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In a very horrifying case involving student data, parents of children who were forced to give private information to an outside private entity in order to comply with Common Core, now find, their data is up for sale,… to the highest bidder whomever that might be….
It appears that calm assurances of total privacy made by governors and Secretaries of Education, don’t stand up in bankruptcy court. There,… assets are assets, and must be sold. Student information, it appears is very valuable……
ConnectEDU filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, listing between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities against less than $10 million in assets, according to its petition. Last July, the company was awarded a grant worth nearly $500,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build an innovative technology platform that would empower students to master Common Core standards
Over 20 million student records are at stake. Although the bankrupt company ConnectEDU made assurances that its data would be destroyed in the event of a corporate takeover, it’s new owner does not agree… North Atlantic Capital, a Portland, Me.-based venture capital fund, is arguing that as in all bankruptcy sales, previous agreements are null and void…. The data is an asset and should now belong to the new owners…
The FTC is weighing in on the side of protecting the children… It is arguing that every parent receive a letter and that if the parent checks deleting the data, the new owners will delete the data…. The new owners don’t want to do this…. Just think of 20 million stamps being licked in Boston.
Here is where it stands…
The current law, which has been in effect since Alexander Hamilton, says the data now goes to the new owner who can do with it, whatever he wishes….
The FTC is trying to use moral tactics bullying the investors into doing the right thing…
It could go either way.
All I’m saying here…. is we told you so… Once the genie gets out of the box…. there is no putting her back….. Once your child’s data goes on to the internet, there is no getting it back.
(Red Clay and Wilmington Charter Schools paid $10,550 this year to ConnectEDU…. and $10,060 the previous year) Those children’s data is now up for sale.
We told you so….
As you all know, there are several Supreme Court decisions due this term regarding the ability of corporations or personal businesses to express their religiosity in defiance of the law of the land. One is Hobby Lobby which thinks it should not be required to practice something that is against their religion. The second is today’s “stay” on whether Catholic Organizations have to dispense something their religion completely disavows; birth control.
On one hand we will hear the drums of how religion is being imposed upon by the government. On the other hand we will hear how those employed by these employers, have the right to choice just as do their bosses….
Let us look at the first plank: how religion is being imposed upon by the government. As is been oft repeated, the Constitution as originally written said rather little about the right to religion. However, it IS in the Bill of Rights, which because they were a necessary addition added to get the Constitution garnering enough votes, one can loosely say, the original Constitution deals with religion…
And as is oft repeated with every controversy, the First Amendment states as follows: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This means that Congress cannot say: “This year’s official religion will be Pentecostal. All other religions are hereby abolished”. This may sound far fetched to us, but was a real factor in the daily lives of the colonists before the nation was forged. Quakers were ostracized by Episcopalians. Catholics were beset with punitive laws except in Maryland. If you needed to go before the state or county courthouse, you had to be of that area’s official religion, before you could get heard… True, dat.
The second part, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; is where the argument will be directed. Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor, both have similar arguments which are as follows.
“WE don’t believe sex should be had for enjoyment. Our religion is anti-sex. If we have to dispense or are required to pay for people to commit sex without the consequence of pregnancy or a viral AIDS infection, we are having our free exercise of religion being prohibited….”
More clearly put: our religion demands that we prohibit sex for enjoyment wherever it “pops” up. If you stop us from prohibiting enjoyable sex, you are interfering with our religion.
In the matter of text, they have a point. If their religion does indeed demand that they stop everyone from having enjoyable sex, then the government in stepping in to stop them from stopping some amazing sex, is depriving them of their religious rights. So we should conceive that they have a textual point….. Before the Obamacare, religion was not impinged. Now it is.
The next step is to see if that point is relevant with the norms of today’s society. As an extreme case, allowing a quirky religious sect to burn their babies alive because “it is called for by their religion” would be a case where the harm done to a citizen of the United States of America against their will, would outweigh in society’s eyes the harm being done to the religiosity of those practicing such a barbarity. Burning witches at a stake would suffice as an example as well.
There is obvious a gray area then where government must trample on religion and religion finds it must interfere with government.
