Archive for May, 2012

I discovered Mr. Skousen’s work last year by reading “Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places – 3rd edition“. He and his son, Andrew Skousen, offer a comprehensive guide to the safest places to relocate to in rough times. I highly recommend his work. I rate it 5-SS on my Indispensable Information Overload List of Links (IIOLOL)!

Below you’ll find the last section of a booklet from his website for your reading pleasure. I posted section 4: Self Defense and Revolution below. For the full booklet, click here.

WHY DO PEOPLE FAIL TO PRESERVE LIBERTY?

WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME RECOGNIZING ITS LOSS?

In response to these difficult questions regarding the loss of liberty, I have felt compelled to author this booklet. All free men need to determine just what are the essential principles that are necessary to conserve and defend individual, family, and group liberty from the slow, cancerous destruction of socialist, collectivist, and totalitarian tendencies of man.

4:

SELF DEFENSE AND REVOLUTION

To DEFEND one’s person and property against any overt and imminent threat, and to use the minimum, appropriate force required, of the alternatives immediately available at hand, to eliminate such threat, when no immediate recourse is available to assistance or constitutional adjudication. This includes the right to defend oneself against the aggression of other persons acting unconstitutionally as a majority within a government with the intent to take assets without prior consent or otherwise deprive any person of these fundamental freedoms.

There are two inherent dangers involved in the fundamental right to self-defense. First, it must not be viewed as a total license to kill for small and petty reasons. But on the other hand, it must not be so restrictive that it forces a person to calculate a myriad of legal alternatives when he is under dangerous, threatening and uncertain circumstances.

As we discussed earlier, we join together to form governmental associations in order to enhance our capability to deter and prosecute crime, and to use large scale defensive military force when appropriate. We also place voluntary limits upon our own powers of self-defense, by deferring to the judicial process for prosecution rather than taking personal retribution and revenge. The only exception is when the threat is so imminent, dangerous, or uncertain that there is no safe opportunity to summon law enforcement officers. In such a case each person is free to rely on his fundamental right to defend himself.

Such self-defense should give every benefit of the doubt to the one who is being threatened–not the aggressor. This principle is specifically worded to not give the type of legalistic aid and comfort to criminals as is presently provided by the myriad of legal restrictions surrounding the use of “deadly force” by a citizen.

A homeowner who is threatened by physical force should be free to select the best weapon, of that which is immediately available, that HE or SHE determines is necessary to eliminate the threat. There are circumstances that may well even justify shooting a violent attacker as he is fleeing, under the very real presumption that he is likely to come back and try again. It also means that a person isn’t restricted from using fast and deadly force against an attacker simply because he cannot visibly see a weapon. In many circumstances, at dark and at night, the presence of an intruder who refuses to respond to your demands to identify himself or otherwise stop his approach warrants the use of deadly force, from as safe a distance as possible. The only weapon that is usually suitable under such criteria is a stand-off weapon, such as a handgun, which demonstrates one of the prime reasons why a citizen’s right to self-defense is severely handicapped if handguns are prohibited.

The last part of the statement expands the self-defense role from the individual threat to the more onerous threat of tyranny by improper government force, as is quite common even in our society. In essence, it defines the right of legitimate revolution against government tyranny.

Instead of reaching for a gun to go next door and rob people, when in need, people have been enticed to believe it is appropriate to “reach for their legislator” instead of the gun. The legislator, along with a majority of the other representatives, performs the violation or theft, but he does so in the name of the law and taxation. That is why social welfare laws are improper and a violation of the fundamental rights of ownership. Government asserts the power to do what the individual citizen does not have the right to do–take from the productive and give to those that claim a need. But government, like any other association of men, cannot possess greater rights than those forming the association. If individuals do not have the right to take money from another without a voluntary exchange, neither does government.

Government has the power to tax, but only under contractual circumstances where the citizens have agreed to pay for services they assign a government to perform. The power to tax should be nothing more than an extension of the individual power to contract. After receiving a contractual service, the individual can be forced to comply with the terms, meaning “pay up.” Unfortunately, we have many types of government taxes which are forced upon people who have never contracted for the service. This is improper. In fact the entire formation of a government without initial consent of all the governed is a violation of a major principle of liberty.

When sufficient violations of this nature occur, and when there is no further recourse to peaceful change, the people may well be justified in exercising their right to revolution. Usually this is only necessary when the majority of voters have begun to participate in the benefits of government theft, and refuse to repeal the improper laws, voluntarily. Only when an oppressed minority has lost, in whole or in part, its fundamental rights and there no longer remains any ability to gain redress for grievance by democratic means is it justified in disregarding the law (nullification), leaving the government (secession), resisting compliance by armed defense, and throwing the rascals out of power (by revolution).

Granted, this is a dangerous and unpleasant course, and as stated in the Declaration of Independence, should not be done for “light and transient causes.” Nevertheless, it must be universally taught and defended as the fundamental right that it is. (Such instruction of citizen’s rights should never be allowed to justify a mandatory government school system–only that it may be view as a mandatory prerequisite of understanding for each person applying for citizenship. Where and how he learns it is up to the individual, as is discussed in the area of contractual citizenship. The citizen contract is found at the end of the Constitution.

Sexual Predator in TSA

Posted: May 25, 2012 in 1984, Decency Police, Tyranny
Tags:

Source: TSA News Blog http://bit.ly/KmwZWT

Priest booted for sex abuse finds job at TSA
by LISA SIMEONE on MAY 25, 2012
A Catholic priest kicked out of the church over sex abuse allegations has found refuge with the TSA in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia affiliate of CBS-TV has discovered that Thomas Harkins, formerly a priest working in South New Jersey, was removed by the Camden Diocese in 2002 because church officials found he had sexually abused two young girls. And now a third woman has come forward and filed a lawsuit against the Diocese for the same allegations.

It accuses Harkins of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl 10 to 15 times in 1980 and 1981. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the alleged victim, claims the abuse occurred while Harkins was a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, NJ, with one assault even occurring in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory.

