Friday, May 31, 2013
We especially like the words "all similarly situated individuals", what the blue blazes does that mean? Does it mean the person next to me has to be in the same chair? The same building? The same state? Of the same weight, BMI, height? So it goes with governmenteez. You need another dictionary to understand what they are trying to say.
Obamacrapcare will be written in this non-English, government speak language that you need attorneys to understand and tell you how you must act. We guess that is good for the authors, it is called job security!
By the way, if the left is always screaming about "getting the government out of the bedroom", "away from my body", or whatever other caterwauls they want to express. Why are they so welcoming of a program that is very involved in your body. If you want to stop smoking or lose weight or get in better shape, that is a personal choice and the government should not have anything to say about it.
Oh darn, we forget. It is OK to control things the left wants. It is OK for them to force you into programs like the "wellness" programs because "it will be good for you." It is OK to say you can only drink a 16 ounce drink because "colas increase weight and this will be "good for you." It is OK to force restaurants to show the calories and such in their menus because "it will be good for you" even though most Americans don't understand the information.
The next time we hear a lefty saying "why doesn't the government......" we are going to ask them, "why can't you do..." Isn't it time for personal responsibility rather than laying it off on the government?
May 31, 2013
On May 29, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services issued final regulations amending the 2006 HIPAA nondiscrimination wellness regulations to implement the employer wellness program provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The final rules retain the two categories of wellness programs – “participatory wellness programs” and “health-contingent wellness programs.” The final rules do not deviate extensively from the proposed regulations issued in November 2012, although the content has been reorganized to more clearly set forth the requirements for each type of wellness program. The participatory wellness program rules are basically unchanged from the current 2006 regulations – participatory wellness programs comply with the HIPAA nondiscrimination requirements as long as the participant does not have to satisfy any additional standards and participation in the program is made available to all similarly situated individuals, regardless of health status. However, the final rules update and expand on the requirements for health-contingent wellness programs, which condition a reward on a participant’s satisfaction of a standard related to a health factor.
Under the final rules, there are two types of health-contingent wellness programs – “activity-only” programs and “outcome-based” programs. An activity-based wellness program provides a reward if an individual performs or completes an activity related to a health factor, but it does not require the individual to satisfy any specific health outcome. Examples include walking or exercise programs in which a reward is provided just for participation, or rewards for taking a health risk assessment without requiring any further action. An outcome-based wellness program requires an individual to either attain or maintain a specific health outcome – for example, not smoking or achieving certain results in biometric screenings – in order to obtain a reward.
All health-contingent wellness programs must meet five requirements:
1. Eligible individuals must be given an opportunity to qualify for the reward at least once per year.
2. Generally, the reward may not exceed 30% of the total cost of employee-only coverage (including both the employee and employer portion of the cost of coverage). If dependents are permitted to participate, the reward can be calculated on the basis of 30% of the cost of coverage in which the employee and any dependents are enrolled. In the case of a program designed to reduce or prevent tobacco use, the maximum reward amount is 50% of the total cost of coverage. The reward limit is cumulative for all health-contingent wellness programs.
3. The program must be reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease.
4. For an activity-based wellness program, the full reward must be available to all similarly situated individuals by offering a reasonable alternative standard for obtaining a reward if it is either unreasonably difficult due to a medical condition to satisfy or medically inadvisable to attempt to satisfy the otherwise applicable standard. A wellness program can require verification from a physician that an individual’s health factor makes it unreasonably difficult or medically inadvisable to attempt to satisfy the regular standard.
For an outcome-based wellness program, the full reward must be available to anyone who does not meet the standard based on the initial measurement, test, or screening. The alternative standard cannot be a requirement to meet a different level of the same standard without additional time to comply – for example, if the initial standard is to achieve a body mass index of less than 30, the reasonable alternative standard cannot be to achieve a BMI of less than 31 on that same date, but it might be reasonable to require the individual to reduce his or her BMI by a smaller amount over the course of a year or other realistic period of time. If the individual’s physician joins in the individual’s request for an alternative standard, the physician can be involved in setting (and adjusting) a second alternative standard, consistent with medical appropriateness.