We can use the extreme case above of burning witches. One could say that happened in Delaware in 2010. (lol. Our witch got burned bad.) Here we have a case where one religion (the witch burning one) interferes with the other religion (the witch one). When you have two opposite religions, the government has to look at other laws other than religion to determine policy. In this case, murder. Correct?
So the correct assessment is that since both religious issues cancel each other out, then the factor of murder by default becomes the deciding one. The witch-burning religion is in the wrong by existing laws on the books (murder) and therefore it must stop its practice. Was it’s bizarre form of religion impinged upon by government? Absolutely. And for good reason; it was murder.
So we now have precedence of government making necessary impositions upon any religious practices that harm society. Yet there is still no imposition upon ones beliefs. You can still “believe” that burning witches is your goal in life, but you just can’t carry it out. It hurts other people.
So the defense of the law by the government must not focus on the rights of these religious petitioners. but should solely focus on that harm which if allowed to go forward, that religion will impinge upon all those millions of people who are not in either sect, and who will suffer at the hands of any court decision favoring either sect’s quixotic religious preferences.
They have First Amendment rights too…. such as in having our Government abridging the freedom of speech…
The courts have long upheld that “expression” was the founding father’s meaning of “speech”. Porn doesn’t move it’s lips but is a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court. Just like that Pat Robertson of the 700 Club doesn’t move his lips, but is also considered a form of expression protected by the Supreme Court. Art is expression. Music is expression. Love is expression…
Likewise there are reasonable limits to the right to expression, again, determined by society’s norms. Going nude in a public school is not good. There are reasons that is against the law. Playing music too loud on Newark’s Main Street is not good. There are reasons that is against the law. Graffiti in the Bank of America building, not good. There are reasons that would be against the law.
So the argument made before the court will be two fold; what is harmful or non harmful to each side, and what society’s norms will dictate, whether one or another is extreme when compared to the norm of society….
Therefore this becomes a moral question, not one of logic. After all, both sides think logic is on their side. And I think all will boil down to something said by the last Pope, Pope Benedict….
He stated something along the lines, “that people have to eat; and to eat, they have to work.” If work is abundant, perhaps one can leave one employer and go to another which they prefer. But if work is scarce, they are bound to hang on to that job no matter what external factors line up to batter them. If there is one job in town, and the boss halves the wages, one has to accept it. If there is one job in town, and the boss demands sexual favors for one to keep it, one has to acquiesce because there is no other alternative.
So for every religious nun or Hobby Lobby business owner who wishes to buck the current law, there are those countless employees working for them who will get hurt if their employer gets any exception to the current law simply because their religion states “it” is against all enjoyable sex.
Those employees working for these bosses, can’t have enjoyable sex because of the religiosity of their employers…. ” I’m sorry Hon, but because I work for Hobby Lobby, we can’t do it for another 15 days… Just hold it inside, will you?”
Their expression, in the privacy of their home, is impinged… While yet…the religious owners expression in the privacy of THEIR homes, is not affected by one bit…
Since one side is negatively affected in private by the consequences of not having contraception reimbursed, and the other side is not, it seems imperative that a thoughtful, logical, non-judgmental court, would decide to protect those who are hurt, at the expense of those who are doing the hurting….
Remember: it is still the insurance companies who are paying for all these sexual items; not the employers themselves; there is no harm to the employers if this policy goes forward. They are not in anyway contributing any harm to themselves. Just like if they burned witches….
Those they are affecting, do get harmed…. Not being allowed to enjoy sex because of your luck at being hired by one employer over another, surely trumps whether that employer feels slightly “miffed” that he is required to insure his employees and that insurance will allow them to enjoy the wonders of sex without getting pregnant or getting viral AIDS.
AIDS kills, like being burned at the stake. Being allowed to stand around the fire going “tsk, tsk” should not become our nation’s definition of what “religion” is all about……
As with every year there are lost opportunities and lost grievences… Some things that have bothered us, disappear. Somethings that have bothered us, don’t….
This year was no different, and yet, it was very different…. If one asks oneself what was the greatest factor involving the entire year, then pulls back layer after layer until he gets the full perspective, I think he comes to a surprising conclusion….
