The American Legislative Exchange Council is America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.
ALEC’s activities, while legal, received public scrutiny after being reported by liberal groups in 2011 and after news reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek described ALEC as an organization that gave corporate interests outsized influence. Resulting public pressure led to a number of legislators and corporations withdrawing from the organization.
ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.
Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.
Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.
ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
For a more complete list of current and former ALEC formerly “Private Enterprise” Advisory Council (formerly “Private Enterprise” Board of Directors) members, see the “Private Enterprise” Board of Directors list. Advisory council corporations have included (members as of June 2014 in bold):
By David Shepardson | WASHINGTON
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign a measure as early as Tuesday aimed at rescinding a major Obama administration water regulation and direct an end to the government’s defense of the rule, a Trump official briefed on the plan said late Friday.
Trump is expected to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which expands the number of waterways that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act.
The rule was finalized by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May 2015, and was blocked by a federal appeals court pending further court challenges.
The rule has faced intense opposition from Republicans in Congress, farmers and energy companies.
Critics contend the rule vastly expands the federal government’s authority and could apply to ditches and small isolated bodies of water. The EPA under President Barack Obama said the rule protects waters that are next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries “because science shows that they impact downstream waters.”
A White House spokeswoman did not comment on Friday.
Trump is also expected to issue other environmental executive orders as early as next week, including a reversal of the Obama administration’s clean power plant rule and instructing the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management to lift a ban on new coal mining leases on federal lands.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told The Wall Street Journal last week that he planned to quickly withdraw the clean power plant and WOTUS rules. “There’s a very simple reason why this needs to happen: Because the courts have seriously called into question the legality of those rules,” Pruitt told the newspaper.
Withdrawing the water and power plant rules will take time to meet regulatory requirements and will likely face court challenges from some Democratic state attorneys general and environmental groups.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to resolve a dispute over what court should handle challenges of the water regulation.
The justices said they would hear an appeal by the National Association of Manufacturers of a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court’s ruling that gave itself jurisdiction to review challenges to the Clean Water Act regulation. The industry group wants challenges to the rule to be heard in district courts.
Dozens of agricultural groups, states and municipalities had sued to block the rule. The challengers contend the agencies’ change improperly expanded federal regulatory power.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)
The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained. Marianne Middelveen
AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) OCTOBER XX, 2016 (PRWEB) (PRWEB) December 07, 2016
Man’s best friend may help solve another mystery. A new study entitled “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” reveals that a condition similar to human Morgellons disease can occur in dogs. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical Diagnosis.
Morgellons disease is an unusual skin condition associated with Lyme disease in humans. It is characterized by skin lesions containing unusual multicolored fibers and symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain and neurological problems that are typical of Lyme disease. Similar skin lesions have previously been reported in bovine digital dermatitis, an infectious disease of cattle.
The dog study was partially funded by the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHMDF) and was conducted by an international team of researchers, including Calgary microbiologist Marianne Middelveen, San Francisco Internist Dr. Raphael Stricker, molecular biologists Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Jennie Burke, and Calgary veterinarians Dr. Gheorghe Rotaru and Dr. Jody McMurray.
The dogs in the study presented with unusual fiber-containing skin lesions that lacked other explanations and that failed to respond to non-antibiotic treatments. “Generally-speaking, the fibers we have seen are teal and pink,” explains Dr. Rotaru.“Dogs are hairy, so fibers can be hard to see. Fortunately the fibers fluoresce under UV light, so we have used that diagnostic tool to identify dogs with the skin condition.”
Analysis performed by five different laboratories detected the corkscrew-shaped agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, in canine skin tissue by special staining and DNA analysis. Culture studies showed that the Lyme bacteria in skin were alive. Further analysis of the canine skin fibers showed that they were made of the same proteins as human Morgellons disease fibers.
Most of the owners of the study dogs were healthy and were not familiar with Morgellons disease or Lyme disease; however, two of the owners also had Morgellons disease. “In those cases, we do not have evidence of contact transmission from human to animal or animal to human,” says Dr. Stricker, “it may be that both owner and dog were exposed to the same disease vector.”
“The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained,” said Ms. Middelveen. “We need to learn much more about this mysterious skin condition.”
About the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation:
The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD. The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons Disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org
Washington (CNN)The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the next attorney general, surviving a vocal push by Democrats to derail his nomination.
