Common Core – THIS IS IT!! PARCC – 1st Hearing – Fitchburg State University

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PARCC – 1st Hearing – Fitchburg State University

Do you want PARCC? NO!

Then you need to BE THERE!

Do you want Common Core? NO!

Then you need to BE THERE!

Tuesday April 28th 3-6 pm
(arrive early to sign in to testify)

Fitchburg State University, Hammond Hall

160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg, MA

There will be a series of five hearings on PARCC testing being locked in – these are MUST ATTEND HEARINGS!  “We The People” need to be heard, unlike when PARCC / Common Core was first thrust upon us.

As Governor Baker noted (Berkshire Eagle/State House News Service) when he presented his new state education board chairman Paul Sagan, and announced the public hearings:

“We need a public discussion on this. I think it’s an embarrassment that a state that spent two years giving educators, families, parents, administrators and others an opportunity to comment and engage around the assessment system that eventually became MCAS basically gave nobody a voice or an opportunity to engage in a discussion at all before we went ahead and executed on Common Core and PARCC.”

While Governor Baker is steadily putting his people in positions within the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), it is still primarily populated with people appointed by Governor Deval Patrick. So two things to note:

  • The hearings will be run by BESE, the ones responsible for PARCC & Common Core
  • The BESE will be the governing body to make the final decision

Governor Baker has provided the opportunity for “We The People” to be heard. And *IF* the overwhelming voice of the people is heard, we may have a chance to turn back PARCC testing. If not, then the BESE is likely to keep PARCC.

THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!
Attend as many hearings as possible. The schedule is below (link on-line here). Show up early to 1) sign up to testify and 2) make your presence known.

Other hearings:

To note from the announcement – Individuals who would like to speak must register when they arrive and will be given three minutes to speak within the time allotted. …. Members of the public who are unable to testify at one of the forums are encouraged to submit written comments to boe@doe.mass.edu.

You can view the BESE Press Release by clicking here.

 

Please help us tell Beacon Hill to repeal the Common Core State Standards in Massachusetts.

Learn more, and sign the petition here.

 

Common Core Events!

Common Core: Crisis in American Education with Dr. Duke Pesta
7-9 pm Friday April 24th
Hilton Gardner Inn Worcester, 35 Major Taylor Blvd, Worcester, MA

Come hear one of the nation’s leading experts on the dangers of Common Core, Dr. Duke Pesta. Dr. Pesta is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, and the Academic Director of of Freedom Project Education. He has conducted over 300 presentations on Common Core around the US in the last two years, and has testifies at state houses, and appeared as a guest on dozens of radio and television shows. Free admission. Donations accepted.  Face Book event link here.

PARCC – 1st Hearing – Fitchburg State University
3-6 pm Tuesday April 28th.
Fitchburg State University, Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg, MA

SEE NOTICE ABOVE

Common Core Forum – Wilbraham
6:30-9:00 pm Wednesday May 6th
The Gardens of Wilbraham, 2301 Boston Rd,, Wilbraham, MA

Join us for an important forum concerning the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. The focus of the discussion shall center on the Common Core initiative.
Jamie Gass from the Pioneer Institute is the main speaker.  Face Book Event link here.

Common Core Forum – Halifax
7-9 pm Thursday May 7th
Halifax Elementary School Alt, 464 Plymouth St,, Halifax, MA

Please join us in the all purpose room at the Halifax Elementary School to learn about the Common Core curriculum and how it affects our schools and children.
Speakers include Dr Sandra Stotsky, Jaimie Gass and Peg Luksik. Q & A follows speakers.
Face Book event link here.

Common Core Forum – Gloucester
7-9 pm Monday May 11th.
Gloucester City Hall, Kyrouz Auditorium, 9 Dale Ave, Gloucester, MA

CPlease join us in the Kyrouz Auditorium at the Gloucester City Hall to learn about the Common Core curriculum and how it affects our schools and children. Common Core Forum Calendar link here.
Speakers include Dr Sandra Stotsky, Jaimie Gass. Q & A follows speakers.

PARCC – 2nd Hearing – Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown
4-7 pm Monday May 18th.
Bunker Hill Community College, A300 Auditorium 250 New Rutherford Ave., Charlestown, MA

SIMILAR TO FIRST HEARING NOTICE ABOVE

Common Core Informational Forum – Agawam
6:30-8:30 pm Monday May 18th.
Agawam Senior Center, 954 Main St, Agawam, MA

DO YOU KNOW WHAT COMMON CORE IS?
• Is Common Core Math less rigorous/competitive than MCAS?
• Is ELA (under CC) a step down from previous English standards?
Parents, Grandparents, Teachers and Taxpayers, please join us for a Common Core Informational Session. Special Guest Speakers: Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Mr. Jamie Gass
All Massachusetts school age children will ultimately be mandated to participate in the newly adopted national Common Core standards. Who created this program? Who voted to adopt it? Will it lower Massachusetts teaching standards? Will teachers lose their ability to address your children’s needs?
Face Book event link here.

