The Cause is real. FIND KONY NOW


http://invisiblechildrenstore.myshopify.com/

Is Invisible Children a sham? I don’t think so. This group was born out of the extreme desire to change a horrible human ongoing tragedy.  Out of it some pretty well connected and creative people ideated a way to get the extreme latent power of The American People moving as a massive force for change.  I call this an amazing social experiment that if it works will not only show common folk America it’s extreme power but hopefully move a specific tragic situation to a better outcome.  I.E., taking a ruthless killer out of business. The Invisible Children do alot with their money.  Building schools, re-building communities and making children  safer is not cheap.  Let’s not kid ourselves. Setting up communication venues so that incidents can be reported and hopefully acted upon quickly cannot be cheap either.  Collecting data about these atrocities is essential should Mr. Kony finally come to trial at The Hague.  They are hoping he eventually will.  He has too much blood on his hands for America to look away and conclude that “it’s all fine, it’s not happening anymore.”  How many families remember? How many families hurt everyday for their lost loved ones? How many have body parts that are missing and have to deal with an extreme handicap in a very unforgivable setting such as some of the remote villages they live in?  I say DO NOT FORGET ABOUT KONY.  America won’t go back to sleep.  We don’t always need to fight for money or for our claims, or just when we are directly threatened.  We can spare some of our vast resources to capture Kony for the ICC.  We can do this because it is right.  I believe that Invisible Children will pay for the capture of Kony as best it can contribute.  I can’t believe in my heart that the money they collect will go spent selfishly.  It’s ridiculous. America won’t let that happen!  That being said,  I totally “get” the girl from Uganda that made the video about Kony not really being a problem anymore and Uganda not being this ‘terrible place’ and that with all this media attention and money being spent on awareness kits, that other charities may lose funding.   I get that her Uganda is not this place of 24-7 horror where these atrocities are happening.  But that is her Uganda and yes Kony is moving, but that is what these criminals do!  they need to feed and feed they do, they move when the grass has been eaten! We know that Kony has moved from the area into Congo and is probably lying low as The Great Giant is now on his tail and more aware of his atrocities.  Last of all there is reason he’s number one on the ICC’s Most Wanted list.  When Hitler vacationed in Bergdorf he wasn’t done wreaking havoc on mankind.  He was just on vacation fathering a child.  Egregious things followed. Please follow the LRA Tracking app http://www.lracrisistracker.com/   that was set up to bring this entier process into the 21st century and keep the abuses on our radar.  Day by day the LRA is still active in Uganda and still rapes, murders and maims people.  It is only a matter of time before Kony ramps up and continues his disgusting plan.  He can’t be let off the hook and Americans can make a big thumping noise and move our government to see a positive end to these tragedies.  We’ve seen the power or Tunisia, Egypt, and the unrelenting belief in the power of the people in other nations in the area.  America still has the Occupy movement but this is different.  You don’t mess with Children.  ANYBODY’S CHILDREN.  FIND KONY NOW!! 

America must trust and act.  

 

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Assange latest: “The Truth Shall Set you free.” Why is the U.S. suppressing Freedom of Speech?


Tom Dickinson has nailed it.  He asked, “what would the reaction of America be if we substituted Julian Assange for Bill Keller?”  It would be outrage at the treatment being dealt.  Dickinson’s cut straight to the heart of what is really bugging me the Wikileaks affair on several different levels.   See the article here:  http://tinyurl.com/2epj5z8

First of all, casualties of war or ‘consequences of war’ don’t seem to be such a hard pill for our Government.  They should be, but they aren’t.  Our government openly admits that there are going to be casualties of war on both sides and that we will make Iraq into a democracy even if it kills them….and us.  Do we have a clear plan? Noone’s really sure.  Is it “winnable?”  It doesn’t look like it, and many are saying it is not.  By the way what does “winnable” mean if you’re just supposedly trying to “bring democracy” to a people.  Oh yes, there are those that don’t want us to come in and re-shape things, shave off members of families  because we ‘suspect’ that there’s a member who’s standing in the way of democracy. (Usually those house raids don’t find the right guy), that’s the testimony of several different soldiers.  Yes, I am reading Amy Goodman’s “Breaking the Sound Barrier” I’ll cite the specific articles that these statements come from later in the blog.  We’re talking real testimony from soldiers participating in those raids.  There is testimony all over that book from so many soldiers that say that body counts are wrong.  Very wrong.  The military has it’s own counting system.  They count the way the numbers will look “good” in the media.

