(Telegraph.Co.Uk – 9/29/09) – By Simon Johnson
Thousands of Britain’s most “chaotic” families will be dispatched to a new network of training centres to improve their behaviour, Gordon Brown has announced.
The Prime Minister said “every one” of the country’s 50,000 most disruptive households will be forced to attend a family intervention project.
He told the Labour conference in Brighton that a “no nonsense approach” to deal with children who indulge in anti-social behaviour and their parents.
Although he did not mention a figure, it is understood an extra £36 million will be allocated to extend the existing network of centres across the UK.
“Family intervention projects are a tough love, no nonsense approach with help for those who want to change and proper penalties for those who don’t or won’t,” he told delegates.
“I first saw this tough approach at work in Dundee where a young single mother who got into trouble with drugs was at risk of her kids being taken into care.
“But within months she was going to college to get a decent job to look after the children she loved.
“Family intervention projects work. They change lives, they make our communities safer and they crack down on those who’re going off the rails.”
The success of the Dundee pilot has already led to similar schemes being set up across the UK
Mr Brown promised that all 50,000 families would be sent to a project by the end of the next parliament, in 2014 or 2015, and would be punished if they refused.
The projects deliver what the Government terms “intensive, one-on-one, hard-edged support” for families where drugs, drink, bad parenting and persistent joblessness are a problem.
By preventing trouble escalating, ministers claim they can save the taxpayer up to £3 billion in the long term.
The Dundee pilot scheme was launched amid concern about the effect on the children of families who were evicted from their council homes because of their anti-social behaviour.
Instead of “moving the problem on”, the project aims to change behaviour patterns and has been successful in preventing evictions.
Mr Brown wrote about his visit to the Dundee scheme two years ago in his book, Britain’s Everyday Heroes.
Later that year, Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said the pilot was the “model” for dealing with tearaway children and their parents.
Action for Children, a charity that runs the project in conjunction with Dundee City Council, said the single mother whom Mr Brown met had left some time ago.
Claire Tickell, the charity’s chief executive, welcomed the Prime Minister’s praise the scheme and the extra funding to extend it.
She said: “Our work in the Dundee Families Project has shown that working intensively to help families deal with the issues that are underlying their disruptive behaviour shows positive effects, not just for the family, but the community as a whole.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman said the local authority was “instrumental” in creating the pilot and it has since been “widely copied” across the UK.
Jim McGovern, Labour’s Dundee West MP, said he was “very proud” that the project had made such an impact on the Prime Minister.
TSA welcomes Government focus on Family Intervention Projects
(dash.com – 9/30/09) by Jon Land
England’s affordable housing regulator, the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), has welcomed the Government’s focus on Family Intervention Projects (FIPs), which will see a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and crime.
Under the new plans, the TSA will be working with the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Communities and Local Government on a new £15 million Challenge Fund.
This funding will be for housing associations and local authorities to identify and provide support to families causing problems within their local community. Some £7.5 million will be provided by social landlords, enabling them to be at the heart of the delivery of FIPs.
TSA Chief Executive Peter Marsh, said: “The TSA will be providing increased focus on this important issue.
“Tenants made it clear to us through our National Conversation that dealing with anti-social behaviour was a top priority. We need to find ways to help families better manage their behaviour so that the problems they create for their communities are dealt with and not just moved to another place.
“We want to encourage greater use of FIPs within the social housing sector as a tool for tackling anti-social behaviour, which will see landlords working with families in trouble to challenge and support them to change their behaviour and get their lives back on track.
“I have seen first hand that FIPs can work. During a recent visit to Tower Hamlets, I talked to the tenants of Poplar Harca housing association and heard how it was the tenants themselves who voted for FIPs to tackle local problems.
“One young woman spoke of how a FIP had quite literally turned her life around. She is the first person in her family who had ever experienced what it was like to get up in the morning and go to work.”
The TSA is developing national standards which will support the delivery of FIPs. Standards on anti-social behaviour and local area co-operation will ensure that landlords take a comprehensive approach to tackling and preventing this issue. The TSA wants landlords to work with their tenants and local agencies to develop standards which reflect the needs of their community.
