Category: Media

Collectivism in Alabama Politics

By Deborah Love

This week has been “Alabama Week” on The Daily Show, a week devoted to the mocking of Alabama and especially its recent political scandals. I suspect many Alabamians have laughed along with Trevor Noah, half from nervous embarrassment and half from frustration. The hostile spotlight on Alabama brings my thoughts back to one memory from a time when I interned with Senator Jeff Sessions as an eager college student, excited to make a positive difference. One of the first phone calls I received was from an angry man who asked me where I was from, to which I quickly replied with a proud and positive voice, “I am from Alabama.” The man responded “You’re a barefoot, inbred, pregnant woman.” The man continued to yell before eventually hanging up. When I looked up his area code I realized he was not from Alabama. So I wondered why he thought such horrible things about a person he had never met. I thought it was strange that he hated the politics of my state so much he would insult a stranger.

I realized later on that this man’s prejudice and hatred of me was based solely on a sort of collectivist logic. By using that term, I don’t mean merely leftward progressivism – collectivism is the idea that people can be reduced to, and explained according to group interests. It is an idea which promotes stereotypes, prejudice, and hatred. We can all think of examples that permeate the current political and cultural dialogue which are based in this fallacy. If you look on social media you will see political or cultural discussions quickly escalate to these broad stereotypical conclusions that judge an individual or entire group from a collectivist lens. Following are some examples that I have recently seen online. Rebekah Caldwell Mason is like many other women in Montgomery politics. Republicans are all corrupt. Black men are all thugs. Millennials are lazy and want everything for free. Democrats hate America. Libertarians are pot heads. Conservatives are extremists. The media is all liberal and biased. These statements are the result of acceptance of the idea of collectivism; they are not based in reason. We all know that there are caring, loving, smart and well-intentioned people in each of these categories. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

The acceptance of this tribalist sort of collectivism has led to a negative perception of Alabama. The people of Alabama are not synonymous with the state government. Mike Hubbard nor Robert Bentley upheld their duty to the people of Alabama, and they both misled the public; but Alabama is much more than its government. The entire state should not be judged by a few very powerful people. As an Alabamian, I am proud to be from Alabama. I am proud of what private individuals in Alabama are doing right this moment. Our religious institutions, private philanthropic organizations, schools, neighborhoods, and families are all made up of individuals. We are the full sum of each and every man, women, and child, divisible, unique, of value and merit, but with mistakes included .

Progress more often comes in form like a general current, as each individual Alabamian every day makes decision after decision, and act after act. Sometimes these decisions and acts are not the best, but if, as I believe, most days good people do good things, the general tide of progress will rise ever higher and higher. This is thanks to the merits of individual people, each making innumerable positive decisions each and every day. Alabama’s identity does not reside within the Governor’s mansion, but with each and every individual Alabamian. It is because I reject collectivism and collective guilt this week I can still say that I am glad to be an Alabamian. It may be trite to reference the band Lynryd Skynryd, but the outsiders from Florida had a great point – the actions of “the Governor”, or indeed any politician, cannot be held to condemn an entire people.

Deborah Love is Executive Director of Eagle Forum of Alabama, a Conservative grass-roots public policy organization dedicated to sound public policy solutions in Alabama and Washington DC.

Conservatives Rally Against Data Collection Bills from the Alabama Political Reporter

By Brandon Moseley

The legislature has returned for another session and some GOP legislators are once again pushing a longitudinal data collection scheme. Once again the primary opponents of this grand scheme are fellow Republicans. On Thursday, February 23 Alabama Eagle Forum led a conservative rally in opposition to the longitudinal data bills, House Bill 97 and Senate Bill 153.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) read a statement from his wife, state school board member Jackie Zeigler (R) vowing to oppose the data collection.

A statement was read from Representative Barry Moore (R from Enterprise). Moore said that only communist countries think they can direct children into career paths from early childhood. Moore questioned education rankings where countries that have invented nothing and innovated nothing are ranked higher than the U.S.

Rep. Arnold Mooney (R from Indian Springs) said that liberty loving people must be most on guard when the government acts with good intentions.

Rep. Ed Henry (R from Hartselle) said, “Does government need all of this information to better serve the public?”

Henry said that when he was campaigning, “Nobody ever said I wished the government would collect more data on me.” Henry said, “There really are not evil people down here we are just differing on which side we need to be on this.” Henry warned that we will end up losing our nation as we know it.” This would put us on a dangerous path and I don’t have any desire to be part of it.”

