November
17
2014

Are We Being Lied to About “Endangered” Status of Sage Grouse?

November 17, 2014

As originally published on the Reason Foundation website October 16, 2014

Map and State-based Conservation Plans Refute Popular Narrative that

Sage Grouse Needs Endangered Species Act Protection

There is a widespread narrative promoted by some environmental pressure groups and some in the federal government that the sage grouse needs protection under the Endangered Species Act because state and local conservation efforts are inadequate. Fortunately, there are a couple resources that effectively refute this, one of which is an online map (available here) of the 57 active local working groups that cover the sage grouse’s 165 million acre range across eleven states.

The breakdown of the working groups is: California, 2 groups (both shared with Nevada because sage grouse live along the border of the two states); Colorado, 11, (one shared with Utah); Idaho, 10; Montana, 4; Nevada, 5 (2 shared with California); North Dakota, 1; Oregon, 5; South Dakota, 1; Utah, 12 (1 shared with Colorado); Washington, 1; and Wyoming, 8.

The combination of the large number of groups and their geographic extent also provides a stark illustration of the seriousness with which states and municipalities across the sage grouse’s range are taking conservation of the bird, including efforts to keep it off the endangered species list. For example, virtually all of Wyoming, much of Nevada, and over half of Utah are covered by working groups, and many of the other eight states have enormous portions of land encompassed by working groups.

The online map of the working groups is also a very useful tool because people using it can “click” on a state and access a web page that has further information and links to that state’s working groups. Then, by clicking on each working group a separate web page appears with useful information on each group, such as the year it was formed, contact information for key people involved, the land area encompassed by the group and an acreage breakdown of land ownership, and links to associated documents.

Another related key resource that effectively refutes the pro-listing narrative is the Public Lands Council’s Sage Grouse Conservation Library, which has a wealth of information, including all of the state and local conservation plans (which are available here). As with the map, a list of these plans provides a sense of the seriousness of states’ commitments to sage grouse conservation.

  • California: plan for the greater sage grouse population in eastern California and western Nevada, 2004, with appendices; two regional plans, 2006 and 2010; and a plan for the Bi-state greater sage grouse population in east-central California and west-central Nevada, 2012.
  • Colorado: statewide plan for the greater sage grouse, 2008, supplemented and updated in 2013; five regional plans for the greater sage grouse, 1999-2008; rangewide plan for the Gunnison sage grouse subspecies (co-authored with Utah), 2005; and six regional plans for the Gunnison sage grouse, 1997-2011.
  • Idaho: statewide plan, 2006, with appendices; a portion of the plan was revised in 2009.
  • Montana: statewide plan, 2005.
  • Nevada: plan for sage grouse population in western Nevada and eastern California, 2004, with appendices; a strategic statewide plan, 2012; the State of Nevada Alternative plan, 2012; and the plan for the Bi-state population of the greater sage grouse along the Nevada-California border, 2012.
  • Oregon: statewide plan, 2011.
  • South Dakota: statewide plan, 2008.
  • Utah: statewide plan for greater sage grouse, 2009, updated in 2013; rangewide plan for the Gunnison sage grouse (co-authored with Colorado), 2005.
  • Washington: statewide plan, 2004.
  • Wyoming: statewide plan, 2003; and eight regional plans, 2006-2008.

The combination of the map of local working groups and all of the state and regional conservation plans paints a picture that is in stark contrast to, and much more accurate than, that painted by those in favor of listing the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. So the next time you hear someone saying the sage grouse needs to be listed under the Act because state and local efforts are insufficient, let them know about the map of local working groups and the Sage Grouse Conservation Library’s collection of conservation plans.

– See more at: http://reason.org/blog/show/map-and-state-based-conservation-pl#sthash.kZqXwbon.dpuf

Posted by Reagangirl.com   11/17/14

November
15
2014

The Aggressive Anti-Americanism of New AP History

November 15, 2014

Rebuttal to College Board’s Redesigned AP U. S. History Course

Nov 13, 2014 by

lies+damn+lies+and+Ed+Reform[1]

“Rebuttal to College Board’s Redesigned AP U. S. History Course”

From CWA, Georgia

10.28.14 

Dear Chairmen Coleman and Rogers, and Members of the Georgia House Education Study Committee:

At its meeting on October 21, 2014, the Committee heard a presentation from the College Board’s Senior Vice-President for AP Programs and Instruction, Trevor Packer. Mr. Packer’s testimony relied on an astonishing series of misrepresentations, erroneous statements, and even ad hominem attacks. Since I had no opportunity to respond at the hearing (and didn’t feel it was appropriate in that forum to ask for rebuttal time), and since it is critical that the Committee have accurate information as a basis for its important work, I hope you will review this response to Mr. Packer’s misrepresentations.

This information is based on consultations with several experts who have examined the documents referenced by Mr. Packer (all of which are available on the College Board website,http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2089.html).

It specifically addresses the following misrepresentations: 

  1. The College Board has revealed the identities of the Framework authors from the beginning – they “are on page v, and have always been on page v.” 
  1. Neither Mr. Packer nor his staff has written any APUSH Exam questions. 
  1. The old Exam had just three essay questions, whereas the new Exam has six essay questions. 
  1. The old Exam contained “anything goes” questions that were not based on documents in American history. 
  1. The redesigned Framework and the Georgia United States History Standards are closely aligned. The Framework “honors” Georgia’s standards. 
  1. The redesigned Framework does not cut out key American leaders because they were never in the old Topic Outline. 
  1. AP Exam questions give teachers the flexibility to select topics from their state standards. For example, teachers can choose to discuss any Founder or World War II battle they wish. 
  1. Packer (and by implication the APUSH drafting team) are committed to the concept of American exceptionalism. 
  1. The redesigned APUSH Framework is a balanced document that presents a positive view of American history.

  More lies:

  1. APUSH teachers report that the new Framework is saving them an average of 21 instructional days while enabling them to teach topics including Malcolm X, Dr. King, and Ronald Reagan. 
  1. The APUSH Framework and Exam were not influenced by the Common Core Standards: “We did not consider Common Core Standards in any way.” 
  1. The College Board receives a miniscule amount of funding from the federal government. 
  1. The First Inaccurate AD HOMINEM 
  1. The Second Inaccurate AD HOMINEM  

Detailed Responses to Mr. Packer’s Misrepresentations

Under Mr. Packer’s leadership, the College Board undertook an expensive revision of its AP U.S. History curriculum and Exam. Based on a leftist and revisionist interpretation of American history, the redesigned Framework has sparked sustained criticism that is unprecedented in the history of the AP Program.