The Challenge Fund is a voluntary and match funded programme. Further details will be announced shortly.
(Examiner.com – 9/30/09) by Meredith Jameson
A new poll by Consumer Reports shows that most American parents will either hold off on vaccinating their children against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus or won’t vaccinate them at all.
Nearly 2/3 of the parents who responded to the poll said that they’d either wait or refuse the vaccine. 50% said that they would wait to vaccinate their children, mostly due to concerns about side effects of the vaccine. 35% said that they would definitely vaccinate their children.
43% of the parents said that they weren’t overly worried about their children contracting H1N1, and an equal amount said that other parents were overreacting.
The poll had a 3% margin of error.
Over 1500 people responded to the telephone poll between September 2-7.
The results, if accurate, mean that some of those who are most vulnerable to the swine flu are going to be unprotected against it.
Parents, will you get the H1N1 vaccine for your children? For yourself? What about the seasonal flu shot?
Editors Note: If suicide is the leading cause of death worldwide, how come it hasn’t been declared a health emergency?? I wonder how many victims were taking some type of anti-depressant drug or undergoing some type of mind control.
(VOA News 9/10/09) – The World Health Organization says suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, and one of the three leading causes of death for young people under 25. To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on September 10, the World Health Organization says there are measures people and society can take to save thousands of people from meeting a self-inflicted violent death.
The World Health Organization reports every year, about one million people die by suicide. That comes to around 3,000 deaths a day or one death every 40 seconds.
In the past 45 years, the World Health Organization says suicide rates have increased by 60 percent worldwide and it predicts these deaths will rise to 1.5 million by 2020.
It says suicide deaths account for more than half of all violent deaths in the world – more than all deaths from wars and homicides combined. Almost a quarter of suicides are teenagers and young adults aged less than 25.
The World Health Organization says more men than women commit suicide, but more women than men attempt to commit suicide.
Scientific eExpert in WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department, Alexandra Fleischmann says risk factors vary in different cultures.
“For instance, we know that mental illness disorders like depression or alcohol use disorders play a major role in European countries, for instance,” said Alexandra Fleischmann. “But, we have to also look at Asian countries where impulsiveness plays a much more important role, which is that suicide can happen on the spur of the moment.”
The agency notes cultural differences, views and attitudes toward suicide influence whether people will attempt suicide and whether suicides will be accurately reported
The WHO report says most suicides in occur in Asia, which accounts for up to 60 percent of all cases.
But it reports Eastern European countries have the highest rates of suicide. The lowest rates are found in the countries of Mediterranean Europe and the predominantly Catholic countries of Latin America and Asia, as well as in Muslim countries, such as Pakistan.
The World Health Organization says suicide can be prevented. It says educating communities to better identify people at risk of suicide and encouraging those at risk to seek help can reduce suicides among people with mental illness.
Original Source: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-09-10-voa31.cfm
Editors Note: If you are completely disgusted by what the UN is trying to do to America’s children, get involved by:
1) Telling your senators and congressmen to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment and vote YES on it.
2) Telling your senators to vote NO on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty.
3) Get involved, go to www.parentalrights.org to learn more information on how to become a citizen co-sponsor of the Parental Rights Amendment.
(Mail Online 9/10/09) – By Kirsty Walker
Children as young as five should be taught about explicit sex acts, according to guidelines from the United Nations.
The advice also calls for youngsters to learn about abortion, same-sex relationships and sexually transmitted diseases.
The draft report on sex education has been compiled by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
The guidance is due to be issued to governments, local authorities and education bodies around the world by the end of next month.
But it has provoked an international outcry. Critics claim that addressing the issue of masturbation, which is contained in the plan, is too explicit for young children and removes the responsibility of parents to teach their own children about sex.
The guidelines break down suitable topics for discussion into four age groups. Among the most controversial recommendations are for teachers to begin discussing subjects such as masturbation with children from the age of five.
They recommend teachers should discuss the idea that ‘girls and boys have private body parts that can feel pleasurable when touched by oneself’.
When children are 12, teachers should be covering issues such as ‘access to safe abortion and post-abortion care’ and the ‘use and misuse of emergency contraception’.