An alternative standard is not reasonable under either type of program unless the time commitment required to satisfy the standard is reasonable. If the alternative standard requires completion of an educational or diet program, the employer must assist the individual in finding the program, and the individual cannot be required to pay for the cost of the program. The alternative standard must accommodate the recommendations of an individual’s personal physician as to medical appropriateness.
5. The availability of a reasonable alternative standard to qualify for the reward must be disclosed in all materials describing the terms of the wellness program. For an outcome-based wellness program, a similar statement must be included in a notice that the individual did not satisfy the initial outcome-based standard. Sample language is provide in the final rule.
The final rules apply to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered group health plans in both the insured and self-insured markets and are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Plan sponsors and issuers should review their current wellness programs and health plan communications in light of these final rules.
Used with permission by McDermott Will & Emery LLP.
Doctors In Revolt Over Obamacare Want To Be Paid Like Mechanics, Plumbers, Hairdressers
Citing insurance regulations and Medicare changes that make it impossible for doctors to give patients the best individual care possible, Michael Ciampi, M.D., of South Portland, Maine, decided to turn to the free market and get back to a patient-first method of medical care.
As of this spring, the Ciampi Family Practice announced that it would no longer accept private insurance or government Medicare for its services. Instead, the healthcare provider would operate as a cash-only clinic.
“I went into medicine, particularly family practice to take care of people. Insurance regulations and ever changing Medicare laws are interfering with my ability to do this,” Ciampi explains on his website. “Also, the amount of paperwork I need to complete and new rules and regulations I need to learn and follow are now dominating the time and energy which I would prefer to spend with patients. The consequences for not obeying these rules and laws is substantial and could involve enormous fines, or time served in a prison.”
The doctor contends that government meddling has driven up healthcare costs, having an inflationary effect that is threatening patient health and doctors’ ability to keep clinic doors open in the United States.
“Because of the way the insurance companies and the government have interfered with the pricing of medical services, the prices have become overly inflated. It created a system where doctors were forced to charge far more than they ever expected to receive. Part of the bill goes to offset the administrative costs of cooperating with insurance companies, and allow for mandatory write off amounts,” Ciampi says. “By cutting out the middlemen, we cut out a lot of confusion, time, and overhead. If we know that we will actually be paid what we charge (like a plumber, bricklayer, or hairdresser), we can cut our rates dramatically.”
And judging by the price list for services on the practices’ website, the doctor is offering patients a value for his services, ranging from a $50 bill for a simple office visit for a cold or sinus infection to $250 for minor surgeries that may require stitches.
Ciampi says his colleagues in the healthcare business are handling what is observed as a nearly universal uncertainty about the future of American medicine in different ways. Some owners of smaller practices are selling out to larger healthcare providers, and some have opted to wait out the coming changes before making any drastic changes to the way they do business. But he believes other small practices will be looking to doctors attempting direct pay operations.
“Charging people what we feel are reasonable rates and working for them directly fits best with our values. We do not expect to get rich. We would like to survive and thrive. The direct pay model has been working well in other parts of the country,” he says on his website. “It should work well in Maine also. Many of the other solo physicians in our area will be watching us. They may make the same change that we are now if we are successful. “
And Ciampi is right. The impending Obamacare changes seem to have sparked a sort of revolt with healthcare practices similar to his all over the United States.
Ryan Neuhofel, D.O., based in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas, also runs a direct pay clinic and similarly offers a straightforward menu of services and prices online. His patients sign up for a membership with the clinic — which costs $10 a month for people under 29, $20 for over 30, and $50 for families of up to six people — and are then able to receive a handful of free health services and a gamut of for-payment treatments.
And last month, Reason reported that similar healthcare providers are getting started throughout the Nation:
This model is growing in popularity. Leading practitioners of direct primary care include Seattle, Washington-based Qliance, which has raised venture capital funding from Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, and comedian (and Reason Foundation Trustee) Drew Carey; MedLion, which is about to expand its business to five states; and AMG Medical Group, which operates several offices in New York City. Popular health care blogger Dr. Rob Lamberts has written at length about his decision to dump his traditional practice in favor of this model.
