Memorial Day, 2014

As the mounting scandal over the Veterans Administration’s mishandling and negligence of veteran patience grows, this Memorial Day found Obama flying secretly to Afghanistan to visit the soldiers and draw attention away from the VA.

 

The VA, like any other bureaucracy, is constructed to make transactions as difficult as possible for the patients.  My father fought the VA from the time he left the Army in 1947 until his dying day in 1977.  Thirty years of battling their bureaucracy over a non-combat injury.  He served in the Army for nine years during World War II. 

 

It took four to six years (depending on what country you were serving) to vanquish the Nazis.  The bureaucracy of the VA is still standing, still fortified with arcane rules and regulations meant to discourage payments.  Meanwhile, the bodies are starting to pile up under its fortified walls.

 

Thirty-seven years after his death, we still tend my father’s grave (or I should say, graves; the crooked cemetery buried him in one place and put his marker in another, then sold out to another cemetery management firm).  The section of the cemetery where he’s buried, along with my maternal grandparents, is a flat-marker cemetery.  In time, if you don’t take care of the site, the grass grows over the marker, making it easier for the management firm to mow the lawn.

 

The Veterans Administration, apparently, has become a flat-marker bureaucracy. Ignore the veterans long enough and they’ll die, and you could just mow right over them.

 

Many of the graves in this section of the cemetery have long since been overgrown with grass.  Each year, the nearby markers are less and less visible.  That is what the VA hopes will happen, particularly with the World War II generation; that one day, they’ll just disappear.  If neglecting them or denying them care will move the process along, so much the better.

 

The American public was on the verge of forgetting those who didn’t come home from the wars.  But then along came 9/11, and they woke up from their slumber.  The crowds were out in great numbers again for this year’s parades, as has been the case since 9/11.

 

My father obviously did not die in World War II (or I wouldn’t be writing this post this very minute).  He and all the other veterans would say that the real heroes were the ones who didn’t come home.

 

We also pay tribute to my grandfather, who was an instructor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y.  He instructed the merchant seaman who helped deliver badly needed supplies to Great Britain, and then the war materials to mount the D-Day invasion and the push towards Berlin (a target which America foolishly veered from to appease Josef Stalin).

 

The merchant seaman of the day were badly maligned during the war.  They were accused of being “war profiteers,” profiting from the delivery of the supplies, while enlisted died on land, air, and sea.

 

But they led a dangerous life.  Over 500 ships were sunk in the North Atlantic during the war.  Thanks to the Geneva Convention, the ships had only minimal arms and nothing to protect them from Hitler’s wolf-packs.  A ship bearing iron ore would sink in about five minutes, with nearly all hands on board.  Only the seaman on deck stood any chance of escaping, and once in the water, were in danger of being machine-gunned by the submarine (which had no room for POWs).

 

If people think the merchant marines got off easy, well, that’s one awful way to have to make a living.

 

Friday is the actual Memorial Day (May 30th), giving you one more chance to honor our fallen properly.  No barbecues.  No pool parties.  No big sales.  No picnics.  Not even marching bands.

 

Just a silent remembrance of the sacrifice of the some who gave all.

 

Published in: on May 28, 2014 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  

The Stats on Common Core in New Jersey

Apologies galore to my readers for my long absence in posting.  I’ve been working on an important database project about Common Core.  I have compiled – and I’m still compiling – N.J. Assessment of Skills and Knowledge scores for the northern New Jersey area.  I’ve submitted the story to the local newspaper.  I mentioned the serious drop in scores to the editor and how I brought it up to the school board that I cover for the newspaper.  To my surprise and shock, he was very interested.

 

Here’s what Common Core is about, in a nutshell:  narrowing the achievement gap.  That’s what Obama has said.  That’s what the superintendent of schools on my beat said.  Common Core is about narrowing the achievement between high-performing students and struggling students within schools, and between high-achieving and failing schools.

 

There’s only one way to do that, and that’s to sink the high achievers.  Here in New Jersey, our Department of Education did just that.

 

An analysis of the test data, taken from the New Jersey School Performance Report, from 2006 through 2013 for students in grades 3 through 5, shows that in 2013, 59 percent of this particular borough’s fourth graders passed NJASK’s Literacy section (4 percent of those exceeded expectations); in 2007, that number was 94.9 percent (9.3 percent scored above expectations).  In those six years, scores dropped nearly 40 percent.

 

I chose the Language Arts Literacy over Math for the simple reason that the Literacy scores plummeted while the Math scores rose, in nearly direct proportion.  I chose to study the third through fifth grade because there’s still time to address any problems.  By the time the kids get to the 8th grade, it’s already too late.  A glance at the scores for the upper grades showed higher numbers.  But what did that mean?  That the kids suddenly got smarter?  Or that the scores showed the results of remedial, not progressive, learning?

 

Having an assignment at the borough’s middle school for a Spring choral concert and art show, I noticed that sticky notes papered the lockers at Lincoln Park Middle School during the third week in May.  “Don’t panic; you’ll ace it!”  “Don’t worry; you’ll do great!!”  “Just breath [sic]!”

My study, which I’ve labored over for the past two years, indicates students and teachers alike may have good reason to fear the Language Arts Literacy portion of the NJASK; in that general time period, but particularly between 2008 and 2010, scores in our geographic area uniformly plummeted about 20 percent from high scores in 2007.

 

Whether the schools were affluent, middle class, or blue collar, the numbers went down – significantly.

 

In fact, many students all over our area were in a panic over the prospect of taking the NJASK test.  Teachers were said to be frustrated over the increased amount of paperwork surrounding the tests.  Parents were furious.

 

The NJASK was originally called the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA)  The test was administered at the 4th grade level from 1997 through 2002 to provide an early indication of student progress toward achieving the knowledge and skills identified in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Contents Standards (CCCS).

 

In Spring 2003, the state DOE replaced the ESPA with the NJASK, which assesses student achievement in language arts, math, and science. Along with other indicators of student progress, the results of the elementary-level assessments are intended to be used to identify students who need additional instructional support in order to reach the CCCS.  

 

According to information in the 2013 NJASK Score Interpretation Manual, the drop may have been intentional. 

 

“Equating. In order to ensure that the scale scores are meaningful, it is critical that, for each test,

the same scale score be equally difficult to achieve from year to year. To that end, the test scores

in each content area and at each grade level are statistically equated to previous year scores.

 

“Each year, all tests are constructed using items that were field tested, making it possible to

estimate the difficulty of the test questions and the test as a whole. It is not possible, however, to

anticipate the precise difficulty level of a test in advance. As a result of the small year-to-year

variation that exists in the difficulty levels of the tests, the same level of knowledge and skill

may produce slightly different raw scores from one year to the next. To compensate for this

variation, raw scores are converted to equated scale scores.

 

“The equating process ensures that the same scale scores reflect equivalent levels of knowledge and skill from year to year; it enables us to say with confidence that any given scale score is equally difficult for students to attain on any given test in any given year.

 

“For example, in years in which the test proves to be slightly more challenging, a given raw score will produce a higher scale score (because it is harder for a student to achieve the same raw score on a more challenging set of questions).  In other words, a given raw score would be more

difficult to achieve on a more difficult test and would, therefore, produce a higher scale score.  The reverse is true when the test turns out to be a bit less challenging.”

 

Every presidential administration since Pres. Nixon’s Right to Read program (headed up by then First Lady Pat Nixon) has had its educational reform agenda and its corresponding educational funding program since Lyndon Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965).  Every presidential administration since has voted to continue the ESEA, which allots a portion of federal funds to low-performing school districts.

 

New Jersey, in turn, has implemented various school reform programs over the years on the state level.

 

Critics have complained that Common Core is a federally-mandated, nationwide progressive curriculum for students.  Advocates for Common Core note that the initiative a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  

 

However, Common Core is tied to the 2009 Stimulus package signed by Pres. Obama.  In order to qualify for federal education aid, states had to accept the Common Core standards.  The state allotments were funded by the ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

 

States were awarded points in Pres. Obama’s Race to the Top program for satisfying certain educational policies, such as performance-based standards for teachers and principals, complying with Common Core standards, lifting caps on charter schools, turning around the lowest-performing schools, and building data systems.

 

Gov. Chris Christie has served on the National Governors Association’s (NGA) economic development and commerce committee since he became New Jersey governor January 2010 and was soon appointed to the NGA’s executive committee, although he turned down a chance to serve as the organization’s vice-president in 2012.

 

New Jersey received $38 million in Race to the Top funding in 2012, under Gov. Christie.

 

According to the N.J. Department of Education’s NJASK 2013 Score Interpretation Manual, 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. The NGA Center and CCSSO received initial feedback on the draft standards from national organizations representing teachers, postsecondary educators (including community colleges), civil rights groups, English language learners, and students with disabilities.

 

Following the initial round of feedback, the draft standards were opened for public comment,

receiving nearly 10,000 responses. Proponents claim that the standards are informed by the highest, most effective models from states across the country and countries around the world, and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn.  These consistent standards, they claim, will provide appropriate benchmarks for measuring the progress of every student, regardless of where they live.