The 52-47 vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, joined the Republicans to back their Alabama colleague.
The final vote for Sessions — one of Trump’s closest advisers and his earliest supporter in the Senate — came after 30 hours of debate from Democrats and a stunning fight between liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Republicans which ended in her being forced to sit down after she was accused of impugning Sessions.
Sessions said he would resign from his office 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and the White House is scheduled to swear him in Thursday morning.
“It was a special night,” Sessions told reporters on Capitol Hill after his confirmation. “I appreciate the friendship from my colleagues — even those who, many of them who didn’t feel able to vote for me. They were cordial, and so we continue to have good relations and will continue to do the best I can.”
The fight over Sessions nomination spurred some of the most jarring, and at times personal attacks, rooted in allegations that Sessions was a racist — claims the Alabama senator and his supporters have fiercely denied. Even early in the nomination process, one of Sessions’ colleagues, Cory Booker, became the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator during his confirmation hearing.
Shortly before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to sing the praises of Sessions, after Democrats spent hours criticizing him.
“He’s just a likable guy, one of the most humble and most considerate people you’ll ever meet,” McConnell said. “He’s a true Southern gentleman.”
While some left-leaning groups issued statements promising to stand up and continue raising awareness about their disagreements with Sessions, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe questioned how effective they could be in trying to keep up the fight.
“What are they going to do? He’s the attorney general. Where does the fight start? Where’s the ammunition?” He said to reporters.
In the debate Tuesday evening, after Republicans already blocked a Senate filibuster, Warren reignited that debate by reading from a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King sent opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship.
“‘Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,'” Warren read from King’s letter. McConnell accused Warren of impugning Sessions on the Senate floor — a violation of Senate rules — and after a series of procedural votes, she was forced to sit down and stop debating.
Warren’s censure and subsequent reaction continued to largely overshadow the Sessions fight in the hours before his vote, but the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN’s Manu Raju said Sessions, whom she served with in the chamber, is just the latest example of a poor Cabinet choice.
“We may not have the votes to stop him,” she said, “but we sure as hell need to make it clear to the Republicans and to the American people exactly who Donald Trump is putting in charge of our government.”
Sessions was ultimately blocked from a federal judgeship and carried that battle scar into Wednesday’s final confirmation battle.
Democrats are expected to repeat the same 30-hour debate plan for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price and could easily drag the fight over Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin into the weekend.
Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was confirmed, 51-50, in a battle that sparked impassioned protests and the flooding of Senate switchboards by angry Democrats and liberal activists.
The tactics have yet to work in actually defeating any of Trump’s Cabinet picks, but they have fired up a base of Democratic and liberal activists irate over a series of Trump actions, not least of which was picking a Republican mega-donor in DeVos to run the Department of Education.
“When you get millions of calls and demonstrations and a nominee is exposed for being who they are, it’s going to have a profound and positive effect, even if she gains office. So we’re very happy with the results and we’re going to continue them,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.
But Republicans have chafed at what they call “historic obstruction” and have argued that Trump needs his team in place.
“This is the slowest time for a new Cabinet to be up and running since George Washington. This level of obstruction at the beginning of an administration is really record-setting in a very unfortunate way. It’s really time for our friends on the other side to get over the election, let this administration get up and get running,” McConnell said Tuesday.
The only nominee who appears to be in any trouble at this point is Labor secretary pick Andrew Puzder, who is embroiled in controversy following news that he hired an undocumented worker to clean his house and was forced to pay back taxes. A series of Republicans on the Senate panel tasked with vetting him declined to say Tuesday whether they still supported Puzder.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 10:30am
CREDO released the statement below in response to reports that Pres. Trump plans to sign executive orders to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines:
“President Trump is showing that he’s in the pocket of big corporations and foreign oil interests,” said CREDO Deputy Political Director Josh Nelson. “Approving these dirty oil pipelines would poison American air and water, supercharge climate change and trample Native American rights,” Nelson continued. “Fierce grassroots activism has stopped these pipelines over and over again,” he added. “CREDO will do everything in its power to stop the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.”
CREDO has played a major role in the fights against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. CREDO’s work against the Keystone XL pipeline includes:
97,000 ACTIVISTS SIGNED THE KEYSTONE XL PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE: During the Obama administration, more than 97,000 people signed the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, committing to risk arrest in peaceful, dignified civil disobedience, if needed to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. As part of the Pledge of Resistance, thousands of activists have been trained to lead or participate in direct actions where they would risk arrest.
