Missouri Horror Story Part II: The Great and Secret Show

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The Great and Secret Show is going on behind the scenes and in plain view.

The Great and Secret Show is going on behind the scenes and in plain view.

BREAKING NEWS: GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MARTIAL LAW, SUSPENSION OF CONSTITUTION IN WAKE OF ‘TERROR’ PLOT

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference early Monday morning, to address what he termed ‘acts of terror’ being committed against families across the Show Me State. Select members of the press were invited to attend the event, held in an undisclosed, secure location.

Members of the media were told in advance that the Governor would not be taking questions after making a prepared statement.

“Evidence has emerged of a terror plot being carried out against the citizens of our state. These attacks are escalating, both in number and in severity. They represent a clear and present danger to Missourians and a dire threat to our way of life.”

“These acts are random, as are their victims. They are being committed with bold audacity and ruthlessness and are being executed in such a way so as to maximize their effect. The citizens of Missouri are the targets of a campaign of terror, being waged against our very way of life.”

“In the wake of these attacks and in order to protect the citizens of our state, I am enacting the following measures as Governor, effective immediately.”

“I am mobilizing the Missouri National Guard, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and all local law enforcement. These agencies will have a clear mission: To aggressively apprehend and detain suspicious individuals for interrogation. Citizens are asked to remain calm and above all, to cooperate with authorities during this time of crisis, so that they can effectively do their jobs and keep Missouri safe.”

“Also, beginning today, a mandatory curfew is in effect. All residents of Missouri will remain off the streets between the hours of 6 PM and 6 AM.”

“Those residents who have legitimate reasons for being out during these restricted hours, such as work, school, etc. will be identified by the Missouri Registry Database. These citizens will be permitted to travel during the hours of restriction, though that travel will be limited to routes to and from approved destinations only.”

“We ask that all residents remain calm during this challenging time. Complete cooperation is necessary. The authorities of the state of Missouri will find the evil-doers responsible for these attacks and we will bring them to justice.”

“These attacks on our way of life will not be tolerated. We will not give in to these terrorists. We will rise above and we will bring swift retribution to those who would wage war against our citizens.”

The gravity of the Governor’s remarks resonated from the concrete walls of the secure location. The seriousness of the situation was reinforced by the several armed guards who took flanking positions around the room.

At the end of the Governor’s remarks, a reporter from the Associated Press attempted to ask a follow up question, in spite of the clear instructions given prior to his statement.

“Governor, what do you say to reports and eyewitness accounts that point to these crimes are being carried out by cultists using various government offices?”

Before the question was fully formed, two armed guards rushed the reporter, each taking an arm. They escorted her through a side corridor and a heavy steel door slammed behind them. Her loud protests could be heard as they drug her away.

Immediately following this surreal event, the Governor left the room and his press secretary ushered the media out of the secure location, shoving copies of the Governor’s statement into the hands of the press corps with stone faced silence.

Her stern gaze indicated that she would not be answering questions either.

We will continue to bring you more on this story, as it develops.

Stay tuned…

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MISSOURI HORROR STORY: THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW

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In comparing the accounts of witnesses and survivors of the attacks that are occurring around Missouri, several commonalities can be found in their varying accounts.

Most, like the friends and families of Brandon Ellingson, Donnie Erwin and David Norman never saw it coming. They assumed that the nightmares they are trapped in were the stuff of invention and fiction, safely contained in Stephen King novels or fright night movie marathons. For them, things that go ‘bump in the night’ aren’t real and true terror only happens in lands far, far away from the neon lights of America.

Others, like the Shore family and the Lagares family, knew monsters lurked under the Midway. They heard their claws scratching at the door. They had glimpsed the outline of the shape under the sheet. They knew that these abominations were creeping in the shadows, eager to feast on the innocent.

Universally, the cold feeling of uneasiness that has worked its way up a growing numbers of spines across the Show Me State, is due to a dark knowledge, an irrational certainty, that something wicked this way comes…and it is hungry.

In every neighborhood, down every street, down well traveled roads, an identical mirage has been seen, shimmering into shape. It warbles in and out of plain sight, there one minute, gone the next. What follows these sightings is a scratching of heads and a rubbing of eyes. The mirage disappears almost as soon as it appears, fading back into the mist of disbelief. It leaves those who see it questioning their own sanity, before they relegate it safely away under the heading ‘imagination’.

Still, doubts linger like a fog in a hollow.

Was it possible? Did they really see it? Do they need to up their dosage of denial?

It tickles at the base of their brain like an incessant mosquito, buzzing, buzzing. They know what they saw, unbelievable as it might seem. They know.

They could smell the popcorn and sawdust. They could hear the organ music. They could see the red and white tent, the lunatic lights that adorn it.

The Great and Secret Show, the dark carnival, has come to their town.

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Missouri has always been a battleground.

Today, in New Republic, the ‘Battle of Who-Could-Care-Less’ is being fought in Missouri’s fields, in its cities, its valleys and hills. It is a campaign being waged by those in power who have a disdain for our values and our freedom. This war is being fought on multiple fronts and the mission is a simple one:

Obscure the truth at all costs.

Disinformation, manipulation and outright lies are the ammunition employed by those fighting it. For them, it is necessary to pull the wool over the eyes of skeptical Missourians in order to do the unthinkable.

In this, the advocates of the New Republic have largely been successful. The proof is all around us.

