Buyer Beware: School Choice and Voucher Programs Require Alignment With Common Core

Republicans are selling a false bill of goods when it comes to providing parents choices to escape Common Core and public education. Shannon Joy, host of The Shannon Joy Show and an expert on Common Core, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Friday to speak frankly on the matter.

"Republicans now are putting forth a false solution. They're coming out --- Donald Trump, Betsy Devos, some of our favorite conservative Republicans --- I don't know if they quite understand the nuance of this, but they're pitching to conservatives the idea of school choice vouchers and charters as a solution when that is not the case. In every piece of legislation and every state, including Texas which voted it down just recently because of this, every voucher program, every choice program requires that the user of that voucher or that choice education institution must be aligned with the federal standards. Those standards are Common Core," Joy said.

Mike Opelka, filling in for Glenn on radio, asked what parents need to know.

"I think we need to arm parents with information. If they're willing to go into battle against Common Core, we need to give them the ammunition. So what are the one or two things you as a parent can say when you're up there questioning these folks on Common Core?" Opelka asked.

Joy pointed out that education planners on the right and the left try to distract parents with the notion of students needing standards --- but that isn't the issue.

"Every parent wants a school to have high standards. That's obvious. The question isn't the standards, it's the curriculum," Joy said.

Common Core curriculum is infused with progressive ideologies intended to indoctrinate children to their way of thinking --- and the testing reinforces it. If a student's answer doesn't align with progressive teachings, the answer is wrong.

"The next generation science standards are essentially global warming and climate change sustainability curriculum. You have politics in the schools through the curriculum that must be put in place in order for the kids to achieve on the test that are supposed to judge the standards. So that's a red herring, it's a false choice. It has nothing to do with standards. It has everything to do with the curriculum. For example, the social studies curriculum, many of them that are Common Core-aligned are teaching children to be global citizens and are shaping the attitude behaviors and beliefs, right? So they're indoctrinating children into globalism and socialism and doing it in the guise of standards and curriculum," Joy explained.

Moreover, government officials are working to impose a system that makes it virtually impossible to escape these imposed belief system.

"I'm telling you, Mike Opelka, we don't have a single friend in the Senate, not one friend in the Senate or the House of Representatives that understands the nuance and the tentacles of Common Core. They are putting forth what they think are solutions, which are the school choice and voucher. Those are false solutions. What was once a great idea has been hijacked by progressives and is going to be entrenched in the federal government," Joy warned.

Charter schools and homeschoolers are in sights of legislators as well.

"Charter schools do not have a board of education, a democratically-elected board of education. They have a board of supervisors that appoints a parent as a liaison. So what you're going to have is charter schools all over the country that are directly tethered to the federal government. They are not controlled locally in any way, shape or form, and we will have even less of a voice than we do now with our current public education system. That's how important this is, this charter and choice battle. This is why in Texas, that bill was killed just a couple months ago, Mike. It was not by liberals. It was not by Democrats in Texas. It was by homeschool moms and dads and grandparents who saw the false choice, the false charter, the false voucher plan for what it truly was," Joy said.

Joy recommended several sources to stay informed and involved:

Truth in American Education

American Principles Project (Jane Robbins)

Cato Institute (Neal McCluskey)

You can also follow @shannonjoyradio on Twitter or The Shannon Joy Show on Facebook.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

MIKE: About four years ago, I became aware of what Common Core was. The Common Core curriculum and how in the height of the financial crisis, the Federal Government swooped in with this idea to take over the education system on a local level. To come in and tell all of those counties and cities that were having budget crunches, especially in their education budget because of the huge financial crisis we were in that we have money for you, but we want you to do something for us. And we want to introduce this wonderful thing called Common Core. And the Common Core standards that they're only going to help the children. They're only going to make it better for everybody. And any time somebody comes to you and gives you money and then says you have to implement these programs, and it's just going to make everything better, I'm suspicious. Because any time something is going to make any life better, I usually have to pay for it. I usually have to purchase it, and I have to make -- it's incumbent upon me to make an educated purchase. As a consumer, I would like to know, well, what else could I have purchased? And is there something else with a better value? Not the case with Common Core. It was rammed down the throats that were in all states that were in financial trouble. So that would be 50 out of 50. And when we woke up and went hang on a second, this Common Core thing is not good. It's changing the way our kids are taught, it's changing the way our kids are tested, which is kind of like constantly. It's taking control of the education process out of the hands of the teachers, and we started fighting back. With Common Core like ObamaCare has deep tentacles that have gone inside of our educational system, and it's not just easy to go in and go all right, no more Common Core. And despite the fact that Donald Trump made that a campaign promise that he was going to get rid of Common Core, I don't know how realistic that is.