Common Core Forum – Canton
7-9 pm Tuesday May 19th.
Location to be announced in Canton MA

Details to follow. Please check the following for updates:
GBTP Calendar link here.
Common Core Forum Calendar link here.
Common Core Forum May 2015 Calendar link here.

As noted above, there are three other hearings not mentioned directly above:

 

Tax Day Rally: Ron Paul, Jeb Bush win Greater Boston TEA Party Presidential Straw Poll

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Rand Paul, Jeb Bush win Greater Boston TEA Party Presidential Straw Poll.

The Greater Boston TEA Party again held its annual Tax Day Rally this year. TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party people work and this year April 15th is on a Wednesday. So the rally was held on Saturday, April 11th, on the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand. Hundreds were in attendance and heard special musical guest Jordan Page (Jordan Page Music) open.  Seven phenomenal speakers were heard, and Presidential Straw Polls were held as was a poll on Governor Patrick’s worst scandal.

Presidential Straw Poll Results: TEA Party organizations are non-Partisan, so when holding a straw poll, we polled our participants on both the Republican and Democrat candidates. People were asked to Show ID To Vote, and then were given both a Red (Republican) and a Blue (Democrat) ticket. Despite instructions to the contrary – “You cannot vote for Jeb Bush with the Democrat ticket” (which garnered more than a few comments) the results were as follows:

Republican Candidate Democrat Candidate
Rand Paul 41.5% Jeb Bush 34.4%
Ted Cruz 33.7% Elizabeth Warren 25.0%
Scott Walker 11.2% Hillary Clinton 21.9%
Ben Carson   5.6% Joe Biden 12.5%
Carly FIorina   3.4% Martin O’Malley   3.1%
Marco Rubio   3.4% Deval Patrick   3.1%
Rick Santorum   1.1%

Deval Patrick’s Worst Scandal:  With so many to choose from, this list will be limited to the results for the top three.

  1. First: Department of Children and Families (DCF) / Justina Pelletier situation (33.9%).
  2. SecondL The Health Connector 1 BILLION dollar website disaster (23.7%).
  3. Third: Medical Marijuana (15.3%).

As noted hundreds were in attendance and heard special musical guest Jordan Page (Jordan Page Music) open the event.  Seven phenomenal speakers were heard:

  1. Dr. Peg Luksik (Founded on Truth) – the problems with Common Core
  2. Jessica Vaughan (Center for Immigration Studies) – immigration
  3. Rob Eno (Red Mass GroupConservative Review) – 2016 elections
  4. Andrew Hemingway, (former NH Gubernatorial Candidate, 603 Alliance) – electing conservative candidates and how the grass roots need to coalesce to be effective
  5. Barbara From Harlem – a rousing and inspirational Tea Party address!
  6. Representative Geoff Diehl (MA 7th Plymouth District) – problems with the Boston 2024 Olympics bid
  7. Matt O’Brien (Worcester Tea Party) – “Citizenship is NOT a Spectator Sport”

NOTE: The Greater Boston Tea Party supports the efforts of to fight back on Common Core (Massachusetts organization Common Core Forum) in Massachusetts, and also is affiliated with the 603 Alliance and will affiliate with the NoBostonOlympics efforts. We encourage people to take part in the activities of those organizations, in particular 603 Alliance’s opening event this weekend, on Sunday April 19th from 9am-3pm in Nashua New Hampshire. More details here.

2016 Is Here! Announcing the 603 Alliance

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2016 promises to be an exciting election year. President Obama leaving office.

Let me say that again: President Obama leaving office!

But who will replace him?  We all want a strong fiscal conservative whose first priority is reigning in government, repealing and replacing as much of the damaging regulations and laws currently in place (not only from Obama, but from his predecessors as well). But moderate and establishment types of candidates abound who have different agendas.

In the Tea Party we encourage activism – both on issues and in support of candidates who support our issues. As is stated both verbally and in our materials, we do not endorse candidates. We point out that our Founding Fathers established a system of self-governance which means the citizenry MUST BE engaged in the political process which determines who runs the government and how it is run.

If average hard working Americans are not engaged, then their input is drowned out by those seeking material gain from government – both at the lowest levels (welfare and other forms of public assistance) and at the highest levels (businesses seeking regulatory advantages and government contracts/money).

OUR VOICES MUST BE HEARD!  As a Tea Party we embrace opportunities and provide avenues for our members to be involved in the governing process, and in determining who will best represent them.

