COTU MEETINGS ARE HELD MONTHLY
* SEE SPECIAL MEETING NOTES & LOCATIONS IN POSTS BELOW *
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Monday, December 24, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
The next Conservatives of the Upstate Meeting will be Tuesday Jan 15th at 7pm at Pizza Inn in Pickens. This will be a planning meeting to discuss what action items we want to pursue in the next 3 months. Meeting will be for an hour... you can eat or not that’s entirely up to you.
I hope you will consider attending and help us with input as to what Conservative issues are important to you.
Please rsvp to : firstname.lastname@example.org
So we will know how many to expect.
Once Again Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...hoping to see you on January 15th!
The Leadership Team of COTU
Monday, December 3, 2018
Paying your fair share
Know how to spot a progressive, they will always use one of these buzzwords.
The classic example:
Saturday, December 1, 2018
The date, time, and location has been set for the 2019 Annual Pickens County Legislative Delegation Public Meeting.
DATE: Monday, January 7, 2019
TIME: 5:30 P.M.
WHERE: Pickens County Performing Arts Center (Previously known as the Liberty Civic Center)
314 W. Main Street
Liberty, SC 29657
If you would like to be put on the agenda to speak, please use the contact info below.
Please limit your comments to 3 minutes.
Pickens County Legislative Delegation
West End Hall, Room 205
201 S. Fifth Street
Easley, SC 29640
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
Many of you are already receiving weekly emails from Securly about your child’s Internet activity at school and, if your child has a Tech It Home device, while away from school. Securly is now offering a Plug n’ Play hub they are providing to our parents as a fundraiser for our school. The Plug n’ Play hub has been tested by several of our parents and our district’s IT department. It allows parents to monitor all devices that are connected to your home network. The hub is NOT needed for SDPC-issued devices, but is useful for any other devices used on your home network. The hub is $5.99/month and our school receives $2 a month as a fundraiser.
Follow this link for more information:
Monday, November 5, 2018
He is instrumental in the www.fanofsc.com Freedom Action Network
Have a wonderful Christmas and may God Bless each of you!
Monday, October 29, 2018
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Who is ultimately responsible for quality education for your child? Who is the boss of Education in the United States?
Is it the United Nations? Is it the G20 Education Ministers which met Sept 5 of this year? Is it President Trump? Is it our elected legislators? Is it the US Dept of Education? Is it Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? Is it the SC Dept of Education? Is it State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman? Is it the SC State Board of Education? Is it the SC Education Oversight Committee? Is it the National Education Association of teachers? Is it your Local School Board? Is it your County Superintendent of Education? Is it AdvancED? Is it the Chamber of Commerce? Is it Private/Public Partnerships? Is it your child's teacher? Great question. Do you know the answer?
Too many chefs in the kitchen spoils the soup...don't you think?
Actually where does the “buck stop” when it comes to accountability of education?
On September 5 , 2018, Thirty delegation members, including Betsy DeVos, met in Mendoza Argentina as part of G-20 Meeting of Education Ministers... the countries being represented may be viewed here:
The G-20 Ministers ultimately called for globalization of education, social and emotional learning, inclusiveness, more data collection on children from cradle to grave...lifelong learning. “They” are directing your child's education and setting policies that trickle down to YOUR child.
Their declaration actually states their policies are “in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda,”
It states, “G-20 nations will work to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’”
Do you remember Trump's campaign promises to end Common Core and return education to local control? Has he been ignoring his pledge or has he just got the wrong advisers?
Where is Trump's “AMERICA FIRST” when it comes to public Education policies? He can't claim this mantra while at the same time allowing the United Nations to have any say so in public education policies!
These mandates that are coming from the United Nations undermines not only parents and states, but the fundamental sovereignty of the United States.
Are you on board with GLOBALIZATION of your child's education and people from socialist countries deciding the direction of your child's education? What if you have an issue with what's taking place? WHO DO YOU CALL?
The “buck stops” with YOU the parent.
