Understanding Glenn Beck's Common Core Conspiracy Theory

Despite the fact that we spend hours every day watching Glenn Beck's radio and television programs, we are often completely mystified by whatever "point" it is he is trying to make because ... well, the ravings of a paranoid conspiracy theorist are generally kind of hard to follow.

Case in point was last night's program where Beck warned that the government and corporations have teamed up to implement something he calls "System X' designed to turn the nation's schoolchildren into cogs in a corporate machine.

He spent a good deal of time talking about it on his radio program again today and, as best we can understand, Beck's theory is that the 2009 stimulus legislation contained $5 billion dollars designated to be given to states in support of public education, but carried a requirement that any state accepting the money must set up a "longitudinal data system." The data gathered by such a system, Beck insists, is being harvested by the federal government and stored in a massive facility in Utah and will be used by both the government and corporations to monitor every student from the time they enter school for the purpose of controlling their futures. From the moment a child enters school, his or her future will be determined and those with skills deemed valuable by the corporations will be guided into areas that serve the needs of the corporations while all the others "will be a cog in the machine forever."

Beck is particularly obsessed with page 44 of a document entitled "Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance—Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century" [PDF] put out by the Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology. In a section on "behavioral task performance," the report mentions various methods researchers have used for measuring how students respond to challenges.  Among the methods used have been some studies that employed various sensors and cameras, photos of which were included in the report:

Even though, on the very next page, the report says such devices "may not be practical for use in the classroom" and that the measurements they take are "dependent on the use of highly constrained tasks in digital learning environments, which may be difficult to translate into use in the classroom," Beck is convinced that "your kids are going to be poked and prodded like 1984" and will have wristbands and cameras attached to them so that they can be monitored at all times: 

So when you start hearing others on the Right and GOP members of Congress warning about the dangers posed by Common Core, this is what they are talking about.  And you can thank Glenn Beck.

FRC Invokes Matthew Shepard in Anti-Gay Marriage Column

Family Research Council senior fellow Robert Morrison is out with a column reflecting on his experience at NOM’s March for Marriage and how “marriage benefits everyone,” except for the same-sex couples who he believes should not have the right to marry.

Morrison writes that “marriage is a blessing to families” but is now “under attack” by gays and lesbians. Then, he uses the violent death of Matthew Shepard, the victim of an anti-gay hate crime, as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage: “Three-quarters of the teen rapists in our prisons are fatherless young men, so are two-thirds of the teen murderers. Even gay martyr Matthew Shepherd [sic] was killed by two fatherless young men. Marriage bashes no one.”

I’ve been going to pro-life marches since 1981, so I’m getting used to the drill. Still, this week’s March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. promised to be different in many ways. It was slated to coincide with the U.S.Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and on California’s Proposition 8. The media says Prop 8 was designed to “ban” homosexuals from marrying. It was designed for no such thing. As was the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Prop 8 was designed to protect an institution that is under attack.



I saw many old friends from the March for Life. But I saw so many new friends. It was amazing to see how many black, Hispanic, and Asian folks had come out for this one.

State Sen. Ruben Diaz harangued the crowd estimated at 5-8,000. Sen. Diaz is from New York. He spoke in Spanish. He crowed: “I’m black. I’m Hispanic. I’m against abortion. I’m against this homosexual stuff. And I’m a Democrat.” He added that he wins by 89 percent in his state senatorial district.



When we see dozens of Democrats abandoning their previously held positions and a few Republicans also willing to betray the voters who put them in office, it would be easy to become cynical about everyone in politics. But we have to stand firm and push back. Marriage is a blessing to families. Three-quarters of the teen rapists in our prisons are fatherless young men, so are two-thirds of the teen murderers. Even gay martyr Matthew Shepherd [sic] was killed by two fatherless young men. Marriage bashes no one. Marriage benefits everyone.



We are seeing a great sorting out. We saw that early in the country’s life, too. Thomas Paine wrote about the sunshine soldiers and the summer patriots who cut and run when there was fighting to do.