Last week, in an editorial from the St. Louis-Post Dispatch:

On Friday, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander predicted that 39.81 percent of the state’s voters would turn out Tuesday. That compares with 47 percent in 2010, the last midterm election, when there was a high-profile U.S. Senate race on the ballot, and 53 percent in 2006, when there was not only a Senate race, but three hotly contested ballot issues.

Why would Missourians not exercise their right to vote? The answer can be found in this article, from David Sirota, journalist for the International Business Times:

On a warm October night toward the end of the 2014 campaign, almost every politician running for a major office in Colorado appeared at a candidate forum in Southeast Denver. The topics discussed at the local synagogue were pressing: a potential war with ISIS, voting rights, a still-struggling economy. But one key element was in conspicuously short supply: the media.

This is increasingly the reality in much of the country, as campaigns play out in communities where the local press corps has been thinned by layoffs and newspaper closures. What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? Americans are now discovering the answer.

Between 2003 and 2012, the newspaper workforce shrank by 30 percent nationally, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. That has included a major reduction in the number of newspaper reporters assigned to cover state and local politics. Newspaper layoffs have ripple effects for the entire local news ecosystem, because, as the Congressional Research Service noted, television, radio and online outlets often “piggyback on reporting done by much larger newspaper staffs.” Meanwhile, recent studies from the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank suggest the closure of newspapers can ultimately depress voter turnout in local elections.

Colorado is a microcosm of the hollowing out of local media. In 2009, the state lost its second-largest newspaper with the shuttering of the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News. The state’s only remaining major daily, the Denver Post, has had rolling layoffs. According to Post Editor Gregory Moore, in this election cycle the paper has only 7 reporters covering elections throughout the state — a 50 percent reduction in the last 5 years.

“We just don’t have the resources to do what we were once able to do,” Moore told International Business Times. “We try to select the competitive races that we really need to pay attention to, but in terms of having a body on every race, we just don’t have the resources to do that.”

For the 2014 election, Moore said the paper produces a voter guide providing at least a summary of almost every state and county race in the state. There’s also one full-time reporter assigned to the U.S. Senate, one assigned to the gubernatorial races and one covering the hotly contested 6th district congressional race between Republican incumbent Mike Coffman and former Democratic House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

Challengers in districts that the Post isn’t covering say the media’s decisions about resources may help determine election outcomes.

“It creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. When the local press assumes a race can’t be close, then they don’t cover it, and then that suggests to voters a candidate isn’t credible,” said Martin Walsh, the Republican congressional candidate challenging Denver’s Democratic representative, Diana DeGette. “Ultimately, that guarantees that the race won’t be close.”

Even stories that do get published may have less of an impact without other journalists around to track reaction or do follow-up stories.

“With so many newspapers and news outlets in general having fewer resources, there’s no pressure or incentive for candidates to engage with the press and there’s no echo chamber that makes candidates feel like they have to respond to anything,” Fox 31 reporter Eli Stokols told IBTimes.

An investigative scoop might get reinforced by an opposing candidate’s ads, Stokols said. But, “there’s not a critical mass of media large enough or competitive enough to amplify scoops or gaffes or big stories. If it happens, it comes from national media from D.C. journalists recognizing something and blogging about it. But until it’s on local TV or radio, it’s probably missing most of the persuadable low-information voters out there.”

In the age of a shrunken press corps, there is now little risk for well-financed, top-ticket candidates when they avoid the few media outlets that consistently cover the campaign. Any flak they might get for shirking the press is far smaller than the risk of an interview clip going viral (like the now-famous one of Coffman trying to defend his allegation that President Obama is not an American).

Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner, for example, rarely appears in unscripted settings with journalists, preferring to blanket the airwaves with ads.

“If you are a candidate with a lot of money, you can just hide out, maybe write a few op-eds, and then go back into hiding, knowing that any bad story someone might write about you being unavailable will just disappear after a day, because there’s no press to hound you,” Stokols said. Gardner doesn’t even put out media advisories letting the press know ahead of time where he might be, said Stokols.

Gardner’s campaign did not return IBTimes’ call seeking comment for this story.

Romanoff, the Democratic candidate in the 6th district, said that what little campaign coverage there is often ends up being about the candidates’ ads, because that requires minimal time, travel and expense to cover. And with a record $89 million worth of political ads purchased in the state this election cycle, there is no shortage of new spots to review.

“It’s not quite a Seinfeld episode, it’s not a show about nothing, but the coverage has become a show about a show,” he said, adding that it is a marked shift from his time only a few years ago as a state legislator. “Back then, there was a press corps that covered the capital, and there was news being made every day because you are voting on bills, you are amending them and there was a more robust corps of capital reporters. But on the campaign trail these days, the primary way to get to voters is through paid media and a grassroots field operation.”

During a recent get-out-the-vote rally featuring Hillary Clinton, former three-term Denver Mayor Wellington Webb reminisced about the city’s legendary newspaper wars between the Post and the Rocky, when six reporters were assigned just to cover city hall.

“It was a whole different game back then,” Webb said over the din of blaring music, as volunteers stopped to take pictures with him. These days, candidates running for local office have to be more focused on old-school door-knocking campaigns.

“The public is smarter than what you give them credit for, and you have to go out and be hungrier than anyone in terms of going door to door,” he said. “But the question is, can you get to enough voters to make that choice?”

