Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Shot Heard ‘Round the World Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best posts in each category, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

This week, The MidKnight Review, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion , Jewish American Patriots, Gulag Bound and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for that week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Posted in American Culture, Watchers Council, Writing | Leave a comment

Journey to the Center of the Common Core – Pt. 1

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By: Brent Parrish

There has been a lot of talk and news lately about Common Core (CC)—specifically, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), i.e. national standards for education. Whether you have children in school or not, CCSSI affects every American, in one way or the other.  One could say Common Core represents a radical bureaucratic “revolution” in education. Although proponents claim Common Core is a States’ or local initiative, it is, in many ways, a great “bait and switch” that flew underneath the radar of many Americans.

There are several reasons I decided to write on the subject of Common Core standards. The primary reason was to ask the who, what, why, where, when and how. I know a number of people don’t know much about Common Core. As a matter of fact, the other night I heard Bill O’Reilly say on his show on Fox that he didn’t know much about Common Core standards. Ironically, O’Reilly was also discussing the possibility of Jeb Bush as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Jeb Bush is a prominent figure behind Common Core, which I will get into later.

A well-informed and educated populace tends toward a well-informed electorate. A sick culture will produce a sick body politic. Teaching children and young adults how to think, and not what to think, is what I believe the goal of learning and education should be. But the very paradigm and definition of “learning” is being redefined in the Common Core standards. As Abraham Lincoln once said,  “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” The authors of Common Core understand and comprehend Lincoln’s words quite well.

Secondly, I discovered quite a bit of interlock in my research into the philosophy and ideology of Marxism with the current proposed Common Core standards. Additionally—and some would say, naturally—I experienced this same interlock phenomenon in examining the aims and goals of the United Nations—specifically, the goals of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among other U.N. initiatives, particularly those concerning “climate change” and “environmental sustainability,” i.e. Agenda 21.

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The interlock between Common Core and educational goals and initiatives laid out earlier in the Twentieth Century by progressive educators like John Dewey, Charles Hubbard Judd, George Counts, Stanley H. Hall—and even Soviet psychologist Lev Vykotsky, whose theories on learning are based on the communal process (now lovingly referred to as “collaborative learning“)—is quite compelling.

Writing this article has been challenging on several fronts. Not only are there numerous educational issues surrounding CC, there are also a plethora of social, cultural and economic issues swirling around the debate on Common Core. Many of these social, cultural and economic components have already been folded into the Common Core curriculum, hence the controversy.

When one studies who the major players are behind Common Core, I would say more on the left support CC than on the right. But you really have to throw out the right-left paradigm, in my opinion, when it comes to CC. Common Core is not a right-left thing, per se; it is a progressive, globalist, collectivist thing. There are members from both the right-side and the left-side of the aisle who have a stake in pushing Common Core standards, for various reasons and motives. Some of them might be described as the “usual suspects,” but others might surprise you, as we will see later in this article.

UNESCO

Since my intent is to try and provide a detailed, yet concise, overview of the who, what, where, when, why and how on Common Core, while exploring a bit of the philosophy and historical origins behind CC standards, and the corroboration of CC standards with the aims and goals of Marxists from my own research, I decided it might be best to structure the article by stepping back into time from the present to the past—meaning, by first looking at the who, what, where, when, why and how of Common Core, and then exploring its origins, aims and goals.

For those who wish to research Common Core further, a good deal of information contained in this article has been drawn from the following sources: Karen Bracken, Robin Eubanks, Dr. Peg Luksik, Michael Chapman, Orlean Koehle, Glenn Beck—among others I will be citing throughout the article. (FYI: If you follow the links, you can watch or listen to their presentations on CC.)

Question: What are the Common Core standards, and which States have signed up for it?

In a nutshell, Common Core is nationalized education—a federal, top-down approach to education based in “Constructivism,” i.e. Postmodernism. It is sold as a set of “rigorous”  and “internationally benchmarked” standards that will supposedly bring uniformity in education across state lines.  Although proponents of CC cannot seem to define “rigor” or “internationally benchmarked” standards.

Common Core standards are a list of what children should know in English Language Arts (ELA) and math in grades K-12, and replaces existing State standards. Science standards are almost left out—specifically, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects. Proponents claim CC will only affect ELA, math, and how testing (a.k.a.  “assessment”) is performed. But, in practice, Common Core goes far beyond just English and Math standards.

