The Manchester Free Press

Monday • December 4 • 2023

Vol.XV • No.XLIX

Manchester, N.H.

“Local” Public Interest Websites as Cover for Partisan Progressive Narratives

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 16:00 +0000

Deep-pocketed left-wing interests have spent millions on a wide range of vectors, but Local “news” sites? They began popping up with an almost “” “-like appeal: a few local stories, local sports, and ever-so-slightly slanted political opinions peddled as news.

Our original October 2022 coverage is here and here, and aside from pissing off a local who wasn’t affiliated, we’ve not heard or said much about it. From one of our earlier reports, to re-set the table.


A network of at least 51 locally branded news sites has popped up since last year under names like the Milwaukee Metro Times, the Mecklenburg Herald, and the Tri-City Record. The sites are focused on key swing states with elections in 2021 and 2022: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. …

Each follows a similar template: aggregated local news content and short write-ups about local sports teams and attractions — interspersed with heavily slanted political news aimed at boosting Democratic midterm candidates and attacking Republican opponents.


We shared a list of the known entities nationwide, and not much more was said, but the story is back in the news. As 2024 approaches, they are still at it or at it again.


Courier Newsroom is a progressive digital media company that operates news publications in some crucial swing states, including Arizona, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire. The network also plans to open a publication in Texas. …

According to the DCNF, the liberal news network, which has used its “local newsrooms” to back Democratic candidates, received $1.2 million from the New Venture Fund, Hopewell Fund, and the Sixteen Thirty Fund. All three nonprofit funds are managed by Arabella Advisors, a left-wing, for-profit dark money group based in Washington, D.C. ..

The DCNF reported that the Sixteen Thirty Fund gave Courier Newsroom $125,000. New Venture Fund provided the network with $940,000, and Hopewell Fund gave $100,000.


I’ve no new “outlets to add in the Granite State, but the four from 2022 are still online and have updated content.




They all share the same look, layout (more or less), and lead stories, and it is safe to say any like that are affiliated. But are they part of Courier Newsroom now, or is that a reflection of the same scheme with different backing – to seed stories for the Majors?

You see, the old scheme was similar. A legitimate news site would speculate or release an opinion piece – maybe staff, perhaps a third party (op-ed pages are an excellent place for a paper to plant narratives). Some other corporate media outlets would cite that and add or expand, and suddenly, it has traction and legitimacy. Everyone cites everyone else along with unnamed sources, and ta-da! (Related: NewsGuard: Surrogate the Feds Pay to Keep Watch on the Internet and Be a Judge of the Truth.)

That still happens, but by creating unaffiliated third-party sites from go, you can start the same internet Rube-Goldbergian game of telephone. So and so said this here and so on. The Blue Boots share it on social media first, or it ends up on CBS, then on to the socials, and millions make sure it spreads so far and wide you can’t miss it, and the collective consciousness makes the lies real. The addition of old Twitter and Facebook squelching or censoring any challenge just helped the arsonist media’s wildfire lie spread.

It is the very thing of which they accuse the Right, and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen on the Right. I have debunked more than my fair share of edited videos or unusually convenient stories that have come our way. It happens, but ideally, you create content and chase stories to their internet roots before you trust them. And while a lot of what we do is more opinion about other stories or events, right, left, or in the squidgy middle, we want to be as accurate about the source as possible so you can chase the white rabbit yourself.

No millionaires are, however, sending us checks for hundreds of thousands annually. Not yet. We could use some of that for good instead of evil, but part of our situation is that it won’t buy you preferable treatment on our pages, so that might be why we don’t see that sort of thing. The Left is creating multiple “news” sites portrayed as nonpartisan local public interest websites to advance favorable narratives or impugn opponents.

There are a lot of “stories” and a lot of landing pages on the naked internet. Just be careful out there. And let us know if you think you’ve found one.


The post “Local” Public Interest Websites as Cover for Partisan Progressive Narratives appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Biden Whines About Republican Opposition to his Green Agenda, But Americans Agree with Them

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 14:30 +0000

Mr. Biden blasted MAGA Republicans for opposing his Green Energy Agenda, but there’s a problem; a new survey shows Americans really don’t want to be a part of his green agenda.

Biden was in Pueblo, Colorado, on a campaign swing, accusing Republicans of being in favor of tax breaks for the rich. He called out Republicans for daring to oppose investments in green energy programs. But Joe never mentioned how heavily subsidized his green Green Agenda is and how his rich supporters are benefiting from the Green New Deal. No mention of the 600K birds killed by those windmill blades every year. He didn’t say anything about Consumer Reports recently releasing the annual survey of Auto Reliability.

Every year, they ask Americans for their thoughts on which cars and pickup trucks are the most reliable and least reliable and why. At the top of the list of most reliable vehicles were gas and diesel-powered cars.  Next were hybrid vehicles, or those with a mix of gas engines and battery-powered electric motors.  In dead last are Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrids.  They are, according to your fellow Americans, real stinkers.

Car owners of Electric Vehicles had 79% more problems than gas-powered vehicles.  Especially bad were Electric pickup trucks and hybrid plug-ins, which had 146% more problems than gas-powered cars. That probably helps explain why companies like Ford and GM are now canceling or downsizing their plans to embrace EVs, especially those pickup trucks.

A separate report from Autolist showed that 39% of Americans found electric pickup vehicles to be unappealing.  That’s up from 33% last year.  The CEO of Consumer Reports said this: “What matters most to consumers remains the same [as always]: finding safe, reliable cars.”  That apparently does not include Electric Vehicles.

God Bless capitalism. The market is speaking loud and clear.  We all think these EVs are trash. Car companies are listening.  The Detroit News reported that GM is now considering a dramatic move to reverse their commitment to EVs and instead build hybrid cars, too.

They are doing this because those are the vehicles that you want.  Not the ones that Biden or his fellow Leftists want you to want.  This is a really great story.  It’s a new version of the wonderful old tale of politicians trying to tell you what to do and you telling them “where to stuff it.”


The post Biden Whines About Republican Opposition to his Green Agenda, But Americans Agree with Them appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Where Bill Gates Sells American Airlines The Brooklyn Bridge

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 13:00 +0000

Bill Gates’s “Breakthrough Energy Ventures” has backed a startup called Graphyte that just pulled a George C. Parker on American Airlines. Parker was famous for selling the Brooklyn Bridge to rubes for large sums. As often as twice a week until, years later,  he was finally sent to jail for life. We can only hope history repeats itself.


The startup is called Graphyte and it gathers agricultural residues like sawdust or tree bark that naturally soak up carbon dioxide, according to the WSJ. Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures backs Graphyte, which intends to seek funding from a newly launched U.S. government initiative that purchases carbon-removal credits. …

Graphyte has a facility in Arkansas that will use “crop and wood residues … that have already captured significant CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis,” according to the press release. “The biomass is then dried to prevent decomposition, converted into dense carbon blocks, wrapped in an environmentally safe polymer barrier, and monitored in a state-of-the-art underground storage facility.”


Brady will put some wood chips in the hefty bag, and Cletis will push some dirt over it with the blade they welded on the front of the lawn tractor. I jest. I’m sure that Graphyte’s state-of-the-art underground facility used no carbon in its manufacture or operation and that the net change in “emissions” will always appear to make their bank account more “green.”

Not that American Airlines doesn’t have the right to get taken. Aside from being a pointless exercise, carbon capture is the kind of con George Parker would have loved—one where you promise not to emit carbon or remove carbon-sinking wilderness in exchange for money. I was going to burn some tires, cut down some trees, and take a private Jet to Davos but decided to sell my not doing any of that as carbon reduction.

The list of places to which I am not traveling in exchange for money (as carbon offsets) is so extensive that after selling them, I’ll actually be able to afford to travel and will because, by that point, what I’m doing is far too important “for the planet” to be criticized by peasants.

And maybe George could fetch a few Federal Grants to support the work, and instead of being repeatedly arrested only to die years later in Sing Sing Prison, he’d have gotten book deals, big payouts on the lecture circuit, Cable News appearances, and perhaps – if he made a documentary about it – the Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his trouble.

I’m sure Graphyte will be a tremendous success if, by success, we mean greenwashing money from the hands of virtue-signaling corporations for personal profit, at least some of which will end up in the pockets of Bill Gates.


HT | Daily Caller

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The Military Does An About-Face After Woke Garbage Tanks Recruiting

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 11:30 +0000

Last week, Americans rendered thanks for yet another season of harvest and plenty. With little more than turkey, dressing, and pie weighing on our thoughts, many of us settled in to watch the biggest rivalries in college football face off in stadiums across the country.

As Alabama snatched victory from Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Ohio State, and Michigan duked it out, and Georgia faced down Georgia Tech, our nation’s army did an about-face on its recruiting strategy.

Throughout the games, the Army presented its new strategy to the American people.

The Army’s latest Be All You Can Be 30-second ad is a complete reversal of its marketing strategy in 2021-2022. The spot opens with thundering music and a lone Chinook helicopter flying over mist-covered mountains. “Stand up!” are the first and only spoken words, and we watch a young man make his first parachute jump over the roar of the CH-47’s blades.

When he lands safely amid his billowing parachute, his smile is full of genuine pride.

It’s an iconic ad, moving and visceral. It may well inspire many of the nation’s young men who watch gridiron rivalries to join up. (RELATED: MORGAN MURPHY: Don’t Ask Israel To Pull Its Punches)

Those men are sorely needed. So needed, in fact, that what is notable about the commercial is that the main subject is a white male. The helicopter is full of young white men. There isn’t a woman in sight. Surely such a commercial wouldn’t have gotten past the diversity mandarins in the Pentagon if Uncle Joe’s recruiting situation weren’t in shambles.