This year, 2013 was the tipping point. We realized we are a third world nation when it comes to the proportion of wealth across our population…. Like global warming, this disparity was first proposed long ago. Like global warming it was argued by the power brokers that such a proposal was only a crackpot’s theory; it gradually gained momentum….
2013, brought that home…. In 2013, we had the party of the Teas, vote against giving New Jersey relief for Hurricane Sandy, and vote themselves relief when a little hail landed in their district…. In 2013, we had government shut itself down to stop Obamacare, then open itself without creating any change at all. In 2013, we had unemployment benefits cut, then reinstated, and now cut again… We had food stamps cut. We had a sequester go into effect to save $85 billion dollars….
We had the news media lead fake scandals… when the biggest scandal should be, how is Fox and CNN and CBS still able to call themselves news organizations? We had the IRS scandal… despite that they dealt evenhandedly with groups of both political persuasions. We had the Benghazi hearings… Much ado over absolutely nothing… For when it came down to why those four died, all fingers point to that very Congressional committee led by Republican Darrell Issa, which cut well over $100 million in funds that were specifically designated to secure advanced unsecured places of that type.
But when we had a real scandal, which was illuminated by Snowden, all the media shied away. Calling him a traitor for releasing the documents… As more came out, Americans began to really fully grasp the totalitarian phase our nation’s government was just on the threshold of achieving….
In 2013 we had civil right voting laws thrown out by the Supreme Court, and instantly all those dark ugly human traits those laws previously regulated, took over and sprang out into the open…
We had a rational push for gun control, that bumped into the irrational group against it. We did not win the first battle… WE did make considerable ground and showed the NRA was led by psychotic bloodthirsty killers, both nationally and locally….
And the unions… are all bought out… from the top down. Only those on the very bottom in our service industries, the Wal*marts, McDonalds, and retail outlets, who have nothing to lose, are bravely carrying the fight forward… They are on the right track…
Our sole problem in America is that out of every dollar that trades hands in our economy…. 50 cents of it gets sucked out by the top 1%…. The rest of America is economically playing with a half deck…50 cents on the dollar. No wonder job growth is slower than it should be?
If you invested, you love this year…. The year’s DJIA started at 13,000 and is now at 16,500…. 25% yield…. For every $100,000 you had in stocks… you just made $25,000….
We now realize this was at the expense of the QE 3. The Federal Government is lending the large brokerage houses all the money they wanted at zero interest, and instead of creating jobs, it went right into the stock market, chasing prices and making them higher…. When that free money begins costing the brokerage houses… those investments are going to deflate.
Most of America no longer has money in the market. The market is primarily owned by those at the top.
And education? We had corporate America exposed for trying their hand at teaching little children and failing miserably. Just as Corporate enterprises have now destroyed Facebook, television news, and are now destroying Twitter, the same forces demolished education. An attack on the public school system aimed to demolish it and install a privately owned system, is well underway…. It was all just theoretical until 2013.
The prime problem behind all of these?
It took a new Pope to make it mainstream… To tie all these individual threads into one rope. As he spoke, people turned to look at each other and said, ” Wow, why didn’t we see it before?”
When one homeless person dies on the streets it is not news. But the DOW drops two points, it is THE news….
What 2013 did, was bring to light that we were not a nation beset by little battles… Loss of labor unions, stymieing of minimum wage, fierce lobbying against Obamacare, a court controlled by corporate interests, lobbyists writing all our nation’s bills, What 2013 did was bring to light that all our “think tank” research, was pure propaganda, not research. What 2013 did, was show us just how much power and wealth lie in the hands of very few people…. roughly 100,000…… with most of that being held by a core of 1000 individuals…. Meaning 314,899,999 of the rest of us are out in the cold…
2013 showed us that the happiest people in the world, are those where wealth is more equally shared… to be happy, one has to tax heavily… A sharper sense of wealth is gleaned from looking at happy societies… Where there is enough wealth to be shared, it is… It makes little sense to pursue the opposite tack. To let those with money have it at no cost, and charge the masses heavily for their use of it…
2013, is the turning of the tide… Now when someone says low taxes are job creators they are viciously humiliated and never dare mention such again. Now when someone says trickle down economics work, we now know they are secretly praising how well it works for those at the top.
