Browse Cookery Articles

Browse Culture Articles

Browse Community Articles

Building the Machine Review by Jesse Bluma

Building the Machine Review

Imagine what the best learning environment looks like in your mind.  Now see why creating that environment is no easy task.  The movie paints an excellent picture of various viewpoints within the education field.  The stories, examples, interviews, movers, shakers, and statistics used in the documentary give us a clear understanding of why many people object to the federal Common Core standards.  Please share your thoughts and actions you are taking to ensure a good education for yourself and others.  

"Building the Machine introduces the public to the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and its effects on our children’s education.  The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.

The Common Core is the largest systemic reform of American public education in recent history.  What started as a collaboration between the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to reevaluate and nationalize America’s education standards has become one of the most controversial—and yet, unheard of—issues in the American public."

The foundations for Common Core trace back to the 1992 presidential election.  Then president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), Marc Tucker, wrote to then First Lady Hillary Clinton.  Tucker envisioned a national, comprehensive system.  He stated, “It needs to be a system driven by client needs (not agency regulations or the needs of the organization providing the services), guided by clear standards that define the stages of the system for the people who progress through it, and regulated on the basis of outcomes that providers produce for their clients, not inputs into the system.”  As the Bill Clinton presidency progressed, education laws were passed such as Goals2000, the School-to-Work Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  These laws gave more power to federal officials over education in the U.S. through standardization of the curriculum, testing, and data collection.

Hillary Clinton supported and promoted Common Core—an education initiative developed in 2009.  Common Core was implemented during the Barack Obama administration and supported by Clinton and others.  She maintained her support for the standards throughout the Obama presidency.  During the first debate of the 2016 presidential election, then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Common Core “the most important non-family enterprise”.

Hillary Clinton was either unaware of the public’s dislike for Common Core or was attempting to politically advance the standards and testing methods in-spite of the fact.  However, the lack of support for Common Core was not lost on the Democrat National Committee.  Wikileaks, an international organization that publishes private and significant information, released an email from Eric Walker, Deputy Communications Director at the DNC.  In the email Walker stated,

“A)  Common Core is a political third rail that we should not be touching at all.  Get rid of it.

B)  Most people want local control of education so having Cruz and Trump saying it on a DNC video is counterproductive. Would get rid of any references to that.

C)  We wanted Christie in there bc he’s a trump surrogate / could be trump VP / most anti-teacher guy out there.  He’s yelled at pretty much everyone, there HAS to be video of him yelling at teachers and looking like a bully

D)  Need Cruz saying dept of ed should be abolished. If you can’t find it – use this from AFP summit: “The department of Education – which should be abolished”


Wayne Brasler, Sandra Stotsky, Jim Sturgios, Mike Petrilli, Andrew Hacker, Paul Horton, Ze'ev Wurman, Jim Milgram, Chester Finn, Bill Evers

Directed By

Ian A. Reid

Produced By

Suzanne Stephens, Michael Farris, Mike Smith

For more information see

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:

Image Credit:  Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA),,

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies Topped with Licorice Pastels by Jesse Bluma

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies Topped with Licorice Pastels

Enjoy these ample size cookies topped with small licorice pastels--old fashioned candies featuring chewy black licorice and a candy coating.  An excellent choice for birthdays, theme parties, dessert buffets, and more.  Created with organic and quality ingredients, including chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and premium candy.

Artisanal treats by Jesse Bluma at PointeViven
using organic ingredients and inspiration
from California, Central, and South America.

Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle

sign-up for email updates.      

The Spotlight Campaign: Courageous Individuals by Jesse Bluma

The Spotlight Campaign:  Courageous Individuals 


 Our ideas, our creations, our spirit, and our great actions have always been key.  I know what it’s like to create something, the hard work it takes to accomplish goals, and to stand with others.  I know with my readers we share an elevated approach to food, information, and inspiration.  Liberating food and taste is the mission.  It is a holistic approach to living well and freeing our taste in food and much more.  Pointe Viven reflects my spirit and its clients.  It is a dynamic community of liberating food and taste.

 Over the years it has been terrific to meet, spotlight, and feature creators, doers, and inspirational figures.  I know no matter where I am, where I visit, and with whom I meet I will learn something and be re-energized by their endeavors.  Each month join me in spotlighting the famous, the not so famous, the local celebrities, and those you believe have earned a thank you, a congratulations, and the recognition.

Each month a new theme will be chosen, so be thinking of those people you know exhibit the traits.  Often the trait is something not so measurable, rather it is shown through the mundane, certain instances, and moments that surprise you.  This is your opportunity to join me and take part in the campaign.

In April we celebrated masters of self-renewal.  Those that perpetually learn, reform, and refocus.  Those that self-assess and model the best in conscious living.

May:  This month we are spotlighting courageous individuals.  We are looking for those that exhibit a strong heart, inner strength, and zeal to stand with others.  This month let us celebrate those individuals making great strides in liberating their lives and the lives of others through courage.  Tell us the person you wish to spotlight and why.

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:

Image credit:,

Primavera Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies by Jesse Bluma

Primavera Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the cookies for your belly.  A premium way to celebrate Mother’s Day, Easter, spring events, or any event for that matter.  You are sure to please with these large size cookies topped with Tangerine and Green Apple Jelly Belly beans.  Created with organic and quality ingredients.

Order online or contact me for catering.

Join the Pointe Viven circle
sign-up for email updates.      

Chicken Thighs Pasta Recipe by Jesse Bluma

Chicken Thighs Pasta Recipe

This recipe for chicken pasta is one of my favorites.  A flavorful and excellent dish for gatherings.  I have taught several friends and others this recipe. 

Preparation Time:  30 minutes with 2 hour to overnight marinate

Serves:  4

Pasta Ingredients

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup stem trimmed, washed, minced fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon light-brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound whole wheat or multi-grain corkscrew, fusilli, or spiral pasta
10 ounces spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed well
1/2 cup honey Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons organic, fresh lemon juice
10 ounces organic spinach

Roasted Chicken Thighs

8 bone-in, skin on organic chicken thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 Tablespoons organic honey


In a bowl, toss chicken thighs with olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or up to a day).

Remove chicken from the refrigerator for 30 minutes before placing in the oven--time with pre-heating of the oven.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 degrees Celsius).

Roast chicken, skin side down, in an oiled roasting pan, 20 to 25 minutes.

Flip and roast 10 more minutes.

Heat the broiler. 

Put fennel seeds in a small, self-sealing plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin. 

Add parsley, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the bag, and shake to mix.

Stir together fennel seeds and honey and season with salt and pepper. 

Brush glaze onto chicken and broil approximately 5 minutes minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, about 13 minutes. 

Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water, and drain pasta. 

Trim spinach stems, wash well, then gently pat dry.

Return it to the warm pot, add spinach, and toss.

In a bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, lemon juice to taste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons pasta water.

Chop slightly cooled, roasted chicken thighs.  

Place pasta on plates, top with chopped chicken, and drizzle with the yogurt mixture.  Or simply toss pasta and chopped chicken in the pot with the yogurt mixture, adding pasta water as needed.

Join the Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven circle:



Shop Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven