Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Documents challenge Clinton claim no classified intel on personal emails

Documents challenge Clinton claim no classified intel on personal emails
June 17, 2015 by Catherine Herridge

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email account to handle high level negotiations in 2011 for a no-fly zone to help topple Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, according to a series of emails obtained by Fox News, challenging her claim the private server did not hold classified information.

The emails, linked here, conflict with Clinton’s statement that she did not put national security at risk by using a personal account.

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material,”  Clinton, now a candidate for president, told reporters in March. “I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

That claim was hard to test because emails released by the State Department are heavily blacked out. But an email chain from March 23, 2011 — with virtually no redactions — shows a message for senior administration staff including then Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy among others.  It goes point by point, explaining what Turkey, France and Britain will likely accept in the deal.

“I think the information in the email is clearly classified. If I were engaged in the negotiation on that subject reporting back to Washington, my reporting cable would be classified,”  former UN Ambassador and Fox News contributor John Bolton said after reading the un-redacted emails.

“They’re dealing with the possible U.S. military operation, sensitive negotiations among NATO partners, talking about U.S. objectives and political arrangements and possible objections to the deal from key partners so all of these at secretary of state level is extraordinarily sensitive.”

The email chain also contains exchanges with Clinton aide Jake Sullivan who writes “I will forward you (Clinton) the Turkish proposal momentarily.”  Clinton responds “I’m worried that FR (France) and/or the UK know about the Turks idea and want to derail it.”

As the negotiations for a no-fly zone continue, Sullivan notifies Clinton that then-deputy chief of mission Christopher Stevens, who was later killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack, was moving into eastern Libya.

“At that time of course, the country was in chaos, so the situation was very dangerous. His mission was quite sensitive to link up to the opposition,”  Bolton said.  “And just having that information floating around …would obviously expose Stevens and others to great peril.”

While the first email in the chain is marked “UNCLASSIFIED,” based on his experience as ambassador to the UN, Bolton said he suspects a lot of intelligence was pushed out as unclassified to accommodate her separate, private system.

“It’s not simply the effect on Secretary Clinton’s own email. It’s pervasive throughout the higher levels of the department, which simply magnifies the risk.” Bolton added.

bureaucracy, corruption, cover up, Democrats, documents, ethics, foreign affairs, government, lies, politics, scandal

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FIRE, NCAC Call on University of Iowa to Defend Rights of Censored Faculty Artist

December 17, 2014 by The FIRE

DES MOINES, Iowa, December 17, 2014—In a letter sent last Friday, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) joined in criticizing the University of Iowa’s (UI’s) chilling censorship of faculty artist Serhat Tanyolacar. UI forced Tanyolacar to remove his artwork from an outdoor campus area after some students claimed they were disturbed by its imagery, consisting of newspaper clippings reporting on racial violence printed onto a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood. UI also publicly denounced the artwork, ignoring its anti-racist intent and its success in facilitating dialogue on race relations among its viewers.

“The University of Iowa betrayed its purpose as an institution of higher learning by censoring Tanyolacar’s art,” said FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley. “Far from fostering critical thinking, it declared that certain methods of expression are too dangerous for campus regardless of context, doing a profound disservice both to its students and to the Constitution in the process.”

FIRE and NCAC wrote to UI on December 12, criticizing the university for “effectively announc[ing] that Tanyolacar’s artwork is not protected by the First Amendment due to the discomfort it caused to some of those who encountered it” and decrying UI’s response as “an unacceptable abdication of its duty to uphold its community members’ constitutional rights.” FIRE and NCAC have called on the university to issue a public statement affirming Tanyolacar’s First Amendment rights and have put the university on notice that it may not bar such work from the campus simply because of the offense some in the community take at its content.

“Purging disturbing images and ideas from college campuses in the name of protecting vulnerable groups goes against the very mission of the university as the quintessential marketplace of ideas, governed by the principle of academic freedom,” said Svetlana Mintcheva, NCAC’s Director of Programs. “A university cannot limit inquiry just because some of the questions raised may prove unsettling. Indeed, university administrators should trust students and expect them to be able to argue against ideas with which they disagree. Students coming from vulnerable groups are no less capable of speaking up than other students; college administrators need to encourage them to do so rather than misguidedly purging the campus of potentially controversial material.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.

NCAC, founded in 1974, is an alliance of over 50 national nonprofit organizations, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups dedicated to promoting the right to free speech. More information on its nationwide work combating censorship can be found at ncac.org.

original article: FIRE, NCAC Call on University of Iowa to Defend Rights of Censored Faculty Artist

bias, censorship, discrimination, documents, education, free speech, government, hypocrisy, left wing, nanny state, oppression, political correctness, progressive, public policy, racism

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Common Core: where critical thinking doesn’t mean thinking for yourself

Those who suspect modern education and many attempts to reform it are really a play ground for progressive social engineers may find further confirmation of their concerns at Enochs High School in Modesto, California.