 

This year, the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics assessments, for grades 3 through 8, will measure the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the successor to CCCS.  The Science assessments, at grades 4 and 8, will be aligned to NJCCCS.  New Jersey tests are scored based on three performance levels: partially proficient, proficient or advanced proficient. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

 

Common Core’s advocates have one message for the public – that Common Core will improve our educational system.  But the agenda found in their own literature is very different.  Among Common Core’s goals are narrowing the achievement gap between successful and struggling students within schools, and between high-performing school districts and those that are failing.  Proponents also encourage “privilege sensitivity,” in which students who are more affluent must admit to their ignorance of other cultures and acknowledge intellectual equity with their classmates.

 

Common Core will also mean the use of high technology in education, which can prove to be innovative but also costly.  Advocates say the use of computers will free teachers from lecturing to spend more time with students on an individual basis.  They believe that such methods as rote memorization will be part of educational history.  Meanwhile, some teachers fear that their jobs will also be part of history.  Gov. Christie just signed a bill preventing new teachers from being tenured.

 

The test the students just finished, the 2014 NJ ASK, will measure the Common Core Standards within the current NJASK blueprint. The NJ ASK assessments are called “transitional” because administrators will not be able to measure the full range of the CCSS until the next generation assessments are developed and administered.

 

New Jersey is a “governing state” in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).  PARCC is currently developing the next generation assessments to be administered in Spring 2015.  The NJASK will continue to assess science in grades 4 and 8. The science assessment will be aligned to the NJCCCS because there are no Common Core standards for science at this time.

 

By a simple measure of the NJASK test data, Common Core began failing the literacy portion almost as soon as the curriculum (which by next year will be measured by the PARCC test) was introduced, while math scores rose.  An examination of the student/parent handbook shows no examples of the “rigorous” testing of which its proponents boast.

 

As noted above, however, test administrators admit the tests are geared to be easier or more difficult as they deem fit.  The use of multiple-step math problems, in which students now must show their work, that baffled even the mathematics advisor to Common Core, means that students must take longer to finish the test.  So far, the Math portion hasn’t proven to be much of problem in our area.  Goodness only knows why that is.

 

The Literacy scores, on the other hand, have dropped dramatically.  The increased use of fill-in-the-blank questions on vocabulary means the odds of a student getting a correct answer go up, as opposed to multiple-choice.  Critics also object to the reading material on the tests, claiming that the material is politically slanted.

 

Whatever the political orientation of the material might be, parents need to ask why students even in affluent communities in our area are struggling with the Language Arts Literacy portion of the NJASK.

 

“This is all going to go away next year with the introduction of the PARCC tests,” the superintendent of schools said, initially, of the lower verbal scores in the borough’s schools.  Upon reviewing more detailed data, he said the board of education would have to look into the matter.

 

The fourth and eighth grades were the initial grades for the roll-out of the Core Curriculum.  The results, at least in this area, were not promising.  The good scores students had been receiving ‘went away’ and have not returned.

 

Publishing companies, software designers, and computer manufacturers are all stakeholders in the Common Core initiative.  A test can be designed to meet any expectation.  If students taking the NJASK under the instruction of a Common Core curriculum don’t perform as well as they had previously, what will a new test measure, and how will it measure their performance?

 

Most importantly, how will it really affect students in the future?  Are they being prepared to succeed individually, or marked for a predetermined career path?

 

Last November, according to the Washington Post, “U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it ‘fascinating’ that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from ‘white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.’”

 

The data suggests that local schools here in Northern New Jersey were good.  And then they weren’t.

 

“Don’t stress over the NJASK;” the sticky note on one locker read, “you have nothing to worry about.”

 

The scores nose-dived at different points.  The 5th Grade scores dropped 27.1 percent by the end of the 2007-2008 school year.  The next year, the 3rd Graders went down 23.1 percent.  The 4th Graders – the crucial Common Core target – took an incremental plunge, going from a high of 88.2 percent of students passing the test, to 66.9 percent in 2012.  That’s a 21.3 percent drop.

 

NJASK goes so far as to separate the high-achievers from the common scores, making the test results confusing and misleading.  One of the wealthy school’s 3rd Graders brought home a total test score of 91.0 percent who passed or surpassed the goal.  However, 90 percent of those students only met minimum proficiency.  One percent of the students went above and beyond.    Two years earlier, 60.8 percent of that same school’s 5th Graders met the minimum standard, while an amazing 31.1 percent surpassed the minimum, achieving a combined total of 91.9 percent who passed the literacy test.

 

In another school system – one local people would be surprised to learn – 64 percent of the students failed to pass the Literacy test.  This particular school never ranked very high, but in 2006, a respectable 75 to 76 percent of 3rd and 4th Graders passed, along with 90.9 percent of its 5th graders.

 

The story was the same for my old elementary school.  In 2007, 83.8 percent of the students (including 2.9 percent who exceeded expectations) passed the NJASK test.  By 2009, they had slid down to 66.2 percent overall.  Over 33 percent of the 4th graders and 54.8 percent of the 3rd Graders failed the test.

 

And you’ll notice that the greatest failures occurred right around the 2008 election and the beginning of Obama’s empiracy in 2009.

 

There’s nothing new at all about the Common Core methods.  They were practicing Common Core on us 50 years ago at my old elementary school.

 

I’m a Blaze subscriber.  I get Glenn Beck’s newsletter.  The latest issue is about Common Core.  In the article, the author gave a sample of a math question and the number of steps required to complete it.  It looked very familiar.  That was the same way my elementary school teacher tried to teach our class complex addition.

 

When I got home, my mother asked to see my homework.

 

“All right, now.  Show me how to add those numbers,” she said.

 

So I showed her the “New Math” method.  That’s what they called it in those days – “New Math.”

 

“What are you doing?” my mother asked. 

 

“That’s the way our teacher taught us to add three-digit numbers,” I told her.

 

“But that takes too much time,” she declared.  “You’d never finish a test doing it this way.”

She winked.  “I’ll show you how smart people do it.  Does your teacher ask you to show your work?”

 

“No,” I replied.

 

“Good.  Then you won’t get into trouble.”  Then she taught me how to carry over numbers, which worked for both addition and subtraction.

 

I never did learn much in school.  My mother taught me my alphabet (it was required in order to be admitted to kindergarten).  My older brother taught me how to count.  My father taught me the simple arithmetic and took us to the library every week to get real books to read, rather than the Communist trash the teacher assigned us.  Awful stuff.

 

My older brother taught me to tell time and to tie my shoes.   For some reason, I took to multiplication like duck to water.  But my father had to guide me through long division.  My parents taught me history.  I certainly didn’t learn American history beyond the Second Grade.

 

Taking that all into account, when my unemployed status obliged me to furbish up my Excel skills, I took to gathering all the data I could on the local, first-ring suburb, inner city, and high-scoring school districts.

 

Bad scores mean bad news not just for students, but for business and real estate as well.  I’ve come up through the ranks on this progressive education business and I intend to earn my commission.

 

I can’t afford to go to graduate school.  But I can read up all I can on Common Core (I’ve read quite a deal so far) and gather up all the statistics.  I’m nearly finished on what I’ve dubbed “The Core” Common Core towns (my local area).  Now it’s on to the first-ring suburbs.  I’ve gathered a sampling of the scores for the inner city schools in New Jersey (not a pretty picture).

 

I don’t have much more time (or money) before I must abandon my pursuit to go return to work and make money.  But until then, I’ll keep you “posted” on my findings.

 Image

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Two-Minute Warning

Two minutes.  That’s all the time parents in the Gilford, N.H., school district had to make any comments or complaints, or ask questions of, the Gilford School Board.

 

William Baer, a New Hampshire attorney, was arrested by a police officer after he violated the two-minute speaking rule at a school board meeting in Gilford, New Hampshire. The dad, William Baer, was speaking out against the sexually graphic content found in a book, “19 Minutes,” assigned to his 14 year-old daughter, Marina.

Video showed Mr. Baer seated in the audience while making his comments quietly and reasonably.  He said he wasn’t “looking for a fight” but the school board left him “hurt and humiliated” asked police to be arrest him for going over the time limit. Baer was charged with disorderly conduct and held for a couple hours before being released on $700 bail.

“I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it,” he told The Blaze. “I think it was outrageous that I was charged for something like that — not adhering to the two-minute rule.”

The Gilford School Board later apologize for the “discomfort” the controversial book assignment caused and vowed to allow parents to “accept” material rather than “opt out.”  Did The Blaze get that statement quite right?  Shouldn’t parents be allowed to “opt out” of having their children read such explicit material?

In any case, we’ve been warning that, under Common Core, standards such literature was on its way to a classroom near you.  At least the parents of Gilford cared enough to show up.  None of the other parents, though, exhibited any outrage at Baer’s arrest nor challenged the police to prove that there was such a rule or that the Gilford School Board could make such a charge.

They should have spoken out against such an unjustifiable action.  But perhaps they were afraid.  If the school board can have a sober, responsible man arrested for objecting to the pornographic material the school board had approved, what would happen to them?

 

Here in our neck of the woods, you can hear crickets chirping at the local school board meetings I cover as a correspondent for the local newspaper.  The last time parents attended a school board meeting was awards night.  The school board has to look to me (the reporter) to ask the questions – and I do.  Particularly about Common Core.  I’ve been working on a study of N.J. Ask Scores since just before Common Core was implemented up to the present.

