Category Archives: literacy – freedom


Donna Jack
April 4, 2018

Bill Gates funded Common Core possibly to the tune of $2 billion.  He has admitted that his Common Core implementation in schools across the country, not only failed to raise the academic accomplishments of students in the United States, but the results have worsened markedly.

Even sadder is the fact that, for the first time in our country’s history, a curriculum standard has been made federal —  Common Core was established as federal law, in December 2015, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Read about Congress’ vote in Blog 0057 on this website.

You can also search for this article by typing “0057” in the search box at the top of this page (next to the “spy glass”).  Search for other ESSA articles on this website.

Stop the national intrusion into our local education

Isn’t it about time to stop pushing standardized education, and let states, local school districts, parents, and schools decide what they want their students to learn.  Our National Standards are based on Type #2 education.  See the  comparison of Type #1 and Type #2 education on the home page of this website.  Also see another online comparison at:

Type #2 has been and is a total failure, for our children, and for our country.  Common Core is Type #2 education on steroids.

Below you can read parts of one article published last month about this sad state of education in our country.

“Once upon a time” the United States of America led the world academically – before the push for federally-controlled standards and curriculum. Continue reading

0286_ “You’re nothing but a House Negro”_ [what did this term refer to?] Dec. 30, 2017 email from Derrick Wilburn, Advocate for a Free America_ links to Frederick Douglass (former slave) literacy = freedom blog posts

Donna Jack
January 2, 2017

People who are “liberals” call Derrick and his group “house Negroes” — because they are black and conservative. That is why he chose to send out this history lesson.

At the end of this blog entry are links to other blog posts on this site about:  Literacy = Freedom.

A quote from the end of Derrick Wilburn’s email below:

“Such was the lot of the “house Negro” as opposed to the “field Negro.” Now no one is claiming that being called a “house Negro” is a compliment – it isn’t.  But is being called one truly an insult or is it a display of ignorance of history by those using it?”


From: Rocky Mtn Black Conservatives []
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2017 2:18 PM
Subject: You’re nothing but a House Negro

Derrick is an advocate for a free America, and
founder of Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives (RMBC).


Picture of “field Negroes and ‘overseers.'”_from Derrick Wilburn Dec 30 2017:

Field Negroes_cropped

Where “house Negroes” lived_from Derrick Wilburn Dec. 30, 2017:

The pictures you see above depict two relatively distinct classes of people from yesteryear. On top is an actual photograph of “field Negroes.”  This particular picture was taken in Oklahoma in 1897 and shows both field Negroes and ‘overseers.’

Beneath it is a picture of the Cedar Springs plantation in Berkeley County South Carolina. Once upon a time, inside such a home, plus inside thousands others like it across the southern United States, was where “house Negroes” once worked.

It’s that latter term, “house Negroes”,  that’s the subject of this newsletter. Continue reading

0190_New book: My Favorite Life-Changing Stories_by Dr. Joe L. Wheeler_great book of encouragement

Donna Jack
March 16, 2017

Yesterday morning I bought Dr. Joe Wheeler’s latest book of true stories:   My Favorite Life-Changing Stories. I read the entire book today. You can see and order the book at:

My Favorite Life-Changing Stories

My Favorite Life-Changing Stories
My Favorite Life-Changing Stories

This is the fourth book in “My Favorite” inspirational story series.

2017: Tradepaper. Short, true, life-changing epiphany stories.

Which story was my favorite?

This evening I called Dr. Joe to tell him I had finished reading his newest book.  He asked me which story I liked best.

Where could I begin, except to say that I loved them all.  They were all vivid in my mind.

Then I decided I should talk about one of the stories, and chose the last one in the book, since I had just completed it a few minutes earlier.  The message that stood out to me in that story, was that we should stop brooding over our failures of the past.  Instead we should analyze our mistakes, and figure out how to do better next time.

Then I shared with him messages I remembered from six or seven other stories.  Then I told him things I learned from his introduction to the book, introductions to the stories, and the Epilogue.  In those sections Dr. Joe shares some of his insights, struggles and victories.  One of the struggles he speaks of is the temptation to forget and take credit for success, when it is actually God who provides the abilities and opportunities.  That is a common human struggle.

Some characteristics emphasized within this powerful collection of stories:

Within My Favorite Life-Changing Stories are found displayed many different important characteristics.  Among them are:  honesty; compassion; forgiveness; repentance; perseverance even after repeated failures; patience; verbalizing expressions of appreciation; bravery; kindness; self-control; reliability; generosity; determination; and reverence and obedience to God.