That’s a particularly acute problem for candidates in down-ballot statewide races.

A local candidate for legislature or city council can hope to meet most voters in an election. Top-ticket statewide candidates can attract at least some media coverage. But the candidates for constitutional offices like attorney general, treasurer or secretary of state face a triple whammy: They are running in races with too many voters to meet; they get almost no coverage; and that makes it difficult for them to raise their profiles to enable them to do the fundraising needed for expensive television advertising.

One alternative, said Rick Ridder, a campaign consultant for the Democratic attorney general nominee Don Quick, is to be innovative with ads on social media and cheaper cable TV outlets.

“On our limited budget and with no press coverage, we have to try to niche-target ads to key voting blocs,” Ridder said.

But while some smaller news outlets have shown signs of life — even of profitability — it’s not clear they can power a political campaign.

“I have yet to see someone master all the alternative media out there in a way that really lets an underfinanced candidate compete,” said James Mejia, a former Denver school board member who narrowly lost a bid for mayor in 2011. “All the digital media, the blogosphere, the neighborhood weeklies — all of them are growing and getting a larger audience, as opposed to the bigger papers, which are shrinking. But they have yet to have a major political impact because they are so diffuse.”

Although his newspaper doesn’t “have the bodies to do as much as we used to do, that doesn’t mean the work isn’t being done” by others in the alternative press, said Denver Post editor Moore. “What I fear with limited resources is that we miss something,” he said.

That concern is well founded. Only four years ago, the New York Times published a front-page expose on Colorado’s Democratic Senator Michael Bennet engineering a complex financial scheme that ended up enriching Wall Street firms while costing the city’s school system more than $177 million dollars. The story, which came out days before a closely contested senate primary between Bennet and Romanoff, was largely missed by the Post, even though it involved a candidate in one of the highest profile races in the state. There was no Rocky Mountain News to cover it, either. Bennet, the front-runner, narrowly won the primary.

The media drawdown doesn’t make an upset impossible, though. Earlier this year in Virginia, most of the local and national media ignored the primary challenge to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, only to see him unseated by little-known college professor David Brat. It’s the kind of upset that gives a candidate like Republican George Leing hope.

Running in Colorado’s second congressional district against millionaire Democratic incumbent Jared Polis, Leing has been largely ignored by the local media.

“I am realistic and I know it is getting tougher and tougher for traditional newspapers as they don’t have the same- size staffs they used to have, and they have to make choices,” Leing told IBTimes, noting that he had received an endorsement from the Ft. Collins Coloradan.

“But this race is more competitive than many people think, both on a strictly numbers basis and on the merits. It is more difficult to compete if you don’t have the ability to get that message out broadly. But I think I’m going to win and shock everyone. We’ve seen it happen before, and I think we will be seeing it a lot more in the future, whether or not the local media covers these races.”

While this piece focuses on Colorado, investigations done by americanspring2011.com in 2012 addressed the dissolution of Missouri’s own local press in two series’ of articles titled ‘Missouri’s Ministry of Truth’ and ‘Rural Missouri’s Media Gatekeepers’.

A direct fundamental shift has taken place in the Missouri media landscape. The end result of this has allowed the unthinkable to occur in the Show Me State.

This migration in media goes beyond the simple disintegration of newsrooms. It has created a virtual echo chamber for propaganda promoted by those in power, allowing the Great and Secret Show to continue unchallenged.

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Examples of this can be found in the Brandon Ellingson case, where local media quickly put out a sanitized version of the events surrounding his death. Two days after his death, on cue from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the account of Jim Bascue became the foundation for a myth. This account, reproduced in the echo chamber of Missouri media, became a part of the narrative heard around the country, as this USA Today article reflects.

The Ellingson Family.

The Ellingson Family.

This goal narrative was a simple one. Turn the perpetrator of the crime into a sympathetic victim. Transform the victim into someone who deserved what he got. This sideshow alchemy has worked to completely obscure the crimes committed against Brandon Ellingson. It is part of a continued illusion, meant to conceal the Great and Secret Show.

The same is true in the Lagares case.

The abuse to Kyle intensifies.  His eye is shown here, swollen shut.

The abuse to Kyle intensifies. His eye is shown here, swollen shut.

Despite being presented with multiple facts and irrefutable proof of the attacks being waged on the Lagares family and Kyle and Nicole, the two-bit media magicians in the Lake area have continued to ignore the crimes being perpetrated in their community against the innocent. Local media simply has no willingness to challenge their benefactors, the advertisers, and their company line.

The Lagares family has been under siege as a campaign has been waged against them.

The Lagares family has been under siege as a campaign has been waged against them.

Their willingness to abandon the truth and act as carnival barkers spouting sales pitches has allowed for these crimes to go unchallenged and their perpetrators to walk freely. They are directly responsible for the continuation of the atrocities being committed around the state. Without their compliance, the guilty would be punished. Instead, these monsters are allowed to continue their crime sprees, and they are growing more and more bold.

The Great and Secret Show, the truth under the illusion, would not be allowed to continue, if the people knew the truth. These gross acts would be met with true justice instead of being issued a free pass to continue their serial attacks on the families across the state. Instead, these media outlets have traded their credibility for pennies on the dollar and sold out the citizenry in the rush to cash the check.

They have lied to us. They have tried to pretend it isn’t happening. They have tried to cover up the truth that so many families already know.