The guidelines also recommend young people should learn about the ‘right to and access to safe abortion’. The report is intended to help countries improve sex education and sexual health, especially in the developing world.
UNESCO officials said it was up to governments and educational bodies to decide whether to implement the guidance.
But Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: ‘This is wholly inappropriate and is destroying parental responsibility. It is parents who should determine the pace of revelation, not the authorities.
‘What one child may be ready to learn about at the age of ten, another child may not be ready for until 13. It should be up to parents to make these decisions.
‘When it comes to innocent children at the tender age of five years old, it is absolutely appalling these guidelines suggest that they should be taught about subjects such as masturbation.’
Fellow Tory MP Nadine Dorries said: ‘Educating children and young people to believe that access to legal abortion is a right delivers a message which suggests that abortion is a lifestyle choice – a method of contraception as opposed to the incredibly traumatic and distressing experience it is for most young women.’
UNESCO officials last night insisted that the guidelines will help to reduce the risk of infections from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies among the young.
They added that the guidelines had been compiled for two years by a team of experts, who have drawn on more than 80 international studies of sex education.
The report, which is estimated to have cost over £200,000, is currently under discussion. But its content is unlikely to change substantially before it is officially released.
Mark Richmond, UNESCO’s global co-ordinator for HIV and AIDS, said: ‘It doesn’t mean that teaching about masturbation must take place at five years old. It may be mentioned, but it is up to parents and teachers about whether this is done. The guidelines are forms of advice.’
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said the Government was already conducting a review of sex education.
The spokesman added that sex education is ‘essential’ if young people are to make responsible decisions.
(FEDERALJACK) Something smells fishy to me here. I’ve been hearing rumors about possible bank closures around September for a few months now. I finally got my confirmation while cruising around on Steve Quayle’s site which then lead me to the tennnessee.gov website. Turns out that if bank closures do happen the excuse that is going to be used is the H1N1 Flu Pandemic. This pandemic was raised to a level 6 in June 2009 by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the Department of Financial Institutions of TN, on the www.tennessee.gov website, it states that “The Department of Financial Institutions considers bank determinations that H1N1 outbreaks pose legitimate health risks to the general public or significantly impacts the ability of a banking institution to maintain an appropriate level of personnel on site to meet customer needs to be included among any “similar disaster” as referenced in TCA §45-2-603. Other events may also be included among any similar disaster, and the directorate and executive management are encouraged to use reasonable discretion in applying TCA §45-2-603 and §45-2-604.
However, the safety of institution personnel and local citizens are of paramount importance when evaluating the appropriateness of closing offices.” it later continues by stating that “This bulletin shall serve as notice that no specific prior approval from the Department is required for Tennessee state-chartered banks to be closed more than two consecutive business days should a Tennessee state-chartered bank, in its discretion, determine it is necessary to temporarily close the bank or an office of the bank in accordance with TCA §45-2-603 and §45-2-604, pursuant to an H1N1 outbreak or similar disaster.”
Read the whole article at: http://www.tennessee.gov/tdfi/banking/bulletins/B-09-1.html
Combine that together with the fact that the FDIC has had a major run on it’s funds this year along with the fact that the FDIC may be officially bankrupt as of August 14th after the latest 5 bank failures. http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/08/as-of-friday-august-14-2009-fdic-is.html.
Add to that the derivatives market which is basically paper chasing more paper propping up money that does not even exist in a huge ponzi scheme very similar to the Enron scheme as far as money being laundered back and fourth between hedge funds, things aren’t looking very good. We’re talking trillions of dollars here at least 49 Trillion or more, this is what people are not talking about and what is so scary.
According to Research Analyst Robin Bagger-Sjöbäck, as of August 12th, the FDIC funds had a balance of $648.1 million. He also indicates that since mid 2009 the FDIC had already used up roughly $16 billion of the fund.
The FDIC’s 2nd Quarter Report will be out on 8/25/09 which will indicate how much trouble the banks are really in and trends forecasters are predicting possible closures of Banks from 8/26/09 onward.
