The Common Core of State Mind Control over Children


Michael Stuart Kelly

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Here's a non-TheBlaze update I caught on a news feed:

NY teacher who assigned Nazi letter put on leave

April 13, 2013

Associated Press

From the article:

A high school English teacher who had students pretend to be Jew-hating Nazis in a writing assignment has been placed on leave.

The teacher at Albany High School caused a storm of criticism after having students practice the art of persuasive writing by penning a letter to a fictitious Nazi government official arguing that "Jews are evil."

District Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard held a news conference Friday to apologize for the assignment.

Let's see how this develops.

Ironically, if this turns into ham-handed stifling of the public discussion of this matter by firing the teacher, I'm against it.

I really do think this teacher needs to go before the public and justify her lesson plan. I would love to present an alternative about blacks or homosexuals to her (or see someone else do it) and ask if she would be willing to teach that--including all the nasty language and slurs on blacks and homosexuals, of course, to make it an authentic study of persuasion and propaganda.

I believe this debate by public educators needs to be in public, not dampened for show and continued elsewhere under the radar.

Michael

I attended Albany High School from 1951 to 1954. It sure has changed!

There are two ways of looking at what this teacher did (at least two ways).

1. It was an exercise in critical thinking

2. It was a manifestation of anti-semitism.

If the class had been in college and consisted of fairly mature individuals I might have bought into #1 above.

But these were impressionable kids. The teacher was promoting an anti-semitic p.o.v.

I had a similar incident when by daughter was in high school. Mr. Johanson the social studies teacher made some tart remarks about how Jewish merchants cash in on Christmas. Since I am not one of Elie Wiessel's Jews of Silence, I had words with Mr. Johanson. I pointed out that Gentile Merchants cash in equally well on Christmas, so why single out Jewish Merchants. In America, Christmas is a very commercial thing. I pointed out that the Holocaust started with remarks like his that did not go unchallenged. I was able to extract something that resembled an apology. It was grudging, but what else does one expect from a Gentile?

The slope is steep and the slope is slippery and every Jews has an invisible cross hair drawn on his back. No silence!

You might say I am a Jew of Noise. And a midnight knock on my door is going to cost someone dearly.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Bob,

Just to be clear, my comment about keeping this in public is to shame the teachers and program authors into a public confession of their anti-Semitism rather than allow them to blow it off with fake apologies, pretend they are do-gooders and continue elsewhere.

Speaking of apologies, fake or otherwise, here's an update:

School apologizes for 'Nazi' writing assignment
By Scott Waldman
April 12, 2013
Times Union

From the article:

Think like a Nazi, the assignment required students. Argue why Jews are evil.

Students in some Albany High School English classes were asked this week as part of a persuasive writing assignment to make an abhorrent argument: "You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!"

Students were asked to watch and read Nazi propaganda, then pretend their teacher was a Nazi government official who needed to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany's problems.


Just to make sure that Common Core does not only preach hatred against Jews to young kids by embedding it into class assignments, how about hatred against America?

From the same article:

Other ill-considered teacher assignments have made national news this year.

In February, a Manhattan teacher caused an uproar after fourth-graders were given a math problem based on how many daily whippings a slave received.

In January, Georgia educators attempted to teach division to elementary school students by asking how many beatings per day former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass received.


This is elementary school, folks.

Implementation of Common Core just keeps getting better and better.

If it keeps going like that, after a few decades we'll get a call for a new Constitutional Convention to completely rewrite the thing in more Marxist terms. That's right before the vote to turn over American sovereignty to the United Nations or some other one-world governmental organization. And the adults who grew up on Common Core indoctrination will fully agree and even find it reasonable.

Michael

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Here's a question for you.

Who suffered more oppression, black slaves or Jewish members of concentration camps?

Any reasonable person says they both suffered the same.

But that's not how it plays out in practice in Progressive education.

Michael

With all due respect, Michael, I think any reasonable person would say that there's little to be gained from making such a comparison.