Harkins was ordained in 1971. When the parents of the two victims contacted the church, they were told, in the first case, that they could “lose salvation,” and in the second, that they could “damage the church’s reputation.”

Harkins was supposedly sent away “for treatment.” The church paid the parents settlements totaling $195,000.

The church did not, however, report the abuse allegations to the police, as required by law.

Now Thomas Harkins has found another job: with the TSA at Philadelphia International Airport.

When the TV news crew tried to talk to him, Harkins “used his TSA badge to walk into a restricted area where our cameras could not follow.”

A TSA spokesperson said Harkins’s title is “Transportation Security Manager, Baggage.” That doesn’t mean, however, that he is restricted to handling baggage. He can still be called upon to do whatever the TSA requires on any given day. Including touching people.

The TSA constantly tells us it does thorough criminal background checks on its employees.

As we know, this isn’t the first time the TSA has had problems with child molestation, child porn, or sexual assault. The cases are well documented.

I have asked this question before, and I’ll ask it again: how are parents dealing with the possibility that their children may be molested as as condition of flying? And why are they willing to risk it?

(Hat-tip to Travel Underground)

(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Ben Popken)

If you are a parent of school-age children, this is an excellent, must read essay published in Harper’s Magazine in June 1985. I graduated from college that same year with an education degree. I joined the army of mediocrity to teach compliance, unquestioned obedience, and submission to tyranny. My college professors told romanticized lies about “making a difference” and “changing the world” through education. I quickly discovered that State schools teach us how not to think. I hope you enjoy the essay and consider sharing with others.

Source: The Underground Grammarian (A site dedicated to the late Richard Mitchell)

Why Johnny Can’t Think

The Politics of Bad Schooling

by Walter Karp
(from Harper’s Magazine, June 1985)

The following books are discussed in this essay:
A Place Called School, by John I. Goodlad
The Good High School, by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot
Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School, by Theodore R. Sizer
High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America, by Ernest L. Boyer and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, by the National Commission on Excellence in Education
The Great School Debate: Which Way for American Education?, edited by Beatrice and Ronald Gross
The Challenge to American Schools, edited by John Bunzel
The Troubled Crusade: American Education 1945-1980, by Diane Ravitch
_______________________

Until very recently, remarkably little was known about what actually goes on in America’s public schools. There were no reliable answers to even the most obvious questions. How many children are taught to read in overcrowded classrooms? How prevalent is rote learning and how common are classroom discussions? Do most schools set off gongs to mark the change of “periods”? Is it a common practice to bark commands over public address systems in the manner of army camps, prisons, and banana republics? Public schooling provides the only intense experience of a public realm that most Americans will ever know. Are school buildings designed with the dignity appropriate to a great republican institution, or are most of them as crummy looking as one’s own?

The darkness enveloping America’s public schools is truly extraordinary considering that 38.9 million students attend them, that we spend nearly $134 billion a year on them, and that foundations ladle out generous sums for the study of everything about schooling–except what really occurs in the schools. John I. Goodlad’s eight-year investigation of a mere thirty-eight of America’s 80,000 public schools–the result of which, A Place Called School, was published last year–is the most comprehensive such study ever undertaken. Hailed as a “landmark in American educational research,” it was financed with great difficulty. The darkness, it seems, has its guardians.

Happily, the example of Goodlad, a former dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, has proven contagious. A flurry of new books sheds considerable light on the practice of public education in America. In The Good High School, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot offers vivid “portraits” of six distinctive American secondary schools. In Horace’s Compromise, Theodore R. Sizer, a former dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, reports on his two-year odyssey through public high schools around the country. Even High School, a white paper issued by Ernest L. Boyer and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, is supported by a close investigation of the institutional life of a number of schools. Of the books under review, only A Nation at Risk, the report of the Reagan Administration’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, adheres to the established practice of crass special pleading in the dark.

Thanks to Goodlad et al., it is now clear what the great educational darkness has so long concealed: the depth and pervasiveness of political hypocrisy in the common schools of the country. The great ambition professed by public school managers is, of course, education for citizenship and self-government, which harks back to Jefferson’s historic call for “general education to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom.” What the public schools practice with remorseless proficiency, however, is the prevention of citizenship and the stifling of self-government. When 58 percent of the thirteen-year-olds tested by the National Assessment for Educational Progress think it is against the law to start a third party in America, we are dealing not with a sad educational failure but with a remarkably subtle success.

Passive, Docile Students

Consider how effectively America’s future citizens are trained not to judge for themselves about anything. From the first grade to the twelfth, from one coast to the other, instruction in America’s classrooms is almost entirely dogmatic. Answers are “right” and answers are “wrong,” but mostly answers are short. “At all levels, [teacher-made] tests called almost exclusively for short answers and recall of information,” reports Goodlad. In more than 1,000 classrooms visited by his researchers, “only rarely” was there “evidence to suggest instruction likely to go much beyond mere possession of information to a level of understanding its implications.” Goodlad goes on to note that “the intellectual terrain is laid out by the teacher. The paths for walking through it are largely predetermined by the teacher.” The give-and-take of genuine discussion is conspicuously absent. “Not even 1%” of instructional time, he found, was devoted to discussions that “required some kind of open response involving reasoning or perhaps an opinion from students…. The extraordinary degree of student passivity stands out.”

Sizer’s research substantiates Goodlad’s. “No more important finding has emerged from the inquiries of our study than that the American high school student, as student, is all too often docile, compliant, and without initiative.” There is good reason for this. On the one hand, notes Sizer, there are too few rewards for being inquisitive.” On the other, the heavy emphasis on “the right answer … smothers the student’s efforts to become an effective intuitive thinker.”

Yet smothered minds are looked on with the utmost complacency by the educational establishment–by the Reagan Department of Education, state boards of regents, university education departments, local administrators, and even many so-called educational reformers. Teachers are neither urged to combat the tyranny of the short right answer nor trained to do so. “Most teachers simply do not know how to reach for higher levels of thinking,” says Goodlad. Indeed, they are actively discouraged from trying to do so.