 

This school board admitted that their fourth graders had not met their Language Arts target and they would be investigating the reason for that failure.  Yet the superintendent claimed that Common Core was working out very well.  Then again, if the students are learning grammar the Noam Chomsky way (the traditional way was hard enough – Chomskyism defies all logic), it’s little wonder they haven’t met their target.

 

Fourth grade is the key.  In just looking over the numbers for our area of the state, the test scores take a big slump between the third and fourth grade; just about the time the students are being taught grammar.  The fifth grade is an even bigger drop and by the eighth grade, which has been taking experimental tests based on the Common Core standards, the grades are down in the 20th percentile.

 

Sexually explicit menu is part of the Common Core curriculum as well as white privilege, or white guilt, exercises in which white students must apologize for being white and not understanding what it is like to grow up as an oppressed minority.  Western literature is to be shunned as irrelevant.  Common Core has yielded somewhat on this ground.  Some 19th and 20th Century literature will be added to the canon, as well as one Shakespeare play.

 

  1. One?  As a senior college Shakespeare star student (4.2 in Shakespeare’s Tragedies), the students will learn nothing by one play.  Shakespeare is divided into four genres:  the Tragedies, the Comedies, the Histories, and the Sonnets.  One Shakespeare play does not an education in The Bard make.

 

The Gilford Board of Education intended to make an example of William Baer.  Yes, the board wants to keep to its schedule – and, not coincidentally, go home at a reasonable hour.  But when they are approving pornographic literature, teaching Chomsky grammar, incomprehensible mathematics, and lesson plans in “social justice,” parents have the right to demand that the meeting go on all night, if necessary, to ensure their children receive a decent education.

 

Nineteen minutes for pornography.  Two minutes for parents.  That doesn’t sound like equal time.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Tea Party is Dead – Again

According to Glenn Beck’s news entity, The Blaze (an excellent news service – keep up the good work, guys and gals!), “a new Gallup poll found that Republican support for the Tea Party has dropped 41 percent, down from 61 percent support in November 2010 when the GOP took control of the House of Representatives.

“That seems to be reflected in establishment Republican primary victory this week over Tea Party challengers.

“On Tuesday, Thom Tillis, the candidate widely perceived as representing the GOP establishment in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary, easily beat Greg Brannon, who was positioned as the Tea Party’s choice. Tillis will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November.

“Meanwhile, the Tea Party opponent for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – Matt Bevin – appears to be struggling to gain traction ahead of the Kentucky primary at the end of the month. In Mississippi, incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran is pulling ahead of Tea Party insurgent Chris McDaniel, but the race is still fairly close.

“That’s a big change from 2010, when now-Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah captured their party’s nominations from establishment GOP candidates.

“The Gallup poll found that 11 percent of Republicans are actually opponents of the Tea Party, while 48 percent are neither supporters nor opponents. The drop in support for the Tea Party among Republicans coincides with the overall drop in support from all Americans, from 32 percent in November 2010 to just 22 percent now.

“That general public support has remained steady at 22 percent since September 2013, however, opposition to the Tea Party has risen to 30 percent of the public, according to the Gallup poll.

“Tea Party support, more than anything else, appears to substantially correlate with the more straightforward characteristics of being a core, conservative Republican,” Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport said in a statement.

“Thus, these trends may suggest that the GOP is on a more moderate track in general.

“Newport said the nomination of Mitt Romney for president in 2012 indicated the overall GOP was moving to the center, but he was cautious about a final verdict.

“The results of several high-profile primary contests later this month will be important indicators of the reality of the Tea Party’s influence,” Newport said. “Still, whatever else happens, Tea Party supporters will continue to be a presence in American politics because of their apparent motivation and interest in election outcomes, factors that, more than likely, will translate into support for candidates, and higher Election Day turnout.”

The Blaze’s entire article is here, not to criticize The Blaze, but to clear up some misconceptions about the Tea Party and its relationship with the GOP.  Never, at any time since the Tea Parties formed in 2009, did the Republican Party show any real support for the Tea Parties because they were Conservative in nature, in contrast to the GOP’s moderate stance on just about every issue.

The Tea Party groups were as angry with the Republicans as they were with the Democrats.  Republicans showed great interest in taking control of the Tea Parties, but our local Tea Party at the time told them in no uncertain terms where to go (and I was the chief “attack dog” for the Tea Party).

When we organized the Tea Party, we really didn’t think the name was such a good idea.  We worried that people would confuse us with an actual political party (which they did; and we weren’t).  We felt sort of stuck with the name.

Also, we were concerned about the early videos of Tea Partiers run amok, especially in Florida.  That’s not the way we did things in our state.  Garden Staters are as sedate as turtles.  They don’t like coming out of their suburban shells, I told the organizing group, and they don’t like making “trouble”.  Rocking the boat, as it were, was a sure way to be castigated.  Here in the northern part of the state, we live too close to the city.   Street and school rules apply; the law of jungle – don’t do anything to attract attention to yourself.

We didn’t want to attract attention ourselves; we wanted to attract attention to the corruption politicians in Washington, and on the state and community level.  We wanted to attract attention to the ballooning deficit and the trillions of dollars of debt incurred by the federal government.

We wanted to attract attention to the problems of illegal immigration, the growing size of government bureaucracy and the concomitant regulations and taxes driving businesses – and our jobs – out of the state.

And I, at least, wanted to draw attention to the unrealized problems of education and indoctrination going on in our schools.  I made the speech but was promptly yanked off the platform.

We stuck with the Tea Party name because it was in vogue.  The naming was done, and for the time being, there was nothing we could really do about it.  Many groups that spun off from the Tea Party adopted different names that didn’t have the monicker – and liability – of the Tea Party name.

In retrospect, I wish we had changed the name immediately to something with the word “Conservative” in it.  Many arguments and challenges would have died on the lips of our adversaries had we made it absolutely clear, in the name of our group, where we stood.

The Tea Party name is not going to get Conservative candidates anywhere.  It’s absolutely true.  First, it confuses voters who think we’re fostering some sort of insurrection when we’re actually trying to return the country to its original principles of limited government, reasonable taxes, and the Bill of Rights, among other things.  There’s also too much youthful, ignorant prejudice against the name for it to be an effective tool politically, thanks to late-night comedy shows, those forums of intellectual might and perspicacity.

What name would I choose, personally?  Something like the Conservative Action Network.  Conservatives for Freedom.  Steve Lonegan has a great name, though a bit limited – Americans for Prosperity.  It’s held up better than Tea Party.  Americans for Conservatism.  Conservative Americans for Freedom.  Conservative Patriots.

Rush Limbaugh is right when he says that “Conservatism works every time it’s tried”.  Well, it didn’t work so well in 1964, but Kennedy had just been shot the year before and everyone was feeling nostalgic.  Pundits tend to credit voters with more intellectual and ideological scrutiny than they actually exhibit.  For the low-information voter, they look at the political party headers, then close their eyes and press the buttons, having no clue about or particular affinity for the names on the ballot.  They might as well be voting for the local garden committee.

Voter apathy (and turnout has never been very good) is a bad sign for a country as vested in freedom as ours.  People don’t seem to understand that the Founding Fathers were trying to make politics easier for them by having them vote for representatives so the people themselves wouldn’t have to make long treks (at the time) to the nation’s capital to find out what’s going on and make their voices heard.

But those in power, once ensconced behind the fortifications of the Capitol Building, the White House, and the Supreme Court, isolated themselves from The People.  Then they began to establish bureaucracies, entirely unaccountable to the voters, that would rule the people in perpetuity.

America was never supposed to be “ruled.”  That’s why we had a revolution, to free ourselves from the tyranny of monarchs, dictators, and figurehead leaders.  Yes,  by consent, we agreed to follow the rule of law because we are, or were, a civilized society.  As the decades when by, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt, and then Woodrow Wilson, we gradually lost our freedom.

More precisely, we sold them out for entitlements.  Big Brother (my) is a sell-out.  We had the same teacher for the same U.S. History class.  That teacher threw out the American history agenda halfway through the school year and proceeded to teach us the “glories of Communism.”

Big Brother didn’t listen to our parents’ warning about the advent of Communism.  In that class, all he knew was that if he didn’t conform to the teacher’s lesson plans, he’d fail, and wouldn’t get into the college of his choice.   He was the good boy.

I, on the other hand, was the black sheep of the family.  Who says girls can’t rebel?  Four years later, in 1976, when I took the class, I stood up with four other students to protest the change in the curriculum.  I didn’t mind learning about Communism.  But that was a subject for World History in Senior Year, not U.S. History II in Junior year.  Two of the students, one of them on his way to being class valedictorian, backed down along with his girlfriend.

The teacher patted him on the head, assured him that his scholarship was secured, and then proceeded to excoriate and discourage the remaining three students.  He was a vile, crafty scoundrel.  He whispered in my ear that my brother (meaning, the better student) passed the class.

If he though sibling rivalry would aid him, he was wrong.  I told him I knew brother very well.  Big Brother was a wimp.  Always had been.  He’d do anything, just about, for a grade or very money.  I was not my brother.  So, Big Brother passed and I failed.  Or did he fail and I pass?

If the soldiers in Normandy and on Iwo Jima could sacrifice their lives, I could sacrifice my grade, a lowly B that it was.