In order to understand it and to try to also realize that there's more going on in the world than the Jim Comey testimony, we've brought in a friend of mine who is also a radio person in up state New York. But she's a warrior on Common Core. Her name is Shannon Joy, and she's joining us this morning on the Glenn Beck Program. Hello, my friend. How are you?

SHANNON: Well, hello, Mike Opelka, how are you? Thank you so much for having me.

MIKE: You're welcome. Happy to have you here. I think I got the setup on Common Core right, didn't I?

SHANNON: You absolutely did, and I'm going to take it one step further for you and for your audience.

MIKE: Okay.

SHANNON: What was once a voluntary grant program, the rates in the program put in by the Obama administration, you know, that was the initial mechanism that brought common core into every school district in the United States of America. But it was the Republicans led by Lamar Alexander in a Republican-led senate and House of Representatives that passed the ESSA act, it was the every student succeeds act in 2015. That legislation, which was pitched to the American people and conservatives as a solution to Common Core was indeed the exact opposite. It codified into law that voluntary grant program that was put in by Obama. So not only do we still have Common Core in nearly every single school district in the United States of America today, it is even more deeply entrenched. In addition, Michael, your audience might not know is that through my research and through, you know, all of the research we've done over the years, I have not been able to find a single charter school in the United States of America. Not a single one that isn't fully and totally aligned with the Common Core. The way that you know if your school, your charter or private or public is aligned with the Common Core is simply by the testing. So for parents out there, if you want to know your school's aligned, what you have to do is figure out if they're taking the federally aligned Common Core test. You'll see the branding all over the test, and you'll see the Common Core insignia, the trademark logo all over as well.

If your school is administering those exams, those tests, they are aligned with the Common Core, and I have yet to find a single charter. So Republicans now are putting forth a false solution. They're coming out -- Donald Trump, Betsy Devos, some of our favorite conservative Republicans. I don't know if they quite understand the nuance of this. But they're pitching to conservatives the idea of school choice vouchers and charters as a solution when that is not the case. In every piece of legislation and every state, including Texas which voted it down just recently because of this. Every voucher program, every choice program requires that the user of that voucher or that choice education institution must be aligned with the federal standards, those standards are Common Core. So not only is it in our public schools, it's in our charters. And the Republicans are fixing to get it everywhere else.

MIKE: Shannon, you bring up a real scary reality that this thing has -- as I said, it has more tentacles than deep roots. But I want to ask you how we fight it. But I also -- I also want to ask what parents can do when they realize that their kids in a Common Core program, even if they put them in a charter school. And what does a parent say to an administrator, a school superintendent who says to them "Hey, what's wrong with having standards? These are standards that apply to all the kids around the country. What's your big problem with common core?" Because I think we need to arm parents with information. If they're willing to go into battle against Common Core, we need to give them -- we need to give them the ammunition. So what are the one or two things you as a parent can say when you're up there questioning these folks on Common Core?

SHANNON: Well, first of all, the issue isn't standards, and that's one of the red herrings that the education planners on the right and the left will use to distract people because no one wants their kid to be a snowflake; right?

MIKE: Right.