YOU need to take control back. YOU should start by contacting President Trump and letting him know that the United Nations should have NO say so in your child's education plan. Tell him to END COMMON CORE like he promised and end the US Dept of Education so local control can be returned to parents where it belongs.
by Johnnelle Raines
Monday, September 24, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
The internet, as searched by Google, maker of the Chromebook and ChromeOS underpinnings, is littered with shill articles as the top results praising the Chromebook's merits. Of course it does! And, when schools and school districts are searching for less expensive, easier to manage solutions for tech in their schools - what search engine do they use? I'd venture to say, "Google"."Charles Schwab (a Chrome Enterprise customer) rolled out more than 1,000 Chromebooks in less than 2 months using Chrome Enterprise Management. Everything worked right out of the box without the need to bring in IT to install any software or manually customize settings on each device."- from Google Partner Agosto, Debunking the 5 Most Common Chromebook Myths
Not using a knowledgeable and talented IT professional to fix and maintain your network and security of information is tantamount to saying a trained school resource officer is unneeded to protect the physical security of the children. Think about that each time you see a school resource officer.
If you're familiar with ChromeBook hardware, these are very plasticy, flimsy terminals that run Google's operating system called ChromeOS. ChromeOS is based off of the Chrome browser - a competitor to Microsoft's Internet Explorer/Edge browser, Apple's Safari, and Mozilla's Firefox.
As a 25 year networking and IT professional, I have never recommended anything outside of Apple hardware for security reasons. Apple's Safari browser for computers and phones is very secure as well. But, different needs call for different uses of hardware. I also understand usage preferences. If one of my customers needed to use Windows, I recommended the FireFox web browser. For continuity, I recommend Firefox usage on Apple products as well. However, in nearly every case that a Chrome browser was installed on any of the various hardware I've serviced in the last 10 years since the Chrome browser first came into being - there have been major security concerns with malware, adware, and spyware. It seemed none were caught by common use viral protection.
Then, there's an issue of privacy ...
A Missouri couple asserted that the Springfield Public School System is accessing their personal accounts and storing their private information on the system's Google Drive without their permission - including voice assistant commands from all household membersAlso, from, Why the NSA loves Google's ChromeBook
Google can make all the positive claims it wants about security of Chrome, ChromeOS, and ChromeBook hardware, but be careful about their argument that privacy and security are not intertwined. Security goes hand in hand with privacy. Google is first and foremost a marketing company. Google collects data. Google sells data. They market their services as free. Remember the saying about free lunch? (if not, Google it ...) Google sells to the highest bidder, the lowest bidder, and even shares some data freely - personal data - with marketing partners and "researchers" to learn how to market to you even more. Our children aren't just being sold out to the lowest bidder for theirs AND OUR adult information - but being sold out to almost anyone that asks - above board or unscrupulous."Furthermore, the Chromebook is everything a government watchman could want—even without Google Apps data and Gmail, it could give those with network monitoring capabilities a way to pinpoint the location of a credential-holder.
Chromebook plus a government-forged Google certificate equals a man-in-the-middle attack against the SSL security of Google's services—and a way for the government to read all of your e-mails and documents as they pass back and forth through an Internet choke point to and from your browser.
None of this is necessarily Google's fault. But it's a weakness of the browser as platform—by pushing nearly all the computing resources for applications, besides presentation, back up into the cloud, the Chromebook model creates a one-stop shop for attackers or observers to inject themselves into your computing world. ... Chromebook is unique in its tethering to a single set of cloud services over web protocols. When used with the best practices for web security, the Chromebook is secure against most direct attacks on the local hardware and the Chrome browser, but its dependence on a web-based backend where US courts have already ruled there's less of an expectation of privacy is something no amount of end-point security is going to fix."
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, said in 2010 that Google’s job was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” (That’s a very creepy thing to say.)
Google is by any stretch of the term, “unreachable”. Try as hard as you can to communicate a problem to them. They consider themselves above the law and not subject to court orders, court outcomes of libel and content removal. Recently, Google even failed to show up to a requested government hearing on internet bias towards conservatives.
Dennis Prager claims in an ongoing legal battle with Google owned YOUtube, which has a near monopoly on video sharing services:
"The plaintiff, Prager University, said YouTube’s “animus” toward its “political identity and viewpoint” led it to curb access to videos, including through its “Restricted Mode” setting, on such topics as abortion, gun rights, Islam and terrorism, despite its stated promise of neutrality"Recently, a video leaked showing Google employees upset over the 2016 Presidential Election results. The video also indicated that employees felt they may not have manipulated results and algorithms enough to push for Clinton's victory over Trump.
