Why Is the US Department of Education Weakening FERPA?

Diane Ravitch's blog

In the past few years, the privacy protections built into federal law have been weakened by the U.S. Department of Education to allow third-parties to access confidential information about students.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center summarizes the chronology. It has filed a lawsuit and is fight the Department’s new policy, which will give the private sector access to confidential student data.

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Education changed the regulations governing the release of student data to the private sector, without Congressional authorization to do so. At that time, “the ED issued final regulations implementing its proposed amendments, despite the agency’s admission that “numerous commenters . . . stated that they believe the Department lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the proposed regulations contained in the NPRM.” The final regulations’ definitions for statutory terms “authorized representative,” “education program,” and “directory information” did not differ from the proposed…

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Utah Mom Alyson Williams: The Common Core Standards That We Aren’t Talking About

Common Core is dangerous, very dangerous. It’s another progressive illiberal, centrally planned, statist solution to a problem they have created. My lord, when will the assault on our children end.


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Utah Mom Alyson Williams’ razor-sharp wit and use of unarguable facts makes the speech she gave at a Common Core debate (with State School Board member Dixie Allen and two professors) a powerful tool in the national Stop Common Core arsenal. Below are her prepared remarks. The event was filmed and will be posted soon.

6 few smashing highlights from the speech –words I’d like to slap up on websites and billboards and bumpers all over the country:

1 “There is no such thing in the U.S. Constitution as a council of governors… Allowing rules for education to be set by those with no authority to do so is not a high enough standard for me or my children.”

2 “The Department of Ed … set rules for education, in exchange for the money – rules that normally would be determined by the States themselves under the 10th…

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Political Correctness is Killing America

ben franklin safety quoteSo if i got this correct, it is well known that terrorist Jihadist’s hang out at mosques and now come to find out, since 2011, mosques are routinely off limits to the FBI for investigation.  See the Investors Business Daily (IBD) link below. 

Imagine, our government, using the Patriot Act and FISA court’s, tell us it is proper for government agents to routinely spy, snoop, and collect data without probable cause on hundreds of millions of citizens, in fact, probably all of us.  Actions that directly infringe on our natural and constitutional rights; all in the name of fighting terror.  Keeping us safer, more secure. 

These same people then make a law that prohibits the FBI from routinely investigating mosques where terrorist Jihadist’s hang out.  Why?  I am told fighting terrorism is a top priority, such a priority that I must relinquish my Fourth Amendment rights. 

Do these policies really make sense to anyone other the central planners and their progressive illiberal acolytes?

Progressive, political correctness is destroying America; our spirit of liberty is dying a slow death. 

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety – Benjamin Franklin

According to the IBD:  http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/061213-659753-all-intrusive-obama-terror-dragnet-excludes-mosques.htm

I’ve also included a chart showing FISA court applications and awards for spying. 

FISA court orders

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The Fiscal Cliff and our Children

mw_1011_FISCAL_CLIFF_620x350All proclaim, we are heading for a fiscal cliff.  And what do our politicians offer for solutions?

Our president says we should punish the successful with tax increases; the top 2% should pay more, $1.6 trillion more over 10 years.  It’s the foundation of his solution.  This will solve our economic, deficit and debt problem he says.  The top 10% of taxpayers paying 70% of the freight is not good enough for the president.  They need to pay more, their fair share. 

Unfortunately, yearly, we have a $1.3 trillion deficits and the president’s $160 billion per year in new tax revenue only represents 12% of our yearly deficit (about 9 days of Federal government operations).  In addition to raising taxes on job producers, our President says we should spend more, and give him authority to spend more to whatever limit he wants, be damned the Constitution.  No debt limit sounds good to President Obama.  It would to most presidents. 

By some accounts, to reduce our deficit/debt, the President is looking to get $4 in new spending/investment for every $1 in tax cut.  By all accounts, he wants more stimulus spending.  Yea, that will reduce our deficit.  Spend and borrow more money we don’t have and our debt problem will go away.  Paul Krugman is smiling. 

