The Art of Deception

Deception – to mislead by a false appearance or statement.

Do you remember that time you were lied to? Purposely deceived for someone else’s hidden agenda. Do you remember how you felt when you were disrespected by this person? We’ve all been there.

Deception is a frequent tactic used in politics today. We want to believe that government, as Abraham Lincoln once proclaimed, is “of the people, by the people, for the people.” The truth is that special interests have skewed Lincoln’s vision. You know the old saying, “money talks.”

Bill Gates is the richest man on the planet. As such, his money gets to do a lot of talking. This is unfortunate because it allows him to make decisions that affect millions of people. When he ventures into areas outside of his expertise he ends up creating a lot of damage to the populous. Anthony Cody writes, “The latest interview with Bill Gates on CNBC has the world’s richest man discussing education with little evidence that he has learned much over the past six years.”  Gates “believes” that charter schools do a better job educating students, however research does not support his position.  Jeff Bryant rebukes this belief, “that’s not what’s happening in the great charter industry rollout transpiring across the country. Rather than a negotiation over terms, charters are being imposed on communities – either by legislative fiat or well-engineered public policy campaigns. Many charter school operators keep their practices hidden or have been found to be blatantly corrupt. And no one seems to be doing anything to ensure real accountability for these rapidly expanding school operations.” Gates has spent hundreds of millions of dollars funding the common core, a social experiment on our children. The common core is designed to fail the majority of students thus creating a crisis in education in order to funnel tax payer money away from public schools into charter schools.

Diane Ravitch wrote, “Common core standards were written in a manner that violates the nationally and international recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no legitimacy. Setting national academic standards is not something done in stealth by a small group of people, funded by one source, and imposed by the lure of a federal grant in a time of austerity.

On the night of March 31, 2015 Governor Cuomo utilized a message of necessity, tied to funding, to deceive New Yorkers with his agenda. The message of necessityis one of the most powerful tools available to New York’s governor: the so-called message of necessity, which allows immediate votes on complex legislation that otherwise could have had days of debate. You’re supposed to use messages for emergency situations,” said Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. “It’s a stretch that it’s an emergency to get the budget done before midnight…an on-time budget is a talking point.” Susan Lerner, director of the watchdog group Common Cause, said: “Generally speaking, we believe the messages should be used for crises.Bill Mahoney, a researcher at NYPIRG, said the governor should generally avoid issuing a message for budget bills, which are often thousands of pages long.

The Daily News writes, “Since 2000, 570 hedge fund managers have shelled out nearly $40 million in political contributions in New York State.

The single biggest beneficiary has been Andrew Cuomo, who received $4.8 million from them.

Several of the governor’s big hedge fund donors, such as Carl Icahn, of Icahn Enterprises, Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, and Daniel Loeb, of Third Point LLC, are also longtime backers of charter schools.

With the one percent spending such large amounts of money on political contributions we have become a nation no longer “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Instead we have become a nation sold to the highest bidder which is not in the interest of the majority.

Policy in New York has long been predetermined by “three men in a room” (the governor, the State Assembly speaker and the State Senate majority leader), who work in secret and without accountability to decide most vital issues.Marc Santora, New York Times
Two of these three men, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, have recently fallen from grace, brought up on charges of corruption.

Dean Skelos and Adam Skelos, the defendants, made explicit and implicit representations that Dean Skelos would use his official position on behalf of the entities paying his son,” the complaint alleges.

In Silver’s case, the Manhattan Democrat is accused of pressuring an unnamed developer — which matches the description of Glenwood — of directing work regarding assessment challenges to a small law firm, which in turned kicked back about $700,000 in fees to Silver.

The Senate Republicans’ central political committees, when combined, were the top recipients of Glenwood’s campaign cash, with donations totaling $1.5 million over that period. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign account came in second with $1.2 million, the analysis found.

The company has made prolific use of what’s known as the “LLC loophole,” which allows companies to avoid corporate restrictions on political donations in New York by contributing through multiple limited liability companies, which can donate more than corporations.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY, said Glenwood’s appearance in both the Skelos and Silver case raises questions about its political contributions.

“At a minimum, it makes it too easy for cynics to believe that public policy is set on campaign contributions and not on public good,” Lerner said

“I’m not sure I would call them victims,” Mr. McKee said of the real estate industry. “It seems to me they were beneficiaries. The real estate lobby has a lot of power in Albany in both houses and on both sides of the aisle. Their power comes from their money.

Mr. Silver, who had long been viewed as sympathetic to tenants, and Mr. Skelos are both accused by prosecutors of taking actions on these issues to the benefit of their real estate benefactors.”

When Dean Skelos was arrested a power struggle ensued in the New York Senate. Two Senators, John Flannigan and John DeFrancisco, scrambled for the position of majority leader. Hours before the closed door vote deception was afoot. What New Yorkers should be outraged over is that Skelos and Governor Cuomo were able to pick his successor, although the Governor denies his involvement. “DeFrancisco disputed the Democratic governor’s contention, saying Cuomo should just come clean that he sought to play a role in the election Monday. “There’s too much secrecy in dealings. There’s too much dishonesty in dealing with each other,” DeFrancisco said about the problems with corruption in Albany. “We were just talking about the governor weighing in for Flanagan, and he denies it,” he said. “I mean I don’t care: If that’s his choice, whatever his reason, he should express what his reason is. But you try to influence things, and then not tell where you really stand. “If there was more honesty, there would be more integrity.

Let me be clear: What is at stake is the future of public schools and the democracy of our country. We can not afford to be deceived any longer by special interests that shape policy by purchasing politicians good will. Over 200,000 New York State test refusals are demanding transparency. If citizens do not remain diligent then we will witness further decline in our local schools. Think for a minute what a public school means to your family and your community. Your formative years in school helped shape the person you are today. You made connections and are forever tied to the people you went to school with. You learned, loved, cried, grew and lived in those schools. Today, as well as in the past, the public school is utilized by your community for more than just education. Sporting events, concerts, productions, scouting, voting, etc. are all held at the school in your town. It’s time to speak out against the deception being perpetrated in Albany. There’s too much at stake not to.  We cannot afford to lose the American Dream which will be substantiated by a better life for our children.  This will be acheived through public education.  Education is the vehicle that will lift their lives to a more fulfilling existence. Don’t let special interests take this away from our children for their own greed.

“The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.”
John Adams

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