Archive for the ‘Cultural Comment’ Category
An Example of Excellence
Dr. David Livingstone is an example of excellence. His life, legacy and literature continue to speak to us today. The challenge of David Livingstone is most relevant to our times.
If Dr. David Livingstone was here today, what would he say to us?
We do not need to guess. We have his writings and published statements available. We can know exactly what David Livingstone would say to us today. It is what he said to the people of his generation:
“The Salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian!”
“All men have the right to hear God’s Word. No nation ought to hoard the Gospel like a miser!”
“Can the love of Christ not carry the missionary where the slave trade carries the trader?”
“If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road at all!”
“We must be uncommon Christians, i.e. imminently holy and devoted servants of the Most High. Let us seek that selfishness be extirpated, pride banished, unbelief driven from the mind. Every idol dethroned and everything hostile to holiness and opposed to the Divine will crucified; that holiness to the Lord may be engraved on the heart and evermore characterise our whole conduct.”
“We have still a debt of gratitude to Jesus… and there is no greater privilege on earth, than after having our own chains broken off, to go forth and proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of prison to them that are bound.”
A Vision of Victory
Dr. David Livingstone was inspired by an optimistic view of the future. Like most of the missionaries of the 19th century, Livingstone held to the Eschatology of victory:
“Discoveries and inventions are culminative… filling the earth with the glory of the Lord. All nations will sing His glory and bow before Him… our work and its fruit are culminative. We work towards a new state of things. Future missionaries will be rewarded by conversions for every sermon. We are their pioneers and helpers… let them not forget the watchmen of the night, who worked when all was gloom and no evidence of success in the way of conversions cheers our path. They will doubtless have more light than we. But we serve our Master earnestly, and proclaim the same Gospel as they will do.”
“A quiet audience today. The seed is being sown, the least of all seeds now, but it will grow into a mighty tree. It is as if it were a small stone cut out of a mountain, but it will fill the whole earth.” Daniel 2:34-45
“We work for a glorious future which we are not destined to see, the Golden Age which has not yet been, but will yet be. We are only morning stars shining in the dark, but the glorious morn will break – the good time coming yet.”
An Understanding of History
“The dominion has been given by the power of commerce and population unto the people of the saints of the Most High. This is an everlasting Kingdom, a little stone cut out of the mountain, without hands, which will cover the whole earth. For this time we work.”
“By different agencies, the Great Ruler is bringing all things into a focus. Jesus is gathering all things to Himself and He is daily becoming more and more the centre of the world’s hopes and of the world’s fears.”
A Harvest of Souls
Today there are over 500 million people in Africa who claim to be Christians. This includes: 150 million Protestants, 50 million Anglicans, `140 million Charismatics, 60 million Pentecostals and 100 million Independents. David Livingstone ploughed in stony ground and sowed the Gospel seed that has produced this great harvest.
“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the Kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28
David Livingstone Changed my Life!
The life and legacy of David Livingstone changed my life. As a new Christian, I imbibed many of the pre-suppositions and tendencies of churches in the 1970s. I read The Late Great Planet Earth and There’s a New World Coming, Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth and other date-setting, end-times, rapture fever publications. I was Saved. I love the Lord. I was enthusiastically involved in Evangelism. But my understanding of Biblical doctrine was actually quite shallow.
End Times Obsession
I imbibed the prevailing prejudice against Calvinism and was convinced that we were living in the last days. Therefore I could not at that time consider marriage, or children. There was not enough time! I could not allow myself to be distracted by such worldly matters as family and raising children. I needed to devote the last few days on earth to snatching souls from the fire. The rapture was coming, surely before the end of that year! I was completely closed to the idea of Theological training. What is the point? The Lord will have come before I can finish my studies! Better to stay in the field winning souls in these last few days remaining.
The Puritan Hope
Then I read The Puritan Hope – Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy, by Iain Murray, published by Banner of Truth. This book informed me that all of the pioneer missionaries of the 19th century missionary movement were Calvinist and post-millennial! I had no idea what post-millennialism was, but when I read that the Father of Modern Missions, William Carey, and the best friend Africa ever had, the great missionary pioneer Dr. David Livingstone, were both Reformed and post-millennial, I determined to read up more on these matters.