So what are the possible scenarios? According to a couple of leaked letters allegedly from a large Midwestern Bank with branches in several states, they state that:
“1. All account access was to be limited by the Bank and that any withdrawls, checks, debit cards, or access of credit lines, and IRA’s could total no more than $500.00 per one or a combination of accounts every 7 business days until these limitations were lifted by Federal Authorities.
2. All lock boxes were to be sealed and access to contents disallowed by regulations imposed by Executive Order, the IRS, FDIC, and the Federal Reserve Bank until further notice.”
So it seems that the combination of this H1N1 pandemic that is looming along with the fact that the FDIC could possibly be bankrupt sounds like some kind of storm is brewing our way.
One theory suggests that the closures would be an excuse to bring in some sort of new currency into the system that would “save” us from the virus spreading through that evil cash money system the illuminati banksters have been so eager to destroy.
Then “immediately an Electronic Money System will be instituted to form the Cashless Society. Of course, a National ID/Proof of Shots Record card or permanent wrist band would be the basis of this system or if they are feeling really bold the actual use of RFID chips could be mandated by the Military and Medical Governors in conjunction with the Federal Reserve and the UN to be needed by anyone in the U.S. to transact any business, access Bank accounts, obtain medicine or food, or actually to be ……..THE MARK WHICH WILL BE REQUIRED TO BUY AND SELL. (Note: the Medical Shot Record Card sample has been held actually in the hand of a deep background source and the Metal Wrist Band device has been confirmed as in existence by another source Greg Evenson who has written about it in an alert of his own.)”
Either way I would suggest that everyone should have some reserve/emergency cash in their house and to not wait until last minute in case banks do decide to take a bank holiday. I would also recommend for people to purchase gold 1oz coins (Kruggerands tend to be the cheapest) to hold the value of the money over a longer period of time. Think of it kind of like fire insurance not so much as an investment, although it tends to do well over time, along with purchasing some silver for small transactions.
An excellent way to do this is to purchase “junk silver” which is basically change/silver coins minted on or before 1964. Easiest place to purchase that is by doing a search on e-bay for junk silver or junk coins. During the great depression, when the dollar was devalued, people ended up buying goods with the silver coins since they had some sort of value unlike the worthless dollar.
Also, if the shit really hits the fan, it would be good to familiarize yourself with survival techniques in case some sort of collapse does happen. We have a survival section up on our site to help familiarize yourself with different tehcniques: http://www.federaljack.com/special-coverage/survival/
More tips can be found here as well: http://www.stevequayle.com/News.alert/06_Prep_tips/06_Prep.index.html
(federaljack.com) This Hate Crimes Bill puts another nail in the coffin of free speech. To summarize the hate crimes bill it states that “The rage of the perpetrator is directed both at the victim, and at the group to which the victim belongs. The perpetrator might beat up one person, but the crime was motivated by hatred for everyone who bears some similarity to the victim — perhaps hatred of all people of the victim’s race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or disability.”
What is scary about this piece of work is that if someone goes out and commits an act of violence which falls under the race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or disability and they say that lets say a church or talk show host influenced their behavior, the church or talk show host can be charged as well!!!
On top of this, the “sexual orientation” part of this bill protects pedophiles and exhibitionists etc and when congress members try to add legislation to exclude these groups they are blocked.
Keep in mind that the ADL is another New World Order organization disguised as doing good for the people. They are for gun control as well and have clashed with the JPFO in the past. They are the first to accuse people of being “anti-semetic”, “right-wing extremists”, “homegrown terrorist” etc. People who are against government policies are quickly being labeled as extremists when mostly they are just speaking out against the New World Order.
(Bloomberg – 7/24/09) The Senate approved a defense spending measure that includes most of the weapons program cuts sought by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and an expansion of the federal hate-crime law.
The $679.8 billion bill, passed by an 87-7 vote late yesterday, allots $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Stripped from the bill on July 21 was $1.75 billion that would have continued production of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-22 fighter jets over the objections of Gates and President Barack Obama. The administration threatened to veto the bill if the funding was kept in it.
The bill left largely intact other major budget recommendations by Gates, including termination of Lockheed’s VH-71 presidential helicopter program that has been plagued by cost overruns.
