Did California Mayor Run a Red Light While Texting?

Questions have risen as to whether or not Oakland Mayor Jean Quan was texting behind the wheel before the vehicle she was driving was struck by another vehicle whose driver allegedly ran a red light. Two different accounts of what happened took place on Sunday, as the mayor was traveling from one church event to another.

According to police, Quan was headed north on Market Street at the intersection with 26th Street in Oakland around 5:30 pm on Sunday, in a newer model, city-issued Lexus SUV when the unnamed female driver of a 2008 Nissan Altima struck her vehicle, San Jose Mercury News reports. The female driver was accompanied by a 14-year-old boy. Both were reportedly in pain and were taken to a hospital for examination.

But Margarett Randel, 22, who witnessed the collision, said Quan actually ran the red light and that she saw Quan looking down as she did. Randel, who was standing outside when the car accident occurred, told the Mercury News, “I seen the whole thing… Mayor Quan passed right through the red light. She wasn’t looking where she was going. She was looking down.” Randel did not say whether or not she believed the mayor was using her cellphone, according to the Mercury News

Quan’s spokesman Sean Maher said Quan was neither texting nor talking on the phone when the collision occurred. 

Just one week ago on Sunday and Monday, photographs emerged of what appear to be Mayor Quan texting and driving and another where she is holding a cell phone up to her ear while driving, respectively. Quan, who said she was searching for an address, told reporters that she believed her action to be allowed under state law, the Mercury News reports.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, “the new Wireless Communications Device Law (effective January 1, 2009) makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle.”

Photo: Reuters

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Telegraph: Guardian Ignored and Misrepresented Evidence of Islamist Plot

The Telegraph’s Andrew Gilligan has today written about the Guardian newspaper’s inability to report the Islamist ‘Trojan Horse’ plot correctly:

There’s a lot of bad journalism about Muslims in this country, but not all of it is at the tabloid “Islamic-only toilets” end of the market. On the subject of the hardline takeover of Birmingham schools, I think The Guardian may be Britain’s most dishonest newspaper.

It’s a very good paper in some ways – but it has a complete blind spot about any story involving Islamists. Its coverage of Tower Hamlets has been spectacularly misleading. And the reporting on Trojan Horse by its education editor, Richard Adams, has been execrable.

Mr Adams now pronounces the entire saga a “crude witch-hunt” based on “not much evidence of anything,” claiming that “most” of the allegations of “segregated classes, compulsory prayers and incendiary preachers at school assemblies … have crumbled under examination.”

The evidence of “incendiary preachers at school assemblies” – Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman, an al-Qaeda sympathiser, at Park View School on November 28 2013 – in fact comes from one of the school’s official newsletters, still available on its own website (see photo above, from page 17 of this PDF).

At another of the schools, Oldknow, an official Education Funding Agency report finds that the Arabic teacher, Asif Khan, led anti-Christian chanting in assemblies (though also records his denial). I too have been told about Mr Khan’s anti-Christian assembly by four separate sources, one of them on the record. There is other on-the-record testimony that Park View’s head, Mozz Hussain, preached “mind-blowing” anti-American assemblies.

Read more at the Telegraph

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British Records for Abortions of Down’s Syndrome Babies Missing

A new investigation by the British government has found that hundreds of Down’s Syndrome babies aborted by British clinics have disappeared from records, supposedly due to poor administration.

The investigation found that British clinic doctors have broken the law by not keeping proper records. Perhaps as many as half the aborted Down’s Syndrome babies were not properly recorded.

Saying that “the bulk of terminations” in Britain occur to eliminate Down’s Syndrome babies, The Daily Mail goes on to report abortions are being misidentified as “social abortions.”

The Mail reports that, “The investigation, published on the Department of Health website, shows that in 2012 a total of 994 babies were aborted for Down’s Syndrome, according to the independent National Down’s Syndrome Cytogenetic Register.”

But the investigation found that the department of Health only recorded 496 cases, “meaning that 498 cases were classed as missing.”

The reason this is known is that Down’s Syndrome pregnancies are reported separately to the government and government officials have correlated the reporting.

Under the Abortion Act, termination of a baby with Down’s Syndrome is legal right up to the point of delivery. Such terminations are hugely controversial because due to medical advances, children with Down’s can now expect to live until their fifties and sixties. Tory MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the recent independent parliamentary inquiry into abortion for disability, said it was clear doctors had broken the law.

The paper goes on to report that the Department of Health has made no effort to make sure that this law is enforced.

“We now know that nearly half of abortions for Down’s Syndrome were incorrectly recorded. How many doctors were referred for investigation? None,” MP Bruce said.

“It was horrifying to read that 11 Down’s Syndrome abortions post 24 weeks do not even appear in the official dataset,” Professor Joan Morris, director of the NDSCR, said.

Critics of aborting babies with Down’s Syndrome charge that such abortions are only a matter of convenience, not necessity.

“The abortion isn’t for the sake of the child; it’s for the sake of the parent. They don’t want an inconvenient child, a baby who may require them to work a little harder than they planned,” Casey Fiano of Life Site News wrote in October of 2013.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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Trojan Horse Schools Faked Christianity Classes, Will Be Placed Under ‘No Notice’ Inspection Measures

Some of the schools being investigated over an alleged Islamist takeover plot tried to trick inspectors by hiding evidence of wrongdoing, according to a report.

School inspectors Ofsted found that some teachers had “hastily arranged shows of inclusivity”, including classes on Christianity.