The dark carnival is here.

Giving Voice to a Boy Silenced: #JusticeforBrandonEllingson

Giving voice to a boy silenced

Brandon Ellingson, native of Clive, IA and Arizona State student murdered on the Lake of the Ozarks.

Brandon Ellingson, native of Clive, IA and Arizona State student murdered on the Lake of the Ozarks.

As many know my family and I witnessed a portion of the Ellingson tragedy. The drowning death of a boy in the custody of the Water Patrol. Our names have popped up in numerous articles across the state and even parts of the nation. Most of the articles included
very few facts that we, or other witnesses, disclosed then moved on to describe the event based solely upon the findings disclosed at the charade of an inquest. There are some that even attempt to paint my family and I as unsympathetic to the officer.

In light of this I am inclined to set the record straight. Our motivation to speak out is based simply on a presumed moral obligation to do so. Any lack of sympathy is no more than
the results of actually witnessing the events take place first hand. This case has far reaching implications that every citizen should take very serious and they are far more important than myself or any other individual involved. This is about the loss of the life of a human being under very questionable circumstances. Making permanently dark the light of a soul, of a boy that very well could have been any given parent’s pride, joy and future. A light forever extinguished under circumstances that include the actions of a person entrusted to protect us all wielding the power to make judgment on our every action. Power and trust that must not be taken lightly.

When initially giving testimony to the Patrol we could only assume that they had been reviewing the footage from the multiple cameras on the vessel and already knew in explicit detail exactly what we had described. It was somewhat relieving to know that the world was
eventually going to see the events as they had played out before our eyes and they would then share in our horror but that didn’t happen. A simple misplaced few dollar memory card gave way for the story to be told only through the eyes of the investigators seemingly blessed with such intuition they were able to piece the entire event together without the aid or acknowledgement of eye witness testimony, their own GPS data or even the video footage that actually survived. We
only wish it was as easy for us to forget what we saw as it was for them to so flippantly disregard.

Throughout the entire course of the investigation there was a single phrase among many that really irritated me. The relentless repetition of “he stood up and either fell or jumped in”. Though I was baffled as to the origin of this description of the event because my wife and son had clearly seen them both standing just prior to the incident I still maintained confidence that perhaps the video had disclosed some chain of events that gave birth to this dubious statement.

When the inquest finally took place and the investigative findings were disclosed our hearts sank. There was a vast difference between our eye witness account and the Patrol’s findings. We attempted to inform the public that they were being deceived through the press.
The article prompted many conversations among friends and colleagues. Instinctively, time and time again, I heard people say “the kid should have never stood up” like it was the newest hot product jingle. It was only then that I understood the true motive behind the official’s need to repeat those 9 simple words over and over to the media. It was not a factual statement nor was it founded or based on any event that had actually taken place. The origins and sole purpose of the statement was to cunningly pound it into the public’s psyche for months that this kid in some way, by action of his own, had put himself in harm’s way by standing up, disobeying a direct
order to remain seated.

A vast majority of the population had unknowingly completely discarded their compassion and humanity in robot like response to the 9 word catch phrase long before the inquest took place. Marketing genius to say the least but from the beginning it was nothing more
than a blatant lie among many with the sole intent to deceive the public and draw attention from the ugly facts. Facts that remain permanently etched in the minds of those that actually
witnessed the event.

There are a myriad of things that remain unanswered and undisclosed from the public. Many question if we were in fact too far away to clearly see what was happening. They fail to mention that the officer’s vessel was very near us for quite some time drifting lifelessly into our path while we merged to the right to miss him. Keep in mind the boy left struggling for his life was several hundred feet to our left and behind us. How does one end up that far away if they had slowed to 10 MPH and made an effort to turn around as was disclosed in the inquest?

There was a huge delay between when the victim went overboard and when the officer returned to him that nobody seems to elaborate on. There was also an extensive delay that remained undisclosed between the time the officer returned to the victim and when the rescue
effort actually ensued. One would have to consider the GPS on the vessel would have pinpointed the distances but that factual data was withheld or downplayed in an effort to minimize the time frames involved. The time spans should have been more closely focused on
as they are a crucial factor in the event in its entirety. The seconds that turned into minutes left totally disregarded by the investigative team would have been perceived as no less than an
eternity in the eyes of the boy handcuffed left alone struggling in the water.

The investigation remains disheartening to me personally because I have worked closely with numerous Patrol officials throughout the years and this behavior is not at all reflective of the professionalism that every single one of them exhibited. The mere discrepancy between my own taped testimony and the typed version disclosed by the patrol should in itself warrant further investigation and disciplinary action. These are the very people we entrust to uphold our laws. What do we have if trust and honor is lost?

I honestly felt that nothing I ever witnessed again would compare to the horror experienced the moment we found out the drowning victim was handcuffed. I now know I was mistaken. The true horror has been the realization that the majority of the public and Media are willing to accept it all without question. This is the sad reality even with all the incriminating evidence of taped confessions, questioning peers and witness testimony saying otherwise. Allowing it to set the example that some are exempt from the law and no matter how negligent they are they will not face even the simplest of consequences. Allowing this is nothing short of gross negligence on the part of every citizen.