MORE THAN 4 MILLION PETITION SIGNATURES: CREDO Activists generated more than 4.3 million petition signatures in opposition to Keystone XL.
MORE THAN 500,000 PUBLIC COMMENTS: CREDO activists submitted 511,000 public comments to President Obama’s state department in opposition to Keystone XL.
MORE THAN 40,000 PHONE CALLS IN OPPOSITION TO KEYSTONE XL: CREDO Activists made 42,804 phone calls to the White House, the State Department, the EPA, Members of Congress and others in opposition to Keystone XL.
283 PROTEST VIGILS ATTENDED BY MORE THAN 10,000 ACTIVISTS: Just 72 hours after the release of the State Department’s final environmental impact statement, CREDO organized 283 protest vigils in 49 states, with more than 10,000 total participants. It was the biggest, rapid-response, on-the-ground demonstration of Obama’s presidency to date.
CREDO’s work against the Dakota Access pipeline includes:
400,000+ PETITION OBAMA TO REJECT PIPELINE: More than 418,000 CREDO members signed CREDO’s petition demanding that President Obama intervene and stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Specifically, the petition calls on the president to “direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits under ‘Nationwide Permit 12’ and stop the Dakota Access pipeline once and for all.” The full petition can be found here:http://act.credoaction.com/sign/NoDAPL/
NEARLY 3,000 #NoDAPL CALLS TO THE WHITE HOUSE: CREDO members made more than 2,800 calls to the White House urging President Obama to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. View the current number of calls and call script here:http://act.credoaction.com/call/call_obama_dapl/
180,000+ PETITION OBAMA AND GOV. DALRYMPLE TO UPHOLD FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS: More than 189,000 CREDO members signed a petition urging Pres. Obama and North Dakota Gov. Dalrymple to “uphold the rights of Native Americans and their allies to peacefully resist the Dakota Access pipeline without threat of violence.” The full petition can be found here:http://act.credoaction.com/sign/dapl_assault/
CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of 4 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and more than 100,000 phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.
President Donald Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines while foreshadowing a “renegotiation” of terms and insisting that developers use U.S. steel.
Trump stopped short of green lighting construction on either project, and reiterated an earlier campaign pledge to seek a “better deal” on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL to transport Alberta oil sands crude into the U.S. On Tuesday, Trump called that “something that’s been in dispute and subject to a renegotiation of terms by us.”
“We are going to renegotiate some of the terms, and if they like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built,” Trump said. “If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.”
ADDITIONAL LINKS OF INFORMATION:
President Donald Trump took steps to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines while foreshadowing a “renegotiation” of terms and insisting that developers use U.S. steel. https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-24/trump-said-to-plan-orders-approving-keystone-dakota-pipelines
5 Disturbing DAPL Developments You Need to Know http://www.ecowatch.com/dapl-trump-missile-launch-2203044415.html
The fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) wages on. Just this week law enforcement used tear gas and fired bean-bag rounds to disperse crowds and arrested nearly 40 people since Monday, the Billings Gazette reported. One Water Protector appears to have suffered a nasty wound in his leg after an alleged confrontation with an officer on Thursday (warning, the photo is graphic). But that’s not the only concerning news story developing around the controversial project. http://www.ecowatch.com/dapl-trump-missile-launch-2203044415.html
PLEASE FOLLOW @RUTHHHOPKINS ON TWITTER FOR REAL TIME UPDATES!
We are entering the era of mandates and government invasion, where up is down, privileges are rights, and children are the property of the State. In the land of liberty, all is illusion.
According to William Wagner, J.D., magistrate judge, “Today, a majority of the Supreme Court no longer treats the parents’ right to control and direct the upbringing of their child as a fundamental liberty.”
The denial of parents’ rights by State authorities has become more frequent over the last five decades as government has tested its reach under the color of law. Color of law refers to an appearance of legal power to act but which may operate in violation of law. Case in point: A Medical Kidnap website documents thousands of cases around the country where hospitals have taken possession of children based on a medical diagnosis “in the best interest of the child,” with the court’s approval. Without being reported in the mainstream media, the general population is blind to these acts while unsuspecting families are targeted and picked off one at a time. After years of market testing, State governments are now unveiling draconian laws without fanfare.