According to Sky News, the report will also say that staff at Oldknow Academy were “instructed to add Christianity to learning”, and that a special assembly on Easter was specially put on for inspectors.

Ofsted now warn they may subject the schools to further, unplanned inspections, giving teachers just 30 minutes notice. Six schools will be placed into special measures, with ‘no notice’ inspections dubbed ‘dawn raids’ to serve as a key part of the crackdown.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that he wants a “robust response” from inspectors if any evidence of fundamentalist teaching comes to light.

Mr Cameron said: “Protecting our children is one of the first duties of Government and that is why the issue of alleged Islamist extremism in Birmingham schools demands a robust response.

“The Education Secretary will now ask Sir Michael Wilshaw to look into allowing any school to be inspected at no notice, stopping schools having the opportunity to cover up activities which have no place in our society.”

The Prime Minister is also due to meet various cabinet ministers to discuss extremism in the classroom, including Education Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May, who have been in a bitter row over how to tackle it.

In a string of accusations and counter-accusations, the Department for Education and the Home Office accused one another of not doing enough to tackle Islamist fundamentalism.

The row became a major embarrassment for the government and led to Theresa May’s aide resigning, and Michael Gove having to apologise to the Prime Minister.

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Bill Gates: Common Core Attempt to Close Gap Between ‘Low-Income’ and Wealthy Students

In an interview with the Washington Post that summarizes how Bill Gates pulled off the very “swift Common Core revolution,” the Microsoft founder stated, “The country as a whole has a huge problem that low-income kids get less good education than suburban kids get… and that is a huge challenge.”

Gates’s statement underscores further the notion that the Common Core standards initiative is a social engineering project that places education standards ahead of parental and family influences as the major cause of poor student performance in low-income and minority communities.

Regardless of the push by various Gates-funded organizations to boast the Common Core standards’ “rigor,” the real motivation to correct what is viewed as societal injustices was underscored even by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who said last November that it was “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is coming from “white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

According to the Post, Gates is “irritated” by the resistance to the standards from grassroots organizations who want to bar the federal government from overreaching into local education decisions.

“These are not political things,” he said. “These are where people are trying to apply expertise to say, ‘Is this a way of making education better?'”

“At the end of the day, I don’t think wanting education to be better is a right-wing or left-wing thing,” Gates said. “We fund people to look into things. We don’t fund people to say, ‘Okay, we’ll pay you this if you say you like the Common Core.'”

Nevertheless, the federal government did offer funding through competitive grants to the states in President Obama’s Race to the Top (RttT) stimulus program in 2009, as well as waivers from No Child Left Behind restrictions if states adopted “college and career ready” standards.

In addition, Common Core proponents have not provided any solid research that backs up their claims that the standards are indeed “rigorous” or have been “internationally benchmarked.”

Ze’ev Wurman, visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution and author of the Pioneer Institute report, “Common Core’s Validation: A Weak Foundation for a Crooked House,” demonstrated the shoddy research that was performed by Common Core Validation Committee members who signed off on the standards. In the pro-Common Core studies Wurman examined, he found the research had been poorly executed and failed to provide evidence that the standards are internationally competitive and reflective of college-readiness.

Similarly, the 2014 Brown Center report by the Brookings Institution found that the Common Core standards will have “little to no impact on student achievement.”

Despite the lack of validity of the Common Core standards, the Post reports that after Gene Wilhoit, director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and a former Kentucky education commissioner, and Common Core “architect” David Coleman met with Gates about funding the development of the standards, Gates’s foundation gave over $5 million to the University of North Carolina-affiliated Hunt Institute, led by former Gov. Jim Hunt (D). The Hunt Institute then coordinated more than a dozen organizations, including the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, National Council of La Raza, Achieve, Inc., the two national teachers’ unions, and the two groups that are the copyright owners of the Common Core standards – CCSSO and the National Governors Association (NGA).

Talking points about the standards were then developed by GMMB, a communications firm owned by Jim Margolis, a top Democrat strategist and veteran of both of Obama’s presidential campaigns.

In Kentucky, where Common Core caught fire first, the state’s Chamber of Commerce provided the link to a Louisville stockbroker who organized a coalition of 75 company executives across the state who lent their names to ads in business materials that supported the nationalized standards.

Within months, states were signing on to the Common Core.

“You had dozens of states adopting before the standards even existed, with little or no discussion, coverage or controversy,” said Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, which received $4 million from the Gates Foundation since 2007 to study education policy, including the Common Core. “People weren’t paying attention. We were in the middle of an economic meltdown and the healthcare fight, and states saw a chance to have a crack at a couple of million bucks if they made some promises.”

Sarah Reckhow, a philanthropy and education policy expert at Michigan State University, told the Post that the Gates Foundation’s decision to pay both for the standards themselves and their promotion was atypical.

“Usually, there’s a pilot test – something is tried on a small scale, outside researchers see if it works, and then it’s promoted on a broader scale,” Reckhow said. “That didn’t happen with the Common Core. Instead, they aligned the research with the advocacy… At the end of the day, it’s going to be the states and local districts that pay for this.”

According to the Post, however, Gates “sees himself as a technocrat trying to foster solutions to a profound social problem – gaping inequalities in U.S. public education – by investing in promising new ideas.”

“I believe in the Common Core because of its substance and what it will do to improve education,” he said, though his children attend private schools that have not adopted the Common Core standards. “And that’s the only reason I believe in the Common Core.”

“This is about giving money away,” he said of his support for the standards. “This is philanthropy. This is trying to make sure students have the kind of opportunity I had… and it’s almost outrageous to say otherwise, in my view.”

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