Sanitised and Censored
Earlier I had read a thin, modern biography on David Livingstone. It did not seem too extraordinary, because, like many modern books, it had been sanitised. All controversial, or politically incorrect, details had been omitted. The modern censored version of Livingstone’s life did not mention the ravages of the Islamic slave trade, which David Livingstone confronted, documented and fought against. It left out his Calvinist convictions and post-millennial eschatology of victory. The modern biographies left out the fact that David Livingstone carried a six-barrelled revolver and a double-barrelled rifle. His violent confrontations with Islamic slave traders and bold initiatives to set thousands of captives free were also apparently deemed too controversial to include in these modern sanitised, abridged versions of Livingstone’s life!
Back to Original Sources
However, I have always been a bookworm and had a love for history. Finding most of the books available in the average book shop today to be quite shallow and predictable, I have developed a preference for scouring through second hand bookshops finding rare old first editions of these missionaries and pioneers.
Livingstone’s Travels in Mozambique
I was reading Livingstone’s Missionary Travels as I was following in much of his footsteps in Tete Province of Mozambique in the Zambezi Valley in 1989. That was when I and the medical team I was leading were captured by Russian forces and imprisoned in SNASP security prison in Machava, Maputo. What I learned from the writings and from the exemplary life and extraordinary legacy of David Livingstone transformed my life and ministry.
What Did I Learn from Livingstone?
I learned from David Livingstone the importance of discipline. He was disciplined in reading and in exercise. He was self-controlled. Livingstone abstained from alcohol for life. He was temperate, duty orientated and hard working.
Livingstone’s work ethic is a rebuke to us all. From age 10 he worked 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, walking an average of 34km a day, much of this in a crawling, or stooping position, amongst and under the machinery, or balancing over it. Imagine the tremendous physical training this was for his later transcontinental expeditions throughout Africa. This he did in the steamed heat and humidity considered essential for the production of thread.
Hunger for Knowledge
David used his first week’s wages to purchase a book on Latin. Less than 10% of the children who worked in the cotton mills ever learned to read or write. David not only learned to read and write, he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Each night, after work, he would attend a night school, 8pm to 10pm. Then at home, he would study, often until midnight. Each morning began at 5:30am and his workday at 6am.
When he was studying Medicine and Theology, he would walk from Blantyre to Glasgow, refusing every offer of a ride on horse carts passing by. He preferred the four-hour walk, often in the snow, in order to strengthen his muscles for his chosen career in Missions.
Overcoming His Disadvantaged Background
Livingstone never accepted charity. Although being brought up in the poorest of circumstances, where a family of seven were forced to live in a single room, 10 feet by 14 feet, without any electricity, plumbing, or running water. He worked and saved up to put himself through both Medical school and Theological College. David was the first worker from the cotton mills to receive a university education. And nobody gave it to him. He earned it and passed with high honours, receiving his Doctorate from the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, November 1840, and ordained as a Congregational Minister, 20 November 1840. Against all odds he achieved far more than any would have thought humanly possible for someone born into such a poverty stricken and disadvantaged background. He did not wait for someone else to open up Africa, to invent 4WD vehicles, to build the roads and bridges. He drew the first maps of the Zambezi. He did not have an attitude of entitlement. David Livingstone had a Protestant work ethic.
To achieve what he did, Livingstone was decisive, goal orientated and inflexible. Reformed Theology put doctrinal steel in his backbone. He was a man of integrity. A man of his word. He meant what he said and he said what he meant. He walked many thousands of miles across difficult and dangerous terrain to return his porters to their village.
Holy Spirit Fire
David Livingstone understood the power of prayer. He had Holy Spirit fire in his heart, soul and mind. He prayed and sang the Psalms daily.
Love for God’s Creation
He had a great love for God’s creation, for nature and for wildlife. His books are filled with intricate sketches and fascinating details on animals and vegetation.
David Livingstone was inspired by the post-millennial eschatology of victory. He had a Kingdom vision.
