Medical Technology Analyst discusses the spooky implications of data mining in Common Core

GLENN: Before we went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, Nic Anderson, he called us up and we were talking about the Common Core and what they were using. And I had mentioned something that was in Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical factors for success in the 21st century. And this is from the Department of Education. This is their handbook that they had posted. And I asked him, because he called up and he said ‑‑ he could define what an FCAT ‑‑ or an fMRI was. And it talks about fMRIs, it talks about, you know, digital wristbands around your kids' wrists and monitoring everything about your kids while they're in class. And he called in to say, "Hey, look, the definition of, you know, some of these things." And I said, well, would you look into this. Well, he did, and he's reporting back now. And he's a guy who uses this technology. He is actually a medical technology analyst and owner of North Carolina Anderson Consulting. Let's bring Nic in. Nic, is it NC Anderson or is it North Carolina Anderson Consulting?

ANDERSON: NC Anderson.

GLENN: NC Anderson Consulting.

ANDERSON: But I'm sure the people of North Carolina appreciate the shout‑out.

GLENN: Okay. So Nic, first of all, you are only working off of what you found in the Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance from the Department of Education's website, right?

ANDERSON: That's right. Either there or from the people that they cite as experts. I've gone to them and I've looked up what they are doing, what they are working on. But yes, it's all based off of this document from the Department of Education.

GLENN: I told you two weeks ago, I said anything that you find, make sure you burn it to a DVD because, are you aware of what the Department of Education has done with this handbook?

ANDERSON: Yeah. So I ‑‑ the day after, maybe the day of when you and I spoke on March 28th, I went and I logged on and tried to find the PDF and couldn't find it anywhere. And thank goodness Keith had ‑‑ one of your ‑‑

GLENN: Producers.

ANDERSON: Yeah. He called ‑‑ he sent me the link and I was able to go to it straight from there. But then I tried to look it up on my own and couldn't find it anywhere and I just found it again yesterday but it's ‑‑

GLENN: Buried.

ANDERSON: You have to dig for it. It's not right there.

GLENN: Yeah. It used to be right there.

ANDERSON: Right.

GLENN: They know we are onto them and they are trying to cover their tracks. If you are doing anything on Common Core, I'm telling you this is absolute evil. It is evil. Make no mistake. And you are going to come up against the big Republicans and the big Democrats on this one. Evil.

Nic, what did you find about the things that they are doing? I mean, they are making our kids into guinea pigs and they are monitoring them and they are collecting data points on them. What did you find?

ANDERSON: That's right. I mean, one of the interesting things is right at the top of this document, right in the beginning, let me read this little paragraph. I mean, this is just, it's comical if it wasn't scary. It says, "It may not always be productive to persevere in the face of challenge. For example, persevering to accomplish goals that are extrinsically motivated, unimportant to the student or in some way inappropriate for the student and potentially induce stress, anxiety and distraction and have detrimental impacts on students' long‑term retention, conceptual learning or psychological wellbeing. Careful research is still necessary to help educators learn how to protect students, engage them, and fine‑tune practices..."

GLENN: So wait a minute. They are saying that it might be inappropriate, it might be uncomfortable but they still have to do it?

ANDERSON: That's right. And the funny thing is this whole document's about grit and perseverance and they are saying, you know what? It might not be a good thing to always try hard. There are times when, you know, we don't want to overstress these kids because, you know, heaven, heaven forbid they actually have to work for something.

GLENN: Okay. So let's talk a little bit about the fMRI.

ANDERSON: Sure.

GLENN: Skin conductance and pupil monitoring that they are planning on doing.

ANDERSON: So the document, let's see. Page 32 says, for example, data mining techniques can track students' trajectories or persistence and learning over time, thereby providing actionable feedback to students and teachers. In additional, functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, and psychological indicators offer insight into the biology and neuroscience underlying observed students' behaviors.

