Voices Empower


Date posted: September 4, 2011

By Donna Garner- Photos By Alice Linahan

While the United States has had its attention focused on Libya and Egypt, Turkey has slipped right into the hands of the Islamists under the influence of the Gulenists.  Under the two articles posted below, I have put the article that I wrote on 8.1.11 entitled “Gulen-Led Coup — Turkey Falls to Islamists.”  Today’s decision by Turkey to expel the Israeli ambassador was an orchestrated event to move Turkey, now under Islam leadership and Sharia law, into an anti-American, anti-Israeli position.

Israel says “no apology” over flotilla action, after Turkey expels its ambassador 


Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announces the expulsion REUTERS/Stringer

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara and suspended all military ties with its one-time ally on Friday, following the findings of a leaked UN report which concluded that Israel had used “excessive” force in a raid on a Turkish-led flotilla to Gaza last year.

Although the report has not yet been officially released, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said his country would reject it, regarding it as “null and void”.

The report says that the Israeli special forces “faced significant, organized, and violent resistance from a group of passengers”, but that “most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range.”

It added that the flotilla “acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade”, but called on Israel to make an “appropriate statement of regret” and pay compensation to the families of the dead.

The Israeli government says it will not apologise, though it has indicated that it would accept most of the report’s conclusions “with specific reservations”, while emphasising that the text noted its legal right to blockade Gaza.

But Turkey’s foreign minister said today Tthat Ankara plans to challenge the Gaza blockade at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the highest court of the United Nations.

Turkey recalled its own ambassador from Tel Aviv in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara boat, during which eight Turkish citizens, and one American of Turkish descent died.

Turkey has repeatedly said it will not restore normal relations with Israel unless Israel apologises and compensates victims.

Turkey was one of Israel’s rare allies in the Muslim world, but relations have deteriorated under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been Prime Minister since 2002.         

Turkey, Israel and the Flotilla


A United Nations report on Israel’s attack last year on a Gaza-bound aid ship should have been a chance to ease fraught relations between Israel and Turkey. Instead, both sides dug in their heels.

The United Nations has long pummeled Israel, and Israeli leaders initially resisted an independent investigation into the raid that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American. The report issued Friday seemed evenhanded. It said that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is legal and that Israeli commandos boarding the vessel had to defend themselves against “organized and violent resistance.” But it said that the force used by the Israelis was “excessive and unreasonable.” Most of those killed were shot multiple times.

The flotilla, which sailed from a Turkish port with the acquiescence of the Turkish government, was faulted for acting “recklessly” in running the blockade. The report also said that “more could have been done” by Turkey to persuade organizers to avoid a clash with Israeli forces.

Turkey rejected the findings, expelled Israel’s ambassador and announced that it was freezing military ties until Israel apologized for the deaths and compensated the victims’ families. It has also been demanding that Israel end the blockade and that the United Nations shelve the report.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that Ankara “will take every precaution it deems necessary” to protect its shipping in the eastern Mediterranean. He didn’t explain, but it is irresponsible to even hint that Turkey, a NATO ally, might look for opportunities to confront Israel militarily.

Israel accepted the findings by the United Nations and said that it hoped to mend ties with Turkey, but it reiterated that it would not apologize. Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to apologize to Turkey. American officials are going to have to keep trying with both sides.

We don’t blame Israel for wondering if Turkey is keeping this conflict going to burnish its standing in the Arab world. Turkey is risking a lot, including billions in trade with Israel and its reputation as a responsible international player. Israel certainly doesn’t need to be any more isolated than it is.

Israel should apologize for the deaths. And Turkey should stop upping the ante.

A version of this editorial appeared in print on September 3, 2011, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: Turkey, Israel and the Flotilla: Both sides need to cool things down before it gets any worse. 


“Gulen-Led Coup — Turkey Falls to Islamists”


By Donna Garner and Alice Linahan

While most of us have been focused on the U. S. debt ceiling and the serious implications for the world’sfinancial markets, meanwhile another country has just fallen to the Islamists: Turkey.

Turkey has been friendly toward the United States for many years, and one of our largest bases is in Incirlik, Turkey.  This base is essential to our operations in the Middle East.

This last Thursday (7.29.11) Reuters News Service and the British Broadcasting Company broke the news that the Islamic Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, had seized control of the government and the military when Turkey’s top four military commanders (secularists who have stood against Turkey becoming an Islamist state) resigned under pressure.