Biden’s Department of Defense is failing on the most fundamental level—not enough young Americans are signing up to join the Army, Air Force, or Navy. In 2022, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 people—the equivalent of an entire division. In fiscal year 2023, which ended last month, the Army failed to reach its goal again, with 10,000 missing recruits. That’s a total readiness shortfall of 25,000 recruits for one service branch alone.

Fat camp in fatigues: that gap would have been 35,000 had the Army not relaxed entrance requirements by creating the “Future Soldier Preparatory Course.” Located in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Fort Moore, Georgia, the course allowed the Army to place 10,000+ young adults on its rolls who didn’t meet the service’s minimum physical and academic standards. The Navy is following suit with its own “Future Sailor Preparatory Course.”

And for soldiers and sailors already serving in the military, Biden’s services are reducing standards and boosting pay and bonuses. The Navy has replaced the standard sit up with a much easier plank and has cut the number of physical readiness tests to just one a year. America’s sea service is also offering staggering bonuses of up to $48,000 for select reserve officers to just remain in a drilling status. Military bearing? The new Navy is letting sailors get unlimited tattoos on their arms, neck, legs, and behind the ears. Anything that might irritate a new recruit is being relaxed, even the uniforms. The famous thirteen buttons of a sailor’s bell-bottomed trousers have now been replaced by a zipper, presumably to save a poor millennial from finger fatigue.

Army leaders look calm testifying before Congress about their recruiting collapse, but there’s a growing panic among Pentagon politicals. Never before in the history of America’s all-volunteer force has the Army missed its yearly recruiting goals. The Army made its number during the 1970s, when morale was sapped by Vietnam. It made in the ’80s during a booming economy and when the Army stood at 780,000 soldiers, or almost twice its current size. Even amidst COVID and the morass of 2020, the Army met its recruiting goals.

Officials are quick to blame these shortfalls on obesity, poor schools, and the economy. They fail to mention that Biden’s first acts as commander-in-chief was to invite trans individuals to join up and to force the entire military to spend 8 million man hours scouring the ranks for “extremism.” (RELATED: ASHLEY HAYEK: America’s Military Deserves Better Than Biden)

If that didn’t to turn off America’s young warriors, the Army’s campaign “The Calling” surely did. Rolled out in May 2021, the animated spots looked like a Disney cartoon and primarily showcased the Army’s diversity. “Emma,” featured a young soldier talking about her upbringing with two moms. In fact, each soldier featured in “The Calling” focused on self, rather than service. What the spots didn’t feature were white men, even though males account for 84 percent of the Army and 54 percent of troops are white. Unsurprisingly, the ads were such a disaster that the Army was forced to turn off comments online.

Now, after two years of plummeting recruiting and a true readiness emergency, the Army has not only taken to showing white male warriors, but it’s even asking back soldiers kicked out for not taking the COVID vaccine.

You can bet your M4 this about-face didn’t come lightly.

Morgan Murphy is a former national security advisor and Pentagon press secretary.


Morgan Murphy | Daily Caller

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Night Cap: I am Unsure Which of these is the Bigger Biden Sin

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 02:30 +0000

Is it ignorance of the truth, or are they just outright lying to America? Karine Jean-Pierre went to the podium and started with this statement that would not live through any fact-check filter.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, here’s the thing. When we walked into this administration, the economy was on a tailstin — a tailspin — that is the fact — because of the last administration, because of the Trump administration, because of how they dealt with — dealt with COVID and the pandemic, because they didn’t have a comprehensive plan.

The President came in. He passed the American Rescue Plan, which was able to get the economy back on its feet, which was able to open up small businesses — small businesses were able to open up. Schools were able to open up.

And we understand what Americans have been feeling over the last two, three years. It’s going to take some time. We get that. It’s going to take some time. But it does not take away how we have seen the economy getting back on its feet. We actually had to fix the problem that we saw that the last administration left us.

How do you walk to the podium as the spokesperson for the President of the United States and deliver such a factless statement? Even more egregious is nobody in the room challenged her, and that is a fact.

Let’s examine the tailspin she referred to. In the first quarter of 2021, the first of the Biden Administration, the economy grew at 6%, and inflation was less than 1.5%. Both are stats that any Administration would want to brag about, but not Joe Biden’s Administration. In his first six months in office, Biden threw every tool in the box into the economic machine and broke it. All he had to do was nothing. Had he taken the oath and flown off to Rehoboth, the economy would have continued its “tailspin” to post-Covid prosperity. Biden slowed the economy to less than 2% growth and nearly 10% inflation. That is a tailspin, Karine. That is the “fix” the Biden team gave the American people, and it destroyed dreams and set people back in such a way it may take generations to recover.

Biden’s MO is to use Executive Orders, Mandates, and spending Trillions, which created the inflation that has been the post-COVID epidemic impacting every American. The Fed has been raising interest rates to combat the money Biden has flooded into the economy. Those hikes have raised credit card rates to over 30% and mortgage rates to 8%. These rates are crippling personal budgets and killing the dreams of most young people who want to own their homes instead of renting. Many experts feel this influx of fake money in the economy is fueling artificial market growth and that a recession is still probable in 2024. Biden says nothing about this possibility or urging Americans to prepare. It is irresponsible, but can we expect a better effort from Biden now? Probably not.

I am unsure which is Biden’s greatest sin: the bad policies or the constant contortion of the truth. The problem is the lies become sound bites for the mainstream media, and that is what the majority of America sees and hears. It is gaslighting at its best, which, we have found, is one thing the Biden Administration has down pat.

The post Night Cap: I am Unsure Which of these is the Bigger Biden Sin appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

A Short Post Inspired by a Jarhead Friend’s Email

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-12-02 01:00 +0000

So #australia is rapidly going CBDC and soon to be followed by all of #europe, no doubt. The Potato Obama doubtless has plans as well.

Australia Officially BANS Cash and Mandates Bill Gates ‘Digital Passport’ To Participate In Society (

Here in America the banking system is looking increasingly shaky:

More Problems With The Banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank Of America And Wells Fargo Have All Had Their Ratings Downgraded – DC Clothesline

Law professors dis free speech:

Law Professors Hate Free Speech and Embrace Control — Minding The Campus

Even as the Biden DOJ SS hoovers up anyone who liked, reposted, or commented on Trump’s twitter feed.  And going after the media harder now:

Biden’s DOJ demanded info on ‘all users’ who interacted with Trump’s Twitter account | Blaze Media (

Biden’s media intimidation crusade takes a turn for the worse | Blaze Media (

And now add in NY’s new “round up” law… doubtless other blue states are eager to follow:

New Ruling Allows for Indefinite Detention of Unvaccinated at Governor’s Whim | Facts Matter | EpochTV (

Video, about 15 minutes.

Spicy time approaches.

Things Fall Apart… With A New Cartoon, “Getting Ready for the Spicy” – Granite Grok

Things Fall Apart 2 – Granite Grok

Find your steel, because it’s coming.  The wolves are closing in.

The Riddle of Steel – Liberty Version – Granite Grok

(Interesting how many of the videos on the above are now private or gone.)

Hungry Wolves and Darkened Campfires – Granite Grok

All they need now is a pretext. Solar effects on the grid, or a run on the banks, or anything – any pretext at all.  All done because they truly believe they’re doing something good and necessary.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

And thus, we slip-slide into hell on earth.

Slip-Sliding Towards Hell with a Good Conscience – Granite Grok

And the worst thing?  All this will be sold as convenience and safety and fighting crime and saving the planet from a life-giving gas fighting climate change.  And the sheeple will eat it up… until they finally see the gates swing shut as they attempt to live a normal life, thinking they’re still free.


BoarBuster Feral Hog Trap Drop | Feral Hog Trapping



I TOLD YOU SO will be on the menu for them.



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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The TikTok Tussle of Concerns and Legislation

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 23:30 +0000

Currently, the TikTok ban debate is swirling through the USA and raising concerns about national security and parental frets. Like vigilant conductors, the concerned moms lead the chorus against TikTok’s potential negative influence on their children.

The composition includes worries about inappropriate content, age appropriateness, psychological impact, behavior influence, and safety, as well as the content maestros at TikTok potentially exposing their little ones to unsuitable tunes. Indeed, on the parental front, it is the age-old melody of parental anxiety that echoes, questioning the appropriateness of content and its potential influence on the impressionable minds of children.

A  trio of lawmakers is tuning their instruments to legislate a ban on TikTok. The proposed bill to ban TikTok, known as the RESTRICT Act, aims to prevent transactions with social media giants from countries deemed foreign adversaries. The bill seeks to empower the Secretary of Commerce to decide which technologies Americans can or cannot access, and it could potentially exempt lawmakers from providing details about their decision process.

We want to thank Suzanne Harp for this Contribution – Please direct yours to
You can review our ‘Op-Ed Guidelines‘ on the FAQ Page.

A new movement begins as lawmakers draft legislation forcing app owners to disclose ownership information. Transparency becomes the critical refrain, potentially harmonizing trust among users and attracting a larger audience to the app.

In the ongoing symphony of the TikTok debate, the security movement takes the lead, orchestrating concerns about data safeguarding from the Chinese government. The FBI has also raised the curtain on national security concerns surrounding TikTok’s U.S. operations. The potential for the Chinese government to sway American users or gain control over their devices is immense. FBI warnings give rise to apprehensions about data collection, algorithm manipulation, and the ominous prospect of device compromise on a massive scale.