Mr. Packer could forthrightly acknowledge the Framework’s biases and pledge to withdraw or revise the document. Instead, he has obstinately refused to change one word of the 53-page Concept Outline and has chosen to defend the Framework with a series of easily refuted talking points. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: FRAMEWORK AUTHORSHIP

The College Board has revealed the identities of the Framework authors from the beginning – they “are on page v, and have always been on page v.”

TRUTH:

When it was originally posted in October 2012, the APUSH Framework did not contain a list of authors. For months, critics pressed the College Board to reveal the names of the Framework’s anonymous authors. Not until August 17, 2014 did a group of four college professors and five high school teachers acknowledge authorship. A few days after that Mr. Packer finally added page v to the online Framework, listing these nine people under the heading “Acknowledgements.”  

  1. PACKER CLAIM: EXAM AUTHORSHIP

Neither Mr. Packer nor his staff has written any APUSH Exam questions.

TRUTH:

While Mr. Packer’s claim may be technically true, remember that Mr. Packer bears ultimate responsibility for the APUSH course and Exam, which he has overseen since 2003.

Despite his obvious oversight responsibility, Mr. Packer blames “anything goes” college professors for writing and submitting questions about anything and everything. The result, he says, was an old AP Exam model that “allowed any exam question about any topic under the sun.”

Mr. Packer’s disingenuous statement ignores three crucial facts. First, the College Board has always had a test Development Committee that includes a chair and two Education Testing Service consultants. This committee is responsible for creating each APUSH Exam and presumably served as a check on rogue professors’ seeking to sprinkle the Exam with their personal idiosyncrasies. Second, the AP questions were carefully aligned with specific content guidelines clearly stated in the Course Description booklet. And as the final authority on APUSH, if Mr. Packer objected to a question, he had the authority to delete or modify it. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: NUMBER OF ESSAY QUESTIONS

The old Exam had just three essay questions, whereas the new Exam has six essay questions.

TRUTH:

The old Exam required more student essays than does the new. The old Exam gave students 60 minutes to answer one Document-Based Question (DBQ) and 70 minutes to select and answer two long essays from a set of four essay questions. The old Exam thus contained a total of five essay questions that generated three student essays. The redesigned Exam gives students 55 minutes to answer one DBQ and 35 minutes to select and answer one long essay from a set of two essay questions. The redesigned Exam thus contains a total of three essay questions that generate two student essays.

While Mr. Packer apparently counts four additional short-answer questions on the new Exam as “essay” questions, that is a clear mischaracterization. Sample responses provided by the College Board are all just one paragraph in length. In the real world, one paragraph is not an “essay.” Which better promotes in-depth thinking, a 35-minute essay or four short paragraphs on four different topics? Obviously, the two long essays on the old Exam promoted more critical thinking and in-depth analysis than will the one long essay and four short-answer questions on the redesigned Exam. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: ALL EXAM QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON DOCUMENTS

The old Exam contained “anything goes” questions that were not based on documents in American history. For purposes of illustration, Mr. Packer referenced the 2006 released APUSH Exam. He then singled out four multiple-choice questions on Kent State, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Three Mile Island incident to prove his contention that the old Exam lacked primary-source documents and instead contained idiosyncratic questions written by biased college professors. In contrast, he proudly declared that on the new Exam, “Every exam question must be based upon a document in American history.” 

TRUTH:

Each of the four questions he chose can be directly linked to a specific point in the Topic Outline. For example, the CIO question tested the “Labor and union recognition” point in Topic 28 on the “Great Depression and the New Deal.” The Three Mile Island question tested the “Environmental issues in a global context” point in Topic 28 on “The United States in the Post-Cold War World.” If Mr. Packer for some reason objected to these questions, then as the person in charge of the College Board’s AP Program, he had the authority to delete or modify them. (One wonders why Mr. Packer would suggest that high school students in Georgia and in America shouldn’t know the importance of Kent State, the CIO, NOW, and the Three Mile Island incident. Could it be that he was pandering to the perceived conservatism of his Georgia audience, incorrectly assuming that they would deny Georgia students even objective information about such topics?)

Contrary to Mr. Packer’s claim, the 2006 APUSH Exam also contained multiple-choice questions that specifically tested primary-source quotes, and a DBQ that included 10 primary-source documents. In addition, the 2006 APUSH Exam asked students to evaluate four historic pictures, one map, and two political cartoons. This distribution of questions is not atypical. The 2012 and 2013 APUSH Exams contained a total of 24 multiple-choice questions focusing on primary-source quotes, maps, historic pictures, graphs, and political cartoons. Both of these Exams also contained DBQ’s with 10 documents. 

Nor (contrary to Mr. Packer’s contention) will every question on the new Exam be based on a document in American history. The Sample New Exam released by Mr. Packer contains 55 multiple-choice questions. Only 36 of these are based on written primary-source documents. Two of the four short-answer questions do NOT include any documents. The DBQ contains seven documents, three fewer than the 2006 Exam. And finally, the two long-essay questions are NOT based on any primary-source documents. All told, the questions not based on written primary-source documents account for about 35 percent of the available points on the Sample Exam.

Either Mr. Packer has an astonishing lack of familiarity with his own Exams, both old and new, or he’s assuming that no one will examine the Exams to investigate the truth of his claims. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: APUSH FRAMEWORK AND GEORGIA STANDARDS

The redesigned Framework and the Georgia United States History Standards are closely aligned. The Framework “honors” Georgia’s standards. 

TRUTH:

The two documents are in fact fundamentally different. The Georgia Standards celebrate our nation’s Founders, the values embodied in the concept of American exceptionalism, and America’s military achievements including key battles, commanders, and the valor of our nation’s servicemen and women. In contrast, the Framework’s 53-page Concept Outline ignores most of the Founders, totally omits the ideas and seminal documents that express American exceptionalism, and fails to cover most aspects of American military history.

A careful analysis of the Georgia Standards and the College Board’s APUSH Framework reveals over 60 elements of the Framework that are NOT in the Georgia Standards. For example, the first unit in the Framework requires teachers to devote five percent of their classroom time, or nine lessons, to the period from 1491 to 1607. Like most states, the Georgia Standards begin with the founding of English settlements in North America during the 17th Century. Other examples of Framework elements that are not in the Georgia Standards include the development of “a rigid racial hierarchy” in the English colonies, the “strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority,” the idea that Manifest Destiny was “built on a belief in white racial superiority,” the assertion that the “American Expeditionary Force played a relatively limited role in World War I,” the insistence that “the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values,” and the statement that “[a]ctivists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians.”