The growing number of healthcare providers shunning traditional insurance coincides directly with government’s increasing hand in medicine, and for good reason. As Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has his own roots in medicine, pointed out earlier this month to the Iowa Republican Party: 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes doctors will have to use in order to inform the government about injuries are being perfected. The codes include line-items for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”
“Included among these codes will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals; 72 new codes for injuries just from birds; 9 new codes for ‘injuries from the macaw.’” Paul said on May 10.
“The macaw?” he went on. “I’ve asked physicians all over the country, ‘Have you ever seen an injury from a macaw?”‘
It is certainly safe to say that none of the direct pay clinics researched in the writing of this article offered a price for treatment of flaming ski injuries or parrot attacks.
If you went to Syria and met with the head of the anti-Assad troops, would you be sent to Gitmo? Possibly, it would depend how well you are connected. Apparently, McCain is very well connected. He went to see the head of the Free Syrian Army and returned without any penalty.
Which brings up the question, how is the National Defense Authorization Act is going to be enforced? Does it depend upon who you are and who you know? If you are a no-name, does it give you a free trip to Cuba? Whereas the same person who is powerful or has powerful friends, doing exactly things, will not be bothered?
Of course, this is the Obama Administration and we suspect the act will be enforced only against those who are of the opposite party or philosophy especially if Eric Holder is still the Attorney General!
One question, where did equality under the law go? What about blind justice? Apparently, those along with the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Tenth Amendment have all gone the way of the buggy whip in this country. It is a sad day!
Why Isn’t McCain On His Way To Guantanamo?
May 29, 2013 by Bob Livingston
Senator John McCain consorted with al-Qaida allies — and, hence, enemies of America — during his trip to Syria over the Memorial Day weekend.
In meeting with Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), McCain met with a man who has aligned himself with Arhar al Sham, a partner of Al-Nusra Front, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization. Just last month al-Qaida in Iraq declared al-Nusra was its branch in Syria. Idris claims his group doesn’t work with Al-Nusra, but the two have fought side by side and shared arms in their battle to overthrow Bashar Assad. Together, the groups, along with the Forouq Brigades and the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (a coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups that have vowed to create an Islamic state in Syria), form the FSA. Even The New York Times has reported that the groups that make up the FSA share Islamist ideals.
Two weeks ago, the FSA produced a video and posted it to YouTube showing Abu Sakkareating the heart of a dead Syrian soldier. Sakkar is commander of the Farouq Brigades. Human Rights Watch recently claimed that Shakkar shelled Shia Villages — populated with women and children — in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. An FSA-produced video last year showed one of its soldiers beheading a civilian. Amnesty International has documented a number of war crimes committed by FSA soldiers and commanders.
Prior to the NATO-inspired coup attempt on the Assad regime, Christians lived in peace in Syria. But the FSA has been killing Christians and burning churches.
The passage of the National Defense Authorization Act gave the President the discretion of deciding that if Americans collaborate with terrorists, they can be indefinitely detained without the right of habeas corpus. The question is: Why isn’t McCain on his way to Guantanamo Bay wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles?
Why Is The Leftist Media Going After The IRS Victims?
May 30, 2013 by Wayne Allyn Root
Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. President Barack Obama is in deep trouble — impeachment trouble. This Internal Revenue Service scandal must go far deeper than anyone understands at the moment. It must lead directly to the highest echelons of the Obama White House.
How do I know? Because the media is no longer defending Obama. Instead, they’ve switched to smearing his victims.
Last week, Obama’s loyal defenders “The Daily Show” and Mother Jones magazine both put out hit pieces on one particular victim on the same day: me. I’m a Las Vegas small businessman who for four years has spoken out loudly about Obama’s destruction of capitalism, small business, economic freedom and the American dream.
I started writing about this IRS scandal publicly about a year ago, including here at Personal Liberty. I was the first critic in the country to warn taxpayers, business owners and conservatives that this was all part of a plan: a purposeful attack on capitalism. In my bookThe Ultimate Obama Survival Guide, which was written long before the IRS scandal went public, I warned that Obama was using the IRS to purposely target his political opposition — to silence his critics, cripple conservative fundraisers and bankrupt conservative donors.