Well, fMRI is based on the premise that as your brain thinks, it consumes oxygen and increases the magnetization of certain regions of your brain. So in theory I could take a kid and put him in the scanner and ask him a series of questions, things he should have learned in class and if his brain isn't consuming oxygen as I would expect it to be, well, then in theory I could hold the kid back at the end of the year, I could advance him if he answers really well and so on. The fusion tensor imaging is not mentioned in the article but it is a major research point right now by a couple of the authors. The fusion tensor imaging is able to track how two areas of the brain are connected. So if I said the color "brown" and you think of dirt, those are two separate things. Dirt is brown and brown is brown. Those are two separate parts of the brain thinking of something, but they're connected. And if I did an fMRI on you, I could see that, wait a minute, why when I said the word "brown" did this part of your brain light up. Well, diffusion tenser imaging will allow me to draw a connection between where the color brown is located in your brain and where the word "dirt" or the concept of dirt is located in your brain, and I can connect those two things.

GLENN: So what does that do?

ANDERSON: Well ‑‑

GLENN: Why do I need that or what is the good part of that and bad part of that?

ANDERSON: The good, some of the good parts, it's used in stroke. You know, like in detecting a stroke patient, you know, so on, certain things. But where it's being proposed in education is that if I could do diffusion tenser imaging, if kids aren't making these connections like I would expect them to be, something's wrong. And once again I could hold the kid back. So if I said, you know, 4 times 4 and then the part of your brain that is able to analyze that is not connected to the 4 times 4 part of your brain, then I suspect that something's wrong with you.

GLENN: Can I tell you something? I just had ‑‑ because I'm trying some holistic things and everything else and ‑‑ because I have really severe neuropathy and so I was on vacation. I went and I had a brain scan and I think it was probably kind of like an fMRI. But they did this whole scan on me and the doctor, when he got to the brain scan, he was sitting behind the deal and he went, whoa, never seen that before. And that's really something you don't want your doctor to say. And I said, what is that? And he said, you've got to look at this. And the creative side of my brain was just on fire. He's like, I've not ever seen the creative side. And he said, he started showing me. He said, look at how this all connects all the way down. Well, I would be spat out as abnormal, but you in a good way. Now ‑‑

ANDERSON: Yeah.

GLENN: Now, if I am ‑‑ the things that make me unique, for instance my ADHD, that has made me unique and has made me, because I can adapt to it, it gives me a different set of skills than everybody else. If they start saying, well, you're not functioning like everybody else, you're going to destroy the people like Steve Jobs because I can guarantee you Steve Jobs doesn't think like everybody else. The guy who runs Virgin Airways.

ANDERSON: Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, or anybody.

GLENN: Einstein, yeah, didn't they ‑‑ I think they pickled his brain to be able to see it later because he operated differently. So isn't this doing extraordinary damage to people?

ANDERSON: That's right ‑‑ ‑ that to the overseers of this. So if we did skin conductance testing which is, you know, if I say something and it makes you panic, your skin gets clammy, that's part of your sympathetic nervous system and I can detect the clamminess of your skin and I go, wait, you shouldn't be freaking out like that. That was a simple question I asked you about, you know, some mathematical problem or whatever. And I can detect that data point. This whole article, by the way, this whole draft is all based on data mining. They mention it a hundred times. And that's ‑‑

GLENN: Explain what data mining means. Explain why that's bad.

ANDERSON: So let me see if I can find. They mention data mining right in the very top of it. New technologies using educational data mining and affective computing ‑‑ "affective computing" is fMRIs, skin conductants, pupil dilation monitoring ‑‑ are being ‑‑ are beginning to focus on microlevel moment‑by‑moment data within digital and blended learning environments to provide feedback to adapt learning tasks to personalized needs.

So what they will do is I could take a group of 100 kids, and they're all let's say in twelfth grade and I'm able to ask them all a series of questions while I'm monitoring them with skin conduct ants or pressure monitors or whatever it is. And then I'd be able in theory, this is all in theory, to collect that data over fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade and so on and stratify those children maybe by the time they get to high school and say, "okay, over the last 10 years every time I ask Tommy and Billy and Sally a mathematical question, they clam up, they freak out and they get the answer wrong" and now I can use that data to steer them or whatever it may be. But this data mining, if I can collect data ‑‑ and don't get me wrong. I'm not against data. That's all I do all day long is analyze data. I love data, but I love data in the free market. I don't love data in the government. And if parents could opt out, if parents could choose to have nothing to do with this, then that's one thing. But ‑‑

GLENN: No, but it won't work that way. You create too ‑‑

ANDERSON: ‑‑ opt out of Social Security taxes if I could.