The misalignment between the College Board Framework and the Georgia Standards is not limited to elements that are not in our state’s standards. The Georgia Standards call for over 130 specific elements that do NOT appear in the Framework. For example, the Georgia Standards call for discussions of Benjamin Franklin “as a symbol of social mobility and individualism,” “George Washington as a military leader,” “the construction of the Erie Canal,” “the importance of Fort Sumter, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and the Battle for Atlanta,” “the inventions of Thomas Edison,” “the lend-lease program, the Battle of Midway, D-Day, and the fall of Berlin,” “the Cuban Revolution, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” and the “significance of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and his I Have a Dream speech.” 

The misalignment between the two documents will place Georgia teachers in a difficult position. There are not enough days in the school year to combine the Georgia Standards and the College Board Framework into one cohesive course. Their task will be further complicated by the fact that the new APUSH exam is specifically designed to test the topics specified in the Framework’s 53-page Concept Outline (see below).

Even more importantly, the two sets of standards simply cannot be taught together, despite Mr. Packer’s breezy assurances. The Georgia Standards present a history of an exceptional country that, despite certain failures to live up to its founding principles, has been a force for good in the world. The APUSH Framework, by contrast, paints the nation almost exclusively with the colors of oppression, racism, greed. How can APUSH teachers possibly combine these two divergent narratives into a coherent whole? 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: AMERICAN LEADERS

The redesigned Framework does not cut out key American leaders because they were never in the old Topic Outline. 

TRUTH:

The Topic Outline didn’t include some of these key American leaders because it didn’t have to – by design, the Topic Outline relied on state standards for its detailed content, and almost all state standards included these individuals. By contrast, the new Framework purports to set forth the “required knowledge” for the course so that students needn’t learn content from their state standards. Seen in this light, the Framework’s admitted omission of so many prominent Americans is troubling.

Mr. Packer failed to mention that the new Concept Outline is 53 pages long. As a result, the Framework has ample space to include key figures in American history. Indeed, the Framework contains 91 “Gray Boxes” that contain 43 named people. Mr. Packer has never explained why the Gray Boxes do have room for Chief Little Turtle and Mother Jones but not for Dwight Eisenhower and Rosa Parks.

In any event, if Mr. Packer objected to the content of the previous Topic Outline, he could have changed it. He had full responsibility for the content of the APUSH course and Exam and is thus criticizing his own work. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: FLEXIBILITY

AP Exam questions give teachers the flexibility to select topics from their state standards. For example, teachers can choose to discuss any Founder or World War II battle they wish. 

TRUTH:

This argument is central to Mr. Packer’s defense of the Framework as a viable document. His argument contains two fatal flaws. First, he specifically stated that school districts must teach the Framework’s core concepts or face having the AP title removed. Unfortunately, the Framework’s core concepts have been thoroughly shaped by a revisionist perspective of American history. So while there is plenty of flexibility to discuss the Founders as exemplars of “white racial superiority” and creators of “a rigid racial hierarchy,” there is less opportunity to present them as champions of religious freedom and republican values.

The structure of the new APUSH Exam also undermines Mr. Packer’s flexibility doctrine. The APUSH Exam begins with 55 multiple-choice questions that count for 40 percent of a student’s total score. These questions permit no flexibility, since they require specific correct answers. The four short-answer questions count for 20 percent of a student’s total score. Because the short-answer questions are focused on very specific topics, and with just twelve minutes to answer each question, it is highly unlikely that time-pressed students will be able to recall and include outside information in their one-paragraph answers.

The third part of the Exam consists of a DBQ that counts for 25 percent of a student’s score. The DBQ requires students to write an essay that analyzes and synthesizes seven historic documents. The old APUSH Exam scored students on a nine-point scale. Students had to bring in outside information to receive a score above a four. In contrast, the new APUSH DBQ scores students on a seven-point scale and grants students only one point for outside information. As a result, students can earn a five – the best score possible — on their DBQ without providing any outside information.

Taken together, the multiple-choice, short answers, and DBQ account for 85 percent of a student’s APUSH Exam score. These questions provide little if any opportunity for the flexibility that Mr. Packer extols as a key to the philosophy of the new course. For example, Mr. Packer devoted considerable attention to giving examples of how teachers have the flexibility to select World War II battles. In reality, the Sample APUSH Exam only mentions World War II as the answer (see Question 33) to a question asking students when Washington’s Farewell Address ceased to influence American foreign policy. The answer is “involvement in the Second World War.” The Sample Exam contains no other mention of World War II.

The final part of the Exam requires students to respond to one of two long-essay questions. Although these questions are anchored in specific Framework key concepts, they do provide some limited opportunity for students to draw upon outside information from their state standards. But these questions count for just 15 percent of a student’s total score.

The goal of APUSH students is to score a five on the Exam. The goal of APUSH teachers is to help their students score a five on the Exam. When the Exam is structured to diminish the importance of content from state standards, and to magnify the importance of adhering to the leftist Framework, how likely is it that students will truly be educated on critical state content that doesn’t appear in the Framework? 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

Mr. Packer (and by implication the APUSH development team) are committed to the concept of American exceptionalism. 

TRUTH:

This claim is inconsistent with the reality of the APUSH revision. The old APUSH Course Description booklet specifically included American exceptionalism as an integral part of American identity by defining this central theme as “Views of American national character and ideas about American exceptionalism.” The redesigned APUSH Framework deletes the concept of American exceptionalism, redefining the theme of American identity as follows: “This theme focuses on the formation of both American national identity and group identities in U.S. history…with special attention given to the formation of gender, class, racial, and ethnic identities.” Thus, under Mr. Packer’s supervision, American exceptionalism has been stripped from the course and replaced with the leftist trinity of gender, class, and race. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: BALANCED AND POSITIVE

The redesigned APUSH Framework is a balanced document that presents a positive view of American history.

TRUTH:

Concerned citizens, distinguished historians, respected journalists, and veteran APUSH teachers have all criticized the redesigned Framework for presenting a relentlessly negative portrait of American history.  For example, Syracuse history professor Dr. Ralph Ketcham condemns the Framework as “a portrait of America as a dystopian society – one riddled with racism, violence, hypocrisy, greed, imperialism, and injustice. Stories of national triumph, great feats of learning, and the legacies of some of America’s great heroes – men and women who overcame many obstacles to create a better nation – are either ignored or given brief mention.”

But you needn’t take Dr. Ketcham’s word for it. I encourage you to read the Framework and decide for yourselves. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: TEACHER PACING AND CONTENT COVERAGE

APUSH teachers report that the new Framework is saving them an average of 21 instructional days while enabling them to teach topics including Malcolm X, Dr. King, and Ronald Reagan. 

TRUTH:

The redesigned Framework made its debut at the beginning of this school year. Mr. Packer’s presentation occurred on October 21st. Mr. Packer failed to explain how teachers can save 21 days in a course that has just started. He also failed to explain how APUSH teachers are presenting lessons on the modern Civil Rights Movement and Ronald Reagan this early in the school year.  