According to the latest stats in my own research, 45 States have adopted the Common Core standards.

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The Common Core standards were adopted by the States (and in some cases before) release on June 2, 2010. By 2011, 45 states had officially adopted Common Core. Yet, by 2013, 62% had never heard of Common Core.

The two D.C. organizations that commissioned Common Core are the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO). The CCSSO has sponsorships located in each State. It is worth noting, in consideration of the claim by proponents that Common Core is simply a local initiative, the NGA is a trade association, not a government agency. Although CCSSI sounds as if it were a voluntary States’ initiative, Common Core is a “national program, written by a national team.”

Orlean Koehle of the Eagle Forum of California explains:

There was no state or national debate, and no Congressional or state legislative approval was given before implementation of CC began. Forty-six state governors thought they were getting a “free lunch” when they volunteered their states as Common Core participants. The governors were enticed with the promise of federal funds for their states.

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The NGA has received the majority of its funding from the federal government. Both the NGA and the CCSSO have also received heavy grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I’ll have more on the NGA, CCSSO and the Gates Foundation when we look at the who’s-who behind Common Core a little later.

There was very little public comment on Common Core or any real research done prior to its adoption. The members of the Common Core validation committee were required to sign non-disclosure agreements. There was only one ELA expert, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, and one math expert, Dr. Jim Milgram, on the validation committee, and neither one of them would sign off on it.

More details on the CC validation committee:

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One goal often cited in the Common Core standards is to make students college-ready and career-ready by providing them with “21st Century Learning Skills” necessary for a “global economy.” A great deal of ambiguity surrounds just what is meant when a student is assessed to be “college-ready” or “career-ready,” but it appears to be grounded in a communitarian mindset. A lot emphasis is given to the notion of “life-long learning,” i.e. the process of “continuous improvement,” and “global citizenship.”

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The new purpose of education under the Common Core standards appears to be the total transformation of society toward a more sustainable future. Knowledge, understanding and comprehension are no longer the primary purpose of learning under the new Common Core standards, but rather redefining “learning” as changes in values, beliefs, feelings or behaviors—sweeping out knowledge and independent thought.

Common Core proponents want students to think about and appreciate all the problems of our current society so that you perceive the need for fundamental transformation in society and the economy, and in the culture at large. Robin Eubanks of InvisibleSerfsCollar.com describes it this way, “If you see conceptuality, [proponents] want to provide the concept … by concepts they tend to mean oppression, racism, sustainability, animal extinctions—things you can relate to through emotion, not facts.” Creativity and innovation is to be grounded in emotion, not logic and rationality. Emotion trumps logic … “this is what you should believe” … “continuous improvement.”

And this is where the semantic manipulation comes in: terms like “critical thinking skills” or “higher-level critical thinking” (red flags) come to define the point where the student has fully accepted the radical changes in values, beliefs, feelings and behaviors that the Common Core standards require, or demand.

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One of the requirements of good “global citizenship” is acceptance of the concept of “shared sacrifice”—meaning: responsibilities must be shared by governments, schools and businesses in order to create a more “sustainable” world. As Michael Chapman states in his presentation on the links between UNESCO, Agenda 21 and Common Core, “It’s not fair for to have your wants me until the entire world has its needs met.” (Emphasis on need.)  Barack Obama has expressed similar sentiments by his belief in “collective salvation”—and it all revolves around wealth redistribution, and the Marxian definition of equality and fairness.

The language (ELA) component for Common Core is proposing grade school students focus about 50% of their time studying information and data (such as reading EPA manuals), and the rest of their time on traditional literature and language skills. But, by the time they reach high school, they are to spend only 30% of their time on subjects like literature and the balance of time on informational texts like Labor Department regulations—information vs. knowledge. Not only is knowledge being swept away, but the most important part of teaching knowledge is being tossed aside—the student’s understanding and comprehension of knowledge.

In the math component for CC, Michael Chapman points out, the Common Core standards does not define mathematics as a self-existing truth discovered by man, but rather a social construction to meet society’s need. There is no right or wrong answer. We simply dialog to a consensus on what we would like the answer to be based on the “common greater good.” This is where we get bizarre concepts like “radical math,” which essentially equates to “social justice,” i.e. redistribution. The answer to the equation can be whatever we want it to be, as long as no animals or minorities were offended or hurt in the process (cf. sarcasm).

math-by-consensus-getting-to-know-connected-mathematics

The lynchpin of Common Core is systematization, centralization and data collection. Common Core can be described as a “digital learning program to be used to create ‘commonality’ in curriculum in all States,” according to Orlean Kohle. And it is all the proposed data-tracking and data mining that are proving to be one of the most controversial and disturbing aspects concerning the Common Core standards.