"In the hour-long video, execs including co-founder Sergey Brin, as well as Google CEO Sundar Pichai, chief financial officer Ruth Porat and top lawyer Kent Walker, respond to the election with somber tones and calls for employees not to let the results divide them.
"Myself as an immigrant and a refugee, I certainly find the selection deeply offensive and I know many of you do too," Brin, Alphabet's president, says near the outset of the meeting. "I think it's a very stressful time and conflicts with many of our values." ... Later in the video, CFO Porat admits to being a Hillary Clinton supporter."
- CNBC, Leaked video shows Google's leaders responding in dismay at an all-hands meeting after the 2016 presidential election.Finally, we come to how I believe ChromeBooks undermine parental authority and control. Over the past few weeks, I have been observing my daugther's Chromebook network activity - logged - as it runs through my router. We found her in her bedroom late, on a school night, chatting with a friend through the school advocated chat program that I am unable to block or manage in any way whatsoever. It further concerns me that while the school may have filters and firewalls galore to block unwanted content - such as porn, R-rated content, etc - I cannot reasonably or easily have all those restrictions for her. While I'm working on blocking certain content from her specific IP address and to and from (and through) my home router, it isn't reasonable to think the average parent is going to take these steps or have the know how to do it.
A little backstory, we do not afford our 6th grade daughter a cellphone or chat access on any device in our home - including games. A joint parenting concern is that her age and maturity are not appropriate at this time to utilize chat responsibly, but more importantly; safely. Furthermore, as a parent, I consider the use of technology as entertainment a privilege outside of school work, a job, or family use. In the modern day, that means that punishment for chores that aren't done or inappropriate actions or behaviors, is loss of technology access. I cannot take away my daughter's Chromebook. I cannot manage it's network access, I cannot limit email or chat access. I have to make her dock it (while she is not at school) in the living room and use it in the living room.
As of yesterday, I have a new concern. (A concern I had not considered.) My daughter knows I have a few passions; tech, music, and writing. She called me over to show me how she goes to Youtube, copies the URL for a music video, then goes to a website where the audio from the video is converted into a downloadable MP3 to store in a music player on her ChromeBook. So, now I had to be the buzzkill and explain that I download music from iTunes and pay for it and that I'd be happy to get her gift cards to pay for music if she wants. I had to explain to her that artists deserve compensation for their work - giving the example of "if you created something to sell, would you want someone getting it for free?" Sigh. The young me loved her even more for showing me that. It reminded me of myself, standing next to the radio with my finger on the tape record button - those were the days. The adult me reads stories about how people are selectively made examples of by Youtube and the recording industry - with bankrupting fines and embarrassment. I have personally seen clients get fined thousands for using unlicensed software.
"Streaming and ripping site like YouTube-MP3 are the latest targets for record labels which are keen to do everything possible to crack down on copyright infringement and piracy."
~ Beta NewsWhat is the solution?
Keep these devices at schools where they can be manged by networking professionals. Let the parents provide AND MANAGE their own technology in their homes. It is an unreasonable argument in this day and age to say you can't afford basic technology - nor is it any business of the school to determine what a family can afford. I consider it socialism to determine that all kids must be equal - so says your school. There is public library access. Internet access has become as much of a utility necessity as phone access - in many circumstances - internet access has replaced phone access. But again, its not the school's business what you make a priority. Your child, or you as a parent have the right to desire and acquire what is best for your child.
But in the end, are these laptops really even helping at all?