SHANNON: Every parent wants their kids to have high standards. Every parent wants a school to have high standards. That's obvious. The question isn't the standards, it's the curriculum. And what the standards do because of the testing and the evaluation is drive the curriculum. So what you have in a sense, you know, the next generation science standards are essentially global warming and climate change sustainability curriculum. You have politics in the schools through the curriculum that must be put in place in order for the kids to achieve on the test that are supposed to judge the standards. So that's a red herring, it's a false choice, it has nothing to do with standards. It has everything to do with the curriculum. For example, the social studies curriculum, many of them that are Common Core aligned are teaching children to be global citizens and are shaping the attitude behaviors and beliefs; right? So they're indoctrinating children into globalism and socialism and doing it in a guide of standards and curriculum. That's number one. What parents can do, every parent that is listening to my voice today if you're in a charter, a private, a public. Today you can make the commitment to refuse to allow your child to take the common core exams. The assessments and the tests, any of those exams, that is how the Federal Government and the state government get your school district and your teachers to implement those false standards. If parents across this nation refuse to allow their children to be guinea pigs to be tested by the Federal Government and education bureaucrats, Common Core will be gone tomorrow. That's as easy as it is. You have to take away the testing. And then we have work that you need to do on our federal officials, senators, I'm telling you, Mike Opelka, we don't have a single friend in the senate. Not one friend in the senate or the House of Representatives that understands the nuance and the tentacles of Common Core. They are putting forth what they think are solutions, which are the school choice and voucher. Those are false solutions. What was once a great idea has been hijacked by progressives and going to entrench the Federal Government. Here's the other dirty little secret. There's a reason that the union Randy Devos are so buddy-buddy. All over the United States of America they're going on speaking tours. That's because I believe they move to close down public schools and turn them into charter schools. What you're going to see happen is those charters are going to begin to unionize. It's going to happen very fast, and we're going to have the exact same problem we had with the public schools except one difference. Charter schools do not have a board of education. A democratically-elected board of education. They have a board of supervisors that appoints a parent as a liaison. So what you're going to have is charter schools all over the country that are directly tethered to the Federal Government. They are not controlled locally in any way, shape, or form, and we will have even less of a voice than we do now with our current public education system. That's how important this is, this charter and choice battle. This is why in Texas, that bill was killed just a couple months ago, Mike. It was not by liberals. It was not by Democrats in Texas. It was by homeschool moms and dads and grandparents who saw the false choice, the false charter, the false voucher plan for what it truly was.

MIKE: Well, Shannon, I'm glad you brought up Texas because Texas was the first thing that caught my eye with their CSCOPE program, which only changed its name, and now we're seeing Common Core is really just changing its name, but it's also sliding into or has slid into the charter school system and completely infected that system. I could dive into this and tear this apart all day long, and I'm not a guy with kids. I'm just a guy who cares about the country. What Shannon has pointed out here is that common core is not just about the testing, it's about what they're testing the kids for and knowledge. And they have preloaded this agenda, this global citizen agenda, this global climate change agenda, this everybody's got to be fair agenda. It's the snowflake agenda that's been preloaded into the system that they will test them to see if they know this. Shannon, I've got just about a minute left. In that minute, you used to have a site that you told me about where people could go to find out the testing in their area and where parents can find out how to opt out for their kids on these kinds of tests. Where do they go?

SHANNON: Sure, so parents go to one of my favorite resources. One of the best is truth in American education.com. That gives you all the updates on common core. Also Jane robins of American principles project, she has a fantastic voice on this. Neil from the Cato institute is wonderful. And duke. So if you Google any one of those, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Facebook. You can get up to date on what is happening with Common Core. But for every parent in America, you can refuse to take these Common Core exams. We just finished them up this year. But let me tell you, next year, you're going to have to take them again. They're probably going to change the name of Common Core. Look out for next generation standards or something like that. They're going to completely rebrand the Common Core to try to hide what they're doing. That's going to happen next year. But I can assure you all, the curriculum, the standards, the evaluations, the testing is all exactly the same.

MIKE: Thank you, my friend. Her name is Shannon Joy. You can follow her on Twitter @Shannonjoyradio. She knows this stuff inside out, and it's vital information. Have a great rest of your day. Thanks for being here.

SHANNON: Thanks, Mike.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I want to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. Life is tough, but it is worth it in the end.

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. They just won’t let go of their power even though their time has passed.

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

The generation coming of age is right to feel frustrated.This mess — with high costs and a massive debt burden — was not of their making.

Iwant to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. ≈

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. ≈

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed.

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

Once the government said that they were going to guarantee everybody’s college tuition, universities found out that they could just charge more because the government would give you virtually any amount in your loan. And they have been charging more and more ever since. In 1965, the average college tuition was $450 a year. Adjusted to inflation, that's $4,000 a year. You're currently paying an average of $26,000 a year as opposed to the inflation-adjusted $4,000.

What happened? The answer is always the same: government regulations. Gas is up. Why? Government regulations. Can't afford a house? Well, that's due to several things. Many of them revolve around the fed and our national debt. But the simple answer is the same: government regulations.

Moreover, the U.S. government has run a staggering national debt. We have been concerned about it forever, but the people in power haven't been listening to your mom and dad and people like me. A lot of other people just thought, "Oh, well. We could get away with it. We're the United States of America, after all. Somehow or another, it will all work out."