Ministering to Body, Mind and Spirit
David Livingstone understood the greatness of the Great Commission. He worked to comprehensively fulfil the Great Commission, ministering to body, mind and spirit. As a doctor, he ministered to the body, as a teacher he minister to the mind, and as a preacher of the Gospel, he ministered to the spirit. Wherever he went he used his medical knowledge and training, his breadth of reading and learning and his deep faith and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures to enrich and empower the people of Africa.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
David Livingstone teaches us that actions speak louder than words. He was described as: “A man of resolute courage”; “Fire, water, stonewall would not stop Livingstone in the fulfilment of any recognised duty.” Indeed he did not let swamps, rivers, deserts, or mountains prevent him from opening up Africa for the Gospel.
The Great Commission Was His Supreme Ambition
David Livingstone was determined to make a difference. The Great Commission was his supreme ambition. Christ’s last command was his first concern. He wrote: “I hope to be permitted to work as long as I live, beyond other men’s line of things and plant the seed of the Gospel where others have not planted.”
In His Steps
“I am a missionary, heart and soul. God had an only Son, and He was a Missionary and a Physician. A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be. In His service I hope to live; in it I wish to die.”
“I shall open up a path into the interior, or perish.”
“May He bless us and make us blessings even unto death.”
“Shame upon us missionaries if we are to be outdone by slave traders!”
Battling rains, chronic discomfort, rust, mildew and rot, totally drenched and fatigued, and laid low by fever, countless times, Livingstone continued to persevere across the continent. Trials tested the tenacity of the travel-wearied team. Often Livingstone endured excessive and unnecessary suffering and deprivation, hacking through dense jungle on foot, because lack of funds prevented him from affording the “luxury” of a canoe!
“These privations, I beg you to observe, are not sacrifices. I think that word ought never to be mentioned in reference to anything we can do for Him, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes, became poor.”
It is a Privilege to Suffer for Christ
The challenge of Livingstone rings out to us today: “Can that be called a sacrifice, which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? …it is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather, it is a privilege!”
Sacrificial Service is More Eloquent than Sermons
David Livingstone emphasized that sacrificial service is more powerful than eloquent sermons. We need to put feet to our Faith.
Exposing the Islamic Slave Trade
Livingstone also alerted the world to the cancerous sore of the Islamic Slave Trade. It was Missionary explorer David Livingstone whose graphic descriptions brought the ravages of the East African slave trade to light. His Missionary Travels and Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambezi exposed the horrors of the slave trade: “Two of the women had been shot the day before for attempting to untie their thongs. One woman had her infants brains knocked out because she could not carry her load and it; and a man was dispatched with an axe because he had broken down with fatigue… those taken out of the country are but a very small section of the sufferers. We never realised the atrocious nature of the traffic until we saw it at the fountain head, ‘There truly Satan has his seat.’ Besides those actually captured thousands are killed and die of their wounds and famine, driven from their villages by the internecine war waged for slaves with their own clansmen and neighbours, slain by the lust of gain, which is stimulated, be it remembered always, by the slave purchases of Cuba and elsewhere.”
Courage to Confront Evil
David Livingstone taught that you cannot be neutral in the battlefields of life. He had the courage to confront evil. His fearless faith fought the good fight of Faith and set many thousands of captives free!
“Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Patience and Perseverance
David Livingstone is an example of extraordinary patience and perseverance. He overcame every obstacle. Walking across the continent of Africa. He walked from Delgoa Bay (present day Port Elizabeth), up all the way through Graaf Reinet to Kuruman, in what is today the Northern Cape. He walked across what is today Botswana and all the way back across the Cape Colony to Cape Town, to place his family on a ship to return to Britain. He walked from Cape Town across the whole of the Cape Province through what is today Botswana, Zambia and Angola through to the Port of Luanda. He walked from the Atlantic Ocean across the continent of Africa, crossing what is today Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to the Indian Ocean. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
The Zambezi Expedition
He came back and explored much of the Zambezi River, the Shiri River and the Ruvuma River, walking across much of what is today Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Walking Across a Continent
On his third great missionary journey he walked across the whole length of Tanzania, much of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, the Congo, Burundi and finally died on his knees in prayer in the province of Luapula in Northern Zambia. In his 30 years of dedicated missionary service in Africa, he walked from coast to coast, across, what are today, 12 vast countries. He walked across a continent that did not yet have roads, bridges, or purified water. “I shall try to hold myself in readiness to go anywhere, provided it be forward!”