The discouragement can be quite subtle. In their orientation talks to new, inexperienced teachers, for example, school administrators often indicate that they do not much care what happens in class so long as no noise can be heard in the hallway. This thinly veiled threat virtually ensures the prevalence of short-answer drills, workbook exercises, and the copying of long extracts from the blackboard. These may smother young minds, but they keep the classroom Quiet.

Discouragement even calls itself reform. Consider the current cry for greater use of standardized student tests to judge the “merit” of teachers and raise “academic standards.” If this fake reform is foisted on the schools, dogma and docility will become even more prevalent. This point is well made by Linda Darling-Hammond of the Rand Corporation in an essay in The Great School Debate. Where “important decisions are based on test scores,” she notes, “teachers are more likely to teach to the tests” and less likely to bother with “nontested activities, such as writing, speaking, problem-solving or real reading of real books.” The most influential promoter of standardized tests is the “excellence” brigade in the Department of Education; so clearly one important meaning of “educational excellence” is greater proficiency in smothering students’ efforts to think for themselves.

Probably the greatest single discouragement to better instruction is the overcrowded classroom. The Carnegie report points out that English teachers cannot teach their students how to write when they must read and criticize the papers of as many as 175 students. As Sizer observes, genuine discussion is possible only in small seminars. In crowded classrooms, teachers have difficulty imparting even the most basic intellectual skills, since they have no time to give students personal attention. The overcrowded classroom inevitably debases instruction, yet it is the rule in America’s public schools. In the first three grades of elementary school, Goodlad notes, the average class has twenty-seven students. High school classes range from twenty-five to forty students, according to the Carnegie report.

What makes these conditions appalling is that they are quite unnecessary. The public schools are top-heavy with administrators and rife with sinecures. Large numbers of teachers scarcely ever set foot in a classroom, being occupied instead as grade advisers, career counselors, “coordinators,” and supervisors. “Schools, if simply organized,” Sizer writes, “can have well-paid faculty and fewer than eighty students per teacher (16 students per class without increasing current per-pupil expenditure.” Yet no serious effort is being made to reduce class size. As Sizer notes, “Reducing teacher load is, when all the negotiating is over, a low agenda item for the unions and school boards.” Overcrowded classrooms virtually guarantee smothered minds, yet the subject is not even mentioned in A Nation at Risk, for all its well-publicized braying about a “rising tide of mediocrity.”

Do the nation’s educators really want to teach almost 40 million students how to “think critically,” in the Carnegie report’s phrase, and “how to judge for themselves,” in Jefferson’s? The answer is, if you can believe that you will believe anything. The educational establishment is not even content to produce passive minds. It seeks passive spirits as well. One effective agency for producing these is the overly populous school. The larger schools are, the more prison-like they tend to be. In such schools, guards man the stairwells and exits. ID cards and “passes” are examined at checkpoints. Bells set off spasms of anarchy and bells quell the student mob. PA systems interrupt regularly with trivial fiats and frivolous announcements. This “malevolent intruder,” in Sizer’s apt phrase, is truly ill willed, for the PA system is actually an educational tool. It teaches the huge student mass to respect the authority of disembodied voices and the rule of remote and invisible agencies. Sixty-three percent of all high school students in America attend schools with enrollments of 5,000 or more. The common excuse for these mobbed schools is economy, but in fact they cannot be shown to save taxpayers a penny. Large schools “tend to create passive and compliant students,” notes Robert B. Hawkins Jr. in an essay in The Challenge to American Schools. That is their chief reason for being.

“How can the relatively passive and docile roles of students prepare them to participate as informed, active and questioning citizens?” asks the Carnegie report, in discussing the “hidden curriculum” of passivity in the schools. The answer is, they were not meant to. Public schools introduce future citizens to the public world, but no introduction could be more disheartening. Architecturally, public school buildings range from drab to repellent. They are often disfigured by demoralizing neglect–“cracked sidewalks, a shabby lawn, and peeling paint on every window sash,” to quote the Carnegie report. Many big-city elementary schools have numbers instead of names, making them as coldly dispiriting as possible.

Stamping Out Republican Sentiment

Public schools stamp out republican sentiment by habituating their students to unfairness, inequality, and special privilege. These arise inevitably from the educational establishment’s longstanding policy (well described by Diane Ravitch in The Troubled Crusade) of maintaining “the correlation between social class and educational achievement.” In order to preserve that factitious “correlation,” public schooling is rigged to favor middle-class students and to ensure that working-class students do poorly enough to convince them that they fully merit the lowly station that will one day be theirs. “Our goal is to get these kids to be like their parents,” one teacher, more candid than most, remarked to a Carnegie researcher.

For more than three decades, elementary schools across the country practiced a “progressive,” non-phonetic method of teaching reading that had nothing much to recommend it save its inherent social bias. According to Ravitch, this method favored “children who were already motivated and prepared to begin reading” before entering school, while making learning to read more difficult for precisely those children whose parents were ill read or ignorant. The advantages enjoyed by the well-bred were thus artificially multiplied tenfold, and 23 million adult Americans are today “functional illiterates.” America’s educators, notes Ravitch, have “never actually accepted full responsibility for making all children literate.”

That describes a malicious intent a trifle too mildly. Reading is the key to everything else in school. Children who struggle with it in the first grade will be “grouped” with the slow readers in the second grade and will fall hopelessly behind in all subjects by the sixth. The schools hasten this process of failing behind, report Goodlad and others, by giving the best students the best teachers and struggling students the worst ones. “It is ironic,” observes the Carnegie report, “that those who need the most help get the least.” Such students are commonly diagnosed as “culturally deprived” and so are blamed for the failures inflicted on them. Thus, they are taught to despise themselves even as they are inured to their inferior station.

