Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

PostHeaderIcon A Plea For Sanity

If you have not encountered the Canadian philosopher Stefan Molyneux, it is time to get acquainted. This resonates with my current worldview on so many levels:

…let me know how his timely message strikes you. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Goodbye to the First Amendment

Pat is spot on again:


41% and growing… time will tell. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Free Speech on Campus

I can’t think of anything that needs to be added to this indictment:



…but I sure wish college students could be required to watch and absorb it. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Introducing Objectivism

In political discussions, I generally identify myself as a small (el) libertarian, since it is too time consuming to explain what I mean, when I say I am an objectivist. There are, however, profound differences between some of the various schools of libertarianism, and the specific philosophy of Ayn Rand, which she named objectivism. This will serve as a succinct introduction to the subject, to which I can link in future discussions here and elsewhere.

The Ayn Rand Institute has some superb interactive online courses. They just added a short 15 minute introductory course on objectivism, narrated by Ayn Rand herself. It is very well done, and I highly recommend it. However, although it is free of charge, one must enroll in their online university to watch it. While safe and painless, few would probably bother to do so. Thus, the following is the transcript of Ayn Rand’s voice-over, without the visuals:

At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did, as follows:

1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism

If you want this translated into simple language, it would read:
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PostHeaderIcon Sons of Liberty

I find myself weary of trying to awaken sheeple, to the perils facing our nation. Most don't want to hear it. I am bored with reading about and commenting on the latest outrageous corruption and scandals emanating from Sodom by the Potomac. They are now coming so 'fast and furious' that it is impossible to keep up with them in any depth anyway.

Yet, I find it impossible to just give up and let the Pro Retrogressives win a total and final victory, which would bind our posterity in the ancient chains of serfdom, in the land our forefathers fought and died to keep free. I think we need a positive project to focus our energy on, which would at least attempt to save our country for our grandchildren.

It is they, the children, who are the future of America. Yet, presently they are ever increasingly and deliberately being dumbed down. They are indoctrinated in our public schools, to be ashamed of America's past, and view a Marxist utopia as its inevitable future. If we really want to save America, first and foremost this trend must be reversed. Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon A Thousand Words…

An Israeli School Teacher

An Israeli School Teacher Minding Her Class


…such as responsibility, prudence, duty, courage, honor, and Liberty come to mind. How I envy her ability to live in a land of the free, and home of the brave…

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PostHeaderIcon Abandon All Hope

They walk among us…




…and they vote! ◄Dave►


PostHeaderIcon Retrogressive Dementia

Watch it all. It gets 'progressively' better:



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PostHeaderIcon Who Owns a Child?

I am very comfortable with my libertarian philosophy, which propounds individual sovereignty and Liberty for freemen and women, with the natural right to live their lives as they choose to live them, as long as they do not forcefully interfere with or violate the natural rights of others. I have carefully worked out in my head, how such free individuals can live at peace with their neighbors, meeting in the commons for commerce and fraternity, as free traders giving no more than they take, in entirely voluntary value for value exchanges, which enrich each other's lives.

Thus, I regard one's home as his castle, and his real estate as his sovereign domain, where he gets to make the rules, which visitors are bound to abide. When he steps off his private property, however, he must abide by the standards, social customs, and rules of the community. If there were no social compact and universally accepted basic rules, to insure that any vehicle coming around the next bend would be on the other side of the road, it would be chaos. I am fine with that, and wouldn't have it any other way.

Where my philosophy falls completely apart, however, is when it comes to the welfare of children. Having discussed this issue with folks of all political persuasions, I can assure all that empathy for an innocent child is a sincerely held universal human trait, The question becomes, what are parental rights and responsibilities vs. any sort of societal rights and responsibilities vs. children's rights.

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PostHeaderIcon Best Advice Yet

I enjoyed reading an “Exclusive Interview With Diapason’s Sean Corrigan” about the world economy, which I highly recommend for the insights provided. Then, near the end, his answer to the following question was so profound that I wanted to memorialize it here for future reference:

We here at Zero Hedge are labelled as fringe lunatics who thrive on bad news. We only take issue with this to the extent that the label allows “others” to dismiss us out of hand, while not debating us on the merits of our ideas and opinions. Central to our platform is the debunking of generally accepted conclusions of mainstream Wall Street Economist and Strategists. We do so, not only because it is sometimes fun, but because we want to encourage our readers and ourselves to think beyond what we are all being spoon fed. We are interested in what advice you would give a 25 year old graduating from University about the future. How should they think about money, how should they be investing, and what do you think their future will look like (10 year time horizon) in a developed nation? Would you give different advice to a 25 year old in an emerging nation?