The Senate also agreed to Gates’ proposed reorganization of the Chicago-based Boeing Co. Future Combat Systems Army program into at least four separate projects. The program of manned and unmanned vehicles joined by a wireless network has been the Pentagon’s second-most costly program.
An amendment to the bill that the Senate approved on July 17 would expand protections under the federal hate-crime law to those attacked because of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.
The provision also would give the Department of Justice expanded authority to investigate crimes under the law when local authorities don’t act. And it would throw out rules requiring victims to have been involved in certain activities, such as attending school or serving as a juror, for the law to apply.
The proposal is named after Matthew Shepard, a college student murdered in Wyoming in 1998 who witnesses said was targeted by his two attackers because he was gay.
The House approved similar legislation in April, and the Obama administration has voiced support for the changes. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 protects those attacked because of their race, color, religion or national origin.
The overall bill authorizes defense spending slightly below the $680.4 billion the administration requested. It must be reconciled with a similar measure passed by the House June 25. Congress hasn’t yet acted on the bills that appropriate money for authorized expenditures.
The Senate vote on the F-22s would end production of the aircraft by Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed at the 187 now on order. The $1.75 billion that was deleted from the bill on a 58- 40 vote would have paid for seven more jets.
In comments after the vote, Obama said he was “grateful” for the Senate’s action. “At a time when we’re fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, this would have been an inexcusable waste of money,” he said.
The House’s version of the defense bill would continue production of the F22’s.
The House measure also would authorize $439 million for General Electric Co. to build a back-up engine for Lockheed’s F- 35 Joint Strike Fighter. Gates opposes the spending, and the Senate bill doesn’t include the proposal.
The Senate’s legislation does include the administration’s request of $6.8 billion for procurement of 30 aircraft to accelerate production of the F-35 program.
In a key addition for the stepped-up U.S. operation in Afghanistan, the Senate approved $6.7 billion — $1.2 billion more than the administration’s request — for all-terrain models of the fortified trucks used in Iraq to counter improvised roadside bombs. Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. won the Pentagon contract to build the vehicles on June 30.
The Senate bill includes the Pentagon’s $7.8 billion request for missile defense and endorses Gates’s plan to deploy 30 instead of 44 interceptor missiles made by Chantilly, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp.
Overriding Gates’s opposition, the Senate added $560 million to the bill to buy nine additional Boeing F/A-18E/F fighters.
(MSNBC – 7/24/09) WASHINGTON – President Obama is leaning hard on the nation’s schools, using the promise of more than $4 billion in federal aid — and the threat of withholding it — to strong-arm the education establishment to accept more charter schools and performance pay for teachers.
The pressure campaign has been underway for months as Education Secretary Arne Duncan travels the country delivering a blunt message to state officials who have resisted change for decades: Embrace reform or risk being shut out.
“What we’re saying here is, if you can’t decide to change these practices, we’re not going to use precious dollars that we want to see creating better results; we’re not going to send those dollars there,” Obama said in an Oval Office interview Wednesday. “And we’re counting on the fact that, ultimately, this is an incentive, this is a challenge for people who do want to change.”
On Friday, Obama will officially announce the “Race to the Top,” a competition for $4.35 billion in grants. He wants states to use funds to ease limits on charter schools, tie teacher pay to student achievement and move for the first time toward common academic standards. It is part of a broader effort to improve school achievement with a $100 billion increase in education funding, more money for community colleges and an increase in Pell Grants for college students.
Duncan has used the Race to the Top fund, created through the economic stimulus law, as leverage to drive the president’s education agenda in Rhode Island, Tennessee, Colorado and elsewhere. Never has an education secretary been given so much money by Congress with such open-ended authority, according to current and former federal education officials. Margaret Spellings, Duncan’s predecessor under George W. Bush, had a tiny fraction of that amount at her disposal.
Obama says stagnating student achievement is part of a “slow-rolling crisis” and represents a threat to the country’s economic future. Stark achievement gaps remain for minority and low-income students. In some big cities, fewer than half of high school students graduate on time. The United States trails international competitors in math and science.
In trying to reverse those trends, he faces the same decentralized educational system and resistance to change that hampered Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, which required annual testing to hold schools accountable for closing achievement gaps. Like his predecessor, Obama is using the federal treasury to power through the obstacles.