People like me have been saying, "No. We can't pass this on to our children." You're now seeing what we have passed on. When you say that the adults are responsible for creating this world of problems, in some ways, you’re right. We were lied to, and as many people do, they want to believe the lie because it makes them feel better.

There are big lies being pushed in your generation as well. You're being told that a man is a woman and a woman is a man. At the same time, you’re being told that gender doesn't even exist at all. It makes us feel better to go along with the lie because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

My generation believed the same kind of lie about our national debt. We were told that we could spend all this money on subsidized programs because it would provide you, our children, with a better life. Some people warned, "Wait, how will they pay this off? This will cost them." We didn't want to believe them. The lie sounded better, and it was easier to believe that than the truth. We never saw the consequences, and even if we did, they were always way out in the future. Nobody wanted to listen to the doomsday people saying, "No. It's going to come faster than you think."

And that time is right now. Our government now is printing $1 trillion every 100 days. That's never been done before. We have more debt than any country has ever had in the history of the world. But we’re not alone. Every country is doing this. They’re going into debt like we’ve never seen before, and we’re all about to pay for that. It’s going to make your life even harder.

There are Democrats and Republicans who still believe in spending all kinds of money and getting us involved in every global conflict. Then there are constitutional conservatives who believe that we should conserve the things that have worked and throw out the things that don’t and follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You haven't really learned about those most likely. But you should. All of our problems are caused by the government and the people who feel they can bypass the Constitution. That's what this election is really all about.

You might say, “I don’t really care. I don’t like either of the political parties.” I know a lot of people who don’t like either of them, but one is going to try to cut the size of this government and one is going to spend us into collapse.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed. You need to learn enough about the truth, about why this has happened to us, and about how our Constitution lasted longer than any other Constitution in the world. The average is 17 years. This thing has lasted hundreds of years. Why? How? And why is it falling apart today? That's what you should dedicate some of your time to figuring out today.

You can complain about the way things are. I complain. Everybody complains. But don't wallow there. Learn what caused this. And if you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework. They always end the same way, and that's exactly where we're headed right now. We can either repeat the dreadful past of nations that have tried it before us, or we can choose freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The ball is in our court.

Glenn recently had Representative Thomas Massie on his show to sound the alarm about an important yet often overlooked issue affecting what we eat. Whether you're trying to be prepared to weather a catastrophe or just trying to keep food on the table without resorting to eating bugs, it's more important now than ever to source local food. Unnoticed by most, our right to eat home-grown or locally-sourced foods is under attack. The government doesn't just want a say in what you eat; they want you vulnerable and dependent on their system, and they are massively overstepping their bounds to ensure your compliance with their goals.

How did the attack on your food begin?

Government overreach on food can be traced back to 1938 under the autocratic eye of FDR with the Supreme Court case "Wickard v. Filburn." The case was pretty straightforward, but the results were devastating. The case began with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which sought to control national food prices by placing limitations on how many crops farmers could grow in a season.

Filburn was one such farmer, who was allotted 11.1 acres of wheat to plant and harvest annually. Filburn planted and harvested 23 acres, arguing that the extra acres were not headed for the market, but were used for personal consumption. After being penalized for over-harvesting, he fought his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress did not have the authority to regulate crops that never left his farm.

Unfortunately for Filburn (and the rest of us), the Supreme Court didn't agree. They ruled that the mere existence of that extra wheat—whether it left Filburn's farm or not—had an effect on the national value of wheat. Congress assumed the power to regulate just about anything that could be roped under the umbrella of "interstate commerce."

Under the precedent set by Wickard v. Filburn, Congress might bar you from growing tomatoes in your backyard, because it could affect national tomato prices. This was a major blow to our right to feed ourselves, and that right has been eroding ever since.

How is our right to feed ourselves under attack today?

Last June, the Virginia Department of Agriculture shut down Golden Valley Farms, a small Amish farm owned and operated by Samuel B. Fisher in Farmville, Virginia. Golden Valley Farms had started out selling dairy products, primarily, and processed some meat for personal consumption. However, by popular demand, Fisher began selling meat.

Fisher initially hauled his animals to a USDA processing plant, paid to have them processed, and then hauled them back. This process was time-consuming and costly, and Fisher's customers didn't want the meat processed by the plant. A survey done on Golden Valley Farms customers found that an overwhelming 92 percent preferred meat processed by Fisher. So naturally, Fisher began to process more and more meat for his customers.

Moreover, COVID shut down the USDA plant, which made it impossible for Fisher to process the animals by the USDA anyway, though the demand for meat was greater than ever. Fisher made the call to process 100 percent of his animals himself and didn't look back. That was until June when the Virginia Department of Agriculture caught wind of Fisher's operation and shut it down. The VDA seized all of Fisher's products, and he wasn't allowed to process, sell, or even eat his meat. Then they loaded it up in a truck and left it at the dump to rot.

Nobody ever got sick from eating meat from Golden Valley Farms. This was NOT about "health and safety." This was about control. The fact is that informed adults were not allowed to make a simple transaction without the government sticking its slimy fingers into Fisher's business and claiming it was somehow for "our benefit." But it's not for "our benefit." It's so they can regulate and control what we buy and what we eat, and they cannot stand it when we operate outside of their influence.

What comes next?

Where does this end? With so much of our ability to feed ourselves already eroded, is it too late? Is it going to get worse? Before long, will it be illegal to eat eggs from your chickens or pick vegetables from your garden without getting government clearance first? Fortunately, a solution is already in the works.

Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie recently told Glenn about a new constitutional amendment designed to limit government overreach regarding food production. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

And Congress shall make no law, regulating the production and distribution of food products, which do not move across state lines.

The amendment is still on the drawing board and has not been formally introduced to Congress yet. But this is where you come in. Call your representative and tell them to support Massie's amendment and take a stand for your right to provide sustenance for you and your family.

If we can build skyscrapers, we can rebuild bridges

Kevin Dietsch / Staff | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I am sick and tired of hearing about our limitations. The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this week is an amazing hero story of the cops and first responders who saved an untold number of lives by doing exactly the right thing quickly. But I’m really tired of hearing about how long it’s going to take us to recover from this catastrophe and how bad it’s going to be.


The immediate impact for Americans regarding this bridge collapse seems dire. If you're waiting for a new car to come in from overseas, prepare to wait longer. The Port of Baltimore stands as the nation’s leading import-export site for cars and trucks. It’s also the leading nexus for sugar and gypsum, which is used in fertilizer, drywall, and plaster. A record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo was transported through Baltimore just last year.

To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

The bustling port is now cut off after the 1.6-mile-long bridge crumbled and fell into the river early Tuesday, blocking the only shipping lane into the port.

The officials have said the timeline for rebuilding the bridge will be years. The Port of Baltimore creates more than 15,300 jobs, with another 140,000 jobs linked to the activity at the port. This is a major disaster and will continue to cause significant problems on the East Coast for U.S. importers and exporters.

The bridge collapse means it will not be possible to get to the container terminals or a range of the other port terminals in Baltimore. Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul J. Wiedefeld told reporters on Tuesday that vessel traffic in the port would be suspended until further notice but noted the port is still open to trucks.

Michael Mezzacappa, an attorney and expert on property damage cases in the shipping industry, told the New York Post that the collapse will have a major impact on shipping and traffic routes in the East Coast for the foreseeable future. “It’s not going to get fixed any time soon,” Mezzacappa said. “It’s going to take a lot longer than anyone expects. This is going to be a major problem for the Northeast.”

Remember the American spirit

I am absolutely sick to death of all of these stories that say things like that. Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten what we’ve done?

Let me remind you of the American spirit, a spirit so potent and so vibrant that it has scaled towering mountains, mountains nobody thought they could cross.

It’s the spirit that constructed marvels of engineering. Have you ever been to the Hoover Dam? Have you seen the New York City skyline? The skyscraper was invented here for a reason. Here we are on the threshold of tomorrow, and none of us knows what is going to happen. But I'm getting the impression that we’ve been so beaten down that we believe we’re not going to make it tomorrow.

Have we forgotten who our ancestors are and what they did? If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer. You will see a people who can do anything.


I want to stop just briefly in 1930. The Great Depression had its icy grip on us. It was a time that felt like a flickering candle in the vast darkness just barely holding on. Yet, it was in this crucible of adversity that Americans did great things.

The Empire State Building rose. It wasn’t just a structure of steel and stone. It was a beacon, a beacon of hope and American resilience and ingenuity. The way that thing was built — no one has ever seen anything like it before and since. In a record-shattering one year and 45 days, an army of workers, as many as 3,400 men on certain days, transformed this audacious vision into a cowering reality.

If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer.