The push within Common Core is that all learning should involve computers, not in your mind. The CC documents reflect, if knowledge is in a computer, instead of your brain, you are weaker and more malleable; it becomes more difficult to create the mental scenarios necessary to determine consequences; it weakens conceptualization. Once again, rational, linear, logical thought is discouraged, information vs. knowledge. These concepts are primarily derived from research conducted by Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky.

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One rather pernicious document published by the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century” (download here) recommends using a myriad of sensors and data-collection techniques to monitor students.

(Credits: Dept. of Ed.)

Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance, pg. 44 (Credits: Dept. of Ed.)

promoting-grit

The Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance document also reveals the federal government will monitor things like voting status, healthcare status, family income, religious affiliation, extracurricular activity, along with hundreds of other attributes.

Wait a minute? Doesn’t the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevent the government from collecting personal data on me and my children? Obama’s amendment of FERPA takes away the privacy of students and teachers, and allows the federal government to create a nationalized database.

ferpa

Question: How did all this sneak under the radar?

Barack Obama was sworn into office in January 2009. One month later the $759 billion stimulus bill was passed—the stimulus written by the Tides Foundation, Apollo Alliance and Van Jones. The president promised the stimulus package would be used for reducing the unemployment rate, and for “stimulating” and “creating jobs.” But the stimulus was used to bypass Congress, thus becoming the president’s personal piggy bank, and allowing him to pay off his cronies and fund his pet projects.

Obama-Ed

The U.S. Department of Education—the prime bureaucracy behind Common Core—was appropriated $4.35 billion dollars to create the Race to the Top (RTTT) competition. The first phase of RTTT began in November 2009. Applications for RTTT grants were due in January 2010, just one month later. To successfully apply for RTTT, States agreed to the Common Core standards … sight unseen.

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The federal government threatens to withhold Title I grant money for education to States who do not adopt and comply with Common Core standards. So there are many incentives to join and punishments for not joining. Additionally, it is difficult for a State to leave once they have signed up, due to the exit rules agreed upon during adoption of the national standards, and changes are difficult since all other States must be in agreement.

In Part 2, we will take a deeper look at the questions, who is behind Common Core, where did CC originate, what are CC’s ultimate aims and goals, and much more!

Posted in Active Measures, American Culture, American Diplomacy, American Sovereignty, Bill of Rights, Calumny, Climate Change, Communications, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Cultural Marxism, Economy, Education, elitism, Energy Policy, EPA, Fascism, Federal Budget, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Founders, GOP, Health Care Bill, Homosexuality, House of Representatives, Ideological Subversion, Indoctrination, Legal/Judicial, LGBT Activism, Main-Stream Media, Marxism, Monetary Policy, National Debt, Obama Lies, Operant Conditioning, opinion, Plantation Liberalism, Politics, Prejudice, Progressive Movement, Psychological Warfare, Racism, RNC, Sacrifice, Senate, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism, Sovereignty, Taxation, Tea Party, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution, Unemployment, United Nations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

In Case You Missed It Dept.:

When the Moment Is Right …

Via Winteregg for Congress:

FIRE JOHN BOEHNER
http://www.jdwinteregg.com/

Over the course of 23 years, John Boehner has forgotten that his job was to go to D.C. to fight for you. Despite his campaign promises, as Speaker of the House he has failed to defund ObamaCare, failed to pass timely budgets, failed to protect us from amnesty for criminal illegal immigrants, and even raised the debt ceiling which leaves debt for our children and grandchildren to pay back and puts our national security at risk.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to fight back!

Posted in American Culture, American Patriotism, American Sovereignty, Bill of Rights, Communications, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Economy, elitism, First Amendment, GOP, Health Care Bill, House of Representatives, Immigration, Legal/Judicial, Politics, Progressive Movement, RNC, Satire, Senate, Socialism, Taxation, U.S. Constitution | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Re: Harry Reid’s ‘Domestic Terrorist’ Comments

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By: Brent Parrish

Political terrorist Harry “Cleanface” Reid is doubling-down (per Alinsky, I suspect) on his over-the-top rhetoric by accusing Cliven Bundy of not paying his taxes and labeling Bundy and his supporters “domestic terrorists”:

Funny how Comrade Reid seems to know so much about everybody’s taxes, huh! Amazing thing that NSA and IRS (cf. sarcasm). Just ask Mitt Romney. Still no word from Reid, yet,  on whether alleged author of Barack Obama’s book Dreams From My Father, Bill Ayers, has been labeled by Senate Kommandant Reid as a domestic terrorist or not. But I digress.