In its story Historic breakup: Declaration of Independence lesson gets a Common Core twist by Nan Austin we find a US history lesson which begins with an approach anyone would find promising.

Three social studies teachers worked together on the lesson, delivered in U.S. history classes schoolwide. The lesson started with background information but not through a lecture, reading the chapter aloud or doing the unit quiz.

Clicking through a series of slides, teacher Janeen Zambo strode around the class asking students to figure out why something happened, what might happen next, and where they could get the information for their homework.

A slide of the engraving called “ The Bloody Massacre” by Paul Revere, showing a row of soldiers shooting into an unarmed Boston crowd, served as a starting point. As kids pointed out differences between the two groups, Zambo brought in the tensions of that time and how activists of the day rallied colonists.

Unfortunately this lesson may not be intended to help students think for themselves, which is what “critical thinking” should mean. In many other cases of progressive thought critical thinking actually means criticizing Western civilization, or more particularly criticizing the American experiment and its ideal of liberty. Given the many instances of an overtly progressive bias found in Common Core, this example of a Common Core American history lesson may be of concern as well.

Notice the next phrases of the story:

“People were throwing snowballs with rocks in them,” she said. “Less than a dozen people were killed, but what did they call this?”

Activists’ accounts of what they named the Boston Massacre angered colonists, Zambo said. “Can rumor become ‘common knowledge,’ even if it’s not true?” she asked the class, popping in a vocabulary term from the homework.

“If you read it on the Internet, it must be true,” she added with a note of sarcasm. “Good – you laughed. That gives me hope,” she continued with a grin.

The lesson, as we are told, is delivered showing the English side and the Colonist side. That may very well be the case. This story in the Modesto Bee is not an in depth look at the lesson, and there are no links provided in the article to the curriculum’s prescription for this lesson. It could be that both sides of the issue are thoroughly examined in the classroom. But that’s not the impression given here in Austin’s story.

What we do see in this story are the seeds of doubt planted into the minds of students from the beginning (in the video we see the text of the Declaration of Independence is handed out to the students at the end of class, with obvious intent that students read it so as to be prepared to discuss the document later). The Declaration is presented as the “greatest break up letter in history” which is a clever and innovative approach, clearly designed to and succeeds in stoking curiosity for the students. But, as the quoted text above shows, even before the Declaration itself is drafted, historical events leading up to it (such as the Boston Massacre) are presented with an overtly pro-English/anti-colonist bent.

Comments like “less than a dozen people were killed, but what did they (the ‘activist’ colonists) call it”, and “can rumor become ‘common knowledge’ even if it’s not true?” are clearly the pro-English view of the situation. These comments are obviously intended to sow doubt about the colonists’ view of their people being lined up and shot by English soldiers. If these comments were balanced with others showing the colonists’ view of these events I would feel much better about the situation entirely. That’s not shown in this short news story but given the current track record of Common Core I’m not confident balance or true “critical thinking” is the goal here.

Other comments from Austin’s story may raise an eyebrow as well.

The class will study the document in-depth this week, but with targeted questions rather than lectures.

Asking targeted questions of high school students rather than spoon feeding them answers is a fine approach, one we all would surely support. But if the targeted questions are designed only to raise doubts about the American experiment and about the intentions of America’s founders (as there is good reason to suspect) then it should be no surprise to find parents and others objecting to lessons such as this one.

Critical theory typically directs criticism toward the American experiment, and seldom toward the many horrible human rights abuses committed by non-Western societies. This is often the type of “critical thinking” foisted upon students in institutions of higher learning and in high schools. This is not the sort of thinking that results in independent thought. Is this the kind of “critical thinking” being taught to Enochs High School students? If you have more information on this class or Common Core history lessons in general please share here.

american, bias, constitution, culture, documents, education, history, ideology, indoctrination, innovation, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, news media, pandering, patriotism, philosophy, propaganda, reform, relativism, video

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Has anyone at Time Magazine ever read the U.S. Constitution? Ever?

Thirteen Clear Factual Errors in Richard Stengel’s Essay on the Constitution (And I Am Looking for Your Help)
June 28, 2011 by Aaron Worthing

Late last week, I fisked Richard Stengel’s Time Magazine cover story “One Document, Under Seige” (update: click here for the one page version) but it deserves more discussion. I consider it nothing less than a journalistic scandal that this piece was (1) a cover story, (2) written by their Managing Editor, (3) who serves in an organization dedicated to teaching other journalists about the Constitution, and yet it is rife with factual errors, including many that are obvious simply by reading the Constitution.