Research by scientists at Michigan State University suggests that laptops do not enhance classroom learning, and in fact students would be better off leaving their laptops in the dorm during class. Although computer use during class may create the illusion of enhanced engagement with course content, it more often reflects engagement with social media, YouTube videos, instant messaging, and other nonacademic content. This self-inflicted distraction comes at a cost, as students are spending up to one-third of valuable (and costly) class time zoned out, and the longer they are online the more their grades tend to suffer.This entire article was written by someone with a 25 year networking background? At the end of the day, I see education costs going up. The new cost of education is telling our children that cyber security and personal privacy don't matter.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018
|CLICK IMAGE ABOVE FOR FULL VIEW|
Recent media reports and network security firms have exposed Google in the area of privacy and user agreements with such eye opening headlines as this:
Google Collects Location Data; Like It Or Not (Even If You Turn Off Location Tracking)
Google Collects Data On Idle Android Devices
The irony is, the biggest referral comes from Google searches. The 60 mile radius of Pickens County, SC is the largest area from which readers are viewing.
The partner social media page Concerned Voters Of Pickens County: The Whole Truth is the largest targeted audience.
Thank you readers! Stay focused and informed.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Friday, August 17, 2018
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Monday, August 13, 2018
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Since 2009 to current, Lynne has served as a frequent guest on nationwide radio and multimedia shows based out of a dozen States. Listener reach has been nation-wide as well as internationally.
Lynne has appeared several times before the NC General Assembly in efforts to preserve freedom in education.Lynne has written researched articles for "Prevent Common Core" (http://preventcommoncore.com/
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Friday, August 3, 2018
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Friday, July 20, 2018
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Fact: Last year the United States had the largest decline in CO2 emissions *in the entire world* for the 9th time this century.
Note: In 2010, most “air quality sensors” in Pickens County were moved - some more than a few miles - because it was noted by Upstate Forever - that “readings were abnormally low with the [then] current placement”.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Thursday, May 31, 2018
I read the story in the Pickens County Courier how the county council is discussing closing the Liberty library. This new county council inherited nearly $25 million in cash from the old council. Plus the county’s annual tax revenue is at a record. Reading the article, I wondered how can they be short of funds?
Looking deeper I pulled out the most recent financial audit of the county government. The libraries are funded by the 6.3 mills in property taxes we all pay. (See your tax bill, the line labeled Library.) Tax collections for the library budget are $3.1 million. The state pitches in $235,000 and library fees bring in $100,000. Total revenue for the library budget was $3.4 million (shattering the record).
Personnel costs are about $2.4 million, running the library buildings cost about $350,000 and other costs like supplies and contractual services add up to $350,000. Total expenses were $3.1 million.
The bottom line is the libraries were about $300,000 in the black last year, and the library account ended the year with a very healthy cash balance of $2 million. By the way, actual expenses came in about $400,000 less than budgeted expenditures. Another positive sign.
Again, I ask, what is the problem?
When I questioned the council leadership (both Roy Costner and Chris Bowers) on Facebook about this, posting the financial statements, and neither demonstrated a knowledge or understanding of these financial figures.
If there is indeed a financial problem with the library budget, it supports the point I made a few weeks ago. Why did the council vote to give the city of Easley $760,000 to help fund new parking lots and things like new landscaping for their Market Square?
In the past year or so we saw the shuttering of the Liberty Fire Department, the defunding of the Liberty Animal Shelter and now this discussion of closing the Liberty library. Our county leaders simply do not see what is coming down the pike -- growth the next 10 to 15 years for our county and Liberty in particular.
Greenville first sprawled east toward Greer, then south to Simpsonville and north to Travelers Rest. Greenville is now sprawling west into Easley, and that wave of growth is moving down Highway 93 toward Liberty as people are fleeing the crowds and higher priced real estate of Greenville, Powdersville and Easley.
Looking in the other direction, same thing. Clemson University continues to expand, now at 25,000 students on the way to 30,000 plus. Clemson sprawl is also barreling down Highway 93 toward Liberty. The residents in Liberty are wise to push back against this, and hopefully the council will reconsider.
The bototm line is, we tend to elect people who promise us the most, so the financial "skill" of most elected leaders is limited to creating lists of new things to spend money on. When they are faced with even the simplest financial challenges, they really don’t know what to do, and often the result is not good.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Monday, May 14, 2018
Friday, May 11, 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
My father (founder of COTU) and my brother both own farms in Six Mile respectively. I have many friends in Pickens County that I advocate for by voice and writing almost daily. I was campaign manager on some very successful County and Federal campaigns in SC.