To that end, we are glad to announce our affiliation with the 603 Alliance, a pair of organizations devoted to rally people behind the most electable conservative candidate for president. Similar affiliations of grass roots activists are forming in Massachusetts which will be announced soon.

These are exciting times. We must be involved to make a difference and to secure our future.

603 Alliance Press Release below. Web sites:  www.603alliance.org     www.cbl-nh.com

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Fran Wendelboe

 
New Hampshire Activists Launch Two New Initiatives on April 19
 
Concord (March 19, 2015) – On April 19, in the City of Nashua, New Hampshire, the live-free-or-die state, there is going to be a loud bang very much like the shot heard around the world made on April 19, 1775 in Massachusetts.
Well-known Conservative activists and like-minded constitutionalists in New Hampshire and surrounding states will launch their new initiative, the 603 Alliance for the purpose of impacting the outcome of the New Hampshire First-in-the-National Primary election.
These activists realize from past elections that splitting their votes among numerous conservative candidates enables the moderate establishment to cruise to victory, and that only a consolidating effort on their parts will result in a victory for a conservative candidate.
The 603 Alliance has found a solution to this problem and will be revealing that plan to their supporters at the Summit meeting on April 19th, when the 603 Alliance is launched at the Crown Plaza in Nashua, NH, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Details on speakers and content of this Summit will be posted on the 603 Alliance website.  www.603alliance.org
Many Grassroots groups have already been introduced to this concept by the 603 Alliance and will be attending this Summit to endorse this initiative.
A separate, though complimentary, organization has just been launched in New Hampshire and shares principles similar to those of the 603 Alliance.  The Conservative Business League of New Hampshire, LLC (CBL-NH) is a membership organization of concerned citizens and businesses, whose goal is to educate the citizens of New Hampshire about constitutional conservative candidates who embody the principles of CBL-NH.  These principles include personal and economic freedom, as well as working toward a debt-free future.
The focus of CBL-NH includes immigration reform, tax reform, and adherence to the 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments to the US Constitution.   The primary focus for 2015 will be the Presidential Primary and the conservative candidates, with a shift in 2016 to the State and Federal races.
CBL-NH will provide support for candidates by holding events for its members and supporters.  In addition, CBL-NH will aggressively promote and provide candidate access to non-traditional Republicans, constitutionalists and conservatives, disenfranchised voters, and undeclared voters.
For more information about the 603 Alliance or CBL-NH, contact Fran Wendelboe, spokesperson, at 603-381-7988 or go to the websites www.603alliance.org or www.cbl-nh.com
# # # # # # # # # # # # # # #
Submitted by:
Di Lothrop

Article V Convention – the Debate at the Greater Boston Tea Party – Boston Meeting

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On Monday, January 5th, at the Lir restaurant in Boston, the Greater Boston Tea Party hosted a discussion / debate on the Article V Convention process, similarly known as a Convention Of the States, and sometimes referred to as a Constitutional Convention or Con-Con.

Catherine White (Facebook, Constitution Decoded website) spoke against an Article V Convention. Tom Weaver (Facebook) spoke for an Article V Convention.  Also joining the discussion was John Lock, Massachusetts Coalitions Director for the Convention Of the States organization (pro) and Hal Shurtleff, Regional Coordinator fro the John Birch Society (against). Patrick Humphries, President of the Greater Boston Tea Party, moderated.

The Tea Party has been fighting to return the federal government to its Constitutionally limited functions. We The People are anxious to fix the wide variety of things that have gone wrong.

One suggested remedy has been to amend the Constitution through a Article V Convention, to reign in government. This is notably suggested by Mark Levin’s book “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic”  Even the title is alluring “Restoring the American Republic.” But is this the best way to go?

Opponents are concerned about a “runaway convention” where “anything goes” and where we could lose what we currently have. Proponents believe it is out best opportunity to reign in the federal government.

After that introduction, we were off and running. Tom opened up the discussion for roughly 10 minutes, presenting his case. Then Catherine presented her side, again for roughly ten minutes. Then there was an opportunity for them to engage each other, at which point the audience also made some contributions to the discussion. The John and Hal had a few minutes each to provide additional information. That portion was followed by opening up the discussion with audience questions.