While we're making assumptions, and in the absence of a statement from the teacher, I'll put forth an alternate theory. Perhaps she chose a divisive and controversial topic and assigned it to her students for the explicit purpose of making them uncomfortable, forcing them to choose to stand or follow like sheep. Perhaps her ultimate goal was to open this very dialog, and in so doing she has validated the convictions of 1/3 of her students and forced the other 2/3 to question why they had none.

Someone mentioned that this kind of material might have been appropriate for a college course, when the student would have a more developed critical process. I would argue that putting this kind of material in front of high school kids is entirely appropriate and waiting for college may be too late. In the wake of Sandy Hook, my 2nd grader brought home a drawing that stated "no guns ever." Should I have passed on the opportunity to discuss the 2nd Amendment with him simply because he may not be ready for it? Of course not. I should have, and I did, frame the conversation in a way that was appropriate for his level of development.

This teacher's motives are unknown, and if she were trying to shake things up as I suggest, there are certainly other ways she could have done so. However, if the result is that a whole lot of people, including our future leaders, are talking this up and questioning their premises, then so much the better, right?

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I agree with DDL, comparing wounds is fairly profitless - each individual suffers to his capacity for suffering, and collective suffering is just that, collective. Was the Armenian genocide less a genocide than the Holocaust? Are the dead less dead?

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With all due respect, Michael, I think any reasonable person would say that there's little to be gained from making such a comparison.

Deanna,

I'm fine with that (it was my point, actually, but in a different sense than I think you meant).

So...

Could you point me to an example where American school students were assigned to study KKK propaganda against blacks, then defend, say, the lynch-mob hanging of a black man for being evil--and using techniques taught by Aristotle to do that?

Heh.

Maybe it's reasonable to say there's "little to be gained" from asking this question?

(batting eyes innocently... :smile: )

Michael

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As a teacher of Rhetoric, argumentation and persuasion, I did this type of pushing critical thought constantly.

I once did a semantic differential exercise wherein I pushed all types of religious, racial and personal slur words at my class, rapidly, and forced them to rate the word on a - 10 through - 1 scale then "0" [zero] then moving from +1 through +10.

It was fascinating to see the numbers move more consistently negative as the slurs struck closer to home.

More interestingly, I had a cabal of four (4), or, five (5) students, all older than me, since this was an evening class that reported me as teaching bigotry to the Department.

I think that it can be very valuable as a critical thinking tool.

A...

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Adam,

I'm not against studying rhetoric at the extreme as a form of learning the method per se.

I am against it being OK to use Jews and Nazis, but not OK to use others like blacks and KKK.

Isn't the rhetorical principle supposed to be abstract and nonpolitical--i.e., focus on teaching the method, not the agenda?

OK. Then why only Jews?

We don't have to use blacks if that example does not please. Why not have USA students go through all the propaganda against American Indians in the 1800's and use Aristotle to defend the statement, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian?"

I could offer example after example. But those examples aren't "useful." The Jews are. The proof is that they are all you can find in examples like that.

I see hidden anti-Semitism here. What's worse, I see the Progressive form of anti-Semitism creeping in under the radar. I don't even believe people detect it all that much. They just blank it out and change the subject when pressed. And I notice that raising this question makes folks uncomfortable.

Michael

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Adam,

I'm not against studying rhetoric at the extreme as a form of learning the method per se.

I am against it being OK to use Jews and Nazis, but not OK to use others like blacks and KKK.

Isn't the rhetorical principle supposed to be abstract and nonpolitical--i.e., focus on teaching the method, not the agenda?

OK. Then why only Jews?

We don't have to use blacks if that example does not please. Why not have USA students go through all the propaganda against American Indians in the 1800's and use Aristotle to defend the statement, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian?"

I could offer example after example. But those examples aren't "useful." The Jews are. The proof is that they are all you can find in examples like that.

I see hidden anti-Semitism here. What's worse, I see the Progressive form of anti-Semitism creeping in under the radar. I don't even believe people detect it all that much. They just blank it out and change the subject when pressed. And I notice that raising this question makes folks uncomfortable.