As for the GOP, in my view, their response is inept at best. 

They continue to pretend they are the party of small government, and offer solutions marginally better than the Democrats.  They brag we offer “$2.2 trillion in cuts”.  Ok, on a yearly basis, this is a $220 billion per year average, or about 17% of our yearly deficit.  Whoa, Mr. Boehner how bold, you will drop our yearly deficit to what, $700-900 billion per year and we should be thrilled.  No doubt, proclaimed draconian by some.  With such logic, no wonder the GOP gets their ass kicked, and have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. 

Best I can tell, both the President and Mr. Boehner agree to screw our children; they just disagree to what extent they screw them. Coercive taxes will be the government’s only solution. 

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A History of our Country’s Public Debt

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.” – Thomas Jefferson

With the debt ceiling to be reached before the end of the year, and the looming “fiscal cliff” starting 1 January 2013, I thought it would be interesting to review our country’s public debt history and how we got to where we are (does not include unfunded liabilities which are considered “off book” debt).  

Figure 1 below shows the debt in trillions of dollars accumulated by recent presidents during the term of their office as well as control of congress (note: the first year of a president’s term in office is generally based on the FY budget from the previous administration).  As shown, prior to Ronald Reagan, all 39 presidents in the previous 190 years accumulated $990 billion in debt.  Starting with Reagan, our debt steadily increased through G.H. Bush and Bill Clinton’s first term, trends up slower a bit during Clinton’s 2nd term, and then starts accelerating under G.W. Bush, and further accelerates under President Obama.  In no year did our debt go down, no matter what they tell you about President Clinton’s or Newt Gingrich’s surpluses which never translated into any debt reduction for We the People (they just borrowed more from social security to create the illusion of a surplus and the media went along). 

Figure 2 below shows the total debt accumulated by recent presidents according to the U.S. Treasury’s/OMB’s debt calculator.  Percentages in parentheses indicate share of the projected 2016 debt of $20.8T. 

As shown, all 39 presidents’ prior to Ronald Reagan accumulated $990 billion, or 4.3% of the total debt of $20.8T projected.  Three presidents, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton together added $4.8T to the debt in the next 20 years (23% of total).  In eight years, G.W. Bush accumulated $4.9 trillion of debt or 24% of the 2016 projected total.  In his eight years, President Obama will add another $10.2 trillion in debt or 49% of the debt total. 

When President Obama took office in January 2009 the deficit was $10.6 trillion, and is currently forecast to reach $20.8 trillion at the end of his second term.  As such, he will have added $10.2 trillion, or 49% to our 2016 projected debt. 

President Bush II averaged deficits of $613 billion per year during his presidency, about triple his predecessor.  President Obama is projected to average deficits of $1.3 trillion per year through his eight year term, or about double his predecessor.   In two presidents, in a short sixteen years, our total debt will go from $5.7 trillion at the end of 2000 to $20.8 trillion ending 2016. 

A simple six sigma root cause analysis:  We, our President’s and our Congress’s, have a spending problem. 

Two presidents, $15.1 trillion dollars in debt.  This is not a matter of left vs. right.  This is a matter of right vs. wrong, our children deserve better. 

“The plans differ; the planners are all alike” — Frederic Bastiat

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Robbing Peter for Paul, The Collective Morality







Collectively stealing from a person is no less immoral than if one neighbor steals from another. 

Peter invites his neighbor Paul over for a beer.  Paul tells Peter he wants to buy a really cool new car, but it costs $47,000, and it’s going to be tough to get all that cash together.  He asks Peter to give him $50 to help him buy the car.  Peter tells Paul he’s crazy, he’s saving to buy a second car for the wife and my mom’s not getting along so well, and after all, I only make $60,000 per year, and you make $170,000, why would I want to help you buy a new car?  When Peter isn’t looking, Paul takes $50 from Peter’s wallet that was sitting on the table. 

