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Klayman: Obama Doesn't Like Jews, the Rich, People of Faith, or White People

Larry Klayman has been anything but shy about warning that violent resistance might be necessary to stop President Obama's "mission to enslave the nation." So last night, Alan Colmes invited Klayman onto his radio program to discuss his worries that black helicopters have been firing practice rounds on American cities, during which he asserted that he believes that Obama does not like Jews, the wealthy, people of faith, or white people ... or, for that matter, that Obama was even born in this country:

Klayman: I'm frightened for this country.  I really [am.] I don't feel that he represents the majority of Americans.  I have a Jewish background, Alan, like you do and what I've seen in the last four years is someone who has a disdain, I believe, for Jewish people and Israel.

Colmes:  Why did he have a Jewish Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel? Why does he have so many Jewish advisers?  It doesn't make any sense.

Klayman: This is a bad analogy and I'll take it a little too far.  Many times throughout history, Jewish people have been their own worst enemy.  I mean, we had Karl Marx.  We had people who were in and around Adolf Hitler even ... The fact that these people are around him, they are just simply cover.

...

The references to rich people, the constant 'we've got to pay our fair share,' it's kind of like we're talking about reparations.  It does lead one to think - and we should be allowed to talk about it too; you know, white people should be able to raise these issues just like black people legitimately raised them over the years in terms of racism - is I believe this guy has a tinge of racism towards whites and he wants to pay reparations. I don't believe that he likes Jewish people ... I don't think he likes people of faith.

Colmes: What have you seen that has you so scared?

Klayman: What I have seen is, and I never thought it was even imaginable when I was fighting [Bill] Clinton, I do believe that it is possible now.  I think that Obama knows that at some point a significant portion of this country is going to rise up and possibly become violent and I hope and pray that that does not happen.

Colmes: What are you basing this on?

Klayman: Well, what I've seen in recent weeks are black helicopters over the streets in Miami and Chicago and Houston, firing practice rounds ...

Colmes: Whose helicopters are these?

Klayman: They are government helicopters that have been doing that.

Colmes: Why has this not been widely reported?

Klayman: It is starting to become widely publicized.

Colmes: Where can I get documentation of it?

Klayman: Take a look at WorldNetDaily.com.

Colmes: Oh, WoldNetDaily; you mean the people who think that he wasn't born here?

Klayman: Well, I don't think he was born here either.

Harvey Denounces Girl Scouts for Supporting 'Homosexual Lifestyles' and 'Suspicion Toward Males'

It’s that time of year again when Girl Scouts sell cookies… and right-wing activists attack the Girl Scouts. Today, Linda Harvey of Mission America took offense that the Scouts support “radical feminists” and “homosexual lifestyles” and “feature prominent female homosexuals in some of their materials.” She alleged that they dismiss “authentic morality, Christianity, conservative viewpoints and just plain old motherhood” and “sexual self-restraint” while at the same time promoting “an attitude of suspicion toward males.”

This is not at all the way the organization started, but Girl Scout materials and programs support role models like radical feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, they support homosexual lifestyles and feature prominent female homosexuals in some of their materials. At the same time virtually absent is respect for authentic morality, Christianity, conservative viewpoints and just plain old motherhood. It’s one more way that girls are being taught that unless you have an attitude of suspicion toward males in general, unless you bring home a paycheck and unless you have a worldview based on self-indulgence with never a notion of sacrifice, you as a woman are really diminished in worth, sexual self-restraint or restraint of just your own female pride should be avoided at all costs.

Beck: Sen. Paul's Filibuster Is the Birth of 'a Historic Movement'

It is no secret that Glenn Beck fancies himself as some sort of historical soothsayer capable of seeing parallels between the past and what is happening today in order to make predictions about the future.  