That’s the trouble today.  There’s no courage.  We want to be seen as getting along, not fighting our way, standing our ground, sticking to our guns, even if meant standing alone, like Gary Cooper in “High Noon.”  But today, that kind of behavior is defined as anti-social by liberal sociologists who want desperately to discourage individuality.

The Drive-By Media has pretty much shot holes through the Tea Party name and made it impossible (they think) for candidates to run with an endorsement from the Tea Party.  It’s poison, the kiss of death for a candidate.  That’s what the Media is gloating about.

They’re wrong, though.  Their bashing of the Tea Party has not helped our cause, certainly.  However, it’s the original videos that stick in voters’ minds and the name “Tea Party” itself that makes them think the candidates are trying to usurp the Republican Party.

Well, actually, we’re not so much trying to usurp as return it to its original, better principles.  Right now, you can hardly tell a Republican from a Democrat, and that’s a problem in a country where politics should be an open forum.  People shouldn’t be thinking all the same way.  There should be debate, disagreement, and dissension.  It’s called freedom.

If you don’t have debate, disagreement, and dissension, then you have dictatorship, tyranny, and communism – a one-party system where it’s their way or the highway.  We see that every day in the news when some small Liberal group protests something like the Pledge of Allegiance or a school board arrests a parent for exceeding the two-minute time limit for questions.  By the way, the news report didn’t tell you that most school boards and town hall meetings will not accept comments, only questions which turns the microphone back to the governing board and away from the people.

A small group of left-wing radicals succeeding forcing Condoleezza Rice from speaking at Rutgers University.  Since when did America censor public speakers?  They’ve found ways to make speaking in public very difficult if not impossible.  But for a university to cave into a small politically-oriented faction to prevent the other side from presenting their viewpoint is decidedly un-American.

Just what kind of idea about the Tea Parties is going on in the minds of low-information voters is hard to fathom.  America has taken a decidedly wrong turn and they have their heads buried in the sand.  They stay home from elections in swarms.  One day, they’re going to wake up and not recognize their country.  Or maybe they won’t even notice.  At least, not until they’re forced to sell their homes, or their children are taking away from them by the nationalizing entity of the Department of Children and Families, as happened to the Pelletiers.  They’ll wake up and find their children unable to memorize their multiplication tables and won’t know the Pledge of Allegiance.

At that point, one of two things is bound to happen:  the American flag will be pulled down (and probably burned) and these disgusting ostriches won’t even stop to look.  They’ll just shrug.  Or American boys are going to have to take up arms to take our country back and die in the process.

That’s when Conservative voters (like my brother) give a populist sneer at the Tea Parties.  Well, he votes.  But most don’t.  And when the boys start dying, and the body bags pile up, I’m going to be god-damned mad.  Be well assured, I’m going to demand to know where these people were on election days of yore when they could have prevented all this with the simple press of a button.

What the hell were you people thinking?  And how dare you sneer at us, the Tea Party?

Long live the Tea Party!  And God Bless America!

Published in: on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yes, U-Kraine

Yes, you can!  That’s Obama’s message to Russian president Vladimir Putin.  Yes, you can invade sovereign countries!  Yes, you can send bombers over the Netherlands!  Yes, you can ignore invitations to Geneva!  Yes, you can build up your arsenal while we deplete ours!  Yes, you can mass your troops on the borders of Eastern Europe!  Yes, you can rebuild the Soviet Union!

 

Yes, you can walk all over the United States, a shivering shadow of its former might.  Yes, you can, because Barrack Hussein Obama is the president of the United States.  And there’s nothing the American people can do about it.  So there.

 

Obama’s foreign policy is straight out of the Howard Zinn School of tearing down imperialist, colonial-minded, capitalist superpowers.  If the United States was Superman, Obama is its kryptonite. 

 

Never mind that the American military has kept the sea lanes and air space open for commerce rather than communism.  Never mind that many residents of communist countries, like Cuba, yearn for the freedom Americans used to enjoy before they blindly elected the son of a Kenyan anti-colonialist and a communist girl from Kansas.

 

Laughing at the downfall of America is something Communists and Progressives have been waiting to do for a long time.  The decline began with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and the advent of Progressive education and the Marxist economic theory of redistribution of wealth.

 

Along came Cousin Franklin Roosevelt with his government welfare programs in the Thirties.  Then in the Sixties, it was the heyday of Johnson’s Great Society, the War on Poverty, the introduction of chain immigration, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and with it the redistribution of  educational wealth.

 

Ronald Reagan gave us a decade’s respite from rampant Socialism.  With the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, he declared that the era of Communism was over.  But we who had just graduated from college when he was elected still remembered The Pencil Test and Noam Chomsky’s transgenerative grammar, the precursor to Common Core.  We of the American History Revolution of 1976 knew it wasn’t over.

 

That became evident with the “co-presidency” of Bill and Hillary Clinton and her push for Universal Health Care.  Not yet so distant from the sunshine of the Reagan Administration, we Americans refused to accept it.  We were a wiser nation 20 years ago.

 

So, the Socialist Progressives (otherwise known as Communists) nominated an unqualified, one-term U.S. Senator with no background in foreign policy, very little in the way of financial acumen (he quit the financial industry job he had because he didn’t like wearing a suit to work every day), and no respect for the U.S. Constitution, declaring in a radio interview in 2007 that he would just as soon tear the whole thing up and start over.

 

On the campaign trail, he admitted to Joe the Plumber that his goal as president was to redistribute the wealth.

 

 But he was Black.  Or at least half-black.  He was actually only half-black, but he looked black on the outside and that’s all that mattered.  Enough white idiots, having tired of being slapped around for slavery (abolished altogether in 1865) and seeking absolution for something that had nothing to do with them, voted this traitor into office.

 

You could look up the numbers, only they wouldn’t tell you much since Obama redirected the Census Bureau under his rulership.

 

That is why, today, Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and all the other totalitarian, communist, Islamic dictatorships around the world can do anything they want.

 

Because America can’t.

Published in: on May 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Prepping for Benghazi

Last week, Fox News released e-mails pertaining to Susan Rice’s Sunday news appearances after the Benghazi attack in 2012.  Fox News obtained the e-mails, written by White House aide Ben Rhodes (whose brother is CBS President David Rhodes), an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, from Conservative watchdog group Freedom Watch through a Freedom of Information Act claim.

 

The e-mails indicate that former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice was coached to focus on an obscure video called “The Innocents of the Muslims” to distract attention from Obama’s weak foreign police.  They were retroactively designated as “SECRET” by the State Department in February

 

The same email, with the names of the sender and recipients redacted, that was released to the House Oversight Committee is marked “Confidential.”  Both are marked to “DECLASSIFY” on Sept. 13, 2037 — 25 years after the terrorist attack which killed four Americans.

 

According to Fox News, “During those [Sunday talk show] interviews, Rice erroneously blamed the attack on protests over an anti-Islam film. New emails indicate a White House adviser helped prep her for those appearances and pushed the “video” explanation — and now, the White House is facing credibility questions after having downplayed their role in Rice’s “talking points.” 

 

“The Rhodes e-mail, with the subject line: ‘RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET,’ was sent to a dozen members of the administration’s inner circle, including key members of the White House communications team such as Carney. 

 

“In the e-mail, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the anti-Islam Internet video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere. 

 

“The email lists the following two goals, among others: 

 

‘To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.’

 

‘To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.’

 

“Republican critics, who have long claimed the administration’s narrative was politically motivated, pointed to that email as a ‘smoking gun.’” 

 

During a heated briefing with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Jay Carney repeatedly tried to claim that the so-called “prep call” with Rice — as it was described in one email — was not about Benghazi. The prep session, he said, was just about the demonstrations elsewhere in the Muslim world that week.   

 

“It is not about Benghazi — it is about the protests around the Muslim world,” Carney claimed. 

 

“The White House has said all along that Rice relied on the best available intelligence, from the intelligence community, when she discussed the Benghazi attack. 

 

“But Carney insisted that the Rhodes email was distinct from the intelligence community talking points in that it referred to preparing Rice for questions about the protests elsewhere. 

 

“’They were about the general situation in the Muslim world,’’ Carney said, going so far as to read headlines from stories at the time that highlighted those protests — underscoring that they were a big news story at the time. 

 

“House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement Wednesday night saying, ‘Four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi, and this White House has gone to extraordinary lengths to mislead, obstruct, and obscure what actually took place.

 

“During the week of the Benghazi attack, protests had broken out by U.S. embassies in several countries in Africa and the Middle East, including intense demonstrations in Cairo. But by the time of Rice’s Sunday show appearances, the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other

Americans in Benghazi was the dominant story — Carney faced skepticism in the briefing room in claiming that the Rhodes email was not referring, at least in large part, to that. 

 

Further, the document sent to Judicial Watch was released in response to a request for records pertaining to Benghazi. 

 

And the same memo was sent to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, likewise, following a subpoena seeking Benghazi documents. 

 

“The ‘video’ explanation, though, was not only coming from the White House. Late on Sept. 11, 2012, when the attack was still going on, Hillary Clinton’s State Department issued a statement that read: ‘Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to an inflammatory material posted on the internet. … let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.’ 