The whole system of unfairness, inequality, and privilege comes to fruition in high school. There, some 15.7 million youngsters are formally divided into the favored few and the ill-favored many by the practice of “tracking.” About 35 percent of America’s public secondary-school students are enrolled in academic programs (often subdivided into “gifted” and “non-gifted” tracks); the rest are relegated to some variety of non-academic schooling. Thus the tracking system, as intended, reproduces the divisions of the class system. “The honors programs,” notes Sizer, “serve the wealthier youngsters, and the general tracks (whatever their titles) serve the working class. Vocational programs are often a cruel social dumping ground.” The bottom-dogs are trained for jobs as auto mechanics, cosmeticians, and institutional cooks, but they rarely get the jobs they are trained for. Pumping gasoline, according to the Carnegie report, is as close as an auto mechanics major is likely to get to repairing a car. “Vocational education in the schools is virtually irrelevant to job fate,” asserts Goodlad. It is merely the final hoax that the school bureaucracy plays on the neediest, one that the federal government has been promoting for seventy years.

The tracking system makes privilege and inequality blatantly visible to everyone. It creates under one roof “two worlds of schooling,” to quote Goodlad. Students in academic programs read Shakespeare’s plays. The commonality, notes the Carnegie report. are allowed virtually no contact with serious literature. In their English classes they practice filling out job applications. “Gifted” students alone are encouraged to think for themselves. The rest are subjected to sanctimonious wind, chiefly about “work habits” and “career opportunities.”

“If you are the child of low-income parents,” reports Sizer, “the chances are good that you will receive limited and often careless attention from adults in your high school. If you are the child of upper-middle-income parents, the chances are good that you will receive substantial and careful attention.” In Brookline High School in Massachusetts, one of Lightfoot’s “good” schools, a few fortunate students enjoy special treatment in their Advanced Placement classes. Meanwhile, students tracked into “career education” learn about “institutional cooking and clean-up” in a four-term Food Service course that requires them to mop up after their betters in the school cafeteria.

This wretched arrangement expresses the true spirit of public education in America and discloses the real aim of its hidden curriculum. A favored few, pampered and smiled upon, are taught to cherish privilege and despise the disfavored. The favorless many, who have majored in failure for years, are taught to think ill of themselves. Youthful spirits are broken to the world and every impulse of citizenship is effectively stifled. John Goodlad’s judgment is severe but just: “There is in the gap between our highly idealistic goals for schooling in our society and the differentiated opportunities condoned and supported in schools a monstrous hypocrisy.”

Phony Reforms

The public schools of America have not been corrupted for trivial reasons. Much would be different in a republic composed of citizens who could judge for themselves what secured or endangered their freedom. Every wielder of illicit or undemocratic power, every possessor of undue influence, every beneficiary of corrupt special privilege would find his position and tenure at hazard. Republican education is a menace to powerful, privileged, and influential people, and they in turn are a menace to republican education. That is why the generation that founded the public schools took care to place them under the suffrage of local communities, and that is why the corrupters of public education have virtually destroyed that suffrage. In 1932 there were 127,531 school districts in America. Today there are approximately 15,840 and they are virtually impotent, their proper role having been usurped by state and federal authorities. Curriculum and text. books, methods of instruction, the procedures of the classroom, the organization of the school day, the cant, the pettifogging, and the corruption are almost uniform from coast to coast. To put down the menace of republican education its shield of local self-government had to be smashed, and smashed it was.

The public schools we have today are what the powerful and the considerable have made of them. They will not be redeemed by trifling reforms. Merit pay, a longer school year, more homework, special schools for “the gifted,” and more standardized tests will not even begin to turn our public schools into nurseries of “informed, active and questioning citizens.” They are not meant to. When the authors of A Nation at Risk call upon the schools to create an “educated work force,” they are merely sanctioning the prevailing corruption, which consists precisely in the reduction of citizens to credulous workers. The education of a free people will not come from federal bureaucrats crying up “excellence” for “economic growth,” any more than it came from their predecessors who cried up schooling as a means to “get a better job.”

Only ordinary citizens can rescue the schools from their stifling corruption, for nobody else wants ordinary children to become questioning citizens at all. If we wait for the mighty to teach America’s youth what secures or endangers their freedom, we will wait until the crack of doom.

 


 

 

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Re blogged from Durablefaith.com

Got nothing to hide? I’ve heard that from many on social sites and blogs. REALLY!? That’s the attitude many in Germany held until the jack-boots came for them. Privacy is a natural right not some privilege given by some ‘benevolent’ government.

If you haven’t read Enemies Foreign and Domestic by Matthew Bracken yet, the theme of the book is smartly similar to what BigSis wants for you in this country. Give up liberty for security. We’re only taking pictures to help ‘fight crime’ and find missing persons. If you believe that, you haven’t been paying attention. Photos now, bombs later?

Guest post from Kevin Hayden’s site, TruthisTreason.net.

Source: Kevin Hayden – TruthisTreason.net

Date: May 16, 2012

Original Source: Don Rasmussen Contributor at the Blaze

MEDIA SHOWS NO SIGNS OF UNDERSTANDING THE RON PAUL STRATEGY, SO LET ME EXPLAIN IT

Over the last couple of weeks, the Ron Paul campaign has picked up a majority of delegates in Iowa, Colorado, Maine, and Nevada.  He’s on pace to also pick up the majority of delegates in at least four additional states…and those are just the sure things.  This is all part of a process that actually started over 4 years ago when Paul ran for President and his deputy campaign manager, Debbie Hopper, did yeoman’s work with the grassroots to recognize the intensity and develop this strategy.

The media is now belatedly noticing that this has been happening.  It has already succeeded in taking control of slews of local and county GOP organizations, putting at least seven Paul backers on the Republican National Committee, and completely taking over the party in multiple states…and counting.