The Power of the Printed Page
David Livingstone teaches us the power of the printed page. It was books that he read, such as Practical Christianity by William Wilberforce, which channelled much of his life in dedicated labours to eradicate the slave trade and open up Africa to the Gospel. Livingstone wrote Missionary Travels, the Zambezi Expedition and his Journals, which inspired generations of missionaries to dedicate their lives to winning Africa for Christ.
Livingstone’s steadfast example inspired Mary Slessor to devote her life to Calabar (present day Nigeria), and Peter Cameron, to launch the Africa inland Mission. Peter Cameron had returned to Africa in failure after his first Mission. However, when he read the inscription on the tomb of David Livingstone in Westminster Abby: “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring and they shall hear My voice.” Cameron was rebuked, inspired and resolved to return to Africa.
Livingstone knew the power of the printed page and of public speaking tours. He also focussed on the universities as strategic for mobilising Reformers and Missionaries to fulfil the Great Commission. Livingstone saw rivers as God’s highway to reach Africa for Christ. As all communities need access to water, rivers are a strategic artery which missionaries should utilise to fulfil the Great Commission.
David Livingstone believed in Leadership training. His vision was to establish Bible Colleges for Africans to be trained as Evangelists, teachers and missionaries, to disciple the nations.
Lessons for Life
The life and legacy of David Livingstone has taught me the importance of discipline, exercise, reading, a Christian work ethic, temperance, self-control, self-denial and to be duty orientated. His Reformed Theology has put doctrinal steel in my backbone. He has taught me the importance of being a man of my word, a person of integrity, and most important a student of God’s Word.
Great Commission Vision
The post-millennial Eschatology of Victory of David Livingstone has inspired me that we not working at uncertainty. The Lord who gave us the Great Commission will ensure that it is fulfilled. His promises and His power are fully sufficient to empower His Church to fulfil His Great Commission, making Disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that He has commanded.
Raising the Standards
David Livingstone’s comprehensive vision of fulfilling the Great Commission, ministering to body, mind and spirit has raised the standards of missionary service for all of us. It is a rebuke to religious tourism.
How to Change Your World
Actions speak louder than words. Sacrificial service is more powerful than eloquent sermons. We must put feet to our Faith. We must recognise that we are in a world war of worldviews. Islam is a threat to Faith and freedom. You cannot be neutral. Confront evil. Fight the good fight of Faith! Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous. Be patient and steadfast. Persevere. Overcome every obstacle. Go forward in the Faith. Never forget the power of the printed page. Invest in books. Invest in your mind. Read. Teach your people to love reading. Readers make leaders. A reading Christian is a growing Christian. Do not forget the schools, colleges and universities. They are strategic. We must disciple the next generation to be faithful to God’s Word and effective in God’s service. Think strategically as to how to reach the nations for Christ. Make your life count for eternity!
In the words of C.T. Studd: “Only one life, it will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last!”
As William Carey declared: “Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!”
What would David Livingstone say to us today?
“I beg to direct your attention to Africa. I know that in a few years I shall be cut off from that country, which is now open. Do not let it be shut again! I go back to Africa to try to make an open path for commerce and Christianity. Will you carry out the work which I have begun? I leave it with you!”
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8
Africa for Christ!
Dr. Peter Hammond Livingstone Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa Tel: 021-689-4480 Email: email@example.com
This message was presented at Victoria Falls on the 16 November 2013, at the Livingstone Memorial service in Zambia on the anniversary of Dr. Livingstone sighting, mapping and naming of Victoria Falls.
The full message can be listened to on Sermonaudio.com.
The audio CD of the message can be obtained from:
Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, tel: 021-689-7478, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
You can also view our new PowerPoint, The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone on Slideshare.