 

That was last week.  Yesterday, Fox News reported that there were difference between the e-mails released through the federal courts to Judicial Watch and to those released to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as part of its investigation into the attacks.

 

“The discrepancies are fueling allegations the administration is holding back documents to Congress.

 

“The emails published by Judicial Watch last week, which showed additional White House involvement in shaping the public explanation of what happened, helped trigger the announcement Friday by House Speaker John Boehner of a select committee to investigate.”

 

Was it that difficult for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to distinguish between a series of admittedly violent demonstrations and the murder of a U.S. ambassador and the firebombing of the Benghazi site?  If they were already preparing press statements regarding the protests, why wasn’t the State Department securing its embassies and consulates in the Middle East, and particularly in Libya, where the main action was occurring?

 

A Jerusalem Post article quoted a local police chief with anti-American sentiments as saying that the protest he was leading was in response to this video.  But the attack on the Benghazi property was a sophisticated operation, requiring premeditated surveillance of the building and prior knowledge of the ambassador’s movements.  Surely, if anyone knew that Benghazi was dangerous and that violent protests were occurring, it was Ambassador Stevens?

 

We should not be surprised at anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.  Our own “leader” is anti-American.  We’ve only uncovered the tip of the iceberg on Benghazi.  According to Walid Shoebat, a guest on today’s Michael Savage program, suggested that the producer of the anti-Muslim video was either an FBI agent or informant and that Benghazi occurred with the full knowledge of the White House.

 

An investigation into Watergate, where no one was killed, didn’t take this long, and at the end, threatened with impeachment, Pres. Nixon resigned.  That won’t happen in this case, not with a Democrat-controlled Senate and a press as willing to protect this president as the previous press was willing to excoriate the other.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

National Teachers Day

Whenever you hear of a dubious holiday like Earth Day or May Day, or in this case, National Teachers Day, you should immediately be suspicious of the chosen date; usually it has some significance in Socialist or Communist history.

 

Someday, the government will declare August 4th Global Citizens Day or some such thing, not knowing that it’s the birthdate of Barrack Hussein Obama.  Or March 31st will be declared National Internet Day in honor of the “inventor” of the Internet, Al Gore.

 

Even Wikipedia was unclear about the significance, as far as education is concerned, about the date of May 6th.  But then, a general Google search on “May 6 history” turned up this interesting piece of information:

 

May 6, 1933 – The Deutsche Studentenschaft attacked Magnus Hirschfeld‘s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, later burning many of its books.

Wikipedia then tells us that:  “The German Student Union (German: Deutsche Studentenschaft, abbreviated DSt) from 1919 until 1945, was the merger of the general student committees of all German universities, including Danzing, Austria and the former German universities in Czechoslovakia.

 

“Originally founded during the Weimar Republic period as a democratic representation of interests, the DSt experienced serious internal conflicts in the early 1920s between the Republican minority and the völkisch majority wing. It was dominated from 1931 onward by the National Socialist German Students’ League, which was merged with the DSt in 1936, played a large part in the Nazi book burnings and was eventually banned in 1945 as a Nazi organization.

 

“On May 6, 1933, members of the DSt made an organized attack on the Institute of Sex Research in Berlin’s Tiergarten area. A few days later, the Institute’s library and archives were publicly hauled out and burned in the streets of the Opernplatz.  Around 20,000 books and journals, and 5,000 images, were destroyed.

 

“The defining idea that the völkisch movement revolved around was that of a Volkstum (lit. ‘folkdom,’ with a meaning similar to a combination of the terms ‘folklore’ and ‘ethnicity’), not to be confused with the Volkssturm, (‘people-storm’) a German national militia of the last months of World War II. It was set up, not by the traditional German army, but by the Nazi Party on the orders of Adolf Hitler on Oct. 18, 1944. It conscripted males between the ages of 16 to 60 years who were not already serving in some military unit as part of a German Home Guard. “Populist,” or “popular,” in this context would be volkstümlich.”

 

According to Wikipedia, “The völkisch ‘movement’ was not a unified movement but ‘a cauldron of beliefs, fears and hopes that found expression in various movements and were often articulated in an emotional tone,’ Petteri Pietikäinen observed in tracing völkisch influences on Carl Gustav Jung.  The völkisch movement was ‘arguably the largest group’ in the Conservative Revolutionary movement in Germany.  However, like ‘conservative-revolutionary’ or ‘fascist,’  völkisch is a complex term (“schillernder Begriff”).  In a narrow definition it can be used to designate only groups that consider human beings essentially preformed by blood, i.e. by inherited characteristics.”

 

What better day to celebrate our teachers than the infamous day when the Nazis stormed a notorious sexual research institute and burned 20,000 books and journals and 5,000 images.   The Nazis were also notorious for burning books on Communism.

 

No one can argue that the Nazis weren’t villains, except the California school district, that under the Common Core curriculum, compelled its students to read an 18-page tract on how the Holocaust was a conspiracy cooked up by the Jews to argue for a homeland of their own in the Middle East.  If you can’t beat the Nazis, join them.  Suppress the thousands of pictures of the ovens at Auschwitz and other death camps.  Censor the texts of eyewitnesses at the time who saw the Jews being sent into the gas chambers.  Not many people are inclined to actually visit one of the death camps and see the human fat still clinging to chimney walls, so the revisionists are safe on that ground.

 

There’s nothing new about holocaust deniers.  German-American radicals were denying the Holocaust when I was still just a little girl.  Friends from Holland invited a Holocaust survivor to the neighborhood party.  Still, they insisted that he was a fraud and that the Holocaust was a lie.  He left the party and so did we.

 

Common Core is the successor of Lyndon Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act) ESEA), designed to redistribute the wealth from affluent school districts to poor school districts.  Another of its goals was to narrow the “achievement gap” between wealthy students and students living in poverty.

 

With each president, ESEA was given a new name.  Pres. George W. Bush renamed ESEA the  No Child Left Behind Act.  He was willing to redistribute federal dollars to poor school districts.  But he insisted on positive results from the poorer school districts.  Better grades.  Higher graduation rates.  Higher test scores.

 

The educational establishment balked.  They weren’t about to give a better education, full of the virtues of Western civilization, to their minority students.  The Socialists had vested too much time, money and energy in alienating these groups for the sake of their political benefactors.  Without the minority votes, the Democrats would lose and the universities that trained the teachers would lose their funding, as well as pensions and health care benefits.

 

NCLB was soundly thrashed.  Obama came along and declared that he would return to Johnson’s original intent with ESEA – redistributing wealth and widening the achievement gap.  That’s right, “widening it” not narrowing it.  Every book on the subject of educational reform written by the Progressives, from John A. Dewey to William Ayers, insists that methods such as rote memorization and reading books is a disadvantage to poor students.  Especially books written by white, Western male authors.

 

Ayers’ books, “The Handbook of Social Justice” and “Teaching for Social Justice” cite anecdotal teacher experiences of “guilting” white student privilege.  Students in these classes were made to apologize for being white and affluent and oppressing the minority masses.

 

Supporters of Common Core claim that there is no federal mandate; states aren’t required to teach the Common Core curriculum in preparation for the PARCC – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). 

 

According to the website, PARCC “is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high-quality, computer-based K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs. The PARCC assessments will be ready for states to administer during the 2014-15 school year.

“PARCC is based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning. Because the assessments are aligned with the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards (CCSS), they ensure that every child is on a path to college and career readiness by measuring what students should know at each grade level. They will also provide parents and teachers with timely information to identify students who may be falling behind and need extra help. Learn more about PARCC in our PARCC FAQs.

“PARCC is made up of: Arizona, ArkansasColorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New MexicoNew York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. The states in PARCC educate more than 15 million elementary, middle and high school students across the country. In addition, Pennsylvania, is a “participating state.”  Learn more about the PARCC states.

PARCC is state led with a subset of PARCC states making up its Governing Board. States represented on this Board are considered “Governing States,” and have made the strongest commitment to PARCC and its activities and, therefore, have the most decision-making authority. A subset of the Governing Board states serves on the PARCC Steering Committee to provide guidance on time-sensitive issues as they arise. Maryland serves as the Fiscal Agent for the PARCC consortium.

Governing states also have one representative on the PARCC K-12 Leadership Team. The K-12 Leadership Team is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the development of PARCC assessments. It directs all of PARCC’s operational programs and serves as the conduit to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Governing Board. The K-12 Leadership Team holds a weekly call. There are a wide range of committees, working groups and teams of education leaders tasked with specific advisory, technical and operational goals. These committees will be responsible for structuring, leading, and contextualizing the major assessment design and development activities. Achieve was selected as the Project Management Partner for the PARCC consortium to facilitate the activities of the Partnership and help ensure the PARCC vision is fully realized.

Understand this:  the term “college and career” is a misleading phrase.  Common Core supporters don’t mean to prepare every student for college and a career.  The correct interpretation is college or career.  Students will be separated into two categories:  1) students who will go onto college and then pursue a career (obviously, making ‘college-and-career’ redundant) and 2) students who will be trained in a vocation, or “career.”

 

When my older brother was in the 5th grade, the teacher told my mother that he wasn’t suited for college and that he didn’t need to learn anything beyond the basics; that he would be going to work in the local factory, just like the rest of the blue-collar students in our district.

