Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Obama's Virtual War on Israel



By Alan Caruba

This is hardly the best week to demonstrate his intense hatred of Israel, but since he has devoted 18 months to a fruitless and foolish negotiation with Iran, one can understand why Barack Hussein Obama is in a bad mood. His foreign policy “legacy” is close to being flushed down the Iranian toilet.

On  March 31, the Defense of Democracies’ Iran Press Review quoted the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, who said, “All should know that we will not allow the inspection of the country’s military and defense industries.” Or, as they say in Farsi, “No deal.”

This week began with Palm Sunday celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and proceeds to Good Friday which, at sundown, coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover and Christianity’s “last supper.” It concludes with Easter; holy days that occurred in the holy land that was Israel then and now.

Jesus was a Jew preaching primarily to Jews, whose disciples were Jews, and doing so entirely in Israel, the homeland of Jews for more than a thousand years at that time. The ancestors of Arabs in those days would have been regarded as Assyrians or Egyptians. The people called “Palestinians” did not exist until designated as such by Yassir Arafat in the 1960s.

So why is Obama leading a virtual war on Israel by declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear defenses and a purported effort to get the United Nations to declare “Palestine” a separate state?

At what point will it be understood that the United Nations has no power to create states or to grant formal “recognition” to state aspirants and that the Palestinian Authority and/or Hamas does not meet even the most basic characteristics of a state, lacking for example either a capitol or a currency.

As spelled out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, “Palestine” would have to have a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. By contrast, the current president of the Palestinian Authority is now into his eleventh year of a term that, by their own law, is limited to four.

Not only have the “Palestinians” refused statehood and a two-state relationship since the founding of Israel, but they have participated in large wars and small against Israel, beginning with one in 1948 when Israel declared its statehood. Despite 1949 Armistice Agreements, reprisal operations continued through to the 1960s from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The Six-Day war occurred in June 1967 and the Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973.

Focusing on the “Palestinians”, the First Intifada, an uprising against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza occurred from 1987 to 1993. It was followed by a Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005.  Responding to escalating rocket fire, there was a three-week Gaza War from December 2008 to January 2009 and in 2014, the Israelis had to respond to weeks of rockets again.

Obama has turned to the United Nations knowing that it took the UN seventy years to even acknowledge the January 28-28 anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz Birkenau, the Nazi death camp in which millions of Jews perished. The UN has studiously avoided the subject of anti-Semitism because that would only call attention to the fact that it has been the global platform for anti-Semitism since its founding in 1945.

A perfect example has been its Human Rights Council that has always included nations famed for their own lack of human rights. When it began its March 2nd session since electing 14 new members last fall, it included Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China and Russia. By the end of March, the Human Rights Council had declared Israel the world’s leading woman’s rights violator and followed up with a general condemnation, adopting four resolutions condemning Israel, four times more than any other of the 192 members of the UN. 

This is the same UN that in 2014 elected Iran to its woman’s rights commission, that selected genocidal Sudan and other slave-holding nations to its Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to oversee human rights activists, and whose UNRWA handed rockets found in Gaza schools back to Hamas. By acclamation, a senior post on the US Special Committee on Decolonization was given to the murderous regime of Syria. 

The question of whether Israel is guilty of war crimes was raised in the UN when, after weeks of rocketing from Gaza, it defended itself with an air and land war. It followed the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014. Operation Protective Edge began on July 8 and lasted seven weeks. In the course of it, they discovered over thirty tunnels whose purpose was to provide access to Israel for attacks on its citizens. Apparently self-defense is not a privilege the UN wants to extend to Israel.

In last Saturday's issue of The New York Times, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, founder of the World Values Network, took out a full page advertisement comparing the deal to empower Iran to make its own nuclear weapons to the 1933 Munich Agreement by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Adolf Hitler that led to World War II. In the Jerusalem Great Synagogue on the same day, the American-born Chief Rabbi said, “The President of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews.”