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PostHeaderIcon WTP-02 Lucky Canada

I used to pity Canadian conservatives their plight, stuck living under the rule of a Progressive majority. It just occurred to me that we have now allowed the bastards to overwhelm us too, and the Canadians have it better than we do. More importantly, their prognosis for the future far exceeds ours. They are energy independent, better educated, and are starting to scale back on failed social programs. We have a long hard row to hoe, before we have experienced enough pain to catch up to their reality. Here is another view from the outside looking in, found in a WTP comment section of six-month-old article I stumbled across. Somebody should send it to the RNC:

Cameron D. MacKay
February 16, 2011 | 9:18 pm

Paul: Thank you for the courtesy of responding to my comments. Allow me to express a few of my frustrations with what appears to be the Republican’s temerity to confront fundamental issues which are eroding America (and hence detrimentally affecting my country)

Read the rest of this entry »

PostHeaderIcon A Case For Anarchy

Have you ever felt like an arrogant cow, running around calling the stupid sheeple black, without noticing the bell around your own neck? Well, neither had I, until I watched the following video – twice – and seriously pondered its implications. It is the best case I have ever encountered for anarchy…

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PostHeaderIcon Black History Month

Imagine an America where this young black man’s perspective were the norm, rather than the exception. Perhaps then, everyone would understand that our differences are not about race; but about culture. Education is the cure for the victimhood mentality that traps so many in our ghettos. That is probably the real reason the Progressives resist all attempts to reform ghetto schools. If ghetto dwellers were ever allowed to learn to think for themselves, it would soon manifest MLK’s dream of a colorblind society, and the Democrat Party would never win another election. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon How To Take Our Country Back

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and invest 40 minutes in this video. You won’t be disappointed:

This is one of the most cogent descriptions of what ails our country that I have ever encountered. If one is a little fuzzy on macro economics, the animated charts are well done and explained about as simply as they could be. I wish I could force all of our congress critters to watch it, for I suspect most of them don’t understand these basic truths.

The point that we are kept busy wasting time and effort on defense over current issues, while accepting as a given the underlying framework enacted by the bankers and Progressives over the past hundred years, is profound. We need to go on offense to repeal a lot more than Obamacare to return to Constitutional government – starting with the end of the Federal Reserve.

Indeed, it is hard to argue with the logic that anything less would be futile in the end. The Fed is a malignant tumor, which unless completely eliminated will just metastasize again. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Is Obama a Keynesian?

A brilliant bit! How pathetic that only one of these pinheads even recognized the word. Lord Keynes would not be amused… :) ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon The Forgotten Man

Here is an incredible painting that is presented in a remarkable way on artist Jon McNaughton’s innovative website.

The Forgotten Man

Please do yourself a favor and visit the artist’s website for an explanation of the elements in this painting. Enable JavaScript so you can use the mouse  rollover feature to zoom in and identify each president, and read a short vignette about them. The menu items “The Collapse of the Dollar” and “What Has Obama Done” are succinct and well written too. Kudos to Jon for a masterpiece, in many more ways than one. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Which Flag?

Today is Flag Day. I haven’t even turned the TV on today, so I have no idea whether any Americans are celebrating it. Increasingly these days, I don’t much care. Watching my country disintegrate all around me is depressing and there is a nagging component that keeps reminding me that the sheeple in this country are getting exactly what they deserve.

I always remember Flag Day because it is also the day I got out of the US Army 43 years ago. It is interesting that now I harbor some pride in my service; but at the time, 14 June 1966 was the happiest day of my life. Three years on a voluntary enlistment was more than enough to convince me that I wasn’t cut out to unquestioningly follow orders given by mental midgets. One sees old veterans decked out in their uniforms on patriotic occasions. All I kept was my field jacket. Perhaps it was the times; but Vietnam era veterans were seldom respected for our service, much less thanked for it. The esprit de corps was cool; they made a man out of me; and I did my duty; but I learned I preferred to give sensible orders to following foolish ones.

