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Friday, August 30, 2013

Edinburgh Scotland Enforces Lower Speed Limit For Cars Than Bikes

From AutoBlogGreen:
The city of Edinburgh, Scotland will begin to enforce a speed limit of 20MPH throughout most of its residential and busier commercial districts, all for the sake of encouraging cycling and reducing traffic-related injuries, the Edinburgh News reports. 
The city has already been piloting the lowered speed limit in the city's Marchmont district. The speed limit there was lowered from 30MPH. 
City officials and biking advocates praised the plan, though a spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Motorists told the publication that the plan shouldn't be extended to straight, arterial roads because any speed limits there will merely be ignored. 
Pickens County, Greenville County … drive 55 while you still can.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your Body Is A Wonder ...

• During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. Saliva is more important than you realize. If your saliva can not dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

• The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue and the hardest bone is the jawbone.

• Feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day.

• The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. The reason it doesn't eat away at your stomach is that the cells of your stomach wall renew themselves so frequently that you get a new stomach lining ever three to four days.

• Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins, who smell the same. Dogs smell a person before they recognize their face.

• Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.

• The human brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb

• The colder the room you sleep in, the higher the chances are that you'll have a bad dream.

• Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.

• 300 million cells die in the human body every minute.

Liberty Area School Board Trustee Reverses Decision To Resign

At the August 2013 Pickens County School Board meeting held on Monday August 26, 2013 ... Liberty Area School Board Trustee, Ben Trotter announced his resignation, but the following day announced he was going to retract the resignation.

Trotter said ...
"In the end I got elected to try to help people and thought it was wrong that the lower paid employees cannot get raises while the school board just agreed to hire someone at a high salary." 
In 2012, Trotter was accused of using insensitive remarks concerning special needs children attending Liberty area public schools at the monthly Pickens County School Board meeting. Nearly 500 packed the building as several parents, teachers, and Pickens County residents made statements. The matter took several months to resolve and die down amidst heavy media attention. The issue was later discovered, thanks to Conservatives Of The Upstate and The Liberty Monitor,to be a covered up political move with little merit.

Earlier this year, Trotter stood in favor with only one other school board member in the "school board prayer" issue.

• Trotter was serving the current year as Vice Chairman of the School Board.

• Trotter's district is District 4 / Liberty

• His term was set to expire in November 2014.

• Trotter was elected to represent the Liberty area in 2010.

• By trade, Trotter is an exterminator and electrical contractor.

Pentagon: Conservatives & Freedom Lovers as Extremists & Hate Groups

In the newly released The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Training Guide ...

Under a section titled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states …
“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
Read more:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

"Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty."
~ Ronald Reagan, 40th President Of The United States 1980-1988

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Food $tamps ...

* graphic from New York Times indicating increase in food stamps by state

Fox News reports:

Food stamp costs to the taxpayer reached nearly a billion dollars ($858 million to be exact) in 2012. That compares to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.

Many wonder whether America's obesity rates are rising due to outlandish monthly benefits of $1000.00 or more.

Some also question illegal "sales of food stamps" or the sale of the food once purchased at places like flea markets.

The article below states that those receiving welfare and food stamps in New York in some cases make more than school teachers:

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 2013 Pickens County Council Meeting

The August 2013 Pickens County Council Meeting will be held

Monday August 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Pickens County Administration Facility
222 McDaniel Avenue, B-1
Pickens, SC 29671
Phone: (864) 898-5856

Conservatives are encouraged to attend.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

~ John Jay

John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, President of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1779 and, from 1789 to 1795, the first Chief Justice of the United States. During and after the American Revolution, he was a minister (ambassador) to Spain and France, helping to fashion United States foreign policy and to secure favorable peace terms from the British (the Jay Treaty) and French. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

Jay was Governor of New York from 1795 to 1801 and became the state's leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to pass emancipation legislation failed in 1777 and 1785, but the third succeeded in 1799. The new law he signed into existence eventually saw the emancipation of all New York slaves before his death.
The John Jay College Of Criminal Justice in New York is considered one of the most elite colleges for criminal justice attorneys.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Concern Over Common Core Is Distracting?