A forum on the new de facto national Common Core Standards and curriculum was held at Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park on November 6th, 2013, to explain WHY it’s desirable to “opt-out” of Common Core “data mining,” and HOW to do it. A previous debate in June at Thousand Oaks High School made it clear to many that although there might be some good aspects of Common Core, very serious drawbacks warranted stiff opposition. The opt-out event panelists were: Dr. Walt Chappell, President, Educational Management Consultants, which formulates creative strategies in K through 12th grade education; the second speaker was the keynote for the evening, Brad Dacus, Esq., President of the Pacific Justice Institute, which has over 500 affiliated attorneys volunteering statewide and many more nationwide. They defend religious liberties and parental rights. He has a radio show on KWVE, The Dacus Report at 10:30 am on Saturdays. The final speaker, Tony Dolz, organized the event. Mr. Dolz, a local businessman, founded Concerned Parents of Conejo Valley. He is running for a seat on the Conejo Valley School Board, http://www.dolz.com/. Lyn Fairly, host of The Lyn Fairly Show Saturdays on KTVA 1590, moderated the discussion.
Dr. Walt Chappell
Common Core is “a huge experiment, with kids as guinea pigs.”
Dr. Chappell started the discussion by refuting the need for switching to the federally funded Common Core curriculum: “Somehow this nation put a man on the moon…We have been teaching our kids for years English and math.” Why do we need to bring in federal standards into a system that has been working? He held a seat on the Kansas State Board of Education, an elected office. He said the staff in Washington DC and the staff in the states have made the decisions when it comes to switching to Common Core. State and local boards, that are accountable to the voters/parents, have been left out of the process. These boards were brought in to the process late to rubber stamp the new curriculum. Most states have not enacted legislative approval on what was described as “the most far-reaching changes in public education in decades.”
Chappell said that the name, Common Core State Standards” is deceptive, because it is definitely a federal program, enforced and incentivized by massive stimulus funding and that it encompasses both curriculum and methodology. He described it as “coercion, blackmail… intimidation.” It’s a major overreach by the federal government, which has no legitimate role in education. However, its involvement has been going on in one form or another for decades, including the Bush-driven “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) program. The Obama administration has also used waivers of NCLB to further entrench Common Core.
Dr. Chappell has seen the standards used to browbeat teachers, rating them poorly based on one test given at the end of the school year. Common Core is more than just standards, it’s directing not only WHAT a teacher imparts to his or her students, it’s also telling them HOW to teach. California, which has wholeheartedly embraced Common Core, had good standards of its own since 1977. The lure of Federal dollars has drawn many states (45) into the program. His own state of Kansas finally opted out in a 14-0 School Board vote. Proponents of Common Core have made many claims. Dr. Chappell provided the audience with copies of a fact sheet refuting many of those claims. You can see it HERE . Two business consortiums have profited by being the sole owners of Common Core along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Chappell also drew our attention to the “National Education Data Model” which contains what the government intends to mine:
Here’s one student data section:
Dr. Chappell further pointed out that the Common Core evaluation tests “are not validated, not reliable.”
Remarking on the iPAd tablet computer devices being issued to millions of children, he said this is great for Apple, but that every time a child uses one, the IP address identifies him/her and all data go to servers in New York. He advised refusing the devices and stated that it would be impossible to determine if parents’ opt-out wishes were even honored. He stated that the iPads have already become an issue in various places, such as Oxnard, CA.
Since 1974 The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA, has provided coverage to parents in regards to their children’s privacy. It protected students records, files, documents, and data. Common Core circumvents these protections. It is the framework to keep data on a child from preschool through age 20. The parents and guardians of local students in Ventura County were offered a way to reinstate these protections. Chappell warned that FERPA was weakened in December, 2011, to help facilitate Common Core.