It was a lively discussion, with both sides presenting, clarifying, informing, and at time it was a little heated. As I pointed out repeatedly – all present are truly vested in restoring our government to its Constitutionally limited functions. The question before us was: Is an Article V Convention the remedy, with the States controlling the process, or would a runaway convention ensue and make things worse.
Chris Maider of MeatandPotatoes2012 filmed the event

Which side won? Were any minds changed? Leave comments below.
Constitutional _Convention

Just in time for Christmas: Tea Party Reading for Children

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We’ve heard the horror stories: liberal teachers indoctrinating our children with a negative vision of America. Here are some books to help you fight back, by showing your children and grandchildren the truth about our country: that it’s a land of extraordinary individuals and a force for good in the world. They make great Christmas presents:

Ages 5 and up

 

I_am_Abraham_LincolnMystery writer Brad Meltzer is now writing biographies of outstanding individuals for children, specifically his own children. His “I am” series, which includes I Am Amelia Earhart, I Am Rosa Parks, and I Am Abraham Lincoln, is for early readers (Ages 5-8). Heroes for my Son and Heroes for My Daughter are for older children. http://www.amazon.com/Brad-Meltzer/e/B000APEDVC

 

Ages 6 and up

 

D_is_for_DemocracyD is for Democracy: A Citizens Alphabet by Elissor D. Grodin. “Despite the banter in today’s media, many Americans are still in the dark when it comes to knowing and acting upon their rights and responsibilities as citizens of a democratic society. In refreshingly candid and straight-to-the-point language author Elissa Grodin takes readers of all ages on an A-Z trip through our government’s structure, from its earliest beginnings to definitions of basic components and concepts (including immigration and taxation).” Ages: 6-9 http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-Citizens-Alphabet-Books/dp/1585363286/

D_is_for_Drinking_GourdD is for Drinking Gourd:  An African American Alphabet by Nancy I. Sanders. “The tapestry of American history is made up of countless threads marking the contributions of people from many different backgrounds and cultures. D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet showcases many of the remarkable achievements of and contributions from African Americans throughout our history.” Ages: 6-9 http://www.amazon.com/Is-Drinking-Gourd-American-Alphabet-Arts/dp/1585364746

Rebekkahs_JourneyRebekkah’s Journey: A World War II Refugee Story by Ann E. Burg. “In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and recreate tiny bits of home for her mother. A fictional story based on the real-life experiences of surviving refugees, Rebekkah’s Journey shares the illuminating story of one refugee’s arrival on America’s shores.” Ages: 6-9  http://www.amazon.com/Rebekkahs-Journey-World-Refugee-Americans/dp/1585362751

Twice_as_GoodTwice as Good: The Story of William Powell and Clearview, the Only Golf Course Designed, Built, and Owned by an African American by Richard Michelson. “To nine-year-old Willie Powell, there was no prettier sight than the smooth grass lawns of Edgewater Golf Cource. He had been so eager to see them that he’d run seven miles to where the course was situated outside of town. But his elation didn’t last. When he asked two golfers if they’d teach him the game, one man responded by saying, ‘Son, didn’t anyone ever tell you that your kind is not welcome here?’ In the 1920′s there was no place for Willie, or any black person, on a golf course. It was a game for white people only, at least in America. But his enthusiasm for golf and his belief in what he knew to be right drove Willie Powell to change that, and to change minds.” Ages: 6-10 http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Good-Clearview-Designed-American/dp/1585364665

Priscilla_and_the_HollyhocksPriscilla and the Hollyhocks by Anne Broyles. “Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom.” Ages: 6-9. http://www.amazon.com/Priscilla-Hollyhocks-Anne-Broyles/dp/1570916756

Dear_Benjamin_BannekerDear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney. “Throughout his life Banneker was troubled that all blacks were not free. And so, in 1791, he wrote to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Banneker attacked the institution of slavery and dared to call Jefferson a hypocrite for owning slaves. Jefferson responded. This is the story of Benjamin Banneker–his science, his politics, his morals, and his extraordinary correspondence with Thomas Jefferson.” Ages: 6-10. http://www.amazon.com/Benjamin-Banneker-Andrea-Davis-Pinkney/dp/0152018921

The McGuffey Readers (McGuffeys Eclectic Readers Series) by William Holmes McGuffey. “Mott Media has Republished the 1830′s Version of the McGuffey Readers with the Original Christian Content! How would McGuffey teach reading if he were here today? His first concern would be that the content should promote moral growth and excellence of mind in habits, attitudes, and literary tastes. And Bible selections would be at the top of his reading list. McGuffey also believed in phonics for beginning reading.” Available as box set (7 volumes) or books may be purchased individually. Ages: 6+. http://www.amazon.com/McGuffey-McGuffeys-Eclectic-Readers-William/dp/0880620145

Ages 7 and up

 

Mercedes_and_the_Chocolate_PilotMercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky by  Margaret Theis Raven. “Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die. Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin. This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot.” Ages: 7-9.  http://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-Chocolate-Pilot-Margot-Theis/dp/1585360694

Midnight_Ride_of_Paul_RevereThe Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Christopher Bing. “A meticulous researcher, Bing includes material that provides texture to history, maps that follow the British campaign to quell the rebellious citizenry, as well as the patriots ride into the Massachusetts night of April, 1775.”  Ages: 7+. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1929766130/