On last night's program, Beck proclaimed that Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster last week the modern day equivalent of Sen. Charles Sumner's 1856 "Crime against Kansas" speech, which resulted in him nearly being beaten to death on the Senate floor. Likening the criticism Paul received from Senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain to the savage beating Sumner received, Beck went on to declare that just as the Republican Party went from nonexistence in 1854 to capturing control of Congress and the White House by 1860, Paul's filibuster would one day be seen by future historians as a watershed moment and predicting that they "will look back in a hundred years and say 'this speech ignited a global freedom movement'" that eventually won the White House.

"You were here to hear the heartbeat when the Tea Party started," Beck declared. "And last week, you witnessed the birth":

Fischer: Marriage Equality Is Really 'Inequality Under the Law'

Bryan Fischer is a big fan of the line of argumentation that gays already have full marriage equality because they have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as anyone else.

He reiterated this argument on his radio program today, adding that gay marriage is really "inequality under the law" because it grants to gay couples "a special carve-out for themselves that is not available to pedophiles and polygamists" and others who "engage in sexually abnormal behavior":

Focus Guest: Gays Needs to Be Told That 'Marriage is Not in the Cards for You'

Just last week, the New York Times ran a profile of a new 'kinder and gentler' Focus on the Family under current president Jim Daly who purports to be trying to change the tone of the debates over contentious issues like abortion and marriage equality while defending his conservative Christian positions on such issues.

Daly operates under the impression that so long as he approaches these debates in a gentle, thoughtful, and prayerful manner, he can open others up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make converts, and ultimately win people over to his side of the argument.

Today, on Focus on the Family's radio program, Daly and co-host John Fuller welcomed George Mason University Law School professor Helen Alvare onto the program to discuss "The Erosion of Marriage in America," which Alavre blamed on everything from no-fault divorce to the practice of in vitro fertilization.

And while Daly, Fuller, and Alvare were all very careful to continually insist that they were speaking out of love and respect, when it gets down to it, Alvare said, it is ridiculous to think that the Constitution contains any sort of right to marriage equality and so the state simply needs to tell gay couples that "marriage is not in the cards for you":

I don't think that the Supreme Court wants to live through another forty years of post-bad decision making like they did with Roe v. Wade. There is no question that Constitution does not textually have a right to same-sex marriage.  There is no question that it has been banned - you know, we only have a few states allowing it now.  To say that it's a constitutional right would be ridiculous and I don't think they want to be fighting over it for the next forty years.

There is a reason why, pre-Christianity as well as today, the community of citizens has always understood that there is something different about what a man and a woman do when they are romantically interested together and that naturally leads them to say I want you for my whole life.  The fact that this natural connection, older than Christianity, leads to children; the fact that children seem to need, empirically speaking, a mother and a father is why whatever the state wants to say to gay and lesbian citizens - and hopefully they say we love you and we're not going to discriminate against you - they cannot say what you do and what opposite sex couples do has the same intrinsic outcomes and therefore interest of the state.  It simply is not commensurate.

We can also say one final thing, which is when the state is tempted to say this, what you do, opposite sex couple, and what a same-sex couple does, which they can talk about a long-term emotional commitment  that we have seen if we reduce marriage to people's emotional feelings, we get more divorce, we get less marriage, we get more children outside of marriage and the poor pay more.  We don't have to speculate about this any more, we have seen it.  There has been a horrid natural experiment in our country; we know what we are talking about.

We love you.  We won't discriminate against you as gay and lesbian persons, God willing, in the future. But marriage is not in the cards for you.

This seems to pretty well sum up the new approach from Focus on the Family, which is to insist that gays are loved and respected and should not be discriminated against ... but that they just shouldn't ever be allowed to get married.

Pat Robertson's Million Dollar Prayer Totally Worked!

We’re sorry to report that unless you are a certain Texas businessman, you are not the winner of the million dollar gift from God that Pat Robertson spoke into existence last month on the 700 Club. Robertson reported today that he “talked to a businessman a couple of days ago” who got a million-dollar check from BP shortly after Robertson announced that God would “supply a million dollars” to a 700 Club viewer. “His income went down at a particular point of time in the Gulf and they were paying off everybody who had a dip in income, just gave him a check,” Robertson explained.

