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Common Core/ Smarter Balance
March 1, 2014
Student Privacy at Risk
Posted on by Michelle Levell — No Comments ↓
New Hampshire is one of 24 states that is participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as part of our 2010 Race to the Top grant application. By making this agreement, the NH Department of Education is exposing our children’s private data to greater risk without adequate privacy protections.The Cooperative Agreement is a legal contract between the US Department of Education (US DOE), the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), and the State of Washington which serves as the fiscal agent, representing all states using the Smarter Balanced Assessment, including New Hampshire. This document is available at a US DOE website.The New Hampshire Department of Education mandates that all public schools, including charters, will “fully implement the Smarter Balanced Assessment by spring 2015,” and has been piloting the assessment in several schools across the state as of winter 2013. This is per the NH DOE’s FAQ.This universal assessment requirement places all public school students’ private information at risk and allows the US DOE, the SBAC, and third-party organizations to access our children’s information. There are several references to student data in the agreement. On page three, item #5 of the agreement refers to “student-level (individual) data.” This is repeated on page 11 in items #3 and #5b. Nothing in the agreement says the data is aggregated. This must be emphasized. There is absolutely nothing in this legal contract that indicates that student information is aggregated before providing access to the federal government, its agencies, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, or other third-parties. This is made clear on page 10 in item #6 where it states that participants in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are required to “provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level to the Department of Education, its designated program monitors, technical assistance providers, or research partners, and to the General Accountability Office.” This is a broad list of agencies and non-government organizations that are empowered to access our children’s information. Even if New Hampshire isn’t giving data to the federal government, this Cooperative Agreement authorizes access to whatever data they want, whenever they want it. Further, note that absolutely nothing in this document allows for parental consent prior to the release of student information.Buried in the footnotes on page 11, the agreement states everything must comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as well as state and local privacy policies. Unfortunately, the protections provided in FERPA have been severely eroded in recent years, allowing student information to be shared with third-party corporations, not just educational institutions, and not only for academic purposes.In 2008 changes were made to FERPA rules that expanded “school officials” to include “contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other parties to whom an educational agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions it would otherwise use employees to perform.”In 2011 other key terms were redefined. “Educational programs” were those programs only focused on “improving academic outcomes.” However, now these programs also include those related to ”bullying prevention, cyber-security education, and substance abuse and violence prevention” even if the program is not administered by an education agency or institution. The other critical term that changed is “authorized representatives.” It was previously limited to entities over which educational authorities had “direct control, such as an employee or a contractor with the authority for the purposes of auditing or evaluating federally supported education programs” then limited to the US Comptroller General, the Secretary of Education, and state educational authorities. Now “authorized personnel” may include any individual or entity that educational authorities select as an authorized representative. In other words, just about anyone can have access to student data.There are additional risks to student privacy. Computer experts widely agree that it is impossible to anonymize data; it can be reconstructed with almost 90% accuracy with as few as three data points. This makes the NH DOE’s use of theUnique Pupil Identifier (UPI) completely worthless as a protection of our students’ privacy. In 2010 the NH legislature passed SB 503 creating the Unique Pupil Identifier in hopes of protecting student privacy. As this state-wide database continues to expand, it cannot protect New Hampshire students’ information. It can readily be accessed with the reduced FERPA protections and can be hacked by nefarious individuals. Further, given that the information amassed on students now includes over 400 data points, this should be very alarming.The risk to our students’ private information is not just hypothetical, but reality. In a recent interview, Mr. Richard Innes of the Bluegrass Institute discussed 1999 research by Mr. Lauress Wise that sought to explain a sharp gain in Kentucky’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores. Mr. Wise used NAEP information to piece together individual student’s identity and corresponding scores with a 86% positive match using only seven student data points.There was a more recent hack of private student information this past November. Long Island, NY students’ private information was hijacked and posted to a public forum faster than the moderator could shut it down. The leak included students’ health information, disciplinary records, and academic grades. Sadly, this is not an isolated situation. Instances of student database breaches andmisuse of database access are becoming more commonplace.Also, it is inaccurate to state that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium does not have access to individual student information. The SBAC is given each student’s assessments to score and would therefore possess each child’s raw data.So what can a parent do to protect their student’s privacy?In early 2012 the legislature enacted HB 542 (2011), the parental opt-out law. Although the NH DOE insists it is not applicable, many believe it may be appropriately applied to these assessments. HB 542 allows parents to opt-out their student from controversial material in the classroom, at their own expense, and work with their child’s school to use an alternative that accomplishes the same learning objective. It is written into local school district policies as Policy IGE.Parents should be able to use alternative tests, such as the California Achievement Test (CAT-5 or CAT-6), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the Stanford Test, or other established standardized tests. These exams have been used for decades across the country. Many are easy and inexpensive to administer, and accomplish the same function as a year-end assessment. The NH DOE has accepted these for years from homeschoolers, so a parent has a very valid argument to suggest these as an alternative. A thorough list of tests and providers is available at a NH homeschool website.Superintendents, school boards, and parents may not fully realize the risk that the Cooperative Agreement and Smarter Balanced Assessment pose to our students’ privacy. Please share this with your administrators and ask them what they are doing to ensure your child’s information is safe. And if you are not satisfied, opt your child out of the SBA and insist on an alternative.