Then, in the past three weeks, I’ve written about how deep this IRS scandal goes at Personal Liberty, FOX News, World Net Daily and TheBlaze. It is no coincidence that two powerful media outlets chose to attack me on the exact same day last week. Somebody in the Obama White House is getting very nervous.
This IRS scandal isn’t just about targeting faceless Tea Party groups. The IRS wishes that’s all you ever hear about this scandal. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. As I’ve said all along, this is about targeting and trying to intimidate and silence individual Obama critics and GOP donors. That’s a scandal that brings down a Presidency.
For the past three years, the IRS has targeted and tried to intimidate me. I believe it was on direct orders from the Obama White House. Obviously, as one of the country’s loudest critics and Obama’s Columbia college classmate, I got under his skin. I’m certain he whispered to Valerie Jarrett or Rahm Emanuel or David Axelrod, and a phone call was made to the IRS: “Make this guy’s life miserable.” Oh, and by the way, even if you agree with Obama and think I deserved to be punished, that act is criminal. Congress created laws after the Richard Nixon IRS scandal that made it clear that if someone is targeted for his political views, people in the White House are going to prison.
But I keep pointing out I’m only the tip of the iceberg. I guarantee there are thousands of victims like me across the United States: Obama critics and GOP donors. I must be hitting too close to home. Now, rather than defending the President, the media have obviously decided to attack, smear and libel the victim. Why? When the lawyer has no grounds to defend his client, out of desperation he smears the victim.
In the case of “The Daily Show,” I was invited to New York to do an interview. They said it would be “fun” (producer’s words) and friendly. They said Jon Stewart was on my side about the IRS scandal and wanted to hear from a victim like me.
First, they insisted on doing the interview directly after a five-hour cross-country flight. Then, they ambushed me. They interrogated me in a boiling hot room for two hours. Of course, they left the entire first friendly hour of the interview on the cutting room floor. They used only the part where they tried to blame the victim. “You had it coming.” They tried to make the case that IRS targeting is the same as asking someone a few extra questions at the airport (to try to save lives).
They even brought surprise “victims” on the set to claim they were victims of “racial profiling.” It was all designed to make a conservative (me) look like a racist and hypocrite, thereby allowing them to rationalize that criminal actions by the IRS were acceptable.
“The Daily Show” may have desperately tried to smear me and damage my credibility. But ironically, in doing so, it proved my case. This is exactly how Obama and his defenders think; they believe it’s perfectly fine to use the force of government (or the media) to destroy the lives of people because of their political beliefs. “The Daily Show” did the exact same thing to me as Obama and the IRS. It targeted me for destruction.
The real scandal is my answers didn’t fit the pre-written script. In my “Daily Show” interview, I repeatedly said I do not support profiling based on race, religion or gender. I repeatedly said I only support studying and adopting the Israeli method of airport security, which does not profile based on race or religion. It is proven the most effective form of airport security in the world. But I have never supported police race profiling. So they selectively cut and edited two hours of filming down to a few short out of context sound bites to make it appear that I did. Some might call that fraud. At best, it’s dishonest and purposely misleading.
On the same day, the leftist magazine Mother Jones, chose the same “attack the victim” approach. It used my tax court victory to claim that I deserved to be targeted by the IRS. That’s interesting logic. It condemned me for taking basic business deductions and the same mortgage deduction that millions of taxpayers have always taken.
Mother Jones is more interested in a small businessman taking his legal mortgage deduction, than it is in questioning why the new Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew keeps his money in the Cayman Islands. That about says it all.
But Mother Jones didn’t stop there. In hundreds of interviews I have never questioned Obama’s place of birth. Yet, in an attempt to destroy my credibility, it started the article about the IRS scandal by calling me a “birther.” It could have described me as a former CNBCanchorman or successful entrepreneur or bestselling author or TV producer. But it chose only “birther” — even though I’ve never in my life been a “birther.” Someone is getting very desperate.