These are the times that try men’s souls. Women’s, too. But it’s for our children and our grandchildren that we stand fast. On earth, there’s no better cause.

'Cockroaches': Liberty's Mat Staver Denounces Portman, Priebus and Rove on Same-Sex Marriage

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver yesterday spoke to Vic Eliason of Voice of Christian Youth America on Crosstalk, where the two agreed that legalizing same-sex marriage nationally “would be the same as pronouncing the death sentence on America.”

Staver, who is also the dean of the Liberty University School of Law, even went so far as to say that marriage equality would “obliterate” morality, marriage and “the idea that there even is a God,” along with harming children, parents and society at large.

Eliason: You know as we see the comments, one website indicated that if the court strikes down marriage as we know it that it would be the same as pronouncing the death sentence on America that many of us know and love, recount the days of Sodom and Gomorrah as returning to our culture. Your thoughts?

Staver: Well I think so. Same-sex marriage is ultimately the abolition of gender; it’s ultimately the abolition of any moral behavior with regards to human sexuality. This whole assault on marriage is really an attempt to obliterate not only morality but Judeo-Christian morality, to obliterate marriage and to even obliterate the idea that there even is a God.



Staver: You’re going to have people lose their professions, you’re going to have parents lose their rights, you’re going to have churches and other avenues of religious free exercise ultimately throttled and marriage and morality are going to crumble. Children are ultimately going to pay the price and society will suffer.

He later cited California’s law barring the use of ex-gay therapy on minors as an example of how gay rights represent “a direct assault on the very core of our liberties and morality, marriage and even God.”

Staver described Rob Portman, Karl Rove and Reince Priebus as “cockroaches” which “start running” once “you flip on the lights” over their comments on gay marriage, and Eliason said of the Log Cabin Republicans: “Is there nobody to clean the cockroaches out?”

After discussing George W. Bush’s failure to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, Staver joined other Religious Right leaders like Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer in warning about the emergence of a “third party” and a “mass exodus” from the GOP “if the Republican Party were to adopt same-sex marriage.”

Listen:

Staver: You know it’s like going into a building at night and you flip on the lights and all of the sudden the cockroaches start running, and I think this same-sex marriage issue has shown the cockroaches within the Republican Party, the RINOs: Republican In Name Only. That’s why we lost the 2008 election, that’s why we lost the 2012 election, because they put forth their party person who is not really a conservative and doesn’t resonate with the American people and couldn’t carry a conservative message and articulate it if it was handed to them.

Go back to George W. Bush, George W. Bush surrounded himself by a number of people that were not conservative and in fact though he was elected in 2004 on a marriage mandate, that was what ultimately pushed him across the line; remember that was the time when thirteen states passed constitutional amendments, eleven of them actually on the day he was elected, and Ohio was a key state and Ohio had marriage on the ballot and that pushed him over the top. He had a marriage mandate and coming into 2005 we asked him to push forward with a Federal Marriage Amendment; instead, he and Karl Rove backed away. They tried to reform Social Security, which was not a mandate of his, and he failed and we lost that opportunity.

So now you have Karl Rove and you have [Reince] Priebus and some others, [Rob] Portman, they’re going down a way that ultimately will split the Republican Party. I can tell you what, if the Republican Party were to adopt same-sex marriage, if they were to do that, evangelicals will leave en masse and that will create a third party. No one wants to create a third party, they want to work within the system, they want to make sure that it advances freedom and liberty and the sanctity of life and marriage, but if the Republican Party goes down that road you can bet that there will be a mass exodus from that party and it will not win elections again for many, many years in the future.

Eliason: You know Mat, as we look back to a term that isn’t new but they call them Log Cabin Republicans and that of course was the group that favored homosexual involvement and moral decadence, as I define it, but this was the liberal element. When I saw that happen years ago down in my heart I thought: Is there nobody to clean the cockroaches out? Why do you coexist with that?