But this mystery check from BP that Robertson prophesied just may be related to the fact that BP is handing out checks to businesses near the Gulf of Mexico as part of the compensation deal the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Watch:

Harvey: Church Must Fight Against Homosexuality Like Slavery

On her daily radio bulletin today, Mission America’s Linda Harvey argued that “homosexuality is ripping apart people’s lives and families” and must be challenged in the same way people like William Wilberforce and other abolitionists fought against slavery. She warns that too many churches are avoiding topics like homosexuality and urges them to hear stories about “the destructive effects of homosexual behavior.”

Many of us watch in dismay as younger and younger children are told that homosexuality is a right for some people. Our church youth groups are busy with paintball and trips to amusement parks but doing relatively little to equip our children to apply the word of God to this current debate. How corrupted do children have to get before adults will cry out and say: no more. I hear people saying, ‘well we don’t want to get into politics.’ Strangely that objection is only raised when the subject is abortion or homosexuality, yet there is nothing wrong with Christians and even churches getting involved in a political issue, people of conviction do it all the time. Hundreds of the more liberal churches are very outspoken about how to use government dollars for entitlement programs, for instance. Abolishing slavery, wasn’t that politics? Didn’t Christians like William Wilberforce rise up and fight in the political realm two centuries ago to do what was right? They were called extremists then too. But actually no, this is not only about politics. Homosexuality is ripping apart people’s lives and families. I can’t tell you how many sad tales I’ve heard from people who’ve seen the destructive effects of homosexual behavior in the life of a son, a daughter, a brother or a sister. The first battleground of ideas is one’s own mind. We need to equip our kids to stand firm in their convictions and know how to defend them.

Fischer: 'This Is How Tyranny Comes'

The American Family Association's radio programs have been a repository of conspiracy theories about how the Obama Administration is supposedly plotting to wage war against the American population.  And that trend continued last Friday as Bryan Fischer warned that the United States was headed into tyranny because "we're not that far away from having an armed federal military-style presence in the streets of our cities" as the Department of Homeland Security stockpiles weapons, vehicles, and ammunition to be used again any who dare to resist this military force:

How Cindy Jacobs' Prayers May Have Saved David Barton's Life

We already know that Cindy Jacobs' prayers have stopped terrorism and saved the global economy, but on the latest episode of "God Knows" she revealed how her prayers may have saved David Barton's life.

Apparently, several years ago Barton and his family were driving to Florida when Jacobs received a dream from God ordering her to start praying that the wheels on the Barton's van would not fall off.  She immediately did so and when the Bartons arrived at their destination, she told them of her dream and David and Cindy's husband Mike took the van to a local mechanic who told them that the bearings were completely worn away and "there is absolutely no reason why your wheel should not have come off the axle."

As Cindy explained, "God had given a word for David" that he was going to use him to rewrite school curriculum standards throughout the nation, but "Satan was trying to resist him," but her intercessory prayers prevented that from happening:

FRC's Peter Sprigg Suggests Kidnapping Laws Shouldn't Protect Gay Parents

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins hosted senior fellow Peter Sprigg on Washington Watch yesterday to discuss the sentencing of pastor Kenneth Miller for aiding Lisa Miller (no relation), who kidnapped her daughter, Isabella Miller-Jenkins. Perkins recently praised Kenneth Miller’s “courage” in aiding the kidnapping scheme.

Lisa Miller disobeyed a court decision that gave Isabella’s other mother, her former partner Janet Jenkins, visitation rights and, as a result, the courts eventually transferred custody to Jenkins. Miller then fled the country with Isabella to a Mennonite compound in Central America.