My mistake in the last post on the subject was trying to catalogue everything wrong with it, leading me to take issue with his philosophy, too and thus what got lost for some was the simple fact that Stengel was clearly factually wrong on many points, often when the facts could be determined by doing nothing more than reading the Constitution.

So this time, we are going to focus solely on the factual errors. There are thirteen of them and like the lawyer that I am, I will start off with his most egregious error and end with the least egregious. Here are the thirteen errors, in short:

The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.
The Constitution is not law.
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment emancipated the slaves.
The Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African Americans.
The original Constitution declared that black people were to be counted as three-fifths of a person.
That the original, unamended Constitution prohibited women from voting.
Inter arma enim silent leges translates as “in time of war, the Constitution is silent.”
The War Powers Act allows the president to unilaterally wage war for sixty days.
We have only declared war five times.
Alexander Hamilton wanted a king for America.
Social Security is a debt within the meaning of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Naturalization depends on your birth.
The Obamacare mandate is a tax.
When I am done with this post, I am going to make a bleg where I ask you to try to help get out the word about this egregiously incorrect cover story. So stay tuned to the end (or jump ahead if you feel like it).

But first here, point-by-point, is proof that each one of those statements are errors.

read the full article here

10th Amendment, bias, constitution, corruption, documents, false, first amendment, fraud, health care, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, lies, news media, opinion, pandering, political correctness, propaganda, relativism, scandal

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Record cold forecast for Copenhagen

Record cold forecast for Copenhagen
December 13, 2009 by Don Surber

The Weather Underground people are forecasting low temperatures of 21°, 17° and 22° in Copenhagen, respectively, for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The record lows for those dates are 24°, 19° and 19°.

Now it could be that the weather history that Weather Underground uses does not go back that far.

But then again, the Global Warming crowd ignores data that shows the Middle Ages were much warmer than today.

The normal temperature range for Copenhagen in January is 29° to 36°.

Other forecasts say it will be only slightly colder, no record.

UPDATE: The Weather Underground updated its forecast and upped its lows to above the record.

bias, cold, crisis, documents, environment, global warming, news, weather

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What conservatives believe

Holding Court
October 17, 2005 by RUSH LIMBAUGH

I love being a conservative. We conservatives are proud of our philosophy. Unlike our liberal friends, who are constantly looking for new words to conceal their true beliefs and are in a perpetual state of reinvention, we conservatives are unapologetic about our ideals. We are confident in our principles and energetic about openly advancing them. We believe in individual liberty, limited government, capitalism, the rule of law, faith, a color-blind society and national security. We support school choice, enterprise zones, tax cuts, welfare reform, faith-based initiatives, political speech, homeowner rights and the war on terrorism. And at our core we embrace and celebrate the most magnificent governing document ever ratified by any nation–the U.S. Constitution. Along with the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes our God-given natural right to be free, it is the foundation on which our government is built and has enabled us to flourish as a people.

We conservatives are never stronger than when we are advancing our principles. And that’s the nature of our current debate over the nomination of Harriet Miers. Will she respect the Constitution? Will she be an originalist who will accept the limited role of the judiciary to interpret and uphold it, and leave the elected branches–we, the people–to set public policy? Given the extraordinary power the Supreme Court has seized from the representative parts of our government, this is no small matter. Roe v. Wade is a primary example of judicial activism. Regardless of one’s position on abortion, seven unelected and unaccountable justices simply did not have the constitutional authority to impose their pro-abortion views on the nation. The Constitution empowers the people, through their elected representatives in Congress or the state legislatures, to make this decision.

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Previous PostU.S. Constitution Key Concepts

U.S. Constitution Key Concepts
July 23, 2009 by Original America

Four short videos on the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

american, constitution, documents, government, history, video

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Qualifications for Public Office

Qualifications for Public Office
by David Barton

Daniel Webster, known as the “Defender of the Constitution,” was a famous orator and statesman who argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, served as a U.S. Congressman, a U.S. Senator, and U.S. Secretary of State. In testimony before the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention (transcribed below), Mr. Webster persuasively reasons for the peoples’ right to establish qualifications for their elected officials and acknowledges the importance of Massachusetts’ “respect and attachment to Christianity” through the retention of a constitutional provision requiring a profession of belief in the Christian religion as a qualification for holding public office.

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Benjamin Franklin’s letter to Thomas Paine

Benjamin Franklin’s letter to Thomas Paine
american, history, people, documents, religion

Benjamin Franklin was frequently consulted by Thomas Paine for advice and suggestions regarding his political writings, and Franklin assisted Paine with some of his famous essays. This letter is Franklin’s response to a manuscript Paine sent him that advocated against the concept of a providential God.

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