The ability to compel data sharing upon request and concerns about gathering intellectual property and personal data add a dissonant note to the melody. TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, acknowledges a potential breach in fortifying U.S. user data by allowing non-U.S. employees access – a revelation that resonates like a haunting refrain.

However, there are several legal and constitutional challenges to this bill. The First Amendment protects American freedom of speech, and the Berman Amendment restricts the President’s power to regulate or forbid the free flow of information in and out of the country. These laws make banning TikTok for all American citizens an unconstitutional decision. Another critical point is who owns the data garnished from these apps or any other platform? I strongly believe Congress should pass laws or a Data Bill of Rights into the constitution as inherent no different than our identity or image.

Moreover, the RESTRICT Act could be used to challenge these constitutional protections. It would require any ban to be justified by a significant governmental interest and would have to be narrowly tailored to address that interest. This means that ByteDance, the Chinese-based company that owns TikTok, could easily challenge a possible ban in court on constitutional grounds.

China’s National Intelligence Law, a law with an absolute stance on supporting national intelligence efforts, injects an element of suspense. Skepticism surrounds the law’s potential for punishment, raising questions about the compliance dance that foreign and domestic firms may be forced to perform.

The symphony turns unexpectedly as critics argue that the data issue is merely a prelude. The genuine concern lies in TikTok’s potential to manipulate opinions, a potential front-runner in controlling political discourse. The platform’s influence on shaping public sentiment becomes a haunting refrain in the minds of skeptics.

The accusation that TikTok allows access to American data, including sensitive biometrics, heightens the concerns about national security. The risks posed to individual privacy and the broader national security landscape amplify the circumstances surrounding this digital symphony.

Amidst the security overture, proposed legislation emerges as a regulatory intermezzo, introducing potential impacts on app owners and their operations. This legislative sonata could reshape the tech industry’s landscape in significant ways.

The curtain rises on the Increased Transparency Act. App owners may need to pull back the curtains on their ownership structures and operational bases, creating a more transparent tech industry. This shift could harmonize trust among users, potentially attracting a larger audience to the app.

The demand for increased regulatory compliance will only increase, and due to this, App owners may find themselves at the center of this regulatory maelstrom, necessitating robust data security measures and policy updates and potentially altering their business models. Like echoes through the concert hall, the impacts could be felt across financial, operational, and strategic dimensions.

The concerns and legislation continue as the TikTok turmoil reaches its zenith, leaving audiences anticipating the final movement. Will the security overture find a resolution, or will the discord persist, impacting the digital stage? Only time will tell as this intricate symphony unfolds its final notes.


Suzanne Harp (Republican Party) candidate for election to the U.S. House to represent Texas’ 3rd Congressional District. She declared her candidacy for the Republican primary scheduled on March 5, 2024.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Crime Rise in Drug-Legal Oregon Forewarns Vermonters After Recent Hard Drug Legalization Attempts

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 22:00 +0000

Rising overdoses and homelessness in Oregon, where hard drugs have been legalized, may be a red flag to Vermont lawmakers considering repealing legal penalties for the personal use of opioids.

Granite Grok (New Hampshire news and commentary website) editor Steve MacDonald recently reported on the Oregon 2021 drug-legalization experience. “As expected, things quickly went sideways,” MacDonald writes. “In the first year, overdose deaths rose 200 percent. …Human nature had, once again, taken progressive policy to the mat and beaten its scrawny little [behind].”

Governor vetoed attempts to legalize hard drugs in Vermont

The Vermont Legislature in 2022 passed H.505, titled “An act relating to the creation of the Drug Use Standards Advisory Board within the Vermont Sentencing Commission.” The bill was sponsored by then-House Judiciary Chair Maxine Grad, Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington), and Rep. Bill Notte (D-Rutland). Grad is no longer in the Legislature, but LaLonde is now chair of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

The purpose of the bill is “to reclassify the penalties for unlawfully possessing, dispensing, and selling regulated drugs; to combine the criminal penalties for dispensing or selling heroin, fentanyl, or a combination of heroin and fentanyl.” In effect, it repealed legal penalties for possession of 60 grams or less of crack cocaine, and established a drug sentencing review board to examine further steps, including possibly decriminalization.

Gov. Phil Scott was not sold on the idea of legalizing or decriminalizing hard drugs. He vetoed the bill and he wrote in his veto letter, “This bill creates a Drug Use Standards Advisory Board with a stated goal to identify a path to effectively legalize personal possession and use of dangerous and highly addictive drugs.”

Scott added, “It places no limits on which drugs can be contemplated for legalization or the amounts, and while rightly saying we need to view substance abuse as a public health matter — a point where I agree — it includes absolutely no recognition of the often-disastrous health and safety impacts of using drugs like fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more. Nor does it acknowledge the role of enforcement in tracking down and stopping the dealers who seek to poison Vermonters — including children — for profit.”

Burlington Police Chief says overdoses dramatically increasing was recently told by Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad that The Queen City is also seeing an exceptionally high rate of drug abuse when compared with much of the rest of the nation.

“I’ve spoken to my fellow chiefs around the county,” he told them. “They are not seeing the same spike in overdoses that Burlington is seeing.”

The city had at least 350 overdoses as of mid-September of this year. The previous high the year prior year as of that point was 155. The current tally for 2023 as of Oct. 31 is now 422.

In September he had said more on the subject, including that “Overdoses in Burlington are at unconscionable levels,” the report states. “It is possible there may be as many as 500 by year’s end.”

Burlington mayoral candidates soft on drug use?

The current candidates for mayor of the Queen City are already being challenged to come up with tangible solutions to the growing drug use crisis. A report on Wednesday by Seven Days covering one of their debates describes where the candidates stand.

“Burlington leaders have generally favored harm reduction, believing that substance-use disorder is an illness that can’t be treated with incarceration. As drug use becomes more visible, though, some have suggested the city’s stance is too permissive,” the report states.

The report continues that all the candidates generally seem to favor treatment rather than incarceration, not unlike the policies currently failing in Oregon.

“The candidates also share similar views on how to address the problem,” it states. “They all believe Burlington would be safer with more police and better-funded social services, such as street outreach teams.”

The City’s Council recently passed a resolution declaring drug abuse a public emergency, but its wording fails to commit to a hard line on drug use.

“The public safety and health approaches must go hand in hand and are all part of the holistic approach to fully addressing this crisis,” the resolution states.

The Seattle City Council also passed a similar resolution this year, similarly continuing to avoid commitments to a stricter policy.

Online reaction

When an X user shared a Fox News report on the failures of Oregon’s drug policy, commenters piled on their frustrations.

“Well, for those wanting government out of their ability to take drugs. Oregon sounds like the haven they’ve been looking for.” @crazzer6 posted last week.

Another said that decriminalization leads to “lawlessness.”

“Of course…liberal now means lawless, and lawlessness is how a civilization is destroyed,” wrote @onetruthonelaw.

A native Oregonian said he left the city.

“True News! Papa and I were born and raised in Oregon! Lived there until 2020. Between Antifa and Fake BLM, Soros DA, mayor and Kate Brown! All Soros! Then drugs! Yup we were outta there! ” wrote @Grams1st.

Another suggested that there is an outside influence at play.


Michael Bielawski | Vermont Daily Chronicle

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Concord Whores Drop Their ‘Drawers’ for EPA Green Deal Dollars

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 20:30 +0000

One of the biggest problems with New Hampshire’s ruling class Concord swamp creatures, what we refer to whimsically as ‘The Five Families,’ is that without regard to a political party, they love them some Federal Money, and there is no such thing as too much.

When confronted with the very real strings attached to handouts from inside the Beltway, the pat response is that there are no strings. But there are always strings. Federal grants exist, just like welfare and other handouts, to create dependency while erasing the ability of states to exercise sovereignty. If enough of the budget is top-loaded with taxdollars laundered through the General Government, leverage is easily applied. Transgender policies in schools, or else? One of many examples from COVID.

And there is no such thing as one-time money. Those funds – robbed from taxpayers – come with rules that typically require the state to continue funding the program after the grant runs out or to enforce regs with all the in-perpetuity costs associated with managing it … forever (to which we can add the increased expense of compliance by businesses or citizens where applicable). And there are few programs as expensive and burdensome as EPA regs under any circumstance but especially in the guise of reducing CO2 or greening the planet, which is a contradiction if you are an actual scientist. CO2 greens the planet!

Another contradiction is our state motto (Live Free or Die) smothered with a pillow by the whores in Concord who then (I’ll let you finish that sentence in your mind). They are beside themselves with glee about being “awarded” a new grant from the EPA.


New Hampshire has been awarded a Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update the state’s climate action plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses. EPA is administering this CPRG Program as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The CPRG program has two phases: planning and implementation.

The goals of the New Hampshire CPRG Program are to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the creation of good jobs and lowering energy costs for families.
  • Empower community-driven solutions in neighborhoods overburdened from pollution and impacts of climate change by directly seeking input from those communities. Under Justice40 guidance, the program’s goal is to have 40% of overall benefits flow to these communities.
  • Deliver cleaner air by reducing harmful air pollution in places where people live, work, play and go to school.

In the current planning phase, NHDES will use awarded funds from EPA for development of a Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) and a Comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The PCAP is due on March 1, 2024, and will focus on identification of actionable measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and an analysis of some benefits. Completion of this initial plan is a necessary prerequisite to allow our state to compete for $4.6 billion in implementation grants described below. The CCAP is due on August 15, 2025, and will build upon the information in the PCAP but will include more in-depth analysis of benefits, projections of future reductions and more detailed study of future implementation options.