Reid and his ilk seem to have a real penchant for singling out private citizens for character assassination and personal destruction in order to further their nefarious political schemes and unconstitutional machinations. Just ask the Koch brothers.

In the video below, Harry “Cleanface” (Reid’s Nevada mob name) Reid makes some very revealing, and quite disturbing, comments. First, he mentions that he has been in contact with Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George, Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie in Bunkerville, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Secretary of the Interior; he says they just can’t let it go. Huh. Imagine that. Terrible thing that progressive OCD:

The most disturbing comments from Dingy Harry in the video above, at least to me, are his claims the Bundy Ranch protesters wanted to use women and children as “human shields.” The reason I find those comments so disturbing is you would only be concerned about women in children standing in front of the crowd if you were planning on potentially mowing them all down.

As far as the “women and children” are concerned, I don’t know if Reid is referring to comments made by Sheriff Richard Mack in an interview with Ben Swann, but I’ve included the audio below:

Sheriff Mack states in the Ben Swann interview (@4:40 min.) that if women were standing out front (I did not hear anything about children, by the way), and were shot first by federal authorities, it would show the rest of the world just how ruthless the feds really can be. But, let’s not forget how many children were burned alive in the Waco siege. So, it’s not like there isn’t historical precedence for such a scenario. But, at the same time, some may find all this a bit over-the-top.

Let’s consider this: why is anybody even worrying about somebody getting shot over cattle grazing fees and desert tortoises? Well, that should be obvious. Because American citizens are having weapons aimed at them by their own government for no justifiable reason. When an unconstitutional agency like the BLM shows up in full battle kit with weapons drawn, one must ask themselves, what the hell?

Here’s some raw footage of the actual incident between BLM forces and the protesters at the Bundy Ranch. You be the judge:

What is this, Afghanistan? This is just unbelievable. This is the very reason why so many people, including myself, have been so concerned about the militarization of federal alphabet agencies like the BLM, Social Security Administration, NOAA, Department of Eduction–and some 70 other agencies. But Obama said he would be ready to rule from Day One. And we now see why the president wanted an internal security apparatus better funded and more powerful than the U.S. military.

It seems to me the Obama Administration, and staunch supporters like Cleanface, are the ones itching for a fight … a fight against American citizens and their way of life …

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Related:

Flashback: Obama: ‘Lone Wolf Will Be Sovereign’:

Posted in Active Measures, American Culture, American Patriotism, American Sovereignty, Bill of Rights, Calumny, Communications, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Crime, Cultural Marxism, elitism, Fascism, First Amendment, Founders, GOP, House of Representatives, Ideological Subversion, Indoctrination, Legal/Judicial, Liberal Crap, Main-Stream Media, Marxism, National Security, Politics, Prejudice, Presidential Campaign, Progressive Movement, Psychological Warfare, Rank Stupidity, Senate, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution, United Nations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Easter!

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Posted in American Culture, Bible, Bill of Rights, First Amendment, Religion, U.S. Constitution | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where Dawkins Fears To Tread: Ethnic Nepotism and the Reality of Race

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By: Steve Sailer
October 3, 2004

The Iraqis’ fierce resistance to foreigners (us) invading their country was predictable on any number of grounds. But perhaps the most interesting is the most fundamental: the theory of “ethnic nepotism.” This explains the tendency of humans to favor members of their own racial group by postulating that all animals evolve toward being more altruistic toward kin in order to propagate more copies of their common genes.

Which doesn’t mean that kin groups always cooperate—they also compete among themselves, in a sort of sibling rivalry writ large. But nepotistic solidarity still matters.

Even the notoriously fractious Afghan Pashtuns think in terms of: “I against my brother. My brother and I against my cousin. My cousin and we against the world.” (Note that, by maintaining a smaller footprint in Afghanistan and letting the Afghans go back to being Afghans, we’ve provoked much less nationalist backlash there.)