2013…. We know.
2014…. No Tea Party. No Republicans. No Third Way. Only by mandating that the wealthy who got rich over nothing, pay their fair share and everyone else’s fair share too, can we again create an economy and a nation that thrives from the bottom up…
2014 is the battle year. This is where those few at the top will throw billions into protecting the trillions they’ve made from our assets… But… they only have 1% of the population… The question is whether they can mobilize their toadies to vote and suppress the rest as they have successfully done in the past… when in truth, we were still half asleep….
The rallying cry for the 99% needs to be this: the 1% needs to do more for our nation!. We should not be ashamed to mention marginal income (including capital gains) tax rates over 50%, 60%, 70%… at least for the short term, until our economic war is over! That is not too much! Most livable nations have such. and the USA itself had such during our grandparent’s time, back when it was easy to go out and find a job…. we had more demand for jobs than we had people….
Income equality is the lens with which all items need to be viewed…. What that means is that with every question, every line item, every debate, this question gets asked…. “What does this proposal do to reverse income equality?” If it does nothing, it is not good…
What does controlling guns do for income equality? What do charter schools do for income equality? What does cutting taxes on Delaware’s 1% do for income equality? What does making the Port of Wilmington non-union do for economic equality? What does creating NO-prevailing wage zones in Delaware, do for economic equality? What does opening Beaver Valley to development do for income equality? What does raising minimum wage do for economic equality? What does Common Core do for income equality? What does opening Family Court to the public do for income equality? What does building a power plant that runs 24/7 on the brown fields of Newark, do for income equality? What does building a new Wawa in Newark, do for income equality?
I acknowledge some of those are stretches but that is what having a prime filter does. One looks at everything through that perspective…. It is one thing to bash the governor for a luckluster economy in his state…. Republicans do that too often, and offer neither specifics, or alternatives. It is another to bash the governor for ignoring 99% of Delawareans’ needs, or 990,000 people, to the benefit of 10,000, or 1%….. That is legitimate….
Hurting the 1% to the benefit of the 99% will cause 99 times more economic activity in this state. 99% of our citizens will buy more…. If those 1% continue to make more money off our localized spending, then at least they are earning their income honestly for a change….
Perhaps what is missing, is a retort, the kind that becomes a mantra……. When the Chamber of Commerce steps up to a microphone and says, …. “we pay most of the taxes in this state, we should not pay more…”.
The proper response hitherto missing, should be…. ” Then pay your employees more money, so they can help you share that burden…”
2013: the arrow was released… 2014 is when it impacts its target,….
(This came out last spring. Most of you have seen this. If by chance you haven’t, be prepared to have your mind blown. If you’ve become jaded since the last showing, prepare to have your mind blown again.)
I heard from Nancy that some dubious fact finders are trying to embarrass Markell and Democrats by raising the fact that the new data center going into Newark is NOT going to use Bloom boxes; then tsking away with their patented headshake and a : “my, isn’t that special.” They are trying to imply that if a new business won’t use the product being made here in Delaware, it had to be a bad idea to invest in putting that product here.
Before this gets out of control, let me explain why this isn’t so.
A data center uses tremendous amounts of power. The cost of power per year is usually equal to the cost of the initial capital investment. Bloom Boxes do not have sufficient output.
The scale of argument being made by some on the right, could be likened to asking why a Walmart being built, won’t cool its buildings with portable window units.
Silly, right? Which is why the “Right” should stay out of arguments over its head, and should retreat back to arguing only what it knows best: which actually, is nothing, really.
of course it’s in Texas… Chalk up another “oops” for their leader….
Tea Bagging Republicans in that state, got all riled up about contraception and eliminated a $73 billion dollar program that gave out free contraception to those who couldn’t afford it…
Now it appears because of their action, 23,760 more babies will now be born as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. The additional Medicaid cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million…—
Tea bagging Republicans said they were unaware that contraception prevented pregnancies…..
They are struggling to put that funding back in now….
I’ve commented on a lot of local blogs today. There is a common theme that needs pulled up for discussion.
Can we trust today’s polls?
Chart Courtesy of Michael Brogan, Political Forecaster(right click for full view)
I say no.