In the second phase of the program, entities identified in the PCAP may apply for implementation grants. Implementation grant applications are due April 1, 2024. There will be a total of $4.6 billion available nationally for implementation, and grant applications will be evaluated by EPA on a competitive basis.


The EPA has made clear that meaningful community engagement is essential  for this planning process and accessing funding for the implementation grants that follow (i.e., support for local ideas, policies and programs to reduce pollution and build more equitable and resilient communities). Learn more on the EPA website.


Meaningful community engagement. Yes, I think our readers should get engaged with NH DES. And what do they think that looks like?


Meaningful Community Engagement

Each climate action plan requires meaningful community engagement. The design and initial efforts to identify climate action priorities must actively involve the participation of people who live in communities that experience a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards that affect their quality of life – linked to the following sectors. There is much to talk and engage about across New Hampshire! See EPA Technical Assistance for more information.

  1. Transportation.
  2. Electricity generation and/or use.
  3. Natural and working lands.
  4. Industry.
  5. Agriculture.
  6. Commercial and residential buildings.
  7. Waste and materials management.
  8. Wastewater.

Process for Engagement

  1. Assessment Phase: Clarifying engagement and workplan goals while identifying partners, interested parties, their interests and resources.
  2. Design Phase: Work with and engage interested parties and partners to plan the engagement process.
  3. Engagement Phase: Begin to implement the engagement plan by holding community conversations across New Hampshire with a mix of stakeholders, including and emphasizing people who are from communities most affected by greenhouse gases and air pollution in New Hampshire. The focus comes from guidance put forth by the EPA  and Justice 40.

Community engagement activities that will focus on building relationships and opportunities for people to voice their ideas are being scheduled between October 2023 and February 2024. Per EPA guidance, we will seek to:

  • Develop a strategy with community involvement that outlines the benefits and disbenefits that the local community will receive and defines when and how community engagement will occur throughout and beyond the entirety of the project.
  • Identify relevant community members (those with interest or influence, and those who will be affected), and what they care about or bring to the table.
  • Develop a plan, with community involvement, that lays out the goals, challenges, potential solutions and methods to measure progress, and manners for continued engagement.
  • Outline a strategy to understand, engage, and evaluate the full landscape of community interests and resources moving forward.


Interested? I think at least a few legislators should check it out in the interest of protecting their citizens from federal overreach. Maybe the Executive Council?


If you are interested in joining a list for the community conversations between December 2023 and February 2024, please fill out your information here in this notification sign-up form.”

Some concerns might be how there is no reason to reduce CO2, or that doing so is detrimental to the planet, NH businesses, the tax base, and affordable quality living, they printed this money, and it has added to inflation, maybe just send it back. You know the drill. And don’t forget to look for the strings.



The post Concord Whores Drop Their ‘Drawers’ for EPA Green Deal Dollars appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Navigating the Cultural Storm – Religious Freedom, Education, and the Battle for Parental Rights

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 19:00 +0000

Public elementary schools have rapidly implemented nebulous “Comprehensive Sex Education” (CSE), which introduces children at a very young age to sex, gender identity, gender orientation, and a worldly rainbow of other sexual “education.” Parents of many faiths are resisting this ungodly initiative on religious freedom grounds. Christians who believe “He made them male and female” (Genesis 5:2) must opt out of CSE.

Despite incontrovertible scientific affirmation that God’s Word is accurate as to the gender binary dualism of His Creation, “queer theory” is being thrust into schools post-haste, all the way down to kindergarten. This is not simply an issue of teaching sexual deviance but of teaching sexuality at an extremely young age. According to some proponents, early training about transgenderism is necessary because “transgender young people become self-aware that their assigned birth sex is different from their gender identity between the ages of 3–5 years old.”

The recent case of Mahmoud v McKnight in the US District Court for the District of Maryland considered objections by three families – one Jewish, one Muslim, and one Christian – to this sexual conditioning of their children. The parents sought to be permitted to have their children “opt-out” of these periods of instruction. Many states already permit opt-outs for sex ed about birth control, but the Biden-appointed judge’s ruling dismissed the plaintiffs’ religious liberty claims::

The plaintiffs believe the books and the School Board’s guidance on their use promote “an ideologically one-sided view of issues” that is contrary to their faiths and their understandings of scientific evidence. …The sine qua non of a free exercise claim is coercion, and the plaintiffs have not shown the no-opt-out policy likely will result in the indoctrination of their children or otherwise coerce their children to violate or change their religious beliefs. …No government action prevents the parents from freely discussing the topics raised in the storybooks with their children or teaching their children as they wish. The no-opt-out policy does not prevent the parents from exercising their religious obligations or coerce them into forgoing their religious beliefs.

This is complete balderdash: of course, these policies prevent and pervert parents’ desire to hold off teaching their children about sex until a traditional age and challenge scriptural texts. Children who “misgender” other children are disciplined in public schools, even at very young ages. Moreover, progressive secular states are increasingly targeting religious schools for failing to similarly indoctrinate students into believing there are infinite genders (and presumably otherkin) with neither scientific evidence nor lawful precedent. The foregoing shallow decision in Maryland would equally justify allowing kindergartners to watch Debbie Does Dallas in school: parents of faith would be told they can “unteach” the porn at home.

The Court stated, “There is no doubt parents have substantial rights under the Due Process Clause, but the Court still must define the specific right at stake with granularity.” It is hard to imagine what religious rights remain for parents of faith if this anti-faith decision prevails. In these toxic times, parents who cannot opt their children out of indoctrination into ideological “theories” about race, gender, and sexual orientation may choose to opt out of public schools entirely.

It is to be hoped that this fatuous, virtue-signaling decision will be strongly challenged. As American courts tamper with clear religious rights, believers must reflect on their spiritual duties to shield young children from such corrupting perversions of the world:

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Scriptural guidance must be assessed with granularity.


John Klar is an Attorney, farmer, and author. Mostly farmer… And Regular Contributor to GraniteGrok and VermontGrok.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Friday Meme Overflow-Overflow

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 17:30 +0000

To all those who are sending in memes, thank you!  Keep them coming please, as it helps me gather weaponry to fight the Left.  Please do share this post, and if you share an individual meme, consider mentioning you saw it on the Grok!

Speaking of, from this week, Monday Edition and Wednesday Edition.  Also check out my latest Israel-focused meme & commentary post if this is a subject of interest to you.


*** Warning, a few possibly off-color ones, in case tender eyes are about ***







Many years ago I was visiting a high school friend who was complaining that “the charitable people” wanted to put a homeless shelter in his neighborhood.  He said – rightly – that if they were so concerned they could build one in THEIR neighborhood.





This same Red Cross has denied that the Jab enters the bloodstream.  They’re also a subcontractor to the US government in providing aid and maps to the invading army poor migrants flooding into the US.




This isn’t just about Gaza.  It’s every war.  People – including civilians – die in wars.








Speaking of BBB:


Build Back Better – the hidden message Bumper Sticker | Zazzle



















Remember, when a gun shop closes, all the 4473 forms you filled out go to FEDGOV.  Is there a person with three brain cells that talk to each other that thinks – pinkie swear! – they’re not compiling a database for confiscation based on that?

Start lining up your “tragic boating accident” plans.  Sooner rather than later.







From in-debt bartender to multi-millionaire.





Our society is dying.  The campfire of civilization is dying being extinguished.








The OJ case proved to me that there is a privileged – i.e., rich – class.  This, above, versus the persecution Trump is facing, is just revealing the horrible truth about the various classes we really have.

















Pick of the Post:



Note at the bottom.  Provisional application in 2015.


20-frickin’-15.  By a Rothschild.




Palate Cleansers:



Back in the days when company leaders had a sense of honor and commitment / service to the public – not just a commitment to their personal bonuses.




And don’t forget… come back Monday for another edition.  Same Meme Time.  Same Meme channel.




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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Irony Alert: Trans-Influencer Loves They/Them Some Quranic Wisdom … Say, What?

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 16:00 +0000

Amidst the hustle and bustle of erasing the next Christian holiday and only a few weeks since the idea that slaughtering Jews is a good reason to stand with “Palestine,” the Queer lobby continues to beclown themselves in Burqua-level ignorance.

We’ll skip the bit about Palestine being a generically named region that includes Israel and Jordan – making them all, technically, Palestinians and sticking to the preferred narrative. Arabs, mostly Muslims as they ran the Christians out years ago, are afforded some special place in the region of Palestine, just not anywhere with Arabs or Muslims. They have to take land from the Jews, whom they hate and want to kill.

Funny coincidence. Gender-spectrumists with the intellectual agility of a small soap dish have been quick to grasp The Next Thing (attention can be so fleeting). The Television people are telling them to stand with Arab Muslims who hate Jews but also hate the LGBTQ community. Were you standing with them on a rooftop, for example, they’d be happy to assist you with your ‘suicide.’

Supporting Arabs backed by militant Islamists whom they put into power isn’t in your best interest. Still, this individual has discovered something in the Quran without discovering the part that might get them dead.



And this works for They/Them because,


Per Social Justice dogma, the ultimate Axis of Evil is whiteness, heterosexuality, Christianity, and maleness. Any identity that is not these things, therefore, is on the positive side of the moral binary, as it were. (It turns out they do love binaries when they are moral ones that they can put themselves on the favorable side of. Imagine that!)

Accordingly, the Social Justice faction of the left is positively desperate, and has been for years, to reconcile Islam with gender-deviancy as well as feminism, which it obviously cannot be.