  1. PACKER CLAIM: COMMON CORE

The APUSH Framework and Exam were not influenced by the Common Core Standards: “We did not consider Common Core Standards in any way.” 

TRUTH:

This disavowal of Common Core is contradicted by Mr. Packer’s own public statements. In a recent AASA conference session,  “Advanced Placement in the Common Core Era: Changes and New Developments in the AP Program,” Mr. Packer told superintendents, “We’re really excited that the Common Core Standards ask teachers to do a few things very well. And we’ve been making similar changes in AP through a parallel process, the redesign of AP science and history courses. We do the same thing. We ask teachers to concentrate on a smaller amount of content and in greater depth…So the work that is happening in the Common Core will help students prepare for what they will encounter in their redesigned AP courses.”

This was not an isolated statement. When Mr. Packer first posted the new APUSH Framework, the College Board’s AP Central page contained a series of frequently asked questions. One of the questions asked, “How does the AP U.S. History course and exam align with the Common Core State Standards?”

Mr. Packer answered, “The redesigned AP U.S. History course emphasizes developing students’ ability to analyze historical texts and to support their written responses using valid reasoning and relevant evidence. This emphasis dovetails with the Common Core State Standards for reading and writing literacy in history.”

Mr. Trevor’s words speak for themselves. When Common Core was widely adopted but not yet understood, Mr. Packer underscored the connections between it and the APUSH curriculum and Exam. Now that Common Core has become a political hot potato, Mr. Packer is conveniently distancing himself from these controversial standards. 

  1. PACKER CLAIM: FEDERAL FUNDING

The College Board receives a minuscule amount of funding from the federal government.

TRUTH:

Mr. Packer was obviously referring to the smaller stream of direct funding from the federal government. He neglected to mention that the College Board has received over $300 million over the last 10 years in federal funding that is first laundered through the states (through the AP Test Fee program and the AP Incentive program). The undeniable truth is that hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars end up in the coffers of the College Board. 

  1. THE FIRST INACCURATE AD HOMINEM ATTACK

Apparently recognizing that the College Board is losing the debate over the Framework’s negative portrayal of American history, Mr. Packer has resorted to a time-honored leftist debating tactic: Smear your opponents. That he chose a public forum in which to engage in such unprofessional behavior is quite remarkable.

Mr. Packer not only targeted Larry Krieger’s test-prep book, AP US History: The Essential Content, as the reason he decided to radically revise the APUSH course, but he also engaged in an ignorant adhominem attack on Mr. Krieger as well. Here are the facts: 

PACKER CLAIM:

The College Board’s 2003 survey of APUSH teachers revealed that 72 percent felt that the course put pressure on them to buy Mr. Krieger’s prep book – a book he repeatedly and scornfully displayed to the committee.

TRUTH:

Mr. Krieger’s book was not published until March 8, 2012, a fact prominently listed by Amazon.

PACKER CLAIM:

The new Framework posed a significant threat to Mr. Krieger’s livelihood, and that is the only reason he has criticized the Framework. 

TRUTH:

Mr. Krieger first called attention to the flaws in the redesigned APUSH Framework in the fall of 2013. He was surprised by the new Framework’s length and by its omission of key people, events, documents, and traditional themes such as American exceptionalism. He was also shocked by the document’s relentlessly negative portrayal of the American story as a narrative of greed, racism, and imperialism.

Mr. Krieger’s decision to speak out was not based on his economic self-interests; it was based on his principles. In fact, by publicly opposing the APUSH revision he is actually working against his financial interests. Those who understand free enterprise (or “Big Business” as the Framework deems it), know that the best thing that can happen to an author of a test-prep book is that the test changes. Then he can rewrite his book and sell the new one to the same families and schools who bought the first one. A change in the test thus creates a financial windfall.

This windfall opportunity was offered to Mr. Krieger in the form of a contract for a second edition of his more profitable AP US History Crash Course book published by REA. But Mr. Krieger refused the offer because his didn’t want to profit from something so out of alignment with his principles and so damaging to APUSH students. Mr. Packer either failed to investigate these facts before he engaged in the personal smear against Mr. Krieger, or (even worse) he knew the facts but ignored them. Either way, Mr. Packer’s behavior on this relatively minor issue colors the credibility of his entire presentation. 

  1. THE SECOND INACCURATE AD HOMINEM ATTACK

At the end of his presentation, a committee member asked Mr. Packer to respond to the decision of the Texas State Board of Education to pass a Resolution calling for changes in the APUSH Framework. Mr. Packer evaded the question, responding instead with a series of grossly inaccurate statements and allegations directed at Ms. Barbara Cargill, the Chairperson of the Texas State Board of Education.

Ms. Cargill is an elected official who has served the people of Texas with great distinction and integrity. Ms. Cargill has written Mr. Packer a forceful letter refuting all of his erroneous statements and demanding that he correct the record before the Committee. We can only hope that Mr. Packer responds appropriately.

The question of what our best and brightest history students will be taught about their country is critical to the preservation of our heritage. Deliberate misrepresentations are never appropriate in a debate, and particularly in a debate of this importance. Thank you for letting me correct the record.

Tanya Ditty

State Director

Concerned Women for America of GeorgiaAPHistory

Reposted in full by Reagangirl.com 11/15/14

 

 

November
14
2014

Does “Endangered” Listing Doom the Gunnison Sage Grouse?

November 14, 2014

As originally published on the Daily Caller  Nov. 12, 2014

The Endangered Species Act Set To Harm Another Endangered Species

By BRIAN SEASHOLES
Director, Reason Foundation Endangered Species Project 

Today the federal government takes a significant step to reinforce what has become increasingly clear over the Endangered Species Act’s forty-year history: the law’s penalty-based approach causes enormous harm to the very species it is supposed to protect.

The decision today to list the Gunnison sage grouse leaves the bird, its cousin the greater sage grouse, and many other imperiled species facing bleaker futures. Listing deters not only conservation in the Gunnison sage grouse’s Colorado and Utah range, but also conservation in many states, communities and businesses across the country that are working very hard to conserve imperiled species, prevent their listing and avoid the Endangered Species Act’s punitive and expensive regulations.

This is especially true for by far the biggest listing decision in the Act’s history; it seems enormous conservation efforts at a price of more than $1 billion were not able to prevent the greater sage grouse’s listing, which could cost 32,000 jobs and $5.6 billion in annual economic output across eleven western states and 165 million acres.

Greg Walcher, who was heavily involved in sage grouse conservation as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources from 1999-2004, asserts, “Massive investment and local participation was made with the clear understanding that the Gunnison sage grouse would not be added to the federal endangered species list.”