GLENN: You will create two class systems. If you opt out of the government collecting 20 years of data on your kid, they will make it so no one will want to hire you because I know exactly what I'm going to get from Nic. If I hire Nic, I know who he is because I've got this 20‑year research study done by the government. But I don't know who you are.

ANDERSON: Correct.

GLENN: And why is it that you are so freaky that you didn't want in this system in the first place, right?

ANDERSON: This is funny because you mentioned a few minutes ago, you know, where are we going? I mean, this is sci‑fi stuff that if I mentioned this to you 10 years ago, you would have called me a conspiracy theorist, and here I am. I'm holding the document in my hand.

GLENN: And let me tell you something. And Nic, they are still saying ‑‑ I mean, you have Republicans coming out and saying this is conspiracy theorist stuff.

ANDERSON: Right.

GLENN: They are saying that today. We're not talking about making this up and drawing conclusions. It is in the Department of Education's own textbook.

ANDERSON: That's right.

GLENN: It is in their plan.

ANDERSON: You know, in 1840 a man named Frederick Bastiat. You can read his book, it's 100 pages long called The Law. And he said if you suggest the doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is directly said, quote, you're a dangerous experimenter, a utopian, a theorist, a despiser of the laws. You would shake the basis upon which society rests.

GLENN: Explain that.

ANDERSON: If any one of us stands up, Mia Love did this year in Utah saying, no, we've got to get rid of the Department of Education. She was lambasted, you know. This is a fascinating thing to me that if I stand up ‑‑ and I do this all the time in arguments against the FDA. We do not need the Food and Drug Administration. If you think the Department of Education's bad, the FDA's ab horn. And I know this because I study medical devices all day long. But if you stand up and you say, "We just don't need the FDA, they need to go away, or the United States Department of Education," it is said of you you're a dangerous experimenter, Nic, you're a utopian, you're a theorist, in the modern day terms you're a conspiracy theorist. But no, I need to get rid of the Department of Education, they need to get out, it needs to be privatized. And I mean, this is the stuff that makes heads at MSNBC explode is that, well, what are the poor kids going to do? Incidentally I call MSNBC an intellectual coloring book for adults. You know, I don't really want to think; I just want to doodle. But I mean, MSNBC, this is what makes those brains explode is that they can't fathom a world where the government stays out in the free market, takes care of education. You would get a better education for cheaper, and kids could ‑‑ you could collect data on those kids and it would be private amongst the parents and the children. And then the child, when he does graduate in high ‑‑ high school in twelfth grade, could have his own data that he could present to a university and say, "You know what? I have real data. I don't have the government‑collected data garbage that all my peers have."

GLENN: They have some pictures ‑‑

ANDERSON: They could have that and the free market could do it.

GLENN: They have some pictures in this. They have chairs that monitor the kids, they have these wristbands that they put on. It's really disturbing‑looking stuff.

ANDERSON: Right.

GLENN: Is it just the pictures look bad? Are these like assault pictures because the wristband is black? I mean, you know ‑‑

ANDERSON: Right, exactly. It's black. So it's ‑‑ does it have a pistol grip?

GLENN: I mean, the facial expression cameras that will be on each of our kids, the pupil cameras, those ‑‑ that's disturbing, isn't it?

ANDERSON: Yeah. Yeah, the pupil dilation and the skin conduct ants are based off the same principle that there is the sympathetic nervous system, which we all know as the "fight or flight" you know. So if I asked your kid, like the picture in the documents, one of those web cams and it would be able to detect your kid's pupils dilating meaning, "I'm shocked and I don't know the answer to the question."

GLENN: Right. But it also could be –

ANDERSON: like point out America on a map of North America, which most kids can't do.

GLENN: It could be also like your parents have guns, you'll see the pupil dilate and you'll see, why are you nervous about that, right?

ANDERSON: That's right. That's right.

GLENN: Nic, thank you very much. We'll have you on again, Nic Anderson, medical technology analyst and owner of NC Anderson Consulting. Again if you do anything on Common Core, make sure you burn it to disc because they are erasing it all and it is extraordinarily dangerous.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

RELATED: Time to reverse course: America is being corrupted by its own power

Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?