Whoever is “teaching” they/them the Quaran is leaving something out, and you’d be right to wonder if that’s deliberate. The answer is yes. And the consequences are grave for anyone influenced to think otherwise.


The post Irony Alert: Trans-Influencer Loves They/Them Some Quranic Wisdom … Say, What? appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Left Hates Guns As Gun Ownership Soars

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 14:30 +0000

The Left has created its own conundrum. They hate gun violence and ownership, but the Democrat policies have resulted in a spike in legal gun ownership, including first-time gun owners.

This trend cuts across every demographic, but fear not, the White House has announced the first office of Gun Violence Protection, and heading up this new initiative is none other than Vice President Kamala Harris. Through Karine Jean-Pierre, the President admitted that Harris was his second choice, but Beto O’Rourke was unavailable to take the job.

How ironic that the Border Czar who has done nothing to alleviate the surge at our Border is now in clean-up mode. She is going to prevent Americans from the violence she has helped create by her failure at the Border. And let’s not forget we may never recover from the Defund the Police movement that was born during the Black Lives Matter Summer of Love. The Left is throwing money at policing, but we lost so many of our irreplaceable, experienced cops, and recruitment is down, meaning we have an inexperienced, understaffed police force in America. People are tired and fearful about the ridiculous 911 response times and are buying guns at a record rate to self-protect themselves and their families.

According to NBC News, 52% of American voters say they or someone in their household owns a gun. 41% of Black voters are now gun owners, and that is up 17% from the previous year’s numbers.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) thought he had the answer when he called gun violence a Public Health Epidemic. If you cannot solve a problem, you should at least give it a label. He cited CDC stats of 48,000 deaths in 2022. That is 132 dead every day from “gun-related deaths.” Of course, you always have to be leery of statistics, and hidden in Durbin’s numbers is that 65% of the deaths he reports are suicides. Democrats are minimizing the issue and trying to sell a simple solution to a complex problem. They call it gun-related deaths as if the guns are pulling the trigger. People are pulling the trigger: evil people and desperate people. Kamala’s public service announcement of a new White House initiative will do nothing to solve the problem, but we know and associate Kamala with failed initiatives. She is the curse that keeps on giving to the Republicans.

To oversimplify the solution to the problem, we have to start with the state of the country. People are miserable with fear and anxiety. That state of mind has been created by the systematic destruction of our country by an Administration that Hates America. That might be a harsh observation, but how else can you explain this circle down the drain called the Joe Biden Presidency? He has destroyed our economy and decimated our retirement accounts, so he has disillusioned the older segment of America who were looking forward to a well-deserved retirement and now continue to work with no end in sight.

He has obliterated the American Dream of raising a family and buying a home. He burst the bubble for the younger generation. This generation is the first to be indoctrinated from K-16 and believed the Government would protect and provide for them. The Government pulled the rug out from under these kids, and their depressed state of mind is palpable. Suicides for people under 25 are skyrocketing, and yes, these are the 65% of gun-related deaths the Dems ignore.

The Left has abandoned lower-income Black and Brown citizens. Expenses, crime, drug-related deaths, and illegal immigrants stealing their jobs are what the Left has given these folks. Is it no wonder the frustration of this group in manifesting itself with crime and violence? We failed to educate, protect, or allow them to dig themselves out of poverty and into the middle class.

So good luck with your new assignment, Kamala. We already know how this act ends. If you need us, we will either be at the gun store or range. Leave a message, and we’ll get back to you. By the way, you should have recorded your PSA in multiple languages because not many of those illegals you allow to flood over our Southern Border are fluent in English.


The post Left Hates Guns As Gun Ownership Soars appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping the Future of Connectivity

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 13:20 +0000

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has come a long way from traditional keyboard and mouse interactions. The evolution of technology has led to innovative interfaces that redefine how we engage with digital systems. Here are some key aspects of this transformative journey:

1. Natural User Interfaces (NUI):

NUIs aim to make technology interactions more intuitive and natural. Touchscreens, voice recognition, and gesture controls represent a shift towards interfaces that mimic human communication patterns.
Devices like smartphones and smart speakers have embraced NUIs, allowing users to interact with technology in ways that feel more familiar and less constrained.

2. Voice-Activated Assistants:

The rise of voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant has fundamentally changed how we interact with devices. Users can now perform tasks, ask questions, and control smart home devices using natural language.
The continuous improvement of natural language processing and voice recognition technologies enhances the accuracy and responsiveness of these voice-activated interfaces.

3. Immersive Experiences with Virtual and Augmented Reality:

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies have introduced immersive interfaces that blend the digital and physical worlds. VR creates entirely virtual environments, while AR overlays digital information onto the real world.
From gaming and education to healthcare and design, VR and AR redefine how we experience and interact with information, offering new dimensions of engagement.

4. Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI):

BCI is at the forefront of futuristic interfaces, allowing direct communication between the brain and computers. Electroencephalography (EEG) and other neuroimaging technologies enable users to control devices with their thoughts.
While still in early stages, BCI holds immense potential for individuals with disabilities and has implications for enhancing human-computer interaction in diverse fields.

5. Tactile Feedback and Haptics:

The integration of tactile feedback and haptic technologies enhances user experiences by providing a sense of touch in digital interactions. This can include sensations like vibrations, force feedback, and even temperature changes.
From gaming controllers to touchscreens, haptic feedback adds a layer of realism to digital interactions, making them more engaging and sensory-rich.

6. Wearable Technology:

Wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, represent a shift towards technology seamlessly integrating into our daily lives. These devices offer convenient, hands-free interactions and real-time data monitoring.
The integration of health monitoring features, notifications, and smart assistant capabilities makes wearables a central component of the evolving HCI landscape.

7. Gesture Recognition:

Gesture recognition technology enables users to interact with devices through hand movements and gestures. This intuitive interface has found applications in gaming, smart TVs, and public displays.
The evolution of cameras and sensors allows devices to accurately interpret and respond to a wide range of gestures, providing a more natural and interactive user experience.

8. Biometric Authentication:

Biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and iris scanning, are becoming integral to user interfaces. These technologies offer secure and convenient ways to access devices and sensitive information.
The seamless integration of biometric authentication enhances the overall user experience by reducing the reliance on traditional passwords.

As technology continues to advance, the future of HCI holds exciting possibilities. From brain-computer interfaces to immersive realities, the evolving landscape promises interfaces that are not just tools but seamless extensions of human capabilities, fostering a more connected and interactive digital era.

9. Emotionally Intelligent Interfaces:

– The future of HCI includes interfaces that can interpret and respond to human emotions. Emotionally intelligent systems leverage facial recognition, voice tone analysis, and other biometric data to gauge user emotions and tailor interactions accordingly.
– This development aims to create more empathetic and responsive technology, enhancing user experiences in areas like virtual customer service, mental health apps, and personalized content delivery.

10. Spatial Computing:

Spatial computing involves the use of the physical environment as a medium for interacting with digital content. It encompasses technologies like mixed reality and spatial mapping, allowing users to manipulate digital information within their physical surroundings.
– The fusion of the digital and physical realms in spatial computing offers new possibilities for data visualization, design collaboration, and immersive storytelling.

11. Intelligent Automation and Predictive Interfaces:

Intelligent automation involves systems that learn from user behavior and automate repetitive tasks, streamlining workflows. Predictive interfaces leverage AI algorithms to anticipate user needs and provide context-aware recommendations.
These interfaces aim to reduce cognitive load by automating routine decisions and surfacing relevant information, enabling users to focus on more complex and strategic aspects of their interactions.

12. Multi-Modal Interfaces:

– Multi-modal interfaces combine various modes of interaction, such as touch, voice, and gesture, to create a seamless and adaptable user experience. These interfaces recognize that users may prefer different modes of interaction in different contexts.
– For instance, a smart home system might allow users to control lights via voice commands, adjust temperature through touch gestures, and receive notifications through visual cues, providing a versatile and inclusive interface.

13. Continuous Connectivity with Internet of Things (IoT):

The proliferation of IoT devices contributes to a more connected HCI ecosystem. From smart home devices to industrial sensors, the ability of devices to communicate with each other enhances the overall user experience.
Interconnected devices create a web of contextual information, allowing for more personalized and efficient interactions. For example, a smart thermostat may adjust settings based on both user preferences and real-time environmental conditions.

14. Ethical Design and Inclusive Interfaces:

As HCI evolves, there is a growing emphasis on ethical design practices and inclusivity. Designers are increasingly considering the social and ethical impact of interfaces, addressing issues such as bias in algorithms, accessibility for diverse user groups, and privacy concerns.
Ethical design ensures that technology serves users responsibly, respects their rights, and avoids reinforcing existing societal inequalities.

15. Adaptive Learning Interfaces:

Adaptive learning interfaces leverage machine learning algorithms to tailor educational content based on individual learning styles, progress, and preferences. These interfaces offer personalized learning experiences, catering to the unique needs of each learner.
This approach transforms traditional education models, providing adaptive feedback, recommending targeted resources, and fostering a more engaging and effective learning environment.

16. Ephemeral Interfaces:

Ephemeral interfaces focus on temporary and context-specific interactions. This concept is particularly prevalent in augmented reality experiences where digital information is overlaid onto the physical world for a brief period.
– Whether it’s navigating directions on a city street or accessing information during a live event, ephemeral interfaces provide timely information without cluttering the user’s ongoing experience.