Why do we not see coffins coming back to the states?  There was more transparency in our media during the vietnam war!  Why do we not see the costs of war on television?  We basically have a Disney-fied version of our ‘patriotic’ war on television!  When journalists are unembedded, they are free to report on what they see in the places they travel.  They return objective impressions.  Independent to the military view.  Now more than ever we need the truth.  The American people are finally realizing that we are being fed. We are being fed a ‘version’ of the war, an edited war.  What is on the cutting room floor is important.  It is not unlike a movie that has been edited and when the outtakes and other scenes are added, we come away with a completely different story.  What they are leaving out is the sheer increased numbers of dead, the uncountable, the unwanted counts.  They are leaving out the impetus for their deaths on both sides.

The Dalai Lama said that war is outmoded.  …We are so interconnected in our modern world that it does not make sense.  The only sensible tactic when there is discourse it dialogue.  We do not need war anymore.

Julian Assange and his contacts have only unearthed truths.  Be they big or small.  ALL TRUTH IS IMPORTANT.  The United States is afraid of the truth supposedly because it MIGHT cause casualties.  Yes Assange intentionally put truths into the public domain and I applaud him for it.   And by the same token (just turn the coin over), The U.S. is killing people with lies!  and has caused more than 4,000 U.S. casualties alone since waging this war based on lies to the American People.  So who is more dangerous?  The U.S. is branding Assange a terrorist though the consequence of his organizations leak of information has not to date brought death! and the U.S. in instituting a war on lies has brought death.  How is Assange’s ‘war for truth’ that has had no known deaths or casualties, worse than the United States’ war on terror? which has had more than 4,000 deaths and those are just U.S. deaths?  Iraqi deaths number 650,000.  (Terrorist / insurgents / freedom fighters / civil fighters / neighborhood guys and of course innocent men women and children.  If I remember correctly a “terrorist” is one that creates terror and brings death.  So…Is the United States Government more a terrorist organization?

Obama and the others have said (wrongly) that all of the leaked information so far was low level insignificant information, but if then, WHY…the uber-China-Russia-type of man-handling of Assange (and more importantly BRADLEY MANNING) been so gulag-ish? The U.S. clearly sees this information as important.  What is contained? only 4,000 of 190,000 documents have been looked at.  What is the U.S. so afraid of?  Clearly this shows that the truth is even more important than we can imagine.

We can look in part to the Daniel Ellsberg “Pentagon Papers” for a taste of something similar and not find the same reactions from the government.  Why is that?

We can ask about Freedom of the Press, and we can talk about how The Press is the eyes, ears and watchdog of our country, the world and it’s leaders.  This is the entire reason for the existence of the Press!  We can also ask our selves the same questions that Tom Dickenson did in his article for Rolling Stone, which was uploaded or penned? on December 15, 2010.  Tom asks us whether Americans would find the same treatment of Assange unpallatable if it were say….Bill Keller from the NY Times.  I’m not sure there wouldn’t be somewhat of a riot in the streets!~at least in New York and soon spreading from every mouth that believed and spoke about Free speech and Freedom of the Press, not ending until the entire of America was in a national uproar.

The United States’ reaction has been nothing short of Orwelian.  Added to the illogical reaction to Julian Assange’s unearthing of truth documents (whether they be ‘dangerous” – which again they have not yet proved to be), is the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning.  Manning  is being held in solitary confinement for the last seven months BEFORE being proven guilty.  Certainly….NOT the American way!  What is going on in our country?  Why are we all the people  sleeping?  We should be OUTRAGED and clearly 68% of our country is still quite snowed.  This is a war on truth.  The truth will cost less than the lies and besides we were taught from the day we were born to stand up for the truth. Oh, yah, and there was something else I heard along the way, “the truth shall set you free.”

The short list of some the “sore spots” that have been uncovered by the “Wikileaks” papers.

*Pakistan is funding the Taliban  (Oh yah, we’re giving money to the ISI – the Pakistan guys, so it sure looks like we’re fighting ourselves), in my book that’s a big unearthed and very important truth!

*There are many more innocent women and children being killed in Iraq than the random here and there accidents, even intentional killings.  (this is another important truth! that’s been unearthed!)