September 14, 2012
Ask New Hampshire Democrats…Will You Let Obama Seize our Guns?
by Steve MacDonald 14 SEP 2012
President Obama, who promised to pursue gun control under the radar, has fulfilled that promise.
Obama has expanded civil-forfeiture rules making it permissible for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to seize weapons from citizens without the hassle of due process.
This effectively gives Attorney General Eric Holder, of Fast and Furious fame, extended power over guns and gun-related property.
The rules were broadened under the guise of giving the ATF authority “to seize and administratively forfeit property involved in controlled substance abuses.” And if that doesn’t strike you as extreme on first glance, consider the fact that this expansion of civil-forfeiture allows the ATF to fore go almost all “due process” in making their seizures — in effect, placing the burden of proof on the citizen instead of federal agents.
It is not a law enacted by congress. Even if it were, the state has the right to nullify or refuse enforcement within its sovereign borders. So ask every Democrat you see… “Do you support President Obama’s effort to seize guns (or any property) without due process?” “What legislation or action would you take to preserve the rights of New Hampshire Citizens from this unconstitutional executive overreach?”
New Hampshire Democrats…”Will You Let Obama Seize our Guns
Commentary by Joe Pitre
It is ironic that the Marines at the Libya compound were not allowed ammunition to defend and protect the lives and property within. I found the same problem on 4 Dec 1966 at Tan Son Nhut, (Saigon Airfield) Vietnam where we were overrun by many Viet Cong as young as twelve. (story here) The Air policeman at post Delta 11(less than 100 feet from my position)had difficulty loading his M-60 once he received permission and proceeded to use a cigarette lighter to see to load the weapon. Airman Curie was later awarded the Silver Star for his actions. Although mechanics were trained (myself at Fort Jackson, SC), we were not allowed weapons to defend ourselves and help security police defend our positions. The Viet Cong were within feet of our position and I feel today that my natural right to protect myself as well as a constitutional right was abrogated. We have turned into a dictatorship, when our constitutions are cast aside and a President makes his own rules of governing as he sees fit. On 20 January 2009 Obama took a solemn oath to defend the United States Constitution and in many cases has undermined it's intent. The voters of this country need to send a message at the ballot box on 6 November 2012 and proclaim this as unacceptable behavior. I gave a solemn oath to abide by and defend the constitutions so help me God!
Obama Throws Granny Over theCliff
July 22, 2012
Must Read fact of Obamacare (here)
Remember: Ex Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter voted for this bill because Speaker Pelosi said Pass it so you can read the bill!
Carol Shea Porter said she voted with Pelosi 100% of the time because Pelosi was right 100% of the time. What happened to representing New Hampshire Congressional District 1 voters, which is the solemn pledge she gave us?
Pres Obama- Is this a fair assessment of his performance?
July 5, 2012
This is an article attributed to the Washington Post but was published in The American Thinker, 18 Aug 2011 according to Factcheck and Snopes. You make the call!
This is unbelievable!!! Is it possible that some of the liberal media is FINALLY seeing things as they are, and more importantly, want the people in this country to see it as well?? I can't really believe what I read (coming from the Washington Post) but there it is. This hits the nail right smack on the head. Raise the flags - there is hope for all of us. Send this to everyone.