I now have a new reason to remember this supposedly patriotic day that is rather sad, when one contemplates it. I got up at 0230 this morning for a mission I generally steadfastly refuse. In my mind, everything from Ventura to San Diego is “LA.” To me, it is a vast urban wasteland sans intelligent life. I eschew all attempts to get me to travel south of Santa Barbara, but I agreed on this morning to take my partner to LAX to catch a plane bound for India. We are exploring a joint venture with an Indian company in the process of franchising Montessori schools there.

She is providing a Montessori Teacher Training Course for them this summer and will be gone at least two months and perhaps twice that. It is somewhat exciting to be able to assist folks seriously interested in a real education for their children, which is not just a government provided Marxist indoctrination. One would think that with California about to go bankrupt, they might reconsider their decision to add universal preschool to their budget, which is devastating the private preschool business here. It is also intriguing to notice that India is growing and modernizing, not crumbling and dying like America. After reading Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” a few years ago, I have had a very different perspective of India.

Thus, I asked her to investigate and look seriously into the idea of emigrating to India to get the hell away from these Progressive fools, who are choking the life out of my country. I have lived in eight countries, and as patriotic as I am about my own, I am always amused by the American mindset that we live in the best place on earth. While I agree that the average American generally has a better lifestyle than the average citizen anywhere else, there is much to be said for being in the aristocracy of a third world country.

An educated entrepreneurial American living abroad has a much better lifestyle than is generally available here. The pinnacle of my life was my time in the Seychelles Islands at the age of 22, literally making more money than could be spent there. My five bedroom mansion on a 30 acre coconut plantation cost me $300 a month. Servants were $10 a month each, so I had five of them. The manager groveled every time I walked in the bank. They put “Esquire” after my name on my bank statements, because nobody could have that much money without a title. I was automatically invited to all the Governor’s diplomatic cocktail parties. The police tipped their hats and said, “Good Morning, Sir” as they stepped aside when I walked down the street. Life has been downhill every since. :)

I doubt that I will move to India, but the very idea that I am considering it at this age says a lot about my assessment of the prospects of the future of America. It is dim and growing dimmer by the day… and that is indeed sad. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Pravda vs MSNBC

My world is truly upside down. In my youth, we used to laugh at the notion that Pravda was a legitimate news source. It was considered nothing more than the propaganda wing of the Communist Party in the USSR. By the ’90s we were calling CNN the “Clinton News Network,” because of their blatant bias and advocacy for Progressive causes. Of late, I have regarded MSNBC as the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party and have likened them to Pravda.

That is probably an egregious libel against the Pravda of today. One is far more likely to find honest and accurate reporting in Pravda than MSNBC. Try to imagine, if your head is capable of such irrational flights of fantasy, MSNBC publishing this piece from Pravda, “American capitalism gone with a whimper“:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Stanislav Mishin

The article has been reprinted with the kind permission from the author and originally appears on his blog, Mat Rodina

Ouch! Does he nail it, or what? I went to his blog and found:

Thus, it is quite obvious that we, the Russian people are not, have never been, nor ever shall be, a part of the West.

Thank God – we are Russians!

We can well coexist with the West peacefully and profitably. We can even make friends with you, but please do neither lecture us, nor interfere with our affairs.

Fair enough!

As I said, my world is upside down. I spent most of my life despising the Russians and fearing a confrontation with them. Now, I would gladly trade half of my whimpering countrymen with them for an equal number of Stanislav Mishin’s. Alas, I get the distinct impression that he wouldn’t take a Green Card if we offered him one. I can’t say as I blame him… and that is the most profound insight of this mornings trip around the world. America is not what it once was, and the prognosis for it ever recovering from the insidious slide into Marxism is not good. ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Dummies Creating Dummies

Whatever one might think of the mentality of the citizens of Taxachusetts and their taste in politicians, one doesn’t normally think of it being a State full of uneducated functional illiterates. Perhaps one expects too much of their school system, which seems to be doing an exemplary job of dumbing down Massachusetts kids for the Progressive agenda. The article, “Aspiring school teachers fail in math” explains much:

MALDEN, Mass. (WPRI) – According to state education officials, nearly three-quarters of the people who took the state elementary school teacher’s licensing exam this year failed the new math section.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the results Tuesday. They say that only 27 percent of the more than 600 candidates who took the test passed. The test was administered in March of this year.