I attended the SC Education Oversight Committee's two day retreat August 8-9, 2013; I was dumbfounded by what I heard.

South Carolina Parents Involved In Education (SCPIE) had become aware of a draft resolution involving a recommendation on Common Core Standards. We felt it necessary to email the members of the EOC (Education Oversight Committee) to inform them of citizens' concerns over Common Core Standards. As involved citizens we exercised our right to actively engage with our EOC members.

At the opening of the meeting, Chairman Neil Robinson began by letting it be known he had received dozens of emails from critics who misunderstood the resolution that was being presented. Robinson stated,
“I'm pulling the resolution that I asked you (the committee members) to look at, “because it got so mischaracterized that it's really frustrating and very distracting to be receiving all these messages about something that wasn't going to happen, that really wasn't on the agenda.” 
Really? Citizens exercising their right to engage in our government's decision is "very distracting"?

Dr. Zais, SC State Superintendent of Education sent Mr. Robinson a letter dated August 6, 2013 in which he stated,
“… there are several open-ended conditions in the current resolution. How low does the state graduation rate need to be to trigger the first condition? How is a “threat” to local control defined? What “independently verified data” will be used by the EOC? When will the EOC make a decision about the CCSS?
Did Mr. Robinson find Dr. Zais' letter very distracting as well? Did Dr. Zais misunderstand the resolution? Doubtful.

Here is part of the resolution:
“If at any point during implementation of the Common Core State Standards, independently verified data documents that: Students are not graduating from public schools in South Carolina able to compete globally for jobs in the 21st century or that students are not college and career ready; or If local decisions about what and how to teach are threatened to be taken from the state districts and schools, then, the EOC may recommend to the State Superintendent of Education and the State Board of Education that South Carolina, in collaboration with higher education, revises its English Language Arts and Mathematics standards to create new South Carolina College and Career Readiness Standards in English Language and Mathematics.”
You be the judge. Wouldn't you say SCPIE members needed to be writing emails, and attending this retreat? Wouldn't you say local control has already been threatened by accepting Common Core Standards?

Johnnelle Raines

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Liberty ↑ Crime ↓

Liberty ↑ Crime ↓

From Fox News:
"Amid calls nationwide for stricter gun control laws, Virginia is experiencing a unique trend: the state’s gun-related crime is declining but firearms sales are increasing.

Firearms sales rose 16 percent to a record 490,119 guns purchased from licensed gun dealers in 2012, according to sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch."
Read more:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Courts Say "Yes" to Big Gulp & "No" To Big Guv

From Outside The Beltway:

Upholding an opinion issued in March of this year by a trial court judge, an appellate court in New York has ruled that the ban on large sugary drinks enacted last year by the New York City Department of Health is unconstitutional:
"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries was rejected by a New York State Appeals Court on Tuesday July 30, 2013. The court ruled that he had "overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban"."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quote Of The Day ...

"We should not expect to go from dictatorship to liberty in a featherbed."
~ Thomas Jefferson
Conservatives … If we do not stand up for our freedoms, merely to say, "I don't want any trouble" … our troubles will only have begun in this country.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Conservatives Of The Upstate: A Look At The 1st Amendment: Part II: Freedom Of Religion

God's laws vs Government's Abilities To Create Them
by Junius Smith
The first amendment to the constitution was enacted in order to guarantee that the Congress could make no law that established a State religion ~ meaning a national, government endorsed religion. For instance, the Federal government could not force everyone to be Catholics or everyone to Muslim.

The same sentence that assures us the government cannot and will not have a national religion, provides for the free exercise of religious practice. Do as you please as long as you are peaceably assembling. There is no "as long as you are not infringing on someone else's rights. Someone else doesn't have a right to "not hear". Someone else that does not agree with a peaceable assembly peaceably has the right to leave and it could be argued; the responsibility to leave.

The Ninth Circuit has recently ruled as such.

Their ruling provided for all religions to be free to pray at governmental meetings. In most American minds, God is the omnipotent being and not government.