In conclusion, the evolution of HCI goes beyond the tangible devices and interfaces we interact with daily. It encompasses a holistic shift towards more intelligent, adaptive, and ethical systems that seamlessly integrate with our lives. As technology continues to advance, the possibilities for human-computer interaction are not just expanding but redefining the very nature of our digital engagements.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

How Many Female Chicago Cops Does it Take To Arrest One Guy?

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 13:00 +0000

If you’d like a portrait of modern policing post-George Floyd Fraud, at least in Chicago, this might be your ticket. Four CPD diversity hires. All women. At least two “of color.” One taller black man is under arrest for retail theft (which is, itself, a rare thing). They can’t get the job done.

He was later arrested, but you’d be right to ask why he wasn’t arrested and detained here.



We accept (or at least hope) that this is not the norm for the Windy City Police Department. That there are female officers capable of escalating the use of force to detain a suspect without needing additional help. But as observed here, while Blue City Dems have walked back some of their toxic rhetoric about policing, they did irreparable damage during the Summer of Love (2020).


RT-This is what you get when police officers are fearful of being the next YouTube video, prosecuted, disciplined, and having the media doing an exposé on how they abused a citizen – which would be complete BS-


We also see that the culture within Police Departments regarding retail theft – even districts where DAs might charge suspects for retail theft – has degraded severely.


“The more shocking part of this video is the defeated tone in the sergeant’s voice and his order to let a retail theft offender who just fought with police go,” the crime blogger said.

2210: “If we can’t contain him and it’s just a retail theft…let him go.”

Police Officer: “He has a cuff on him already.”


As noted above, he was eventually caught, so whoever lost their cuffs can get them back. But the current terms of engagement aren’t favorable, either on paper or in person, to effective policing, and it is going to get cops killed, either in body or in the press, and cops know this.

It does not bode well for law-abiding Americans in places where they’ve been disarmed.



The post How Many Female Chicago Cops Does it Take To Arrest One Guy? appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Republicans Ignore This Issue At Their Peril

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 11:30 +0000

There are many thorny issues Republicans must deal with if we want to win next year, but perhaps the most difficult one is abortion. Abortion is a topic that pundits told us not to talk about – and that is essentially what some Republican candidates did in 2022. But not the Democrats.

In fact, Democrat groups spent over 360 million dollars on distortions and outright lies about abortion. It seemed nearly all of their political ads targeted the topic of abortion! The most common lie was that Republicans did not believe in providing lifesaving care for a mother during pregnancy, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.

In Illinois, as in most states, abortion rights are codified into state law, but the left said Republicans would undo those state laws or even prosecute people for having an abortion. This cannot be done, but that did not stop Democrats from saying it. The problem is that when lies are heard often enough, they become the truth.

Democrats won by spreading lies about abortion in 2022. Make no mistake – abortion will be the number one topic in their playbook for 2024. We ignore the issue at our own peril! We must put Democrats on defense on abortion while we remain positive and compassionate. (RELATED: ERICK ERICKSON: Republicans Can Win On The 15-Week Abortion Sweet Spot)

Let us turn the argument around. Democrats: do you support a limit on abortion? 8 months? 7 months? Is there a bad abortion? Do you believe in gender selection?

Most importantly, though, we must remind voters that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion back to the states, where state legislatures can determine the best course of action for their state. Abortion is not a federal issue – it is a state issue.

I had the honor of being a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois, Chicago, right before the leak of the abortion decision. My lecture was supposed to be a non-partisan presentation on how political parties in Illinois are organized and work.

After the lecture, I opened it up for questions – and voila – the first question was, “What will happen if Roe vs Wade is overturned?” I responded that it was more than likely the Supreme Court would return the question to the states for legislators to decide. I explained that in Illinois, abortion access was codified, allowing abortion for virtually any reason through the 9th month. I answered a few more questions and did my best to remain opinion-free. In closing, I asked, “May I ask you a question? When the abortion decision came down in 1973, it was said that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. My question for you is, how many legal abortions have there been since the 1973 Roe decision?” They didn’t answer right away. Some guessed half a million, 1 million, 1.5 million. The answer was over 64 million. (RELATED: DANIEL MCCARTHY: If Abortion Is On The Ballot, The Battle Is Already Lost)

You could hear a pin drop…

When the lecture was over, I got applause from the students, and the professor emailed me afterward, saying the students said I was “thoughtful and very nice.” You see if we ignore issues, we allow Democrats to get away with their lies and shape the discussion, and then it may be too late.

When confronted with liberal lies, Republican candidates must be ready to share the truth. Republicans are in agreement with the majority of Americans. Each candidate should confidently let voters know where they stand and outline Republicans’ compassionate pro-women, pro-child, and pro-family policies. Republicans must also stanDemetra DeMonteort for limitless, government-funded abortion, which is far outside the mainstream and not supported by the majority of American voters.

To win in 2024, Republicans cannot afford to stay silently on the sidelines. We will need each other, and we will need independent voters, too. In this fight, let us be happy warriors. Now, let’s go win!


Demetra DeMonte is the Republican National Committeewoman for Illinois, first elected in 2008, and serves as the RNC Vice Chairman of the Midwest Region. She and her husband Tony reside in the Chicago area, have two grown married daughters, and are the proud grandparents of two grandsons.


Demetra DeMonte | Daily Caller

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Exploring the World: Unveiling the Transformative Power of Travel

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 10:00 +0000

Travel is more than just a journey from one place to another; it’s a profound exploration that opens doors to new cultures, perspectives, and self-discovery. In this 2000-word journey, we’ll unravel the transformative power of travel and how venturing beyond our comfort zones can enrich our lives.

1. Broadening Horizons Through Cultural Immersion:

Travel provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in diverse cultures. From savoring local cuisines to participating in traditional festivities, the experience goes beyond sightseeing, fostering a deep understanding of the world’s rich tapestry.

2. Connecting with Nature:

Venturing into the great outdoors allows travelers to connect with nature in ways that transcend the ordinary. Whether it’s hiking through lush forests, basking on pristine beaches, or marveling at majestic mountains, the natural world becomes a source of inspiration and rejuvenation.

3. Embracing the Unknown:

Stepping into the unknown fosters personal growth and resilience. Travel challenges preconceived notions, pushing individuals to adapt to new environments, navigate unfamiliar streets, and interact with people from different walks of life. This adaptability nurtures a sense of self-confidence and resourcefulness.

4. Unveiling Historical Narratives:

Each destination carries a unique history waiting to be discovered. Exploring historical sites, museums, and monuments provides a tangible link to the past, offering insights into the evolution of civilizations and the stories that shaped the world we know today.

5. Finding Tranquility in Travel:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, travel offers a respite. Whether it’s a serene retreat to a secluded island or a peaceful mountain getaway, the journey provides moments of tranquility that allow individuals to reflect, recharge, and reconnect with themselves.

6. Building Connections:

Travel opens doors to new friendships and connections. Engaging with locals and fellow travelers creates a network of relationships that transcend borders. These connectios become lasting memories, turning a solo adventure into a shared tapestry of experiences.

7. Sustainable Travel:

As awareness of environmental impact grows, sustainable travel practices are gaining prominence. Exploring how conscious choices, such as eco-friendly accommodations and responsible tourism, contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage.

Absolutely, let’s expand on the exploration of travel with additional sections for a more comprehensive article.

8. Culinary Adventures:

One of the most delightful aspects of travel is indulging in diverse culinary experiences. Each destination boasts its own gastronomic wonders, from street food markets to fine dining establishments. Exploring local flavors becomes a sensory journey, connecting travelers with the heart of a culture through its cuisine.

9. The Art of Slow Travel:

In the era of fast-paced living, embracing the art of slow travel allows individuals to savor each moment. Moving beyond the checklist of tourist attractions, slow travel encourages a deeper engagement with the surroundings, fostering a genuine connection with the destination and its people.

10. Travel Photography: Capturing Memories:

Photography becomes a powerful tool for capturing the essence of a journey. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a bustling market, the serene landscapes of a countryside retreat, or the candid expressions of locals, each photograph tells a story and becomes a cherished memory that lasts a lifetime.

11. Overcoming Challenges: A Traveler’s Resilience:

Travel isn’t always smooth sailing, and overcoming challenges on the road builds resilience. From missed flights to language barriers, these obstacles become opportunities for personal growth. Navigating the unexpected transforms travel into an adventure, teaching valuable life skills along the way.

12. Impact on Creativity and Inspiration:

The new environments, cultures, and experiences encountered during travel serve as a wellspring of inspiration. Writers, artists, and creatives often find that the fresh perspectives gained during their journeys ignite their creative spark, leading to the creation of works infused with the richness of diverse influences.

13. Traveling Mindfully:

In the pursuit of transformative travel, adopting mindful practices enhances the experience. Being present in the moment, practicing gratitude, and respecting local customs contribute to a more meaningful and conscious exploration of the world.

Conclusion: The Ever-Unfolding Journey:

As we conclude our exploration of the transformative power of travel, it’s clear that the journey is not a finite experience but an ever-unfolding adventure. Each trip leaves an indelible mark, shaping our understanding of the world and our place in it. Through cultural immersion, nature connection, overcoming challenges, and mindful exploration, travel becomes a lifelong source of enrichment.

Embark on your next journey with an open heart and a curious spirit, and let the transformative magic of travel continue to weave its spell.


The post Exploring the World: Unveiling the Transformative Power of Travel appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Night Cap: Not Only Can Trump Win, Right Now He’s the Favorite To Win

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 02:30 +0000

There’s a strange disjunction in the discourse about the 2024 elections. On the one hand, when presented with the proposition “Trump can win,” people will nod their heads sagely and say something along the lines of: “Of course, he can; only a fool would believe to the contrary.”

