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This Month's Dakota Beacon

SELWYN DUKE: THE BAD CHRISTIAN AND THE GOOD SECULARIST


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Steve Cates
STEVE CATES: COMMON CORE – TRANSFORMING EDUCATION – MIND MAPPING STUDENTS?

    • Common Core in North Dakota is a means of fundamental transformation of the state’s education system.
    • The Obama Administration designed and financed education reform has as it’s core, the  technological application of assessments using computer data systems.

    • The assessments are explained by the U.S. Department of Education as using psychometric analysis techniques through the assessment process to build databases of student cognitive function and thinking processes.

    • The citizens of North Dakota were not informed of this. Parent and students are unaware of what data is being acquired via “assessments.” No one was told. No one was asked.

    • ND DPI has entered ND citizens into a contractual obligation that has the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) manage the consortium that ND is a member of (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium).

    • The division of the graduate school of education at UCLA managing Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is referred to as CRESST.

    • CRESST is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

    • The directors of CRESST are psychologists as are a majority of the staff.

    • Over half of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium primary individuals are psychologists either through education degree or academic publication.


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Dennis M. Patrick
DENNIS PATRICK: NET NEUTRALITY? WHAT NET NEUTRALITY?

Here is the critical issue and a political one at that. Once again the sucker punch is delivered in “soft speak,” that is, in the name of “fairness.” The FCC gains control over how the ISPs manage web traffic on their networks. Supposedly the FCC is the “honest broker” ensuring the ISPs treat all Internet content “fairly.” Determining what is “fair’ is at the heart of the controversy. Allowing politicians and bureaucrats to determine “fairness” creates a very scary bogeyman.

 



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Beacon Author
SALLY MORRIS:  ROBIN HOOD GETS A BUM RAP

I think he'd be on our side – not Obama's.



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST - JANUARY 19, 2015

RECORD BREAKING; THE FIGHTING SIOUX; NOT SO FAST UND; PAULA BROADWELL; ND HAS WHAT CUBA NEEDS; FARMLAND RENTALS; CLASS AND RACE; SELF-CORRECTING; BOOM BABIES; CRAZY COLD; WHAT DOES SHE HAVE IN MIND?; DAKTOIDS



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Center for Vision & Values
DR. ALEJANDRO CHAFUEN: THE U.S. ECONOMY IN 2015 - CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The effect of increased arbitrary use of executive power, abuse by regulators, and the growing relevance of privileged forms of capitalism—usually labeled “crony” capitalism—have been taking down the United States in the rankings.



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Steve Cates
STEVE CATES: MISSISSIPPI WITHDRAWS FROM COMMON CORE TESTING GROUP

Two bills introduced this week by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn also propose to do away with PARCC and Common Core.



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Steve Cates
STEVE CATES: WHAT STATES HAVE PULLED OUT OF THEIR COMMON CORE ASSESSMENT CONSORTIUM?

States that have pulled out of their Assessment Consortium



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Dennis M. Patrick
DENNIS PATRICK: COMPREHENDING LARGE NUMBERS – HOW BIG IS BIG?

There is a lot of loose money floating around congress. This is our money – yours and mine. If left in the hands of our congressmen and senators it is at risk. Listening to our congressmen and senators speak lightly of the big bucks they oversee, the risk becomes obvious. They would much rather take our money and spend it than take less money and conserve it. To hear them caterwaul you would think the federal government is perpetually short of funds – which it is because congress never controls their spending addiction.

There is a further inherent risk when dealing with large dollar amounts like those in taxes, the federal budget and the national debt. Their very magnitude makes the numbers surreal. For what it is worth, one million is one one-thousandth of a billion. And, one billion is one one-thousandth of a trillion. At this level, one could easily lose several billion dollars in a mathematical rounding error. Those lost dollars are dollars best kept out of the hands of congress and the bureaucrats and in the hands of families trying to pay for college or a mortgage. Those lost dollars should not be laundered by the government. Why should we trust congressmen and senators to toy with these dollars as if they were playing Monopoly?

How big is “big?” Maybe that is the wrong question. The real question is: How much is enough?

 

 



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Center for Vision & Values
DR. GARY WELTON: POLICE OFFICERS: AUTHORITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

There have been some questions in the minds of Americans as to whether recent grand jury decisions have properly held police officers accountable for their use of force. In particular, in the Eric Garner case, there appears to be many unanswered questions about the grand jury’s decision.