Contributing to the loss of the life of another is the most heinous of crimes known to society. An event such as this should never be taken lightly nor investigated half-heartedly. For those who agree my family and I ask that you please go to and sign the petition demanding this case be investigated by Federal Authorities in hopes that this wrong doing can be made right and those involved can be made aware that citizen’s will not allow dishonesty from our entrusted Men and Women in law enforcement.

If you are inclined to remain silent by all means feel free to stick your head in the sand. I would strongly urge you to keep in mind and consider the reality that at any moment a loved one of your own may be the reason behind the next newly released, ever so repeated, jingle like catch phrase. To stand by idly is to go against our own social moral values. After all every person will, in time, reap what they sow.

Larry Moreau

School Data Collection Bill in MO Congress

PLEASE TAKE ACTION FIRST THING THIS MORNING. We are very concerned about Mike Lair’s Data Bill HB 1157. The bill does not “protect” student data. Although it makes reference to FERPA (the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act) which has been amended to the point it offers NO protections, it offers no provision for disclosure or consent of parents to collect certain data. It also offers no provision to limit the amount or kinds of data that will be collected on our children.

The bill causes us great worry that it will empower DESE with statutory authority to collect untold amounts of data on our children with the power of state statute. The bill appears well intended unless you understand the implications of this bill. The Missouri Moms Against Common Core are resolute that we would prefer no bill to this BAD data bill that gives license to DESE to collect our children’s data. As we were reminded recently by an expert in the field …the only “safe” data is data never collected. We believe that to be true and want to keep it that way.

Please educate yourself and then make a phone call or send an email to your representative ASAP this morning. It appears the final vote will take place on this bill in the house early. PLEASE make time to call or email your rep THIS MORNING (before noon) if you can.

Here is a link to the directory of Representatives in Missouri so you can find your rep. and their contact information:
http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx

Let me explain further on why we reject HB 1157:

Take a quick look at this one passage from HB 1157.
(NOTE: There are many passages we have issues with. This is JUST ONE OF THEM).

(1) Creates and makes available a data inventory and index of data elements that include any personally identifiable student data required to be reported by the state or federal education mandates and any other individual student data proposed to be included in the system with a statement regarding the purpose for the proposed collection;

First…for this bill to say it will “create” suggests that there is no data inventory on personally identifiable student data now. Second, to give license to “make available” any personally identifiable student data REQUIRED by state or federal education mandates makes you ask two questions: 1. To whom? 2. How often can REQUIRED data be mandated collected on your children? Additionally, you must remember that the heads of the state and federal departments of education have made practice of mandating education initiatives and protocol without legislative or congressional approval.

Now ask these questions:

1. What education mandates either federal or state COULD be “required” in the future? What state and federal mandates for Personally identifiable data are required now?

2. What is the intent for collecting that data? What will be done with that data and who will it be shared with once it is collected? Which agencies? Private vendors? How will they “audit or evaluate” that data?

3. It would appear that HB 1157 will open the door for the federal government to take data collected due to FEDERAL MANDATES as specified by the bill. Do we want the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT having the personally identifiable information of our children? No. We do not.

As we have been told by data experts over and over again….NO DATA is the only SAFE DATA collected. The answer is simply we do not want any more data than the already 64 data points DESE collects that are personally identifiable. THAT is enough.

If the answers do not come easily, then tell your representatives to VOTE NO. Do not open the door to “federal mandates” for data collection.

Then ask your representative if they have watched this video on the Federal Department of Education’s “DATAPALOOZA”. Ask them if they understand the intent for the “personally identifiable information” as it pertains to this event held annually. If they do not understand this, tell them to vote no.

https://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/01/education-datapalooza/

This is a letter we sent to several representatives yesterday.

Dear Representative,

The Missouri Moms Against Common Core do not support HB 1157. We believe that this bill will give DESE statutory authority to collect Personally Identifiable Information that they say they are not collecting now. In many hearings they say they only collect 64 data points at the student level. However, if you read HB 1157 the language gives DESE the authority to collect data as a result of Federal Mandates. How much is that, and what exactly does that entail? If you cannot answer those questions please do not vote for this bill.

This is one small part of the bill that we have a problem with:

(1) Creates and makes available a data inventory and index of data elements that include any personally identifiable student data required to be reported by the state or federal education mandates and any other individual student data proposed to be included in the system with a statement regarding the purpose for the proposed collection;

“CREATES”…(Does that mean there is not currently a “data inventory”?) …”makes available” (to whom specifically? How many “contractors”, “vendors”, or “agencies”?) data that include personally identifiable student data REQUIRED to be reported by the state or federal education mandates (such as?) and any other INDIVIDUAL student data proposed to be included in the system (what system?) with a statement regarding the purpose for the proposed collection (so all it takes

This section makes reference to the federal requirements of the State Longitudinal Data Systems grant obtained by DESE in 2009 for approx. $9 million. Please know that this element means that obscene amounts of PII (personally identifiable information) will be collected and shared among many federal agencies. Just read the grant it is all in there.

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=MO

Additionally, it would appear that the bill is subject to Federal privacy laws and that would/should add a layer of protection. Know this…those privacy laws have been gutted. This is what Congressman Blaine Luketemeyer is fighting about at the federal level. He is a great advocate on behalf of American children with reference to this issue. Please read his concerns about recent amendments made to FERPA at the hands of Arne Duncan without congressional approval here:

http://luetkemeyer.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=362909

The two most concerning amendments to FERPA were executed in 2008 when the first amendment was made that redefined what the word “school official” meant. With those amendments that definition can include volunteers, private vendors, consultants, and private contractors.