No doubt this will be on the minds of Jews, less than 2% of the world’s population, when they sit down to celebrate Passover, remembering their enslavement in Egypt and the exodus that led them to freedom. Jesus celebrated Passover and the Kingdom of God. He would pay for it when the Romans put him to death shortly thereafter.

It is futile to think that Obama will cease from his assaults on Israel in the remaining 22 months of his second and final term in office. Those who know the history cited above must join hands to resist this latest enemy of Israel, this disgrace to America who is already widely regarded as the worst, most lawless President ever elected to that office.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Don't be an April 'Earth Month' Fool


By Alan Caruba

The annual calendar is filled with days and months designated for the purpose of calling attention to some event, personality, or cause. The U.S. celebrates the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington that fall close together. There’s Mother’s and Father’s Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, Valentine’s, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas.

But who decided that April was “Earth Month” or that April 22 is “Earth Day”? 

Why are we expected to worship the planet that was here billions of years before we showed up and will likely be here long after we manage to destroy ourselves with cataclysmic wars. And it is worship that is at the heart of these two events. That alone should tell you how essentially pagan they are.

This Earth Month will celebrate its 45th anniversary, having begun in 1970 and, not surprisingly, its theme is “Our planet in peril.” Our planet is not in peril. It’s been around for 4.5 billion years and short of a rogue asteroid or our getting sucked into a black hole, the planet will be around several billions of years more. The galaxy in which we live is relatively predictable and stable, so the notion that the Earth is in peril borders on idiocy.

Well, idiocy, if you think that it is in peril from us, the human species. This is at the core of the environmental mindset. It appears that merely using the Earth as a place to live is reason enough to hold us responsible for everything that naturally occurs to it.

Environmentalists do not like the human race and will not hesitate to tell you there are too many of us. They do what they can to reduce the population through disease by, for example, banning DDT and any other chemicals that protect us from insect and rodent pests that are major vectors for the transmission of disease.

According to the 2015 Earth Month Network, Inc. announcement “There are literally hundreds of problems and issues plaguing our global environment, i.e., climate change, global warming and their effects; and the continuation of polluting our delicate ecosystem just to mention a few.”

Which is it? Climate change or global warming? There hasn’t been any dramatic global warming in the past 19 years during which the planet has been in a natural cooling cycle, along with the Sun which we depend upon to warm us. So anyone claiming the Earth is warming is blowing smoke up your skirt.

As for climate change, that has always been occurring. Short term it’s called the four seasons. Long term it takes the form of ice ages, major glaciations that have occurred every 140 million years, and other eras such as the Great Permian Extinction, the largest in Earth’s history that wiped out an estimated 95% of every kind of life-form on Earth. It was one of four mass extinctions over the course of the 3.5 billion years that life has existed on Earth. Remember the mammoths? They died a mere 11,500 years ago.

Last year, the Earth Month theme was “Returning to Nature.” Do you really want to return to nature? No electricity. No shelter other than a nice cave. No food except for the animals or fish you would have to catch for dinner. No vegetables or fruits except those you could find wherever you lived. That’s right, no supermarkets! And, if you want to go anywhere, you will have to walk.
 
Yes, nature sounds wonderful and, in its own way, is wonderful, but the human species has devoted a great deal of time to finding ways to survive it.

I was reminded that April was Earth Month when I received an email from the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa which said this Connecticut site was “excited to offer a special package to honor Earth Day.” It is “a Certified Green Hotel” and you will be treated to a “unique Ecotourism Getaway” that provides an “environmentally friendly stay without sacrificing comfort.” Why would you want to pay them for their special package if it didn’t include comfort and lots of it? Mostly what Saybrook Point wants is your money, just like any other perfectly ordinary inn and spa that isn’t “certified.”

One can be confident that we are going to be regaled with all manner of “environmental” messages and events throughout April, all of which have the same theme: the Earth is in danger from YOU!

Do yourself a favor. Ignore them. Get in your car and go where you want. Go to the supermarket and don’t worry about the plastic packaging or the plastic bags. Set the temperature in your home or apartment to a level of comfort that you like. It’s your life and you pay good money to benefit from all the conveniences of modern life.