Gunnison County, which contains 93 percent of the grouse’s population, is ground zero for conservation efforts that include hiring the nation’s only full-time municipal endangered species biologist, stringent sage grouse-specific zoning ordinances, forming a working group in 1995 to organize and implement conservation initiatives, and protecting 97 percent of privately owned habitat with various agreements.

This private land is part of the 64,000 acres of sage grouse habitat in Colorado under conservation easements that cost the state $30 million and the 126,500 acres in a federally-approved Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances, which was sold to people, especially the forty-seven landowners who enrolled their land, as key to preventing listing.

“Nobody could do more than we’ve done,” Paula Swenson, chair of the Gunnison County Board of Commissioners, told the Denver Post.

The result has been a healthy, slowly increasing grouse population, most notably in Gunnison County. Despite all of this, the federal government has reneged and listed the grouse.

Communities and landowners in Colorado and Utah feel deeply betrayed and anxious because of the Endangered Species Act’s much-feared land and resource use regulations. “The community most impacted — ours — overwhelmingly opposes [listing the grouse]” states Chris Dickey, publisher of the Gunnison Country Times, a weekly newspaper and website. “The Gunnison Basin is a model for a community’s conservation-minded response to an imperiled species.”

The sage grouse also loses due to its listing. “A listing will have a lot of people saying, ‘I’m done,’” Jonathan Houck, Gunnison County Commissioner, told the Post. “I don’t mean we’re going to purposely bring harm to the bird and the habitat. But if you voluntarily alter how you work your land and that’s not enough, it sends a clear shot across the bow. It says, ‘Why put in the effort, why put in the money, why tax your resources? Because in the end it will never be enough.’”

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  11/14/11

November
13
2014

Who’s Land is Our Land Anyway?

November 13, 2014

The only one ‘seizing’ federal lands is Uncle Sam

as originally published on Watchdog.org

By   /   November 1, 2014   

Paul Gessing and Carl Graham

In a recent New York Times editorial, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., asserted that supporters of a transfer of some federal lands to the states are engaged in a “land grab.”

He’s not just wrong, he’s inverting the truth completely. It is actually the federal government that has “grabbed” New Mexicans’ lands.

In the past two years, Heinrich endorsed the federal government’s placing of more than 783,000 acres of New Mexico land — much of it private or “multiple-use” — in two highly restrictive “monument” designation: The Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountain monuments.

Ironically, while any effort to return some federal lands to New Mexico control would require the support and buy-in of large numbers of state and local officials, these two wilderness areas were declared by the Obama administration without so much as a single vote in Congress.

It is no surprise that Heinrich would support such a real land-grab, as he is known for reflexively supporting the radical environmental lobbying groups in Washington, D.C. He has a 93 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters and boasted a 100 percent score in 2013.

Given the environmental group’s penchant for shoving local interests and traditional users aside in order to increase the size of the federal estate (consider it one-stop-shopping for the environmental lobby), Heinrich also vastly prefers federal control of lands to private or state control.

WHO'S LAND IS IT ANYWAY:

WHO’S LAND IS IT ANYWAY: New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich has endorsed placing thousands of acres of New Mexico land in the Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountain monuments.

First, it is important to destroy a few myths.

The lands in question are not national parks or native lands. Rather, our efforts are focused on federal lands managed by the National Forest and Bureau of Land Management.

Under plans supported by our organizations, no lands would be privatized. Rather the lands managed by Washington, D.C., would devolve to state control.

Economically-speaking, the impact on New Mexico of state versus federal control over these lands would be stunning: up to 68,000 new jobs and $1 billion in new tax revenue. These astounding results are not the result of “privatizing” the lands, rather they are from simply managing Forest Service and BLM lands as other state lands are managed.

These jobs and economic activity would be a tremendous boon for New Mexico, which Heinrich represents, and remains one of the poorest states in the nation with little economic growth in the recent recovery.

Lest one be led to believe that such policies are advocated only by radical anti-government types and Republicans, New Mexico’s Land Commissioner Ray Powell, a Democrat with strong ties to the environmental community, has advocated for having the feds return 1 million acres of BLM lands in the state in order to bring in an estimated $50 million to fund new early childhood programs.

Democrats, too, understand that bureaucrats in Washington are too isolated and ignorant — no matter how well-intentioned — to understand the unique needs of Western states.

Also, our efforts to restore state control over certain federally managed lands are by no means based entirely on economics. Climate change is often cited in the media as the cause of recent forest fires that have raged in New Mexico and throughout the West. The reality is that poor federal management is a major contributor to rampant fires.

Going back to the Native Americans, lands were intensely managed. That ended when environmental zealots took control of Washington’s land management bureaucracies, eventually putting a stop to timber production and engaging in aggressive fire suppression that has caused a buildup of flammable material on forest floors.

Of course, users of these lands who have traditionally benefited from their “multiple-use” management are losing out as more and more of these lands are locked up as “wilderness” vast tracts of which are off limits to motor vehicles and non-recreational forms of human use.

The reality is that Heinrich and his radical friends in Washington are the ones grabbing lands in New Mexico and elsewhere. Advocates of restoring state control over these lands are attempting to restore some balance and sound management policies when it comes to large tracts of Western land.

Paul Gessing is president of the Rio Grande Foundation, a free market think tank based in New Mexico. Carl Graham is director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West, a project of the Utah-based Sutherland Institute.

Reposted within the guidelines of Watchdog.org by Reagangirl.com 11/13/14

November
12
2014

The Mesa County “Veterans Remember” Project

November 12, 2014

Grand Junction, Colorado

Professionals working with the Mesa County (Colorado) Library District have embarked on a quest to collect and preserve oral-histories provided by local veterans. The initial phase of the “Veterans Remember Project” is a collection of stories and memories from World War II, with those from Korea and Vietnam to follow. The project was introduced to the public on Veterans Day, 2014 at a local Chick-fil-a where veterans and their families commemorated World War II and previewed the first videos.

Included in this post are photographs from that preview event, as well as the first video oral-history in the initial phase of the Veterans Remember Project of Mesa County.

Children of the McCallister family dressed in vintage Military garb

Children of the McCallister family dressed in vintage Military garb

A WWII vet shares his story

A WWII vet shares his story

Actually footage from World War II provides the background for veterans' personal histories

Actually footage from World War II provides the background for veterans’ personal histories

World War II veterans and their families enjoy a free meal at Chick-fil-a

World War II veterans and their families enjoy a free meal at Chick-fil-a

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Video I

Dean Paul WWII Army

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Reagangirl.com

November
11
2014

Old Sarge: Remembering Veterans Day

November 11, 2014

This post was written by Vietnam veteran, author and friend, Forrest L. Gomez, affectionately know as Old Sarge.