He opined that the pendulum is swinging back and that he believed Common Core would collapse of its own weight, especially the data mining. He noted that NY, which is a year ahead of the nation in implementation, is experiencing a higher number of requests for student psychological counseling and higher number of teachers leaving. He advised parents not to accept the iPads for their children, to order that no data mining be done and no assessments be performed. He advised that parents whose kids DO have the Pads get logins and monitor what’s happening. Nothing was discussed about the feasibility of parents providing tablet computers under their own control. He noted that CA and 25 other states have already signed agreements to provide data. He mentioned that the Pearson (a Common Core owner) curriculum is incomplete and ambiguous.
Brad Dacus, Esq.
Brad Dacus spoke next letting the audience know, “We do all our work without charge.” He stated that, “Common Core… it’s a major game changer…Most radical change in decades.” The nefarious aspect of the program is, data mining our children. Dacus said, “The government…will gather information on your religion, your family.”
There are other outrageous examples of government intrusions in education, such as the two decades ago CLAS test, which attempted to gauge the psychological makeup of children – and send the results to Child Protective Services. This was subsequently eliminated.
“There is no limit to the potential problems with data mining.” “Do not be afraid- be educated and act accordingly.” – Brad Dacus
He said there is no downside to opting out, no legitimate loss of funding. This all has nothing to do with Title 1 funding, which is a whole separate issue. Parents rights have been researched and are clear. These have been incorporated into the opt-out strategy, which encompasses assessments as well as data mining.
Brad Dacus, Dr. Chappell and Tony Dolz worked together to develop a legally vetted data mining opt-out form and accompanying strategy for parents and guardians. Dacus said unlike some other states, “There are many good codes,” that protect privacy in California. You can read some of them HERE . He also advised us to download his book “Reclaim Your School,” which has a Christian orientation.
The opt-out form relies on these codes. You can download the opt-out form at: http://www.concernedparentsofconejovalley.com/ . (To out of state readers: the strategy is optimized for California law and would require modification elsewhere).
Mr. Dacus said that filing the opt-out form claim removes the schools’ ‘”qualified immunity,’” because it constitutes putting them on notice of parents’ assertion of their rights. Actually, he said, CA law requires prior notice and written parental consent. He said that the opt-out form was designed to adhere as closely as possible to CA codes.
People were lined up on both sides of the room to ask questions and/or comment. Every single one was opposed to Common Core and seemed to be interested in what to DO about it. Here’s a summary of a few of those questions. Watch the rest when the video is available.
Tracy Dunbar, a well-known local Common Core opponent is horrified at the extent and intended goals of the data mining, She referred us to the ed.gov site, specifically to the “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance” piece there. She cited page 44 references to utilizing the “latest technology,” including retinal scans for “biometrics,” facial recognition scanners, biometric chair pads to measure squirm and dare we say- “arousal.” Ms. Dunbar wants to make sure that opt-out is available. Ms. Dunbar home-schooled her own children.
Debra Tash, Editor-in-Chief of this publication- citizensjournal.us- focused on “what can we do to get the word (opt-out form, strategy) to everyone?” There was talk about giving out materials at schools, outside schools, etc. Brad Dacus mentioned that parents may not be permitted to hand out material in the schools, but there’s no way to stop the kids from doing so.
Fran Austin of Westlake, a former teacher, was concerned that she had no leverage as a grandparent to protect younger family members from Common Core. She sent an opt-out to her grandchild’s middle school, which was never acknowledged. Brad Dacus said forms don’t need to be acknowledged if there is some other form of proof of delivery. They are then put on notice. Of course, if a grandparent isn’t the legal guardian, it is of no effect. Ms. Austin also lamented CVUSD Superintendent’s flippant comment at the June 10 CC debate where he said “I make the rules- allow me to break them.”
A young man named Westin, planning on getting his teaching credential, wanted to know how he could help, even though he has no kids.
Katherine Nolan (?) said that she really has no idea what happens to her children at school and is nervous about the lack of knowledge and control. She said that there was nothing in her second grader’s file except grades and notes from her. She was advised to keep in touch with teachers, ask questions, get involved.