But, what in the world took them and the rest of the media so long to discover this ?
As I’m sure you know, the Washington Post Newspaper has always had a reputation for being extremely liberal, so the fact that their Editor saw fit to print the following article about Obama in their newspaper makes this a truly amazing event and a news story in and of itself. Finally, the truth about our radical President’s agenda is starting to trickle through the ‘protective walls’ built by our liberal media.
Matt Patterson (columnist for the Washington Post, New York Post, San Francisco Examiner)
Government & Society
Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job? Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present") ; and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president? Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted
a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - held to a lower standard - because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest? Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon -affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves. Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin - that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people - conservatives included - ought now to be deeply embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of cliches, and that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth – it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years. And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?
In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job.
When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in the Oval Office.
Thank you Strafford 3 on to Strafford 2
June 16, 2012
Candidate Update- filing period ended 15 June 2012
The list of all candidates can be found (here). Farmington has two state representatives (Strafford District 2) and are now in Senate District 6 with Farmington, Rochester, New Durham, Alton, Barnstead and Gilmanton. This will benefit Farmington tremendously because Rochester is more of our social and economic center. Our previous district spanned to Conway and limited our representative span of control. I lobbied long and hard for the changes and many said this could not be done.
The accomplishments of the Republican Party are many and will post them soon, as well as my voting record keeping the New Hampshire Advantage. I am a strong supporter of less government, pro business (for good jobs) and freedom to work and play in our fine state. I have served on the House Education Committee and fought for parental control of their children, which is the most local control and tried to limit the bureaucracy that plagues or state. The reduction of the runaway Democrat budget without smoke and mirrors should make New Hampshire citizens proud. I look forward to serving the people of New Hampshire. It has been a great honor and I thank you Strafford 3: Barrington, Farmington, Middleton, Middleton, New Durham and Strafford.
Thanks and God Bless!
World Money Chrisis on the Horizon?
April 23, 2012
Another Bubble (here)
If you think this world is not in trouble, visit the above link. Politicians are asleep at the switch and a smorgasbord of free taxpayer sweat and toil is being exploited. Nancy Pelosi's brother has raked in millions. Call the action what you will. The world currency is on the verge of collapse. Are you ready? You have lost control of your government. Look at the executive orders and despicable legislation that has passed recently. You may be literally in for the fight of your life.
Armed Citizen Strikes Back
January 6, 2012
Armed citizen defends herself and family from Harm in Oklahoma!
JUSTIFIABLE USE OF A WEAPON
The State of our Country
January 6, 2012
There is much contemplation over the state of our economy and the overall well being of the citizens in this state and country. The link below gives clear insight at the direction the welfare of this country. Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
Representative Joe Pitre
Why parents should reject IB
October 18, 2011
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Why parents should reject IB
Why parents should reject IBPosted by Contributor EducationViews.orgon October 17, 2011in Commentaries|2 Comments Jane Aitken - UNESCO says that the International Baccalaureate curriculum promotes “human rights, social justice, sustainable development, population, health, environmental, and immigration concerns.”But are parents being told about this political agenda?Missing from the presentation on IB on the MVRSD’s website (http://fc.mvsd.k12.nh.us/ibpresentation) is the fact that taxpayers would be supporting the agenda of UNESCO. In fact, there’s a lot missing from both the website, and from last Wednesday’s article on the subject in the Concord Monitor. (http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/20090506/FRONTPAGE/905060341) Allow me to clue you in on the rest of the story…The International Baccalaureate Organization is one of many education “industry” groups of consultants and reformers. The industry recognizes our extreme desire to improve education and competes for the large amounts of taxpayer money we put toward that cause in NH. Promoters from the IBO (www.ibo.org) a Switzerland-based group in partnership with UNESCO (www.unesco.org) use words such as “rigorous,” “prestigious” and “competitive” to sell the purported eliteness of it’s program. This self-laudatory language is suggestive of academic success, even when no track record exists to support such a claim.After a school is authorized by IBO to use IB program(s) and pays the “annual fee,” it can be accepted as an “IB World School.” IBO charges for using their “programs” (curriculum, teacher training, instructional methods, assessments done outside the USA, coordinator, etc.) in our schools in the U.S.A., which are then referred to as their schools.The 2008-09 Diploma Program “annual fee” has increased from $8,850 to $9,150 per school the 2009 school year. (The annual fee for 2011 is now $10,200.)The various individual “per candidate” costs (covering registration with IB, per subject fees, exam registration fee, per exams costs, etc.) have also risen. Schools are also required to have an IB Coordinator. What is even more concerning than the extra inflated cost is that the school and its teachers must all adopt the IBO’s “mission.”In New Hampshire, the bulk of our local property tax bill goes to support public education and it’s assumed that we have some “local control”. If the MVRSD already employs the most qualified staff they can find, why would they need to buy a program that is run from another country to provide “rigor”? Tests are sent to any number of places abroad to be graded by the IBO. How does a student appeal a grade and how is this local control?The presentation states that it will rely heavily on inquiry-based learning and constructivism, two methodologies that are proven failures at the elementary and high school level. University of Virginia professor Robert Tai and Harvard University researcher Philip Sadler have done a study which appeared recently in The International Journal of Science Education. It states that inquiry-based learning is not the ideal way for all high school students to prepare for college science.