Sprigg told Perkins that Jenkins, who was in a civil union with Miller at the time of Isabella’s birth, should not be considered Isabella’s parent because she is not biologically related and therefore shouldn’t be protected by the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. According to Sprigg, paternity and kidnapping laws should only apply to heterosexual couples.

In normal marriage between a man and a woman the presumption of paternity was a presumption of something that is almost always true. But the Vermont court, which has allowed these civil unions, granted them all the legal rights of marriage, has converted that into a presumption of parentage whereby you are presuming something that cannot be true, something that is biologically impossible. That just shows how in the same-sex marriage debate we are flipping logic on its head.

And another aspect of this is that the law that Lisa ran afoul of and that Kenneth Miller, this pastor, ran afoul of is something called the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. It was designed again normally for the context of heterosexual marriages that break up, where there is a divorce and perhaps a custody battle between two parents who are both the biological parents — the biological mother and the biological father — who have divorced each other and it’s designed to prevent someone from taking a child and crossing state lines to another jurisdiction in order to get a more favorable court ruling. So the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act was designed to protect the rights of a biological parent so that they cannot have their rights violated by the other biological parent. But here you have the rights of the biological parent being violated by someone who is not the biological parent at all. So again, the original purposes of these laws are being turned on their head in this case.

Erik Rush: There Is a 50% Chance Obama Will Cancel the 2016 Elections and Become a Dictator

Over the last several months, conservative commentator Erik Rush has been warning that President Obama is intent on becoming a dictator who will unleash a Gestapo-like force on the nation while sparking civil unrest so he can cancel future elections.

Last night, Alan Colmes invited Rush onto his radio program to defend his paranoid conspiracy theories, which Rush did with gusto, telling Colmes that he truly believes that America is on the verge of becoming a Nazi-like state where citizens are rounded-up and forced into cattle cars and that there is a fifty percent chance that Obama will seek to foment some sort of cataclysm so he can implement martial law, cancel the 2016 election, and stay in power indefinitely:

You can watch Colmes' entire conversation with Rush below:

Charisma: Laws Protecting Gays from Domestic Violence Part of Anti-God Agenda

Charisma news editor Jennifer LeClaire, who has warned about the perils of gay demon rape and superheroes, today is upset that the reauthorized version of the Violence Against Women Act included LGBT protections.

She claims that President Obama “will stop at nothing to push the gay agenda down our throats,” urging people to ask God to “help us push back the wickedness that’s pushing against His kingdom on earth.”

Women everywhere celebrated when President Barack Obama reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday. The landmark 1994 law aims to curb domestic abuse. But Obama snuck the gay agenda into the mix.

“All persons must be protected from violence, but codifying the classifications ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as contained in S. 47 is problematic,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote. “These two classifications are unnecessary to establish the just protections due to all persons. They undermine the meaning and importance of sexual difference.”



President Obama is proving that in his second term he will stop at nothing to push the gay agenda down our throats despite a family-friendly stance during his first presidential campaign. Now, President Bill Clinton is helping him, writing a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court suggesting the anti-gay marriage bill he signed into law in 1996 is unconstitutional and should be overturned.

You might expect politicians to waffle on issues where new research becomes available to enlighten us. Even preachers get new revelation on old truths that changes the way they look at Scripture. But it’s troubling when a president’s core values change in a matter of a few years from standing against gay marriage to doing everything in his political power to force the minority view on the majority who stand for traditional values, even going so far as to piggyback the agenda on an issue with widespread support (violence against women).

Continue to pray for our president. The Bible says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (see James 1:8). Some may say that our president isn’t double-minded at all, that he always planned to push the gay agenda during his second term. Only God knows. And only God can help us push back the wickedness that’s pushing against His kingdom on earth. Don’t stop praying. And don’t stop speaking out. Amen.