Michele Seifert came all the way from Orange County, because there’s nothing like this event and the effort backing it there, at least not that she’s aware of. She described herself as now willing to even sit in front of a Wal-Mart to alert others on the hazards, and remedies for, Common Core. The interaction which ensued revealed that personal anonymity would be hard to retain, even under existing laws, with the masses of data collected. Students, teachers and schools all have unique identity numbers, but even if those were withheld, acquiring about seven data points would allow one to figure out who the anonymous person was.
Joe Panzarello of the John Birch Society asked for the event video and asserted that a national school curriculum is a violation of federal law and that it is a phony claim that it is a state program. Some states are saying no data will be permitted to leave the state. What if principal refuses to sign a parents opt out form? Brad Dacus: doesn’t matter, because proof of delivery (certified mail, fedex, fax, email) registers parents’ demand to invoke privacy rights.
The youngest questioner was ten year old Tyler Bolsoni (shown at a previous speaking engagement), a homeschooled youth who also writes a column for Citizensjournal.us. He couldn’t reach the microphone, so the moderator put him in her chair to ask his question which was: how can I help stop Common Core by talking to other kids?
There were a couple of hundred in attendance, some coming from as far away as Orange County to attend. The event site was provided by Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park.
Host Pastor Rob McCoy of Calvary Chapel at one point responded to a comment by Brad Dacus that no endorsement of any political candidate was implied, saying that he recommends Tony Dolz for School Board.
Post-event statement by organizer Tony Dolz of Concerned Parents of Conejo Valley (He spoke at the event, but this statement is more comprehensive)
Concerned Parents of Conejo Valley and the Pacific Justice Institute held a town hall meeting regarding parents’ legal right to privacy for the children in school and their families in a packed auditorium in Newbury Park on Wednesday, November 6th.
The Concerned Parents of Conejo Valley is a grassroots organization of parents and teachers that serve as watchdogs for excellence in public education and the protection of parental rights, local control of schools and the respect of privacy.
The Pacific Justice Institute, with 500 attorneys deployed throughout California, is a legal defense organization recognized for winning civil rights battles for parents of public, charter, private and home schooled students.
California parents are very fortunate in that the right to privacy in school is strongly protected by the statutes. Privacy has become a matter of serious concern for all American and in no case is it more dangerous than when data mining and profiling is aimed our children.
Although it is not generally known, parents in California under California Education Code §§ 51513, 60614, 60615 and 20 U.S.C. § 1232(h) can legally opt their children out of:
1) Taking any and all statewide performance assessments, including but not by way of limitation to, academic, achievement and annual tests, and Common Core interim and formative
assessments, administered pursuant to sections 60600, et seq. (Calif. Educ. § 60615);
2) The administration of any test, questionnaire, survey, examination or evaluation containing any questions or items relative to my child, or my personal beliefs or practices in sex, family–(spacing) life, morality, or religion (Calif. Educ. § 51513);
3) The administration of any test, examination, or assessment as part of a statewide pupil assessment program relative to my child, or my personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, or religion, or any question designed to evaluate personal behavioral characteristics, including, but not limited to, honesty, integrity, sociability, or self-esteem (Calif. Educ. § 60614);
The administration of any survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals: (1) political affiliations or beliefs of my child or me, (2) mental or psychological problems of my child or his or her family, (3) sexual behavior or attitudes, (4) illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior, (5) critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships, (6) legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers, (7) religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of my child or me, or (8) income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program.) (20 U.S.C. § 1232(h))
Two speakers laid out the essential information for parents and teachers.
Dr. Walt Chappell, a nationally recognized authority on Common Core and data mining explained the history behind the persistent attempt by the federal government of wrestling public education from the parents and putting it in the hands of central planners in Washington. Dr. Chappell talked about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). He explained how it came to pass that for the first time since the beginning of public education, states like California are under obligation to collect a massive amount of personal information on the students and their families from K-12 and turn it over to the federal government. This data will, for the first time, be shared with other states, the federal government and with private and non-profit organizations that are partners in Common Core and stand to profit from its deployment
Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, covered California laws and education codes that give the parents the right to opt out of intrusive state and federal surveys, tests and assessments. Mr. Dacus produced for the parents a legally vetted Opt Out form that parents can present to the schools; rendering them protected against data mining. In conclusion Mr. Dacus assured the parents that the Institute’s 500 attorneys were at their disposal and that if upon filing their opt out form to the schools, their rights were violated, that they would represent the parents in court – pro bono.