“The findings suggest that students with lower levels of high school mathematics attainment had greater success in college science when they reported more teacher-structured laboratory experiences in high school,” Tai and Sadler report in their study, “Same Science for All? Interactive Association of Structure in Learning Activities and Academic Attainment Background on College Science Performance in the U.S.A.”From my personal experience as a teacher, these “fad” methods also seem to hurt the less able children, the most. Is that what MVRSD wants? [See Structure More Effective In High School Science Classes, Study Reveals (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326114415.htm)In the presentation, it also states: "We want to develop the whole child and create lifelong learners with cultural awareness and the ability to compete in an increasingly competitive economy." But what does all that actually mean? Are parents able to translate this language into anything meaningful or is this just edu-speak intended to sound high-minded while clouding the agenda? The presentation lists a lot of educational skills that should already be implemented by any school. It also talks about giving students a "global perspective" but doesn't explain exactly what that means either. How can the district maintain control of the curriculum when it is required to adhere to the principles, policies, and mission of a group that administers their program from Geneva, Switzerland?Schools, once they have committed to IB, are bound by IBO's "rules" and ideological mission. The contract between the IBO and IB schools is bound by the Geneva (World) Court.In Bedford, the IB Diploma Program was implemented quietly. Most parents didn't know, but should be able to request a copy of the contract with the IBO. Parents in that town still have questions about its broad ideology. (See letters below) And so should the parents of MVRSD."We're living on a planet that is becoming exhausted," said George Walker, IB's former director-general. "The program remains committed to changing children's values so they think globally, rather than in parochial national terms from their own country's viewpoint." Many parents might be surprised to find that the goal of American education was anything other than imparting knowledge, skills and strengthening the principles of citizenship put forth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Furthermore they probably didn't know that supporting those ideals was considered "parochial."TOK, short for "Theory of Knowledge," is a philosophy course that proposes to challenge what kids know or think they know. Apparently this title came from a phrase that originated with Immanuel Kant and generally means "sowing the seeds of doubt." [See: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/russell1.htm]It is urged that parents and school board members do more independent research on this program, specifically its values-based mission, its methodologies, overall philosophy and the rest of its stated mission, which is to promote the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (redistributionist), and create acceptance for “global citizenship” and “global governance” under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR does not protect rights as innate, as our own Bill of Rights does, but states instead that the rights and freedoms enumerated therein “may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” In other words, their premise is, what government gives, government takes away.Our Constitution has been violated in many ways, but I didn’t realize we’d ditched it in favor of the UN’s vision of “global governance”. While some may think it’s perfectly acceptable to float the idea that national sovereignty is outdated, many might object. It definitely appears as an attempt to change attitudes about our current form of government.IB is not the only program that promotes ideologies. In general, much American post-modern curricula replaces the teaching of historical facts with the teaching of attitudes and values about multiculturalism and world-mindedness. A review of science, and even math texts, reveals that sustainable development, environmental protection and social justice generally dominate.Taxpayers should learn more before giving IB their stamp of approval. The IBO does not release materials for free, so it’s hard to get copies of tests. But I have, and that is what prompted me to discover the political agenda embedded in the IBO’s mission.Please visit www.ibo.org and www.unesco.org (and click on the Education tab) to see what this is about, in their own words.It’s time that public education finds its direction from the bottom up — the school board should be listening to the parents and taxpayers, and not be snookered into doing what some highly-paid consultants, “reformers”, and snake-oil salesmen have told them.IB is a Waste of Taxpayer Moneyhttp://www.cabinet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/NS/20090320/BEDFORD05/303209982/-1/bedford05Program Hostile to Some Religious Valueshttp://www.cabinet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/NS/20090320/BEDFORD05/903209927/-1/bedford05It’s all about activism… UN-style
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOhS6viEg4wJane Aitken, teacher of 35 years and lives in Bedford, New Hampshire
Email this postend .entry end .author-avatar About Contributor EducationViews.orgView all posts by Contributor EducationViews.org →end .author-linkend .author-descriptionend .entry-authorSubscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post 2 Responses
October 17, 2011 at 6:20 PMOUTSTANDING. Finally this political indoctrination program is being exposed. You wonder why we have Communists marching on Wall Street?? Look no further than the fact we’ve indoctrinated students in Marxist ideology instead of EDUCATING THEM.