Wiles: 'Gay Rights Fanatics' Are 'Going to Get Us All Killed'

A few weeks ago, we started listening to Rick Wiles' "Trunews" radio program because we discovered that he regularly interviews a variety of Religious Right activists that we monitor here.  But since then, we've begun listening just because his show - "the only newscast reporting the countdown to the second coming of Jesus Christ" - is also a cavalcade of insanity.

And yesterday's program was no exception, as Wiles' grew increasingly worked up about North Korea's latest threat against the United States, which he blamed on "gay rights fanatics":

Let me remind the gay rights fanatics, North Korea plans to send a nuclear warhead our way.  There's a terrible price to pay for outright rebellion against the Holy God of Israel and your sins are going to get us all killed.

Elsewhere in the program, Wiles declared that the "Fast and the Furious" scandal is part of an effort by the Obama administration to arm Mexican gangs who will then wage war on Texas and Arizona while the administration stockpiles ammunition to supply "Obama's commie army":

The violent El Salvador street gang MS-13, they've gotten their hands on rocket-propelled grenade launchers, light anti-tank weapons, and AK-47s.  MS-13 has also linked up with Mexico's drug cartel The Zetas.

So why do you think that Barry Soetoro, that communist who goes by the name Barack Obama and his sidekick Eric Holder, were shipping thousands of weapons to Mexico in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal?  I've said all along this was about arming revolutionary gangs in Mexico to wage war in Texas and Arizona.  When the full communist revolution gets underway, why do you think Homeland Security is stockpiling billions of rounds of hollow point ammo? It's not to protect you and me.  They're setting up ammo depots for Obama's commie army.

LaBarbera: 'How Do Two Guys Consummate Their Marriage? Yuck.'

Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday to discuss the prospects of the Illinois marriage equality bill, or as he called it, “homosexual so-called marriage.” LaBarbera argued that same-sex couples cannot truly be married because they can never consummate the marriage: “If you want to just think of how wrong homosexual so-called marriage is just ask yourself: how do two guys consummate their marriage? Yuck.”

Later, he lamented that soon gay and lesbian teachers may be able to talk about their marriages in school just as a “normal heterosexual married person could.”

LaBarbera: If you want to just think of how wrong homosexual so-called marriage is just ask yourself: how do two guys consummate their marriage? Yuck.

Mefferd: I’m sure they don’t like that question, Peter.

LaBarbera: Yes, they don’t like it and it’s because it’s absurd. The whole concept is absurd. It’s not marriage. You know one angle that I’m going to be writing about Janet is if you’ve got homosexual so-called marriage legalized you’re going to end up teaching gay sex-ed, there is no way around it.



LaBarbera: I believe it was on NPR in Boston after homosexual so-called marriage was legalized there, or forced by the courts, one I believe it was a teacher who said she was emboldened to talk more frankly about homosexuality in the schools in Massachusetts. Think about it, if a teacher is so-called married, say a guy, a male teacher is married to another man, so-called because of course it’s not really marriage, he gets to talk about that marriage in the classroom just as a normal heterosexual married person could talk about — you know a man could talk about his wife.

Fischer: Just Like Judas, Liberals and Obama Don't Care About the Poor

As he normally does, Bryan Fischer began his program today with a reading and discussion from the Bible; in this case the story of Jesus being anointed at Bethany in Matthew 26:

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”

But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Even though the passage says "the disciples" were indignant, Fischer asserted that is was really only Judas who was upset because he was greedy and didn't care about the poor ... just like President Obama and liberals today:

Schlafly: 'We Need to Train the Men' to 'Stand Up to the Feminists'

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly spoke earlier this week to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association about the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which Schlafly called a “terrible” law that “would have been an excellent place to cut” spending. She lamented that “Republicans are just scared by the feminists” when “they ought to stand up and show how really vicious they are.”

Schlafly: It’s a terrible bill. At this time when we’re talking about the sequester and trying to cut here and there, that would have been an excellent place to cut.