After the turmoil and confusion surrounding the 2015 passage of a mandatory vaccination law SB277 in California to ban children from attending private or public school without full compliance with the CDC childhood vaccine schedule, California proposes SB-18. The Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California (SB-18) seeks to usurp the natural rights of parents as caregivers. Taken together, these two laws set a dangerous precedent that not only spells the end of medical freedom but also the end of parental rights whenever a government official or agency declares it so.
When did an obligation to care for and raise children suddenly turn parents into potential child abusers under the law? Although tyranny seems to have reared its ugly head overnight, history shows we have all been living this ideology under a slow boil. It was Karl Marx who said, “The family… must itself be theoretically and practically destroyed.” He argued fiercely that government and its authority must be substituted for parental authority for the sake of Capitalism. What he didn’t say was his desire to maintain a materialistic, feudal society where people are commodities without consciousness.
Marxism socializes people to think in a way that justifies inequality by teaching children to accept there will always be someone in authority who they must obey – the Master-Slave dynamic. Marxist philosophy redistributes the wealth to third world countries that have suffered under socialist/totalitarian policies imposed by the same corrupt regimes.
There is no other purpose for anti-social, socialist dictates other than to unravel the fabric of the family. As Confucius said, “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” As the family goes, so goes the nation.
The strength of this nation has eroded from the inside due to a federal government without accountability, through policies that have: 1) drained the economy with never-ending war, 2) transferred wealth from Main Street to Wall Street, and 3) outsourced American jobs overseas, among other things. The stage has been set for the resurgence of a Marxist State, primed under the guise of liberalism, which pushes vaccine mandates for children while claiming to be the party of choice when it comes to abortion rights. Legislative and judicial overreach has resulted in a new social state where the citizenry, kept in the dark and powerless, are none the wiser.
Inherent rights are natural and inborn, granted by the Creator. They come from our humanity under Natural Law, not from man-made laws. Rights granted and legalized by governments are not rights, but privileges that can be restricted and taken away by legislation or Executive Command. Legalese is the hidden language that redefines words as tools to expand the scope and power of the State. Under statutes, a “person” is a legal fiction, not a human being with free will. At the same time, a “corporation” is defined as “a number of persons united in one body, so it can acquire wealth, expand, and enjoy other rights, even though a corporation is incapable of loyalty or love.
A government that gives itself power by its own authority is a rogue government and must be stopped because the trend is toward a One World Government homogenizing and standardizing all laws under International treaties. (e.g., Trans-Pacific-Partnership trade agreement). FYI: The United Nations (UN) hopes to “reduce inequality” by implementing new norms of global socialism and corporate fascism as part of their Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2011, the US was the only country that had not ratified a UN International Treaty called the UN Rights of the Child (UNCRC). However, this treaty appears to be the foundation of several U.S. court decisions regarding child placement, as well as the new California law SB -18 the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California. Like so many laws that do the opposite of their intended purpose (i.e., Clean Skies Act), the Rights of the Child Act strips the child of any rights.
One provision of the UNCRC states that a child’s view should be taken into equal consideration along with the parents. This means anytime there is a conflict between parent and child, a government referee can decide what is in the best interest of the child. The U.S. courts already control for the “best interests of a child” with a Guardian ad litem” (GAL) to investigate solutions in cases of divorce and parental responsibilities. However, author and Family Psychologist John Rosemond says, “This [Act] is a convention on the stripping of rights from American parents and parents all over the globe.”
In other countries that have adopted the Act’s provisions, like Sweden, home schooling is illegal, and carries the risk of criminal charges and children being removed from the home. In Belgium, doctors can terminate the lives of babies under one year old if the child is disabled. No parental consent is required. President Clinton approved this treaty during his term. The only thing that prevents implementation is a two-thirds approval by the Senate.
California is a testing ground in America. As California goes, so goes the nation. Yet even without formal U.S. ratification of the Act, U.S. federal courts are taking the lead from international law to advance the objectives of the UNCRC. States legislatures are lifting articles straight out of the UN treaty and passing them under new laws (i.e., Customary International Law), thereby making UN law the supreme law of the land. The Legislative and Judicial branches are already joined at the hip with Executive Branch approval. When Child Protective Services acts as child collection agencies then Social Services means the child belongs to the State.
There is a difference between legal and lawful and that distinction is playing out in the American family.
Going forward we must resist playing the their game of claiming “Parental Rights” vs. “Children’s Rights” in a corrupt system that no longer recognizes Inherent Rights.