These four commanders were in charge of the Turkish air, navy, and land forces.  Erdogan’s own choice for commander has now been put in charge of the Turkish military.


During the two years leading up to last Thursday, Erdogan and his AKP party have put over 400 people on trial in hearings dominated by Erdogan-appointed judges, including 250 military personnel (almost 10% of their military senior commanders).

More than 58 journalists have been detained without due process for speaking out about the Erdogan government.

On 7.25.11, The Committee to Protect Journalists sent a letter to the Turkish Minister of Justice protesting the detainments. The letter specifically objected to the seizure by the Turkish police of a draft of Ahmet Şık’s unpublished book, The Imam’s Army, that details the influence of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen on the Turkish state.

Turkish citizens believe the charges are trumped up in order to discredit those who believe in keeping Turkey a secularist (pro-American/pro-Israeli/pro-European) state.


Erdogan is a follower of Fethullah Gulen.  Since Erdogan took over as Prime Minister in 2002, Gulen/Erdogan/AKP have allegedly orchestrated two trumped up plots called “Ergenekon” and “Sledgehammer.”


The first reason that we Americans should be concerned about the Islamist coup in Turkey is that Turkey is a member of NATO; and on March 28, 2011, our own President, pro-Muslim Obama, placed our coalition military operations in Libya under NATO control.

This means that our U. S. military personnel fighting under the NATO flag are partially controlled by Turkey which has now turned against America and Israel and is well on its way to becoming an Islamic state.  Turkey has the second-largest army in NATO.


Our second reason for concern is that Fethullah Gulen lives in Pennsylvania, runs his $25 billion international network from there, and is tied to hundreds of Gulen charter schools right here in the  United States.  (Texas alone has 36 of these Gulen charter schools.)

Gulen plans to take America over in almost exactly the same way that he has taken Turkey over — through the indoctrination of our school children; and ironically, we taxpayers are paying for his Gulen charter schools.


Who is behind Turkish Prime Minister Enrogan and the AKP?  Fethullah Gulen is an Islamist imam who is considered by many to be the “most dangerous man in the world.”

As Ahmet Sik, a Turkish journalist now under arrest, was being dragged away to jail by the Turkish security forces, he yelled, “Whoever touches the Gulen movement gets burned!”


Turkey’s ruling party is the AKP led by Prime Minister Erdogan.  He is a Muslim, believes in Sharia law, and is a follower of Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan was elected in 2003 and was recently re-elected in June 2011 because working in clandestine operations with the Gulenists, he has been able to control and coerce the Turkish masses through fear.

Two of the basic tenets that Fethullah Gulen uses to indoctrinate his followers at an early age are (1) “taquiya” which is an Islam belief that permits them to lie to “infidels” (i.e., anyone who is not a Muslim), and (2) total secrecy — a belief that if a person never shares a secret, then he never has to worry about his secrets becoming known.  In fact, secrecy is an obsession for Gulenists.  In Pearls of Wisdom, Gulen explains, “The secret is your slave but you become its slave if you disclose it.”

Dr. Aland Mizell, a leading Gulenist researcher, stated:

What Gulenists want is total power and one-man rule; they want a status so that none could dare to object to them or to their leader, because they sincerely believe that Allah has chosen them to disseminate their brand of Turkish Islam to the world, and therefore that everything they do is right and without mistakes.


Prior to Gulen/AKP/Erdogan, Turkey was pro-America, pro-Israel, and pro-European. Turkey is one of 28 members of NATO but has the second-largest army.

Now Gulen/AKP/Erdogan have formed close alliances with Russia, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria.

Gulen has set the political agenda in Turkey using his followers in AKP.

Gulen controls a worldwide, $25 billion network of media, financial institutions, associations, and foundations.

Gulen is an Islamist imam who considers himself to be a prophet.

His sermons indicate that he intends for Turkey and the entire world to become Islamist and to follow Sharia law. He wants to establish a caliph and the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire. Several years ago, Turkish television aired footage of Gulen saying:

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers…You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it…The philosophy of our service is that  we open a house somewhere and, with the patience of a spider, we lay our web to wait for people to get caught in the web…

In 1971, Gulen was arrested in Turkey for holding secret religious activities in which he ran illegal summer camps to indoctrinate youth.