Rios: You know I’m sure that you’ve heard Phyllis that Eric Cantor, it’s been reported by conservative Republican aides that in a private meeting he threatened conservatives that there would be civil war if they didn’t allow this to be brought out on the floor for a vote. They are so concerned that the press and the country is going to think they don’t like women because they’ve been so burned through the last campaign. If they had listened to you what would you have said to them about that?

Schlafly: Well the Violence Against Women Act was a payoff to the feminists for endorsing Bill Clinton and the Republicans are just scared by the feminists, which is very unfortunate, they ought to stand up and show how really vicious they are.

At the end of the interview, she told Rios that “we need to train the men” how to fight feminists: “It isn’t natural for men to fight women and it’s just very hard for the men to stand up to the feminists” and their “many nutty ideas.”

Schlafly: We need to train the men. It isn’t natural for men to fight women and it’s just very hard for the men to stand up to the feminists. But the feminists control the Obama administration and they have so many nutty ideas. They’ve been trying to tell us that there really isn’t any difference between the genders, they are interchangeable, but then when it comes to the matter of domestic violence they enforce all these stereotypes and it’s just so wrong.

Right-Wing Voucher Push Undermines Public Education & Constitution

Religious Right leaders and anti-government ideologues have shared a decades-long dream: to dismantle public education through a system of vouchers that would divert taxpayer funds out of public schools and into religious schools and other private academies.  For some, privatizing education is primarily a religious or ideological project. For others, the billions of dollars that flow through public schools is a tempting source of cash. For some it’s both.  Whatever the incentive, voucher proponents are finding success.  A renewed push for the creation and expansion of voucher and voucher-like schemes is contributing to a disturbing rise in public education dollars being diverted to schools that face little to no oversight or public accountability and teach religious dogma at the expense of science.

Most recently, on February 28, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that Douglas County’s voucher program – labeled a “Choice Scholarship Program” in accord with the messaging tactics of Republican spinmeister Frank Luntz – does not violate the state Constitution’s explicit prohibitions against public funding for religious education, even though 18 of the county’s 23 “private partner” schools are religious.  As reported by the Associated Press, dissenting Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Steve Bernard wrote, "In my view,[the Colorado Constitution] prohibits public school districts from channeling public money to private religious schools. I think that the Choice Scholarship Program is a pipeline that violates this direct and clear constitutional command." 

The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State say they will appeal to the state Supreme Court.  Heather L. Weaver, staff attorney for the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief said “Public education funds should be used to help improve our public schools, not to promote religion in violation of the state constitution.”  Unfortunately, the Colorado case is not the first in which courts have been willing to go along with voucher plans.  In 2011, in a 5-4 ruling, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court majority allowed an Arizona tax-credit / voucher program to stand while weakening the ability of citizens to challenge programs that divert public funds for religious purposes.

State legislators and their corporate backers in the American Legislative Exchange Council have pushed similar voucher-like tax breaks in other states, often employing the language of “choice” and “options” to divert public attention from the intent and effect of these schemes.  After conservative victories in state elections in 2010, governors and legislators in many states, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Florida, pushed to create or expand programs that divert public education dollars into religious schools and other private academies.

Among the most aggressive is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is basically pushing an effort to privatize public education in his state.  He has instituted a massive voucher program grounded in the “model legislation” pushed by ALEC, which honored Jindal in 2011 with its Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award.  Think Progress notes that Jindal’s plan will divert huge sums from public schools:  “Since the public schools will lose commensurate funding every time one of their students opt for a voucher, the state’s public school system could by some estimates lose up to $3.3 billion annually once the program is fully implemented. “

Ed Kilgore noted last summer in Washington Monthly:

In heading his state in the direction of universally available vouchers rationalized by public school failure, Jindal is not, of course, holding any of the private school beneficiaries accountable for results, or for common curricula, or, it appears, for much of anything. A big chunk of the money already out there is being snapped up by conservative evangelical schools with exotic and hardly public-minded curricular offerings, with the theory being that any public oversight would interfere with the accountability provided by “the market.” So if you want your kid to attend, at public expense, the Christian Nationalist Academy for Servant-Leader Boys & Fecund Submissive Girls, that’s okay by Bobby.