Instead, we must take back the language and determine who we are if we are to retain our Natural Rights and those of our children. Are we a person-corporation or a soul embodied? Do we have free-will or do we ask for permission from an outside authority? Do we consent to the dictates of a rogue government or do we withdraw consent? Do we own our bodies or does the State? Do we recognize inalienable rights over privileges and act on them? Do we reclaim our sovereignty as free-will beings? It is time to redefine the words we live by to work in our favor.
In the American system no government is sovereign. The peoples of the states are the sovereigns. It is they who apportion powers between themselves, their state governments, and the federal government. In doing so they are not impairing their sovereignty in any way. To the contrary, they are exercising it. – Tom Woods, Tenth Amendment Center
Rosanne Lindsay is a board certified Naturopathic doctor, Tribal healer under the Turtle Island Provider Network, Mother, Daughter, Earth Keeper, liberty-lover, writer, and author of the book The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet. Find her on Facebook at Natureofhealing and consult with her (long-distance consults available) at natureofhealing.org.
Above: Old bottle of Paregoric. Circa 1940s. The large red X on the label indicates that it was classified as an “exempt narcotic”, sold without prescription even though it contains morphine. Until 1970, paregoric could be purchased in the United States at a pharmacy without a medical prescription, in accordance with federal law. Credit: Wikipedia
While you are reading this article, listen to THIS VIDEO OF GATEWOOD GALBRAITH – It may change your life!
It’s not just about Marijuana, anymore…
Oddly enough, I never believed that it was. I was filmed in an interview by a couple in Cincinnati in 2005 who asked me why I was in this ‘movement’. My reply was that it was because I wanted to know the REAL truth about why Marijuana was illegal because it damn sure wasn’t because someone wanted to sell timber and Newspapers. “This is just a very…
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a Kansas citizen’s group that expressed concern over state science standards, which they assert indoctrinates children as young as kindergarten with atheism.
“It’s not that they can’t talk about [biblical Creation],” Jim McNiece, chairman of the Kansas Board of Education, told reporters this past week following the court’s denial of certiorari. “They’re not prohibited from talking about it if students ask questions. It probably happens in the classrooms on a more regular basis than people realize, but it’s also part of the parents’ responsibility. We still believe parents are the primary educators of their children.”
As previously reported, in June 2013, the Kansas Board of Education joined 25 other states and the National Research Council to adopt new science standards for kindergarten through 12th grade that included the teaching of evolutionary biology.
But the accepted guidelines were opposed by the Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE), along with a number of Christian parents in the state, “who seek to instill in their children a belief that life is a creation made for a purpose, that does not end on death and is not simply a purposeless occurrence that is the product of an unguided evolutionary process.”
In filing a lawsuit to stop the standards from going into effect, families representing a total of 18 children asserted that the origin of life is an inherently religious topic, and that the new guidelines essentially promote the religion of atheism and materialism.
“[T]his case is actually about a concealed Orthodoxy that requires all explanations provided by science to be materialistic/atheistic. It is particularly problematic in the area of origins science which addresses ultimate religious questions, like: Where do we come from?” explained John Calvert, one of the attorneys on the case.
It was also argued that the curriculum, by mandating that children be taught evolution from kindergarten, showed that the school board has the intention to indoctrinate youth with secularism.
“The effect of teaching for thirteen years only the materialistic/atheistic side of a religious controversy to an audience that is not age appropriate is religious, not educationally objective, and is indicative of an intent to inculcate and establish that non-theistic religious worldview in the children,” the legal complaint contended.
But a district court dismissed the case in 2014, concluding that COPE had failed to show any actual injury and therefore lacked standing, and in April, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, stating that the standards are not binding on districts.
“In sum, because the districts may choose not to adopt the standards, or may alter the standards in ways that alleviate Appellants’ concerns, potential future injury from the standards themselves is speculative and insufficient to support standing,” it ruled. “[N]othing prevents school districts from adding to or altering the standards as they develop curricula.”
COPE appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on Thursday, the court declined to take the case without comment.
As of press time, COPE had not yet released remarks on the decision.