Craig Parshall: Marriage Equality Victories Will Lead to 'Suppression of Speech'

Craig Parshall of National Religious Broadcasters added to the torrent of right-wing doomsday prophesies about marriage equality yesterday, claiming that a Supreme Court victory for gay rights would ultimately lead to hate speech laws wielded against Christians. In an interview with his wife Janet Parshall, a talk show host with Moody Radio, he warned that “the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.”

We have a hate crimes law on the federal level now that we didn’t used to have. It’s only been in play for a few years, but I’m already seeing indications that it could migrate toward the suppression of speech. So there’s no question in my mind that if either or both of these decisions go the wrong way, the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.

He was also upset that Justice Kennedy, during the arguments on Proposition 8, had brought up the well-being of California children being raised by same-sex couples. “There are some 40,000 children in California…that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?,” Kennedy asked.

Parshall, who has previously called the children of gay and lesbian parents “victims of gay mentality,” said that in this case the views of children shouldn’t be considered. “We don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions,” he said. “Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions.”

(Of course, in this case, the parents are not able to make the decision to get married because they are legally barred from doing so).

The issue was, I thought, brought to a head in a very interesting, but I think wrong-headed, question by Justice Kennedy, the swing vote again, who said, ‘Well, but what about those 37,000,’ and actually, excuse me, he said, ‘the 40,000 children living in same-sex relationships in California?’ Actually, the number’s 37,000, I think he rounded it up, that’s fine. The 37,000 children. ‘What about them? They want their putative father and other significant other to be called a married couple.’ Well, number one, do they? I don’t think a survey has been made of those 37,000 children. But, number two, we don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions. Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions. The child doesn’t make the decision about whether marriage should be instituted for the purpose of gay parents.

Fischer: Adultery and Viewing Pornography 'Ought to be Against the Law'

On yesterday's program, Bryan Fischer spent a good deal of time ripping Bill O'Reilly for saying that the supporters of marriage equality have the more compelling argument while opponents haven't been able to do anything but "thump the Bible."

Needless to say, Fischer took exception to that statement on the grounds that the only thing gay marriage opponents need to do is thump the Bible because it is the Word of God and contains God's eternal truth.  That prompted a caller named David to tell Fischer that just because the Bible might disapprove of things like adultery or pornography, that doesn't mean the government ought to pass laws against them.

Fischer, of course, disagreed and argued that Biblical standards ought to be the basis for our laws, which is why he insisted that both adultery and viewing pornography ought to be illegal:

Erik Rush: Same-Sex Marriage Is an 'Anti-Theistic, Christophobic Design of the Radical Left'

WorldNetDaily columnist Erik Rush today writes that same-sex couples can never truly be married, even if it becomes law. Rush argues that voters “no more have a right to bar homosexuals from marrying than they do conferring upon them the right to marry” as “same-sex couples will never occupy a state of matrimony, no matter what laws we pass or semantic gymnastics we manage to execute,” in the same way a man could never join a sorority.

He goes on to argue that gay rights advocates have a “venomous hatred for everything smacking of Christianity” and that same-sex marriage is part of “the anti-theistic, Christophobic design of the radical left,” which Rush claims will bring about “societal dissolution.”

I find it quite surreal that as I write this, the most learned legal minds in the country are being compelled to debate an issue that is wholly specious on its face. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments against the State of California voters’ right to have banned “same-sex marriage,” but all that ban amounts to in a practical sense is an agreement that the semantic argument not be broached. Do California voters have a right to do so? Certainly – but they no more have a right to bar homosexuals from marrying than they do conferring upon them the right to marry.

Thus, my ongoing contention that we as a society have neither the power nor the ability to change the definition of “marriage,” nor can we confer the “right” to marry upon those who do not possess an a priori qualification to be married. I can petition a college sorority to accept me as a sister, and they might even do so after a fashion; but I will never be a “sorority sister,” because I am a man. Similarly, same-sex couples will never occupy a state of matrimony, no matter what laws we pass or semantic gymnastics we manage to execute.