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST - JANUARY 12, 2015

STATE OF THE STATE; ANOTHER CICERO HE IS NOT; ROUGH PATCH AHEAD; STATE OF THE JUDICIARY; TEX HALL; HEY, WANT A DEAL?; CRIP GANGS; HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE BAKKEN; THE MINNESOTA ANGLE; LAYING IT ON THICK; FOSTER COUNTY; DAKTOIDS



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK - TOP TEN NORTH DAKOTA STORIES OF 2014

TOO GOOD TO LAST; BOOMING BAKKEN CITIES; CASSELTON; OIL PATCH TRAFFIC; BISON GAME DAY; TEX HALL AND TROUBLE; FIGHTING SIOUX STILL NOT DEAD; DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY -- IF IT’S NOT ONE THING IT’S ANOTHER; KEYSTONE XL; WHAT’S AHEAD



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Selwyn Duke
SELWYN DUKE: THE BAD CHRISTIAN AND THE GOOD SECULARIST

So ironically, if you can truly live up to your faith, it’s not a faith worth living up to. Thus is the Christian a bit like the devoted golfer: He strives for the ideal of never making a mistake while knowing he can never achieve it.



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Center for Vision & Values
DR. TRACY MILLER: CONGRESS AND OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ORDER - ALLOW FIRMS TO INVITE GUEST WORKERS

Another problem with President Obama’s executive order is that undocumented immigrants who are granted work permits can use those permits to get drivers’ licenses in most states, and according to the “Motor Voter” law, they are to be encouraged to register to vote while getting a license. Thus, it is possible that millions of illegal immigrants will be voting in elections beginning in 2015.

 



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Beacon Author
SALLY MORRIS:  WHEN WE FEAR FEAR ITSELF

This was prompted by a comment of my son, who said that growing up there were really two stories that had made an impression on him - “The Emperor's New Clothes” wherein a little boy told the truth and finally cleared the fog away in the village (read it again for yourself, hat-tip to Mark Twain) and “The Wizard of Oz”, where in the end, the whole illusion was being effected by a little man behind a curtain. It was all a fraud in both cases.



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Beacon Author
SALLY MORRIS: CAN’T WE JUST LIVE WITH THE “GOOD” ISLAM?

Which is it that is the “good” Islam? We keep hearing about the “bad” Islam, Islamic terrorism and aggression, but that supposes a benign form, that somewhere lurking beneath the terrorism is a “religion of peace”.



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST - JANUARY 6, 2014

FARGO’S BIG YEAR; RISING OUT OF THE PRAIRIE;TAPPING THE BRAKES; SLOW MIGHT BE GOOD; RETURN OF SANITY; FARMING WAS ERRATIC in ND in 2014; TAKING STOCK OF ND; REGIONAL HARMONY; TRYGVE OLSON; THE MSP BLUES; WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?; A TRUE ECCENTRIC; SOMETHING IS NOT WORKING; I-94 IS A DRUG CORRIDOR The ND; MINNESOTA; DAKTOIDS



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Steve Cates
STEVE CATES: THE PROCORES, THEIR LETTER TO THE EDITOR, AND THEIR MULTIPLE HISTORICAL REVISIONS

On December 20, 2014 the Fargo Forum and the Grand Forks Herald printed a letter to the editor authored by the proponents of the Common Core State Standards. For ease of recognition I will refer to the group that consisted of Andy Peterson of the Greater North Dakota Chamber, the Aimee Copas of the North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders, Jon Martinson of the North Dakota School Boards Association, and Nick Archuleta of the North Dakota public employees organization called ND United as the “ProCores.”

The ProCores make quite a number of claims of fact and to the honesty of those opposing Common Core in North Dakota. The majority of their claims are outright false. 

The ProCores are hiding the fact that Common Core is much, much, much, more than the simply the “standards.” Note that although the Common Core supporters have been repeatedly challenged to participate in open debate they refuse, only participating in highly structured settings where they are protected from hard questions and deeper analysis. It may be that the reason that the Common Core supporters seemingly have no interest in open debate is because they may not want full examination of Common Core being in reality the full of implementation of Obama Administered designed systemic education transformation.

 



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Dennis M. Patrick
DENNIS PATRICK: NORTH DAKOTA WINTER IS NOT SO BAD

“I’ll take North Dakota winters anytime, Joe. Only the strong come north. Our winters do tend to keep the bugs down and the riffraff out.

“And something else for your appreciation, Joe. You’ll really fall in love with North Dakota in the spring. Nothing like a hard winter to make springtime seem like Heaven.

“Thanks for your concern, Joe. But, we have it made here in North Dakota. You should come up and visit us. Coffee’s hot and the conversation’s lively. It’s still true: Seeing is believing. Happy New Year!”

 



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST - DECEMBER 29, 2014

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE LINE; BUBBA LOOKED DISCOURAGED; A NEW TYPE OF REFUGEE; SHOPPING IS BETTER IN ND; MESS OF AMERICA; ATTACK THE MESSENGER!; A BOLD APPROACH; A MORE CAUTIOUS APPROACH; JOHN STRAND WILL TRY AGAIN; BALANCING THE INS AND OUTS; DICKINSON IS ROARING; WHEEL FISH HOUSES; DAKTOIDS



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Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
JOHN F. McMANUS: THE GREAT GIFT OF CHRISTMAS

The great gift of Christmas is that God became man and became man's atoner. This is a gift He offers to everyone, even though many choose not to accept it.