Unlike Bush, Obama must try to carefully bring along the teachers unions, a key Democratic constituency that so far has praised the president’s goals but remains wary of the threat to members’ paychecks and the promise of tenure.
“There are going to be elements within the teachers union where they’re just resistant to change, because people inherently are resistant to change,” Obama said during the 20-minute interview. “Teachers aren’t any different from any politicians or corporate CEOs. There are going to be certain habits that have been built up that they don’t want to change.”
Already, some legislatures, eager for a share of the massive federal money pot, have begun clearing the way for more charter schools and taking other steps to show they are pro-reform.
The effort has helped Obama enlarge the federal role in an arena dominated by state and local governments, but there is deep skepticism about his approach. Congressional Republicans say the initiative, coupled with another $650 million for school reform under Duncan’s control, is wasteful.
“We just took a big old checkbook with a $5 billion total behind it and handed it to the secretary and said, ‘Write a whole bunch of checks,’ ” said Rep. John Kline (Minn.), the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee. “I’m uncomfortable that we’re doing that.”
Obama says the money will be distributed to states that can demonstrate results backed by data that show student scores and teacher performance are improving.
“It’s not based on politics, it’s not based on who’s got more clout, it’s not based on what certain constituency groups are looking for, but it’s based on what works,” he said. “Now, what we’re also doing, though, is we’re saying this is voluntary. If there are states that just don’t want to go in this direction, that’s their prerogative.”
Leaders of the two largest teachers unions praise Obama’s intentions to lift standards, raise teacher quality and turn around low-performing schools. But they acknowledge concerns about specifics.
“We’re absolutely in sync with where they’re going,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. Van Roekel said performance pay, charter schools and links between student and teacher data raise difficult issues for his union. On the data issue, Van Roekel said he told Duncan: “This is going to be a tough one for us.”
“The devil really is in the details,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said. Many teachers fear they will be fired if they are judged unfairly on student test scores, Weingarten said. “You want to be respectful of an administration that believes in public education. And on the issues where you have differences, you try to work those out.”
For Duncan, the stimulus law has provided an opportunity to steer billions of dollars to school reform on his own terms. Duncan has broad control over the Race to the Top fund and the $650 million to spur innovation through local school systems and nonprofit groups.
Since the law’s enactment in February, states have inundated the department with queries about how to share in the bonanza. Duncan has dispensed plenty of tips: Lift restrictions on the growth of charter schools; build data systems that show individual student progress under specific teachers and principals; seek out new ways to turn around perennially struggling schools; and sign on to efforts to develop common academic standards that are tough enough to withstand international scrutiny.
Today, the department will formally unveil its criteria for the competition. Applications will be accepted starting late this year for states that want to be first in line, or next spring, for those needing more time. (The District is also eligible.) Money will be awarded in two waves next year. Up to $350 million from the fund will be carved out to support a recently announced effort by 46 states to develop common academic standards.
But even before applications begin, Duncan has scored several policy victories around the country by making carefully worded statements designed to send signals to lawmakers and school officials.
As the Rhode Island legislature debated $1.5 million in spending for two charter schools, Duncan said June 22 at a charter school conference in Washington: “We are fighting this on a state-by-state battle, that’s the battleground. And places like Rhode Island that are thinking of underfunding charters are obviously going to put themselves at a huge competitive disadvantage going forward. So we don’t think that’s a smart thing for them to do, and we’re going to make that very, very clear.”
The money was restored.
In similar ways, Duncan has stepped into legislative debates in Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Massachusetts to advance or defend charter schools, though he points out that he wants to shut failing charter schools as much as he wants to open new ones.
In Tennessee, a law was enacted in June to expand the pool of students eligible to attend charter schools. Tennessee Education Commissioner Tim Webb said Duncan’s advocacy helped move the bill through a divided legislature. Without the intervention, Webb said, “I don’t think it would have passed.”
Maneuvering for advantage
Some are wary of the long arm from Washington. A Tennessee newspaper editorial railed against an “inappropriate threat” from federal officials. California officials are pushing back against suggestions that a state law on teacher evaluations could disqualify them from receiving funds.