Senator Rusty Glover (R from Mobile) said, “We didn’t come to Montgomery to grow the size of government and this is growing the size of government. Sen. Glover said, “I have received dozens and dozens of phone calls from constituents asking,” for this to be stopped. I have not had the first parent or student asking that this be done.”

Glover has recently announced his 2018 candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. Current Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is term limited from running again.

State School Board member Stephanie Bell (R) warned of a potential for government tyranny with this. At this point the best place for HB97 and SB153 is the trash can. Bell said that the federal government has demonstrated in the last year how vulnerable their data bases are to hacking. They can not secure the data. “This is about growing bureaucracy.” This will become one of the biggest budget items in state government in future.

Joe Godfrey ALCAP quoted GK Chesterton: “It is only in believing in God that we can ever criticize government, because without God they will worship government as God.” Godfrey warned of the dangers of giving the state of Alabama that much power. We need to encourage our legislators to stand strong in opposition to this.

Rep. Allen Farley (R from McCalla) said, “I am a Christian conservative member of the Republican Party in that order.” Farley said, “The poor schools are in the poor communities.  Most of the prison population comes from the poor communities.” “As a Republican we believe in smaller government but a big and great God. Farley warned about the danger of data collection.

State School Board member Betty Peters (R) said, “I have no faith that no harm will be done.” “We have new things coming at our children every day that invade our children’s privacy.” “We must assure that no harm is done,” to the children of the state. This database is being run by a board with very few elected people on it. At the state Board of Education we asked questions. Then Governor ordered the board set up through an executive order with all of these appointed people, many of them appointed by him. I do not like appointed boards where everybody is appointed. I am elected if you don’t like what I am doing you can vote me out. Appointed people only answer to the person who appointed them.

Eagle Forum of Alabama Executive Director Deborah Love, who emceed the event, thanked all the legislators who attended and said, “We can count on their vote as a no vote and a yes vote for liberty.”

Rep. Mike Holmes (R from Wetumpka) said that the HIPAA data was also supposed to be secure. The dirty little secret is those HIPAA laws are not being enforced. There are 1300 complaints against the people running the database and the same people who maintain that data base are the people who is running this data base. Data mining of the database has become big business. if they can do that with the medical database they can do that with this.

Conservatives Rally Against Data Collection Bills

Why is the First Amendment the greatest threat to terrorism?

Deborah Love, Executive Director

Eagle Forum of Alabama

In the wake of the terror attack this weekend in Orlando, our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost their loved ones. Our prayers and thoughts will continue to remain with those injured, as well as their family and friends. The facts show that this was an act of terrorism, an act of intolerance and an act of disgusting violence. What should unite all of us no matter what our perspectives or backgrounds may be, is our deep appreciation for freedom, and especially, our love and appreciation for the First Amendment. I believe the First Amendment is the greatest threat to terrorism – not force. The First Amendment protects the right of the Muslim to worship and the right of citizens to criticize the violence that has accompanied Islam. It protects an individual’s right to protest the treatment of those in LGBT community or the right of a Conservative to present their perspective on marriage and family. Many are calling for stricter measures on guns, hate crime laws or restrictions on civil liberties as a response to the attack. When emotions run high, there is a natural reaction to act boldly. However, the first hasty suggestions typically are ill-suited to either assuaging the pain at the loss of our fellow Americans, or ensuring that such an incident never happens again.

The intention of terrorism is to inflict fear and hate, and push American society away from the diverse and free culture that allows robust dialogue and expression. If we push the government to weaken our freedoms in response to the attack in any regard, then we are allowing the terrorists to succeed. Terrorism is never an existential threat by itself, but rather, it relies on an overreaction of the target country to achieve its small minded goals. We have a unique ability as Alabamians and as Americans to disagree with our fellow man, but to still love them. Ideas are powerful and so is freedom. Hate will win if we allow fear to rule our policy decisions in response to the terror attack. We must reject the hasty suggestions to the age old problem of evil in our midst, and instead rely on our institutions of free belief, action and expression. It is by and through this, the simple act of acting and thinking and behaving as Americans have whenever faced with tyranny and hate, that we will destroy the terrorists, their beliefs, their goals and their very ability to function.

Eagle Forum Press Release – 4/11/16

 

EF National

Eagle Forum Press Release

The Board of Eagle Forum, a 501(c)(4) corporation, held a Board meeting in accordance with and pursuant to the Eagle Forum By-Laws and Illinois State Law at 2 pm CDT on April 11, 2016.