 

My mother didn’t sit still for this pronouncement.  Not for her son and not for the other students, either.  She asked the teacher who she thought she was, playing God, deciding the students’ fate for them.  The teacher, my mother warned, was going to teach her son and every other student in that class everything, or there would be another teacher in her place the next fall.

 

My older brother not only went on to college but got a master’s in business administration.

 

The educational establishment has been playing this game for a long time.  The movement, which began as far back as the turn of the 20th Century, picked up momentum in the 1960s with ESEA and grew to be a monster.  During Jimmy Carter’s administration, it became an official government entity with the creation of the Department of Education, an unconstitutional cabinet position.

 

There’s actually nothing all that new about Common Core, except its name – and the PARCC test, of which parents are still unaware.  They’ll find out next year.  Right now, the official test in New Jersey is the NJASK (Assessment of Skills and Knowledge).  This is the last year for ASK; it will be replaced by the PARCC test next year.

 

You know about Common Core.  Common Core has many tentacles:  Bill Gates and the computers for schools deal; Pearson Publishing, the book publishing company that has, over the decades, bought up just about every major textbook publisher and is now the official Common Core text publisher; the pre-Common Core indoctrination of teachers; the mining of database information about your children and your family; the books and materials parents are not allowed to see or review.  

 

Now you need to find out all you can about PARCC.  PARCC is the finishing line for Common Core.  While there’s certainly nothing new about it, it will determine whether your child will go to college or vocational school, whether they want to or not.  In fact, most businesses would rather your child have a college degree in business.  Many kids don’t even want to go to college.  But that degree can mean the difference between their advancing in their career or remaining in a low-paying job for their entire lives.

 

Thomas Jefferson wrote that a democracy cannot survive without an educated people.  Clearly, that is just what the Progressives intend.  To them, “success” is a dirty word.  Common Core is just another way for the elite to eliminate their competition.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on May 6, 2014 at 11:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Communist Holidays

The Communists must figure that the Christians have their holiday period – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s.  America has its summer holidays:  Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.  Why shouldn’t the Communists have their holidays?

 

The three main Communist holidays – Earth Day, May Day and Cinco de Mayo (which is today) are actually covers for the anniversaries of three key Communist birthdates:  Vladimir Lenin (April 22nd), labor leader and hell raiser Mother Mary Jones (May 1st – also the anniversary of the Chicago Haymarket Riots), and Karl Marx (May 5th – Cinco de Mayo).  Joseph Stalin was born Dec. 18, 1878.

 

That’s right:  Cinco de Mayo isn’t some celebration of Hispanic heritage.  It’s to celebrate the Father of Communism, Karl Marx.  Earth Day wasn’t about Mother Earth; it was about the first ruler of Communist Russia, Vladimir Lennon.

 

As for May Day (May 1st), although it originally began as a celebration of Spring, particularly in European countries, May 1st became known for a destructive event and a destructive person.

 

Mary Harris “Mother’ Jones was born May 1, 1837.  She was an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent labor and community organizer.  She helped coordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World.

Jones worked as a teacher and dressmaker, but after her husband and four children all died of yellow fever and her workshop was destroyed in a fire in 1871, she began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers union. From 1897, at around 60 years of age, she was known as Mother Jones. In 1902 she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing mine workers and their families against the mine owners.  In 1903, upset about the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a Children’s March from Philadelphia to the home of then-president Theodore Roosevelt in New York. Mother Jones magazine, established in 1970, is named for her.

Mary Harris was born on the north side of Cork City, Ireland, the daughter of Roman Catholic tenant farmers Richard Harris and Ellen (née Cotter) Harris.  She claimed her birth date to be May 1, 1830.  The date was chosen to represent the national labor holiday and anniversary of the Haymarket Riots in Chicago, and the year (1830) to imply centenarian status.

Mary Harris emigrated with her family to Canada as a teenager.  She received a Catholic education in before her family moved to the United States. She became a teacher in a convent in Monroe, Mich… After tiring of her assumed profession, she moved first to Chicago and later to Memphis, where she married George E. Jones, a member and organizer of the National Union of Iron Moulders, later the International Molders and Foundry Workers Union of North America, in 1861.  She eventually opened a dress shop in Memphis on the eve of the Civil War.

There were two turning points in her life. The first, and most tragic one, was the loss of her husband George and their four children (all under the age of five) during a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tenn… After her entire family succumbed to the disease, she returned to Chicago to begin another dressmaking business. Then, four years later, she lost her hard-earned home, shop and possessions in the Great Chicago Fire. This second loss catalyzed an even more fundamental transformation: she turned to the nascent labor movement and joined the Knights of Labor, a predecessor to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or “Wobblies”).

The Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago and the fear of anarchism and revolution incited by union organizations led to the rapid demise of the Knights of Labor. Once the Knights ceased to exist, Mary Jones became largely affiliated with the United Mine Workers. With the UMW, she frequently led strikers in picketing and encouraged the striking workers to stay on strike when the management brought in strike-breakers and militias. She strongly believed that “working men deserved a wage that would allow women to stay home to care for their kids.”

After the Haymarket Massacre, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.  Labor Leader and first head of the Socialist Democratic (later Labor) Party, Peter Maguire first suggested a labor parade through the streets of New York on the first day of September in 1882.  Congress made it a national holiday in 1894.

Active as an organizer and educator in strikes throughout the country at the time, she was particularly involved with the UMW and the Socialist Party of America. As a union organizer, she gained prominence for organizing the wives and children of striking workers in demonstrations on their behalf. She became known as “the most dangerous woman in America,” a phrase coined by West Virginia district attorney Reese Blizzard, in 1902 at her trial for ignoring an injunction banning meetings by striking miners. “There sits the most dangerous woman in America”, announced Blizzard. “She comes into a state where peace and prosperity reign … crooks her finger [and] twenty thousand contented men lay down their tools and walk out.”

Jones was ideologically separated from many of the other female activists of the pre-19th days due to her strong opposition to abortion and outspoken aversion to female. She was quoted as saying that:  “You don’t need the vote to raise hell!”  Her opposition to women taking an active role in politics was based on her belief that the neglect of motherhood was a primary cause of juvenile delinquency. She became known as a charismatic and effective speaker throughout her career. A passionate public speaker, she would liven her rhetoric with real and folk-tale characters, punctuate with participation from audience members, flavor it with passion, and include humor-ridden methods to rile up the crowd such as profanity, name-calling, and wit. Occasionally she would include props, visual aids, and dramatic stunts for effect.

By age 60, she had effectively assumed the persona of “Mother Jones” by claiming to be older than she actually was, wearing outdated black dresses and referring to the male workers that she supported as “her boys.”  The first reference to her in print as Mother Jones was in 1897.[4]

In 1901, workers in Pennsylvania’s silk mills went on strike, many being young female workers demanding to be paid adult wages. John Mitchell, the president of the UMWA, brought Mother Jones to north-east Pennsylvania in the months of February and September to encourage unity among the striking workers. To do so, she encouraged the wives of the workers to organize into a militia, who in turn would wield brooms, beat on tin pans and shout “Join the union!” She held that wives had an important role to play as the nurturers and motivators of the striking men, but not as fellow workers. She made claim that the young girls working in the mills were being robbed and demoralized.

To enforce worker solidarity, she travelled to the silk mills in New Jersey and returned to Pennsylvania to report that the conditions she observed were far superior. She stated that “the child labor law is better enforced for one thing and there are more men at work than seen in the mills here.” In response to the strike, mill owners also divulged their side of the story. They claimed that if the workers still insisted on a wage scale, they would not be able to do business while paying adult wages and would be forced to close down.  Even Jones herself encouraged the workers to accept a settlement. Although she agreed upon a settlement which sent the young girls back to the mills, she continued to fight child labor for the remainder of her life.

In 1903 Jones organized children, who were working in mills and mines at the time, to participate in the “Children’s Crusade,”  a march from Kensington, Pa., to Oyster Bay, N.Y., the hometown of President Theodore Roosevelt with banners demanding “We want to go to School and not the mines!”

As Mother Jones noted that many of the children at union headquarters had missing fingers and other disabilities, she attempted to get newspaper publicity about the conditions in Pennsylvania regarding child labor. However, the mill owners held stock in essentially all of the newspapers. When the newspaper men informed her that they could not advertise the facts about child labor because of this, she remarked “Well, I’ve got stock in these little children and I’ll arrange a little publicity.” Permission to see President Roosevelt was denied by his secretary and it was suggested that Jones address a letter to the president requesting a visit with him. Even though Mother Jones wrote a letter for such permission, she never received an answer.  Though the President refused to meet with the marchers, the incident brought the issue of child labor to the forefront of the public agenda.

In the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Va., , Mary Jones arrived in June, speaking and organizing through a shooting war between United Mine Workers members and the private army of the mine owners. Martial law in the area was declared and rescinded twice before Jones was arrested on Feb. 13, 1913, brought before a military court. Accused of conspiring to commit murder among other charges, she refused to recognize the legitimacy of her court martial. She was sentenced to 20 years in the state penitentiary. During house arrest at, she acquired a dangerous case of pneumonia.