*There is video of intentional killings of innocent men, women and children! (see collateral murder), which shows in full audio and video the soldiers fully aware that these were not ‘targets’ and killing them anyway.  Again, to me, these truths are important.  Doing the right thing is important.  Upholding truth and justice used to be our tagline! This is The United States of America! and to me ‘fighting for my country’ means telling the truth and doing the right thing.

*Yes, there is backbiting information between ambassadors calling eachother creeps and whatnot, but why has Obama chosen just to cite THOSE truths and minimize them? He has not spoken to the unearthed collateral damage, or the innocents killed, or the biggie that we may even be fighting against ourselves!  NO WONDER it doesn’t seem winnable!

~Chrissylong

Julian Assange: what is the value of truth?


My husband was making the assertion that Julain Assange of Wikileaks, since he had supposedly succeeded in putting many lives in danger, If not causing potential death in the future as a result of the revelations derived from his leaked documents should at the least be imprisoned. This is the feeling of the U.S. Government and others which has historically used “secret” and “covert” dealings in order to ‘further their objectives around the world’. I understand this. I also understand that these objectives, projects, etc., are supposedly benefit the American people, the economy, or domestic or foreign relations. We have long accepted that this is the case. But should we?

I still am not sure I agree with the opinion that it is wrong to uncover ‘national secrets’ I reserve my opinion because we as a people need to find the answers some philosophical questions about how important truth is, how important ‘secrets’ are, and what are the explicit and excepted reasons we would forgo ‘knowing truth?” is it right to lie, cheat, kill, deceive in order to bring a favorable outcome to a nation of people? Is it right to suppress truth? If it is okay to create, foster and perpetuate war (which we accept will inevitably kill many in it’s very righteous and inevitable path) then why is it not okay to uncover truth at the same costs? We accept our nation’s less than palatable actions of destruction in the interest of ‘supposed greater good’ every day. But why is it NOT okay to uncover TRUTH about these actions for Americans and world citizens if it also will impart some human damage? Uncovering truth is ALWAYS for the greater good. What then is the value of truth? and, how do we as American’s define truth? Is truth also ‘good?’

We the people should be the eyes and ears of our government. We are not. We have been given a small role. A special tunnelvision. We are fed the information on what ‘the issues’ are. We are given ‘the chance’ to vote. But the government is working for us! We should DEMAND a truthful government in all respects. Our forefathers deemed that these “just powers” be derived their powers from the consent of the governed! It’s in black and white (err…sepia and parchment).. in our beloved Declaration of Independence!! We have the power to demand the truth in the same way that the government feels it has the right to impart lies, secrecy and use covert measures in the supposed interest of national or world benefit.

One of the most common life lessons taught to American Children universally is: “the end result DOES NOT justify the means.” What we teach them is ‘the way you get to an outcome must be a noble, correct, fair and impartial endeavor, OR…the end result is corrupt!!!

Shamefully, our government works this age-old adage the opposite way. “If you need a SPECIFIC OUTCOME it DOESN’T MATTER how it is achieved AS LONG AS YOU GET THE DESIRED RESULT !!! We saw this in Guantanamo, we saw this in the video that Mr. Assange’s contacts revealed. (collateral damage in Iraq) and in too many other incidents throughout history.

For these reasons above I believe the condemnation of Mr. Assange should be withheld. Where is the debate? What is the value of truth?

-Chrissylong

NCLB: Our Children… Left Behind and basically handed to recruiters for the military? Be outraged!


NCLB is more than Under-funded and Under-planned, it’s Under-handed.

Here’s my list of nefarious things about NCLB and…WE CAN AND SHOULD PROTEST THIS first one ASAP!!!….

(at the end of this entire post..there is an amazing video on this subject, don’t forget to view it)…

#1 NCLB gives military recruiters the names, social security numbers  and addresses of your children!!!! (once they they become juniors in high school!!! – boys and girls alike).  You must opt-out of this process, but the problem is that neither of these two facts are publicized, so our kids sixteen and older are ripe targets for recruiters.  They are then allowed to call your homes, talk to your young adults (teens), and visit them on the school campus without your knowledge…unless of course you opt out.

Here’s the part of NCLB that puts this process in motion:

NCLB  Section 9528

  • Requires that school districts release the names, addresses and telephone numbers of juniors and seniors to military recruiters upon request unless an Opt-Out form is signed and returned.
  • In LAUSD the Opt-Out form must be returned to the local school by OCTOBER 27th, 2007.  All others check with your school district.