Michael

I can see it this way. The Jews, hideously oppressed and persecuted in the past, are no longer perceived as oppressed or discriminated against or poor in the US, whereas blacks rightly or wrongly are still so perceived by some. The teacher used an historical example whose propaganda has been disproved and rejected by history. I will give this teacher huge benefits of doubt and believe she may have considered using the example of propaganda and arguments pro slavery, pro-KKK.

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With all due respect, Michael, I think any reasonable person would say that there's little to be gained from making such a comparison.

Deanna,

I'm fine with that (it was my point, actually, but in a different sense than I think you meant).

So...

Could you point me to an example where American school students were assigned to study KKK propaganda against blacks, then defend, say, the lynch-mob hanging of a black man for being evil--and using techniques taught by Aristotle to do that?

Heh.

Maybe it's reasonable to say there's "little to be gained" from asking this question?

(batting eyes innocently... :smile: )

Michael

To what end would I be citing these examples? Your contention seems to be that it was acceptable for this teacher to have used the Jews as the oppressed party in her assignment, but it would not have been acceptable for her to use either blacks or homosexuals. However, the outcome clearly indicates that it was not acceptable for her to use the Jews.

In any case, I seem to have lost the point of the original post. :smile:

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Deanna,

Acceptable to who?

It certainly was acceptable to the Common Core program folks and to the teacher.

They just got caught, that's all. That's when it was no longer acceptable to them.

But that negative appraisal (if it was made at all in some cases) was certainly not for moral reasons. If they had not been caught, right now they would be happily teaching that garbage and pleased they were getting away with it. They just don't want to lose their standing, so they are feigning apologies, etc.

I predict they will continue the same kind of crap and get caught elsewhere in other contexts. Being caught once on an agenda this deep does not cause a change of heart.

And to highlight the moral nature, I suggested a few other examples that are identical in fundamentals, but are not palatable to that kind of mentality. It kinda brought the bigotry to the surface. (I tend to stand for anti-bigotry for Muslims, too.)

Those are the people (and those who turn a blind eye to the... shall we call it... singular narrative they promote in their agenda?) are the ones I am criticizing.

Those folks are the first ones to cry bigot, racist, etc., when they go all class-warfare on everybody, but look at what they really do--how they want to indoctrinate children with their own bigotry. They are getting better and sneakier at it, too.

(Believe me, I have just as harsh words for Christian fundamentalist bigotry and indoctrination, and all other kinds of similar crap.)

As far as people who find this unacceptable goes, I admire the folks who blew the whistle on them, the folks who do not find this double standard and indoctrination of children acceptable on moral grounds..

Michael

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Deanna,

I'm probably a bit sensitive because of all the bickering I've had to deal with in learning how to run a forum.

One of the worst matters to deal with for a forum owner is bigotry. In my experience, if you give it even a little crack to sneak in like with this issue (where I believe many good people who are not haters get misled), later here come a bunch of bigots trying to set up shop.

Just to show my issue isn't pro-Jewish per se, but instead anti-bigot, here is an example from the past where the Jewish side did not come out well. And, to be clear, I do support Israel.

A while back Oriana Fallaci died. Several people sang her praises here on OL in eulogy. I had never read her, so I relied on the opinion of the people who wrote about her and let it run while giving some moral support from the sidelines.

Even today, I still don't know that much about her. I suspect I would intensely dislike her approach while agreeing with some of her arguments, but that is not the issue.

Her stance at the end of her life was as a whistle-blower on the danger to Europe from Islam. And, from the accounts of what little I did read, she was ham-handed in her condemnation of Muslims in general. Her "crusading spirit" and "fearless quest for the truth," etc., were the things that were being commented on at the time here on OL, but it was wholesale praise, not really discussion. The harsh condemnations were sandwiched in that praise as presupposed truth that was accepted by all.

OK. So what? Isn't the lady entitled to her opinion?

Anyway, radical Islamism actually has been proven to be a threat.

The problem was that soon after, a group called "Samson Blinded" showed up on OL and started posting. Cool, I thought. Maybe I can learn something about the Jewish culture from these folks.

Then I started reading the material...

Good Lord!