Folks, this Obama IRS scandal is far worse than we currently understand. It reaches straight to the Obama White House. Why else would the left be trying to destroy the credibility and reputation of a victim of the IRS scandal? If there is no truth to my charges, why bother to respond? Why not just ignore me? Why conduct a major national TV interview under false pretenses, then take the interview out of context to smear me? Why make up names like “birther” to describe me, when I’m not a “birther?” Something smells rotten in Denmark, folks.
The answer is clear. Because the leftist media understands how bad this IRS scandal is and because they can’t defend the President’s actions, they’ve decided to conduct a “scorched earth” campaign and smear the victims.
Just like the IRS scandal itself, my story is just the tip of the iceberg. I guarantee you this smear campaign is happening to victims across the USA, and it will only get worse as the scandal deepens and Obama’s desperation to hold onto power gets more extreme.
I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you next week. Same time, same place. May God bless America as we deal with this out-of-control gangster government assaulting its own citizens, taxpayers and patriots.
Regardless of who wins the civil war in Syria, it is clear that the country will be an enemy of Israel. We know from the following AP article that Assad will not be a friend. If the rebels win, who knows who will be in command and what their attitudes will be but we suspect it will not be a positive for the Jewish nation.
Assad Vows to Attack Israel
Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:24 PM
Assad also told the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar that Russia has fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included advanced S-300 air defense systems.
The comments were in line with a forceful and confident message the regime has been sending in recent days, even as the international community attempts to launch a peace conference in Geneva, possibly next month. The strong tone coincided with recent military victories in battles with armed rebels trying to topple him.
The interview was broadcast as Syria's main political opposition group appeared to fall into growing disarray.
The international community had hoped the two sides would start talks on a political transition. However, the opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, said earlier Thursday that it would not attend a conference, linking the decision to a regime offensive on the western Syrian town of Qusair and claiming that hundreds of wounded people were trapped there.
Assad, who appeared animated and gestured frequently in the TV interview, said he has been confident from the start of the conflict more than two years ago that he would be able to defeat his opponents.
"Regarding my confidence about victory, had we not had this confidence, we wouldn't have been able to fight in this battle for two years, facing an international attack," he said. Assad portrayed the battle to unseat him as a "world war against Syria and the resistance" — a reference to the Lebanese Hezbollah, a close ally.
"We are confident and sure about victory, and I confirm that Syria will stay as it was," he said, "but even more than before, in supporting resistance fighters in all the Arab world."
Assad has said he would stay in power at least until elections scheduled in 2014, but he went further in the interview, saying he "will not hesitate to run again" if the Syrian people want him to do so.
Taking a tough line, he also warned that Syria would strike back hard against any future Israeli airstrike.
Earlier this month, Israel had struck near Damascus, targeting suspected shipments of advanced weapons purportedly intended for Hezbollah. Syria did not respond at the time.
Assad said he has informed other countries that Syria would respond next time. "If we are going to retaliate against Israel, this retaliation should be a strategic response," he said.
Russia's S-300 missiles would significantly boost Syria's air defenses and are seen as a game-changer, but Assad was unclear whether Syria has received a first shipment.
Earlier Thursday, Al-Manar had sent text messages to reporters with what it said was an excerpt from the interview.
The station quoted Assad as saying Syria had received a first shipment of such missiles. The Associated Press called Al-Manar after receiving the text message, and an official at the station said the message had been sent based on Assad's comments.
In the interview, Assad was asked about the S-300s, but his answer was general.
He said Russia's weapons shipments are not linked to the Syrian conflict. "We have been negotiating with them about different types of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to Syria to implement these contracts," he said.
"All we have agreed on with Russia will be implemented and some of it has been implemented recently, and we and the Russians continue to implement these contracts," he said.
Earlier this week, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel considered the S-300s in Syrian hands a threat and signaled it was prepared to use force to stop delivery. Israel had no comment Thursday.
The S-300s have a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and can track and strike multiple targets at once. Syria already possesses Russian-made air defenses.
The U.S. and Israel had urged Russia to cancel the sale, but Russia rejected the appeals.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week that the U.S. is concerned about Moscow's continued financial and military support for the Assad regime, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Meanwhile, Assad dismissed Syria's political opposition as foreign-directed exiles who don't represent the people of Syria.