Let’s appreciate the Earth, not worship it.

Environmentalism is one of the great scams of the modern era. Its emphasis on “renewable energy” has been a huge, expensive failure. Its claims of disappearing forests are bogus and its demands for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will only harm all vegetation everywhere. The Earth needs CO2 in the same way you and all other living creatures need oxygen.

Let’s celebrate mankind’s mastery of the Earth in the form of agriculture, ranching, sophisticated shelters from the log cabin to the skyscraper, the channeling of rivers to produce energy and the technology that provides clean water for us. And, yes, manufacturing. You can’t even imagine what the world was like before the discovery of coal, oil, and natural gas.

The Earth is not in peril, only the truth and common sense are.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Diet, Gain Weight, Diet, Gain Weight


By Alan Caruba

My Mother taught gourmet cooking, haute cuisine, for three decades in the local adult schools, first just to women and later with courses just for men as they too wanted to learn how to make succulent dishes, delicious sauces, and to bake as well. She also wrote a cookbook, “Cooking with Wine and High Spirits”, as well as one filled with dishes that the colonial Americans enjoyed.

Meanwhile, at home, my Father and I dined daily like royalty and neither of us got fat. Why? Because eating well means listening to your body when it is hungry and not eating when it’s not. What we are never told amidst the hourly deluge of print and broadcast advertising and reports is that we are each quite individual in terms of inherited genetic traits and that our bodies have different needs as we age,

Instead we are told over and over again that we must be “thin” and that our bodies are not what the culture says is “beautiful.” Try watching television for an hour without getting this message. It starts early and, currently, the First Lady is dictating what school children should or should not eat. It’s none of her business, but it is most certainly big business when you calculate the billions earned by physicians giving nutrition advice, pharmaceutical companies, diet companies offering pre-prepared dinners, others saying their foods are healthier,  and all  the others that have climbed on the multi-billion dollar gravy train.

An excellent book by Harriet Brown, “Body of Truth”, ($25.99, Da Capo Press) should be must-reading for everyone who has spent their life obsessing about every bite of food they eat. Based on extensive research, over twenty pages of notes citing her sources, she says what virtually any physician, nutritionist, or diet-peddler already knows. “Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that dieting makes people neither thinner, nor healthier. Quite the opposite, actually nearly everyone who diets winds up heavier in the long run, and many people’s health suffers rather than improves, especially over time.”

“Each of us thinks our obsession with weight and body image is ours alone,” says Brown. “We blame ourselves for not being thin enough, sexy enough, shaped just the right way. We believe we’re supposed to fit the standards of the day” and it starts very early in life; by as early as three to five years old.

This is not a personal issue,” says Brown. “This is not about your weakness or my laziness or her lack of self-discipline. This obsession is bigger than all of us. It’s become epidemic, endemic, and pandemic.”

“Weight-loss treatments are cash cows,” says Brown, “in part because they don’t work; there’s always a built-in base of repeat customers.”

In page after page Brown cites facts that too often do not make it into the pages of the newspapers and magazines we read, or on the radio and television we listen to and watch. For example, “The average American is in fact heavier (by about twenty pounds) and taller (by about an inch) than we were in 1960. And dire predictions notwithstanding, the rates of overweight and obesity leveled off around 2000. We’re not actually getting heavier and heavier; our collective weight has pretty much plateaued.”

Moreover, all those psychotropic medications we’re being prescribed to treat anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, psychoses, and other mental health conditions “are known to cause weight gain, especially when taken over a period of time.”

We are constantly told that being overweight or even obese takes years off one’s life, but Brown’s research found that neither condition increased a person’s risk of dying prematurely and being mildly obese increases it only slightly. As you might already suspect, it is the lack of physical activity that poses a great health risk.

Brown cites studies that found that being physically unfit was as much or more of a risk factor for heart disease and death as diabetes, obesity, and other weight-based risk factors. Researchers argue that “it’s better to be fit and fat than unfit and thin.