Pursuant to the By-Laws, Eagle Forum First Vice President, Eunie Smith, presided over the meeting.  Eagle Forum Founder, Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, the Chairman of the Board, was present during the entire meeting, including expressing herself on all seven votes.  In Schlafly’s opening statement she said she has spent her life building Eagle Forum as a unique organization of volunteers.  She also said that paid staff cannot order volunteers around.

Mrs. Smith said,  “The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that Eagle Forum will continue long into the future as a viable force for all the causes we have addressed in the past, for God, family and country.”

The Board of Eagle Forum voted to remove Mr. Ed Martin as President of the corporation; effective immediately.  Mrs. Eunie Smith is serving as President until a new President is elected pursuant to the Eagle Forum By-Laws.

Mrs. Smith appointed Eagle Forum Board Vice Chairman, Anne Schlafly Cori, daughter of Phyllis Schlafly, as Executive Director of Eagle Forum.  Anne Schlafly Cori has worked with our state organizations and worked alongside Phyllis for some time.

Anne Schlafly Cori said, “I am honored and excited to be working with our wonderful state volunteer leaders from across the country.  We are continuing the incredible legacy of our Founder Phyllis Schlafly.”

Dr. Shirley Curry was directed to lead a Search Committee for a new president of Eagle Forum.

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FOURTH PROJECT VERITAS VIDEO: Common Core Insider Reveals Info About LA Bid Rigging Scandal

The fourth video of this Project Veritas series on Common Core shows a former executive for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the country’s second leading textbook publishing company, alleging that the textbook industry is more about politics and money than education. Again, Project Veritas undercover journalists used hidden video cameras to capture what text book executives would never say in public.  See entire video here.

THIRD PROJECT VERITAS VIDEO: COMMON CORE EXEC REVEALS ANTI-AMERICAN AGENDA: Guns, STDs & Islam

The third video of this Project Veritas series on Common Core shows a former executive for Pearson, the country’s leading textbook publishing company, admitting that elements of Common Core intentionally push elitist indoctrination upon students.

In James O’Keefe’s latest video, Kimberly Koerber, a former executive for Pearson who now works for National Geographic, was caught on camera justifying the Common Core curriculum on the grounds of anti-American and unconstitutional values.  See video here.

SECOND PROJECT VERITAS VIDEO: HIDDEN CAM: ANOTHER PUBLISHING EXECUTIVE CAUGHT DISHING DIRT ON COMMON CORE

This second video of this series shows an account executive at Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, the country’s second leading textbook publishing company and profiteer of Common Core, admitting that Common Core is never about the kids.

“It’s never about the kids,” is how Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Strategic Account Manager Amelia Petties reveals how the textbook industry prioritizes profits over students, echoing the comments of her colleague Dianne Barrow who was featured in the first Project Veritas Common Core video of this series. Barrow’s employment with Houghton-Mifflin was terminated at the time of the release of that video.  See entire video here.

Project Veritas uncovers greed and corruption in their new series on Common Core: Part 1

James O’Keefe, president and founder of Project Veritas, has put together a series of videos on the greed and corruption associated with Common Core.  Project Veritas journalists sat down with America’s top textbook publishing companies, the moneymakers of Common Core, in an effort to expose how crony capitalism is taking over America’s educational system. Shockingly, their journalists in the first video caught a publishing executive mocking her own immoral behavior, laughing about it on hidden camera and then admitting that Common Core is all about the money..

O’Keefe has released the first two videos just this week with more to follow.

See first video here, and the second here.

Alabama Drops To “Dead Last” Reversing Upward Trend

(T) 205.879.7096

AlabamaEagle@gmail.com
alabamaeagle.org

Open Letter to ALABAMA SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

From: Eunie Smith, President
Leslie Whitcomb, Education Chairman

Sadly, the latest NAEP results place Alabama dead last on Math and English, a significant decline from where we were before Common Core when Alabama had been trending upward. The 2011 Alabama State Department of Education document here touted:

“In 2011 Alabama moved from near last to 25th in the nation in overall grades and scores [Education Week assessment] … 12th in the nation for standards, assessments and accountability… data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed a historic gain of eight points in fourth grade Reading for Alabama public school students – the … highest gain ever in NAEP recorded history. Since then, Alabama has maintained its progress in NAEP assessments.”  But that was before common core implementation in 2012 in Math and 2013 in English.  See graphs and charts below.