In 2011 Arne Duncan made an additional amendment that specified student records could be released for “non academic purposes”. As a result our kids have no reasonable expectation of any privacy. HB 1157 would only strengthen DESE’s hand to collect data that they should not be collecting now.

Please do not vote for HB 1157 and strengthen DESE’s ability to collect data beyond the 64 data points they say they collect now.

Thank you so much for looking into this bill further and understanding that FERPA is no protection at all, and DESE knows that.

The Missouri Moms would rather have NO data bill than a bad bill that does the opposite of what we want to see done. We do not want to allow DESE any ability to go beyond what they say they do now. This bill would do that.
Please vote no.

PLEASE Contact Blaine Luetkemeyer’s office to verify our concerns about FERPA.

Also: Look at the Federal Department of Education’s yearly “Education Datapalooza” in Washington, D.C. This displays the incredible amounts of student’s personally identifiable information that is collected and exploited in Washington D.C. by private entities that should have no access to this information.

https://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/01/education-datapalooza/

A Daughter’s Words: Camdenton School Board Election

The following piece if from Natalie Sales, a student in the Camdenton Middle School. It is in regards to her mother’s campaign for school board. I am happy to call both Natalie and her mother, Mindi, friends.

Tomorrow is the school board election!! WOW! This definitely came fast… As many of you know, my mother is running for school board. Of course there has been a lot of controversy surrounding where she stands with many things and what she wants to do with this community. My mother is not only a loving person, but a person with a lot of faith. What Lake Sun has portrayed her as and is still trying to portray her as is completely a lie.

Let me tell you a bit about my mom. She is so not in this election to “fire” anyone. She is not in this election for her own personal “agenda.” But, she is in this election because she wants the truth out. Something about my mom is that she has always been a seeker of the truth. She is not a quitter she is a fighter and she will never back down from speaking the truth. She has never been one to just comply with what everyone else says.

This past March has been tough, I won’t lie. Seeing my mom fight for what is right and being put down constantly, because liars don’t want to truth exposed is hard. She is my mom and of course I don’t like to see her being attacked. But I get it, it is apart of this world. Not everyone is going to agree with what you say. But being attacked on things that are irrelevant is completely absurd. For example, the Lake Sun trying to attack my mother on homeschooling my 3 sisters is just plain DUMB. As an American citizen you have every right to do that and to question whether she has the best interest of the kids in the district is down right ignorant.

Trying to attack her character is unacceptable. Her love for this community is something I can’t describe. I have asked her over and over again, “Mom, what if you don’t win the election?” And, she always responds with, “Then God has a better plan for me.” She is at peace with what the community comes to terms with. But, if you want a voice, if you want someone who cares about the TEACHERS, if you want someone that doesn’t have an agenda, and if you want someone who will do what is best for the entire community not just a selected few. My mother is the one to vote for.

I know, she is my mother, so you all are probably thinking of course you would support her. But what she is doing is much deeper than she is my mom and I want her to win. I know she has the best interest of us kids and this district.

Lake Sun, shame on you guys for not being truthful. When you try and attack my mom and make it look like she is a liar, you are just looking worse than you did before. You can laugh and think that my mom is some idiot who doesn’t know what she is talking about. But, when you make it known that you are completely biased, you not only affect my mom, but you affect our family.

Those of you who can’t even talk because you’re afraid that you will be fired, I am so sorry. And those of you who can’t talk because you have to cover up all of your lies, shame on you.

Stop worrying about offending people, stop worrying about what other people do. And start looking at the truth. Start, figuring out what my mother is really about.

I am sure people will see this and laugh. But I ask, for just once Lake Sun, could you think about the truth and that your actions and articles not only affect the person you are attacking, but their family.

Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth.

Love you mom.

Camden County Attorney McElyea Subject of Complaint

Charlie Mac and his 'legal opinions' have potentially landed the county in hot water, despite his claims to the contrary...

Charlie Mac and his ‘legal opinions’ have potentially landed the county in hot water, despite his claims to the contrary…

The complaint below was written by local business owner Theresa Townsend regarding McElyea’s actions as county attorney. The complaint was sent to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel Monday morning.

To Whom It May Concern:

On March 18, 2014, after having set up an appointment the previous week, I went to the Camden County Clerks office to view the billing records of Charles McElyea, the Camden County Attorney for the year 2013. I filled out the appropriate request paperwork and was given the file and a place to sit and review it. During the course of this review, the door to the County Clerks office burst open and Rowland Todd, the County Clerk, took the files from my hands while bellowing out “if you post any of the pictures you took (of those public records I was reviewing) to the internet, Charles McElyea will sue you!!”. I was alarmed by this large, red-faced man threatening me with a lawsuit by the County Attorney with regard to the Public Record of his billing statements.

In my opinion, having been Camden County Attorney for many, many years Mr. McElyea should have been aware of what information his billing records contained and conformed them properly or let the clerk know what was NOT public record under the law.

Mr. McElyea now contends that he did not threaten me, even though there were several witnesses to this threat. He either threatened me, a taxpayer who went through proper legal channels, for viewing public records or he threatened the county which would represent a conflict of interest to his continued employment by said county.