Gulen has groomed his image to make him look as if he is a “tolerant” Muslim, but he is actually a follower of Sa’id-I Nursi, the founder of the Islamist Nur (light) movement.

Gulen/Nur intend for Islamists to take over the world and establish an Islamic caliphate that follows Sharia law.

In 1998, Gulen escaped to America to avoid being questioned about his involvement to overthrow Turkey’s pro-American/pro-Israel government.

Bill Clinton was President at the time.  Bill and Hillary Clinton and the CIA welcomed Gulen and promoted him as being an outstanding scholar who represented a peaceful, “secular” form of Islam.

When President George W. Bush took office in January 2001 and America experienced the radical Muslim terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration (along with Karen Hughes who now promotes the Gulen charter schools) evidently wanted to appear to be “politically correct” and, therefore, fell for Gulen’s lies.

Now the United States has a Muslim-friendly President in the White House who has appointed Dalia Mogahed as his Muslim advisor.  Mogahed is a Gulenist.


Gulen lives in eastern Pennsylvania with 100 followers who guard him and tend to his needs.  His male followers try to blend into American society by wearing suits and ties, and they do not marry until age 50.  Their spouses are expected to dress in the Islamic manner as dictated by Gulen.

Gulen runs his international network from Pennsylvania, and he and his next-in-command (Nurettin Veren) say they control 75% of the schools and universities in Turkey plus hundreds of schools in 110 countries worldwide.

Gulenists have targeted children to indoctrinate them to become the ruling class of the Islamist, Turkish state.  Under Erdogan, textbooks have been changed, Islam has been emphasized, and thousands of imams have been placed into positions as teachers and administrators in the schools.


In an interview in 2008, Veren said, “Children whom we educated in Turkey are now in the highest positions. There are governors, judges, military officers. There are ministers in the government. They consult Gulen before doing anything.”

Gulenists have also taken over the 200,000 Turkish police force.  Veren said, “There are imam security directors; imams wearing police uniforms. Many police commissioners get their orders from imams.”

Those in the police academies who were not Gulenists were dismissed, and the AKP promotes only those officers who are totally dedicated to Gulen.

In 2008 Endogan ordered the arrests of the people who were speaking out against this Gulen takeover.

Wiretapping by Gulenists has penetrated Turkey to the highest levels, and they have managed to restrist technology so that secretly recorded meetings of those opposed to Gulen/AKP/Erdogan have been made public.

Turkish journalists have also had their wires tapped because the head of the police wiretapping unit is a Gulenist.

Anti-AKP demonstrators have experienced violent police brutality, and private citizens who have spoken out about Erdogan/AKP have been abducted and brutalized.


Traditionally, the Turkish military has been the guarantor of the Constitution; but now according to Veren (Gulen’s top man), the Gulenists have entrenched themselves within the military also.  Veren stated:

The Fethullahist military officers were once our students, who we financially supported, educated, and assisted.  When these grateful children graduated and reached influential positions, they put themselves and their positions at the service of Fethullah Gulen…when Gulen students graduate from the police or military academies — as do the new doctors and lawyers — they present their first salaries to Fethullah Gulen as a gesture of their gratitude. 

Gulenists have also taken over the Turkish court system because Erdogan replaced thousands of judges and prosecutors with his own AKP/Gulen followers. Anybody applying for judgeships has to pass an AKP review.

In years past, the Turkish media used to be relentless about exposing government corruption; but when Erdogan came to power in his first term, he filed “frivolous” lawsuits against 63 journalists in 16 publications.  This successfully dissuaded journalists’ from ferreting out corruption.

During Erdogan’s ten year rule, his government has seized control of Sabah-ATV, which was Turkey’s second largest media group. Then Erdogan made his son-in-law the CEO of the group.

Now nine of the leading TV, radio stations, and newspapers are all owned by AKP/Gulen.

It is no wonder that Erdogan won re-election in June 2011 since he and the AKP controlled most of the media, the military, the security forces, and the courts.


Homeland Security and the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service tried to deny Gulen permanent residence in the Unites States.  In 2008 Gulen brought a lawsuit against Michael Chertoff of Homeland Security.  The Department contended that Gulen did not meet the definition of a person with “extraordinary ability in the field of education” but that he was actually a “leader of a large and influential religious and political movement with immense commercial holdings.”  The State tried to prove that the acclaim that Gulen touted was actually sponsored or financed by his own movement.