REMEMBERING VETERANS DAY:

“The veteran may be the aged fellow who is still trying to shut out the images of the Tet Offensive of 1968, and still remembers how his former best friend in high school called him “baby killer” and “willing tool of the war mongers.”

They are a special brotherhood-sisterhood, they did things most people couldn’t imagine, and they sometimes came home to an indifferent or hostile public. Who and what is a veteran?

The veteran may be the old guy in the pool room who seems rude and defensive, frequently nervous, maybe smoking and drinking too much. How could one know that he lost his squad at the Chosin Reservoir?

The veteran may be the aged fellow who is still trying to shut out the images of the Tet Offensive of 1968, and still remembers how his former best friend in high school called him “baby killer” and “willing tool of the “war mongers.” But that wasn’t as bad as his girl friend leaving him once she got to college and learned a few things there.

The veteran may be the young woman who has to make frequent visits to the VA hospital at American Lake, because she unintentionally walked through an area where Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards, while in retreat, poured chemical agents on the ground. (You know, those WMDs that many on the left and conspiracy buffs say that the Iraqis never had.) She has a degenrative nerve disorder that doctors can’t identify and treat.

The veteran may be the young soldier who sheds tears of frustration, but continues to serve and fight, even though it seems that many of the Afghani people and his own government are ungrateful.

The veteran may be the guy who is somewhat traumatized, because he knew he could have helped at Benghazi.

And the veteran may be the old guy bagging groceries at the market, the guy who was a tail gunner in a B-17 over Europe in 1944. And oh…how he wishes his wife was still alive so she could hold him when the nightmares come.

All we really want is for the country to love us as much as we love it. The vast majority of us have picked up our lives and made ourselves useful and normal seeming. We simply ask our fellow Americans that our sacrifices not be forgotten, and we really appreciate it when someone says, “Thanks for your service.”

 

A happy and glorious Veterans Day to you all, and please remember that the only true path to peace is to know the peace of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Conspiracy buffs and lefties, please keep your comments to yourselves, thank you.

– The Sarge

Reposted with permission of the author by Reagangirl.com  11/11/14

November
9
2014

Reagan and the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9, 2014

As originally published by Zbigniew Mazurak on November 8, 2014

The REAL causes of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Today is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. On that evening, on November 9th, the East German government permitted its citizens to cross the border with West Berlin freely, and they began doing so in huge numbers.

These days, the media around the world propagate the claim that it was the citizens of East and West Germany, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the West German government’s policy, that brought the Berlin Wall down, while Ronald Reagan had little or nothing to do with it. When the world media covers the anniversary and its celebrations this week, you will hardly find or hear any mention of Ronald Reagan in the media or in the city of Berlin itself.

But the truth is that it was Ronald Reagan and his tough policy of exerting maximum pressure on the Soviet Union, especially on European, economic and human rights issues, that brought the Berlin Wall down. Throughout the entire 1980s, the US exerted enormous economic, military, and moral pressure on the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes, and THAT is what brought the Berlin Wall and the entire Soviet empire down.Furthermore, the West German government (and other Western European governments) NEVER had ANY intention whatsoever of dismantling the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire – and had these European governments had their way, the Soviet empire would’ve still existed to this very day. This article will prove this with facts.

West German Subsidies For the Evil Empire

Throughout the Cold War, and especially since the early 1970s, Western European countries and companies were doing lucrative business with the Soviet Union… lucrative at least for Moscow and for European companies – similarly to how they do today. Western European governments were also loaning lots of money to the Soviet regime, as well as paying the East German government for releasing dissidents from jail.

And just like today, Western European countries were steadily increasing their oil and gas imports from the Soviet Union – and in 1980, they consented to the construction of a new gas pipeline that would increase Soviet gas exports to Europe (and Europe’s dependence on that supply source) still further.

Had that pipeline been built on time and on the proposed scale, the Soviet empire and the Berlin Wall would likely have not collapsed at all.

The story begins in late 1979, when the Kremlin informed the West German government and business leaders that it wished to build a new gas pipeline from the Yamal Peninsula to West Germany, with the goal of significantly increasing Soviet gas exports to Europe. The Ruhrgas AG was to be the direct recipient of the gas, Mannesman AG was to deliver the equipment to build and operate the pipeline, while the Deutsche Bank was destined to finance the construction. After the West German government’s initial okay, secret talks began at Deutsche Bank’s HQ in Dusseldorf. These were so secret that no interpreters were hired – one of Deutsche Bank’s high-ranking employees speaking Russian served as the translator.

The initial talks were successful and were continued in December 1979 by Deutsche Bank personnel in Moscow; with the support from the Soviet and West German governments, the talks were speedily advanced, with the West German business leaders knowing they’d be spending 10 billion West German marks – a huge sum of money – on building a pipeline that would immensely profit the Soviet Union.

With the Soviet and West German government’s support, an initial agreement was soon reached, and a Deutsche Bank branch was soon opened in Moscow to coordinate the project. When then West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt personally discussed the project with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev on the phone, the talks were greatly sped up.

On June 30th, 1980, Schmidt arrived in Moscow and, despite the Soviet regime’s aggressive designs and its aggression against Afghanistan (which he didn’t care about), he signed a long-term economic cooperation agreement with Moscow that paved the way for the pipeline’s construction. Two weeks later – on the day the Moscow Olympic Games began – Deutsche Bank and the Soviet government began official negotiations on its pipeline, and a final was struck in Leningrad in 1983. This was AFTER Helmut Kohl and his CDU party came to power in 1982 – because the Kohl government, like the Schmidt cabinet, ALSO supported the pipeline’s construction and continued subsidies to the Soviet regime.

Ronald Reagan Strikes Back

But even before the deal was finally signed, Ronald Reagan counterattacked. Knowing the Soviet Union’s deep economic problems and the fact that destroying the Soviet economy was key to bringing the Soviet empire down, he imposed a slew of sanctions against the USSR in December 1981 after Moscow’s puppet regime in Poland implemented martial law to preserve communism there and crack down on Lech Walesa’s Solidarity.

Among the sanctions imposed on the USSR was a ban on exporting any pipeline machinery as well as machines used to extract oil and gas. This was intended to strike at the USSR’s Achilles heel – its dependence on oil and gas revenue. Western European companies were building such machinery based on American export licenses, but President Reagan revoked these. His sanctions were toughened still in September 1983 after the Russians shot down a civilian Korean airliner (KAL Flight 007).