 

Ages 8 and up

 

Sleeping Bear Press’s American Adventures. Each book has three stories and the main characters are teens.  Ages: 8-11. The first three books in the series are:

Philip_Reid_Saves_the_Statue_of_Freedom

Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom by Steven Sellers Lapham and Eugene Walton. “On December 2, 1863, a bronze statue was placed atop the dome of the United States Capitol Building. Standing more than 19 feet tall, the figure called “Freedom” was designed and created during a period of great turmoil in American history. But at one point during its creation, it wasn’t clear the statue would even get to its final destination. One man, in particular, played an important role in seeing the statue through to completion. His name was Philip Reid and he was a slave.” Ages: 8-11. http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Reid-Saves-Statue-Freedom/dp/1585368199

Childhood of Famous Americans Series. When we were kids, this was the starting point for every school assignment to write a report about a great American. Includes biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Abraham Lincoln, and dozens of others. Ages: 8-12. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=108329

Little_HouseThe Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. “The set includes: Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years.” Books may also be purchased individually. Ages: 8-12.  http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Nine-Book-Box-Set/dp/0064400409/

 

Ages 9 and up

Friends_of_LibertyFriends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley. “It’s 1773, and Boston is in political turmoil. As tension rises between England and the colonies, lines are being drawn between the Loyalists and the Patriots. And Sally Gifford, a shoemaker’s daughter, finds herself on the opposite side from her best friend Kitty Lawton, the daughter of a wealthy merchant.” Ages: 9-11. http://www.amazon.com/Friends-Liberty-Beatrice-Gormley/dp/0802854184

Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes. A classic. “The Year: 1773. The place: Boston. Johnny Tremain is fourteen and apprenticed to a silversmith. He is gifted and lords his skills over the other apprentices, until one day his hand is horribly burned by molten silver. Johnny’s dreams of silversmithing are over. A depressed Johnny finds work as a dispatch rider for the Committee of Public Safety, a job that brings him in touch with Boston patriots—and the excitement that will lead to the Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. This paperback edition of the 1944 Newbery Medal-winning novel includes an introduction by Newbery Honor author Gary D. Schmidt.” Ages: 9-12. http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Tremain-Esther-Hoskins-Forbes/dp/0547614322

Ages 10 and up

 

Rush_Revere_and_the_Brave_PilgrimsThe Rush Revere Series: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans by Rush Limbaugh. “America’s #1 radio talk-show host and multi-million-copy #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a book for young readers with a history teacher who travels back in time to have adventures with exceptional Americans.” The first books in the series are Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims and Rush Revere and the First Patriots. Ages: 10-13.  http://www.amazon.com/Rush-Limbaugh/e/B000APZECY/

Give_Me_LibertyRussell Freedman writes great early American history books with a variety of interesting anecdotes to interest young readers. Ages: 10+. His works include:

 

Mayflower_and_the_Pilgrims_New_WorldThe Mayflower and the Pilgrim’s New World by Nathaniel Philbrick. “After a dangerous journey across the Atlantic, the Mayflower’s passengers were saved from certain destruction with the help of the Natives of the Plymouth region. For fifty years a fragile peace was maintained as Pilgrims and Native Americans learned to work together. But when that trust was broken by the next generation of leaders, a conflict erupted that nearly wiped out Pilgrims and Natives alike. Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower specifically for younger readers, this edition includes additional maps, artwork, and archival photos.” Ages: 10+. http://www.amazon.com/The-Mayflower-Pilgrims-New-World/dp/0142414581

Young Adult

 

Ann Rinaldi writes stories for and about girls growing up in Colonial America. Themes of freedom run through many of her stories, including Or Give Me Death: A Novel of Patrick Henry’s Family. Ages: 11-14. http://www.amazon.com/Ann-Rinaldi/e/B000AQ4LZ4

Winter_HorsesThe Winter Horses by Philip Kerr. “From Philip Kerr, the New York Times bestselling author of the Bernie Gunther novels, comes a breathtaking journey of survival in the dark days of WWII in Ukraine, a country that remains tumultuous today. This inspiring tale captures the power of the human spirit and is perfect for fans of The Book Thief, Milkweed, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” Ages: 12+. http://www.amazon.com/The-Winter-Horses-Philip-Kerr/dp/0385755430

The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning. This is an adult fiction about being widowed in 1760 Brewster, Cape Cod. Sandwich High School put it on its reading list and lots of students were reading it. “Married for twenty years to Edward Berry, Lyddie is used to the trials of being a whaler’s wife in the Cape Cod village of Satucket, Massachusetts—running their house herself during her husband’s long absences at sea, living with the daily uncertainty that Edward will simply not return. And when her worst fear is realized, she finds herself doubly cursed. She is overwhelmed by grief, and her property and rights are now legally in the hands of her nearest male relative: her daughter’s overbearing husband, whom Lyddie cannot abide. Lyddie decides to challenge both law and custom for control of her destiny, but she soon discovers the price of her bold ‘war’ for personal freedom to be heartbreakingly dear.”  http://www.amazon.com/The-Widows-War-A-Novel/dp/0060791586

Got others? Email Patrick Humphries at phumphries@greaterbostonteaparty.com

Quoted descriptions are from Amazon.com.