You may not have ever heard of ethnic nepotism before. That’s largely because the most media savvy-explicators of Darwinism—such as Richard Dawkins, recently voted Britain’s top public intellectual by Prospect magazine—are terrified that their entire field might be tarred as “racist” if the concept is given a fair public discussion.

The term “ethnic nepotism” was introduced in the 1981 book The Ethnic Phenomenon by Pierre L. van den Berghe, a white sociologist born in the old Belgian colony of the Congo.

Disgusted by white oppression of Africans, van den Berghe became a fairly conventional liberal on race. But, as he overcame his Eurocentric focus on white crimes, he realized that race-based exploitation and violence are universal human curses. This led him to sociobiology and its bedrock finding: the late William D. Hamilton‘s theory of kin selection and inclusive fitness—the more genes we share with another individual, the more altruistic we feel toward him.

There are no clear boundaries between extended family, tribe, ethnic group, or race. So van den Berghe coined the term “ethnic nepotism” to describe the human tendency to favor “our people.”

Ethnocentrism, clannishness, xenophobia, nationalism, and racism are the almost inevitable flip sides of ethnic nepotism. (I say almost because it’s important to note that you can be patriotic and work for the good of your own fellow citizens without overtly wishing ill toward any other country. Nonetheless, even patriotism still implies discrimination against noncitizens.)

The Ethnic Phenomenon is the book Karl Marx should have written. Rather than focusing on the relatively minor phenomenon of class, he should have explored the global importance of kinship.

Hamilton, the leading evolutionary theorist of the second half of the 20th Century, had figured out the mathematics and extraordinary implications of an explanation for nepotism that had been kicking around half-formed among biologists.

Hamilton pointed out that it was often useful to think of “survival of the fittest” from the point of view, as it were, of individual genes. A gene that encourages you to sacrifice your life to save two brothers or eight cousins would tend to spread.

Hamilton used his new perspective to explain a mystery that had perplexed Darwin a century before: the extreme degree of nepotistic self-sacrifice among social insects. Worker ants give up reproducing in order to help their sister, the queen, reproduce on a vast scale. Hamilton pointed out that while most species’ siblings share 50 percent of their genes, ant sisters share 75 percent. This makes self-sacrifice by workers more genetically profitable.

This gene-centric viewpoint was made understandable to the reading public by Edward O. Wilson’s 1975 book Sociobiology and Richard Dawkins’ celebrated 1976 book, The Selfish Gene . (A better title for Dawkins’ book would have been The Dynastic Gene, since your genes spread by helping promulgate copies of themselves in one’s relatives).

E.O. Wilson’s description in his delightful autobiography Naturalist of how he wrestled with Hamilton’s epochal papers during an 18-hour train ride in 1965 is a classic:

“Impossible, I thought, this can’t be right. Too simple… By dinnertime, as the train rumbled on into Virginia, I was growing frustrated and angry… And because I modestly thought of myself as the world authority on social insects, I also thought it unlikely that anyone else could explain their origin, certainly not in one clean stroke… By the time we reached Miami, in the early afternoon, I gave up. I was a convert and put myself in Hamilton’s hands. I had undergone what historians of science call a paradigm shift.”

In 1975, Hamilton had extended his theory to humans. In a long essay entitled Innate Social Aptitudes of Man: An Approach from Evolutionary Genetics, (which appears in the first volume of Hamilton’s autobiographical Narrow Roads of Gene Land), Hamilton wrote:

“… I hope to produce evidence that some things which are often treated as purely cultural in humans—say racial discrimination—have deep roots in our animal past and thus are quite likely to rest on direct genetic foundations.”

Richard Dawkins’ tremendous career as a science journalist has been built on his talent at translating Hamilton’s formulas into engaging prose. But he has long denied the possibility of ethnic nepotism, even though Hamilton had published an elaborate model of it the year before Dawkins published The Selfish Gene.

Read the full article at VDARE.com …

inspire-nepotism

Posted in American Culture, Bible, Christianity, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Cultural Marxism, Fascism, Judaism, Marxism, Political Theory, Politics, Progressive Movement, Racism, Religion, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Karma Is a Bitch!