First, the numbers being given do not match the 80% support Obama has on the street.
Second, with today’s technology, it is rudely simplistic to assume that polls aren’t being tweaked. Even as simply as choosing who to call, That one factor can throw a poll off the deep end. And don’t think, you’re cookies don’t tell everyone how you vote…
Hmmm, who should we call to represent Delaware… kavips? … or Ms. Evans?… it is that easy.
Third. The average national poll consists of 700 people. That means 7 people can throw a percent; 4 people throw it, if you round up or down. And you tell me you can’t “randomly” find 4 more conservatives than progressives, or vice-versa?
Fourth. The polling organizations are companies that pay out dividends to someone. People buy stock; they want results. Obviously reporting that a race is over in August, does little to generate more polls. More polls equal more revenue. There is considerable pressure to keep a national race appearing closer, than it really is.
Fifth. Who checks the veracity of pollsters? No one. There is no watchdog exacting penalties over fake results. So how do we trust it is real? Exactly. We can’t…
That is enough. Polling is only believable if it fits in with the general scheme of things as we see it.. If 80% of the population is hopeful this recovery is real, and happy about YAY! JUST PAID UNDER $3.50 FOR A GALLON OF GAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, then any poll not showing Obama leading 80 to 20 is simply a fabrication of one’s imagination…..
And in local elections? Forget it. Ask your neighbor who their county commissioner is? Yep. Exactly.
“President Obama campaigned on hope and change, but three years later he’s just another typical politician,” in a feeble attempt to cite his high-wattage fundraisers in order to try to undercut Obama’s image with working-class voters…..
You don’t get it, do you? Americans know a president needs cash to win an election. Americans know where the cash is, just like Obama does….
The difference between him and Republicans, is that unlike them, when Obama gets the cash, it helps us… When Republican get the cash, it “hurts” us…. Union Busting, lower wages, higher premiums, higher medical out of pocket expense, higher energy costs, higher prices, and yes… higher taxes… from states and local governments who have to make up the difference that the wealthy were supposed to pay, but got off free…..
So, it is good that he is doing what he is doing. That calms our soul…
Don’t worry. You have historical precedent in what you say about our Commander in Chief… During the Revolutionary War, the Royalists tried the same tactic when George Washington had to ride off, hat in hand and try to shake down wealthy Patriots in Philadelphia and New Jersey….
Every American should be grateful to Robert Morris.…the wealthy man who saved the country.
As the job reports came out, Republicans were quick to jump up Obama’s butt.
Mitt Romney: “He’s going to have a hard time putting perfume on this pig,”
In the past that is what would have been reported. But, since the Occupy groups have pointed out the hyprcrisy in the press, many of the major new organizations are finally steering back to the age old tradition of reporting facts…
When facts get thrown around, Republicans look pretty shabby.
Fact 1: If one separates the private sector away from the public sector jobs being formed, the economy looks rather good. For 21 straight months, the number of private-sector jobs has grown, by a total of 2.9 million. The reason for the growth has been federal stimulus funneling money back into the economy…..
Fact 2: The prime factor for the entire unemployment figure being steady and unchanging, is the loss of 603,000 government employee jobs over the same period. That loss is because of the Tea Party Republicans refused to pass any legislation, even if critical, until they got the right to start closing departments. If Republicans are not eliminated completely out of power, this trend of losses would continue.
Thereby adding Fact 1 and Fact 2, we see how bad Republicans are for the economy on two fronts. One, their policies kill jobs in the private sector, as well as cut jobs in the public sector….
Put bluntly, what happens when you fire a teacher and she goes to work for McDonald’s at 30% of what she once made? The entire local economy suffers…
Here we have the Republicans keeping America from getting back to work, and blaming Obama for their actions creating a bad economy…. The best way to get the economy roaring gangbusters, is to have a House of Representatives that is 100% Democratic, and a Senate ( it can’t be 100% because not all Senators are up for Election)… that is… 63% Democratic…
Then watch the economy take off……
But what is far more interesting, is now that along with me and the foreign press, since the Occupy Movement struck a chord in America’s soul, major American journalists are now getting back on the bandwagon of truth.