The stories encourage us to realize that no matter what our condition in life, we need to look ahead, and trust God.  He holds our lives in His hands. Continue reading

0188_Local Kiwanis Club had a celebration and distributed money, books, and gift cards to children and schools

Donna Jack
March 6, 2017/updated March 15, 2017

Numerous studies confirm that if a child hasn’t learned to read well enough to enjoy reading by the end of third grade, there is a good chance that child will never learn to read well, or may never learn to read at all.  It was because they learned of these studies, that the Conifer Kiwanis Club decided fifteen years ago to come up with a way to help third grade children learn to love reading.

For 15 years, Conifer Kiwanis has stepped up to the plate
to help children enjoy reading
See  Dr. Joe Wheeler’s books at:

Dr. Joe Wheeler is a member of the Conifer Kiwanis, and a local author with 95 titles in publication.  He, along with other Kiwanis members and friends, have for the last 15 years, set up his books on tables at the Conifer King Soopers store each December.  Three Thursdays and Fridays during December his books have been put on display, to be looked at and purchased.  Dr. Wheeler always signs each book that is purchased.  Members of the Kiwanis Club, and supporters,  have set up, manned and taken down the tables, and helped people choose from among his many books, while Dr. Wheeler has signed his books and answered questions.

Dr. Wheeler generously contributes all profits from the sale of his books, to the Conifer Kiwanis Reading Program.

Come join us in December!

Come join us next December and buy books: for yourself, your family and friends — and at the same time help the reading program for the school children.  In order to expand this program, we need to have more people in the community purchasing books next December at King Soopers.  Until then, you can find enjoyable reading at Dr. Wheeler’s website:

Kiwanis International’s Fifteenth Annual Reading Celebration Day – March 4, 2017
at The Barn, in Evergreen Memorial Park
on North Turkey Creek Road

The Key Club at Conifer High School is associated with Conifer Kiwanis.

Three members from the Conifer High School Key Club helped us set up the event; sold Dr. Wheeler’s books to people who wanted to purchase more of his books at the event; spoke to the assembly; and helped clean up afterwards.

2017-03-04 13.59.24_3 Key Club members from Conifer HighConifer High School – Key Club Members
Brenna Nease, Key Club President; Angie Truong, Key Club Vice President;
Audrey Dilgarde, Key Club International Trustee Continue reading

0187_A Revolutionary War Barracks_The Warner House on Constitution Island_the Great Chain of the Revolutionary War at West Point — Warner House became a stop for the Underground Railroad

Donna Jack
March 2, 2017

The Warner House on Constitution Island

For his last tour of duty before retiring from the Air Force, my husband was a professor at West Point Military Academy (West Point).  During those months, I researched West Point and Constitution Island history, and led Constitution Island Association tours of the Warner House.  The Warner House is an old home located on Constitution Island, across the river from West Point, where the Hudson River narrows and makes a sharp S-curve bend.

The original portion of the Warner House was a Revolutionary War barracks.   In the early 1800s, Henry Warner, a successful New York City attorney, purchased the Constitution Island property, deciding to make it into a summer residence for himself, his sister and two daughters.  They planned to keep their New York City residence as their permanent home.

In order to make it a comfortable summer home, Henry made additions to the Revolutionary War barracks:  an enclosed porch overlooking the Hudson River, a study, a kitchen and dining area, a cellar/storage area off the kitchen, a library, a  formal living room, and a formal dining room.  The barracks would house their bedrooms, sewing room, and other rooms.

During the 1836 Depression, Henry lost his legal practice and their New York City home.  The family moved to their “summer” home on Constitution Island — it became their “permanent” home.

The property stayed in the family until 1915, the year the youngest sister Anna died.  She had arranged to give their home and property to the Constitution Island Association, which would be located at West Point.  I worked for that association as a docent in the 1980s.

Home to military fortifications

During the Revolutionary War, Constitution Island (which actually wasn’t an island), became home to military fortifications and soldiers.  The fortifications were placed there by Patriot forces — a perfect location, because at that point the Hudson River narrowed substantially and bent sharply around part of Constitution Island.  The sharp turns in the river caused currents to meet and change directions, making navigation treacherous unless boats hung close to the shore lines.  It was a perfect place for fortifications on both sides of the Hudson.  On Constitution Island,  our Patriot forces constructed a barracks, forts, redoubts and parapets intended to work together forces with fortifications on the West Point side of the Hudson.

In 1778, during the Revolutionary War, a Great Chain was built.  It was a 500-yard-long iron chain built for Patriot forces.  It’s heavy links floated on rafts, and spanned the narrowest Continue reading