Lack of accountability is a real concern.  While proponents of voucher programs paint a picture of a poor student being given a chance to attend an elite private academy, most of those schools have few openings, meaning that the “choice” offered to many students and parents is something far different, including fly-by-night schools with little track record of their own.  According to the Louisiana Budget Project,

Louisiana requires almost no accountability from voucher schools....While voucher students are required to take the same assessment tests as public school students, there are no penalties for private schools if they fail to measure up to their public counterparts. In fact, Gov. Jindal vetoed language in a 2011 appropriations bill that would have removed participating schools if their students’ scores lagged those in the lowest performing schools in the Recovery School District, which incorporates most New Orleans public schools.

So if public schools have lousy test scores, they're failures and their students all get vouchers. But if the private schools have lousy test scores, then....nothing. Presumably the magic of the free market will fix them up.

In June 2011, an investigation by Miami New Times found a breathtaking lack of oversight and accountability in Florida’s voucher program for disabled students, likening it to “a perverse science experiment, using disabled school kids as lab rats.”

In addition to defunding public schools at the expense of unaccountable private schools, voucher programs end up using tax dollars to promote sectarian religious education and proselytizing. 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes Catholic schools as central to the church’s “New Evangelization.”   And in Louisiana and elsewhere, tax dollars are being used to support schools that teach young-earth creationism, revisionist U.S. history published by fundamentalist Bob Jones University, and other religious dogma applied to civics, politics, and literature. 

The Agenda Behind the Voucher Agenda

During “National School Choice Week,” which ran from January 27 to February 3, the Heritage Foundation published a special report, “Choosing to Succeed,” which included a call for abandoning the “myth” and “relic” of the common school.  In January, Americans for Prosperity published a report blaming the federal government for the failure of education reform and promoting vouchers and voucher-like tax schemes, such as Pennsylvania’s “Education Improvement Tax Credit.” 

On February 5, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave a speech at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where he argued that education funds should follow students whether they “choose” public, private, or charter schools. He asserted, “One of our priorities this year will be to move heaven and earth to fix our education system for the most vulnerable.”  It is important to understand that targeted voucher programs that allow students from poor families, children with disabilities or students in underperforming schools to attend private schools that will accept them are not the ultimate goal of school privatizers. They are a tactical means to a much larger strategic end, which is the end of public education altogether, as pushed by David Koch in his run for the White House in 1980. As Milton Friedman, intellectual godfather of the movement, said “Vouchers are not an end in themselves; they are a means to make a transition from a government to a free-market system.”

In a May 2011 article, researcher Rachel Tabachnik reviewed the history and financing of the school privatization movement. Its financial backers have been pouring millions of dollars into state politics for the past decade in order to build legislatures more to their liking.  Right-wing donors such as Betsy DeVos and the Walton Foundation funnel money through groups with media-friendly names like All Children Matter, its successor the American Federation for Children, and AFC-affiliated state-level political action committees like Students First, which raised more than $6 million for the 2010 election cycle in Pennsylvania.

“Like most other conservatives and libertarians, we see vouchers as a major step toward the complete privatization of schooling,” wrote Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast in 1997. “In fact, after careful study, we have come to the conclusion that they are the only way to dismantle the current socialist regime.” Heartland has received significant funding from right-wing foundations over the years, including the Charles Koch Foundation.

Another major ideological target is public employee unions, and teachers unions in particular.  A 2011 New York Times story about FreedomWorks’ lobbying for a Pennsylvania voucher program noted, “FreedomWorks is pushing anti-union legislation in several states, and saw the school choice legislation as part of that larger battle.”