The teacher’s licensing exam tested potential teachers on their knowledge of elementary school mathematics. This included geometry, statistics, and probability.

Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester was not surprised by the results. He told the Boston Globe that these results indicate many students are not receiving an adequate math education.

Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents , said “The high failure rate puts a shining light on a deficiency in teacher-prep programs.”

Elementary school mathematics? College graduates who have been actively training to become teachers? Is this pathetic, or what? ◄Dave►

PostHeaderIcon Being Disagreeable

I have a well-earned reputation as a contrarian. In part, this is a result of my extreme “missmatcher” (a NLP input filter sort) mind. Where most people, being “matchers,” compare new data with what is already known looking for similarities, my mind automatically looks for differences. Ask me to compare similar objects, and my mind will assume that it is being asked to report all the things that are different about them, while a strong matcher will report all the characteristics they notice they have in common. Submit a new idea, and it will immediately search for the hidden flaw that dooms it as unworkable, no matter how good it initially sounds.

This trait has driven collegues around the bend over the years; but it has also saved a lot of wasted time, effort, and grief. In a business meeting, someone will present a great sounding idea and everyone else jumps aboard with enthusiasm – until the contrarian in their midst asks, “Have you considered {hidden flaw}…,” which renders it stillborn. In my own enterprises, I had to learn to bite my tongue when the flaws were inconsequential, in order not to dampen employees enthusiasm for inovation.

Naturally, this affliction appears in my writing and can be a turnoff to readers. I really enjoy debate on forums and in comment sections, so it was with pleasure that I encountered a flawless little essay by Paul Graham entitled “How to Disagree.”:

The web is turning writing into a conversation. Twenty years ago, writers wrote and readers read. The web lets readers respond, and increasingly they do — in comment threads, on forums, and in their own blog posts.

Many who respond to something disagree with it. That’s to be expected. Agreeing tends to motivate people less than disagreeing. And when you agree there’s less to say. You could expand on something the author said, but he has probably already explored the most interesting implications. When you disagree you’re entering territory he may not have explored.

The result is there’s a lot more disagreeing going on, especially measured by the word. That doesn’t mean people are getting angrier. The structural change in the way we communicate is enough to account for it. But though it’s not anger that’s driving the increase in disagreement, there’s a danger that the increase in disagreement will make people angrier. Particularly online, where it’s easy to say things you’d never say face to face.

If we’re all going to be disagreeing more, we should be careful to do it well. What does it mean to disagree well? Most readers can tell the difference between mere name-calling and a carefully reasoned refutation, but I think it would help to put names on the intermediate stages. So here’s an attempt at a disagreement hierarchy:

Profound! A cogent license to be disagreeable! What follows is a hierarchy of disagreement techniques from DH0, Name-calling, to DH6, Refuting the Central Point. I intend to refer to them often in the future, and look forward to the time when I can from memory declare, “That is only a DH3 class argument on the Graham scale, and not as convincing as a better effort might be.” The value of this scale cannot be explained any better than he does:

The most obvious advantage of classifying the forms of disagreement is that it will help people to evaluate what they read. In particular, it will help them to see through intellectually dishonest arguments. An eloquent speaker or writer can give the impression of vanquishing an opponent merely by using forceful words. In fact that is probably the defining quality of a demagogue. By giving names to the different forms of disagreement, we give critical readers a pin for popping such balloons.

Such labels may help writers too. Most intellectual dishonesty is unintentional. Someone arguing against the tone of something he disagrees with may believe he’s really saying something. Zooming out and seeing his current position on the disagreement hierarchy may inspire him to try moving up to counterargument or refutation.

But the greatest benefit of disagreeing well is not just that it will make conversations better, but that it will make the people who have them happier. If you study conversations, you find there is a lot more meanness down in DH1 than up in DH6. You don’t have to be mean when you have a real point to make. In fact, you don’t want to. If you have something real to say, being mean just gets in the way.

I suspect I will still be thought mean, because I don’t suffer fools easily and come by my reputation as a curmudgeon honestly; but I intend to work on the promise of the second paragraph. ◄Dave►

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