After 85 days of confinement, her release coincided with Indiana Senator John Worth Ken initiating a Senate investigation into the conditions in the local coal mines. Several months later she was in Colorado, helping organize coal miners. Once again she was arrested, served some time in prison and was escorted from the state in the months leading up to the Ludlow Massacre. After the massacre she was invited to Standard Oil’s headquarters to meet face-to-face with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a meeting that prompted him to visit the Colorado mines and introduce long-sought reforms.

By 1924, Jones was in court again, this time facing charges of libel, slander, and sedition. In 1925, Charles A. Albert, publisher of the fledgling Chicago Times, won a $350,000 judgment against Jones. Jones remained a union organizer for the UMW into the 1920s and continued to speak on union affairs almost until her death. She released her own account of her experiences in the labor movement as The Autobiography of Mother Jones (1925). In her later years, Jones lived with her friends Walter and Lillie May Burgess on their farm in Adelphi, Md. She celebrated her 100th birthday there on May 1, 1930. She died in Adelphi in November 1930.

She is buried in the Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive, Ill., alongside miners who had died in the 1898 Battle of Virden.  She called these miners, killed in strike-related violence, “her boys.”

In her pictures, she looked like a sweet old grandmother.  But, she was denounced on the floor of the United States Senate as the “grandmother of all agitators.”  She replied, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.  I hope to live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators.

And that is why workers of the world, united, celebrate May Day.

So, Happy Communist Holidays…

 

Published in: on May 6, 2014 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Lock and No Load in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey seems to go out of its way to make sure gun owners cannot use their weapons in self-defense.  Current law states that whether stationery or traveling, the gun must be unloaded, locked in its case and then locked in a safe when at home or in a place of business, and in the trunk of your car while traveling.

 

The state Senate’s Law and Public Safety Committee today voted 3-2 along party lines to approve the legislation (A2006), which lowers the allowed size from 15 rounds to 10. The bill has been kicking around the Legislature since 2012 as one of several dozen pushed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Ct. But, while it has already passed the Assembly twice, this is the first time it has advanced in the state Senate.

 

To become law, the bill – which the Assembly passed 46-31 in March – must pass the full Senate and be signed by Gov. Chris Christie. Although Christie has not taken a position on the bill, he noted at a March town hall meeting that he had vetoed more bills than any governor since at least 1947.

 

The New Jersey Senate Law & Public Safety Committee was scheduled to meet at today in Committee Room 10 in the State House Annex, 125 West State Street, Trenton, to hear testimony on bills S993 and A2777. S993 will ban yet additional firearms and limit law-abiding individuals to 10 round magazines when defending their homes and families from criminals. Due to the language used, A2777 will severely restrict where you can be when transporting your unloaded, locked firearms. The full text of both bills can be found on:

 

http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.njleg.state.nj.us%2FDefault.asp&h=5AQFYloqb&enc=AZOzCJq6hutvtflkQZnE2FbIAO1WxvQfY1QybrbVrDnOVex_ErmBaerl8UFlGQdoIa1wKvQLSqAJAhRRK1nksNVeLQPccWkkdPQuTTaS5rk-0R0tzVZavLd8j546yNVhhiJEqy6LO1ke38QPA8-7c62x&s=1

 

This bill clarifies the meaning of the term “deviations as are reasonably necessary” as it applies to transporting firearms in this State.

 

Under current law, certain persons are authorized to transport a firearm in this State if the firearm is unloaded and is either contained in a closed and fastened case or locked in the trunk of the motor vehicle.  This applies to licensed firearms dealers traveling during their normal business; firearm owners transporting their firearms for repairs; members of authorized rifle and pistol clubs transporting their firearms to and from target practice; persons traveling to hunting or fishing destinations; and persons traveling to certain firearms exhibitions. 

 

Persons authorized to transport a firearm under these circumstances may, in the course of travel, take only those deviations that are reasonably necessary under the circumstances. 

This bill defines “deviations as are reasonably necessary” to mean collecting and discharging certain passengers, purchasing fuel, using a restroom, and contending with an emergency situation. 

The bill also clarifies that a person transporting a weapon is required to comply with all other applicable State laws relating to weapons

 

Whether or not you own a firearm, if you believe that individuals have the right to protect their lives and families, this new bill just makes the debate even more ridiculous.  The Garden State has no constitutional right to ban guns.  But they sure can make them more and more difficult to use.

 

The people who probably need them most – honest citizens living in crowded cities – cannot fire a gun within three hundred feet of a residential building.  They are allowed to own small firearms.  But the guns must be dismantled and locked up.  By the time the owner gets the gun out of its locked case and assembled, the intruder has stolen most of the household and has escaped down the nearest highway. The police show up, but there’s nothing they can do but investigate and hope they catch the perpetrator.

 

If only the state government were as determined to control the mentally ill, drug dealers and users, and armed robbers as they are legal gun owners.  But they’re not afraid of any of those groups.  Most of them compose crucial constituencies:  health professionals, minorities, and the youth vote.

 

They’re more afraid of the law-abiding gun owners who find themselves abiding ever more overreaching laws that punish rather than protect law-abiding citizens and questioning those laws and the powerful lobbyists and corrupt politicians who pass them.

 

With Agenda 21 looming on New Jersey’s horizon – indeed, the future housing projects that are now billed as high-end housing are already there  – the other shoe will drop on Agenda 21.  Property owners in the Garden State will find themselves in the same position as Cliven Bundy.  The federal government will own a regionalized New Jersey where ownership of land will be limited to the politically connected and wealthy donors.  The average suburbanite will be living in a crowded housing project with tuberculosis-carrying immigrants.

 

The New Jersey legislature can’t take away your guns; but they sure can make it as hard as possible for you to use it.  Listed below are the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee who jammed your guns.

 NEW JERSEY SENATE L& PS COMMITTEE:

Donald Norcross (Chair) (D5) sennorcross@njleg.org Phone: 856-547-4800 Fax: 856-547-5496

Linda Greenstein (Vice Chair) (D14) sengreenstein@njleg.org Phone: 609-395-9911 Fax: 609-395-9032

 Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R16) senbateman@njleg.org Phone: 908-526-3600 Fax: 908-707-4578

 James Holzapfel (R10) senholzapfel@njleg.org Phone: 732-840-9028 Fax: 732-840-9757

Nick Sacco (D32) sensacco@njleg.org Phone: 201-295-0200 Fax: 201-295-8294

 

 

Published in: on May 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Girl in the Purple Car

Thought I would give the blog a break and try a little, old-fashioned creative writing.  Been at this blog for about five years now.  So here’s a short story for you; don’t plagiarize it.  Please.

The Girl in the Purple Car

The girl in the pink dress got into the purple car and her boyfriend pummeled her black and blue.

She was the kind of sweet, pretty girl we all wish we were.  She was our age, with flowing blonde tresses that curled down her back.  Her willowy figure lent her an angelic grace.  Her eyes – well, you couldn’t tell what color her eyes were at that precise moment because they were cast down as she in the front seat of the purple car.  Only her long, sweeping lashes were visible, demurely resting on her soft cheeks.

Some guys on our college campus, upon hearing the commotion came running along with the campus security.  He beat her so violently that his punches shook the car.  Now, the guys were shaking the car, trying to get at him.  The security guard warned them not to break the window.

A female student stood in front of the car, a foot from the bumper.

“Just get out,” she said.  “Wherever you live, I’ll give you a ride home.  Come on, honey.  Just open the door.”

She shook her head, without raising her eyes.

“What are you staying with him for?”

“Shut up!!” her boyfriend yelled.  “Mind your own business!”  (How many times do we hear that and do so, occasionally resulting in the tragedy of selfish reticence?)  He was big, like a football player and good-looking with jet black hair that waved over his eyes.  His fists were like huge blocks, though.  Great for tackling guys on the football.  Not so good for willowy girlfriends.

Ignoring him, the female student continued.

“The door is open; there’s nothing to stop you.  You don’t have to put up with this.”

She turned to look at the lock.  She seemed to be taking a breath of courage.  Then, she slumped back in the seat.  In that moment, the boyfriend glanced over her shoulder and saw that the door was, indeed, unlocked.  He pounded it shut with his fist, then started the motor.

The college buys jumped out of the way as he backed the car out of the parking space and roared off with his silent partner.

The girl in the purple car was the talk of the campus.

One day that same Spring, an English professor was teaching the fine points of Ian Fleming’s James Bond (he likes his women un-nail polished, with short, clipped nails, manicured, of course, but nothing they can use on him as a weapon).

As the professor was speaking, he noticed the class wasn’t paying attention; their eyes were on “The Cape” – the parking lot just outside the window; so long, students theorized, that NASA could land the space shuttle on it (if they didn’t mind ripping off the wings on the metal barriers).

“What’s going on?” the professor asked.  He turned to look out the window.  The purple car was plainly visible as were its occupants.  The car was rocking and shaking, and a crowd had gathered round it.

“What the bleep is that guy doing?!” the professor asked.

Someone offered up the explanation.

“That’s the girl in the purple car,” was the laconic reply.  “Her boyfriend beats her up in the car every day.  Sometimes it’s here on The Cape.  Other days, it’s in front of the library.  When he can’t find a closer spot, he beats her in the Outer Limits [the farthest parking lot].”

“Why does she put up with it?”

“No one knows.  People have tried to coax her out of the car but she won’t leave.”