At the same time, whenever polling emerges showing that Donald Trump is performing well in 2024 matchups, a deluge of panicked articles, tweets (or is it “X”s?), social media posts, and the like emerge, reassuring readers that polls aren’t predictive and providing a variety of reasons that things will improve for President Biden.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. Elections analysts seem to know that they are obliged to mouth the words that Trump can win, but deep down, they don’t believe them. The notion that Biden is the favorite is deeply internalized, likely for a variety of reasons.

So let us set the record straight: Trump can win. Not in a “maybe if all the stars align and then Russia changes the vote totals (even somehow in states like Michigan that use hand-marked paper ballots)” kind of way. Just flat out: Trump can win.

As of this writing, Trump leads Biden by 2.6 percentage points nationally in the RealClearPolitics Average. This is Trump’s largest lead in the RCP average to date. Not for 2024, mind you. Ever.

Let’s put this in perspective. In 2016, Trump led Hillary Clinton for all of five days in the national RCP Average, each of those days in the immediate aftermath of the Republican convention. He led in 29 polls taken over the course of the entire campaign, 10 of which are recorded in the RCP averages as Los Angeles Times/USC tracking polls.

In 2020, Trump never led Biden in the national RCP Average. He briefly closed to within four points in early January of 2020, but that is it. He led in five polls all cycle.

So, counting the L.A. Times tracker as a single poll, Trump led in a total of 24 national polls. This cycle? He’s led in that many since mid-September. He’s led in more polls in the past three weeks than he did against Biden in all of 2019-2020.

You may be thinking that we don’t elect our president via the popular vote, but rather do so through the Electoral College. This is, of course, true. It also makes Trump’s current position in the polls all the more striking. After all, Trump has consistently outperformed his polling, and his Electoral College positioning has consistently been stronger than his national positioning. That doesn’t mean that this will necessarily hold in 2024, and at some point, the GOP’s worsening position in the suburbs will reverse the Electoral College dynamic that has plagued Democrats for the past few cycles.

But we can look at state-level polling as well. In 2016, Trump (somewhat infamously) never led in a poll in Wisconsin. He was never within more than three points of Clinton there. He led in a single poll in Michigan and a single poll in Pennsylvania. His lead in North Carolina never exceeded two points in the RCP averages, while in Florida, his largest lead was 1.2 points.

The 2020 comparison is even more striking. Trump led Biden in Florida in the RCP averages briefly in October and March of that year. In Arizona, it was the same story. North Carolina was a little better for Trump, as he led in the RCP averages perhaps a quarter of the time. In Ohio, Trump led in only six polls all cycle. He led in five polls in Pennsylvania. In Michigan, it was five polls, and in Wisconsin, it was four.

To put this in even deeper perspective, Mitt Romney never led President Barack Obama in the RCP Average in Wisconsin (and led in just three polls), Pennsylvania (likewise, he led in just three polls), Michigan (he led in just eight polls), or Ohio (Romney led 10 polls all cycle). Things were a bit sunnier for Romney in Florida, where he had leads in the low single digits frequently. The same is true for North Carolina, although Obama led there until May.

What does the state polling show today? Trump leads in the RCP Average in Michigan for the first time, ever.

Pennsylvania? He leads for the first time ever and has led in most polls.

He narrowly trails Biden in Wisconsin but has already led in almost as many polls as he led in the state in 2016 and 2020 combined. His 0.7% deficit compares to his previous best showing in the state: A 3.5% deficit in August of 2020.

Florida? Trump has led or tied in every poll, including some double-digit leads.

Arizona? He leads by five in the RCP Average.

Georgia? He leads by six.

Ohio? Polling is sparse, but he leads by 10.

In other words, analyzing this election correctly isn’t just a matter of giving lip service to the notion that Trump can win this election. The correct position right now is that Trump is better positioned in the polls to win this election than any GOP nominee since at least 2004. Not only that, he habitually over-performs his polls. Frankly, if you are willing to set favorites this far out, you should almost certainly declare Donald Trump the favorite.

Does any of this mean that Trump will win the presidency in 2024? Absolutely not. There are good arguments why perceptions of the economy will improve between now and then (although maybe they won’t). Perhaps Trump will under-perform his polling this time, as the GOP did in 2022 (although, maybe, he won’t). There are good arguments that Trump’s criminal trials will erode his standing in the polls (although, having watched Trump scandals unfold for the better part of four decades now, maybe they won’t).

These all make for fun speculation and are useful reminders that if a week is a lifetime in politics, then a year is, well, a very, very long time. Analysts should, of course, feel free to indulge in gaming out the possibilities.

But when the conversation returns to what we do know, there honestly is only one correct answer: Trump can win this election and is well-positioned to do so.


Sean Trende | RealClear Wire

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Can “Chevron Deference” Be Consigned to the Dustbin of History?

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-12-01 01:00 +0000

In 1803 to the frustration of Thomas Jefferson, Chief Justice John Marshall established judicial review in the case Marbury v. Madison. Prior to 1984, ambiguous language in a statute resulted in a judicial review of the legislative history to determine the legislators’ intent or resulted in a ruling of unconstitutionality because the language was “ void for vagueness.”

In 1984, Jefferson rose from the grave, and thunder and lightning struck the federal legal system. Judicial laziness or cowardice resulted in the doctrine of “Chevron Deference.” FDR and his successors had constructed a bureaucratic monstrosity on the shores of the Potomac. “Chevron Deference” unleashed a nest of vipers and vampires, overriding the constitutionally mandated three branches of government and bringing our Federal Republic to the “ Eve of Destruction.”

In simplistic terms, SCOTUS forfeited judicial oversight to the bureaucratic establishment, the so-called experts. The Epoch Times, today’s newspaper of record, reports federal judges have cited “ Chevron Deference” 18,000 times, hiding in their Chambers and punting control of our lives (including the puddles in front of our homes) to the dictatorial menagerie of human authoritarians known as The Deep State.

There is hope! SCOTUS recently marginalized Chevron with the institution of the “major questions doctrine,” requiring federal judges to presume that Congress does not delegate policy decisions of great economic or political magnitude to unelected bureaucrats. SCOTUS has now granted review in four cases that may overrule Chevron.

The overruling of Roe v. Wade, dedication to the plain language of the Constitution, and stare decisis indicate “Chevron Deference” will hopefully be consigned to the dustbin of history. Only the re-election of Donald Trump is more important to the survival of the USA.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Night of the Living Ed: Zombie Public Schools, Drained of Pandemic Lifeblood, Haunt the Land

Granite Grok - Thu, 2023-11-30 23:30 +0000

A significant but unknown number of public schools across the U.S., particularly in big cities, have lost so many students in the last half-decade that many of their classrooms sit empty. Gone is the loud clatter of students bursting through crowded hallways and slamming lockers.

The harm from these half-empty schools is inflicted directly on all students in a district. Without enough per-pupil state funding to cover their costs, they require financial subsidies to remain open, forcing district-wide cutbacks in academic programs.

“I visited one school that takes up an entire city block but there were only five classrooms used, plus a library, a computer room, and an afterschool room,” said Sam Davis, a member of the Board of Education in Oakland, California. “As our budget officer said, if you don’t have enough students for two teams to play kickball, there are a lot of other academic activities that are not going to be sustainable either.”

But nothing in public education is more controversial and difficult than closing a neighborhood school. The protests that recently flared up in cities like Oakland and Denver over proposals to shut low-enrollment schools, which also tend to be the worst academic performers in districts, are just a prelude of the reckoning to come, according to interviews with school leaders, researchers, educators, and charter officials.

The permanent closure of schools slowed drastically during the pandemic, even though many urban districts suffered a major exodus of students, with double-digit losses in New York City and Los Angeles. Many hollowed-out districts have temporarily sidestepped the tempest of shutting schools because Congress provided them with a historic windfall of pandemic-related funding and wide latitude in spending it, said Georgetown Professor Marguerite Roza, who directs the Edunomics Lab.

But the $190 billion lifeline – called the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – ends next September. So school leaders are facing mounting pressure to shrink their oversized districts, setting up the next battleground over public schools.

“Many districts have too many schools, not enough kids, and are propping them up with federal relief funds,” Roza said. “And they haven’t laid the groundwork for closures when the funding goes away. Imagine the anger and protests when families learn suddenly that their schools are on the list to close.”

With aid flowing during the pandemic, districts shut an average of 810 schools a year in 2021 and 2022, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s far less than the 1,350 average from 2011 to 2020, a difference that underscores the magnitude of the problem of zombie schools.

Why Schools Are Hard to Close

In the business and nonprofit sectors, wasteful spending is typically reined in by downsizing operations into fewer buildings and personnel. But public schools often find protection from the calls for efficiency. The first wave of pandemic-era proposals to shut schools in several districts has been countered by a formidable coalition of local advocates, forcing school boards to backpedal on their consolidation plans.

Families are leading the protests at school board meetings. Some have sentimental ties to neighborhood schools that go back generations, and others cite transportation issues in switching to another location that’s further from home. Teachers unions have joined the fight in Oakland and other cities, arguing that closures pose unfair labor practices. And racial justice advocates have succeeded in reframing the issue as a matter of equality rather than wasteful spending since nearly all the schools to be closed serve mostly black and Latino kids.

Districts like Seattle that aim to shutter schools often cite reasons that are out of their control. The birth rate has been dropping since 2007, according to federal data, chipping away at enrollment. Families are also leaving cities like Los Angeles and Chicago because of the rising cost of living and concerns over crime and homelessness. San Francisco, for instance, lost 7.5% of its population between 2020 and 2022, according to the census.