(The following is an excerpt from a blog that I ran across on WordPress that I believe is certainly worth noticing, SK)
“Gentlemen, in order to produce marked changes in behavior and attitude it is necessary to weaken, undermine or remove the support systems of the old patterns of behavior and the old attitudes. Because most of these supports are the face to face confirmation of present behavior and attitudes, which are provided to those with whom close emotional ties exist, it is therefore essential to eradicate those emotional bonds. This can be done either by removing the individual physically and preventing any communication with those whom he cares about or by proving to him, the prisoner, that those whom he respects are not worthy of it and indeed should be actively distrusted.” -Dr. Edgar Schein, Sept. 18, 1962
Dr. Schein then presented to the assembled group a literary of suggestions and tactics designed to attain “behavioral modifications” desirable by prison officials to control the thinking patterns of its incarcerated populace and to curtail or reduce an appetite for cultural or political aspirations. These 24 accumulous and widely implemented tactics & maneuvers are set out below:
1. the physical removal of prisoners to areas sufficiently isolated to effectively break or seriously weaken close emotional ties.
2. identify and segregate all natural leaders.
3. use of cooperative prisoners as leaders.
4. prohibition of group activities not in line with brainwashing objectives.
5. spying on prisoners and reporting back private materials.
6. manipulating prisoners into making written statements which are then shown to others.
7. exploitation of opportunist and informers.
8. convincing prisoners that they can trust no other prisoner.
9. treating those who are willing to cooperate in a far more lenient way than those who are not.
10. punishing those who show uncooperative attitudes.
11. systematic withholding of mail and other correspondence.
12. preventing contact with anyone non-sympathetic to the method of treatment and regimen of the captive populace.
13. disorganization of all group standards among prisoners.
14. building a group conviction among the prisoners that they have been abandoned by, and totally isolated from their social order.
15. undermining all emotional support.
16. preventing prisoners from communicating with family and supporters regarding the conditions of their confinement,
17. making available and permitting access to only those publications and books that contain materials which are neutral to, or supportive of the desired new attitude.
18. placing individuals into new and ambiguous situations for which the standards and rules and policies are deliberately kept unclear and then putting pressure on the prisoner to conform to what is desired in order to win favor and a reprieve from the pressure.
19. placing the prisoner whose will power has been severely weakened or eroded into a soft living environment with others who are further advanced in their brainwashing reform who’s job is to influence the teetering prisoner to give up and assimilate into the desired behavior.
20. using techniques of character invalidation, i.e., humiliations, revilements, shouting, isolation; to promote sensory deprivation, to induce feelings of guilt, fear, and suggestibility.
21. meeting all insincere attempts to conform with the desired thought patterns with renewed hostility.
22. repeatedly pointing out to the prisoner that those prisoners whom he respects as a leader and example of strength is not living up to the values and militant principles that he espouses. supplanting the thought that all other prisoners are hypocrites and liars.
23. rewards for submission and subservient attitudes which embrace the brainwashing objectives by providing praise and emotional support to those who embrace the desired behavior(brainwashing) which reinforces the new attitudes.
24. making sure that if a once militant prisoner is ever revealed as being a snitch or a homosexual, that all prisoners learn of his disgrace in order to create doubt and misgivings in the environment. Creating false rumor, character assassination on a militant prisoner.
A new country called Asgardia, named after Norse mythology’s city in the skies, could be the first nation ever created in space. The hope is to embark on a mission to mine asteroids and defend Earth from dangerous meteorites, space debris, and other threats.
That is, if everything goes according to an uncertain, open-ended, and audacious plan put forth by its founders.
The group behind the Asgardia project includes space experts based out of Canada, Romania, Russia, and the United States, and they announced their sovereign ambitions from a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.
Their core concept is to launch a robotic satellite within the next 18 months (60 years after Russia launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite), then eventually follow up with a permanent space station “where people can live, work, and have their own rules and regulations,” one founding member told Business Insider.
The hope? To “democratize space,” they say.
Ultimately, the organizers envision Asgardians building “a state-of-the-art protective shield for all humankind from cosmic manmade and natural threats to life on earth such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroid collisions,” according to an emailed press release.
“We must leave [Earth] because it’s very much in the nature of humanity,” Ram Jakhu, the director of McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law and an Asgardia project founding member, told Business Insider in a phone interview before Wednesday’s press conference.
“Humanity left Africa and covered the whole globe. The resources of Earth will be depleted,” he said. “Third, I would say, we have a wish to go where nobody has gone before.”
Timothy Wild, a spokesperson for the consortium, would not disclose which researchers or other experts are currently aligned with the project, nor how many, during our call.