Thank you, Mary Wagner, for suggesting many of the books in this list.

Continue Your Work and Vote! (and continue to be engaged)!

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Continue Your Work and Vote!
(and continue to be engaged)!

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.  – Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing”, Oct. 27, 1964.

One update to Reagan’s statement – this is the issue in EVERY ELECTION. It took us 100 years to get this far away from our Founding Fathers’ vision of America. Our country’s problems will not be solved simply be the “Second Revolution” which began with the elections of Scott Brown and the Tea Party conservative House members in 2010, or in the elections of 2012, 2014, or even 2016. It demands our constant and on-going attention and involvement – “…our capacity for self-government.

It is exceptionally important that you vote, and encourage as many of you like-minded friends to vote as well. This election season we will see a fair amount of voter fraud – a strong turn-out is our best weapon against this.

Many of us followed the “Limbaugh Rule” (a modern update to the frequently maligned “Buckley Rule”) this past year, both here in Massachusetts and across the nation.

  • The Limbaugh Rule: In an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism and socialism, when voters are clearly frightened of where the hell the country is headed, vote for the most conservative Republican in the primary, period.

You need to support those who believe in a more limited government versus those who believe in ever-expanding government. Regardless of whether your candidate won or lost in the primary.  A non-vote, or vote for an independent or even “Mickey Mouse” means that the government expansionists will win.

There are limited government representatives of the people running out there – you hopefully found them and supported them. We cannot “abandon the American revolution.” Now is the time to vote.

VOTE TOMORROW!  And of course it does not end there – you must engage your representatives and persuade them to vote and act your way on issues. When voting, keep that in mind. A Republican will typically be more likely to respond to you as an activist then a Democrat. Most Democrats would turn a deaf ear to you (I am aware of at least one Democrat legislator who regularly listens to Tea Party activists). You need to vote for someone who you think you can influence and lobby in the future.

  • In voting for state-wide offices, overwhelmingly the Democrat candidates are unashamedly promoting the expansion of taxation and government into every aspect of our lives. Democrats offer increasing and progressive taxation, more regulation, more welfare benefits and one party rule where politicians are never held to account.
  • Republicans are promoting government transparency, and promote smaller government which is less intrusive in our lives and our free markets. There is an Auditor candidate who actually wants to audit, an Attorney General candidate who wants to prosecute corruption (fully contrasting our current AG), a Secretary of State candidate who foremost believes in transparency, and a Governor candidate who wants to manage and make it a smaller and less-intrusive bureaucracy!  While as Tea Party activists we demand more conservatism from Republicans, it is definitely true that they will be more responsive to our efforts and entreaties to vote and act our way.

And while many may need to collapse from over-exertion and exhaustion after Tuesday, and some may be celebrating, and some may be lamenting the results,  we need to continue to be engaged. “See you on the other side.”

REMINDER:  Our Boston Meeting is NEXT MONDAY, November 10th – Beers, Cheers and Tears. See you then!

Ballot Questions – Massachusetts

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From the GBTP October 6th Boston meeting – hear from representatives on all four ballot questions!

Steering Committee member Kat Hess led the efforts to invite representatives from both sides of all four of the ballot questions to come and “make their case”. We had positive “we’ll try to make it” responses from both sides on two of the questions; in the end though, we only had representatives from one side on each ballot question.

The sides we ended up hearing from represented: “Yes-No-Yes-No”. This mirrors what Howie Carr’s October 14th column suggesting a “Yes-No-Yes-No” vote: “It’s Simple: Yes. No. Yes. No.” Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance has also announced (from its website Voter Education / Ballot Question link) its position on the ballot questions, essentially “Yes. No. __. No.” (they are not taking a position on Question 3).

I agree with Howie and Mass Fiscal. Three of the questions (1, 2, and 4) are clear expansions of government intruding into our lives, either needlessly taking money away from citizens and/or regulating how private companies and people go about their own business.

Those three questions are pretty clear to Tea Party people, so I go with: Yes. No. [you make up your mind] and No.

Why [you make up your mind] on Question 3? Because one of our primary goals is not to tell you how to vote, but to inform people and to have them make up their own minds. Again, on three of the questions, I think the appropriate votes are pretty clear to Tea Party minded people. On Question 3, I believe reasonable people can disagree, so I invite you to investigate for yourself.