Look at IB’s own sources for information and you will find they resource plenty of Marxists .Replyend #comment-3904
October 17, 2011 at 6:44 PMExcellent article! Keep sharing the truth about this outrageously expensive scam of a program posing as “rigorous” education!Replyend #comment-3905
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$26 Million Surplus?
Septembre 30, 2011
INTERESTING NEWS TODAY: Governor Lynch takes credit for sound fiscal management creating a $26 million surplus ending 30 June 2011. What he does not take credit for is the $895 million dollar deficit or a net deficit of $869 million. Governor Lynch with the Democrat budget of $11.5 billion (selling State property etc., which never happened) has made for interesting reading and tremendous pain to State citizens. Remember, the Governor did not veto the $10.2 billion 2012/13 budget. The Republican led House of Representatives and the great work of the Finance Committee has placed the New Hampshire financial books on a sound footing.
This is only the beginning of giving confidence to businesses to expand operations and create meaningful jobs. Business Profits Taxes, Business Enterprise Taxes, Property Taxes and the high cost of energy (electricity and heating) must be lowered to make New Hampshire the State to site new operations.
The State Retirement System has been also been put on solid financial, sustainable footing. Those in the system will have a retirement system they can count on. The contribution will be higher, but will be their money unlike the Social Security ponsi scheme, where the moving target is difficult to understand.
Democracy needs good stewards who do their homework and trust but verify the numbers that are stated from Concord and Washington. We are in difficult times and must keep on a solid course of prosperity, which takes financial discipline. Your voices were heard loud and clear November 2010. Thank you for that trust!
Constitution Carry and Defend
July 11, 2012
Representative Joe Pitre
Good News SB 88 OVERRIDDEN 251-111
New Hampshire citizens in 60 days, on 13 November 2011 will have the right to defend themselves with deadly force anywhere they have a legal right to be. No longer will innocent people have to run in ear. Citizens should use great care and responsibility .
Veto Overrides 14 September 2011
July 11, 2012
Today, 14 September 2011, a legislative session is being called to possibly override several bills that the Governor has vetoed.
SB 88 the right to legally defend oneself where ever a person has a legal right to be. In my opinion, this is a constitutional right and no one should challenge the fundamental right to defend oneself. I was personally denied that right in Vietnam and suffer for that denial to this day. The following article was posted in the Granite Grok. The article cuts to the chase in this violent world. A citizen has the right to defend oneself , but must be responsible for his/her actions. Even in a heated battle in war, you must know your target and are responsible for the bullet's destruction. You will be held accountable.
Posted on Granite Grok courtesy of Tim Condon,
Carrying a Gun Is an Act of Civilization (in all meanings)
"The Gun Is Civilization" By Maj. L. Caudill, USMC (Ret)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... And that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
SB57 Pay day
When this bill was voted for in the house, I voted against it. The interest on a loan could have been over 400% and is usury of the borrower in my opinion.
In Support of Speaker Bill O'Brien
May 21, 2011
In the spring of 2010, I was quite concerned at the state of affairs of the State of New Hampshire. I have never been a citizen of anywhere else, but lived in other places in the military and this made my love for New Hampshire even greater.