The question that much of the legacy media is now starting to ask is “Why?”  As with so much reporting, they then go on to attempt to answer their own question and fail. The supposition has included…

  •     He still thinks he can win
  •     He’s laying the groundwork for Senator Rand Paul in 2016
  •     He wants a convention floor speech
  •     He want to force Romney to make Senator Paul the veep
  •     He seeks to influence the platform
  •     They want to make floor motions about pet issues

The funny thing about this is that these reporters and opinion makers could know the answer to their own questions if they had bothered to listen.  There is no great mystery.  Ron Paul, his staff (Full Disclosure: I’m a former staffer to both Dr. Paul and Campaign for Liberty), his activists, and his backers have been talking about this, writing about this, and meticulously implementing this strategy for years!  Ron Paul himself has been going on national television and discusses this strategy for months!  Heck, they started laying the groundwork by winning local GOP boards and committees in 2008.

The current project for all of those folks is nothing less than to take control of at least 77 seats in the RNC and a majority of state parties. That’s the first step.

They don’t care about floor speeches. This is a revolution. They’re taking the party. Then they’re taking the government so they can eliminate the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the domestic spy apparatus, the military-industrial complex, and every coercive federal power except for those enumerated by the Constitution.

They are doing this because they studied history and learned about the causes of the post-ISI crash in Latin America and the rise of the military dictatorships in the 1970’s. They learned about the Versailles treaty and how it forced the German state to destroy its currency trying to make war reparations, imploding the economy and seeding the ground for the Third Reich.  They learned that the Federal Reserve is a private banking system that has destroyed 97% of the value of the dollar by using inflation to transfer our wealth to a small ruling class. They learned that right versus left is an illusion; a football game for the masses.  They learned that the real battle is and has always been up towards freedom or down towards tyranny.

I was first presented the case of public opinion and the revolutionary war in Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign headquarters. Did you know that only about 10% of the US population actively supported the American Revolution?  The rest of the population was pretty well split.  You hear a lot of talk about “tipping points” from Paul people, often with quotes from the book of the same name or emphasized with Margaret Mead…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

Spend a little time with them and you will also likely hear about Eugene Debs. Debs was a socialist. He ran repeatedly for president a hundred years ago, once from prison. Eugene Debs never won a state, but today his entire platform is the law of the United States. Last year, an overwhelming number of Republican congressmen voted to pass Ron Paul’s Audit of the Fed bill after failing for over 20 years. It has already started.

Another common meme is about human psychology. As it goes, even after Kristallnacht (the first coordinated pogrom against the Jewish people by the German state), over three quarters of a million Jews remained in Germany. Why? Because it was just so far beyond their experience that they could not accept that their government intended to kill them to the last child. Would you?

Americans aren’t dealing with what’s coming because we won’t accept it. Tomorrow will always be like yesterday because it always has, right?

You will also hear that if one carries all of our debt obligations out to the life of the loans or programs, we are actually in the hole to the tune of about 105 trillion dollars. That is more money than has been created in the whole sum of human history. You will hear that our debt to GDP ration is over 100% and no country has ever recovered from that condition without collapse or revolution.

Are they radical? Yes, they believe that nothing less than radical action has a chance to change the trajectory and save the country. Ron Paul and the millions that have been inspired and informed by him believe these things, even if journalists and the masses don’t.

I saw this article over at LewRockwell.com a short time back. I got sidetracked and didn’t post it. I found it again when I followed Strangers and Aliens today. Great post!

Strangers and Aliens


 

 

 

 

 

 

by Anthony Wile
The Daily Bell

Introduction: Brett Veinotte has worked in private education for the last 10 years, in a variety of activities. As host of the School Sucks Podcast, every week Brett shares his discoveries about American schooling with thousands of listeners. He is also now the vice president of a tutoring and educational consulting company in New Hampshire. Brett worked as an Outdoor Education Leader at a boarding school lin Vermont in 2000, then taught at the Great Expectations school in Manchester, Vermont from 2004 to 2006, where he designed new curricula for all classes he taught, including American History, World History, Media Ethics, Film History and a variety of mathematics courses. While teaching at Great Expectations, he completed masters level coursework in educational leadership, and the secondary education certification program at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. After…

View original post 4,348 more words

As a government school teacher, what is stated below is true of our system of forced schooling in America. I work with many caring and devoted teachers, yet we can’t overcome the Leviathan system from which we are forced to ‘teach’. Below is a great eye-opener from PecanGroup to slumbering herd.

Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education

On September 9, 2011, in US NEWS, by PecanGroup

Seven Deadly sins Seven Sins of Our System of Forced EducationIn my last post I took a step that, I must admit, made me feel uncomfortable. I said, several times: “School is prison.” I felt uncomfortable saying that because school is so much a part of my life and the lives of almost everyone I know. I, like most people I know, went through the full 12 years of public schooling. My mother taught in a public school for several years. My beloved half-sister is a public schoolteacher. I have many dear friends and cousins who are public schoolteachers. How can I say that these good people–who love children and have poured themselves passionately into the task of trying to help children–are involved in a system of imprisoning children? The comments on my last post showed that my references to school as prison made some other people feel uncomfortable also.

Sometimes I find, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me and others feel, I have to speak the truth. We can use all the euphemisms we want, but the literal truth is that schools, as they generally exist in the United States and other modern countries, are prisons. Human beings within a certain age range (most commonly 6 to 16) are required by law to spend a good portion of their time there, and while there they are told what they must do, and the orders are generally enforced. They have no or very little voice in forming the rules they must follow. A prison–according to the common, general definition–is any place of involuntary confinement and restriction of liberty.

Now you might argue that schools as we know them are good, or necessary; but you can’t argue that they are not prisons. To argue the latter would be to argue that we do not, in fact, have a system of compulsory education. Either that, or it would be a semantic argument in which you would claim that prison actually means something different from its common, general definition. I think it is important, in any serious discussion, to use words honestly.

Sometimes people use the word prison in a metaphorical sense to refer to any situation in which they must follow rules or do things that are unpleasant. In that spirit, some adults might refer to their workplace as a prison, or even to their marriage as a prison. But that is not a literal use of the term, because those examples involve voluntary, not involuntary restraint. It is against the law in this and other democratic countries to force someone to work at a job where the person doesn’t want to work, or to marry someone that he or she doesn’t want to marry. It is not against the law, however, to force a child to go to school; in fact, it is against the law to not force a child to go to school if you are the parent and the child doesn’t want to go. (Yes, I know, some parents have the wherewithal to find alternative schooling or provide home schooling that is acceptable to both the child and the state, but that is not the norm in today’s society; and the laws in many states and countries work strongly against such alternatives.) So, while jobs and marriages might in some sad cases feel like prisons, schools generally are prisons.

Now here’s another term that I think deserves to be said out loud: Forced education. Like the term prison, this term sounds harsh. But, again, if we have compulsory education, then we have forced education. The term compulsory, if it has any meaning at all, means that the person has no choice about it.

The question worth debating is this: Is forced education–and the consequential imprisonment of children–a good thing or a bad thing? Most people seem to believe that it is, all in all, a good thing; but I think that it is, all in all, a bad thing. I outline here some of the reasons why I think this, in a list of what I refer to as “seven sins” of our system of forced education:

 1. Denial of liberty on the basis of age.

In my system of values, and in that long endorsed by democratic thinkers, it is wrong to deny anyone liberty without just cause. To incarcerate an adult we must prove, in a court of law, that the person has committed a crime or is a serious threat to herself or others. Yet we incarcerate children and teenagers in school just because of their age. This is the most blatant of the sins of forced education.

2. Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other.

It is not easy to force people to do what they do not want to do. We no longer use the cane, as schoolmasters once did, but instead rely on a system of incessant testing, grading, and ranking of children compared with their peers. We thereby tap into and distort the human emotional systems of shame and pride to motivate children to do the work. Children are made to feel ashamed if they perform worse than their peers and pride if they perform better. Shame leads some to drop out, psychologically, from the educational endeavor and to become class clowns (not too bad), or bullies (bad), or drug abusers and dealers (very bad). Those made to feel excessive pride from the shallow accomplishments that earn them A’s and honors may become arrogant, disdainful of the common lot who don’t do so well on tests; disdainful, therefore, of democratic values and processes (and this may be the worst effect of all).

3. Interference with the development of cooperation and nurturance.

We are an intensely social species, designed for cooperation. Children naturally want to help their friends, and even in school they find ways to do so. But our competition-based system of ranking and grading students works against the cooperative drive. Too much help given by one student to another is cheating. Helping others may even hurt the helper, by raising the grading curve and lowering the helper’s position on it. Some of those students who most strongly buy into school understand this well; they become ruthless achievers. Moreover, as I have argued in previous posts (see especially Sept. 24, 2008), the forced age segregation that occurs in school itself promotes competition and bullying and inhibits the development of nurturance. Throughout human history, children and adolescents have learned to be caring and helpful through their interactions with younger children. The age-graded school system deprives them of such opportunities.

4. Interference with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction.

A theme of the entire series of essays in this blog is that children are biologically predisposed to take responsibility for their own education (for an introduction, see July 16, 2008, post). They play and explore in ways that allow them to learn about the social and physical world around them. They think about their own future and take steps to prepare themselves for it. By confining children to school and to other adult-directed settings, and by filling their time with assignments, we deprive them of the opportunities and time they need to assume such responsibility. Moreover, the implicit and sometimes explicit message of our forced schooling system is: “If you do what you are told to do in school, everything will work out well for you.” Children who buy into that may stop taking responsibility for their own education. They may assume falsely that someone else has figured out what they need to know to become successful adults, so they don’t have to think about it. If their life doesn’t work out so well, they take the attitude of a victim: “My school (or parents or society) failed me, and that’s why my life is all screwed up.”

5. Linking of learning with fear, loathing, and drudgery.

For many students, school generates intense anxiety associated with learning. Students who are just learning to read and are a little slower than the rest feel anxious about reading in front of others. Tests generate anxiety in almost everyone who takes them seriously. Threats of failure and the shame associated with failure generate enormous anxiety in some. I have found in my college teaching of statistics that a high percentage of students, even at my rather elite university, suffer from math anxiety, apparently because of the humiliation they have experienced pertaining to math in school. A fundamental psychological principle is that anxiety inhibits learning. Learning occurs best in a playful state, and anxiety inhibits playfulness. The forced nature of schooling turns learning into work. Teachers even call it work: “You must do your work before you can play.” So learning, which children biologically crave, becomes toil–something to be avoided whenever possible.

6. Inhibition of critical thinking.

Presumably, one of the great general goals of education is the promotion of critical thinking. But despite all the lip service that educators devote to that goal, most students–including most “honors students”–learn to avoid thinking critically about their schoolwork. They learn that their job in school is to get high marks on tests and that critical thinking only wastes time and interferes. To get a good grade, you need to figure out what the teacher wants you to say and then say it. I’ve heard that sentiment expressed countless times by college students as well as by high-school students, in discussions held outside the classroom. I’ve devoted a lot of effort toward promoting critical thinking at the college level; I’ve developed a system of teaching designed to promote it, written articles about it, and given many talks about it at conferences on teaching. I’ll devote a future post or two in this blog to the topic. But, truth be told, the grading system, which is the chief motivator in our system of education, is a powerful force against honest debate and critical thinking in the classroom. In a system in which we teachers do the grading, few students are going to criticize or even question the ideas we offer; and if we try to induce criticism by grading for it, we generate false criticism.

7. Reduction in diversity of skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking.

By forcing all schoolchildren through the same standard curriculum, we reduce their opportunities to follow alternative pathways. The school curriculum represents a tiny subset of the skills and knowledge that are important to our society. In this day and age, nobody can learn more than a sliver of all there is to know. Why force everyone to learn the same sliver? When children are free–as I have observed at the Sudbury Valley School and others have observed with unschoolers–they take new, diverse, and unpredicted paths. They develop passionate interests, work diligently to become experts in the realms that fascinate them, and then find ways of making a living by pursuing their interests. Students forced through the standard curriculum have much less time to pursue their own interests, and many learn well the lesson that their own interests don’t really count; what counts is what’s measured on the schools’ tests. Some get over that, but too many do not.
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This list of “sins” is not novel. Many teachers I have spoken with are quite aware of all of these detrimental effects of forced education, and many work hard to try to counteract them. Some try to instill as much of a sense of freedom and play as the system permits; many do what they can to mute the shame of failure and reduce anxiety; most try to allow and promote cooperation and compassion among the students, despite the barriers against it; many do what they can to allow and promote critical thinking. But the system works against them. It may even be fair to say that teachers in our school system are no more free to teach as they wish than are students free to learn as they wish. (But teachers, unlike students, are free to quit; so they are not in prison.)

I must also add that human beings, especially young human beings, are remarkably adaptive and resourceful. Many students find ways to overcome the negative feelings that forced schooling engenders and to focus on the positive. They fight the sins. They find ways to cooperate, to play, to help one another overcome feelings of shame, to put undue pride in its place, to combat bullies, to think critically, and to spend some time on their true interests despite the forces working against them in school. But to do all this while also satisfying the demands of the forced education takes great effort, and many do not succeed. At minimum, the time students must spend on wasteful busywork and just following orders in school detracts greatly from the time they can use to educate themselves.

I have listed here “seven sins” of forced education, but I have resisted the temptation to call them the seven sins. There may be more than seven. I invite you to add more, in the comments section below.

Finally, I add that I do not believe that we should just do away with schools and replace them with nothing. Children educate themselves, but we adults have a responsibility to provide settings that allow them to do that in an optimal manner. That is the topic of my next post

I discovered Karen DeCoster in January 2010 through a post on LewRockwell.com. She’s responsible for introducing me to The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. At 50 pound overweight and feeling really old at 47 years of age, I bought the book and devoured it over my winter break from school in February 2010. It changed my lifestyle, health, and outlook. I thank Karen for her consistent fight for food freedom over the years. Here’s a sample of her writing below. Check out her blog and follow her please.

Writing On Food Politics and Food Freedom

By: Karen DeCoster

Date: May 10, 2012

It is interesting to note that Reason Magazine online now points to an archive of “food politics.” The coverage of food politics doesn’t begin until July, 2011. I welcome my fellow libertarians who are finally waking up to the government-corporate state’s war on the non-industrial food movement through coercive and violent political actions. I am pleased that my fellow libertarians are finally supporting the individual’s right to be free of coercion in terms of his or her food choices. My question is – Dear Reason, where have you been?

As I have pointed out to Lew Rockwell in the past, when I first started covering these topics (health tyranny, the medical establishment, food freedom, food politics) on my own blog and Lew’s website in about 2003 or so, I received a lot of vicious hate mails and attacks from LRC readers, and even fellow libertarian writers and Austrian economists, who could not understand why I would attack “the glorious free market.” It took a long time for dogmatic libertarians (often deemed libertarianoids, by me) to understand that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are not a product of the free market, and neither is the ginormous industrial food machine that uses its political power and its sponsored quasi-government agencies to advance its own agenda and crush its smaller (mostly local) competitors. The violence of the Industrial Food Machine goes well beyond the well-known savage and totalitarian acts of Monsanto. It took a long time for these folks to discover that Big Pharma is not the free market, and neither is the Medical Establishment or Big Cancer.

In fact, I am actually humored by the attacks that still occur, on the part of a few of my fellow libertarians who should be my partners in freedom, as they step up their puerile attacks on me on their forums and facebook threads. How can I not enjoy the panorama of fools and smile whenI am consistently Facebook tagged and attacked for doing something so egregious as indicating my passions in terms of my choices, writing about them, and then offering others potential alternatives to the system and choices they have been roped into by the coercive establishment? Persuasion and the offering of alternatives aren’t coercive acts – they are voluntary options.

It took many years for the emails to swing the other way (from a dash of hate to a lot of love), but when it did, there was an instant light bulb followed by a swarm of “Karen, now I get it” emails in my inbox each day. The amount of those kind of emails that I now receive has grown exponentially. The turn of events has been priceless.

My one great anchor, I believe, is that I plant one foot solidly in my occupation and the other foot in my passion, without having to find myself in a position where I am compelled to negotiate my principles to ensure my libertarian survival. Doing so allows me the freedom to stick to my guns without having to worry about who I am pissing off and whether or not I am blowing a potential paid opportunity or making the “right” allies. Quite frankly, in my libertarian world, I couldn’t give a frickin’ hoot about forging allies and acceptance and long-term job prospects. LewRockwell.com author Gary North has written more than once about “the calling” vs “the occupation.” Here is a link to Gary’s philosophy on handling both the job and the passion. Gary writes:

I define “calling” as follows: the most important thing that you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace. I define “occupation” as the way you put bread on the table. Sometimes these can be the same, but not very often. The most important thing is your calling. Your occupation should support your calling.

When I first read those words in 2006, I felt like they were scripted for me. Yes, I get paid for a lot of what I do in my ‘second job,’ and yes, I still do a lot of work for free, too. Crazy? Maybe. But perhaps not. I often turn down a lot of paid work to do what I want to do – some of that for free – because time is short, life moves fast, and I have no time or inkling to sell my soul to the highest bidder. Sometimes I just want to get the message out there, whether or not there is any monetary compensation. Hence I have my occupation, which is definitely still a passion, but mostly, it provides me with the education that undergirds a lot of my knowledge, and, more importantly, it is a funding mechanism for the rest of what I want to accomplish in my one term here on earth (sorry Shirley MacLaine). Thus my occupation allows me to be flexible in terms of my calling.

But folks are coming to my website and LewRockwell.com, and they are learning about why this issue is so important across the board. Ultimately, isn’t that what we are here for?