Gulen evidently managed to “pay off” enough institutions and high-profile people to mount pressure to get his status reversed, and the 29 letters of reference that he filed with his motion came from theologians or Turkish political figures closely associated with his Gulenist movement.  The judge ruled in Gulen’s favor, and now he can stay in the United States permanently.


One of the most disheartening reports has been the connections of former executive director of the Republican Party and trusted advisor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes and her close ties to the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation’s Harmony Schools here in Texas. As you can hear in this video Ms. Hughes is very interested in promoting Harmony Science Charter Schools and accessing Texas  tax dollars to create competition for public schools by funding the Gulen/Harmony charter schools.

In a bold move, the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation/Harmony Charter Schools have now branched out from their usual “math and science” venues into a brand new school to open soon in Austin, Texas.

This new Gulen school will be called the Harmony School of Political Science.  This means that at taxpayers’ expense, Turkish teachers (many of whom are here on H-1 visas and are Muslims) will be teaching our students “American” history.  Can you imagine how these teachers who can hardly speak English and are fresh from Turkey will present such historically significant elements as the Holocaust, the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution?

Yes, all teachers in Texas (including those in the Gulen schools) are to follow the state-approved curriculum requirements; but nothing constrains teachers from teaching those requirements with a particular political spin.  Since almost all of the terrorists who have declared jihad against Americans are Muslims, then it should make us very skeptical about having Muslim teachers teach our Texas students to love, respect, and appreciate America.


A protest rally will be held on the public sidewalk in front of Harmony School of Political Science – Austin, Texas — on Aug. 30, 2011, from 9:00 to 10:00 A. M.

 People in the Austin area should definitely commit to be at the rally since this Harmony School of Political Science is being opened right there in your own city.  

Please bring signs (without any wooden or metal stakes), wear T-shirts, display “sandwich-type” posters (affixed to front and back of body), or create other visual displays that are in line with the City of Austin laws (posted at bottom of this e-mail).



7.30.11 — 7:57 AM (EDT) — Reuters News Service — “Analysis: Turkish Government Strengthens Control on Military” by Daren Butler — Istanbul – 

========ISTANBUL ===============

7.30.11, 3:54 P. M. EDT — Reuters News Service — “Turkey’s Leaders Deny Crisis as Top Generals Quit” by Simon Cameron-Moore — Istanbul –


7.29.11, 17:29 ET — British Broadcasting Company –  “Turkey: Military Chiefs Resign En Masse” –



Winter 2009, pp. 55 – 66 – The Middle East Quarterly – “Fethullah Gülen’s Grand Ambition: Turkey’s Islamist Danger” by Rachel Sharon Krespin, director of the Turkish Media Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Washington D.C.


7.25.11 — “Journalists Held Without Due Process in Turkey“  — Letter from Committee to Protect Journalists –


12.16.10 — British Broadcasting Company — “Turkey Tries Army Officers Over Sledgehammer ‘Plot’” — by Jonathan Head — Istanbul 


 8.1.11 — “Protest Rally — Gulen Political Science School in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2011” by Donna Garner 


7.22.11 — “Wrong Person Takes the Fall — Another Gulen Situation”  by Donna Garner


List of Gulen Charter Schools in the United States“ 


7.17.11 — “Another Turkish Charter School in Trouble” by Donna Garner 


7.14.11 — “How Blind Can People Be?” by Donna Garner 


7.10.11 — “Is a Changed Muslim Kosher in a Taxpayer-Funded Texas School” by Peyton Wolcott 


 6.29.11 – The Texas House General Investigating & Ethics Committee has begun its investigation of the Gulen Turkish charter schools (Cosmos Foundation, Harmony Schools, Rainbow Turkish House, etc.). 