Basically, this organization was preaching a war of conquest for Israel to take over all of the Middle East and parts of northern Africa, claiming this would greatly benefit everyone, seeing how the Jewish culture was so much superior to all others in the region and all. And it would resolve Israel's limited land problem to boot.

Hell and damnation!

I felt like a fool.

But there it was.

I banned the account and deleted the propaganda.

That taught me a lesson. I learned to become familiar with things like that before I opened my mouth and to watch for hidden bigotry. People who hate intensely can get awfully clever about tricking others to make it look like they endorse the hatred. And they are clever about manipulation.

I've gone around and around with some other folks over blatant anti-Muslim bigotry, too. And other forms of bigotry as they appear. In the present case, it just so happens to be covert anti-Semitism.

So, yes, I probably do feel more deeply about this than normal. Those hateful suckers out there just don't stop. But I think highlighting it like I do helps keep the bigoted hoards with torches and pitchforks from later showing up and infesting this forum. :smile:

Sorry you got entangled with this. But believe me, these are not nice people. What's worse, they do not leave you alone once they start. They need to spread their hatred. It's what drives them.

Michael

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Michael,

I was not aware of your experiences as described above, but I have always known you to be steadfastly anti-bigotry, whatever the target of the bigotry. And having no dog in the Common Core fight, I will accept your assessment that it is as bad as you say. What I could not derive from this one school incident was that this one school incident demonstrates that the American public educational agenda is anti-Semitic; that it is "always the Jews".. Addressing bigotry and its consequences past and present is difficult for teachers, and I too saw this from my own perspective.

Carol

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P.S.

I am fortunate that I do not teach children so I do not have to deal with bigoted parents. But I have had in the same classes Palestinians and Israelis, Turks and Armenians, Russians and Chechens, and more. AndGypsies with "real" Romanians and Hungarians -- pretty bad.And a Saudi from the Victims of Torture centre.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a small update on the beginning fallout of this standardized sausage-making of school kids.

Jane Galt is shrugging:



This video is going viral.

Here are a couple of articles.

Transferred Highland Park teacher resigns in impassioned YouTube video
By KAREN BERKOWITZ
May 22, 2013
Highland Park News

‘EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT TEACHING IS EXTINCT’: TEACHER RESIGNS IN SCATHING YOUTUBE VIDEO TARGETING STANDARDIZED EDUCATION
by Jonathon M. Seidl
May. 28, 2013
TheBlaze

I actually live near this region and I know the slant of the education around here, so I would probably not be a fan of all of Ellie Rubenstein's approach.

However, it is clear from her video that she cares deeply about sparking the urge to learn in kids and, I'll bet, she was extremely good at it.

It's heartbreaking seeing the spark to make that difference go out in her.

Slam dunk for Common Core.

Score one...

Michael


EDIT: Here's how that crap works. The quote is from the Highland Park News article. Notice that the teachers were given an "optional" standardized program until some decided to opt out. Suddenly it was going to happen whether they liked it or not--then they were flagged and rerouted. This is really creepy...

Rubenstein said she and another transferred teacher objected to a pilot program grouping math students into low, middle and high levels to see if there was an improvement in MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test scores. The program was characterized as optional.

“We were then told in no uncertain terms, it is going to take place and everyone will have to do it,” Rubenstein said. “We were pretty much targeted as troublemakers from that point on.”

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The logical consequence of the public education crap I experienced from the get-go of the early 1950s. While I feel for his dedicated teacher, she evinces no sense of what real education would be like or just how shitty it's been for children including those she taught. Even if her classes were somehow great before the administrators ruined it for her, her students had to endure years before her year with them and after of not so great to just terrible and now it seems horrible.

--Brant

just another example of the fulmination of America

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On that note, I learned recently that the Archdiocese of New Orleans has adopted Common Core for their curriculum. My son's school falls under this administration, so I suppose I was naive in thinking that private school would offer us any protection. Supposedly they have hired a Common Core "expert" somewhere in their administration, but I have yet to get any clear answers on how they propose to actually go about implementation. That probably means the answer is "we don't know."

For the record, this article comes closest to describing the problems I have with Common Core.