If any of this hits home with you, if you find yourself criticizing a child for their size and weight, looking in the mirror and being displeased with your own, obsessing over everything you eat or serve, then Brown’s words should be embraced when she says “We’d do better for ourselves and our children if, instead of pushing diets and surgeries and medications, we look at real-world strategies for eating more fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep, dancing, playing sports, and other joyful physical activities.”

“Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should.” 

“Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat something because you are happy, sad, or bored, or just because it feels good.”

Listen to what your body is telling you. The message has been passed down from generation to generation of your ancestors through your genetic code. Eat what you want. Stop dieting. Stay active and fit.

There’s countless, endless messages about your weight and how your body looks. When you decide to feel good about yourself, you will be free to ignore them.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

But What Does the Supreme Leader Say?

Iran's Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali-Khamenei

By Alan Caruba

What Americans have a hard time understanding is that, for all the Iranian negotiators, the outcome of the nuclear arms deal that the United States is leading all comes down to just one man, Sayyed Ali-Khamenei, otherwise known as the Supreme Leader of Iran.

In the 21st century, it is hard to comprehend that a nation could be ruled by a man whose powers supersede that nation’s president, its civil government, its judiciary and its military. Iran has had only one other Supreme Leader since its founding in 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini who held the position until his death in 1989. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah in order to secure greater freedom, but the Iranians ended up more servile than before.

This is who Obama and P5+1 team (France, Great Britain, Russia, China, plus Germany) is negotiating with as they move toward the March 31 deadline for the talks. Khamenei has already said that the only thing he wants is the immediately lifting of the economic sanctions that are credited with bringing the Iranians to the negotiation table.

The negotiations have to be seen in the context of Iran’s daily cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”  They have to be seen in the context of a history of Iranian aggression against America and Israel that has included the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, attacks on U.S. embassies and countless other examples of their bad intentions, not the least of which has been its sponsorship of two anti-Israel groups, Hezbollah in Lebanon and, to a lessor extent, Hamas in Gaza.

Any nuclear deal that permits Iran to continue to enrich enough uranium to make its own nuclear weapons is a very bad deal. Netanyahu came to the U.S. at the invitation of Congress to make that point as the leader of the nation the Supreme Leader intends to destroy. We would be next.

All this is just slightly insane when one considers that President Obama has been obsessed with reaching an agreement with Iran before and since he took office in 2009. He has done everything possible to demonstrate his desire to remove the obstacles to conferring approval on Iran. In the process, he has made us look and be weak.

It is hopeful news, therefore, as reported in The Hill that “Congress is growing hostile to the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, leaving President Obama with little political cover as he approaches a critical deadline in the talks. Should a deal be reached, it would transform U.S. and Iranian relations and potentially give Obama the most important foreign policy achievement of his second term.”

His most significant foreign policy failure, however, has been his betrayal of Israel, the only ally in the Mideast that the U.S. truly has had. Declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear arms was pure treachery. That said, it was no secret and no doubt has protected Israel against apocalyptic destruction.

Consider the Middle Eastern foreign policy failures Obama has had to date. The Saudis and other Gulf States have abandoned hope that Obama would resist the Iranian proxies taking over Yemen. They are pursuing their own military operation there. Egypt which replaced the Muslim Brotherhood with a U.S.-friendly president has not seen any renewal of the former friendly relations that existed. Iraq is in turmoil thanks to Obama’s removal of U.S. troops in 2011 and even has Iranian military units fighting ISIS. Syria has been in a civil war that has killed thousands. It’s a long list but it comes down to Obama’s ending of the U.S. role in the Mideast.

Just as the Iranians are controlled by their Supreme Leader, we have a President who sees himself and his role in a similar way. He has demonstrated his dissatisfaction with the Constitution and the limits it puts on the Executive branch. He has ignored Congress and has been experiencing reversals of policy by the judicial branch. In the case of the Iran negotiations Congress has been kept in the dark along with the rest of the American people.

