particles enter other organs, such as liver, spleen, etc., they can lead to diseases of these organs. Like GMO, the labeling of nanotechnology in food, agriculture and cosmetics is desperately needed to help increase awareness of this technology which has societal implications. Above all, it will give people the choice of accepting or refusing products made through nanotechnology.
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A review analyzing the potential ethical and regulatory issues associated with the applications of nanotechnology in food and agriculture suggests that while current regulations do not require labeling, such measures should be considered in order to increase wider ethical and societal implications and awareness.

Writing in Trends in Food Science & Technology , the UK-based experts said that many large scale manufacturers of foods and agricultural products have already ‘invested heavily’ in nanotechnology R&D “and nanotechnology is already being used in some countries in the production of agricultural products, processed foods and drinks, and in food packaging.”

However, the team noted that there is currently little regulation that relates specifically to applications of nanotechnology in any field of application, “and particularly in relation to food.”

“Regulators therefore rely instead on a range of other relevant current regulations designed principally with applications other than nanotechnology in mind,” said the authors – led by Professor Lynn Frewer from Newcastle University.

Serious Health Implications

A large consortium of scientists from across the country have found that breathing ultra-fine Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano particles, found in everything from cosmetics to sunscreen and paint to vitamins, can cause lung inflammation and damage. A vast and rapidly expanding array of engineered nano-products are flooding the consumer market unregulated as evidence of toxicities accumulate.

Research on two of the most common types of engineered nano materials is being published online in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). It is the first multi-institutional study examining the health effects of engineering nano materials to replicate and compare findings from different labs across the country.

The study is critical, the researchers said, because of the large quantities of nano materials being used in the food industry, electronics and medicine. Earlier studies had found when nano materials are taken into the lungs they can cause inflammation and fibrosis. The unique contribution of the current study is that all members of the consortium were able to show similar findings when similar concentrations of the materials were introduced into the respiratory system.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano particles have already been found to cause systemic genetic damage in mice, according to an earlier comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The TiO2 nano particles induced single- and double-strand DNA breaks and also caused chromosomal damage as well as inflammation, all of which increase the risk for cancer.

All types of nano particles have been found in human cells to manifest in the specific transformation of the amino acid arginine into the molecule called citrulline which can lead to the development of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

In the transformation to citrulline, human proteins which incorporate this modified amino acid as building blocks, can no longer function properly and are subject to destruction and elimination by the bodily defense system. Once programmed to get rid of citrullinated proteins, the immune system can start attacking its own tissues and organs, thereby causing the autoimmune processes which may result in rheumatoid arthritis.

Other diseases associated with inhaled nano particles include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, and neuro degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Nano particles in the gastrointestinal tract have been linked to Crohn’s disease and colon cancer. Nano particles that enter the circulatory system are implicated in arteriosclerosis, blood clots, arrhythmia, heart diseases, and ultimately death from heart disease. Nano particles entering other organs, such as liver, spleen, etc., may lead to diseases of these organs.

No Requirements or Regulation

“At present, the European regulatory frameworks which deal with agri-food nanotechnology (including those related to labeling) are rather diverse, and none of these deal with ethical issues focused on agri-food nanotechnology.”

“There are currently no requirements for nano-materials used in agri-food production to be labelled,” they added.

As a consequence, Frewer and her team suggest that food manufacturers and suppliers are left with uncertainties regarding legislation relevant to food nanotechnology – for example in relation to risk-benefit assessment, labeling, or ethical production.

“Ethical principles, and societal acceptance require labeling of food products that are produced using nanotechnology,” they said.

Nano particles, Natural, Artificial, Old and New

What’s new about nano particles, as far as risk is concerned, is that many of them are chemically inert as ordinary ions or as larger particles (and hence never had to go through regulatory approval before the nano particles were used); but as soon as the particle size reaches nano meter dimensions, they acquire novel physico-chemical properties, causing oxidative stress and breaking DNA, and they can get access to every part of the body including the brain, via inhalation and the olfactory nerve.

A comprehensive review by Cristina Buzea and colleagues at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, in Canada, pointed out that human beings have been exposed to natural nano particles since the origin of our species, in the form of viruses, dusts from terrestrial and extraterrestrial dust storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and sea salt aerosols (which are largely beneficial).

Nano particles have been created by human activities for thousands of years, by burning wood in cooking, and more recently, chemical manufacturing, welding, ore refining and smelting, burning of petrol in vehicles and airplane engines, burning sewage sludge, coal and fuel oil for power generation, all of which are already known to have health impacts. Automobile exhaust particular pollution is linked to heart and lung diseases and childhood cancers.