ASVAB – a way to get around the “Opt-Outs”

  • The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a voluntary military placement exam used as a general aptitude test for career options.
  • IT IS A MILITARY RECRUITING TOOL and was given in 75% of LAUSD schools in 2005.
  • Schools are guilt of violating family confidentiality by giving military recruiters access to private information gathered from students via the ASVAB testing information (including social security numbers)
  • Military recruiters use the ASVAB to ignore the Opt-Out process.
  • The ASVAB skirts parental rights by giving incomplete information to parents about it, and by releasing private information to military recruiters without parental consent.
  • The only way to ensure student privacy is to use other aptitude diagnostic tools instead of the military entrance exam.
  • It’s voluntary, don’t take the ASVAB.  If you choose to take it request Option 8 that means scores will not be released to military recruiters.

PENTAGON DATABASE

  • The Pentagon has been collecting a centralized data base without Congressional authorization of over 700 pieces of information on millions of youth between 16 to 25 years of age.

Act to Protect Your Privacy from Military Recruiters!!

You may be harassed at home by military recruiters because your name, address and phone number will be given to them by your school — unless you tell your school to not give out the information. To exercise your legal right to have this information kept private, you should notify your school office as soon as possible. Some school districts may provide their own forms for this, but they must obey your request no matter how you submit it. You can write your own letter or use the one below. (I was told at our school that they will not consider a handwritten note from a parent, that we MUST use one of the official forms.  Use a letter or form for each individual student and keep a copy. It is not required by law, but we recommend having a parent or guardian also sign.

Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) mandates that school districts must provide
the contact information (names, addresses and telephone numbers) of juniors and seniors to the military upon request unless an Opt Out form
is signed and returned to the school.

Students must Opt Out every year.

here is the link to the paperwork that must be turned in to The Pentagon allowing you as a parent to “opt-out” your student from potential recruitment, which NCLB gives them the right to do.

ENGLISH:     http://www.militaryfreeschools.org/PDF/optout09.pdf

SPANISH:     http://www.militaryfreeschools.org/PDF/LAUSDoptout09sp.pdf

More information on NCLB in general:

#1 NCLB does not FIX anything!  It is making our students, teachers and administrators suffer.

NCLB has good intentions: It aims to improve teacher quality, provide school choice for families, and hold schools accountable for academic achievement. It does this last bit by measuring kids’ performance in grades 3-11 and in a very unfair and odd way.

Additionally, results must be reported in such a way that demographic groups are reported separately. This way, a school can’t make progress with some groups, while leaving others behind. This disaggregated data reveals the performance by ethnic identification, income level, and disability status. It has the capacity to shed light on the dark corners of discrimination that has been historically reinforced by our multi-tiered school system.
In fact it creates problems:

One the  biggest problems with NCLB is that it stipulates 100% compliance by the year 2014. That is to say that every group of students in every school is responsible for performing at grade level by then, and in every year between now and then, they are to make what is known as “adequate yearly progress,” commonly referred to as AYP. This means that they must meet the linear target between where they are now, and grade level proficiency. The thing is: every school, in every district, is being held to the same standard. They are all expected to reach that common standard by 2014.

It’s a great idea, but the supports necessary in order for schools to reach that performance level are not in place!  If a school has been performing at grade level all along, they’re golden. If a school is serving a community that has historically been underperforming, they are in big trouble, because every year that they haven’t made AYP-which increases proportionally the further they are from grade level performance to begin with-the greater the gains they must make each year.

So, if a school which has been lacking the resources and supports in order to demonstrate proficiency misses the AYP target one year, it must not only meet that target the following year, but also hit the next target on the linear path to proficiency, as if they had never gotten off track. This is nearly impossible. It’  The problems in a school not meeting AYP are always varied, complex,  and sometimes ethereal. And what happens if a school doesn’t make AYP by 2014? (I mean really, once you’ve missed it one or two years, the chances of catching up are quite slim.) Well, there is no plan for that. Your school gets redesigned- but the kids are the same, and so are all the unsolvedand unaddressed problems that made the school unsuccessful in the first place, are still there!

So what should be done?  While it is true that some data indicate some things that are useful, but testing is not the silver bullet, and we are killing our kids with it, and there is no excitement in the curriculum and no spark to interest the children in learning.  (What happened to the ‘wonder of learning?)  Isn’t it more important to plant the seeds of curiosity, organization and critical thinking?  This cannot be done with a mundane one size fits all curriculum where teachers have no ability to make their message maleable! and creative!   We need to provide low-performing school communities with the enrichment opportunities that are known to correlate with what are  thought to be the cause for later high academic achievement.   We need to make teaching a harder job to get, and a more attractive professional choice.