7.10.11 — “Are Taxpayers Paying for Free Trips to Turkey?” by Donna Garner 


6.19.11 – Austin American-Statesman article by Laylan Copelin and Mike Ward, “Some Texas Lawmakers Have Second Thoughts about Turkey Trips” —  


6.29.11 — Texas Legislature Investigating Gulen/Cosmos Foundation/Harmony Schools: by Donna Garner


 6.30.11 — “Personal Accounts: Gulen Harmony Schools” by Donna Garner


7.14.11 — “Harmony Science Academies Tied to Gulen Charter Schools” by Donna Garner 


“The Gulen Movement – How It Operates in Turkey and in the U. S.” –  Parts 1, 2, 3 — YouTube

Part 1:  

Part 2:  

Part 3:  


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Kate Alexander’s Laughable Confusion

Date posted: September 2, 2011

By Donna Garner

Good old Kate Alexander of the Austin American-Statesman always tries to raise a ruckus where there is not one. However, her article in the AAS today is laughable. 

In trying to cut down Gov. Perry, Kate includes a quote from Clayton Williams that is meant to be damaging to Gov. Perry and also to the conservative leaders of the Texas State Board of Education; but instead, the quote is hilarious because it is so out of alignment with the present economic status of Texas’ healthy economy.

Next, Kate tries to inject another point of criticism at Gov. Perry but in so doing accidentally publicizes the fact that “creationism” and “Intelligent Design” are terms that are not found in Texas’ new Science standards.  Ironically it is Kate and her newspaper that led the charge against the SBOE conservatives by accusing them of producing right-wing Science standards.  What our Science TEKS actually say is that teachers and students in Texas should feel free to study and discuss the various sides of leading scientific theories.  Even the ACLU has not found fault with this requirement.  

Kate is still trying to beat up the conservative leaders of the Texas State Board of Education who managed, in spite of her insidious vilification and personal attacks, to adopt the most fact-based and patriotic Social Studies Standards (TEKS) in the entire United States (May 2010).  As one renowned history expert stated, “…they’re extremely balanced, extremely fair, and extremely thorough.”  

[To read details about the passage of the new Texas Social Studies TEKS, please  go to my article (5.22.10) entitled “Journaling the Texas State Board of Education’s Victory” 

Texas’ new English / Language Arts / Reading (ELAR) standards (passed in May 2008) are excellent. The first English / Language Arts textbooks based upon these new standards are making their way into our Texas schools as we speak; and experienced English teachers have said that they have never seen any better books that teach students explicit and comprehensive grammar, usage, correct spelling, and the skills students will need to become accomplished writers and researchers. 

Texas’ Science standards (passed in March 2009) are one-of-a-kind because the majority of the SBOE members managed to keep global warming from permeating our Texas public school standards.  

When Kate Alexander and the other liberal news media types bring up our new Texas curriculum requirements and try to reignite the firestorm that the state and national media stirred up during the heated SBOE debates, it is my pleasure to refer the public to two important resources and one insightful quote: 

(1) First is an article published by Investors Business Daily on 4.5.10 entitled “A Complete List of Bad Things Attributed to Global Warming” —  

(2)  Second is the list of over 700 well-known scientists who signed “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”  — 

(3)  Third is a quote from Will Lutz who wrote the following insightful statement in the last issue of  The  Lone Star Report (9.1.11):

Next, I greatly appreciate the conservative members of the Texas State Board of Education and their families who serve countless hours and endure unfair criticism.

They stood for high standards and real accountability — even when it was politically risky to do so.  They ensured our history curriculum teaches the truth that America is a beacon of freedom and hope worldwide. 

Nothing upsets me more than listening to politicians give lip service to traditional values in their campaigns, and then trying to neuter the conservatives on the State Board of Education behind-the-scenes in Austin. 


Perry’s social agenda is sometimes at odds with Texas business  

By Kate Alexander

Business leaders who write big checks to Gov. Rick Perry have often been given the opportunity to bend Perry’s ear, but that doesn’t mean the governor always listens.

Clayton Williams Jr. , the 1990 GOP gubernatorial nominee who hosted a presidential campaign fundraiser for Perry on Thursday, wrote the governor in 2008 with concerns about the State Board of Education’s coming debate over science curriculum standards.

The Midland oilman warned Perry that a big public fight over the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in Texas classrooms would be detrimental to the state’s business reputation, according to a letter obtained by the American-Statesman under the state’s open records law.

“If Texas enters into a debate on the teaching of fundamental religious beliefs in public schools, it will tarnish our strong academic reputation, set our ability to attract top science and engineering talent to Texas back decades and severely impact our reputation as a national and global leader in energy, space, medicine and other high-tech fields,” wrote Williams, who has given Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns more than $165,000 over the past decade.