“Don’t count California out,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said in a telephone interview. “We plan on vigorously attempting to secure this funding.”
Other states are maneuvering for advantage, too. The Colorado legislature passed three laws this year aimed at aligning state and federal goals on turning around low-performing schools, linking teacher and student data and helping students at risk of dropping out, according to Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien (D). One of the state laws “lifted language” verbatim from a federal education document, she said.
“I have read every speech that Arne Duncan and President Obama have given on education like a literary critic,” she said. O’Brien has noted it all on a spreadsheet, and she is aggressively reviewing policies and developing coalitions to maximize the state’s chances.
“We all know Colorado needs this money,” she said. “Nobody wanted to be the group that threw up the roadblock that would kick us out of the competition.”
(The Guardian – 7/19/09) White paper shows government plans major rise in investment in research, as report calls for moratorium and questions approach
Britain is planning to quietly spend up to £100m on support for genetically modified crops for the world’s poor despite not having allowed any of the controversial foods to be grown commercially at home.
A new white paper shows the government is committed to dramatically increasing spending on high-tech agriculture in the next five years, much of which will be on GM crop research. Biofortified crops, containing added vitamins, will receive £80m of development money, £60m will go on researching drought-resistant maize for Africa and a further £24m will be spent on pest resistance. In addition, support for an international network of GM crop research stations, in collaboration with GM companies, will be doubled. A further tranche of UK aid will go to a research initiative backed by the GM crop firm Syngenta, which is developing a strain of rice modified to increase vitamin A.
The white paper avoids the terms “genetically modified”. But scientists and development experts are clear that much of the money will be spent on GM. The government has in the past revealed its strong support of high-tech food for Africa as a way to reduce poverty and also gain acceptance for GM foods in Britain.
Last year the then science minister, Ian Pearson, said: “If GM can demonstrably provide benefits for sub-Saharan Africa … the public will want to support [it].”
However, the decision to increase aid spending on GM food for developing countries rather than to direct money to help farmers increase yields by conventional methods has dismayed environmentalists. In a paper to be published tomorrow, GM Freeze, set up by Friends of the Earth and others, calls for a moratorium on GM, arguing that Britain’s investment is sending African farming “down a blind alley”.
(AP – 7/25/09) RICHLAND, Wash. — The federal government is trying to find a location to store the nation’s excess mercury deposits, with seven states being considered. But the government is quickly finding out that very few people want the stuff.
A Colorado woman who showed up at a public forum on the issue last week had this to say about the plan: “No, no, no, no, no. No mercury.” The Idaho governor was equally emphatic in his opposition, saying “not gonna happen.” The Kansas City Council already passed a resolution against the plan.
Even people in this city, where locals embrace the atomic legacy of the neighboring Hanford nuclear reservation, are a little skittish.
“I don’t like it,” waitress Amanda Wyrick said as she poured a Half-Life Hefeweizen for a customer at Atomic Ale Brewpub and Eatery. “I would rather it not be close to me.”
The United States still exports surplus elemental mercury, the purest form, often to developing countries with less restrictive environmental regulations. Then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama sponsored a bill last year to bar mercury exports beginning in 2013, and President Bush signed it.
The bill also requires the Department of Energy to identify a safe, long-term storage site for up to 17,000 tons of mercury, which is so dense that it would fill less than half of an Olympic-size swimming pool. That includes stockpiles held by the federal government, as well as commercial supplies.
Officials are considering sites in seven states: Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Missouri and South Carolina. Six already operate as federal defense or nuclear sites, but residents are swiftly voicing opposition because mercury is such a toxic substance.
Sometimes called “quicksilver,” mercury is a dense, metallic element that occurs naturally in the environment and has been used in gold mining, manufacturing chlorine and caustic soda, batteries, thermometers and other uses. Its use has been in decline in this country since it was linked to health issues, including pulmonary and neural disorders.
In Colorado, the Energy Department is considering a site near Grand Junction where uranium tailings are stored. Residents fear mercury could contaminate tributaries that flow into the Colorado River, a water source for millions of people in the West.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter came out against the plan Thursday, saying he will convey his opposition about the proposal to the Department of Energy.