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Center for Vision & Values
DR. ALEJANDRO CHAUFEN: THE CUBA DEAL: COEXISTING AND PROFITING WITH TYRANTS

Fernando Menéndez, a Cuban expert of the Center for a Secure Free Society, noted that when making the announcement, President Raúl Castro—who had been wearing civilian clothes—donned his military uniform to send a signal of who still remains in power. Crony capitalism of the left, if that is an appropriate name for the Chinese model, might create huge opportunities for profits but, as we see in the current disputes in Hong Kong, it can also weaken the struggle for political freedoms and respect for human rights.

 



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Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
REV. MARK A. PILON: BISHOPS PRAISE THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE DECREE BYPASSING CONGRESS

At least two bishops have crossed a line by inserting themselves, and perhaps the Church, into a serious political and legal struggle by taking sides with what appears to many Americans, including many Catholics, to be an outrageous political action by an out-of-control President.



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Schmid
SCHMID: LOOKING BACK FROM THE LEFT COAST - DECEMBER 20, 2014

A NAKED BET; THE MEANING OF PRETTY QUICK; OIL PRICES HAVE NOSEDIVED; RON OFFUTT; DON’T ROCK THE BOAT; SHIRVANI GAVE IT HIS BEST SHOT; COMMUNITY ACTION OF MINNEAPOLIS; MORE FRAUD; ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL; FATHER AND SON FUN IN THE SNOW; DAKTOIDS



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Beacon Author
SALLY MORRIS:  LETTERS!  WE GET LETTERS!


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Steve Cates
STEVE CATES: IS THE CLAIM THAT IT’S NOT OBAMACORE A DECEPTION?

Here is a 32 second video of David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President Obama introducing the actual architect and implementer of Common Core, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at a 2013 discussion of the Common Core. Axelrod claims that Common Core is an Obama administration initiative. Secretary Duncan agrees with that claim.

North Dakota Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Kirsten Baesler states that:

“Common Core is not “ObamaCore,” as some suggest. The truth is that the idea of Common Core State Standards was well underway before he took office in 2009.”

Bismarck School District states that:

“Myth: The Common Core is the federal takeover of education; it should be called Obamacore.

Truth: The Obama administration wasn’t involved in writing the Common Core, nor is it a federal mandate, though the President does support these standards.”

Is this a false flag deception by Superintendents Baesler and Uselman? Is the deception that all there is to Common Core is “the standards?” Why do the proponents never acknowledge the scope of the structure that the Obama administration required to be put in place for Common Core? That Obama did not write the Common Core Standards somehow only a supporter? Is this a purposeful, and with foreknowledge, deception?



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Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
CHRISTOPHER MANION:  B0EHNER’S HAUNTED HOUSE

Translated, that means the Speaker is going to stab the "folks that brung'im" in the back. Apparently, Mr. Boehner thinks that granting a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens is fine, as long as Republicans do it.



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Dennis M. Patrick
DENNIS PATRICK: SHOP NOW!  IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!

Only seven days remain until Santa’s big day. For those who haven’t finished Christmas shopping, time is running out. We are down to the wire. Frankly, anyone planning to order gifts “on line” is probably out of luck unless you don’t mind giving presents late. Chances are nil that purchases will arrive before Christmas.

Not to fear! It’s for others to worry and get up tight. After all, it’s Christmas, the season to be jolly, and nothing should steal your joy. Besides, as an experienced procrastinator, I’m here to give all the advice you can stand.

 



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Center for Vision & Values
DR. JOHN SPARKS: OBAMACARE ON THE DEFENSIVE ONCE AGAIN

This case is greater than the practical survival of Obamacare. It is a case about the separation of powers. If Congress passes a law, can an administrative department, aided by the courts, work its effective amendment?



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Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation
SENATOR DICK BLACK: WAR AGAINST SYRIA IS IMMORAL AND UNLAWFUL

Under pressure from Turkey and the Gulf States, policy makers are reviewing U.S. efforts against ISIS, with a view to renewing our push to overthrow the Syrian government. The air campaign against ISIS has enjoyed broad public support. However, fighting for regime change in Syria is not what Americans bargained for.



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Selwyn Duke
SELWYN DUKE: WHEN LIBERAL PREFERENCES MEET ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES

This makes multiculturalism not only a corollary of, but also a Trojan horse for, moral relativism. And consider the implications. If all values are equal, how can showing cultures equal respect be superior to cultural chauvinism? And what if another culture does prescribe the latter? It then follows that the people within it cannot both have their own culture, unaltered, and accept multiculturalism.



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