Furthermore, President Reagan pressured the West German government and business leaders to cancel the pipeline’s construction. He did not succeed completely in that regard, but under his pressure, the pipeline’s scope was reduced from two lines to just one, and the whole project was delayed by many years – so much so that it wasn’t completed until 1999, eight years after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

This huge delay and reduction in scope of the project proved fatal to the Soviet Union. Making matters even worse for them, President Reagan deregulated the oil industry in the US and convinced Saudi Arabia to dramatically increase oil production. This brought about the oil glut of the late 1980s: in November 1985, a barrel of oil cost $30 (in 1985 dollars); by April 1986, it cost only $12. Moscow lost $10 bn (again, in 1985’s terms) in just five months as a result.

It was all downhill for the USSR from then on. That very month, in April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear powerplant exploded, causing damage costing hundreds of billions of dollars. The war in Afghanistan dragged on – partially because of the Reagan Administration’s covert support for the Afghan mujahedeen fighting the Soviets.

And the Reagan Administration also dramatically toughened the arms race with the USSR by greatly increasing US defense spending and investing it in new, cutting-edge weapon platforms such as the B-2 stealth bomber (first flown in 1989, introduced in 1993), the MX Peacekeeper rail-mobile ICBM that could carry 10 nuclear warheads, nuclear-armed cruise missiles launched from air, naval, and ground platforms (including the BGM-109A Tomahawk A, scrapped unilaterally by Barack Obama), the Pershing intermediate range missiles that countered Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe, the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines (carrying 24 missiles each, more than any Soviet submarine could), the Trident missiles deployed on these submarines, the tank-killing Apache helicopter capable of obliterating the massed Soviet tank armies in Europe; the Aegis class of surface combatants; and many more.

Most importantly, the Reagan Administration initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, dubbed the Star Wars, against which the Soviet Union wasn’t capable of mounting any effective response due to its technological backwardness. In the 1980s, the US, and especially its military, was quickly being computerized – computers became an integral part of everything and made life and military operations easier. The Soviet Union, by contrast, was as short on computers as on human rights. Even the Soviet Chief of the General Staff, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, admitted that the USSR was being overtaken by the US because of the revolution ushered in by computers.

Gorbachev tried his best to negotiate the SDI away, but Ronald Reagan held firm.

Moral Pressure Added to Economic and Military Pressure

Fully confident of its massive economic and military strength rebuilt by President Reagan, the US exerted increasing moral pressure on the USSR. That pressure culminated in the late 1980s.

President Reagan’s goal was nothing short of dismantling the Iron Curtain and the Soviet empire. As he said himself, his goal in the Cold War was to ensure that “we win, they lose.”  His Administration’s goal was to change the Soviet regime, and that goal was enshrined in Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive 75, signed by him in 1983. More importantly, that goal was actively sought (and ultimately achieved).

Like nobody else in the world, President Reagan exerted enormous pressure on the Soviet Union throughout his presidency. Only he had the courage to utter these memorable words in Berlin on June 12th, 1987:

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

Mr. Gorbachev — Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Not only that, but he confidently predicted, “Yes, this wall will fall.” He didn’t just say he demanded that it be dismantled – he predicted that it WOULD BE. And it was. For, as President Reagan said:

As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.

This rhetoric was opposed by many in his administration (including Howard Baker and Colin Powell) and by all Western European governments except Margaret Thatcher’s. President Reagan’s advisors repeatedly attempted to delete those words from the speech, but Reagan personally overruled them.

Yes, to deliver these remarks, President Reagan had to face down many people even in his own administration.

Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev: False Heroes Who Tried To Preserve the Soviet Empire

And of course, Western European governments, especially that of West Germany led by Helmut Kohl, still tried to save the Soviet Union with  subsidies, low-interest loans, and debt write-offs. In 1988 alone, West Germany lent the USSR 3 billion Deutschmarks. All told, from 1985 to 1991, Western European governments lent the USSR the equivalent of 15 billion dollars.

Fortunately, that proved to be woefully inadequate for the USSR to survive, thanks to Ronald Reagan’s skillful use of the economic lever. The ongoing war in Afghanistan and the costs of maintaining a global Communist empire and a huge state bureaucracy added to the USSR’s economic woes.

Nor did Gorbachev try, or even intend, to dismantle the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire. On the contrary, he wanted to preserve and strengthen that empire. That was the goal of his reforms – perestroika and glasnost. His reforms were intended to STRENGTHEN the Soviet Union and the Communist system without touching their very nature. He believed that through half-measures such as less interference in state-owned enterprises’ affairs, he could revive and strengthen the Soviet economy.

This was no different from Tsar Alexander II’s and Tsar Nikolai II’s half-hearted “reforms” in the 1860s and 1900s, respectively: to change something so that nothing would really change.

Gorbachev’s reforms failed to strengthen the USSR – just like those Tsars’ pseudo-reforms failed completely – because you can’t save a rotten, totally failing, broken system by reforming it timidly and too late. If a system is completely broke and failing, the only right thing to do is to scrap it completely and start anew – which Gorbachev was completely unwilling to do.

Nor did Gorbachev want to dismantle the Soviet empire and free captive nations, despite his promise to give Eastern European nations the right of self-determination. He did not use force to stave off the Soviet empire’s demise – because he wasn’t able to. By 1989, the Soviet Union’s economic problems were so deep, the USSR – freshly booted out of Afghanistan by sandal-shod mujahedeen – was in no position to intervene militarily in East Germany, Poland, or Hungary. The fiscal costs alone would’ve been prohibitive, and those countries’ populations would’ve certainly resisted.

Gorbachev is not a hero; he’s just a flake who couldn’t keep the Soviet empire from collapsing. And today, he supports the murderous, criminal, illegal neo-Soviet dictator of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who is trying to restore the Soviet empire. This proves what an immoral person Gorbachev is.

Ronald Reagan Is The Real Hero

The real architect of the Berlin Wall’s and the USSR’s collapse was Ronald Reagan. As Professor Robert Kaufman rightly observed in 2011:

It is hard to see (…) how Gorbachev and a policy of conciliation deserve more credit for ending the Cold War in America’s favor than Reagan and his policy of vigilance. The restoration of American power under Ronald Reagan gave the Soviet Union little choice but to take the risk of choosing a reformer such as Gorbachev, who recognized that the Soviet Union could no longer compete against a rejuvenated, self-confident United States unless it liberalized at home and pursued a more conciliatory policy abroad.

Nor was Gorbachev a genuine democrat. He aimed only to reform Communism, not to abolish it. His regime began to implode under the cumulative effect of decades of U.S. containment, Reagan’s confrontational policies intensifying American pressure at a critical moment, and the mortal contradictions inherent in the Soviet system. Whereas Gorbachev did not intend the breathtaking collapse of Communism that his domestic reforms unwittingly unleashed, Ronald Reagan expected and dedicated his political life to achieving this outcome.