However, the introduction of nano particles in food and cosmetics is less than a decade old and the industry must advise the public of the health implications which are largely man-made.

The Industry Must Act

There is clearly an urgent need not only to stem but also to reverse the unregulated tide of nano particles that are released onto the market. In view of the existing evidence, the following actions should be taken.

– Engineered nano-ingredients in food, cosmetics and baby products for which toxicity data already exist (e.g., silver, titanium oxide, fullerenes, etc.) should be withdrawn immediately

– A moratorium should be imposed on the commercialization of nano-products until they are demonstrated safe

– All consumer products containing nanotechnology should be clearly labelled

– A robust regulatory program on nanotechnology – including characterization and standardization of manufacture – should be implemented as soon as possible

– There should be earmarked funding for research into the hazards of nanotechnology.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

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SuperOracle123

What’s behind the Common Core Curriculum From Germany to Communist China to the Soviet Union to the United States today, the elites have a goal:

Conformity uber alles.

Until recently, that’s been hard to enforce. People can do “inconvenient” things like read and research and think for themselves.

Big Business and Big Government and their handmaidens in Big Education have a plan to remedy that.

The National Governors Association, the Gates Foundation, Intel, Microsoft, the World Bank, and the �learning company� Pearson are working hard together to bring a nightmare curriculum to fruition.

Their vision is one where techno-socialization, not knowledge gained from independent sources or critical thinking ability, is the top priority for education.

Documentarian Aaron Franz interviews education researcher Robin Eubanks about the Rotten Core Curriculum, and this video covers some of their main points in an excerpted form.


 

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WND

 

Common Core: $500 billion scandal

 

Exclusive: Carole Hornsby Haynes blasts federal takeover driven by corporate giants

 

By Carole Hornsby Haynes

Why are powerful corporate interests pushing Common Core? Could it be the promise of national scale business opportunities for White House loyalists?

Signaling philanthropic capital, Joanne Weiss, the chief of staff to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and leader of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program, blogged in the Harvard Business Review:

“The development of common standards and shared assessments radically alters the market for innovation in curriculum development, professional development, and formative assessments. Previously, these markets operated on a state-by-state basis, and often on a district-by-district basis. But the adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.

In this new market, it will make sense for researchers to mine data to learn which materials and teaching strategies are effective for which students – and then feed that information back to students, teachers, and parents.”

Student information obtained through Common Core testing – data mining – is being shared with private companies that sell educational products and services. These companies will mine the information to create new tailored products.

Republican Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, stated, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching.”

It didn’t go unnoticed that Bill Gates spent – more accurately, primed the pump – $5 billion buying his own version of education reform. From bribing the National Parents Association, to paying the Council of Chief State School Officers for the development of Common Core, to doling out funds to other major centers of influence, the Gates money has attracted those of all stripes who will benefit from the success of Common Core.

News Corp. purchased Wireless Generation in 2010. News Corporation then created Amplify, of which Wireless Generation is a part, to create digital products and services for K-12. Soon after, Amplify partnered with AT&T.

Joel I. Klein, former chancellor of New York City, joined News Corp. as an executive vice president.

GE Foundation gave $18 million to Student Achievement Partners to assist states in implementing Common Core. Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, architect of Common Core and now, as president of the College Board is redesigning the SAT.

President of GE Foundation Robert Corcoran said, “Our economy is facing an undeniable challenge – good paying jobs are going unfilled because U.S. workers don’t have the skills to fill the positions. We must cultivate a highly educated workforce and we see the Standards as a key component to answering this challenge.”

One wonders if there is more to this than meets the eye. Yes, the GE website sports a full range of data management and data analytics software solutions.

A Fordham Institute editor gushed that business leaders were rallying around Common Core as he name-dropped the powerful who attended the GE Foundation’s Summer Business and Education Summit in Orland0.

The biggest gusher at the Summit was Jeb Bush, whose Foundation for Excellence in Education is supported by the Gates Foundation. Sounding the crisis alarm, he predicted “that states are heading for a ‘train wreck.’ He noted that when the new standards and assessments come fully online in 2015 that many communities, schools, and families are in for a rude awakening.”
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As schools adopt Common Core standards, challenges remain

By JOE ROBERTSON

The Kansas City Star

Brad Neuenswander, deputy commissioner of education in Kansas, spends a lot of time on the phone these days talking about the Common Core State Standards.

“I had a one-hour conversation with a mother over lunch just today,” he said. Talking about what they are. And even more so, “what they are not.”

“I had someone tell me they heard that they were a way to eliminate local school boards. I’d never even heard that one.”