Paul does this throughout the neighborhood, sometimes using a mask and gun to take the money he needs to get his new car since people were less cooperative in his endeavor than he expected. 

From his actions, we would rightly say Paul committed a crime, is a thief and should be brought to justice. 

How is the crime different if we collectively, as a government, force Peter and some of his neighbors against their will to give Paul $50 so he can buy a new $47,000 car?

Paul wants to buy this really cool car, and it costs $47,000.  Unfortunately, Paul only has $40,000 and is short $7,000.  Since he is $7,000 short, the seller, GM (government motors), our federally owned car company and desperate for sales of their new green car decides, and says hey, no problem Paul.  We’ll give you the $7,000 you need.  Continue reading

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The Fallacy of the Public Sector

Murray Rothbard

Below is a link to a great article published from the Mises Institute entitled The Fallacy of the “Public Sector” from Murray Rothbard first published in 1961.  (http://www.mises.org/daily/5601/The-Fallacy-of-the-Public-Sector)

The article addresses: 

  1. Debunks the progressives and statists fallacy that the “Public” and Private sectors are equally productive in our economy – they are not, not by a long shot, or any shot
  2. The “Public” sector only exists at the expense of the Private sector (consumers/citizens and investors).  – a truism, no matter the civilization
  3. Government bureaucracies and lawyers do not produce any wealth for our nation – our country is awash with government oversight and litigation   
  4. “Any reduction of the public sector, any shift of activities from the public to the private sphere, is a net moral and economic gain”  said Ludwig Von Mises – true today as in 1961
  5. When our government is challenged to do better, say balance the budget, they tell citizens to stop complaining …  trust them.  – yes comrade
  6. Direct Democracy and a coercive government is mob rule – yes, two wolves and a sheep deciding on dinner is not the government our Founders bequeathed

My observations of a few key economic principles and truths addressed by the article: Continue reading

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GOP to Fight or Die

The GOP must fight for its principles, or die says David Garth at the American Thinker (full article link below). 

Mr. Garth writes:  “This is not the time for moderates or moderation.  Republicans must provide a crystal clear alternative to the voters – a leviathan, intrusive federal government or a small, responsive government that believes in the individual and the rights of the individual states.  Let the moderates decide what kind of future they want.”

He cajoles the GOP:  “Pull yourself together, gird your loins, and get ready to fight for the principles you supposedly espouse.”. 

It will be interesting to see what direction the GOP takes.  The GOP has lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections.  In the past six elections, they average 211 electoral votes, the Democrats average 327.

Will they go moderate, a Democrat lite, or will they move in a conservative direction to offer a clear voter alternative for the county?   Continue reading

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Connecticut, Land of Budgetary Oz, Good and Hard

The numbers are not adding up for We the People of Connecticut.

The year after the largest tax hike in Connecticut history, our Governor and our Democrat led General Assembly still can’t balance the budget, this year, or the next one, or the one after that according to OFA and OPM (CT’s Office of Financial Analysis/Office of Policy Management).  Are you kidding me?  Are you, my representatives that incompetent or corrupt with power?

As reported in the CT Mirror (http://www.ctmirror.org/story/18217/ct-projected-deficit), our deficit this year ending June 2013 is currently projected at a $365M shortfall with seven months to go.  Worse, starting 1 July 2013 we face a $1 billion shortfall for the next budget year, and another $1B for the following fiscal year.  By all accounts, a $2.5B budget deficit to be paid by we citizens of Connecticut over the next two and a half years, and we just passed the largest tax hike in our history. 

Folks, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking our folks in Hartford are either completely incompetent or so corrupt with power bestowed by special interest that they could care less about we the people, let alone our children and theirs. Continue reading

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Decision 2012: A Postmortem, Federal and State

Enclosed is a briefing that presents and analyzes the 2012 election.  Worth the 10 minute view.  Presents a top Ten reasons Obama won, and top 20 reasons why Romney lost.

2012 Election Results Nov Cup of Tea 

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