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Since I forgot how to do that cool highlight link that you just used, this was in my Heritage Foundation e-mail this morning:

Morning Bell: Join the Fight Against Common Core

Lindsey Burke

May 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

(22)

Two competing forces are pushing on America’s K–12 education system today.

One is an effort to infuse education choice into a long-stagnant system, empowering parents with the ability to send their child to a school that meets her unique learning needs.

The other is an effort to further centralize education through Common Core national standards and tests.

commoncore_1_450.jpg

>>> SHARE this on Facebook if you agree!

Across the country, education choice options have been proliferating rapidly, including vouchers, tuition tax credits, special needs scholarships, and education savings accounts. Educational choice is a revolution because it funds children instead of physical school buildings and allows dollars to follow children to any school—or education option—that meets their unique learning needs.

CHOICE EMPOWERS PARENTS to direct their child’s share of education funding, giving them options beyond an assigned government school.

CHOICE PRESSURES PUBLIC SCHOOLS with a much-needed competitive atmosphere, which works toward improving educational outcomes for students who take advantage of choice options as well as students who choose to attend their local public schools.

CHOICE HELPS KIDS. Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., now have private school choice programs—and more states are considering implementing choice options. Education choice represents the type of innovation and freedom that will provide long-overdue reform to the K–12 education system, and holds the potential to truly raise educational outcomes for every child across the country.

But at the same time this encouraging shift toward education choice is underway, there is a push to take education in the exact opposite direction through Common Core national standards and tests.

COMMON CORE IS an effort to centralize education by dictating the standards and assessments that will determine the content taught in every public school across the country.

COMMON CORE HAS NO EVIDENCE that it will improve academic outcomes or boost international competitiveness. But the Obama Administration has pushed states to adopt national standards and assessments in exchange for offers of billions of dollars in federal funding and waivers from the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind.

COMMON CORE ASSUMES that top-down, uniform standards and assessments—driven by federal bureaucrats and national organizations—are preferable to the state and local reform efforts guided by input from parents, teachers, and taxpayers.

States have been competing to improve their education systems by implementing education choice options and other reforms such as alternative teacher certification, transparent A–F grading systems, and a focus on reading achievement. Check out innovations in:

American education is at a crossroads: One path leads toward further centralization and greater federal intervention. The other path leads toward robust education choice, including school choice and choice in curricula.

Common Core takes the path toward centralization, and state leaders should seize the moment to resist this latest federal overreach. National standards and tests are a challenge to educational freedom in America, and state and local leaders who believe in limited government should resist them.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

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On that note, I learned recently that the Archdiocese of New Orleans has adopted Common Core for their curriculum. My son's school falls under this administration, so I suppose I was naive in thinking that private school would offer us any protection. Supposedly they have hired a Common Core "expert" somewhere in their administration, but I have yet to get any clear answers on how they propose to actually go about implementation. That probably means the answer is "we don't know."

I suspect they consider you to be essentially out of a loop that takes in your son.

--Brant

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  • 2 months later...

This person is a very poor writer in my opinion, however their are some excellent arguments and facts once you get past the poor grammar.

http://politichicks.tv/column/common-core-the-decade-long-death-panel-for-public-education/

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This person is a very poor writer in my opinion, however their are some excellent arguments and facts once you get past the poor grammar.

http://politichicks.tv/column/common-core-the-decade-long-death-panel-for-public-education/

Yes, read this. (It's funny that I think she purchased a timeshare and had buyer's remorse.)

--Brant

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The astounded me having been involved in aspects of curriculum development in my nine (9) years on the school board...

So when I discovered this Common Core lesson on Early World Civilizations and began to read up on the things being taught in the unit, imagine my surprise when I discovered this lesson was for 1st grade. Yes, you read that right, FIRST grade. Six year olds will be asked to do the following:

Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi;

Explain the significance of gods/goddesses, ziggurats, temples, and priests in Mesopotamia;

Describe key components of a civilization.

Those are only three of the eighty one (81!) things that your 6 year old should know at the end of this “ELA Domain.” And none of them have anything to do with the actual mechanics of reading and writing.