Many of God's laws deal with honesty and proper human behavior, while governments throughout the ages have been corrupt. A prayer before governmental meetings gives recognition of the basic good of God's righteousness;  above that of government.

Under our Constitution, all religions have the right to pray, go to the church of choice, and interact with government with a right to free exercise of religion.

Lawyers who have argued that "the establishment clause" forbids prayer in governmental meetings have erred, and the judges that have ruled have erred, and Congress; which has no rights to make laws on religion, have erred.

There have been opinions (case opinions) that have from time to time been looked at as law, but later changed.

The case of whether slavery was legal is an example where it was ruled as legal by the courts, only to be changed later and put it into law in the 13th Amendment.

There is a procedure for changing the Constitution and those who disagree with it should use the lawful procedure rather than put words in the mouth of a judge who does not agree with the wording.

The real truth is that the matter of prayer should be handled by the State courts as the Constitution strictly forbids Congress to pass laws restricting the free exercise of religion. If Congress is banned from passing the laws to begin with, then the Supreme Court is acting out of line by ruling on religion.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Freedom From Religion Foundation - Not Even Quotes Are Safe?

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, the organization that bullied the Pickens County School Board into dropping prayers mentioning Jesus before school board meetings has a new target; quotes from famous people.

You read that right.

A few examples:

"That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."
~ part of The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

(found at the Lincoln Memorial and on U.S. Passports)

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
~ Thomas Jefferson

(found at the Jefferson Memorial)

"We have a great dream. It started way back in 1776, and God grant that America will be true to her dream."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

(quote featured on U.S. Passports)

The FFRF is demanding that the U.S. State Department remove these quotes – which were actually said, by real national heroes, at historically significant moments, about pivotal events in our nation’s history.

If they mention God, we have to remove them from history?

The First Amendment is not a mandate to whitewash history. The Constitution is not a manual for the cleansing and expulsion of religious references from public life.

FFRF’s co-president Annie Lauri Gaylor inaccurately asserts, “The United States is governed under a secular and godless constitution ...”.

The Supreme Court has specifically held that to follow such a legal argument “...would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.”

Read more, here:

Common Core Questions

Common Core Questions
by Johnnelle Raines

Answer Me This Common Core Supporters!

How can standards which have never been piloted prepare our children for a competitive global economy?

Where is the reliable research which shows CCS will prepare our children for future jobs that don't even exist yet?

Can someone prove how standards for K-3 children can be reliable when not one single experienced K-3 teacher served on the committee responsible for writing them?

How can a one-size-fits-all set of standards accommodate for children's different backgrounds of poverty, dysfunctional family life, and health problems?

Why would we want a National set of standards which promote sameness when the USA was founded on freedom of choice and celebrates individuality?

How does increasing rigor create better test scores? Does raising the hurdle bar prepare an athlete to succeed in jumping that hurdle?

Why would a State waste time adding 15% to the standards if those standards won't be tested on the National test?

Why was David Coleman, the main architect of the standards selected to lead when he has never been a teacher?

How can CCS be an aid to children who move from state to state unless EVERY teacher in EVERY school in EVERY state is teaching the SAME standard on the SAME day at the SAME time and in the SAME way?

How can increasing rigor keep children from experiencing a sense of failure when those children are not developmentally ready for that skill?

How can standards NOT be a curriculum when tests drive the curriculum and curriculum comes from standards?

Who is writing the National test questions and what are their credentials, ideologies and biases?

Where is the proof that standards developed by out of state bureaucrats are better than ones developed by local educators?

What evidence is there to prove a National set of standards will produce higher test scores?

Why are we “re-inventing the wheel” when our public schools produced the greatest generation and put us on the moon?

Where is the evidence of local parental input into Common Core Standards?

Where is the evidence that shows education will improve when all students learn the same things at the same time and have the same standards?

Are our children guinea pigs?

Why do our schools wan to keep throwing money at an unproven set of standards which five education experts would not sign off on their validity?

Doesn't a national curriculum lead to socialism/communism/Marxism?