As all Kansas City area school districts and most systems nationwide put the standards into action, they are fending off 11th-hour accusations of a nationwide curriculum — that a federal agency will dictate lesson plans.

Certainly the standards are a dramatic creation for American schools. They propose a set of common expectations of the knowledge and skills that children should attain according to grade level in math and English language arts.

They aim to increase rigor and inspire deeper and creative thinking so seniors graduate ready for college or training for competitive careers.

They represent one of the most collaborative state-level enterprises imaginable in the political world of education.

But for educators, it’s as if this jumbo airliner they spent years designing is being chased down the runway just as it is lifting off.

They already had enough challenges going forward.

The assessments being designed to test student performance under the new standards will cost billions of dollars nationwide to implement.

The assessments’ computerized format will strain many districts’ technology and web accessibility.

Scores almost inevitably will dip at first, clouding the perception of public schools. And this is coinciding with nationwide pressure to make student performance data a bigger part of teacher and principal evaluations.

Forty-five states, including Kansas and Missouri, have adopted the standards, and Minnesota has adopted the reading half. But Missouri and Kansas also stand among as many as nine states that have had lawmakers attempt to repeal them or cut their funding.

Earlier this month, leaders of the Kansas Republican Party adopted a resolution calling on the state to withdraw.

The backlash interrupts what had been a surprisingly smooth ride for education’s grand proposal.

“It seemed like an idea whose time had come,” said Jim Dunn of Liberty, who is directing a National School Public Relations Association project to publicize the merits of Common Core.


Education think tanks had long bemoaned America’s lagging performance in international testing.

U.S. schools too often were loading students up with too much content and not enough applicable skills. Comparisons between states were difficult. Disparities in state test rigor confused any search for successful schools that might serve as models.

In the mid-2000s, Republican and Democratic governors joined with state education commissioners to work with Achieve Inc. to collaborate on a new set of standards.

The idea was the standards would be state-driven. They would set a higher bar to guide educators.

The curriculum and the classroom strategies used to teach to those standards would remain the unique contribution of schools and their teachers.

By the end of 2010, all but a few states had signed on.

“It was surprisingly successful,” Dunn said. “I think the people who backed it got complacent.”

The education community did not always effectively inform people outside its universe of what was in store, he said. A PDK/Gallup poll released in August found, even now, that 60 percent of Americans do not know what Common Core is.

“This was a vacuum,” he said.

Plenty of concerned national voices have filled that space.

Read More Here
 

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Caution 

Music at the  beginning of the  video  is extremely  loud so please be sure  to  lower  your  volume settings  as I  have no  control over the settings  used to  create  the  original  video.

~Desert Rose~

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medfaxx medfaxx

Uploaded on Apr 27, 2009

Healthier more robust plants, better drainage, improved uptake of nutrients, preserves beneficial living organisms, more organic matter, more humus, better water infiltration, holds more water, break down and recycle soil nutrients.
Video by Dr. Milton Ganyard at HerbFest to benefit the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment, http://www.gjcae.org.

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Machine gun found hidden in closet at New York’s JFK Airport

Published time: September 27, 2013 20:40

Photo from flickr.com user Stephen Z

Photo from flickr.com user Stephen Z

An electrician was doing renovation work at JFK’s Terminal One on Thursday when he stumbled upon a Mac-11, a subcompact machine pistol that can unload its 32-round magazine in under two seconds.

Port Authority officers were immediately deployed to to scene to run ballistics tests and conduct an investigation, but so far officials aren’t sure how the gun ended up there or how long it had been stowed away. Through testing, they hope to determine if the weapon was ever used in a crime.

According to a statement issued by the Port Authority Police Department, the room where the gun was found is locked, accessible only to a few people and located outside the terminal’s secure area.

Read More Here

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Prevent Disease.com

September 26, 2013 by DAVE MIHALOVIC

Melatonin is a wonder hormone that is far too underrated in terms of its dynamic effects on our health. It can control everything from our sleep/wake cycles to our reproduction, weight, mood and even strong anti-aging and anti-tumor effects. Melatonin is found in many foods such as mustard, goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. However, it also easily absorbed through quality supplementation in therapeutic doses.
 photo melatonin-benefits12s_zpse13d5737.jpg

Melatonin is found in animals, plants, and microbes. It is a natural hormone segregated by the body and melatonin levels generally increase in the dark at night. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.

Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression.

“In patients who had SAD, the duration of melatonin secretion became longer in winter and shorter in summer, just as it occurs in other mammals,” lead author Dr. Thomas A. Wehr, a research psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, stated. “That could be controlling this panoply of changes that occurs in people when they get depressed in the winter.”

Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.

Low Levels of Melatonin Associated With Increased Cancer Risk

Recent research has suggested that low melatonin levels in the body may be linked to a higher risk of certain types of cancer. For example, a few studies have found that women who work night shifts for many years (and therefore would be expected to have lower levels of melatonin) seem to have a slightly higher risk of breast and colorectal cancer.

Melatonin has been shown to slow or stop the growth of several types of cancer cells and even treat cancer. Some of the studies have suggested that melatonin may extend survival and improve quality of life for patients with certain types of untreatable cancers such as advanced lung cancer and melanoma. Some studies reported that a small number of cancers went into total or partial remission

Peer-reviewed and published research has shown melatonin offers particularly strong protection against reproductive cancers. Cells throughout your body — even cancer cells — have melatonin receptors. So when melatonin makes its nightly rounds, cell division slows. When this hormone latches onto a breast cancer cell, it has been found to counteract estrogen’s tendency to stimulate cell growth.

In fact, melatonin has a calming effect on several reproductive hormones, which may explain why it seems to protect against sex hormone-driven cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, breast, prostate and testicular cancers. GreenMedInfo lists twenty studies demonstrating exactly how melatonin exerts its protective effects against breast cancer.

But melatonin’s anti-cancer effects don’t stop there. While causing cancer cells to self-destruct, melatonin also boosts your production of immune stimulating substances such as interleukin-2, which helps identify and attack the mutated cells that lead to cancer. The greatest area of melatonin research to date has to do with breast cancer. Some of the more impressive studies include the following:

  • The journal Epidemiology reported increased breast cancer risk among women who work predominantly night shifts
  • Women who live in neighborhoods with large amounts of nighttime illumination are more likely to get breast cancer than those who live in areas where nocturnal darkness prevails, according to an Israeli study
  • From participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, it was found that nurses who work nights had 36 percent higher rates of breast cancer.
  • Blind women, whose eyes cannot detect light and so have robust production of melatonin, have lower-than-average breast cancer rates
  • When the body of epidemiological studies are considered in their totality, women who work night shift are found to have breast cancer rates 60 percent above normal, even when other factors such as differences in diet are accounted for.

Stimulates Beige Fat

Spanish scientists have discovered that melatonin consumption helps control weight gain because it stimulates the appearance of ‘beige fat’, a type of fat cell that burns calories in vivo instead of storing them. White adipose tissue stores calories leading to weight gain whereas ‘beige fat’ (also known as ‘good or thinning fat’) helps regulate body weight control, hence its metabolic benefits.

In the Journal of Pineal Research, scientists from the University of Granada Institute for Neuroscience, the Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (USA) have revealed, for the first time, the previously unknown enigma of why melatonin has metabolic benefits in treating diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

In earlier publications, the researchers analysed the effects of melatonin on obesity, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes mellitus associated with obesity in young obese diabetic Zucker rats–an experimental model of metabolic syndrome.

In view of their most recent results, it seems the key lies in the fact that chronic melatonin consumption not only induces the appearance of ‘beige fat’ in obese diabetic rats, but also increases its presence in thin animals used as a control group. ‘Beige fat’ cells are found in scattered lentil-sized deposits beneath the inguinal skin in obese diabetic Zucker rats.

These findings, together with the pharmacologically safe profile of melatonin, mean it is a potentially useful tool both in its own right and to complement the treatment of obesity. Sleeping in the dark and consuming these foodstuffs could help control weight gain and prevent cardiovascular diseases associated with obesity and dyslipidemia.

The study–coordinated by University of Granada lecturer Ahmad Agil–showed that chronic administration of melatonin sensitizes the thermogenic effect of exposure to cold, heightens the thermogenic effect of exercise and, therefore, constitutes excellent therapy against obesity. The fact is that one of the key differences between ‘beige fat’, which appears when administering melatonin, and ‘white fat’, is that ‘beige fat’ cell mitochondria express levels of UCP1 protein, responsible for burning calories and generating heat.

Melatonin has been found to promote health in many other ways:

  1. Melatonin can protect against heart disease. It’s been shown to increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol and play a role in lowering blood pressure. Melatonin can also protect your heart during a heart attack.
  2. There is increasing evidence that melatonin secretion is related to migraine and headache disorders, Dr. Mario F. P. Peres, of Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, in Sao Paulo, and colleagues note in the medical journal Neurology. After 3 months of melatonin supplementation, subjects experience a 50 percent reduction in headache frequency.
  3. Melatonin is highly beneficial in those with diabetes. It protects the pancreatic cells, slowing down the progression of this disease. It also has very strong anti-oxidant properties reducing the damage to kidneys, eyes and circulation that is common in those with diabetes.
  4. Melatonin protects against Alzheimer’s disease and slows down progression in the early stages of the disease. This is due to its strong anti-oxidant properties along with its ability to readily cross the blood-brain barrier.
  5. Melatonin may help prevent osteoporosis. While further research is needed, early studies suggest that melatonin may prevent bone loss and increase new bone formation.
  6. Those who struggle to lose weight may benefit from melatonin. Lack of sleep causes an increase in appetite through disruption of your appetite hormones resulting in the consumption of more food in those who are sleep-deprived.