This particular lesson was taken from EngageNY, an organization created by the New York State Education Department to provide Common Core-aligned educational resources among other things.

- See more at: http://politichicks.tv/column/common-core-developmentally-inappropriate/#sthash.zx9SsA3j.dpuf

http://politichicks.tv/column/common-core-developmentally-inappropriate/

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  • 1 month later...

It looks like the government is serious about implementing Common Core.

This might look a bit tame, but that's how it starts. Glenn Back called this kind of thing a "shark bump." What happens with a shark is that it will bump its prey before dining on it. The shark wants to see how the prey will fight.

Bump. No fighting reaction. Easy dinner.

Parent arrested at forum after protesting use of common core
By Liz Bowie
September 20, 2013
The Baltimore Sun

From the article:

Robert Small said he wanted to express his dismay over the introduction of a new school curriculum at a public forum Thursday night in Towson, but instead the Ellicott City parent was pulled out of the meeting, arrested and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer.


Fortunately someone was filming what happened and a YouTube video of it is starting to go viral.



TheBlaze covered this, too:

'Is This America?': Parent 'Manhandled', Arrested While Speaking Out Against Common Core at Public Forum
by Jason Howerton
Sep. 20, 2013
TheBlaze

From the article:

Robert Small, a concerned father, was forcefully removed from the meeting by a police officer after he interrupted Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance during the question-and-answer portion of the forum.

The meeting apparently didn’t allow parents to stand up and ask questions or comment. Parents and other attendants were instead asked to write their questions on a piece of paper and officials would read them.

However, Small began speaking out against the district’s use of Common Core...

. . .

Despite some opposition from parents, the Maryland State Department of Education reportedly plans to go forward with its implementation of Common Core standards, joining 45 other states and Washington, D.C., in adopting the standards for the first time this year.

“Look, I am being manhandled and shut down because I asked inconvenient questions,” Small told the Baltimore Sun after the incident. “Why won’t they allow an open forum where there can be a debate? We are told to sit there and be lectured to about how great common core is.”

Ya' gotta' do what ya' gotta' do if you want to help stop this.

Wasn't it cute how the parents got to write their questions on a piece of paper and sit down and shut up like good little serfs?

If this keeps going the way it is going, a few years down the road if Robert Small (or anyone else) tries to openly question administrative folks about Common Core instead of sitting down and shutting up, he will not get off so easy. They will smash his head in right in front of everyone and then take him away.

Bump will become shove.

Michael

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Here is Glenn Beck discussing this issue (there are videos at the link).

'Dictatorship 101': Beck's Chilling Break-Down of What Parent Arrested After Questioning Common Core Means for America
by Erica Ritz
Sep. 23, 2013
TheBlaze

From the article:

Glenn Beck told his audience on Monday that the arrest of a Maryland father who was asking questions about Common Core is frightening evidence of the country moving further along the path that he says goes from “nudge,” to “shove,” to “shoot.”

For those unfamiliar with the terms, Beck explained that “it’s how every Marxist utopian dream begins.” “You start simple, with just a little ‘nudge,’” he said. “It’s Cash for Clunkers.

It is trying to figure out a way to make energy prices ‘necessarily skyrocket,’ to nudge you into hybrids.”

But when that doesn’t work, the government starts to “shove,” Beck continued. “That’s when they use the IRS to shut down opposing voices. They use the NSA to monitor and track American citizens…Then they start using regulation and they start arresting people to scare everybody.”

If that also fails to produce the results the government seeks, Beck said, historically, they start to shoot, or send people to re-education or internment camps.

“So where are we in the scale?” Beck asked the audience. “Are we at nudge, shove, or shoot?”

Beck said after he saw the video of what happened in Towson, Maryland, he couldn’t sleep for two hours because he believes “it is a very important piece that moves us further towards shoot.”


There's a lot more at the link.

I think Glenn is spot on.

And I hope they get some kind of legal aid to the dad who was asking questions. He faces up to 10 years in jail. Thank goodness there is a video of the ordeal.

Michael

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