Libertarians typically look more toward local control and would reject the idea of a state-wide law, while a numb er of conservatives, concerned with the potentially negative effects a casino may have on local communities, would like to restrict casinos.

We report (inform) to allow you to decide (presenting Mark Fisher from the group Repeal the Casino Deal and asking you to visit the web site against repeal -  Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs). We truly wish we had representatives from both sides on all the questions – none more so than on Question 3, but that did not work out.

Edward Wagner, who assists in organizing the GBTP Boston meetings, took recordings of the event which are displayed below, with the appropriate ballot questions. Information on the questions, from Ballotpedia, is presented after the videos.

I introduced the event:

Pat Humphries at Boston Tea Party meeting 6 Oct. 2014 – YouTube

Question 1. Repeals 2013 law that automatically increases gas taxes according to inflation

For: Shawn Craig representing Tank The Gas Tax

Shawn Craig to the Boston Tea Party on Ballot Question 1. 6Oct – YouTube

 

 

Question 2. Expands the state’s beverage container recycling law to include all non-alcoholic containers

For: Representative from Yes On 2 (unconfirmed) – did not appear.

Against: Emilee Ellison and Brian Houghton  (No on Question 2)

To the Boston Tea Party on the bottle bill Ballot Question 2 – YouTube

 

 

Question 3. Repeals a 2011 law allowing resort casinos

Against: Representative from Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs (unconfirmed) – did not appear.

For: Mark Fisher from Repeal the Casino Deal

Mark Fisher speaks on Ballot Question 3 to the Boston Tea party – YouTube

Question 4. Entitles certain employees to earn and utilize paid sick days

Against: Bill Vernon from NFIB – National Federation of Independent Business

Bill Vernon of the NFIB speaks on Question 4 at the GBTP – YouTube

 

 

Here are the summaries from Ballotpedia:

Type Title Subject Description
CISS Question 1 Gas taxes Repeals 2013 law that automatically increases gas taxes according to inflation
CISS Question 2 Environment Expands the state’s beverage container recycling law to include all non-alcoholic containers
CISS Question 3 Gambling Repeals a 2011 law allowing resort casinos
CISS Question 4 Labor Entitles certain employees to earn and utilize paid sick days

BESE PARCC (CC) Fitchburg Hearing – Patrick’s statement

Members of the public were given the opportunity to make a statement before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, part of five forums being held across the state. Below is a written version of what I delivered in person.

Common Core statement delivered by Patrick Humphries  (A slightly longer version of what was verbally presented on April 28th 2015 at Fitchburg State University).
Good afternoon. My name is Patrick Humphries, a citizen activist who believes in local control and a smaller and less intrusive government. I am hear to express my concerns with both the PARCC testing and the Common Core Standards. As a citizen activist who is passionate about transparency, I fully agree with Governor Baker’s comments when he called for these discussions:

“We need a public discussion on this. I think it’s an embarrassment that a state that spent two years giving educators, families, parents, administrators and others an opportunity to comment and engage around the assessment system that eventually became MCAS basically gave nobody a voice or an opportunity to engage in a discussion at all before we went ahead and executed on Common Core and PARCC.”

While I appreciate this forum, I have concerns about what is missing from the conversation. There are experts readily available in this state. Dr. Sandra Stotsky worked on both the development of the prior Massachusetts state standards and also worked on the validation of CCSS. She refused to sign off on CCSS, noting they were inferior. Another person who is absent it Jamie Gass, the Pioneer Institute’s Director of the Center for School Reform.  At Pioneer, he has framed, commissioned, and managed over 60 research papers and numerous policy events on K-12 education reform topics.  Jamie and Sandy have given so much of their time to educate and mobilize concerned parents at more than three dozen forums across Massachusetts and in 30 plus states. It is a shame we cannot hear from them here today.

Massachusetts has had phenomenal results due to the bi-partisan education reform efforts of the 1990s, and we are the top performing state in the nation and are internationally competitive. To quote the Pioneer Institute’s comments on Massachusetts’ excellence:

After enactment of the Bay State’s landmark 1993 education reform law, SAT scores rose for 13 consecutive years. In 2005, Massachusetts students became the first state ever to score best in the nation in all four categories on the NAEP’s fourth and eighth grade reading and math assessments. The next three times the tests were administered, in 2007, 2009 and 2011, they repeated the feat.

So why change? In July 2010 when Massachusetts accepted the Race To The Top money and with it bought into adopting the Common Core State Standards, those standards were not yet complete!  And come to find out, that even those promoting the CCSS, will acknowledge the standards are inferior for states (such as Massachusetts) which already had high standards!!