When the free world celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall today, don’t forget to honor the real architect of that event – President Ronald Reagan.

peacethroughstrength

 

Ronald Reagan’s historic speech at the Brandenberg Gate

Remembering the end of the Cold War

Reposted with permission of the author by Reagangirl.com  11/9/14

November
7
2014

Prepping the Essentials for Veterans

November 7, 2014

As originally published on American Preppers Network

Prepping from Square One: How Returning Veterans Can Start Setting Up

Returning VeteransBy Christina Moore

As much as you might have looked forward to leaving the service, making that transition is always difficult. Life in the service is so regimented and so controlled that when you leave, all of that (for lack of a better word) freedom can make you feel like you are literally at loose ends. Even the most well adjusted have a hard time making the transition.

One sentiment that many people express after they leave the service is that building their home helped. This doesn’t have to mean literally building a house, though if you want to spend some time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, that’s great! In this case, what they mean is finding a permanent home, moving in and making it their own.

Note: It is true that many service people get sent out to active duty and their families stay behind and take care of the home finding/nesting things while they are away. For active duty service people whose families traveled with them and who primarily used base housing, finding a new house and “nesting it up” can be very soothing.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that the buying process can be very stressful, especially if you and your spouse are now trying to find civilian employment. Remember: there are some housing benefits that are only offered after you leave the service. For example, service members are entitled to lower mortgage rates than civilians. Of course, not all lenders know how to track down service details and apply these benefits, so it may be helpful to reference online resources like Low VA Rates, which specializes in helping veterans find mortgages.

Once you have the house, you can start nesting and prepping. A lot of veterans find that creating a schedule for these things and sticking to it is very helpful. In a way, they take the rigid time management of their service and apply it here: they spend X time working on unpacking, helping the family decorate, etc. Then they spend X time finding employment, meeting with transition counselors, getting set up with their health and other VA benefits, etc.

Another great place to apply this rigidity is with your budget. It’s great that you want to jump right in to prepping but don’t spend all of your money on supply stocks. Instead, create space in your household budget to build up your supplies. Then, portion that line item out into things like food, canning, non perishables and other supplies, etc. There are all sorts of items that you’ll want to store.

In the beginning, though, you’ll want to stock up primarily on food stores and basic supplies like toilet paper. A lot of ex service people think the best way to do this is by buying up caseloads of MREs but believe us when we tell you: there are lots of other types of food that you can store and store well. Yes, having the MREs on hand will give you peace of mind, but do you really want those things to be your first option instead of your last? Even when, if you learn how to can and store better tasting stuff, you can have lots of great stuff on hand?

You can also apply this structure to learning new skills. Make time to learn things like canning, building, etc. You learned a lot of survival skills while you were in the service. There are, of course, other skills that can be helpful to someone who wants to really embrace the prepping lifestyle.

A lot of people believe that our lifestyle is extreme and, no matter how many episodes of the Walking Dead they watch that they don’t need these skills. Even if you’re pretty sure you’ll never really need your stores and prepping skills, the prepper lifestyle is a great way to help ease the stress of transitioning from active duty to civilian life.

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  11/7/14

November
6
2014

Old Sarge on the 2014 Midterms: The Brink of Ruin or Triumph?

November 6, 2014

This is an excellent analysis of where we are as a nation on the brink of ruin, or triumph, written by Vietnam veteran, author, historian and friend, Forrest L. Gomez, affectionately known as Old Sarge.

FROM THE DESK OF OLD SARGE:

Charlie Crist of Florida now holds a peculiar place in history. He is the only candidate in America to lose various elections as a Republican, a Democrat, and an independent. Joni Ernst, the new senator from Iowa, is not going to have to wait until she gets to DC to hear the squeals of tax-and-spend progressives. Liberal callers to radio talk shows are squealing everything from “fraud” to shades of Armageddon. Many are seminar callers, asking what the Republicans are going to do first: outlaw abortion, outlaw gay marriage, or pass more tax breaks for the rich. Some are sure that the GOP will have boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria by the end of next year. The Libertarian Party was well funded by the Democrat Party, and managed to prevent success for Republicans in several key areas. Democrats spent more than twice as much on the aforementioned election, proving once again that a great deal of money spent on candidates does not necessarily guarantee success. That’s why Ross Perot, Steve Forbs, and Donald Trump were not our last three presidents.

Once again, pity the poor Democrats. So many have called Suicide Prevention, that hold times average 2.5 hours. Many Dems did not get out of the needle exchanges in time to vote. The Seattle Police say that 25% of Seattle’s population is high at any one time. Perhaps that and apathy explains much. They should all take their illegal immigrant house servants to lunch and chill.

Once again, Democrats and their associates in the media are formulating the usual excuses: 1) It was not a wave, just a protest against incumbents, 2) We didn’t shout our message loud enough, 3) The GOP cheated and/or stole elections, and 4) The people are stupid. The conspiracy buffs are out in force as well, and as usual. For myself, I am glad that the arrogant, snarky libs who said we were going to have our a**** handed to us are looking for reasons why they failed, other than the fact that they support a system that always fails.

Perhaps some people saw the irony of Democrats accusing my side of a “war on women,” then appointing chronic woman-abuser Bill Clinton as a spokesman for the cause. Perhaps some people are disturbed by the President trading five top terrorists for a probable deserter, but not lifting a finger to help a Marine held unjustly in a Mexican jail. Perhaps some people are disturbed that Democrats don’t care for Americans owning guns, but don’t care that our government has given weapons to drug cartels and Muslim extremists. Perhaps some people were disturbed that our government wants to fund contraception for college girls, but not fund the Military. Perhaps many were disturbed by the incessant scandals and wasting of money, projects like the CDC studying how chimpanzees throw dung at each other to communicate.

large_di-0707-2_m-4535_march-to-trenton-web

Politically, we are at the stage George Washington and the patriots were following the Battles of Trenton and Saratoga. There is much to do and a long way to go to take the country back, and we could still lose if we show weakness and any hesitation. We are going to have to think generationally in terms of repairing the damage done to our country by liberalism and political correctness. God has smiled on us this day for our efforts. He will not do so again if we procrastinate.

Remember, my brothers and sisters, we are the children of the American Revolution. The misguided types on the left are children of the French Revolution. Look it up if you don’t know what that means.

May God hold you in his mighty embrace always, friends, and be with you this day.

- The Sarge

Reposted with permission of the author by Reagangirl.com 11/6/14

November
6
2014

Hickenlooper Staffer Uses Obscene Gesture at Victory Speech

November 6, 2014

In typical classy Democrat fashion, John Hickenlooper’s chief of staff, Roxane White flips the bird at those asking for her to serve four more years.

I hope all you squishy Coloradans who voted for this smug, gun-grabbing Obama suck up realize that you made a massive mistake.

Posted by Reagangirl.com  11/6/14

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