But we count at least five so far, according to materials shared by the publicity company that Wild works for:
Wild noted that the project is in its “early stages” and is hoping the initial publicity will attract engineers, scientists, and other talent.
“What we’re doing now is a call to arms, so we want to widen the net,” he said.
In addition to experts, Asgardia is calling on you to join its ranks.
“[T]he site will allow the first 100,000 people to register to become citizens of Asgardia alongside their nationality on [E]arth,” the release stated.
Asgardia is also crowd-sourcing its flag, insignia, and even national anthem.
Wild would not disclose the organization’s current funding level, but claimed Ashurbeyli had put forth a substantial amount of money to get the Asgardia project going.
“We’re absolutely confident the satellite will launch within 18 months,” Wild said. “But in terms of absolute numbers [of money], we’re not there yet.” Wild would also not disclose how Asgardia’s founders plan to acquire cash to fund its future efforts.
It will likely need tens of millions of dollars to start out, and later perhaps billions to sustain itself.
Substantial, fist-size satellites called nanosats can be built and launched for roughly millions of dollars. But sending up larger objects requires more powerful and expensive launchers.
Right now, one of the cheapest rides into orbit a couple of hundred miles above Earth is a Falcon 9 rocket, and SpaceX charges roughly $60 to $65 million for the whole ride (some companies will share payload space and split the cost).
Meanwhile, it took 18 nations and about $100 billion to build and operate the International Space Station (ISS).
An image of Asgardia’s symbol featured on the supposed nation’s website. Asgardia.space
In an emailed press release, Ashurbeyli said that “Asgardia is a fully-fledged and independent nation, and a future member of the United Nations — with all the attributes this status entails.”
However, according to current international space law, the country that launches an object into space is responsible for it, including any damage it causes to denizens of Earth.
“The project is creating a new framework for ownership and nationhood in space, which will adapt current outer space laws governing responsibility, private ownership and enterprise so they are fit for purpose in the new era of space exploration,” the organization said in its emailed release. “By creating a new Space Nation, private enterprise, innovation and the further development of space technology to support humanity will flourish free from the tight restrictions of state control that currently exist.”
How would that be different from the ISS?
“The ISS is a joint venture. There’s no entity called ‘ISS,'” Jakhu said. “It’s just one facility, parts of which are controlled by different nations. It’s more or less a condo.”
And when asked about the laws behind forging a country on a yet-to-be-launched space station, Jakhu acknowledged the challenge, but he seemed optimistic.
“We have not seen any nation attempt this before. So this will be a first,” he said. “We’ll start small and eventually people will be going there, and working, and having their own rules and regulations … This facility will become an independent nation.”
Business Insider contacted the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) for clarification on whether or not current space laws would permit a new country to declare itself in space — from the ground, with an uncrewed satellite, or even with people aboard a space station. We also asked the organization how (if it’s not yet permitted) a new nation like Asgardia might need to change space law to form itself.
UNOOSA representatives did not immediately respond to our query.
While painting an ambitious vision of a peaceful future in space, Asgardia is curiously quiet on the specifics.
Business Insider pressed its representatives for details about timelines, funding, satellite and space station designs, launch vehicles, personnel, and more, but Asgardia declined to provide that information.
“At this point we’re trying not to give too much technical detail away,” Wild said. “We have some ideas, but it’s not at the level of understanding to put into the public domain … [W]e’re taking a measured approach. We’re explaining what we want to do now and not jumping the gun on too many details.”
Jakhu and Asgardia’s organizers expect to draw plenty of critics, including analogies to the fizzling Mars One project — an effort that continues to claim it will set down astronauts that it has recruited on the red planet, though multiple investigations suggest it lacks the funding, manpower, and expertise to pull off the feat.
However, Jakhu and Wild pointed out that trying to form the first space nation a couple hundred miles above Earth is a lot different than trying to colonize Mars, as Elon Musk of SpaceX and Mars One intend.
“I’m sure people will ridicule [Asgardia], but I’m not worried. Anyone who tries out-of-the-box things is initially ridiculed,” Jakhu said. “Everything that’s amazing starts with a crazy idea. After awhile science fiction becomes science fact, and this is an idea which is just being initiated.
Asked if Jakhu would live in Asgardia, he responded, “why not?”
“I think it’d be less risky than going to Mars,” he said. “And you could more easily come back to Earth if you didn’t like it.”
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