The quest for “same-sex marriage” (which, as has been established, doesn’t exist) is not about the civil rights of homosexuals or the well-worn catch phrase “marriage equality.” Like everything championed by the political left, it is about weakening America’s cultural and societal foundation; it is but one component in the anti-theistic, Christophobic design of the radical left.

In fact, outside of a handful of the whopping 3.5 percent of Americans who identify as homosexual, most of those who are advancing this offensive are not homosexual, nor do they care in the least about the civil rights of homosexuals. They are the power brokers of the left, the same people who continually strive to alienate ethnic minorities, women, the poor and whomever else they can from societal convention.

Apart from those types, the people who advocate most vociferously for “marriage equality” are militant homosexuals and the most rabid leftists. The majority of those with whom I interact on a frequent basis are young and ill-informed, but they all share the same venomous hatred for everything smacking of Christianity, employing the same tiresome charges relative to those holding traditional values being intolerant and hateful.



If all this were a matter of equitable health insurance coverage, taxation or inheritance, civil unions would be the way to go. It is quite true, as many of our libertarian friends contend, that the state should never have gotten involved in the business of marriage to start with. For civil purposes, certificates of some sort of recognition might have been instituted for married couples, such as when someone changes their name. This way, if two homosexuals wanted to play house, they could have whatever familial parameters they desired formally registered and recognized in the same manner.

But civil unions are not good enough. In order for the left to achieve their objective, the political left must compel all of America to capitulate, to embrace and honor homosexual unions as “marriage.” It is only in this way that the requisite societal dissolution may progress.

Rep. Mark Meadows: SCOTUS Ruling for Marriage Equality Will Undermine Democracy and Spark 'Constitutional Crisis'

During an appearance on The Steve Deace Show, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) maintained that “our democracy and our representative form of government” will be “in dire straits” if the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. He told Deace that he is not “aware of any” precedent of the court making such a sweeping decision that would represent “a huge invasion into states’ rights.”

Deace: We’re talking about a supermajority of US states have already, all of them within the last ten to fifteen years, have defined what marriage is within their borders and now we have the US Supreme Court determining whether it has the jurisdiction to override a supermajority of US state laws. Mark, do you know of any precedent for that ever in American history? I can’t come up with one, ever.

Meadows: No, I’m not aware of any and obviously if it gets down to nine people deciding the will of the people our democracy and our representative form of government is in dire straits. The people here in North Carolina overwhelmingly came out and voted really en masse and with such energy that I’ve not experienced in over twenty-eight years of following politics here in North Carolina have not seen that kind of energy, and here we got the Supreme Court looking to overturn a California law that really where the voters voted there as well and you know it was obviously overturned in the Ninth Circuit and now we’ve got the Supreme Court saying that they’re going to weigh in on this particular issue. It’s a huge invasion into states’ rights and the state definition of marriage, whether you call it traditional or natural marriage, I call it marriage, you know it’s between one man and one woman, period.

Later, the freshman congressman charged that any such ruling would lead to “a constitutional crisis,” although he didn’t answer Deace’s question about how Congress would respond to the court’s decision.

Deace: What happens, I mean you’re a congressman, if the court does that, you are in a state that has already asserted its will on this issue but you’re in the body that our founders constitutionally gave oversight of the judicial branch, so you’re right in the thick of this debate. What happens if the court decides that they are their own constitutional convention without any recourse at all, what happens?

Meadows: Well I mean obviously we start to have a constitutional crisis. We’ve already seen some of that with the executive branch saying that they’re not going to enforce certain laws. I think it was Justice Scalia that brought this out in the last couple of days is when you get an executive branch that starts to decide what’s constitutional and what’s not and what they’re going to enforce and what they’re not, they’re usurping the authority of Congress and that’s the representative form of government and we can’t stand for that, as a people we can’t stand for that so we need to stand up and make sure that our voice is heard.