 
The Secretary of State, John Kerry, has declared that any outcome of the negotiations would legally non-binding. If so, why are they being pursued? Such negotiations at the treaty level have always required the consent of the Senate, but the Obama regime is seeking to by-pass that mandatory factor.

On the other side of the table, it has been reported that the main stumbling block to agreement has been Iran’s failure to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past. If United Nations inspectors, in the future as in the past, are unable to verify that Iran is not continuing its nuclear weapons program, there is no way an agreement of any kind could be achieved.

On March 26, the Washington Examiner reported “The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.”

You can be very sure that the Supreme Leader is watching this closely. If he can continue to get the kind of negotiations—an accord—that will result in Iran becoming a sanctions-free, nuclear-armed nation, he will permit the deal to proceed.

The Iranians, as always, will cheat on any deal to achieve this goal. Sadly, everyone at the table knows that, but Russia and China have strong economic reasons to pretend otherwise.

If the Supreme Leader gets what he wants the prospect for war in the Middle East would increase immeasurably. The threat level to the U.S. and Israel would be off the charts.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Terrifying the Republican Establishment

Ted Cruz announces candidacy

By Alan Caruba

Would you vote for a man who openly says he would repeal ObamaCare?

Would you vote for a man who openly says he favors a fair tax and wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service?

Would you vote for a man who opposes Obama’s efforts to offer illegal aliens amnesty and promises to secure the borders?

Would you vote for a man who decries a federal government “that wages an assault on our religious liberty”?

Would you vote for a man who wants a federal government that “works to defend the sanctity of human life” and would “uphold the sacrament of marriage”?

Would you vote for a man who defends our Second Amendment rights and condemns the effort ban ammunition?

Would you vote for a man who condemns a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculums and wants to repeal “every word of Common Core”?

Would you vote for a man who would stand “unapologetically with the nation of Israel”?

Would you vote for a man who has pledged that he would do everything he could to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon?

Would you vote for a man who openly says he would do everything he could to defeat radical Islamic terrorism?

I said I would on May 6, 2013 when he was beginning to get attention. Columnist George Will said he was “as good as it gets” when it comes to being a true conservative in Congress.

I am of course speaking of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who has announced his candidacy to be the presidential candidate of the Republican Party. 

I suspect that his announcement probably terrifies the Republican “Establishment” who have managed to serve up some good men, but poor candidates, to be President. When Republican voters stayed home, we got Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Now they want to get the Party faithful to vote for Jeb Bush, but from my vantage point, the real base is ready to vote for anybody else, Sen. Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Walker, and Sen. Rubio come to mind.

First of all, there is no Tea Party in the sense of a political party with its own candidates. What there is are Republicans who believe in the U.S. Constitution, small government, fiscal prudence, strong national security, and all those other values outlined in Ted Cruz’s speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

As Cruz said in an email about his announcement “Washington, D.C. has become completely disconnected from the values of real Americans. That’s why we are now more than $18 trillion in debt, why wages have stagnated, and why our foreign policy is an absolute mess.” That pretty much sums up what Obama has delivered.

Does it surprise anyone that Cruz’s candidacy was instantly attacked, not just by Democrats, but by a number of leading Republicans? Rep. Peter King, appearing on CNN’s “Situation Room” with host Wolf Blitzer, said, he’d “jump off that bridge” when he got to it if Cruz becomes the GOP candidate. He also accused Cruz and Rand Paul of being “counterfeit conservatives.”  Nonsense!

The March 24 Wall Street Journal had a lengthy editorial devoted to “The Cruz Candidacy” noting that on most issues with the exception of immigration they found themselves in agreement with him and offered an upbeat view that “The good news for GOP voters is that their field of candidates in 2016 is going to be deep, offering many varieties of conservative leadership” but ending with reservations about “his polarizing style” which was another way of saying he is not a wishy-washy centrist.

We will hear more such accusations and criticisms and, as often as not, they will come from the GOP Establishment.
 