Comrade Oleg does it again!

h/t: Jodi D

Posted in American Culture, American Patriotism, American Sovereignty, Communism, Cultural Marxism, elitism, Fascism, House of Representatives, Humor, Indoctrination, Liberal Crap, Marxism, Plantation Liberalism, Politics, Progressive Movement, Rank Stupidity, Satire, Senate, Social Justice, Socialism, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Global Agenda — A Lecture by Henry Lamb on the UN’s Agenda 21

This is the full one-hour presentation by the late Henry Lamb on the global environmental agenda that has been eroding our individual liberties for many years now. There was a short seven-minute clip of Henry Lamb’s presentation included in the article “Wildlands Project, Agenda 21, and Its Future Enforcers (Hardly Just the Bundy Ranch)” I posted here at TRP this week. So I thought it was worth posting the entire presentation.

Via YouTube description:

Henry Lamb’s full presentation to the Granada Forum on October 10, 1996. This is one of the first presentations of the Global Environmental Agenda to the public. Much of the global agenda he explained then is now reality, and what many scoffed at then is accepted now as fact.

FYI: There are lot of good source links under the “About” description for this video on YouTube.

Read more here.

Read more here.

Posted in Active Measures, American Culture, American Sovereignty, Bill of Rights, Climate Change, Communications, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Crime, Cultural Marxism, Economy, Education, elitism, Fascism, First Amendment, GOP, House of Representatives, Ideological Subversion, Indoctrination, Legal/Judicial, Liberal Crap, Main-Stream Media, Marxism, National Security, Obama Lies, Operant Conditioning, Plantation Liberalism, Politics, Prejudice, Progressive Movement, Psychological Warfare, RNC, Senate, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism, Taxation, Tea Party, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution, United Nations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A User’s Guide to Russian Propaganda

RAZOM-logo

Compiled on behalf of RAZOM, Inc. by Oksana Lassowsky and Evhenia Dalphond
For further information: Email: razominc@gmail.com with copy to n.oksana@gmail.com and evhenia.v@gmail.com

Western press and media are having trouble distinguishing facts from Russian propaganda. This is understandable – the Russian propaganda machine is a mature and venerable institution that engages in an art that, for better or for worse, the West simply does not practice as often nor as effectively. The intent of this guide is to help those less accustomed to the ways of the Russian government to discern between reporting and propaganda. There are a few simple tell-tale signs.

Types of propaganda to look for – the signs, the impact, and the facts:

SIGN #1: Reporting that points to ethnic divisions and Kyiv’s Maidan as a source of unrest.

IMPACT: Western media call into question the stability of the interim Ukrainian government, and speculate that Ukraine is a hotbed of prejudice on the brink of civil war.

FACT: Modern Ukraine has no history of ethnic conflict. Furthermore, the Maidan was a gathering place for Ukrainians of all ethnic backgrounds:

  • A Facebook post by an Afghan-Ukrainian triggered the first mass protest at Kyiv’s Maidan last November;
  • An Armenian-Ukrainian and a Belarusian were the first to die at the hands of the government’s internal police.
  • Jewish-Ukrainians formed a self-defense unit to support Maidan in Kyiv and fight against the Yanukovych regime;
  • Numerous Jewish thought-leaders and organizations have spoken out against Kremlin propaganda portraying Maidan participants as anti-Semites or neo-Nazis;
  • Russian-Ukrainians are enlisting to protect their Ukrainian homeland against Russian armed forces;
  • Crimean Tatars have been staunch supporters of Maidan and are actively resisting Russia’s military aggressions in Crimea.

Just like the United States of America, Ukraine is multi-national and diverse. Are the diverse United States capable of being a unified democracy? Sure! So is Ukraine

Tymothy Snyder, Alexander J.Motyl, and Bernard-Henri Levy are reputable thought leaders who write knowledgeably about the multi-national Ukrainian identity.

Serhiy-Nihoyan

SIGN #2: Reports of murders and violence attributed to “banderite” and “fascist” radicals.

IMPACT: Western media wonders whether the democratic and human rights movement might not be a front for “extremists”.

FACT: Some of the new government’s detractors have used provocative slurs and the corrupt judicial system to manufacture or inflate charges to discredit the Maidan movement. Violent provocations have been staged by paid provocateurs in order to implicate activists in brutal crimes. Yet even the Ukrainian soldiers under siege in Crimea obey strict orders to maintain passive resistance – which they do, even as their friends and families are threatened by the occupying forces. The people of Ukraine are doing all they can to keep the peace in their pursuit of human rights and democracy. Theirs is a genuine quest for freedom.

SIGN #3: Assertions that ethnic Russians and Russian speakers are under threat.

IMPACT: Western media suspects the people of Ukraine of violent vengeance and spite instigated by the new government.