Robertson: Government Is Preparing For Battle 'Against Us'

Televangelist Pat Robertson is joining the ranks of right-wing commentators who claim that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling vehicles and ammunition to use against Americans.

“Long trains full of armored vehicles, personnel carriers with armor, what are they for, the army going into battle against the enemy? They're used by Homeland Security against us,” Robertson ominously warned. “Imagine what Homeland Security is doing is just awful and we’re going to talk about how much ammunition they’re stockpiling: who are they going to shoot, us?” 

The conspiracy about secretive ammo stockpiling is completely unfounded.

According to the Associated Press, the ammunition is used in trainings for “tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers” and for the use of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

As Media Matters pointed out, DHS does own light armored vehicles for emergencies and raids on drug cartels, and the recent purchases of such vehicles were actually for the U.S. Marine Corps.

In fact, the conspiracy theory is so baseless that even the NRA has debunked it.

Charisma to NFL Gays: Stay in the Closet!

Jennifer LeClaire, news editor of Charisma, a magazine and publishing house for Pentecostal Christians, is terrified that the gay agenda “may soon enough seep into Sunday afternoon football” and she has a message for gay NFL players: stay in the closet. Charisma’s daily email newsletter hypes her story this way:

In an age of openly gay clergy preaching the gospel, it wouldn’t be nearly as shocking to see a muscle-bound NFL pro doing a wacky dance after scoring a touchdown. But God forbid it happens.

Don't straight players ever do wacky dances? LeClaire frets about speculation that a professional football player will come out – speculation that has grown with the number of outspoken straight-but-gay-supportive players like Brendon Ayanbadejo. She insists that gay football players should stay in the closet to avoid enticing young people into a sinful lifestyle. All emphases are in the original.

Professional sports should stay out of step. If it’s not supposed to matter whether or not an NFL player is gay, then why do we need to know about his sexual orientation? The gay agenda wants us to know because it wants to shape and mold the minds of the next generation. It’s much the same as the gay superhero drama. Shining a positive spotlight on gay role models in any industry serves to validate homosexuality, which is clearly a sin.

LeClaire is worried that “CBS is reporting that a gay NFL player may soon come out of the closet, which would stir up post-season drama in more ways than one.”

When I was a kid, watching football on Sunday afternoons was a family tradition for many on my block. But as the gay agenda makes its public relations push from all sides, expect to see more gay professional athletes coming out of the closet in 2013, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court validates gay marriage at a federal level before football season begins.

In an age of openly gay clergy preaching the gospel, it wouldn’t be nearly as shocking to see a muscle-bound NFL pro doing a wacky dance after scoring a touchdown. But you can bet whoever comes out first will be the poster child for the radical gay agenda’s campaigns as they seek to make all things LGBT mainstream in a nation under God that’s divided on gay marriage.

Where will the gay agenda go next to recruit kids who are confused about their sexual identity? How should the church respond to youth who need to know who they are in Christ so they can avoid the eternal consequences of homosexual sin?

LeClaire’s message is not particularly surprising, given that she has previously warned against the perils of gay demon rape and recently denounced as anti-God “wickedness” the protection of gay people in the  Violence Against Women Act.  And it’s worth remembering that last fall Charisma publisher Steven Strang was helping Harry Jackson raise money for his not-very-successful plan to use marriage equality as a racial wedge issue against President Obama in swing states.  

Staver: 'For The Very First Time in History [We Have] a President Who Does Not Love America'

On yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Staver and Matt Barber were discussing the "unprecedented" attacks on religious liberty under the Obama administration, which Staver attributed to the fact that President Obama hates America.

"We had President Carter, we had President Clinton," Staver said, "they were liberal and leftist in their policies; I think they were wrong but at their heart and at their core, I think they still loved America.  They had different ideas of how America should work. But I think at his core, we have, for the very first time in history, a president who does not love America, who wants to completely remake it because he does not like America or the values and the founding principles upon which is was established":

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