Why Quality Supplementation is Important

Some reports show that around age 6, melatonin secretions from the pineal gland begin to decrease due to the increased intake of food as we grow (melatonin is thought to be found in all foods). But the melatonin in foods may not be enough to replace the needs in the body, so it is highly recommended to use dietary supplementation as a means of receiving additional melatonin.

There is relatively good evidence that melatonin supplements can influence sleep and fatigue and can help with jet lag and some sleep problems.Melatonin is a well tolerated, non-habit-forming agent which does not produce grogginess. Some research shows that melatonin affects not only how quickly people fall asleep but also the duration and quality of sleep.

More evidence is coming forward showing that melatonin, when taken as a supplement, can stop or slow the spread of cancer, make the immune system stronger, or slow down the aging process.

In most cases, melatonin supplementation is safe in both low doses for short-term and long-term use.

How much and what kind of melatonin should you take?

Life Choice uses the purest source of melatonin in the world. They only use 100% DMF (drug master file) patented pharmaceutical grade raw material; paying 700% more for their raw material than can be purchased without a patent. Why? The reasons are two-fold: first, the material is clinically researched, and secondly, the quality is consistently high with each order. Small batch manufacturing and the selection of raw materials create the difference that your body will notice.

Recommended dosage for adults in 5ml-15ml per day.

Sources:
oxfordjournals.org
cancer.org
mercola.com
life-choice.net
wiley.com

Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

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The Economic Collapse

$5.25 Million For Senate Hair Care And 21 Other Ways Politicians Are Living The High Life At Your Expense

Barack Obama John Boehner Nancy Pelosi Harry Reid Mitch McConnellIf you want to live the high life, you don’t have to become a rap star, a professional athlete or a Wall Street banker.  All it really takes is winning an election.  Right now, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and most of them leave “public service” far wealthier than when they entered it.  Since most of them have so much money, you would think that they would be willing to do a little “belt-tightening” for the sake of the American people.  After all, things are supposedly “extremely tight” in Washington D.C. right now.  In fact, just the other day Nancy Pelosi insisted that there were “no more cuts to make” to the federal budget.  But even as they claim that things are so tough right now, our politicians continue to live the high life at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.  The statistics that I am about to share with you are very disturbing.  Please share them with everyone that you know.  The American people deserve the truth.

According to the Weekly Standard, an absolutely insane amount of money is being spent on the “hair care needs” of U.S. Senators…

Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.

Keep in mind that there are only 100 U.S. Senators, and many of them don’t have much hair left at this point.

But hair care is just the tip of the iceberg.  The following are 21 other ways that our politicians are living the high life at your expense…

#1 According to Roll Call’s annual survey of Congressional wealth, the super wealthy in Congress just continue to get much wealthier even though they are supposedly dedicating their lives to “public service”…

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is the richest Member of Congress for the second year in a row, reporting a vast fortune that in 2011 had a minimum net worth surpassing $300 million for the first time.

McCaul is followed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who reported a minimum net worth of $198.65 million, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who reported a minimum net worth of $140.55 million. The two lawmakers swapped places since last year’s list.

The lawmakers who round out the top five, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), also flipped positions from 2010 to 2011, with Warner’s reported minimum worth rising about $9 million to $85.81 million and Rockefeller’s minimum worth rising slightly to $83.08 million.

#2 Amazingly, the 50th most wealthy member of Congress has a net worth of 6.14 million dollars.

#3 At this point, more than half of those “serving the American people” in Congress are millionaires.

#4 In one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 of U.S. taxpayer money was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.

#5 Once they leave Washington, former members of Congress continue to collect huge checks for the rest of their lives

In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.

#6 Speaker of the House John Boehner would bring home a yearly pension of close to $85,000 if he left Congress when his current term ends in 2014.

#7 At this point, quite a few former lawmakers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually.  That list includes such notable names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.

#8 The U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

#9 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.

#10 During one recent year, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.

#11 During one recent year, compensation for federal employees came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.

#12 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.

Read More Here

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