Parents reading about this meeting or viewing the video of the event (video will be available at www.ConcernedParentsOfConejoValley.com) are encouraged to download the opt out form and submit to the school immediately. The more parents that take action, the stronger will be the pressure on the schools to respect our privacy. Starting today tell five other parents how to protect their children’s privacy.
When the moderator asked if there were teachers in the audience, many rose their hands. We are not alone. Teachers are parents just like us; and that is why they have joined the Concerned Parents of Conejo Valley.
In the coming days and weeks we should start feeling the impact; and hopefully the message of hope will spread to a great many parents. We want a deluge of opt-out forms, letters, calls to and meetings with school officials!)
for more information see: http://citizensjournal.us?
Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of Citizensjournal.us, living in Somis, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author
George Miller is a Citizen Journalist “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.
Rally at White House To Protest Obama Administration
The second American Revolution begins Tuesday. So declares a coalition of patriots called Reclaim America Now.
The coalition will hold a major rally in Lafayette Park right across from the White House all day Tuesday, Nov. 19, starting at 10 a.m., according to Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and an organizer of the “Reclaim America Now Coalition.”
Klayman said the rally is designed to protest Obama administration’s continuing failure to take into account and redress the grievances of the American people. The demonstration will also address President Obama’s cover-up of various scandals, including the growing NSA scandal and the scandal showing the IRS, on orders from the White House, targeted Christian and conservative groups to suppress their voter turnout in 2012.
Tuesday’s rally will include several prominent speakers such as Former U.S. Attorney and Congressman Bob Barr and Former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes. It has the support of prominent coalition members such as the Tea Parties, Special Operations Speaks, Western Center for Journalism, Declaration Alliance, Gun Owners of America, Pat Boone, Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, Political Media Inc., Renew America, and other major individuals and groups.
“Our country is headed into a potentially fatal downward spiral, under the tyrannical control of a hostile government that no longer represents We the People,” Klayman asserted.
“I call on all patriots – Democrats, Republicans and others – to peacefully descend on Washington D.C. on the 19th en masse, and reclaim our freedoms promised to us in our Constitution, the same Constitution that the Obama administration so frequently violates.”
Klayman concluded, “We the People have had enough of the corrupt and incompetent ways of the Obama administration and its bi-partisan political enablers. It’s time for action, not words.”
A list of demands of legitimate grievances will be presented to President Obama and other government leaders that they can either address and remedy or be called upon to resign from office.
By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Recently, I encountered some atheists and a couple religious liberals online who objected to my assertion that God doesn’t support the tyranny of the welfare state, where the government takes money from the rich and the middle classes to give it to the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
Greece is suffering from economic collapse. When I was there two years ago, air traffic controllers were on strike, garbage collectors were on strike, and even the pharmacy owners were on strike. Government socialism has eroded the last vestiges of the economy.
Neo-Communism is sweeping the world.
At the same time he is shutting down TV and radio stations, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez attended the Venice Film Festival with his entourage, to be praised by those who haven’t suffered under his dictatorial regime. A big splash in the news media followed this despicable event.
Several people in the Democratic-Socialist power structure have decided that the only way they can convert America into a totalitarian gulag is to destroy the Church, the People of God. And, too many of the sheeple have fallen for their nefarious plans.
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By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
My friend Joseph Tson, from Romania, was one of the instrumental pastors in delivering Romania from Communism in the 1980s. He said that for years on Sunday in his Evangelical Church in Romania, he preached Jesus while the Romania equivalent of the KGB sat in the front row, monitoring his sermons. He always wondered why they did not care that he was preaching salvation in Jesus Christ, Read the rest of this entry »
On Saturday, Oct. 12, Xerox ran into problems updating the software that runs the SNAP (Food Stamps) system. Stores across the nation couldn’t process SNAP transactions. Many sores posted signs indicating that SNAP purchases were temporarily unavailable.
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