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December 2014

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22 Dec 14: Larry Henley recently passed away. You have no idea who he was, do you? Remember that '60's hit "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats? Larry was the falsetto singer. Later he penned "Wind Beneath My Wings", first recorded by Roger Whittaker and made famous by Bette Midler. He wrote the song originally as poem dedicated to one of his several ex-wives.

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21 Dec 14: I hope Rev Al Sharpton is happpy this morning. As far as I'm concerned, the blood of those two policemen assassinated in New York City yesterday is on his hands.

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3 Dec 14: Big Brother: I’m really having a tough time coming to grips with the police state that the United States has become. There’s the issue of NSA surveillance, supposedly justified as part of the War of Terror; however, it doesn’t seem to be of much help in that regard, as evidenced by the Boston Marathon bombing. Then there’s the neat little tactic that local police are using to swell their coffers called forfeiture. Originally intended as a means to fight drug traffickers, it is now being used against ordinary, law-abiding citizens to confiscate money and property with absolutely no due process. I don’t like being told by the government what I can eat, what health insurance I must buy. We have a president, a supposed constitutional lawyer, who has absolutely no regard for our US Constitution.

 Today I learned about the massive invasion of privacy by both the US Department of Labor and Department of Education. The Labor Department has been building a database containing information on every US citizen under 26, including names, grades, information of behavior and personality traits and even fingerprints. All this is done with no consent from parents nor informing them. How dare the government take the fingerprints of my children without my consent? When states signed on to Common Core standards they agreed to become part of this data mining.

 Ever hear of the totally inappropriately-named Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act? It supposedly provides protection against misuse of educational information, but a few years ago the Education Department changed the regulation so that it now allows children’s personally identifiable information to be shared with outside third party vendors. States are collecting this data and placing it on a data system that is shared with the federal government.

As for double-speak: The Common Core website asserts that "There are no data collection requirements of state adopting the Common Core State Standards. But Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says otherwise: "We want to see more states build comprehensive systems that track students from pre-K through college and then link school data to workforce data."

Is this the government that Americans want?

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