Why are we doing this to ourselves??  Some of the highlights about the problems with CCSS and PARCC testing:

  • A nationally set school curriculum violates three federal laws – local control is best!!
  • CCSS and PARCC are copyrighted – we cannot change them, even if we wanted to!
  • They are unproven, produced by people with no successful track records

Don’t take my word for it. To close, I quote from three short portions of Resolution 706 from the Washington State DEMOCRAT Party:

  • WHEREAS the copyrighted (and therefore unchangeable) Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of controversial top-down K-12 academic standards that were promulgated by wealthy private interests without research-based evidence of validity and are developmentally inappropriate in the lowest grades;
  • WHEREAS this adoption effectively transfers control over public school standardized testing from locally elected school boards to the unaccountable corporate interests that control the CCSS and who stand to profit substantially;
  • WHEREAS plans for implementation of CCSS assessments in K-12 will result in private student data being transmitted to and stored by private corporations;

The resolution was to dump it all – and I agree whole-heartily.

I have attended more than two dozen forums on Common Core and PARCC, and listened to beleaguered parents and children who want to succeed, but cannot because of a failed curriculum. I agree – this has to go. There is no good reason for Massachusetts to lower its standards!

Use common sense and dump Common Core and PARCC.

“A Time For Choosing” – Reagan’s speech 50th Anniversary Oct. 27, 1964

Reagan’s “A Time For Choosing” speech was a televised campaign address for the 1964 Goldwater Presidential Campaign. One of my favorite portions is included in the three paragraph’s below.

Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

Here is a link to the text of the speech. Below is a YouTube video of the speech.

 

Fifty years ago. Much of the facts are dated – but the downward trend has only worsened. Reagan speaks of spending BILLIONS, while today we spend TRILLIONS. “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” is another Reagan quote which came from this speech.

Fifty years ago – when a strong conservative had the fortitude and strength of convictions to proudly state his positions and to call out the proponents of the welfare state on its failures. The struggle is eternal and we must always remain vigilant. That is why we must remember another warning and admonishment from Reagan:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  Here it in Reagan’s own words (from Reagan’s address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – March 30th, 1961).

 

 

Harry Reid Wants To Pass A Constitutional Amendment To Prevent You From Seeing This Movie!!!

Ridiculous you say?  Not so – remember Citizens United vs the FEC? Citizens United produced Hillary The Movie during the 2008 elections, but was banned from distributing it by the FEC. The Supreme Court overturned the McCain-Feingold law based on that case, so Harry Reid wants to restrict free speech via a Constitutional Amendment (Wall Street Journal: Harry Reid Rewrites the First Amendment).

UNFAIR: Exposing the IRS does just that – it tells the story of the IRS attacks on:

  • Freedom of speech by delayed approvals of tax statuses for Tea Party and other conservative organizations over several years
  • Parents adopting children internationally (a FIVE YEAR AUDIT ?!?!)
  • A veterans’ group which accepted small donations to offset food costs – crippling them with a $50,000 fine!
  • And more…
I (Patrick Humphries) saw a pre-release version of this at CPAC in 2014. It is GOOD!   I was very impressed both with the stories being told (the IRS targeting MANY people, not just Tea Party groups) and the emotional roller-coaster it invoked in me. I went through sadness and anger, combined with determination and rage, because the targeting of citizens by the government is one of the ultimate evils of our time.

One Night Only! Unfair will expose the ABUSES of power by the IRS, provide information to activists on how to abolish the IRS and restore their liberties. Limited seating, tickets on sale now, share with your friends.

The Greater Boston Tea Party is asking its members to go to the Burlington, Boston or Randolph theaters, if you are looking to meet up with fellow GBTP Tea Partiers. Facebook events below:

UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Burlington
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Randolph
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Boston

To find a theater, especially one outside of Massachusetts, or to purchase your tickets (if available), you can check out this link.
Here is the movie trailer:

Here is an interview with the producer, Craig Bergman, done by Mike Huckabee.

UNFAIR: Exposing The IRS is showing at the theaters listed below, with all the Facebook Events for Massachusetts located underneath this list.

Bellingham 14 Framingham 15 Blackstone Valley MILLBURY
Fenway 13 BOSTON Hampshire Mall 15 Hadley Randolph Showcase Cinemas
Burlington 10 Independence Mall 14 KINGSTON Revere Showcase Cinemas
Legacy Place DEDHAM Lowell Showcase Cinemas Regal Swansea Stadium 12
Patriot Place FOXBORO Solomon Pond Mall 15 MARLBOROUGH
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Burlington
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Kingston
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Dedham
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Hadley
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Springfield
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Lowell
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Swansea
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Bellingham
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Revere
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Foxborough
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Millbury
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Marlborough
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Randolph
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Boston
UnFair The Movie: Exposing the IRS – Framingham