Here’s a post over at Forbes by Jessica Hagy (she blogs at Indexed) describing Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School. This is only the tip of the proverbial ice burg sinking students in the icy waters of statist-run government ‘education’. I’ve written much about what I observe daily in the propaganda center/re-education camp paying me to ‘teach’ young minds. Hat tip to Ms. Hagy for her excellent thoughts and graphics! Find the full article below… And check out her blog.

Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School
Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them.

Dangerous things you were taught in school:


1. The people in charge have all the answers.
That’s why they are so wealthy and happy and healthy and powerful—ask any teacher.

 

2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.
Your fort building, trail forging, frog catching, friend making, game playing, and drawing won’t earn you any extra credit. Just watch TV.

3 . The best and brightest follow the rules.
You will be rewarded for your subordination, just not as much as your superiors, who, of course, have their own rules.

. What the books say is always true.
Now go read your creationism chapter. There will be a test.

 

 

5. There is a very clear, single path to success.
It’s called college. Everyone can join the top 1% if they do well enough in school and ignore the basic math problem inherent in that idea.

 

6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.
Whistle-blowing, questioning the status quo, and thinking your own thoughts are no-nos. Be quiet and get back on the assembly line.

 

7. Standardized tests measure your value.
By value, I’m talking about future earning potential, not anything else that might have other kinds of value.

8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.
You are trained from a young age to base your life around dribbles of allocated vacation. Be grateful for them.

9. The purpose of your education is your future career.
And so you will be taught to be a good worker. You have to teach yourself how to be something more.

Great article over at Rural Spin. I’ve included the entire post below. Pay them a visit by clicking here for great info on living sustainably, self-sufficiently, naturally, and cheaply.

Semper Vigilans,

TEV

Roots, Twigs, Barks and Parts: The Home Apothecary

29 Mar

Medicinal herbs can be made into tinctures, infusions, tisanes, powders, and more.

You can heal yourself and your family frugally by making many remedies in your own kitchen, using plants from your garden or that you’ve foraged. Making your own home remedies from plants (called herbalism) isn’t hard once you understand the basic methods involved, and the home apothecary can also include many preventative concoctions that will help prevent illness in the first place. While there are many medical conditions that will require the intervention of a doctor (be it a Western or Eastern practitioner, or a Naturopath), herbalism is the oldest form of medicine and there’s a reason we still use it today. In fact, many medical drugs requiring a prescription are made using plants.

This ‘spin is devoted to the methods involved when making home medicines. In future ‘spins we’ll focus on specific ingredients. But there is such a huge pharmacopoeia worldwide of beneficial and medicinal plants, it will be hard to pick which ones to focus on! But no matter which plant you use, these are the basic methods you’ll use to process your plants for the home apothecary:

TINCTURES

Tinctures are made using a base of alcohol (such as vodka) into which you steep your plants for a period of time, depending upon the plant you’re using. After the recommended steep time, the mixture is strained through muslin or cheese cloth to remove all of the plant parts, and stored in a dark glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Tinctures are usually taken as drops, and because of this are frequently stored in bottles where the lid doubles as a dropper. Tinctures last for quite awhile because of their alcohol base, which acts as a preservative for the active ingredients.

Pine bud tea is an example of an infusion, where plant parts are steeped in hot water then drunk immediately.

INFUSIONS

Another term for infusion is tea. Dried or fresh leaves and flowers are steeped for about 10 minutes in water that has come to a boil then removed from heat, to extract the active ingredients (do not boil the herbs, just steep them in the hot water). The most medicinal benefit occurs from drinking a fresh infusion rather than one that has sat in the refrigerator.

A tisane is a mild form of an infusion, and generally comes packaged in tea bags. Tisanes (such as chamomile tea or peppermint tea) are steeped for shorter periods of time. Syrups are also forms of infusions, where honey, maple syrup, or similar is added in enough concentration to thicken the infusion.

DECOCTIONS

Roots, twigs, barks, and berries are the plant parts used in decoctions. Boiling water is needed to extract the active ingredients, and unlike infusions, the plant parts are indeed boiled along with the water. After the recommended boiling period (which varies depending upon the plant), the liquid is then strained and is frequently served hot with a sweetener such as honey. Decoctions will last for about three days when stored in the refrigerator.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils are frequently used in tinctures, steam inhalation, aromatherapy, and therapeutic massage, but it is only through steam distillation that you can make your own proper essential oils. Because of this, it is often easier to purchase essential oils for use in the home medicine cabinet as it can take quite a lot of herbs to distill them at home.

EXTRACTS

“Extract” is a generic term used to describe tinctures, infusions, and decoctions. It simply refers to active ingredients from plants that are extracted for use in a liquid form. This term is sometimes used interchangeably with other terms but it is important to understand the distinction, especially if you need to discuss a problem with a health care practitioner (just to make sure you’re both on the same page).

MACERATION

For some delicate plants or sensitive chemicals in the plants, hot water is too harsh and might negate the medicinal benefits offered by the plant. In these cases bruised plant parts are covered with cold water and left to sit overnight, which provides time for the plant chemicals to seep in the water. In the morning the plant parts are strained out and the liquid is taken internally.

POWDERS

Powdered plant parts can be added to liquids or onto foods, or placed into capsules. You must thoroughly dry the plant parts first, and then grind them fine using a mortar and pestle, or a coffee grinder.

Ginger is very versatile and can be taken internally via decoctions and powders, and externally as poultices or compresses.

POULTICES AND COMPRESSES

Unlike the above methods, compresses and poultices are applied externally directly onto what ails you. Crushed plant parts are used for poultices, first boiling the plants so they become soft and pliable. You can also mix powders with warm water to make a poultice. Poultices help to soothe bruises, and help heal open wounds and abscesses.

Compresses differ slightly in that cloth is soaked in an infusion or decoction, then applied to the skin. They are milder than poultices, and can be held close to the skin via a bandage if needed.