The Syrian National Coalition has been meeting for more than a week in Istanbul to expand its membership, elect new leaders and devise a strategy for possible peace talks.
Coalition members got bogged down in personnel issues for much of the time. On Thursday, they announced that under current circumstances, they will not attend peace talks.
In the interview, Assad reiterated that the Syrian government is ready to attend in principle, though he said any agreement reached there would have to be put to a referendum.
"We will go to this conference as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. Whom do they represent?" he said of the opposition.
"We know that we are going to negotiate with the countries that stand behind it (the opposition) and not to negotiate with them. When we speak with the slave, we are indirectly negotiating with the master," he added.
The coalition's decision not to attend the talks could torpedo the only peace plan the international community has been able to rally behind, although prospects for its success appeared doubtful from the start.
Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said she hoped it was not the coalition's final word on the Geneva conference. She said Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, is in Istanbul trying to help the opposition sort through its internal problems. Once members have decided on issues such as expanded membership and leadership, the U.S. hopes they will recommit to peace talks, Psaki said.
Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, accused the coalition of trying to set preconditions, by demanding that Assad's departure from office must be the focus of any peace talks. He called such a demand "unrealistic."
He urged the U.S. and Europe to "restrain those who are encouraging such unacceptable and aggressive approaches on the part of the National Coalition."
If the diplomatic option is now off the table, following the opposition's decision, the West, including the U.S., will have to come up with a new approach. President Barack Obama could face renewed pressure to help the rebels militarily.
The opposition linked its decision to stay away from the conference to an ongoing battle for the strategic town of Qusair and the role of Hezbollah in helping Assad.
Iranian-backed Hezbollah is heavily involved in the 12-day-old push to drive rebels from the town. Coalition officials said Thursday that hundreds of peopled wounded in the fighting were trapped in the town.
"The talk about the international conference and a political solution to the situation in Syria has no meaning in light of the massacres that are taking place," coalition spokesman Khalid Saleh told reporters. He said the group will not support any international peace efforts in light of the "invasion" of Syria by Iran and Hezbollah.
Both sides value Qusair, which lies along a land corridor linking two of Assad's strongholds — Damascus and an area along the Mediterranean coast. For the rebels, holding the town means protecting their supply line to Lebanon, just 10 kilometers (6 miles) away.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the 26-month-old Syrian conflict that has had increasingly sectarian overtones. Members of Syria's Sunni Muslim majority dominate the rebel ranks and Assad's regime is mostly made up of Alawites, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Social Studies Teacher Teaches Constitution, Gets In Trouble For Thwarting Busybodies
A high school social studies teacher in Illinois got in hot water with his local school board for… teaching students that they have Constitutional rights.
John Dryden, a 20-year veteran teacher at Batavia High School, not far from Chicago, told his class that they could not be forced to answer questions on an in-class survey about emotional and at-risk behavior. The surveys, which reportedly had students’ names printed on the documents to be filled out, included a series of queries on personal topics and about whether they engaged in drug and alcohol use.
Here’s how the school describes the survey:
Batavia High School will use the BIMAS to monitor students’ progress in the areas of social and emotional development. Results of the BIMAS will be analyzed at a building level to assist staff in planning and implementation of social emotional supports to help all students grow to their fullest potential. It is a systematic process of detecting students who are struggling behaviorally and are at-risk for experiencing a range of negative short- and long-term outcomes. If your child is found to be at risk and is not currently receiving social-emotional supports within the school, a member of the building’s Student Services Team will notify a parent to discuss options for support.
Dryden, who has garnered substantial support from students, parents and some Batavia officials, told his students they had a Constitutional right, per the 5th Amendment, not incriminate themselves with answers to the April 18 school survey. For his efforts to teach his students about their rights, Dryden told the Kane County Chronicle that school officials docked him a day’s pay.
A petition to the school’s administrators expressing disdain over the disciplinary actions had garnered more than 8,000 signatures by the writing of this article.
The petition describes Dryden as follows:
John Dryden is a uncharacteristically engaging educator who sees it his duty to make his students aware of their rights as citizens. He encourages critical thinking, problem solving strategies, and educational stewardship from all of his students. His learning objectives go beyond mandated standards and bring student awareness to real-world concerns.