We need to recognize this as the keystone issue that it is: the fundamental reform of our schools is not the work only for teachers and administrators, this is a civil rights issue.  These are our children, we have a right to give our children a public education.  We pay our hard earned tax dollars into the state and federal coffers in order to fund a fair and just curriculum.  There are items here which should be an outrage.   This is a community development issue, and a global economy issue.  The fight to end NCLB requires the commitment of everyone in every sector in our society.  Let’s take our children’s education back.  Childhood is a journey, NOT A RACE!!!!

#2 NCLB is underfunded

This destructive program is imposed and enforced by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, which has made federal funding for public education contingent on the states holding teachers and schools accountable for “achievement” as measured by student performance on standardized math and reading tests, with the putative intention of narrowing and eventually (by 2014) totally eliminating the “achievement gap” between students in affluent suburban schools and students in innercity schools. The law stipulates punitive measures for schools that don’t measure up. These schools, invariably already cash and resource starved, must use some of their federal Title I funding to pay for private after-school tutoring programs

#3 NCLB is underplanned

#4 NCLB turns schools into starving wolves punishing chronically ill children as truants as their continued absence dilutes the AYP and state monies.  Schools are quick  to litigate against students’  parents until either the family leaves the school or  complies with inordinate and almost insurmountable compliance process in order to avoid truant status,  per the California state attendance rules and the definition of  “truancy.”

#5 NCLB turns kids in to wonderful test takers and strategizers!  Not critical thinkers!  (there are classes on ‘test taking strategies!)

#6 NCLB schools are indirectly encouraged to cease funding ART, MUSIC and even PHYSICAL EDUCATION, in order to reapportion funds to accounts that support raising test scores and providing  for remedial options for children who are not making progress toward the school’s goal.    Monies are thought to be better directed toward the goal of   Making AYP and hence getting closer to “100% proficiency,”  therefore they opt to take from art, music and P.E. in order to assure better test scores in the basics and make sure they don’t miss achievement of the AYP.    (Usually Physical education is not taken out of the curriculum but minimal benchmark changes  are made with less or lower cost equipment.)**

#7 NCLB slaps so much work on kids in order to ensure that they test high and contribute to the school’s AYP, that the stress is detrimental. We experienced 12-13 pages of homework every night, where my son (who was an “A” student at the time and still is), would work from after school, through dinner and even after bedtime in order to complete all of the tasks assigned to him. Sometimes sneaking a flashlight in his bed to finish his assignments.!  This was common with other students also.

#8 NCLB creates a “one size fits all” curriculum by grade, higher achievers must wait and do busy work while students slower to grasp concepts struggle to understand curriculum. Higher achievers are not challenged. On the flip-side “mentally challenged” or “special education” students are given the same curriculum as the standard students and mandated to reach the same goals!

#9 NCLB Makes teachers statisticians. There is no intuitive teaching aspect to working with children. There is no personal touch, in fact, teachers cannot even touch students. No pat on the back or handshake unless those occurrences are mandated by curriculum and are necessary to a learning module.  There is only speed-tests, test taking strategies and rubrics.  It is now well known that students can be classified by ‘learning style’ for example: tactile, verbal, viusal, and any combination therof. The problem is that even with this knowlege, there is very little flexibility in the NCLB curriculum that allows the teacher to reach individual students via these concepts.

#10 NCLB makes time ‘of the essence’ as each student must have scores that contribute to and help the school reach their AYP. (Adequate Yearly Progress), or they will become a liability to the school. Each school must achieve AYP every year and each and every student must be deemed 100% “proficient by 2014

#11 NCLB places a “monetary value” on a student’s capacity to attend school consistently.  (If a student’s cost to attendance ratio is skewed by illness, therefor necessary absence, the school will try to rid themselves of the ‘liability! . See my older post ! This is happening to me, (my son and my family)!!!

UtneReader.com: The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce


Utne Reader

This page was sent to you by: chrissylong@mac.com

The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce

A small-town soldier returns from Iraq broken. He is not alone. He thinks he is.

chrissylong@mac.com wrote:

We can’t ignore PTSD, or more importantly the anger, psychosis and confusion between right and wrong that war brings.

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