The Empire State Building wasn’t constructed. It was conjured into existence with a symphony of clanging metal and roaring machines and the inexhaustible spirit of its builders. The men perched on steel girders that were being flown in by giant cranes whispered tales about how they could still feel the warmth of the freshly poured metal beneath them. That beam was still warm, even though it was poured in Pittsburgh, put on a train, then put on a boat, then on a truck, then hauled up into the air.

They could fill the warmth because we moved that fast. It was a feverish pace of construction. It seemed to defy the laws of time and physics.

For a long time, it was the tallest building in the world — an architectural achievement. It was also a declaration to the world that America was a land where the impossible became possible, that we are a people of determination, innovation, with a relentless will to succeed.

These aren't merely historical footnotes. They are blazing torches illuminating our path forward. They remind us that when we're faced with adversity, we don't just endure it. We overcome it. We don’t wait for history to chart our course. We write it with the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs. That’s who we are. Have we forgotten that?

What are we waiting for?

We find ourselves at another crossroads faced with the challenges that threaten to dim the bright future that we all dream for our nation, for our children. The spirit that built the Empire State Building, laid down miles of railroads, cut through the Rocky Mountains, and sent astronauts to the moon is still inside of every heart of every American, somewhere.

Awaken that spirit. Scale new mountains. It's not just rock and earth. Scale the mountains of innovation. Build. Not just physical structures but a future that upholds the spirit of adventure, hard work, and ingenuity. Stop tearing everything down. Let's start building.

Why are we waiting? If this isn't a national emergency, I don't know what it is.

And I don't just mean the bridge. I mean all of it. You might say, “Well, our government has to lead.” Really? Does it? Maybe that’s our problem. America is led by its values and principles that are found in the souls of those who still remember who we are and who we serve. Americans lead the way. The government always follows.

You might say again, "Well, we can’t act without the government." Nonsense! Where are the bridge builders who will stand up today and say, “I'll get it done!” As soon as that happens, you’ll see who is leading and who is stalling. The government is the one that stalls the engine out. To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

There is nothing we can't achieve when we all stand together, united by our dreams, and driven by the will to see them fulfilled. Don't listen to anybody else who tells you differently.

6 things every voter needs to know heading into the 2024 election

Will Newton / Stringer | Getty Images

Election season is coming up and every vote matters. Over the last four years, our country has experienced some of the lowest lows it has seen in a long time. From horrors at the southern border to government overspending, it is clear: our country is in trouble. Everybody needs to get out and vote.

When you look at the numbers, there are some noticeable trends in who actually votes... and who doesn't. According to Pew Research, the more mature crowd (30 and up) gets out there and does their civic duty, while the younger crowd (18 to 29) just doesn't make it out to the polls. If you are a young or first-time voter, the process can seem daunting. You have to jump through some bureaucratic red tape before you can head to the polls, which can be frustrating and discouraging for someone who has never done it before.

If this describes you or someone you know, you're in luck. We compiled everything you need to know to get ready to hit the polls this election season in a convenient guide below.

Get an I.D.

AFP Contributor / Contributor | Getty Images

The first thing you'll need is a valid state I.D. These can take a while to acquire, so if you don't yet have one, it's time to get on it. Not all states require I.D., and every state has different requirements. You can check to see if your state requires an I.D. to vote here.

Register to vote

John Moore / Staff | Getty Images

Every state, except North Dakota, requires prospective voters to register, so it is important to make sure you are registered in the state and county you reside in. Every state has a different registration process. You can find your state's registration website here.

Confirm date of election day

You want to make sure you arrive at the polls at the right date and time. Most states have a set election day, and often there are even a few days or weeks of early voting that lead up to it. Check out this list of election dates to find out your election day and mark it in your calendar.

Find your polling location

The Washington Post / Contributor | Getty Images

You can find polling locations on your state's voter information website, which can be found here. Keep in mind that you will likely have to find a location within the county where you reside. These locations often include public schools, public libraries, city halls, and other public buildings.

Research candidates on the ballot

BRUCE WEAVER / Stringer | Getty Images

Before you vote, it is important to be educated in what you are voting for. Find out who will be on the ballot (and don't be surprised when it's not just the presidential nominees), and do a little digging. Don't assume that because a candidate has a little "R" next to their name they share your values. You can visit this website to find out who will be on the ballot in your local area.

Actually go vote

JOSHUA LOTT / Contributor | Getty Images

There is nothing else to to but get out there and vote! Go out there and make your voice heard!