FACT: Russian media has broadcast images purportedly of refugees escaping to Russia through Ukraine’s Eastern border – but in fact those were Ukrainian businessmen in line at the Polish-Ukrainian border, a daily routine, just like that of Americans who do business in Canada. Such are the tools of Russian propaganda.

Russian language and culture thrive across the whole of Ukraine. Russian is one of Ukraine’s two state languages, and was re-affirmed as such by the president of the interim government. Russian media and publications are freely imported and available throughout Ukraine, and represent the majority of publications available in Kyiv. Russian media will undoubtedly continue to thrive as an integral part of the multi-national Ukrainian landscape. On the other hand, several years ago some Ukrainian-language schools were shut down by regional Yanukovych authorities. Over time the Ukrainian government may wish to come to conduct all its business in Ukrainian, and so will wish to assure all students have access to an education in Ukrainian, if they desire it. Just as the United States government conducts its business in English and still makes information available in other languages, so has Ukraine been meeting the language requirements of its people.

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SIGN #4: Assertions that ethnic Russians in Crimea are at particular risk.

IMPACT: Western media question the fate of ethnic Russians in Crimea as a unique circumstance that justifies Russian government concerns in that region.

FACT: In Crimea, Russia leases from Ukraine land for military bases. These Russian bases account in part for the large concentration of ethnic Russians there. As for Ukraine serving the needs of ethnic Russians in Crimea, consider the ethnic composition of Crimea (based on the latest 2001 census), and the languages used in the 589 Crimean schools:

  • 58% ethnically Russian; 56% of Crimean schools teach exclusively in Russian (330 schools)
  • 24% ethnically Ukrainian; 1% of Crimean schools teach exclusively in Ukrainian (7 schools)
  • 12% ethnically Crimean Tatar, 3% of Crimean schools teach exclusively in Crimean Tatar (15 schools)
  • 6% ethnically other minorities. 40% of Crimean schools are bi- or tri-lingual (237 schools)

Ongoing shifts in the Crimean ethnic composition are due in part to the Crimean Tatars’ return from exile.

The Crimean Tatars were forcibly deported by the Soviet government over half a century ago. Since Ukraine declared independence in 1991, nearly 300,000 Crimean Tatars have been welcomed back to their homeland. In addition, Crimean Tatars have the highest birth rate in the peninsula.

The Ukrainian Revolution poses no threat to Russians in Crimea – but the Russian incursion into Crimea poses a very real and existential threat to the Crimean Tatars, who have pledged their allegiance to the government in Kyiv.

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SIGN #5: Geographic obfuscation and confusion.

IMPACT: This decades- (centuries!) old canard calls into question Ukraine’s boundaries and its right to exist as a sovereign nation. This propaganda has permeated western media, from subtleties like training the English-speaking west to write about “THE” Ukraine (implying it is a region, not a country), to more overt tactics like standardizing Ukrainian city names to their Russian transliterations. (…./KYIV is the Ukrainian capital, and KIEV is the Russian transliteration of that name. For consistency, style guides should also apply the same Russian conventions to the capital of the USA, “Vashington”, and to the home of their founding Continental Congress, “Filadelfiya”. Why not? Such standardizations in the western press would be as valid as is “Kiev.”) Western adoption of Russian names for Ukrainian cities has helped Russia marginalize Ukraine as a sovereign nation.

Media standardizations have impact beyond their target readership: in the early days of Euromaidan, a couple of young Ukrainians spending a fearful night on the square were reading about “Kiev” in western press on-line. Demoralized, in their Facebook posts they wondered if the west could ever understand their goal, if the west could not even recognize their capital Kyiv as Ukrainian, not Russian. Morale and hope were critical to keeping the peace throughout the mass protests, and was undermined by misguided western style guides.

FACT: Ukrainian and Russian are distinct languages with common roots, also shared by Polish and other Slavic languages. Similarly, English and German share common roots, but are not mistakenly considered dialects of one another. As for history: Russia can no more claim Kyivan Rus’ as its origin than the United States of America can claim King Arthur’s Camelot as theirs.

SIGN #6: The reporting cites sources such as RT and Stephen F. Cohen whose assertions are often inconsistent with facts in evidence.

IMPACT: Western media prides itself on showing all sides of any story, and so disseminates propaganda in a doe-eyed pursuit of unbiased reporting.