The school had not previously informed students whether participation was mandatory or optional but an email to parents said their children could choose not to take the survey if they notified the district by April 17.
Per Chicago’s Daily Herald:
“Oh. Well. Ummm, somebody needs to remind them they have the ability not to incriminate themselves,” he recalled thinking. It was particularly on his mind because his classes had recently finished reviewing the Bill of Rights. And the school has a police officer stationed there as a liaison, he pointed out. [A school official] said the results weren’t shared with police.“I made a judgment call. There was no time to ask anyone,” Dryden said. If the survey had been handed out a day or two before, he said, he would have talked to an administrator about his concern.Instead, he gave the warning to his first-, second- and third-block classes. The test was given to all students during third block.He suspects it was a teacher who told the administration about what Dryden had done, after the other teacher had trouble getting all the students to take the survey.
Just to be clear, the National Council for the Social Sciences social studies as “the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence.” One would be forced to conclude that, by giving his students a real-world opportunity to realize the importance of their Constitutional rights, Dryden has proven himself an ideal social studies educator.
Of course, maybe the school’s administrators just wanted to know if they could frame any autistic students for peddling dope, like those fine educators over at Chaparral High School in Temecula, Calif.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
One thing that we like about Donald Trump is that he tells it like it is. He is right when he says that America wants leadership. We have had enough of politicians who put their finger in the air via polling to determine what they should do instead of leading. This is the reason that Chris Christy is so popular in New Jersey. He says what he wants to do, takes on all challengers to his plans with forthright honesty, and eventually wins over his critics.
Ronald Reagan was also the type of person who Americans are demanding. He had a way of taking complex issues and breaking them down to essential understanding points. Additionally, his sense of humor made him very approachable. There were stories of he and Tip O'Neal sitting down to a drink after a day battling each other. They became friends even though they were from different parties. They could reach agreements due to their mutual respect.
We do not see that from the current resident of the White House. Instead of leadership, we see conniving, backstabbing and corrupt activities. Rather than being forthright with the American people, we have continual lies, deceit and cover-ups. It has not been this bad since the Nixon Administration.
When Trump says that we need leadership, he is thinking what most Americans (not the low information ones) are. We expect our President to be honest with us, to have an ethical administration (not promise and not deliver) and to do what is in the best interests of the country (and not necessarily for his party.) Since Reagan we have not had this.
Will we every return to those days, we hope so. Time will tell but there is one thing we know for sure. That is, we cannot continue the direction of the Obama Administration. A good start would be to have Attorney General resign and be charged with crimes.
Trump: Americans 'Desperate for Leadership'
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 06:53 PM
By Todd Beamon
Donald Trump declined to say on Wednesday whether he was running for president in 2016 but said that “people in this country are desperate for leadership."
The billionaire businessman told Neil Cavuto on Fox News: “Whether it’s me — or, frankly, let it be somebody — but somebody has to come along and straighten out this country. We’re in trouble.”
The New York Post reported on Monday that Trump has spent $1 million to research his political standing in certain states. He told the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Michigan last week that it was “highly unlikely” that he would seek the White House in 2016.
“I’m looking at a lot of different things,” Trump told Cavuto. In particular, he said he wants to acquire more properties and upgrade his Doral Golf Resort in Florida.
Trump said he told the Michigan group that he hoped that President Barack Obama was more effective in leading the nation.
“I’d be very happy if the president did a great job,” Trump said. “Before I am a Republican, I am an American. I want this country to be great again. It’s not going to be great again.”
He said the research effort for 2016 grew out of concerns by “a group of people who hate seeing the United States being ripped off and taken advantage of by virtually every country in the world.
“We used to be the smart ones, and we’re no longer the smart ones,” Trump added. “We’re like the dummy — and it’s very sad.
“I have a large group of people who want to see this stop. We can’t just keep doing it. We’re a debtor nation. Our airports are falling apart. Our roads and bridges are falling apart.”
He declined to speculate on who might receive the Republican nomination for president in 2016, though he noted that oft-mentioned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was “a friend of mine, and I like Chris.”