The GOP Establishment regards real conservatives as unable to secure election, preferring RINOs, Republicans in Name Only, and candidates who move as close to the center politically as possible. It seems to have escaped their notice that the Republicans elected in the last two midterm elections were sent to Washington, D.C. by Tea Party and other serious conservative voters.

It has been a long time since a real conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan, was elected President, but it can happen again as serious voters, particularly those who are independents, join with those who find Sen. Cruz a refreshing voice, Will he get the nomination? We are a very long way from the 2016 election, but at least we know it won’t be a boring one!

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Death Throes of Common Core


By Alan Caruba

Americans are learning the hard way that the federal government should not be permitted to impose one-size-fits-all standards to education. It was never intended to play a role in education and the absence of any mention in the Constitution is proof enough that education was intended to be supervised by the states where the school districts, schools, and parents are closest to the process.

Common Core is going to play a large role in the 2016 elections and that is likely to impact former Governor Jeb Bush the most. At the heart of the unhappiness with Common Core has been its emphasis on testing.

A March 20th Wall Street Journal article, “Bush Faces Test of Exam Policy”, reported that “A Rasmussen Reports nationwide survey in February found that 52% of respondents thought there was too much emphasis on testing in schools and 69% believed there was too much ‘teaching to the test.’”

The transformation of the nation’s educational system began when the Department of Education was signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1979 and began operating in 1980. It continued with the passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the name given to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It requires all public schools receiving Title 1 federal funding to annually administer a state-wide standardized test to all students. NCLB was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA) and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH).

President George W. Bush was a leading NCLB advocate and signed it into law on January 8, 2002. Each state was expected to develop its own standards because NCLB did not impose a national one. This year when its reauthorization came up for consideration, it was pulled from the House floor in February. The Heritage Foundation deems it “outdated, ineffective, and prioritizes government standards over the needs of individual students.”

According to Neal McCluskey, Associate Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, “There is no compelling evidence that No Child Left Behind, and federal intervention overall, has produced much good, while it is very clear it has cost substantial money and is unconstitutional.”

In Missouri, circuit court Judge Daniel R. Green, ruled in February that the state’s payment of more than $4 million in membership fees as part of a standardized testing consortium was illegal. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium “is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate” Article 1 and 10 of the federal Constitution. It dealt a blow to Common Core.

It’s not just Missouri. In January the Mississippi Board of Education voted to withdraw from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium which is one of the two tests aligned to Common Core. A full repeal of Common Core standards is under discussion.

By June 2014, two months before its implementation date, 19 states had either withdrawn from the tests or had paused implementation of the standards. Four of the 19, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana had completely exited the national standards. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia never adopted it.

Gov. Bush is beginning to put some distance between himself and Common Core. His spokeswoman, Kristi Campbell, said “There is such a thing as too much testing.” Reportedly “he says the federal government shouldn’t impose particular tests or curricula on states.” Meanwhile, in one state after another, Common Core is being rejected.

On the political front, the Heartland Institute’s monthly newsletter, School Reform News, reported in March that “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a front runner in the contest for the Republican nomination for president, made bold reforms of elementary, secondary, and college education a prominent part of his proposed 2015-17 budget.”

“The budget, presented on February 3, would remove the cap on the state’s school choice program, eliminate state funding for Smarter Balanced tests tied to Common Core State Standards, and cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin over two years in exchange for greater autonomy for the system.”

On Capitol Hill, four Republican senators including Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Roberts of Kansas have introduced a bill that would prevent the federal government from strong-arming states into adopting education standards such as Common Core and, presumably, NCLB. The bill is called learning Opportunities Created at the Local Level Act. As reported in the Daily Caller.com, it “would limit the federal government’s ability to control state educational standards and curriculums through financial incentives, grants, mandates, and other forms of influence.”

There’s no way to know when Common Core will die or whether No Child Left Behind will suffer a similar fate but the trend nationwide is obvious. Parents, teachers, schools and districts want to determine the best curricula for the children in their systems. They want the federal government out and that is a very good thing.

© Alan Caruba, 2015