 

According to PARCA,

“The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is a battery of tests given every two years
to a representative sample of students in all 50 states. The test is designed to serve as a national scorecard, allowing comparison of educational performance across the states. 

The 2015 results are out. They’re disappointing for the nation at large, and for Alabama, in particular.
In 2015, Alabama’s average math score, in both 4th and 8th grade, was the lowest of any state.Between 2013 and 2015, Alabama’s average score declined in both grades.
Among U.S. states, Alabama had the lowest percentage of students scoring proficient in 4th
and 8th grade. Only 26 percent of 4th graders and 17 percent of 8th graders scored high enough on the NAEP to be considered grade-level proficient in math.

While Alabama’s higher poverty rate puts it at something of a competitive disadvantage in national comparisons, a deeper look shows it’s not Alabama’s demographics skewing the results. Name the group – black, white, Hispanic, poverty and non-poverty – all perform worse than their peers in all other states.” (The PARCA Perspective, October 2015)

According to nationally recognized standards expert Sandra Stotsky,
“NAEP scores nationally did not go down because (1) Common Core standards are more demanding and (2) teachers need more professional development.  They went down because Common Core is dumbed down math, and NAEP still includes test items based on what we expected kids to be taught by/in grade 4 only 10 years ago.  Today, our kids can’t get these tests right because their classroom curriculum (based on CC math standards) has been dumbed down, [confuses, and neglects the basics].   Nor can our upper elementary grades do well on NAEP test items in reading when their language arts curriculum has eliminated the great children’s literature that got them to read – especially boys.”

Dr. Stotsky, in a 2011 press conference in Montgomery, advised Alabama to continue with its standards upon which success was building instead of adopting the unproven and flawed common core regimen.  State Board members Betty Peters and Stephanie Bell listened and voted against common core.

Again, more than half of Common Core states showed historic declines on 2015 NAEP – declines that have not been seen since the early 90s when the NAEP began, but Non-Common Core States showed NO decline on NAEP!!!!

It’s not just NAEP scores that confirm the inferiority of Common Core.  ACT scores of Alabama students as shown in The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2015 Alabama report shows that only 16% of Alabama students meet the benchmark in all four subjects.  Further, the percentage is down five percentage points from 2014.  See report here.

For Alabama students, clearly Common Core is a Failure with a capital F! 

Will school board members rescue students from further failure now?   According to Math Standards expert Dr. James Milgram’s research, 4 years of common core type math in California beginning in 1992 resulted in irreparable damage.  California then ditched those standards and returned to what works. Alabama is in its 4th year, as we have pointed out to you before.  When will you ditch the flawed regimen that is common core?

But what would you use?  Just like Alabama has done for years, a committee of professionals and parents could convene.  They could use as a template for Math the pre-common core standards that put California first in the nation; and for English, the acknowledged best were pre-common core Massachusetts.  There are other proven sound standard sets upon which to build.

There is no limit to what our teachers could do for their students if they were no longer constrained by common core and were equipped with the basics that have worked for generations.

You will surely agree with us that it is unfair to our students not to address this ASAP and reverse course before it gets any worse.

 

  

All NAEP Scores for Alabama eighth grade students fell since the implementation of Common Core with the exception of eighth grade ELA.  In this instance, the white and black student scores were basically flat with Hispanic scores up 6 points, which raising the overall score by 2 points.

Impact of Common Core on Alabama education
Alabama Accomplishments 2011 prior to impact of Common Core
http://alabamaeagle.org/issues/education

Average Mathematics grade 4 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=0%2cMAT%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Reading grade 4 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=0%2cRED%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Mathematics grade 8 public schools all students: By jurisdiction
jurisjurisdictionhttp://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=1%2cMAT%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0
Average Reading grade 8 public schools all students:  By jurisdiction
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/statecomparisons/acrossyear.aspx?usrSelections=1%2cRED%2c5%2c3%2cacross%2c0%2c0

Say NO to Same-Sex Marriage

Say NO to Same-Sex Marriage | American College of Pediatricians

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PEDIATRICIANS URGES ALABAMA SUPREME COURT TO SAY NO TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALABAMA’S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

MONTGOMERY, AL. (November 9, 2015) – In a brief filed Friday, the American College of Pediatricians (the College) urged the Alabama Supreme Court to consider the well-being of children in the case before them that would decide the legal impact of Obergefell v. Hodges in Alabama.  Obergefell is the 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States discovering a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.  Read the entire press release here.