I was contacted by a representative of the State Attorney Generals office regarding this matter. It would seem Mr. McElyea was so concerned at what my reaction might be, he CALLED that office the very next morning to tell them that I was lying!! I had not even registered a complaint over the issue with that office!

In addition, I have found that our Planning & Zoning Commission and our Board of adjustment are seated illegally and have been for SIXTEEN YEARS!! We were a Third Class county in 1994 when the voters voted in Planning & Zoning. In 1998, we became a First Class county. The ULC was not adopted until June of 2004.

According to rsMO 64.120, the Board of Adjustment is to be made up of the County Commissioners. According to rsMO 64.020, the Planning & Zoning Commission is to have one County Commissioner (64.020). This means ANY decisions that have been made by these boards have been illegal and therefor subject to lawsuits should the aggrieved parties wish to pursue this course of action.

In an e-mail dated 2/19/2014 the County Commissioners were made aware of this concern. Mr. Luber stated that Bev Thomas told him that Charles McElyea had said that because we had been a Third Class county when we voted in Planning & Zoning that this was legal & proper. However, according to rsMO 48.050, Any office which may be established as a result of the change of the county from one class to another shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to the filling of vacancies for such office.

Mr. McElyea should be reprimanded and heavily fined (with the fine going to a general legal relief fund for the taxpayers) at the very least for his conduct and, I personally feel he should be dis-barred as his actions were deliberate and a man with his years in this field should be well aware that what he was doing was illegal. He has stated he “is to advise the County Commission and office holders on ways not to get sued.”; he should certainly know that threatening taxpayers for viewing public record OR the county he is employed by that this is certainly NOT a way to avoid a lawsuit; nor is allowing an illegally seated board or commission to continue for SIXTEEN years!!

Certainly Mr. McElyea’s behavior is NOT commensurate with what we expect from our County Attorneys who, in my opinion, should be held to a higher standard of ethics and behavior.

Stay tuned to http://www.americanspring2011.com for the very latest in news from Camdenton to the Congo. Follow on Twitter @AmericanSpring or on the Facebook page Guerrilla Radio with American Spring. Guerrilla Radio is on Monday through Friday from noon until two in the afternoon. Tuesday’s Prime Time edition of Guerrilla Radio is live at 8. All shows are archived on line for easy access.

SHAME ON YOU SPREE HILLIARD AND THE LAKE SUN!!!!!!!

The following was written by Mindi Sales, candidate for Camdenton school board. It is in response to a ridiculous article from Hillard. Mini-Joyce follows Miller’s lead in ensuring the Lake Sun has zero credibility.

SHAME ON YOU SPREE HILLIARD AND THE LAKE SUN!!!!!!!

More than anything, I am embarrassed for her. Yesterday morning, as I was sitting at my kitchen table, I received a phone call from poor Spree. She said she needed clarification on something I had said. “No problem” I thought. According to her, there had be several Facebook messages sent to her saying that I was not “transparent” with one of my answers to a question the newspaper (I use that term loosely) had asked me.

The question was: How many children do you have in the district? I said 4. I have 4 children living in the district.

Now, supposedly “several people” sent in Facebook messages about this answer. If anyone had any questions, why would they not contact me directly? I have a website with an email attached to it. I am on Facebook. If people were concerned about finding out the TRUTH, they would contact me about it, not try to encourage the poor newspaper to print a nonstory.

Now, most of us know the newspaper’s history of not being truth tellers. But, I am a forgiving person, and have politely taken Spree’s calls hoping that maybe they were ready to do the right thing. NOPE!!! They have proven once again that they are NOT about being fair, honest, and respectable. They are about their agenda, and trying their best to discredit good people by printing nonstories or slanted articles.

Let’s talk about homeschooling. I have never hid that I homeschool! I talk about it on FB on the time, on Instagram, and out and about in public. I am proud to homeschool! Now, my choice to homeschool has NOTHING to do with our district, because obviously I adore Laker Nation. In fact, many of my good friends are teachers and staff at the school. Do you really think they would be friends with me if I was in any way saying something bad about them?!??! The teachers know I am the only candidate willing to listen to them and do something about it. How do I know this? They tell me!!! I started homeschooling my younger three this year because of the Common Core curriculum. This is no secret! When my kids were in school, I adored EVERY teacher they had. I have absolutely no complaints about the teachers here! To imply anything else is disgusting and disgraceful. When I spoke with Sean Dandoy (principal at Dogwood), Todd Shockley (the principal at Hawthorn) and Paula Brown (principal at the middle school) I told them all that I did not like the Common Core curriculum.

Now, my oldest, Natalie, is very informed on Common Core. She actually does presentations informing people about Common Core and why she does not support it. She has also met with the Governor of Iowa to discuss Common Core. If you know her, you know she is feisty and passionate. She continues to go to school because she recognizes Common Core and is very vocal about exerting her rights. If she is not comfortable doing something because of the curriculum or the data collection, she lets the teacher know.

I have never heard of a newspaper going after someone for homeschooling!! REALLY?!??! I think that the fact that I homeschool is a great asset! I dedicate all my time to my kids and their education. What more could you ask for in a school board member?!!?

Hopefully this session the legislature will vote to get common core out of the state of Missouri. When that happens, my kiddos will be back in school. Until then, I will continue to dedicate my time to them and make their education my top priority. I still feel sorry for Spree that she needed to try in some way say that my dedication to my kids’ education is a bad thing!

Another quick note….The article made it sound like I wanted to clarify my answer. NOT TRUE!! She said to me “I am giving you the opportunity to clarify your answers.” I asked her “It is a requirement that you have kids in the district to run for School Board?” If that is the case, Joe Ridgeway doesn’t have any kids “enrolled” in the district. When I am asked question about my kids, would Spree prefer that I only discuss Natalie because she is the only one “enrolled”? So am I to ignore the fact that I have three other kids?!?!? I have four beautiful daughters! I will always discuss all four of them, not just one! How silly is it to expect a dedicated mother to only discuss the “enrolled” daughter! Embarrassing Spree!

Does this all make you disgusted? If it does, and you are so sick of the Lake Sun trying to sell papers by trying to bash good people, here are a few things you can do.

1- Call them!!! Call the paper and let them know you are ready for real journalism. Their number is 573 346 2132

2- Don’t buy the paper until they decide to report NEWS.

3- Ask those that advertise in the newspaper to stop until the Lake Sun apologizes for their unprofessionalism and vows to make a change.

Laker Nation, thank you for the support! I so appreciate it! I am blessed!
Mindi

P&Z Problems, Questions Mount in Camden County

The following editorial was written by Second District Camden County Commissioner, Cliff Luber.

It’s one thing to require that citizens comply with the Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) regarding Planning & Zoning, but why does P&Z not follow their own rules?

The ULUC Art. 302, subsection (3) states: ” At its regularly scheduled meeting in January of each year, the Planning Commission SHALL by a majority vote of its membership (excluding vacant seats) elect one of its members to serve as Chairman to preside over all meetings and one member as Vice-Chair who will preside in the event the Chairman is un able to.” There should have been a vote to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chair at its meeting last January. In reviewing the minutes, there was no mention of an election. It raises potential legal questions on the current legitimacy of the P&Z Board.

Prior to the February 19th P&Z meeting, the Planning & Zoning Administrator complained to Commissioner Thomas regarding the manner in which Art. 800 was being introduced by Mr. Franken, in particular coming from one commissioner rather than the Planning Commission. The Planning & Zoning Administrator then stated a sudden reversal in the P&Z meeting and claimed to have asked Commissioner Franken to write it, months ago. (See audio from February 19th P&Z Meeting) Since the P&Z Administrator now “claims” he requested Commissioner Franken rewrite Art. 800, and the anticipation of receiving such a re-write, when does P&Z anticipate the forming of a review committee?
Art. 1402 of the ULUC states: Whenever a request to amend the Unified Land Use Code or the Zoning Map is initiated by the County Commission, The Planning Commission, or the Board Of Adjustment, the Planning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission so that a date for a public hearing may be established.” It appears evident Mr. Franken does not have the authority to request/submit a change to the ULUC without a request/vote by the County Commission. There was no such meeting or vote.

Section 1402, subsection (2) does allow for a citizen to request a change to the ULUC, providing they fill out the proper Planning & Zoning paperwork, and pay a ridiculous fee of $1,000.00. Given Mr. Franken is an elected official, I do not believe he qualifies as a citizen in respect to requesting a change through that venue.

In Art. 1402, It appears the P&Z Administrator does not possess the authority to request of a Commissioner, or anyone to rewrite any portion of the ULUC. It states the Planning & Zoning Administrator, in consultation with legal counsel, shall draft the appropriate language and present it to the Planning Commission.

The ULUC requirement for a County Commission, Planning Commission, or Board Of Adjustment, to make such a request to the Planning Administrator, is intended to not allow a government of one to submit a unilateral request that could be either beneficial or negatively prejudicial on a citizen(s) or business in this community. These three entities are each a board and there is a reason it specifies such. It’s called checks and balances.

There are many issues regarding Art. 800, and certainly to not discuss them as a Commission of three and only be given five business days to give additions/deletions through an email vs. commissioner meetings, is not acceptable. Any rewrite of this importance requires an extensive dialogue.

The Commission has also recently received more incidents where land was mis-zoned by Camden County and property owners were requesting their land be properly zoned. I brought this to Mr. Franken’s attention as early as March, over a year ago, with several examples. He refused to take any action to assist the citizens of Camden County. (Listen to May,10th audio of the County Commission meeting)

These landowners were forced to pay an $ 800.00 rezoning fee to come into compliance due to Camden County incorrectly designating the proper land use. This is simply unfair to citizens and inhibits business growth. As more mis-zoned properties are coming to light, Mr. Franken and P&Z are having to admit the widespread problem. Planning & Zoning last month finally suggested a future policy change, but to date they have not taken any action.

Last week Commissioner Thomas and myself have taken the initiative to put together a draft to change the ULUC, to include no fees where the county is in error. We will be discussing and voting on it at the Tuesday Commissioner’s meeting. Upon approval and under Art. 1402 of the ULUC, The Commission will then make a request to the P&Z Commission for approval.

Rules should apply the same to everyone, not just some. Another recent discovery of Mr. Franken waiving fees was on February 11, 2013, for a Board of Adjustment hearing, which would cost any other citizen $500.00.He clearly waived the fees. There wasn’t any meeting, or vote, just a government of one deciding.

It is important to be honest and transparent to the citizens. These rules are in place for a reason. The citizens of this county elected me a year and a half ago with the motto “Vote Yourself A Voice” and as the 2nd District Commissioner I will continue to be their advocate in Camden County Govt.