“Governor, this is a very important issue for Texas. I urge you to quell this issue quietly, firmly and permanently.”

A year later, the board engaged in just the kind of high-profile cultural battle over the teaching of evolution that Williams had predicted. It garnered national headlines as board Chairman Don McLeroy declared that “someone has to stand up to the experts.”

Perry did not get publicly involved and passed up an opportunity in 2009 to replace McLeroy as chairman, who was leading the conservative charge.

Perry’s passive approach apparently didn’t bother Williams too much; he wrote two $25,000 checks to the governor’s campaign after penning the 2008 letter, in addition to hosting Thursday’s fundraiser.

For many business leaders, it was Perry’s job-creation message that drew their interest as the governor entered the presidential race in August. His announcement speech was almost entirely focused on the economy and jobs.

But during Perry’s early days on the campaign trail, he has been talking a lot about issues that appeal to socially conservative voters.

Two weeks ago, Perry made his position on evolution clear during a presidential campaign spin through New Hampshire.

He told a young boy that the theory of evolution has some gaps in it so in Texas, “we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools — because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right,” Perry said.

Politifact Texas ruled Perry’s statement was false because creationism was not included in the science standards approved by the State Board of Education in 2009.

Perry has also said he does not think climate change is caused by human activity.

One of Perry’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, was quick to distinguish himself from Perry on the issue of science.

“To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,” Huntsman wrote in a Twitter post shortly after Perry’s creationism comments swept through the Internet.

Kathleen Parker , a conservative syndicated columnist, wrote last week that such views would make it difficult for Perry to win a general election.

“That we are yet again debating evolutionary theory and Earth’s origins — and that candidates now have to declare where they stand on established science — should be a signal that we are slip-sliding toward governance by emotion rather than reason,” Parker wrote last week.

Mark Jones , a political science professor at Rice University , said the business leaders who are key to Perry’s fund-raising operation understand that Perry must secure the support of social conservatives to knock U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota out of the race.

“The principal tension it creates is the extent that the business community believes he is doing this for electoral purposes versus ideological purposes,” Jones said.

Perry has taken other policy stances that some prominent Texas business leaders have opposed, such as his support for immigration-related legislation that would have banned so-called sanctuary cities.

One of the governor’s top donors, Houston homebuilder Bob Perry , pushed to stop the legislation. It didn’t pass, even though Republicans in the House and Senate said they supported it and Gov. Perry, no relation to Bob Perry, declared the measure a legislative emergency.

Jones said the fate of the sanctuary cities bill demonstrated Perry’s ability to appeal to various GOP factions while not alienating anyone.

Perry made a show of publicly pushing the sanctuary cities measure and won points with the voters concerned about immigration, Jones said, but he didn’t spend any political capital to get it passed.


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Latest Outrage Committed by Thomas Ratliff

Date posted: August 12, 2011

By Donna Garner 

Just when I thought Texas State Board of Education Member Thomas Ratliff could not do anything more outrageous, he has surprised me again. 

Thomas Ratliff - Registered Lobbyist - SBOE Rep.

Thomas Ratliff is a wealthy lobbyist who has worked for Microsoft for over ten years. As reported on the Texas Ethics Commission website, Ratliff has made tens of thousands of dollars from Microsoft and other education-related clients. 

The SBOE voted to ask the Texas Attorney General’s office for a ruling on whether Ratliff is eligible to be an SBOE member because of his obvious conflict of interest. The ruling is due from the AG’s office in a few short weeks.    

The Texas Education Code — Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c) — clearly states: 

(c)  A person who is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, by virtue of the person’s activities for compensation in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association related to the operation of the board, may not serve as a member of the board or act as the general counsel to the board.  

As if to show his utter disdain for the law, Thomas Ratliff voted blatantly at the last SBOE meeting (July 20 – 22, 2011) to approve online materials, all of which are based on Microsoft operating systems.  

Some of the science materials prompt the user to “Click here for Microsoft add-ons” which is a specific promotion of Microsoft software and technology that will be required to download in order to run various aspects of the electronic materials.

Ratliff also voted to approve computer technology and computer science courses that use Microsoft operating systems. 

Coming up in the September SBOE meeting when the SBOE members are to approve charter schools,  several of the charter school applicants plan to use Gates Foundation grants. 