When Cavuto asked whether Trump would not run if Christie did, the entrepreneur responded: “It’s just too early to see what happens. We have a have a long way to go. You’re talking about a long way out. I want to see this country be great again.”
Trump would not run as an independent, however.
“I’m a Republican. It’s a lot better to do it and keep the two-party system. It really seems to have worked, but it hasn’t been working so well lately.
“The two-party system is good,” he added. “It’s very, very tough running as an independent, extremely tough.”
On the international front, Trump cited the Obama administration’s failure to deal effectively with Syria, noting that Russia planned to send advanced air-defense missiles to Damascus to fend off a no-fly zone under consideration by the White House.
“Russia is putting all sorts of weapons there to shoot down our planes,” Trump said. “This is just crazy. What are we doing? What are we doing as a country? We don’t even know who we’re fighting for.”
Regarding China, Trump called America’s relationship with Beijing “a total disaster.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit the United States next month and meet with Obama in California.
“They’re not our friends,” Trump said. “I’m not knocking China. I’m saying I wish our people were smart so we can compete with China — because, right now, we are not competing with China.”
He cited how the country manipulates its currency by artificially strengthening the American dollar to make Beijing’s currency — and, thus, its exports — comparatively cheaper.
“What they do with the manipulation of their currency — though brilliant; nobody’s ever done it better — China is taking total advantage of the United States,” Trump said. “And they’re making us look like fools.”
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Obama Job Approval Tumbles in Wake of White House Scandals
Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:22 AM
By Melanie Batley
Fewer than half the registered voters surveyed now believe Obama is "honest and trustworthy," according to the poll conducted by Quinnipiac University. That figure had stood at 58 percent the last time the question was asked in September 2011. Now it is at 49 percent.
And it is the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service that is hitting Obama hardest, the survey found. The voters, who were surveyed between Wednesday last week and Tuesday of this week, believe that controversy is more worrying than those surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, or the seizure of phone records from journalists.
According to the Connecticut university's survey, more people now view the president negatively than positively. Slightly under half -- 49 percent -- say they have a negative view of Obama, while 45 percent have a positive view.
Just one month ago, before news of the IRS controversy broke, the president's job approval rating was more positive than negative, at 48 to 45 percent.
When it comes to the individual controversies swirling around the Obama administration, 44 percent of voters see the IRS prying into conservative groups as the most important, while 24 percent say they are most concerned about the administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, and 15 percent say the records seizure at news organizations is most important.
Many voters believe criticism of the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack as "just politics," the survey shows with 43 percent describing it that way
Meanwhile, more than three out of four voters -- 76 percent -- believe a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the IRS scandal. That figure includes 63 percent of Democrats, 88 percent of Republicans, and 78 percent of independent voters.
"There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS," said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac's Polling Institute.
"Voters apparently don't like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don't exactly think highly of him," Brown said. Holder got a negative 39 percent job approval rating, compared to 23 percent who approved of the way he is doing his job.
But the poll also shows that almost three-quarters of voters, or 73 percent, believe that dealing with the economy and unemployment is a higher priority than investigating these three issues. Only 22 percent disagree.
But those who were surveyed are also optimistic that the economy is finally improving.
"The fact that voters say, 34–25 percent, that the economy is getting better also may be a reason the president's job approval numbers have not dropped further," said Brown.
Other points from the poll include:
• Political parties and groups are generally held in disdain. Voters have an unfavorable view of both the main parties and the tea party. The Republican Party fares worse, with an unfavorable rating of 50 percent, compared to 35 percent who rate it favorably. The same is said of the Democrats by 47 percent who rate their party favorably, and 42 percent unfavorably; and the tea party by 38-28 percent.
• A minuscule 3 percent of voters surveyed says they trust the federal government to do the right thing all the time. Twelve percent says they trust the feds most of the time, 47 percent say some of the time, and 36 percent say hardly ever.
• A congressional election today would be evenly split, with 38 percent saying they would vote for a Republican to sit in the House of Representatives and the same number saying they would vote Democrat.
A total of 1,419 registered voters were polled for the survey, with a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points, Quinnipiac said.
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