School vouchers are just one part of the immensely complicated arena of education policy.  A wide array of strategies and policy proposals is often confusingly lumped together under the banner of “education reform” or “school choice,” terms that can encompass everything from curricula, student testing and teacher evaluation, charter and cyber-charter schools and more.  Some strategies may identify effective reforms that can be replicated and used to strengthen public schools and improve educational opportunity.  Others, like vouchers, are designed to weaken or dismantle public education altogether.

As parents, educators, and activists evaluate various education reform proposals, it is worth keeping in mind the question posed  by Stan Karp, in the Spring 2011 edition of Rethinking Schools, when he said that what is ultimately at stake in the school reform debate is “whether the right to a free public education for all children is going to survive as a fundamental democratic promise in our society, and whether the schools and districts needed to provide it are going to survive as public institutions, collectively owned and democratically managed – however imperfectly – by all of us as citizens. Or will they be privatized and commercialized by the corporate interests that increasingly dominate all aspects of our society?”

Note: this is the first in a series of posts about right-wing efforts to undermine public education, often in the name of education reform.

See also: Predatory Privatization, a 2012 Right Wing Watch In Focus report; and  Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education, a 2003 report from People For the American Way Foundation.

 

 

Talk to the Hand: Glenn Beck Explains Extremism

Last night, Glenn Beck kicked off his television program with a long monologue about the rise of extremism in America.  Of course, Beck insisted that he and his viewers are not the extremists but rather everyone else who doesn't see how President Obama is trying to take away their guns, provoke civil unrest, and destroy America. 

Eventually, Beck offered up a simple way of identifying extremists by using his own body, saying that the core - consisting of the "God-given helmet" of your head and the "God-given vest" of your chest - is what keeps you alive, which is why your body shuts down blood flow to your fingers and toes in times of emergency.

In the case of America, Beck explained, the Constitution is the core and people like Eric Holder, Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama, John Holdren, and Van Jones are the "extremities" that need to be cut off.

"I warn you, man," he said, "hunker down because there is a storm coming and you've got to protect the core because the extremities are beginning to make a fist and they're already beginning to throw blows":

Geller: CPAC Is 'Enforcing the Sharia'

Incensed that she was not invited back to CPAC, the annual gathering of conservative activists, Pamela Geller took to The Janet Mefferd Show to once again claim that she is a victim of Sharia law. She accused CPAC of “enforcing the Sharia” and “blasphemy laws” as a result of “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist.”

Mefferd: What did CPAC do to you? What happened?

Geller: As you know I’ve always held events there even though I wasn’t warmly welcomed because of the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives like Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist. But I would hold events at a conference of close to 12,000 conservative activists that are coming for their marching orders, that are coming for information and there’s never anything on jihad or the Sharia. You know I brought Geert Wilders to CPAC, by the way 600 people and I turned away a couple of hundred, every one of our events is always standing room only. This year I could not get an event, I was banned.



Geller: But you see this is going on a long time, it took five years for the people to know but I think at this point people need to know just how deeply we have been infiltrated. What are they doing at CPAC? Essentially they are enforcing the Sharia. Under the Sharia, the blasphemy laws, you cannot say, you cannot offend, you cannot criticize and you cannot insult Islam. That is effectively what they’re doing, they are enforcing the Sharia.

Fischer: Obama Is a Tyrant Who Would Launch Drone Strikes Against the Tea Party

Yesterday, as Sen. Rand Paul was conducting a filibuster over the Obama administration's assertion that there could possibly be hypothetical "extraordinary circumstance" under which it would be necessary for the President to authorize the use of military force or drone strike against US citizens within the United States, Bryan Fischer dedicated a segment of his program to praising Paul for his stance.

In Fischer's view, Paul's filibuster was important because President Obama is a tyrant who does not want to allow anyone who disagrees with him to express their views and so, "based on the way the administration is crafting their policy here about the use of drones, you've got to be concerned that something you might say at a Tea Party would be used as an excuse" to launched a drone strike against your house:

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