Because of the increased emphasis on technology in the public schools, the SBOE is continually involved with decisions involving Gates-Microsoft.

Guess who will make a fortune if the SBOE/TEA increases the amount of its contracts with Microsoft?  Thomas Ratliff, of course  —

The SBOE is also the caretaker of the Permanent School Fund (PSF).  As reported on May 30, 2010, Microsoft was one of the PSF’s top five stocks at $157.16 million.

When questioned about his obvious conflict of interest, Thomas always likes to allude to Will Davis who served on the SBOE some years ago and was a lobbyist.  However, there is a huge difference between Thomas Ratliff being a lobbyist for Microsoft and Will Davis being a lobbyist for an insurance company that did not do any business with the SBOE nor the TEA. 

Interestingly, it was Bill Ratliff (Thomas Ratliff’s father – a Texas Senator) who was the author of SB 1 that contained the wording found in TEC, Subchapter A, Section 7.103 (c), yet his own son believes it is fine to ignore the wording passed by his father and the Texas Legislature.  

Fellow Texans, if you are as outraged as I am over this obvious conflict of interest, please submit your comments about SBOE member and lobbyist Thomas Ratliff to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.  I have posted several articles below that will give you more information, but the main point to make is that Texans expect our elected officials to obey the Rule of Law.   

It is permissible to submit your comments by e-mail to the following addresses:greg.abbott@oag.state.tx.us or public.information@oag.state.tx.us.   When I have submitted my comments, I have also asked for a receipt of my comments to be e-mailed back to me. 

Please be sure to put the following file number in the subject line of your e-mail and also at the top of your letter:  File #ML 4667511, I. D. #46675 — Thomas Ratliff.  


4.3.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall” by Donna Garner —  

3.25.11 – “Who’s Behind This Mounting Pressure?”  

3.15.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s False Sense of Security” by Donna Garner






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Date posted: August 8, 2011

By Donna Garner

DONNA GARNER - Educator for 33 years, appointed by President Reagan, Now Activist Writer

I listened to “the blame game” yesterday on TV as Obama and the liberals tried to blame the tea partiers for the debt crisis and the loss of the S&P AAA credit rating.  

How utterly ridiculous! 

Then thankfully a person with some common sense explained, “When our house is falling down because of termite infestation, should we blame the exterminator?  Of course not. We should blame the termites.” 

Knowledge is Power. Read this report that was first published on 7.5.11. 



National Debt

Basically, our national debt is the amount of money our country owes. When Obama took office, our National Debt was $10.6 Trillion.  Today it is $14.3 Trillion. This $3.7 Trillion increase is 2 ½ times the annual increase under President Bush.  

When the Democrats took control of Congress on January 4, 2007, the National Debt was $8.7 Trillion.   When the Republicans regained control of the House on Jan. 5, 2011, the National Debt was $14.0 Trillion; therefore, the national debt grew by $5.3 Trillion under the Democrat-controlled Congress.


The deficit is the difference between what the U. S. government takes in from taxes and revenues and the amount that the federal government spends during one fiscal year.  When deficits accumulate, the national debt increases. 

Instead of focusing on budget deficits, we should be focusing on the National Debt.  If the National Debt were to go up in a particular fiscal year, that means the government ran a deficit.  If the National Debt were to go down in a certain fiscal year, the government has run a surplus and has paid down the debt. 

The United States does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem

Congressmen should vote “no” on raising the debt ceiling.

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“Personal Accounts: Gulen Harmony Schools”

Date posted: June 30, 2011

By Donna Garner

A mother called me last week to tell me about her middle-school daughter.  I guess because I was a teacher for so long and write education articles, people tend to turn to me with their concerns. 

The mother (I will call her “Annie”) said her daughter (“Suzie”) went to a Harmony School in XXXXX, Texas.  Annie thought the schools would be good because they advertised their well-disciplined approach and high science and math scores.

Annie allowed her daughter to remain in the school for a year but became very concerned as the school year progressed.

Annie described the Harmony School as being decorated all in Turkish furnishings, wall hangings, memorabilia.  Many of the students were Muslims, Pakistanis, Turks, Asians, etc.  Low-income Afro-American and Hispanic students also went there. Suzie is dark-skinned, and that is one reason Annie thought her daughter would fit in well at Harmony.