“Well, why doesn’t somebody do something about it?”

One of the college boys said, “We’ve tried, but he locks her in and security told us if we broke the car windows we could be sued or arrested.”

“Or expelled,” another finished.

Soon, graduation bloomed, and neither the girl nor the purple car was ever seen on campus again.

Working in New York City is a great experience – until you have to stay late and get to Penn Station or the Port Authority terminal after dark.  The early evening can still be safe but the later it gets, the more danger you’re in if you walk rather than take a cab.

Elsie Frascolla’s office was down on 33rd Street and Park Avenue.  A vigorous hike on a windy, cold day.  Wearing pumps on the street was murder on the feet.  But the LIRR strike changed the fashion in women’s footwear forever.  At least in the City.  Women changed from their office pumps to sneakers so they could run for the subway and then to a waiting bus that would take them home.

Elsie lived in the opposite direction, in Jersey.  How did the Ladies of the Evening manage to stand around all night in spiked heels?

One evening, she was particularly late.  Taking a cab would have been safer but more expensive.  She was fond of running, in any case.  As she sprinted along 33rd street, she saw a pretty blonde girl in a cerise satin dress with a tulle overskirt sprinkled with glitter near the Empire State Building.   Her fairy feet were ornamented in matching satin red pumps. The skirt flowed from the waist to her ankles, fluttering with the breeze of traffic.

She waved gaily to passing cars, wobbling on her satin shoes with that distinct gait of inebriation.  Elsie wondered if she needed help.  A strange costume for the kind of trade she suspected the woman in red had taken up.  She certainly stood out in a unique way.  Then, a pick-up truck stopped in front of the girl.  She greeted the occupants with a merry slur and they laughed.  They were young rednecks, probably in town on holiday.  They urged her closer.  When she was within hand’s reach, one of them grabbed her, while the driver stomped down on the gas pedal.

She was dragged several feet.  They let go of her, and with a raucous laugh, drove off into the night.  The girl in the red dress moaned in the black gutter for a moment, then gradually struggled off and went on her way.

Elsie’s project kept her in the city late for the entire week, and not an evening went by that she didn’t see the same girl in the same red dress on the same wobbly heels.  Finally, on Friday night, Elsie summoned the courage to approach her.

“That’s an awfully pretty dress,” she commented.  Privately, she noted that the detritus from the gutter still clung to it and that the garment was damp in spots from a combination of rainwater, oil, urine and vomit and the shoes were worn down at the heels, scuffed and marred.

The girl in the red dress looked at Elsie in surprise and doubt.  The naive Elsie nervously held up her hands to indicate she wasn’t some strange customer.

“Oh – thank you,” the girl in red finally replied with a weak smile.

“It seems a shame to ruin it by falling into the gutter,” Elsie noted, rather tactlessly.

This time the girl gave a start, then examined Elsie closely, and Elsie, the girl.  They clearly recognized one another.

“Didn’t you used to go to State College?” Elsie asked.

Terror gaped in the girl’s eyes.

“No, no!  No!  I went to school out West.  Los Angeles,” she said.  “I’m – I’m an actress.”

“You had a boyfriend with a purple car,” Elsie persisted.

“No, no!  You’ve mistaken me for someone else.  Really!” she cried.  “You should really get going home.  It’s – it’s not safe around here after dark for someone like you.  Please.  My – my boyfriend will be picking me up soon and he doesn’t – well, he doesn’t like me to – to talk to strangers.”

Elsie blushed for her interference

“I’m – I’m sorry,” she stammered.  “Yeah, you’re right.  I do have to be going.  I don’t want to miss my train; it’s the last one.  I hate these evening hours.  I want to go home and have dinner.  You should be careful, too.”

“Oh – oh, I will,” the girl in red promised.  “Don’t worry!”

Elsie hurried on her way to catch the last train back home.

The girl – no longer a girl, really – in the white halter-top and jeans banged on the peeling door of the grey Victorian house.  If the house hadn’t had a porch, she would have been the soaked girl in the white halter top and jeans.  Her blonde hair was pulled back in a limp ponytail.  Hints of gray were replacing the youthful sunshine of her blonde strands.

She banged and banged on the door, screaming and crying to be let in.  From within the house, a little girl could be heard weeping.  There was the sound of a thud and the weeping ceased.  The woman beat on the door and cried even more frantically.

Across the street, a welfare mom was having a party.  Had she not been a college graduate, she might have been mistaken for white trash, considering the run-down condition of the house and the neighborhood.

.

“What’s all that noise across the street?” one of her guests asked, going to the front window.

“Oh, that’s the girl in the purple car,” the hostess responded.  “You remember her, don’t you?”

“The girl in the purple car?  That’s her?” the guest exclaimed.

“Look in the driveway,” said the hostess.  “See the car?”

All the guests, all graduates of the same college class, peered out the filmy front window.  Across the street, in the driveway, was a battered, rusting purple car, a four-door sedan with an expired inspection sticker.  The original purple color had all but faded, its sheen dulled by age, exposure and neglect.  What color was left was more primer coat than original paint.  It was a rough, gritty car, the kind someone with soft hands would instinctively never touch and if you did, you would feel an uncomfortable sensation, somewhere between running your hand over fine sandpaper and along a grimy railing.

“It is!” another guest cried.  “It’s the same car!  At least, it might have been that purple car, once upon time.  And that’s her!?  Are you sure?”

“Yup!” the hostess responded.

“But that’s not the same guy?!”

“Yeah,” the hostess answered.  “The very same guy.  She married him.  Can you believe it?  They have a couple of kids.  The old tale – high school cheerleader falls for football star.  She was supposed to go to a college out West somewhere to study acting.  But he couldn’t go.  Not enough money, poor grades.  Couldn’t make the school football team on an athletic scholarship.  He got angry, threatened her, threatened himself.  So she didn’t go and the went to State College together, instead.  But after graduation, she broke up with him for awhile before they married.  She ran off.  Don’t know what she did, but she couldn’t make it financially and went back to him.  Got pregnant right away.”

“He’s locked her out,” yet another guest observed.

“They fight every night,” the hostess noted.  “He beats her up.  She runs out the door, but he holds onto the kids, then beats them until they cry.  Then she begs to be let back in.  He lets her in, tosses the kids out, and then beats her until she’s black and blue.”

“Why doesn’t she just drive away?”

“I told you, he’s got the kids and the money.  And the keys to the car.”

The door to the grey house opened and two children, a boy and a girl tumbled out.  The children looked thin, malnourished, dirty, and thinly clad.  The girl had bruises and the boy’s arm was bent at an odd angle.  Their mother embraced them tearfully.  Then the man thumped out onto the porch with a heavy, menacing tread.  His hair was still black, but unkempt and his black eyebrows brewed over his narrowed eyes.  He wore a dirty, sleeveless tee shirt; his sullen, stubble-faced countenance told a tale of alcoholism, drugs and street fights.

“He’s coming out,” one of the guests told the hostess, who was setting out coffee on her dining room table.

Indeed, he bellowed at the woman as she clung to her children.

“Get up you f*&ng bi#^& wh@#*!!  Get in here!  You an’ I ain’t done yet!”

He strode down the steps and with a beefy, tattooed arm, dragged her to her feet and into the house.

“Well, next comes the beating and then it’ll be over.  Come on.  Your coffee’s ready,” the hostess said, waving them over.

“He’s got a gun,” a guest observed.

“A double-barreled shotgun,” added another.

“He’s dragging her back into the house.”

“Somebody’d better call 9-1-1.”

“Dialing right now.”

“Where are the kids?” the hostess asked, hurrying over to the window.

“On the lawn.  Crying.”

A suspenseful silence fell over the welfare mom’s living room.  Time seemed to have halted, hovering over the neighborhood, paralyzed.

The woman in the halter top screamed in horror.  Then three blasts rang out.  Then the two children screamed.  The welfare mom and her guests burst out her front door and across the street to grab them.  A siren wailed in the distance.  Help, suspended by time, was in motion again, finally, coming ever closer, but too late.

The woman in black lay in a black coffin surrounded by friends and family clad in black, weeping and wiping their red eyes with white handkerchiefs.  The mortician did a professional job of covering up the bruises, scars, and unhappiness that punctured this one-time vision of loveliness.  Pictures in a display showed a girl in pink, a woman in red, a bride in white, and a housewife with faded eyes and only the ghost of her former rosy coloring on her cheeks smiling beneficently in a blue housedress holding two smiling children.

Her coffin was surrounded by dozens and dozens of flowers; soft pastels, bouquets of fragrant gardenias, trumpet lilies solemnly wafting an odd odor of sorrow, carnations of every hue, the daisies of youth and innocence, the roses of womanhood and beauty, and the thorns of a beautiful life gone somehow bitterly wrong.  Flowers she could no longer admire, giving off various perfumes she could no longer smell, and a tenderness of leaf and petal she could no longer caress.

The long line of cars, headlights ablaze, led by the black hearse, stopped at a green-lawned cemetery.  As yet, the gravesite bore no marker.  All was green save for the brown hole waiting to receive the black coffin of the dead woman in the black dress, the housewife with the faded eye, the dizzy girl in the red dress, the sweet-looking girl in the purple car.

Published in: on May 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm  Leave a Comment