But public schools share in the blame. With test scores on the Nation’s Report Card in decline since 2012, families have been quitting traditional schools in search of a better education and a safer environment at charters, micro, and home schools. Charter enrollment, for instance, grew 7% from 2020 to 2022, while district schools lost 3.5% of students, according to the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

School districts can’t do anything about the birth rate. But many of them do control the fate of charters. In Los Angeles and other cities facing closures, school boards that formerly encouraged the expansion of charters have grown hostile toward them and blocked their expansion, in part to preserve their own enrollment.

How Zombie Schools Hurt Education

Some districts are now devising proposals to close under-enrolled facilities because of the financial burden they create.

Even a school at half capacity needs a principal, support and food service staff, custodians, and sometimes a nurse, librarian, and counselor. Education is highly labor-intensive, with compensation comprising at least 85% of a school’s expenses, Georgetown’s Roza says.

Since zombie schools don’t cover their own expenses, superintendents have to pull resources from other schools and programs to subsidize them. Funding for art, music, special education, and advanced placement classes may be cut, affecting students throughout the district.

“In the end, districts have to spread resources too thinly, across too many buildings, and nobody gets served well,” Roza says.

In Denver, Superintendent Alex Marrero detailed the financial benefit of shutting schools in a memo to families last year. In proposing to close 10 out of about 155 traditional and innovation schools – one of which had only 93 students – Marrero said the cost to the district to subsidize them was $5 million annually. That money was pulled from healthier schools and programs.

But if the 10 skeletal schools were closed, the superintendent added, the district could hire an additional 50 full-time employees to benefit students.

The financial logic of school closures has won the day in some districts. Indianapolis announced it was shutting six schools in May to promote the efficient use of taxpayer funding and higher student achievement. St. Louis said it would lock the gates on eight schools, some of them half-empty, two years ago.

The city of Jackson, Miss., may approve a sweeping closure plan in December. The superintendent is calling for the elimination of more than a quarter of its 55 district schools after community outcries scuttled plans over the years to close under-enrolled facilities.

“The closures are long overdue and I think they will happen,” says Rachel Canter, executive director of Mississippi First, a nonpartisan education policy group. “The reality is that the population has declined so much that Jackson cannot support the number of schools it has and provide a quality education.”

Opponents Prevail in Oakland

But in many cities, schools that are almost empty shells are protected from closing. Consider the heated battle in Oakland.

The performance of the Oakland school district, which is two-thirds Latino and black, is among the worst in California: Just 25% of students meet or exceed math standards, and only 33% reach this bar in English.

The poor results have contributed to a steady drop in enrollment to about 34,000 last year from more than 50,000 two decades ago. Many students left for charters, which now educate about a quarter of students in Oakland.

To improve performance, the district had set up a number of small schools with about 400 kids. That provided enough funding for a couple of teachers at each grade, as well as art and music programs, to create a rich learning environment. That’s now mostly gone.

“Several of our campuses have dwindled to what I call micro schools that are each under 250 students, with only one class at every grade level and without much enrichment,” said Davis, the school board member. “We no longer have that robust environment for teachers or students.”

The urgency for Oakland to close schools, in addition to buildings it shut years ago, is underscored by the state takeover of the district in 2003 to prevent bankruptcy. The district is still paying off the bailout loan, so wasting money on under-enrolled schools could prompt another intervention by its Alameda County overseer.

To stave off more financial trouble, the board approved a plan in 2022 to shut or merge 11 schools, beginning with two that year. The savings would give the district a chance to reinvigorate the remaining schools with more teachers and programs.

But weeks of community demonstrations and a hunger strike by a group of protestors culminated in the election of new board members who opposed school closures. Two of the winners were backed by the Oakland Education Association teachers’ union.

In January, the new board hastily overturned the earlier vote on closures, saving five schools from shuttering without considering the financial impact in apparent violation of its own policy.

Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez, who has numerous relatives attending Oakland schools, helped rally thousands of protesters to keep them open. She says the schools targeted by the board were disproportionally black and low-income and questioned whether the savings would actually benefit students or get absorbed in what she considers a bloated district bureaucracy.

“I oppose closing schools,” said Ritzie-Hernandez, who lost a race for an open board seat in November. “Families in Oakland didn’t feel like they were involved in the decision-making process, so we mobilized parents to the board meetings because there was not robust community engagement.”

The decision to keep the schools open adds at least $5 million a year to the district’s budget, forcing the board to consider across-the-board cuts to its 78 schools, which could only add to their struggles.

Up Next: Denver

The Denver school district is now in the throes of a closures fight after enrollment has suffered from a declining birth rate and gentrification.

While Latinos make up the biggest group of students, their families are having fewer children. At the same time, rising housing costs are pushing lower-income families out of the city, and young couples without kids are moving in. The district is becoming whiter and smaller.

Enrollment peaked in 2019 at about 94,000 students and has fallen each year to 89,000 in 2022, according to the district. It projects it will lose thousands more students in the next few years.

When birth rates fall, elementary schools are emptied first. At the beginning of the year, the Board of Education expected that 15 district-run elementary and middle schools would have fewer than 215 students. Two elementary schools would have fewer than 120 students and not enough incoming kindergarteners to form a viable class.

After more than a year of gathering community feedback and analysis by an advisory committee, Superintendent Marrero, in the fall of 2022, recommended closing 10 of the 15 schools with fewer than 215 students. Nine of them were predominately Latino and black.

In the racial politics of Denver, the plan drew swift blowback from families and some members of the school board, which was entirely backed by the influential Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Vice President Auon’tai Anderson declared in the media that the closure plan was a “tactic of white supremacy culture” – despite the fact that it was developed by a Latino superintendent.

Bowing to pressure, several weeks later, Marrero was expected to cut the list in half to five schools, targeting those that required the largest subsidies. Instead, he chopped the list to just two schools.

Still, that wasn’t good enough. The school board rejected the slimmed-down plan, saying more input from the community was needed. A few months later, in early 2023, as the financial burden of zombie schools sank in, the board finally acted, closing just three of them.

What will happen to the rest of the under-enrolled schools is anyone’s guess. This month, Denver voters signaled they wanted a more moderate school board, electing three new members – none of them backed by the teachers union – to the seven-person panel. One new member is the former CEO of a charter network in Colorado who has expressed support for closing under-enrolled schools.

If Denver shutters more schools, it will likely happen slowly over many years, says William Anderson, a former public school teacher in the city who’s now on the faculty at the University of Denver.

“Maybe they close three next year, and see if it’s working the way they expected, and then they tweak the process before closing three more,” he says.

Charters on the Firing Line

As a subplot in the battle over vacated schools, districts in Oakland and Denver have rejected several requests by charters to expand. While that may help protect a district’s funding, it’s not good for families looking for better options for educating their children.

Charters, which are publicly funded but privately managed, have been particularly effective in accelerating the academic growth of low-income students, outperforming traditional schools by a significant margin, according to a 2023 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford.

This is true in Denver, according to a separate CREDO study of the city, where charters make up about a quarter of all public schools. DSST, a charter network in Denver with waiting lists for many of its schools, stands out. It won national acclaim for the outstanding academic results of its disadvantaged students, 80% of whom are Latino or black. All of its graduates have been admitted to college since 2008, according to its website.

Yet DSST’s expansion in Denver has come to an abrupt halt. It last started a school in 2021, and that required the charter to appeal to the state after the school board sought to delay the opening for years. Since 2020, the Denver board has received three requests for new charter schools and rejected all of them, citing the potential difficulties they would have in recruiting students and other reasons, according to board memos.

“The local school board has been controlled by members who are hostile to authorizing new charter schools,” says Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president for state advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “While Colorado’s law does create an appeals process, the time-consuming nature of it can serve as a deterrent to growth.”

In Oakland, the school board has rejected two charter proposals it has received since 2020: a new school was denied because it didn’t have a sound educational program, and an expansion was shot down because of the financial impact on the district from losing more students to the charter, said Davis, the board member.

Even Yu Ming, the top performing K-8 public school in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, encountered resistance in its request to grow its enrollment in the city. Students in the Mandarin immersion charter—30% of whom are low-income—performed about three times better than Oakland students on a 2022 state test, an extraordinary margin. Although Yu Ming has a waiting list, the Oakland board passed a resolution to compel the county, which controls the charter, to allow it to expand into a neighboring city.

“The problem is that if we expand enrollment at charter schools, including the highly successful ones, that contributes to the decreasing enrollment in the district and leads to us closing more neighborhood schools, which is very painful,” Davis said.

But the benefit to students who would have enrolled in an expanded charter like Yu Ming could be significant. One of the most effective ways to deal with the chronic academic problems of low-income students is simply to put them in a better school. That alone makes a big difference, according to a CREDO study of school closures in 26 states.

The research showed that students – particularly blacks and Latinos – who transferred to superior schools made greater academic gains than their peers who remained in poorly performing schools. But a little less than half of the displaced students were moved to higher quality schools, which are in short supply in many cities.

Margaret Raymond, the CREDO director, says local boards closing facilities should also focus on finding ways to transfer students to better schools, including charters, even if districts take a financial hit.

“The lesson is that choosing the worst schools to close is probably a good thing, but that’s only half the exercise,” Raymond said. “Districts also have to figure out how to marshal those kids into settings where they have a chance of recovering academically.”


Vince Bielski | RealClearWire

The post Night of the Living Ed: Zombie Public Schools, Drained of Pandemic Lifeblood, Haunt the Land appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

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