Annie said there were four American teachers who spoke good English; the rest were Turks who came from Albania. The e-mails that Annie received from the school were written in such broken English that she could hardly understand the content. Suzie received almost no instruction on English grammar/usage, and her ability to write in good English decreased in proficiency while she was there.

Students had uniforms and T-shirts from Turkey. The school held cooking classes for parents and taught them Turkish recipes.  Trips to Turkey were advertised early in the year, and students and other people went on these trips for a two-week spring break.  If students could not afford the trips, they were provided the money to go.  The summer trip to Turkey was for one month. Students participated in the Science Olympiad that was held within the Cosmos Foundation across the United States — Cosmos students competed with other Cosmos students.

The Harmony students took very frequent field trips during the school year and constantly put their students on display. They almost always went to places and had luncheons where elected officials could see them and did frequent performances for Congressmen, state board of education members, Texas legislators, city councils, judges, police chiefs, fire chiefs, etc.

The mother said Suzie received overly generous grades the whole time that she was in Harmony and that students whom Suzie knew were mediocre students also received inflated grades. In January students who had received F’s for the first semester were bumped up to B’s.

To prepare the students for the TAKS, Suzie told her mother that they were drilled on dates(e.g., 1492), but there was no explanation or teaching about the historical background of such dates. When they were taught history, they studied such things as a story about a Japanese (or Chinese) man who lived in California and invented “the first airplane.”  Nothing was ever taught about the Wright Brothers.

Multicultural historical figures were emphasized, but the Founding Fathers had little if anything said about them. There were three mentions of Paul Revere in a textbook, but they were short sentences. The students did read a book that was supposed to be about Paul Revere and the historical figures of the time but ended up being a book about the female author. The books were dry, unengaging, and contained no traditional history with stories of American heroes and heroines.

Suzie did have textbooks, but the literary selections were about dark, depressing, negative,and disturbing subjects that referenced America with frequent examples of drugs, alcohol, and violence.  Suzie and her mother both felt the literary selections did not represent wholesome American life.

Because Suzie became increasingly depressed while attending Harmony, Annie decided to remove her from the school after a year.


Comments from Donna Garner, 6.30.11:

What we need to remember is (1) nobody monitors these Harmony Schools during the administration of tests. What is to prevent these H-1 visa teachers who are from Turkey and who have no commitment to the American value system to give their students the answers?  (2)  The Wikileaks cable from theU. S. Ambassador several years ago revealed that the Gulenists are taking over the Turkish Security Forces by giving applicants the answers to the tests. If this is their mode of operation in Turkey, it very well could be the way they operate here.  (3)  Dr. Ed Fuller’s research showed that over half of the students who start at Harmony leave.  This would certainly be a major factor in raising their TAKS scores — weed out the weak students.


Comments from Donna Garner, 6.30.11:

A friend wrote to me a few weeks ago and told me of an incident at Indian Springs Park in Waco, Texas.  The Harmony Science Academystudents from Waco performed at a community art festival.  As reported by my friend, the students were dressed in their attractive Turkish costumes and were waving bright-colored Turkish flags. The audience was impressed with the students’ graceful movements as they flourished their Turkish flags throughout the dance; but at one point, the students took a large American flag, put it on the stage floor, and began to dance upon the flag.

When the members of the audience realized that the students were treading upon our nation’s flag, various people rose to their feet to object to this lack of respect. The dance finished up about that time, and the children hurriedly left the stage.

My friend said she felt the incident demonstrated that there is a type of subtle, anti-American indoctrination that is occurring at Harmony Science Academy. 


By Alice Linahan

Just a reminder of the battles ahead and who exactly we are fighting, many times it is actually Republicans.

Charter Schools Tied to Turkey Grow in Texas- Karen Hughes and the New York Times

Texans this is why we fight against those Democrats and Rino Republicans in Austin who push to get their hands on our Rainy Day Fund. One of the most disheartening reports has been the connections of former executive director of the Republican Party and trusted advisor to President George W. Bush, Karen Hughes and her close ties to the Gulen/Cosmos Foundation’s Harmony Schools here in Texas. As you can hear in this video Ms. Hughes is very interested in promoting Harmony Science Charter Schools and accessing Texas  tax dollars to create competition for public schools by funding the Gulen/Harmony charter schools.

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