“Colorado’s Western Slope is no place for the federal government to deposit thousands of tons of mercury. The risks to ground and surface water are too great. The risks to our air quality are too great. The risks of transporting elemental mercury over long distances and on routes that run adjacent to or cross major water sources, such as the Colorado River, are too great,” Ritter said.
Nevada officials expressed “grave concerns” about storing the waste at the Hawthorne Army Depot, a 150,000-acre depot in a small, struggling desert town 130 miles south of Reno.
Allen Biaggi, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said the state has already done its share for the federal government, as home to the Nevada Test Site, a test range, U.S. Naval and Air Force bases and the depot.
“It’s time for another state to step up,” he said.
The federal government wants to work cooperatively with states to find a safe site, said Frank Marcinowski, the Energy Department’s deputy assistant secretary for regulatory compliance.
A draft environmental impact statement is expected to be released for public comment in the fall.
“We are ordered to come up with a site,” Marcinowski said. “We see this as an opportunity to help reduce the export and transportation of mercury.”
Officials in Texas, the only site where a private, commercial landfill expressed interest in storing the waste, have taken no position on the proposal. Waste Control Specialists, based in Dallas, already stores PCBs and radioactive waste at its landfill near Andrews in West Texas.
The company has permits to receive mercury at the site, as long as they don’t exceed their capacity, said Andrea Morrow, spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter told a radio station that mercury storage there is “not gonna happen” and expressed dismay that he hadn’t been notified Idaho National Laboratory was even being considered. Officials in South Carolina say waste at the Savannah River site from the production of atomic weapons during World War II and the Cold War should be dealt with before more is added.
The Bannister Federal Complex near Kansas City is also being considered, but the Kansas City Council unanimously approved a resolution this month protesting the plan.
Some Hanford-area residents say mercury won’t add much to the extensive contamination already at the site, which produced plutonium for the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in World War II. Others believe it’s a bad idea.
Five years ago, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that barred the federal government from bringing any more nuclear waste to Hanford until the existing waste is cleaned up. A federal appeals court ruled it was unconstitutional.
The voters’ sentiment remains, even if the issue isn’t black and white for Washington officials, said Jay Manning, director of the state Department of Ecology.
“We have plenty to clean up at Hanford and adding some new waste stream is something to be cautious of,” Manning said, though he added that the state supports efforts to create a mercury repository. “But it’s too early to categorically say, ‘No.’ We want to engage in discussion and we want a rigorous and thorough environmental evaluation.”
Associated Press writers Steven K. Paulson in Grand Junction, Colo., and Martin Griffith in Reno, Nev. contributed to this report.
Gun Control – Get the Facts
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana (Philosopher, Poet)
We must remember these wise words and actively look for the history that is not in mainstream books or school and university books. I used to be against having guns in the house. I was ignorant and raised that guns were bad and together with the media attack on second amendment rights, it was a disaster.
Once I actively sought out the REAL history that is not normally shown to us, I have done a 180. So now I sit here imparting the same information that helped me open my eyes, trying to WAKE YOU UP!
Gun Control Currently In America
Most people do not believe that brutal totalitarianism seen in other countries cannot happen here in the U.S., I beg to differ. More gun laws are being passed every day starting with gun registration, which was the first step many other totalitarian rulers did in the past.
If you are not familiar with what totalitarianism is here is a brief description:
“Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.
Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of state terrorism.” – Sound Familiar?? BTW the fake two-party system we have is like one since both are controlled.
Future Obama Chosen Supreme Court Judge Sotomayor and 2nd Amendment Rights
Gun Control In History
Through history time and time again ruthless dictators enforced strict gun control laws right before mass exterminations and genocide. The following videos made by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms (jpfo.org) tell the stories you probably have not seen or heard. Please watch all the videos very informative.
Fema National Level Exercises
Coming to a state near you. Fema will be training on scenarios similair to Hurricane Katrina or maybe a Swine Flu Pandemic??? hmmm: http://www.federaljack.com/2009/06/16/fema-national-level-martial-law-exercises-7-27-09/