I was looking for a way to help, to get involved because once in the military, you find a new and deep respect for God, State and Country. There are many of those Veterans(WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Middleast) in the NH Legislature this and is a reunion of sorts of a great brotherhood.
I filed the paperwork to run for Representative of Strafford District 3. Many cautioned me that this was a daunting task, due to the large(covers six towns) size of the district. I believe Lou & Carol Vita invited me to the House Republican Alliance(HRA) meeting in Concord. Now remember, I professed coming from the "undeclared", the largest "party" in New Hampshire at 41%. , Bill O'Brien, Bob Mead and Pam Tucker tri-chairman of the HRA were open, respectful and a great resource of ideas that dovetailed perfectly with the goal and aspirations in my heart. Seminars, training sessions and many tools, which I found tremendously valuable even to a dubious eye.
I found that facts in the media were quite disturbing(who would have knew) and looking for sources that I could trust to be accurate.
Bill O'Brien led me to the Josiah Bartlett seminars with Charlie Arlinghaus presenting. The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan, well respected by many, think tank and present the numbers and facts good or bad.
I, As a young candidate looking for answers, Representative O'Brien personally answered many of my rookie questions and made me feel quite welcome in what could be a very hostile environment. Seminars were many and seasoned Republican i.e. Fran Wendlebow, Phyllis Wood, Dan Itse and Governor John Sununu gave insights in getting elected.
The daunting task of running for office were made easier and organizational skills I could relate to from my military background.
The election happened(WOW) and I find myself among some of the most talented and sincere, independent people I have ever known. I was impressed by the professionalism of the Statehouse staff in the handling of some in the neighborhood of a thousand bills. Some bills are filed at the direction of now Speaker O'Brien because they are Republican platform issues and the previous summer were dissected at public summits with citizens and different groups that may have had an input.
Complaints, as recently as yesterday, by Jack Chambers in Foster's Letter to the editor, wrote that, and I paraphrase, we were basically like sheep and did not proofread the bills and voted at the behest of Speaker O'Brien. Sometimes it can get confusing when a bill is being presented for a vote. The Committee recommendation is the object of the vote. If the majority vote in Committee was to kill the bill, the motion on the House floor could be to vote for inexpedient to legislate(ITL or kill the bill, which is a yes vote). In Representative Hall there are guides for voting, but by no means a requirement by leadership to vote a certain way. Remember, we have agreed to a platform previously as core values and our direction we as a group want to lead the State.
I can tell you there is much discussion of bills; at the public hearing of the committee when a bill is brought forth, the bill is posted on the NH General Court website, the bill is discussed in executive session in public to check on different aspects of the bill and informally by the representatives among themselves. We also confer with the Senate with great talents like Senator Jim Forsythe and other dedicated Senators. A great process.
On an issue that leadership may feel there will be a close vote, a whipping procedure may be implemented. This is a process where a committeeman or floor leader will ask a representative how he/she will vote and calculates the number of people present when percentages of votes are necessary. If the votes by representatives is preconceived and directed by the Speaker or leadership why would you whip the delegation? Of the many issues that come before the House I have been only encouraged once to vote a certain way. The speaker spent a considerable amount of time with me to understand the bill and its ramifications. That is what good leadership does and each representative must represent his/her own citizens first.
These are the goals and means to the goals of a good legislator. One must be attentive and vigilant, and listen to the arguments. Many vote of committee have been overturned by great margins this session, which further is an example of due diligence.
Yes the 162nd legislature has done a masterful job under the leadership of one Speaker "Bill" O'Brien!
Introduction to Communications with Citizens
May 14, 2011
This is the first of many blogs to keep you, the citizen informed. To be a State Representative is a great honor
and responsibility and I execute that office as if you are looking over my shoulder every minute. We may not agree on every issue but I pledge to give careful consideration on every vote or process that I am involved. I follow the Republican platform in most cases; limited government, pro business; pro liberty for citizens and sworn to uphold both NH State and Federal Constitutions. I will post articles, links and excerpts of writings of others that I feel are pertinent to the argument. I will be brief for today and will be busy in constructing more of this website. Much information may be gleened from the website http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us.
Thank you for being an involved citizen,