FACT: “Propaganda” is not a “side”. It is an adversarial tactic intended to mislead and deceive. By reporting propaganda as an alternative perspective, western media becomes part of the machinery helping Putin advance his war-mongering cause.

Commentators whose observations are often egregiously at odds with verifiable facts: Stephen Cohen, Seamus Milne, William F. Engdahl, Mark Almond, Daniel McAdams, Vladimir Posner.

Russian-owned media outlets who have broadcast verifiably false information: It is important to keep in mind that Russian-owned news sources such as RT [Russia Today], Voice of Russia, ITAR-TASS, RIA-Novosti and other outlets operate under constant government guidance and suppression. Truthful newscasters risk great personal costs. Western media, operating freely, mock their courage every time the propaganda is ignorantly repeated, lending it a Western air credibility instead of countering it with data and facts.

LATEST SURVEY DATA

Facts, of course, must be supported by data, also amply available. For example, consider the results of polling performed by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF) and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. The polls were conducted over February 8-18, 2014, interviewing 2,032 respondents in all regions of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea:

  • 68% of the Ukrainians polled said they would like both countries to be independent and on friendly terms with each other, with open visa-free borders and with no border controls (Russian polls b Levada Center mirror this result, with 59% of their Russian respondents supporting the same sentiment.)
  • Overall, 12% of Ukrainian respondents would like unification with Russia. Broken down regionally, 26% of the respondents in the East and 19% of those in the South supported unification with Russia.
  • A few years ago, 20% of Ukrainian respondents desired unification with Russia. The precipitous drop of that sentiment to 12% in this latest poll is of note.

Propaganda is a very powerful tool in times of war. Primary sources and data are readily available to verify the facts to counter that propaganda. Too many lives are at stake not to do so.

Related:

h/t: America’s Survival

Posted in Active Measures, American Culture, Bill of Rights, Calumny, Communications, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Cultural Marxism, elitism, Fascism, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, History, House of Representatives, Ideological Subversion, Indoctrination, Legal/Judicial, Liberal Crap, Main-Stream Media, Marxism, Politics, Prejudice, Presidential Campaign, Progressive Movement, Psychological Warfare, Senate, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism, Terrorism, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Cancer, the Militia, and Cliven Bundy

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By: Bob Owens

The natural reaction of the body politic is that it has begun generating massive amounts of cytotoxic T cells (the “killer T”) to fight the cancer. Those killer T cells attempting to save the body by fighting the cancer of government are the unorganized militia.

We’ve described the unorganized militia on numerous occasions at Bearing Arms (most recently here), and its role has never significantly changed. It exists as a bulwark against enemies both foreign and domestic. The Founders specifically included the self-evident right to keep and bear arms for a very simple reason. They’d just fought a long and costly war against a tyranny that was entirely legal, and wanted to ensure that citizens would be armed “with every terrible implement of war” to keep the new United States federal government in check, and if need be, depose that government and begin again.

We’ve watched the unorganized militia grow massively in recent years. We’ve seen citizens stockpiling arms and ammunition of contemporary military utility at a pace that exceeds the production of the Second World War. Down deep in their bones, Americans have felt the conflict between individual liberty and the corrupted greed of the state brewing. They’ve quietly took action as tensions rose, and the cancerous tyranny spread.

The killer T cells are growing and spreading in response to the threat of this cancer.

The clash between the cancer and the body politic may be imminent, and there is good reason to believe that the Bundy Ranch standoff could possibly develop into the catalyst.

Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Senator Harry Reid warns us that the battle over the ranch is far from over, and that the citizenry cannot be allowed to win:

Reid tells News4?s Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas. “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.

In Reid’s diseased mind, the government must win, because the government must always win. The cancer must be fed.

Read more at Bearing Arms …

Posted in American Culture, American Patriotism, American Sovereignty, Bill of Rights, Communications, Communism, Conservatarianism, Conservatism, Cultural Marxism, elitism, Energy Policy, EPA, Fascism, First Amendment, Founders, GOP, House of Representatives, Indoctrination, Legal/Judicial, Liberal Crap, Libertarianism, Main-Stream Media, Marxism, Mob Action, National Security, Obama Lies, Plantation Liberalism, Politics, Prejudice, Progressive Movement, Sacrifice, Second Amendment, Self Defense, Senate, Social Engineering, Social Justice, Socialism, Tea Party, Totalitarianism, Tyranny, U.S. Constitution, United Nations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment